All Natural Organic Lip Balm Recipe

All Natural Organic Lip Balm Recipe {Home Sweet Homebodies}

I looooove making my own personal care products because I know exactly what is in them, and I could pretty much eat anything I put in them (not that I’d want to… beeswax, Mmmm!). I have been making my own products for several years now, including homemade deodorant (yah, I know, sounds crazy, but it works and I have peace of mind), facial moisturizer, various creams and lotions, shower gel, bath products like foot scrub and detox bath salts, and lip balm. Just to name a few. :) Some of the recipes are still in the developing stages, others I adapted from recipes I found on other blogs, and some are perfected and ready to be enjoyed!  I love my lip balm recipe! It has gone through so many variations, but I am really happy with the final result! It’s super smooth, but not too soft. (Note- you can reduce the amount of beeswax if you like a softer lip balm.) I usually add some nourishing oils like Rosehip Seed Oil and Carrot Seed Oil, and then whatever essential oils sound good at the time.

*Only the Good Stuff*
All Natural, Organic Lip Balm Recipe
{Home Sweet Homebodies}

2 1/2 tsp. organic beeswax
1 tsp. organic coconut oil- I get mine from Costco
1 1/2 tsp. organic cocoa butter (I have used lanolin, but I like this better)- I get this from Mountain Rose Herbs
1 1/2 tsp. organic shea butter- also from Mountain Rose Herbs
1 tsp. organic vitamin E oil
Optionally, add ~20 drops of your choice of essential oils (some oils require less or more, depending on how strong they are)

In a double boiler, add the first 5 ingredients (I use a “homemade double boiler”- a glass pyrex liquid measuring cup in a saucepan with an inch or so of boiling water in it.) and stir until they are melted. Turn off the heat and add in your essential oils, stirring to combine. Carefully pour the hot oils (careful, it will burn if you get it on your skin at this point) into your lip balm tubes or tins.  It really helps to have a disposable plastic dropper or pipette to do this. The oils will harden very quickly, and the middles will sink as it cools, so you can add a few more drops to even the top out. Then, you can put them in the refrigerator to set them more quickly, or just let them continue to harden for a couple hours. This recipe fills about 8 lip balm tubes. This lip balm is so nourishing, and the oils are naturally antimicrobial, so it will last a long time. You’re gonna love it!

Organic Lip Balm Recipe {Home Sweet Homebodies}

P.S. Our next giveaway is going to be live on Tuesday morning, and one of these beautiful balms may be included, among other fabulous things! >hint, hint< Be sure to stop by!

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DIY Fall Porch & Door Decor

DIY Fall Porch & Door Decor

Fall is probably my favorite time of year. It’s just starting to get a little cooler, the rain starts coming down and you can start wearing your boots and sweaters. The air smells a little sweeter, the trees look like they are on fire and everything is pumpkin flavored! I love it.

This year, for the first time ever, we decided to decorate for fall, and it got me REALLY excited. I’m not a big halloween person though, so the ghosts and witches and bats and creepy crawlies will never have a place in my home. That being said, I do love pumpkins! So we decided to do a pumpkin autumn theme. We got some pretty glass pumpkins and amazing fall candles, but I also wanted to dress up our entrance to our basement apartment without spending a lot of money, especially since it would be sitting outside. The great thing about autumn decor is that it lasts from September, all the way past Thanksgiving. Score!

So for my autumn porch display, I got a few pumpkins of various sizes from Trader Joe’s (love that place!), and then I had some loose autumn leaves that I got from the Dollar Store (50 for $1!) which I glued together to add some dimension, and then used a piece of twine to tie the leaves to the stems of larger pumpkins.

I also made this adorable Welcome sign to hang from the largest pumpkin. I took a small piece of wood and wrapped a piece of burlap ribbon around it, added a few autumn leaves, and covered some foam dollar store letters in glitter for the “W-E-L-C-O-M-E”. I think it turned out super cute!

