Awesome DIY Salt Face Scrub

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Awesome DIY Salt Face Scrub

2 ingredient facial salt scrub2

I have to be honest – when I first tried this product, I didn’t really like it. I was really excited to try it, so I rubbed some on my face just before going to sit in the bath and relax with the book I’m currently reading. However, I really didn’t like the way it felt on my face. It felt oily and the salt felt kind of weird. But I figured I already made a whole jar, I may as well get some use out of it. So I left it on for about five minutes and wiped it off with a wash cloth.

It was after cleaning it off that I began to like it. The oil slowly went away to the point where it simply felt like I’d put some moisturizer on. Over the next few days, I paid attention to how my skin felt: soft and smooth.

I’m in my thirties and most of my life have been a tomboy type. In recent years, however, I’ve begun to notice the affects of my former beauty practices (or lack thereof). I’m sure a lot of it has to do with having kids, and other adult-like stuff. But it has opened my eyes to the fact that I’d like to take care of my body the best I can. This is why I now love this facial scrub. With most store-bought face washes, I’ve always felt like they leave my skin too dry or oily. This scrub left my face felling refreshed!

The best part: it costs about $1.67 to make a 4oz jar! I hope you like it as much as I do!

Necessities:

  1. Salt
  2. Coconut oil
  3. Jar to hold it

Optional:

  • Essential oil
  • Shea, cocoa, or any other kind of butter. If you want it to be softer, more creamy

Substitutions:

  • Another kind of oil. I really like the texture of the coconut oil and I like how my skin reacts to it.
  • Sugar or baking soda instead of salt. I tried the salt scrub from Lia Griffith, but I’d also like to see how it turns out with baking soda like this one from the Frugal Farm Wife.

Tutorial

This is SO easy! I used a 4 oz canning jar for mine, so these measurements will match that amount. Scale up or down as necessary based on the size of your container.

Ingredients I used:

~1/3 c sea salt

2 Tbl coconut oil, melted*

4 oz canning jar

1. Pour sea salt into the jar.

salt in jar for scrub

2. Melt the coconut oil. There are many ways to do this. I did it in the microwave, by 30 second intervals. You can also heat it on the stove by way of hot water bath (don’t put it directly in the pan; place the jar in a pot with hot water and boil it). Or you can place the jar in the sink filled with hot water and let it melt.

coconut oil in tablespoon

Coconut oil melted in pyrex

3. Pour melted coconut oil into the jar and mix with salt. You want it to be a paste-like consistency, so add salt as needed.

pouring coconut oil into salt

oil in salt

paste like salt scrub

4. If you’d like to add an essential oil, now’s the time.

5. Let it cool while you make a label. I’ve included the label I created below, or Lia Griffith has a printable one on her tutorial.

Creating a label

  1. Trace the bottom of the jar onto your paper to cut out.

tracing bottom of jar

2. Cut out the circle. I used these scissors that make the line wavy, but any scissors would work.

wavy line scissors

3. Write your label on it. I wouldn’t say this is my best calligraphy work, but it did the job. If I was making this for a gift I would’ve probably taken a bit more time with it.

diy salt scrub label

4. Glue the label on. I used a homemade modge podge. Be sure to get a good layer under and on top of the paper. If you printed a label, don’t put a layer on top as it could make the ink run. If you’re using a canning jar like me, be sure to only glue it to the lid and not the ring.

homemade modge podge

5. Let it dry. This can take a long time. I didn’t put the ring back on until it was totally dry, that way I can still reuse it for canning if I want in the future.

facial scrub drying

Final face scrub

Instructions for use:

1. Apply to dry face, rubbing into skin for 3-5 minutes.

2. Let sit for up to 5 minutes before rinsing with a warm, wet wash cloth.

3. Pat dry & moisturize like normal.

If there’s something you’d like to see me post, or if you just have a question or comment please share in the comments section.

