DIY Bath Bombs and Smile Train

DIY Bath Bombs and Smile Train

We all know that sometimes our children have assignments that feel like “Mom Assignments”.  Recently a mom craft, DIY Bath Bombs, materialized into a “Mom Assignment” and a really great way for my kids to help other children through service.

Smile Bombs by Sam
This year in 3rd grade my son Sam had the opportunity to participate in a grade-wide service project to help earn money to donate to Smile Train. Smile Train is an international organization with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Sam was particularly effected by the challenges facing children with cleft lips and palates. He wanted to do something that would earn “loads of money” for these children. We came up with the idea of selling  DIY Bath Bombs with a toy surprise. We call them Smile Bombs. For every DIY Bath Bomb we sold, we donated $2 to Smile Train.  The response was amazing!   In just 10 days, Sam was able to raise $200 for the organization and we are on track to donate $350 this month.

The service project ended but Sam’s quest continues.  We have adjusted our donation level to 15% of all profits but sales are going strong.  Here is a link to our Smile Bombs on Etsy  if you want to take a look. We are currently offering and additional 15% off for all of our readers. Just use coupon code OPINION.  It is such a great cause we are so excited to help these children.

Now, since we are givers, I’m sharing a copy of basic recipe we use to make our bath bombs.  This recipe makes about 7 2-inch bath bombs. It takes a little bit of practice but with a little practice you’ll be a DIY Bath Bomb making machine!

A couple random questions and links you might want to check out regarding my supplies

I buy my Citric Acid on Amazon.  I’ve bought it at Walmart in the canning section but they have been out the last few times I’ve checked

Fragrance Oil – You can buy oil at Micheal’s Craft or even Walmart in the Vitamin section.  Obviously if you have prefer you can use essential oils as well.

This is the mold that I use.  I find it easy to work with and the perfect size for my DIY Bath Bombs

Witch hazel is sold in most stores near the rubbing alcohol.  It is a natural astringent and since it evaporates quickly, it is a easy to use to moisten the mix.

DIY Bath Bomb Recipe

1/2 cup Citric Acid
1 cup Baking Soda
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1/2 cup Epsom salt
2 tsp oil (Grapeseed, Coconut or Olive Oil)
1-2 tsp Witch Hazel
1 tsp Fragrance Oil

Food coloring as desired.

1 Sift and mix all dry ingredients into a large bowl

2. In a small bowl mix oil, fragrance and food coloring.

3. Slowly add the wet ingredients above to the dry mixture, continuously mixing.

4. A few drops at a time, add witch hazel to the mixture until it resembles wet sand. Test by molding a bath bomb

5. Form bath bombs using the mold of your choice. I like to place mine a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Try to wait 12 hours or overnight before use.

Now

Walmart Grocery Pickup

Walmart Grocery Pickup

You guys. Walmart Grocery Pickup is quite possibly the greatest thing that every happened to parents.  For those of you who haven’t heard, various Walmarts are now offering FREE grocery pickup.

How does it work? I’m so glad you asked.  All you have to do is go to their website or app, choose you pickup time and order all of the groceries you need.  Then, at your designated time, you simply go to the Walmart that you ordered from, pull into their pickup spots and call to let them know you are there.  Then the super nice Walmart employees bring you groceries out and load them into your car.  No extra fee, no tipping (per Walmart) and you get to be a grocery store hero.  If the ease of the situation isn’t enough to convince you here’s a list of the reasons I use Walmart Grocery Pickup.

Fifteen Reason I Love Walmart Grocery Pickup

  1. I don’t have to get out of my car
  2. My children don’t have to get out of the car.
  3. I save tons of money because I’m less likely to impulsively buy a box a nutty bars.
  4. My daughter and I don’t have as many opportunities to throw down over Shopkins purchases or lack thereof.
  5. I can order from my phone.
  6. Did I mention I can order from my phone?
  7. Its free if you spend over $30.  When don’t I spend $30 at Walmart???
  8. You get to pick when you are going to pickup your groceries.
  9. I check in from the app when I leave my house and then when I get there, they load my groceries into the back of my car.
  10. I can decide if I only want a certain brand or if I’m willing to substitute.  For example, we only eat Jiff at our house.  This is nonnegotiable for my eight year old.
  11. When I use the app, I can add things to my cart throughout the day as I remember what we need.
  12. The Walmart Grocery Pickup app saves my favorites. Every week I need to buy yogurt, milk, applesauce and Crystal Light Strawberry Lemonade.  I appreciate that my app has these items front and center.
  13. It is SUPER easy to use.
  14. Sometimes they call me when my order is ready early.
  15.  You can stay in the car.

