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Mother’s Day DIY #TakeOverThursday

Coffee Grounds – Repurposing for Masks and More!

One of my favourite things to do is to use things I have around the house for multiple purposes. Almost everything has multiple purposes – Pinterest is an AMAZING example/rabbit hole of this – so when you are done with your coffee for its initial intended energizing properties, what else can it do for you?

I absolutely love this face mask for many reasons – coffee has potent antioxidant properties that can help protect your skin from sun damage, temporarily firm up the skin, and overall promote good skin health. All you need are a few things from the pantry, some used coffee grounds, and some self-care time. It’s also a great gift to mix up and pop in a self-care basket for a friend or a special mom in your life!

You’ll Need:

  • ½ Cup used coffee grounds (cooled)
  • ½ Cup unsweetened cocoa powder (organic if possible)
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk or Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice (fresh, not the fake stuff/If you have dry skin, substitute with Olive Oil or Almond Oil)
  • 1 Tbsp of Honey (for oily or acne prone skin, use additional lemon juice instead of honey)
  • A bowl


Mix the coffee grounds and cocoa powder together in the bowl. Add milk and stir into a paste – use less if you want a thicker paste. Add in the lemon juice and honey, stir until you get the consistency you want – spreadable and thick but not overly gloopy or runny. Add more milk if it’s too thick, add more coffee grounds if it’s too thin. Apply to a clean, freshly washed face and allow to sit and dry for up to 20 mins. Rinse, dry, and moisturize as usual!

You can do this mask once a week (it’s especially great because of the firming properties before an event – when we get to go to them again) and you can keep the leftover mixture in an air-tight container in the fridge for about a week (smell it first – it’s the milk that will go off) – if you have any leftover, that is! It also makes an amazing scrub in the shower to help exfoliate, remove dirt, and dead skin cells on both your face and body.

Benefits of a Coffee Mask:

  • Coffee beans reduce redness and inflammation and can reduce the look of under-eye circles because it helps circulate blood flow.
  • Cocoa powder is high in sulfur, which helps fight acne. It’s also an amazing antioxidant!
  • Milk helps with hydration and that healthy “Glow”
  • Lemon Juice helps brighten, tighten and lighten with the power of Vitamin C
  • Honey is super moisturizing and the natural wax allows the skin to retain that hydration!

Keep those grounds! 

Coffee grounds are so multi-purpose. I usually keep them both wet (for masks, scrubs and gardening/indoor plants) and dry (just leave in a bowl and stir every so often to dry it out, for an easy mosquito repellant). Here are some more tips!

How to Use in your Garden

Mix wet/cooled coffee grounds in with your compost, organic materials, or into soil that needs a little extra acidity, like strawberries, radishes, peppers, parsley and sweet potatoes. A little in with your tomatoes is great too (as well as crushed eggshells) – just work about ¼ of a cup into the soil. If you have pets that might eat it, use less and really work it in so you don’t end up with over-caffeinated puppers. 

And those lemons that you juiced? Use the shells for easy seed starters – Just remove all the pulp from inside with a spoon, cut the bottom a bit so it stands up (but doesn’t make a hole), place in a tray (I love reusing berry containers for this purpose) fill with potting soil and add your seeds! When it’s time to add them to the garden, just poke a hole in the bottom, pop them into the holes and cover with dirt – it’s quick, easy + compostable!

For Mosquitoes/bugs – Burn those coffee grounds!

  • Start with DRY, used coffee grounds.
  • Place the grounds in a bowl or on a flat surface outside.
  • Burn the grounds like you would incense.
  • Choose a spot upwind for best results.
  • Keep away from places pets/children might hit or step on them.
  • Set up a few throughout your yard to maximize the effect!

As we learn to do more with less, and realize that many of the things we thought we needed… aren’t so necessary at all.. As we go back to nature and reusing and repurposing as alternatives for the things we can’t get as easily – not only are we returning to an all-natural way of life, but we are giving the earth a chance to heal.

Jeanie is a Mom, Master Aromatherapist and the Owner of WildRose Perfumery, where each scent is carefully blended and hand-crafted. Each creation is made specifically for you based on your personal tastes, with care and attention to every detail, with organic, natural materials and pure Essential Oils. Jeanie also hosts other local makers on her website! 

Cheap Self-Care Ideas and a DIY Sugar Scrub Recipe

When you search “Self-Care” you are inundated with articles encouraging you to take a trip, book a spa day, or buy yourself an expensive gift. Now that all sounds amazing but not in everyone’s budget.

Self-Care doesn’t have to be expensive.

The point of self-care is to take time for yourself and if you’re spending the whole time thinking about your budget OR you come back from your self-care time stressed about how you are now eating KD for the rest of the month to afford your time away it is not going to work.

So what can you do?

We’ve created a list of easy, effective self-care rituals you can do that are cheap or free! As a bonus we’ve also added a recipe for our favourite DIY Sugar Scrub. This easy, cheap scrub will leave your skin feeling amazing and you will probably have all the ingredients in your pantry already.

