Category: Home + Garden

Remedy ABCs

From A to Z: A is for Arnica – it helps inflammation, shortens healing time, & improves your skin. Take it as a supplement or use its oil in a salve. B is for Beetroot – it fights heart disease, lowers cholesterol, & combats dementia. Drink it as juice or take as supplement. C is for Chamomile – did you know that it can help soothe colicky babies? Research shows that chamomile helps colic – this one’s for new parents. D is for Dandelion – it helps with acne, diabetes, eczema, jaundice, AND it’s pretty & lucky (medically proven…haha) E is for Echinacea – it’s great for relieving flu & cold symptoms and boosts your immune system. F is for Flaxseed – 1/2 teaspoon a day keeps you regular & 2 tablespoons will help reduce hot flashes & the risk of breast cancer, as well as prostate cancer. Just be sure to start slowly with flaxseed – start with 1/2 teaspoon a day & work your way up to 2 tablespoons a day. G is for Ginger – it’s basically a superfood that helps with motion sickness & stomachaches, prevents the cold & flu, reduces pain & inflammation, strengthens your immunity, and helps with morning sickness – amazing right? And it’s incredibly versatile – you can brew it as a tea, add it to food, eat it as candy…the possibilities are endless. H is for Honey – it helps with allergies, throat irritation & it’s antibacterial (honey has an enzyme used in hydrogen peroxide!) I is for Isatis Root – it helps treat colds, nose/throat/sinus infections, and sore throats. It’s best to take this in tea, preferably with some chamomile & honey. J is for Juniper Berries – it eases bloating, heartburn, is antiseptic & helps joint pain – use in tea, foods, or oil. K is for Kudzu – it treats cold & flu symptoms, relieves headaches & migraines AND (drumroll, please) helps hangovers. L is for Lavender – it does wonders for your mental health – it calms the nerves, relieves anxiety, helps stress & depression, & it’s excellent for aiding sleep and relieving insomnia. M is for Marsh Mallow Root – It helps with congestion & soothing sore throats, control blood sugar, & treat UTIs and stomach ulcers. And yes, marshmallows (the campfire kind) will help soothe your sore throat! N is for Stinging Nettles – they’re antioxidant, anti-inflammatory & rich in iron, and also great for detox & treating arthritis! O is for Olive Oil – it gives you amazing skin & hair, and also cures earaches (swab ear cavity lightly with olive oil to relieve pain & to remove wax). P is for Peppermint – it helps with congestion, nausea, gas, & bloating – it’s pretty great in some tea or candy! R is for Rhubarb – it boosts your immune system & is high in fiber, plus goes great in some pie. S is for Shea Butter – it’s great for skin & hair (as well as minor cuts & burns) – Shea Butter is amazing as a moisturizer! T is for Tea – it’s antioxidant, helps with weight management, & helps endurance (plus it’s delicious!). U is for Uva Ursi – it’s anti-inflammatory & astringent, making it especially effective for UTIs. V is for Vetiver – it’s calming to the nerves & helps with joint stiffness, fatigue & soreness. W is for Witch Hazel – it helps cuts & bruises, sore gums, arthritis & stiff muscles. X is for Xanthan Gum – it’s the best gluten substitute for gluten-free diets. Use it in any recipe as a thickener or binder. Y is for Ylang Ylang – it’s calming, relieves anxiety & keeps hair thick, shiny & lustrous – amazing! Z is for Zest – It boosts your immunity, lowers cholesterol, & helps promote strong, healthy nails. Zest from all types of citrus fruits are great for your every day diet.

