Here's how to make your own shower bomb with essential oils for a whole new level of relaxation.
If you enjoy a hot shower or bath to help you relax at the end of a stress-filled day, you'll love these quick DIY shower bombs that allow you to add a soothing essential oil blend to your shower's steam. Essential oils have long been used to aid everything from sleep to energy.
Now Solutions created this recipe to help you get the benefits of essential oils through inhaling the scented steam of your shower—it's like your own home spa treatment. When these scents are diffused through steam, they reach the nerves in the olfactory cavity, which go right to the brain, so you're likely to feel the calming effects right away.
How to make your own shower bomb
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a mini-muffin tin with foil liners. Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of water to form a thick paste. Pour by tablespoon into the mini-muffin cups. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Top with several drops of essential oils.
For a shower bomb that will help you relax and unwind, Now recommends a blend of one drop of chamomile oil, two drops of lavender oil and two drops of sandalwood blend oil. But you can make your own blend, too. Clove essential oil is also soothing and comforting, as is ylang ylang. Or, if you're looking for a pick-me-up to start your day with, basil essential oil is known to be energizing, and bergamot and lemon are both uplifting scents.
When your shower bomb is ready, place it on your shower floor and enjoy the relaxing vapours.
Want more ways to destress? Check out these eight stress-busting habits.
Think about some of your warmest memories—drinking wine and reminiscing with girlfriends, chatting with your mom while she whips up a batch of your favourite muffins, having a dinner date that leads to cocktails that leads to stargazing by the water because neither of you want the night to end—that’s hygge. It’s finding happiness in the every day, and all you need to be able to attain it is to know about it.
Some say the Danish word is pronounced “hooga” but according to Marie Tourell Søderberg, author of Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness, it’s like this: The “y” is similar to the French “y” sound—think “huge,” and the “gge” sounds like the first syllable in “girl.” But, it doesn’t really matter how you say "hygge"—you just need to get it. And to get it, you need to know where it comes from.
Hygge originates from a Norwegian word that means “well-being,” and in English, it means “coziness,” but it’s much more than that. Hygge is appreciating the little things in life. It’s “all the small things that make us feel safe, loved and satisfied,” says Søderberg. Hygge is doing things with warmth and joy, being present in the moment, and having a feeling of home—in other words, the Danish way of life.
Denmark is ranked as one of the happiest nations in the world, and hygge is likely an “ingredient in the Danish recipe for happiness,” says author Meik Wiking in his book, The Little Book of Hygge. Compared to other Europeans, Danes “meet most often with their friends and family and feel the calmest and most peaceful.” And that’s why there’s a growing interest in hygge.
Books on the subject are quickly filling up store shelves—a simple Indigo search will pull up more than five books on hygge, all of which have come out in the later half of 2016 (including Søderberg’s and Wiking’s) or will be coming out in the early months of 2017—just in time for winter, which is pretty much the reason why hygge exists.
In her book, Søderberg says, “It originated due to the need to create joy, warmth and togetherness in a country that boasts long, cold winters”—something Canadians can relate to. Hygge encourages you to embrace the cold months instead of waiting for the sun to shine again. But, anyone, anywhere, can enjoy the benefits of hygge any time of year, as it’s all about sharing moments with those you love, indulging in comfort foods, and taking in the sights and sounds around you.
Understanding hygge and having a name for it helps you recognize it and look for it in your day-to-day life. “Including it in our daily narratives and language makes us aware of the qualities of the word. Saying, ‘let’s hygge tonight,’ states a clear intention of what qualities we want our evening to have—presence, lovingness, relaxed, informal—all these qualities in one word,” says Søderberg.
Intimate candlelit dinner parties, mulled wine by a fire and ice skating under twinkling lights are classic hygge moments, but it can also be found when you're not expecting it. Hygge can happen in the least hyggelig (the adjective form of “hygge”) locations or in those in-between moments throughout your day—like when you're hiding from the rain under an awning with a friend, listening to a sax player as you wait for the next subway to arrive, or laughing with your sister over the phone.
Although hygge can happen anywhere, the most common place for it is at home, so it helps to make your living quarters feel warm, safe and welcoming—think candles, warm textiles and plenty of personal touches. In Søderberg’s book, she shares decorating advice from Nordic interior design expert Christina B. Kjeldsen: “The hygge comes when you feel that the person behind the surroundings is completely comfortable with his or her choices, but at the same time isn’t afraid of decorating intuitively and trying out new things and ideas…When you put thoughtfulness into how and why you have chosen to surround yourself with particular furniture, objects, art, flowers, knick-knacks, curtains—whatever—then you relax and your guests will see and know you for who you are.”
But, it’s important not to feel pressure to create a perfect space or occasion and force hygge. Decorate your space for you and not how you think it should be, and let moments unfold naturally—something that can be all too rare in this social media age. Søderberg warns, “The most hyggelig evening can look like a disaster in a picture, and opposite—the least hyggelig can look like a perfect evening.” But, if you have a true hyggling moment, it’ll be a “piece of art to capture the exact sense of an atmosphere in a photo.”
So, keep hygge on your mind. Make plans to hygge, be present in every moment, and soak up life's glories. And if you do, you’ll be gifted with the ability to, as Søderberg says, “[find] the magic in the ordinary.”
