I try to pamper my skin at least once a week with a nice, homemade face mask. I don’t like messing around with figuring out what ingredients are in the store bought varieties, and I’m a little cheap when it comes to pampering myself. So, the DIY face mask is always the way to go. This pumpkin version is perfect for this fall season. We use pumpkin in so many recipes this time of year that I always have a little extra in the fridge.
DIY Honey Pumpkin Face Mask
2 Tbsp pureed pumpkin
2 Tbsp plain yogurt (Thick yogurt works best. Strain to thicken, if needed)
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp jojoba oil
Mix all ingredients together until smooth and spread evenly over your skin. Be careful not to get it in your eyes. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse clean.
All of the ingredients in this recipe have a purpose in pampering your skin:
Pumpkin contains antioxidants and enzymes
The lactic acid in plain yogurt helps exfoliate the skin
Jojoba oil moisturizes without clogging pores
Honey is anti fungal and anti bacterial to reduce breakouts
Have you tried any of our other face mask recipes?
But doesn’t pinterest make you feel like you can create anything? I’m embarrassed to say this, but most of the projects I find, Nic ends up doing most of the time. That’s so bad! But he’s so handy and good at creating things that it just ends up that way. I wouldn’t use the word “crafty” to describe Nic. More like a hands on-perfectionist-likes to get projects done, kind of guy. Love him.
So. I finally did a project on my own. I created a height chart for Lyla. She is growing so fast and is so tall (95 percentile – holla!) that I really wanted to start tracking her height. I saw some super cute wooden height charts on pinterest, mostly linking to etsy.com. I thought, c’mon, I can do this. I bought all the supplies – the board, paint, brush, and we already had the color stain I wanted to use. And then, six months went by.
Here is the thing with me and crafty projects: I hate starting something that I can’t finish RIGHT AWAY! Mom of a two year old + working + running a household= No time. That’s why I procrastinate on these things. But last weekend I started and finished Lyla’s height chart!
Not to toot my own horn (but I’m going to): I really liked how it turned out! Should I start selling these babies on etsy, or what?!
(When we hang this on the wall, it will be mounted 6 inches from the floor. We just haven’t chosen a place for it yet.)
So, I finished this one and then thought it would have really been cool to stain it with a more natural option. I attempted creating my next height chart with a coffee stain.
How to Stain Wood Naturally with Coffee
What you need:
1 cup of coffee grounds (the darker, the better)
1 ¼ cup of boiling water
Whatever piece of wood you want to stain
Fine grit sand paper
Towel or rag
Put the coffee grounds into a bowl that can withstand high heat. Carefully pour your boiling water over the grounds and let sit for at least 30 minutes and until cool. Place a coffee filter in the mesh strainer and slowly pour the water and coffee grounds mixture through the filter and into a container that will hold your coffee stain. It’s also good to choose a container that you can easily dip your paintbrush into.
Setup the wood you wish to stain in a safe area to get messy or cover the floors/surrounding furniture (I like to do this entire project outside, if weather permits. I get Pandora going, sip on some tea, zone out, and get crafty.) Use a fine grit sand paper to sand the surface, edges, and sides. Wipe the surface clean with a dry rag or towel to remove any dust.
Now you can get to staining! Dip your paintbrush into the coffee stain, let most of the excess drip off for a few seconds, and brush the stain onto the wood. Use even strokes and be sure to cover all visible areas. Do not use so much stain that it pools on the surface. Allow to dry (I did not wipe off excess stain, as opposed to if you are using an oil based stain. I let it soak into the wood). Repeat stain layers until you achieve the desired shade.
In my eyes (which really, really, really love dark wood stain), I wasn’t totally in love with the final product, even after four coats of the coffee stain. I want to be honest here and let you know that I did end up re-staining the board to get the dark color I desired.
I still thought it was important to share this technique because:
There is a noticeable difference in the wood color (which I wish the before and after pictures better depicted), so if you are looking to stain wood and aren’t hoping for a very dark color, this might be a great option for you.
The staining process was much more enjoyable with the coffee vs. conventional oil based stain which is stinky and can really do damage if it accidently gets on a surface you didn’t want it to.
If you are pregnant, very sensitive to fumes, or need to stain something in an area that is not well ventilated, coffee stain may be the way to go.
