Posts tagged ‘natural’

2014, April 28

A couple of natural air freshener ideas

Nothing beats being able to open a window in the morning and only close it before going to bed at night. However, that can’t happen every day just yet as the weather’s still a bit sassy. Here are a couple of ideas for natural air fresheners for those days when you’re stuck at home during bad weather.

To freshen the smell in a room we can use an aromatherapy lamp and natural essential oils or simply prepare ourselves a spray by mixing up some water and our favorite essential oil in a spray bottle.

Depending on the mood we want to set we can change the essential oils to benefit from their different properties: for a peaceful sleep we should use a lavender spray, sprayed around the room and even onto the sheets; or if we’re working on a project and we need to concentrate, rosemary will help; and to provide a cheerful disposition we should give citrus essential oils a try.
Another solution is to use cinnamon, cloves, citrus and other aromatic spices to freshen the air as these release their scents quite well if you add hot water.

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One of my very favorites methods is slicing limes in half and sticking cloves into them. They look cute enough, and as a bonus also act as a mosquito repellant.

On the other hand, we mustn’t forget that during Spring-Autumn, fresh flower bouquets, aside from being very beautiful and decorating the room, can smell very good; and we can replace fresh flowers with pine twigs during winter. Another idea is to use small satchels filled with sawdust which you can drip scented oils onto – they will keep the scent fresh for a few weeks.

If we want to remove various unpleasant odors, especially from smaller places, like the pantry or the fridge, a bowl with a little bit of baking soda in it will do the job.

Year-round air purifiers can be found in the form of plants as well. Among the recommended species are the Ivy, Ficus, Philodendron, and Azalea. 

What methods do you use for air fresheners around your house?

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2013, December 23

Deep Conditioner for Winter Hair – #12DaysOfDIY

12 days of xmas blogging-1 I have to come clean and admit to the fact that when I’m in a hurry or tired, I skip a lot of beauty steps. These include, but are not limited to: applying make-up, looking into a mirror before leaving the house, straightening my hair, actual hairdo aside from simply pulling it into a half-up or a ponytail, and so on. Seriously, I have no issue whatsoever to walk around or go to work without, for example, any make-up, not even eyeliner applied. I only regret it later, after running into people to whom I look like I haven’t slept in three weeks ;) But then promptly forget and repeat in a few days.

This is fine generally; during winter however, my hair demands attention. It likes being pampered just as much as I like to be when the weather’s all chilly and staying indoors with a cup of delicious S’mores Hot Chocolate seems like the best plan of all time.

My usual hair washing routine consists of:

  • brushing my hair well before washing
  • shampoo, rinse
  • applying a hair mask when I have time to (I’ve tried many, but most of all love the Mediterranean Olive Oil Conditioning Hair Mask from Avon)
  • pulling my hair into a bun atop my head and leaving the hair mask in for 15 minutes
  • rinse off hair mask
  • wrapping hair in a towel and waiting another 15-20 minutes
  • drying with a hair dryer (since I’d get a cold if I don’t)

(Now that you can see this takes the better part of an hour without the actual drying, I think you “get” why I end up skipping the hair mask step.)

Watching MissGlamorazzi’s YouTube channel more often this December, I noticed she posted the recipe for a deep conditioner she uses. It sounds perfect for Winter, and especially for the weather we’ve been having this month!

It sounded super easy, so I gave it a try, and my hair thanked me. This conditioner really moisturized my hair, it looks nice, is all soft and silky to the touch. In her styling tips at the end of her video, Ingrid suggested straightening one’s hair, but I’m leaving that until tomorrow and for New Year’s when I’ll actually style my hair more interestingly – probably one of these two hairdos.

page deep winter conditioner

Deep Conditioner for Winter Hair

-3-4 tbsp olive oil
-2 tbsp regular milk (or you can use half & half for a creamier texture)
-Half a banana

Measure ingredients into a microwave safe bowl – don’t worry about the separation of the oil and milk. Add the banana in small chunks.

Warm in the microwave (do NOT cook!) for about 30 seconds, then break up the banana pieces really well.

Bring to the shower with you, apply on wet hair and leave in for 5-10 minutes while you wash your body.

When rinsing, make sure you don’t get any of it in your eyes, and that you’ve rinsed out all the banana pieces from your hair.

