We have had so much rain lately that even my rain-loving self is starting to get waterlogged. Luckily the weather has also warmed up so it’s no longer a stinging cold rain.

I have the little two enjoying some sensory play that’s a less messy than their usual mud. I only have so many towels, and laundry still has to happen.

In between rounds of cleaning up mud, I finally launched my essential oil roll-ons. I’ve been studying essential oils for a while to make sure I was completely comfortable with their usage before sharing them with you.


That is for a single essential oil of your choosing. I blend them with your choice of coconut, olive or sweet almond oil. I also offer custom blends and my own blends. You can find the complete line at SubEarthan Cottage here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MySubEarthanCottage?ref=seller-platform-mcnav&search_query=Essential+oil

New(ish)! Lavender Tea Tree Charcoal Handmade Soap

Newish because I added it to my shop last summer. I haven’t shared all the yummy goodness of it here, though.

I’ve wanted to make a soap with activated charcoal for a while. Traditionally, activated charcoal is used to draw out impurities. I’m not sure if that quality carries over to the soap due to the fact that the lather is rinsed away fairly quickly. It definitely adds a kind of soft, creamy feel to the lather and a gorgeous, deep marbled grey color to the soap. This is most impressive after one or two uses when the water has polished the soap. So pretty!


While it can be used as a hand or body soap, the activated charcoal made me take it in a facial soap direction. I love my Tea Tree Oil facial soap, but wanted to change it up a bit, so I added lavender essential oil as the main note with the tea tree oil as a mellower, supporting note. I think the reduction of tto in this soap makes it a bit milder than my Tea Tree Oil soap as well. Both essential oils are thought to have beneficial properties for your skin, and they smell lovely together.

My Lavender Tea Tree Charcoal Soap is in stock in my Etsy shop. My Tea Tree Oil Soap is currently sold out. Look for more soon. 🙂


Just a few notes today:

1. I’m working on my website, https://subearthancottage.com. You can find my about page, blog and shop all in one place. Currently the shop is still through Etsy, so you need an Etsy account to shop there. If you have problems or concerns with that, please contact me so I can help you out.

2. Please, subscribe to my newsletter. I hate clogged inboxes as much as everyone else, so I send emails very sparingly. When I do, there’s usually a sale or coupon for my shop involved. Sign ups are to the right on Blogger and bottom on my website.

3. Usually when people talk about no-poo, they’re referring to the baking soda and acv variety. I finally found someone who goes the natural bar soap route like I do. Here’s her method:
http://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2016/04/how-to-wash-your-hair-without-shampoo/. She has more awesome information for frugal, healthy living, so I encourage you to browse around.

4. In case you haven’t seen my take on soap as shampoo, here it is: https://subearthancottage.com/2012/11/shampoo-bar-101-revisited.html. I totally forgot about taking a break from it after B was born. Apparently that’s normal for me, because I’ve done it again since Thadd was born and now I’m paying the price. At least I know the transition period doesn’t last forever and I’ll be able to ditch the pony tail soon. Not that I’m going to want to. Summers are HOT!

Influenster NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine Review

I was chosen by influenster.com to receive their Holiday VoxBox of products to review. Everything was given to me free of charge. The reviews are my comlpetely honest opinion.

Here’s a shot of everything from the box.

Goody QuikStyle Half Round Styler, Quaker Real Medleys Apple Walnut Oatmeal+, www.SoleSociety.com Coupon for $25 to use and share (INFLUENSTER25), Montagne Jeunesse Clean Up Mud Face Mask, EBOOST effervescent powder, NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine in Nude York City, and Kiss Nail Dress

To keep it simple, I’m reviewing everything separately. First up is the NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine in Nude York City. Review after the jump.

I am a lip product junkie. I always have at least three different lip products in my bag in addition to the one or two I have in my pocket. In all of my searches, I’ve only ever found one perfect gloss, and it was discontinued years ago. This one doesn’t quite live up to my long lost fave, but it’s one of the closest I’ve found.

