Category Archives: Homemaking

Bright & Cheery Living Room on a Budget

cheery-living-room-decor-on-a-budgetIt was almost a year ago that my husband first laid eyes on the house that would become our first home. When he brought me back to tour this place with our realtor I instantly saw visions of us decorating the nursery, bringing home our son, and watching him grow up in this wonderful place. But aside from the sweet sentimental (5 months pregnant at the time!) woman in me, I saw all my Pinterest boards coming to life before my very eyes! After a more than 2 year search for our dream home, my Pinterest boards were full of inspirations for decorating that I just couldn’t’ wait to bring to life.

My vision was to unite my love for French Provincial decor with the fresh, cheery, colors of Key West Florida. The final product was a fusion and style all my own

And the best part of all? I DID IT ALL ON A BUDGET!

I plan to share with you every room in my house eventually but let’s start with my formal living room.

Here’s how I did it…

 

The first and most important part of putting this vision together was finding the right furniture. So it was straight to Craigslist.com for me. Craig’s List is always my #1 source for furniture. You can find amazing deals, and if you can’t find the exact piece you’re looking for you can always use your imagination to repurpose and add new life to old pieces.

(P.S. if you look closely in the photo above you can catch a sneak peak at a super cool orange ombre fondant wedding cake I did for a bride a couple weeks ago! It is a dummy cake and I thought it looked pretty awesome in my living room. :) bright-living-room-inspiration

paint-sofa-leg-upcycle-repurpose-living-room-on-a-budget-turquoiseI found the sofa for $100. All I did was add a coat of fun turquoise paint to the legs and I had a bright new statement piece!

The accent chairs took more work. I found a pair of gorgeous french provincial arm chairs for $50 each. They were originally very traditional with dark wood and neutral fabric. I wanted something that would really pop with color, marrying the classic Marie Antoinette style of the chairs with fun cheery Key West colors. chevron-throw-pillow-lime-greenI found the lime green chevron fabric at Hobby Lobby on sale and I had a 40% coupon as well! 4 yards of fabric only cost me about $19.00 and I had enough fabric leftover to make the matching little throw pillows on the sofa (The orange pillows came from Home Goods – $25 for both). The turquoise paint is the same I used to paint the legs of the sofa, and also my mantel piece on the fireplace. I still have 1/2 the can left for other projects and it only cost about $12.00. Lucky for me I have an AMAZINGLY crafty and talented aunt who hooked me up big time by painting and reupholstering the chair set for just $100. All in all these fantastic chairs set me back just over $230. repurposed-chair-turquoise-chevronThe white side tables also came from CL already painted ($100 for the pair), as did the coffee table ($30). YES!! I found a french provincial coffee table already painted orange! Seriously?? Who besides me would have the vision for an orange coffee table? Apparently my decor soulmate. The green rug was $20 from Old Time Pottery (to be completely honest I would have loved a rug about 3x that size, but we’re on a budget!). I snagged the blue vases and silk flowers from my mom (shhh don’t tell, LOL!)orange-lime-green-turquoise-chevron-living-room-modern

 

lamp-stack-of-old-books-add-heightThe lamps came from IKEA for $15 each. They ended up being a bit short in my opinion and didn’t make enough of a statement. So to make them taller I simply stacked them on some old books. Such an easy little touch that makes for a really cool look!

 

scrabble-letter-photo-box-craft-diyA sweet friend made me this awesome scrabble letter photo box for my birthday. Isn’t it awesome! It has found a lovely home on the magical orange coffee table. photo-coasters-diyFor Christmas our family decided to do homemade gifts. My creative nephew (with help from my super crafty sister!) made us a set of photo coasters with pictures he grabbed off my Facebook page! Isn’t that just the coolest thing you’ve ever seen? He did it by mod-podging photos to plain old ceramic tiles (you can pick them up at Home Depot or any home improvement store) and then sealing them with  spray sealant. I absolutely love these coasters!!

square-picture-frames-grid-oranges-diy-wall-hangingI found this lovely piece at a second hand shop. The guy in the store asked if I was looking for anything specific and I told him I wanted a french provincial sideboard. He happened to have one in his truck that he hadn’t even unloaded in the shop yet. He said he was going to paint it but if I had a specific color I wanted he would do it custom for me. So for $260 I got an antique sideboard freshly painted and distressed by hand! I couldn’t believe my luck because a search on CL for anything similar to this piece was anywhere from $400-$800!!

dunedin-floridaNow, when I moved this piece in there was such a huge piece of empty wall space above it. I knew I wanted a square grid of frames but it took some creativity to come up with what sort of art would live in those frames. Enter Dunedin, Florida. We live not far from this adorable little Florida beach town. On the facade of many buildings in “delightful Dunedin” you will find these charming paintings of oranges. There are probably 100 or more of these mysterious paintings on the fronts of antique stores, ice cream shops, restaurants, and bars. You can read the story of how they got there in the Tampa Bay Times. Its an adorable story.

