31 August 2016

Bath Salts for Cold and Flu Recipe

Make these bath salts for cold and flu before you get sick so you'll have them on hand when you aren't feeling well.

Tis the season for colds and flu.  I have been down for over two weeks with bronchitis, and my husband is on week four of pneumonia.

It's not fun to be us right now!  I'm still not feeling great, but I am able to get up and do a few things each day.

I made sure to make these bath salts for cold and flu because they are nice to have on hand.  When you feel yucky is not the time to start to think about making these.  They will sit on the shelf for months, so make them now for when you need them.

This is one recipe from my new book Bath Salts: 30 Easy Recipes for Fun & Profit

bath salts for cold and flu recipe

29 August 2016

Non-Costume Halloween Women's Clothes, Shirts

Halloween is my favorite holiday.  I love the crisp fall air, the fun colors, and getting dressed up.  Some years I wear a costume, but sometimes I want a Halloween shirt or outfit without wearing an actual costume.  These festive Halloween women's clothes and shirts will have you in the spirit of the holiday without having to wear a costume.

Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from sales at no additional cost to you.

non costume Halloween women's clothes, shirts

26 August 2016

How To Make Glycerin Soap Without Lye

If you are new to soap making, glycerin soap is the easiest type of soap to make at home. It is also called melt-and-pour soap because you simply melt the soap base and pour it into a mold. You can make a basic bar of soap, or you can customize the soap with things like color, scent, and additives to make a fun bar of soap.  You can get so creative with this kind of soap, so have some fun with the different melt and pour soap additives!  

How to make glycerin soap without lye

24 August 2016

Fall Beauty Tips

I'm not sure where this summer went.  I don't even remember June, and I'm pretty sure July lasted about 2 days.  August?  Yeah, that flew by and we are in our second week of school now!  At this rate, I think I'll be sipping a pumpkin spice latte whilst wearing Ugg boots next week.  

It's time to start thinking about changing my beauty routine from summer to fall.  My hair and skin both have different needs in the fall, so I usually get a lot of new products.  Here are my top fall beauty tips for your skin, hair, and makeup.

Fall beauty tips

22 August 2016

Save Money on Beauty Treatments with Groupon

This post has been sponsored by Groupon.  As always, all enthusiasm is my own.

I don't feel like we summer was much of a break because we were so busy.  As soon as summer died down, homeschooling started, which means that extracurricular activities and sports started.  With such a crazy schedule, I need to schedule in some down time for myself.   Right now, I'd love to schedule a facial or a massage so I can get some time to relax.  

Save Money on Beauty Treatments with Groupon

20 August 2016

Kings Island Kicks Cancer and Other Fall Events

This post is sponsored by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in conjunction with Blog Meets Brand, and I have been compensated for my participation. As always, all enthusiasm and opinions are my own.

Last week, we took a day off and went to Kings Island to have some fun during their Kings Island Kicks Cancer promotion.  We could not have picked a better day to go.  School had just started in that area and it was pouring down rain in the morning, so the park wasn't that busy.  When the rain stopped shortly after the park opened, it turned in to a beautiful day.  

19 August 2016

Reverse and Prevent Signs of Aging with Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair

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My birthday is next month.  I'll be 36.  In the last year, I've gained some new fine lines and my uneven skin tone is worsening to the point that I need to correct it with new makeup products.  I've been using sunscreen since I was a teenager to help prevent the signs of aging, but I need to step up my beauty routine with anti-aging products like retinol.  I've partnered with Neutrogena for this post to use their Rapid Wrinkle Repair and Ultra Sheer collections for 7 days to show my results.

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair

The Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair collection is unique because it combines anti-aging products and SPF to prevent future signs of aging.  This line has the fastest retinol formula available, so you can see results in just one week!  Retinol is the #1 anti-aging product recommended by dermatologists, and it's clinically proven to reduce the signs of aging.

15 August 2016

How to Make Theraputty

I haven't talked much about autism on this blog, but I've decided to share the DIY autism and therapy tools that we use since I know some of my readers are also autism parents.  My son, who is 10, is currently receiving ABA therapy and occupational therapy.

I prefer to make most of our therapy tools because it's cheaper, which allows us to have tools in our toolbox.  Having a child with autism can create financial strain on the family, so maybe these will help other people too.

Another advantage to making my own is that I don't have to wait for shipping.  We start homeschool tomorrow, and there were a few things that I forgot to purchase for our sensory nook.  Oops!

I learned how to make theraputty with things we had on hand, so we can work into our school day tomorrow instead of waiting.  

What Is Theraputty?

My son's OT uses theraputty at every session.  It's a stiff putty that really gets his finger muscles working before he starts working on handwriting.

Theraputty helps build strength in the hands, which helps build fine motor skills and handwriting skills.  As a bonus, it provides sensory input that he craves, so it can even help him calm down.

Sometimes I let him play with the putty freely, but I usually hide objects in it.  I hide buttons, beans, or even coins in the putty for him to dig out.

Since the putty is so large, he really has to push and pull it to get to the hidden objects.  Once he finds them, I have him put them back in, pushing them deep in the putty.  

How to Make Theraputty

You'll need:

1.  Mix white glue and 1 cup water in a medium sized bowl.  

Don't mix in the warm water just yet; you'll need it in the next step.  Use a plastic spoon to stir it, but don't worry if it doesn't mix completely.  If you want your DIY theraputty to have a color, add your food coloring now.

