Incredible Activated Charcoal Beauty Hacks

**Disclosure** This post contains affiliate links from Amazon.com. That means every time you click a link and purchase something awesome, I get a commission. It’s just one of the ways I fund my blog. Thank you for supporting The Creative Recycler!

Have you ever stopped in a Target or Walgreens and just looked around at the aisles and aisles of beauty products? It’s staggering. There are so many products touting benefits to health, beauty, and cleanliness. I was in Target just a couple of days ago and thought to myself, what if everyone kept some basic beauty staples in their home that they could add to their beauty regimen that would bypass all these aisles and aisles of products? How about Activated Charcoal?

Untitled design (7)

Activated charcoal isn’t the same charcoal you use in your grill, putting that on your face or in your body wouldn’t be a good idea. Instead, activated charcoal is usually made by charring coconuts and then activated by steaming at very high temperatures. There are a several incredible beauty hacks using activated charcoal that are going to change how you feel and how you look.

Activated charcoal beauty hacks

 

  • Whiten Teeth – Do you have stained teeth from drinking a lot of coffee or tea? Using activated charcoal powder can whiten your teeth better than any chemical mixture out there. Simply wet your tooth brush, dip it in the powder and brush like normal. Pay special attention to problem areas. But try to avoid brushing charcoal on caps or crowns. The charcoal may stain them. Rinse until the water is clear and repeat 2-3 times a week.
  • Treat Oily skin – Make a paste of activated charcoal and use it as a face mask. Let it sit for a couple minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Head over to BeautyMunsta and learn how to make her Detox Face Mask with charcoal and bentonite clay. If you want the benefits of activated charcoal and none of the work making a paste, Yes to Tomatoes makes an Activated Charcoal Bar Soap. Snag it on Amazon, here.
  • Deep Clean and Add Volume to Your Hair – Activated charcoal can pull oil, toxins and other unwanted things out of your hair the same way that it does your skin. Just add a bit of activated charcoal powder to your regular shampoo and apply to your hair as you normally would. Be sure to rinse thoroughly so you don’t have charcoal in your hair all day. For volume, leave the charcoal shampoo in for a two minutes before rinsing. Skip adding charcoal to your shampoo by getting a Voodoo Shampoo Bar. Snag it on Amazon, here.
  • Make a Drawing Salve – Drawing salves are great for bee stings. They help draw out infection in wounds and calm cysts and inflamed acne. Cari at yourbeautyblog.com has a wonderful recipe to follow.
  • Make Your Own Make-Up – Charcoal is the primary ingredient to color natural mascara, eyeshadow, and eye liner. A Blossoming Life has wonderful recipes for all three. Click to learn how to make your own mascara, eyeshadow and eye liner.

Activated charcoal is easy to find. As with everything, it’s on Amazon.com.

Do you use activated charcoal in your beauty routine? Tell me about it in the comments!

How to Turn a Coffee Maker into a Fish Bowl

I’m not sure if you are aware, but I love coffee. In fact, I can’t go more than a couple of hours without coffee (I’m aware of how sad that is.) So you can imagine how upset I was when my old faithful coffee pot broke down.

My first instinct was to throw it out because I was so angry and I had no idea what I wanted to do with a broken coffee pot. Because y’all know I wasn’t about to throw it out because I am The Creative Recycler!

After going through the 5 stages of grief (and after purchasing a new coffee maker), I got over myself and started brainstorming what I could do with my former love.

This is how my thought process went down…

  • Spray paint it, fill it with something heavy and make a book end
  • Fill it with dirt and make a planter
  • Turn it into a chicken waterer
  • Incorporate it into some modern art
  • Let my teenager take it apart for his collection of electric parts
  • Turn it into a water fountain
  • Give up and recycle the parts

Then it came to me… I had recently turned my son’s old fish bowl into a terrarium for my succulents. And we are an animal-loving household. So I decided that our kitchen needed its very own fish bowl in the shape of a coffee pot.

A coffee pot dwelling pet?!

coffee maker into fish bowl

YES! I named him Latte.

latte the betta

Here’s how I made a new home for my beautiful betta fish, Latte:

  • I cut the cord off the coffee maker and stuck the entire coffee maker into the dishwasher.
  • After it came out I painted over all the dull off-white with an eye popping blue acrylic craft paint. (I love, love, love bright blues!)
  • Next I coated the acrylic paint with some good old ModPodge Hard Coat.
  • Once that had dried, I rinsed some aquarium gravel and little plants and arranged them just so in the carafe part of the coffee maker.
  • I filled the carafe with filtered water and added our little red guy, Latte.
  • I keep Latte’s food and supplies in the water reservoir of the coffee maker.
  • I feed him once daily.

He seems pretty happy in there swimming around. And I’m happy watching him.

Tell me what you think… would you keep a fish in a coffee maker?

bad coffee

A Unique, Sustainable Father’s Day Gift {and giveaway}

**Disclosure: I received a Jord watch to review and keep. The opinions (and photos) in the post, below, are my own.

I struggle every year with what to get my husband for Father’s Day. Usually, I end up having the kids help me make him something fun and wearable. Sometimes I also get him some of his favorite candy (Reese’s Cups) or a good graphic novel. But I don’t usually put all the thought into it that I should. I know love isn’t about giving things, but I want something that’s going to show him that I thought about him.

daddy's girl

This year, it is especially important to me that he feels loved and acknowledged. I have been a stay at home mom for 4 years. I worked side jobs and wrote here at The Creative Recycler, but my husband was the true bread winner. Two months ago all that changed. The company he worked for automated some jobs, laid off a bunch of employees, and moved him to an area 1 ½ hours away from our home. His commute time would have been leave for work at 4am and leave for home at 8pm, 6 days per week. He and I both knew that wasn’t doable for both him and our family. So we switched! He stayed home and I went to work. I was worried about him but he has been amazing. He cooks, he bakes, he homeschools our daughter, and he does all the cleaning and laundry… and he loves it. I feel so lucky to have him and that he is thriving at home.

The two boys

I felt he needed something to commemorate this new direction in our lives. This is where Jord fits in. They contacted me several weeks ago to review a watch for my husband and tell you, dear readers, about a $75 voucher giveaway towards your own Jord watch.

Here is the watch they sent. My husband loves it. And I love that he has a long lasting, durable, timepiece that he loves to wear.

jord watch

Let me tell you why my husband and I love his Jord’s watch:

  • They have a profile and sustainability rating for each wood they use in their watches so you can pick a wood that you’re comfortable with and looks amazing– Click here to see Ebony’s profile.
  • Jord uses sapphire glass in watch faces, it’s very tough stuff. It’s highly resistant to scratches and breaks. If you have kids, or happen to be klutzy like me, you understand how wonderful that is!
  • My husband loves the way it feels. It doesn’t get hot when he wears it outside and it doesn’t pinch.
  • I like the way it looks on him ; )
  • It comes in its own wooden box with everything you need to maintain and store your watch.
  • Jord has a one-year warrantee on all their watches. If it should happen to break after that, then send it back and (for a small fee) they will repair it. I love it when a company stands behind its product and will repair it! Keep those watches out of the landfills, people!

jord pocket photo

Make sure you get the chance to win a $75 voucher towards your own Jord watch! Head over here to enter the giveaway! As a bonus, everyone who didn’t win will still get a $20 voucher to get your own Jord watch. Oh, and just to let you know – they have women’s watches, too. I’m particularly fond of the Sidney Series in Maple and Rose Gold.

jord on box

Just for fun, head over to Jord’s website and tell me (in the comments) what your dream watch would be!


JORD Wooden Watches

It’s the Best Time of Year to Find Wild Blackberries

find wild blackberries

All along the East Coast of the United States something remarkable is happening.  From mid-May to the beginning of June white flowers pop up along fence lines and along edges of wooded areas.  They are a gleaming marker of one of my favorite parts of summer… wild blackberries.  Spotting blackberry blooms is the best way of scouting out where you can pick berries once they ripen in mid-July. 

