Lavender Charcoal Soap DIY Homemade Soap Recipe

Lavender Charcoal Soap is the perfect blend of a few of my favorite things. Charcoal is terrific for oily skin, with the ability to pull both oil and dirt from pores.   Because the charcoal can be drying for some skin types, I’ve chosen to add a bit of shea butter to a goat milk base,  to help balance this bar.

Lavender Charcoal Soap DIY Recipe


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2 1/2 pounds of white Goat Milk Melt & Pour Soap.  I chose goat milk melt and pour soap for it’s extra skin softening abilities.

Activated Charcoal.  I prefer to use the capsules.  I have a fear of an open bag of charcoal being overturned somewhere in my house.  (shiver) But if you rather go with the loose stuff, I like this brand.

Young Living Lavender Essential Oils  I choose to use only Young Living Essential Oils.  You can go here to learn more about my favorite oils! 

Shea Butter (optional)  I chose refine shea butter because unrefined comes with a scent that is hard to cover.

Silicone Soap Mold

Small Spray Bottle of Alcohol

Heat-safe glass measuring cup

Thermometer (optional)

Scale (optional)

Ingredients To Make Lavender Charcoal Soap

Let’s Get Started Making Lavender Charcoal Soap!

Set aside 2 pounds of the goat milk melt and pour soap.

Cut 1/2 pound of the goat milk melt and pour soap into 1/2 inch cubes and place in heat safe glass measuring cup.

Melt the 1/2 pound of melt and pour and  1/4 teaspoon shea butter in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until soap is completely melted.

Allow to cool for a minute and then add 5-10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil.

Make Your Own DIY Lavender Charcoal Soap

Slowly add in 5 capsules of charcoal(opening each capsule and adding the charcoal, and disposing of the actual capsule)  and stir until it is entirely incorporated into the soap.  The soap should be black.  If it isn’t dark enough for your liking, add in another capsule.

Pour this now melted black soap into two of your soap molds in different thicknesses. (You can put it back in the microwave for a few seconds if it’s set up too much.)  Spritz with alcohol to get rid of the bubbles.  Allow to set up and dry.

Lavender Charcoal Soap

Pop out the soap and then cut it into different sizes of rectangles and squares.  You’ll need to make sure that your sizes fit into your molds.

You can use a small kitchen knife to free hand the heart inside of your square, or you can use a fondant cutter in the shape of a heart.

Give Your Black Soap Shapes Time To Dry

I  recommend allowing your shapes to dry for at least a few hours to over night before continuing on with the recipe.  This will help your black shapes not to melt into your melted white base.  However,  if you are in a hurry, we can proceed now.

Creating The Soap Design For Your Lavender Charcoal Soap

Place your black shapes into each mold in the design of your choosing.  Having some shapes placed horizontally  and some shapes  vertically (going UP the sides of your mold)  will give more visual interest to your soap.

Press the shapes in so that no air is between the shape and your mold.

Melt The 2 Pounds Of Melt And Pour Soap You Set Aside


Take the 2 pounds of goat milk soap and cut it into half inch cubes.  Add 1 teaspoons of shea butter.   Microwave in 30 second bursts, stir, and repeat until your base is melted.  Allow your soap to cool for a minute and then add in 25 drops of Lavender Essential Oil.

Pay Attention To The Temperature Of Your White Soap

Pouring HOT white soap over your black shapes will melt your black soap pieces.

You’ll need to pour the soap at a temperature that won’t melt your black soap.  That means your white soap needs to be about 125-130 degrees, or liquid enough to pour, but not hot enough to melt.

If your soap is too hot to put your finger in, it’s too hot to pour.  If you soap is lumpy when you go to pour it, it has set too long.

Pour ONLY enough soap to cover the bottom of the mold, but NOT the shapes of your charcoal lavender soap.   Basically, you don’t want to be able to see the bottom of the mold.

Lavender Charcoal Melt and Pour Soap

Then, press down the black pieces to create a seal so that as you continue to pour, the white soap doesn’t flow under you black pieces.

Next, spritz your soap with a bit of alcohol to remove any bubbles, and continue to fill your mold with your white goat milk soap.  Fill it to the top of your mold, because as your soap sets, it will shrink down some.

Allow to completely set up and become hard before popping your Lavender Charcoal Soap out of the mold!

Charcoal Lavender Glycerin Melt and Pour Soap DIY Recipe

Ta-Da!  You’ve Made Lavender Charcoal Soap!

To celebrate your success, why don’t you draw up and warm bath and take your soap for a test drive!

Getting Started With Young Living Essential Oils

If you are looking to get started with essential oils you can purchase a Young Living Premium Starter kit that includes the Lavender Essential Oil I used in making my Lavender Charcoal Soap.   You can learn more about Young Living Essential Oils and my Top Ten Essential Oils for Preppers here.

