Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category
What better way to focus on beauty than with a pampering bath salts recipe? Let’s celebrate this M Challenge repost of an earlier DIY project by making up a batch and use it today in a relaxing bath – preferably with a glass of wine!
These Mojito bath salts incorporate everything we love in a delicious mojito drink, with lots of fresh lime and mint. To really increase the mint component in these, we are adding a little mint essential oil to the mix. It’s easy to mix up an easy batch of Mojito Bath Salts that you can create with just a few items from your local grocer and craft store and makes a great addition to your beauty routine as well as a welcome handmade gift for the women in your life!
4 cups of Epsom Salt
2 limes, zest & juice
5-8 drops of mint essential oils (you can add more or less, depending on your preference)
2-4 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
Soap colorant in green (optional)
Glass Container or Jar
Have you ever made your own bath salts? It’s the kind of gift (or just for you!) that sounds really impressive, but you don’t have to have any craft skills at all to create it.
Epsom salts are the key ingredient in these and can be found at your local grocer or drugstore. The wonders of Epsom salts have been well known for hundreds of years and are said to have beneficial properties that can soothe the body. Some of the countless health benefits include relaxing the nervous system, curing skin problems, soothing back pain and aching limbs, easing muscle strain, healing cuts, treating cold and congestion, and drawing toxins from the body.
The best part though is that these are inexpensive to buy and can be customized with your favorite ingredients, whether it be mint, lavender, eucalyptus, or any other essential oils that you might have on hand.
When purchasing these ingredients for this recipe, avoid any that have added ingredients or scents and just stick to the basic Epsom salts so the scents don’t overpower the essential oils that you are adding.
How to Make Mojito Bath Salts
1. Pour four cups of Epsom salts in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the zest and juice of two limes to your bowl.
3. Finely chop your mint and add these to your bowl.
4. Add 5-8 drops of essential oils. You can also add a small amount of green soap colorant, if you would like, to add a little color to your salts.
5. Mix the ingredients well and scoop into a glass jar.
6. Directions for use: Add ½ cup of Mojito Bath Salts to your bath.
Have you ever made bath salts before? What is your favorite recipe for these?Pin It
Oh, I have quite the summer giveaway for you today!! I am partnering with nine amazing bloggers to offer two lucky winners one $500 Amazon gift card each! The graphic below includes some ideas of great things you could be using this gift card towards. I’m kind of jealous. This girl would be spending it all on books to stock her library and vinyl for her record player…but I digress!
Enter to win between July 21-31, 2015 via the widget below. Basically, if you follow all 10 bloggers on Instagram (and you will want to, because these feeds are beautiful) you will have tossed your hat in the ring 10 times (x 2 since there are two gift cards to win…sometimes math is awesome!!). Once the giveaway ends, the winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via Instagram, with 48 hours to respond. Good luck to each of you!
If you live at the pool like we do in the summer, you won’t want to miss today’s post over on the Wild Oats blog. After years of pool days, we have learned a few things about the best snacks to pack and we are sharing them on the blog today.
Whether you love sweet or salty, there is a snack for you on today’s list! I can’t wait to hear what your winning pool snack combination is!
Head on over to the Wild Oats blog to get the scoop on the best snack ideas for the pool!Pin It
*This post is sponsored by thredUP. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!
As you know, since starting my fashion capsule project, I have become a huge fan of thredUP. I buy everything there from stuff for my kids (especially those one-time use special occasion outfits), to my workout gear for the gym, to our outerwear, and beautiful clothing for a fraction of retail prices. Nine times out of ten, if you see us wearing something… it is now from thredUP thanks to the affordability and how great it feels to get a pretty polka dotted box on our step filled with secondhand goodness.
That is why it was such an honor that they thought of me for an exciting campaign they are launching to support teachers and their classrooms for the back-to-school season. In honor of the Raise a Hand for Teachers Program, I wanted to share with you our nomination for a deserving teacher and also show you a fun craft you can create for back-to-school for a special teacher in YOUR life.
My daughter had a phenomenal school year this year and it was all thanks to Mr. Domonkos! I got to come in weekly to volunteer in her classroom and be a quiet observer firsthand at the kind of teacher he was and how he ran his classroom which is always a treat as a mom. I can tell you that if I had a teacher half that fun, the learning would have never felt like work. His goals were to not only teach our children the basics, but to teach them LIFE SKILLS.
