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Happy New Year! Well, almost! I cannot imagine a better way to kick start 2015 then with a kick ass giveaway. Most of you know that I am a Lush fanatic. I made my post-Christmas run this week and brought back a surprise for you(my fans). I am humbled and oh so grateful that you take time to come visit Lil' ole me. The giveaway today will consist of an old Lush favorite(The Avobath), a new Lush favorite(From Dusk Til' Dawn), and my personal line of fresh bath salts from Eco Bathhouse(Lavender, Tea Tree, & Thyme).

Here's the nitty-gritty of what one lucky winner will be receiving! From left to right, Dusk Til' Dawn is a massage bar that is meant to be shared. An aphrodisiac scent that smells of citrus. It is quite intoxicating and literally started to melt as I picked it up to place into the bag! You are going to love it<3 The Avobath is a bath bomb that frequents my bath tub. Lemongrass and fresh avocados....need I say more? You will also receive a present from Eco Bathhouse. January's new bath salt creation: Lavender, Tea Tree, and Thyme. Learn more about Eco Bathhouse below!

Eco Bathhouse is my all-natural and Organic ingredients bath company. Every month, I choose a fresh accessory ingredient from my garden and hand dry it to include in my monthly bath salt concoctions. Now that's fresh! January's bath salts feature thyme. Thyme is a magical herb inside and out for your body. It is a fantastic anti-bacterial agent for your skin assisting to heal body acne in a gentle fashion. Thyme is also great during the cold winter seasons as an anti-inflammatory for coughs and colds. Read more about the beneficial properties that thyme has for you skin here.

Happy New Year 2015 my natural bubble lovers!!!
My Christmas party quickly became centralized around Gruyere and Emmentaler cheeses for an Epic fondue party. Even the fondue recipe I used was unique utilizing beer instead of wine. Hosting a fondue party is easy, fun, and fairly cost effective. The most expensive part is the cheese{of course}. I thought about buying a fondue pot, but how often would I actually use it? A bottom line fondue pot is an average of $20+ dollars and after a quick Pinterest search I realized that it was possible to create your own fondue pot. Now, the reason I am creating this post is to capture both a practical and aesthetic "do-it-yourself" fondue pot idea. Let's Fondue! 

Step 1.) Find a shallow baking dish and arrange five tea light candles in a circular fashion. Then, start prepping your fondue. The epicurious blog has an amazing Beer Fondue Recipe here.

Step 2.) Find a metal baking sheet with holes. Oxygen is necessary to keep the candles lit and you want something that is tolerant to heat as well. Choose a metal baking sheet that have holes in it. I included a small wooden box to elevate my "do-it-yourself" fondue pot. Elevating the fondue station helps keep small hands away from the hot metal sheet.

Step 3.) Find a wide mouth Ball jar or two. Fill your Ball jar with your hot and bubbly fondue. Then, set your metal sheet over the tea light candles. Voila! You are ready to fondue!

Tips: Be sure to stir your fondue occasionally. The epicurious beer fondue recipe calls for a pilsner beer, but I much preferred a lager. The lager gives the fondue a richer beer flavor, which goes impeccably well with the cheese. Buy the shredded fondue cheese from Switzerland, which is already weighed out too! Also, be sure to keep a gravy ladle next to the the fondue so your guests can ladle extra on their plates.
Rustic Christmas
DIY holiday centerpiece
Do you have the dreaded responsibility of hosting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day family gatherings? I know I do! I cannot help you with scrubbing your toilets, but I can help you compose an elaborate Christmas table that will have your guests complementing your efforts all night long! The most important element(besides the feast) is the Christmas centerpiece. The central element to your Christmas table will have your guests attention all night long. The Christmas centerpiece you see before you was less than $20!!! Let me give you a tour and show you how to compose a fresh and mind-blowing Christmas centerpiece this holiday season.

When composing your centerpiece you want to ensure that it is low lying so that you can see your guests while they are conversing. Next, take a walk with you family to gather some of nature's treasures: like beautiful tree branches, berries, floral, and pine cones. Whatever you cannot find outdoors can easily be substituted with a cheap grocery store bouquet.

holiday centerpiece
Underneath the center piece are three small and shallow bowls, you want to fill them with water and start layering your greens so they cover your bowls. In the middle of your bowls, fill them with your floral. Layer and layer until the centerpiece looks full and lush. Scattering a few pine cones is a nice rustic touch!

Orange Pyramid and floral
Tarts and Chocolates
Some additional foodie details to add to your centerpiece include: a tidy orange pyramid and a platter of sweets. Both are sure to keep your guests busy prior to the family dinner. If you would like, substitute the platter of sweets for a savory plate of fine cheeses.

Fabbioli Wines Something White featured.
Here is a toast from my family to yours! Merry Christmas everyone.
























