April Faves- I’ve Officially Switched!

Read about my latest favorite hair and bath/body products. Make sure to check out the impressive customer reviews on these products to see what people are saying after using them.

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So I’ve mentioned before that my hair is complicated. It’s dry ans curly. I call it “high maintenance hair”. It is NOT brush and go hair. Every product I use on my hair  critical for a bad hair day or a good hair day. From shampoo to what I put in it after showering. You’ve seen those Memes about the homeless hairstyle?

This is definitely me. The more time I spend, the cuter my hair is. The less time I spend- the more I look homeless. Lol 

So I’m a little skeptical when changes products for my hair. This week I’ve started using the Nourishing Moroccan Argan Oil line from Avon. I’m impressed. And furthermore, the reviews on these products, especially the Argan Oil itself, are impressive. The age demographic of people using and loving this oil is impressive. Click on the links below the images to see specifications about these products and read customer reviews. And if you click only one link… make sure you click the Argan Oil link. People are loving this stuff, as much as I do! I use the word people because lots of women are buying this product for their children. Even on review the lady is using on her school-aged son to tame his dry curls!  The shampoo and conditioner are a bargain- both for $8 on sale now. The oil is a lottle pricey in my opinion, especially if you’re on the large-family budget like I am. The oil is $10, but totally worth every penny!

Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo

Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner

Moroccan Argan Oil Leave-In Treatmemt 

Now that the hair is tamed, let’s talk about my new favorite body wash by Avon. Again, scrolling through the reviews, people of all agea are using these products. And most people who try them and find their favorite never switch again! One girl has been using my new favorite body wash for 5+ years! 

Last week I ran out of body wash. I was using Skin So Soft Original Creamy Body Wash. Even this one has really good reviews and an impressive age demographic. From 25 to 55+ people love the original body wash. 

So when it was time to place my order, I stepped up my game a bit. I do not suffer from dry skin (except my legs in the winter). I simply prefer moisturized skin. In addition, summer is quickly approaching here in Sunny Florida and I will be spending quite a bit of timr in the sun. So rehydrating is important. I’ve been using the Radiant Moisture Body Wash & Body Lotion. I probably won’t be switching any time soon. I love this stuff! 

The body wash & lotions are $8. & right now, the lotions are running a special, buy one-get one for 99 cent! And for people who do suffer from dry skin, I recommend the Supreme Nourishment Creamy Body Wash and Supreme Nourishment Body Lotion. I have these as well; I’m just currently stuck on the radiant moisture line.

Skin So Soft Radiant Moisture Creamy Body Wash

Skin So Soft Radiant Moisture Body Lotion

If you’ve tried any of these products or if you have questions about them, I’d love to hear from you!

 And don’t forget- Any product you order through my web site has a 90-Day money back return policy. 

The last thought for today is about a product I am getting ready to try. I can’t wait to give my review of the Clearskin Black Mineral Mask. I’ve inserted the link below so you can go ahead and check out the customer reviews. Very impressed with the reviews and the age/gender demographic of people using this product! Check back soon for a new blog with my personal review.

Clearskin Pore Penetrating Black Mineral Mask

DIY Like A Boss!

My latest obsession is DIY.

So even at 34 years old I’m still a cool mom. I still want more tattoos and I have a few piercings. But I got to be honest with you- my latest obsession is DIY! It’s like a disease. Lol Once you get started you just want more!

So I’ve been making our laundry soap for about 2 years now. It is tough enough to clean my boys’ clothes and it smells great. When I first started making it my husband actually had some comments from work about how great his uniforms smelled and inquiries about what his wife was using. I was impressed. So 2 years later- I’m still making our laundry soap and I have tweaked it a bit each time I make it (I’m sorta professional laundry soap preparer). Lol 

Collapsible Box Grater Essential for grating up the Fels Naptha soap bar for making laundry soap. 

So a few weeks ago I got into some more DIY. I tried DIY shampoo (twice), DIY shaving cream (fail), and DIY dishwashing liquid (that didn’t work). Lol It’s been a process. Word of advice to anyone thinking about any kind of DIY products for home: it’s going to be a process- Don’t give up! There are tons (& I mean TONS) of articles and recipes. I’ve found a bunch on Pinterest, of course, and a bunch just by Googling. 