So, check your local Walmart to see if they offer grocery pickup.  Game changer people.  Total game changer.

In Search of The Side Hustle

Oh, the side hustle. The term itself is enough to bring a smile to my face.  I love anything that involves money and a new skill or product. I love the challenge. or learning something new and the satisfaction that the comes with making money.  Over the years I have taken on more hobbies than my husband or wallet would like to admit. One of those ideas involved starting this blog with two of my favorite women. After about nine months of success blogging about food, television, fashion and crafts, life got in the way.  Ladies made babies, people moved and the endeavor kind of fell apart. Our posts all disappeared into the internet and here we are, starting over.  However, the spirit of the idea lived on.

And THAT is the great thing about the side hustle is it can be whatever you want it to be and it is always evolving.  All if requires is an idea and some action.

I found is that there are a lot of things that I like to do and quite a few things that I do well. There are things that I tried that were complete failures. The most important thing I’ve found is that in order to have a successful side hustle you have to be willing to give things a shot. What is the worst thing that can happen is the idea doesn’t take off? Who cares? The important thing is that you learned something about a trade, a skill or maybe you just learned something about yourself.

Side Hustle School

Recently my friend (and soon to be reactivated co-blogger) Sarah introduced me to a great podcast.  It’s by author Chris Guillebeau and its suitably called Side Hustle School.  Each episode is a bite sized podcast that shares inspiring stories of how normal people made their side hustles work for them.  More importantly, each episode focuses on a skill that each individual used to become successful. I may or may not consume a couple episodes a day.

What this all boils down to is we want you to find your passion. Fist of all, look for a side hustle that makes you happy and f it makes you some money, even better.  Second, do the research.  Is someone else doing something similar?  Can it evolve into something else? Is there a market for the idea?  Third, figure out  what you need to make it happen.  Finally, just give it a shot! It can’t hurt anything and you might be surprised by the results.

 

RockMyRun – Our Favorite Running App

One of our favorite things to do on the blog is share products that we love. Let me introduce you to RockMyRun.

This is hands down one of my favorite running apps.  I have a lot of music on my iPhone but sometimes I just want to mix it up.  This is where RockMyRun comes in.  They have millions (maybe not that many) of playlists featuring every genre imaginable.  You can filter by genre, time, BPM and length of workout.  I am totally motivated my music so having upbeat fun songs to listen to helps me push myself a little harder.  Plus it gives me access to songs that I wouldn’t normally purchase.

Here are some of my favorite mixes.

Girls Night Out

Runchat Fan Mix

Fight to Fit

Best of 2013

Mixes are available for streaming if you have WiFi or unlimited data.  Or you can download them to your phone and have access to them whenever you want.  They have two different levels of membership.  Here is the explanation according to their website. 

RockMyRun offers two tiers of memberships: Standard (free) and Premium. Standard memberships have access to standard mixes, get 1 download of any standard mix per month and unlimited listening to standard mixes in the RockMyRun app.

 

Premium memberships come in 3 lengths: monthly, quarterly and annually. With a premium membership you get access to ALL the mixes available at RockMyRun. You receive a number of downloads based on the length of the membership: 3 downloads per month for monthly, 9 downloads per quarter for quarterly and 36 downloads per year for annual. These downloads do not roll over to the next month – they are use or lose.

If you happen to be looking for some new jams for your workout, you may want to check out this app.  If you see me dancing as I’m running down the street, you’ll know what I’m listening to.

RockMyRun didn’t pay us to say nice things about them.  We just dig the app and thought you might too.  

