Spa Oasis: The 4 Best Shower Plants To Add to Your Bathroom + A Nifty Idea for the Commitment-Phobic Plant Lover

This summer I went to Stockholm and got to see Scandinavian design first hand. Ikea definitely rules the city, but one thing that I hadn’t really noticed before my visit was this new trend that’s sweeping across the internet: shower plants. I stayed at this cute little air bnb and the bathroom was full of potted plants. I absolutely loved it. The shower stall had hanging plants creeping down the side of the wall and the tub was adorned with beautiful potted plants. It made for the most relaxing spa shower I’ve had in a long time.

As soon as I got back to the states, I knew I just had to add a little green to my shower. I did some investigating and soon discovered that Swedes might be on to something here. Not only are potted plants in the bathroom totally beautiful, but they also serve the function of purifying the air of bacteria and humidity. Perfect for a bathroom! It’s no secret how much I love houseplants. Even though I have the worst luck in keeping plants alive, I’ve found some houseplants that totally thrive even when they are in the care of an herbicidal maniac like me. Finding houseplants for your shower is no different. These plants are totally well suited for a bathroom’s humid environment and are all seriously low maintenance. Check it out!

Air Plants

These amazing little guys are really making the rounds on Pinterest lately. Practically impossible to kill, they add a touch of elegance without all of the fuss. They don’t need soil and when stored in a bathroom, they get most of their water from the air. Just perfect!

Ferns

An oldie, but goodie. Ferns never lose their charm. They require little maintenance and are super prolific. they don’t need direct sunlight and your shower will feel like a rainforest. These look amazing on a vanity, on the lip of a tub, or on a shelf above the toilet.

Spider Plants

Spider plants serve double duty by adding a beautiful touch of low maintenance green to your loo, while at the same time purifying the air. They don’t need much light and they really do well in the humid environment provided by a bathroom.

Eternity Plant

So aptly named, the eternity plant is virtually impossible to kill. Seriously, I tried. I am horrible at taking care of plants, but this one here doesn’t mind the fact that I, ahem, never water it, never talk to it (aren’t you supposed to talk to plants?), and have only indirect sunlight in my bathroom. Forget about marriage, this guy will never give up on his relationship with you.

Nifty Idea: Bath Bouquets

Ok. So what if you’re not willing to even attempt to care for a plant, no matter how low maintenance it is? I totally understand. I have a guest bathroom that I seriously never use. I only go in there to wipe it down from time to time when I know I’m going to have company. Not an ideal place for indoor plants that rely, even just a little bit, on human interaction.

For that bathroom, I like to put together a bouquet of eucalyptus, mint, lavender, rosemary, or lemongrass stems that i tie up with natural twine (find it here) and hang from the shower curtain. These ‘bouquets’ last for weeks and release the most beautiful fragrances when in an enclosed space. When and if you do use the shower, the bouquet reacts to the steam and creates an amazing aromatherapy shower. Such a cool little idea! You can avoid commitment, but still enjoy the benefits of bringing the outside in!

2 Ingredient Homemade Mosquito Repellent + Sleep Spray

Just as I was settling back into a relaxing sleep routine, the heat wave hit. Tossing and turning. Then the temperatures started to cool down just enough this weekend for me to start to get comfortable…BAM! Mosquitoes!!! I can say without a doubt that mosquitoes are my least favorite part of Summer. I can be surrounded by people and literally every single hungry mosquito in a 5 mile radius will bite me. Just me. My mother says it’s ’cause I’m so sweet which (don’t judge me) actually makes me feel a little better. Mommies are awesome like that.

Anyway, I was in desperate need of some mosquito-free rest and relaxation. I’ve always heard that the go to mosquito repellent is citronella. I really am not too keen on the smell of citronella, especially when I’m trying to get some shut eye. Fortunately, citronella isn’t the only scent that mosquitoes hate. We’re talking lavender, y’all. Who knew?!

Lavender is probably my favorite essential oil. For real, I use it in all kinds of recipes. Seriously, I go through those little bottles like water. I always keep a homemade lavender face mist at my desk to relieve stress. I use a lavender leave in conditioner daily. And now I have a new recipe to add to my arsenal, and yours. This recipe goes straight ninja on mosquitoes all while calming you into the deepest, most restful sleep of your life. Check it out and you can totally thank me later!

