Tag Archives: DIY

Quick and Easy DIY Holiday Gifts

Its the holiday season (yay!) and I have been making and giving out some fun and easy little gifts for some special people that share kindness with our family on a regular basis.

These are SO easy and use things you likely already have in your house. People LOVE them. You may remember the coconut scrubs that we made for part of my son’s school project for Thanksgiving. You can see that fun little project and the recipe for that scrub here.

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A few years ago, my  mom told me that she made this great scrubs for the ladies in her garden club.

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This is SO easy because the Dawn Hand Renewal already smells delicious and is a pretty color. But I was in classic overdrive mode so I added some vanilla fragrance oil and red food coloring to really step up its festiveness. 
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What I love about this (besides EVERYTHING) is that is makes a great full body scrub and wash. The sugar and the Olay Hand Renewal are super moisturizing while also exfoliating. And since it creates a nice lather, it makes an incredible shaving product.

Try this for the smoothest shave ever, seriously!

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Silas is super into his stickers and love decorating these before he gives them to his friends. We are deep into Hanukkah celebrations in our house this week, hence the blue and silver. Next week we go red and gold!

Another option with things you already have in your pantry is a lip scrub and everyone needs a good lip scrub when the weather starts to get a little chilly and our lips dry out. Its just olive oil and sugar!DSC_0046Last week we had our family portraits taken by the fabulous Sarah Kane Photography. She is the talented lated who took my maternity photos and newborn session for Sloane. I just went back to look at her post from the newborn photos she took and I totally teared up!

The other day I realized that she is 9 months old and I haven’t had any pictures taken of her since her newborn session so I immediately reached out to Sarah and was thrilled when she said she had one spot left in her holiday mini sessions! Here is a little sneak peek we got and I gotta say, Im just in love with her work once again.

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These photos were taken the day after Jeff’s holiday party (with the infamous jumping suit) and to say I was not feeling the most merry and bright is an understatement! Thankfully I am pretty ok at this hair and makeup thing and covered up the scars of too little sleep and one too many glasses of wine. I guess I was feeling a little too hot, hot, hot in these fancy pants of mine.

We were so grateful to snag that spot that we made her some lip scrubs to say thank you before heading out. Love her and can’t wait to show off more of the sweet photos she took of our family!

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Sometimes with the lip scrubs, I will throw in some brown sugar. I like that the brown sugar softens texture a little bit and gives a yummy smell and taste, since you are probably going to get some in your mouth!

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I also made some for Silas’s preschool teachers and popped them into holiday coffee mugs with some candy canes and fun cards. The LOVED them! DSC_0036

These come in handy regularly, not just in the holiday season. They make a great little hostess gift, client gift or  something nice to treat yourself with! What would you use these for? Share your ideas in the comments!

If you know someone who would like this, share this post with a friend! If you are a bride looking for 2016 dates, they have been updated on this post here. Anyone who books before the end of 2015 will get $50 off your trial run.

We are leaving for Miami on the 29th to ring in the New Year so make sure to book by Monday December 28th to save!

XOXO

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Save $50 off your bridal trial run

Can you tell I am excited?!?!?

Im in the holiday spirit and want to share a special treat with my sweet 2016 Spring brides who book their wedding hair and makeup with me in December.

We just found out that we are headed to Miami for NYE (YAY!) so please contact me to book before December 27th to take advantage of this $50 savings.

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/alexandlaurawedding

You can see the available dates here on this post.

If your date is later in the year, stay tuned for summer and fall availability to be posted soon! Make sure to sign up for the weekly newsletter so you can get new blog posts delivered to your inbox every Tuesday. That way you won’t miss a thing.

Just put in your email over on the right and hit subscribe!

You will only hear from me one a week, on Tuesdays. I will be sending you whatever post is up for the week. Some weeks I may be feeling like an overachiever and post more than once but you will still only get one little email from me. Feel free to unsubscribe at any time!

You will be getting little jewels like this sweet deal to save $50, a chance to enter to win a giveaway of my new favorite shampoo and conditioner (there are still a few days left!)  or read about how I made these awesome (and easy!) sugar scrubs for gifts.  Its all here and I don’t want you to miss a thing, so subscribe and lets stay in touch!

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Im super excited about 2016. I’ve been spending the last few weeks of December making big plans for the upcoming year. Thanks for being a part of this with me. If there is anything that you want to see happen on the blog, on the YouTube channel or in our one on one client experience, let me know in the comments.

Happy Holidays

xoxo

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DIY Harvest Spice Body Scrub

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! I mean what is not to love? There is the eating, the lounging, and be grateful for all the love in your life. Its basically the perfect holiday!

When I found these envelopes in my son’s cubby at preschool, I decided this would be a super fun way to show some of our friends how much we love them. It was super easy to do and we hope it made our friends feel special. Teaching little ones to share kindness thru the community is the best.

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The hardest part was picking 3 friends! It didn’t take long to remember three special friends that made me feel really loved and supported recently. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw a few posts two weeks ago that I ran the Richmond half marathon with two of my girlfriends. This was an incredible experience and something I never would have done without the encouragement and support of these girls.

