Friday, July 29, 2016

Deep Cleaning Kids Clothes

I did a super concentrated soak using OxiClean in a bin with hot water.  My friend told me this would get out any, protein stains (mainly poop, vomit, spit up) from baby clothes.  She claimed that this even worked on Set in stains from clothes that had sat for years.   I was skeptical to say the least, but since I had so many girl clothes that has minor to severe staining I figured I'd give it a shot.

I prefer the "free" kind without dyes or perfumes of any kind.

Dump in a mounding scoop of OxiClean and fill the bin with hot water.  Just enough to cover the clothes.  Make sure the detergent is dissolved BEFORE dumping the clothes into the bin.  Additionally, use a big paddle or some kind of stick to mix the clothes as the smell was strong.

Mix every few hours.   After about 24 hours of soaking, I put them in the wash. I have a front loader and use a Regular cycle with no soap.  I followed that by a regular cycle, very little detergent, and an extra rinse if needed.

Above is the best example of the type of stains some of the clothing had.  You can see the discoloration of the neck area.  Stains like this were completely gone after the second trip into the OxiClean soak.  Some took more than one trip until the soak for them the stains to disappear.  Others had well they were lost causes.  I wish I had taken an after pic of this particular outfit before storing it away as it was restored to an almost new condition.  

Any stain fighting tips other than treating them right away?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Minimally Worded Vanilla Ice Cream


Mix was made and then placed in to chill for hours.

Added to ice cream maker

Set on until it firmed up.

Placed into ice cream tray to freeze for several hours.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Oobleck Fun

I decided Bear needed some fun this past weekend that didn't involve being outside in the extreme heat.  After a search through the pantry I settled on Oobleck.  A wonderful and simple Dr. Seuss like creation.  I'm not sure who came up with it, but it's simple and easy sensory play I learned to make while working with early childhood kids.

To make Oobleck all you need is a container, corn starch, and water.  The ratio is about 1:2 for water to corn starch.  I eyeball it when I make.  That said add water slowly.  What you are looking for is when properly mixed is for it to be "hard" when pressure is applied and liquid when released.  

You can see here that you can cut/break apart the Oobleck.  When left alone it turns back too goop.

You can add a couple of drops of food dye, but I typically opt out.

If it gets on something like your clothes or furniture just a wet sponge will clean it right up.  

When your kid is done playing with it you can put the lid on and save it for a few days.  It can and often will dry out.  It turns into a grated cheese type texture.  I'll often let him play with it just like that for a bit.  If he wants it more Oobleck like I add a teaspoon of water at a time.

After reviving it once, its just not the same so I toss it.

We have expanded this from just playing with it to hiding small items from the dollar store.  For example I put a few drops of blue into the mix and then added some seashells and hard plastic sea animals.  I also encourage Bear to vocalize what he's found in the Oobleck, to count the items, or describe what he is physically feeling.  

Have you made Oobleck before?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Favorites

It's Friday so here are my current favorites... 

1. Teva original sandals 

This was an awesome purchase!  I have put it off so very long, but they are very comfortable.  It took me a while too long to find a color I liked.  The coral color was the winner when it went on sale.

2.  Essie Nail Polish in Chinchilly, Turquoise and Caicos, & Topless and Barefoot.

I have a love for Essie nail polish.  When I get bored with what I have I automatically think to pick up a new nail polish.  I splurged and got 3 new ones.  What is your favorite color of Essie?

3.  Green Tea

Hot or cold it doesn't matter I'm just obsessed with green tea right now.  I could drink it by the bucket full of only I was able too. 

4. Chuck

We started watching Chuck once Merlin was over and I'm so happy we decided to watch this show!  I'm now addicted to it.  The tv shows concept is right up my alley.  I love the faux spy mixed with comedy.  How did I miss this when it played on tv?  Oh that's right we haven't had tv in a while!  Regardless, I love Netflix for watching shows that I missed. How you seen this show?  Thoughts?

5.  Magna Tiles 

These little magnetic tiles are well worth the price.  We even like playing with them as much as Bear does.  He pulls out his cars and makes a garage.  Takes his Batman and makes a tower for him.  He makes a racetrack out of them for his paw patrol trucks.   This is why I love this toy for him.  He keeps making it new for himself every day!  Truth be told I even like playing with it.  

What are your Friday Favorites?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Yard Sale Finds

I go to yard sales in late spring and in the fall when they seem to be most prevalent.  Some weekends I find a bunch of things and other weekends I find nothing.  I get asked if we ever find things that are worth it when I go to yard sales, for me it is.  I don't like paying full price for a gently used kids toys, kids clothing, DVD's, and even furniture.

I honestly can't remember if this particular basket of Baby girl clothes were given to us or if they were things I purchased.  I think these were given to us, but they are similar to a dozen other baskets full of baby girl clothes.  As long as the clothes don't smell like smoke or uber funky, in decent shape and something I would put my kid in, then I'm not going to pay full price when I can spend a fraction for it.

