DIY Fleece Tie Blanket

Yesterday we were snowed in up here in the hills, so while little man played trains, I made the hubs a super soft fleece tie blanket.  I have made many of these and given them as gifts and kept some in our home.  They are always loved and enjoyed!  There are so many DIY step by steps out there in cyberspace, but here is mine.  I hope my tips learned from many trials and errors save you some headaches!

List of Materials:
1.5 yards of solid fleece (2 yards for adults)
1.5 yards of pattern fleece (2 yards for adults)
Fabric scissors (make sure they are VERY sharp)
Small piece of cardboard

1. I usually cut a template out of cardboard, 6 inches long on each side and a 1 inch wide guide for the strips.

IMG_6847

2. Lay the pieces of fabric just how you want them, evenly one on top of the other.

FullSizeRender

3. Next, your going to want to trim the sides.  Make sure they are straight and even.

IMG_6845

4. Then, using your 6 inch square cardboard guide, cut a 6 inch square from each corner.  I like to use these nice squares of fabric for rice bags.  Makes wonderful hand warmers and Jamberry Nail applicator tools.  (P.S. I know a great Jamberry consultant if your interested in non-toxic nail wraps!)

FullSizeRender IMG_6841

5. Now you want to cut your 1 inch strips, using your 1 inch guide. All the way across one side of the blanket.  I cut and tie an entire side before moving onto the next.

IMG_6844

6. There are multiple ways to tie your knots. I like this simple clean loop knot.  Over under thru the bunny hole kinda style.

IMG_6838 IMG_6837IMG_6848 IMG_6849

7. Cut and tie all four sides.  I also like to wash the blanket before giving it away, so it is clean, smells nice and I feel like it binds the knots together tightly. Thats it!

IMG_6850

Have you made a fleece tie blanket before? any tips to share?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

Advertisements

DIY All Natural Sunscreen

I LOVE Wellnessmama.com!  Today, I made her Natural Homemade Sunscreen.  It was super easy and cost WAY less than the $11 I paid for 3oz of a high end all natural version.  I went basic and did an olive oil, coconut oil and beeswax base then added the powdered zinc.  Working with the zinc was a little scary but just be careful and it will be fine.  I also bought these adorable little cups to keep it in.  It smells wonderful, like the tropics, cant wait to try it out!

photo (23)

 

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

DIY Miracle Healing Salve

I happened to come across this DIY Miracle Healing Salve from Backdoor Survival.  Having dealt with Eczema and very very dry skin my entire life, I am willing to give any sort of cream or lotion a try.  Let me tell you, it actually WORKS!  3 weeks of apply this at night to my heals and they are softer and healing, no more dry, cracked and bleeding skin. It has so many uses and really is amazing stuff.  Give it a try and let me know how it comes out.

photo 1

DIY All Natural Homemade Bug Spray

I am a mosquito magnet!  There is just something about me I guess, maybe my blood, or skin, or smell. Whatever it is, they flock to me like crazy.  I also tend to get HUGE welts that itch and last for days.  Most bug sprays are nasty and contain very harmful chemicals.  The all natural versions are expensive and some don’t really even work that well.

So what is a mosquito buffet to do?  Make it myself.

bugspraylogo

There are so many bug spray recipes all over the internet.  It was hard to narrow down what would work best, but I think I found a pretty good mixture.

DIY All Natural Homemade Bug Spray

Equal parts Castor Oil and Filtered Water
10-15 drops of each of  any combination of Essential Oil
Lemon Eucalyptus, Citronella, Rosemary, Peppermint, Lavender or Geranium

1. Fill spray bottle 3/4 of the way full with Oil and Water
2. Add Essential Oil
3. Shake VERY well before each application
4. Apply to exposed skin, be careful not to soak clothing, the oils may stain if used in excess

photo 1 copy photo 2 copy photo 3 copy photo 4 copy photo 5

How do you repel those little blood suckers?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

DIY All Natural Homemade Eyeliner

eyelinerlogo

Continuing on my mission to rid our family from harmful chemicals, I had to evaluate my cosmetics.  I switched a few years ago to a mineral based powder makeup line that is very popular.  Although, I like the products and they are somewhat natural, they are very very expensive.  The most common product I use is eyeliner.  Seriously, if I have time to throw that on its a good day!  I save the whole face process for special occasions such as weddings and formal gatherings.

