How to Make Natural Blush/Bronzer at Home

I ran out of blush and I needed more in a hurry, so I turned to the ingredients in my kitchen. You can too!

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You'll Need:

- corn starch
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- food coloring (mostly the color red, obviously)

Directions:

1. Pour out enough corn starch to fill your container.
2. Add a few drops of red food coloring and mix it into the corn starch until you reach the desired amount of pink. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring if you prefer a more orange hue to your blush. If you'd like to adjust the color to be a "cooler" rather than "warmer" blush, add a few drops of blue. And if you'd like to darken it a bit so that you can use it more as a bronzer, add just a little bit of unsweetened cocoa powder.
3. Keep mixing and adding until you reach your desired color.




To Use:

Sweep your homemade blush/bronzer across your cheeks with a blush brush as you normally would!

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There is a lot of trial and error with this recipe, especially since everyone's skin tones are so different. So have fun with it, make many different colors of blush if you want. The great thing about doing this yourself is that you can find the color blush that flatters your skin tone the best, or you might find many colors work well with your coloring.

If you don't have food coloring on hand, feel free to experiment with beet root powder, which works just as well as colored corn starch.

If you're interested in knowing more about how else you can use corn starch as a cosmetic, perhaps you'd like to find out how similar this recipe is to creating your own face powder.

Microwave Your Food Properly!

For various reasons, I'm not a huge fan of using the microwave, but I understand that for many it's a necessary convenience. However, whenever I see someone microwaving their food in supposed "microwave safe" plastic containers, or microwaving their leftovers covered by a layer of cling wrap I always get the urge to call out, "STOP. You're poisoning yourself."



Although some companies advertise their plastic containers as "microwave safe", radiation is pretty strong stuff, so I've never thought it was a good idea to blast microwave radiation waves at a piece of plastic that is holding food you're planning to eat. This could send all sorts of chemicals and toxins leaching into your food.

By that same thinking, heating up food by radiation while it's covered by a flimsy piece of clear plastic cling wrap is never a good idea. Cling wrap is particularly susceptible to heat and has a low melting point. If any part of it comes into contact with your food while it's being heated up, particularly oily food, it will definitely contaminate your meal with some sort of toxin or chemical.

That all said, if you insist on using the microwave, remember to transfer your food into ACTUAL microwave safe containers, such as as ceramic or sturdy glassware first, then remove any plastic coverings. Worried about food exploding all over the insides of your microwave? No worries, cover your food with a plate instead of cling wrap!

Thanks for reading through my rant!

P.S. In case you didn't already know this, metal dining ware should also never go into the microwave, this includes aluminum/tin foil. This is dangerous and could cause a fire!

How to Wrap Gifts Without Using Tape


I try to be as environmentally friendly in everything I do, and this means limiting my use of plastic as much as possible. This can be incredibly difficult to do since many things come wrapped in plastic or have some plastic component in them. For example, I try to use reused or recycled and biodegradable wrapping paper to wrap gifts, but the tape adhesive that is traditionally used to keep the wrapping paper together can stay in the environment for hundreds of years.

My solution to this is to just not use tape at all.

This is rather simple to accomplish if the gift comes in any kind of box shape. It just involves a lot of creative folding and tucking. If your gift is irregularly shaped, that's not problem either. Read on to find out why.

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If your gift is box-shaped, start by laying it down on top of an adequately sized piece of wrapping paper.

How to Wrap Gifts Without Using Tape
My entire family has a habit of reusing wrapping paper when we give each other gifts.
We've reused this piece of paper so many times it's basically tissue!
Then fold in the sides, folding over and tucking in a consistent clock-wise or counterclockwise direction.

How to Wrap Gifts Without Using Tape

When you've reached the last edge, fold the paper over and tuck in the loose end to one of the existing folds, so you may end up with something like this.

How to Wrap Gifts Without Using Tape
This is a rather sloppy wrapping job. My apologies, but whatever, it's just an example.
I'm going to take it apart later anyway. :)
If you're still concerned about it falling apart. Well, add a bow or ribbon!

How to Wrap Gifts Without Using Tape





And if your gift is irregularly shaped ...

How to Wrap Gifts Without Using Tape
Voilà!

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Feels great when I can cut back on waste even for little things like this.

You really don't HAVE to use tape when wrapping presents. If you still feel like you need an adhesive, perhaps try using some non-toxic homemade glue paste?

How to Make Natural Liquid Soap Out of Bar Soap

How to Make Natural Liquid Soap Out of Bar Soap
I don't like most commercial cleansers, soaps, detergents, shampoos, etc. And I generally prefer bar soap over liquid soap since it is better for the environment.

If you've been following this blog for awhile, you probably already know that about me.

But sometimes life simply calls for a little liquid soap, and buying natural vegetable oil-based liquid soaps can become quite expensive.

