Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Organic Grapefruit Body Scrub

I made homemade citrus body scrubs to give this Christmas.  This was my first attempt at making my own body scrub, and I love how it turned out.


The Recipe:

Organic Grapefruit Body Scrub

3 cups Organic Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar
3/4 cup Organic Sunflower Oil
2 tbsp Organic Coconut Oil 
2 tbsp Organic Aloe Vera Gel
40 drops Organic Grapefruit Essential Oil*
10 drops Organic Sweet Orange Essential Oil*
*It took more essential oil than I expected to get the desired scent. Next time, I may try a tablespoon or two of grapefruit in lieu of about half of the drops of essential oils

Mountain Rose Herbs is my go to source for organic essential oils.

Blend all ingredients thoroughly.  I used a food processor to blend mine.

The Packaging:

4-Oz Jars -- The recipe above makes enough to fill all five jars plus little bit left over for you to sample.
Avery Print -To-The-Edge Round Labels, Glossy White (22830) 
  • These labels are the perfect fit for the jars above.

The End Result:

I couldn't be more pleased with these homemade gifts.  In fact, I wish I had ordered more of the 4 Ounce Eco Jars.  I think these not only make great Christmas presents, but would be great to keep on hand year-round for whenever you need a little thank you gift, hostess gift, etc. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Home-made Christmas: Baking Soda Clay Ornaments

Just saw these baking soda clay ornaments on Play At Home Mom LLC and can't wait to try them with Zazu and Kaylicious!

We made ALL of our Christmas ornaments last year, and I'm looking forward to doing it again this year.  Making the ornaments for our tree as a family was such a fun way to spend quality time with my little girls, get into the holiday spirit, and save my carefully chosen and collected "fancy" ornaments for years to come when my daughters can tell the difference between blown glass, crystal, fine china, porcelain and toys. It was so much fun and really helped decrease my holiday stress level. I will post photos of our own baking soda ornaments ASAP.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

1,028,460 and Counting!

That's more than a million page views!  When I started this blog, on my birthday last year, I would have been excited if a couple thousand people viewed it.  As a matter fact I was.  I was so ecstatic when I realized at the beginning of June 2011, just a few weeks after I began Counting on Me, that 1700+ people had already visited that I could hardly contain myself.  I phoned both my husband and a few close friends to share my amazement that so many people were checking out my simple little blog.  Fast forward a year and multiply that excitement by about a zillion and you'll know how overwhelmingly pleased I am with a more than million pageviews! Thank you all for visiting!  I hope you'll keep coming back!
A million plus pageviews!  Trying to fathom all those visitors, all the times something caught someone's eye and they clicked through to my little blog, all the times that had to happen to add up to be more than a million pageviews, I'm truly amazed!  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day -- Free Printable

I love this quote from Agatha Christie:
“A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. 
It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and 
crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” 
Happy Mother's Day to All My Mommy Fans! 

Here's a free printable made by me for you:

Left Click on the Image to View Full Size and Print.

Related Posts:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day 2012

Happy Earth Day! 

 I love infographics and the one below from Recyclebank is perfect for today! 

Share Responsibility for the Planet

Create a network effect on the environment with small changes to your everyday behavior -- Let's take going green viral!

  • Fill a Pool: If all Facebook users shortened their showers by 1 minute we'd save enough water to fill 1,123,364 Olympic-sized swimming pools  
  • Pin Your Green Idea: If every active Pinterest user pinned one reuse idea per month, there would be 12 million new green ideas on the web
  • Power Down: If all Twitter users shut down their computers for one hour, it'd be like taking 9,128 cars off the road for a  year
  • Up your Eco-IQ: If you set aside just two minutes a day to watching an environmental video, you'd set aside 12 hours a year to improve your eco-knowledge
  • Donate to Illuminate: If every smart phone was recycled at the end of its life, enough energy would be saved to power 199,800 homes for one year.
  • Hit the Pavement: If all Nike+ app users ran outside for just one day instead of on a treadmill $442,500 could be saved on electricity bills.  
Share Responsibility for the Planet Recyclebank Infographic

Friday, April 6, 2012

101 Things to Do With Your Toddler Free Printable

With 656,004 page views to date, my 101 Things to Do With Your Toddler post has been one of my most popular.  I've made it my goal to do everything on the list with my daughters this year.  Little by little, we've been checking them off.  Some of them have been a big hit, and we've done them many times already.

