We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Love Dare #6 Modus Operandi Part 2

DARE 6: Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation.  Begin by making a list of of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule.  Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.

I have completed my list and have committed to releasing those wrongful motivations that have ruled my schedule and our (mine & Baby Boy's) entire day! Already my mind is more at ease and I know our days will be less hectic because now we will do things without pressure of approval of others and strive to re-prioritize according to how the Lord would have us live. So, I've decided to post the love dare on my blog and refocus on what should truly matter, doing my part, and leaving the rest to God as it should be. My worrying doesn't change situations, so removing it will actually leave peace in it's place! Thank you Lord for your Word that reassures us of the right path! I'm so thankful for this challenge. It's really been an eye opener in areas I never gave a second thought to. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Missing Your Weekly Spa Fix?

Treat yourself to a new recipe: Frozen Honey Mayonnaise Mask @ Adventures of a Wannabe Cheapskate. It's easy to make, good for many uses and is amazingly cheap! My favorite kind of homemade spa treatment.

I'll leave you with some photos of my island home. Well, of the pretty tropical foliage, anyway. Always relaxes me...
American Samoa...a bend in the road. Always intriguing.

Don't you love the bit of truck bed in the shot?
A great memory for me, though. I took many of these
riding in the back of a truck enjoying the South Pacific

Love Dare #6 Modus Operandi Part 1

Image found w/google

This one is not so easily explained, so I've copied it from the online forum. I tried to summarize like the others, but it didn't catch the spirit of the dare, so here it is:

DARE 6: Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation.  Begin by making a list of of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule.  Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.

I am struggling with this more than I ever would have thought. This was very tough as I saw so many situations where I yield to worry or frustration. I couldn't even get through making my list without feeling so broken and bursting into tears. Living paycheck to paycheck and all that that entails, putting on a brave face for Hubby and Baby Boy so they never feel as if we are going without food or comfort, etc. All these and more have me terrified and I have never truly admitted it to myself. I usually just pray and try to be thankful for what we have, but I didn't realize how in the back of my mind, I believed we were hanging on by a thread. I haven't been truly trusting that the Lord would provide. What a terrible MO to have! Wikipedia defines it this way:
Modus operandi (plural modi operandi) is a Latin phrase, approximately translated as "method of operating".[1] The term is used to describe someone's habits or manner of working, their method of operating or functioning. In English, it is frequently replaced by its acronym M.O.
I have let my fears dictate how I function. How disheartening.

I have been reading the Bible about how we have nothing to fear and God will provide for everything, no matter how situations are and PTL it has helped to calm me. Am determined to meditate on His Word and remember his promises! I hadn't realized I was such a control freak. Lord please work through me and break this habit. Let me give everything over to you!

 I will try again tomorrow.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Love Dare #5 Workin, Workin, Workin...

DARE 5: Ask your spouse to name 3 things that cause them to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do this without attacking or justifying your behavior. Do you wish they would stop doing things that annoy you? Then it's time to stop doing the things that annoy them. Love is not rude. Good manners shows your spouse "I love you enough to exercise some self control around you."

Oh, I was so nervous about doing this, but I asked and Hubby just looked blankly at me. He said he couldn't think of anything, that he loves me very much and doesn't hold onto things that may irritate him. I realized again what a good man he is! But I gently encouraged him, making a joke about how I'm so not perfect. He laughed and thought for a minute and at last only came up with one thing but it was so true. He would like me to trust him. And really, there's no reason in our entire marriage of 4 years and friendship of 5 yrs before that, no reason at all for me to doubt him, he has always been honest. It's a bad habit of mine to be suspicious. 

So, I listened and he was a little concerned that he may have hurt me, but I told him, no, I needed to know and I'm sorry and I'll work on it. What I wasn't prepared for was when he turned it around and asked me what 3 things about him annoyed me! As far as I know, he isn't participating in the love dare. I didn't mention to him how I'm going through it. But this is definitely making a difference and strengthening us! 

