DIY Face Toner

It’s winter, and the holiday season is here. My skin is suffering from both the weather a bit too much over-indulgence.

I have been scouring the Internet for recipe inspiration for body care recipes, and I came across several recipes for facial toners.

Apple cider vinegar (raw; I use bragg’s) is magical. Ask anyone. It can be used in shampoos, conditioners, taken internally, etc. In skin care, Apple cider vinegar helps balance ph, even skin tone, and help with breakouts (a major problem for me). Apple cider vinegar is the base of this toner, and I added some essential oils with skin benefits for an extra boost.

The recipe:

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp distilled water

1 tbsp aloe Vera juice

4 drops geranium oil

3 drops lavender oil

2 drops lemon oil

Mix and keep in jar in cool, dark place.

Geranium is great as an anti-inflammatory, it helps heal wounds, and benefits circulation. Lavender is calming, helps to treat acne and wrinkles, and speeds the process of healing. Lemon oil is antibacterial and boosts collagen production, BUT it is photosensitive so be careful about applying it and then exposing your skin to the sun.

These are just the oils that I chose, but there are a ton of great options out there. Also, my skin isn’t very sensitive to apple cider vinegar, but yours may be. You may have to play with this recipe to find what works for you.

I have been using some variation of this toner for the last few weeks, and my skin feels great. I don’t feel the need for as much moisturizer and I don’t find my skin to be as oily as it was before. Call me crazy, but I think my skin is brighter, clearer, and looks fresher, too.

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Inspiration for DIY Christmas

I was so thankful for the holiday. Thanksgiving brought me a few days off of work and family from halfway across the country. It was a much needed break.

Now that thanksgiving is over, Christmas is getting into full swing. For the last couple of years, my boyfriend and I have talked about doing Christmas fully diy. It looks like we may actually accomplish it this year.

One of the best tools that I have right now to inspire me is Willow and Sage magazine.

I have gathered the materials for a few of the recipes in here, and I think it’s a nice touch for the holidays to give someone you care about products to help them care for themselves.

This is where my jar beautification project started. My boyfriend’s mother and I have plans to make some rose infused aloe for her friends in tiny jars. This is also what inspired me to look into perfume making. They have a lovely recipe for a men’s cologne, and it sent me down the rabbit hole of the Internet to try new recipes and make up some of my own.

This year has been a whirlwind of inspiration for me, and I’m excited to end on a good note with all of the work I’ve out into learning new things paying off.

Pretty Jars

My boyfriend’s mother has been saving all of the tiny little jars that come with her Hello Fresh meals, and we finally came up with some ideas for what to do with them: diy body products.

Since we still have a bit of time to get everything made for Christmas gifts, I’ve been taking my time trying recipes and trying different ways to make the jars more decorative.

Tonight I was attempting some perfumes. I haven’t found exactly what scent I’m going for, but my first few tries turned out okay.

I made quite a mess and felt like a mad scientist the whole time. All you really need are a few roller ball containers, sweet almond oil, and essential oils. Recipes are easy to come by on google and Pinterest, but it’s fun to come up with your own scents. The only recommendation that I have is that if you want to try perfume making, familiarize yourself with top notes, middle notes, and base notes so that your composition works well throughout the day.

Anyway, back to the jars:

1.

This is my least favorite. I used craft tape around the jar (which I already know won’t hold up well if washed) and painted the lid.

2.

I like this one, but it was very tedious. I spent a lot of time matching up strips of patterned craft tape so the seams wouldn’t be as noticeable. I sealed it with a clear coat. The edges look a little messy, too, but I definitely don’t hate it.

3.

This one is my absolute favorite. I get way too excited about craft paper, and I just bought a small pack of floral patterned craft paper. I cut a circle slightly larger than the lid, glued the center of the paper to the middle of the lid, then cut from the edge of the paper towards the lid (20 cuts all the way around), then folded each strip down and glued it to the lid so it would lay flat. This one is the winner, for sure. I love the pattern and it was the neatest method.

Off to bed now, but hopefully I can throw some more pictures up here tomorrow after work.

Carpet Refresh

Accidents happen. When they do, a drop of dish soap, a little vinegar, and a bucket of water get out the stains. 

Unfortunately, the house we live in had problems before we got here. The family who lived here before us had two large dogs who thought the hallways all had restroom signs on them. I’ve been battling carpet stains and a little bit of a sour smell since we moved in. 

