My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


For the latest details be sure to check my book page!  


Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free



Easy Homemade Deodorant

Let’s talk about armpits.

And homemade, tree-hugging deodorant.

I promise not to say the word armpit ever again on this blog.

easy homemade deodorant |

If you’ve been a reader for a reallyyyy long time [thank you!!!!], you may remember when I used to post about natural skincare and home cleaning recipes I made at home. These aren’t just things I make and post and never actually use. I use these recipes on a daily basis and couldn’t live without them.

One of those items is this easy homemade deodorant. I’ve been using it for FIVE solid years now, and I absolutely love it. It’s easy to make, there are just a handful of natural ingredients, and it works. If it didn’t work I wouldn’t use it.

I’ve posted about this deodorant a few times before but each time the recipe differs slightly. This recipe is for more sensitive skin with the addition of shea butter and more vitamin E oil.

easy homemade deodorant |

It’s lightly scented with clove which I find perfect for fall and winter. I mean, I know you want to smell like cookies and Christmas! Who wouldn’t? In the spring and summer I prefer lavender.

The reason I choose to use these essential oils is because they have natural properties that help fight bacteria causing odors and sweat. Crazy, right? It’s true! I’ve always despised the overly fragrant commercial deodorant scents but the unscented kinds were even worse. I also found [even when using antiperspirant deodorant] that they didn’t completely work and kind of caused their own funky odor that stayed in my clothing. I’ve never had any staining or lasting odor in clothing throughout the 5 years I’ve been making and using this homemade deodorant. It even holds up to 30 mile road bike rides in the summer!

The starch and baking soda help absorb sweat and the shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin E oil help to moisturize your skin. With a batch this size I typically only make it 2-3 times per year. It lasts for a long time!

easy homemade deodorant |

Print this!

Easy Homemade Deodorant gluten-free + vegan – But please don’t eat it.

Place a small pan over medium-low heat with about 1/2-inch of water. Set a clean and dry jar into the water and add the coconut oil and shea butter. Allow them to melt together, stirring occasionally.

Turn off the heat, carefully dry off the bottom of the jar, then place on a heat-safe surface. Stir in the vitamin E oil, arrowroot starch, and baking soda with a fork until smooth. Add in 10 drops of clove oil then smell the mixture. Add more drops for a stronger scent if desired.

Leave the lid off until fully cooled and let set on the counter or in the fridge. Seal with a lid and keep in your bathroom. Use your fingers to spread a pea-sized amount under each arm and rub in for a few seconds.


Things to note:

-This mixture will start to soften around 75° F. The higher melting point of shea butter keeps this a bit more solid than when using only coconut oil.

-To simplify this recipe you can use 6 tablespoons coconut oil, arrowroot starch, and baking soda. The oil and shea butter are to help moisturize and the essential oil is for a light fragrance but also helps battle odor and keep bacteria away with its natural anti-microbial properties.

-The vitamin E oil I use has 40,000IU. The IU number refers to the strength. You can also break open and use vitamin E capsules.

-My previous mix used equal amounts of baking soda and arrowroot starch but this combination is a bit gentler on the skin. If you have extremely sensitive skin [or develop a rash] you may want to try using only arrowroot starch.

-I’ve never experienced any stains whatsoever on my clothing or that funky deodorant smell that never washes out.

-Your arms may go through a little detox period when you’re getting used to your new, chemical-free deodorant. Give the deodorant at least 2-3 weeks to decide what you think.

-If you profusely sweat throughout the day or during workouts you may want to reapply a few times throughout the day. 90% of the time I only apply once daily.

easy homemade deodorant |

I know this isn’t the normal topic of conversation, but I also know you enjoy seeing more than just food around here. At least I hope so. Please come back Friday for more food.


p.s. The winner of the Fair Trade USA giveaway is Lacey, who said:

“I have recently committed to buying fair trade coffee every week. I finally decided the extra few dollars a week is worth it, and so important to support communities throughout our world. I like fair trade because with all the labels and marketing it is hard to know which products really support what they claim to (organic, natural, "cage-free", etc.) and fair trade certification takes the guess work out of it. Also, I love coffee and chocolate which are so easy to find fair trade!”

