Refreshing Peach Cocktails

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Refreshing Peach Cocktails

With the warm weather upon us, and spring finally here, we just can’t seem to get our head out of the clouds, dreaming about all the fun that the new season will bring. Last week we talked about how essential oils can help with many of your spring-cleaning needs, and this week is no different in regard to speaking of spring. This week however, I’m going to share a much more enjoyable topic than cleaning. I’m talking about cocktails.

As the temperatures warm up, we will hopefully find ourselves enjoying the outdoors more and more, and may even be able to grill out in the near future. As for me, refreshing cocktails and grilling out kind of go hand in hand. You may not realize it, but all the different balsamic flavors at The Tea Tree make excellent additions to said cocktails. I came up with a couple of wonderful drink recipes using The Tea Tree’s Peach Balsamic that I will share below. Now, I did my research on this topic, and like any good researcher, I did some trial and error for myself. The first recipe is the perfect delicious treat for a patio party or for a springtime brunch. For those of you looking for something with a little more bite, go ahead and give the second a whirl. So, without further ado… enjoy!

Refreshing Peach Bellini (serves about 4)

Ingredients:

¾ to 1 cup Tea Tree Peach Balsamic

16 oz bag of frozen peaches

1 bottle sparkling wine or Prosecco

Fresh raspberries

Directions:

Combine peach balsamic with frozen peaches in a blender. Pour over Prosecco/Sparkling wine and

garnish with raspberries.

Refreshing Peach Blend (Serves about 4)

Ingredients:

4-5 oz vodka of choice

¾ cup Tea Tree Peach Balsamic

½ can (6 oz) sparkling water

4-5 oz Prosecco

16 oz bag frozen peaches

Fresh raspberries

Directions:

Combine vodka, peach balsamic, and frozen peaches in a blender. Mix sparkling water and Prosecco

and pour over blended peach mixture. Garnish with raspberries.

Cheers to warmer temperatures and delicious cocktails!

Liz Hartmann is a DIY blogger and Home Stager from North Aurora. You can find more of her at ww.misslizdidit.com, www.misslizzystaging.com, and on social media at @misslizdidit

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SPRING CLEANING WITH ESSENTIAL OILS

SPRING CLEANING WITH ESSENTIAL OILS

I hate to even risk speaking {writing} the words out loud, but the warm weather is making me feel like spring might actually be right around the corner. And for real this time. At lease I can hope. And in my house, along with the spring season comes a lot of spring cleaning as well. Cleaning out old clothes and closets really makes me feel ready for a fresh new season and having a clean a fresh house feels just as amazing. If you, like many others, share in this sentiment, then you might appreciate a different way to clean. Now a days, as we can all be a bit sensitive to what chemicals we might be exposing ourselves and families to, it is nice to have a few alternatives to the over-the-counter chemical cleaners that you can pick up at the super market. Did you know that essential oils can provide a great, all-natural way to clean? If you didn’t, get ready, because I’m about to cover three different essential oils that can assist in all your cleaning needs, keeping your house glistening and your family safe.

1. Lemon: Some of the over-the-counter cleaning supplies that you already own may be scented with lemon. It’s refreshing and strong, and the citrus scent gives you a true feeling of clean. But being pleasing to the ole’ nose isn’t the only thing that makes lemon a great option to use when cleaning. It’s a natural disinfectant, and also holds detoxifying properties. Adding a few drops of lemon essential oil to your laundry will leave your clothes feeling fresh and smelling wonderful. It will also prevent your washer from taking on that musty scent that sometimes makes its way into your laundry room. As a disinfectant, lemon is a great option for cleaning wood cutting boards, or even sponges and dish rags, without all the harsh chemicals. So, when life hands you lemons, use it to clean… or something like that.

2. Rosemary: This outstanding oil has natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties, so it’s another great option for cleaning. This recipe for homemade dish soap from hellonest.co is an all-natural and all powerful against fighting germs and bacteria:

Rosemary-Infused Dish Soap

Ingredients

 1 1/4 cups distilled or filtered water

 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 heaping Tablespoon dried rosemary

 2/3 cup liquid castile soap

 1 tablespoon pure aloe vera gel

 1 1/2 teaspoons super washing soda (optional)

 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin

 1 teaspoon olive oil

 20 drops rosemary essential oil

 5 drops tea tree oil

Instructions

1. Boil the water and pour over the dried herbs. Cover and let steep for several hours. Remove the rosemary from the water. Strain if using dried herbs.

