With a new year came lots of new resolutions.
1. Save more money for next Christmas
2. Start eating healthier.
3. Get more exercise
4. Make all those clothes I have patterns and material for!
Most of them I am actually still doing 17 days into the new year. . .wait a minute, all of them I am still doing! Maybe with age comes wisdom and stick-to-itness?? I sure hope so.
I thought I would post a couple of quick pictures of a couple of the skirts I have made so far, I am going at about the pace of one a week. I am quite happy with that, and while I certainly won’t win any fashion awards, I do like making my own unique skirts that I am pretty sure I won’t see someone else at my workplace wearing. . .it is a bit addicting actually. There are just too many adorable fabrics out there.
Stretchy skirt one was made mostly following the instructions from this cute blog. It is so quick and easy I am headed to Hobby Lobby tonight to get more knit fabric! Here is my little skirt on me at work:
Cotton skirt two wasn’t really taken from a blog. I did the same thing I did with the stretchy skirt above, with some modifications. First, I used cotton quilt fabric I had purchased to make a bag with last summer. Second, I rolled down the waist hem about and inch and 1/2 to make a casing for elastic. I now have a cotton puff skirt like this:
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
I came across a great sermon Sunday that really impacted me and changed the way I think about witnessing to others. The just of it is that we must, in order to gain true converts, witness about our sickness before we witness about our cure. We must explain what is wrong with us before anyone can hear how to get right. We must teach people how we have all sinned and fall far short of God’s holiness before we can explain how we can be in a right relationship with Him. One that gives us a future in His home instead of a lifetime without Him present. We have to show them how they are sick and incapable of healing themselves, hence their need for a savior that was without sin who can save them and give them life.
We can not give someone a cure for a disease they don’t know they have and expect them to be happy or even want to keep it. We can’t bail someone out of a jail cell they can’t see. I am changing my focus when I talk with lost people. I am going to bring up the 10 commandments and help them see how they are sinners who can’t be with God. Then I will tell them about Jesus who brings them to God and will save them from Hell. Sound kinda Baptist? Maybe, but Jesus first sermon on the mount was all about how we don’t keep His commands right and what awaits us if we fail!
Father, forgive me for being so awkward at sharing my faith. Give me eyes to see your ways, knowledge to understand, and wisdom to change. Help me learn to effectively share my faith, as there is NOTHING in this world more important than that!
Winter in Chicago is very harsh on a girls skin! I have been slathering on the lotion for the past few weeks and still find my skin very dry and itchy most of the time. So as I was scouring the internet last week for remedies, I happened to think that maybe what I needed was a good scrubbing away of the old dead skin and so maybe what I really needed was a good sugar or salt scrub.
I had much fun looking around for some good recipes and have been making lists of ingredients that I want, but I was desperate this morning. I woke up more itchy than normal and needed relief TODAY. So, I knew I had some lavender flavored Epsom Salts in my bathroom closet, and I still had my hair oil from a couple of weeks ago. I put them together and then used them on my very itchy legs and arms. I am VERY happy to report that my skin is now way less itchy. Pictures to follow soon.
Lavender Epsom Scrub
1 cup Epsom Salt (scented or plain)
1/4 cup carrier oil (I used Calendula infused Olive Oil)
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
Mix all together in a sealed container and use a handful for washing.
This is a picture of the soap I made pretty quickly last night before going out to
dinner. I had ordered this melt and pour organic soap kit a couple of years ago and for some reason only made one bar, so I pulled the kit out of the closet and gave it a go.
I took about 1 1/2 lbs of melt and pour ogranic soap chunks and melted them in a saucepan over low heat. Once they were liquified, I added about a tablespoon of Spirulina for a pretty green color and stirred until combined. I then removed the concoction from the heat and added a few drops of Orange Valencia Essential Oil and Clove Essential Oil. I then poured it all into a large paper cup I had cleaned and kept from DH’s last trip to the burger place. I waited a couple of hours and cut my almost hardened soap. So easy, and so much cheaper than the fancy organic soap at the stores. I got my kit from Bramble Berry, and I definitely recommend them to anyone! Very customer friendly and the prices are really quite good. I got the instructions for making the soap at the Soap Queen blog which is just too much fun!
Now about that diet and dinner last night. . .whew . . . let’s just say I am quite happy to be here and feeling well today, cause I sure didn’t last night. Let me back up. I started a new diet this week based loosely on the Hallelujah Diet. I am basically eating mostly raw fruits and vegetables with some beans and organic whole wheat mixed in. No meat and no refined sugar at all is allowed and I am drinking mostly organic tea and distilled water. Pretty healthy overall and I have been feeling pretty good too. Until last night. My Brother came to town, so DH and I decided to go out to eat at one of those sit down chain restaurants that are everywhere. I ordered a salad with a tiny bit of chicken and I paid for it all night. I had cramping and pain that kept me awake way into the morning hours.
I won’t go into more detail, but after getting up this morning and having my typical smoothie, I am back to normal and have sworn off all processed food for a good long time at least. I get it. . .organic and raw foods = happy me and happy tummy. Processed food from who knows where = upset tummy and upset me!
