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My mom has always been excellent at crochet, and I’ve always been jealous of the way she can whip up a hat or a pot holder in seemingly no time at all! She has offered many times to teach me how to do it, but the idea of learning all those stitches and figuring out how to use crochet needles has always been a bit too intimidating for me to really commit.

I had all but accepted that yarn-related crafts just weren’t for me… until I recently learned about “finger looping!” Over the past two weeks it has turned into a favorite pastime of mine, and I thought that many of you would enjoy it too! So I’ll be telling you all about this new hobby of mine in today’s blog post.

I’ll start by explaining what finger looping is, and sharing a few of the things I like most about it. Then we’ll explore exactly what kinds of things you can make with this technique, and then I’ll finish things off by showing you exactly how it’s done! :-)

What Is Finger Looping?

Finger looping is like knitting, but it doesn’t require needles or hooks of any kind. Instead of creating loops in the yarn, you use a special type of yarn that has loops built right in! So all you have to do is thread the loops together and the fabric emerges right before your eyes!

4 Reasons Why I Love Finger Looping

1. It’s Simple

Adopting a new hobby can be intimidating, both in terms of learning a new skill and investing in all the necessary tools and materials. One of the things I like best about finger looping is that it’s so simple!

You only need two things for finger looping: a skein of loop yarn and a pair of scissors. Once you have those two things, you can start a project right away!

2. It’s Portable

Because finger looping is such a simple process, it’s also highly portable. You could work on a finger looping project on a flight, during a long car ride, or anywhere really!

3. It Keeps My Hands Busy

I’ve always been a pretty fidgety person, so it helps to keep my hands busy while I watch TV or movies. Finger looping is perfect for this, because it keeps my hands occupied without requiring too much concentration. (Plus, it makes me feel much more productive!)

4. It’s Fun!

And last but not least, I love finger looping because it’s fun! There’s just something really satisfying about making something with your own two hands. And I really enjoy the challenge of learning something new, so figuring out finger looping has been very rewarding in that regard.

What Can You Make With Loop Yarn?

Here are some of the things you can make out of loop yarn:

  • Throw blanket
  • Pillow
  • Scarf
  • Cowl
  • Wrist warmers

I’m currently working on a throw blanket, which has been a great starter project for me. Since it’s just one big square, there’s no need to worry about doing anything other than “stitch” the yarn loops together. (Though I did decide to add thick stripes to my blanket by switching the direction of my loops every few rows, which is very easy to do!)

You can download over two dozen free finger looping patterns on Red Heart’s website. (Red Heart is the brand behind Loop-It yarn, which is what I’ve been using for my blanket. If you’re looking to buy some loop yarn, I highly recommend it!)

How To Do Finger Looping – The Basics

You’ll need:

Loop-it yarn
Scissors

Directions:

While the specifics will vary based on what project you’re making, the basic process of looping the yarn is very straightforward. However, things like this are usually easier to show than they are to tell, which is why I decided to make a little video tutorial for you!

Watch my tutorial video here:

My New Favorite Hobby! - YouTube

Tell me a little bit about your favorite hobby!

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The world of skincare products can be a little intimidating to navigate. Not only is there a massive variety of different products out there, but many of them also have confusing names. When I first heard someone mention “body butter,” I wasn’t entirely sure what it meant or what it was supposed to do! But once I started making and using my own body butter, I was extremely grateful that I had made the effort to learn what it was!

What Is Body Butter?

If you’re in the same boat as I was back then, body butter is essentially a thicker, richer, and more concentrated form of lotion. It is used to hydrate, nourish, and soften skin, and can be especially useful for treating really dry or cracked skin. And today I’ll be sharing my all-time favorite body butter recipe with you!

And I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I think this homemade version is even better than store-bought body butter. This homemade version is packed with all-natural ingredients that will moisturize and revitalize even the driest skin. And as you’ll learn very shortly, this body butter recipe is also highly customizable! So let’s dive right in, and explore what goes into it and how to make it. :-)

For even more recipes for natural skincare and hygiene products, be sure to check out my eBook At-Home Bath & Body! You can buy it in my shop, or download it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!

What Goes Into It?

This simple body butter recipe calls for three ingredients (or four, if you count the optional one). But it’s not an exact science, and there are plenty of ways to customize it to fit your individual wants and needs! So before we get to the actual recipe, I wanted to quickly go over what each ingredient does and how you might customize them.

◆ Shea Butter

Shea butter is a highly concentrated fatty acid that melts at body temperature, making it a great addition to lotions and body butters. And despite its high fat content, shea butter is also non-comedogenic, making it a great choice for those with acne-prone or oily skin.

If you want to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, scars, or other imperfections, feel free to swap out the shea butter for cocoa butter instead. Cocoa butter is packed with vitamins and acids that can improve skin’s appearance over time.

◆ Coconut Oil

Coconut oil makes an excellent moisturizer for both hair and skin. It also has natural antibacterial properties, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that it smells wonderful too! :-)

Related: The Best Beauty Product You Have Is In Your Kitchen

◆ Almond Oil

Almond oil is a moisturizing carrier oil that has a light, non-greasy texture. It has a pleasantly nutty smell, absorbs well into skin, and works well for most skin types.

