Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday Mini's


Monday Mini Time

Hair DIY Ideas

Mini #1

Need to perk up your hair color? Here is a natural DIY way to do so!

Mini #2

Really wanting long hair but impatient for it to grow? The next couple mini's will encourage hair growth.

1. Give yourself a hair hot oil massage. My favorites are coconut oil and argan oil. The argan oil can be pricey, especially if you use the good stuff. Save that for once in a great while. However, coconut oil is readily available.

2. Aloe vera gel will make your hair grow! Here are the why's and how's!

Mini #3

Moisturize your hair so you don't have one of these! How? Avocado and loads of other home DIY's for great hair!

Mini #4

Every woman longs for shiny lovely hair. You can have it! Here's how!

Mini #5

Healthy hair can be so easy! I've blogged about this before, but apple cider vinegar (organic) is amazing in your hair! Read about how to simply rinse and go. I keep a bottle in my shower.

Enjoy this DIY Mini Monday...leave me your comments below! And don't forget to subscribe!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

DIY Without Breaking the Bank

Is DIY'ing Costing You Too Much Money?
How to DIY without breaking the bank
I understand. You started out doing DIY projects with good intentions. For me, I knew I'd save loads of money by making my own laundry detergent. And, I do. Since then, I've made some wise investments in my DIY supply purchases and some not so wise ones.

Who can blame me after all? I was so excited and DIY'ing rapidly became a hobby instead of just a way to save money and eliminate a vast majority of chemicals in my family's life. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that. Hobbies can be a great thing; giving one a passion for something, and serving (hopefully) a useful purpose in one's life.

Hobbies or missions (that is what I call my DIY obsession now) can also be all consuming money-drainers if you aren't careful. Admit it. You have purchased enough DIY supplies to choke a horse by now, haven't you? No? Well, if not, I'm here to make sure you don't. At least not unless you are really using all those supplies.

The trick here is this: be wise, shop with your head, don't over do it all at once, and shop around.

Be wise

Don't invest a ton of money in a single item unless you are really sure you'll use it more than once. Save the big purchases (HUGE box of baking soda, for example) for the items you already know you love and can't live without. It may sound like a great idea to buy the super-size bottle of jojoba oil because, even though you've never used it before, you have tons of DIY recipes for it! NO! Start off with a small bottle to try it. 

Shop with your head

Do not shop in a DIY frenzy. You know what that feels like don't you? I sure do. You've spent the evening browsing Pinterest (LOVE Pinterest) and Google for DIY recipes. You've been making a list of items you need for different projects. Before you know it, you have 20 items on your list. Perhaps you are just starting DIY'ing. That is usually when the frenzies begin. Can you really afford all that? Is this going to save you any money in the long run? If not, is the trade-off (less chemicals, etc) worth it. If not, trim your list down. 

Don't over do it all at once

I can't stress enough. Go slow. Buy the basics and slowly build up your DIY supplies. You might ask, as a new DIY'er what the basics are. There are a couple ways to go about this. One way is to buy the items most often used in DIY recipes (beauty, health, home, etc). 

This list for beauty might look like this:

Baking soda
Coconut oil
Kitchen basics (eggs, lemons, etc.)
Shea butter
Some containers (better yet, recycle!)
A set of measuring spoons and other tools

Another way to go about this is to make a list of say, 5 recipes you want to try first. Set yourself a limit of that many and do not add any at first. Use those recipes to make your list. Try to find 5 that use similar ingredients. Then, add one a week, or one a month.

Either way, you are thinking smart this way. If you go all hog wild, you just might turn your DIY hobby/mission into a money pit, instead of a smart way to enhance your life. You really do not need every essential oil there is up front. One or two is plenty.

Shop around

This one is very important. Shopping around becomes more important once you figure out that you really like an ingredient or supply. It's okay to buy a tiny bottle of peppermint essential oil at your local health food store when you are trying it for the first time. Note ** You can find way better deals online, even at the beginning** However, did you know you can find it way cheaper at Amazon? Or, you can even search for websites specializing in essential oils. Note **Stay tuned for my resource page, coming soon**

Update 10/1/13: Visit my resource page

If you know for a fact you love baking soda. Perhaps you've seen my posts on all the uses for it. Shameless plugs here, here, and here. Or, maybe you've used it in everything from beauty, to cooking, to no-poo shampoo, etc. Should you get a little tiny box at the grocery store? No, absolutely not. Get a economy size box online or locally and save yourself some money.

Compare prices and get your money's worth. If you follow these tips, your DIY journey will be a lifelong one.

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Monday, September 30, 2013

It's time for Monday Mini's!

