DIY Bath Bombs & Body Butter

DIY bath bombs and body butter with essential oils
 
Anyone else looking for some simple DIY gift ideas? Well you’re in luck! Today I’ve got 2 simple ideas to pamper someone special: bath bombs and body butter. Mmmmm sounds indulgent doesn’t it? And the best part is there are no weird ingredients, just simple things like essential oils, baking soda, citric acid, and shea butter (which you can find at soap making supply stores and online). All you have to do is decide what scents you want and the rest is simple- these are even fun projects to make with the kids and they’ll love trying out the fizzing bath bombs for themselves after all their hard work. Plus I’ve teamed up with Pam Lauzon of Young Living to share about some misconceptions about essential oils, so you can learn a little something while you get your DIY on (see that info after the DIY instructions). So who’s ready to whip up some Christmas presents?
 
Bath Bombs
Ingredients
1 cup citric acid
1 cup baking soda
½ cup cornstarch
3-4 tbsp melted coconut oil
Spray bottle with water
15 drops of pure, therapeutic grade
essential oil
Food colouring (optional)
 
Directions
Combine citric acid, baking soda and cornstarch in a bowl and mix together well (If doing two colours or two scents, divide mixture into two bowls)
DIY bath bomb with essential oils tutorial
 
Add essential oil a few drops at a time and colour if desired and whisk vigorously to stop fizzing
 
DIY bath bomb with essential oils tutorial
 
Melt coconut oil and pour small
amounts into dry mixture, whisking continuously to stop fizzing (listen
carefully for fizzing and mix until it stops)
DIY bath bomb with essential oils tutorial

Spray water into mixture, one spray at a time, and mix with hands quickly to stop fizzing. Make sure there is no fizzing sound before you add more water

 

DIY bath bomb with essential oils tutorial

Add water until mixture holds together when you squeeze a handful in your hands, it should crumble apart still but hold a shape when squeezed together

 

DIY bath bomb with essential oils tutorial

Press firmly into molds (silicone works well or muffin tips are fine too)

DIY bath bomb with essential oils tutorial
DIY bath bomb with essential oils tutorial
DIY bath bomb with essential oils tutorial
DIY bath bomb with essential oils tutorial
DIY bath bomb with essential oils tutorial

Once tightly packed in, let dry for 24 hours or place in fridge until firm and remove from mold to dry overnight

 

DIY bath bomb with essential oils tutorial
DIY bath bomb with essential oils tutorial
DIY bath bomb with essential oils tutorial
 
For gifting, line a box with shredded paper or tissue to prevent the bath bombs from breaking. Tie with a pretty bow and finishing touches like a sprig of fresh rosemary and your DIY gift is ready to go under the tree!
DIY bath bomb with essential oils tutorial
 
Body Butter
 
Ingredients
1 ¾ cups shea butter
½ coconut oil
¼ sweet almond oil
20 drops essential oil
Directions
Mix shea, coconut and almond oils in a pot and warm on the stove until melted but not boiling (stir until evenly mixed and place in fridge or freezer until firm but not hard).
 
DIY body butter with essential oils tutorial
 
Use whisk to beat the mixture and add your essential oils
DIY body butter with essential oils tutorial
 
DIY body butter with essential oils tutorial
 
Scoop into mason jar or desired container and enjoy!
 
DIY body butter with essential oils tutorial
DIY body butter with essential oils tutorial
DIY body butter with essential oils tutorial

To wrap the body butter you can simply tie the container with a pretty ribbon (slip a sprig of fresh greens for a festive touch), or pop into a bag or box. Just make sure the lid is on tight.

