Excavating the Earth with Ground Soap

Meet Angela Youngs and Glenn Forester, Creators and Owners of Ground Soap. This husband and wife duo hand makes cold-process soaps using ONLY natural and organic ingredients. From plant-based fats to local Canadian honey to the Indonesian Batik fabric packaging, no detail is left unnoticed. Continue reading “Excavating the Earth with Ground Soap”

Day in the Life with Essential Oils

Essential oils are all the rage right now. From tupperware-style parties in homes to health food stores, these plant-based oils can be found almost everywhere. If you’re like me, then you might have been a bit skeptical at first. Some people believe they can cure anything from the common cold to even cancer. I became curious about these potion-like oils and started experimenting. I will say they do affect my mood and some oils definitely help when it comes to clearing toxins in your skin and balancing sebum. As someone with sensitive skin that is prone to acne, this seemed too good to be true. However, they do come straight from mother nature so there must be some truth to it.

Come explore with us as we try out different essential oils throughout our daily routine.

 


No matter how much sleep you got the night before, waking up in the morning can be a nightmare for some of us (hi, yes. that’s me. I’m a bear in the a.m.)  Many of us try to counteract the drowsy feeling with loads of caffeine, which can irritate sensitive stomachs and cause a horrible mental crash later. I like to start the morning on my mat with a diffuser by my side while I do a few simple yoga poses to get the blood and energy flowing. In the morning I especially love the scents of citrus like lemon, grapefruit and orange. Citrus is incredibly invigorating and will definitely help you wake up and give you the mental clarity that is so desperately needed.

1. Morning Pick Me Up Recipe: Use 10-20 drops total per oz. My favorite scent is lemon so I tend to use a little more.

  • lemon
  • grapefruit
  • peppermint
  • orange

After I’ve woken up my body with citrus essential oils and yoga, I wash my face to really feel recharged and ready to go. Many face washes and soaps can have chemicals that strip your face of its natural oils, which leaves you feeling either too dry or too oily. But unscented castile soap is known for having organic, all-natural ingredients like olive oil and coconut oil. Lemon is added to the face wash because it acts as an astringent and tea tree oil can help with acne.

Note: Lemon is a photosensitizing oil, meaning it can cause skin irritation after sun exposure so be careful!

 

2. All Natural Face Wash Recipe

  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 tbsp tea tree essential oil

If you’re going through a stressful time or ate too much pizza the night before, then you may have a few acne flare-ups you need to deal with (we’ve all been there. And pizza is totally worth it). Tea tree oil is known for its anti-acne properties and lavender is known to calm irritated skin. The combination can be powerful so only add a small amount to the affected area with a q-tip.

 

3. Skin Care Blend Recipe

  • 6 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 6 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of peppermint or lemon essential oil

Add to 1 ounce of jojoba and apply with a q-tip essential oil


We’re all too familiar with that dragging, tired feeling we often get in the afternoon. Around 3 o’clock everyday I start yawning and grabbing for the coffee. Caffeine is a quick fix but it can leave you feeling super sluggish and can cause trouble sleeping even hours later. For an afternoon recharge, I use a USB diffuser on my desk with the essential oils below to keep my mind sharp and on track.

Sidenote: This little USB diffuser is one of my personal favorites because of its size. If you travel you can pack it in your bag to use in your hotel after a long day.


 

4. Afternoon Pick Me Up Recipe

  • 6 drops of rosemary
  • 3 drops of lemon
  • 2 drops of frankincense

After a long day when I simply can’t take anymore and I’m officially exhausted, I love unwinding with a warm bath (and a glass of wine. or three). Making your own bath salts is pretty simple and can have a huge impact on your mind and body. The scents help your mind escape to relaxation while the warm bath soothes aching muscles. This combination of oils, especially the eucalyptus, is perfect for alleviating symptoms of a stuffy nose or a sore throat.

5. Breath Easy Bath Salts Recipe: per 1 oz. of bath salts.

  • 4 drops of Eucalyptus
  • 3 drops of rosemary
  • 2 drops of lavender

There it is, a day in the life with essential oils. Finding ways to add these oils into your life can be simple and doesn’t have to be a huge overhaul of your everyday routine. Since everyone is different, some oils may work better with you than others and some scents you may not like at all, and that’s okay. Take time to experiment and find what works for you.
What recipes have you come up with and how do you like to use them?

