Saturday, August 31, 2013

DIY Lavender Mint Sugar Scrub Cubes Tutorial

Homemade sugar scrubs aren't anything new, but I recently came across a recipe for cubed sugar scrub by The Idea Room and had to try it out. Being the non-conformist that I am, I also had to personalize the recipe a bit!

 The original recipe was for citrus scrub cubes. I like citrus scents in the kitchen, but am not a big fan of smelling like lemonade, so I decided to go with a Lavender Mint combo.
1. Because I love the smell of lavender, and
2. Because I had a butt-ton of dried mint I've been hording hanging around.

For my version, you will need:
A silicone mold (or you could spread them in a jelly roll pan i.e. cookie sheet with sides)
4 oz. of soap, chopped or shredded (I used a melt and pour olive oil soap [aka castile soap] from Hobby Lobby)
1/2 c. of oil (I used 1/4 c. of coconut oil and a 1/4 c. of vitamin E oil because I tend to have dry skin, but there is a lot of free reign here)
1 c. white granulated sugar
20 drops of lavender essential oil (EO) (it does take a good bit to balance the mint)
2 tbl. crushed dried mint

Dice the soap and melt it with the oils. I put everything in a Pyrex measuring cup and microwaved it for 45 seconds. You could also use a double boiler if you have more patience than I do.

 Add the EO and mint and stir well. Then add the sugar and mix it really fast so you can start putting it in the mold (or jelly roll pan) because it will start setting up incredibly fast (which is why there is no photo of the mixing step). I used my fingers to press it into the mold. Honestly, I don't think you have time to spoon it out unless you have octo-arms or something.

Let the mold sit for 3-4 hours, pop the cubes out of the mold, and cut
them into fourths.
Then, put them in an air tight container (mine's an upcycled jelly jar!), and spend the next hour and half scouring the internet for just the right printable label and brainstorming other scent combos =)

(P.S. I picked these from WorldLabel)

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

DIY School and Office Supplies That Are On My To-Do List

Just because school is back in full swing doesn't mean I can't still be crafty and creative. I guess I'll just have to make crafty school stuff! =) While I was pinterstalking (yes, it's a real thing and there will probably be a 12 step plan for it soon), I came across a ton of awesome tutorials and ideas for making school and office supplies more snazzy. It got me thinking that is would be incredible to have all my school stuff be homemade. So here's my plan:

First of all I need a new awesome bag. I haven't been able to find a pattern for a bag that's is just what I'm looking for, so I plan on combining a few different things to get something I'll really love. I like the size (about 14x15) of the Diana Hobo Bag, but it doesn't have any pockets.
So I will add an inner zipper pocket, an inner divider with a divided pocket for my Nook and planner (which I will be covering in scrapbook paper) on one side and place for my pens and pencils on the other using colored pencil roll tutorial, and I want to add side pockets to carry my drinks in (oooh, maybe I'll insulate them!). Of course, eventually I'll need to make myself a wallet (or maybe this one) and Nook Color cover that match (I know there are tons of free ereader patterns out there, but I was gifted one made with this pattern for my birthday and love it so much I bought the pattern).

Now I need cool stuff to put in it, like these cute embroidered reusable snack bags from The Cottage Mama. They would be perfect for trail mix and granola (hey, big kids get hungry at school too!). Lindsay has a beautiful blog and some really great tutorials. You've probably seen her stuff all over the place. Yeah, she's really that good. 

I'd love to incorporate some of the great food themed embroidery transfers from the Purl Soho.

While we're on the subject of snacks, I'm also going to want one of a reversible drink sleeve. You have probably seen similar tutorials around, but this one by Crafty Staci is the first one I remember coming across. Plus, it's super awesome that it's reversible. And don't think it's only for hot drinks, these puppies are awesome for keeping cold drinks from dripping condensation all over your meticulously taken notes.

Then I'll need a crocheted apple cozy to keep my fruit from bruising, and while I'm at it I might as well make a banana cozy too.

I'll also need a Business Card Holder because you never know when a networking opportunity will arise.

It's allergy season for me, so I'll need a Tissue Case. And, yes, I realize this is a travel wipes case, but I use reusable cloth tissues and they fit perfectly in these.

If I'm going to be stylin' and profilin', I might as well have some awesome writing utensils too. Like these Wasabi Tape Pencils

This is inspiring and would make some wicked pens and accessories.

Now I just need to get to crafting!

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Free Printable Labels for Homemade Cleaning Supplies

I made some labels to go with my homemade cleaning products using these WorldLabel free downloadable labels. They do have some ready made cleaning labels, but they didn't exactly suit my needs. I downloaded the blank ones and include the recipe and directions for use for each cleaning product mentioned in my Natural Cleaning post, plus one I discovered and made today for garbage disposal fresheners.

I printed mine on card stock and used Beacon Liquid Laminate to attach them to my glass jars and plastic spray bottles. I'm sure Mod Podge would also work great, but I prefer the streak free finished look of the liquid laminate.
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

And So It Begins...

My school semester started today. Now I will have one more thing to juggle. My classes went well, but it was nearly impossible to get any of my homework accomplished while Cadence was up. I tried giving her a notepad and pencil so she could work too, but she wanted to "cu-her on ma-meez". I anticipate many late nights in my future.

