Bath Bombs!

bath bombs with easential oils

Bath Bombs. I love these little gems. I happened upon a recipe while looking for homemade holiday gift ideas.

I remember seeing these at one of the local arts and crafts shows a couple months ago. I almost purchased a few, but held back impulse spending. I wasn’t sure the quality of the essential oils being used by the street stand vendor. I asked each vendor where they got their essential oils and boy were the answers not what I was hoping to hear, yet I was not surprised at all.

Most just said, “I got them off the internet.” Another said, “I don’t know, we buy them bulk.” Another had some of the oils for sale. All were priced under $5.00 – $10 so I knew these were most likely synthetic oils, not 100% pure therapeutic oils. One person did say his oils came from Bulk Apothecary, which was the only establishment I knew.

After researching I found several recipes and tons of information about the little bath bombs. I knew I could make these, and I did.

bath bombs display

They are very simple to make, and are wonderful gifts for any occasion. Yes, you can purchase these online but making them is just as easy.

I used a mixture of peppermint and rosemary essential oils for one batch molded in pink hearts. The other batch is spheres using Lavender essential oil.

Happy Christmas!

Bath Bombs!
 
A easy to make bath bomb recipe that makes super homemade gifts.
Author:
Recipe type: DIY Bath
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. baking soda
  • 4 oz. citric acid ( I used this one - affiliate link)
  • 4 oz. corn starch
  • 4 oz. salts (I used epsom salt, but Dead Sea Salts or any mineral salt is nice too...no table salts)
  • Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp. water (or witch hazel- I used.
  • 15 - 20 drops essential oils (oils of choice. I used Lavender for one batch and a mix of Peppermint and Rosemary for another batch)
  • 3 tsp. grapeseed or almond oil
  • food coloring (2-4 drops or as needed) Your color will look very dark in the mixture, but will lighten up when mixed in the dry ingredients
  • 2 oz spray bottle filled with witch hazel
Instructions
  1. Put the dry ingredients into a glass or medal bowl and mix thoroughly using a whisk. Bombs will be grainy if not mixed thoroughly.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate glass small bowl/cup.
  3. Slowiy mix a small amount of the oil mixture into the dry ingredients whisking quick to make sure the wet doesn't start to make the dry fizz. Keep slowly adding the liquid until used. The color will start to take effect. You want the consistency to be not wet, but just sticky enough to hold a mold when you squeeze a little in your hand.
  4. Use the spray bottle of witch hazel to spritz a few times, mixing until you get the consistency needed.
  5. Press the mixture into your molds, wait a few seconds and tap out (if using the clear sphere type molds. If using silicone molds, press the mixture into the molds and let set a hour or so. Loosen the bomb from the mold and let dry completely.
  6. Wrap in foil, or place in cellophane gift bags.

bath bomb ingredients

Always use 100% pure therapeutic essential oils in anything that you do using oils. You are breathing and consuming these oils into your body. Quality is a must.

 Spark Naturals, my essential oil company, uses the best oils at affordable pricing. Use code “flamingo91” for 10% off your order.

link

Wreaths Across America 2014

Capt Crosby grave markerI can’t physically be there today, Saturday, December 13, 2014, but I can in spirit.

It is the same process every year. It is one of the most emotional experiences I have ever done. It brings such satisfaction, such love, and many tears of memories.

The volunteers grow every year. More wreaths are sponsored every year. The cemetery wreath coverage grows every year too! It’s overwhelmingly beautiful in so many ways. The people I have met there are special friends.

The latest graves with young families weeping and remembering their loved ones is heart wrenching. Yet, it is the most gratifying experience. Volunteer next year. You can do this at any local participating veteran’s cemetery. Contact Wreaths Across America for information.

Below is a link to a video I made of the 2010 event at Arlington National Cemetery. I feel as if I am there every time I watch this. I feel the cold, wet grown, the excitement, the anticipation of the people. The smell of the trees. One can almost hear the dead come alive this day as their graves are decorated for Christmas. It’s so real.

http://youtu.be/yQw6cH1kXGk

Merry Christmas Herby.

