Valentine’s Day Drawing

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EDIT: Congratulations to Sue From Newbury, Ohio for winning our drawing!

Enter our Valentine’s Day drawing for a chance to win a $50 Lavender Green gift card when you subscribe to our Blog by clicking the link or using the field in the sidebar.One gift card will be awarded to the lucky winner.

All current blog subscribers will be automatically entered in the drawing, but please share this with your friends so that they have a chance to win and will get all of the new content we have planned for the weeks ahead.

Lavender Lover’s Chocolate Valentine Recipes

“Biochemically, love is just like eating large amounts of chocolate”.
~ John Milton

Chris and Gina Gemmel farm wedding at Lavender Green Farm

My husband, Chris loves chocolate in all of its forms, so I thought I’d make him a chocolate cake for Valentine’s Day as an expression of my love for him.  We have been married since “childhood” and I hope to keep the love by adding some lavender for its mythical effects on nurturing it.  Both chocolate and lavender have a long history in aiding affairs of the heart and this recipe is lower in fat than most (at 0.5 grams per serving) so it will be kind to his heart both ways.

A very personal and romantic message written on a blank or homemade Valentine card is also part of my plan. This year, I think, something from the heart will be so much better than a box of chocolates with mysterious centers, purchased at the last minute.  I’m aiming for an original card and our Lavender Lover’s Chocolate cake to make this Valentine’s Day memorable.

I’ve used LavenderGreen’s prepared Lavender and Tahitian Vanilla sugar in this recipe, but you can make your own by adding a teaspoon to a tablespoon of crushed lavender petals and a vanilla bean to a cup or two of sugar and storing it in a cool dry place for ten days. You can order it on our site.  Or, if you are running late, you can use plain sugar with 1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla and a teaspoon or two of crushed lavender florets.

If you are using lavender buds you have on hand, make sure they are of the English, Angustifolia variety such as  Hidcote or Munstead which are best for cooking.  Craft quality lavender is better suited for sachets and soaps because it has a clean, sharp fragrance that would spoil the scent and taste of the cake.

You might want to try this cake (even if you’re not trying to woo your husband or lover this Valentine’s Day) and be sweet to yourself and your friends and family. It takes about an hour from start to finish, including baking.

Heart Cake

Lavender Lover’s Chocolate Valentine Cake

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups un-sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
13 tablespoons cocoa, unsweetened
2 cups lavender vanilla sugar (reduce sugar if desired)
7 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup nonfat milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water

Directions

1. Combine all dry ingredients.
2. Put into large mixing bowl with the rest of ingredients, except for water.
3. Add boiling water and stir.
4. Put into greased 9 x 13, or 2 8 inch cake pans that have been greased and floured.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F.
6. Bake layers for 30-35 minutes  (round layer or heart shaped pan)
Bake 9 x 13 for 35-40 minutes (sheet cake size)

Notes for the chef:  Your batter may look a little thin, but this recipe produces a very moist chocolate cake.  You may lift cake on to a platter with raspberry sauce as shown in the picture and top with fresh raspberries, or ice the cake with your favorite icing.  For Lavender Lovers, we also like to dust it with powdered sugar or whipped cream with lavender flowers strewn on top.

Credits, this recipe has been modified from a Hershey’s original and adapted by Lavender Lynn and LavenderGreen.

If you don’t have a heart shaped baking pan, make the sheet cake format and cut individual servings with a heart shaped cookie cutter.

Calories: 185 per serving for the cake

 

In the mood for a lighter dose of Chocolate and Lavender?

Enjoy our favorite Lavender hot chocolate recipe.

 

Cup of hot chocolate with Lavender

Lavender Hot Chocolate

 

About This Recipe

This is a wonderful recipe posted on Food.com by “ratherbeswimin” in 2008 and made at the farm many times.  We substitute 3 tablespoons of our own Tahitian Lavender sugar and omit the pulverized dried lavender and vanilla extract from this recipe, but it’s great either way.  Calories are 196 per cup. We also top off the pretty cup with a little whipped cream sprinkled with lavender florets when we’re in the mood and don’t mind the extra calories.  To cut calories in half, make this cup half coffee and half hot chocolate which I do when I need a quick, feel good pick-me-up in the afternoon.

