Fast, Easy, and Oh So Lovely Christmas Gifts

With Christmas fast approaching it’s time to finish up the gift shopping (if you’re like my uber-organized mom), or get started on the list (if you’re like me).  I love to give handmade gifts for Christmas.  Unfortunately, a lot of hand made gift ideas are either for children or are, quite frankly, pretty cheesy.  So if you are looking for an idea for adult gift giving that’s not cheesy, I just may have the perfect thing.  It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s customizable.  It’s also inexpensive.  Are you ready?  It’s………Bath Salts!  Ta da!

What?  No?  Why?  Ok, I know, I know, not everyone has time for a long, hot, soak.  Especially at this time of year.  I understand that completely.  But did you know that you can use bath salts in the shower?  Really.  You can.  Really.  Just throw a handful in the back of the shower where it well get wet but not immediately washed away.  That way you still get the wonderful soothing (or invigorating, whichever you choose) scent in your shower when you don’t have time for a bath.  Of course, you won’t get the other benefits that you would if you were soaking.  And what are the benefits of soaking?  I’m so glad you asked!

Other than getting away from the kids for a while, there are some very practical benefits of taking a bath with bath salts.  Epsom salts help to soothe tired, sore muscles and also helps to heal bruises.  Sea salt helps to remove impurities from your skin.  And if you choose to use essential oils rather than fragrance oils for your bath salts, you get aromatherapy benefits as well.

You should be able to find all the ingredients readily.  I found the Epsom salts in the pharmacy area of my local big box store.  The sea salts, fragrances, and colors I found at my local craft store.  You can mix up one big batch for everyone on your list, or you can mix everything except the color and fragrance and separate it into smaller batches for a more personalized approach.  Then, just pack it into a pretty jar or a waterproof bag and you have lovely, handmade gifts for Christmas.

Here are some pictures to help spark your creativity.  Below that is the basic bath salts recipe that I use.  I found it online at About.com.

 

Lightly scented with cucumber and melon

 

This one is a refreshing peppermint

 

This one is scented with a mixture of thyme and rose. My favorite one.

 

This is actually more red than it looks in this picture. This was divided and part was colored darker than the rest.

 

This is a batch my sister made. She added organically grown flowers and herbs.

 

 

 

Basic Bath Salts

3 c. Epsom Salt

2 c. sea salt

1 c. baking soda

½ oz fragrance or essential oil

soap safe color of your choice-you will only need a few drops (optional)

 

Mix the salts and the baking soda well, making sure there are no clumps.  Add the fragrance or essential oil and mix well.  If you are going to color it, add the color a few drops at a time.  Too much will make the salts clump.

You can color all the salt or just some of it, or even use different colors and mix or swirl it together.  Be creative!  Have fun!  Then come back and share your results with the rest of us.

Inspiration

Ok, I realize that today is Monday and not Thursday.  Just consider this a “Special Addition” Thankful Thursday. 

Today, I am thankful for people who inspire me.  We all need people in our lives that cheer us on and celebrate our victories with us.  I am blessed to have those people on my life.  We also need to have those people in our lives that let go, jump in, and follow their dreams.  I also am blessed that I have those people in my life.  Today, I would like to tell you a little bit about two of them.

My little sister, Debbie, has a very strong sense of who she is and just as important, who she is not.  She lives in a small town in Texas close to Dallas.  She raises chickens, repairs antique quilts, restores antique sewing machines, gardens organically, has a grey water system to water her garden, and uses a solar oven to cook in during the summer.  She absolutely refuses to be put into any kind of box, and if you ask her about herself, she’ll tell you she’s “living hippie proud”.

 In my former life, when I was a staunch adherent of rigid box living, I never really understood her much.  How could anyone possibly be happy without a box to live in?  She confused me.  She sometimes embarrassed me.  And she provoked me to jealousy.  I didn’t understand how, but I knew she was way happier than I was.

 As I began to emerge from my box (or at least poke my head out the top), she began to inspire me.  To try things like making homemade soap, which was kind of fun, and homemade cheese, which was so awesome that I have a friend making me a cheese press so I can start making cheddar cheese which is my all time favorite.  She helped to jumpstart my journey to a simpler lifestyle, and introduced me to the road less traveled.

 Several years ago, she quit her “real job” to stay home and raise her kids.  She home schooled and made quilts and took on sewing projects to make some extra money.  She and her husband Chris taught the kids to live outside the box and follow their hearts.  Their son is now working his dream job at a gaming company inSeattleand his wife just finished culinary school.  Their daughter is studying marine biology at A&M Galveston and loving life.

Now with the kids well on their way, Chris has decided it’s time to follow his dream.  He has always loved skateboarding.  Probably since before it was cool.  Any spare time he has, he’s at the skate park.  So he and Debbie have decided to open their own skate board shop.  Flatspot Boardshop, 8901 Virginia Pkwy, Suite 500, McKinney, Texas.  Their Grand Opening is today.  There will be give-aways, awesome deals, and a fun time will be had by all.  So, to Deb and Chris:  You are both an inspiration to me, and I am proud to call you family!

So, if any of you happen to be in the Dallas area today, even if it’s out of your way, why not swing by and support the dream and the dreamers.  You’ll be happy you did.  And tell them Cery sent you.

Peace out.

 

Thankful Thursday

I have decided that I am going to make Thankful Thursday a weekly feature on my blog.  I much prefer to think about the good things in life, and not focus on the other.  To that end, I even designed a little logo for Thursdays.  Kinds cheesey, huh?  But it will do for now.

So, to kick off the new feature, here is what I am thankful for today:  (insert drum roll)  Life at Bear Creek Farm is now a dot com!  I purchased the domain name and now it’s a website, not just a blog.  Over the coming months I will be adding more features until it becomes a fully functional website!  I am really excited about this first step.  Stay tuned for future developments!

What are you thankful for today?  Share with us by adding a comment.