I've read so much recently about the benefits of sugar scrubs that I recently decided that I'd give a sugar scrub a try. I used the sugar scrub on my my face and was completely wowed by the results. I started by applying a warm wash cloth to my face to open my pours and then took about a tablespoon of the sugar scrub and worked it into my hands. Then I very gently massaged it onto my face and neck in circular motions. I rinsed with warm water and immediately moisturized my skin. My skin feels as if I've just had a facial! I was so surprised. I will definitely work this into my routine. In fact, I will use it in the shower next time. I'm sure my legs and feet will be happy with this sugar scrub as well.
Here is how I made this delightfully simple sugar scrub. It is so easy to make and can be done without having to go out to purchase ingredients.
- 3 cups white sugar
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. good quality oil (I used olive oil, but you can use any nice, non-smelly oil)
- 10 drops of scented essential oil per jar (You may choose lemon, mandarin, peppermint, lavender, etc.)
- Using a mixing bowl and spoon, combine all ingredients and mix
Honey Granola is a tasty breakfast treat that can easily be made at home. Granola is often sold in supermarkets in bins but I can't help but wonder how fresh it is sitting in these open bins. I am hesitant to buy granola from the market because of this. Making granola at home is easy and I like the idea of knowing that the ingredients I put in it are healthy and fresh.
This Christmas, for some of my gifts, I am looking for gift ideas that are consumable. Honey Granola packaged in clear bags and tied with a pretty ribbon is a great gift to give at as a grab bag gift or to have on hand for the unexpected guest.
- 6 cups Old-Fashioned Oats (5 minute variety)
- 8 ounces Sliced Almonds
- 1 cup Dried Cranberries
- 1 cup Chopped Dried Apricots
- 1 cup Dark-Brown Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/2 sticks Butter
- 1/2 cup Honey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients except butter and honey.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt unsalted butter. Stir in honey.
- Pour over oat mixture and toss to distribute.
- Spread granola onto a parchment lined baking pan and bake, stirring occasionally, until oats are toasted and sugar begins to caramelize (35 to 40 minutes).
- Cool completely on pan. Transfer to an airtight container.
Stick to a Christmas Gift Budget
One of the most important things that you can do to save money on Christmas gifts is to stick to a Christmas gift budget. You can build this into your monthly budget by putting money away each month so that you have the extra money in December for Christmas gifts. It is also important to budget how much you will spend on each gift and then you must stick to it. This way you will know ahead of time how much you will be spending and then you will be able to buy everyone a nice gift without going over your budget. Often thoughtful gifts are a lot more meaningful than expensive ones. Christmas savings strategies are important to help you stick to your budget.
Plan Your Christmas Gift List in Advance
Think about Christmas gifts throughout the year. Begin looking for Christmas gifts after Christmas. When you find a great sale – even if it is in the summer – take advantage of buying your gifts then and save them for Christmas. Be careful to keep a list of what you have gotten and for whom, because you don’t want to end up buying three gifts for one person and none for another. You can also plan ahead through comparison shopping online or even ordering most of your gifts online.
Buy One or Two Extra Christmas Gifts
There isn't a year that goes by when I haven't needed and extra gift. Think ahead and purchase one or two generic gifts that you can give in return when you receive an unexpected gift or have an unexpected party to attend. A bottle of wine for a party or another type of hostess present is good to keep on hand. Build these few extra gifts into your budget.
Encourage Christmas Gift Exchanges
One easy way to save on Christmas gifts is to do a Secret Santa gift or to draw names and then shop for just one person. This really can help to save money on gifts, plus it allows people to purchase a nicer gift for their person instead of several less meaningful gifts. This could be applied to office gift-giving as well as family gift-giving. Larger families may do it consider doing it among siblings.
Give a Christmas Gift to Someone in Need
Take time this holiday season to give to someone who truly needs it. Consider those less fortunate. Pick up a scarf or a pair of gloves for someone who may not afford these items. Or, buy a frivolous gift of scented soap or a body splash for someone who doesn't have enough in their budget to indulge in these things. And, every child deserves to receive something special over the holidays. There are lots of places to drop off gifts for those in need.