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Tag Archives: homemade

DIY Gift- Homemade Soap

10 Dec

Welcome to another DIY gift! This is a method for making your own soap right in your kitchen. Homemade soap is an excellent gift or addition to your own home.

Cold Process vs Melt and Pour

There are two major methods of making soap. The first and more traditional method is cold process. This method uses lye and requires a curing process.  It requires a bit more skill and is not ideal for children.

The second method is melt and pour. The name is self explanatory. You use a soap base and melt it then pour it into a mold. You can purchase soap base from craft stores in either white or clear. Alternately you can purchase ready made bars of soap and melt it down.

In this post I use already made soap bars as I was unable to get soap base and it worked fine.

WHAT YOU NEED 

Soap base (craft store soap base or readymade soap)

Scent-essential oils or soap scent

Add-ins- I used loose leaf tea. You can use soap add ins or other herbs, dried flowers etc.

WHAT TO DO 

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan 

Place shredded soap into a heat safe bowl  and place that on top of the boiling water.



Add water as needed to mixture until it becomes thick and smooth.





Add scent and any colouring desired.





Spray mold with cooking spray to make removal easier.

Pour soap into mold and add add-ins

Spray the top of the soap mixture with rubbing alcohol to get rid of the bubbles.

Place into refrigerator or a cool dry place and allow the soap to dry out. Note that the more water you add in the melting process the longer it will take to dry.


Remove soap carefully from mold.

Lightly score the soap to decide where to cut.

Once you have sliced the soap you can allow it to completely dry out 

Wrap and gift!

This is an awesome DIY gift, the type of thing your friends will want to receive. Try it out and have an awesome day!

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce

13 Dec

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I made some Cranberry Sauce. Better quality than the canned stuff but cheaper than the fancy stuff. The recipe is originally posted on Food Amino. Just click the link to view. Enjoy!

Check out this post on Food: http://aminoapps.com/p/lypci

Peppermint Vodka

27 Dec

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This Christmas post is a delightful homemade treat my sister introduced me to this year: Peppermint Vodka.
This isn’t some mass produced flavoured liquor you find in every supermarket.This is hand and homemade with care and its very good. It can be made in large amounts for a yultide shindig, in smaller amounts for an intimate gathering or made and packaged as Christmas gifts.

This also falls under handmade presents, something I am a huge advocate of. It shows real thought and dedication. Now the controversial question every poor party girl must ask is:” Are these handmade items actually cheaper than commercially produced ones?” The answer is :”not always” or “it all depends”.

I say if you want to do hand/home made and you are looking to save, you need to do alot of one thing e.g all cupcakes or all christmas ecorations. That way you buy raw materials in bulk and save there. Apart from that alot of crafty items can be pretty expensive when you add it all up.


WHAT YOU NEED:
1) Bag of peppermints or candy canes (peppermints are cheaper)

2) Bottle of Vodka

3) 2 days
As mentioned, it is Kristine my sister who made this moorish treat. She said she saw it various places online (cannot recall where) and she actually laughed when I asked for measurements. She just rolls with it.

WHAT TO DO
1) Add 1 cup of peppermint candy to a medium sized mason jar (it holds approximately 400mls) then pour vodka over it.

2)Let it stand for 2 days or until all the candy has dissolved.

3)Chill and serve
I’m not sure where she came up with these measurements but they were just right.

This drink comes out creamy and smooth but not milky. Strong but not overpowering . It has just enough peppermint flavour and of course it smells DEEE-lish! I reccomend it to everyone.

My sister, two friends and I had this along with ham and turkey sandwiches after midnight mass this year while we watched television:Family Guy (Christmas episode) and Beyonce’s new album’s music videos. We had a blast!

Kristine also decided to gift a bottle of it (in a mason jar) to our cousin with a candy cane on top as pictured above.

My sister has soaked other candies in vodka before, not with as much success (the gummi bear vodka of March 2013) but this is a winner.

Have a go at it all you DIY’ers, you won’t regret it.

Have an awesome day!

Happy Holiday-The Late Edition

1 Jan

Hey there everyone, Happy Holidays! This includes Christmas, New Years, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and really any other holiday observed around this time of the year.

