Friday, December 28, 2012

New Beauty Ritual

Beauty products are so expensive and I've tried many and I never get the result my hard earned money deserves.  Lately I have been looking for an alternative.  I searched my pantry and decided to experiment.  I know that sugar is a great exfoliant, I've read on Pinterest that a lot of people use coconut oil as a moisturizer, and I've always known that lemon can be a skin brightener (aka can fade dark spots and freckles).  I was a little afraid to use lemon on my face as I have heard that it will work but can get worse if you don't use sunscreen forever after.  Well, at my age I never go without sunscreen on my face anyway so I decided it was worth a try.  

I just threw the ingredients together but an estimated recipe is: 
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 3-4 tbs of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of white sugar

I mixed them together in a ziplock because the coconut oil is solid at room temp but your hands can easily melt it.  I just kneaded the ingredients together in the bag and tossed it into my shower to use.

I have been doing this for about a week and my skin feels really soft.  Especially in the dry winter weather.  I have not had problems with any breakouts but it's really hard to tell if my skin looks brighter.  I should have taken a before picture but I didn't.  Overall, I am happy with the way my skin feels.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Vanilla Extract

I love handmade gifts.  I think they are so much more special than something purchased at Target (not that I don't love Target).  This year I made homemade pure vanilla extract.  The most important part is the beans.  I got the beans on Amazon and opted for the Madagascar Bourbon variety.  There are tons of different types of vanilla but these were the most recommended online.  Good quality is very important and they can be expensive so shop around.

I got the jars at Save-On-Crafts.  The recipe is 3 vanilla beans (split down the middle but leave attached at one end) for every 8oz of vodka.  So just stick the beans in the jar with the vodka and keep in a cool dark place, like your pantry, for 2-3 months.  

I did these for Christmas this year but I made a few extra to keep around for hostess or housewarming gifts. It seems like I have been needing a lot of those lately.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

English Toffee

  • 1c white sugar
  • 1/2 lb. butter (2 cubes)
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1c chopped nuts (I usually use almonds)
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips
  • Candy thermometer
Toast almonds in a fry pan and set aside.  Cover a cookie sheet with foil.  In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, melt the butter, sugar, and water.  Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until temperature reaches 330.  It will seem like it takes forever and then happen really fast at the end and can burn easily so don't take your eyes off of it for a minute.

When it is exactly the right temp and color, pour onto the foil covered cookie sheet.  Then sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and wait for them to melt.  It will take about a minute and you can tell they are melted when they look shiny.  Then spread them out with a knife and sprinkle the toasted nuts on top.  Wait for it to cool and break into bite size pieces.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

All I Want For Christmas Is You

Normally I'm not a huge Mariah Carey fan but this song is my absolute favorite Christmas song.

It's just so catchy and fun.  And it also reminds me of the best chick flick/x-mas movie ever.

To add to the cheese factor of this song, there's a version with Justin Beiber that I totally LOVE :)

Oh, and P.S. Happy Doomsday Everyone :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I know I'm a little behind everyone else but I have finally started to decorate for Christmas.  I am not even close to done.  We don't have a tree and I haven't even pulled out my decorations from last year yet.
But, I think this is a pretty good start :)

Also, this might be kind of lame but I think I might get an Elf on the Shelf to keep Kyle in line this Christmas ;)
Seriously though, I think it might be kind of funny to do an adult version of elf pranks.  More to come on that later...

 My Advent Calendar- I decorated small envelopes that hold tiny treats and/or notes.

I wrapped letters in twine to spell out JOY above our stockings.

I used the same twine to make a tree.  I plan on doing a few more in different sizes and materials.

 I put cinnamon scented pine cones all over the house to get that "Christmas" smell.  These ones are on my cake stand on a bed of snow (epsom salt)

For our bedroom, I made a small wreath out of fabric strips tied onto a small wire ring.  

And last I made a sparkly reindeer silhouette for a frame in our bedroom.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

100 Workout

This only takes about 30 minutes.  (Possibly more if you have a dog like mine that trys to jump up and attack you while you do jumping jacks and lick your face while you do crunches)  
It's great if you have limited time and don't have gym equipment and/or can't leave your house.  I found the idea from a pin on Pinterest but I modified some of the exercises to some I personally like better.

This is all legs and abs so I might try to make one up that is an upper body workout, then alternate days.