Kristin Eldridge Photography specializes in maternity, newborn, baby, children, and family photography servicing Long Beach, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

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DIY Herbal Salve

One year for my birthday my mom gave me a locally made salve/body balm.  As soon as I opened it, I fell in love with the smell.  Then I put it on.  It soaked into my skin like no other lotion ever has.  I started using it on cuts and scrapes, my son’s eczema and even sunburns.  I quickly deemed it THE MIRACLE SALVE.

I’ve been using it every day for over a year.  My skin is smoother and more hydrated.  Any skin problem can be solved with this stuff.  Then, one day she went out of business.  After trying a few other salves that did not live up to this one, I decided to learn how to make it.

I looked on the back of the tin for the ingredients and started googling ‘how to make a salve.’  It’s actually quite simple.  All you need is a type of oil and either shea butter, beeswax or both.  They’re melted together and turn into a spreadable balm or salve.

The key to the salve I loved so much is the long list of herbs.  The herbs are infused into olive oil (either by the sun or over low heat).  The list looks daunting, but I found them all on Mountain Rose Herbs and Etsy.  Buy just one ounce each and it will last a very long time.

I purchased the other oils listed on Amazon as well as the shea butter and beeswax.  After making this a few times, I think I’ve finally nailed the ‘recipe’ and I’m so excited to share it with you!

DIY Herbal Salve

Herbal Salve/Balm for Extreme Moisturizing

Herb Infused Olive Oil

Take a quart jar and add 1 Tablespoon each of these dried herbs

  • St. John’s Wart
  • Calendula
  • Comfrey Leaf
  • Burdock Root
  • Black Walnut Hulls (Powder)
  • Dandelion Nettle
  • Heartsease
  • Goldenseal

Add olive oil to the top of the jar and let it sit in the sun for 2-3 weeks (stirring every other day).  If you’re in a hurry, you can do it in a double boiler for an hour.  After the olive oil is infused, strain out the herbs with a piece of cheesecloth.

How to make the salve/balm

  1. Mix 4 ounces of the infused olive oil with 1 ounce almond oil, 1 ounce hazelnut oil, 1 ounce jojoba oil and 1 ounce grape seed oil in a double boiler.
  2. Add 1.5 ounces of beeswax and 1 ounce of shea butter over low heat.
  3. Stir until completely melted.
  4. To test consistency, dip a spoon in the mixture and place in the freezer for 2 minutes.  That will be the finished consistency of the balm.
  5. Once you’ve reached your preferred consistency, add 10 drops each of peppermint, lavender, eucalytpus, patchouli and sandalwood.
  6. Pour into a container and it will harden as it cools.


Valentine’s Day Treats

I recently made a little Valentine’s Day treat as a contributor for Modern Parents Messy Kids.  I recipe tested this 2 ingredient recipe with pre-made pie crust and sugar cookie dough.  The sugar cookie dough was definitely the winner here.  Of course, no one can turn away cherry pie with traditional pie crust, but there was something about the sugar cookie that had you coming back.  Maybe it was the density or the extra hint of sweetness.  Either way, these mini valentine’s day treats are super easy and turn out so cute!

valentines day treats


Easy Shiplap Wall DIY

Easy Shiplap Wall DIY Easy Shiplap Wall DIY

Easy Shiplap Wall DIY

Our love of shiplap knows no end.  Thanks Joanna Gaines.  I’m no stranger to trends.  If you look closely, you’ll see a wall of wallpaper that I HAD TO HAVE.  So, when I was researching shiplap wall DIYs, I came across people that were doing the shiplap with plywood underlayment.  This is awesome for several reasons.  First, it’s so lightweight and easy to handle that anyone can assemble it.  It’s way cheaper than traditional shiplap AND it’s not permanent.  Which means when the shiplap trend is over I can easily pry these off the wall and move on to the next big thing.  And I know they’re easy to rip off because we accidentally installed on the wrong way and it was easy to use a screw dry and pry it up.

Shiplap Wall Supplies

  • Plywood Underlayment
  • Sand paper
  • Stud finder
  • Nail Gun
  • Pennies
  • Wood Putty
  • Circular saw or jigsaw
  • Paint

Shiplap Wall Instructions

We took a trip to Home Depot and purchased two plywood underlayment boards and paid to have them cut into 8″ strips.  The width of the boards is 8 feet, which happened to be the length of our wall.  #winning  But, if you have a smaller wall, have them cut to the width of your wall as well.

You’ll need to sand them down just a little.  They are already pretty smooth, but you don’t want splinters.  Then, you’ll need a way to adhere them to the wall.  If you have access to a nail gun, that will make your life a whole lot easier.  Simple mark the studs and use brad nails to attach the board to the wall.

In order to create the look of shiplap, you’ll want spaces.  We glued 2 pennies together and used that to space out each board.  (See the photo.)

If you have to work around light sockets and switches like we did, it’s helpful to use a circular saw or a jig saw to measure those out and cut them before nailing them to the wall.  You’ll also need to cut the last board to fit evenly on the wall.

Once the boards are installed, use wood putty to fill in the nail holes and go over it one more time with a piece of sand paper.  We had to go around a corner, so the corners were also filled with putty and sanded smooth.

Painting underlayment is a bit of a pain, I’m not gonna lie.  The wood is porous, so it soaks up paint.  I used Swiss Coffee by Valspar and paid extra to have paint with primer mixed in.  I did two coats with the brush (so it would have a more natural look) and after a few days it was looking yellow.  I applied one more coat with a mini-roller (because I was over it!) and that did the trick.  It still looked naturally and stayed white.