If you'd like to try to do all of these activities with your toddler or preschooler, I've made a free printable checklist to make it easier. Click the link or the chalkboard image below to open and print the printer-friendly checklist.

101 Things to do With Your Toddler Free Printable Checklist!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

No More Sippy Cups

I cannot wait for Kaylicious' and Zazu's new Klean Kanteens to arrive, so I can get rid off all this plastic nonsense.  

One of my Green Goals is to do away with toxic-leaching plastics in our home.  I ordered two Klean Kanteen Sets  for my daughters to replace all these sippy cups.  I know the Klean Kanteens are going to being an environmentally friendly alternative that will make me very happy.  I won't just be happy because they are healthier for my daughters and our planet, but because I hate dealing with all those different plastic cups and their ridiculous mismatched (nothing is universal on these cups) spouts, lids, three-piece straws, etc!!!
Kaylicious chose the Solar Yellow.  Not surprising, since yellow is her favorite color.   Zazu chose the Prevention Purple for herself.  The ones we ordered come with both the sippy lids and the sport bottle caps, so they will grow with the girls.  Our Klean Kanteen Sets shipped yesterday, so hopefully they should be arriving soon!

Klean Kanteen Solar Yellow
Klean Kanteen Prevention Purple

Klean Kanteen is an awesome green company devoted to doing what's best for their customers' health, their employees and suppliers, and our environment. I love when I find a company from whom I can truly feel good buying.  

Do you have Klean Kanteens at your house? Are you using plastic sippy cups and bottles or greener, healthier alternatives? Are your kids' cups and bottles BPA and phthalate free? Are yours? Leave me a comment telling me what you're using and why.
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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Groundhog Day 2012!

via Shannon on Pinterest
Happy Groundhog Day! Here in Maryland, we've been having a mild winter, so when our favorite weather forcasting rodent, Punxetawny Phil, predicted 6 more weeks of winter, I assured myself that I can definitely handle six more weeks of this.  It was sunny and an atypical 70 degrees here yesterday.  I even wore flip-flops!

To celebrate, the girls and I made these adorable Heart Groundhogs.  I saw them on Pinterest late last night and knew we would be whipping some of these cuties up today. I love how both groundhogs and hearts are incorporated, making it a perfect February craft.

I've been a little under the weather lately, so I was happy to find a simple craft to do with the girls that didn't require me to venture out for supplies.  To make it more uniform and easier to cut out the various hearts needed for this project, I printed the hearts right on the paper and then cut them.  Here's the template I made for myself:

Heart Groundhog Craft Free Printable Template

The template makes two groundhog crafts. You'll only need a few other supplies:

  • 1 sheet of white paper 
  • 2 sheets of brown paper (Tan, gray, red or pink would work just fine too.)
  • scissors -- My little ones are 2 and 3, so I did all the cutting in advance, while they donned their party hats and princess costumes in anticipation of Groundhog Day Craft Festivities. (See photos below).  
  • glue sticks
  • 4 googly eyes -- In a pinch, you could easily let the kids color the eyes on instead.
  • Optional: Tape -- We taped our Groundhog's ears on from the back. Several pipe cleaners in a neutral color -- We used strips of white paper, but if I could have found some pipe cleaners around my house that weren't red and pink, I probably would have let the girls use those for whiskers.  
Here's Princess Zazu showing off her groundhog and her fine fashion sense:

Here she is again admiring her royal craftiness:

And here, Kaylicious shows off her groundhog while sporting a Hello Kitty Party Hat!

Happy Groundhog's Day, My Friends!  We're wishing you beautiful weather wherever you are!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Organic Beer & Wine?

