Monday, July 6, 2015

{Guest Post} When Life Hands You Dirty Dishes, Add a Drop of Lemon Oil

Guest post by Kathryn Osborne.

I adopt vintage Pyrex. You know, the cool colorful ones with patterns that used to line the cabinets of generations ago?

My passion for Pyrex began with inspiration from two friends, also Pyrex adopters, and some beautiful pieces given to me from my late grandmother. I saw those pieces of my grandmother’s, and immediately flashed back to big, southern holiday meals filled with family and love.  

So why do I say adopter instead of collector? Because I do not go online and pay the absorbent prices of resellers, nor those of the antique stores with shelves full of shiny, yet expensive, Pyrex. Instead I spend my lunch breaks searching thrift stores and my weekends hunting at garage sales for these beautiful dishes of old.  I adopt them from the bottom of molding boxes, the top of dusty shelves, the backs of neighbors’ cabinets, and then I clean them up and proudly give them a new life displayed in my kitchen.

Based on my preferred procurement style, I find many of these beautiful pieces in sad shape. There are many tricks to cleaning these; and many require harsh, abrasive chemicals. There are also a few natural options for cleaning vintage Pyrex, and I will share these with you so you can avoid additional damage to any of these oldies-but-goodies hiding out in your kitchen.
  1. Soak in hot water and give the piece a good old fashion scrub. The hotter the water, the better.
  2. If that doesn’t do the trick, soak the piece overnight in vinegar and scrub again.
  3. If that vintage grime is still holding on tight, take a drop of lemon oil, apply to the grub, and work it in well. Lemon oil is a great cleaning agent.

*If the Pyrex still needs work, consider oven cleaner, magic eraser, or Bar Keeper’s Friend. Read up on these products before using, as some can remove design and shine.

The saddest symptom I find is loss of shine. Some pieces have their shine, or a bit of shine, but many have fallen victim to the modern dishwasher. Dishwasher damage, or DWD, is sadly irreversible. For pieces you plan to use and display, it is time to bring out the lemon oil again and give the piece a good coating. Coconut oil can also be used for a more pronounced shine, but if you use the coconut oil, you cannot put the pieces in the oven. They will turn black. Both options can make Pyrex a little slippery, so hold on tight.

That’s all for now, I’m off to the thrift store!

Kathryn Osborne
Founder of the Oregon Pyrex Exchange

Monday, June 22, 2015

An Interview with Aromatherapist Sharon Falsetto

In my last post, I reviewed Sharon Falsett's book,
Authentic Aromatherapy
She was gracious enough to let me interview her. 
Check out the book review HERE

Monday, June 8, 2015

Book Review: Authentic Aromatherapy

Book Title: Authentic Aromatherapy: Essential Oils and Blends for Health, Beauty, and Home
Author: Sharon Falsetto

Published: 2014, Skyhorse Publishing

Monday, May 25, 2015

Grapefruit & Peppermint Lip Balm

Lately, I have really loved the combination of grapefruit and peppermint. It all started with some conditioner that I picked up at the store. Since then, I've been using it in my foaming hand soap. Next up, lip balm.

For this recipe, I used Aromahead's base recipe, which you can find HERE. She uses ounces but since I  don't have a scale to weigh liquid, I converted the measurements to tablespoons.

Grapefruit & Peppermint Lip Balm

2 T beeswax (I use pastilles)
3 T coconut oil
1 T shea butter
2 T jojoba oil
10 drops grapefruit essential oil*
10 drops peppermint essential oil

Put all the ingredients except the essential oils into a glass jar, use the warm water bath method (need details: go HERE) on the stove to melt the harder oils. Remove from heat and add the essential oils. 

Immediately pour into your lip balm tubes (I use THESE) and pots. Put lids on as it begins to harden. Use within 6 months. 

*Grapefruit essential oil is phototoxic (learn more about phototoxicity HERE). According to Essential Oil Safety, grapefruit oil (expressed) has a maximum recommended level of use to avoid phototoxic reactions of 4%. That is approximately 24 drops per ounce of carrier. 

