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    Dec 23, 2017

    Here's How To Make Your Home Smell Amazing For Under $15

    The best part? You only need a few ingredients!

    Taylor Miller / Zoe Burnett / BuzzFeed

    My grandma is the queen of hosting, the ruler of holidays, and truly the most put-together woman I know.

    Kayla Suazo / BuzzFeed

    (Here I am as a lil' tot with my sweet grammy).

    She just has a gift for welcoming people into her home and instantly making them feel welcomed. Growing up, I LOVED going to her house — whether it was for special occasions or just to stop by on the weekends. Not only does she bake some killer cookies, but she makes it her mission to ensure her house always feels warm and cozy.

    This is where simmer pots (sometimes also called stovetop potpourri) came into my life. Gammy Gaile would put leftover ingredients in a pot to simmer on her stove all day, making the living room and kitchen smelling like a delicious mix of pumpkin, cinnamon, and CHRISTMAS. I frequently look back and treasure my time in her house — which is why I after all these years, I started using simmer pots in my own home.

    Simmer pots are a fun, inexpensive, and soothing way to create your own scents and make your home smell wonderful.

    Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

    Now, you may be wondering, Why wouldn't you just light a candle? But I like that simmer pots allow you to test and control the strength of certain scent combos, and don't cost a lot of money to make. Plus, it's just fun to experiment with different ingredients!

    And the act of making them is also a great way to practice a little self-care. Look around: the world kinda feels like it's on fire and everything is burning to the ground. Coming home and taking some time to meditate with my simmer pots has gives me a sense of peace — even if it's a small amount. I take a few minutes to turn off the news and focus on one thing.

    If you want to give simmer pots a try, here are five three-ingredient recipes — some of which are seasonal, and some that work year-round — to get you started.

    The beauty is that these are all up to the nose of the beholder, so you can modify measurements or swap out scents. FYI, it typically takes about 30 minutes for the scents to really come through, so keep that in mind before adding more ingredients to strengthen the smell.

    I made the recipes to fill up my one-bedroom apartment. If you're in a bigger space, just double the ingredients and pot size, and you'll be good to go.

    You can leave these on the stove or in a slow cooker all day, but make sure you keep adding water so they don't boil down and burn. And never leave a simmer pot burning on the stove while you aren't home.

    I would also like to point out that simmer pots are not for consumption, so don't eat them.

    Ok, let's get to the reason you came here!

    1. A clean, fresh combo of lemon, rosemary, and grapefruit that works year-round.

    Taylor Miller / Zoe Burnett / BuzzFeed

    This recipe has the potential to be extremely fragrant, so be cautious when adding more of each ingredient. If you find it's too strong, just add some extra water! You really can't mess these up.

    INGREDIENTS FOR A 2 QT. POT

    1 lemon

    A few sprigs of rosemary

    5-10 drops of grapefruit essential oil *OR* one grapefruit

    DIRECTIONS

    Fill up a 2 qt. pot halfway with water. Slice the lemons (and grapefruit if you chose the fruit route). Add all the ingredients to the pot and bring to a low simmer. (Don't ever cover the pot, as that will trap in all the delicious smells.) If it's not strong enough after 30 minutes, you can add more ingredients.

    2. A magical holiday combination of apple cider, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

    Taylor Miller / Zoe Burnett / BuzzFeed

    This one is GREAT around the holidays. I just set up my Christmas tree, threw this on the stove, and felt so cozy. And yes, I realize that there are technically four ingredients in this pot! I wanted to create some leniency, so if you have apples, great. If you apple cider, great! The apples just added a little more pizzazz, so I added them for beauty. Again, you really can't go wrong here.

    INGREDIENTS FOR A 2 QT. POT

    2 cups apple cider

    1 cup water

    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    1 teaspoon nutmeg

    DIRECTIONS

    Fill up the pot with apple cider and water (it should be about half way). Add nutmeg and cinnamon. If you have an extra apple lying around, slice it up and toss it in! It will make it a little more apple-y.

    3. A subtle simmer pot with lavender, mint, and vanilla extract:

    Taylor Miller / Zoe Burnett / BuzzFeed

    Lavender is one of my favorite smells because it's so relaxing and soothing, but it can easily overpower other scents. I found that adding vanilla extract balances the lavender and really allows the mint to come through. It's not ESSENTIAL for this pot, but it's great for taking the edge off of strong scents.

    INGREDIENTS FOR A 2 QT. POT

    A handful of lavender sprigs *OR* 5 drops of lavender essential oil

    A handful of mint

    1 tablespoon vanilla extract

    DIRECTIONS

    Fill up the pot halfway with water. Add mint, lavender (or lavender essential oil), and vanilla extract.

    4. A Moscow mule-inspired pot with lemon, lime, and ginger.

    Taylor Miller / Zoe Burnett / BuzzFeed

    I wasn't sure if a Moscow mule-inspired simmer pot would work, but it totally does!!! If you can't get enough of ginger, then you'll definitely enjoy this recipe.

    INGREDIENTS FOR A 2 QT. POT

    1 lime

    2 lemons

    1/2 cup ginger

    DIRECTIONS

    Fill up a pot halfway with water. Slice up the lime, lemons, and ginger. Add them to the pot and bring to a simmer.

    5. And finally, a classic mix of coffee, cinnamon, and vanilla extract that creates the most cozy atmosphere.

    Taylor Miller / Zoe Burnett / BuzzFeed

    One of the best parts of waking up in the morning is making coffee. First, it just smells heavenly. Second, it's so relaxing to curl up with a cup of joe and start the day. I love this simmer pot because it has such classic and simple smells; it's nice and cozy but not super overpowering.

    INGREDIENTS FOR A 2 QT. POT

    1/2 coffee beans

    A few cinnamon sticks (or a table spoon cinnamon if you have that handy)

    1 tablespoon vanilla extract

    DIRECTIONS

    Fill up a pot half way with water. Add coffee beans, cinnamon, and vanilla extract to the pot and bring to a simmer.

    Whether you follow these recipes down to the ingredient, or change it up a bit, my hope is that you take some time to relax and enjoy your simmer pot.

    Curl up on the couch. Read a book. Binge-watch a show. Or if you go my Gammy Gaile's route, put one on the stove before having guests over and let it do all the work. Again, it's all up to you.

    That's the magic of simmer pots. It's truly what you choose to create with them that makes them so marvelous.

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