Monday, March 24, 2014

A Birthday Surprise

Last week, my girlfriend Lady Day and I met with our other dear friend, Julianne of Providence Lodge to celebrate Julianne's birthday.  We met in a little restaurant for tea and spent the better part of the afternoon talking and talking and talking.

Lady Day, Julianne and I have been friends for many years.  Our children have grown up together.  We have celebrated with each other, cried with each other and occasionally been irritated with each other.  Our collective children, when they were younger, were affectionately known as "The Locust" because they would eat us out of house and home whenever we spent the day together.  While our husbands would talk over the problems of the world, we ladies would encourage one another.  We would share our hearts, snuggle our children and drink cup after cup of tea.

As our children have grown older, our get togethers have become depressingly infrequent.  We still make time for birthday celebrations and an occasional afternoon visit, however we rarely have an opportunity to get all of the families together.  The children have grown, many of them have married and begun their own families.  The ones left at home are busy, all going their separate ways.  Now, rather than tending small children, wiping noses and cuddling babies, we are talking about weddings and grand babies and our changing roles in life.

Oh, what joy there is in an afternoon of sweet fellowship with these wonderful, dear friends!  After catching up on all of our latest news, Lady Day and I presented Julianne with our small tokens of affection.  Lady Day's gift to our dear friend was perfect - a handmade "Naturally Concealed" holster.  Once Julianne chooses her concealed carry pistol, she will give measurements to Lady Day, who will then custom-make a holster so that she can conceal carry with ease.  If there is a more thoughtful gift to be had, I certainly can't think of it!

My gift was far less grand, but no less heartfelt.  Julianne's husband was diagnosed with cancer about a year and a half ago, and since then, Julianne has done her best to bring nothing but healthful things into their home.  She has cut out all processed foods and sugars and has even gone so far as to discontinue alcohol filled cleansers, lotions and bath products.  Knowing that natural bath products are expensive and hard to come by, I made a basket full of items crafted in my own kitchen, with ingredients I could pronounce.

I made some tried and true recipes and a few new ones, with great results.  Knowing that Lavender was one of Julianne's favorite scents, I made most of her bath products with a liberal amount of Lavender essential oil.  First up was Lavender Whipped Body Butter.  I used the same recipe as the Peppermint Whipped Body Butter, using Lavender essential oil instead of Peppermint.  Next up was my favorite Lavender Body Lotion.  I love the way it glides on, leaving skin so smooth and soft.  Not wanting to stop there, I tried a new recipe, Peppermint Citrus Sugar Scrub.  Sublime!  And last, but not least, I made a Spa Lavender Detox Soak, a soothing combination of Epsom Salts and baking soda, scented with a healthy dose of Lavender (perfect for night-time soak).

After I mixed and stirred and poured into containers, I loaded everything into a basket, added a couple of candles and presented it to my dear friend - bath products fit for healthy living.

The afternoon spent with my wonderful friends reminded me how precious and rare our friendship is - and inspired me to make more of an effort to nourish and maintain this lovely gift.  All of the busyness in the world is no substitute for the most treasured gift - the gift of "bosom friends".

If you would like to make a gift of healthy bath indulgences, you can find two of the recipes below and follow the links to the other two.  Enjoy creating a beautiful life!

Peppermint Citrus Sugar Scrub

1 C granulated sugar
1/2 C oil (olive oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil)
2 - 4 T ground orange peel (optional - makes a great exfoliant)
2 T glycerin (optional)
10 drop peppermint essential oil (more or less)
10 - 15 drops sweet orange essential oil (or other citrus oil of your choice)

Mix sugar, oil, orange peel and glycerin together.  Gradually add the essential oil, mixing well.  Store your scrub in a glass container.  (I put mine in a metal powder container lined with plastic wrap).  TO USE:  Rub a small amount on wet hands, scrub body, rinse with warm water.

Crushing the orange peel using a mortar and pestle

Mixing all of the luscious ingredients

Spa Lavender Detox Soak

1 C Epsom Salts
1 C Baking Soda
Lavender Essential Oil

Mix the Epsom salts and baking soda well.  Add essential oil to achieve the desired scent.  You can use any essential oil you'd like, however, the Lavender is very relaxing.  Pour a splash into the hottest tub you can stand and take a leisurely soak.

In a plastic wrap lined antique powder tin

Rather charming, I thought


  1. Enola,

    I'm sorry to hear about your friends husband. Cancer is a bad disease which hurts many families. Sending prayers to your friend and her husband Going with all natural foods, soaps, oils in your home is so much better for our bodies than all the processed stuff.

    Your homemade gift to your friend is just perfect!!! Thank you for the recipes!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing your recipes. I have been experimenting with different EO's, base oils and herbs to make our lotions, lip balms, etc. It is fun, but I always love a new recipe too. I just made a honeysuckle-orange body lotion. It smelled wonderful. I made a Bay scented one for my men. They really like it.

    I said a prayer for your friend and her husband.

  3. I can't wait to try making these!
    p.s.-really loving the frequent posts!

  4. Is there a pattern available for the concealed carry holster? I haven't found a commercial one I like, and I prefer homemade for everything! Love your blog.

  5. when i visit here, when i visit you, i feel closer to the truth of a simple life, closer to my creator, God and closer to Jesus my savior.

  6. These look wonderful! Enola, is the orange peel fresh or dried? In the photo it looks like dried peel. Thanks.

  7. Enola,
    I am LOVING the body butter!! ..and so is my dry skin, just soaks it up. Thank you, what a GREAT gift!
    I cherish your friendship, dear are one in a million.