Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Adorable Idea!

I was reading through a couple of blogs and happened upon this blog called "On My Side Of The Room" the other day.  She has some really creative ideas.  One could get lost on that blog for hours, readjusting your whole budget just to make some of the things on this blog.  Not me, of course, because that would be completely irresponsible.    

There was one project that stuck out to me.  It was this jewelry holder (pictured above).  It is adorable!  So, I thought I'd share it with you.  If you're interested in making this, click here for the tutorial.

It's nice to have a little project idea.  I've been feeling pretty uninspired lately.  I feel like I need to do something different in my house, spruce it up a bit.  I'm just at a loss.  I look at some of these blogs and want to start stalking their owners, begging them to come to my house and help me decorate and organize.  Would that be illegal?  

What kind of creative projects do you have in the works?  

If you need more inspiration, check out this blog as well.  

Thanks for stopping by,


Monday, May 24, 2010


I was going to take a picture for you but, my 6 year old happened before I got a chance.  Ours looked just like the one in the pic though.  Read below to understand.  

*Disclaimer: This could possibly be a post that only Grandma can appreciate, but I'm going to post it anyway.  

Yesterday, my family and I were working in the yard.  We were getting our gardens ready for the veggies we're going to plant.  As you can imagine, we found lots of worms and one, very green, slightly fuzzy caterpillar.  I have to explain my oldest daughter.  She is a sensitive heart who loves nature and just about everything in it.  She quickly attaches to needy, innocent little creatures. She immediately picked up the little green caterpillar and, after feeling it, named it "Fuzzy".  

The girls took Fuzzy to the tree and laid him on the branches.  Hubby and I continued to dig in the garden as the girls laughed and played with Fuzzy. Five minutes into their bonding, I hear my youngest laugh and say, "Mama, fuzzy just pooped!"  Hubby and I looked at each other and laughed.  Then I hear her say, "Well, I guess we know which end is which now."  That girl cracks me up. I didn't even know she was wondering about that.  

Later on, my youngest is running around the yard with Fuzzy in her gloved hands (there is no way she'd touch anything found in the yard without gloves). Well, what do you get when you have a 6 year old running in the yard with a lightweight caterpillar in her hands?  Yup.  She dropped Fuzzy.  Fuzzy was is green.  The grass is green.  Needless to say, we did not find Fuzzy.  I thought about the fact that Hubby was going to be mowing the grass shortly, but did not voice my thoughts out loud.  

Just as we were sitting down for dinner, I hear my oldest reading her journal to her sister.  It went something like this: "Today I found a caterpillar.  I named him Fuzzy.  I played with him until my sister dropped him in the grass. Then my Daddy mowed.  So, now Fuzzy is probably dead."  I held my breath and looked at Hubby.  Apparently, they all knew what I thought I hid so well. Daddy mowed and there is a good chance that Fuzzy did not make it back to the tree.  My youngest looks at me and says, "Mama, do you think Daddy got Fuzzy with the lawnmower?"  Hubby and I look at each other as he gently replies, "Well, there was a lot of time between when you dropped Fuzzy and I mowed.  So he probably made it back to the tree."  That seemed to appease both of them.  Phew!  

It's amazing to me how kids don't miss a beat.  You think they're not paying attention, but don't be fooled, they don't miss a thing! 

How have your kids amazed you, or made you laugh by something that caught you off guard?

Thanks for stopping by, 


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cinnamon Toast

Picture taken by Pioneer Woman

My children woke me up this morning saying, "Mama, wake up.  We're so hungry our stomachs are growling."  I usually just throw cereal in a bowl and hand it over.  But, today I felt like making something a little different.  

I had fresh baked bread I made last night, so I decided to make cinnamon toast.  Ooooh, ahhh.  I know, it sounds unimpressive, right?  But this wasn't just any cinnamon toast, this was Pioneer Woman's cinnamon toast.  Let me just say, my children are bowing at my feet and the aroma dragged my husband's sleeping butt out of bed.  If you know anything about my husband's sleep patterns, (and why wouldn't you?) not even an earthquake would wake that man.    

It tasted really good!  Now, you may try it and think it's too sweet.  But if you have a sweet tooth like mine, it's not possible for anything to be too sweet.  

