February 3, 2016

Mini bath melts

There are bath bombs and then there are bath melts... what is the difference? 
Bath bombs may have skin moisturizers like shea butter, or coconut oil, etc, in them,
while bath melts are simple and are not made so much for soaking in a tub
(but you can use them that way too) but instead to use in a shower...and the best is you can customize
the scent!

Mini-bath melts
Are these not the cutest little bath melts you have ever seen?!

So want to know how to make these and best of all customize them to your own needs... (all shouting
yes, right?!) Ok then, here you go!

125gr Baking soda
60 gr Citric Acid
60gr Corn starch
60gr Salt (sea salt or epsom salt)
Water in a sprayer bottle.

Mix all the dry ingredients, then spray a little water lightly, you will see the mixture fizz if you have
sprayed too much water, if that happens just start stirring the mixture - the citric acid is reacting to the
water.  After spraying once or twice, test the mixture by holding a small amount in your palm and
squeeze, if the mixture holds together and keeps its shape you can start to fill the molds.  If it is still
crumbly then you can spray one more spray and try again.  This is a bit of a trial and error, it can
be a bit difficult to judge when the mixture is ready.  Just keep trying, and if they do not hold together
and you are frustrated with it, you can put it in a plastic bag, add a bit of essential oils to it and shake.
You can drop that into a bath or foot soak, so you have not wasted anything.

cute hearts!

I've found the best molds are the silicone ones you use for baking, you can
find so many different types in baking stores, craft stores or even on
Fill the molds and make sure you pack them down firmly.
These need to dry for 1-2 days, so the best way is to just keep them in the
molds and check on it after a day. Pop one out and test if they have dried,
if not keep them in the mold for another day. 

When they have completely dried out you can store them in a nice glass jar and use them as needed.

Ah but here is the best part, you can add any essential oils you like!  Just place a few drops
of oil right before using. 
I love putting these in the shower and have them melt away while they leave behind a gorgeous scent.
You can also use these melts when you have a cold or congestion, just drop some eucalyptus and
peppermint and have a nice steam shower. 

I would recommend putting these melts away from the stream of water so that it takes a bit longer
to melt away and you can enjoy the wonderful aroma for a bit longer!

So what are some of the scents you can use? Really, any one you like or a combination of them. 

Citrus oils are great for an uplifting, vibrant scent.
Eucalyptus, peppermint, cypress, cedar wood are good for congestion and colds.
Lavender, chamomile, bergamot, are wonderfully calming and great for right before bedtime.

Drop about 5 drops of the oils onto the melts right before you are going to use them. Place in the
shower and enjoy a fragrant, aromatic shower!

February 1, 2016

Some of my favourite aromatic scents to diffuse.

So I've been getting to know my new diffuser a bit better, and I can say that I LOVE IT!
Rather I like that I can have a fresh smelling home without all the chemicals filling the air! 
Did you know that most 'air fresheners' have chemicals, fragrances, and all sorts of other nasty
ingredients that should probably be only found in your car.  

 So I've put together some scents that I love using for different occasions, yes there is an oil for every occasion! You will have to refer to your own diffuser for how many drops to put. 
The great part about diffusing scents is that you need very little oil to achieve a great smelling room, unlike sprays you don't need to keep spraying it, just let the diffuser run in intervals of half hour on and half hour off, will keep your home smelling wonderful.

So here are a few of my favourties so far.  Don't worry if you don't have each specific oils, many of them can be combined with each other. Get out there and diffuse away...let me know what your favourites are!! 

Energizing Scents 

Grapefruit, Orange and Rosemary
Lemon, Peppermint
Rosemary, peppermint & Lemon

Soothing & Refreshing

Orange, Grapefruit, Lavender, Clary Sage
Frankincense, Bergamot, Geranium.
Cinnamon leaf, Lemon, Rosemary 

Calming & Sleep
Chamomile & Lavender
Lavender, Ylang-Ylang, Bergamot
Geranium, Lavender

Here is a little more about each scent. Things you need to know are the types, species (those are the names in latin) and what they mix well with.

