Rosemary Hansen

+ Follow
since Apr 07, 2018
Rosemary likes ...
homeschooling duck trees urban food preservation homestead
Merit badge: bb list bbv list
I am a published author, artist, devoted Yogi, and Mama to 3 littles. I also write for Mother Earth News as a Blogger.
We've just moved to the wilds of British Columbia: 15 acres of forest and cleared land, ours to mold and steward. The plan is to plant thousands of fruit and nut trees in the permaculture way, as our "retirement plan". No doubt we are naive and overly optimistic but we'll get through it with humor and determination!
For More
Coastal British Columbia
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand Pollinator Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Rosemary Hansen

Although I haven't been very active on permies lately (super busy summer on the homestead), I wanted to share a little blog post I wrote about natural beauty. I think natural, organic beauty is so important in this day and age with lots of young women using toxic products on their largest organ, the skin. Enjoy and let me know what organic/natural beauty products you like! I would love to learn more about any undiscovered small-cottage businesses making pure products.

I used to be a make-up consultant when I was very young and naive. After a few years of selling products that I realized were full of toxic chemicals I had an awakening. I couldn’t sell them anymore. I wanted to give the gift of confidence and natural beauty, not the gift of future cancer. So I took a financial hit and threw all of my inventory away. And I started looking up every ingredient that was listed on beauty products. It was an education in complex sounding ingredients like parabens, and I’m happy that nowadays most educated women are very wary of mainstream beauty products and their toxic ingredients. It’s not worth the risk of long-term health damage to have the latest beauty product on your skin.

Glowing, Colorful Natural Look

In my opinion, the most beautiful women have a clean, fresh face that glows with health and a bright smile. My mother also believes that wearing lots of color helps your natural beauty shine through, and I have to agree with her. After looking at my closet, I find that I own a lot of brown, grey, and black clothes. Now that I am in my mid-thirties, I think that beautiful colors and patterns in clothing are a nice addition to my natural beauty routine. Luckily, there are also lots of lovely patterns out there even in eco-friendly clothing and organic fabrics.

I’ve made a short video showing my simple daily beauty routine. Let me know what you think!

Which Skincare Brands Are Pure & Natural?

How does someone learn which companies make pure healthy beauty products? It can be daunting and confusing, especially with an already busy life.

Start simple and buy only 100% Certified Organic products. Beyond that, try to get to know the beauty company, where  the products are made, and what standards they have. There are many local make-up and beauty small businesses popping up. Even Amazon sells some handmade products. But it’s best to check in your local health food store and ask if there are any local beauty companies selling there.

In my e-book, Rosemary's All-Natural Cosmetics Guide, I share with readers all of the natural beauty products that meet my high purity standards. I am not an affiliate of any of the companies. I also used EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) rating system as a reference point. EWG is a non-profit organization that tests thousands of products for all types of chemicals and ranks them in terms of toxicity. Use their database to look up the products that you normally use, if you're curious. My beauty guide is complete and simple, and will take all of the guesswork out of which products are pure and which are not. As an added bonus, I tried to pick products that were in the mid price range, so that it can be affordable for most people. Most people cannot afford to spend $50 on a daily moisturizer or cleanser!  Some of my tips that are spread throughout the guide are intended for you to simplify your beauty routine. It will also lower your risk of overloading your body with toxins and cancer-causing chemicals.

I've got a lovely Homemade Lip Balm Recipe here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Enjoy!
4 years ago
Hello wonderful Permies peeps!

Although this might be sort of off-topic, I really would appreciate anyone and everyone's opinion about my newest book.

It is a healthy living, exercise diary, and soul searching journal for anyone who wants to get healthier, lose weight, and get in touch with their goals and purpose in life. I originally made it for myself as I'm trying to get in better shape after having twins. And I'm also feeling a deep desire to align my life goals with my everyday actions.

I've made a survey so that people can give their honest opinions and comments about it.

Please help me finish this book by giving me your wise opinions!

Rosemary's Survey Click Me Click Me!

Here is the cover mock-up (what do you think?)

What do you think of the title? Should it be more whimsical/enticing?

I would especially love r ranson's opinion and also Tracy's!! I really look up to both of you and the beautiful creations you've both done recently.

Is the design of the cover too plain, does it need more flowery-ness, prettiness, etc.? What would appeal to you?

If anyone wants, I can send you a 20 page sample of the book so you can comment on the content...I would LOVE LOVE LOVE your advice! I only had 1 person respond to my plea via email out of my mailing that made me a bit sad :-( But I know everyone is mighty busy, so no hard feelings. Go to my website to email me and I will send you the sample super fast!