Awkward bathroom mirror photo that blogger stubbornly insists on turning sideways.
When I first put it on, I thought it was a little too pale and made my lips look washed out. I usually prefer a nude that has a little bit of pink to it to prevent that. After wearing it for a while, though, it looks much more natural with just enough shine.

It doesn’t really have a flavor. The scent is wonderful, though. It’s kind of a sweet vanilla-y fruity scent. The texture is fairly creamy. It is slightly sticky at first, but the stickiness goes away after a few minutes of wear. It does transfer some, but I’ve been able to drink coffee all morning without the need to re-apply.

Overall grade: A-
Average cost: $2.49
Would I purchase myself: Probably. I might try a different shade, but after a day of wear, this one really works to give me some polish without worrying about smudges and lip prints on the kiddos.

Shampoo Bar 101 Revisited

I took a break from using my beer soap as shampoo after Beckett was born because there just wasn’t time to make it safely with him around. I have long hair, and the ends have been really dry. My scalp has been itchy lately, too. As soon as my recent batch of beer soap set, I switched back. Already my hair feels softer and thicker, and my scalp hasn’t been as itchy. I am having to go through a readjustment phase, but I wear my hair in a pony tail or bun 90% of the time anyway, so it hasn’t been too inconvenient. I’m hoping that it might go quickly this time, too, since I had already cut back on washing my hair before the switch.

For more information on using a bar soap for shampoo, I’ve reposted my original article after the jump.

I began using bar soaps as shampoo about four years ago. Whenever I tell people this, they always look at me kind of strange or have tons of questions about how it works, so I thought I’d share it all here. Please keep in mind, this is all based on my personal experience and research.

What type of soap to use?While there are some bars that are specially formulated to be shampoo bars, I’ve found that just about any good quality natural soap will work. You definitely want to avoid most of the bar soaps you’d find at your supermarket, because they don’t have the same properties as natural soaps and can dry your hair.

Among natural soaps, I’ve found that bars with little or no waxes work the best. My hair tends to be oily, so I also avoid soaps with a high percentage of butters (shea, cocoa, etc.) as they seem to add too much oil to my hair.

Some of the oils that work well in a shampoo bar are coconut, castor, olive, jojoba, and avocado. Most of the bars I’ve used contain at least the first three. I wouldn’t count out a bar that didn’t have them, though, until I’d tried it a few times.

What are the some of the benefits of using a bar soap?

  • Natural bars don’t strip your hair like shampoo.
  • Hair feels thicker
  • Has eliminated my need for a seperate conditioner
  • No more scalp and hairline irritation like I had with many shampoos
  • Convenient for travel-no worries about leaky bottles or (as far as I know) airline carry-on limits
  • Same bar can be used all over-no need for a seperate body wash or soap cluttering your shower

Tips for using a bar soap as shampoo:

  • Expect an adjustment period of 2-4 weeks. Your scalp is used to producing more oil to make up for the natural oils that are stripped by the detergents in shampoos.
  • You may want to use a simple clarifying shampoo or even a baby shampoo prior to the first wash with a bar. I’ve found that this helps speed up the adjustment period by removing buildup from shampoos, conditioners and styling products, giving the bar a clean slate to work with.
  • Periodically doing an apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice) rinse can help improve shine and seems to help if I feel like my hair isn’t rinsing out as well as it should. I use about 1/2 Tablespoon of ACV to about 3 cups of water and pour over my just washed hair, then rinse. I used to do this about every other wash, but now I do it about once every week or two.
  • Many styling products seem to need the detergents in shampoo to be fully removed. I try to avoid products with dimethecone and other -cone ingredients as these seem to be the hardest to wash out with a bar soap. Hairspray doesn’t seem to be a problem. You can also use pure aloe gel as a hair gel that’s also great for your hair.

I’m sure there are many things I’ve left out. Feel free to ask any questions or add to what I have here.

Oh, and before I forget, here are my favorites from my shop to use as a shampoo:

Beer Soap

Pine Tar Soap

Tea Tree Oil Soap (especially great if I’m experiencing any dandruff)