Tuesday, July 30, 2013 0 comments By: Mandi


Chocolate, Chocolate, How I Love thee..... Dark Chocolate is the tastiest, most Heavenly creation ever invented!! It is loaded with antioxidants & benefits & it makes me happy!! There are a lot of ways to enjoy this Beautiful dessert. One way my family enjoys it is homemade. My kids made my husband & me heart shaped chocolates for our anniversary. They were yummy & beautiful. We also love it in milkshakes & ice cream, to name a few....Here are 2 of our favorites.
Homemade Chocolate

Recipe for homemade chocolate:
          1/4 cup organic cocoa
          1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
          1-2 Tbs.  real  maple syrup, depending on how sweet you'd like it.

*Place in cookie molds(or free form it) on top of wax paper on a cookie sheet. Place in freezer for at least an hour & enjoy.

Recipe for a homemade chocolate "milk shake" (vegan):
          Follow recipe for our chocolate/peanut butter vegan ice cream (below-one of our first postings)
          frozen rice whip
          almond milk (we just eye ball it for amount needed)
          pour in glass with shaved dark chocolate for decoration along with chunk in middle(we like Lindt or               use the homemade)

Homemade Hand and Body Scrubs

Hi everyone! Here are some great, easy body scrubs that will make your skin feel ah-mazing!  We love making scrubs and here are a few of our favorites! Hope you enjoy!
Mixing the Citrus Hand Scrub

Citrus Hand Scrub

2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup oil (we used olive)
4 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Just mix them all together and store in an air-tight container.  Use as a cleaning, softening, de-grubbing hand scrub!
Ingredients for a yummy scrub

Cocoa-Coffee Body Scrub

Chocolate for the scrub!

1 cup sugar
1 cup coffee grounds
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut oil
Pouring the Chocolate-y goodness!

Mix and pour all ingredients into an air-tight container and use in the shower or bath to fight aging, red bumps on the backs of arms, dry skin, and other impurities.  And it will smell oh-so-good!
Pouring for the Brown Sugar Scrub

Brown Sugar Scrub

2 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 Tbs. vanilla extract
1/4 cup olive oil

This can be stored in an air-tight container after mixing and used anytime you'd like to soften your skin and smell like a delicious, freshly-baked cookie.

Peppermint Stick Body Scrub
Peppermint Stick Body Scrub

2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
peppermint essential oil/ peppermint extract (enough for scent desired)
cherry extract (enough for color desired)

This is a perfect scrub for the holidays, but can be used any time of year of course! It will make your whole body smell minty-fresh!
The extracts
First the sugar

Lots of Sugar

Now some oil

Pouring it in

Now add your choice of extract

And mix it all together!

Do any of you make your own body scrubs? What kind do you make?  We hope these scrubs leave your skin feeling beautiful and soft!

Thursday, July 25, 2013 0 comments By: Mandi

Tropical Smoothie

It's Summer & we all need a special treat once in awhile, so here's a recipe for a yummy tropical smoothie. Put an umbrella in it & sit out in the yard & pretend you're in the Caribbean!

Tropical Smoothie

Ingredients: 1/2 fresh pineapple, cored, peeled & chopped
                  2 bananas
                  2 cups  coconut milk
                  8 ice cubes
                  optional: sprig of stevia plant or mint

Blend altogether in a blender, put in a pretty glass with a decoration, lay out on a chaise lounge & Enjoy!!
Don't forget some Beach Boys music in the background...."and you'll have fun, fun, fun..."
Pineapple and banana

Monday, July 22, 2013 0 comments By: Mandi

All-Purpose Cleaner

So why make your own cleaners?
Homemade, All-Purpose Cleaner

Because you know what you put in them, so you don't have to worry about getting sick from them, and they clean really well, sometimes better than the store bought ones!
If you use chemical, store-bought cleaners, take a minute to look at the ingredients, and see how many of them you know.

Store-bought cleaners often have to be kept locked up, away from children, because they can be toxic.  These same cleaners are sprayed, sprinkled, and wiped over surfaces that everyone, especially children, touch and eat off of on a regular basis.

That is why we decided to write this post on homemade, all-natural cleaners made of healthy things for the sake of your family, friends, visitors, and animals. Oh, and the environment too!

