I'll allow "pinning" as long as you pull up the post & pin from it for a direct link for others. :-)

05 March 2013

Time is Flying By

Or is it just me?  Seems like yesterday I had promised to come back here & share how to make some of my Christmas ornaments. I blink and it's March.  Since then, the last 15months of trying to re-enter the workforce after being out of it for sixteen years has finally paid off...in mid-January I managed to pick up a part-time position as a leasing specialist for a mini storage facility.  I really like it, and a lot of my old job experience has quickly come back to me, with some really positive feedback from my boss, but...I just wish it gave me more hours. Oh, well, at least I've got my foot in the door of the working world again & this is more current experience for my resume, right?  *smile*  

I've also had Middle Child in Driver's Ed every morning at 630 for the last 6 weeks.  Getting up at 545am makes this old girl super tired by 2 in the afternoon!  Since turning 18 in December, Oldest Child can't decide whether he wants to live here or bounce between friends houses so he can feel "all growed up" and independent.  Mostly we see him on Sundays when he decides he needs fresh laundry or a place to stay for the night.  Youngest Child is growing like a weed and learning to keep up with the big boys.  Oh, that mouth on him....   *sigh*

I've spent the last couple of months trying to expand my menu, too.  I haven't done anything whacky, no wild meals or weight gains, I've just been in sort of a...rut...because I'm so limited with what I can have any more.  The one thing that really gets me is what I am able to eat tonight will NOT be possible to have as leftovers tomorrow.  I was starting to get frustrated and to a point that I absolutely hated the thought of having a meal.  That's not good.  So I started baking more, which the boys like, because that means Mom is making treats! *LOL*

I've added to my non-GMO "clean eating" menu, which now consists of: chia seeds, quinoa (pronounced Keen Wah for those of you that haven't enjoyed this tasty grain yet), hemp hearts, maca root powder, wheat germ, and...yesterday I found Coco Hydro at my health food store, which is dehydrated coconut water (super for replacing your electrolytes, maintaining metabolic balance, and keeping those digestive issues under control).  I really love drinking coconut water, seriously I could drink 2-3 cans every day, but a 12 oz can for $3 is really out of my budget.  This Coco Hydro is $10 for a 9.7 ounce bag that, when re-constituted, makes 1.5 gallons.  I especially love that I only need 1tsp at a time to get what I need for the day.  Makes me feel good inside AND I love knowing that I spent my money wisely.

I thought I'd share a recipe with you today.  This pretty drink is my Blueberry Muffin Smoothie that I came up with just this morning.  I haven't seen a recipe out there in Blogland like mine, but there may very well be, so please don't stumble across my blog and think I've snagged your drink.  

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie

1 ripe banana
1 cup frozen non-GMO blueberries
1 pinch of chopped, frozen spinach (about the size of a nickel or quarter)
1 Tbsp local honey
1 tsp CocoHydro
1 tsp chia seeds
2 tsp hemp hearts
1 tsp wheat germ
1/4 c 2% milk or almond milk
4-5 ice cubes

Blend well & enjoy!  Right there in one 9 oz glass is more protein than a 10oz steak, vitamins A, D, C, E, B, iron, potassium, magnesium, and I can tell you that I'm feeling more staying power...definitely a boost to my energy!  I have other recipes that I'll share sporadically, but this one had to be shared today.  It tastes like you're drinking a blueberry muffin & it's so good for you, how can you not try at least one?! *grin*

I'm in the middle of a ton of projects that I can't wait to share, though some will have to be held back until my Christmas in July swap partner opens her presents.  Don't want to spoil the surprise.  I'm also taking some time to teach myself how to crochet and once I get the hang of that, I'll start learning how to knook (knitting with crochet hooks).  I also have learning to do tatted lace work on my list, but that's about a year out at this point.

Thanks for stopping by & have a great rest of your day!!