Boy did I have blogging plans for this season, I was going to post about decorating for Christmas, about homemade Christmas gifts and frugal ways to enjoy New Year’s eve. But alas, the hustle and bustle got the better of me. When I wasn’t too  busy I was too tired to even turn on my laptop.

Therefore I’m going have to do an all in one post..

First off Christmas decorations

In our home, we love to decorate for any reason but most especially Christmas! We always get a “live” tree. We do use baubles and the shiny round run of the mill ornaments in between as fillers but most of our decorations are one of a kinds (to us) collected over the years.

There was once a time when I wished we could magically eliminate our old decorations each year and buy an entirely new batch with a different colour scheme each year, but somewhere in my early 20’s I think I fully appreciated the meaningfulness behind each and every “personal” decoration. There is stuff on there from the 70’s right up until now. My mother even has a decoration which once belonged to her mother (back in the 50’s and 60’s).

In addition to meaning and sentimental value etc this is far more affordable than purchasing a new set of decorations every year or so which many of us very well do.

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The tree by night.

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A lighted view of the tree. Here you can see: a mask, a stuffed giraffe, a mini snow white book (bought on my first trip to Disney World 22 years ago), a Pinocchio decoration bought from a toy store in Italy, 2 Sponge bob ceramic decorations (my sister’s fav cartoon) a shiny red apple (bought in the big apple) and much more.

Next, Gifts

This can really rack up the cash and for a poor party girl like myself that just won’t do. My advice is;

1) Make a list and check it twice- A lot of the time we find ourselves giving gifts to people that we don’t really want to or need to. Stop this! I hope that doesn’t seem mean spirited but if I don’t see or hear you for the entire year there is no need to spend a small fortune on a dust collector for your home. Revising your Christmas list alone will cut your spending.

                          2) Make it or Bake it- That’s right, homemade gifts are from the heart and when properly thought out are cheaper than many commercial items.

Maybe jewellery making is your hobby; buy some beads and go for it,  maybe you love to bake; cookies or cupcakes are a neat idea. Perhaps you have a green thumb, give your friends and family a small potted plants for gifts.

As mentioned, plan your homemade gifts budget carefully or you could end up spending more doing this than just buying ready made stuff. Crafty items and baking supplies can be very overpriced so do some wholesale purchasing and bargain hunting.

That said, no matter the cost, a homemade gift will have that personal touch ready made stuff doesn’t.

Lastly, New Years Eve

What to do?

I’ve had my time of going to fancy all inclusive all night long parties, where your dress and shoes cost more than the overpriced ticket to the event. But I no longer care much for that scene, nor do I deem it affordable, not every year at least. I would say for the past 5 years or so I’ve been doing new years on a budget.

Some ideas :

                  1) Going someplace(free) to watch fireworks (did that 2 years ago)- take a bottle of wine, a few glasses and some snacks and make a night out of it.

                    2) having an old school house party where everyone brings something-throw on some music or movies and have a chill night

                    3) just hanging out at home with my immediate family (my mother and I are doing that this year) and watching the countdowns all over the world.

                    4)  Going to church- A lot of persons I know believe in starting each new year off this way

                    5) Nothing at all-Completely fail to acknowledge anything different about this night and carry on as usual (this also works quite well)

Well I know it was rushed and late an concise but that’s my 2 cents worth on the holiday season this year. I will leave with you a few pictures of our Christmas decor and a wish for a truly blessed and awesome and successful 2013………………….the best is yet to come.

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The Dining Table with our party spread laid out

ImageA close up of the tablescape; Glass jar filled with assorted red ornaments, miniature Christmas trees, small apothecary jar filled with red decorations small red candle holder and hanging from our chandelier, more red ornaments tied onto ribbon. All of these things were reused from previous years.

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This was on the coffee table in our porch 3 candles, a red glass ornament and one huge silver spray painted pine cone on a gold charger. Simple but effective.

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Last but not least; Patronus (yes inspired by the Stag that was Harry Potter’s patronus). Last Christmas my sister bought me a ceramic reindeer. This Christmas I wrapped him in some LED lights and placed Santa on his back.

Here is looking forward to lots more blogging in 2013. Have an awesome day and year!

 

 

 

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