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    How To, Lifestyle

    Making A Heat Bag with Beans

    This has been on my list for a while. I have a few hot water bottles which in winter get used constantly, but one problem I keep running into is that I have a stupidly high pain tolerance and I keep burning myself really badly with the water bottles.

    Also, sometimes the shape of the hot water bottles just isn’t quite right. You know when you’ve been lifting a few too many things, or maybe working out too hard and your shoulders and neck are so stiff and sore? Well nothing feels better for that than a good warm heavy bean bag.

    My mum had one of these when we were little (with a bit of lavender in it) and it was a-m-a-z-i-n-g! So today I’m adding to my self-care armory and making a few heat bean bags.

    You can find me on Instagram here

    How To, Lifestyle

    Refurbishing Our Downstairs Toilet

    And the first part is done! It’s taken an extra two weeks than we thought – like all diy tends to do – but all the hard work is done now. I still need to change the door, strip the paint off the frame, re-paint the walls, age the brass and add small details, but everything essential is done. With my second little one due in less than 8 weeks getting this done was one of my absolute essentials. I needed something easy to use, that actually flushed properly and that had a shower head bidet.

    I’m especially happy with the brass backsplash we made. It was a bit experimental, and I do need to age it – for the moment it’s a little too gaudy for me – but the way it catches the light in the morning is just stunning!

    You can find me on Instagram here

    How To, Lifestyle

    Two Skincare/Gum Uses for Chamomile and Sage

    One of the first signs that tip me off that I’m pregnant tends to be that my gums get really sensitive. Fortunately, this common side effect of pregnancy clears up within days of giving birth for me, but recently I’ve discovered a homemade mouthwash that’s made a huge difference. All you need is chamomile and sage. That’s it.

    As most of you know already, I have quite a large herb garden and I’m able to get these fresh, but teabag versions of these herbs will also work if that’s all you have to hand. It really is as simple as making a tea of the herbs and bottling the water. If you also happen to have a little one suffering from nappy rash, this is a great way to calm the skin down and help everything heal a little faster.

    Skincare Benefits of  (Roman) Chamomile:

    While there are different types of chamomile (German chamomile and Morrocan chamomile) and they are similar in their properties, the type I’m talking about today is Roman chamomile.

    Antiseptic/Antimicrobial: Reduces the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction.

    Bactericidal: Kills bacteria.

    Cictrisant: Skin healing.

    Anti-inflammatory: Reduces inflammation.

    Skincare Benefits of Sage:

    Anti-inflammatory: Reduces inflammation.

    Anti-microbial: Kills microbes.

    Antioxidant: Prevents or slows the damage caused by free radicals.

    Antiseptic: Reduces the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction.

    Astringent: Causes temporary tightening of the skin.

    You can find me on Instagram here

    How To, Lifestyle

    Making A Better Laundry System

    I have a secret. I’m really quite lazy. As much as cleaning and organizing are the kinds of things I do if I need to calm down or relax, I really, really hate it when everyday tasks take longer because they’re inefficient. Since we bought our first home just under two years ago I’ve been tackling projects in the order of how much they annoy me. The cupboards were the first victims; now every cupboard in the house has a rack system fixed to the doors, labeling and as decluttered as I can get them. It’s one of those silly little things that make me happy.

    I grew up with the system of everyone had a laundry basket in their room which they had to bring down once it was full. Only thing is – being small and lazy – we didn’t always bring it down unless told and overflowing, and then my mum would still have to spend ages separating everything into their washing category.

    Another thing I don’t like about that system is that when it comes to my son’s room, those clothes get really smelly! As soon as the door is closed for his nap or the night the smell just ferments away in the corner, and I’m not too keen on that ammonia smell personally.

    It was actually my husband who suggested a better system of having a basket for each category on the landing. That way they still air out, no baskets in every bedroom and any adults or old-enough children in the house have to immediately separate their washing into the right category.

    You can find me on Instagram here

     

    How To, Lifestyle

    Painting My Baby Bump To Look Like A Space Portal

    A few of you have noticed over the last month or two that I have an ever-growing bump, and I can confirm that’s it’s not down to my love of chicken nuggets. Last time I was pregnant I’d had an idea to draw some baby bump body art portals, but I was so ill I just couldn’t manage it.

    This time around I feel amazing! It’s a little weird realizing that I feel better than I have in over 14 years, but hey, I’ll take it! My second son is due in 8 weeks and I’m desperately racing against the clock to film backup content all the way up to Halloween. So far I have a reasonable amount – as my Patreon supporters can confirm, they’re waaaay ahead of You Tube – but I still need to get a little more done before I can properly relax.

    What I used: 

    12 Colour Palette (affiliate link) • Barry M Grey Eyeliner

    I’ve made the template downloadable here if you want to recreate this piece. I have another design planned which will be an underwater scene, and that will also be a free downloadable design, but that video probably won’t be up for another week or two.

    You can find me on Instagram here

    How To

    Turning My Ottoman Seat Into A Vanity // Part Two – Making An Open Makeup Brush Holder

    When I first bought this Ottoman with the intention of turning it into a vanity, I thought it would be the kind of thing that within a month it’d be all done and I’d have an area for my skincare, makeup, and jewellery. Turns out, it’s the never-ending project.