Ingredients

4 cups whole milk or 4 cups half-and-half
1 tablespoon pulverized dried lavender
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. Add milk to a medium saucepan; add in the lavender; set over medium heat and bring just to a boil.
2. Remove from the heat and steep for 5-8 minutes, or longer for a stronger lavender flavor.
3. Return saucepan to heat; whisk in the chocolate until melted and smooth.
4. Whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt; remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
5. Divide among 4 Irish coffee glasses or mugs, straining out the lavender if desired.

 

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 4

 

Happy Lavender Valentine’s Day to You!

Cheers,
Ginna

Staying Warm with Lavender

As the thermometer continues to drop this week, I’m warming up our Cheetah print flannel Spa wraps and pillows in the microwave to give added spot warmth to my bed before tucking in at night and over my shoulders as I sit before the computer.  Not only do our pillows and wraps take off the chill, they also make the whole house very fragrant with lavender.  Lavender lifts my spirits and makes me think of summer which helps with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) or cabin fever during the dark days of winter.

Lavender and Buckwheat-filled Spa Wrap Set

Our Spa Wraps stay very warm and fragrant for 30 minutes because they are filled with lavender and buckwheat berries which hold the heat longer than any other natural filling.  Our pillows filled with lavender and buckwheat hulls will stay warm for 20 minutes after 2 minutes in the Microwave–a little less time than the berry filling, but still very warming.

 

Any of our pillows filled with buckwheat hulls can be heated in the microwave. Allow me to suggest some of my favorite choices to warm up with on these icy cold days.

Here’s the perfect lavender pillow for back comfort and support. These pillows are generously filled with our organic lavender and all-natural buckwheat hulls. Just microwave pillow for comfortable heat on your lower back.The Chair, Keyboard and Mouse pillows are good for warming in the office.  Warm our Travel pillows by first removing the Microfiber cover.  It feels very relaxing while it warms and cradles your neck and head.

 

Our sea breeze pillows are filled with lavender and buckwheat hulls, this cover can be removed and the inner pillow warmed in the microwave for up to two minutes. It will provide warmth for about 20 minutes–just right for a long winter’s nap.

Night Owl Neckroll pillow – Remove its cover and warm this pillow for two minutes in the microwave and it will reward you with 20 minutes of warmth and comfort.

 


Lavender bed pillow

 

All of our Spa Wraps are good warmers, but the Tummy Wrap and the Back Wrap cover the most territory.

With our flat-rate priority mail shipping, you can order as many as you like for the same $9.90 rate.

Brrr..Keep warm and snuggly, Everybody.

Cheers!
Ginna

Creative Lavender Gift Ideas

Gift BoxWow, we’re coming down to the wire and there are still many gifts to buy and send.  It is the thought that counts and our friends love thoughtful presents that recognize their interests and lifestyle.  Getting it just right requires a little thought about that particular person, but it’s not too hard to accomplish with our “Build Your Own  Gift Basket” option.

Lavender Gift BasketsHere are some suggestions of what to put into your basket based upon your “person”.  You’ll want to include 5-7 products to fill out a small, medium or large sized basket box.  We will chose the size of basket for you based upon what you order and wrap and ship it with a card from you.  If you have a very tough lavender lover to please, call Ginna for some personalized suggestions.

