What I suck at? Hair!

Nothing sets you free like candidly admitting to the entire world what you (bottom-line) suck at! We as humans like to believe we are super machines. If we put our minds to a task, we can accomplish it. All it takes is dedication and patience.

…heard it a millions times…so…

Later one night I took on the task to braid my hair. 10 minutes into it, my arms roared in pain while I desperately tried hanging on to what remotely looked like a braid but closely resembled a bird’s nest after a vicious eagle attack. Really? How long has it been since I’ve struggled to braid my hair like a professional? Like 235 years! And how many videos I may have pinned along the way on my quest for fine hair? Like 2,345,897 of them! Then why is it that the invention of a time machine is a more plausible concept at this moment then you (me speaking to myself out of mere frustration) successfully inventing a braid???

And then it hit me!

Henna, you just suck at hair!

And you know what? It’s okay! Because….you are this super human machine who’s so good at everything else, sucking at one thing won’t hurt 😉

Which is why folks like Sarah Angius has a following of 418K people! Either you can watch, follow and fail (like me on most days) or you can watch and make heads turn on a Saturday night!

So thanks to my friend Sukaina who just shared this video on her Facebook timeline, I’d like to bring you a collage of her tutorials in one video, although on her Instagram page, you can find her quick 15-second tutorials on several styles.

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36 Creative DIY Ideas To Organize Your Jewelry

About 7 months ago, I wrote a post on Beautiful Ways To Organize Your Jewelry. I can’t believe I’ve been posting on this blog for this long!!! Anyhow, slightly off topic but…Mads Phikamphon from DreamModels.dk reached out to me couple of months ago to share an infographic they put together which takes a look at 36 more brilliant DIY ideas to help organize jewelry. I thought the infographic was done perfectly well so I asked Mads if they’ll be kind enough to allow me to share their infographic on Quaintrelleoquist. The answer was yes, to my relief, so here it is:

jewellery-organizing

“It’s always a problem to get your jewelry organized, so it doesn’t end up with a big mess. A big mess where you can find the second earring, where you have to untangle your necklaces form each other, etc. Most people end up buying a jewelry box to get their things organized, but it might often be a better idea to make your own organizer. Most of the organizers shown on this infographic shouldn’t be to difficult to make. They are also rather cheap to make and depending on your crafting skills, they will probably also end up being worthy of display.” Mads Phikamphon

Perfectly said! Coming from a Jewelry Fanatic/Hoarder, I have yet to find a Jewelry cabinet in the market to fit my needs. So as of now, I’m just waiting on more space to work with so I can come up with my own ways to organize my jewelry.

Mads and I have shared several emails in the last couple of months. It has been so pleasant communicating with the folks behind DreamModels.dk. Check out their website especially if you are a magnet for jewelry. Their services help you find jewelry from shops across Europe!

A little creativity goes a long way!

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Must-Know Photography Tips and Tricks

Watch photographer Lorenz Holder demonstrate some creative photography tips & tricks!

If you like taking pictures like the rest of us humanoids do then drop what you’re doing; these videos are short and loaded with brilliant ideas.

7 Smartphone Photography Tips and Tricks

These days most of us use our smartphones for photography for on-the-go editing and sharing convenience. Here are 7 ways you can make your smartphone photography stand out. Get ready to be the crowd pleaser on Instagram!

 

7 DIY Photography Tips Using Household Objects

These might need a little planning ahead of time but most objects are bound to be lying around your house as we speak. Make sure to grab a pair of stockings on your next trip!

 

7 Simple Photography Hacks

And if you’re more on the serious side of photography and want to learn some creative ways to photograph your next wedding session then this is the video to watch.

If you liked what you saw then do not forget to follow The Cooperative of Photography for more creative ideas!

DIY Honey, Almond & Oatmeal Soap

DIY Honey, Almond & Oatmeal Soap

First & foremost, I have to apologize for some really average photography this time around. I undertook this soap project towards the end of the day and from the looks of it, I didn’t give enough love to my shots!