I was both intrigued and inspired by Ridge Organics’ post “Is Organic alcohol hangover proof?”  For me the bigger question is why the notion of organic beer and wine never crossed my mind previously?  Regardless of whether organic beer or wine is less likely than its conventional counterpart to leave you with a hangover or the much dreaded wine flu, organic beer and wine are surely healthier for you than those tainted with pesticides, fertilizers and other toxins. 

The Count & I Enjoying Some Locally Brewed Beers
Some Occasions Really Could
Use a Hangover Proof Option!

(or possibly a tad more moderation
than this crazy couple is exhibiting here :-)   
The Count and I are definite beer fans. We love sampling different craft beers, and The Count began brewing his own beer at home last year. I am not sure why I never thought about organic beer before, since I stress about the contamination and impurities in so many other things in our lives on a daily basis. I have not noticed organic beer being sold here locally, but that may just be a complete oversight on my part.  I am definitely going to have to check into it, and The Count is looking into buying organic supplies for his next batch of home-brew.

Have you tried organic beer, wine or liquor?  Do you have any favorites that you would recommend? Have you noticed any less after effects from drinking organic beer, wine or alcohol?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Happy New Year!  As we start 2012, I know many of you are taking down and putting away your Christmas decor today or planning to do so in the next week or so.  This year we did all homemade Christmas Ornaments and the "Un-Christmasing" at our house, something I usually dread, was so quick and easy.  Here's what we did:

Our Adventure in Homemade Christmas Tree Trimming
I have a large box full of painstakingly wrapped and stored Christmas ornaments carefully chosen and collected over the last twenty five plus years. I love those ornaments, but since having children, I have found that they bring me more stress and aggravation than joy. Getting them out and placing them perfectly on our tree, only to have my fragile little treasures ripped off the branches and thrown into a bucket of Little People or jammed into Elmo's mailbox is nerve-wracking for me.

Seeing baubles I have saved for years and years carelessly tossed about or crushed by excited two and three year old hands, is not something I wanted to have to deal with this holiday season. I also didn’t want to have to play "Christmas Tree Nazi" guarding and hovering over the tree, putting an ugly play-yard gate around it, only putting my favorite "grown up" ornaments on the upper branches of the tree where curious little hands can't reach and/or never allowing my little ones to help decorate or touch the tree. With hopes of making Christmas decorating simpler, more fun and more of a family affair, The Count and I decided that this year we would forgo our tradition tree trimmings for all home-made ornaments.

Quality Time and Crafty Fun with Our Teacup Humans
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, we made every single ornament that went on our tree. We made salt dough ornaments, some stamped and some painted and glittered, paper chain garland, snowmen ornaments from a craft kit, and hand-print snowmen Christmas balls. I think The Count and I enjoyed making our own ornaments as much as our kids did.

Stress Free Holiday Decorating!
The girls and I decorated the tree with no fuss over being careful with the ornaments or getting them perfectly placed. Kaylicious and Zazu absolutely loved the whole process, and The Count and I were both pleasantly surprised at how pretty our tree looked. It wasn't just "our babies made this pretty." It was truly a good-looking tree!

Beyond the fun we had making all the ornaments and decorating the tree, I loved not worrying about it. Some of our new home-made ornaments got broken over the holiday season, but it was no big deal. The kids danced and ran around the tree more times than I could count, lots of fun, no stress!

The Christmas Cleanup was a Breeze
As a bonus, I was able to with the help of Kaylicious and Zazu take all the ornaments off the tree and pack them away it under ten minutes. I never look forward to having to put my ornaments away after Christmas. Wrapping and packing all those fragile porcelain and glass decorations is so tedious and never any fun. It usually takes me several hours.

A New Homemade Christmas Tradition? I think so!
Our adventure in home-made tree trimmings was such a success that it may be a new family tradition. Who knows when and if that big box of fancy-smancy, fragile Christmas ornaments will grace the branches of our Christmas tree again? I kind of relish the idea of someday having a tree decorated entirely in ornaments made by hand by my sweet little children and maybe even their children and grandchildren one day. What a festive trip down memory lane that would be for our family!
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