 

Gift Ideas for the Cook

Ideas For the Cook

1. Lavender Pepper Rub
2. Chef’s Apron
3. Lavender and Vanilla Sugar
4. Recipe Card with Lavender Samples
5. Lavender and Earl Gray Tea
6. Twisted Lavender Sheaf Centerpiece
not pictured – Herbs de Provence

 

Gift Ideas for Mom

Ideas for the Busy Mom

1. Lavender Lotion To Go
2. Car Diffuser with Road Rage Relief
3. Lavender Counter Spray
4. Lavender Towelettes
5. Spa Eye Mask

 

Gift Ideas for the Career Girl

Ideas for the Career Girl 

1. Focus and Energy Synergy with Personal Diffuser
2. Lavender Lotion to Go
3. Lavender Lover’s Lip Balm
4. Travel Pillow and Mask
5. Keyboard and Mouse Pillow Set

 

Lavender Spa Gift Ideas

Ideas for the Health Club/Spa Lover 

1. Lavender Lover’s Lip balm
2. Restore Body Mist
3. Lavender & Citrus Foot Balm
4. Spa Eye Pillow
5. Lavender Lover’s Lotion and Bath Gel Combo
6. Lavender Lover’s Bath Salts
(also check out our Aromafloria Products, we have a full selection of StressLess products with Lavender, Sage and Chamomile)

check_texture

These are just a few ideas to get you started but there are endless possibilities.

Enter “Build Your Own” in the coupon box at checkout and we’ll take 5% off the total cost of your order between now and December 30, 20013 

Cheers!
Ginna

Staying Calm Through the Holiday Season with Lavender

 

Escalators in Shopping CenterPhoto Credit: Paul Szustka

Here we are again!  It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Don’t we wish Santa’s elf would come early and help us make the Holidays special for our family so that we could enjoy it too?

We could, of course, have gathered gifts all year or waited in line and joined the fray of Black Friday bargain shoppers.  Alternatively, we can order on-line or from catalogues.  Even ordering on-line can be tough as we ponder over hundreds of choices and variations late into the night, during our lunch break at work, or getting up before dawn’s early light.  Whatever method we chose shopping can be taxing on our bodies and our soul, especially when added to an already full and merry schedule.  We need lavender this time of year!

The important attitude is to stay calm, keep healthy, enjoy the process and pace ourselves to minimize the stress of it all.  It may seem obvious to lavender lovers that the aromatherapy value of lavender to calm us is invaluable during the holidays.  Lavender essential oil was created by Mother Nature for just this purpose. Along with its many other attributes and benefits, lavender works wonders on calming nerves and providing a sense of well being–it can slow down “hectic” in a hurry.

 

Row of personal aromatherapy diffusers

How can you have lavender’s calming scent surround you no matter where the season takes you?  Lavender essential oil is volatile, which means that it evaporates.  But, there are some ways to diffuse it that maximize its longevity and potency.  One of the best ways is through a personal aromatherapy diffuser.  It is the size of a tube of lipstick and can be carried in your pocket or purse.   Inhale a few deep breaths and re-cap the tube to use when you need another breath of calm.  LavenderGreen’s personal diffuser comes with a 1 dram refill bottle which will last several years.

NanoHeat® USB Aroma DiffuserSitting at your desk in front of your computer with deadlines pressing?  Diffuse lavender whenever you turn on your computer with the latest USB powered Nanoheat diffuser.  Simply add a few drops to the special tissues, place on the diffuser and enjoy instant lavender fragrance that lasts until you log off or disconnect the cord.  It is discrete, efficient and personal. You will be the only one who can enjoy the calming fragrance.

 

Lavender Terra-Cotta PendantOn the run?  Sprinkle a few drops of lavender essential oil on a necklace to have aromatherapy at your heart center.  You’ll be less prone to bumping into others in crowds or slipping on icy sidewalks when you are calm and patient.

 

Lavender and Buckwheat-filled Neck Roll Pillow and Sleep Mask SetToo tired to sleep with your To Do list swirling through your mind keeping your eyes wide open.  A lavender sleep mask or pillow can help lull you into a gentle state of relaxing sleep.  Need something stronger?  Try Sandman which includes lavender, tangerine and marjoram oils to give you extra hours of needed sleep.  Need a gift idea for someone who has problems sleeping check out our Sleep Mask and Sandman Special Gift Set

Remember that we’re all up the same “tree” so let’s be kind to and forgiving of one another.   After all, isn’t that the real meaning of the Season?

Cheers!
Ginna

Herbs de Provence Stuffing

A promise is a promise, so here is our favorite Herbs de Provence stuffing, a little late for Thanksgiving dinner but in plenty of time for your Christmas planning.

