Friday, September 19, 2014

It's been a long time [and some favorites!]


I sort of hate how long it's been since I last posted. Sort of, mostly because of how busy our schedule has been over the last several weeks. I keep telling myself that things will be slowing down and I'll get back to posting but more and more things get added to the calendar and days pass by in the blink of an eye.

Until it does, here's some things I've been loving lately:

  1. The Honest Company Bug Spray. The mosquitos around these parts swarm the second you step outside. Must be something about the warm/cool/damp weather we've been having, but it's ridiculous! I've found this bug spray to have a good smell, safe for little ones who rub their eyes or put fingers in their mouth, and actually repel mosquitos. I'm even dousing myself before going out to mow to save myself some misery!
  2. StitchFix. Have you heard of it? I saw things about it floating around Facebook a year or so ago and didn't give it much thought. Being a stay-at-home-mom, what do I need with a box of pre-selected clothes specifically for me? I don't have anywhere to wear those clothes anyway. After having M a few months ago, I was in desperate need of something other than yoga pants and a trip to the mall seemed impossible with 3 small children. I received my second fix today and love 3 of the 5 pieces, saving me a lot of time and struggle trying things on while fighting kids to stay put!
  3. Planning our garage overhaul. For far too long, our garage has been a place we avoided due to the piles of stuff ALL OVER. Before this winter (of the first snow), I am determined to get it organized and work for us! Here's my inspiration
What have you been loving this month, or last month... or ever? 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cover a duvet FAST & EASY!

This is not the post I intended to write today. In fact, I have 3 other posts half written that I haven't gotten to finish yet. With our vacation looming days away, as with the beginning of the school year, my brain has been consumed with to-do lists and reminders of things needed. A 5 year old, 1 year old, and 3 month old on a plane ride with four days in a far away land is a lot to take on mentally. I'm going to need a vacation from just planning our vacation.

Anyway...

I always dread the time of month when it comes time to wash the duvet cover on our bed. It's a piece of cake to whip off, I love the fresh smell that comes with laundering it obviously, but what a pain in neck to wrangle that bad boy back into it's cover. It almost always ends with me standing inside the cover, trying to finagle the duvet up into the furthest corners with struggles and failure time and time again. I hate it to the point that I avoid putting the cover back on for days in an attempt to psych myself up for it. Ridiculous.

I stumbled upon this gem the other day and lucky for me, it was right in time for bedding laundry day. (I wash the duvet cover and pillow covers about once a month, is that often enough?)

How to Cover a Duvet the EASY Way (The Two Minute Duvet Cover Trick) by Making Lemonade

I'm not going to lie. I had my doubts when reading her post. I just can't wrap my brain around how the process of rolling 2 things up on top of each other and flipping them inside somehow magically get the duvet inside the cover and unrolls perfectly without any effort at all. But then I did it and IT WORKED! I was done in a matter of 3 minutes, without sweating or cursing or threatening to throw the blanket away, again.

She even has this handy video to watch if the pictures just are doing it for you (skip to 1:38 for the steps to start)

*This video is not of me, but rather of the writer of Making Lemonade blog. I have included it in my post as an easy reference but please visit her site to see step by step directions to The Two Minute Duvet Cover Trick*

I am so happy to have found this trick and I hope it leaves you skipping out of the bedroom carefree when you're done with it too! 



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I woke up in a cold sweat

Last night was a terrible night. I awoke from a nightmare several times over the course of 5 hours. Each time, thinking it was the last. What was I dreaming about over and over?

It was 9:00 a.m. and our flight for vacation was departing at 2:00 p.m. I had not packed a single item for any of us.

It's pathetic that this amazingly fun vacation my husband has surprised me with has me so stressed out that I'm having nightmares. I didn't even have to handle any of the coordination of plane tickets, hotel accommodations, scheduled activities (he's pretty amazing).

I only have to worry about packing. Packing what 5 people will need over the 5 days we will be gone. Packing the right balance of entertainment and necessity for 3 small children. Packing the perfect combination of items to keep a 5 year old and a 1 year old happy and tantrum-free on a 4 hour plane ride, twice. Packing enough bottles and diapers to keep a 3 month old satisfied and content.

I've been pinteresting my tail off for tips and tricks of traveling with kids and my brain is swirling with ideas and to-do lists. It seems impossible to get everything ready in 2 weeks. It shouldn't seem impossible. Am I making a deal out of nothing? I don't know, maybe.

Have you traveled with kids? What are the must haves to survive the plane and several days in a hotel? Please help!


Friday, August 1, 2014

Magic Stain Remover and 5 years of stains gone

Meet Singing Baby. She's been part of our family for 5 1/2 years. She's also never seen a good cleaning for the same amount of time. 

As her name suggests, she used to play light lullabies when you pulled her string.  Used to, as in she has been broken for about 2 1/2 years. With her music box inside her head, it wasn't as if she could get thrown into the washer like all of the other stuffed animals, so she became... disgusting. And she would have been tossed right out with the trash years ago, it is wasn't for a lovey attachment from infancy.

Today was the day that I could no longer stand to look at her brown wings and stained up face. She would undergo surgery today and get washed!

 It began with a careful incision along the back of her neck. I used the seam that I could easily stitch back up without problems or being too noticeable. It was a pretty easy ripout with a seam ripper and only took a few minutes.

It was a bit harder getting the music box out of her head, but it finally gave in and popped out. In it's place, a little extra stuffing and she got sewed right back up. Fitz was worried about the whole ordeal, but was surprisingly happy with her "scar".

Notice the horrible state of her wings in the head surgery picture. YUCK!

