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Moving to Paradise – Our New St. Croix Home

Today marks the second week we have lived in our new home in St. Croix. Today, I also wanted to share my vlog of the first official day we spent here.

After all the housekeeping details were tended to, it’s no surprise that we excitedly unpacked our grand total of 3 bags and rushed off to explore the island. If you’re interested in how we made this move, I am currently writing an e-book to explain each step. I will link it here when it’s completed.

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All our worldly possessions in 3 bags.  Photo from Instagram.

Our time line as a couple goes as follows. Boy meets girl. One year later, we moved to the beach together. Two years later, he proposed in Paris. Three years later, on the day we met, we got married in the Dominican Republic. One month later, we moved to the caribbean. Two weeks later, here I am talking to you.

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The island goes at a deliciously slow pace and there’s a lush natural landscape that includes the congeniality of the locals, organic farms, rolling hills and crystal clear sea. Within the two week period we’ve been here, I can’t tell you how many countless moments I’ve spent staring at the sky, listening to the rustle of the palm trees, enjoying the stillness the the world around me.

1 Some of the colorful life in our garden.

We live up on a hill and though we have a couple neighbors, it’s remarkable just how quiet it is. It’s wonderful that there isn’t a single interruption of cars dragging by or any general commotion outside. We live with all of our windows open and the loudest it gets is when our neighbors “guard dogs” will yap at each other or at “stranger danger.” {You’ll see these cuties in my video}.

St. Croix, just like any other caribbean island isn’t without its flaws. If you’re looking for your double tall, soy, extra caramel macchiato served to you in a New York minute or can’t live without the modern conveniences of the mainland, you definitely won’t enjoy your time here. There’s no mall, roosters crow at any inconvenient hour, most places are rustic {to say the least} and aren’t air conditioned.

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Typical island housing {kidding!}

However for me, these are all part of the charm of the place. Though I’ve always been a do-it-yourself type of gal, making everything for myself from breads to beauty products, this island has influenced me to further shift focus from any of the material goods that everyone seemed to be vying for to connecting with mother earth and being part of her symbiotic system. This lifestyle has encouraged us to be much more self reliant and sustainable and since all the resources are precious here, it’s helped us be that much more mindful of where it comes from and where it will go.

Find the greatest pleasures in the smallest treasures.

Healthy Homemade Sunscreen

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As I’m moving from one beach to the next, sunscreen is something that is as important as ever but the idea of slathering on chemicals that are both harmful to both me and the environment isn’t something that appeals to me.  As you may already know, I’m a huge fan of simple and functional DIY projects for everything from 2 ingredient lip balms to 3 ingredient face lotion.  Both examples are ultra nourishing and all natural.  I feel particularly passionate about this when it comes to products that are being applied directly to your person.  After all, so much of it can be absorbed into your system.

This is precisely why for my recipe, I chose to use non-nano zinc oxide which is safer as it won’t enter the bloodstream however use caution that you don’t breathe it in while creating this sunblock as it can be damaging in that way.  On a side note, did you know that zinc oxide is the only active sunscreen ingredient that is approved by the FDA for infants under six months?

Beeswax stabilizes the sunscreen lotion while shea butter lends a buttery texture to it and the coconut oil helps to emulsify the zinc oxide as does the red raspberry seed oil.  Further more, both oils contain a bit of sun protection factor themselves.

Here’s the breakdown {depending on how much is used}:

  • Raw Shea Butter:  5 spf
  • Unrefined Coconut Oil: 5 spf
  • Cold Pressed Red Raspberry Seed Oil: 25-50 spf
  • Non Nano Zinc Oxide: 5-20 spf

As an alternative, you could also source carrot seed oil {35-40 spf} and drop in a capsule of vitamin e oil to further blend your homemade sunscreen and add an extra benefit.  As is, my recipe yields a sunblock with a spf of 20.  For one that is higher, measure out more than 2 oz of zinc oxide to blend in with your lotion.

The method for creating this natural sunscreen is very similar to my other DIY lotion recipes and is just a matter of melting and blending the proper quantity of ingredients.  Shea butter, coconut oil and red raspberry seed oil are all very wonderful moisturizers alone and the beeswax and zinc oxide can be used for several more projects.  You can alter the consistency of your finished product by adding more oil for a creamier lotion or less for a more balm-like product.  It’s best to store in dark or amber glass {I didn’t have any} or empty squeeze bottles and keep in a cool, dark place.  If it exceeds 70-75 degrees in your home, I would recommend storing it in the refrigerator.  Each batch has lasted me well into 6 months.

 

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Healthy Homemade Sunscreen
 
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Author:
Serves: 1 c sunscreen
Ingredients
  • ¼ c beeswax
  • ¼ c raw shea butter
  • ¼ c unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 tb cold pressed red raspberry or carrot seed oil
  • 2-3 tb non nano zinc oxide
  • Optional: 1 vitamin e capsule
Instructions
  1. Melt the beeswax either in a double boiler or heat safe glass in the microwave. Go low and slow and allow the residual heat to melt the remainder of the wax when it's ¾ of the way melted.
  2. Stir in the shea butter, coconut oil, red raspberry seed/carrot seed oil, and vitamin e {if using} until when incorporated. It should begin to thicken.
  3. Vigorously stir in the zinc oxide, taking care not to breathe it in. You can use a mask and work next to an open window.
  4. Whisk until the mixture cools down and gets thick and creamy.

 

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