Lavender Oil, Headaches and Migraines August 13, 2018 08:13
Dr. Brent and Sara Whitehead, the husband and wife team behind Bee in Bloom, firmly believe in the many healing properties of lavender oil. History shows us that people have been using this natural ingredient for thousands of years to cleanse, heal and soothe. Today, multiple clinical studies provide plenty of support for history’s anecdotes about the efficacy of lavender oil.
As someone who experiences headaches and migraines, I have been especially intrigued by claims that lavender oil can be a helpful, natural remedy for these types of issues. I love to diffuse Bee Pure lavender oil around the house anyway, especially at bedtime or when things are stressful. However, I haven’t used it consistently to combat my headaches and migraines. I decided to look into this particular use for lavender oil and share my findings with you all. (If you’re interested, you can check out the links to various studies at the bottom of this blog. )
In terms of clinical studies, there isn’t a lot to be found linking “headaches” and “lavender oil,” but this isn’t actually too surprising. The word “headache,” is extremely generalized. In reality, there are many different types of headaches, caused by a variety of factors (tension, allergies, alignment, etc). I’d venture a guess that the research on lavender oil and “headaches” isn’t there simply because it’d be difficult to do a clinical study on such a catch-all term.
However, there is clinical evidence that lavender oil can help reduce pain, stress and inflammation. Since these symptoms are commonly associated with headaches, it follows that using lavender oil could help to ease the effects of headaches and/ or possibly to reduce the stresses that trigger them in the first place.
As it turns out, there is also clinical support to show that using lavender oil helps with migraine headaches, specifically. A 2012 study in European Neurology suggests that using lavender oil may actually reduce the length and symptoms of migraine headaches.
(If you suffer from migraines, feel free to share a little virtual fist pump with me at this point). Migraines are different from other types of headaches for a variety of reasons. A migraine is an observable neurological event, for one thing. In fact, unlike other kinds of headaches, migraines involve an assortment of neurological symptoms which go far beyond head pain. These include: dizziness, nausea and vomiting, visual disturbances, sensitivity to light, sound and smell. Sometimes a single migraine can last for days. Obviously, migraines are no fun, and they can often be debilitating.
So how does lavender oil come in? Let’s go back to that 2012 study. It was a placebo-controlled, clinical trial involving 47 participants who suffered from migraine headaches. Participants were divided into two separate groups, and each group was given different instructions about how to respond to a migraine attack. In response to migraines, of the control group administered a “treatment” (actually a placebo comprised of liquid paraffin), while the other group inhaled the scent of lavender oil for 15 minutes. Both groups were instructed to record the severity of their migraine symptoms periodically over the next two hours following their designated treatment. Ultimately, the lavender oil group responded that there was a decrease in their symptoms at a much higher percentage than those in the control (placebo) group, enough to make the difference between the two groups statistically significant.
Based on this study, it seems that inhalation of lavender essential oil can be a viable option in helping reduce migraine symptoms.
Even though I’ve diffused lavender before when having a migraine, I don’t think I’ve ever consciously tried to stay in the same area as my diffuser or breathe the vapors in and out for a set length of time. It’s definitely something that I plan to try the next time I experience one.
If you want to try this, but don’t have an essential oil diffuser, another really simple way to inhale lavender oil is to apply a few drops to your hands and then cup them over your nose and mouth. You can also create a roller-ball filled with lavender oil and a carrier oil (like fractionated coconut oil) and apply this directly beneath your nostrils.
While it’s no magical cure, it’s nice to know that lavender oil offers a natural, simple solution that can provide relief in the face of pain, stress, and even the dreaded migraine.
Mind Your Beeswax! by Katie Gustafson June 23, 2018 16:21
“Mind your own beeswax.” We’ve all heard that one, right? I love learning about the origins of popular idioms, and I remember hearing a story that this expression began with 18th century debutantes who used beeswax to smooth their complexions and, essentially, “spackle” over any skin imperfections. Thus, at social gatherings, fireplaces were to be feared. “Mind your own beeswax,” might have been the retort one woman would give to another if she felt scrutinized (or just particularly feisty.) Can’t you just hear it? “Oh honey, your face is melting. Better mind your own beeswax and stop looking at mine.”
I don’t know if this idiom origin-story is true, but however this expression began, it’s safe to say that beeswax and skincare do share a long history.
The ancient Egyptians, history’s most famous beauty experts, kept bees and used beeswax for cosmetic and embalming purposes. The ancient Romans used beeswax in a healing cream (which also contained olive oil and rose water.) Additionally, the Chinese have long believed that beeswax has beauty and health benefits. And today, beeswax is experiencing something of a resurgence in the beauty industry. I think that one of the unique things about the time we live in is that we are now able to better understand why some of the natural ingredients that our ancestors loved are so good for us. In fact, this is the case with some of the key ingredients used in Bee in Bloom products: lavender oil, honey, and- of course -beeswax.
At Bee in Bloom, Sara and Brent use beeswax as an important ingredient in Bee Healed, the skin-healing skin salve developed by Dr. Whitehead to treat eczema. Bee Healed does more than treat eczema, however. It can also be used on stings, burns, insect bites, and much more. In fact, Bee in Bloom customers have shared with us several fascinating uses for Bee Healed (you can read more about some of those, here).
While there are several superstar ingredients in Bee Healed, the inclusion of beeswax gives this salve some of the properties for which it is so beloved. Beeswax is also an important, protective ingredient in Bee Soft lip balm! Here are just a few reasons we are big fans of this natural solution (and why your skin will be, too)!
Like lavender essential oil and honey (other natural ingredients you’ll find in most Bee in Bloom products) beeswax has natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it a healing agent for red, irritated skin (rashes, psoriasis, “winter skin,” etc.), blemishes, minor skin injuries, and even microscopic fungi that can cause skin imperfections/discoloration.
Protects and Hydrates
Beeswax is a natural humectant. This means that it draws water to itself and prevents the loss of moisture. When applied to skin, beeswax draws in water while also sealing it to the skin inside a protective layer. Humectants like beeswax can also prime skin to take in even more moisture through other sources, so you could use beeswax in combination with a moisturizing ingredient like aloe vera, almond oil, etc. to obtain even more hydrated skin. (Bee Healed and Bee Soft contain other ingredients that add moisture to skin, which are locked in by the beeswax.)
Beeswax is a natural source of Vitamin A, a vitamin that your skin loves because it stimulates healthy cell regeneration and collagen production. This results in firmer, younger-looking skin. With frequent application, Vitamin A can also help slow/reverse discoloration caused by the sun!
Feels & Smells Great
Of course, beeswax feels amazing to apply and has a lovely, mild scent that is reminiscent of honey. You can also feel good about putting this healing humectant on your skin because it is so natural, time-tested and free of any worrying ingredients that fill many store-bought products.
There are so many reasons to love beeswax, but these are just a few that make it an ingredient that we love for skincare. Of course, as with many of nature’s gifts, we wouldn’t have this amazing ingredient without our friends, the bees. Thank you, bees!
Sidenote: When searching for honey or beeswax, one of many reasons to look for a small, local source is so that you can make sure you are working with a beekeeper who cares about the welfare of bees, and who will harvest these materials in an ethical, bee-centric way.
Do you use beeswax on your skin for any reason? If so, be sure to tell us why you love it!
DIY Lavender Multi-Purpose Wipes by Katie Gustafson May 28, 2018 04:38
If you follow Bee in Bloom on Facebook or Instagram, you may be aware that we are a little obsessed with DIY, multi-purpose lavender wipes. However, we love them for good reason! Not only are these lavender wipes extremely easy and inexpensive to make, but they also have more uses than you can count! Lavender wipes allow you to harness the properties of lavender oil in a versatile, portable, and disposable carrier.
Warning: you may become addicted to this little life hack.
How to make them: Simply add 15-25 drops (depending on how strong you would like the fragrance to be) of Bee Pure lavender oil to a large package of baby wipes. Close the package and squish it around with your hands. Let it sit for several minutes. That is literally all you have to do to make these.
Lavender Wipe Uses:
Use them to wipe down your counters or the inside of your car for an aromatherapeutic clean.
Use them to dust your shelves and clean your kitchen counters.
Rub one all over your furry friend (meaning a pet, not a friend who is hairy...though you could do that too). In addition to making pets smell better, lavender oil also helps keep the fleas away!
Use them to cleanse your baby’s bottom between diaper changes. Lavender is gentle and can even help diaper rashes.
Keep a package of lavender wipes in your purse or gym bag so you can freshen up in a pinch.
Use them to remove makeup at the end of the day. They even work for removing Lipsense!
If you are a teacher, you can keep a package of these in your classroom for students to use when wiping down their desks. Not only are they safe to clean with, they will also fill your classroom with a calming aroma.
Take them with your on camping and hiking trips. In addition to being great for freshening up, the lavender oil will also discourage mosquitoes.
💜In case of stress-emergencies, you can always lean your head back and put one on your face! (Dual purpose in this case: a disguise & get some helpful aromatherapy.)
Mother's Day Gift Ideas from Bee in Bloom April 29, 2018 16:57
Mother's Day Gift Ideas from Bee in Bloom
Mother's Day is coming up soon! This year it falls on Sunday, May 13. If you have a lavender-loving mama, we offer several products that will make the perfect Mother’s Day gift. We also know that Mother’s Day can be a great day to show your appreciation for any woman who has inspired or mentored you, and we have several smaller items in case you plan on gifting several special ladies this year. For those who plan on shopping small with us this Mother’s Day, we wanted to offer this list of ideas to help you find just the right gift for the woman (or women) on your list!
