Make Your Own Recipe Box

Make Your Own Recipe Box
In the digital age of the Internet, most people just keep information online and bring their tablets and smart phones into the kitchen whenever they want to look up the recipe. But I've always been rather old school, and enjoyed the romance of writing recipes down on paper. I used to write my favorite ones down in a notebook, but as they added it up it was getting to be a little difficult to go back and find the ones I wanted, and I wasn't able to reorganize the pages according to type of cuisine or meal.

That's when I remembered, wasn't there is this thing that people used to have called a recipe boxes? So I decided to make my own.



Make Your Own Recipe Box
You can use any box you want; cardboard, tin, etc. Heck, carve one out of wood yourself if you like. In the interest of being ecofriendly, I decided to re-purpose a cardboard box that once carried a gift someone gave me. I redecorated it by painting it with some old nail polish to give it a more personal touch, then cut some index cards to a size that would fit snugly inside of it. Then, I simply spent some time writing recipes down on the index cards, categorizing them, and organizing them in my homemade recipe box.

It's not that most amazing do-it-yourself project, but I love it when I am able to make something both functional and beautiful instead of going out and purchasing something. This way, not only am I saving some money, but I've created something from materials that otherwise would have gone to waste.

Make Your Own Recipe Box
I like how the lettering on the lid looks like frosting.

Make Your Own Anti-Puff Eye Roller

Make Your Own Anti-Puff Eye Roller
When I'm not taking particularly good care of my body, I wake up the next morning with puffy eyes. Eye bags can be caused by fluid retention, which is often the result of staying up late, eating too many salty foods, or having a few too many drinks. However, hormones and genetics also play a role, so if your hormones are often out of whack, or if one of your parents tends to have puffiness or dark circles around their eyes, you may be more prone to it as well.

Eye bags don't cause your body any harm, but when I get them I appear exhausted and seem to look much older than I am — so I hate them.

As I, like many of us, can be rather vain about my appearance in this regard, I decided to invent my own remedy to combat eye bags, which also has the added benefit of moisturizing and rejuvenating the delicate skin around my eyes.

**********

You'll Need:

Make Your Own Anti-Puff Eye Roller - a small roll-on container
- aloe vera gel
- olive oil (or other oil of your choice)
- green tea
- a fresh mint leaf

Directions:

1. Boil some green tea and allow it to cool.
2. Crush up a mint leaf. You'll only need one as you'll be putting this into a small roll-on container (or at least I do).
3. Mix one part aloe vera gel, one part olive oil, one of the cooled green tea and some of the crushed mint leaf together, and put it into your roll-on container.



To Use:

Simply shake up the container and gently roll the concoction onto the skin whenever you think your tired eyes need a boost. Keep the container in the refrigerator to keep it fresh, and by doing so you will also feel an extra bit of cool relief every time you use your homemade anti-puff eye roller.

**********

The aloe vera and olive oil helps moisturize the delicate skin around the eyes, while the caffeine in the green tea will help bring down puffiness. Meanwhile, the crushed mint creates a soothing effect whenever the mixture is applied. Using a roll-on container not only makes application convenient, but gives you the ability to gently massage the area around the eyes every time you apply the mixture. This helps improve circulation around the eyes, which also reduces puffiness.

This is a great home remedy if you suffer from puffy eyes, and I love the added moisturizing effect, especially during the winter.

Make a Vase Lamp with Christmas Lights


Christmas lights don't have to go around a tree.

Make a Vase Lamp with Christmas Lights

Find a beautiful, sturdy vase, stuff a strand of Christmas lights inside (with the electric plug hanging out, of course), plug it in, and there you have it. It's a different way of bringing a little holiday warmth into your home, and you can keep it out all year long as well!

Make a Vase Lamp with Christmas Lights


How to Make a Reed Diffuser


While researching ways to obtain better sleep, I discovered that the scent of lavender has a very calming affect on the body. As an extra bonus, I also found out that lavender helps repel mosquitoes. So I set out to make my own reed diffuser that would fill my bedroom with the smell of lavender.