New Exquisite Kit (Rose, Helichrysum, Melissa and Sandlewood essential oils)

Exquisite Kit

We are excited to announce the Exquisite Collection! A set of 4 – 5/8 dram bottles of Helichrysum, Melissa, Rose and Sandalwood essential oils. The package is glass with a ceramic cap! Each oil is in a  5/8 dram (2.310 ml aprox 60 drops).

These are some of the most exquisite essential oils on the market, and now Spark Naturals has made them very affordable. They are wonderful for beauty care, healing, and so much more.

Melissa (5ml regularly $108.68)
Place a few drops in diffuser to assist with fighting depression along with calming the mind, reducing fevers, easing headaches, and for combating nausea.
Blend with massage oil or use in bath to help with stress, upset stomachs or to fight fungal infections.
Place 1 to 2 drops in a water to help stimulate sweat glands before a workout to loose water weight

Sandlewood (5ml regularly $58.36)
Diffuse for its Aphrodisiac effect or to help clear coughs, chest infections, insomnia, tension or stress.
Blend with lotions, creams or use in bath to help with eczema, insomnia, moisturizing the skin and to relieve nervous tension.
Orally gargle with a few drops of oil and a few ounces of water to help provide relief from a dry or sore throat.

Rose (5ml regularly $165.00)
-Apply alone or as part of a facial serum nightly to mature, dry, or sensitive skin.
-Use in a bath to calm, balance, and improve mood.
-Diffuse alone or with Sandalwood Essential Oil to increase a feeling of confidence, well-being, and support a healthy libido.

Helichrysum (5ml regularly $87.50)
-Due to its Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Allergenic properties Helichrysum is great for inflamed skin, eczema and dermatitis. Use topically for the preceding issues along with any potential bruises following injury.
-Helichrysum is also amazing in fighting respiratory conditions, diffuse to help with sinus- infections, bronchitis and spasmodic coughing.
=Dilute with a few ounces of liquid or use in gelatin capsules and consume to help with circulatory functions, improve hearing (tinnitus) and stimulate liver cell function.

So you see the affordability of this kit for some of the exotic essential oils.

Use code “flamingo91” at checkout to get 10% off your order! Qualifies for free shipping also.

Flu and Cold Season Healthy Relief

virus bugsHave those little flu and cold bugs got you down? Feel the aliens have invaded your head, your chest?

Try this very effective remedy using essential oils. Save $$ by not using all those chemical drugs at your local pharmacy. This natural Cold and Flu Bomb regime will not only save you money, but most certainly will help and no chemicals. Thanks to CampWander for this remedy, one I use when I feel a cold coming on. I have not bought cold or flu medication in well over a year…since I’ve starting using essential oils for holistic healthcare. Remember to take frequently as the essential oils will last a short time in your system, yet they leave no chemicals behind. They come in, do their job, and get out.

Flu and Cold Season Relief
 
An effective remedy for colds and flu without the chemicals of OTC drugs.
Author:
Recipe type: essential oils
Instructions
  1. Put the drops of essential oils into a gel or veggie capsule. Take 4 times a day. Make up as many capsules as you need.
  2. If you don't have gel capsules, combine the oils in a glass roll-on and apply to the soles of your feet. Roll on 4 times a day. (Multiple the drops accordingly for a couple days worth in the roll-on bottle, adding more as needed.

Oregano is one of the most potent essential oils available on the market. Oregano essential oil is high in Anti-Oxidant value, phenolic acids, and flavonoids making it just the right addition to your anti-aging routine too. The human body is subject to so many toxins you may not know that Oregano essential oil has many Anti-Microbial properties that have demonstrated the ability to inhibit growth of bacteria and fungi.

Oregano was used by ancient Greek physicians to treat, trauma, wounds, headaches, lung disorders, asthma, bites and as a remedy for colds and disease. People have also rubbed Oregano into the gums to fight infection.

