Monthly Archives: April 2013

Clothes Dryer Sachets

These little sachets bring a wonderful smell to your freshly washed sheets and linens. The mixture of lavender, rose and rosemary may help with sleep as well as headaches. Image the smell of your  sheets may actually help improve your sleep.

Lavender has the added benefit of helping with headaches, sleep, calming, depression and may even affect your dreams.

Lavender essential oil is soothing, antiseptic, good for insomnia, and will help repel insects.

Rosemary is known for remembrance and to help keep away bad dreams and ease body aches.

Rosemary essential oil is good for fatigue, circulation, headaches, pains, and might encourage hair growth. Well who knows!!

Rose petals are known for loving thoughts.

Rose essential oil is good for stress, headaches, relaxing, anti-depression, astringent, and antiseptic.

Granted the small amount of scent on your sheets may not offer all these benefits, but who knows maybe your sheets may help you sleep.

Dryer sachets

Supplies for dryer sachets


  • 1/2 c. dried lavender flowers
  • 1/2 c. dried rose petals
  • 1/4 c. dried rosemary leaves
  • 5-6 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4-5 drops rosemary essential oil
  • or any essential oils of your choice

Mix in glass bowl and add essential oils. Plastic should not be used because essentials can be absorb by the plastic.

These bags can be made with just lavender. And as a added bonus these bags can be stored with your woolen linens to help repel moths.

Peppermint can be used instead of one of the above herbs and is known for repelling insects. I use peppermint in my shed to ward off mice. It works until the smell is gone and I forget to refresh the peppermint oil.

dryer sachet bags

The bags for dryer sachets

To make the dryer sachets: Makes 4 sachets

In the above picture I sewed one of the sachet using a dark color so they would show up in the picture. Normally I would match the thread to the fabric.

Fabric used in this project should be white, muslin or light,plain cotton or broadcloth material. These dryer sachets are thrown in with the wet clothes and colored fabric might bleed on the clean clothes.

  1. Cut eight 5 inch squares of fabric. This makes 4 finish dryer sachets.
  2. Place two squares of fabric right sides together. Pin if necessary.
  3. Sew around three sides leaving a two inch hole for turning on the forth side.
  4. Back stitch at opening for added support when turning.
  5. Cut corners about 1/8″ from stitching to remove excess bulk.
  6. Turn inside out and iron.
  7. Top stitch three sides of the squares. It is easier to top stitch before dry material is added.
  8. Divide the dried mixture, about 4 Tbsp for each mixture.
  9. Fill the bag using the hole in the fourth side.
  10. Pin close.
  11. Top stitch the forth side to close the opening.
  12. Store in a glass jar with tight fitting lid.

Throw these clothes dryer sachets in your dryer each time you wash sheets or linens. These sachets can be used several times.

Just before each use, rub the sachet between your hands (if you are not allergic to any of the materials) to release the fragrance.

Remove about half way through drying time and place back in the jar.

I hope you enjoy these little clothes dryer sachets.



Growing Rosemary

If you think growing rosemary is a mystery read the following blog and hopefully it will answer your questions on growing the perfect and happy rosemary.

Rosemary is a tender woody evergreen perennial, which needs to be brought in for the winter if you live in zone 6 and lower. Zone 7 can usually winter over rosemary especially if it is in a protected area.

Growing rosemary

Growing Rosemary

When bringing rosemary in for the winter just remember rosemary like humidity, does not want to dry out, and hates wet feet.  I know confusing. One way to ensure humidity is to mist it daily and only water about once a week or when the top layer has dried out. Another way to achieve humidity is to place it on a bed of gravel and keep the gravel wet. The gravel will keep the rosemary from setting in a wet saucer, which it does not like.

I like to grow rosemary in pots and bring it in for the winter.  A pot of rosemary can be sunk in the ground with the top of the pot above ground level and “dug” up for the winter.

How to Grow Rosemary:

Site: Sunny, protect rosemary form cold winds, and it can tolerate light shade.

