Great gift ideas: Tea lovers edition

Great gift ideas - Tea lovers edition

Baby, it’s cold outside! (At least it is here in the 216 area code.) When it’s cold out, nothing warms my soul faster than a hot bath followed by a nice cup of tea.

You can show someone you love how much you care about their physical and spiritual warmth by giving them the gift that does just that. It’s easy to put together a gift basket full of goodies that will mend their winter woes.

Here’s what you need:

  • A great basket (you can get these pretty affordably at your local craft store) or a sturdy gift bag
  • Shredded tissue paper to nestle your basket goodies in (I find my local “everything is only $1” store to be a good source for this)
  • A selection of herbal teas and a shiny new mug
  • Fancy bath accessories such as a loofah, bath pouf or a bath pillow
  • Bath tea and any other of your favorite Emmet Street Creations products!

In no time at all, you’ll have the perfect gift to warm your loved one from their nose to their toes!

Know someone who dreads the winter chill? Why not share this post with them? It’s as easy as putting together a gift basket! Simply use one of the sharing buttons below (Note: If you’re reading this via e-mail or reader, you’ll need to link to our website to use the sharing buttons).

Great gift ideas: Spa Day Basket

Gift ideas from Emmet Street Creations - Spa Day Basket

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. Are you going to a holiday dinner hosted by a friend or family member? Are you thinking about repaying their hospitality by bringing a hostess (or host) gift?

If so, why not bring something a little more interesting than a bottle of wine? I think wine is great, but the fun only lasts for a few glasses. With a small amount of effort, you can put together a gift that brings hours of joy and relaxation to its recipient: A spa day basket!

Here’s what you need:

  • A decorative basket (you can get these pretty affordably at your local craft store) or a sturdy gift bag
  • Shredded tissue paper to nestle your basket goodies in (I find my local “everything is only $1” store to be a good source for this)
  • Fancy bath accessories such as a loofah, bath pouf, natural sponge and massaging tool
  • Your favorite Emmet Street Creations products! Our Revitalizing Rosemary Mint, Lemongrass and Green Tea and Citrus Clouds handcrafted soap are great scents to create spa day experience.

That’s it! You get the satisfaction of putting together a great gift and your recipient gets a ready-made way to relax after all the guests have gone home!

Know someone who is looking for some handcrafted gift ideas? Why not share this post with them? It’s a snap! Simply use one of the sharing buttons below (Note: If you’re reading this via e-mail or reader, you’ll need to link to our website to use the sharing buttons).

Inspiring places: The Country Living Fair in Columbus Ohio

Country Living Fair Ohio Village Columbus 2014I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of creative inspiration by going out and and seeing what other people are doing. After all, as Kirby Ferguson says, all creative work is a remix of things that have been done before–so embrace the remix!

If you follow Emmet Street Creations on Instagram, you already know that in September I had the chance to go to the Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio. Don’t let the name fool you; there is little about “country living” presented here. But, if you like handcrafted home goods, clothing and jewelry, original art, upcycled creations, old junk to repurpose yourself, handcrafted soap and body care products, this is the place for you. (And, if you like the primitive/cute country inspired look, there’s stuff for you, too!) Don’t believe me? Do a search on Pinterest for Country Living Fair and you’ll find a plethora of photos of the wares on display.

Held near the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Ohio Village (a really neat replica of a settlement-era Ohio town run by the Ohio Historical Society worth checking out), this event put together by Country Living magazine has become a fall tradition in Columbus (and has grown to a total of three locations east of the Mississippi: Columbus, Atlanta and Rhinebeck, New York).

My Mom and I spent several hours outdoors in the beautiful fall weather saying “Ooh, look at this!” and “Oh, that’s so cool!” we took home a few treasures and a lot of inspiration (pics below). I’ve got a few projects in mind for the long, dark days of winter…

Country Living Fair Columbus 2014 - Swag and Inspiration

Photos, clockwise (starting top left): Dried natural loofah (vendor unknown); Flying pig pillow, Eric & Christopher; Upcycled Scrabble pendant, The Scrabble Chick; Goat tote, Eric & Christopher

Here are some tips if you plan to attend next year’s Fair:

