Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from all of us to all of you!

Enjoy your celebrations with family and friends.
Remember to take some time for yourself, count your blessings and spread kindness wherever you go. 

Hugs & High Fives
from all your friends at A Drop of This,
Lea & Krysta + KB, Kweli & Moshi, too

Monday, December 15, 2014

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Time is running out and winter holidays are almost here! If you're like me, it's always nice to have a handful of gift ideas for those "just in case" instances. Here is a list of a few of my favorites that are quick and easy. You should have most of the ingredients already on hand. This makes each idea perfect to throw together when you're in a pinch! They are also great gifts to give if your budget has run low but your list still has a few people left. You can give these gifts with confidence they will be much appreciated! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Recipe Round Up Vol 3 {Winter Holiday Edition}

I love the holidays! All the craftiness, people talking about their projects and sharing ideas. Not to mention family togetherness, traditions, and let's not forget about the presents. Although the holidays are a happy occasion, they can also be a stressful time. Take a minute for yourself, pour a cup of tea (or mulled cider) and browse through some of my favorite holiday links. 

Here are a few A Drop of This recipes to check out from last holiday season: 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Book Review: Essential Oil Safety

Book Title: Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition
Author: Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young

Published: 2014
My star rating: 5/5

My thoughts: This book took me almost a month to get through; it took me back to my college days of studying chemistry. This is reminiscent of a textbook in length, as well as quantity and quality of information. Despite that, I was pleasantly surprised by the readability of this text. I didn't read every word, but I did read a vast majority of it. For me, the most important aspect of this book is the ability to pull it off of my shelf and access the safety information within. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is this week! I love this holiday - because I really love food...and family...but mostly the food my family makes!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Coloring Stamped Images {100th post}

I found a stamp set that I wanted to use for my holiday cards. It is a basic stamp, but the photo example showed it beautifully colored in with a wintery feel. I asked my crafty friend, Becky, what she would use to color in the photo. We talked about a few options and I decided to give each of them a try. 

The four different methods I tried were colored pencil, color chalks, pens and watercolor with stamp pads. Here are photos of each method to help you decide which look you want for your holiday card. All of the methods I demonstrate were easier than I anticipated. While all the methods look slightly different, I think they all look nice.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Anti-Aging Eye Cream

I'm not sure how I stumbled across this recipe for anti-aging eye cream but after reading the ingredients, I knew I had to try it. Sometimes I think, "holy cats how did I get all those wrinkles?!"

The recipe I am talking about comes from Simple Life Mom. In addition to shea butter, it calls for nine wonderful essential oils, plus sweet almond and apricot kernel oils. Over on her blog you can read great information about why each ingredient was chosen. So head over to her post HERE and grab the recipe.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Book Review: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils

I have been on an aromatherapy reading spree the past few weeks. I hope you enjoy these book reviews as much as I enjoy reading the books.

Book Title: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy and Herbalism 
Author: Julia Lawless

Published: 1995, reprint 1997; Element Books
(There are other additions available, this is the version I have.)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Review: "Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art"

Book Title: Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, Second Edition
Authors: Kathi Keville and Mindy Green

Published: 1995, 2009; Crossing Press
Summary provided by publisher: "A comprehensive guide to the art and science of creating therapeutic essential oils and herbal preparations, and using them in health, beauty, body care, massage and more."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Recipe Round Up Vol 2 {Fall Edition}

My first recipe round up was so popular, I decided to make it a reoccurring feature. Fall is my FAVORITE time of year, which I may have mentioned a lot lately. Because of this, I think there are soooo many good fall recipes for crafting and DIY beauty care, as well as tasty snacks that I had to put together some of my favorites.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Card Craft Inspiration

The holiday's are I plan to make some card packs for gifts this year. Maybe you are, too?! Here's some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall is My Favorite {Printable}

Fall is my favorite season. The colors, the leaves falling, the cooler temps, pumpkins, football...well, pretty much everything about it. I wanted to make a printable to include as part of my fall decor (besides Christmas, it's the only time I really decorate the house). I knew if I wanted one, you probably did too. 

So here's my fall printable for all of us, in two choices. If you download them from the link below the picture, they are watermark free. Print out on a piece of 8x10 card stock and display with your fall decor. Love it!

Click for "fall orange"

Click for "fall dark"

Thanks to my friends and family who answered my call for six words that instantly popped into their head when they heard fall. The bigger the word in the prints, the more times it was mentioned. 