 

Valentine’s Day Outfit

oday, I am lazy. And I have no witty words or clever thoughts. So all you get is outfit inspiration. But, Valentine’s is coming up (it’s my least favorite holiday, I’m not even going to lie to you guys). And I know a lot of people actually really like this holiday—which is so beyond my understanding, but there you have it—and since a lot of people actually like this holiday and since a lot of people actually probably have plans for this holiday, a lot of people will be wanting to know what they should wear. So I’m here to help. Valentine’s Day Outfits.

(Personally, on Friday night, my Valentine’s Day outfit will probably be me in sweats. On the couch. And if we do go out, it’ll probably be to a movie with friends. In which case, I’ll stick to my trusty jeans and cardigan combo. It’s never steered me wrong before! And if we don’t go to a movie, we’ll probably just decorate cookies. Because if I have to celebrate this holiday, why not do it with mass amounts of sugar intake! That’s what I say. And I just want to also say that I’m not against love. I love love! I just don’t think we need a holiday to celebrate it. Let those of us who have love celebrate in our own way, every single day of the year. No need to rub it in the faces of people who don’t have love. Nobody wants to watch the Glen Coco’s of the world swoon and coddle over each other. It’s really just rude to the rest of people who aren’t Glen Coco. And also, I’m just not overly fond of pink…)

Anyway, even though I may not be all that thrilled to celebrate on Friday, I do love all of these outfits. I found some spectacular skirts on Asos and decided that if one needs to do a Valentine’s Day outfit, one should do it in a skirt! And all of these are perfect.

Outfit One

The shoes from this first outfit are numero uno on my shopping list once I’m off my shopping fast (a story for another time, if at all). I can’t not have them in my life! And that leather skirt, so in right now. Swooooon.

Valentine's Day Outfifit
Blouse // Necklace // Clutch // Shoes // Skirt

Outfit Two

Metallic is so huge right now, and I love the pops of pattern and color in this outfit. The bright pink earrings are perfect for Valentine’s Day. But mostly I’m dying over that skirt. It has POCKETS! Insert 6 heart-eyed emojis here.Valentine's Day Outfifit

Earrings // Blouse // Skirt // Clutch // Shoes

Outfit Three

What a cute idea, to wear heart earrings and a “love” necklace on Valentine’s Day! I’m sure I’m the first person to have thought of this…

Valentine's Day Outfifit

 

Top // Earrings // Necklace // Clutch // Shoes // Skirt

Outfit Four

Gosh, I am seriously dying over this skirt! And the sequin top. And the snakeskin shoes. Mostly, it’d just be great if I got up right now and walked into my closet and this outfit was there. Maybe if I had this, I’d actually want to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Maybe.

Valentine's Day Outfifit

 

Top // Earrings // Clutch // Skirt // Shoes

Outfit Five

I have a grey tee almost just like this and it’s one of my favorite shirts. So whenever I can incorporate it into an outfit, I’m a happy camper. Especially when I’m able to dress it up, like this outfit does. Super fancy and trendy lace skirt, with metallic heels, a sequin clutch, and a plain grey tee. Perfect.

Valentine's Day Outfifit

 

Necklace // Tee // Clutch // Skirt // Shoes

Outfit Six

And of course, I had to include at least one cardigan. My go-to. My favorite. This outfit is perfectly girly. And even though it’s heavy on the pink, I’d still wear it. And you better believe I’d rock it.

 

Cardigan // Top // Skirt // Clutch // Shoes

I’m That Mom

As moms, we all have some days that go better than others.  We are more aware and critical of our own shortcomings than anyone.  A couple weeks ago Hey Megan texted me and said, “Oh, I have a post for you today. I completely embarrassed myself.” Then she proceeded to leave me wondering for 2 whole hours!!!  So, if you need a little post to reassure you that you are not the only one that is THAT mom, take a second to share with Megan (one of the best moms we know) what happens when things don’t go quite as planned. 

 

 

I am THAT mom.  No not that mom.  Not the one with perfect hair and makeup at 7:00 in the morning.  Not the one that makes darling lunches using Bento boxes and and food art.  Not the one that has the BEST ideas for crafts and activities for school parties.