Bowl of Herbs de ProvenceIngredients
1/4 cup basting oil (herb infused olive oil will heighten the taste)
1 cup ounces diced celery
1 cup ounces diced onions
1 tablespoon herbs de provence
2 tablespoons butter
32 ounces chicken stock
1 lb cubed stuffing bread
1 granny smith apple, grated

Directions
heat the oil on medium high. add onion and celery and cook for 5 mins.
add herbs and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
add butter and stock and bring to a simmer.
combine with cubed stuffing bread and grated apple.
add mixture to backing dish.
back on center rack of oven or 30 mins or until stuffing is browned and cooked through.

In a Thanksgiving Frame of Mind….

Dried Lavender CenterpieceThe 2013 Season’s second harvest has been completed and our lavender plants have fallen asleep for their long Winter’s nap, blanketed beneath a quilt of brightly colored Oak and Maple leaves bordering our gardens.  An un-summery chill in the air serves as a reminder that the Holidays will soon be upon us!

A burst of autumn energy has replaced our summer rhythm as we prepare for the Christmas season.  We are busy every day making products for Knox’s Once Upon A Christmas Show, barely two weeks from now. (November 22-24).

Once Upon a Christmas

Once Upon A Christmas is a weekend that engages the entire Community as many guests come to explore the bounty of our harvest, as well as the recent efforts of thirty local artisans.  This is a 23 year-old tradition in Knox, PA that presents a festive opportunity to catch up with old friends and get into the holiday spirit.

I want to pause, though, and reflect upon what we have accomplished this year, acknowledging the many hands and hearts who have helped us.  It is the season of Thanksgiving and my heart is very grateful.

This was the year we invested in a redesign of our 17 year-old website lavendergreen.com.  A team of four professionals coordinated the site’s redesign which, among many benefits, is now completely mobile friendly.  This initiative began very early in 2013, culminating in its launch on October 1st!  The project required nine months to be delivered — and not without the stress that accompanies innovation.  Much of this technology is new to LavenderGreen, if not the world.  Inevitably, learning curves seemed to emerge at every corner.

With a special thanks to Stasi, many new photographs now grace the site.  Debbie masterfully revised my old narrative copy and product descriptions.  Our transition to a far more easily managed platform occurred under David’s skilled guidance, while John tirelessly reworked our SEO.  Partnering the new website is our Facebook page which Stasi creatively manages.  Within the past week she has integrated Twitter and Pinterest.  Oh, my!

Such a learning curve in such a compressed time!  I realized, once again, that it is natural for us to overestimate what can be accomplished in the short-term and underestimate what is possible in the long term.  I am gratified by our new website and hope it makes a big improvement in the experience that lavender lovers have when visiting us on-line.  As a work-in-progress we are continuously improving that experience thanks to the thoughtful feedback of our fans.

Human beings plan and the “gods” laugh, though.  At the same time that this project was in full swing the rain fell relentlessly throughout the Summer thwarting the lavender harvest!  Our Lavender Green team, comprised of a dozen local high school girls, was routinely rained out of the garden too early in the morning by drenching downpours.

Here's our crew that helps pick our organic lavender.

Thank you, Kelly and the team, for not losing heart, creatively managing yourselves and cutting in between the showers!  Thanks to your parents, too, for chauffeuring you back-and-forth to the Lavender Green farm throughout the season.

Looking at Lavender in the rain

Seven tours were hosted this summer involving local and regional garden clubs, as well as lavender lovers who came armed with umbrellas and rain gear, undaunted!  Thank you for your support.

Paralleling this activity our sewers, Barbara and Tara, and our aromatherapist, Gina, faithfully stayed the course in product development.  I am grateful to you all, especially for your patience in making allowances for the toll imposed by our technological reboot.

