DIY Gingerbread Lip Scrub

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From the crisp days of Fall right through Christmas the delicious and spicy flavor of Gingerbread is absolutely perfect.  But, along with the cold air and biting wind come chapped and dry lips and sometimes applying gloss is not enough.  Your lips need to be exfoliated just like your skin.  Enter this yummy Gingerbread flavored lip scrub!  Make it for yourself.  It’s an easy make-at-home splurge.  It’s also a wonderful gift for friends, family, or even a nice homemade gift for the teacher.   This recipe is easy to double or triple for multiple gifts.  You can find small pots on Amazon for a great price to store it in.

Note:  While you will still get the benefit and the aromatherapy using powdered ginger, I recommend including some fresh if you can.  It is more potent and has a wonderful warming quality. Fresh ginger is fairly inexpensive, too.  When you’re in the produce department, simply break off a small piece and you pay by the pound.  It goes pretty far.

Gingerbread Lip Scrub


  • 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • ½ tsp. Ground Ginger
  • ¼ tsp. Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Cloves
  • ¼ tsp. Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Vitamin E Capsule
  • Optional: a tsp or so of fresh ground ginger


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Transfer to an airtight container.


Using vitamin E is a great benefit to your lips, but also helps preserve the ingredients to give them a longer shelf life. Lip scrub should be good for up to 2 months. Keep in refrigerator and it should last even longer.

To use: Simply apply a generous amount to lips, rubbing in a circular motion, rinse, and wipe away excess. The oil leaves your lips moisturized and soft.


DIY Gingerbread Lip Scrub

Homemade Lemon Scrub

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Homemade Refreshing Lemon Scrub


One of the most frugal tips I have for you is to never spend hundreds of dollars on expensive scrubs when you likely have the ingredients to make your own right in your own home.   This is a very easy to make recipe for Homemade Lemon Scrub and it works just as well as any commercial product you could buy.  Plus, you know exactly what’s in it.  No mystery ingredients here.

As if that’s not enough, you’ll get some of the benefits of using Lemon Essential Oil.  I’ve said repeatedly that citrus is one of my pregnancy cravings.  I’m sure this isn’t coincidental as I’ve also had the most severe morning sickness of all of my pregnancies combined and had to take medication to control the vomiting.  I wish that I had known about an old tried-and-true home remedy of the lemon juice/water morning combo we hear so much about because it may actually helpful in controlling morning sickness for some people.  I can’t say for certain if it helped me at all, but I definitely feel much better than I did before I started drinking it – and my morning sickness lasted well into my second trimester.  Of course, you’ll only be using it on your skin, but that has its own benefits as lemon is known to kill germs and bacteria, smooth callus’, and even elevate your mood.


Homemade Lemon Scrub


  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
  • 5-8 drops of Lemon Essential Oil


  1. In a medium sized bowl, add the olive oil and coconut oil. Combine.
  2. Add the epsom salt and blend with the oil mixture.
  3. Add lemon essential oil.
  4. Stir until blended.
  5. Transfer to a lidded container to store.

Homemade Lemon Scrub

DIY Easter Egg Bath Bombs

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DIY Easter Bath Bombs


I don’t know about you, but I always like to put a personalized handmade spin on all of these gift laden holidays.  For Christmas, I’ve made my own gingerbread Play Doh and sidewalk chalk and paints for Easter.  None are particularly complicated, by any stretch, or I wouldn’t be able to pull them off!  This year, I’m making Easter Egg Bath Bombs!  Keeping with the theme of non-candy treats and goodies, these are a perfect Easter basket filler.

By the way, the egg theme works just as well for a Mother’s Day basket.  You could make a ‘nest’ out of  a pretty decorative gift bowl filled with a shredded paper bag.  I like Japanese Noodle/Rice Bowls.  They make a nice gift when paired with a chopstick/rice paddle gift set, by the way.  Just fill one or more of the bowls with robin’s egg blue bath bombs and the rest of the basket with trial size bath freebies, The Body Shop BOGO deal items and other things you’ve held onto for a project like this.   It’s a great way to keep using those fillable plastic eggs after Easter, too!  I always keep them on hand for various projects throughout the year.



DIY Easter Egg Bath Bombs


  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Epsom salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 5 teaspoons water
  • 3 drops essential oil
  • food coloring


  1. Using a large bowl, add baking soda, cream of tartar, corn starch and epsom salts.
  2. Blend the coconut oil into the dry ingredients and mix well The mixture becomes sandy with an oil feel.
  3. One teaspoon at a time, begin to add water to the dry ingredients, stirring it in immediately with a large spoon.
  4. Continue to add the liquid until your mixture resembles damp sand.
  5. It should still be partially dry, but when you squeeze a handful together it could form a ball.
  6. Add food coloring and your essential oils, by thoroughly mixing them into the liquid ingredients, one at a time.
  7. If you're making several colors, divide the mixture evenly among 3 or more bowls and add the food coloring in each bowl as you desire.
  8. When the mixture is the color you want, take a small amount and press it firmly into each side of the egg mold
  9. You can also do this in thirds by placing a smaller layer in the bottom of the larger egg half about halfway up, then adding another color mix and filling slightly over the top. Then, fill the other smaller half of the egg until you know it's flush with the overfilled egg half and will compress together tightly.
  10. Allow to dry for a 24 hours or more.
  11. Gently remove from the egg molds and place on a flat surface for another 4 hours. Then store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Household Recipes: DIY Makeup Remover Pads!