 
DIY body butter with essential oils tutorial
 
 
Top 3 Misconceptions about Essential Oils
Essential oils are getting a lot of attention these days but there is still some confusion about them- education is key. According to Pam, here are the 3 things people ask her most about.
1.
Essential oils can be toxic and
are dangerous
What is an
essential oil anyways? Essential oils are in your home right now! You smell the
oil in the zest of a lemon, in your fresh herbs and that fantastic smell that
comes from your Christmas tree. The oils are the life blood of the plant. They
carry oxygen and nutrients into the cells of the plant and waste out. They
protect the plant from disease and repel unwanted pests. An essential oil
usually comes from steam distillation and is much more potent than an herb.
They consist of hundreds of different chemicals. Some of these chemicals on their
own can be toxic, however in nature they are balanced and the toxic chemicals
are quenched by the other chemicals in the plant. That is the key! The oils
must be of good quality and tested to make sure that the chemical constituents
in the oil are properly balanced and safe, and then used properly!
2.
All essential oils are the same
In North America there are no real regulating bodies for essential oils. This exists in Europe but
here  in Canada they are considered to be cosmetics. Labels can say pretty much anything.
For example, a bottle can read “Pure” if it contains only 5-35% pure oil. The
term “organic” gets everyone excited but it only refers to the farming
practices and has nothing to do with the quality of your oil. Many companies
use 2nd, 3rd and 4th distillation which is
like steeping a tea bag over and over. It smells the same but it’s weaker. This
brings down the cost and often creates a sweeter smell but don’t be fooled!
Very sweet smells often indicate a poorer quality product. Many companies also use
synthetic oils to keep down costs. You will find these most commonly in soaps
and lotions but also in many bottles of essential oil sold as pure oil. Using
synthetics or low grade oils IS very dangerous, so buyer beware. Do you know
what is in your bottle?
 
3.
Essential oils are “snake oil”
and don’t do anything
If you use
synthetic, or low grade essential oil you may like the smell but you will
likely not see any amazing changes. What you may experience are headaches,
rashes, burns, respiratory issues and more. I often have people tell me they
can’t use the oils due to a fragrance allergy. I always tell people to work
within their comfort zone but from my experience many with fragrance allergies
do not react to pure essential oil.

Want to learn more about essential oils?

Check out Pam’s Facebook group dedicated to helping answer all your essential oil questions:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/573135652811774/She’s also got an online class coming up on December 10th if you’d like to learn more from Pam. RSVP at the link below to learn more:
https://www.facebook.com/events/237903493297007/

 
Other free online courses available at:
 
Email:
pamela.youngliving@gmail.com
 
About Pam
Pam Lauzon has been using essential oils with her family for three years and at first didn’t know the extent to which they could impact health and well- being. Having two kids, one with severe food allergies
and one with respiratory issues, making food
from scratch became necessary for her family and that led to making their own
non-toxic home products to help with issues like eczema. Pam and her family have experienced amazing results in her three years with Young Living and is now
committed to providing the best education to others seeking natural and safe
alternatives. Contact Pam at any time to
setup an in-person or online class to learn more. She also works with doulas, massage
therapists, and chiropractors among others and offers education on a variety of topics
like essential oils for children, pets, hormones etc!
 
About Young Living
YL is the oldest and largest essential oil company in the world and are at the forefront of essential oil research and education. YL is the only company to own their own farms around the globe, with some located here in BC. The farms are sustainable, organic and ensure that plants are grown where they were meant to grow. Each batch is tested both in house and by a third party to ensure safety and quality.
Like it? Pin it!
 DIY bath bombs and body butter with essential oils
 
 
**Young Living Lavender Essential Oil is approved by Health Canada for headaches,
digestive discomfort, relaxation, aches, pains, arthritis, colds and cough. It
is gentle and soothing on skin.
**Young Living Lemon Essential Oil is approved by Health Canada for coughs and colds.
It is uplifting and energizing and amazing for cleaning.
 
