Friday, May 22, 2015

Sunkissed DIY: All Natural Dish Soap in 5 Minutes!

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On my quest to transition to natural skin care, hair care, and home care I have had a hate-hate relationship with all natural dish soap! I've been trying to perfect it for about 2 months now...UGH! I searched and searched and just kept coming across the same basic recipe: boiling water, grated soap, wait 24 hours, etc...I thought I was going to go crazy because each time I made a batch, it didn't work! I had to keep adding more of this and that and reheating. 
Anyways, enough of my rant...I'm sure those recipes I tried can work great for others but they just didn't seem to work for me; or maybe I'm simply not doing it right. But with the amount of dishes we do in my house (no dishwasher), I was spending like 30 minutes once a week just making dish soap- no thanks. So, in my unnecessary "anger" last week when the dish soap got all chunky and was barely sudsy (again), I started dumping stuff into my soap container, and to be honest it was the best batch I've made so far! I got so excited, I made my husband come see! He was excited too, since he usually does the dishes after dinner, and hadn't been too thrilled with my concoctions.
So I figured I should share my findings (thankfully I remember what I did) with other "dish-traught" dish washers, that are trying to be more sustainable and careful with chemical cleansers. As I said, I'm sure a lot of people have their own way that works great- but this is what works for me and it's so quick and easy (once you have the ingredients)!!
Without further adieu, 5 Minute DIY Dish Soap 

All these ingredients are things I would recommend having around your home if you're transitioning to natural cleaners, laundry detergent, beauty, hair care, etc- they all have unlimited uses!

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||  I N G R E D I E N T S  |
  • Pure Liquid Castille Soap | 1 cup + | - I use Dr. Bronners - there's all different scents you can choose from!
  • Super Washing Soda | 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp| - you can find this in the laundry/cleaners aisle of most any store.
  • Essential oils of Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Sweet Orange - these aren't necessary but aid in the antimicrobial & astringent properties of the soap (cleaner dishes/cleaner hands). They also give it a clean, citrusy scent! You can use one or all, or other essential oils of your choice, but I'd recommend using oils that have similar properties.
  • Vitamin E Oil | 1 tsp | (optional) - helps preserve the soap (even though you'll most likely use it before it goes bad), it also helps to soften the soap & keeps it from drying out your hands so much because of the washing soda.
  • Vegetable Glycerin | 2 tsp | (optional) - helps with suds & residue buildup, and also softens the soap. 
  • Hot water (you can also use distilled or bottled water if you think your tap water is too dirty to use for the soap).
  • An old dish soap container or a cute one like this- I like mine because I can mix the soap right there in the jar (yes- impatience again).
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||  D I R E C T I O N S  |
  • Fill your soap container half way with hot water (needs to be very warm so it can dissolve the washing soda).
  • Add 1 tbsp super washing soda (this works in my 16 oz soap container). If your container is bigger, I'd suggest adding another 1/2 tbsp.
  • Stir, shake, mix- whatever you want to do to get that soda dissolved!
  • Now fill up almost the whole rest of the soap container with your liquid castille soap- leave a little bit of room for the remaining ingredients if you're adding them.
  • Add in the Vitamin E oil & vegetable glycerin if you are using it, if not go on to the next step.
  • Add in 10-20 drops total of your essential oils. I do this:
    • 8-10 drops tea tree
    • 5 drops lemongrass
    • 5 drops sweet orange
  • Stir, shake, mix- get it all together! You're done-zo!!
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At first it will be pretty liquidy, but you can still use it! The consistency doesn't change the properties or effects of the soap.  It will thicken over time, so be ready to add a little warm water and shake it up again in a day or so if it gets too thick for you. I have found that this combination suds up very well, doesn't leave any residue on my glasses, and smells wonderful! This stuff fights grease and grime as good as Dawn or Ajax in my opinion!  Let me know what you think and I hope this works great for you!


