DIY: Make Your Own Eco Friendly Seed Pots

Hello all you AWESOMENESSES! (It is a word in the Koko dictionary!)

I want to share with you how I plant many of my seeds. The video below says it all, or you can scroll down through the pictures…

I’m pretty sure you can guess what this “special” container is…

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This lovely container is…yes, you guessed it, the end of a toilet paper roll. It makes for an amazing plant container. Let me show you what I do!

What I like about using this as a container for seeds is, it’s re-usable, compostable, and practically free!

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Start by crimping one end of the tube. You want to create a “bottom”. Keep on crimping until the tube is closed…

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Like this! Once you get your container bottoms all made, you will need to put them in something to hold them all upright. I’ve used a plastic salad container, egg cartons, shoe boxes…Use your imagination! Most anything that will keep them upright will do.

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To fill the container, I use a make-shift funnel made out of thick paper. The T.P. rolls are in a paper (cardboard) “gomacrobar” box. If you haven’t tried a gomacrobar…do it! So delicious! Oh and see that adorable cup? It’s designed by Molly Hatch. Aren’t the polka dots just the cutest?

 

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Fill em up!

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Don’t forget to label. Again why I like using the cardboard containers, you can simply scribble right on the tubes!

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If you are planting in ceramic or other types of containers, you can make labels like the ones you see here. I just wrote on paper and taped them to a toothpick.

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These labels are made from plastic knives and I used a sharpie.

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   I couldn’t resist showing off one of my favorite bowls. My sister in-law made it! Isn’t it a beauty?

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Like the cups says, “something good”…whether it’d be for yourself, (a nap, hot bath, a yummy drink) or for someone else, (catching up with an old friend, taking your mom out to lunch, donating towels and blankets to your local animal shelter)…whatever it is, make it something good!

Love and Peace, Koko

Tip: The theweeklyday asked a question and I wanted to share with you my answer. He was wondering how long they last indoors before the t.p. rolls fall apart. It really depends on the rolls and how you water them. They all are not created equal. However, if I have a “sad” roll (falling apart), I will take another roll and slice along the side and just “wrap” the “sad” roll. This method works really well to hold them together! Save the ends of paper towel rolls. Those are great for doing this with as you can cut them to size. But, you can do that with t.p. rolls too! Great question “theweeklyday”.

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DIY Tea Box Repurposed

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I am a huge note taker. Also, for me, there’s a comfort that comes from the feel of physically writing or even doodling. It’s also a wonderful way to clear the mind. Because my mind doesn’t rest, writing things down helps to relieve having to think/remember everything. I like to write on note cards (3×5’s). They are the right size. I can fit them in my purse, or pocket, and they tuck nicely in the corner of a nightstand or drawer.

Ok so, I have 3×5 cards littered in a few places. I’ve been meaning to buy a card holder. Well, I’m not the most patient person and it was late last night when I decided I NEEDED a card holder. I was making tea at the time of this “thought”…and the box my tea was in would do nicely. Shall I continue? Okay, you’ve twisted my arm…

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Before I show you what I did…I made tea, of course! I like this tea with raw honey (neat info on  raw honey ) and raw cream.

Continuing…

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This tea is really seriously delicious. If you are short on time to measure out the spices (like here  or here) to make your own, give this one a go! 

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Only three bags of tea left… I took out the insert.

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I decided I wanted to keep the lid and sides to help reinforce the box. Plus the peacock is so adorable! 😉 They were too big folded inside, so I measured, and trimmed. 

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Fold the flaps down.

 

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Add the 3×5 cards. I made the tabs by cutting a few cards. Now I’m more organized. A more “Zen” workplace and I feel better having all my notes in one place. 

I could have gone out to buy one, but truth be told, then I wouldn’t have this cute box with a monkey on it!

I’ve said it before, and I will continue saying it…I appreciate your support, kind words, and follows. As the card reads on the desk…THANK YOU! Your comments make me smile and your kind words make me sigh! These past few months I’ve needed it more than you can know. THANK YOU.

Take care of yourself. Peace, Koko

Easy Braided Bread Recipe

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Ooooh yeah! Who doesn’t like fresh hot bread?!