You can click the link above to view the recipe on PW's site, but if you want to get straight to the point and avoid all her dialogue,  here's the recipe: 

Prep Time: 10 MinutesCook Time: 15 MinutesDifficulty: EasyServings: 8
  • 16 slices Bread (whole Wheat Is Great!)
  • 2 sticks Salted Butter, Softened
  • 1 cup Sugar (more To Taste)
  • 3 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract (more To Taste)
  • ⅛ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg (optional)
Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Smush softened butter with a fork. Dump in sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg, if using. Stir to completely combine.
Spread on slices of bread, completely covering the surface all the way to the edges.
Place toast on a cookie sheet. Place cookies sheet into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil until golden brown and bubbling. Watch so it won’t burn!
Remove from oven and cut diagonally.  

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Date With Mama

It's been a crazy couple of weeks.  Last week, my oldest daughter was sick.  She was home from school for 4 days, finally returning to school on Friday.  I thought we were in the clear, all sick-free.  But wouldn't you know it, on Wednesday afternoon my youngest daughter got a fever.  *sigh*  She has been home from school for two days.  It's now Friday evening and Hubby and I had to cancel our plans.  

Their sickness was interesting because they'd have a fever for a few hours, perk up and be happy for a few hours.  This has been the cycle for the past two weeks.  During those perky times, we'd spend lots of time laughing, making up stories, and snuggling.  It made me realize how little time I actually spend face-to-face with them.  I don't mean mindlessly listening as they tell a story from the day and coming up with a clever response to make them think you were listening when you were really going over your to-do list in your head.  I mean looking them in the eyes, conversing, engaging, laughing, being fully present.  

This realization made me sad.  I know I'm a good mom.  I take care of their needs.  They are loved and they know it.  But, do they really feel listened to?  Do they feel like I make them a priority when they're talking to me?  If my husband listened to me the way I sometimes listen to them, I'd be upset.  This got me thinking about my priorities and how I can do a better job of spending QUALITY time with my girls.  

The idea I had was taking them out on dates, one-on-one.  My girls are only 14 months apart so they often get lumped together in situations or activities. Since they both were sick at different times, I got to spend individual time with them. I was amazed at the difference of our time together without the other sister around.  They love each other and spend lots of time together, but they are still individuals and I think I don't always treat them as such.  

SO, with all of that being said, I want to share a list of date ideas I came up with:

1. Go on a picnic
2. Go to the zoo
3. Go to the park
4. Spend an afternoon snuggled up reading books
5. Create a story with your kids and make it into a book
6. Play dress-up
7. Fly a kite
8. Plant some flowers
9. Paint pottery
10. Do service projects together - teach them the importance of serving others
11. Wash your car - surprisingly, younger kids really enjoy this
12. Create a masterpiece on the sidewalk using sidewalk chalk
13. Go to an amusement park
14. Bake something
15. Go fishing
16. Make bubbles, go outside and blow them till your dizzy
17. Play hopscotch
18. Play board games
19. Play Barbies - be a kid again
20.Use finger paint and let your kids paint all over the shower wall.  When you're done just  wash 'em down.  My kids LOVED this when they were younger. 
21. Create an obstacle course in your backyard 
22. Create a treasure hunt around the neighborhood
23. Visit a farm
24. Go for a bike ride
25. Catch fireflies 
26. Count the stars
27. Have a family camp-out in the backyard
28. Give your kids a disposable camera and take them to a park to take pictures
29. Have a movie night with a picnic on the living room floor
30. Go to a coffee shop
31. Roast marshmallows in the fireplace
32. Make a scrapbook together
33. Make a tie-dyed tshirt
34. Make a volcano
35. You can do what this brave Mama is doing over at Like A Warm Cup of Coffee

I also want to note that when Daddy takes daughter on a date, it gives him the opportunity to teach his daughter how a man should treat her (ie. open doors for her, respecting her, listening to her, etc).  This will stick with daughter as she's choosing her dates and eventually, her husband.  Daddy has already set that bar high and she will expect nothing less (we hope and pray).  

All of these things are a great way to have fun with your kids, but remember, just sitting  with a glass of milk and talking to your kids is a great thing too! Never underestimate the power of talking to your children.  We have a small window where our kids think we're cool enough to hang out with.  Take advantage of it!  

