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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Settling into our new nest...TV Buffet and Kitchen stool makeovers!


Hello there!
Well it has been approx. 12 weeks since moving into our new little nest.  It has taken a bit to get used to, but I think its now starting to feel like home.  The first couple of weeks felt as though we were in a holiday rentral as the house is so much more modern than our last house and We had to make a few changes to 'soften' it a little.
First I had pulled out the ugly cream venetian blinds and replaced them with soft flowy 'vivan' curtains from ikea. It was a simple, cost effective way to pretty up the room.  As we havnt got loads of money to spend I decided to list the old blinds on ebay, which sold for close to $300.  I was stunned!!  But I then used that money (not all of it mind you) on new curtains and brushed chrome curtain rods.
  I love how it looks.
Next A lot of my furniture was that really dark teak wood.  I had been planning on painting the pieces of furniture for so, so long but put it off as I was waiting to move and wanted to get the feel of th new place before painting.
So now we've moved...nothing was holding me back.
My first project was our large tv buffet...
   As you can see its very heavy and very dark.

I had some 'annie sloan' pure white chalk paint on hand so I went to town on it.  Once I set my heart on a project, esp a painting one I cant stop till its done.
So Once the kids were dropped off at school I was into it and it was done by that evening...I told you I have to finish it off.  Also its one of the perks of chalk paint.. Its quick drying.
I sanded and painted all day...

 


Then I was happy with the end result...

 
 


Not bad for a days work, I think.  I'm still waiting to get my handles for the top drawers.
The next thing I had my eyes set on was our kitchen bench stools...

This was a super quick job.  The longest part was probably sanding the tops.  I was going to leave the tops raw but after a few days didn't like the look.  So, I decided to white wash them.  I havnt taken a pic yet but if I get a chance...I will.
 So welcome to Our "new" nest...Im still getting used to it, but we're getting there. xo


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Saturday, December 7, 2013

A new year, a new chapter...

OH MY! I knew I haven't been here a while but when I actually got on and looked I almost fell over!  I have been completely out of bloggersVille for so long.
My little family and I have had a crazy year, busy busy year but it has a been a good year.

In October we hit the high seas and went on a much longed for cruise holiday.  It was AH-mazing!!
We went on the P & O pacific Dawn.
We left Brisbane dock on Saturday 19th October at 2pm.  We sailed to 'Isle of Pines' then 'Mystery Isalnd', next stop was 'Suva, Fiji' then 'Port Denarau, Fiji'.  After that our final stop was 'Port Vila, Vanuatu' .  Honestly, it was the best holiday EVER!
The kids had an absolute ball as we adults did too.  We ate, swam, snorkled, got dressed up for dinners, saw shows and just had an awesome time!  I FULLY recommend it anyday!  The service too was 100% five star.  I honestly couldn't fault it.



 
 
 

The holiday was the best.  It was well deserved and we had the absolute best time.


Another BIG thing that has happened in our lives is that we have made the decision to move home.
It was a HUGE decision that encountered hours and hours of thought, discussion and forethought.
It was huge as I thought we'd be here, in 'our lil nest' for a very, very long time.  We have lived here for a tad over 7 years and have transformed our home from a 1990's rental to a beautiful, homely, snuggly nest for our family of 4.  It is bitter sweet.
There have been so many memories Good and bad here, but mostly all good.

We've had tons of kids parties, farewell parties, anniversary parties, bbq's, and good times in our garden.  Our children were babies when we moved in.
 Miss mimi was 4 and little T was 20 months old. Now they are big kids (8 and 10). 
We have painted, planted, built and changed this home with our finger print on it.  We have layed concrete with our names in it, buried our Jojo under our big tree and collected eggs from our chookies we had around the side (and sometimes finding them in the most bizzare spots). We had many nights in the back yard with the kids looking at the stars, having a backyard fire or playing soccer.  setting up cubbies in the loungeroom, baking many, many yummy things in my kitchen...with and without the kids. Playdough being rolled out on the dining table and having it walked through the house.  Just sitting with my husband out the back with a glass of wine, nibblies and catching up on the day whilst watching the kids swim in the pool with the neighbours kids..  I will forever remember constantly having cousins and kids run around this place making lots and lots of noise and mess.  I love that!!!
 Yep, I even at times,  envisioned seeing Miss Mimi walk out of here in her wedding dress when the time came.  I never actually thought we'd leave.

