handmade holiday: soaking salts and milk baths

the holidays can be stressful, you guys. every year, i feel totally chill– until the day after thanksgiving, when i suddenly realize that i have about a million gifts to give, and my already monumental to-do list seems to quadruple in size. add a baby to the mix, and i can become a bit of a scrooge. but this year, instead of allowing myself to become overwhelmed, i decided to simplify. instead of trying to fight the holiday crowds over silly little trinkets, i decided to partake in a handmade holiday. yes, i still have plenty of holiday shopping to do, but making the bulk of my gifts has already lightened the load tremendously. so over the next couple of weeks, i’ll be sharing some of the holiday diy projects that i’ve been making along with the help of my sister.

first up, a collection of luxurious milk baths and soaking salts. since having the baby, i’ve been making an effort to set aside some chill-out time to soak in the bath about once a week, so i already have my own little stockpile of soaking ingredients in my cabinet! they can all be found at your local health food store, and the recipes are really simple, with many of the ingredients being easily interchangeable. the only real investment comes in the form of the essential oils. some bottles run upwards of $25 a pop, but you only use a few drops of each, so there will be plenty leftover for your own concoctions. plus, the act of simply slowing down and making something was rather therapeutic, and felt a lot more meaningful to me. probably because making these soaks is basically one big aromatherapy session in itself!


the shopping list

pink himalayan sea salt
pink sea salt
red hawaiian sea salt
grey celtic sea salt
epsom salt
baking soda
powdered coconut milk
powdered buttermilk
powdered honey
essential oils (i used vanilla, lavender, ylang ylang, grapefruit, orange, and a “relaxation blend”)

soaking salts

1 cup sea salt
1/2 cup epsom salt
1/4 cup part baking soda
5 – 6 drops of essential oil

i should probably start out by saying that you don’t need to get himalayan pink or celtic grey salt for these. i think they are said to have special therapeutic properties, and that may be true, but i mostly went with them because they come in pretty colors. regular old sea salt and epsom salts will still do the trick. my personal favorite mix of essential oils? lavender, grapefruit, and ylang ylang.

milk bath

1 1/2 cups powdered milk
1/4 cup powdered honey
1/4 cup epsom salt
5 – 6 drops of essential oil

for this recipe, we tried two different soaks, one made with coconut milk and the other made with buttermilk. the coconut milk obviously has a very strong coconut scent, so we mixed in some vanilla to compliment it. the end result basically smells like cookies. the buttermilk is more neutral, so this one is a good option if you want to use essential oils that might not go as well with coconut. we mixed it with grapefruit, orange, and vanilla.

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the bedroom

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since moving into our new place in redlands, i’ve been really eager to start sharing some of the progress we’ve made in decorating our new space. there have been a few kinks in the road, but the good news is that we’ve finally got some painters coming in this weekend to start the process! the girl who used to live here got a little color happy with the walls. all of the paint is high gloss and features such fun colors as a bold, dark maroon in the living room, a bright cornflower blue in the kitchen, and probably the most offensive: black and metallic gold in the bathroom! i’m sure she had it quite nice in here, but the whole thing is painfully wrong for my own decor. i know it’s just paint, but i kid you not, sometimes i close my eyes and imagine the walls painted a nice, soft white and it calms me. i know i’ll breathe a sigh of relief once i have my nice blank canvas to work with.

most of the rooms in the house still need a lot of work, but for whatever reason, i’m actually finding the most forgotten room to be the least intimidating and most exciting project: my bedroom. in the past, i’ve always sort of left it bare, a big bed in the middle with clothes piled around and hanging on racks. if the house is messy and people are coming over, i grab everything and dump it into my bedroom and close the door. but lately i’ve been seeing this room as more important, a safe haven away from all the outside noise. a place where i can go to nurse adam to sleep while we nap together in the afternoon. a place where i can lay down and read a book and de-stress. i imagine myself swathed in comfy blankets with pretty things around me, waking up to the morning light filtered through the curtains.

so of course, i’ve been stalking pinterest for bedroom inspiration and hoarding pins in a private board. i’ve been going out to thrift and antique shops on the hunt for furniture, pottery, decor. and so far, i’ve had a lot of luck. i found a beautiful woven wall hanging at the thrift store a few weeks back, and i hand-dyed a pretty quilt with natural indigo. my little space is really starting to come together, and i hope to share some pictures of the process very soon. but in the meantime, here are some pictures that have been providing me with inspiration.

above: kara rosenlund.

