All the cool seasonal beers that start appearing in the store!
My favorite sensation is smell. I enjoy all kinds of fragrances. Green forest floors covered in dark moss. Shimmering dew drops dripping from brightly colored flower petals. Fresh laundry being hung to dry on a line during a breezy afternoon. Sugar coated pastries caramelizing in a bakery’s oven. Sharp blades slicing thru the thick, juicy rind of fresh lemons. I constantly surround myself with a large variety of exotic & cozy scents depending on my mood. My favorite way to do this is with oil. There are many kinds of oils to choose from. Essential oils, fragrance oils, loran oils. Each kind has it’s own benefit and special properties that can be utilized in your everyday life. Just know that once you delve into the world of fragrance it is kind of like falling down the rabbit hole. Possibilities become boundless & the future is yours to create when you use the power of scent.
I like to start off with essential oils. These oils are the most pure & delicate of the family. They come from heat distillation of plant material, so you won’t find any scents like sour grape or black cherry. Essential oils are very therapeutic when inhaled. Peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, sandalwood, oak moss, spearmint & camphor essential oils are my favorite scents to use when I am feeling down or sick. Peppermint in particular is fantastic for stuffy noses or head aches. Rub a drop or two between your palms and inhale deeply. Also try applying it topically to your forehead. Just be careful not to use too much & do not get any in your eyes. Eucalyptus, sandalwood & oak-moss are my favorites for when I have chest congestion. Mix about 5 drops of each oil in a tea light burner or oil/wax warmer and inhale deeply to reduce cough & phlegm. Essential oils are also great for a small burst of daily energy. Try grapefruit, lemon, orange or lime oils if you are feeling groggy. A drop or two of any scent rubbed between your hands and inhaled if you are in a hurry. Or try mixing them up in a burner or warmer for a delicious wake up! Do remember that if you are planning on using more than just a drop or two of essential oils on your *skin* you should mix them with a carrier oil first. Carrier oils ensure that you do not get photo-sensitivity that can sometimes happen with prolonged essential oil use.
Fragrance oils are a whole other level. These are generally made up of Aldehydes but there are other chemicals that can comprise the nearly infinite list of fragrance oils. Scent is quite literally a chemical. So in a laboratory setting it is possible to pull or recreate the chemical make up of smells. Any scent you can think of. The smell of churning butter, mowed grass, red apples or marshmallows can be turned into a liquid and added to a burner or warmer. Once you let that thought sink in… the fun really starts. Remember the smell in the air when your grandma was baking her famous pies? You can have that scent in a bottle. That day in the park where you sat by the pond and people watched while eating churros? All contained in a 2 oz chunk of fragrance oil infused wax. You can literally go back in time while you sit back & relax at home. Invoke the beautiful feelings of life’s blissful everyday events with fragrance! Fragrance oils should not be applied directly to the skin like essential oils. Adding carrier oils to fragrance oils will not make them ready for the skin either. Only use specially marked “for cosmetic use” fragrance topically at all times.
Do you use fragrance oils? How about essential oils? What is your favorite scent? Tell me all about it in the comments below!
Update 2/24/15: Still have the Uglee pens, and they work just as well as they did since day one.
Pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, binders & folders. These are just a few of my favorite things! I know that might sound lame, but I’m sure you realize by now that I am a writer. With fabulous writing comes a dire need for high quality, lower cost materials to help spread my word. Since I am old school I still write with physical paper sometimes.
Which is why I was glad for the chance to test out the Uglee Pen.
A three pack of these ergonomically designed pens costs $19.99 plus $3.95 shipping. There is a rainbow of colors to choose from including pink, white, yellow, green, blue & silver.
Uglee Pens weigh less hand half an ounce & has a large jelly grip for even the biggest hands. The unique, light weight shape of the pen makes writing for long periods of time unnoticeable & comfortable.
One of my favorite parts? The grip has GLITTER! I also like the fact that the pen is refillable. Each pack of ten ink cartridges costs $15.00 plus $2.95 shipping. There are black, blue & red inks currently. The pen is simple to disassemble for easy refilling. Purchasing refills might sound like a hassle but it is way better for the environment.
