Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kitchen Facial Scrub Vs. Tanning Solutions

For those of you who do not know me, there is one thing about me that practically smacks you in the face the moment we meet:  I am pale.  I am a mixture of Welsh, English, Irish, Native American (why couldn't I have gotten THAT skin tone??), and God only knows what else, combined into a proud American Mutt.

And yes--- I am pale.  I am VERY pale.  I am ghostly.  I am practically translucent.

Example:  In the winter, when my skin is at its palest, I have a hard time finding makeup foundation light enough to match my skin.  . . .Seriously.  What's lighter than 'Palest Ivory'?  The answer is . . .me, apparently.

But summer is coming more quickly than I would have liked (for my part, there is never enough time or effort put into looking good for bikini season, until the season is upon us) and we are actually going to the beach this year.  (For Hangout Music Festival----YAY!!!!)  -------Sidenote:  Flogging Molly is going to be there.  I am THRILLED.-------  So that means that it is once again time to decide on your tanning method of choice for the year. 

Having mentioned my lifetime-paleness affliction, and Hangout being in a month, I do not have time to tan by laying out in the sun.  Plus, it's harmful for your skin.  Tanning beds are cheap enough, and completely effective. . .but again--not great for your skin.  (I'm 35.  That doesn't mean I want to LOOK it.)

So the cheapest, and only logical conclusion was a self-tanner that you use at home.  I've used these in the past, they work fairly well enough if you apply them correctly (I have a system), and they usually keep me from looking wretchedly- ghoulish until I actually get a tan from the sun.

. . .However. . .

In my haste this year to GET that 'natural looking bronze glow' that I was promised. . . . I have come out splotchy. 

It's not good.

I would take a picture, just to prove how hilariously bad it was, but I am too vain.  There will be no photographic evidence that this event ever occurred. . .


So this morning I am going to make a facial scrub (really a 'whole-body' scrub. . . I swear, I'm a mess.) just using things from around the kitchen.  ***As a disclaimer, I cannot exactly say where I got this recipe.  I have read MANY 'How to Make Soap", 'How to Make Bath Salts', 'How to Make So Much Stuff You Have To Give It Away' sorts of books.  My mother showed me several different ways to make facial scrubs, foot scrubs, etc., and it's something I've always been interested in.***

We'll need these things:

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ground oatmeal
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp salt

First you'll need to grind up the oatmeal.  Even a small mortar and pestle is REALLY handy for this part =)  Then combine all the dry ingredients ---I found it easiest to mix them by hand--- and once they are well-mixed, you pour in the honey and olive oil, and mix with a fork.

  ***Feel free to add sugar or olive oil until you get the consistency you like.***

And there you have it:  Your very own bottle of sludge  =)

Since I'm going to be scooping out handfuls of this sludge, I decided that an old mayonnaise jar with a wide mouth would be the perfect container. 

Sorry.  This one's not pretty.  But OH!!!---It feels so good!

Just use it in the bath before you soap up.

The oils will make the tub very slippery.

. . .this particular scrub has been known to make our bathtub a very precarious place to be from time to time. . .


I'm off to go remove some of this top-layer of tanning cream from my person.  =)

Good day to you!  =)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Homemade Lip Scrub =)

In keeping with trying to do at least 1 'crafty' thing every day or so, and keeping near-religious records of the aforementioned, today I decided to make a lip scrub.  I've already used it and it is now sitting on my bath-ledge, where I can use it every time I bathe.

And it was super-easy.

We'll make this quick, so here goes:

Take 4 Tbsp of Olive Oil, and 2 Tbsp of sugar:

Mix it up in a small bowl, and add about a Tbsp of baking soda.
(Also, I added just a few drops of Almond extract, just to make it smell nice, and a little squeeze of honey.  Both of these are purely optional.)

And, as I happen to have quite a few glass baby food jars on-hand, that is what I decided to put my concoction in  =)

So, for all intents and purposes----You're finished! 

For use, just keep it handy so that you can use it when you bathe.  Scrub gently over your lips, and then rinse off.  That's it!!  I used it immediately after I made it, and my lips instantly felt smoother and more moisturized.  They STILL feel good. . .  Makes you want to say "Mmmwwwwaaaahhhhhh".  Feels good to say. . .