Bergamot - Citrus bergamia -
Bergamot has a citrus scent, but also a more spicy, floral undertone.
Mixes well with clary sage, cypress, frankincense, geranium.

Chamomile (Roman) - Anthemis nobilis L - Chamomile is known for its relaxing, calming properties. Has a sweet hay-like scent that is very pleasant.  Mixes well with clary sage, bergamot and lemon.

Cinnamon leaf
- Cinnamomum zeylanicum - This is not the typical spice scent, it has more of a herbaceous scent, and not sweet scented. Mixes well with citrus oils, rosemary and other more herbaceous oils.

Clary Sage
- Salvia sclarea - Clary Sage while not a well known oil has some amazing properties. Herbaceous, sweet and green odor, is very pleasant when mixed in with citrus oils.  Mixes well with lavender, citrus' and chamomile.

Frankincense - Boswellia carteri - Frankincense Essential Oil has a woodsy, spicy, and warm odour, with a
slight hint of citrus tones. Mixes well with chamomile, cypress, clary sage.

Geranium  - Pelargonium graveolens L'Her - Geranium has a rose like
scent, but is softer and more sweet smelling. Mixes well with clary
sage, bergamot, grapefruit.

Grapefruit - Citrus paradisi - Grapefruit has a sweet citrus-y scent.
Very fresh and lively. Mixes well with other citrus', rosemary,

Lavender - Lavandula angustifolia - Lavender has a slightly
camphoraceous scent, less floral. Great for relaxation and highly
antiseptic. Mixes well with citrus', geranium, rosemary.

Lemon - Citrus limonum - Lemon has a sharp, bright citrus scent.
Very antiseptic and refreshing. Mixes well with lavender, other citrus'
and bergamot.

Orange  - Citrus sinensis - Orange Essential Oil has a sweet, citrus
smell, the peels give it an intense scent.
Wonderfully uplifting. Mixes well with lavender, sandalwood and

- Mentha Piperita - Peppermint has a sweet, minty scent,
the high amount of menthol is what gives it its familiar scent.
Mixes well with citrus, rosemary, eucalyptus.

Rosemary - Rosmarinus Officinalis - Rosemary has a strong woody,
herbal scent, very refreshing. Great for mental clarity. Mixes well with
ginger, citrus and peppermint.
Ylang-Ylang - Cananga Odorata - Ylang Ylang has an exotic, sweet
floral scent. Mixes well with Sandalwood, grapefruit, Lavender.

October 11, 2015

African Black Soap - the best gift you can give to your skin!

I've just gotten in a shipment of African Black Soap, been waiting for a while to try to this out again and play around with the ingredients.  If you have not heard about this soap (which I'm not surprised, as it is not very well known) it is an amazing blend of Shea butter, palm kernel oil, cocoa butter and plantain skins - that's all - can't get any more natural than that!

Plantain skins are known for their high anti-oxidant ingredients, also for being high in vitamin A and E. Vitamin E is excellent for treating dry skin, eczema and acne. Shea & Cocoa butters are also wonderful for scars, stretch marks and dry skin.  This soap is wonderful for the skin, nourishing and with an array of skin benefits.


When I got my first bar of this soap, I treated it the same way as any other bar of soap - well, that was a mistake.

Yeah, that is a tiny amount of
soap but just wait!
And wow...look at all that lather
from such a small amount.
I couldn't wait to try it out as bath bar, so I rubbed the bar on a bath sponge, applying the usual amount and was surprised by the amount of lather is was making.  I had enough on the bath sponge to wash my whole body and a portion of my hair - this was amazing, I had never came across a natural soap that makes so much lather! 

