The Color Run

Have you heard of The Color Run? Have you ran it?

What is The Color Run™?
The Color Run™ 5k is a unique experience focused less on speed and more on crazy color fun with friends and family. Color runners come from all different ages, shapes, sizes, and speeds; but everyone toeing the start line has a blast. Whether you are a casual morning mall walker or an Olympic athlete, the 3 miles of The Color Run™ course will be the most memorable and colorful run of your life! (thecolorrun.com)

I am not a runner.  I have never been a runner.  The e-card that talks about 'if you see me running, you better run too!'... yeah, that's me.  I sometimes dream about becoming one though.  My hubby was an outstanding runner (Olympic material, no joke) until a car accident in 2004.  I've gone through phases of begging him to teach me how to be a runner and he tried - but when you've always been a runner, and a good one, it's hard to teach a non-runner.

3 weeks after Aria was born, The Color Run came to Iowa.  The photos make it look like so much fun, I knew people from work were going, I wanted to run.  ...but 3 weeks after giving birth is not the time to suddenly decide to run a 5k.

I will run it this year. I will run it this year.  I will run it this year!

I am starting this endeavor today.  In 135 days I will run my first 5k.  I will become a runner.
Want to do it with me?!


I Pinned This - Foam Soap

Do you know the repercussions of asking someone to go wash their hands?  If yes, you must have a toddler/preschooler.  Bubbles and water everywhere, and an almost empty bottle of soap next to the facet.  When I saw this pin, I knew we needed this.  I've bought foaming soap before but it is so drying on my skin, the amount of lotion it takes to not feel like my hands are going to bleed defeats the idea of saving the soap.  Maybe if I can use a soap that doesn't leave my skin crying for moisture, the foam will be perfect in our bathroom.

Here's what Pinterest promises:  (actually Pinterest doesn't promise anything, but the link from Pinterest says:)
Next fill the bottle approximately one inch full with soap
Then fill to the top with hot water
Then shake well.
Hot water is important because it helps to dissolve the soap so it will mix better. If you don't mix it well enough the first few pumps will be quite soapy instead of foamy. Just shake it again and it should be fine. (Adventures of a DIY Mom)

Here's what I did:
I had an almost empty foam bottle that I'd bought from The Dollar Tree moons ago.  I started by rinsing it out.  When I was pumping clean water through, I cannot believe how much soap is stored in the pump itself! I pumped through 1/4 bottle of clean water and soap was still coming out until I said "good enough".

I used a bottle of regular soap we've had since before we bought the foaming soap, I figure it doesn't matter what type of soap is used but I'm thinking Bath & Body works Warm Vanilla Sugar would be amazing!
Following directions, I put in maybe 1" (maybe a little less) of soap into the empty bottle and filled the rest up with hot water.  (Leave some room at the top when filling the bottle for shaking purposes).  After 20-30 seconds the soap was dissolved.
There's really soap in there, the bubbles at the top look like the pump but I promise its not. 
Time to test this bad boy out! 
Seems legit.  I washed my hands a couple of times to compare it to the other foaming soap and regular soap.  It lost some of the fragrance from the regular soap but cleaned my hands like I would expect any soap to.  
My hands are very dry after using this, much like the original foaming soap.  Conclusion - foaming soap is not for sensitive or prone-to-dryness skin types. 

Do you have problems with soap and your hands?


Monday Favorites

Monday's are not my favorite.  Even without having to get up and go to work, there's something about the stigma of a Monday that ruins the day.  And really, if we're being honest...
To lighten up Monday, I'm going to do some Monday Favorites.  There's really no special categories to choose from, and if you have a favorite thing, comment it and let me check it out!
Target has a crib sheets on sale for $9.99 - use this coupon and their $4.99!

Amanda Seyfried at the Oscars.  She's come a long way since Mean Girls and I love her!
What's your favorite thing this week?

It's an Instagram Kind of Day

I take a lot of pictures on my iPhone.  Usually ones that need deleted right away because they're blurry or someone has a weird face, or whatever.  And then every once in awhile it's a good camera day.  Today is one of those... 
Do you ever have days where the pictures just come out? 



