Tuesday, July 16, 2013 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


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