DIY Deodorant

Do you use deodorant? Of course you do. But is your deodorant just a deodorant or also an antiperspirant? I’ve always used an antiperspirant because, well, I’ve not wanted to be dripping with sweat all day. But a little light went off in my brain the other day when I read this beauty profile of Erica of The Mama Circle and she mentioned that anti-perspirant includes aluminum as the active ingredient, which is a super scary thing to be putting on your skin and seeping into your blood and the rest of your body (especially for nursing moms because your breast tissues extends in to your underarms). Say what?!  Add that to the long column of things we need to worry about.

So I tried one of the ones Erica recommended – Lavanila. Despite its lovely name and the promise of a soothing vanilla scent, it was awful. Just horrible. To me, it smelled like bug spray as soon as I opened the cap and by noon I could smell that fake perfume swirled with body odor amplified in a horrible way, even worse I’d say than it would have been if I simply hadn’t worn anything. Woof.  There are a few other natural deodorants out there that some people swear by. Like this one, this one, and this one. Clearly this is an issue that resonated with more than just me because not too long after that beauty profile, A Cup of Jo editor Caroline did a “Do I Smell Funny?” Natural Deodorant Challenge (kudos to her).  But she gave the Lavanila four out of five stars so maybe what works for one doesn’t work for others. I’m still not sure.  Perhaps I should just start stealing Mumbles’ every morning – after all, it seems to be working just fine for him and he can only use deodorant (not antiperspirant) due to some kidney issues. I’m not above putting some Old Spice under my arms every morning. I’ll smell like hunky man and it’ll be fabulous.

Before shelling out any more dough, I may just try Erica’s easy peasy DIY for deodorant, found here.  (Apparently it’s a common DIY, all-natural recipe because it was also posted on Babyccino Kids a while back…tried and true, fingers crossed?!).

diy natural deodorant via the Mama Circle

 

Do you use an all-natural deodorant you can recommend?

 

P.S. “Do Any of These Hippie Deodorants Work?

Mommy to Bee Baby Shower

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I have been dying to share this with you and what better time than now, right?  Have you ever really wanted to throw a party? Since my first pin on Pinterest, I’ve been pretty obsessed with bee-themed parties and last summer I was lucky enough to finally bring the idea to life in the form of a Mommy to Bee Baby Shower for my sister-in-law. I had so much fun finding decor and props, and my SIL’s best friend was a wonderful host with a beautiful home, which made planning and putting it all together quite a lovely affair. I think it’s such a sweet, playful theme with lots of details to incorporate like honey, honeycomb shapes, flowers, and beehives.  Perfect for spring or summer showers for brides or moms-to-be, and also a festive theme for birthday parties too!  Here are some insights from the day:

I found some great hive vases in various sizes and colors that tied in the theme with hexagon shapes on sale from west elm, along with this darling beehive cake stand.

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Hive Vases from West Elm

These cute honey pots and dippers were great props to use on tables and to hold yummy organic honey hard candies (I found them at Whole Foods, and they’re available online at Soap.com).

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Honeycomb botanical vase from west elm and honey pot and dipper from Williams-Sonoma filled with Go Naturals Organic Honey Candy

On the food front we had a nice salad bar with various types including pasta, Chinese chicken, green, fruit, and a wild rice to give guests options.

For the drinks, lemonade and individual pink and yellow bottles of Barefoot wine helped guests stay hydrated and happy.  I stumbled upon the mini wines at Rite Aid of all places, and I think BevMo! has great options for cute libations (like the individual Sofia sparkling wine cans that come with straws).

For dessert, beautiful bundt cakes in red velvet and pecan praline from our trusted favorite – Nothing Bundt Cakes – we’re a big hit. I tried the drizzle frosting on one of them to have a varying look to the dessert table and it was just as yummy in frosting-to-cake ratio, and the folks at the shop had the beautiful flowers already on the cakes when I went to pick them up so all I had to do was put them out!

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Nothing Bundt Cakes and the Beehive Cake Stand dome (10″ cakes do not fit under that dome; see smooshed frosting)

As a thank you to the lovely women who attended, bundles of flavored honey sticks were wrapped with burlap and a little note that read “thanks for being so sweet!”

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honey stick party favors

A wishes for baby book let guests leave messages for baby and mom, a sweet memento of the day, and during the party guests played a mom/baby animal name game which I’d never played before (and wasn’t very good at), and a guess how many game with Burt’s Bees products as prizes.

As a gift for the mommy-to-bee I made some little yellow pom poms and tied them to a basket filled with bath towels for baby, some onesies (including an adorable peacock one from the bodysuit line at Gap), Burt’s Bees products for mom, and a stack of thank you cards I made to go with the theme.

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Mommy to Bee gift basket

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handmade thank you cards

Check out my Baby Love and Party Themes & Ideas Boards on Pinterest for more celebration inspiration.

