homemade matcha gift set

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My brother recently spent four months in Japan. We all missed him terribly, but adventures are important, and exploring the other side of the earth on your own is nothing short of a great adventure. Of course, if he moves there, I most likely will have a complete big sister I won't allow it and I'm in charge, did you forget? freak out. Until then, I am quite supportive of his adventuring. :)

I had planned on getting Eric a specific book for Christmas until my mom informed me that he just ordered it for himself! I was glad to know that I knew him well enough to buy him something he would actually want, but that left me giftless. Something health related? Something inspired by Japanese culture or food?

And then I thought of it! A matcha gift set. (And I do think I'm quite clever to have come up with this little set!) I had seen a link to this video tutorial for Matcha Salt on Angry Chicken a couple weeks before and thought it would be perfect. Then I consulted Organic Body Care Recipes and a few online resources and put together my own recipe for Matcha Sugar Scrub. I gave him the salt and scrub along with a new tin of Matcha.

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Matcha Sugar Scrub

1 cups granulated sugar

1/8 cup coconut oil

1/2 tablespoon matcha green tea powder

1/2 tablespoon vitamin E

Place everything in a bowl and mix it!

This recipe will fit in a 1/2 pint mason jar perfectly. I decided to also give this sugar scrub to all the ladies in my life who I knew liked body products and made many batches over the course of the holidays.

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The Matcha Salt also turned out really well and we were able to put it on our eggs on Christmas morning! Isn't it pretty? (For this recipe, and for everyday use, we use Real Salt.)

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I think this set makes such a nice gift! Is there anyone in your life who might enjoy this set?

homemade chocolate & vanilla body butter

Fiona loves chocolate and vanilla everything—cookies, cakes, candies—and she loves lotion. Obviously, I had to make her chocolate and vanilla lotion for her birthday. There wasn't an exact recipe in my book, Organic Body Care Recipes, so I thought I could just make up my own. Apparently, I think I'm an expert on everything ever in the whole world.

I put my own combination of olive oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter in the bowl and melted them together...

Then, I let it cool to room temperature. And, well, this is not lotion...

So, I added some more cocoa butter and some beeswax...

And look! Lotion!

It turned out really nicely and smells scrumptious. The recipe isn't really refined yet, but when it is, I'll be sure to post it. I am really loving making these personal care products. It's so nice knowing there is no random crap in there. This lotion is simply coconut oil, olive oil, cocoa butter, and vanilla essential oil. No xanthan gum for us!

I'd love to make soap, eventually, too. Any book recommendations for that?

homemade organic lip balm set

Okay, I promise that this is the last Valentine's Day related post. I think I am really just looking for excuses to make things now that I have my energy back after that exhausting pregnancy. Yay! It's over! ;)

Anyway, I made this cute lip balm set to share with family and friends this Valentine's Day! It was really fun and quite simple. I thought it would be cute to stick with the theme of the holiday and made peppermint lip balm and cinnamon lip gloss, naming them "Play it Cool" and "Keep it Hot." Hehe.

I followed Amanda's recipe on SouleMama for the peppermint lip balm. I left it untinted so that I could give it to the guys in my family, too. I love it and it got great reviews from everyone. Even better, I had everything except for the essential oil already in my house. Love that!

I bought the tins from Mountain Rose Herbs and the stickers from Paper Source. I also bought the book Organic Body Care that Amanda recommended. I can't wait to try some of the lotions and bath salts.

 

For my first batch of cinnamon lip gloss, I just subbed in cinnamon essential oil for the peppermint. It was nice but I wanted something a bit glossier with more color. I improvised a bit and made a couple different batches and settled on the following recipe. I LOVE it. I think you will, too. Enjoy!

Keep it Hot
Organic* Tinted Cinnamon Lip Gloss

3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 Tablespoon Beeswax (1/2 Fluid Ounce)
1/2 Tablespoon Raw Honey (Local is great if you can find it!)
10 Drops Cinnamon Essential Oil
1/2 Stick of Natural Lipstick, Chopped (I used Hemp Organics)

*I used all organic ingredients.

Place coconut oil, beeswax and honey in a double boiler or heatproof bowl and sit atop a saucepan of simmering water. Heat until melted, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Add cinnamon oil and lipstick. Stir until blended.

Place the pan or bowl in a larger bowl full of cold water. Stir quickly until the mixture begins to change in consistency and turn opaque. (If it starts to change consistency on it's own while stirring in your essential oil and lipstick, because it's cool in your kitchen, you can skip this step!)

Spoon mixture into containers, filling to the top, and smooth the surface of the balm with the back of a spoon. Place covers on, and let it sit to cool for a couple hours.

Fills approximately four 1/2 oz tins. Double or triple the recipe for gift-giving!

I packaged each set in a little muslin bag with my logo. I bought the custom logo stamp and drawstring bags from My Rubber Stamp on Etsy. Then I printed out the Valentines I designed for DBFA at a 50% scale for the tags.

I think this little Valentine's lip balm set turned out quite cute, don't you?