Source: Tisserand, Robert & Rodney Young (2014). Essential Oil Safety, (2nd edition). Churchill Livingstone Elesvier.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Creative Art of Listing & Instagram

Two of my favorite things are making lists and Instagram. So imagine my delight when I discovered there is a HUGE community on Instagram of people who enjoy making lists...Just like me! Yay! 

I discovered this through one of my favorite Etsy shops - I Love It All - and the owner, Monika. I started following her on Instagram last year (you can find her HERE) and discovered so many other "listers". I didn't even know this was a thing! 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Essential Oils for Work

After three blissful years, I'm returning to least temporarily. I have a lot of mixed emotions about this change. Overall, though I am excited for the opportunities and new experiences to come.

This got me thinking about what types of things I will want to take with me to work. My new job has the potential to be high stress at times, requiring a lot of focus. Plus, I could be working long hours. I will be in a big office environment so I will want to be considerate of my coworkers who may not appreciate my plethora of scents and potions. 

Inhalers will be a main staple in my essential oil arsenal for work. {Need info on inhalers? Check out my post HERE.}

Lip balm, of course. I'm trying out a new recipe or two to nourish in a dry air environment (stay tuned for that recipe). 

Hand salve can act as something to hydrate my skin plus help it will help fight germs.

Essential oils that are great in a work environment, based on information in Chapter 4 of The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood:

  • Oils to combat stale air: lemon, lavender, rosemary, grapefruit, cypress
  • Oils to help concentration: basil, bergamot, grapefruit
  • Oils to clear bacteria and viruses: lavender, rosemary, cypress, bergamot
  • Writer's cramp essential oils: rosemary, germanium, cypress

Source: Worwood, Valarie Ann. (1991). The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy. San Rafael, CA: New World Library.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Recipe Round Up Vol 5

We are officially in spring! Here in California we skipped winter but I know many other parts of the country are ready for some warm sunshine. I spent the weekend at a wedding and doing yard work. Two perfect spring activities. 

Here's a link round up of great spring-like posts:

April is National Letter Writing Month, here's some inspiration for getting those letters in the mail:

Monday, March 30, 2015

My {Essential Oil} Travel Essentials

A few weeks ago, I posted about an essential oil travel kit that is fun to make for someone who travels a lot. After posting about the kit, I was thinking about the various things that I take with me when I travel. Over the years, I've definitely gotten some great tips, tricks and ideas from other people. With spring on the horizon and summer not far away, the travel bug seems to be in the air. So to prepare, I wanted to share these ideas with you, with the hope that they will help you pack on your next travel adventure.

What I Take When I Travel:
  • Small diffuser - I have a specific diffuser (this one) that I have in a bag ready to go, it's a good size and fits easily into my luggage.
  • Essential oil travel bag - this includes 5ml bottles of essential oils, small bottles of carrier oil to properly dilute whichever essential oil I need; it's already put together and in the bag with my diffuser.
  • Immunity blend inhaler - you can find that recipe HERE
  • Lotion bars - you can find recipes HERE and HERE, these are great for travel, no liquid and easy to store
  • Extra lip balm (of course!) - find my recipe HERE
  • Lavender + vodka linen spray - to help me sleep and hopefully keep the bed bugs away (recipe HERE)
  • Protective blend spray - for hotel room bathrooms, yuck! (Confession: I hate hotels, am totally grossed out by them and sleep in a sleep sack, much to my husband's amusement.)

