DIY BEET JUICE LIP BALM


Many of us spend lots of money on makeup every year. However, money isn't the only thing we're spending on makeup. Makeup production sucks up some of our precious resources on this planet. Remember this?

But making your own cosmetics is not impossible, and once you have a few key ingredients you can make a variety of different products. Lip gloss, for example, is a relatively simple cosmetics product to make yourself. Not only is it perfectly suited for your own lips, it makes for a wonderful gift as well.

Here's a basic recipe:

¼ cup of beeswax

¼ cup of castor oil

2 tbsp on sesame oil

2 tbsp of beet juice

Melt the beeswax. Remove it from the heat and add the oils. Then add however much beet juice you wish for coloring. Store this in a container in your refrigerator.

This makes a great lip gloss and the best part is...you know exactly what is in it!

DIY COLORBLOCK BAG

DIY: Colorblock Bag


DIY: Colorblock Bag
From 3.1 Phillip Lim to ChloƩ, we've been seeing lots of colorblocked bags on the runway. Check out this DIY on how to make your very own colorblock purse!

For this DIY you'll just need spray paint, tape, and an old or used purse! Wipe the surface of the purse gently. Tape off all of the parts of the purse you don't want to add color to (including the clasps). Place the purse on newspaper and spray a coat on the area you want to color. Let it dry and then apply a second coat. Wait for the second coat to dry before showing off your awesome runway-inspired DIY to your friends.

Thanks to @handmademoon for the awesome DIY!

ECO HOME: BREEZEHOUSE

Can I get the keys to this home? I love the modern lines, and the materials. Its designed to fit in almost any climate, now I just need the $500,000 to build it!


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ECO OBSESSION: DWARF TREES

We recently planted a new round of seeds into our kitchen herb garden, more on that next week. But it got me excited to start thinking about summer gardening. I have always wanted an avocado, apple, and peach tree in my yard, but I've always run into the problem of not having a yard. Enter dwarf trees. I have had some experience with full size fruit trees- growing up we had a plum, 2 apples, and an apricot. I have been told that dwarf olive and fig trees do well at producing an active crop. I love the way dwarf citrus trees look, not only do these trees make great kitchen accessories they can give you food!


HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER

This weekend I made peanut butter. We used to grind our own at the local grocery store, but then we moved and haven't been able to find a place since. I researched a few recipes to try and find the best way to do it. Most called for peanut oil and honey in addition to the peanuts. We wanted just straight peanuts so I thought I'd just go for it. So we just simply mixed it in a Vitamix blender, stirring every so often. It came out to the perfect consistency. I love to eat it with sliced apples, it makes the perfect snack. The best part is you know exactly what is in it and it is so much cheaper than the "natural" peanut butter because we bought our peanuts in the bulk food section.



Ingredients

15 ounces shelled and unsalted peanuts
1 1/2 teaspoons honey (just to sweeten)

Directions

Place the peanuts into the bowl of a food processor or into a high-power blender. (if you are going to use honey add it at this phase.) Process for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Place the lid back on and continue to process until the mixture is smooth, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Place the peanut butter in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Now I'm going to try to make almond butter.

DREAMING OF A CHICKEN COOP

If you love Portlandia, or chickens, or building mini houses this post is for you.


I have this little obsession with chicken coops lately. If I didn't have to live in "town" for work I would love to live in the country and have a giant garden, a wrap-around porch, and a chicken coop. Our town has an ordinance in place that allows residents within city limits to have 3 hens, but no roosters. Before you go buying your own flock check local chicken laws and ordinances and head over here to get all the right info on how to raise them in your area. But, be sure you have the right kind of space, chickens need quiet places away from traffic, and disturbances. There are so many great chicken coop designs floating around out there now-- I have seen some great options I have been lusting over. Whether it is something you build from scratch, or find some pre-fab plans there is something out there to fit everyone's style. I am loving the options below, if you follow the links you can find instructions. For now I'll keep dreaming about the idea, because the reality cleaning up after live chickens is probably more of a nightmare.


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BLUEBERRY FACIAL DIY

I love making beauty products from natural ingredients, a lot of times that means using food. I can usually find everything I need in my pantry or refrigerator. I love this facial treatment because I always have the ingredients on hand, and its so simple.

Blueberries are known for their antioxidant power, and they are filled with vitamin C and E. This treatment is awesome for adding hydration to the skin, and leaving it super soft. If you are looking to get rid of dead skin just add about a tsp of sugar to the ingredients for extra exfoliation qualities. The hardest part is trying not to eat the berries while you make it.



Ingredients
1/4 cup local organic blueberries (they provide the most antioxidant power if they were just picked)
1 tbsp raw organic honey
1 tbsp organic olive oil

 Directions
1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend well.
2. Evenly apply all over the face, leaving room around the eyes and mouth.
3. Leave the masque on for 5 minutes allowing it to fully sink in hydrating and nourishing the skin.
4. Remove the masque with a damp cloth.