Inexpensive Self-Care Ideas:

  • Go for a walk and leave your phone at home.
  • Take a bath.
  • Bake cookies and lick the spoon.
  • Pour a glass of wine and binge your favourite Neflix show. We recommend The Good Place for a feel good easy watch.
  • Invite some friends over for a clothing swap. (Learn how to host one here.)
  • Go for a drive blasting your favourite music. The louder the better.
  • Colour.

DIY Sugar Scrub


  • 1 cup Sugar (regular white sugar for face/body, brown sugar for a coarser feet/hand scrub)
  • 1/2 cup oil (Almond, olive, coconut all work)
  • squeeze of a lemon
  • lemon zest
  1. In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients and mix until combined. Store in a glass container and use within a month.

That’s it. See told you it was easy 😉



DIY Mobile: Multiculturalism in Motherhood through Exploration and Creation

By Gabriela Tellier

Like many Alberta mamas, I am an immigrant mother. I arrived in Edmonton when I was 17 years old and was welcomed to a beautiful city, to a beautiful province and country, that I now call home. Today, I am the mother of two young children and am privileged to introduce to them the culture of their homeland, as well as that of their mother’s. My children are Canadian, and they are also Peruvian.

We recently celebrated Canada Day, a day that is very special for all Canadians, those who were born here, and those who arrived later in life. Inspired by that, I share this DIY. As a mother raising bicultural children, I am always looking for creative and fun ways to teach my children about both cultures. By getting the kids outside to explore, and making art together, I embrace multiculturalism in motherhood and honor the land that gave a home to my children and to the culture that came before them.

Read more

DIY Bird Feeder You Can Make With The Kids

This week we made a bird feeder out of materials we had laying around.

With Earth Day being last weekend we have been talking a lot about the environment, recycling and nature. My 6 year old has been asking alllllll the questions. Why do people litter? Why do we throw away so much stuff? Why do we drive everywhere? You don’t realize the amount of waste you create until you have a kid in Grade One calling you out on every piece of plastic you throw away. I have been smuggling saran-wrap and ziploc bags into the garbage like a rum runner smuggling contraband booze in the 20’s.

So we decided to make a bird feeder with things we have laying around the house to a) give him something to do so I don’t have to answer questions about my non-compostable plastic containers and b) to show him that we can reuse and re-purpose things.

What you will need:

  • toilet paper roll
  • peanut butter
  • bird seed
  • patience – because they will want to do it all themselves

Step 1:

Gather supplies ahead of time before you tell your child you are making something. They are impatient and will ask you 10000000 questions while you are setting things up. Pour the bird seed onto a plate to make clean up easier. Don’t worry about cleaning off all the toilet paper off the roll. This isn’t Pinterest. No one has time for that.  *not noted on the supplies list but this would be a good time to make sure you have a glass of wine ready for after you make a mess with the kids. If you sit and drink the wine until your husband gets home he may even clean up for you*

Step 2:

Get them to cover the roll with peanut butter. This works on their fine motor skills, grasping and pinching muscles which help with writing. That is what you say to your husband when he comes home and sees peanut butter all over the counter and you are on the couch with the wine we mentioned above. You may have to hold the roll for them at the end so it does’t slip onto the floor. No one has time to mop. Unless you have a dog that will come clean up the mess on the floor. Then let the kid do the whole thing.

Step 3:

Roll the peanut butter covered roll in the birdseed pressing down so the seeds stick. Notice how long your kids’ fingernails are and how much dirt is under them. Add “bath time” to the list of things your husband needs to do while you help your self to another glass of wine after he gets home.

Step 4:

Thread the string through the tube and tie a knot so it can hang in the tree. This is great practice tying knots with your kids so they don’t end up wearing velcro shoes for the rest of their life. Nothing wrong with velcro – it is just really really hard to find velcro shoes when they get past size 3. I’m saving you time and money.

Step 5:

Take the cute picture to post later on Instagram to show everyone that you craft with your kids. #goals #instalove #blessed

Step 6:

Hang it in the tree in a spot they can see out the window so they aren’t asking you to lift them up a million times. Make sure they are inside to watch the birds eat. No bird will come to the bird feeder when an excited kid yells “BIRD! A BIRD IS HERE EATING! MOM I SEE A BIRD!” every time they come close.

Step 7:

Check the time. The husband is probably home soon so get that wine ready.

Easy DIY Projects For The Holidays


We came up with three easy DIY projects for the holidays you can do with the kids this Christmas season. One of them the kids can even do themselves guaranteeing you some time to sit back and enjoy some eggnog.

DIY Snow Globe


  • Plastic snow globe (we found this one at Michael’s) or mason jar with lid.
  • Something to put inside. We chose Lego characters but you could really do anything that is plastic and can be glued to the lid.
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glitter
  • Water

Everything you need to make a snow globe

Use hot glue to fill the Lego piece. We put the character the kids chose onto a brick to make him taller once he went in the globe.

Glue characters to the base and fill the globe with glitter.

