5 Non-Toxic Health, Home and Beauty Hacks

Like many I am a sucker for a good DIY but often find that I am too lazy to actually do it. However when it comes to my health, motivation is never in short supply. These little hacks require very minimal effort making, are very approachable and easy to add into your daily routine. On top of that they are actually good for you and your home. Hashtag winning anyone?

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How to Make Whipped Body Butter at Home

whipped body butter

have you ever wanted to make something but were intimidated by it, thinking it would be too challenging? it might surprise some of you but i had always felt this way about roasting beets. up until about 2 months ago i had never roasted one or cooked one on my own before, opting for the pre-roasted ones at trader joes or whole foods. i imagined they would be so hard to peel and chop that i would almost certianly be exhuasted by the experience or slice my finger off. true story. this year has been all about facing fears for me, i.e. quitting my job, becoming an entreprenuer, and yes…, you guessed it, finally roasting a damn beet! much to my surprise its really not that hard at all, very similar to a sweet potatoe. i have to laugh at myself for this one, its pretty ridiculous. needless to say, i’ve roasted several dozen beets this summer since they are readily available at the farmers market from McClendon’s Select here in phoenix. another example of my fear totally getting the best of me would be making homemade beauty products, including toothpaste, lotion, and perfume. I always assumed it would be really hard, time consuming, the result less than stellar. it always occured to me like something i would not be successful at so i never tried. the number of times i have read that not trying is the ame as failing is leaving me with the feeling of redundancy by mentioning it again here but geezuz, its sooo true. not only was this whipped body butter easy to make, its pretty freaking awesome and it gave me the opportunity to use my kitchenaid mixer for the very first time (thanks mom for the gift)! a new thing that has become an issue of sorts is how dry my skin, particularly my hands, since moving to phoenix and being in a kitchen all day. its borderline unbareable at times. itchy, flaky, burning, reall rough, ugh. this is of course in part due to the hundreds of dishes i wash daily at the cafe but the super dry heat out here makes my skin feel like the parched earth of southern california. on the flip side, my cousin and best lady friend have buns in the oven so combine those elements and it was the push that i needed to face my fear and make body butter. i wanted a gift the soon-to-be mommys could rub on their bellys to decrease stretch marks and i could spread on my entire epidumis that was chemical free and smelled really lovely. volia. moral of the entire story here is to face your fears, give that thing a try you have been holding back from. who knows. you just might surprise yourself!

This is deeply hydrating, moisturzing and safe to use on your skin. No chemicals, parabens, or ingredients you cannot pronounce.

Here is the recipe:

  • 1 cup  organic coconut oil (i bought the big tub from costco, kirkland brand)
  • 1 cup shea butter (I purchsed this combo pack)
  • 1 cup cacao butter (I purchased this combo pack)
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder (I used bobs redmill)
  • 10-12 drops lavendar essential oil (i love this one)
  • 10-12 drops peppermint essential oil (I used this one)

equipment: kitchenaid or hand mixer, large bowl, oven safe pan, containers with airtight lids



  1. pre-heat the oven to its lowest setting, mine was under 300. combine your oils in an oven safe baking pan and put in the oven to melt. keep an eye on your oils as you do not want to cook them, just melt them so you can mix them together
  2. once melted, remove and add in your essential oils and arrowroot powder. the arrowroot helps the lotion feel less oily on your skin and is optional. the essential oils are optional as well as this smells really good on its own, but i am a sucker for lavendar and peppermint together.
  3. whisk everything together well and place in the freezer for 30 or so minutes. Since its extra hot in phoenix my oils needed about 45 minutes so keep an eye on them. You want the oils to start to solidify, be a similar texture to a thick gel, not rock hard. You should be able to mix or break into the surface with minimal effort.
  4. transfer to your cake mixer and whip into butter, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. it took me about 25 miutes to get it to the texture i was looking for.
  5. transfer to airtight containers and use as needed


