Thursday, October 9, 2014

Get summer ready! 4 steps to simple hair care


I have had long hair forever - I avoid hairdressers and have trimmed my own hair for years for fear that "they" will want to chop it all off, all of it. The most outrageous thing I've done was to self-balayage with my sister-in-law a few years back, which pretty much looked the way my hair does anyway, just a little more pronounced.

About 7 months into my recent pregnancy however, I got to the point where you just feel "blah", and my dry, split-end ridden locks were not helping, so on a whim I went to the local hairdressers and asked them to chop it off above the shoulders. "Really?" the young hairdresser asked, "are you sure?" yes, I replied. "Wow, are you nervous?" no, should I be? "have you been thinking about this for ages?" no, I just thought about it this morning, so chop it before I start to have second thoughts! "can I take a before and after shot?" just cut!!!!  It'll grow back...won't it?

And guess what, it wasn't so scary, in fact I felt great! Under those long ratty blonde ends was a thick and health crop of naturally brunette locks that sat beautifully without me having to do anything much except a quick blow dry and a bit of a scrunch. It gave me a lightness in my step and I survived the last couple of months of pregnancy feeling ever so slightly glamourous.

Anyway, determined to keep this head in good condition throughout the summer months, I thought I'd better do a post about summer hair care....



   Emma xxx


Get summer ready! 4 steps to simple hair care

Probably best to do this at the hairdresser, not trying to hold those ends up in the mirror and "hope" for a straight line. Every 6 weeks will keep rattiness at bay.

Get summer ready! 4 steps to simple hair care

I've always struggled with this one. Some make my hair really greasy and heavy, others really dry. I've had to sample heaps and quite often change. I have loads of hair but it is quite thin and flyaway and tangles easily. An intensive repair one usually works best for me, preventing split-ends and keeping me from getting too dry. If you do a lot of styling with heating tools or hairdryers try a heat defence shampoo and conditioner. If you colour your hair, try a colour care shampoo and conditioner. How often? Experiment. I used to wash everyday but found my hair looks better and doesn't dry out as much if I wash every three.

Get summer ready! 4 steps to simple hair care


This not only keeps your hair in good nick, it's also nice to treat yourself to a home spa experience. Run a big bath, pour a glass of wine, light a few candles, pop a mask on your face and another on your hair and voila - self-love ladies and gents. You could even try a leave-in conditioner or hair oil if you need that little bit extra.


Get summer ready! 4 steps to simple hair care


Coming into summer, we expose our hair to the elements and sun and salt can be a little nasty. Add a hair straightener and dryer into the mix and you're back to square one. There are plenty of products geared to summer protection or to prevent dry out from those do-without tools to tide you through to winter. Make sure you rinse out the saltwater asap after a dip in the ocean to keep nice and shiny.





This post was inspired by and sponsored by Dove 



Check out the Dove range of Shampoos, Conditioners and Hair Treatments for gentle and affordable hair care




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chamomile and Peppermint is back! With a new addition....


Well, this is probably the longest break I've had from blogging in a while but I have a good excuse - We've added a new member to our little family - Jed Francis, born last month after a long wait and an even longer labour (all 4.45kg of him - made my eyes water a little).

With studies complete for the year and back to being a stay at home mum for a while, I will have more time than ever (between feeds, nappies, cuddles and entertaining my stroppy personality plus two year old) to bring you more Chamomile and Peppermint goodness.

I'm thinking more DIY goodies - some sewing, furniture revamps and craftiness; more fashion faves and posts on local creatives doing their thing. What would you like to see more of? Drop me a line to let me know or just to say hi :)

Emma xxx




Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Carefree Boho Spring 2014 Wardrobe

Well the countdown is on to Spring and we are not at all far off! I'm dreaming of carefree boho inspired fashion and am in definite need of a wardrobe update! Not to mention that my second bub is due in a month and dare I say it out loud (bad mama), but I'm looking forward to losing this bump and getting into some normal clothes (trakkies and uggs are not a good fashion statement, no matter how hard you rock them). Better yet, everything here is on sale so they won't break the bank. Oh how I love a bargain!

