Get Creative

The holiday season can get kind of hectic, and DIY projects are a great way to put aside time to simply slow down and take a deep breath. We’ll be sharing all sorts of fun recipes and projects leading up to Christmas, but we decided to kick off this busy time with something extra calming. We all need a bit more calm in this wild world, right?

For this week’s installment of the #pastelcraftclub we teamed up with Julie from Province Apothecary. I had the pleasure of attending an outdoor essential oil blending workshop with Julie this past summer, and I was so enchanted by the magic of her knowledge that I immediately know we needed to share some of it here. Paige quickly agreed, a long-time fan of Province Apothecary as well, and here we are.

Part natural medicine, part olfactory, and in my opinion a little bit like witchcraft, the power of blending pure essential oils is pretty amazing, and we’re thrilled to have Julie here today sharing one of her secret formulas – Keep Calm!

Scroll down for Julie’s DIY





As an aromatherapist I love reaching for essential oils to help calm my body and mind during times of stress. My favourite way to apply them is in a therapeutic roll on.

By using essential oils in your daily life you can help diminish stress, relieve depression, ease physical pain, promote alternateness, heal skin issues like acne and much more. The properties of essential oils, when used properly, can promote general well-being and self-connection. Essential oils are so easy to use and can be incorporated into your daily routine: they can be used in a bath, during a massage, or in your daily skincare regime. The beautiful thing about essential oils is that they work on a subtle level- sometimes one drop is enough.

Terms to know:
Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants.

Aromatherapy: The therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being. Your skin is the largest organ of the body and absorbs essential oils easily.

| ESSENTIAL OILS FOR calming the body + mind |

BERGAMOT naturally relaxes and uplifts. It’s invigorating scent invites joy and laughter in one’s space, working as a natural antidepressant. It relieves tension to unfold a natural harmony.

CEDAR WOOD naturally strengthens + clarifies. Its light, woodsy scent has a calming and soothing effect on the mind and is of great help in conditions associated with anxiety. It also acts a general tonic, easing conditions of a respiratory nature.
CLARY SAGE naturally calming to the nervous system. An effective sleep aid. Great for reducing anxiety/asthma, reduces muscle tension, PMS. Aphrodisiac.

FRANKINCENSE naturally settles and composes. Its scent eases worry and rejuvenates the mind. Antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, calming/relaxing, anti-fungal/antibacterial/antiseptic, decongests open airway. Relieves tension (in all systems), stress, anxiety. Has been used for meditation..

ROMAN CHAMOMILE naturally calms. It’s a powerfully peaceful oil, bring inner harmony and reducing irritability, anxiety and worry.

LAVENDER calms nervousness and relieves depression. Its antispasmodic, antibacterial, antiseptic properties make it nature’s #1 First Aid oil. Use lavender oil to naturally relieve dryness, cracked skin, eczema, and wounds. It stimulates the growth of healthy new cells, making it effective in healing the skin and reducing scars.




•1 ml vials or beakers to blend your scent
• Essential oils of choice
• Coffee beans to help with olfactory fatigue
• Roll on container (10 ml roll on), 10 ml base oil + beaker
• Labels for blending and for finished product

BLEND DILUTIONS 10 ml : 1% – 2 drops, 3%- 6 drops, 5% – 10 drops, 10% – 20 drops

1. Choose the essential oils and % of blend you would like to make, 1-5 oils is best for therapeutic roll ons

2.. Add one drop of each oil to the 1 ml vial or beaker and smell your blend after each drop, record the # of drops and slowly add more of the oils you would like more of.

3. Shake or stir your blend. Smell your blend and add more oils or keep as it is. Count out the number of drops your have used. This will be your final recipe.

4.. Once you have discussed your final blend with Julie, slowly count out the final number of drops into your 10 ml vial. Add your carrier oil of choice to the eos, put the cap on and shake.

ALWAYS: Document every single drop. Add drops one at a time and check scent. When formulating is complete, add EO blend to carrier base. Store your blend in a bottle out of the light. Label your formula clearly with the date.

DIRECTIONS: Apply oil to your wrists, temples, and back of neck (into your hairline) and let the essential oils absorb into the skin. For immediate results, place scent directly under your nose and breath deeply. Can be used as many times as needed throughout the day.