  Here are some recent pics of 'our nest'...














BUT...as I said with much mulling over what to do we have decided to sell our beloved home and move on. 
The reasons are very positive!
I know it will be ok.
The day the sign went up out the front, my heart shattered into a thousand pieces.  We had one open house.  That day we had 24 families come through and had 4 offers put down.  We were in utter shock.
The final offer we got was above and beyond what we ever though we would get, so all that hard work we had done certainly paid off.

The selling process was quick and easy...Just as well as I think I would have pulled out.  LOL!

As of next Tuesday, 17th December our lil family of 4 will be starting the next happy chapter of our lives.
We aren't moving far.  Just two suburbs over.  I will be honest, I don't cope well with change.  But I am looking forward to this as we have done this all for the right reasons and everything so far has just fallen into place.  Although it has been a hard decision to make we are super happy we made it.

We are about to make some new/more memories to carry with us forever!

Im going to continue this blog.  I'm kind of excited as I get to start again.  (d├ęcor/garden wise that is).  I hope you all stick with me and continue to follow me on this new journey...
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Clean eating (and french toast recipe)

For some time now I have been dabbling in the whole clean eating thing.  To me it just sounds so good.  I Love the whole idea of not eating processed foods, sugary foods and fatty foods.

The whole idea behind eating 'clean' is just that...foods that are fresh, healthy, tastey and CLEAN.  The less ingredients your food has, the closer it is to its natural state is the way I want me and my family to eat.

Also, Ive never been one to label read...but Im learning.  The reason Ive never really been a label reader is because Ive never really understood what it all says entirely.
The beauty with clean eating is that if there is somthing on the label I dont understand, cant say or has numbers...ditch it!

Usually good food has normal, naturally grown ingredients.

Also, Im a shocker for calorie counting...yep, Ill admit it.  Ive always hated "dieting" and hate that you need to deprive yourself.

I love food and I think that everyone should have a good relationship with it.  Its our fuel.  What we eat REALLY is what we are.  Im such a believer in this!!

With my family having several health problems I decided that I would look into the whole clean eating way.
 None of us have ever been diagnosed with any food allergies or intolerances however the more i read about food and additives etc I firmly believe that food contributes heavily on our moods, emotions, energy levels, headaches, body aches and general funtioning of our day to day life.  Obviouse, I know but it took me a while to fully 'get it'.

My son tends to get very Hyper.  He has also been diagnosed with severe dust mite allergy.  He also suffers with asthma.  He also wasnt sleeping due to all this which I think then contributed to the hyper.  I realised that although we had to get the dust under control...I thought I would also try food elimination to see if it made any difference.
I cut sugar (replaced it with natural alternative such as as coconut palm sugar, xylotol and agave) cut back wheat and dairy (replaced with almond milk and with the exception of Natural greek yoghurt) and started usuing alot of healthier alternatives to most foods.
  For example cooking air popped popcorn instead of buying the rubbishy packet ones in the super market. (just pop a handful of kernals in a brown lunch bag, place in the microwave for 2.5 mins, spinkle lightly with celtic sea salt...done!)

I noticed after 2 weeks of this way of eating his allergies settled down, he was sleeping and he was so calm and happy.

After the 2 weeks I let he and his sister get macdonalds as a treat.  Within 1 hour he had headaches, felt sick and slept all afternoon.

My point has been made!  I need no more convincing.

My daughter very simular.  Although she doesnt suffer from the allergy side of things she is an extreemly emotional child.  Cries at the drop of a hat and cant controll herself.
After 2 weeks...I noticed improvements.

Now, with my husband its kind of a different story.  He has stomach ulcers.  He seems to have a sensitive stomach so I have had to be carefull with foods in general anyway. 

Again, I cut back all the dairy, wheat, sugar processed crap. 
I made sure I sent my hubby to work with a proper healthy protien filled morning snack, a healthy clean, protein filled lunch and again another afternoon tea that was healthy and clean.

