Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Spa Treatment Christmas Gifts

I love making gifts for Christmas, I enjoy it, even more when my daughter can help me. These candy cane bath salts are a perfect gift to make with your pk daughter.  My inspiration came from this website,  of course I found it though Pintrest. 

 Here is what I did: I doubled the batch, and used red food coloring for just one batch, so I could get the candy cane effect. I did not wait for the soap to dry out a bit, I just put them into the Glad/Ziplock containers. (my containers were from Hy-Vee, about .50 cents a piece- a bit more affordable than other containers.)

DIY Bubbly Bath Salts
6 Cups of Epsom Salt
¾ Cup of Liquid Soap (I use Mr. Bubbles baby bath (origanal scent)
10 drops of Peppermint Essential oils
3 to 4 Drops of Food red Coloring for one batch
Stir the soap, oils, and food coloring together.  Evenly pour over the salt, and stir until the salt is evenly coated.  Spread bath salt out in a thin layer on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper, and allow it to air dry overnight.  Pack into a glass container of your choice.
To use, pour ¼ cup of the salt under running water while drawing a bath. Relax in the tub and enjoy!

  • Bathing with bath salts stimulates circulation, and hydrates your skin.
  • Use mini jars, create a fun pack of three bath salts in different scents.
  • Bath salts can open your pores to purify your skin, cleansing away dirt, sweat, and unwanted toxins.
  • Enjoy the full benefits of the aromatherapy powers of essential oils.
  • Make some lavender bath salt to relax and ease nervous tension.

Sugar Scrub:

I had a dear friend over to help me make this sugar scrub, and I feel in love with it that I had to give it to my other dear friends and family members, This stuff is awesome! Thanks Sarah Day for the recipe.

So generally you use 3 part sugar to 1 part oil, we used half white sugar and half brown sugar, so to make about 3 containers full of sugar scrub this is what you will need:

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup of coconut oil (either melt it or cream it) (I have used olive oil too, but it had to much of a scent that I didn't much care for but it's also really good on your skin)
10 ish drops of Cinnamon Leaf Essential oils

Mix it together and put it into the containers. Decorate containers and put a label on it. I googled search for a label for both the sugar scrub and the peppermint scrub and found two that I loved. Then I printed them out and Cut them out. I am impressed at how easy and affordable both were to make and the results were fantastic! never again will I buy either of these items when they work so good on my skin, and how fun and easy it was to make.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sci Center and Blank Park Zoo Family Pass

I am loving our family membership to the Science Center and to Blank Park Zoo. When Mother-inlaw gave this to me as a gift this Christmas I was thrilled (acting like a giddy little girl that just got her new dolly-that thrilled.)

I could go on and on about all the cool things they have to offer but the real reason why I am thrilled are these reasons:

We really don't need any more toys -nope not a single one, I am trying to keep toys under control, and it's not working well. So this is a win-win, 1.we are not in our house making a mess (picking up toys) and 2. we are not getting any more toys (Wha Who!)

I love getting out and playing and going to places that tucker them out, if it's educational that is a plus! The Science Center of Iowa and the Zoo does just that and more! I love that even on hot days we can enjoy being in the air, and having a good time!

It's Free entertainment for a good 4 hours at a time! These days it's hard to do family things that don't break the bank and for us, having daddy around is precious time we want to make it count, One of the best ways to make time count for us to go as a family to the Sci Center or the Zoo, it's always changing and there is always something new to discover. For a family with an almost 5 yr old, a 2 year old and one due in May I feel it's a must! You might think that it's not really free, your right the pass was $158 however that get's you into the Zoo and the Sci Center for free as a family, if you were to go to either of these places even with a groupon it would still cost over $25 to get in as a family, since my kids are little and still need naps, it's best if we stay for the morning or an afternoon, not of the whole day so a pass works wonders for us, I don't feel like I am wasting money because we didn't see everything in one day.  If you plan it right you can get your pass for almost 13 months instead of a year, the pass expires on the last day of the month that it was purchased in, so if I were to buy a pass for the up coming year I would buy it a the first of the month in January 2014, have all that month and then the whole year plus the end of January 2015.

Enough blabbing about the pass, I should note that this a must for families that live close to the DSM area, I live about 1.5 hours away but have grandma and grandpa to visit with and to stay the night if we get to tiered.

some of my fav. pics I just took while we were at the zoo.

While at the zoo they had animal education for kids, We got to touch animals and see them up close! This is a Hissing Cockroach- the stuff on the table is snake skin from a python that we also got to touch!
 Our kids and cousins loved the truck at the lion exhibit, I couldn't get my son off of it, he said drive drive drive, it was super fun!
 It's like 55 degrees out side, nice enough for a light jacket, don't you love the snow on the ground? I will take fresh air in December any time!
 This cute Rhino seemed content as he was walking around in the snow, it was a funny sight to see in deed, I don't associate a rhino in snow!

Our older kidlets enjoyed the swinging bridge at the discovery center! I loved that it was so warm!
This is my favorite pic, at the learning center they also had a pygmy hedgehog that my son loved, it was super cute. 
I had to play with my camera just a bit, I love changing my shutter speed, I feel like I am a rock star photographer. This was to perfect to not take a picture off.

Apple Butter Gift

Apple Butter is so good on home made bread! When my mother In-law said it would be nice to make some for the Grandma's I thought duh of course I can and while I am at it Make some for all the other wonderful people I know! Apples were plentiful this year in Iowa, like double the yield than normal! so every one I knew was making apple treats this Autumn. I am blessed to have a friend that had access to two very yummy apple trees this year.

My apple butter recipe is from pickyourown.org ( I love this website for ways to preserve produce, great tips on how to preserve fruits and veggies, I also like it for dehydration.

now on to the fun part, decorating the cute quilted mason jar.

For the Bow on top I used Silhouette Honeycomb bow Design ID #27126 For the paper I used Paper Studio Christmas gold foiled paper, Red polka dot for the bottom layer and the honeycomb layer I used the gold leaf paper in the paper stack.

For the Tag, I used a simple tag that came with the soft ware, and the Apple Design ID #31555, I used ribbon red and white striped ribbon that came from Hobby Lobby's fabric ribbon section and adhered that to the tag towards the bottom.

I attached the bow with hot glue to the lid, and used red bakers twine to attached the tag to the jar.

I can see this bow working for most things that need that extra something on top of a lid, so enjoy decorating your food gifts!

Home made dipped oreo's

I love giving home made gifts, and anything that is dipped in chocolate is even better, I say. So why not dip Oreo's in melted mint chocolate? The results were amazing! add some sprinkles and they were delicious!. Here is my recipe:

2 bags of mint chocolate chips (mine were Hershey's)
a Tbl. of oil (add when you are melting the chips in the microwave.
2 Packages of Oreo'es (I like the double stuff ones)

Melt the chocolate by adding the oil, in a microwave container (I use my Pampered Chef Micro cooker) at 30 sec. intervals, stirring ever 30 secs. Then one by one I dip the Oreo's into the chocolate with a dipping fork (regular fork also works) and tap the access chocolate off the cookie before laying it down on either wax paper or on parchment paper. I stored these in the fridge for about 2 weeks before I gave them away as gifts and they were fine.

For Packaging, I found some really cute tins at a garage sale for like .10cents, and thought that is a perfect Christmas treat present container! I snatched all 5 up. I cleaned them up, with a damp soapy cloth, and once it was dry I used tissue paper to line the tins.  Here is my finished product.

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