It’s a nice thought to to “all natural”; however, my all natural coconut milk shampoo is just No. I’ve tried it several times and it’s just not going to work out. Lol Same with my first batch of dishwashing gel. I did all natural… ran the dishwasher about 3 times… and then finally put a dishwasher tablet in to get them clean. Lol That’s been about 3 weeks ago. I put the concoction under the sink and haven’t messed with it too much since, until today. It was time for some laundry soap.. so I busted out all my boxes and bags and got on Google. I used this gel and added some additional ingredients and I now have tablets drying in the Sunshine. Recipe and feedback to follow in the next couple of days. I’m feeling good about it, though. Below, a helpful kitchen gadget that helped me get the mixed up product into ice trays to “set”:

Batter Dispenser Yes, this is actually a 4-cup batter dispenser; however, you can see how it was perfect this job! 

While I was in productive mode I whipped up some homemade all-purpose cleaner. This was an easy product using only distilled water, 2 tablespoons of castile soap, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and about 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. SCORE!! I tried it right away, of course. Seriously impressed. Unfortunately, I don’t see my family ever giving up Clorox Wipes. We use these in bathrooms where it really counts to get extra clean and get rid of germs. But I do see wherewe will be cutting back on money spend on Clorox Wipes. This all-purpose cleaner is awesome! 
So all this time spent in the kitchen DIY-ing let me share some other handy tools I use for storage and labeling:

Metal Canister with Chalkboard Front Blue Perfect for storing amd labeling my finished dishwasher tablets. See below also White canister. 

Metal Canister White

Color Labels For labeling boxes and containers. I can’t stress the importance of labeling. Especially if you have small children. These labels are perfect. And stylish. 

I’ll be posting a separate blog for How To’s on my laundry soap, my all-purpose cleaner, and (hopefully) my dishwasher tablets.

How To Efficiently Manage a Full-Time Household

Managing a crazy household? See my 3 biggest tips to keeping it together here.

Ever prepare for a trip? And you know how to get where you are going.. but you pull up the GPS anyway… Just for the added security? This post is mainly a GPS for somewhere I know how to get to.

Matter of fact I’m already halfway there. But things have changed and are changing and I don’t want to waste time on a U-Turn. So below are some of my tips to keep from going crazy when your the CEO of a large household. I would say that managing my household is 98% my job. Not that my husband doesn’t help (Bless his heart… he tries). But keeping up with appointments and school functions seems to be mainly my job. And I don’t mind. I personally feel like this is the only job I must do. Making money at my full-time job is great. But my sole purpose at this time is to raise our children & manage their schedules. I feel this way because they didn’t choose. We chose to have children. We chose each other. They didn’t have a choice. This is the hand they got. One day they will get to choose. Many choices. But right now, they are 9, 8, 8, & 7-year-old little boys. And I feel that they are my job.

That being said- it is a crazy job! It  hectic and chaotic. It’s a dirty job.. but somebody’s got to do it! Lol 

First of all, I recommend recruiting and delegating. Yes, I’m one of THOSE Mommy’s. My boys help me with tasks at home for 2 main reasons: For me and for them. Definitely I need the help. I cannot do it all by myself. And just as importantly, I want to raise good men. Men who can fend for themselves if they need to. Men that know how to do laundry and dishes (or, at least load the dishwasher.. Lol). This isn’t the 1930’s. It’s no longer a given that they will  find women that will SURELY take care of all these household chores for them. And if they do, it will be nice that they have a good understanding of what is required in the home and at the very least, will help out. Especially if they have big families like we do in our home now.

Next up- Calendar. 

Sadly, I’ve fallen into the category that smartphones have made me dumb… somewhat. We have a calendar on the wall at home. It’s cute. And pretty. Unfortunately, it’s useless. Mama phone calendar is the most important calendar in our lives! Recently, my phone crashed. I had cell phone issues for about a month. And although I missed some things like Pinterest (I love, LOVE Pinterest).. I didn’t miss anything more than my calendar. The same could be said for my Husband. He missed my calendar. We were all a little blind without it. Lol In light of this new information, I plan to use the pretty calendar on the wall much more. Additionally, I think instead of chore charts and behavior charts- I’m probably going to give each of my boys their own calendar. I’ll be sure to list what their monthly chores are, of course, as well as any upcoming appointments they have. Shouldn’t they be “in the know”? Lol This will hopefully (fingers crossed) eliminate about 10 questions per month. “Mom, when is my dentist appointment?” “Mom, when do I go to Grandma’s?” “Mom, when is my Birthday?” Yes.. I think this is a brilliant idea. It will also be used to track “good days and bad days”. Smiley faces and sad faces. Days that allowance is earned or lost. 
My last big tip for managing your household (this is for any parent that is trying to raise children): Meal Prepping.

