Posts in Category: DIY & Crafts
What are your top hair care products? For me, it’s dry shampoo and sea salt spray. Ever since I cut my hair, my hair texture once again changed. I’ve gotten used to it … when I was a little girl I had bone straight hair. With puberty, came the curls. My first pregnancy saw waves and with my second, my hair had gone nearly straight again. Then … all of a sudden, a few years after the birth of my second child, BOOM! Wavy hair again. And when I chopped it, those waves, of course, bounced up even more. It’s never gotten to the full-on curl that it used to be and I’m totally cool with that. The ever-evolving state of my hair, however, has resulted in me playing around with different hair products to suit its current state.
It was somewhere, down one rabbit hole or another on the internets, that I discovered many a woman singing the praises of Sea Salt Sprays to produce a texturized, beach wave look to one’s hair. I saw the photos, I saw the comparisons and read the reviews. I tried a few out and was not pleased. I don’t like crunchy, greased up hair, but I do like some definition and frizz taming action. Shine, luster, and bounce are all good in my books too. I quickly discovered one product that stood out, both in it’s hefty price tag and level of performance. The Bumble and Bumble Sea Salt Spray. A bitty bottle runs about 30 bucks and with my thick head of hair … doesn’t last long. So I purchased one bottle to give it a go: fell in love with the ease of simply spraying it into my wet hair, tousling around and letting air dry.
Towards the last dregs of the glorious bottle did I vow to start experimenting with making my own. I’m no stranger to making my own apothecary items, so I examined those Bumble ingredients and while I couldn’t read half of them and had no desire to duplicate – I felt that I could replicate something fairly similar at a fraction of the cost. Several attempts later and I finally produced something that I’m very happy with! Quite a few of my friends and readers expressed wanting the recipe when I finally mastered it so here you go beauties! (The magic to the WIN factor with this? I went above what most other DIY recipes I saw were calling for, and I noted one stand out ingredient in the Bumble and Bumble spray that I could read. Sea Kelp extract. Get on it. You can find at your local health food store or order from Amazon online. You want all of the magnesium-rich sea botanicals you can get when it comes to attaining that thickness, volume, shine and definition you crave.)
This spray refreshes quite nicely and I’ve gone 3 days MAX in-between washes when I use it and yes, that includes when I workout. That’s what dry shampoo is for! Try it and let me know how much you love it and spread this DIY around with those who are lovers of the Sea Salt Spray action.
The winter has been long and the crafting and visualizing and dreaming and mapping and tackling has been much. Here’s a bit of what our hands have been up to, feeding our spirits and continuing to make our home uniquely our own. Where our hearts live and dragons breathe fire on occasion, when it all becomes too much. So we make felt and pipe cleaner crowns and wands and hope it’s magic enough until the frost breaks. (Which it did, and then it didn’t, and then it did … and we’re currently in a state of blizzardy DIDN’T.) The making of said crowns and wands turned more into a mom-craft than a kid-craft as they lost interest, but they still have fun playing with them anyways.
Our home: where no one else knows and no one else but us, my little family … sees the joys and failures of each day. As long as we use our hands to gather hugs, make art and build pretty things, I’m confident, all will be fine. I know I breathe fire a lot less when tapping into creativity and art. Something I hope to continue to pass onto my chldren. Play is the work of childhood after all, as Maria Montessori so simple yet brilliantly coined many moons ago.
Below are some floating shelves I’ve been conjuring upon since last summer, using galvanized steel, pine I measured, had cut at the good ‘ole Home Depot, stained and cured myself. Of course I measured the pipe I had cut wrong, but everything else was perfect, I swear! If not for some very good friends who came over to help, we would have been doomed. (I’m talking to you Sean! And Char, your lovely wife for holding up the windows that I had to take down one by one and clean, inclding all the runners and all the yuck. At 10 o’clock at night. When you were both supposed to be our dinner guests. And I fed you vegetarian that was spicy. Becasue of course.)
Anyways, aren’t they pretty? I had a hard time getting good photos since the shelves hover over a window, hence an epic battle with natural light and all, but you’ll have to trust me, they are quite dreamy and my kicthen is slowly turning into the unique, totally custom, inviting headquartes of magic-making, love-making, , ecclectic, homestead-y, jungalow type of warmth that I’ve been dreaming about …
For a long-time, right on up into my thirties, (pre-kids), I had relatively good skin with the a little bit of the oily t-zone action happening. Skin that didn’t need much attention, no real regime. I was prone to having a moderately oily t-zone, but that was it.
Enter my mid-thirties, after kids, and well … those wacky, silly hormones went berserk! Oh hormones are JUST SO silly. They make me laugh and laugh. And cry. And scream. And curse. The profanity always helps.
Everything I thought I knew about my body, my hair, my skin, my bones, my shape, my mood, my metabolism … EVERYTHING, basically went out the door. My skin started to develop spots and rough patches (yes, I’ve had it looked into), more oil in that t-zone area than before, and breakouts. I’m a teen again and I’m raging. Well, honestly, I’ve always been a bit ragey — but we’re not here to talk about that right now.
Slowly, I’ve been discovering the many virtues of slapping natural products on my face because I just can’t be bothered with dishing out major coin and time finding products that I’m shilled in stores and online. I’m wary of marketing hype and buzzwords, especially revolving around “natural” products. Which is precisely what some of you might think about this oil cleansing business. Oils are big right now. Huge. Moms especially, are reigning supreme on the MLM opportunities available with certain therapeutic-grade, organic essential oil companies. Clearly I’m not going to hate on that when I’m in the MLM business myself.
What I do know, is that essential oils are the BOMBDIGGITY. That’s me getting all scientific for ya. I did lots of rearch and decicded to try out what everyone was all hyped up over. Could the therapeutic qualities of oil not only soothe my mind by their mere scent alone, but heal me from the inside out too? I don’t know about the medicinal qualities as far as healing people from disease, but I do know that the diffuser that sits next to my bedside table gets used daily with different blends to suit different moods. I swear my sleep has improved and I know my kids’ has with the one in their room. I could go on about the additional healing qualities I use oil for, like when I use it in salves with beeswax and coconut oil as the carrier to rub on the bottoms of little feet and chests when sick (instead of Vicks), or how I use them with vinegar to use as a natural fabric softener. Or with peroxide, Dr. Bronners and vinegar to make my own cleaner.
Oh, so I guess I just did it anyways. How about I get back to spewing why I’ve started using food grade, moisturizing oils on my FACE! Upon first discovery I thought … oil? On my face? Uh, no. That would make it more greasy, I thought. Oils definitely would not clean my face, I thought. So, without further ado, these are my top 3 reasons why I have made the switch and what dispelled some common myths for me about oil cleansing …
Body butter is one of those luxurious body care products that I covet. For a long-time I used store bought and recently discovered that with so few ingredients and with my trusty boy-friend on the case (vitamix for life) … that I could make my own at a fraction of the cost!
Shea and cocoa are my two favourite types of base carriers for any moisturizing cream or body butter, and since making it on my own I decided to merge the two together. I think the best part about making my own apothecary products is how completely customizable they are. You could use mango butter or other oils in this or just one base butter. It’s all up to you!
I used to alternate between using coconut oil and the body butters I purchased to moisturize as I found that while the coconut oil absorbed really quickly, I still felt a bit dry after a while. I thought I could just get away with using the raw cocoa or shea butter a few times a week or as needed, but it’s quite heavy on it’s own and takes a long-time to absorb. The remedy has been to experiment and combine my favourite ingredients until I found something that mimiced my store purchases in texture, feel, absorbency and moisturizing staying power.
For you because sometimes I’m nice, if you dig it … use it. Free high res download here: print | hang | post | share | pin | Insta | credit
We set out to make necklaces and what began as a craft activity, turned into a great learning experience as well. As is often the case when making and creating with kids. Abby was very excited at the prospect of making her own necklace and that excitement rubbed off on me. I had to make one too, because why not? I’m really enjoying our days together and feeling good about ‘working’ less to keep her home until she starts school in kindergarten. The rate at which both of my kids are growing is glaring me in the face. All of those past annoying mantras and expressions about the early years being such a fleeting time that we (moms, parents) really should cherish are starting to be less annoying. So I’m savouring. I’m cherishing. I’m positive she is too, given the amount of times she vocalized very precisely not wanting to go to preschool anymore and to stay home with me. It was an everyday occurrence. While I may not savour working more in the evenings, now that my days are mostly filled with playing with her and teaching her … I am extremely privileged in that I can make this happen for us; that I do work from home and that I have a flexible schedule to give us these next 6 months together.
The Developmental and Emotional Benefits of Beading With Kids
- Fine | Visual Motor Skills: grasping, in-hand manipulation skills, eye-hand co-ordination
- Visual Perception: scanning and using their visual memory to make patterns
- Cognitive Skills: math and planning
- Benefits: well ya know…improved skills in all of the areas mentioned above, as well as getting dressed: doing up their own buttons, (obviously not after ONE beading sesh together, but make it a regular activity and BOOM, more self-sufficient kids. You’re welcome) improved pencil, crayon and paint-brush grasp for writing and art making. Improved sense of confidence and accomplishment. Perhaps the biggest benefit of all? Spending time with YOU! Creating something with your child is a great way to bond with them. Playing with our kids is an everyday way to bring up their serotonin levels. It has been proven time and again, that they have a psychological and physical approach to spending time with us that they don’t have with other people! Endorphins let loose and spirits soar.
When we’re longing for days like this…
And our once sun-drenched skin cries out for more; mere lotion alone, for most, is but a joke. Most kids I know, mine included, get dry, itchy skin in the winter…and so do I. I also have sensitive skin, and thus, so do my children. I’ve never been a fan of drugstore brand creams and salves. The holistic brands while worth it, are usually quite expensive. So, long ago, back when I did that artisan thing…I dabbled in apothecary and herbalism and made what at the time, I dubbed: Cheeky Bum Salve. It was one of my top sellers on-line and at shows. It’s the one thing people are still emailing me for and is well requested from family and friends. It took me a while to perfect it and now I have a luxuriously versatile, healing and moisturizing salve.
We especially go through a lot of this salve in the winter to stave of ‘winter cheeks’ and chapped lips, that babies, toddlers, kids (even the big ones) are prone to, especially if they live in the polar vortex and still love to play outside. Complimented by the fact that kids are always getting cuts and scrapes and who needs a bunch of different creams and salves for all the things? While initially making this may not be what most would consider, ‘easy’ … you definitely won’t regret it. Slather it on your feet and put socks on overnight. Use it as a carrier with other oils for massage and to rub into the soles of your little ones’ feet and their chest when they’re sick. Use it in place of Polysporin or in place of a medicated salve for burns, cuts and scrapes.
I currently have some slathered on my hand, due to a rather nasty burn I gave myself last night cooking dinner. Of course, it’s a fantastic diaper rash salve and everyday little cheeky bum protectant. I don’t wait until Abby or Wyndham have dry chapped cheeks or lips to use this though, I use it as a protectant, in the same way I did when they were in diapers. I have been extra diligent this year as last winter they both got horribly chapped lips hat were painful to look at and Abby especially, took a long-time to heal, application after application. Now it’s a part of our morning routine before we go out in the morning and to bed at night. All over the face, just a bit. On their thighs and outer arms and back, all the places that get really dry in the winter, in addition to cream, after every bath. In staying on top of their skin-care this way we’ve managed to get to February without any outbreaks. The bonus is that they look forward to all the massages and have gotten into the habit of asking for applications of the salve. If you’re wondering just how versatile this salve is in addition to all that I’ve mentioned, check out the full list below…
Not to leave out all other boutonnières-y type wearing affairs, hence the more part. Let it be known that 2014 is indeed the year of the boutonnières. I’m seeing men (and women! SO HOT) bust them out for all types of casual and memorable fancy dress occasions and I have to say – I’m a fan.
I’m not one to wax poetic about making crafts, it’s really quite simple. I love making things, I’am a crafty bitch and I’m good at it. That’s it, that’s all. We’ll save the prose and narrative for other topics yes? When it comes to crafts and recipes around here, I think I’m going to keep things highly visual, honing in on my photography skills and informative. Step by step, but not as if you’re a JK student. (Unless that’s what you’re looking for and if that’s the case you can always email me – not Jen – she hates crafts. I LOVE getting emails! I currently have over 1K unread in my inbox! Sidenote? I really have to manage my subscriptions. Don’t worry, I get back to everyone that I’m supposed to.)
Onto these fresh little lapel decorations. (All DIY photos by me and all wedding photos by Ratul Debnath of Image Pros Photography)
What’s a wedding without a party? Who likes to party? The answers are, not much – and we do!
I’ve thought long and hard on how I might prose this (largely) pictorial style wrap to the sharing of our wedding photos. Why? (Another question, oh yes.) Well, largely in part because the location of our reception turned out to be rather unfortunate. Not in our enjoyment for the evening of (more or less), but most definitely in the after-math.
I won’t say another thing about it but to link to a review (and other reviews at the end of the fun) when I’m good and ready at the end of this post. (I’ll edit and link-up when that happens.) Because – well – this was our wedding. We don’t want to continue to mar the beauty of the day with any more negativity than that which has already been attempted. We, our guests – our family and friends; set a stellar space, the music flowed (as did a few other libations) and the glow of love and joy was huge. That’s it, that’s all this post should be about; yet on the good word of some colleagues and those who are in the know…it wouldn’t be right to promote said business in a shining light given our experiences.
So I hope you understand the vagueness (I’m sure some of you want the scoop, who doesn’t love a dirty scoop – especially when it comes to a small wedding, in a small town at a local business?) You’ll have to wait for those reviews my pretties and just enjoy the positive flow of these photos. There is a video yet to come and a couple of posts over on Babble where I’ll highlight the kids’ involvement in our wedding a bit more.
Help us lift the memory of our evening up in the light, grace, style and class that it deserves…and leave the rest in the past, my friends. (All amazing photography by Ratul Debnath of Image Pros Photography. You can see PART ONE, The Ceremony, by clicking here.)