For the Gardening Mom
For the mom with the green thumb, we'd definitely suggest a jar of Bee Healed. This healing salve, developed by Dr. Whitehead’s, is Bee in Bloom’s most popular product. It was formulated to heal most minor skin issues, from eczema to cuts, burns and insect bites/stings. In addition to helping skin heal, it is also deeply moisturizing and instantly helps reduce pain and itching from minor injuries. Bee Healed is an ideal product for anyone who works hard with their hands, and especially for gardeners who encounter thorns and insects on a regular basis. Bee Safeis also a great item for those who spend a lot of time outside, especially with summer on the way. This non-toxic, essential-oil based insect repellent keeps bugs away, smells wonderful, and is completely safe to use on/ around small children. The mom who frequently has young helpers out in the yard with her will definitely appreciate this one! We'd also suggest Bee Usefulhydrosol for the gardening mom. Though Bee Useful has a million uses (hence its name), one of the main reasons Bee in Bloom customers love it is because it is so helpful in the garden. When sprayed on plants, this steam-distilled lavender water helps keep them healthy and keep insects away. Bonus: Bee Useful doubles as a fabulous facial toner! When the gardening mom in your life is done working outside, she can spritz her skin with this nourishing, refreshing hydrosol.
For the Mom Who Loves DIY Pampering
For the mom who makes pampering an art-form by creating her face and hair masks, you can't go wrong gifting her with a bottle Bee Purelavender essential oil to use in her creations. Organically grown and steam-distilled, Bee Pure is available distilled from both the Intermedia (spicy, clean, French) and Angustifolia (floral, sweet, English) varieties of lavender, which are both grown at Bee in Bloom's farm in Lynden, WA. We have a variety of sizes available in Bee Pure, from 5 mL all the way to 100mL! You may even want to present a bottle of lavender oil in a basket alongside a few other DIY pampering goodies. For ideas to share with the DIY mom on how to use lavender oil for pampering, check out this blog post.
For the Mom who Lives in her Car
For the mom who is always on the go, consider gifting her with a cute bag of some of our travel-sized goodies. Bee Smoothhand cream (2 oz), Bee Softlip balm, and Bee Sanitizedhand sanitizer are all extremely portable customer favorites that are great to keep in the car. You could mix up your selection of fragrances for this gift, or you could coordinate all of the items by fragrance (these are all available in both the Honey Lavender or Hawaiian Lavender lines). Another idea for the mom who spends a lot of time in her car would be to gift her with a small bottle of Bee Pure lavender essential oiland one of these essential oil car diffusers—this thoughtful gift will give mom a nice dose of calming aromatherapy as she travels from place to place.
For the Bathtime-Loving Mom
Honestly, if you aren't sure what to choose, this is probably a good choice for any mom. Especially if she loves the scent of lavender, you can't go wrong with gifting the mom in your life with everything she needs to "layer" the experience by getting her some: Bee Pureto add to her bath, body lotionor hand cream, and Bee Fresh lavender spray! These products are available in a variety of fragrances. Be sure to customize your scents by using the drop down menu for each product if you are shopping online!
Sweet Gifts Under $9
If you are sticking to a budget and/or gifting several important ladies this Mother's Day, we have multiple items available under $9! Here are a few favorites:
Lavender Lip Balm-Our lip balms are hugely popular and available in a variety of flavors. They are handmade with beeswax, honey, lavender oil and many other lip-nourishing ingredients. ($4)
2 oz Lavender Hand Creams-The 2 oz hand creams are another customer favorite. They are deeply moisturizing and smell fantastic. This time of year, the Hawaiian Lavender fragrance would be especially nice as a gift because it smells like a trip to the beach! ($5)
Refreshing Spray- Bee Fresh can be used as a linen mist OR body spray. It is also available in both classic Lavender and beachy Hawaiian Lavender! This one makes a great pick-me-up product that anyone would enjoy! ($8)
Hopefully these ideas will help you come up with the perfect gift (or gifts) this Mother's Day! If you have any questions about products, shipping, etc. don't hesitate to reach out to us via e-mail (contact Sara at email@example.com) or through messaging us via one of our social media pages. We'd like to thank you for your interest in shopping small this year. If do you decide to place an online order, remember that we offer free shipping on orders over $50! Whether you're a mom, or you're celebrating a mom, we hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day this year.
All About Bee Healed April 29, 2018 16:55
All About Bee Healed
Bee Healed is most likely Bee in Bloom’s most popular product, and you won’t find it anywhere else! This unique, healing salve was meticulously formulated by Dr. Brent Whitehead (half of the husband & wife team behind Bee in Bloom). We love it because contains a selection of powerhouse super-ingredients for healing and nourishing skin, but we also love it for all the reasons you have told us thatyou love it. Customers are always telling us about the awesome uses they have found for this salve, so we wanted to spread the love today by sharing some of these and telling you a little more about Bee Healed!
A devoted physician, farmer and parent, Dr. Whitehead perfected Bee Healed over several years after his young daughter developed severe eczema. One of the major goals achieved in creating Bee Healed was to make a salve that effectively treats eczema, yet is gentle enough for children/sensitive skin. Today, many of Bee in Bloom’s customers who suffer from eczema, psoriasis and other skin issues swear by Bee Healed. Bee Healed effectively treats much more than eczema, however. Dr. Whitehead purposefully incorporated healing ingredients in this salve that would address many different types of ailments and injuries. Among other things, it is recommended for healing: insect stings, burns, cuts, scrapes, and skin irritations of any kind (rashes, etc.)
In addition to these recommendations, customers are always finding new, creative uses for this product! Here are a few of the reasons you have told us you love it!
Why You Use Bee Healed:
It provides serious moisture for hard-worked hands. Several different types of natural oils make Bee Healed a softening, soothing moisturizer, especially for those who always have busy hands (craftsmen, handymen, etc.)
It works great for a cuticle massage during manicures!
It’s an almost-instant remedy for dry, itchy “winter-skin” or wind-chapped skin.
In addition to promoting healing, Bee Healed helps instantly to soothe itching and pain from insect stings and bites.
The beeswax in Bee Healed acts as a natural protectant/humectant, locking in the moisture and pain-relief benefits of the ingredients for a long time. (In other words, a single application is long-lasting).
It is an effective, but gentle, treatment option for children (or anyone) with eczema or psoriasis. There is a small amount of hydrocortisone in Bee Healed, which works alongside proven, natural ingredients to soothe irritated skin conditions. Even so, Bee Healed is more gentle than most hydrocortisone creams.
Bee Healed features Tea Tree and Lavender essential oil, both of which have anti-bacterial/ anti-microbial/anti-inflammatory properties that aid in preventing infection.
It smells wonderful. Bee Healed contains no added “fragrance,” but the natural oils and beeswax make a lot of people come back for a whiff!
It can be used for anything that you might use Neosporin for!
In a pinch, it can be used in hair to tame "fly-aways"
Though it hasn’t been developed or tested as such, some customers use this product as an anti-aging cream. One customer said it had helped her combat “turkey neck.” Since beeswax is a good source of Vitamin A (a known wrinkle fighter), this does actually make sense!
We’ve also been told that it works well for healing acne and acne-related scars!
It is really special to see a handmade, physician-developed product be so appreciated by its customers. Your support, creativity, and story-sharing means a lot to Bee in Bloom and the Whitehead family! How do you use Bee Healed? We love hearing about how this product plays a role in your daily life. Thank you for your support and for sharing your stories with us!
Bee Healed Ingredients: A full list of ingredients for this product can be found here.
5 Surprising Uses for Lavender Oil April 08, 2018 03:23
Historically, lavender was first used by the Romans to bathe and treat wounds. In fact, “lavender” actually comes from the Latin, “lavare” which means “to cleanse.” (Just try not to read that last sentence in the voice of the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding). As it turns out, those Romans were on to something. Lavender’s anti-bacterial properties make it a well-loved cleanser that we still rely upon today. Since the days of ancient Rome, we’ve also discovered the wonderful, stress relieving properties of lavender, for which it is even more well-known. Lavender oil is also anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. Contemporary research even suggests it may have a positive effect on numerous physiological and psychological ailments--from headaches to depression.
For all of these reasons, lavender oil is arguably the most versatile essential oil, as well as one of the most beloved. And if your family loves lavender as much as ours does, there’s a good chance you’ve also discovered some quirky uses for it. In this post, we wanted to have a little fun and share a few surprising ways you can use lavender oil in your everyday life!
Arts and Crafts
Have you ever been indulging in a little DIY when you get paint stuck to your hands (or to the carpet?) Maybe your first impulse is to scrub with soap and water, but often that can actually make the problem worse. Enter lavender oil. Apply a few drops to where the paint has adhered and rub. Any oil-based, household paint will loosen and become much easier to remove. (Plus the aroma of lavender will help ease your nerves as you frantically clean up your mess). Lavender oil is also a handy, non-toxic resource for artists who paint with oils. When applied to the tip of a paint brush, it works as a turpentine alternative, resulting in thinner, varied strokes on canvas. It’s safe, natural, and much nicer smelling than turpentine!
Lavender oil is also great for removing the paint we put on our faces (AKA makeup). Its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties also make this oil incredibly nourishing for your skin. While there are countless ways to use lavender oil in DIY beauty routines, Sara and I both love to use homemade lavender wipes to remove dirt, oil and makeup from our faces. These wipes even work to remove Lipsense! (And if you are a Lipsense user, you know how very valuable that is.) To make your own homemade lavender wipes, simply add about 10-15 drops of lavender oil to a standard-size packet of your choice of wipes. Close the packet and squish it around. The oil will naturally spread out throughout the wipes. You can use these a hundred different ways, but they truly are amazing for makeup removal.
