Tie Dying: Family Fun!

I love to tie dye! It’s a great way to give clothes that may have been stained a new life. Since I get most of our clothes from clothing swaps, I often find really cute light colored kids clothes with minor stains.

Well, and when you’ve got kids, a lot of stuff ends up with stains, and not just their clothes, I have several shirts that I had to tie dye to cover little people stains from dirty hands and faces rubbing on my during hugs.

There are a lot of tie dye kits available at your local craft store, but what they don’t tell you is that the dye in those kits doesn’t last.  We used this kit last year and the remaining shirts we have have faded to very light pastels. So, if you want to do some awesome, vibrant tie dyes, I recommend using Procion Dyes like the ones Dharma Trading sells.

I also have cultivated an Amazon Store with all the stuff you will need , including a kit that contains Procion Dyes- All you need is a bag of Urea and the kit is ready to dye! Procion dyes are best for Cotton, ramie, hemp, rayon- Natural plant based fibers (not linen- that stuff is a bear to dye).  If you have blends with synthetic fibers (like polyester, acrylic, lycra), the color will not be as vibrant. Anything less than 50% natural fiber will end up being pastel.

Since Tie Dying can be a little intimidating, let’s break it down. In addition to your dyes and chemicals…

You will need:

  • A big open space (We use my parents backyard)
  • 2-3 6 foot tables covered in protective plastic (tarps or trash bags work well)
  • 1-2 Large Buckets (5 gallon buckets from Home Depot are great)
  • Access to warm water
  • Measuring cups and measuring spoons (I recommend plastic ones)
  • Plastic bags or plastic wrap (to cover up /wrap up garments after they have been dyed)

Here is my pinterest board with tons of great folding techniques and patterns. You are ready to fold and tie once you’ve selected your garments and laundered them without fabric softener. I love incorporating marbles, canning jar lids, clamps  to make tie dying more interesting.

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Folded, tied, and zip tied!

Once everything is folded/tied and secured (either with rubber bands, zip ties, or cotton string), it’s time to mix the washing soda and hot water. 1 cup of washing soda per gallon of water.  Mix together in the buckets, and soak the tied garments for 15 minutes-1 hour. The washing soda raises the pH of the garments allowing the dye to be more readily absorbed.

Washing Soda is NOT BAKING SODA.  Washing soda is caustic and will hurt you if you submerge your hands in it. Wear gloves when you handle it. Wring out the garments after soaking so they are damp, not dripping.  You can keep using the same water for your entire session.

While your garments are soaking, mix up your dye.  The most dye will come directions, but remember to mix your water with Urea. 1/4C of urea to 1 quart warm water. Urea helps the dye dissolve and remain mixed. It also helps the colors stay vibrant.

TIME TO DYE! Once your soaked garments are wrung out, it’s time to apply the dye. If you aren’t sure which colors will look good together, Get a color wheel. It will help you with color placement too. When you tie dye, colors will run together, so using complementary colors will help your garments look better when they are finished.

Remember to apply dye all sides, and if your garment is bunched up a lot, you may need to squirt dye between the folds to make sure the dye penetrates all of the layers.

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Bags and bags of baby onsies!

After the garment is dyed, place it in a plastic bag, or wrap it up in plastic wrap. You want to lay the item flat.  Let the garments sit for 24 hours (or over night), rinse the garments one at a time under cool water until most of the water coming from our garment is clear or a very pale. Then remove the binding (rubber bands, zip ties, string).

Wash completed garments with Synthrapol. It’s laundry soap that binds the color molecules to the fabric and sheds the dye that is not bonded. Once you wash the finished garments with Synthrapol, the clothing won’t shed dye or rub off on you, you can use your regular detergent from then on out. I also throw a couple Color Catchers in the wash too for good measure.

Once your garments are dry, the are ready to wear! I use the word “garments”, but you can also dye fabric, bed sheets, even pillow cases.

Here is some of the most recent stuff I dyed:


Tie dye shirts make great gifts! You can also tie dye socks- That’s what Bitty Bird is getting in her Advent Calendar this year!

I have utilized Amazon links within this post, prices can change at any time, and I may receive a commission when you click the links to Amazon and purchase items linked. Commissions help cover the costs associated with blogging.

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Winterize your Skin Care Frugally

 

It’s finally cold here in San Diego (it’s 55 degrees and I am wearing a sweater as I type this)! So besides peppermint mochas and sweaters, it’s time to look forward to some changes to our skin care routines.

Recently I was excited to add two new products in my #selfcareSunday routine. Each Sunday night after the kids are in bed (and Mr. is watching the latest episode of Star Trek Discovery), I give myself a DIY facial and do a few other fun self care rituals (like a mani/pedi, or a body mask and body scrub). I play some music on my phone and spend about an hour just focusing on me.

IMG_0245.jpgThe first new product was Anavita Renewing Foaming Facial Cleanser. It smells GREAT. It has orange essential oil, as well as a slew of other botanicals (Aloe Vera, Chamomile, and Olive Leaf). It’s 99.8% natural and contains 70% organic products! It foams up providing a healthy lather and left my skin feeling clean and hydrated. The best part is you only need 1 pump to clean your entire face and neck, so a 6 ounce bottle will last a few months!