Here's the secret to getting just about any stains out,  even 5 year old dirt and grime.
Magic Stain Remover: 
     1 part Dawn dish soap
     2 parts Hydrogen Peroxide

I always mix up however much I need (usually a small dipping container) as I need it and apply it with a toothbrush. It doesn't take much scrubbing with fresh stains, but I scrubbed her wings for a minute a piece. 


I knew this stain remover was amazing with things like strawberry, juice, grass, etc. but I wasn't fully convinced it would work for this type of long-lasting stain. 

I was so pleasantly surprised when she came out almost like new. And even happier that she can now be washed on a fairly regular basis so it doesn't happen again!

I've even used this one on the carpet and it totally worked!

Never again will I let a broken music box keep me from cleaning a toy or stuffed animal again!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

My favorite things: GIVEAWAY!!

I knew when I hit 1000 views, I'd want to celebrate with a little something. I'm a little surprised, but very thankful, by how quickly it happened! What better way to live it up than with a Favorite Things list + a $20 Target card GIVEAWAY!

This is what I'm loving this month:
1. Fresh Market Thermal by Thirty One. Living 45 minutes from the closest grocery store makes buying frozen food during the hot summer months really hard. Usually by the time the bags are being unloaded into the house, the frozen pizza is bendable and the ice cream is starting to drip. It's terrible. I started throwing the Fresh Market Thermal in the back of my car and when I'm loading the car, all frozen food bags get put together in the thermal. Even without an ice pack, the food helps keep each other cold enough to make it home without melting! 

2. Time in a Bottle for Eyes by Philosophy. After my post about eye creams, I took my search to Sephora to ask for some help. I knew I wanted something infused with Vitamin C to help brighten and looked at 4 different options. I chose this one based on the recommendation of the woman helping me. After only a week of use, I am in love with how it seems to be working. Look for the Time in a Bottle Duo  which comes with a .85 fl oz Time in a Bottle + .5 fl Time in a Bottle for Eyes for a little more than just Time in a Bottle for Eyes. 

3. Rock 'n Play Sleeper by Fisher-Price. M slept in this for the first 6 weeks in our room. I think she really liked the close feeling with the sides that wrap up around their bodies. The last few days, she's had a stuffy nose from the up and down weather and letting her nap in the Rock 'n Play has helped keep her head elevated enough to allow her to breath better. Better napping = happier baby! 

4. Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family Channel.  Do you watch this show? OMG, I'm hooked! I've watched since half-way through season 1 and I thoroughly look forward to Tuesday nights every single week, 5 seasons later. The twists, turns, and unexpected surprises keep you guessing and questioning everything you think you know. It's been a roller coaster of emotions over characters and couples, but it's a roller coaster I love riding! #ErziaForever 

5. Tie Not as seen on Shark Tank. I saw this product on Shark Tank a few weeks ago (I think it was a re-run?) and could not believe that the sharks did not go for it. It looked genius and I knew I had to have it! It is a water balloon filler that hooks onto a water hose or sink faucet, with a "tie stick" attached. After filling the balloon, a spin of the full balloon and a quick pull leaves you with a tied water balloon without any sore fingers. It's seriously that easy and fast, love it! 

Of course my favorite place to shop is Target, so I'm sending a $20 gift card to a lucky reader! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The drawing will be Wednesday, August 30th. 


Thursday, July 24, 2014

"Mommy, why do you wear makeup?"

It's a rare occurrence to find time to put on makeup around these parts. Most days, my morning routine includes a speed shower, face serum and moisturizer, and a quick comb through.  If we have something planned outside the house, I try to use BB cream, concealer, and mascara.

The other day, while everyone was still sleeping (Hallelujah) I was showered, blow dried, and putting on makeup when Fitz came waltzing into the bathroom. She quietly watched from the doorway for a couple of minutes before asking, "Mommy, why do you wear makeup?"

It's the first time she's ever asked that. Usually the conversation is more, "Can I wear makeup?" Or she sneaks the bag into her room and emerges... remorseful.

My response took longer than it should. I ran through a list of answers in my head:

"To make Mommy feel better."
"To make Mommy pretty."
"So other people don't realize how tired and worn down I am."
"So other people think I look pretty."

In the end, I didn't really know what to say. None of the reasons I came up with would send the message I want her to grow up thinking - You don't need to change anything about yourself to be beautiful. 

We talked for a few minutes about what she thought makeup meant and how it affects how we look and it melted my heart to hear the words that came out of her mouth.

"I think you look prettier when you don't wear makeup. Then we look more alike and you look beautiful like me." 

That is one smart 5 year old.

In contribution to the real beauty campaign, I encourage you to post your makeup free pictures. Upload them to Facebook or Tweet them @Momma_ofThree #makeupfree and I'll add your picture to spread the word for all women that they are beautiful.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Can we talk about eye creams for a second?

As the years creep on, and the exhaustion of parenting continues, I am noticing more and more lines, crinkles, dark bags, and dullness showing on my face and around my eyes. It's terrible. I'm not old enough for this.

I've been on the search for an eye cream that "works" for a couple of years now. I've tried most of them for a month or two and have yet to feel satisfied with the results. The ones I've tried most recently are below:


I found that the Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum worked tightening the undereye skin for a few hours after application, but was not effective as a lasting product.

All About Eyes, Timewise, and Yes to Blueberries only acted as an extra moisturizer to the undereye area but did not help to eliminate or diminish any of the lines or dullness. 

I'm currently using Kiehl's Abyssine Eye Cream.  I find this to be an added moisturizer as well, but it leaves the skin feeling more dewy under my eyes, which works well with my concealer in hiding the dark circles.  

I hear good things about Olay, but I don't know which eye cream to try.

Do you have an eye cream you love? Share what it is and what you love about it! 


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