So I decided that I wanted a touch of Florida in my art and what says Florida more than Oranges??dunedin-orange-mural So I strapped Luke onto my back, grabbed my camera and headed downtown. I took pictures of about 20 oranges and decided on the best nine. A little bit of photoshopping to correct the lighting and to crop each photo into a perfect square and they were ready for printing. Whenever I need high quality prints I always turn to PersnicketyPrints.com. They have never let me down AND they do 12×12 prints which is exactly what I needed for this project. All 9 prints cost me less than $20 including shipping. I also needed to find the perfect frame. 12×12 frames are surprisingly hard to come by, and they are usually pretty pricey. After several days of searching the interwebs for the right frame at the right price I came across FrameUSA.com. Not only did they have great customer service, they had gorgeous frames for cheap! This whole project cost under $75.00!

IMG_0485This fireplace originally had a hideous 1970s puke brown stone facade that thankfully the previous owners had the sense to paint white. I further modernized the mantle by adding a coat of turquoise semi-gloss paint. The map of Puerto rico was used on a real cruise ship and you can see the captain’s handwriting on it! I picked it up years ago when I worked for a cruise line. I got the frame at Michael’s on sale and with a 40% off coupon for $17.00.

The candlesticks came from Ross for about $5 each, and I had the bunch of silk flowers laying around. I just stuck them in an empty Mad Housewife wine bottle.

rattan-chevron-chair-diy-upcycleThese two chairs actually came exactly as is from Craig’s list!! I know! I’m the luckiest craiglister in the world. Honestly I just check back every day for new items in my area. Whenever something awesome comes up I jump on it right away! Having cash and a truck really helps. Someone had already up cycled these rattan chairs by painting them blue, recovering the cushions in lime green chevron fabric, and making these adorable throw pillows. They were a STEAL at $60 a piece! I really couldn’t believe I found these gems. The side table in between them was found at a thrift shop for $20. The plant is from IKEA.

SO for around $1000 I was able to completely furnish an entire living room. You can do it too! Just keep your eyes peeled for awesome deals, and use your imagination and a little creativity to come up with a style that is totally you!

 

 

 

Apple Cider Vinegar Cold Remedy

natural-cold-remedyWell I’m sick. Boo! I almost never get sick, and here I am sick as a dog for the fourth time since Luke was born (4 months ago). Now before you say my immune system is probably down due to lack of sleep I have to say that God blessed me with one of those fabled, magical, unicorn babies who has slept through the night since birth! I figure He decided to throw me a bone after all I went through. I digress.

I guess its probably just one of the joys of the postpartum phase where my body is unrecognizable and nothing works the way it used to, including my immune system.

Since I’m breastfeeding I was leary to take any over the counter medications lest I negatively affect my milk supply. So I got to thinking and googling and came up with this super awesome get-better-soon-elixer.

organic-raw-acv-apple-cider-vinegarHere’s what you need:

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Raw unfiltered organic

Honey (preferably organic, raw and local),

and a shot glass.

Raw unfiltered ACV is known to have dozens of health benefits not least of which is its ability to act as a natural expectorant by thinning mucus and draining the lymphatic system. You have to use the raw unfiltered kind, pasteurized ACV does not work as well. I found the Bragg brand at Target and you can also get it on Amazon (click on the image).

The honey not only serves to coat and soothe your sore throat, but raw local honey has wonderful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties, and works naturally to strengthen the immune system. I buy a big jar of it at the local farmer’s market, but I was fresh out when I took the picture (hence the store-bought variety shown).

To make the Elixer:

Simply pour half a shot (1 TBSP) of honey and half a shot of ACV and microwave for about 8 seconds. Stir and the shoot it down the gullet. I find its better to just chug it back rather than sip it because the ACV is a bit strong on the nostrils. The honey makes it go down smooth, and warming it up makes you feel all soft and cozy inside. I promise you will feel better after trying this! Do it 2-3 times a day and you’ll be back at it in no time.

A spoon full of HONEY makes the medicine go down in the most delightful way. :)

spoon-full-of-sugar

Now I’ve got to stop writing and go back to bed. Hope this works for you!

How to Remove Stains Using Tide

how-to-remove-kid-stainsMy mom is the best stain-getter-outer I know. I’ve brought countless pieces of clothing to her over the years so she could work her miraculous stain fighting magic on them. But since Luke was born I realized that this a talent all mothers should possess and it was time I learned my own magical stain removal tricks. Enter TIDE!tide

I never used Tide detergent until recently because it is a little more expensive than other brands. I normally use Arm & Hammer because it often goes on BOGO sale at my supermarket and I load up whenever it does. But when I started cloth diapering I read up on all the laundry recommendations and Tide Original Powder is by and large the go to detergent for moms these days. Lucky for me I got a GIANT box of it on sale at Costco, so while its not quite as cheap as BOGO, it certainly earns its keep!

