DIY Framed Monogram Art

Initial in a photo frame

I was digging through a box in the basement (yes, I have totes of crafty goodies stashed away for “later”) to find some art supplies for my son when I happened upon some chipboard letters I bought years ago and had forgotten about. Next to that was an unused photo frame. Hmm…this sounded like something I could use to decorate the nursery without spending any money. So, I sat down at my desk and came up with a fast and easy little project.

It took me less than 15 minutes of actual crafting time and cost me nothing since I had all the supplies around home. The photo collage above illustrates how to make the monogrammed frame art.

  • First I painted the chipboard letter and let it dry. I went outside and came back in about an hour and it was completely dry.
  • I printed a free background that I found by searching “free pink chevron printable scrapbook paper” and cut it to the size of my frame opening. I used a 5×7″ frame. You can search any pattern you want to match your room and just print it out in under 5 minutes.
  •  A little glue around the edge of the dry letter, some glitter sprinkled on just for fun and then dried for a few minutes gave it a fun sparkle.
  • The chipboard letter was easily glued to the background paper.
  • I removed the glass from the frame, placed the background with the letter attached inside the frame, replaced the cardboard backing , closed up the frame, and voila!

This project is cute, easy, and I can still use the frame again later if we redecorate. It was ideal for me because it was super fast, simple, and I  was able to repurpose items that ,let’s face it, may have never left that box in the basement!

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Young Living Essential Oils March Promotions for Points Value

 

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Each month Young Living has a promotional offer that gives you a free product with purchases of certain point values. It’s worth paying attention to the offers each month, because you can sometimes tweak your monthly order to fall within the boundaries of the promotions and get free oils or other items. If your budget can’t handle the cost of the requirements to get the freebies ( and we all know oils can add up fast) I would even suggest waiting to order one month so that you can combine your order at once and get the most for your hard earned money. I love my oils, but they can be so expensive that I try my best to get the very most value from every purchase. Anyways, one way to do that is to make use of the monthly promotions because they often give you $40, $100, or more in free products.

For the month of March, 2016 the offers are listed in the graphic above, or are as follows:

with 190PV purchase : (retail value $43.42)

-15ml Eucalyptus Globulus oil 

-15ml Lemon Oil 

-Bonus Essential Rewards Exclusive- 5ml Citrus Fresh Vitality oil

with 250PV purchase: (retail value $72.37)

-14.4 oz Thieves Household Cleaner (this is a concentrate that you mix with water to create an all-purpose cleaner and it lasts for months)

-15ml Eucalyptus Globulus oil 

-15ml Lemon Oil 

-Bonus Essential Rewards Exclusive- 5ml Citrus Fresh Vitality oil

with 300PV purchase: ($124.67 retail value)

-Multigreens Capsules 

-14.4 oz Thieves Household Cleaner (this is a concentrate that you mix with water to create an all-purpose cleaner and it lasts for months)

-15ml Eucalyptus Globulus oil 

-15ml Lemon Oil 

-Bonus Essential Rewards Exclusive- 5ml Citrus Fresh Vitality oil

 

So, you can effectively get $124 in free products. This is a really great opportunity if you are interested in the oils that are most often used in making your own cleaning supplies, diffused to freshen the air, or to add the lemon to your water and get the health benefits.

If you want more info on how to get the best deal on the essential oils or have any questions, message me at naturallythrifty {at} gmail.com or leave a comment and I will teach you how to get the best discounts on the products! They are amazing oils, but they do require an investment, and I will be happy to help you figure it out!

 

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Lavender Essential Oil – How I Use It

Young Living Lavender Farm

For over a year and a half now I have been using and loving essential oils. At first, I was a little skeptical and so I didn’t bother to share anything about them here. From where I stand today, I love them so much that it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t share my experiences with you! It is so easy to decide where to start , because Lavender oil is my absolute favorite of them all. I have many varied essential oils, but Lavender is my go-to oil and we benefit from it’s use every day in our home.

Lavender Essential Oil

Uses:

Lavender essential oil is my oil of choice for many reasons. It is a great oil to have on hand and reach for to treat all kinds of skin troubles, from scratches and minor cuts to mild burns,acne and allergic rashes. It is soothing, has antibacterial properties, and does a wonderful job of healing skin. Lavender is also considered relaxing, soothing, and balancing. Many people use lavender to help themselves relax and get a peaceful night’s sleep. This is accomplished through diffusing lavender and/or applying a few drops topically to the neck,temples or chest. Mix a few drops into your favorite face cream or lotion, or shampoo for skin soothing benefits.

My personal experience:

We have used lavender essential oil for both skin care and relaxation.

My toddler cut her finger badly on a measuring tape and it left a bumpy scar. Within a few weeks the scar is smoothed and barely noticeable. She still asks me to put oil on it, though!

I had an allergic reaction on my skin and I had applied Benadryl cream  twice and had no improvement. I decided to give the lavender a try. Within 45 minutes of application, the allergic reaction was completely gone , the itch had stopped and the red raised areas were no longer visible. I was pretty impressed with the effectiveness.

We often use lavender at bed time to help both ourselves and our children relax and sleep well. My 10 year old son had been having trouble falling asleep, so we applied some lavender to the soles of his feet and neck. He slept like a baby. We now diffuse lavender in his room each night and if I forget , he comes and asks for it. He said he feels quite a difference in his ability to fall asleep and just last night I gave him his own bottle of lavender to keep next to his diffuser.

Put a couple drops of lavender oil in a neti pot to treat a mild sinus infection.

One more favorite way to use lavender essential oil is to use it in the bath by adding a few drops and a handful of Epsom salt to the water, or by using one of our homemade bath bombs that contain lavender oil. It’s very soothing and relaxing!

What are some ways that you use lavender?  I am always looking for more ways to keep my family healthy naturally, so please share your tips with me!

*Note- I have chosen to use Young Living essential oils nearly exclusively because of the quality that goes into the product. I can’t say that the oils on store shelves will work as well , because they are often diluted and weakened. Trust me, I tried a few because I wanted to try the cheaper versions first, but you do get what you pay for, and they were weak and did not have the same results. There are other reputable companies out there and Young Living is not the only place to source true therapeutic oils, it is just where I have found the best quality for the best price. If you want to buy your oils elsewhere, make sure that you research the company and quality of your oils to be 100% pure essential oil and not just “pure essential oil” and that the oils are therapeutic grade before you ingest them!

 

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Posted in Eco Friendly Products, Essential oils, Natural Skin Care, Organic and Natural Living, Practical Living, Product Reviews | 2 Comments

DIY Bath Bombs

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When winter gets me down, I love to fill the tub and soak away the stress. There’s something’s so renewing about a hot soak and it is made even more luxurious when I toss in a bath bomb.  The problem with that is the long list of chemicals that is on the label of many brands, or the price tag that comes with many of my favorite ,more natural, brands. So, I did some experimenting and came up with an easy to make bath bomb of my own. All the pampering, none of the guilt! If you want to give it a try, here is how!

(Note, be careful with the citric acid when you are mixing this up. Wear some gloves because the citric acid in pure form can make your hands burn.)

Ingredients:

1 cup of baking soda

1/2 cup citric acid

1/4 cup Epsom salt

1/2 tablespoon jojoba oil (or coconut oil,olive or almond oil)

witch hazel

essential oils of your choice for scent (I used lavender for relaxation, but other oils like citrus, peppermint, ylang ylang, sandalwood, etc would also be perfect).

Some type of silicone or metal mold. I used a snowflake shaped silicone mold for this batch .

The easy steps :

In a large bowl, mix the baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salt, and oil together well. Add essential oils to your personal preference. Spray the mixture with a few spritzes of witch hazel and mix (with gloved hands) until the mixture sticks together when you squeeze it in your hand. If it doesn’t hold together like wet sand, spray it a few more times and mix again until the mixture holds together when you squeeze it.  At this point , it’s ready to press into your mold. Pack it in firmly and fill to a little below the top of the mold. (You can also use clear plastic ornaments if you want to make perfectly round bath bombs. I prefer the silicone molds for ease of use.) Let them dry for a few hours and then carefully turn the bath bombs out of the mold. Continue to let dry for 24 hours .

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To use a bath bomb just fill the tub with water and let it fizz away in the water for a wonderful, pampering , healing soak that is actually beneficial  for your skin, body, and bank account!

Did you make them or plan to give it a try ? I would love to hear how they turned out and what oil combinations you used!

