VANILLA CLOVE DIY BODY OIL SPRAY

Hello Lovely,

I always thought it would be cool to make my own scent. When I went to the VIVA conference, I did that but forgot to take a particular ingredient out and it ended up tainting the entire scent making it useless. But when I did make it, it was a delicious spice scent that kind of reminded me of cookies baking while you admire a fresh pot of flowers. (Weird combination I know). So after that epic fail, I decided to try again with simpler ingredients that anyone could find in their kitchen pantry (minus the sweet almond oil base).

Even my brother admitted that he liked the smell of this and he generally ignores my existence. So I think we have a winner!

I plan on gifting this to my sister-in-law as a thank you for everything she's done to help me out these past two years. I also plan on buying more sweet almond oil from Whole Foods so that I can make more of this over the holidays to bring back for friends. Here's how you can make your own.

CAUTION: You just might attract that special someone to meet you under the mistletoe if you wear this!

Vanilla Clove DIY Body Oil Spray

  • 1/4 cup almond oil (walnut or jojoba oil would also work)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. You can also use vanilla essential oil.
  • 2-3 drops clove oil or 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • A small spray bottle

Combine all of the ingredients. I prefer to let the whole cloves sit in the mixture for about 5 minutes, just to infuse the scent. Remove the cloves and pour into a small spray bottle (you should definitely use a funnel for this, I ended up spilling some of mine). If you’re not smelling enough vanilla, go ahead and add a 1/2 teaspoon more.

My hand was a little heavy on the vanilla extract, so this smells very vanilla-y. I hope that's not a problem for her. If you go heavy on the vanilla, use the spray sparingly because a little goes a long way, trust me! I was really tempted to keep this one for myself. Who would you gift this to? Share with us in the comment section below!

DIY Chalkboard Serving Tray

Hello Lovely,

How fun is our chalkboard serving tray guys!?  These are great for entertaining, centerpieces and they also make great gifts!  

Get your wood. You can make yours as long as you want!

First step… Stain your board if it isn't already! You don't want it to dry rot.

After your stain dries (about an hour), tape off the edges and sides using painter’s tape if you don't want the sides to be painted. I didn't do that to mine because I wanted the whole thing to be painted.

Now for chalkboard spray paint… We love this stuff! It's under $4 at Walmart so shop around and see how much local stores are selling it for if you're not near a Walmart. Just give the exposed wood a coat of it and allow up to 1 hour for it dry completely.

Now for the hardware! You can have so much fun with this part!  We used simple silver drawer handles, but you can change yours up to fit your taste or give it a different look! Feel free to recycle and old handle. If you have to buy any, they're usually under $5 at major department stores like Kelly's and CBS. I don't have the tools to attach the handles using the provided screws, so I hot glue mine.

Suggestions: Know your limits. The type of wood used and your method of attaching the handle to the wood will determine the sturdiness of your serving tray. I don't want you to be embarrased serving food on your brand new DIY tray to friends and it falls apart. So if you used cheap wood like me, and attached the handles using hot glue instead of the screws, try to only serve light snacks on it and avoid anything heavy like your fancy wine crafe and glasses.

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And that's it! The size of your board will determine how much food you can fit on it. Because I don't host many social gatherings (yet), I knew I wouldn't need anything too big. Wow your friends with this simple DIY at your next soiree and make sure to use dustless chalk to avoid allergens!

DIY Geometric Hand Dotted Wall Art

Hello Lovely,

I noticed that the walls of my office were a little bare and in much need of sprusing up. I decided that since I have so many love notes from students on my wall, a handmade artwork would fit perfectly with the decor theme I already had.