2. Dissolve the super washing soda, if using, in the warm rosemary-infused water.

3. Add the castile soap, aloe, glycerin, olive oil, and essential oils.

4. Transfer to a glass bottle.

5. If washing soda was used, the soap will start to thicken as it cools, and even more so the next day. Otherwise, the liquid is fairly runny.

6. It’s pretty concentrated - a little goes a long way. Use as desired.

7. Make this in small batches because it won’t last forever.

3. Wild Orange: Much like lemon, this powerful little oil has that strong citrusy scent that perks up our nostrils and makes us think of “clean.” Similarly, it is also great at fighting grease in the same way as lemons are, so orange is a wonderful option for cleaning wood floors. Combining 1-2 gallons of hot water with a cup of white vinegar and 10 drops of orange essential oil will leave your floors sparkling and your home smelling as fresh as… well, as fresh as a freshly picked orange! These are just a few options of the ways that essential oils can provide you with cleaning products that will leave your house sparkling and smelling wonderful. And you can rest easy knowing that you aren’t exposing yourself or others to harsh chemicals that might be found in many other cleaning products. So, head on down to The Tea Tree this weekend, and get started on that spring cleaning!

You will feel so much better after you do!

Liz Hartmann is a DIY blogger and Home Stager from North Aurora. You can find more of her at ww.misslizdidit.com, www.misslizzystaging.com, and on social media at @misslizdidit

Matcha Talkin’ About?

Matcha Talkin’ About?

If you frequent The Tea Tree (or even if you don’t), you may have heard of this “up and coming, hot new tea” that everyone is talking about. That’s right, I’m talking about Matcha, but contrary to popular belief, Matcha tea has been around for ages and ages, despite its growing popularity as of lately. If you haven’t heard of Matcha, keep reading, because you won’t want to miss all the benefits that this tea provides. When you look at it, the first thing that you might notice about Matcha tea is that it doesn’t look like an ordinary tea. Most of the loose teas that we are used to seeing at The Tea Tree look consist of, well, loose tea leaves. Matcha is actually a powder, and the reason for this is part of what makes Matcha so great. The entire tea leaf is ground to a powder, and that powder has rich antioxidant properties. Since you are consuming the entire leaf when you drink Matcha, its much stronger than other teas.

Full of Energy

Matcha is a green tea, and therefore contains caffeine. That’s right. One sure thing that this superhero tea will do is provide you with energy. So, maybe don’t go sipping this bad boy in hopes of winding down at the end of the day. That being said, however, Matcha might be an excellent morning alternative to coffee, or a great healthy substitute for an energy drink before a workout. Whenever you decide to drink this potent powder, rest assured that you will be provided with energy to tackle your day.

Head and Heart Health

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, regular green tea consumption lowers cholesterol. It has also been known to stimulate brain waves, which will help you concentrate and focus. So, drink up if you want to keep a thriving ticker and a healthy head. Taking in Matcha during your workday can provide you with antioxidants and health benefits all from the comfort of your own office.

Not into it?

And don’t fret if you aren’t really a tea person. You can search to find tons of Matcha recipes online. A quick search will lead you to come across everything from muffins to stir-fry, so there are plenty of ways to take part in this fad without actually drinking it. For a quick and easy way to start your day with Matcha, stir 2 teaspoons of Matcha powder into ½ cup of Greek yogurt, top with blueberries, and sprinkle with honey. You will have a tasty treat that will give you provide you with energy to get your day going.

The list goes on and on for why this fad has really been showing its face lately. So, do yourself a favor- stop on in to The Tea Tree and try see Matcha tea for yourself! You Matcha just find yourself hooked on it.

Liz Hartmann is a DIY blogger from North Aurora. You can find more of her at www.misslizdidit.com, as well as @misslizdidit on social media.

Olive you, Olive Oil. I really do.

Olive you, Olive Oil. I really do.

Most people who enjoy whipping up a little something in the kitchen have their staple spices and cooking aids that they like to use. For me, olive oil is definitely a staple when I’m preparing my food. I use it for everything from sautéing veggies for my eggs in the morning to seasoning chicken and seafood, to using it as a dressing for my salads. These uses are pretty common knowledge, but did you know that olive oil has WAY more uses than just a cooking aid? Here are some benefits of olive oil that you may have never even guessed!

