Super Easy Sugar Body Scrub

What girl doesn’t like a little bit of pampering now and then?  I love giving myself a pedicure, but I hate the prices for the stuff!  My sister made some sugar scrub for gifts for Christmas and I decided that I wanted to give that a try.  The recipe is super easy and requires just 2 or 3 ingredients.  And it’s a great use for all that white sugar that I don’t want to eat but don’t want to throw away!  (Find out more about all that white sugar here.)  I whipped up a batch in about 5 minutes.

Here’s what you need:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup olive or coconut oil

15-20 drops essential oil (optional)

All you need for sugar scrub

 I used expeller pressed coconut oil because it doesn’t have any scent.  If you want it to smell like coconut use the extra virgin coconut oil.  I chose to use a mixture of lavender and tea tree essential oils.  They are both said to have antibacterial properties and that’s never bad.  And they smell good too! You put them all in a bowl and mix well.  I used a fork to cut the oil into the sugar.  

  

Keep mixing until the essential oil is well distributed.  Should look a lot like this.
 

Well mixed

 Then all you have to do is pack it into jars or other containers.  I used these cute little 1/2 pint canning jars that I found.

Isn’t the jar cute?

 Then I added a pretty ribbon and a label and, voila!  5 minute sugar scrub. 

I love ribbons too!

To use this scrub just dip out a teaspoon or so with your fingers and scrub, rinse, and then dry.  This would be a perfect gift for pretty much any occasion, Christmas, birthdays, new moms (check here if you need personalized gifts for mom).  It’s easy to customize-just pick out your favorite smell, and super easy to package.  The best part is, it’s less expensive that what you would find at the store and it doesn’t have all those chemicals and dyes!  Give some a try and then come back and let me know what you think.  Now if you will excuse me, I think I’ll go scrub my feet. 🙂

This post was shared at Homestead Barn Hop Monday Mania and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.

Fast, Easy, and Oh So Lovely Christmas Gifts

With Christmas fast approaching it’s time to finish up the gift shopping (if you’re like my uber-organized mom), or get started on the list (if you’re like me).  I love to give handmade gifts like Custom rings for Christmas.  Unfortunately, a lot of hand made gift ideas are either for children or are, quite frankly, pretty cheesy. But, Spotify Glass Music Plaque does not fall under one of those.  It is unique and great. So if you are looking for an idea for adult gift giving that’s not cheesy, I just may have the perfect thing.  It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s customizable.  It’s also inexpensive.  Are you ready?  It’s………Bath Salts!  Ta da!

What?  No?  Why?  Ok, I know, I know, not everyone has time for a long, hot, soak.  Especially at this time of year.  I understand that completely.  But did you know that you can use bath salts in the shower?  Really.  You can.  Really.  Just throw a handful in the back of the shower where it well get wet but not immediately washed away.  That way you still get the wonderful soothing (or invigorating, whichever you choose) scent in your shower when you don’t have time for a bath.  Of course, you won’t get the other benefits that you would if you were soaking.  And what are the benefits of soaking?  I’m so glad you asked!

Other than getting away from the kids for a while, there are some very practical benefits of taking a bath with bath salts.  Epsom salts help to soothe tired, sore muscles and also helps to heal bruises.  Sea salt helps to remove impurities from your skin.  And if you choose to use essential oils rather than fragrance oils for your bath salts, you get aromatherapy benefits as well.

You should be able to find all the ingredients readily.  I found the Epsom salts in the pharmacy area of my local big box store.  The sea salts, fragrances, and colors I found at my local craft store.  You can mix up one big batch for everyone on your list, or you can mix everything except the color and fragrance and separate it into smaller batches for a more personalized approach.  Then, just pack it into a pretty jar or a waterproof bag and you have lovely, handmade gifts for Christmas.

Here are some pictures to help spark your creativity.  Below that is the basic bath salts recipe that I use.  I found it online at About.com.

 

Lightly scented with cucumber and melon

 

This one is a refreshing peppermint

 

This one is scented with a mixture of thyme and rose. My favorite one.

 

This is actually more red than it looks in this picture. This was divided and part was colored darker than the rest.

 

This is a batch my sister made. She added organically grown flowers and herbs.

 

 

 

Basic Bath Salts

3 c. Epsom Salt

2 c. sea salt

1 c. baking soda

½ oz fragrance or essential oil

soap safe color of your choice-you will only need a few drops (optional)

 

Mix the salts and the baking soda well, making sure there are no clumps.  Add the fragrance or essential oil and mix well.  If you are going to color it, add the color a few drops at a time.  Too much will make the salts clump.

You can color all the salt or just some of it, or even use different colors and mix or swirl it together.  Be creative!  Have fun!  Then come back and share your results with the rest of us.

Homemade Dishwasher Powder

            Well, my homemade laundry soap was so popular that I thought I’d let you all in on my homemade dishwasher powder.  It’s actually even easier to make than the laundry powder.  🙂

            1 cup borax

            1 cup washing soda

            ¼ cup citric acid

            Mix it all up and put it in a water tight container.  Use 1 or 2 tablespoons for each load.

            If the powder leaves a residue, add ¼ cup sea salt.  The kind of water you have determines whether or not you need to add salt.  The citric acid can be purchased at health food stores.

            If you want to add a fragrance, add it after the other ingredients are well mixed by sprinkling over the top and mixing well.  Start with ¼ teaspoon and add more a little at a time until it smells the way you want it to.

            I haven’t figured out the math on this one yet, but I know it’s cheaper than the stuff I used to buy at the store and it’s better for the environment.  So that’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned!

            What things do you do at your house to save money and/or help protect the environment?  Do you have a favorite homemade cleaning product?  I would really love to hear about it!