For hours at a time, I have battled carpet stains. The biggest problem, I think is that the previous tenants seem to have used an entire can of carpet cleaner for each spot. Perhaps they forgot to actually clean anything, too, letting copious amount of cleaner “do the work” by just soaking in. 

The point being, that between neglected spots and set in chemicals, when I try to clean certain areas of the carpet, no soap is necessary: simply add a drop of water and the carpet suds starts all on its own. It’s almost something like a horror movie, but the demons haunting my house are soap bubbles. 

For those areas, vinegar and water and quite a bit of time seem to work. 

My sister-in-law has been selling Young Living Essential Oils. She got me some Thieves. It smells great and is perfect for fall (I think that anything autumn themed is perfect year-round, though, since everything about this season is my favorite.) 

To freshen everything up after the carpet is clean, I add about 15 drops of thieves to a cup of baking soda (any essential oils will work, I just used thieves this time because I wanted to play with my new toy),  let it all soak in, then sprinkle it on the carpet and let it sit overnight. 


It helps deodorize and helps soak up moisture from the carpet as well. In the morning, vacuum it all up and it’s dry, clean, and smells like a festive wonderland. 

New to Us Furniture

My boyfriend’s aunt and uncle loaded up a moving truck full of furniture a few months ago and were nice enough to stop by on their way south and drop a few things off with us. 

This has been such an oddly busy summer for us, so it took a while for us to find the time to clean everything up and get it moved out of the garage and into the house.  Hurricane Irma was part of our motivation; we needed to clear out the garage to be able to pull our cars in in case of hail or broken tree limbs. 

So, after three hours of work on the furniture and 7 hours of reorganizing, we accomplished our goal. 


This roll top desk needed to be de-spidered and cleaned with some orange glow. It’s a little dry and needs a little more love, but now we have a cute little desk in the living room. 

The globe is lighted. It was a broken gift from a friend who did not pack it well enough for it to survive the plane trip from Seattle. She said that she knew if anyone could fix it, we could. With a little superglue, we have it looking presentable enough. There’s a short video on my Instagram where you can see the crack in it. 


A little wood glue and dusting got this bookshelf back to its glory. The journals that we’re storing on it are the ones my boyfriend has been making and binding by hand. They’re beautiful and now they have a nice little home. 



This porcelain top table was the most daunting task for me. It’s beautiful. There are a few places where time and love have worn through the porcelain and there were rust rings staining it. The paint was chipped and peeled, and the handle on the drawer was in pretty rough shape. 

After reading so many conflicting things online, I figured I’d just cross my fingers and keep trying whatever I could to clean the porcelain. I wiped it down with dawn dish soap and water, then gently scrubbed the top with a little Bar Keeper’s Friend.  Gentle is not necessarily my strong point, so I had to really resist the urge to use brute force to get it done. But it is clean and white again now!

One night while I was sleeping, my boyfriend decided to paint the wood a “fun color”. That color was an abrasive yellow-green. It was not fun. So we went back to the drawing board and ended up with white. He painted the handle a copper-y metallic, which I think is enough “fun” for that particilular table. 


The little seat tucked underneath the table (Cat’s new favorite place) was an old, black side table. The top was particle board and was in really rough shape. We considered deconstructing it and re-doing the entire piece, but figured it was a little too much work considering it was really just for Cat, and she’s not that picky. So he painted it white and did a textured purple finish on top. (See, I’m okay with fun.)

DIY Make-up Remover Pads

One thing that you should know about me is that I am incredibly lazy in certain areas of my life. Especially right before bed. Life gets hectic. 

Right before bed,  I (try to) clean up the kitchen, get everything organized for a very early morning, feed the dogs and cat, take the cat to her liter box, take the dogs out, feed the cat again. And then I’m exhausted, but still need to take care of myself. 

Ever think about how much time you waste on general personal upkeep? Because I agonize about it all the time, especially while watching YouTube videos about other women’s skin care or beauty routines. Who’s got time for that?? 

Anyway, one thing I do to make sure that I don’t get too lazy and skip taking off my make-up before bed is that I keep a little jar of super moisturizing homemade make-up remover pads in the bathroom, or, during particularly long weeks, by my bed. 