Source: Word Clouds:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Removing a Button Shank + Craft Ideas

First off, what the heck is a button shank?
It's the backside of a button - you know, the sticky-outie part on those buttons that have an outie instead of an innie (like belly buttons!). 

As you know, I love to craft! Part of my crafting involves buttons. I buy buttons by the bag at thrift and antique stores and so does my mom. She is the best at finding me great crafting supplies like buttons! I have a lot of buttons and many have a button shank (yes, I did learn that word when researching for this post). I use to just throw them away because they don't lay flat and I didn't know what else to do with them. Gasp I know!

Recently, my parents came for a visit and brought with them a big baggie full of buttons. We spent some time looking through them at all the neat ones, speculating what they were used for, their age, etc. {Hey! Buttons as conversation starters! New party idea!} Then I posed the question about the shank...How do I get it off of the back so I can make more creations?! 

My dad's answer - the Dremel tool. KB got one for Christmas and I have yet to use it. I stared at it and said, how? He said there's got to be a YouTube video on it. Well I didn't find one. 

Instead, I found something easier - wire cutters! Genius. You know, the easiest ideas, really are often the best! So I purchased an inexpensive pair of wire cutters. Based on tips I read online, a cheap pair is best because cutting the button shank off of the back can damage them, so you don't want to use your good pair. 

What to do: 
This can be done on plastic or metal buttons. 
Flip to the button upside down and snip off the shank with your wire cutters. Be careful, that snipped off piece is going to go flying. 

Now you have a small bumpy piece but much more flat. To get this off, I used the Dremel tool to sand the back down. I used pliers (my Leatherman) to hold the button to prevent finger injuries. Hold the sander attachment to the bump and sand it down. 

Here's a few other options to get a smoother back - 1. Use a metal file to sand it down. 2. Use a three dimensional glue dot to absorb the uneven edge and give your craft a 3-D look.  

It really is that easy! It's one of those things that seems perplexing but once you do it, you wish you'd tried it earlier. 

Safety First: Pieces are going to fly so put on your eye protection. You should also use a mask to prevent yourself from breathing in the dust. Don't forget gloves when sanding!

Here are a few cards I made with buttons for inspiration:

Sources: How to Remove a Button Shank by Beadaholique:

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Drop of This Wish (Gift) List

Today is my birthday. Happy birthday to me! Yay! I'm the ripe middle age of 35 (let's not talk about it). Even at my age, my favorite thing is presents - yes, I'm one of THOSE people. Ha ha. I love getting (and giving) gifts, especially things people actually need or want. Family will often ask for present ideas and so I thought, what better way to celebrate my birthday than to talk about gifts we A Drop of This-ers would love to get!
I inquired friends and family to help me get a wide range of gift options. Plus I included things on my wish list too. Here are the ideas we came up with for a present wishlist:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Green Tea Face Mask

I was challenged! You encouraged me to experiment with creating my own recipes and I have accepted the challenge. Here are the results of my experimentation with a green tea face mask that I made with ingredients I had on hand. The inspiration for this recipe comes from Humblebee & Me {HERE}, who also posted about encouraging us to all try experimenting with DIY beauty recipes. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

UPDATE: Salve that Solves it All

Previously, I wrote a post titled The Salve that Solves it ALL {HERE}. I love my salve and although it does solve a lot of problems (dry skin, healing scraps, etc), I thought it was time for a little UPDATE to this recipe.

I have been a blogger for over a year and a half. Wow! Can you believe that? Time sure does fly. Throughout my time as a blogger, I have spent countless hours reading and researching the products I have promoted. I have done this in order to provide good information for you, my readers. Do you know what I have learned throughout this process? That the secret to the salves awesome problem solving powers is the salve itself! The oils you use, and even the beeswax, are what make this a powerhouse for your skin!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Wine Label Removal + a Display Idea

I am happy to present another guest post from my brother, Schuyler. He sent me a video of what he was up to this weekend and I knew you would love it!

It's always a pleasure to do a guest post for my sister! I had a blast writing about our family's holiday recipes and traditions last year (HERE).