Instead of just showing them math problems on a white board, he actually gave each child different roles in the classroom (like the classroom librarian or the banker) and then they would receive a salary for their jobs. They paid rent on their desks or they could save to buy their “home” and receive a deed for paying off their space. Each week they were given the opportunity to save their money or spend it on trinkets in the classroom. They weren’t just talking about math… they were learning to use math like they will when they become an adult.
When I asked my daughter what she said that he taught her, she said it was how to manage her money. As a frugal blogger and author of my own personal finance book, this is MUSIC TO MY EARS.
The joy on my daughter’s face when she purchased her desk is the indescribable joy I hope to feel one day when we pay our own house off.
From getting our kids signed up with Google accounts and having them design web pages to Sponge Bob theme music while writing about the sea to showing the kids YouTube segments to learn new math tricks, his classroom was filled with new and interactive ways to get our kids excited about learning.
I know there are many moments I didn’t get the opportunity to witness as well. The countless hours past his job spent preparing for class as well as those moments needed to stay after to help kids who are struggling. I am sure there were many moments sacrificed from his own family to teach our children…and we are so grateful.
The hiccuping sobs as she got off her bus on the last day of school were also indescribable as a mom. They were because of the absence of her amazing teacher and seeing him each day.
That has never happened before. The adoration was very real.
Do you want to put a vote in for Mr. Domonkos? We would love your support of this phenomenal teacher!
Do you have a special teacher in your life? You can nominate them for a cash prize through their Raise a Hand for Teachers Program (#raiseahand) today!
To support this fun campaign (and help with the school supplies problem that teachers face), we have crafted up the cutest Felted Flower Dry Erase Marker Bouquet that you can share with a teacher in your life. These felt flowers are so easy to create that even your child can make these (with a little assistance with the hot glue gun). Let’s get started!
Directions to Make Felted Flowers
Looking for more great teacher gifts? Check out this round-up of 19 Awesome Ways to Show Teacher Appreciation! Yay!
*This post is sponsored by Wild Oats. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!
There is not much that I miss since going gluten-free except the convenience of eating anywhere where I want without worry.
In fact, there is only one food that I really and truly miss…
I have blogged about our weekly pizza night together that has been a family tradition for many years. I can admit it, I miss the days of sitting down and sharing a pizza with my kids. For awhile, our pizza nights lapsed- making pizza for everyone else and me eating a cardboard version of it just wasn’t in the cards at first. The only way that I can explain it is that it was a time of mourning for me. Others echo me when they say that they were blue to find out that they needed to make diet switches. It is like a little part of your life has changed and won’t be the same again.
Luckily, substitutions can be made with gluten-free crusts, but they often lack the flavor of that soft, doughy variety. I still make them on occasion, but I wouldn’t say gluten-free pizza is my favorite thing.
Portobello mushrooms, hollowed and inverted, can make a delicious substitute for an expensive gluten-free crust (and they also double as a mean burger!). I love the meaty taste of these and I love how they can stand up to baking and grilling in the summer season. When baked, a little drizzle of olive oil and a dusting of salt & pepper, creates a delicious fun base to your pizza. I would say that these trump a gluten-free crust any day and they are made with whole foods that you can be proud of!
This girl is no stranger to quinoa and we have talked about easy ways to prepare it on the Wild Oats blog. Of course, quinoa plain over and over again can be a little boring so to bring the pizza flavor into this dish, we incorporate Wild Oats Basil and add tomato flavor into the quinoa. When mixed in, it tastes like a protein-packed pizza sauce.
If you are vegan or dairy-free, the quinoa can be cooked in veggie broth and the cheese can be switched with a vegan cheese.
These are all the flavors I love about pizza without the belly ache. It’s a pizza that you can really feel good about for your whole family.
No need to be sad about that pizza night anymore- I’ve got you covered! You can snag all these fun products from Wild Oats (an affordable organic option) from Walmart!
