Friday, November 20, 2015

Easy Home Updates with Rub 'n Buff

I have fallen in love with a new product to make household updates super easy. Meet  rub 'n buff.

This stuff is so easy to use it's almost silly. Squeeze it out of the tube, rub it with your finger (or a clean cloth) on your desired item, and it dries really fast and looks amazing! Check out some of my rub 'n buff updates!  

Updated hardware on our bedroom ikea dresser.  


Saturday, October 24, 2015

In the Kitchen

After my medical therapeutic yoga training {where we talked about the impact of nutrition on our body, including muscle aches and pains} I'm re-energized to revamp our eating habits. I've been trying to do this on/off for the past 5 years, but lately I've been getting more intentional about it. 

A big part of this effort is cooking from scratch at home. My first few years of marriage I think I made marinated chicken breasts 90% of our meals...without a side. My poor husband. 

In a further effort to spice things up here are some recipes I'm hoping to try this week:

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Let me know if you decide to give any a try as well!

Check out my Pinterest page for more inspiration.



Thursday, October 1, 2015

How to fix broken makeup

Has this ever happened to you? 


It happened to me last week, and sadly, this is not a cheap container of makeup
After looking over the internet for some quick tips I gave the repair a try. 

Just a few drops of 70% rubbing alcohol, topped with a piece of plastic cling wrap, and some good ole fashion pressure from your finger. 


After letting it dry for 12 hours it looked like this: 


It isn't picture perfect, but it is compact and usable!


*this post may contain affiliate links* 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

How was your weekend?

I just got back from my fantastic medial therapeutic yoga training this week. I'm really excited to incorporate all of the knowledge into my physical therapy practice.


I really want to try out these homemade fudge pops.

When gathering ideas of our Little Lady's second birthday, I found this great article on toddler pumpkin decorating ideas

Why didn't I buy this yoga mat years ago? Best decision ever. 

One of the best books on prayer I have read in a long time. Want to read about meeting the pope, traveling to North Korea, and attempted fire walking? Check this one out. 

As I write this I'm listening to Little Lady fighting her afternoon nap and singing "twinkle twinkle". Mommy life. Have a fantastic week!

*this post may contain affiliate links*

Monday, September 14, 2015

DIY Laundry Detergent {without borax}

I have been using this laundry detergent recipe for several months now. Let me tell you...it works. It is also super duper cheap! Inspired by this recipe, I decided to see if the laundry detergent would work well without essential oils. (As much as I love the smell of something wonderful, most scents ultimately give me migraine headaches.) So here is my unscented version:

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent

Ingredients:
1/2 cup super washing soda
1/2 cup baking soda
3/4 cup liquid castile soap, unscented {if desired can use scented versions}
2 gallons of hot tap water
*Amazon links provided, but all ingredient can be found cheaper at Walmart except the castile soap*

Supplies:
2 gallon container {I used a large empty vinegar container}
funnel {or a rolled up piece of printer paper because I'm cheap like that}

  • Pour super washing soda into 2 gallon container. Fill with hot tap water just till the washing soda is covered. Shake or stir container until dissolved.
  • Add baking soda and repeat shaking/stirring to dissolve.
  • Fill remainder of container with hot water, then add the castile soap. Shake/sitre to mix.
  • If you want scent, you can add essential oils at this time.
  • Use 1/3 cup per regular laundry load.

I have even started washing my nasty work scrubs with this detergent. That should give you any idea of how much I like it!

Note: this mixture may appear to separate when the temperature changes. Don't worry! It will still work. Just shake before each use. No need to be concerned about the clumpy appearance.

Want to check out other Simple. Affordable. Natural. posts? Check out this homemade bronzer!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Have a great weekend!

It's my Saturday at the hospital, but I hope everyone else gets out and does something fun tomorrow. My Little Lasy will be having a daddy daughter date. 

The first pediatric bilateral hand transplant. An incredibly moving story. 

This is an amazing FREE e-course to help you evaluate your debt. The spreadsheets provided are awesome! 

I cannot get enough of this podcast on slow living. Highlight of my Thursdays. And on that note, when does the second season of serial come out?

The simplest guide to healthy eating. 

Our Little Lady started gymnastics this week. How cute would it be to get her a little leotard

We also checked out the American Girl store last weekend. It was a huge hit with Littlw Lady and my grandmaw!


Have a fantastic weekend!

*this post may contain affiliate links*

Monday, September 7, 2015

Follow-up to Selecting a Baby Bottle

Looking back through some old posts I discovered that I never wrote a follow up to the popular "Selecting a Baby Bottle" post. Oops!

So, without further ado {and no drumroll necessary} the winner was...Dr. Brown's Standard bottles for our Little Lady.