In the Bathroom
Ever been hit by an unexpected urge to “go,” at a bad time or in an inconvenient place? Let’s be honest; we’ve all been there. There is even a famously successful bathroom product made specifically for these situations, featuring the slogan, "spray before you go and nobody will know." Maybe you've even purchased said product and been impressed by how well it works. And a really cool, if slightly awkward, life-hack is that you can create the same effect via lavender oil. Just add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the toilet before you go. This creates a barrier that keeps any unpleasant—err—odors, trapped beneath the water's surface, so that only the lovely scent of lavender remains after you flush. (P.S. Our small 5mL of Bee Pure lavender essential oil is the perfect size to slip into your purse for this very occasion.)
Pets, Porches and Patios
If you are a lavender oil lover, you probably enjoy diffusing it to create a pleasant, calm, atmosphere. But while guests appreciate being greeted by the scent of lavender when they enter your home, pests do not. In fact, it is a major deterrent to creepy-crawlies: from the microbial parasites, to overtly irritating fleas and mosquitoes. This makes lavender oil ideal to diffuse around entryways, porches, patios, etc. Similarly, it’s great to rub on pets who frequently go between inside and outside. Lavender oil is also a safe alternative to mosquito/bug repellent for children of any age. In fact, Sara and Brent formulated a natural insect repellent, Bee Safe, using lavender oil as one of the active ingredients. Especially in spring and summer, consider giving lavender oil a try in your entryways, outdoor areas and on your babies (and fur babies.)
Have any old shoes lying around that don’t smell so amazing? Try putting just a couple of drops of lavender in them! In addition to smelling good, lavender oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial, properties which may address the reason your shoes are smelly to begin with. You can also combine 2-4 drops of lavender oil with a teaspoon of baking soda and drop them into a pair of shoes, let it sit overnight, then shake them out the next morning. Voila!
These are just a few of the weird and wonderful ways we love to use lavender oil, every day. At Bee in Bloom, Bee Pure lavender oil is hand harvested and small-batch distilled from plants that Sara and Brent grow organically. The entire process takes place on the farm in Lynden, WA, and the oil that results is 100% pure. We hope you’ll give Bee Pure a try the next time you are in search of a high-quality lavender oil. We also hope you’ll share some of the fun and unique ways that youlove to use this oil every day!
Culinary Lavender: 5 Simple Methods October 17, 2017 08:44
Culinary Lavender: 5 Simple Methods
As a hardcore Lavender lover, I've always been a fan of almost anything related to this versatile and beautiful herb. I love Lavender's fragrance, its appearance, and its many amazing healing properties. One place where I never saw much Lavender until recently, however, was on my dinner plate. From my interest in the Food Network, I knew it could be use in fancy baked goods like macaroons, but I've never really been a baker (macaroons are therefore a distant dream of mine).
However, over the past few years I've begun to notice more recipes that use Lavender in a variety of ways. The addition of Lavender to savory recipes automatically gives dishes a sophisticated flair that makes them seem suspiciously gourmet…
But is cooking with Lavender really all that complicated?
On a quest to discover ways to cook with Lavender at home, I've found 5 surprisingly easy methods to share with you all!
Before we get into the list, however, let's talk quickly about the type of Lavender you should be using when you cook. You may have already heard that "culinary Lavender" is recommended in the kitchen, but you may have some questions about what defines culinary Lavender (I did). Questions like: Do I have to buy it at a health food store? (And, for you dramatic folks) Will eating other types of Lavender kill me????
First of all, eating non-culinary Lavender buds is not going to make you sick. However, some varieties of Lavender have a higher camphor content which makes the buds taste bitter. Typically, Lavandula Angustifolia (English or True Lavender) buds are recommended for culinary Lavender because of this variety's sweet, softly floral taste. Culinary Lavender buds are also specially processed, dried, and stored to make them optimal for your cooking experience.
So what about cooking with Lavender oil? While use of essential oil in cooking can be a very effective way to inject a strong flavor into your dishes, it is also very easy to overdo it. The floral, spicy taste of Lavender is a good complement to many foods, but moderation is required or Lavender will easily overpower other flavors. Because essential oils are so concentrated that they are actually medicinal, we only recommend the use of Lavender EO in cooking when making very large batches and following a recipe. For instance, our yummy Honey-Lavender Lemonade Recipe uses just 1 drop of Bee Pure essential oil for 12 servings of lemonade!
For these reasons, using culinary Lavender is really the easiest, tastiest way to inject this herb's flavor into your cooking most of the time. That being said, here are 5 ridiculously simple ways you can use culinary Lavender in your kitchen!
1. Herbes de Provence
"Herbes de Provence" is a fancy way of saying "herbs that grow in the Provence region of France." Because of this, there are a variety of dried different herbs you can select for your "Herbes de Provence." Customize your own unique blend based on your taste preferences and how you think you will use your Herbes de Provence the most. Some great choices for herbs to include are: Rosemary, Fennel, Oregano, Basil and (of course) Lavender. It's easy to gather together your favorite herbs, mix them well, and store them in an airtight container for future use. Check out this recipe for some more ideas on what to include! Herbes de Provence is a delicious seasoning to use on any kind of meat, as part of a sauce or vinaigrette, or even over pasta!
2. Smoked Over Coals
Do you like grilling? Next time you are grilling meat over some hot coals, soak some fresh cut Lavender stalks (any variety is okay for this particular method) in water and lay them over the hot coals. The smoke will inject a mild Lavender flavor into the meats as they cook. This would be especially tasty for smoked salmon or chicken!
3. Put the Buds Straight into your Baked Goods
I already told you all that I'm not a baker, but some of you have "the power!" For those who love to whip up fresh bread and cookies, infusing your baked goods a little Lavender could not be easier. Simply add the culinary Lavender buds straight into your recipe! A fresh loaf of bread with Rosemary and Lavender mixed in is heavenly, and check out this delicious (and simple) recipe for Lemon Lavender Shortbread cookies!
4. Lavender Salt
Once you get used to having Lavender salt as a staple in your kitchen, you will never want to be without it. It's really as easy to make as it sounds. Simply combine 2 ½ teaspoons of chopped culinary Lavender buds with ½ cup of course sea salt. You can package it in a grinder or simply store it in a jar to use as a finishing salt. My favorite way to use this salt is on a roast chicken, but it's great on salmon and roasted vegetables, too.
5. A Simple Syrup
Sweet, simple syrups are versatile and handy additions in the kitchen. Luckily for Lavender-lovers (alliteration, much?), it's easy to create a Lavender simple syrup that you can use to create gourmet cocktails or fancy coffee treats. I love these recipes for Lavender simple syrup from thespruce.com because the page also links to several different cocktails you can make with the syrup!
Cooking with Lavender, especially culinary Lavender, is an art form that's not quite as intimidating as it may seem. Try these simple methods to impress your friends and bring your love for Lavender up to a whole new level!
What are some methods or recipes that you use to bring Lavender into your kitchen?
Our Top 4 Back-to-School Essentials August 31, 2017 02:52
Our Top 4 Back- to-School Essentials
by Katie Gustafson
It's that time of year again. Depending on where you live in the U.S., school has either recently resumed or it soon will! Whether the students in your life are excited to begin a new year, or dreading summer's end, we at Bee in Bloom have some travel-sized Lavender goodies that can help make their transition into the schoolyear more fun and less stressful! Here are our top four back to school essentials!
Bee Clear Acne Salve
Bee Clear is Bee in Bloom's solution to acne treatment and prevention. This topical ointment combines the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory powers of Lavender oil, tea tree oil and honey with active acne fighter, Benzoyl Peroxide. Other natural, powerhouse ingredients such as Joboba oil, Red Raspberry Seed oil and Goldenseal also offer stellar nourishment to the skin! Bee Clear would make a great back-to-school purchase for the student who wants a fresh start for their skin this schoolyear.
Bee Smooth Hand Cream (2 oz)
Bee Smooth Hand Cream is definitely a customer favorite, and the 2 oz size tub is perfect for throwing into a purse or the smaller compartment of a book bag. With Lavender essential oil, honey, and Aloe Vera, this fluffy cream spreads easily and soaks right into the skin, leaving it smooth and lightly fragrant! Bee Smooth Hand Cream is available in four scents: Lavender, Lavender Mint, Honey Lavender and Hawaiian Lavender. Smooth handshakes are perfect for all of the introductions that come with a new school year!
Bee Soft Lip Balm
Our Bee Soft Lip Balm is an ultra-soothing and nourishing combination of beeswax, Lavender essential oil, and honey that consistently gets the job done! Not only does it feel great on the lips, the Lavender oil in this lip balm has been known to soothe some jitters in a pinch. This product fits perfectly in a purse or pocket. Available in four flavors: Lavender, Lavender Honey, Lavender Mint, and Hawaiian Lavender.
Germ exposure goes way up when school starts back in the fall, so it's important to find a good hand sanitizer! Bee Sanitized is our solution to keeping those germs away. This alcohol-based sanitizer also has special ingredients Lavender essential oil and Aloe Vera, which keep your hands smelling great and actually feeling moisturized, too!
We hope that these options help you with your back-to-school purchases this fall! We know that autumn is often a time of exciting (and sometimes scary) changes, and we want to always bring you excellent handmade products that are fortified with quality lavender oil, honey, and a little TLC, too!
What are some of your back to school must haves?
Bee Fun! July 20, 2017 02:50
"A cheerful heart is good medicine." –Proverbs 17:22
Part of Bee in Bloom's mission statement is "Bee Fun." While this definitely includes having fun, it also implies a state-of-being that is open to laughter, adventures, friendship, and sometimes even mistake-making. The sun doesn't rise and set on the basis of our perfection (it actually keeps rising and setting no matter what we do!) Sometimes the most important thing is to smile and enjoy the view! Because summer is such a playful, adventurous time, we wanted to share these 10 ways you can “Bee Fun” this summer (and anytime)! We hope these ideas help you to nourish your fun-spirited inner child, whether you are going on wild adventures this summer or relishing life's simple pleasures.