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23 Budget-Friendly Date Ideas

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23 budget friendly date ideas

23 Budget-Friendly Date Ideas

When you become a parent, you put your kids first. Sometimes that means sacrificing the time and money you spend on adult stuff. With Valentine ’s Day approaching, I thought it would be nice to compile a list of date ideas you can do for very minimal cost. I was actually surprised at how many ideas I found! Some of these also include options for daycare if you don’t have a sitter! An alternative is if you have friends who have kids, you can take turns having sleepovers at each others houses so the other parents can have a date night.

I read through a lot of similar compilations for this collection. Many blogs claim to have lots of ideas for date nights (one had over 90!) but they’re redundant; slight variations from other ideas. I wanted to compile a list that was as concise as possible. I hope I’ve succeeded. I sorted all of these ideas into three categories: date night at home, going outdoors, and exploring your community. So here goes…

Date Night at Home

8 ideas for a stay at home date night

  1. Rent a move. You can get a movie for $1.50+ at Redbox, $2.99+ through VUDU, or even FREE with Hulu or Netflix.
  2. Hit up the dollar store for your snack desires: popcorn, hot chocolate, soda, ice cream, candy, etc.
  3. Pizza can be picked up cheap at your local Little Ceasar’s. Don’t like Little Ceasar’s? Check the newspaper ads to see if there are coupons for your favorite pizza restaurant.
  4. If you’re a T-Mobile customer, sometimes they give away free movie rentals with their T-Mobile Tuesday app also! (I’ve even gotten free tickets at the movie theater!)
  5. Make a Special Dinner. I could write a whole post on ideas for this (hmmm, we might still have time before V-Day?), but for now I’ll give you one: DIY pizza. Very inexpensive and fun to do together! If you buy the dough that you can make at home, shape it into a heart.
  6. Invite friends over. This might not sound like a great date idea, but hear me out. If you have kids and no daycare, you can invite over friends who have kids. This way the kids can entertain each other while adults get a bit of adult time! Might not work for everyone, but definitely an option.
  7. Have a game night. This could be with friends or without. Board games, cards, strip poker? Video games are also great to play together! We have Just Dance on our PS4 and it’s awesome for parties or kids sleepovers. Download the app onto a smart phone and use your phone as a controller!
  8. Spa Night Together. Bubble baths, foot massage, lotions/oils, candles… Sounds romantic! You can even pick up supplies at the dollar store!

Going Outdoors

6 date ideas for going outdoors

  1. Go on a day hike. Depending on where you live, could be in the mountains, forest, desert, or even at the beach.
  2. Go to the park. Take a walk, fly kites, swing. If you’re the athletic type, play games: basketball, soccer, frisbee, catch, or even climb a tree. Invite friends and you can make it a game of mud/snow football.
  3. Go ice or roller skating. Here in Denver there is a public ice rink downtown that is free if you have your own skates. If you need to rent them, it’s only $2. Even if you want to take your kids with you and make a family night of it, it’ll only cost you $2 per person ($8 in my family). Getting a family night out for under $10 is a pretty rare find these days!
  4. Take a bike ride. To the park, pack a picnic, stop for dinner or coffee, or just ride around to enjoy the view.
  5. Fishing and/or camping. Have you ever listened to “Fishin’ In The Dark” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band? That about sums it up. Seriously though, if you already have the equipment it doesn’t cost much to go fishing for a day/night, or even camping. Here in Colorado there are many places where you can just go park and camp without paying anything. Just bring your own supplies and take your trash with you when you leave. If you’re not sure where to start, call your local bait/tackle shop. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
  6. Drive to a lookout point. Be sure to bring a blanket, some wine, and maybe even a picnic (or some sort of food?). Sit on the blanket and enjoy the scenery! If you time it right (and your geography allows) you might even be able to watch the sunset.

Explore Your Community!

