Candy Cane and Lime Swirl Bath Salts

DIY Homemade Candy Cane and Lime Swirl Bath Salts  -

Have you ever ridden a roller coaster?  If so you are familiar with the sensation of pulling out of the loading dock, giddy with excitement and nerves of what you know will soon be a thrill ride bordering on terror.  Usually the first part is a slow pulling of the cars upward, often exposing a lovely view and chance to nervously chatter with your seat mate.  The car eases to the crest of the first hill in a deceptively gentle feeling of being elevated; quickly converting into a stomach-dropping plunge downward into full chaos as the herky-jerky track twists and turns (sometimes even upside down) before it slams to a stop at the loading platform leaving riders dazed, excited, confused and coursing with adrenaline.

DIY Homemade Peppermint and Lime  Bath Salts -

That, my friends, is not all that dissimilar to the ride between now and the end of the year!  Thanksgiving preparations will take the bulk of next week and will abruptly turn into excitement and panic of Christmas or Hanukkah coming mere weeks following.  Cards to be mailed.  Gifts to be bought or made; and possibly shipped.  It can feel crazy.  But doesn’t have to!

DIY Homemade Candy Cane and Lime Swirl Bath Salts Tutorial  -

I know readers have been scouring Boulder Locavore for over a month now with eyes on blog posts fit for gifts ideasDIY/Homemade beauty products, infusions and liqueurs perfect for giving and homemade spice blends have been top viewed posts.  I definitely have more to share this gift giving season and am getting an early start with some fun swirled homemade Bath Salts.

Homemade Gift Swirled Bath Salts - tutorial  -

I have been using Epsom salts in my baths for years.  It can be found in pharmacies in large bags intended for many uses included soaking out muscle aches and pains.  They are affordable and may be easily infused with essential oils to add an aromatherapy effect to your soaking.  Essential oils are pure plant oils extracted through a number of ways to preserve the truest plant essence with no artificial additives.  Each scent has an effect such as being energizing or relaxing, as well as a medicinal effect when used in a more concentrated form.  This descriptive essential oils chart highlights the qualities of most well-known, available essential oils.

DIY Homemade Candy Cane Peppermint  Bath Salts -

These Bath Salt recipes also contain Sea Salt which balances moisture in the skin, can help improve skin tone as well as relieve some pain from arthritis.  Soaking in a bath is relaxing and with the addition of the salts can help with insomnia and stress too.  Combining the salts with some energizing scents of Peppermint or Lime make for a cute gift but are also perfect to stay relaxed through the holiday season!

DIY Homemade Lime Swirl Bath Salts -

Any containers may be used for the swirled bath salts.  I picked up the bottles in the photos at a craft store where many options are available.  I’m partial to traditional Mason Jars too.  To make your gift-giving complete I’m sharing some free printable labels (link in bath salts instructions) for your personal use which are 2 ½ inches in diameter, perfect for a tag or to fit the top of a regular mouth Mason jar lid!

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Favorite Things: iCoffee ‘Opus’ Single Cup Brewer & giveaway!

iCoffee Opus Single Cup machine filling Parisian travel cup -

My thanks to iCoffee for sponsoring sharing my new favorite thing, the iCoffee 'Opus' Single Cup Brewer and offering one to a Boulder Locavore reader! This is the season of gifting and favorite things, and I have been dying to share one of my latest with you today!  I have always loved coffee, making it and drinking it.  It began in college with an inherited percolator, which turned into a much more sophisticated French Press and eventually a coffee maker for those long days and nights when having little tots and a traveling husband.  I have envied single cup pod machines for some time, enjoying them at finer hotels for in-room coffee and listening to rave reviews from friends. Last year I shared my introduction to Remington’s iCoffee maker which uses a patent-pending Steam-Brew™ … {continue reading}

Gluten-Free Rosemary Sage Thyme Popovers

Rosemary Sage Thyme Popovers {gluten-free}. Airy, custard popovers are the perfect match to make any meal special!

As holiday menus take shape, there usually is a spot for rolls, bread, biscuits or muffins of some sort.  I personally am not a huge bread or roll eater.  My husband on the other hand would be a happy person if the only food left in the world were carbs; cereal and pasta is all her needs (though he is actually a very healthy, well-balanced eater).  It’s always fun to prepare something unexpected or special in the bread department and for me that is popovers. Popovers are a custardy bread that appear to be an overzealous, contorted muffin but reveal a light, eggy custard bottom to compliment the lofty top and hollow middle.  If you’ve ever had Yorkshire Pudding, a popover is in the same family.  They are satisfying without being overly filling.  To be honest they can be a bit picky with … {continue reading}

Gratitude Tablecloth, Conversation Starters and More Interactive Holiday Table Ideas

The Holiday Table: Gratitude Tablecloth, Conversation Starters and More |

My personal philosophy is one of gratitude.  I feel fortunate for each day.  I believe there are good days and bad days; I celebrate every day as a good day knowing if bad days cross my path I'll deal with them when they do. Even in the more challenging or ordinary days, there are little blessings.  I have a wonderful family with whom I’ll never have enough time.  On weekdays I drive an hour to ninety minutes round trip carting kids to school or to pick up from activities, and that is multiple times a day; but I always remember there will be a day when no one needs me to drive them to school or make them a sandwich.  Therefore I celebrate the driving and making sandwiches at 6 a.m. every school day.  I feel fortunate to have the time with my children even if on the road. There is no … {continue reading}

Warm Cranberry Honey Dressing and Winter Salad

Warm Cranberry Honey Dressing with Winter Salad. A beautiful, creamy option to dress up any winter salad! -

On the day I’m writing this, the snow has been falling delicately all day long.  We had snow earlier in the week with a day’s break leaving the sun to come out and illuminate the white foothills and snow-laden trees as the inside scene of a snow globe; flocked foliage and idyllic mountains.  The snow has again returned and has turned the day more into one feeling Christmas Tree shopping is in order rather than thinking of soul-warming dishes for Thanksgiving. I’m not exactly sure what happens when winter sets in regarding eating fresh salads but it feels like an oxymoron.  Crock pots percolate away rendering hearty vegetable mixtures but eating a salad seems best left for May and later. Regardless I begin to crave greens.  The year I decided to launch my locavore challenge … {continue reading}

Southwestern Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Helping of Southwestern Turkey Shepherd's Pie. Soul-warming comfort food with a spicy twist! Great for using up holiday leftovers too. -

I’m hopscotching a bit from the new Thanksgiving recipes I’ve shared with you recently to what to do with the leftovers.  In case you missed any of the latest holiday recipes: White Wine Ginger Thyme Brined Roast Turkey, Haricot Vert and Mushroom Casserole with Gruyere and Lardons, Mini Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes in Mason Jars, Slow Cooker Cranberry Pear Sauce with Ginger, Slow Cooker Pennsylvania Dutch Spiced Apple Butter and Pumpkin Polenta with Maple-Bacon Gravy. I would venture to say I may even enjoy the first full plate of Thanksgiving leftovers more than the first serving itself.  Why?  There have been days of cooking and preparation by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.  There are so many things to get done on Thanksgiving Day, it seems like hours in the kitchen before eating.  My … {continue reading}