Children's DVD's are also sometimes a great deal.  I struggled to find the Wiggles DVD's on Amazon and for sale site, but a yard sale I stopped at had them 3 for $5.  Overall not a bad price for some kids movies.  Honestly, as long as the boxes look in good condition (shows care of the DVD) and the back of the dvd's look decent, then they will play enough times to get my money's worth.    I will still buy some brand new, especially ones I know we will play on repeat over and over. however, I do prefer to save on the rest of the majority of kids dvd's.  As a side note, we toss the cases for 90% of our dvd's.  We place them in one of those giant cd/DVD holders.  It's just easier than dealing with a ton of DVDs in cases that we really don't have the space for.

Toys for us have always been a great find.  Above you can see we got a Cars race track that works perfectly although it's a bit too old for Bear to handle.  Our niece and nephews will enjoy it until Bear is can use it too.

We have picked up a few ziplock bags of hot wheels / matchbox cars and even some of the smaller monster trucks.  They are always easy to find and usually in great condition.  Most kids have more than they need so it's hard to wreck every car.  

Not too long ago I picked up a bat cave and this joker fun house.  They are complete sets from what I can tell.  The lady I bought them off of even tossed in several other figures from the series.  $20 for both sets is a steal!  Bear will likely get these for Christmas as he seemed to enjoy playing with his cousins batman play sets.  

Books are also great yard sale finds for me.  I hate paying full price for them when they can get junked out rather quickly.  Bear loves books and I can get stacks of them for very cheap!  You can also find some great vintage finds like the pic above.  This book would cost me $20+ on ebay but cost me .25cents at a yard sale.  I could flip it if I was so inclined.  I have done this on many occasions. This one however is staying with me. 

Do you go to yard sales?   

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

To-Do List for Baby Girl

I've had several people ask me about what's on the list of things that need done for baby girl.  I suppose this is because I have what a few feel are odd tasks to complete.  While I guess they may have some point, A lot of it has to do with ease of use or to save money.  That said here are some of the things people have questioned on my to-do list for baby and you can tell me what you think.

Clean Milk Storage Bottles

Yes, I am aware that they make bags for milk storage and that they can be thrown away after each use, but it an effort to be a bit eco friendly and budget friendly I am cleaning the 60ml plastic bottles the NICU gave me to use for Bear.  So essentially they were free to us.  They did however have to get labels put on every jar that needed to come off.  

I soaked the bottles in hot water and scraped the paper off each one.  From there I stored them with glue all over the outside still.  Hubby said he would take care of that.  Well the time has come and he used an old sponge and "goo be gone" to get the glue off.  He kept the lids on to keep the glue remover from getting inside the jars.  I then washed the jars and sanitized them.  With both of us working at the same time it cut the work load down.  We did half on a Sunday and the other half the following weekend.

Why all the work for little plastic jars.  Well the NICU said we could reuse them up to 10 times and we have only used each jar 2-3 times max.  I love that early on I can hook them right up to the pump after filling what baby needs for the day into his bottles.  I also like that I early on I can defrost exactly what I need or just over in smaller amounts.  They are also harder plastic meaning no rips or tears like I had with some of the plastic bags.  Those aren't fun and spilling milk in that case is almost cry worthy.

- Go Through Bears Old Clothes

I know we are having a girl, but kids clothes are expensive!  Even going to yard sales the cost still adds up.  Because of this I want to get the most use I can out of the stuff that I bought the first time around even if it is Boy clothing. Who really cares what she is wearing when she is sleeping or playing outside in the mud.  Besides a lot of the early infant clothing is or can be gender neutral anyway.  I won't be putting her in anything that says "daddy's boy" or something like that, but those white onesie with the pale blue safari animals on will get used.  So will the blue pants and animal themed sleep sacks.  

There is no need for me to buy it all new (or used) when I have stuff that will work.  She will however be in girl clothes that I picked up when she leaves the house or whenever I feel like it.  I won't deprive myself of the fun of buying little girls clothes, but I will be smart about how much I spend on her clothes for the time being.  

- Test the old pump to see if it works

I kept the breast pump I used with Bear.  It was a Medela instyle advanced and cost a pretty penny.  I planned to use it again with this baby despite getting a free one from the insurance company.  In order to use it for the purposes of exclusive pumping it needs to be working like it should. 

 I plugged it in, hooked it all up and turned it on.  I put my hand up to the flange to make sure I could feel the suction.  It seemed fine to me, but when I hit the button for the let down, it sounded funny.  I thought it could easily be the outlet in the older house we live in so I switched outlets.  Turned it on, pushed the let down button and it sounded just fine.  Could have been the outlet or it could have been that it's been stored in a closet for a couple of years.  Either way I plan to use the old until it no longer works right.  I feel better doing so because I know that at any point I have a brand new pump that is exactly the same as my old one.

