Thursday, April 29, 2010

Extravagant love and sugar scrub

This week I needed to prepare 40 little gifty items for our women's retreat this weekend that would go into grab bags each participant will receive.  Just so you know, each person attending is going to be doing the same so these will probably be burgeoning bags of fun.  I cannot wait to see what the ladies make as it is my first time retreating with this group of gals.

Wracking my brain for a few days to think of what I could make went something like this.  Crafty paper creations like cute purse sized notebooks covered with beautiful paper...naaah.  Biscotti...I could make biscotti!  Nope that wouldn't work either for me as I took into consideration all the other "food" items and meals we would be eating, even though a good cup of coffee and fresh biscotti is one of my favorite things.  What would I make, what could I make that would be quick and easy?  Two days ago I remembered a jar of scrub I bought a year ago that I loved...and it was made of sugar, oil and fragrance.  Yes...this would do nicely...sugar scrub!

Sugar scrub is a mixture of oil, sugar and fragrance that is used to exfoliate and refresh the skin.  I remember the first time I saw it I wondered "How is it the sugar doesn't just melt away in the water?"  My next thought..."Duh!  The oil silly!"  The sugar is suspended in the oil which helps to retain the sugar in its crystal form and thus makes it a perfect scrubbing compound.  It works with salt too but I digress.

This was absolutely the easiest thing to make...just pour and mix!  I love it!  I grabbed ingredients I had in my kitchen to make this version which is actually a foot scrub.  Olive oil was my first choice but I didn't have enough so I grabbed the grape seed oil.  After I made up the batch I realized I hadn't done my homework to see if this oil was a good one to use so I got on the web and discovered grape seed oil is great for tightening the skin and rejuvenating a more youthful appearance.  YAY!  Being over 35 I scored on that one and have now found a new use for my cooking oil. (big smile)  I wonder if my husband will notice the difference?

Each of the ladies will be receiving a little container (I used food portioning cups like the ones you get for take-out sauces), labeled each lid and added along side, a little card with the recipe on one side and the ingredients of this scrub and how to use it on the other.  Very cute!  These little goodies cost less than a dollar for each and are going to be so wonderful for those hot tired feet.

As I was mixing the scrub and filling the containers I began to think about each woman that would receive one of these and prayed they would be blessed in some particular way by this gift.  My inclination, especially with these types of event gifts or even personal gifts that I pray over is to think about Biblical accounts, maybe a particular scripture and meditate on it while praying and working.  This project sent me to the account in Luke 7 near the end of the chapter where the woman comes into the room where Jesus was meeting with the Pharises.  She washed His feet with her tears, wiped them dry with her own hair and then...anointed his feet with a costly precious oil because of her love for Him.  She has been forgiven much and loves with extravagance sparing no expense and not caring what other thought of her actions.  She simply loved with her whole heart and all she could.  Extravagance!

Extravagant love for the Lord became my prayer for the ladies.  This spoke to me personally as I realized the recipe I had chosen required me to use the more costly oils in my cupboard.  If I had chosen to not really care about these women I could have maybe used any old oil in my kitchen.   But these were gifts meant to bless so more costly items were required.  It didn't stop there for me either as God began to remind me about those times I had withheld giving of what cost me more out of selfishness when I was called upon to give to or to serve others.  This has been an ongoing conversation between me and God for a while now and my desire to be and extravagant lover of people and God has grown exponentially.  How is it can we/I withhold anything from Him who gave everything for us/me!?!  More prayers went up.  I love the way God uses things in our everyday lives to speak to us if our ears are tuned to hear what He has to say.

You need a glass or stainless steel bowl to mix in.  Plastic will take up the fragrance flavor of whatever essential oil you use so avoid plastic if you can.

5 cups oil
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp oil based peppermint extract

Blend oil and extract together prior to adding the sugar.  Mix it all together and that's it!
Store in a lidded container.

You can use those squat wide mouth canning jars if you like...I think they look really cute actually and you can decorate the lids of them if you are making this to give away as gifts.

To use the scrub you simply moisten your skin with warm water.  (For feet I would soak them for a bit to help soften the tougher skin.)  Use about 1tsp per foot or for your hands of the scrub and rub away the old skin.  If you rub in circular motion its supposed to be a good thing too.  So there you have it.

If you are using essential oils and not cooking extract you will us much less than I did for this recipe.  Here are some other tips.
  • Essential oils...use only a few drops per recipe as they are very concentrated. Lavender, Eucalyptus, mint, chamomile, rose and many others are just some options you can try.  These oils may seem expensive but go a long way so they are worth the investment.
  • Use your favorite perfume instead of essential oil or extracts
  • If you use this in a bath tub note that it will make the floor of the tub slippery so be sure to wash out the tub afterward to avoid accidents.
  • Use a foot tub to soak and rinse your feet off instead of the bath tub.  Have a bath towel handy for drying your feet off.
  • Invite your best gal pals over for a spa time.  Bless grandma with a foot spa time and lunch.
What is God speaking to you about in your daily life?  Take time to pray as you work and take time to listen, tuning your ear to hear what He has to say.  Be blessed!  Love with extravagance!

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