5 Free Downloads From Bloggers I L-O-V-E

Print Outs Caras Kitchen

Not only am I myself a blogger, I am also an avid blog reader spending a good amount of my time online browsing my favorites. One thing that I love about a handful of them is that they offer free downloads from their site. These downloads have so many uses from creating a card for a friend, wallpaper for your desktop, or as a picture to hang on a wall in your apartment. Here are 5 free downloads I am loving this week from some fabulous bloggers! Show them some love <3

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DIY Painted Wooden Serving Utensils and Links Worth Sharing

Painted Spoons8I was browsing Etsy one afternoon when I came across a set of really cute painted wooden spoons. Although they were affordable, at $15 for a pair, I decided it would be a fun and easy DIY project to do myself. If you’re anything like me then you regularly are looking for affordable ways to give your place a fresh new look. Unfortuantely, when it comes to home goods the “out with the old, in with the new” approach is not always realistic or budget friendly but with little projects like this, its easy to breathe new life into my space. I think that this DIY is fairly straight forward, so I do not have step by step photos. All I did was gather supplies, clean and dry my wooden spoons, painted some cute patterns and after they dried, applied a varnish. Easy peasy! Also in this post I included links to some cant be missed goodness from around the web to get you through the weekend! xo

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DIY Wall Hanging – Live Wild and Free with Spiritual Kindling

Wall Hanging 8 Wall Hanging3

It must have been two or three months ago by now. It was a Sunday morning and I was heading to the farmers market alone on a rainy and cold day in Los Angeles when I stopped at this booth that had piles of the most beautiful warpped items.  As I approached I could smell the scent of sweet herbs, and rich wood. I learned that they were “bundles composed of healing woods, and herbs to be used to set spiritual intenions or for special occasion blessings.” 

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LOVE- Nail and Wood DIY Wedding Gift

Nail and Wood Art

Sometimes giving gifts can be difficult. What to buy, how much to spend, will they like it? These questions constantly come up for me when I want to give something special to someone I care about. I have always found that it is hard to beat a DIY. It shows that you put effort, time, thought and creativity into it which is really special. This past week I was attending a wedding and I knew I wanted to make something. Not only because i wanted to give a thoughtful gift but I really had no idea what I would buy for them otherwise. I searched around the internet for DIY wedding gifts and thought that this nail and wood piece would be perfect. Its easy to make and takes about an hour to complete.

Nail and Wood Art3

Step 1. Gather the following supplies- nails, hammer, pencil, ruler, rope/string, scissors and wood plank. I purchased the string and board at Michaels for $15. I owned a hammer, pair of scissors and nails but these could be purchased at any hardware store. 

Step 2. Decide what word you would like to use and search for a font that you want to copy. I chose the word love and picked out this San Serif style font to match the font on the wedding invitation of the bride and groom this was for. 

Step 3. Using a ruler, measure the board and determine how big the letters should be to fill the space of the board evenly. Draw your letters lightly using a pencil.

Step 4.  Using the hammer, nail the nails along the outline of the letters. I did this free hand without measuring out equal distance between each letter. 

Step 5.  Tie a piece of string (not cut from the roll) to a nail at the most outter nail of your first word and begin to twist around the other nails until the entire letter is filled out and each nail has been utilized multiple times. Tie a not to which ever nail you ended on, cut the string and repeat for the remaing. I started on the ‘L” as you can see from the image above

I was so happy with how this gift turned out and I was even more excited about how much the bride and groom liked it. That really was the icing on the cake. 

If you have any questions about this DIY feel free to comment or send me an email through the contact tab on Carawrs.com.

 Nail and Wood Art2

DIY- Refurbished End Table. Pretty and Pink


I moved into my own studio apartment at the start of this year and it has taken me a very long time to furnish the place. I am almost there (thank goodness) so I will have the remainder of the year to enjoy my space. I picked up this piece at Goodwill and painted it one of my favorite colors! DYI’s really make a space personal and special because customized pieces are absolutely one of a kind, just like you. xo

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