Friday, July 20, 2012

Lovely Lavender with Girly Obsessions

We're partnering with our friends over at Girly Obsessions again! This time around, Ashley from GO is posting on my blog and I'm posting on hers. Make sure to take a peek here!

I feel so lucky to have recently spent two wonderful weeks in France, celebrating my five year wedding anniversary. My husband and I took a five-stop road trip from the Loire Valley to Nice. Since our anniversary fell right in the middle of lavender season, my mission while in Provence was to find the perfect, most picturesque lavender field. Of course, I didn’t realize this would take three days of driving down very small back roads, while testing my husband’s patience and facing my fear of bees. But...I’m slightly obsessive and was in search of this vision I had in my mind.

We actually found an abundance of lavender, lovely fragrant fields of vibrant purple, each one more beautiful than the next. Throughout Provence, lavender and lavender scented products were everywhere, in the form of everything from bath salts and soaps, to ice cream and home decor. If it weren’t for my already too heavy suitcase, it would have all come home with me.

But since it couldn’t, the first thing we did when we got home was planted lavender in our garden. Not only will it serve as a reminder of our trip, but there is so much you can do with the fragrant herb and I thought I’d share some of those ideas!

To dry the lavender (if you can part with the purple blooms), prune the flowers just as they open. Combine long cut stems into 3-4" bundles and hang in a well-ventilated place, out of direct sunlight. The flowers should dry in about 10 days. The bundles themselves work well as a beautiful, rustic table decoration, simply placed on a surface or put in a vase.

To use the buds for cooking or other various crafts, when completely dry, strip the flowers off the stems and store in a tightly sealed container like a jar or plastic bag. The dried flowers can be placed in organza sachets and used around the house for fragrance, in drawers to keep clothes smelling fresh, or can be tucked into your pillow for a restful nights sleep. They can also be put in a tea bag and used to scent a warm, relaxing bath.

For cooking, lavender has a sweet, floral taste, with a citrus undertone. It can be used in many dishes, and works well in place of rosemary in many recipes. I prefer it in baked goods and sweets, including one of my favorites: honey lavender ice cream. You can also make a simple lavender sugar by blending one cup of sugar and two tablespoons of dried lavender bugs until the sugar is tinted purple with no signs of buds. Keep this sugar on hand to add to lemonade, tea or baking sweets.

And here is a very simply recipe for Lavender Lemonade, perfect for hot summer days! This refreshing drink would taste even better if served in Rosanna's Pressed Glass Highball!

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 heaping tablespoons dried culinary lavender
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups water (plus more to your taste)

In a medium post over medium heat, combine 2 cups water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Remove from heat. Stir in honey and lavender. Cover and let steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain out lavender and pressed buds into the bottom of the strainer to release any syrup left behind.

In a large pitcher, combine lemon juice, lavender syrup, and water. Stir and chill. Serve cold, over ice.


GirlyObsessions was founded by Ashley and Sara. Besties. Lipgloss addicts. Cupcake fanatics. Their site is devoted to sharing their love (well, let's be honest, obsession) for all things girly, from makeup and baking, to shoes, fashion, and celebrity gossip. Find us online at, on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter @girlyobsessions.