 
 

Treats of the Holidays: 7 Ways to Have Fun With Candy at Christmas

If you haven’t already started decorating for Christmas, chances are you will be soon. It can be hard to decide what my favourite thing is about this time of year, but the festive atmosphere is definitely up there on my list. I love coming up with fun ideas each year for the holidays, and this year I’m collaborating with Karameller Candy Shop to add some sweet touches to the holiday season. Candy doesn’t have to equal a constant sugar rush (and it’s not just for kids!) and there’s more to the season than candy canes and chocolate coins. It can also be a colourful and cheerful addition to your Christmas festivities. I’ve got ideas for everything from the classic gingerbread house to party favours, and so much more. Read on for 7 ideas to have fun with candy this holiday season.
Candy Garland
We’re all familiar with the popcorn garland but for a fun and colourful twist on a classic swap in candy instead. Use twine, ribbon, or string and a needle to make a pretty garland with festive gummy candy. Lay out your pattern before stringing it so you’re happy with the design. You can make a solid garland or space the candy out. You can also use a glue gun to add gingerbread cookies or salt dough decorations to the mix (you’ll want to glue the cookies since they could crumble if you try to use a needle); colour- coordinated beads are also pretty to use. These are beautiful hung on the tree (I loved how mine looked on our mini live tree), from a mantle, or from branches grouped in a vase for a splash of colour. Tip: Use gummy ribbons to make pretty loops (see below).








Stocking Stuffer Shapes 

This is a cute way to include some sweets in your kid’s stockings without them getting a major sugar rush. Simply trace out a festive shape on 2 light- medium weight pieces of paper large enough to hold a hand full of candy (you’ll want it to be strong enough to fill with candy without tearing). Cut out the shapes and use a glue gun to glue around the edges, leaving about a 2″ gap to fill with candy. Once filled, glue the rest of the edge so candy can’t spill out (this would also make for a cute gift tag idea, just use a hole punch so you can thread through some ribbon).

Marshmallow Pops
How pretty are these??? Another simple & sweet treat idea for holiday parties, these also make cute gifts & stocking stuffers. Simply pop a large marshmallow (I used two of Karameller’s for each) on a straw and dip in some melted chocolate (pick colours to match your colour scheme- I went with white, mint & pink). Twirl & tap the marshmallows so the extra chocolate drips off and dip in something fun for a pretty treat (I used sprinkles and shredded coconut for mine). Allow to dry flat side down then pop in a pretty vase or wrap a bunch on cellophane for a marshmallow pop bouquet. I love how the white sprinkles pop on pink/ mint coloured chocolate.

Gingerbread House 

You can’t talk about candy at Christmas without a gingerbread house! The possibilities really are endless, but I love going with a theme. This is a classic Christmas activity to do with the kids, but why not grab some wine and make a date night out of making and decorating one? They’re a beautiful addition to your Christmas decor and easily customized to suit your style. Another fun idea is to have a gingerbread house party & set up everything guests (big or little!) need to decorate their own: graham crackers or gingerbread cookies, icing, and candy. Set up on a long table covered in craft paper for a cute decorating station and to make clean up super easy.

Party Favours

Send your guests home with a sweet treat! These candy cones are festive and so simple to make. Simply cut a piece of wrapping paper into 8.5 * 11″ and roll it up, securing with a dot of hot glue, washi tape, or a sticker. You can fold over the top and decorate with some ribbon or leave open so your guests can choose their own sweet filler. They’re beautiful when grouped together in coordinating papers and your guests will love the sweet token to enjoy after the party.

Candy Kebobs

Candy’s not just for the kids! How cute would one of these be with a Christmas cocktail? Swap out a swizzle stick and add one of these instead. Or serve up some sweet treats at your holiday party and include these on your dessert table. Display in pretty jars or vases & let guests pick their favourite. All you need are some cocktail picks & a variety of gummy candy. Wrap in cellophane or pop in Chinese takeout containers as a sweet party favour or stocking stuffer (just make sure to stick a candy on the sharp end!).


A big thank you to Karameller candy for collaborating on this post & providing the candy for all of the projects included! Their jars of candy make beautiful gifts and are great to give as hostess gifts.


