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Recently, I received a YouTube comment under my popular "How to paint your kitchen cabinets with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint" video. The gentleman wanted to know how my cabinets were holding up after 2 years. Below you will see(via a NEW YouTube video) the full spectrum of kitchen cabinet damage over 2 years. The place that incurred the most damage was the cabinets immediately below the sink. However, if you do a thorough job painting(2 to 3 coats), seal with wax(2 thin coats and allowing to dry 12 hours between applications), and maintain the wax(when the clear wax appears dull you should apply another thin coat) you will never have to re-paint. Alas, I have two toddlers and the clear wax applications were missed. Now, I have to re-paint AND seal with clear wax. Maintaining your chalk paint projects is par for the course, especially if it sees a lot of use!

In my kitchen, there are 3 areas of differentiated wear and tear. (1.) Underneath the sink, it looks pretty shabby. I am going to thoroughly clean and allow the area to dry. I will then take my Napoleonic Blue and paint with two layers(allowing to dry in between coats). I always wax the same day. Especially, if that area is anywhere near water. If water gets on your chalk paint projects it will spot and you will have to re-paint the affected areas....again. Lightly wax your project before you go to sleep and when you wake up apply the second coat of wax. I never use the wax brush. I use a clean rag that I can throw away after I am finished. With a rag, you can feel the wax is getting where it needs to be. You also can buff as you go with the rag. Wear a mask and gloves.

(2.) The cabinets with all our pots and silverware(which we use daily) show moderate wear and tear. I may renew the area with 1 coat of Napoleonic Blue and seal with 2 coats of clear wax. I say "may", because I might just seal it with wax and paint it next year. The beauty of Annie Sloan chalk paint is you can see all the imperfections and flaws. The paint is not flat. It has life!

(3.) The third area to discuss is the very ends of the cabinets where people just walk by. These areas are in excellent condition. They need nothing...not even waxed. After painting the entire kitchen 2 year ago, I have to touch up six drawers. That is pretty miraculous. Sometimes, maintenance is over-rated! A few chips here and there simply add character. You can touch up your chalk paint projects if you desire or don't. You do not have to call a chalk paint specialist. You are the chalk paint specialist!


Good Luck and if you have any questions be sure to leave them below! Who knows? I may do a chalk paint video for your questions!

Fluster Buster


Spring fever and cabin fever have taken hold of our household. There may be snow on the ground, but there are tulips growing in our hearts! Now is the time to plot your garden for Spring 2015! Some of you may not know this, but I am an avid gardener. I am dreaming of the day that my lavender is in full bloom and I can go outside to harvest it. This Spring you have an Eco friendly ally known as Blooming Secrets. Do yourself a favor and sign up for their newsletter! Thank me later.

By signing up for their newsletter, you will not only get deals through their website, but you will also get useful gardening tips too! Also, 1% of sales goes to the gardening or conservation organization of your choice. However, what I love the most about Blooming Secrets is they are focused on Organic gardening solutions. They even sell neem oil (Organic pest control). My Virginia roses are going to be very happy campers this year! For my gardening pleasure, Blooming Secrets sent me their "Organic Cheer" herb garden seed kit which you can cultivate inside or out.

Secretly, I have always wanted an indoor herb garden. So this week, I will make the trip to Home Depot to gather some Organic gardening soil for my Organic herb garden. You get a nice variety of Organic herbs in the "Organic Cheer" kit from Blooming Secrets. It features dill cheer, oregano peace, sage gratitude, thyme health, basil harmony, and garlic chives laughter. As you can see, they are all whimsically named after their most endearing qualities.

They are also very easy to plant for those who are green thumb challenged. You plant your seeds in sterile soil and cover with 1/4" soil. Lightly spray with water. Cover your seeds with plastic. Place your seeds in a dark and warm location until sprouting occurs. Then, move to a sunlit area. That is that! I cannot wait to try my hand at cultivating my own Organic herb garden! What about you?