The notion of making bread used to scare the bajeebers out of me. Notice it used to? I was given a bread machine forever ago. You know, a “box-like” machine where you dump all the ingredients in and hit the start button? Out pops a beautiful loaf…(for me, only rarely!) I never understood why I’d have a nice loaf of bread one time and then the next time the bread would come out so flat the only thing it was good for was to shoot skeet with! I lost confidence. Baking bread became frustrating, something I was too afraid to mess up on, so I stopped baking. (Insert sad face here*) Once I learned about yeast and the proper way to use it, the fear went away. Let the bread baking commence!

Just learning a couple of simple steps/tips, changed my view-point. I am no pro bread baker, but let me tell you this, if I can bake this bread, anyone can too! And once you do, you may find it very difficult to buy bread again. The taste of homemade bread is well…bake a loaf, and you will see what I mean.

Here goes…(Entire recipe is near the bottom of the post.)

Add the salt to the flour.

Add the salt to the flour. Pink salt! Yep this is Himalayan Pink salt. Not only is it pretty, it’s good for you!

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This is what yeast looks like when it’s alive and active! Well yeast doesn’t get like this on its own. This mix has warm milk, honey, and of course yeast. If you want to check out some fun info about honey, look here.  Tip: If your yeast doesn’t look like this after about 15 minutes then check the yeast expiration date; it may be old. Or the temp of the liquid could have been too hot and subsequently killed it. Or if temp is too cold the yeast says, “Nope, still hibernating”.

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Make a well in the flour. It should look like you pushed a ball in the center of the flour or basically scooped out some from the middle. (I’m only saying this because some of us don’t know what it means to make a well…) I hope that was a decent explanation. Pour the readied yeast mixture into the “well”.

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Don’t stir yet…add the lightly whisked egg…

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Now stir! Stir from the outside in, as in with each stir you will be pulling a spoonful of the flour into the liquid. Stir until you get a “rough” dough. Not like this… Notice the mug? Its made by Molly Hatch. Super cute right?! Bought it at Anthropologie.

Roughly looks like this! :)

More this. Rough mixed dough looks like this! 🙂

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Dump the rough mixed dough onto a lightly floured surface. Begin to knead. And knead. And knead.

Kneed the dough until nice smooth.

Knead the dough until smooth. It could be smoother than this 😉 Put the dough in a large clean bowl, covering it with a clean cloth. Set it aside in a warm place until…

This is what the dough looks like when it's doubled in size.

…It doubles in size. This is what the dough looks like when it’s doubled in size. It’s like magic!

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This was a second loaf I made. This time I separated the dough in three pieces right after I kneaded it. I knew I would be braiding it using three “strands” so I figured I’d separate it into three balls before the dough could rise. It worked out very well. So you can either let the dough rise in one ball and then cut it into three equal pieces or cut it in three before it rises; and cover each bowl with a clean cloth and let them rise as usual. Both works!

After the dough doubles in size, turn out the dough onto a clean surface and shape it into three long "bread sticks"!

After the dough doubles in size, turn out the dough onto a clean surface and shape it into three long “bread sticks”. Braid it like you would any braid, carefully tucking each end piece under to hold the “strands” in place. Notice my strands are not totally smooth…no worries still comes out great and tastes even better! In other words; perfection is not necessary.

All braided.

All braided! Put the braided bread on a greased cookie sheet/baking pan. I use coconut oil to grease pan as coconut oil has a high heat tolerance, not to mention very healthy.

Now don't forget to brush on the "glaze". If you do, it's not ruined. I've done this a few time! Fresh hot bread is still fresh hot bread. The glaze just makes it look so pretty!

Now don’t forget to brush on the “glaze”. If you do forget the “glaze”, it’s not ruined. I’ve forgotten it more than once! Fresh hot bread is still fresh hot bread! The glaze just makes it look so pretty!

You can slice this or tear it!

You can slice into this from top to bottom, or cut along the side, or tear it!

Homemade butter on fresh hot bread! Oh my! You can see how I make homemade butter here!

Homemade butter on fresh hot bread! Oh my! You can see how I make homemade butter here!

