I did a cute collage for my mom’s Bella Graciela Blog – Check it out! ❤
Happy Tuesday Everyone!
I hope everyone’s week is off to a nice start and all that jazz. It’s slightly warmer today than it has been, much to everyone’s dismay here in Cali, but it’s a great start to the week for me other than that! I managed to get a lot done over the weekend in terms of gifts for the holidays, blogging, holiday shopping and even got back into doing Insanity and eating very healthily this week! Just yesterday, I made my lunches for the week, did a 4 mile walk with my boyfriend and did an Insanity workout so I’m feeling quite accomplished! Back on the subject of gifts, I managed to start a few of the DIY gifts I’ll be giving away this year that actually require a bit of time to make and it got me thinking that it’s a great way to give presents without breaking the bank and it’s super personal so here’s a few of my favorites that I thought I’d share with you all that are really easy. Some are ones I’ve done this past weekend (or started, rather) and others are ones I may try, have tried or want to try in the future.
Homemade DIY Lemoncello
I used this recipe from Dine & Dish to make this, but there are tons of variations online when you type into google; I just picked one I liked that wasn’t too elaborate. You will see that recipes vary the amount of sugar, water, lemons and vodka used. My advice is if you want a more sour flavor, use less sugar, and if you want it to be sweeter, use more sugar (obviously, but just in case! Sometimes I’m slow to the show with these sort of things ahaha ). Anyway, I’ve posted the basic breakdown below of what I used and my method, but you can refer back to the Dine & Dish recipe, if you prefer something more structured.
- 6 lemons – the recipe says to use only the rind / zest (outer layers ) of the lemons, but I used the entire thing. I just cut them up into small pieces and separated the zest and center so the flavors would be released. No word on how good or bad it will taste haha.
- 1 (750-ml) bottle vodka – I used some random brand from Finland that I got at Target. It cost me $11.99. I will be separating the liquor into smaller bottles (similar to the one I made the vanilla extract in! ) to give as gifts over the holidays.
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
The basic breakdown of this recipe is to let the lemon rind/peel infuse in the vodka for around 1 week, though some recipes call for more time than that. Then, you dissolve the sugar in the water on the stove to make your own simple syrup, which is basically homemade sweetener. You add it, as desired, to the liquor, depending on how sweet you want it to be. I love this idea for a gift because 1. I’m Italian and this recipe is too! 😉 and 2. it’s simple, easy, and liquor is always appreciated as a gift, in my opinion. Plus, I’ll be sorting them into smaller, more decorative bottles so its really cute as a gift, but I spent very little on it – Thank God! LOL. I’m on a strict budget this year.
Homemade DIY Vanilla Extract
I got my recipe for this from TidyMom, but there are literally tons out there because the recipe is so simple and easy, though the kind of vanilla beans you use will determine the ultimate flavor you get in your end result. Check out TidyMom’s recipe for a breakdown of the different types of beans and their ultimate flavoring. I’ve used Mexican vanilla beans, but you can use any kind you like for a variety of flavors. All you do is put 3-6 vanilla beans (sliced open lengthwise) into a bottle of your choice and fill up with vodka. Let it sit for 6 weeks or more and then it’s done! You can leave the beans in for more steeping or you can take them out. Leaving them in will further develop the flavor, but it doesn’t matter really. I just wanted to make this one; I haven’t really decided if I want to give it as a gift or not yet. What do you guys think?
Homemade DIY Bath Soak
This was soo easy! I didn’t use any recipe for this as I already know how to make this one without it, but there are tons out there to choose from. For mine, I used a large jar from Michaels (cost – about $5.99) to store it in.
For the soak, I used 1 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup rose powder, 12 cup milk powder, 1/2 cup kaolin clay (but you can used any clay for detoxing purposes!), and 1/4 cup ground up oatmeal. Then, to fill up the entire jar, I doubled this recipe.
There are tons and tons of ideas out there for making or decorating your own ornaments for the holidays to put on your own tree or give as gifts, but this one is my favorite! I really love how green, whimsical, and earthy it looks. They also have some which involve painting that look fun and some others that look like they’d make great crafts for kids to do.
