1. Nourishing Whipped Shaving Cream and my First Video Attempt

I tried a DIY essential oil whipped shaving cream recipe for the first time and gave them as Christmas gifts for guys and girls. With all the amazing benefits Shea butter (the stuff is creamy gold for cracked skin) and coconut butter have for skin, I can’t imagine a more nourishing and moisturizing recipe.

The combination I gave my brother was mainly a Eucalyptus scent with Tea Tree, Frankincense and Peppermint essential oils for the extra skin benefits. This time I tried Northern Lights Black Spruce as the main scent, with a little Tea Tree and Frankincense again but also a little Cedarwood essential  oil. I had no idea how many benefits Cedarwood has not only for sleep and headaches but for skin as well! I diffuse it with Lavender most nights and it is divine.

This was my first attempt ever at a video tutorial. It’s not spectacular. My iPad came with all the right apps which made it fairly simple to learn how to edit by trial and error. I definitely learned a few things that will make next time easier. But I probably should have checked out a how-to-video on YouTube first. I didn’t. Sometimes I’m too impatient and want to figure it out myself. Sort of like the stereotype about men not asking for directions, I guess.

Note: I like my fragrances a bit potent, hence the 27 drops. Also, Coconut is pretty strong and can take over the fragrance so I always have to add extra drops of the main scent. For this video I used 5 drops each of Tea Tree, Frankincense and Cedarwood essential oils. And 12-ish drops of Northern Lights Black Spruce. This recipe makes quite a bit, about 22.5 oz. The consistency will become thicker once stored. I recycled a pretty candle jar for this which you can see in one of my first posts here.

Use: Apply a liberal amount to skin that is not too wet. Otherwise it will melt faster, the water will act as a barrier between the oils and skin and you wont get the oily benefits. With all natural ingredients, don’t expect it to lather the same as store brands. The oils will protect from cutting as you shave. You may need to rinse your razor a few times while shaving. Then wash with your regular body soap, rise and pat dry!

I loved how my legs felt after using this shaving cream because Colorado winters can be extremely dry and this year has been no exception for my skin! It’s a little different to get accustomed to shaving with when you’re used to store brands but I felt it is definitely worth it and plan to stick with homemade shaving cream from now on. I look forward to trying a floral scent for a future batch with Jasmine or Geranium.

Keeping New Year Ambitions Realistic and Fun

Happy 2017 Y’all! 

“Oh, it’s delightful to have ambitions. I’m so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them– that’s the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Ambition is a lovelier word for resolutions, don’t you think?

I sense that people are overwhelmed and discouraged by New Years resolutions. I often feel the same. I have become allergic to social expectations or doing things because it is main stream. All too often the goal is set high while the desire and motivation are only fleeting. And by Spring we feel discouraged because we haven’t kept up with our goal. We cave and abandon it. And inevitably eat more chocolate. But maybe that’s just me. 

Admittedly, I do not have one magical cure or a three step program to offer you for success. Yet I do miss the excitement of setting a new goal with optimistic hopes to complete it! So I set out to rethink my New Years strategy and by sharing it, maybe you will feel encouraged.

I am a list maker and a box checker by heart. The concept of New Years Resolutions seems made for people like me. And regardless of that fact I have often given up by April because of the usual pitfalls. My pitfall is choosing resolutions I don’t really love and starting out too fast with a pace I cannot keep up with long term. I decided to choose a new ambition for 2017 that meets the following rules:

  • It wont be daunting. The saying about biting off more than you can chew, has been said to me more than once so I think I need to take the hint.
  • It wont have a harsh deadline. If I don’t complete this in full in 362 days by New Year’s Eve, it’s not a loss. I’ll finish it even if it takes a little longer. 
  • I have to be passionate about it. I’m not passionate about fitness. That work out routine I did for three months last year before hitting the beach? Yeah, I didn’t enjoy that and while I am proud of myself for doing it, I certainly didn’t succeed in keeping it up for the rest of the year. 

I looked back over 2016 and the things I tried, the things I hated and the things I loved. I’m most proud of the things I created and did for others (like the 150 message in a bottle wedding favors for my sister, click here to view). This time, a New Years Resolution means highlighting my passion, improving upon what I started last year.

The Clay Bunny Diary is aspiring to create 26 Pinterest inspired posts throughout the year!

Since the blog’s start up, there have been 8 articles! With a bi-weekly target, this ambition will help me stay on track with the theme of my blog as well as keeping me focused on a time frame. I look back at the 8 posts in 6 weeks with pride but I know if I were to set that as an expectation that I would loose steam by April or May. 

Since I started using Pinterest a few years ago, I have over 32 boards, and 577 pins on my “On the Craft Shelf” board alone! It is most crafty persons’ dream to try every pin they’ve ever saved. To have a lifestyle that would make it possible, or heck, even affordable would be incredible! I’m fantasizing now. But anyways, between my craft board, essential oil board and holiday boards; my ambition is to try 26 of them in 2017 and share my journey with you.

Not everyone has time for 26 projects in a year so I hope you can live vicariously through me as I chase this ambition throughout the year. Perhaps I will save you some time by telling you which Pins are frustrating or pointless to try on a budget, and which ones are worth setting aside some time to do for your home! 

Whatever you do, I hope you are not discouraged by the New Year. May you feel confident and excited about achieving what you do best in 2017. Consider a new ambition to check off your list this year! But let it be attainable, flexible and something you are passionate about. Maybe it’s as uncomplicated as reading one book this year if you aspire to read more. Or try 5 new recipes. Visit 1 new location. Learn a new hairstyle. Or practice self-care more often (click here for previous article on self-care). Whatever it is, I hope you are encouraged by what you do this year, and give yourself credit for the day to day tasks.

Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. – A.A. Milne

To keep my ambitions in sight, my first plan of action for anything is organizing. I always print out new cute calendars and planners at the beginning of the year. I found a whole treasure load of free printables here on Pinterest. As well as a ton of great tips from other bloggers about how to keep a bullet journal to stay organized in an artsy fashion (find the link here). There’s an inspiring blogger to help with everything these days!

My favorite place to keep organizational tips for the home is here on a Pinterest board I titled “Organizing Small Space.” I hope to put more of these to use when spring cleaning in a few months. 

Here’s to a wonderful new year!