All Around Best Homemade Cosmetic Recipe EVER!!!!!

Combine 1/2 cup each vegetable glycerine, distilled water( rose or floral water if you getting your fancy on), and pure aloe vera gel. Add one teaspoon liquid vitamin E( my sister said this is about 6 if you’re popping gel pills)also optional is a preservative.¬† What you have is a fabulous highly effective and super cheap eye makeup remover, makeup mixing medium( shadow to liner, dramatic cake eyeliner etc),wetting agent for other cosmetics( aspirin or clay face masks, etc) leave in hair moisturizer/detangler, wound wash,sunburn relief product, foot spray guards against bacteria/fungi and callouses if used regularly, facial toner for normal/dry skin, facial moisturizer for normal/oily skin, leather conditioner, and latex safe “love” lotion. There may be more I’m unaware of but I’ve used it with great success on all of the above. EXCEPT the last one ūüôā

Fresh Aloe Vera is needs to be kept refrigerated to retain all benefits. Small batches , refrigeration and the addition of the vitamin e should keep everything in order. I prefer to use stabilized aloe vera gel and adding a ready-to-use broad spectrum anti-microbial preservative so I can make bigger batches and keep in those vintage bottles I had to have.  I purchase mine(all ingredients in this article can be purchased as well) at from nature with love.

I’m a sucker for multi use products and for anything homemade so this is HG for me. I call it the mix. If you take the time to inform yourself on cosmetic ingredients and their indications, read labels, you’ll save your skin and wallet. Being an educated consumer ensures you from useless, ineffective¬† and/or over priced purchases.¬† I’m sure you well know this applies to all purchases as well.¬† Hopefully we will learn to harness our power as consumers and in turn force the cosmetic companies to stop overcharging and duping us.¬† Give us fairly priced, safe, high quality, effective products.Pipe dream, huh?


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Home Project : Rolling Pin Rack

We all want to reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, make do ,mend, go with out, whatever. This is the start of simple easy projects to make using one or more principles.

Items Needed

Rolling Pin

Fabric of any kind ( old clothes, tableclothes etc with a nice print), a large scarf, large doily, piece needs to be a couple inches longer than the pin, and able to cover it a couple of times.

about a 2 foot braided cord, or ribbon, or fabric belt to hang

4 mug hooks

bits of ribbon,or lace, or faux flowers, pieces cut from original fabric

glue scissors

This project is simple. I found it in an encyclopedia from the early 1900’s.¬† The picture is almost self explanatory. You take an old rolling pin( if you don’t have an old one, they can be had for nothing at yard sales and thrift stores, or at dollar stores).Take the mug hugs and screw in spacing evenly along the body of the rolling pin. Remove the screws. ¬† Roll fabric around, gluing to secure. Tie a bit of ribbon or cord on the ends, If your ends are rough cut, you could tuck into itself with glue, glue fake flowers or buttons, whatever you have that you think would look nice.¬† Use the tip of the scissors to poke a little hole in the fabric, right above the place where you screwed in each hook. Use a bit of glue to secure the plate to the pin. Take your ribbon, or rope or braiding, or shoelace and tie at both handles.

Use a a key rack, hang belts, your hair scarves, whatever you can think of. Enjoy.

Published in: on October 13, 2010 at 3:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Vintage Clothes. ooh that smell

I had to jazz up a bit of a boring topic, didn’t I?Anyone who buys vintage clothes or comes in contact with old fabrics of any kind, knows they can be a little or more than a little musty. The smell is often difficult to remove with regular washing methods. Allowing the item to sit in sunlight for days is a great help as we all know. I’ve found that using a homemade detergent seems to work better at sweetening than store bought.¬† There are many recipes on the net for making your own detergent most a combination of pure soap, borax and washing soda, to make liquid water is added. This makes a pure, fragrance fee, laundry soap that’s safe, effective and economical.¬† I make and use it for fine washables. But I have a family and I’ve found that absolutely nothing cleans better than Tide.¬† Being the thrifty gal I am, I always have coupons and stock up on sales.¬† I tried the basic homemade detergent/ sunlight on vintage finds and I found it lacking in removing all the odor. So I played around with things and I came up with a formula that works great. It’s especially effective if soaked overnight¬† providing you’re pretty sure the garment can handle it.Also it doesn’t require the investment¬† borax if you don’t normally buy it.