Have you ever tried staining wood with anything other than a conventional stain? How did it turn out?
You’ve heard us talk about this super awesome End of Summer eBook Bundle: 30 Real Food & Healthy Living eBooks for only $39 (a $650 value) and available only through Tuesday, September 10th. That is a 90% savings. Boom.
Simply Salads by Season (written by Kristen Michaelis from the blog Food Renegade) is one of my favorites in the bundle. In my opinion, it’s a perfectly put together book for quick and simple salads with a real food focus. This book is the best because:
The recipe ingredients are all real food items.
The book provides guidance on sourcing the best possible ingredients.
Simply Salads is organized by seasonal ingredients, which makes meal planning easier and cost effective.
A few salad dressing recipes that caught my eye:
Homemade ketchup – used as an ingredient in some of the dressings or great as a condiment for anything else you are eating at home
Ranch dressing – no more bottled, store bought dressing or powdered “homemade” versions!
Dill vinaigrette – just yum.
Homemade Worcestershire sauce – which is super awesome because we put a dash of this in just about everything. The store bought version contains corn syrup or sugar from GMO sugar beets. No, thank you.
I looked especially close at the fall salad recipes since that is the season we are heading into. Apple cauliflower chopped salad, Avocado grape salad with pecans, and Kale & Brussels spouts salad, oh my! Just to name a few.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and/or believe will add value to our readers. we are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I know…It seems silly, right?! By washing clothes you’d think you are in turn washing your washer, but in truth, even the machine that gets the job done needs a nice washing and a little TLC. Think of how many cycles of washing it has done and all of the fabrics it has rinsed clean. It makes sense that it would need a good soaking session by itself every once in a while to get any residue or build-up washed away.
I had heard about cleaning your washing machine a while back and to be honest, I thought it was a good idea but didn’t see any urgency in trying it out. With how busy life can be you need to pick and choose your battles. We have an older non-HE washer and dryer set. I noticed with the past few loads of laundry that as I was pulling my freshly washed goods out to either hang up to dry or transfer over to the dryer and I could smell a musty smell. I have a really sensitive sniffer, so I thought I was just being over critical of my freshly washed clothes and that it was just a wet fabric smell. Nope. After a couple loads I realized my nose wasn’t lying. Gross. It was definitely time to wash my washer. Luckily, it’s super easy…I don’t know why I haven’t been doing this periodically to freshen it up. Oh well, now I know.
Washing Machine Cleaning Recipe
1 quart white vinegar
1 cup baking soda
20 drops eucalyptus oil
This recipe is for a non-HE top-loading washer. Gather all of your supplies and head to your washing machine. For settings, (I know they all are a little different, so you can choose something similar) choose the largest water filling setting, hot water, an extra rinse cycle, and heavy soiled. I then chose the regular wash cycle setting to wash with. Pour all of your ingredients into your wash and let it work away.
If you happen to have a washer in need of a major cleaning you might want to let the water fill up with your ingredients, but then keep the lid open for 15-20 minutes so it can soak first before it starts the actual wash cycle. You may need to do this cleaning process a couple of times if your washer is in bad shape, but no worries! It’s simple, non-toxic, and will leave you with a sparkly clean washer.
Detergents and softeners, especially ones with dyes or added perfumes, can leave extra grime in your washing machine, along with build up from dirty fabric. Another culprit for mold and mildew is damp laundry left overnight in the washer. All of that moister creates the perfect environment for stinky smells to thrive.
What can you do to keep your washer smelling fresh and clean?
Once a month, run a cleaning cycle on your washing machine, or as needed.
Don’t let wet clothes sit in your washer too long.
Use only a small amount of natural detergent without dyes and synthetic perfumes. It’s better for you, the environment, and the washer.
Leave the washer door open after cycles so it can dry out properly.
Wipe out any visible residue as needed with a clean and reusable cloth to keep your washer in tip-top shape.
If you haven’t washed your washer before, no worries! I hadn’t either! This simple wash recipe and washer tips will have both your washer and clothing smelling fresh and clean. You can feel good about the ingredients you are using too, knowing that they are both effective cleaners and safe for you and the environment. I used eucalyptus for its nice clean scent, but also because of its anti-bacterial properties. Tea tree or lavender oil would be other essential oils that would work well for this too.
Do you routinely do a cleaning cycle with your washing machine?