I also wanted to put a new wreath on my front door, and I had a foam wreath form that left over from trying to make a christmas ornament wreath with last Christmas, (it was a tragic #pinterestfail), but I found this tutorial from Popsugar Smart Living on how to make a cute fall wreath with a paper grocery bag, so I cut up a Trader Joe’s bag and used some more Dollar Store leaves to make this little number (not a great photo, sorry!).

Fall Paper Bag Wreath

Now my front entry is very festive, and all for very cheap! I hope this post inspires you to make something pretty for your porch this fall!

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Halloween Costume Archives

I was looking through old Halloween pictures from the past 11 years, and had a few good laughs about some of the costumes we have come up with over the years.

I’m going to share some of my favorites from the Halloween costume archives (hopefully my sisters will do the same for their families… hint hint! because they have some awesome couple costumes.).

Pillowcase Puppy Costume {Home Sweet Homebodies}

I loved this costume so much! It was the first costume I sewed for one of my children. I used a thrifted pillowcase, and an old corduroy shirt for the majority of the costume. My son was about 18 months old. The pillowcase was the perfect size for a little onesie romper with leg closures (I think I used velcro dots) and a hood. Since that used up all my pillowcase fabric, I cut up an old corduroy shirt that had belonged to Marissa’s husband, and made spots, floppy ears, a stuffed tail, and a little candy bag. I made a harness “leash” out of grosgrain ribbon and velcro. The dog tag was made from a broken ID badge holder (It says “Woof” on it). My husband and I just wore athletic clothes and said we were taking our “puppy” for a jog.

Curious George and The Man in the Yellow Hat Costumes

These costumes were created about 4 years ago. I had picked up the Jack-o-lantern costume for the baby from Walmart the previous year after Halloween for $5.  I made a “whipped cream swirl” out of batting, sewed it to a white beanie, and sat him in a pie tin and voila- pumpkin pie. I thought it was clever because we call my son “Lukey Pie” and he was pumpkin pie…  I was pretty much out of energy to make a costume for myself, so I donned an apron, grabbed a wooden spoon (which I forgot for the picture) and said I was the baker who made the pumpkin pie.  Not at all elaborate, but it worked nicely.

I put the monkey costume together by first drawing out a pattern on paper bags. I used a too-small pantsuit as my guide. The brown minky fabric was deeply discounted, and it was very stretchy and forgiving, so that made the pattern drafting much easier.  My husband’s costume was made by dyeing some old white clothes with Rit dye in the washer, and using fabric markers for the spots on the tie. Read more about how I made these costumes here.

I don’t always make my family’s costumes. :) One year we participated in a costume swap and borrowed the cowboy on a horse costume and lion costume.

Cowboy and Lion Costumes

Another year we straight up bought superhero costumes from Costco (I was pregnant and it was such a relief not to have to sew anything).

Avengers Halloween Costumes

One of my favorite years was when we used a combination of things we had already (the hats, wig, and most of the clothes), a few things we purchased (badges, handcuffs and the mustache), and some things we made (the masks and vests). If you can’t tell, my husband and I are the bandits with our wrists cuffed together, and my sons are the sheriffs, with their “tough guy faces” on.

Sheriffs and Bandits Halloween Costume

And then there’s this hilarious gem, which I’m almost too embarrassed to share. But it is so funny to me. It was our first Halloween after we were married. I was little Red Riding Hood and My hubby was the wolf that ate grandma. I tried to persuade my husband that it would be awesome for him to wear a “granny flannel nightie” from the thrift store. He wasn’t convinced, but I’m sure he did it anyway just to make me happy. 😉

Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf Costume

Thanks for humoring my trip down memory lane!

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DIY $30 Office Gallery Wall

DIY Office Gallery Wall

So I started a new job about a year and a half ago, and was lucky enough to be moved into a window office a few months into the job (woohoo!), but even with the window, the walls were pretty lonely and bare. I went to Hobby Lobby at least 4 times to find decorations to make my office feel a little less sad, but being the frugal and crafty girl that I am, I couldn’t ever actually bring myself buy anything because I knew I could make something more personal for WAY cheaper. This went on for several months, UNTIL I finally bit the bullet and spent a good weekend crafting up a storm. What resulted was a magnificent (if I do say so myself) gallery wall that I get to stare at every day! The best part? It cost less than $30 to make each piece! (Thank you dollar store!)

Gallery Wall view

Isn’t that a cute view?

The first piece I had accumulated was the clock. It was the only thing I actually bought as-is, because I had found it for cheap when I first started the job. For a while it was the only thing on the wall though and it was a little depressing to stare at. So I used it for some inspiration and created a few pieces that could compliment it.

I felt like I needed a circle piece to balance the circle clock, so I created this little sunburst mirror (check out the tutorial here) with a dollar store mirror, clothes pins, some scrap fabric and pretty craft paper.

DIY $2 Sunburst Mirror

To go with the sunburst, I created this glitter deer silhouette with a small 5×7 flat canvas. I traced the silhouette with a pencil right onto the canvas, filled it in with glue, dumped on the gold glitter and let it dry. Super easy! I glued a piece of twine on the back for easy hanging also, since it didn’t have a frame.

Glitter Reindeer

My favorite piece on the whole wall is the center canvas. I wanted to create something that would spark creativity, but not be cheesy. I spent weeks looking up quotes about creativity, but rather than inspiring me, I felt like they were all pretty cheesy. Finally I saw a simple sign that read, “Creativity Takes Courage.” I love that quote! It really spoke to me because for me, sometimes creating something new feels very vulnerable. It’s easy to wonder and worry that other people are going to think or say it’s ugly or strange, and so I feel self-conscious about it. This project took many layers to complete. I started by painting random colors all over the canvas, and it didn’t look good. So I covered it with masking tape zig zags and spray painted it black. I pulled off the tape and still wasn’t pleased, so I added some gold texture. At this point, I was pretty sure I had ruined it, but I persevered. I had some foam letter stickers in random colors from the dollar store and I stuck them on the canvas to make the quote, figuring it would give me some inspiration, and then I decided to lightly brush white paint over the whole thing, including the foam letters. I was going to take them off, but I actually ended up liking the texture of the letters poking out, and the random colors of the letters that didn’t follow any sort of pattern. Finally, it was complete. Was it perfect? NO. But did I love it? YES.

I’ve always been a creative girl, but I have always also compared myself to great artists and lamented my perceived lack of skill. (Honestly, after I made all this stuff, it took me weeks to actually bring it into my office, and it has taken me 5 months to post it on the blog). The funny thing, is that in this job, I am responsible for all of the creative elements of marketing my company. I design the print and web advertisements and all of the magazines and brochures for the different programs. In my job, I have no fear of what others think of my creative work, in fact I thrive on the critiques of my colleagues and supervisors. I have recently wondered why I am confident in my creativity for work, and not my creativity for play. I’m still baffled, and it’s still hard to share my creations, but I’m working on it. Every day I look at this quote on my wall and it reminds me that I can do anything!  Creativity takes courage. And I can be courageous!

Creativity takes courage

After my creativity epiphany, I figured that it would be nice to have something that reminded me of home on the wall, so I made this Oregon state outline on an 8×10 canvas by spray painting it, tracing an outline of Oregon with glue and adding pink glitter. I did a few layers to make it a really thick line, and it makes me happy whenever I see it :)

Glitter Oregon

The next thing I made was a flower letter “C” by cutting out the letter on a cereal box, and then hot gluing dollar store flowers all over it. I hung it with a piece of twine too.

Flower "C"

Finally, I made this cute hanging planter out of recycled materials! I totally forgot to take pictures of the process, but it was super simple. I had a bunch of containers that some mushrooms came in, so I cut the end off of one side and stuck a piece of floral foam inside it to hold some dollar store flowers. I also rolled up a bunch of magazine pages and glued them all around the base and added the twine to hang it, and viola!

Recycled hanging basket


I had so much fun making all the things, and it was really good for me to create something lovely that I could look at every day to remind myself to 1) be creative and 2) have courage. I really love my little gallery wall, and my office feels a little less like a dreary prison cell now. (Okay, that was dramatic, but you get the picture!)

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$2 DIY Sunburst Mirror

This year, sunburst mirrors have become really popular, and I really wanted one to hang on my office wall but as a new professional, I couldn’t bring myself to buy one when I knew I could make it for $2. So I decided to hit up the local Dollar Store to find the supplies I needed, and I dreamed up my very own sunburst mirror, that I think is pretty cute!

DIY $2 Sunburst mirror

Materials needed:

Scissors, Liquid glue, Craft paper, Clothes Pins

Not pictured: Dollar store circle mirror (found by the candles/crafts), scrap fabric, cardboard.

I started by cutting a circle out of cardboard that was about an inch larger all around than my mirror. (I actually traced a salad plate to get the circle, and cut it out with large scissors. It wasn’t perfect, but that wasn’t important!)

Cardboard circle

After cutting the circle, I covered it with the fabric and hot glued it to secure it tightly so it didn’t crinkle awkwardly.

IMG_2568[1]    IMG_2569[1]

Then I cut strips of pretty paper the width of the clothes pins and glued them to the pins.


Once the pins were dry, I arranged them around the cardboard circle.


I also hot glued a piece of twine to the back to make an easy hook to hang it with.


And then placed the mirror in the center with hot glue to keep it in place. I think it turned out cute! And it looks really nice on my wall :)


Stay posted to see my whole DIY Office Gallery Wall!

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Make Your Own Plate Hanger

plate hanger4

When my husband and I were living in Idaho, we lived in an apartment that had space above the cabinets. Of course I had to use this space for decoration. Decorative plates seemed to be pretty popular in kitchens, so I painted some of our old plastic plates and displayed them above our cabinets.

plate hanger

Once we moved into our current home, the cabinets did not have room for any type of decor {or storage for that matter}. You can imagine my disappointment. Where was I suppose to put my cute decorative plates?! And then it hit me… The wall!! Of course. So many other people put their plates on the wall in the kitchen. But how? Unlike picture frames or other wall decor that already have wall hanging hardware attached on the back, how on earth was I suppose to hang a plate?!

plate hanger1

Here is an easy and simple solution to such a dilemma.

Paper clips and hot glue.

YES! It is literally that easy. Just take a paper clip and hot glue it to where you want it on the back of your plate. Let it dry and hang it on the wall!

plate hanger2

Now I have a place to display my fun and colorful plates!

plate hanger3

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Adding Curb Appeal

Psst… Did you know you can follow HSH with Bloglovin?

Curb appeal before and after

I have hesitated to post this transformation, only because I feel like it is still a process and there is so much I still want to do. But I am going to go ahead and share what we have done so far in adding curb appeal to the home we are renting.

Here’s the story: Nearly 2 years ago, we wanted a larger home because our third child was about to be born, and we wanted a yard for our kids to play in. Our condo didn’t provide that, but we couldn’t sell due to the economy. About the same time, the rental home my parents own (in the same city), became vacant and they were looking for new renters. We decided to rent our condo out and in turn rent from my parents. And yes, it has been a good experience for us renting from family- hopefully it has been for them too.

The house we live in has good bones, but it has been a rental for several years and it was starting to see some wear and tear, not to mention the fact that rentals usually just don’t exude the same TLC that owner-occupied homes often do. So, because I love it when my surroundings are beautiful, and because we wanted to help my parents by leaving the house better than we found it, we have been making repairs, improvements, and doing many things to increase the value and curb appeal of our home.

To give you an idea of how it looked before, here are some pictures that show the unfinished porch.

House before

This was before we moved in, when there were other people living there.

You can see in the pictures above and below that the wood is unfinished, and actually has multi-colored paint splatters on the steps.  The door is scraped up and sad looking. :(

kids on porch

Two Easters ago. My boys and niece (notice the matching ties and flower sash that we made that year!)