That's fine though, because again, I can always make my own!

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You'll Need:

- Castile bar soap (or other vegetable-based soap)
- distilled water
- a measuring scale
- a grater
- a sterile container large enough to hold your liquid soap

How to Make Natural Liquid Soap Out of Bar SoapDirections:

1. Weigh how much soap you're using, then measure out 10 times that weight in distilled water. For example, if you're trying to transform one 6-ounce bar soap into liquid soap, measure out 60 oz. of water.
2. Grate the bar soap(s) you're using into fine pieces.
3. Heat the water you've measured out to a boil.
4. After the water comes to a boil, take it off the heat, then carefully place your grated soap into the water.
The green bits you see floating around
here are left over pieces of bar soap I
decided to repurpose into liquid soap.
Nothing goes to waste!
5. Let the mixture sit and cool somewhere where it won't be disturbed for a day. You don't even need to stir it.
6. After your mixture has completely cooled, transfer it into another sterile container that you can close and keep it in a cool place.

To Use:

There are countless ways to use this kind of liquid soap! I personally use it as foaming hand soap by transferring it into my foaming soap dispenser whenever I run out. I use it as an all-purpose cleaner, as it is natural enough that I don't worry about using it to clean the kitchen, and it is mild enough that I don't worry about it ruining more delicate fixtures around the house.

Use it as a shampoo, or face and body wash! All this is is vegetable oil-based soap in liquid form. It is natural and gentle on the hair and skin. My hair has actually never looked better after using this as a shampoo and following up with a vinegar conditioner rinse, and my skin feels completely clean after a shower with no residue or dryness.




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How to Make Natural Liquid Soap Out of Bar SoapDepending on the kind of bar soap you use, you may notice that the mixture becomes somewhat gel-like after awhile. Don't worry though, simply add a little more hot water to the mix and it will help liquify it even more. If you prefer it to be more like jelly, just be careful when you're pouring it out of the container because it can easily become a goopy mess, so remember to use a funnel when transferring it!

This is a MUCH more economical way of obtaining natural liquid soap than going out to buy a bottle. I'm not kidding when I say one bar of soap can yield a nice big bucket of liquid soap that will last you ages (come on, at least 60 oz. worth from one bar of soap!).

You can also jazz it up a little by adding your favorite essential oils. I add different oils depending on what I'm using the soap for — a little tea tree oil for all-purpose cleaners, chamomile for body soap and tuberose for hand soap.

Happy washing!

Make Your Own Natural Soothing Cough Syrup

Make Your Own Natural Soothing Cough Syrup
Every time the seasons change, I always get a bad sore throat and a case of uncontrollable coughs. However, I really loathe turning to medicated commercial cough syrups for something like this.

So, I make my own.

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You'll Need:

- organic honey (preferably locally produced)
- organic virgin coconut oil
- lemon
- sterile jar/container

Directions:

1. Place 5 tablespoons of honey, 2 tbsp of virgin coconut oil and squeeze 1 tbsp of juice from a fresh lemon into a small saucepan.
2. Heat the mixture over a very low heat until it is completely melted and mixed together.
3. Pour the mixture into a clean jar or container, and you're done!

To Use:

Simply swallow a teaspoon of this whenever you feel your throat needs to be soothed a bit, or even add it to a cup of hot tea. This natural mixture does wonders to soothe a sore throat and suppress coughs without any of that artificial flavoring chemicals that come with most store-bought lozenges and cough syrups.



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Make Your Own Natural Soothing Cough Syrup
This recipe yields a very small amount that will last you anywhere between one and a few days, depending on how often you use it. I only make small amounts at a time to ensure that it will stay fresh and not go rancid before I can finish it. So feel free to increase the amounts or play with the ratios depending on your preference.

Virgin coconut oil becomes solid in room temperature or below, so if your concoction has become a difficult-to-manage solid, just put it over a little bit of heat and it should very quickly melt into something you can easily scoop up. Try to use locally produced organic honey in this mixture as well, since ingesting this kind of honey will also help boost your immunity against any allergens and pollens common to your area.

All the ingredients in this simple recipe are great natural remedies for a sore throat, with the added bonuses of honey and virgin coconut oil having natural anti-bacterial and immune system-boosting qualities that will help kill any germs they encounter. Plus, it tastes great.

Feel better soon!

Make Your Own Natural Soothing Cough Syrup Make Your Own Natural Soothing Cough Syrup

Recipe for Chamomile Honey Exfoliating Bar Soap

I love drinking vanilla-scented chamomile tea with a little honey, it's incredibly soothing and smells wonderful.

If only I could put that great, comforting scent in a soap ... oh wait, I can!

