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A Few of My Favorite…..Websites!

I’m on the internet a LOT and I’ve found some pretty cool sites along the way.  Here’s a list of a few that I think are neat-o (in no particular order, other than this was the order I thought of them in, LOL!)  Have fun!

1.  The Secret Door – takes you to random Google Street View places when you click on it.  Fascinating!

2.  Pinterest – I can spend HOURS here, no joke.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m on a DIY kick right now, and Pinterest is DIY heaven.  Also a GREAT place to find cool design, gorgeous photography, beautiful art, and style galore!  Lately, I’ve been kind of aggravated about it being taken over by supposed “blogs” (which are really just link repositories masquerading as blogs) pinning and repinning the same things.  It’s getting harder to find genuine, original things to repin, so I’m making a concentrated effort to pin cool things from the blogs and websites I visit, instead of just repinning content that’s already on Pinterest.  It takes a little more effort, but I think it adds WAY more value to the community.

3.  Facebook – I know, I know.  But I love it so!  (Heh!)

4.  Amazon – I’m a bargain shopper, and you can’t beat the GREAT deals at Amazon.  I love to comparison shop, and probably 7 times out of 10, Amazon has the best price, PLUS it gets shipped straight to my door, yayyyy, no gas money!

5.  HGTV – LOVE the cool home decorating and design tips.  I’m addicted to watching that channel, too!

6.  AllRecipes – I have this app on my phone, too, and it’s a godsend!  I’ve never had a problem finding a cool recipe to try and while I haven’t LOVED every single thing, at least they were something different and fun!

7.  Swagbucks Coupons – I use Swagbucks a lot to search and win points for free gift cards from Amazon, Starbucks and more.  One of my absolute FAVORITE ways to earn points is to print coupons from the Swagbucks site!  Not only do a get to save a few cents, but I get points for it, too!

8.  PostSecret – just fun.

9.  Kevin and Amanda – SO CUTE.  Always just……cute!  I love it.

10.  The Graphics Fairy – Karen posts an amazing variety of FREE graphics, mostly vintage stuff she finds in old books.  She also posts reader submissions of projects using graphics from the site and I’m continually amazed at the creativity!

11.  Journey Photographic – GORGEOUS travel photography.

12.  Re Create Design Co – Michael is an expat living in Sweden.  She used to blog at the wonderful Blue Velvet Chair which was a DIY, home decor, repurposed design blog.  She’s moved on to Re Create Design for more of the same.  ALWAYS fascinating!  Follow Michael on Facebook, too!

And there you have a small sampling of my favorite blogs and websites.  I could go on and on, but I have to stop somewhere.  Twelve seems like a nice number, doesn’t it?  More than ten, but just short of the dreaded 13.  😉

Cool Stuff · Good Advice · Personal · Recipes

Hippy Time…

Lately I’ve been on a DIY kick; home improvement, making my own cleaning stuff, and making my own cosmetics/personal care items. I’ve made lotion bars, sugar scrubs, and melt and pour soaps for a while now, but I just recently started trying things like deoderant, laundry soap, cleaners, etc. It’s pretty cool and I plan to add more to my repertoire as I go along.

Today I’m going to share my recipe for homemade deoderant and let me tell you….this stuff is AMAZING! I’ve researched what goes in to store-bought deoderant/antiperspirant, and it’s REALLY not pretty. Some of these ingredients have been linked with cancer and Alzheimer’s and given that my family has a history of Alzheimer’s, what more encouragement do I need to find a natural alternative? Please do the research for yourself and see what I mean!

I used this recipe as the basis for my efforts, but then had to tweak a little because the baking soda was irritating me. I will post below what I eventually came up with.

Homemade Amazing Deodorant:
Adapted from Passionate Homemaking

The original recipe calls for either corn starch or arrowroot powder, but since I had both, I used both. Some folks complained about irritation in the comments due to the amount of baking soda- and found that using less helped. I have had no problem with the amount of baking soda so I will continue with these proportions. Also the coconut oil can go from solid to liquid depending on the storage temperature. Mine stays at a perfect semi-solid in my bathroom, and melts to an oil when I rub between my fingers.

