Simple spray for the heatwave.

This recipe came across my social media radar this week and it’s so simple and effective I had to share it in a blog.

Heatwave Peppermint Spray

Heat Wave Peppermint Spray (AC in a Bottle)

10g peppermint essential oil

10g menthol essential oil

Equal volume of solubilizer (Polysorbate 20) (I used a natural safe substitute instead of Polysorbate 20.)

200mL aloe vera juice

Weigh the essential oils out into an empty spray bottle, and top off with an equal amount of solubilizer.  Swirl to combine. Add a small amount of aloe vera juice and shake gently to combine. Add the rest of the aloe vera, shake gently to combine.

To use, spritz on bare skin.

If you don’t want to use the solubilizer you can leave it out and just shake thoroughly before each use. That means the mixture will not emulsify at all and you’ll likely have troubles getting it to spritz evenly.


My Cooling Mist with some tweaked ingredients

5 drops Eucalyptus essential oil

5 drops Spearmint essential oil

200ml distilled aloe vera water

10 drops vegetable glycerin (which is all natural and also very moisturizing for your skin.)

Shake well and spray!

You get a refreshing spritz that cools you down for a moment. The essential oils also leave a lasting tingle on your skin and you smell minty fresh.

My coworkers enjoyed this spray in our hot workplace yesterday and some of the clients enjoyed it as well.

Just a simple tip to beat the heat!

Photo: Distilled aloe Vera water and a few drops of vegetable glycerine to emulsify spearmint and eucalyptus essential oils = refreshing body mist! Works great and energizing, too :)

“It’s not what you make, it’s what you spend.”

Recently married, so many of my husband and I’s conversations revolve around money – earning it, spending it, keeping it, loathing it, needing it, giving it, receiving it, desiring it or praying for it.

A simple life, to me, is one where money does not take top priority. We realize it is necessary for human sustenance, security and happiness, to some degree. I say money provides happiness because it covers the costs of our healthcare, our grocery bills and our travel expenses. I sure would not be happy if I could not see a doctor, could not buy my own food or afford a tank of gas to go visit my family! So I do believe money allows us access to many blessings and allows us to enjoy things more freely, which brings us happiness.

But how much money is required for true happiness?

I am blessed because I’ve never been much of a shopper to begin with, which has helped guide me to this life of pursuing more intangible things. (Although, I have to admit, my only pair of boots I bought years ago are pretty scuffed by now and my brown belt is no longer holding my pants up properly – it’s almost time to spend some funds at the mall.) I am naturally a more social and caring person and the material has never had a huge pull for me.

In the book “Drive Like a Woman, Shop Like a Man” by Mary Mulvihill we see the behavioral differences between men’s and women’s shopping habits. The book shares how each gender can learn something from the opposite sex when it comes to the economics of life. Women tend toward “browsing” or “gathering” when out at a store. They push their shopping cart and grab what is appealing or possibly needed at home or for others. Men, on the other hand, “hunt” while they are shopping. They have a particular item or items in mind and go in for the kill. I shop like a man, because crowds of people, mall lighting, and the utter horror of a credit card bill or shopping receipt is enough to narrow my focus on what’s important – what is necessary – and nothing too much beyond that. My husband thanks me, but there are times when I’m given a sideways glance and told, “It’s OK to get a hair trim, Steph…” (Oh, yes, it’s been months and months now…)

So since adopting some of these little habits and after years of working, praying and planning, my husband and I are off to a decent start as newly weds. We’re both employed full-time. I even have access to lots of over-time work. I successfully paid off what little credit card debt I had in the past year (greedy rectangles of plastic bound for our shredder for good!) And now we start a new plan to eradicate those lovely student loans and car payments, which again, remind me that I have had access to a good education and a safe, comfortable vehicle.

My grandfather, who built himself up from little financial wealth, focusing on Biblical principle and sound financial practice, always shares nuggets of truth and one financial one is this: “It’s not what you make, it’s what you spend.” If I’m not making enough to buy something, I won’t. When I focus on my output – what I spend, what I give, what I do, (only what I can control, in other words) – this is when I see good financial progress. It gives me the strength to say “no” to that 30% off sale at Express. It gives me the strength to say no to having a TV and a cable bill at our new apartment (network TV is mostly rubbish anyway lately and I’ve found it far more satisfying to save my money then to pay for having trash dumped into my skull.)

This little financial mantra is enough to keep me in the pursuit of less… less hassle, less bills, less complication and stress. Less distraction.

In Matthew chapter 6 Jesus talks about money and the love of it…

Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.




(Courtesy of Google images)

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,

and all these things will be given to you as well. 

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,

for tomorrow will worry about itself.

Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Spontaneous chaos and snowflakes.

Bumpy tires have prevented an extra shift at work for me this morning. Can’t get anywhere around here without a car.

I dream about a bicycle with a basket, holding only necessities (you know, a journal, books, snacks, a purple chrysanthemum,) on my way to work. Pedaling close by or down the road for coffee. But drive this car I must. Now with a shorter work commute I’m logging perhaps 30 miles a day… Short compared to last years standard 80. How do you shave mileage from your life? Car pool? Multiple errands in one trip? Or don’t you think about it?

So this morning of losing work because of vehicle maintenance reminds me to spend more time in organization, prevention of life maintenance mishaps and simplifying the clutter that accrues all too easily in the car, in the kitchen, on the bedroom floor (difficult with a husband, thinking of rigging the laundry hamper together with a basketball hoop ~ look, cleaning up can be a game!) “Spontaneous chaos,” is how my college chemistry professor used to put it. One moment your sock drawer is organized and the next, it’s in total upheaval. Of course the mess happened during incremental seconds of neglect, but it surely doesn’t seem that way. We think messes just happen, don’t we? “An individual snowflake never feels responsible for an avalanche.”

So this little snowflake has some cleaning to do today.


Losing your grip.
December 6, 2012, 5:24 pm
Filed under: Behavior, Economy, Environment, Mind, Minimalism, Spirit, Writing

Years ago, leaving a restaurant in my small college town I noticed a decorative garden rock inscribed: “Blessed is the man who holds the things of this world with a loose hand.”

I can’t remember where that phrase comes from, though I’m tempted to say it’s an Irish Proverb.

Those words have always struck me, though. They’ve always remained wedged in a corner of my heart, guiding me on a path toward less things and more freedom… more love.

It’s tough not to feel like an odd duck when you don’t care to shop  “like a girl” or over-indulge in so much sensory gratification (food, clothes, money, sex) that are “supposed” to bring us ultimate pleasure. I can’t say I haven’t been there and done that. I have. There’s a splitting that happens, though, when you choose a different path. Like Jesus taught, when you desperately seek for spiritual gifts, the ways of the world start seeming quite odd and almost cumbersome to you.

I do not believe that materialism is all bad. As Jesus put it… money is not the root of all evil… it’s the LOVE of money that is the root. It can be a harmful idol blocking us from communion with God.

1 John 3:17  But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

Materialism has brought many good things. Useful things. Medicine, science, some technology. Art works. But it’s not all there is. Not by a long shot.

Minimalist Meditations:

John 6:63

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

1 Timothy 6:10

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.


‘Tis the season to savor… and simplify.
November 26, 2012, 11:37 am
Filed under: Behavior, Budget, Economy, Minimalism

If you ventured out into the crowds and the chaos to your local Black Friday vendors perhaps you’ve already scooped up your gifts and will pass on today’s Cyber Monday deals and benefits of free shipping.

But if you haven’t, here are some  U.S – promoting Web sites and companies that can help you give with style, ease and conscious if you want the holiday cheers without so many holiday tears and fears.

Today’s Cyber Monday and unlike Black Friday it doesn’t require you to leave your home and stand in long lines or possibly risk being trampled by crazed consumers with credit cards and shopping lists. Ahhh it’s like a minimalist’s shopping dream…. scrolling through online menus and typing in specific requests in search engines, rather than perusing through racks of clothing or dozens of shelves full of products.

Another minimalist dream? Secret Santa gift-giving. One gift to my side of the family. One gift to the husband’s side of the family. Talk about easy shopping! A tradition I highly recommend if you like to keep it simple and save the cash and the stress of holiday shopping.

My favorites for shopping:

For the funky, fun-loving girlfriend, vintage-lover or quirky artist:

For outerwear, shoes, accessories, clothing for him, her or the wee ones

Have got to mention for handmade and vintage gifts you can buy from U.S. artisans and crafters.

For the athlete, out-doorsy type or adventurer try (“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” –Patagonia’s Mission Statement)

Pictures are worth a thousand words and make fantastic gifts… create your own personalized gifts at (OUR VISION – Make the world a better place by helping people share life’s joy. OUR MISSION – Build an unrivaled service that enables deeper, more personal relationships between our customers and those who matter most in their lives) or is a great place to add a personal message, quote or pictures to almost any item to make it unique. It’s an Illinois-based company, although I’m not certain all their products are made in the U.S.

I’m sure there are many more great companies to choose from, but there’s my list.

Know any great U.S. companies or businesses that benefit more than their bottom line? Post it in the comments.

Happy holidays!

Valerie Rumfelt

An on mission writer with winning ways to follow Jesus

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