Beauty: During the cold winter months that we in the Midwest have been experiencing, our bodies can take quite a beating. Many of us find our hair and skin extremely dry during the winter… and some of us really “lucky” ones get to experience this lack of moisture all year round. According to the beauty experts at Allure.com, olive oil can serve as a remedy for dry hair and skin. In fact, people have been using olive oil as a hair treatment for hundreds of years. All you need to do is warm a bit of olive oil up, apply to hair from roots to tips, let sit for 15-20 minutes, and voila! You’ll give your hair a bit of shine and life again, all with a bottle from your kitchen cabinet. And the same goes for dry skin. Olive oil is a completely natural remedy for dry skin, and you can be certain that if you are purchasing from The Tea Tree, it is free of any hormones. I don’t know about you, but beauty can be expensive, so I am all about natural beauty hacks, and this is a great one!

Soothing Skin Solution: We have already discovered the moisturizing properties that olive oil has, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties as well. According to naturallivingideas.com, olive oil can be used to treat or prevent diaper rash. Combine a teaspoon of olive oil with two teaspoons of warm water to create a creamy texture and apply directly to the skin to comfort the little ones! In the same way, olive oil can comfort those of any age who forgot the sunscreen. The oil contains compounds that act as an antioxidant to combat the stinging skin. Are you ready to keep a bit of olive oil on you at all times yet? If all that wasn’t enough for you to go stock your pantry, please read on.

Weight Loss and Heart Benefits: These examples show us that olive oil can benefit the external body, so just imagine what consuming olive oil might do for your insides as well. Olive oil is the go-to for many when cooking, and using it is one of the most deliciously healthy decisions you will make. Extra Virgin Olive Oil in particular, contains a high amount of monounsaturated fats and omega fats, which is basically a fancy way of saying that it is very good for you. Besides being good for your heart, these fats cause you to feel full for a longer period of time, so consuming them on a regular basis may even aid in your road to weight loss. The power to help me lose weight and take care of my ticker at the same time? Sign me up!

All these benefits, as well as endless recipes are just a few reasons why you should consider making the use of olive oil a part of your regular routine. The Tea Tree carries 20 different kinds of olive oil. My personal favorites are the Butter Olive Oil (um, hello… delicious when making popcorn), the Basil Olive Oil (which I use whenever we are cooking Italian), and the Lime Olive Oil (which makes for a fantastic component to dress your salad). Not only does The Tea Tree carry a sizable selection of olive oils, but the possibilities to combine said oils with the vinegars that Missi has on hand at the shop are endless.

So, go ahead- look outside of your cooking box, and enjoy all the other benefits that olive oil has to offer!

Liz Hartmann is a DIY blogger from North Aurora. You can find more of her work at www.misslizdidit.com and on Instagram and Facebook @misslizdidit

Tis the Season for Colds and Eucalyptus

Tis the Season for Colds and Eucalyptus

It’s the end of February in the Midwest, and if you are anything like me, you are ready for Springtime to show its face right about now. Though we love the beauty of the winter, the absurdly cold weather and, well, the colds that come with it can see themselves out any time now. I’m sure that you know exactly what I’m talking about: the chapped skin, the puffy eyes, the noses that just will not stop running. It’s the worst. Those darn winter colds that we can’t shake can really get the best of us, unless you, like me, like to arm yourself with the secret weapon of winter: Eucalyptus Oil.

 

What can Eucalyptus Oil Do For You?

 

Bacteria Inhibitor: Like most essential oils, eucalyptus oil doesn’t just serve one purpose and one purpose only. In fact, it boasts many health and wellness benefits. As I was saying earlier, my favorite use for eucalyptus oil (and perhaps the most common) is the ability to aid in the treatment of cold and numerous other respiratory problems. I have frequented many different sources on this subject matter (organicfacts.net, aromaweb.com, and healthline.com to name a few), and they all state the same thing. Eucalyptus oil actually has the power to inhibit bacteria. So, if you, like many of us, can’t shake that winter cold, cough, or sinus infection, try some eucalyptus oil! The oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties that will clear you up in no time at all. Diffusing is a great method of use, but you can also mix the oil with a little coconut oil and apply to the chest, or even sprinkle a few drops on the floor of your shower and enjoy a spa like steam to combat those illnesses. It is always recommended to mix the eucalyptus oil with coconut oil in order to dilute it a bit before applying directly to the skin, and it’s also a good idea to talk with your kids’ doctor before using anything on the little ones. No matter which way you choose to use it, you will love the ability to fight ailments that this little oil possesses.