Recipe as follows

1/2¬† bar laundry soap(Zote, Fels-Naptha, Octagone) OR¬† 1/3 cup liquid castile soap. I use Zote because it’s sold locally for .79 and it smells of citronella which I associate with clean(that’s just me).

1 cup BAKING soda

1 cup Washing Soda (arm and hammer in the laundry isle)

1 cup Vinegar

A few drops essential oil(lavender, tea tree, orange, lemon any you think of as clean)

Grate the soap if using bar, as fine as you can. Mix in the sodas. Then add the vinegar¬† a little at a time. Last the oil.¬† You will think this is going to be a paste but with a bit of mixing out the lumps, will become a powder. This will keep in a covered container for a few months at least. I’ve always used it up before.

I boil a big ass stockpot of water then pour into paint bucket. I add in a bit of this(honestly I don’t measure, I just shake it in, probably equals about a tablespoon). I swish it around with a rubber glove on. I will swish it around¬† again occasionally. Soak overnight.

Rinse well, wring gently and lay in the sun.

Note the remaining 1/2 bar that’s still solid is a great stain pre treat. It’s also used for dish washing.

To further remove smells, use a store bought or homemade linen spray and iron thoroughly. The heat from the iron sort of sears the spray into the fabric.

Use Mrs Stuarts Bluing to brighten light colors instead of bleach.

Published in: on October 7, 2010 at 11:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Blondie or Red Bull?

Okay so today was my first sweater and boot day of the season. Of course I wore my new(end of last season) boots from warehouse deals.¬† The start of cold weather for me is so comforting. The ritual of taking out the sweaters and boots, longer nights at home with my family, the smells, baking and comfort foods.¬† My daughter said to me yesterday, “ooh, it’s cold out, Mom’s gonna be making Blondies”. I love Blondies and make them all the time. In fact I make them so much, my family actually complained for lack of variety. It’s funny because besides ice cream, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth at all.¬† These however are the exception. I could eat these everyday and never get tired of them.

I’ve decided to do an occasional recipe post. Some will be vintage classics , most will be¬† family recipes for today’s lifestyle. I’d love it if I had the time and money to devote to preparing tons of new and different dishes for my family. It takes more than a little to run a great efficient kitchen. It takes a lot, keeping scraps for broth, planning meals so any ingredients bought and leftovers¬† are used and not wasted etc.¬† I do as best I can with our schedule and budget.¬† So I thought an occasional family recipe that’s either really good, really easy or beyond the everyday family fare would be nice. This one falls under really good and will help slip you safely past that “fat time of day”

Blondies

4 sticks of BUTTER real whole butter at room temperature

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 cups firm packed dark brown sugar

4 eggs

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

4 1/2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 375

Optional add ins: nuts of all kinds, white chocolate chips, coconut, marshmallows, peanut butter chips.

Dry mix flour, salt, and soda.

In a separate bowl mix the butter and sugars with an electric mixer. Once they’re creamed add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.¬† Add the vanilla to the bowl when you add the last egg.

Add the dry mixture to the bowl a bit at a time( only if you want to avoid the homicide of your mixer and a possible fire, trust me).

I bake in a 9 x 13 pan. They take about 45 minutes to an hour before the knife is clean when inserted in the center. I’m sure cooking in a thin layer would decrease the cooking time quite a bit if you’d like.

If you see the edges starting to brown too much, cover with aluminum foil. In only had to do this once, not sure what was different that day.

Enjoy!

Published in: on October 5, 2010 at 11:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Great retro shoes and more! Affordable too!

All you younger vintage loving gals . I am going to give you a shopping tip for a company you’ve been exposed too, but I can bet never shopped. You’ve more than likely gotten a catalog from them. But you’ve never shopped there. They carry items you wear everyday, classic perfumes and modern as well.¬† they carry makeup from stila, bobbi brown, elizabeth arden, estee lauder, prescriptives I even saw a lone mac lipstick.Cheap, too.¬† But I still would be willing to bet you’ve never ordered from them or been on their website.

Yeah right, you say. Come on lets here it, so I can prove you wrong, you’re thinking.

Amerimark

Okay you haven’t shopped there. You might be saying I’ve never even heard of the, I don’t get their catalog. You know that catalog you may have seen that you probably dismiss as being for old people? The pull on elastic waist pants, velcro comfort shoe,¬† diabetic socks one, as seen on tv one. . That’s the one.¬† So yes their main market is AARP card carrying folks. But what that means is they¬† carry styles to appeal to this market. Mary Janes, T-straps, skimmers, etc in a lower heel. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want every shoe I have to be 4 or five inches. I never wear them. ¬† They carry classic white keds and the classic espadrille. Extended sizes to boot.Cheap too.

They carry lots of classic, modest undergarments. I even got  high waist panties to go with my high waist trousers. Still waiting on that perfect skirt to come my way.

They carry classic scents like L’air du temps, shalimar, and royal secret as well as many top designer scents form today in addition to the makeup I mentioned.¬† Check the clearance outlet for choices starting at only $1.

They also have the standard house dresses, dusters , and the¬† comfort clothing you’d expect.¬† But have an open mind and take a look around. You may just end up placing an order.I did. I got some grey flannel cologne for my husband( that scent makes me weak at the knees), a lipstick set by prescriptives, the shoes above in dark gray $24.99!, my daughter a little pair of suede booties,¬† and the high waist panties. I spent around $50 with shipping! You can’t beat that with a stick!

Published in: on October 4, 2010 at 2:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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$5 dollars for Dollar General this weekend only

Link to a coupon for $5 off $25 at Dollar General good this weekend.¬† Dollar General does accept manufacturers coupons as well.¬† Rack up on cleaning supplies, paper goods, toiletries, and of course one of their best offerings, 12 packs of nubby, white, washclothes.At this price you can be assured of always having a clean rag to cleanse your face. It’s also quite satisfying to see the dirt on on the rag.¬† I love these.

Whoa, two posts in one day.¬† I’m a machine!!!!!!!

Published in: on September 29, 2010 at 2:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thrifting Tips 101

Thrift Stores. I buy about 80 % of my family’s clothing from thrift stores.¬† Take into account I am including undergarments and shoes(I always buy these new) that’s almost everything.¬† I’ve been shopping in thrift stores for years, growing up in New York there was a Salvation Army thrift store right across the street from my apartment. As a teenager I bought quite a lot there, but always went early in the morning, in partial disguise.¬† I figured out early on, I could buy fabulous unique clothes for a fraction of the retail price.¬† More often than not the quality was better than if I bought new. I almost never heard, “I have that shirt/skirt.!” By expanding your options(different eras, lines from stores you may not have access to, etc) your style is expanded. This is where my love of vintage style began.¬† The styles, the fit, the quality of fabric and workmanship was almost always superior to anything modern.¬† I’m a true New York bargain lover to start with, and with 25 years plus thrifting, I’ve become what all that know me call a “deal queen”. And while I’m aware ebay and etsy have tons of great vintage clothing, I don’t buy many vintage clothes online.¬† Fit and finance are two biggest problems I have.¬† Anything really great is out of my budget, if I can afford it, I can usually find something similar and not pay shipping, and be able actually feel it and try it on. I am 4’11” and have a wide chest area. I’ve had three children, and while I’m lucky I actually still have a waist, I have a little bit of a pooch.¬† I just prefer to try things on. Now that I’m thinking about it if¬† more online options had a return policy, I’d do a lot better. Note to sellers.

So here’s a few things I’ve learned. You may already know or practice some or all but hey if it helps one person. These would apply to yard sales, church sales etc. Anywhere that sells used clothing and goods.