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Arts and Crafts, Crafts and Handmade, Eco Friendly Products, Essential oils, Freedom Valley Soap Company, Homesteading, Natural Skin Care, Organic and Natural Living, Organic Skin Care, Practical Living, Soap Making, Tutorials, Ways to save money | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Baby Sling

sevenslings

Baby wearing is such a great concept for bonding with your little one, but those slings, wraps and carriers can cost a small fortune, especially when you try a few before you find your favorite . Here is a way to get a free sling from Seven Slings { sling has an approximate value of $40, and you do pay for shipping}. There are many different prints, colors, and sizes to choose from and they are quite modern and cute! They would also work well for covering up while nursing during babywearing. To get your free sling, just choose the one you like best and use the promo code ” PJBABY ” at checkout. My sling took under a week to arrive and it works well with the one year old kiddo I carry frequently.

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Free Ruffled Bloomers Diaper Covers

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If you have a little one, you already know that all of their “stuff” can get a bit pricey.  That sometimes means we don’t spring for the cute extras like ruffled diaper covers. Here is a chance to grab 3 RuffleBuns ruffled bloomers (diaper covers) for FREE ! I tried this deal myself and you do have to pay for shipping which is around $14 to my home. That isn’t the lowest shipping price I have ever seen, but the 3 diaper covers I chose totaled $59, so it’s still a pretty good deal. There are lots of colors, patterns, and fabrics to chose from and they come in sizes up to 3T.

To take advantage of the offer, choose any 3 ruffled diaper covers at RuffleBuns.com use promo code “VDAY16” at checkout to activate the savings, and continue the checkout process as you normally would.

( Note, the offer does say “for a limited time only” but I was unable to find a specified time frame listed. )

 

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Mini Maker Faire – Free Event

MiniMakerFaire

Who doesn’t like free entertainment, right? It’s always nice to have a good time without forking over extra dough for pricey tickets, and it’s even better if the entertainment is educational and fun!

This weekend ( November 6-8, 2015) Barnes and Noble stores across the nation are hosting a Mini Maker Faire. It’s sounds like a ton of creative thinkers, makers, techies and inventors teaching workshops, demonstrating ideas and products, and a workspace for attendees to craft their own contraptions. When my mom sent me a text about it, my boys got super excited and we can’t wait to go see what all they can get into. My sons are very much “into” making things, especially one of them who aspires to be an inventor or scientist when he grows up. I wanted to share it with you all because it sounds like a great experience.

You can read more about the Mini Maker Faire at Barnes and Noble on their website and see if it would interest your family as well!

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New Soap in the shop!

Lavender soap made using essential oils

Lavender Fields Handmade Soap

I finally got around to making some new batches of soap. I have been meaning to try out a couple new recipes and methods, and we literally ran out of soap, so I ended up making time to pour a batch. Then I got inspired and one batch turned into 4 and the next thing I knew , the kitchen counters were all covered in rows of curing soap bars. My poor husband kindly suggested that next time I try to cut the loaves in the basement so that we are able to use our kitchen counters for mundane things like cooking and chopping vegetables. Duly noted, dear!

White Lavender Essential Oil soap

White Lavender Handmade Soap

The lavender is my personal favorite and my go-to for having around the house for family use. I made two versions using lavender essential oil, one with a purple base layer and one that is all white. They both smell SO good!

Handmade soap using oatmeal, real honey, and calendula

Oatmeal Honey and Calendula Soap

The oatmeal and honey was a fun one to make and it smells like toast and honey.

Free from dyes and perfumes, and even free from essential oil fragrances

Unscented white soap

The plain white lye soap is a good one for my Etsy Shop because there are so many people that have allergies to fragrance or just prefer not to have a scented soap.

I really enjoy soap-making. I think that is because no two batches ever need to be exactly the same. I can change a few ingredients, try different methods or recipes, swirling methods, mix up scents, and still come back to my favorites if I want to. It’s the perfect hobby for someone with a short attention span and who loves the art of the process, plus I feel so much better knowing that we aren’t washing ourselves with chemical laden products from the store shelves. Win-win!

Do you make your own soap? I would love to see it if you do!

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First calf of the year

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Spring has arrived!

image  Spring time has finally arrived after a few nights of below-freezing temperatures. I am greatly enjoying soaking in the warm sun while we realize the blessing of a brand new season of new life springing up all around us. The birds are singing every morning and building their nests, the calves are growing and new ones soon will arrive, and the woods is waking from winter slumber. It’s a beautiful time to live on a farm! We are welcoming the hard work that comes with the change of seasons because it means the chance to work outdoors in the fresh county air and the  hope of fresh fruits and veggies in the fall. We are absolutely loving it! I hope you are enjoying your spring as well.

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Posted in Homesteading, My Ramblings, Organic and Natural Living, The Country House, The Farm, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment