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Sniff it Up

The scent of lavender is the uncontested winner in my book for BEST. SMELL. EVER. I used to purchase lavender candles by the boat loads, and if you love the fresh stuff as much as I do, you will have noticed that not all lavender-scented items are equal.

After purchasing a huge bunch of lavender, and leaving it to dry in a paper bag, I got to thinking about new ways to use the plentiful amount of potent buds.

I have used lavender buds for the following:

  • Baths; added to Epsom salts
  • Food; makes a tasty and beautiful addition to cookies or on King salmon with a smidge of honey
  • Decoration; dried stems in cleaned glass olive oil bottles
  • Gifts; some who aren’t as blessed as I am to have it in such bounty
  • Tea; by itself with honey or with dried mints leaves
  • Toner; soak cut lavender stems and white vinegar for 6 weeks
  • Lavender oil is my only perfume, and I love to take a moment to inhale the scent from a lavender oil-scented cotton ball

The appearance of pumpkins and leaves, and the slow disappearance of flowers and sun reminded me of the fresh, chemical-free Christmas scent I made last year, and I thought I wonder if I could put lavender buds in a pot of water and heat it on the stove for scent??

Yes, yes you can. And it smells AMAZING! For about 2 cups of water I had about 1/4 cup of lavender buds in the pot simmering on low. It even smells so fantastic that my husband loves it, and men can be pretty particular about their scent preferences! No perfumy stink or chemical craziness, just sniffin’ as nature intended.

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Smells Like Christmas

 

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!

Check out the “recipe” below to fill your house with the wonderful scent of Christmas. The best part is, no fake fragrance or icky chemicals or fire hazards. Just a simple scent good enough (and safe enough) to eat. I’m going to guestimate that this probably cost me less than $2.

  • 1 tsp whole cloves (optional)
  • 2-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 orange, sliced (incl. peel)
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced (incl. peel)
Directions:
Add orange and lemon slices to dry mixture of spices. Put in a small sauce pan with 4 cups of water. Simmer on low to release the fragrance. IF you simmer it for a few hours, you will need to add more water occasionally so it doesn’t boil dry. Store in refrigerator when not in use, to prevent molding. It can be simmered over and over again! Always add more water to equal 4 cups before each use.
*This jar only holds about 3 cups of water, and I think it makes the scent a bit stronger, so I don’t think you have to abide by the 4 cup rule. I also tried to put this in a small glass votive on a candle warmer and it didn’t release the scent as much as I would have liked. For a very small room it would probably be ok. It’s not an overwhelming scent at all, so even the most sensitive nose would appreciate this. More and more people are becoming sensitive to fake fragrance or musk (fragrance-free locations) so this would make a great gift that ANYONE could enjoy.

I hope you have an AMAZING and FABULOUS Thanksgiving doing whatever makes you happy!

Bombs Away!

You remember those horribly strong-smelling ice cream scoop-shaped bath bombs they had at Bath & Body Works? Yuck. They always smelled so…perfumy. I enjoy the occasional bath complete with self help audio book and glass of organic wine one in a while. Since my lavender bath salt supply is low and the possibility of hitting up Pike’s Market for a small glass jar of something I’m pretty sure I can make at home, I decided to try just that.

With some amazingly simple non-toxic ingredients I had in the cupboard I made these lavender scented bath bombs last night. The mold for the star shaped ones is a plastic ice cube tray, that I can say did not work out very well. The other mold is an ice cube tray which worked out amazing! The only disclaimer I have is that the mixture didn’t stick “like wet sand” and I ended up using half a bottle of almond oil. So they may leave me a bit oily after my bath. We’ll see after the standard 2 day drying time. But I think if the worst of this is a little bit of oil which saves me time on covering myself with coconut oil, we’ll call it a wash.

Here’s the recipe, and I can’t for the life of me remember the website!

Bath Bombs

Do not oil the molds beforehand; just make sure they are clean and dry.

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric acid (do not substitute ascorbic acid)
1/2 cup corn starch
1/3 cup Epsom salts or coarse sea salt

Wet Ingredients:
2 1/2 tablespoons sunflower or other light oil (like sweet almond oil);  (Mine prob used 4-5 T)
3/4 tablespoon water or rosewater (be careful not to start the fizzing action by adding too much water)
1/4 – 1 teaspoon essential oils (I used 1/2 tsp lavender oil and it is pleasantly strong)
1/4 teaspoon borax as an emulsifier
vegetable or other natural colorant (optional)

Instructions:
Sieve the dry ingredients together until they are well blended. Measure and combine all the wet ingredients and borax in a clean jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously. Slowly drizzle the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, gently stirring to prevent the reaction from starting. Make sure you mix in all of the wet ingredients. Afterward, you’ll find that the mixture is dry and crumbly and has to be packed in the molds quite firmly to keep shape. The mixture should just start to hold together when pressed in your hand, like slightly moist fine sand. You can unmold the bombs after 30 minutes, and let them dry for a few days before using them. Store them in a dry place.

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