 

Insect Repellent:  Eucalyptus oil is also said to work as an insect repellent, which would be extremely useful in the other seasons of the year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has even approved eucalyptus oil as a successful component of insect repellent because it has been proven to repel against mosquitos for up to three hours. So, if you are a bit weary of all the chemicals in over the counter bug spray, you can mix with coconut oil and apply to the skin, or even use a diffuser out on the patio.

 

Household Cleaner: Yes, you read that right!  It can even assist in keeping your house clean? I don’t know about you but sign me up!  If you mix 6 drops of eucalyptus oil with ½ cup white vinegar, 1 cup hot water, and 15 drops of liquid soap in a spray bottle, you will have a wonderful cleaning solution that smells great too. Remember that ability to inhibit bacteria? Works in the kitchen and bathrooms too!

 

These are really just a few of the benefits of Eucalyptus Oil. The Tea Tree’s owner, Missi, is extremely knowledgeable about the benefits of eucalyptus as well many other essential oils. She has literature on hand as well, in case you want to brush up on your skills yourself. So, go ahead and plan a visit- I promise you won’t want to leave without some essential oils, and you might even learn a thing or two!

 

Liz Hartmann is a DIY blogger, and you can find more of her work at www.misslizdidit.com as well as on Instagram and Facebook @misslizdidit

The True Spice of Life

The True Spice of Life

The True Spice of Life

 

Even if you have never been there, I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you that the Tea Tree is known for Tea. But if you in fact have not had the chance to visit in the Batavia store front in person yet… well, first of all, crawl out from that rock that you are living under! In all seriousness, though, the Tea Tree is home to many more items other than just tea- spices being one of them.  

 

Besides being completely GMO free, The Tea Tree spices are all purchased from small farms, which is pretty cool. They are also incredibly unique- something that you might not find at other shops. Rest assured that the store owner, Missi, keeps all the basic spices on hand, but I can also pretty much guarantee that you will find some seasonings and flavors that you may have never seen before. Enter one of my true loves, CHICAGO JOE.

 

I don’t know about all of you, but once I find a spice that I like to cook with, I tend to use it ALL. THE. TIME. That’s why I had to write about the true spice of life that is Chicago Joe, and in my opinion, one of my favorite products at The Tea Tree. Chicago Joe goes on everything. I mean literally everything. If you are looking for a spice that you can put on steak, seafood, pork, chicken, pasta and even EGGS… this would be your guy. I am not kidding about the eggs, either. When Missi recommended that I try it on eggs, I have to admit that I thought she was a little off her rocker. But let me tell you… as a girl who eats eggs every single morning, this garlic-pepperesque-but-oh-so-much-more seasoning really adds a new spin to them and allows me to change it up a bit when the everyday eggs get a little monotonous.  

 

Besides being completely delicious and having the ability to take your pork chop from drab to fab, Chicago Joe comes along with a lot of health benefits, too. Garlic has been shown to aid in the reduction cholesterol and regulate blood pressure and is also known to boost the immune system. So you read it here, folks: Using Chicago Joe on your food might even help you fight the common cold.

 

This unique spice makes a great gift, and you can be almost certain that the recipient will be getting something new and fun to play around with in the kitchen. I myself have bought it for every single one of my siblings, and they are all asking for more whenever they run out. They are all top of the charts as far as cholesterol and blood pressure go, too… coincidence? I think not. Ok, fine… that last part was made up, but everyone really does love the stuff. So do yourself a favor- spice up your Saturday with a trip to The Tea Tree. And whatever you do, don’t leave without the Chicago Joe.

Liz Hartmann is a DIY blogger and Home Stager from North Aurora. You can find her at www.misslizdidit.com , www.misslizzystaging, and @misslizzystaging on social media.

 

reTREEt

reTREEt

“Baby Tea Tree” before the DIY

“Baby Tea Tree” before the DIY

Hi, I’m Liz. I am a DIY blogger, and I was lucky enough to have been asked to be do some guest blogging for one of my favorite locations… somewhere where I can relax with a cup of tea or a book, and where I can always count on stocking up on the essentials, but also having a relaxing experience. If you are following along with this blog, then you are likely familiar with The Tea Tree. And if you are familiar with The Tea Tree, then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. I, like most of the other patrons, could truly get lost in this serene sanctuary for hours. A little reTREEt, if you will, from the bustle of our every day lives- right in the heart of Batavia. And I mean… who doesn’t love a little retreat (and a good play on words) every once in a while?

