Need a quick Holiday Decor idea? (You probably have everything you need in your kitchen!)December 18th, 2014 | Posted by in DIY | Healthy Living | Inspiration from Nature | Recipes | Spice Grove Designs - (0 Comments)
Oranges (clementines, tangerines, etc.)
4. Step back and enjoy your work!
DIY Autumn Decor – 5 easy steps to Spiced Pumpkin CandlesNovember 4th, 2014 | Posted by in DIY | Inspiration from Nature | Spice Grove Designs | Uncategorized | Up cycled Beauty - (0 Comments)
As we count down to moving day – my time is getting more and more scarce. But I wanted to keep the blog going strong so we are going to ‘recycle’ an older DIY candle post that is perfect for Autumn!! I always seem to have at least a few of these tiny pumpkins on hand this time of year and you have to see their amazing transformation!
With only 5 easy steps you can make delicious spiced pumpkin candles out of those adorable tiny pumpkins that you have! Just click HERE to see our Scented Pumpkin Candle post. Have fun and let us know if you try this one out!!
Now back to packing for me!! But make sure to tune in next week for an amazing opportunity to be an angel to some deserving military families this Veteran’s Day!!
Blessings to you friends, and happy candle making!
Easy Cinnamon Applesauce!October 27th, 2014 | Posted by in DIY | Giveaways | Healthy Living | Recipes | Spice Grove Designs - (0 Comments)
Looking for any easy/healthy snack the whole family will enjoy? Look no further friends! Check out this amazing applesauce recipe for a yummy treat that even the pickiest eater will enjoy! (this has been adapted from the Pioneer Woman’s recipe which you can find here!)
~6 lbs. of apples (roughly 18 med. to large size apples of any variety)
~1 cup apple juice or apple cider – (most apple cider is gluten free too!)
~lemon juice from one lemon
~1/2 cup brown sugar – you can substitute maple syrup for a gluten-free recipe.
~1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
(optional ingredients: nutmeg, allspice)
Apple peeler/corer (if desired – it really speeds things up!)
Big stock pot
1. Core and chop all apples. We used all Granny Smith’s as that is what we picked at the orchard. I do like the blend of a half and half selection though such as 50% Granny Smith’s – 50% Pink Lady (or other sweet apple).
2. Add all ingredients to stock pot and cook for 25-30 min on medium. Stir often and taste to make sure you like the sweetness.
3. AFTER the apples are soft and COOLED add in 2 batches to a food processor and pulse until the consistency you like! We left ours a bit chunky!
4. Enjoy by itself or on pancakes, fresh bread, ice cream or anything you can think of!! One other nice thing about this recipe is that it freezes very well! (If your family doesn’t eat it all first!) I love that this can be made into an easy gluten free recipe too!
Next up tomorrow in our kitchen tomorrow…….apple pie with Grandma’s pie crust!!! (And hopefully on a post coming up!)
Let us know if you try this recipe out!!
Have a wonderful week friends and don’t forget to enter in our HUGE giveaway that ends tomorrow!! Just click here!
5 Easy Autumn DIY ideas for Your Table! (that are FREE or super low-cost)September 29th, 2014 | Posted by in DIY | Healthy Living | Inspiration from Nature | Spice Grove Designs | Up cycled Beauty - (2 Comments)
In keeping with our series theme of “using what you have,” welcome to our autumn DIY post! I hope you’ll enjoy these easy and low-cost ideas for freshening up your Fall table! Read on to see our 5 simple table centerpieces!
1. Use what is in your yard. Since we live in the desert our yard is mainly rock with a few cactus and other desert plants. Our girls are constantly bringing me rocks to add to their collections so one day we decided to see how they would look as a centerpiece.
Using the rocks and a few pinecones that I’ve collected over the years we were able to make a simple and rustic centerpiece that was FREE and took only about 2 minutes. (More if you are having fun looking at the rocks with your little ones!!)
2. Nature provides us with so much beauty, why not use some of it inside your home? Whether you have a herb garden with some fragrant lavender, some mini pumpkins or beautiful branches lying around your home don’t be afraid to use them!! Get creative and see where your imagination takes you!
3. Now as much as I love the branches and pinecones, the desert doesn’t provide many of these naturally so I have taken to using what grows naturally here.