Commercial soaps, bath gels, and shampoos all have chemicals, SLS's to create lather, but they are suspected cancer causing agents (oh by the way, toothpaste also foams because of this, something to consider!) You can read more about SLS here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/13/sodium-lauryl-sulfate.aspx

So anyway, now on to happier thoughts.  I decided that I could try to improve the scent, although I am more used to the way natural things smell now, but that wasn't always the case.  The first time I smelled unrefined Shea butter, well let's just say, I was not a fan and thought I would never be able to use this stuff! Well, after a bit of a detox from commercial products, I am happy to say that I am now a fan of natural scents and have gotten used to and appreciate the way real ingredients smell. 
So on to the African Black Soap scent, it is a bit reminiscent of burned ash (no surprise as that is how they process the soap, by burning plantain skins to create an ash) and Shea butter.  I decided to try and add in lavender and orange essential oils and voila a great light scent, that only gets better after rinsing and oh did I mention how soft your skin is after this?  Oh yes, you get soft, hydrated skin that feels like silk, I didn't need any moisturizer after!  I've started to even use it on my hair, and again wonderful results. Smooth, soft conditioned hair.

African Black Soap

Cute aren't they?
You will have to take some care when using this soap as it is very soft, not like your usual hard bar soap. It must be kept in a dry place when not in use and immediately after it is best to store on a small soap dish where air can circulate around it, so that is can slightly dry out and be ready for the next use. 

I am making up small sample sized bars now for anyone who wants to try it out. They are 30gr bars and are great way to try out African Black Soap for the first time.

$3 for a 30gr bar. Try it out and let me know how much you love it!

keeping you beautiful inside & out

October 10, 2015


Ylang-Ylang - an amazingly wonderful scent in perfumes, creams, lotions.  A complex and exotic scent that heightens the senses and makes a wonderful perfume when mixed with jasmine and rose!

At first when I came across Ylang-Ylang I was not a huge fan, with time I got to like it. I've noticed that with many Essential Oils you need to get accustomed to them. I believe that we are so inundated with fake, chemical scents that we no longer know what real scents are!

I decided to do some research on it and found it to have some amazing benefits and an interesting history.

Ylang-Ylang is used in our Lively body spray - scent Simply Floral

More about Ylang-Ylang.
Cananga odorata, commonly called ylang-ylang,[1] cananga tree, ilang-ilang, kenanga in Bahasa Indonesia, fragrant cananga, Macassar-oil plant or perfume tree,[2] is a tropical tree which originates from the Philippines[3] and is valued for its perfume. The essential oil derived from the flowers is used in aromatherapy.
The fragrance of ylang-ylang is rich and deep ...bright with hints of jasmine and neroli. The essential oil of the flower is obtained through steam distillation of the flowers and separated into different grades (extra, 1, 2, or 3) according to when the distillates are obtained.

The essential oil is used in aromatherapy.  It is believed to relieve high blood pressure, normalize sebum secretion for skin problems, and is considered to be an aphrodisiac.
According to Margaret Mead, it was used as such by South Pacific natives such as the Samoan Islanders where she did much of her research. The oil from ylang-ylang is widely used in perfumery for oriental or floral themed perfumes (such as Chanel No. 5). Ylang-ylang blends well with most floral, fruit and wood scents.
In Indonesia, ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed of newlywed couples. In the Philippines, its flowers, together with the flowers of the sampaguita, are strung into a necklace (lei) and worn by women

It is classed as a non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing oil, yet could cause sensitivity have been reported and excessive use of it can lead to headaches and nausea.

Therapeutic properties

The therapeutic properties of ylang-ylang oil are antidepressant, antiseborrhoeic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, nervine and sedative.
Ylang-ylang oil assist with problems such as high blood pressure, rapid breathing and heartbeat, nervous conditions, as well as impotence and frigidity.
  • Burners and vaporizers
    • In vapor therapy ylang-ylang oil can be helpful with anxiety, tension, shock, fear, panic, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, aphrodisiac, physical exhaustion, frigidity, impotence, insomnia, depression and stress.
  • Blended massage oil or in the bath
    • As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath ylang-ylang will assist with physical exhaustion, insomnia, frigidity, impotence, depression, anxiety, nervous tension and stress while having a calming and aphrodisiac effect.
  • Cream or lotion
    • In a cream or lotion it is used to balance the production of sebum in the skin and thereby correcting and balancing overly-dry as well as overly-oily skin.

