Monday, April 20, 2015

MAKE: Calendula Oil + {VIDEO}

Ever since this day last summer, I've been more and more interested in learning how to use natural ingredients and herbs to treat everyday ailments. Living in Colorado, dry skin is most certainly a condition that plagues me on the regular. So I did a little research and noticed that this little yellow flower kept popping up. Calendula, also called pot marigold, or just marigold, is seriously a wonder flower! Its culinary and medical usefulness is so vast that it seems like it might cure anything. One of the most common uses for this beautiful golden herb is in natural skincare recipes. Calendula is known to display regenerative properties, as well as anti-fungal, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory qualities. It is used to remedy common skincare problems such as acne and Eczema and even aids in the treatment of sprains, bruises, and snake bites!

I chose to infuse my oil using the 'solar method', which basically means I let the sun and time do all the work by placing it on my windowsill for about 4 weeks. The "recipe" is very straight forward and only requires two ingredients and a jar. It's not an exact measurement so don't worry about being too precise. All you need is...

+ Dried Calendula petals

+ Carrier Oil (any carrier oil will do, I used Olive Oil)

+ Clean glass jar

Fill a clean & dry jar with the Calendula petals. About two handfuls or halfway will do.
Top the jar off with your carrier oil.
Secure the lid and place it in a warm sunny place for around a month.
Every now and then give the jar a shake.
After 4 weeks or so, remove the oil from window.
Strain your oil with cheesecloth or a tea sieve.
Label & store in a cool, shady place.

Your oil will stay good for about a year, but the sooner you use it the better and the more beneficial. This oil can be used alone or combined with other ingredients and essential oils to make lotions or salves. It's fun to play around and experiment with your own personal homemade recipes! Here are a few to get you started:

Lavender and Calendula Healing Hand Salve by Hello Natural

Homemade Neosporin by Live Simply

Making Calendula Sunshine Cold Pressed Soap by Soap Queen

You can harvest and dry your own Calendula, or you can do what I did and get it from a local apothecary shop. They also sell dry herbs in bulk at many health food stores or you can find them online.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wandering Wednesday: Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Yurt Life...

A yurt is a funny thing. It is a circular room...tent...shelter. This one had a gas fireplace, 2 sets of bunk beds, a table, and chairs. It was our house for a weekend in early January and the best way to cram 5 best friends and 3 dogs into a small space for 48 hours. This trip had a purpose. It was kind of a send off to our twenties and a celebration of what's to come. Aly (red hat) was 7 months pregnant, and the rest of us had spent the past year or so turning thirty. When I think about this trip now it makes me quite nostalgic. I didn't realize it fully at the time, but in the span of 3 and a half months a lot was about to change and I am grateful for the intimacy and togetherness of this mini adventure. We spent our time building fires, throwing knives, playing cards and chatting til the wee hours of the morning. And we ate. Man, we ate so well. Camp food is really an art form and let me tell you my friends have it down. It was all comfort food, all the time-- chili, breakfast burritos, bratwursts, hobo veggie hashFrito pies, s'mores. We did some exploring, took a couple leisurely nature hikes, but mainly we talked, and read, and spent quiet moments together.

If you are interested in renting a yurt near the Denver area I highly recommend this one! It is inexpensive, allows pets, and was a pretty quick drive from the city. They book up fast so plan ahead and get your reservations early (we had ours for 5 months). Here is the info:

Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Reverend's Ridge Campground, Yurt 1 (there are two yurts on this campground but only one allows pets, we were also close to the bathroom which was convenient)
Reservations: (303)470-1144

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Deep thought thursday + a little tip...

This quote has been running through my head a lot lately. I'll be scrolling through Instagram and it'll happen. Sometimes it's so small that I barely recognize it. It's this pang-- a feeling a jealousy, envy, comparison. Why is her life so perfect?, How did this person get my dream job?, Why am I not doing more?, etc...Ultimately, I have been working really hard to distance myself from these thoughts, or at least be more aware when these types of feelings surface. There are times when self-evaluation is healthy and there are also times when it just plain bums you out. Lately, when the later happens I've really tried to take note of it, stop what I'm doing, and give myself a compliment. Sometimes I even write it down. I know it's kinda silly but it really helps me jump right back into a more positive mindset. Do you have any tips on bouncing back from feelings of negativity or self-comparison? I'd love to hear them!