An Uncomplicated Life Blog


Monday, January 11, 2021

DIY Valentine's Day Wreath

This DIY is easy to do and the materials are found at any craft store

Hey quarantiners, are you bored yet? Yeah, me too. We're not the quarantined here in Texas (praise be) but we still can't get out and about like we used to. Even with four kids, to save my sanity, I decided to start to invest some of my home time in to my major hobbies, which include wreath making (see this post and see this photo - a DIY on how to make a ribbon wreath and some photos of other wreaths I've made over the years) I decorated for Valentine's Day last year and intend to again. There's something satisfying about how girly and pink and red everything is when you're a mom of all boys that makes me absolutely love Valentine's Day decos - gimme hearts, pink, purple, red and white. It's surprisingly easy to make your own wreath, and the thing I love most about it is that you can customize it to fit your decor in your home. Here's how I made my own Valentine's Day inspired wreath.

Before I jump in, a shoutout is needed... I actually made this wreath for my boyfriend's apartment. He not only patiently waited for me to pick out all the supplies at Michael's Craft Store, he ran down to the maintenance guy to borrow a pair of wire cutters because the scissors he had wasn't cutting through some of the thicker wires of the silk roses I bought. What a guy! When I don't have a gag order on my personal life because of my active divorce hearing, I'll tell you everything this wonderful human has done for me, but until then, I'll simply mention that he loves holiday decorating as much as me and patiently assists my hobbies as I sit on his floor and furiously craft away. Don't worry, football is usually on for him. Tradeoffs, no?

Ok, back to wreath making. For any wreath, you need a base. I love to use natural material (think willow, grapevine, rattan, etc) because it's easy to weave your desired contents into the stick strands. Wire frames are great if you're using a decorative material that can be tied around the wire to secure it, but when you're working with garland, faux flowers or other materials that need to be wrapped, weaved or secured another way, natural wreath frames are the way to go. 

What you'll need:
Cut the roses from the long stems, leaving anywhere from an inch to three inches of stem attached to the flower so that you can weave it into your wreath frame. I also kept some of the green leaves, both on the flowers and then independent leaves to weave into the wreath frame as well. 

I chose white as the primary color for the wreath, so I started with a group of white flowers. Use your fingers to separate some of the wreath frame and insert the stem of the flower. Pull the flower towards the wreath frame until it's tight, then secure the stem on the back of the wreath by twisting it around other sections of the wreath frame. I alternated both colors and size of the blooms, occasionally using leaves instead of flowers, so the wreath looks balanced and "natural." Keep repeating the process until the wreath frame is hidden by flowers. The more flowers you add to your wreath, the easier it will be to secure the buds to the frame because the natural fibers of the frame will start to get full, and the more full it is, the tighter the flower stems will sit in the wreath, without having to secure them by twisting the stem wire in the back.

Like it? Pin it!

Keep going until your wreath is nice and full. Sometimes you'll need to go back and take a flower or two out because it doesn't fit the pattern you start out with, or you end up with too much of one color or one kid of flower towards the end, but it's fairly easy to redistribute the flowers if that's the case. Don't worry about it being perfect off the bat, you can always change things around as you get going! What I love about DIY wreaths is that they're flexible, easy to make and customizable to what you want in them, the colors in your home, and your personal d├ęcor choices. Enjoy making this DIY Valentines Day Wreath - I know my kids love that we decorate for Valentine's, after all the sparkle of Christmas is packed away.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Winter Skincare Routine

Dry, cold weather calls for a change in your skincare routine. Here are my favorite products and how I use them in cold weather months to care for my skin

Winter is back. Again. My least favorite season. Growing up in Minneapolis, all I saw was snow for some 26 odd years and froze for at least half the year. I maxed out on winter from my tenure there. Anyway, low and behold, here we are again in winter and while I don't live in as miserable a climate now, there still are cold days down here in Dallas. And with colder days comes winter skin, no matter where you live. Cold, dry air unsurprisingly dries out your skin too. These are some of my favorite products for combating winter skin issues. A few slight product changes can really improve your winter skincare routine.

This is hands down my favorite product I own! It's so rich and lightly scented with lavender and primrose essential oils. When you've got dry winter skin - especially elbows, knees and knuckles made raw from so many hand washes/sanitizer applications. This product is extremely rich and nourishing. It's small enough to fit in your bag/purse and since it's in a stick, it's easy to apply whether you're getting out of the shower or applying it on your hands while stopped at a red light. Seriously, your winter skin needs this product! I'm not much of a "product pusher" in terms of what I blog about and endorse, so when I say something like this, I mean it. Get yourself this lotion bar. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen me talk about this lotion bar a few times, and it's because it's THAT good. 

Second favorite product! This one is formulated just a tad differently for your face. It's rich, but it absorbs into the skin quickly. I put it on first thing out of the shower (or after I wash my face at night) and let it sit for about 5 minutes before I rub it into my skin. Then I apply my makeup (I don't wear much - check out this two minute makeup routine I have that simplifies your makeup and shortens your morning routine) My makeup doesn't go into my creases and I've gotten multiple comments from strangers that my skin was "glowing" after I started using this lotion bar.

