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DIY Black Tea & Rose Petal Body Scrub ::

The scent of black tea is one of my favorites just on its own, but it pairs really well with both citrus and some floral elements. Not to mention that tea leaves make for a nice addition to your all natural exfoliation arsenal. I decided to combine the tea with sugar and coconut oil to make a dreamy all over body scrub. I threw in a handful or so of fallen rose petals (because straight up picking what I assume are my neighbor’s roses would probably be rude), and here we are! Homemade body scrubs are so, so easy to put together, and can be ultra luxurious depending on what ingredients you use. Experiment! No need to bead.

To make this scrub, you will need the following:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • (+/-) 1/2 cup solid coconut oil
  • 1+ tablespoon black tea (preferably loose leaf)
  • handful of fresh rose petals

Measurements are approximate and can be changed based on personal preference.

Check rose petals for any insect friends, then rinse and gently pat dry. Remove any stems or other dirt and debris. Also remove any overly wilted petals, or any that have lost their scent completely. Coarsely chop the petals, and combine with sugar in a bowl. Mix thoroughly with a spoon, using the sugar to further break the petals down. You’re using the sugar as a mechanism to extract the oils from your rose petals, which in turn makes the sugar mixture (and your scrub!) smell delicious. Coarse raw sugar would do the best job, but I used ordinary table sugar in this batch. Stir in black tea. Add the coconut oil (you may not need to use all of it!), and stir to combine. If you have rose essential oil on hand, feel free to add one or two drops. Rose geranium is nice here, as well, and is a less expensive alternative.

Store in an airtight container. The coconut oil will melt at warmer temperatures, but you can bring it back to solid form by storing it in a cool place. If you don’t like coconut oil (the smell can be strong), try a substitute. Sweet almond would be wonderful, here, just be aware that your scrub will be liquid and will require stirring before use.

DIY Black Tea & Rose Petal Body Scrub ::

Tortoise Tidbit: Tortoises may sometimes enjoy rose petals (pesticide free, please) as a treat. McCoy wants absolutely nothing to do with them. TIL.

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Dry, chapped lips need some love. Sometimes we forget that exfoliating is important. You can make a beautiful lip scrub with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

You will need:

  • 1 part raw honey (not pictured)
  • 1 part granulated sugar (or brown sugar, or raw sugar)
  • 1 part jojoba, olive, or sweet almond oil (or you can use a combination)
  • drop of vitamin E oil
  • essential oils of your choice (optional)


Amounts will be dependent on the size of container you use, but the ratios should stay about the same. This isn’t an exact science. Feel free to use more oil or honey based on your needs or preferences! The amounts of essential oils you use, and if you use them, is up to you. Be sure to use only oils that are safe for consumption, because you are putting this on your mouth. Read all labels. Just a few basic options:

  • lavender – healing
  • lemon – antiseptic, brightening
  • orange – antiseptic, boosts immunity
  • peppermint – increases blood circulation, antiseptic, improves skin’s texture

Those are four oils that I really think everyone should keep on hand; they are super useful for day-to-day household use and for skincare. If you are interested in learning more about using essential oils, please contact me or leave an comment. I’d be more than happy to send you in the right direction. I primarily use Young Living, but there are a lot of options out there.

I made this tiny batch for a friend, and I used an equal amount of jojoba and sweet almond oil. Coconut oil will also work, but this particular friend has a coconut allergy (which is the saddest thing ever), so I opted for other oils. For my essential oils, I used a few drops of orange and one drop of vetiver. Vetiver speeds up healing and has antiseptic properties; when used in aromatherapy, it helps to calm anxiety. Vetiver oil is thick, and a  little goes a long way. Pipettes are a pretty good investment if you plan on doing a lot of fine-tuned measurements with your essential oils.



Combine ingredients in a small bowl and transfer to your container. Simple!


To use your lip scrub, apply a small amount and rub into lips for 30 seconds to a minute. Allow to sit on lips for a couple minutes, then wipe off with a warm, damp washcloth. Apply lip balm of choice.