Now I know I told you that you don’t have those fabled blowouts in Cloth Diapers, but let me clarify. There are a few scenarios under which that might not be the case, and I unfortunately have experienced them both. Here are some reasons cloth diapers may leak. Luke sadly had two pretty huge blowouts in two really cute outfits! It was due to user error I assure you.

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So this brings me to the point of this post. Having a little boy (and a husband for that matter) is messy. How do you get poopie stains (OR any stains!) of of the clothes? You guessed it… TIDE! FYI- Tide is not paying me to write this post, nor did they send me free product (but hey if you work for Tide and wanna share the love I’m happy to take it!). I just love sharing awesome products that actually work! Can I get an amen?

So here’s what you do. This is so simple it hurts.

clean-clothes-in-sinkPut the stopper in your sink and fill with enough warm water to cover the garment (an inch or two).You can also do this in a large bowl.

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use-tide-for-stains

Sprinkle in about 1/4c of Tide Powder (not the liquid) or up to the 1 line on the cup and stir around until it is dissolved. Toss in the soiled garment and agitate for a few seconds.2014-02-26 12.21.10

Now here’s the magical part – LEAVE IT.

That’s seriously all you do. Leave the clothes for at least an hour or as long as overnight. No need to scrub, rub, or wring anything. You can periodically check on the progress and see the stain disappearing before your eyes.

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When the stain is gone be sure to rinse the clothes very well- until you no longer see suds and the water is crystal clear.

You may find the garment smells strongly of detergent so if this irritates you baby’s skin then I’d recommend washing the garment again with you regular laundry and doing an extra rinse.

You’re welcome. ;)nice-and-clean-baby

cloth-diaper-insert-diy

DIY Dollar Store Cloth Diaper Inserts

So in my last post I talked to you about Modern Cloth Diapers and all the awesome benefits of using them! Today I want to share with you a quick and easy way to make your own Microfiber inserts to use with Pocket Diapers.

There are many different types of inserts from lots of different types of fabric, but microfiber is the main type that will come with your new diapers from the manufacturer. It is incredibly absorbent but it is important not to put microfiber directly on your baby’s skin. This is because it SO absorbent, it will actually pull moisture out of their skin and cause drying and rashes. So make sure you only use these as inserts in a pocket, or under another natural fiber insert.

photo-3All you need to do is pick up some of those microfiber cleaning cloths at the dollar store. I have found them in the auto section as drying rags for your car, and also in the cleaning section.

I found two sizes 12×12″ and 14×16″. The smaller ones are great to be used in Newborn sized diapers, or as soakers used with another insert. The larger ones are great for regular sized diapers.

make-your-own-cloth-diaper-insertsFirst cut the tags off and wash the cloths in your regular diaper laundry. Then all you do is fold them over so you have three layers. This will make your insert even more absorbent. Finally sew a simple rectangle stitch around the entire insert. And that’s it! If you have a serger that would be even better but I just have a regular sewing machine. I did make the tension on my machine very high so I could ensure nice tight, close stitches.IMG_8127

I like to use these doubled up, or folded up inside a prefold. Yes you can use prefolds as inserts too! I have some newborn prefolds that no longer fit my big boy and they work perfectly with one of these Microfiber inserts in the center for extra absorbency!

Diy-cloth-inserts

FYI – you could do this with a range of different fabrics! All you have to do is cut out a piece of fabric, fold it up, and sew it just like this. You could use old t-shirts, fleece blankets, towels… Try some different things out and see how it works!

Have you made your own inserts? What fabrics did you try?

Goodbye-disposable-Hello-Cloth-homemaker-chic

Cloth Diapers in the 21st Century

So you may or may not have picked up on the latest craze in cloth diapering in the last few years. If you follow any kind of mom group or Facebook page you will probably have come across someone, who knows someone, who is cloth diapering. You may have even seen them featured on Shark Tank. In an effort to save money, to keep my baby more comfortable, and to seek a more natural solution to disposable diapers I chose to cloth diaper Luke from birth AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!

Now, its not what you think. Cloth has come a long way from the archaic methods of the past. These days when I say “Pin it” I’m not talking about diaper pins. A whole new world has opened up and its going to blow your mind.

no-more-cloth-diaper-pins-homemaker-chic

There are several different types of cloth diapers to choose from now. The basic three are All in Ones (AIOs), Pockets, or Pre-folds.  They are made of a state-of-the-art breathable plastic lined fabric called PUL. The insides are lined with highly absorbent fabrics like cotton, microfiber, hemp, bamboo, or fleece.