DIY Essential Oils Candle

There’s just something about candles and their ability to change our mood we can’t get enough of. The smells can be relaxing or invigorating and the flicker of the light is mesmerizing. You can ignite just one or create an alter with various sizes and styles. We decided to try our hand at creating our own essential oil candles. The combinations are endless and we reccomend experimenting until you find a scent combination you love

What you’ll need:

-A clean candle container, use one from a burnt out candle for an upcycled option. We chose one with a hand painted design.

-1 lb of soy wax flakes

-Candle wick

-Scissors

-Chopsticks, or a pencil works too

-Essential Oils: We’re using Lavender, Orange, Lemongrass, Patchouli and Grapefruit

-Oven mitt

Step 1: Place the metal part of the wick at the bottom of the container. Carefully and tightly wrap the wick around the chopstick so it rests on the side of the container but still touches the bottom of it. Now that you know the right size, remove the chopstick and wick.


 

 

Step 2: Fill the container to the top with soy wax flakes. It can be hard to judge exactly how much of the flakes you need, so keep the rest nearby.


 

Step 3: Put the container and the flakes in the microwave and heat them up for approximately :30 seconds. Take out the container – don’t forget to use the mitt! – and mix up the flakes with the chopstick. Check to see how much has melted. If they barely melted, stick it back in the microwave for another :30. If they started to melt, simply add in more flakes and repeat the process until the wax is melted and approximately an inch away from the top.


 

Step 4: Place the container on a heat safe surface to let it cool. Continue to periodically stir it so it doesn’t solidify. Once it is cooler but not solid, Add the drops to the candle and mix them in with the other chopstick

How many drops should you use?

This question is tricky and depends on the type of oil you’re using as well as how potent you’d like your candle. The recipe is generally 1/4 oz of essential oil per 1 lb of soy wax. This is approximately 150 drops per 1 lb of candle wax!!

We used a 9 oz candle jar so we used approximately 80 drops total.


Step 5: Slowly and carefully add the wick back into the candle and let the chopstick rest on the edge. Do not place the candle in the fridge. Let it rest for at least 48 hours.

Essential Oils 101

We are excited to announce our new line of 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils! Unlike other oils, these can be used topically or in an aroma diffuser. They are highly concentrated liquids extracted from leaves, flowers, stems, bark or other aromatic plant elements.

Why use them?

Essential oils are known to have physiological and psychological effects on the human body. The aromatic scents can have a positive affect on our moods and feelings. Many use essential oils to assist in their meditation and prayer to create a deeper connection. Some oils have a cleansing action, which is useful in clearing toxins in the skin and balancing sebum.

Oils are packaged as individual scents or blends of scents, called “Synergistic Blends”. These blends are created to enhance everyday life and invoke a positive mood. You are welcome to experiment and create your own unique blend or try out pre-blended options, such as “Anxiety Release” or “Sleepy Time”.

Click here for essential oil recipes 

The aroma or scents of a specific essential oil are often categorized in levels of “notes”: Top Notes, Middle Notes, and Base Notes. Levels are determined by how fast the oil evaporates. Top notes evaporate the fastest.

  • Top Notes are fast acting and therefore release an immediate aroma but it dissipates quickly. They are made from flowers, leaves, and flower herbs, which create an uplifting, stimulating and energizing feeling. Recommended for acute conditions.
  • Middle Notes are warmer and softer scents, made from spices and herbs, which creates balance within major systems of the body. It is usually the primary body of an aroma blend.
  • Based Notes are solid, intense, deep-bodied aromas with the longest evaporation time. It can slow down evaporation of other oils and is the last to be smelled in a blend.

How are they made?

Plants, such as lavender, are harvested in a natural and pesticide free habitat. Experts then distill the plants through a steaming process. The plant material is added to a container where it is steamed, releasing the aromatic molecules. The vapor is then condensed from a gaseous to a liquid form. The oil is separated from the water, creating a super concentrated, aromatic, essential oil.

Obsessed yet? Get shopping.