Young Living Premium Starter Kit

Survival Lighting: The Luci Inflatable Solar Light

Survival lighting options.  There are a lot of them. Today I want to share with you my new favorite, the Luci Inflatable Solar Light.  It is going to be your new favorite too.

The Luci Light_ Inflatable Solar Survival Lighting

How I Discovered the Luci Solar Light

I was invited to be part of a group buy for several preparedness items, one being the *this post contains affiliate links Luci Solar Light.  Life being busy, when it arrived, I stashed it in my emergency closet, and promptly forgot about it.

Just keeping it real. 

When I pulled out all of my family’s Bug Out Bags to update and rotate out the food within, I rediscovered my Luci Light, and have been putting it to use ever since.

Why The Luci Light Is At The Top Of My Survival Lighting Options

*This amazing*this post contains affiliate links inflatable solar lantern requires no batteries, which means one less thing to forget while it saves you money!

*Provides up to 12 hours of light on a single charge.

*It stores easily.  It is exceptionally lightweight, and deflates down to less that 1 inch tall.  There are few survival lighting options that you can slip into a bug out bag that adds almost zero weight and takes up little space.

*Requires only a few breaths of air to inflate.

*It’s very affordable, especially considering it’s a solar lantern.

Pro Tip:  The Luci Light is the perfect solar option for camping trips, RVing, boating and off grid living!

How Long Does It Take To Charge The Luci Light?

Fully charged after 8 hours of sunlight, the Luci Light  then retains 95% of that charge each month. This means that a fully charged light will still work after being in storage for 3 years!

Expect 50 lumens of high quality, bright light within a 12 foot area.

Survival Lighting That Is Kid Friendly

I appreciate how kid friendly the Luci Light is. The PVC enclosure is waterproof, and includes handles for easy carrying even by the littles. As a matter of fact, these would make safe and effective night lights too, without need of batteries, gas, or a wall to plug it into.

Pro Tip: Looking for an emergency lighting option for your college kids’ dorm room?  The Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern fits the bill!

What’s In Your Nightstand?

You are startled awake in the middle of the night due to an emergency. You reach to turn on the lights and discover the electricity is gone. While others may panic, you know you can reach into the drawer of your night stand (or under your bed, in a dresser drawer, etc.) and have light right at your finger tips.  This is what the Luci Light is all about.

Don’t Wait For A Disaster

When disaster hits, the time to prepare is past.  Don’t wait to increase your family’s ability to weather an emergency.  Get your Luci Light now.

Choosing The Best Emergency Face Mask

As I write this post, parts of the country are either flooded or fleeing the path of Hurricane Irma.  Other states, Oregon, Washington and California are on fire.  If there was ever a time to begin preparing your family for an emergency, now has to be it.  One item that should be in every family’s preparedness kit is an emergency face mask.

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Which Type Of Emergency Face Mask Should You Buy?

Let’s run through the different types of emergency face masks and their best uses.

The lowest level of protection is the humble *this post contains affiliate links dust mask.   Inexpensive.  Disposable.  It’s the sort of mask you would need to protect against pollen, household dust, cut grass.  It is NOT NIOSH approved protection.  It’s really not going to offer much protection, and the only reason I mention it here is to help you tell the difference between this and a particulate respirator mask.

How To Choose An Emergency Face Mask

N95 Emergency Face Masks

A better choice for an emergency face mask is a particulate respirator, an N95 or above.  These are the types of masks suggested a few years back when the Swine Flu and Influenza were such concerns.  These filter 95% of 0.3 micron sized particles.

Particulate respirator face masks conform a bit better to your face, unless you have a  beard.   These masks give you more protection from microscopic particles in the air.

The N95 masks can be found with ‘cool flow valves’ that help to reduce heat build up, moisture, and fogging, all of which help to make breathing while wearing this mask easier.

Because N95 masks are NIOSH certified, which means the respirator has passed stringent government performance standards including filtration efficiency testing and provides at least 95% filtration efficiency solid and liquid particles that do not contain oil.

 N95 masks have been a popular choice for protection from the smoke from fires, city pollution, viruses (H1N1, etc.) and allergies.

N99 Emergency Face Masks

Newer on the market are masks like the Cambridge Mask, which is a N99 mask.  More expensive, but reusable, Cambridge Masks provide protection against gases, smells, all PM; PM2.5, PM0.3, pollen, smoke and pathogens such as viruses (99.6%)  and  bacteria (99.77%).

As per the Cambridge literature:

Filters used in the Cambridge Mask meet the N99 standard (higher than N95)This is a US Government specification for pollution masks. Cambridge Masks have been independently tested by Nelson Labs, USA which confirmed almost 100% of particulate pollution, bacteria and viruses were successfully filtered when tested. We have also tested to meet the standards for Chinese NK-95 and Korean Food and Drug Administration requirements. The masks use a triple-layer filter system which will protect from a range of airborne contaminants.

