Thursday, September 27, 2012

Toddler Activity: Leaf Bracelet

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My daughter and I went for our daily walk this morning. But instead of our usual routine, I decided to let my "mini me" build some creative thinking skills and hunt for leaves to make a leaf bracelet. I can't remember which website I had seen this on and if any one finds it, please let me know so I can link back to that site. Our leaf hunt was cut short unfortunately due to rain (It came out of nowhere!) so I'll have to remember this again for another time...

Picture courtesy of my daughter haha

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What's Cookin' Wednesdays: Pumpkin Bread

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So I teased everyone Monday on my FACEBOOK PAGE about my house smelling like Fall. Well since this past weekend was the start of Fall, I HAD to get into the spirit! And what better way to start than by making Pumpkin Bread. I adapted my own recipe from one called Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread. Reviewers raved that this bread is even better the day after. They weren't kidding!! I'm actually stuffing my face as we speak...No seriously, I just can't get enough.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

5 Health and Beauty Benefits Using Apple Cider Vinegar

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You know that old saying, "An apple a day, keeps the doctor away."??? Well what about Apple Cider Vinegar? It's made from apple juice and is fermented to hard apple cider. It's then fermented a second time to apple cider vinegar. I've found hundreds of uses for this unbearably strong smelling vinegar on the internet and apparently a lot of them claim to be health related. Apple Cider Vinegar is a completely natural product. And I'm talking about the raw, organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (the cloudy stuff).  It has been used for over 10 thousand years for it's healing properties and to treat various aliments. According to several natural-health sources, ACV contains vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, beta-carotene, bioflavonoids, acetic acid, propionic acid, lactic acid, enzymes, amino acids, potash, and apple pectin. It's no wonder people say it's good for you! It's packed with some healthy stuff!! Since I've got this HUGE interest in alternative medicine, I'd like to share with you a few things I have discovered (and might even try after I pop this baby out) about ACV and how it can benefit you health wise....

Monday, September 24, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent for Sensitive Skin

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One of my first blog posts was how to make Homemade Laundry Detergent. Not only am I saving money but I am also watching out what kind of chemicals we use in our household. Store bought detergent = Not so safe. Homemade detergent = Safe. But now, with the new baby coming Oct 23rd, I have had to find homemade products that are safe(r) for the little guy.

I have made an adaptation from my homemade laundry detergent recipe that is not only safe for the new baby but also for anyone with sensitive skin.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Homemade Hairspray (And it WORKS!)

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Since going No Poo, I have slowly been replacing a lot of my commercial hair/body care products with more natural and non synthetic ingredients. The next thing I can cross off my list is, HAIRSPRAY!! Living in South Texas, the humidity here is God awful. So what every woman needs to keep her curls from going flat or her hair looking like she stuck her finger in an electrical socket, is hair products. Hairspray mostly. But what's in commercial hairsprays?? Poisonous fumes that should not be enhaled!!! Sure it can be safe when used properly but with the chemical compounds it contains (Polyvinylpyrrolidone, Propylene glycol, Polyvinyl alcohol, Hydroflurocarbon, Denatured alcohol and Carboxylmethylcellulose), you are taking a very large risk on your health over time. And let's not forget that it is HIGHLY flammable. Especially the hairsprays that are aerosol. These synthetic products are NOT necessary! Make sure you Educate Yourself. I know this seems very one sided but with all the other health problems we could potentially face in our lives, do we really need to add on to it??

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's Cookin Wednesdays: Charro Beans!!

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If you were to walk into my house right now, it would literally smell like a good, authentic Mexican restaurant. Or in my case, grandma's house. All those deep earthy spices topped off with the aromas from spicy chile peppers. MMmmm! It's beaner heaven!! Yes, I said beaner because I am one! Today, I'm making Charro Beans (which literally means cowboy beans) and I'm sharing MY very own recipe to you.

Every Hispanic home has their way of making charro beans but they all have one big thing in common: Time. It takes about 6-8 hours to make a real good pot of beans. Best thing about this though, if you have a crock-pot, all you have to do is let them cook over night and they will be done in the morning. Just in time for breakfast!! Mash them up and make some refried beans with those babies..Ohhhh yeah, my stomach is howling right about now haha

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Make a Diaper Wreath

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Yesterday's tutorial was on How to Make a Diaper Cake. Adding on to that, I have decided to make a Diaper Wreath. There are a couple of ways to do this. One being the Rolled Version and the other being like the one I will show you in this tutorial. I'm not sure what to call it...The Tied Version???                              Anyways...Since I've made this for MY own personal baby shower, the theme will be sports. 
-Wire hanger (a foam wreath will work also)       
-Curling ribbon                                                       
-Hot glue gun                                                         
-Diapers (size 1 or newborn)                          
-Any embellishments or decorations you wish to use to go with your theme.   
-Baby items (onesies, stuffed animal, shoes, etc.)

Start by taking the wire hanger and opening it up till you have a circle, leaving the "hook" part in tact. If you are using a foam wreath, don't worry about this step.

Take an unfolded diaper and slip it under the wire. Fold the diaper closed and it should be wrapped around the wire hanger. Then take curling ribbon and tie a double knot leaving the ends loose.

 To make those pretty little curls simply take one blade on a pair of scissors (be careful) and run it along (starting from bottom to top) the DULL side of the curling ribbon. Note: When doing this the ribbon should be between the blade of the scissors and your thumb.