DIY Hot Chocolate Gift + Mini Alcohol
I haven’t decided yet whether I want to include this hot chocolate idea in with the lemoncello that I’ll be giving away or not, but it does look really cute together, no? This idea incorporates tiny store bought liquor (Kahlua, to be exact) which would be cool to use as well as making your own variation. Please don’t try to make your own alcohol, though; this is not Moonshiners! That stuff is so dangerous – you don’t want to be killing anyone this holiday, no matter how annoying they might be.
DIY Sharpie / Porcelain Marker Mug, Dish, Etc.
I love love LOVE this idea! It’s so simple, but you can absolutely customize it to the person you’re giving it to or you can customize all your own porcelain coffee cups too! I love the idea of putting quotes in cursive on cups. I’m actually doing this idea (or a variation of it) for a relative this year because it’s so cute and easy. All you do is draw on your cup with chosen porcelain marker(s) as you like and that’s it. There are also ideas out there for drawing on ceramic mugs with sharpies and then baking them to seal in the marker which look cool. Other ideas involve painting or marking up your own dishes and baking them or using porcelain markers, depending. They all look awesome!
DIY Baked Goods Gift
This is such a fantastic gift to give, especially if you’re strapped for cash. It looks adorable and it won’t cost you very much at all. I love how this idea involves using tissue paper and waxed paper to make the cute packaging!
DIY Gourmet Food Basket
I love how easy and simple this idea is! It’s relatively cheap and these ideas for baskets can be themed and don’t exactly have to be food. I think food is a great idea for those who love gourmet or are foodies or chefs or something, but you could branch this out to those who like games, movies, books, or anything, really, so that it’s personal, but also fun and affordable.
DIY Beauty / Makeup Board
I love this idea for a magnet board that allows your makeup to stick to it! How easy it would be for me to find things if my beauty products were organized like this! This is such a cute, fun gift idea for beauty addicts like myself, no?
DIY Baby Gift Basket / Flowers / Cupcakes
I think this idea is so cute! There are tons out there for baby gift ideas like this one. I actually will be doing one this year where you roll onesies up and put them into foils so they look like cupcakes. It’s so adorable! This one is also really nice as well and the finished result looks so great – like you’re all pro – but in reality it’s easy haha. I love gifts like this that make me look overly impressive without much effort. Just saying.
So, have you tried or are you planning on trying any cool DIY gift ideas this year?
If so, what are they?
Please share with me in the comments!
Happy Sunday Everyone!
I’m quite tired today as I drank a lot last night (King’s Cup, anyone?), but thanks to my Irish Italian genes, no hangover! [Please drink responsibly!]
Anyway, so I did this project on Friday finally, but I’ve been wanting to do it for ages as it had been rolling around in my head waiting to become a reality!
It’s such an easy project, I’m not sure why I’ve never seen it in the beauty world yet (that I know of!), but I hope you enjoy and try it for yourself!
- Business Card / Cigarette Holder Case or some other case to store your facial blotting tissue papers in.
- Paintbrush. Any will work, but ones with more surface area will work best like a fan brush or wide flat brush.
- Tissue Paper cut into rectangles. You can use different colors, if you like, but I’ve just used natural tone recycled fibers tissue paper.
- Essential Oils of Your Choice – I used peppermint.
- Scissors to cut tissue paper to the correct rectangle size. You could technically cut them into any shape you want, but this was perfect to fit into my little case.
Some things to note are that you use hydrosol instead E.O., if you want, but the scent will be less noticeable and more subtle once it dries. You can dry these with a hair dryer, if you want, but honestly, the best way is to let them air dry. They dry so quickly that using a hair dryer would just make a mess and blow the papers everywhere. I want to note that you only need to paint one side as the papers are so thin it will bleed all the way through. It can be very light coating as well – I lightly brushed each paper and then picked them up to make sure they didn’t stick to the table I was working on so they would dry without the paper gluing itself to the table so definitely make sure it’s not stuck to your table while it dries as it will stay that way! Lastly, you may need to cut these down a bit to get them to fit into your chosen case like I did. Otherwise, you can cut them precisely ahead of time.
Have You ever Made your own Facial Blotting Tissue Papers?