You would think I'd have it easy. I'm only taking 2 classes. But they are both upper division theory classes (Literary Theory and Feminist Theory), so the reading load is going to be pretty intense. I already have 14 definitions/concepts/events to memorize (Ode to Joy! I get to know all about the Anglo-Norman Invasion as it relates to literature.) for a Lit Theory quiz, and 2 articles to read and analyze in a 2-3 page paper for Fem Theory. All by Thursday. What have I gotten myself into? Lol =)

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Preschool Roundup

Cadence is pretty obsessed with The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so I have been compiling some resources for preschool time and quiet play. Here are some of my favorite ones I've come across. Enjoy!

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Natural Cleaning Could Reduce Your Risk of Developing Breast Cancer

Homemakers have a 55% greater chance of developing cancer and respiratory disease than women who work outside the home! Why? Perpetual exposure to high levels of toxins and phthalates (a very common, well known carcinogen) found in cleaning supplies and personal care products. Having a family history of breast cancer, I want to take every possible step to keep me from becoming a 1-out-of-every-8-women statistic. One way I do that is by using natural cleaning options.

Here are some of my favorite all-natural, homemade cleaning solutions. They are natural, eco and baby friendly, and cheap to make. And you can make all of them with only 6 main ingredients (plus a couple others you most likely already have on hand).

*Update: you can now download customized labels that include the recipes for these cleaners for free here*

Glass/Mirror Cleaner
1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
20-30 drops essential oil (optional, adding it makes your home smell great while you clean)

Flat Top Stove Cleaner - super simple, highly effective
Sprinkle surface with baking soda, spray white vinegar over entire area (don't be stingy!), wait about 20 minutes until the baking soda turns brown, and wipe off. If there are any cooked on food messes use a microfiber cloth to scour the area with the baking soda mixture.

Citrus Vinegar Disinfecting Spray - great for the kitchen, hard toys, and household surfaces during cold and flu season
Add citrus peals to a glass jar (as many as you can)
Fill the jar with distilled white vinegar
Let steep for 2-5 weeks (the longer it sits the more concentrated it will be, which mean you will need to add more water to it, and will end up getting more solution in the long run)
Add infusion to a gallon jug and fill with water according to the following ratio:
       2 week steep = 1:1 vinegar to water
       3 week steep = 1:2 vinegar to water
       4 week steep = 1:3 vinegar to water
       5 week steep = 1:4 vinegar to water (this means a 32 oz jar or                                         citrus vinegar will make a gallon of cleaner)

Floor Cleaner 
1 cup citrus vinegar
1 cup alcohol (helps floors dry faster, omit for wood floors)
1 gallon water
3-4 drops liquid soap (plant based dish soap or castile soap)

Heavy Duty Cleaner - great for ovens, microwaves toilets, tubs, sinks, and carpet stains 
1 1/2 cups warm vinegar (I microwave it for 30 seconds)
1/4 cup of non-castile liquid soap like 7th Generation dish soap (castile soap curdles in vinegar)
Measure soap into a spray bottle using a funnel
Add vinegar (I pour it into the measuring cup first to help get the residual soap out)
Gently (and I do mean gently!) shake to mix
To use for oven cleaning sprinkle baking soda in over, spray with cleaner, let sit, wipe with a microfiber cloth for extra scrubbing power.
To use for microwave cleaning spray inside thoroughly, run microwave for 1 minute, wipe.
*Note: this is my all-natural version of the oh-so-popular Blue Dawn/Vinegar cleaner that is all over Pinterest, it is safe for your home and goes much further because you don't need as much soap*

Dishwasher Detergent
1 1/2 cups Borax (is found in the laundry aisle)
1 1/2 cups Washing Soda (also found in the laundry aisle)
3/4 cups Table Salt
3/4 cups citric acid (can be found online, or on the cleaning aisle as Lemi Shine)
Mix all ingredients together, store in an air tight container
To use: put 1 tbl. in the soap tray of your dishwasher, fill the rest of the way with lemon juice, and close that sucker and start it fast because you just created a chemical reaction that is bubbling all over the place. Use distilled white vinegar in the rinse aid compartment and remember to check it's level periodically.
*Tip - add a silica pack to prevent clumping in humid climates*

Laundry Detergent
1 cup baking soda
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
1 grated castile soap (like Dr. Bonner's or Kiss My Face, if you               choose a scented version you could opt to leave out the EO)
40-50 drops essential oil (tea tree oil, lavender  and cedarwood               have great antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal properties)
Mix dry ingredients
Add essential oil slowly while stirring to prevent clumping
To Use: 1 tbl. per load, with 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar in the rinse cycle for fabric softener (optional, but while you're at it you might as well add some more essential oil to the vinegar to really up the ante).

Spray Stain Fighter - I use this as soon as I change a poopy cloth diaper and haven't had any staining yet. I also use it on my mama cloth, and general kid laundry potential stains.
1 cup of the powder laundry detergent
8 cups of water
Bring water to a boil
Add detergent, stir until dissolved
Remove from heat, allow to cool completely, stirring occasionally
Funnel into spray bottle, store remaining mixture in a gallon jug (can be halved or doubled according to your needs)

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Perky Pallete

I have been gone for a long time, but I have been busy creating lots of awesomeness! Here is my current favorite color scheme (and my first try at creating a pallete from an inspiring photo)

Perky Pallete
Original scrappy tutu photo by LullabyBirds

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