DIY Champagne Cocktail Kit with Makr

DSC_1415 copyMy labeling dreams have come true.

For this project, I am beyond thrilled to be partnering with Makr to make this DIY Champagne Cocktail Kit!  I fell in deep deep love with this app.  For all of you who label jars, bins, boxes, gifts, and the occasional kiddo item, this app will be your dream come true too.  You can make so many things- invitations, postcards, and other fun paper products for your business which is really cool. You can be your own graphic designer and customize the ready-made templates. The style of their app and products is RIGHT ON and it is super easy to use.  You can find it here, for iPad only.

DSC_1400 copyI really enjoy making cocktails on the weekends, when we open up our home to friends and the laughter that comes with them.  Syrups and mixes and really important for quick cocktail making, especially for groups.  I’m excited to have these fun labels instead of my sharpie labels or no label at all, which is how I usually roll!  I get confused all the time about which flavors are in my fridge.  Organizing and labels make my heart happy.

Won’t these kits also make the BEST gifts?  You can have a stack of them ready and just grab and go to those wedding showers and parties!  No stress involved and impressive packaging.  I would be excited to receive this.  Just sayin’.

DSC_1484 copyDSC_1347 copyIn my kit, I included 1 mini bottle of champagne, 3 bottles of varying syrups, and 1 jigger or cocktail measuring tool.

Syrup recipes are coming soon!

Each champagne drink can be customized with a little pour of 1 syrup.  So easy.  No intense measuring while you’re trying to talk. These same labels in this project are available for YOU to use on the Makr app!  Remember the app is FREE to download and you don’t have to pay anything to create!  Check out my project and customize it for your style!

Download the Makr app here, These are the labels you will find there from this project (all are customizable):

“DIY Champagne Cocktail Kit” label for your box

“Champagne Cocktail” recipe card for making each drink.

“Ginger Spice Syrup” bottle label

“French 75 Mix” bottle label

“Blood Orange Blend” bottle label

“From San Diego, With Love” to/from tag for gifting

Special note for those of you who use external iPad keyboards: unplug it while using for full app use.

***Special for A Golden Afternoon readers (that’s YOU)- enjoy a FREE Makr credit and 20% off a print order! Just register with the code GAFTERNOON and enter that same code at checkout.***

DSC_1433 copyDSC_1542 copyDSC_1448 copyDSC_1419 copyDSC_1478 copy***Special for A Golden Afternoon readers (that’s YOU)- enjoy a FREE Makr credit and 20% off a print order! Just register with the code GAFTERNOON and enter that same code at checkout.***

This post was kindly sponsored by Makr, but all opinions about this app, the choice to support them, and the project itself are my own.

Homemade Lip Balm: Burt’s Bees Copycat

DSC_0004 copyYou asked how my new recipe went last week so here are the results…LOVE IT!

Burt’s Bees.  Some of us have used it since high school or even before.  It was a staple in our purses and pockets.  Then those meanies went and changed the recipe and the formula just never felt that same smooth and super tingly way again.  Did that happen to you too?  Last year I tried a few copycat recipes with no success.  One was too hard.  One was too soft.  They both had no peppermint zing to them AT ALL.  Minty lip balm…maybe?  Burt’s Bees wannabee? Nope.

I know that it’s not possible to claim an exact replica because I’d have to have a lab and well, I just have a kitchen with a sleeping pug in it.  This is the closest I’ve come to a matched recipe and I’m super happy with it.  I’d love to hear your feedback to help us all get closer to a lip balm that has only a couple of pure, whole ingredients and is SUPER easy to make in bulk or as a gift!  The ingredients on the Burt’s Bees chap-stick state that they use sunflower oil, but I opted for the more nourishing jojoba oil.  I use round metal tins from Specialty Bottle or sliding ones from SKS Bottle instead of filling plastic tubes because we try to be a plastic-free household.  The round tins were only 42 cents! Sticking your finger in a tin isn’t as easy, but you can actually apply this balm to most areas of your body, so the tin is actually quite handy!

