So happy to announce that my Etsy shop is now officially open: ShopBranchandVine. This has been a goal of mine for a while so I’m really excited to have my products available to you for purchase!
More to come soon, but the three products below are currently ready for you to enjoy:
Ultra Healing All Purpose Balm ($7) ~ an all purpose balm that is ultra healing for the driest of skin and an array of other common skin ailments. It contains some of nature’s best healers including beeswax, olive oil, and coconut oil.
A Winter’s Eve Aromatherapy Room + Body Spray ($11) ~ all the best scents of winter combined: balsam fir needle, cinnamon leaf, and clove brightened by tangerine and orange. Friends and family have been obsessed with this uplifting blend.
Branch + Vine Botanical Perfume Oils ($29) are handmade in small batches with the intention of creating fragrances that not only smell good, but encourage good health and a positive state of being. I have spent over two years testing, researching, and pouring a ton of thought and love into these botanical perfume oils. I wanted to create scents that do not have negative health effects (like synthetic scents), but actually have positive effects on your health and mood. I hope you’ll smell good + feel good when you wear them :) The scent currently available for purchase (Saint Remy de Provence) is one of many to come!
Everyone loves a nice smelling space, but unfortunately so many of those lovely smelling air refresheners truly aren’t so lovely at all. Most air fresheners actually contain hormone-disrupting chemicals (like VOCs) and since disrupting your hormones is definitely not on a healthy agenda, I highly suggest making a switch to natural fragrances. One really easy way to make a delicious smelling home fragrance involves just 2 ingredients: essential oil + water.
Combine in a spray bottle:
40-45 drops total of your favorite essential oil(s)
1 cup H2o
And that’s it! You now have your very own homemade, all natural air freshener to mist around your rooms, on your sheets, etc.
Some essential oil combinations I highly recommend (all essential oils mentioned are under $10 per 0.5 fl oz bottle and a little goes a really long way):
sweet orange + cinnamon
lavender + sage
peppermint + tangerine
Your home will smell lovely and your mood will be positively impacted by the aromatherapy benefits of the essential oils — definitely a win-win!
How could the 2 possibly relate? Well it turns out that most dryer sheets are made with animal fat, particularly beef fat! Kind of shocking, right? And in addition to the grossness factor, these animal fats can also dull the coloring of fabrics over time. Not cool.
So to avoid a faded, animal-fat-laden shirt or pillow case (that’s where it really hits home for me) you can opt for plant derived softeners like the Squeaky Green Dryer Cloths ($5.49) by Method. They use water-based technology (yes, these sheets are actually on the moist side) to infuse the dryer cloths with renewable, plant-based softeners. Result: Clothes are soft and static free minus the fat and heavy scents.
I would especially recommend this swap for anyone with sensitive skin. Also, if you haven’t already, opt for a detergent that is fragrance free or at the least, naturally scented. I’ve spoken to many people who can’t pinpoint the source of their skin ailments and these switches can often provide a lot of relief. Easily irritated by strong odors? You’re another great candidate for making these switches. But of course, everyone can benefit from these more natural options!
I recently tried this antibacterial kitchen cleaner by method and I’m definitely a fan. It naturally kills 99.9% of household germs including influenza A, staphylococcus aureus, salmonella enterica and E. coli. Yes, I did say “naturally”! I love that they used CleanWell’s herbal antibacterial formula (thyme oil & oregano oil) to power this cleaner (CleanWell has an entire line of naturally antibacterial products).
If you’re going to use antibacterial cleaning products this is one of the best and healthiest options on the market right now. Choose between two delightful scents – lemon verbena or orange zest – for just $3.99 or less. I opted for the lemon verbena (from Target), but I think I would like the orange zest scent even more.
Why make the switch to a natural antibacterial cleaner? Research is continually showing that antibacterial products can cause bacterial resistance, thus decreasing the effectiveness of antibiotics. The most common ingredient in antibacterial products is a chemical compound called triclosan, which has been proven to have some serious negative side effects on your health (see previous post for more info).
We have really tried to follow this in our new home and let me tell you – it has made SUCH a difference. Getting rid of pointless clutter (aka things that are not functional or joy-producing) is not just visually powerful, but very emotionally powerful as well.
To ponder:Do you have a lot of items around your home that you don’t particularly like or need, but hold onto because you would feel “bad” throwing them out?
This is the first of hopefully many more plants to come in our new, much sunnier home. Do you recognize it? It’s a Peace Lily and we got it for only $7.99 at Trader Joe’s last week. But not only is it pretty and nicely priced, it’s also one of the best plants for purifying indoor air.
Having fresh flowers around is proven to be a natural mood-booster. I love getting mine at Trader Joe’s – great variety and awesome prices. I especially love sunflowers. What are you some of your favorites?
I am a huge fan of baths (I almost take them on a daily basis!) If you’re not normally a fan, I’m sure you might quickly become one in any of the tubs pictured here. Aren’t they amazing?! But don’t wait for an extravagant tub because baths are SO incredibly relaxing and beneficial to your entire body no matter what the tub looks like! I love to add Epsom salt and lavender oil to my baths, but plain old warm water is all it takes for a calming and detoxifying soak.
Doesn’t this time if year just make you want to lounge and gather in spaces like these? Houzz always has the best images of indoor and outdoor design ideas. If you haven’t checked them out, I would highly recommend it! My sister told me about the site months ago and I instantly feel in love.
