Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Patchouli Rose Home Decor and Fashion has arrived!

Good I would like to share some exciting news with you. I have just launched a new website....Patchouli Rose....home decor and fashion. I have always loved this decorating style and after buying Robin Brown's new book, A Bit of Velvet & a Dash of Lace, about her business, Magnolia Pearl, I was on a mission to start my own bohemian style home decor and fashion site featuring repurposed and recycled items. So, welcome to Patchouli Rose! I will be adding more items regularly, and after the first of the year I will be adding my own line of handcrafted boho items. I hope you'll take a minute to look around Patchouli Rose, then come back here to leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A new environmental magazine......

My new blogging friend Maggie of Secret Women's Business posted about a new environmental magazine on her blog a few weeks ago. The magazine is "Positively Green" and is geared toward women. If you would like to know more just click here.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Protecting the Environment at the Holidays

I found some wonderful tips for recycling and reducing waste during the holidays on the Bath and North East Somerset Council website and wanted to share them here with my readers. Reduce, reuse, and ENJOY!

Tips for Recycling and Reducing at Christmas

Christmas can be a very wasteful time of year but with a bit of thought there's a lot you can do to help reduce the amount we throw away over this period. We have compiled a list of tips in conjunction with Recycle Now to give you ideas on how to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost more at Christmas.

Food and drink
Buy your fruit and veg naked (without packaging!) and then you can pick the best ones too!

When shopping for your Christmas feast, use a re-usable shopping bag or re-use old plastic bags.

Don’t forget to put the vegetable peelings from your Christmas dinner in your home compost bin.

If you’re having a party over Christmas time, opt for reusable plates, cutlery and glasses. Some supermarkets offer free loans of glasses to help keep costs down.

Think about buying recycled gifts for your loved ones this year. There are some great ideas at including recycled glass tableware and jewellery, recycled plastic Ipod cases, cosmetic bags made from juice cartons and a whole host of unusual gifts.

Buy an event or an experience as a unique waste-free gift.

Instead of using wrapping paper, try using reusable gift bags or boxes, a Christmas themed table cloth, tie a silk or velvet bow around the gift or use a Christmas stocking,

Use old comics, magazines, newspapers or pantomime programmes to wrap presents that can all be recycled after the festivities. Keep large sheets of wrapping paper to reuse next year.

Buy wrapping paper made from 100 per cent recycled materials and recycle it in your green box afterwards (providing it’s white backed paper)

Buy rechargeable batteries for all the children’s news toys and electrical gadgets - for every 500 charges you’ll save 499 batteries being thrown away!

Top of page

Try sending e-cards this year. E-cards mean no paper at all but the sentiments are still there.

Keep the Christmas cards you receive this year and re-use them next year as gift tags or to make in to cards again.

Eat your words! Why not make biscuits or buns with icing messages instead.

Save money and the environment – why not donate the money you normally spend on cards to a charity?

Or make sure you buy cards made from 100 per cent recycled materials.

Remember to recycle your Christmas cards in your green box once you’ve finished with them.

You can also help support the Woodland Trust Christmas Card Recycling Scheme who are aiming to plant 24,000 trees providing they can collect 100 million cards for recycling. To take part, please take you cards to any of the following stores before 31 January:

WH Smith, Tesco, TK Maxx, Marks & Spencer

Remember you can recycle 13 different items in your green recycling box and you can put your cardboard and brown paper out for free for the fortnightly cardboard and garden waste composting collections.

Start your own compost heap - it’s a great place to put all your vegetable peelings from Christmas dinner, plus all those extra newspapers and cardboard.

Recycle real Christmas trees. During January we will collect your real Christmas trees (without decorations) for free if you put them out as part of the cardboard and garden waste compost collections.

Take old toys, gifts and clothes to a charity shop where they can find a good home. These are also great places for picking up unusual gifts!

If you receive an ipod this Christmas, you may find yourself downloading and throwing out your old CDs. Make sure you recycle any unwanted ones and log onto to find your nearest CD recycling company.