While I have switched most of my beauty products to organic, or at least mostly natural ones, I still have a few holdouts that are hard to replace. My hairspray may be one I just never let go of.
I have dry, fine hair. If I want it to do anything but kink funny but flatly, I need a bunch of hairspray. If I curl my hair and use a firm hairspray, I get a decent looking do that gets compliments. So it was with much hesitation that I began looking for an organic, homemade alternative to my favorite hairspray.
I chose the flax seed one from E-How as my first choice. What a mistake. I should have known that I needed to go to a site I am sure is maintained by a woman, and maybe even one that regularly posts organic beauty recipes. DO NOT TRY THIS. It doesn’t work at all, and is pretty much a gooey mess.
I have since done some more reading and have decided that tonight I will try one more homemade recipe. I have to make some soap tonight anyway, so it won’t take much more effort to try this interesting recipe. I will post tomorrow how this one turns out (but will be stocking up on my normal hairspray as well).
So I am new to the whole herbal medicine scene. I have been checking out websites, watching YouTube videos, and ordering all of the things I need. A friend recommended that I go over to Amazon and see if there were any free books for the KindlePC that might be helpful to me, and boy was he right!
I lucked upon Herbs Gone Wild! and got it the one day it was being offered for free. And while my favorite herbal website so far has to be HerbMentor.com, my favorite book so far is this one by Diane Kidman. I have been copying and pasting her recipes like crazy and have been taking notes on all the new herbs I need to buy and try. Diane writes in a very approachable style and has a very easy going manner that makes it much less intimidating to give some of her recipes a try. Watch for posts in the near future using some of her recipes.
I would pay a lot for this book. It is a fantastic reference book on herbs and how to use them.
I may have found the secret to enjoying myself while cleaning my house! Homemade cleaning products!
Let me start by saying that I really hate to clean and am really quite lazy. I would rather do almost anything else than clean, but reading and writing are my favorite hobbies and you can’t do either really while you clean. However, I also find that I like to make things and be creative, and this is where I have really been missing the boat on this whole clean house thing I think.
I found a tip online for cleaning the oven naturally by using baking soda and vinegar. So, I opened my oven, poured baking soda over the bottom and then added vinegar. Immediately my concoction began to fizzle and I was hooked. I waited the required 20 minutes, very impatiently too, and then wiped off a couple of years worth of gook. It worked like a charm!
Now I just have to figure out how to get the sides and back. The bottom of my oven and the broiler tray have never been cleaner though and I am inspired just enough to begin trying several other home cleaners I have been collecting recipes for. Perhaps grout cleaner will be next.
I have been wanting to get completely away from commercial beauty products for a long time, and this is the year! With my hot oil treatment from last time and my new homemade lotion, I feel like I am finally on my way!
This recipe is so easy that I can’t believe I waited so long to do this. I used the recipe over here at ReadyMade. It isn’t perfect. I used Brewed Peppermint Tea, Coconut Oil, Beeswax, and Clove Essential Oil. I ended up with a nice product that I will use, but I do need to play with this recipe. It has a nice consistency and smells great, but it does dry up a bit drier on my skin than I like. I think it is the coconut oil, so I am anxious to try some different oils to see if I can’t do a bit better.
2012 is off to a very productive start for me. If you have ever considered making some beauty product on your own I encourage you to give it a try! It is awesome! I am a mom, work full time outside the home, and have a couple of programs I am involved with too, but making time to get rid of crap beauty products that might make me sick is something I am quite happy to spend 30 minutes a day on!
I recently started buying herbs and making my own cough syrups, infused oils, herbal infusions and even hot oil treatments. I LOVE herbs! I like learning about all the health benefits we can gain from going back to using weeds we find all over the place in nature.
I was excited to see and try Crunchy Betty’s hot oil options. I used olive oil and Calendula dried flowers to make my hot oil treatment. It was sort of hard to get on, and took two shampoos to get out, but I have to say it was worth it! I let my hair air dry overnight and curled it this morning before heading out to work. I actually got compliments on how good my hair looks today. I guess the real test will be when I go see my hair dresser tomorrow for my trim and color.
If you like to experiment or just like to make healthy stuff for yourself, I really recommend this hot oil treatment. Heat your oil, add your herbs, strain, and once cool enough to handle message this stuff in and enjoy! Your hair will thank you!
I have been trying for a couple of weeks to figure out how to get a copy of Roman Holiday to watch, since Edith Head is the first designer I am studying. It finally dawned on me that the local library may have a copy, and sure enough they did.
I had big expectations for this movie, not really knowing much about it at all, and I will be honest and say that I was a bit disappointed. Except for the beautiful gown at the very beginning of the movie, Audrey Hepburn wore a single plain outfit for most of the movie. I suppose had I known before hand that the movie only spans a little over 24 hours I might have realized that, but I didn’t. The gown at the beginning that is pictured above is indeed quite pretty, but the rest of the film wasn’t that great, and with all the choices for dresses back in the early 50′s, well I think it could have been better!
After watching Gentlemen Prefer Blondes last week, I have to say that I am much more impressed with Charles Le Maire than Edith Head right now, but I have MANY more movies to watch to really know who I favor.