Top Ten Reader Favorites from 2015

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I still can’t believe the new year is here. I’m not sure I’m ready to embrace it! But I have my theme and I must move forward. Before we move on, I want to celebrate some of my reader favorites from this past year! This blog has grown quite a bit and I am always blown away at the positive response I get from my lovely readers. So, a big THANK YOU to you for joining me in this journey!

Here’s the count-down to Never Lacking Zeal’s reader favorites:

How to make garlic oil

10: How to Make Garlic Oil – With its high nutritive benefits, garlic is one of the best things you can have in your kitchen. This simple garlic oil is great to have on hand this time of year to boost your immune system and ward off infections.

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9: 5 Reasons You Need Epsom Salt in Your Life – Plus a recipe for a relaxing foot soak! Epsom salt has some really amazing health benefits. Read the list to find out more.

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8: The Benefits of Baltic Amber – Is Amber all it’s cracked up to be? Although Baltic amber is often just looked upon as a hookey hippie necklace, there are some proven benefits that can make positive changes in your body. I don’t think we could have made it through teething without it.

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7: DIY Sore Muscle Rub – Don’t forget to pack this in your gym bag. Sore Muscle Rub uses natural ingredients to help your body fight the inflammation caused by a tough work out. You can make your own Muscle Rub or buy some from my soap shop, Southern Vines Soap Company.

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6: The Benefits of Cedarwood Essential Oil – If you’ve never smelled Cedarwood, you are missing out! One of my favorite essential oils to diffuse in my home and has quite a few benefits for the body too.

DIY Flea and Tick Repellent Dog Shampoo

5: DIY Dog Shampoo – Let’s not forget about our furry friends when it comes to switching to green household products. This shampoo will clean your pooch and help repel fleas and ticks. Make sure to whip up a batch before the Spring hits.

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4: DIY Liquid Shampoo – Although I’ve switched to using Herbal Shampoo Bars, you can’t go wrong with a wonderfully scented liquid shampoo. This combination of liquid castile soap, coconut milk, and essential oils will leave your hair nourished and smelling great.

DIY Static Stopper

3: DIY Static Stopper Spray – The dry season has recently hit at my house with the increased cold and use of the central heat. With it comes the static on my clothes and hair. And it drives me nuts! Thankfully, there’s no more craziness with this quick recipe.

DIY dry shampoo

2: DIY Dry Shampoo – I LOVE this recipe and so do my readers! So easy to make. And I use it almost every day (when I don’t shower).

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1: 12 Ways to Use Grapefruit Essential Oil – This quick list has gone viral on Pinterest! Grapefruit essential oil is a mom’s best friend. Go read it to find out why it’s so amazing.

Again, thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. I love writing and I have some really amazing stuff for you this coming year. I hope you are encouraged and inspired to live a simple natural life.

What is your favorite post from this past year?

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Wellness Wednesday #14 – Peppermint

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Ahh Peppermint. Makes me think of Christmas!

I know most of you aren’t even close to thinking about Christmas, but even without the festive holiday, adding a little peppermint to your life is beneficial!

Peppermint is a hybrid of water mint and spearmint. It comes from Europe and has been used for thousands of years for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. (Plus it tastes amazing!)

This leafy herb is most used as an aid for digestive trouble. All aspects of the digestive system are benefited from Peppermint.

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Cramping
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating

And that’s just digestive!

The strong menthol component to Peppermint creates a soothing effect for various issues such as mild skin irritation, sore muscles, headaches, tension, fevers, and respiratory troubles.

Sipping on a hot cup of Peppermint tea is very soothing if you have a cold or cough! It also relaxes the mind by reducing stress and regulating blood flow. Drinking a cup of tea before bed will really help improve your sleep!

Peppermint also has some antimicrobial benefits as well, making it excellent for use in soaps, shampoos, salves, and scrubs. You can use the herb to make a tincture to add into your household products or use the essential oil.

Adding fresh peppermint to salads is a really tasty way to mix up the flavor of your meals! It pairs well in Mediterranean dishes as well as Thai or Indian foods. Personally, if I ever get my herbs growing again, I love to keep peppermint so I can easily add the fresh leaves to various dishes and make tea for bedtime.

What is your favorite use for Peppermint?

Sources: 1,2,3

Now onto the Wellness Wednesday Link Up!!

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Wellness Wednesday #12 – Chamomile

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Chamomile is one of my new favorite evening teas. It is extremely calming and helps me wind down before bed.

But this flowering herb goes beyond just providing a calming effect. There are other wonderful benefits to using chamomile!

Chamomile is native to Europe and has been used for timeless years as a home remedy for various complaints. The two most common varieties of this healing plant are Roman chamomile and German chamomile. The flowers are daisy like in appearance and offer numerous health benefits.

When taken internally chamomile can ease:

  • Sleep trouble
  • Anxiety
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • PMS symptoms

Chamomile has strong anti-inflammatory properties which make it excellent for soothing internal issues as well as topical. You can use chamomile topically to speed healing of skin irritations, wounds, and burns. One source I read suggested setting cooled tea bags on your eyes to reduce dark circles. I could use that!

As one of the most commonly used herbal teas around the world, chamomile has a good reputation for good reason. It is an all around delicious choice for soothing and calming. I love a cup of chamomile tea in the evenings to relieve the stress from the day and prepare my body for sleep.

I don’t believe chamomile is often used in cooking, so unless you like to sprinkle flower petals on your salads, it might be better to incorporate this in your diet as a tea. Or use the dried flowers in your soaps and salves. That is one of my favorite uses as well.