Canadian Living visited the historic South End district of Halifax to see the celebrated craftsmanship of architect Andrew R. Cobb. Over 100 years since his work, his signature style has left a mark on the residents of this charming period neighbourhood, who take time to decorate their doors in vivd holiday vignettes. Find inspiration for your own holiday decorations from one of these 12 beautifully decorated holiday doors.
Lynn O'Callaghan took the three Rs to heart for her vibrant decor. She reduced the number of urns on her veranda to a single standout arrangement; reused her old wreath, updating the original lime ribbon with fab fuchsia tulle; and recycled a large birch branch destined for the dump by sawing it up and inserting pieces into the urn. We'll add a fourth R for "reimagined." Instead of plastic ties, Lynn used green dollar-store pipe cleaners to suspend her handsome spruce and hemlock garlands. Brilliant!
Wreath, propsfloraldesign.com; light, livinglightingns.ca
The bright Bermuda-inspired front door of Elizabeth and Michael Ryan's 1920s Andrew Cobb home is complemented with a simple homemade wreath. Elizabeth wired small pinecones onto a wreath form; added a few larger pinecones that she and her husband, a Second World War buff, found in Normandy, France; and finished the look with metallic gold sprays and ribbon.
With its luxe louvered shutters, stucco exterior and climbing vines, Lynn Tilley's home exudes French country charm. During the holiday season, an ornate wreath of pink and burgundy flowers, berries and pinecones pops against the stately black door, while a bold yet elegant bow tops the pretty package.
Bow, mymothersbloomers.ca; wreath, costco.ca
Festive flourishes are no sweat for Larry Swinamer and Susan MacIntosh. Decorating, says Larry, is "a collective, fun endeavour. It just sort of flows." He's in charge of the entryway's delightful arrangement of hanging ornaments, while Susan, who is the owner of Props Floral Design, takes care of the wreath and planter. She breaks up the evergreens with decorative elements made of copper, including whimsical whales – a nod to the couple's waterfront location.
Wreath and planter arrangement, propsfloraldesign.com
"A wreath on the door expresses the circle of love, peace and joy that begins at home," says Catherine Johnston, who had this splurge-worthy statement piece custom-designed to complement her home's dazzling façade. As a personal touch, she added fragrant cedar and balsam fir boughs cut from her winter cottage at Foley Lake, N.S.
Wreath, propsfloraldesign.com; light, homedepot.ca
"Every year I'd buy a wreath and it would come with a piddly little red bow," says Cindy Wheeler Ingham, who wanted something more substantial to decorate her Andrew Cobb home for the holidays. Her search led her to this bold ready-made bow in her youngest son's favourite colour – only to find it was too big for her wreath. So...she ditched the wreath!
Bow, mymothersbloomers.ca; coach lanterns, homedepot.ca
"We really try to achieve the classic Dickens theme," explains Margo Giacomantonio. From the thick pine garland wrapped in 40 feet of ribbon to the pine and eucalyptus wreath, everything in the traditional red-and-green scheme is fresh and homemade. Flanking the door are two massive urns featuring dogwood, gold-sprayed branches and poinsettias."
Ribbon, kent.ca; wreath decorations, propsfloraldesign.com
Why should the front door get all the glory? Graced with a corner lot, these homeowners took much care in creating garden gates that were not only complementary to their Tudor-style home but also pleasing to passersby en route to the nearby city park. The neutral backdrop means the sprays – a mix of balsam fir, white pine, alder and teasel – garner the attention they deserve.
Sprays, Balsamea House, 902-624-6261
"Nova Scotia weather is not kind to Christmas decorations," says homeowner Suzanne Morrison. The secret to her success? A collection of fabulous faux adornments, including holly berry and pinecone garland, lit potted plants and a cool contemporary silver wreath.
Garland, walmart.ca; plants and wreath, homesense.ca; planters, halifaxseed.ca; mailbox, michaels.com; sconces, kichler.com
At Laurie Cruess's 1915 American foursquare–style home, a wreath of wide-meshed ribbon, purchased at the Dalhousie University Christmas Craft Sale, shimmers under the soft glow of the period-perfect mission sconces. With the help of a friend who works at the Halifax Public Gardens, Laurie arranged the planters with fresh evergreens clipped from her own garden, along with magnolia leaves, pinecones and dogwood branches.
The Boileau family refreshed the stately elegance of their 1910 Andrew Cobb home by repainting the original sconces and replacing the drafty old door with a handsome replica. But when it comes to decorating for the holidays, they choose fun over formality. Take, for example, their wreath, decked with brilliant purple baubles and delightfully unexpected eggplant-coloured leaf clusters.
Silver branches, winners.ca; silver baubles, realcanadiansuperstore.ca; wreath decorations, propsfloraldesign.com; evergreens, Balsamea House, 902-624-6261
Janet Willwerth keeps her front-door decor minimal but meaningful. "I find comfort in the familiarity of my Christmas things," she says. "Each time they are brought out, they bring back memories." Her whimsical grouping showcases two special gifts (the Santa and candy cane), a robust wreath (bought from a door-to-door salesperson) to which Janet added a bow, and an antique ship's lantern from Pictou, N.S., that's been in her family for generations.