Category Archives: Well, that just happened

A beautiful spring day

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Creative Idea Jar for Summer Fun!

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Summer is almost here and with it will be lazy weekends spent at home as well as hours at the ballfields for my sons’ games.

In order to avoid the “I’m bored” broken record once school is out and to encourage good behavior, I made an idea jar for us to pull ideas out of when we can’t make up our minds or when the kiddos deserve a special treat. I combined creative ideas from several lists to make it specific for our area as I wanted to stick with free or very cheap activities.

Here is my list:
Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Big Spring Park
Explore a new part of town
Tennis
Street hockey
Basketball
Volleyball
Badminton
Bike ride
Morse park trail
Play board games
City pool
Creek
Lake
NWA
Make dessert
Picnic
Candlelit Dinner
Make a news show
Scavenger Hunt
Show
Puzzle
Karoake
Legos
Reading time
Water balloon fight
Tea party
Yoga
Make a writing code
BBQ
Spa night
Play Charades
Work out
Lift Weights
Play frisbee
Color/draw
Sprinkler
Campout
Sidewalk chalk
Write letters to family
Play with Larry the dog
Dress up Larry the dog
Food art
Go fishing
Make a fort
Obstacle course
Paint rocks
Nature Hike
Play memory
Mini golf
Dance party
Stargaze
Make popsicles
Make nature rubbings
Fly a kite
Skip rocks
Wash the car
Ice Cream Sundae party
Feed the ducks/fish
Go to the library
Play soccer
Magazine clipping collage
Play I-spy
Bake food for neighbors
Eat watermelon
Catch some lightning bugs
Ride bikes
Ride scooters
Feed the birds
Make sun tea
Go yard saling
Go to the donut shop for breakfast
Read outside
Blow bubbles
Have a sleepover
Make your own pizza
Watergun fight
Make tie-die
Geocaching
Play hide and seek
Hit golf balls
Batting cages
Go to drive-in
Go bowling
Make a wind chime
Science experiments
Go to a baseball game
Have a weenie roast/s’mores
Have a race
Hickory Creek boat race
Make paper airplanes
Make a bird feeder
Make pasta necklaces
Microwave Ivory soap
Make toy parachutes
Fun with glow bracelets
Bat with water balloons
Road trip
Walk to the flea markets
Walk to the coffee shop
Walk to the donut shop
Sidewalk Mancala with chalk
Play catch
Cloud watch
Diet coke and mentos mix
Run at the football field
Make a stepping stone
Balloon tennis
Go to the Crowder trail
Go camping
Night walk with flashlights
Pictionary
Eat every meal outside all day
Make a solar oven
Take something old apart
Play poker with pennies
Make and play cornhole
Painter’s tape on floors to make lava
Solo cup wall building
Toothpick–mini marshmallow building

The kids were so stoked when they read the list. I was surprised by their favorite ones. The library? Cloud watching? Mmkay…

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I have this lovely jar I acquired that was just perfect for our project. We are all excited to have a free night the next few weeks to start trying some of the ideas! 🙂

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Brownie in a Mug. Oh yes.

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So tonight I made the legendary Brownie in a Mug that I’ve seen pinned time and time again. With a few changes. Walk with me…

In place of dairy milk I used soy milk. Only because I bought some and the use by date is coming up quickly. I also used dark chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate. Because that’s healthier. And that’s exactly what brownies are about is health. I also used only 2 Tbsp of oil.

Looking good…

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Ooh looks like brownie batter!
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Ok– a little spongey but the texture isn’t too bad. With ice cream it would be pretty spectacular.
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I don’t have any ice cream, so I throw a marshmallow on top of the next mug. 20140408-202323.jpg
All in all, a successful pin. And definitely great for us singles when we start craving something sweet! Ok Pinterest, I’m on the road to trusting you again…

The simple pleasures in life

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Call me crazy, but one of the most simple and wonderful activities for me is hanging clothes on the line. It brings to mind hot summer days as a child, riding my bike back and forth through the cool, damp clothes.