Thanks for stopping by, 


Friday, May 21, 2010

EASY Homemade Face Scrub

For the past couple of days my face has been feeling weird.  It's been kind of bumpy, not pimply, just not smooth.  Am I making sense?  Anyway, I decided to make a face scrub.  Not being the very creative type, I came up with this recipe.  Are you ready?  It's a tough one: 

1 Tbsp sugar (any kind will do, however cane sugar would be easiest to spread on your face)
Oil (Melted Coconut oil, olive oil.  Whatever you have on hand)

Mix ingredients together in a bowl.  Gently massage on face and neck.  Rinse off with warm water and a washcloth.  Wash face as usual.  

You have to wash your face when you're done because the oil in the scrub makes your face greasy.  Surprisingly, it worked well.  My face was soft and felt really nice.  

Ok, I'm done.  Go wash your face now. 


30-Day Fitness Challenge - Day Thirty

We made it 30 days!  Can you believe it?!  How do you feel about yourself?  I feel pretty dang good!  I don't know that I've ever stuck with anything for 30 days.  

So, what do you plan to do now?  My next step is definitely going to be diet.  I know, I don't like that word either.  Maybe I should rephrase that.  My next step is going to be changing my eating habits to include better nutrition and healthier foods.  How was that?  

I'm sure I'll be posting about my experience with cutting out sugar and eating healthier.  I'm researching how to eat healthier, but in a way that is still convenient and enjoyable for my family.  I have a husband and a daughter who do not like vegetables or fruit.  Most healthy things are a big turn off for them. It makes it difficult to cook for my family.  If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.  

Today, I want to leave you with 10 Benefits of Physical Fitness (taken from

1. You're more likely to live a long and healthy life. Regular exercise reduces the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and several types of cancer. It also reduces the risk of having a stroke. In one eight year study of more than 20,000 men, those who were lean but unfit had twice the risk of death as those who were lean and fit.

2. You'll control your weight. If you try and lose weight simply by dieting, you'll lose primarily water (which is easy to gain back), some muscle and a little bit of fat. If regular exercise is part of your weight loss program, you'll lose primarily fat and be able to maintain (or even gain) lean muscle mass. Most people who lose weight end up gaining it back because they don't exercise.

3. You'll have more energy, strength and stamina. People who complain that they don't have enough energy to exercise fail to realize that working out gives you energy. In one study, middle-aged women who lifted weights for a year became 27% more active in daily life than before they started lifting weights. Regular exercise also increases your strength and stamina, allowing you to better handle common activities such as carrying a heavy bag of groceries or climbing a flight of stairs.

4. You'll keep your bones strong. Both men and women start losing bone mass around age 35. Lifting weights can not only halt the decline, but in some cases can reverse it. This drastically reduces your risk of osteoporosis. Weight bearing exercises like walking and running also help keep your bones strong.

5. You'll keep your mind sharp. Multiple studies have confirmed that regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mind. It improves brain function, which helps prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

6. You'll prevent or reduce low back pain. Strengthening your abdominal and lower back muscles can help prevent low back pain. It can also reduce discomfort if you already suffer from this pain. Also, you might be able to avoid back surgery by strengthening your abdominal and lower back muscles. In one study, 35 of 38 people who had been recommended for back surgery were able to avoid surgery by following an aggressive strengthening program.

7. You'll get sick less often. Regular exercise strengthens your immune system.

8. You'll improve your mood. A large amount of research shows that you have a better sense of well-being following a workout. Thanks to chemicals released in the brain during exercise, feelings of anxiety, depression, anger and stress are diminished during a workout.

9. You'll sleep better. People who exercise regularly fall asleep faster, sleep longer and wake up less often during the night than people who are sedentary.

10. You'll enjoy life more. Life is much more enjoyable when you're fit and healthy. You have more energy, strength and confidence, and you're more productive in everything you do.

Why is physical fitness important? The bottom line answer is that many of the problems commonly associated with aging, such as disease, increased body fat, and loss of bone mass, energy and strength, are often the result of a sedentary lifestyle and can be minimized or prevented by improving your physical fitness.