Make a list however you remember best: Take pictures with your phone, mark spots on GPS, make a list, take a video, or maybe you’ll find some outside your own back door!

The white blooms have 5 white petals and a juvenile blackberry in the center.  The brambles, themselves, grow jagged leaves in sets of 3.  

Blackberry Flowers

Spotting blackberry blossoms is easy to do.  The white flowers stand out against their dark green background.  It’s so easy, you can spot outcrops of blackberries as you drive around like I did in the video below.

 

Return to the places you spotted the berry plants from mid-July through mid-August to pick blackberries! Please remember not to trespass when picking berries – make sure you have permission to pick! 

Blackberry Brambles 2

Also, it’s helpful to wear long sleeves and pants to protect against the bramble thorns.  I wear insect repellent, too. I’m not a fan of ticks or bug bites, in general.

Blackberry Brambles

Lots of animals enjoy blackberries, too (mice, snakes, rabbits, ground hogs, and deer). So keep your eyes open while you’re out picking. You never know who you might bump into. 

Deer

What is your favorite summer fruit? Have you ever gone berry picking and run into the local wildlife? Tell me all about it in the comments.

 

Spring is Taking Over My House

spring takeover

The spring equinox was Sunday, March 20th.  Though I love snow and winter, I am so excited that Spring is here! There are blatant, in-your-face signs of it all through our home.  I am in my element but my poor husband is getting slightly overwhelmed because Spring is taking over every room.  I guess I can’t blame him, too much because we’re a family of 5 living in a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom 970 square foot mobile home. 

I’ll take you on a virtual tour and show you what I mean. Spring is taking over my house.

The Kitchen

window garden

This is the gardening headquarters of our home.  I do my planting in the kitchen because the window gets the best sunlight.  I installed shelving across the window to take advantage of the sun’s direct rays and create a mini-greenhouse. This year, I am growing pepperoncini peppers, sweet cherry peppers, Kahzak melons, cucumber, 4 varieties of tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkins, and yellow squash. Once they get transferred outside, I will begin lettuces and herbs that I will grow indoors, only.

The Living Room

We have so many new family members that call our Living Room home. 

Here’s 34 of them:

quail incubator

Here are 34 quail eggs six days into their incubation. Stay tuned for more details and video of their hatch.

The rest are 8 bantam chicks:

chicks

These beautiful birds have been very entertaining to watch and interact with.  We have never had bantams before and the kids are very excited about their mini-chickens.  We are crossing our fingers that most of them are hens. 

Our Bedroom

Besides being the place we sleep, I have set it up as our spring cleaning headquarters.  I am going through every closet, every bookshelf, and every set of drawers.  I have dropped off 3 loads of clothing and books to our local Blue Ridge Hospice thrift store.  I have also set aside torn-up jeans and old shirts to repurpose.  I am purging, purging, purging.  But purging takes time.  I don’t want to just throw everything out.  So being surrounded by stuff is just how I am going to live my life for a couple of months.

bedroom sorting

The Porch

You know how I mentioned that I plant outdoors? I do all my transplanting and seed sewing from my front porch.  That way I have a good view of the kiddos no matter where they’re playing or what they’re getting into.  Right now, I have a giant bucket and a stack of soil cluttering it up. And…. a bunch of planting containers that are in process of being used and reused, again.

porch

I guess I can see why my husband is a bit frustrated.  All I can do is suggest you guys say a prayer for him because I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.  After all, I love participating in Nature’s Spring party. 

spring party

 

What are your plans for spring? Do you like to sit back and enjoy the warming weather, getting a garden started, getting some much needed cleaning done?

 

Unsolicited Review: Pioneer Gluten-Free Gravy

**Disclaimer** I was NOT provided any compensation or products to try by the company reviewed. All opinions are my own.  This blog contains affiliate links.  That means if you choose to click on a link to a product and purchase it, I earn a commission on the sale.  Thank you for supporting The Creative Recycler!

 Much love, Dorothy.

