Posts tagged ‘gifts’

May 29, 2011

A lip smackin’ good time

I found a few recipes online recently for tinted lip balm/gloss.  My absolute “must have” makeup item would have to be, hands down, lip gloss/lipstick.  I’ve already mastered {ha!} chapstick, so tinted lip gloss sounded like a perfect next project!  I tried the gloss recipe first and the results were just right for this blog: {un}perfect.  Since I have a ton of empty chapstick tubes, I poured the gloss into the tubes.  While it holds up decently, as soon as the gloss hits a pair of lips, it melts into super gloss.  A little too much gloss, if you ask me.  So, I tried a tinted lip balm recipe today.  This recipe fared much better, but this time not quite enough gloss for my liking.  Maybe later I’ll try for a happy medium.  Once I get the {in my opinion} perfect recipe, I’ll post.  In the meantime, my friends’ lips will be getting all kinds of glossy, balmy spoiling going on 🙂

March 8, 2011

FREE 8×10 Canvas!

I have SO many photos of my kids…on my computer.  I need to get some of them printed!  This is a great opportunity to get a super deal on wrapped canvas prints.  Canvas People is offering {for a limited time, so hurry!} a free 8×10 canvas or $50 off a larger size.  Check it out here!  FREE 8×10 CANVAS

February 10, 2011

Fabric flower headbands

Here are the fabric flower items I mentioned here the other day.  You know, the ones I couldn’t post yet because they were en route to a reader as a surprise 🙂  They have made it safe and sound, so now I can share them with you!

{cute little headbands for two cute little girls}

{this purplish blue and brown one is for a sweet little redhead}

{and this black and pink one is for a brunette cutie}

Happy Valentine’s Day, K & M!

February 9, 2011

Oh happy day!

Today was my birthday and it was such a fun one!  In the past I’ve had super high expectations for this once-a-year celebration.  You know what happens when you have really high expectations?  They almost never get met, then you’re left with disappointment.  Not fun.  This year I collaborated a bunch with God to lower my expectations and truly appreciate every little thing that came my way.  And you know what?  It was an incredible birthday!  Seriously, the best.  I started out last night enjoying some trash TV {The Bachelor} with my girlfriends.  We had wine, fun and a lot of laughs.  I even got an early gift of…comfort food!  My girl C.Y. brought me a box of Wheat Thins {HA!} and another fave–a Starbucks gift card.  Yum.  I just love Monday nights with the girls.  We “partied” until it was officially my birthday, then we went home to crash.

{with my friend/neighbor J.J.--showing off my rosette necklace}

This morning I got to sleep in a bit, then went downstairs to gifts from my fam.  Monkey A was more than happy to give me her sweet card {one that plays a song…which will inevitably become HER card to listen to over and over} that included a gift card to one of my favorite cheap/trendy stores: Charlotte Russe 🙂  The Hubs had made me a card with a poem he had written about our last year {love his poems!} and another CR gift card.  Yes!  A informed me {stage whisper} that M’s card contained a 3rd CR gift card.  WOOHOO!  However, M was insistent that I not open his card until I was eating birthday cake.  That’s what you’re supposed to do; that’s what he did.  🙂 

After breakfast we got in the car and headed west a bit {but not before using part of my Starbucks card, of course} to join my mom, my friend A.M. and her kids for our “usual”.  Our “usual” is most parents’ nightmare.  But we love it: Chuck E. Cheese’s!  Honestly, where else can you go and, for under $25, enjoy lunch and 3-4 hours of adult conversation while your kids run around FULLY entertained?  Ok, maybe there are a few other places, but we seriously love our regular CEC “dates”.  We have found that Tuesday mornings are usually pretty dead around there.  And we’ve been there so many times over the last 2 years that the manages know us by name.  They now help us find the best coupon codes, sneak our kids extra tokens and tickets {M calls one manager “Sneaky Tony”}, bring special treats for them…it’s our own personal kid-friendly Cheers!  And ok, I have to admit that A.M. and I have a favorite game we like to play as well 😉  No cake was consumed {I’m trying to actually complement my working out by sort of watching what I eat}, but M agreed to let me open my card {another musical one, of course} over my birthday pizza {I said “sort of” watching what I eat…}, especially since I was opening my gifts from A.M. 🙂

