Monday, April 15, 2013

DIY Eye Cream

As I said before, in a previous post, I am normally not one to indulge in facial skin care products. I don't know why, it just never seemed needed in my life. Not until now. I am getting a little older, and should probably try to start taking better care of my body. This recipe is for an Eye Cream that I have been using as my nightly routine. Its simple, easy, and works well.

Homemade Eye Cream
I used this cute little jar that was from honey I got at a wedding (meant to Bee- get it). 
I filled the jar up with coconut oil- I tend to melt my coconut oil down to a liquid cause its easier to deal with. I then added in roughly 1/4 tsp vitamin E. Thats it- super easy!   

Friday, April 12, 2013

DIY Face Moisturizer

This recipe is one that I am pretty stoked on! Its for a facial moisturizer. Now, I am normally not one to do a whole lot when it comes to facial skin care products, but since I have been on a roll making my own products all around the house, I decided What the Heck!
Boy, am I glad I did this! All the different products that I have been making for my face lately leave me feeling so fresh, soft, and wonderful! It has since changed my morning and evening routines, and I couldn't be happier.

Face Moisturizer
4 Tbsp aloe vera (the drinkable kind) I got mine at New Leaf, but have since seen it at Trader Joes for cheap
1 tsp vegetable glycerin
1/4 tsp grapeseed oil
1/4 almond oil

Mix all the ingredients together in a small container, and VIOLA!! I got my container as a part of a travel pack for toiletries, and as an added bonus it came with labels to make my life a little more simple ;)
This solution makes my face feel really soft and moisturized. The only thing that I have to be careful of is the short shelf life. My first batch went moldy quicker than I thought it would, but I also wasn't using it as often as I am now- so hopefully I can get through most of this batch before it goes bad.     

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Re-useable Snack Baggies

 I made some snack baggies for my mom for Christmas last year, but I wanted to make some for myself and I had some ideas for improvement. The ones I made for her were fine, but I just didn't like the way they folded and closed up, plus I wanted to use a different liner. 

This time I went with a velcro closing and a ziploc plastic liner. 
I Love the results!!!!
 They are easy, practical, and convenient! The plastic lining is easy to clean out, and makes it more versatile.
 I am totally tooting my own horn. I love these baggies and I use them every day!
 Perfect for fruits, crackers, chips, cheese, sandwiches, popcorn, etc. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Homemade Toothpaste

 Here is just another recipe in my all too consuming quest to become a self sufficient, frugal, homesteader. It all started with my Homemade Cleaning Solutions and I have been hooked ever since. It is going to take me a long time to be where I ideally want to live my life, but I am starting slowly and surely. Since there are so many different things out there to do that fall in all those categories, I have simply started with the things that I ran out of first. Toothpaste being one of them...


 I will still be experimenting with different recipes for a while, but after trying a couple, I decided I liked this one enough to make it a second time, so I figured it was probably worth posting about.

Homemade Toothpaste
 8 Tablespoons Baking Soda
4 Tablespoons coconut oil (warmed to a liquid)
2 teaspoons peppermint  oil
Organic Stevia- add according to taste. I only added like 1 1/2 packet to mine.

Mix all the ingredients together in a jar. Since my bathroom is super cold, it stays pretty solid, so I keep a spoon in there to scoop it up onto my toothbrush.

I wasn't quite used to the baking soda taste, but after a while it wasn't so bad. My teeth feel clean, and while my breathe isn't fire minty, it does feel and smell fresh. Its so nice knowing what exactly is in my toothpaste, and being able to pronounce and identify every ingredient :) 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Homemade Shampoo

I have always been the type of person who wants to do good things for my body and my environment, and to be healthy. Cancer runs deep in my family (both sides) so that is always in the back of my mind. My boyfriend has totally opened my eyes to all the different things in life that aren't exactly the best for my body. I used to think he was totally crazy and always paranoid, but the longer I am with him, the more he rubs off on me. In fact, I have taken it to a whole new level than him. I am in the process of making anything and everything I possibly can in my house homemade. This encompasses anything from decorations to food, to make up and anything I use on a daily basis. I would love to be as self sufficient as possible, but of course that is going to take a really long time.

