Thursday, December 31, 2009

Everyday Uses for Essential Oils- Part 1

I find myself reaching for a bottle of essential on almost a daily basis, especially this time of year when fresh, fragrant herbs just aren't available. Two of the most useful to me are peppermint and lavender.

Lavender has a clean, relaxing scent. Depending on the cultivar used to make the oil, it can be fruity or resinous in character.
~ I keep a little roll on bottle of lavender essential oil handy for minor burns and zits.
~If you are stressed, can't sleep or are exhausted try a little lavender to help revive yourself. ~Add a few drops to a warm bath.
~For a more portable solution, sprinkle a couple of drops on a tissue or cotton ball to take with you.

Peppermint is next on my list of favorites. Its cooling, refreshing scent is perfect for relieving mental fatigue.
~Freshen the air in a sickroom with a few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball in a small dish.
~Place a couple of those peppermint cotton balls in a plastic bag to take with you when traveling. The scent helps many with motion sickness and can help with mental alertness.
~I use a few drops in my mop water to freshen the stale winter air and to keep mice and ants away.
~Avoid using peppermint oil if you are pregnant! Consult with your midwife before using any essential oil when pregnant.

Always keep in mind- essential oils are concentrated and potent so a little goes a long way.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I did my last market of the year yesterday. Now it's time to pamper my much neglected family over the holidays- maybe even put up some decorations, cook something yummy, just enjoy each others company without the sound of the sewing machine or timer to interrupt our conversation.

I have learned to love the winter months.This is the time to reflect on what went right with the year and what needs improvement, what the goals are for the coming year, reestablishing much needed balance. It's time to cocoon- read, eat too much, stay in bed under the warm covers and watch Cary Grant movies in pajamas.

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all my new friends!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

How To Make Cinnamon Spice Ornaments

This is a fun and fragrant project for kids of all ages.

Put 1 cup of smooth, unsweetened applesauce in a medium sized bowl. Gradually stir in 1- 1 1/2 cups of ground spices. I used a mix of ginger, cloves and cinnamon for this batch. The spices don't have to be top quality for flavor, but you want them nice and fragrant. You can usually find good deals at the Dollar Store for this project.

Keep adding spice and stirring until your dough is non sticky, but not too crumbly. A good test is to roll a little ball of the dough. It should hold together but not stick to your hands.

Form your dough into a large ball, flatten slightly and place on a sheet of waxed paper.

Place another piece of waxed paper on top and roll with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4 inch thick.

These are the cookie cutters I used to cut out the dough. Choose simple shapes without too much detail for the best results.
Make a hole in the top of each ornament with a small diameter straw so you can add a ribbon for hanging after they are dry. A swizzle stick works great. Form little balls 1/2- 3/4 inches with any leftover dough, adding a hole to them also.
Place your ornaments on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet and place the tray in a warm, dry place. Air dry for several days. add a pretty ribbon and you'll have fragrant ornaments for your Christmas tree!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Etsy Treasuries

I caught an Etsy treasury spot this morning! It's all Christmas Trees.
Here is a link

My allspice berries are featured in another chosen by enchantedhue!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Corn Fed Squirrels

Yes, it's true! We invite the squirrels into our yard by feeding them tasty treats!
We started out feeding the birds and my husband quickly became VERY unhappy with the amount of birdseed the squirrels would go through in a day.
Then I found this whirly gig corn feeder for squirrels. The dried cobs of corn attach to the ends of the arms with a large screw. This devise along with weighted bird feeders keeps the squirrel out of the birdseed, happy and well fed as you can see from their round little bellies in these photos! Now they are welcome visitors who are a great source of entertainment and laughter!

Some classic squirrel poses.

Blue jays also eat a LOT of seed, but like the corn, too.

Cleaning up what the birds dropped- good job guys!