The competition was between the Dr. Brown's, Joovy Boob, and Tommee Tippee. Confession: I never ended up trying the Tommee Tippee.

So here's the roundup between the Dr. Brown's and Joovy. I really really really wanted to make the Joovy Boob bottle work. It was easy to clean, fill, and assemble. The only problem was my daughter was able to drink from the newborn nipple in a record 5 minute timespan. Since I was breastfeeding, whenever I was with my Little Lady, I wanted a bottle with a slower flow nipple. Ultimately, that ended up being the Dr. Brown's.

My only hesitation with the Dr. Brown's was that these bottles are insane-o to clean. SO-MANY-PARTS. It will take a few tries teaching the grandmothers how to assemble these bottle and how they need to be cleaned. Despite this flaw, they are still a super choice for slow flow feeding to simulate breastfeeding.

Ultimately, your baby may decide which bottle he or she prefers. And everyone's situation is different. This information is to help give you a starting place for trying out baby bottles. Good luck! {If all else fails, get your lovely neighbor who works for a daycare to come over and teach your baby how to take a bottle the week before she starts daycare....did I do that? YES!}


*this post may contain affiliate links* 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Hope you had a great weekend!

We have spent the week and weekend recovering from vacations and illnesses in our house. This has given me time to pursue a few things around the web...

Ever thought about the difference between a "dream house" and a "dream home"?

I'm currently reading Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt and Thrive by the President/Editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post. Also, this new release has caught my eye. 


I've heard these underwear are virtually seemless under everything. This promise got me to venture into JC Penney for the first time in at least a decade. 

Are you pro or anti-grains? Apparently the great grain debate has been settled

And for the record, here is a photo your toddler might take if you let her use your iphone in the car:



*This post may contain affiliate links*

Friday, July 31, 2015

Simple. Affordable. Natural. Homemade Bronzer

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I made homemade makeup bronzer…and I love it.


Here's the simple recipe: 

1/4 tsp corn starch 
3/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cocoa powder

(feel free to use organic ingredients if you like)

Blend in coffee grinder till smooth. Store in airtight container. Use like a mineral bronzer. To customize your color, experiment with varying proportions of the 3 ingredients. 

The smell is get. Is all natural. And you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen. Simple. Easy. Affordable. 

*Note: Since going on bed rest while pregnant with my first child 2 years ago I have been making a lot of changes in effort to simplify our household and find easier and more affordable options to daily living. I'm going to start sharing some of them here on the blog…so get excited for more Simple. Affordable. Natural. posts!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Little Lady: 21 months old

Memories from 21 months:

Wiping, creaming, and diapering baby dolls.


The concept of "other".
Sleeping with 5+ stuffed animals, 2-3 blankets, and 5+ books each and every night.
Counting to 10.
Hearing "mommy! mommy! mommy!" in the morning. Of course when I go in the room she just says "hi mommy!"
Cotton ball explosion.



When asking her if she wants to get in the pool float she responds, "no that's for baby".
Super hero week at school, she was the "super helper".



Continues to refer to herself by the nickname she chose, even though she could say her name.
Long enough hair to pull back in pig tails and pony tails.
1-2-3 JUMP!
Sorting and organizing tissue paper.
Playing kitchen.
Loving spending time with any of her grandparents and cousins.

    

Running through sprinklers.
"Penny coming?"


Pushing the baby stroller.
Pushing her full-sized stroller.
Nicknaming her new baby cousin.
Going through videos and photos on mommy's iPhone.
"H-I-H-K-LMNO-P"
Shopping with mommy.

     

Chasing butterflies with her cousin.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

DIY Recliner Chair Drop Cloth Recover

After the success of my DIY Drop Cloth Sofa Recover post, I was inspired to attempt to recover an old family recliner for the nursery of my newest niece. 

Here is the before: 


Yeah…that color is indescribable. But the chair is SO comfortable that it was worth a shot.

Here is the after: 


And I managed to recover this recliner chair in under 5 hours. 

I followed the same technique that you can find in my DIY Drop Cloth Sofa Recover tutorial: canvas drop cloth, staple gun, upholstery pins, and some trial-and-error. 

Ask any questions in the comments!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Little Lady: 18 months

Whoa. When did I get a 1.5 year old?


This has been a really fun and sweet time for our family. Here are a few memories from the past month:

She has nicknamed her lovies "bobby" {blankets} and "bo bo" {bears}.

She is still small enough to wear 12 month pants and tops. 

She is kind-of potty training. Aka she tells us right before she's going potty but seems to have anxiety about actually going in the potty. She loves sitting on the potty as long as she doesn't need to go. 