Note: All ingredients I use are organic/non GMO, or the very best I could find. Stores are starting to catch on how much consumers want organic. Finding most ingredients/foods in an organic form is quite possible.

Braided Loaf

The Ingredients:

2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 cup whole warm milk

2 teaspoons good honey

4 tablespoons butter, softened (melted is fine too)

1 whole egg, lightly beaten

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt

For the glaze: 1 egg yolk beaten with 2 teaspoon milk. I make it ahead and store it in the refrigerator.

The How To:

1. Heat the milk in a small sauce pan. It’s been years since I’ve used a thermometer. I test it by touch. (It’s ready when it doesn’t feel cold. Warm, a bit over tepid temperature), however if you want to use a thermometer about 105 degrees is about right. (If the temp gets too high just take it off the heat and wait until it cools.)  In a medium bowl, mix the honey and soften/melted butter. Add the warm milk. Then add the yeast. Stir slowly until nicely combined. Leave for 15 to allow it to work its magic!

2. While you are waiting for the yeast mixture, in a large bowl, add the flour. Stir in the salt. Make a well in the center and set aside.

3. In a small dish, add one egg and whip it slightly. Set aside.

4. After the 15 minutes your yeast mixture should be nice and bubbly/alive looking. Pour the yeast mixture gently in the flour well. Add the beaten egg. Now with a wooden spoon, stir pulling some flour with each stir, until a rough dough is created.

5. Lightly flour a clean surface and knead dough until smooth. Place in a large clean bowl, and cover with a clean cloth. Find a warm spot for it to rise. I usually am cooking something so next to the stove is a good place. You know it’s ready when it doubles in size; usually around 2 hours (Depending on how warm the spot is. Sometimes it’s ready in an hour, sometimes it takes 3.)

6. Grease a baking sheet. As I’ve mentioned above, I like to use coconut oil.

7. Turn out the finished rising dough on a clean surface and cut it into three equal pieces. Begin to roll each into long strands; like a long bread stick. After all three strands are made, start braiding them together. I fold the pieces under and it holds just fine. Set the braided bread on the greased pan. Cover it with a clean cloth and let it sit for 30 minutes in a warm spot to rise.

8. Preheat the oven to 375°F. I usually start preheating oven about 20 minutes into the braided bread’s rising.

9. Brush the bread with the egg yolk and milk mixture.

10. Bake bread for 30 minutes. You will know it’s done by the golden color. Every oven is different, so start checking at 25 minutes for color. I’ve baked this bread for 35 minutes and it was still fine. For my oven; 30 is perfect! When done, I remove the bread and set it on a wire rack to cool. Cool completely if storing it in any container, because if you don’t, it will get soggy! If storing is not needed, dig right in while it’s warm. Now for a bit of homemade butter and good jam or honey…oh my!

This is a great bread to go with soups or stews. You can make garlic bread with this or top it with cheese. You can add cheese into the dough! This is great sliced for toast too. It makes for a great egg sandwich bread. And if there’s any bread left a couple of days later…tear it up and make it into a strata! Want a recipe for a strata? Mention it in your comments below. 🙂

This bread is a great bread to gift to family and friends and great to serve up anytime bread is called for. It’s very enjoyable to make and the presentation is lovely. Give it a try!

Thank you for reading. If you want to know what else I’m up to, you can always follow me on twitter and instagram!

Wherever you are, don’t forget to pull your shoulders back, smile boldly, and breathe! My hopes for you this week is for your to find your center and enjoy something that makes you happy.

Cheers, Koko

Please “like”, “share”, and “follow”. Your comments are fantastic and I read everyone!

 

 

 

DIY Rustic Kitchen Island

Kitchen island; made to order!

Kitchen island; made to order! (That is Sherlock. He’s my inspector Kitty!)

You are gonna guess it right…my wood scrape pile is fairly large. With that said, I’ve been needing an island in the kitchen. As you all know I am short and after a big day of chopping and mixing on my kitchen counters, it starts to wear on my shoulders. So, I decided to build this island to give my shoulders a bit of a reprieve.

This post is to basically tell you if something isn’t working, build it to suit!