**********

How to Make a Reed Diffuser
You'll Need:

- a non-porous (such as glass) vase or container with a narrow neck
- reed or rattan diffuser sticks - high proof liquor (at least 35% alcohol)
- essential oils of your choice

You'll notice from the picture on the left that I am repurposing a small, clean bottle of PatrĂ³n. It's the perfect size and shape for a reed diffuser, including a narrow neck that helps prevent the scented mixture from evaporating too quickly.

In my recipe, I am choosing to mix lavender essential oil and vanilla essential oil to create a pleasant scent that I think would be quite soothing to fall asleep to. Feel free to use any other essential oil or combination of oils to make a unique scent for your home.

Directions:

1. Pour high proof alcohol into your container so that it is half full.
2. Add your essential oil or oils. Roughly 15-20 drops per 1/3 cup of alcohol works for me.
3. Mix the ingredients together well, then place some reed sticks into the container. I find 5-6 is enough to get a hint of a scent when you walk by, but add more if you'd like the oils to disperse faster for a stronger aroma. Flip the sticks around every once in awhile if you want to refresh the scent.




To Use:

Place the diffuser anywhere in the house where you think the air could use a little freshening up.

**********

How to Make a Reed Diffuser
If you find your reed diffuser isn't dispersing that well after a few months, even after you've poured new oil and alcohol into the container, it could mean that you need to replace the reed sticks. Oils get trapped in the sticks after some time, clogging the pores so that the scent doesn't diffuse as well. Simply discard the reed sticks and replace them with new ones, and your diffuser should begin dispersing properly again.

Got some old perfume lying around? You can very easily turn that into a diffusing scent for your home as well!

How to Make a Reed Diffuser How to Make a Reed Diffuser

Why Petroleum Jelly is Bad for You


This already made the rounds online and in the news awhile back, but for those of you who haven't heard yet, it's not a good idea to put petroleum jelly on your skin. It may come as a surprise to many, considering it's been a staple inside many of our medicine cabinets for generations, especially in the winter time. But just like many other commercial products that have been hammered into our psyches as being indispensable, petroleum is one of those things where you're probably better off doing without.

**********

Where does petroleum come from?

Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of refined crude oil, which makes it a not very environmentally friendly product. It starts off as the residue left on oil rigs, and is purified and processed until it becomes the off-white gooey stuff you see when you open up a jar of petroleum jelly.

What are the effects of petroleum jelly on the body?

Awhile back, a man named Dr. Alan Dattner told the Huffington Post that his research showed using petroleum jelly on the skin can suffocate pores, worsen acne and even trigger a rare form of pneumonia if inhaled. Meanwhile, cheaper brands of petroleum jelly may even contain cancer-causing chemicals.

According to Dattner, who founded HolisticDermatology.com, the seal that petroleum jelly creates over the skin actually disrupts the body's natural process of expelling toxins through the pores. So, by putting petroleum jelly on your skin, you're literally trapping toxins in your body. The sensation of hydration is only an illusion, and petroleum does not, in fact, restore natural moisture in the skin. What it does is seal moisture in, which is only effective if you make sure to thoroughly wash and moisturize your skin before applying the petroleum jelly.



This suffocating effect that petroleum has on the skin in the long term also damages collagen and connective tissue, which can actually cause the skin to age.

Many cosmetic products contain petroleum jelly, as it is considered non-comedogenic, helps the makeup adhere to the skin, and keeps the product water-repellent and non-water-soluble. The downside of this is that it is difficult to clean off the skin, and build-up of this substance on the skin over time attracts bacteria, which will lead to irritation and possibly breakouts.

All in all, petroleum jelly is not a good way to moisturize your skin.

What are healthy, natural alternatives to petroleum jelly?

As you can see from the many other recipes I've posted on Salubrious Exclamation, virgin coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter are excellent natural alternatives to petroleum jelly. These natural ingredients moisturize and rejuvenate the skin by actually being absorbed into the body without suffocating the skin's pores. Cocoa butter, olive, jojoba, and almond oils are also great ingredients to use on the skin. If you're looking for a healthy barrier to protect the skin and seal moisture in, use beeswax or soy wax, which can be naturally absorbed into the body without causing harm.

Check out this list of ways to make your own natural lotions and moisturizers at home!

**********

Hope this was helpful for those of you who are interested in only using natural ingredients in your beauty regimens!