Loves trying to dress herself. One night we let her put on a second pair of pants {with help} and then forgot to take them off before bedtime. Ironically that was one of the hottest nights we had so far. Whoops. Hope she wasn't too warm.

Constantly talks naming Mommy and Daddy's posessions saying "Mommy's car, Mommy's coffee" and "Daddy's shoes, Daddy's shirt".

Saying 3-4 word sentences. For example, at daycare she was on the playground and saw the food cart heading towards her classroom. Her teachers say she yelled, "FOOD IS COMING!!!" and starting bee-lining for the class.

{cooking with our neighbor}

Counting 2-6. Forgot 1. It's not important. 

Could "dunk" on our 8-foot basketball goal with her Daddy all day. Or just being outside in general all day. 

Apparently music class has had it's impact. Little Lady loves her CD from class {and only that CD...NeedToBreathe and Mumford and Sons just don't cut it}. As soon as we get in the car she yells, "NEXT!" {requesting the next song}

A new pastime is dancing {in circles} to twinkle twinkle little star, over and over, until she gets dizzy and "crashes" safely into the ground or into Mommy.


At night she now typically reads to herself for an extended time before rolling over and going to bed. I love to watch this on the monitor. 

This girl could clean ALL THE TIME. She loves cleaning supplies, rags, mops, and the spray bottles. Luckily, since I use mostly homemade cleaning supplies, I can let her carry around these objects without too much concern. One night we could not find the natural all-purpose cleaner. Two days later we find it, along with a microfiber cloth, in her toy pile. Oops.

{unloading the dishwasher and apparently setting the table}

Speaking of cleaning, when she was at her grandparents house recently her Pop was sweeping and she ran to grab the dustpan from the closet. No one had any idea how she knew exactly where the dustpan was kept. I guess they taught her at daycare that you need a dust pan when sweeping? We just vacuum at our house.

Her favorite thing in the world right now: Bubbles. Especially with her Pop. 

She is trying to "walk Penny" {the dog}. Grabs her collar and pulls. We're slowly teaching Penny what this means and how to be gentle. It's never been Penny's strong suit.

Melts my heart every time I hand her something and she replies, "Thank you, Mommy."

Whether outside or inside, she loves to run and play chase.


She's growing up.



Friday, March 27, 2015

Daycare Stories: The Lovey

We seriously have used our Aden & Anais swaddles for everything.

Sunshades, blankets, and of course swaddles. They've pretty much been with us wherever we go. 

In recent months they have evolved to serve a new function: Little Lady's lovey. 


Through the snow, rain, wind {ok we lost one on the way to church in the wind}, these loveys have been through it all.

She used to call them "blankies". For some reason though, she now calls them "bobbies".

Who knows what's going on in that little head. We love her nonetheless. Onto the daycare story.

This week another toddler in her class had a meltdown. Crying. Screaming. Acting real sad.

This sweet girl grabbed the kid's lovey, brought it to him, and patted him on the back.

Seriously.

I love this girl's gentle and thoughtful heart.

#17monthsold

*this post contains affiliate links*

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Little Lady: 17 Month Update




We're thinking about potty training. Maybe.

Could "WASH!" all day {aka wash her hands/play in the sink}. 

Can name and point out her basic anatomy including eyes, ears, nose, head, hair, mouth, teeth, feet, toes, legs, and arms. 

Is speaking 2 and 3 word phrases. 

Is asking, "what's this?"

Loves performing household activities like unloading her items from the dishwasher as well as mopping and wiping the floor. 


Is very interested in baby dolls, pushing them in a stroller, feeding them, and recently trying to put diapers on/off their bodies. She also will place her babies and stuffed animals on their bellies, pats their bottoms, and says  "night night". So stinkin' cute. 

Has discovered she likes to wash herself in the bathtub. 

Could play outside ALL DAY. She loves scooping rocks, running around the yard, jumping in puddles, and playing in her house. 



Loves to lead you around by pulling on your finger. 

Is saying, "love you!" Ahhh melts my heart. 

Now has long enough hair for pigtails


Friday, March 13, 2015

Time to potty train?

Little Lady is turning 17 months old and we are starting to think she is ready to try using the big girl potty. I'm not super eager to get rid of diapers or anything, but since she is showing signs we may consider trying to let her start to potty train.

Tonight, she was running around naked after her bath and all of a sudden yelled "pee pee!" She started running for the bathroom but then got distracted by the enticement of playing in mommy's closet. She dashed into the closet and started to close the door. All of a sudden she then looks down between her legs. I reached out and shockingly discovered the floor was wet and she had just "pee peed" . 

I don't even know how she does this word. It must be the phrase they used at school. 

