DIY Sugar Scrub 

This week I’m sharing with you all my homemade sugar scrub recipe. This recipe is easy, literally takes about 5 minutes to throw together and then you have a really great gift! Don’t forget to keep some for yourself though cause this stuff is the best! Sugar scrub is such a simple luxury everyone should have a jar on their bathroom sink. 

Let’s get started –

 First you want to start with a Sugar and Sea Salt mixture. 

  • 2 parts Sugar – I like cane sugar it’s a little courser than regular sugar or brown sugar, but you could use either.
  • 1 part Sea Salt – Finely ground Sea Salt works best as it desolves and clings to the sugar granules, thus assisting your body in its obsorbtion of the many health benefits. Some of the benefits of Sea Salt are treating acne scars, tones the skin, removes dead skin particles, and assists in skin renewal. 

Next add a few drops of Essential Oils. I used Sandalwood and Lemon Essential Oils. 

  • Sandalwood Oil – Provides relief from inflammation, heals scars and spots, fights aging, tightens skin, soothes irritated skin, and works as an antiseptic.
  • Lemon Oil – Brightens skin and is a very effective in uplifting your mood.

Lastly add equal parts Honey and Avocado Oil till you get your desired consistency. I prefer my sugar scrubs to be a little crumbly (as you see in the picture) because I tend to sprinkle a little on my hands each time I wash them. You can make yours moister if you are planning on only using the scrub once a day. 

  • Avocado Oil – Slows wrinkling, heals burns, moisturizers skin, contains Vitamins A + E, stimulates collagen production, softens skin, improves elasticity, relieves eczema, reduces age spots, and reduces redness. 
  • Honey – Prevents acne, fades scars, fights aging, lessens fine lines, heals sunburn, and moisturizes skin.

Store in a jar next to your sink with a teaspoon. The ingredients included in this recipe will all keep for a very long time. With the addition of the Sandalwood oil that fights bacteria growth I would say you could keep this scrub for up to 6 months safely, but the odds are you will use it up before then. This is a very plain recipe that smells great and appeals to all skin types. If you wish to add things to this recipe to enhance the smell such as tea leaves, puréed fruit, or citrus zest that’s completely fine just keep in mind you are adding perishable items and that will lesson the shelf life of your scrub.

Happy scrubbing!! 

First Birthday Recap and NO EPISODE THIS WEEK!

Hey there my lovelies! So first let me just apologize for this post being super late. I know I promised it last week and then didn’t deliver so I am truly sorry. Also as you can tell by the title there is not a new podcast episode this week 😔 first week I’ve missed since June and I feel horrible about it. It was not my plan let me assure you! This past weekend was my sons official first birthday so we were busy doing things as a family and then Saturday morning I woke up feeling like crap. So I have been battling a cold all weekend as well. So I let my husband talk me into skipping a week and just making it all up to you next week with a really fantastic episode!!! So the bar is set, hopefully I can reach it! 😉

Onto the first birthday recap! 

The party was a slam dunk! Very small and friendly but bursting with tons of cutesy details that I photographed and will remember forever! Here are a few highlights!   

   
For more details you can listen to my Planning the First Birthday Episode and hear how I got organized and creative. But let’s move onto the toys! 

So my wee man got some pretty awesome toys for his first birthday (I may have influenced quite a lot what some people bought him but honestly what good mother doesn’t?!) I thought I would post some pictures and reviews/opinions to go with them to kind of help out those of you that are shopping.  

 First up we have the Vtech 2 in 1 Learn and Zoom Motorbike! As you can see it’s a little sit and scoot with lots of noisy buttons. So far this has just been sitting in our living room without much use because he isn’t quite to the point where he understands sitting and scooting. But all in all I’m sure once he gets the hang of it he will love it. It’s very lightweight and easy to take places. 

 Next we have the cutest popper ever! It’s the Fisher-Price Pop and Go Thomas! This guy is so cute and you can take the handle off and then he just becomes a popping train! My little guy loves him (what kid doesn’t love a popper!) and again this is super lightweight and an easy thing to take to grandparents house!  

 This guy is super fun and his songs he plays are slightly less annoying than other similar toys. It’s Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo! You press his tummy or his feet to watch him light up and dance. This is pretty amusing to our little guy he loves anything musical 😊 This is another toy that’s easy to take with you, although I do worry how well he will hold up if dropped. 

 So here we have Mega Bloks and a Wooden Block Train. These are nice cause I can just toss them into a backpack and tote them to wherever we are going. We aren’t quite to the stage yet of understanding building things. He can stack a few things but that’s about it. So these will be much appreciated in a few months I’m sure!  