And thank you in advance for your help! I love you all Permies friends!
4 years ago
Yep, $15 shipping is great! I paid up. Thanks, Shawn.
4 years ago
Darn, I'm in the same "weird pledge" section! Sorry to cause more work for y'all. I would love a physical book but if the shipping is more than $20 to Canada I'll just take e-books. Thanks!
4 years ago
I'm coming into this conversation a bit late, but I wanted to say one important thing:

Jocelyn, you are a truly unique and wonderful person and thousands on Permies love your quiet wisdom and I think you should do a retreat on whatever topic inspires you and makes your heart sing. The people will follow you because YOU are YOU and I don't think you should do a workshop on anything that you're not super interested in. You deserve to have a lovely experience running a women's (or mixed gender) retreat, so just design it for yourself.

What are your favorite things to do?
What would you love for someone to do for YOU in a retreat?
What would you appreciate having set up for you? Amenities, quiet time, etc.
Roll out the red carpet for yourself and then if it is feasible to do so, design the retreat around that.

Is this making sense?

I just had to say this because no matter how much people say "I want to learn building techniques or RMH stuff", if it's no fun for you then what's the point?

A lot of what I'm saying comes from reading that glorious book "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert...she really pushes the reader to do what inspires them (assuming that you can afford to do so!). Sooo worth a read by the way.

Glad to hear that Coco is giving you a helping hand, Jocelyn! Blessings to you and hope your retreat (or whatever it turns out to be) is fun and relaxing for you as well as the participants.
4 years ago
Oh Pearl, great topic! I wholeheartedly agree!

Where we are there are no clothing stores other than a Walmart 6 hours away!! So I have to plan my supply runs really well or get it shipped for a minimum of $25-50 in shipping alone. I never even thought about clothing and such before moving out here. When a person lives in the city, you totally take it for granted.

I've found that you need these items for a homestead:

- thick flannel shirts or really tough sweaters for those early morning chores
- good rubber boots
- lots of extra kids clothes (my kids get holes in their knees so fast from all the outdoor playing and working)
- extra kids shoes (sorry but I really like Crocs - I know someone is out there cringing...however Crocs wear out really fast)
- Carhardt or Dickie pants for everyone in the family
4 years ago

Kay Gelfling wrote:

Rosemary Hansen wrote:

Have you looked at making your own mosquito spray with essential oils? Using a base of witch hazel + Geranium oil is proven to keep mosquitos away, almost as effectively as DEET. But use caution with babies and don't over-apply it. I think also lemon oil and lemongrass oil are good. The mosquitos are really fierce here too and very large!! I'm not sure how we're going to protect my toddlers this year. Let me know if you get any good ideas about that!

Thank you! I would dearly love to make my own mosquito spray! I will try the witch hazel + Geranium oil on myself and see how it goes. The lemon oil and the lemongrass oil i have had limited success, maybe i wasn't using enough?

For the witch hazel and geranium, is toxicity the reason for not over-applying? How much is too much? I googled geranium oil and it suggested not for use by pregnant or nursing moms due to it influencing hormone secretions. That makes me nervous for applying to my young one on a regular basis. My lack of knowledge / confidence in the essential oils / medical realm has kept me from using any kind of bug spray or sunscreen on her so far. (Except a handful of occasions for the sunscreen when we had to be out in full sun at the wrong time of day.) I'm glad to start learning more.

Here is Wellness Mama's mosquito spray recipe, hope it helps you make your own.

Homemade Bug Spray - Wellness Mama Recipe

   30 drops geranium essential oil
   30 drops citronella essential oil
   20 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
   20 drops lavender essential oil
   10 drops rosemary essential oil
   1 TBSP vodka or rubbing alcohol
   ½ cup natural witch hazel
   ½ cup water (or vinegar)
   1 tsp vegetable glycerin (optional)

Good question about over-applying. I would say every 30 minutes is fine but probably no more than 4 or 5 times? That's about the amount of times I do for my kids, but I'm not an expert on essential oils. But if you're spraying on clothes (like long-sleeved shirts and pants), then it's probably fine to spray all day as long as the child can hold their breath and not breathe it in each time. And always spot test on your kid first before spraying all over, just in case they're allergic. Hope that helps!
4 years ago
Oh, I love all of your suggestions Kay and Adrienne!

My toddler-age kid loved having a kid sized wheellbarrow to fill with dirt, dump, drive, repeat.

And water was always a loved activity with a dripping hose or a shallow-filled kiddie pool. And when he got older, water guns! Give them pots, bowls, cups, spoons and clean paint brushes and they will go to town with the water play!

Babies are trickier to entertain in the garden, I never found the perfect way to do it. Some days were easier than others. If you have a shady tree and short grass, they love looking up at the tree on their backs and pulling out grass (and eating it..not so good!). But the time frame is a lots horter for when they're tired of being by themselves. I used a playpen out in the garden, but my babies used to get mad about being penned up after getting bored of it's not the best solution.

Have you looked at making your own mosquito spray with essential oils? Using a base of witch hazel + Geranium oil is proven to keep mosquitos away, almost as effectively as DEET. But use caution with babies and don't over-apply it. I think also lemon oil and lemongrass oil are good. The mosquitos are really fierce here too and very large!! I'm not sure how we're going to protect my toddlers this year. Let me know if you get any good ideas about that!
4 years ago
Adrienne, great tips! Thanks for contributing to this discussion. Oh man, a sandbox is really a lifesaver, eh? And my favorite is playdough in wintertime. Even my older kid loves playdough, haha!
4 years ago
I give this book 10 out of 10 Acorns!

