Indoor Herb Garden

Are you itching to get your garden started now that spring is here? We certainly are.  There is nothing better than using fresh herbs in all of your recipes.

When starting an indoor or porch garden, you must remember that these herbs need at least 4 hours of sunlight to grow properly.  They also like to be kept in similar temperatures that we do, between 60-70°F.

Each plant is different, so they need to be watered accordingly.  Most won’t need to be watered every day, so you can wait until the soil is slightly dry to water them again.  Plants like basil, mint, parsley, and chives however, like to grow in slightly moist soil.  But, remember this, one way to ruin a plant and cause its roots to rot, is to let it sit, oversaturated in water.  The best way to tell if a plant needs to be watered is to stick your finger about an inch down into the soil to see if it is dry.  If the soil is dry, it is in need of hydration.

Choosing the proper pots is also important when curating your indoor herb garden.  Clay pots are porous and tend to soak up the water your plants need so you will end up watering than more than necessary.  Try glazed or plastic pots for indoor plants that won’t dry out your plants.  The most important thing to make sure is that your pots have drainage holes.  You can use rubber, plastic, or metals plates underneath your pots to catch the excess water runoff.  Start with pots that are at least 6 inches around to give your herbs the room to grow.

For creative ways to house your herb garden, check out Brit & Co’s “20 Ways to Start and Indoor Garden” list for a lot of great, innovative, and space saving ideas.

Don’ts:

  • DO NOT use 1 planter for all of your plants.
    • They each need their own room to grow.
  • DO NOT just use any dirt you find outside.
    • Since these plants won’t be planted in the ground, they will be missing out on the natural nutrients the soil provides them.
    • Use potting soil that is rich in nutrients.
  • DO NOT over water your plants.
    • Give the plant some time to soak up that water and for its soil to dry out a bit.
    • If you see yellow leaves on your plants, which means you are overwatering.

And remember this, your plants will tell you when something is wrong with them.

Below are some of our recommendations for herbs to grow indoors all year long.

Basil

  • Needs as much sun as possible.
  • Keep the soil moist, but well-drained.
  • Benefits
    • Anti-inflammatory & anti-bacterial which helps the body fight disease
    • Great anti-oxidant
    • Cancer fighter
    • Pain & fever reducer
    • Immune system booster
  • Favorite Use: in Caprese salads, with strawberries in water

Mint

  • Can thrive in minimal light, but it is best if you can get it a few hours of sunlight a day.
  • Benefits
    • Helps with digestion & weight loss
    • Nausea, fatigue, & headache relief
    • Helps with memory loss
    • Good for your skin since it is an anti-inflammatory & for relieving dryness on your scalp
  • Favorite Use: combined with fruit in water

Parsley

  • Parsley loves to be drenched in sunlight and having moist soil.
  • Benefits
    • Packed with every essential daily vitamin
    • Aids in bone health
    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Immune booster
    • Aids digestion
    • Contains antioxidants that battle the effects of aging
  • Favorite Use: in Israeli Salad (check out our recipe)

Thyme

  • Grows best when is has 6 hours of sunlight a day.
  • Benefits
    • Natural insect repellant
    • Useful in antiseptics
    • Helps lower blood pressure
    • Has antibacterial properties
    • Immunity booster
    • Used to help lessen stomach issues
  • Favorite Use: as a substitute for dried parsley in soups

Rosemary

  • The best way to grow Rosemary indoors is to start with a plant from a nursery, not with seeds, and plant in fresh, dry soil.
  • Benefits
    • Has memory boosting capabilities
    • Pain reliever
    • Protector of your immune system
    • Detoxes your body
    • Anti-aging properties
    • Helps heal skin conditions because of its antiseptic properties
      • Acne
      • Eczema
      • Psoriasis
      • Dandruff
    • Promotes healthy hair and growth
  • Favorite Use: as a finishing touch with fish and chicken dishes

 


https://bonnieplants.com/library/how-to-grow-herbs-indoors/

http://www.oregonlive.com/hg/index.ssf/2012/01/13­_herbs_worth_growing_indoors.html

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/advice/a19745/winter-herb-garden/

 

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Babb’s Holiday Gift Guide: Natural “Beauty” Products Edition

It’s getting down to crunch time for buying your loved ones Christmas gifts.  We decided to help you figure out some great gift ideas that they will actually love and be able to get use out of.  Today’s edition of our Holiday Gift Guide is all about that friend or family member who just can’t get enough of “beauty” products made out of all natural ingredients and are environmentally and socially conscious.  All of these brands offer so many wonderful products but we wanted to highlight just a couple from each to give you a head start.  And the best part, all of these brands can be found at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Giant Eagle, etc.!

