The adventure continues to unfold…

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2014-09-251

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DIY skin care extraodinaire

IMG_9290I love lots of things. Close to the top of the “things I love” list are coconut oil (I use it in my hair every time I wash), giving gifts, packing things cutely, DIY projects and the occasional pampering. Those five things synchronized last week when my lovely sister-in-law celebrated her birth. I figure every one loves occasional pampering, getting gifts, especially cute ones that are homemade with coconut oil. So that’s what I gave her.

Here’s the run down on what I made for one of my favorite people, and where I got the supplies to package it up all nice and tidy like.

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This whipped coconut lotion is perhaps the most most moisturizing thing I’ve ever felt. A little goes a long way. It’s great for an after shower skin treatment, and leaves your skin feeling oh so soft

Whipped Coconut Lotion

1 cup unrefined coconut oil in a solid state (melted and it won’t whip!)

3 Tbs olive oil (Or 2 Tbs sunflower seed oil and 1 Tbs olive oil)

2 Tbs aloe vera gel

essential oil of your choice (lavender, vanilla, or lemongrass would work!)

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip together until all ingredients are well incorporated (about 5-10 minutes).

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to whip until mixture has a fluffy, frosting-like consistency. If you’re going to add essential oils, do so at this time.

*Make sure the essential oil is well incorporated before you scoop moisturizer into storage container.

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IMG_9250 IMG_9247 IMG_9256Love Mary Kay’s satin hand scrub but want to save a few bucks by making your own? Done.

Sugar Hand Scrub

1 cup of pure cane granulated sugar

1/4 cup Olay + Dawn Hand Renewal wash

(I assume all hand soaps would work…maybe pick your favorite scent and let me know how it goes?)

Mix the two together…pow. Scrub a Tbs or so into wet hands and wash away with warm water. Moisturize.

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IMG_9216IMG_9232One of the thousands of amazing uses for coconut oil is as makeup and mascara remover. Seriously…I’m not joking. And your face will smell like summer.

Coconut oil Makeup Remover 

Use it straight out of the jar, or simply melt some down and store it in another container.

Cover your face lightly with coconut oil and wash away with a warm wash cloth.

To remove mascara, gently rub some oil onto your lashes and a massage. Wipe away with a cotton ball and repeat until your mascara is no more! I heard a rumor it helps your lashes grow.

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IMG_9223IMG_9234IMG_9239This all-over scrub is just what you need to exfoliate and moisture your whole bod. If used gently, it’s safe for your face. The sea salt and coconut oil are great for your skin. Perhaps leave some in the shower? Careful when you’re washing this stuff away, coconut oil can get slippery.

Sea Salt and Coconut Oil Scrub

1 cup melted coconut

1/2 cup sea salt

Mix ’em up. Enjoy the gravelly spa bliss.

For those interested in the packaging, I used little masons from around my house to store the actual product.IMG_9290-001I created tags for my jars using brown card stock which you can get at any craft store. The paper punch I used to create my labels you can buy here or probably at a local craft store. But online it’s on sale!IMG_9293

The font used on the labels and tags is called Moon Flower Bold which you can download for free at dafont.com. The gray baker’s twine I bought online. I can’t remember where but hobbylobby.com is a great place to start.

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I’d LOVE to hear if you make any of these skin care projects…or perhaps you’ve got a different one up your sleeve you’d care to share? Next on my list: lip balm.

DIY Paint Pen Mug

Right…I know you’ve seen this on Pinterest. I mean really, it’s hard to miss. I gave it a try for Valentine’s day and was pleasantly surprised by the result. Awesome and easy.

My Hubby loves him some coffee. And he loves him some big mugs and knowing that something is homemade and unique is enough for him to love it. So I figured for Valentine’s day I couldn’t go wrong with a big custom mug. Aaaannndddd stuffing things full of candy doesn’t hurt. IMG_8798

You may have seen the little tag line that comes along with this project, “Sharpie, 350 for 30 mins – done!”. But actually it’s not that simple. I read over and over that using a regular sharpie was not cutting it. The ink would run off almost immediately after “firing”.

Here’s what I did…and it worked so I’ve got that going for me.

A grabbed a black paint pen from Micheal’s Craft Store. Dollar Tree mugs were way too small and girly so I grabbed a few from Fred Meyer for $4.00 each. I printed the quote/font I wanted and practiced writing it.

