Thursday, January 9, 2014

Snow Day = Goof Off Day! Back to DIY!

My town, here in Michigan, got almost 15.5 inches of snow and hit lows of -15 (F) with a -35 (F) windchill with the Polar Vortex.  Now I don't know why, but when there is a snow day, I find myself not feeling very motivated to do much of anything.  My kids are now 23- and 20-year-old college students.  My son managed the hour-long drive back to school on Monday and my daughter and I hung out for two days.  We watched anime and read, played online, played video games.  You get the idea...completely goofed off.  Nothing got cleaned and I have the messy kitchen to prove it!

On Wednesday it was business as usual and I have been a busy little DIY bee:

I am on my last attempt at using coffee to tint my hair.   I now have  a mixture of coffee, Tazo brand Passion Tea (contains Hibiscus flower and is a beautiful red) and a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar.  UPDATE:  This post is taking two days to write and this morning I used more of this solution, applied with a cotton ball (don't squeeeze!) at the root and then combed through and left to air dry.  I've applied this twice this morning and may do so again as I don't need to go out.  My hair is definitely a different color (warm reddish brown) but I don't know what will happen after I wash it.

My husband is going to the doctor for a check up this afternoon.  In the same complex is an Indian Market where, hopefully, he can pick up some natural powdered henna.  As I was wondering around the internet on our aforementioned snow days, I came across this post:

DIY Beauty Tutorials on Blogspot 

This post shows a number of ways to naturally color ones' hair including another coffee rinse.  I, however, am considering the henna option.  This recipe seems manageable.  The henna is mixed with yogurt, refrigerated overnight and then worked into the hair where it stays for an hour or more and is then washed out.  I feel very brave!

Have you ever tried henna?  What was that like?  Did you like it?

I found another DIY project:  DIY Reusable Natural Fabric Softener Sheets!

I put the word out to hub that I wanted some old t-shirts to cut up and he found 8-10 men's white t-shirts in storage downstairs.  Now I'm not too sure where they came from but they may have belonged to a young man who lived with us before enlisting in the Marines.

I wanted to cut them up to make fabric softener sheets and then I had an epiphany:

I am using new, inexpensive white washcloths as cleaning cloths but I may need to re-purpose them to use with the oil-cleansing skincare routine I am going to introduce to my  family once I receive my supplies...more on that another day.

So.  Here's what I did:  Sacrificing one T-shirt to experimentation, I cut off the t-shirt sleeves, cut the sleeves in half (front-back) which made four separate pieces.  I may cut those in half later on.  I folded them in half and placed them in one of my SnapWare containers.  From various sources on the internet I gleaned this recipe:

1/2 Cup white vinegar
6 drops tea tree oil
essential oil (optional...for fragrance of the wipes but it doesn't really fragrance the laundry)

Whisk all ingredients together in a glass bowl, pour over cloth.  Seal container.  Toss one 'sheet' into the dryer with wet clothes.

I used 5 drops each of orange, lemon and bergamot essential oils.  I probably need to add a bit more.

Test:  Threw one 'sheet' into the dryer with my load of towels.  This worked quite well!  There was no static and the towels were quite soft.  Not as soft as they might be with a commercial fabric softener, but within my 'acceptable limits.'  The towels came out with no fragrance at all but smelled fresh and clean.  I threw the now-dry fabric softener sheet on top of the dryer to be placed on the bottom of the stack in the SnapWare container.  Cost:  not much!  Savings:  no chemicals or fragrance to irritate my allergies, no waste as they are reusable.

I cut up the front and back pieces of the t-shirt to use as cleaning cloths.  I found that if I cut straight across from the bottom of the arm holes and trimmed off the bottom hem I had a good-sized piece of material.  I cut it in half and got a nice-sized cleaning cloth that worked really well when I cleaned the bathroom.  I trimmed the remaining 'chest/upper back' portion into a rectangle that gave me a slightly smaller cleaning cloth or a couple more dryer sheets.  These worked much better on the mirror than the washcloths!

Have you ever considered getting away from commercial laundry products?  What have you tried?

I also made a Salt Scrub by mixing sea salt with just enough olive oil to hold it together and peppermint essential oil.  It smells wonderful and does a great job of softening and exfoliating my hands and feet but requires soap or shower gel to remove the excess oil.  Safety alert:  this can make the shower SLIPPERY...use caution...or a bucket/dishpan/tub and treat yourself to a DIY pedi!

My Vitacost order should arrive today and I think I will have all of my supplies for NaturalMama's remineralizing toothpaste!

In the meantime, I am gathering and cleaning any of our used containers to re-purpose later! 

See you soon!

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