This is a secret not many people know... But dry brushing not only helps you exfoliate your skin (extra important in the winter when the dry air causes dead, dry skin) but it's a circulation boost. That circulation and stimulation to your skin has been proven to reduce cellulite! Dry brushing your tummy, thighs and bottom is not only good for your skin, but it's a cost effective way to help reduce visible lumps and bumps to smooth out your skin. It's good for your body and far cheaper than liposuction (and um, far less invasive). I do it in a circular motion while my shower heats up, then I jump in and wash off any dead skin cells I brushed off. It's easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

Winter skin is notorious for being dull, and this serum helps brighten it up. The lotion bar helps to moisturize your skin and give you a glowing complexion, but this takes it to the next level by firming the skin, brightening it up, and leveling out the tone without clogging your pores or feeling greasy. I know I've broken out from a ton of serums I've tried, or they've just been too greasy to be able to apply makeup over. Not this one! Plus, it smells divine,

Winter skincare takes a bit  more time and planning, but you can easily have great skin year round if you put in a bit more effort and get the right products. Dryness is the major issue to combat, and if you're in a cold winter climate, you've got to stay on top of it to keep your skin healthy and keep yourself comfortable. Basic lotions don't work. Most of them contain water as the first ingredient, and that's only drying out your skin more. These winter skincare routine products don't contain ANY water - they're made from organic beeswax and are scented with botanicals and essential oils. They've made a world of difference for my skin. Try them and see for yourself!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Holiday Essential Oil Diffuser Blends

What to put in your essential oil diffuser to make your home smell like the holidays without the risk (chemical or fire) of candles

I see it every year: moms in various mom groups online asking when Bath & Body Works is having a sale on their seasonal candles, which then sparks a debate about what smells are best and what candles are toxic and and and... Here's the thing. I LOVE my house smelling good. But have you ever walked by a Yankee Candle Company store in a mall and gotten an instant headache or felt a wave of nausea? Even when I walk by Bath & Body Works or the perfume section of of a department store and boom. Instant sore throat and headache. The best way I've found to have my home scented without the headache of candles (or the fire hazard with four young kids!) is essential oil blends in my diffuser. A common question I see in oily groups is that people don't know what oils to blend together for great holiday scents, so I'm rounding up my favorites for you to mix your own essential oil blends that will carry you through the holiday season.

Orange slices and chestnuts with three different essential oil diffuser blend recipes listed in font over the image

First off, a quick note on essential oil brands and quality. Revive is my favorite brand because they have pure oils (quality reports are published to their site - Young Living and Doterra don't do that!) that don't break the bank. How? Because there's no multi-level-marketing club to join, which essentially means you're not paying your "upline's" bonuses or their trips to Hawaii that you'll never get to go on. You simply buy the oil that you want, when you want it, and it ships free. The quality is the same as Young Living or doTERRA, but since you avoid the MLM drama, you don't have to pay their prices. If you're looking for high quality, affordable oils, check them out. You can use CODE PAIGE10 for 10% off your order, too. Plant Therapy, Eden's Garden and Living Libations are also great brands that won't rob you blind.

These diffuser blends are for a 500ml diffuser tank. So, if your diffuser is smaller, you might want to consider using less and if it's bigger then use more. Most of my tanks are 300-500ml, which means I basically use these drop amounts no matter what diffuser I'm filling. If you have a 200ml tank or less, however, I'd reduce the amount of oils used and if yours is much larger than 500ml, I'd definitely add more so that you smell it throughout the duration of your diffusing.

Favorite fall through Thanksgiving scents:
Sweet fall spice
- 10 drops sweet orange
- 7 drops cinnamon 
- 5 drops clove

Spicy fall spice
- 10 drops wild orange
- 10 drops clove

Pumpkin Pie
- 10 drops pumpkin pie
- 3 drops nutmeg
- 3 drops ginger

Candy canes and Christmas lights in the background with a text overlay of several holiday essential oil diffuser recipes

Favorite Christmas scents:
The Ultimate Christmas
- 7 drops Christmas tree
- 5 drops Holiday haven
- 5 drops Christmas morning

Homemade Christmas
- 8 drops balsam fir
- 4 drops cinnamon
- 4 drops clove
- 4 drops sweet orange
- 4 drops Protect

Christmas Cookie
- 7 drops vanilla
- 2 drops cinnamon
- 2 drops nutmeg
- 2 drops ginger

Favorite blends for the New Year:
Party Pants
- 10 drops Good Fortune
- 3 drops neroli

Fresh Beginnings 
- 5 drops Inspire
- 3 drops lemon
- 3 drops Royal

The smells of the holidays are one of the best parts, don't you think? They shape the memories of our children and help create a sense of nostalgia in adults. Candles are... fine, but these diffuser blends use real plant based materials to scent your home, which means you won't have headaches or burn toxic fumes in an enclosed space. Not to mention, diffusers are far safer if you have young kids or pets that want to touch the flame! Make your home smell amazing this year with these holiday essential oil diffuser blends, and ditch those dangerous candles.