While we all embrace our inner hermits this winter, here are a few ideas from Alice to get creative without leaving the house:
- Donate money or time to a good cause. Organizations of all kinds can use your help this winter, especially online. Set a trend to get the word out by sharing posts about your favorite causes on social media. Influencers can do well by doing good in the virtual world.
- Clean out the closets. Sell or donate your old jeans to make room for new ones! Check out the largest online consignment store- ThredUp. Sign up and they’ll send you a giant bag to fill and mail away…
- Binge-watch How the Universe Works. This works for Alice whenever the world seems too far gone and we need a good shift in perspective. The size of space is a great reminder of how minuscule our part is to play.
- Yoga, Pilates, and more with A Sana Moves online to keep your mind and body healthy this winter.
- Teach yourself pinochle. It’s not just a game for old men in the park anymore.
- Scan old pictures and make a collage. Relive the good ole days! Time passes surprisingly quickly while digging through memories of our youth…
- Make a vision board. Get creative with words and images you want to see more of in your day-to-day life and then glue them to the medicine cabinet mirror.
- Make soap or cheese or marshmallow snowmen. You’re crafty!**
- Turn your living room into a putt-putt golf course. Keep score and remember, free drinks/butter cookies for everyone when you get a hole-in-one.
- Get started early on homemade holiday gifts for 2021. Amazon is expecting to make over 100 billion in revenue for their 2020 fourth quarter. Wouldn’t it be great to give everyone on your list a funky too-long scarf, or a collage calendar with personalized dates to remember next year?
** Homemade Soap tips from AL Snow (recipe from Wellnessmama)
If you want to increase the amount of soap you make, use this lye calculator to make sure you use the correct ratio.
4 oz coconut oil
4 oz shea butter
2 oz beeswax
1 oz jojoba oil
1.35 oz lye
3.5 oz milk (I used cream)
Prepare your mold. Wood molds will need to be lined with freezer paper or wax paper. Silicone molds are ready to use as is. You can also use any box if you line it with freezer paper, wax paper, or a thick garbage bag.
Make sure that your work area is clean, ventilated and that there are no children nearby. This is not a good recipe to let children help with since lye is caustic until mixed with water and oils.
Weigh out your oils/wax (you can use whatever combination you want, just make sure you use 11 oz to match the 1.35 oz of lye.) Melt then pour into the slow cooker.
Turn to low heat. You can also melt oils in slow cooker (or just heat up if you are using all liquid oil) on high, then turn to low.
While oils are heating, carefully measure the lye and water separately. Carefully take the cups with the measured water and lye outside or to a well-ventilated area.
Pour the water into a quart size or larger glass jar.
With gloves and eye protection, slowly add the lye to the water. DO NOT ADD THE WATER TO THE LYE (this is really important.)
Stir with a metal spoon, avoid contact with the mixture. As you stir, the mixture will become white and cloudy and get really hot. Let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes to cool. It should become clear when it has cooled. Stir in the water and lye mixture once the oil has reached 120-140 degrees.
Rinse the container that had the water/lye in it well, then rinse again with white vinegar to neutralize lye. Use a stick blender to blend the mixture in the slow cooker for about 4-5 minutes or until it is opaque and starting to thicken. Cover and keep the slow cooker heat on low to thicken. Check every 15 minutes– you’re waiting for it to thicken. It will start to boil and bubble on the sides first. After about 35-55 minutes it will be thick enough that the entire surface is bubbly and the sides have collapsed in. Turn the heat off and remove the inner bowl of the slow cooker. If you are going to use essential oils for scent, add them now.
NOTE: There is a reason that store bought homemade soap is so expensive– it takes A LOT of essential oil to actually make your soap smell pretty. I used 4 teaspoons, but I couldn’t smell anything in the finished product!
Spoon the mixture into the mold. Cover soap and set in cool, dark place for at least 24 hours. The soap can be used then, but experts (I’m not one, but I follow their advice) recommend waiting up to two weeks for the soap to cure.