 This is the Fisher-Price Little People Animal Friends Farm. It comes with 6 animals, one farmer, and some hay. When you open and close the barn doors it makes different animal sounds. I’m not sure if you can tell in the picture but the whole barn folds up. My only complaint is the barn doesn’t stay together very well when it’s folded up, so if you’re carrying it somewhere the pieces can fall out. It is portable though and my son loves all the little animals.  

 These were my parenting hack last week on the podcast! I love these things! They are WEDGiTS Building Blocks! They are crazy fun for all ages (yeah I’ve been playing with these 😬) and they are so simple! They are rubber, so easy to clean and great for teethers. Endless hours of fun! This is a toy that you won’t be bored playing along with them!  

 This here is a classic and beautiful toy! It’s the B. Zany Zoo Wooden Activity Cube! This toy is so fun! It has so much going on that it keeps little guy entertained for a decent amount of time. It’s also so educational (which my preschool teacher background loves) and safe. Notice the corners are flat! It has the play area on top and something manipulative on each side. On the right side in this photo you can see it has the whole alphabet! Love this one! 

 Aren’t these so cute! So since we had a Peanuts themed birthday party we had to get this birthday boy a Peanuts present! These figures are actually bath toys! Rubber, so again easy cleaning and happy teethers! But they are the perfect size! Each one is about 4-5 inches tall and really feel more like a “doll” then a “figurine”. I love them cause I feel like boys get left out at a young age on the whole doll scene and playing with dolls is a very important developmental play that every child (not just girls) needs to do. So I was so excited when I found these at Target! 

   Next up we have the Little Tikes Activity Garden! So this thing is awesome! Yeah it takes up a little space but it’s not that bad. This garden has everything! Ball drop by the window, piano keys on the door, shape sorter in the mailbox, slide, and so much more!! I love it cause it’s so gender neutral that it will be good for any kiddos that come along. Most importantly it encourages those gross motor skills to develope. 
 Lastly here we have a really cool book that me and dad got little man! As you can see it’s a Poke-A-Dot! Book! These books are so neato! I love it, you poke each dot and it pops. Then you turn the page and pop it back out. You can practice counting on each page with your kiddos! This book is hefty! However it keeps little dude entertained forever! He loves it! There are different books in the series and I highly recommend you check them out!

So that’s what our boy got! He made out pretty good right?! Of course he got some clothes too but I wanted to focus in on the toys. We are going to go pretty light at Christmas for this first year. Probably just get some fun stocking stuffers. 

Make sure you guys go check out my Instagram Here. I have a really special picture posted that I would love for you guys to see and be encouraged by this Christmas Season. I love you all and hope you all have a great week!

Xoxoxox 

My Random Musings

Get 25% Off Your Kids Clothes!

So I have some great news for all my lovely readers and HomeBase Podcast listeners! First I don’t know about you guys but when it comes to buying clothes for my son I am always looking for a deal. Unfortunately when you shop for a deal most the time that means you end up with blah clothes, and let’s be honest it’s really fun to dress our kiddos so we want super cutesy clothes! 

Now there are two things about Gymboree clothes that I know to be true. 

One: Their clothes are adorable! 

Two: Their clothes are made really well, they last a long time and hold up to hours of play. 

So that being established you would probably say that Gymboree would be the perfect place to shop right? Well…..their clothes are a little pricey. Now I want to be clear, you are getting good quality for a price that reflects that, but wouldn’t you like to get it for cheaper?! Duh right! 

So because I am awesome and because Gymboree loves me, they have given me a code to 25% OFF that I get to share with all of my HomeBase Podcast peeps! You can get that code –HERE– Now before you go running off to get your amazing deal I want to tell you all a secret! This 25% off is good for clearance items too!!! WHAT!! I know it’s crazy! If you are still having trouble grasping the awesomeness of the situation here is a visual to help: 

 These are two dresses I got for my niece (size 6-12 months) that are from Gymborees exclusive Olivia Line. So cute, I’m wishing I had a girl to wear these, especially the teal one I love it! So ready for the crazy price reveal?! These dresses were originally between $30-$40 a piece, I nabbed them on clearance and used my code to get them for $4.95 a piece!!! You wouldn’t even be able to get these dresses at a consignment shop for that price! 

I’m so hooked to Gymboree now! The best part is my little guys clothes reflect how adorable his personality is now! No more plain white onesies for us! Can I get an Amen!! 

So go go shop shop! And don’t forget to share this code with your friends! Tweet It! Email It! Link to this post on Facebook! 

………..and feel free to show me your gratitude by leaving me some loven via comments on the blog or reviews on iTunes! 

Xoxoxoxox –Merry Christmas–

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10 Tips and Tricks to Promote Reading

Hey there Everyone!

On this weeks HomeBase Podcast episode I shared with you all some fantastic ways to get your kiddos interested in reading. Most of you are probably thinking “Thank Goodness!!” because in this day an age it is a struggle to get kids to put down their phones and pick up a book. However, some of you (the lucky few) may have some very studious bookworms already living with you and you feel like this doesn’t apply to you. First I’m going to say don’t get cocky! As a teacher I have seen many a great readers fall off the band wagon to never return to the wonderful world of books. Secondly you probably know someone who could use this info so you should consider passing it on. Either way this is some great information so you should bookmark it for later, use it now, and share it with your friends!

Along with these very great thoroughly researched tested tips, I have included some quotes on reading and books to get you inspired to start reading yourself! So let’s get to it!

How to Raise a Reader:

1. Go to the Library – There is so much to do at the library these days you are going to want to make sure to check out their calendar of events. Ask if you can get involved either with an upcoming event, book club, or choose to volunteer your time shelving books. Volunteering at the library is a great way to get to know the library, find new books, and get your older kids involved. Make going to the library a routine so it’s something your kids can expect and rely on. Don’t forget that the library is more than just books, most have DVDs, CDs, and Books on CD. Lastly, be sure to let your kids check out multiple books. This way if they start a book and just can’t seem to get into it they can move on to something else (this also saves you from reading the same book over and over if you have children that are at the picture book level).

2. Be an Example – If our children don’t see us read they won’t give it any value themselves. Setting a good example is the easiest and biggest way to make an impact on our kids. Pick up a book and read!

3. Let Them Read What They Want – This is within reason of course, but if you let your kids choose what they want to read they are more apt to read in the future. Even if it’s a magazine, comic book, or graphic novel let them start there.

4. Read as a Family – There have been a lot of studies done around reading out loud to your kids and the studies show that it’s a really good thing! Not only does it impact test scores, reading comprehension, fluency, and over all smarts, but it’s also a great way to bond and strengthen your family core. Consider picking out a book at the library and get everyone a copy so when one person reads out loud the others can follow along (this really helps build vocabulary since your kids will be hearing the words and seeing them as well). Or you could have a family book club, meet up once a week and discuss the chapters you all read that week (you can find a lot of discussion questions online especially for young adult books).

5. Get Hooked on a Series – It’s a tad sneaky but if you get your kiddos hooked on a book series then they will have to keep going to get to the conclusion. Another great thing is to get them hooked on an Author. Make sure when your kids are reading that you are pointing out who the Author and Illustrator are, it may even be good to make a note of this somewhere so you know who they like to read.

6. Make Reading a Routine – Wether it’s a book before bed, during dinner, or first thing when you wake up, find time for a book, a chapter, some reading every day the same time every day. It also helps if you keep books everywhere in your house and car, if you see it you do it!

7. Let Them Read Below Their Reading Level – This is especially good tip for those young readers that are still working on building their reading confidence. Reading below their reading level can help them improve their fluency and it makes reading a pleasure not a challenge. Also let your child reread books. This takes the pressure off of focusing on reading the words and allows them to absorb the story.

8. Read Picture Books – Picture books span all ages and actually contain more rare words and subtle humor that younger kids don’t pick up on but your school age child might. Picture books are a great family book to read together snuggled on the couch.

9. Not Just Homework – Don’t allow your kids to only read the required reading at school. If your kids are only associating reading with school work they are naturally over time going to start to dislike it. Most kids grow to dislike school work, especially once they hit middle school and high school, it’s human nature. So be sure your child doesn’t feel that way about reading. Encourage them to have something that is just for enjoyment, even if its only a magazine, a comic book, or graphic novel. Reading is reading in any shape or form.

10. Listen to Audio Books – Kids can listen to audio books that are above their reading level because their listening comprehension is higher than their reading comprehension. This introduces them to rich stories told with expression and this boosts their fluency and comprehension. Don’t forget you can pair the print book with the audio book so your child can follow along and build on their vocabulary. Audio Books are another great way for families to bond on road trips.


Go Read! 

You Baby Me Mummy
Baby Brain Memoirs
Kids Love To Read | Daysinbed.com
The Twinkle Diaries

How to Seize the Moment ~ Being a Mindful Parent

 
On this weeks episode of HomeBase Podcast I talked about Seizing the Moment. As parents it is really easy to get caught up in what you need to accomplish each day that you miss out on the special moments with your kids. How many times have we been so into capturing the picture of the memory, that we don’t actually experience the memory. We need to face the fact that  being present in every interaction with our children, and our spouse, needs to be a priority. But you may be thinking “how do I go about doing that?” Never fear, one of my helpful lists are hear! If you haven’t listened to this weeks episode, you should go do that first because there is always more details in the podcast episodes. Then come back and check out this list to keep as a reminder! You could even print it out and put it on your fridge!

Enjoy!