It takes me back to when when I cloth diapered my babies and hanging the cloth diapers on the clothesline was one of my few personal pleasures, a moment in the sun to myself.

Lastly, it reminds me of my grandma. The simple pleasures in life that bring you happiness are invaluable indeed.

This weekend, I finally replaced my rusted and fallen traditional style clothesline with a new umbrella type that screams city dweller. However as I rushed home at lunch to hang out sheets to dry in the sun and wind, my dress heels poking into the ground, I found my zen.

Damn you, Pinterest

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I was making my grocery list and adding some SUPERFOODS that I had seen mentioned on Pinterest. I capitalized it because that just seems obligatory. I added chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, kale…all the healthy crap we should be eating instead of the Arby’s I had for lunch.

One thing I read about today was that sardines are really great for you. As a lackluster fan of fish in general, I thought snacky lil fish might be more palatable so I bought a variety of types of sardines. I’m ready to get my SUPERFOOD on!

Ok, have y’all ever tried sardines? There’s bones and guts in there. I’ll stick with the blueberries.

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Spanx–proceed with caution

At the end of a long workday…and after a day of killing it in my little black dress (yeow!), I thought I was going to finally have to make the “Help, I can’t get out of my spanx” phone call to a friend. While removing my black undergarment, it got kinda stuck below my shoulders and my thumbs became entangled with my arms wrapped around me. In essence, I was locked into a Spanx straight jacket. This went on for several minutes, resulting in sweating from the effort, which didn’t help matters. After some pretty intense struggling, I was able to free myself. That was a close one.

My friends should still consider themselves on call as the weekend is approaching.

Respect your Armpits – with Updates, y’all!

Today, I am writing on the subject of making natural homemade deodorant. I have seen many pins on the subject and have wanted to do this for some time. I looked for a while and finally found arrowroot powder in my small town (which is just starch, people).

My reasons for seeking an alternative deodorant which doesn’t use aluminum in any form is that aluminum is linked to dementia (or Alzheimer’s) and cancer in many studies. You may disagree, but both of those run in my family and I think if you can dodge a bullet, you should do your best. My dad even tries to avoid aluminum, he drinks beer only out of bottles these days.

Back to the actual making of this wonder salve for ye olde stanky pits. I initially used three ingredients. Most of ya have them in your kitchen.

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Here are the ratios, adjust them to your preference. Some people like it a little softer and more malleable, some people want that solid deodorant stick feeling. Do what you want!

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder – some recipes say corn starch is just as good. Not cornmeal..I checked.
  • 6 Tablespoons coconut oil – I heated mine as its still cold here in Missouri and I figured it was easier to mix.

I just poured them all into a bowl, mixed them a bit to get the lumps out and voila…deodorant. That was so very easy and fast! I should have stopped there. But I couldn’t. It had no smell!

I get out my essential oils and like a mad scientist start putting a dab of this and that in there to give me that Teen Spirit smell from middle school. Well, that never happened but the final result smelled refreshing. I ended up splashing a little tea tree oil (which is super anti-fungal and everything), a little eucalyptus oil, some lavender, and finally about 8 drops of lemongrass oil. It smelled great! I even had an empty, used eye makeup remover container that was the perfect size for my first homemade deodorant. I plan to just take a little pea sized amount and rub it on each underarm. Here’s the final product:20140328-215221.jpg

Now, I had already put on some Tom’s Natural Deoderant an hour or so earlier, but I couldn’t help but take my fresh new batch on it’s maiden voyage! I rubbed a bit on each underarm enjoying the scent and went on my way cleaning up the kitchen.

And then the burning started. One recipe had mentioned a bit of minor burning initially that went away. Ok, no worries. Better than dementia, right? I ignore it and carry on.