Rustic Christmas
Christmas is slowly stalking the horizon! I know many of you have not even finished your shopping yet, so I think it is appropriate to include rustic Christmas wrapping in today's post! This year I got crazy with the boring brown Kraft paper. This year glitter and I are getting down!! Oh...we did. My house will be glittery until Summer 2015 to prove it. I am also mighty proud of my super easy DIY front door Christmas wreath! Let's get to it and I hope that you feel inspired by some of these adorably rustic Christmas décor ideas.

Rustic Christmas Wreath
The wreath! The first thing your guests see when approaching your front door. I do not know about you, but I do not have time to meticulously craft a front door masterpiece! You can see for yourself. I simply added a pretty satin ribbon and below I hung some candy canes with handmade ornaments. I wanted to use the red and green Christmas color palette this year. The only thing that is missing is a sign that says, "Happy Holidays! Please take a candy cane". We are right at street level so I thought that would be a nice touch for patrons passing by.
 
Rustic Christmas Presents
Have you ever thought about organizing your Christmas presents? Well, perhaps you should. Use a wooden box and fill your wrapped Christmas presents to the brim! This presentation of presents looks absolutely stupendous underneath the glittering tree!! I even added a wooden sign that says, "Don't open until the 25th". Nice touch Santa;-)

Rustic Presents Gift Wrapping
Typically, using a bag instead of wrapping your gift is seen as tacky. However, The method as seen above is both beautiful and delicate. Details are everything! I stumbled across blank wood chip tags with the hole already drilled in them! I knew these would be my name tags for our Christmas presents this year. I used type-writer style stampers to stamp names and initials. It looks amazing! I accessorized the plain Kraft bags with brightly colored bows. Easy and impressive!

Rustic Presents Gift Wrapping
Rustic Presents Gift Wrapping
There were a few gifts I straight up wrapped with Kraft paper or shipping paper. On the top, I used glue and went to work with large amounts of glitter! The little twinkle lights from the tree throw light onto the presents causing them to sparkle! Handcrafted love for your loved ones. You are not just wrapping a gift you are creating Christmas art! XO.

See you tomorrow for day four of DIY Rustic Christmas! Happy Holidays!
 
 
Last year, I did a comprehensive DIY Rustic Christmas post. This year, I wanted to explore all the wonderful details that make a Rustic Christmas both shabby and chic! The first stop on our 7 days of Rustic Christmas is my "cheese wheel box" drink caddy creation(say that three times fast). If you do not have a wooden cheese wheel box do not fret....PANIC:) Just kidding. Simply use another chippy container that is round and fairly deep. There are two big reasons this is such a great holiday idea: aesthetics and organizational.
Rustic DIY Drink Caddy
For organizational purposes, it keeps the clutter contained. Drinks are in one small area and easily obtainable for your holiday guests. Let them help themselves to beverages while you are helping yourself to another glass of eggnog....cheers*wink*! For aesthetic purposes, the cheese wheel box is like a holiday collage! I started adding candy canes to the side and put greenery on the edge this morning. I even added my son's little stuffed snowmen and some extra holiday bulbs!

Rustic DIY Beverage Caddy
Lastly, This container fits quite a lot! I had four wine bottles and a dozen seltzer cans with numerous decorations inside about a week ago. I drank most of the wine and started giving away a few as gifts. This set-up could be a great way to store wine and beverages long after the holiday season is through.

Enjoy the cheer and wonder of the season and see you tomorrow for Day 6!


Eco Beauty Holiday Gift Guide
Eco beauty is a downright passion of mine. The cosmetics and personal care products we use go directly into our blood streams. Using beauty products with high quality Organic and natural ingredients are important to our health. Not to mention, that the majority of Organic beauty companies are also Eco-conscious when it come to our environment as well as utilizing local ingredients. These small businesses are employers and working to support their families as well as pursuing their passion! You got to love that! Enough jabber...let's get to The Ultimate Holiday Guide by me(The Stache). Every brand mentioned is a product I have either reviewed or one that I use personally.

Oh So Good Organics Soap
Awarded Most likely to be in my Stocking
Sweet Orange Poppy Soap by Oh So Good Organics

I am a soap lover, but this is not just any soap. Oh So Good Organics is a local Northern Virginia artisan who handcrafts small-batches of soap utilizing Organic oils and essential oils. An artisan who painstakingly locates each individual ingredient in search of perfection. Those high quality ingredients result in an "out-of-this world" bar of soap! Seen above is the Sweet Orange Poppy. You will be sorry if you only buy one....buy at least six. Available now at Well & Good Studio in Leesburg, VA.

Skincando Miracle Cream
Awarded Most Likely to Cure Winter Face Woes
Miracle Creme by Skincando

It was a miracle to find this "Miracle Creme" by Skincando. My face is very very dry practically all year round, but especially during the winter months. The Miracle Creme is a savior. It is very thick and you only need a finger tips worth to get the job done. If a good facial moisturizer is worth it's weight in gold than this one is worth a fortune;-) Sensitive skin? Then the Miracle Cream is perfect for you. Available at Well & Good Studio in Leesburg, VA.