One of the MANY reasons I love making my own body care products is getting to choose my own scents and healing options with essential oils.  I have used essential oils for a long time but I am CONSTANTLY finding new ways to incorporate them.  If you have been curious about how essential oils can improve your health or maybe just provide you with pure and natural scent options, PLEASE see my friend Lynsey’s wellness page on IG here to see practical ways they can help or go buy an essential oil starter kit from her here.  That kit is a great option if you want to take the next step to improve your health.  You will NOT regret it, friends.  End soapbox.  haha

If you’ve never made lip balm, it’s SO EASY!  You just…

measure and melt!

Homemade Peppermint Lip Balm

(Burt’s Bees copycat)

3 Tablespoons beeswax, chopped off the whole block with a knife

3 Tablespoons organic coconut oil

2 tablespoons jojoba oil

1/2 teaspoon lanolin

several drops vitamin E oil, optional

60 drops organic peppermint essential oil

10 drops organic rosemary essential oil

raw honey, optional (add a touch at the end for some sweetness)

beet powder, optional

Metal tins (I got my round ones here and my sliding ones here)

Labels (I used these Rifle Paper Company stickers…my sister’s idea ;))

Melt all of the ingredients (except the essential oils and beet powder) over medium heat in a double-boiler (or heat-safe bowl on top of a small saucepan with 1/2 inch of water in the pan).  When all of the ingredients are melted, turn off the heat, then add the essential oils.  60 drops totally sounds like a lot, but if you want that Burt’s tingle, you need to use all 60 or even more if you dare! To test the strength of the mint or the feel of the balm, let a little dab dry on your counter (tastes 10 seconds!) and take it for a test drive.  Pour the mixture into tins, using a measuring cup, until they are almost full.  Let them set overnight, but they really only take about an hour to cool all the way.

For color: If you desire color, add about 3 Tablespoons of beet powder to your mixture.  If you desire more color, add more beet powder.  It will seem like you’re adding a lot of powder but let me assure you…it won’t taste like beets and the color doesn’t saturate as well as you’d think! ;)  The powder doesn’t fully dissolve, so you are left with small grains of beet, but if you are truly desiring NATURAL color, this is the only way to go that I’m aware of.

Methods/Ingredients I see in a LOT of recipes that haven’t worked for me…so far:

Extra lanolin.  Dude…this stuff tastes bad so too much is no.bueno.  It might keep winter dryness away but you’ll lose your taste buds in the process. Ick.

Shea Butter.  Tried it a few times and didn’t like that it makes the balm less smooth.  Who wants a sticky lip balm?  I thought so.  I’ve tried using only a little, but at that point it just becomes an extra ingredient so why bother.

Beeswax that doesn’t smell like honey.  I mean…that just doesn’t make sense.

Less ingredients.  I’ve tried recipes with less ingredients but the consistency is not what I look for in a balm…too goop-y.

Large quantities at a time.  Before you make 75 tins of lip balm, make half or even a quarter of the recipe so you can see if it works for you.  Not all lips are created equal.  Just sayin’.

Adding lipstick for tint.  Natural lip balm becomes unnatural when you add lipstick.  I don’t understand why people do that.

Have fun and enjoy!

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Gift Card Ideas with Ralphs

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Christmas Lists…

They excite us and they stress us out.  Gift giving has become expected instead of spontaneous.  How do we simplify our gift giving at Christmas but still show our love and thoughtfulness to friends and family?

Gift cards are one answer.  It’s so convenient to be able to go grocery shopping and grab a gift card at the same time.  I walked into Ralphs this week and couldn’t believe the stores that now offer gift cards right inside a grocery store.  I got one for Target right then and there at Ralphs.  BAM.  So easy, right?

Whether you make your entire gift by hand or purchase it from the store, it’s always nice to have a thoughtful touch to your gift or gift card. Here are some of my favorite ways to bring a personal touch to gifts:

  • Live greenery brings the feeling of freshness and relaxation that can be found for FREE from your yard, someone else’s, or purchased from a store.
  • Create handmade tags using supplies from home.  Old book pages, maps, old postcards, or vintage wrapping paper can be salvaged from your craft closet or even someone else’s!
  • Include an item that is either your favorite, their favorite, or just something that recalls a memory or joke between the two of you.
  • Gather items that create an experience or tell a story.  This tea-cup, tea, local honey, and gift card communicate a relaxing afternoon for a friend, loved one, or just a Mom you know who needs a BREAK! It shows care and attentiveness.  Why not throw in some babysitting which will cost you only your time.  Perfect for any budget, people! ;)

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For the tags in this post, I used plain tags found here or use some more fun colored ones from We Love Citrus here. I attached greenery using mini-clothespins from We Love Citrus found here.

