Homemade Vapor Shower Disks

Cold season is upon us and I wanted to get a head start by making these Homemade Vicks Vapor Shower Disks. I’ve already tried one out and it worked alright-ish. There are definitely some adjustments I’d make for next time since mine turned out all crumbly and basically dissolved within a few minutes of me being in the shower. However, it did make the shower nice and minty, it was very calming. So this is the version I would stick with for next time…

Ingredients

1 cup Baking Soda

1/3 + a few tbsp Water

15 drops Essential Oil (your choice) – I used Origins Stress Relieving Oil

Instructions

1. Mix together baking soda and water until you make a thick paste.

2. Add essential oil to the mix.

3. Put about 1-2 tbsp of mix into each muffin tin spot. (I used paper liners this time but I honestly think it would work better without. You’d just have to turn them over to pop them out at the end.)

4. Let sit overnight to dry. (I tried baking them and I think that’s one of the reasons they were crumbly.)

5. Place one in the bottom of your shower to help relieve congestion or just relax!

Homemade Shaving Lotion

I found the original recipe for Homemade Shaving Lotion a while ago and just haven’t had time to try it out. I cut the recipe down a little bit so I could try it before making a whole bottle.

Ingredients

1/4 cup Conditioner

1/4 cup Shampoo

1tbsp Olive Oil or Baby Oil

4tbsp Lotion

Instructions

1. Mix all ingredients together. (I just shook mine up in the conditioner bottle I was using to store the shaving lotion.)

2. Let sit for about an hour prior to use.

3. Lather on prior to shaving!

 

I tried it out and overall liked it. I think you have to not be expecting thick, poofy shaving cream or else you’ll be disappointed. It’s pretty runny – maybe I’ll add more lotion next time or add more conditioner than shampoo. But it still worked great and made my legs nice and smooth. PS- Make sure to match the scents in all of your ingredients so they combine well. The best part of my lotion is the vanilla honey chai smell!

Cleaning Makeup Brushes

 

Today I did some random DIY cleaning including cleaning my makeup brushes. I always hear that you should clean them regularly and I can only imagine the makeup and bacteria that live on these brushes I use all the time.  After some research I decided to go with a vinegar rinse. I’ve been using vinegar to clean just about everything lately so I figured it was a safe bet. I used 1 cup hot water with about 2tbsp vinegar, washed the brushes for a few minutes – swishing them around – then rinsed them in cool water and let them dry. It left a lot of debris in the glass I was using and left the brushes feeling soft and clean, so I’m assuming it worked! It was so easy, maybe I’ll actually wash my brushes regularly like you’re supposed to…

Soft and Fluffy Fall Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday after church G was having a friend over to play video games (that’s the new thing with the guys in our small group) so I decided to make cookies. It helps when you have an extra person to eat all of the cookies you make so you don’t eat them all. I found the original recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies on Pintrest and I will admit I was a little skeptical it at first. The recipe didn’t require beaters and a mixer at all and just looked way too easy. However, I was really surprised by just how easy this was and how great the cookies turned out. Clean up was a breeze since there aren’t too many ingredients and you only use two bowls and a spoon. I even added a little spice to make them “fall” cookies. G says they tasted like donut holes.

Ingredients

2 cups Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

8 tbsp Salted Butter, melted and cooled

6 tbsp Creamy Peanut Butter, melted and cooled

1 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature

2 tsp Vanilla

1 cup Chocolate Chips

Instructions

1. Place butter and peanut butter in microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave in 30 sec increments until melted. Stir until combined and then set it aside to cool.

2. Mix flour, baking soda, and nutmeg in a separate medium bowl and set aside.

3. Once your butter mixture is cooled, add the sugars and stir until combined.

4. To the sugar/butter mixture, add the eggs and vanilla and stir until combined.

5. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients gradually, mixing with a spoon. It may look a little crumbly but that’s okay, they will turn out great!

6. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips!

7. Preheat the oven to 325. Place golfball sized pieces of dough on a cookie sheet at least an inch apart. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown.

8. Remove from oven and let cool a little bit, serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Jeremy

 

Meet Jeremy. (And our pink flamingo – Pinky.) Jeremy is our tomato plant. He’s actually almost as tall as I am and he’s been with us all summer; however, I have not had even one tomato. Jeremy has been a constant source of problem solving for us over the past few months. Turns out there are a lot of things that could make a perfectly good tomato plant produce nothing. This includes the weather being too hot or too cold, no bees for pollination, too much sun or too little sun, issues with the soil, issues with watering etc. etc. It’s a long list, but I’m pretty sure the screened in porch is our biggest culprit. The bees can’t get through! Well, just as I thought hope was lost for Jeremy and the tomato issue…we have A tomato!! A little green one, but still, we have a tomato! Now hopefully it will turn red before the frost sets in. Better luck next year in the gardening area. G suggests I need an actual plot of soil instead of small pots in a screened in apartment porch. Probably so considering nothing made it….except one tomato!

Amazing Caramel Apple Banana Bread

I’m still in the fall mood today since it’s only 65! Yay! Today I switched out my summer clothes for my warm winter sweaters and made another fall treat – Caramel Apple Banana Bread! I had some frozen ripe bananas and a few apples that I needed to use and this recipe for Apple Banana Bread looked perfect! As usual, I made some adjustments. It’s in the oven right now, but based on the batter – it’s going to be really really good!

Ingredients

1 stick plus 2 tbsp Butter

2 tbsp Brown Sugar

3 Apples – Peeled, Cored, and Cut into small pieces

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Nutmeg

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 cups Flour

1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats

1 tsp Baking Soda

3/4 cup Sugar

2 Large Eggs

3 Ripe Bananas (About 1 1/2 cups)

1/4 cup Apple Cranberry Juice (or similar Apple Juice variety)

Instructions

1. In skillet on stovetop melt 2 tbsp butter with the brown sugar over med-high heat.

2. Add apples and cook for about 5 min, stirring frequently. About half way through add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp vanilla.

3. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

4. In a medium bowl combine flour, oats, baking soda, nutmeg, and remaining cinnamon.

5. In a large bowl, use a handheld mixer to beat the stick of butter and 3/4 cup sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well.

6. Add the mashed bananas, juice, and remaining vanilla and beat until smooth.

7. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and beat on low until smooth.

8. Using a spoon, add in the caramelized apples.

9. Pour the batter into the greased and floured loaf pan. At this point you can sprinkle some oats and sugar on top for a crumb-like topping if you like.

10. Bake at 350 for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

Update: Homemade Laundry and Dishwasher Detergent

I thought I should update about the effectiveness of these two homemade products since I’ve been using them for about a month now. The laundry detergent works well! I like how I only need to use a little bit and still feel like my clothes are getting nice and clean. I would advise not using too much or else it leaves a white reside (that easily rubs off)  but still, only use about 1 1/2 tbsp for a large load, 1 tbsp for a smaller load. I’m not really sure if it would work well on tough stains since those a far and few between with just the two of us. I have a feeling it would work okay but not great. As far as the dishwasher detergent, I haven’t been impressed. Since we started using it, even with a vinegar rinse, there is a filmy residue that ends up on pretty much everything. It’s especially bad on our cups and plates. You can feel it and see it and makes everything look dirty even though I know it’s not. The only way I’ve found to combat this is to rinse the items that are really filmy in a vinegar solution (vinegar and a little bit of Dawn) by hand after they come out of the dishwasher. I have a feeling that I’ll be switching back to store bought detergent when this is gone, though that may be a while. I’ll update if I find anything else that seems to clear up this issue. I really want the homemade detergent to work,  but no luck so far…