I had the small eyeliner brush already and had a hard time finding a pencil DYI version.  So, my eyeliner is in powder form and takes just a few tries to learn how to apply.  If I can do it sans eye glasses without making a mess, you can too!

photo 3

Really all you need are two ingredients: activated charcoal capsules and arrowroot starch (corn starch will work but not as well).  The charcoal is the base and gives you the deep black color, and the arrowroot is just an anti caking agent.  I used an equal amount of each, poured it into a small jar and gave it a good shake.  You will end up with a deep grey color.  For more of a midnight black, use less arrowroot.

Application is simple, dip the brush in water or run it under the tap to make it moist.  Then dip the wet brush into the powder.  Swirl the brush on the cap of the container to form a paste.  Smooth out the paste and apply.  It will take some practice, I use the side of my hand and it wipes off easily.

photo 4

This is NOT waterproof, it will run, but I feel thats the price you pay for going all natural and its easy to reapply.  Also, try not to get it in your eye, it will sting a little, trust me I know.  Best part? This container cost PENNIES to make, way better then the $19 I was paying before.

Has anyone used homemade eyeliner before? Or any other homemade beauty product?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

Natural Skin Care: Oil Cleansing Method

oilcleansinglogo

With a successful experiment of “no-poo,”  I figure the next place to rid myself of harmful chemicals is logically my face.  I have been feverishly researching various natural skin care methods, all claiming to work the best.  I am not sure there can be a “best” type of skin care, everyones skin is very very different and needs to be managed differently.

Along my journey, I found recipes for homemade cleansers and sugar scrubs, but one method really seemed to jump out at me- oil cleansing.  At first I was skeptic, how can slathering your face with oil REMOVE the oil that is already there?  Reach back in your memory banks to high school chemistry, there is a basic principle that like dissolves like, so the oil you put on your face should in fact dissolve the oil that is in your pores.

There are pages and pages of information on OCM, oil cleansing method.  Feel free to google and get lost for days, because I sure did.  If you don’t want to waste the time, here is a BASIC breakdown of the method, again, everyones skin is different so you might have to experiment with oils and technique to find what works for you.

1. Choose your oil.  I have combination skin and eczema, so I went with a simple sweet almond oil. This brand happens to also mix in some vitamin E.

sweetalmondoil

2. With a dry face, squirt a small amount of oil on your finger tips and massage into your skin for a minute or two, the longer the better.

3. Take a super soft washcloth and run it under the hottest water you can stand.

4. Place the cloth on your face and let it steam your skin until it turns cold, run it back under the water and let the other side of the cloth steam your face.

5. Run it back under the water and gently wipe your face free of the oil.

Thats it! Really!  You will not need a moisturizer because the oil both cleanses and moisturizes at the same time. Your skin should NOT feel oily, it should just feel soft and supple.  If it does feel oily, you might have to wipe it off more.  Also, it removes make up while you cleanse, one quick step, saves you time and money.

Here is my face Day 1 of OCM:

oilday1

Feels great, very soft and not greasy at all.  Some people report a “greasy period” of 1 or 2 weeks as your skin adjusts to the method.  I will update you on my skin condition and what works for me.

Update: 3 weeks later-

skin2

So it has been almost a month and OCM has worked so great on my skin! I never really went thru a transition and have only had 1 blemish which is actually less then normal.  I have found that my face is a bit dry right after the wash, so I just smooth a tiny tiny amount of coconut oil into my fingers and pat gently on the dry areas and problem solved!  I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship hehe

Has anyone tried OCM or is currently using it? Is it working for you?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

Taking the Plunge and Going “No-Poo”

**Newly Updated: 4/24/14**

No, this post has nothing to do with #2!  “No-Poo” is the practice of washing your hair without shampoo or other chemicals, that is where the “poo” comes from.  Using natural household ingredients, you slowly transition your hair and balance it’s PH so your own oils take care of it’s hydration.  It is a fairly easy process, however, it does not work for everyone, and for some people it will take a lot of trial and error.

