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Pamper yourself and protect the environment

I know I have mentioned it often, but I love this time of year.

I enjoy getting together with family and friends, and I also love the holiday décor. I am not always crafty, but I do like trying things. Thankfully, my co-workers like doing the same thing.

The Thanksgiving Turkey Showdown was such a great hit that we had additional requests. One was a DIY holiday gift experiment. So once again, the dynamic duo had to put their spin on things.

Toi Degree decided to do the delectable delicacies (which I was jealous of because I love food). But in keeping with the horticulture holiday spirit, I chose to create items that you can pamper yourself with.

I know I have stated that just because it is on the Internet does not mean it is true; these recipes have been tested. I can tell you what I learned so that you won’t make any mistakes.

For my DIY gift set, I selected a Peppermint Foot Soak, courtesy of Walgreens, a Citrus Body Butter, and a Gingerbread Sugar Scrub. There were numerous recipes for the Citrus Body Butter and the Gingerbread Sugar Scrub, so I will provide you with what we used.

The Peppermint Foot Soak was very easy to make, and it smells divine. You can find the info at this website: http://smile.walgreens.com/post/133005383194/holiday-diy-peppermint-foot-soak. It only calls for 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 cup Epsom salt, 6 peppermint tea bags (bag removed), and a jar. Mix the ingredients together, and place in the jar. Toi Degree sampled this luxurious soak and loved every minute.

There were a ton of different Citrus Body Butter recipes; the one I selected is a little mix of them. It called for 1 (15 ounce) jar of coconut oil, 3 tablespoons of honey, and either citrus zest or citrus essential oil. Combine the ingredients and whip, using an electric blender.

For my recipe, I chose the essential oil. After making this recipe, I would consider doing a few things different. After I had made the recipe and tried the butter on myself, I thought it felt somewhat sticky, so I would probably leave out the honey.

After my coworkers tried the butter and rubbed it in vigorously, they enjoyed it and would highly recommend using the product. I would also make sure that I had smaller jars; I used a pint and thought it was too large for a gift.

Out of the three DIY pampering gifts that I made, I think I enjoyed the Gingerbread Sugar Scrub the best. I liked the scent, and I thought that it was one of the nicer gifts.

Like the body butter, there were multiple Gingerbread Sugar Scrub recipes, but I chose the Whipped Gingerbread Sugar Scrub from this website: http://www.sugarandsoul.co/2014/12/whipped-gingerbread-sugar-scrub.html. Below is the recipe:

1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark) – I used light.

1/2 cup pure cane or granulated sugar – I used granular.

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract – I did not use imitation

1/2 tsp. cinnamon – I used ground

1/2 tsp. nutmeg – I used ground

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. allspice – I bought whole allspice and crushed it myself.

Any jar that you prefer – I used a half pint.

Combine the sugar and oil, and mix until fluffy. Then, scrape the sides and mix in the rest of the ingredients; whip again. Pretty simple, right?

I took home a small sample of the Gingerbread Sugar Scrub, and it was a great exfoliator. I don’t like using micro-bead products because they are plastic, never deteriorate, and the water treatment systems cannot filter them out. So, I think this sugar scrub may end up in my beauty routine.

I hope you will enjoy these DIY gifts as much as I did. I loved researching them and trying them out. Don’t always judge the book or the Internet by the cover; try them in small batches first to make sure that they are what you want.

If you have questions concerning these DIY holiday gifts, contact your local agents, Toi Degree and Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.

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