DIY, Inspiration

DIY Confetti Bags for New Years Eve

I hope everyone had a merry and blessed Christmas! Mine was great. Lots of family time and lots of good food. I think I’m finally coming down off of the 4 day sugar high I was on, too.

I’m just popping by today to share this great idea for a quick and easy New Years DIY that I saw this morning on the LawnFawn YouTube channel. I loved it so much I had to share.

I just love how fun and colorful the confetti bags are. They add a nice hand-made touch to a new years celebration, yet they look super easy to make. I wish I had thought of them myself! Since I’ll be celebrating at someone else’s house on New Years Eve, and won’t have to clean up, I might have to make some of these bags to bring along…. :)

And just in case you’re looking for some more easy New Year DIY projects here are a few others that I love:

kimberly

DIY

DIY Clarifying Shampoo // The Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Adding an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse to your hair care regimen is ideal for those of us who want to remove product build up and get rid of some itchy-flakies. Mixing up this quick and easy rinse, and using it after shampooing or on its own before conditioner once a month or every two weeks can really make a world of difference, especially if you’re like me and tend to go a few days between washes when it comes to your hair (if we’re being honest, I only shampoo my naturally curly hair about once a week – this helps me to keep my hair from becoming too dry, and/or experiencing a lot of breakage due to constant wear and tear from washing and combing and styling, plus I don’t go through product so quickly).

apple cider vinear rinse

Benefits of ACV:

  • Balances hair and scalp pH
  • Removes product buildup
  • Soothes itchy, dry scalp
  • It’s an inexpensive alternative to clarifying shampoo (plus no parabens or sulfates, naturally!)

To make and use the rinse: Mix one part organic ACV with 3 parts water. I like to mix mine into a small plastic applicator bottle. Apply the ACV to your scalp and roots, then distribute throughout  you rhair to the ends. Massage your scalp for a few minutes, then rinse. Follow up your cleansing ACV rinse with conditioner and continue on to style as usual.  If you don’t use the entire rinse in one application, just leave in the shower for next time. Easy Peasy.

kimberly

 

DIY, Recipes

DIY// Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter

Coconut oil is having a moment right now, you guys. Suddenly it’s used by everyone for everything. And rightly so, because it’s apparently pretty amazing. It’s full of vitamin E, antioxidants and healthy fats, and can be used in countless different ways. I’ve used coconut oil in hair masks, lip scrubs, cookie and cake recipes, body scrubs, and I’ve recently been experimenting with using coconut oil for oil pulling (so far so good) and makeup removal. Today, I’m sharing a quick and easy recipe for Whipped Coconut Oil Body Lotion.

DIY Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter

This stuff can be whipped up (ha ha) in minutes, smells great, and is super moisturizing on dry skin. Also, a little goes a long way, so although this recipe doesn’t make a ton of lotion, it will last. I tend to concentrate it on spots where my skin is dryest – my elbows, and knees, specifically, then rub the excess wherever else I need a little more moisture. In addition to the coconut oil, this body butter also aloe vera gel which makes it extra soothing, a bit of olive oil for added moisture and to aid in producing the smooth consistency, and a few drops of lemongrass essential oil. The lemongrass oil gives the body butter a great scent, and lemongrass comes with its own long list of health benefits as well.

Recipe:

  • 1 Cup Organic Unrefined (or Virgin) Coconut Oil (do NOT melt it first, it must be in its solid state!)
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Aloe Vera Gel (I use Lily of the Desert brand)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 5(or so) drops Lemongrass Essential Oil (or any essential oil of your choice, really). This step is optional.

Directions:

Add the ingredients to a mixing bowl. Use a hand- or stand-mixer to whip the ingredients on high for 7 or so minutes until they’ve reached a whipped, airy consistency. Remove you lotion from the bowl and store it in a glass container at room temperature. Apply it after a shower for supple, moisturized skin.

Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter

I really have to recommend using only organic, unrefined coconut oil for just about all of the topical things you plan to use coconut oil for (this includes oil pulling). Refined coconut oil can have “other” things in it that you might not want to be absorbed into your body through your skin.

