Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday~

Today, until midnight tonight, all purchases of $20 or more will include a free gift wrap embellishment kit valued at $4.00. Sizes and colors may vary but they are all beautiful!

If you are in the market for a custom gift basket, let me know! I can help you put together a winning selection.

Handmade and local giving is always a great choice!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I Love Craft Show Season!~

I am one of those people that is blessed/cursed with right brain capabilities... You know the type.  Creative. Procrastinator.  Maybe not the most organized person you know.  Visionary. Etc...  And I love to be around other creatives!  Well.  'Tis the season!  I will not only be a vendor at several shows during this beloved season, I have every intention of being a patron as well.

These are my peeps.  And I love to support them and support the local community by shopping this way.  I get warm fuzzies knowing I'm supporting local economy, true creativity and ingenuity AND coming away with unique and beautiful wares.  It's very inspiring to say the least!

As we enter this time of year where nearly every weekend has craft fairs and shows to offer, I hope that you will also show some love!

I myself am feverishly preparing for my own upcoming shows and events.  My mind is brimming with so many new ideas, I'm worried I won't be able to implement them all before they leak out of my head!

Here is a sneak peek at a limited edition seasonal item:

Sheer lip tint with a minty flavor... YUM!
Also, if you are not in the Northwest, I am offering free shipping on all orders $20 or more! (Sorry, U.S. orders only.) You can visit my shop here. I have lots of things and will be continually adding new things.  

Newly Listed Solid Perfumes!
And, by all means, ask me about a customized gift basket! I'm happy to put something together for you.

Lovely basket for a lovely lady~


Enjoy this beautiful month of November and count your many blessings!



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

OCTOBER. HELLO, LOVE!~

There is simply nothing like October. It's my favorite and my best.  Mornings are crisp and cool.  The sky is still blue, and the trees are showing off their mad color skills.  And the squash!  Don't get me started on the gorgeousness of ornamental squash.  And Indian corn. And scarecrows.  And the intoxicating blend of scents like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, sweet orange...

I am so in love with these scents, that I decided I needed to wear them!  And so that's what I'm going to do. And now you can too! =)  This is a very easy process, but can be a little spendy, depending on the scents you choose.  Here is what you will need:

Jojoba Oil
Beeswax
Essential Oils of your choosing. (Due to my October obsession, I will be using Essential Oils of Cinnamon Leaf, Clove Bud, Sweet Orange, and Nutmeg.)
*All of these ingredients, including small tins to put finished product in, can be found at Mountain Rose Herbs.

STEP 1
Melt beeswax into jojoba oil in a double broiler.


STEP 2
Let cool for a few minutes before adding essential oils.  You don't want them to evaporate. Pour into smallish tin or container.


STEP 3
Allow to cool completely.


STEP 4
Label and throw into purse or give as a gift!



This is the perfect subtle way to add a little spice (pun intended) to your femininity! Just rub a little behind ears, behind knees and on your pulse points.  Just like Grandma used to.  

If you prefer your perfume be a liquid rather than a solid, omit the beeswax and add to a glass roll on bottle.



 There.  Now don't you smell loverly?

If you'd prefer to have this already-made-goodness, you are always welcome to stop by my shop on Etsy or Poppyswap!

Monday, September 17, 2012

LUXURY AT ITS FINEST~

A teenagers skin.  You know what they say~ Youth is wasted on the young... It's an issue that many of us lament: "If I'd known then what I know now, I would've taken better care of my skin!"

Well, the good news is, we can certainly help the young ladies in our lives gain knowledge about proper skin care.  And, not just any skin care, but chemical free skin care!  I'm so excited to be launching a facial kit for teens called "Face It!" that not only contains some wonderful and luxuriously key ingredients for skin care, but also includes some recipes and tips for taking care of that youthfulness while they've still got it!

Introducing "Face It!"


So, what all is included in the new "Face It" facial kit?  I'm so glad you asked!

1.  Cleanse~  Recipe/Instruction card for a honey based face wash as well as tips on the proper direction and pressure to rub your face while cleansing.

2.  Exfoliate~ Recipe/Instruction card for a facial scrub and information on the benefits of removing dead skin.

3.  Steam~ A packet with a mix of lavender, rose petals, and essential oils complete with instructions on how to create the perfect facial steam.

Packet of herbs for facial steam and packet of french green clay... Beautiful!


4.  Mask~ A packet with your choice of french green clay (for oilier skin) or white clay (for normal skin) complete with instructions on how to create a mask.

5.  Toner~ An amber bottle filled with natural toner made from witch hazel and essential oils of lavender and tea tree.

Easy, natural, and chemical free toner!