How to Clean Your Make-up Brushes

We all know how gross make-up brushes can get.  When I stop to think about the amount of old, bacteria caked make-up is being rubbed onto my face... I want to throw up a little.  What's the best way to solve that problem?  Keep your brushes clean! Keeping them clean, helps them to last longer, too.

There are many different suggestions for cleaning brushes that range from buying expensive brush solution, to ingredients from your own cabinet.  Guess which one I use.

My 'go to' method has always been a little bit of baby shampoo and some warm water.
Don't let the amount of brushes in the jar fool you, make-up is a rarity around these parts.  Why do it if you never leave the house?
Add a small amount of baby shampoo into a bowl (I put just enough to lightly cover the bottom of the bowl) and some warm water.  Begin swooshing your brush around in the water, making sure to smoosh the bristles against the bottom of the bowl to get any make-up that's jammed way into the the brush.
It's been a very long time since I've washed mine, but with all of the browns and pinks I wear, the water gets really disgusting, really quick.  
As the water gets cloudier, dump it and start again.  I dumped my water 3 times.  If there's one thing that grosser than dirty brushes - its dirty brushes that have are coated in other wet make-up. 

After cleaning a few brushes, rinse them under warm water.  As you "ring" out the extra water, shape the bristles back to their original shape and lay to dry on a clean towel. 
Smaller brushes obviously dry faster than big brushes, but I let mine lay down for a few hours before putting them back into the jar.  

If you don't have baby shampoo, or are interested in other ways to clean your brushes I've seen some people use: warm vinegar and Dawn dish soap, olive oil and Dawn dish soap, or face wash.  The idea is the same with any of those so pick whichever works best for you. 

Until next time...


DIY Felt Board for Toddlers/Preschoolers

In Chloe's preschool class, the kiddos are encouraged to write books about anything that interests them.  As a way to help Chloe understand that things are drawn with different shapes, I created a felt board that she can manipulate into many different scenes using basic shapes.  (square, circle, rectangle, triangle)  As she grows, the possibilities of what she can create are endless by adding felt shapes as she wants.
Here's how to make your own.  I began with an easel we bought from Ikea last year for Christmas.  One side has a chalkboard that she loves to draw on, which is also great for her writing muscles since it's large enough that she has to reach up and pull down.  The other side is a white board that rarely gets used because of the lap-sized marker board she's always drawing on.  If you don't have an easel, a large frame would work just as well!

For an easel sized felt board, you will need 3/4 yards of fabric.  I chose black so any scenes created would "POP" out.  White or brown would have the same effect.  After cutting the felt to size, I used a clothespin to help hold it in place while I marked where I wanted to Velcro to be.  (If you are using a frame or do not care if the felt is permanent, hot glue the felt into place.  I wanted to be able to remove it should we need the marker board in the future.)
Mark where you want the Velcro to go, and sew on to secure.  I planned on using 4 pieces of Velcro - top corners and bottom corners - but once I started securing it to the frame, 6 peieces were needed to keep a taunt pull, plan accordingly. 
Once the Velcro is attached to your felt, stretch it onto the frame and mark for the companion Velcro piece. Because it was on the back of the frame and you can't see it, I hot glued the other piece of Velcro onto the wood.  
Continue as needed until you are satisfied with the tightness of the felt on the frame. 
Add whatever shapes or pieces will interest your little one! The benefit of this project is that you can customize it for you - if you don't have a lot of room, make it small, if they need help with spelling make letters that can easily be moved around, etc.  
What would you put on a felt board for your toddler or preschooler? 



I Pinned This - Splinter Removal

If I could change one thing about our house, it would be the flooring.  New carpet has been on our list to replace for the last 4 tax returns, and needless to say, we still have the same old carpet in the living room and dining room.  All of the bedrooms have hardwood floors that are original to the 107 year old(ish) house. They haven't been resealed, ever probably, so there are times when the wood will snag your sock, or worse... your skin.  