My hair tends to get oily fast, especially during Winter from having to wear hats.
So I applied this conditioner mainly to the ends of my hair, and only combed through my hair near the scalp with my conditioner-covered fingers once or twice.

Happy beautifying! ;)

2012, September 19

Improvised body scrub

I haven’t written a beauty recipe for a while. Maybe because I’m still using up some of the things I’ve made, and re-making those recipes.

But today, let me share a recipe of a body scrub I made (improvised) for a friend’s birthday last year (and of which I completely forgot up until now.)

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Estrella’s Improvised Body Scrub

I used the following ingredients: sugar, coffee, wheat germ, lavender flowers, olive oil, grape seed oil, water.

Results: smooth skin, and my friend was very excited about some rough areas (elbows, heels) that are now gone.

If you want to try this, let me know how you like it  :)

2012, February 27

Practical advice for winter skincare

Although we’ve entered winter a few months ago, it’s only been in the past few weeks (month or so) that the cold has truly set its foot down over here with temperatures going as low as –23 Celsius (yes, minus 23!). Cold and frosty winds – the greatest enemies of our skin during this cold season.

I don’t think cosmetic products used during winter greatly differ from those that are preferred during the rest of the year, but they still must be used regularly. Even one day when you have not followed all the steps leaves a trace of evidence, or at least that’s what always happens in my case.

So to prevent entering spring with a tired and visibly marked skin complexion, I recommend considering the following tips:

  1. Hydration as the basis of everything
    Hydration is essential! Using various heat sources affect water balance in our skin and bodies overall. Drink plenty of fluids (water, hot tea, fresh juice) and do not forget about room humidifiers.
  2. Do not skip over any part of your cosmetic routine
    On both body and face, cleansing, toning and nourishing the skin add up to a valuable routine which is essential to be followed daily, both at morning and in the evening (whether you used makeup during the day or not).
    A gentle cleanser or preferably one homemade of suitable oils mixture will first easily remove all impurities. A toning floral water will remove any remaining residues. And a blend of face creams, lotions, butters and oils will nourish your skin. Avoid using non-organic soap on your face and never leave the house before applying cream.
  3. Eat well
    Eating well doesn’t mean you must eat more, but that you should make sure to include as many vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, soup and fish in your diet  and as little heavy/greasy meat as possible.

These are just three, very simple tips, which are highly effective and can be easily followed with just a little willpower and organization.

 

What are your tips for a beautiful and healthy skin during this frosty season?

2011, December 14

Homemade Gifts {in a Jar} part 2

Last week, I told you all about my gift in a jar Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Chef.

Now, for the seamstress in my life, I decided to make a sewing-kit jar. Here’s how I did it.

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Sewing-kit jar

Fill the jar of your choice, with different things a seamstress would appreciate (I chose beads, embroidery thread, yarn, buttons, chalk, pins and needles, etc.)

I really liked the idea of the pincushion lid, but knew my grandmother wouldn’t really want to keep the jar, so I decided to make one of these really cute Tuna Can Pincushions I’ve had my mind on ever since my friend Patsey posted her tutorial.

After I finished both the jar and pincushion, I stuck the tuna can pincushion onto the lid with a simple double adhesive tape so it would stay on there until/during Christmas gift giving and then come off easily.

Happy crafting everyone :)

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2011, December 7

Homemade Gifts {in a Jar} part 1

Sometime last week, I stumbled upon Myra’s blog post, 12 Homemade Gifts In A Jar and I was floored. I instantly fell in love with all of these ideas, and since I’d personally love to receive something like this, I decided to make some gifts in jars myself.

The first one I made is a gift to the Chef in my life who doesn’t really like the precision of measuring ingredients for baking. I figured this would be the perfect St.Nick’s Day gift – and I was right, he loved it ;)

page cookies gift in a jar

Chocolate Chip Cookies – Homemade gift in a jar

(I used my own adapted version of this Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe.)

Layer the ingredients in a large enough mason jar, starting with the necessary dry ingredients like sugar, flour (+ baking soda and salt mixed into it), cocoa and only then add your additional dry ingredients like chocolate chips, hazelnuts, Rahat Locoum (Turkish Delight), granola, cereals, raisins, etc.

