Winter Skin DIYs

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Chapped lips. Itchy, dry skin. Yep, it’s winter! Here are a few how-to’s and tips to keep your skin soft, smooth, and happy.

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1. DIY Sugar Scrub ~ here’s a how-to I did last winter on making your own sugar scrub, which is great for handmade holiday gifts, too!

2. Strawberry Mask + Sugar ~ Remember the strawberry mask recipe I shared with you last year? Well, it’s great on its own, but add about 1/2 cup to a cup of regular white sugar to it to have a nice exfoliating, acne-blasting mask.

3. Exfoliating Kisser Scrub from Soap Queen ~ I love Bramble Berry! I get a few of my soapmaking supplies from them, but I also love that the owner, Anne-Marie Faiola, has a wonderful blog with great recipes and tutorials. This one is for exfoliating your lips, something we often forget to do! {Image © Bramble Berry}

4. Winter Recipes with Spice from Mountain Rose Herbs ~ Mountain Rose Herbs is the place to buy herbs, spices, teas, essential oils, and other ingredients for at-home cosmetics-making. A large portion of their stock is organic and fair-trade {I buy the certified organic jojoba oil for my cupcake soaps here}. Here are some great DIY winter beauty & beverage recipes, including an Oatmeal & Spice Bath, Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Body Scrub, and a yummy chai recipe that I am definitely going to chai out later this week {get it? Chai out??} {Image © Mountain Rose Herbs}

Hope you’re having a lovely week so far! I’ll be spending the rest of today studying for my three exams tomorrow, eep!

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Manic Monday: Halloween Links

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. I’ve had non-stop deadlines and midterms in my classes for the past few weeks {and two more today!}. While I regain my brain, here’s some neat Halloween stuff I recommend checking out:

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Nomskulls™ – make brain cupcakes and eat them right out of these skull molds!

Check out Firegypsy Vintage on Etsy for some cute vintage costume ideas at amazingly low prices.

This guide from Flavorpill highlights the costumes found in Halloween episodes of our favorite 90s TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer {one of my personal, totally nerdy, faves}, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Full House, etc.

Want some unique favors to give out at your Halloween party? Here’s a great tutorial from Soap Queen {the blog of Brambleberry, one of my favorite soap/cosmetic ingredient suppliers} on how to make Halloween-themed bath bombs.

Here’s a cool page from The History Channel about the history of Halloween.

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Every Penny Counts: Save Big By Skipping Small Purchases

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When we think about where all of our money has gone towards the end of each month, we tend to skim over the small purchases — a latte here, a new lip gloss or magazine there — no big deal, right? Wrong. It’s actually these little things that add up silently, making our wallets lighter and lighter without us realizing it.

Think about it. How many times to stop at Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks for a morning coffee, or maybe an afternoon latte? The price will range from $2 – $5 on average for a cup of coffee or a latte, so let’s take the mean/average of $3.50 per drink. Now, let’s say you buy 3 per week, that’s $10.50/week, $42/month, and $504/year. Wow! Why not try kicking the habit or making your own coffee/lattes at home? I did a post on making your own chai tea latte a few weeks ago.

I’ve said this before, but I’ll repeat it: I’m a total lip gloss/lip balm addict. I used to buy a new tube everywhere I went so I could try out all kinds of brands, but this is something you can also make {you can make a lot of stuff you buy — it’s just a matter of setting your mind to it}. It may be more expensive initially to make your own lip balm because you’ll need to buy supplies, but over time you’ll save a lot of money doing it yourself. Here’s my lip balm DIY.

Think of all the small {under $20} things that you purchase — magazines, new makeup, candles, coffee, smoothies, etc. The next time you go out and buy one, think: Do I really need this? What will I gain from it? What will I do with it when I’m done using it? Can I make it at home? Big news corporations may say the recession is over, but for many of us it’s not. Think with your wallet and think DIY!

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DIY: Hair Accessories

As a part of my personal campaign to make as much of my own stuff as I can, I decided to explore the realm of hair accessories. Currently, my hair is pretty short so I can really only style it three ways; straight, curly, or in pigtails. Sometimes, I get bored with these styles and I look for ways to spice them up a bit. I’ve bought cute clips and headbands in the past, and they never seem to be too difficult to put together, so I thought I’d try making my own. Turns out, they’re really simple and cheap to make. The markup on these things is ridiculous. You’ll never buy them again!

diy hair accessories

Here’s what you’ll need for decorating headbands:

  • plain fabric headbands {I found mine at a dollar store – 3 headbands for $1!}
  • fake fabric flowers {you can find these at your local craft store, I also used fake flowers from a lei}
  • buttons {you can get a whole bag of random buttons for cheap at a craft store}
  • super glue or a hot glue gun

here’s what you’ll need/can use for decorating bobby pins/hair clips:

  • bobby pins {you can get these at any hair supply store or even Walmart or Target}
  • plain, metal hair clips {hair supply store}
  • fake round gems {craft store}
  • buttons
  • felt
  • needle and thread

The steps for both are pretty similar:

  1. lay down some newspaper or paper towels on your work surface so you don’t get glue all over your desk/table.
  2. glue your gems, buttons, or fake flowers onto your bobby pins, hair clip, or head band.
  3. press down on the gem, button, or flower so that it adheres well to the object you’re gluing it to.
  4. let sit to dry for 24 hours for best results {i.e., don’t wear them right away, even though they’re super cute!}

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You’ll notice I’ve also made hair clips with felt shapes. Those require a bit more effort and supplies, so I’ll cover those in an upcoming post {soon, I promise!}.

Did you make hair accessories using this how-to guide? E-mail us pics and we’ll include them in a future post! Happy crafting!

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"Green" Your Love Life

Valentine’s Day is coming up soon, and you’ll most likely be hitting the mall to pick up a gift for your sweetie. I propose another way of looking at Valentine’s Day, and your love life in general. My knowledge comes from the EPA {Environmental Protection Agency}, Planet Green, Sierra Club, and TreeHugger.com {an awesome source for info about  sustainability}.

bamboo sheets1. Use bamboo fiber sheets. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource, super absorbent, and antimicrobial {bamboo inhibits the growth of or kills fungi, bacteria, protozoans, and some viruses}. And, no, it’s not like sleeping on a bamboo rod, silly! They’re actually very, very comfy, and you can find them at most bedding stores.

2. Make cards & gifts, don’t buy them. Instead of buying your sweetie a Hallmark card and a CD, or super expensive anythings, make them stuff! Stan {my boyfriend} said that one of the best presents he ever received was the mix CD I made him for his birthday last year. I even maximized the paper I used to make his card by also making a CD sleeve out of it. Plus, a handmade present is so much more personal, and shows you put a lot of effort into your gift.love not co2

3. Shower together! Ooh la la! That is, if you’re at that stage in your relationship, of course. I don’t want you jumping in the shower with someone you’ve only just begun dating! Showering together not only uses less water, but some psychologists say that it actually strengthens your relationship, too.

4. Carpool. If your schedules allow for it, you and your sweetie should take one car whenever possible. Better yet, own only one car between the both of you! Or, bike places! Like Michigan State University says, “make love, notCO2!” {They also say “Be Spartan Green!”}

What about you? Do you do anything to green your love life specifically, or your life in general? How are you planning on spending your Valentine’s Day? Let us know!

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