Recipe – Homemade Peppermint Castile Exfoliating Scrub

This is seriously one of the easiest recipes I’ve made. I came up with this idea simply because I wanted to have a good exfoliating scrub to use in the shower but I am using up any products I have at home before I buy new ones. I had a bottle of Peppermint Castile Soap sitting under my counter that didn’t have a use right now. I originally bought it to mix with vinegar for our homemade cleaning spray – until I discovered that castile soap and vinegar don’t mix…..

We use other soaps for hand soap so I was left with a bottle that rarely got used. I ordered microdermabrasion crystals online a while ago to use with my face and body wash so I thought why not combine that with the castile soap for a homemade scrub!

The ingredients are only three things: An empty soap dispenser, a bottle of natural soap, and microdermabrasion crystals. I picked up my soap dispenser at Walmart for .88 cents. The Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap you can find on Amazon. And the microdermabrasion crystals you can find on Amazon as well.

I simply poured soap into the soap dispenser until it was almost full. Then I added 2 tablespoons of microdermabrasion crystals to it. I shook it up and it made the soap foamy white. And done! The crystals will settle on the bottom of the soap dispenser so I shake mine up before I use it.

Now I have an all natural exfoliating scrub with no yucky chemicals in it! (^.^) I like the peppermint scent in the shower because it’s invigorating. I’ve used the scrub on my face and my body. I plan to make more scrubs myself in the future! I like knowing exactly what’s in my products and the words being easily pronounceable.

Have you made a homemade scrub before?

Don’t forget to check out my Esty Shoppe featuring unique and one of a kind items! Dragon Fire Rose

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My Etsy Shoppe Can Now Ship Internationally!

I’m ecstatic right now! I found a way to make international shipping for my small jewelry business a reality and without extreme extra costs!

I had been keeping my sales to the United States only, but I recently sold a Southwestern style set to a gentleman who’s wife works in London. He said that they adore her Southwester jewelry where she works and ask to buy it off of her! He suggested I find a way to ship my pieces internationally because he felt it would open up the market more for me.

A little about this business – I have been running Dragon Fire Rose since 2013. We’ve done everything from selling Lego figures to selling kids gift sets to selling jewelry. I have the creative bug in my soul and I just *LOVE* coming up with new ideas of fun things to sell!

I started making very simple fashion earrings. Nothing fancy, just cute little charms on silver plated hooks. I sell them super cheap because I understand now everyone has a huge budget for accessories. Some of us scrimp and save just to supply our family’s basic needs. I get that 100%!

I kept going to the jewelry supply shops and would just have my breath taken away by the amazing pieces I saw there. I wanted to turn them into something so badly! I eventually took the plunge and followed my heart. In winter 2016 I began hand making jewelry sets. Again, I kept budget in mind and used a mix of plated pieces to keep prices for customers low. I understand that finances come first! I include a fee pair of my fashion earrings with each set. I believe that giving a little extra blesses someone and sends good karma forward!

I’ve been working on my designs and ways to keep prices low. I also take a few sets and make them higher end for the folks looking to spend more. I have a GORGEOUS amethyst set waiting to be made! I am planning to use sterling silver on the set and I found a lovely Italian purse in a silver shade that I want to pair with it for the ultimate set!

A little about me – I worked full time as a nanny until last September. I had a nasty fall in the end of summer last year that was “supposed” to heal within a couple of months. It hasn’t…. I deal with daily pain and so far I have no answers as to why. I’ve been seeing a specialist, a hand surgeon, who still can’t find the cause. So I live with pain every single day. I go to bed with pain and I wake up with pain. I don’t have full use of my right hand anymore. It’s just a part of my life now.

My jewelry business has been a way for me to try and find another way to provide an income for my family. Now I can only nanny part time. I currently work maybe once a week as I try to find more families in my town who need just once or twice a week care. I make jewelry and I paint because I truly love doing it and creating beauty fulfills me. It brings me joy to take a mix of pieces and turn them into a beautiful thing!

Now you can see why I am so excited that I can ship internationally! It means opening a wider door for my business. I plan to expand my art work this coming week with pages of old books with a print of some sort on the front. There is beauty to be found everywhere – you just have to find the person who sees the beauty in it!

If you love jewelry or artwork, if you know anyone who does, please share the link to my Etsy Shoppe. I know A LOT of people ask that kind of thing. I shared a little of my story to hopefully explain why it would mean the world to me!