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Today’s post focuses on all the amazing DIY pins I’ve discovered on Pinterest. There really are some awesome things to be discovered on Pinterest – definitely join if you haven’t already! It’s convinced me I can make everything despite a severe handicap (no, not really) when it comes to crafts. So, here are some of my favorites; I hope you enjoy!
I’m not much for crocheting or sewing or anything that requires a lot of patience (a virtue I was not gifted with) really, but I actually love this bracelet and plan on making one (or several) for myself! It seems pretty easy.
I’ve been wanting to try this one for ages and I really love this tutorial. Anyone tried this yet with their eye shadows? Any advice is appreciated!
I really want to do this one as hair products can be pretty expensive, but I’m concerned about it being color safe. Again, if anyone has advice on this front!
I really love this tutorial for re-vamping flats as I’m someone who tends to scuff up perfectly good flats in a month’s time. Yeah, I’m shoe-abusive and I tend to get bored easily so this is a fun way to change with the trends without going broke.
Not sure if this actually works on nails, but I’ll try it soon and let you know!
I haven’t tried this one yet, but I’m seriously going to pick up some hydrogen peroxide so I can test it out. Basically, you dip a Q-tip into some hydrogen peroxide and polish each tooth before brushing your teeth. Wait 30 minutes with the peroxide on your teeth before brushing regularly. People say there’s a huge difference when you do it for one week straight and it’s certainly cheaper and more eco than Crest white strips, right?
I haven’t tried this one yet, but I’m curious to see how it will work. May try this one tonight as I finally picked up some lemons. Anyone tried this yet?
I have seriously long lashes (Italians are hairy okay), but since I decided to get tweezer happy as a teen, my brows grow in bizarrely and don’t grow in at all in some places so I may try this one out on my brows.
As I’ve said, I’m nail – inferior, but the idea of making dots on my nails sounds like fun. I’m like a kid banging on a piano – I can’t actually play the damn thing, but I can pretend.
I looove to do DIY facials in the winter for some reason. I don’t know if that’s because I’m in somewhat hibernation and leave my house less or what, but it’s fun and these are pretty easy to make. I’ve done all of these except the bath one and the anti-redness facial. Though, lately, I am getting a lot of redness (I’ve run out of my Suti Cleansing Balm & Moisturizer! 😦 ) due to the weather changes so I may try the anti-redness one soon.
This seems like a fun alternative to painting my nails and it looks cool too!
I’m trying this one tonight as I haven’t had the heart to mutilate any of my socks until now, but this one seems too good to pass up and certainly more gentle than constantly putting my hair in a bun the normal way. Maybe.
I may try this come Thanksgiving. I really love the look! It’s so simple, but very romantic and it’s cold out and about that time when I get super sentimental and pull out my Pride & Prejudice and start quoting about “how ardently I admire and love you..” and my boyfriend looks at me like, WTH did you just say? with his eyebrow raised. Yes, it happens.
Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend so far ❤
I actually thought it would be more complicated than it ended up being, but it’s not. It took less than 5 minutes to do 2 of these (one green, one purple) and every member of my boyfriend’s family loved them!
You can definitely do these yourself as a fun nightlight for your kids or for Halloween decorations that are both fun and cheap!
What You Need:
- Various colored glow sticks
- Mason jars (or any kind of empty glass jars with lids)
- Sharp scissors or small wire cutters
First, you will need to purchase a few things. I had mason jars on hand already, but you can use any glass jars that you have on hand (please note, they can’t be re-purposed after this; they can only be used for this purpose or other chemical purposes due to the chemicals in it). Otherwise, if you want to purchase mason jars, they usually come at around $10 for a 12 pack at your local grocery (check the baking aisle). Then, I went to the 99 cents store and purchased a few glow sticks.
The next part is a bit tricky. You have to crack the glow sticks so they glow before you break them open so just crack them as usual. Then, cut off the top of the plastic stick with either sharp scissors or cutters ( I used sharp wire cutter things as the glow sticks I got were bulky). Once you’ve done that, you pour in the glowing liquid to your jar of choice. There will be little glass shards that fall into the jar as well. Don’t panic; it’s just how they keep the solutions separate in the glow stick. That’s the crack you hear when you typically snap a glow stick. Just use tweezers to pick the largest pieces out of the jar and toss them. Otherwise, if the pieces don’t bother you, you can leave them all in the jar. Just make sure to close your jar tightly so no one gets stabbed with glass pieces of this glow stick fluid. I left small pieces in as I plan using these jars solely as glow jars for my niece and nephews to enjoy on Halloween.
