Saturday, December 7, 2013

Violet VoxBox Reviews -

I love getting things in the mail. No email or Text can compare  to the thrill I get from opening the mailbox and seeing my name on a letter or package!  Yesterday, I was delighted to receive a box full of goodies compliments of Influenster. I did a video on Instagram and one on YouTube of the unboxing of the Violet VoxBox, but I wanted to do the individual reviews on here.

I first tried my Dark Chocolate SoyJoy bar [Retail $ .99] and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. I had tried them before about 6 years ago when SoyJoy had a promotion. I wasn't a fan of the taste/texture. Now however, not sure if my tastes have changed but I really enjoyed the one I got with my voxbox! The dark chocolate was just what I was looking for to go with my morning coffee. GMO and nut free and 140 calories make it a great snack for someone like me who can't have peanuts and is looking to stay slim and healthy! :)
The second item I got to try out was the Montagne Jenuesse Clay Spas [Retail $2.49]. The Red Earth Clay Spa mask. When I came home from work, my dear son was ready for a nap so after I put him down, I decided it was the perfect time to test out my mask!  What a glorious occasion it was! The instructions were easy to follow and scent was sweet. The mask was so very refreshing and felt luxurious on my skin. I used to get these types of masks all the time when I was a teenager. It was the highlight of my Friday night...that and scaring the crap out of my brothers that got to see my face covered in some sort of goop! :) I think I will have to make it a habit again. Definitely will be repurchasing this!

While using the mask, I used this bad boy to keep my wild hair out of my face. The Goody Athletique Ouchless Headwrap [Retail $6] is reversible and quick drying. I think the best thing about this is that is really did stay in place! I have the hardest time with most athletic head bands like that. It wasn't too tight either. During this afternoon's workout, I got to try it out in its intended environment and was pleased to see how it held up. Kept my hair in check and didn't slide around!

The next product I want to talk about its the Not Your Mother's Clean Freak refreshing dry shampoo [Retail $5.99] . I have only tried one other brand of dry shampoo and wasn't a fan of it. I was very excited to this one. You already know that I only wash my hair twice a week, so a good dry shampoo is a necessity. The bottle was cute and it smelt so good! It worked like a dream and didn't bother my sensitive scalp. I might have to get a full sized bottle of this when I run out!

My nails are still wet as type this. I am not a bright nail color kind of girl. as least I thought i wasn't. i LOVE this Triple Shine by Sally Hanson in Play Koi [Retail $4.99]. I love the brush shape, is that weird? its not blunt, but rounded so I don't get polish all over my finger. Super shiny and from the one nail i painted over the weekend, mostly chip free (i may have bumped the paint before it was dry. lol). One or two coats of this stuff and you're good to go! I will definitely have to look for more colors soon. :)

 So all this awesome stuff came compliments of Influenster for testing purposes. I have given my honest opinion in the reviews. :)

Ciao for now,

Friday, December 6, 2013

Violet VoxBox 2013

After waiting for what felt like an eternity, the Violet VoxBox finally came! :) Here is the unboxing -- I will do the reviews on each item soon, so stay tuned!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Had to Google "How To Remove Coconut Oil from Couch"...

... Well, as it happened, the toddler and I caught a cold soon after we bought that eucalyptus oil. So I thought I'd make some homemade vicks with some coconut oil. I had a little container for it and everything. I, however, forgot that coconut oil melts very quickly in warm temperatures. So one night after bathing toddler, we went to sit on the couch so I could diaper and dress him and put the coconut oil mix on him. One slight bump of the hand when I opened the container and a blob of oil spilled out onto my couch! To make matters worse, when I went to get a towel to clean it up, I hastily left the container on the side table.... and toddler thought he'd help out. Thus, spilling the majority of the contents alllllllll over the couch.  I came back and wanted to shoot myself!
I immediately started blotting the oil with a rag and then some paper towels. Stopped to google "how to remove coconut oil from couch". There is always a hundred different ways to do something, so I picked a few and prayed they'd work!
I used some of my vinegar/Dawn carpet/couch cleaner mix at first. Sprayed it on, blotted it with a rag. Then for like 12 hrs, I let baking soda sit on the spots. I vacuumed it up then put corn starch on the spots and let that sit for about 6 more hours. The spot was still a little visible, but not too much. Now, however, I can't see any spot! I think the oil must have transferred from the couch to our clothes or something.
Either way, there's no spot and for that I am thankful.
So, just in case you ever make the same mistake... here's one way to do it!