- Interact with Others through Play
Playing with others is one of the first things children learn how to do, but it's just as important for adults! The art of play is simple, therapeutic, and to guaranteed to cultivate a sense of fun. And, in case you have forgotten how to play (hopefully not), the options are endless! If you have young children in your life, you could start by joining them for a round of pretend (will you be a pirate, a chef, a princess?) You could also build fantastical creations with them out of blocks or play dough (check out our recipe for DIY lavender play dough here). Another option is to make a "play date" with your spouse or a friend (or a whole group of friends). You could host a board or video game night, play a sport together, or go on a laser tag outing! If you are theatrically inclined, you could also consider playing games that involve dance, improvisation, or making a short film. Regardless of the options you find most appealing, try to find some time each week (if not more often) that you can dedicate to interactive play.
- Be Bold
Something about summer evokes the feeling that life should be just a little bit wilder. Kids and teachers are free from school. Families travel to faraway places. The hot sun tells us it's the perfect time for eating ice cream and swimming in the ocean. And somehow, even if summer doesn't actually change your 9-5 schedule at all, memories of fun in the summertime may still beckon you to do something daring. So, what's stopping you from being bold? I'm not saying you should do anything crazy, but consider letting loose just a little and trying something new. Have you been too shy to get to know a potential friend better? Maybe you want to try a new look, or begin a home renovation project, but have been too afraid of change. Perhaps you've never gone to see a movie by yourself, ridden a roller coaster, or tasted sushi. Make a summer bucket-list for yourself. What are some ways you can be fun through being bold?
- Be Musical
People have always found music to be a means of expression and release, and recent studies support music's ability to reduce anxiety and depression. Whether you're listening to it or making it, music is undeniably powerful and fun. One easy way to incorporate a little music into your days might be to create a mix CD (old school, I know) or playlist of songs that you choose to inspire and uplift you. It's always special to have a list of songs that reflect specific seasons your life, and you might find that the songs you are drawn towards during a particular time can help you process things that are going on around you. Singing or playing an instrument is also a sure way to lift your spirits and share the fun of music. Anyone can sing (even if you don't like to sing in front of others, that's what the shower and car are for!) If you've always wanted to play an instrument but don't know how, the ukulele is an excellent instrument to start with. Portable, simple, and incredibly happy-sounding, it's our instrument of choice for the summer theme of “Bee Fun.” In the video below, Sara even helps you get started by demonstrating how to play "Lavender’s Blue,” on the ukulele.
VIDEO HERE (If video doesn’t work we can link to the FB page and mention where to find it there)
- Read for Pleasure
Good books take you on grand adventures which simmer on the back-burner of your mind, even as you continue to go on with life as usual. For this reason, a little pleasure-reading is a must for summertime--and for being fun, in general. Whether it's some late-night reading in the bathtub or early morning reading over coffee, reading is an enjoyable challenge that helps you see and feel the world through the premise of someone else's story. It can also be fun to read a book aloud with someone else. This is especially convenient if you are reading a collection of short stories or a novel with short, distinct scenes. And if you do read aloud, doing “the voices” for the different characters can make it all the more engaging (and silly, too)!
Shake things up a little and eat your meals outside when the weather is nice. It's amazing how much better food tastes when your skin is soaking in a little extra Vitamin C. Suddenly, a simple dinner becomes something exciting (even if it's just a peanut butter and jelly sandwich). If you do want to host a fancier picnic, however, it can also be really fun to plan a more formal spread of summertime finger-food fare. Whether you are keeping things relatively simple or taking a more elaborate approach, check out our recipe for this Honey-Lavender Lemonade that’s sure to help you kick back and relax. Picnics help us see an everyday event (mealtime) through a different, exciting lens.
- 6. Create
Creativity and fun are best friends, so be fun by using your imagination to create something! Depending on your creative interests, this may include painting, writing, baking, photography...the list of possibilities goes on indefinitely. If you are a crafter and a lavender-lover (which would be my suspicion if you are reading this blog), there are numerous crafts you can create with lavender oil or lavender blossoms. I love this tutorial on How to Make a Lavender Wreath by Garden Therapy. Also, I suspect that you could do a smaller version of these lavender wreaths to craft wearable fairy-crowns (perfect for frolicking under the full moon in the summertime.)
As the expression goes: “Treat yo’self!” Whether it’s a shopping spree or just a nap, a little indulgence now and then can make us all feel like nicer, more fun individuals. And indulging doesn’t even have to be expensive. One of my favorite ways to indulge is to have a movie night at home, complete with spa-treatments. if you are looking for a way to pamper yourself on a budget, check out our recipes for these ultra-relaxing DIY beauty treatments with lavender oil. For extra fun, indulge with a friend!
A huge part of being fun lies in what you give to those around you. One of my favorite quotes on this topic is by the poet and activist, Maya Angelou. She said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Fun people bring out the fun in everyone around them. Whenever I think about people in my life who are truly fun, they are always the individuals who find a way to engage, support and give to others. A great way to cultivate this aspect of being fun is to focus on kindness. If this is something you want to work on (and I think it’s something we all could work on), check out our “Bee Kind” post detailing 10 Simple Acts of Kindness.
- Explore and Engage
An adventurous spirit thrives on fun, and summer is the prime time to awaken your inner explorer. Getting away for a few days with your family or some friends is a great way to create fun memories that will last for years to come. If an overnight trip isn’t possible, a day trip to get outside and see some new sights is always good, too! Personally, some of my best childhood memories came from a day-trip of hiking (or picnicking) in the nearby mountains with my family. Sidenote: if you do choose an outdoors excursion, remember that a little Bee Pure lavender oil can discourage mosquitoes and help treat bites and stings! Another option for exploring and engaging is to become a tourist in your own hometown. If you were to tell someone about things they need to do while visiting your town, what would you recommend? Are there any natural wonders they should behold, or restaurants they should experience? Make a list of everything you would suggest somewhere else do on a day in your area…and then pick a day to do it yourself! Once again, choosing to see something familiar from a fresh vantage is an important component of being fun.
Perhaps the most important part of "bee-ing" fun is finding the ability to laugh, whenever possible. This includes laughing in the midst of hard times, and even laughing at yourself. Sometimes we can take ourselves so seriously that every small mistake we make brings us down. But what if, instead, we took the opportunity to laugh at (and learn from) our errors? Nothing feels better than a wheezy, eye-watering, almost-pee-your-pants, giggle session with a good friend. And we all know that the people who make us laugh, the people we don't care about snorting in front of, are the most fun people of all.
We hope that this list gives you inspiration for finding opportunities to “bee fun”-- for the rest of the summer, and beyond! Remember that being fun is about having fun, but it’s also about finding opportunities to see the adventure in the ordinary, living boldly, and bringing fun into the lives of others.
Lavender Play Dough Recipe June 23, 2017 04:42
Lavender Play Dough Recipe
I have an almost two year old, and she is just getting into the messy, wonderful world of markers, finger paints and play dough. For this reason, in addition to my status as a lavender-enthusiast, I was excited discover the rising trend of aromatherapy play dough (talk about your "play therapy"). Even better? It's really easy and inexpensive to make at home! I checked out several popular recipes online, and ultimately tweaked my favorites to come up with this version of lavender play dough. Though I did most of the "work," our little one was fascinated by the process and especially loved watching the color get mixed in. She could not stop playing with/sniffing the finished product! The Bee Pure essential oil in the dough seemed to soothe her allergies as she played. In subsequent play sessions, I've also used this homemade play dough as a relaxing pre-naptime or pre- bedtime activity. Total honesty: my husband and I really like playing with this stuff, too, especially after (or in the middle of) a stressful day. Here is the method I used. I really hope you will give it a try and make your own lavender play dough at home!
What You Need:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp cream of tartar
1 cup of hot (boiled) water
Approximately 20-30 drops of Bee Pure lavender essential oil. (You may want more or less essential oil, just depending on how lavender-y you like things. We like things pretty lavender-y.)
Purple food coloring
First, mix all the dry ingredients together. Next, stir in the vegetable oil. Add the boiling water slowly and mix with a spoon until all lumps are gone. Then the fun part: knead it with your hands until gets that awesome, "play dough" consistency.
Now the aromatherapy part! Add your drops of Bee Pure. You should stop and smell it to make sure it's as strong as you like. Add some more if you are a fellow lavender enthusiast. I mean, go crazy if you want. Next add in any additional flair that you like. I added purple dye and lavender buds, but you could do another color, or add glitter (or whatever else you can think of, within reason).
Lastly, do a final check to make sure your play dough is just how you want it. Is it purple enough? Is it lavender-y enough? You may want to take a deep whiff and see. I let my daughter decide. Her happy sigh after inhaling seemed to indicate her approval.
Smell good? Good.
And there you go! That's all there is to it! Store your lavender play dough in an air-tight container. Tupperware, or a few mason jars, should work perfectly. You can keep it at room temperature. Each batch has a shelf-life of about one month.
Making this play dough could definitely be a fun activity for a child's birthday party. I could also envision it being packed up into jars and distributed as gifts to friends or even co-workers (adults need play time, too.) Hope you all enjoy and don't forget to "bee fun!"
Honey-Lavender Lemonade June 23, 2017 04:39
This Honey-Lavender Lemonade is perfect for a summer afternoon spent by the pool or in the yard. It's relaxing, refreshing, and oh-so-good for you. The combination of honey and lemon means this lemonade rich in antioxidants, and the addition of lavender makes it extra stress-relieving. Many people report that drinking lavender lemonade noticeably eases their anxiety and/or tension-related headaches. You can certainly tweak our recipe however you like. Some may prefer to use raw sugar or Stevia as the primary sweetener. We love honey, however, for its medicinal properties and for its association with our friend the honeybee.
