“Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don’t quite know how to put our love into words.” – Harlan Miller, writer

Hi everyone!!!

How was your Christmas? Or Hanukkah? Or Kwanza? Whatever you celebrate this time of year, I hope it was wonderful!

I had a great Christmas. My brother, Andrew came in from Michigan and spent a week home – much longer than usual and my mother was very happy about that. We did secret Santa this year and I had to buy for Andrew. I bought him a couple things on his list but then I also decided to do a bunch of DIY gifts for Christmas this year. We also had a surprise visit from my Aunt and her fiancé and she gave me my Girl Scout cookies that I have been craving! I never saw any Girl Scouts this year 😦 but I still got some! 🙂

I believe that a handmade gift is much more thoughtful and a sign of love this time of year. Make gifts for your family – buy gifts for the homeless or the children up at Hillside.

I was getting way too excited looking at http://www.marthastewart.com and her section of DIY gifts so I figured to make my Christmas gifts this year.  My brother always calls me asking me “what spices do I use for this thing?” and “how long do I cook this?”  So, I made him a delicious gourmet hot cocoa mix and a couple spice mixes that I use myself.  I wish I had pictures of the cute little jars I put the spices in.  They were actually mini glass jars with a handle and a sprinkle top – perfect for spices – from Wal-Mart!

My favorite DIY gifts this year though are the bath scrubs, bath fizzies, and Savon de Marseille.  I can’t believe how incredibly easy everything was to make and it’s all so much freakin’ cheaper than the store bought stuff.  Like that new store in Eastview mall called Lush.  You could make at least half the crap in there with stuff in your pantry and spice cupboard for less than half the price and you get double the amount.  Not only was I able to make gifts for 8 people but I was also able to keep extra of everything for myself! Now that’s a perfect gift.

The bath scrubs were not hard to make.  I put 3 cups of Epsom salt with 1 cup or so of granulated sugar + 1 cup of olive oil, mix (add more sugar or oil depending in how you like the consistency) and then add a couple drops of soap or food coloring + 10 or so drops of pure oil essence – I used rose and lavender scents.  I was following Martha Stewarts formula for this but I felt that there was just way too much oil so I decided to add the sugar, which her recipe does not call for.  I actually really like the two different sizes of exfoliates in the scrub.  I packed these in mason jars and wrote on top in white-out what it’s called.  I don’t think there is a need for directions when it comes to a bath scrub, haha.

*Lavender-Vanilla Bath Scrub*


The bath fizzies were just as easy! I followed Martha Stewart’s recipe and they turned out perfect.  The only special equipment you need is a silicone ice cube mold and a bottle spray with a mist setting that you’re willing to put soap/food color and citric acid, which I purchased at my local hydroponic store.  I packed these the same way as the scrubs.

*Rose Scented Bath Fizzies*

*Lavender scrub and Rose fizzies*


The Savon de Marseille was even easier than the other two and I think less messy!  This soap is awesome.  I purchased a soap like this at an arts festival for way more than the cost per portion of the soap I made.  Plus, it gave me 8 bars of soap, I was able to make a one stop purchase to Michael’s, and I used part of a milk container for the mold – how’s that for recycling!  Hehe.
I followed Martha Stewart’s recipe again but I increased the amount of French clay (I had purchased this at Abundance Market a long time ago) because I had used bath oil from Bath and Body Works instead of essential oil of eucalyptus and spearmint. This soap is so good for your body, especially for your face.

**STEP 1**

**STEP 2**

**STEP 3**

I wrapped them in parchment paper then tissue paper and tied them with some hemp and slid in a little construction paper explaining what exactly is Savon de Marseille. Look how cute they are 🙂


I also babysat Anthea and Gavin, two little kiddies that live next door to me.  I decided to make them crayons.  I broke up pieces of old crayons and arranged them in a funky shaped silicone mold.  Bake them at 150-200 degrees; once melted, remove from oven and let cool overnight.  They’ll just pop out the next day!

They loved them!!

Have you given DIY projects as gifts?

What’s your favorite DIY project?

Have you ever made your own beauty products?


About cookbravissima

Hello there! Thank you for visiting my page! =) ****BLOG UNDER CONSTRUCTION-PLEASE COME BACK SOON**** My name is Maria. I am a babysitter, Our Lady of Mercy graduate, 25 years old and a dietary consultant for 33 Definitions Health and Wellness Education. I started this blog with the intention to share my healthy food creations with the everyday person, like myself! I do not consider myself a Chef. I believe a Chef is someone who went to school for culinary and/or works in a restaurant kitchen. Me, I am not a Chef, just an average person who loves to cook healthy! I am currently majoring in Culinary Arts but I still do not consider myself a chef. In 2008, I was going through a really tough time, physically and emotionally. My depression and anxiety had such a strong grip on my mental/physical health it was taking control. I wasn’t treating myself right in every category; example, not eating all day then having one large meal at night, and it wasn’t a healthy meal. I also wasn’t working out anymore; I used to be such an avid rower, co-captain of my high school team. But I was depressed, I couldn’t drink, eat or sleep. I was dehydrated and eventually lead to my body basically breaking down on me. I lost 40 pounds in just a couple months; my body was forming a substitute carbohydrate which was making me dry heave, all due to not drinking and eating. I thought to myself, how the hell does one throw up from not eating? No idea, but that’s what my doctor told me. I should have been in the hospital hooked up to an IV. Anyway, after I was able to walk without feeling like passing out I scheduled to see a psychiatrist and vowed to treat my body better. I grew up in a house where my mother had a healthy homemade meal on the table every weekday, so I just followed that while doing my research on what exactly is “healthy” food because everyone has their own definition (which is perfectly fine). Being healthy is not a diet, it is a lifestyle! It includes both physical and mental self, which is why I say a diet makes no sense! Everyone has their own lifestyle and many people that eat healthy vow by eating a certain way while others may not agree. Well, I say they’re all wrong! It should be whatever one believes is healthy for them, inside and out but do your research first! If whatever you are doing keeps you healthy and happy, then you are doing something right! #EatFreshCookBravissima
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One Response to “Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don’t quite know how to put our love into words.” – Harlan Miller, writer

  1. peg bohrer says:

    awesome DIY ideas,I’m trying the bath one..thanks

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