I love using witch hazel as a facial cleanser. It’s so cooling and has become a good way to wake me up after hours of studying. I got bored with my plain witch hazel though. And while I know I can buy rose or lavender infused witch hazel I thought it would be better to make my own. This took literally two minutes and was really satisfying. I have some roses growing near my front door that smell amazing so I picked about 5 of them, snipped off some rosemary, lavender and calendula and brought it all inside. I briefly rinsed the flowers and then pulled all the petals off the roses, which again, was oddly satisfying. And beautiful. I packed all the herbs into a mason jar, covered it with witch hazel and shook it up well. Immediately the witch hazel took on a pink hue. I didn’t want any of the plants to oxidize and go rancid so I place a river rock on top to hold everything down. This was actually made about 2 weeks ago and I’ve been watching it turn a deeper and deeper shade of dark pink. I used it the first time and it was great. Rose, rosemary, lavender and calendula are all great for the skin, but you can also add lemon balm, mint or borage if you want to switch it up. Let it infuse for about 2 weeks and then strain the herbs from the witch hazel with a fine cloth, like cheese cloth or a bandana, then put witch hazel in a clean dry bottle. Done.


Fire cider, even the name is totally exciting. I love making herbal concoctions; I love the alchemy, and the self empowerment of making my own medicine for myself and the folks I love. I’m one of those people that gets completely excited about the most simple things because that’s where I find brilliance. Kitchen recipes like fire cider are especially exciting because of their lineage, and I like feeling like I’m right in the middle of it, participating.

Fire cider is a combination of pungent spices and roots that help to fight off respiratory infections, increase immunity and circulation and will undoubtedly keep you warm over the long winter months. It can be used as a tonic to stave off the nasty colds going around. And, it takes not even 10 minutes to make!

For the recipe continue on right here! (more…)

Maybe this is a little off topic, but maybe not. I mean a lot of us are in the middle of dealing with surplus apples right now. Fall is still new, so we’re celebrating it instead of bemoaning the cold weather and reading seed catalogs while dreaming of BLTs with garden fresh tomatoes. So in celebration of fall baking, and as a new way to use those canning jars you all have spent so much time with, I wanted to repost this link I found on For Me – For You, which was originally posted on Our Best Bites. The recipe for these single serving jar pies is here. I wish I was having one of these with my tea this morning!



I found some great instructions for growing moss in the garden and for painting with the mossy mixture to create stencils. Check it out here and here! And if you document your project I’d love to see the pictures!

il_430xN.81877619I know this is a blog about nature within the city, but I’m leaving the city limits again. You see, I liked summer when I found it last week – so I’m going back. This time to the Yuba river for a little camping and I know the mosquitos are going to be out full force. I only wish they were as cute as the above drawing by Golly Bard on Etsy. In the 70s I remember using 1/2 a can of DEET on my legs but now I just can’t, so I’m concocting up a recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes! Click more for the recipe! (more…)

I’ve talked before about my love for sites like Smitten Kitchen, but today I want to share a link with you that I saw on another one of my favorite sites –Design* Sponge.  Often times Grace posts diy projects and this one was featured yesterday –


This tutorial originally posted by Design Gal shows step by step instructions on how to make these ornamental pieces using quick concrete, non-stick cook spray and old lamp globes. It looks really simple and a great base for many more possibilities. Check out the details here or here!