Do you like chamomile tea?

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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Wellness Wednesday #10 – Lemon

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Welcome to Wellness Wednesday!

Lemons make me think of warm sunshine and bright days! I need  a dose of lemons right about now. Who’s with me?

This citrus fruit has a sour flavor with a hint of sweet that adds amazing flavor to many foods and beverages. And it has some amazing benefits for our bodies.

The most commonly known vitamin in lemons is Vitamin C. This is a powerful antioxidant that keeps your body clear of free radicals. Reducing free radicals helps with cellular health and could help prevent certain cancers.

Vitamin C is also important for reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, and preventing heart disease. Utilizing a lemon for its vitamin C also allows you to benefit from its wide array of nutrients.

Lemons are a good source of:

  • thiamin
  • riboflavin
  • pantothenic acid
  • iron
  • magnesium

And an excellent source of:

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin B6
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • and folate

The whole food nutrition you get from lemons allows you to take excellent care of your body. Lemons have been known to help with constipation, gum disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, throat infections, and high blood pressure, along with weight loss, improved digestion, and relaxation.

In addition to internal health benefits, lemon is wonderful for the skin and hair. It has cleansing properties that help tone and soothe the skin. Using lemon in your hair improves the health of your scalp and increases the shine.

Lemons are a mix between limes and citrons that were originally cultivated in China or India starting 2,500 years ago. They were brought to America by Columbus and have thrived in Florida ever since. At one point lemons were sold for exorbitant prices in California during the Gold Rush. The high vitamin C content reduces scurvy, a common problem out west during the mid 19th century.

That’s a little more information than I usually share on a Wednesday, but lemons are so beneficial!

You can add lemons to all sorts of foods in your cooking. It rounds out the flavor of fish and chicken dishes. Lemon juice does wonders when added to dressings and sprinkled on other fruits.

One way to reap the most benefits from lemons, is to drink of cup of hot lemon water first thing in the morning. This boosts your metabolism and allows the nutrients to enter into your blood stream quickly and effectively.

How do you incorporate lemon into your life?

Sources 1, 2, 3

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Starting a Container Garden – Tips and Tricks

Starting a Container Garden Tips and Tricks

The tides have changed…

I know I mentioned in this post a few weeks ago that gardening wasn’t much of an option our shady woods. Well, Hubby has determined that we have just enough sunshine in one corner of the yard near the driveway to grow some plants.


So, now my job is to look for creative ways to plant some veggies for the summer. Container gardening seems to be the best option for this area of our yard. But I’m finding some pretty cheap ways to make a simple raised bed too.

Here are some of the tips and ideas that I’m going to implement in our tiny garden area:

Getting started:

Creative containers:

What to grow:

I’m excited to try my hands at a few of these. I don’t have much of a green thumb but I’ve got to start somewhere! Food is expensive and if I can start saving us a few dollars here and there I’m all over it. Plus the fresh taste of vegetables right out of the garden can’t be beat.

Do you garden? Have you tried a container garden?


This post is shared at these blogs.

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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Wellness Wednesday #8

Wellness Wednesday again folks! I don’t have a special featured real food ingredient for you this week. But should be back to it by next week. Enjoy the link up in the mean time!

Welcome to this week’s Wellness Wednesday!

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Wellness Wednesday is all about wellness, natural living, real food, diy, and encouragement. Join us and meet some new bloggers and find how you can live life well!

Every week we will feature the most popular posts! Your hosts will pin and promote them as much as possible. This week’s features:

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 Complete Guide to a No-Side-Effect Medicine Cabinet by Deep Roots at Home


 The Benefits of Epsom Salt by Drops of Nourishment


Cinnamon Almond Granola by A Nest in The Rocks

 Thank you for linking up! If you’d like, grab the button below and add it to your blog!

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Wellness Wednesday #1

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Greetings! This is the start of something really fun here at Never Lacking Zeal. I am now co-hosting Wellness Wednesday!

Wellness Wednesday is a blog link-up. Each week many different bloggers will link up their wellness related posts. It is a great way for you to find new fantastic blogs to follow, and if you are a blogger it is a great way to share your knowledge!

This link-up is shared by a few other natural living bloggers, each of us will have a short bit of unique content at the start of our link-up, so be sure to visit each of us! The link-up will be visible on each of the blogs so even if you can only visit one host, you will be able to connect with all the bloggers who link up.

Spread the word and let your friends know where to find some great natural living information. We greatly appreciate it!

In addition to the link-up, I would like to start sharing the benefits of different real food ingredients that you can use to boost your health. Wellness starts with the food you eat! We all have to eat and so making it taste good as well as be good for you is key.


This is one of my new favorites. Rosemary has a citrusy-woodsy scent that sharpens the memory. Just imagine standing in the woods on a crisp sunny day and smell the slightly minty aroma fresh green foliage.

This savory herb contains several vitamins and minerals including, Vitamins A and C, Manganese, Potassium, and Iron. Granted you would need a lot of rosemary to get your daily dose of these nutrients, but every little bit counts!

Rosemary’s anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-septic properties have been found to help with:

  • digestive problems
  • high blood pressure
  • headaches
  • and memory loss

If using the essential oil, Rosemary is great topically for hair health, joint pain, and skin conditions like eczema.

Next time you cook up some chicken or lamb, add a nice sprinkling of rosemary. It will improve the taste and give you some great benefits!

Now on to the link-up!

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Sources: 1, 2, 3

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