Kitchen-Ready Hanging Herb Garden

Among my favorite things in the kitchen are fresh herbs, but many times I’ll forget to grab them at the store when I’m picking things up for dinner. A friend recently gave me a great idea to solve this problem and I’ve finally gotten around to making it: a Kitchen-Ready Hanging Herb Garden. This herb garden can be hung right next to your stove, so when you need a little pizzazz while cooking, you can reach right over and pick your favorite fresh herbs. Don’t worry, they may look really pretty, but it literally took me twenty minutes to make the entire thing, mistakes and all. For this project, you’ll need: -Hanging glass terrariums (as many as you like) -Herb plants of your choice (if you grow them from the seed, extra points for you!) -Potting soil -Clear fishing wire (I got the kind that holds up to 20 lbs. You know me, safety first!) -Ceiling hooks Pick out your plants. I chose basil, oregano, cilantro and lemon balm because I use those the most (though I’ll probably add rosemary and mint as well). So, I was all
excited to plant my favorite little herbs until I discovered that a lot of the leafier plants are too big for most terrariums. If this is the case for your herbs, you’ll have to split the plant in half before you plant it. Get a little bit of soil into the terrarium first to make a nice bed for the roots, then after you place the plant inside, put some potting soil on top to cover the roots. Once you’ve successfully transplanted your herb, give yourself a pat
on the back, then proceed to fluffing up the leaves and shaking off any dirt from the plant. Time to hang! The place that was most convenient for me to hang the herb
garden was next to my stove (fresh oregano in my pasta? Yes please!), but you can also tie the fishing wire around curtain rods and hang them from the window. The only thing you need to be careful about is watering the plants—make sure you put just enough water to make the soil damp. Don’t be overzealous like me and end up with a little mud puddle on your kitchen floor. Enjoy your new delicious, gorgeous herb garden!

From the Garden to the Kitchen

Who doesn’t love fresh veggies straight from their garden? This time around, we got TONS of kale (made kale chips!), some squash, and marigolds. Oh, and Molly’s new friend, Kale Snail. Here’s Molly posing with her newest friend, the magical Kale Snail.

Mint Extract

I use mint extract a lot during St. Patrick’s Day. Last year a friend of mine showed me how to make homemade mint extract and I have been making it ever since. It’s really easy to make, but you just have to be patient, as it takes almost 2 months to make. Give it a try!


INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

  • Fresh mint bunches- enough to fill a mason jar
  • A mason jar
  • Vodka (enough to cover all the mint)

Start by removing the leaves from the mint stems. Once the mason jar is filled to the top, muddle the leaves to release the natural oils from the leaves. I used a wooden spoon to muddle the leaves.

Pour the crushed leaves with vodka. You want to make sure that the leaves are completely covered by the alcohol.

Seal the jar and store in a cool dark place for 8 weeks. Try to remember the shake the jar every few days or so to stir the mixture. Once the 8 weeks have passed, strain the liquid from the leaves and store as you would store bought mint extract. Enjoy!

Mercury Glass Vases

I had a bunch of empty Monica Potter Home soy candle jars around my house and wanted to do something fun with them. One thing that I love is mercury glass vases. So I decided that I would try to make my own. I did a little research on how to make them at home and found a variety of directions. Here is what I found worked the best.


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • Glass vessel (you can repurpose an old MPH candle jar)
  • Mirror spray paint
  • Water
  • Cotton balls
  • Paper towels

Begin by coating the inside of the candle jar with water.

With drops of water still in the jar begin by spraying the inside of the jar with the mirror paint. The water is what creates the Mercury look. The more water you have in the jar, the more spots you will have in the end result.

Once the paint is evenly coating the jar, you can use a damp cotton ball or paper towel and begin blotting the paint. This will enhance the mercury look.

Allow to dry and then use it to store hair accessories, brushes or on your desk. If you would like to use it as a vase for flowers, instead of spraying the paint on the inside of the jar, spray the outside and follow the directions as stated above.

Natural Cleaning Wipes

Everyone knows how much I love to clean and I really try to clean with natural ingredients in my home. I decided to make a batch of natural wipes for quick cleaning on my countertops and bathrooms.I recently did the #unleashclean event (click here to see a video from the day) with Viva brand and the Boys and Girls club of Greater Ventura and was given some Viva Vantage towels. I thought they would work great for this DIY because they work like a cloth but are incredibly resilient and durable for tough grime. Here’s how I made them.