On the inside, there are two sidelight windows that I love because they do let a lot of light in, but they didn’t allow for any privacy (like hiding from sales people… just sayin’) and I hated them at night because you could see right in from the street.

windows before

So the windows were the very first project I tackled, since that seemed like a priority, and wasn’t too overwhelming. After quite a bit of research,  the best solution for me was to use these sidelight magnetic window curtain rods (the length is adjustable, and they also have an adhesive, which might work if your surface isn’t magnetic) which I ordered online. In my fabric stash, I had some very looooong scraps of sheer white material with some texture, and I decided that would allow light in perfectly while still obscuring the view into the house from outside.

windows covered

I am still happy with how that project turned out over a year later.

Side door window treatments

The view from outside: improved by the fabric panels and a wreath, but still going to need some TLC.

Back outside, the grass was pretty dead because the house had been vacant for a while and the water had been turned off, so dead lawn and weeds were the story.

sad lawn

We started doing lawn aeration, Weed and Feed, and putting seed down in the spring and fall. This is still a work in progress, and I’ll show pictures further down.

Next, the porch was in desperate need of staining. We sanded with a coarse grit paper and power sander because there was so much bleaching, splintering, and weather staining. We also prepped the wood with a special cleaner/ wood stripper.

Sanding the porch

We taped off the edges and began staining the wood using a semi-transparent, weather proofing stain by Behr (the color is called “Padre Brown”) which allowed the grain of the wood to show through but hid some of the imperfections- it was the perfect solution to meet our particular needs.  Luckily, as I was 9 months pregnant at the time, we didn’t have to do it all alone. We had kind family members and neighbors who were kind enough to pitch in a help.

lots of help

After we applied two coats of stain to the wood, we were left with a much more attractive looking porch.

after staining

Now it was time to move on to the doors. We had three external doors that were all in dire need of help. The back doors especially, since they were in full afternoon sun each day.

door before

I started this project when family was in town, so I had help from my sister Anna in scraping off the peeling paint. We used putty knives because the paint was bubbled and in some areas, hanging off in sheets.


After scraping the worst of the old paint off, we sanded the wood trim smooth. The doors are metal, so we didn’t sand those, just cleaned them thoroughly.

Power Sanding

Anna makes safety glasses and filter masks look good!

Next we taped around the door frame and the door hardware. I bought exterior, semi- gloss paint (suitable for wood and metal both) from Home Depot in Forest Green. I’ve been asked for the details on the specific color a few times, so here’s a picture with the details:

Exterior door paint

I used a medium sized brush on the trim, and a low-nap roller on the door.






This back door was much improved after two coats of paint. I still need to sand and stain the back steps. It’s next on my list. :)

door after

Both doors painted:

both doors

I used the same color on all three doors for cohesiveness. As you can see, we also over the past year and a half have added patio furniture, planters by the door, hanging baskets, a nice doormat, and stair treads with glow in the dark stripes to prevent slips and falls. Oh, and we replaced the vent cover on the second floor so there wasn’t a gaping hole in the front of the house. :)

front porch summer

You can also see that the strategy we have been using to revitalize our lawn is working pretty effectively. It still has weeds, but less so, and fewer dead patches. Like I said, it’s still a work in progress. It is a much more inviting space now, though.

Curb Appeal

Next up: staining the back porch and doing something (not sure what yet) with the backyard. What do you think?

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DIY $1 Mini Chalkboard

I’m obsessed with chalkboards. They are one of my favorite things to decorate my home with. Retail stores will charge an outrageous amount for cute chalkboards, so why not make your own for close to nothing?


DIY $1 mini chalkboard

This project literally only cost me $1. I already had the supplies needed to create the chalkboard, so all I needed was a “board” to write chalk on. I went to my nearest Dollar Store and purchased this silver tray for only a buck.


I spray painted the middle with chalkboard paint and used a fun bright blue acrylic paint for the edge. After the paint dried, I hot glued a burlap bow to the back to hang it on the wall in my kitchen. Now I have a fun new inexpensive decor item for my home!!

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