i keep a glass amber bottle next to my bedside that’s water and lavender essential oil. i cannot get enough of the fresh, soothing scent right before bedtime. it helps prepare me mentally for sleep. but lavender, rightly so, can be an easy scent to turn to in eco-friendly products for home. so i looked up ways i could spice up my scents for other rooms, while still maintaining the calm of lavender. my first search led me to a mixture of essential oils i already had (bonus!): sandalwood, chamomile, and lavender. used in essentially equal parts (though i have chosen to make mine more sandalwood heavy bc i love the masculine smell) it is a great spray perfect for living rooms or offices. it calms, relaxes, relieves some anxiety, and just plain smells amazing.
in a 4 oz glass spray bottle, fill with water and add equal parts sandalwood, lavender, chamomile. adding a bit of vodka can help emulsify the concoction, allowing the oils and water to mix evenly. shake it up and spray around. inhale. relax. repeat. enjoy.
it’s that time of year again: monthly calendars for organizing my daily cleaning schedule! and you can use them too! they’re free to download and free to print. want to get organized and tidy for the new year? i suggest putting these up on your fridge to mark down any important dates or commitments or travel plans or major to-dos.
many thanks to my dear friend, bree, who designed this exclusively for a denver home companion. thanks bree!
she just doesn’t know it yet. i made this doll out of vintage fabric for one of her presents this christmas. this girl does not need anything but i am ok if she has dolls and books coming out of her nose. that is a clutter i can live with.
this DIY vintage fabric doll can be made by sewers at all levels. so grab a bottle of wine, throw on some good christmas tunes…
||what you need||
- fabric (vintage damask was thrifted. fancy tiger is also a great option for denverites)
- marker or fabric pen or chalk (i used a sharpie)
- stuffing (i up-cycled stuffing from a lumpy old pillow)
- sewing machine (definitely helps but isn’t necessary)
||what you do||
- on the wrong side of your fabric, trace out the shape of your doll. you can certainly look for patterns online but i just did freehand. be wary of making arms or legs too long or too skinny unless you want to sew those in separately. short and stubby leads to the most success, especially if you’re a beginner.
- cut out this shape. trace it on to the right side of what will be the back of the doll (which can be a different fabric or the same. mine is a mustard colored felt).
- cut out that shape. make sure all the lines match up correctly!
- making sure that the right sides of the fabric are facing each other, sew along the edge after backstitching on your machine (duh) or knotting your thread (google it. i can’t explain it.)
- be sure to leave about an inch open to be able to do the next step and fill with stuffing
- flip your doll right side out (this takes some patience. it’s helpful to have scissors or knitting needles or long, skinny fingers with raptor like nails)
- stuff your doll full of stuffing. stuff it in there! make sure to use your scissors or knitting needles or raptor nails to stuff that stuffing into the smallest and furthest away corners!
- once it’s full to the gills, sew up the tiny hole.
- hug your new friend! and then pass it on to a little one who will love it for life!
also, did you notice how the design on my fabric lines up just so, well, anatomically? this was completely unintentional but i’m tickled with how it turned out: the doll has eyes, ears, cheeks, a nose, boobies, a belly button, and even a vibrant, flowering…vagina! i will wait a number of years before i point that one out to ramona.
i don’t start decorating the house for christmas (except for hanging my mistletoe when it first arrives to me by post mail) until december 1. but i know there are many of you out there (including my hubby’s dear family) that kicks off christmas festivities the weekend after […]
i don’t start decorating the house for christmas (except for hanging my mistletoe when it first arrives to me by post mail) until december 1. but i know there are many of you out there (including my hubby’s dear family) that kicks off christmas festivities the weekend after thanksgiving. 12/1 and the weekend after thanksgiving coincide this year so i had to get a jump on planning for our family advent activities. last year i posted the tutorial for our DIY advent calendar. using that same calendar, i’ve come up with some different activities, tweaked now that ramona is older and more enthusiastic about celebrating. here’s what we have planned for each night of advent.
- decorate the house for christmas. not too hard since our home is teeny.
- make paper snowflakes while watching it’s a wonderful life (don’t forget the popcorn!)
- make a list of christmas wishes, including non-tangible things.
- read about the birth of Christ.
- call pops (ramona’s grandpa) to wish him a happy birthday!
- find the treats that old st. nick left in our shoes.
- declutter for christmas — what can we donate, regift, toss, upcycle?
- pick out the perfect christmas candle. watch a christmas story.
- let’s do some sledding (after praying for snow first!)
- make a christmas wreath for the front door
- make gingerbread homes with her buddy max.
- make saffron buns
- have a candlelit dinner in honor of sta. lucia day
- make christmas cards for ramona to send out to friends and family.
- take a morning winter hike. watch the remake of miracle on 34th street (jp’s in it!)
- head out to see zoo lights or go on a family drive to see neighborhood lights.
- dance party to christmas albums.
- definitely splurge on a sweet treat for breakfast
- spend the evening drinking hot cocoa and reading our christmas and winter books.
- make pepperkakor cookies and enjoy them with eggnog.
- let’s walk downtown and put money in strangers’ meters!
- hot cocoa, popcorn, and another christmas movie. let’s do elf this time!
- establish thoughtful new years resolutions. follow up with home alone.
- swedish dinner w friends, grasshopper pie, leave cookies & milk out for santa, and open one small gift.
- merry christmas! stockings, story of christ, strata, and presents.
what do you and your family do to make the lead up to christmas morning special and significant?
hot yoga equals lots of sweat. so my mats need some loving! when i get home from class i drape my wet, sweaty manduka over my patio railing, spray it down with some homemade natural yoga mat cleaner, and let it air out in the sun. this saves me money on the yoga spray offered at many studios (it smells divine but is $10 for about 1/3 the size of my spray bottle!) and prolongs the life of my mat. it also cuts down on odors and bacteria that can occur when mats are used frequently and not cared for properly.
what you need
- spray bottle (i love the inexpensive home depot ones)
- tea tree oil (lavender is a great option as well)
what you do
- add 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar to the bottle (the home depot one perfectly contains 4 cups)
- add drops of tea tree oil to your water mixture. there’s a lot of liquid in there so you may need at least 30 drops. this is up to you and how much you want to be able to smell the tea tree.
- shake, spray, wipe with a clean rag, let air dry.