Category Archives: DIY

stop & smell the roses

diy rose water homemade rose petals

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DIY rose-water because…..well…..I LOVE ROSE WATER!

Rose water has moisturizing and anti inflammatory properties making it refreshing on hot days – use it on your face as a toner – put some in your bath water – use it to mop your floor – pour some into your rainbow vacuum water – use it to freshen up bedding or furniture – want a natural perfume? bam rose-water – or even use it to cleanse unwanted / stagnant energy!

It can also be used to flavor certain dishes such as tea or lemonade (but I find myself using it most frequently in my skin care routine.

diy rose water homemade rose petals
diy rose water homemade rose petalsdiy rose water homemade rose petalsdiy rose water homemade rose petalsdiy rose water homemade rose petals

To make rose-water you will need to choose a rose that is fragrant. (I used (what I believe is) pink fragrant roses originally from the Hand Rose Farm in Tyler, TX)

Pluck the petals from the roses – discard the bulb and stems.

diy rose water homemade rose petals

Place the rose petals in a large pot and fill with just enough purified/distilled water to cover the rose petals – too much water will dilute the rose-water and you want it to smell as strong as possible.

diy rose water homemade rose petals

Place a heat safe bowl in the center of the petals, and cover the pot with a lid.

Place on a medium heat.

As the petals simmer, steam will collect on the lid of the pot and drip into the bowl – that rose-water will be a more pure form than the rose-water that is in the pot (but the rose-water in the pot is still good stuff).

diy rose water homemade rose petals

Simmer until the petals lose their color.

Drain/strain the liquid into a jar and voilà! That is your rose-water!

diy rose water homemade rose petals

Store in the refrigerator.
diy rose water homemade rose petals

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gift wrap

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I hear a lot of people say wrapping presents is the worst part of the holidays, I completely disagree….

It is my favorite part!

Each year I set out to create a theme for my wrapping….I casually mentioned to my sister that I wanted to use cotton and (being the thoughtful person she is) she parked on the side of the highway, ran out into some random field, and quickly snagged me enough to wrap 100 presents……hahaha I love her. The cranberries and cinnamon were an after thought, I needed some color and conveniently had both!


I am pretty happy with my results and I can’t wait to give them to my people!

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diy okra wreath

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This project was super easy…..I picked and saved a bunch of the big hard okra from my garden. (Most gardeners throw it away) Then…I dried it by sticking it in the oven on a low heat for 5-7 hours.

Supplies:

  • Dried okra
  • Clear acrylic coating spray paint
  • Wire wreath frame
  • Hot glue gun & sticks
  • Accessories/accents/add ons

Steps:

  • Spray the okra with the acrylic and let dry
  • Hot glue the okra to the wreath frame in a circular direction
  • Once you have desired amount of okra… fill in cracks and hide glue spots with your choice of accessory
  • You are going to have a lot of hot glue hairs….just pull them away with your fingers

 

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garlic nail strengthener

Garlic Nail Strengthener

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Do you have crappy nails!? ME TOO!! Paper-thin nails that always break, peel and bend. Not cool! I’ve tried all of the polishes that promise to give you strong and long nails, but I have never noticed a difference.

The other day, on a rerun of Dr. Oz, they were talking about how garlic can help in strengthening and growing your nails! This may seem weird and stinky but don’t worry…the smell disappears once it is dry!

I just started this method so I will report back on the long term results soon!

Follow these simple steps and let me know if it works for you!

  1. Use any basic clear polish.
  2. Finely chop or mince 1 clove of garlic.
  3. Drain approximately 1/4 of the polish out of the bottle as to not overflow.
  4. Pack the chopped garlic into the bottle.
  5. Put the bottle away to steep for 7-10 days.
  6. Apply 2 coats of polish to bare clean nails and let it dry.

 

*Also…I would like to apologize to my followers for all the annoying e-mails last Friday. I just learned how to use Polyvore and I didn’t realize what I was doing on there was showing up on my blog too. I was trying to make an Albin Home Vision Board.

 

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diy dark spot corrector

 

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For some annoying reason I have been battling dark spots, also known as hyperpigmentation, on my forehead, upper lip, and under my eyes…I look dirty! My best friend, who happens to be a dermatologist, told me it is from the sun. The dark spots are a new thing for me and it is not something I can learn to accept. Pretty skin is important to me…So I did some research and found a few remedies I wanted to try (in addition to hydroquinone cream). Aloe vera has beneficial skin healing powers, it contains all kinds of anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties while helping your skin shine brighter and lighter. I read that aloe vera works on hyperpigmentation by encouraging the skin to regenerate new skin cells while also moisturizing and cleansing. Even though dark spots are pretty difficult to treat I thought it was worth a try! After reading through several different recipes I decided to make my own very simple aloe vera mask with coconut oil and lemon juice. The acidic juice will also help lighten the dark spots and give the aloe vera gel a longer shelf life.

Gel may have a slight pink tint due to oxidation.

Ingredients:

  • Aloe Vera gel
  • Lemon juice
  • Coconut oil

Method:

  • Cut the end and rough sides off the aloe Vera
  • Using a sharp knife, slice off the top rind to expose the gel
  • Using a spoon or the knife scoop the gel into a bowl
  • In a small food processor add approximately 3 to 4 heaping tablespoons of gel
  • Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Add 3/4 the juice of 1 lemon…more than half but not every drop
  • Blend for approximately 1 minute

To use:

  • To use as a mask apply to face and neck for approximately 10 to 15 minutes (it’s really slimy and slippery so apply mask in appropriate location, like the bathtub)
  • To use as a toner, dip cotton ball in gel and rub on face and neck, focusing on dark spots. I like to do this at night then wash my face in the morning and continue with my normal routine.