Monday Mini's
Little Tips to Start Your Week
For this week, Monday Mini's will focus on home DIY remedies! We'll talk about corns, morning sickness, and much more. Enjoy!

Mini #1
Corns are no fun. They hurt like the devil and are really unattractive. Of course, there is a very simple DIY for them and you probably have the remedy in your kitchen. Banana peels and duct tape! Yup! Use your kitchen scissors and cut a piece of banana peel big enough to cover the corn and duct tape it around your foot to secure it. I owe this Mini to my friend at school Julie. She has actually done this and it took that corn away. Gone. The science behind it can be found online in many places. This website explains it and other remedies for corns.

Mini #2
Dandruff is very annoying, looks like you don't care about your appearance sometimes (even though you do, of course), and is uncomfortable and itchy. There are some simple ways to combat this pesky problem. 1.  Aloe Vera; rub it into the scalp and leave it on for 15 min and then rinse out. 2. Baking soda; apply a thick paste to scalp. Leave on for about 5-10 min and rinse out well. Or, add a spoonful to your handful of shampoo. 3. Tea Tree Oil; apply a few drops to your handful of shampoo and scrub away. Make sure to rinse well. 4. Garlic and lemon paste; apply directly to the scalp and rinse well after leaving on for about 5 minutes. 5. Shampoo twice; you can do this in combination with the others. The first shampoo loosens all the flakes while the second really dislodges them.

Mini #3
Grow longer hair faster, the DIY way. Of course, coconut oil is the answer! Give yourself a hot oil coconut oil massage and leave on for about an hour with a towel or something to keep the heat in. Rinse well and shampoo afterwards. It will deep condition and encourage hair growth as well.

Mini #4
Morning sickness plaguing you? Here is a natural remedy; safe for you and baby. Drink spa water; easy to make and easy to get down for most pregnant women. Add a few pieces of fruit (strawberries, etc) or cucumbers to your ice cold water.
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Is insomnia killing your productive time during the day? Well, you can get better sleep at night with a DIY. Add 2 tsp of honey to a glass of water and drink it down. You'll sleep like a baby.

Now, it's your turn! What would you add to this list? Add it in the comments below!


Friday, September 27, 2013

DIY Blogs I Like to Read

My Favorite DIY Blogs
It is a DIY paradise

DIY blogs and websites are popping up everywhere on the internet these days. How do you know which ones to read? Which ones to follow or comment on?

Here are the ones I like to read and follow. I frequently link to them and I read them regularly.

 1. One of my all time favorite websites is One Good Thing by Jillee. This page will take you to her newest post on apple cider vinegar. I use ACV for a lot, like my hair rinse/conditioner. This blog post taught me quite a bit. Check out more of her site like the recipe and the craft sections!

 2. My second favorite is Little Ms Robinson: DIY for heart and home. This site is where I got the recipe for my all purpose spray cleaner. I use this magic stuff everywhere. She has 5 homemade cleaners on this page, complete with printable labels! She has great information, but I have noticed no updates since April of this year. I do hope she updates soon!

 3. Next up is Budget 101. I've got your link set to open up to one of my favorite pages on this site. One of my main goals for me and you, my readers, is to save money. This page will help you to do just that by making mixes you'll use for cooking. Everything from cocoa mix to the, now popular baking in a cup mixes. Browse around her site and make sure and bookmark it or better yet subscribe.

4. My merry messy life is a great site with wonderful and useful ideas. Read this page on room freshener. Not only does it have a great recipe, but it is quite enlightening. 

5. Check out Delighted Momma for so much information, you could read all day. Her cocoa mask is heavenly.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brush and Whiten in One Step

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It is so easy to make your own toothpaste with whiteners!

Get the pearly white smile you really want! The DIY way!

What you'll need:

Coconut oil (organic is best) 3 tbsp
Baking soda 3 tbsp
Peppermint essential oil (or any oil you like, *try cinnamon*) 25 drops
Vegetable glycerin 2 tsp
Hydrogen peroxide 1tsp

What you'll do:

This one is super easy. Add your baking soda to your coconut oil and mash into a paste. Add the glycerin and peroxide and mix well. Add your essential oil. You are done. Store in a covered container in your bathroom.


The original recipe for this toothpaste I found here.

I adapted it because I didn't like the Stevia and I wanted to add the extra power of peroxide. I love this toothpaste. My teeth have never been this white.