 So when the owner, Missi, asked me to write a blog for the Tea Tree, and since I am a DIY blogger myself, I knew almost immediately that the first thing I wanted to write about was the charm and appeal of shop itself. She told me that I could write about anything that I wanted. To be honest, my actual first thought was to write about Chicago Joe- a true spice of life that I, as well as the rest of my family, put on EVERYTHING and can’t get enough of. And don’t you fret- there will definitely be a post dedicated to Chicago Joe in the future. But after really thinking about what my most favorite part of the Tea Tree was, it came to me without waiver: “I’ve got to write about all the DIY in that place.”

As I alluded to earlier, and as you probably already know, The Tea Tree is kind of the epitome of charm. But it wasn’t always this charming inside that shop.  A little-known fact to most is that The Tea Tree is actually one gigantic DIY project in and of itself. The shop space started out as an office space that was full of cubicles (it previously served as a law office). Lucky for all of us who frequent today, Missi saw beyond the coldness of the cubicles.

I would have to say that my favorite DIY feature is checkout counter. I would imagine that you can see where this is going, but surprise, surprise- this was not always a checkout counter. It actually originated as pieces of an antique door and a cabinet, and Missi DIY-ed the heck out of them, creating the functional counter that it is today. Pretty cool if you ask me.

 

early tea tables 2016.jpg

From laying the floor to painting the ceiling, to building shelves by hand- all DIY. Every wall is hand painted, every single shelf is hand stained and lacquered (multiple times), and if you have ever been there, you know that there isn’t exactly a lack of shelving there. Boasting over 15 of those shelves, the Tea Tree is more than equipped to hold all its inventory, and on handmade shelves no less. As with most DIY projects, lots and lots of love went into the Tea Tree. Missi had a vision for what the shop would become, and almost every element of the shop has been touched by her hand. She, along with some help from various family members, neighbors, and friends alike transformed every wall, doorway and shelf to make The Tea Tree what it is today. So next time you get the chance to visit, enjoy some Tea and relax… but also remember that you are literally surrounded by love.

 

Liz Hartmann is a DIY blogger and Home Stager from North Aurora. You can find her at www.misslizdidit.com , www.misslizzystaging, and @misslizzystaging on social media.

 

How Essential Oils Can Help You This Spring

How Essential Oils Can Help You This Spring

How Essential Oils
Can Help You This Spring

Essential oils have gained popularity because of their variety of uses. Not only can you diffuse them into the air to help make the rooms in your home smell nice, but they can help with seasonal allergies and cleaning. Below you’ll find some benefits of using them for both.

 

Allergies

The following essential oils can help with your seasonal allergies:

●     Lavender: use lavender to help calm and reduce inflammation caused by allergies. Use it in a diffuser for aromatherapy, or add a couple of drops to a bath.

●     Sandalwood, Frankincense, and Ravensara: this blend of oils has been shown to be a positive treatment for allergic rhinitis. Study participants reported improvement with their blocked nasal passages, runny and itchy noses, and sneezing.

●     Eucalyptus: this oil is known as an anti-inflammatory and may help with your congestion. The cooling sensation you experience while breathing it in may also help you feel relief as you combat allergies.

●     Peppermint: this oil is also known to reduce inflammation, so diffusing it into the air can help with allergy symptoms.

●     Lemon: citrus-scented essential oils are often used in aromatherapy to boost alertness and energy. Lemon essential oil can also help clear your sinuses and reduce congestion.

 

Cleaning

Here are a few ways you can use essential oils in your spring cleaning:

●     Tea Tree, Oregano, and Eucalyptus: these oils have been proven to work against viruses like the norovirus, influenza, and others.

●     Eucalyptus, Lavender, Tea Tree, Rosemary: these oils are airborne antimicrobials, which means they’ll help eliminate the musty smell on bed linens caused by dust and other airborne microbes.

●     Black Pepper: while this oil may smell more spicy than fresh, it can be combined with a citrus oil to create a great kitchen cleaner, and has been found to be effective against bacterias such as e. Coli and salmonella.

●     Lemon, Orange, Cedarwood: this combination of oils is great if you have many different wood furniture pieces in your home, and leaves behind a fresh aroma.

 

If you’re in need of essential oils and a variety of healthy products for your home, The Tea Tree is your place to go. Visit our store located at 29 North River St, in Batavia, IL, or visit our website to browse our selection of products.