But the good news is the soaps turned out awesome & refreshing!

I was dreading to incorporate 3 ingredients into one soap but the formula worked. I refrained from using actual almonds in this soap. In fact, I sorta refrain from using any type of food in my soap which has the ability of going stale, bad or discolored at room temperature after a prolonged period of time. A while back I used pumpkin spice for my Pumpkin Spice Soap recipe – glad I used those soaps quickly as spices tend to lose their freshness in a few weeks and turn brown/black in turn affecting the aesthetics of the soap. For this particular project, oatmeal is totally okay as several weeks later, I’m staring at these soaps and oatmeal seems to be doing just fine!

So why these 3 ingredients:

  • Sweet Almond Oil: good for dry & sensitive skin and helps relieve redness, itchiness and swelling
  • Oatmeal: it is a natural cleanser, exfoliator and moisturizer for your skin
  • Honey: can solve all the problems in the world!

Here’s what I used for the Soap:

ingredients

  • 1 pound Goats Milk Glycerin Soap Base
  • 1 1/2 tsp of grounded Oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Honey (tip: altogether, I try not to add more than 3 tsp of additives to one pound of soap base)
  • 1/8 tsp of Honey Almond Fragrance
  • 1/2 tbsp of Sweet Almond Oil
  • Few drops of Yellow Colorant
  • Soap Molds (I purchased a combination of circular and square-shaped molds from Michaels)
  • Soap Making Straight Cutter (not seen in the image above but if you plan on making a number of soaps, it is a tool worth investing in)
  • Microwave Safe Measuring Cup or Bowl
  • Rubbing Alcohol (I keep a spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol ready to go for my projects)

Step-By-Step Tutorial:

Cut up soap base into small cubes, place them in a microwave safe measuring bowl (as seen in the image above) and begin melting the soap cubes in the microwave in 15-20 second increments until soap is completely melted. Stir to make sure no small cubes are hidden within the soap mix and the soap is entirely melted, looking something like this:

Melted phase

Add grounded oatmeal, honey, honey almond fragrance, sweet almond oil and a few drops of yellow colorant to the melted soap mix and stir properly & efficiently (no need to rush this!) until all ingredients are dissolved and mixed well. These colorants can be very strong so I suggest you go easy at first and add only a drop or two to see how far along you are in accomplishing your final ideal shade. Then, if needed, keep adding a few drops until you’ve reached your desired shade/coloring. Here’s a picture of all ingredients stirred into the soap mix with a few drops of the yellow colorant:

coloring

Once the ingredients are mixed well, pour your soap mix into soap molds. I used a combination of the square- and circular-shaped soap molds and ended up making 5 soaps.

molds

Lastly, spray rubbing alcohol gently on your soap mixtures to rid your soaps of any bubbles which may appear at the surface. Let your soaps sit for at least a couple of hours at room temperature and then pull them out of the molds gently when ready.

…and we are done!

DIY Honey, Oatmeal and Almond Soap

Check out my Rose Water Soap recipe for more tips and intriguing ingredients!

DIY Rose Water Soap

Final Pic1

Growing up, I just loved the smell of rose-anything…roses, rose water, rose scent, rose soaps, rose drinks, you name it, I’ve smelled it. So of course when I took on the hobby of soap making sometime last year, I wanted to try soap making with pure rose water. Why rose water? Rose water offers many benefits for your skin and overall well-being and here’s to name a few:

  • It is rich in vitamins A, C, D, E and B3 hence good for nourishing and rejuvenating an ageing skin
  • It has natural antiseptic,  anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties so it can help cool and soothe irritated skin as well as diminish redness
  • It can be applied as a natural toner to help balance and revitalize normal to dry skin
  • It does magic as an aromatherapy ingredient to help reduce stress

I wanted to use pure rose water as an ingredient in my soaps, however, I had no idea how adding additional liquid-based ingredient would affect the properties of my soap base. So I set out to give it a try and guess what? Soaps turned out great! And they smell absolutely breathtaking, look pretty and make adorable holiday gifts. In fact, I made these right before the holidays as gifts for my special friends. They were a total win!

Here’s what I used for my Rose Water Soap:

Step-By-Step Tutorial:

Cut up soap base into small cubes, place them in a microwave safe measuring bowl (as seen in the image above) and begin melting the soap cubes in the microwave in 15-20 second increments until soap is completely melted. Stir to make sure no small cubes are hidden within the soap mix and the soap is entirely melted.

Melting

Add 1/2 tablespoon of pure rose water, 1/8 teaspoon of rose fragrance and a few drops of red colorant to the melted soap mix and stir properly & efficiently (no need to rush this!) until all ingredients are dissolved and mixed well. These colorants can be very strong so I suggest you go easy at first and add only a drop or two to see how far along you are in accomplishing your final ideal shade. Then, if needed, keep adding a few drops until you’ve reached your desired shade/coloring. Since I wanted more of a rosy shade, I added my red coloring very slowly to the mix to avoid ending up with a deep red color. To give you a perspective, here’s the mix when I added my first two drops of red colorant:

Add Coloring

See what I mean?

Once the ingredients are mixed well, pour your soap mix into soap molds. I ended up using 4 of these molds for my entire mix.

Put in molds

As you can see, bubbles appear as you settle the mix in the molds. No worries. Spray rubbing alcohol gently on your soap mixtures to rid your soaps of bubbles. Let your soaps sit for at least a couple of hours at room temperature and then pull them out of the molds gently when ready.

What a beauts!!!

Final Pic1BTW I’m already taking showers with my rose water soap and the bath smells like roses!!!

These soaps literally took me less than 30 minutes in the making (from prepping to settling into molds). So think: they’re quick, economical, pretty and make great give-away’s!!!

For some helpful tips for your soap-making adventures, refer to my tips on my previous DIY Pumpkin Spice Soap project.

Also, fyi, I bought these ingredients very last minute as this fabulous idea materialized in my head practically two days before the Holiday party (where I unveiled them to my friends). Hence I had to rely on what I could find quickly at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. Albeit I’m an avid shopper of both, there are plenty of online stores which offer way more soap making ingredients and molds you can play around with. One of my personal favorites one-stop shop is Bramble Berry. But, with Michael’s and Hobby Lobby’s frequent 50% and 40% coupons, you can’t beat the savings!

Enjoy!!!

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Vintage Living – Amazing Repurposed Storage Ideas

“In my humble opinion, two things a home can always use more of is, extra storage & vintage charm. Being a lover of all things old & worn and a mom of 2 busy boys, I am always looking for clever ways to add storage that will keep me on budget and add warmth to my space at the same time. Repurposing vintage & salvaged items into storage can add style & character, create conversation and bring function to your space without breaking the bank. The best places to look for these items are flea markets, estate & tag sales, thrift stores, local antique shops and yard sales.”

Jennifer O’Brien, BHG.com

Feel free to be charmed by Jen’s modern country-style living as seen on her blog City Farmhouse.

In the meantime, let me share with you some of the ideas featured in her article on BHG.com on how to make use of vintage items to bring character and purpose to your house at the same time make space for extra storage.

Vintage rolling cart & tool box serves as storage & display for family treasures

Vintage rolling cart & tool box serves as storage & display for family treasures, via Jeanne Oliver Designs

Stacked crates for wine storage

Stacked crates for wine storage

Vintage box serving as a beautiful centerpiece on the coffee table

Vintage box serving as a beautiful centerpiece on the coffee table, via My Fabuless Life

Crates create beautiful displays in this kitchen

Crates create beautiful displays in this kitchen

This empire dresser serves as functional kitchen island storage

This empire dresser serves as functional kitchen island storage, via DIYShowOff

Vintage crates create instant storage in a bedroom

Vintage crates create instant storage in a bedroom

A chicken feeder makes for a perfect console table to hold magazines and display a collection of weather vanes