Until next time. xoxo



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sunkissed DIY: Macrame Herb or Plant Hanger

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Apparently macrame is making a come back, or has been for a while and I just recently noticed it....
My parents used to have macrame hangers with fake plants in the living room when I was younger- yes back in the 80's. I never knew what they were called, and when I saw this diy on Pinterest a few months back, I immediately remembered those beaded hangers from when I was 4! 
Reading the instructions to make one, I was very confused and thought no way...then when I decided to try it and had all the supplies in front of me, it was actually so easy! I was doing them on my own after following the instructions just once.
I've been growing a lot of different herbs this spring and LOVE having them right there for when I need to add some to our meals or desserts! Fresh herbs are so much better than the dried ones you buy in the spice aisle at Safeway...obviously. Anyways, I figured this would be a fun way to show off the beauty of my herbs and add a little more of "me" to our rental house...plus we have a huge pile of sticks behind our shed that I thought could be put to good use.

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|| SUPPLIES |
  • Jersey knit fabric or a T-shirt of stretchy-ish material that you don't mind cutting up. (I didn't have an old shirt of this material, so I got some from a local fabric store. It was fun being able to pick out bright & cheery designs!) I got one yard each of three different fabrics.
  • 3 Terracotta pots, like this, or any other smaller pot you'd like to use, I got mine for really cheap at Walmart.
  • Strong twine or cotton rope- like the kind used for clotheslines- something not too flimsy! You could also use wire.
  • A stick. Make sure it is thick enough to screw into and sturdy enough to hold up the weight of a few pots full of soil. You could also use a piece of thick scrap wood. My stick is about 3 feet long and an inch around.
  • Screw eye hooks like these. You should get larger ones if you're using a larger piece of wood or bigger pots.
  • Long screw driver of any kind
  • Hammer & nails

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Now you can get to work on your macrame! I followed this DIY on Brit + Co, but if you're up for it, you could make something fancier or more detailed. There's A TON of instructions for beautiful macrames on the web and Pinterest! I made all three of mine different lengths to add more dimension to my hanger.
Once you have your lovely fabric hangers complete, I'd suggest filling up your pots with soil and whatever plants or herbs you are going to fill them with first. Mine has basil, rosemary and dill...mmmm. I kept putting the macrame on the pot and taking it off to make sure it fit- but the great part is, since the fabric is stretchy, you can adjust it once it's on the pot- so just try and put it on once, when you're ready to adjust and hang them.
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|| STICK TIME |
  • You'll want to insert the first screw eye in the middle of the stick so you have a good starting point for the other two (unless you're only doing one or two pots).
  • Grab a nail that is about the same width as the screw eye and hammer it in about 1/4" to 1/2" where you are going to insert the screw eye in the stick. This gives you a hole to start with in order to get the hook into the wood. Now pull the nail out and start screwing the hook into that same hole, you'll have to put a little muscle behind it! 
  • Once I got my hook in far enough to stand on its own, I inserted a long screw driver sideways into the circular hook part and used it as a kind of lever to screw the hook all the way down. Just spin the screw driver (horizontally) around and around until the hook is nice and secure in your stick. 
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  • Do the same with the next two hooks, you want them spaced far enough apart that all the weight isn't in the middle of your stick and so the pots have space to breathe! I spaced mine about 9" apart, which left a nice amount of room at each end of my stick.
  • Depending on where you are hanging this planter, you'll want to measure out your twine, rope, or wire for the length that you need it. I used twine and knotted it a few different times on all 3 attachments so I could change the hanging length if I needed to. Again, make sure it is strong enough to hold up your hanger, I wove my twine together a few times to make sure it wasn't going to rip!
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  • Now you'll want to set up the nails or hooks that you're using to hang the planter. Make sure you hammer them in at the same distance apart that your hooks are so you can easily hang the twine or rope.
  • Once you have those in and your rope or twine attached, it's time to add your hanging plants! Place one in the middle on one side of the middle hook. The other two can be placed next to each of the other hooks, I put one on the inside and one on the outside. The stick is strong enough and if your hooks are spaced apart equally it shouldn't slope to one side or the other.
  • Holding your stick in the middle, so the pots don't slide off, hang the middle rope first, then each side- if it's too heavy, ask someone to hold it while you hang it! Its kind of an awkward piece of decor to hold....:)
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Voila! You're done! Now stand back and enjoy your creation! Looks great in a patio, living room or kitchen if you have enough space! Just make sure it is somewhere that gets a good amount of sunlight so your herbs can grow big and strong!