- 1 drop of Bee Pure lavender essential oil. (Please note: A little bit goes a long way, so 1 drop will work for 12 servings. Be careful not to overdo it, or it will be too lavender-y---yes there is such a thing!)
- 1-1.5 cups of honey
- 12 cups of warm water
- The juice of 5-6 lemons
- A pinch of pink Himalayan salt. Himalayan salt has numerous health benefits on its own, but its combination with honey and lemon gives this beverage some awesome electrolyte benefits.
- Lavender sprigs/ lemon wedges for garnish. This addition can make your pitcher, or each individual glass, look extra special and fun!
Mix the honey into 12 cups of warm water until thoroughly combined, then add all of the other ingredients. Taste and tweak as needed. Chill and serve over ice.
Photo Credit: Brianna Rainey
Aloha, Hawaiian Lavender! June 23, 2017 04:36
Aloha, Hawaiian Lavender!
This spring, Bee in Bloom owners, farmers, and scientists (AKA all-in-one husband and wife team, Brent and Sara Whitehead), developed a new addition to the product line: Hawaiian Lavender! Brent loves all things Hawaiian and was inspired for this line during the wintery months in Washington, when a Hawaiian vacation sounded like the perfect escape from the gray and the cold.
Hawaiian Lavender definitely smells like the beach, but not in a synthetic way. This fragrance is refreshingly natural. It opens with a burst of fresh, sweet pineapple, followed by the softer notes of coconut and lovely Pikake flower. The last note comes from Bee Pure lavender essential oil (lavandula x intermedia variety), which is soothing, clean and just a little spicy. Products currently available in this scent are: Bee Smooth Hand & Body Cream, Bee Soft Lip Balm, Bee Active Aluminum-Free Deodorant, and Bee FreshBody and Room Spray. Since its first appearance in March, Hawaiian Lavender has quickly become a customer favorite. At the Lynden Craft and Antique Show, Sara had three different customers (all former residents of Hawaii, no less) tell her how reminiscent this scent truly is of the islands.
If you love Hawaii, the beach, or lavender, you should definitely consider trying out some of Bee in Bloom's Hawaiian Lavender products this summer! The 2 oz. Bee Smooth hand cream or lip balm are perfectly-sized for travel if you want to take these products on a plane or throw them in your beach bag. Or, if you can't go on a physical vacation this summer, an all-over spritz of the Hawaiian Lavender Bee Fresh spray can at least take you on a little mental break. Aloha!
What's the Latest Buzz? Bee in Bloom has landed at Haggen! May 25, 2017 04:39
The process of working with Haggen began several months ago, when Sara was representing Bee in Bloom at the local "Home for the Holidays" Christmas Show. She grabbed a cup of the free coffee which was being provided by Haggen (many good things begin with a cup of coffee, you know), and ended up having a nice chat with the woman at the coffee stand. She didn't realize, at first, that the woman she was talking with was actually a Haggen coordinator. She tried out some of Bee in Bloom's products, and told Sara that she thought Bee in Bloom could be a great fit for Haggen's market!
When Sara brought several products over to the Haggen cooperate office, she was very impressed by how kind, helpful and personal everyone was. It seemed like a good match for all involved. Sara, Brent, and their girls have all been busy bees over the last few months, getting a huge amount of products ready and delivered. Now that all of the requested products have been delivered to various Haggen stores throughout Washington, Bee in Bloom has officially hit the shelves!
What Will Be Available
For now, the following products will be available at most of the Haggen locations carrying Bee in Bloom products:
· Bee Healed / Dr. Whitehead's Healing Skin Salve
· Bee Clear/ Natural Acne Treatment
· Bee Sanitized/ Lavender Honey Sanitizing Spray
· Bee Smooth Hand Cream 2 oz./ Available in Lavender, Lavender Honey, Lavender Mint and Hawaiian Lavender
· Bee Soft Lip Balm/ Available in Lavender, Lavender Honey, Lavender Mint, and Hawaiian Lavender (non-tinted)
· Bee Active Aluminum-Free Deodorant/ Available in Lavender, Lavender Mint, Hawaiian Lavender and Lavender Pine.
· Bee Clean Hand and Body Soap 8 oz./ Available in Lavender, Lavender Mint and Lavender Honey
*Note: You might notice that some of our products/fragrances are not available through Haggen (essential oil, hydrosol, and certain fragrances). Don't worry, we will continue to keep these items online, and some of them are also available with our other local business partners around Lynden, WA such as: Cheeks Boutique, The Green Barn and The Chipper Bird (Bellingham).
Which Haggen Stores Will Carry Bee in Bloom?
At this time, Haggen stores at the following locations should have our products in stock!
· 1406 Lake Tapps Parkway East/ Auburn, WA
· 2114 Meridian/ Bellingham, WA
· 2900 Woburn Street/ Bellingham, WA
· 1401 12th Street/ Bellingham, WA
· 210 36th Street/ Bellingham, WA
· 757 Haggen Drive/ Burlington, WA
· 1815 Main Street/ Ferndale, WA
· 8915 Market Place NE/ Lake Stevens, WA
· 3711 88th Street NE/Marysville, WA
· 2601 East Division/ Mount Vernon, WA
· 31565 Sr 20 #1/ Oak Harbor, WA
· 1313 Cooper Point Road SW/ Olympia, WA
· 26603 72nd Avenue NW/ Stanwood, WA
· 1301 Avenue D/ Snohomish, WA
· 17641 Garden Way NE/ Woodinville, WA
If you have any questions about products, please reach out to us via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also get in the know about Bee in Bloom by following us on social media (listed as Bee in Bloom). If you don't have a Haggen nearby, please remember that Website orders over $50 receive free shipping! And, if you do live near a Haggen Food and Pharmacy, we sincerely hope you'll head on over and check out our some of products in their new home!
DIY Beauty with Lavender Oil April 06, 2017 03:54
DIY Beauty with Lavender Oil
By Katie Gustafson
Lavender essential oil has been used for thousands of years for its beautiful fragrance and its purifying properties. The ancient Romans used it in their baths and for treating injuries, and the Bible mentions "spikenard" (one of lavender's earlier names) as an anointing oil in both the Old and New Testaments. Today, research confirms what people have long suspected: lavender oil has numerous healing benefits for both the body and mind. There is evidence to support its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties. When you're choosing a bottle of lavender oil, it's important to look for high-quality oil that has not been watered down or "filled" with synthetic ingredients. At Bee in Bloom, our Bee Pure lavender essential oil is 100% pure oil, with zero fillers. Our lavender plants are organic, and the oil is steam-distilled using fresh well water. The entire process, from growing the lavender to bottling the oil, takes place at Bee in Bloom's lavender and honey farm in Lynden, WA.
There are about a million different ways to use Bee Pure lavender oil in your home (only a slight exaggeration). This month, however, we're talking about how to use Bee Pure in your daily beauty routine. Expensive skincare and hair products frequently feature lavender oil as a superstar ingredient. Luckily, it's just as easy to get the same benefits at home with a little DIY creativity. I don't know about you, but I love to go "mad scientist" in my kitchen and create something that makes me feel like I've just been on a shopping spree at LUSH--at a fraction of the cost. Plus, some of these "spa recipes" make quick and easy gifts that you can package in cute glass containers and give out to friends! So here they are: 5 quick and easy DIY lavender oil recipes that will help you feel "bee"-u-tiful!
1. Glowing Face Mask
This brightening, moisturizing lavender mask is the perfect way to relax and pamper just before bedtime. It's also really simple. All you need is plain Greek yogurt, honey (preferably raw honey) and lavender essential oil. Yogurt has a brightening and softening effect on the skin, while honey provides exfoliation and locks in moisture. Like lavender oil, honey is also anti-inflammatory, and both of these ingredients help revive tired skin and give it some "glow." The cleansing power of lavender is also healing, but gentle, for acne prone skin.
· 1 Tbsp. raw honey
· 1 Tbsp. yogurt
· 3 Drops of lavender essential oil
Simply combine these ingredients in a glass cup or bowl (essential oils and plastic don't combine well). Then wash your face, spread this stuff all over it, and skip around gleefully because it feels and smells so nice. You can leave it on until you feel the yogurt begin to dry (which will probably be between 30-40 minutes), then rinse off with warm water. The proportions listed should yield approximately 4-6 applications, depending on how thickly you spread it on. Store covered in the refrigerator, and use within a week. Great to share with friends!
2. "Essential" Coconut Oil
This versatile, two-ingredient treat could not be more basic! At my house, this jazzed up coconut oil stays in a little jar in the bathroom cupboard. I use this combination for my night-time facial moisturizer, and it has made my skin feel soft and look refreshed in the morning. My husband enjoys using this as an aftershave, and it also works great as a shaving cream.
· 2 Tbsp. of extra virgin coconut oil (solid)
· 3-4 Drops of Bee Pure lavender essential oil
· A small glass jar (with lid) for storage.
Mix it up and you're done! See? Told you it was basic! This mixture should keep well, so feel free to make more than the given proportions at one time. Though it does not need to be refrigerated, it will definitely liquefy on you if you store it someplace hot or warm (coconut oil is feisty like that). Not that you can't use it if it's liquid…it's just kind of messy. A small mason jar makes the perfect storage container for this "essential" coconut oil.
3. Sweet Lavender Scrub
Every "body" likes a good body scrub, especially one that leaves your skin smelling great and feeling moisturized. This sweet and simple lavender sugar scrub makes a nice treat on a stressful weeknight. It can also be made in larger batches, packaged up in cute jars, and given out as gifts!
