DIY + Holiday Spa Bath Gifts

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It’s Christmas time!!!!

It’s official, Starbucks has put out their holiday cup, Target is a mad house on the weekends, and the radio stations are playing nonstop Christmas music. Yep, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Have you watched Love Actually, brought back the elf, or put up the tree yet? You have? Welcome to the elite team of holiday overachievers. I’m just picking on you. Maybe you have it all together or, maybe you are the one waking up in the middle of the night because, CRAP! you forgot to move the elf again!!! No matter what side you land on, most if not all of us, will be on the hunt for gifts. And while Amazon gets a good workout around this time of year at my house too, I wanted to give some sustainable gifts as well.

After Halloween, I roasted and pureed our ol’ Jack-O-lantern since I didn’t want to waste that beautiful pumpkin. That left me with an abundance of pumpkin puree. Not a bad thing since I froze a good portion to use for Thanksgiving, but I was still left wondering how I could use it all. That is when I remembered that pumpkin is full of wonderful enzymes that are great for the skin. And who doesn’t love pumpkin everything, right?

Below are two recipes that I whipped up.

I think they would make great sustainable gifts.

Spice Milk Bath

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Supplies:

1/2 cup oatmeal or oat flour

1 cup powdered milk

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (I make my own with this recipe)

What to do:

The first thing I needed to do was to make oat flour. This is as easy as can be. I added 1/2 cup of oatmeal to a food processor and pulsed until it was a fine powder.

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Next, add all ingredients into a jar and shake it all up. You can always leave the milk bath in the jar that you used to make it. I found milk bottles at the Target dollar spot for $3 for a pack of two and thought that was a nice touch. This recipe filled up one and a half of the bottles.

Pumpkin Pie Body Scrub

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Supplies:

2 tablespoons pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla

Sugar

Oil (I used coconut oil, almond, and vitamin E oil but you could use any natural oil)

What to do:

The exact measurements of sugar and oil are not necessary. I mixed the sugar scrub to consistency. Add the sugar first, then pumpkin, spices, vanilla and lastly, add the oil a little at a time. You want the mixture to hold its form when you grab a spoonful and put it into  your hand. Add more sugar if it is too oily and more oil if it is too dry.

I had to double the recipe to almost fill this giant jar that I found at the Target dollar spot.

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I am going to tell you to be prepared to make an extra batch of both of these for yourself. It is hard to resist a hot bath on a chilly winter night. And when you come out smelling like pumpkin pie, you will be hard to resist too.

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Me being a little ridiculous with the pumpkin from head to toe, literary. Pumpkin hair mask, pumpkin face mask, and later a pumpkin foot mask.

Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe? Are you ready for the holidays? Have you decked the halls? Tell me how your holiday season is going for you.

Also, let me know in the comments if you are interested in the other pumpkin recipes that I tried out.

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Recipe + Spiced Apple Cider With A Frisky Twist

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Autumn has absolutely taken over my heart. I love when the season turns cooler, crisp, and calmer. Newly chilly fall mornings are my favorite. I love how the sun seems to wait just a little longer to begin the day. The still and quiet of the early morning hangs in the balance just a little longer. In the evening, sleepy heads turn in a little earlier, seeking the warm glow of those that we love.

As we all try to get cozy, I’m reminded that spiced apple cider is one of my favorite fall recipes. I love to share it with my loved ones when the days grow shorter and the air gets cooler. What I love most about making homemade apple cider is that it is surprisingly easy. Especially this recipe since it is made in a slow cooker.

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Spiced Apple Cider

You will need:

  • 10 apples- I like to use a verity like Fuji, Pink Lady, Gala, and Granny Smith for a complex flavor
  • An orange
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cinnamon sticks or 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Nutmeg- I used fresh nutmeg but if you use pre-ground it is equal to about 1 ½ teaspoons
  • 5 whole allspice
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 cup of honey- you can also use 1 cup of sugar or Sugavita.
  • Cheesecloth

First, you will want to gather your spices in a cheesecloth and tie the bundle up nice and tight. Or, if you would rather, you can skip the cheesecloth and toss the spices in the slow cooker as they are.

Next, quarter the apples. No need to seed or peel them. Then, zest the orange and cut in half. Add the apples, orange halves, and zest, honey or sugar, and vanilla extract into the slow cooker. Then, fill with enough water to cover everything. Toss in your spices. Set on high.

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After about two hours, take a large spoon or potato masher and mash the apples. They will be really soft by now. Discard the orange. Allow the mash to simmer for another hour or so.

Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Then strain through cheese cloth. You can do this a few times depending on how much pulp you want in your drink.

The cider can be added back into the slow cooker to keep and serve warm. Or, you can chill and serve it cold.

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If you’re feeling a little frisky…. Try mixing champagne with the chilled apple cider for an apple cider mimosa. I love to serve this on Holiday mornings when it’s just the girls in the kitchen.

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Cheater Spiced Apple Cider

Maybe you find Autumn tugging at your heart strings but you don’t have the time to make homemade apple cider. Here is a fast and easy cheater recipe for you.

 

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Apple juice

Start making a simple syrup by combining the sugar, water, and cinnamon. Bring to a very slight boil and reduce heat. Let simmer until it has reduced by about half. Allow to cool and pour into an airtight container like a glass jar.

Mix 8-10 ounces of apple juice with 1 tablespoon of the spiced simple syrup. Again you can drink this warmed or chilled.

Enjoy!