About
Karameller is located in the Yaletown neighbourhood of Vancouver, inspired by owner Louise’s nostalgic memories of her childhood in Sweden. Each week she would bike to the local candy shop to splurge her weekly allowance on ‘lördagsgodis’, Swedish for ‘Saturday sweets’. Bringing this tradition to Vancouver, Louise stocks her shop with candy imported from Scandinavia, made from high- quality ingredients, and free of GMOs, trans fats, and high fructose corn syrup; there are even sugar- free and gluten- free options. Buy the candy by the bag or jar (great for gifting!), it’s perfect to stock your candy buffet or in pre- measured bags. Karameller also offers weekly office subscriptions and will put together candy bags curated around party themes- a perfect time saver for busy parents when planning kid’s birthdays. If you’re in the area, Karameller is worth the visit- you’ve never tasted candy like this!- and you can also purchase certain varieties on their website.

To learn more and order online, visit the Karameller website.

You can also find them on social media: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Photos: Catherine Hilcove Photography

November posts sponsored by

DIY Crayons

One of my good friends recently threw her son a safari- themed 2nd birthday & included some adorable homemade crayons in the goodie bags. I affectionately think of this talented lady as a Martha- Mom, one of those ladies whose projects are Pinterest- worthy (see this post for another of the DIY projects she contributed to TPB), and to top off her creativity this sweet lady took photos as she made them & sent me her how- to so I could share it with my readers! If you’ve been thinking about making some or are trying to think of a way to use up all the broken crayons in your house (multi- coloured ones are cute too!), this simple DIY is a fun project to do with your kiddos and make a great gift/ party favour. Here’s Celine’s DIY Crayon how- to.
How to make your own DIY crayons:
Materials:
crayons
crayon mold (silicone ice cube trays work great)
exacto knife or other sharp knife
baking tray
Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Use an exacto knife, box cutter, or paring knife to cut the crayons out of their wrappers.  Don’t mix them up if you’re trying to make single colour crayons. I got a giant bag from Value Village for $2.99. 
Tip: Crayola crayons seem to work the best, I tried others including the dollar store brands and freebies from restaurant chains, but they
had way too much paraffin wax in them that would separate during melting and
float to the top.  


2) Break the crayons into pieces small enough to fit your mould. You can break them up by hand or use a knife & cut them.  I used a silicon ice-cube mould I
found in a thrift shop, which made it super easy to pop the crayons out in the end.
3) Place mould on a old baking tray (just in case you put too much in and the melting crayons over flow) and bake for about 15- 20 minutes. How long the crayons need will depend on your oven and how much crayon you’re using. Tip: About half way through melting, pull them out and top up with additional crayon pieces so that the mould is nice and full. At the end stir with a toothpick to mix up any wax that has separated from the pigment.


4) Remove from oven & allow to cool completely before popping them out of the mould. However long they are in the oven is how long they
need to cool before popping them out of the mould. If the crayons break as you pop them out, no worries, just cut them up and re-melt.  I did this several
times learning how to get my timing perfect. Tip: If a colour leaks from one space to another in the mould, allow the
crayon to cool completely and cut the
wrong colour out with a paring knife and then re-melt the crayon so that it’s
the perfect shape. 

How cute are these???

April posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting

Yummy Mummy Monday: Homemade Pasta Sauce

Pasta has always been a favourite meal in our house and probably gets made at least once a week. Over the years I’ve found that store bought sauces are good in a pinch but I’m not a fan of how much salt and funky sounding ingredients there are in some of them. I also have to read the labels carefully to make sure there’s no gluten in the seasonings and/ or cheese added to the sauce. Will and I have also been spoiled because his Mom makes the best sauce from scratch and we haven’t found a store- bought option that even comes close. Luckily she’s happy to share her recipes (see this post for her amazing ribs- a great slow cooker meal) and we enjoy making the stuff up in double batches & freezing it. I’ll admit we have never got ours to taste quite as good as hers, but we’ve come pretty close! Skip the beef if you want a marina that’s more versatile or add in another protein (chorizo sausage is fantastic) to mix it up a little. Buon appetito!