Soak in a Bath of Baking Soda for Softer Skin

Soak in a Bath of Baking Soda for Softer Skin

Baking soda not only makes a great exfoliant for the skin on your face, it also great for exfoliating the body. And I don't mean you need to spend time scrubbing away at your body with baking soda (although certainly free to do that if you want to exfoliate deeply), there's a much more relaxing the way to do it in the form of a bath.


Soak in a Bath of Baking Soda for Softer Skin
Forget buying fancy bath salts and expensive exfoliating scrubs that always end up feeling too abrasive for the skin. Simply draw a hot bath like you normally would, pour in 1/2 to a cup of baking soda, and stir it up a bit so that it dissolves evenly in the water. Add some of your favorite essential oils too to create a more fragrant experience. Then just get naked and have a relaxing soak. You'll find when you get out of the bath the baking soda will have worked its magic and left your skin feeling smoother and softer, all without use of any scrubbing action or pricey spa treatments.
Soak in a Bath of Baking Soda for Softer Skin
Enjoy!

Did you know that you can save your coffee grounds to use as an exfoliant as well?

How to Make Different Kinds of Natural Moisturizers


I have written several different posts on how to make various kinds of lotions for the face and body, so I thought I'd put the links to them all in one post. I hope this makes it easier for people to find the recipes for the particular kind of moisturizer they want to make at home.


**********

 
How to Make Different Kinds of Natural Moisturizers

How to Make Different Kinds of Natural Moisturizers

How to Make Different Kinds of Natural Moisturizers
 
http://www.salubriousexclamation.com/2013/12/make-your-own-anti-puff-eye-roller.html


Different Ways to Store Makeup Brushes


It's important to keep your makeup brushes tidy to prevent the bristles from becoming bent, and in doing so you can help yourself save time since you'll be able to find the brush you want to use more easily. Here are a few different ways you can organize your cosmetic brushes.


**********

Cups and Bowls
Different Ways to Store Makeup Brushes
Of course, there's always the standard put-them-in-a-cup way to store brushes. Make use of old chipped cups and mugs that you no longer drink out of. Re-purpose mason jars or jam jars, and dress them up so that they reflect your style. This is my preferred way of storing brushes. It's a very "no fuss" way of organizing my makeup brushes. I like to separate the brushes for my face and brushes for my eyes into two separate containers this makes locating the correct brush much easier.

Add Beads
Different Ways to Store Makeup Brushes
Many people like to put beads or marbles into their makeup brush-holding cups and bowls to keep the brushes standing up straight (you know, like the way Sephora keeps their brushes organized), and it adds a nice aesthetic touch. What's great about this method is that if you have brushes of different lengths you don't have to worry about the shorter ones getting lost in the bottom of the container. You can use coffee beans or other similarly shaped objects as well.

Drawers and Boxes
Different Ways to Store Makeup Brushes
I find this way of storage most effective if you only own a few makeup brushes and don't want them to take up too much space by putting them in a cup. The added bonus of storing brushes this way is that it keep them dust-free. However, the drawer or box itself may get dirty from makeup residue, so remember to clean it frequently.

In A Sleeve
Different Ways to Store Makeup Brushes
This is another way to keep brushes organized and out of sight, and also quite handy if you're often on the go and need to take your brushes with you. Construct your own brush-holding sleeve by sewing little pockets into a piece of fabric, then just stick all your brushes inside. By making it yourself you can make it as simple or as elaborate as you'd like.

**********

Hope this helped you figure out the way you want to store your makeup brushes. And remember, prevent breakouts by keeping your brushes clean!

How to Make Your Own Natural Face Cream with Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil


How to Make Your Own Natural Face Cream with Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil

Aloe vera gel on its own makes a pretty decent moisturizer in the summer, as it also soothes the skin of inflammation and also contains antibacterial properties that will kill germs on your skin before breakouts occur. However, as the weather gets colder I feel like a need to put something that ha a stronger moisturizing effect on my face. That's why I whipped up this concoction of aloe vera gel, virgin coconut oil and shea butter to use as natural, nourishing winter face cream.