Recipe for Chamomile Honey Exfoliating Bar Soap

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You'll Need:

- vegetable oil-based melt-and-pour bar soap (1 bar, which is about 6 ounces)
- distilled water (2 tablespoons)
- baking soda (2 tablespoons)
- virgin coconut oil (2 tablespoons)
- organic honey (2 tablespoons)
- chamomile essential oil
- vanilla essential oil
- soap mold




Recipe for Chamomile Honey Exfoliating Bar Soap
Directions:

1. Mix the water, baking soda, virgin coconut oil and honey together as well as possible, making sure there are no baking soda clumps and that the honey and oil are as evenly distributed as possible.
2. Cut up the bar soap (I prefer using virgin coconut oil-based bar soap) into smaller pieces and place it into the mixture, then heat it up over a double boiler. Make sure you heat up the mixture using a double boiler method, and not direct heat under the pot.
Recipe for Chamomile Honey Exfoliating Bar Soap
3. Continue to gently mix the ingredients together as it heats and the soap melts. This is when you'll start to notice the warm, sweet scent of honey and see the soap mix in to create this wonderfully light golden color. Make sure you occasionally scrape the sides of the pot to prevent any honey from burning.
4. When the mixture is completely melted and mixed, take it off the heat. Add 15 drops of chamomile essential oil and 5 drops of vanilla essential oil. I find this gives this amount of soap a beautiful, subtle chamomile scent without being too overwhelming, but feel free to add more or less according to your liking.
5. Once the essential oils are completely mixed in, gently pour the mixture into your soap mold. I like to tap the mold a little after I've poured it in to make sure the bubbles inside all rise to the surface.
6. Keep the mold in a cool, dry place to sit for at least 24 hours before you remove your soap bars. This will help ensure all the water has evaporated and that the soap has hardened enough for use. If you try to manipulate the bars too soon they may be too soft and either crumple or become misshapen.

Recipe for Chamomile Honey Exfoliating Bar Soap
To Use:

This is a mild and great moisturizing soap that actually works great for body, face and even your hair. So use it however you like.

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This is a great soap to use during the summer or autumn, with the chamomile fragrance giving it a great summery scent while the sweetness works for the fall season. The baking soda I've included in the recipe also gives slight exfoliating properties.

Hope you have fun making it!

How to Make Non-toxic Glue Paste Out of Flour


Most people who are looking after young kids worry about them sticking things in their mouth, chief among these are toxic chemicals, such as the kinds of toxins found in glues and pastes that children use for arts and crafts.

Sure, there are a bunch of things on the market that claim to be kid-safe, but how about just making your own glue paste at home completely out of edible materials? Then you can say without a doubt that the paste the kids are using are toxin-free, and is even safe to eat (and actually tastes kinda good!).

How to Make Non-toxic Glue Paste Out of Corn Starch

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You'll Need:

- flour
- white vinegar
- sugar
- water
- food coloring (optional)

How to Make Non-toxic Glue Paste Out of Corn Starch
Don't worry if the color of your mixture doesn't match mine.
I used some left over low fat tapioca flour, which is a tad
more yellow than most conventional types of flour.
Directions:

1. Mix 1.5 cups of water with 1 cup of flour and 1/3 cups of sugar. Mix well so there are absolutely no clumps in it. This requires a bit of time and patience to accomplish, so if you'd like to speed things up a bit try pouring the flour in through a sieve as this will help break up the larger clumps.

2. Mix in one tablespoon of vinegar and put the mixture over medium heat until it starts to become a thicker paste.

3. Take the mixture off the heat and allow it to cool completely. Then place it in a separate container for use. You can take it off the heat even when there's a bit of liquid left and it's already about 90% paste. The already heated mixture and remaining warmth from the pot should take care of the rest, and this way you avoid burning it and having clumps stick to the side of the pot.




To Use:
How to Make Non-toxic Glue Paste Out of Corn Starch

Use this paste like you would any conventional glue paste, and it works really well! It even works to make stronger paper mache (or papier-mâché) projects.

This is a simple recipe for any time you need glue paste, not just when you have kids around. When allowed to dry completely, it creates a nice strong bond for crafts involving paper, and you don't have to worry about toxic chemicals coming in contact with your skin or being ingested by the little ones. In fact, they can eat as much as they want and they'd be fine (if they're not allergic to gluten)!

If it hardens or becomes too solid to use, simply add a little hot water to it until it becomes a usable consistency again. The mixture should last a few days without refrigeration before going rancid. If you keep it in the fridge — months. When it starts to seem a little funky to you, simply throw it out, and be rest assured you aren't tossing anything that will do the environment any harm.

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If you're not worried about anyone in your household putting this stuff in their mouths, you can make it a little more interesting by adding in some essentials oils after you've taken the mixture off the heat for a little fragrance!

Should You Wear Underwear to Sleep?