Yesterday, while Aria was visiting Nana for some cuddle time, Chloe and I were enjoying the house to ourselves by playing a game of tag throughout the rooms.  The game was abruptly ended when Chloe ripped of her sock exclaiming that she'd hurt herself and needed help.  You guessed it... a big old chunk of wood, right in her big toe.  I grabbed the tweezers and tried to help but she freaked and wouldn't let me do anything close to her foot. 
Here's what Pinterest promises:
Need to remember this for KIDS...Remove a splinter easily by applying a paste of baking soda and water, then waiting several minutes for the splinter to pop out of the skin. Gotta remember this!

Here's what I did: 
Skeptical, but needing to try something, I added a little bit of water to baking soda to create a thick paste . 

We let it sit and dry on her foot for maybe 3 minutes and carefully pulled off the big blog of paste. It looked like the splinter had worked it's way out a teeny tiny bit so I thought I didn't wait long enough.  On went the paste again, along with a bandaid.  8-10 minutes later, still nothing. 

We resorted back to the old fashioned tweezers method, added 2 more adult hands and out came the log. 

If you've been successful with this method, let me know!


The Internet is a Scary World

While killing some time online tonight, I was checking out my blogger stats (page views, post views, referring URLs...) and to my shock, I had a referring URL from an unbelievable site.


"How?!?" as I click on the link excitedly, thinking it's way too strange, but still secretly hoping its true because who doesn't love them some Louis Vuitton.

This is a screenshot from the site!

See it?  Free "Shopping" over $60.  Whomp whomp... 
I told my husband what a sad thing it is that people create fraudulent websites and being the computer geek that he is, he immediately jumped on his phone.  3 minutes later...
I now know who is responsible for such a horrible act on unassuming people looking for a good deal on a Louis Vuitton. 

And it hit me, the internet is a scary world.  With the click of a few keys and 3 minutes, you can gave your credit card information to Shirley Sanchez159, or find out everything about that "her" and "her" other websites meant to steal your hard earned dollars. 

Tip for browsing safely:
If it's not from the original domain (louisvuitton.com), it's not affiliated with the real store.  They won't buy a new domain for a sale (or any of reason) because it's a wasted effort on their part to not have it connect to their other products.

Safe purchases!


How to Freshen Up Your Mattress DIY

Do you (or your hubby) sweat at night?  Have you noticed the negative impact on your mattress?  We have a mattress cover (that is supposed to stop EVERYTHING from going through or so said the salesman who sold us the mattress that was never supposed to sag but absolutely does after only 2 years of owning it - anywho) and I still feel better taking a day to freshen the mattress and karate kick any dust mites that may be living up in our stuff.

If you notice from the previous posts, I like things that are simple and easy.  This is not unlike any of those other posts.
Sprinkle baking soda onto the mattress (I use a spoon to help evenly distribute, you don't have to) and let it sit. I usually let it sit on the mattress for an hour or so, letting it do it's Baking Soda magic. (And usually by the time the mattress pad it done being washed and dried, I'm ready to make the bed)

After it's done, vacuum it all up.  Ta Da.  You can do what you want, but I usually lay on the bare mattress and smell the freshness because I can.

You're bed is now ready to be re-made and enjoyed.

Until next time... XO!


Liebster Award

I got a Valentine today and it looks like this:

I am honored to receive such award from Kansas Gal and am so excited to pass it on to others!

Have you heard of the Liebster Award?

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Liebster, it is awarded to new blogs with less than 200 followers. It’s a way to get the word out about great, up and coming blogs, I am honored to be selected by Leeane for the award! Thank you!