**********

How to Make Your Own Natural Face Cream with Aloe Vera and Coconut OilYou'll Need:

- aloe vera gel
- virgin coconut oil
- shea butter
- vitamin E capsules (optional)
- essential oils (optional)
- a double boiler
- container for the finished product

Directions:

1. Melt one part shea butter and three parts virgin coconut oil in a double boiler (if you're unsure how to do this, check out this post on making your own lotions bars and lip balm). As you'll probably be transferring this to a small face cream container when you're done, make sure you don't make too much.

2. Once the ingredients are melted, mix them together well and leave the mixture to cool.

3. When the mixture has cooled to a soft solid, squeeze in a ratio of 2/3 aloe vera gel to the amount of coconut oil and shea butter you have. Best to use a fork and whip the aloe vera gel in quickly so that it becomes a creamy consistency. If you'd like, you can add a capsule of vitamin E and/or essential oils for fragrance at this point.

4. Transfer the final mixture into a sterile container, and you're done!

To Use:

I generally use this mixture on my face, but feel free to apply it anywhere as needed!

**********

As shea butter is quite rich, it may not be suitable for those of you with sensitive skin. Feel free to omit that ingredient and simply work with coconut oil and aloe vera ratios if you want. The only problem with that is that your mixture might end up being rather runny if you keep it in a warm environment. Also, if you choose to add essential oils for added benefits or fragrance, make sure they ones that you aren't sensitive to. And don't over do it! Essential oils are concentrated and can be quite strong.

How to Make Your Own Natural Face Cream with Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil

I think this concoction is perfect for the colder months when my skin is a little tighter and flakier, and I need a stronger moisturizing boost than aloe vera alone can provide.

I try to use natural aloe vera when I can to create this face cream, but that is sometimes hard to come by and can get rather expensive. As an alternative I try to use commercial aloe vera gel that has as few preservatives and additives as possible. All the ingredients used in this recipe have rather long shelf lives, but I'd err on the safe side and say that this mixture is good for only a month or so, especially since you'll be dipping your fingers into it rather often. So make sure you don't use make too much at once, or it may go rancid before you get a chance to finish using it all!

Salubrious Selection: EcoTools Buffing Brush


Salubrious Selection: EcoTools Buffing BrushI'm already a fan of EcoTools brushes, but their buffing brush is probably my favorite. The bristles are incredibly soft and very densely packed, which gives you good control when blending makeup into your face. This kind of control is great when you're looking to build coverage or blend out harsh lines without completely ruining the look of your makeup. After using many different kinds of EcoTools brushes for several months I am also happy to say that I have not experienced any hairs coming loose from the the brushes' ferrules, so they're pretty durable, even after multiple washes.

Although it's technically designed to blend out makeup, I use the EcoTools buffing brush as a stippling brush to apply liquid foundation. I simply use the brush to dab liquid foundation all over my face before going back to buff it out in circular motions. The foundation goes on very evenly without any streaks.


Salubrious Selection: EcoTools Buffing BrushSalubrious Selection: EcoTools Buffing BrushIn keeping with their policy of being cruelty-free and minimizing damage to the environment, brushes by EcoTools are made of soft synthetic fibers and the handles are made from sustainable bamboo. You'd think this would increase the price significantly, but EcoTools brushes are actually way more affordable than brushes produced by many high end brands. I got a pack of two of these buffing brushes on Amazon for just under 15 bucks.

Salubrious Selection: EcoTools Buffing Brush
So. If you're looking for a versatile buffing brush that also works well with liquid foundation, loose powder and/or pressed powder, then I highly recommend purchasing a buffing brush by EcoTools.

And don't forget to keep your makeup brushes clean!

My Natural Beauty Regimen to Treat Acne


I have battled acne for most of my life, and I mean more than just a few pimples that occasionally popped up. I have experienced years of red, inflamed, angry acne that would appear across my forehead, on/around my nose and across my upper back so I get it, I understand how badly it can affect your self esteem, how frustrating it is that you have to limit yourself to certain types of clothing and activities, how exhausting it is to have to spend an extra 20 minutes in front of the mirror every morning to cover up the blemishes, and when you finally make it out the door, obsessing about your face being hit by certain angles of light that will exaggerate the shadows cast by your pimples and scars.

