Crafting Sanity

~ Thursday, March 29 ~

Chemical-Free Kitchen Cleanser!

you don’t want germs in your home. & don’t want viscous chemicals in your home either! Trust me.

so let’s simplify! making your own home cleansers is cheaper, it’s better for the earth, and  better for your health, and it’s ridicu-easy!

your shopping list:
  • 2 lemons. organic if you like! ~$0.50
  • sea salt. ~$2.00
  • white vinegar. ~$2.00
  • an empty spray bottle. (you can save the spray bottle from a cleanser of your past-life, where you had harsh chemicals in your home. no guilt, sugar! it’s how we were raised. but now we know better. might as well get your reduce, reuse, recycle on! give him a good few rinses with hot water. ♻)
  • optional - essential oil to scent. i used lavender. because it’s lovely :) any scent you like is just fine. 
mix your ingredients together!
step 1: squeeze as much lemon juice as you can from you 2 lemons into your spray bottle.
step 2: add about 6 tablespoons of sea salt. a bartender would call this a 4-count from a typical salt canister like the one shown. 
step 3: fill the rest of the bottle with hot water.
step 4: optional - add your essential oil to scent. i used about 20 drops. the amount is entirely up to you.
step 5: screw the top on your spray bottle and give it a good shake! you’re ready to clean!
when you clean your home with this it will smell of vinegar for a few minutes. the smell will dissipate after the liquid dries. fear not! only the scent of the essential oil and lemon will linger.
there ya go, friends! improving your world with a cheap, 5 minute project :)
and for your own edification
cleaning benefits of vinegar.
cleaning benefits of lemon juice.
cleaning benefits of salt.
cleaning benefits of essential oils.
peace, loves,
-our lives are frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.- HD Thoreau.

~ Wednesday, February 8 ~

DIY Lavender-Orange-Salt Body Scrub!

this week: body scrub that leaves your skin feeling rose petal soft. it’s inexpensive, pampering, and replace the nasty chemicals in your current body scrub.

Step 1: get a jar. … you know i’m going to tell you to to reuse one from around your house! here, i used the jar that a Bath and Bodyworks candle came in. when the candle was burned down i put it in a saucepan of simmering water. i let it sit there until the wax was all liquid. i poured it out and wiped the inside clean. i ran it through the dishwasher once for good measure. voilà! now it’s your body scrub jar!

Step 2: gather your fixins. 

  Salt or Sugar. this is your exfoliant. i recommend choosing a courser grain, such as Sugar in the Raw or sea salt. brown sugar gives body scrub a nice, creamier texture. i used epsom salt with a lavender scent. epsom salt is soothing to the muscles (yoga pains!), and lavender for a relaxing scent. whatever you have in the cabinet is probably just fine.

  A Cold Pressed Oilcold pressed oils have fantastic emollient qualities. i like grape seed oil best. it’s a nice light color and is fairly inexpensive. 


  A Scenting Agent. i recommend an essential oil for simple scenting. essential oils are sold at your local health food store, or in the health food section of a major grocery. they come in small vials. they might seem expensive for such a tiny amount, but they last for several, several projects. (The link here explains the benefits of the various essential oils.)

as you can see, i chose to use dried orange peels for my scenting agent. drying them is very easy. you can just leave the peels in a window sill for a few days until they’re crunchy. i dried mine by pressing them on the flat top of my radiator. when they are dry, throw them in the blender until the peels are very fine. you want to make sure the mixture will go down the shower drain!


Step 3: Fill your jar ¾ with the your Salt or Sugar.

Step 4: Add a little bit of honey. no more than a tablespoon. Whatever amount you’d put in a mug of tea is probably appropriate. Don’t go overboard here!

Step 5: Slowly add your cold pressed oil and stir carefully.

Step 6: Add your scenting agent. If you chose orange peels, fill the jar almost to the top. If you chose an essential oil, add about 10 drops. You can add more later if you like.

