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!