DIY Cloth Masks- Links and Tips

There are a lot of patterns and videos floating around the internet for non-medical personnel to make their own masks to keep safe in public when we have to go out for necessities.

These masks don’t filter all dangerous pathogens, but they are a good way to remind ourselves not to touch our faces, and keep our germs to ourselves.

MyBluprint has patterns and info here. There are several options/patterns, including a pattern for those who cannot or do not sew. MyBluprint is also hooking us up and staving off boredom by extending their FREE online crafting classes until 4/16/2020.

92393442_10157973738991061_532184793442418688_nIt’s a great way to learn some new crafts, or just watch the videos and plan for later.

I’ve been making masks for family and friends who are essential employees, you can see some of the pics of me making silly faces and modeling a couple different ones here on Instagram. *Warning*- Quarantine hair in the pics.

I used the pattern from Kaiser Permanente, which you can see here. There is a printable pattern on page 11 of the PDF.

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This fabric came from Dollar Tree!

Here are a few helpful hints that I’ve discovered in making over 20 masks this week:

  • Make a few masks per person. They need to be washed after each wearing in hot water.
  • If you don’t have any fabric in your home, you can use cotton bandanas, old sheets or pillowcases. The fabric needs to be tightly woven like cotton pillowcase fabric. Avoid sheer and or gauzy fabric.
  • Elastic is very hard to find these days, so I used new elastic hair ties, like these in the kids masks (I made the ear loop masks for them). I got hair ties at Dollar Tree (some Dollar Tree locations have precut quilters cotton fabric too). The majority of the masks I made have ties and are for adults. We are keeping the kids out of public as much as possible.
  • If you want to make the masks a little more protective put a layer of shop towel or interfacing between the layers of mask. I couldn’t find either at the time, so I skipped this.

I’d love to see what your DIY masks look like! Leave a comment. If you need masks but don’t sew, there are a lot of local seamtresses and costumers that are out of work right now who are making masks to help pay their bills.

Money Saving Tips for Going Back to College!

collegeSo after a few year s(cough cough), I’ve gone back to college to finish up my AA and get ready to transfer to a CA State University.

Like any endeavor in my life, I’m trying to do the college experience on the cheap. Here are a few ways you can save money while going to school:

Start out by completing a FAFSA. That’s a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Regardless of your family income or situation, you should fill it out. You never know what kind of loans, fee waivers, or grants you may be eligible for. I was able to get a Governor’s Board Fee Waiver, which paid for my classes. All I had to pay was the Health Fee (which is $20).

amazonprimeAmazon Prime has a discounted program for students. The first 6 months are free (Courtesy of Sprint, and just $6.49/month after that. That’s 50% off the regular price.

You can rent your textbooks online, Amazon rents textbooks. Your local school library may also have short term checkout of some textbooks. You may have to ask the librarian for more information.

If you need a new computer, Apple offers a discount through Unidays. I’m still in the middle of setting my account up, but it looks like Unidays partners with hundreds of retail partners.

School supplies are always cheaper if you buy them off campus. I like to shop for school supplies at Dollar Tree, they have lots of great stuff all year long.

A list on online retailers offering discounts can be seen here, courtesy of Dealhack.

Once school starts, get a Student ID card.

Beyond saving money at on tuition, books, and supplies, your student ID may give you discounts out in the world! College students who meet some criteria may also receive a discount on your automobile insurance, cell phone bill, even fee free banking products.

Movie theatres, museums, local attractions, and restaurants sometimes give students discounts, make sure to check before you go.

Talk Back: What’s your favorite Student Discount?

 

5 Tips for Moisturized Skin this Winter!

dsc07774It’s finally starting to chill out here in Southern California at night. I love taking a hot shower when it’s cold, but combine that with the dry winds and low humidity and that means dry, itchy skin. Here are five tips to help keep your skin smooth and supple this winter!

  1. Don’t take a hot shower. I know, the temptation is there, but take a warm shower. The hot water strips the moisture from your skin. If you love a steamy bathroom, put a bucket in the shower, and turn the water on very hot, allowing the water to be caught in the bucket. Save the water to water your plants or grass with (after it’s cooled). Then when it’s time to hop into the shower, turn the temp down, pull out the bucket and enjoy the steam and a warm shower!
  2. Dry brush! Dry brushing is a great way to sweep away dead skin, and increase blood flow. It also helps move lymph through your body, which some people say is one of the keys to a good detox. I use this dry brush set– I love it. Here is a great video about dry brushing.
  3. screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-4-07-54-pmExfoliate! Using a moisturizing exfoliant will sweep away the dead skin cells, which is what gives your skin that ashy dry appearance. I like the 100% Natural Arabica Coffee Body Scrub from New York Biology. It’s moisturizes with¬†Organic Arabica Seed Oil, Cacao Extract, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Olive Oil, and Organic Grape Seed Oil. It uses Coffee and salt to scrub away the dead skin cells. Oh, and it smells GREAT!
  4. Moisturize! Lock in the moisture from the shower with a high quality body lotion or body butter. Avoid products that contain Mineral Oil, Petroleum, and Petrolatum. These ingredients are not absorbed by your body, but leave an occlusive film on your skin. Some people like using straight Coconut oil. I prefer using the lotion bars from Little Red Howse.
  5. Drink Water! I know, you’ve heard that you need 8 glasses a day, but really, it’s important to keep your body hydrated from the inside by making sure you get plenty of liquid! Water is best, but juice, milk, and yes, even coffee count too. Just make sure that you are drinking more non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages, as excessive amounts of both can lead to dehydration or other ill effects. I use these powdered stick beverages in at least 2 of my 20 ounce water glass (which is really just a shaker bottle) each day. You can also infuse water with fruit. I have this pitcher in the fridge with lemons and cucumbers in it right now!

I’d love to hear your tips for keeping your skin moisturized this winter!