6.  Moisturize~ Recipe/Instruction card for moisture, the final step of the perfect facial!  Includes tips on caring for the insides of our bodies as well to maintain healthy glowing skin.

7.  Finishing Touch~ Lip Tint!  Finish off the "me time" session and satisfy your sweet tooth with your choice of luxuriously moisturizing Geranium, Bergamot, Chocolate Mint, or Tangerine Lip Tint! Yum!

Choose one or all 4 lip tints!  Such a great treat!

The total cost for this gem? $15.00

Also, as you are teaching and learning the fun and easy path to natural, chemical free skin care, you can find many of the simple ingredients right in your own kitchen.  If you are running low, or don't carry something in your kitchen regularly, you can find the highest quality ingredients at Mountain Rose Herbs.

To pre-order this kit, please leave a comment below or send an email to Phytotherapy.  The official launch will begin Saturday, September the 22nd.

It has to be said.  While this was designed as a fun little package to educate and treat the teens in your life, these are a wonderful gift for the grown up ladies in your life as well!  What grown up lady do you know who couldn't use a couple of uninterrupted quiet moments locked in the bathroom!?



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Green Cleaning Part 3~ Drop Your Pants Here (Or: Freshening Up The Laundry and The Air)

Ah laundry...  It kinda never ends, does it?  I don't think there is ever a moment in our house when the laundry room (or hampers, or bathroom floors) are completely vacant of laundry.  In fact, I'm blogging about laundry right now to avoid actually doing laundry!  How's that for irony?

Here's a small portion of what awaits me... In all it's glory!
It is currently Spring Break in my neck of the woods and nothing would give me more pleasure than getting "caught up" with the laundry.  Now you and I both know that "caught up" really means emptying every laundry basket in the house only to find it reappear, like manna, from the sky.  But at least, lets lessen the load! =)

All that being said, in this third part of the  Green Cleaning series, I wanted to give you a few recipes for making your own laundry detergents as well as some natural pthalate free air fresheners (for those days when, perhaps, you aren't able to keep up with the laundry)!

There are probably a bazillion different recipes to be found on Pinterest, but I will share with you the ones I have enjoyed using:

Again, realllly wish you could smell this! Mmmmmm...

Powdered:
8 cups of baking soda
6 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax
4 cups of grated castile soap (You know how much I love Dr. Bronner's!  I highly recommend using lavender and/or lemongrass... You can mix and match since it will probably take 2-3 bars of soap)
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Essential Oil (Lemon, Lavender, Tea Tree Oil are all great for laundry purposes)
Combine all dry ingredients and place in labeled jars.  You only need a small scoop, about 1/8 of a cup, per load.
This recipe is so economical and lasts approximately 6 months for my family of four.

Creamy:


Just "scoop and plop"!


This is a recipe I got from Vintage Remedies that I have also enjoyed using.  It is not, however, a detergent you can put in a dispenser.  It would need to go directly into the washing machine.
1/2 cup of liquid castile soap (again, lavender, lemony or even rosemary scents are what I like for this purpose.)
3 1/2 cups of baking soda
1/2 cup washing soda* (found in the laundry aisle of most stores.  I get mine at Fred Meyer's)
2 cups of warm distilled water
30 drops of lemon oil
20 drops of lavender oil
Store in air tight glass container and use 2-3 Tablespoons per load
Smells good, huh?
*If you have hard water, you may want to use Borax in place of the washing soda.

Stain Removal:
2 Tablespoons cream of Tarter
4 drops of peppermint oil
1 teaspoon of water
Store in air tight container

Combine and rub onto stain.  Use normal stain removal process.

Ahhhh... Nothing like fresh laundry!

Mission Accomplished!

Not into making your own detergent?  Here are some great places to get some:
Black Kettle Soap Company (She carries detergent, stain sticks, wool dryer balls...I have used her products and loved every one of them!)
UrthTones (Puts great care and quality into her work)
And I myself, at Phytotherapy, make Cutie Patootie~Baby Laundry Soap (Coming to my shop soon.)
Other great commercial brands include:
Seventh GenerationMethodMrs. Meyers, and Ecover

Now to freshen the air... You may have seen a previous post on this topic, but I'ma gonna give you this super easy recipe that you can taylor to your own preference:

In a spray bottle you will want to combine
1 cup of water,
1/2 cup of vodka,
25-35 drops of your favorite essential oils.
Great combos for spring might be lavender/lime, sweet orange/clove, sweet orange/ylang ylang, lemongrass/sage
Whatever floats your boat!  Just remember to Label everything!!

