Summer, Where Did You Go?

Hello there! It has been a while. Like many of you, my summer has been busy, busy, busy. But I wanted to check in and say hi and let you know that, yes, I am still alive. 😉

I have been debating lately what the purpose of this blog is. I am planning to continue writing entries, but I want to make sure that the content is quality, not just quantity. I am also aware lately of how much our online presence will affect our children as they grow up. So I am trying to find a balance between sharing what would be helpful to other moms with young children, without oversharing my home life.

Crafting is also a big hobby of mine, so I’d like to share a few posts the next few weeks of what I have been up to craft-wise lately. I am always working on something, and I always find other craft blogs interesting. I think for creative people, inspiration is a huge part of what keeps us going, so if I could inspire you all, that would make my day. 🙂

Be talking to you all soon!

Cheers!

Melissa

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Hello again! It has been quite a while since I’ve written a blog post. In case you were wondering, I am still alive and well haha! I started working again, and so I don’t have as much free time as I once did.

But I wanted to write a quick post about a book I finished recently – “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. First of all, it was a very fun read. The author is engaging and funny, and I like that she straight up admits that, while she loves to organize, she has not always been very good at it.

51Kz4zmXqbL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

There are a lot of things you could take away from the book, but there are 3 main things that really stuck with me.

“Spark Joy”

The first is her phrase “spark joy”. Basically, before you bring something into your home, or when deciding whether to keep something in your house, ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” And if the answer is no, then give it away, throw it out, or put it back on the shelf.

“Where are you placing your energy?”

A lot of her philosophies are based on the idea that objects contain energy, and when we handle objects, we transfer our energy into them and into that space. And if our space is filled with a lot of objects that don’t bring us joy, then instead of being calm and happy in our space, we are stressed and on edge. So choose to be surrounded by objects that are useful, calming, and that bring you joy.

“What is this object’s purpose?”

One last thing that really had an impact on me was her idea that each object has a purpose. If someone sends you a card, then your receipt of the card and acknowledgement of that person’s thoughtfulness fulfills the card’s purpose. If looking at that card on your fridge for a few weeks sparks joy, then by all means keep it there. But if that card is hiding something else that is more important to see, or gets buried underneath a pile of papers somewhere, it is not “happy”, because it has fulfilled it’s purpose, and now needs another purpose. She suggests talking to your objects – so in the instance of the card, saying something like “Thank you, card. I felt loved when I read you and saw how much my Mother cared for me.”, then recycle the card and give it another purpose. It sounds odd, but there is such peace in that simple act. I haven’t subscribed to the whole KonMari method as of yet, but I have tried doing that with a few objects, and it really has made a difference in how I handle my things and how I “tidy up”.


So those were my thoughts on the book – let me know what you thought if you have read it, or if there is another good book you are reading.

Cheers!

– Melissa

Easy 5-Minute Bird Feeder

Hi Mommas! Today I have a simple and fun craft idea that you and your toddler can do together. Let’s jump right in:

bird feeder header

So this craft is super fast and only takes 5 items:

toddler craft ingredients

Now, you can either poke a hole into the rice cake or piece of toast, or do what I did, which is to tie the string around it. I tried to poke a hole in my rice cake, and it was much too dry and crumbled apart, but it might work for a piece of toast.

craft 3

Next, you will want to slather some peanut butter onto the side of the rice cake. You could do both sides, but for simplicity’ sake (and it’s much less messy!), I just opted to cover one side.

craft 4

Now, take your seeds or birdseed, and (ideally) place a few at a time onto the peanut butter. Or, you can do what my toddler did, and completely dump the bowl onto the rice cake. 😉

craft aiden 1

craft aiden 2

craft aiden 3

craft 5

Boom. Haha.

craft 6

Now, you can definitely use the extra seeds to make a second feeder, or, if you’re feeling a tad snacky, you can eat the second rice cake. 🙂

aiden and rice cake

And that’s about it! Go ahead and hang up your bird feeder, and enjoy watching the birds flock over to check it out.

craft 7

Let me know if you try this with your kids, or if you have another favorite Springtime craft.