He too has been noticing more energy, less lethargy and honestly...he just looks better in his skin, eyes, hair and also moods (hehe...dont tell him though)

As for myself...well I also suffer with allergies, asthma, sleeplessness, chronic tiredness (contradiction...I know, but its true) Ive also had chronic adrenal fatigue, depression blah, blah, blah...

Anyway, along with a load of other things (natropath, acupuncture, vitamins etc) I have found that eating, food, lifestyle exercise has really played a huge role in helping me feel better.

Although Im not 100% Ive come so, so far. 
Honestly, food CAN be used as medicine.  I used to be a little scepticle and thought yeah ...too hard.  Even though I knew it to be true it was always a bit hard to 'change' a lifestyle.

Ive never been a bad eater, big (alcahol) drinker and Ive always like to keep fit.  But I wasnt educated!!  What I thought was right in fact wasnt...well, I was on the right track but not hitting the mark.
Web sites such as www.sarahwilson.com.au have been kept in my favorites for super quick reference. 
Im not wanting to be a super waif super model with abs of steel, however I do want to be a 'fun' mum with loads of energy, happy and take pride in myself...to look AND feel great!!  I want shiny hair, good skin and nails, bright eyes and healthy weight...with energy to match.  I dont want to be depressed and miserable...which food CAN do!
 I want my kids and husband to be proud of me but most of all I want to feel happy within myself...which Im getting there.

Dont get me wrong.  My kids are still kids.  And unfortunalty have a sweet tooth. I still let my kids have chocolate on occation and let them go to parties...BUT in each and everyday at home we eat well balanced, healthy CLEAN, unprocessed foods.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks I strive to eat clean.


With that in mind...I would like to share what I made for my family this morning...

Clean French Toast...
Soak gluten free or sour dough bread in egg whites till soaked through.  Then fry you bread in coconut oil (which is very, very healthy) untill golden brown on each side.




Once cooked top with natural greek yoghurt, berries, goji berries, chia seeds and agave...sooooooo YUM!


 
 
One thing I want my kids to know is that you dont have to sit down to a plate of mung beans to be healthy...you can still have your sweet, savory, snacks, dips, burgers all that kids love but made with a healthy alternative...They too are getting it and I love that.  My kids Love to eat healthy and they do eat most of what I give them...high 5's to them!!


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Monday, January 28, 2013

My market finds

About 2 weeks ago my husband and little T had a "day with the boys" doing boy things like surfing, fishing, bbq-ing and just well, being boys.  So Mis Mimi and decided 'why should the boys have all the fun?' so we put on our prettiest dresses, our summeriest (is that a word) sandles on and headed to the markets.
We ventured to The Village MarketsLocated at Burleigh Heads state school at the beautiful Burliegh heads.
We had such a nice time.  Checking out all the vinatge clothing, homewares and food.



This was some gorgeouse glass bottles with Feathers attached...simply beautiful.



  This absolutly gorgeouse find was at a vintage stall selling genuine vinatge items...how totaly cute is this tray??


I thought these little photo props were cute.  Someone had made Glasses, red lips and mastouches on sticks...a bit cute I think.
It was so nice not being rushed by the boys.

After our wander around Miss mimi and I headed to James street  for a wonder around and some lunch which we had in a nice little vegetarian cafe...was delicouse!

After such a lovely day we came home and did a bit of plesant gardening, as the boys walked in deleriouse from exhaustion...all in all it was such a beautiful day!


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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Friday Brunch

Hello Friends!



Well how have your holidays been?  It has been so wonderful having my wonderful husband off work for a few days. 

Last friday, I had the extended family over (brother/wife/daughter, sister/husband/son & Daughter) for a long awaited family brunch.

It was a really nice day.
Everyone arrived at 10am.
We ate at 10.45am.  I had the newspaper, coffee and fresh flowers ready as I made the Hollondaise sauce for the eggs benadict,  while miss Mimi made the pancakes...all was wonderful as the morning progressed. 

Here are some pics...

 
I had a vintage, fresh, summer theme with lots of white, lace, glass and flowers.
 
I even used some of my own nannas milk jugs for vases, they were so pretty.
 
This particular one was my favorite!!!!.....
 