During the 3-day weekend I found myself without plans. Honestly, who wants to fight all the traffic anyways (Oregon State & the University of Oregon BOTH had home games this weekend which pretty much kills I-5 & highway 99, the only two major highways that run through the Willamette Valley). Set out to be content at home for the weekend, I decided I needed to actually work on a few of those projects that I had always been talking about. You see, I was not lucky enough to inherit the crafty-amazingness gene that my sister has (sometime her skills make me sick; how does she get things to perfect!?!?!). It's quite easy for me to put things off by saying it won't be perfect. Motivated by two of the Twelve Commandments that Gretchen Rubin shares in her book The Happiness Project: Do it now and Enjoy the process, I set out to work on one of my projects and enjoy my weekend.

One thing to know about me that is essential to this blog post...I am a total wino! Yep! It's true. I live in the heart of amazing wine country. As a result, I have quite a few bottles of wine around my apartment. Most of which are the result of past wine club memberships and celebratory trips to local vineyards (great for birthdays!). One of my favorite parts of the wine experience is the wine label! Sometimes the wine label is one of the leading variables in my decision to buy a bottle or visit the vineyard. Some of them represent so much and are as much a piece of art as the wine in the bottle itself. I have always thought it is such a waste to toss the wine labels after you have an enjoyed a bottle of wine. For a while, I kept my favorite empty bottles on display. That is until my kitchen started to look like a sophisticated version of a college apartment; where empty alcohol bottles began to line the tops of kitchen cabinets and atop the fridge, serving as trophies to my memorable weekends. Ultimately, hanging onto bulky bottles was not efficient and was starting to look tacky.

Have you ever tried to remove a label from a glass bottle
though? The adhesive they use seems as strong as Superman. It can be nearly impossible. Nearly... After many teared attempts and some Google searching, I cracked the code! It is actually really simple. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Recipe Round Up - Vol I

If you follow me on social media, you know I became an auntie last week. My sister and baby girl are doing wonderfully. It was such a blessing to be there for the first five days of my niece's life. 

Spending quality time with my family put me a little behind with the blog - I know you understand these priorities! This week, I am sharing a roundup of some of the best DIY natural health and beauty care recipes I've seen recently.

Monday, August 18, 2014

DIY Hibiscus Iced Tea

When we lived in Southern Utah, on occasion we would go out to eat at Oscar's Cafe outside Zion National Park. It is a grill with great outdoor seating and was one of my favorites because they served hibiscus iced tea. It was so delicious! I have been missing it this summer. I knew there had to be a recipe out there to make your own but, as I've mentioned before, recipes intimidate me. 

Then I met a new friend, Alisha, and we got to talking about our favorite drinks. She mentioned hibiscus flowers, which lead me to tell her about the iced tea I was missing. She came up to support our movie fundraiser a few weeks ago and brought me a surprise!!! It was a bag of dried hibiscus flowers and a recipe for hibiscus syrup. How perfect is that? I was so excited! Making it could not have been easier! Now I can add this to my iced tea...or a cocktail.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ideas for Your Next Baby Gift Basket

I know SOOOO many people who are having babies this year. Included in this long list of soon-to-be parents is my sister. I'm going to be an Auntie and I'm very excited! 

Prior to my sister getting pregnant, I didn't pay close attention to the essential oil references to safety with children. I knew there was specific guidelines but didn't commit them to memory like other aspects of EO safety. Now that I'm going to be Auntie Lea, I am paying closer attention!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review: "The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils"

Book Title: The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy
Author: Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D.
Published: 2011 by Healing Arts Press
Summary provided by publisher: "Explores science's new biological understanding of essential oils for improved immunity and treatment of degenerative diseases."

Monday, July 28, 2014

Garbage Can Spray

I hate the smell that comes from garbage cans. It can make a clean kitchen smell very un-clean. In our house, we have a recycling can and a garbage can. Both smell. 

Last year, I came across a post for a homemade essential oil disinfecting spray that the author used for her trash cans. It worked great.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Movie Fundraiser for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation

I've mentioned before that I'm a wildland firefighter wife (read more HERE). I love to be involved in our community and support our wildland firefighters. I was fortunate enough to co-organize a special showing of Planes: Fire & Rescue to benefit the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. A support group I'm a member of, Spouses & Partners of Wildland Firefighters, is hosting these special showings in different cities across the country. Our event was yesterday and we had an amazing time. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fighting Summer Colds

Let's face it, getting sick during the summer is such a drag. Would you believe that we've already been hit multiple times with summer colds. It's the pits! Have you been struck with a summer bug? It feels like colds in the summer are worse than colds in the winter, maybe because we just don't expect them. 