Cheers!

– Melissa

Featured!

Hi everyone! One of my posts here has been featured on another blog – Network of Silver. They have lots of guest bloggers offering advice and encouragement for Mommas everywhere. Check out the post here, and be sure to like them over on Facebook!

Guest Author

Cheers!

– Melissa

Diaper Bag Beauty Hacks

Ok ladies, I’m sure the first thing you think of when you look at your diaper bag is not “hmmm…I wonder if I can use this somewhere else.” But the truth is there are tons of things in your diaper bag that you can use in a pinch! (Although, not the diaper rash cream. Leave that for the little bubs. 😉 )

diaper bag beauty


#1: Baby Powder = Dry Shampoo!

If you’re in a pinch and have greasy, 2nd or 3rd day hair because you haven’t had a chance to shower (I hear ya!), use a little bit of this on your scalp and massage it in for an instant and sweet-smelling dry shampoo! Note that this may not work if your hair is darker, but if you have blonde, light brown or dirty blonde hair, this works great! (And a little bit is the key!)

#2: Baby Wipes = Makeup Remover Wipes

Have you seen how much makeup remover wipes are in the store? It’s crazy! They’re typically over $5 for about 25-30 wipes. Baby wipes are usually $2 or less, and they have between 55-75 wipes. I would advise using the sensitive skin type, and while I would always follow up with a regular face wash, these wipes are great at removing eye makeup, or for a quick touch up if you’ve been sweating a lot during the day.

#3: Baby Lotion/Cream = Foot/Body Lotion

Summer time is coming! If you live in a cold climate like me and have been in heated indoors most of the last few months, your feet are probably really super dry around this time of year. I’ve found that putting a little bit of this baby lotion on your feet after a shower, or before you go to bed, moisturizes better than a lot of other fancy lotions I’ve tried.

There you go, hope you guys give some of these a try!

Cheers!

– Melissa

12 Books in 2015, Part One

I’m sure a few of you have heard about the challenge that Mark Zuckerberg introduced in January, A Year Of Books, in which participants read a book every two weeks for the whole year. I would love to participate in something like this, except that:

A.) My trips to the library consist of playing with my toddler, finding age-appropriate books to read with him, and trying to keep him interested in the reading/story time if there is one that day. Not much time for me to find a book for myself.

B.) Most of my reading includes web articles like “Why is my kid’s poop green?”, “How to handle toddler tantrums”, and various other related things.

C.) I don’t really have that much time to read.

That being said, I would really like to make an effort to read more (I’m not sure reading “Brown bear, Brown bear, what do you see?” or “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” counts), so instead of mounting the herculean task of reading a book every two weeks, my aim is to read one book every month. This is March, and I’ve read one book, so I’d say I’m pretty much on schedule. 😉

I comprised a list of a few books that I’ve heard a lot of great reviews about or have been wanting to read. While I was making this list I realized that 3 of them are about female comedians, so I guess that must be a trend recently. I also only have 6 books here, as I am going to finish these, then in July my plan is to make a new list and go from there. Baby steps, y’all.

Let me know if you guys have read any of these books, are participating in a book challenge, or have any more suggestions of books I should read. And as always, thank you for reading this blog!

books for 2015

Cheers!

– Melissa

DIY Natural Budget-Friendly Foundation Powder Tutorial

Hi again! So I have done a few beauty posts in the past (Trader Joe’s beauty, and Simple Mommy Makeup), and I wanted to add another one: how to make your own foundation powder.

natural foundation powder


P1040300

So, for this tutorial, you will need a couple of ingredients:

– Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or comparable oil, I would assume coconut oil, etc. would be ok)

– Organic Arrowroot Powder

– Cocoa Powder

– Cinnamon

– Spoons or coffee stirrers, something to mix things together

– Compact or something to put the foundation into

I ended up adding a few other things as well that turned out to be useful:

P1040323

(Optional):

– Medicine dropper

– Essential Oil (I used lemon)

– A foundation powder that matches your shade

– A small jar to mix everything up into


OK, here goes! Spoon a little bit of arrowroot powder into your jar, and mix in a tiny bit of cocoa powder and/or cinnamon.