 
Here was the menu, placed on each plate...
 
 
 
I also had a mix of old plates to add to the vintage charm...
 
 
We had a very loverly morning/afternoon.  After brunch the kids swam in the pool and us adults lazed around, read, chatted and laughed.  It was so wonderful catching up with my siblings.
 
 
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Friday, December 28, 2012

Expect nothing...appreciate everything!


WOW!  What a  year My family and I have had.  To be perfectly honest, Ill be glad to see the back end of it. 

That said, I wanted to just write about although there is bad...there is always good to counteract.

I believe this.

There is ALWAYS someone out there worse off than you...and more often than not theyre happier, hehe.

I feel in this world we forget to just simply STOP and smell the roses.  Something we need to do, not once every now and again but every single day.
Look at the things we often over look.

For instance, to me...
The simple pleasure of sitting on the beach, late afternoon deeply breathing the salty air and watching my children, dog and husband play and run is just simply breathtaking.  The peace, the calm, the contentment. Perfect!

Another.  There is nothing more decadent, indulgent and sensual than biting into a semi-soft chocolate Lindt ball.  The hard shell, cracking and the gooey inside pouing into my mouth.  YUM! Pure pleasure.

Also, the feeling you get when you are with your most favourite people and you are having a huge, big belly laugh.  You know the kind that makes you wheeze, make tears run down your face and your stomach muscles are so tight they hurt...that is awesome.

Flowers...almost everyday My gorgeouse 7 year old son pics a flower for me.  Whether its a perfect gardenia from the neighbors garden (oops...) or a wilted dandelion...to me it makes no difference.  They are all beautiful.  Beautiful because flowers just are that.  Also, because my son gave them to me...he thinks of little things like that and to me thats special.  I put each and every one into a vase.  My house is always full of fresh flowers...lucky me!

Finally...those night i go to bed and that drizzly rain outside starts to pour.  My bed seems so much more snuggly and it feels that little bit sweeter knowing the next day is a day off...and there are no plans! ahhhh...PURE, AWESOMENESS!

Its the little things in life that make life wonderful.  There is so much uncertainty in life (so expect nothing)...but so much beauty (appreciate everything).

Just had to share this positive little thought.

What simple things make you happy?  I would LOVE to hear them...


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Friday, December 14, 2012

The benifits of coconut oil!



 About three weeks ago i caught up with a friend I hadnt seen in a while.  I noticed her skin was so super soft and silky.  So much so I had to comment on it.

She mentioned to me that she has just started using 'organic coconut oil' the cooking kind, lol.
I was like "wha...really?!"  she told me that it is such amazing stuff.  She uses it all over her body as well as her face.  She even told me she puts a handful in her hair at night and then washes it out the next morning...excellent hair treatment.

Im so glad she told me.

Well...I had to find out more!  So, I googled the stuff!  WOW, WOW, WOW!!
It really is amazing!  It does SOOO MUCH!
Today I purchased a one kilo bottle and already Ive slathered it onto my body, wiped it through my hair as well as swollowed a spoonful.

As time passes I'll let you know how it goes.

I found some info on this website here...www.organicbuenosaires.com that I would love to share with you on the amazing benifits...