 

I’m the other THAT mom.  The one sitting next to that perfect mom.  The one who probably didn’t take a shower yet today (see Tracey’s post on that).  The one who walks her kids to school in her pj’s.  The one who let’s her kids do their school projects all by themselves using stuff from the recycling bin (and you can tell!!).  Yep, that’s me.  You know that movie Hope Floats with Sandra Bullock and Harry Conick Jr?  And Sandra Bullock brings her daughter her lunch at school dressed in an ugly robe and total bedhead?  Yeah that’s me–like every day.

But today was especially priceless.  So, in my defense, it has been an especially crazy week–per my own making, my husband would remind me.  I had 2 middle of the night visitors last night so I was even MORE tired than usual (and I am usually pretty darn tired).  I decided to let my kindergartner sleep in (since he was one of those middle of the night visitors and I just couldn’t tell if he was getting sick or sleep walking).  So, thinking I am totally ahead of the game, I drive my older two kids to school.  Just as they jumped out my daughter asked if I could walk them in.  I thought “Sure, I’m totally ahead of schedule now and it will be just a minute.”  

Ugh, fatal mistake–ever thinking I am ahead of the game.  As I walk out of the school my friend texts me and says “are you at the meeting already?”  WHAT??  I have a meeting??  Oh man.  This is a meeting for the parents of the gifted and talented children in the school.  Seriously.  My kiddo is obviously naturally gifted and talented because anyone can see I’m not helping that situation!  I trudge into the classroom with about 60 other parents–all dressed perfectly because, you know, they are the gifted and talented parents.  

Let me paint you this picture.  I AM IN MY PAJAMAS!!  I pulled on a fleece jacket (courtesy of BazzarVoice–seriously) but everything else is pajamas.  I have not brushed my teeth–I’m not sure I have even opened my mouth yet.  My hair is…well it’s my hair.  Not sure there is a huge difference between when I do it and when I don’t.

 

I sit in the back hoping no one will sit next to me.  Tender mercies–my awesome neighbor Jen comes in and plops down next to me–looking gorgeous.  But she sees me like this all of the time, so I am good.  She gives me an up and down look and gratefully keeps her comments to herself (although somewhere that day I remember her commenting that it wasn’t so bad since it’s only a small step down from the running clothes I normally wear all day).  Well, thank goodness she is sitting there, I not so tactful cover my mouth and beg her for gum or a breath mint.  Thank goodness she has 2 cherry flavored cough drops!  I threw one in my mouth and she did the same (probably because my breath was so bad that she had sympathy bad breath or something!).

 

Just when I think things couldn’t get worse, it happens.  Guess who sits next to me?  That mom.  You know the first “that” mom I was talking about (yes, you Michelle).  Perfectly put together, has 3 kids, is the PTA president, etc etc etc.  And she is sitting next to me.  Well, at this point I have given up on finding my child’s special binder (yes the other parents found their child’s binder but Alex is related to me so…the binder is lost).  The presentation begins.

 

And it’s hot.

 

And it gets hotter and hotter as more and more parents pile in.

 

 And I am in a fleece jacket!  That I can’t take off!  Because I am in my pajamas!!  (and who sleeps in a bra?  not me–not that that would matter except that I have nursed four kids!)  So now I am SWEATING and very smelly because I have not taken a shower.  And no kidding, after several attempts for me to contact my husband BEFORE the meeting starting to let him know he had to bring the remaining 2 children to me, he finally calls back.  So, now I have to get up, during the middle of the meeting, and weave my way through the parents to the hall to tell my husband to look at his texts!!  Jeesh.

 

Finally the misery is over.  I walk out of the meeting and in comes the other two kids.  Jack is stimping his pigeon-toed run and yelling “Mom, Mom I made it!”

 

Yes if people hadn’t seen me yet, they now all turned to look at me.  I just smiled and said “awesome”.

 

I’m pretty sure I will never be motivated to wake up early enough to avoid all of this.  I am a procrastinator–see previous post.  But my kids are awesome.  They never seem to be embarrassed by me..yet.  Maybe it’s because they don’t know any better or maybe because they are just awesome.  So, thank you Sophia for holding my hand the whole way to your class.  And thank you Jack for yelling at the top of your lungs, letting everyone know that this mess in front of them is your mom.

