Sensory Day

This morning Frankie's therapist came over at my request.  We have been having some bad sensory issues lately and Frankie hasn't taken a "real" bath in a few weeks now.  She made many sensory play toys for him and it culminated in a sort-of-bath that he had a blast in!

We started with a "bean bag."  You put stickers inside the bag and then beans and tape it closed.  The child has to move the beans with their finger to find the stickers.  The weight and fluidity of beans simulates water.

That was followed by a small bin of the same beans and water.  A TINY bit of water at first.  Within a few minutes he was letting us pour water on him and splashing it.

These were reminding me of my rice bin, which I brought out to show his therapist.

And also my Moon Dough- 8 cups of flour to 1 cup of baby oil- never dries out, and feels wet and mold-able!

The next thing his therapist did was fill a bag (not completely full) with hair gel and a bit of water.  She then put some soft toys in there- we wanted cars but were afraid the bag would rip- and duct tape it closed.  Frankie squished it around a bit.

Lastly, we "showed" his therapist the bath tub.  We put less than an inch of water in and put him in.  Of course he does better for everyone but me so he didn't scream quite as badly.  She played with him and within a few minutes he was dumping water on himself.  We actually think being naked is now the root problem.

He did not want to take his clothing off at all.  When the bath was over he was fine, but when I went to change him he was terrified again :(  So, we'll be working on that next!



Kids are funny sometimes.  They go through a phase of wanting paint and playdough, and now they are in a phase of just wanting to cook.  Well, not cook, bake really.  5-year-old's favorite thing to do is "add the secret ingredients" so slice and bake cookies don't really cut it here!  Cookies are ALWAYS a hit, but I only have one pan that I like (stoneware!) and I feel like start to finish cookies take me 3 hours to prep, mix, bake multiple sheets, cool, and clean up.

I think I managed to nip the problem in the bud today.  Instead of making M&M Cookies (a staple around here), we made an M&M cookie pie!

It was nice to see a Pyrex dish get some use around here.  I have a whole cabinet of them and most haven't been used.  A Pyrex plus is that I could lift the pie up and check underneath to make sure it was done!

Our Recipe-
Cream together 3/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar.
Add 1 egg and 1 tablespoon vanilla and mix.
Add 1 cup of All Purpose Flour, 1 pinch of salt, and 1/4 tsp baking soda and mix well.
Stir in 1 cup of M&Ms- and I mean STIR, your mixer will break up the candies, which doesn't affect the pie but it's not as fun!
Pour into pie dish and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  I have a gas oven.  It's temperamental.  Keep an eye on  your pie while it bakes.

I did not take step by step pics.  If you need them, go find a Baking 101 blog.  You shouldn't need to :)

I did however snap a pic of this option step...lick the paddle clean!  She begged, and I gave in.

Did I say she begged?  Who am I kidding?

excuse the *awful* front camera iPhone pic!  5-year-old insisted I take a photo of myself.

It's pretty good.  The cookie part isn't super-sweet, but the M&Ms make up for it.

So here is where we are at in household projects!

-Sensory Play Wall for 2 year old- I scrapped some of the idea.  It was going to be Felt Board, Magnet Board, Book Shelf.  Now it's going to be Felt Board and Rain Gutter Bookshelves.  I need to actually FINISH this.

-Office- well I got my Ikea shopping spree recently and the office has been redone (again).  We have a wall of cabinets, 5 lower and 2 upper, that I love having in the office but the tops are just wood and are scratched.  The only thing on them right now is the printer so it's kind of bare.  We're going to tile the tops, install some stemware hangers, and turn it into a bar!

-Master bath- I'm hunting for swarovski (or similar) covered handles and cabinet knobs which should finish the room nicely!

I am really hoping to get all of that done within the next week!  Stay tuned!


DIY Facial

courtesy of Google Images

I was browsing random Pins on Pinterest last night and found one that said it was "DIY Microdermabrasion."  Naturally curious since I barely have time to shower, let alone hit the spa like I used to, I checked it out.

The ingredients were 3 tablespoons of baking soda mixed with 1 tablespoon of water.  You probably have that in your kitchen right now, right?  Mix together and rub on your face in a circular motion.  Wait 5 minutes, then rise off.  It suggests you not do this more often than once per week.

Once my 2 year old settled down for a nap I mixed myself up some of this and put it on.  My impressions?  Well, #1, that will probably be too much mix for you.  I could have easily halved the ingredients as I had so much left over.  #2, I'd rinse this off in the shower!  My bathroom sink, despite all the splashing around I did, left my skin feeling gritty and it took a LOT of rinsing.  Why did I not use a towel, you ask?  Well, #3, owie!  My skin was very red and a bit painful as I was rinsing.  If you have very sensitive skin, I would not do this!  However, #4, with just some Garnier BB Cream (I must order some real BB cream soon!) and about 3 hours later, my skin is incredibly smooth and soft.

Final impression- seems to work, but be careful if your skin irritates easily!


Easy 3 ingredient doughnuts!

I'm still not feeling 100%, but still need to do something to keep the kiddos entertained.  I guess I set the bar high, since they are always expecting something to do at this point!  On Tuesday I was unprepared but had an emergency cheap craft in my cupboard.  Today I was ready for them, but it was super easy to be ready!

I had the sugar- I had the oil- I paid 52 cents for a can of biscuits.  Thrifty!

Yes, this is ALL you need!  Canned biscuit dough, vegetable oil, and sugar.  If you want to get creative, there is always powdered sugar, cinnamon, etc.  I'm tired and I kept it simple.

Shape your dough, the part kids love.  I made some small doughnuts, but you can see a heart and some oblong shapes in there too.  Whatever you feel like doing!

Heat the oil on medium and fry the dough.  It fries FAST.  I put these in, grabbed my camera, and look how brown they are on the bottom already.  It really only takes a few seconds to cook, flip, cook, and done.

We used a fork to flip them around in a bowl full of sugar.  Shaking them up in a gallon sized ziplock bag would be fun too!

They came out delicious and surprising light and fluffy!


Lazy easy bouncy ball craft!

Oh, man!  Have you ever been so sick and just had to power through it?  It's called being a mom!

Friday we left for California for a long weekend.  The hubby had a big car show and we were taking the toddler to Disney.  I was already coughing when we left,  but I hate to disappoint anyone, so away we went.  Luckily, no one else is even remotely sick, but I'm ready to start feeling better!  I had to power through being on my own with my son (and my friend and her son, but, she's preggo and has a son of her own, she was not there so I could treat her as a sitter!) all day Saturday so the hubby could set up and most of Sunday so the hubby could show, in a strange city, when all I wanted to do was be at home in my own bed.

Luckily everyone had a blast even if Disney was a little scary for the rugrat, but it's Tuesday and I'm still not 100% better yet.  However, one of my nanny kiddos just came up to me and said "When you're done and you're better, can we maybe please make food or do a fun project or a craft or something?"  *pouty eyes* Man, I am a sucker!

Lucky me I had this in my craft cupboard!  $1 at Walmart, you can't beat that!

Snap mold together- fill with powders in desired pattern color- let sit in cup of cold water for 10 minutes- play!

It's amazing how long kids can entertain themselves with a bouncy ball, leaving this tired mommy to lay here on the couch with my laptop and a big bottle of water and finish hacking up my lungs.


I'm getting ahead of myself again

I have WAY too much going on!  I was gone for almost a month, home for a week, and Friday we leave for 4 days in Los Angeles/Disneyland.  I'm trying to cram way too much into this week!

~I have the containers to consolidate my herbs, but haven't done it, or made the labels
~I have the felt for my son's project wall, but not the posterboard and can't decide on a magnet board
~This reminds me, I forgot the 3M velcro hangers too!
~My double cabinet that I call the junk cabinet is only 1/2 way organized with bins
~I'm making list upon list of organizational and decor stuff to buy at Ikea this weekend
~I redid my blog look
~I want to refinish, paint, and possibly stencil on my kitchen table
~My kitchen cabinets could really use a moderate reorganization again, or at least a neaten-up afternoon
~2 cabinets in the office need some organizational help
~My downstairs closet is a wreck and a half.  Why does guest room seem to = dumping ground?
~I'm working on 4th of July decor, still scouting for everything I need

I just hate to sit by when I know there is stuff to do (or stuff I want to do anyway!) but I get so haphazard about it.



What's in your bag?

Do you have an "emergency make-up bag?"  That's what I call mine.  I don't carry it with me 24/7 but I always have a small bag and a few things I always typically throw in it when I do feel like I'll need a touch-up outside of the house.

Here's the bag I currently use.  It came free if you "Liked" Target's Style page on Facebook.

Let's take a peek..

Here's what I keep with me!

Top row left- Garnier BB Cream.  It's nothing like a real BB cream, but it's great in a pinch to just rub a pea-sized dot on my face and get a bit of coverage and sunscreen (although, a sunscreen is NOT meant to be absorbed into your skin, so NEVER rely on makeup only for your sunscreen!)

Top row right- E.L.F. finishing mist.  This is not what I usually carry, but someone at TSA stole my Urban Decay De-Slick and this was all I could find in a pinch.

Bottom row far left- Bare Minerals powder.  I actually always have 2 containers of powder, one stays on my bathroom counter and one in the emergency bag.

Next to that is an E.L.F. kabuki brush for the powder.  You get what you pay for with E.L.F.- this was $5- but for $5, I won't cry if it falls out of my purse or gets stuck in the zipper.

Next to the brush is Benefit BadGal mascara.  For eyeshadow I use Naked or Naked2 (seriously, I own nothing else!) with Urban Decay primer under it and Stila eyeliner and have NEVER needed a touchup, so all I carry is mascara.

Far right is a sample size of Urban Decay Lip Junkie that came free with Naked2, but it's my favorite right now!  I have the full size at home.  I hope I can buy the sample size again to keep in my bag!  It tastes like delicious vanilla mint and isn't sticky like most glosses.