This project is really simple and fully customisable. I used the same hand dotted technique that I used with the Tumblers. All you need to make your own is:

  • 3-4 different complimentary colours of paint
  • Cotton swabs
  • 2 pieces of white cardstock 
  • Paper cutter
  • Glue/adhesive
  • Photo frame (desk or hanging)

Directions

  1. Start with one piece of cardstock. A fun alternative to this would be to cut multi-coloured pieces of cardstocks into fun shapes and designs then glue them onto your white cardstock.
  2. Dip your cotton swabs into the various colours and create your design. Maybe you want hand dotted, maybe you want to paint a design. It's completely up to you!
  3. Allow to dry completely. Fold the paper in half until it can't fold in half any more. Then using your paper cutter, cut into triangles. If you want to use a different shape, cut out those shapes from your paper.
  4. Arrange your pieces on the other cardstock in a design that you like, then glue in place. Allow to dry completely before placing inside of your photo frame, and that's it! Show off your artwork in your office or around the house. You can even get the kids involved in this project!

I think this can hang in a museum, don't you? Which designs would you make?

Hydrating Aloe Body Butter

I’m soo happy to pull out ‘the forgotten mixer’ I received as a wedding gift a few years ago.  I had only used it a few times, mostly due to the lack of counter space at our current residence.  It’s the Kitchenaid brand which is known for quality , elegance and speed but is also quite a heavy piece of equipment.  Since December of last year I’ve been eager to create a body butter that was whipped to perfection.  I haven’t received my essential oils as yet but I’m happy to say that today, I was able to make my first batch.  This three ingredient body butter will moisturize and heal your skin naturally with the Vitamin A, E, fatty acids and UV ingredients found collectively in these ingredients.  With sunnier days fast approaching, this would be the perfect daily must have.

As an option you can add 2-3 drops of your favourite essential oil for a preferred scent otherwise the butter will smell like shea butter.

Aloe Body Butter

Ingredients

  • Fresh Aloe Vera Gel (1/4 of a piece of aloe gel from the leaf)
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp. Raw Shea butter

Directions

  1. Blend the aloe vera gel in a mixer or blender until smooth and bubbly (approx. 10 minutes depending on the power and speed of your mixer/blender).  
  2. Once the gel has reached the desired texture, add the remaining ingredients and let mix until it has a whipped, fluffy texture with peaks.  
  3. Place into an airtight container and keep in your fridge or in a cool dark area for preservation.  You now have a body butter that you can use after your shower in the morning and evenings that will help with maintain softness and a glow in your skin.

What other skin must haves do you keep handy? Share your natural beauty must haves in the comment section below and if you're planning on adding this DIY to your beauty regime.

XoX,

DIY Zipper Ring

Hello Lovely,

Remember when I shared my list of DIY projects to complete over the weekend? Well I’ve been slowly completing them over time, because of my busy work and school schedule. It’s been like little treats to myself to craft something in between all of the chaos.

So on Sunday, when I woke up to a rainy morning, I decided as a spur of the moment thing to do, instead of making breakfast, to make this ring! I knew it was going to be easy, but didn’t expect it to be so easy! It literally took me only 10 minutes to make this, including my BS time spent walking around aimlessly, and stopping to take photos of the Step-by-step. So if you’ve got a rainy afternoon, this is the perfect activity and takes very few supplies.

Supplies

·        Zipper (cut in half; great because this can make two rings)

·        Blank ring (could be one that the pendant fell off of, or a blank ring from the craft store; mine is adjustable)

·        Glue gun and glue sticks

·        Gem stone for the middle

·        Small felt circle

 

Gather your supplies on your work surface. If you haven’t already, cut the zipper in half. A broken zipper is perfect for this because you won’t miss it. You’re going to need pliers to remove the actual zip piece if it’s still there.

Take your zip and tie it in a knot.

Then tuck the loose ends in on itself. It’s kind of like making a wreath. Use your glue gun to secure these pieces.

Attach the back of the zipper wreath to your felt circle. Because of my type of ring, I attached the felt to the ring itself to make sure it fit properly.

Glue the gem stone in the middle.

Attach to the ring base.

And rock your new ring!

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See I told you it was easy! The great thing about this is that the design is totally customizable! And with two halves of a zipper to work with, you can always try again if you mess up.

What kind of designs are you thinking of trying with this?

How a Trip to the Salon Nearly Ruined My Life

Hello Lovely,

It's funny how one day before I was supposed to do something to cheer up my soon-to-be step-sister, I was in desperate need of cheering up myself. Wait, what? You're probably wondering what happened and who this soon-to-be-step-sister is. Calm down! Let's back-track shall we?

So I work in a school as a secretary. Not glamorous but it pays the bills. My dad's girlfriend, now fiance, has two daughters who both go to this school. They're only a little over a year apart with the youngest daughter being 13. Ouch! I know! Very difficult years to navigate! Well on Friday the youngest came into the office to call her mum because she had a bad day. After she hung up, I pulled her to the side to talk. Now I know it would be very easy to ignore this situation as we are nothing to each other. But I'm the bigger (older) person and I have to set the tone for how our 'relationship' will be, i.e. whether or not we'll even have one. I should mention that before this, we had never spoken. Even during the photo shoot, I just took their pictures and communicated through my dad. I didn't expect her to say much of anything to me (she's a teen, they're tough to talk to). But as soon as we were alone, she immediately opened up and began crying. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm awkward around tears (despite also being an MFT Intern). I either start crying too, or completely ignore you. I listened to her, shared some of my own relevant experience and in a last minute effort to win her over, I offered to come by on Sunday after church to do some craft projects with her. This really got her excited and we even hugged on it!

I was really proud of myself for answering God's call to lend a helping hand to someone in need. But this joy didn't last long. On Saturday, I went to my mum's hairdresser for a wash and TRIM. I emphasize the word trim, because it seemed simple enough, yet I walked out of there with more than three inches less, than what I walked in with. As angry as I was with her, I was angrier with myself. I knew that she tends to cut instead of trim, but I still went to her because the service was being paid for by my mum. I had a feeling that she was cutting off more than she should have, but I didn't stop her. I didn't demand that she turn me around so that I could see in the mirror exactly how much she was cutting off. I didn't speak up.

And trust me, I have watched enough episodes of Law and Order SVU and read enough textbooks to know that the victim always blames herself even though it's never the victims fault, but I couldn't help it. I cried all night. Even when I thought I was over it, I cried again. My mother, dad, brother, boyfriend, best friends, even my boss (when I ran into her after the incident) tried to console me and shared in my anger. I think what made this even more difficult was that back in 2009, after getting my heart broken by my first real boyfriend, one of my best friends helped me to dye my hair at home, and then like an idiot only one month later, tried to perm it at home. You're probably thinking it couldn't have been that bad, could it? Oh it was bad trust me! The bottom right side of my head was bald and the rest of my hair was thinning out. I had no choice but to cut it in one of the ugliest haircuts I have ever seen (a little on the top, practically nothing at the back). That was definitely in my top 5 traumatic experiences ever! So when my hair got cut again, it definitely brought back flashbacks and major PTSD. I was ready to skip out on Church and the crafts on Sunday, but I made a promise to her and at her age, broken promises make you good as dead to them.

So on Sunday, I wrapped my head in a scarf, ready to hide my shame, gathered my craft supplies and headed out the door for church. I wasn't crying any more over the haircut, but a dark cloud still loomed over me. But get this. When I stepped outside, I noticed that the Hibiscus tree was in bloom. And so were my mother's Lilies. Fresh flowers that weren't there the day before! It was a miracle. I knew instantly that, that was God's way of smiling down on me and letting me know that everything would be okay. Imagine. While my world was in chaos, the outside world was still functioning and better yet, BLOOMING! My mother's lilies hadn't been in bloom in about a year. I was struggling with my outer beauty, when there was so much beauty around me.

Sure I still had an anxiety attack at church and practically ran out of the room before crying again, but that was the last of it. Having dinner with my step-family and bonding over painting mugs and bowls was really therapeutic as it allowed me to get to know them better and create something beautiful. 

Now I am not an expert artist. Painting is not my forte. Nor my step-sisters. But we had a blast fudging our way through it. I think my mug turned out pretty decent and I'm proud I was able to produce a bowl to match. Sure the bowl looks a little tribal, while the mug is more like a cow skipping through an asymmetrical garden. But everyone loved the design and I think my grandmother will love it as a Mother's Day present! (I was originally going to give it to my mother but she reads my blog so that would totally ruin the surprise).

This is the beauty of healing through art therapy. In art therapy, words are not always necessary. A mere lump of clay or a blank canvas can be far less threatening than giving voice to painful feelings, words, or images. The simple act of a scribble on paper can likely bring light to darkness, ignite conversation, or be a release for a depressing thought. I leave you with this verse to encourage you throughout your week:

Isaiah 41:10

10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Coconut Oil & Coffee Body Scrub

Hello Lovely,

So I LOOOOOVE coffee! I love it so much so, that when I joked with a teacher to bring me some coffee from her trip to Cuba, she actually brought me some! And another teacher gave me a baggie of coffee. I use it to cure my headaches and refuse to do work until I at least brew my coffee! And as bad as this sounds, one of the reasons I continued going to my church when I first started, was the free Starbucks coffee. Miraculously I don't drink coffee on Saturdays, but you can imagine, with me brewing coffee five days a week, that's a lot of coffee grounds being thrown away....or reused if you know what to do with them!

Yes, you can totally use used coffee grounds to make a spa-like body scrub.  Sounds crazy, right?  I recommend using 2 parts coconut oil to 1 part coffee grounds.  You want to use room temperature coconut oil, not quite melted, still solid but soft enough to scoop out.  Pour the two ingredients into a medium sized bowl.  Doesn’t look too luxurious at this point, does it?  But, just you wait!  Then use a hand mixer to whip the oil and coffee grounds together.

And this is what it looks like after you have whipped it up.  You guys, it smells so gooooooooooood. I’m not a fan of the scent of coconut but the coffee definitely makes up for it!  And doesn’t it look like Cookies ‘n’ Cream ice cream?  But DO NOT eat it.  I mean you could because it’s all technically edible, but it would be so gross.  So just smell it.  And put it on your skin.  But not in a creepy Silence of the Lambs way.

This works like any other body scrub.  Scrub it on your skin in a circular motion, rinse it off, and pat your skin dry.  Since neither oil nor the coffee grounds are shower drain friendly, don’t use more than you need to and run hot water down your drain for a while after use.  I found that my skin felt like I had just bathed in body butter, and if that’s an icky feeling for you too, don’t worry; the feeling goes away after about ten minutes, and you won’t even need to wear lotion!

If you store the scrub in an airtight container, it will last a few weeks — but toss it out at any signs of mould or mildew.  Keeping the jar of scrub in the fridge will extend its life a bit longer.  Also, if you store the scrub above 76 degrees the coconut oil will start to melt again.  If that happens just pop it in the fridge for a bit, and then whip it up again.

Make sure to check out the other DIY projects I share this week.  You might also like these previous posts:

How To Make Your Own Brown Sugar

Island Gal Themed Desktop Notepad

DIY Body Wash with Honey + Coconut Oil

XoX,

 

 

DIY Gold Edge Painted Business Cards

Hello Lovely,

After sharing my interest in this find last week, I couldn't wait to get started on this project! It really it so quick and easy, but don't take any detail for granted when prepping for this! Edge painting can really bring a business card to life. When I got my business cards done, I was absolutely in love with them! I didn't think they could look any better! 

But I was inspired to give them an edge and this project is so easy, it really only takes about 5 minutes, including drying time! All you have to do is simply stack the cards (cover the top and bottom of the cards with a piece of paper to take the brunt of the paint), place a heavy object on top and spray the edges with gold spray paint. After letting them dry for 3 minutes they were ready to go and the finished effect is just what was needed to complete the right look.

My only regret is that I didn't paint my nails before doing this, and I didn't have painters tape to ensure no residue got on the main card area. So try to keep some on hand before you start painting!