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Homemade Holiday: DIY Peppermint Lip Scrub

Running short on gift ideas, low on a budget, or is procrastination bringing your holiday spirit down? Try this sweet, little gift made from items that you more than likely have in your home already. This peppermint lip scrub is festive, tasty, great for anyone AND will show the person you give it to that you care about them and their skin. The sugar in this scrub acts as an exfoliant scraping away dead skin and the coconut oil moisturizes them leaving you with kissably soft lips. What a great gift for your significant other!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • Small jar for storage
  • 5 drops of peppermint essential oil – therapeutic grade for ingestion
  • 15 peppermint candies
  • Sugar
  • Coconut Oil
  • Honey

Experiment with the quantity of sugar, coconut oil, and honey in order to get the right consistency for your preference and size of the container you are using. For example, if you want it to be a rougher scrub, use more sugar. Don’t add as much sugar if you have sensitive skin.

Mix, Mix, Mix!

Add all of your ingredients to a food processor and blend them until they are mixed together with small sized peppermint candy chunks sprinkled throughout it. The candy should have turned your scrub into a pretty, pale, pink color. Transfer your scrub into a jar, tie a ribbon around it, and you’re ready to wrap it up and gift it!

 

 

Relaxing Pillow Mist for Inducing Sleep

pillowmist

Try out this super quick, easy, and fun DIY to help you fall fast asleep. Mix up the ingredients and spray a mist of it onto your pillow before you go to bed at night and the aromatherapy will ease your anxieties and coax you into rem before you know it.

What You’ll Need:

  • Small cosmetic spray bottle (plastic will work, but if you can find a dark glass one that would be best)
  • Distilled water
  • Lavender essential oil – when I was young and I had trouble getting to sleep my mother would dab a couple drops at the top of my pillow and I would be out like a light. It’s been scientifically proven to induce sleep and the relaxing and calming smell will have you drifting into dream land in no time.
  • Orange essential oil – citrus oils are uplifting so if you suffer from anxiety or depression this oil should help and prevent you from tossing and turning as much in your sleep.
  • Ylang Ylang essential oil – perfect for relaxation, calming, and emotional balance to give you a peaceful slumber.
  • Sticker letters and Washi tape for embellishment *optional

pillowmistingred

Directions:

  1. Pour distilled water into the spray bottle nearly to the top.
  2. Add 15 drops of lavender, 10 drops of orange, and 5 drops of Ylang Ylang *add more or less depending on the size of your bottle and how potent you want the smell to be.
  3. Add sticker letters on your bottle for a label
  4. Spray on the top of your pillow and store in a cool, dark space especially if not in a darkened spray bottle.

Extra fun note:

If you are pregnant and you are past your due date, you can swap out the orange essential oil for clary sage essential oil to help induce labor. Clary Sage can promote relaxation to the muscles and also stimulate uterine contractions. You can use the mist for aromatherapy to spray on your pillow as well as on your stomach. It is also extremely potent so depending on the size of your bottle I’d stick to no more than 5-10 drops. **Clary Sage is an oil that should not be used at any point prior to your due date while pregnant as it can cause preterm labor and even miscarriage. It is also recommended that you do a patch test on your skin before spraying on your stomach to make sure you don’t have any negative reactions. Also, lavender and ylang ylang can aid clary sage in inducing labor so it’s best to swap out the orange as orange is also a citrus oil and should not be exposed to sunlight if applied to your skin because it can cause photo sensitivity.

loveamanda

DIY: Beetlejuice Handbook for the Recently Deceased

As a last minute thought, I decided I wanted to replicate The Handbook for the Recently Deceased from Beetlejuice. It was a bit tricky and I sadly don’t have an easy step by step guide, but I figured to wrap up my DIY Burtonesque Halloween decor tutorials I would at least share how I attempted this.

