View Cart0 items / $0.00
The Rooster and The Ox Apothecary

Two Sisters and a Blog

June 9, 2023 - Camping Season Hack #1!





May 19, 2023 - Do you know what's in your fabric softener? 

I want to share with you the story of why I began making my own fabric softener.  The truth is fabric softener really isn't necessary, just another product made up by huge corporations whose corporate marketing departments have convinced you this is something you need.  Though I know it's optional, I do like how it makes my clothes feel to the touch and how they smell.  I just didn’t want those chemicals transferred onto my clothes and therefore myself in the process. 

Here is a list of ingredients found on the Downy website.  I chose their April Fresh product because this is what I was using and purchased at Costco.  I don’t explain the side effect of each ingredient but you can you can look into each by using two websites https://www.ewg.org/ and the National Institutes of Health.

  • Water
  • Diethylester Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride:
  • Fragrance –The fragrance alone has a mile long list of ingredients:
    • 3a,4,5,6,7,7a-hexahydro-4,7-methano-1h-indenyl acetate
    • 3-buten-2-one, 4-(2,6,6-trimethyl-1-cyclohexen-1-yl)-
    • 4-tert-butylcyclohexyl acetate
    • geraniol
    • hexyl acetate
    • hexyl cinnamal
    • hexyl salicylate
    • hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde
    • isobutyl methyl tetrahydropyranol
    • limonene
    • alpha-isomethyl ionone
    • amyl salicylate
    • anisaldehyde
    • benzeneacetic acid, 2-phenylethyl ester
    • benzoic acid, 2-[[[4-(4-hydroxy-4-methylpentyl)-3-cyclohexen-1-yl]methylene]amino]-, methyl ester
    • benzyl acetate
    • coumarin
    • cyclamen aldehyde
    • cyclohexanepropanoic acid, 2-propen-1-yl ester
    • decanal
    • gamma-undecalactone
    • linalool
    • linalyl acetate
    • methoxypolyoxymethylene melamine
    • methyl ionone
    • mixed ionones
    • naphthalene, 2-methoxy-
    • orange oil terpenes
    • oxacyclohexadecenone
    • phenethyl alcohol
    • phenylisohexanol
    • polyquaternium-37
    • tetramethyl acetyloctahydronaphthalenes
    • tricyclodecenyl propionate
    • vinyl homopolymer salt
  • Polyquaternium-33:
  • Formic acid
  • Blend of Polyoxyalkylene Substituted Chromophores (Blue and Red)
  • Pentasodium Pentetate

As a person with sensitive skin, what am I to do?  Well, make my own of course.  The recipe I have shared below makes 32 oz.  This lasted for 15 medium-large size loads.  I love that I can customize it with any essential oil I choose.  With this recipe, I provide links to where you can find these ingredients for purchase from Amazon.com.  My next goal is to figure out how to make my own laundry detergent!

DIY Fabric Softener (3 Ingredients Plus Optional Essential Oil)

4 cups white vinegar

4 cups water

1/4 cup vegetable glycerin

25 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil (you can add more / less based on your skin sensitivity and preference)

Directions:

Combine white vinegar, water, and glycerin in a large container. Save an empty juice or other pourable container.  Replace the lid and shake well to mix.

How To Use  Give the bottle a good shake before each use to remix the ingredients, as they may separate over time. Then before starting a wash load, pour the desired amount of softener to your laundry and set washing machine as usual.  Depending on the size of the load, I usually use ¼ to ½ cup.

How Does It Work?  Vinegar is doing most of the job here, because it softens laundry by dissolving detergent buildup and other residues that have settled in the fibers of the fabric over time. Vinegar also softens hard water, which can help boost the effectiveness of your laundry detergent.  Vegetable glycerin is hygroscopic, meaning that it can absorb moisture from the air.  This is why our soaps generally have some component of vegetable glycerin in them because it moisturizes and softens.  It works on fabrics too!



March 17, 2023  - Prioritizing what's important
Oh my!  The last few months have been a roller coaster ride!  It seems the world is spinning faster all the time and we are quite certain many of us feel the same.

The days seem to blur into the next day, day after day at times.  When we find ourselves feeling depleted, uninspired, depressed, and anxious, it's a sure sign of an out-of-balance life.  But how to find balance when you look at your list and there just isn't anything you can cross off?