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Around 4th of July, Sarah had the brilliant idea that we should all do this and wouldn’t take no for an answer, even with my excuse of just having a baby in March. She convinced me that I could do it so I signed up and so did our friend Judy. What really helped was that Judy was the same pace as me (pretty slow) and had also never run more than 2 miles. When we were able to run 12 miles nonstop on our last training run, we were so shocked and proud of ourselves. I really cant believe I took on this challenge and completed it before Sloane turns 9 months!

FullSizeRender-7I don’t have a photo of her from the race but the 3rd recipient of the scrub was our neighborhood friend, Stephanie D., who is an experienced runner (she has run multiple marathons, including Boston!). Stephanie was supposed to run the race but had an injury that didn’t allow her to run. Instead of staying home and being sad, she bundled up and came out to support her dad and many friends who ran that day. She walked along the course and met up with us a different points to cheer us on. Around mile 10, I had gotten separated from Judy and was really struggling. Stephanie appeared out of nowhere, like an angel, and gave me the motivation (and some Starbursts) to join back up with Judy and finish strong. That really meant a lot to me.

In addition to girl power and reaching an awesome goal, I also love a good old sugar scrub. This time of year, as the temps drop, I start to notice my skin starting to get super dry. When we start showing less skin when summer is over and dressing in our fall outfits, I know I stop be as diligent with the moisturizer on my body. That combined with the dry air indoors can be a recipe for super scaly skin.

My mother is the queen of Pinterest, so when I needed some ideas for teacher gifts and holiday treats for friends, I had her send me some inspiration from her Pinterest collection. I decided to make a Coconut Oil and sugar scrub. Super easy!PicFrame

I got these 4oz Ball canning jars and the fragrance from Amazon. I started with 1 cup of coconut oil, I had some from Trader Joe’s in my cabinet already, and 1 cup of granulated sugar. Mix that together.

To get a bit more substance and to add some color and scent, I threw in 1/4 cup of brown sugar to the mix.

This makes an amazing scrub for your hands and body (not face!) that smells incredible and is super moisturizing.

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I added about a teaspoon or so of the Harvest Spice scent for fragrance.FullSizeRender-14Once it was all mixed together, we filled our jars. Then Silas added some stickers to decorate the jars. We LOVE stickers! Stickers on top of stickers on top of more stickers.

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The next morning we took our sugar scrub jars and added a nice thank you note to the envelopes and set out around the neighborhood to deliver our special treats. We had SO much fun.

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You are supposed to leave it as a surprise but Im pretty sure that our friends will know it was us (not just because of this post!) but because we are the only friends in the neighborhood who go to this preschool. I hope they were surprised to find their treat and our note letting them know we are grateful for their friendship.

Also in the envelope there was a card explaining that they had been hugged. FullSizeRender-13And a card to put on their front door to let people know that they had been visited with kindness. The last two years we have had something like this for Halloween where you got “Boo’d”. People would drop little Halloween treats at your door and you would put up a ghost on your door so people would know you had been hit, then you do it to three more people. 
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This guy was super excited to knock on doors. Thankfully, we were able to surprise 2 of the 3 friends, but only because they weren’t home. This guy isn’t really into the sneak attacks, he announces his every move.FullSizeRender-10

We left it on their doorstep and hoped they were as excited to receive it as we were to make it for them. Happy Thanksgiving friends! FullSizeRender-9I am going to make some of these scrubs for Christmas again this year and will report back on how we have updated the recipe! Here is another easy DIY Lip Scrub that you can make with 2 ingredients you already have in your pantry.

Which would you like to give or receive?

Enjoy! XOXO

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DIY At Home Spa Hacks

DIY Spa Hacks to Make Your Skin Beautiful and Pampered

Beauty is not just about the makeup and hairstyles you wear: it goes deeper to looking after your skin and your emotional wellbeing so that you glow from within! That’s why the spa is such a great place to relax and get pampered, but if you don’t have time to head to one you can create the stunning sanctuary at home.  

Rejuvenate Skin with a Scrub

Make your own exfoliating scrub to eliminate dead skin cells and nourish your skin. A coffee salt scrub is easy to make. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of sea salt and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. The salt works as an exfoliator, the caffeine plumps your skin and reduces the appearance of cellulite, while the oils boost your skin’s moisture. Mix it well before rubbing into your skin.

Soak in the Tub

Few things are more relaxing than soaking in a hot tub after a stressful day. Make yours feel straight out of a spa by adding fizzy bath salts, petals and essential oils to your water. It will feel and smell divine. Remember to warm up your fluffy towels before getting into the tub so when you step out you can wrap yourself in their comfort. Heavenly!

Indulge in a Body Balm

After your relaxing bath, don’t forget to moisturize! Make your own luxurious honey-coconut balm that’s great for dry skin while being good for your health because it doesn’t have any chemicals. You’ll need 4 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of beeswax. Mix the beeswax and coconut oil in a heatproof glass jar. Place it into a saucepan filled with some water on the stove. Warm it up well so that the wax melts. Once this happens, remove it from the heat and add in the honey. Stir it for a few minutes, then leave it for 10 minutes so it thickens. Stir it well again for a few minutes. Pour it into a glass jar to store it until you need it.