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Homemade Pasta Sauce



Makes enough sauce for approx. 4- 6 full meals
Ingredients:
2- 3 lbs regular ground beef
5 cloves garlic, crushed
3 yellow onions, diced
3 green peppers, diced
2 zucchini, diced
3 tbsp Italian Seasoning (add more to taste)
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
4 tins crushed tomatoes (796mL)
1 tin diced tomatoes (796mL)
Add your other favourite veggies and/ or protein 
Directions:
1. On medium heat brown the ground beef & then drain out the fat. Add the garlic and onion; saute until onion is cooked.
2. Follow with green peppers & zucchini and any other veggies and/ or meat you’re adding, cook for a few minutes to soften.
3. Add seasonings & mix well, then add all 5 tins of tomatoes, stirring well as you add each tin.
4. Turn up to high heat and stir until sauce is bubbling, approx. 5 minutes.
5. Once sauce is bubbling and has been stirred well, reduce to low heat & simmer covered for 30 minutes- 1 hour. Stir & check the taste occasionally and add additional seasoning based on your taste preferences.
6. When ready, remove from heat & serve. Or allow to cool & scoop into freezer bags and freeze for an easy dinner for busy nights (we’ve cooked this sauce from frozen on many a lazy meal night). This sauce is great when enjoyed fresh and just as delish when frozen & thawed.

Have you ever made your own sauce? I’d love to hear what you put in yours! 🙂

And don’t forget to check out lots of other great foodie posts on our Yummy Mummy Recipes page!

Image source: Table for Two

March posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting

Yummy Mummy Monday: Coconut Cashew Butter

I have a confession: since Ari recently going gluten & dairy free I’ve been going a little cross- eyed trying to find food she will eat. Yes, I’ve still got good ol’ fruits & veggies among my main go- tos (I swear she would eat fruit for all 3 meals if I let her), but I want to make sure she’s still getting a balanced diet. And gone are a lot of the quick & easy snacks to toss in the diaper bag on the way out the door. A lot of the options that seem to be working for us take more time and planning than a lot of the regular options. While gluten free has come a long way, what is available is still often really expensive and/ or just not the same. I’ve been really struggling to find replacements for things like her favourite crackers that don’t cost a fortune and that have more flavour than cardboard. 
The other thing that makes this diet change challenging is that if I want to try making more things myself (and I want to at least try), it takes a lot of trial & error to find a recipe that works. Plus the time that goes with it. And there’s no guarantee my little food critic will even like the outcome of all my hard work! 😉 I absolutely want healthy eating to be a priority in our family’s lives, but I will be the first to admit it is less convenient, takes more time and effort, and can be frustrating and discouraging when things don’t work out.
Now that I’ve vented, I was really excited when one of my recent culinary experiments was finally a success. Since Ari can’t have almonds or peanuts I’d been looking for a yummy nut butter to spread on her toast & rice cakes to add flavour & nutritional value. After pricing up the pre- made options I figured it was worth a try to make my own; it’s been something I’ve been wanting to do and Ari’s diet change was the motivation I needed to finally give it a go. I was so relieved and excited when my little monkey gobbled the stuff up- Will and I also like love it, so it looks like this will be a new staple in our pantry. It’s simple to make & I love that all it takes are a few simple ingredients. 
Yummy Mummy Recipe: Coconut Cashew Butter

Ingredients:
2 cups raw cashews (I’ve heard it’s best to soak them in water overnight; I soaked mine for about 6- 8 hours because I didn’t plan that far in advance) 😉
1 tbsp coconut oil (doesn’t have to be melted)
1 tbsp pure maple syrup (skip if you want a sugar- free option)
1/4 tsp salt (add more to taste)

Directions:
1. Drain cashews & pour into blender, followed by the other ingredients.
2. Pulse in 20 second increments & use a spatula to push the mixture down towards the blades. between pulses (please wait until the blades have stopped!)

3. Continue until your butter reaches your desired texture; I kept ours a little crunchy since we love the texture. 🙂

Spread on your favourite toast, bun etc (or enjoy by itself with a spoon!) & enjoy!



Snacking success!

Store in an air- tight container in the fridge.

If you make this, I’d love to hear what you think! What other homemade spreads have you tried making with success????

Don’t forget to check out other healthy recipes on the Yummy Mummy Recipes page!

February posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting