beauty, DIY, stuff I like, Tutorials

DIY Argan Cleansing Oil

December 16, 2014

Oil? To clean your face? I know, it’s hard to believe. I’ve had oily skin all my life and if I had told my 17 year old self that my 44 year old self would be cleaning my face with oil, she would have said, “Like, what? That’s, like, totally grody to the max!” It’s true. The skin care wheel has come full circle and I am now doing just that. Last year I told you about a particular cleansing oil that I’d fallen in love with, and I still love it, but it is a bit on the pricy side, so I thought I would see if I could figure out how to whip some up myself. Et voila! DIY Argan Cleansing Oil. Here’s what you’ll need:

IMG_1857 Two Parts Olive Oil (it’s virginity is up to you)

Two Parts Argan Oil

Grapeseed Oil

One Part Almond Oil

One Part Polysorbate-20 (more about this later)

Several Drops Essential Oil of Your Choice(optional)

Glass Beaker (if you aren’t feeling all sciency, a measuring cup will do)

I was able to round up all this stuff (except for the polysorbate-20) at my local health foods store. I ordered the polysorbate 20 on

Ok, students, you’ll notice that I used “parts” to come up with our formulation. You know, like “one part of this to two parts of that” kind of stuff. Because the bottle I wanted to use to dispense the oil was 200 ml, I decided that 50 ml=2 parts. So, being the math wizzard that I am, I knew that one part=25ml. And that’s where my little beaker came in handy with all it’s handy dandy measuring marks. If you go with conventional measuring methods, use tablespoons as your unit and adjust accordingly (2 Tbs=2 parts, 1 Tbs=1 part, etc).

You don’t need to add them in any specific order, just as long as everyone is invited to the party.

I started with the olive oil:



then the argan oil…


next the grapeseed oil…


almond oil…


and finally the Polysorbate 20. Note: this stuff is merely an emulsifying agent, which is sciency talk for “it helps the old to rinse away with water.”


then give it a swirl to mix…

IMG_1865 …and put it in a bottle for dispensing. I went to the beauty supply store and found this little gem for about 89¢.


If you’d like, you can add a few drops of the essential oil of your choice (I don’t recommend anything minty for this application) to scent it. I used sweet orange because it just makes me happy. At the end of the day, just give it a shake, dispense about a quarter-sized amount into your hands, and start massaging all over the face. It works wonders on eye make up, friends. Also, make sure to massage around the nose really well as this stuff is magical for getting rid of blackheads. Finally, rinse with warm water and wipe gently with a soft, damp washcloth and pat dry. You will feel clean, refreshed and, surprisingly, not oily thanks to the emulsifying properties of the Polysorbate 20. Crazy, no? Happy mixing and happy cleansing, friends!

craftiness, design ideas, DIY, stuff I like, Tutorials

Holiday Decor: Sawing Logs

December 7, 2014

Over Thanksgiving (or as we’ve dubbed it, Thanksmas) my sister-in-law had a great idea for a little craftiness au natural. Naw, we didn’t get crafty in the buff, we decided to bring a little nature indoors with a project that included slices of tree branches all gussied up with some chalkboard paint. As I worked on making potato casserole for 32 (nearly every single one of us was able to gather this year-bonus!) my sister-in-law and niece painted up a pile of slices for me-they’re pretty sweet, those two! Here’s what they used:


Oh, and a shout out to my brother-in-law for slicing up some branches and drilling holes near the top for us. In addition to those, a little chalkboard paint and a cheap brush is all you need! Here’s what they look like with a dab of paint.


Pretty cute, no? Now that you’ve got rustic, itty-bitty chalkboards, the sky’s the limit! Here’s how I decided to use them:

First, a little ornament action…


Next, placecards for a little rustic winter tablescape…



A larger slice made a nifty candle plate…





And finally, name tags for gifties…






Oh, and you know that all the chalkboard action above was courtesy of my favorite cheater method, right???

And talk about an inexpensive craft project! Thanks to a Lowe’s gift card I had lurking in my wallet, this didn’t set me back a dime!

Speaking of gift cards (bless them) did you know there’s a place you can go to buy and sell gift cards for yourself and those hard-to-buy folks on your list? That’s right, buy those you want at a discount (some as much as 15% off) and sell those that you’ve decided don’t float your boat. Check out, friends, for all manner of gift card goodness, from Lowe’s, Target, Michael’s…the list goes on and on. Click on the links to see what they have available and how to buy and sell!


So, dear readers, what would you use your little discs of chalkboard goodness for?

stuff I like

Custom Art, Y’all!

December 6, 2014

Today Blondie and I got to visit my friend across the creek for one of her fabulous “Porch Sales.” While there, we met Maggie creating her beautiful hand lettered and water-colored art. Check out what she whipped up for us!


First, Rudolph with his nose so bright ready to welcome guests as they come through the entry.


And this sweet monogram for Blondie’s gallery wall. I looooove the border.

What’s that? You need some sweet custom art in your life, too? You’re in luck! Check out Megan’s etsy shop, Magpie Markings, here. Its custom, it’s gorgeous, and it very reasonably priced. Check it out and happy shopping, y’all!

design ideas, family, home, stuff I like

Winter Tablescape : Merry & Bright

November 25, 2014

WinterTable.001 I’ve been dreaming lately of how to style the perfect table for holiday gatherings because few things brings friends and family together like sharing a meal together. Bonds made or strengthened over good food and conversation solidify memories like few other things can. And that is why I love a good tablescape. Not just for Christmas, but fun nesting touches to last all winter long.  And the crisp combination of red and white is sure to chase away the winter blues as the cold lingers on.

This dreamy combo all started with a table from Modani (chances are there is a location near you-check here for locations). The Phillipe table in all it’s white laquered glory and shapely legs, anchors this design. Layer it up with some crisp linens, rustic kubu warmth,and gorgeous tableware and you’ve got a spot to wile away the hours in comfort and style. Want a more modern look? Check out Modani’s wide selection of furnishings, lighting, and accessories for a more contemporary feel. Either way, you and your guests will feel right at home. How would you style the perfect setting for gathering with loved ones?

TableChairPillowTable RunnerCandlesticksServing BowlFlatware
LightingWillow ChargerDinner PlateSalad PlateNapkinRug
Cedar Cottage, craftiness, design ideas, Tutorials

Even More Cheating: It’s Not Just for Chalkboards Anymore

November 25, 2014

Hi, friends. In the midst of crapshifting for guests this week, I needed to take a break here and there to preserve my sanity keep on track, so I whipped up this little baby. Behold!

IMG_1649 Lest you think I have amazing lettering skeeelllz, I used the same technique (read: transfer paper) I did for this

IMG_1500 this





and several other projects. Suffice it to say, I’d be lost without my beloved transfer paper. This time, however, instead of going with the chalkboard look, I used a gold paint pen on a black canvas to achieve the look. After tracing the design and filling in with the paint pen, I scrubbed it down with dark furniture wax to age the whole thing a bit. As a little bonus, the wax picked up a tiny bit of the gold pigment. As I scrubbed around the canvas (I used a bit of burlap to apply the wax) it deposited a thin film of gold against the black. I love how it turned out!


Just a little sparkle above the doorway into the central hall. What have you whipped up using transfer paper, friends? Do tell!