What do you like to wear when you go to bed at night? Women, do you you prefer proper pajamas, a
nice silky slip, just undergarments or nothing at all? Men, T-shirts and boxers, just boxers or briefs, or going commando?

Beyond preference, is there a specific kind of attire for sleeping that is the healthiest? Apparently, there is. Going naked when you're sleeping, particularly around your private parts, is vital to keeping your genitals healthy for both men and women.

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For Women
 
For women, allowing the privates to air out when during sleep helps the genitals maintain normal temperature, pH levels, as well as prevent bacteria growth that can cause infections and odor. If you women feel more comfortable keeping underpants on (especially during that time of the month), opt for cotton, breathable materials or loose fabric (such as boxers) rather than polyester and/or constricting undergarments.

For Men

Going underwear-less during sleep is a good idea for you men as well, as your genitalia exists outside the body, the privates are even more affected by the clothing you wear (or don't wear). Wearing tight clothing and tight undergarments throughout the day increases the temperature around the testicles, which in turn could actually affect sperm production. Sperm production relies on the testicles being at temperature lower than the rest of the body. If that balance is thrown off too often or for too long, this could effect the quality of sperm. Ideally, the temperature of the testicles shouldn't increase past 98 °F (36.67 °C), or the testes may stop producing sperm altogether, a condition that could last for months, if not longer.

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Moreover, for both sexes, keeping your privates aired out helps your body as a whole regulate its temperature, which helps you get better sleep overall. By keeping your underpants off, your circulatory system has an easier time keeping the body cool and lowering its core temperature, with contributes to better and deeper sleep.

So there you go! If you want healthier privates and better sleep, just go commando.

Make Your Own Unique Perfume Scent


I like a lot of commercial brand perfume scents, sadly, the ones I like are all incredibly expensive. They also come in rather big bottles that take a long time to get through, so long in fact that I'm usually tired of the scent before I even finish them, and the fragrance expires before I ever get a chance go back to using it again. (By the way, if you have an expired bottle of perfume sitting in your drawer, no need to throw it out, simply turn it into an air freshener.)

Most importantly though, store-bought perfumes are usually filled with chemicals and preservatives that I don't really want to put onto my skin.

But this doesn't mean I can't still enjoy spritzing myself with scents I enjoy. All I need are some essential oils and a bottle of vodka. Making your own perfume is an easy and fun thing to do that really doesn't take up very much time at all.

Make Your Own Unique Perfume

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You'll Need:
- essential oils of your choice
- vodka
- a clean refillable perfume container

Directions:
1.Fill a fifth of your perfume container with essential oils of your choice. (More information on the different layers and notes of a perfume at the bottom of the post!)
2. Fill the rest of the container with vodka, and let the solution sit for a few days to allow the fragrance to really infuse into vodka. Perfumes need to time to settle into their true fragrance, and often smell quite different than when you first mix it together. Feel free to use a greater ratio of essential oils, or a smaller ratio, depending on your preference for the strength of the fragrance.



To Use:
Essential oils don't mix easily with alcohol, so shake up the container well before spritzing or rolling the scent onto your skin. Remember, the perfect amount of perfume is usually placed only the pulse points (neck and wrists, sometimes inner elbows).

As this recipe does not include any preservatives, I generally only make a small amount of perfume at a time, which works out too since I tire of the same scent quite easily and simply move on to experiment with other fragrances.

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Make Your Own Unique Perfume Scent
Mixing your own perfume can be tricky, but once you get the hang of it it can be a lot of fun. There are base, middle and top notes involved, and perfume changes depending on what scents you mix together and the ratio of each different scent. Fragrances also smell different when worn by different people, as everyone's body chemistry is different.

Top notes are the scents that people notice first upon first smelling a fragrance. These are scents that evaporate the fastest. In general, top notes are usually citrus scents as they are sharper and fresher and hit the nose bit faster, such as grapefruit or orange scents. Ginger scents are also commonly used as top notes.

The next layer of the perfume that people notice are the middle notes, or heart notes. This part of the fragrance kicks in just after scents of the top notes dissipate, and serve as a great segue into the base notes. Middle notes are generally more well-rounded and help hold the fragrance of the perfume together. Floral scents are often used as middle notes, such as lavender scents.

Finally, the base notes are the scents of a perfume that come in after the middle notes evaporate. These scents stick around a bit longer and are also the strongest and richest smells. As the molecules of base notes are much heavier than top or middle notes, people can sometimes smell them even hours after the initial application of the perfume. Good examples of perfume base notes are rose scents and muskier smells such as sandalwood.

Making your own perfume can become rather addictive because there is an endless variation of combinations of fragrances you can create. They also make great gifts to give away to friends, and people really love the thoughtfulness put behind a scent you custom make for them.

Hope this was helpful. Have fun!