So, now your house is clean, your laundry done, and your home smells incredible! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some laundry to do! =)








Saturday, March 10, 2012

Green Cleaning Part 2~ Living Spaces and Bedrooms

I don't know about you, but due to the nature (figuratively and literally) of where I live, the long winter creates a lot of mud and wet which then gets tracked into the house...  And I do not come from the land of hardwood floors.  Alas, I come from carpet and vinyl.  So here's the scoop:

Floors~
The first thing I did was go out and buy a "Welcome" mat.  You know the kind.  The one with bristles so course you could probably file your way out of jail with it.

Got my heavy duty mat at Target for about $13 

If you are feeling especially ornery, you could get one like the one at my back door... I should have swept it off before showing it to you... My bad.

This is the first step in the combat against tracking stuff in the house.  The bristles on these heavy duty mats remove a lot of what's on your shoes.  Anything "wimpier" than this won't get the job done.

Now, normal people might say "Now, lets take our shoes off!"  Sorry, toots.  My family (try as I might) cannot seem to adhere to this rule.  Don't know why, they just don't.  So the next step, should anything get tracked on the carpet is to bust out with the carpet stain remover:
What you'll need~
1/2 cup vegetable soap (again, I love Dr. Bronner's Peppermint)
1 1/2 T glycerin
1/2 cup of water

1 1/2 teaspoons of citrus essential oil to cut the grease (lemon and orange work great)  
Whip it.  Whip it real good.  Either in your blender or with a mixer until you get a good stiff foam.  Rub the foam into your stains and wipe with a damp cloth (like the t-shirt cloths mentioned in part 1).  

If it's a pet or child stain, you'll want to sprinkle baking soda (see recipe below for even better results) over the area first to soak up the "stank", if you will, vacuum that up and then proceed with the above recipe.

Carpet Freshener~
I love this because you can experiment and change it to fit whatever mood you are in.  So easy.  Ready?
1 cup of baking soda
25-30 drops of your favorite essential oil

Combine, sprinkle on carpet and leave for about 15 minutes.  Vacuum it up and voila!  
Great combos you could try but are certainly not limited to:
Rosemary n Mint
Lemongrass n Sage
Lavender n Sweet Orange
Sweet Orange n Clove
Peppermint n Eucalyptus
Spearmint n Lemon
Sweet Orange n Ylang Ylang
Somebody stop me!

Dusting~
In a spray bottle, combine the following:
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1/3 cup of vinegar
2 cups of water
25 drops of citrus essential oil (lemon is best)
Shake well before using

Knobs n Switches~
I am not about to tell you to run around the house with a bunch of disinfecting wipes to eradicate every form of bacteria in the house.  However, it would be perfectly logical to watch the germs!  This is a quickie little spray I make and use for door knobs, light switches, remotes, etc...  Particularly if someone in the house is sick.  
In a tiny travel sized spray bottle combine vinegar (about 1 cup) and 15-20 drops of lavender
That's it!  Shake it up and use it.
Lavender has amazing antimicrobial, antifungal, and disinfecting properties, all without compromising the integrity of our health.  Not to mention relaxing effects to boot!
Remember, this is not a hospital.  We are not trying to rid the building of Staph infection... It's our home, and we are simply not interested in colds and flus.

So, we've hit kitchen, bathroom and living areas...  Smells good right?  Just wait for part 3!  Good stuff to come!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Green Cleaning Part 1~ Kitchens and Bathrooms

Oh man... This past month went nothing like I had planned.  And therefore I am looooong overdue for a blog.  So overdue, in fact, that before I got around to blogging part 2 and 3 of the Winter Wellness series, March showed up... You know, the month Spring happens in?  That being said, I've decided to bag the last series in exchange for a series on~ You guessed it~ SPRING CLEANING!
(If you are absolutely heart broken about missing out on the last 2 parts of the Winter Wellness Series, please leave a comment!  I certainly don't want to let anyone down!)
Whether spring cleaning leaves you with feelings of great fear and over active sweat glands, or causes you to be giddy with glee, there is certainly something to be said about the feeling you have when it's all done!

My favorite thing about cleaning the house with natural cleaners is the smell!  I love that I can choose whatever scent I want to use when making my cleaners and that breathing them in won't kill off my brain cells or cause some sort of asthma attack...  No chemicals, just clean house!

Scrubbin' Stuff~ Sinks and Tubs
This is one of my all time favorites...  This is a scrub for sinks and tubs and the like and it smell so good!