Emma xxx


A Carefree Boho Spring 2014 Wardrobe
 SPELL Daisy Chain Playdress - Was $159 Now $110
FREE PEOPLE Extreme Front V Bra - Was $72.42 Now $53.19A Carefree Boho Spring 2014 Wardrobe
RIVER ISLAND Classic Fedora - Was $45 Now $32

A Carefree Boho Spring 2014 Wardrobe
GLAMOROUS Denim Shorts in Dip Dye - Was $51.39 Now $35.58
ALL ABOUT EVE Native Fringe Onesie - Was $79.95 Now $47.97

A Carefree Boho Spring 2014 Wardrobe
LOS CABOS Mara-W Sandals - Were $69.95 Now $27.98




Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What I'm Pinning...July 2014


I'm a big fan of pinterest. It must be the stimulation of the visual part of my brain, being able to see so many beautiful images all at once. Plus there is the added bonus of discovering some really cool blogs. Here's a collection of my latest pins - if you like them you can follow me on pinterest. Shoot me a msg if you have a board you think I will like!


Emma xxx



Chamomile and Peppermint Blog - What I'm Pinning...July 2014 - Laura Letinsky, Sunday's Pearl, DIY suspended bedside table, La Perla swimsuit, Positano, Fleur and Dot.
Amazing white pottery by Laura Letinsky 




Chamomile and Peppermint Blog - What I'm Pinning...July 2014 - Laura Letinsky, Sunday's Pearl, DIY suspended bedside table, La Perla swimsuit, Positano, Fleur and Dot.
Love this girls style - Mary Ellen Skye at Sundays Pearl



Create This! DIY suspended bedside table from Merry Thought



Chamomile and Peppermint Blog - What I'm Pinning...July 2014 - Laura Letinsky, Sunday's Pearl, DIY suspended bedside table, La Perla swimsuit, Positano, Fleur and Dot.
I love both her hair and her La Perla swimsuit - original source from Plush Swimwear



Chamomile and Peppermint Blog - What I'm Pinning...July 2014 - Laura Letinsky, Sunday's Pearl, DIY suspended bedside table, La Perla swimsuit, Positano, Fleur and Dot.
The Italian city of Positano - Camilla Styles



Chamomile and Peppermint Blog - What I'm Pinning...July 2014 - Laura Letinsky, Sunday's Pearl, DIY suspended bedside table, La Perla swimsuit, Positano, Fleur and Dot.
Beautiful little girls skirt - Fleur and Dot







Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Clara Bitcon from Elm Botanicals - Naturopath, Herbalist, Health Writer and Business Woman Extraordinaire


One of my very dear friends, Clara Bitcon, has recently started up an amazing sideline to her Melbourne-based Naturopathic Clinic (Clara Bitcon Naturopath and Herbalist), creating botanical based skincare products, teas and herbal medicines available online at Elm Botanicals. Clara has an innate passion for and knowledge of herbal medicines (along with a science-based 4 year university degree in naturopathy and herbalism) and has always enjoyed creating natural products for friends and family, using only the finest ingredients without any of the nasties.

I recently gifted my mum a collection of her goodies, and she was blown away by the lovely packaging, attention to detail and the feel and smell of Clara's creations. Each item is lovingly created by hand so you are getting a one off, boutique product - not a mass produced, chemical laden concoction.

Clara also practices from her Clifton Hill naturopathic clinic and is a wonderfully gentle, understanding and highly competent practitioner who takes the time to discuss your health needs and support you to make nutritional and lifestyle changes to improve energy, reduce stress and solve your medical conundrums (with the help of herbs, of course!). She has taken some time out to have a chat with us, so make a nice cup of herbal tea, sit down and enjoy!


Emma xxx

Ps. If you are interested in medicinal herbs, Clara also has a lovely blog where you can learn more about using herbs simply in your daily life. Visit her at Elm Botanicals:A Notebook for a beautiful look into the world of these amazing plants and what they can do for us. 



Clara Bitcon from Elm Botanicals - Naturopath, Herbalist, Health Writer and Business Woman Extraordinaire
Hi Clara, can you tell us a little about yourself and your business?

I’m a naturopath living and practising in Melbourne after five years of residing (and becoming very at home) in the Northern Rivers.  I’ve turned into a complete urban/country hybrid!  

I love nature adventuring and spending long, long afternoons in the kitchen making, flavouring and creating. In the same stroke I love nothing better than beautiful coffee (my treasured “vice”!) and being surrounded by a fast paced clash ideas, culture and political debate that always has me thinking in different ways.  I would say that the meeting of those two worlds describes me best.  