Step 7: Stir, and adjust. If it’s too soupy for your taste, add more salt/sugar/orange peels. If it’s too gunky, add more of your cold pressed oil. A good consistency is the same as a handful of sand from just below the water’s surface.


there ya go, friends! enjoy!


\hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.\

Tags: DIY body scrub salt scrub sugar scrub lavender natural bath products
11 notes
~ Thursday, January 12 ~

Accidentally Awesome Soup: Vegan Kale-Lentil-Mushroom Soup!

Looks gross. sounds gross. VEGAN KALE-LENTIL-MUSHROOM SOUP. tastes. amazing. instant cure for january weather. 

i hate being broke. i’m too poor to order delivery and have a pitiful handful of wilting vegetables in my fridge. stupid student life. i thought i was in for a bland bowl of homemade gruel tonight.

but INSTEAD, i accidentally made a righteous pot of healthy wintery goodness! packed with vitamins, very low fat, and super flavorful.

Here’s what i was working with. 

  • a bag of kale rinds/stems from making kale chips with my roomsie a few days ago. (it looks like it belongs in the compost… but it’s so nutritious i couldn’t throw it out!)
  • a bag of dry lentils
  • 1 good onion
  • questionably good garlic
  • pathetically flaccid celery bunch
  • a giant root of ginger that will be spoiled by monday
  • cheap veggie bouillon cubes
  • sliced mushrooms that looked much more appetizing in the grocery store.
  • a splash of olive oil
  • a splash of red wine vinegar
  • seasonings. salt, pepper, thyme, an italian mix.
  • 4 or 5 leaves of wilty basil
  • a small handful of spinach

step 1: get a big pot and fill it… idk, a third with water. bring to a boil.

step 2: add four or five big handfuls of lentils with a splash of olive oil.

step 3: add three big chunks of fresh ginger. don’t bother peeling it, you’re not going to eat it. the ginger gives the soup a really nice, peppery bite. do chunks about as long as your pinkie. slice lengthwise to expose the maximum meat of the root. the longer you leave the ginger in, the stronger the soup’s bite will be. taste it every few minutes. 

step 4: cut up the flaccid celery & add to the pot. gross. but soup is a great way to eat floppy celery. it becomes soft in soup anyway.

step 5: chop up 1/4 of the onion and 4 cloves of garlic. add to the pot.

step 6: add red wine vinegar and seasonings. you choose how much of each. i went heavy on pepper.

step 7: add mushrooms, basil, and spinach.

step 8: grab that bag of kale stems/spines. throw it in a blender or food processor. purée. add it to the pot.

step 9: turn the heat down half way.

step 10: hang out in the kitchen for a while. play some music. let the water boil down, adjust the seasoning. take out the chunks of garlic after a four or five songs. serve it up! this freezes really well.

stretching that dollar for another day! also, this soup is crazy good for you. look at how much delightful stuff you do for your body when you eat kale, lentils, spinach, onions, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.

eat your heart out, cancer-causing lame canned soups.



~ Sunday, January 8 ~

Healthy study snacks: Kale Chips > Potato Chips

like love from love, toward school with heavy looks. 

gearing up for the spring semester. my final semester of school ever. go me.

so, it’s time to prepare some healthy snacks for the season. i eat constantly while studying, hence healthy foods are a must. my current fav: delicious and nutritious kale chips. they are addictive like pringles, & are the texture of lays. they’re low calorie, and full of vitamins

your supplies:

  • 1 bunch of kale. (~$1!) 
  • extra virgin olive oil.
  • some flavor of vinegar. red wine, white wine, balsamic, apple cider, rice, etc.
  • spices. i used salt, pepper, garlic salt, and an italian mix.
  • reused shopping bag.
  • baking pan.

step 1: preheat the oven to 350ºF.

step 2: lightly grease your baking pans.

step 3: cut up your kale into bite sized chips. (i assume you washed your veggies already!)

step 4: put all of the kale pieces into a reused plastic shopping bag. ♻

step 5: add a splash of olive oil to the bag to coat the kale chips.

step 6: add a splash of your vinegar of choice to the bag.