21 December 2012

A Bit of Christmas Decorating

 So this year I changed up my tree.  Normally, I decorate for the kids with toys, and candy colors, but I was in the mood for something a little more "grown up."   I took one of my thrifted doilies and set it on the table for the tree to sit on instead of the traditional skirt.  I stiffened a collection of smaller crocheted doilies and pieces of battenburg, a couple of white cotton angels with crochet trim, glittered spent light bulbs (FUN recycling project), made some paper ornaments, fabric roses, a 6 yard strand of faux pearls instead of garland, silver icicles, and the darling little candle lights clipped to branches were a Christmas in July gift from a friend two summers ago.

 The basket the tree is sitting in has for the last ten years has been a natural color.  Part of my change included the basket.  I painted it a rich chocolate brown, hit it in spots with black spray primer, then lightly sprayed over the entire thing with white.  For whatever reason, it came out this GORGEOUS blue-gray and it was the best as far as happy accidents go! :)  On the table, I have a mercury glass angel and two bottle brush trees that are normally part of my winter forest.

 A peek at one of the ornaments I'll share with you this weekend.  I found a set of 6 apples at one of my thrift stores for a whopping 50 cents.  I didn't want them red, so painting was called for.  At first I tried a soft aqua, but the red came through & made one purple.  Then I tried white...it went pink, which wasn't terrible, but it wasn't really what I was going for either.  Finally, out came my trusty can of Rustoleum metallic spray paint in CHROME and I ended up with these absolutely darling faux mercury glass apples.  I'm in love!

 This is the winter forest on top of my entertainment center.  I try to add something every year.  This year it's the milk glass cup with silver & white berries wrapped in pearls, a stacked paper tree (not shown), and that darling memory/tag book on the tripod.  I'll share a VERY detailed tutorial for that with you another time.

 And finally for today, this is the top of my microwave cabinet.  The glass collection is always there, I simply put my glittered bird and some pretty miniature blue ornaments under the cake dome, and put some pearl sprays in one of my hobnail milk glass cups.

I also made a really neat garland for my front window...I'll share that tomorrow with details on the ornaments.  Thanks for stopping by & have a great rest of your day!!

14 December 2012

Darn It!!!!

I know it's been a few months since I've been here, but the one time that I absolutely HAVE to come in & look for something from one of the blogs I've followed for YEARS and I find my reading list.....completely empty! :(   Google & Blogger have removed me from all of the blogs that I loved to visit.  I'm all for improvements and I understand that over time things happen, but this...something so simple and innocuous as a reading list of blogs....so frustrating. 

Has anyone else had this happen?  Did you have to spend days going back and trying to find all of your favorites or did you just resign yourself to starting over? 

I want to share some Christmas posts with you, so I'll be back later on.  If you're in the mood to flip through pictures and not worry with the hassle of reading posts, please feel free to stop by my Tumblr, House of Roses, any time you'd like.



04 August 2012

Been a While...

Were you thinking that I forgot how to blog?  Yeah, me too.  So many changes in our lives here...crummy economy affecting work, school issues, neighbor issues...too many things to list.  I'm hoping that once the boys are back in school, I'll be able to blog more and share projects with you.  I've got some great recipes and money savers to tell you about, along with some general craftiness. 

Until I can come back and show off all the knowledge I've gained since February, I thought I'd share a blog candy giveaway that my friend, Vicki, is having.  I've missed her & need to visit her more often (sorry Vicki - still love ya!).

                                                                       Vicki's August Candy

Thanks for stopping by & have a great rest of your day.  Hope to see you soon! xoxo

21 January 2012

Taking Care of Me

Let me start this post by saying I AM NOT AN EXPERT.  I have not had any cosmetology classes.  Everything I'm sharing with you today has come from trial and error, my need to save money, look good, feel healthy/better about myself, and an intense desire to get away from the excess chemicals that we're so used to seeing in products that go ON OUR SKIN!  Our skin...the largest organ on our body & so easily damaged.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of makeup & moisturizers that leave my skin irritated and flaky.  I'm tired of being allergic to all of it...the redness, the bumps, the ITCHING.  Ugh!  I'm tired of the PRICE of products that promise to work and don't deliver.  I don't wear makeup every day.  I'm not beauty obsessed, but as is human nature, I do like to look good & on occasion make up does give me a little pick-me-up that I just can't get anywhere else.  Today, I'm going to share my recipes for cleaning my face, my new lotion love, and a serum that cosmetics companies can't even come close to!