Great job!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dust Spray

The other night, I came home from a date with Hubby, paid the babysitter, turned on a lamp and sat down in my favorite spot on the couch.  I don't normally use the lamp I turned on, so it brought my attention to a few things I had in that corner: plants, books, puzzles, and *gasp* DUST!  Now, I'm not talking about your average layer of dust that appears when you don't dust for a week.  I'm talking about a thick layer of dust that only comes from a month (or two) of neglect.  Gross, I know.  

Don't be fooled.  I don't normally dust every week, or every other week for that matter.  It's just one of those things that gets away from me, like laundry, scrubbing floors, and bathrooms.  I'm usually so busy that I don't remember to clean something until it has grown a film or some other obvious sign of neglect.    

My youngest daughter is sick and stayed home from school today, so it gave me a chance to do some cleaning.  I grabbed my trusty, store-bought dust spray, aimed, and nothing came out.  My bottle was broken.  Thankfully, I had a recipe I've been wanting to try.  So, I grabbed the ingredients, mixed 'em up, and dusted.  I could hear the dust mites screaming as I wiped them up with the cloth.  Ick! Dust mites.  My hives are coming back.  Bleck!  

Here's the recipe I tried, taken from The Naturally Clean Home

1/2 c oil soap (I used Murphy's Oil Soap)
3/4 c water
5 drops sweet orange essential oil
15-20 drops cedar essential oil

Mix all ingredients into a spray bottle.  Shake gently.  Spray on wood surface. Wipe with a dry cloth. 

My notes: I didn't put the cedar oil.  I didn't have any.  I would have because I think it would smell great.  I used the orange oil because I did have that in my cabinet.  It adds a nice scent, as well as added antibacterial benefits.  You really could omit the essential oils altogether, but I like the smell and the added benefits of essential oils.  

I liked the consistency of the spray.  It was light and easy to spread around the wood surface.  It picked up all the dust and left a nice, clean shine.  If you like a high gloss in your wood spray, you could add a little more Murphy's Oil or reduce the water.  

I have to include a note about the Murphy's Oil Soap ingredients.  All of them are good, except for the Tetrasodium EDTA.  (Of course, I read up on this after I used it) Tetrasodium EDTA contains formaldehyde.  It can be a strong skin and lung irritant in humans.  

If you don't want to use Murphy's, here's another recipe for you.  I haven't tried it but I'm sure it's a good one:

1/2 c lemon juice
1 tsp liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner's)
4 drops of bergamot, geranium, or sweet orange essential oil.  

To use, follow the directions above.  

A good tip is to try these recipes on an inconspicuous spot on your furniture before you spray it all over.  Some essential oils can adversely affect certain wood finishes.

Let me know if you try these recipes and what you think. Happy Dusting! (Is there such a thing?)  

Thanks for stopping by,

30-day Fitness Challenge - Day Twenty-Nine

Fitness Fact of the Day is taken from

Fitness Fact of the Day: Exercise Boosts Performance

After a few weeks of consistent exercise, you may feel your clothes fitting differently and see that your muscle tone has improved, Atkinson says.

You may also notice your newly pumped-up muscles in other ways, especially if you're a recreational golfer or tennis player, or like a friendly game of pick-up basketball, says Atkinson. (or picking up your children, laundry, gardening, etc)  Exercising consistently will strengthen your muscles, increase flexibility, and improve your overall performance.

"Your muscles will work much more efficiently and you'll gain a greater sense of endurance," says Bryant. In addition, he says, your reaction time and balance will improve.

One of the biggest things I notice with regular exercise is that I don't run out of breath while walking up the stairs.  I have more endurance.  It now takes 5 minutes to run out of breath instead of 30 seconds.  

How about you?  Do you notice anything different about your stamina or performance in other activities in your life?  

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

30-day Fitness Challenge - Day Twenty-Eight

Fitness Fact taken from

Fitness Fact of the Day: Weight Loss Is Not the Most Important Goal

Weight loss is the reason many people exercise in the first place. But it's certainly not the sole benefit of an exercise program.

Bryant says the long-term goal of weight loss is sold too heavily to people starting fitness programs, and that can be discouraging. People have trouble sticking with something if they don't see results quickly.

