Over the years our family has been truly blessed by all the wonderful teachers that have taught our children. Amazing souls that have nourished and cared for our children, striving to do their best with each interaction. Having guided and taught my kids with love, insight and a firm hand; every single one of these people has not only passed on the required material but have also imparted their own unique wisdom and gifts to my children. This is a most precious gift.
My kids and I love to make something special to give to these amazing people as a small gesture to tell them thank you and that we really do appreciate them. The holidays provide a perfect reason to gift our teachers. In years past we have made everything from cookies to hand painted picture frames to bath salts to tiny terrariums planted in glass balls. This year we made a selection of herbal body care items complete with lavender spritzers, lotion bars and candy cane bath salts. It is a small little something for someone who gives so much every single day.
Lavender Aromatherapy Spritzers
These are astoundingly easy to make and people love them! Win, win! We used lovely 1 ounce cobalt blue bottles filled with water to which we added 5 drops of lavender essential oil and viola! That is it. So simple. I chose to use lavender because it is generally considered to be a very safe essential oil and it is almost universally loved. little hand printed labels with a happy holidays message from our family completed this little gift. We made a lot of these spritzers to hand out to all the people at the school who are often forgotten but make such a big difference in the girls' day to day experience. People like the bus driver, librarian and the sweet lady who walks my kindergartener from her class to the bus every day.
The lotion bars we made came from Rosalee de la Forêt at Learning Herbs. This is the first time I have made lotion bars and it was great fun. My oldest daughter who is almost 10 really enjoyed helping out with these and watching them set up. My hands are always crispy dry when I leave from working at the preschool because I wash them at least 20 times while I am there! So I think the teachers will like these a lot and hopefully provide some much needed relief. For the full recipe click here to visit Learning Herbs.
The girls and I gently infused calendula and rose petals into the grapeseed oil we used. Calendula and rose are both so beautiful and healing.
Once we had melted all the oil, butters and wax together we did the spoon test. We took a very small amount of our melted solution and placed it on a metal spoon. Then we put that in the fridge for a few moments to hasten its cooling This is a great way to check out what consistency your finished product will have before you pour it into molds.
We found the consistency to be quite hard so we added another ounce of shea butter into the mixture, did another spoon test and the consistency was perfect. The bars are still hard but they yield their moisture when held. We decided to scent our lotion bars with cardamom essential which is smells absolutely amazing, never mind that I love cardamom, and lavender essential oil too. Combined with the chocolate scent of cocobutter and the deep honey fragrance of beeswax, the bars smell amazing. When we were looking them over this morning, my youngest who was gazing at them from eye level, said "Mommy why do these smell so good?"
Candy Cane Bath Salts
Making these bath salts is such a visually beautiful experience because of all the colors and layering. To make your own layered candy cane bath salts click here to get the recipe and read about my adventure in making these at the preschool with lots of excited little children. When my kids heard what I was doing with the preschoolers at the school, they wanted to make these baths too. So we did and we had a blast making these together.
We updated the recipe a bit by adding some beautiful course coral Himalayan salt crystals to the reddish pink layer in the salts.
We used a 1/4 cup measuring cup for each kind of salt and just layered them into the jars with equal proportions.