Would you like to try your hand at cultivating your own Organic herb garden????!! Enter below to win "Organic Cheer". It includes six Organic herb seed tins, pencil, and wooden labels!!! Good luck!! Use discount code SPUNKY for 20% off any purchase. Good through 3/2015.
Rachel's Plan Bee Facial Oil Giveaway
Rachel describes Rachel's Plan Bee as an "unplanned adventure". She started her all-natural and wholesome skincare company with her son's needs in mind. I believe all good companies start out seeking a solution for a problem. From first glance, you can see how beautiful and meticulous her product packaging is.  Rachel uses simple and beneficial ingredients in her products....nothing less and nothing more. The one ingredient she uses that I was not instantly familiar with was the olive squalane oil.

After reading up about its benefits, I can see why she uses it. I want this oil in all of my skincare products from now on - especially for my facial care. Olive squalane oil has anti-aging, skin cell renewing, moisturizing, protective properties against the sun and free radicals, antimicrobial properties, and it is also great for sensitive skin. These are just some of the benefits from olive squalane oil. Rachel favors light and easily penetrating oils for her skincare products. Her facial oil is no exception and it smells like childhood! Follow me...

Rachel's Plan Bee Facial Oil is a facial oil that is good for everyone. The light oils are heavy enough for cold weather moisturizing and light enough for the balmy summer days. This little bottle of facial oil is jam packed with antioxidant rich oils such as cranberry seed oil. The childhood nostalgia comes from the creamsicle scent. Orange peel oil and vanilla planifolia are combined to achieve this heavenly aroma. The facial oil is light, warm, and citrusy. Love at first application. Also, this is an extreme side note, but the label is waterproof. I LOVE that! I highly recommend that you purchase this facial oil. You are not only supporting a small business, but you are also purchasing a very high quality product. $20 for this facial oil? I think they need to raise their price!

Who is ready for a Rachel's Plan Bee Facial Oil giveaway?!


Apple Bacon Dutch Baby Recipe #nomnom
This morning(while devouring the classic apple version of the "dutch baby") I had a devilishly delicious idea spawn from the corners of my mind. Add BACON. Yes! I should add bacon to the classic apple dutch baby recipe! I started thinking about how I would compose this dish and I knew this recipe was something monumental that must be shared. The recipe is a piece of cake...or in this case a piece of bacon(waahh, waahhh, waahhhhh). To make this savory-sweet version of the apple dutch baby, simply start as you normally would and grab that cast iron skillet!

Take your bacon and cut it into tiny pieces. Place your bacon in your cast iron skillet at 400 degrees. Bake until rendered and crispy(about 10 minutes). Drain the bacon grease. Add your thinly sliced apples, brown sugar, butter, and spices(cinnamon and nutmeg). Mix together and let apples caramelize for about 10 minutes. While your apples are caramelizing, make your batter.

Mix your dry ingredients together. I would leave out any additional salt, because of the bacon and butter. Slowly add your milk and mix thoroughly until combined. Add your eggs one at a time until completely combined. Then, add your vanilla extract and additional spices. Pour your batter into your hot cast iron skillet and bring the oven temperature down to 375. 375 degrees will give you a fluffier dutch baby. If you bake at 400 degrees you will get a thinner and crispier dutch baby. The world is your oyster! Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot with a dusting of powdered sugar and/or syrup! Enjoy bacon lovers!

Apple Bacon Dutch Baby Recipe (Feeds 4 to 6 people)
Do this first(oven at 400 for about 20 minutes total):
5 pieces of thick sliced bacon(cut into tiny pieces)
2 to 3 tbsp of butter(optional)
2 large honey crisp apples(thinly sliced)
4 Tbsp Brown Sugar with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg

For the batter(oven at 375 for 20-25 minutes):
3/4 cup flour
4 tbsp Sugar
Cinnamon and nutmeg(add as much as you desire). I add a lot!
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
5 large eggs
Fluster Buster
Kent Ave. Mango Peruvia Skincare Giveaway
*Sponsored post. All words are my my own.