Homemade Mosquito Repellent + Sleep Spray

Ingredients

  • witch hazel
  • lavender essential oil

Directions

  • pour your witch hazel in a small mist bottle (I used 2oz bottles) leaving a little space at the top
  • add about 10 drops of lavender essential oil, or more to really get that lavender scent up and running
  • if you’re feeling fancy, you can add some fresh, dried lavender
  • close the bottle and shake well
  • to use, spray the mist all over your bed linens and your whole body
  • store on your bedside table

This spray is so gentle that you can use it directly on your skin without fear of irritation. I really use a lot of this spray, so I tend to have to make more on a weekly basis, but it’s so worth it. For the first time in years, I get to sleep at night… the deep slumber of a person that has absolutely no mosquito bites.

Images: pinterest/eyeswoon + pinterest/annieselke

Pure Soap Flakes—Your New (Old School) Secret Weapon to Clean EVERYTHING

When I was a kid, they still sold soap flakes in all the stores. Soap flakes are, well, soap flakes. Dried, 100% pure, vegetable based castile soap with no added preservatives, bleaches, phosphates, or perfumes. If you’re old enough to remember that, you’ll probably remember how amazingly versatile soap flakes were. You could use them to clean everything from delicate wood floors to laundry to newborn babies. They were magical and just like that, they started disappearing from the shelves at the grocery store and were replaced by all kinds of products containing heaps of toxins.

Anyway, I recently got my hands on some soap flakes and I’ve totally been on a cosmetic making rampage! I usually swear by Dr. Bronner’s liquid soaps, but some household products I make call for something a little bit thicker. Who doesn’t prefer creamy shampoo or laundry detergent? So I’ve been testing out some recipes for you lot, because of course I have. Not only are soap flakes extremely powerful (just imagine your laundry whites actually staying white), but they’re also gentle enough to use on the most sensitive of skin. This is an all in one kinda deal, folks!

Here are just a few of the many uses for soap flakes:

  • Laundering natural fibers and delicate fabrics including wool, cashmere, silk, linen, flannel, chiffon, cotton, and down.
  • Washing and cleaning children’s toys chemically free.
  • Cleaning precious ceramics, crystal and glassware, fragile china, porcelain and marble
  • Shampooing wool and other fine carpets and rugs.
  • Cleaning musical instruments, wood and metal.
  • Shampooing pets, show dogs and show horses.
  • Use in craft projects such as making frost for holiday trees, rock polishing, making soap crayons, carving soap sculptures.
  • Safely combine soap flakes with other natural cleaning ingredients such as baking soda, borax and washing soda for extra cleaning power.
  • Wash oak, pine, teak, walnut, linoleum and vinyl floors.
  • Wash walls and wallpaper, wood products, fine furniture and priceless antiques.
  • Wash boats, cars, and motorcycles with no harm to the environment.

Basic Laundry Detergent Directions

  1. Dissolve soap flakes thoroughly in hot water and allow to cool to skin temperature before use.
  2. Washing Items by Hand: 2 or 3 tablespoons per gallon of water. Work fabric in soapy mixture and rinse well. Squeeze or pat dry.
  3. Top Loading Washing Machines: 1/2 cup per load.
  4. Front Loading Machines: 2 tablespoons per load. Dissolve flakes in hot water before pouring into machine. Do not use machine’s detergent dispenser.

***Always wash garments according to garment label.

***Also, I like to add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the diluted mixture before throwing it in the washer. It smells divine!

Homemade Winter Potpourri (Stove Top or Slow Cooker)

Homemade Winter Potpourri (Stove Top or Slow Cooker) —Fixer Upper Friday

This is one of my favorite holiday traditions for real. There’s nothing more inviting than the smell of winter spices filling a home. Somehow it just makes me feel warmer, happier, and calmer all at once. The holiday season can be extremely stressful and good old-fashioned aromatherapy really does bring a sense of peace and calm to all that holiday mayhem. This is a recipe I use pretty often and it couldn’t be easier. I just set these ingredients in a slow cooker or directly on the stove top and let it work its magic.