There are plenty of other carrier oils you can choose to use in place of almond oil, if you prefer. (Though I personally wouldn’t choose fractionated coconut oil, since using two types of coconut oil would be a bit redundant.) Jojoba oil would make a great choice, or you could even use olive oil if that’s what you have on hand!

Related: The Best Carrier Oils For Your DIY Health & Beauty Products

◆ Essential Oils (Optional)

If you want to add a nice scent or additional skin-nourishing properties to your homemade body butter, you can do that by including essential oils. (When it comes to homemade skincare products, lavender essential oil is always my first choice!)

How To Make Homemade Body Butter

Ingredients:

1 cup shea butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond oil
30 drops essential oils (optional)

Directions:

Melt the shea butter and coconut oil together in the top part of a double boiler (or in a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water.) Once they have melted together, remove from heat and let the mixture cool for 30 minutes.

Stir in the almond oil and essential oils (if using), then wait until oils start to partially solidify.

Next, use a hand mixer to whip the mixture for a few minutes, or until it achieves a butter-like consistency.

Transfer the finished body butter to a clean glass jar for storage.

Note: Due to gravity, your homemade body butter may lose some of its airiness over time. If that happens, simply use your hand mixer to re-whip it until it achieves your desired consistency.

How To Use Your Homemade Body Butter

Rub the whipped body butter mixture over your skin, allowing a few moments for the heat from your skin to melt the oils. (I like to put in on after I get out of the shower, so it can “soak in” while I finish drying my hair and getting dressed.)

Apply as often as desired for softer, more moisturized skin.

Have you ever made or used body butter before?

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While it’s a bit strange to think of any particular fruit as “trending,” it’s a fitting description in light of the recent avalanche of content I’ve seen about elderberries! After seeing around a dozen articles about elderberries recently, I couldn’t resist finding out what all the fuss was about!

So I did what any good blogger would do—I opened a fresh can of Diet Coke and started researching! ;-) And I actually ended up learning some really interesting things about the health benefits of elderberries, as well as some easy ways to take advantage of those benefits! And I’ll be sharing all of that with you in today’s blog post.

The Health Benefits Of Elderberries

Black elderberries (sambucus nigra) are unusually rich in antioxidants that can help support the immune system. In fact, a 2010 article in the European Journal of Nutrition reported that black elderberries ranked as the top source of antioxidants in an evaluation of 100 different antioxidant-rich foods.

Several studies of these antioxidant-rich berries (usually in the form of elderberry syrup) suggest they may be particularly helpful in improving symptoms of respiratory viruses. A 2004 study found that flu patients who took an elderberry syrup experienced relief of their symptoms 4 days earlier than patients who received a placebo.

Additionally, a 2019 review found that supplementation with elderberry syrup had a significant effect in reducing the duration and severity of upper respiratory symptoms.

If you’re interested in giving it a try, there are plenty of elderberry syrups and extracts available online, including Sambucol, Sambucus, and more. Or you can make some at home using the elderberry syrup recipe below! :-)

How To Make Elderberry Syrup

Ingredients:

6 cups filtered water
1 cup organic dried elderberries
1 Tbsp dried ginger
1 cup organic raw honey

Stove Top Directions:

Bring the water to a boil in a large pot, then add the elderberries and ginger and reduce to a simmer.

Simmer the mixture for around 45 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half. Then remove the pot from heat, mash the berries up with a spoon, and allow the mixture to cool completely.

Strain the mixture through a mesh sieve, then stir in the honey. Store the finished syrup in a glass jar in your fridge for 2-3 months.

Instant Pot Directions:

Put the water, berries, and ginger in your Instant Pot, seal the lid, and cook on High for 9 minutes.

Use Quick Release to depressurize the pot, then mash the berries up with a spoon or potato masher. Allow the mixture to cool completely.

Strain the mixture through a mesh sieve, then stir in the honey. Store the finished syrup in a glass jar in your fridge for 2-3 months.

How To Use Elderberry Syrup
  • Take 1 tablespoon every 3 hours when sick (or 1 teaspoon for children over 1 year.)
  • Take 1 tablespoon per day to help support your health when a cold or flu is going around.

Disclaimer: The content displayed on One Good Thing by Jillee is intended for entertainment and educational purposes only. My content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding your health, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read online.

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Many of my favorite homemade cleaning recipes include a lot of the same basic ingredients, like baking soda, white vinegar, etc. Many of these ingredients are quite familiar to most people, but there’s one ingredient in particular that still remains a mystery to many: borax. And since it is one of my go-to cleaning ingredients, I feel that it is my duty to show people just how useful borax can be! :-)

Today’s post will serve that purpose in two different ways. First, I’ll cover the basics by answering three of the most common questions that people ask about borax. Second, I’ll share over two dozen great uses for borax, from clearing a drain to preserving flowers and beyond! By the end of this post, you’re sure to have a whole new appreciation for this formerly mysterious substance. :-)

3 Frequently Asked Questions About Borax (& Their Answers) #1 – “What Is Borax?”

Borax, also known as sodium borate or sodium tetraborate, is a naturally occurring mineral that is primarily mined from evaporated lakes in California and Turkey.