- 4 extra-large portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
- Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¾ c. uncooked Wild Oats quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
- 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon Wild Oats dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon Wild Oats dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon Wild Oats onion powder
- ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Fresh Italian Parsley
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Drizzle olive oil on the tops and bottoms of your portobello mushrooms . Season well with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes.
- While the mushrooms are baking, cook the quinoa according to package directions.After the quinoa is prepared, stir in the tomato sauce, garlic, basil, oregano, and onion powder. Season to taste.
- After 10 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the mushrooms over. Make sure to remove any liquid inside that may have cooked out to help prevent having a soggy pizza.
- Divide the quinoa mixture into the mushrooms, then top each one with cheese. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 10 minutes more.
- Finish with a sprinkling of fresh Italian parsley.
Get to know Wild Oats!
* This post is sponsored by Wild Oats. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!Pin It
Summertime means a lot of eating on-the-go for our family. It isn’t the running to and from activities like the school year, but the good stuff like picnics with my people, poolside lounging and road trips to the neighboring Michigan beaches.
Thankfully, the fresh produce and deliciously grown convenience food that we all love is in season. A container of cherries shared by the pool, bunches of grapes on our car trips, and strawberries by the fistful in the sunshine until we think we might turn into berries ourselves. It’s all such good stuff, isn’t it?
Salads are my go-to in the summer thanks to their amazing portability factor. Not only do I love fresh green salads made with romaine or spinach, but I adore a healthy topping of quinoa on top for that protein punch.
Check out this easy tutorial to make this Easy Quinoa Salad With Spinach and Tomatoes in a Jar on the Kenmore blog this month! Yay!Pin It
*This post is sponsored by Universal Pictures. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!
We have had so much fun preparing and hosting our MINIONS Backyard Bash in honor of the film’s launch on July 10th! Today we want to show you how we decorated for our party, the fun goodie bags we got to share with our friends, and an easy cupcake minion you can create for your very own party (no decorating skills required!).
In the new film, you get to go back to where the story of the Minions all began! Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, the Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters-from T. rex to Napoleon-the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a terrible depression. Kevin, Stuart, and Bob decide to seek a new boss to follow and decide to make a journey to find their new master. This is where they meet their new potential master, Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock- yay!), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in London. It is here that they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind…from annihilation.
We can’t wait to see this family-friendly film together and were selected to help throw a party in honor of this film’s launch. #luckyducks
We got an incredible package in the mail that included all the party supplies we would need to execute our backyard bash as well as fantastic party favors that included adorable beach towels, beach balls, and PlayDoh sets for all of our guests.
The only thing we really needed was Mother Nature to cooperate with our plans.
Unfortunately, it has rained for two straight weeks in Indiana so we had to move this party indoors and enjoy the fun inside instead!
We weren’t going to let a little rain ruin our party though! We outfitted our table in blue and yellow to go with our theme. I let my kids do the decorating while I prepared our snacks. The goggles, of course take center stage in this set-up. We secured a set of adorable goggles to each of the chairs with a little washi tape for each person to take home. Our centerpiece was also adorned with goggles and we even stapled some together to make a goggle banner over our table.
Lemonade, popcorn, and cupcakes were served for a little rainy day magic together.
The Minions are a hit with kids of all ages so we invited our friends and cousins to join us for the afternoon. We loved sharing our Cupcake Minion with them and everyone can’t wait to catch the movie this summer!
In honor of the film, I’d love to show you how to create this cupcake minion for your party table! Before we begin, I want to encourage you to make this as easy on yourself as possible! If you want to make this party treat REALLY fast, call your local bakery and ask for two dozen white cupcakes with the frosting on the side. This is what we did to save some time and our local grocer only charged $14.99.
Two Dozen White Cupcakes
Frosting, tint half of it yellow and then other half blue (I recommend these Wilton food colorings to achieve this bold shade)
1 canning jar ring
Black licorice (if you aren’t a fan of black licorice, we tried a new chocolate Twizzler variety that worked perfectly)
1 Hershey Kiss
1. Tint over half your frosting in yellow and the other portion in blue. Set one cupcake aside for your eye.
2. Ice as I have shown here (15 Yellow, 4 Blue, 4 Half Yellow & Half Blue, 1 Left Without Icing!!). You can pipe the icing on, if you prefer a more polished look, or you can just spread the icing on with an icing spatula, as we have shown here.