Let’s get crackin!

Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees has been making environmentally and all natural innovative beauty products since 1991.  Their products, down to the packaging, are made with simple, natural, and responsible ingredients.  Products ranging from the original lip balm to skincare to makeup will never include parabens, phthalates, or any other unnatural manmade chemicals that actually cause your skin and body harm in the long run.  Their website is amazing as well!  They have a skin care guide that will help you to figure out which products to use and a lip shade finder to help you choose that perfect lip color.  Most of their favorite products are included in gift sets that prove to be multiple presents in one very pretty package.

Some of our recent favorite Burt’s Bees products include:

Lip Shine – This is a lip gloss that has a natural and sheer coverage with a shiny finish.  The Apricot Wax in the formula offers a moisturizing effect that other glosses don’t provide.  Let me tell you this, this gloss is not sticky and actually hydrates your lips long by soaking into them, providing a nourishing moisturizing result.

BB Cream – This lightweight foundation lotion helps even skin tone while firming, smoothing, and perfecting your skin.  It’s a great product to use if you don’t want to really wear a lot of makeup but want that brightened and flawless skin tone look.

Men’s Skincare – Currently Burt’s Bees offers a shave cream, aftershave lotion, and all natural body wash for men.  A lot of men don’t take the time to think about their skin care, but they should be.  There is a men’s gift set that includes the 3 products listed above and an original Beeswax Lip Balm and Hand Salve.  This would be a great gift for the men in your life you know want to be conscientious about their skincare, but who have no clue what they should be doing.

SheaMoisture

SheaMoisture is a really innovative personal care and beauty brand that creates sustainable, natural, organic products that are never tested on animals and geared towards so many of the problems we all face daily.  Their commitment to fair trade through Community Commerce is praiseworthy and shouldn’t be overlooked.  In 1912 Sofi Tucker started selling her all natural products in a small market in Sierra Leone.  Her homemade hair and skin products were an instant hit.  Today her originals (Shea Butter, African Black Soap, and homemade hair and skin solutions) are just the tip of what SheaMoisture offers.  They only use the best ingredients from around the globe and strive to be sulfate and paraben free.  Recently an employee of ours decided to try a few different products to see if they would help with certain problems they were having.  Suffice it to say, they fell in love.

Peace Rose Oil Complex Sensitive Skin Facial Moisturizer – This moisturizer is hands down one of the best moisturizers out there in the market.  Lightweight formula that hydrates without creating an oily residue, this moisturizer is a savior to anyone with sensitive skin.  Not only does it hydrate but it calms areas of your skin that are inflamed or broken out.  The use of Shea Butter and Musk Rose Oils create a nourishing moisturizer that has become the best part of our skincare routine.

African Black Soap Facial Wash & Scrub – If you have problem skin this is a great facial scrub for you.  It gently exfoliates to get rid of the dirt and oil that clog your pores and cause breakouts.  A great detox for your skin, it will make you feel refreshed, clean, and ready to get on with your day or get a good night’s rest.

Products for Men – SheaMoisture has a whole line of products just for men created with Shea Butter, avocado, and mango.  These products help to moisturize, condition, and nourish hair and skin.

Physician’s Formula

Physician’s Formula is a great makeup brand that creates makeup products that are actually good for skin.  These products are easy to use and are made so you don’t have to choose between great makeup coverage and healthy products.  Fragrances, PABA, and over 100+ skin irritants are never allowed in any of their products.  They also have many products that are hypoallergenic, gluten free, non-comedogenic, and dermatologist approved.

