Natural Beauty Products

I made the MOST AMAZING Body Cream.

It’s all whipped and light and goes on so smoothly and smells delicious enough to eat. Although I wouldn’t recommend it, the ingredients list is safe enough that you could eat it….

Body Cream

It has Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Cornstarch and Pink Grapefruit Essential Oils in it.

It’s the consistency of very foamy, thick, shaving cream or heavy whipping cream. It melts as soon as it glides onto your skin and leaves your skin soft and not greasy feeling.

I made a double batch and got the container pictured above as well as another big tub and those two 4 oz containers stacked on top of each other. I’ve given one away already and plan to give the other away tonight at a shower that I’m attending. I’m also planning on whipping up some baby diaper cream to include in my gift tonight. I have the most amazing natural alternative to petroleum jelly (Vaseline) that has NO petroleum by-products in it…..again, it’s safe enough to eat and works amazing at protecting and nourishing baby’s sweet skin.

I also attempted two different deodorants.

I find that I’m sensitive to certain natural deodorants and I’m still searching for “the perfect” deodorant for me.

The Rock Crystal works for a time, but then gives me a rash….The same for the coconut/baking soda deodorant. I was really bummed when I got a rash after using that deodorant as it works so amazingly and honestly – you don’t smell AT ALL and you can even skip a day, but….when your skin rashes up so badly that you can’t put your arms down….not cool.

So I’ve been on the hunt for a more sensitive natural deodorant.

I did make one that worked pretty well and it had zinc oxide in it, BUT…..I would get blocked pores and so I’m back to experimenting with different recipes.

Here are my latest two attempts.

Deodorant

As you can see on the incredibly sexy labels I created, one is a zinc oxide base and the other (just for your info) is a coconut oil/beeswax/baking soda combo…..Both are working well and I’m currently using the coconut/beeswax/baking soda one consistently to see if I end up with a reaction….so far so good.

I’ve also got some recipes for natural sunscreen in the works and as soon as I go all crazy potion lady on them and then try them out on myself and my kids…I’ll let you know how they work.

I love to be able to find natural, cheap, alternatives to the beauty products that we regularly use and to be fully confident that what we’re putting in and on our bodies is safe, effective and saves us money.

What are your favorite natural beauty products? Do you have any good product lines that you’d suggest? I’m always interested in who has come across what and why they choose those particular products? Lemme know!

More Creative Nesting

I’ve been going through a massive “PURGE” recently.

I think that most would call it nesting, although – I think that it’s a little early for the whole “nesting” thing to happen.

It would be awesome if I had massive amounts of energy to go along with my desire to clean and tidy and it would also be amazing if I could either continue this on until the baby comes or bottle it up until 2-3 weeks before the baby is supposed to arrive.

BUT……regardless, that’s what I’ve been doing with any “free” (ha ha ha ha ha – what a joke, as if I really have any free time) time.

I have managed to knock a WHOLE TON of things off my to do list, and that scares me as I don’t want to be sitting around at the end with a month to go and nothing to do, but deep down inside of me, I know that’s really not a reality. I’ll ALWAYS have or at the very least FIND something to do.

We have pretty much set up our room/the nursery and aside from a few little things like determining exactly where to store all the babies stuff so it makes the most sense….like clothes and blankets and diapers and supplies, etc – we’re pretty much ready to go in there.

One of the things that I co-ordinated with the rest of the baby’s “stuff” was a white board……

White Board

But wait a minute, you might be saying….that looks an awful lot like a tray….and well, it is….but it’s hanging on the wall close to the change table which is also close to the doorway….which makes it very convenient for writing notes or reminders on.

I got the idea from Make it and Love it….

Basically, you can write on top of glass, the same as on a white board and so you can take whatever frame you like and add whatever fabric you like and VOILA!!!!! Easy, cheap and beautiful white board.

I like the idea that you can create something very practical, have it be beautiful and yet, customize it perfectly for you. You can take any frame and if you don’t like the color but you do like the shape and design…..spray paint is very cheap and a great way to be able to co-ordinate with your decor. Depending on whether or not you have fabric pieces on hand, you can either use those, or go through your clothes or sheets or blankets and see if there is something suitable that you’d like to re-purpose. You could even use scrapbook paper or any combo of papers set up together. I had thought about creating a dry erase board for my kitchen with different sections for “To Do:” and another long section for a “Shopping List” and another section for “Dates to Remember:”. You could totally use co-ordinating papers to create different size sections and it would look very cool. In something like this, you’re pretty much only limited by your imagination…..

I re-purposed a tray that we had been given a while ago. It was one of those picture frame trays, but the kids had spilled my coffee on it and it had soaked through and mucked up all the frame and pictures. I chose a light patterned fabric from the stuff that I’d used for my quilt. I figured that would make it easier to see what I was jotting down. Then I used my glue gun to secure the fabric to the back piece of the tray. We secured a piece of wire to the back of the tray for hanging purposes.