Here’s the recipe (that can be tweaked with any soaps or oils that you prefer, but this is the basic one that I use):

4 oz jar

Baby soap (or other gentle cleanser)

Coconut oil (virgin, cold-pressed, and unrefined)

Water

Cotton pads

Pour 1 tbsp of cleanser and 1 1/2 tbsp of liquid coconut oil into jar, add water leaving a little room at the top. Put lid on and shake. Add cotton pads. Voila! 


Now just make sure you remember to use them before collapsing into bed. The cleanser that I use is rinse-free, so depending on what you use, you may need a splash of water afterwards. 

This is an especially great thing to have on hand in the winter, when my skin gets dried out. The coconut oil helps keep my skin soft and clean, and, depending on your skin type, it might help with breakouts, too. 

Use, Reuse

I am not great at traditional recycling by any means, but the thought of being able to avoid waste by reusing something makes me feel good. My old coffee cans are now covered in pretty paper and being used to store things, coffee grounds can be used to make face scrubs, used tea bags are great for cleaning and repelling bugs. I am always looking for ways to give things a second life, which occasionally clutters my life a bit. The amount of old pasta jars I have lying around waiting to be useful again is almost embarrassing. 

We’re headed into fall and my little family is settling back into routines and saying goodbye to summer already, and it’s left me a little overwhelmed. To ease that, I have been trying to find some positivity in my little craft area and in my garden that I will have no idea what to do with when the weather cools down. 

I trimmed Citronella back because he was getting a little droopy, falling over with the weight of himself, and I added some roses from the bushes to add a little color and voila!


Vase number 2:


And I still had some leftovers, so I put them in mason jar shot glasses that I haven’t had the occasion to use and put one in each of the bathrooms. 


I also had an old cork message board lying around that wasn’t particularly pretty, and I thought I could dress it up and maybe shift my mood a little. 

Before:


After:


I plan on using it as a dream board to draw on some of the joy that often gets lost in the chaos of everyday monotony. 

These are not major, life changing projects, but changing your outlook can change your life. 

On the Road

I travel for my job. It’s been a while, and our region is fairly small, so it’s not too far, but whenever I do have to stay out in hotels, I get so bored. 

Generally, I just numb my mind with whatever is on t.v. in the vacant hours of my day, but not this time. I packed a plastic tote with string, beads, jewelry odds and ends, and some embroidery I want to work on. 

I’ll be on the road for four days, and that usually seems like such a waste, but maybe I’ll actually get something accomplished this time. 

Learning

Sometimes, it’s hard to motivate yourself to learn new things. Especially when it’s something that, on the surface, seems silly. That’s something that I’m dealing with right now. 

You know that feeling you get sometimes that you missed something that somehow everyone else knows? It’s that feeling that you’re behind, losing the race. I get that feeling all of the time, but I’m fighting that voice in my head that tells me I can’t do it. 

I fight that voice while I’m sitting in my garage at night struggling to learn different knots and stitches on a child’s level. But knowing those basic things are building blocks. Not only can I take those things and add them to something else I already know to make them better, but it’s also helping me figure out what I like doing in a way that I haven’t really done before. 

What I’m saying is that, yes, an old dog can learn new tricks. And everything is worth trying. Don’t let your insecurities stop you from trying. 

Getting it Together 

I don’t know about you, but I feel like a lot of my life comes in waves. Organization, motivation, my ability to hold it all together. I have been trying to deal with a lot of that lately. 

I started this blog because a wave of things I love hit me all at once. While I was injured from a car accident, I had to take some time off of work and everyone’s advice was the same: you need to take care of yourself so that you can heal. 

Healing can mean a multitude of things, and, aside from the physical injuries, I was also dealing with some emotional injuries and scarring as well, some very old and some new symptoms of this new situation I found myself in that was full of self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy, and so much frustration. 

Luckily, my boyfriend, his family, and my family were the ultimate support system for me. They made sure that I had rides in the months that I was without a car, they helped me navigate the nightmare of insurance and lawyers and injuries, and they constantly reassured me and made sure that I had what I needed. 

During this time, my boyfriend and I started getting creative together as an outlet for my frustrations. Crafting is something we both enjoy, but it’s something that we come at from different angles. We were able to work on our own projects and also bounce ideas off of each other. We tried some new things. We showed each other some of the things that we already knew. And we had so much fun. 

Now that I’m feeling better, I’m trying to get everything put back together, which is a little difficult now that I’m back at work and so busy. But check out the lavender and weeds Instagram and Facebook where I’ll be posting a few things. And I’ll be updating here as well as I get everything back together.