The Roses Project

I have a rosebush in my front yard. I thought it was done blooming for this year, so imagine my surprise when I returned from vacation to find a measly four blooms still hanging on. It gave me an excuse to try this homemade rosewater toner that I’ve had on my mind.

I put the remaining petals in a mason jar, covered them with distilled water and a teaspoon of vodka as a preservative. I also had some dried lavender so I added a few sprigs since there are fewer rose petals than I’d like.

I’m going to steep it for two weeks before following the rest of the toner recipe.


Total cost: zero dollars.



A few months ago, I broke a blush I’d been using almost every day. Most of it stayed in the compact, so I tucked it away until I had time to do something else with it. I had the inclination to turn it into a sort of creme blush using the same compact.


I used the broken pieces of the blush, a tiny bit of beeswax, some coconut oil, a few drops of primer and two drops of essential oil (for fun) for this little recipe.


I melted it all down on the stove over low heat. The beeswax takes longest to melt, so you’re better off starting with that.


Once it was all melted, I gave it a stir then poured it into the same compact. The surplus went into another little container I had on hand.


It should work as a lip and cheek stain, just in time for dry skin weather.

Drying Days

All week long, I’ve been putting a load of laundry in the washing machine before leaving for work, and hanging it on the line to dry once I get home. The weather here has been so pleasant (for a change) that it only takes about an hour to dry, even with the sun low in the sky.

Nothing makes me feel quite so productive as doing a bunch of laundry. Back when I lived in a Toronto apartment without a laundry room, I used to love taking a few hours on a Sunday, cramming every piece of fabric I owned into the back of a rental car and trucking it to the laundromat. My favourite one was at Runnymede and Annette, because if was cheap, had free parking, and this one dryer that would run forever on one quarter if you knew how to finesse it right.

Still, I wouldn’t trade my suburban clothesline for those laundromat days of my youth. My power bill jumped by $30 a month this year, so I’m making it an unofficial goal not to use my dryer all summer.

Have you got any other good power-saving tips for me?

Take My Stuff

You know what I get a kick out of? When people seem to be into what I am doing here.

I’ve heard it from a few of you lately. You like reading the blog and you think what I’m doing is alright. Maybe I made you laugh once or twice. Some of you have even shared how you’ve been inspired to take on similar challenges. All of these things are great.  To someone like me, with an ego as big as all outdoors, hearing this stuff is what keeps me trucking.

So I wanted to say cheers, and also to offer some token of my gratitude. What do real bloggers do to reward their readership? They give something away! Maybe you can see where this is going.

Getting rid of stuff is hard, and sometimes we hang on to stuff we really don’t need, even though someone else might want that stuff. Much of my stuff is crap, but some of it is actually pretty nice. I promise I will not try to give you crap.

I bought a red Beantown Quinn  handbag from a Kate Spade New York store a couple of years ago because it was totally me. It still is, except I have only used it about four times.  I used to have a bit of a purse problem, and I am definitely over it now, but for some reason this particular purse perpetually persisted.


It’s made of wool with black patent leather trim. It looks like a pea coat for your wallet. It would look great on you this winter.


It has buttons. It is not a knock-off. I have some of those, but this is not one of them.


This purse cries, “Look in me!” It has one of those iconic Kate Spade linings, and zippered pockets to hold all your stuff. It is so pretty you will want to keep it organized.

(Maybe keep your money and your phone or whatever inside the zippers. Those outside pockets are decidedly for grocery lists and knitting.)

I know. Generous, right? Why would I want to part with something that cost me hundreds of dollars for FREE when I could sell it to a local for several dozens of dollars in cash money? I have three reasons:

1. I’m not going to sell it. It’s too much of a pain.

2. I like it too much to part with it unceremoniously.

3. Though I make do, I don’t actually make OR do anything that’s worth giving away.

Now, the funding drive pitch: If you mostly like what you’re reading, then do like Jay Mohr says and put your name on it. Go to the Facebook page and share a post for me. (Some of you have done this already, and it never fails to give me the warm fuzzies.)

Edit: First, please “like” the Monique Makes Do Facebook page to make sure you get the updates, and if you share the blog, send me a message to let me know. This process is evolving.  

Tag your posts with #makedo (I am really trying to make #makedo happen, you guys) so I won’t miss any. It also helps if you make the posts public. Each share equals one entry, and on December 1st, one lucky winner will be getting this authentic, single-owner, responsibly stored, perfect winter handbag, just in time for all those fancy holiday parties.

(I realize this might be the worst idea I’ve ever had.)

Curbside Jackpot

Our city does a thing a couple times a year where people put their used, usable stuff by the curb with a “free” sign and other people can take it, if they’re so inclined. I’ve been known to spend several hours curb-shopping during these weekends and I’ve found some pretty great stuff.

Now, I’m not really in the market for any more stuff this year, free or otherwise. Still, if the perfect thing just happens to cross my field of vision… and it’s not even Curbside Giveaway Weekend… well, I take that as a sign.


The other night, while walking the dog on our street, I saw a kids’ art table with a “free” sign. I checked it out. It was in really good condition, so my sister and I carried it home.

We cleaned it up (it didn’t need much) and brought it inside.


It has four holes cut out along one side for holding supplies or paint pots, and I didn’t want to leave them empty. After trying a few different containers without success, my mom suggested I try our IKEA plastic drink tumblers and they fit perfectly.


There’s a dowel underneath that’s meant to hold a roll of paper. It is also the perfect size for some colouring rolls we had kicking around.


Brand new art station for zero dollars. What are your great curbside finds? Comment below.