I’m thinking Key Lime Coconut Oil Body Butter next!

kimberly

Recipe adapted from Healthy Homemakers.
DIY, Inspiration

Beauty Tips // Getting the most out of your makeup

I’m an avid reader of beauty blogs – whether it’s DIY masks for healthier skin, reviews of new makeup products,  or the best protective styles for my curly hair, I love reading and pinning ideas that get me thinking about ways to improve my own beauty routine.  In fact, one of the most popular post on my blog to date is my post on how to clean your makeup brushes and I hope to begin sharing more beauty-related and hair-care posts here in the future.

Clean Makeup Brushes

Since we’re experiencing another snowstorm (ugh!) here in the northeast today, it’s a perfect day for me to catch up on some blog posts! I was recently turned onto this post, by Lana Ramos, about how to get the most out of your makeup products and save money at the same time.

my makeup bag

Naturally, my favorite of her 5 tips is #3, about cleaning your brushes. Brushes are an investment, and you should take care of them not only to prevent bacteria from building up and getting on your face, but also to prevent you from spending more money on replacement brushes in the long run. The other take-aways from the post, though, include not wasting foundation by dispensing more than you actually need (same goes for things like lotions or other liquid products), storing your products appropriately, and making sure you purchase products that you’re actually going to use.

You can find the Save Makeup Save Money: Tips for Making your Beauty Products Last post, by clicking this link!

To pick up or re-stock your own beauty and makeup favorites (lipsticks, blushes, brushes, hair tools, etc.), visit HSN’s beauty section, or their makeup page.

Enjoy your weekend, lovies!

kimberly

DIY

DIY Favor Labels

Well, we’re experiencing somewhat of a heat-wave here today, with temperatures expected to get up into the near 40s! I do like the colder weather, but it’s been just a bit too cold for me. After a week of weather in the single digits and teens, I’ll happily take 39 degrees. I suppose we’re luckier here than those in other parts of the country who have been experiencing some hellishly cold weather so I should be thankful for that. In celebration of today’s “warm” weather, I thought I’d share a project I completed way back in the summertime (July, I think?).

Apple Butter with DIY TagsAlthough I had to make over 100 of them, the little circular labels I made for our homemade apple butter wedding favors were conceptually pretty simple. Smaller circles glued onto bigger circles that had a scalloped edge. I also designed the labels to have a front and back, and created the text as well. For the bulk of the job, I used my silhouette cameo to cut the circles and print the text, but you could easily use a circle cutter and your own handwriting.

DIY Favor Label Pieces

I used:

  • My Silhouette Cameo to design and plot the text, then to cut the circles. If you don’t have a paper cutting machine, you could easily purchase a circle cutter, like this one, or this one. Or something like this one, if you’re feeling especially fancy.
  • White cardstock for the center circles (of course you can use any color you want!)
  • Tan/Brown cardstock for the larger scalloped-edge circles (I had to use two different browns because when I ran back to the store to get some more after I had used up what I bought, the store was sold out of the color I had been using)
  • Glue (a glue stick, rubber cement, any old lightweight glue that is suitable for paper will work)
  • A single-hole punch (to punch a circle through the center of the finished label, in order to string the twine through)
  • Jute twine to attach the circles to the jars
  • You may also want a nice ink pen or a marker, to write on the label once it’s assembled.

Assembled Label

After cutting out all of the circles (double the amount of white ones, because my labels were two-sided), I glued them all together, inserting a larger scalloped circle between two white ones, making sure they were centered (although not all of them were perfect). Then, I used a single hole punch to punch a little hole at the top, through all three pieces, in order to attach the label to the mason jars. Then, I went to town, tying them all onto the jars, one by one. A single knotted bow seemed to work alright, but I found out pretty quickly that the best way to get the twine to stay on the jars was to add a little dot of hot glue in one spot underneath the twine, to affix it to the jar – a little tip from me to you :)

Apple Butter Jars with DIY Labels

These were definitely a labor of love, but I was really happy with how they turned out.

kimberly

Recipes

A Homemade Apple Butter Adventure

Last year, the hubs (then fiance) and I took a trip to upstate New York to visit my dear friends Anna and Garrett. It was a great weekend, we enjoyed a make-your-own-pizza night at their church, shopped at my favorite little bulk food market (because, cheese curds), visited a few farmers markets, played with Anna & Garrett’s goats….and made a ton of apple butter.