IMG_8740Honestly, after I practiced a few words/letters and I just went for it and started writing. I couldn’t get the “M” in Matthew just right, and I wondered if nail polish remover would work as an eraser. It worked beautifully. Just use a cotton ball with a little bit of nail polish remover and it wipes away easily. I was satisfied with the 7th “M” I drew.

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Next, put your mug in a cold oven. Heat to 375 degrees and then set your timer for 30 minutes. Once your 30 minutes is up, turn the oven off, letting the mug cool completely in the oven. This part takes a while.

IMG_8751Once they cool, they should be good to go! I tested mine by running water over it and gently towel drying. These mugs need to be hand washed gently. Other tutorials say you can dishwasher them, which may be true. I always play it safe when I give something as a gift…you want to be sure it’ll last!

IMG_8799The possibilities are endless! I’ve seen some amazingly creative designs which I can’t wait to try. Are you gonna make one??

simple non-toxic floor cleaner

Cleaning is not my favorite thing in the world. Really it’s something that I’ve fought for a long time. Stupid adult responsibility. While we’ve all got different standards of cleanliness, we all have to do it. I mean eventually you have to do laundry. Eventually you have to sweep. Eventually you have to clean dishes. I have all sorts of tricks up my sleeve to making cleaning “fun”. I’m motivated by activities that involve multiples senses. I like to turn on an audiobook, light a good smelling candle, have a snack in a bowl that I can grab every time I complete something, or try to get my space as bright as possible. Doing at least one of those things helps motivate me to clean.

Recently though I’ve gotten more interested in cleaning techniques, products and tricks. Often I look up new ways to clean whatever it is, which makes the whole process more enjoyable. Mopping for example. I’ve always used some chemically floor cleaner. About 3 times a year, I dump some blue super chemically smelling stuff in a bucket and mop up the floor.

I decided to try something new with the whole floor cleaning business. I found a non-toxic formula that had great feedback online and gave it a go.

IMG_8888Mix one gallon of hot water with 1/2 cup white vinegar, 2 Tbs baking soda and a few drops of your favorite dish soap.

It’s that simple. You can use it on your kitchen floor and it’s great for your wood floors. After a good sweep and dust mop, I was actually excited to clean. The moment I started mopping I could tell the difference. First off it smelled amazing and fresh. Secondly, it actually got marks off the floor much more easily than my chemically store bought stuff.

Here are some “after” photos…well more like “during” photos. I had recently finished mopping and while the floors are still shiny-wet in these photos, I’m amazed at how they’ve retained a nice reflection in them after drying.

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IMG_8896 IMG_8897But I don’t know why I felt it necessary to mop the floor this particular day. Especially since we’re in a muddy after-snow transition, and without any type of entryway for said muddy stuff the floors quickly got some nice spots on them. But hey you can’t stop living. IMG_8887Maybe I’ll tell you about my laundry tricks someday. It’s seriously a little wacky. I just like trying new things to keep it interesting, which makes my laundry methods a bit intense.

And here’s a picture for your viewing pleasure. Gideon, on nicely laundered bedding. IMG_8919

What friends are for.

Friends tell friends about amazing DIY websites. You don’t horde it all for yourself. A dear friend and trusty commenter, Kara, did just that. She told me about Ana White. SERIOUSLY the best place to find online plans and designs for all sorts of furniture. It’s eye candy for sure. Her hubby made her a cute console table…and I knew I had to get my hands on something similar.

I retired our little, semi-adequate chest coffee table, leaving a vast nothingness in its wake. All this in hopes that my husband would get so annoyed with the lack of a coffee table that he’d make one. Well months went by where we used a chair as a coffee table. And I realized that I was married to a man who picks up dirty spoons and blows on them to make them clean and would never wash a towel or a single sock if I weren’t around. If it functions in any way, shape, or form…it’s adequate. So I printed out the plans for this table, placed them on his pillow, and wrote on the mirror with a dry-ease marker, “Get lumber at Lowes today.” Well, I had him at “lumber”.

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IMG_5954He skipped a few steps (an “X” at the end and some hardware on the corners) that I’ll advocate for later. For now, I’ll put my feet up and enjoy the beautiful table he created for us.

IMG_5945 IMG_5941 IMG_5949It’s a weekend project and was relatively inexpensive ($50). Boo yeah! Can’t beat it! If you know what’s good for you, you’ll check out ana-white.com. And if you’re a good friend, you’ll pass on the link.