"Really, they should think about the level of functioning in the activities of daily living," says Bryant. "That can serve as the motivation to keep them coming back for more."

So whatever weight loss goal you have when starting a fitness program, don't make it your only goal. Strive to feel better, to have more energy, to be less stressed. Notice the small things that exercise does for you quickly, rather than getting hung up on the narrow goal of the number on a scale.

"With a goal of losing weight and enhancing health, exercise has to become a part of a person's life, not an afterthought," Astorino says.

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

30-day Fitness Challenge - Day Twenty-Seven

4 days and counting! 

I've been thinking over the past couple of weeks about what I want my next healthy habit to be. I'm tossing around the idea of portion control. What would it look like if we only ate the serving sizes listed on the box or recipe of what you make? Or what if we started counting calories? Ick! Thinking about that gives me hives. Moving on. What about giving up one of your road blocks? Mine would be sugary snacks or treats. Heck, who am I kidding. It would be white sugar altogether. I like sugar in my drinks, in my food, intravenously. I'm currently looking into healthy sweetener alternatives. (More on that to come). Notice I said "alternatives" and not "substitutes".  There's a difference. Again, more on that to come. 

Be thinking about what you want your next step to be. You don't want to come this far to quit and start from square one. 

What will your next step be? Share with the masses... um, I mean, with the 5 people who read my blog... 

And just for consistency, here's your tip of the day taken from

Fitness Fact of the Day: Exercise Lets You Eat More

Pound for pound, muscle burns more calories at rest than body fat. So the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate. And, of course, you also burn calories while you're actually exercising.

All this means that "cheating" with a cookie once in a while isn't going to take you back 10 steps. "Can you eat anything? No," says Atkinson. "But you can afford to enjoy some of the things you really like when you exercise regularly. You can better get away with those things in moderation than you can when you're not working out."

Monday, May 17, 2010

30-day Fitness Challenge - Day Twenty-Six

Tip taken from

Welcome to our last week!  Just five more days of our fitness challenge.  Keep up the great work! 

Fitness Fact of the Day: Exercise Helps Ward Off Disease

Research has shown that exercise can slow or help prevent heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis (bone loss), and loss of muscle mass, says Astorino.
It also helps ease some aspects of the aging process.
"Because exercise strengthens the muscles and joints, it is going to reduce your odds of having some of those aches and pains and problems most adults have, mostly because of the inactive lives they lead," Bryant says.
Provided you don't overdo it, he says, exercise can even boost immune function -- so you spend less time down with a cold or flu.
"There isn't a major health problem where exercise cannot have a positive effect," says Byrant.

How has your exercise regime affected your overall health and body?  

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Clean Laundry

As I've posted a few times before, I've been in the process of making my own home and beauty supplies.  About three days ago, I posted a new recipe for Honey Cleanser.  I LOVE the honey cleanser.  I ran out yesterday and switched back to the Dr. Bronner's.  My skin was not the same.  Don't get me wrong, I love Dr. Bronner's for many things, but after my shower my skin was dry and itchy.  I had to use lotion for the first time in a few days.  With the honey cleanser, I didn't have to use anything after my shower.  It was nice.  I'm into quick and easy and not having an extra step of lotion makes it even quicker.  

I was talking to my friend Amanda the other day, and we were trying to decide if the laundry detergent we've been using is the most cost effective.  (It's the recipe on my home and beauty link).  One of the reasons I'm doing this is to save money for my family.  With our conversation in mind, I started searching for some other laundry recipes.  I found one that I'm going to try and I want to share it with you.  I've been avoiding using a powder recipe for laundry because I've never liked how it worked in the past.  I've always felt like the clothes are left looking whitish and dingy.  However, I'm going to try this recipe and see how it works. Having the soap flakes may help.  

Basic Laundry Soap Powder
1 cup scented baking soda (drop a few drops of essential oils into your baking soda for scent)
1 cup soap flakes or finely grated pure bar soap (such as Dr. Bronner's or Kirk's)  

*You could always skip the essential oil and use a scented bar of castile soap.  

As I was researching soap flakes I found these recipes.  I may also try these.  

Let me know what you think.  I'll keep you posted as I try the recipes.  

