Introducing August!

August birth announcement crpped

This past Valentine’s Day was life-changing.

At 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning David and I welcomed our son Augustine Krupinski Downs into the world. Born six days after his due date, we were thrilled that the anticipation of meeting this little man was finally over. Here’s the story of how he came to be a Valentine’s babe. Continue reading

DIY: Peppermint Mocha Body Scrub

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It’s the time of year when we turn off the air, bust open the windows, and let the cool breeze of autumn whip through our homes. Forget spring cleaning – fall is when I want things to be light and fresh – which is exactly what has inspired my classic homemade Peppermint Mocha Body Scrub.

Made with ingredients from the kitchen, the exfoliating texture and delicious smell of this DIY treatment will transform your bathroom into a foodie spa extravaganza. Unlike the fattening espresso drink of the same name at Starbucks – this luxurious scrub is actually good for you! Made with olive oil, coffee grounds and effervescent peppermint, it will awaken your senses while sloughing off dry dull skin.

Follow the recipe to see how easy it is to indulge!

Ingredients:1 cup used coffee grounds, 1/2 cup raw sugar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 10 drops peppermint oil, 1 teaspoon cocoa

To make, combine the coffee grounds and sugar in a small bowl and stir together. Next, add the two oils to the coffee sugar brew. Once you have thoroughly mixed the oils in, add the teaspoon of cocoa to give it an extra kick of scent. Pour your concoction into a cleaned out jam jar. For gifting purposes, wrap a string of ribbon or raffia around the base and tie in a bow. Will stay good in open air for two weeks – or you can refrigerate it to extend the shelf life.

Enjoy!

DIY: Homemade Cheek & Lip Stain II

coral cheek and lip stain 2

One of my all-time most popular DIY tutorials is my homemade cheek and lip stain that I put together years ago after discovering the Cosmetics Safety Database. Looking up product after product within my cupboard I had discovered that many were laced with ingredients that were toxic to my health.

This led me to do a total purge of all my make-up, including my most prized product, Benetint. After searching store after store for a natural alternative, I decided to make one up myself using basic kitchen ingredients. And the result? Perfection! My DIY stain was toxin free, easy to make and created a picture perfect come-hither glow.

Fast forward and I’ve found myself once again drawn to Benefit products – this time a pretty coral stain. But rather than compromise three years of skin detox, I decided to give my original recipe a twist and create a pretty tinted concoction that I could use all summer long. The main ingredients? Beets and carrots.

step 10 done!

Saturated in pigment and easily pliable, both of these root veggies make a perfect base for a cheek and lip stain that will give you a rosy blush to go with your summer tan. Don’t believe me? Follow my directions below and you too can opt for a  homemade lip and cheek hue that will make you glow from the inside out.

Continue reading

DIY: Painted Wooden Necklace

diy painted wooden necklace

Lately I’ve been pining for an over-sized statement necklace that has a rustic touch. After scouring Etsy and local fairs, I submitted to the urge to make my very own. I had something so specific in mind that I knew the only way to satiate the urge would to be create it myself!

Using wooden beads, a unique color palette , and embroidery floss, I was able to create a one-of-a-kind color-blocked neck adornment that was both fun and just the right chunky size.

And the best part? It’s easy to make one yourself! Follow these easy steps to make your own using your favorite colors of the season.

diy wooden necklace oversized instructions

1) Pick up a set of large wooden beads from your local craft store.

2) Tape off a portion of each bead – this part will retain the natural wood.

3) Choose your paint colors – make sure they work on porous surfaces. My favorites are the multi-purpose collection by Ms. Martha.

4) Paint your bead. You may need two coats depending on the color you’ve chosen.

5) Set you painted beads aside to dry.

6) Peal off the tape and touch up as needed.

7) Thread a large needle with your chosen color of embroidery floss and string through your beads.

8) Last but not least, knot a complimentary colored floss to your base piece. Cut off the ends and you’re done!

DIY chunky wooden necklace

Have you found a fun way to bring together a popular trend with your favorite colors and textures? If so – tell us about it!

Finds: Herbivore Botanicals Skincare

Herbivore Botanicals: natural vegan mens skin care

I’m somewhat of a natural cosmetics junkie – always ready to try the latest DIY tonic or small-batch soaps. Whether makeup or bath bombs, as long as they’re natural and cruelty-free, I’m always willing to give them a try. So when I stumbled upon the vegan Etsy-based skincare Herbivore Botanicals, I knew I was sold.

Featured in an Etsy shopping guide for Father’s Day, I scooped up a men’s gift set for my hubby. “It’s an early Father’s Day present!” I told him. “But we don’t have kids” he protested. Four-legged babes count – don’t they?! Besides, I thought it would be more apt for him to try the line as it’s meant for toning the skin of those with facial hair, something I’m thankful I don’t qualify for.

herbivore botanicals bag

 

So what did he think? Continue reading

Tutorial: Homemade Caramel Apples

There’s nothing that beckons the dawn of fall like crisp yet rich caramel apples.The moment I see them hit the grocery store end caps I know that autumn is in full swing.

If you’re an addict like me, try your hand at this simple recipe that will not only give you the freshest results – it allows you to use organic natural ingredients – so the only thing you’ll feel guilty about is hoarding them all for yourself!

To see the full recipe view my post on the EcoEtsy blog here

DIY: Homemade Cheek & Lip Stain

There are many secrets cosmetic companies intentionally keep from consumers. Thousands of toxic chemicals abound in lipsticks, fragrances, shampoos, and eye shadows being sold in the United States and beyond. Take one look at the Cosmetic Safety Database and you’ll see for yourself that we’re literally killing ourselves for the sake of beauty.

For this reason I made a pledge at the start of the year to dump all of my artificial makeup and skin care products and start over with natural cosmetics. I’ll admit that January was a difficult month. I went shopping and had a very very difficult time finding products that fit my high caliber expectations. Continue reading