... Garden update! I have three little cucumbers growing! My pumpkin plant may not make it because it had powdery mildew but I am hopeful. My zucchini plants are all gone. I pulled up the last two that were barely surviving. Covered the whole plot with freshly dropped leaves. We'll try again next year. I'm reading up on gardening and planning my spring garden. :) I've bought more lavender and planted it... but everyone I've talked to said they've never been able to grow it here. My Basil is still doing well. I moved a few plants inside because the weather is getting colder at night. I am hoping they do well inside.

... I'm going to get another VoxBox soon! Really excited about it too. I watched Glow of Grace's unboxing of her Rose VoxBox and now I cant wait to get my Violet Voxbox! I may not do a video, but I'll do a blog version of an unboxing, with pictures and such. :)

... So that's about it. Still slowly trying to potty learn the toddler and also working on weaning him. He's getting to be such a big boy, but still quite the baby at time. <3


Sunday, November 3, 2013

No Shampoo for Me, thanks!

Starting earlier this year, I started being mindful of sulfates and parabens in shampoo. My scalp was oh, so angry with my current shampoo selections (Dove and Garnier) ... And my curls were lackluster and frizzy. I had heard of the no poo method before but wasn't ready to take that plunge so I bought some sulfate and paraben free "shampoo" and conditioner that happened to be on clearance. I loved it but I did feel like I has some build up so I used a tip I learned from a Brunette Duet and used baking soda to clarify my hair once a week or so.
Then I began thinking, if I'm going to mix this stuff up every week, I might as well try the " no poo method". So I read a blog, watched a video and then found some old bottles to use.
It took a little while to realize that I don't need to use so much baking soda and that twice a week washes worked best for my scalp.
As of right now, I use 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1 cup of filtered water plus a drop or two of tea tree oil.  I have also recently added a cleansing conditioner that I found at walmart...a no sulfate/paraben product. I had been just using coconut oil to help moisturize  my hair, but still felt that I needed something else. To me, this stuff seems like it would a dupe for WEN. I really like it, it moisturizes and smooths my hair. The smell is a bit manly, but its grown on me and now I love it.

Today, I finally got my hair cut and I am super happy with how it turned out. First off, I like the girl who cut my hair... This doesn't always happen. Secondly, it was a student salon AND it was half off day. I got an amazing hair cut for $6. You can't beat that with a beatin stick. :) I am interested in seeing how it looks air dried and curled. For now, i'm feeling skinny with this straight hair.

I am super excited to see what's coming in the Violet VoxBox! I hope to do a video unboxing and then blog post reviews on all the products. :)

Ciao for now,

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Hungry Little Caterpillar

Boy was I naive. I saw one little caterpillar on my zuke plant and thought,"Oooh, look at this little guy..." I flicked him in the bushes. Later that day I look and realize that my poor zucchini plant has been skeletonized! All the leaves had been chewed up! A closer look at all five of the plants gave me a better understanding of why insecticides became so popular in our country. Who really wants to pick off and squash dozens of little green caterpillars ? Well, that's what I did.... *squash*
Darn little bugger's... I will be completely surprised if I get any fruit from my garden. BUT it has been a very good learning experience and I hope to continue to learn. I will say though that I didn't like the "trial and error" process in algebra and I don't love it in gardening either... But at least it keeps me active and slightly tan. :)

In other news, I bought eucalyptus essential oil and have been loving it! I love learning about how different oils can be used for different things. Plus it smells good. ;) I plan on making my own version of Vick's using it and some coconut oil.