My eye make up that is.  For ages I used Almay or Neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover.  Over the last couple of years it's really begun to irritate my eyes & leave my vision blurry for a couple of hours after use.  Not good.  I don't wear waterproof mascara any more (makes my eyes hate me).  There are some recipes out there that use mineral oil, olive oil, or coconut oil...CAN'T DO THAT...if oils get into your eyes, the ONLY way to remove it is surgically.  What do I use, then?  3 items in a 4 oz bottle....

1 tsp tear-free head to toe baby wash
1Tbsp pure coconut water (NOT coconut oil)
6-8 drops grapeseed oil (yeah, yeah I just said "no oil" but this one is different & I'll explain in a sec)
3.5 oz distilled water
It works, doesn't leave my eyes burning or blurry, and I'm happy.  NOW...the grapeseed oil...it's not a lot of oil and grapeseed is considered a "light" oil which means that it won't clog your pores or suffocate the skin of your face like coconut or olive oil and especially mineral oil.  It has antioxidants to help fight signs of aging, vitamins that your skin actually CRAVES, and doesn't leave behind any sort of residue.  I also take a warm washcloth immediately after using & lightly blot my skin off.

The simplest...EVER.  Dr. Bronner's baby mild (unscented) liquid castile soap. Four drops in my hand, a little warm water, rub gently in circular motion over face, avoiding eye area, and rinse off.  Works beautifully.  If you're acne prone, this is good for you, too.  We even use it for a body wash, my faves are the rose & almond scented...

In the shower I keep a small tub of baking soda that has been pre-moistened with distilled water into a paste.  I scoop out a dime sized amount into my palm, add 4 drops of Dr Bronner's & VERY GENTLY scrub, then rinse.  The reason I emphasize gently...baking soda is a natural abrasive...rub too hard & it's like taking 80grit sandpaper to your face...not cool.  But a light circular motion scrub (believe me, you'll feel it) will do the trick.

Another 4oz travel bottle, but this one contains
2 crushed aspirin
2oz apple cider vinegar
2oz distilled water
Vinegar is an acid, but it levels the pH in your skin...put it on a cotton ball & dab lightly around your entire face, paying extra attention to breakout-prone areas, avoiding the eyes.  Did you know that if you drink a 2oz shot of apple cider vinegar every morning, you're helping your skin, hair, & digestion?  We'll have to do a vinegar post soon so you can understand why I love it so much.

Grapeseed oil.  Pure and simple.  Put some on a cotton pad & gently pat around my face.  It's usually soaked in by the time I'm finished brushing my teeth.  

2oz brown or cobalt glass bottle (available at your local health food store)
dropper lid (some bottles come with them, so check)
1 oz grapeseed oil
1/2 oz jojoba oil
5 drops rose essential oil
5 drops roman chamomile essential oil
5 drops bergamot essential oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
Nightly after washing.  Using my weakest finger (left hand ring finger), I place a small drop & pat it over my eyebrows, upper eye (NOT the lids), and under my eyes.  I also put it on the bridge of my nose.  Heck, there have been a few times that I put it on my whole face.  It feels that good!  This close-up of my gray peepers is how my makeup looks the morning after doing a serum treatment the night before.  Not bad, if I do say so myself!
No flakes, the skin is smoother, and purple/puffy....I don't know what you're talking about! *LOL*

And finally, my new neck-to-toe miracle moisturizer.  I'll give you the original recipe that I've been sitting on for nearly a year, tell you why it's good, but not great, THEN I'll share my tweaks to it & let you choose.