P1040314

You can skip the cinnamon if you wish, as it can irritate your skin, but if you know that that’s not the case, I would go ahead, as it does help with the color. Mix everything together until it is the color that you want. Note that it’s not going to look perfect, we are going for a rough color here, not the exact shade. I used a powder that I already had from E.L.F. (excuse the nasty condition it is in, it has been well used, and the lid doesn’t stay on anymore).

P1040315

Once you get the color that you like, you can either start to mix in a little oil into the jar, or you can put it in your foundation pot. I went ahead and put it in the pot first before adding oil. Also, I was looking around for something to put the foundation into, and I finally found this little reusable pot from Target. It was $1.99, and feels pretty heavy-duty, so I hope that it will hold up.

P1040306

P1040317

Here comes the tricky part. I had a devil of a time getting the oil into the container. I found that the olive oil was too dense, and when i tried mixing it in with the spoon, it made a crazy mess.

P1040318

Yuck. So, what I ended up doing was using the medicine dropper to measure out a few drops of olive oil, then use my fingertip to pat and swirl it in the container. Then I would add a few drops of lemon oil and do the same, and I just alternated this way, adding a little bit of powder, oil, and lemon oil at a time until it was the consistency that I liked.

P1040319

P1040320

Now it is time for the face test. I had applied my normal makeup already, and I did put on some foundation, but I hadn’t set it with any powder yet.

P1040331 copy

P1040334 copy

As you can see, there were still a few blemishes after I had put on my foundation, but once I put the powder on, it blurred them quite nicely. I’m writing this blog post about 5 hours after I put the powder on, and so far my skin isn’t oily at all, which is incredible.

So all in all, if you are the type of person who likes to try beauty DIY’s, this would be a fun thing to try! It does make a HUGE mess though, so I wouldn’t try this around your toddler unless they’re napping or otherwise occupied. I do like that I know exactly what is inside of this makeup, and I also like that it works pretty well. If you have really great skin, you could probably get away with using just this over your moisturizer and skipping your regular foundation altogether. As far as price, this is definitely cheaper than a store-bought product. The arrowroot powder cost me a little over $1 from Amazon (though I’m sure you could buy it in bulk from a health food store), the compact was $1.99 from Target, and the rest of the ingredients I had on hand.

This foundation also smells HEAVENLY, I would love to hear from you guys if you have tried it and used a different oil. The combo of cinnamon, cocoa and lemon just makes me want to eat it haha!

Let me know if you guys try this, or have any other suggestions of DIY’s I should try.

Cheers!

– Melissa

*Edit: It’s been brought to my attention that lemon oil is photo sensitive and can increase the risk of sunburn. You can definitely still use this tutorial sans oil and use it as a loose powder, but if you’d like a more compact powder, try another type of essential oil.

To The Tired Moms

I have a beauty post all written up and ready to go, but I didn’t feel right about posting it today. Not that I don’t feel confident in what I’ve written, but because today, I don’t feel pretty. Today I feel tired. And defeated. I’m sure that I’m not the only Mom out there today who feels like this. This week has been pretty awful. My husband has been working round the clock, our car is in the shop, my son has been pushing the limits with tantrums, and to top it all off, he was up from about 3-6 am last night/this morning.

So to any other moms who are nursing their second third cup of coffee (I won’t judge), and who are dealing with life circumstances, cranky kids or anything else, I hope this verse encourages you today. Because at the end of the day, we do what we do to raise good, Godly, adults. We lead by example, and that doesn’t mean being happy all of the time. It means showing our kids how to navigate through life gracefully and how to deal with bumps in the road. Hopefully someday they will appreciate what we have done for them, and they will have the patience to ride out these storms with their own kids.


Let us not become weary in doing good. For at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

– Galatians 6:9

– Melissa

Trader Joe’s Beauty and Health

Hey guys! So, a few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about natural beauty. After I wrote that post, I went to Trader Joe’s and picked up a few things that I wanted to review for you guys in case you were curious about buying some natural health/beauty items.

