Happy 2018!

Friday Favorites–Christmas 2016 successes

Whew! Christmas was a whirlwind around here…how ’bout for you?

Every year, it takes me by surprise how much planning we (I) put into everything–all for approximately 2 days of enjoyment. I spent countless time and energy on menu-planning, home decorating and gift selecting. I love it all so much, but man alive, does it go by quickly!

So, after having a few days to marinate on our Christmas, I thought I’d do a round-up of our Christmas 2016 successes today–from gifts to recipes.

Continue reading “Friday Favorites–Christmas 2016 successes”

Happy 2018!

Friday Favorites–Simmering Stovetop Potpourri

This week, I whipped up a batch of Simmering Stovetop Potpourri to scent our house while we’re at home, baking, watching Christmas movies and bickering  enjoying each other’s company over Christmas break. 

This stuff smells divine and is better for you than chemical-y candles and wax warmers. Plus, I can leave this pot simmering on the lowest heat possible on our stovetop all blessed day. At bedtime, I just put the lid on it and turn the burner off, then fire it back up again first thing in the morning. I add water as needed and will likely only need a fresh batch every few days or so. 

There are lots of variations of this recipe so feel free to add or omit as you like. I’m planning to add in some rosemary sprigs in the coming days and I’ve read that you can add in small cuttings from your live Christmas tree as well. 

This would also make a lovely handmade gift for someone–you could put the ingredients in a jar with a gift tag, explaining the directions. Voila! Thoughtful neighbor gifts that are consumables and diet-friendly (like my homemade sugar scrub!)! 

How do you like to scent your home during the Holiday season? 

Happy 2018!

Friday Favorites–Homemade Holiday Gift

I first discovered this recipe for homemade sugar scrub during our first Christmas in this community. I’d made friends with a neighbor whose whole family has extreme gluten intolerance. I obviously couldn’t take them a tin of my homemade Christmas cookies–and I wasn’t feeling ambitious enough to attempt gluten-free baking (plus, the risk of cross-contamination) so I set out to find something that I could make for them that also wouldn’t harm them.

That’s when I found a recipe for this homemade sugar scrub. It’s simple to make and is a skin-saver in the winter when skin is dry and chapped. 

Sugar Scrub:

1 Cup of granulated sugar

1/4 Cup (add more if you need to, as you go) coconut oil

10-15 drops of essential oil 

(Here’s a good set with a lot of variety: Essential oil set)

Melt coconut oil in the microwave–30 seconds or so–until it’s liquified. In a large mixing bowl, mix the melted oil with the sugar. Mix until it’s a slushy consistency. Add the essential oil of your choice. 

Add more coconut oil as needed to reach a spreadable consistency. 

To use:

Scoop a small handful and scrub into your skin then rinse with water. This scrub will leave your skin refreshed and moisturized. 

My husband uses my homemade sugar scrub for shaving every morning. I also use it for shaving my legs and like to use it on my hands after a long, Holiday dish-washing session. I like to use lemon essential oils when I make this for others but I add a more masculine scented oil (sandalwood is one of my favorites) when I mix my husband’s shave scrub. 

This time of the year, giving “consumables” is such a kind gift because no one really needs more stuff to take up space in their home. Also, it’s nice to give a homemade gift that won’t bust anyone’s diet plans, like sweet treats will. I enjoy mixing up a large batch of this sugar scrub and then packaging it in individual little jars that can be purchased at the dollar store. I put a cute gift tag on them and attach with some rustic twine and it makes a lovely gift that my neighbors not-so-subtly ask me for every year.

Do you have a favorite homemade Holiday gift?