5-6 tablespoons coconut oil
1/8 cup arrowroot powder
1/8 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup baking soda
Several drops of bergamot oil [optional]

Mix the powders together in a jar and slowly add the coconut oil until you have a “pomade” consistency and powders are mostly dissolved. Add a few drops of oil until it has a lovely hint of scent.

To use, scoop out a pea sized amount and rub between your fingers to melt and create a smooth texture. Apply under your arms and rub any left into your hands as a moisturizer.

Since the coconut oil changes rapidly from a solid to a liquid I would not recommend trying to use a traditional deodorant “stick” but rather to scoop from the jar.

If you are at all hesitant about making your own, this is the recipe that will win you over! Non toxic, plastic free, sustainable, and extremely effective. Total win-win.

I didn’t have any bergamot oil or arrowroot powder, so I replaced the bergamot with tea tree oil, and just used cornstarch instead of cornstarch AND arrowroot.  I do plan to get some arrowroot powder so I can try it….one more thing on the list of things to do!

So, since I had to tweak it by taking out the baking soda, using all cornstarch, and using tea tree oil instead of bergamot oil (which I would have loved, bergamot oil smells nice!), this is the recipe I’m using and LOVE so far!

5-6 tablespoons coconut oil (I ended up only using 4, I guess the substitution of cornstarch for the baking soda changed the consistency of the paste)
1/2 cup cornstarch
Several drops of tea tree oil (I used 5)
Several drops of skin-safe fragrance oil (this is probably not totally “green,” but I wanted to scent it with something besides tea tree oil, not that I mind the scent of it, I don’t. I used 6 drops of FO, Grapefruit Mangosteen. Smells like HEAVEN, I tells ya!)

I’m so sorry I didn’t take any pictures of the process, but it’s pretty straightforward and if you follow the steps above, it won’t be a problem at all. It’s simply mix all the ingredients to make a paste, put it in a jar, done! How easy is that? The link for the original recipe has some very good pictures if you need to see the deoderant being made.  It will be the consistency of homemade frosting once everything is mixed.

I’ve been using this deoderant for a couple of weeks now, and it works GREAT! Lasts all day and has not marked my clothes at all. Give it a shot, what have you got to lose? If it doesn’t work out, you’re only out a few cents for the ingredients, and they can be used for other things, anyway. I hope you enjoy!


Cherry Lemonade Recipe

With the hotter temps we’re seeing across the US recently, I thought this cherry lemonade recipe would come in handy.  I made some this afternoon, and it’s PERFECT for the hot weather.  Could easily be adapted for a cocktail, too!  Sweet and refreshing!

Classic Lemonade:

In a saucepan, combine 1 3/4 cups sugar and 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, to dissolve sugar.  Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.  (I cheated a little here, I let the syrup cool on the stove for about 10 minutes, then went ahead and stuck it in the fridge to chill the rest of the way.)

Remove seeds from 1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice, but leave the pulp.  You can use concentrate, too, but it tends to be a little “tarter,” so I’d increase the sugar.  In a pitcher, stir together the lemon juice, syrup, and 7 cups cold water.  Makes about 2 quarts, serve over ice.

For Cherry Lemonade:

To the classic lemonade recipe, add the following:

6 large cherries and 2 teaspoons grenadine.  You can use fresh, but I used maraschino cherries from a jar, because I like the added “sweet.”  Plus, they’re a bright red, which I think looks nicer!  Because the maraschino’s are smaller, I increased the cherries to nine, mashed with a fork and splashed the grenadine over them.  I stir this mixture in when I’m mixing the lemon juice, water and syrup.  There’s no particular order, you’re going to stir it all up anyway.

Sip it up!  Happy summer, y’all.  Stay safe and cool!