I found these amazing prickly pear fruit in our front yard and just simply arranged them in this large cylindrical vase. Again, super quick, easy and FREE!! (Important note!!! Make sure you are wearing thick gloves to handle these little guys as they have amazingly small little needles on them!!)
4. Another sweet idea is to take a peek into your spice cabinet and see what whole spices you have available!
Then take the lovely seeds and berries and let them arrange themselves into whatever container or bowl you have available. Now you have a beautiful and fragrant centerpiece that evokes the scents of Fall all found in your own kitchen for FREE! (My favorite Fall scents to use are probably, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, star anise, and rose hips for a splash of Autumn color!) Buying these in bulk or online will save you money if you want to purchase more than just a little bit!
Besides the spices, I also love using some coffee beans or natural herbs from our garden in various vases!!
5. The last idea features one of our rustic spiced candle wreaths. I love that they have four different uses! (candle wreath, napkin holder, flower holder or vase decor) I’ll show you how I used the wreath in a vase decor and flower holder here.
Now since we don’t have abundant flowers here in the desert I just used some tiny little ‘weeds’ that the girls are always bringing in. They are just the perfect size for the tiny votive candle holder and the yellow looks so pretty with the Fall hued candle wreath!
I also made a tiny centerpiece with just the wreath and the flowers. I know it won’t last long but we loved the understated look of this one. (our household thrives on simplicity and creativity!)
I truly hope that some of these easy tips and ideas will spark your imagination and let you come up with some new Autumn decor for your own table! I’d love to see pictures if you do!
Autumn Blessings to you friends,
Use What You Have!September 16th, 2014 | Posted by in DIY | Giveaways | Giving Back | Healthy Living | Inspiration from Nature | Inspiration from others | Recipes | Spice Grove Designs | Up cycled Beauty - (2 Comments)
Welcome to the new blog series titled ‘Use What You Have!’
I am so excited to share a special collection of all things inspirational for your Heart and Home! This new weekly/bi-weekly series will feature so many wonderful ideas you won’t want to miss a moment! Just some of the ideas I have planned for you are:
~Gorgeous DIY Home Decor Ideas using things you ALREADY have!
~Easy, Healthy Recipes using what is ALREADY in your pantry!
~Inspirational stories and thoughts to uplift your spirit!
~FREE tutorials! (These will make your Holiday parties so special!)
~Festive Holiday ideas and Gift Guides!
~And MORE!!!! (giveaways too!!)
I’m so thankful for all of you and that you took the time to stop by! Do you have a recipe or awesome DIY you’d like to share with us? Just contact us here!! (or leave a comment below)
Have a beautiful day friends!
Blessings to you,
Inspiration from Ann’s HerbalsNovember 10th, 2013 | Posted by in Giveaways | Inspiration from Nature | Inspiration from others - (52 Comments)
I am so excited to let you meet my friend Ann from Ann’s Herbals! Not only is she a wonderful, kind and caring friend, BUT she makes the best soap in the world! As you know natural ingredients are super important to us here at Spice Grove Designs which is one reason I was so over the moon excited to meet Ann and her shop! I love that she grows the very ingredients she puts into her soaps and body products so I know they are chemical free. She makes them with such love and care, from the actual product to the packaging to the communication. Each time I order she makes me feel like I am her favorite customer! Plus there’s always a special treat she includes!! (And who doesn’t love a surprise chocolate?) I know what most of my Christmas list will find in their stockings this year!
I have to share that I’ve always had trouble with dry, cracked and bleeding hands, especially in the Fall and Winter. I’ve been buying Ann’s soaps for a while now but only used them in the guest bathroom or for ‘special’ occasions. (I know, I’m silly right!?!) Anyway – I decided I would use them at every sink for a week and see what effect that had on my hands. Within 1 week they were about 60% better and by the end of week 2 they were 100% healed, and softer and smoother (and more pain-free) than they’d been in YEARS!! Amazing!!
I also LOVE the different scents she offers, not just in her soaps but in her lip balms, salves and lotion bars! (Who doesn’t love a mocha lip balm!!) They make such great gifts! Just make sure you buy enough, as my 8-year-old is always running off with my lip balms after Ann sends me a new order!! I just love that they are safe enough to use on my little ones. She even has a new baby soap that I just bought and I can’t wait to try on my 20 month old who has eczema! She has so generously offered to giveaway one of her Ditch the Itch Soap and Herbal Salve Gift Set! ($17 value!) So make sure to enter to win below the feature! Trust me – you don’t want to miss out on this! Now here’s more about Ann in her words.