MOTHER EARTH NEWS has published my book review of Paul and Shawn's book. Here are some highlights since I'm not allowed to publish the whole article here.


What Is This Book About?

It’s purpose is to help the average person transform the world, one truly ecological act at a time. That means that instead of writing angry letters to politicians and protesting, you can do things in your everyday life to help the Earth. Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop offer easy-to-implement, simple solutions for anyone looking to reduce your energy/petroleum usage and clear toxins from your life. They briefly cover how to save money and make passive income so that you don’t have to participate in the rat race and commute to work (thereby polluting the environment). The theme of luxurious living is in the forefront of the book throughout reading it. So it is not a book about sacrifice in the name of environmentalism. The main goal of the book is to direct your current anger at how messed up we’ve made the world and put it towards doing simple practical things to lessen your carbon footprint and give yourself a better more fulfilled life.

Paul & Shawn’s Eco-Poser Test

Do you spend less than $83/month on energy (electricity & heat)? They say that even if you have five kids, you still have to spend less than that to be a real environmentalist. Not a poser.

It’s a very interesting, thought-provoking argument. Heating and electricity account for a large amount of fossil fuels that we use. However, transportation takes the cake for the highest fossil fuel use : 33% in 2017. Electricity & heating use was 28% of total fossil fuel consumption. So, together, all three total over 60% of overall fossil fuel use in the United States. Next time you book a flight to Mexico or order something Next Day from Amazon, give that a thought!

Back to the book. I love the anecdote about the protester driving to protest fracking and he’s driving his car 1500 miles to do so, thereby using lots of petroleum! Most people don’t think about their iPad use (plus the mining to make the iPad), driving in their car, and taking yearly vacations on cruises or airplanes. The majority of us use either coal, natural gas, or hydroelectric power (still not always environmentally friendly) for our daily addiction to electricity. These are big problems but Wheaton has some good answers  that we can all do in our daily lives. In the subsequent chapters, he makes some great points for how to do this without giving up a lot of “luxury”.

Radically Deviant Financial Strategies

One of my favorite chapters is Chapter 10: Radically Deviant Financial Strategies. In this chapter, Wheaton covers some very smart strategies for saving up money to get your own land, or own your own tiny house/shack that you build onto. These practices are critical for anyone who is drowning in debt and wanting to escape the rat race. Wheaton has a great list of passive income stream ideas, which will likely get the creative juices flowing for most readers.

What if many of us could find a way to live free from debt and the “slavery” of working in a big city with long commutes? I know there are many people out there hoping to figure out this puzzle. For a lot of Millenials, it can be easy to save money while living at home with Mom and Dad, with the goal of renting or buying land. It will require a person to give up eating out as well as exercising at home instead of driving to the gym and paying monthly fees.

Permaculture to Grow Your Own Food

The most important part of the book is about permaculture. Paul Wheaton has been lovingly dubbed “The Duke of Permaculture” by Geoff Lawton, (arguably the most famous permaculture teacher in the world, trained by the founder, Bill Mollison) for his contributions in spreading the ideas of permaculture. So it makes sense that Wheaton would give this as a solution to a lot of the world’s problems. Like he points out, petroleum is used to prepare the ground for growing food, to grow food (fertilizer), to transport food to the store, and the customer uses petroleum to go buy it. Growing your own food is a very critical part of environmentalism. Wheaton gives a good overview of some basic permaculture concepts, and tantilizes the reader to learn more outside of the book. Permaculture is a symbiotic way to live with Nature, and it also includes surrounding yourself with perennial plants and trees with lots of diversity throughout.

This year we are planting a long list of perennials in hopes that I and my grandchildren can benefit from the bountiful harvests in the future. We will be planting hazelnuts, nitrogen-fixing trees (called Princess Trees), paw paws, persimmons, walnuts, buartnuts, oak trees, grape vines, and lots more herbs and perennial greens. I hope that Paul’s chapter on permaculture, berms, tree-planting, and lazy gardening will inspire readers to dive into growing their own food.

Paul and Shawn’s book has a lot of chapters and the reader will need to take time to go down a few rabbit-holes of juicy information before finishing the book! They have provided lots of links to Paul’s online forum as there are in-depth discussions about all the topics in the book. So, while reading you can join in discussions about related topics.

Overall, this book is simply a brilliant way of looking at the problems that our world faces in 2019. Although some may not want to try the more extreme ideas out, it can get readers thinking about ways they can dig deeper to help combat climate change and widespread pollution. It goes far beyond simply recycling, and places the responsibility on our everyday actions and choices.

Side Note: The illustrations are really lovely and are done by the amazing and wonderful Tracy Wandling who some of you may have seen on Permies. She is a genius with art! I don't want to leave out her huge contribution to the book.
4 years ago