 

When we discovered my oldest son was allergic to wheat, he had to go without some of his favorite foods.  I love, love, love finding one without the wheat that he enjoys just as much as its wheat-filled counterparts.  This year, I found Pioneer gluten-free gravy mix and decided to give it a try.  (Because who doesn’t love gravy?! Am I right?) 

gluten free gravy

We used it on my recipe for Gluten Free Salisbury Steak (Expect that next week because it’s too good not to share!), homemade mashed potatoes, and roasted zucchini and corn. 

I followed the recipe on the back of the packet for Rich Mushroom Sauce but omitted the mushrooms and wine and added another teaspoon of onion powder.  It was AHHH-Mazing!  It’s the only gravy mix I use, now. And everyone in the family loves when I add it to a meal. 

Pioneer makes a Gluten-Free Country Gravy mix, too.  We haven’t tried it yet, but I have a feeling gluten-free chip beef and gravy will be a welcomed addition to our menu.

Have you found some great gluten-free goodies? I’d love to know about them. Please tell me about some of your favorites in the comments below. I am always on the lookout for more gluten-free goodies! 

 

Here are some other posts you may love:

 best gluten-free pancakes ever   simple gf breakfast   youneedtoforage

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How to Plan Your Own Seed Exchange

Earlier this week I showed you How to Find a Seed Exchange in your area.  Seed exchanges are a fun, easy, and free way to diversify your seed collection and ensure the older seeds you have get planted.  But what if you cannot find a seed exchange in your area? Chances are, other people would be interested in participating in a seed exchange, too. 

plan your own seed exchange

Here are some steps you can take to organize your own, successful seed exchange:

  1. Make sure you plan your seed exchange at least one month out.
  2. Find a venue: Your local library is a great place to hold a seed exchange. It’s free, central location.
  3. Advertise!
    • Hang flyers in the local library, at the post office, and on community boards in grocery stores and coffee shops.
    • See if the local paper will list your event for free in the weekly events listing.
    • Contact the local cooperative extension office and let them know about the exchange.
    • Create an event on Facebook. Invite family and friends who might want to come.
  4. Plan on people coming without containers for their seeds. Bring a box of Ziploc bags or small envelopes.
  5. On the day of the exchange arrange a couple of tables with signs. You can either organize the seeds by type (cukes, tomatoes, herbs, melons, etc.) or alphabetically.
  6. As people arrive, encourage them to leave their seeds on the tables.
  7. Don’t let people start grabbing seeds, yet. To give everyone a fair chance to see all the seeds available, have everyone start at the same time after the seeds are arranged.

seed tables

Don’t be discouraged if only a couple of people show.  I did this for a couple of years and only had a handful of participants but we all still benefited.  It was fun, we got to talk gardening and exchange tips. 

Happy growing!!!

 

You might like these posts as well:

 Seed Storage 3     How to find a seed exchange

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How to Find a Seed Exchange

How to find a seed exchange

Most of the Eastern US is still covered with snow, but I can’t stop thinking about spring.  It’s the middle of February, and that means one thing. It’s time to start planning my garden. I like to get started planting my peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash by the end of the month so now is the best time to get planning done and seeds ordered if I’m not using a variety from last year.

Normally I order seeds from one of my favorite places for heirloom seeds: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (make sure you request their free catalog – it is gorgeous). But this year is different.  I was privileged to participate in a seed exchange organized by The Lovettsville Community Garden at the local library. I’ve participated in seed exchanges before but never one with this many people (usually only 5-10). 

Tables were set up so we could lay out seeds in alphabetical order.  Then we were able to go around and choose new seeds to add to our collection. 

seed tablesOn top of that, Julia with Feed Loudoun Plant a Row set up a table of seeds to encourage seed exchangers to plant a row in their garden to donate to local food banks.  

feed loudoun plant a row

I got some new and different seeds to grow this year – including some I may not have chosen had I just been browsing a catalog.  I got new seeds and (if my garden is successful) our local food pantry will get fresh veg to distribute to people who need it.  

