Thursday, December 26, 2013

Hand Sanitizer

I don't consider myself a germ freak, but I do like things to be very clean and organized and during the winter months I load the family up with soap and hand sanitizer whenever we go anywhere.

Last year I tried to make my own hand sanitizer because I get frustrated with how quickly my hands dry out with the store bought kind, plus I just like to try and make my own stuff.

DIY Hand Sanitizer.
You Will Need:
(1) 12 ounce bottle of 100% Pure Aloe Vera Gel {It must be clear and say 100% on the bottle!}
3/4 teaspoon of Tea Tree Oil
Witch Hazel

In a glass bowl, mix Aloe Vera and Tea Tree Oil.  Then add witch hazel until you have the consistency you want your sanitizer to be

First of all, it was almost impossible to find 100% aloe vera gel.  Every store I went to had the blue kind with lidocaine in it.  I finally just ordered a bottle from Amazon. 

This particular recipe says it is alcohol free. I found other recipes that are very similar that say you can add alcohol if you want to.  I decided to put 2 Tablespoons of rubbing alcohol into my mixture.  Maybe it was a mental block, but how can it really kill off the germs without alcohol?

 I mixed everything together until I got a good gel
 Then put it into little travel size bottles. 

The verdict: Without setting up my own science lab with microscopes and petri dishes, there is no way to know if this stuff kills germs as effectively as the store bought kind but I can tell you four things about it:

It's sticky - if you have used aloe vera gel then you know what I mean.  It has a slight sticky texture until it dries and it takes longer to dry then the store bought kind.

My hands weren't as dry - they still dried out a but but it wasn't as bad as using the store bought kind

It's smelly - each of the ingredients has a strong distinct odor and when you combine them all into a bottle then look out, your sniffer will get an overload

We were healthier - It could be pure coincidence, but we used it during the whole cold/flu season last year and that was the healthiest our family has ever been.  We each got a couple minor colds but that was it.  Nothing major. 

I had planned on using it again this winter to see if we stayed healthier again, but my pregnant sniffer can't handle the smell this time around. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

DIY Play-Doh

 I think a lot of moms have attempted to make their own play-doh at one point or another.  Most of the recipes are really good and turn out great, plus it's nice to know that if your little one tries to eat it they will just get a mouth full of kitchen items.

I have tried several play-doh's and this is by far my favorite

Home Play-doh
You Will Need:
1 Cup flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 Tbsp baby oil

Heat all ingredients over stove top on medium high. Stir until it clumps together and you get the desired consistency.  Knead in food coloring. 

I threw all the ingredients into a pot, mixed them together and turned on the heat. 

 Once the stove reached medium high heat it took about 3 minutes for the mixture to clump up

 I got two good sized balls the size of my palm.
 The Verdict: The reason this is my favorite is because how soft it is.  It's a lot easier to mold and shape then other play-doh's I have tried. 

The first few times you use it, you will end up with grease marks on everything it touches (they wipe right off).  But eventually that stops happening and it's still just as soft. 

The kids will keep it out for very long periods of time and after 3 months it's still just as soft as when I first made it.

It even works great with play-doh accessories. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

DIY Dry Shampoo

Back in April I tried a few DIY dry shampoo's that didn't work very well.  When I was researching that project I came across a wet, dry shampoo.  How could a dry shampoo that is liquid help?  I had to try it.  

Homemade Dry Shampoo
 You Will Need:
1 tbsp of cornstarch
4 tbsp of water
1 tbsp of rubbing alcohol 
Mix all the ingredients together then pour into a spray bottle.  Spray on your scalp, in your hair and anywhere the your hair needs to be de-greased. You do not need to drench your scalp, just dampen it up.  Run a comb or your fingers through your hair to distribute it evenly.  Let it air dry or quickly blast your scalp with a hair dryer.
I mixed it all up, and decided right then and there that this wasn't going to end well.  How was spraying this white liquid onto my hair going to be a good thing?

 I sprayed it onto my roots and immediately noticed the white flecks.... yep, not going to end well. 
 I combed it through then used a blow dryer to quickly dry my hair.

The Verdict: I love it when my DIY projects prove me wrong and turn out to be a good thing.

Before, complete with gray hair!
After, doing my best to hide the gray hairs

My hair wasn't fresh out of the shower clean, but it was pretty close. I was able to style it like normal and my hair looked great the rest of the day. 

 Because of the alcohol, my hair was noticeably drier.  If your hair isn't a fan of alcohol then this might not be a good idea for you.  Fortunately my hair can bounce back from any beating I give it and it felt normal by the next morning.

The spray did leave little white specks all over my skin,  but it wiped right off with a damp cloth.

I wouldn't use this all the time because of the alcohol in it, but I've used a few times in the last several months and have been very pleased with it each time.  It's a great "Oh crap, I'm suppose to be out the door in 10 minutes and I'm still in my yoga pants" solution.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

Ummmm..... something about the cold weather and hot chocolate

Ok enough intro, onto the important stuff

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
You Will Need:
3 cups nonfat instant dry milk powder
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips 
1/4 teaspoon salt


Mix all ingredients into a large bowl. Pour half of the mixture into the bowl of a food processor and process until the chocolate is finely ground. Transfer to an airtight container, then repeat with the remaining mix. Store in the airtight container for up to 3 months.
To make the hot cocoa drink, mix 1/3 cup of the cocoa mix with 1 cup hot milk. About 20 servings

Using that much powder stuff, I ended up with a good size mess. But it was easy to clean up.

The Verdict: I mixed it with milk and with water to see how it compared. 
The milk was definitely creamier and pretty good. 
The water mixture was thinner but had a richer taste
Both of them left a cocoa powder after taste in my mouth which I wasn't to fond of but it was subtle. Also, it doesn't mix as well as other mixtures I've tried.  There is a good amount of mixture that settles on the bottom, but it's an easy fix, just don't drink the last bit. 

Overall, it was better then any store bought packets I have tried, but not nearly as good as Starbucks.  But that might be because they use whole milk and whip cream.