all natural oatmeal face mask diy

Summer can be really hard on the skin, and I started to really notice its toll on my skin a few weeks ago. In the past I would have grabbed a store bought face mask to battle the breakout, but this time I decided to take matters into my own hands. I found a simple face mask recipe meant for all skin types, using ingredients I already had in my pantry, and the results blew me (and Ryan) away.

With only three required ingredients, this has to be one of the easiest homemade face masks out there! Each part of the recipe plays an important role in the clarification of your skin as I'll describe below.

+ 1 tablespoon oatmeal
+ 1 tablespoon plain yogurt (I used greek yogurt)
+ 3-4 drops of honey
Oatmeal is a natural exfoliant, and soothing agent for your skin. It helps to reduce puffiness, close pores, and scrubs away dead skin cells. Milk or yogurt in this case contains many of the vitamins our skin craves, like vitamins A, D, and E. Honey contains chemicals that actually help lighten your skin while also moisturizing it, reducing redness and bringing out your natural, smooth glow. Combined these three ingredients are like super food for your skin to absorb. Pretty cool huh?

Now that you know what all the ingredients do for your skin, here's how to make the mask at home:
+ Cleanse your face using your daily face wash and warm water.
+ Grind the oatmeal into a powder. I used a mortar and pestal, but you can also use a rolling pin or meat tenderizer for this job.
+ Mix the powdered oatmeal and yogurt together in a bowl.
+ Heat up the honey for a few seconds, until runny. Combine with the yogurt and oatmeal mixture until dissolved completely.
+ Smooth the mixture onto your skin, letting set for ten minutes.
+ After ten minutes wash your face with warm water, using a washcloth to help remove the dried parts.
+ Moisturize your face like usual

After using this mask my face felt soft and smooth, just what I needed. I'm looking forward to researching more homemade, all natural, face masks in the future. Have any of you made a face mask you'd recommend I try? big kiss, bekuh

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sun printing 101

I've long been fascinated with sun printing techniques, but had never taken the time to learn about the process first hand. It's easy to understand the appeal if you've ever seen one of these prints, the persian blue background with white impression leaves a lasting visual memory. On Sunday I finally fulfilled my desire to learn about cyanotype printing in a class hosted at Terrain.

Sun prints are created using special, light-sensitive chemicals that are then painted or soaked into paper. The paper has to be exposed under the sun in order to develop an image, and submerged in water to stop the development process. This special paper is called cyanotype paper. We used a kit to create our sun prints at Terrain, found here

Our fabulous teacher, Morgan, gave us the following instructions to create the sun prints you see above:

We were pretty pleased with the results of our first sun prints, and plan to frame a few of them for our bathroom. I'd like to try this same process on silk or cotton to see how the prints develop differently, and to test out new techniques. Have any of you ever sun printed before? I'd love to here suggestions, tips, and advice for taking compositions to the next level. big kiss, bekuh

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leave room for greatness

I've been majorly slacking in the creation part of being a creative type. My time has been divided by a million things like work projects, blogging projects, and a newly found motivation in the gym. It hasn't stopped me from thinking about art, or dreaming up compositions I'd like to see come to fruition. One of the ideas I've been playing with is combining color and black&white imagery to create an interweaving depth of shadows. I managed to start on a few of these collages, but feel like I've just scratched the surface of possibilities with this. 
The quote doesn't really have anything to do with my artistic endeavors, but serves more as a reminder to keep going. Let's not give up, but instead accept our mistakes and leave room for greatness. big kiss, bekuh

One Small Thing: Natural Air Freshener

As a dog owner, I'm a big fan of air fresheners. Puppies have a special smell all their own, and I kind of hate it most of the time. As such I've been a big supporter of spray air fresheners for some time. With my goal of being more sustainable, and natural I felt like it was time to find some alternatives to the chemical ridden stuff. Enter Pinterest, the endless sea of knowledge. I found this post on creating a simple, natural air freshener, and decided why not try it? So today I have more own version to share, and my review of this tutorial.

+ The ingredients are simple enough, you need: a small glass jar, essential oils (I used lavender & eucalyptus/lemon), baking soda, cheese cloth, and ribbon.
+ First, measure out about 1/4 cup baking soda and pour into glass jar.
+ Next, pour 8-12 drops of essential oils on the baking soda.
+ Using a fork combine the mixture. It will clump, so try to break those pieces up as much as possible.
+ Cut a piece of cheese cloth big enough to cover glass jar, and tie ribbon around it.
+ Every couple of days remove the lid and break up the baking soda, so it can capture more smells.

