Frozen Aloe Vera Cubes - Instantly Soothe Sunburned Skin

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You may have noticed that I didn't post on Wednesday as I normally do.  I was at the beach.  My kids are getting older, and we only have a few summers left.  I only have two summers after this one before my oldest is 18, and hopefully he still wants to hang out with us for his remaining summers.  I've decided that this will be our summer of fun.  We've done a lot of day trips, including Kings Island, Kalahari, and other local things.  One of the major perks of working from home is that I can take a day off during the week so avoid the weekend crowds.  Normally, I schedule my posts, but I didn't this week.  I was probably in our pool, looking for dive sticks, instead of writing.  

This week, we drove an hour away to a public lake with a beautiful swimming beach.  They have inflatables for the kids to play on, camping areas, fishing, and trails.  We swam and played at the beach for most of the day and then cooked out and caught crayfish.  My mental health needed a beach day to recharge.

As you all know, I'm a huge advocate of wearing sunscreen.  The kids and I wore La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Sunscreen and reapplied at every hourly break.  It's waterproof, but it wasn't enough.  I got a little burnt on my shoulders and upper arms, like I always do at the beach, and the kids got red on their cheeks.  

Luckily, I had already made these frozen aloe vera cubes, so they were in the freezer waiting on me.  See, sometimes it really does pay to plan ahead!

Frozen aloe vera cubes for instant sunburn relief.

Frozen Aloe Vera Cubes

If you've had a sunburn, you know it feels good to get something cold on it.  You can use a cool compress, but you should never put an ice cube on your burn.  The ice can actually burn your skin on top of the sunburn, which is the last thing you need!  Ice can also restrict blood flow to the area, which can delay healing.

Aloe vera is full of vitamins and minerals to nourish your skin while it heals, and it can soothe irritated skin on contact.

Making the frozen aloe vera cubes is really easy.  You can use aloe from a plant or 100 percent aloe vera.  I do not have my own plant, so I used store bought aloe.  I just squeezed some into a soap mold, but you could also use an ice cube tray.  Freeze for at least half an hour.

When you get the cubes out, they melt quickly.  It will be messy, but the quick, natural relief is worth the mess.

You can make several of them and store them in a bag for when you need them.

Calendula is very good for burns and irritated skin.  You could also grind the leaves with a mortar and pestle to mix with the aloe before you freeze it.

If you like this frozen aloe vera cube recipe, then you'll love these posts:
Calendula Soap For Dry Skin

DIY After Sun Spray
Protect Your Eyes

If you like DIY beauty posts, follow me on Pinterest for more!

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What's In My Gym Bag

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Special K. All opinions are 100% mine.

I'm a very type A person, so I keep things organized.  I have bags packed for our different activities so I can grab them and go.  This reduces a lot of stress when trying to get out the door with three kids, two with autism who have trouble transitioning to a new activity.  My tai chi nights are especially hectic because the kids have martial arts after my tai chi class, so I have to get all five of us there on time.  Needless to say, we all have bags packed and ready to go.

I don't go to the actual gym often because I work out at home.  However, there is a punching bag and weights at the community center where we have martial arts.  With my bag packed, I'm ready to head to the gym or to the community center to work out or attend tai chi.

Michael Todd Total Refresher Review

Michael Todd Beauty sent me a Total Refresher to review, but I was not compensated for my review.  As always, all enthusiasm is my own.

As a Michael Todd ambassador, I was lucky enough to get their newest device, Total Refresher, before it will be released for sale on 7/24/17.  My complexion is fairly good, but I do have some fine lines that are creeping up on me.  I also struggle with large pores on my nose and cheeks and blackheads on my nose.  

The Total Refresher is one device that works in three ways.  It exfoliates, extracts debris from pores, and sprays your favorite toner to infuse your skin to soothe and refresh.  Keep reading for my Michael Todd Total Refresher review.

Michael Todd Total Refresher Review

Watermelon Mint Sugar Scrub Recipe

I'm a Chick Fil A ambassador this year, so that means a lot of visits to Chick Fil A.  My closest one is half an hour away, but we go there a few times a month for appointments, so it makes a good reward for the kids.  They sent me some gift cards for their new watermelon mint lemonade, so I got one last week.  I like strawberry lemonade, but I wasn't sure about the mint.  I'm happy to report that it was a very tasty drink and perfect for a 90 degree Ohio summer day.  There was just enough mint to taste, but it wasn't overwhelming.  