Basically, all I am saying is that, if you're in the mood to say "Mmmwwwwaaaahhhhhh", then you should proceed with wild abandon.  That's all.

So the project was basically over, and then I remembered that. . . I happen to own a glue gun.  And glue sticks.  . . . .And I just happened to find a pretty fake flower in the drawer with the baby jars.  So. . . .

It was time for fun with a little grey glue gun (one of THE best things ever invented. . . or top 10.  Gotta be.). . .

. . . and a few well-placed drops of hot glue later----and voila'!

A very lovely little (though completely girly) jar to hold my lip scrub =)

And this it where it now resides:

I'm so proud =)

TA-DAAAAAA!!!!  =)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Do-It-Yourself Brand New Bathrobe!!!

Last weekend my much-more-computer-savvy sister-in-law suggested that, since Michael and I do so many DIY projects around the house, that I might want to add the projects to my blog.  (Thank you, by the way!!)

So that is what I have decided to do.  Right now.  We'll see how it goes. . .  =)

For the first of what I hope to be many of these sorts of projects, I chose my faded, dingy old pink bathrobe for a renovation.

Allow me to set something straight:  I love bathrobes.  I mean, I LOVE bathrobes.  If it were socially acceptable (--and I believe that in some distant and far-advanced civilization in our future that it WILL be--) I would walk around in my bathrobe ALL THE TIME.  SRSLY.  They are the perfect article of clothing.

And I will NOT become embroiled again in the whole Snuggie-argument!  What happens when you're wearing a Snuggie and you want to stand up??  I'll tell you what:  Your backside is completely exposed.  COMPLETELY!!  Back to the drawing board, I'm afraid, Snuggie-folks.  And don't even get me STARTED on the Forever Lazies. . .if I wanted to wear one of those, I would just wear a sweatsuit. 
They.  Have.  A.  Buttflap.  That's really all I need to know.

So suffice it to say that bathrobes are my dear-sweet lounge wear of choice.  But my current robe has been used so often and so much, that it is covered in stains and spots, is looking really dingy, and the pink color has started to fade.

And thus I decided I would DYE IT!!!!  PURPLE!
(. . .always worked when I was bored with my hair!  =)

So here's what the dear Pinkie-Grimy looked like Before:

Sadly, the picture does not even do it justice. . .I mean this thing was a disgrace.  (I love bathrobes, but not DIRTY bathrobes.)  But still, this one was dearly-loved . . . SO dearly loved, in fact, that I decided that Pinkie-Grimy deserved maybe a little something better.  A little more 'Oomph!'  And so, being me, and being one-quarter-blooded full-blown Hippie (--It's true.  I have the documentation to prove it .--) I thought that the robe would look LOVELY with little white circles on it---a 'la poor-man's tie-dye  =) 

Unfortunately for both this project, AND for Pinkie-Grimy, I did not have ANY rubber bands on hand with which to carry out this vision. . .  (I have specially-sized small staples for a cat-stapler that I can't even FIND. . . and yet not a single rubber band to be found.)  So.  I COULD have jumped in the car, run to Target and purchased some rubber bands. 

But I am impatient.  And was MORE than ready to get this project on the move.  So I used the only suitable thing that I had on-hand:  A handful of ponytail holders.  (This was a try-and-see and hope-for-the-best project, in case you haven't figured that out.  I am by NO means an expert.)

So here is Pinkie-Grimy all tied up in a handful of ponytail holders:

So ponytail holders or no (--Big mistake.  Huge.--), I trudged determinedly onward, and prepared for the 'fun' part of the project:    THE DYEING!!!!

I used standard RIT dye in the purple box  (you can get it at craft stores, or usually just at the grocery store, though they don't have as many colors to choose from.)  The box STRONGLY SUGGESTS using gloves.  (strongly.)  But, after a quick search of our grounds, and an intense interrogation of my husband, it was decided that we had NO suitable gloves in out home.  However, I DID find an adorable pair of kitten-gloves during my search----HOORAY!!  . . .Gonna be settin' those babies out for the next slightly-brisk day.  =)


So, since I had no gloves, and was basically just getting CUH-RAZY with not following the box's STRONGLY WORDED SUGGESTIONS (I was giddy with creativity.  Or the fumes from the dye.  Who can say for sure?)  I approached my set-up like this:

I ran one side of the sink with warm soapy water (to get the dye off my hands quickly), and the other side with hot water and the RIT dye.  I only used half a pack of the dye . . . who KNOWS when something around here is DESPERATELY going to need to be dyed purple??  No one.  That's who.