Keep adding diapers and tying off with ribbon all the way around your wreath. You don't want there to be any holes so make sure they are pretty snug and close together.
I added a bow on top of my wreath. You don't have to add one like mine but if you do, I went to youtube and used This Technique. I also found that using wired ribbon works best because it is so easy to manipulate.
Start adding your decorations and embellishments to your wreath by simply tying them in between the diapers and around the wired (or foam) wreath. You don't want to hot glue anything to the diapers because this makes them unusable. We want the mommies to be able to use the diapers!

For anything that does not have a way to tie on to (like balls or wooden letters) simply put a small dab of hot glue on the back and lay a ribbon on top. You will then be able to tie it around the wreath!
Cool right??? I know I'm not the first person to think of this, but I felt pretty darn smart after I did. And my brain hurt because it took me about 15min to figure it out haha!

To hang something in the center, you can use ribbon, fishing line, or if your using a baby toy take the plastic hook and hook it around the neck of the hanger. 

I then tied a toddler baseball glove using curling ribbon around the monkey's neck..Poor monkey...

This is what the final wreath looks like.  I have to give a lot of credit to a friend that helped me out. She's been helping me put together my baby shower and I think the both of us have come up with some pretty creative ideas. I think the wreath and the cake came out amazing for our FIRST TIME EVER making one. But of course, I biased.... Thanks Clarissia :)

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. I LOVE COMMENTS!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Manic Mondays: Diaper Cake Tutorial

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With my baby shower coming up in a couple of weeks, I decided to save a bit of money and make my own diaper cake. I did a search on how to make them and found that there are about 3 different methods. The Rolled Up Version, the Pinwheel Version (which I was initially going to make), and then the Folded Version (which I did make). I liked the folded version because it was different, I had never seen this, and it looked really cute. Just something to think about: I didn't go with the traditional rolled up version because I feel that taking rubber bands off EVERY SINGLE diaper is a pain in the butt. That"s 60-100 diapers you'd have to do that to!! Something a new mom would not like to put on her, already busy, schedule. I recommend the pinwheel or folded version.

Friday, September 14, 2012

How I Lost the Baby Weight

Pin It Now! This my true story on how I lost over 60lbs....

My first pregnancy was a great one. Overall my little girl was good to me, no morning sickness, no heartburn, no crazy hormones, and no being plugged up (it's a pregnancy thing). The only thing that wasn't so great was that I gained over 40lbs and in ALL the wrong places. At 5'6 I weighed in at a whopping 172lbs at the end of my pregnancy. I have never weighed so much in my life!! And let's face it...I felt like poop. Tired, irritable, self conscious, and even a little depressed. 
2 weeks before I had my daughter.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Best Salsa EVER!

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My whole pregnancy, the one thing that I can never get enough of is salsa. And I'm not talking about the one that you get from a jar at the store. I'm talking authentic, Mexican, homemade, salsa.  I have tried and tried...and tried recipes up the you know what and I have finally came up with my very own recipe. And I'm sharing it all with you because it has a secret ingredient that makes it THE best. Wanna know what the secret ingredient is??? It's honey!!! Those of you who have honey allergies can substitute Agave for honey. Now that the excitement is over, let's get to the salsa making...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Update: Week 4 of No Poo

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Week 4
After a month of not using commercial shampoos and conditioners I think I can finally say, I am over the hump and my hair is FABULOUS!!!

I love the results from only using baking soda as a shampoo and ACV as a conditioner. I can't believe I'm actually saying that!! HAHA! I had a few bumps here and there. Sometimes I thought I might just not be able to hang through. BTW don't EVER use olive oil as a deep conditioner, no matter how great everyone says it is...Just my personal experience. And it was a horrible, sticky, greasy one. I literally wanted to shave my head and hide in the darkest corner of my closet. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Manic Mondays: Soda Bottle Bird Feeder

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I have been wanting to make a bird feeder or bird house with my daughter for quite some time now. Since she drinks Soy Milk, I thought those rectangular cartons would be perfect. Come to find out, my wonderful husband chucked the carton that I was waiting and hoping to use in the trash (shame on him). So that kind of put a stop to that idea. Then I saw a 2 liter bottle of soda and decided to take revenge (he was almost done with it anyway!). And come to find out, the plastic bottle works great as a feeder! This isn't no fancy bird motel with a built in automatic timer or anything but we don't really need all that and I'm sure the birds really don't care what the heck it looks like.

Here is what you'll need:

1 or 2 liter plastic bottle
2 wooden spoons
small eye screw
some kind of rope or twine for hanging
knife or scissors 
bird seed

For another reference on this project, check out Disney Family Fun.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Plastic Bag Organization

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Does anyone else have a plethora of plastic bags shoved into a dark corner or space under their kitchen sink?? Around my home we use them for all sorts of things..Trash can liners for the bathroom, pickup doggie doo-doo outside,  scooping up dirty kitty litter, pretend parachutes, and wrapping up breakables.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Whats Cookin' Wednesdays: Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

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Looking for a back to school snack for the kiddos?? Or if you're a teacher, maybe for yourself?
These homemade granola bars are perfect! We absolutely love these at home. And the great thing is they are so versatile. If you don't like chocolate (Then you're not human) or can't eat it (I'll eat it all for you) you can really add anything you want to them; nuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, marshmallows....You get the idea!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Homemade Play Dough

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Play-dough is a great way for toddlers to spark some creativity and work on those fine motor skills. I personally don't really care for the store bought kind because when I was a kid, it somehow always wound up in my mouth. There is something about those bright colors (and that smell!!) that just made you curious enough to see if it tasted as good as it looked. And I was wrong.....Each time.

This recipe I found is wonderfully made with safe ingredients so if it winds up in some little tummies, it should be okay. I didn't take a taste test though, so not sure on the flavor.