My business and practice are very much about merging these two worlds together.  Blending traditional, nature-based wisdom with all the advances in modern healthcare and a good dose of environmentalism are at the core of what I do.  





Clara Bitcon from Elm Botanicals - Naturopath, Herbalist, Health Writer and Business Woman Extraordinaire


For those who don't know much about Naturopathy, can you give us a quick run down?

Naturopathy is essentially a system of medicine that believes that the body has a remarkable ability to heal itself when given the right opportunity to do so.  I’ve begun to start describing naturopaths as "gardeners of the body" as we work off many of the same principles.   

If the soil is rich in nutrients, has the right balance of microbes, and the plants are put in positions they like, they will thrive.  Our tools are healing foods, medicinal herbs, nutrients, a great deal of careful observation of the body and fostering a close connection with those we are working with.  It’s a really beautiful profession I must say.  



Clara Bitcon from Elm Botanicals - Naturopath, Herbalist, Health Writer and Business Woman Extraordinaire
Clara's Clifton Hill Clinic

What sort of people do you see in your clinic? 

All sorts really, but the underlying themes would definitely be busy urbanites who are doing a lot and they have run into a health complaint that they either would like to take a holistic and natural approach with, or conventional medicine has been unable to help.  I also see people who simply want to improve their health and energy, but don’t quite know where to start.  

The health problems I see most in the clinic are “functional” health complaints.  Which basically means that they don’t have a disease as such, but it’s clear that the body isn’t behaving as it should. They are in a grey area.  These may include digestive complaints, skin issues, hormonal imbalances, anxiety or depression. 

I’ll spend a good 90 minutes talking to someone about their entire health picture before formulating a plan, which unfortunately the current healthcare system doesn’t afford doctors.  We have the benefit of really finding the root of the problem and forming strong relationships with our clients.  




What inspired you to start Elm Botanicals?

Oh so many things!  But the flicker that began the spark was the desire to get naturopathy back to its roots.  

Clara Bitcon from Elm Botanicals - Naturopath, Herbalist, Health Writer and Business Woman Extraordinaire
"Drift" Tea Blend
I started a blog during my studies which I called “Elm Botanicals”.  It was my online space to write and record all the fun things I was making, creating and learning.  During that time I volunteered on herb farms in Australia and India and my eyes were opened up not only to incredible world of growing the herbs, but also how the current herbal medicine industry has a darker side of ecological and social exploitation.
All the issues of environmental degradation, unfair trade and food miles that we are very aware of in terms of our food (coffee and chocolate are good examples) are affecting herbal medicine is just the same way…the only difference is no one is talking about it.    Which is crazy when we have a thriving network of local, organic growers producing incredible quality herbs! 

Elm Botanicals the blog became the foundation for Elm Botanicals the business, which handcrafts medicines, skincare and teas from sustainable, ethical, organic and local herbs.  I make the majority of the herbal medicines I prescribe my patients and I’ve also started a small etsy store to start sharing my favourite tea and skin care blends.  It’s a lot of fun.



Clara Bitcon from Elm Botanicals - Naturopath, Herbalist, Health Writer and Business Woman Extraordinaire
Clara makes her own organic herbal tinctures


Name three things you are loving at the moment?

Melbourne winter just truly started and I’ve been finding delicious, warming comfort in turmeric chai lattes.  Earthy, aromatic with a coffee twist.  I like to add a generous amount of cardamom as it smooths out the caffeine to a nice sustained buzz.  

I’ve also been loving the magazine Dumbo Feather.  They’re not too many magazines I’ll read from cover to cover, but I have been with this one.  It’s a compilation of “conversations with extraordinary people”, it’s like eavesdropping on a fascinating conversation in a cafe, but in print.   

And I have to mention a herb for the third.  Ladies mantle has been grabbing my attention lately both in the gardens and the clinic.  It’s a member of the rose family and at this time of year with the morning dew, water droplets form in its folds and looks like little jewels.  They’re really stunning to look at.  I’ve been witnessing its helpfulness with a number of clients with skin trouble, very healing and cools down redness.  It’s such a good example of the soft, gentle power the herbs can have.  