(Better safe than sorry.)

Then I just let it sit there for a while.

Occasionally poking it and prodding it with a wooden spoon.  Some spots wanted to take the dye, and some spots did NOT.  But I just kept on stirring it around.  You know, to make sure all parts had an equal chance.  (I am nothing if not fair.)

I've gotta say, it felt very delightfully 'witchy' to be poking and prodding my dark-colored brew in the sink.  =)  . . .I wonder how Witches feel about walking around all day in their bathrobes.  . . . .hmmm. . .might be worth checking out.  Maybe they know something I don't. 

I digress.  It was a satisfying feeling, that's all.

After an undetermined amount of time (I might've mentioned that I am impatient), I decided that they dye had done it's job, and I got ready to take the whole mess out.

Before which, though, there was MUCH wringing to be done.  As I do NOT currently want to ruin my dryer, I rinsed and squeezed and rinsed and squeezed and rinsed and SQUEEZED my new creation, until the water ran clear.  Then I squeezed a little more.  Just for good measure.

Then I tossed the thing in the dryer and crossed my fingers.

And waited.

(Seemed like it took a long time.  Could be just me.)

And HERE is the finished creation!!!------

Again, the photo doesn't do it justice, and it looks a LOT more purple in person.

And here's the back:

You can just barely make out the spots where I tried to create circles with the ponytail holders.

Lesson learned:  If EVER trying to Tie-dye something, ESPECIALLY a very thick-fabriced something---USE RUBBER BANDS.

But, overall, I'm pleased with it.  It feels like new.  (Actually feels a little softer.)  And at the very least---you can no longer see the stains.

So stay tuned.  More of my fascinating re-do's coming soon.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Scattered, Smothered, Covered. . .

It's 10:30 in the morning and I feel like I've already had a busy day.  I've downed a huge Jumbo-Slurpee-sized tumbler of coffee, and am seriously contemplating a second. . .

But I'm pretty sure my system doesn't need that much Almond Joy-flavored dairy creamer, so I have moved on to cola. . .

The baby woke up at a quarter to 6:00 this morning, and has only just gone back to sleep.  He acts like he isn't feeling well, and is currently getting allergy medicine in his bottle.  So we woke up early and he toddled around in his walker and munched on saltine crackers while I made coffee and got ready for the day.

His Pawpaw and Lon were coming over for a visit at 8:00 this morning, so waking up early actually helped a little. . .I had plenty of time to wake up, tend to the baby, get dressed, and straighten up the house.  And I was even managing to get a load of clothes in the wash when they pulled up in our driveway this morning.  Fairly accomplished for a Saturday, I guess. 

Good enough, anyway =)

. . .They always say "Don't clean up for us". . .and I'm sure they always mean it.  But I have to at least do a cursory cleaning before someone comes over.  Especially parents.  . . .I never want to feel like "Hi!  I'm your offspring!   Just living here. . .in self-imposed squalor."  And in addition to this, I am a neurotic freak about some things. 

I just am. 

And one of my 'things' (creative, I know, but I don't know what else to call it) is that if my house is filthy, it makes me feel like my life is out of control.  I can handle it a little messy. . .and with 2 cats, 2 adults, and 1 baby, it GETS messy. . .but if it starts to get TOO bad, I start feeling panicky and out of control.  It actually calms me to have a clean house.

This does NOT, by any means, indicate that I feel this way about OTHER peoples' houses--Oh, no!  This is just a me-thing.  And, since this one I find to be particularly helpful, and since I am NOTHING if not attached to my own neurotica (. . .real word??  Might need to check on it. . .) I have decided not to worry about it all that much.

So all this means is that the smushed Goldfish crackers were swept up off the floor, and the worst of the cat hair was wiped off the furniture when the grandparents arrived this morning.  The baby was clean and sweet-smelling.  I was even wearing lipstick.  It was awesome.

