Posts Tagged: 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.
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.
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)
Oh yes, these beauties are absolutely delicious, every last square inch. Pendleton paired with suede and leather make for a soft, durable and dreamy pair. No need to line these with quilt batting, a simple sleeve is all you need to keep your devices scratch-free and sleek!
I had my heart set on making my little family a set of Pendleton stockings, but being from Canada makes for acquiring the fabric fairly tricky. Unless one happens to have a fabulous colleague/friend who lives close to the Pendleton Outlet in Oregon. I knew all I had to do was ask my friend who shares the same love for Pendleton that I do.
We share similar tastes, in fashion and generally speaking when it comes to aesthetics so I totally trusted her judgement in what she would pick out for me and you guys?! I’ve been able to make a plethora of handmade gifts for my family and friends thanks to this good woman.
I know, right?! Look at those beauties up there! I recently went to a birthday party for the twins of a good friend and these crayons were in the goodie bags. Not just your average, run-of-the-mill goodie bags filled with dollar store candies and crafts either.
AS you might surmise, having a birthday party for twins isn’t the easiest and combining themes for a boy and a girl extra tricky.
But when you put a bunch of creatives, small business owners and foodies together to help make things happen, the results are usually off the hook, and YES, Pinterest worthy. Don’t hate.
Remember when I said that we we’rent putting Wyndham in daycare after-school? Or that TV wasn’t going to be my babysitter every single day? Yea. about that.
It’s been hard, obviously – to keep up with the equivalent of what should be my 8 hour work days as a mom who works from home. So far? So far I’m exhausted in wading through this new shift, yet totally revelling in all of the time I’ve been spending with my guy.
It really does ease the annoyance of working late nights after he and his sister are in bed to make up for lost time. I’m trying not to think about the things I’m missing out on; late evening yoga classes, reading, Netflix or crafting. I think about what I’ve gained when I’m lacking the dedication at 9PM, when after a long day all I want is to curl up next to Trev with a book or a show.
This is my new regular and that’s all there is to it. I’ve gotten back into waking up early some days, like really early…before anyone else in the house is up. It feels like I’ve carved out this secret little compartment of time for myself that allows me to fly through some work in anticipation that I can take back my evening to do some of the other things I enjoy. You know, actually hang-out with my other love, just the two of us.
It’s as if by some odd flash of common sense, that I’ve given myself some time to settle into this new routine before Abby begins staying home with me part-time in the New Year. Originally we were going to take her out of full-time daycare this autumn but then we shook our heads a bit and reassessed.
One thing at a time, one thing at a time.
Which is a really good analogy to follow when I pick up Wyndham from school. The days are so busy, so jam-packed with to-do lists, that if I don’t have a few planned activities mapped out for us for the week, I’m kind of screwed. As chief-in-residence-memory-maker, I want to have fun with my boy, I want to do new things with him and create a space and experiences for him that make his eyes light up with joy and fulfilment. Where I’m not a stress-bag about it.
So I make play-dates with his friends, and make faces out of food and execute craft projects to do together. In being honest, there are also the days that he does indeed hunker down and watch several episodes of his favourite shows on Netflix; wherein I toss him a quick snack of PB&J, screw those fun food plates! Where free play reigns supreme and I had not a planning moment involved in what he does or how he spends his time. This is important too.
Well, this week…this week I really had my shit together. I had sugar and gluten free apple and pumpkin pies leftover from thanksgiving to slice up for snacks. I invited a couple of our neighbours (gorgeously adorable), sons over for a crafting play-date. I’ve kept a reasonably clean and tidy house and only ordered take-out once this week. Success!
As I sit here typing, one of those dang cute Jack O’ Lantern ‘suncatchers’ (as seen below), picks up some chunks of morning light from my deck window to shoot tiny particles of light; dancing specks of dust and shadow across my
desk dining room table. Everything in this moment feels in place. Rather good really.
Making crafts with my kids doesn’t have to be a chore, especially for a creative like myself. Clearly I enjoy this sort of thing. I’m going to go out on a limb here and present you this easy craft project for ALL types of parents, (yep, this quick project is glue, paint and glitter-free), even those of you who shiver at the thought of craft-time. The thing is? Kids LOVE it. I could link-up a bunch of research about how creative, sensory activities and making art for little ones is vastly important for their development in a myriad of ways, but I won’t. The bottom line is that it’s good for their little brains; their wild and wanting souls and busy hands. Just as important as sports, academia, music and free-play.
I first discovered the wonders of contact paper for craft making with kids a few weeks ago via my pal Asia Citro of Fun At Home With Kids. Now that mom has it going on. I was so inspired by how she mothers and was especially appreciative of her Starter Art Kit list. The dollar-store is great for many things. There are a few super-cool things on that list that you can’t find at a dollar-store (including contact paper). (If you’re a nerd-o creative type like me and that list makes you drool a little be forewarned: Discount School Supply doesn’t deliver to Canada and yes, you REALLY DO need those liquid watercolours. They are the bomb-diggs. I ordered mine via Scholar’s Choice.)
Now that we’ve gotten that little digression out of the way, onto the instructions for those cute suncatchers! It’s Hallowe’en time (you all know how much I love Hallowe’en, right?) and these are a pretty great activity to do over the next couple of weeks…
Clearly, my child didn’t come running up to me asking, ‘mama! Mama! I want to be Edgar Allan Poe for Hallowe’en!’ We’re only just wading into a love and appreciation for Hallowe’en over here with my guy.
His sister on the other hand, plays dress-up every chance she can get.
At nearly four, Wyndham gets his inspiration from some of his favourite shows, and now of more recent; what he hears other kids talking about at school. Yesterday he came home begging me to make him into a Zombie. (Doesn’t he know he’s already there!? Doesn’t he know that as a toddler he reserves the sole right to drain my brain?)
So yes, it was all me. I showed him some pictures of the Poe, I read him some poems and we watched a couple of videos together. That’s all he needed to be al about it. So that’s me, living precariously through my child. Wyndham was especially a fan of the coat with the Ravens attached to it and wore it for hours after our little photo shoot. Now he’s not sure he wants to be Batman on Hallowe’en anymore, he definitely want to be Poe for his school-day costume. (You’re welcome teachers.)
I’m not sure what I love most about this costume. How easy and cheap it was to make, how much fun we had pulling it off together or how darling and adorable my boy was in really getting into the ‘Poe’ character…