The handle of the tray provides a nice ledge for the dry erase marker to sit on and right now my biggest issue is keeping my family from drawing silly faces on it.

I plan to use it for marking down notes or baby items that we run out of or even just the time that I least fed or changed the baby.

We just have a few pieces of art to get up on our bedroom walls and then I’ll take some pictures and show you the whole thing. It’s come together so nicely and I’m loving the fact that we’ve created a space that feels comfortable to just “be” in. In fact, I enjoy hanging out in there more than I do in my living room and I LOVE my living room.

Do you have a favorite room in your place? Which room and why?

Sewing Up a Storm

I’ve managed to plow through all the stuff that I had on my sewing “to do” list and even some things that weren’t on my list.

I LOVE sewing, but I do hate the mess and chaos of having my sewing room consist of my dining room.

Sewing CONSUMES me and while I enjoy the creative outlet……my house….she is not happy nor clean right now.

BUT……..I AM FINISHED.

Well, I’m almost finished. I have a few ends to tie off and sew in and then I’m really, REALLY done.

I’ve packed away all of my sewing stuff and am planning on bringing it out to work on a few gifts for family and friends after June 1st…..ya know, in the last few weeks when I’m trying to keep myself busy.

I did manage to make a second crib sheet for the little crib and while I debated making a third one – I was really ready to just put every things away and be done for a month.

I made these bibs from some hand towels and some spare fabric that I had left over.

Bibs

I’ll use these at some point, even if not right away and since I took this picture, I have managed to sew the velcro on, so they are completely finished.

I’ve made about 30 diaper wipes. I cloth diaper and so it only makes sense to me to also use cloth wipes. I have the perfect container to store these little square wipes in and it will fit about 20 of these so I’ll have a few on hand in case I run out or also to keep in the diaper bag.

Baby Wipes

They have cotton on one side and terry cloth on the other. I used 3 hand towels that I had up in my linen closet and then some extra terry cloth that I had left over after I made the very next item on the list……

A Baby Towel…..

Baby Towel

It’s a HUGE towel 36″ x 36″ square and although I didn’t have enough of the patterned material to make the hood, I improvised and made the hood out of the terry and edged it with a strip of the fabric. It’s the perfect size to wrap a baby up in and it’s big enough to still use on your toddler. My sister bought me one very similar for Josiah and I’ve LOVED it.

This was a SUPER fun project and my only “issue” is that I’ve never worked with this large of a piece of terry cloth and somewhere between measuring it and sewing it to the backing material – it stretched out some and is not “perfect”. If you know me, you know that I LOVE perfect, BUT….I plan on making more of these and giving them away as gifts (so I’m sure to perfect my towel sewing technique.) And……when the towel is folded in thirds and then in thirds again, it tucks up nicely into a perfect square inside the hood and that…..that is almost perfection in and of itself and regardless, it looks absolutely darling all folded up and would make an amazing gift for a baby or a toddler.

I also made some washable breast pads. This was something that I’d not planned on making, and I really don’t remember how I thought of making these, but VOILA!!!!! Here they are.

Breast Pads

Some of these are just a layer of terry cloth and a layer of cotton and some of them have a layer of wool in between the cotton and the terry cloth. They are certainly bulkier than a pair of reusable ones that I bought with Siah, and definitely, DEFINITELY bulkier than regular disposables BUT….I will give them a shot and if they work at all, I’ll use them around the house when and where boob circles or ridges really don’t matter.

Again, these are from the re-purposed hand towels and the left over cotton from the Quilt and so are these next items…

Burp Cloths

Burp cloths! I’ve made 4 of these, but I think that I’ll probably mostly just use these in the diaper bag for when we go out.

I did also make what we would call a “sucky blanket” for the baby to hold and cuddle.

Sucky Blanket

I just used the left over scraps and pieces from the big quilt and randomly pieced together this small quilt. It’s very cute and I’d like to quilt the same stars into it that we sewed into the large quilt.

Now, I just have to figure out where I want to store everything> Right now, it’s all piled on top of the baby’s change table.

I have a couple more projects that I’m planning on doing – easy ones that will just add a little “something extra” to the baby’s area of the room and I’ll post about them as I finish them.

The Finished Crib Set

Well, after a lot of cutting and piecing and sewing and stitch ripping and a few quick “on the fly” adjustments because I miscalculated………the crib set is COMPLETED.

I sewed the very last piece of thread on the drive home from church on Sunday and I have to admit….it felt pretty good.