And mornings like these are always so much fun---especially since it's been a few weeks since Nolan has seen them.  He's changed so MUCH!!  . . .his hair is growing like mad into little curls all over his head, he's as fat as a little pig, and the only thing he loves more than chasing the cats around our entire downstairs is Fruit Loops.  He cackles and laughs when you flurbert his belly, he gurgles and tries to talk, and he navigates his walker like a pro.  There was a lot to show off  =)

. . .Also. . .did I mention that they came with gifts of Cadbury eggs??  . . .because they DID.

TEN, to be exact.

If it is my shield you're trying to buy, Sir, then surely you have done it. . .

. . .I've been watching too much Game of Thrones.

(But seriously.  That show is awesome.  AWESOME.)

Moving on.

(whispers: **awesoooooommmmmmme**)

So it feels like it has been a busy week, and were it not for caffeine, I think I might be walking around here brain-dead.  I've been completely scattered. . . as evidence of such, I walked past a mirror an hour ago and noticed that I have somehow managed to apply a 4-inch square, Snooki-colored spot to my neck, in tanning lotion.  I've scrubbed it off now and my neck is a much-lovlier strawberry-red, but seriously---how did I DO that?  I put on MAKE UP this morning, for God's sake!---I LOOKED in the mirror!  How in the hell did I miss THAT?

Moving on.

I'm scattered.  And the reason is in a neon yellow medical wristband that's hanging on our mail caddy.  It has Michael's name on it, and it is from yesterday.

Aside from being his birthday---(Happy birthday!  Here's some torture!!)---yesterday was also the day Michael went in to have his esophagus stretched. . .

There is a word for it, but I'm not even going to attempt to spell it.

It's a routine procedure, he's out in a few hours, and it is, by all accounts, 'nothing major.'

Except that everyone knows that when it comes to the most important person in your life, 'nothing major' becomes VERY 'major.'

So we spent the first half of his birthday at the hospital. 

My mom was good enough to keep the baby, so on the up-side:  He got some time with her.  She even took him with her to see MY granny---and so he had a really big day.  I'm sure his cheeks were pinched nearly raw.

We have never had any issue with a shortage of grandparents offering to keep the baby. . .we actually joke about it to other parents.  And I've seen the jealousy in their eyes. . .  Oh yes--it was there.

So the baby played with his grandmas, and I sat in a waiting room and made it halfway through my new library book.  And I am VERY grateful to report that he came out of it fine, and should have a LOT less trouble now.  He's still sore, but will get better, and is at work even as I write this. 

He was, of course, IMMEDIATELY joking about it. . .  We got home and he changed his facebook status to:  "For my Birthday I had my throat stretched by a very large man... (true story)".  . . .which is fair, I guess:  His doctor was 6'9" tall, and had to duck to get in the doorway.  Like crazy-tall.

But just because all is now well does NOT mean that my entire body has unclenched yet  =)

Anytime something like this involves someone you love---your gut clenches, your butt clenches, and your soul clenches.  Until you see that person again, and they are okay.

And I got to do that.

So now he is at work, the baby is sleeping, the grandparents have gone home, and the only thing left that I really have to accomplish today is to get Nolan's and Devin's Easter baskets ready.  And by 'ready' I mean 'Go to Target and buy everything, bring it home and fix it'  . . . and I am just itching to make one for Cana as well, but he's 15, and really too old for it, I guess.  (I don't want to be insulting.)  However, I feel I need to add that *I* like Cadbury eggs.  A LOT.  And I will be having one shortly.  That is all.

Except for this:

Yesterday was Good Friday, and it was Michael's birthday, and it was the day he got his throat stretched by a large man.  And his hospital bracelet dangles here on the desk-- because he came home.

As I MAY have mentioned--I am neurotic. 

It has been a rough week for me, and I am tired.

I need a nap. 

But even as scattered, smothered, covered, as my brain feels right now, my heart is so very grateful.

My husband is healthy. 

My parents are active in my child's life. 

My baby is fat, and asleep.

My cats are high on nip.
(true story.)

. . .and Game of Thrones exists.

. . .Have I mentioned Game of Thrones? . . .?