Saturday, June 30, 2012

Homemade Shampoo & Body Wash using Castile Soap for my Son

I can't live without my homemade Shaving Cream!!  When I went to visit my mother this week, I left it for her, telling myself I would just make myself some more.  Well, instead of making more tonight when I shaved, I used my old Skintimate.  YUCK!!!  My legs are NOT as soft and I feel like I have alligator skin.  My legs don't feel as smooth, I didn't get a close shave and I miss the velvety feel of my legs after shaving.  You wouldn't think I'd miss my homemade concoction this much.  I used Skintimate for years so I thought I'd be ok going back....  Ummm... No..  I will definitely be making my oh so soft Shaving Cream tomorrow and will never look back!  Mom, hope you know how much I love you!!!  :) 

Enough of the venting....  Let me tell you why I didn't have time to make my scrumptious shaving cream tonight.  While we were on vacation, my son ran out of his shampoo and body wash so I bought him some store bought junk until I got home to make him some homemade goodness.  Tonight, I made some more amazing goodness....  (I'm loving this homemade/natural thing!!  I feel so creative, responsible, a little more earth friendly, as well as pocket friendly :) ) 
DIY Shampoo:
1/2 cup Dr. Bronners Liquid Castile Soap (I have Lavendar)
1/2 cup Tea (green or whatever you wanna use)... brewed 30 mins.
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Honey

Now, I'll explain the ingredients.....
-Castile soap is completely natural/organic soap that works wonders.  It has tons of different uses!  Well worth the money...  A little goes a LONG way.
-Tea is an amazing herbal treatment for your hair as well as body.  Chamomile tea works great on blonde hair.  Sage tea works great for dark hair.  You can also use just plain old green tea, black tea (to darken your hair) or typical Lipton tea!  It all works great. 
-Olive Oil nourishes, conditions, improves the strength and elasticity in your hair leaving it healthier and more managable.  It also leaves a clean, invigorated scalp!
-Honey is full of vitamins and nutrients that are great for both your hair and body.  It holds in water giving your hair extra moisture.   

DIY Body Wash:
1 cup Dr. Bronners Liquid Castile Soap
1 cup Water
3 Tbsp Coconut Oil (melted)
5-7 drops of your favorite essential oil(s)

I've read others have had problems getting the castile soap to lather.  This lathers wonderfully.  Both of these soaps (body wash & shampoo) are very thin but you won't have to use much at all.  A tiny bit goes a very long way with these recipes.  They both lather wonderfully and leaves your hair/skin feeling soft, clean and moisturized!  I made these for my 8 year old son so they're very mild.  I plan to make another version with coconut milk for myself soon!! 

I hope these help you in your discovery into making your own, natural bath products!  If you have any questions or want to leave feedback after you try, feel free to leave a message.  Don't forget to sign up to get my email updates to the right! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gotta buy more bathroom cleaner? DON'T! Clean your bathroom the homemade way.

Today, I decided to tackle my bathrooms...  I've been putting it off all week because I just knew it was going to take me hours with sponges, rags, toilet cleaner, tub/shower cleaner, glass cleaner, disinfectant, tile/grout cleaner, etc.  The list goes on and on and on and on.......  With 5 people in my house, 3 being boys, the bathrooms get disgusting.  I generally clean the bathrooms once a week, minus the typical pickup, but that still doesn't seem like enough and the cost of cleaners gets outrageous. 