Tropical candy! That is what we are dealing with here. Tropical candy for your skin. The Mango Peruvia line from Kent Ave. smells nothing like NY(where the lovely proprietor Whitney lives). The Mango Peruvia whipped body butter smells like fresh salt water coming off the beach mixed with mouth-watering ripened mangoes! Ahhhh...the scent is divine. Whitney combines a plethora of nourishing oils like coconut, Jamaican black castor, sweet-almond, eucalyptus, tea tree, and sweet-almond!! Goodness, that is a lot of all-natural goodness for you skin. Kent Ave. also includes whipped mango butter and raw honey(as a natural preservative). Incredibly soothing and incredibly moisturizing! Great for thirsty winter skin. I have been using the Mango Peruvia whipped body butter on my son's poor wind-burned cheeks and they look SO much better!Wait...there's more! I did not even talk about the Mango Shea Meal soap! It's new you know.

Kent Ave. Mango Peruvia Skincare Giveaway
Kent Ave. Mango Peruvia Skincare Giveaway
Another tropical treat for the bath! The Shea Meal mango soap is made with exfoliating oatmeal and smells just like the body butter. All-natural Mango perfume! Both the soap and body butter are very firm. Incredibly moisturizing and just perfect for the ultra dry skin that we experience during the wintertime! This soap is as soothing, moisturizing, and exfoliating as a soap can get! Made with all natural goodness and preserved naturally too. If you love the scent of mango than you will go mangoes for Kent Avenue's Shea Meal mango soap and the Mango Peruvia whipped body butter.
 
Who is ready for a Kent Ave. moisturizing mango giveway?!
Windecker Farms Citrus Mint Deodorant Giveaway
Get ready for a trip to California and Windecker Farms! The beautiful and vibrant blue label with a rooster in sunglasses cannot be missed! Their label says a lot about the origins of this natural & Organic skincare company. Hip, clean, but with a down home feel. California does not tell the entire story of this company, nor does it explain a big ole rooster with sunglasses, but Iowa sure does! Miss Kimberli, the owner of Windecker Farms, is originally from Iowa and has a true passion for natural deodorants. Besides natural deodorants, she also has an array of natural and Organic skincare products including: handcrafted soaps, lip balms, body butters, etc.. The realization of the dangers of commercial deodorants and a painful loss inspired Kimberli to give birth to Windecker Farms. Boy, am I glad she did! Let's pour us some sweet tea and chat about Windecker Farms Organic Citrus Mint deodorant.

Windecker Farms Citrus Mint Deodorant Giveaway
The first thing you might notice about the Organic Citrus Mint deodorant is the creamy texture. Very creamy and pleasant to apply. When you do apply, please know that a teeny bit goes a very long way! A pea size per underarm is adequate. Windecker Farms uses base ingredients of Organic coconut oil and shea butter. I love coconut oil in natural deodorants, because of their wonderful anti-bacterial and moisturizing properties. Plus, coconut oil has a lovely tropical scent! Windecker Farms includes a myriad of citrus Organic essential oils to include: orange, lemon, and lime! A hint of spearmint gives it a light minty note. The scent is present, but not overwhelming. You can absolutely apply perfume after using your Organic Citrus Mint deodorant without co-mingling scents. Most importantly, it keeps your fresh and dry all day long.

Cock-a-doodle doooo! Who is ready for a Windecker Farms Giveaway?!
Valentine's Day is this Saturday! Perhaps you have plans for the big "love" day or perhaps you have several children and are making plans at home. Regardless, this natural massage oil candle will set the mood right! No artificial ingredients! Only pure oils, beeswax, and scented with ingredients that are natural aphrodisiacs. I used a sweet ball jar and you can pick up wicks at your local craft store. Tips for success: use your hot glue gun and two chopsticks to press the wick in place. While your are pouring your hot oil into your jar of choice use the chopsticks again to keep your wick centered.  Do not move your candle for several hours until the candle is set. When using your massage oil candle, pour the warm oil into your hand and then gently apply to your partner. Burning oil gets hot...so use caution love birds. Ready, Set, let's make love...candles!