I built the top of this island first. I know, not very conventional, but I'm not conventional either! :P

I built the top of this island first. I know, not very conventional, but I’m not a conventional person either! 😛

The top of the island is basically 1×4’s. And a ton of screws! I really need to get a jig so I can make pocket holes. (Please Santa send me a kreg pocket jig ! I’ve been a really good girl!)

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I cut 2×4’s to the height that would work for me! And used 1×4 cross pieces for support which will also support a shelf.

I am not certain I like this color, but for now it will do. Mind you, I do love orange, just not sure about this particular shade. So one day on a future post you may see it a different color!

I am not certain I like this color, but for now it will do. Mind you, I do love orange, just not sure about this particular shade. So one day on a future post you may see it a different color!

Yep same as the first pic. As you can see there are two shelves. I used 1x4 cleat for the bottom shelf too.

Yep same as the first pic. As you can see there are two shelves. I used 1×4 cleat for the bottom shelf as well.  Notice the kitchen cabinets and floor. I am hoping this year to get to refinishing both! Stay tuned! 😀

This island dubs as a laundry folding center and has been a great computer table. When I use it as a computer table I take off all the bottom slats and one slat on the top shelf for leg room, still giving me a shelf for books and things. This could also work as a potting table outside. Just remember to coat it with a few coats of polyurethane to protect it from the elements.

So you see, scrap wood isn’t just for kindling…This was a simple project using 1×4’s and 2×4’s for legs. It can be done with 1×2’s, 1×6’s…4×4 legs would be awesome, really limitless in what you can build with just a basic table idea.

You too can do this! I believe in YOU!

Side note: The weather has been beautiful. I hope you all find the time to go outside and enjoy the sun. Read up on how important vitamin D is for you! Sunshine is so uplifting. Sadness just has a way of seeping away as the sun warms your skin. So get out there take deep breaths and let the rays fill you with happy!

I appreciate every one of you liking, sharing, and following me. You are like the sun! Peace, Koko ❤

DIY Lamp Shade

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I have this lamp shade that has cracks and dents in it. (Actually I have a few shades with cracks and dents in it.) A casualty of the kitties turning every surface and object into their obstacle course. This lamp has been knocked over more times than I can count. I’m surprised the lamp even works! The shade, well it has seen better days.

This is actually its good side.

This is actually its good side.

Today this post is about taking a broken, cracked, dented lamp shade and making it brand new again. Here’s what I did… (Items used: 1 dinged up lamp shade, fabric, scissors, glue gun, glue sticks, measuring tape, lint roller, and a magic wand or a pencil, whichever you have on hand!)

Lint roller is for all the kitty hair attached to said shade. Evidence it was them!!!!

Lint roller is for all the kitty hair attached to said shade. Evidence it was them!!!!

I cut out circles out of fabric I had on hand. (It was a curtain “made from a twin sheet” I fabric painted grey circles on for my daughters bedroom). We’ve moved from that house but I kept the curtains. I cut circles…many, many circles. I sorted out the circles that had any grey in them and set them aside for another project. Really, once you have your circles cut out, you are good to go.

Lots and lots of circles...

Lots and lots of circles…

Find the center using a pencil or magic wand...

Find the center using a pencil or magic wand…

Work the fabric around the pencil...

Work the fabric around the pencil…

I chose to start at the top of the lamp shade. I measured out about an inch between each little “flower” (that’s what I will call them from here on out✿.

And the fun begins! Start hot glueing.

And the fun begins! Start hot glueing. (Please pardon the dire need for a manicure. I work way too much with my hands!)

Yay, first flower! One down.

Yay, first flower! One down.

Then I glued a line of flowers in a straight line to the bottom of the shade. Measuring about an inch apart.

Then I glued a line of flowers in a straight line to the bottom of the shade. Again measuring about an inch apart. This way it gave me a guide to eyeball the rest of the flowers without having to measure. I still kept in mind roughly an inch all around each flower.

And glueing...

Keep on gluing…

And glueing...

Keep on gluing…

Keep on...well you get the picture.

Keep on…well you get the picture.

Almost done.

