As much as I love the gray, infamous wet skies of an Oregon fall and winter, I do find myself needing the occasional burst of brightness. One of my favorite ways to do this is through aromatherapy. I long for the scents that I see as “yellow” when I smell them. These yellow scents are so rare in the winter holiday weeks, which can be so dominated by the deep green scents of evergreen and the brown and red notes of cinnamon, chocolate, and pumpkin spice.
Outdoorsy athletes can be a funny lot. We claim to value nothing more than immersing ourselves in the natural world, yet some of the snacks we use to fuel these adventures are many, many steps removed from anything that grows from the earth. Lots of popular power bars and energy gels contain an unsettling amount of processed sugars and synthetic preservatives, and the individually wrapped servings generally end up in a landfill (that is, if they don’t escape from your pocket and out onto the trail). For these reasons, I’ve been working on finding my own homemade alternatives to power my activities, finding success with some DIY energy bars and now this energy gel recipe from Four Sigmatic.Read More
Bitters seem to be all the rage these days—and for good reason! Among their many benefits is their much-touted ability to stimulate digestive function. These dandy-orange bitters are no exception. They make a great all-purpose bitter that’s traditionally been used to support normal digestion and is also quite handy as a bitter for mixed drinks!Read More
Ever since I laid eyes on the beautiful pink peppercorns we offer here at Mountain Rose Herbs, I knew they would make a perfect garnish for a sweet/savory treat like chocolate bark. Our pink peppercorns have a bright, sweet, and very peppery flavor—the perfect match for one of our gourmet salts. Little did I know that we also had the ingredients to make the homemade white chocolate to go with it! So this winter season, I revisited my my memories of this childhood treat and embarked on a journey to find a few preservative-free herbal variations to share with my friends and family.Read More
I love the scents of the holiday season. Nothing compares to the fresh, crisp scent of peppermint, or the warm, inviting, and spicy scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves—nothing, that is, except the sweet scent of oranges mingling with spices and chocolate. That distinctive fragrance always evokes childhood memories of my mom and me handcrafting those lovely orange pomander ornaments, made by sticking cloves directly into an unpeeled orange in creative designs. It’s a beloved holiday tradition that I have carried over to my own family!Read More
Lip balm is about as much of a staple in my life as water. While some might say that I’m addicted to it, I like to think I’m a connoisseur. Whatever you want to call my love for happy, hydrated lips, I simply cannot go without my beloved stick of soft, smooth goodness. And with a habit like mine, it’s far more cost effective and fun to make my own lip balm than to stock up at the store. Tinkering with different recipes is one of my favorite pastimes; after all, a person can never have too many flavors of lip lusciousness!
Midwinter holidays are my favorite time of the year. I adore having a reason to craft gifts for my loved ones, and I find it so much more satisfying to dance and sing around my kitchen like a happy elf while I concoct individualized creations for everyone on my list, than to fight through traffic and crowds to purchase mass-produced goods.
Many aromatherapists and natural wellness folks are familiar with a certain notorious essential oil blend of ne're-do-wells past, a mysterious potion based on a recipe that originated in the 15th century. According to legend, the concoction was created by a group of four thieves® and grave robbers to protect themselves from contracting the plague while robbing the bodies of the ill and deceased. When apprehended, the thieves admitted to using the formula and disclosed the recipe in order to receive a less severe punishment for their crimes.Read More
There are lots of ways to enjoy the goodness of plants, but for accessibility and simplicity, it's hard to beat a good cup of tea. Herbal tea blends are a fantastic way to combine the synergistic qualities of different plant allies, and creating your own allows you to craft steepable combinations that cater to your personal nutrition goals and flavor preferences. With such a wide world of botanicals to choose from, however, it can sometimes be hard to know where to start. Luckily, we've been crafting organic tea blends for decades, and we're all too happy to share some of the strategies we've pick up along the way!