Until next time. xoxo


Friday, May 8, 2015

Sunkissed Dream || Hand Poured Pure Soy Candles ||

I have loved candles since I was a young gal- you can always find at least one, if not more, burning in my home at any given time. I just love the warm light, the sweet smells, and the relaxing vibes they give. When I learned about the benefits of using soy wax over paraffin, I couldn't believe I didn't know about it sooner! All those years thinking a candle was just a candle...

After doing a lot of research, I began making my own soy candles, just as gifts and favors during holidays. Then I started taking it more seriously (doing A LOT more research), trying to make sure my candles turned out just right. Now, as my husband can attest to, there are candles everywhere in our house. Anything that slightly resembles something you can put a candle in, is now filled with wax, a wick, and herbs or oils, or just unscented as something pretty to enjoy. I love the white, creamy look of soy wax and the gentle, soft way it burns. 

I'll give you some of the big reasons why soy wax is the obvious winner over paraffin (which I'm sure you already know because it's all over the internet), but first let me introduce you to my line of hand poured pure soy candles! Currently, I only have the unscented ones available- which are great for those with allergies or sensitivities to fragrances. I'll be adding naturally scented candles to my shop VERY SOON! 
This one is called "pura" meaning "pure" in Spanish. It speaks for itself: no synthetic additives, no dyes, no fragrances- just pure, creamy soy wax, made from soy beans in the good 'ole U S of A. 

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So, why is soy wax so great?
  • 100% soy bean vegetable wax is a renewable and biodegradable resource
  • Soy wax is hypo-allergenic and vegan
  • This burning candle does not emit toxins like its synthetic nemesis, paraffin, a petroleum based wax- yikes! Paraffin is basically what you find at the bottom of the barrel (an oil barrel that is). The smoke and soot it emits can be as dangerous as car fumes, and is carcinogenic. It can also further aggravate conditions like asthma, or other lung or heart problems. 
  • Soy wax burns longer and is also easily cleaned up if there is a spill. When your candle has completed its last burn, you can remove the remaining wax from the container with hot water and soap, and reuse the jar!
There you have it- renewable, bio-degradable, toxin-free - all of those are wonderful reasons to choose soy over the alternative. The soy wax I use is pure soy, not a mixture; I also use cotton wicks to reduce sooting and 'keep it clean'. Each one of my candles comes covered with a hand-cut piece of vintage fabric. I raided my grandma's scrap basket a loooooong time ago, and have finally found a use for all of it! There are 3 different colors/patterns to choose from, all of which are bright and fun!

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I invite you to take a look, and get one for yourself by visiting my Etsy shop, or clicking this link.
If you've read this post and decide you'd like to purchase one of our candles, please use code CANDLEME at checkout to receive 15% off your total order! 
I love being able to share something I've come to be passionate about with others! You can find more information on the product listing page on Etsy, or feel free to contact me with questions!

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Until next time. xoxo

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sunkissed Glow || Sweet Almond Facial Scrub ||

Say hello to my first all-natural skin care product! 
This delicious smelly (and edible if you happen to get a little in your mouth) face and/or body scrub will exfoliate, moisturize and create a beautiful glow on your face, neck and entire body!
It is hand crafted in small batches by me with 4 natural and organic ingredients- all of which have numerous and wonderful benefits for your lovely epidermis.
It is available in my Etsy shop in a 2 oz or 4 oz size jar.
Visit my Etsy shop here |


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My goal in creating all-natural skin care products is to keep our skin and nature as close as possible- so they can work together to maintain healthy, vibrant and naturally beautiful skin. We came from the earth, so shouldn't what we put onto our bodies come from the same source? It feels wonderful to know that everything you're putting on your skin is organically grown and created- and your skin will love you for it!