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothes. You will be walking around a grass and dirt field for many hours. ‘Nough said.
  • Bring lots of patience. Because the Fair has become an established event that a lot of people look forward to, well, there are a lot of people there. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  • Bring your own shopping bags. The vendors will appreciate you and you’ll appreciate having a comfy tote or granny shopping cart to haul your treasures instead of a plastic shopping bag that will dig into your hand or a paper bag that could have a blow out. (Note: If you buy large items, like furniture, they do have a large item pick up near the exit. The vendors arrange for your purchase to be taken there and then you can drive up to it when you leave.)
  • Bring cash. Because most of the vendors are small outfits, you may be able to negotiate a discount for saving them credit card transaction fees.
  • Bring a packed lunch. You will likely be at this event for several hours. You will get hungry and there are few food vendors at this event and even fewer healthy options. The lines for food are long and the healthiest food option had a two-and-a-half hour wait. I was going to skip eating, until I realized I was getting hangry and treating my companion poorly because of it (sorry, Mom!). Luckily, I found a shortish (meaning around a twenty-minute wait) line for a vendor selling overpriced sandwiches and fruit cups.

Now to you: What gets your creative juices flowing? I’m always looking for new sources of inspiration…

Create a DIY spa day with a cucumber yogurt face mask

This year I’ve had a bumper crop of cucumbers and I’ve used them to make soap and infused water. I still had some cucumber pulp left over from juicing so I decided to give myself a DIY spa day by making a soothing yogurt and cucumber face mask.

I kept this recipe simple because my skin is extremely sensitive and breaks out at the slightest provocation.

Yogurt and cucumber pulp

Fat free greek yogurt and cucumber pulp left over from juicing.

My first batch was a colossal failure. I used equal parts yogurt and cucumber and the result was a messy goo that slide off my face and into the sink. The cucumber pulp was very wet and watered down the yogurt.

My second attempt turned out much creamier. I used 4 tbsp of greek yogurt and 1 tbsp of cucumber pulp. (If you don’t have a juicer, you can add a few chunks of cucumber and the yogurt to a blender and mix until smooth.)

I slathered the mixture on my face and laid on my back to relax for 20 minutes. What a great way to relax!  The cucumber had a wonderful cooling effect on my skin. It felt great!

Facial selfie

 Spa day selfie. It may be the best picture of me ever taken.

After 20 minutes, I rinsed my face and washed with a bar of Emmet Street Creations  Banana Soap to moisturize my skin and give it an extra hit of antioxidants. My pores looked and felt tight and my skin was soft and smooth.

I ended my spa day with a soak in the tub using a bag of Lavender Bath TeaThere’s no better way to escape from the every day grind than a warm soak in the tub surrounded by the soothing scent of lavender. 

Like this facial recipe or know someone who could use a pick-me-up? It’s easy to spread the word! Simply use one of the sharing buttons below (Note: If you’re reading this via e-mail or reader, you’ll need to link to our website to use the sharing buttons).

Quench your thirst with water infused with cucumber, lime and mint! Easy infused water DIY

A few weeks ago I told you about a luscious cucumber, avocado and wheatgrass soap that I made with the juice of cucumbers I picked in my garden. An inevitable byproduct of juicing is vegetable pulp. I don’t know about you, but I can’t see wasting perfectly good vegetables just because they are smashed beyond recognition. I usually give the pulp to the McWormerson’s to compost, but this time around I decided to try something different.

I love cucumber-infused water in the summer but just slicing up a cucumber doesn’t flavor the water as strongly as I would like. So I decided to use the cucumber pulp to make a super-infused water. My juicer, and I’m assuming most juicers out there, comes with a handy cup that catches the pulp. The cup has a strainer at the bottom that allows excess juice to run out into a larger cup.

I left the pulp in the cup and poured filtered water over it, allowing the water to drip into a pot.

Making cucumber water

After a few minutes, I was left with delicious, light green cucumbery water. Next, I added slices of lime and a few sprigs of mint and allowed the water to chill for several hours. The result was a light and refreshing beverage to sip while hanging out in my yard.

cucumber lime and mint infused water

Coming up in the next few weeks, I’ll tell you about the soothing cucumber and yogurt face mask I made with the rest of the pulp. It’s an easy way to pamper yourself!

Have you used the pulp from your juicer to make something delicious or useful? Tell us all about it in the comments!