Make a new year’s resolution to recycle more stuff, more often!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Natural herbal remedies: how to make bath salts

Doesn't relaxing in a warm bath filled with water treated to either energize, sooth or relax your body sound wonderful? Just keep reading to learn how you can make your own bath salts for a fraction of the cost of expensive store-bought products.

The following information is taken from the eSSORTMENT website:

Bath salts are simple to make and with proper storage can have a shelf life of several months. While most commercial bath salts are full of chemicals, you can make your own with just a few ingredients such as Epsom salt, baking soda, glycerin and your own choice of colors and fragrance.

One of the major ingredients in most bath salt recipes is Epsom salt. Epsom salt is made of magnesium sulfate which helps facilitate the removal of acids through the skin. It is also well known for its power to alleviate muscle soreness, aches and pains.

Another simple ingredient found in most kitchens is baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Baking soda added to a bath salt recipe adds the affect of softening your skin. An alternative to baking soda is liquid glycerin, a by-product of soap making. Glycerin offers the power of a skin moisturizer and is available at many drug stores or health food stores.

Bath Salts Recipe


2 Cups Epsom salts

1 Cup Sea Salt, Rock Salt or Course Salt

½ Cup Baking Soda

Food Coloring

20-30 drops of Fragrance Oil

In a large metal bowl combine the salts with the baking soda. Mix with your hands until the combination is thoroughly blended and resembles a fine powder. Add the food coloring, a few drops at a time until the desired color is achieved. Try to thoroughly mix the salts with the food coloring to make sure each salt grain is colored. Add the fragrance oil, a few drops at a time, mixing thoroughly to prevent the salts from clumping. Spread the salts in a single layer on a wax paper covered cookie sheet and allow to air dry for several hours. Spoon the dried bath salts into a wide mouth container with a good airtight stopper or lid. With proper storage, the bath salts will last for several months.

Add approximately ½ cup bath salts to your bath water, stirring the water to thoroughly dissolve the salts. Relax and enjoy!

Substitution: 1/4 Tablespoon of Glycerin can be substituted for the baking soda in the above recipe. Before adding the color and fragrance, add the glycerin to the combined salt mixture, stirring it in thoroughly to work out any clumps.


As salt will absorb moisture from the air, try to make your bath salts on a day with low humidity. You can get creative with the color choices and fragrances in your bath salt recipes by dividing the bath salts into separate containers and adding different colors and/or fragrances to each container. As an example, when using peppermint oil as your fragrance of choice, color half the salts with red food coloring and leave half white. Layer the colored salts into your storage container to get a multi-colored look. To achieve a multi-hued color, try adding a few drops of one color, mix into the salt combination very slightly, then add a second color and again mix just slightly.

The more fragrance you add to your bath salts, the less salt you will need to add to your bath water. Let your nose be your guide to determine when the fragrance is strong enough.

Store the salts in a wide-mouth container such as a baby food jar. As the salts tend to clump over time, removal from a small mouthed container can be virtually impossible. Although bath salts are ready to use immediately, storing the salts for a few weeks will allow the oils and fragrance time to merge with the salts.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Repurposed Items for Your Yard and Garden

I've been looking through yard and garden magazines while I'm vacationing at my mom's and found several great ideas for repurposing items that I thought were worth sharing:

* Old bowling balls......use one in place of a gazing ball in your garden. The marbled ones look prettiest and are much more durable than a glass gazing ball. Just place them hole side down on the base of a birdbath or gazing ball stand and voila!

* Half-gallon plastic milk or juice jug.....cut away the bottom of the jug, then cut out the handle side of the jug almost to the handle in an oval shape. Now you have a scoop for birdseed, potting soil or anything else you need to scoop. Be sure to leave the cap on the end of the jug.

* Plastic hair pick.....add it to your garden tools to gently loosen the roots of root-bound plants.

* Old mailbox.....mount an old mailbox on a post in your gardening area to hold your small gardening tools. This keeps them close at hand but out of the weather. Put the flag up to remind yourself that a tool needs to be put back. Put the flag down to show that everything has been put away. Make it pretty by painting your old mailbox with a garden or floral theme.