Enough is ENOUGH....   Back before they had all these millions of different types of cleaners, people still had clean bathrooms, right??  I remember going to my grandmother's house and it always being so clean and fresh but I never saw tons of chemical filled cleaners.  She always had vinegar and baking soda though.  With remembering that, here's what I came up with to clean my bathroom:

Tub/Shower: 50/50 water & vinegar.  Mix in a spray bottle, spray and wipe clean.  It easily wipes soap scum away.  If you have any real tough spots, make a paste of baking soda & water to apply to the stain OR wet stain with water, sprinkle baking soda to area & spray with vinegar solution.  When it foams, scrub the area with your micro fiber sponge/towel. 
Countertops: Same as Tub/Shower.  Half vinegar and Half water.
Toilets: Sprinkle some Baking Soda down the drain (you won't need much), pour in 1 cup of white, distilled vinegar.  It will foam up (like your old volcano science project as a child).  Scrub the inside of your toilet with your toilet brush and the foam.  Your toilet will sparkle! I use the vinegar/water spray to clean the outside of the toilet.
Mirrors: Vinegar & Water spray.  Clean with pieces of an old T-Shirt or Micro Fiber Sponges or Towels.  Paper towels don't work so well using this cleaning method.  This works better than my Windex!! 
Floors: I have tile floor in my bathrooms.  50/50 vinegar & water works GREAT at cleaning the spots/dirt while leaving my floor sparkling

To sum it up, to clean your bathroom you need this:
Vinegar, Baking Soda, Water, micro fiber towel/sponge (essential oils, optional) 
That's it!  Vinegar disinfects as it cleans, naturally, so you won't need to use any extra antibacterial or disinfectant cleaners. 

If you want to leave your bathroom smelling nicely after the vinegar dries & the pickle smell goes away, simply add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil to your spray bottle.  The pickly vinegar smell will disappear as it dries, leaving the great scent of your essential oil.  I, personally, don't like citrus much and love the smell of lavendar, so that's what I used.  I love having the relaxing, lingering smell of lavendar floating through my house :) 

If you try this and have comments, suggestions or anything to add, I'd love to hear from you! 

If you like my posts, don't forget to sign up to get my posts via email by putting your email in the "follow by email" area to the right.  I promise, your email goes nowhere but here.  Your email is confidential  :) 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

In search of a new DIY Fabric Softener that SMELLS good

My last Fabric Softener Recipe works great but isn't exactly what I like/want for my own laundry so I've been searching for something new to use during my rinse cycle on laundry days. 

My latest Fabric Softener used hair conditioner as one of the ingredients.  After researching ingredients in my hair conditioner, I do NOT plan on purchasing anymore when my Pantene runs out.  I will be using an all natural, safe way to condition my hair..  More on that when I run out of my current conditioner. 

After tons of research, I think I've found another GREAT way to make my softener.  Vinegar has been proven to be excellent for clothes.  It helps keep lint from attaching to clothes, it removes soap residue, it helps remove odors from clothing and helps boost your detergent power among many other advantages.  Google it... You'll see for yourself! 

Baking soda helps soak up odors and helps regulate the ph level in your laundry rinse water keeping it from becoming to acidic or alkaline.  Adding it to your rinse cycle is supposed to act as a balance to suspend detergent or mineral deposits which leave clothes feeling stiff. 

Add some water & essential oil and I should have a "better than I've ever imagined softener"... right??  No....

I ALMOST fell for using both of these in a fabric softener... BUT... I remembered, when both are mixed together, they react, foam up, leaving nothing more than a little salty water.  Remember mixing the two in your clay volcano when you were a kid??  It makes for some awesome lava...   If you're googling ways to make your own fabric softener & you find one that tells you to mix these two ingredients, remember you're only wasting your vinegar & baking soda...  Might as well just throw it in the trash now.  Seperately, they work fantastic.  Together, they end up canceling each other's magic, leaving you with nothing more miraculous than salty water..  

For right now, I think I'm going to try using my white distilled vinegar & adding some of my "linen" essential oil to it.  I use the baking soda in my homemade laundry detergent anyway...  Maybe the use of both of them, at different times, will work great!  Let's just hope the laundry ends up with a good, clean, linen scent, just how I like it!!   

Anyone else have any ideas???  I'd LOVE to hear what's working for you!   