Tell us about yourself and your products.
I have been fascinated with the healing power of herbs for over 30 years. My whole adult life I suffered from eczema. In the 1990’s while studying Natural Health I decided I needed to find something to help my eczema flare ups. In one course of study the class was to make an herbal remedy from any of the herbs that were covered in the course. It was a perfect opportunity for me to try to “solve” my skin issues. After deciding on the best herbs to use, I went into my backyard and found them all, right there, waiting for me to put them to work. Simple weeds, medicinal powerhouses. Chickweed Calendula and Comfrey. From that moment I made a connection with nature that has never left me. This was the start of annsherbals, my herbal salve. I later changed the formulation by replacing the Comfrey with Plantain and it proved to be equal if not better. From there the inspirations flourished.
My son taught me to make soap. My soaps are not fancy, not pretty colors but they are made from high quality organic plant oils, pure essential oils and organic, wildcrafted or homegrown herbs. They are cut straight from the mold no trimming or polishing just a delightful slice of annmade soap.
I also have two herbal salves that I created, lotion bars, body butters and lip balms. Nothing fancy, my focus is quality and synthetic free. I also have a liniment that I sell locally. A local Physical Therapist uses it when she does massages. I originally formulated it for myself, I was having some leg pain. It worked so well I started letting others try it and by the wonders of nature, it works great!
What makes your products different from other similar products?
I have always had very sensitive skin, metal allergies, and some allergies I haven’t even figured out yet. Many many people suffer with skin sensitivities and by helping myself I knew I could help others. My products bring to the customer:
1. High quality oils and herbs.
2. Synthetic and chemical free skin care products made especially for sensitive skin.
What brings you joy/encouragement in your life and in creating your products?
I can’t stress enough the wonders of nature and what nature provides for us. Everything we need nature can provide. I feel joy and great pleasure in using the natural remedies that nature provides. I am also in awe and amazement at their selflessness in providing for us nourishment, medicine and beauty. I am well aware of their gifts; it is the most extraordinary feeling to create something from nature and watch it work. Seeing my salve help a rash, a bug bite, an eczema flare up, diaper rash, a cut or burn and so much more brings me the greatest pleasure and makes me humble at the same time. I am only the vehicle by which nature can fulfill its purpose.
If you had to choose just one of your products as your favorite you’ve created/made which one would it be?
I have to say my herbal salve, it’s my baby, my first creation that saved my skin and helps so many others. It’s sister salve (simple no pimple salve) which is my latest product is amazing too. So I think I will say my salves!
What does a day in your studio look like?
I actually do my best creating at night. Paperwork and promoting is my day job. At night it’s quiet and peaceful and I do my best creating. I have a very long to do list that gets put off by keeping up with current products and orders. I usually prepare the ingredients for a loaf of soap one night and then actually make it the next night. After preparing the ingredients I will make labels, experiment with scents or a new product. I just finished a skeeter spray after working on it for 2 years. I think I finally got a great blend! My next project is a natural deodorant. I would have liked to of started the deodorant months ago but when you are a one woman show wearing all the hats of the business it takes time and patience to accomplish all you want to do. Most nights I lose track of time and it gets into the wee hours of the morning. I have to say though, there is nothing I would rather do. It’s who I am and what I am good at. I admire anyone who sings their own song, whatever that song may be.
I will end with my favorite quote.
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my senses put in order.”
Where can our readers find you?
I have an Etsy shop, annsherbals.etsy.com. I have a website for products I can’t sell on Etsy, Ann’s Herbals. You can find me on Facebook at facebook.com/annsherbals or on twitter, twitter.com/annsherbals.
Ann has so graciously offered to give away on of her amazing Ditch the Itch Soap and Salve Gift Set to our readers!* ($17 value + free shipping) So make sure you enter to win below! Thank you so much Ann for sharing your story with us and for being such an inspiration to me!
*Giveaway open to all US residents only. Thank you!*
**All opinions expressed are solely mine. I was not compensated for this review.**
To see ALL the amazing Giveaways from our ‘Week of Inspiration’ just click here!