Almost done.

After you are done, adjust the "petals" (fluff them up)

After you are done, adjust the “petals” (fluff them up) and look for any bare spots.

Bare spot! Oh no.

I found one here… Bare spot! Oh no! Teehee, never fear. Easy fix…

All done!

Glue more as needed… All done!

And there you have it.

Yippee! ❀

And there you have it. A lampshade that was destined for the trash. Now recycled, remade, renewed. All it really cost me was my time.

It really lights up my life and the corner of the room too! ;)

It really lights up my life and the corner of the room too! 😉

You can do this technique with many types of fabric as well as tissue paper! You can cut the shapes into circles or even squares. Technique stays the same. I hope you’ve enjoyed the post. Please “Like, follow and share”. I really do appreciate you popping in!

I hope you find things that will light up your life today! ❀Koko❀

Cha-cha Chai…a delicious hot beverage you can make at home!

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I am a Chai fanatic!  I’ve tasted it made many ways.  It was a delight to try this recipe from  http://figandquince.com/2014/02/03/cacao-herbshoppe-brooklyn-cardamom-yummy-drink/ (Chai; brought to you by, Fig & Quince!)  

As she mentioned in her recipe…all ingredients; adjust to your taste!

As for the ingredients, I made mine with 2 cups grass-fed raw unpasteurized milk

8 whole cardamoms

10 cloves

1 tablespoon organic cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon organic ground ginger

1/4 cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon good vanilla (homemade by me in Bourbon)

1 teaspoon raw unpasteurized honey.

Slowly simmer the whole cardamoms and cloves in milk. When milk is hot, add all other ingredients.  Gently stir.  Pour into large mug and enjoy!  (I didn’t strain out the cardamoms and cloves, but for those of you who want to…please do! 😉 )

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This was a wonderful treat and sipping it by the fire was extra nice.  Thank you Azita!

If you try this drink, please drop me a comment.  If you have a chai recipe you’d like to share…I’d love to hear from you!

Here’s to you finding your “treat” today! Cheers! Koko ✿

Please like, follow and share…your support means the world to me!

Let’s Have Cheesecake!

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A simple cheesecake that will impress the most finicky of dessert connoisseurs!  This really easy dessert was quickly named one of the most delicious creations I’ve made to date.  (Does this mean my peeps are easy to please?)  Here goes:

This makes about seven ramekins.  My ramekins are 8oz cups.

Ingredients:

3–8oz bricks of cream cheese

3/4 cup of brown sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons of really good vanilla

You will also need a package of peanut butter cups.  Cut them up to desired sizes.

What to do:

I used my kitchen aid mixer…Beating the cream cheese until all bricks are softly blended.  Add brown sugar.  Mix well.  Add eggs one at a time mixing well in between.  Add your really good vanilla 😉

As for the bottom of your cheesecake…you can use crushed graham crackers (basic recipe is crushing a cup worth of graham crackers and mixing that with 3 tablespoons of melted butter).  You also can omit the bottom crust all together.

Put 2 tablespoons of the graham cracker mix at the bottom of a ramekin.  Fill cup with about a 1/4 cup of cheesecake mixture.  Add cut up peanut butter cups.  Fill cup with another 1/4 scoop of cheesecake mixture. If you have left over mixture, simply add a spoonful to each cup!

I like to put a pan of water at the bottom of the oven.  I believe the extra moist air keeps the cheesecake from cracking.  If you omit this step…whats a few cracks anyway? You will be covering it with whipped cream.  No one will know!

Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Let it cool.  Top with freshly whipped cream!

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Tips: Try crushing Oreo cookies or Nilla wafers or even Nutter Butter cookies for the bottom of cheesecake.  (Most any cookie will do!)

For the center try: Snickers, Heath Bar, Butterfingers, or feeling fruity?  Try a tablespoon or two of really good jam, chopped up mango, or peaches.

This truly was easy to make.  If you are needing a quick dessert idea that you can make ahead of time and surely will impress your friends/family; I hope you give this a try.  I’d love to hear what kind of combination/creation you came up with. Enjoy! Hugs, Koko❁

Please like, follow and share…your support means the world to me!

