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    Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts
    Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    Beauty in the Kitchen

    I have been on a DIY beauty bender. Not sure if it's the season change or what, but I have had a handful of recipes that have been waiting on me to get my act together to try. I guess I finally ran out of excuses and gave a few of them a try. Some were better then others, but these two below were my favorites.

    I am a big fan of trying a beauty recipe exactly as written the first time I make and then seeing what I want to tweak for next time. Both of the recipes below were tweaked to be more how I like them; The mask a little more creamy and I just love my sugar scrub cubes. Give them a try and letting me know if you have any tweaks you suggest!

    The Calming Mask

    This is now my go to mask after a long flight or a change in weather (that can really drive my skin crazy). It will calm, soothe and leave your skin feeling hydrated and lovely.

    This quantity will yield three masks treatments, give or take how much you apply.

    Let’s discuss the ingredients super quick in case you feel they are too hard to get. They aren’t, I promise.

    The dried kale is just that so I used my dehydrator and fresh kale, but you could essentially do this in the oven as well and just grind it up in your processor, spice grinder or ninja.

    The spirulina I picked up in bulk on Amazon (because it is good for a million different things), but you can get this at Trader Joes in a smaller amount.

    The colloidal oatmeal is seriously just oatmeal that is ground to be super fine. Head to the grocery store and pick some up (just make sure it’s not the instant) and blend, process or ninja your way to a super fine powder.


    1 tablespoon Dried Kale
    1 tablespoon Spirulina
    1 tablespoon Colloidal Oatmeal
    2 heaping tablespoons Goat Milk Yogurt (I add a little more to have a creamier texture)

    Make sure you have a jar to keep the mask in and a spatula to mix it all together.

    Now down to the process:     
    1. Mix kale, spirulina and colloidal oatmeal together.      
    2. Add in goat milk yogurt and combine all ingredients until well mixed.
    3. Ready to use. Apply to face and throat for 10-15 minutes.

    This mask is good to keep in the refrigerator for 3-7 days depending on your yogurt expire by date. After that is may get a little funky smelling!

    Wake me up Scrub

    I love a good exfoliating scrub, but finding the right balance of oil, sugar and scents is not an easy task. I think I have a pretty good mix though with this one.

    You can do this scrub two ways, just like the instructions (mix and go) or you can make scrub cubes! I got the idea from a small soap shop in Newberg, OR and thought it was a great idea. The only problem were the ones in the shop were too hard, more soap like, and not enough scrub. Tweaking the recipe below just a bit, as soon as the cube gets warmed by your hands it instantly gets soft and scrub like, which is way more my preference. 

    The ingredients are essentially the same as the below except you eliminate the olive oil and honey and use a super fine sugar instead of a coarse type.  Once mixed together place the mixture in a small rectangular pan with wax paper and chill either in the fridge or the counter top, depending on your hurry. Once the mixture is set, cut into cubes with a knife and place in the shower. These are a great for travel and gifts. I love them!


    1/2 cup coconut oil
    1 teaspoon of olive oil*
    3/4 cup organic sugar 
    1/4 cup ground coffee 
    1/4 cup raw honey 
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 

    Mix the oils together first and then add the remaining ingredients. You are now ready to get in the shower!

    *The key to using coconut oil for scrubs is to add a little olive oil in as well to make sure your mixture doesn't turn solid. It doesn't hurt the product if it does go solid, but it does make for a difficult time getting out of the jar.

    Original recipes from Refinery 29, but tweaked in my kitchen to be more to my liking.

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013

    Summer Feet

    I may have mentioned a few times in the last few weeks that I have been struggling with my feet being dry, tired and not happy. I have been using the vaseline method and it works, but it's a bit hard to put socks on with the summer heat. Then last week a friend sent me a link about a DIY foot bath solution that promises to get that dead skin removed and leaves your feet pretty. Of course I had to try it, but first I wanted to to check out that it wasn't going to melt my feet or something else I would regret. Once I read this article that pointed out what each ingredient would do, I felt good enough to give it a go.

    I can't find the original source to credit since there are so many people that have reposted and included this information on the web, but here is the original "recipe" for your foot bath:

    1/4 cup Listerine
    1/4 cup distilled vinegar
    1/2 warm water

    Mix all and soak feet for 10 minutes and when you take them out the dead skin will practically wipe off.

    I followed the above directions using the blue Listerine and soaked for the recommended time. While the skin did not "wipe off", using a pumice stone after the soak the skin was indeed coming off so easy that I was sold, but I do have some changes and suggestions. I would absolutely double the ingredients so you have a decent amount of water to truly soak your feet in and I don't recommend using the blue Listerine, unless you like blue feet (although my feet are now minty fresh).

    While we may be halfway through summer I think the soak is totally worth a try to keep or refresh your feet and make them sandal worthy all summer long.

    Thursday, August 30, 2012


    This is paper. The whole store was full of wonderful bright colored pieces of paper. I wanted every single piece, but have no idea what I would do with all of them. So I took a picture. Perhaps I will get inspired.