Family Photo

My family stepped up their help, as well, unselfishly lending their strength, skills and talents.  Nancy, Martha, Madison and Braden assisted in framing the tone of the new website.  Others weighed in with their advice and experience, lifting my spirits in the process.  Lynn convinced me that we do have something of interest to TWEET!  Lydia and Jim donated their last ticket enabling me to attend a class at Penn State targeting the ways and means of social media.  Twenty-three family members stood at the ready to help and advise because LavenderGreen farm means so much to them, too.  My husband, Chris, worked until dusk every day taming the expansive lawns, meadows and gardens.  Braden lent a hand, refining our perennial gardens on a ruthlessly meager budget.  Kathleen and Paul visited at just the right moment to shop and garden.  Many saw it for the “do or die” proposition it is, as are all family farms these days.

 

I have tears in my eyes as I reflect on the help I have received this summer.  I am sorry for any moments of panic or impatience.  Please know I am sincerely grateful.  My fantasy is to prepare and share a Thanksgiving feast with you all and, short of that, I will wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving season!

Let’s Talk Turkey

Live Turkey in WoodsEveryone has a turkey story and I’ll share one that makes me blush!  A long, long time ago I invited my in-laws to Thanksgiving dinner.  I had a very busy schedule at Fisher-Price Toys in East Aurora, NY and the holidays were hectic as you can imagine.  Fisher-Price had a wonderful tradition of giving employees a turkey for the holidays.  I froze this huge turkey for our big Thanksgiving feast.  With all of the preparations, though, I neglected to take the turkey out of the freezer to defrost in time.  So, Thanksgiving morning, with local grocery stores closed, I had to deal with this partially frozen turkey.  Necessity being the mother of invention, I decided to pop it in the microwave on “cook” and then brown it in the regular oven.

Don’t try this at home!  My turkey looked beautiful and smelled OK, but when we carved it, it was shoe leather on the inside and very rare just under the nicely browned skin.  We had to toss the turkey and go out for dinner.  Of course, this sad affair has lived on in the story telling tradition of my husband’s family and it was a bit hard to live it down.  Fortunately, twenty years have passed along with at least 20 turkey dinners and I can now claim to make a perfect turkey at Thanksgiving.

There are many ways to prepare your Thanksgiving Turkey, from brining to deep frying, and perhaps you have tried them all.  Our favorite at the farm is a slow roasted turkey seasoned with Herbs de Provence for a classic that is easy to prepare and a favorite for everyone’s palate.  We use our own organic blend of Herbs de Provence with Marjoram, Oregano, Lavender and Thyme.  The ingredient of lavender cannot be found in many Herbs de Provence blends on the market but it is wonderful, giving a slight floral twist to the fragrance and taste.  Herbs de Provence is a lovely seasoning for game fowl, like pheasant, too.

One of our favorite recipes is Williams-Sonoma’s take on this classic, presented below and tested in our kitchen for a decade, at least.  You won’t be disappointed and remember, a Turkey and a Microwave oven are not the best companions.

Herbes de Provence Roast Turkey

Herbes de Provence Roast Turkey

Image Credit:Williams-Sonoma.com

Ingredients:

1 fresh or thawed frozen turkey, about 16 lb.
1 yellow onion, quartered
2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch lengths
3 or 4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
2 to 3 Tbs. herbes de Provence
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 to 6 Tbs. (1/2 to 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Do not leave the turkey at room temperature longer than 1 hour.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425°F.

Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey and reserve for making gravy, if desired. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the onion, celery, parsley and 1 Tbs. of the herbes de Provence in the body cavity, and season with salt and pepper. If desired, truss the turkey with kitchen twine. Brush the turkey with some of the melted butter. Sprinkle with the remaining herbes de Provence and season with salt and pepper.

Place the turkey, breast side down, on a buttered roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes, basting with some of the remaining butter after 15 minutes. Using 2 pairs of tongs or heat-resistant kitchen gloves or mitts, turn the turkey breast side up and reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Continue roasting, basting with the remaining butter and pan juices every 15 to 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, away from the bone, registers 165°F, and into the thigh, 175°F. Total roasting time should be 3 to 3 3/4 hours.