I am not one to look upon this experience as a time to quit and live in misery. I look at this experience as a way to grow and expand myself. Living day to day with pain is not fun. It is not something I wish anyone to experience. Yet I STILL work hard to be productive and help my family! I refuse to quit, I refuse to give up. I will keep working however I can, and I will find my success!

Limitations hit you in life when you least expect the. I had no idea a simple fall would cause me daily pain that has lasted almost a year already. I had no idea it would change my life. Limitations will strike you at the most inopportune moments. They will hit you hard and they will hurt. They will bring you to your knees and make you question everything.

But remember – YOU HAVE TO GET BACK UP. Don’t lay down, don’t quit, don’t stop. GET BACK UP. You can fight. You can push forward.  You can find balance again. It hurts and it’s hard. It takes more work than words can express. But you have to get back up. You are stronger than you know. You can find your way again. Hang onto that hope even in the darkest hours. You are so amazing and I am so proud of you even when you fall back down again!

I want you all to know I appreciate each one of you, though I’ve never met you in person. And I want you to know you are loved and you are amazing! Thank you for being apart of this blog and thank you to those who choose to share my Etsy Shoppe info!

Remember, you can survive all that life throws at you. You are stronger than you ever imagined.

Dragon Fire Rose Creations – A place where beauty and art live!

I Save Jars

The title of this post does not mean that I run down the streets in a cape and mask, rescuing jars in distress everywhere…. But that sounds like it could be fun! (^.^) The title of this post refers to me choosing not to throw jars away, but to wash them out and reuse them. I have many,many jars in all shapes and sizes in my cupboards!

Years ago, during on of my researches on healthier living, I discovered how bad plastic is. Not only is it often unable to be recycled, but it is also very bad for you because the chemicals it’s made of leech out of it into your food and drink. This concerned me, so I started looking for other methods to store food and drinks in. Enter the glass jar! This lovely item has been around for a very long time and it provides a way to store edible and drinkable things in a safer way.

I began collecting glass jars then. Whenever I’d buy food that came in a glass jar I would wash it out and reuse it. From time to time I’ve had to cut down on the amount I’ve had if they’ve started adding up way more than I can use. I sell them, give them away, or recycle them.

One of my favorite types of jar is the canning jar. I like these jars because they usually have a 2 part lid system that makes them very good for home canning and preserving. They come in several shapes and sizes as well, which gives me more variety for storage. I’ve ordered replacement canning jar lids many a time over the years! Sometimes it seems the lids will need to be replaced long before the jars.

As you can see from the picture at the top of the post, I use jars to store most things in my pantry. I have a kiddo who eats a lot of gluten free food, and when I find GF snacks for her I buy them in bulk and store them in jars. It helps me with bulk items in general because I save money buying in bulk and I can store it well at home.

FYI – Yes there are some snacks in my picture that are not in jars. The reason for this is that we volunteer at an animal shelter every week and I have to pack my kiddo a lunch. Those snacks were super marked down at our local grocery store and they go into lunches easily. I shop both for sales and for health. We have a great grocery store that constantly is marking food down super cheap so I look for ways to stretch my money and eat as healthy as possible!

The only issue I have with glass jars is freezing. I cannot find a way to freeze liquid in glass jars without it breaking. I will leave room for the liquid to expand at the top, fill it only halfway, cool it before freezing it, etc. But the jars often end up breaking anyway. I found some neat looking stainless steel containers I am going to try for freezing instead. The reviews are mixed, mostly due to people not liking the containers getting dents or having issues with the lids. Dents don’t bother me and lids can be replaced with cloth or other wraps. I just need a good freezing container!

Food stays fresher in my cupboard in jars and seems to last longer. I also feel it’s safer from any sort of critter that might go visiting your pantry at night because of all the food there…. Food in jars doesn’t smell either. I noticed recently that I could smell the food through the packages, even the ones they come in from the store. I put them all into jars instead and no more food smell. No food leaking out either, as they can from store packages.

My cabinets seriously look OCD. EVERYTHING is in jars, cans and sealed containers. This is what keeps my food the best stored though! It’s a little extra work to clean out jars and remove the labels, but I feel it is worth it!

What do you use to store your food in that is free of harsh chemicals and toxins?

 

Post Holiday Kitchen Deep Clean

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I didn’t know my fingers hurt until I started typing just now! I spent 4 hours this morning deep cleaning my kitchen and I think my body is now on strike. Mr. Divine had a week and a half off from work for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. We had a fabulous Christmas and have been relaxing and enjoying family time this past week and a half. Today marked his first day back to work and my first day back to the daily grind on his work days.