9 date ideas to explore your community

  1. Try out a free local class. This is where you become resourceful. You might want to check your local government’s website (city, county, or state), schools, or whatever the free local paper is in your area. Many times you might find a school that’s giving away classes so that their students have opportunities to practice. Or there might be a community event to encourage art, dance, or music. Sometimes yoga studios will give away a free first class to get you interested. You could even sign up for a free first week at a gym where they let you check out their classes.
  2. Beer tour. This is one of my fav! I know for a fact here in Colorado, as well as in Northern California, there are a plethora of breweries. Most of them will let you take a tour (and sample along the way) for free!
  3. Local free music. Again, check your local resources. There might be a festival happening with live music. Or just a local band/artist playing for free. Either way, there’s no shortage of free music as long as you know where to go.
  4. Local art show. Again, these things happen all the time. There was recently a free art show here in Denver with a Star Wars theme. The artist had hundreds of pieces for sale, plus gave away a free print to everyone who came! Not mention the free wine & hot chocolate! There is also an event that happens throughout the summer on the first Friday of the month called the Art Walk. They have food and art merchants set up along the streets for people to check out.
  5. Visit your local animal shelter. If you’re both animal lovers, this could be a lot of fun! Just be sure to agree beforehand if you’re willing to take a new friend home; it can be hard to say no!
  6. Discover your local happy hour. Many times you can get an appetizer for around $5, and beers as low as $2. Look up what bars and restaurants are in your area that you’re not familiar with, and call around to see what their options are.
  7. Matinee move. The movie theater we like to go to is only $6 before 6 o’clock, no matter what day of the week! It’s worth it to do a little research and figure what times count as matinee in your area. Don’t just check one theater and quit either! Another reason we like the Harkins theater near us is that we buy a souvenir cup for $5.50 the first time we go each year, and you can bring it back for refill all year long for only $1.50! They also sell t-shirts for $25 (I think) that will get you free popcorn! The more you plan ahead, the more you’ll save! Oh, and if you thought it couldn’t get better, they also provide free daycare (during specified hours)! So $13.50 and we get a movie, drink, popcorn AND daycare? Sign me up!
  8. Drive-in movie. You’d be surprised at how reasonable drive-in movie costs are these days. Our local theater costs about $8 and you get to watch 3 movies (if you can stay that long).
  9. What better way to spend some time together than wearing silly shoes and eating junk food? Sounds like a great time to me!

I hope this helps you spend quality time with your special someone on Valentine’s Day! Please comment with any feedback or ideas that you’d like to see here!

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Food Pantry Meals

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Meals from the Food Pantry

One thing I loved about my learning to cook from my mom was that she could make an amazing meal out of anything! When I had my first baby, she came to stay for a while and helped out with cooking and cleaning. I can’t even express in words how great it felt to have some of the amazing meals she made for me while I was recovering (from a C section)! It wasn’t just the physical taste of the meals, it was emotionally uplifting.

Now that she’s retired and has a very limited income, she goes to a food pantry every week to help with groceries. Some of the last few times I’ve been to visit, she’s made such tasty meals with the limited items she gets! I thought it might be a good idea to help others learn how to make a meal out of whatever random food you’d pick up at your local food bank.

If you went to  Assumption Catholic Church this week for their free food pantry, here’s what you might’ve picked up:

Food Pantry Meals

They also had some turkeys left over from Christmas that they were giving away! My family did tamales for Christmas; we haven’t had a turkey since Thanksgiving. It sounded pretty good!

Want to know all the neat stuff you could make? Check it out!