My Sweet Almond Facial Scrub is a blend of 4 natural and powerful ingredients:
  • ORGANIC ALMOND MEAL: removes dry, dead skin by gently exfoliating, which creates a lovely glow, reduces inflammation, and contains an abundance of Vitamin E which is necessary for healthy skin cell growth and healing.
  • ORGANIC RAW HONEY: I'm sure you know that honey is a "skin super-food". Raw honey has not been through the harsh, high-heat processing & pasteurization like your usual commercial honey in those cute bear bottles at the grocery store- this actually removes most of the core nutrients, vitamins and enzymes. Pure raw honey unclogs pores, helps slow skins' aging process, is a natural moisturizer and contains antibacterial properties that deeply cleanse skin & help fight breakouts.
  • ORGANIC ARGAN OIL: this plant oil exclusively derived from the Moroccan argan tree is also rich in Vitamin E, is non-greasy and balances skins oils which helps to hydrate and soften skin; it is full of antioxidants which helps keep skin clean & healthy, and boosts your skins' elasticity.
  • ORGANIC CINNAMON POWDER: brings blood and nutrients to the skins surface- which reduces fine lines and wrinkles- as well as containing antimicrobial elements that work to stop acne bacteria from forming.
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This scrub is something that you can use on a daily basis, or just a couple times a week when your skin is feeling dry or looking dull. A little bit goes a long way with this- after dampening your face with warm water, just mix a small amount on your fingers with a little agua and then gently massage onto your face and neck to loosen up dirt and grime. Rinse with cool water and follow up with a toner (if you use one) and moisturizer.
I'll be coming out with an all-natural day cream very soon that can be used after cleansing. I hope you can experience the wonderful benefits that I already have from using this scrub! 

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Until next time. xoxo

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sunkissed Escapades: Weekend Away in Morro Bay

My husband and I went away for my birthday weekend a couple weeks back. It was such a beautiful little trip, I just had to share some photos! We decided to head over to Morro Bay for a few days to do some relaxing, hiking and good (hearty) eating- as per usual. The weather was gorgeous- sunny but not too warm, with a lovely breeze. We scored on a fantastic room at The Inn at Morro Bay. Definitely check into it if you're staying in that area! 

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Our view from the hotel deck
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With the sailboats and the calm blue water, it felt like we were in a Mediterranean fishing village.

Breakfast at Dorn's was amazing! They say they have the best buttermilk pancakes, and don't dismiss it for false advertising. I'm usually a waffle gal- but these were to die for. Although they were huge, I'm pretty sure we both finished our's...along with the rest of our breakfast!
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We chose a new place to go hiking that we hadn't been to before, Montana del Oro State Park. You can see the ocean from almost any trail you hike, the beaches are gorgeous, and it's free! We hiked up to one of the higher peaks, which was a good workout after our hefty morning meal. The views from the top and other spots along the trail were just unbeatable, and by the time we got to the top, the morning sea fog had rolled away and it was sunny and warm.

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My handsome man, wearing our lucky hiking backpack as usual. 

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There were so many beautiful butterflies playing together at the top of the peak.
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We rested at the top and enjoyed the view for a while, then headed back down the mountain to go check out the bluff trail.

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"Rock Shrine Beach" as I like to call it - this was the biggest one there. No one ever tries to break them down, it's really cool.
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Had to take a few sunset pics that night- because really, who ever gets tired of watching this gorgeous sky?

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We spent the last morning playing frisbee (our frisbee's awesome, you can get one here!) and drinking a few beers on the beach. Made a pit stop at Firestone Walker Brewery to eat on the way back - they had some delicious grub and it's one of Eddie's favorite beers, so he was in hog heaven. 
We got back home with sand on our feet, red cheeks and another beautiful weekend of memories to cherish. So instead of spring cleaning this weekend, consider getting away yourself! It's always a better option.

And here's one more sunset photo just because I really love my new camera...and sunsets.
Until next time. xoxo
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Monday, April 6, 2015

Sunkissed Dream on Etsy - Wedding & Home Decor

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I've opened up a shop on Etsy! I'm so excited about this new venture and to be a part of the Etsy community as a buyer AND seller now.
Right now my store is offering home and wedding decor items, but I am in the process of creating & adding new and different items soon- and can't wait to share them!
Below are some photos of what I'm currently offering in my shop...click the photos to be taken to the Etsy listing where you'll find more information about each product. All of these vases and jars have been hand painted by me. 

XOXO

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Thanks for taking a look! Stay tuned for more items soon!

Until next time. XOXO