Making my conversation positive is more natural now and I'm now applying it to Baby Boy as well. I hadn't realized how many sarcastic jokes I make when Baby Boy's having a toddler fit. I used to think it was funny but now I see how I can use it as an opportunity to teach him something and to always be gentle and encouraging.  Also, I was excited to call Hubby today and say hi for no reason. He told me TWICE throughout the evening how good it was to hear from me and Baby Boy throughout the day, even if it was just a message. He liked knowing we missed him and were thinking about him. We had left a few silly messages on his voicemail but Hubby loved being included in our day! 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Love Dare #4 Always On My Mind....

DARE 4: Contact your spouse sometime throughout the business day. Have no agenda other than to ask them how they are and if there's anything you can do for them. Bring back the time when you first fell in love and called constantly, admitting "I just can't stop thinking about you."         
Called Hubby at work and didn't get to talk to him but left a message. After work, I asked him if he had gotten the message. He said "About if I needed anything?" I said yes. He said he'd gotten it and had become busy right after but his tone! His tone and the way he looked at me told me it had been a bright spot in his day.

I read online about the dares how thoughtlessness can be a silent enemy to a relationship. How true! Look how much a little thoughtfulness helped in the way we interacted when Hubby came home. We had a wonderful evening snuggling on the couch and talking. We usually like to be sitting together and hold hands, but we felt... closer somehow. Such a little thing made such a difference. I will make a point to call him more like I used to, not to complain or give him a shopping list like I've done for the past few years, but just to say hello and ask how he's doing. I thought about it and Hubby actually does this a few times a week for me! How selfish I've been. I always love hearing from him while he's at work and he only ever asks how my day is, how's his little boy, and after my customary rant or nonchalant "Eh, it's an ok day, I guess." he tells me he misses me. What is my problem? Shopping lists, really?? That is going to change.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Love Dare #3 Money = Value in our Society

DARE 3: Whatever you put your time, energy and money into will become a priority. Along with restraining from negative comments, buy something for your spouse today that says "I was thinking about you."
Didn't have the car and even if I did, we don't have the money in our budget. I did Hubby's laundry (my unexpected kindness since he usually does his own on his days off) and then to fulfill dare 3 I made sure to hang Hubby's slacks and dress shirts straight from the dryer so he wouldn't have to iron them. He noticed them hanging on the back of our bedroom door and said thank you. His tone was very sweet and appreciative. I could tell he was surprised, even through his usual tiredness. My hard working man! Keeping from negative comments is getting easier. 

I learned a lot about how far a kind action can take a relationship. I'm so thankful I was shown this relatively early in our marriage! To some extent, I do believe time is money so by spending my time to do something extra for Hubby, I was still able to show I valued him.

How is it that in the throes of new love I was constantly doing or buying things for Hubby and then, even though my love didn't change, my actions did. And by stopping those things, I slowly began to prioritize other things in life. Running a household, decorating, budgeting, teaching Baby Boy, cooking. Those are very important in my job as a SAHM, but the life we have is built on the foundation of our marriage relationship and if that foundation isn't strong, the things built on it don't have any thing to keep them from toppling. The little things in my relationship with Hubby are suddenly cast in a whole new light for me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Love Dare #2 Be Kind...Rewind

DARE 2: In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse today, do at least one unexpected act of kindness.
Ugh. Missed this one today. Will try again tomorrow. 
Made an effort to have a drink ready for Hubby as soon as he got home. He said thank you, but I didn't see any other reaction except tiredness from his day. Oh well, I'll just trust it made a difference and move on to dare 3 tomorrow. 
Very interesting. I used to do that when we were first married, so I suppose it was something I just fell out of doing. Why do the things we do naturally when we're first in love seem unimportant later in the relationship?

I used to think longingly of the things Hubby did when we dated and when we first got married, missing those little touches of thoughtfulness and romance. I never stopped to look at myself and what I had stopped doing. This puts a whole new perspective on things. I'd like to think of more things that I've stopped doing and pick them up again. Time to rewind and review the memory tapes of loving behavior that used to come naturally. And this time I need to take notes!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Love Dare #1 Oh Hush....

The Love Dare is a book written by Stephen and Alex Kendrick. These are summaries of the dares and my own experiences with them, so forgive any misquoting.

I found the Love Dare outlined in detail on an online forum while researching Inspirational books. I was so intrigued that I began to take up the challenge myself and after seeing the way the daily dares were helping realign my priorities in my marriage, decided to post it on my Facebook status day by day. Well, I realized it has become a big part of my search for a more beautiful fulfilled life. I've decided to devote individual posts to each dare. So here it is, the Love Dare day by day and my thoughts and lessons learned.

DARE 1: Say nothing negative to your spouse all day. If you have nothing nice to say, keep silent.
I was surprised how many times throughout my time with Hubby (and it's not much with his work schedule) that I had to stop myself from saying something that was less than positive. Wow. I need to be more aware of everything I say and try to make my conversation encouraging! I hadn't known I had that problem. Looking forward to dare 2.

Doing the Love Dare has made me interested in a movie it was featured in called Fireproof, in which a firefighter uses the Love Dare to fight for his failing marriage. He and his wife, after growing apart, believe there is no attachment anymore and decide to get divorced, but the firefighter's dad asks him to put off the divorce for 40 days and do one of the Love Dares every day and see if it makes a difference. I was so moved by the previews I just had to order it through Amazon.com and am eagerly awaiting it's arrival in the mail!

I will most likely be taking a break from my normal crafty postings and projects for a bit because I want to bring the focus back to searching for inner beauty and fulfillment. I have a few days worth of scheduled posts that will be coming up. But every day now I will be posting about The Love Dare. Tomorrow's post will be picking up where this one left off.  I know this is not what some readers have signed up for, so I understand if followers will be lost. This is my journey, though and I would like you to respect my decision. I hope that if The Love Dare speaks to you as it did me, you won't hesitate trying it.

Have a beautiful day!

Work it Out Wednesday: Crunches

So this week I've begun doing crunches again. Ah, how fondly I remember being able to do 76 normal crunches, 76 reverse crunches and 76 side twist crunches in one session. That was 2 years ago, and not so impressive, but it was my personal best. I had worked up from doing 14 crunches a day every week. Then I added 14 side twist crunches the next week and so on. After several months I was able to go through 228 of the combined ab exercises before the burn became too great. And I was hoping to add more, but fell off the wagon. Well, I'm revving up the wagon again and will be doing 14 all this week. I'll wait until it gets easier and then add more, or more difficulty with the side twist crunches. I'm excited to get back to doing this and am hoping to stay encouraged with my workouts.

Want to try side twist (Russian twist) crunches?

Work out at your own risk and be safe! Even if you're not ready for strength training, choosing to get moving every day can make a big difference. Park at the end of the lot and enjoy the walk to the store, take the stairs. There a many small choices throughout your day that can be made to better your health!

Come back tomorrow for spa night, where we'll discuss the baking soda hair cleansing review, as well as a new Oil Cleansing Method review, following my progress using these natural beauty treatments.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday: Tasty Food on a Budget

Like many families, we're on a tight budget for, well everything. I've shared some of my deals when it comes to shopping, but today I wanted to write about serving your family tasty food even on a budget. It can be done!

Hubby could do with less flavorful food, because he doesn't complain much. But I must have flavor. If flavor isn't throwing a party on my food, I am not satisfied! Invest in spices and whatever savory veggie your family favors. We like garlic and onions.

Remember the pork chops from the other day? Well, I want to show you what I do to make it stretch by using one pork chop for an entire meal, but while still giving us a variety of flavor.

I love to marinate meat of all kinds in whatever we have on hand. Here's how it usually goes:
-In a large zip top bag, throw in your marinade ingredients. For this, it was a tablespoon of minced garlic, about 1/2 cup of soy sauce and a few teaspoons of grape jelly.

-Massage the bag for wet ingredients, shake for dry ingredients, until well blended. 

-Toss in the meat. Seal the bag with as little air in it as possible and turn it over a few times to make sure all of the meat gets coated. 

-Place in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight. Even 30 min will make a difference.

I took two others and tossed ingredients for dry rubs into the bags, added the meat and massaged the spices in.
I ended up with the beginning of 3 meals for us.
Top to bottom:
Lemon pepper, turmeric and paprika dry rub
Soy sauce, grape jelly, and minced garlic
Salt, pepper and garlic powder dry rub

So now I have the main ingredient to 3 dinners with distinctly different flavor partays. Oh yeah.

I will usually take meat that's marinaded over night and slice it up for a stir fry with veggies, or maybe fried rice or whatever else I'm in the mood to make at the moment. The options are endless and only limited by your imagination.