Thanks for stopping by,


Friday, May 14, 2010

30-day Fitness Challenge - Day Twenty-Five

tip taken from

TGIF!  Have a great weekend!

Fitness Fact of the Day: Fitness Can Help Build Relationships

Think of what exercising with a partner can do for a relationship, whether it's with a spouse, a sibling, or a friend you used to go to lunch with once a week.
Not only that, says Astorino, but exercise is always more fun when there's someone to do it with. So plan to walk with your spouse after dinner every night. Meet your sister or that friend for tennis or an aerobics class instead of lunch.
Besides, Astorino says, people who have exercise partners stay with their programs and reach their goals more often than those who try to go it alone.
"For long-term weight loss, you need to have social support," Astorino says.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

30-day Fitness Challenge - Day Twenty-Four

tip taken from

Fitness Fact of the Day: It's Not As Hard As You Think To Find Time For Fitness

The key, says Atkinson, is to use your time more wisely. Think about killing two birds with one stone.
Take your kids to the park or ride bikes together, and you're getting physical activity while enjoying family time, he says. Beyond that, go for a hike, take the kids swimming, or play hide-and-seek, tag, softball, or horseshoes in the backyard.
At work, he says, schedule a meeting on the jogging track or on the golf course.
Also, forget the idea that you have to trudge to the gym and spend an hour or more doing a formal workout. Instead, you can work short spurts of physical activity into your day.
"Everyone has 20 minutes," Atkinson says. "Everyone has 10 minutes to jump rope, and sometimes that's better than 20 minutes of walking or running."
Indeed, squeezing in two or three bouts of 15 or 20 minutes of activity is just as effective as doing it all at once, says Astorino. Vacuuming the house in the morning, riding bikes in the park with the kids in the afternoon, then taking a brisk walk in the evening can add up to an active day.
Recent U.S. government guidelines say that to lose weight and keep it weight off, you should accumulate at least 60 minutes of exercise a day, says Astorino. But half an hour a day is all you need to reap the health and disease-fighting benefits of exercise.

After reading this, what are some ways you can think of to incorporate more exercise into your day? Which would work best for you, 15 minute bouts of exercise 3 times a day, or just getting it done all at once? 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Homemade Honey Cleanser

Many of you know that I've been on a journey of making my own home and beauty cleansers.  For the most part, it's been fun and enjoyable.  I love trying out new recipes and adapting them to fit my needs.  But, sometimes it's SO frustrating and I want to give up...but only sometimes.  

This is not one of those times.  I have a new recipe that I'd like to share with you.  It's for a Homemade Honey Cleanser.  My friend shared this recipe with me.  I'm not sure where she found it, so I can't quote a source. If I had to guess, I'd say it's from the book "Natural Beauty at Home."  Even if the recipe didn't come from this book, it's still a good one to check out.  

I've been using this recipe for a couple of days and I love it!  I was using Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Castile Soap, which I really like, but I wanted something a little more mild.  I plan to use it in my girls bubble bath, and on their skin and hair.  I've been using it on my hair and body.  The results are great!  My hair is soft and full and my skin is smooth.  It's a nice change from the castile soap.  

Here's the recipe: 

2 tbsp liquid soap (I use Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Castile Soap)
1/4 c of honey
1/4 c of rose water (I used regular filtered water)

Mix all ingredients together in a clean container.  Give a little shake (not too much.  You don't want too much foam).  I used an old squeezable jelly container at first.  I plan to put it into a pump container, which is suggested.  

Makes 4 ounces 

To use: Pour or pump a small amount into your palm and massage gently into your skin or hair.  (I use a puff when I'm using it as body wash.  I like the foaming action).  Rinse thoroughly with water.  (I haven't needed a conditioner when I use this in my hair).

Note: Honey is a lightener.  Keep that in mind if your hair is dark. 

Just a couple updates on some other products I've made

Deodorant: I made a new batch and reduced the baking soda to 1 Tbsp.  I still broke out in a rash.  This is frustrating because the deodorant works really well.  The baking soda is the only thing that kills the odor for me.  I've tried other homemade recipes, but they aren't working.  So, I'm still on the lookout for a great homemade recipe.  At this point, I'm doing some research into natural store-bought deodorants.  If you have any recipes to share, please do! I'm kind of desperate.