Not everything needs to be essential oil related. Here's Krysta talking about things she likes to keep in stock and use regularly, taking them with her when she travels:
1) Tom's Lavender Deodorant: I personally haven't used haven't used the "regular kind" of deodorant in a year and a half. I love this stuff.
2) Kiss My Face Cool Mint Moisture Shave: A bottle of this shaving cream will last you a long time. I just purchased my second bottle and the first one I had lasted over 5 months. It doesn't foam up like regular shaving cream but lathers nicely and creates smooth/soft legs. This stuff rocks! I'm never going back to regular shaving cream.
3) Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream: This one is kinda spendy, but a little goes a long ways and it is super light weight and doesn't add extra oil to my face. I use it in rotation with my Clinique moisturizer.
4) TN Dickensen's Witch Hazel: I used to spike this with clary sage and loved it. Lately, I've been using it plain but have thought about adding lavender.
5) Lush Bath Bombs (for the extra special splurge) ... for a vacation with an awesome bath tub or just to treat yourself to an at home vacation evening. I LOVE these. Love them. Sigh.

What are your favorite things to take when you travel? 

Linked up with: Inspire Me Monday, NO Rules Weekend Blog Party, Friendship Friday Blog Party

Monday, March 16, 2015

Book Review: The Fragrant Mind

Book Title: The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood and Emotion
Author: Valerie Ann Worwood

Published: 1996, New World Library

Monday, March 2, 2015

Essential Oils Travel Kit

Recently a family member asked me about creating a travel kit to give as a gift for someone who is always on the go - flying and staying in hotels for work. Because I'm always up for a challenge and loving to create kits, I quickly agreed to help with the project. To start, I pulled out my essential oil recipe journals to see what I could find. As I went through, I found recipes that where gender neutral in scent and application. Once I had a handful of fun recipes, I began assembling the kit. See below for a fun addition to your next travel adventure.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Changes...They Happen

After two years of blogging, having a post ready for you every Monday, I'm going to change things up. I'll be honest, it's HARD to find great content to share with people, to create things that are "clickable" and get views. It's even hard to come up with things that don't end up getting a lot of views. It's become a chore and not something I look forward to - repeatedly I'm working on a post in the wee hours of Monday morning out of obligation to have a post there when you expect it. I want to get back to being excited to share things with you, to find and create great ideas, recipes, tips and crafts that we will all enjoy.

So after a few months of going back and forth, talking about it over and over, feeling guilty, worrying about my faithful followers, I have decided to go ahead and try something new.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Recipe Round Up Vol 4 {Valentine's Edition}

Valentine's Day is fast approaching. I gathered together some easy to make ideas for case you're running a little behind (says the girl typing this up at 1:30 am Monday morning, how's that for procrastination?!).  

Here are a few A Drop of This recipes to check out: 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Easy DIY - Foaming Hand Soap

Are you looking for an easy DIY project? Then making foaming hand soap is the project for you! Not only is this project easy, but it will also save you money. With both of those things, you really can't get it wrong.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Staying Warm - Two DIY ideas

Is it cold where you are? Where I'm at it is warm during the day but in the morning when I walk my dog is COLD!

Here are a few projects that should help warm you up:

Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review: Advanced Aromatherapy

Book Title: Advanced Aromatherapy: the Science of Essential Oil Therapy
Author: Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D.

Published: Originally published in German in 1995; first US edition published in 1998.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Spice Up Your Spice Rack

I've been wanting to update my spice jars. It has been tumbling around in my head for awhile. Are you like that with projects? I have to think about it, sometimes for months, figuring out how I'm going to do it, come up with several (usually very complex) ideas, completely over think it and then one day *BOOM* I think of the easiest way to do it and get it done! That's not always the case, but definitely was in this instance. I got this spice rack as a wedding present from my friend, Abby. This fall we will have been married ten years (WOW!) and we have lived in four houses since then - and this spice rack has been along for the ride, finding a place in all of my kitchens. The labels have rubbed off on some bottles while others have been relabeled with a Sharpie. I've been thinking about a way to spice it up for awhile, but wasn't sure what route to take.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Second Blogiversary!

Two years! Can you believe it? Who has been here since the beginning? Whether you started with me in January 2013 or are just now following me, I'm so glad you enjoy the blog and keep reading. It's what keeps me going, pushes me when I get mentally stuck and keeps me searching for new and fun things to share. Thank you!