Use Coconut Oil as a Body Lotion, Beauty Treatment or for Personal Hygiene

1. Age Spots: Apply coconut oil directly to help age spots fade.
2. After Shave: Coconut oil will help heal the skin and is great for razor burn.
3. Baldness: Apply coconut oil three times a day to hair loss areas to support cell regeneration.
4. Birth Marks: Coconut oil will help with healing after laser removal or after an apple cider vinegar treatment to help the fading process.
5. Body Scrub: Mix coconut oil with sugar, rub all over your body and rinse off.
6. Bruises: Coconut oil helps reduce swelling and redness when applied directly to the bruise.
7. Bug Bites: Apply coconut oil directly to stop itchiness and burning and speed up healing.
8. Burns: May help with healing and reduce permanent scarring.
9. Chapstick: Rub a little bit onto lips. Also contains SPF of about 4.
10. Cradle Cap: Rub a teaspoon of coconut oil onto baby’s scalp daily to help eliminate cradle cap.
11. Dandruff: Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of warm coconut oil on the scalp before showering, preferably the night before, covering your head with a shower cap so you don’t stain your sheets.
12. Deodorant: Check out our natural coconut deodorant recipe.
13. Diaper Rash
14. Exfoliater: Mix coconut oil with sugar or sea salt and use all over your body.
15. Eye Cream: Apply coconut oil under eyes to reduce puffiness, bags and wrinkles.
16. Face Wash or Soap: Mix one teaspoon each of coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, avocado oil and castor oil. Wet face, rub oil in and leave for two minutes, rinse and pat dry.
17. Hair Conditioner/Deep Treatment: Coconut oil makes a great leave-in hair conditioner. Use about a teaspoon starting from the ends of your hair or from the scalp for a deeper treatment and leave on overnight.
18. Hair Gel/Defrizzer: Rub a little bit of coconut oil between palms and scrunch into hair for curly hair or finger comb for wavy or straight hair.
19. Healing: Apply to scrapes and cuts to protect the wound from dust, bacteria and viruses.
20. Lubricant: Very safe personal lubricant but not to be used with latex.
21. Makeup Remover: Remove with cotton bud dabbed with coconut oil.
22. Massage Oil
23. Moisturizer: Can be used all over the body, neck and face.
24. Mole Remover: Apply after apple cider vinegar compress over several weeks.
25. Nipple Cream: For cracked, sore or dry nipples. Can apply coconut oil to cotton ball and leave in bra between breastfeeds.
26. Oily Skin: Apply a pea sized amount of coconut oil underneath makeup or alone to reduce the appearance of oil.
27. Pre-Shampoo Treatment: Great to use on scalp and hair before shampooing. Find out more here.
28. Pre-Shave: Apply coconut oil before shaving.
29. Skin Problems: Coconut oil is great for psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.
30. Stretch Marks: Coconut oil will help prevent and reduce stretch marks.
31. Sunburn: Rub coconut oil on affected area.
32. Sunscreen: Coconut oil contains SPF 4 and may be used as a sunscreen by people with dark skin.
33. Swimmers Ear: Mix coconut oil with garlic oil and apply a few drops in the affected ear for 10 minutes 2-3 times a day for one or two days.
34. Tattoo Healing and Moisturizer: Coconut oil can help with healing, prevent infection and stop the pigment from fading when used over a long time.
35. Toothpaste: One recipe you can use is mixing coconut oil and baking soda together and dabbing a little onto the toothbrush.
36. Wrinkle Prevention and Wrinkle Reducer: Apply coconut oil directly to wrinkles and sagging skin.

Apply Coconut Oil Topically for Health Problems

37. Acne
38. Allergies/Hay Fever: Rub inside the nostrils for quick relief.
39. Athlete’s Foot
40. Back Pain/Sore Muscles
41. Canker Sores
42. Cellulite
43. Circumcision Healing
44. Decongestant: Rub coconut oil on the chest and under the nose for cold or allergies.
45. Ear Infection: Put a few drops of coconut oil inside the ear twice a day for pain relief and to fight the infection.
46. Genital Warts: Topical application for 6 weeks combined with coconut oil enemas twice a day depending on the location.
47. Gum Disease and Gingivitis: Use coconut oil as toothpaste or rub directly onto gums.
48. Head Lice: Use coconut oil to remove lice after an apple cider vinegar treatment.
49. Herpes: You can apply coconut oil topically and take internally.
50. Hives: Use coconut oil to reduce itch and swelling.
51. Nausea: Rub coconut oil on the inside of the wrist and forearm for upset stomach.
52. Nose Bleeds: Coat your fingers in coconut oil, lie down and put your fingers inside your nose.
53. Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis): Apply coconut oil around and in the eye.
54. Ringworm
55. Toothache
56. Warts, Boils and Cysts

Consume Coconut Oil for General Health and Wellness

57. Breastfeeding: Mums can consume 3 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil per day to enrich the milk supply.
58. Bones and Teeth: Coconut oil helps you absorb calcium and magnesium.
59. Digestion: The natural saturated fats in coconut oil are great for controlling parasites and fungi that cause indigestion and digestion-related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. It also helps absorb vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
60. Energy Boost: Coconut oil boosts energy and endurance and is great for athletes and those in need of a quick pick-me-up.
61. Fitness: Coconut oil stimulates the metabolism, improves thyroid function, and boosts energy levels.
62. Insulin Secretion and Blood Glucose Utilization: This makes coconut oil great for both diabetics and non-diabetics.
63. Lung Function: Coconut oil increases fluidity of cell surfaces.
64. Vitamin and Nutrient Absorption
65. Weight Loss: The saturated fats in coconut oil control cravings and increase metabolism.