Meals

  1. Turkey dinner! If you don’t have stuffing, you could use the Rice O Roni that you got and canned green beans! Mashed potatoes? Sure! Be sure you make complete use of that turkey – boil the spine and guts for soup (or broth for something else). Here are some recipes that could help you:

* Dry Brine Turkey

* Roasted Turkey with Parchment Paper & Gravy

* All Recipes: Perfect Turkey

2. If you have a small family, or just don’t want to cook a whole turkey at once, you could cut it into pieces and cook them separately. In fact, last Thanksgiving I cooked my turkey flat (by taking out the spine first) and it only took ~2 hours instead of all day! Substitute for any of your favorite chicken recipes! Check out these recipes that might help you:

* Baked Turkey Legs

* Roasted Turkey Legs

*Moist and Tender Turkey (Or Turkey Breast)

* Oven Roasted Turkey

3. Use the bread, peanut butter, jelly, and all those snack bags to pack your kids lunches over the next week! Don’t have kids? Pack yourself a lunch! Make it fun with a cookie cutter:

heart shaped pb&j

4. Ramen soup! When I was in my young adult days, I became a PRO at cooking ramen! In fact, I’ve almost started a page dedicated to ramen recipes! One of my favorite ways to eat ramen is by adding it to a can of soup! Pour the soup into a pot on the stove, add ramen, plus any veggies you want, and enjoy! Want more ramen recipe ideas? Try mixing and matching these items:

* Diced tomato

* Squeezed lime

* Your favorite hot sauce

* Beans

* Rice

* Hot dog

* Broccoli (or any other veggies you have)

* Diced deli meat

* Cheese

* Jalapeno

* Tuna

5. Spaghetti – Could be as simple as boiling the noodles and adding sauce, or you could spice it up. I prefer to make my sauce with meat. I cook the meat first, adding in onions, bell peppers, bay leaves, and seasonings. I add a bit of sugar with mine, to compliment the savory spices. I also add my tomatoes in while the meat is cooking. Once the meat is done cooking, drain if necessary, then add your tomatoes and sauce. I will either cut fresh tomatoes or just use a large can of petite diced tomatoes and a large can of tomato sauce. Use whatever you have; if you have tomato paste, throw that in with some water. If you need some recipes, check these out (but remember that if you use that can of pre-made sauce, you’ll need less seasonings):

* Easy Marinara Sauce

* Simple Marinara Sauce

* Easy Marinara Sauce

6. Mexican food! This is vague intentionally because when you have the ingredients to make Mexican food, you usually can make whatever you want. Tacos, burritos, tostadas, taquitos, flautas, enchiladas… With that can of green chiles, the rice, taco seasoning, and the purchase of some tortillas, anything is possible! Here are some ideas to get you started:

* Easy Spanish Rice

* Beef Taquitos

* Easy Homemade Taquitos Recipe

* Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

* Easy Green Chile Enchiladas

7. Take a day off from cooking all these meals and warm up those shells & cheese or one of the cans of spaghetti! You deserve a break! Add some protein to it and make some tuna mac (mixed with the shells). That tuna could also just be mixed with some noodles to make a casserole.

8. Goulash – My mom made the best when I was growing up! Use some meat (hamburger, ground turkey, pork sausage, etc.)… cook the mean on the stove. Place in the bottom of an oven-safe casserole dish, add some veggies (corn and green beans are my fav), then mashed potatoes on top. If you have some cheese, sprinkle some on. Bake it in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt, then serve!

Other stuff

  1. All those samples of shampoo and body wash might not seem like much as they are, but try making a salt or sugar scrub with them! Not only is it better for your skin, it’ll help them last longer! Here’s what you do: find a container that has an air-tight lid. I like plastic food storage containers myself. Fill it about 3/4 of the way full of sugar (or epsom salt works well), then pour some shampoo or body wash on top. Mix it in with a butter knife, then check the consistency. Add more sugar or shampoo as needed to make it the right consistency. Now that sample body wash is going to last you MUCH longer!

 

And there you have it – a week’s worth of meals from the pantry! Please let me know what you think by commenting; questions & feedback are welcome!

Food Pantry Meals

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Easy, Inexpensive Homemade Sugar Scrubs!