TOP TEN THRIFTING TIPS

1. Go often. This is number one. Inventory comes in and is put out daily.   Also if you are lucky enough to have several in your area, go to all of them.

2. Learn your shops.Learn the layout out of the store. This makes going often easier.You can zip around the store. Most of us don’t have as much time as we’d like to spend exploring. Knowing where and how your shop displays items will help. Some separate by size, some by¬† color, some have “better” racks etc.¬† Find out what specials they have on what days. My local shop has 50% off¬† all merchandise on Mondays, on Tuesdays all clothing with certain color tags indicating they’ve been there over a week are 99 cents, and so on.¬† This is not to say you should only shop on deal days. I know for a fact that a certain large chain of used goods shops “pulls” some of the better items off the floor, so that they won’t be sold for half the ticketed price.¬† Not all shops do this, but going on a day with no specials, will be less crowded, picked over, and have more inventory.¬† Remember number one, go often.

3. Be educated. Even though the majority of my family’s clothing purchases are second-hand, I’ve made it a point to learn as much about retail lines¬† as possible. Knowing names, and which lines are made for certain stores will help in making your purchases. Learn to spot quality fabric and workmanship. ¬† You will learn which designers cuts you do best with, will stand up to wear etc. You will also learn not to pay too much for lower end lines that are inexpensive sold new. You will be able to tell if an item is actually from the 1940’s or is 1980’s does 1940’s.¬† Syms’s clothing stores had a commercial on while I was growing up. The owner said “An educated consumer is our best customer”.¬† The more you know, the better you’ll buy.

4. Don’t go shopping with anything in mind. Trust me if you look in your closet and think, “I need some pretty blouses for work” and then set out in search of them, you more than likely won’t find a thing.¬† But there might be perfect for you suit on the other side of the store,or a ton¬† of quality¬† of clothes in your daughters size just donated.¬† Along these same lines, the best finds are usually off season, just like retail.¬† In the middle of July, summer clothes are at a premium, you might just find a gorgeous cashmere cardigan, or a great pair of vintage wool trousers.Also be open. Some of my most flattering clothes are items that didn’t exactly reach out and grab me.

5. Buy ahead provided you have storage space. Your daughter may wear a size 2t now, but she will eventually be a size 5. That vintage wool princess coat will eventually fit her. If you wait until she’s a size 5 to find a coat, the inventory then may not have anything you like. You may have a perfectly fine pair of white keds now, but they will wear out. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a new pair sitting in the closet waiting it’s turn?

6. Be picky.Inspect clothes carefully, you don’t want to have to pay to mend clothes or worse get home and find a bleach stain or worse.¬† Just because it’s only a dollar, doesn’t mean it’s a good buy. Even if an item has no flaws, be selective. Does it fit perfect?If not, is it worth the price of either your time or professional alterations? Is it comfortable? Will you wear it often?¬† Do you really need another pair of black trousers? How often are you going to wear a sheer blouse? Does it work with what you already own? How will you put together great looks if your closet is stuffed.

7. If possible, get to know shop employees. They may be willing hold items for you or at least call you when a donation of your interest comes in. A girl at my shop, will hold all dresses, she thinks are vintage and my size for one day. In return, I bring her son goodies from my job that I get at cost. There may be something they saw in the back, hasn’t been put out yet, you might like.This is especially true of consignment shops. Yes the prices are a bit higher but you the inventory has been presorted of junk. Besides notifying you of merchandise, maybe you could workout a donation/discount deal.¬† I go to a shop, donate all my son’s quality outgrown clothing, I get a discount fthe owner deems fair.

8. Here’s what I’ve found shopping yard/tag sales.¬† The wealthier the neighborhood the more they expect you to pay for goods. Obviously this is not always true but I find it to be true most of the time.¬† The attitude is like I payed 60 dollar for that coat, your getting a deal if I sell it to you for $15.¬† Or that comforter came from Bloomingdales you should be happy to get it for $40.¬† What then happens a lot, nobody buys much, they just donate it and it ends up in the thrift store. ūüôā¬† If you really have to have an item try a little haggling first. Remind them they wanted to get rid of all this stuff. Not have to haul it all away, and have another sale or donate it and get nothing but a tax receipt.