Soil: needs good drainage. Rosemary likes a lime soil, which will increase its fragrance, but may keep it from growing very tall. Add eggshells to the soil and around the plant. Soil should be about 6.5-7.0 pH.

Propagating: Rosemary does not grow well from seed. The best way is layering or by taking cuttings. If you try  seeds, make sure the soil is warm about 70°F.

Growing: Transplant when the plant has several leaves and large enough to take the stress.

Two cultivars: Prostrate and upright. Prostrate Rosemary will grow low to the ground and makes a great plant to grow where it can trail over a wall. The upright will grow about 3 to 6ft. depending on where it is grown.

Harvesting: Pick leaves all summer long, but may want to avoid picking during the winter months. If your are like me and you like to cook with fresh rosemary, take only enough leaves for the dish. For some reason it does not like to be cut much during the winter months.

Preserving: The leaves can be dried either by hanging up or in a food dehydrator. It also works well frozen. The leaves can be tough when dried or frozen so it should be crushed before using. When cutting the branches for harvest always leave about 1/3 of the stem from the base. Cut the stem at an angle just above a nodule. (a nodule is where a new branch or leaf will grow).

Companion planting: Rosemary likes to be planted near cabbages, carrots, sage, broccoli, onions, and beans.

Rosemary may help to repel cabbage worm butterfly, bean beetles, and carrot worm butterfly.

Uses: Rosemary has many uses, one is culinary check out my blog on “Fresh herbs in the Kitchen” or “Fried potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic.” or the article about making vinegar hair rinse.

Use the rosemary stems as skewers when barbecuing.

Rosemary is used in shampoo, hair tonics, facial scrubs, and the essential oil is used in “Hungary water”.  Used in cleaning products just to name a few uses of rosemary.

Decorative:Upright Rosemary makes a great plant for topiaries or bonsai. It can be trim especially during the summer to about any shape you like. Use in potpourri and to fragrant linens.

Medicinal: The leaf will stimulates circulation and increases blood flow. When adding to cooking it will aid in the digestion of fats.

Try this wonderful plant with it pungent, pine-like scent and a pepper flavor. The ancient Greeks believe rosemary improve memory and wore wreaths on their head while studying. In the middle ages, sprigs of rosemary was placed under the pillow to ward off evil spirits and to prevent nightmares.

It is known as the herb of Remembrance.

Happy Gardening!







Sink and Tub Scrub Cleanser

It is easy to make your own Sink and Tub Scrub, just a few ingredients, a few minutes prep and you have an inexpensive green cleaner. Essentials may cost a little up front, but this recipe, in fact most recipes uses a small amount.


  • 1 part borax
  • 1 part baking soda
  • 5 drops of lemon grass essential oil per cup of Sink and Tub Scrub
  • 5 drops of tea tree oil per cup of Sink and Tub Scrub

In a small glass bowl or the container the Sink and Tub Scrub will be store in, combine borax, baking soda, and essentials oils.

Essentials oils can be absorbed in plastic so use containers or mixing bowls that are separate from kitchen utensils.

Store cleaner in a recycled container with a flip top lid. A non-dairy creamer container works well for this purpose.

Sink and Tub Scrub

Sink and Tub Scrub

Once the cleaner is ready to use, go in search of a dirty sink (not usually hard to find) to use your cleaner.

Very dirty sink

Very dirty sink

Sprinkle the sink and tub scrub on the dirty sink and wipe with a sponge or rag and follow with rinse water. It works well on stainless faucets. I try cleaning an area of the sink with just water and it left watermark and did not clean all the makeup and gunk. Once I use the cleaner, it got off the makeup and gunk and left no watermarks.

Clean sink

Clean sink

Following is a breakdown of the ingredients:

Baking soda is a cleaning agent which is good at dissolving dirt, grease, and grime. It maintains pH.

Borax is sodium borate  which is mildly alkaline mineral. Borax cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, soften water, bleaches (without the harsh chemicals found in regular bleach) and is consider safe but can irritate skin. If you have sensitive skin use gloves while cleaning.

