DIY Mother’s Day Gift “Basket”

Hello and Happy First Day of June!

This post from Mother’s Day is a bit overdue. With traveling and going on vacation for Brendan and my one year anniversary I just haven’t had the time to write. But, better late than never right?

I had so much fun putting this gift “basket” (jar, really) together for my mom this Mother’s Day. I wanted to give her something that was pampering but also practical for everyday use. Like me, Mom is into essential oils, natural face soaps, tea, and lovely candles. I wanted to include a few treats in this gift that she normally wouldn’t buy for herself (such as essential oils). While I put this together for Mother’s Day, you can make this for any occasion you want! So here’s a little peek at what I decided to include in Mom’s gift.

Jar from Marshall’s 
The smell from the candle, soap, essential oils, and tea was heavenly. 

I actually found a lot of these goodies at T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s. Surprisingly, they have a great selection of natural health and beauty products. I have seen some of these brands at natural/health food stores, so I trust that they are good quality. I have used some of these brands before, like the Eucalyptus soap by PlantLife and the Cooling Eucalyptus candle by DW Home and I really liked them.


I also tried my hand at making some homemade Bug Bite Salve. Again, I wanted this gift to be pampering as well as practical, so instead of making some body scrub that I knew my mom probably wouldn’t use I decided to make this bug bite salve. Mom loves to spend her time outdoors, so I knew this would come in handy. I bought the tin and most of the ingredients I needed to make the salve from Health Nut Nutrition located in Lynchburg, which is one of my very favorite natural health stores.


While I had never used this brand before, I loved this little aromatherapy roller set from Tisserand Aromatherapy. Each roller has a special blend of essential oils to help you de-stress, give you energy, and aides in a restful night’s sleep. I bought this set from T.J. Maxx.


I also decided to include some dried chamomile flowers (from Health Nut Nutrition) so that mom could make a fresh cup of hot, relaxing chamomile tea. I found the adorable muslin sachet from my local Co-op and then just included a little index card with instructions on how to prepare the tea.


Earlier this year I took a free online course through Herbal Academy which introduced me to herbs and learning how to draw plant monographs. It included a bunch of wonderful resources and free print outs, such as this Tea Meditation practice. This Tea Meditation encourages you to sit with a cup of herbal tea, taste the rich flavors and complicated flavors and take time to relish in the moment. Then, take a moment to journal about how drinking the tea makes you feel – what does it taste like? Do you feel the tea working in certain parts of your body?, etc. Since Mom loves a good cup of tea and journaling, I figured this was the perfect thing to include. In addition to the chamomile flowers, I also included some of our favorite teas from Traditional Medicinals and Yogi Tea.


And finally, I finished off the gift “basket” with some fun packaging! I found the cute bag at Marshall’s and the sparkly tissue paper from T.J. Maxx.


I had so much fun shopping for my Mom and putting this little gift together! Hopefully this will bring you some inspiration for your next DIY gift basket. Have a lovely day everyone.




Pinhole Photography

I am currently taking a Conceptual/Fine Art Photography class At Liberty University this semester. It is different from any of the photography classes that I have taken thus far in that I have a little more free reign in the pictures that I take. Instead of being told specifically what to take pictures of and how many pictures to take, my professor has given us an assignment, such as pinhole photography, and then we use that method of photography to take pictures of whatever we want and whatever speaks to us. I find this way much more creative and enjoyable.

The first assignment that was assigned in this class was pinhole photography. Instead of using the traditional film version of pinhole photography, my professor had us use our DSLR cameras for this assignment. My professor took the body caps from our DSLR cameras and drilled a hole through them. We then took a piece of metal and poked a tiny hole through it and attached it to the body cap. After putting the body caps back on our cameras, we were ready to experiment with pinhole photography. This is what my body cap ended up looking like.

Inside of the body cap
Outside of the body cap

The finished product

My professor drilled the hole in my body cap and also cut the metal for me and my classmates, so I don’t have hands on experience with that. But if you want a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own pinhole camera body cap, then check out this blog post from How-To Geek.

These are a few of the pinhole pictures I ended taking for my class.

Pinhole photography is so unique and creative, I definitely recommend giving it a shot! I will be posting more of my photography projects from class in the future, so keep an eye out for them.