2.  Mix 1/2 cup warm water and 1 teaspoon borax in a separate bowl.  

Mix this with a plastic spoon until the borax is dissolved.  Ours didn't dissolve completely, but we were able to work it in during the next step.  

3.  Slowly pour the borax mixture in to the glue mixture.

We stirred with the plastic spoon as we poured, but we soon realized that it's best to just get messy.  My son didn't really mind mixing it by himself; in fact he loved it!  We didn't have all of the borax mixed with the water, but it didn't matter.  It quickly incorporated and made putty.

how to make theraputty

If you need more resistance, use less water during either step.  

Learning how to make theraputty means that now we can have two or more containers in different colors without a big investment.

Theraputty costs a little less than $2 per ounce if you buy it premade, but this recipe cost me just $1 for the glue since it's on sale for back to school.

Theraputty is fun on its own, but I like to hide things in it so he has to dig for them.  Our favorites are beads, charms, and buttons.  He also likes to stamp in the putty, which is a great way to practice spelling words.  Obviously, only do this with adult supervision.

If your child loves noises too, this doubles as a noise maker.  When you press it down it to the container, it makes a noise that most little boys find to be quite humorous.

Cloud Dough Recipe
How to Make Sand Foam
DIY Calming Bottle

If you are interested in autism therapy tools and DIY recipes, feel free to leave a comment.  I have several that I can post if there's some interest in them.

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12 August 2016

How much money can you save with Dryel?

Thank you to Dryel for sponsoring this discussion.  As always, all enthusiasm is my own.  

When I introduced you to Dryel back in March, I mentioned that I love it because it saves time and money.  I've been using it for so long that I didn't even realize how much money we were saving.  I haven't had to drop a single thing off at the dry cleaners in over 10 years, so I was a little out of touch with the current prices.  When I did see a price list, I was shocked.  I knew we were saving money, but I didn't realize just how much we were saving.  

How much money can you save with Dryel?

How much money can you save with Dryel?

At the dry cleaners, you can expect to pay:
  • $4 per shirt
  • $14 per men's suit
  • $6 per pair of pants
  • $6 per sweater

The Dryel starter kit retails for about $10 and cleans 4 loads.  It also includes the bag that you put the clothes in, but you can reuse this with the refill kits.  The refill kits clean 8 loads for about $10. You can add 1 to 5 garments in each load, so the price per garment will vary depending on what you are cleaning.  

Let's keep the math simple and calculate for the refill kit at 8 loads for $10, so it would cost you $1.25 per load.  The cost per item is just $.25 to $1.25 per item, depending on how many items you clean at a time.

This doesn't include the gas you'll use to go to the cleaners twice.  For me, I would have to drive 10 miles each way, so I would use about 2 gallons of gas.  

Dryel offers significant savings for us because I clean about 2 shirts, 4 pairs of men's pants, and usually 1 suit a month for a total of $100.  In the winter, I would add 2 sweaters for a grand total of $112.  

With Dryel, I spend $3.75 a month.  And I don't have to drive anywhere.

Dryel On the Spot Stain Remover

Dryel just released their new stain remover that's safe for most fabrics, including dry clean only fabrics.  I'm a bit of a klutz, so I have one in my bag that travels with me everywhere.  It's easy to use; just squeeze and use the scrubber to erase the stains.  I've already saved two shirts with these pens!

Have you used Dryel on your clothes before?

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08 August 2016

Essential Oil Blends to Use in a Diffuser

A few weeks ago, we talked about the best essential oil diffusers and some essential oils that you can use in them.  You can use single oils or a blend of oils, depending on what you are using the aromatherapy for.

If you're new to diffusing oils, you want to use a cold diffuser and not one that heats the oils like a tart burner.  Heating the oils can diminish some of its properties.

You may want to diffuse essential oils for the scent in the air, which works as an alternative to candles.  You can also use essential oils blends in your diffuser to relax, get energized, or improve concentration.  Here are over 25 essential oil blends to use in a diffuser at home.

Over 25 essential oil blends to use in a diffuser.

05 August 2016

How to Get Volume in Hair

Whether your hair is fine, thick, or anywhere in between, sometimes we need a boost of volume to create the perfect look.  There are so many volumizing products, it's hard to wade through them at the store.  Here are the top 10 volumizing products to add volume and boost your look.  You'll be pleased to know that drugstore products often work just as well as the salon products!

10 best volumizing products

03 August 2016

Skinnygirl Makes it Easy to Stay Healthy on the Go

This post was sponsored by Skinnygirl as part of an Influencer Activation. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

As I continue on my journey to better health, sometimes I feel like I have to sacrifice.  I will drink water all day without complaining, but it does get boring sometimes.  I do miss the fizzy taste of soda, but I don't want to start drinking soda again.  And chocolate.  Oh, how I miss chocolate.  Just a little bite can get me by, but I don't want to be tempted with candy in the house.    All that has changed now that I've discovered Skinnygirl Brand.  Skinnygirl is all about portion control and healthy snacks.  I love the taste, and I also love that they are portable and easy to fit in to my lifestyle.

01 August 2016

Simply Straight Review and Giveaway

Thank you to Ontel for sponsoring this post and providing me with a Simply Straight brush, information, and for providing the giveaway.

By now, I'm sure you've seen Simply Straight on TV or in the stores.  It looks too good to be true, right?  You brush your hair straight without using a flat iron.  I'll admit that I was skeptical.  I've been using a flat iron on my thick, curly hair for years, and I wasn't sure how this would work.  Keep reading for my Simply Straight review and to enter a giveaway to win one of your own.

Simply Straight Review