Melaleuca has been used for centuries to help the immune system; it acts as a stimulant and helps the body fight off disease, bacteria, infection, virus and illness.

Diffuse Shied Blend continuously during sick time. I diffuse this blend most all the time, sick or not, in my home to help clean the air we breathe. This Spark Naturals blend is a blend of Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Lemon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary to protect you from invading flu and colds. This potent blend only contains the essential oils and no carrier oil.

Need oils and diffuser? Visit Spark Naturals and use code “flamingo91” at checkout for 10% off your order. Free shipping for orders over $55.

Texican Chili and Cornbread

The temperatures have dropped in Florida. Love the change as we’ve had a very hot, humid summer. It was 39 degrees on the pool deck last week (one rare day). Yikes! That is very cold for this time of year, and in Florida to boot.

IMG_1444Since we’re experiencing such chilly weather Dan and I decided we’d enjoy some chili to warm the soul, and belly too. I started looking for recipes and then thought, “wait, I have my own recipe, I use it.” This recipe was published in the 1988 USBI Cookbook, which I, of course have a copy of.

IMG_1446This chili takes about 8-10 hours in the slow cooker (quicker if on stove top) and, oh my does the house smell delicious while it’s getting happy. The aroma of chili, garlic, bacon, and fresh ingredients is making my mouth salivate as I write this post.

Can’t remember where I originally found this Texican Chili recipe, but it’s been a favorite of our over 30 years. Sorry I don’t have a photo of the finish product. It was so good we ate before I could get a photo!

Texican Chili
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A delicious chili using bacon and beef along with fresh ingredients.
Author:
Recipe type: Soups
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 6 strips bacon, diced
  • 2 lbs. boneless beef round, ut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 cup onion, chopped (I prefer Vidalia onion, but yellow is good too)
  • ½ cup finely chopped green pepper (I omit this ingredient completely, but use if you like)
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannelli beans (or bean of choice)
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans (or bean of choice)
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomatoes (diced, crushed, or stewed)
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Instructions
  1. For Range Top cooking: Fry bacon in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium high heat until crisp. Remove bacon and drain. Brown half of the beef cubes in pan drippings, about 5 minutes or until browned. Remoe beef as it browns. Repeat with remaining beef, removing when browned. Saute onion, green pepper (if used), celery and garlic in pan drippings 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients, including browned beef and bacon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 1 hour or until beef is tender.
  2. Slow Cooker version: 10 - 12 hours. Fry bacon and brown beef as directed above. Combine beef, bacon and remaining ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low setting 10 to 12 hours, 6 to 8 on high.

 

IMG_0605Now know that one CANNOT have chili without cornbread. Just isn’t chili without cornbread, good southern cornbread that is. My version is from an old Southern Accent cookbook I’ve had for years. It is one of the, if not the best, cornbread I have ever tasted. I also use this recipe for my Thanksgiving cornbread dressing. Delicious. Instead of using bacon drippings as in the original recipe, I now use organic coconut oil (my favorite here). This one small change turned great cornbread into fabulous yummy cornbread. I left the recipe below as is, but if you must, give this coconut oil replacement a go…you’ll be happy you did, and it’s much healthier. (Yes, I know the chili has bacon, and beef too so it’s not as healthy for some of you, but for today, we’re eating it.)

 

Southern Cornbread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp. bacon drippings (I use coconut oil)
  • 1½ cups white cornmeal
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 2 cups fresh buttermilk
  • 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Melt bacon drippings in a 9-inch iron skillet by placing the skilling in the oven while it's preheating or until very hot.
  2. During this time, sift dry ingredients into bowl. Add buttermilk and egg; beat until batter is smooth. Add one-half of drippings to batter and stir well. Pour batter into skillet and bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven an enjoy!

 

The Spartan Pumpkin!

It’s almost Halloween which means it’s pumpkin carving time. I’m revisiting one of my favorite posts, The Great Spartan Pumpkin. This post always gets lots of traffic this time of year, especially from Michigan State fans!