Laundry Detergent: Use it and LOVE it!  If you haven't tried it yet, you must. 

Stain Remover: Used it the other day on my daughter's shirt.  She spilled chocolate on the front of her.  It took the stain right out.  I also spilled cherry cough syrup on my shirt and it came out!  I was amazed.  And just so you know, I am not the "wash it right this minute to get the stain out" kind of girl. I spray it and it sits for days until I'm ready to do laundry. 

If you haven't tried this recipe yet, get off the computer and go make it right now!

All-Purpose Cleaner: Use it and love it.  Won't ever go back to store bought. 

Dishwasher Detergent: Ugh.  Another source of frustration for me.  I keep getting a film on my dishes.  Up to this point, my husband has been supportive and excited about making our own products.  But this is the one area where he says, "If you wanted to switch back to store bought, I wouldn't mind."  No way! I'm determined!  I'm experimenting and checking the web for other ideas.  The only one I've seen so far is to add lemon juice to the rinse compartment.  I'm going to try that as soon as the vinegar runs out.  I'll keep you posted.  In the meantime, if you have any other recipes, please share!

That's all for the updates for now.  Stay tuned.  I'll be posting a homemade body lotion recipe I've been trying.  I'm still testing it out, I'll let you know soon if I really like it or not. 

Be on the lookout - I'm still looking for a good hair spray and hair gel recipe. There are a few I've found, but none that I'm interested in trying.  Let me know if you have any.    

Thanks for stopping by,



30-day Fitness Challenge - Day Twenty-Three

tip taken from

Fitness Fact of the Day: Exercise Gives You Energy

"You might be surprised at how, say, popping in a workout tape for 30 minutes in the morning can change your whole day. When endorphins are released into your bloodstream during exercise," says Astorino, "you feel much more energized the rest of the day."

And when you improve your strength and stamina, it's easier to accomplish everyday tasks like carrying groceries and climbing stairs. This also helps you feel more energetic over the course of the day.

A common excuse among Atkinson's clients is that they're too tired to exercise, he says. While exercise may make you feel more tired at first, he says, that won't last long.

The physical tiredness you feel after working out isn't the same as everyday fatigue, he says. Besides, once your body adjusts to exercise, you'll have more energy than ever.

I know sometimes I feel like a frumpy, exhausted Mom.  Exercising has really helped me feel better about myself and has given me more energy.  More than that, I feel good about sticking with it! That gives me confidence.  While I'm not where I want to be physically, I know I'm on my way!   

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bird Update - Because You're Dying to Know...

A couple of weeks ago, I found a bird nest on my patio.  Two weeks later, they hatched.  I checked on them yesterday, and this is what they look like: 

He does not look happy to see me.   

As you can see, I had to get pretty close to take this picture.  I was balanced on the arms of a patio chair, arm reaching high, snapping pictures.  I know, I know, a ladder would have been safer, but the chair was right there.  

After about the fifth picture, the bird let out a tweety-scream and flew right out of the nest!  I think he was as shocked as I was.

Mama Bird immediately appeared and they began tweeting to each other in high pitched tones.  I thought Mama B was going to attack me.  I got off the chair, walked to the door, and watched Baby Bird hop-fly around.  I was horrified!  I thought for sure a cat would come along and eat him up.  He didn't know how to fly yet!  

I kept checking on him, for hours, as he hopped around the yard.  He'd fly for a second and land back on the ground.  Later that day, he still was not in the nest (I say he like I really know.  I don't.  I didn't check.  I wouldn't know how if I wanted to).

This morning, much to my relief, I saw Baby Bird up in the nest with the other babies.  Phew!  He didn't get eaten.  And apparently he learned how to fly!  I didn't mean to force the flying thing.  I like to think of it more as "providing the opportunity for a teachable moment between Mama B and Baby Bird."  I'm just glad he wasn't eaten.  

Here is the progression from eggs to feathers:

April 23rd

May 6th 

May 10th 

It's amazing how quickly they grow!  I'm sure the nest will be empty in a few days, so this may be the last of the bird chronicles for this year.  I know, don't cry.  You'll fill your days up with other meaningful stories from other meaningful blogs.  

Thanks for stopping by, 


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