That drink was the inspiration for this watermelon mint sugar scrub recipe.  I omitted the lemonade because I think three main fragrances would have been a little much.  You could add some lemon essential oil if you wanted, but I liked it just at watermelon mint.

Easy DIY watermelon mint sugar scrub recipe.

Watermelon Mint Sugar Scrub Recipe

Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from sales.

What You Need

To make the scrub, just combine the sugar and oil and stir.  I used grapeseed oil because it's a light oil.  You can use any carrier oil like olive oil or even coconut oil.  Coconut oil will alter the scent unless you use refined oil, but that strips out some of the properties for your skin.  Olive oil is readily available, but it is a very oily oil, if that makes sense.  You'll want to use a soap to wash your hands after you use this, which means washing away the oil that will nourish your skin for hours after you've used the scrub.  

After you mix the sugar and oil, add food coloring if you want to until you get the desired color.  

Then add the watermelon fragrance oil and peppermint essential oil.  I would start with the lowest number of drops, stir, and then smell it.  Add more of each as needed.  Depending on your preference and the oils you use, you might not need as many drops as I recommended. 

When you are happy with the scent, put it in a glass jar with a lid.  Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the watermelon mint sugar scrub recipe to use on your body.  This is really good for your hands and feet, but don't use it on your face.  Rinse well.  I don't generally use soap after I use a scrub, but you can if your skin is really oily.  

Learn how to make 30 different body scrubs in my ebook, Body Scrubs!

If you like this watermelon mint sugar scrub recipe, then you'll love these recipes:

Matcha Green Tea Sugar Scrub Recipe

Salt Scrub Vs Sugar Scrub 
Coconut and Calendula Sugar Scrub 
If you like DIY beauty recipes, follow me on Pinterest!

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Unicorn Snot Glitter Gel Recipe

I have a new obsession.  Unicorns!  My daughter and I love all things unicorn.  The pink/blue/purple color combination has always been my favorite color combo.  And who can resist all of that glitter?  Not I!  My daughter is active in our community theater, so she needs specialized makeup sometimes.  She will need some sparkle for the next play, so we made this unicorn snot aka glitter gel.  We picked blue/green, pink, and purple glitter to make ours, but you can use any color that you want.  You can also make it as glittery as you want it.  I wanted her to sparkle a little bit from stage and not be completely covered, so we went with a lighter look.  You can totally customize it to fit your needs.

Summer Hair Care Tips

Last week, we talked about summer makeup and beauty tips to keep your makeup and skin looking flawless.  I gave you a few tips for your hair, but I wanted to devote an entire post to summer hair care because this is something that affects me each year.  Between the harsh sun and chlorine, my hair takes a beating, but I've been able to keep it healthy with these summer hair care tips.

Summer hair care tips.

My Weight Loss Journey

Today, I'd like to talk about something personal.  Something that I've alluded to here, but I haven't fully discussed: my weight.  I've never been a thin person.  Even as a small child, I wasn't thin.  When I played softball and basketball, I was the biggest on the team.  As an adult, I was always the biggest person in the room.  That changed five years ago. When I was approached by Z Living to let you all know about their newest show,The Big Fat Truth, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share my personal journey with you all.  Keep reading for my journey to better health.

How We Are Going Green With Tom's of Maine

My husband and I have been green since before green was even a thing.  We both respect the earth and nature, so we want to do our part to take care of it.  We have kids, and hopefully we will have grandchildren one day.  I want them to inherit a clean earth so they don't have to spend their lives cleaning up our messes.  We do little things every day that add up to be bigger things that help us take better care of our planet.  Keep reading to see how we are going green with some help from Tom's of Maine.

Bath and Body

I make many of our bath and body products, including soap, lotions, salves, and some of my makeup.  Sometimes I use food from our farm to make my recipes, and I've even used dandelions to make a salve.

We also use Tom's of Maine Luminous White whitening toothpaste because it only has naturally-derived ingredients.  It uses dual silica to safely and gently remove surface stains in just two weeks.  There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives either.  I buy my Tom's of Maine Luminous White at Target, but you can also get it at Walmart or Amazon.