The trick, as many of my fabulous fellow SAHMs know, is to flesh out whatever meal you make with cheap but filling items like rice, bread, potatoes and/or lots of veggies. That way you have enough for everyone and everyone gets full, without emptying your pocket book.

As for my seemingly odd spice combos, I like to throw things together trusting my knowledge on the flavors and what I know we like. Try it, you'll be surprised at how great things turn out when you trust your preferences. It might be a total failure at first, but forget what's popular, trust your tastes and do what works for your family. Once you get more comfortable with the flavors usually stocked in your cabinets, you'll be ready to rock every meal!

Wishing you many tasty meals, Beauties!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Please Pray for our Apartment Complex UPDATED

This is happening NOW. Please pray for the safety of those involved and the rescue workers. The fire is affecting three apartment buildings across from us. Our building is safe, but please continue to pray for those who live in the burning apartments.
The ambulances have left so we are hoping they have taken those who needed it to the hospital. Best case scenario would be that nobody was hurt and the ambulances weren't needed. We're hoping for that!

UPDATE: 2PM We still do not know what caused it or many details, but there's good news: the flames have been put out! 

Thank you to everyone who continue to pray for the people who are affected by this.

The Red Cross and some other wonderful organizations have stepped up to help these people who are homeless now. Many of them lost all their belongings in the fire. I keep thinking, if Hubby's schedule stayed how it should have been, we wouldn't have been here when it happened. It was not an easy thing to see, but maybe just maybe we needed to be here praying for the people and rescue workers. Not that we're so wonderful, but I believe every little bit helps. The 16 tenants who suffered from the fire will have a roof over their heads tonight at least and the Red Cross has set them up with debit cards to help them get back on their feet. I can only imagine the devastation they might feel. There were a few interviews on the news of people saying they were just thankful the Lord kept their families safe, no matter if they lost everything. They had what really mattered and would trust that God would open another door for them. What a beautiful attitude! I would hope to be as gracious and hopeful in the face of such personal tragedy. All the brave beautiful survivors are who we are praying for and we are so thankful that there was no loss of life. God bless the rescue workers who put their lives on the line for strangers!

Our apartment managers as well as some firefighters, police and tenant volunteers are out patrolling tonight. Please pray for their safety as they try to keep the vultures away. How sad that looters would prey on other people's hardship! We have volunteered to help as much as we can, with Hubby working all the time and me with Baby Boy, but they have promised to call if we are needed. Maybe for clean up. I know in situations like this there can never be too many helping hands. If looters are so insensitive, at least we can be thankful for the lives saved!

11PM Hubby went out walking around our building and the one at the end of the lot where people have been pushing the chain link fence over to sneak in. It seems everything was quiet, but he will be out again every night we're here. Praying for all the wonderful volunteers who are losing sleep to keep the property safe.

Cheapskate 101: Getting Something for (Almost) Nothing

Please welcome Barbie from Wannabe Cheapskate. I've asked her to guest post once a week about tips on coupon shopping and great ways to save moola for your family! If you're looking into teaching yourself how to super coupon shop or just find better bargains in general online or in stores, read on! Don't forget to check back here for more tips and visit Wannabe Cheapskate for more in depth posts on Barbie's deals. Here's her first post for you beautiful readers! Enjoy:

Cheapskate 101: Getting Something for (Almost) Nothing

Something for nothing -- sound too good to be true?  Not with 
Swagbucks!  Swagbucks is a search engine site.  You do all your searching through Swagbucks instead of google or bing, and you occasionally win Swagbucks.  Once you have enough Swagbucks, you redeem them for really great rewards, like Amazon.com gift cards or PayPal payouts.  I've earned $15 through Swagbucks.  No, I'll never get rich, but that's $15 that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise, and I got that money by doing something we all do all the time anyway.

Want in?  Follow these steps:
1. Go to
2. Click the "Register" tab in the upper right hand corner.
3. Fill in your info.
4. You'll get 30 Swagbucks just for registering, plus another 50 on your birthday!
5. Download the tool bar to increase your earnings.
6. Whenever you need to look something up, go through swagbucks.  You can even make 
swagbucks.com your home page to make it easier.
7.  You won't win every time you search, but you'll win in multiples of swagbucks -- up to 50 per search, or even more!
8.  Once you hit 450 swagbucks, you have enough for a $5 Amazon e-gift card.  Or 700 will get you that $5 PayPal payment.