For the honey bears, I added my own favorite local honey from Mikolich into the CUTEST mini honey bear containers you can find here.  I can’t even stand how cute they are!

For the tea, I added my favorite local decaf Earl Grey tea into plain cloth bags you can find here.  I stamped them with a fabric-safe ink.  Cute, right?

For the final and biggest touch, I added a gift card that I got from Ralphs to the tea-cup.  You can find so many great gift cards at Ralphs. Some of my go-tos are iTunes, REI, and Target.   The gift cards are so convenient you can just walk right into Ralphs instead of stopping by that individual store.    All of the small items pictured make that gift card so much for meaningful, don’t you think?!

For more gift ideas to go with your gift cards, go to Ralph’s Pinterest board here.

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For writing this post, I received compensation.  However, the opinions expressed are my own and I was totally thrilled to write it and share my ideas and thoughts on how to make your holiday easier.

Spruce Upholstery Guide Winner!

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Congratulations, Christina!

You won the book!

(comment #13)

Email me at bonnie.rush@gmail (dot) com to claim your prize! ;)

Book Review: Spruce Upholstery Guide + Giveaway

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Last January, when I went to AltSummit, I was so thrilled to be able to take a class with Amanda Brown on making a lampshade (that’s mine above!).  She provided the materials and took us through, step-by-step, how to make it.  It was definitely my kind of project.  There’s something really exciting to me about learning a new skill and conquering a project that is on my list of things I’ve always wanted to make.  Is anyone else that way?

Last week, I received Amanda’s new book in the mail, “Spruce: The Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design” from the Spruce team right before I left for vacation.  I was super excited to tackle an upholstery project as SOON as I got home.  I went to Joann’s (with multiple coupons), grabbed supplies, and immediately began deconstructing the mid-century sewing chair (I LOVE the frame of but not the plastic, off-colored covering).  She shows you how to easily deconstruct in the book as well. ;)

Then, BAM. Nutcracker. Piano recital. Homeschool Handicraft Fair. Family in town for Wedding on Saturday. Christmas decorating. School.  Cleaning.

So, this is what my chair looks like right now.

DSC_5226 copyI was sitting on the floor of my living room and I suddenly stopped and said, “What in the world am I doing?!”.  Not a great week for this.  Sometimes I push myself too far, because I’m so ridiculously excited to work on a project.  Sometimes I don’t say “No” when I should.  I didn’t make that mistake this time.  This project can wait until after the holidays.  “Good choice”, I said to myself (please tell me you talk to yourself too?).  The first week in January is my time-frame goal for this project.  I feel good about that.  Setting goals and making lists are the two best ways to accomplish what you want to accomplish in life…and also in upholstery projects!

Now, if I hadn’t been given this book, it would totally be in my amazon cart right now, ready for purchase.  I really love it.  I wouldn’t share it with you if it wasn’t amazing or something I would buy.  We all need a little more step-by-step in our lives and Amanda rocks the DIY upholstery scene in this book. I’ve never seen a book like this for upholstery. Here is a trailer for the book.

Have any DIY ladies or gentleman on your shopping list?!  They will love this book.  I’m so excited I get to give away a copy to one of my readers…YOU!!!  All you need to do is leave a comment at the end of the post about what you would love to have re-upholstered in your home and you get an entry!!! (U.S. only) The contest ends on December 11th, 2013 and the winner is announced on December 12th, 2013!  If you can’t wait to win or you just need this for yourself right away, go here to purchase.

After you enter in the comments below, be sure to go to Facebook and enter Spruce’s Ugliest Chair Contest here for a chance to win a hand upholstery kit, $200 worth of fabric, Amanda’s personal advice for your chair, and a signed book!  You can check out my picture over there as well to see which chair is my ugliest! ;)

Here are a few peeks inside for my visual friends (pardon my gardener’s hands)…

 

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Comment below to win a copy of the book for you or someone on your Christmas list, then head over to Facebook to enter the Ugliest Chair Contest!

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