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32bfa-sparty-pumpkin-web

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Coriander Essential Oil – October’s Oil of the Month!

sn_eo15_coriander

Coriander is a highly aromatic annual herb. The seeds and leaves were used by ancient Greeks and Chinese in cooking and medicinal purpose. The essential oil, distilled from the crushed seeds, has  a pleasant, sweet, spicy, candy-like odor.

The lower notes are floral, balsamic, and peppery. The aroma is sometimes described as warm and faintly floral. Coriander is also an Anti-Oxidant with a high ORAC score that helps with the digestive and circulatory system.

Properties: Analgesic, Antifungal, Antispasmodic and Stimulant

Historical Uses: Coriander has been used in Mexico and Peru as an integral ingredient in their chili and cooking. The Chinese believe that those who consume coriander seeds will be rewarded with immortality. The Israelites used Coriander in their cooking to help with digestion and gastrointestinal issues.

Possible Uses:
Dilute in liquid for stomach ailments. Coriander has a warming effect on the stomach which helps with gas, muscle spasms and menstrual cramps.
Diffuse to stimulate the mind and ease fatigue.
Mix with massage oil or dilute in bath to help ease digestive issues, muscle spasms, headaches and assist in detoxifying the body.

Blends well With: Bergamot, Cinnamon, Ginger, Grapefruit and other spice oils.

Coriander Essential Oil Application
Can be used aromatically
Can be consumed
Can be used topically (Apply NEAT)

A great addition to your essential oils collection.

Coriander Muscle Rub
 
To ease muscular pain and stiffness, arthritis and rheumatism.
Author:
Cuisine: Essential Oils
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add essential oils to the grapeseed oil in a glass container. Massage into tired and aching muscles.

As always, use code “flamingo91” at checkout for 10% off your total order (except for oil of the month). The oil of the month is already significantly reduced to $15.99, with free shipping so it’s a great bargain. Any other items added to your Cart will get the 10% off.

Small Battery—Huge Power

What

“What? Speak up. I can’t hear you. Oh wait, my battery must have died.”

Hearing aid batteries are important part of my life. You see, I have serious hearing loss. This ailment runs in my family.  Skiing behind loud boat motors, listening to loud music in my younger years also wrecked havoc on my hearing. I can hear, but it’s very muffled with some sounds I can’t hear at all. I do hear people talk, but it’s difficult to understand what they are saying, especially higher pitched voices, and always soft-spoken mumblers.

We truly don’t realize how bad hearing loss is until we can actually hear again. Turning up the TV volume for everyone down the street to hear is a clue that you may need hearing aids. This impairment can be embarrassing too. Having no idea what someone said, using the smile, nod and agree gesture of agreement can get you in trouble, trust me!

The first time I inserted the batteries in my new hearing aids and place the devices in my ears I lifted my head in shocking surprise. My eyes sprung wide open while looking all around the room. I started crying tears of awe and joy. I could hear myself breathe. I could hear sounds I’d not heard for such a long time that I had forgotten how they sound. Even silence has its special noise.

The battery was the conduit that brought life to those hearing devices. The battery made it all happen. This tiny little object brought the sense of sound back into my life. It’s been many years, several hearing aids, and thousands of batteries I have gone through.

I have battery packages strategically placed in my purse, in every room, and yes, always in my junk drawer, which ironically is hub central for my batteries. They are everywhere because I never quite know when one will die. Sadly, they do have a short life, usually 7 – 10 days.  Being without a battery is like trying to drive a vehicle with an empty tank of gas. You aren’t going anywhere. Without those batteries powering the hearing aids, you aren’t going to hear. Nothing like being at that special event and the battery suddenly goes dead. Talk about panic attack. Seriously, battery life is not long, but its lifespan is valuable beyond means.

These little gems are priceless. My life changed forever with hearing aids, but because of that little battery I can hear the wind blowing through the trees, the click of a clock, the hum of a ceiling fan, the beat of a heart, understand the lyrics in a song, and also hear those irritating crickets at night. My car no longer rides so quietly either. Yet, at the end of the day, I can take the battery out and retreat to a quiet world.  Amazing how one tiny inanimate object can bring such delight to someone.