Award recipients keep the love going by following these steps in awarding to more new bloggers:
  1. Each awarded blogger posts 11 random facts about themselves
  2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for bloggers you pass the award to
  3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) and pass the award (and link) to them in your post.
  4. Go to their page and them them about the award
  5. No tag backs
Oh geez... 11 random facts?  Here are mine:
  • If I could (and by could I mean... justify the cost and time) take a skydiving course, I would in a heartbeat. 2 times is not enough!
  • My hidden talent involved a weird looking clam with my tongue.   I can also twist it upside down both ways. 
  • I bought the house I grew up in, which brings the total of years I've spent in this house to 20 years. 
  • The list of cons to living in Iowa is quite long, but I would never move.
  • I am harshest on myself 
  • When I create something and it doesn't work, I get upset - then pretend like it was supposed to be like that. 
  • I need to make more mommy friends.
  • I hate that I love reality TV
  • My hubby and I have known each other for 16 years, together for 8, married for 1 1/2.
  • The control freak inside me often tries to rear her ugly head, and I fight like crazy to let things go.
  • I think I'm a terrible writer, but I'm determined to become better through practice.
Kansas Gal had a few questions for me, and here they are:
Now for the fun part - Here are my nominees! 
  1. What is your favorite movie of all time? The Wedding Singer, without a doubt! 
  2. What are you most proud of and why? As I age, I am becoming more confident for standing up for myself and realize that it doesn't make me a bad person. 
  3. If you had a whole day without any commitments and could do anything, what would you do or how would you spend your day? Uhhh....probably absolutely nothing.  Lying around like vegetables sounds wonderfully boring. 
  4. If you could time travel, what time period would you visit and where? Having always been fascinated by the pyramids (along with the rest of the world, I know) I would certainly go back as they were finishing up construction to be in awe.  
  5. What is your favorite dessert? Ice cream, hands down. There's always room because it fills in the cracks. 
  6. Would you prefer to spend your spare time with people or by yourself? That varies on the day, but usually I would prefer to be around people I can laugh with and have fun.
  7. Why did you start blogging? Way back when, to help get the word out about my Etsy and Facebook shop - now, to have a record of what life is like as a stay-at-home-mom and crafter. 
  8. Did you make a new years resolution? If so, what was it and why? If not, why? Like, a hundred.  Here are some.
  9. How many blogs do you read regularly? In my blog feed I have 15 wonderful reads. 
  10. If you were to design a music festival with only five artists, who would you invite? Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Train, some DJ that my hubby loves so he wouldn't complain about going with me. 
  11. What is your favorite book and why? In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. It was a tragic story that is written so beautifully that you find yourself drawn to the murderers, just as Capote was himself. 
Now for the fun part - Here are my nominees! 

And my questions for them:

  1. How many brothers or sisters do you have?  Are you close?
  2. If money were no object, would you work at your same job?
  3. What is your favorite month of the year? 
  4. You can only eat 1 food for the entire week, what is it and why?
  5. Do you have a favorite blog(ger)? 
  6. What attracted you to that blog?
  7. Do you prefer fiction or nonfiction (book and TV)?
  8. What is your favorite trait about yourself?
  9. Were you a good student in school? 
  10. Are you a DIYer? What's your best project to date?
  11. If you could write a letter to yourself at 17, what would it say?

*I may have broken the rules [embarrassed face] - I don't have 11 blogs, and 1-2 of them may have over 200 followers.... but it's really hard to find good blogs out there that other people haven't found, too. So I'm sorry :-( 



I Pinned This - French Toast Muffins

Preschool is from 8:30-11:15 in the morning and as a former teacher (and a mom), I have a hard time sending cupcakes to school for birthday treats so early in the morning.  I scoured Pinterest for a healthier breakfast treat to send that the kids would love.  When I saw French Toast Breakfast Muffins, I was excited!

Here's what Pinterest promises: 
French Toast Breakfast Muffins. These are amazing!! Taste exactly like French toast!!! Made with skim milk and light butter was only 121 calories a muffin if you make 12!
Following the link, here is the recipie: 
1/3 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg (preferably room temperature)
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. milk

Topping (option: cut topping in half*)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium-large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined, but still a bit lumpy. Do NOT overmix; overmixing will ruin the texture of the finished muffins. Also? Don't overmix the batter. Finally, don't overmix. Scoop batter into muffin tins that have sprayed with cooking spray. Using a large ice cream scoop, I got 8 medium-large muffins out of this batter; I think you could get 10-12 muffins by distributing the batter a little less generously. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they just start to turn a bit golden at the edges.

