Thursday, December 19, 2013

Make It Personal

I really can't believe that Christmas is right around the corner! The final countdown is on and the constant reminder of how many shopping days remain can give us all anxiety. Tis the season for giving and I love coming up with the perfect item that will make someone happy.  This year I decided to put together some gifts for friends with a personal touch by making them myself. 

It's no surprise that the weather is dry and freezing during the winter in New England. When I hosted a ladies holiday party last week, I wanted everyone to leave with something special. So I created a homemade peppermint sugar body scrub. It was super easy, inexpensive and smelled amazing!

Peppermint Sugar Body Scrub
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
3-4 drops peppermint extract
5-6 drops red food coloring 

I found cute canning jars at Christmas Tree Shops. This is a New England store but the same jars can be found at Home Goods, Target, Amazon....pretty much anywhere. I mixed the ingredients with my hands until the sugar was fluffy. For the candy cane effect, layer the white mixture and the red. Make sure you press down each layer with a spoon to pack in as much as possible. This will keep it from shaking around in the jar. I made half candy cane and half solid white and accessorized the jars with candy. The sugar and coconut oil leave your skin so silky! 

My parents have a group of friends who they always exchange gifts with each year. I think it's pretty cool that they keep it up year after year so I wanted to start the same with our group of friends on Cape Cod. The gifts are always festive and usually involve food that can be enjoyed with family or when friends stop by during the holidays. Chris and I decided to make our own herb infused olive oil. It's a great item to have around the house with some bread, olives and cheese. 

 We started with a mixture of spices and crushed them with a mortar and pestle. This opens the herbs up and will allow the flavor to infuse in the oil. I really love the 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe's. If you have your own garden, it's great to use fresh rosemary with this as well.

Herb Mixture
21 Seasoning Salute
Sea Salt
Black Peppercorns
Red Pepper Flakes 

We put 1 jar of each spice in the mortar and pestle to crush up. Be modest with the red pepper flakes because not everyone likes it spicy. We only used half the jar in our recipe. Then using a funnel we added 4 tablespoons of herb mixture to each bottle before filling with a really good extra virgin olive oil. 

I found the bottles on Amazon and they are perfect because the cork top will keep the oil fresh. I plan to tie a wooden gift tag around the neck and they will be ready for delivery. If you are a baker, you could even bake some bread to go with the oil. I am putting that on my list of things to learn to do in 2014! 

Have a wonderful holiday season! I hope to share more of what's going on in our home and various projects I'm working on in 2014. Stay tuned!!!

1 comment:

  1. GREAT IDEA! I am so broke right now, but I can do this. Lol. I saw your post on instagram. I didn't know that you had a blog. I'll start keeping an eye on it now!