{A.W. and A.M. at C.E.C.}

After a fun and full day at CEC, the kids and I headed back home just in time to pick up the house a bit before the babysitters came over.  Warning: you’re about to be totally jealous.  Our two neighbor girls {ages 12 and 14}, who our kids adore, babysit FOR POINTS!  Yep, for about half the year they don’t accept money for babysitting.  Their church has a point program where the kids earn points by doing things like shoveling {yes, we’ve been on the receiving end of that one too!}, babysitting, and other forms of helping.  If the kids earn a certain number of points, the church will pay their way to summer camp in full.  It’s awesome!  So…after our super-sitters arrived, another friend dropped over to bring me yet another of my comfort food staples: Diet Dr. Pepper!  Not only that, but a new tube of lip gloss.  I’m a little more than slightly obsessed with lip gloss and I LOVE trying new stuff.  Perfect little birthday surprises!  The Hubs and I headed to the mall to do a little bit of shopping before our dinner reservation.  Once at the restaurant, we ran into not one, not two but THREE sets of friends!  Two sets were celebrating birthdays today as well.  The Hubs and I enjoyed a delicious dinner, I had some incredible wine and a cute little complimentary dessert.  And even better–we used our GROUPON {if you haven’t checked it out yet, you need to!  Click here}, so it was half price!  Oh, how I love saving money 🙂

{The Hubs and me}

{random run-in with J.S. and K.S.}

{fun birthday treat}

{isn't it cute??}

Now here I sit, so grateful, a heart full of love and toasty warm in my University of Michigan Snuggie… Amazing how when we lower our expectations, they’re almost always exceeded!  As my mom says, We need to raise our expectations of God and lower our expectations of people. People will let you down, but God never will.  Right on, Mama; right on…

February 7, 2011

Make It Monday: Felt and Fabric Flower Rosettes

Here they are, folks!  The tutorials for felt rosettes and fabric rosettes.  They’re very, very similar, but I’ll go through them each, step-by-step.


1.5″ x 11″ strip of felt {this doesn’t need to be exact}
Glue gun/glue sticks or needle/thread
Embellishment for center {bead, rhinestone, pearl, button, etc.}

1} Dog-ear the corner of one end of the felt and secure with a dot of hot glue
2} Fold long end down over the dog-eared corner
3} Twist strip and fold over.  Continue this step to form a closed circle
4} Continue twisting and folding over, making sure to make the second larger circle behind the first circle
5} Glue the end to the back of the rosette to secure
6} Glue “petals” in several spots to secure the rosette, ensuring it doesn’t unravel
7} Glue your embellishment to the center of your rosette
8} Use your creativity and attach your sweet little rosette to whatever you come up with!  Hair clip, headband, shirt, handbag, pillow…whatever you’d like

{I start with a standard 8.5 x 11 piece of felt - $0.29 at Michael's}

{cut about a 1.5" piece the long way on the felt}

{dog-ear the corner}

{fold the long end over the dog-earred corner}

{twist and fold}

{twist and fold until you have a small closed circle--no hole in the center}

{when starting the second bigger circle, tuck behind the first circle}

{almost finished!}


{or like this. I have a stash of gorgeous vintage buttons that I just can't wait to use}

{this one's more understated}

{last one, I promise!}


Fabric {I love to use fat quarters}
Glue gun/glue sticks or thread/needle
Embellishments {same as above}

1} Cut or rip {ripped gives a more “shabby” look} a 1″ +/- strip of fabric – the longer the strip, the bigger the flower
2} tie a knot at the end of the strip
3} Fold the end over and glue to the knot
4} Twist the strip and wind it around the knot, securing every so often with glue
5} Continue to twist and wind until you have about an inch of a tail left.  Glue the tail to the back side of the rosette to provide stability to the rosette
6} Finish off your rosette with the embellishment of your choice
7} Finally, add your rosette to whatever you want, just like with the felt flowers.  These little cuties are so versatile! 
*} If your strip isn’t as long as you’d like it, you can either glue or tie two strips together.  Instant long strip!