I actually made a crib sheet (still need to make one more), bumper pads and a quilt all without an official pattern and I think that it looks pretty good, if I do say so myself.

With Quilt

I guess that biggest thing is that I actually like it. I do see things that I could have done differently or if I were doing again, that I’d do better, but for my first ever attempt at anything like this….I’m pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished.

I wrote a few different patterns for the quilt and finally settled on one that I figured that I liked. it wasn’t too busy and I didn’t figure that it’d be too difficult to cut and piece and actually “do”.

I cut out all the pieces of fabric based on the sizes that I had calculated in my pattern and tried to figure out at the same time where they were all going, based on how much of the fabric I had and what looked the best sitting next to each other.

Here is my attempt to puzzle all the pieces together before attempting to sew them….

Somewhat Pieced

Once I actually started to sew the pieces together I realized that I had miscalculated by 4 inches…..that’s a pretty big miscalculation AND…..I didn’t have enough fabric left over to re-cut the pieces that I had messed up on and so…then I had to figure out how I was going to “fix” it and continue on.

Here is the finished top piece and you can see where I had to add additional 2 inch pieces in on the 3rd and 4th lengths and in order to make the quilt look “intentional” I also then had to reduce 2 of the outside panels that I had NOT miscalculated on…oh the joy…..oh the fun!

Quilt Top Completed

I then stopped working on the quilt and started working on the bumper pads. I was initially going to just make them completely out of the dark paw print material, (I bought 2 meters of the yellow dot, and 2 meters of the dark brown and a fat quarter of each of the other prints. I could have just gone and bought some more, BUT…it was almost like a challenge to try to use up the remaining fabric that I had left over and still come up with something that I liked while not HAVING to buy any more fabric……..and aside from wanting to buy one more meter of the yellow dot to make another crib sheet – I have been able to do exactly that.) I didn’t have enough fabric to go ahead and do that, but I could piece some pieces together and hopefully make it work.

I’ll admit, that I created WAY MORE work for myself than was necessary but I was able to puzzle enough pieces together without them looking completely ridiculous and I didn’t have to buy any more fabric (for this project) AND…….even better…..The bumper pads fit PERFECTLY!

Bumper Pads

Here is a side view and we are still going to paint the crib and to figure out a way to tie the end ties onto the head and foot boards to keep them from falling down….

Pads in Crib

Here is Jon holding up the completed quilt…

Complete Quilt

and here is a partial view of the back side of the quilt……

Quilted and Everything

My mom came and helped me to “quilt” the blanket and we used our little man’s name and also put 3 stars in the 2 opposing corners……It looks AMAZING, but you’ll have to wait until the big day to find out what our little man’s name is going to be….

There are a few extra pictures in the set that you can check out if you so desire.

I’m just happy that it all worked out and that it’s ONE MORE THING that I can cross off my list.

Sunshine for the Soul & the Baby Booties Giveaway

First I just want to say, a HUGE Thank you to you all who have commented and twittered recently. I appreciate the nice comments that you’ve made and it really made my day(s). You all rock!

I managed to get outside and sit in the sun this morning and it felt so amazing. I had to go inside eventually because my vampire like pale skin felt like it might burn and while I welcome a little color….red is not the color I have in mind. I gotta find me some sunscreen quickly. I felt like the sun was warming right into soul. What an amazing feeling!

I sat out there with my notebook, my personal calendar, my work calendar and scheduled out a bunch of stuff and managed to also fill in the rest of the months meal plans. That’s one thing that’s off my list of “things to do”. I tried to sit down with the kids this weekend, but…it didn’t work out. I did, however, get a bunch of other things planned, listed and on or off the “to-do” list and so on top of the soul warming experience – I also feel like I accomplished something. What a great feeling!

In a highly scientific manner, I chose 4 pieces of paper and wrote the names of the 4 baby bootie entries. I folded them identically and in such a way that we couldn’t tell, which was which and then I had Jon pick one. Normally I’d do a short video documenting the whole process so that you’d see just how I tried to make it all perfectly fair, but this time…you’re just gonna have to take my word for it. I’m too tired these days to fiddle with making a video and uploading it – You’re just all lucky that I remembered to actually do the giveaway today.

Anyway…….without further ado……..

The winner of her choice of booties is…………Lise!

Send me your address or gimme a call and I’ll either mail the booties to you or we can make a plan to get together. (My vote is for the latter – if it works out for you.)

A Big Thanks to Debbie, Courtney and Cara for playing along. You guys rock!

Crossing Things Off My List

I have a list written down somewhere. Actually I have a few lists written down in a few different places, and well….can I find any of them right now…..NOPE!

I’m usually super organized and yet I’ve been feeling SO SCATTERED recently.

I think I’ve got too many things on my plate right now and yet…..that’s a post for another day and another time.