· ½ Cup extra virgin coconut oil
· ½ Cup of white, granulated sugar
· 1 Tsp. of Vitamin E oil
· 15- 20 Drops Bee Pure essential oil
· (Optional) 1 Tbsp. of dried lavender buds
Combine ingredients in a large bowl, stirring gently. Then simply package in a glass container and enjoy! As with any oil-based scrub, be careful to rinse your shower out after using it; the coconut oil can make the tub a little bit slippery. Because this scrub is made with finely granulated sugar, some people also enjoy using it as a facial exfoliator!
4. Lavender Apple Hair Rinse
Apple cider vinegar hair rinses are a great way to cleanse hair, get rid of product residue on the scalp, and add a lot of softness and shine without harsh chemicals. This particular hair rinse also uses lavender oil, which adds extra cleansing power and helps combat dandruff. Plus, of course, it's relaxing and smells fantastic.
· 2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
· 10 drops of Bee Pure essential oil
· 2 cup of fresh water
· 1 large mason jar
After showering and washing (or conditioning, or just wetting) your hair as normal, pour some of this mixture through your hair, using your fingers to distribute it. You may notice right away that ACV helps detangle your hair—cool, right? Leave it in and let it dry as normal. You might be worried that your hair will smell like vinegar. However, if you keep with the above proportions, the vinegar smell should go away by the time your hair is dry. The lavender smell will remain in your hair, which should also be super soft and shiny after this treatment. Depending on how much hair you have---and how much you use, one large jar may give you 2-4 uses.
5. Lavender Lashes
I don't know about you, but I love to wear mascara. It's my desert island make-up item, the thing that helps me look like a functional adult when I feel like a zombie. However, I recently learned something disturbing about mascara. It's not only a magnet for bacteria; it's also very popular with eyelash mites. Did you know that most people have microscopic bugs (mites) living in their hair and eyelash follicles? However, frequent mascara wearers are much more likely to experience problems with the tiny pests, who are drawn to the extra bacteria lurking in the eyelashes. This increased habitation of mites can even lead to lashes thinning and falling out entirely. Not only is this the opposite of what we want to achieve when wearing mascara, it's also just plain gross. However, the natural beauty community has recently hit upon a very simple solution. Since lavender has anti-bacterial/anti-microbial properties, and is also incredibly gentle, why not put it in your mascara? Voila: the rising lavender-mascara trend was born!
· 1 tube of your favorite mascara
· 1-2 drops of Bee Pure essential oil
Simply twist open your mascara, put 1-2 drops down into the tube, and swirl it with the wand. The end result will give you lavender-scented mascara that helps ward off pests and bacteria. Plus it smells really nice. Just be careful to not get the lavender oil in your eyes (or mascara in your eyes, obviously). Personally, this little life hack makes me feel a lot better about wearing mascara...which is a good thing.
I hope that you treat yourself to an at-home spa night and give these DIY recipes a try! Don't forget to let us know what your favorite is! There are so many fantastic DIY lavender oil beauty tips out there. We want to know: what some of your favorite beauty treatments to make with Bee Pure? Follow Bee in Bloom on Facebook or Instagram to share your experiences or get more tips on lavender and lavender essential oil! Have a "Bee-You-Tiful" Day!
"Bee" Kind: 10 Simple Acts of Kindness by Katie Gustafson February 28, 2017 17:44
Everyone appreciates kindness.
Think about it. We’ve all had those days- you know, one of those days- when the world seems like it’s over. Maybe you’re stressed, lonely, at your wit’s end, wondering how tomorrow will ever be better, but then someone does something unexpected to show you that they care. It’s amazing how a small gesture can make a huge difference when you are having a rough time. Kindness is also a gift that keeps on giving; doing something kind for someone else can often bring some softness and warmth into your own heart. However, even with its universal appreciation, it can be surprisingly hard to remember to show some extra kindness sometimes. Weird, right?
I think this is because acts of kindness have to be intentional. That’s just their nature. And if we’re not being mindful, it’s way too easy to default to a pattern of self-focus. Personally, I tend to get caught up in the things I want, or that I need to get done, or even in worrying about how others will perceive me. For instance, maybe I do want to reach out to someone, but I’ll worry that the person will think I’m weird or overstepping my bounds. Now maybe that’s just me—but I suspect it’s true for many of us.
So how do we break out of survival mode and cultivate a habit of kindness? I think the answer is pretty simple: be intentional and practice! Meaningful acts of kindness don’t have to be invasive, expensive, or even time-consuming. Sometimes the small gestures can say “I’m thinking of you,” even more than the big ones. With that in mind, here are 10 simple ideas to help you “Bee Kind” to someone today.
1. Encouraging Words
Whether it’s a handwritten note slipped onto a co-worker’s desk or even a short message texted to a friend, some specific and thoughtful words can be a powerful way of brightening someone’s day. It doesn’t even have to be related to anything specific that’s been going on, just a simple, “I’m so glad you’re in my life because_________,” or “I’m thinking of you and hoping ___________for you today!”
The well-known psychologist Virginia Satir once said, "We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth." Hugs are not only reassurance of affection, they also prompt the human body to produce oxytocin-- the “cuddle chemical” that’s good for your emotional and physical health. So if you know someone hasn’t been hugged much lately, give them a good hug next time you see them (or maybe several hugs.) Just make sure they aren’t hug-a-phobic first.
3. A Little Something
A practical little “just because” gift can also make people feel cared for and appreciated (in the South, we call these “happies”). These kinds of gifts don’t have to cost much. Simply think about something the recipient will use often: a funky pack of Post-Its for the note taker, a funny mug for the coffee addict. If you know some lavender lovers, we have some perfect “little somethings,” at Bee in Bloom such as: Bee Soft lavender lip balm ($4), Bee Sanitized lavender hand sanitizer ($5) or some 2 oz. Bee Smooth hand cream ($5).
4. Hungry Heart
Cooking, bringing, or buying someone food is one of the most basic kindnesses of all. Whether you invite a new friend to your home for a made-from-scratch dinner, pick up the tab for a stranger’s meal, or bring your neighbor some of the chocolate chip cookies you just baked—providing food is a straightforward way to say, “I care about you.” There are probably a million ways you can put your own unique spin on this. One idea I like is to create a “dinner in a basket” for someone. Write out a recipe card for one of your favorite, simple go-to meals and load up a basket (or box) with all the required ingredients. I like this one for friends who enjoy cooking, because it still gives them their “cooking therapy,” minus the planning and shopping.
5. A Thing of Beauty
For the visual person in your life, consider bringing him or her something that will brighten up a workspace or living room: a candle, a drawing or printed out photo, or even a bouquet of flowers (or bundle of lavender)! It’s an aesthetic reminder to the recipient that you wanted to bring some cheer to their day.
6. Relieve the Pressure Points
While it may not be something you want to do for just anyone, a quick hand, neck or neck message can be a wonderful way of showing kindness. Especially when that person has a headache or has been stressed, they’ll likely jump at your offer to help them with their tight shoulders or throbbing temples. If you have some of our lavender oil or refreshing spray on hand, you could incorporate it into the message to make it even more relaxing. The lavender mint Bee Smooth is also one of my favorite weapons against a tension headache.
7. “Read this!”
My grandfather used to clip things out of the newspaper that he thought would interest me: articles about local authors or ballet performances, usually. I’d receive them in the mail a week after they’d been published, with a little note scribbled towards the top of the article that said something like, “Thought you’d want to know!” Especially for people who read a lot, the act of setting aside a particular article or loaning out a favorite book, “just because it made me think of you,” means so much! It’s like saying, “Your interests were on my mind,” or “I saw you in this.”
8. Create Calm
Another way you can show kindness to someone is to help create a calm space for them. Basically, this involves acts of service like offering to clean or organize a part of their house. Like the last item, this one depends upon the recipient. Some people may get stressed out if you offer to help them clean/organize, but others love it! Primarily, I would suggest thinking about the new moms you might know for this one, because they sometimes have a lot of people coming to hold their baby (which is what they want to be doing) and not enough people coming to do their dishes (which is what they don’t want to be doing). Diffuse some lavender essential oil while you’re doing those dishes to set a relaxing atmosphere.
9. Take a Hike
(Or a walk. Side note: if you do decide to take an actual hike, don’t forget to bring some Bee Safe bug-repelling sunscreen.) Inviting someone to go on a walk with you is different than a lot of social activities because you are committing to a relatively quiet, distraction free activity that’s focused on companionship and self-care. In a world full of non-stop stimulus, opting to walk and talk with someone is a way of loving them through excellent quality time
10. “Bee” Present
Lastly, one way to “bee kind” is to also “bee present.” A listening ear, a tender heart, a careful response—these things mean a lot when they are needed. Sometimes there is nothing kinder than a simple, old-fashioned visit or a phone call just to ask, “How are you today?”
Did any of these acts resonate with you? What are some specific ways you like to show kindness to others?
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
New, Free shipping when you spend over $50 !! February 19, 2017 10:42
buzz buzz buzz June 05, 2016 08:48
Check out this video Brent made of our bees working on the farm!
I dare you not to get this video stuck in your head.
How to Prune a Lavender Plant September 23, 2015 07:26 2 Comments
How to Prune a Lavender Plant
Several of you have asked me how to prune your lavender plants. I have swallowed my fear and allowed Brent to video me showing you how to take care of your lavender plant at home. If they are pruned correctly, they can last for years, maintain their lovely shape, and produce an abundance of beautiful fragrant blooms. Happy Pruning!Posted by Bee in Bloom on Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Things you can do with Lavender Essential Oil. September 17, 2015 03:02 1 Comment
Things you can do with lavender oil!