Transfer the turkey to a warmed platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for about 20 minutes before carving. Serves 12.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Note: Herbs de Provence and Herbes de Provence both correct spellings .  They can also include other herbs, like tarragon or fennel, so be sure to read the label to ensure that you are going to love the blend. Ours is perfect for lavender lovers.

Cheers,
Ginna

Inviting Lavender to Your Thanksgiving Table

Table set for ThanksgivingMaking Thanksgiving dinner at home is always a pleasure for those within shouting distance as wave-upon-wave of marvelous cooking fragrances create anticipation of a wonderful feast.  My husband, Chris, loves experiencing this Holiday at home for precisely this reason … and maybe a little football echoing in the distance.  Dinner at a restaurant would be less rewarding because the house lacks both that “turkey smell” and the leftovers.

For the home chef, though, Thanksgiving is a multi-course meal demanding an early morning start; a long ingredient check list; and, timing that rivals a rocket launch.  I have found it is preferable preparing the feast with my sisters as this not only lightens the load but creates some fun.  They are all good cooks, so each tries to bring a new twist to an old favorite.

Place setting with Lavender mini-bouquet

We have found that serving dinner at 4:00 PM is our best target time for this traditional meal because it allows plenty of time to prepare the meal while sipping wine and catching up during the process.  We set the table the day before the feast and assemble the serving dishes and cooking equipment at that same time to reduce the search and pre-cleaning run-around on the big day.  It is also helpful to make room in your refrigerator for leftovers.  This will greatly reduce frustration on the back-end clean-up stage of the meal.

Since this is a lavender farm and I am a lavender addict, I look for ways to bring lavender into our Thanksgiving experience.  I would like to share some simple ways I have found to integrate our lovely fragrance into the celebration.

Here are some simple, tried and true tips to bring lavender to your Thanksgiving table:

Bowl of Herbs de Provence
Use Herbs de Provence as the seasoning for the turkey and one of the stuffings.  I love the William-Sonoma recipe using our own blend of organic Herbs de Provence which includes marjoram, oregano, lavender and thyme.  We will share our favorite recipe with you on Thursday.

gtwisted Sheaf and Loose stems in PitcherPlace a simple twisted lavender sheaf or loose stems in a pitcher or vase for your centerpiece.  It is beautiful and may be kept year round.  Its simple yet visually elegant design and shape makes it easy to place elsewhere when the table needs additional space for the many platters and serving dishes.

Our Dried Lavender Favors will add a beautiful touch to your next event.If you have time, make place cards for your guests so that everyone knows where you would like them to sit.  We use our little Lavender Mini-Bouquets with names written on a tag.  At the end of the party everyone is able to take this home as a favor.  These fragrant place cards are unique and inexpensive to make.  Alternatively, we will happily make them for you.

Layer more subtle lavender fragrance in a Lamp Ring Diffuser.  When the lamp is illuminated the fragrance intensifies.  Using real Essential Oils is a wonderfully subtle way of influencing the mood of your guests.  Celebrate, for example, especially puts everyone in a festive mood, while straight lavender can calm everybody down. These scents will enhance, rather than compete, with the meal.

Voila!  You have made a memory and, just possibly, you might enjoy the fruits of your own labor.  Stay tuned here and on Facebook for more classic Thanksgiving recipes with a lavender twist.

Cheers,
Ginna

Creating a Healthy and Restful Bedroom with Lavender

At the end of a long day, there is nothing more comforting than to slip into your bed with fresh cotton sheets and a comfortable pillow and drift off to dreamland.  A gently lavender scented bedroom is beneficial too, because lavender naturally calms, soothes the spirit and lulls us to sleep.  There is no beauty treatment that can compensate for lack of sleep.

Pillows on bed

Let’s start with the bed, the main feature of every bedroom.  Lavender fragrance helps your sleep experience in three ways.  Lavender can do the hard work of keeping your bed clean and free from dust mites, bed bugs and other intruders.  It can also make your bed smell clean and inviting and lastly lavender offers wonderful sleep benefits.