The last month or so has been filled with signs that she is recognizing when she needs to go to the bathroom, such as pulling in her diaper or sometimes running for the potty but then already having a warm/wet diaper. We did have one instance about a month ago where she sat on the potty and managed to go properly, but I feel like that was more luck than anything. 

I'm wondering when and how everyone else potty trained?! I know very little about this subject...

I definitely don't want to force something she is not ready for because she is still so young, but if she keeps showing signs we may give it a go. I can't imagine my little girl wearing real panties. We cannot be there yet. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to cut cable and keep ESPN {and other live sports}

We have experimented with cutting cable in the past, but it ended up lasting only for a summer. 

You may not know this, but this mama cannot live without her college football and basketball which requires access to ESPN. 

I've always said I would get rid of cable as soon as I could get ESPN from another source. That day has finally come.


Enter: Sling TV

For only $20/month I get access to the following channels: ESPN, ESPN2, Disney Channel, ABC Family, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, TNT, CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Best of Maker. {Supposedly, they are also adding more channels in the future.} I care mostly about the ESPN channels and HGTV. 

Additionally you get full access to the Watch ESPN app and there is NOT a contract. 

Between Sling TV and my Leaf Antenna {which gets you access to all the free HD channels that stream via antenna these days}, I pretty much can watch all of the sporting events we that we care about. 

{Side note: bad weather can interrupt your antenna reception. We had this problem last night. Not good timing as our basketball time was playing a rival. Solution = watch espn app over LTE on my phone.}

Even sweeter, Amazon is running a promotion right now that gets you a *free* Amazon Fire TV Stick when you sign up for 3 months of Sling TV. {I'm sure this offer is for a limited time only.}

I'm hoping this is finally my solution to be rid of cable forever. 

My impressions so far? The quality is awesome, especially for all of the channels that can buffer ahead. Our internet is 20 GB download speed and Sling TV streams in 1080p. The picture is crystal clear when streaming Netflix. I will say the live sports are not *quite* as clear as they were with cable due to being broadcast live. However, it's such a small difference that we think we can get used to it.

Here's a price comparison. My previous monthly bill:

Cable + Internet Bundle: $114 with 1 year promotion

My new bill:

Internet: $53
Sling TV: $20
= $73/month

I'm loving the savings already.

Sling TV also has $5 add on packages for more sports channels or kids channels for those of you who want more options. 

It may not be the perfect solution for everyone, but so far it's working for us! 

*this post contains affiliate links*

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pigtails!

And we have...

PIGTAILS!!!


I picked up Little Lady today from school and she had asked for one of her teachers to give her pigtails. Given that she has the shortest hair in her class {just like her mama at this age} I was SO excited to see her hair up for the first time.

The school even got a super cute picture of all 5 girls in the class with pigtails - it would steal your heart. 

#16monthsold


Monday, February 23, 2015

Toddler Camera Exploration

I picked up a kid's camera on consignment for $4 a few weeks ago.


Let's just say it's been a hit. 


She really doesn't take selfies much but this photo series made me laugh. 



Say cheese! 




And for $4 I don't care if my 16 month old breaks it...although it's pretty sturdy. So far holding up to plenty of abuse. 

She loves scrolling through the photos and naming the people in her pictures.

"MOMMY!" "DADDY!" "DOG!"

*this post contains affiliate links*


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

$2 Reusable Sticker Board

My Little Lady is OBSESSED with stickers. She can play with an entire sheet in one sitting. In an effort to conserve our sticker consumption, I found a solution for making a reusable sticker board. And the best part? It only cost me $2 at the Dollar Tree.


Supplies needed from the Dollar Tree:

*Erasable marker board
*Reusable stickers 
{Make sure you buy the ones that are marked "reusable". There really is a difference!}

Instructions:

Give to child...yep. That easy. It almost seems silly to write it down.

I will admit that most of the time I still help our young toddler take the stickers off the original sheet, but it's pretty amazing how quickly she is figuring out how to peel them up herself. This is a great fine motor skill to work on hand dexterity. 

Most importantly, it has provided us with tons of fun. All I keep hearing is "MORE STICKERS!"





Thursday, February 12, 2015

Strange Day

I forgot it was picture day at school and didn't think much about what Little Lady was dressed in this morning. 

I took a shower AND a bath after moving around a lot of boxes {and dust} in the attic. 

I decided at the last minute to make Valentines cards instead of sending the ones I bought at the dollar store a few weeks ago. Results here:


I wrote several blog posts in my head. They have not made it on the screen yet. 

My husband and I went out to an early Valentine's Day brunch. I gave him his gift {a collection of short stories I have been reading and enjoying} and he told me to keep it till I finish reading it. Sigh. 

It was just a strange day...but a good day. Off to work tomorrow and then going to Little Lady's school Valentine's party!