Borax and Baking soda

Borax and Baking soda

Some essentials oils can be harsher than others, so again if you have sensitive skin substitute lavender for the lemon grass. And use gloves.

Most essential oils will work in this recipe. Following is a list of essential oils with antibacterial properties:

  • Chamomile, lavender, lemon, lemon grass, lemon verbena, lime, marjoram, rosemary, spearmint, tea tree, thyme

Essentials oils with antiviral properties include:

  • Cinnamon, clove, lavender, lemon, oregano, tea tree, thyme

Essential oils with anti fungal properties include:

  • Eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, myrtle, patchouli,, sandalwood, tea tree

When choosing essentials, just remember not to use too much, because they might irritate the skin.

If you would like to add whitening, try about 2 tsp. of cream of tartar for every cup of product.

This Sink and Tub Scrub will save you money as well as being good for the environment. The baking soda can be found for less than $1.00 for a box and the borax cost me $4.00 for a 4 pound 12 ounce box.

Have fun making up your own environmentally friendly cleansers.



Comfrey and Mint Facial Scrub

This wonderful Comfrey and Mint facial scrub is just right for normal skin and will add a healthy glow. If you have oily skin, leave out the dried milk.

  • 5 Tbsp. oatmeal flour
  • 4 Tbsp. sunflower seed meal
  • 3 Tbsp. almond meal
  • 2 Tbsp. dry milk
  • 1/4 tsp. ground organic comfrey leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground organic peppermint leaves
  • few drops of vitamin E oil (optional)

Use a coffee grinder, mortar and pestle or small food processor to grind your ingredients. Grind each ingredient separately.

Coffee grinder for nuts and herbs

Coffee grinder for nuts and herbs

Wipe out grinder between nuts and herbs for the perfect Comfrey and Mint Facial Scrub.

Ingredients for facial scrub

Ingredients for facial scrub

The picture above shows the ingredients for the Comfrey and Mint facial scrub after they have been ground and measured.The recipe measurements are after grinding.

Mix in a glass bowl or measuring cup and add a few drops of vitamin E oil. This may clump some but the vitamin E is a great addition to your facial scrub.

Facial scrub ready to jar

Facial scrub ready to jar

To make the decorative circle, cut a piece of fabric larger than a saucer, which is what I used to make the circle. Lay the saucer on the fabric and with a white pencil on dark fabric or dark pencil on light fabric draw a circle.

Cutting the perfect circle

Cutting the perfect circle

Use pinking shears cut out the circle.

Pink the circle to prevent fraying

Pink the circle to prevent fraying

To use the Comfrey and Mint Facial Scrub:

Always test a small area on sensitive skin such as the inside the elbow to make sure the ingredients do not cause any allergic reactions, before applying to the face.

In a small bowl mix about 4 tsp. of the facial scrub and enough water to make a paste. Allow to sit a a minute or two until the mixture thickens. Spread on a clean face and rinse thoroughly. Follow with a nourishing moisturizer.

Your face feels clean and soft. This mixture is safe for everyday use.

Why these ingredients and herbs work:

Comfrey is an emollient, soothing, healing and a mild astringent. Peppermint is stimulating to the skin.

Other herbs that might be substituted include:

  • Elder flowers: Cleansing, emollient, helps to clear complexion, hydrate the skin and normalized the acid balance of the skin
  • Violet: Cleansing and emollient
  • Calendula: Cleansing, astringent, promotes healing, toning
  • Lady’s Mantle: Astringent
  • Thyme: Toning, refreshing, disinfectant, may cause a reaction so use with caution
  • Chamomile: Cleansing, cooling, lightening, anti-inflammatory
  • Lavender: Antiseptic, stimulating

Emollient herbs will sooth and lubricate the skin. Sweet violet contains mucilage, a compound which forms gel when mix with water. This mucilage is good for the skin.