Do you want to know how to find your own seed exchange? Here are some places to check:

  • Call your local cooperative extension office
  • Google your local Master Gardeners group
  • Check with local library listings (that’s how I found mine)
  • Check your local newspaper’s events listings
  • Reach out to local food banks or Plant a Row for the hungry organizations
  • Organize your own

Come back on Thursday Feb. 18th and I will give you tips so you can start a seed exchange of your own.

You might be interested in how I organize my seeds, too… check it out here:  

Seed Storage 3

 

If you want a bit more green in your life… click here to get The Creative Recycler’s monthly newsletter. 

Unsolicited Review: Coco Stainless Steel Drinking Straws


Have you seen the video about the young woman, Lauren Singer, who is living a life without generating trash? If you haven’t you can check it out here.

I don’t feel like that level of low waste is an ability for me both being a parent, and in the area where I live. But it’s certainly possible to adopt a lot of what she is doing.  Sometime the smallest change can make a big difference.

At our house, my children use these plastic cups with lids and straws to drink. Clumsiness is something that runs in our family and it saves surfaces from lots of spills. But we were using plastic straws. I hated using them because most localities don’t recycle plastic straws.

But I noticed that Lauren uses a stainless steel straw! How cool is that?!

I decided our family needed to make the switch. I browsed Amazon.com for a while and finally decided on these (mainly because of the price).

 

Coco Stainless Steel Drink Straws

 A1uFkUx0WrL._SL1500_

 

Even my husband jumped on this bandwagon.  We don’t have to buy straws anymore. Stainless Steel Drinking Straws are more affordable, and more importantly, more sustainable. 

Do you want to know the best part? You can win a set of your own straws along with $20 to spend on Amazon.com.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Earth Day Giveaway

**Disclosure** This post contains affiliate links which means if you decide to purchase something from one of my links I make a comission. Thank you for supporting The Creative Recycler!

Earth Day Giveaway & Ultimate Bundle Announcement

Happy Earth Day!

I’m so excited to announce The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Sale and my first-ever giveaway on The Creative Recycler!

Earth Day Giveaway

 

Dear Mama,

Are the inmates running the asylum?

I hear you. Sometimes I look around my house and wonder how things got so out of hand.

When I was a little girl, I never dreamed about getting married, becoming a mommy, and having my own home.

But now that I am a mom and wife I want to make my home someplace special… a mash-up of:

  • a school,
  • a playground,
  • a refuge,
  • a boo-boo “fix it” station,
  • a “you can do it” pep rally, and
  • a safe place for personal expression, sharing and growth.

But real life happens…

…laundry, diapers, stretch marks, and never-ending meal prep… money worries, gritty floors, soap scum, and the stain that won’t come out of my daughter’s favorite shirt… holiday stress, and teaching my daughter to read (and master long division)… a husband who works long hours, a kid with the sniffles, stomach aches and a fever… and a secret dream to run my own little business from home.

And that’s why Erin and Stephanie created the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle… because as rewarding as it is, homemaking is hard work and it doesn’t come easily.

I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

To help you nurture the beauty and productivity in your home and family relationships with proven, simple, and effective tools that really give you a boost as a homemaker – help, inspiration, tips, encouragement, resources at your fingertips…

… the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is just for you.

It is a complete library of carefully selected eBooks, eCourses, audios, online conferences, and printable packs designed to help you turn your house into a home… without all the overwhelm.

What’s in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle?

The first step in putting together this collection was to find the critical homemaking skills that you need to transform your house into a home.

Here they are:

  • Cleaning… create a healthy, toxin-free home
  • DIY/Homemade… fun and frugal ways to express your personal style
  • Devotionals and Faith… take a break from the daily grind to renew yourself
  • Finances… build a budget that works
  • Cooking & Meal Planning… serve easier, tastier meals in less time
  • Holidays & Special Events… brighten up old family traditions and create new
  • Homeschooling… homeschool with grace and ease
  • Marriage… heat up your marriage
  • Motherhood… find peace, balance & joy in mothering
  • Organizing… conquer the clutter and simplify your life
  • Pregnancy & Babies… enjoy a healthy pregnancy and prepare to nurture your baby
  • Health & Wellness… soothe aches & pains with natural remedies
  • Working from Home… hone your talents, live your passions and earn money to help your family

 

… a complete library of 99 eBooks and eCourses to help you nurture the beauty and productivity in your home and family relationships.

