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.

be thou my vision

Some songs just stick with you. They last through transitions, within one’s life and throughout generations. “Be Thou My Vision” is most assuredly one of those songs. The lyrics have been wandering through my mind the past few weeks.

I like creating these little pictures to use as my home screen or desktop background. I print them and hang them around my house or stick them to the fridge. It’s a beautiful way to see meaningful words and add color to my surroundings.

These new ones are yours to print, save, send, share. Enjoy.

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*Photos are taken and edited by Homespun Haley.

Soft Gingersnaps

Sometimes, all you want is a sugary, soft, chewy cookie.

One that’s quick to whip up, easy to bake and great to share.

Welcome, the soft gingersnap.

Perfect for Fall. It’s a crowd pleaser for sure.

Soft Gingersnap Cookie – from allrecipes.com

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Beat together ALL the ingredients except the last two. Once blended well, mix in the extra 1 and 1/4 cup flour.

3. Shape into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until tops are cracked. Watch for burning on the bottom.

Enjoy. You can thank me later.

Gimme some chocolate!

I have a gift. I hate to brag but I will anyway. I can say a curse word and start crying, at the exact same moment. Then I can continue to string expletives together whilst tears are pouring down my face. It’s true.

I discovered this energy-sucking and totally useless gift on Monday night. Remember the Smitten Kitchen book-signing I was so excited for? Well I showed up and was assaulted by this sign, “We’re sorry for any inconvenience. Tonight’s event has reached capacity.”

I was upset. I went home. I was silent for the whole night. I ate Smitten Kitchen cookies. I didn’t brush my teeth. I furrowed my brow so hard I got a headache.

The end.

On behalf of the woman I wasn’t able to meet…here are the best cookies in the world. Deb’s “Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies” recipe she shared from The Great Book of Chocolate. They are really yummy. I’m going to keep this recipe on hand for those times when a chocolate chip cookie is all that soothes your aches…like my Monday night.

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 20 cookies, or more if you use one of those tiny cookie scoops. (Haley’s note: The larger scoop, makes cookies that are soft inside, chewy/crunchy outside – my choice always.)

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) (115 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (130 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped (totally fine without)

Adjust the oven rack to the top third of the oven and preheat to 300F (150C). Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat the sugars and butters together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda.

Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Scoop the cookie dough into 2-tablespoon (5cm) balls and place 8 balls, spaced 4 inches (10cm) apart, on each of the baking sheets.

Bake for 18 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Welcome, Owen the Elephant.

 New nephew, new stuffed animal.

My niece and other nephew both have dinos with their names on it. So I figured I would give this little brother something different.

The pattern for this elephant and the dinos were both created by Melly & Me. They make simple, easy to follow patterns. I happened upon this one in a clearance bin at Fabric Depot and couldn’t pass it up.

He’ll be available for custom orders soon. Love him.