Here are a few things I've discovered to help me fight these dreadful germs: 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tips for Easy DIY Clean Up

When I first started making my own salves and lip balms, I used multiple dishes and would make quite the mess (still do). This left the clean-up...a bit scary. I would leave dishes piled up for days because I wasn't sure how to tackle them in a way that made clean-up easy. I know I am not alone in this, I've seen countless tweets and comments from people who leave their DIY dishes dirty simply because they don't want to deal with them.

Because it's a problem for many, here are some of my tips for an easy clean-up. I would love to see some experienced DIY-ers post their tips in the comments as well.

Monday, June 30, 2014

DIY Dandelion Salve Bars

One afternoon as I was thinking about making potions, I had an idea to turn dandelion salve into lotion bars. I thought it was an original idea but decided to check my "why buy when you can..." Pinterest board, where I found that my original idea was already taken. Ha! I should have known. The Nerdy Farm Wife is brilliant and one of my favorite blogs. 

Why dandelion? It is great for sore muscles and super dry skin. It really works. Plus, they're readily available throughout the summer for FREE! I like free. I wanted to share my favorite formula for Dandelion Salve Bars with you. I love it!

To start, you need to make a dandelion infused oil. You can get the directions HERE. It's easy! I use the long method, letting them sit in the sun for weeks and weeks. The neighbor asked, "What is that yellow stuff you always have outside?" Ha! That was a good conversation starter!
On my first try last year, I used olive oil and it definitely had a distinct smell to it. This year, I made two batches. One with sunflower oil and the other with sweet almond oil. There is almost no smell to either. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Making Your Own Plant Shade

By now, I imagine most of you have gone outside and gotten your garden ready for a plentiful harvest. I wanted to share with you a new trick that I incorporated into my garden this year to help my plants. 

If you follow my blog, you may remember that I live in the high desert, where the sunshine can be brutal to young veggie plants. My parents, who are also gardeners, have a fabulous idea on how to combat the harsh sun. My dad made little shade stands for my mom's garden out of various bits and pieces he had laying around. I thought this was a great idea and wanted to incorporate it into my garden. Since KB and I move so much, we don't have a lot of "extras" laying around the house for future you do when you've lived on the same land for over 25 years (ahem! my parents).

Monday, June 16, 2014

10 Uses for Coconut Oil

The other day I was reading some posts on Facebook and kept seeing coconut oil mentioned. People were talking about their favorite ways to use it and others were amazed at the easy ways to use it. 
I thought, what a perfect idea for a blog post! So here are five of my favorite ways to use coconut oil and, as a bonus, I asked Krysta (my behind the scenes gal) her five favorite uses.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Phototoxicity - What does that mean?

Now that summer is here and the days are longer and the sun is shining more, I wanted to talk a little bit about the safety of using essential oils in the sun. More specifically, which oils create phototoxicity because I want us all to be safe in the sun while using EOs.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Vintage Bliss Card Designs

In Joann Fabric and Craft Stores, I can always find great card making products. I try to pick up materials that are part of a set, this way the papers and stickers already go together. It makes putting together your cards much easier.

For this set of cards, I am using products from the Simple Stories Vintage Bliss line. I love the vintage look and the colors are great. 

This card I designed to celebrate the engagement of my friend Mel 
(I sure hope she gets it in the mail before she sees it here). 
I'm calling this card "Always/Forever".

Monday, May 26, 2014

My Own Experimenting

Up until now, I haven't done much experimenting with recipes and essential oil blends. It's not because I don't want to, but because lack confidence in my abilities. Then, one afternoon as I was perusing the interwebs reading blogs, I came across a post by Humblebee & Me, titled DIY For Beginners. Her post made experimenting sound doable and I thought, "I can do that". After reading the post, I shared it on my Facebook page with a comment about being nervous to try to make my own recipes. A family friend commented that I should give my own DIY a try because it was such a creative and rewarding experience. 

That was that, I decided to give it a go...Sometimes you just need a nudge. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

What is Dispersant-Solubol?

When I read Facebook posts, blog posts and even tweets, I like to check out the comments. You can find a lot of internet trolls out there but you can also find some really good information. Why do I mentioning this? Well, the first time I had ever heard about the term dispersant-solubol was in the comments on a Facebook post (I can't remember if it was A Hip & Humble Life or Created2Fly .)
It was referenced as an additive that helps with the dispersal of essential oils onto your skin. How awesome! Another product to add to your collection of products to avoid using essential oils neat (undiluted). Of course, I had to a little digging to find out more. 