 

Valentine Printables and The Importance of Proofreading.

Once upon a time, I decided to paint a wood sign for my Valentine mantle.  I was so excited about the prospect that I even made some Valentine printables to share.  For the quote I chose a line from a song that Ben and I listened to a lot while dating.  Here’s a little video of the song.

Anywho . . . after lots of time formatting and getting the sign just right I got to work painting it. Then I sent this shot over to one of my besties.

Valentine Printables Mantel

She promptly pointed out a spelling error. After I had painted the sign.

This is what I get for not sending it to Erika for proofing.

You’ll be happy to know that after a little bit of sanding and painting the sign is correct and darling. And lucky for ya’ll. I was able to fix the spelling error on the printable.  So here’s a little valentine gift from us to you.   Print and enjoy some valentine printables on us.

Also!  Be sure to take out childcare survey!  We want your opinion on babysitters, your expectations and what you are willing to pay!  We will be sharing our results next week. Thanks! http://bit.ly/1n1oK3v

Valentine Printables Block Valentine Printables Script

 

Breaking Bad (Habits) Part 2

So dieting….. am I right?? Just to give you an idea of how it is going, I may or may not be sipping on a Dunkin Donuts Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and munching on a chocolate donut. In my defense, they were hand delivered to me at my office on a rough day by a sweet friend who knows how much I adore sweets (and also how much I hate diets). How could I possibly turn that down?  Am I supposed to let the poor defenseless donut die a sad death in the trash can?

I’m sure you can tell my mindset and dedication is wavering, but let me fill you in on how I got here, and really exactly where I am.

Week one was pretty darn hard, as you could tell from my first post. Day 6 was my cheat day and I took it pretty easy. I ate off my meal plan and just added in a few cheat items, like a roll or two, and a cookie or two, and a Diet Coke or two. You know, the important things!

But after going 6 straight days without sugar or dairy or carbs at all, my body didn’t handle itself very well after cheat day. I felt ill. But my cravings became harder to curb. And my will to live became less and less. So I cheated more. If we’re being totally honest, I can’t quite call it cheating if I’m still consuming way less calories than I normally should be, you know? 

On Day 14, I was down 3.5 pounds. I felt good. I was halfway to my goal weight. And the best news of all was that we got new meal plans. With more calories. And with normal food. No more chicken and spinach!! Everyone at the gym was super excited. And I have to say that I’m pretty happy with the new plan. It’s the Mexican Food meal plan and it includes things like cheese (gasp) and tortilla chips (double gasp). 

The only problem is that I misjudged just how stressed I would be at this time of year. Am I the only one who hates January??? I’ll post more on that later, but I have been turning to food to make me feel better way too often. And wouldn’t you know it, the stars aligned and I found a bakery that makes some amazing Triple Berry Tres Leches Cupcakes. Don’t ask me how I got there. I’m not sure I can recall. Bakeries must have magnets or something that force my car in the parking lot and my person through the front doors. And did I mention the Girl Scout cookies on every corner?? I mean….

So today is day 21 (of 56). I haven’t lost any additional weight this week. But I’m counting that as a win. Maintaining is just as important as losing, right? And I totally have the maintenance thing down… as long as I can keep my donut trips in check. But it was really good and totally worth it. Just sayin’…  

Obviously I still have some work to do if I ever plan to give anyone qualified advice on dieting.

Is It Spring Yet? Rainboots!

Is it spring yet? Remember how last week I talked about them winter blues? Well. It’s snowing in Denver again. So I guess, really, the answer to my question is a most definite “no!” It is just not spring yet. So I decided to start counting down. I’m going to count down to blue skies and warmer temps.  Then I’m going to count down to bright colors and tulips. I’m going to countdown to all sorts of Cadbury Eggs. After that, I’m going to count down to baseball and summer vacations. And I’m going to count down to April showers, the quintessence of spring. The moment when the cold snow finally turns into oh-so-welcome, little drip-drip-droplets of soft, cool water.

Oh Bambi.

Anyway. What better way to count down to April showers than by shopping for rainboots? Rainboots are to April as April showers are to spring: the quintessence. (Too much to use that word twice in one post? Eh, I’m leavin’ it.) So, I have scoured these internets high and low for all sorts of different rainboots for you! That is, if you’re in the market. Which, you probably should be. Because, spring and April showers and rainboots and Bambi!