I have a new hair product I want to review on here and I'm going to try and do that next week sometime. It's a WEN dupe! :)

Until then, ciao!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Say Cheese!

While I have been getting into a more plant based type diet, there are a few things I just don't feel I want to give up. My goal is moderation, so while I try to make greens and veggies at big part of my diet, I also will have the occasional Five Guy's burger. Because they are fantastic... and I'm too poor to have more than one a month. :)

And since we're on things too good to give up, lets talk about cheese. I got a Sargento VoxBox from Influenster a little while ago. Inside was a coupon for a complimentary cheese snack, a $1 off coupon and an awesome little cheese stick cooler. Yeah, you heard me. A cooler for your cheese stick. :)

The toddler was very impressed with the cooler... but never got to try the cheese. Why? Because mommy bought Pepper Jack cheese so she didn't have to share! Was that mean? Perhaps... Was it good? Oh yes! Satisfied my nacho craving I had been having for a while now. I had a cheese stick and some SunChips and I was good to go. :) For one cheese stick, it was 80 calories, so not too bad.

The only con about having cheese in your refrigerator, is knowing that you have cheese in your fridge. I think the pack came with 12 cheese sticks.... they were gone before the week was out. :)
I think I'm going to redeem my coupon next time I go to the grocery store... I think S needs to make burgers with the Sargento Pepper Jack cheese INSIDE the burger. :)

Anyhoo... so I would like to get back to blogging a little more often. Will that happen? Who knows... I am still finding it incredibly hard to balance computer time, working out, all the duties of a wife and mother...showering. "_"

So that's all for now... toddler is napping in underpants (!) and I need a shower, so until next time! Ciao!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Gardening, Take 2

My lovely cucumbers were doing wonderfully with all our summer rain, until two weeks of intense heat made them shrivel up and DIE. This picture is the before and after... and what it currently looks like is just a plot of nothing. I was so sad but there was nothing I could do. There are two small cuke plants in another location, they have a few blooms, but I am not holding out hope that they'll actually produce any fruit. :[

I cleared a plot in my side yard and have zucchini and pumpkin growing there at the moment. I realized that since they were doing so well, I ought to clear out more space... so that's what we did today. And by we, I really mean me... 2 year old are just no help sometimes! 

I hope to plant some more cucumbers against the fence and see if I can get any lavender to grow this time. With my birthday money, I bought some soil and marigolds. I've got a plan forming in my head and I hope the weather and veggies will cooperate. The pumpkin plant is getting big and over taking my zucchini... but they all have blossoms on them so Lord Willing, we might see fruit!! If anything this gardening experience is teaching me how to be patient. And also, that I don't have control over everything. I can do the work, plant the seed but it's up to God if it grows. I really enjoy my time gardening and even though he's not much help yet, it's fun to teach the 2 year old about gardening. :)
Looks like I'm going to need some tar paper (or maybe i'll just use newspaper), some more bricks or blocks and more soil to raise it up a bit. I'm also looking into buying a blueberry bush for the front yard but I am afraid that it won't make it in the heat. This winter I will be transplanting some of the small shrubs from the front, so I'll have more room to experiment with veggies up there in the planters. 
ciao for now!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cucumbers & Basil

I have been following "Grow Food, Not Lawns" on facebook for some time now. Its something that I have always thought would be neat to do since I was a kid. Why have all this grass (or in my yard's case, weeds and sand) and it does no good?
So being inspired, I started small: Basil and cucumbers in pots. Didn't realize that cukes would get so big so fast, so I had to thin them out and plant them in the ground. I had the perfect spot because some years ago I dug up some weeds/mystery plants on the corner of my planter and its been bare ever since. So now I've got 9 cuke plants in the ground, two in a planter. 
My basil is another story. I need to read up on how many can go in each pot and then replant them. I dont have the money to go get good potting soil, so I am trying to make do with the sandy soil already on my property. Learning as I go. Very excited to see how everything turns out :)

Today, I weeded and dug up a 4x3 foot area near my back door. There is an old tree stump on the other side of the fence,  so I knew I would have to dig out all the roots that I could. That was a job! I got probably 20 feet of roots out. There was a small portion that had just too many thick roots, so I left that alone and plan on putting the big ceramic pots on top of the ground/roots . Maybe tomato plants or beans, next year?  I am trying to do this as inexpensively as I can....growing everything from seeds. I am saving my chobani yogurt cups to use for seedlings. The dirt is very sandy and I think it might need some prepping before I can plant anything in it, so for now I'll just put pots on top.  This area gets full sun from about 10am until late afternoon so i think it will be a good spot for veggies. :) 
"Mary, Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow?"

