Archive for October 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

homemade sugar scrub recipes {how to}

I haven't gotten around to unpacking my craft room yet (how did that get so low on the priority list?), so I haven't had any crafty things to show lately. Thanks to Jess for all the fun giveaways in the meantime! But I needed a quick and easy fall teacher gift this week, so I pulled out the ribbon box and an old favorite recipe: sugar hand and body scrub. One of my favorite sweet-but-not-to-eat-treats. That's what our teachers are getting for Halloween this year.

I've tried a lot of homemade sugar scrub recipes and come up with a basic combination that can be used to make lots of yummy scents. Sugar scrubs are wonderful because they soften the skin by exfoliating (sugar) and moisturizing (oil). Just wet hands or body and massage a little sugar scrub onto the skin, then rinse well. I love to keep a jar of scrub by sink in my hall bathroom for guests, and it makes a really fun gift for teachers, friends, and hostesses. You could take one to your Thanksgiving dinner host--she'll appreciate a sweet treat without the calories!

Sugar Scrub Basic Recipe
Ingredients & supplies
2 parts turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw--I found mine at Walmart) OR brown sugar (or half and half each)
1 part coconut oil OR cold-pressed oil like almond oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower, safflower oil, etc. (or half and half each)
Glass jars (canning jars work great--you just need something with a lid)
Essential oils for scents (optional)

To create your scrub, mix your sugars with your oils, store in an airtight jar near the sink or in the shower for about a month. I like using half coconut oil and half cold-pressed oil for a thinner mixture. Use all coconut oil for a thicker scrub, or all cold-pressed oil for an even thinner scrub. You can use all brown sugar, but I like using some turbinado sugar because the big crystals are better for exfoliation.

Now here are some of my favorite combinations for good-enough-to-eat sugar scrubs! Or stick with the basic recipe and add essential oils like lavendar for your own custom scents.

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub Recipe

1/2 cup turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond oil (or other cold-pressed oil)
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Mix dry ingredients together. Add oils and mix until no lumps remain. Divide into glass jars with lids. 

Apple Crisp Sugar Scrub Recipe

1/2 cup turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond oil (or other cold-pressed oil)
1 tsp. apple pie spice

Mix dry ingredients together. Add oils and mix until no lumps remain. Divide into canning jars with lids.

Coconut Ginger Sugar Scrub Recipe

1 cup turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond oil or other cold-pressed oil
1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh ginger

Heat coconut oil and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. This will allow the ginger to infuse into the oil. Allow to cool a few minutes. Strain through a mesh strainer or coffee filter to remove ginger. Discard ginger.
Mix warm coconut oil with cold-pressed oil. Add sugar and stir well. Spoon into glass jars and cover with a tight lid.

Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub Recipe

1/2 cup turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond oil or other cold-pressed oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Bring coconut oil to liquid form (room temp, or microwave 10-20 seconds). Mix with cold-pressed oil. Stir in sugars and vanilla. Spoon into glass jars and cover with a tight lid.

I love to tie up my jars with ribbon and add a tag. I also like including a cute spoon for extra cuteness.

Sugar scrubs make a great holiday gift, too! Just change up the ribbon and tag to Christmas colors.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

giveaway winners

Time to announce the winners of our two fabulous giveaways!

The winner of our seventh generation giveaway is...

Nicole Olson 
who said,
"Oh heavens.. disinfecting wipes, please!! With an antsy 1 year old and a 2.5 year old in preschool, we're DOOMED without them!!" 

The winner of our JoAnn $50 gift card giveaway is...

Brittany @ The Pistachio Project 
who said,
"Paisley floor pillows!"

Congrats, ladies!! I have sent you an email so please respond to claim your prizes!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

halloween potion glasses {and a JoAnn's giveaway!}

I love JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores. I recently found out that they have a whole section of fun Halloween and Fall crafts on their site with all the directions you need to make some adorable crafts! I saw the chalkboard paint wine glasses and thought it would be really fun to make some with my boys. I knew they would love to help paint and then to fill the glasses with "potions" for Halloween. I found wine glasses at my dollar store and JoAnn's provided me with the rest of the supplies I needed.

First I wiped the wine glasses clean and then we drew a design on them in sharpie that we could fill in with chalkboard paint.

 Next we painted it with chalkboard paint using a thin enough brush to get in the edges.

You'll need to let the glasses sit for about 24 hours so the paint can dry. Then add more coats if necessary. Then rub over the paint all over with chalk, wipe it off and you are free to write whatever you want on them!