Are there too many books in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle?

Let me ask you a question.

Have you ever taken your family out for a buffet dinner… and then been disappointed when you couldn’t eat every single morsel on display?

Of course not!

Sure. There’s that first, breath-taking moment when you see and hear and smell the amazing meal spread before you… and you think, “Where will I even start?”

But that’s the thing… because you do start… with something.

Maybe it’s a tender flaky biscuit, or a piece of delicious roast beef, or maybe you’re like me and start with a piece of pie (mmm, blueberry or apple with whipped cream)?

So relax, enjoy, and start anywhere you like. Come back to the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle “buffet” as many times as you like. It’s all here for you.

Is the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle worth it?

In a word… yes!

To be absolutely certain, Erin and Stephanie asked questions, tried techniques and just about drove themselves crazy making sure that the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle was the very best homemaking resource anywhere.

They dug through hundreds of websites and connected with dozens of authors and teachers.

And then we all worked together to make these resources the most affordable possible.

And They Were Delighted to Help…

The result? This collection is a fraction of the price of what someone would pay for each resource individually!

For a short time, the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle… a complete library of:

  • 76 eBooks
  • 6 eCourses
  • 1 audio download
  • 2 online conferences, and
  • 14 printable packs

…99 carefully selected resources designed to help you nurture the beauty and productivity in your home and family relationships… is only $29.97. (A total value of $984.74.)

That breaks down to 30 cents per book.

Your 30-Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

If for any reason, you decide that the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is not for you, then please send an email to customerservice@Ultimate-Bundles.com and we will refund 100% of your investment. No questions asked.

Don’t Forget the Bonuses…

Of course, no Ultimate Homemaking Bundle would be complete without the generous, inspiring gifts donated by companies that understand homemakers like you. Every gift is yours to keep and enjoy.

  • Choose 1 FREE Online Class from Craftsy (Select from 24 of Their Most Popular Classes – Up to $60 Value)
  • 1 FREE Kids Discovery Box from Green Kid Crafts ($19.95 Value)
  • FREE $15 Credit to Hope Ink PLUS 2 FREE 8×10 Art Prints ($71 Value)
  • FREE 90-Day “Good Deal” Subscription to She Plans Dinner ($15 Value)
  • Choose 1 FREE Stylish Spring Scarf from Deborah & Co. ($20 Value)
  • FREE $80 Healthy Moving Class Credit ($80 Value)
  • FREE 90-Day Pro Membership to ListPlanIt ($30 Value)
  • FREE 65 Tyndale Rewards Points to Be Used for a FREE Book or Towards Any Book of Your Choice ($15 Value)

Now It’s Your Turn

I think Laura Ingalls Wilder said it best…

“Just as a little thread of gold, running through a fabric, brightens the whole garment, so women’s work at home, while only the doing of little things, is just like the golden gleam of sunlight that runs through and brightens the whole fabric of civilization.”

The proven, simple, and effective skills you need to transform your house into a home are all waiting for you in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.

This is your chance to get all the love, support, guidance and inspiration you need to nurture the beauty and productivity in your home and family relationships with proven, simple, and effective tools that really give you a boost as a homemaker.

But time is running out! The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle will only be available from 8:00 a.m. EST on Monday, April 20 until 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, April 27.

After that, the shopping cart closes and the deeply discounted price is gone.

Act now!

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Best wishes and happy homemaking!

Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

And now the giveaway…

Make your home a little greener with stainless steel drinking straws and a $20 gift card to Amazon.com to use on green cleaning products, natural beauty care, or anything else your heart desires.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Disclocure** I recieve a direct comission off of every Ultimate Homemaking Bundle you buy from my link.  The Giveaway is fully funded by The Creative Recycler.  Thank you for supporting the blog!