How to Be a More Mindful Parent:

  • Find the Memory ~ take things in, look for things to remember, keep a memento, ask yourself what is special about right now?
  • Just Stop! ~ whatever it is that you’re doing just stop, think of it as freezing the world and focusing in on your kids, what you’re doing can wait that moment with your child wont wait it will be gone forever.
  • Ask yourself “What would happen?” ~ what would happen if you let yourself just be in that moment? Drop your shield, be goofy, and make it your goal to make your child smile. You wont be embarrassed, you will have fun and the memories you and your child will share will be priceless!
  • Incorporate Them ~ ask yourself how you could incorporate your child into what you are doing right now.
  • Be Spontaneous ~ the best times you spend with your kids are the times you throw the schedule out the window and just do what you feel like doing. Go to the park, pick some apples, bake cookies, create a puppet theater production, go to the library, or have a cartoon marathon!
  • Find the Joy ~ instead of looking for the to do list, what would happen if you focused on what was bringing you joy? To much as parents we focus on where we can improve instead of just realizing that we are enough for our kids right now.
  • Have Meaningful Conversations ~ too often our conversations with our kids are one sided, meaning they talk and we don’t listen or respond! If your child is talking to you stop what you’re doing and actually listen. Give thoughtful responses. Also start the conversation yourself! Share a memory from when you were a kid or a make up a fairy tale. If your child is too young to understand, just look at it as practice!
  • Take Videos ~ we all want to take pictures on our smart phones, but then you spend that precious moment wasted trying to capture the perfect picture. Instead take videos so you don’t miss anything and then go back and take still shots from your videos. Most smart phones are capable of this and if you aren’t sure how Google it!
The Twinkle Diaries
You Baby Me Mummy
Everything Mummy

DIY Bumper Matress

Hey there all! I wanted to share some pictures from my recent DIY craft! 

Unfortunately I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out so I didn’t take pictures of the process (which is a bummer) but it’s not that difficult to understand how to do it, so hopefully that won’t keep you fabulous readers from doing it!

So I had a baby crib bumper that was given to me but never used (because of the severe risk of SIDS—-for more info on that be sure to listen to my Podcast Episode about SIDS) so I decided to take this bumper in all its softness and do something with it! 

  
I came up with the idea of cutting the two short ends off and sewing them together, so I would then have 3 long strips. I then took all three strips and tied them together with the ties that were already attached to the bumper. I did have to cut a few of the ties off and sew them back in so that they would line up with the other ties, but that was easy! 

  
The whole thing only took about 30 minutes and I think it was well worth it! Now we have this adorable play mat / matress! I totally see us pulling this out in the future when my son has little friends spend the night! And I haven’t mentioned the best part—it folds up super easily!  

 
I would love to get another bumper and make this one even larger! So there you go, if you have a bumper lying around that hopefully you aren’t using (again listen to the Episode on SIDS) then here is a quick easy craft that you can do so it doesn’t go to waste! Plus think about it—if you turn the bumper into something else then it won’t end up at goodwill and in someone else’s home that may not know what a risk it poses to SIDS. You could be saving a life! I think I may have just started the War On Bumpers!

In fact if you like this post you should tweet it with the hashtag #WarOnBumpers

Now go get yours and turn it into this adorable comfy cushion! (Would be great in a reading nook!)

Mami 2 Five
The Twinkle Diaries
A Cornish Mum

Baby Smelling Jars

Happy Tuesday All! 

So my son is getting to that age of constantly being on the move and only finding things entertaining for about five minutes (aka the age of mommy is always exhausted!) 

My answer to this has been to try to and make some special activities that I can keep up on a shelf and pull down at a moments notice. Thus a trip to the craft store was in order! If you want to see what I got and why, you can watch this Short Video. These are some super easy shapes made out of foam squares. My little teether loves them! What’s really fun is you can take them into the bathtub and they stick to the walls when they get wet!  

 The project I had the most fun making were these fun smelling jars! You can watch the quick video on how to make them Here. Basically they are cleaned baby food jars with holes punched in the lids. Then you fill them with your choice of smelly things. Here are some suggestions:

  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Citrus Peels
  • Flaked Coconut
  • Cocoa Nibs
  • Mini Marshmallows 
  • Lavender
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Coffee
  • Peppermint Candies

Feel free to just tighten the kids on (don’t hot glue them) that way you can change what is inside your smelling jars for even more hours of fun! To help the smells last longer you can put syran wrap between the jar and kid between uses.
 As you can see they have been a success in buying me a few minutes of peace throughout the day. What is important to note though, is if you leave them out all the time they will lose their wow factor! So only bring them out occasionally as a special treat. Who knew something so small could be so entertaining!  Enjoy!

The Twinkle Diaries
Mums' Days