Little Home, Big World

…what would Ma do?

if you’ll only look June 5, 2011

Filed under: Blahging,Writing — bethanyjoy @ 9:25 am
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I’d pick beach stones over diamonds any day. Diamonds are obvious and flashy, beautiful in a cold and untouchable way, but the stones nestled in the sand? They feel incredible in your hand, smooth and touchable. Diamonds may be unbreakable, but beach stones? They’re adaptable. Caught between powerful waves and abrasive sand, they grow smoother and more consistent. Diamonds catch the light and make it fly, but when you reach through the lapping water and pick up a stone, it literally glows in your hand. Then the breeze starts to dry the stone, and you watch the colours fade until there is only pale texture against your skin. Diamonds demand the admiration of everyone, but the beauty of a stone nestled in the sand and half-hidden by the water can only be enjoyed by those who are willing to search. True beauty is like that, I think. Born in humility, polished by difficult circumstances, and all around us – if you’ll only look.


Hibernating In Style January 11, 2009

Filed under: Frayed Shoestring,Penny Saved,Virtuosity — bethanyjoy @ 7:10 pm
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If I look out my window, I see white, grey and brown. That’s it. Snow, clouds and tree trunks. Neutrals combined with color is one thing; a world of monotone shades wears on me. I usually spend the weeks from mid-January to late March twitching, eating too much chocolate, drinking gallons of coffee, and knitting things in impossibly bright shades just to keep the color-desperation at bay.

Since none of those strategies are beneficial in the long run, I decided on a new one. This year I am attempting to use these months of nearly-mandatory indoor time as an opportunity to clean, organize, decorate…to create a warm, colorful den in which to spend my hibernation.

I am a quirky person (I have made my peace with it) and I am delighting in slowly crafting my world to reflect who I am. We moved just a few months ago, and I took advantage of the opportunity to rid myself of a lot of STUFF…much of it perfectly “good” stuff…that I simply didn’t want/like/need. It was liberating; just because things were still “good” didn’t mean I had to keep them. It felt to good to free myself of the baggage, and trust in the future.

My new style is cheerful. Colorful, too, because beige be damned — I’m not beige and my house won’t be either. I’m a jeans-and-sweater girl; my home shouldn’t look like a business suit. I spent some time listing what I like – strong, bright colors; bold patterns; soft and warm fabrics. I love the shine of glass and the warmth of wicker baskets. I like using things for a different purpose than intended – baskets to store DVDs, an old creamer to hold handmade soaps, mandarin orange crates to organize boxes of tea. I don’t like fussy patterns, boxstore art, knick-knacks, or too much symmetry.

Over all — I love crafting a home out of materials that have already had a previous life. I am a regular haunter of the local thrift stores; I don’t always buy. The goal is not to get more STUFF; the goal is to keep an eye open to the possibilities…and the things I buy are often what nobody else likes — the old vintage tablecloth; random cloth napkins in funky colors; old glass jars and baskets. The fascinating thing is this — it all comes together. When I stick with the colors and textures that I love, they always seem to work.

The trick seems to be tossing the rulebook out the window and listening to my hibernating instincts.


Moroccan Mint Facial Cleanser December 10, 2008

Filed under: Penny Saved,Virtuosity — bethanyjoy @ 2:28 pm
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I’ve been using this recipe for a couple weeks now and I love it. It’s all my skin needs for morning cleansing, and it does wonders for puffiness under the eyes…and I am convinced it evens skin tone as well. All without drying my rather sensitive winter skin.

You know how healthy Green Tea is…now treat your skin to some of the benefits!

You’ll Need:
1 1/2 tbsp Moroccan Mint looseleaf tea (OR 1 tbsp green tea leaves and 1/2 tbsp dried mint; OR 2 green tea bags and 1 peppermint tea bag)
1 cup boiling water
Bowl or large mug, lid of some sort to cover it
Glass jar with lid

To Make:
Place tea in bowl and pour boiling water over it. Cover, and let steep until it reaches room temperature — about 3 or 4 hours. Strain out tea leaves (or remove teabags) and pour into jar.
Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

To Use:
Saturate a cotton ball and apply generously to face, using short upward strokes. Allow to dry on skin.
Personally, I like using it straight out of the fridge — it really wakes up your face and brings color into your cheeks. ­čÖé But if that’s too abrupt for you first thing in the morning, let it sit at room temp while you take a shower.


Rooibos Beauty Oil November 28, 2008

Filed under: Virtuosity — bethanyjoy @ 3:03 pm
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Commercial lotion is full of known carcinogens — visit Skindeep and look up your brand if you don’t believe me. Here’s a simple alternative that smells amazing and works wonderfully.

You’ll Need:

  • 4 Vanilla Rooibos teabags
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp liquid Vitamin E (or a couple capsules)
  • Double boiler, wooden spoon, and a clean bottle or jar with an airtight lid.

Heat double boiler over low-medium heat; you want the water hot but NOT boiling. Place teabags in top pot, cover with the olive oil. Now let time and head work it’s magic! Gently heat it for a few hours, periodically poke and squeeze the teabags with the spoon. When the infusion seems strong enough, remove from heat. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then carefully remove teabags from oil — be sure and squeeze out as much of the oil from them as you can. Stir in vitamin E, and transfer to your clean bottle or jar. Allow to cool with lid loosely close, then tighten lid securely.

Shelf life – up to 2 months. Always discard product if it develops a strange smell or color.

To use

  • pour desired amount into hand and massage into skin — this is most effective after a warm shower or bath. For added benefit, massage towards your heart — it stimulates your circulation.
  • add approximately 3 tablespoons to your bath after you’ve been soaking for a few minutes; the oil will lock the moisture into your skin.
  • facial cleanser – massage oil into face; cover with a washcloth that has been soaked with hot water and wrung out. When cloth cools, use it to gently remove excess oil.
  • use as a facial moisturizer too — warm a small amount between your hands, gently massage into face.

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