We filled our glasses with juice and my boys wrote "pumpkin potion" for the orange, and "witch brew" for the purple. I think any fun juice color could be made into a fun potion. Does anyone remember Ecto Cooler? Does that even still exist? That would be super fun to use as a potion with its bright green color!

The boys thought it was so fun to drink their Halloween potions! After Halloween is over we will have to come up with other things we can write on our chalkboard glasses. Check out all the fun JoAnn Halloween and Fall craft projects HERE.

Now for the GIVEAWAY!
Today, JoAnn Crafts is giving one of our readers the chance to win a $50 gift card to their store so you can buy your own craft supplies! All you need to do to enter is visit the craft projects mentioned above and find which one you would most like to make. Then come back and leave a comment with which it is. For a second entry you can share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter (leave us a link!). This giveaway will end on Sunday, October 28th at 11:59pm PT.

JoAnn also has a great coupon for you right now. You can get 50% off one regularly priced item through October 31st! You can download and print it from below or you can use the code halloween133 online at JoAnn.

I was provided all the supplies for this craft as well as a gift card by JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores as well as the giveaway gift card for a reader; however, all opinions are my own.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

seventh generation giveaway

My kids got flu shots this weekend and when that time of year comes around, I always feel like I need to be even more vigilant about trying to keep germs at bay. Which means more cleaning, wiping, hand washing, and tissue use!

Seventh Generation recently provided me with some products to help my efforts. Seventh Generation offers household and personal care products that help protect human health and the environment. I love that I can feel great about using their products because they are safe for my family but also protect the environment. They have a fabulous line of products that I can use every day.

Check out this fun DIY video that Seventh Generation created showing how to turn an empty tissue box into a scary (but cute) germ monster! This would be a fun project to do with my boys.

Today, Seventh Generation is giving one of our readers the chance to win a gift box of products like this...

All you need to do to enter is visit Seventh Generation and find a product you would love to try. Then come back and leave us a comment with what that product is!  This giveaway will end on Saturday, October 27th at 11:59pm PT.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

halloween treat boxes {tutorial}

Recently, I discovered Consumer Crafts. Dangerous, dangerous find. It is a great online craft store with great products and even more amazing prices! I know I will be shopping there very frequently. I ordered everything online that I needed to make some Halloween treat boxes and all the supplies arrived very quickly and without breaking the bank.

I am going to show you how simple it was to make these. They are cute little gifts and they were very inexpensive and easy to make. Fill them with your favorite treats or your friends or your husbands (sorry, Kev you aren't actually getting one) and gift away!

From Consumer Crafts, I ordered orange craft paint, brushes, bakers twine, patterned paper and these fabulous paper mache boxes that come in all different shapes and sizes. They were less than $1!

For my first box, which was circle shaped, I wanted to make a jack-o-lantern inspired treat box. I started by painting the box orange. It was very well covered in one coat, so I called it good.

After painting the box and letting it dry, I tied some black baker's twine around the lid.

Using a sharpie, I drew a jack-o-lantern face on the box and it was finished!

For my second treat box, I decided to mod podge some patterned paper onto a square paper mache box.

I cut strips of my patterned paper and brushed mod podge onto all the sides to glue the paper on, as well as on the lid.

I used a file to go around the edges and smooth out the paper so it really adhered to the box.

I did the same process on the lid and then tied a black ribbon around the box to finish the look. Simple, yet festive!

Trick or Treat? Or do I even have to ask?

Be sure to visit Consumer Crafts to buy fabulous, inexpensive craft supplies for every project! They also have a great blog, Crafts Unleashed and you can follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Right now they have a refer-a-friend contest you need to check out! You can enter to win (1 of 6) $250 prizes!

I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Consumer Crafts and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

halloween tote bags {from Zazzle}

I have been looking for some fun tote bags for my boys to use trick or treating this year. I received some adorable ones from Zazzle!

Zazzle is the world's leading platform for quality custom products. Zazzle's proprietary technology enables individuals, professional artists, and major brands, including Disney and Hallmark, to create and offer billions of unique products for customers worldwide. Zazzle's product base covers every topic imaginable and includes t-shirts, business cards and invitations, in addition to a variety of custom gifts. Upon creation, products are instantly and accurately visualized on the site and offered in the Zazzle marketplace. When ordered, each product is made on-demand, typically within 24 hours. It is such a fun site to create and purchase unique gifts! You can get everything from shirts to mugs, office products and electronics. Check it out! You can make some fabulous gifts for the holidays this year.