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I have a few DIY recipes that I use all the time – microwave yogurt, coffee creamer, and this eye makeup remover.   In my college years, I used to get styes all the time.  I think it was the stress I was under in those days because I rarely get them now – once every 5+ years or so.  But back then, after getting so many of them, I finally went to my family doctor and he recommended using Tear-Free Baby Shampoo and water as an eyelid wash.  That may also be why I never get them anymore.  I guess I’ll never know!?!

Since that recommendation, I’ve morphed it into making my own makeup remover pads.   I love them.  They’re gentle and work exceptionally well at not only removing eye makeup, but facial cleansing, too.  On top of that, it costs so little to make them and you probably already have the ingredients in your house!


DIY Makeup Remover Pads



  1. In a large bowl mix together the Water, Shampoo, and Oil.
  2. Add enough of your solution to cover the bottom of your mason jar or container.
  3. Add approximately 10 pads and allow them to soak up the solution.
  4. Continue to add about 10 pads at a time pouring solution over each set to cover.


These also make nice gifts! If you’re thinking of making a batch of these for that purpose, here are some lovely (FREE) labels I have for you to print and use.

DIY: Coffee Sugar Scrub with FREE Printable Gift Labels!

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DIY Coffee Sugar Scrub with Free Printable Gift Labels

I love making Christmas gifts for people.  No, not fruitcake.  *barf*    I make things like this Coffee Sugar Scrub!  I have used this for a long time myself, simply because I love coffee, but it has a lot of health benefits as well.

First, coffee has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as caffeine, which helps reduce cellulite appearance by encouraging fat metabolism and fluid loss.  Coconut Oil (or Olive Oil) is moisturizing.  Sugar is exfoliating.  It’s a win-win!

Why don’t you whip up some of this easy scrub for your friends and family this Christmas?  Or anytime, really.   It’s inexpensive and super easy to make.


Coffee Sugar Scrub



  1. Pour sugar and coffee grounds into medium sized bowl.
  2. Mix in coconut oil (add more if you like a wet consistency).
  3. Add cinnamon and mix well.
  4. Place mixture in the jar.
  5. Add a label to the front and maybe a ribbon to gift.

And just for you, I’ve got some free printable Coffee Scrub Gift Labels to go with your wonderful creations!

5 Household Uses for Alka Seltzer!

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5 Household Uses for Alka Seltzer

When you have heartburn or stomach discomfort, you know the saying. Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, oh what a relief it is! is an old tried and true motto that many have come to live by.  Sure Alka Seltzer is great for treating your symptoms and making you feel better faster, but did you know that you can use Alka Selzer for so much more? This little tablet can really pack a punch and help you in other ways around the house. Want to know more? Take a look below at 5 household uses for Alka Seltzer that you can  try today!

5 Household Uses for Alka Seltzer:

1. Make your toilet sparkle.
If you want to clean your toilet in a hurry, all you need to do is grab a few Alka Seltzer tablets. The citric acid in them works hard at removing stains and built up gunk. Just toss two in the bowl, wait about 15 minutes, and flush. No scrubbing required!

2. Make your own all purpose cleaner.
You can make your own all purpose cleaner using Alka Seltzer in a variety of ways. When mopping, just drop a tablet in your mop water. When cleaning the bathroom, fill your sink with water and add a tablet. Or, when cleaning various rooms of the house, fill a spray bottle with water and add 1-2 crumbled tablets. In all cases, just use the solution on your messy surfaces, scrub, and rinse.

3. Remove burnt food from dishes.
If you have burnt sauce or other food particles stuck to your dishes, just fill your sink with warm water and add 3 tablets. Allow your dishes to soak and watch the baked on food just melt away. This is so easy and gentle on your dishes.

4. Whiten your laundry.
Fill your sink with warm water and add a tablet or two. Then, soak your dingy shirts, socks, undershirts, etc. The powerful effervescence will brighten your whites and get them looking nice and clean. Adding the tablets to your washing machine is not advised. Be sure to soak first as directed and then toss the items in your machine.