Borax is used in many different commercial applications, including as an ingredient in household cleaning products, as a buffer in chemical laboratories, to help extract gold in mining operations, and as a component of glass and ceramics.

#2 – “Is Borax Safe?”

The short answer is “yes,” and the slightly longer answer is “yes, as long as you use it responsibly.”

According to the Harmful Substances Database (HSDB), borax is not classifiable as a human carcinogen. However, like many other household substances (including baking soda and washing soda), borax can have a mildly irritating effect on skin. It can also be toxic to adults if ingested in large amounts, and potentially fatal to children if ingested in small amounts.

So in summary, borax is perfectly safe as long as you plan to handle it with the same care that you would use with any other household cleaning product (including keeping it away from children, using it in a well-ventilated space, wearing gloves, etc.)

#3 – “Where Can I Buy Borax?”

You can find borax in the cleaning or laundry aisle of most grocery stores. In my experience, most stores carry the 20 Mule Team brand on either the top or bottom shelf. (You can also get a four-pack of 20 Mule Team borax on Amazon, if you prefer!)

27 Brilliant Household Uses For Borax

1. Clean Your Carpets

Boost the cleaning power of your carpet cleaning machine by adding a 1/2 cup of borax per gallon of water to the reservoir.

2. Feed Fruit Trees

Sprinkle a cup of borax around a full-sized apple tree (or a couple of tablespoons around a young tree) every 3-4 years. This adds the trace mineral boron to the soil, which fruit trees need for good cell wall growth and for fruit and seed development.

3. Make Laundry Detergent

Borax is one of the main ingredients in the recipe for my favorite homemade laundry detergent. Because it produces a basic solution in water, borax helps to boost the effectiveness of the other cleaning ingredients in the detergent.

Related: Cheap, Simple, Homemade Laundry Detergent

4. Deter Pests

Keep roaches, water bugs, and ants away by sprinkling equal parts borax and sugar anywhere you suspect they may be entering your home.

5. Preserve Flowers

You can use borax to preserve many varieties of fresh-cut flowers. Using borax helps removes moisture from the blossoms and leaves to help prevent wilting while they dry.

To use it, just mix one part borax with two parts cornmeal, and sprinkle the mixture into the bottom of a box. Place your flower(s) in the box, then sprinkle more of the borax and cornmeal mixture over the top. Cover the box and let it sit for about two weeks until the flowers are dry.

6. Kill Weeds

Use a sprinkle of borax to kill weeds that come up through the cracks in your walkways. (That’s why borax should be kept away from most plants, because it makes a rather effective herbicide!)

7. Dissolve Sticky Messes

Get rid of sticky, gooey, and gummy adhesive residue with a mixture of two parts borax and 1 part water. Rub the mixture onto the mess until the adhesive dissolves, then rinse clean.

8. Clean Cookware

The gentle cleaning effect of borax is perfect for use on porcelain and aluminum cookware. Sprinkle onto pots and pans and rub with a damp dishcloth to clean, then rinse thoroughly.

9. Clean Car Upholstery

Another homemade cleaning solution that benefits from borax is my homemade car upholstery cleaner. It’s the most affordable way I’ve found to remove dirt and grime from your car’s floor mats and upholstery!

Related: This Is The Cheapest Way To Make Your Car Look Brand New

10. Freshen Up Your Fridge

Mix up a cleaning solution of 1 quart warm water and 1 tablespoon borax, and use it to clean spills and grime inside your refrigerator. Not only will it clean your fridge, but it will deodorize it and leave it smelling much fresher!

11. Scrub Showers, Tubs & Tile

Sprinkle borax on a damp sponge or soft cloth and use as you would a powdered cleanser. You can even use this method to clean fiberglass surfaces without scratching up the finish. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

12. Remove Rust

Remove rust by mixing up a simple cleaning solution of 1-2 tablespoons of borax, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and enough water to make a paste. Apply the paste with a sponge or scrubber to your rusted items, and scrub until the rust is gone. (Be sure to rinse and dry the item thoroughly afterward.)

13. Clean Your Toilet Bowl

You can use borax, white vinegar, and essential oils to make an all-natural toilet bowl cleaner that works just as well as the store-bought stuff. Grab the full recipe for my homemade toilet bowl cleaner at the link below.

Related: How To Make A Simple, All-Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner

14. Prevent Humidifier Odors

To help keep your humidifier free of odor and bacteria, dissolve 1/2 cup of borax in 1 gallon of water and add it to the tank. Run your humidifier for 10-15 minutes, then dump out the tank and rinse well with clean water.

15. Erase Sink Stains

Remove stains from stainless steel or porcelain sinks with a paste of 1 cup borax and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Use a sponge or cloth to rub the paste into the stains, then rinse with warm water.