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • 1 roll of paper towel
  • 1 sealable jar
  • ¾ cup of vinegar
  • ¼ cup of water
  • ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol
  • 1 tbsp dish soap
  • 15-20 drops of essential oil ( I used 10 drops of lemon and 10 drops of lavender)

Start by cutting a high quality, extremely durable paper towel in half (I used Viva Vantage towels).

Next, combine the vinegar, water, dish soap, rubbing alcohol and essential oils together. Mix well.

Place the cut paper towel into the sealable jar and pour the liquid ingredients all over the paper towels.

Once the towels are saturated, remove the center cardboard piece and pull the last towel for easy access to the towels.

Use these as you would other cleaning wipes to keep your home fresh and clean.

Re-Sprouting Heirloom Tomatoes

Homegrown heirloom tomatoes are just the best!  A friend of mine grows the most amazing heirloom tomatoes in her garden and she gave me a few to harvest seeds from.  Her suggestion was to re-sprout the overripe tomato in my garden.  So that’s what I did.  Now I will have her heirloom tomato plants in my garden as well! Thanks Barb!


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • 1 over ripe tomato
  • Potting soil
  • Pot

Start by filling a pot with potting soil about ¾ the way up.

Slice the tomatoes about 1 inch thick.

Lay them in the pot and cover the tomatoes with more potting soil.

Water the plants and place in a spot that receives a good amount of sun.  Once they have sprouted, you can transfer them into the garden and watch your new tomatoes grow!

Twine Vases

I found a few glass bottles in my Ohio childhood garage that I wanted to reuse and make something with. I decided I would try turning them into cute rustic vases. So I found some twine, pulled out my hot glue gun and got to crafting. Here’s how I did it.


MATERIALS

  • Twine
  • Hot Glue gun and glue
  • Glass bottles (it can be a water, wine, mason jar etc.)

Start by making sure your bottles are clean on the inside and outside. Working from the bottom of the jar, place a small dab of hot glue on the jar and secure the twine to the glue.

Once it has hardened, begin wrapping the twine all the way up the bottle closely. Add a dot of glue here and there on the way up to secure the twine. Once you have wrapped the jar to your desired height, cut the twine and secure it with one last dab of hot glue. Feel free to get creative…wrap the entire bottle, half the bottle or make small sections. I chose a few different looks and really like how they look together. Finally, fill them with water and add your flowers. Display them together or side by side for a modern take on the flower arrangement.

Heat Protectant Spray

I use a heat protectant on my hair year round to help prevent my hair getting dried out with split ends. This heat protectant is not only easy and inexpensive to make, but it also really works. Give it a try!


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • 1 tsp Almond Oil
  • 1 tsp melted Coconut oil
  • 1 tsp lavender oil
  • 1 tbsp Conditioner
  • 2/3 cup Water
  • 1 spray bottle

Pour the water into a mixing bowl.

Add the coconut oil, lavender oil and almond oil to the water and stir.

Add the conditioner to the water and oil mixture and slowly whisk the conditioner to incorporate well. If you get a little foam, that is ok, it will settle down.

Once the foam has settled, pour into a spray bottle and your heat protectant spray is ready to use.

Spray on wet hair before using any styling products to help protect your hair from the heat. You can also use this when swimming or when you are outside in the sun.

Homemade Grout Cleaner

What kind of person cleans the grout on their bathroom floor? I DO! (Don’t ask.) So, if you obsess over the cleanliness of your grout like me, this simple homemade cleaner will come in handy. If you don’t obsess over it, consider yourself very lucky.


HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Bowl or cup
  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/3 cup of mild dish soap
  • A small whisk

Step 1

Add ½ cup of baking soda to a bowl (or cup)

Step 2

Add ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide (The bubbling part is my favorite!)

Step 3

Add 1/3 cup of mild dish soap

Step 4

Stir with a small whisk until it foams (Yes, like Cujo.)

Step 5

To start cleaning your grout, grab an old toothbrush, dip it in the cup, and start scrubbing. When you’re done, let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then wipe it clean with a towel.

Step 6

Try not to notice the grout in your kitchen so you can enjoy the rest of your evening.