There are so many ingredients that are put into our products that are known to cause cancer and to be toxic to your body. When you look in the ingredients list on any product in your house you should be able to pronounce and recognize every one of them! Sadly, this isn't the case :(

For now, I am starting off slowly with my Homemade Cleaning Solutions, and some other Beauty Supplies for the Body which I will share as I test and approve ;) 
I am in the process of testing out some different recipes for toothpaste, deodorant, lotions, and  moisturizers, but I am done testing out this recipe for my Homemade Shampoo.
I love this shampoo so much that I haven't even tried a different recipe. Its amazing!
I have short, curly, frizzy hair, and since I have been using this shampoo I have noticed that my hair is less frizzy and my curls are easier to control and maintain. My curls are tight and adorable now and I am able to just let my hair air dry without doing anything to it or adding in any products! And seriously, I haven't EVER been able to do that!

Homemade Shampoo Recipe
1/2 cup distilled water
1/2 cup liquid Castile Soap (I used lavender scented)
4 tsp Grapeseed Oil
20 drops peppermint essential oil
20 drops tea tree oil

Mix all ingredients in bottle or container. The solution is thin and runny, but don't be fooled- it lathers up great and smells amazing. Since it is thin though, you might even be able to use a spray bottle and just spray it on your head.    

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Painted Pots for Wedding Shower

A good family friend of ours got married back in December (goes to show just how much I have been lagging on my blogging) and I was asked to decorate some pots for the wedding shower. I did these ones in my garden and everybody loved them!

The pots were first spray painted white, and then I just used a bold permanent marker and drew the designs free-hand. I then went back over with a fine tip pen and drew in a couple more little details.  It was much easier for me to use a pen and draw the designs on than paint them like I did my last ones. Plus it was quicker and didn't need as much time to dry. After I was done, I sprayed a clear coating over the outside to protect the design and on the inside to help keep the pot from absorbing up too much of the water. The plants won't last as long if the terra cotta pot is sucking up all the water.

The wedding invitations had this cute little black scroll design to them, so I used that as the inspiration behind the design.

The plants and pots were all prizes for some of the games we played, but I made a big special one for the bride and groom with their names and the year at the top.

This was what the tables turned out like. The bags were a lucky find from Palace and inside there were little things for each guest to take home: mirror, lip gloss, chapstick, nail polish, and candy.
These pots were a HUGE success and people really loved winning them- especially when they found out that somebody there actually took time out of their day to make them. It made me feel really good and I was happy I could do something like that for the bride and groom.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Re-usable Towel Roll

I have had these rolls on my list for quite some time now. Since I have a couple co-workers who also like to get down and crafty, we decided to get together and have a crafting day. Which, by the way, is super awesome! It is so much better to craft and get creative with a group of people, rather than tucked into a dark closet by yourself (no, seriously, that is where I do my crafting).
 My project for the day was to make a re-usable towel roll that snapped together. I made one for my mom, and one for my boyfriends mom. They were such a huge hit that now I not only have to make one for myself, but I also have orders coming in from other family members.
I got some fat quarters and snaps from my local fabric store, and then got the terry cloth from dish towels at the dollar store. I cut them up into squares, and sewed them both together.

The sewing was actually the easiest part ( I am a beginner when it comes to sewing and my machine) but the dang snaps were a b****. I believe the tool I was using was pretty chinsy and cheap, but it just took too long and I kept ruining snaps- thus wasting a bunch and running out before I was able to finish both sets. Actually, I have decided that I either need a better tool, or next time I am going to just try velcro. I think velcro might work better, because you won't have to pull too hard to get one towel off.

I made them each 5 squares long. I felt like that was a pretty good number to be able to use them up, and not run out too fast. If you are super savy with your laundry (unlike myself) you can even wash them before you use all the squares up.
I have been super stoked on this project, and I will most certainly be doing it again for myself in the very near future. All I need is a trip to the dollar store! In fact, I see a weekend project coming into place!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Re-usable Snack Bags

These little guys were a part of my Christmas crafting gifts. In my attempt to be green, and more self sustained I decided to tackle these for my mom. I wanted little bags that could easily be re-used day after day, and were easy to clean. After searching around the internet, and pinterest I found this idea of fusing together plastic grocery bags to be able to sew on them. It was pretty easy too, and all I had to do was iron bags together with parchment paper over them until they essentially melted together. I did only one layer at a time, and because I am picky I cut up my bags so there weren't any letters or writing showing. The idea behind this is really a good one, but I'm not sure of the effects of long term use with the plastic grocery bags on your food. Next time I think I am actually going to try just using ziploc bags. That being said, the process was really simple and I just used bags and fabric that I already had on hand.

I cut up the plastic and the fabric into long wide strips and then folded down a tab at one end and sewed away! 
Now you can have dry foods as well as wet foods (such as fruit or anything like that) and still be able to wash out your cute little bag, and then re-use it tomorrow! Stoked!

