Category Archives: lavender

Easy Peasy All Purpose Vinegar Cleanser

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Sometime last year, I decided to get rid of the harsh cleaning solutions I’d been using around the house. I remember someone telling me that vinegar was a good alternative to the chemical filled cleansers I’d been buying. So I went online and found a cool website called 1001 Uses For White Distilled Vinegar. They had a lot of good tips on how much and what to use to clean using vinegar.

After going through a bunch of different ratios, I found the following formula works best for me, in terms of an all purpose cleaner.

16 oz water (about 2 cups)

16 oz white distilled vinegar (about 2 cups)

40 drops of lavender essential oil (optional)

40 drops of lemon essential oil or sweet orange essential oil (optional). Quick word of caution – lemon & lime essential oils can be dangerous for cats and dogs. You can omit this EO or use sweet orange EO.

And for those of us who need directions, here you go.

1. Fill a spray bottle about half way with vinegar. For my spray bottle, 16 ounces is exactly half.

2. Then fill up the other half with water.

3. Add 40 drops of lavender essential oil. Lavender EO has anti-septic properties and helps cut down on the smell of the vinegar. In this picture I use a pipette, but you don’t need one if you can count out 40 drops using an eye dropper.

4. Add 40 drops of lemon essential oil. Lemon EO cuts through grease and grime and it also smells great.

5. Shake to blend everything together.

And voila! Easy peasy all purpose vinegar cleanser. Because this is an all natural cleanser, sometimes you may have to spray and wipe down your surface twice to get it as clean as you want. If I’m cleaning something extra nasty, I usually have a cup of baking soda on hand to sprinkle onto to the surface. The other thing you can do is let the vinegar mix sit on the surface for a few minutes to let it penetrate the dirt. Usually that’s all it takes for me. The only thing I have not been able to clean with this solution are windows and mirrors. I find that it streaks, (probably due to the essential oils) so I just use water & vinegar alone.

What I love about this formula is that it’s all natural and dirt cheap to make. I don’t have to worry about my pets accidentally ingesting harsh chemicals, nor do I have to worry about breathing the stuff in as I clean. The cost is also very nice. I bought the gallon of vinegar from Smart & Final for $0.99 and the spray bottle from the local dollar store for (*gasp*) $1. The cost of the water is negligible. The cost of essentials oils is about $11 for both, but they are optional. I haven’t calculated how much I’ve saved by using formula, but I know it’s already paid for itself.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Love vinegar style,

Camille

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Weeds, Seeds and Caddyshack. All Happening in the Garden.

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Hey everyone!

A couple of things have happened lately that took me out of the game awhile. One, I got super sick and two, I switched to a new alternative work schedule. This long weekend is the first in long time that I’m able to do things like blog and work in the yard.

Speaking of the yard, with the crazy weather we’ve just had, ours is out of control. Since yesterday was sunny and somewhat warm, I went out with shears in hand to clean up and harvest. Check out what I’ve found.

Crawling Rosemary

Initially I had this planted in the ground, but our resident gopher is treating the yard like a buffet. I came out one day and the gopher had eaten one of my rosemary plants. Then I found he’d eating my african tall grass. And a few other plants. Yes, I am currently wearing a Rambo style head band and clenching a knife in between my teeth. How did you know?

Roses and Rosehips

We had a week before the snow (yes I said snow) came that was in the 70s, so my roses started blooming. These are the last two that aren’t completely gone.

I have a lot of rosehips (above) in the yard now. I’m getting ready to process them now and will take lots of pictures for you.

At the same time, even with the hot weather, because of the rain, a lot of my roses had rust on them.

See the orange spots? Thats rust. Meh. So I spent a lot of time removing all the rusty leaves.

Yarrow

My yarrow (also known as achillea) has completely dried out so I finally took the dried blossoms from the yard. They actually looked really pretty dried. Oh yeah, and ignore the weeds in the background. Thanks.

Lavender

Yes, lavender infused oil is coming soon. And I mean like REALLY soon. I can’t wait to harvest this. Last year when I transplanted this into the ground, I was really unsure if it would take. I am so happy to see it green and vibrant.

Blueberries

Okay, so these aren’t blueberries, but this is one of my blueberry plants. Fernando bought these for me last year and I almost killed them. Luckily, I got smart, moved them to another spot in the yard and now I have blooms coming. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for berries this year.

Raspberries

For the last month, my raspberry plant has been growing quite a bit. I’ve been lazy on harvesting so I’ve been feeding the bugs and critters with my raspberries. I’m okay with that.

Rose Geranium (Attar of Roses)

If you can believe it, this plant was originally a quarter of it’s current size and I’ve only had it for about 7  months. I’ve done almost nothing to this plant, other than watering occassionaly and pulling weeds. (Except for the ones you currently see of course – just ignore them. Thanks!) It amazes me how even with some neglect this plant has just thrived. It’s even got flower buds coming out.

This particular geranium is “Attar of Roses” and it truly does smell like a rose. All you have to do is rub a leaf between your fingers to get the fragrant oils on your skin. I am still debating how I will process this plant. Infused oil? Fresh tea? Lotion blend? I dunno.

Of course, I left out all the weeds. Except for the one I’ve been munching on.

When I was a kid we called it sour grass but there many different names for this weed. I love how cheery they are and how tart and refreshing they taste. Somebody told me that too much can be poisonous, so I try not to eat too many of them.

Well, thats all for today. Any good things growing in your yard?

-Camille

store: www.havelinasoap.com

 

Special Edition Soap – Lavender & Rose Petal Infusion

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I wanted to make a few special edition soaps for the holidays so I decided to use one of my oil infusions.

This is the outcome.

This is my lavender and rose petal infusion soap. The lavender was from Mt. Madonna and the rose petals were from my garden. I had been holding onto the oil for awhile and decided now was a good time to break it out. This is a special edition because I won’t be able to make this particle infusion again for awhile.

Once the bars harden up a little more, they will be available at the online store. Quantities are extremely limited (about 6 bars) so watch for them!

Camille

Nayko’s French Lavender

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Lately I haven’t been taking great soap pictures, so please bear with me and this post. I made a batch of Nayko’s French Lavender and wanted to share the photos. The last time I made it I colored it lavender with white accents and this time I did just the opposite.

I loved the way the swirls came out and couldn’t wait to see what the bars would look like cut. It was a long two days as I waited for the bars to harden up. And here they are…

Well, the color faded a little, but the lavender essential oil fragrance stayed strong. The color will pop again once you start using the bar in the shower. I wish I didn’t have to wait another few weeks to try one, but alas, I must be patient.

These bars will also be available in a soapy 4 pack and as individual bars in the online store. Countdown 12 days…

-Camille