There are rewards that are not gift card related, but I prefer those to the others. I am on my way to another PayPal payment -- just under 200 Swagucks to earn, and I'll be there!  I usually win something every day; today I won 10 for searching "addicted to saving".

Every Friday is Mega-Swagbucks Day, when the Swagbuck winnings are more frequent and larger!

Get your 
swagbucks account started, and get searching!

Hey, it's Kilika here. Thinking of joining swagbucks because of this post? Click here to join up and Barbie will receive a few bonus points for the referral! You can also get your own referral code or banner once you sign up. Post it on your website or in emails so you can tell people about swagbucks and get credit if they join through your link! Just another way to rack up points you can trade in for free prizes. 
Have a beautiful, money saving day :)

Dollar Tree Mirror Redo

One Dollar Tree mirror that has never quite fit in.
Forgive my smudgy prints all over it :) 

Add some pretty sea glass I found on clearance at Michaels. Oh, Michaels, you addicting store!
It didn't turn out how I wanted, and you could see the hot glue through the pieces of glass.

Then I remembered how much I loved Laurie @ Scene of the Grime's seashell encrusted mirror.
So I added another layer, this time with Mod Podge.
 Et voila!

Methinks I love it.

Along with my slightly embellished starfish plaque, I'm on my way to collecting beachy decor for the master bedroom. Now to figure out where to put it.
Thanks, Laurie for the inspiration!

Do you have a themed room that you're collecting loot for?

Linked to:

Keeping It Simple

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Time to Brag

Woohoo!! Some friends and I went on a shopping trip. Fabulous people who feed my bargain shopping addiction ;) We always have fun, though! And sometimes, the bargain fairy is waiting, wand at the ready.
Speaking of which....
Guess who went to Lane Bryant and bought this:
Rosette shirt dress
I love how the front is embellished with ruffles and rosettes

And this: 
Sateen skirt. Not the exact print I have, but similar.

And paid this much:

Not the circled bit, that's how much I saved. Look higher and you'll see each item was $2.49 and with tax I paid $5.37! 

Ooh, I just love bargains! Each item was actually $9.99 which brought my total to $19.98 before tax. 
BUT I had a coupon for $15 off any purchase of $15 or more! Yay!
Everybody's penny pinching nowadays and I find it fascinating. 

How have you saved money lately?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weekend Brekkie: Skillet Casserole

I don't know if there is such a thing as a skillet casserole, but as my normal sized casserole dish was filled with something else, I threw all the ingredients for a casserole/quiche thingy into my skillet.

Sautee cherry tomatoes and half an onion, chopped.
As suggested by my older bro, I used coconut oil in the skillet.
This dish smelled so good from start to finish!

Four eggs.

Scramble and add milk until it looks right (don't you love my precise measurements?).

Add enough flour and mix well until it's the right consistency.
The mix needs to remain thin. If it gets even as thick as pancake batter, that's a little too much.
I know, I'm so helpful.

Cover and cook for 10 min on med/high heat. You'll be able to see it firm up.

Uh oh, totally forgot to brown the cooked sausage along with the onion and tomatoes.
Oh well, throw it in now and at least let them get warm.
Cover and cook an additional 5-10 minutes.

Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste.
This was so tasty and very filling because of the flour.
Baby Boy loved it with ketchup, but then, he loves most things with ketchup.

Enjoy your weekend! 
What are you munching on for weekend breakfast?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Oh No, We're Out of.... Everything.

That was my thought as I went to cook dinner today. Yes, I know, way to plan, right?