This was their favourite part. We didn’t measure we just added until we thought it would be sparkly enough.

Fill with water leaving a bit of room at the top.

Screw on the lid, turn over and shake!

DIY Ornament For Younger Kids


  • Plastic ornament from Michaels, Dollar Tree, or online. Just make sure the top can be removed.
  • Loose parts – Sky’s the limit! Sequins, pipe cleaners, ribbon, bells, beads – whatever you have laying around.

My six year old needs to work on his scissor skills so he got the job of cutting the ribbon which he loved! And yes that is a half eaten candy cane laying there. I totally bribed him to craft with me using candy canes.

I put the materials in bowls making it easy for them to see and grab.

The finished product. It really is that easy and is perfect for little ones. This is a great fine motor activity for little hands plus it looks great on the tree.

DIY Ornament For Older Kids

  • Same plastic ornaments as listed above.
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Patience

This one looks easy enough to do since you only need three things.

Put some glue inside the ornament.

This is too much glue and where the patience part comes in. If you put in too much all your glitter will clump and slide around creating a blob at the bottom. So add some a bit at a time and turn the ornament around coating the inside completely. Even better after you coat the inside hold the ornament upside down and let the extra glue drip out.

Add your glitter and be liberal. Shake it around making sure you cover everywhere and dump out the extra if there is any.

Do you have a favourite DIY project you’ve done with the kids? We would love to hear from you!

And in case you missed it, we talked about these and a few more on CTV Edmonton.


Box Social Event Planning

Edmonton Fall Home Show Contest

The Edmonton Fall Home Show runs October 20-22nd 2017 and we are so excited! They have a huge line up of presentations on the mainstage (including Kortney and Dave Wilson from the hit show Masters of Flip) that will inspire you! You will leave the show with the information to flip, DIY, Relove, design and go green all in one place. You can see a full list of mainstage presenters here and the full Urban Barn Mainstage schedule here.

We are also excited to have our own Alberta Mama Deanne Ferguson from Box Social Event Planning taking part in their DIY Inspiration: Notable Nightstand challenge presented by Rust-Oleum Canada in support of Habitat for Humanity. She went shopping at Habitat for Humanity and using only Rust-Oleum® paints and stains and a frugal $50 design budget she has created two nightstands that you can bid on at the show with 100% of proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity. You can follow her progress as well as the other participants on social media by following the hashtag #EFHS17.

Not only is there a ton of stuff for your home the foodie in you will love the cooking stage area where you can learn how to transform your left overs, the art of cake, how to brunch fresh & locally, learn how to make spicy pickles and more. For a full cooking stage schedule click here.

The contest!

We want you to go and enjoy the Edmonton Fall Home Show and take home some items from Urban Barn! Enter below to win four tickets to the Edmonton Fall Home Show as well as:

Tatiana Tray Small Grey

Benton Throw Ash Rose

Family Photoline Display

STOP! Before you enter below please note that you MUST be able to pick up items and attend the show in Edmonton October 20-22nd.

Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: This post & giveaway was sponsored but all opinions are our own*

3 Photo Apps for Busy Families

Your phone has a couple of duties, but seriously, we all know it’s primary use for taking pictures of our kids. It’s so convenient to pull the device that we just used to text our friends and then, instant photoshoot.

Children, you better work.


First things first before your start, clean your lens. You don’t need anything fancy but get into the habit of wiping the lens of your phone on your shirt every now and again, otherwise, your images will look “foggy” and not crisp. This is especially true if your child has been on your phone lately, there might be cheerio remanents or boogers.

Once you’ve cleaned your lens, and taken your pictures, here are 3 apps to bring your paparazzi skills to the next level.

Here is the original image. It’s nothing fancy but is a typical kid photo (my daughter at the Devonian Gardens this spring looking for frogs).

Original Picture

Here are 3 different apps and three different looks for this photo.

A Color Story

Free App with paid options, available on iTunes and Google Play

Literally, my favourite app,  I use it daily for brightening images or using filters to make them better or adding colour for a little something different. The free version includes lots of filters and you really don’t need more than what they give you. Color Fog is pretty fun, for this image I’ve added the white fog.

Using the colour fog effect from A Color Story


Free in iTunes and Google Play.

If you’re feeling fancy and want to take on something a little more technical, try VSCO. You can take a photo right in this app rather than taking a picture on your camera and then upload it. The filters in this app are more refined than that of A Color Story, and can be modified to suit your “look.” There is also a very active VSCO community of photographers, and if you’re looking for where your teen is posting pictures lately, you might want to check there.

Edited with VSCO


Free but with paid options on iTunes.

Turn your kid into an inspirational quote with this app. Over is an older app that has really upped it’s game and added lots of different combinations. Similar to an app called WordSwag, but if you’ve now seen one WordSwag generated quote, you’ve seen them all. Lots of great functionality and many different modern fonts and combinations, this app get’s a geeky mommy two thumbs up. You can even use this app to create images for birthday invites or thank you cards, and look like a genius.