    Now that I have an area for my rings I wanted to make a spot for my makeup brushes next. As I mentioned in a previous video I’m not too keen on keeping my makeup brushes in a makeup roll for too long. It always ends up distorting the longer-haired brushes, and I love my brushes! I want those beauties to last at least another ten years, so anything that will help display them properly and keep them in good condition is a must for this part of the project.

    You can find me on Instagram here

    How To, Lifestyle

    Making an Easy DIY Herbal Hair Rinse

    Lately, I’ve been thinking I need to take preemptive measures just in case my hair starts falling out in clumps again come October. When my son was born  – apart from the health nightmare that followed – one of the things that made me cut my hair short again was that my hair was falling out in bunches. Litteral bunches. Every time I had a shower or brushed my hair huge chunks of hair would fall out. This time around pregnancy has been a breeze in comparison – seriously, I keep waiting for everything to come crashing down – so I’m hoping that the normal postpartum symptoms of hair-loss will be less dramatic, but I want to be prepared and give my hair as much TLC as I can.

    Recently I mentioned in the comments of one of my videos that I wish people realized how many common culinary herbs have some amazing hair and skin uses. Bay is one of those herbs I wanted to talk about today. That along with Nettles, which as you know from my nettle herbal tea video I’m a HUGE fan of.

    Haircare Benefits of Bay:

    Bactericidal

    Fungicidal

    Supposedly helpful against dandruff

    Encourages hair growth

    Haircare Benefits of Nettle:

    Encourages hair growth

    Rich in silica, sulfur, and iron

    Full of antioxidants

    I found a bottle on ebay here a few weeks ago that comes with a spray nozzle and a normal lid so that I have the option of both. To use this I like to spray it in my hair several times throughout the day, brush it through, and then leave it until I wash my hair that evening and run what’s left in the bottle through my hair. I’m not a massive fan of just pouring it last thing through your hair and then rinsing it out. I think you need more time to let it sit and do it’s job, which is why I like to make a day of it.

    You can find me on Instagram here

    How To, Lifestyle

    Herbs and Plants I Put In My Pillow

    It’s been over 2 years now since we made the switch to buckwheat pillows, and I’m still as much a fan of them now as I was then. I’m not going to waste your time retelling why I like it so much – I’ll just link the blog post here – but I did want to share something I’ve been trying out over the last 3-6 months that’s made a really lovely difference to how well I sleep at night, and that is adding herbs to my pillow.

    Since the inside is loose buckwheat it occurred to me that I could add a variety of dried herbs in with it to help with my sleep. Since I change out the buckwheat husks every 6-9 months, I can easily change what plants I use regularly, and I’ve even started changing it with the seasons so I can adjust the scent to what I need (ie. cool scents in the summer and calming scents in the winter).

    These are the herbs I’ve used so far: 

    Lavender: Probably the most obvious thing to use since it’s well known to help with sleep, but even just a handful of dried lavender is surprisingly strong. I’ve found that if I use more than half a handful of this the smell is far too overwhelming to have a good night’s sleep, so I normally use a small pinch of it mixed with other plants like chamomile.

    Chamomile: As much as I despise chamomile tea, I love the scent, it’s so calming. At the moment I have a mix of one handful of chamomile and half of Lavender, and the combination is really soothing.

    Eucalyptus: I (or rather my husband) prefer this for when it’s far too hot for him to sleep comfortably. Once we have some spearmint growing in the garden – which had a much cooler smell – I’ll add this to the mix as well. It’s especially nice if the weather is hot or you have a little bit of a blocked nose. It won’t do anything if you have the mother-of-all-colds, but it will help with mild stuffiness.

    Lemonbalm: An incredibly calming lemon-mint smell, I’ve only just started using this and I love it!

    Peppermint: Also a lovely minty fresh smell that’s lovely when the weather is too hot.

    We recently added Spearmint to the garden and I can’t wait to try it out in the pillows. It’s such a fresh cold minty smell, it’ll be absolutely lovely once the weather warms up later in the year.

    You can find me on Instagram here

    How To

    Making A Herbal Exfoliating Oil

    I’m going to be honest, as lovely as this exfoliating oil is to use, it looks like spinach soup’s fermented cousin. Now that I’m getting my skincare routine back on track I’m trying to make a few body creams too. A few months ago I was given one of those tester sized sachets for an exfoliating balm. It. Was. Amazing! It had this lovely lemony smell and some kind of exfoliant mixed in with the cream. The brand wasn’t a cruelty-free brand (and had a load of plastic packaging) so I decided to make my own version which – although much uglier – left my skin feeling just as soft and pampered.

    What I used:

    Lemon Balm + Peppermint • Ground Oats • Castor Oil • Shea Butter • Olive Oil

    Ground Eggshells: If you don’t have this or want to make it feel free to substitute the eggshells for sugar (brown or white will do). One thing I want to make very, very clear when using eggshells is that they need to be ground into dust. Not grains! Don’t use a food processor for this, it won’t get fine enough. You need to use a stone mortar and pestle. A wooden one won’t get it fine enough. You know it’s fine enough when it looks and feels like dust. Anything larger is too abrasive. I know some people are fans of more abrasive scrubs – like the infamous St. Ives Apricot Scrub – but I did some serious damage to the skin around my nose when I was younger because I tried to scrub my acne away. It’s better to take it slowly and gently.

    You can find me on Instagram here