3. Cut your black licorice up in random smaller pieces and apply to the top of your Minion head to create the hair.
4. Trim the top off of your cupcake to expose the white cake of your cupcake for the eye (pardon our picture, we decided to do that one last minute!). Make sure to not trim it too deep, so that your canning ring will fit around on the outside of it. Place your canning ring around the cupcake top to create your goggle.
5. Invert a Hershey Kiss into the center for your eye. Place the cupcake on top of your other cupcakes in the center. Finish by tucking two pieces of licorice underneath the eye to create the glasses. Trim the licorice to fit across the cupcakes on the end. Finish by bending your licorice into a smiley face! How easy was that?
We hope these ideas inspired you for a MINION’S Backyard Bash of your own! Remember to catch the film on July 10th! We can’t wait to hear what you think about it!
Get connected with the film!
Like ‘MINIONS’ on Facebook
Visit the Official Site
Check out the trailer below and enjoy a fun movie night out with the whole family this month! Yay!
*This post is sponsored by Universal Pictures. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!Pin It
This post is sponsored on behalf of BHG at Walmart.
If you have learned anything from my past posts, you know that my desire is to make the most of every corner in our little home. Small space living requires works especially when want you make each room as functional as possible. I love how much it challenges me and today I wanted to show how we made over a neglected closet into a closet office as a birthday gift for our soon-to-be teen son. As part of the BHG Live Better Network, I am partnering with them to show how to help someone create a new space so today we are showing off our ideas for small space office that we think would work beautifully in a closet in your home. The best part is that this makeover cost us under $200 to pull off!
My son’s room is small and his closet is pint size like our’s (thus why I embraced the fashion capsule project so much). Over time though, we have learned that these closets are just right for us and this closet wasn’t getting a lot of use now in his room. We had pulled his dresser in there to save space, but you can see how beautifully that all worked out (ahem!). Too small clothing and the piles of clothes given to this kid to put away in his drawers on laundry day had created a mountain of a mess. The first step was to weed through the pile and, with our recent growth spurt, we were able to whittle this pile down to nothing and give our great stuff to someone in need. The dresser was relocated to the end of our bed which freed the space up entirely for a new purpose.
The hard part with this makeover was just getting this space prepped and ready for its new purpose. We removed all the old closet hardware and trim, painted the walls in our favorite shade of Benjamin Moore Gray Owl (leftover paint from our shed makeover last summer) and sanded down the old eighties paint job on the high shelf to create a more distressed wood look to the shelf.
Here’s a fun fact! We found a little boy’s name scrawled on the side of the wood when we took it off the shelf. That is one of the best parts about having an older house…the sweet discoveries of little things like that add to its charm. We, of course, left it there for someone else to discover one day.
Pictured Above: Better Homes & Gardens Traditional Task Lamp ($22.56)/ Mainstays Parsons Desk With Drawer ($53.53)/ Mainstays Contemporary Office Chair ($45.00) /Mainstays Canvas Ironwork Curtain Panel ($11.18)/ Better Homes & Gardens Boule Bronze Curtain Rod ($25.38)
We hung a single curtain panel that helped frame the space and also could be a way to hide the inevitable chaos that will happen on this desk. As you can see, we hung the bar high to help prevent our chair from rolling into our curtains and also to make this tiny space feel bigger.
On the side, we moved our hamper so it is tucked away for tossing our clothes into. A giant pegboard was added to the wall for odds & ends and any art we want to display. I hung his favorite hat on top of a thumbtack that I had pushed in. This sign made him laugh so we thought it would be a cute touch (found at Hobby Lobby). A task lamp with extension cord creates a well-lit space for doing our homework in this space.
Happy 13th birthday, Ethan! We hope you create your next artistic masterpiece in this new space we have created for you! Thank you BHG at Walmart for the fun challenge this month! We couldn’t be more thrilled with our space and to create a new purpose to a once cluttered closet!
In accordance with the FTC Guidelines, I am disclosing that I received compensation from BHG at Walmart for my time and participation in the BHG Live Better Network. Although we have material connection to BHG, any publicly stated opinions of BHG and their products remain my own.