I’m new to this concept and I am in Love with ideas I’ve found on Pinterest. I’m still getting into my groove, as I do have a full-time (or mostly part-time) job. But even as a stay-at-home parent- having your meals planned and prepped for dinner will save you tons of time! My first meal-prep happened about 2 weeks ago. I cooked and prepared my lunches for work, in addition to preparing healthy snacks and infused fruit water I like to drink after my coffee for a boost of energy to keep me going. This was amazing! Check out the flavor infuser pitcher here that is perfect for making fruit water. My husband was a little jealous that I didn’t prep his meals for the week. So I’ve got to get on a bigger scale next time I prep my lunches and begin my journey in dinner meal prepping. I started by purchasing some plastic containers that are microwave/dishwasher/freezer safe  (they sound amazing, right?) They aren’t hard to find. Then I baked seasoned chicken and vegetables, just like I would for dinner. Portion out and ready to go! Huge time-saver! Click here for some handy kitchen items that can help you meal prep like a boss!! And this Salad Container keeps you eating healthy on the go. 

My last thought for this post is probably the most important. There are days I’m sure I can’t do this job. I’m ready to throw in the towel and Fail. But I read something very inspiring about Thomas Edison. 1000 times he tried to create the light bulb. Who would have given up before 1000 tries? Meee! I would have! But what an inspiration. And when questioned about his failed attempts he made a correction to his interviewer. “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.” Not everything we try is going to fit our lives. And even when we do find something that works for our families- we are evolving and this is an ever-changing life we are living. Keep in mind that this is a 1000-step invention. 

5 of My Simple Ideas to Be in a Better Mood

5 easy, simple, controllable, cheap ways to feel happy and smile more often.

So we’ve all seen those Memes that say something like “Today, I choose to smile” or “The most important decision you can make today is the decision to be in a good mood”. 

Now.. some days choosing a good mood is easy. I sail right through all the storms (more like hurricanes & tornadoes) that make up my life most mornings. & I make it to work with a light-hearted smile on my face. Realistically these days happen about once every 2 or 3 months. Not all of us have the luxury to “choose” a good mood. I’m outnumbered in my house in several ways. Not only am I the only female (even our dog is a male), but I am 1 out of 2 grown-ups that live in my home. We have 4 children. & most often than not they get the luxury of choosing my mood for the day. When they don’t feel like getting up or getting dressed.. or they just can’t go to the car because they can’t find their favorite jacket or belt or they wake up on the wrong side of the bed- and they start us all off with a big, fat dose of “Jerk-Face” first thing in the morning! You can see where this is going. Lol 

So, recently, I thought of 5 things. 5 simple, cheap, affordable things that I CAN control that CAN or do make me feel wonderful. And of course, Goal #1 is to start doing these things much more in the future.

So first on my list is something simple & complicated- something I love & hate… but something I 100% can control & something that has the ability to immediately put a smile on my face: The Bathroom Scale.

Yes, I went there. The scale hasn’t been nice to me lately, but seriously- when it’s good it is great!! The number on this scale can ensure I have an amazing day, despite arguments in the morning, rainy drives to school & work, a crazy Monday… all mean nothing when the scale has been nice to me. & guess what? I control how nice it is. Of course it isn’t easy or fun.. but totally controllable happy mood here.

Second on my list (& much less complicated as the bathroom scale) is: Sunshine. 

So simple. I love the Sunshine. I realize it isn’t that great for me. But our relationship is far beyond that point. One afternoon by the pool or at the beach or on the lake – even with my family in tow- does wonders for me. I actually prefer to have my kids along. I don’t need a weekend getaway by myself. I love enjoying the sunshine with my family. & the effects of Sunshine for me qualify as therapeutic. 