* Plastic milk crate/storage cube....if you have a milk crate or storage cube you are no longer using, give it a new life as a holder for pole-mounted yard art that you store away during the winter months. Put one pole in each opening and it will be much easier to separate them when Spring comes.

* Another use for discarded bowling balls.....paint them to look like garden creatures. The ones I saw were painted like oversized ladybugs and were really cute! To stabilize them paint them so that the hole is the "belly" and place it on a short stake.

I hope these ideas are helpful to you. I'd love it if you would comment with other ideas on repurposing items in the yard or garden!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Getting Back to Nature

Natural Remedies

This came to me on email from a friend and I wanted to share it with my readers....lots of good uses for honey and cinnamon. I don't know where these were tested and if they all actually work but some of them may be worth a try.

Facts on Honey and Cinnamon:

It is found that a mixture of honey and cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also accept honey as a "Ram Ban" (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without any side effects for any kind of diseases.

Today's science says that even though honey is sweet, if taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients. Weekly World News, a magazine in Canada, in its issue dated 17 January, 1995, has given the following list of diseases that can be cured by honey and cinnamon as researched by Western scientists:

Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply on bread, instead of jelly and jam, and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also those who have already had an attack, if they do this process daily, they are kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as you age, the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and veins.

Arthritis patients may take daily, morning, and night, one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. If taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week, out of the 200 people so treated, practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain, and within a month, mostly all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis started walking without pain.

Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder.

Make a paste of one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and five teaspoons of honey and apply on the aching tooth. This may be applied three times a day until the tooth stops aching.

Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, given to a cholesterol patient, was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol is cured. According to information received in the said journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.

Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and clear the sinuses.

Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also clears stomach ulcers from the root.

According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that if honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacteria and viral diseases.

Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.

A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural Ingredient which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.

Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Take four spoons of honey, one spoon of cinnamon powder and three cups of water and boil to make like tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans also increases and even a 100 year old, starts performing the chores of a 20-year-old.

Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast on an empty stomach and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. If taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month three times a day.

Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens, who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts, are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M. when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, increases the vitality of the body within a week.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Earth Hour

On March 29th, people everywhere turned off their lights–to make a statement, to help find new ways to reduce their impact on the environment, and to start a movement that ends with a solution to the common challenge we all face.....

To read more about his incredible event click here: Earth Hour

If you participated in Earth Hour 2008 please post a comment and tell us how not having electricity for one hour impacted your life.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Clean Green

I just received these tips on email from my sister-in-law and wanted to share them here with you!

Go GREEN when you Clean

Homemade Drain Cleaner

2 cups baking soda
2 cups salt, regular table, kosher or rock
½ cup cream of tartar

Combine and mix all of the ingredients in a covered container. Label and keep out of reach of children.

To Use:
Boil 2 cups of water on the stove. Pour ¼ cup of the cleaner mixture down the drain and follow immediately with half of the boiling water. Wait 30 minutes and repeat. Flush with cold water when second application is finished.

Suggested Use:
Use this drain cleaner once a week and you should find that your kitchen drain will remain clean and free flowing.

Unexplained but often successful cleaning tips:

The following are some tips that have been shared with us that have been known to work, but the why they work is a mystery.

To shine metal, use a cork from a bottle of red wine.
Ketchup will remove tarnish from copper.
Worcestershire sauce will shine brass.

Dry Carpet Cleaner
This mixture is meant to be used dry to refresh a carpet’s smell. When you sprinkle it on the carpet, it may look messy, but it does a great job.

2 cups baking soda
½ cup cornstarch
4-5 bay leaves, crumbled
1 tablespoon ground cloves

Mix all ingredients together and store in air-tight container with lid. Label and keep in a safe place, out of reach of children.

To use:
If possible, plan on leaving the mixture on your carpet overnight. Shake the container to mix, and then sprinkle liberally over the carpet to be cleaned. Close the doors to the room that that pets or children are dissuaded from the rug, and then vacuum thoroughly the next day.