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julia kostreva.

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caroline z hurley.

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in bed.

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my scandinavian home.

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urban outfitters.

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sincerely, kinsey.

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claire a miller.

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heist.

jaclyn-campanaro7
sf girl by bay.

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ikea sweden.

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crafty

since having adam, i’ve spent a lot of time at home. i’m on an extended leave from work so i can take care of him, and it’s the first time that i’ve spent so much time in the house in the past three-and-a-half years since starting my day job. the first couple of months were spent recovering and just soaking up all of that wonderful newborn magic. i didn’t really get bored or anxious because i was so wrapped up in baby world. i still am for the most part, but lately i’ve gotten a serious crafting itch.

growing up, i was constantly surrounded by arts and crafts projects. my mom was always working on various projects and setting me up with things to do of my own. cross-stitch, crochet, sewing, painting, weaving, rug hooking, you name it. i learned to be patient, sitting at the kitchen table or on the couch with a tedious little project in hand. my mom always nearby to help me if i got stuck. so perhaps having a baby has awoken some long dormant nostalgia for those days spent with my mom. i scroll through pinterest and find myself interested in picking up all of those old hobbies, something to do with my hands between baby naps and walks around the neighborhood.

i already finished my first sewing project last week, and i’ve been hankering to make a trip downtown to the garment district to pick up some fancy new fabrics like raw silk and linen to make a few simple tops and things. now i just have to reign it in or else i’m going to end up with an explosion of unfinished projects piling up around me!

above: photo by jennifer causey


the purl bee.


susan jameson.


anmutig.


the purl bee. can i get away with sewing a baby bonnet for adam? i’m thinking chambray could work.


a pair & a spare.


the etsy blog.

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domestic

i know this is a fashion blog, and over the past five years, i’ve definitely kept it strictly in that place. but if you’re wondering why i’ve been so absent lately, it’s because my outfits haven’t exactly been top of mind lately. my schedule is such that the only time i’m able to snap pictures of what i’m wearing is on the weekends. during the week, i’m working 10 – 6pm, and especially with the end of daylight savings, there is no light left when i get home from work. and while i’m usually pretty happy to spend a few minutes on saturday or sunday to show one of my looks, the past several weekends have been consumed by preparing our new apartment for the arrival of the baby, and the host of house guests that will come with it! we have only been living here for a few months now, and the space is considerably larger than any of our previous apartments, so we’ve been spending a lot of time at flea markets and furniture shops trying to collect everything we need to fill this space.

the trouble is, i’ve never been big on interior design. i mean, i know what i like, but i’ve never really spent much time or energy on home improvements. i’m pretty happy to have a nice place in a nice spot with lots of plants as my main decor. i never think about themes or colors, i just pick things i like when i need them, and do my best to keep the damn space clean! but lately, all i can think about is how to make this place a proper home. perhaps it’s this “nesting instinct” that everyone talks about, but i have been spending countless hours sifting through inspiration trying to imagine what to do with my home.

my aesthetic is still very “bohemian,” for lack of a better word. i like flea market finds and simple mid-century designs. i like a space that feels lived in, and do not dream of having a storybook home like the ones you see in interior design books. and i am obsessed with filling my space with as many plants as possible (which i know might not be ideal for baby, but we’re going to make sure our plants are all non-toxic)! anyway, all of that is to say that i’ve collected a few pretty pictures to share so you can get an idea of where my mind has been lately.

image above via rennes.


a beautiful mess.


a beautiful mess.


bferry.


ink and spindle.


design sponge.


fat cat brussels.


hello lidy.


apartment therapy.


leah reena goren.

 

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