Is there a theme you are looking forward to using for a party?

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DIY Custom Rubber Stamps

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super easy and fun — my handwriting made into rubber stamps!

Need a sweet little gift for new homeowners, brides-to-be, or a couple turning into a family?

Wit & Whistle recommended the online company RubberStamps.net (you may have seen photos from this blog post floating around on Pinterest) and I’ve been ordering my custom stamps from them ever since. It’s a very easy process — simply draw, write, sketch or type out what you want your stamp to look like, upload the photo to their website, select the size of the stamp, and order. In a few days, you’ll receive your rubber stamp on a weighty, beautiful wood block with the stamp art etched into the top (or a handle mounted on top for larger sizes, if you’d like. and they also have self-inking stamps).

I recently made this return address stamp for my childhood friend getting married this summer so she can add a nice, personal touch to her wedding invitations, RSVP cards and thank you notes. Bundled up in a light blue hanky along with an ink pad in a coordinating wedding color, it makes the perfect bridal shower gift! For a more deluxe gift, include some blank thank you notes, envelopes, a nice pen, postage, and washi tape to make a complete correspondence set.

Gift Idea: Watercolor Set

Lately I’ve been finding myself staring at beautiful watercolor paintings on Pinterest (see here) so I decided to ask one of my favorite bloggers, Creature Comforts, on Twitter what sort of kit she’d recommend for a newbie watercolor artist.  Her answer?  The cheapy kits at craft stores! Ha!

Not sure whether that should’ve been a relief or intimidating, on a recent trip to Walmart, I picked up a Crayola kids version, which I think is very clever, because what’s the use of spending a lot of money (the artsy watercolor kit was about $20 in comparison, so still, not that bad) if you’re not even sure you’re going to like it?  Exactly.  So, $1.88 later plus about $5 for a watercolor pad and another few dollars for a nice pack of brushes in various sizes (which I’m sure to use again for other crafts), I had all I needed to try my not-so-skilled hand at watercolor painting.  I made it a little easier on myself by looking at photos of paintings I liked to see how I might need to add brushstrokes or use color to blend shapes but all in all, knowing I’m not a painter, I was happy to just have an afternoon of creating and trying something new.

my first foray into watercolors
— an easy, striped card

If you’re looking for a clever gift idea or stocking stuffer, a cute little watercolor kit would be a fun, thoughtful gift for kids and crafters on your gift list.  And, you can even get a kit for yourself to make beautiful gift tags and cards to personalize gifts this year!

Here are two inexpensive gift sets for the would-be artist on your list:

1. via Target  |  2. via Consumer Crafts

1. Travel Easy Watercolor Set from Target $12.99

2. Creative Dimensions Art Set 79pc. $14.97

DIY Holiday Clay Gift Tags

DIY Holiday Clay Gift Tags.jpgI found this big tub of air-dry clay at Office Depot (you can also get it at Oriental Trading, in bulk from Walmart, at Kohl’s…just keep an eye out) a while back for about $10 (kind of random but I was really into using clay at the time…still am, actually…I tend to get obsessed with materials and never really quit them) so I thought I’d give this clay a try. Obviously meant for children but still fun for adult crafting, the clay is super easy to use but being an air-dry clay, you have to move quicker than you would with an oven bake clay. With the desire to get my hands into something, I started rolling out little balls like cookie dough and decided to make some stamped gift tags to stock up for the holidays just around the bend. Rubber stamps — another on a long list of items I’m slowly collecting — along with a toothpick and a straw were used to create these little guys.

These gift tags are a super simple little craft to make while you’re on the couch or in the kitchen. All you’ll need is some clay, a cookie cutter if you want perfect shapes, a straw, a hard surface and wax paper to work on.

Here are step-by-step photo instructions:

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step 1: roll out little balls of clay

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step 2: use a rolling pin (or your hands if you’re going for a more organic look) to flatten out your little ball into a circle or oval shape.

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step 3: insert a plastic straw into the clay and twist to create a small hole which will allow for ribbon or string later on.

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step 3.5: experiment with different hole placement for alternate ways to hang your tag — one hole at the top to hang, one in the center, one hold at each end, three holes in the center like a button…

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step 4: use rubber stamps to stamp your designs or phrases into the clay

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step 5: lay out your finished clay tags to dry (I let mine dry for 48 hours).

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Finished tags ready for presents!

Just as I was about to post this, I stumbled upon this post from one of my favorite blogs, Creature Comforts. How funny! These tags look more refined and if that’s the look you want, I’d definitely try the oven bake clay instead of air dry. Plus, there are a lot of color options!I’ll soon start gathering little pinecones and twigs from the neighborhood to keep in a little pile for pretty packages tied up with strings! I may hate Halloween but I’m excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

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my christmas presents last year — can’t you just picture a little clay tag on there, too?