These remedies can take up to a week or more for any discernible results to be seen.

Keep the concoction is your refrigerator, it will last for approximately 1-2 week(s).

My aloe vera leaf was big and I had leftovers/extra…I blended the remaining gel with lemon juice to create aloe vera juice. I kept it in my refrigerator and consumed 1 to 2 tablespoons per day.

 

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coffee face mask

 

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This is a recipe I found in one of my favorite magazines called Willow and Sage, originally from Sarah Howard’s blog.  I really liked it and thought you might too! Coffee is surprisingly great for dry winter skin helping to improve blood flow making your skin appear radiant and bright.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground coffee beans (I used Folgers)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened whole milk/unsweetened almond milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 1T raw honey

Mix the ground coffee beans with the cocoa powder. Mix in the milk, and stir until it creates a paste. For a thicker paste, use less milk. Fold in honey. Apply to skin and let dry for up to 20 minutes. Rinse off, and store any extra mask in the fridge for up to three days.

 

Let me know if you decide to try it out!

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Gifting

 

foliage gift wrapping

gift wrapping buffalo plaid target
gift wrapping  foliage gift wrapping with cats

foliage gift wrapping snowflake christmas  foliage gift wrapping merry christmas

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I really love the whole process and art that goes into gift giving. Every year I set out to create a theme for my holiday wrapping, this year I decided to gather foliage from my backyard and let it speak for itself.

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diy pumpkin face mask


  

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I love pumpkin season! I think it is fun to recreate products so my inspiration for this post comes from a face mask my mom gave me years ago. I know what you are thinking…”pumpkin” ?! but pumpkin is really good for your skin, it is full of vitamin A, C, E and antioxidants. The beta-carotene that makes pumpkins orange helps reverse skin damage caused by the sun while exfoliating and soothing.

2 cups canned pumpkin

4 T greek yogurt

4 T honey

1 t pumpkin pie spice

20 almonds

In a food processor chop almonds. Combine ingredients. Smooth onto face. Leave for 10 min and rinse off.

 

Hope you like it!

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Homemade Bath Bombs

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I absolutely love laying in the bathtub. In my opinion, nothing is better than a nice relaxing bath at the end of a long day. Dropping one of these balls into your bath water will instantly create a scented sanctuary. They bubble, fizz, and moisturize while the epsom salt helps restore magnesium and detox your body. These bath bombs are as fun as they are therapeutic.  It is like taking a bath in champagne! You will emerge from the tub with softened, lightly perfumed skin.

One of the exciting things about making bath bombs is being able to personalize them with oils and dried herbs. The possibilities are endless and once you start making them tons of new ideas come to mind. Make extra and save them for birthdays and holidays! My go-to essential oils for bath bombs include lavender, camomile, jasmine, grapefruit, mint and eucalyptus. I took pictures of several batches, but the listed ingredients will make 3 bath bombs using the large mold and 6 with the smaller mold.

Side note: the dried herbs were a fun experiment but very messy and will float in the water. If your plumbing is bad I recommend leaving them out.

Here’s a look at the supplies I used


  
  
  

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Citric Acid
  • 1/2 cup Corn Starch
  • 1/2 cup Epsom Salt
  • 3 tsp Coconut oil
  • 2 tsp Essential Oil
  • 3/4 tsp Water
  • 10 drops Food Coloring
  • Mold (the bigger mold is 2 3/4″ diameter) (the littler mold is 2 1/4″ diameter)
  • Sugar flower or dried herbs (optional)

Directions

  • In a bowl mix baking soda, citric acid, corn starch, and epsom salt.
  • In a different bowl mix coconut oil, essential oil, water and food coloring.
  • Slowly whisk the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. (Note: Pouring too fast will cause the citric acid to activate)
  • The consistency should be like wet sand.
  • If you want to garnish or add a sugar flower make sure to put that in the mold first.
  • Add a heaping amount of the mixture to both sides of mold and press together.
  • Lightly tap the top of the mold with a spoon and place bath bombs on wax paper.
  • Let dry for 1 to 2 days.

 

Let me know what you think!

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diy facial toner


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Creating  your own products is fun, and you know what is going into them. If you really look into what you are letting your skin absorb from store-bought items, it can be scary. Green tea is great for your complexion…it improves the skin’s elasticity, helps draw out impurities and reduce large pores. Plus its cost-effective, and great for gift giving!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Green Tea bag or 1 T loose tea
  • Lavender Essential Oil (90 drops total, 15 per bottle)
  • Boiling Water (2 1\2 cup)
  • Bottle for storage (6)
  • Labels (6)

Method:

  • In a large bowl pour 2 1/2 cups boiling water over 1 tea bag or approximately 1 T loose tea.
  • Let steep for 3-5 minutes.
  • Strain with cheese cloth or remove tea bags.
  • Put in the fridge to cool.
  • Put 15 Lavender drops in each bottle.
  • Funnel cooled tea into bottle.
  • Attach label

Let me know what you think!

Side note: the inspiration for this post comes from- www.xovain.com

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