Investigation commence...

Monday, May 12, 2014

A New Look & An Introduction

If you've stopped by A Drop of This lately, you've probably noticed a new look. Over the past few months, I have been thinking about changing my online presence. I knew that I wanted a more streamlined, professional look for the blog. That's when I decided to stop looking around and put my creative mind to work and just try a few things. Several iterations later and I love the result! I hope you do, too. 

Here are a few highlights:
  • I added a Grab Button! I would love for you to snag one to add to your blog! A great place to put it might be on your "favorite blogs list" or "friends page". It's simple; just grab it on the right side bar to drop on your blog. Leave me a comment letting me know you posted it, I'd love to see it and check out your page. 
  • A new header with tabs! As you can see, I've added a few new tabs at the top.  I wanted to make my information more user-friendly, with tabs. First is the Contact Me Tab: I love mail! To make it easy for you to get in touch, just click on the tab. Second, is the All About Me Tab: I thought it was high time I introduce myself! Since I haven't done it before, I wanted to include it in this post, you can also find it in the tab up top.
  • Lastly, a new look and feel to the blog! I love the streamlined look in my signature color of pink. 
What do you think? I'd love to hear! Jump on over to my contact me tab and give me a shout!

Talk to you soon!


Hi, I'm Lea B. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

DIY Hummingbird Food

I saw the first hummingbird out my window last week. It went right to where I usually hang my feeder. You know what that means, right? Spring!! It's time to get my hummingbird feeder out again. Yay!

This time of year I am always looking for a recipe to make my own hummingbird food. It's cheaper and better for the birds (that red stuff at the store is gross!). 

Monday, April 28, 2014

DIY Solid Perfume

I fell in love with the idea of making a solid perfume in a locket over the winter when I saw a number of DIY examples as I was browsing the interwebs reading blog posts and shopping on Etsy. After seeing all of the fun, I knew that I would have to give it a try.

I scoured eBay for lockets. While waiting to be the winning bidder, I found a recipe that sounded lovely and used ingredients that I already had. My recipe is inspired by this one at Mountain Rose Herbs {HERE}. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kill Weeds *Naturally*

This week we get to celebrate Earth Day! I definitely believe that EVERY Day is Earth Day. But it is nice to recognize it for one special day.

To celebrate, I want to give you my recipe for killing weeds using things you likely have in your kitchen. Yes, really! And you know me, I'm only sharing it with you because it REALLY WORKS (okay, it works for me, there is a chance it won't work on your pesky weeds). I took pictures to prove it!

Monday, April 14, 2014


There are days where we could all use a little help relaxing. The grind of life, work, and multiple commitments can catch up with us in no time. Finding a few minutes to unwind and relax can be tough. Whatever the case, it seems as though taking time for ourselves gets put on the back burner. The reality is our needs to be a priority! It is high time we all learn to take pause and...R E L A X! 

With Tax Day coming right up, some of us may be up against a time crunch for submission. This is the perfect opportunity to stop and take a little time to slow down. This year schedule in some extra and much needed relaxation!

Where should you start? Great questions and that is where our essential oils,come in! Just like you, I collect essential oil blends and recipes. I scrapbook them in my Smashbooks and refer to them often. To help us all relax a little bit more, I pulled out my books to see what I could find. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Blogs I Love & What's To Come

Busy times! It seems like we've got something planned every weekend until our official start to fire season (read about that HERE). Since we've been on the go go go, I haven't had a chance to put together a recipe or informational post for you. 

To help keep you busy, here are some blogs that I love & know you will too: 

A look at what's to come in the next month or so: 

  • blends and oils for relaxation (look for those near Tax Day!)
  • Earth Day tips
  • information on photoxicity
  • making my own blends

Enjoy your week and I'll see ya online - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

Monday, March 31, 2014

Flip Card Ideas + Cut File

To wrap up National Craft Month (March) and welcome in National Card & Letter Writing Month (April), I teamed up with Tonya from Created2Fly to bring you this great and very versatile card. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cleaning Sprays Using Essential Oils

It's that time of year again, to get your spring cleaning done. Sigh! I am not much for spring cleaning, but I know so many people clean their house top to bottom to bring welcome in the spring. I wish I was that motivated. 

Here's a few recipes from Essential Living from Aromahead, to help you get started on your spring cleaning journey! Or If you're like me, a few new recipes to spice up your normal cleaning routine.