Tag Archives: holidays

Scent of the Season: DIY Room Spray

Our Pre-Thanksgiving Shindig was yesterday afternoon and we had a blast! My brother-in-law’s girlfriend and I made construction paper headdresses for our men; and almost everyone took part in coloring in pictures of overflowing cornucopias  harvest scarecrows and smiling pilgrims  Sometimes it’s nice to relive the good old days, when long division was as hard as it got, and a fruit rollup in your lunch box was the coolest thing EVER. With the count down to Thanksgiving well into the single digits, I wanted to share this tutorial featured on Design Sponge to make sure our homes holiday fresh in time for guests.

The Basic Recipe:

  • 4- to 8-ounce jar
  • 3/4 cup of ethanol (I used vodka), and top off the bottle with
  • Essential Oil
  • Distilled water

Pour the ethanol and essential oils into the 4-8oz jar. Top off with distilled water. Shake, spritz and enjoy!

Scent Variations:

While you can use pretty much any oil combinations you want, here are three seasonal combinations to get you started.

Winter Wonderland

  • 10 drops balsam fir needle essential oil
  • 10 drops juniper essential oil
  • 10 drops pine essential oil

Citrus Grove

  • 10 drops lemon or lemongrass essential oil
  • 10 drops orange or tangerine essential oil
  • 10 drops grapefruit or bergamot essential oil

Sugar & Spice

  • 10 drops clove or nutmeg essential oil
  • 10 drops cinnamon or anise essential oil
  • 10 drops vanilla essential oil

Photos also from Design Sponge.


Near, Far, Wherever they are….

Not exactly the way Celine Dion does it, but you get the idea. Okay, quick side story- We were spending the weekend with my grandfather, I think I was in middle school at the time, and we had all sort of kicked back in the living room to watch TV after dinner. My grandfather was a HUGE remote nazi, but he was trying to find something we could all “enjoy”. So we ended up on this weird holiday music special with all these grammy nominated artists and Celine Dion happened to be doing her song. I can’t even tell you what she was singing or who the artist were, all I remember is my Grandfather listening to the first minute of the song and announcing  “we’ll that girl sings real nice, but someone needs to feed her something quick.” I still laugh every time I think about it. Okay, back to the real post.

I have a lot of holiday DIY’s that I want to share with you guys; and I am always a huge fan of making gifts when you can, but if your family is spread out like mine is, there isn’t an easy inexpensive way to ship your baked goods, homemade jams or carefully constructed crafts. Thank goodness for the internet.  Ez, the mastermind behind the blog Creature Comforts, is doing her 2012 gift guide, and every weekday for the next two weeks she will post a daily guide. Many of these gifts are produced by artisans and independent businesses and can be shipped most anywhere. It’s a great way to come up with something fun and quirky for the people you love, but won’t get to see this holiday season.

 


Merry Solstice!

Merry Summer Solstice! Here in the Northern Hemisphere this is the first official day of summer, also the longest day and consequently the shortest night of the year. Traditionally, this day was celebrated with dancing, bonfires and the wearing of protection wreaths made of herbs and flowers to guard against the influence of the Folk and other spirits that are said to roam the earth on this special night. Also called Midsummer, the lore surrounding this holiday inspired Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is honestly the only play of his that I really like.

Alas, since this day unfortunately falls on a Wednesday, I don’t think there will be any bonfires or dancing this year. There may be a flower wreath though, strictly for protection purposes of course. I may even make on for Andy, he’d be so very pretty.

Images from here.


Father’s Day Printables

Gift giving for Father’s Day has always been a little difficult for me.  My dad is a pretty simple, straight forward kind of guy.  With Mother’s Day there are flowers, candy, funky knick-knacks and jewelry, but with Dads the choices are far more limited.  Sure there are coffee mugs and key chains, not to mention gadgets, but it all seems so generic. Since I celebrated Father’s Day with my dad last Sunday, I can go ahead and tell you what I went for this year: FSU Black Baseball Cap and car decal, a flash drive with all of my wedding photos on it, a quirky multi tool for his key ring and I baked an epic crap-ton of sugar and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Not the most exciting gifts, but all practical and the cookies were amazing (I may have “broken” a few for the husband and snitched a bite or two myself). I am still dreaming of the day that I find the gift, you know what I’m talking about. The gift that surprises, wows and pleases the recipient. Someday it will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.

For those of you running a little bit behind on picking up your Father’s Day presents, take a quick look at these fun printables that will help give your gift a little something extra.

Father’s Day Card & Tie Combo

Wine & Beer Labels

Sock Bands

Father’s Day Card in White

Father’s Day Card in Black

 

 

Images and printables from Ruban Collectif for The Sweetest Occasion and Hello Lucky.


All-Natural Easter Egg Dyes

While I am guilty of using the $2 all-in-one egg dying kits from the supermarket (I found one that has glitter, wax sticks AND stickers), I also understand why many of my health conscious friends refrain from indulging in this festive holiday tradition. What’s the point of a healthy organic diet if your going to ingest a bunch of artificial dyes around the holidays? And lets face it, no matter how hard you try, some of the dye always leaks through to the eggs.  To my delight, after a little research, I discovered that there are plenty of all natural dye options already in your kitchen.

Bluish-Gray
Mix 1 cup frozen blueberries with 1 cup water, bring to room temperature, and remove blueberries.

Blue
Cut 1/4 head of red cabbage into chunks and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 Tbsp. vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and remove cabbage with a slotted spoon.

Jade Green
Peel the skin from 6 red onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.

Faint Green-Yellow
Peel the skin from 6 yellow apples. Simmer in 1-1/2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Simmer 4 oz. chopped fennel tops in 1-1/2 cups of water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Orange
Take the skin of 6 yellow onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.

Faint Red-Orange
Stir 2 Tbsp. paprika into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Yellow
Rich yellow: Simmer 4 oz. chopped carrot tops in 1-1/2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Mustard-yellow: Stir 2 Tbsp. turmeric into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Various shades: Steep 4 bags of chamomile or green tea in 1 cup boiling water for 5 minutes.
Pale yellow: Chop 4 oz. goldenrod and simmer in 2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Faint yellow: Simmer the peels of 6 oranges in 1-1/2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. vinegar.

Brown-Gold
Simmer 2 Tbsp. dill seed in 1 cup water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Brown
Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup strong coffee.

Pink
Faint pink: Chop 4 oz. amaranth flowers and simmer in 2 cups water; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Simmer the skins from 6 avocados in 1-1/2 cup water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Mix 1 cup pickled beet juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
Dark pink: Cut 1 medium beet into chunks and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 Tbsp. vinegar and let cool to room temperature; remove beets.

Lavender
Mix 1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.

Not overly complicated, and this way everyone can have fun.

Images and recipes from here and here.