Get More Out of Essential Oils

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 12.56.47 PM

There are a variety of uses for essential oils and they can be tailored to fit your needs. Use them in a diffuser to enjoy the aroma or on your body to create a deeper connection. Since essential oils are extremely concentrated, a buffer or carrier oil is recommended to dispense the scent and positive properties.

  • Many people create their own lotion blends by using an unscented, moisturizing lotion and adding 3-6 drops of essential oils per ounce of cream.
  • Carrier oils such as Jojoba oil, Sesame oil, and Sweet Almond oil are also popular options. These carrier oils are beneficial in controlling acne, and nourishing and relieving itching skin. Generally 5–10 drops per ounce of carrier oil is recommended to create balms or massage oils.
  • Essential oils can be simply added to a bath or bath salts to enhance your relaxation and help you wind down. All it takes is 3 – 15 drops in the tub or 15-30 drops per 16 ounces of bath salts.
  • Create your own room spray by adding 20 drops per 4 fl oz of water (shake well)

Obsessed yet? Get shopping.

DIY: Bath Bombs

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We love to track the change of seasons with our DIY projects, and this is the perfect winter to spring transitional project. Make lovely spring colors and scents and then go soak out the winter chills in a hot, deliciously scented bath!

This recipe makes 1-2 bath bombs. Double or triple to make more for friends!

 

ingredients

Kitchen Supplies:
– Medium mixing bowl
– Measuring spoons
– Whisk
– Sealable jar (like a clean jam jar)
– Soap or candle mold, or other items to function as mold. You can use plastic Easter eggs, muffin trays, cookie cutters, ice cube trays, etc.

Dry Ingredients:
– 4 TBSP Baking Soda
– 2 TBSP Epsom Salt
– 2 TBSP Citric Acid – This can be tricky to find, but check your local health food store. We found it at our local Sprouts, but other people have found it at Whole Foods.
– 2 TBSP Cornstarch

Wet Ingredients:
– ½ TSP Canola or Coconut Oil
– 1 ½ TSP Essential Oil or other scent – strongly brewed peppermint tea, almond food flavoring, or other concentrated liquids also work. Since you’re not using your essential oil for food or medicinal purposes, you don’t need large quantities or expensive oils.
– A few drops of food coloring

Try out some of these simple scent combination ideas:

-lavender + rosemary, lemongrass, or peppermint
-orange + clove, peppermint, or cinnamon
-grapefruit + rose or ginger
-almond + vanilla or orange
-basil + lime or rosemary
-tea tree + peppermint or eucalyptus
-lemon + juniper or lavender
-patchouli + rose
Procedure:

1- Put all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Break up any lumps and whisk together.

2- Put all of the wet ingredients into a jar. Close the jar and shake it to mix the ingredients. Whisking in a deep cup would probably work just as well.

3- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk it all together. It may fizz some, but stir and break up any clumps.

Process 1 Process 2 Process 3

Process 4 Process 5 Process 6

4- You may need to add a few more drops of liquid if your mixture won’t hold together briefly when squeezed. However, if you add too much liquid, your bombs may pre-bomb and spill out of your mold. Your bombs will harden as they dry, so don’t worry if your bombs feel crumbly at first when wet.

5- Spoon your mixture into your mold and press it in tightly. If you use Easter eggs, clean the edges carefully so they don’t dry and get stuck. We needed the edge of a knife to open ours.

6- Let the bath bombs dry overnight, then pop them out of their molds, and voila! They may leave an oily residue if left on paper or fabric, so take precautions! You may want to let them dry a few days before wrapping or sealing them.

Troubleshooting your bombs:

1- Pre-bombing – If your bath bombs are expanding out of your molds (popping open the Easter eggs!) or overflowing, you may be adding too much water. Trying using a little less water, and a little more oil. Food coloring and flavoring (like vanilla extract) count as water, not oil.

2- Too crumbly – If your bombs are crumbling apart when they dry, or breaking up as soon as they are out of their mold, you may be adding too little water. Try using a little less oil, and a few more drops of water.

And what does it look like when it bombs? Let’s test them out!

Test 1 test 1 test 2

test 3 test 4 Test 6
Try these out, and share your scent combinations with us! Instagram photos of your process and your results! Be sure to tag us @earthboundtrading so we can see your creations.