National POW/MIA Day 2014

National POW/MIA Day posterIt’s National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Take a few moments please, to remember  and honor the Prisoners of War and the Missing in Action who sacrificed all. Thank those Prisoners of War who are still living to tell their horrific stories. They are history lessons abound.

Firebird Nine One Crew Drawing by Massachusetts Artist

I am especially remembering Firebird Nine One and crew who were MIA for years. My brother, Capt. Herbert C Crosby, MIA for 37 years. As of 2011, all the crew has been repatriated, remains identified, and buried in American soil. My thoughts and prayers go to the families of the still Missing in Action men and women. May they all have some little closure as our lucky family did. Hardly sounds right to say lucky. Would rather our heroes came home alive, but I’m thankful for a few bone shards and some teeth after all the years.

Below is the latest Vietnam Update from the Defense POW/Missing Personeel Office.

vietnam_factsheet-Sept2014

There will be ceremonies across the country today. There is a huge event called The Ride Home in Americus/Andersonville, Georgia starting today honoring our fallen, POWs still living, and family members of our MIAs at the National Prisoner of War Museum at Andersonville National Cemetery sponsored by The Rolling Thunder. 
.
Y
ou don’t have to attend an event, but I do ask to take a few moments to remember, reflect and honor our Prisoners of War and Missing in Action defenders.

Hemp Oil Salve

hemp seed oil salveThis is a miracle salve for healing those cuts, scrapes, burns, and dry skin. Perfect for damaged nails too as it strengthens and heals the nail base. The Hemp Oil in this salve is superb for eczema too.  It’s easy to make, it’s healthy and it has no harmful chemicals.

Hemp seed oil is one of the world’s healthiest and oldest natural oils. Produced from the seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant, hemp seed oil has a perfect ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 essential fatty acids and 80% total essential fatty acids, which is more than any other plant. With this perfect blend of omega and essential fatty acids, there is a massive range of health benefits including better integumentary health such as thicker hair, softer skin, and stronger nails. Hemp seed oil also contains both vitamin E, well-known for its benefits in skin care, and vitamin D, which is not present in other plants. Hemp seed oil can also be helpful for eczema, premenstrual stress, and inflammation.

I use Nutiva Organic Hemp Oil, 24-Ounce Bottle (affiliate link).

A very little-dab-a-do-ya for this great salve!  I used either this salve or my all purpose healing salve every day! Enjoy.

All Purpose Hemp Oil Salve 

Hemp Oil Salve
 
An all purpose healing salve with Hemp Oil. Great for cuts, burns, rashes, and especially good for eczema. This salve is excellent to use daily on dry skin. Works wonders for cuticles and nail base too!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 10 drops pure lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops pure lemon essential oil
  • 6 drops pure melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil
  • 1 cup pure organic hemp oil
  • 1 cup organic virgin coconut oil (I used Tropical Traditions Gold Label)
  • 4 heaping tablespoons of beeswax pastilles
  • ½ teaspoon Vitamin E (optional)
  • (always use the finest quality ingredients you can find. What goes on and in your body need only be the best for best results.
Instructions
  1. Slowly melt the coconut oil, hemp oil, and beeswax in a glass container which has been set in a pan of water. Slowly bring the water to a nice warm bath and stir your oils and wax until completely melted. This melting process will take 15 to 20 minutes or so. You do not want to use high heat and burn your ingredients.
  2. Line up five 4 oz. glass jars and add the essential oils to each of the five jars. Once the coconut, hemp oil and beeswax has melted you may add the ½ teaspoon of Vitamin E, if using. Pour your melted oil into the jars, cover with a paper towel (to keep clean) and cool. Let cool until the salve hardens.
  3. The salves should last 8 months using the Vitamin E, or 6 months without.

As always, use flamingo91 code at checkout for 10% off your total order from Spark Naturals.