I had a little cleaning to catch up on, but with the chaos of December I hadn’t had time to do as much around the house as I wanted to. I try to deep clean rooms at least once a month, but sometimes more time goes by. I really wanted to scrub the kitchen down since it was used so much for holiday meals and because everyone was home most of the day for a week and a half.

Four hours later and I am exhausted! I got serious about my cleaning though. I got out the toothpicks for detailing and everything! (^.~) The kitchen looks great and I am glad to be done! I like deep cleaning because stuff builds up, especially in a room like the kitchen. You don’t always notice where things splash or drip so a good deep clean helps get everything clean even in the hard to see places.

I’ve also found that the more often I spot clean, the less it takes during my deep clean. I didn’t have time for a deep clean in December so it took a lot of time today. If I make a note to try to do a little extra cleaning here and there throughout the month, my deep cleans will be a bit easier on me.

Also, Little Divine had been missing a few places with her daily chores as well. One part of her chores is to sweep and mop the kitchen with the Swiffer mop, and to wipe down the counters. I found some spots along the base-boards and on the floor she had missed and I let her know that it’s important to make sure spots aren’t skipped so they don’t get even yuckier. Kids are kids, they will not do the most meticulous job ever. However, they won’t learn how to do better with something unless you show them how and remind them when needed.

I pulled Little Divine into the kitchen and showed her the areas she had been skipping that she needed to do with her daily cleaning. I wasn’t mean or harsh, I just showed her what it should look like clean and how to get it done. Hopefully she remembers to work on those areas as well!

You can’t have a post about cleaning without talking about your supplies. My supplies are not fancy by any means but I have found that they work very well for us! Here is my supply round-up!

Cleaning Spray – I try to avoid anything with harsh chemicals as Little Divine uses these products to clean too. The simplest method I’ve found for a good cleaning spray is to take a full size spray bottle and fill up to where the neck of the bottle starts to thin with distilled white vinegar (from the grocery store). I then add about 2 tablespoons of blue Dawn dish soap to it and put the lid back on. I gently turn the bottle to mix them together, I don’t shake it or it makes a ton of bubbles. This cleaner not only cleans well but it also disinfects and it doesn’t contain anything harsh! The vinegar smell fades after a few minutes. We have a spray bottle full of this mix in each bathroom and the kitchen.

Counter Cleaning – Occasionally I will use peppermint castile soap to clean the tops of my counters. I wet a cloth or paper towel and add just a drop or 2 on it before wiping the counters down. You don’t need much to get the counters clean and it leaves a nice peppermint smell in the kitchen. DO NOT MIX CASTILE SOAP WITH VINEGAR TO MAKE A SPRAY! The combination is a nasty, gloppy mess that cannot be used. I learned this the hard way. I will use one or the other but not both at the same time.

Scrubbing – When you have stuck on stuff, a stainless steel scrubber will get just about anything off! Be careful that you don’t use it on surfaces that it will remove paint from. Some counters are laminate and it could scratch the design/printing off. Same with the pain on your stove. They can be a pain to clean food out of but I’ve found that putting them in a sink full of hot water and swishing them around gets most everything out. I feel this works better than just running them under water alone. Swishing them around while immersed gets water moving throughout the scrubber and gets more debris out. These are super long-lasting if you keep them clean! We also run ours through the dishwasher as well, to help with both cleaning and to sanitize it.

Sponges – I try to use reusable items as much as I can while cleaning. Sometimes you just need a throw away item like a paper towel. Generally though, I use these great washable dish sponges that do a fabulous job! One side is rougher for scrubbing and the other side is softer. We run these through the dishwasher several times a week to keep them extra clean. They can last a long time and have replaced our disposable sponges!

Mopping – We currently use a Swiffer wet mop for daily cleaning, though I will hand clean the base-boards and areas under the cabinets because I don’t feel it cleans those well. It’s more of a daily light cleaner than a heavy-duty cleaner. Ours sprays cleaner out and is light enough that Little Divine (10) can carry it around and use it. Our family feels the orange cleaning spray works the best for our needs. It cleans well, smells good, and doesn’t leave a residue on our floors.

Small DetailingToothpicks! They are so low-cost but they are perfect for tiny areas where grime and dust build up, like knobs on the stove. I will wet a toothpick and use it to clean out those time spots. If the space is a bit bigger I will cover the top of the toothpick with a damp paper towel and use it to get in harder to reach spaces like behind the knobs on the stove. They aren’t super durable so I went through about 10 toothpicks today alone, but they get the job done in spaces I couldn’t get super clean with rags and cloths. I buy my toothpicks in the little containers that are round or square so they can be stored easily and kept clean.