Store product in its sealed container  in a cool, dark place. The honey and the vitamin e will help extend the shelf life, but keep an eye on it. I recommend making small batches as needed.

This is super easy to make vegan; just omit the honey and use raw/turbinado sugar!

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Consider this a wishful to do list of smaller projects for when I move into Timothy’s house. We are going to have a whole lot of condensing and organizing to do , but I think the two of us working together will make for a very happy home. It may sound just a little cheesy, but I can’t think of a better person to take things apart and put them back together with. Nor can I think of anything cozier than making more of the things we use daily. I’m looking forward to having the space to do it in.

Pinterest Project Round-up

1. drilled wood cosmetic brush holder (a DIY version of this) / 2. peppermint eucalyptus rub (via Joy the Baker)

3. flavored salts (via Minimally Invasive) / 4. reusable besswax and cotton food wrap (via Mommypotamus)

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For many years, my toenails have been cracked and brittle. Whether it’s a nutritional deficiency or simply due to often wearing poor footwear, I’m not sure. I’ve never actually consulted a healthcare professional about it, because otherwise, my feet are in good shape! A month or so ago,  I ran into a recipe for a serum that looked like it had some potential. The original recipe combined frankincense, lemon, myrrh, and wintergreen essential oils with wheatgerm oil. I don’t have myrrh on hand (and likely never will), so I whipped something up without it.

While this has yet to heal the large split on my big right toe (and likely will not), I have noticed an improvement in appearance of new nail growth, and the skin around my nails. I will admit that I’m actually pretty terrible at remembering to apply this twice a day. I get in one good application at night, before bed, but I think diligence is the key with this one. I also use this serum on my fingernails, in between polish applications. It helps with dry skin and peeling, and makes up for some of the damage caused by nail polish remover. And yes, yes, I will soon be switching to a natural one! It’s the last remaining vestiges of toxicity in my bath and beauty arsenal.

Generally speaking, my skin and nails are much happier in the summer months. I will definitely be breaking this out more often come November.

nail serum with Young Living essential oils //

You will  need:

  • dark colored glass bottle

I still have these 4oz bottles with glass droppers on hand, but I’m looking into purchasing some smaller ones. When working in small numbers, four ounce bottles are a little unmanageable.

Dark colored glass blocks light, and with essential oils that’s a good thing! I would not recommend using plastic, but if you do, be sure only to use it for this project. Do not reuse the bottle for other applications!

  • vitamin E or wheatgerm oil (I use this E oil blend that uses wheat germ as a base; buy wheat germ oil here, or any natural foods store.)

Wheat germ oil is rich in vitamin E, which can increase blood circulation, and help stimulate new cell growth.

The following essential oils:

  • frankincense (promotes regeneration of skin cells)
  • lemon (antiseptic, restores shine)
  • wintergreen (antiseptic)
  • lavender optional

nail serum with Young Living essential oils //

I used Young Living essential oils because I love the the quality, however feel free to use any therapeutic grade oils you prefer. This is being absorbed through your skin, so be sure to educate yourself!

Use the following ratio as a guide to fill the bottle of your choosing:

  • E oil 4 drops
  • lemon 3 drops
  • frankincense 2 drops
  • wintergreen 1 drop
  • lavender 1 drop (optional)

nail serum with Young Living essential oils //

Remember, essential oils are potent and a little goes a long way! I usually only make a small amount of this at a time, but the vitamin e does extend the shelf life. Feel free to make as large a batch as you think you’ll need.

Shake well before each use. Apply 1-2 drops to each nail, twice a day. Massage into your nails and cuticles.

I totally shouldn’t have to say this, but essential oils are not a magical cure all. Please see your doctor or dermatologist with any serious skin health concerns.

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Carrier Oils ::

This post is in relation to the use of essential oils in cosmetic and therapeutic skin care. While this post features many blends from Young Living, I still do use a variety of essential oil brands.