5. Freshen your fridge.
If you have garlicky foods or fish in your fridge it can really leave a stench. Banish the smell by placing a coffee cup full of warm water and one tablet in your fridge. Allow it to sit in your fridge for a couple hours to help combat the smell. If it is really bad, use the solution in the cup after the few hours is up to wipe out the fridge shelving.

See how easy and fun it can be to use Alka Seltzer in various ways? It can sure come in handy around the house when you need to do a little cleaning and freshening up. Alka Seltzer can be found at your local retail store for less than a few dollars (and often FREE), so be sure to stock up and in turn, enjoy a frugally fresh and clean home!

How to Clean Stainless Steel!

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Stainless steel is one of the most popular types of cookware and currently a popular finish for kitchen appliances. What they don’t tell you at the store how difficult stainless steel is to keep clean and to get clean once its dirty!

They do try and sell you expensive stainless steel cleaning products, which may be effective on the appliances, but they’re not very helpful if you’re on a tight budget.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at 4 easy ways you can clean your appliances:

  • Just water (and a microfiber towel)
  • Water with a bit of dish liquid mixed in
  • Glass cleaner
  • Homemade stainless steel cleaner

Homemade Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaner Recipe


  • Rubbing Alcohol or White Vinegar
  • Water

In a spray bottle, mix 2 parts alcohol or vinegar to 1 part water. Give it a shake and spray on your stainless steel appliances to clean off those finger prints!

Note: Stainless steel cleaners will not remove hard water stains.

Maybe you don’t have stainless steel appliances but just have stainless steel cookware. If you do, you know that over time it tends to get build up on the bottom of the pans. Here’s how to keep that stainless steel cookware looking brand new.

  • Wash right away. Don’t give grime time to get stuck.
  • For tough stuck-on stains,  fill your pots with 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water and boil on the stove for a few minutes.
  • To keep your pans looking shiny try Bon Ami Polishing Cleanser or Bar Keepers Friend (print a coupon!), nonabrasive cleaners.
  • Don’t leave any water spots on your pans, these are actually caused by minerals and will discolor your pans over time. Instead of letting the pots and pans drip dry, make sure to wipe them with a towel before you put them away.
  • To clean burn marks, sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of the wet pan. Let this sit for a few minutes before you try and wipe it off.
  • If burn marks are on the inside of the pan, fill the pan with a small amount of water and baking soda and put it on the stove on a medium heat for a few minutes to try and “cook the burns” off.

There are many ways to effectively stainless steel.  It’s not a one size fits all proposition either.  Try them out to find  which one seems to work for the kinds of messes that you tend to have.

What is your favorite method for cleaning stainless steel?

Amazon: Ivory Bar Soap 16ct $4.99 Shipped! Plus, Easy Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe!

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Savings are stacking to make Ivory Soap just $0.30/4oz Bar at Amazon.  Since it’s available as an Add On item and Subscribe & Save, the 16 count pack is $4.74 with Subscribe & Save.  And since it’s a Subscribe & Save item, it ships free.

If you’re subscribed to 5 or more items, your final cost is $4.74 or $0.27/Bar.

And you know me, I’m all about easy and efficient.  I just don’t have time to make Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap.  Plus, it’s messy.  Yep, I don’t need that either.  If you’ve been tempted to try your hand at making your own laundry soap, here’s an easy recipe for you.  For me, it’s a great bridge between my last super cheap laundry detergent deal and the next one if I’m running low.

Ivory Soap Laundry Detergent


  • 1 Cup Ivory Soap Flakes
  • 1/2 Cup Borax
  • 1/2 Cup Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer)


  1. Grate a bar of Ivory Soap with your handy dandy grater or use a food processor. Measure out 1 cup of soap flakes. Add 1/2 cup borax. Add 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda. Mix well.


Directions for use: Use 1 tablespoon per normal wash load in standard washing machine. Use 2 teaspoons for High Efficiency washing machines.

Heavily Soiled: Use 1 tablespoon + 1 tsp in standard washing machine Use 1 tablespoon for High Efficiency washing machines

Note: As with all Amazon prices, the price on this offer can change at any time. These prices are valid as of March 12th at 10:19am EST.   

If this applies, and you need some suggestions for inexpensive items to reach the $25 threshold for Super Saver Shipping, take a look at all of the recently posted Amazon deals.

Amazon Program Information Refresher
Understanding these Amazon programs can be confusing, so I though it might be nice to break them down a bit for you.

Some items are available through the Subscribe & Save program.  What that means is that you select shipments at regular intervals (every 1-6 months) and you’ll receive the item at the 5% discounted price when you subscribe to 4 items or less.  Subscribe to 5 or more items, and you’ll receive a 15% discount on each of your subscription items.  Additionally, all subscriptions ship free.  If you don’t want to bother with regular shipments (the prices do fluctuate), sign up to receive the shipment you want and cancel (with no penalty) when you’ve received your order.  You can cancel via the Your Account dropdown menu tab “Your Subscribe & Save Items.”  Canceling is very easy to do.

