azaleas

azalea

Azaleas, in the same family as rhododendrons, can live for hundreds of years. Native to Japan, they can reach a height of 12 feet. With over 10,000 different varieties, one is at a loss to choose between them.  This one is golden azalea or native azalea and is blooming in my backyard. Folklore remedies properties include hypertension and cough. Azaleas symbolize modern, forbearance and temperance.

columbine flower

columbine1Columbine is a native wildflower to North America and is in the same family as the buttercup.  Its name comes from Latin meaning dove like (Columba) and eagle (Aquilegia its scientific name). Symbolism of the flower ranges from foolishness to seduction. It is that state flower of Colorado. There it is actually illegal to uproot the flowers on public land and you are limited to picking 25 flowers. Medicinally the petals have been used an astringent, soothing sore throats and Native America used the petals in tea to treat heart ailments. The flowers are edible and are quite sweet. They are pollinated by bumblebees and hawk moths and are dined upon by hummingbirds. The photo is my columbine in my window box that just bloomed.

 

 

apples

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Apples, did you know there are over 7500 varities world wide? It is the number one fruit eaten in the U.S. and rightly so. With no fat, sodium or cholesterol it is only 80 calories and 25% of it is water, that is why they float. It takes 36 apples to make one gallon of cider. And did you know the largest producers of apples is China?

This blossom is from one of my two apple trees in my backyard and it has yet to produce a harvest. It takes about 5-6 years to produce fruit, and as I am not quite patient, I do enjoy the beautiful blooms. Polinated by bees, I try and plant bee loving plants around the yard.

neroli essential oil

neroli, cucumber, grapefruitDid you know that it takes approximately 2000 lbs of flowers to make one pound of neroli essential oil? The oil is extracted from the bitter orange tree and is believed to have orginated in Asia. However, the Italians were the first to steam distill the oil in the 17th century. Around the same time, the first eau de cologne was created that included a blend of neroli, bergamot, lavender, lemon, petit grain and rosemary.

Neroli oil is known to reduce anxiety and stress as well as an aphrodisiac and having antibacterial properties. It has been shown effective in stimulating cell growth thus beneficial for the skin.

This fragrant ingredient is found in our body mist, along with grapefruit and cucumber. Perfect for misting hair and body throughout the day for a reviving pick me up.

body oil

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Dry, dry skin. Itchy, itchy legs.

Every winter I go through this. In the summer I can use something as simple and easy to find as coconut oil to moisturize my legs. As soon as the temperature drops, though, my legs become unbearably itchy and dry. For years, I’ve had a constant search for the moisturizer, oil, or oil blend that will calm the skin and lock in more hydration.

I know all of the things you’re supposed to do for dry skin in winter–don’t shower every day, don’t use very hot water, don’t shave legs too often, do moisturize immediately after a shower or bath, do eat healthy fats, and so on and so forth.

I do all of these things! I have been doing them for years! I still feel like I need moisturizer 3 times a day on my legs…When I stopped using chemicals in my body products a few years ago, that alleviated a little bit of the problem, but it still persists.

HOWEVER! I may have found the antidote! I used this luxurious new USDA organic body oil from HollyBeth Organics once a day (at night) for a week, and after the 2 showers that I took that week as well. This made a HUGE difference! It’s a process, and I know that I need more time to heal the scratched skin, but I think I’m on the road to recovery

The blend of base oils is apricot seed oil, pumpkin seed oil, and sunflower seed oil. The apricot seed oil penetrates quickly and deeply, while the pumpkin seed oil helps cellular rejuvenation to rebuild damaged skin, and the sunflower seed oil is very anti-inflammatory. The essential oil blend smells fantastic, very light and fresh, with litsea, ylang ylang, and black pepper

I’m so glad I found this amazing body oil from HollyBeth Organics!

Becca Bussert