Beauty/Body Recipes, Tips & Tricks

Homemade Makeup Primer (and happy Spring!)


Homemade Makeup Primer ~ Ashley's Homemade Adventures

This homemade makeup primer has only 2 ingredients, it couldn’t be more simple and it’s so cheap to make! I have been using it for a few weeks now and I am loving it.

This is going to sound really weird but I was using this anti-chaffing gel as a primer for years. I can’t remember where I saw it but someone had suggested it as a cheaper alternative to this Smashbox primer. It actually works great, although I can’t say if it compares to the Smashbox primer since I never tried that. Still, I wanted to try to make something that has better ingredients and to save even more money.

I have seen other primer recipes that say to mix your foundation with moisturizer but I wanted to try to make something similar to the gel I had been using for a long time. I already had a small bottle of aloe gel I picked up at the dollar store. We live in Florida and I burn easily so it’s a must have! I grabbed that and went to the kitchen to experiment, this is what I ended up with.

Homemade Makeup Primer ~ Ashley's Homemade Adventures
Homemade Makeup Primer ~ Ashley's Homemade Adventures

Homemade Makeup Primer:

1 Tablespoon Aloe Gel

1 Teaspoon Cornstarch

Simply mix together until combined, and store covered so it won’t dry out. Apply to clean skin and let dry before applying foundation.

I wanted to use arrowroot powder but I’m currently out, more people will probably have cornstarch in their kitchen anyways. If you try the arrowroot powder version please let me know how it turns out in the comments. It has always worked perfectly in place of cornstarch in other things I have made. Either way, this costs only pennies to make!

I think this is a great amount to start with to see if you like it. If you want to make a bigger batch then simply increase the aloe gel to 1/4 cup and the arrowroot powder to 1 tablespoon.

I hope you enjoy this and that it will help save you money! If you try it, please let me know how you like it. If you have any ideas on improving it, I would love to hear those also.

Since it’s finally spring, I just wanted to share some pictures with you guys! This is probably my favorite time of year here in NE Florida. The weather is gorgeous! (as I am writing this, it’s in the 70’s with blue skies – perfect!) I already have some peas in the garden and some other baby plants in pots (Tomato, basil, melon, etc.) I absolutely love working in the garden, even if I pay for it later lol. We have lots of wildflowers blooming and it’s just a beautiful time of year with the new growth. I hope these will bring a smile to your face, especially if you are still dealing with winter weather where you live.

❤ Ashley

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Pets/Animals, Tips & Tricks

Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe vs. Store Bought


In this post I am going to compare homemade and store bought hummingbird nectar, go over the dangers of red food dye, and share a super easy recipe to make your own hummingbird nectar. Please read all the way to the end, I share some important information and tips.

Homemade Hummingbird Nectar ~ Ashley's Homemade Adventures
Homemade Hummingbird Nectar ~ Ashley’s Homemade Adventures

Our feathered friends will be making their way north very soon! According to Southeastern Avian Research, the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds will be arriving in my area any day now 😀 If you would like to see the migration map you can find it on their Facebook page.

So let’s start with store bought nectar, most of the nectar you see in the stores are red. However, the red dye is not needed! The birds will still come without it, I have seen it myself many times. According to Bird Watchers Digest, Red #40 is a known carcinogenic and mutagenic. Please see their full article on the topic HERE (link will open in new tab) it’s very interesting and good information to know. Store bought nectar will last a little longer in the feeder before you need to replace it and clean the feeder, but you will have to replace the nectar and clean the feeders fairly often anyways. Which leads me to this:

You do NOT want mold to start forming, this could make the birds very sick. You will want to change the nectar out frequently, you may have to do it daily or every other day if you live somewhere very hot (like I do!). If the nectar starts to look cloudy, it definitely needs to be changed. I like to clean my feeders out with an all natural soap and vinegar, it’s important to make sure to rinse very well. When looking for a feeder, I like to make sure that a bottle brush will be able to fit inside for cleaning as some have very narrow openings.

Now for homemade nectar, it’s VERY cheap, and VERY easy! You can make it fresh in small batches as needed if you’d like, or you can make a large batch and store the extra in the fridge for up to a week. This will need to be replaced more often than store bought, as it contains no preservatives. I have seen conflicting advice on whether or not you need to boil the water, but I like to do it just to be safe. You also want to make sure you ONLY use white cane sugar. Please never use honey or any artificial sweeteners, or RAW sugar because it is higher in iron which can be bad for the birds in large amounts. You want plain ‘ole white sugar.

Homemade Hummingbird Nectar:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

Heat water to boiling, remove from heat, and stir in sugar until dissolved. Cool before pouring into hummingbird feeder. Store extra covered in fridge for up to one week. Replace with fresh nectar often, especially in hot weather.

This picture is from 4 years ago when we lived in an apartment complex in a very busy area of town. I used this same recipe and it attracted multiple hummingbirds to our balcony!

A few other tips:

  • Avoid using insecticides/pesticides in your yard, hummingbirds also eat bugs!
  • If you have many birds battling over the feeder, consider hanging multiple feeders, even in multiple locations around the yard.
  • Plant flowers and fruit trees to help attract hummingbirds.
  • If you see a praying mantis on or near your feeder, please gentle relocate it to another spot. Praying Mantis can catch and eat small hummingbirds.
  • Find beautiful hummingbird feeders here.

Enjoy watching your new feathered friends!

❤ Ashley

Food Recipes

Homemade Taco Sauce


 

 

Homemade Taco Sauce

Happy Cinco De Mayo! What better day to share this recipe? 🙂 This is incredibly easy and probably the best taco sauce I have ever tasted. The best part? Nothing nasty added in, like preservatives. My five-year old was licking this off of her plate tonight at dinner lol. I found the original recipe here but I did not follow it exactly.

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 cup tomato sauce (I used organic)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, whisk together. Cook on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, whisking occasionally. That is all, could not be easier! This is a very mild sauce, if you want to make it spicier you could add more chili powder, maybe some cayenne or red pepper.

This sauce would probably be even better made a day in advance so the flavors have more time to meld together. Store in the fridge.

We had it on homemade Mexican pizzas tonight, YUM!

Mexican Pizza

 

Enjoy!

❤ Ashley

 

Beauty/Body Recipes, Drinks, Tips & Tricks

Homemade Electrolyte Drink (Homemade Pedialyte)


Homemade Pedialyte Recipe - Ashley's Homemade Adventures

The flu is going around like crazy! We have been dealing with it in our house for several weeks now. My daughter and I are past the worst part now, thank God! There was one day we were both very weak with very high fevers. I was so happy I had made some of this homemade Pedialyte the day before. This is a great way to save yourself some money and a trip to the store. You can also flavor this any way you want! I know there are quite a few recipes out there but this is how we do it:

Homemade Pedialyte:

  • 8 cups water (I prefer to use distilled water, I always have some on hand)
  • 1/4 cup honey (you can also use sugar but we try to stay away from extra sugar and the honey has added benefits)
  • 1 teaspoon SEA salt (contains important minerals that table salt does not, you could also use Himalayan salt which would be even better)
  • Juice of an orange, lemon or lime (optional but has even more benefits, like Vitamin C)
  • Crystal Light or Kool-aid powder for flavor (also optional, we love the lemon Crystal Light with Stevia)

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, stir until salt and honey have dissolved. Store in refrigerator.

We also love to make this into popsicles, great for when you or your child is burning up from a fever. When my daughter is sick I make sure she takes a sip of this every 10 minutes or so. Best served chilled.

Warning: Honey is not considered safe for children less than a year old.

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Also a quick update on my cousin Joe… (I mentioned in the First Birthday post about how he had a massive heart attack) Miraculously he has no serious brain damage, his heart is working on its own and it looks like he will be okay! He still has to get through heart surgery on Thursday so he is a long way from full recovery, but I am just so happy and thankful he is still with us. If anyone could send some positive thoughts or prayers his way I would really appreciate it 🙂

Food Recipes

Homemade Garlic Knots


Homemade Garlic Knots Recipe

These garlic knots are to die for and incredibly easy to make. The first time I ever had a garlic knot was at an Italian restaurant in Florida, and I was hooked! I wanted to go to that place all the time just for the garlic knots, lol! When we moved to Massachusetts I started having garlic knot withdrawals! There is not a single place near us that serves them, and even if they did I highly doubt they would be as good. So I was determined to make my own, and dare I say these might even be better than the ones we loved so much in Florida. You might want to make a double batch because everyone will be begging for more, at least that is what happens around here 🙂 You can also freeze leftovers (if you have any) and then reheat in the oven.

I started by looking for an easy pizza dough recipe, and found an awesome one on The Fauxmartha. I just made a couple of changes and had my perfect dough.

GARLIC KNOTS: (Makes 8)

  • 1 cup WARM water (about 110 degrees, you don’t want to kill the yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (olive, grape seed, whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 and 1/4 tsp instant yeast, or one package
  • 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together warm water, oil, honey and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes, you should see bubbles/foam forming from the yeast.
  3. Add flour, parmesan cheese, and sea salt.
  4. Stir together until it gets tough to stir, then knead in the bowl with your hands until you have a smooth dough ball (should only take a minute or two).
  5. Oil a flat surface, I use a flexible cutting mat sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Transfer dough to oiled surface, turn to coat.
  7. Divide into 8 equal sections.
  8. Roll into long “snakes” and then tie into a knot. (don’t worry if they don’t look perfect)
  9. Place knots on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  10. Bake 20-25 minutes, until tops are golden brown.

How to make garlic knots

While the knots are baking prepare your garlic sauce:

  • 1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons)
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (If you use salted butter you can leave this out but I personally like them a little salty)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, cook on low to medium-low for about 10 minutes. Watch carefully, you do not want your garlic to brown or else it will become bitter.
  2. Spoon over baked knots, making sure to coat each one with some of the garlic.

We love to sprinkle ours with grated parmesan cheese too, yum!

How to make garlic knots

Happy Holidays! Enjoy!

❤ Ashley

Cleaning Recipes, Tips & Tricks

Homemade Glass Cleaner


Goodbye commercial glass cleaner! Who wants to pay more when you can make it yourself? Besides being cheaper it is much better to know exactly what you are using in your home. The kind sold in stores contains 2-Butoxyethanol, which can cause adrenal tumors in animals (not good if you own pets!). Moderate exposure in humans can cause irritation of the mucus membranes and heavy exposure can cause more serious side effects like hypotensionmetabolic acidosishemolysis, pulmonary edema and even coma. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be breathing that in or touching it, and certainly do not want it around my child. Luckily there is a solution and it is super easy!

Homemade Glass Cleaner:

  • Empty Gallon Container (I used a spring water jug)
  • 1/2 cup Ammonia (I used lemon because that is all I have)
  • 16 oz. Rubbing Alcohol (I used 1 and 1/2 cups of the regular kind and 1/2 cup of the mint kind because I ran out of the regular)
  • 1 tsp Dawn Dish Soap (I used the blue Dawn)

First fill your container halfway with water, add the remaining ingredients in the order listed, then fill the rest of the way with water. Give it a gentle shake and you have a gallon of glass cleaner! Pour some into a spray bottle and be amazed at how awesome it is!

I cannot take credit for this recipe, when doing a search for “How to make homemade glass cleaner” This was one of the top results. If this is not quite what you are searching for then check out Crunchy Betty’s Battle of the Homemade Glass Cleaners. I prefer this one because it cleans easier but the others are good if you don’t want to use some of these ingredients.

Here is a little secret to get streak free, fuzz free windows and mirrors…. clean them with NEWSPAPER! It works like a charm 🙂 I have been doing it for years!

Now get to work, those windows and mirrors aren’t going to clean themselves! 😀 Cleaning is a lot more fun when you make your own cleaners!

❤ Ashley

P.S.- You can use this on other hard non-porous surfaces as well. It is great for the outside of the toilet and bathroom counter tops!

Food Recipes

Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


The best part about carving a pumpkin? Getting to roast the seeds! At least for me 🙂 I have memories of doing this with my mom and papaw as a kid, and this is how they did it. These have the perfect amount of saltines and crunchiness, and you can eat the whole thing… shell and all. Our family has literally been fighting over the bowl of these since we finished dinner lol. My daughter doesn’t even like the pumpkin seeds you can buy at the store so that says something! These are way better than the ones you can buy and are SO easy.

Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

  • Pumpkin seeds, separated from pumpkin flesh and rinsed
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Cooking spray/oil
  1. Put your seeds into a bowl, sprinkle with a generous amount of salt. You don’t really have to measure but I would guess I use about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon per cup of seeds. I like to use sea salt but whatever kind you have will work great.
  2. Add just enough water to cover the seeds. Let soak 1-2 hours.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with foil, spray foil with cooking spray or rub with olive oil.
  4. Drain your seeds but do not rinse them, spread out evenly on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle with a little extra salt. I used kosher salt for this step.
  6. Place into preheated oven, stir seeds around every 5 minutes for even browning. The seeds are done when they are golden brown. It took about 15 minutes for our oven but could vary, just keep an eye on them.
  7. Remove from oven and enjoy!

If you want you could add herbs/spices when you sprinkle the salt onto these, but they are so good this way we have never tried adding anything else. I hope you enjoy this simple but yummy recipe from our family!

❤ Ashley

 

 

 

P.S. I found this photo being passed around on Facebook, many great reasons to eat pumpkin seeds! It mentions that they are high in magnesium, most Americans are deficient in magnesium and it is needed for over 200 functions in the body.