Cheap Coffee Sugar Scrubs

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Because our container STILL has not arrived, I decided to try something new to keep me occupied. The other day, the Mr. brought home a jumbo bag of used coffee grounds from Starbucks. The grounds are meant to be used for planting purposes but since we don’t have any plants just yet, I figured I can make some coffee sugar scrubs in the meantime! Genius, right? So, let me tell you how I made my coffee sugar scrubs for dirt cheap.

Here are a few things you’ll need:

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Coconut Oil – I managed to snagged this little guy for FREE when Thrive Market was running a promotion. But you can find inexpensive coconut oil at Trader Joe’s for $6.
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Coffee Grounds – FREE courtesy of my trusty Starbucks
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Soap Base – I used a 50% off coupon to Michaels and snagged this Shea Butter Soap base for $5.25. I heard goat’s milk is also a great option but I was nervous about the way it would make my apartment smell.
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Molds – I got mine from Ikea for $1. The flamingos are from Hollar for $1 as well!
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(OPTIONAL) Essential Oils: I got my oil from Michaels with a 40% coupon. The oil cost me $2.40 but I will never, EVER purchase it again because it smells like wet dog. Consider yourself warned.

I try not to purchase crafts without a coupon or a considerable in-store markdown. So imagine my excitement when I saw that there was a 50% off coupon for Michaels when I started this project!!

The best part of this project was that I got to use my pretty copper measuring cups and spoons I ordered from World Market! Aren’t they preeeetty??

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I made the soap scrubs while Ittybot was taking a nap so I was trying to do it quickly and quietly to avoid any grimy little fingers dipping into the soap mix.

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It looks like dirty sand once it’s all packed in. Look closely, you can see some soap chunks because I wasn’t working fast enough. Who knew they’d harden fast?!

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Aaaand voila! I got my little panda holder from Daiso. I really don’t know what it’s intended for but if it’s a Panda, I gotta have it!

I managed to make the scrubs for around $10! Not bad, right?! And I still have enough materials to make many more batches.

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Ingredients:
1 cup of granulated sugar

2 tbsp of coffee

1/2 cup of soap base

1/4 cup of coconut oil

25 drops of Essential Oil {OPTIONAL}

Directions:
1. Melt your soap base. You can do this in the microwave according to directions but I chose to melt mine in a hot bath using a pyrex bowl.

2. While the soap base is melting, mix sugar and coffee in a large mixing bowl

3. Prepare your molds because once you mix the soap base and dry ingredients you will need to work fast.

4. Once the soap base is melted add in your coconut oil and essential oil.

5. Next, pour the base into your large mixing bowl that contains your sugar and coffee.

6. Mix thoroughly and pack mix into your molds – work fast because the soap will harden quickly!

7. Let sit for about 4 hrs before removing them from their molds

 

Next time, I will skip the essential oil entirely and embrace the coffee smell!

Give it a try and tag me in the pictures! IG: @MeetTheBots

Dana-Signature

 

DIY State Silhouette Art

DIY State Silhouette Art Minneapolis, Minnesota

Every once in a while (usually on a Holland gloomy day), I get SUPER homesick. So I decided I wanted to make a little state silhouette art piece for my new work area. Seeing it helps remind me where we want to ultimately end up and that sitting at my desk chugging along will help us get one step closer.

The project cost me under 10 euros and I still have a lot paint left to make others. I plan to make one for Florida and Holland as well. Basically one for every place we’ve lived. I think it will be cute on a wall at some point.

What you need:

  1. Canvas: I purchased mine from Xenos for 99 cents
  2. Gold Glitter paint: I had my bff send some cheap Martha Stewart Paint with our sweets swap. You can also use gold glitter scrapbooking paper – which is MUCH easier. I just couldn’t find any nearby.
  3. Paint brushes
  4. Red Craft Paper/Red Paint: I happened to have a TON of mini clothesline pins with hearts on them (Amazon.co.uk) from a previous project so I broke off the heart and hot glued it on.

The project itself is as straightforward as it looks. I googled what the silhouette of Minnesota looked like and I started sketching with a pencil. After painting the silhouette, I noticed you could still see my sketch mistakes that the eraser couldn’t get. Don’t fret – white out! After the paint dried, I simply used a hot glue gun to glue the heart to where Minneapolis is. Ok, so it’s a little far left but my hot glue gun dripped and I had to cover up the damage. HAHA.

I loved how simple this was and plan to do many more in the future. Maybe Ittybot’s silhouettes or animal silhouettes for his bedroom. The options are literally endless!

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Vacation photo tips for the non-photographer

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We are approaching the end of the year AGAIN. Where has time gone? It has been yet another whirlwind year for us. The Bots sure know how to go hard!