I love Tom's of Maine because their products are natural and work great, but they are also a company that gives back.  They've given 10 percent of their profits back to non-profit organizations that help people and the planet.  They also give their employees paid time to volunteer for 12 days each year.  


Our farm was built for self-sufficiency.  We have berry bushes, nut trees, an orchard, a large garden, and the chicken eggs for food.  We harvest and can or freeze the fruits and vegetables for the winter.  This reduces our trips to the store and reduces waste in that we can reuse the mason jars and freezer containers for the next year.  


We recycle our paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal by taking it to the recycling center, which is conveniently located next to the grocery store so we aren't using extra gas to get it there.  We also recycle our food scraps.  Most people have a compost pile to turn their food waste into a nutrient rich fertilizer, but we have a different way to recycle.  We use our chickens.

Our chickens are free ranging, so they eat bugs and other yummy things all day.  I collect food scraps in a bucket, and then we take it out to give to the chickens.  When they see the bucket, they all come running to get the best scraps.  

Lawn Care

We have 11.5 acres to mow.  If we mow all of it, it takes more than 12 hours just to mow, not including trimming around the trees and around the house.  So we got goats.

We have 5 goats to help keep a large section of our farm cleared.  They are happy being outside, and we get the lawn trimmed so we can go longer between mowing.  Watching goats is much more fun than watching a lawnmower anyway.  

How are you going green?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Summer Makeup Tips for Sweat Proof Makeup

I have a love hate relationship with summer.  I love that we get to enjoy some much needed down time with no school or other obligations.  However, I could do without the excessive heat and humidity and what it does to my hair and makeup.  I get my hair perfectly straightened and looking good before I leave the house.  Before I reach the end of the patio outside, I look like a poodle.  My makeup just slides off my face.  I used to not even bother, but I like wearing makeup.  I have oily skin and oily eyelids, so add in some humidity and sweat, and it's just not pretty.  Luckily, I learned some summer makeup tips for sweat proof makeup.  I don't do all of these every day, so don't feel like you need to either.  Just pick a few that you think will work for you and your makeup routine and go from there.  If all else fails, just take some Olay Daily Facials and your makeup bag to reapply.  

Summer Makeup Tips for Sweat Proof Makeup

Clothes Like Lularoe On Amazon: Summer Edition

Lularoe is still going strong on my Facebook feed, but I'm not one to have to watch live videos or wait for albums to come up.  Truth be told, here in the middle of nowhere, I couldn't watch a live Facebook video even if I wanted to because they won't load with my slow Internet.   I had some issues with Lularoe, so I found clothes like Lularoe on Amazon and at Charlie's Project.  Some of them are almost exact dupes of LLR clothes, yet others are just inspired by LLR.  Either way, you'll save money and you won't have to wait for an event or sit through another hour long live video.

Moms, It's Time To Make Time For Yourself

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Special K. All opinions are 100% mine.
I love summer.  Most of our obligations and commitments follow the school year, so we have a lot more time in the summer.  We had two glorious weeks with nothing but martial arts.  I was honestly amazed at how much I could get done in a day.  During the school year, my son has autism therapy 3-4 days a week, I homeschool three kids, and have my work at home job.  In the evenings, we have martial arts, theater, and three different scout troops.  In a typical week, I have appointments four days of the week during the day and usually five meetings in the evenings.  Fitting something in my planner is like putting a puzzle together.
I am not exaggerating when I say that until about 6 months ago, I was always with at least one child all day, every day.  As much as I love my kids, I need some time for myself.  I was stressed out, and I wasn't being a good mom.  I was spread so thin between volunteering, homeschooling, working, and trying to keep up with the house.

I read a quote on the Internet one day that resonated with me.  You can't pour from an empty cup.  My cup had long been empty, but I was still trying to pour from it.  That's when I decided to make some changes.

DIY Flat Iron Cover From a Dollar Store Hot Pad

We have one bathroom in our house for 5 people.  If that's not cruel enough, there's no storage in said bathroom.  I do have a large cabinet right outside of the bathroom, but in the actual bathroom I just have a small sink with no real counter space.  After I flat iron my hair, I have to set the flat iron on my kitchen counter to cool off.  Obviously, this isn't an ideal situation.  I made this DIY flat iron cover from a dollar store hot pad that I picked up at Dollar General for $1.  It's super easy to make.  I love anything that's cheap and easy to make!  Keep reading to see how I made it.

