I hope you've had a wonderful and peaceful start to your year. This time last week, I was at the beach marveling at my new engagement ring mere hours after the proposal. Sitting in bed, eating pizza and watching the premiere episode of this season of The Bachelor. (It looks like this season will be a snooze btw).
We had one more full day on vacation before we started the 3 hour drive back home, during which time I started to think about the habits I wanted to take into the New Year from 2021, and the habits I wanted to start doing. Like many of you, I'm not really one for resolutions, but I am quite the expert list-maker. And I love to write down lists of things I want to accomplish, goals I have, or just things I'm interested in looking into more.
This year, I have a goal of making as many things from scratch as possible. As I head into engaged/married life, I know it will be important for me to learn how to be more frugal. And a huge part of being frugal is knowing how to make your own, mend your own, and mind your own. (i.e. don't be fooled by people on yachts on Instagram). My "Homemaking" board on Pinterest provides me with so much inspiration, and I've curated it carefully, so as to inspire, but also not overwhelm me. (If you're wanting homemaking inspiration, click here to see my board!)
I see so many pins everyday where I learn something new, or see something that I want to try. Just tonight I made oven roasted red cabbage steaks and truly would've never thought to cook them that way. And it was delicious. I didn't think I even liked cabbage.
Making things from scratch not only allows me to be more creative, but I also feel so much more accomplished and satisfied with the product when I know that it was made with love, patience and care. So this year, I'm advancing beyond simply cooking from scratch. I want to try to make as many things as I can, within reason, that I would otherwise buy at Whole Foods.
My hope, is to document this #madeathome process here on the blog, Instagram and on my channel. And I'm inviting you to join me in this fun challenge!
Floral Bath Salts
I have been purchasing the EO and Dr. Teal's rose epsom salt for at least two years now. My weekly baths started during the pandemic and gave me time to reflect, relax and recharge. I came to love infusing essential oils and floral salts into my bath, lighting candles, and picking up whatever book I was reading every Tuesday night. But when I went back and looked at the cost of said bath salts, the Dr. Teal's is around $5/bag, and the EO was around $10-$12/bag. Sure that's not too much, but I want to try and make my own bath salts from now on. Especially since I've spent the entire year growing and nurturing my calendula flowers and I've had no idea what to do with the blooms. As it turns out, calendula is excellent for skincare and I can attest to how formidable this flower is. No matter how long I go without watering them (oops), they always bounce right back. As soon as I have enough blooms, I plan to dry them out, infuse them in oil, and make my own floral, sea salt soak. As shown in this pin.
2. Tea Bags
Apparently making a tea bag is as simple as cutting up some coffee filters, placing your favorite loose leaf tea or herbs on the inside, and sealing it with string or a staple. Who knew!? I am an avid tea drinker, but the way that my 5 boxes of tea drives up my final cost when I'm grocery shopping is no bueno. Buying loose leaf tea/herbs is less expensive and using coffee filters you already have is a genius idea. Not to mention you can cut the tea bags out into little shapes like hearts or stars and that just sounds like fun to me.
3. Growing Herbs
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that grinds my gears more than buying an entire pack of thyme or basil or rosemary from the grocery store because the recipe calls for it, only needing 1 tablespoon of it, putting it back in the fridge, only to forget about it and take old moldy herbs a week or two later. Does that happen to anyone else? It makes me so mad when a recipe wants fresh herbs, but not enough so that the rest of the package doesn't go to waste. This is why I've decided to start growing my own herbs in a mini kitchen garden. By doing this, I will always have fresh herbs and never have to buy one of those silly little plastic packs again. I bought this kitchen planter and these seeds online last night and it may or may not have been the highlight of my weekend.
I made a few bread loaves from scratch back in January of 2021 and boy was it an accomplishment. It took me forever to figure out the perfect temperature for yeast, which I wrote about in this blog post. But it was so rewarding to eat bread that I made myself! It was so tasty, and easier than I thought! Especially once I got the yeast bit of it down. This year, I want to make more bread at home, and even see if I can find some gluten free recipes that I can add to the rotation.
I've known for a long time about the dangers of synthetic fragrances, and yet my love affair with Bath and Body Works candles continues. I'm not saying I'll switch cold turkey, but I'm seeing more and more people begin to make candles at home and I want to give it a go. No more running to the mall at the beginning of each season to spend way too much on those 3-wick beauties. This year, I want to see if I can make a candle I love, with love and care for myself and my overall health.
What you might need for each project:
Though I did dry my roses for the Christmas tree in the oven this year, some flowers require an even lower warm temperature. This dehydrator is a great price and appears far less bulky than others I've seen.
The times when I get to visit Laduree are few and far between, so this rose petal, citrus infused loose leaf tea will give us all that sense of luxury that Laduree provides, without the heavy plane ticket price tag.
I worked with Saje during the height of the pandemic and continued to buy their amazing essential oil blends well after our collaboration was over. They are the best smelling blends I've seen on the market and would be amazing to infuse into a candle.
Last year, for me, was truly a "non-stop" type of year. From working full time in my first 9-5 job, creating content on YouTube, and trying to balance a normal social life in the midst of a pandemic, I'm ready to slow down. I'm ready to really incorporate slow living habits into my everyday, and not get so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of life. Especially as I start the transition into my new role as a wife and homemaker.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Will you join in the #madeathome journey with me? Comment below!
Have a wonderful and creative rest of your week my lovely friends.