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A foot bath is a simple spa treatment that takes only 20 minutes and is easy to do at home. Foot scrubs made with Epsom salts or sea salt are detoxifying and rich in minerals. Add essential oils to stimulate circulation, to invigorate tired feet and to prevent infections. Give yourself a relaxing home spa treatment with one of these easy recipes!

An Invigorating Foot Scrub

This foot scrub removes dead skin cells and invigorates tired feet. Peppermint essential oil is energizing and antibacterial, and tea tree oil is anti-fungal. Lemongrass essential oil is deodorizing and refreshing, and sweet almond oil softens and moisturizes your feet.

You will need:

• a few tablespoons (a handful) of sea salt or Epsom salt
• 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil (or olive oil)
• 2 drops of peppermint essential oil
• 2 drops of tea tree essential oil
• 2 drops of lemongrass essential oil

Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Fill a bucket or a foot bath with warm water and soak your feet for a few minutes to soften your skin. Then massage your feet and your ankles with the scrub. Soak your feet again for another 10 to 15 minutes and relax while your skin absorbs the oils. Rinse your feet, dry them thoroughly, and apply your usual foot cream or moisturizer.

A Relaxing Lavender and Sea Salt Foot Scrub

Lavender is one of the most relaxing essential oils and most people like its scent. It is also antibacterial and relieves aches and pains.

You will need:

• a handful (a few tablespoons) of sea salt
• 2 or 3 tablespoons of sweet almond oil
• 3 or 4 drops of lavender essential oil
• (optional) a handful of fresh or dried lavender flowers

Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Fill a foot bath or a bucket with warm water. If you are using lavender flowers, sprinkle a few on the water. Apply the scrub on wet feet, massage and scrub thoroughly, and soak the feet for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse and dry thoroughly, and use moisturizer if needed.

Anti-Fungal Foot Soak with Apple Cider Vinegar

Try this foot soak if you suffer from athlete’s foot or other fungal infections. Apple cider vinegar is anti-fungal that also detoxifies and removes odors. Fill a foot bath or a bucket with warm water. Add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar and 3 or 4 drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil. Soak your feet for 15 minutes or longer. Dry your feet well and finish with a moisturizer or use an anti-fungal foot cream.

Foot baths revive tired feet, relieve pain and feel almost as relaxing as a full bath. A foot bath in the evening helps you to unwind after a long day and only takes 15 to 20 minutes. If you have time, follow the foot bath with a home pedicure or a foot massage.

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Your Own Bacon From Pork Belly

If you have the space for pigs but still haven’t made up your mind to raise them, then let me give you a little nudge. It will be one of the best investments you’ll ever make for your farm. The return is almost immediate, and the money saved is huge. Now with that said, let’s move on to one of my favorite reasons for growing your own pork: making bacon!

On my personal blog, I have a “cheater’s” recipe for anyone that wants to try their hand at curing to make a more traditional-flavored bacon. You can pick up a side (pork belly) from your local butcher and use liquid smoke for flavor without a having to purchase a smoker.

Cheater’s “Smoked” Bacon

(Original recipe by Karen Solomon – jam it, pickle it, cure it: and other cooking projects.)


3 lbs pork belly
1/2 cup sugar or packed brown sugar
1 tbsp molasses, maple syrup, or honey
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 teas curing salt (pink salt, optional*)
1 teas black pepper
Liquid smoke

(You can double or triple this recipe for larger sides.)


  • Rinse the pork belly and pat it dry. Trim the fat to the desired thickness. If the belly comes with a skin (rind) then remove it.
  • Mix the sugar with the molasses.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  • Rub the mixture into the meat and store it in a large plastic bag in the refrigerator for 7 days, turning it once a day and rubbing the mixture in each time.
  • On day 7 check for stiffness in the meat. It should be somewhat stiff all over. (If necessary, add more salt and leave it another day.)
  • Once it’s ready, preheat the oven to 200° and rinse the meat well.
  • Brush a tiny bit of liquid smoke on both sides of the meat. Place it on a rack inside a shallow pan or baking sheet (to catch the juices) with the fat side up.
  • Roast for 2 – 2 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 150°.

Slice a piece off and fry it. At this point you’re just testing to see if more liquid smoke should be added to your liking. (But be careful, too much smoke gives the side a saltiness that could overpower the bacon.) If all is good, square up the meat to make slicing easier. Save the excess for a big pot of beans, split pea soup, Southern-style collard greens, etc. The bacon will last about a week in the refrigerator, 3 months in the freezer. Enjoy!!!

If you love this and want to do more (and I bet you will!) then you might be faced with the difficult decision to buy a smoker and slicer. I bought both on eBay, you’ll find great prices that won’t scare a beginner away.

*About pink salt: I like to use it because the pork will turn dark without it. Here is more information according to the New York Time Cooking section:

“Pink salt, also known as curing salt No. 1, is a nitrate, a combination of sodium chloride — table salt — and nitrite, a preserving agent used to deter the growth of bacteria in cured meats. Bacon is cured in the refrigerator, then slow roasted, and finally cooked again before serving. It is not being consumed as a raw, cured meat, so the use of a nitrate is a personal decision. A small amount of pink salt in your cure provides that familiar pink color and bacon-y flavor, or what we have come to know as bacon-y. It is absolutely possible to cure bacon without nitrates; but be aware that the end product will be more the color of cooked pork and that the flavor will be akin to that of a pork roast. With or without the pink salt, homemade bacon is worth the effort.”

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