So what do you keep in YOUR emergency bag?  And FYI, this entire bag is TSA friendly, assuming there are no sticky fingers around...


Pallet re-purpose

Awhile back my hubby brought home a big stack of pallets from work.  They were moving into a new office and he had heard me mentioning all the things you can do with pallets (thanks, Pinterest!) and it turns out he was listening.

Pretty much right away I knew I wanted to make a table.  I already had the DIY guide pinned.  We bought some sandpaper for the sander, some stain, and some varnish and got to work.

I don't have any photos of this part but imagine a man sanding planks of wood while his wife stains them.  That's about it.

Well, those stained planks of wood sat in our garage for months.  Every once in awhile I'd think of going outside and screwing the table together myself, or we'd mention that we really should finish it, but we never did.  It would have been a coffee/end table.  I like not having a coffee table in my living room.  I wasn't really sure what we were going to do.

I left for vacation about 2.5 weeks before the hubby did.  While I was gone (actually- I'm still gone- I haven't seen this in person yet!) he made a garden in a corner of our backyard.  We can't plant into the ground here- Vegas ground needs a jackhammer to get into it!  So this worked really well.  He planted two rosebushes, one in the color of my birthstone and one in the color of my son's birthstone.  My son's bush isn't blooming yet but I'm hoping by the time I get home they will both be full of roses!


Congressional Cupcakes- my 100th post!

Today is May 8th.  Did you vote?  I did!  As a registered Unaffiliated, I could only vote for two things, but one of them was NC's Amendment One which I was proud to vote against.  I encourage you all to educate yourselves and do the same.  Today is also the day I make my 100th blog post- only took a couple of years, huh?

On another note, a close friend is running for a seat in the US House of Representatives and my country club is hosting his poll result viewing party!  Since I have a Cricut for Cakes (which is the same thing as my Cricut X, literally, it's just red- and this makes me excited to use my X for cakes and cupcakes!) here, I decided to put it to good use and make dessert for the party!

Red Velvet cupcakes...my favorite cake flavor, and the red was perfect for this!

Add some white icing...

Some quality time with a Cricut...

And voila!


Sneak peek!

In March, I consolidated all of my dry baking goods into food grade canisters with custom labels and I love the look.  The photos on my blog don't do it justice and need to be updated!

Well, I've been meaning to do something similar with my spices.  Between my mom visiting us and then us going to see her for a month, I haven't gotten to DIY as much as I normally do these days.  I'm still on that vacation, in fact.  However, less than a week after we get back we are taking a second vacation to Los Angeles and DisneyLand, so I decided to get a head start!

I found these clear plastic jars with stainless steel (maybe?) lids at Michael's.  They are screw top and a 6 pack is $9.99.  Google "Michael's Coupons" or check the Geoqpon app on your phone and you will find a 40% off one item coupon.  They are ALWAYS out there.  I have 16 jars of spices, so I just printed 3 coupons and checked out 3 times.

Next, I googled for a blank spice jar label template and spent some time in Photoshop.

Yeah, they're not perfectly lined up.  Again, this isn't a magazine-spread-picture-perfect-Stepford-Wife type blog.  I'm a human and things aren't perfect in my life.  Plus, I may not even stick with these labels.  I did learn from my pantry re-do that squares or rectangles are the best shape when you have to cut out a bajillion small pieces.  These are pretty though, aren't they?

Stay tuned to see how this project turns out!


How to save $2680

Ok, not really.  In my mind, spending money at all isn't "saving" money even if it's on sale, but I did score pretty well today.

I have been wanting a pair of diamond frame studs, like these.  These are 2 ct TW and are $2679.99 at Zales.

I happen to still be on vacation, where my son snapped my beautiful sunglasses in half, so in desperation I went to Target to find a new pair.  There is not a big shopping selection in this town.  Beforehand, I went to Target's website, where there was a coupon for BOGO 50% Off jewelry & accessories, which was perfect!  I also got some for $3 & $5 off Merona & Mossimo items, but didn't use those.

Anyway, in the locked jewelry case, I noticed these babies:

They are $19.99 but were $14.99 in store (and honestly, you don't want to shop on target.com.  Many items have 1 star reviews and if you read them, it's for the shipping process alone.  It's awful).  My sunglasses were $16, so the earrings got the 50% off, saving me $7.50 there and technically saving me about $2600 since I really wanted those other studs for Mother's Day!  You really can't beat that.  While I love diamonds, jewelry, and being spoiled, I also lose jewelry a LOT and this way, I won't cry when it happens.  They look real in person- I sat them next to my 3ct engagement ring and I'd swear the earrings were real too.

There is also a promotion going on where if you buy two "fine jewelry" items at Target you get a $5 gift card on the spot.  I didn't spot anything else I liked, which is too bad!


I don't have a lot to say today...

There's a first time for everything, right?  lol!

I am still on vacation for the next week and haven't been on here as much, but I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been pinning (or re-pinning!) my posts & stopping by here via Pinterest.  Welcome!  I appreciate it!

Hope everyone is having a fabulous start to May!

May the Fourth be with you!