The grip is snug & conforms to my hand while I write. A firm grasp keeps penmanship looking polished. Its unique shape keeps it from rolling off my desk when I take a break or get distracted.
Do you still write on physical paper? Have you tried an Uglee Pen? Does your hand crave more comfort when you write? Let me know about it in the comments!
Bath Bombs are created using sodium bicarbonate [baking soda] & citric acid. By combining these two substances & then tossing those into a bath tub filled with water a fizzing effect will occur; like the effervescence of soda. Baking soda & citric acid are also good for your skin. They both relax muscles & soften skin.
There are other ingredients usually added to bath bombs to make them smell good & feel even better. Dead Sea salts are added to help soothe & detoxify. Essential oils smell fantastic & provide therapeutic aromatherapy benefits. Natural dyes from fruit & vegetables can also be added to make the water turn a beautiful color.
These photos below will show how a bath bomb works in action!
Bath bombs can provide not only a healthier bath but spa quality relaxation time. Turn your normal bathing routine into decadent indulgence! Fill your bath water with nourishing essential oils & healing elixirs by simply popping in a cute bath fizzie. Your skin & senses will thank you!
To make Hammy Egg Cups, try the following recipe:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lightly butter or oil the cups of a muffin pan.
Take one or two slices of ham & line each cup of the muffin pan with them.
Place shredded cheese at the bottom of the ham cups.
OPTIONAL: Add garlic, dill, peppers, onions, mushrooms or whatever you like to spice up your eggs with.
Then crack an egg into each ham cup. Scramble the eggs if you like them firm. (This can be done in a separate cup to make things easier)
Place muffin pan in oven & cook for about 10 minutes, until the top of the eggs look firm & the top of the ham is browned.
Add cheese, salt & pepper to taste.
Serving suggestion: if you DON’T scramble your eggs, serve the cups with toast for dunking. This is a traditional English breakfast. Perhaps some tea & scones?
Now that I gave you the basic run down of my two favorite kinds of oils and why I adore them so much I want to instruct you on proper burning/warming of them. It is one thing to enjoy your fragrances out of a bottle by spraying them or dropping them on your hands. It is entirely different to place them in a diffuser. This makes the fragrance open up like a flower in bloom. You will discover layers to your favorite fragrances. Some layers you will love and others will not be your favorite. By burning and warming scents you can truly appreciate how complex & distinct they are. Since every person’s body chemistry is slightly different you will also notice that you scents smell much different on skin than in the air. Scents also change depending on if they are sprayed or warmed or burned. Spraying scents does not give them the chance to bloom & open up to their full potential. Burning scents in a tea light diffuser will give them a strong and complex scent but the scent will not last as long as one being warmed by a gentle electric light bulb. Scents that are warmed by a light bulb are a good choice for people who like lighter scents and burning is probably your best bet if you enjoy a strong, potent fragrance.
Recently I have started using fragrance oil infused waxes. At first I was skeptical. Why add wax to perfectly burnable oils? Because they look cute and are a lot easier to use. It can get messy working with some sticky oils & glass bottles & glass droppers. Having a plastic clam shell container with break away pieces of soy wax are seriously easier to store & use. If you drop a container of wax it is a lot less of a hassle than dropping an 8 oz bottle of essential or fragrance oil. Wax tarts are also a much cheaper alternative to oils. Even if you have a distillation kit and create your own oils it can get very expensive to buy exotic flowers & plants to make oils from. Wax is a great way to use less fragrance oils but still get that same potent scent in the air.
The environment in which you use your oils & waxes greatly affects how much you will smell them & how long they will last. Fragrance tends to be the most potent & longest lasting in cool, dry air. This goes for candles as well as warmers containing oil or wax tarts. Remember to keep your candles & warmers away from drafts & things that cause them such as a/c vents & ceiling fans. This will ensure proper fragrance disbursement within the room & will also keep your oil/candle burning longer!