sugar scrub.

I have lately taken a simpler approach to facial care.

Each night I use my coconut oil mix to remove makeup, followed by a hot towel.

For spots that I’d like gone, I use a drop of melaleuca (tea tree oil).

For a cleanser in the shower, I use a squirt of my body wash.

But I needed a little exfoliant. Sugar scrub to the rescue!

I used an extremely simple recipe … brown sugar and raw honey. Brown sugar is a little softer than white, so that was a better option for me. Raw honey has some amazing properties to it that made me feel good about using it on my skin. Raw honey, when compared to pasteurized honey, has not been heated and processed, so it retains its bee pollen and all that makes it amazing. Similar to many essential oils, it has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It is an antioxidant and promotes skin healing. There are so many uses for raw honey, both when used on skin and taken internally. Read about them! 🙂

For my sugar scrub, I used a 1:1 ratio, adding an extra scoop of sugar for the extra “grit” that I wanted. Mixing the ingredients right in my mason jar, this took me all of 3 minutes!

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Brown Sugar & Honey Scrub
1/4 cup + 1 T of brown sugar (can use raw sugar if you’d like)
1/4 cup raw honey

Combine and use on your face or body!

Enjoy!

*note: the ingredients will separate, so you’ll need to quickly mix them before using

body and face wash.

As I continue to work towards healthy, nontoxic, homemade beauty products, I looked for a good body wash. I tried a few different recipes and this is one that I have enjoyed the most and have been using for the past 6 months or so. It is smooth and moisturizing, without leaving residue on my skin. It doesn’t lather quite as much as your standard body wash or bar soap, but I quickly got used to that. I can feel really good about what I’m putting on my skin (and, therefore, IN my body!), and I never have to run to store. When I run out, I just whip up another batch!

BONUS: This has also become my face wash! Two-in-one? Yes, please!

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Body Wash
Ingredients
1/2 cup liquid castile soap (I use lavender. You can find it at any health store or even Target!)
1/4 raw honey
2 T oil (I use almond or apricot, but you can also use grapeseed, jojoba, or olive)

optional to add:
vitamin E oil
any essential oils – lavender, melaleuca, or frankincense would be great options!

Mix all the ingredients together in a bottle with a squirt top (I got mine from Hobby Lobby). Shake well to mix.
Shake gently before each use. Use on a washcloth or loofa.

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Enjoy!

knit maxi skirt.

It’s summer! It’s maxi skirt season. But, really, isn’t every season maxi skirt season?? Summer also means time to sew! Why not sew some maxi skirts! I found this great little tutorial from Cotton and Curls – she has a TON of sewing tutorials if you’re interested – and I ran with it. Starting with a few maxi skirts, I figured out making a dress and a shorter, lace skirt. It’s a great place to start if you want to sew some things for yourself.
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Here’s an old shot of my first dress, made starting with this tutorial and going from there. Today I put together some process pictures of my newest skirt.

Needed:
2 yds. fabric – Please note: when you are picking out fabric, make sure it is a wide-knit cotton. It should have a decent amount of stretch to it – jersey cotton is a perfect fabric!
3/4″ or 1″ elastic
scissors
thread to match your fabric

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1. Take some measurements…
-Waist: This can be wherever you want the skirt to sit. I like my skirts to be a little higher waisted, so I typically measure the smallest part of my waist. If you want your skirt to sit lower, that is fine! -Length: You should have enough fabric, but I always like to know how far down I want it to be. If you are making a shorter skirt, make sure you get a good measure here. IMG_1716
2. Fold your fabric in half. Take half the measure of your waist and center it at the top of your fabric. Following the diagram below, you will cut a big triangle with a flat top (being the top/your waist). Cut the waist down 2-3 in. to leave room to sew in the elastic. From there, cut at an angle down to the bottom. (This part is easiest to see on the diagram below! :)) IMG_1717
3. Put the right sides of your fabric together (“right side” means the side you want showing). Pin all the way up both sides of the skirt.
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4. Sew up both sides of the skirt.
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5. Measure your elastic. I usually do this just by wrapping it around my waist and cutting. IMG_1722

6. Sew your elastic along the top of your skirt. Fold down and sew again. IMG_1723

7. Hem up the bottom of your skirt where you want it to lie.
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And you’re done! Way to go!! Enjoy 🙂

alinechart2.jpg (558×920) (from http://www.cottonandcurls.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/alinechart2.jpg)

lotion.

