Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Give me an "H"

Well, in last month's Eco Emi DIY post, we asked you to give us a cheer with our tissue paper poms, so this month, we made an "H" for Hayden, although you can follow these directions to make whatever letter you'd like.

As you know, Hayden and I try to do a DIY project with the extra packing materials, decoration, etc. in each month's Eco Emi box (in case you've missed them, here's January, February, March, April, May, June and July). This month, we had two shades of purple tissue paper and some greenery, as well as some cute mesh bags, the printed Eco Emi card and its shipping box. That's all we needed to make this craft, with the exception of scissors and glue.

Inspired by Mr. Kate's decorative letters (I just love Mr. Kate), I opted to make an "H" for Hayden's door to her room (she has a princess theme, so this was perfect for her), using the contents and actual box from our August Eco Emi. The goal was to make a craft that you'd be able to make, too, without having to come up with any extra supplies (most people have scissors and glue).

To start, I deconstructed the shipping box, making sure not to cut up the two perfect rectangle shapes.

Then, I used some of the scrap pieces to create the "H." I just glued them onto one of the rectangles. Look, it says, "please recycle." Don't mind if I do.

Next, I cut the base rectangle to match the "H" shape.

Once the "H" shape was cut into the base, I glued on the top rectangle, making sure the white side was facing up.

You probably guessed the next step; I cut the top rectangle to match the "H" shape.

Then, I had an idea; I decided to take apart the large purple mesh bag to use as the fabric covering for the "H" and to take advantage of the ribbon ties.

Thank goodness the glue was still wet, because I was able to separate the tops of the "H" enough to glue the ends of one of the ribbons inside.

Voila! Now the "H" has something from which to hang.

For added interest, I cut out the princess balcony from the Eco Emi description card and glued it to the "H." I then, glued the purple mesh fabric on top.

I flipped the "H" over and cut/glued the excess mesh fabric to the back to secure it to the "H."

Here's how it looked from the front once the fabric was fully attached (you can tell that my lighting kept changing throughout this DIY project).

Fairytale castles always seem to be covered in some sort of greenery, so I covered much of the exposed area of the "H" in the greenery from my Eco Emi box. I glued it on just like I would with glitter.

To ensure a happy ending to our fairytale, we livened it up with some purple tissue paper flowers. Just cut out some teardrop and heart shapes, and wrap them around each other to build up a flower (about 3 or so teardrops in the center and 4 or more hearts around the outside).

I attached the tissue paper flowers and the other piece of ribbon where I saw fit. Then, we waited for the glue to dry overnight.

Here's the finished product, hanging sweetly for all to see.

Hope you enjoyed today's DIY. What projects are you making?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pampered princesses

Yesterday, Hayden and I received our last Eco Emi box for the summer (but not are last one ever; we have no plans of canceling our subscription any time soon). Inside was a pretty purple fairytale theme fit for pampering a princess (or two, in our case).

You can watch our initial video reaction above and/or check out the list of what we received below:

Orchard Body Glitter by Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques: I have definitely become a fan of Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques after receiving other products from this brand in past Eco Emi boxes (I'm still loving my full-size eye liner). This one was perfect for a fairytale princess. It's like fairy dust (you know how we like our fairy dust around here) with a subtle pastel shimmer and the addition of organic coconut oil to magically moisturize your skin.

Tin Slider Lip Balms in French Vanilla by Naiad Soap Arts: At first I was really excited about this product, especially because it came in a tin slider like some of my favorite lip balms as a child (you were cool if you had one of those). I also was surprised by this vanilla balm's greenish blue hue. Hayden and I liked the scent, and I even let her try it on in the video.

However, after watching a fellow vlogger's Eco Emi video, I decided to keep this one away from Hayden, due to the fact it contains aluminum lake. We don't need that on our lips, but we probably will clean it out and keep the container (we could refill it ourselves or use it for small items like earrings, etc.).

I hope Naiad Soap Arts changes up its formula, because it is a very cute little Etsy shop. Just check out these adorable macaroon soaps.

Organic Hydrating Sugar Scrub by Moody Sisters: Ha ha. It's funny that my sister's first Eco Emi box will have this in it. She's not really moody, but she is my sister. The scrub smells minty and very appealing. The scrub contains actual sugar granules, which makes it extra sweet. Can't wait to try it. Oh, and BTW, it's 100% organic and vegan, too :-)

Himalayan Rose Soap by Auromere Ayurvedic: Speaking of good smelling, this floral soap smells intoxicating. I usually am not a big fan of rose soaps, but I have to make an exception with this one. It's quite lovely.

Soothing Organic Milk & Oat Bath with Calming Chamomile by Aura Cacia: This seems like it would be amazing, but I don't really do milk baths (except coconut milk ones; you must try those). However, my household is not entirely vegan, so this will not go to waste.

Cool Calm & Collected Citrus Mint Hand & Body Lotion by Better Life: I think the look of this package is pretty cool. Just reading the words "Cool Calm Collected" have gotten me in a more relaxed mood. Better Life is a good name for a brand, too.

The scent is citrus mint, which is really up my alley, as well as its vitamin-rich and hydrating blend of coconut oil, avocado oil, jojoba seed oil, shea butter and aloe. This would be great for a pedicure with the new nail polish I got.

French Green Clay Facial Masks Powder by Rainbow Research Cooperation: Natural clay masks rock! They are great for drawing impurities out of the skin. I was happy to see that this is basically just a powdered green clay that you can just mix with spring water or use as a base for your favorite beauty concoction. We are definitely having a spa day today :-)

Artisana Organic Raw Pecan Butter: I've been buying Artisana nut butters for years and taking the individual packets wherever I go. I actually brought a ton of them on vacation with me recently. They are so convenient and delicious!