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Benefits of The Breastfed Toddler

When I envisioned myself breastfeeding before I became a mother, I don't think I realized the possibility of me breastfeeding an almost two year old. And yet, here I am... With a 20 month old. It all came about so naturally, there was never a moment where I thought , "OK... He's x old, today he's too old."
Now with all the reading and new friends that are also nursing toddlers, I found out that the reason it came so naturally, was because it Was natural. Now, don't get me wrong.... There has been a few times that I got frustrated and wished that we could be done... But knowing that this was indeed normal to feel that way helped me get thru the more trying times.
I went to Le Leche League meetings just to be around other moms...I never usually have any questions, but I just need to be around other people like me. One of the leaders has a daughter a month older than N and it was always comforting to hear her talk about something her toddler was doing and be able to relate. I highly recommend any breastfeeding mom ( first kid or not) go to a few meetings... Especially if you don't have a strong support system around. I have my mom, who is always the first person I go to about....everything. But I don't have any peers locally, other than the women I have met at the LLL meetings.
So, if you have a toddler you know just how ridiculously  finicky the can be about food. Some days, N will eat like a grown man ...others, particularly when he is teething (which seems like always these days) , N won't eat a dang thing. He has been surviving off of greek yogurt and breastmilk this week. Lol Its just another reason why I am so glad we are still breastfeeding.
And on that note, here's my list:

●Always ready to go, no meal prep.

●One food toddler cannot throw on the floor. Though he can spit it. :-[

●Can never be lost behind the couch for weeks on end (#missingsippycup)

●Perfect for soothing an over tired,  teething grumpotomus to sleep.

● The pressure of "making enough milk" is gone since he's supposed to be eating more dependent on solid food.

●Not sure on the number, but toddler nursing still burns calories.

●Since breastmilk is designed to change with the needs of your baby/toddler, its peace of mind. Toddler is always getting the best. ♥

Are you nursing a toddler? How has it been compared to your first year?
For us, it has been easier...much easier! I was always so worried I wouldn't make enough or suddenly stop producing any milk at all. But now that he is eating real food now, I have noticed I have relaxed considerably.  Also, if you have doing something for a whole year you should have it down pretty good by the second year. *lol*
My advice to moms thinking of breastfeeding beyond a year is to give it a try, but go with what works best for your baby and you.  Know that there are plenty of women behind you and lots of research saying its great for toddlers too!  But don't beat yourself up if you don't always love it. Seriously, it can be tough sometimes... find someone you can talk to. It helps!

Check out these great links:

Happy breastfeeding!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Poor man's Nutella

Actually, Jif's chocolate hazelnut spread is pretty expensive too. But I feel good because I found a $1 coupon for it. *any excuse will do*  The toddler is sleeping... and I'm doing what any good mom does these days... browsing Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter whilst listening to Pandora and noshing on graham crackers and "Nutella". I think I should cut myself off at some point... Dear Husband gets home at 1 and I should look like I've been uber busy. Or at least hide the Jif. :)

Anyway. Hello there! Its been a while since I've blogged. I have missed it... but being on toddler time these days, there isn't a whole lot of time to sit uninterrupted at the computer. And even when there is a few precious moments (such as right now), there are always chores and projects I must attend to. But today, my house is 90% clean... and the toddler is sleeping. But if I listen, I can hear my knitting crying out for some attention. ... and I have no clue what to make for dinner (Oh Pinterest, inspire me!). *sigh*

Such is the life of one trying to find balance....