Check out her site though, because if you love DIY, you'll really love it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

DIY Fails: Been there, done that

Check out Amazon for your DIY supply list!
Top Reasons DIY's Fail
 And how to be smart about them
  1. Ingredients are impossible or difficult to find
  2. The method is hard to follow for the average person
  3. It simply does not work for everyone (and you are that someone)
  4. No one has actually tried it; just re-posted it everywhere and it doesn't work, period.
  5. It is more expensive to make than to buy and not as effective
  6. It is extremely time consuming; not worth the effort
  7. It causes allergies or break-outs on skin
  8. It ruins something; furniture, carpet, you name it
  9. Directions are unclear and/or pictures inadequate
  10. The DIY'er failed to follow directions
All of these have happened to me at one point or another when trying some type of DIY project, be it beauty, home, or health. So why is the public obsessed with DIY'ing? Why do I have this website? Why do I and others continue to DIY when there are so many FAILS? 
The reason is simple. When it goes well, it is so worth it. When you do a lot of them, like me, it is amazing, fun, and saves me money among other things.
Also, people like to DIY. They like feeling of being industrious and clever. 
Of course, the fails are frustrating. But, don't stop trying! Just be cautious. Below are some cautions on DIY experimenting.
  1. Don't jump into the deep end. Try one DIY at a time. 
  2. Do buy supplies as needed at first. Example: You like beauty DIY but instead of buying everything at your health store all at once, invest in an item or two at a time. 
  3. For beauty DIY, go easy on your skin. Test items with unfamiliar ingredients on less sensitive parts of your skin first before you slather things all over your face
  4. Price things out for cost-effectiveness before you buy. 
  5. Search for fails online for the DIY you want to try and then be objective about what you read
What are your funniest or worst DIY fails yet?
Leave them in the comments below!  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Container Repurposing Series: Part III

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My Favorite Repurposed Containers

A little here, a little there

Liquid Creamer Containers
These babies could be used for any number of things around the home. Here are just a few: drink bottles, cereal or snack keeper for your kiddos, homemade salad dressing, baking needs that you don't want to keep in bags like baking chips or chopped nuts, make-shift bowling pins (fill w/sand or rice) and many more here. Here is a great birthday idea! Any other great ideas for these flip-top sturdy containers? Leave it in the comments below!

Spice Jars
Use these  handy containers for all sorts of crafty items like beads, sequins, glitter (especially good with the shake-top lids), embroidery floss, etc. Small items belonging to your children like crayons, marbles, jacks. Re-use for your own dried spices. Keep one with baking soda in your bathroom to clean, brush teeth with, deodorize. Any others?

 Salad Dressing Bottles (with and without squeeze top)
For bottles with a squeeze top: fill with pancake mix and make pancake time so much easier, fill with vinegar after buying in the economy size bottles
For bottles w/or w/o: remove cap and use for a small vase 
What can you think of?

Small Glass Jars
You might have seen people uses baby food jars for magnetic spice jars, hanging planters, etc. Well, you can do the same thing with these minced garlic jars (and others). Use them to hold screws or nails in the garage. Paint them and store crafty items in them. Decorate with Washi tape and use them for homemade cosmetics. 

Other squeeze-top bottles

Examples of these are mustard, ketchup, dressings, syrup, jelly, and the list goes on. You can re-purpose these for your own homemade versions or use them for sour cream or vinegar. Use them for squeezing icing on a bundt cake. How about powdered sugar? Is your mind reeling yet?

Cocoa Containers, etc.
So many food items come packaged this way! Strip the label off and use for toys, crafts, sewing, other food items that are packaged in bags or unsealable boxes (rice, chocolate chips, potato flakes).
Here is an easy and chemical free way to remove labels from glass or plastic...peanut butter! And, it is finger lickin good!
Please leave your comments below for ways you repurpose or upcycle!

See parts I and II for more great ideas!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Introducing Monday Mini's

Monday  Mini's
Little Tips to Start Your Week

Today I'm starting a new segment to start off your week (and mine) on a positive note! It's called Monday Mini's. Every Monday, I will post 5-10 quick tips for home or beauty. These will be things you can do yourself in just a few minutes to make your Monday better. Enjoy! 

 Mini #1

I found the cutest little teenager (girl?) on Pinterest and followed her over to YouTube. I had heard about the Kool-aid lip stain trend and was searching on that when I discovered this video. She explains how to make both a liquid stain and a balm. I'm not a fan of the balm, only because I don't like using Vaseline. But, the stain is so fast and easy! And I'm in love with it.