IMG_0244.jpgIMG_0248.jpgAfter my face was nice and clean, I was onto my next step, was the Alana Mitchell Quick Comeback Masque. It was hard to photograph, but the little container has two parts, the bottom looks like a tiny cotton ball, and the top is liquid. You depress the top of the package until the liquid releases into the bottom. The liquid mixes with the fluff to dissolve the fluff and make a cool masque that helps with plumping, tightening, and firming lines and wrinkles. You can either remove the masque with warm water or you can do what I did, which was to peel it off.

IMG_0249.jpgAhh, the satisfying sense of completion when it’s time to peel a masque off, amirite? My face felt so much better, it’s hard to describe, other than nourished and healthy.

Not to be done in just two steps, it was time to move onto the moisturizing mask for my neck and chest. The skin on your neck and chest ages a lot faster than our faces, since most of use neglect to moisturize and cleanse those delicate areas like we do with our faces.  I like to use Valentia Ultra Plumping Hydration mask.  It contains silk protein amino acids, hyaluronic acid (which is a humectant), as well as other botanically to protect and moisturize. To remove, I used a warm, wet microfiber towel.

IMG_0256.jpgAfter all the masques and such, it’s time for a few spritzes of Insta natural Vitamin C Toner followed by Insta Natural Vitamin C Serum.

I really recommend indulging in your own #selfcareSunday or whatever day of the week works best for you. A little time to yourself to focus on you and your needs is just what every person needs. Maybe it’s not a DIY facial, maybe it’s playing a video game, cooking a favorite meal, getting a massage, going for a walk, or hitting the gym. Doing something you enjoy every week that helps you recharge is an awesome way to reduce stress.

Thanks to the awesome peeps over at Tomoson, Anavita, and Alana Mitchell Skin Care for the cleaner and masque. I feel a kindred spirit with Alana Mitchell. As a mom of a child with autism, life can be hard, especially in the first year of diagnosis with all of the changes like doctor’s appointments, therapy appointments, IEP meetings, and changes in life to help support your child and give them all they need to succeed. I really relish and embrace each Sunday night when I can focus on helping heal and restore my spirit. I throughly enjoyed her masque and I can’t wait to try her other products!

 

Good, Clean (House) Fun with Oh Goodness!

Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 9.09.01 PM.pngDoes anyone really like to clean? I like when my house is clean, but I do not look forward to actually cleaning my house.

I don’t enjoy spraying who knows what surfactants, artificial fragrances (or worse, “natural” flavoring or scents like castoreum..eww), or harsh chemicals (the thought of bleach makes my eyes water). And yet, I’m not one who wants to spend hours mixing up my own house cleaning products.

IMG_0242.jpgSo when Annie from Oh Goodness contacted me to tell me about her awesome products, I was down to try their awesome DIY cleaning kits.

She sent me their Glowing Collection, which contains the reusable glass containers, ingredients and directions to make:

You Shine Dishwashing Powder (35-40 loads)

You Sparkle All Purpose Spray (16 ounces)

You’re Brilliant Scrub (8 ounces)

The one thing I like is that I know all of these ingredients. I use them all in other ways around the house. It’s all non-toxic (but that doesn’t mean you should eat it- DON’T EAT IT), it’s easy to make, and it actually cleans! I’m sure you’ve read online and seen all over Pinterest how you can clean your kitchen with peroxide, baking soda, vinegar, etc. Those are all great, but I’ve never had results with those ingredients like I have with my Oh Goodness kit.

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mix, mix, mix, mix and here are my finished products!

15 minutes after opening the box, reading the directions, (stopping to make a snack for the kids) and mixing, I was in business. I cook 90% of our meals, so my kitchen is always in need of some kind of cleaning.

I started with the kitchen sink. I have no before picture, but let’s just say it was.. icky.

A liberal scoop of You’re Brilliant Soft Scrub, and a quick scrub of the sink with a sponge and ta da:IMG_0236Can you hear the Angels singing? I can! I even scrubbed the black flange into the garbage disposal that keeps the whirling chunks of food from flying out of the garbage disposal.

The You Sparkle All Purpose Spray got my counters clean like whoah, and the entire house fills with the bright scent of lemons every time I run the dishwasher (which is seriously two times a day)..

I love that the containers are recyclable and reusable. The littler bottles the coconut soap and essential oil came in got a good scrubbing and the kids use them in their toy kitchen.

Oh Goodness wants to share their cleaning glory with two of my readers! Entering is easy.  Click here, or use the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ll choose two winners on 11/20/17- Remember, you can’t win if you don’t enter!

BOGO Holiday Beverages are back at Starbucks (and a DIY Hack)

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.35.18 PM.png It’s back. Halloween is over and that means Starbucks is already to serve their holiday beverages!

November 9-13 from 2-5pm each day, you will get a holiday beverage free when you buy one at regular price.

