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DIY Cutting Board Oil: Maintain Your Cutting Boards & Wooden Utensils

I am a wooden utensil and cast iron kind of cook. These reliable, wonderful tools don’t require electricity and they last a remarkably long time if cared for correctly. I especially love the butcher block, cutting boards, and wooden spoons my husband has made over the years, and it’s important to me to take care of them so they last. My dilemma for a long time was how to condition them. Vegetable oils like olive oil, grapeseed oil, etc. are wonderful, but are not shelf-stable and can experience “rancidification” over time, which can make wood smell funky and leave a bad flavor on chopped foods. The standard go-to oil is food-safe mineral oil, sometimes called liquid paraffin. But mineral oil is generally a petroleum product and I don’t care how “food-safe” it is; I don’t want to cut my home-grown vegetables on a board coated with a petroleum-based oil. So, obviously, I had to figure out a DIY way to get around this dilemma and take proper care of my wooden kitchen utensils.

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Posted by Heidi

How to Make Scented Wax Melts + DIY Pumpkin Spice Air Freshener Blend

If you’ve ever tried to make candles before, you know it can sometimes be a messy and frustrating process. Getting the wick to stand just right requires a bit of practice and patience. This is one of many reasons I prefer making wax melts. Not only are they more forgiving to make, they are less expensive than candles, and you can make customized scents, shapes, and sizes to suit your preferences. It’s also easier to make smaller batches of different blends so you have more options to choose from as various moods and situations arise. 

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Posted by Jessicka

Bath Bomb Recipe for Grounding

There is great intention behind the drawing and taking of a bath. The sound of water filling the basin sets the scene for the softening of energy that is about to happen. These moments of anticipated tranquility build for me as the tone of the filling tub changes pitch, declaring it’s time for my first toe-dip into the inviting warmth. Slipping into the water has a way of melting away tension and initiating a sigh of relief, which seems to be more of an involuntary reflex than something I ever mean to do. After a few moments of settling in, I call on one of my favorite bath enhancements to create an even deeper therapeutic experience. Bath bombs are helpful vehicles for aromatherapy and because they are crafted in advance, they are easy to enjoy after a long day.

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Posted by Jessicka

Building an Herbal Library: Our Favorite Botanical Books

If you ask herbalists, botanists, and body care enthusiasts, most say that building a library of reference and recipe books is one of the most important steps in becoming an expert. Gathering books from professionals who offer their experiences, philosophies, and expertise gives you a strong foundation on which to build your practice.  Here are some of our favorite books on herbal education, aromatherapy, healthy eating, skincare, and growing and foraging plants. 

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Posted by Jessicka

Organic Nipple Cream for Breastfeeding

When I was having my children, folks used to say that women forget the pain of childbirth and also the pain that can accompany the first days or weeks of nursing a newborn. Having had and nursed three children, I will attest that this “halo effect,” as it is sometimes called, is not true, at least for me. My youngest child is 30 years old, and I still remember those long, hard hours of labor and the first tender days of nursing my babies. Yes, those memories are colored by the beautiful remembrance of the enormous wash of love and protectiveness I felt for those brand-new little beings, but to this day I still cringe when I remember the sensation of a days-old baby latching on to nurse, and how nipples that started out tender quickly became painfully sore from the near-constant attention of a new infant with super-suckle powers. I said it then, and it still holds true: a baby-safe nipple cream is a lifesaver.

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Posted by Heidi

DIY Foot Soak with Herbs

There has been a lot of talk about self-care lately, and with good reason. With this last year weighing heavily on many of us, there is a renewed focus on the ways in which we can offer ourselves some TLC. One of my favorite ways of having a quiet moment with myself this time of year is to go on long walks and hikes. Nothing brings me a sense of calm more than adventuring outside with my pup. Unfortunately, my feet do not seem to feel that same serenity after a long walk, and recently my attention was brought to one area of my body that I routinely neglect—my feet!

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Posted by Maia

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Each year as Mother’s Day approaches, I start to think about what I can offer the women that occupy the mother role in my life. This year my thoughts keep coming back to self-care. Self-care has been such an important topic this year. Gentle care of the self is so paramount in times when life feels overwhelming or stressful, and yet those moments can be the hardest to find the time to do so. For those of us that have good mother figures in our lives, we’ve often seen their daily self-sacrifice. Whether they are our parent, partner, or friend, we witness many times when they make the choice to put the care of others ahead of themselves. Mother’s Day begs us to ask the questions, “How can we best offer our love and support? How can we show our appreciation?” This year my answer is self-care. So, with that in mind I decided that I would try my hand at putting together some personalized self-care inspired gift baskets!

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Posted by Maia

How to Make Hot Honey

Being a bona fide condiment collector and aficionado, I was stoked when my colleague Jessicka requested that I investigate and write about “hot honey”, which is making its rounds in the gastronomic blogosphere. I love the combo of both sweet and heat, so this incredibly simple recipe was a surefire winner for me. Simply put, it’s an infusion of chili peppers in honey (and a dash of vinegar), then strained.

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Posted by Mason

Homemade Sweet Basil Lip Scrub


Of all of the DIY skin and body care products I love to make, share, and write about, lip care products are easily my favorite. It sounds trivial, and it might be, but I have a lip balm recipe for just about every season, mood, and occasion. It’s something that I use so often, it brings me great joy to create new, unique ways of delivering it. And since lip products are so easy to make in bulk, they are always great gifts to share with family members or friends.

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Posted by Jessicka

How to Make an Herbal Electuary

Electuary: just saying it is fun. And after a bit of research, I found out that the word likely comes from the Greek word “ekleikhein”, which means “to lick up.” Or perhaps that’s just one of those constantly regurgitated bits of info that gets passed down from blog to blog. Nonetheless, it’s still a fun factoid worth mentioning. I’ve worked in the herbal industry for a decade now, and over time it’s been fun to see what goes in and out of fashion. Just the other day, my herbalist friend Erika Galentin with Sovereignty Herbs posted on social media about her ginseng leaf electuaries (amazing). I’ve seen a few others post about this ancient herbal tradition over the past few months as well. It occurred to me that after attending countless herbal conferences and taking two herbalism apprenticeships, I’ve managed to never have made one of the simplest of recipes: the electuary. As I explained to one of our photographers here at Mountain Rose Herbs, “It’s basically just powdered herbs mixed with honey.”

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Posted by Mason

Apple Spice Tea- Now on Sale!

 

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