Basically, you mix Kool-aid (I used cherry) and water until the sugar crystals dissolve. I put mine in a little jar and just keep it on my make-up table. I put it on with a cotton swab and wow! I have tinted lips for quite a while. It tastes good too, although avoid licking because it will dry your lips out! **it really would be best to exfoliate your lips first because it shows up darker on chapped areas. See how here.**

Mini #2
Although I make most of my cosmetics myself, eye make-up is one thing I do splurge on. I especially like Sephora eyeliners in the fat stick. They are amazing. Anyway, I use bright colors most often. I found a way to make those bright colors pop! I have one of those sticks in white. If you color your whole lid in white, and let it set, it will make those bright colors really stand out! Check out this and many other tips here.

Mini #3
Beets? Yup! For a little natural color on your cheeks, cut a raw beet and rub it's juices on your cheeks. It will give you a rosy glow the DIY and natural way. *works on lips too*

Mini #4

Pour a beer over your hair after your normal poo and rinse routine. Both hops and yeast are great for adding volume and shine. An added bonus; the acidic content of beer will help remove product build-up!

Mini #5
Blenders are not just for smoothies and margaritas ( although that is a great idea). Mix up some home concoctions for beauty! Watch for recipes here or search Pinterest! 

Mini #6
Use this silverware tray as a jewelry organizer after hanging on the wall. Check out pics and more great ideas here

Mini #7
Got this idea on Pinterest but no directions. Right in time for Halloween, some brown make-up with a bit of a C-curve with eyeliner and you will be looking all leopard. Might do this one myself!

Mini #8
Three body refreshers; hair, face, and feet! Easy to make and wonderful to use.

Mini #9

Need Christmas gifts (or any gift for that matter)? Try mixes in mason jars (or up-cycle some other food jars). Find loads of recipes online. I found a fantastic website that does just that.

Mini #10
Halloween party this year!? Oh yes, pumpkin DIY decorations!

Have fun DIY'ing!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Make Your Own Scented Lip balm

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Make it fruity, or minty, or whatever you like!

It's up to you!
What you'll need:

Organic raw honey 3 tsp
Organic Coconut oil 3 tbsp
Shea butter 3 tsp
Essential oils (if desired)

What you'll do:

In a double boiler or a bowl on top of a small saucepan, heat your ingredients until liquified, except for essential oil(s). 
You'll notice the honey will settle a bit at the bottom; that is perfectly okay. Take the liquified ingredients in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. It will get semi-solid. Take your hand mixer and use until fluffy. Add essential oils and spoon into container(s).


This mixture smells divine and sweet without any essential oils. If, however, you add them do this: add a few drops and stir each time, adding more as you go until you achieve the scent desired. Organic honey is powerful smelling so you may need to add several drops.

I used different oils since I was making the balm for different people. If you do this, you can add your oils after you separate the mixture for your different containers.

This balm feels great on your lips and tastes good too. Its not sticky and lasts a good while. 

You could also pour it into tubes if you have empty ones. I plan to experiment with this later.

If you don't need as much lip balm, cut the recipe in thirds to make one small container or tube.


The Wonders of Baking Soda Part III

Baking Soda Throughout the House
 10 Ways to freshen up

What you'll need:

Baking soda
Assorted other common ingredients

Shampooing your carpet 
1/2 cup baking soda w/ 1 gal warm water in a bucket. Sprinkle additional baking soda on specific stains. *always test for colorfastness*
Carpet Stain Removal

Sprinkle the stain immediately with baking soda. Leave on until wine or other liquid absorbed, then vacuum up residue.
Fresh those carpets!
Monthly, sprinkle plain baking soda before going to bed and vacuum in the morning. Or for an overnight deodorizing, add this to your carpet: 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup cornstarch and 15 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Rid fleas from your carpet
Sprinkle one cup baking soda with 15 drops of rosemary, pennyroyal, or citronella pure essential oil and leave on overnight. Vacuum in the morning.

Prevent ice slips and falls
Sprinkle baking soda on your front steps and walkway. It will provide traction and melt the ice.

Maintain pH in your septic tank
Wash a cup of baking soda down your drain one a week. pH is important to break down waste and liquify. Also it helps prevent concrete corrosion.

Eliminate smoke odors on upholstery in car or home
Sprinkle generously with baking soda and let set for several minutes before vacuuming.

Freshen mops and household rags
Mix 4 tbsp of baking soda per quart of warm water to soak mops and rags, rinse and let dry.

Keep your suitcase fresh inside
Sprinkle inside of suitcase with baking soda before storing away for your next trip

Reduce ashtray odor
Sprinkle a small bit of baking soda in the bottom of the ashtray

Tips from Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, and Frugal Uses You've Probably Never Thought of by Vicki Lansky 
 Part IV Coming soon and involves the closets and laundry. Subscribe so you don't miss it!