Starting with a clean bed is the first step.  Fresh pillows and a clean mattress are the foundation to a good night’s sleep.  Dust mites easily accumulate and bed bugs can easily be brought home from a trip in your luggage.  Cleaning the mattress and naturally treating these intruders can be handled with a blend of baking soda with a few drops of lavender essential oil, sprinkled on the mattress, allowed to work for an hour and vacuumed thoroughly.  Check out our Facebook Infographic “Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don’t let the Bed Bugs Bite”.  Our Facebook friends have also contributed helpful tips and comments on this post.

Experts recommend that you launder your sheets at least once a week.  We wash our sheets and cotton blankets in The Good Home Lavender Laundry detergent and finish them off with Lavender Fragrance conditioner. You can also make your own by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to your favorite Unscented detergent and Conditioner.  Pillows, down comforters and wool blankets can be freshened by putting them in the dryer with Lavender Dryer sheets or Dryer Sachets on the “cool” or “air fluff” cycles.  We use two dryer sheets for this treatment.  In a pinch, you can make your own lavender dryer sheets by spritzing lavender essential oil on a clean, damp wash cloth and tossing it into the dryer with the pillows and blankets, or toss in any lavender filled sachet.

Remake your bed for the season, too.  When a frost is predicted, we add a down filled blanket to our staple sheet and cotton blanket.  After days of freezing weather, we often add a wool blanket to make 4 layers of warmth–sheet, cotton blanket, wool blanket then down comforter.  When the bed loses its scent it’s easy to refresh the whole thing with Lavender Sheet and Clothing Spray for an instant freshener.

Lavender Bed Pillow - Lavender Bouquet - CreamFor continual lavender scent in the bed, choose one of our lavender filled pillows.  LavenderGreen pillows are filled with organic kapok or buckwheat hulls and generous amounts of lavender.  A small neck roll or boudoir pillow will act as a bed sachet and a larger standard pillow with 20 cups of lavender flowers will scent the whole room!  If you want a lighter scent of lavender in your pillow, select a lavender pillow sachet.

We have a full line of lavender pillows in our Shop.  We can also custom make a pillow for you in your fabric or with an alternative fill or ratio.  After Hurricane Sandy, one of our favorite lavender lovers from New York ordered 5 standard sized bed pillows, filled entirely with lavender!

Lavender and Flax-Filled Eye Pillow

Chose an Eye mask or Eye Pillow if you can’t completely darken your room for sleep at night or want to catch an afternoon power nap.  Our eye pillows contain organic lavender and flax seed which offer the added benefit of reducing eye puffiness.  Our Spa eye pillows and masks contain organic lavender and buckwheat berries that can be warmed in the microwave and hold their heat for 30 minutes–wonderful for sinus issues.Lavender Pillow in Summertime Lime Blue ColorsRemember your children’s bedrooms, too.  These same tips and techniques are wonderful for their room and will help them settle down at night.   We have pillows they’ll love, like the minky neck roll or the Summertime pillows.  Lavender is safe for babies, children  and teens and helps them get the rest they need.  My husband still remembers smelling lavender when he traveled in Europe as a kid in the 50’s–so lavender will evoke many happy memories for your children when they’re all grown up!  If you’re in doubt about lavender for children, check out this recent study, reported by essential oil safety expert, Dr. Robert Tisserand.

There are many more ways to scent your bedroom with lavender and more ways to better sleep to explore. We’ll get to them in future posts.  Meanwhile, let us know how these ideas work for you and if your have tips to share with readers.

Cheers!
Ginna

Cleaning and Scenting your Kitchen with Lavender

 Let’s start with the kitchen, the heart of the home.  The most important step is to start with a clean room. Lavender is a natural cleaner, so we’re in luck!  Kitchen smells and bacteria are prevalent on the counters, the stove top and oven and the refrigerator.  So we’ll begin there.

Tappan Stove in UseAround the farm’s kitchen we use The Good Home counter spray on all surfaces because it’s safe, effective and very fragrant.  For cleaning tough mold around the sink, we use an old tooth brush and our own Lavender/Citrus anti-bacterial soap, followed by a good rinse

Lavender Glass and Surface CleanerWe use the surface cleaner spray for the floor for quick clean ups.  Just spritz the floor and spritz a large micro-fiber mop (washable) and it’s a snap!  For deep cleaning, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your favorite floor soap and go for it. Lavender Essential Oil is healthy and has been used to clean since the days of the Roman civilization.  Lavender is gentle on all finishes, and offers calming aromatherapy to the cleaner, so why bother with products that add to the in-door pollution of your home?