16. Clean Outdoor Furniture

Use borax to get your outdoor furniture cleaned up for patio season. Mix 1 teaspoon of dish soap, 1 teaspoon of borax and 1 quart of warm water in a spray bottle and spray it generously over outdoor furniture. Wipe the furniture clean with a damp rag, or rinse well with your garden hose.

17. Sanitize Your Garbage Disposal

Clean and sanitize your garbage disposal by sprinkling 3 tablespoons of borax into the drain. Let it sit for about an hour, then rinse the drain well with plenty of warm water.

18. Deodorize A Mattress

You can use borax to remove odors caused by sweat or urine from a mattress. Dampen the surface of the mattress where the odor is most concentrated, then rub in borax with a damp cloth. Let the mattress surface dry completely, then use your vacuum to clean up the dried powder.

19. Deodorize Your Trash Can

To deodorize a smelly garbage can, fill it with water and add a big scoop of borax. Let it soak for an hour or so, then rinse clean. Dry it completely, then sprinkle a bit more borax into the bottom of the can to help deter bugs and absorb odor-causing moisture.

20. Refresh Linens

Remove mildew and musty odors from linens by soaking them in a solution of 2 quarts of water and 2 cups of borax. Allow the linens to soak for a few hours, then rinse clean.

21. Make Slime

You can use borax to make homemade “slime” that your kids or grandkids will love! You’ll need a couple of bowls, some water, a bottle of school glue, food coloring, and a bit of borax.

In one bowl, combine 4 ounces of school glue, 1/2 cup water, and a couple drops of your food coloring of choice. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, mix 1 tsp borax and 1 cup warm water together until dissolved.

Pour the glue mixture into the borax water and stir. Once the “slime” comes together, discard any excess water and knead the slime a bit more to finish.

22. Kill Fleas

Sprinkle borax on dog beds, carpets, and other areas where you suspect that fleas are hatching. Let it sit for an hour or so, then vacuum thoroughly before use.

23. Make An All-Purpose Cleaner

You can use borax, washing soda, and castile soap to make a great all-purpose cleaning spray. It’s perfect for wiping down surfaces and cleaning up everyday spills and messes.

Related: How To Make An Easy All-Purpose Cleaner For Everyday Messes

24. Unclog A Drain

Unclog drains with 1/2 cup of borax followed by 2 cups of boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then run warm water through the drain for a few minutes to flush out the borax and any loosened clogs.

25. Make A Scouring Powder

You can use borax to make a homemade scouring powder that’s great for scrubbing sinks, tubs, and other grimy surfaces. Get all the details and instructions in the post at the link below.

Related: How To Make A 4-Ingredient Herbal Scouring Powder

26. Make A Carpet Powder

Why buy carpet cleaning or carpet freshening powder from a store when you can make your own at home for pennies? Just sprinkle it over your carpets, let it sit to absorb dirt and odors, then vacuum your way to fresher, cleaner carpets. Get the full details below.

Related: How To Make A Cheap & Natural Deodorizing Carpet Powder

27. Whiten Yellowed Pillows

It’s nearly impossible to prevent your body’s natural oils from seeping into your pillow, which is why pillows tend to take on a yellow hue over time. But there’s a simple method you can use to whiten and brighten your pillow, thanks in part to the cleaning power of borax! You’ll find the step-by-step instructions for whitening yellowed pillows below.

Related: How To Rescue Your Old Yellowed Pillows

Do you have a personal favorite use for borax?

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Essential oils are very powerful tools, and with great power comes great responsibility. In order to use essential oils responsibly, it’s just as important understand the risks they pose as it is to know their benefits.

So in order to help us all become more responsible essential oil users, today I’ll be sharing 7 common mistakes that people make when using essential oils. Avoiding these 7 things can go a long way toward ensuring your personal safety, and the safety of the people and animals you live with! :-)

A Quick Note About Safety & Essentials by Jillee Products

Safety and purity were two of my top priorities when creating my Essentials by Jillee oils and oil blends. That’s why each product page for my oils and oil blends features warnings (as applicable) about hot oils, phototoxic oils, and more. Warnings like these make it easier to avoid making many of the mistakes you’ll see listed below.

7 Mistakes To Avoid When Using Essential Oils

1. Using Photosensitive Oils In The Sun

Some essential oils are photosensitive, which means they have a chemical reaction to sunlight. If you apply photosensitive oils to your skin and then expose your skin to sunlight, that chemical reaction can produce redness, irritation, itching, and in severe cases, actual blisters and burns.

Take care to avoid applying photosensitive oils (including cold-pressed citrus oils like lemon, lime, grapefruit, bitter orange, and bergamot oils) before spending time in the sun. Instead, apply these oils or blends containing these oils in the evening to avoid any phototoxic reactions.

2. Diffusing Too Much

Diffusing essential oils is generally quite safe as long as you don’t overdo it. For standard diffusers, it’s a good idea to limit each “session” to 30-60 minutes. You could also use a diffuser that cycles on and off at regular intervals, which is a convenient “set it and forget it” option.

Another thing to keep in mind when diffusing essential oils is ventilation. You want to make sure the space is well-ventilated, especially if there are pets around. Pets should always have the option to leave the room when you’re running a diffuser.