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Well, Pinterest did it again. It led to me to this little website – Primally Inspired – to make some homemade lotion. I’ve stated before that I’d like to work towards using as many natural, homemade beauty products as possible. I’ve come up with my own makeup remover and deodorant. Now I can add lotion to the list!

This recipe called for beeswax, so I had to do a little research. As expected, beeswax has some wonderful properties (anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-allergenic, and germicidal antioxidant) that make it wonderful for wound healing. On a daily basis it locks in moisture, blocks out the elements, and keeps skin healthy and smooth. Also, a little bit goes a long way, so you don’t need to use too much.

There were plenty of places to find beeswax on Amazon or other websites, but to play it safe I picked some up from our local health food store. It came in a large block. I know other places sell it in pellets or smaller pieces – probably easier to melt, but the blocks worked just fine for me!

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To create my own “double boiler” I put a heat-proof bowl inside a colander inside a pot with water boiling. Easy enough.

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It took about 15-20 minutes to fully melt the beeswax (the coconut oil melted very quickly). But when it is done, it’ll be the color of the beeswax.

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Let it cool completely. You can poke a hole (like me!) to make sure it is cool. Mine was still soft, but the temperature had cooled.

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Homemade Lotion
Ingredients:
2/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup beeswax
10-20 drops of lavender oil (or any other essential oil of choice)

1. Melt the coconut oil and beeswax together in a double boiler.
2. When completely melted, add in the lavender oil.
3. Allow to cool completely. Don’t let it harden completely, but make sure that it is “softly solidified.”
4. Whisk (or beat) the mixture a bit. It will add some air and make a smoother consistency.
5. Store in an airtight container. The shelf life will be as long as the shelf life of the coconut oil you used.

A few notes:
A little bit of this goes a long way. Don’t feel any need to lather up.
-Since the main ingredient is coconut oil, it will likely harden up. If you need to soften it, run your container under hot water.
-Cleaning the bowl or whisk or any materials you use might be tough. You are using oils and wax 🙂 I found using a lemon cut in half to break the oil was very helpful. Or, if you have any lemon essential oil, that should cut through the grease. If you don’t want to deal with that, I’ve seen people melt the oil and beeswax right in the mason jar (in the double boiler) – that would work just fine!

Enjoy!

diy deodorant.

My coworkers looked at me with questioning looks.
My husband said I was officially getting weird.
I didn’t break a sweat!

As I explained to my coworkers, I’ve been trying to look at the beauty products that are a part of my routine and attempting to remove as many chemicals from them as possible. I made an eye cream that has actually become my nightly makeup remover (instead of those oily chemicals!). I’ve tried a few different facial scrubs, still working to find one that I like the best. And then I decided that I wanted to make my own deodorant.

Why deodorant? Well, I have always been pretty sweaty, and it is not easy to find a deodorant that keeps that under control. Also, I hate (hate, hate, hate) that when I’ve worn a shirt for the day, and I’ve done my very best to not spill on it, the underarms smell like day-old deodorant. And that’s gross. And, most importantly, chemicals. The main ingredient in deodorants is an aluminum-based compound. While there are not any conclusive studies linking deodorants with cancer, the idea of aluminum being absorbed in an area where there are so many lymph nodes simply makes me nervous. I have no science behind that – only my deductive reasoning, which is not saying a lot. 🙂 But, for what it’s worth …

For my own peace of mind, I’ve made the switch. I found quite a few “recipes,” and put together this one. Baking soda is the main ingredient. Baking soda is a wonderful moisture absorber, and it also neutralizes odor! It balances out pH, so any time is comes into contact with anything too acidic or too alkaline, its natural effect is to balance it. So beyond using it as a deodorant, there a TON of other uses (freshen your mouth, clean makeup brushes, washing dishes, cleaning coffee pots, cleaning surfaces, and on and on!).