Now in the more modest neighborhoods, people are much more likely to let things go rock bottom. The only exception is brand new items.

In all instances be nice, and ask the sellers if you’re looking for something in particular. Especially at estate sales. They may have know idea you’d love all those old full slips they were going to donate. Or that fur trimmed coat from the 50’s.

9. Never be too quick to judge a shop or sale. You may see what looks like a bunch of junk but way back in the corner there’s a lone vintage wicker purse for 50 cents. Do a quick but thorough¬† walk through everywhere. One of my best buys was at a resale shop here in Atlanta that caters to teens. There are several around. I went in with my daugher, and found a brand new Chloe bag for $10! I can only imagine some wonderful grandmother bought this as a gift for her grandaughter who then decided it was too old lady for her. Score for me!

10. Tag team.¬† Have friends and family who know you pick up things for you and you do the same.¬† It may not be right for you, but it’s perfect for your sister. Buy it and she’ll do the same for you.

Hope these help and happy, bountiful thrifting wishes to all! With a little effort you’ll get the joy of¬† responding to compliments on your attire with a¬† “I got it for $2”.


Homemaking Hints, the bathroom

In my dreams, I have a perfectly spotless house that I touch up while looking fabulous like all those perfect ads and shows from the 50’s.¬† My reality is far from that. I don’t like cleaning but I do enjoy tips and tricks to make it easier because I do like a clean house. I usually look far from fabulous doing it as well. I have no tips for that, but a few time and money savers.

The first tip I have is use a daily shower cleaning spray. They work. Seriously they really do. Scrubbing Bubbles sells that contraption that circulates and covers your shower with the cleaner. My cousin bought this and assures me that it does what it says it does. Even if this is true, ¬† I don’t and won’t use it. It cost’s about $25 to $30 dollars to save me thirty to sixty seconds of spraying.¬† I am not that lazy. I am also too cheap to spend that kind of money times two and then still have to pay $2 or $3 for the refill. The full bottle that you spray yourself¬† by Tilex is $3 without a sale or coupon. Further I can spray under and behind areas the machine can’t get to or need heavier application.

Of all the brands on the market in my area(ATL) Tilex is performance wise the clear winner. It’s also the most expensive. I hold all coupons that I¬† have until it goes on sale. Arm and Hammer is second in both performance and price.¬† After that we have generics.¬† which range from $1 a bottle to $2.30.¬† Since Tilex works the best I always try to have a bottle on hand in each shower. As I said before I do this as by combining sales and coupons and stocking up. I stretch it even further by¬† only using it in the main¬† shower twice a week once in mine. The other days I use the $1 bottle. I get mine at Dollar General but dollar tree sells it as well. It keeps the scum and mildew at bay I guess but leaves a bit of a dull finish.Tilex leaves it clear and sparkly.¬† I have a large family so we need to spray every day in the main bathroom. Last person to shower gets the job.¬† My bathroom only has a small shower stall and my husband is a big guy so he uses the main bathroom with the kids :). I am the only one who uses this shower so I only spray this bathroom twice a week one with the generic one with Tilex.¬†¬† Obviously you can adjust your use for your bathroom. There are many recipes on the internet for a homemade version. I’ve tried many of them and in my opinion, none of them compare to store bought, besides between less use, generic and coupons/sales, I keep the cost low enough.¬† Here’s a link for recipes if you’re interested

Daily shower cleaner recipes

I’ve found a 50/50 mix of clear ammonia and H20 works as well as any listed above if you can stand the smell.

Okay so we’ve got using a shower spray. I spray it in the sink as well(again twice a week).This is of course after I’ve wiped out the globs of toothpaste that appear daily but¬† nobody¬† in my house leaves there. That damn not me! Don’t let me get a hold of not me! It will be on!

Okay so we’ve got the shower spray, which is kept in the bathroom. Also in the bathroom I keep Comet- still 50 cents a can and nothing works better, a spray bleach cleanser, and a window cleaner both generic.These are kept in a little bucket under the sink which also holds rubber gloves, an old toothbrush and a couple clean rags( cut up old towel or t-shirt).¬† These I use for my weekly cleaning. I also keep a dust brush and pan in there as well. I use this to sweep daily. I keep a basket in both bathrooms. I line the basket with a vintage scarf or big doily to keep it clean and pretty it up.These can be found for next to nothing at garage sales and thrift stores if you need. All items used daily go in there(toothpaste,hairbrush, deodorant, etc). This saves time from having to move and clean under them. Looks neater as well. ¬† While my youngest is in the tub I put¬† anything not me has left out, shake the mat out, then sweep. I do a quick wipe down of everything with the rag. Then hang to dry. That’s it on a daily basis.

On Sunday night (shampoo night) while she’s playingin the tub with conditioner on her hair I am sweeping, cleaning the sink, washing out the toothpaste holder, etc. Basically everything but the big three(sink,tub,commode). Toothbrush holder, setabouts I¬† soak in the¬† little garbage can with hot water, comet and bleach cleanser.

I put both mats in the washer along with the kitchen and hallway mats, basket liner and shower curtain and window curtains if needed. After she gets out of the tub I spray the perimeters and handles with bleach, I spray the toilet, and sink. I sprinkle comet on all the fixtures, all over tub sink and commode.¬† The steam from her bath and the bleach loosen everything up in the time I take to get her lotion, dressed, and brushed, braided.¬† When I come back I take an old bath puff (dont remember how figured this out) and scrub everything down. The old toothbrush gets any crack or crevices the puff doesn’t like around the fixtures. The puff works better than anything else. I used to use those green scotchbrite scouring pads, they’re great but expensive. The puff works just as well and has the added benefits of lasting longer, having a suction and/or rope to hang and dry, seems to stay cleaner as it’s made airy to keep clean with rinsing. I keep one in the kitchen as well for scrubbing. Rinse it all down including the garbage can and items that have been soaking¬†¬† sweep, glass cleaner where needed, rags to dry everything then it’s tossed in the washer. Fresh grocery bag gets tied on the side to line the garbage can.I soak a cotton ball in essential oil which goes between the can and liner for smell goods.

That’s it for me, anyway. ¬† My husband mops the entire house every Sunday evening so we start the house off fresh for the week. I would love to say I have hard woods but alas we’re low rent and have laminate. Hey at least it’s not carpet-yuck. I keep two mats for each bathroom so after the floor is mopped and dried down¬† goes the replacement and we haveplenty of rags. This way I just hang the load to dry(no wasting the dryer) to be put away for the next week rotation. I never buy the rubber backed ones, they fall apart with frequent washing Mine get heavy traffic I wash frequently they won’t work for us. .I do my bathroom Sunday morning after my shower same process takes all of ten minutes. I also keep all the same supplies in there,only difference is I keep a full size broom. This is for the sweeping of my room and the bathroom. I don’t think it cost’s any extra to keep multiples of the same products in each room. I mean each one just last’s twice as long. It saves time and I am much more likely to sweep or wipe down as I see things.

Okay so I know this a big post for a little room heres the cliff notes:

Use a daily shower spray. Cut’s down on scrubbing and there are generics available. You may not need to spray every day.

Do what you can each day to keep clutter and dirt to a minimum.

Keep copies of cleaning supplies in each bathroom.

Comet, and generics of bleach and glass cleaners work fine.

Keep a basket lined with an old scarf or doily in the bathroom to hold all toiletries used frequently.

Nothing beats an old bath puff and toothbrush and cut up old towels for scrubbing, polishing.

When you do a thorough cleaning, try to do it after shower or bath. The steam loosens everything up. Along these lines, give cleaners time to work. You soak your cloths, ¬†you soak your dishes, let the bathroom fixtures ‚Äúsoak‚ÄĚ.

Soak all setabouts in the garbage to clean both at same time.

I won’t say enjoy, but maybe this may help it to suck less.

Published in: on July 30, 2010 at 2:10 pm  Leave a Comment