Update: This works GREAT!!  I simply use white distilled vinegar and add my essential oil to it.  Appx 15-20 drops per half gallon (that's enough for me).  I use appx 1 cup of the mixture per load of laundry.  My laundry comes out SO soft and smells great!  Give it a try! 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Baking Soda & Peroxide... after my Stove Fire

My husband was cooking while letting me relax and read a little of the book I've been reading. (Btw, the Hunger Games trilogy is AMAZING!  If you haven't read it yet, you should!  I can't put it down.)  Suddenly he calls, "BABE... COME HELP!!".  I run from our living room to our kitchen to see what!?  A Stove Fire!  AHHH! 

Those of you who have been following my blog know I usually add visuals of my posts.  Sorry....  No visual of my stove fire.  I was a little too busy trying to PUT OUT THE FIRE

Just so you know, everything's fine.  No damage was done - to anything - at all.  Just a little visual damage...  Just needs to be cleaned up a little... 

After the fire, I got to wondering what caused the fire.  Had my husband spilled something on the burner??  No...    How long had it been since this stove, under the cosmetic top, had been cleaned?  I've cleaned that stove daily (most days several times a day) since we moved here a few months back.  Surely they had it cleaned pretty well before we moved in, right??   WRONG!!  I took the stove top apart and OMG that thing was DISGUSTING!!  No WONDER IT CAUGHT ON FIRE! "Just needs to be cleaned a little??"  Uhh....  How about, "I'm gonna have to give this thing the scrub down of my life because, surely, it's never been cleaned!". 
This is actually pretty embarassing.  I've been cooking just above a build up of other people's filth!

I need something stronger than my normal vinegar/water mixture.  I bring out the hydrogen peroxide & baking soda :)  I mix it together in a bowl to make a paste to a consistency I like and rub it all over everything with the dark, black, burn marks on it!

I let it sit basically ALL DAY!  It was several hours at least.......
This stuff works AMAZING!
This is my new, Miracle Cleaner!!
Just look at my stove now...
Besides the stove being pretty much ancient, it's beautiful!!  And CLEAN!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Big Bow Headband

I got a couple photos back from Amy Adams Photography today and just HAD to show them off!  She's absolutely terrific!  I love these pictures of her little models modeling my Big Bow Headband. 

Aren't these girls the cutest things ever??  GREAT photos also! 

These big bow headbands are interchangeable on the "tie behind the head" headband.  They sell on my facebook Tiffany's Crochet Creations for $7 for 1 big bow plus the headband.  Additional bows are offered at $3 per bow.  These can be made in any color you'd like and can be made to fit any size head. 

Thank you Amy for the amazing photos :)  

Monday, June 4, 2012

DIY Shaving Cream

I ran out of my Skintimate Shaving Cream last week and, since I really dislike buying my beauty bath products anymore, decided to "try" and make my own!  I went into the bathroom to see what other products I had left over that could possibly be used for a Shaving Cream.  I know just using hair Conditioner to shave with usually works great, so I hear, but I like something that also lathers, moisturizes and helps hold in moisture. 

Here's what I came up with.....
1 cup Shampoo... for a nice lather (I used my Pantene)
1 cup Conditioner... for shaving ease (I used my Pantene)
5 tablespoons lotion... Simply to skip lathering up after my shower
5 tablespoons coconut oil... To help keep moisture in my skin

  Add your shampoo & conditioner in a bowl... 

Add your lotion....

Put your coconut oil into a bowl and warm it in the microwave just until it melts and pour it into your shampoo, conditioner, lotion mixture...

Mix well...

Pour it into whatever container you wish!

This homemade cream has made my legs softer than they have been in YEARS!!  I get a closer, cleaner shave than I got with my store bought "Skintimate", which I was an avid user of.  And my legs were left feeling softer and cleaner, with NO stubble.  I love this stuff.  I don't ever see myself buying another commercial brand again.

I will say, this is way thinner than normal shaving cream.  It's very runny but does lather up a little when worked into skin.  Compared to the soft, moisturized feeling of my legs after shaving, the being thin is a minor detail to me, although, I may adjust the ingredient amounts next time I make a batch just to see if I can make it a little thicker...  If you try this recipe and find a way to make a nice lather, I would love to hear your feedback!