Alternatively, all items can be shipped free with Amazon Prime as well. You can sign up for a free trial membership and cancel before you are charged the annual fee, if you choose.

I am a member of the Amazon Mom program.  Starting January 24, 2012, the maximum discount available on any purchase is 20%.  This comes from the exclusive discount of 15% on select items (diapers, wipes, etc.) on top of  a revised 5% Subscribe and Save discount vs. 15% for other purchased items i.e. grocery, etc.  There are often coupons that are stackable with these discounts as well.  Also, when you join Amazon Mom, you have the added bonus of Amazon Prime free Two-Day shipping for the first three months continued only by purchasing an Amazon Prime membership after the trial period ($79).

Amazon Student is free for, well, college students by providing a school and major.  You get AmazonPrime free shipping for six months and free release date delivery on video games, DVD’s, books and more.  You must have a .edu email address to confirm.

Household Recipe: Lemonade Kool-Aid Dishwasher Cleaner!

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Reader Cheryl saw this and sent it to me today.  Bless her heart, she knows just how to make me do cartwheels.  I, I mean L-O-V-E tips for making my life a little easier.  I LOVE passing them on to you even more.

I sure hope I’m not under a rock here and that you haven’t seen this, but did you know that you can use Kool-Aid to clean your dishwasher?  I kid you not.  I tried it.  It works.  Of course it works (see final comment below). There are no fumes to make you evacuate your home while it’s working either….although just the thought of this super cheap solution nearly drove me outside screaming with happiness.  I know, it really doesn’t take much with me.  My son, on the other hand, was less than thrilled.    Trust me, he’ll get over it when I buy 20 more.  😉

This is so simple.  Open a packet of unsweetened Lemonade Kool-Aid and pour it into the dispenser of your empty dishwasher. Run your dishwasher on any cycle to clean stains and buildup.

It’s the Citric Acid.  Can I just say how disgusted I am that I didn’t make the connection with this?  I have a degree in CHEMISTRY.  Ugh & duh, over and over and over.  Ugh & duh.

Thanks, Cheryl & Real Simple.

Household Recipe: Save The Peel! Easy Frugal Ideas For Getting the Most Out of Your Citrus Fruit!

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This started out as a post about making scented vinegar for cleaning.  You know what happened next.  I started thinking about some of the ways I use orange and lemon peel to avoid waste.   With that in mind, give these ideas a try the next time you’re peeling an orange or two for the kiddies.

A.)  Zest it first.  You’ll want to  remove the orange part of the skin only – not the white pith.  Freeze the zest in juice cubes to be thawed and used later for recipes.  I have quite a few recipes (You probably do, too.) that call for a tablespoon or two of lemon juice AND zest, so the cubes are a  perfect solution.  And if your little one will be eating the orange, you can freeze the zest in ice cubes and place them in a fine mesh strainer over a glass to thaw them when you’re ready to use them.

B.) You can also just zip bag the zest and freeze it that way, too.  Make sure you press the air out of the bag before you seal it.  Next, be sure to lay it flat in the freezer until thoroughly frozen. You don’t want it to freeze in one big clump – just manageable pinches here and there.

C.) Slice the peel into strips and steep them in a canning  jar quart of 50:50 vinegar and water.  I refrigerate mine because…well…I’m like that.  Remove them after 10-14 days and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.  Voila!  You’ve got a much better smelling cleaner by simply using something you already have in your home.  You can also use lemon peels, if you’d rather.  I’d rather, but I don’t always have lemons in the house depending upon our weekly menu.

D.)  If you’ve still got some left over, toss one in the garbage disposal.  They really help freshen things up!

E.)  If you’d rather eat them, give this recipe for Candied Orange Peel by Giada De Laurentiis a try.  I made these for Christmas using her recipe last year and they didn’t make it to Grandma’s house.

F.)  Most of the time, I skip the garbage disposal and sweet treats in favor of my flower bed.  OK, I’ll just say it.  I am not a fan of cats.  Nope, not even a little bit.  I like them even less when they become thoroughly convinced that my flower bed is a litter box.  We’ve got several mangy beasts who cling tightly to this  belief.  Last year, I bought some kind of critter friendly repellent from PetSmart and still scooped poop.  Grrrr….crummy animals.  How it didn’t deter them, I’ll never know.  It sure deterred me.  So along about the first week of September, when I nearly didn’t care about my withering flowers anymore, scattering orange peels was suggested.  Genius!  Those sniffy sniffersons do not like the smell.  And I don’t mind telling you that I giggled myself to pieces watching  *the calico cat* lift up his/her paw in disgust and jump directly out of the flower bed like he was the Michael Jordan of cats.  Good riddance, you nasty thing!

Do you have any other frugal suggestions?  I’d love to hear them!