To start you will need to have these things on hand: 

baking soda, vegetable soap (I used Dr. Bronner's Peppermint), vinegar, water and essential oil of your choice.  (I used essential oil of sweet orange.)

1 cup of baking soda

1/4 cup of vegetable soap


1 Tablespoon each of vinegar and water
20 drops of favorite essential oil

Stir it up!



I wish this was smell-o-vision right now.  You are totally missing out!  This smells soooooo goooood!



Put it in a container with a lid and make sure, make sure, make sure that you ALWAYS label your stuff!
 Scoop a bit into sink or tub and scrub in a circular motion with your favorite scrub brush.  Rinse with water.  Step back and enjoy the sparkle and shine while you breathe in a bit of aromatherapy!  

All Purpose~
For a great all purpose spray, combine the following ingredients into a clean spray bottle:
1 Tablespoon of Borax
1/4 cup of vinegar
1/4 cup hot water
a dash of dish soap
Can add  about 15 drops of essential oil... I recommend lavender, tea tree oil, and/or perhaps a citrus like lemon or sweet orange


Glass Cleaner~
1 Cup of Vinegar
1/2 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon of vegetable soap
25-35 drops of peppermint essential oil
Spray this on, squeegie it off, and enjoy the view!

Go Paper Towel-less!~
Now, I've been cutting up old t-shirts into scraps and using them in place of paper towels for a while.  Guess what?  I don't even miss paper towels one bit!  I thought I might when I decided to give them up, but I don't.  However, I came across a better version of the "t-shirt paper towel" on Pinterest!  Check it out here.
Here's another great pin here and here.


(Also, if you would like to follow me on Pinterest, you can go here.)

And of course loud, fun music to keep the energy and momentum... Happy cleaning!



Saturday, February 11, 2012

My House Smells So Good Right Now!~

There is nothing more invigorating than opening a drawer that has been permeated with the scent of a sachet filled with herbally goodness!

I thought I'd try my hand at hand stitching some designs on a few of these sachets before filling them this time and this is what I came up with:

Find these in my shop on Etsy.


They are filled with organic lavender and spearmint (I LOVE me some spearmint!) and essential oils and lovingly placed into these unbleached 100% cotton muslin bags.






So great to put in a drawer at home or work, your car, or in the drier with that last load... Definitely a scent to awaken the senses!  And, right now, this room smells so good I want to eat the air! =)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Everything's Rosie~

Phytotherapy~ Healing that comes from plants...
I've been contemplating, as Spring is so desperately trying to make an early appearance here, how plants bring healing to us humans in a variety of ways.  I find the sight of beautiful plant life alone gives me warm fuzzies...  Healing my mood if you will.
With that thought in mind, as I've been creating things for the shop, I have been toying around with different floral and plant patterns as well as the plants themselves.  It's been fun and I wanted to give you all a sneak peek!
For starters, I've been making "pinecones" as you may have noticed during the giveaway a couple weeks ago. I just listed this rosie beauty:

Everything's Rosie Pinecone~ Find this in my Etsy shop
But I also had fun creating a coordinating gift wrap embellishment kit to go along with it using several re~purposed items:
You can also find this entire kit in my Etsy shop.
The handmade bow is embellished with a re~purposed mesh fruit bag.  The wrapping paper is a re~purposed shopping bag.  The gift tag is made from a re~purposed tea box and includes an anise seed pod and raffia. And to tie all the rosie-ness together a matching card!  
A simple and fun gift for a mother, sister, daughter, friend...  I love the pink charm of this whole ensemble!
What do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winter Wellness Part 1~

Groundhog's Day is behind us and we are now looking ahead to Spring!  I personally can not wait...  However, February is upon us in all it's wintery goodness and along with it, for many, more cold and flu season.  Some might even say round 2 of said season!  No fun!
So, while I could go on and on about many different prevention protocols, I'm only going to scratch the surface with just a few but very beneficial ways to boost the immune system and hopefully steer clear of bummer viruses.

AVOID SUGAR~  Did you know that the consumption of sugar, even those in natural form, can lower your white blood cell count up to 40%, thus weakening your immune system, for up to 4 hours?


Rather than indulging the sweet tooth with sugar, try to fix yourself up with something loaded with antioxidants like a smoothie full of blueberries?  Fill yourself up with nutrient rich foods full of the vitamins your body needs to stay balanced and prepared in order to defend your health.  You wanna beef up your immune system, not depress it!


TAKE IMMUNE BOOSTING HERBS~ One of my absolute favorite herbs is Astragalus Root.
Astragalus is known to stimulate the activity of white blood cells, making it a great immunity booster.


