Thursday, January 27, 2011

Colorful Desserts

January hits me hard with birthdays. It seems like minimum, once a week we are having cake or ice cream cake. My wonderful man’s birthday is the 24th by then we are all caked out. This year I decided instead of cake or ice cream I would make him a cheesecake, strawberry is his favorite. So I grabbed a jello no bake cheesecake and some fresh strawberries. As I began to pour the cheesecake filling into the crust my 3 year old looked upset. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he wanted Daddy’s birthday cake to be blue. I replied that it would be red soon because we were going to put strawberries on top. He said “How about red and blue?” 
This picture does the color no justice!
My initial reaction was to think of a reason we could not make the cake red and blue. Then I thought why not. I grabbed the blue food coloring and stirred in a few drops. Suddenly the cheesecake filling became a beautiful light blue. After the cheesecake chilled we added strawberries and red sugar crystals. We wrote a 33 in the middle with red gel icing and the plain strawberry cheesecake I planned was transformed into a colorful nontraditional birthday cake.
It was perfect for us because it did not taste like cake or ice cream cake but it still had the look of a birthday cake. Some of you may be thinking “duh food coloring” but some of you may be like me and that “duh” will be followed by a “How didn’t I think of that?” It is amazing what can happen when you think like a 3 year old simple, creative, and fun! Try adding color to your favorite recipes to bring out your inner child. :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

DIY Decor

Photo Collage 
I was inspired to do this project by someone I looked up to in high school. She had done a photo collage on a piece of furniture and I thought it was so cool. Years later, when trying to make a house a home on a budget, it came back to mind. I love taking pictures of my kids! They are soo adorable and photogenic too. I have tons of great pictures of them, too many to display at once in frames. The idea of a collage is great because in one piece I can use several pictures. I bought two decorative pictures at the dollar store for $2 each and turned them into beautiful collages of my boys. Here is how :)

What You Need
  • Something to turn into a collage- It can be anything so use what you have or find something inexpensive that fits your need. I am using 2 square wall hangings.
  • Modgepodge Glue- I am using Mate instead of glossy because I think it gives the look of professional photography but many people prefer glossy. Chose the look you like :)
  • Pictures- I am using black and white, I think it gives the collage an elegant touch.

  1. Cut out your pictures and position them as you please on the item you are collaging. If you cut out items to their shape you can fit more pictures on. Doing it that way looks great and really artistic but it is more tedious and time consuming. So I am keeping my pictures cut in squares and rectangles so it is simpler to fit together the pieces of the puzzle. I also like the clean lines. The best part of a diy project is you create it custom to what you like and what works for you, so do it your way. 
  2. Once you have your pictures arranged how you want glue them down with the modgepodge glue.
  3. Now that they are all glued down its time for the important part. You want to go over you entire collage with your glue. Do a thin layer let it dry for 10 min and then repeat. The more layers of glue you add the more your collage looks like one fluid piece of art as oppose to several pieces stuck together.
  4. Once they look as smooth and even as you like they are done.
This is what it looks like when it is wet.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Make Your Own Smoothies

I love smoothies. My son and I are snackers. Sometimes our snacks are more healthy than others. Smoothies work great because they are not only healthy but quick and easy too. I know a lot of people who drink the McDonald’s smoothies, they aren’t bad but they taste way better when you make them yourself. So here is my easiest DIY smoothie recipe.

What You Need
Frozen fruit of your choice
Plain or vanilla yogurt (they are not the same thing lol, most recipes use plain but I think the vanilla adds a little depth to the flavor)
Orange juice

Ok Im the Do it Yourself Diva not a Recipe Royal so you have to bare with me. I will warn you now, I don’t measure I eyeball things.
  1. You need to get your blender set up and ready to go.
  2. Next add the fruit and Yogurt. I do a 50/50 ratio.
  3. Then a splash of orange juice on top
  4. Now blend until your frozen fruit is smooth
If you are someone who is used to exact measurements, relax. Smoothies are not an exact science. If you think its too thick add a little more orange juice. Not thick enough? More fruit and yogurt. Or throw a little crushed ice in the blender. 
If you want to use fresh fruit just add crushed ice.
If you want it to be an adult beverage add rum and crushed ice.
Play with flavors to find your favorite :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Egyptian Beauty

This week like so many others, I opened my fridge to find nearly half a gallon of expired milk. It seems like if I buy a half gallon we use it in two days but if I go for the gallon we always waste some.
If you happen to find your milk expired a couple days ago, or is about to expire don’t pour it down the sink. Pull a Cleopatra and pour it in your tub. Cleopatra was famous for her beautiful skin and milk baths. Try one yourself!

What You Need
olive oil
rose petals
Run a nice hot bath. Pour any milk you have into the bath. You may also add a teaspoon of honey or essential oil like olive oil or jojoba oil. Rose petals will add an element of luxury and is known to soften skin. Use what you have to make the bath your own. Turn the lights down, light a candle, ENJOY! 

Note: When I say expired milk, I mean slightly past the sell by date... Im not sure the exact amount of days past that it is usable. Use your judgement, if it stinks don’t bathe in it. 

Some nonDIY options :)


Monday, January 10, 2011

Longing for long locks?