For the topping, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place melted butter in another small bowl. Dip the warm muffins in melted butter (you can dip just the top, but it's even tastier to dip the whole muffin!), then dip/roll the muffin in cinnamon sugar. *May have left-over topping; the extra topping can be used for dipping, while eating the muffins (oh my). Another option is to cut the topping ingredients in half. CONSUME, ENJOY, GO CRAZY!

Here's what I did: 
I followed the recipe as directed. I was surprised how thick the batter was while mixing, but I guess french toast muffins should have the consistency of bread. 
When they were baked up and coated in cinnamon & sugar, they looked amazing! 
Of course I couldn't wait to try one so before I even put the next batch in the oven (or the pan for that matter), I popped one into my mouth.  They were... ok.  Not sweet, but ok.  I knew 3-4 year olds would not be as impressed as I had hoped.  

Before throwing in the next batch, I mixed about 1/4 cup of brown sugar into the batter and baked according to the directions.  The brown sugar caramelized inside the muffins and added just the sweetness the original was lacking. I was still worried about how the kiddos would like them so I made cinnamon rolls instead, but the brown sugar muffins were a hit with the hubby and me!  (I didn't coat the second batch in cinnamon & sugar).  
Especially after the addition of the brown sugar! 


A Birthday via Instagram

 Happy 4th Birthday to my crazy, lovable, ball of energy! 


Cradle Cap Confession

Our first babe was a baldy. Well, that's not entirely true... she had a severe old man thing happening where she only had hair around the bottom 1" of her head, but it was blonde so nearly invisible. 
Our second babe was born with as much hair as Chloe acquired over the first 9 months of her life.  What a surprise when she made her entrance! (I was already in shock throughout labor because of the intensity and speed of everything, but when the doctor pulled her out, my initial thought was "Whose baby is that?" because of how different she looked that Chloe)
I used to think about how sweet it would be to have a baby with hair who could wear hair clips, or a little pigtail.  I used to!

Some things that never crossed my mind until having to deal with newborn hair
  • Tangles.  Yes, at less than 1 month old, she had tangles in the back of her hair.  And when I tried to oh so gently comb them out, it pulled out her hair and I about died.
  • The bald spot.  All babies get them, its just what happens.  But with a head full of dark hair, this is what stands out: 
  • Cradle cap.  I'm fairly sure that almost all babies experience this as well.  Chloe had it when she was a few months old, and now Aria does. 
Dealing with cradle cap is fairly easy.  It doesn't hurt the baby at all, it's dry skin (although it looks FAR worse and makes any new mom lose their ----).  A nurse friend of my suggested rubbing a small amount of baby oil onto Chloe's head before her bath and, low and behold, it was gone after 2-3 treatments.  So when I noticed Aria's (which wasn't as obvious through her hair), I gave myself a mental thumbs-up and went to grab the baby oil and comb. 

It was not a happy ending though! It was so much worse than I could have expected.  It did it's job of loosening the dead skin, which then began to "float" around her hair for days and days, even after multiple shampooings.  Luckily her 4 month appointment was a short week away and after a quick conversation with her pediatrician I learned: Do not use baby oil and try to comb out on a baby with hair.  Her sad story ended with her own daughter losing all of her hair from being pulled out with the comb.  I was experiencing this the first day when I was attempting to pull out the dead skin with the comb - the comb with pull the flake, and with it would come the hair! I left her little head alone after hearing her personal experience but it still bothered me looking at it (I know it doesn't hurt her, but it looks like it should).  

A few days ago, we tried something different.  Head&Shoulders shampoo.  It works with flakes on adults, maybe on babies too? Totally did!  After living with huge flakes laying throughout her hair for nearly a month, no more flakes! 
Underneath, she still has cradle cap, but it makes me feel better not having the urge to pick out pieces and risk pulling out her hair.  Now I just have to force myself to be patient - it will clear up itself. 

*When using anything other than baby shampoo, be extra cautious of shampoo getting into eyes. 4 hands comes in handy when dealing with a wiggly baby and a stingy shampoo. 

How did/do you deal with cradle cap?


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