Easy Shiplap Wall DIY Easy Shiplap Wall DIY Easy Shiplap Wall DIY Easy Shiplap Wall DIY


Earring Organizer DIY

All my friends know I’m organized to a fault.  I like everything to have a place.  And the littlest things are no exception!  I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, but Jillian has her ears pierced and has many many many sets of earrings.  Prior to this DIY, we tried an earring stand and a little box with compartments.  Both were good efforts, but ended with lots of single earrings.  So, my friend suggested we try a strip of leather.  Urban Outfitters sells their earrings on a small piece of leather, so we decided to try it on a larger scale.

I put together a little step-by-step DIY over on the Little Skye Blog (just simple drilling or nailing through the leather), but I’ll show you how it turned out!

IMG_9594 IMG_9592 IMG_9593

Earring Organizer DIY


How to Build a Hanging Copper Pipe Rack // DIY

copper hanging rack

Like many of you newborn photographers, I have an overflowing supply of fabrics, wraps, knits, hats, etc.  Keeping it organized in my small space can be a challenge.  I saw a tutorial on Food52 (of all places!) and knew it would be the perfect DIY for my space.

I loved this project because it hangs so close to the wall. Now my supplies take up hardly any space!


Here’s what you’ll need…

Copper pipe, fittings (2 Ts, 2 90degree and 2 end caps), rope and cement glue

The original project on Food52 has different measurements than mine.  I designed mine to fit the space that I had.  Feel free to adjust the measurements as needed.  I also changed the way it hangs, but we’ll get to that later.

Step one:

Cut the pipe.  I had to purchase a 10 foot piece at Lowe’s and then cut it.  The helpful Lowe’s employee told me I could cut it with a hack saw, but Brent has a pipe cutter, so that’s what you’ll see here.


I cut two 28″ pieces (the width), two 12″ pieces (the bottom height) and two 24″ pieces (the top height).


Next you’ll want to assemble everything except for the end caps.  You can see how it all goes together here:



Once you have it assembled, you’ll want to thread the rope through.  It goes all the way down the right side, across the bottom portion and up the left side.  (It doesn’t go through the middle piece.)  I did take the joints apart as I threaded the rope through and then put them back together once the rope was through (as shown).

Next you’ll want to take the joints apart one more time, apply cement glue and push the joints back together.  Let this part dry overnight.


While it’s drying you can drill a hole as big as your rope (mine was 1/8″ rope) into the end caps.  This will prevent from moving around inside the pipe (and add stability) while it’s hanging.

Thread the rope through the end caps and secure it with more cement glue.


The original project called to hang eye hooks from the ceiling at tie the ropes to secure it.  We decided to go for a cleaner look, so Brent drilled 1/8″ holes in the ceiling (from the attic).  We threaded the rope up the ceiling and tied it into a knot at the top.  We also added a board under the knot for a little more security.

Now that the rack is on basically a big loop, I can adjust as needed if it gets lopsided from the blankets I’ve layered on.  Scroll up to the top to see how it goes into the ceiling.



Distressed Painted White Wood Wall DIY

Back in December we experienced a blessing and a curse.  It started with a funky smell in my cabinet and ended with my floors being torn up from a water leak.  The insurance paid for new floors, so I decided to go a totally different direction from the dark hardwood that we had and chose a very light gray toned wood.

With the big change, I started re-thinking the dark wood walls we had previously installed.  I blogged all about them here.


We had to decide what we were going to do about these walls while we were moved out of the house.  I went back and forth and eventually decided to have them painted white.  Here’s what the end result looks like…and I’ll tell you about the road it took to get there!

white painted wood wall DIY

After living with the walls a solid white color, we decided it needed a little texture.  And, to be honest, we just missed the warmth of the previous wood wall.


The first thing we did was add a rug.  My brother bought it in the Middle East and the colors and textures were perfect with the white.  After that, I found some kilim at the flea market and changed up the pillows to match.  Next we sanded the wall.  We just used a regular orbital sander with heavy duty sand paper.  It took a LONG time, like all day.  It ended up being too contrast-y, so I went over the top of it with liming wax.  It covered most of the dark wood and the end result was a very muted distressed white wall.


After we got the wall how we wanted, I played around with an installation above the pillows.  I hung the felt hearts above last February, and it got me thinking about what else I could hang.  I settled on a rough fabric and yarn creation.  The fabrics were purchased in downtown LA and it’s just a combination of knots with denim, linen, yarn and rope.



The last addition was the blanket at the end of the bed.  I bought a piece of wool and just added yarn pom-poms to the edge.  Perfect!




Bottle Art DIY

If you’re a fan of 10 minute projects like me, head over to Little Skye blog where I’m guest posting about Bottle Art today.  My brother brought home these coca-cola bottle from Oman.  I loved the Arabic writing and wanted to add them to my shelf.  I love how the color turns them into art!

bottle art diy


Arrow Pendant DIY + Update

Here’s a sneak peek at Jillian’s grown-up room…


I also guest blogged about how I made the arrow pendant/banner over on Little Skye Children’s Boutique.  Go check it out!

In other news…I added a new date for the Spring mini-sessions with the couch.  March 30!  I have a few more Sunday afternoon spots left, so contact me (buttons on the left) to book your spot.

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