“Ooof! There is no time left, yet I still need a meaningful gift!”
No problem. All you need is a couple jars, 2 or 3 commonly found ingredients and 5 minutes.
Ready, set, go!
Caffeinated Sugar Scrub
Caffeine is a very popular ingredient in cosmetics at the moment. Amongst it’s many attributes, it is said to increase circulation and thereby decrease the occurrence of cellulite. Sugar is a popular exfoliant. Oil helps to nourish the skin. Put the three together, add some scented ingredients, if you wish, and you have a great scrub for arms and legs.
Ingredients: 1/4 cup fresh fair-trade organic coffee grounds, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup oil (sunflower, grapeseed and olive oil are a few ideas) And what can be used to compliment this rather robust scrub? I think 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp cardamom, 1/4 tsp dried ginger goes well with the coffee and sugar.
Salt, Bay Leaf and Pink Pepper
All you need is rock sea salt, bay leaf and pink peppercorns. This can be used to season vegetables and meats such as fish and chicken.
Lavender Bath Salts
Ingredients: equal parts epsom salts and baking soda, *organic lavender essential oil.
Use 20 – 30 drops of organic lavender essential oil per cup of the epsom salts and baking soda mix. Typically people recommend adding a 1/2 cup to the bath.
* Yes, organic lavender oil. Lavender essential oils are some of the most adulterated essential oils on the market. You want great quality, especially if you expect a therapeutic effect.
Vanilla and Spice Sugar
Ingredients: vanilla bean, sugar, optional spice including cinnamon stick and cardamom pods
For those who put sugar in their coffee, a special gift could be a little jar of sugar with a whole vanilla bean in it. You could also add a cinnamon stick, some cardamom pods or whatever spice you wish. This vanilla and spice sugar can be used for coffee, tea and even in baking. Be sure to let the recipient of this gift know that they can refill the jar with sugar many times and the vanilla will continue to imbue the sugar with a vanilla essence.
You are not going to believe this… Compost!
Last week I received an exciting gift from my friends, Julie and Mer. It was a box of vermicompost. My friends compost fruit and vegetable scraps by feeding these scraps to a worm farm in their basement. Julie and Mer found that they were rich in compost this year, so they packaged it up and gave it away. Don’t worry, they did not send over the whole worm farm, just the compost. I love this gift because I have a couple houseplants and it feels good to feed these little plants some “local” homegrown vermicompost from friends.
Happy Holidays from Tammy Schmidt in Montreal.