Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Making bath bombs with kids!

This post is titled "making bath bombs with kids" but to be honest it should be called "making bath bombs with my eldest, who's 7, because god knows what would happen if I let 2-year-old Phoebe near citric acid powder".  You get my point.

Lillia has been angling to make bath bombs at home ever since she went to her friend's birthday party at Lush and got to make their "space girl" bomb with glitter, purple dye and the works.  And to be honest I've been pretty keen on the idea ever since I was given James Wong's book Grow Your Own Medicine a few years ago.  So I finally ordered some citric acid powder from Amazon and bought up several pots of bicarbonate of soda and we were pretty much good to go.

We mixed up our bath bomb ingredients according to the recipe - citric acid powder, bicarb, olive oil and lavender oil and worked it into a dryish mix that could be pressed together in our moulds (unwilling to splash out on proper bath bomb moulds I used silicone baking cases which worked a treat.)  Lillia loved adding all the ingredients and measuring out the powders, though bear in mind we were clad in aprons and latex gloves! Lillia found the citric acid powder made her a little sneezey if we were too quick with our getting it into the bowl, but as long as we went slowly we found she was fine as we weren't creating too much "cloud".

Then we added dried lavender leaves that I had kept in a hand sewn pouch since I picked them in June 2009.  Four years ago!  FOUR!!

It still smells divine, and mixed with the lavender oil it smells even more so.  The first bomb we used in the girls' bath near enough knocked them unconscious with the sheer amount of relaxing aromas that exploded around the bathroom.

Lillia spent some time pressing the mix into the cases and making sure they were neat.  We made lemon and lavender ones too by using the same bowl we had mixed our 100% lavender ones in and adding lemon oil in place of lavender oil - this produced a lovely citrus bomb with a hint of lavender. Lovely.

The best part though of course is the moment they are ready to be dropped in a warm bath and release their oils and their fragrance in a fizzy explosion. Lillia can't get enough of these fizzling delights.  She is already planning her next range of out Lush! :)

Sunday, 4 August 2013

A day at the seaside

I am taking a little holiday from Instagram in August.  It may turn into a permanent break.  This is not for any sinister reasons at all.  I bloody love Instagram, I love it so much that I can barely keep up with the hundreds that I follow!  But I feel it has started to distract me too much from daily life so I just want to step back and slow down on the social media front, a little blog post now and then after the girls are in bed feels much less consuming.

But there's another reason for my Instagram break.  I feel I have started to be too influenced by the trends that come and go.  One day everyone's posting pictures of friendship bracelets and beaded crochet necklaces, the next it's overnight oats and pretty filofax pages, or toadstool lamps and bunny ornaments.  I love it all, I love to gawk at other people's lives and homes and interests and creative talents but I feel I am really losing sight of what *I* am truly into. I feel it's all too much some days and I get utterly exhausted.  I know this sounds completely doolally, but bear with me and I shall explain myself, and the photos have relevance too, I will get to that in a minute.

I recently read an absolutely brilliant comic strip explanation of how to live with an introvert. I am an introvert and there is a bit of this article that explains the way I feel most of the time so utterly accurately I nearly cried with relief that somebody had hit the nail on the head so perfectly:

"Extroverted people gather their energy from their surroundings.  They absorb the 'good vibes' of the people around them...Introverted people make their own energy and....'give' it on social contact.  This means that they naturally find most interaction exhausting and need time to recharge."

(For the full version click on the link, thanks to the author/artist Schroeder Jones for this.) 

So for me the social side of Instagram is both wonderful (great online friends, contact with a range of fabulous like-minded people all over the world) and terrifyingly exhausting (can't keep up with conversations, difficulty keeping up with ever changing feed, requires a lot of 'energy'.)

In addition I have begun to find that I sometimes take photos thinking of how they will be received by the audience rather than what I think.  I do that here on this blog too sometimes. I am not sure at what point I started to stop trusting my own instincts and sharing what I thought of as good and started to try and create photos with only others' approval in mind.  I don't do this all the time, but Instagram has made me more inclined to do it. 

All the photos in this post were taken by me* over the last few weeks in the garden and on a day out in Margate.  I never had any intention of sharing them anywhere but on the annual DVD of photos-to-music I do at the end of every year for the family.  I haven't edited them or spent hours choosing them, I just picked the ones I like best and stuck them in.

And you know what?  I feel better already.  This blog should reflect my own voice and my own likes and I think this post does.  So maybe this little break is working already? 

* Obviously I didn't take the last picture with me in it, hubby took that one, but well done if you questioned my attempt at taking credit for all of them.