Dear Diary

A few weeks ago we got an email from our girl Maram at Lush HQ asking if we’d be into a tour of the Lush factory here in Toronto, and though we weren’t sure what was in store we eagerly replied “yes!”

This past Tuesday we woke up early, hopped in a cab half awake, and headed to Etobicoke. Walking into the factory was like walking into a massive cloud of scent perfection- think Lush store level x 1000! We quickly started the tour, exploring everything from the bath bomb mixing room, to the labelling section and soap department. We tried our hand at pressing bath bombs, mixing fresh masks, and even covered ourselves with special lustres in the glitter room!

Last but not least we entered the bubble room, a giant open space packed with people hand shaping and prepping the bubble bars and bubbleroons that we all know and love. We got a quick tutorial on making up the mixture, then practiced shaping our own bars with all the other employees (who seemed mildly entertained by our lack of skill).

We left the factory smelling like Lush, with bags full of somewhat-deformed product that we had attempted to make ourselves. The best part about the whole experience was learning more about Lush as a company- whole avocados get hand cut into their products, funds are given to local sustainable farmers so they can meet the company’s demands whenever possible, and everyone putting the products together seemed genuinely passionate about what they were doing. Paired with their very public devotion to the fight against animal testing, Lush’s values have really made me a die-hard fan of their amazing natural products.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to take a very colourful bath…











Dear Diary

Happy Monday everyone! If your weekend was anything like mine you probably never wanted it to end, but luckily I’m here to give you a little bit of incentive to get out of bed today. You guessed it… a giveaway!

I’ve had an army of Produce Candles stationed all over my house since I first smelled their Wildflower scent in a local gift shop about a year ago. Handmade with natural soy wax, Produce Candles are inspired by farmer’s markets, and every season they introduce a few limited time only scents that match up with edible produce availability. Just like a handful of fresh cut basil from the garden, these candles are unbelievably fragrant, and I love the way they make my living space smell like a sunday morning market. They also create unexpected scents that you won’t find anywhere else, like Kale, Cilantro, and Radish.

Scroll down for giveaway details!




To brighten up your Monday, I’ve teamed up with the “candle farmers” at Produce to give away a limited edition Mint candle. Cool and refreshing, this candle promises to awaken the senses and re-energize your space. All you have to do to win one of your own is:

1. Follow both me and Produce Candles on Instagram

2. Like and and tag three friends in the comment section on my contest photo sometime before Friday (also on Instagram)


// Comment on this blog post and tell me where you’d put your new mint candle.

// Follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook page.

// Same goes for the Produce Twitter and Facebook!

This contest is only open to U.S. and Canadian addresses, and will run until next Monday (June 22). Winner will be announced in the comments section here, and on the original Instagram post!




*Note: Some or all of the items featured in this post were given to me as a gift from the maker, but I only write about products I genuinely adore, I promise!*

Get Creative


When I posted about Spring cleaning with my home made all-natural lavender lemon cleaner on Instagram a couple weeks ago, I was surprised at how many comments I received asking about it. Making all purpose cleaner is super affordable, more eco-friendly than most store bought formulas, and you can even use it to refill an old cleaner spray bottle that you’ve used up to minimize your impact even further. I like to make a big batch and fill mason jars with the extra cleaner for refills, or gift bottles to my friends. (scroll down for the recipe!)




All you really need to make this wonder product is white vinegar, borax powder, water, and essential oils. I use lavender and lemon in my cleaner to boost the anti-bacterial properties, and create a fresh and delicious smell, but you can use essential oils to create pretty much any scent you like (I’m thinking of trying mint next time!) Simply mix half a cup of vinegar with two teaspoons of Borax powder (available at most health food stores) and eight cups of water. Stir the ingredients until the borax is dissolved, then add about 6 drops of essential oil (depending on how strong you want the scent to be) to the mixture, and pour into an empty spray bottle.

That’s it! You can use this cleaner anywhere you’d like (I find it works especially well on mirrors and countertops). Let me know what scents you’re experimenting with if you give the recipe a try!




Photography by Brianne Burnell