  It is great to use if you find yourself frequently exposed to viral illnesses (ex: teachers).  It can be taken in a tea, tincture or even in pill form.  As a legume, it can even be eaten in a soup!
Of course a nice glass of orange juice is a "super yum" way to build up your immunity.  (Throw it in that smoothie previously mentioned!)
 Elderberries are another great (and yummy) immunity booster and you can find my tutorial on how to make elderberry syrup here.

STAY AWAY FROM "ANTIBACTERIAL" PRODUCTS!~ That's right, you heard me.  Back away from the hand sanitizer!

Don't Do It!
By using hand sanitizer, we are killing bacteria and making more room for the more resistant strains to grow and spread.  When we simply wash our hands the old school way, with soap and water, we simply wash bacteria down the drain leaving the simple strains and the more complex strains to compete with each other for their food and lodging.
Also, not all bacteria is meant to be killed!  There are hundreds of species of bacteria living (and supporting) our digestion, teaching our immune systems how to fight and even helping to prevent harmful strains from setting up house in our bodies.  When we sanitize ourselves with anti-bacterial products, we rid ourselves and our children of necessary intestinal microflora... which can lead to allergies.
Consider this:  If a sanitizer kills 99.9% of bacteria, what .1% is still alive?  Perhaps the strongest?

So, here are just a few things to keep in mind as cold and flu viruses make there rounds.  Limit your sugar intake, boost your immune system and wash with soap and water.  Easy Peasy!

In Part 2 of this "mini-series" I will fill you in on ways you can care for yourself if you do get sick.
If are looking for astragalus root, or want to make some elderberry syrup, you can find everything you need here:



A passion for organics

Stay Healthy!

None of the statements in this post are meant to be a diagnosis or prescription.  They are merely suggestions based on my own research and study of natural health and wellness.  I encourage everyone to be sure to do their own research concerning natural health and wellness.  In the wonderful world of nature and herbs it is important to have the right information!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

We have a winner!

Congratulations to Dawn who was the winner of the Phytotherapy Grab Bag Contest!  Thanks to all who participated yesterday!  All items in the grab bag are also available in my Etsy shop as well as here on my blog.

Keep checking back for more blogs, tutorials and updates on hand crafted items.  Next up on the list, a mini series on Winter Wellness.  You won't want to miss out, so stay tuned!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Grab Bag Give Away! ~

So here it is folks!  The first Phytotherapy Grab Bag Give Away!
This grab bag set is valued at $30 and contains the following handcrafted Phytotherapy items:
1~ French Vanilla Body Butter


1~ Cocoa Mint Lip Balm

1~ Paper Ornament

1~ Gift Wrapping Kit (Made from repurposed items)

To enter to win, leave a comment below. Each comment = one entry. (Duplicate comments will be deleted.) To earn additional entries, you can “like” Phytotherapy on Facebook, become a follower of this blog or share the contest on facebook, your blog or twitter. Add another comment for each of those steps you take. 

This Contest is now closed.  Thanks to all who participated!  The lucky winner of this Grab Bag is comment #6.  Congratulations to Dawn!  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Coming Soon~

Stay tuned this week for a Phytotherapy Giveaway happening this week!

French Vanilla Body Butter

Details to come...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bestest Garlic Bread Ever~

I am of the persuasion that one can never have too much garlic.  Now, I didn't say anyone was exempt from obtaining bad breath, but I love garlic and I love to put it in just about anything!  And with the illness that is currently making it's way through each member of my family, all of those antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties garlic is known to have, now would be a good time to bust out with some. Garlic is a great tool to aid a suffering immune system, colds, the flu, ear infections... Just to name a few. 
So, as I was pulling out last nights left overs for my lunch, which was pasta and salad, I naturally thought it needed garlic bread.  As I was making it, I thought, I should probably share this since I love it so much!  So, here it is:


1.  Drizzle olive oil (or better yet, sesame oil) on bottom of skillet.  Heat over medium or low-medium heat.  Place bread of choice in pan and drizzle the top as well.  When one side is toasted to your liking, flip it over.
Olive oil instead of butter?  You betcha.  Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that is a MUCH healthier choice for your heart than many other fats out there.  It contains antioxidants and phytonutrients and is a fat your body can actually benefit from.  But as with all fats and oils, moderation is key.

2.  Slice one clove of garlic in half.


3.  Begin rubbing cut side of garlic (liberally) all over the front and back of each slice of bread.  


4.  Slice it up and enjoy!
Of course, the pasta, salad and dressing have some garlic-y goodness as well!
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