Argan Wear™ Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil Blush – With great coverage and pigmentation, this blush adds just the right amount of color to your cheeks, while the argan oil naturally conditions and improves skin tone, texture, and the elasticity of your face.  Plus, it’s such a gorgeous shade that looks great on everyone and can be layered to get your desired rosy cheeks.

Argan Wear™ Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil Bronzer – Bronzer is already a magic makeup product with its ability to add a glow to your skin like you’ve just been in the sun even when it’s winter.  This bronzer formula delivers that result while also nourishing and conditioning your skin.  Your skin will look younger and feel more resilient than ever before.

Avalon Organics

Avalon Organics believes that “all beauty comes from the Earth” and this philosophy drives them to produce products that are inspired by and respect the Earth and all of its organisms.  They only use organic plant based ingredients that are safe for anyone to use.  USDA Organic certified, vegan, and cruelty free, these products are made with your safety and wellness in mind.

Hair Care – “Formulated with organic botanicals and essential oils, Avalon Organics® gentle, safe and effective plant-based shampoos and conditioners are designed to bring luminance to locks without the use of harsh preservatives or hair-stripping cleansers.”  Avalon Organics goal is to provide many different Hair Care products that cover a range of hair issues we all suffer from.  You will be sure to find a shampoo and conditioner set that will benefit whatever problem your hair is suffering from and feel at ease that you won’t be adding to any problems by using a products riddled with chemicals.

Bulldog Skincare for Men

Bulldog Skincare for Men was created with men’s skin in mind.  Produced with all natural ingredients, these skincare products were created to combat dry, oily, and combination skin, balance the pH of the skin, and overall help keep men’s skin moisturized and nourished so their skin doesn’t turn into the brand’s namesake.  The products are made for men with all types of skin, from sensitive to oil prone.  This is a UK based brand, but can be found in Target stores and can be bought online via that Target website or their own.  We have listed a couple great products that are definitely worth checking out and buying for the man in your life who takes care of his skin or wants to be better at it.

Original Face Wash and Original Moisturiser (these also come in formulas for sensitive skin) – They use essential oils and natural ingredients to create a face wash that not only cleans your skin, but moisturizes and nourished the skin as well.  Don’t fear men.  And don’t fear guys!  These products are all made with essential oils that create a very masculine scent, so need to worry about smelling “girly”.

Bonus:  Their mascot is a very cute bulldog.

Pixi

Petra Strand, creator and innovator of Pixi beauty products, strives to create products that enhance women’s natural beauty while also nourishing their skin.  For over 10 years, Pixi has been a pioneer in makeup by creating products that are skin-loving and leave you with a natural radiance.  All of their products are infused with botanical and beneficial ingredients that help your skin look and stay young, enhance your natural beauty, and fix your flaws.  Their mission is the same as it was over 10 years when Petra first began the brand which is to “simply to bring out the natural beauty in all women – to make women look like themselves, only better.”

These products are a little pricier than some of the other brands we named earlier, but they work and have been touted by professional makeup artists and skincare gurus as some of the best beauty and skincare products out there.  They also offer a lot of Holiday gift sets that can be purchased at your local Target stores.

Glow Tonic – This is the Pixi product that everyone raves about.  The Glow Tonic is formulated with ginseng, fructose, aloe, and most importantly is alcohol free.  It removes dead skins cells while firming and toning your skin to keep it looking and feeling young and fresh.  They have multiple sizes at different price points so you can buy a small one to test it out and see if it works for you.  But, if you have a friend who loves to use toners or someone who doesn’t use them and wants to try one, we highly suggest the Glow Tonic as the perfect gift.

The Ultimate Beauty Kit – Are you or your friend obsessed with palettes?  This might be the perfect one for you!  It contains 40 eyeshadow and brow shades, 3 highlighters, 2 bronzers, 2 blushes, and a contour powder which covers your entire makeup routine except for foundation!  This is the only palette you will need to complete the perfect holiday look for that office Christmas party or New Year’s Eve celebrations out on the town.

Rose Oil Blend – This product was created using rosehip, almond, jojoba, pomegranate, and rose geranium oils that combine to form a face oil that promotes youthful exuberance by improving the elasticity and glow of your skin.  Not only does it help with the firmness of your skin, it also nourishes and keeps your skin feeling moisturized and smooth.