ECO STYLE: GLAM

Looking for a great date night look, or just a night out. There are so many great options out there these days. I have a soft spot for sequins, and pockets in dresses, so this little shift stole my heart. Pair a colored dress with nude heels and simple gold jewelry and you've got the look.

ECO STYLE: GLAM



VALENTINE SUGAR COOKIES

Whether you love Valentine's Day, or hate it one thing is certain, you'll love these treats! When I lived in NYC my apartment was 2 blocks away from a great vegan bakery. Babycakes was one of my favorite cupcake stops. I love their red velvet cupcakes, pumpkin spice muffins, and chocolate chip cookie sandwiches. They use spelt, soy, and have lots of gluten free choices. I can't afford the shipping that they charge to get it all the way out West but, I have tried a few vegan treat recipes and this one makes the cut.


PERFECT VEGAN SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE
This recipe was taken from www.johnandkristie.com. This makes about 36 cookies.

1 cup margarine 3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder
2 whole egg replacements (Ener-G)
1/4 cup tofu cream cheese (Tofutti)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar. Stir in the egg replacements and vanilla. Gradually add the flour, baking powder and tofu cream cheese. You may have to use your hands at this point to finish the mixing. Form the dough into a long loaf and wrap in cellophane. Refrigerate for a couple hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the cookie sheets or use a non-stick foil.
3. On a lightly floured surface (we taped down a sheet of non-stick foil to our countertop instead), roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place about 1 inch apart cookie on sheets.
4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottoms and edges just start to get light brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.




PERFECT VEGAN ICING RECIPE
Each batch is enough to easily coat 24 cookies. We made four batches, one for each color.
2 cups confectioners' sugar 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
6-8 teaspoons of soy milk (Silk Vanilla) Assorted food coloring
4 teaspoons of light corn syrup

Directions:
1. In medium bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and soy milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
2. Add food coloring to desired intensity. Dip cookies and allow to dry overnight.




SCOTCH NATURAL ECO NAIL POLISH


Scotch Naturals’ nail polish is an environmentally friendly way to treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure. The water-based line allows the nail to breathe and helps maintain the health of the nail, it is made without toxic chemicals like ethyl acetate, nitrocellulose, and, butyl acetate, that are found in conventional solvent-based nail polishes. You will start to see healthier stronger nails after each use, and they have 17 great colors to choose from, as well as soy polish remover!

MUSHROOM SPINACH FARFALLE



Ingredients

6 ounces dried farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup sliced portobello or other fresh mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups thinly sliced fresh spinach
1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until mushrooms are nearly tender. Stir in spinach, thyme, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until heated through and spinach is slightly wilted. Stir in cooked pasta; toss gently to mix. Sprinkle with cheese. Makes 4 side-dish servings.

Nutrition Facts:

Servings Per Recipe 4,
Calories 219,
Protein (gm) 9,
Carbohydrate (gm) 35,
Fat, total (gm) 5,
Cholesterol (mg) 2,
Saturated fat (gm) 1,
Dietary Fiber, total (gm) 4,
Vitamin C (mg) 6,
Sodium (mg) 86,
Calcium (DV %) 71,

DIY PALLET COFFEE TABLE


When we moved into our new apartment I had found/re-purposed almost everything we needed in the way of furniture- except a coffee table. For us its one of the most important pieces. We use the coffee table as a desk, ottoman, bench, and although we hate to admit it sometimes a dining table. I had seen a few pallets in the industrial part of town and I knew that they would make the perfect coffee table. So here's what we did, and when I say we I mean, I stood by and cheered and did some sanding.



We kept the basic structure of one pallet and used the boards from two to fill in the spaces. Now we couldn't get everything to fit perfectly so we ended up removing all the top boards and re-positioning them to fit along the table. Then I sanded down all of the rough edges.


We reattached some boards to the underside so that we could have little cubbies to hide magazines and remotes. For the legs we used some basic turned legs you can find online or at your nearest hardware store. (but don't forget to buy the metal mounting brackets- like some people we know...) We attached the legs to some 2x4 squares we cut to give the table about 2 more inches in height.


It ended up being pretty heavy, too heavy for me to move alone so we added some casters- you know so I could have dance parties on the weekend and do Pilates. Once it was finished we added one coat of stain to all the legs and the top. A tip when using stain- lighter is better, you can always add multiple coats. We used some leftovers so we added one coat to the unfinished wood and it soaked it up well. Here's how it turned out!


I'd love to see what you can make with pallets, send me some links in the comments section!!

PALLETS, PALLETS, PALLETS

Pallets are a great way to get free wood, and re-use something that was destined for a landfill. I thought I'd share with you some great re-uses for pallets. I have noticed them a lot lately on Pinterest and on blogs around the web. Click here to see me pallet project.

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I built a piece of furniture out of an old pallet and I'll share on Friday. Any guesses on what it is?