Help your sensitive skin by using natural ingredients.

I’ve used all of these homemade concoctions! Love them!

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I’ve been sick for days now. When I am sick, my skin becomes very sensitive. I can’t use traditional cleansers to wash my face without my skin feeling dry and irritated. Because of this I normally make my own face washes and masks. The best part about these homemade face products is that the ingredients can easily be found in your kitchen!

Honey – Honey is a natural humectant, which means that it can help retain moisture. Not only does it help to put moisture into your face, but honey can also kill bacteria. It is a great skin softener as well. Apply a teaspoon amount of honey to your face and massage it into your skin. Leave it on your face for ten minutes or so. Not going to lie, I have left honey on my skin for a half hour before! Nothing bad will happen from leaving honey…

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Sew An Ottoman Cover!

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Before and after.

I have an old ottoman. The fabric on the lid of it was coming apart and this was on my “to-do” list to recover it… over a year ago!

I chose canvas for this ottoman, as the pillow covers I made to cover the four large sofa pillows were in canvas as well, (another inexpensive find) (color was fine but the fabric attracted pet hair and I am a stickler for keeping things as clean as possible).

I placed fabric around the ottoman to get the right size. Pinned and sewed.

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My buddy Sherlock is helping me sew.

For the top, I traced the lid and gave myself about 1/4 inch seam allowance.

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I wanted some interest along the side edges, so what I did was sew a single seam, and then flattened the seam and sewed each edge. (see above picture)

That was it. It wasn’t hard. Just a little imagination. I am NOT a seamstress. I sew as I go.  Usually I start with an idea in my head and sometimes the amount of fabric dictates what I do.  This project took well under an hour to do (I had to stop and make dinner. And then wrestle with Sherlock to let me “borrow” the ottoman.) 😉

Do you sew? What piece are you most proud of sewing?

Hope this prompts you to bring new life to old pieces.

Re-purpose, Imagine, Create! ❤ Koko

Facial Spray…Geranium Essential Oil, The Happy-Healing Oil!

I love geranium essential oil. It smells fabulous! It instantly uplifts me; and I almost can’t help but smile and sigh. It really is that nice. I like to put this oil in my facial oils, perfumes, lotions, and facial mists that I make. Sometimes just a swipe of this scent on my wrist is all I need to keep me going.

Geranium essential oil not only smells good it’s wonderful for the skin; It balances the facial skin at the same time it’s very healing. Geranium EO is great for a myriad of issues such as eczema, bruises, burns, wound healing, repelling insects, and getting rid of ring worm too! (among other things) Geranium also is helpful for PMS, depression, anxiety, stress. So you see why I love this oil. It’s the happy healing oil!

Make sure you trust where you are buying your oils from and they are very good oils and not synthetic. Synthetic oils can be really harmful.

If you are looking to try essential oils, give geranium essential oil a shot. It’s one of my favorite oils.  You can add a few drops to lotions and sprays you are already using.  Make a simple perfume oil and dab on your pulse points for an uplifting feel all day. (I will post a recipe on that later if anyone is interested.)

Here is a facial spray I make. Best to keep refrigerated for longer lasting freshness (also feels intensely refreshing on a warm day or hot flashes anyone?) but you will most likely use it all before it expires. Right now mine is in my apothecary cabinet which is in a dark area of the house.

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You will need:
1 one 3oz bottle (The darker the better; as you can see mine is clear, but that was what I had on hand and as I’ve said, I keep it in a dark place.)

2 tablespoons witch hazel (if you can find rose witch hazel; sub out for the plain.  Smells wonderful. I like Thayers Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Rose Petal 12 fl oz)

2 tablespoons distilled water

1/2 teaspoon glycerin

10 drops of almond oil

10 drops of geranium essential oil

5 drops of lavender essential oil

Tip: I use a small funnel and pour everything in the bottle as I go. You can use a glass measuring cup with a pour spout to mix everything together, then pour into your bottle.
Shake before using every time.
Spray liberally. I find myself spritzing my face 2-3 times a day. (Sometimes more! 😉 )
Can use as a body spray too! Nice double duty! Love that!