  • AIOs are virtually the same as a disposable in that all you do is put the diaper on the baby. All the absorbent fabric is sewn right in and you wash the whole thing in one piece. They do take at least an hour, and usually two hours to dry in the dryer.
  • Pockets are similar, but they feature a pocket where you stuff separate inserts. The nice thing about this is that you can change what sort of insert you use based on your baby’s needs. This also means that the diapers wash and dry much more quickly because the inserts come out in the wash. They require extra time to stuff the diapers each time you wash which is annoying to some people.
  • Pre-folds are the old fashioned fold on diaper, but now they come with super awesome diaper covers with a plastic PUL lining that keeps them from leaking. They are also made much better than the old fashioned ones your mom used. They are thicker and way more absorbent. They are also a cheaper option and make great burp cloths.

This is what the Modern Cloth Diapers look like:

modern-cloth-diapers

open-cloth-diaperinside-of-cloth-diaper

7 Things I’ll Bet You Didn’t Know About Modern Cloth Diapering

1. You don’t have to use pins –                                                               velcro-or-snap-cloth-diapers

New cloth diapers come in either velcro or snap closures. They’re easy as pie! Its basically just like a disposable. You just put the diaper on the baby and close er’ on up. And if you still want to use pre-fold diapers (which is totally doable!) there’s a new invention for them too! Its called the snappi.

snappi-diaper-fasteners-safety-feature-500

Its sort of like the teeth on an ace bandage, except its plastic and rubber. prefold-snappiThere’s no need to worry about sticking your baby anymore. My mom tells an awesome story about how she was trying to change my brother’s diaper and my sister stuck diaper pins in their water bed and water was squirting everywhere. I picture my mother looking like Lucille Ball, trying to hold the baby and wrangle my toddler sister all while trying to put a finger on each hole. Hilarious as this picture is to me, it is a thing of the past.

2. They’re easy to wash-                                                                             We don’t have a diaper service in my area, but its really not a big deal to wash them myself. You see, there’s this fantastic invention called a Washing Machine that cleans the diapers for you! I know, I know… you thought you were going to have to go down to the river with a washing board and go to town on those bad boys. Nope, you can just throw them in and the machine actually does the work. Amazing, I know. What will they come up with next?! Many people act like washing cloth diapers is a crazy science but its really not. Don’t listen to anyone when they tell you to use special soap, or to only use a tbsp of detergent. Its not true. Because my baby is exclusively breastfed, his poop is water soluble, so there’s no need to rinse the diapers off or anything before I wash them. I use Tide powder, the same amount I would use for a regular load of laundry, I throw the diapers in (poop and all), I do a hot presoak and an extra rinse, and then I tumble dry them on medium heat. That’s all she wrote! There’s no big secret.

3. Chemicals in disposables are toxic!

disposable-diaper-gel-sapYou know when a disposable diaper gets full and you can tell the baby needs to be changed because it gets all saggy and hangs between their legs? Have you ever seen one of those full diapers break open and all the weird gel stuff spills out? Did you know that substance used to be used in Tampons but had to be removed after is was found to cause Toxic Shock Syndrome? The diaper companies claim that these chemicals are in trace amounts and are not harmful to the baby, but when can you ever trust a manufacturer’s claims about anything? Perhaps it does not cause TSS in such small doses (I’m not buying it), but it is certainly a skin irritant and can cause diaper rash and chemical burn. I personally don’t want to take the risk. Read more about some of the toxic chemicals found in disposable diapers here.

4. It is WAY cheaper to use cloth – 

Because these modern cloth diapers are so well made and last for so long they are a little bit more of an investment on the front end. They average in cost around $15 each new and even cheaper if you get them second hand, but that is a one time investment because the diapers are adjustable fit which mean they can be used for the same baby from birth to potty training. And if they are well cared for they can be used for future babies, making the cost even lower. Depending on how often you want to do laundry you will need between 12 and 36 diapers in your “stash.” So for between $300-$500 you can diaper several children from birth to potty. Plus if you decide to go the old fashioned route, prefolds are even cheaper running around $4 each. Disposables are much more expensive as you can see in the infographic below.

diaper-cost-comparison-chart

5. Bye Bye blowouts!                                                                                   I’ll spare you an image to prove my point (although a quick google image search and you’ll find plenty of evidence). If you’ve used disposables for any length of time you’re all too familiar with the good ol’ fashioned blowout. It happens because disposables are flat against the baby’s back and it just can’t hold in a serious poop. I’ve been cloth diapering for 3 months and have yet to have a single blowout. Don’t believe me? Just ask anyone who cloth diapers and I’ll bet you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who has experienced a blowout in cloth. Its because they are so absorbent, and are lined with elastic around the legs and waist. When they are put on properly and tightly they will hold everything in beautifully!