DIY Flat Iron Cover From a Dollar Store Hot Pad

Protect Your Eyes with Xperio UV Lenses

This post was sponsored by Essilor as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

I have several profile pictures across my social media, but they all have one thing in common.  Sunglasses.  I almost always wear sunglasses when I'm outside because the sun bothers my eyes.  I keep a pair in each vehicle, one in the house, and a pair in my purse.  I guess you could say that I'm a bit obsessed with sunglasses.  I don't use just any sunglasses though.  I want to protect my eyes, so I wear ones with UV lenses to protect my eyes.  Keep reading for the benefits of UV lenses for your eyes.

Sand Foam Recipe for Sensory Fun

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SoftsoapTouch #OurCaringHands #CollectiveBias

My children are homeschooled for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that two of my kids have autism.  My oldest son is high functioning and doesn't need many accommodations, but my middle child, Caleb, needs some accommodations during the day.  To make our day go smoother, he has a sensory diet.  This is a schedule of sensory activities that he does to help him regulate himself and help him concentrate better when we work.  His occupational therapist has given us tasks that he can do for his sensory breaks, including heavy work, specific exercises, and sensory play.  Since Caleb is a sensory seeker, the messier his sensory play the better for him.  Last week, we made this fun sand foam recipe.  He loves the texture, and he got to use his favorite toys, his dinosaurs, as well.

Matcha Green Tea Sugar Scrub Recipe

I love using matcha green tea in beauty recipes because it's such a powerful antioxidant.  It can really give an anti-aging boost to just about any recipe.  This easy matcha green tea sugar scrub recipe has just four ingredients, so it's easy to make.  I like it because it's so easy to whip up, and it does a great job on my feet and legs.  I use it before shaving my legs to get a closer shave.  

The matcha green tea also gives this sugar scrub a rich shade of green.  I keep in in a clear mason jar to sit on the counter because it's so pretty.  

Easy matcha green tea sugar scrub recipe with just four ingredients, including coconut oil.

Coconut and Calendula Sugar Scrub Recipe

Summer is here, so that means it's time to get your skin ready for shorts and tank tops.  I like to use a sugar scrub about once a week in the summer so my skin stays healthy.  I made this coconut and calendula sugar scrub recipe because I just love my calendula soap recipe for my dry skin.  The calendula is a bright yellow, which just screams summer to me.  My skin gets a little sensitive when I'm in the sun, so I thought the calendula would be a great addition to a sugar scrub recipe.  

Coconut and Calendula Sugar Scrub Recipe

Rosemary and Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse Recipe

If you're having more bad hair days than good hair days, you might want to try this easy rosemary and apple cider vinegar hair rinse recipe.  Using just ACV on your hair can do wonders for your hair, but I diffuse mine in rosemary for more hair benefits.  Either way you use it, your hair will be smoother, softer, and more manageable after this inexpensive hair treatment.  If you don't want to use rosemary, I'll suggest some other herbs to use at the end of the post.

Rosemary and Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse Recipe

Plus Size Swimming Suits From Amazon

I plan on taking the kids to the pool several times this summer, but my swimming suits are getting a little loose on me.  That's a great thing, but I dread going shopping for a new suit.  The older I get, the less I want to drive from store to store trying on bathing suits.  Most stores have a very limited stock of plus size swimming suits--if they have any at all!--which makes it that much worse.  Luckily, Amazon has some really cute suits for all shapes and sizes.  Just be sure to check how others rated the fit and the reviews for how others say they fit.

Plus Size Swimming Suits From Amazon

Easy Lip Gloss Recipe With Drink Mix - Great for Kids!

I used this recipe at my daughter's birthday party for her friends two years ago, and she requested it again last year.  It's so easy for kids to make, and you don't even have to measure anything.  Another bonus is that you can get the ingredients at any grocery store, so you just need some containers to put your lip gloss in.  I used actual lip gloss pots, but you could use any small container, depending on how much you want to make.  

My daughter is going to turn 10 later this month.  She started making this by herself when she was 8.  Younger kids could make this with a little bit of help.  It would be a great project for a Girl Scout troop too.

Easy Lip Gloss Recipe With Drink Mix - Great for Kids!