Our Favorite Rainboots

Is It Spring Yet?? Rainboots! #hunters #target #lace #tartan #spring #rainboots #ankle boots #leopard #floral #snakeskin #polkadots #metallic:

001 // 002 // 003 // 004 // 005 // 006 // 007 // 008 // 009 // 010

 

011 // 012 // 013 // 014 // 015 // 016 // 017 // 018 // 019

I want ALL these rainboots. I have included all sorts of different rainboots to choose from, you’re welcome. If you’re looking for some brand name/splurge rainboots, try #1, #2, and #19 (Hunters), #4 (Ugg), #7 (Valentino), and #9 and #10 (Sperry). If you’re looking for something a little less pricey, but still good quality, try #3 and #17 (Target), #15 (Kohl’s), and #11, #12, and #14 (DSW).

What style of rainboot should I buy?

I tried to include a variety of trends. Ankle boots are huge right now. I have a pair of knee-high Hunters, which are always practical and never go out of style. But really, ankle boot rainboots (#4, #10, #11, and #19)? I mean, seriously. I am seriously dying over #11 in particular. With the bow!! And the #10 rainboots are fur-lined! Sperry, for the win!

Anything tartan or plaid is also very trendy right now. The tartan Ralph Lauren rainboots (#13) would be the perfect way to incorporate this look into spring. Metallic is also big, so why not add some metallic to your rainboots? I submit to you that I cannot think of one good reason not to. Sperry’s got Metallic rainboots down (#9 and #10). Plus, I mentioned above, fur-lined! Helloooo! If you like the lace trend, try lace rainboots (#4, #7, and #8). And then, of course, anything printed. Printed rainboots are soo fun! We already talked about the tartan and lace. There’s also polka dots (#12), snakeskin (#16), leopard (my fav! – #17), and floral (#18).

Aaaand, I think that just about covers it for rainboots. Check back next week for the second edition in my countdown to spring… what will it be, what will it be? Oh, the suspense! 😉

OCD: Grocery List edition (free printable)

 

So this ecard perfectly describes my life. Every single Sunday evening, I plan the meals for the upcoming week. Then, I take an inventory of everything I have and everything I need and smash all the items I need onto one very unorganized grocery list. Theeeeen, on a separate, clean sheet of paper, I write out every needed item based on where it is in the store.

 

And WHAT a hassle it is. It is quite a process, let me tell ya. I swear, I waste precious moments of all my Sunday nights going through this same routine. Each and every week. Then not so long ago, Tracey and I were chatting, and I hesitantly told her about my OCD tendencies. Mostly I was hesitant because I knew she’d judge my weirdness and call me a freak. But then, oh gracious gods of grocery shopping, she said she does the same thing! As long as I’m not alone in my OCD, then it’s alll gravy, baby.

 

But still, what a hassle! So we decided we needed a list to make things easier for us. A ready-made grocery list, with the categories already separated out into line-items based on where things are located in the store. And because we are in the business of giving our opinions freely and putting them where they don’t belong, we are giving you our grocery list. And 2 different versions of it. We know.

 

And, here’s a fun disclaimer: I do my grocery shopping at Walmart. Now, I know there are lots of people who are mortally and morally and whatever else against Walmart. If you are that people, just hear me out before you go and get your panties in a bunch. I am a poor newlywed and Walmart has the cheapest groceries I’ve found anywhere, by a long shot. I personally can’t afford to buy all my groceries from Whole Foods (or as my husband calls it, Whole Paycheck. Am I right? Seriously, break my bank, why don’t ya!). Walmart is very practical for my budget. Therefore, that’s where I buy my groceries. However, I will say that produce and deli at Walmart, almost always generally sucks. So. I go elsewhere for those items, unless I’m in a colossal rush. So anyway, what I was going to say is these particular grocery lists are in an order by which most Super Walmarts abide. If you would like a customized grocery list, in the order of whichever grocery store you shop at, leave a comment with the order you’d like, and we’ll try to get it over to you just as soon as we can 🙂