Homemade Winter Potpourri (Stove Top or Slow Cooker)

This is a total sidebar: I have to admit this to you guys. The smell of this potpourri is so divine that I’ve even tried drinking a cup or two of this stuff as tea because #FearIsTheMindKiller. I don’t out and out recommend that you try that because I’ve heard that pine can be a bit toxic to consume, but then again I’ve also heard that Pine Needle Tea has some crazy awesome health benefits. Anyway, I’m still standing and it wasn’t half bad with a bit of honey, so the choice is totally yours. To be on the safe side, if you plan on drinking this mixture (that’s how great it smells) and you don’t trust evergreens (I can dig it) just don’t put the pine needles in it. Drinking potpourri…seriously what’s wrong with me? Whatevs…

Just prepare yourself for the truly intoxicating aroma of citrus and winter spices to fill your home!

Homemade Winter Potpourri (Stove Top or Slow Cooker)

Homemade Winter Potpourri (Stove Top or Slow Cooker)

Ingredients

  • 1 blood orange
  • 1 navel orange
  • 3-5 cinnamon sticks
  • 1-2 vanilla bean pods
  • 1 small clipping of a fresh pine branch (about 3-4 inches)
  • 4-5 cups of apple cider

Homemade Winter Potpourri (Stove Top or Slow Cooker)

Directions

  • Pour apple cider into pot with a few sprigs of pine and the cinnamon sticks.
  • Cut open the vanilla bean pod (or pods), lengthwise. Add to pot.
  • Slice up the oranges into ¼ to ½ inch thick slices. Then, place them into the pot.
  • Place the pot on medium high heat, until it reaches a gentle boil. Then simmer on low (up to several hours). Add water or more apple cider when the liquid in the pot begins to get low.
  • If you’re using a slow cooker, just add all the ingredients and cook on high for the first 1-2 hours, then reduce the setting to low just as you would on the stove top.

Enjoy!!!

Source: Make Your own Winter Stove Top Potpourri – Momtastic.com

The Only 2 DIY Yoga Mat Cleaners You’ll Ever Need

My love affair with essential oils continues! From skin care to household cleaners, I put drops of essential oil in everything. I was a bit scared at first because the last thing I wanted my house and my body to smell like was a hippie. No offense, I know some hippies that I absolutely love, but I sure do gag at the smell of patchouli (shout out to Ithaca, NY! i love you guys!).

Anyway, the other day, I was about to start my home yoga routine because I’m like #yogaeverydamnday. I rolled out my mat and was greeted by the ghost of workouts past. My yoga mat smelled like the rankest of gym bags. Horrified, I ran and grabbed my pillow mist from my bedside table and sprayed the yoga mat down. I did my routine, but I knew that I had only masked the odor of sweat and that my poor little, hard-working yoga mat still wasn’t clean.

DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner With Essential Oils

So, armed with essential oils, white vinegar, and distilled water, I was able to disinfect and freshen up my mat in no time at all! Here are two quick recipes that I alternate between about every two weeks.

DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner

DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner with Essential Oils

What You Need

  • small spray bottle (I’ve been using these glass bottles for all of my green beauty products)
  • distilled water
  • witch hazel (fun fact: if you don’t have witch hazel, you can use Vodka instead!)
  • essential oils (peppermint + lavender +tea tree= what I imagine heaven smells like)

Directions

  • fill your bottle about 3/4 of the way with distilled water
  • add about 1/8 tsp of witch hazel or vodka
  • add anywhere from 5-15 drops of essential oils (I used about 5 drops each of peppermint, lavender, and tea tree oil)
  • Shake the bottle and spray your mat
  • Wipe the mat down with a clean damp dish towel
  • Allow your mat to dry before you try to do King Dancer Pose!

DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner without Essential Oils

What You Need

  • Small spray bottle (I’ve been using these glass bottles for all of my green beauty products)
  • distilled water
  • white vinegar
  • fresh lemon

Directions

  • Fill your bottle about 3/4 of the way with distilled water
  • Add about 1/8 tsp of white vinegar
  • Squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon juice.
  • Shake the bottle and spray your mat
  • Wipe the mat down with a clean damp dish towel

Store your yoga mat cleaner the right way!

  • The mat cleaner containing essential oils can be stored in your gym bag, or any cool dry place.
  • The mat cleaner containing fresh lemon should be refrigerated.

Image Credit: Sophie Uliano