Pinterest Fail – Watercolor Streamers

Well it’s happened again. I turned to Pinterest for help with some cheap DIY party decor. And once again, I botched a project.

A dear friend of mine has a baby on the way. I was decorating for her shower at our church. Church baby-showers are not typically supported by big budgets. So I figured I would try out this streamer water color idea. Cheap, cute, unique. And I had several roles of white Dollar Tree streamers left over from who knows what. How could it go wrong?

Here is the original pin:

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IMG_8142Now I thought the outcome of the above project was subtle but cute. I bet I could make them more vibrant.

Here’s how it works:

Mix food coloring with water until you get your desired color.

IMG_2749Dip the streamer into said water. IMG_2750 Give it a second. Pull it out. IMG_2751 Let it dry. IMG_2753

Seems simple enough. I started this project 2 days before the shower. (The shower was on a Sat morning…I made these on Thursday morning). Who would have thought it would take 2 whole days for these to dry? Not I.

Well. It didn’t take two days to dry. It took 8. EIGHT WHOLE FREAKING DAYS.

In the original post, she mentions the whole drying-slow thing and she actually took a blow dryer to hers. I was not in the mood for blow drying streamers. HENCE why I gave myself 2 WHOLE DAYS of buffer time.

Beyond the whole drying thing…here’s how they turned out:

First off, they became really brittle and crunchy. And Secondly, most of them ended up looking more like something in a surgeons trash can. (Which I noted would be handy come October.)

IMG_2873The colors bled, which could actually look cool…
IMG_2874…IF the color actually soaked all the way through the streamer. Instead the colors ended about 12 inches into the darn thing.

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They also soaked up rust off my old-craft cooling rack I set them on. Good for the crappy cooling rack…bad for the streamer.
IMG_2875I even set them out in the sun at one point, to get them dry faster. One rolled off and landed in the dirt. Ugh.
IMG_2876All in all, the lessons I learned for this are as followed:

#1. Use less water. Like a 1/4 cup is enough. But you probably won’t see the color by the end of the streamer…I’m guessing. And I’m not going to do it again to find out.

#2. This will be most handy when you actually need a bloody-gauze look. Halloween.

#3. Buy colored streamers.

Color Removal Magic.

Last year, I went with my friend Lisby to a “clothing swap”. It’s the best concept on the planet. You gather all the clothes you don’t want/wear/need/like anymore and swap them for other people’s clothes which they don’t want/wear/need/like anymore. It’s brilliant.

I got a dress (which I don’t have a “before” picture of) at the swap. At the time I tried it on, I loved the fit. Light weight and summery. I didn’t so much like the bright yellow-ombre effect, but I couldn’t pass on the free dress. I figured I’d like it eventually.

This picture I found online, while a different dress, has the exact same coloring as my dress:

Yellow Dress

The summer came and went and the dress never left my closet. What I really wanted was this dress without the yellow. So I looked up my options. Welcome, RIT color removal. I totally assumed this stuff wouldn’t work. I figured I would end up with a urine colored dress or one that was just off-white enough to look dirty.

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I went for it anyway. Since I was treating just one small dress, I decided to try the stove top option. You basically heat the water, add the RIT powder and then throw your clothing in there. You stir and stir and stir until you reach the desired effect.

RIT color removal

After only a few moments, two things became astonishingly clear. Firstly, I had underestimated the absolutely intense odor that would be wafting through my house. Since it’s freezing outside I hesitate to open doors, but after the perm-smelling solution began to give me a headache, I decided to play it safe. So shivering and smelly, I stirred the dress for about 25 minutes. Secondly, I noticed that it was working. Within moments the yellow was fading quickly.

After an intensely smelly clean up, (you MUST wear gloves and carefully clean out your pot and everything the magic water touched) this is what resulted:

RIT color removal RIT color removalA perfectly perfect white dress. Well, if you look closely, the thread never did fade. Which I thought was very strange.
RIT color removal

So why should you care about this? Not only will RIT take out unwanted color, but you know those white sheets that have yellowed slightly? Those dish towels or bath towels that have lost their fresh white look? When bleach doesn’t do the job anymore, you can use the RIT wash machine application to make whites look new again! Technically this prepares items to be dyed with color, but I like white…a lot. Maybe someday I’ll try to color things up.

Any other RIT experiences out there?