These are easy to make and use so that even I, a college student living in a dorm, am able to make and use them! They also really clean, meeting even mom's standards! It's the best of both worlds!

Cleaning Time!

All-Purpose Cleaner

3 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Vinegar
2 tsp Baking Soda
Essential oil*

Add all to a spray bottle and shake a little, or mix in a bowl and use a rag to wipe on surfaces.

*This is, of course, optional, and replaceable with other things, such as freshly-squeezed lemon juice.  It's just so that it smells good really, although essential oil often has antibacterial properties.

We love using this cleaner on just about everything! Our favorite is on stainless steel, it makes it look smooth and polished and gets all those annoying fingerprints off with one wipe! Plus, there's no streaks!

No Streaks

Hope you enjoy it!
                                                                                     Mom-and-College-Kid-Approved ;)

Thursday, July 18, 2013 1 comments By: Mandi

Nice Cream!!

This chocolate pb nice cream was put in a homemade choc. bowl!
We'd like to share a delicious Vegan recipe with you. It's a fantastic alternative to ice cream, but there's no dairy in it!! No one will guess that it's actually vegan! The secret ingredient is bananas & it is sooo creamy!! It's as delicious, if not more than, ice cream. The magic of it is you can combine many different flavors. We'd like to share with you our all time favorite: Chocolate Peanut Butter Nice Cream.

Tools needed:

A Freezer
Food Processor
Spoon or spatula
Ice cream scoop


Bananas (6)
Natural Creamy Peanut Butter (We Love Smuckers Natural)(4 Tablespoons)
Organic Cocoa Powder(2 Tablespoons)
vegan cool whip(frozen) ( we like rice whip)(as much as you want)
optional: can add nuts, vegan chocolate chips, vegan oreos, any topping desired)


                 Cut bananas in coins, place on parchment paper on cookie sheet & freeze for at least 1 hour.

                 When bananas are ready, pour in food processor with remaining ingredients, minus the toppings)

                 with spoon or spatula stir around every now & then to work it in

                 Be patient....it takes a few minutes to get creamy. It's very crumbly & chunky at first.

                 With an ice cream scoop, scoop into your favorite dish or cone, put toppings on if you'd like &                      ENJOY!!! Yummm!!
This is a strawberry-flavored nice cream!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 0 comments By: Mandi

The Beginning

Hi everyone!

Our names are Gina and Amanda, and we are a Mom and daughter duo!  We're both vegans and crafty people, with tons of ideas and imagination.  We'd like to make this blog a place for recipes, crafts, and ideas that we can give to others and learn ourselves!

I'm Amanda, and I'm going off to college this fall for my freshman year.  I've been vegetarian my whole life and vegan this past year.  I'm studying Environmental Science this year at school and I hope to have a career as a Wetlands Scientist.  I love reading good books, making and using homemade products (like lotions, manicures, and hair treatments!), and getting a good deal!

I'm Gina, the Mom :) I'm an at-home Mom and Housewife, and an occasional Substitute teacher.  I am also vegan.  I've been vegetarian for over 18 years now and a vegan for about 6 months.  I love discovering new ways to save and re-purpose and be creative and redecorate!  I went to school for interior decorating years ago and I still have the same love of decorating with salvaged items that I had then.  I , like my fabulous daughter, love reading, making and using homemade treatments, and I absolutely LIVE for amazing deals! Amanda has become a pro when it comes to bargains, she certainly does her research!

We hope that this blog will inspire you to be creative and save money, and we hope to learn things from you as well!  Our counterpart, the Father and Son duo, will make guest appearances with their ideas at times too!  They build great things using free and cheap materials all the time and love it.  There are lots of good things to come in the future!  We truly hope you enjoy this site, and look forward to sharing ideas with all of you!  Please feel free to share with us too. :)

Today we'll start things off with a little homemade spa day!

We started off with a Chamomile Steam facial

  1. First, make sure your face is clean.  That means no makeup!
  2. Next, boil a pot of water.
  3. Once it's boiling, pour into a bowl and put in chamomile flowers or a chamomile tea bag.
  4. Put a towel over your head, and let the steam purify your pores for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Afterwards, splash cool water on your face and blot dry!