In addition to baking soda, I used coconut oil and a few essential oils. Most people know that I love my essential oils! Most are antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and can be used in so many ways! I use melaleuca (tea tree oil) daily on my skin to keep it clear. I use lavender regularly as a stress-reducer and an anti-inflammatory for my skin. And I use frankincense when I want to brighten my skin or as a mood balancer! When I know I’m going to have a busy or stressful day, I’ll put a drop on the back of my neck in the morning and have a sense of peace all day. It is also anti-cancer (there are some crazy stories), so I definitely included it in my deodorant.

I’ve used this deodorant for a week now, and I LOVE it. I have been completely dry, odor-free (if I smell like anything, it’s essential oils), and my shirts don’t have that terrible smell at the end of the day! It is definitely a little bit chalkier than regular deodorant (if you want, add a little more coconut oil or a little water), but for the most part, it is very comparable to any other deodorant!

DIY Deodorant

1/2 cup baking soda (if you have sensitive skin, try using 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 arrowroot)
5-6 T coconut oil, melted
10 drops lavender oil
10 drops melaleuca oil
5 drops frankincense oil

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Mix the baking soda and coconut oil together in a bowl. Mix in enough coconut oil until the mixture has a doughy texture, like this.

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Add in your essential oils. Mix well. Then spoon into an old deodorant container.

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(Shh… it’s not Secret :))

Enjoy!

25 and fighting wrinkles.

I am fully aware that 25 years old is very young. But it is definitely older than I used to be, and therefore I am starting to see changes in my body. Some are good, some are not. Even my husband said today that he felt like he needed something for wrinkles forming around his eyes.

I wanted to find a simple eye cream that I could make with things I already had on hand, would really rejuvenate my skin, and hopefully prevent some aging that I already see. Since the skin around the eye is about 10 times thinner than the rest of the skin on our bodies, it needs a lot of extra care. That care should include moisturizers, vitamins, and herbal extracts (particularly essential oils).

Coconut oil is growing in popularity and one of the best things you can have in your home. Cooking, skin care, hair care – you can use it for everything! Coconut oil is great for dry and flaky skin and for preventing wrinkles and aging. It is also a good immune support, and since our skin is one our body’s first defense systems, why would I not use it on my skin?

Vitamin E oil is a strong antioxidant that prevents aging, skin cancer, and the appearance of skin spots and stretch marks.

Lavender is a soothing essential oil that has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties that are wonderful for all skin types!
Frankincense is one of the most sought after essential oils with extremely powerful properties. It also is antifungal, anti-inflammatory, astringent, and cellular protective.

Taking these 3 simple ingredients, I made a wonderful little eye cream that hopefully will have me singing its praises in another 25 years!

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I melted my coconut oil in the microwave for just 20-25 seconds.

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I poked a hole in the Vitamin E capsule and squeezed out the oil.
Then I added in my Lavender and Frankincense.

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I put it in the refrigerator to get it back to a solid.

We’ve got eye cream!

Ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 capsules of Vitamin E
5 drops of Lavender
2 drops of Frankincense

Process:
1. Melt the coconut oil for 20-25 seconds in the microwave.
2. Poke holes in the Vitamin E capsules and squeeze them into the melted oil.
3. Add in your lavender and frankincense.
4. Refrigerate your oil until it returns to a solid (about an hour).

*depending on the temperature, you may need to keep the coconut oil in the refrigerator to keep it a solid. as we move into winter, I am not worried about keeping it a solid!