Shopping with Dad and Keeping a List through the Holidays

I recall one afternoon, sitting in the car with my father after a trip to Penzey’s spice shop. Dad stared in silence at the large bag of recently purchased spices in his lap; then sighed, “I’m sure a sucker for cooking spices. Most of these will probably remain unopened.” This memory reminds me of the current interest in essential oils.

We inhale the lovely aromas and learn how essential oils improve our daily lives; then later, our purchases often remain sealed, only a few seeing regular use. I’m guilty of this, too, even running my farm business. So to avoid Dad’s experience with spices, I put on my organization cap and examined which essential oils I use on a regular basis:

Peppermint: This is my most used oil!

  • Evict mice, bugs, and spiders (simply add a few drops to a cotton ball and place near doors, windows, etc)
  • Laundry need a boost? Add few drops in the washer or dryer
  • Aromatherapy to ease nasal congestion

Lavender: This wonderful oil helps relax at the end of a long day!

  • Make a spray for pillows at bedtime
  • Add a couple drops to hand or body lotion
  • Blend a custom facial toner

Orange: I enjoy this lovely scent year round!

  • Use 1-4 drops in a diffuser
  • Add 1-2 drops to clay mud mask
  • Serves as an antioxidant, the perfect addition to a custom facial toner

Peppermint, lavender, and orange essential oils are my “Big 3,” used daily in my room sprays, personal facial toner, and all-natural cleaning solution. They are also important ingredients in my homemade salt scrub and clay masks. If you are interested in adding essential oils to your life or gifting to friends this holiday season, start with these three. Essential oils truly add quality to our lives!

For the holiday season, I’m offering a starter kit containing my “Big 3,” including a worksheet to create all of the products above.

Essential Oil Sampler Kit

Stocked up on Lip Balm for the winter?

Beeswax Lip Balm

You can purchase through my Etsy site, or please message me for custom orders.

Thanks for reading!

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My Favorite Things: The Christmas Edition

Christmas quickly approaches! Only two days until school break starts for the kids, thought I better post something before the final, chaotic stretch to the holiday! I started journaling this morning about holiday stress but decided to tuck the negative away and focus on something positive. Instead, I’m sharing some of the season’s favorites!

nativity

Our Celtic nativity: Yes, Bethlehem is a long way from the Emerald Isle, but I LOVE my unique nativity, complete with Celtic knots and resin figurines that resemble stone. I searched for the perfect Irish themed nativity for about ten years and finally found one through an on-line store in England. Ironically, the shipping cost more than the set.

snowman earrings

My cheap, gaudy, snowman earrings: Chad bought them many years ago. Friends call them my “Summer diamonds…Summer real, summer not.” I love to dig them out of the jewelry box and wear them throughout the month of December.

stockings

Homemade stockings: My sister-in-law, Lissa, made my needlepoint stocking and her sister, Linda, made stockings for Chad and the kids. Linda’s are a particular favorite, complete with a Christmas tree to add mementoes over the years.

The Christmas seasonal culinary traditions: So many here…tourtieres, gravlox, sticky buns, overnight eggs, cheesy hash browns, fondue…nothing fancy, just simple, holiday traditions to look forward to every year.

Jesus:Santa

Santa and Jesus: Coming from a family of history majors, I love putting this decoration out and hear the outrage from Mom about the historical inaccuracy. I prefer to view this decoration for symbolic value, a reminder of the true reason for the season.

Of course what makes these favorites is the opportunity to share them with family and friends. Each Christmas season is a gift and chance to be with those we love, help those who are struggling, and remember the simple gift of hope and peace that arrived in a stable so many, many years ago.

God Bless!

The Unique, Worthwhile, and Memorable: A 2013 Holiday Gift Guide

With the holiday season approaching, I wanted to share some noteworthy finds. Some items I purchased as gifts, some were received as gifts, and some are on my own wish list. All are worth a glance:

victorian slide bracelet

Victorian Slide Bracelet-If you are looking for that unique piece of jewelry for a young lady in your life, check out the Victorian Slide Bracelet. These became popular in the Victorian era and later became a rite of passage token for southern ladies. My bracelet was a high school graduation gift from a family friend, Vada Pitchford. It remains a favorite and cherished piece of jewelry.

ostrich pillow

Ostrich Pillow-I’m not sure how to classify this gift, perhaps novelty. I bought one for my eldest because he would proudly use it while riding the bus to sporting events, on long family car trips, or even that unique accessory for Halloween.

sharkie pen

Sharkie Pen-Women would benefit from keeping one of these pens in their car or purse.  The steel shank provides a powerful last minute weapon if needed.  I bought these for many of the gals in my life.  On a side note, they also are one of the best pens for signing books.  The ink dries faster than any other pen I use.

Faith Bass Darling

Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale by Lynda Rutledge-The newest addition to my reading list! Here’s a brief description from the website: “On the last day of the millennium, Faith Bass Darling, the richest and most eccentric lady in Bass, Texas, puts all her priceless belongings out on her mansion’s front lawn and commences to conduct a garage sale. Why? God insisted…Laugh and cry along with this woman as she orchestrates her final reckoning.”

All cardinals

Cardinal Themed Gifts-OK, this one is a shameless plug! I designed something unique with my last copies of Sara Dippity, creating several collections of cardinal items, including cardinal Christmas ornaments, large magnets, journals, and notecards. Check it out!

What are some unique items, great reads, or girlfriend goodies on your holiday list?

Happy Shopping! 🙂