After Care – My hands get destroyed from cleaning  and I feel it’s too hard to do the work wearing gloves. Instead I use a really great hand cream after I’m done cleaning. This is super important if you are going to be cleaning without gloves. I use a hand cream rather than a lotion because I feel it is thicker and repairs better. Look for ingredients in a hand cream that will nourish your skin well! I tend to like something with a little fruity smell for a little wake up and perk up scent after all my hard work. (^.^)

If you have a favorite cleaning product, let me know what it is and why you love it so much! ❤

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Hello Lucille…..

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We enjoy dressing up in the Divine household. This year Little Divine is Clawdeen Wolf from Monster High, a costume made ourselves and a lot of pieces handmade by me. I am cosplaying a League of Legends character, Ashe, using a fan art piece. ^.^

And Mr. Divine? Well….. I’ll let you guess who he is being this year…..

Better lock up your loved ones, Lucille is ready to go…..

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DIY Yeast Inflated Balloon Science Experiment

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We love hands on projects here in the Divine household! Science, crafts, wood-working, art. You name it, we like doing it! Creating things, especially together as a family, is tons of fun! Little Divine and I have had a lot more time recently so we’ve been looking for more hands on learning activities to go along with her homeschooling. I bake bread so yeast is a common ingredient in our house. This project seems to be a popular one online with the kids and adults alike! (^.^)

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First things first! You need 1 empty water bottle of whatever size you choose. You will also need yeast, 1 non-inflated balloon, sugar, and warm water. We mixed in 2 tablespoons of yeast into hot water and mixed it well. Then we poured it into our water bottle using a funnel. We added 4 tablespoons of sugar to give it some extra to eat off of! We gently swirled the mixture around inside of the bottle and then put our red balloon over the top of it.

Almost immediately we saw results! Our balloon slowly started inflating before our eyes! Little Divine was thrilled and thanks to Mr. Divine making homemade mead, she could tell us all about why the balloon was inflating and what was causing it. (^.^)

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We spent the next 2 hours checking on our balloon as it grew and grew! It actually got pretty big! We were all very impressed with our project and it was a lot of fun. Plus it was simple to put together and didn’t require expensive ingredients. That’s always good! If you try this experiment, let me know what you think!

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Water Beads Glitter Bottle Project

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These are Water Bead/Jelly Beadz/Water Beadz. They are tiny little balls of excitement! As I mentioned in my original review of them, we discovered these through a friend of ours who had added some to a water bottle for her baby to look at and be fascinated by. I ordered a set of 10,000 beads for my kiddos to try out as well and they loved them! We added them a water filled container and they played with them for hours. (^.^)

I decided to do a project with them similar to our DIY Glitter Bottles because those were such a hit! I took 2 full water bottles, cut off the labels, added 1 drop of food coloring to each bottle, and then added the fun! I added 4 pinches of Water Beads to each bottle, and added 20 small plastic fake diamonds to each bottle. Lastly, we added glitter! I have an excess of fun colored nail glitter that we used, though I really need glitter that sinks for these kind of projects. A lot of our glitter floats at the top instead of sinking to the bottom.

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The bottles were a huge success! ❤ The kids love them! Each bottle shimmers in the sunlight and looks so neat! It was a very simple project that took all of 10 minutes to complete. I did soak the water beads in the water bottles overnight, though they started puffing up after just a few minutes. I think they should be good to go after 2 hours in water.

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These are a super cheap for of entertainment for kids, especially during hot months. There are tons of ways to use them! And you get so many in a package that they last a long time. I am still very happy with this buy because the kids adore these Water Beads! This is something that would make a great gift as well! If you package doesn’t include instructions, you can print out a little tag with instructions and ideas to go with it. (^.^) I may add that to my present list this Christmas season!

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DIY Glitter Bottle For Kids

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I found a fantastic online article this morning from Mindful.org about the benefits of a glitter jar for children. The author gave great examples for kids to use their glitter jars to help with behavioral issues by comparing the glitter to overwhelmed minds. He said that he asks kids to think of the glitter swirling around as all the thoughts going through their heads that distract them and keep them from focusing. He feels it’s a useful tool with children of all ages, not just small children. I wanted to give it a try because one kiddo I watch has a lot of concentration and behavioral issues, and Little Divine gets distracted easily sometimes while she’s doing school work.

