Homemade Herbal Gifts – 20 Inspiring Ideas for the Holidays

Homemade herbal gifts are a delightful way to share our love for everything herbal. Instead of joining the holiday shopping rush, we can take the time to slow down and enjoy the creative process of making simple gifts for those we love. Homemade herbal gifts for friends and family is a great way to spread love and good health. Enjoy this list of 20 inspiring ideas for the holidays.

Homemade herbal gifts are a delightful way to share our love for everything herbal. Instead of joining the holiday shopping rush, we can take the time to slow down and enjoy the creative process of making simple gifts for those we love. Homemade herbal gifts for friends and family is a great way to spread love and good health. Enjoy this inspiring list of 20 easy to make herbal gifts.

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Doesn’t it seem like the holidays have gotten completely out of control? I don’t even have a television, and I feel the hectic, desperate push of the holiday shopping season. Years ago, I decided to quit buying gifts. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy gifting. Those closest to me receive small homemade gifts. In the spirit of giving, and for the love of herbal medicine, I put together this list of 20 inspiring ideas for simple homemade herbal gifts.

20 Homemade Herbal Gift Ideas

Herbal Honeys are a lovely and delicious way to enjoy herbs. Honeys can be infused using culinary and medicinal herbs, and make easy and delicious gifts!

Herbal Vinegars are a great way to add flavor and medicinal benefits to our daily diets. Herbal vinegars are super-easy to make and fun to give.

Homemade Honey Wine is so easy to make and only requires water, honey,and wild yeasts. Get as creative as you want using herbs and seasonal flavors.

Homemade Air Fresheners are simple to make and only require water, alcohol, and essential oils. A cute label added to a simple spray bottle make these a great addition to your gift basket.

Herbal Bath Teas  for those who need a little relaxation. Scratch Mommy has suggestions for creating relaxing bath tea blends, rejuvenating blends, and directions for using them. Make extra for yourself!

Homemade Bath Salts are another idea for encouraging a little down-time for your family and friends.

Homemade Herbal Lotions are actually quite easy to make. This recipe makes a soothing lotion with chamomile and lavender.

Herbal Sugar Scrubs are a nice treat and good for our skin.

Homemade Herbal Lip Balm – using an herbal-infused oil, making homemade lip balm is easier than you think. I made enough herbal lip balm last year for all my friends and family and I’m still using up the leftover tubes.

Herbal Chocolates? Oh yes please! Check out these amazing Decadent Herbal Chocolate Recipes at the Herbal Academy Blog.

Chocolate Herbal Truffles. Great tasting and good for you – give the gift of love.

Herbalist Rosalee offers another easy herbal chocolate recipe

Homemade Candles are a delightful way to dress up your gift basket. Merissa at Little House Living has instructions for Fall Spice Candles.

DIY Herbal Bentonite Clay Face Mask with lavender and calendula.

Delicious herbal tea blends with warming and nourishing herbs to keep your loved ones healthy and happy. Include a label with ingredients and brewing instructions.

Share an Herbal Hot Chocolate Mix – using natural sweeteners and the benefits of herbs.

Herbal Infused Cordials combine healing herbs with fruit and alcohol for a delightful beverage that offers both taste and medicine. Use warming herbs and seasonal flavors to create beautiful holiday beverages.

Kathie at Homespun Seasonal Living has instructions and ideas for Making Herbal Dream Pillows.  

Ginger Snap Face Mask – Rose, calendula, ginger, cinnamon, bentonite clay.

Monica at the Yummy Life Blog has instructions for making absolutely gorgeous, totally easy, Natural Room Scent Jars and they make beautiful center pieces.

Giving homemade herbal gifts is a great way to share the beauty of herbal medicine and to enjoy the creative process of working hands-on with the herbs. Using natural and non-toxic ingredients and sharing our passion for homemade gifts shows we care for the health of those we love.

Do you enjoy giving and receiving hand-made gifts?
What’s the best homemade gift you have ever given or received?

Visit me at Seeking Joyful Simplicity – Willow Trees Farm Facebook and let me know what’s on your gift list this year!




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Enjoying a More Peaceful and Productive Home

Exhausted, overwhelmed, frustrated, and cranky. This wasn’t how I imagined parenting to be. What was wrong with me, and why couldn’t I just get it together?