Well, I called Hubby (he has the car) and he said, No problem, I'll leave work for a quick minute and pick up a few things. Yay! Crisis averted.
So we do the quick hello/goodbye when he brings us a few shopping bags in record time (wonderful man!). And it's not until he's on his way back to work and I'm unpacking the shopping that I realize something.
Some men have particular ideas about what 'a few things' are.
See, when I see the pantry empty and say I'll get a few things, I mean the essentials (in my head): some fruit/veggies, milk, eggs, rice and meat & some kind of munchable like cheerios for Baby Boy's two handled snack cup. That will get us by until we have time for a detailed shopping trip. Here's what I found myself staring at after stripping off the shopping bags:

Why yes, that's a big box of mac and cheese.
And pork chops.
It made me smile! Hey, we've got food :)

Alrighty then.
Did you catch that part about the car? Yay for transportation! We've recently been blessed by a family member with a car! We're so thankful for the wonderful friends who took time out to take me and Baby Boy to stores. They are so awesome! But it's good to have our own car once again. It's one that I can't drive yet (this girl needs some serious skills before attempting a 5 shift)  but now my sweet man doesn't have to worry about how the weather will affect his motorcycle ride to work.

I hope you have a beautiful, fun filled weekend!

Egg Recall

So, when you beautiful people are out picking up eggs to make a fabulous Egg White Toning Mask, be careful, there's an egg recall going on! Salmonella has been found on the eggshells of some popular egg brands. Here's an excerpt from an article I read:
The egg brands affected by the recall include: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms, and Kemps.
Eggs are packed in 6- 12- or 18-egg cartons with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413, and 1946.
Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton. The plant number begins with the letter P and then the number. The Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P-1946 223.
Consumers should not eat the eggs and should return recalled eggs to the store where they were purchased for a full refund.
Click here to read the full article.
So, be aware and be careful in the grocery aisles!
Happy (salmonella-free) Weekend, Beauties.

Friday Inspiration 8/20/2010

Keep Home Simple had an adorable baby shower gift idea: Onesies in a jar! That's the kind of cutesie packaging people are shelling out a fortune for in designer products. But this gift is frugal and fabulous.

No ordinary onesies fill that pretty jar, either. WalMart onesies were given some personalized flair with Heat N Bond and some pretty fabric cut into adorable shapes.
I definitely want to remember this idea for the next baby shower I'm invited to. It's too cute not to give away!

Laurie @ Scene of the Grime had a brilliant idea to revamp a Dollar Tree mirror with seashells. Isn't it beautiful?
I grew up surrounded by shell encrusted decor and I absolutely adore the look if done right. This is just gorgeous to me. I'd love to do something similar. I have to find the right piece first.

Decor Chick shared her ongoing progress with a multipurpose room and I love this idea of board and batten. It opens up a room and adds interest like wainscoting but for a lower price!

Amazing, isn't it? The entire look of the room is changed by adding some dimension to the walls. After the battens and door&window board at the top are in place, all that's left to do is paint.
I really want to remember this the next time we are in  a house. It's not possible in our apartment because of our lease, but this is one idea I need to tuck away for future inspiration.

Little Blue Prints used a french script stamp to embellish a lamp shade. I probably won't use a stamp, but the idea of words on a shade? LOVE it!

What has inspired you this week?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Spa Night: Homemade Conditioner for Hair Growth

My wonderful friend and sis Rachel @ Raznoggle.com sent me the link for this homemade hair conditioner. I don't have all the ingredients, but will definitely be trying this when I do. Check your cabinets! You might be able to do this for your spa night, and if you do, please let me know how you liked it.

Homemade Conditioner - For hair growth
Things You'll Need:

  • 1/4 cup of plain natural yogurt

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

  • 8 to 10 drops of eucalyptus oil


  • Place the natural yogurt in a small bowl. Yogurt is not only the creamy base of your natural conditioner, but it is also a gentle cleansing agent that will help to clear pores. Yogurt has natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that will gently wash away the dirt and grime that inhibits hair growth.

  • Separate the egg white from the yolk and add the yolk to the yogurt. Egg yolk is a natural and deep-penetrating moisturizer that will not only make your hair silky smooth, but also help add elasticity and strength, so that as your hair grows it will break less.

  • Add 1 tsp. of fresh lemon juice to the mixture. Lemon is a natural astringent that will help to remove shampoo and product build-up. Lemon, the same pH as your hair's natural oil, can help protect and seal the hair's cuticle, preventing split ends.

  • Mix in 8 to 10 drops of eucalyptus oil and stir until creamy. Eucalyptus oil has a cool, refreshing effect on the skin and will help to stimulate blood circulation on the scalp, encouraging hair growth.