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We started off with supplies from our local Dollar Tree. I figured if we needed more advanced supplies we’d go to Hobby Lobby. I decided against glass jars as they can get broken easily by kiddos. These hand sanitizer bottles were the perfect size and made of plastic. We picked up glitter and used glitter I had for nail polish. I figured the combo of glitter should assure a pretty bottle!

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I peeled the labels off the bottles and emptied the sanitizer out. We added water and 1 drop of food coloring to the bottles. Any more than that would have made it too hard to see in it. We added as much glitter as the kids asked for! After I shook them up and they were satisfied with the results, I super-glued the lids on the bottles. I then cut thin strips of fun colored duct tape to cover the tops just to ensure they stayed on and closed!

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The results were fabulous! We did have glitter settling at the top, not just at the bottom, but the kids didn’t mind. (^.^) They love the result! We talked about the bottle representing our minds, and the glitter being all the many thoughts and feelings we have each day. I told them that all their feelings are okay, and we don’t want them to go away, but we do want to find a way to calm our minds so we can focus during the day. We talked about breathing slowly and deeply to calm our minds while we watch the glitter fall and settle in our bottles.

I’m really hoping these are a big help for the kids! Little Divine is 10 so I feel she can better understand how to use her bottle in a calming way, and remember to do her breathing to settle her mind. This was a fantastic project for $2.14 and they turned out very pretty! ❤

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Savings Jar Craft Project

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Things in life cost money. Unless you are handed an unlimited amount of money to do with as you please, you generally have to save up for the things you want that you can’t currently afford. I like saving money in general. It’s always good to have money saved for a nest egg just in case. Emergency funds to help if you lose your job or have a huge unexpected cost, like your car breaking or your home flooding, keep you be prepared just in case. I feel it’s generally better to save up for things you want but can’t currently afford rather than going into debt to get them.

Saving money in your bank account it great – if you won’t spend it. I’ve found that having the money in an account means I am more likely to spend it with less concern. Which is why I like to have a savings jar of some sort at home. It’s labeled and separate from my spending money so I am much less likely to spend it. Looking into the jar to see how much I’ve saved so far gives me an extra sense of pride that also helps me from spending out of it and to keep adding to it.

We recently moved and are working on settling in and getting our new home set up. We are also saving to buy a home in the next few years, saving for our wedding since we don’t really have family to help with the costs much, and saving up to get me a better car. Mine is okay, and it’s lasted well since I got it almost 2 years ago, but it is very old and I bought it because we had been in a car accident and desperately needed a vehicle. I want to be able to get something a little nicer that will better fit my needs in the next year, so we’re saving for it now.

These 3 things are very important to us right now and are our priorities to save for at the moment. We could have created one main savings jar to use on whatever we needed, but I liked the idea of 3 separate jars to see each dream getting closer to happening.

These savings jars were very simple and low cost to create. I bought 3 cans of coffee that come in the round hard containers. We drink a lot of coffee so we used up the coffee in the cans, washed them out with soapy water, and then let them dry. When they were dry I purchased 3 different rolls of duct tape in cool designs so each jar had its own unique look. I paid $3.22 for the 3 rolls at our local Dollar Tree store. I knew the tape would mostly likely only be used for this project so I didn’t want to spend a lot on it. I also bought a package of sticker labels to label each jar, but I also am going to use them to label things in Little Divine’s room to help her keep her toys organized. They were $1.07 for a package of 60.

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Photo by Ivy Divine

I took each jar and taped all around the jar along the bottom edge, the top edge, and then the middle, to completely cover the jar with duct tape. I then took small strips of duct tape about 5-6 inches long to cover the lid. You can leave it uncovered if you like, but I wanted the whole thing to be matching. After that, I turned the lid upside down and set a shot glass in the middle of the lid to make an opening for adding money. I traced around the shot glass and used small, sharp scissors to cut a whole. Again, this is optional. You can create any opening you like or leave the lid as it is and just take it off when you add money to the jar.

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Photo by Ivy Divine

I wrote what each jar was for on the sticker labels and put them on the jar. One of the labels started peeling off a little after a few hours so I covered the labels with clear tape to keep them on. I used a permanent marker to write on the labels so what I wrote was easy to see and would last.

The end result is a fun looking way to save up for the things that are important to you! ❤ We’ve already been adding to our new jars and it’s exciting to see each step closer we get to our goals! (^.^)

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