As moms, we are expected to do it all and do it well. Our days can pass in a blur as we struggle to manage our home, attend to the never-ending needs of our children, and find the time to recharge ourselves. Over time this becomes discouraging, and it wears us down. But there is a way to create a more peaceful and productive home, and that is through discovering a family rhythm.


I suspect chaos, overwhelm, and a sense of failure are a normal part of running a household and parenting young children. As moms, we are expected to do it all and do it well. Our days can pass in a blur as we struggle to manage our home, attend to the never-ending needs of our children, and find the time to recharge ourselves. Over time this becomes discouraging, and it wears us down. But there is a way to create a more peaceful and productive home, and that is through discovering a family rhythm.

You can read more about creating a peaceful and productive home and the benefits of creating a family rhythm at my guest post for  The Pistachio Project:

Discovering a Family Rhythm


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Homesteading Lifestyle – Perspective and Patience


Why homestead? For modern homesteaders, the homesteading lifestyle is a choice that supports their values. Choosing a simple homesteading life can be about self-sufficiency, spending more time with family, using fewer resources, growing healthy food, connecting with nature and much more.

Homesteading requires consistent hard work, and in a world that often values luxury and convenience, I was curious why so many of us are choosing the homesteading lifestyle. What I discovered is that homesteading is much more than gardening, preserving food and raising farm animals.

This homesteading lifestyle series was created to share the motivations, rewards, and challenges faced by different homesteaders and to answer the question – Why Homestead? Each Wednesday will feature a homesteader sharing their experiences.

You can read the other posts in the series:

Homesteading Lifestyle – Off-Grid Homesteading
Homesteading Lifestyle – Community
Homesteading Lifestyle – Self-Empowerment


Do you want to live a homesteading lifestyle but don’t know where to start? Or perhaps you are already on the path but want to do more. These homesteaders share the challenges and rewards of the homesteading lifestyle


Today we welcome Amy from

A Farmish Kind of Life 

How do you define ‘homesteading’ and how does it influence your lifestyle choices?

To be honest, I had never applied the term “homesteading” to our lifestyle until I started a blog. It was almost as if other people had to tell me there was a name for how we were living. To me, it was just what we did. Folks who are trying to live a little bit more simply and self-sufficiently by doing what they can to raise or grow their own and do their own and be their own are now what I consider to be homesteaders.

Why do you homestead?

Because it’s a lot of work for me to sit still. 😉 Homesteading offers a connection to things that I don’t think you get anywhere else. In a sped up automated world, I think we’ve lost a lot of that connection. It’s good for my brain, my soul, and the sanity of my family when my hands and the effort that’s going out of my body is connected to what I’m eating or putting into my home. I homestead because I think self-sufficiency is in my bloodstream—even though I wouldn’t have called us homesteaders growing up, I would say that self-sufficiency and frugality was a pretty hardcore part of how I was raised. It has served me well.


What are the greatest rewards of homesteading?

There is nothing like sitting down to a plate of food that came from your homestead. Or going down in the basement and seeing the jars lined up on the shelves, knowing your hard work put them there.

Also, and I often forget this, this is a crazy life but it’s also a peaceful life. There are things we just don’t deal with as homesteaders. I think there is a change in perspective that comes with homesteading – you learn to look at life a lot differently. Your focus changes, I think, for the better.

What are your greatest challenges?

Time. Modern homesteading often means that no matter how simply or old fashioned you’re wanting to do things, you still have one foot in the modern world. People consider some of the stuff we do to be “old fashioned” or “like Ma Ingalls”, but we’re trying to do them in a completely different world than these things were first done in. Trying to time out all the bread baking or canning you have to do to come out exactly right so you can still leave in time to take the kids to confirmation or be at the 4H Leaders Meeting can sometimes be tricky.


Money.  I think sometimes folks think that getting into homesteading means you’re going to save money and do things in a less expensive way. And while frugality is a part of homesteading, there are things that cost money. It costs money to plant a garden. It costs money to raise animals. It costs money to keep up the tools and machinery and buildings on a homestead. Yes, you can do this in a creative frugal manner, but it’s not free. We have a huge list of things we want to accomplish here on the farm, and although we do things in a creative frugal manner, it’s always money that we’re waiting on to accomplish our goals.