Natural Massage Oil Candle {DIY}
Natural Massage Oil Candle Recipe {ingredients are weighed and make one 8 oz. ball jar candle}
10 oz. Coconut oil
2.5 oz. Raw cocoa butter{optional, but gives off a nice chocolate scent!}
3.5 Beeswax Cubes
Whole Vanilla Bean{optional}
1.5 tsps Lavender essential oil

Natural Massage Oil Candle {DIY}
Create a double boiler by using a large shallow pan and filling it with a small amount of water. Place a medium, clean, and dry bowl inside your pan filled with water. Turn burner on medium-high heat. If water boils turn temperature down. Place your coconut oil and raw cocoa butter inside your bowl to melt. Once melted, add your beeswax cubes. This will take about 20 minutes to melt...bee patient. Meanwhile, take your vanilla bean and split down the middle. Scoop the vanilla beans into your mixture. Allow to permeate about 20 minutes. You can add the vanilla bean while the beeswax is slowly melting. After all ingredients are completely melted, remove from heat. After cooling 3 to 5 minutes, add your essential oils. Give a quick stir and pour into your pre-wicked ball jar. Enjoy your natural massage oil candle. Happy Valentine's Day love birds!
Lucy's Lotions: Grapefruit Lip Balm Giveaway
You might say, Lucy's Lotions is a small natural skincare company located in the UK. They are also a bit obsessed with the "wonder fruit" known notoriously as the grapefruit! Lucy's products are packed full of nourishing butters and oils that are both Vegan and antioxidant powerhouses for your skin. You see, Lucy(the owner of Lucy's Lotions) knows what is like to suffer from skin problems. Lucy has battled and continues to battle with acne. As she puts it, "Having problem skin has meant that I am still obsessed with skincare." Her initial product line combines Grapefruit + Vitamin E and utilizes beneficial ingredients. Absolutely NO parabens and Vegan friendly too! 

Lucy's Lotions: Grapefruit Lip Balm Giveaway
My favorite items to review are without a doubt lip balms! You can say, that I am lip balm obsessed. Lucy's Lotions Vitamin E and Grapefruit lip balm combines two nourshing butters of Macadamia nut and Organic cocoa. The lip balm is firm, light to apply, and smooth. You can turn your favorite lipstick into a lip tint easily by applying Lucy's Vitamin E and Grapefruit lip balm over top. My boys and I love the fragrant citrus scent! A bold, uplifting, and therapeutic scent for the dreary winter days. Complete with classical packaging that reminds me of the 1950's. Great work on the packaging Lucy's brother! I absolutely love everything about this lip balm!

Who is ready for a naturally supple lip treat giveaway straight from the UK!!!??
Kosmatology is a natural and Organic skincare company that has you covered from head to toe! They boast natural body washes, lip balms, lotion bars, and even outdoor skincare products. I have to be completely honest. These past few days, I have been laid out on my back from the common cold. Kosmatology's Spearmint Rosemary Body Wash and Lotion Bar have me breathing again! Thank heavens for Spearmint!! Congestion, aches, and overall fatigue have been relieved using Kosmatology's Herbal Fresh Spearmint Rosemary formula. Just what the Dr. ordered.

Have you ever tried a natural and organic product scented with spearmint essential oils? Intriguing right? I love this refreshing scent combination. The best part? No parabens in sight and the lotion bar is made with Organic shea butter and coconut oil(my faves). Since I feel like someone ran me over this week, I have been taking multiple hot baths while lathering with my Spearmint Rosemary body wash. It really clears those nasal passages right up. The body wash is also very soothing and a gentle moisturizer. The best time to apply the lotion bar? Right as you are climbing out of the tub! The Organic shea butter and coconut oils will absorb easily into your warm skin. Let's drive on....it's giveaway time!

Tired feet beware...we have a Kosmatology "Mint Your Feet" giveaway!!! Namaste.
DIY Melt and Pour Glycerin Heart Soaps
February is the month of the obsession with hearts, love, and perhaps a special someone. For the last month, I have been creating heart-shaped objects and placing them all over my house. Perhaps out of boredom, but I think I am actually starting to like this day of "love". Sweet heart-shaped soaps are part of my latest heart-induced craze. Since I am a soap snob, I do not normally use the melt and pour glycerin soap from the local craft store. I cringe to even think about the ingredients list. The urge came over me, however, to immerse a variety of natural household ingredients to see "what would happen" as an experiment of sorts. This experiment turned out quite well! I am using some of these heart soaps in the kitchen and bathrooms as hand soaps. Also, I saved a handful as adorable teacher's gifts for Valentine's Day!