What You’ll Need:

  • A book – either to paint on your own or one that closely resembles the reddish brown color of the original
  • A printout of the picture on the front of the book. You can download that here.
  • White paint
  • Red paint
  • Purple paint
  • *Depending on the color of your book you may or may not need additional colors to paint the book the correct color etc
  • Mod Podge

Step One

Cut out the picture from the printout and Mod Podge it to the book as closely to the same spot as it is originally.

Step Two

Sketch out the lettering of the book’s title in a close orientation to the original on the front of the book.

Step Three

Mix your paint to closely resemble the color of the title’s lettering and carefully paint in your sketched out lettering. My text isn’t a perfect replica of the original, but if you can get close enough no one is going to really know.

Step Four

Go over the whole cover in Mod Podge to seal the paint in and have the surface texture match all over.
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loveamanda

DIY: Edward Scissorhands Topiary Creation

Make your very own mini topiary to display in your home. You will feel like Edward Scissorhands by the time you are done!

What You’ll Need:

  • A little toy animal that you can paint over. I got a dinosaur from the dollar store, but it would be fun to try with other animals like maybe a giraffe or even a non-animal like a hand replica that is also seen in the movie.
  • A base whether that be a circular wood base, little cardboard box, or something doubling as useful like a small candle which is what I decided to use.
  • Fake moss
  • Green paint
  • Black paint
  • White paint
  • Painting accessories: brush, palette, cup of water, and surface protector
  • Hot glue gun and glue

Step One

Paint your figure green so that if you miss covering it in moss somewhere later it’s actual color isn’t as obvious. You may need multiple coats. Let dry.

Step Two

Paint your base white. If it opens and has a lid then paint both pieces separately. Once you’re happy with the opaqueness of the white and it has dried, you can start painting black stripes. For a base with a lid, it was easiest for me to paint the lid first and then screw it on and continue the stripes down the other piece where they left off on the lid just to make sure both lined up.

Step Three

Cover your figure in fake moss by hot gluing small pieces all over it. As an afterthought once I was doing this, I realized the moss really obscured the figure and it made it hard to tell what it was. Interestingly enough, I had some small bonsai trimming sheers that I used to trim and shape the moss on the figure more appropriately. I imagine little nail trimming scissors would do just as well though. This is really helpful in maintaining a silhouette that closely resembles the original figure. The only thing left is to simply glue your mossy topiary figure to your stripey base.

loveamanda

DIY: Beetlejuice Potted Sand Worm

I saw this little decor “plant” on Etsy that was reminiscent of a crossover between the sand worm in Beetlejuice and the Little Shop of Horrors’ Audrey 2. It was so cute, I decided to try my hand at making my own.

What You’ll Need:

  • A pot of some sort. I found this one at the dollar store. It’s plastic so it can be stored easily and won’t break. It’s also very lightweight and I liked the color enough to keep it like that so I didn’t have to do any extra painting.
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Fake moss
  • At least three squares of white Sculpey polymer clay. You will need one for each tentacle.
  • White paint
  • Black paint
  • Painting accessories: brush, palette, cup of water, and surface protector
  • Piece of cardboard bigger than the opening of your pot
  • Something to cut with (scissors or an X-Acto blade)

Step One

Sculpt each block of polymer clay into a tentacle. This was my first time sculpting anything out of polymer clay so it was a little rough, but after some playing around with it I got it to a point where I was happy. I rolled the clay in between my hands to stretch it out and make it look like a snake. I stuck one end to a flat surface to give it a flat base as I molded the top to a thinner point and tried smoothing out the body of the tentacles. I tried to give each one a different look based on where I was going to position them coming out of the pot. Once you are done molding, you will need to bake them in the oven to harden. Based on the directions, you will want to bake yours at 275 F for 15 minutes for every 1/4″ thickness. I guestimated that mine was probably 1 1/4″ thick so I had mine bake for an hour and fifteen minutes which was pretty close to accurate. With white clay, you may find that it gets a little burnt if left in too long. That was the case for me on the bottom of the tentacles, but for this project it doesn’t matter because I was going to paint over them anyway.