Oh God, the burning. Ok at this point im walking around in a tank top with my arms up thinking I can cool down the burning. It’s bad…I can’t ignore it. When something as tender and sensitive as your underarms is on fire, it becomes a crisis. I tried wiping it off with a damp washcloth, which helped but the sting continued a good 5 minutes. Also, red blotchy armpits…not pretty.

So what went awry in my quest for good smellin, aluminum free underarms? Could be a couple of things. First some people are sensitive to baking soda. Secondly, I may have used too much essential oil, which can be really harsh when not diluted. I should have measured better but I couldn’t find my pipet thing. I also am developing allergies in my old age. Every time I swim at the gym, I have an allergic reaction to the chlorine. Maybe I’m allergic to something?  I will try a few things to troubleshoot and post updates.

For now, the moral of the story is respect your ‘pits and don’t go slapping random crap from around the house on there without thinking it through.

UPDATE: The homemade deodorant had solidified overnight and so while my coffee brewed this morning, I took a pinch and…holding my breath against the agony…put some under each arm. It didn’t hurt. Weird. No burning. Nothing. Maybe having it be a solid changed something about it. I was also cautious this go round to only apply the deodorant where I shave my underarms, as the sensitive skin that was very red was kind of behind that. I think that was the problem the first time, was putting it on in a haphazard manner.

2nd UPDATE: Worked outside in the yard all weekend using only this deoderant and never had a problem. Seems to honestly work better than Degree or Secret! Yay, right??

On eating naked. A memoir.

Last summer, as I pursued my fitness goals I would try to fit in little workouts wherever I could. One such time was directly after work and before my sons’ baseball game. They were with their dad and I had an hour or so where I could get in some cardio.

I hustled home and changed into shorts and a tank top and took off jogging to a local park with a trail. Summer here in Missouri is hot and humid. Unless you are sitting in a creek, it is pretty miserable.

I get back home drenched in sweat and jump into the shower. I get out and I’m still overheated, so I don’t dress yet. I don’t want to get sweaty again. I’m hungry and a multi-tasker, so while I continue to cool off, I go into the kitchen and grab whatevers at hand. A clementine (like a small orange). As I hurredly stand in the kitchen and peel the clementine, I start tossing wedges of fruit in my mouth as I go.

Until I begin to choke.

I don’t know about you, but choking is a scary thing. When you are alone, its terrifying.

My thoughts start racing. “I can’t breathe. Should I throw myself over a chair? Is this really happening? Man…my family is going to think I’m so weird when they find my dead body because I choked on a clementine while naked. Will they mistake this for some kind of fetish?”

As you can surmise, I survived the choking situation. I lived to attend my sons’ baseball game. And I can assure you that I eat only when dressed these days.

Pinterest is slightly misleading

Abraham Lincoln once famously said, “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.” And it’s true. Let’s focus on Pinterest for a moment.

Like most women, I pin things to encourage me to be healthier, a better homemaker, and to be more stylish. None of which really ever happen. But I continue to be hopeful.

One evening, I decide to go ahead and make something I had seen pinned multiple times– homemade makeup. Makeup is so expensive and full of awful toxins, dontcha know? I hear anyway.

Regardless, I gather my ingredients:
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Cocoa powder, arrowroot powder, green French clay, and some different finely ground spices to try to get a natural tone out of the translucent powder.

I mix the powders, like a mad scientist, testing and retesting on my skin. I sample it. Looks pretty good. Maybe makes me look a little dirty but that will probably improve when I’m tan. It’s a sacrifice for natural living, right? Here is the result:

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Looks dark in this light, but it’s actually a pretty close match. I think it will stretch my current powder well if I combine them. Onto step two!

At this point, you can mix the powder with facial moisturizer to make a tinted moisturizer, which I wear a lot. So, I mix em up and it seems pretty dark. But sometimes my tinted moisturizer does too and it blends in just fine. I proceed.

At this point, obviously I am ignoring some law of physics or chemistry that states anything wet is darker than dry. I mean…duh. I smear it on anyway. You be the judge.

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I should’ve listened to Abraham Lincoln.