The Starbucks Holiday Beverages include:

  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Gingerbread Latte
  • Egg Nog Latte
  • Caramel Brulee Latte
  • Holiday Spiced Flat White
  • Chestnut Praline Latte

And from November 12-16th from 2-5pm each day you can score one holiday favorite free when you buy one holiday favorite.

This deal is at participating locations only, so check with your fav. location beforehand.

If you can’t make it to your local ‘Bux in time to score one of these sweet deals, here is my holiday drink DIY:

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.54.04 PM.pngLocate your favorite mug.

Brew your favorite coffee double strength (because let’s face it, not everyone has an expresso machine at their disposal)

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.50.23 PM.pngHeat some milk (I prefer 2% or whole milk) and I use a frother like this one.  It makes the milk nice and frothy- just like the steamer at the coffee shop.

Pour coffee into your mug, add 2-4 pumps of syrup (I like my coffee less sweet, so I do 2 pumps), stir and then add your hot milk. Put a dollop of froth on top. Top with whipped cream (if desired, not needed).

If you are feeling fancy, you could always top your beverage with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, or fancy sprinkles.

For syrups, I prefer Torani. Amazon has a bunch of different variety packs for holiday drinks, I like this one the best. If you live near a Cost Plus World Market, they usually have a great selection of flavors. Since I’m not a huge fan of single task anything, I also put Sugar free syrups in my protein shakes, and in my regular coffee each day. I’ve got a regular coffee shop set up in my kitchen. Ya know, except there is no bearded hipster.

If you are making a mocha, I use Nesquik. Really. I’ve got kids, so we always have it in the cupboard. But you could use your favorite cocoa mix.

Earn Cashback, Gift Cards, and now DISNEYLAND TICKETS with Swagbucks!

I’ve used Swagbucks Since February 2012 and so far I’ve earned over $700. Usually I cash out for Amazon GC or Paypal cash, but recently I learned that you can save your points for Disneyland tickets! We’ve been saving up change for a Disneyland trip next year, but now I have another trick up my sleeve to score tickets!

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Are you new to Swagbucks? They’re a completely free, no strings attached site that rewards you for all of the things you’re already doing online. Search, Watching Videos, Playing Games, Taking Surveys, Shopping and more – as you do these activities, you’ll earn Swag Bucks, which are reward points that you can redeem for all sorts of gift cards in the Rewards Store.

Join Swagbucks!
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What’s Online at Swagbucks.com

You can download their toolbar or download their OS and Android apps for more opportunities to earn. Choose the activities you like or have time for – how much you earn is up to you!

I have been using the search toolbar for all of my searches and I’ve been racking up the points!

Any now you can start earning points just by sharing Swagbucks with friends! When you sign up and refer friends, you’ll earn $3.00 in points (that’s 300 points).

Join Swagbucks!
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What’s Online at Swagbucks.com

The nice thing about Swagbucks is that the more you use it, the faster you earn points!

Review: Colortime Crafts and Markers – Glow in the Dark Halloween Tote

Recently I wrote that I was going to receive a glow in the dark Trick or treating cotton tote bag and markers from Colortime Crafts.  It came last week and over the weekend, I gave it a spin. Henry was too busy cleaning his room and playing to color (his words, not mine), and Bitty Bird was napping.

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 12.58.23 PM The bag is very sturdy and well put together.

I received three markers: Green, Purple, and Orange. We also have a stash of fabric markers, so I filled in with our stash as needed.

The directions instruct you to place a piece of cardboard between the layers of fabric to keep the markers from bleeding through.

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It turned out really cute, and we’ll be using it this weekend at a Halloween event. I’ll be posting photos on Instragram! Make sure to follow me!

Click here for the Latest Online Special offers and promo codes to Colortime Crafts and Markers
 

@usfg

Staying Smooth: Moisturizing & Exfoliating Body Scrub!

Recently I posted a photo on Instagram of some of the body scrub I whipped up. I love making body scrubs, balms, and lotions. Anything I can make at home with all natural ingredients is a plus in my book.

I dislike commercially available scrubs, so often they contain silica or other “micro-beads”. They are often times not biodegradable, and they end up in oceans and streams, harming wildlife.

Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 9.05.43 PM.pngI got quite a few DM’s asking for the recipe, so I thought I would share it.

All of this stuff I had in my house already, so you may have to go out and grab some ingredients, or just make a few substitutions, depending on what you have on-hand.

I’ve linked to some of the ingredients on Amazon (prices may change, and if you buy something from one of my links, I *might* get a small commission). Then you don’t have to leave home to shop!

This recipe makes A LOT, so, be prepared with a large container with a lid (I used a plastic coffee canister that I sterilized).

 

Moisturizing & Exfoliating Body Scrub

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the liquid ingredients together in a bowl, set aside.
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a second bowl, set aside.
  3. Add wet to dry ingredients slowly, stirring well.
  4. Store in a container with a lid, scoop out with a clean hand (or spoon) into another cup/container as needed.

If mixture feels too wet, add up to an additional 1/2 cup of salt (your choice: sea or table).

If mixture is too dry, add up to 1/2 cup coconut oil.