My boys are so excited to carry the tote bags around on Halloween. Well, who am I kidding they have already been carrying them all over the house. I love the one that says, "Got Candy?" Super cute. I really love that the bags are large too. My boys go trick or treating at Daddy's work and they really need big bags to haul all their loot around. They are very durable as well and I love that you can customize them. It will be a great year of Halloween festivities!

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

evgie studio giveaway winner

Thanks for entering the evgie studio giveaway! The lucky winner of a $50 gift card to the EVGIE shop is...

Little Ella Lu 
who said, 

Congrats! We have passed your email onto the sponsor and she will be contacting you. Have fun with decorating!

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kroger cart buster sale

The Kroger Cart Buster Sales Event starts today! I always look forward to this sale because it is such a great time to stock up on food items for my pantry. It is a great time to buy staples at cheap prices! It seems like in Fall I am always baking and preparing foods to have throughout the year, whether it be freezer meals or bulk items in my pantry. Plus, I always start looking for great deals on items I know I will need for the holidays when I am cooking and baking so much.

I am particularly looking forward to buying some of the tomato products like Hunt´s Cut Tomatoes and sauce so I can make a big batch of my bulk spaghetti sauce! If you have a favorite spaghetti sauce you can make a big batch of it and freeze it to pull out for meals all throughout Fall and Winter. Spaghetti sauce can be used for so many different filling meals to feed your family. Hunt's Cut Tomatoes can be used in so many different recipes as well! This is a great option for Fall because you can if you stock up on the Tomatoes in the Cart Buster sale when they are cheap, then you will have them on hand all season. You will be able to make a lot of meals ahead of time and save yourself time to focus on the upcoming holiday season! Tomatoes are always a staple that I like to have in my pantry.

In addition to the in-store savings, there is a Cart Buster site which you can visit to see the deal of the day and see what's on sale in store.

Download a digital coupon for a different product each day straight to your shopper card at the Cart Buster site for great deals on your favorite products at the Kroger Co. Family of Stores!

I was selected for participation in this campaign as a member of Clever Girls Collective.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

simple and fast sewing pattern {fingerless gloves}

We have a great guest tutorial from our friend at The Quilt Pattern Shoppe. Enjoy!
You do not need to be an expert in order to sew some truly creative and unique pieces of apparel. There are plenty of simple projects that while low on the difficulty scale, also result in amazing designs you can actually wear with pride. Even if you are very good at sewing, having some quick projects that do not require a ton of time is always nice. You can start sewing and have something new to wear in less than an hour! Sewing fingerless gloves from an old sweater is easy, fun, and a great way to recycle old clothing.

(Photo Credit: AnnaKika of Flickr)

There are plenty of benefits to using old sweaters for fabric. One of the best things is that most of the sewing is done for you! You also do not have to worry about knitting or other more difficult skills. Additionally, using fabric you already have will save the money and hassle of buying from a craft store. Quilting patterns are also a great use for old fabric.

First, trace your forearm and hand onto a piece of paper with your fingers together and the thumb facing out. This is your pattern. The pattern should extend to the first knuckle of your hand and then down as far as you want. Some people prefer their gloves to go all the way down to the elbow, while others stop at the wrist. The great thing about doing this yourself is that the details are up to you!

(Photo Credit: AnnaKika of Flickr)

Next, pin your pattern onto the fabric. Depending on the size of the sweater, you might be able to use the sleeves for this. Doing so will save you some work! Once the pattern is pinned, carefully cut around it. It is best to use a flat and clean surface for this.

Cut two layers for the front and back of the glove. Once the first glove is cut out, flip the pattern and cut out the second one. Make sure you flip it, otherwise you will have two of the same hand.

Pin both sides of the fabric together, with the inside of the fabric facing out. This is actually the inside of the glove. If you were able to use the sleeves, some of the sewing will already be done for you. If not, sew up the sides and between the thumb and finger holes. Use small and even stitches, a slip stitch is best.

You will have to turn in any raw edges, otherwise the fabric will unravel. Turn them in about 1/4 inch and sew a seam. This will give you a nice and clean edge.

(Photo Credit: AnnaKika of Flickr)

Turn your glove right side out and see if it fits. You now have a snugly, fashionable, and unique piece of apparel to wear! Show off your new accessory and start thinking about your next project.

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