Why, you ask?

Because we gave 4oz jars of apple butter as wedding favors. :)

Apple Butter Wedding Favors

It was fun, but it was  a full day (and a half!) of work. Together, we ended up with roughly 165 small jars of apple butter. The people at the farmers market might have thought we were crazy.

Apple Butter Ingredients

Since we were making so much, we had an outrageous recipe.

We used:

  • 5.8 gallons of cider
  • 1.76 bushels of apples, different varieties
  • 8.8 lbs of sugar
  • Cinnamon & nutmeg to taste

Our portions, however, ended up very approximate (because I don’t’ know who is going to measure out exactly 1.76 bushels of apples…). We followed this recipe, very loosely.

And we peeled. We peeled and we peeled. We broke out the peeler and the corer, and peeled some more.

Peeling Apples

Peeled Apples

And the goats enjoyed the fruits (ha) of our labor.

Goats Eating Apple Peels

We started by boiling down the cider until it thickened, then added the apples and sugar and simmered them until they could be easily mashed. This took hours, and lots of constant stirring. By the end we had 3 stove pots and two crock pots going! When it was about finished, we added some cinnamon & nutmeg. All the while we sanitized the jars for canning, and had canners boiling away at the ready.

Apples in the Pot

It was a fairly messy process, but it all came together in the end.

Garrett and Apples

This was my first experience with canning. Why not jump in with both feet, right? It was great to learn about the process with friends who are much more experienced. I felt like a pro after 150+ jars canned. I can can anything!

Canned Apple Butter

Phew. It was definitely a labor of love. But it came out great (if I do say so) and it was so nice to give wedding favors that we had crafted ourselves, with the help of Anna and Garrett (thanks, A & G)! Since the jars were sanitized and hermetically sealed, the apple butter kept perfectly – we just made sure to store it in a cool, dry place.

And in case you were looking for a recipe that’s a little bit more reasonably proportionate, here are some other yummy-sounding apple butter recipes:

kimberly

DIY

DIY Monogrammed Tote Bags

DIY Monogrammed Tote Bag

I wanted to share these easy DIY tote bags because they are the perfect handmade gift-vehicle, and it’s that time of year (although I’m refusing to listen to any Christmas music yet)! I made these totes for my bridesmaids, flower girl and ring bearer and gave them out after our rehearsal dinner. I loved how they came out, and stuffed them with all kinds of stuff – toys, coloring books and candies for the flower girl and ringbearer, and lavender soap, flip-flops, personalized dress hangers, robes and all the essential bridesmaid survival kit stuff for my ‘maids.

To make your own monogrammed tote, you will need:

  • A tote bag – I purchased these from Amazon.com
  • acrylic paint in the color of your choice
  • paintbrush
  • a letter stencil – I made my own using my silhouette cameo
  • tape – painters tape or masking tape is best
  • I also used an iron to smooth any wrinkles on the tote bag before I started

N Stencil in Silhouette Studio

First, you’ll need to make or buy a large letter stencil. I used my silhouette cameo to cut  letters for my stencils (the letters were about 10 inches high). I used the font Janda Celebration Script for the letters on the girls’ bags, and a more simple/boy appropriate script for the ringbearer bag. Another way to make your own stencil would be to make a large letter in Microsoft Word or another document writing program, print it out and then cut it out.

Letter Stencil on Tote Bag

Then, I just taped the stencil onto the bag, making sure there were no wrinkles under the stencil, and painted over the stencil with acrylic paint.

Painting the Monogrammed Tote Bag

Then, I just removed the stencil, cleaned up any areas I might have missed and let the bags dry.

M Tote Bag

Finished! I really like how they turned out, and I wish I had made one for myself. I might have to now.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you make your own monogrammed tote bags, and what you put in them!

kimberly