Embracing Summer with Homemade Bug Spray

My friend told me the other day that summer was over.  If you ignore the blistering heat it almost feels that way.  So here I am scrambling to do summer things.  I made it to the beach on Independence Day and drank vodka lemonade and white wine spritzers.  Points for that.  This afternoon I attempted to take a bike ride to a few neighborhoods over.  I felt terrible because after a few miles I fled back into my house to chug water and turn my AC back on. But,  I felt a little better once I looked at the weather channel and realized its 98 DEGREES OUTSIDE!! Among other things Ive tried the last few weekends to embrace the free summerness in Brooklyn.  Every year Park Slope offers Celebrate Brooklyn which among other things provides free concerts for the masses to enjoy.  My second attempt to be summery,  embrace my hood etc happened on Saturday night.  Three years ago I guess it was I tried to do this also.  The bandshell played the classic 1931 Dracula while an orchestra reimagined the score by the legendary composer Phillip Glass.  10 minutes into the movie last time lightening almost hit the stage and a torrential downpour send everyone running.  This year I was determined to see it.  

Apparently I was not the only one with this plan.  My friend and I arrived 30 minutes after the gates opened but about an hour before the movie started and I was freaked out to see the line.  Its just that I couldn't find the end of it.  The line was so long it didn't end.  After a few cursing and wanderings we decided to sit right outside of the fence,  try and see the vampire through the trees and at least enjoy the music,  the people and the outside.  

I had a blanket and something cold to drink but what I soon realized I did not have was armor,  against the bugs.  I know, why haven't I made my own bug spray yet? Well I did,  after finding bug bites in not so funny places and fortunately I had an amazing recipe.  

My second guest blogger for the summer is my friend Vanessa.  She has a five year old named Griffin and since they moved from the hustle bustle of Chicago to a lazy southern town,  she has been trying to show him a little more of what he calls "the nature."  She made him an all natural bug repellent for "the nature" and I got to try a little bit while visiting the south last month.  Its definitely cheaper and better for you than a store bought bottle of OFF and most importantly,  and this is the best part,  it smells amazing.  Thanks Vanessa,  we are all free to indulge a little more into the nature and enjoy the summer before its gone.  

12 oz witch hazel (preferably alcohol free but not imperative and lavender infused witch hazel is a delightful addition)
16-20 drops citronella essential oil
16-20 drops lemongrass essential oil
10-15 drops tea tree essential oil
Optional add in: 10 drops peppermint essential oil ( I don't put it in my kiddo one because he doesn't like peppermint)

Add all to an earth friendly spray bottle of your choice and spray away. Always remember to shake gently before each use. Also, you can always add a few more drops of each if you feel you have dinosaur bugs that just wont respond to the strength of your spray.