Thursday, April 26, 2012

Coconut Lime Sea Salt Scrub and More Kitchen Gifts for Teachers & Moms

Every parent I know is running around like a chicken with its head cut off this time of year. Spring sports schedules, a rush of field trips to chaperone, a string of special programs to attend at school... And don't forget about gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week and the grandmas for Mothers Day — both of which take me by surprise every single May.

The best gifts for teachers, grandmas, and other special people in your child's life of course are ones your child can help make. Extra credit goes to homemade gifts that are fast, simple, and fun.

I'm guessing that at this time of year, many teachers dream — as I am — of chilling on a tropical beach with something frosty in hand. I'd love to give my son's teacher a margarita, but this Coconut Lime Sea Salt Scrub probably is more appropriate. It gently exfoliates and moisturizes to get your skin beach-ready, and the scent transports you to the tropics. A little jar of this will help your hardworking teacher cope with the crazy final days of school.

Enlist your little one to help mix this glorious goop. It's technically edible, but I wouldn't recommend nibbling any. For better-tasting gifts kids can help make, a few of our go-to recipes:

Coconut Lime Sea Salt Scrub

Given the high salt content, this should last for at least a few months. I store homemade scrubs in the refrigerator to be on the safe side. This recipe makes about 3 cups. If you prefer a sugar scrub, swap brown or raw sugar for the salt and use equal amounts of oil and sugar. 

1 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup grapeseed, almond, or olive oil
2 2/3 cups sea salt
finely grated zest from 2-3 limes
squeeze of lemon juice

Gently heat the coconut oil in a saucepan or the microwave until it's just softened—you should be able to stir it easily. Stir in the grapeseed oil.

In a medium bowl, combine salt and lime zest. Stir in the oil and a squeeze of lime juice. (Because it's coconut oil, it will become much firmer when it's cool.) Package in cute jars and let your child decorate them.

To use, scoop up a bit of the scrub and rub on your fingers, feet, or body to exfoliate and refresh. Rinse thoroughly, especially if you use it on your feet!

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