Friday, January 30, 2015

Finding Balance

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chalk Board Contact Paper!

I'd been debating doing the chalk paint on my pantry door for some time now but wasn't ready to commit and didn't really want to invest the time and effort.  Then I starting hearing urban legends about "chalk board contact paper", I mean, could it be true?  Imagine the possibilities!

Well folks, I'll save you the suspense.  It does, indeed, exist.  I found it at our local Meijer store.

In about 10 minutes, at a cost of roughly $7.00, I transformed my boring white pantry door into a decorative chalk board.  The top is for me, the bottom for my kids to have fun with.

I used a razor to cut out the contact paper, the backing is lined so you can keep your sides straight, lined it up and stuck it on.  Easy as pie!

My kids can draw on it and it wipes away with wet paper towel, no fuss.

When and if you stop loving it, just peel it off and toss it away!  

I used a strip of leftover contact paper and placed it on the inside of the door, we write down items we need and when I'm ready to grocery shop I just snap a quick pic with my smart phone.  No more lost grocery lists or wasting paper.  ;)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Infinity Pro Curl Secret - Tips and Tricks Video

Hope you had a wonderful holiday season!  HAPPY 2014

As a little pre-Christmas gift to myself, I bought the Infinity Pro Curl Secret.

I'd seen the commercial and some You Tube videos but just had to try it for myself.  My hair is horrible at taking and holding curl, I've tried so many different irons, rollers, and other gizmos with no luck.

Let me tell you, this product did what it said it would!

This is what the crazy thing looks like.  Its a pretty deep purple, has two heat settings and three timing settings with a reasonably long cord.

Shop around!  I have seen this $99-$140 retail.  They sell them at Bed Bath and Beyond where you could use a 20% off coupon as well as Kohl's, which is where I purchased it.  It was on sale and I had a 30% off coupon so I paid under $80.
This worked best for me when I washed my hair and let it air dry in a messy bun on top of my head (overnight)  Pulling it back into the bun created some root volume and allowed my hair a break from yet another heat process (hair dryer).  

Remember to hold the opening to the chamber towards your scalp. if you don't you risk hearing the annoying beep at best and painful tangles at worst

Use small sections or use my tips in the video to get larger sections

Start with the lowest heat setting and shortest curl time; work your way up until you get desired result

Products I Used

Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo/Conditioner
Tigi Catwalk Root Boost
Kenra Blow Dry Spray

So this is my first video blog, not great lighting, its a mirror image and there is a weird clicking sound, but HEY- cut me a break!  :)

Hope you enjoy.

A few snapshots on here from different times I've done this including a pic of my 7 year old at Christmas.  

GOOD LUCK!  Let know know your thoughts on this product.  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holly Wreaths - Quick and Simple Idea for Gifts, Holiday Gatherings, and Cookie Exchanges!

 If you are anything like me (and if you are lucky- you are NOT), you are frantically running around shopping, wrapping, planning and attending to the last minute details of the holidays.

If you are looking for something different this year, try this very simple, very festive treat!

Holly Wreaths

 Pictured here on a platter but given as a gift, try buying festive paper plates- the wreath is the perfect size and can fit inside a gallon ziploc storage bag.  

This is the PERFECT solution for:

Teacher Gifts
Cookie Exchange Parties
Bus Driver/Postal Carrier Gifts
Holiday Parties

What you need:

Corn Flakes Cereal
1/4 Cup Salted Butter
Package of Large Marshmallows
Green Food Coloring
Cinnamon Imperials (aka Red Hots)

You will want a good amount of waxed paper on your counter ready to go

Warm the marshmallows and butter on the stove, be sure to be constantly stirring.  Once liquid- add 4-5 drops of food coloring.  Mix Well.  Add in 6-8 cups of corn flakes.  This is the tough part, mix and mix mix some more all while hot.  The more you work it, the better the syrup will cover the flakes.

This would be a good time to utilize an assistant (the tinier the fingers, the better).  Drop blobs of the mixture onto wax paper, quickly add 2-3 cinnimon imperials per "blob".  It helps to keep butter handy for your (CLEAN) fingers to keep from sticking to everything. 