The Pore Minimizer

Now this sounds pretty intense, doesn't it? Its not, all you need is baking soda and water!
  1. Take about 2 Tbs of baking soda and mix with just enough water to make a paste.  
  2. Massage (try not to scrub) the paste onto your face for about 30 seconds.
  3. Rinse.
Baking soda is a magical ingredient that you can use in just about anything, and it does wonders on skin!

Strawberry Oat Hand Treatment

Now this recipe we took from here, but we just absolutely loved it and we had to include it!  It feels amazing on your hands, you just don't want to stop using it!

  1. Make really soupy oatmeal. (about 2 or 3 cups)
  2. Mash 3 or 4 strawberries with a fork.
  3. Stir in the oatmeal, and add a few spoonfuls of olive oil.
  4. Soak your hands in the mixture and coat all rough spots.
  5. After a few minutes, massage it into your hands.
  6. Rinse off and pat dry!
Oatmeal hand treatment

Peppermint Lime Foot Soak

This foot soak smells amazing! your can experiment with different scents, using different extracts and citrus juices too!

  1. Mix 2 cups Epsom Salts, 1/2 cup baking soda, about a Tbs of lime juice, and a few drops of peppermint extract or essential oil.
  2. Pour some in a foot tub, and relax!
The rest can be stored in an air-tight jar and used within the week.

Strong and Beautiful Nails Soak

  1. Heat olive oil on the stove so that it's warm to the touch.
  2. Add a few drops of lemon juice.
  3. Soak for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Optional: Put on gloves and let the soak get into your nails for longer, even overnight.
Strong Nails Soak

During the soak we did pedicures, lotion-ing up our feet and painting our toes! When the soak was done, we moved on to manicures, filing and painting our nails. :)

Coffee Scrub

*Warning: This can get very messy! Make sure to stand in a bath or on something you don't care about getting messy!
  1. Take 3/4 cup coffee grounds, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and enough olive oil and mix into a paste.
  2. Scrub over your body to exfoliate, combat cellulite, moisturize, and get rid of those red bumps you get on the back of your arms!
Coffee Scrub

Next came the fun part!
Bath time!

How to have an amazing bath

There are so many different ways to enjoy a bath.
  • You can have a detox bath: 
    • 2 cups epsom salt, 2 cups baking soda, 2 cups sea salt, 1 Tbs ground ginger, 1 cup vinegar, and some essential oil
  • A Green tea bath:
    • Add 5-10 green tea bags to your bath to give your skin and body lots of vitamins and minerals
  • A relaxing bath:
    • Pour rosewater and coconut milk into your bath
  • A soothing bath:
    • Put oats into your bath to soothe irritation

This time, we used homemade bath salt and the chamomile water that we used from the facial this morning.

Relaxing Bath Salts

  1. Take 3/4 cups epsom salts, 1/2 cup sea salt, 1/4 cup baking soda, and some essential oil (we used 3 drops of peppermint) and mix.
  2. Store in an airtight container (like a mason jar, or what we used, an old jam jar).
  3. Sprinkle a good amount into the bath.
  4. Enjoy!

Homemade, All-Natural, Self-Tanner

So this is another recipe we cannot take the credit for, but love it so much we had to share!  This is thanks to this wonderful post!

  1. Exfoliate! This is almost always the first step to anything and everything.
  2. Boil 2 cups of water.
  3. Once it starts boiling, turn off the water and put in 4 black tea bags for 10-15 minutes.
  4. You can then use a sponge or a spray bottle (we used old washcloths) to apply. Cover your skin with the mixture once and let dry (you should stand on top of something you don't care about, because this gets messy).
  5. Apply it again if you have enough with a second coat.
  6. Let it dry again and then apply lotion mixed with a little cocoa powder and watch the color of your skin darken!
This doesn't look unnatural or orange, it looks like you've just gotten a healthy glow! Hello, bathing suit ready!

There are many different ways of enjoying a spa day, this just happens to be the way we spent it today!  It may seem like a lot, but it was very relaxing! We'd love to hear your suggestions, too! What do you to relax and beautify yourself at home?

Love and Peace,

Gina and Amanda