I've been using mine for two weeks now, and the essential oils are still smelling great! I would like to note that this hasn't really "scented" the room, but more deodorized it. I'll take deodorized over stinky though. It's just one small thing I can do to reduce my harsh chemical use. big kiss, bekuh

Gold Leaf Bar Glasses

Now that I'm an "adult" I think a lot more about our home as a whole. No longer am I buying lots of random knick-knacks, or the cheapest decor I can find that looks cute. Nowadays I'm on the look out for things to build our life around. The purchases that will stay with us through all our adventures. That being said, we're still newly weds and broke as a joke. I've always loved the the gold dipped look for glasses and goblets, but it wasn't until recently that I realized I may be able to create something similar for myself. While treasure hunting a couple weeks back Ryan and I stumbled upon a couple of mismatched snifter glasses and I decided to try my hand at gold leafing their bases for a similar dipped look. Here's what I did.
For supplies you'll need: Spray adhesive, masking tape, newspaper, clear varnish spray, paint brush, gold leaf, and goblets/glasses/snifters whatever you desire to gold leaf.
Step 1: Grab your glasses and wrap them in newspaper. Make sure to tape off the ends, and double check no glasses is showing through. You don't want any spray adhesive getting on the glass bowl.
Note: I scraped off the gold paint from the second glass before covering in gold leaf, it made the glasses look more cohesive.

Step 2: Pull out a couple of sheets of gold leaf, you'll need to work fast so it's best to have it ready to use immediately after spraying.

Step 3: Spray the base of your glass (outside somewhere) with the adhesive, and quickly bring it back to your workspace.
Step 4: Pull off a small strip of gold leaf, and lay it on to the base of your glass. Using the paintbrush gently brush it down and smooth the edges.

Step 5: Continue placing strips of gold leaf around the base, smoothing and brushing until the entire base is covered.

Step 6: Let everything sit for a minute or two. Now, with the tip of your finger gently rub the gold leaf, knocking off any rough edges and giving it the slight appearance of wear.

Step 7: Spray with the clear varnish and let it set for at least an hour. It's important to note that you'll need to be very gentle when washing the glasses in the future, and they should not under any circumstances be put in a dishwasher.
Voila, our .75 cent glasses now look like a million bucks, and I'm a happy wife. I love that I can continue gold leafing the additional snifters we find in the future to make a full set. This would make a great gift for friends or family getting married. The ideas are really endless. Happy crafting. big kiss, bekuh

One Year Later: Our Wedding in Pictures II

We're back with day two of our wedding photos. It's so much fun looking back on all of this and thinking how much has happened in our lives since that day. I'm filled with happiness today because of it. The ceremony and reception are here for your enjoyment.

All photos at our wedding were taken by Sam Dean. A couple of fun facts about the evening-
+ My dress was from Kate Moss' last line for Topshop
+ We had three live bands play at our reception, and our friends The Old ONe Two learned Bob Dylan's "She Belongs to Me," to play at the reception. It's the same song I walked down the aisle to.
+ My family and I made all the floral arrangements for the wedding, and they were my favorite decorations of all
+The tie around my bouquet was a childhood memento of my Mamaw's, that was passed down to me after she died.
+ October is usually pretty warm in VA (like 70F) but the temperatures dipped to below 45F on our wedding day. It didn't get that cold again until February.
+ My Uncle made the arbor we used in the ceremony.
+ Katie read a quote from Jack Kerouac during the ceremony. This one.
You can see more pictures of our wedding here.

One Year Later: Our Wedding in Pictures

First off THANK YOU SO MUCH for your sweet comments and congratulations on our anniversary. It made our day that much sweeter. Second, for the next two days, in honor of our 1 year anniversary, I'll be posting pics from our wedding day. I won't be using a lot of words in these posts, just letting the pictures tell the tale for us. I can't believe after all the trouble and care we went into selecting a photographer I've never shared any of the professional pictures here on the blog! We used a local photographer named Sam Dean and his vintage, romantic style fit in perfectly with our Barn fete.
All photos taken by Sam Dean
You can see past posts on our wedding and all the little details involved here. Come back tomorrow for pictures of the ceremony and reception. big kiss, bekuh