Some important things to note are – wash all things that touch the glow liquid very thoroughly with soap and water: the scissors, your hands (especially!) and the tweezers. Also, I only used single colors, but you can mix colors if you want to as you like.
So, that’s it and enjoy them!
They’re really cool looking!
I plan on keeping this one in my bathroom until the glow wears off and then adding new colors each time the glow dies to keep it going. It’s a nice way to avoid the glaring bright lights when I have to use the restroom at night; just saying!
Plus, I think it really gives off that fun, festive Halloween vibe to the house!
If you do buy a 10-12 pack of mason jars, you can do loads of things with them. Plant them strategically in rooms in your house so your house glows in fun colored light, string them up together for a fun Halloween fixture or you can put them outside your house on Halloween night.
What cool decorations do you make on Halloween?
Do you prefer handmade decor or store bought?
A lot of times, I think people forget or maybe don’t even realize how simply it can be to enjoy the luxuries of a face mask, scrub or peel, even if you can’t afford to purchase one from the store.
Because of this, I thought I’d draw up a list so you can see exactly how many ingredients you likely have sitting in your pantry or refrigerator at this very moment that you could easily use in your beauty regimen!
Here are Some of My Favorites:
Oatmeal is one of the easiest and most obtainable face mask ingredients. You can mix it with water, milk or honey and blend it to form a paste or simply mix it with water and use it as a scrub. Oatmeal is great for sensitive skin types and those battling rosacea and redness. As a mask, apply to your face for 5-10 minutes and rinse.
Strawberries are great for brightening and toning the skin and they work wonders on acne. Blend a couple in a food processor or mash them by hand with some honey or a little water. Use as a scrub and the seeds will give you nice scrubbing action, but be sure t be gentle about it! As a mask, apply to your face for 5-10 minutes and rinse.
Yogurt is awesome for a number of skin concerns. It can work well at calming redness, cooling skin irritations, acne, and it gently exfoliates the skin as a mask. Make sure you use the plain variety, preferably plain Greek yogurt with full fat. Apply to your face for 5-10 minutes and rinse.
Milk probably seems like a really strange thing to be putting on your face, but it works wonders as a gentle exfoliant! The lactic acid in milk helps slough off dead skin cells without causing irritation, but make sure you choose an organic variety to avoid any hormones or steroids that can be found in conventional milk. All you have to do is brush a thin layer onto your face, leave for 5-10 minutes and rinse. Your skin should feel softer and brighter instantly!
Many acidic fruits such as pineapple, papaya, oranges and even apples offer mild exfoliation, brightening and enyzmes to encourage cell turnover for your skin. Apples may be especially beneficial due to quercetin which is found naturally in apples and can be used to prevent premature aging, acne, and a host of other benefits. Blend a small amount of any of these fruits, apply a thin layer to face for 5-10 minutes and rinse. Try to use organic to avoid pesticides.
Cucumbers are very calming. A lot of people use slices on the eyes to calm redness and under eye puffiness, but you can also blend them to use in a cooling face mask. My favorite is blending cucumbers, fresh sage and some water for a very refreshing and cooling face mask. This will help with redness, acne, and puffiness. You can also use this as a really nice toner during the summer, but be sure to keep your toner spray bottle in the fridge to make it last longer!
Eggs are great for a myriad of skin needs. Egg whites are great applied as a firming face mask because they have a temporary tightening and lifting effect on the skin. Simply separate egg whites from the yolk and apply the whites in a thin layer on your face. Leave until dried and then either gently peel off or rinse with warm water. You can also use the yolk in eggs if you need extra moisture.
For a Face Scrub, you can add sea salt, brown sugar, or baking soda to any of these recipes. If you have drier skin, you may want to add a bit of extra virgin olive oil to the recipe.
That’s all for now!
I’ll Talk To You Soon : ]