6. The environmental effect of disposable is huge –

Did you know that disposable diapers are the #1 single use item found in landfills? Now I’m not a big environmentalist activist by any stretch but I do believe that we should be good stewards of the planet that God has given us, and we should leave this place in one piece so these babies can still have a beautiful place to live and grow up. Here is an awesome image that shows just how many diapers end up in the trash.

cloth-diaper-vs-disposable

7. They’re super cute!

Oh girrrrrrrl, don’t even get me started on how CUTE these things are! I’m slightly addicted. There are so many precious colors and patterns to choose from, and they look adorable all by themselves, no need for a diaper cover to hide those lame looking disposables. You could seriously get lost in the world of adorable cloth.

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baby-cloth-diaperscloth-diaper-colors

How to make Homemade Natural Organic Deodorant

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On my quest to live a more natural holistic lifestyle I’ve had to look at the many products I put on my skin everyday. When you begin reading the labels on everyday use items, it is shocking how many toxins we’re exposing ourselves to. One of those items is deodorant. Most deodorants and anti-perspirants contain aluminum, parabens and propylene glycol. There are growing links between the chemicals found in such products and chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s and breast cancer. So what’s the solution? Make your own deodorant that doesn’t have the junk! Its super easy to do, and lucky for you, I’ve already done the legwork to create a recipe that REALLY works!

Today I want to share with you my tried and true homemade deodorant recipe. I tried many recipes, and with all of them I ended up smelling “crunchy” by the end of the day. My mother made sure to let me know when one of my deodorant creations was NOT working, and I unfortunately had many smelly days. I’m not one of those girls who smells like flowers naturally, and I’m guessing neither are you. I may be a borderline dirty hippy, but I’d rather not smell like a dirty hippy. I worked on a lot of different combinations, I tried other people’s recipes, looked at the ingredients on some of the natural store brands, and finally came up with my own perfect recipe that is seriously awesome! Like so awesome that it stood up to my husband playing 3 hours of tennis in Florida… in August… in over 90 degree weather! This stuff is the truth.

Now here’s my tiny caveat: Because I’m pregnant and my skin is all weird and super sensitive it caused some irritation for me, but I’ve had other people use it and no one else has had any issues. Even one of my friends who has very sensitive skin used it and had no problems. So I’m pretty sure my irritation is pregnancy related. I will say that it only bothered me when I had just shaved my underarms, but I’m even less interested in having hairy pits, than I am in having smelly ones. Do let me know if you have any issues with this recipe as I’m always eager to improve, but I have a good feeling that it will work great for you!

So here’s what you need:

homemade-deodorant-recipe-ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup Organic GMO free Corn Starch (You can find this at any natural food store)
  • 3 Tbsp Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Powdered Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Beeswax beads
  • 20-30 drops Vanilla Essential Oil (or other scent, optional)
  • Small jar or empty deodorant tube stick

Here’s what you do:

how-to-make-homemade-deodorantIn a double boiler, melt the beeswax beads. If you’re allergic to beeswax I think you could easily leave this part out as I don’t think its essential to the deodorant working. Its mostly for texture and to keep the stuff on your pits. Its also REALLY helpful if you plan to use an empty deodorant container, because it will keep it solid in the tube and will apply more easily. If you’re using the jar, I think you could also skip the wax, but again, I think it helps keep the stuff on your underarms all day.

Once the beeswax is melted, add your coconut oil, and vanilla oil. You can really use any scent you like but I think the vanilla is soft and sweet and goes well with the coconut. Some people like to use tea tree oil in their recipes for its anti-fungal properties, but I found the scent to be much too strong. If you like it then by all means use it! I think it would only help. Other nice choices would be lavender oil, patchouli oil, eucalyptus oil, or ylang ylang.

Once your oils are blended add in the powdered sugar. The purpose of the powdered sugar is that when the sugar combines with your natural body sweat it creates a sort of osmotic substance that then becomes a natural antiperspirant! How about that! And it really works too. Dissolve the sugar using a small whisk.

non-toxic-deodorant-recipeKeep the mixture over the heat and begin stirring in the baking soda, and corn starch, sprinkling it in slowly. It will start to thicken up a LOT. Just make sure everything is well incorporated.

DIY-homemade-natural-deodorantNow you can pour the mix into either the jar or the deodorant stick. Allow it to set up at room temperature for a couple hours. Don’t put it in the fridge or it might crack. It will be solid pretty quickly if your house is relatively cool. If you don’t have a jar you can also use an empty deodorant stick, or you can buy new ones from SKS. They have lots of different options to choose from and they’re dirt cheap! Not having one of those fantastic tubes on hand, I just poured my deodorant into a small mason jar. With the jar you just have to spread about half a fingertip amount of the deodorant on your underarms. Its a little firm so you will want to soften it between your fingers before applying. If you want it to be softer, you could always leave out the beeswax.

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And that, my friends, is it! I really hope you enjoy making your own deodorant.

Homemade Citrus Body Scrub Tutorial

how-to-make-citrus-sugar-scrub-homemakerchic.comI was thrilled when a few friends from church asked if I wanted to help make some scrubs to raise money for folks in our church who are going on missions trips this summer. Not only do I get to help support a totally awesome cause, but I get to play with all my awesome ingredients! I am so in love with all the awesome products I bought for the Lip Balm project and I’ve been having lots of fun trying them out in different homemade products.

sugar-scrub-jars-sks-bottle-homemakerchic.comSo together we researched scrub recipes, and came up with one of our own that turned out so wonderfully! Not only does it smell incredible, and feel so luxurious on our hands, but its so completely and totally adorable in this super cute jar from SKS-bottle. Have I told you lately how much I LOVE SKS-bottle? They seriously have every single type of container I could ever need for craft projects. And this jar was perfect for the look we were going for. We used the 8oz size, but I also have some 16oz jars too that I will use soon for some more scrub recipes I want to try. Since we’re going to be selling these, we really wanted them to look polished and professional and I really think they turned out awesome!

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So here’s our recipe for the Citrus Sugar Scrub.

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Makes 36oz. of scrub.

Here’s what you’ll need

Supplies:

  • 6, 8oz Jars with Lids
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Large Sturdy Spoon
  • Small Spoon for packing
  • Tablespoon measure
  • Double Boiler
  • Cup Measure

Ingredients: (click the links to get the exact products I used for this recipe)

Here’s what you do:

homemade-sugar-scrub-homemakerchic.comIn a double boiler, melt the orange butter. (I just use two glass pyrex cups, and boiling hot water from the kettle, this also makes it easier to pour the oil directly from the cup).  Once it is melted slowly stir in all the oils and the vegetable glycerin. Make sure to mix thoroughly so all the oils and the butter are properly emulsified. Pour the sugar into the bowl. Into the sugar, slowly stir in the oil mixture. Be sure to mix very well. You may need to get your hands in there to make sure there are no lumps or spots that aren’t completely combined (And you just happen to get the added benefit of super soft hands when you do it this way!). Let the scrub set for about 10-15 minutes to continue marrying. Give it one last stir then you are ready to go! Wasn’t that easy?

homemade-sugar-scrub-tutorial-homemakerchic.comI made enough for 6 portions of 6 ounces of scrub. I used these 8 oz containers, because I didn’t want the scrub to be all the way up to the top.

I chose do do tags instead of sticker labels because I figured stickers would get ruined it gets wet in the shower. I printed the labels directly onto a sheet of brown kraft cardstock using a simple 1 1/2 label template and used a 1 1/2 inch circle punch to cut them out. I hole-punched each one, and tied them on using twine. Super easy, and adorably rustic.

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Special Thanks to Jessi, Dink, and Alex for making this project awesome, and for a super fun day hanging out and being crafty!

Homemade Citrus Lip Balm Tutorial

recipe-for-12-tubes-of-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comI’ve been wanting to make my own lip balm for a really long time. I’ve spent lots of time looking at various recipes and researching all the ingredients before I finally took the plunge and decided to do the legwork to come up with the most wonderful, luscious lip balm recipe ever! Lucky for you, I write a blog and you get to reap the moisturizing lip benefits! The other awesome thing is that I have a super awesome new sponsor, SKS Bottle, (you remember them from my apothecary spice jar project) who sent me these awesome lip balm tubes! I couldn’t resist.

When it comes to lip balm, the sky is the limit when it comes to ingredient variations. There are so many wonderful natural ingredients that you can mix and match to come up with the best recipe for you. I recommend playing around and seeing what works for you. The following is just one of many lip balm recipes I will be posting in the coming weeks and months.

I give you Homemaker Chic’s “Citrus Splash SPF Lip Balm “

lip-balm-making-supplies-homemakerchic.comNow, this may seem like a lot of ingredients, but there are so many different variations you can do with just a few small tweaks. I ordered all of the ingredients I needed in one day, online, from my living room. And most of it was free shipping. All in all, I spent about $100 for everything (That includes some other ingredients not included in this recipe, for different flavored lip balms). It may sound like a lot for lip balm but everything came in large enough quantities that I will have enough to make lip balm for my sisters, my mom, my friends and myself for a very VERY long time. PLUS- many of these ingredients are excellent for other skin preparations other than lip balm and are very handy to have around the house. It is an investment, and a project, but if you want to do this, you really need to have all the best ingredients. If it seems like too much for you, then by all means- Burt’s Bees is at your disposal! I will tell you though, that this is the most luxurious, smooth, and moisturizing lip balm I’ve ever tried. It smells and tastes amazing and you will LOVE it! I won’t ever go back to store bought again.

Supplies:

  • 12 lip balm tubes
  • 1 lip balm filling tray
  • Plastic putty knife

Lucky for you SKS Bottle has an awesome deal for Homemaker Chic readers! You can get the exact lip balms tubes, filling tray and putty knife that I used, and actually a few other tube designs for a big discount! They’re giving my readers $10 off an order of $50. They also have lots of other containers that I’m going to be using in some upcoming posts so you can spend $50 real quick. Just use the code HomeChic413 at checkout (or click the image below). I love their site!!

SKSHomemaker413

  • 1 ounce measuring shot glass
  • Eye dropper for oils (I found mine at PetSmart)
  • Double boiler
  • Small spatula
  • Glass pyrex cup with pour spout

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz white beeswax pellets
  • 1/3 oz Mango Butter
  • 1/3 oz Solid Room Temperature Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 oz Orange Butter
  • 1/4 oz Avocado Oil
  • 1/4 oz Olive Oil
  • 1/2 ox Cold Pressed Castor Oil
  • 15 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 15 drops raspberry seed oil
  • 5 drops vitamin E oil
  • 1/16 of a teaspoon of Mica Shimmer Powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Stevia or other sweetener
  • Small sliver of lipstick for color (optional)

homemade-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comOkay so here is the basic ratio for Lip Balm:

1 Part Beeswax : 1 Part Solid Oil or Fruit/Vegetable Butter : 1 Part Liquid Oil.

You can really play around with the oils. You could use one type of oil, or make a blend like I did.

Let me explain a little bit about why I chose the blend that I did.

Orange butter comes specifically from Florida Oranges (of which I am a HUGE supporter since I’m from Florida!). It has wonderful moisturizing qualities, smells incredible, and gives this balm part of its wonderful citrus flavor and scent. Mango butter is light and fresh smelling and very smooth. It has great healing properties for dried, cracked lips, and peeling skin. It also has SPF natural SPF properties. Coconut Oil has amazing moisture benefits, and is well known for bringing chapped lips back to life. It has a wonderful scent that really pairs well with the tropical flavor profile in this balm.

The raspberry seed oil was added for its natural SPF benefit. It has very little scent. Several studies have show it to be anywhere from 6-20 on the SPF scale. Living in a sunny climate I really need SPF in my lip balm so this was a must. Same goes for the avocado oil, which aside from its incredible moisture and healing benefits, is also a natural SPF of 6. The vitamin E oil is excellent for healing chapped lips and protecting them, but a little goes a long way.

I added the castor oil because it adds a really nice shine to the balm, and helps maintain soft and supple lips. The olive oil was added because I needed a little bit more filler and olive oil is slightly cheaper than castor and avocado oils, but it still has tons of moisture and lip protecting benefits.

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The Mica Shimmer powder is a mineral powder that is used in eye shadows and other make up to make them shimmer. The version I’m using is natural and perfectly safe to use on the lips. Make sure the Mica you get is lip safe, as some are and some aren’t.

Here is the exact product I used.

Instructions:

This recipe fills 12 lip balm tubes plus a little leftover. About 3 ounces.

SKS-lip-balm-tubes-homemakerchic.comStart by snapping your tubes into the tray. I really love this lip balm filling tray from SKS-bottle because it makes filling the little tubes SO easy. I seriously can’t imagine how I would have done this without the tray. I’m sure I would have been knocking them over and spilling hot lip balm everywhere. I’m sure you could DIY this by cutting holes in a cereal box, or by sticking the tubes into styrofoam to keep them still, but the thing I like about this tray is that the tubes fit perfectly and snap in firmly, so they don’t fall over. Plus once the balm cools you can smooth the tops with a putty knife and you get a really professional flat top to the balm. Its really worth it if you plan to make a lot of balms.
melt-beeswax-for-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comPrepare your double boiler. I just used a small saucepan with a pyrex measuring cup. I filled the pot with water and placed metal cookie cutter in the bottom, then just set the cup on top. The cookie cutter kept the glass from directly touching the heat. You could also use a couple rings from a mason jar. Get the water simmering and pour in 1 ounce of beeswax. Use a metal spoon or knife to gently stir the wax. I like using a flexible metal spatula because it really makes it easy to scrape down the sides of the cup later on.


Once the wax is melted, add your butters. I only had one little ounce measuring cup so instead of washing it out and losing all that wonderful butter in between, I just scooped out the little bit that was in the cup and rubbed it on my skin. Its wonderfully moisturizing, and expensive too, so don’t waste!

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Once the butters are melted add your oils and the sweetener.