This is the bag all closed up. I just folded it up like a sandwich bag. The way that the sides fold up kind of bothers me though. I think next time I am going to just do some velcro, and have a fold down flap. Just cause my OCD really kicks in with things like that...
I really enjoyed doing this project, and loved the outcome of them. This will definitely be on my list of things to do for myself soon. I will let you know about any changes that I made to them too!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sharpie Decorated Bowl and Plate

This was another little project that I did for Christmas this year. This was for my families white elephant gift exchange. While normally this particular gift exchange is gag gifts, I had extra and went with cute and interchangeable
I picked up a couple random pieces of white glass at my local Homegoods store (for super cheap!) and then drew my design and baked it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 250 degrees. 

They came out pretty amazing, if I do say so myself!! I like that the two pieces go together, but they also look adorable separated. 

It just so happened that my aunt, the first person to open this gift was willing to fight to keep it. Its not pictured, but I wrote "Made with love from Meghan" on the bottom of each piece, and the date. She said that she got chills when she opened it, and this was something that she really wanted to keep in the family for as long as possible. I know its really not that big of a deal, but to hear somebody say something like that about a gift I made really made my heart swell. I felt really proud that I made something considered that special to someone else... 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sharpie Decorated Coffee Mugs

 I made these cuties for my brother for Christmas. My mom got him one of those Kurig coffee makers, so I picked up some plain white coffee mugs, and got to work with my sharpie. 

When I finished with the design, I put them in the oven on 250 degrees for about 30 minutes to set the ink. 
I thought they turned out cute, and my brother was pretty jazzed on them as well!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Crochet Dish Towels

 For Christmas this year, I made most of my gifts. And they pretty much all revolved around cleaning. I figured they were things that everybody could benefit from. Over the course of the week, I will be sharing some of the different gifts I made. Starting off with these crochet dish towels. They were really easy to make, and took no time at all. In fact, once I was done, I decided that I had to go get more yarn and make some for myself!

I chose some bright fun colors, and got to work!
They came out to a pretty nice size, where you can use them to simply dry your hands, or you can use them to scrub your dishes and counter tops. Whatever your needs are! 
I folded them in half, and held them all together with a ribbon. They were a pretty big hit!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Organized Pantry

I am almost always on a quest for more/better organization ideas. I really need everything to be organized in a way that makes sense, is easy to keep up on, and looks pleasing to the eye. After surfing around on pinterest, I finally decided that I was going to tackle my pantry. Since I don't have a lot of space in there, I really needed to be clever, and efficient. So off to Ross I went, and gathered together my supplies. I purchased some baskets, different kinds of racks, jars, and some plastic containers. 
This is where I stopped, so I could evaluate my progress. I decided to leave it this way for a bit until I was sure that it made sense, and the men in the house were even able to understand my system (which can be a little challenging! Who knew, not everybody thinks exactly like me!)
This is the very top two shelves. They are for things that we don't get into that often. In fact, the top shelf is actually for items that we never use, but are good to have in case of an emergency. Yes, its a little bare, but this is something we are working towards. With the limited storage we have in this house, its hard to find the space to have a large stockpile of necessities. Anyways, the lower shelf stores canned fruits, and soups, on the left, and my boyfriends vitamins and protein shakes.

This next shelf stores my baking supplies. In the basket are baking mixes and frosting jars. On the left are my jars of Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, and Powdered Sugar.

Up close of baking basket

This is the breakfast shelf. This is where you can find all things breakfast! The plastic containers on the right hold cereals, and the to the left of that is all the pancake mix.

The breakfast basket holds oatmeal. I know, we have a lot of oatmeal... My boyfriend likes to stock up on oatmeal for emergencys as well. They stay good for a really long time, and only require hot water to make. Actually as I'm typing this out, I am thinking the Quaker Oats canisters should be on our very top shelf...

This shelf holds snacks and sides. The plastic containers to the left hold chips and crackers. The little white tub holds other snacks such as trail mix and seaweed.

The basket on the right holds all of our rice and pasta sides, as well as some gravy packets.
The last shelf on the bottom holds our pasta and sauces. There are spaghetti noodles in one container, quinoua in another behind the noodles, and rice in the round jar. I haven't gotten to all of the labeling and whatnot yet. I was hoping to decorate the back of the shelves, maybe line the shelves themselves and then label everything. I guess I just really wanted to make sure this was an effecient way to keep the pantry before I took on the task of trying to figure out how to label those baskets. I know, that shouldn't be too hard but sometimes I just get stuck on the simple things.