3. Storing Oils Incorrectly

Ever wondered why essential oils come in dark-colored glass bottles? The dark coloring of the bottles help protect oils from sun exposure, which can cause them to degrade over time. And the bottles are made of glass because glass isn’t reactive, unlike other plastic, steel, and other materials.

So whenever you are storing something that contains essential oils, choosing a dark-colored glass container is always your best bet. (There are a variety of different amber glass containers available in my shop, which you can check out right here!)

4. Buying Oils With Additives

Purity should be one of your top priorities when shopping for essential oils. Avoid essential oils that contain filler ingredients or synthetic additives. Look for the phrase “100% pure essential oils” to be certain that you’re getting the real deal.

Additionally, avoid products whose labels have descriptions like “fragrance,” “perfume,” and “nature identical oil.” These red flags indicate that the product likely has added ingredients.

5. Failing To Dilute

Essential oils are highly concentrated, and many of them can irritate skin if they’re applied “neat” (or without being diluted). Diluting essential oils with a carrier oil is an easy way to reduce the risk of irritation.

A good rule of thumb for diluting is to add 12 drops of essential oils per 1 ounce of carrier oil. To learn more about carrier oils and their individual properties, check out my post about carrier oils at the link below!

Related: The Best Carrier Oils For Your DIY Health & Beauty Products

6. Handling Oils Carelessly

Always use caution when you’re handling essential oils. Spills are a HUGE mess to clean up, and it can be especially hazardous if you happen to spill them on yourself. Don’t leave uncovered essential oils unattended, and if you do happen to spill oils on your skin, “rinse” them with a carrier oil instead of water.

7. Recommending Oils To Everyone

Essential oils can be useful for many people, but they can pose more of a risk for certain people and animals. Here are some safety recommendations that are important to keep in mind:

  • Pregnant women should avoid essential oils for the first trimester of their pregnancy. After that, certain essential oils can be used with caution. This article from Parents.com has some great information about essential oil use during pregnancy.
  • Use caution when using essential oils around babies and small children. Proper dilution is critical when using essential oils on small children. Get more detailed information about essential oil safety relating to children by reading this article at NOW Foods.
  • Consider the safety of your pets when using essential oils. Certain oils are toxic to pets, and even using oils in a diffuser may overwhelm their sensitive noses. For more on using essential oils safely around pets, check out this article from Wirecutter.

Disclaimer: The content displayed on One Good Thing by Jillee is intended for entertainment and educational purposes only. My content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding your health, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read online.

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There are certain things that us humans need in order to function properly, and sleep is one of them. Sleep affects our mental and physical health in a variety of very real ways! (Learn more about how sleep affects your health by checking out my blog post at the link below.)

Related: 14 Surprising Health Benefits Of A Good Night’s Sleep

But if you want to perform at your best, not just any sleep will do! Truly good sleep needs to meet two requirements: it has to last a certain amount of time, and it needs to be of a sufficiently high quality. But unfortunately, there are about a thousand factors that can make both of those requirements hard to reach!

In order to make it easier, today I’ll be offering up 7 helpful tips for getting better sleep. Whether you have a lot of room for improvement when it comes to sleep, or you just need a bit of a tune-up, these tips will help you get back on track!

7 Tips For Getting Better Sleep

1. Start Keeping Track

You can’t improve your spending habits if you don’t know where your money is going, and you can’t improve your sleep habits if you don’t know when or how long you’re sleeping! So in order to get better sleep, keeping track of your sleep patterns is a great place to start.

For gadget lovers, there are several wearable gadgets on the market that will track your sleep for you. Several Fitbit models have built-in sleep trackers, as does the Apple Watch.

And for those who prefer the pen-and-paper approach, I put together a simple printable Sleep Tracker just for you! :-) If you use it regularly, a sleep diary can help you identify sleep patterns while serving as a nice reminder to try to go to bed at the same time every night. Use the button in the box below to download your free copy.

Sleep Tracker
Click the button below to download your copy of my printable Sleep Tracker!

2. Fall Asleep Faster

Some people have no trouble staying asleep—it’s falling asleep that they struggle with. If that sounds like you, there are plenty of simple things you can do before bedtime to unwind, relax, and fall asleep faster. Get 9 helpful tips for falling asleep faster at the link below.

Related: 9 Things That Will Actually Help You Fall Asleep Faster

3. Wear Something Comfy

Many factors can affect the quality of your sleep, including what you wear to bed! I’ve always been a sweats and t-shirt kind of gal, but I recently invested in my first nice pair of pajamas. I can’t believe how comfortable they are, and I know I’ve been getting better sleep because of them!

On the other hand, there’s also some evidence to suggest that sleeping naked can improve your quality of sleep. So I guess the takeaway is that it doesn’t matter exactly what you wear to bed, as long as you feel as comfortable as possible! :-)

4. Get More Exercise

According to a 2018 review, getting more exercise during the day can improve your quality of sleep, even in those with insomnia. So if you haven’t been sleeping well, try fitting some more exercise into your routine!