Maybe I am a little solar powered. & spending time in the Sunshine “recharges” me. I may not control when the Sun will be out but I can control how much time I spend in the Sun when it does show up. & it’s totally free!! Of course, hauling my family to the beach for the day isn’t free. Neither is taking the boat out to the lake for the day. But it’s totally worth it! I love the Sun so much & my family & I spend so much time in the Sunshine that I’ve made a silent vow with myself to buy my a new bathing suit every summer. I’ve been doing this for about 3 years now. Again… what I get from spending time in the Sun is more than worth the money I spend. 

Click here to see some products from my eStore that are perfect for enjoying the Sunshine.

Next up on my simple, happy list is: Pedicures. 

Okay… so these aren’t free. Lol & they aren’t always in the budget at my house. But definitely, definitely worth it! My favorite thing about pedicures is wearing flip flops and sandals. Yes… the scrubbing and pampering and lotioning is amazing. I do enjoy the actual pedicure. But for me, the most valuable part of a pedicure is sliding on flip flops or sandals and not worrying because my toes “aren’t done”. What a simple concept. Lol Of course I could paint my toes myself, but I could never make them as cute as they are when I leave the nail salon. I don’t spend a ton of money on pedicures.. but I have recently accepted that this is a simple, mostly inexpensive thing that I can do for myself and something that makes me feel good. So make time for this and squeeze in into your budget every now and then. It’s worth it.

If a pedicure just isn’t in the budget, click here shop my eStore to create your spa at home! Grab some girlfriends & a bottle of wine & treat each other at home! *Leave the kids & pets with Hubs to truly enjoy at-home pampering!*

Don’t forget to stock up on shades

Fourth on my list can be pricey, but certainly worth feeling good & much, much more: Eating healthy.

I seriously feel better when I eat better. I’m pretty certain that most people do. You get out what you put in, right? The more expensive gas makes your car run like a champ. Same with our bodies. I definitely have a long way to go with this one. But the simple, easy fact of the matter is that when I eat healthier foods I feel better. It’s all about feeling better, right? Feeling fantastic! There are many benefits to cleaning up one’s diet; however, in the future, I plan to only think of cleaning up my diet to change how I feel. Eating nuts  for an afternoon snack instead of potato chips, for example, will actually make me feel better. It’s not about less sodium to help control my impending high cholesterol. Or hoping to buy smaller jeans because my waistline is smaller. It’s all about feeling good. & the nuts are packed with protein to give me a little afternoon “pick-me-up” and hopefully give me enough energy to tackle my chores when I get home. Again, what a simple concept to feeling good. 

Click here to see handy kitchen gadgets that are sure to help you on this venture in the kitchen! Check back for summer blogs for some really exciting products coming soon that will surely get you on the healthy eating path!
Last on my listof things that make me feel good is: Getting Pretty. 

Pretty simple. It seems I’m a pretty simple person. “Putting my face on” is sometimes a chore. Some days I do good to put on face cream with SPF. But in all seriousness- looking pretty makes me feel pretty, which helps me “choose” that happy mood I was talking about. There is something about taking these extra few minutes in the mornings on Me that makes my mood better. It’s never picture-perfect, meaning I don’t sit down to a fancy vanity in the corner of my bedroom. And spend 20 minutes making my face look amazing. Usually I do my make up in the car (no… not while I’m driving). I use the opportunity of getting stopped at all seven redlights on the way to the school and all seven of them on the way back from school to my job, and I usually finish in my parking space at work. Lol What a mess most of my mornings are. But the truth is I feel better during my day by doing something so easy. So doable. My hair is another story. It isn’t easy by any means. But when I do spend the time it is worth feeling fabulous. 

Click here to shop makeup on my eStore! Quality products for the large-family budget and fabulous frugal mom’s. 
Life really is too short to not feel wonderful. And if feeling wonderful is easy and controllable then why are we not all spending a little more time and a few extea dollars for this feeling? It is also true that one must take care of themselves before taking care of everyone else. In the coming weeks I intend to do more of this- finding simple, easy ways to feel better about me and my life & hopefully this will be visible with much more than a smile or mood. I hope this is evident also in my husband and children.