Please, check the specs on ANY emergency face mask purchase you make.


PRO TIP: Remember viruses are transferred not only by touch, through a sneeze, these bugs can also enter through your eyes.  Good hand washing and keeping your hands away from your face is important.

emergency mask

Should You Buy A Respirator?

Next up, Respirators.  These provide at least 95% filter efficiency against solid and liquid aerosols as well as some organic vapors.  It will filter pesticides and some viruses too.   Basically, you get a much better seal with this type of face masks, which offers better protection.  If you want to amp up this protection add a pair of safety goggles.

Respirators work well for those with serious breathing problems, allergies, and a need to be protected from bad smells.  Think of it as a really jacked up version of the paper N95 masks that can also filter out strong odors.

PRO TIP:  At around $30.00 a pop, respirators are a great choice for protection.  But make sure you pay attention to the SIZES they come in, usually Small, Medium, and Large.   The effectiveness of any face mask depends on how well it fits.

Full Facepiece Respirators provide a good seal around your face, AND protect your eyes.  More expensive, but if this is a big concern for you, worth every penny.

Another choice you may want to consider is the ReadiMask, a single use, full face respirator that uses medical grade adhesive to create a secure barrier to your face.

What Face Mask Should You Choose For Mold Removal?

Let’s face it.  In the aftermath of a hurricane, a lot of people are going to be dealing with a lot of mold.  You are going to need a Mold Remediation Respirator kit.
Mold is nasty stuff.  Don’t try to use a paper face mask or simple respirator for this job.

When Are  Gas Masks A Good Choice?

Considering today’s world events, there is value in a good gas mask.   Again, it’s all about your personal circumstances.  The Israeli Gas Masks also run in the $30-40 dollar range.

Pro Tip:  Regardless of which face mask you choose, wearing them is a bit of a learning curve.  They are uncomfortable and can look scary on, especially for children.   Take some time and practice wearing your masks BEFORE an emergency.

What face masks do you have in your emergency supplies?  What type do your pack in your 72 kit?


Dehydrating Frozen Vegetables

Find a great sale on frozen vegetables, but there’s no room in the freezer?  No worries!  Dehydrating frozen vegetables is a simple prep skill to master.

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

Why You Should Dehydrate Frozen Vegetables

    • Unless you have a really big garden, dehydrating frozen vegetables is much cheaper than buying fresh, and you can dehydrate frozen vegetables year round.
    • Dehydrating frozen vegetables requires no washing, peeling, slicing, chopping, or blanching,  saving you a lot of time.
    • Needs less room (much less!) for storage!

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Which Dehydrator Should You Choose?

I use *this post contains affiliate links an Excalibur Dehydrator, and love it.  I also own a Nesco dehydrator, which is much cheaper and works well for dehydrating frozen vegetables.   You can quickly and easily recoup  the cost of both of these dehydrators in just a few months of dehydrating your own fruits and veggies.

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

How To Dehydrate Frozen Vegetables

Simply spread out the mixed veggies on the dehydrator trays. I didn’t worry that the pieces were touching, I knew they would shrink as they dried and it wouldn’t be an issue. As a matter of fact, my one POUND bag of veggies shrunk down to 3/4 of a cup!

I dehydrated these @125 degrees and they took about 10 hours. Please look at your dehydrator model to see what temperature is correct for your machine. The time to dehydrate will always depend on the humidity in the room where you are dehydrating.

Pro Tip:  Want to learn more about dehydrating foods?  Hands down, the best book on the market is Tammy Gangloff’s The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook. In this book, Tammy covers it all from how to dehydrate foods, to recipes that only need water added!

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

How To Store Dehydrated Frozen Vegetables

Now that you have a batch of inexpensive dehydrated frozen vegetables, you’ll need to store them properly. Here’s where a Food Saver comes in so handy!

My favorite way to store my dehydrated vegetables is to pour them into a wide mouth canning jar, and using the mason jar sealer accessory, vacuum seal the jar. You won’t need a ring for this, the vacuum sealing will securely keep the lid on.


Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

How To Use Dehydrated Frozen Vegetables

    • Add a handful or two to soups or stews. Perfect for crockpot cooks!
    • Add some to a blender and turn them into a veggie powder. This powder can then be added
    • to all sorts of things you’d like to up the nutritional value of.
    • Smoothies!
    • Use for camping and hiking trips.

No Time For Dehydrating Frozen Vegetables? No Problem!

LOVE the idea of having veggies and fruits in your long term food storage as a hedge against inflation and emergencies?  But don’t have time to dehydrate your own?   Thrive carries a wide variety of sfreeze dried food for this very reason!  Check them out!

So, which frozen vegetable will you be dehydrating first?