It's all about family and home right here.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Empties

It's been a pretty dismal month on the skincare side of things.  I'm starting to think that I just want to buy sampled sized products from now on. Throwing caution to the wind I want to have a mini tantrum and yell "I don't care about the value anymore, I just want products I can finish in weeks... Not years!"

I finished ONE product even though I have pictures of 2 products. 

This sample of Glam Glow...  I don't even know what it does or how to use it. First of all there was so little product in the pouch and a huge air bubble that I didn't know if it was supposed to be a mask or a leave on treatment. I assumed it was a mask because it was a little bit gritty. I applied it before I stepped into the shower with the intention to rinse it off at the end of my shower. I swear I wasn't more than 2 minutes into my shower when the baby woke up screaming and my husband came to get me. So I don't even know what this stuff is supposed to do. 

Excuse my chipped nail polish. This product was a birthday gift from my brother in 2010. Yes. I've had this for FIVE AND A HALF YEARS and just finished it. I learned from my mom to keep creams and lotions in the fridge. Anyways, this is a really thick eye cream that I think would work best on mature dry skin. I started using this as an all over face and neck cream just so I could finish it. It is really thick to the point of staying tacky and sticky on my skin for up to 10 hours. I liked it because I felt that it hydrated my skin for 24 hours. I really wanted to be done with it because it sat on top of my skin for hours and turned my face into a flyaway hair trap.  I hate the feeling of hair getting caught on my face or lips because of products I used. It's akin to walking into a spider web for me. Yuck!

Anyways, I'm working hard to downsize so that I can keep just what I need and/or make my own skincare. 

Does anyone ever feel the same as me about products that just never end?

Thanks for reading!  

Easter Productivity, DIY: Raised Bed for a Vegetable Garden

I have been telling my husband that we need to get into the holiday spirit so that we can let our girls have fun childhood memories. So we looked into an egg hunt at the Rose Bowl and planned out the logistics and said we were going to go.... And didn't.

We instead built a raised bed and started planting some veggies to teach our kids how to be "close to the earth" and to help cut down on grocery expenses in the near future. 

This is the raised bed we built. I bought the wood scraps from Home Depot for 50% off for a total of less than $5.  There are 4 2x10x4' fir boards. 

The first raised beds I ever built were a little more complex. This raised bed is held together with 8 3" brackets, 2 on each corner, and 1" drywall screws. 

It really seems like such travesty for an English Major like me to use these National Geographic magazines but they were just sitting around for years, gathering dust and cat hairs and growing those disgusting little silvery bugs.  So I saw this thing on Pinterest where they suggested we use cardboard under the soil to kill the grass. We just subbed it with the magazines. I hope it'll work just as well. 

We centered this clay pot contraption (there's an Arabic name for it but I don't remember what it is) that my husband's cousin gave us. It's a water reservoir that will allow the water to seep out into the soil. Then filled soil around it. 

We planted Swiss chard, kale, radishes, tomato, and watermelon in here. I know Pinterest has lots of ideas for marking what you planted but we had Yogurtland spoons lying around so why not?  

Today, just 4 days after doing all this, the radishes have sprouted!  Awesome!  Now to look up radish recipes. 

My biggest lessons learned: my kids will have just as great of a time being kids as their friends and not everything has to be Pinterest-perfect. 

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 4, 2016

DIY: Moisturizing Green Tea Sugar Scrub & The Benefits of Olive Oil

I would not characterize myself as into holistic medicines and remedies but I guess I must be one of those hippy types after all. Whenever I have skin problems I veer towards natural and simple skincare. The motto that applies to 95% of all my problems is: Natural is good and the fewer ingredients the better. 

So, to quickly sum up the skin ailments that are affecting my life I've listed them below as concisely as possible. 

1.  Jellybean's ashy dry skin. 
2.  Gummybear's baby eczema spots. 
3.  The itchy, bumpy, thick rashes on my calves from my first pregnancy. 
4.  Enlarged and clogged pores and dull skin from ditching face routines after having kids. 

This is my DIY moisturizing green tea sugar scrub for the face. I use it to tackle problems #3 and #4. The ingredients are sugar, green tea, and olive oil. As an exfoliant it has done wonders for my skin in buffing away the dead skin cells and even managing to slightly shrink my larger pores. Also, it has helped with clearing the surface congestion on my nose. After using this the left over olive oil locks in moisture so that my skin stays slightly damp and ready for moisturizer. 

I've been getting lazy lately and have used this scrub with Johnson's Head-to-Toe baby wash. I drizzle a little bit of baby wash into a palmful of sugar scrub, then slather it on my face and neck. The baby wash washes everything off but the little bit of olive oil that remains keeps the skin from getting too dry. But it's definitely not as effective as when I use the scrub by itself, so I'd recommend to not skip moisturizer. 

On my legs the scrub has sloughed off the thickened dead skin cells and left fresh skin ready to drink up the thin layer of olive oil I rub over it. Here's the before picture below. 

And here's the after picture below. 

The scrub took off the top layer of flakey skin so that the olive oil could work its magic.  It didn't happen overnight. It was more like a "heal from within" type of thing. 

With my kids, they're tickled by the scrub so I don't use it on them. But I do rub olive oil on their problem spots. It takes a couple of days, maybe 2 weeks, but all of Gummybear's problem areas are cleared up. No rough patches and no flakes. 

Jellybean's dryness is a result of her class being persnickety about washing hands. They wash hands for everything, which isn't a bad thing, but her hands are so dry it's just not natural on a 2-year-old. So I mix olive oil with the baby wash during her shower and I put olive oil on her skin afterwards. The oil absorbs into her skin plumping it up with some moisture and there are no fragrance or preservative ingredients like in traditional moisturizer to irritate her skin or leave bad tasting residue behind. We just started her skincare regimen a few days ago so we have yet to see lasting improvement. But that's ok. 

The thing about natural remedies is that they take time to work their magic but they do work. I hope you all will give it a try. Thanks for reading!