My own head. I sometimes get in my own way. Sometimes I ignore the natural rhythm of life and I want things to go faster or to slow down. I often think we should be further ahead in our homesteading than we are. Homesteading teaches patience and that you’re not in charge. I sometimes still battle with myself about this. 😉

What are your long-term goals?

I’d like to be producing most of our food. I’d like to make the homestead run as efficiently as possible by closing some of the loopholes we’re dealing with. I’d like to start converting over to some alternative energy sources as well

What do you recommend for others starting out?

I’m going to recommend what might have been recommended to me, which I wholeheartedly ignored (and what everyone else probably will, too). Start s-l-o-w. The prospect of homesteading is exciting and sometimes intoxicating, but if you go too fast you’ll get overwhelmed.

Also, be willing to learn. Don’t assume that because you’ve read one or ten or a hundred blog posts about some homesteading topic that you’re an expert. What’s written on the page only tells half the story. Hands on experience trumps it every time. And everyone’s experience is different. What works for one person on one homestead won’t work for another. Be willing to learn from other farmers and homesteaders, even if you’re a different kind of farmer or homesteader than they are.

 About Amy

Amy Dingmann lives on a 5 acre farm in Minnesota with her husband and two sons where she spends most of her time in the barn, the garden, or the kitchen. She might have been born 150 years too late. She thinks cutting and stacking wood is a “pretty romantic date”, which her husband considers to be “pretty darn convenient”.


You can connect with Amy at:

Her Blog: A Farmish Kind of Life

As well as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Amy hosts a homesteading group on Facebook called Farmish Folk that you’re welcome to join.



We would love to learn from you!

Please join the conversation by commenting on the post or visiting our Facebook page: Seeking Joyful Simplicity – Willow Trees Farm and answer any of the following questions:

1. Do you think homesteading is a fad, or part of a cultural shift?
2. What about homesteading does or does not appeal to you? 
3. How does homesteading influence your lifestyle choices?


Posted in Homesteading, Living With Less, Self-sufficiency, Simple Living | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Roasted Root Vegetables with Ginger Tamari Dressing


A simple, nourishing, recipe combining roasted winter vegetables with a tangy ginger tamari dressing. Choose a variety of vegetables for a rainbow of colors. I recommend making plenty for leftovers – the flavors get better!


Roasted Root Vegetables with Ginger Tamari Dressing



The suggested vegetables for this recipe are flexible – use what you have and what you enjoy – a little of this, and a little of that. Perfect way to try new varieties. Click here for a Roasted Winter Vegetables with Ginger Tamari Dressing easy-to-print file.

My friend Krista Rahm from Forrest Green Farm shared this recipe with me.

Suggested Vegetables:
Sweet potato
Acorn squashcarrot harvest
Butternut squash
Fennel bulb
*Beets – roast beets separately to avoid bleeding purple over the other vegetables
– wrap beets in foil, roast at 450 degrees until soft when pierced with a knife. Cool, peel skins, and chop, adding to other vegetables at the end.

To Make Dressing:

The first time I made this, there wasn’t enough of the dressing, so now I make double – 1/2 for the roasting and 1/2 for serving. If you want extra dressing, double the recipe below.

1/2 cup brown rice vinegar (or regular rice vinegar)
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar and mix well.

Line a roasting pan with foil.
Cut the vegetables into cubes. With half the dressing, toss the vegetables.
Roasting time will vary, depending on your vegetables – at least an hour typically. Check periodically for tenderness.
Add remaining dressing when ready to serve.

Serving Suggestions:
These roasted vegetables make a great side dish, and the flavor improves as leftovers. Also excellent served over salad, rice, quinoa, in a wrap, or on bread for a veggie sandwich.

Do you have a favorite winter vegetable recipe?



Posted in seasonal foods, Simple Living | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

DIY Herbal First Aid Kit

Accidents happen and being prepared can make unpleasant situations easier to handle. Having a first aid kit ready will eliminate the need to search for items when you are under stress. Herbs are an amazing way to treat many first aid events, and you can easily create a DIY herbal first aid kit to have ready when you need it.

Understanding how to use herbs for first aid is easy and many of the best first aid herbs grow in our yards. To learn more, visit my guest post with Tanya from Lovely Greens

How to create a Herbal First Aid Kit



~ Michelle

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