Why “no-poo”?  A few reasons; to continue to rid your life of chemicals, if you wouldn’t eat it then why would you rub it into your pores, saves tons of money, less reliance on the “system”, and to have more natural luxurious manageable hair!

Personally, I am three weeks into “no-poo” and I found a method that works great! I use a BS (baking soda) wash, ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinse, arrowroot starch for oil management, tea tree oil for a more antiseptic scalp treatment, and coconut oil for dryness.  In between, I also use WO (water only) to keep my head clean and a BBB (boar bristle brush) to push down the oil from my scalp after washing.

Here is a quick overview of the process, there are tons of sites and tutorials out there, but this is what worked for me.

  • Gather your ingredients: missing from the pic is the coconut oil and the BBB

photo (35)

  • Prepare your wash and rinse: 2 T of BS and 2 T of ACV in each container, diluted with water

photo (36)

  • Use the BS as your shampoo as you normally would and the ACV as the conditioner.  Don’t forget to hit your head with cold water to seal up those pores and regulate the oils at the end of the wash.
  • Before bed, use your BBB with a few drops of tea tree oil to push down the oils and for some added antiseptic, if the brush is used during the day it tends to cause major static, so keep this to a nightly routine.  Wash the brush as needed.
  • Try to extend your washes each time with WO washed in between, the goal is 7+ days between treatments, and try not to do less than 4 days (I found out quickly this will damage your hair)
  • Don’t get discouraged if it does not work right away, it may take time and some different methods before its beautiful and easy to manage.
  • The ultimate goal is chemical free, so you will also need to find natural substitutes for your styling products as well, but one step at a time I feel 🙂

Week 1: 2 days between BS/ACV

photo (34)

Week 2: 3-4 days between BS/ ACV

photo (32)

Week 3: 5-6 days between BC/ACV with WO in between

photo (33)

 

UPDATE: 4/24/14

So, here we are at week 10 of “no-poo,” how do you think its going?  Honestly?  It is wonderful!  My hair has never felt better and never have I received so many nice compliments from friends, and even strangers, on my au natural locks.

hair1

 

After the transition period and a little adjusting of the ratios, here is my daily routine:

Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar Wash every 7-10 days, depending on how dirty my hair gets
Water Only Wash in between
Arrowroot Starch on my roots when they get oily, maybe once every two weeks or so
Coconut Oil on my ends if they are dry, again maybe once every two weeks
Boar Brush after every BS/ACV Wash
Minimal Flat Iron and Blow Drier use

Next up, natural skin and body care.  Doing the research now, I will put up a new post when I start experimenting.

Has anyone else gone “no-poo? How is it going?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

Welcome to our blog! What is this all about?

oursshome

Hello! Welcome to our blog, our home, our family and a peak into our lives.  My name is Colleen, I have a fantastic husband named John and an adorable son, John William.  A little over a year ago, we moved from our one bedroom condo and are slowly starting our way towards a more self-sufficient lifestyle on our own homestead.

You may be wondering, what is this homestead thing all about?  Well, UrbanHomestead.org defines a suburban or urban homestead as, “a suburban or city home in which residents practice self-sufficiency through home food production and storage.”  Also, it is not only about food, but personal energy generation and getting “off grid,” as well.

On our list of homestead goals are:  find a house with land that allows for us to pursue this new life style, compost, start a garden or implement a lawnscaping plan, build and maintain a greenhouse, collect and store rainwater, can and preserve our own food, and build a source of self-supplying energy.

Join us on our journey as we try to make this dream a reality, while having tons of fun on the way! OH! and the name? Its a play on our last name, near and dear to our hearts 🙂