BrookThere Organic Lingerie
Awarded Most Likely to Be Naughty and Nice
BrookThere Organic Lingerie with photography by Second Ave Photography

Feel sexy and comfortable. BrookThere Organic Lingerie has an Eco fashion designer touch that is feminine, sexy, and smart. Brook's pieces are very well made. Straight from the shores of Maine into your lingerie chest. Here is that elbow nudge reminder to buy something for yourself....um, I mean for the person you love. Enjoy hot toddies and you are welcome;-)

Woodroze Sunglasses
Awarded Most Likely to Be Floating
Woodroze Ostrich Wooden Sunglasses with photography by Second Ave Photography

The #1 question I get asked when out in public: "Where did you get your sunglasses?" No surprise here. These handcrafted wooden sunglasses are indeed a thing of beauty. The pair I am wearing is wooden and they float! For a water sports enthusiast, this feature is a real sunglasses and money savor. Woodroze sunglasses are worth every penny and like a fine wine they definitely get better with age.

Eco Fashion
Awarded Most Likely to keep you Eco Fashionable 
Tea Dress by Whiskey Dog Wares and Turban Headband by Vietto

Emily Miller creates ultra flattering and very comfortable women's clothing to suite every body type. She is a master with cotton materials and the stun factor is clear upon all who gaze upon you.  The chilly weather has brought sleeves to the adorable Tea Dress and would fit adoringly underneath the Christmas Tree. Another Eco Fashion adoration of mine is Vietto. It all started with the Turban Beanie that she no longer has. Minna, when are you making more of those? I need one. Anyway, I am in love with this Finnish fashion designer. She knits the most beautiful scarves. Perfect for the freezy months ahead.

RMS Beauty
Awarded Most Likely to Keep your Lips and complexion bright
RMS Beauty with photography by Second Ave Photography

May I recommend the Living Luminizer and the "un" cover up. The Living Luminizer brights your complexion and the "un" cover up functions as a foundation/concealer all-in-one. Both products are amazing! I am also a huge fan of the Lip2Cheek. Lip2Cheek is a duel purpose product with Organic Ingredients that nourish and heal the skin. The only make up I own right now is from RMS Beauty. Available now at Well & Good Studio in Leesburg, VA.

Cocoa Coffee Bath Salts
Awarded Most Likely to Relax the Body and the Mind
Eco Bathhouse Cocoa Coffee Lavender Bath Salts with photography by Second Ave Photography

Eco Bathhouse is my baby and I do believe it deserves an honorable mention. These bath salts are named in honor of my wonderful photographer and friend Blaire Ring of Second Ave Photography.  These bath salts are made with Organic Cocoa and Local Coffee from Hopscotch Coffee in Leesburg, VA. The combination of Local Epsom salts and grey sea salts are ultra relaxing, cleansing, and detoxifying. The Organic lavender essential oils deepen your relaxation experience. A perfect stocking stuffer indeed. Available now at Well & Good Studio in Leesburg, VA(not this particular product, but many others).


I hope this Merry & Eco Beautiful list helps you finish your last-minute holiday shopping gifts! Happy Holidays from my family to yours. XO.








Organic Soap Sweet Orange Poppy
I am a soap snob. Some women spend money on handbags and shoes....I drop dough on high quality soap. I am talking Organic essential oils, fair trade ingredients, Organic butters, and lovingly handcrafted in small batches just like  Oh So Good Organics! Your one stop shop for high quality soaps and soy candles. Did I mention that Oh So Good Organics is absolutely addictive?!

The Sweet Orange Poppy soap is my absolute favorite. I have stocked away and purchased nearly 6 bars. The Sweet Orange Poppy is exfoliating, moisturizing, cleansing, and very gentle! I am trying to tone down my usage to save some of this delectable Organic soap for Christmas presents. My will power is not holding up very well thus far. I may have to place another order before Christmas:)

Organic Soap Lavender
Another classic scent is the floral/herbal aroma of lavender. Calming, soothing, and healing. Gentle for children and adults alike. A beautiful soap to look at and when the children are bouncing off the walls with Christmas spirit you can sniff your soap for calming relief. You can also bath your children with it for their calming relief. Either way:)

Oh So Good Organics soap stands up to the test of time as well. It will NOT melt into oblivion during the first use. All this soap talk and you would think soap is all they have to offer. Not so. In fact, our natural scented giveaway is for an Oh So Good Organics Lavender 8 oz. Botanical Soy Candle.

Organic Soy Candle Lavender
I did own one of these lovely Lavender Botanical Soy Candles, but I burned it day and night until there was nothing left. Needless to say, I adore lavender and this high quality soy candle. A beautiful and natural gift for any candle lover! Christmas gifts anyone? Happy Holidays and enter for your chance to win one below!


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