Prioritization is your best friend.   Here is a practice that I've found useful:
1.  Every morning make a list of what you "need" to accomplish that day.  I know what you are thinking, THAT IS SOMETHING ELSE TO DO!  But doing this will save your time and focus your efforts, making  you much more efficient ok?
2.  Do not judge your list.  There is no long or short list.  It's just a list. 
3.  Put each item  in either a "Home" or "Work" column.  Write it all down.  Remember this is a task list, not a "goals" list.  Don't make the mistake of noting down "complete the XYZ project for work" if that project is supposed to take weeks to complete.  Instead, put down one step of completing that project you'd like to accomplish. 
4.  Do me a favor?  Use paper and pen, do not do it on a screen.  It will feel different as you go through the steps.
5.   After you've made your list, look at it.  It might look like A LOT.  Let's work on that next.
6.  Put a check mark or circle 3 items from each column that "must" be done today.  Those are your initial priorities.
7.    Turn the page of your notebook, pull out a new sheet of paper and write down just the items you circled.  That is all you need to focus on today.  Revisit the "discarded" list tomorrow morning, it will save you time when you write that day's list. 
8.  Minimize distractions by putting a timer on if  you take breaks on social media or another "passive" activity.  For every two hours you've worked, allow yourself 20 minutes of "passive" activity".
9.  If you finish everything on your list and feel like you want to do more, look back at your "discarded" list, add one more item to today's list that you consider important and achievable.
10.  After you've made this final list, draw a box and label it, "for me".  This is a priority, treat it just like you do the other priorities.  But this is just for you.  Try a new recipe?  Work out?  Go for a walk?  Call a friend?  Work on a creative project?  Visit family? Spend extra time on a skincare routine?  Read a book while burning your favorite candle?  Enjoy a glass of red wine with a bit of cheese?  Do nothing? 
Anything that is for your self-care goes inside that box.  Be sure to put 1 or 2 things down and allow yourself the rest of your free time to reference and work that. 
BY THE WAY,  don't put more items on your "work" or "home" list until you've checked out one thing from that "for me" list.

Give this practice a try, let us know how it worked for you!

October 19, 2022



Rustic dough bowls are a big design trend these days. Traditionally, these wooden dough bowls were used for bread making. We took it to a different level and filled these beauties with 100% soy wax (don't worry, the bowls are first treated with eco-friendly flame retardant for safety). Once burned, they can be cleaned and reused for a variety of purposes. For example, use it a home décor piece on any table in your home, then fill it with your favorite seasonal decorations! Pumpkins in the fall, pinecones and pine branches in the winter, and flowers for the spring and summer. The possibilities are endless...

September 29, 2022 



Sweet: Those who love sweet scents such as vanilla and caramel are young at heart and take great pleasure in things that remind them of being a child. 
Recommended scents: Coffee House, Nostalgia, Snickerdoodle

Floral:
If you love floral scents such as lily and rose, you’re likely an old-fashioned romantic at heart.
Recommended scents: Cactus Flower, Serendipity

Fruity:
Lovers of fruity scents are often outgoing and social. You are known for being able to light up a room and you always manage to make others feel better when they’re down.
Recommended Scents: Kokomo, Grandma's Jam

Musky/Earthy:
If you like a musky scented candle you don’t just follow the trends and conform to what everyone else likes. You prefer natural, earthy tones and appreciate when products have a positive impact on the environment.
Recommended Scents: Nirvana, Namaste, Al Fresco


September 17, 2022

Many fragrance blends in candles can include potentially harmful chemicals, and phthalates are one of the most common. Some studies have shown that these are toxic chemicals that can be damaging to your health and those around you when released into the air of your home.
The good news is, there are options out there for non-toxic candles and all of the fragrance oils used for our scents are 100% phthalate-free.
Source: https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/Phthalates_FactSheet.html

September 9, 2022

Always, we repeat, always trim your wick to 1/8 - 1/4 inch before lighting any candle. By trimming the wick, you'll extend the burn time of your candle by helping it burn slower.
If the wick gets too tall, the flame will also grow too tall and leave black burn marks on the glass, even with soy candles that do not produce black soot. You also don't want the flame to get too high and possibly touch the side of the glass container, causing it to crack.
This is where a wick trimmer comes in really handy: especially with container candles. If you don’t have a wick trimmer, you can use scissors but it can become challenging after the candle has burned down.

September 5, 2022

What Is Candle Throw? Candle throw refers to the distance a certain candle can distribute its aroma. In other words, it refers to how far a fragrance travels. This concept can refer to both lit (hot throw) and unlit (cold throw) candles. A candle’s throw is determined by a variety of factors such as type of wax, wick size and type of fragrance oil used. The size of the jar relative to room size is equally important. For example, a 4 oz candle may work best in a small space such a bathroom or office. The strongest scent throw is typically found in paraffin based wax candles due to their modified chemical makeup. Soy candles produce a clean, natural, and slightly more subtle scent. It really depends on preference. Our 100% soy wax melts offer an especially strong fragrance that will fill your entire room and sometimes other parts of the house, when burned in a tealight warmer.
Check us out and if you have questions about which of our scents offer the highest (or lowest) throw, we are happy to help!


https://www.instagram.com/reel/Ci1cwuarzFB/?igshid=NmNmNjAwNzg=
September 1, 2022














Soy wax candles are natural. When it comes to paraffin vs. soy wax they have less effect on the environment than paraffin wax candles. Traditional candles are usually made from paraffin which contains toxic properties that are neither eco-friendly nor healthy. As soybeans are a vegetable, they reduce bio-waste in landfills and limit the release of toxins in your home. A soy wax candle burns cleaner with little soot released while paraffin candles create soot that collects on the jar.
In addition, soybeans are biodegradable and a renewable resource. Since they are renewable, more soybeans can be cultivated. Paraffin wax is not sustainable because fossil fuels cannot be renewed. That's just not environmentally friendly or good for you!
Plus, soybean production supports local and small farmers in the United States. Midwestern States of Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana grow and harvest a majority of the world's soybeans. Our candles take things up a notch. Not only are they hand-poured here in the U.S., but they are produced by a small local business.