Step Two

While you are waiting for the clay to bake, you can go ahead and make the base for your tentacles that will sit in the pot. Place your cardboard piece on a flat surface and flip your pot upside down on top of it. Trace the diameter of the opening of the pot on the cardboard with a pencil and then using that traced circle as reference, cut at least 1″ into the center of that circle so that the circle you are cutting out is smaller than the diameter of your pot. You will hot glue the edges of the cardboard circle and place it down into the opening of the pot to make a base. If your pot becomes more narrow toward the bottom, like mine, this will work perfectly for you because the cardboard circle will fit perfectly where you have glued and will be too big to fall further into the pot if for some reason it couldn’t hold the weight of what we will be gluing to it. The narrowing sides will give it extra support.

Step Three

Once your clay has baked and cooled down, coat the tentacles with a bright white paint. You may need a few coats of this, but it will help cover up any imperfections in the clay like smudge marks, finger prints, or burning. As soon as the white paint dries, you can begin painting bands around the tentacles with black paint.

Step Four

Your tentacles are dried and you can now hot glue them in whatever orientation you would like onto the cardboard base in your pot and then fill in the spaces of cardboard still visible with fake moss, gluing it down with hot glue. Make sure the moss is covering the base of the tentacles enough to give the illusion that they are coming out of the moss.

Display your little horrific creation proudly and enjoy all of the compliments you get during the Halloween season.

DIY: Black and White Decorative Pumpkins

pumpkins1

Decorative pumpkins have been circling the web for a couple years now especially on sites like Pinterest, however I have never taken the time to actually DIY some of my own. I love the black and white look to them and decided I would pick and choose a couple of my favorite ideas to create a pumpkin trio for a centerpiece. Here are the three pumpkins I made and how I made them.

Black and White Striped Pumpkin

What You’ll Need:

  • Pumpkin (fake of course). You can find them in a lot of stores come fall, but you would be most likely to find one at a craft store like Joann’s or Michaels. For this project, a pumpkin with definitive ridges will be most helpful.
  • Black paint
  • White paint
  • Painting accessories: paint brush, palette, cup of water, surface protector

dsc_0203

Step 1

Using black paint, paint every other section of the pumpkin black. Let dry.

Step 2

Using white paint, paint every other section of the pumpkin white. Let dry.

Step 3

Go back in with both paints and touch up any mistakes you may have.

The Quoted Pumpkin

What You’ll Need:

  • Pumpkin (fake of course). You can find them in a lot of stores come fall, but you would be most likely to find one at a craft store like Joann’s or Michaels. For this project, I used a small but taller looking pumpkin to compensate for the bigger striped pumpkin and also to minimize the amount of text I would need to work with.
  • White paint
  • Painting accessories: paint brush, palette, cup of water, surface protector
  • Black Sharpie

Step 1

Using white paint, paint the entire pumpkin and let dry. You will probably need to apply quite a few coats of the white paint to get it to be opaque enough to not have any of the orange popping through.

Step 2

Pick a quote or text that you want to write on your pumpkin. Since this is a Halloween DIY, I chose the first and last stanza of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, but of course you can choose whatever you would like to use.

Step 3

With a black Sharpie, begin at the top of your pumpkin writing out the text you’ve chosen and spiraling it down to the bottom. My Sharpie kept drying out with the paint so make sure that your pumpkin is completely dry and if need be you can go back over your writing to make it bolder.

The Melted Wax Pumpkin

What You’ll Need:

  • Pumpkin (fake of course). You can find them in a lot of stores come fall, but you would be most likely to find one at a craft store like Joann’s or Michaels. For this project, I used a small but taller looking pumpkin to compensate for the bigger striped pumpkin and also to minimize the amount of text I would need to work with.
  • Black Paint
  • Painting accessories: paint brush, palette, cup of water, surface protector
  • White crayon
  • Blow dryer

Step 1

Using black paint, paint the entire pumpkin and let dry. You will probably need to apply quite a few coats of the black paint to get it to be opaque enough to not have any of the orange popping through.