Tea Tree Oil Scalp Treatment
Along with half the people I know, I am longing for long luxurious locks. People ask me all the time how to make their hair grow longer. So here is my answer...
Nothing besides extensions can give you immediate results. Although there are many products and natural remedies out there claiming to speed up hair growth none have PROVEN results. 
Although nothing has been proven it doesnt hurt to try some of the treatments ppl swear by. Here is a treatment that will keep your scalp healthy and stimulated. Even if nothing else results, it feels great.
What you need
Your favorite shampoo
Tea tree oil
Head massager (optional)
  1. Squirt a quarter size of shampoo into the palm of your hand.
  2. Add a few drops of tea tree oil and rub hand together.
  3. Massage the mixture into your scalp.
  4. Continue massaging your scalp with a scalp massager if you have one, it is not necessary but definitely takes the treatment to the next level.
  5. Allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes and then rinse and condition as usual.
If you feel “so fresh and so clean clean” it worked. :) 

<----- If you dont have tea tree oil on hand check this out a small bottle will last a while :)

<------ Dont want to mess with DIY try this :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Prepare to Pucker

Constantly chapped lips are not the most enjoyable part of our winter wonderland... In my book they rank right up there with cleaning snow off the car, frozen car doors, and face-planting on the ice. 
Lip exfoliants can help this problem. You can buy them but chances are you have everything you need to make one already in your kitchen.
What you need
olive oil (or oil of your choice)
Simply put some sugar into a bowl. How much you make is up to you. Next add a little bit of oil at a time until the sugar becomes a moist paste. Put a little on your finger and massage your lips. Follow with your favorite lip balm. Your lips will be so kissably smooth you will be dying to use them! 
Use the rest of your sugar scrub on you elbows, knees, and feet. It is a great alternative to expensive exfoliating scrubs. 

Advice: Everyone is different you maybe able to use this on your lips everyday, you may be able to use it once a week. Do not start out at once a day. Try every couple days first then decide if you can handle everyday or if you need to add a few more days in between.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Easy Accessories

Not that I am proud of it, but I am infamous in my circle for my dirty hair. My life is so busy between school, clients, and my kids, I just don’t always have the time to wash my hair. I have a trick that gets me compliments even if I haven’t washed my hair in a few days. ACCESSORIZE! A cute accessory can do wonders for bed head in seconds. 
Today I want to teach you an easy way to make a hair accessory
What you need
Your imagination 
An artificial flower, broken piece of jewelry, broach, anything you think might be pretty in your hair 
Your basic plain hair accessory of choice: headband, clip, hair tie, or my personal favorite, the bobby pin
A hot glue gun

  1. Use you imagination to decide what you want to start wearing in your hair. I tent to lean toward flowers but today I want to go with something more suited for winter so I am using a broach.
  2. Next hot glue it to a plain accessory that you think would best compliment the item you chose in step one. I will be using a bobby pin.
  3. Allow time to dry and then try it on :)

I love this DIY project! I hope you do to. Personally I enjoy going to thrift stores and searching for unique treasures I can transform into statement hair accessories. It is also a great way to recycle things you are not using like buttons, old jewelry, even bottle caps. Just have fun with it! Feel free to post pics of your creations. Remember the one I did here is really simple and good for beginners but if it seems too easy or simple for you add on to it. The sky is the limit. I would love to see what you come up with!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Yogurt Moisture Mask

Yesterday I posted a great Banana honey mask that removes dry dead skin and leaves your face feeling smooth. I wanted to share this mask as well for people who have dryer skin or those who feel they need more moisture in the winter months. This yogurt trick is super simple. Just wanted you guys to have some more options :)
What You Need
1 cup plain yogurt (whole yogurt if you want full moisture, low fat if you have oily skin)
  1. Simply apply the yogurt to your face
  2. Relax for 15 to 20 minutes
  3. Rinse
Tip: This can be done after the banana mask. To moisturize everything that was hiding under those dead skin cells.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Banana Mask

I don’t know about you, but this winter weather has my skin feeling anything but smooth. My favorite cure for dry winter skin and the winter blues is an exfoliating honey banana face mask. This mask will refresh your skin and invigorate your senses. It is a 15 minute tropical escape from winter.
What you need 
1 ripe banana
1 teaspoon of honey

  1. Peel you banana and slice it into 1 inch slices (save the peel)
  2. Put the banana slices into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 15 seconds
  3. Pour a teaspoon on honey into the bowl and mash the bananas and honey together. It will have a thick texture.
  4. Using your fingers, apply the mixture to your face.
  5. For the next 15 minutes just relax... I recommend doing it in the bath tub for maximum experience. 
  6. Rinse you face
  7. If you have any acne or other blemishes on your face, rub the inside of the peel on your problem area. The antioxidants and potassium will help reduce the blemish.
    ATTENTION: All skin is different. A patch test is recommended if your skin is sensitive(put a little bit of the mask mixture on the inside of your wrist to see if you break out). This all natural mask works for most skin types but if for some reason it does not work for you, do not give up on diy skin care. I will be posting more and I am sure one of them will be perfect for you! :)

    TIP: Be careful not to clog your bathtub lol I went a little over board and used all the extra mask on my feet the last time I did it and my tub was super slow to drain after that. The spousal equivalent did not enjoy fixing the problem. So if you do the mask in the tub, gently wipe the clumps of banana off with a rag before rinsing. It shouldn't be  problem unless you bathe in it like I did but better safe than sorry :)