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Easy, Inexpensive Homemade Sugar Scrubs

Easy Homemade Sugar Scrub

So here’s another idea I found this last Christmas season when I was trying to find some quality gift ideas that I could make with minimal cost. I had lost my job in September, and although my husband and I had each worked here and there, we were struggling to get by. I found myself searching the web to find neat ideas that were inexpensive, but wouldn’t come across as cheap. This was one of my favorites! Whether you make a small batch to keep and use at home, or want to make some for others it can fit your needs!

You might not even need to buy anything to make this because most of these items you probably already have in your home. I used some that I had at home, and bought some. The dollar store is GREAT if you need to buy your items but are working on a budget.

Necessities:

  1. Sugar
  2. Some sort of oil, shampoo, or body wash. Any ONE of these items will work (you’ll see different variations below).
  3. A container to put it in.

Optional:

  • More oil, shampoo, or body wash (to make multiple kinds)
  • Essential oils for scent
  • Other spices that will affect the aroma of the sugar, like cinnamon.

Substitutions:

  • For the sugar: Brown sugar, salt (sea or epsom are commonly used), or used coffee grounds.
  • Body scrubs instead of shampoo or wash (usually you need more if you’re mixing it in)
  • Oils: almond, coconut, baby and olive oil are all very common in scrubs. If you have a different kind you’d like to use, try it out! I’ve even seen some products with butter in them!
  • Instead of a plastic tub like I used, you can use any sort of jar or container. Just keep in mind it’s going to be in the shower where things get wet and can be dropped easily. This is why I opted away from glass even though many people like the way it looks in the finished product. I like the tubs because they’re short (sturdier) and durable.

Tutorial

Sugar Scrub Ingredients

As I said before, most of these ingredients can be picked up at the dollar store. I even got the plastic tubs from the dollar store, only $2 for 9 of them!

There are two ways to mix your sugar scrub: layered or not.

Not Layered Sugar Scrubs

1. These are the easiest to make. You simply fill your tub most of the way with sugar.

Sugar in tub for scrub

2. Pour some body wash or shampoo on the top. If you use a scrub, you’ll likely need to add more because it won’t mix in so easily.

body wash on sugar

3. Stir it in. Once you’re done, check the consistency. You may want to add more sugar or shampoo to get it to your desired consistency. I like to mix it up for myself and try different variances. The consistency will change a little once it’s sat a while. You may want to check back after a few hours, or a day, to see if it’s still how you like it.

Blackberry sugar scrub mixed

4. Once you’ve got it at the desired consistency, slap the lid on and label it! You can buy labels to write on, print them either on paper or sticker paper, or just write on the container. I chose the cheapest option this time.

Blackberry sugar scrub

Layered Sugar Scrub

These take a little more time to put together, but come out so much more beautiful! The ones I made are all layered with a scrub that I bought from the store, but if you only want to use sugar and oil you can still make a pretty layer. Check out the layers from this sugar scrub at The Idea Room.

  1. If you’re using an oil in your sugar, mix them together in a bowl. I mixed oil with my sugar that I layered mostly because the scrubs I was using to layer were pretty thick. I thought the sugar would need a bit more moisture. If I was using only sugar for my layers, I would’ve added a bit more oil.

sugar and baby oil

2. If you are using only sugar for your layers, separate half the sugar into a different bowl. You want at least one of the halves to be colored with food coloring. This is how you’ll see the different layers.

3. Add enough sugar in the bottom of the storage container to make your first layer.

First layer sugar scrub

4. Add some of your second (colored) sugar layer, or your other scrub. Keep alternating layers until you reach the top. I used a butter knife to spread my scrub on the sides so that the layers looked better.

Layered apricrot sugar scrub

If you don’t use a knife to spread it around, your layers might not look so smooth.

5. Put the lid on, label it, and voila! You’re done!

Feel free to check out some of these places where I got my inspiration:

If there’s something you’d like to see me post, or if you just have a question or comment please share in the comments section.

