It's that time of year when your feed is flooded with Buy Now, Purchase Here, Shop Shop Shop ads. And while, it is the season of gifting, there is always something missing for me and that's heart. I know, I know some people see homemade gifts as cheap but honestly guys, not only are they more heartfelt but that person is giving you something that costs a whole lot-TIME. Now I'll admit, homemade gifts are a great way to tighten the purse strings and there is nothing wrong with that but I don't want to advertise the idea that way, I think Giving with meaning is much more appropriate. Today is #nationaldayofgiving so how are you giving this year?
I've complied a few ideas for you and I hope you share these with your loved ones. These are simple, practical and easy gifts that even the kiddos can help you with.
Rose Milk Bath Tea
This delicious treat for your skin is just what the doctor ordered after a crisp winter day. Allow this tea to do the hard work, these ingredients work hand in hand to support your body, inside and out. And, this is the perfect pick me up after a long hard day of work or just for fun when you want to feel extra boujee. Whatever the reason you to allow yourself some alone time, I hope you soak it up and relax!
1 Cup Epsom Salt (or try 1/2 epsom, 1/2 pink himalayan)
1 Cup Oatmeal (ground up in a blender)
1 Cup Powdered Milk (powdered coconut milk is even better)
1/2 Cup Dried Rose Petals (I like to grind my down into smaller pieces)
1/4 Cup Baking Soda
Mix the epsom salt, oatmeal, powdered milk and baking soda and then fold in the dried rose petals. Optional, but you can add in some Essential Oils to this mixture but I like to do that when I add the tea to the bath water instead.
Store this in a jar for personal use. I divided this into 10 gift bags for Christmas gifts.
To use, add 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture into a organza bag or cheese cloth and drop in the bath. You can also put this directly in your bath, which is what we do and then fish out the rose petals before draining if desired. I like to grind the rose petals down small enough that it doesn't cause damage by allowing them to go down the drain.
So this is one of my all time favorite things to do not only as gifts but year round. We all love having a home that smells yummy. It adds a certain level of cozy that adds a special touch to a home. I became addicted to simmer pots thanks to our wood stove. I always keep a pot of water on the stove to help add humidity back into the air during winter when everything is so dry, and then I ran across Simmer Pots. You can add literally ANYTHING to them and its an excellent way to use up those old apples hidden in the back of the fridge. ( I know Im not alone, LOL) You'll need dehydrated fruits, along with some spices and herbs with a dash of vanilla for this gift, but like I said, you can use literally anything you have on hand. Heres a easy recipe for my favorite mix. If you plan of gifting these, make up a big bowl and throw a handful in each bag, enough for a simmer or two. Don't forget to add some twine with handwritten instructions to give it that special touch.
1-2 dehydrated orange slices
1-2 lemon slices
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1-2 whole star anise
1-2 dried bay leaves
a handful of cranberries
1 tsp vanilla
Place all your ingredients in a pot and cover with water. You can continue to fill with water as it evaporate and reuse the mix until it stops smelling good. I find that I can use the same simmer pot for 3-4 days with continually adding water so that it never burns.
One of my favorite fellow bloggers, Gathered Living offers a simmer pot bar during the holidays in her store, The Amsden, so if you're ever in Versailles, KY be sure to stop in and check it out. You'll fall in love with the place!
Here's her website https://gatheredky.com
Chocolate Mint Lip Balm
This is one of my all time favorite gifts to give because who doesn't love that tingle on your lips that peppermint provides. This balm is made with such luscious ingredients and leaves your lips feeling hydrated and moist with a gentle tingle.
4 tablespoons Coconut oil
4 tablespoons cocoa butter
4 tablespoons bees wax
10-20 drops peppermint essential oil
2-3 dried chocolate mint leaves
note this recipe is for gift giving size, but can easily be halved or quartered for smaller portions.
using a double boiler (or a jar sitting onto a canning ring in 2 inches of water in a saucepan) combine coconut oil, cocoa butter and bees wax allowing to melt and mix. Pull off the burner and stir in the peppermint essential oil. Using a dropper place mixture into metal tins for individual sizes. I like the 1 ounce size personally. Once the mixture is semi cooled and solidified sprinkle the top with dried chocolate mint leaves.
Calendula Repair Cream
How do I love Calendula, let me count thy ways. Seriously one of my all time favorite flowers and one of the most versatile as well. But its powerhouse properties of medicinal uses make this flower a needed ingredient in your apothecary. Antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties make it a strong ingredient for healing and that's just the tip of the iceberg. So it was a no brainer to use my infused Calendula oil for this recipe.
1 cup infused calendula oil
3 tablespoons bees wax
20 drops frankincense essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
In a double boiler (or a jar sitting onto a canning ring in 2 inches of water in a saucepan) Place your infused oil and bees wax and gently stir until melted. Remove from heat and add your essential oils, mix well. Using a dropper dispense the mixture into containers. I like to use 2 ounce tins for this cream but for a larger gift use a small canning jar. Once semi cooled you can drop a few dried calendula petals on top. This recipe is a great one for kids to use on scrapes and bruises and is safe enough to allow them to use as they please. (make a great cream they can feel confident using when they have that invisible ouchie that just won't go away, lol)
Please note that if you desire a more creamy consistency add more oil to the mix, but if you'd like a firmer cream add more bees wax.
Pure Vanilla Extract
My final idea is one my dear friend Emily ( @LIFEWITHBAIERBOYS ) shared with me to pass on to you. This gift idea is a great one, especially for foodies like me and something that every woman needs in her kitchen! Huge shout out to Emily for contributing this idea to the post, go give her a follow, she is incredible.
pretty glass bottle
Slit the vanilla beans so the beans are exposed. You do not have to completely split the bean in half, just slit down the middle.Take a few beans and add to each bottle and cover with vodka. Allow to sit ideally 6-12 months but you've still got time to make this for a Christmas gift. Store in a cool area out of direct sunlight and give it a shake every few days. The longer it sits, the better it gets and the great thing is, these beans last 3 years! once you've made batch pull them out and put in another bottle and start the process all over to keep you a constant supply of this deliciousness at the ready! You can also continue to top off your extract once you use it but be sure to keep your beans submerged at all times to keep them from getting slimy. Give it a shake before each use and ENJOY.
I was curious so I did look up some variations of beans you can get for different flavor profiles. Heres what I found: Madagascar Vanilla – very common and has a creamy and rich flavor. Mexican Vanilla – has a darker, almost smoky flavor. Tahitian Vanilla – also very common and has a rich floral flavor. Let the experimenting begin!
So there you have it folks, now get to crafting!! I hope you try one or all of these recipes and if you do please take some pictures and tag me, I'd love to feature them!