We’ve bought a crib set for each of our other kids. I figured that at the very least, I could save and one day pass on the comforter to each kid and that each child was unique and deserved something of their own….With each child I’ve had a harder and harder time choosing something that I really liked that wasn’t too over the top, gaudy or just down right ugly.

I did find a cute set for Siah and yet I wanted something different for this little one.

I decided to buy some fabric and to make some co-ordinating bedding and covers for this baby.

I’m not the worlds most amazing seamstress. My mother can make anything, even without a pattern, (She sewed my sister’s wedding dress and it was UNREAL! A massive hand beaded fairy tale princess dress!) and my sister has made and can make some of the most amazing things – clothing and toys. They can both sew like nobodies business. I can use my machine (barely) and I’ve made a few simple dresses for my girls when they were younger but I had to follow a pattern religiously.

I figured that most of what I wanted to do involved straight lines (I even have trouble with that sometimes) and that at the very least, I could give it a try. First hurdle….finding some fabric, that #1 went with my bedroom colors (as that is where the baby furniture is and where he’ll be rooming for most of the first year.) and #2 that I actually liked and #3 was appropriately boy-ish without being all balls and animals and primary colors. The second hurdle involved the fact that I had NO PATTERN to follow. I figured that at the very least I could try and if it turned out that bad, I’d rope my mother in to helping me.

Fortunately for me, and the family who has to live with me…….I’ve managed to start to pull it all together.

As of this past weekend, I’ve purchased some fabric…..

Fabric Pile

I’ve finished one crib sheet…..

Crib Sheet

and I finished one change pad cover……(I’m quite proud of this considering the rounded or scooped edges that I figured out how to do all on my own – YAH ME!)

Change Table

Here is a closer view…..

Change Pad

I’m almost finished the second change table cover and I still need to make another crib sheet. After that I have to make the bumper pads and the biggest project will be the quilt…. ACK! I’m a little nervous about that one.

My mom did come over to help me figure out how to “fit or secure” the cover and sheet underneath the pads and instead of using elastic, I’ve…..well…..I’ve no idea how to explain what I did. I basically sewed the bottom edge into a corner so there is a pocket for the corners to fit into. I have no idea if you understand and short of going and taking more pics…..which I don’t feel like doing right now….It’s all okay. It works and looks good and more importantly…..they fit perfectly and required no yelling, screaming or swearing.

I’m gonna finish the change table cover today and hopefully the second sheet too.

I think I might even take few minutes to sit down and actually write out a good list of everything that I really want to do before the baby comes and post it somewhere where It won’t get lost.

Oh, and you can see the color that we’ve painted our room in those pics of the change table. When we finish decorating, I’ll take some more pictures and show the whole thing, but for now…that’s a sneek peak!

Baby Booties and a GIVEAWAY!!!

I’ve seen a few pictures here and there around the internet with the CUTEST little felt baby booties.

Most of them are for girls, but I’m having a boy. And so while I think they are absolutely darling…they are useless to me. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone right now who is expecting a baby girl or I’d be making some of the cutest little shoes for them.

I was, however, thinking about my sisters and their baby boys and how tiny their little feet are and I found a SUPER EASY pattern for cloth or felt booties.

Last week, I had been cooped up in the house for most of a week and on Saturday afternoon – I ESCAPED! I went to the fabric store and bought a bunch of coordinating fabric that I am using to make some crib sheets, some change table covers, a set of bumper pads, and a crib quilt. After I’m done all of that, I have a few other projects that I’m considering (time allowing).

The fabric store closed and I wasn’t quite ready to head home yet, so I ran into Michaels. I didn’t really have anything in mind that I wanted to get, BUT…..I thought I’d just look around.

I found a package of felt in brown camo, blue camo and pink camo and I wondered if I could make some booties from them. After wasting a bit more time, I came home, printed out the pattern and started in on the project. It didn’t take very long and these cute little boy booties were finished. It says that they are a size 0-3 months and while I can’t imagine that they’d fit either of my nephews (just yet) – I do think that they’d fit in another few weeks. They aren’t huge, but they are a little bigger than tiny newborn size.

Boys Felt Booties

I whipped up (hand sewed) the first one of this pair yesterday on the way home from work and finished the second one after the boys went to bed. It is a fairly quick and easy project and one that could be modified with bows or buttons or a cute animal or shape cutout (similar to Robeez type shoes).

Girls Felt Booties

I don’t think that these would be strong enough to handle a walker, but for tiny babies….they’d cover the feet and look awfully cute. More like slippers, than shoes…..

I’m going to give away one of these pairs of booties.

If you win, you get to choose whether you want the pink ones or the brown ones….

To enter, leave a comment and Next Monday April 12th, I’ll randomly pick a winner.