{start with a cut}

{let it rip!}

{tie it up}

{fold and glue}

{twist, wind and glue}

{now we're getting somewhere}

{cute little tail}

{glue it around back}

{add an embelly and you're done!}

I’m loving these sweet little rosettes and I’m having fun thinking of ways to use them.  How do you think YOU’LL use them??

January 31, 2011

The Latest Models: By Request

Last week a friend requested some of these zippy little headbands to send in a V-Day care package to her cute little nieces.  I hope they like them!

{one little, two little, three little flowers}

{aren't they sweet??}

{this single flower has a secret}

{can you guess what it is?}

{it moonlights as a clip!}

January 2, 2011

Pics for the Pits

Here are the aforepromised pics of the deodorant-making process.

{most of the lovely ingredients}

3 Tablespoons shea butter
3 Tablespoons baking soda
2 Tablespoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons cocoa butter
2 vitamin E oil gel caps (puncture and squeeze out the oil)
Essential Oil {I use tea tree oil and lavender}

{Measuring in the shea butter}

Measure the butters, baking soda and corn starch into a microwave safe container.

{Here’s where I’ll add a weird {un}perfect little tidbit about myself.  I get the chills just thinking about corn starch!  I mean, nails-on-the-chalkboard kind of chills.  Seriously can’t stand it.  Other things that give me the willy-chillies: styrofoam, red delicious apples, under-cooked green beans, and cotton balls.  I hate things that are “squeaky” to the bite or touch.  You should see my arms right now–TOTAL goose bumps even just thinking about all these things!}

Hmm…guess I didn’t remember to take any more pics of the deodorant process.  Remember how I said I’m good at starting things??  Yeah…

In any case…  After you’ve measured all the ingredients {minus the vitamin E and essential oil}, microwave for about 30-60 seconds until the butters have melted.  Stir it all together, then add the oils.  It takes a bit more essential oil than you would think because the smell of the butters is pretty strong.  Not necessarily bad, just strong, ya know?  I use tea tree oil because it has anti-bacterial properties, but I also use another scent {like lavender} to sort of soften the scent up a little.

After you’ve stirred in the Vitamin E oil and the essential oils, pour the mixture into your container.  This recipe makes about 1/4 pint.  Put the container into the fridge {I promise, this time it’s ok to speed up the setting process!} to harden.

When I use this deodorant, I use a craft stick {think un-used popsicle stick} to scrape out about a pea-sized amount and then rub it in on my pits.  It feels a little oily and moist {in a good way}, so go ahead and rub it in like lotion.   This deodorant won’t necessarily keep you completely dry, but it’s a great all-natural {without all those scary breast cancer concerning chemical ingredients} deodorant option.  I’m extra-stinky {I’ve been known to use “prescription strength” deodorant}, so sometimes I’ll apply twice a day, but for more normal pitted people, once should be enough.  Check it out and let me know what you think.  Send me the good, the bad and the stinky comments!

January 2, 2011

Better late than never, eh?

On New Year’s Eve, The Hubs and I had a few couples over for a low-key evening.  Part of the evening involved me showing off my awesome skills with lotion and chapstick, which also gave me the chance to take a few pics.  True to my {un}perfect life, this would be the one time I’d run into trouble with the super-duper-easy-to-make lotion.  Oy!  I’m still not totally sure what went wrong, but there ended up being a layer of thick creamy lotion on top of a milky white watery substance in the bottom of the jar.  As I went back to the original recipe at A Sonoma Garden, I saw that the temperature of the wax/oil mix and the water has to be correct in order for it to set right.  Fortunately I made it work…I gave the jars a good stir and heated the mixture up just a bit {1/4 pint jars = 30 seconds}.  That seemed to fix my problem.  Now I just need to figure out where I went wrong in the first place.  {Update: I made another batch last night and left the jars on the counter to set rather than putting them in the fridge.  The lotion set up perfectly–no separation at all!}

Ok, enough about my issues…on to the photos!



