Archive | Homemade

{diy} homemade bath fizzies

[Disclaimer: Please stop reading this post if you are my mom, sister-in-law or are a female member of my boyfriend's family. This is your Christmas present, and I can't resist posting before Christmas for timeliness.]

This was a big year for homemade crafts in my household. This Christmas, I put myself on a budget, and I told myself that I would not use my credit card for any gifts. I’ve successfully accomplished that (though now I’m hoping for cash presents since I’m spent!). I did end up buying myself a pair three pairs of boots for Christmas (on my credit card), but they were on sale with free shipping, so I’m justifying that (I will never get out of debt but at least I’ll look nice!)

Nevertheless, this year was dedicated to homemade gifts for him & her. I receive Martha Stewart daily organizing tips in my email (a godsend) and saw the idea for back in November. It seemed easy enough and cost effective, so I decided to create my own.

I probably spent around $60 for all materials including the ingredients, essential oils (which are expensive), display jars, ribbon and bags. This $60 equals 11 gifts to family, extended family, and a few friends, so I’d say that’s a pretty good deal. It’s easy to spend $20 per person on someone during the holidays, which would have been $220. That’s a savings indeed.

I went with three different scents: Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Lavender. This actually proved to be difficult because I discovered my roommate is allergic to Lavender, and so I had to make a separate batch in the (dirty, yucky) basement. For those of you receiving lavender, consider yourself special.

I used a variety of bags and jars based on the person. I tried to give larger amounts to the people I know take baths. For those who might only take one occasionally, I provided bags. I’m a big fan of the bath fizzies over the sugar scrub I made two years ago. I saw the scrub sitting my stepmom’s bathroom unused last time I was home for a visit so I thought maybe I enjoyed making them more than people enjoyed receiving them. I don’t feel bad; sugar scrubs aren’t for everyone! Also, some people just aren’t into baths. I get that too.

I found really cheap tags/labels at Pat Catan’s (similar to Michael’s but in Pittsburgh and better), and I labeled ALL of my gifts with them. I like them because I think it gives it an older, more classic feel. This year in general I spent more careful time with gift picking, labeling and wrapping and I feel it shows my care more than a gift I haphazardly picked out at Wal-Mart. (Note: I did shop at Wal-Mart for a few things. But they were carefully and thoughtfully picked). I also bought some sparkly paper and cut circles for the lids of the jars (see picture above). I tried to create a more “fizzy” feel, and I think this adds a lot to a basic Mason jar, don’t you?

Alongside the bath fizzies, I created a few jars of spice rubs for the guys in my boyfriend’s family. I wasn’t sure what to get them, but they are all really into meat and grilling, so I made a few. I ran out of ingredients pretty quickly though, so I wasn’t able to make as many as I wanted.

I love a good DIY Christmas. Here’s hoping my family and friends do too.

I can’t seem to stop making items from scratch. I also can’t stop baking. For years, I’ve always felt a calling to baking over cooking. While I was stirring together the ingredients to make these moist, sweet brownies, I figured out why: you can literally bake something at any time of day. Midnight. 10 a.m. After work. It doesn’t matter.

Cooking can be full of tension, sometimes. You get home from work, you’re starving, you want something healthy and delicious but you know it’s going to take some time and effort. That can be a barrier. That can be a series of barriers. I don’t know about you, but I easily turn into a major crankpants when I’m hungry. Sometimes that really takes the joy out of cooking, which is why I prefer baking.

I am amazed by how easy it is to make brownies from scratch. I’m finding that because I bake often, I almost always have the ingredients on hand. Now if I could only figure out how to make these healthier. That’s where I struggle, of course. It’s chocolate, after all. Good thing I’m taking these to a party where they are sure to get all eaten up. Happy Labor Day!


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

[Preheat your oven to 350 degrees]
1. Mix together the oil, sugar and eggs (in that order). Mix well. You could probably use less sugar, and it would be just fine.
2. Add in the vanilla, flour, cocoa and stir rapidly.
3. Add the baking power, salt.
4. Place in a 9 x9 baking pan that’s been greased. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven.


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