Woohoo, it is the run up to Christmas, are you excited, full of joy, trepidation, stressed to the max or bored stiff with it all?
I’ve got a busy week ahead of me, I’m at the BBC every day doing Last Minute Christmas Ideas on BBC Radio Scotland’s McAulay & Co Show. I love going on the show and especially doing these shows at Christmas, there is just such a great feeling with everyone looking forward to the holidays. The week will culminate with a big show on Friday in front of a studio audience with guests and carols etc, can’t wait.
Anyway I thought I’d share what I’ll be doing on the show throughout the week. Starting today with my easy store cupboard beauty gift ideas.
Before the advent of chemicals, artificial colourings and other environmentally unsound goodies, people would make most of their own cosmetic and household preparations. Herbal bathing vinegars were not produced for shaking on salads, instead they were fabulous tonics for the hair and skin and used at bath time.
You can make these using just two store cupboard ingredients; a jar of dried herbs and 375ml of cider vinegar.
HEAVENLY HERBAL HAIR RINSE
Use 2 tablespoons of any of the following dried herbs (that’s about half of a little supermarket sized jar)
Sage for grey, dry or dull hair
Rosemary for dark or oily hair
Chamomile (use 4 chamomile tea bags) for fair hair or itchy scalp
Pour the cider vinegar into a small pan and add your chosen herbs. Bring to a simmer (just below boiling point) for 20 minutes, remove from heat and let it cool overnight.
Line a sieve with kitchen paper and pour the herby vinegar through. Pour into a pretty little bottle with a label telling the recipient to use about a half cupful of the hair rinse with the same amount of water after they have shampooed their hair, leave for 5 minutes and rinse off with clear water. This is great for removing hair product build up and also for folks in areas with hard water which can make your hair really flat and dull.
BLOKE SOAK REFRESHER BATH
Adding vinegar to your bath water helps restore the skin’s natural pH balance. This Rosemary and Peppermint blend is reviving and cleansing with natural deodorising properties too.
375ml cider vinegar
4 tablespoons (about 1 little bottle of the dried herbs) of rosemary
6 peppermint tea bags or half bottle of dried peppermint
Pour the vinegar into a small pan and add the herbs and tea bags. Bring to a simmer (tiny bubbles on the surface) for 20 minutes and then leave it to cool overnight.
Strain through kitchen paper in a sieve and bottle. Label as ‘Bloke Soak’ with the instructions to pour half a cup into the bath as you are running in the hot tap. Lie back and relax.
FABULOUS FOOT FIXER
Everyone gets sore feet at Christmas time. Whether you are pounding the streets buying gifts for family and friends, or staggering round the supermarket in that non stop food buying frenzy, your poor feet take the brunt of it all. Here is a simple recipe for a fun foot fixer to cool, relax, cleanse, massage and freshen those tired feet.
1 bag of glass marbles or even smooth pebbles if you have any on your driveway (not the jaggy chuckies, and do wash them well)
½ cup of Epsom salts
½ cup rock salt
6 drops peppermint essential oil
2 tablespoons dried peppermint
Mix the essential oil with a tablespoon of the salt mix and let this sit for an hour to infuse. Now mix it in well with the rest of the salts and the dried peppermint. Pour this into a chunky jar along with the marbles/pebbles and a note with instructions to pour half a cup into a basin and pour on warm water, dip in those tired tootsies and rub soles of feet up and down the marbles for a fabulous massage. Sheer bliss!
So that is three simple recipes for easy store cupboard beauty gift ideas, get raiding that larder and be creative this Christmas!
Enjoy the week, although it looks like you’ll be really busy it sounds like lots of fun.
Again, thank you for these practical gift ideas, Karon; I’m going to try them all. They are a pleasant change from the complicated ‘recipes’ found in glossy magazines this time of year.
Glad you are enjoying the ideas. Let me know how you get on making them.