  • 1/4 Cup emulsifying wax
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1-1/4 Cup water
  • Essential oils

{wax & oil}

Measure the wax and oil into a microwave safe dish.

{melted waxy oiliness}

Heat it until the wax has melted {about 60 seconds – 155 degrees}

{time for the scent}

Heat the 1 1/4 cup water for about 30-40 seconds {120 degrees}.  While the water is heating, add a few drops of whatever yummy scented essential oil{s} you’d like.  I’ve used my trusty lavender {from my laundry detergent}, or tea tree oil {remember, it has anti-bacterial properties?  Sort of an all-natural antibacterial lotion, if you will}, or a “grapefruit blush” fragrance that I got at Hobby Lobby {yum!}.

{like magic!}

Now watch in amazement–as you pour the hot water into the wax/oil mixture, it turns milky white!  How cool is that?!  {Sorry, I’m easily amused}  The lotion should be about 125 degrees at this point.

{pour away}

Pour the milky lotion liquid into your jar/container of choice.  This recipe makes a pint of lotion.  The jar pictured is a 1/2 pint jar, but I just bought some 1/4 pint jars that are pretty cute, too…and the recipe fills 4 of them!  {I’m good at math, huh?}

{Doesn't everybody keep lotion, Sprite and broccoli together in their fridge?}

This may be where I went wrong.  I think I shouldn’t have put the lotion in the fridge to set.  Again, I’m impulsive and impatient {do you sense a pattern here?} and couldn’t wait “overnight” for the lotion to set, so the fridge seems like a logical option.  Maybe it cooled it too fast and that’s how the separation occurred?  Anyway, don’t put it in the fridge, just let it sit on your counter for a few hours to set.  {Definitely where I went wrong–when I made a batch and let them set overnight on the counter, it worked perfectly}

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s photos: deodorant!

December 29, 2010

{Un}Chemicalled {aka all-natural} Beauty Products

So, have I mentioned that I’m not perfect?!  🙂

I am SO good at starting things, but often fail to follow them through to completion.  Can anyone feel me on that?

I’ve been busy, busy, busy this Christmas season taking a brief trip back to my craftiness.  For gifts for some of the women in my life I MADE all-natural lotion, chapstick and deodorant {yes, I took another stab at the homemade deodorant}!  Oh my goodness…super-duper fun.   I haven’t taken any pictures {yet!} of the process, but I will point you directly to my source at A Sonoma Garden.  I’m going to give the deodorant one more shot at controlling my WAY {un}perfect stinkiness!  The thing I like a lot better about this new recipe than the first one is that it has cocoa butter and shea butter and feels oh-so-good on my pits.  I think I may have to use a little more tea tree oil {which has all-natural antibacterial properties} than I’ve been using.  I’ve been holding back because it’s a strong scent, but for crying out loud, I need something to cover the “scent” of my B.O.!  Ok, enough about my stinkiness…  The lotion is THE easiest thing to make.  Seriously, unbelievably easy.  The toughest part for this “want-what-I-want-when-I-want-it” mama was waiting for my shipment of supplies from Mountain Rose Herbs.  And besides being easy, it is also of the feels oh-so-good persuasion.  Speaking of oh-so-good…the chapstick!  I can’t say enough about it all!  Lovin’ my all-natural, free of {un}perfect chemicals, beauty products.  Try them–let me know what you think!

Oh, and these products {while they may require a small investment up front–like $20-40, depending on how many of the recipes you attempt} are easy on the budget too!  The supplies make so many batches–great gifts and plenty to stock up for yourself.  Maybe you could share supplies with a friend or two to cut down on the cost even more?  Have a make-you-own beauty supplies party!

We now return me to my regularly {un}scheduled {un}perfect life…

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