Consume Coconut Oil for Health Problems

66. Acid Reflux/Indigestion: Take coconut oil after a meal.
67. Adrenal Fatigue
68. Allergies/Hay Fever
69. Alzheimer’s/Dementia
70. Asthma
71. Autism
72. Bowel Function
73. Bronchial Infections
74. Cancer: Coconut oil has been proven to prevent colon and breast cancer.
75. Candida Albicans
76. Cholesterol
77. Chronic Fatigue
78. Crohn’s Disease and Inflammation
79. Circulation
80. Cold and Flu
81. Constipation
82. Cystic Fibrosis
83. Depression
84. Diabetes: Coconut oil helps keep blood sugar levels stable.
85. Dysentery
86. Eczema
87. Edema
88. Energy boost
89. Epilepsy: Coconut oil has been found to reduce epileptic seizures.
90. Fever Support
91. Flaky, Dry Skin
92. Gallbladder Disease and Pain
93. Gas
94. H. pylori
95. Head Lice
96. Heart Disease: Coconut oil protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis.
97. Haemorrhoids: Apply coconut oil externally or internally twice a day.
98. HIV
99. Hot Flashes
100. Hyperthyroidism
101. Immune System Builder
102. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
103. Jaundice
104. Kidney Disease
105. Kidney Stones: Coconut oil helps dissolve kidney stones
106. Liver Disease
107. Lung Disease
108. Malnutrition
109. Mental Clarity
110. Menstruation Pain and Cramps and Heavy Flow
111. Migraines: Use coconut oil regularly to help prevent migraines.
112. Mononucleosis
113. Osteoporosis
114. Pancreatitis
115. Parasites
116. Periodontal Disease and Tooth Decay
117. Prostate Enlargement
118. Rickets
119. Skin Problems
120. Scurvy
121. Stomach Ulcers
123. Toenail Fungus
124. Thrush
125. Thyroid Function: Coconut oil can help regulate an overactive or underactive thyroid.
126. Ulcerative Colitis
127. Urinary Tract Infections

Coconut Oil Can Help Pets Too

128. Allergic Reactions
129. Arthritis or Ligament Problems
130. Bad Breath in Dogs
131. Cuts, Wounds, Hot Spots, Dry Skin and Hair, Bites and Stings: Apply coconut oil topically.
132. Diabetes
133. Digestive Disorders such as Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome and Colitis
134. Digestion and Nutrient Absorption
135. Eczema, Flea Allergies, Dermatitis, Itchy Skin
136. Energy
137. General Wellness: Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to your pet’s water bowl or in their food.
138. Hairballs and Coughing
139. Improve Brain Energy Metabolism: Coconut oil will also help decrease amyloid protein build-up that results in brain lesions in older dogs.
140. Regulates and Balances Insulin
141. Sleek and Glossy Coats: Coconut oil also helps deodorize dog odour.
142. Thyroid Function
143. Weight loss
144. Yeast and Fungal Infections, including Candida

Other Uses for Coconut Oil

145. Chewing Gum Remover: Rub coconut oil over chewing gum stuck in hair, leave for 30 minutes, then roll the gum between your fingertips.
146. Goo Remover: Form a paste from equal parts coconut oil and baking soda and apply to the sticky area, let it set for a minute then scrub it off with an old toothbrush or scrubby side of a sponge.
147. Insect repellent: Mix coconut oil with peppermint oil extract and rub over exposed skin.
148. Moisturize and Clean Leather
149. Oil Wood Cutting Boards and Wood Bowls
150. Polish Wood Furniture: Use coconut oil with a little bit of lemon juice to polish wood furniture. Make sure you do a test first.






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