DIY Melt and Pour Glycerin Heart Soaps
How did I do it? So easy. Especially, if you already have essential oils on hand. Purchase melt and pour glycerin soap from the Hobby Lobby. I did go to Jo-Ann Fabrics first, but can you believe they stopped selling it?!?! Ugh, what an annoyance! Anyway, while you are at the craft store buy silicon molds. Any will do, but since Valentine's Day is around the corner I opted for heart-shaped. If you do not have essential oils at home you can purchase some at Wegmans or your local health and wellness store. I try to work with essential oils that have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Lavender, Lemon, Grapefruit, Sweet Orange, and Tea Tree essential oils are all fine choices! I opted for a combination of Lavender and Tea Tree essential oils for my heart soaps.

First, cut off a sizable chunk of melt and pour glycerin soap to measure its weight. If you opted for the small pack just melt the entire block down. You must know the weight of the glycerin soap you are melting down. I will tell you why in a minute. Hopefully, you already own an electronic scale. If not, estimate using the weight details on the package. Then, create a double boiler by taking a large shallow pan and filling it with water. Place over medium heat. Gather your glycerin soap and place it in another clean bowl. Place the glycerin soap bowl inside your hot water pan and allow the glycerin to melt. Stir occasionally using a wooden spoon.  
 
DIY Melt and Pour Glycerin Heart Soaps
In the meantime, gather your accessory ingredients for inside your heart soaps! This is the fun part. I used fresh coffee grinds, coarse sea salt, fine glitter, lavender buds, calendula, and red Moroccan clay. Place your accessory ingredients inside your empty silicon molds. Finally, go to the Brambleberry Fragrance Calculator! This is where you will take the weight of the glycerin soap and essential oils you are using to place into the calculator. The Brambleberry Fragrance Calculator tells you exactly how much essential oils to use based on your scent strength preference. It is absolutely fantastic! After the glycerin soap has completely melted, remove from heat. Let your glycerin soap cool for 2-4 minutes. Then gently stir in your essential oils and pour into your prepared silicon molds. Do not move these soaps. Let them set for 4 hours minimum. Peel them out and enjoy! Happy Love Day everyone.
Fluster Buster
 
*I was monetarily compensated to write this post. All words are mine.

routine. should be included as part of your daily hygiene routine. To say that I am impressed with this product is a tremendous understatement. Neige & Pippa(the gorgeously natural owners) sent me "like a boss" with the strong wolf figure on the logo. The wolf is a symbol for their clay & beeswax combination. They also have a bird that symbolizes their clay recipe and the bee which symbolizes beeswax only. After two uses, I can unequivocally say that I would indeed purchase this product again. Why is "like a boss" natural deodorant a purchase worthy product? Read on and find out.

The ingredients of clay & beeswax is a natural deodorant combination I have never experienced before. The consistency is surprisingly smooth and creamy. "like a boss" applies delicately and sinks into the skin quickly. Everyone knows that mainstream deodorants are loaded full chemicals that have been proven harmful to our bodies(now and in the future AKA cancer). routine. is comprised of only natural ingredients. You can read the label and confidently know that everything you are placing under your arms is beneficial for your skin. Now that is something to smell good about:)

We have yet to discuss scent! Scent....oh the scent is absolutely divine!!! "like a boss" smells like a well-groomed man. Musk mixed with bergamot perhaps? Woodsy and an alpine dream all rolled together. The scent is powered by a combination of essential oils that lasts! Not all natural deodorants are created equal. My experience with natural deodorants has led me to experience some that are too oily and some that actually make you sweat more! Some natural deodorants crumble and go everywhere but underneath your arms! routine. has created a luxe product that has a delicate finish underneath the arms, stays put, and keeps you dry.

Are you excited!? Me too! Who is ready to smell "like a boss"? Giveaway Time.
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