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As I’ve mentioned before in my post about the importance of having a regular sleep schedule, I am definitely NOT a morning person. Mornings in the summertime are a little bit easier because at least the sun is shining brightly and the birds are singing outside my window, but during the darker times of the year or on rainy days when the sun is hidden behind the clouds, waking up in the morning is definitely a struggle.
My inability to drag myself out of bed in the mornings is the reason why I made this DIY room spray recipe. It only takes about two minutes to put together, and since the recipe uses essentials oils, it’s a natural way to scent the air with the refreshing and energizing citrus aroma without having to use the synthetic chemical scents of air fresheners. Continue Reading
Yes, it’s true. Women in Victorian America really did make their own homemade tinted lip balm. Even though makeup was usually frowned upon in Victorian society, enough women must have considered tinted lip balms to be acceptable for recipes for them to have been included in Godey’s Lady’s Book, the most popular lady’s magazine of the 19th century.
19 century lip balm recipes are usually very simple with about four or five ingredients at most unlike many modern lip balms with ingredient lists so long that they need teeny, tiny print to fit them all on the label.
Old-fashioned lip balm recipes also use natural ingredients. You won’t find any rancid vegetable oils or parables or artificial fragrances like you usually do in most brands of lip balm today. And it’s really easy and quick to make your own. It only took me about ten minutes from start to finish to make my lip balm!
I was snowed-in this past weekend with a blizzard, so I finally did something I’ve been wanting to try for a little while – making my own homemade hydrosol of elderflower water.
I had never even heard of elderflower water until I found a section on skin care in Decorum, a guide on etiquette and hygiene from 1879. In discussing different methods of washing the face, the book says:
“Our somewhat remote maternal ancestors were very chary in the use of water lest it should injure the complexion. So they delicately wiped their faces with the corner of a towel wet in elder-flower water or rose-water.” (pg. 309-10)
I had heard of rose water before, but I had never seen any other mention of elderflower water before. I was curious to try it though.
I had always just assumed that I would need an actual still to make something distilled like rose water or elderflower water, and I was envisioning some sort of backwoods Prohibition-era contraption. Continue Reading
For a long time, I had been confused about the subject of yeast. The only yeast I knew about was the little packet of active dry yeast or rapid rise yeast that I would sprinkle into my dough. But then I started collecting 19th century cookbooks and found recipes that called for “one gill of fresh yeast” among the other ingredients.
Once I finally figured out what a gill was, though, (about a half a cup,) I was even more confused. I would have to use how many little instant yeast packets to equal a whole half a cup?!
After doing some more research on period cooking, though, I found several recipes for how to make homemade yeast that helped to solve the mystery a bit. Most involve the use of hops or potatoes added to boiling water and flour. The problem with all of those recipes, though, is that they all call for adding “a bit of good fresh yeast” to the mixture – which was exactly what I didn’t have! Continue Reading
I had just about given up on perfumes once I learned about all of the questionable ingredients in the perfumes and body sprays I had been buying. Things like propylene glycol, synthetic chemical fragrance blends, and a whole bunch of other unpronounceable ingredients that would make my spell-checker go crazy if I tried to type them out.
Just look up the name of your favorite perfume into the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database and see how toxic it really is! I was pretty shocked when I realized that my “refreshing” perfumes and body sprays with their “natural and botanical extracts” were actually full of carcinogens and other toxic chemicals! Continue Reading
At the risk of sounding like I don’t have good hygiene habits, I’m going to admit to the fact that I’ve stopped using antiperspirant.
Not to worry, though. I shower regularly, and I still wear deodorant, just not antiperspirant.
Until just recently, I never even thought about the difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant. For years, I had always just used the same drugstore brand that my mother used, and I never thought much about what was in it. Continue Reading
In my last post, I described the steps I took to prepare my yarn for being dyed. Once you’ve finished the preparation process, it’s time for the fun part – dyeing the yarn!
These are the steps I used to dye yarn with berries:
Step 1) Choose the berries.
For my yarn, I used a combination of blueberries and cranberries. I used about a pint (2 cups) of blueberries and 1 cup of cranberries. Continue Reading