Monday, February 25, 2013

DIY Avocado Eye Makeup Remover

I've always been low maintenance. But now, after two kids, I'm especially low maintenance. My daily makeup routine has dwindled over the years to a quick coat of mascara. On a good day.

I had been using the most delightful smelling eye makeup remover on the market. It contained white tea and the scent was so soothing and wonderful. I looked forward to cleaning the mascara off of my lashes each night! But something weird happened about halfway through my last pregnancy. Suddenly, nothing would remove my mascara. It's like my skin secreted some strange mixture of oilishness {for lack of a better word} and no commercial product would do the trick.

Desperate to find something that would remove my mascara without also removing my skin and lashes, I tried this DIY eye makeup remover. It worked! {I did have to add some extra olive oil to the mixture after a while, but as long as I gave it a good shake, I was in business.} This time around, I altered the proportions slightly and decided to try it with avocado oil instead of the olive oil. Avocado is amazing for your skin. It contains a high Vitamin E content, has a natural hydrating ability, helps to produce more skin collagen and reduce the occurrence of age spots, and it's high in omega-3s which help to block harmful UV rays. {Click here to read more}

Needless to say, my avocado eye makeup remover works like a charm. With barely any pressure and wiping, all of my makeup is removed and the skin around my eyes appears smoother and softer. I have never been an eye cream person {too expensive and really, I haven't seen too many real life success stories} but I will say that I've noticed a considerable difference in the skin under my eyes since I started making my own eye makeup remover. It really does make eye cream unnecessary. And the best part is that it's super inexpensive to make.

Avocado Eye Makeup Remover
What you need:
~ 1/2 c. distilled water
~ 1-2 tsp. avocado oil {I started with 1 tsp. and added a little more to suit my liking}
~ 1/4 tsp. Castile soap {I used Dr. Bronner's unscented baby-mild}

What you do:
Simply mix everything together and use. Make sure to give it a good shake before using to ensure that everything gets mixed up.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think! Are you a DIY cosmetic person? What products do you swear by for removing makeup?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mad or Genius?

Today is Day #2 in our potty training adventures. Whether I'm completely mad or bordering on genius, the fact is I've decided to take on the challenge of potty training my 20-month-old son. And if you ask me how I feel now halfway into Day #2, I'll tell you that I'm exhausted and proud and decidedly meditating on only the very most present moments in time. Because it doesn't matter how we'll ever figure out naptime or bedtime. It only matters that right now, in our home, my son has begun taking on this new responsibility. And he's doing so well!
So many people have asked why we're doing it so early. He is a boy, after all. And still not even two years old. The truth is, most days, I forget that he's still only 20 months old because he talks to me like a much older child. He understands what I ask, what I say and he responds appropriately on every occasion. He is such a bright child, I often have to take some time to figure out the connection his brilliant mind has made {and mine, clearly, has not} in order to understand what he is trying to tell me.
On top of that, he has never allowed me to baby him. My firstborn child. He should have been my experiment. The child on which I broke all of the rules and had to spend the next few years trying to correct. But thankfully {in hindsight} he never let me make any of those mistakes. He refused to sleep in our bed the few times we tried. He doesn't want to be rocked to sleep. In fact, he demands to go "night night", which means we put him in his crib with no more than a kiss. He wants to do everything we do and knows the difference between fake and real. He loves when my husband pretends to shave his face, but now has decided that it is not sufficient unless the razor is on and buzzing away. {This, obviously, makes it quite tricky!} He doesn't like to be given food when he can get it himself. He's incredibly independent and highly self-motivated. He doesn't need our approval. He doesn't want a treat. He has such a beautiful confidence in himself and that is quite enough for him.
So naturally, going on the potty was something he wanted to do and did well from the start. We started sitting him on the potty before his bath a few months ago. He derived such pride and pleasure from this new adventure that we began trying it more often. And nearly every time, he'd find himself successful.
 I didn't want to push him, but I felt like he was ready. So I decided to give it a shot. If he refused, I wouldn't push him. I'd simply try again in a month or so. But to our delight, he has {so far} taken to this new responsibility so naturally! Since we only have a bathroom on our second floor, we placed his little frog potty in our kitchen. {It's located in the corner in which he usually hides to do his business...perfect!} Every time he has to pee, he either runs over to the potty or tells me. And each time he goes, he hops up and exclaims "Did it!" Sometimes he'll also congratulate himself by saying "Good boy!" We give him a High-5 and he's back to playing.
While we still have a long road {and many accidents} ahead of us, I am so proud of him for taking on this responsibility so well. The thing is, it's not an easy job. And it's definitely a full time job. Last night, I'll admit I had a moment where I regretted doing it so early--it's just easier to throw a diaper on and not worry about it. {I think it was the thought of having to use every public restroom we pass...} But once we're through it, I know I'll be so happy. So relieved. And I'll forget all about the challenge that it was...until it's little sister's turn, of course!

When did you potty train your children? How did you decide they were ready for the challenge? Any tips and/or tricks to make the experience easier?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day DIY: Easy Heart Shaped Lotion Bars

So tomorrow is Valentine's Day! I've been pinning Valentine's ideas for months, it seems, and all of a sudden it's here. And I didn't get around to decorating or making any of the ideas I pinned. {sigh} Next year, maybe.

I have been wanting to make these lotion bars for a while now, since my fingers are always cracked. I recently happened upon some heart shaped silicone ice trays in the dollar zone at Target, so I knew that I was meant to whip up some lotion bars for a quick and easy Valentine's gift.

I added this sweet bag topper to bags my husband picked up at the dollar store and tied it with some bakers twine to make a pretty {and super quick and easy and CHEAP} Valentine's Day gift!

Easy Heart Shaped Lotion Bars
What you'll need:
One part coconut oil
One part beeswax
One part shea butter or cocoa butter {or combination of both}
Essential oil of your choice {optional--the natural scents of the oils and beeswax are quite nice on their own}
{I made my lotion bars using 8 ounces for each part and using both the shea butter and cocoa butter, each in 4 ounce parts}

How to do it:
Combine all ingredients in a double boiler and stir constantly until melted. {I use an electric double burner turned to low and it never burns.} Remove from heat and add essential oils if using, stirring until combined. {I used 25 drops of sweet orange essential oil and I can barely make out the scent. I will try using 50 drops next time for a more potent fragrance.} Pour into molds and let sit for 24 hours to harden.

What are you doing for your Valentines this year?