    I am participating in August Break that is rapidly coming to an end.

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Spoonful of Heaven

    It's Christmas time and cookies, candies, pies and overindulgence abound. I'm on board. I have no problem shoving cookies and whatever other goodies they have here in the Netherlands in my face, but my true indulgence is hot chocolate. I am not talking that Swiss Miss crap you have in your cupboard, but milk stirred with delicious chocolate on the stove until it makes a hot and creamy chocolaty drink that boarders on full on chocolate bar in a mug.

    Lucky me the other day I was given a chocolate gift called a Spoonful of Chocolate. It was the perfect cup of chocolate. It's a good thing that I didn't have another, because I would have had that immediately after the first one. It was that good. It is essentially just a high quality piece of dark or milk chocolate on a stick that melts into warm milk, but it's just so amazing and one of those things that I wish I had tried sooner. I immediately did some research and this amazing stick is strictly in NL right now, but have no fear there are a few options for those stateside.

    There are lots of different ones out there, but quality in your chocolate makes for a rich and satisfying drink. There are several cheaper versions, but the Eclat chocolate on a stick would be my choice for purchase. While I have not had the stick from them I have had the chocolate before and I do approve. Now if you have a bit more time on your hands you can make them yourself. This recipe on the King Arthur Flour site for chocolate blocks looks delicious. The reviews are great and quite a few bloggers and test kitchens have given it the thumbs up too. I plan on trying these out this week. I think I might make this homemade marshmallow recipe then skewer them together to give as little gifts. Yum! Oh and if you make your own make sure to use good chocolate (really this will make the difference!).


    Spoonful of Chocolate! Yum.

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Wrapping presents and kitties

    This weekend had a lovely mix of laziness and fun. Saturday we went to the Dusseldorf Christmas market where I sampled the traditional sausages and glühwein. Both were delicious. Purchases were slim from the market, but I did get a few things to put in stockings! Beside the market there were tons of shops. Everything from high end luxury to H&M had their doors wide open for the droves of people to shop their faces off until 7pm or some even later. I know most of you don't understand the huge deal that this was, because living in America we have the luxury of shops open at least that late (if not later) every day of the week normally and then during the holiday season some shops barely close before they open again. Here in Europe shops close at 5pm or 6pm most nights and have maybe one night that they are open until 7pm. So you can imagine the frenzy of 'late' night shopping near the market. It was nuts, but fun.

    So now that I have presents the next step is wrapping. I used to be awful at it until a few years ago I came across this tutorial that really helped make my presents look so much better. I know this is super basic, but seriously it helped. Now I am much better.

    I still lose my creativity about halfway through and then just start using stick on bows, but the first half are spectacular (or at least prettier).

    When I was trying to find this video on YouTube I came across this and had to share. Flippycat as he is known has a whole series of videos with him, most including dominoes.

    Then I found out Fippycat passed away. RIP Flippycat.

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Salt in your Coffee

    I have been trying to really clean out my house the last few weeks. I have so much stuff that I am not using and since the annual family garage sale is coming up it's time for some stuff to find new homes. In the great clean out '11 I have found somethings that I forgot I even had. How does that happen? It must be a result of having so much stuff you no longer can keep track. It's even crazier if you think that only two years ago I moved into this place so I must have seen this stuff then. At least that is what you would think.

    So when going through my bathroom I came across some dead sea salts that have not been used in easily a year. We all know the benefits of dead sea salts (No? Check this out) so I had to think of something to do with them. After some thought I decided I wanted to make a body scrub out of them for the shower and turned to the Internet for ideas. The only problem was most of the recipes I found had a heavy oil base and I wanted a thicker less oily scrub then what I was finding. So after taking some ideas from the recipes I had seen I made my own scrub that has a heavy salt base with sweet almond oil, coffee and essentials oils. It's really thick so you use a small amount and less oil means you don't feel so oily after the scrub or leave a ring around the tub. So far I have only used it only a few times (I don't suggest exfoliating everyday), but it is doing it's job and not leaving me a slick mess afterwards.

    1/3 to 2/3 cup of dead sea salts (or a course salt)
    essential oils (I used vanilla)
    3 tablespoons of freshly ground semi course coffee (Here is some information on the benefits of coffee in your scrub)
    3 - 5 tablespoons of sweet almond oil

    I started by adding the essential oils to the salt directly (about 5 drops) and let it sit for a few minutes to get soaked up and followed by adding in the coffee grounds. I then added the sweet almond oil little by little until it was the consistency I wanted.  Where I ended up was somewhere around what you would find as the waves roll back into the ocean and the sand is wet, but not super soaked.

    This is the result and I really love this scrub and plan on making a few other types too. Look for them soon!

    I finished it off by placing it in this cute jar!

    You can really tell that it isn't super runny. It's perfect.

    It smells just like a vanilla, almond latte!

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