With easy spa-quality pampering tips, you’ll create luxurious DIY treats for beautiful skin and a relaxed mind.

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Time to create digital products!

Like I mentioned in my last post, the one celebrating the relaunch of my website, that was one of my three goals I have been working to get crossed off in 2014.  Yay! I think it came together quite nicely, if I do say so myself. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and helped me proofread and get everything perfect. Congrats to Kelley and Nell, the winners of the 2 Smashbox kits that I gave away on that post.

A few people have asked what is next? What are the other 2 big things I am trying to accomplish this year? Well, both involve April Bowles-Olin with Blacksburg Belle, a fellow creative lady entrepreneur also in VA.

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One of the things I want to do is more personal than professional, I am looking to launch a lifestyle blog that is more of a creative outlet and something to do in all my non-existent spare time. Just as soon as I can sit down for 5 seconds, I am going to take April’s Creative Live Course on how to Build a Successful Creative Blog.  This is an older class of hers that I have already purchased and will be using all the info she dishes to launch the new venture. Im thinking that she is probably going to have plenty of magic sparkles of genius for me to incorporate there and also jazz up this old blog and probably Money Making Makeup Artist too!

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Speaking of Money Making Makeup Artist, that is what my next project is about! That was born just before I got pregnant with Silas and was thinking of ways to work a little differently than I had been doing for years before. I am constantly getting messages on social media and emails from girls and guys who want to start their own successful businesses as stylists/ makeup artists and want to know how I have done it. I LOVE to talk business and entrepreneurship strategies! I love it as much or more some days, than doing hair and makeup, if you can believe that!

Without much a plan, I decided I was going to create a program to help people do exactly what I have done. I launched said program and it was pretty successful, but much more work than the passive stream of income I was hoping to generate. Thru some trial and error, which is the way I approach most things, I learned that what I needed first was to create some digital products that people could buy and do on their own before committing to 6 weeks of Emily bootcamp. The program was great but it was not inexpensive and required a big time commitment from both myself and the participants. It was a big chunk to take on. Which brings us to…

Why I want to learn how to create and sell digital products?

1. People want and need this information!  People are adding onto the email list MMMUA and emailing me everyday for help and I need to create a way to efficiently give them this information in a way that is easy for them to access.

2. I have already created the content! I think the program that I had created before was awesome but too much to bite off for someone just getting started. So I have reformulated it into snack sized portions so people can digest little by little and get the information as needed. If they have the digital info this way, they can do it in their own time and not need me to walk them thru it.

3. Selling digital products will help me help more people without them making a huge investment! Don’t get me wrong, I think you need to invest in yourself if you want to grow into that dream you’ve got. But I want to get this information to as many people as possible and having a big ticket 6-8 week course wasn’t getting the info into as many hands as I had hoped.

Being a freelance stylist and makeup artist is an awesome job and I am so grateful for all the cool experiences that I have had because of it. BUT I am not as young and spry as I was a decade ago and I find myself wanting to be home a bit more, especially as our family grows.

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You may have caught this mentioned in the about me page of the website or on the contact page, but this guy is going to be a big brother early next year! Which means that now more than ever, I want/need to get this created so I can have this income stream to help me stay at home a bit longer with Baby #2.

Here I am, sharing some things I’ve been keeping to myself. This bump, I’ve been hiding under voluminous clothes for the last 4 months. And my last 2 goals, which if I don’t share publicly, I fear will fall by the wayside in my endless list of chores and other work. These things are important, so thank you for letting me share them with you. And for being excited with me, even on days when it feels like too much.

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UPDATE: We found out the gender this weekend!!!! See that news here!

A few months ago, I applied to be in the live studio audience for April’s Creative Live Course, Create Digital Products While you Sleep.  I was shocked that I was accepted to be a part of such a cool experience! I was even more disappointed when I had to decline the opportunity due to some previous bookings and family commitments that don’t make travel to San Francisco that week possible.

Since I can’t be there in person to take this course (I am seriously so sad b/c it was kind of my birthday wish to be able to go), I am going to be camped out in front of my computer to do it as live as possible from my home office. That is the next best thing, right?

Please feel free to comment and share your thought on the website or the 2 goals that I just shared. I would love to hear words of advice or encouragement!

If you are a creative entrepreneur, blogger or just like a fun blog to follow, check out April at Blacksburg Belle. She is a delight! Thanks so much, April, for sharing your knowledge and hosting this fun blog tour (my first!) so we can all get to know each other.  Check out the list of other creatives who are participating in the tour here. 

Are you ready to make your creative work more lucrative, stable, and sustainable in the long-term? Join April Bowles-Olin for an introduction to digital products and how they can enhance your creative business. This course will show you how to produce and position viable products for generating multiple revenue streams and passive income. RSVP right here to watch it live and get access to the workbook for FREE. This post is part of the Create Digital Products blog tour.April_Bowles-Olin_Google-_1000x566-620x350