It's time to sadly admit that winter is in and it's only going to get chillier from here on out. Not that I'm unhappy about that, I love layering clothes and wearing giant coats and making snow angels. But for as many days I love the winter, there are just as many when the wind tries to tear my face off and I just can't get the chill out of my bones.
I find there is nothing as relaxing as steeping in the tub, and nothing makes a bath better than the accompanied fizz of a bath bomb. It makes sense somehow that in the winter, when our sources of natural water have been converted to hard ice or snow, that we would want to lay in a hot bath.
Those times after a long day, I'll use bath salts to ease my muscles and light a candle and just lay there. When I'm feeling a little friskier, I keep some Mr. Bubble on hand. Most often though, I want something in between, relaxing and energizing. This is where bath bombs come into play; they're fizzy and fun but still have the aromatherapy and essential oils to calm me down.
Bath bombs are not only wonderful to use, but they're surprisingly easy to make and personalize yourself. After scouring various books and websites for the best, easiest to make bath bombs, I decided to experiment with elements from each. Most of the ingredients can be bought at a grocery or drugstore. The hardest thing for me to locate was the citric acid used to make the bath bombs fizz. The best place would be your local wine making shop or, as I had to do, buy it online.
There are several ways to customize this recipe by using food coloring, special molds, one girl I saw even made bath cupcakes, but I'm not that savvy unfortunately.
* 1 cup Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda)
* 1/2 cup Epsom salts or Coarse Sea Salts
* 1/2 cup citric Acid
* 1/2 cup Cornstarch (optional, makes the bomb float)
* 1/2 tsp of essential oil or fragrance
* 3/4 tbsp water or water and liquid glycerin
* 2 1/2 tbsp of any nut oil (optional)
1. Mix cornstarch, baking soda, essential oil and nut oil until it looks fluffy. 2. Add your Epsom salts and citric acid. Mix again. 3. Mix in water. This is the hardest part because water starts the chemical reaction in the citric acid. I use a spray bottle and used about two sprays, just enough where the mixture molds in your hand. Note: Spray every two to three molds as needed to keep enough moisture in the mix. 4. Mold the bombs into shape. I use the bottoms of cheap Easter eggs. Be careful not to twist out of the mold, just tap and it should, with a little luck, fall into the waiting cookie sheet or Pyrex. Repeat with all of the mixture. 5. Cover with a cloth overnight to dry. If you live in a wetter climate, it is possible to put the bombs in the oven at 200 to help the drying process, but my apartment was dry enough. 6. Use one bomb per bath and enjoy.
Here's another recipe that I though was really too fun not to include, it is also easier than the bombs and great to make with kids.
* 2 cps finely ground sea salt (or Epsom salts)
* 1/2 cp Baking Soda
* 1/2 cp cornstarch
* 2 tbsp light oil
* 1 tsp vitamin E oil (I use capsules and just break the gel coating)
* 2 eggs
* 5-6 drops essential oil/vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Mix all ingredients until doughy. 3. Take about a teaspoon of dough and roll it into a ball or roll the dough out and use cookie cutters. Feel free to add flower petals, cloves, or herbal tea (as I did) in the dough. 4. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. Make sure the cookies are a good distance apart otherwise they will run together like my first batch did. 5. Bake for about 10 minutes, no need for browning. Be sure not to over bake them. 6. Allow the cookies to cool completely, I say overnight. Carefully remove them with a spatula; they will be fragile. 7. Use one to two cookies per bath and allow to dissolve.
If your first batch of cookies crumbles like mine did, you can still use them; just place them in a nylon and under the running water as the tub fills up. A nylon is also helpful if you added anything to the dough, such as tea.
Freya D'Amico runs http://www.fishnorfowl.net - where she writes about how to start and achieve your creative goals, cute indie shopping, and the occasional pumpkin eating dinosaur. She lives in Chicago with a six-toed cat and supply of hair dye in every color.
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