step 7: add a touch of seasonings to the bag. they’re lovely with just salt and pepper. you can play with the flavors. thyme, dill, basil, seasoned salts, etc.

step 8: twist your bag shut and shake it. shake it as long as it takes you to sing the 1st 2 lines of Hey Jude

step 9: empty the kale chips onto your baking pans.

step 10: bake the chips for 15 minutes at 350º.

step 11: pull the pans out of the oven and flip them over. bake for 5-10 more minutes.  you want the chips to be crisp, but not brown.

serve it up! you can devour a bowl of these tasty little chips and essentially have just eaten a salad. boo ya. happy studying, my oral fixators! 

Tags: recipes healthy snacks kale chips baked veggie chips vegan
14 notes
~ Wednesday, January 4 ~

make your own Cashew Tamari salad dressing!

You deserve to eat well even if you don’t have a fully stocked kitchen! So today, we’re cooking with shot glasses and reused jars. The size of the shot glass is inconsequential, so long as you use the same one for the entire recipe.

This salad dressing has a bright flavor resembling a light teriyaki. If you don’t feel like making it yourself and live in the Austin area, you can buy it from Mother’s Cafe. It’s also sold at Whole FoodsWheatsville Coop, and Fresh Plus. Otherwise, follow the easy directions below! 

Fixins List:

  • 1 jar. (i used an empty marinara jar that i washed.)
  • 1 4oz bag of cashews. (i got a 99¢ bag at the corner bodega.)
  • 3 shot glasses of water
  • 2 shot glasses of olive oil.
  • 1½ shot glass of apple cider vinegar.
  • 1½ shot glass tamari.
  • ½ lemon juice. (or squeeze ½ lemon.)
  • black pepper to taste.
  • optional: ginger powder to taste.

Step 1: Crush the Cashews. I did this by pouring the cashews into a plastic shopping bag and crushing with an empty jar. (reduce, reuse, recycle, friends!) crush, don’t powder them. A little texture makes a much more impressive dressing.

Step 2: Add all the crushed cashews to your empty, washed jar.

Step 3: Add all other ingredients to the jar. The order is unimportant.

Step 4: Lid your jar and give it a good shake.

And you’re done! Serve at room temperature over leafy greens. Shake the dressing before serving. Refrigerate, and use it within a couple of days.

☮ claire

~ Wednesday, December 28 ~

Infuse your own Bacon Vodka!

Make your own delicious vodkas! choose your own flavors. this round - BACON!!!! the candy bar of the meat world meets vodka. a blissful union indeed.

Bacon Infused vodka.

This process is very easy and takes less than 30 minutes of prep! 

your shopping list:

  • a large bottle of decent vodka. a good rule of thumb is to avoid plastic bottles. i hear that a potato vodka is best for absorbing flavors. i went to the liquor store and explained my project to the employee. i said that my price range was under $25. i took his recommendation, and it went well!
  • 1 package of bacon. buy the lowest fat content bacon you can find. this will make the later steps of the infusion MUCH easier. you can use a flavored bacon or a turkey bacon, etc. whatever is your flavor preference. i used apple smoked bacon, which gave the vodka a sweet breakfasty taste.
  • mason jars. to be green, save your jars from pasta sauce or pickle jars and wash them. if you’re pressed for time you can purchase them at craft stores.

Infused Vodka DIY

Infused Vodka DIY

step 1: fry your bacon.

Bacon infused vodka DIY

fry your bacon and set it aside on a plate. keep the fat to a minimum! pour the grease into a trash jar after each panful of bacon. this will make the end product much nicer.

step 2: add all of your bacon to one jar and then fill with vodka.

Bacon infused vodka DIY

the more bacon you put in one jar the stronger your flavor will be. i put an entire package in this jar, then filled with my potato vodka. in retrospect, i wish that i had used paper towels to blot some grease from the bacon before jarring. this is because the fat forms a particularly gnarly fat film in the jar after a few hours. it is such a hassle to sift out.

step 3: seal tightly, then shake the vodka-bacon jar vigorously.

Bacon infused vodka DIY

go crazy.

step 4: store your vodka in a cool, dark place for at least 3 days.

I left mine in the pantry for about 4 days before serving. the longer, the better. i’d say up to a week. shake it at least once a day. the more you shake it, the stronger the final flavor.

step 5: strain. 

your goal is to separate the vodka from the bacon and the fat. first pour your vodka through a loose strainer, like one you use for pasta, into a pitcher/jar. this is to catch the large pieces of bacon. next pour the liquid through a more fine strainer, such as a flour sifter grate. your goal here is to remove the truly icky white layer of fat. if you’re feeling very patient, you can then strain the liquid through a coffee filter to remove almost all of the fat. this takes forever. i’d guess at least 30 minutes. i don’t actually know. i didn’t have the patience for this step. anyhow, when you’ve strained the infused vodka to your fat-tolerance level, call it a day! 

step 6: reseal the jar, and you’re done!

you can top the box off with some fresh vodka to fill the jar, or just seal the jar as is.

voila! you just infused some mighty fine bacon vodka!

…it’s not pretty, but it’ll cut any hangover in a good bloody mary :)

cheers, friends.


Tags: bacon vodka infused vodka
29 notes
~ Tuesday, December 27 ~

It is profoundly important that we, humans, create with our hands.


DIY, all natural hair Conditioner!

This is the first conditioner i’ve found that actually soothes my wild hair! you can make it yourself in under 15 minutes. the materials cost around $20 and makes over 6 months worth of conditioner, easy. you can customize the scent to your liking with various herbs and essential oils. i love this conditioner because it minimizes the chemicals in my life, and for mother earth :) give it a whirl!

DIY Conditioner Final Product

your shopping list: i got all of these products in the health food section of my local grocery store.

  • cold pressed olive oil. (cold pressed preserves the wonderful emollient qualities in the oils.)
  • cold pressed grape seed oil.
  • any small glass or plastic bottles. i bought a set of tiny travel toiletries bottles for $2.
  • recommended: a bottle of essential oil for scent. i chose tea tree oil. you want oils derived directly from plants, not potpourri oils. (those are harmful to skin and hair.)
  • optional: additional herbs, spices, or citrus fruit rinds for a custom scent. you can use vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, lavender, etc. here, i used a key lime rind in one bottle and a sprig of rosemary in another.

    DIY Conditioner Shopping List 1

    above: shopping list, small bottles.

    DIY Conditioner Sopping List 2

    above: shopping list: cold pressed grape seed oil, cold pressed olive oil, essential tea tree oil, a key lime. not depicted: rosemary. unnecessarily depicted: brown sugar. you don’t really need that.

step 1: add your preferred scenting combos.

i chose a sprig of rosemary for one bottle and a twist of lime for another. they also work nicely in the same bottle. 

DIY Conditioner Step 4

the twist of lime is the same as you would make for a martini. quarter the lime lengthwise, peel out the meat of the fruit, and twist the rind. drop it into the bottle. drop the rosemary into the bottle as well. in each bottle, add a few drops of the essential oils. i used about 10 drops of tea tree oil because i like very strong scents. the amount of oil is completely up to you.

step 2: fill the bottles half way with cold pressed olive oil.

DIY Conditioner Step 5

step 3: fill the bottles the rest of the way with cold pressed grape seed oil.

DIY Conditioner Step 6

voila! now you have your own, eco-friendly conditioner that your hair will love!

use it out of the shower on wet or dry hair. coat your hands in a thin layer of your conditioner, and work into your thirsty hair starting at the tips. i don’t like to put it near my roots, but love it everywhere else. the trick is Less is More! use as many times a day as your hair likes. this has replaced shower conditioner and leave-in conditioners for me. i hope you enjoy!



DIY Conditioner Final Product

your shopping list: i got all of these products in the health food section of my local grocery store.

Tags: DIY Conditioner eco-friendly conditioner make your own conditioner green beauty products
4 notes