  • Wet your hair thoroughly and apply the conditioner. Massage the conditioner into your scalp gently for at least five minutes. For deep penetrating conditioning, you can wrap your head in a towel and allow the treatment to set for 20 to 30 minutes. When ready, rinse your hair and towel dry.

  • Click here to be taken to the original eHow article.

    Have you taken some time to relax this week? I admit I really need to get my spa night in, it's been a long week!

    Psst... thanks, Rachel for the recipe! I can't wait to try it.

    Happy pampering!

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Work It Out Wednesday: Not in the Mood

    I'm very deflated this week.
    Most of it is because we've been establishing an earlier nap time for Baby Boy and we all know how fun that can be. He's going through a huge growth spurt and the poor little guy was just tired out and not getting enough rest, so we adjusted his schedule to allow for more rest. Getting him there was Not. Fun. But now we're in the home stretch, thanks to The Baby Whisperer and it's downhill from here on out. But I'm still not caught up on sleep. I think I shall catnap today and really focus on healthy food choices today to make up for the lack of exercise.

    In the hope of being frugal and healthy, I tried to experiment with my nearly over ripe tomatoes and cucumbers from my last farmer's market trip.
    The result was marinaded cukes and tommy toes that could burn the chest hair off a leprechaun.
    Yay! I found a use for my pretty thrift shop jar!
    Memos to self:
    -Dilute the vinegar and ease up on the mustard powder.
    -Next time, get Hubby to taste it first instead of taking a foolishly huge chomp out of a cucumber and almost
    spitting fire, giving Hubby leave to be amused (and wary of your homemade concoctions).

    And those are words of wisdom from a lady who could hardly talk for nearly 20 minutes after that fatal taste.

    Have a wonderful Wednesday, Beauties. Steer clear of the mustard powder!

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010


    New Nostalgia
    Today I was featured by Amy @ New Nostalgia for Anti Procrastination Tuesday!! Woohoo! Thank you, Amy! I love checking out her blog and have been trying to be a regular member at AP Tuesdays ever since I found out about it! Click on the button below to browse this week's AP Tuesday projects and maybe link up one of your own. Go ahead, you might get inspired:

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Tutorial Tuesday: Molasses Cookies

    So a little bit ago, I tried my hand at homemade sparkling sugar and a homemade allspice substitute (found in this post). The following is the tutorial for the yummy cookies I needed those ingredients for!

    I used this recipe for my first try at Molasses Cookies.

    Prep: 15 min.; Cook: 11 min. per batch; Other: 1 hr.
    Yield: Makes 3 dozen


    • 3/4  cup  shortening
    • 1  cup  granulated sugar
    • 1  large egg
    • 1/4  cup  molasses
    • 2  cups  all-purpose flour
    • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
    • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
    • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
    • 1  teaspoon  ground ginger
    • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
    • 1/2  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
    • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cloves
    • 1/4  teaspoon  ground allspice
    • 1  cup  sparkling sugar


    1. Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup granulated sugar, beating well. Add egg and molasses; beat well.
    2. Combine flour and next 8 ingredients, stirring well. Add one-fourth of flour mixture at a time to shortening mixture, beating at low speed after each addition until blended. Cover and chill 1 hour.
    3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, and roll in sparkling sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
    4. Bake at 375° for 9 to 11 minutes. (Tops will crack.) Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

    Mix up the batter according to instructions.

    Let a very dedicated helper taste it to make sure it's perfect.

    Get greedy and plop ice cream scoop sized cookies on the pan and sadly watch them blend together in the oven.

    First batch. Left them in too long (because they didn't look done to me) and made them too big.

    Second batch. Almost perfect timing, but the cookies were still too big. Argh.

    Final batch. Ok, so the recipe was right, drop tiny nearly one inch cookies on the pan and they'll spread out to perfectly respectable cookie size.

    As for the previous batches, I used a pizza cutter on one pan.

    And broke the other pan of cookies apart by hand. I liked the way the broken ones looked.

    But the important thing to remember, is that no matter their shape......

    Your little helper (who has by now removed his batter splashed shirt) will love them.

    Enjoy your beautiful Tuesday!

    Start Swagging!

    Recommended reading and other products...