Lettuce Mesclun Q's Special Medley Organic Seeds by Botanical Interests: This packet of seeds is going to help me find my green thumb. My mom has one, but I don't know where mine went. I'm determined to grow these. Gotta love greens.

Frontier Natural Products Lavender, Rosemary, Mint and Lemongrass: When you videotape your surprise reactions to what is in these boxes, sometimes you don't get all the info about every product on tape.

For example, in the time allotted to film this month's video, I couldn't seem to figure out what company was responsible for the generous portions of lavender, rosemary, mint and lemongrass in the box. There was even a card with recipes and ways to use them (I want a lavender cupcake so bad right now).

Later, I was able to read the card more closely to find out they were from Frontier Natural Products (I've actually purchased many of their herbs, spices and extracts). Sorry that I wasn't able to mention them in the video.


Anyway, I was very pleased to receive the lavender, rosemary, mint and lemongrass from Frontier Natural Products, as well as the other items in the box. Time to relax with my little princess. Here's a blast from the past photo of her on another natural spa day. Oh my how she's grown.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mermaids, smoothies & a bag of beauty

In my last post, I mentioned our beach vacation, as well as my little lady's 3rd birthday. We actually had a party for her while we were there. She wanted a pirate and mermaid theme.

Hayden received this adorable Little Mermaid dress-up outfit for her birthday, which she happily pranced around in before we went to see the "real" mermaids at the aquarium. She couldn't wait to get her first glimpse of them, begging me to lift her up so she could see better.

However, when one of the mermaids finally made her way to where she was standing for a face-to-face meet-and-greet, Hayden quickly ducked down beneath the rocky ledge. It was like seeing Santa Claus all over again.

To my surprise, though, she talked about the mermaids like she really liked them after the fact. She even wanted to get done up like a mermaid in the Mermaid Boutique, but since we already took her to Sparkles, we thought we could make due with what we had for dress up back at the beach house. Instead, we let her pick out this cute little stuffed mermaid you can see posing in the pics with my Vega Energizing Smoothie.

If you recall Charissa's July Smoothie Challenge I posted about all throughout last month, I'm excited to update you with the fact that I won. That means I'll be receiving all five flavors of Vega's Energizing Smoothie mix (thank you Charissa, and thanks to all my readers for sticking with me while I kept posting and tweeting so many smoothies).

I also won one bag of Vega Energizing Smoothie in my choice of flavor from One Green Planet (thank you) for leaving a comment on and tweeting about one of their posts. I selected Vanilla Almondilla, which is my favorite.

I must confess that I've been a fan of Vega products for quite a while now, so it is no surprise that I entered both of these contests. I've posted an interview with Brendan Brazier about him and the products in the past, and even reviewed the Energizer Smoothie's predecessor.

Vega Energizer Smoothie is actually the revamped version of Vega Shake & Go Smoothie. I found that the new version isn't quite as green in color and flavor as the original and is smoother. It mixes very well and tastes amazing. I'm very impressed with the changes made to the product (although I loved the first version, too). I'm anxious to try all the rest of the revised flavors when they arrive.

Another item I received in the mail recently is this fun, natural LovingEco Beauty Bag (the price currently says $45, but I got mine for $15.95, as part of a limited time deal; JP Selects always offers weekly specials that are worth signing up for). Now that LovingEco is part of JP Selects, The LovingEco Beauty Bag I've raved about is back. I hope it reappears on the site monthly.

First of all, it came in a cute red Baggu (I'm still a fan of the white and teal striped one from my last Beauty Bag). It was filled with the following items:

Lastly, I got a special code to enter for a free gift, since I've been a LovingEco and JP Selects loyal customer. My gift was this Priti Polish in Chocolate Cosmos. As you know, Priti Polish is one of my favorite nail polish brands, so I was excited about this. The color is more of a deep red, rather than a chocolate. I prefer to refer to it as Red Velvet Cupcake :-)

Anyway, my little cupcake (Hayden, of course) is calling for me. TTFN!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back from the beach, off to school & a birthday

Sorry that it's been so long since my last post (we won the smoothie challenge BTW). I got busy enjoying the final days of our summer break.

In fact, we've only been back a couple days from our family beach vacation, just in time for Jacob's first day of school (here's a pic of him with his Paw Paw this morning; Jacob is refusing to smile for the camera, mainly because he is adjusting to the expander he got at the orthodontist yesterday) and Hayden's birthday (she's officially 3 years old today and will be starting her preschool in a couple weeks).

Both my kids are growing up so fast, although Hayden is sitting on my lap while I type this post (she's tired from getting up early and running around with her friend at the bus stop). I guess this means I should make this fast, too (I just read this out loud, and she agreed).

Well, to speed things up, I won't be sharing any photos of us on the beach or in the pool (I prefer not to have bikini or shirtless pics of my family on my site; you never know where they could end up). However, Hayden did request that I share a few from her "Sparkles" makeover.

Yes, I know I try to keep her beauty routine natural (and for dress up only), but I couldn't resist letting Hayden get all beautified at this little shop. She got a souvenir tank top, fluffy tutu, tiara and more. She even got her hair done like a pop star (she was able to pick from four hairstyles and that was her choice).

Here she is all done up and then dancing on stage with her mommy.

Speaking of dance, she was showing off her moves to "Call Me Maybe," her favorite song at the moment. It was also the warm up song in her dance class over the summer. Here are some photos from her last class.

She matured a lot since her first class.

Don't you just love the back of her outfit?

This cute moment still makes me smile.

Nana and Daddy really know how to lift her up.

She'll always be my little girl.
Happy birthday Hayden! :-)