For the refrigerator, clean all shelves, baskets and exterior surface with warm water, white vinegar or baking soda and a few drops of essential lavender oil.  You can actually add a few drops of lavender E.O.’s. to any of your favorite soaps to improve fragrance.

Remember to vacuum the vent at the bottom of the refrigerator where dirt and grease collect and the top of the refrigerator, which is often neglected.  Finish off the fridge with a small bowl or shaker jar of baking soda, mixed with a tablespoon or two of lavender flower buds and a few drops of lavender E.O. to absorb food odors.  Use our French lavandin buds in the recipe for a lavender “fresh” scent. Place the bowl at the back of one of the shelves and change it out when it loses it’s fragrance or gets damp.  Baking soda is your friend in the kitchen for almost any stain or smell.  Sprinkle smelly garbage with this mix of lavender buds and baking soda, or make a “soft scrub” with baking soda, lavender essential oil and a little water to clean stained surfaces.

Kitchen textiles, like curtains, placemats, dish towels can all be washed in lavender laundry detergent followed by lavender fragrance to condition.  We wash our dish towels at the end of each day routinely for safety’s sake.  Just before the crowd collects in your kitchen, spritz the curtains and towels with The Good Home’s non-staining, Lavender Sheet and Clothing Spray for instant fragrance.

Beautiful Lavender Gift SetWe’re almost there!  To finish it all off, add a lavender candle (to burn, not dust) The candle will burn out bacteria and not overpower the good cooking fragrance.  Use a real E. O. candle made from soy wax and a natural cotton wick to keep it all non-toxic.  A great combination for the kitchen is lavender with citrus.  We offer a lavender-citrus potpourri and candle and are planning to add a non-toxic lavender-citrus room mist soon.  The potpourri is a continual fragrance source and the candle can be lit when the stove is in action.

We’d love to get tips from you, too!  Please comment and share your own tips and techniques for a sweet smelling home.

Cheers!
Ginna

Scenting Your Home With Lavender

Lavender Green FarmhouseOur farmhouse, circa 1897, is full of old house charm from successive additions, two sets of stairs, little porches, and renovations that have been added-on over the years.  We have a shower in the laundry room and a little guest bath tucked under the eaves, for example–added by my Grandfather for very practical reasons at the time.  Making an old house enjoyable for our times is a challenge on many fronts!

When it rains for days on end, as it has this summer, we develop a musty smell. If we close the house for a few weeks, we return to an ‘old house” smell.  The kitchen and bath are vented only by windows! Air conditioning helps but it’s a challenge to make the house a fragrant home continually.  You can always tell when we smell “musty” because visitors crinkle up their noses when they enter the house or we come inside and sniff after lots of fresh air.  Add a pet into the mix and it’s even more of a challenge!

bowl of potpurri

“Layers” of natural fragrance can help create a healthy, non-toxic and fragrant home which is a delight to us who live there and to everyone who visits.  My experience suggests that “layering” lavender fragrance throughout the house is our best solution to common household odors.  Layering fragrance for this old house is a lot like layering fragrance on the body.  We start with a fragrant bath, soothe our skin with lotion and add a spritz of cologne or perfume. Viola!

Each room of the house has it’s own natural scents and smells so we’ll share our techniques for achieving a lavender scented home, room by room in future posts.  To shop now, visit the Your Home department of our online store

The Holidays are just around the corner with lots of guests expected so it’s not too soon to get started.  Stay tuned for future posts and how to’s for each room of your home.

For the rest of October, we’re offering free shipping for orders over $89.00!  Just write “celebrate” in the coupon box of the shopping cart when you check out at www.lavendergreen.com.

Check out recipes on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LavenderGreenCo

Cheers!
Ginna