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DIY Dry Shampoo

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DIY Dry Shampoo

Easy DIY Dry Shampoo

I was first introduced to dry shampoo by a close friend and coworker around Christmas 2012. This friend gave me this small bottle of it as part of a Christmas gift. At the time, I kept bangs and I started using it as a way to keep my bangs from getting gross-looking when I went out or was at work all day. It really helped to keep them from getting all yucky when I would sweat on my forehead.

That bottle lasted me a really long time the way I was using it, but once it was done I wanted more. It was hard to find anywhere in regular department stores, though, and even now that brand isn’t available to purchase on most online websites. So I started doing some research and found out that dry shampoos are actually MUCH better for you than wet shampoos. Now-a-days I mostly use dry shampoo to keep my hair clean, and only use wet shampoo about once a week (or so). Depending on your hair & scalp type, you should use it every 1 to 3 days. I personally have a fairly dry scalp, with very thin, straight hair. I use it every 1 to 2 days depending on how my hair feels and how busy I get with MOM stuff.

Even though I now had a new understanding of how great dry shampoo is, I still needed to find some that I could afford regularly. So I did some more research and found that it really doesn’t take much to make a dry shampoo. In fact, for a mom like me who tries to find savings wherever possible, it’s a ridiculous amount of savings! That’s why this last Christmas when I was pretty strapped for cash, but still wanted to find thoughtful gifts to send to family and friends, I decided to make a whole batch to send out as gifts.

Necessities:

  1. Some sort of powder. I’d argue corn starch is the best base to use, but check out the substitutions for all sorts of others you can mix and match with.
  2. Something to put it in. I used some salt/pepper shakers that I bought for $1, but you can also re-purpose an old spice shaker.

Optional:

  • Baking soda
  • Baby powder
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder. Use this if you have darker hair.
  • Cinnamon. Use this if you have red or auburn hair.
  • Essential oil. To make it smell better.
  • Other spices. Again, for scent.

Substitutions:

  • You can replace my corn starch base with any other kind of powder. Some examples are baby powder, flour, or corn meal.

Tutorial

This recipe is the way I like it because it works best with my hair (and most of the people I was making it for had darker hair). I recommend playing with the options and substitutions listed above to see what works best for your scalp and hair type.

Ingredients I used:

1 c corn starch

1/3 c baby powder

1/3 c baking soda

1/2 c cocoa

  1. Whisk all the white ingredients together in a bowl.

DIY Dry Shampoo whisk white stuff

2. Add baker’s cocoa a little at a time until it’s your preferred color.

DIY Dry Shampoo Cocoa

3. Bottle it. You can buy  a funnel to help get all the powder into your bottle, or do just make your own. I rolled up a piece of paper to funnel it in.

Empty Salt Pepper Shakers for DIY Shampoo

Paper Funnel for DIY Dry Shampoo

4. When I was done, I didn’t have enough for my last jar, so I just poured some out of the other jars that were mostly full.

Completed DIY Dry Shampoo

5. Then I taped the lids so that the shampoo didn’t spill when I mailed them.

DIY Dry Shampoo Taped Lids

Instructions for use:

1. Apply near the roots of hair first. Some people like to use a makeup brush for this. I just pour a little into my hand and use my fingers to rub it in.

2. If needed, apply away from the roots. Only do this if your hair still feels dirty or oily after applying by the roots. Some people will brush their hair to help apply away from the roots.

3.  I don’t always shower immediately after application, but when I shower I do like to apply the dry shampoo first. With my hair, it seems to work better when it gets wet after putting the shampoo in. I still use a wet conditioner in the shower, but I’m looking into homemade solutions for this too. I also have a leave-in conditioner that I use after showering, mostly applied toward the ends of my hair.

4. Enjoy your hair being healthier! It took at least a week or so when I started this routine to start noticing some major differences. I still use a wet shampoo about once a week.

Feel free to check out these pages, some of the places where I got my inspiration:

If there’s something you’d like to see me post, or if you just have a question or comment please share in the comments section.

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