Ylang-ylang oil blends well with

Although most essential oils blend well together, ylang-ylang oil blends particularly well with bergamot, grapefruit, lavender and sandalwood.
Read more about it here: http://www.essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/ylang-ylang.htm

October 9, 2015

My top 5 Essential Oils and why you need them in your home!

Oh the love I have for essential oils.  I could sing their praises all day... but I won't, what I will do is tell you my 5 favourite ones and why you need them in your home!

1. Lavender
There is a good reason that Lavender is on this list as it contains so many healing, healthful properties.
It is antiviral, antiseptic, soothing, calming to the nerves and smells wonderful. 
I would say if there is only one essential oil that you would buy make it this one.
Great for many skin conditions, bug bites, (sun) burns, inflammation and infection as well as for muscle aches and pains.
Lavender oil is one of the few that is considered safe to use undiluted - but in my opinion you should only do this if you have a bug bite, or a burn and want to apply directly to the skin, otherwise it's good to mix with oils. 
Read more about its uses here: http://www.essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/lavender.htm
2. Tea Tree Oil
My second choice for the best oils is one of the most powerful antibacterial oils out there.  Great for wounds, infections, acne, as well as an anti-fungal.  Can be used undiluted but only for more serious issues, like fungal infections or wounds.  Tea tree oil is great as a mouth-wash or toothpaste (DIY mouthwash is simply made with 1/2 cup distilled water, 1Tbsp baking soda, 4 drops tea tree oil, mix
it all up and swish around your mouth) make sure you do not swallow tea tree oil as it should not be  ingested!
Read more about its uses here: http://www.essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/tea-tree.htm

 3. Lemon

So refreshing and uplifting, it is no wonder that lemon (as well as other citrus) makes you happy and energized.  Great for when you need a bit of a pick-me-up during the day - place a few drops of the oil on a handkerchief and inhale, you are sure to feel refreshed and energized. Great for headaches and migraines, when combined with peppermint oil, it makes a great headache relief balm.  Great for adding into a cleaning regimen as well, with its antibacterial, antiseptic qualities it is of a great benefit for keeping the home clean. 
One warning about lemon oil (as with most other citrus) it is photo-toxic, meaning that it will make your skin more sensitive to sunburn. Make sure if you use anything that has lemon oil in it, that you do so at night or you are covering the area exposed.
Read more about its uses here: http://www.essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/lemon.htm

4. Peppermint

Cooling, refreshing and reminiscent of candy canes, peppermint oil has a myriad of beneficial properties.  The analgesic properties make it great for pain relief, especially for headaches or migraines.
Great for muscle aches, pains as well as for easing congestion and coughs when ill with a cold or sinus problems. 
 Read more about its uses here: http://www.essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/peppermint.htm

5. Rosemary

Not only great on meats and veggies, this essential oil can help with mental clarity and memory!
Has great benefits for the hair and scalp. Mix a few drops into your shampoo and it may help keep lice away! Use as a hair oil - mix 10 drops into 1/2 cup of avocado oil and massage into hair, keep on for a few hours and then wash out, will strengthen your hair as well as help with hair growth. Wonderful in creams as it promotes circulation.
Read more about its uses here: http://www.essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/rosemary.htm

Always remember to dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil (coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, avocado oil, or any other oil you have.) to about 5% which means you have 1ml of carrier oil you will add 1 drop of the essential oil.  This is a good guide line for most people, but for kids, pregnant/nursing women or elderly you may want to dilute it more - especially with kids and while pregnant/nursing, do take care and read up on oils that are safe for kids and those that are not! Read more about kids and essential oils here: http://www.abundanthealth4u.com/Essential_Oils_Care_for_Babies_and_Children_s/40.htm