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Blog

 

DIY VALENTINE'S

Jessica Cottrell

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Ah, Valentine’s Day. If you have an elementary or preschooler in the house, then you know that the aisles of every store are just bursting with pre-made cards that contain lollipops, pencils, or stickers for the kids to hand out to everyone in their class. Now, to be clear, I have sent those cards out, because they are easy and life gets busy. I’ve also done the cute, traditional ones where we glue stick doilies to construction paper for days! However, sometimes it’s fun to do something a little different.

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So, I thought I’d share my very favorite Valentines that we have ever done in my house. These are super cute, easy, reusable AND made from recycled materials! Awesome, right? You need three things: old crayons, a mold (a silicone muffin mold or ice cube tray is ideal), and something to package your crayons so your little one can hand them out to friends.

We have an arts and crafts bin that always has some spare, unloved, broken crayons at the bottom. The crayons that we get free at restaurants or the ones that just break in half, never to be used again. If you have a similar bin, pull out all those unloved pieces and start unwrapping! Preheat your oven to 175 degrees. Take your molds (we actually used molds from an old bath bomb kit for the ones pictured) and start filling them with the crayon pieces that you have removed the paper from, mix those colors up and have fun, the colors will swirl as the crayons melt.

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Once the molds are almost full, place the molds on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until melted. Let them cool for about 30 minutes, and then pop them out. Repeat as needed until you have enough crayons and voila – the cutest little Valentines! Just for fun, we made a template for the cutest free printable labels you can print out and stick to your bag of Valentines crayons.

Download Valentine Template Here.

Triple win – cute Valentines for the class, you just saved some money and you cleaned out your crayon bin!

How to Recycle Paint, Shoes and Other Odds and Ends

Jessica Cottrell

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Since January is Get Organized month, it seemed fitting to write a post about those items that people typically don’t know how to dispose of.  We all have one or two items kicking around the basement or garage that we don’t really want or need, but we just don’t know what to do with. Keep reading to find out how to declutter your home without adding to the landfill.

1)     Paints:  I don’t know about you, but I have some paint samples hanging around from when I was trying to decide what color to paint my living room.  I also maybe have a can of paint that matches the color the living room USED to be sitting in my basement that I haven’t wanted to deal with.  A quick web search revealed that a great first step is to think about if you know anyone who could use some paint.  Habitat for Humanity or other groups may be interested in good condition paint.  In thinking for a few minutes, I realized I know of some kids painting a mural that may love some free paint!  For all the paint that you need to dispose of, the folks at www.paintcare.org can help if you live in one of the states they service, or you can call them at 1-855-724-6809 for information about how to best dispose of all varieties of paints and some other chemical products like roof patch and motor oil!  If you don’t live in their area, you can try a quick web search with the search term “How do I dispose of paint in (your state)” and you should find someplace near you.

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2)     Electronics:  Old cameras, phones, computers, printers… most of us have at least one old piece of equipment hanging around because we know that we shouldn’t toss it, but where does it go?  Best Buy is a great resource; according to their website, they accept small electronics and old rechargeable batteries at US locations, check the link to their page for some store FAQ’s.

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3)     Shoes:  Shoes in good shape that may have been outgrown should be donated, if you don’t have a favorite local charity, you can check out Soles 4 Souls, which has a variety of drop-off locations and will pass your shoes on to someone in need.  If you have athletic shoes that aren’t in great condition, you can drop them off at a Nike store to be repurposed into sports surfaces, click here for more details.

4)     Clothing:  I’m pretty sure we all know that you can donate or consign clothes in good condition, but who hasn’t guiltily thrown an item of clothing in the trash because of a stain or small tear?  Well, guilt no more!  First, you could upcycle those old clothes; cut them into squares and use them as cleaning rags!   If you just don’t want the old clothes in the house anymore, you can contact H&M or The North Face, both of which will accept clothing in any condition from any manufacturer.  Patagonia has a cool program where you can bring in old Patagonia clothing, but they also have classes to teach you how to get more out of your clothing so you need to buy new gear less often, lessening environmental impact.  I also found many local programs, so feel free to do a search for an option in your area. 

There are so many more items, but even in researching I found a few items that I know I can now recycle.  One last tip – do not be afraid to call your local recycling center if you have something you don’t know what to do with.  I once had a box of old VHS tapes and was surprised to learn that I could toss them right in my single stream recycling bin, the folks at my local recycling center were happy to tell me what they do and don’t accept.  Please feel free to leave your tips for other hard to dispose of items below!

It's Our Birthday! We're 5!

Janis Covey

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As I sit down to write this, I am amazed that it has been 5 years since I started Kosmatology.  I never thought I would be the creator and owner of an organic skin care line and part of the clean beauty revolution, but wouldn’t change a moment of my journey. 

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When my children were born, I was on a mission to live a clean lifestyle for them and our family.  I researched so much and drove my husband crazy (I still drive my husband crazy) with eco-friendly products and habits such as cloth diapers.  However, my real journey didn’t begin until my youngest, Cameron, developed horrible eczema at 3 months old.  Trips to the pediatrician just ended up with prescriptions for steroid creams and no real explanations.  Here is where I was able to put my years of experience as a compounding pharmacist to work.  After lots of research and experimenting, I developed what ended up being Kosmatology’s first product, the Goody-Goody Grapefruit Lotion bar.  By just trying to treat my daughter’s eczema naturally, I ended up inadvertently creating a company and job I love.

Not only do I get to do something I love every day but also I have met so many amazing people along the way; many that I now consider friends.  I have loved being part of the clean beauty community, enjoyed learning so much along the way and look forward to the next 5 years. 

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Thank you all for supporting me and letting me do something I love!

Janis XOXO