So here goes!

trader joe's beautyI picked up 4 items – the Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo and Conditioner, the Tea Tree Natural Facial Cleansing Pads, and the Peppermint Toothpaste. Let’s start with the shampoo and conditioner:

P1040293

P1040294

First of all, let me just say that these smell AMAZING. They remind me a lot of an Aveda shampoo that my Mom used to buy (I don’t remember what it was called, but it was a purple shampoo for blondes). These were both $3.99 each, which in and of itself is super cheap for shampoo and conditioner nowadays. They also come in 16 fl. oz containers, which is also amazing.

P1040296P1040297

These are the ingredient lists on the conditioner and shampoo, respectively. There is no sulfate or parabens or artificial dyes, and tons of natural yummy-sounding ingredients from plants and such.

All in all, I give these a big thumbs up. They smell wonderful, work well, and are cheap without being harmful to the hair, so why not?

P1040288

Next up is the tea tree natural facial cleansing pads. First of all, if you’ve not experienced tea tree oil, the smell is very strong. Think vinegar or something of that ilk. I originally bought these to replace my makeup wipes, but the little pads are very small, and didn’t help much with removing makeup. They were cheap, I believe $3.99 for 50 pads, so if you are looking for an acne skin treatment, these would be a good portable option.

P1040290

Summary: I liked the texture of the pads, and I do like that tea tree oil is a natural acne fighter. However, the pads are very small, and the smell is a bit too strong to my liking. I still use them after I’ve washed my face as an acne skin care treatment, but once they are gone, I don’t think that I will repurchase this item.

P1040292

Last is the toothpaste. Now, this toothpaste is pretty big at 6 ounces (I think that the one I had been using was only 3 oz), and was $2.99. At first, I really didn’t like this all that much. It works just fine, and does have a slight minty smell and taste, but it doesn’t have that strong “minty fresh” sensation that you usually get after brushing your teeth, and I felt like I had to use a mouthwash afterwards to get that feeling.

However, I did a side-by-side comparison with my old toothpaste, and was surprised that the one I had been using had PEG-12 (a synthetic ingredient), sodium lauryl sulfate (a foaming agent, one that you are supposed to avoid in shampoo), sodium saccharin (an artificial sweetener), and titanium dioxide (a toxin that has been linked to cancer and other nasty stuff). Also, there was no mint in the old toothpaste at all, as opposed to the lovely sounding Mentha Piperita (Peppermint Oil) in Trader Joe’s toothpaste.

All in all, after realizing that all of that crazy stuff was in my old standby, I think I’m going to keep using this more natural toothpaste. I like that it has fluoride and real ingredients, it doesn’t irritate my sensitive teeth, and once my son gets old enough, I would feel comfortable with him using this toothpaste as well.


So there you go! I hope this helped someone out if they were thinking of purchasing any of these products, or if you are looking for some natural beauty and health alternatives. I love that all of these products have natural, organic ingredients, are all very affordable, and they are all cruelty-free as well. If you’ve got any suggestions for products to try at Trader Joe’s, please let me know! I’d like to try a few more the next time that I’m there.

I’ve got some more beauty posts and tutorials coming up soon, so keep an eye out for those, and I hope you all are having a great day!

Cheers!

– Melissa

Spring Bag Sale

In case you haven’t heard, I run a little Etsy shop Knitch&Co, where I knit and crochet baby blankets, hats, cup cozies, and all manner of cute and kitschy things. I am running a Spring Bag Sale over on my Facebook page. This sale is Facebook exclusive, so head on over to pick up some really cute swag for as little as $3.50! Here’s a little preview of what is for sale:

Notebook packer diaper cover candy corn cup cozy orange pumpkin hat purple hat

So if you are looking for some homemade goodies, or are interested in buying locally in MN, head on over to my Facebook page to purchase some of these cuties before they are all gone! Once gone, they will not be restocked.

Happy Shopping!

– Melissa