Top 10 Uses for Lavender

Top 10 Uses for Lavender :: Five Little Homesteaders

photos courtesy of Thowra_uk & tfengreen on flickr

One of my favorite essential oils to have on hand, lavender is a not only a beautiful scent, it is also a very powerful oil and whole herb.  Below I outline my top 10 uses for lavender but I’m sure there are many more ways that lavender can be used effectively. (I’d love to hear how YOU use it in the comments!)

According to a company that I trust, Mountain Rose Herbs - http://edge.affiliateshop.com/public/AIDLink?AID=133322&Redirect=/lavender-essential-oil/profile , lavender has “analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, cholagogue, deodorant, diuretic, emmenagogue, insecticide, nervine, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, and vulnerary” properties.  (Trying saying THAT five times fast!)  Wow.  That’s a lot.  If that overwhelms you and you just want to know my top 10 uses for lavender, read on.

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Homemade Hand Sanitizer – All Natural

Homemade Hand Sanitizer - All Natural :: Five Little Homesteaders

Let me start this off by saying that I am NOT a germaphobe (No offense to the germaphobes out there!  More power to you!) and I did not start making homemade hand sanitizer to protect us from every little germ out there in the world.

I routinely eat things that have fallen on the floor and clean chicken coops without gloves on.  I have actually wiped my kid’s snotty nose with the bottom of my t-shirt and I don’t use the little paper toilet seat cover in public bathrooms.  *gasp!*

However, I do still get grossed out by things like my son sticking his hand in a public toilet at Target or my daughter picking chicken poop up off the ground and squishing it between her fingers.  *gag*  So there are times when a little extra hand scrubbing is necessary.  But what about when you aren’t at home and the Target is out of soap and your son REALLY DID just stick his hand in the public toilet before you could grab him.  Well, my friends, that’s when a little bottle of homemade hand sanitizer in your bag can be a blessing.  (And of course it’s homemade because I’m natural and DIY like that, dontcha know?)

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Winter Simmer Pot

An AMAZING recipe to make your home smell deliciously

Teapot Photo Thanks to mladjenovic on flickr 

 

The holidays may be over, but winter is still with us.

Just because you are spending additional time indoors, it doesn’t mean your home needs to feel dreary and cold.  Using a few simple ingredients, you can bring comfort and warmth to a long winter day.

This post is linked up at the Homestead Barn Hop - http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2014/01/homestead-barn-hop-142.html

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Stocking Your Family’s First Aid Kit

Stocking the Family First Aid Kit

One of the things I’d like to accomplish in the new year is to be more prepared for emergencies big and small.  I figured there were a few of you out there who feel the same way so I decided to start a series on Prepping for Beginners.  I thought a good place to start would be with creating a well stocked first aid kid.

Preparedness and prepping are pretty big buzz words out there right now, especially in homesteading circles.  That said, I’m not planning to build a bunker, stock up on guns or have a year’s worth of food supply in my basement (more power to you if that’s your goal, though), but I am also not comfortable with my family’s current state of preparedness.  For instance, until I decided to write this post, we didn’t even have a proper first aid kit!  Please tell me I’m not alone.

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DIY Felt Hair Bows

 photo 12sweetsofxmas400.jpg

This week (and for the next three weeks) I have joined up with some lovely women to bring you some great holiday posts. 

Each week we will be featuring a different holiday themed post and link-up that will help make your holiday sweeter!
 Hosted by:
The Homesteading Hippy - http://thehomesteadinghippy.com/
Simply Living Simply - http://simply-living-simply.com/
The Mind to Homestead - http://themindtohomestead.com/
Crafty Spices - http://www.craftyspices.com/
Timber Creek Farms - http://timbercreekfarmer.com/


This week we are featuring DIY Handmade Gifts!

Read on to see what I have crafted up for you! 

Got a lady (young or old) in your life who you need to give a gift to this holiday season?
If so, I’ve got a great idea for you today.  
These lovely little hair bows are really easy and cheap to make and I think they turned out pretty adorable.  
Here’s what you’ll need:
– Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
– Double Prong Curl Clips
– Felt of various colors
Here’s what you do:

1.  Cut three pieces of felt as shown in the picture above.  One is a sorta mustache looking piece.  One is a rainbow looking piece.  And one is a long skinny rectangle. 
2.  Using the mustache looking piece, fold the two ends under each other and glue in place. 
3.  Wrap the long skinny rectangle around the middle and glue in place. 
4.  Glue the rainbow piece under the bow and glue the whole shebang onto a curl clip. 
Easy peasy and you’re done!  How adorable are these suckers?  



Link up your DIY Holiday Gifts and let’s get this season rolling!

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Homemade Soy Candles

Today I am excited to bring you another post in my Homemade Christmas series.  (If you missed my first post, you can find it here.)

I love this post because it can work as a gift for just about anyone and it is incredibly easy to make.  You can also customize it to your heart’s delight.  Check out the instructions below.


First, you might wonder, why soy candles?