At Bee in Bloom, our lavender essential oil is extracted from our plants through the process of steam distillation. The steam carries the oils out of the plant and up into a copper coiled condensing tube. The tube is surrounded by cool water which separates the condensed water containing water soluble plant materials (hydrosol) and the oil. The oil of course is less dense than the water so it can be separated from the hydrosol using a glass funnel separator. The oil is then stored in dark glass bottles to keep it from too much exposure to light. The oil is usable immediately for a variety of useful purposes which I will tell you all about! The fragrance of the oil continues to get better for up to six months and then has reached its full fragrance potential. We grow five varieties of lavender on our farm, but they are separated into two main groups: lavandula angustifolia, and lavandula x intermedia. They have a slightly different fragrance, but both varieties will work for each of the ideas I have listed below.
Useful things you can do with lavender essential oil for your body:
Lavender promotes relaxation and sleep (which combats anxiety and depression). It is a natural anti-inflammatory, a natural antiseptic and disinfectant. It is also a natural antibiotic, detoxifier, insect repellent, and can be used to treat exhaustion, heat exposure, fevers, aches and pains, rashes, sunburn and burns. I usually carry a small vial in my purse.
* Put a drop on the bottoms of a child’s feet who is having trouble sleeping. You can also put a few drops on that child’s favorite stuffed animal.
* Put a few drops on a pillow for the same reason (and it smells good).
* Put a drop on an insect sting to promote healing and ease discomfort.
* Put a drop on a blemish or small cut to promote healing and discourage bacteria naturally.
* Put a few drops on a burn to reduce redness, pain and swelling.
* Put a drop behind each ear to combat motion sickness.
* Put a few drops on your scalp and rub it in to combat dandruff.
* Put a few drops on your hands or in a tissue and breathe it in to reduce anxiety and help eliminate head aches.
Fun and useful things you can do with lavender essential oil around your home:
Opening up a bottle of lavender oil is like being in the middle of the field at full bloom during harvest. If you love the smell of lavender, then you will love using lavender oil around your home. I have a bottle of oil in each bathroom and one in my kitchen.
* Put a few drops on your bed linens when you make the bed in the morning, or at night right before you go to sleep. Not only does it smell great, but it helps you get to sleep.
* Put a few drops in your kitchen and bathroom sink drains. It eliminates any unwanted odors and is a natural disinfectant.
* Put a few drops on a rug as a natural room freshener. I also put a few drops in my carpets around the house after vacuuming.
* Put a few drops in your trash cans.
* Put a few drops in stinky sneakers or boots. I use it in the show cubbies in our mudroom.
* Put a few drops in a child’s stinky backpack.
* Put a few drops on the inside of a jacket or sweatshirt.
* Put a few drops on a dog or cat bed.
The uses are really only limited by your creativity! I hope this has given you some ideas of how this amazing essential oil can be used for practical and everyday purposes.
Top 3 Excuses September 02, 2015 05:10Top 3 excuses for not blogging lately
The first excuse can be summed up in one number, one letter, and one word: 4-H Fair. Okay…so you know me right? I cannot be done in so few words. :) I had three kids in four barns at the Northwest Washington fair with 4-H projects. I am not talking art projects people. I am talking about 2 250 lb+ hogs, 2 unruly lambs, 2 chickens (one with a questionable breed, this means research time), and 1 very fluffy (like it took us and hour to comb his hair…not exaggerating) bunny. I walked, ran, and limped back and forth between barns all week. My path’s trajectory unfortunately took me right past the poffertjes stand. Poffertjes, for those of you who haven't already succumbed to their power, are some kind of Dutch delicacy created to make us weak in the knees and cause us to look over our shoulders as we whisper that we want extra butter cream on the top…yes, yes we will pay the extra 50 cents…sheesh. As you can image, this completely cancelled out all the calorie burning that occurred walking 400 miles during the week. The good news about the fair is that we earned some rewards for all of our labor. Here is the breakdown:
Maddie: Grand champion hog, reserve junior champion for fit n show - giant belt buckle (beautiful), giant trophy (with a pig on top).
Olivia: Reserve junior champion for fit n show - darling trophy with a chicken on the top (it makes me smile every time).
Me: bursitis in my hip (it is an actual thing, called Trochanteric bursitis) that I earned from walking so much. I feel your empathy oozing from your heart. Thank you. The thing is, my kids still expect neatly folded piles of laundry to somehow magically make it upstairs to their rooms. The winds of change are blowing over here.
The winds of change bring me to my second reason I absolutely couldn’t sit down to blog. WIND...you know, my old nemesis. It came back with a vengeance, in AUGUST!!!!!! We had hurricane force winds (I don’t feel like I am exaggerating here). The lavender weed cloth survived - whew!!! I was about to lay myself prostrate on it and let my body be a weight (and insist that my husband and children do the same) when we discovered we could use the upside down wheel barrow to stop the flapping in the loose area of the field. The whole west coast of WA was without power for a day or so. We were in the “or so” category and were without power for 33 hours, 27 minutes, and 6 seconds. It felt like a month. We have a well to supply our water, but here is the thing, the well pump is electric. So that means, NO WATER. That means, NO COFFEE, NO COFFEE…for the love of all things good, NO WASHING HANDS, NO FLUSHING TOILETS. I watered my hanging baskets with lukewarm Canada Dry that had lost its fizz. We were living tribal style. I don’t know why, but catching up from that time has taken me 3 times longer than it should. Anyways…no computer, no blog.
Brent was on vacation for a week. My husband, heaven love him, doesn’t like to plan activities ahead of time. He likes to just feel out what fun thing he wants to do that day. Super fun. Super spontaneous. One problem: we live on a farm, with animals and things on it. Balancing our “fun” time (if you call Wild Waves theme park with hip bursitis fun), with our regular “get stuff done” time just squeezed blog right out of the equation. We did get to San Juan Island for a day, which was sooo beautiful. We ate lunch at Roche Harbor, my favorite place in the world. We got to stand on the edge of the ocean by a light house and watch Orca whales swim past. It doesn’t get better than that!
Eventually, as was bound to happen, I ran out of excuses. I’m baaaack…muah ha ha haaaa. I don’t know why I needed to insert and evil laugh there. Actually, the way I feel about the last three weeks is just plain thankful.
1. I am thankful that I get to live in an agricultural community where people support children who are learning to take care of animals. I am thankful that I get to be an actual farmer in this community; this is a dream come true for me.
2. I am thankful for power, flushing toilets, coffee and amazon.com again…whew. Oh yes, and that the weed cloth and trampoline survived the windy blasts.
3. I am thankful for my family and precious memories made together during Brent’s week off.
Next blog topic will probably be: “How I can use lavender essential oil?” or “ What on earth does Bee in Bloom mean anyways?”
Hydrosol…in your face! August 05, 2015 04:47 4 Comments
True Story: The other day in a combo mood of “lazy bum” and “in a hurry,” I asked my 11 year old to please grab me one of those Costco face wipes. I didn’t have the energy or time for my typical facial care routine. She tossed me the wipe and I proceeded to scrub all over my face and neck. I realized after a few scrubs that the smell was kind of strong, and there was a sort of burning sensation on my skin but I powered on! All of a sudden it dawned on me that the face wipes never felt (or smelt) this way before…you guessed it! I had been scrubbing my face with a Costco brand counter top cleaning wipe. By the time I figured this out, my face was really tingling, but NOT in a good way. I was properly horrified and ran to the sink to splash water on my face. My daughter had been confused and grabbed the wrong wipe.
As horrible as this experience was, it was a great example of why I love lavender hydrosol. Huh? You ask, well…let me tell you! First, I need to be a science nerd for just a little bit and explain what hydrosol is, and how we get it.
Lavender hydrosol is produced during the steam distillation of lavender. The steam carries the oils and other water soluble plant materials out of the lavender up into a coiled copper condensing tube. The coil is surrounded by cool water to promote condensation. As the steam condenses the lavender oil separates from the water and we can collect the oil. What we are left with is a distillate that contains great water soluble material from the plants, and a small amount of oil that doesn't separate during the condensation process. The distillate we collect is called hydrosol, and it is all natural (nothing is added) and it is amazing. It is naturally anti-bacterial (lab tested to prove this) and gentle and soothing to skin. Oh yeah…it is also naturally insect repelling.
Hydrosol has become the only counter top cleaner I use. It works amazing to clean stickiness and crud off of surfaces. I love spraying my counter with it and knowing I am not adding synthetic chemicals to the area where we prepare food and eat! It is gentle enough and effective enough to clean my jewelry too. I never took the time to clean my wedding ring in the past, but now I can do it while I wipe the counter. I love sparkle. It works amazingly to get finger prints off of stainless steel. It is not only safe for the skin, but GREAT for it. If I get hot while I am cleaning my counter, I stop and spray my face with it (on purpose). There is NO other counter top cleaner you want to do that with. Trust me…remember…I accidentally did it! I know I sound like I am preaching, but I really feel strongly about this stuff!
Did I mention that it is gentle enough for a baby’s bum? Sure enough! It works to soothe diaper rash and promote healing. It is great to spray on acne prone skin as a toner because it is soothing and antibacterial. It can be sprayed on plants to discourage aphids. It can be sprayed on pets to discourage insects. As a matter of fact, my daughter’s pig (I am a proud 4-H mom) had some kind of rash and we have been spraying it on the pig to soothe and heal her skin. She loves it (I’m talking about the pig)! Okay, okay okay…can you see why I chose to name this product “Bee Useful?”
A friend of mine bought the 16oz container of hydrosol at the Treasures Under the Tents event. She texted me later with a picture of her adorable little girl holding up the bottle and said that she (the daughter) loved it and had used it to clean the bathroom, the kitchen, and the mudroom. You don’t have to worry about your kids getting nasty chemicals on them while they clean for you…can I hear an “Amen?!”