Screw the lid on the jar, and cover with a circle of fabric or a paper doily, held down with a rubber band. Cover the rubber band with yarn or ribbon and tie a bow. For additional beauty, tie a cinnamon or vanilla bar into the bow. (I did that just before gifting the jar.)

Print out a gift tag-type paper with the recipe, or simply glue further directions onto the jar like I did, mentioning what else needs to be added, at what temperature the cookies need baking and for how long.

* I personally added a bunch of extra ingredients the original recipe didn’t include, so I upped the quantity of eggs and butter needed. Make sure you do the same if you need to.

Come to think about it, I’ve actually given gifts in a jar before, in the form of homemade beauty products. I think my Beauty the natural way recipes (Face Mask, Bath Salts, Exfoliating Body Scrub, Body Balm, Facial Scrub, etc.) are perfect for the ladies in your family so flip through the pages and feel free to prepare any of those. I’m sure they will be greatly appreciated.

Hope you all like these ideas, and check back next Wednesday for part 2 :)

 

PS: there are a ton of gifts in a jar ideas out there on the web, you’re bound to come across the perfect one for your loved ones.

2011, November 16

Tips and tricks for healthy hair

red hair 1. Always look at ingredients and choose a delicate shampoo without SLS (it excessively dries hair). It’s best to avoid harsh shampoos, as a gentle shampoo cleans just as effectively without unnecessarily being hard on the scalp. Even shampoos for color-treated hair are often harsh, so even for dyed hair it’s preferable to use a gentle shampoo.
2. Do not believe manufacturer’s claims that their shampoo is suitable for anyone and performs miracles that no other shampoo does. Each person is different and what works for one person may be wrong for someone else. Always test shampoos before switching and then select according to your hair’s needs.
3. Do you really need to shampoo twice? Before we learned this rule, our hair was clean even after shampooing once. It may or may not be a marketing tactic designed to increase sales. Obviously, in some cases, double shampooing is necessary, but it is not as necessary as to become a rule. (I noticed that no matter how many times I shampoo my hair, I have to wash it with the exact same frequency, so why waste that extra shampoo?)
4. Curly hair doesn’t get greasy quickly, because the sebum doesn’t get through the hair as fast as it does on straight hair. The best products for this type of hair are creamy ones. It is best to use a conditioner after washing curly hair.
5. Oily, normal or flaccid hair needs a liquid, light, transparent shampoo. Not all people with these types of hair also need conditioner, so if after washing your hair is easy to comb, you can save money by not using conditioner.
6. Chemically treated hair is more difficult to care for, it’s best to use a natural shampoo, gentle, for normal hair. You should also use concentrated hair conditioners.
7. For dry hair, creamy conditioners and very nutritious shampoo is recommended.
8. Are shampoos ‘2 in 1’ (with built-conditioner) better? This product is recommended for normal, healthy hair. But if you have oily hair, conditioner is not needed, and if you have dry hair, the moisturizing agents in ‘2 products in 1’ type of shampoos are not sufficient.
9. To shampoo use a small amount of shampoo (add more if necessary according to your hair’s length). Conduct a rigorous massage to the scalp, and if you can bear it, before shampooing and the rinse water should be cold as to support extra shine. If possible, let air dry. Always comb wet hair with a wide toothed comb and not a brush because your hair is most fragile while wet.
10. A beautiful, healthy hair does not require expensive treatments, it’s relatively easy to maintain at home. Like any other aspect of our body, beautiful hair is foremost maintained by proper diet, sufficient hydration, avoiding stress and smoke filled places and the use of natural hair care products.
 

Some additional tips:

  • the juice of one lemon mixed with a cup of water give more shine to your hair;
  • one tablespoon of baking soda mixed well in a cup of water will remove remaining hair spray or gel from the hair;
  • a teaspoon of baking soda added to the amount of shampoo used once to wash helps eliminate excess sebum from the scalp;
  • rinsing your hair with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in 2 cups of water gives it shine;
  • or just use No-Poo shampoo
  • an infusion of chamomile helps to highlight blonde hair color;
  • an infusion of sage, lavender and cinnamon (a few sticks, broken pieces) helps darken hair color;
  • hibiscus (either infusion or powder) helps in attaining red reflexes.
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