A chicken feeder makes for a perfect console table to hold magazines and display a collection of weather vanes

Chicken coop turned into a stunning coffee table perfect for storing collectibles

Chicken coop turned into a stunning coffee table perfect for storing collectibles

Top 10 ways to repurpose and reuse old books

1. Create a book table lamp via bob vila

table lamp

2. DIY a nerdy chic book clutch via Caught on a Whim

book clutch

3. DIY book headboard via design every day

book headboard

4. Create a book bag via CountryLiving

Book-Bag-Craft

5. Turn books into a one-of-a-kind coat rack via Knick of Time

coat rack

6. Recycle books into a shelving unit via Southern Mess

shelving unit

7. Frame quotes from old book pages via Life as a Thrifter

DIY-Projects-Repurposed-Crafts-Made-From-Old-Books-11

DIY-Projects-Repurposed-Crafts-Made-From-Old-Books-12

8. Decoupage a dresser via Mod Podge Rocks

dresser

9. Decorate your light switch via homedit

light switch

10. Turn mags to stool via apartment therapy

stool

10-Minute Pumpkin Spice Soap

Pumpkin Pie Spice Soap

Last week I came across this recipe of a 10-minute Pumpkin Spice Soap on Pinterest by Heidi of Happiness is Homemade and was hooked instantly. I do agree everything homemade translates into happiness. And since I have this fear the world may come to an end during my lifetime, I might as well catch up on all the tricks and trade of making/growing/creating everything on my own while I can! And sooo speaks my love for zombies and The Walking Dead…

Besides learning how to grow vegetables, I want to be able to create my own au naturel facial remedies, bathing goods and cleaning supplies. This is the first step to my magnifique plan – it’s simple, quick and doable.

Follow the step-by-step instructions on Heidi’s blog and if it helps, refer to my “rookie” tips below to guide you through this tutorial.

Here’s what I used for this project:

Ingredients

and here are my final soaps!!!

soap

I’m smelling them as we speak and I love the scent! Reminds me of Autumn!

Can’t wait to give these away as Holiday gifts. And if you have kids, these make awesome gifts for teachers. I already wrapped a sneak peek for my sister!

Tips:

DIYers! Always, and I mean ALWAYS, keep your supplies close and your patience level closer to you when it comes to DIYing!!! And remember, doesn’t matter if it’s a 10-minute, 30-minute or 1-hour project, expect it to last longer if you are attempting at it for the first time. These projects are being performed by seasoned crafters who have been doing this for a long time. You will catch yourself in the 2nd hour of a 1-hour project at some point, trust me on that!

  • Soap base overheat saga – I followed the original directions to melt soap cubes in the microwave in 30-second increments, however, after the 2nd 30-second increment, I noticed cubes remained intact so I made the hasty decision to heat them for 1 minute. I ended up with an almost boiling soap mix which is not good as boiling made the soap mix settle quickly, clump up and stick to the bowl. The idea here is to slowly melt the soap cubes so please, be not impatient like me, and start your melting process in 30- to not more than 45-second increments – better to increase your frequency of increments not the allotted time of each. I believe my blooper is the reason why I had to let my soap molds cool down for at least an hour.
  • Missing measuring spoon saga – Of course, I did not keep my supplies close to me so when it was time to add 2 tbsps of Pumpkin Pie Spice, I desperately searched my kitchen drawers for the measuring spoon only to finally remember I had broken the sucker during my last cooking disaster. So I had to resort to a normal tablespoon which is why I’m guessing I ended up using more spice, hence more coloring. See? Keep your supplies ready to go before your project!
  • OCD saga – I’m a sad sad sad perfectionist, so much that…

OCD

Know that nothing in life is perfect not even these cute little pumpkin’ed out soaps, take a deep breath, tread forward in life and pray the receivers of these soaps are not as OCD’ed out like you!