When using essential oils internally and topically, you usually need to use a carrier oil. This oil extends the life of pricier essential oils, and makes application (or consumption) easier and safer. Generally speaking, a good ratio is 4-5 drops of carrier for 1-2 drops of essential oil.  I realize that doesn’t seem like much, but therapeutic grade oils are strong; a little goes a long way! Always be sure to read your labels. Any high quality oil (including Young Living) will tell you whether or not it’s safe to use any particular oil straight. If you have sensitive skin, you will want to always use a carrier when applying essential oils. 

Please don’t take to heart anything you see on the internet that says a skin irritation is a sign of “detox.” People really seem to like to use this word where it doesn’t belong. If you experience itching, irritation, or redness, discontinue use immediately. Be kind to yourself, and use your best judgement. 

There are many carriers you can use; it really depends on the application. This post will go over some common carrier oils, with examples of how I use them. 

My top three carrier oils are olive (buy here), jojoba (buy here), and coconut (buy here). These oils are easy to find, and are useful for a wide variety of applications around the home. I also keep almond oil (here) and a vitamin E oil blend (here) on hand for skincare purposes.

Olive oil is a heavier oil that does not absorb quickly. I find that it’s good in small doses, and works well as a cleanser. I always have it in my kitchen, so it’s a good oil to use in a pinch.


  • Many people who take essential oils orally use olive oil as a carrier. I personally have no experience, but 1 or 2 drops of a chosen oil can be added to a capsule, and diluted with olive oil or vegetable oil blend. Make sure to always, always check labels before you do this.
  • I like using olive oil as a heavy duty moisturizer for my feet before putting on socks. My favorite oils to use for this are lavender, peppermint, and Valor (YL blend).
  • Olive oil blended with corn flour or almond flour and a drop of essential oil (I like lavender; frankincense is also good for skincare) makes for a nice facial scrub. Use in the shower and let the steam open your pores. Rinse gently with warm water and a soft washcloth.

Jojoba oil is my go-to carrier when it comes to everyday essential oil application. It is lightweight and easily absorbed by our skin, which makes it perfect for facial care. I keep a small bottle of jojoba with my essential oil stash for easy use. Grapeseed is a similar lightweight oil, I simply prefer jojoba. Either oil is a good starting point.


I use coconut oil for oral care and skin that needs a little more hydration. Coconut oil is a great multipurpose oil to have around. This oil can cause some drying or irritation on ultra-sensitive skin, so you may want to do a small patch test before use.


  • For a healing mouth rinse, use two tablespoons of coconut oil and 1 or 2 drops of Thieves (YL blend). Swish for as long as you like; I usually do this in the shower. Follow with a gentle, warm water tooth-brushing.
  • I use coconut oil with a drop of lavender oil to heal cracked lips and dry, rough patches on my feet.

In addition to the three oils above, I keep a bottle of almond oil and a smaller bottle of vitamin E oil blend in my pantry. Almond oil is a really wonderful oil for massage purposes, and as an addition to homemade skincare products. Vitamin E is nourishing for the skin, and can also be used in homemade products to extend the shelf life.


  • Almond oil can be used in any (non-facial) application you would use jojoba oil. I love blending it with peppermint oil for an after work (or workout) leg massage. Almond oil takes a little bit longer to absorb than either jojoba or grapeseed.
  • Many vitamin E oil blends can be taken internally in combination with essential oils (see method mentioned above).
  • I use a combination of 4 drops vitamin E oil (which is blended with wheat germ oil), 2 drops frankincense, 2 drops lemon, 1 drop wintergreen on my nails to help with cracking and peeling (on my toenails, especially). I blend the oils together, then apply with a cotton swab.
  • Add almond oil and vitamin E to a homemade moisturizer blend. I’m using a combination of shea butter, coconut oil, and almond oil blended with 3 drops each of peppermint, grapefruit, and a couple drops vitamin E!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with me!

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