16oz bottle baby lotion
8oz Vaseline
8oz vitamin E cream
Pour ingredients into a bowl & mix until it resembles pudding.  Spoon into containers.

Smells great, feels fantastic....at first.  Then after about an hour, you start to have this sticky/slick feel that takes about TEN HOURS to go away.  Why?  Short answer - WAY too much Vaseline.  Now, I live in Utah, and with our desert air, my skin has been dry for YEARS...flaky, ashy, and my feet...oh, my poor feet.  I'm a barefoot girl, but I really hated my feet.  White around the edges, cracked, peeling, and over time, they really hurt.

Someone out there is going to yell "Get your blood sugar tested, Ditzy Girl. You're diabetic!"  I can assure you, I'm NOT.  I get a little low every now and then, but that's because I burn up everything I take in and has nothing to do with this.  This is me hating shoes, running around on carpet, concrete, and my feet paying the price.  No amount of soaking, scraping callouses, and paraffin moisture wraps made it go away.  I was beginning to think nothing would help.  Till this.  Here's what I ended up with:

yields 56 oz
16 oz bottle baby lotion (your choice, but remember the fewer ingredients, the better)
8oz Equate petroleum jelly with aloe & E (WalMart)
(2) 16 oz tubs of Clear Basics Vitamin E cream with jojoba & aloe (Family Dollar)
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil (yeah, I can admit it - I'm addicted to the stuff!)
Save the vitamin e tubs for refilling.  Pour ingredients into large bowl & mix until it looks like pale pink pudding.  Scoop back into containers & use when needed.  It feels AMAZING!  Absorbs quick, but you don't dry out or itch 3-4 hours later.  And my tootsies?  They love me again!  When I first used this, I put it on before going to bed, thinking that if they were white/dry again by morning, I'd be so upset.  This picture was taken the next day.

You should be able to right click & open in a new tab to see that there are no dry areas on my foot.  I'm very pleased with the results.  And 56oz of lotion for under $8?  You can't beat it!  It's become such a hit in our house that Middle Child and Biker Boy both took off with their own containers when they saw how much of it I had...and they use it every day!

July 2012 EDIT:  Over the last few months, I have changed my miracle moisturizer recipe.  While it worked great, I was beginning to have a hard time with the petroleum in there...the jar AND what was in the baby lotion...didn't like thinking about all the dinosaurs that died just to keep my skin soft. (tee hee)  Here's what I've changed to & not only do I feel better about what's going on our skin, it works just as well when it comes to moisturizing:

(3) 16oz tubs of Clear Basics vitamin E cream with jojoba & aloe (Family Dollar)
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
4 Tbsp of grapeseed oil
1 Tbsp sweet almond oil
1 Tbsp jojoba oil
1 oz rosewater (optional)
15 drops of rose essential oil (optional)
Again, everything dumped into a large bowl & mix until blended to pudding consistency. Repacked into the emptied tubs for storage.  It's still very inexpensive, because I had everything on hand, with the exception of the vitamin E cream...those are only about $1.75/tub.  There's still some petroleum in there, thanks to the vitamin E cream, but it's minimal compared to what it was before.

And the fragrance?  Reminds me of Rose Milk lotion...remember those little pink bottles?  I never could wear it, because of my allergy to lanolin, but I really LOVED the smell!  Now, before I mixed in the rosewater & rose oil, I did scoop some "unscented" off into a tub for my guys because they weren't too keen on "smelling like a flower shop." *LOL*  You're welcome to leave out the rosewater and change out the essential oil to keep it unscented, OR add any essential oils that you prefer...I wouldn't mix more than 2 scents together, though...they get to competing on your skin & what smells nice in the tub, can smell funky ON you!  Try chamomile & lavender, sage & orange, sweet birch & clove, lilac, peppermint...the options are endless!

Thanks for stopping by & letting me share my thrifty skin care tricks.  I hope that you might be able to use one or all of them for you and your family.  Have a great rest of your day!!

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