And as much as you try to convince yourself every day that you are more than what you look like, vanity often gets the best of us.

I've been there. I understand.

This post is about what I do in my daily bath and beauty routine that I think has greatly reduced the number of breakouts I have. I wish I had started doing this so much sooner. However, I don't want to give anyone false hope. The cause of acne and its prevention methods that work vary from person to person, so just because sticking to natural ingredients has helped the condition of my skin (and saved me a lot of money), it may not work for everyone. But it's always worth a shot. So, for those who are interested, below are the things I do in my bath routine that I think helps prevent breakouts. The title of each section is a link that will take you to a more detailed post about how to make these bath products yourself.


**********

Use olive oil as a make up remover

My Natural Beauty Regimen to Treat Acne
If you are in the habit of wearing makeup, use olive oil instead of conventional makeup remover solutions to clean cosmetics off your face. Olive oil is the best makeup remover I have ever used, and a little goes a long way, which means a cheap bottle of olive oil can last you a long time. If you don't react well to olive oil, you can try virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil or almond oil. Just stay away from the chemical stuff.





Wash your hair with baking soda

My Natural Beauty Regimen to Treat Acne
Conventional shampoo that you buy in stores are often laden with all sorts of chemicals and fragrant additives that you don't really need to keep your hair clean, not to mention it can strip your scalp of so much oil that your body overproduces more oil to compensate, leading to breakouts. I realized after awhile that my breakouts could be partially attributed to sensitivities I have to the chemicals in conventional shampoos and conditioners. And rinsing out my hair after a wash meant I was also exposing my body to these chemicals, which would sometimes cause acne flare ups on my face, back and sometimes chest.

Unless you're rolling around in tar all day, you should only be concerned with washing grease, grime and dead skin cells off your scalp and out of your hair. This is something that baking soda will do just fine without exposing you to harmful and unnecessary chemicals and additives.

Condition your hair with apple cider vinegar

My Natural Beauty Regimen to Treat Acne
The way conventional shampoos can cause breakouts applies to conventional conditioners as well, and maybe to an even higher degree, as conditioners often leave behind a residue on your skin. Many commercial conditioners also do more harm than good by temporarily giving you soft silky hair, but also doing long term damage to your scalp and hair follicles.

Apple cider vinegar or even white vinegar work amazingly well as hair conditioners without leaving behind any residue or causing any damage to hair. It also helps get rid of any residual grease that you might have missed with the baking soda shampoo.

Exfoliate your skin with baking soda

My Natural Beauty Regimen to Treat Acne
If you didn't already know this, many breakouts are due to an excess of dead skin cells that are clogging your pores. I have found that baking soda is the gentlest yet most effective way to exfoliate my skin. It is tough enough to help scrub away any dead skin cells, yet fine enough that it doesn't feel too abrasive. And of course, it's all natural as well.


Wash your face with honey

My Natural Beauty Regimen to Treat Acne
Honey works just as well as soap in carrying away the grease and grime on your face, and it has many natural antibacterial properties that will help stave off acne by killing harmful bacteria before it creates a pimple.








Tone your skin with apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar

My Natural Beauty Regimen to Treat Acne
After your shower or bath, use apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar to tone the skin on your face and/or body. This helps restore the pH balance of your skin in the most natural way possible, while also calming the skin to prevent inflammation.







Try the oil cleansing method

My Natural Beauty Regimen to Treat Acne
Many people say they have had a lot of success using the oil cleansing method to help reduce acne breakouts and improve their complexions. Heads up though: there is a lot of trial and error with different oils while using this method, and you may experience a period of breakouts as your skin rids itself of toxins before you see permanent, clear results.

Oil pulling could work too

My Natural Beauty Regimen to Treat Acne
Although I have never seen any major results from oil pulling myself besides getting stronger gums and whiter teeth many people have said their overall health was improved remarkably by oil pulling, including preventing acne because the toxins in their body have been drawn out through oil pulling. Try it for yourself to see if you get favorable results too.






**********

And of course, remember to eat healthier, drink plenty of water and get exercise. Because no matter what you do to your skin on the outside, keeping your body healthy internally is also an essential key to keeping your skin clear.