Okay…I am going to carefully step off of my soap box now. You are officially educated about the usefulness of hydrosol!
Moles...public enemy #1 July 29, 2015 06:50 1 Comment
Struggle #2 Moles
Fun Facts about Moles
• Moles have curved front paws and claws that dig like shovels. They build long tunnels and underground homes.
• Moles can dig up to 18 feet in one hour.
• Moles have a good sense of smell, but they don’t see very well. In fact, their eyes are hard to find because they’re very small and covered in fur.
• Moles don’t hibernate. They work all year round to catch food.
• These little animals paralyze worms and insects with poison in their saliva. Then they store the insects in an underground room to eat later.
(Information NOT obtained from my science teacher brain, but rather from the challenging and respected scientific “journelesque” website: easyscienceforkids.com)
Caption: Is he barfing the worm or eating it?
Note: Moles eat earth worms, earth worms are great for soil, ergo moles are bad.
Do you really want to read about Moles? Sigh. I didn’t think so, but I’m not going to let that stop me. I feel it would be good to unburden my soul and this blog is the un-lucky recipient of said burden. Lets just say that the ugly little suckers (there is a reason that God arranged a subterranean habitat for them) have an admirable ability to inspire ordinary civilized men to revert back to some tribal instinct for conquest and blood. Maybe you’ve seen this transformation happen to your husband or another man in your life. It’s truly astounding, and it can be quite entertaining.
My main problem with them (moles not men) is the way they tunnel under my lavender plants and create massive air pockets right around their little roots. It was so perplexing at first to see row after row of beautiful healthy plants, and then one or two completely dead ones for no apparent reason. I realized that if you reach around the bottom of the lavender plant and check the soil your hand will sink into a big hole just under the surface. The poor plant starves for nutrients. You might think it is an easy solution, and that I can just go around to 1,600 plants and check if the soil is loose and pack it in again. If you think that, then you have never counted to 1,600. ARGHHHHHH (my angst tends to reveal itself pirate style).
Remember my resolve to love even the smallest critters? Well…lets just say that moles present a particular challenge for me. Wasps present this challenge for me too. I hate the way people confuse wasps with honeybees. It’s like mistaking Angelina Jolie for Benito Mussolini. Drives me crazy. Did you know that a wasp will attack a honey bee and literally fight a wrestling match to the death? I’ve seen them do it. I have been known to intervene on honeybee’s behalf by separating them with a twig and scaring the wasp off. This is the main reason I could never be an observational biologist. I could never sit back and watch a killer whale “play” with its sea lion food. Gulp. Wow. That was a serious tangent I just took; I blame it on the moles. As a matter of fact, I think I am going to start blaming all of my problems on moles. They are the perfect scapegoat.
Back to Moles:
I have been brainstorming ways to humanely get rid of them. The best idea I’ve come up with so far is to develop a giant magnet that is attracted only to the DNA sequence particular to moles, dig a big hole, insert the “magnet,” suck them all up out of their dark buggy worlds, and ship them off to another planet (in another solar system). Let me know if you come up with a better plan.
I have no inspirational quote regarding moles.
Hiccups, Fried Chicken, and Wind July 22, 2015 05:45 2 Comments
Remember when I mentioned in my last blog post that sometime I would talk about the “hiccups” we’ve encountered on the farm? Well, I have been reading Southern novels this summer and this activity has inspired me in two ways:
1. I want to eat fried chicken…all the time.
2. I am reminded that through adversity (aka: hiccups) human beings either crumble or get stronger and smarter.
Fried chicken aside (for the moment anyways), I want to talk about a few of the struggles we have faced as we have embarked on this farming adventure and how they have made us stronger.
Struggle 1: The Weed Cloth
When we were researching about how to plant our lavender we discovered that there were two schools of thought: weed cloth or no weed cloth. This may sound silly, but when you are talking about an acre of heavy duty weed cloth, you are talking about an investment!
The pros of weed cloth: No weeds...well, way less weeds. Those suckers can grow in the craziest places; you kind of have to admire their perseverance.
The cons of weed cloth: Cost, time to stake cloth down, figuring out how to burn holes in the cloth just the right size for lavender (Brent’s issue), a field of weed cloth just isn’t “pretty” (my issue).
We decided to heed the advice of other lavender farmers and go for the weed cloth. The weary way they spoke of weeds was quite motivating. After it was all in, I didn’t mind the appearance of it as much as I thought that I would. Brent rigged up and ingenious device with a propane tank attached to a metal ring by wire to burn the holes in the cloth so we could plant the lavender. I won’t lie to you…I lacked the courage to watch as he burned the holes. My job was to roll around the propane tank behind him, look away and think happy thoughts. Brent would like me to point out that it was 90 degrees outside while he walked around with a blow torch spewing high levels of kinetic energy into his face…sheesh. Big baby.
When we finished, we were quite proud of our successful instillation of the weed cloth. You know what they say about pride right? Well, one major thing we didn’t take into account, was the Whatcom county winter wind (like the alliteration?). The gale force winds we got during the winter ripped that weed cloth right up and over our lavender babies in giant strips. They were like sails of darkness, pirate ship style, that created about as much foreboding by their presence. I spent hours (like 8 at a time) in freezing rain and wind, soaked to the bone trying to stake it down again. It might have been fun the way the wind would whip up and pull me along as I clung with a white knuckled grip to the weed cloth, if I hadn’t been so desperate. I realize that this sounds overly dramatic to you as you read this in the middle of the summer. Trust me, it WAS overly dramatic!!! I prayed, I sobbed, I sang Christmas songs at the top of my lungs (I honestly don’t know why). It wasn’t pretty. Here is the kicker…it happened AGAIN! As a matter of fact it happened three times. Brent, started refusing to look out our window at the field. He told me he was “done, just “done” with farming, which stoked the fires of my stubbornness (maybe that was his intention all along…stinker), and I decided that the wind wasn’t going to win this battle. Our wonderful neighbors (two different sets) offered to let us have or borrow paving stones that they had in their back yards. I know…what are the chances? I also borrowed some of their sons (and their friends) to help me haul pavers and heavy bricks all over the weed cloth to help hold it down. I held my breath and waited for the next storm. It came, and when the clouds cleared, we discovered that the paver solution seemed to work. Hallelujah! I love a happy ending. Just to ensure we will have another one (happy ending that is) this winter, I am buying more pavers before fall. If anyone is interested in weight lifting, you can come help me spread them out around the field.
I have written more than I intended about weed cloth, who knew it could be such an inspiring topic? I will save our other struggles for another post. I know you are just dying to read about bee swarms and moles, but it will have to wait. I need to go make some lip balm. I will however, leave you with a quote that I love; Insert “lavender” for “apple tree” and it is exactly how I feel.
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
Click here for a recipe for fried chicken…just kidding. If you want some too, just go to Safeway or Food Pavilion because their fried chicken rocks.
So it begins... July 14, 2015 13:07 1 Comment
I've titled this blog "So it begins..." but really it began about 3 1/2 years ago. At about that time Brent decided that he wanted to start keeping bees, after my initial shock (and his first honey harvest), I realized that I needed to get involved in this venture. Part of my motivation had to do with the fact that I discovered something new about my kind and brilliant husband, namely, he is a honey hog. One of his reasons for hoarding the liquid gold, "What if all of the bees die and this is the only honey left in the world?" Your face probably looks exactly like mine did when he said that to me. I couldn't make this stuff up. Oh how I love that man! I needed my own bees. I decided to let the girls go crazy painting my hive boxes and therefore, mine is funky and cute and his is calm and classy. His honey is stored up for later use, and mine is given away pretty much freely (behind his back). Here is what I have learned: we are a good balance.
Somehow beekeeping lead us to lavender farming (I really can't remember how). I researched and read about how fabulous the stuff was and decided to give it a try. We planted our baby lavenders a year ago spring and I am amazed at how happy those babies are. I will fill you in another time about some of the hiccups encountered (wind, moles, etc.)
Here are a few more things I have learned lately:
1. I have learned that harvesting lavender is best done using a scythe (aka: grim reaper) and a back that is younger than mine. Thank the good Lord for Faith Elgersma, Katie Beld, Colby Beld, and Samantha Douge.
2. I have learned that 1,600 lavender plants is a whole heck of a lot.
3. I have learned that a dog run can be converted into a lavender drying area with lawn tarps (brilliant husband's idea again). It ain't pretty, but it works! "We need a barn" is a quote I hear come out of one of our mouths daily.
4. I have learned that steam distillation is fun, but gives the appearance of a whisky factory in your front yard (should warn neighbors).
5. I have learned that listening to audiobooks on my phone is awesome while working in the field. My neighbors probably think I am crazy when they see me out there wiping away tears, or standing up to laugh out loud apparently all by myself, when really I've just heard a great part in a book.
6. I have learned (much to their chagrin) that my children can be responsible for their own breakfast during busy harvest time. They also made cupcakes from scratch last week when I was out there working...amazing!!!!
7. I have learned (even more) how to love even the smallest living things. Sometimes when harvesting, I just stop and sit in the field of lavender surrounded by thousands (really and truly) of bees working their magic. They joyfully bury their little heads in a lavender blossom and gorge. It reminds me of me at Menchies. Anyways...I just sit there and love them. I love the beautiful and useful lavender, I love the different species of honey bees, and bumble bees that come to drink. I love the sound they make. I have yet to be stung while harvesting which is something of a miracle since I am essentially robbing them of their favorite treat. Once when I was out there working and listening to a book on my phone I heard this quote (yes...it was one of the times I cried). “Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved.” -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
OK...I have officially over rambled on my first blog post. I'll sign out...