A WORD ABOUT SWEETENER: So a lot of people use stevia to sweeten their balms. I personally don’t like the taste so I tried Nutresse, which is a sugar from the monk fruit. You could probably just use regular sugar, but there might be something to be said for the fine powder of stevia. Here’s the thing with sweetening lip balm. SUGAR WILL NOT COMPLETELY DISSOLVE IN OIL. BUT, it will partially dissolve, and you just need a little. I stirred and stirred, and the oil was really hot, but on a molecular level, oil just doesn’t have the ability to completely break down the sugars (even in liquid form like honey or liquid stevia. Liquid sweetener will separate in your finished balm.). So you will probably end up with sugar crystals in the bottom of your cup. This is okay. As you pour the finished lip balm into the tubes, the sugar will stay at the bottom. You won’t end up with undissolved sugar crystals in your balm if you pour carefully. So just dissolve it as much as you can and don’t worry about it.

melt-lip-balm-for-pouring-homemakerchic.comNow you can add your coloring if you want. I added sugar blush mica powder which added a hint of color and shimmer. A little Mica goes a LONG way, so use it sparingly. You can always add more, but you can’t take away. I also added a sliver of Revlon colored lip balm in a nice coral color. This really doesn’t add much color to your lips but it makes the balm a little more presentable and pretty in my opinion. Just slice a bit of lipstick off, and melt it into the balm. You could totally leave this part out. I know there are some other natural ways to tint lip balm out there, I just haven’t tried them yet.

Use the back of your spoon or spatula to collect a test sample. Allow it to cool. (I stuck the spatula in the freezer for a few seconds to speed up the process.) Use your finger to rub a bit on your lips to see how it feels and tastes. If its too hard, too soft, or not sweet enough you can still alter the recipe. You may find that you want a stronger grapefruit flavor, so just add a few more drops of the essential oil (although be careful not to add too much because essential oils tends to be pretty intense and can dry out lips if you add too much. just add a few drops at a time to be safe. I wouldn’t add more than 30 drops to this recipe.) If its too hard, add more coconut oil. If its too soft, add more beeswax. I have tested this recipe and found it to be the perfect consistency and flavor, but you can always change it if you’re looking for something different.

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NOW- the pouring part is a bit tricky.

Pour quickly and carefully into each tube, filling all the way to the top. Its okay if it slightly overflows onto the tray.

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The balm will cool and harden very quickly, so quickly in fact, that as you’re pouring, you will notice it hardening in the glass. You will have to pour as much as you can, as quickly as you can.

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Once it cools too much to pour, scrape the cup and return it to the water bath to remelt it. I had to do this twice while filling 12 tubes. After you fill the tubes, the balm will settle and you will have little pits in each tube. Refill each tube to the top again. Allow them to cool for a good 5 minutes.

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use-putty-knife-to-smooth-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comFinally, scrape the putty knife firmly across the top and smooth out the surface of your balms.

Once you have smoothed the tops, let them sit for an hour or two to completely firm up before using.

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If you follow the recipe correctly, you’ll have a bit leftover. I remelted it and added an equal part of coconut oil to the lip balm mix, then I poured it into a little pot I had. It turns out to be a wonderful skin balm or belly butter for stretch marks! I absolutely love rubbing it on my hands. Just one example of how all these ingredients can create another awesome skin product. And its all natural!

I’ll be working on some cute custom labels in the coming days so I’ll hopefully be sharing a printable with you soon.

I hope this helps! This project was so much fun and the results are wonderful. I know you’ll love this recipe. Happy Lip Balm making!

Repurposing Grapefruits

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A couple weeks ago my mom gave me a huge bag of grapefruits. Living in Florida this sort of thing happens often. People have tons of citrus growing in their yards this time of year so bags of grapefruits and oranges are doled out like free candy! I ate as many as I could but eventually I got grapefruited out and the 4 or 5 that were left started to get very overripe. Instead of throwing them out, I thought they would make a delicious juice! Especially since they were so sweet.

Since I don’t have a juicer, I just put a sieve over a bowl and started squeezing away. I ended up with a pint of juice! Hey not too shabby, because its not cheap in the store. If the juice is too tart, add a little stevia to sweeten it up. Since the fruit was so ripe it was nice and sweet! I had this lovely mason jar on hand from SKS Bottle, and it was perfect for my country style juice. juicing-grapefruit-homemakerchic.com

The rinds also serve another great purpose. Toss a few down your garbage disposal and grind away. The citrus cleans the shoot and leaves your kitchen smelling like spring! So don’t throw away that overripe citrus! freshen-garbage-disposal-homemakerchic.com

Happy spring everyone!

How to Clean Fan Blades (without a Dusty Mess!)

Dusty Fan Blade Homemakerchic.comSo the other morning My Hubby and I were snuggling in the bed when I looked up and noticed how dusty my fan blades had gotten. I mean they were really bad! I remembered a clever little trick I had seen awhile ago and decided right then and there to try it out. Lucky for you he decided to film me doing said trick. So you get the benefit of both my very first video on Homemaker Chic, and also a very nifty way to clean your fan blades without getting dust all over the place. Enjoy!

Use a pillow case to clean fan blades homemakerchic.com