(Keep in mind that exercising close to bedtime can make it hard for some people to fall asleep, so try to schedule your exercise early if possible.)

5. Lights Out

The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with your body’s natural production of melatonin and lead to poor sleep. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, avoid using your phone or tablet right before bed.

And it’s not just blue light that can keep you awake! If those LED indicator lights on your bedroom electronics are keeping you awake, check out the post below. It’s packed with ideas for covering up LEDs so they aren’t as bothersome!

Related: How To Block Those Bright LEDs So You Can Actually Sleep

6. Limit Caffeine

Caffeine can linger in your system for hours after you finished your drink and interfere with your sleep! Try to limit your caffeine consumption to the morning hours and early afternoon hours. Shoot for 2:00 pm as a good stopping point.

7. Take A Nap

If you’re not getting enough sleep at night, you’re running a sleep deficit. Taking a nap is actually a pretty good option for earning back some of that sleep! So if you feel like you need a nap, go ahead and take one! (As long as it’s still early enough in the day, or you run the risk of making it hard to fall asleep later.)

Related: Need A Nap? Here Are 5 Good Reasons To Go For It

How do you make sure you’re getting enough good sleep?

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Ever wondered which household cleaning task would qualify for the title of “Most Hated Chore?” Well, wonder no more! Because according to the 2018 ACI National Cleaning Survey, over 50% of people said they dread cleaning the bathroom more than any other cleaning task.

And that’s not particularly surprising, because cleaning the bathroom isn’t really anyone’s idea of a good time. But dreading it won’t change the fact you’re going to have to clean your bathroom occasionally!

In my opinion, the best thing you can do if you hate cleaning the bathroom is to arm yourself with tips and tricks that will make it quicker and easier to do! And that’s exactly what I have to share with you all in today’s post. :-)

My Best Bathroom Cleaning Tips

The first tip I have for you is a 5-step method for cleaning your bathroom in 15 minutes. This method was originally shared with me by Denise, an OGT reader with 20 years of experience cleaning bathrooms! She relied on this method to get her work done quickly, efficiently, and with minimal waste. I use it all the time in my own bathrooms, and it’s such a time-saver!

Because Denise’s method is focused on speed and efficiency, you’ll notice that it doesn’t address bathtubs or showers. But don’t worry, I’m not leaving you hanging! Near the bottom of the post, you’ll find useful links to all my best cleaning tips for tubs, showers, grout, and other “deep cleaning” tasks. :-)

So here’s to making this most dreaded chore a little less dreadful!

How To Clean Your Bathroom In 15 Minutes

You’ll need:

Toilet bowl cleaner
Toilet brush
All-purpose cleaner
Microfiber cloth
About 3 paper towels

Directions:

Step 1 – Scrub The Toilet Bowl

Apply a generous amount of toilet bowl cleaner around the inside of your toilet bowl, then give it a good scrub with a toilet brush. Flush, then prop the brush under the toilet seat to let it drip-dry.

Related: How To Make A Simple, All-Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Step 2 – Spray

Spray the rest of the toilet, plus the sink, faucet(s), and countertop, with your preferred all-purpose cleaner. (Or grab the recipe for my favorite homemade all-purpose cleaner at the link below!)

Related: How To Make An Easy All-Purpose Cleaner For Everyday Messes

Step 3 – Rinse

Dampen your microfiber cloth and use it to wipe down the mirror. Next, use the damp cloth to “rinse” the cleaning spray from the countertop, faucet(s), and sink.

Step 4 – Dry

Use a couple of paper towels to dry the mirror, countertop, faucet(s), sink, and toilet, in that order. (You’ll be working your way from the cleanest thing to the dirtiest thing, which helps to save on paper towels.)

Use the last paper towel to buff a shine onto the mirror and faucet. Throw the paper towels out and put the toilet brush away.

Step 5 – Finishing Touches

Rinse the microfiber cloth and wring it out. Use the damp cloth to spot clean the floor, or to wipe up any hair, dust, or dirt that’s hanging around. Toss the microfiber cloth into your hamper or washer, and you’re done!

Tips For Deep Cleaning The Bathroom

The 15-minute method described above is great for a quick cleanup when you’re short on time. But not every bathroom project can fit into a quick 15-minute cleanup! But don’t worry—while other bathroom-related cleaning tasks may take a bit more time, they’re still easy to tackle if you have the right tools!

Check out the blog posts at the links below to get my best tips and tricks for cleaning the rest of your bathroom.

What’s your very best bathroom cleaning tip?

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Here on my blog, I strive to share simple, everyday tips and tricks that can help make your life a little bit easier. But sometimes, the tips that I want to share aren’t something I can write a whole blog post about! And since I simply cannot waste a good idea, I tuck them away to use at a later date. Today I’ll be sharing some of those tips and tricks with you in the fourteenth edition of my ongoing series “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?”

Missed the last installment, or want to revisit some of your old favorite tips? You’ll find links to every post in the “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” series at the bottom of this post!