Over the past year and a half, I have had an outpour of compliments on my travel photography. A lot of people suggested that I try to make some money off of it – and hey, that day may come!

Until then, I’m here to give you some tips on how to achieve your own vacation/holiday photo greatness. The best part, you don’t need to be a professional photographer to be able to pull these off. You’re welcome.

1. The “wider” the merrier

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I know you want that money shot of that landmark but don’t be afraid to open your image to the “bigger picture”. Including the captivating sky will dramatically improve your image. Even a gloomy sky will give your image intense drama.

Unless you plan to do photography for a living, it wouldn’t make sense for you to run out and buy a wide lens. But don’t fret, most point and shoots offer wider angles that will do a decent job. The stock lenses that come with an intro level dslr does decent as well.

2. It’s all in the details

On the flip side to the above, don’t forget the details of your travel. When we’re on travel, we tend to focus on the landmarks and overlook the minor details that make the landmark unique.  Go ahead, get closer. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the images you get out of it!

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3. Pano-delic

Practically every photo taking device out there has a panoramic feature. SO WHY AREN’T WE USING IT MORE OFTEN!? They create some of the mesmerizing photos I have seen. And seriously, they are perfect for your facebook cover. Just sayin’.

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4. Get up early, stay up late

Sometimes, people just ruin pictures. Especially during peak hours when there are obnoxious amounts of people getting in your way. So get up early and take advantage of the “golden hour” and snap a few pictures before the crowds swarm with their selfie sticks.

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Same concept applies to evening time. Bear in mind that you are more likely to run into crowds but sometimes the sunset is worth the effort.

5. Don’t take every photo at eye level.

Try different angles! It’ll make grand seem even grand-er. Have fun with it!

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6. Take LOTS of pictures.

You never know what you’ll end up with. Whats the worse that can happen? You run out of space on your card? Those are fairly inexpensive. You really should have extra anyways. You can always weed out the “bad” at the end of the day anyways.

PLUS, you don’t know if the one picture is exactly sharp until you pull it up on your comp so have a couple extra as back up!

7. A massage heat corn bag is your broke-person tri-pod.

Ledges and benches normally aren’t reliable. And there may not be someone around to take it for you. It’s ok, bring a small corn neck warmer/heat massage bag and set your camera on that instead of a big annoying tripod. Voila.

8. Beat the blahs

I am guilty of this on a constant basis. When the horizon line is smack dab in the middle of your picture, it tends to bore your picture down a little. To accentuate your foreground or your sky, situate your horizon above or below the center line and you’ll have a significantly better image.

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I hope some of these simple, yet practical tips help you achieve the vacation photos you desire. Don’t forget to hang up your masterpiece. C’mon you worked for it!

Dana-Signature

 

Eternal Foodie Newbie : Green Onions fo’ DAYS!

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This may be old news to a lot of people but considering that the kitchen is still pretty foreign to me, this is an amazing discovery. Well, I discovered this over a year ago but I just haven’t shared my discovery to the world yet.

It’s simple, once you chop off the green part of the green onions, throw it in a jar or cup and let it grow (singing “let it gRow” in my head right now, get it? GET IT!?)

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See those two stems in the front? You can already see it starting to regrow. And that’s only after a couple hours! Mind.Blown. Tip: once your new stem grows in, peel off that outer layer to the old stem and change out the water. Otherwise, that stench will make you tear up.

Now, I don’t do this more than 3 times on a single stem (I’m using the word “stem” here but there’s probably a more legit term) because to me, it starts getting difficult to take care of after a couple times. BUT many of you do have more patience than I do so LET IT GROW!

I just love Frozen.

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You Crafty Huh?: Picture Clips

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I find myself perusing around the dollar bins everywhere that there is one (it totally irks me that they slip in $2 and $3 items in that area and call it something else now). I happened to find these big clothespins at Michaels that are supposed to hold either pictures or other small items. I thought they were adorable so I had to pick up a few. At a dollar + 50% off, who could resist??

I needed to come up with a picture solution for Ittybot’s nursery and I thought I could put the clips to use. I remembered that I still had some wooden cut outs of whales from his baby shower so I pulled those out and went back to Michaels to purchase the anchors to go with his nautical theme. JoAnn fabrics also have many cute shapes that are both painted and unpainted. The wooden pieces were about $0.59 at Michaels and the craft paint that I used to paint them were on sale for $0.50 as well (of course I used my student ID to get even MORE of a discount)!

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The project is pretty self explanatory. I painted the wooden shapes and then used a hot glue gun to glue it to the clothespin. VOILA! Custom picture clips for about a dollar! You can customize it to just about any theme. I highly recommend to use it at baby showers or birthdays to display cute snapshots!

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