All my social media handles:
Twitter: @ElmBotanicals



Clara Bitcon from Elm Botanicals - Naturopath, Herbalist, Health Writer and Business Woman Extraordinaire





Saturday, June 28, 2014

DIY Crate Bedside Tables for Under $50 a Pair


DIY Crate Bedside Tables for Under $50 a Pair - Chamomile and Peppermint Blog Tutorial



I recently banged together (literally) these gorgeous crate bedside tables from fence palings, a bit of pine, nails and a splash of white paint. Easy peasy DIY with 100% end effect. 

No need to follow my measurements specifically - you can make these to suit whatever size you need - the beauty of them is that they are meant to look rough when finished. You can even use them as storage crates or pile them up to make a bookcase. Be creative - thats the point :) Be warned, I am certainly no chippie, but maybe that will inspire those of you out there who are not either to pick up a hammer and give it a go!


Emma xxx



What You'll Need - 

(for crates to measure approx 60cm (H) x 41cm (W) x 36cm (D))

Materials -

  • Fence palings - Enough to make up 1200cm length of wood. I bought mine from Bunnings for $1.18 per 1.2m long post x 10 - the rougher the wood, the cheaper, and all the better in my book. For further savings, salvage old fence palings.  Total of $11.80
  • 550mm square/rectangular pine to form the corner bracings - I bought 30x12mm pine from Bunnings for approx $20 in total
  • Wood nails - I already had these at home, but they will cost you about $4 for a pac of 120
  • White paint - I already had this at home. Flat white is the best, thinned with water to create a white washed effect
  • Carnauba Wax - I love Gilly Stephensons Carnauba furniture wax for approx $13 for 100g at Bunnings 

Tools - 
  • Circular saw, jigsaw or handsaw - to cut your timber lengths. The former is by far the quickest and easiest if you have one. If you are like me, use a jigsaw which will take a little longer and not be as neat, and If you are old school and have heaps of time on your hands, use a handsaw
  • Electric handsander or sandpaper - to smooth off any rough edges
  • Hammer - for nailin'
  • Measuring tape - yep, for measurin'
  • Paintbrush
  • Rag for polishing


Cuts

Fence Palings
  • 12 x 64cm lengths
  • 16 x 28cm lengths
Corner Braces
  • 8 x 34cm lengths
  • 4 x 60cm lengths



Here We Go...

1. Cut all your wood to length

2. Divide all wood lengths into two groups - one for each bedside.


DIY Crate Bedside Tables for Under $50 a Pair - Chamomile and Peppermint Blog TutorialDIY Crate Bedside Tables for Under $50 a Pair - Chamomile and Peppermint Blog Tutorial


3. Start by nailing shorter paling lengths to shorter corner braces - top and then bottom. (You will notice that I have used 4 x 28cm lengths for the top, and three for the bottom of my bedsides. I aimed to create these with the least amount of wood possible whilst still making them functional. The top has smaller gaps so that whatever you put on top of them later won't fall through. If you would prefer to make them even, just adjust the amount of wood required.)


4. Nail the longer cross braces to the ends of the shorter cross braces, then nail the longer palings to the shorter corner braces so that they run vertically (it's probably easier to work it out from the pics than my instructions! I think this would confuse me :)

5. Nail the last short paling in the centre of the back to stabilise your crate.

DIY Crate Bedside Tables for Under $50 a Pair - Chamomile and Peppermint Blog Tutorial

6. Get out your sander or sandpaper and round off the edges, smooth out any rough  surfaces or splinters.


DIY Crate Bedside Tables for Under $50 a Pair - Chamomile and Peppermint Blog Tutorial


7. Mix your white paint with a little water to thin it out and then literally slap it on. You want a rough finish. It won't take long for the paint to dry before you can move onto the next step. 


DIY Crate Bedside Tables for Under $50 a Pair - Chamomile and Peppermint Blog Tutorial


8. Lastly you can give it a coat of wax. This will finish it off with a smooth, soft finish and help to protect the wood. Just rub the wax on with an old cloth. (You can spend hours rubbing this wax back with steel wool and other methods to make it really shiny, but I prefer the matte look you get from rubbing on a single coat, plus I'm a little lazy. Google other techniques if you are interested).

DIY Crate Bedside Tables for Under $50 a Pair - Chamomile and Peppermint Blog Tutorial



Voila! You're Done! Now the fun bit - pop them in your bedroom and accessorise!

Check out my recent minimalist monochrome bedroom makeover on a budget complete with crate bedsides to see what I did with my new little beauties.




Get Creative! Its good for the soul.....