Happy Wednesday! Can you believe it’s almost May?!
I wanted to let everyone know about another great eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning option for the home – Poppy’s Naturally Clean. I especially like the All Purpose Spray Cleaner, which of course contains only natural ingredients and is 100% toxin free. It’s perfect for countertops, appliances and pretty much all of those other commonly cleaned surfaces (minus marble and granite).
It’s important to go natural with your cleaning routine so you can not only feel good about the appearance of your home, but more importantly, your own health! Have you done any major spring cleaning lately?
I love this candle by skyn ICELAND for so many reasons. First, it’s soy with a cotton wick, which means it burns REALLY clean. The scent? A relaxing, therapeutic mix of so many interesting fragrances including bergamot, peach, melon, lily, orris, cyclamen, white lavender, and sandalwood (just to name a few). Last but not least, I just love the shape and color of the holder. I think this candle is ideal for the bathroom…well, especially when you have it sea-themed like I do :)
Skyn also has a great, stress-targeting array of natural skincare. Has anyone tried? I haven’t yet, but I think I will soon!
Cool Glacier Candle - Burns for 45 hours and retails at $35.
I am a HUGE fan of essential oils. From baths to skin ailments to cleaning, there are just so many wonderful uses for all of the essential oils out there.
A new brand that I recently discovered is Scentcillo. I’m especially loving them for these fun blends:
Oracle – A combination of the citrus tones of clementine essential oil with the rich, warm, spicy scents of frankincense, myrrh and sandalwood creates a bold and heady aroma that is mysterious and hypnotic.
Tango - A warm floral scent combining the exotic aroma of ylang ylang with palmarosa and tangerine essential oils creating an exquisite and alluring fragrance.
Shaman - A stimulating and refreshing mix of lime, pink grapefruit and lemon creates a citrus burst of aroma layered with the woody overtones of cedar wood and cypress and the exotic white lotus
Starlet – A sweet floral and feminine aroma of rose geranium and frangipani intermingles with wood and citrus notes to create a captivating fragrance.
Place 1 or 2 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil on your hair brush before brushing to promote growth and thickness.
1 drop of Peppermint oil diluted in 1 teaspoon vegetable oil rubbed on the back of the neck helps to relieve headaches.
Put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a cotton ball and place it in your vacuum cleaner bag. Lemon and Pine are nice. Rose Geranium helps with pet odors.
To blend your own massage oil, add 3-5 drops of your favorite essential oil to 1 oz. Sweet Almond Oil or other skin- nourishing vegetable oil.
1 Add 10 drops of essential oil to a box of cornstarch or baking soda, mix very well, let set for a day or two and then sprinkle over the carpets on your home. Let set for an hour or more, then vacuum.
I just saw these pics on one of my fav blogs (acreativemint) and had to share. Who would have ever thought that a paper bag could be turned into SUCH cute wrapping paper?! This is a world apart from what I usually do with Trader Joe’s bags (I usually reuse them as garbage cans – ha!)
Doesn’t this time of year just make you want to be in rooms like these? I’m LOVING these images from houzz this morning… Makes me want to have a huge mug of tea and a pile of magazines by a fireplace :)
I recently discovered this site called Health Designs and decided to place a rare online order. I have to say that I am loving this site now for two main reasons: (1) the wonderful selection of some of the best natural health and beauty products and (2) the awesome prices. I found so many of my favorite brands at the lowest prices I’ve seen. Love that and love how you get to pick an unlimited amount of available free samples!
I’ve never been one for online shopping, but this is one website that makes me want to skip the health store. Shipping is currently free on First Class USPS orders over $25 and it’s just so fun to see how much you can put in your shopping cart for that price point (my order below). Also, if you’re a first time buyer use Discount Code FTC5DO to get $5 off your first order. Writing this post is really making me want to place another order today! I highly suggest checking them out -healthdesigns.com
This is exactly what I got for $25:
Avalon Organics, CoQ10 Facial Cleansing Milk 8.5 fl oz
Having a mug of tea is relaxing as it is, but the thought of drinking out of one of these buddha bowls just seriously upped the tranquility factor for me. Don’t these just look like the most cozy vessels you could possibly drink tea or coffee out of? I came across them while perusing one of my fav blogs – EXPRESS-O. Thanks Diana for another fun find! I definitely have a crush as well and can’t wait to have one of my own. Now I just have to decide which color…
White Vinegar’s cleaning power is about as strong as it’s pungent odor. It kills 99% of bacteria, which actually makes it more effective than a lot of popular chemical cleaners! It’s also quite economical.
How to use it: Mix equal parts H20 and vinegar in a spray bottle.
When to use it:
to clean countertops and tile floors
to kill insects
to kill mildew and mold (use full strength for this one)
Another great alternative to harsh cleaning product is baking soda, which is a natural deodorizer and gentle abrasive. I’ve mentioned it’s beauty uses before, but here are some of its best household uses:
The very well known – put an open box in the refrigerator or freezer to absorb odors
Rub into sponges and dish rags to freshen
Sprinkle on carpets before vacuuming
If you’re a cat owner, put a layer of baking soda underneath cat litter for maximum freshness
Add 1/2 cup to your next load of laundry – the baking soda is a natural fabric softener that also provides added freshness AND makes both white and colored clothing brighter! (a great alternative for people with sensitive skin)