1. Tape Your Dustpan

Use a piece of painters tape to eliminate that frustrating line of dirt that is often left behind after sweeping. Tape the front edge of your dustpan to the floor using a piece of painters tape. The tape will bridge the gap between the dustpan and the floor, making it much easier to sweep up every last bit of dust.

2. Improve Your Trash Can

You can use your power drill to make it easier to put a new trash bag in your trash can. Just drill a couple of holes into your trash can, about half way up from the floor. When you put a new trash bag into the can, these air holes will allow air to escape to prevent bubbling.

3. Dust With A Paint Roller

Using a paint roller can make it easier to dust hard-to-reach places. Just wrap a microfiber cloth around the roller and secure it in place with some rubber bands. Then you’ll be ready to dust ceiling fans, light fixtures, door frames, and more!

4. Clean Car Crevices

Some double-sided tape and a ruler can help you clean out the deep crevices in your car. Just wrap a length of double-sided tape around the ruler, then stick the ruler into your car’s hard-to-clean nooks and crannies. The dust, crumbs, and debris will stick to the tape, and your car will be much cleaner for it!

5. Find Bits Of Glass

When you’re cleaning up broken glass, you can use a flashlight to make sure you’ve gotten every last bit of it. Just turn off the lights in the room and shine the flashlight around the area where the glass broke. Any bits of glass you may have missed will reflect the light and be much easier to spot!

6. Toilet Paper Air Freshener

Use essential oils to turn your roll of toilet paper into a bathroom air freshener! Just add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the inside of the toilet paper roll. Every time the roll spins around your toilet paper holder, it will reactivate the scent of the oil and freshen the air.

7. Tape Edge Trick

Sick of losing the edge of your tape? Just fold the edge of the tape under itself! This little tab will make it much easier to find the edge of the tape when you need it, and can be a real time saver!

8. Longer Lasting Lipstick

Want your lip color to last longer? Grab some translucent setting powder and a tissue. Hold the tissue to your lips, then apply the setting powder to your lips over the tissue. This will help set your lipstick without making your lips look powdery or dry.

Related: 9 Brilliant Hacks That Solve The Most Annoying Beauty Problems

9. Simplify Sliced Onions

Thinly sliced onions are great on burgers, salads, and sandwiches, but they can take a long time to cut by hand. Instead of using a knife, you can do it much faster with a potato peeler! The slices come out extra-thin, and it requires much less time and effort.

10. Mason Jar Dish Scrubber

Turn a small mason jar into a soap-dispensing dish scrubber! You’ll need a small jar, a mason jar lid that already has a hole in it (like this one), a sponge, and a hot glue gun.

Cut a sponge so that it’s the same size and shape as your jar lid, then use hot glue to glue the edges of the sponge to the top of the lid. Fill your jar with dish soap, put the finished sponge lid on top, and it’s ready to use!

11. Filter Grip Tab

Depending on the layout of your HVAC system, it can be tricky to grab onto the old filter to remove it. So before you slide a new filter in, use some painters tape to put a simple “grip tab” on one corner of the filter. When you go to remove the filter down the road, the tape tab will make it much easier to grab!

The “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” Series

If you’ve missed any of the previous posts in this series, or want to revisit some of your old favorite tips, you’ve come to the right place! Below you’ll find links to all of the previous posts in the “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” series. (You can also save them to your Favorites if you’re an OGT Plus member!)

Happy reading! :-)

Read More: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part Seven | Part Eight | Part Nine | Part Ten | Part Eleven | Part Twelve | Part Thirteen | 1st Holiday Edition | 2nd Holiday Edition | 3rd Holiday Edition | Father’s Day Edition | Thanksgiving Edition | Super Bowl Edition

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Having a good set of bath towels is one of life’s little luxuries. Even when I’ve had a rough day, wrapping myself up in a clean, fluffy bath towel after a hot shower can improve my mood considerably! But the unfortunate thing about clean, fluffy bath towels is that they don’t always stay that way.

In fact, people frequently do things that have a negative impact on their towels, whether by shortening their lifespan, or affecting their texture, absorbency, color, or smell. So if you have a set a clean, fluffy towels at home that you treasure, it’s worth learning what these bad habits are so that you can avoid them!

In order to help you protect your investment in your towels, today I’ll be sharing 7 common things people do to harm or even ruin their towels. Even if all you do is avoid these 7 habits listed below, you can be certain that your towels will stay nicer, longer!

7 Ways You’re Ruining Your Towels

1. Using Too Much Detergent

You should always use the correct amount of detergent when washing your clothes, but it is particularly important for those using HE washers. Because they use less water than standard washers, it is unlikely that the rinse cycle will be able to rinse out all of the detergent from your towels if you’ve added too much of it.

That remaining detergent residue can form a buildup, making your towels less absorbent and harder to clean. Keep your towels clean and residue-free, make sure to use only the recommended amount of detergent for your load size and washer type.

2. Using Fabric Softener

Just like detergent, fabric softener can also leave a residue on your towels. It will coat the fibers with a waxy film, making them less absorbent over time. Instead of using fabric softener to keep your towels soft and fluffy, I recommend adding white vinegar to the rinse cycle instead. Vinegar is an excellent fabric softener, and it prevents buildup and controls odor too!