Astringent herbs such as calendula reacts with proteins to create a tightening effect on the tissues of the skin.

Oatmeal is a deep pore cleaning agent, softening and nourishing. Almond meal has a healing, soothing and healthful deep pore cleanser.

Milk is good for those dreaded blackheads and help to soften rough skin. Milk should be used on normal skin.

Vitamin E oil helps to slow down the aging process and premature wrinkles. YEA! YEA! Vitamin E is absorbed through the skin and can be apply to problem skin to help with the healing process.

Comfrey and Mint Facial Scrub

Comfrey and Mint Facial Scrub

The finished product and ready to give as a wonderful gift. Don’t forget to make some for yourself.

Enjoy the Comfrey and Mint Scrub.









Headache Remedies from A to Z

Headache remedies are usually treated by taking a pill and waiting for it to work.But do we know the side effects of these pills?

Is there anything more annoying than having a headache? I don’t mean the headaches we have when we don’t want to be bother.

Some of the herbs used in headache remedies include, feverfew, lavender, ginger, cayenne pepper, and peppermint.

Some doctors are becoming more in tune with using non drug methods of relieving headaches. The side effects from most headache drugs can cause more problems in the long run. Always check with your health care professional before trying any headache remedies.

White willow bark was the original ‘aspirin’ before it became chemically produced. White willow bark can be found in capsule forms at your favorite health store. Its main ingredient is salicylic acid which is what works on the pain.

Medowsweet a bitter tasting herb contains methy salicylate which when dried turns into salicylic acid. If using as a tea be sure and cover when brewing as the steam contains the salicylic acid.

Many have used fresh feverfew for migraines and headaches. One leaf eaten once or twice a day on a daily basis may prevent migraines. Be careful, some have reported mouth irritation when using feverfew, start slow.

Feverfew, an anti-inflammatory, dilates the cerebral blood vessels, easing the migraine associated with constricted blood vessels. Feverfew can be found in capsule form.

Another type of headache may be caused by overindulging especially with alcohol and/or sugar. Success has been found in drinking a tea of 1 tsp. alfalfa seed and 1 tsp. orange leaf and steep for five minutes in almost boiling water. Stain and sip for this headache remedy.

Rosemary tea and peppermint tea may help with food-related headaches. Peppermint oil has been used for years. When using peppermint essential oil, mix it with a carrier oil such as almond oil or grape seed oil. The proportion of essential oil should be about 10% essential oil to the carrier oil.

Other types of headache oils include Lavender oil with the same proportion of essential oil to carrier oil. Lavender is a sedative, analgesic with antispasmodic action, cooling bitter remedy useful for migraines and tension headaches.

It is never a good idea to use essential oils straight from the bottle, they can cause burns. Do not take internally unless aided by a health care profession with the knowledge of essential oils.

Tension headache are usually at the back of the neck and travels up the head. Try chamomile flower tea in 1 c. almost boiling apple juice. Steep for 5 minutes and sip.

Other headache remedies:

Relax and use acupressure for headache remedies. Press on the back of the neck at the indention where the neck attaches to the skull. At the same time press gently on the bridge of the nose between the eyes. Press gently and increase pressure if you can tolerate the pressure.

Ginger tea is folk remedy for headaches and a ginger bath may reduce the tension causing the headaches. Another folk remedy is gently rubbing a cut lemon on the affected area, or used well diluted lemon oil with a carrier oil. Only about 5 drops should be mixed in 25 ml of oil.

Cayenne Pepper may help; one way is to smell the spice and another way is to rub capsicum cream on the affect area.

Sometimes laying down with an ice pack on the top of the head or back of the neck with feet elevated above the heart may help, be sure and keep warm by covering with a blanket and adding something warm to the top of the feet such as a heated towel.

Headaches may respond to relaxing and drinking a strong cup of black tea. Some food can cause headaches. Keep a food diary and when a headache occurs take stock of what you had to eat.

Always start slow when trying any herbal headache remedies and take time to smell the roses or maybe the cayenne pepper.