Step 2

Break out the blow dryer and your white crayon. Hold the white crayon over the pumpkin as you use the blow dryer to melt the wax. You may need to adjust the blow dryer and the crayon accordingly to get it to drip where you want. Remember, the blow dryer is blowing hot air so it’s best to angle the blow dryer from a higher position so the wax doesn’t get blown into oblivion and actually lands on your pumpkin. You can heat up the wax that has already dripped onto your pumpkin with the blow dryer to get it to run down further.

DIY: The Nightmare Before Christmas Apothecary Bottles

It’s fall! And I’m getting my Halloween DIY on by making some Halloween decorations for a black and white, Tim Burton-themed Halloween party I’m hoping to have. I say hoping because it’s all dependent on when the little one decides he’s going to make his appearance. We are crossing our fingers that he will be here close to his due date on the 18th. For starters, let’s making some apothecary bottles reminiscent of the ones from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

What You Will Need:

  • black paint
  • paint brush
  • mod podge
  • glass bottles or jars – you can purchase the ones I used from Michaels to give it a closer feel to a potion bottle or you can simply use a regular pickle jar which closer resembles the actual jars in the movie. I wanted it to be reminiscent of Nightmare, but not exactly the same.
  • apothecary labels which you can download here

Step One:

Paint your bottles on the outside with black paint. You will need multiple coats of the black paint to make sure it’s thick enough to not see the glass underneath. I decided to use my green bottle for Fog’s Breath and left it exactly how it was with no paint to give the illusion that it was filled with green air.

Step Two:

For my bottles, I needed a 2″ wide label for each one. You can open the file in Word and resize it there to print. Once you cut them out, you can adhere them with mod podge to the bottle by going over the back of the label. If your bottles are shaped like mine and you’re using the oval labels, there is no way to get around the creasing on the sides of the label. Personally, I like it and think it adds more character.

Step Three:

Seal the deal by coating the entire bottle and label in a thin coat of mod podge to make sure the label isn’t going anywhere. By covering the whole bottle or jar in mod podge, it’s also sealing in the paint so it won’t get scratched or chipped. Wait for it to dry and you’re ready to get these bottles out on display.

Create Your Own Henna Tattoos

henna

I’ve been fascinated with henna tattoos for a while. I love the organic designs and intricacy that is associated with henna tattoos. As the summer fades out, I decided to finally expand my experiences and do it for myself.

henna

What You’ll Need:

  • Henna powder (4g)
  • Eucalyptus oil (1ml)
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar
  • Applicator bottle with small tip/piping bag
  • Straight pin
  • Wooden mixing stick
  • Cotton balls
  • Qtips
  • Toothpicks
  • Vegetable oil

(or you can just purchase a henna kit)

henna

What To Do:

  • Mix the henna powder with a little bit of water using the wooden mixing stick in the applicator bottle
  • Add the eucalyptus oil to the mixture and mix it for 5 minutes.
  • Let the mixture sit for 45 minutes.
  • While waiting, thoroughly wash and exfoliate the skin you are going to be applying the paste to.
  • Separately, mix sugar and lemon juice and heat to a boil until everything is mixed together and set aside for later.
  • Stir the henna mixture before use and add a little bit more water if the paste is too thick to squeeze out of the applicator bottle. Use the pin to unclog the tip if necessary.
  • Use toothpicks for thinning lines and creating intricate designs. Use Qtips for wiping away mistakes. Leave henna to dry for 10 to 15 minutes on skin when finished designing.
  • Lightly apply the sugar and lemon juice solution to design with a cotton ball. This will allow the henna to last longer and become darker. You can stop applying the solution when the design becomes black and glazed. Be careful not to apply too much.
  • Leave henna on skin for as long as you can. Three hours will usually result in a dark color, but 12 to 15 hours will yield longest lasting, darkest stain.
  • Remove the henna with vegetable oil and a cotton ball.

henna

Things To Keep In Mind:

  • Avoid wetting the area for a day.
  • For best results, use henna paste within 24 hours.
  • Test the henna on your skin before you do something elaborate to make sure you don’t have any allergic sensitivities.
  • Henna stains so be careful when using it to not let it touch anything you don’t want it to.
  • Wrap the henna in paper towel and tape if you leave it on over night so it doesn’t stain bedding.
  • The stain will last anywhere from 7-12 days depending on lifestyle factors. The design will disappear as the skin begins to exfoliate.
  • Henna can appear orange, reddish brown, russet, light brown, dark brown, crimson red, and burgundy depending on the type of henna, natural skin pigmentation, and length of setting time.

henna

Design Ideas:

  • sketch it out first to get an idea of what you want to do
  • start simply and then add details
  • begin at the finger tips
  • play with geometric shapes like circles and triangles
  • use nature for inspiration: leaves, vines, flowers, stars, the sun, the moon
  • use organic lines that swirl and curve around your fingers and wrist
  • mandalas – you can never go wrong with mandalas

Send me pictures of your henna designs on Twitter and Instagram using #gmlhenna

World’s Most Powerful Facial

I can’t get enough of my Bentonite Clay and Apple Cider Vinegar with all their amazing health benefits.  If you’re like me, I think I’m going to make your day with a recipe for the “World’s Most Powerful Facial” only using those two ingredients. You can use this clay not only as a facial, but in body wraps, clay baths, foot soaks, and chilled for knee packs.

What You’ll Need:

Directions:

  1. Pour equal amounts of the clay and apple cider vinegar into a plastic or wooden bowl. You don’t need that much. A little goes a long way, but you can always add more of either if needed.
  2. Mix together with a plastic or wooden spoon until it becomes a smooth paste.
  3. Apply a full layer to your face.
  4. For sensitive skin, let it dry for 5-10 minutes. For normal skin, let it dry for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Remove with warm water.

What Makes It the “World’s Most Powerful Facial”?

  • You can feel the mask working because it will pull and tighten on your skin with pulsations.
  • There are so many uses for it from acne to insect bites.
  • The clay pulls toxins and impurities from the skin.
  • Removes dirt for a deep pore cleansing.

How to Plan for Achieving Your Dreams

howtoachieveyourdreams

The only difference between a dream and a goal is that a goal has a deadline. You achieve your dreams by setting goals.

You set goals by constantly breaking those goals down into smaller and smaller doable and bite sized tasks that help you achieve the big goal.

The beauty of this exercise is that creates a visual road map and plan that guides you to setting goals and achieving your dreams.

BRAINSTORM

First, brainstorm what you want out of life. What are your dreams? Who do you want to be? What do you want to do?

Take the next couple of minutes to brainstorm on a piece of paper what you want your future to look like. Once you have your list, categorize it based on when you want it to happen: 3 months from now, a year, 3 years, or lifetime. You can print this template to help you organize your thoughts.

 PRIORITIZE

For each time frame, circle ONE goal that would give most impact to your life. This will leave you with four main goals to work towards. In my example, the four goals are eat healthy (3 months), graduate (1 year), start a business (3 years), and have a family (lifetime). The key is to work on one goal at a time and focus all of your energy into that one to get it done the quickest and then move on to the others.

BREAK IT DOWN

Which of those four goals would have the most positive impact on your life at this very moment? Make that your “Goal Changer”. List all of the small steps you would need to take to reach that goal. For example if getting healthy was my goal changer then I would think about all of the things that would make me healthier: exercise, eating healthier, drinking water, getting enough sleep, taking vitamins etc. Organize your thoughts with this template.

Break those down even further with details. List how you’ll be exercising. Will you be running? Doing yoga? Who will you be doing it with? How often will you be doing it? When will you start? How much weight do you plan on losing? When do you plan on losing it by?

PLUG IT IN

Of your main tasks, which ones do you need to accomplish first. List them in chronological order and assign dates to them. Add those goals to your planner so you can keep track of accomplishing them and it will be easier to hold yourself accountable.

*Exercise adapted from the amazing Passion Planner that you can totally buy here to help you schedule your goals and put them into a weekly routine.