Related: How To Make A Scented Vinegar Fabric Softener Rinse

And when your dry your towels, dryer balls can help cut down on static just like dryer sheets, but without leaving a residue behind.

3. Removing Your Makeup

Makeup is thick, highly pigmented, and tough to remove from fabric. Your washer will likely struggle to wash it out entirely from your towels, so it can quickly wear your towel out.

If you prefer to remove your makeup with a towel rather than something disposable, just make sure to rinse your towel well with warm water after each use. This extra step should help get your towel cleaner in the wash.

4. Washing Them In Hot Water

While washing towels in hot water is good for cleanliness, it’s also a quick way to fade the color of your towels. Use warm or cool water for most washes to keep your towels looking newer, longer.

(I will note that this isn’t really an issue with white towels. Feel free to wash those in hot whatever as often as you like!)

5. Hanging Them On Hooks

Hanging your towel to dry on a hook leaves folds in the towel, and those folds can prevent the towel from drying completely. This creates the perfect environment for mildew to grow, and no one wants that!

If you can, hang your towel on a towel bar to dry instead. The flatter the towel is as it dries, the more likely it will be to dry completely. (Don’t have a towel bar? Hang your towel over your shower curtain rod!)

6. Using Only One Set

The more you use and wash your towels, the quicker you’ll wear them out. Consider using two sets of towels instead of just one. That way, you can wash one while you use the other, giving each set a chance to “rest” in between and helping both sets of towels last longer!

7. Wiping Products On Them

Certain beauty and personal care products like whitening toothpaste and acne treatments contain ingredients that can bleach and ruin your towels. And not only that, but your towels can transfer those bleaching agents to other items in the wash!

To keep your towels looking nice and to avoid any laundry transfer catastrophes, keep these products away from your towels.

Do you have a favorite brand or style of towels?

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Of all the beauty and skincare products that are on the market these days, I would argue that face mists are one of the most versatile. A good face mist can provide hydration to dry skin, lock in moisture, help you feel refreshed, and so much more. And today I’ll be showing you how to make a truly wonderful and all-natural DIY face mist, because I know you’re going to love it! :-)

Firstly we’ll talk about the three main ingredients that go into this mist, and the specific ways they can benefit your skin. Then I’ll share the easy recipe and directions for making this DIY face mist at home. And finally, I’ll finish off by sharing 6 different ways you can use your new face mist. (I suggest giving them all a try so you can decide which ones you prefer!)

What’s In It?

Apart from distilled water, this hydrating mist has three main ingredients that offer a variety of benefits. Here’s a quick rundown of what they do:

  • Witch hazel – A natural astringent that helps reduce inflammation and minimize the appearance of pores. (Learn more about it here. )
  • Rose water – A skin-soothing and antioxidant-rich ingredient that provides hydration. (Learn more about it here. )
  • Vegetable glycerin – A humectant that attracts and locks in moisture; adds a slight tackiness that can help set makeup.

In addition to these three main ingredients, there are also a few optional ingredients you can choose to use to customize the spray for your unique skin type. I’ve included those for you in the recipe below.

How To Make A DIY Face Mist

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp distilled water
2 Tbsp witch hazel
2 Tbsp rose water
1 Tbsp vegetable glycerin

Optional Ingredients:

1 drop tea tree essential oil (for acne-prone skin)
1 drop lavender essential oil (for sensitive skin)
1 tsp aloe vera gel (to reduce redness)
1-3 drops liquid highlighter (for added shimmer)

Directions:

Add the distilled water, witch hazel, rose water, vegetable glycerin, and optional ingredients (if using) to a small glass spray bottle .

Shake well to combine, then store in a cool, dark cabinet for up to one month, or in the fridge for up to three months.

6 Ways To Use Your DIY Face Mist

1. Makeup Sponges

For those who use a makeup sponge to apply or blend your foundation, dampen your sponge with your face mist instead of water.

2. Primer Spray

Spritz the mist onto your skin before applying your makeup, and it will help your makeup adhere to your skin better.

3. Setting Spray

Use the mist as a setting spray after you apply your makeup. Setting sprays help “set” your makeup and keep it in place so it lasts longer.

4. Touchups

Need to touch up your makeup during the day? Carry this face mist in your makeup bag or purse to use before or after a touchup.

5. Toner

This face mist makes a wonderful toner too. Use it after washing your face to remove any remaining impurities and tone your skin, then follow up with your favorite moisturizer.

6. Freshen Up

Use this face mist any time your skin could use some refreshment! It’s perfect for cooling off when you feel overheated, or anytime you want to freshen up a bit.

7. At-Home Facial

Enjoy a luxurious spa treatment in the comfort of your own home! Start your at-home facial by using the exfoliating face mask from the link below, then follow up with a few spritzes of your DIY face mist. After that, your skin will look and feel fresh and rejuvenated!

Related: Homemade Exfoliating Face Mask

Have you ever used a face mist before, whether homemade or store-bought?

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