Thanks to everyone who entered! Lacey, I will be emailing you shortly!


Food Photography Tip of the Week |24|

Food Photography Tip of the Week |24|

5 Basic Tips for Food Photography

It’s been a few weeks since my last photo tip of the week post, but today I’m back with a few important things I’ve learned over the years. These are more general tips to hopefully set you in the right direction to start your food photography journey, or keep it moving forward.

1 // Collect inspiration and keep it in sight.

This is something that seems obvious. I’m sure you look at a million food photos online each day, but are you saving your favorites? Sure, pin boards are great, but I find printing photos or tearing them out of magazines to have in sight is much more helpful. You can keep them in a binder, tape them to your wall, or have a few in the kitchen with you for a specific shoot.

The idea isn’t to copy what you see in the photo but to use it as inspiration. Pinterest is a great place to start your collecting. From there, I’ll take a few photos into Photoshop, reduce them to fit on 1 page, print, and then take it in the kitchen with me. I find this to be very helpful and it’s fun to look at my final shots and compare them to the examples I printed.

5 Basic Tips for Food Photography |

2 // Turn your camera to manual mode.

You’ve probably heard me tell you to do this a few times by now, but I swear it will make the biggest difference in your knowledge of photography which will then help to improve your photos. Using your camera in manual mode will teach you how shutter speed, ISO, and aperture all work together to create a properly exposed image with just the right amount of focus and bokeh. Manual mode gives you full control over the settings, making you the decision maker and not your camera. While it may take you awhile to get the hang of it you’ll feel comfortable in no time. I don’t know the last time I switched my camera off of manual mode.

Also, when I use my tripod I even manually focus each shot. This ensures my photos are going to be as sharp as possible and the focus is set exactly where I want it.

5 Basic Tips for Food Photography |

3 // Practice when you have time to experiment.

It can be really hard to improve your photos when you’re only shooting for the next deadline, blog post, etc. I fall into this trap all of the time, but it’s important to practice your photography when you’re not working on an specific assignment. There’s always a bit of pressure when you’re on a deadline even if it’s for your personal blog. It can be hard to master a pour shot or capture steam in your photos when you have a tiny window to get it right. My suggestion is to set up a time each week to practice, even if it’s only for 30 minutes.

Maybe you know you always have a hard time photographing something specific, like winter squash. If you practice shooting squash for 30 minutes you will notice more creativity coming out as you continue to snap away. This is something I need to do more of myself!

[Curious how to cook acorn squash? Check my tutorial here with a few simple preparation methods!]

5 Basic Tips for Food Photography |

4 // Start with a simple collection of props.

I know we’ve talked about props a few times before, but you really don’t need much to get started. Here is an idea of some basics that are great to have on hand. Besides thrifting, another money-saving option is to ask family and friends if they have any kitchen items you can borrow or keep if they’re no longer using them. You can cook up something delicious to say thanks!

  • 3-4 appetizer plates
  • 2 salad plates
  • 2-3 small bowls
  • 1-2 glass jars
  • 2-3 drinking glasses
  • 2 kitchen towels or cut fabric
  • a few different utensils
  • 1 baking sheet
  • 1-2 surfaces to shoot on
  • 1-2 backgrounds to set up behind your food

When I started, many of the items I used were what I already had in my cupboards. I definitely had to keep things on the cheap the first few years.

The wood planks below were given to me from a friend. They were part of an old fence that was taken down and when I saw the planks I asked/begged if I could have a few. This has turned into one of my favorite surfaces to shoot on.

[pssst! Check out my recipe for Simple Vegan Tacos on Craftsy!]

5 Basic Tips for Food Photography |

5 // Create your own style.

Use other peoples’ photos for inspiration but let your eyes guide you behind the camera. Trust yourself and be confident with the work you produce. Try new things to find your groove and don’t get discouraged when something doesn’t work. [Easier said than done!] You’ll find your weaknesses and strengths as you continue to take more photos, and you’ll also find a style that feels comfortable. If people can pick your photos from a lineup you know you’re developing your own style.

5 Basic Tips for Food Photography |

And a 6th, unofficial tip – don’t forget to have fun! If you’re feeling stressed, take a breather and then get back at it.


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