Well, to begin, soy is a renewable resource, unlike petroleum which is what is used to make paraffin.  Additionally, Soy candles burn more slowly than paraffin wax candles and they burn clean.  And finally, soy wax is cheap, much cheaper than beeswax, which is another natural option.

Here’s how you do it:

Supplies
Soy Wax Flakes - http://amzn.to/17KwrY9
Wicks - http://amzn.to/1bgTyfS (I got a type specially made for soy wax)
Jars - http://amzn.to/17KwKC4 (There are a ton of options here: mason jars, votives, shot glasses, tin cans, etc.)
Bamboo Skewers  - http://amzn.to/IeT0eu
Essential Oils (optional)

Directions
1.  Set up a double boiler - http://amzn.to/18eByAZ .  (I used a large tin can and bent it in one place so that I would have a pour spout.)

2.  Pour or scoop your wax flakes into the can or the top part of your double boiler.  Let the water come to a boil and the wax to melt.  The wax flakes melt pretty quickly.

3.  While the wax is melting, prepare your jars.  Using bamboo skewers to position your wicks, place one wick in each jar.  (Wrap a short length of wick around the skewer and let the bottom of the wick barely touch the bottom of the jar.)

4.  Once the wax is melted, add your essential oil (if you want a scent).  You’ll need more than you think.  I put about 20 drops per candle and the scent is either very faint or non-existent.

5 . Pour wax into votives and allow to cool completely.

These candles are great as gifts or work well as candles to keep in preparation of winter emergencies or other times when the power may go out.

Have you ever made candles?  Do you have any tips or tricks to share?

     
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DIY Glass Magnets

I’m kicking off another short series here on Five Little Homesteaders.  (The other series being Thanksgiving with a Twist.)  

I love to craft and I love to give people gifts.  So this year I thought I might put those two interests together and make some Christmas gifts for friends and family.  Want to join me?

For the next few weeks I’ll be posting DIYs for simple, relatively cheap, gifts that you can make at home.  Today’s post is a DIY for homemade, glass magnets.


Step One:  Gather supplies.

  • Mod Podge - http://amzn.to/1bjDqVE
  • 5/8 in Punch - http://amzn.to/1dfmCC2
  • Glass Marbles - http://amzn.to/1bmgSXE
  • Magnets - http://amzn.to/1cN5ck3  (You can get most of these supplies at a local craft store but I HIGHLY recommend buying these - http://amzn.to/1cN5ck3 specific magnets.  They work amazingly well.) 
  • Scrapbook Paper - http://amzn.to/1cN5kA0 (or old magazines)
  • Paint Brush 
  • Hot glue gun - http://amzn.to/1bjDVz2  

Step Two:  Cut circles from scrapbook paper and/or magazines.


Step Three: Glue circles to glass marbles.  


Step Four:  Let dry and press down edges if they start to curl. 


Step Five: Glue magnets to the back of marbles.

Enjoy!  Use them on your fridge or give them away as gifts.

If you give this craft a try, let me know!

         
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10 No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

I love fall, pumpkins, Halloween and just about everything that comes along with October.

Decorating pumpkins was a huge tradition in my family growing up and I’m working on making it a big one for my own little family now.

We did the pumpkin patch this past weekend and had a blast.  The kids were given their own little pumpkin and a bag of stickers to decorate it with.  It was genius!  No muss.  No fuss.  So it got me thinking…… there must be great ways for ADULTS to do something similar.  So…. as any good wife and mom would, I took to Pinterest.  And you won’t be surprised to find out that I came across zillions of no-carve ways to decorate pumpkins.


I decided to write up a quick post of some of my favorites!  Enjoy and let me know if you have any ideas to add.

1.   Glitter Pumpkin - http://myfrugaladventures.com/2012/10/easy-diy-glitter-pumpkins/
2.   Yarn-Wrapped Pumpkin - http://twoshadesofpink.blogspot.com/2011/09/yarn-wrapped-gourds-pumpkins.html
3.   Bejeweled Pumpkin - http://dollarstorecrafts.com/2013/10/make-a-glamorous-jeweled-pumpkin/
4.   Thumbtack Pumpkin - http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/halloween/pumpkin-decorating-00100000065686/#8
5.  Chalkboard Pumpkin - http://www.momtastic.com/diy/174387-diy-chalkboard-pumpkins/
6.   Mummy Pumpkin - http://www.plaidonline.com/mummy-pumpkin/2329/project.htm
7.   Decoupage Pumpkin - http://confessionsofaplateaddict.blogspot.com/2011/09/country-living-inspired-decoupage.html
8.   Lace Pumpkin - http://thelittlebrownhouse.us/2011/10/02/black-lace-pumpkins/
9.   Painted Chevron Pumpkin - http://mysweetsavannah.blogspot.com/2012/09/diy-chevron-pumpkins.html
10.   Puffy Paint Pumpkin - http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/10/puffy-paint-pumpkins-not-as-cheesy-as-it-sounds/
Happy Halloween!
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