Homemade Christmas Simmering Pot Recipe + $500 Cash Giveaway!

{Read to the end of this post to enter a cash giveaway!}

What makes it feel like Christmas time to you?

For me it is falling snow, the crisp cold air, Christmas songs on the radio, cutting down a tree in the woods, reading as a family the account of Christ’s birth in Luke chapter 2, hot chocolate, to name a few.

Depending on where you live in the world and what your family’s traditions are, your answers will vary from mine.

One thing we may all have in common are the scents of Christmas.  I don’t like to fill my home with toxic artificial fragrances, so grabbing some herbs from the cabinet and a few fruits from the counter are more my cup of tea.

The smell of the pine tree sitting in my living room is my all-time favorite Christmas scent, but there are a few other herbs and spices that put me in the Christmas spirit!  This recipe I’m about to share includes cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, star anise and orange.


Homemade Christmas Simmering Pot Recipe


  • 2 TBS organic whole cloves (buy here)
  • 2 organic cinnamon sticks (buy here)
  • 2 organic bay leaves (buy here)
  • 2 orange peels or 3 tablespoons organic dried orange peel (buy here)
  • 3 star anise (optional)


  1. Add herbs to a pot with 3 cups of water.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer on low as desired.
  4. Keep an eye on the pan to make sure the water does not boil out.
  5. Can also combine water and herbs in a crockpot and cook on low. 

If you don’t like the smell of cloves {like my brother-in-law :) } or one of the other ingredients, just leave it out or substitute it with another scent that you love!

And now on to the giveaway – the super exciting part!


It’s hard to believe that the Christmas season is here once again! And with it comes the season of giving!
It is such a blessing to give to others and I, along with 25 other bloggers, can’t wait to bless one of you with $500 Paypal cash with the Christmas Blessings Giveaway!
Whether you decide to use this money for fulfilling your kids’ Christmas lists, paying off a bill, or just saving for a rainy day, we hope to lessen the financial burden and/or brighten the day of one of our readers with $500 Paypal cash to use for whatever their family needs.
You can earn a lot of entries on the Rafflecopter form below.
I know it can seem tedious and time consuming to go through all the entries, but isn’t a chance at $500 worth it?
I think it is!
Plus, if all of these generous bloggers didn’t participate, we wouldn’t have been able to have such a big prize!
So I hope you will take the time to go through each entry. Who knows, maybe you will find some new blogs to follow. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway  (<—-If you have problems viewing the giveaway form, click this link here to enter to win!)

The giveaway will run from Thursday, December 1st through Saturday, December 10th (ends at 11:59pm EST).
Winner will be notified by email shortly after the giveaway ends and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize or another winner will be drawn. You must have a Paypal account to win.

This post is linked to: A Mama’s Story    What Joy Is Mine    The Modest Mom    Raising Homemakers    A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Naturally Sweetened Dessert Round Up for the Holidays

If you are watching your refined sugar intake this holiday season, you don’t have to miss out on yummy sweet treats.  Add some of these naturally sweetened desserts to your shopping list and indulge away!

Starting off, I’m sharing 3 amazing recipes from the Bulk Herb Store.  I not only love them for their herbs and helpful information; I love them for their delicious healthy recipes too!

Remember that ALL of these recipes are sugar-free!

Naturally Sweetened Dessert Round Up for the Holidays

Chocolate Mocha Cheesecake from the Bulk Herb Store.


 Oh La La Strawberry Cheesecake by The Bulk Herb Store


Spicy Chocolate from the Bulk Herb Store


Coconut Thumbprint Cookies from How To Just About Anything

thumbprint cookies

Chocolate Almond No Bakes by How To Just About Anything

Choc Alm No Bakes graphic

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies by Know the Cause


Honey Sweetened Spritz Cookies by My Humble Kitchen


Healthier Chocolate Bars by Kitchen Stewardship

ks chocolate bars 1

Honey Pecan Pie at Jill’s Home Remedies

hoeny pecan pie2

Honey Sweetened Pumpkin Pie at Jill’s Home Remedies

pumpkin pie (1)

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Honey Cookies by Jill’s Home Remedies

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin

What naturally sweetened desserts are you making for the holidays?

Natural Christmas3


DIY Natural Christmas Gifts


Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via Compfight cc

Christmas is just right around the corner, and sometimes we find ourselves out of ideas for Christmas gifts.  Some people may also seem hard to buy for.  I’ve compiled a list of natural Christmas gifts you can put together when all ideas are gone.

DIY Natural Christmas Gifts

 These easy lotion bars can be made in a jiffy!  Learning and Yearning has even made these lovely labels available to print for FREE!


Handmade cinnamon ornaments scented with essential oils.


Stimulating Rose Lip Balm from A Gypsy Herbal


Spiced Vanilla Sugar at the Bulk Herb Store.

BHS-Blog-spiced-vanilla-sugar-2 (1)

Mint Chocolate Body Butter by How To Just About Anything

DIY Winter Chai Sugar Scrub by Real Food Outlaws

Nighty Night DIY Bath Salts by Naturally Loriel

Homemade Lavender Sachets by Oh, The Things We’ll Make

Vanilla Coconut Sugar by Naturally Loriel

Winter Tea Recipes by Studio Botanica

Have you made any DIY gifts this Christmas for those on your list?

Great selection of bulk herbs, books, and remedies. Articles, Research Aids and much more.

Natural Christmas3