Once cool, you can plate them as is or create wreaths by plating them in a circle.  I buy the red packaging bows to add a little flair when I plate them as wreaths.

And it's as simple as that!  Fast, easy and inexpensive.  These have always been a huge hit at cookie exchanges and as gifts if you need something small.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mommy, is Santa Real?

I've dreaded this day from his very first Christmas.

There have been doubts over the last nine years, but now- after becoming a very intelligent, logical, inquisitive, young, man, my 9 year old son finally popped the question.

"Mommy, Santa isn't real.  I know he isn't  Everyone at school says he isn't.  Please tell me the truth".


Funny thing about that word, there is more than one version of the truth.  For an extremely literal and trusting child, this truth is what I would give.

I searched some of the Santa letters online and took some suggestions from good friends via Facebook and then composed my own version with a Christian spin.  I was raised Lutheran and my children have been baptized and raised the same.  I've always been concerned about "Santa" overshadowing the true meaning of Christmas and this was a perfect opportunity to express my own beliefs about both.

Each and every family will handle this situation different based on their own values.  Some parents continue the Santa story indefinitely like my own Mom.  "I still believe in Santa", she'll say.   Some say "I'm not sure but I know he only brings gifts to those who believe he's real"  *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* and some parents never bother pretending in the first place.  For us, this response is what felt right.  

Now, <insert deep breath>, I'm going to give it to him and I am hoping his sweet little heart will always believe in Santa the way I explained it.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

S'mores Bars! So Easy. So Yummy.

S'mores Bars

Why wait for summer and campfires to enjoy the yummy taste of s'mores?

It's very easy and a lot less messy to make these delicious treats!

What you need:
Golden Grahams (or the generic would work just fine)
1/4 C of Butter
4 Hershey's Chocolate Bars 

First, we started by chopping up the chocolate bar into chunks

Second, warm the bag of marshmallows and butter in a large pot until liquid.  Remember to stir frequently!

Next, add in about 5 or 6 cups of cereal

Press the mixture into a 9x13 greased pan, use wax paper to press it firmly into the pan.  Immediately spread the chocolate out over the mixture and press down with wax paper so it can melt slightly in to the top.

After the mixture cools completely, you can cut and serve… then all that is left to do is enjoy and hoard them before your family eats them all up!

It doesn't have to be expensive or complicated to be delicious!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas Photo Cards on a Budget

It's that time again, which photo to choose for your Christmas Cards???  Remember the days of picking out stock cards from a drug store… finding something cute that had just the right sentiment?  
Sometimes I wish we wish could take a step back to when things were more simple.  Now it feels like a lot of pressure to have just the right picture, just the right card, even to have it printed with the proper gloss level.  

Never fear, there are many great sites out there offering discounts right now.  My cards, this year, were ordered through Snapfish.   Photos can be mail ordered or sent to a local drugstore for pick up in a matter of hours if you get pinched for time.

When I ordered my cards, there was a 50% off discount available with the Snapfish Coupon Code:


Many people chose to order professionally done cards or at least have a professional photographer shoot the picture for them.  If you just get creative with your shots and take a stab at many of the FREE photo editing websites out there, you might surprise yourself.  Two of my personal favorites are iPiccy and Picmonkey.  They are very easy to use, give it a try!

I took this photo with my iPhone and only used the very basic software on my phone to edit/enhance it.  

I'd already ordered my cards (I can't show you those because they haven't been sent out yet!) but I'm wishing I'd waited for this one.  I'll have to settle for framing this one!  I love my kids' profiles so I'm sure this will stay a favorite for years to come.

Sending out Christmas cards is not a requirement, so don't stress yourself out if you can avoid it.  If you send out cards, you don't have to break the bank to do so.  Take a quick picture or even choose one from a happy time during the past year.  Remember during the holidays, it truly is the thought that counts.  I do love receiving cards, especially ones with photos!  I look so forward to seeing them in my mailbox and displaying them in my kitchen throughout the season.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and good luck with everything on your holiday "To Do" lists!