- Fix the Crib

Bear did a bit of damage to the crib in his 2+ year in it.  The majority of this damage happened while he was around a year old and teething.  He scrapped the finish off some parts of the crib and even hit raw wood on 2 parts.  Apparently, he's part beaver.  We went to great lengths to keep him from chewing on the crib. Thankfully they worked and he also simply outgrew the behavior.  

That said the damage needed to be repaired before Baby Girl could use the crib.  Hubby sanded some of the spots and then used a wood stain to make them less noticeable. There was no way to make it appear as though it didn't happen, but I also didn't want it drawing attention to the areas.  I'm very happy with the end results.

The circular ring is still wet and the extra stain needs to be wiped off.

- Prep New Cloth Diapers
- Strip Old Cloth Diapers

I hate that this seems so odd to people, because cloth diapers really should be more common than they are especially since they have improved leaps and bounds since our grandparents (or parents) used them.  

At any rate I picked up some new diapers in size newborn and small for Baby Girl.  Bear was such a small child and it seems that Baby Girl is following that trend.  Fingers crossed just not as small as Bear was at birth.  I picked up all one size diapers for Bear and it took him so long to get into them with a proper fit that it killed me to buy disposables. I did get more than my money's worth out of them I could have gotten so much more if he could have used them earlier.  

So I prepped the new ones by washing them and pre-stuffing them.  Then I stripped the old diapers.  This removes any build up that may have been in the old diapers from our water, detergent, or waste.  I thought they were fine before stripping them and while I don't have an infant to use them on right now, I don't see a difference in them from what I can tell.  I still felt that stripping them needed to be done regardless. Baby Girl now has clean, stuffed, and folded Cloth Diapers for her to use once she arrives.

In the end I am plugging away at those final items on the list and happy to check these off...

So tell me, are these really that strange of items to have to do? 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Missing Louisiana....

The roomy single floor homes with spacious closets...

The food....

Not just the Cajun food, but the specialty mom and pop shops...
the BBQ and Thai places we loved

The time and space for working out...

The outdoor time...

Even when we were just in the backyard...

The travel, relaxation time, and craft time...

There are a few things I don't miss...

Like the critters, fire ants, wolf spiders, and love bugs.

Even they aren't enough to keep me from missing it.

I never thought I would say that especially when I missed being in the middle of civilization.  However, after over a year back in civilization I'm missing the peace and quite of the country among other things.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Looking for Guest Writers

*Scheduled Post*

I'm still looking for Guest Posters the closer we get to Baby Girl's due date.  Hopefully, she is still staying put, but I am still looking for people to help fill this spot for a bit.  I have some guest posts and some I have scheduled, but I am hoping to get a few more for while I am recovering and getting adjust to life with two children.  If you would like to guest blog on here please let me know.  Leave a comment or email me at

To make this as easy as possible here is what I am looking/hoping for:

  • Write about WHATEVER you want as long as it is not a sponsored post.  Really, you can write about anything you would like.  I write about cooking, exercise, life, military life, family, tot school activities, trips, favorite items, beauty products, etc. and so can you.  Just keep it family friendly please.
  • Length doesn't matter to me.  Write a lot or a little, it's all up to you.  Even an all picture post is fine with me as long as mini bio is included.
  • Please try to include a picture of your own or one from online (with source link) if possible
  • Include a short bio with links to your blog or social media account you would like.  Feel free to promote your blog / social media as long as you aren't trying to sell my readers something or directing them to your business.  

How it will work:

  1. You email letting me know you would like to write something for this little space.  I'll reply.
  2. Send me your post in HTML format.  If you use Blogger to write your posts it makes doing this even easier.  Let me know if you need help with this.
  3. I'll read the post.  If I need to make any changes to your post it will only be spacing issues, font type or re-sizing photos.  Just the basic things to make it look pretty on my blog.  I will not edit or change any of your writing.  If you feel you need to make corrections to it after sending it, just let me know.
  4. I'll email you with the date and time that your post will go live on my blog.  If you can direct your blog over to mine that would be perfect.  I will try my best to cross promote guest posts on my social media.  You can feel free to do the same, but it's not required.  

Post will go live sometime this month (July) and/or next month (August) depending on when Baby Girl decides to make her arrival.

Thanks so much in advance to those who are willing to write for this little space of mine. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bear's Birthday Recap

This year we decided to keep Bears' Birthday rather low key.  We were not up for a big party with lots of guests and frankly I don't think Bear would have enjoyed it either.  We did however want to do several things we knew he would enjoy.  We spread them out as it has been a few busy days.  He didn't seem to mind one bit!

We started the day off a few days ago with sweet potato pancakes for him and more for the freezer.

We also took the first of 2 trips to Red Robin where he ate his weight in fries and colored to his hearts content.

The morning of July 4th we didn't have much planned so we decided to give him his gifts and let him watch whatever he wanted.  It turned out he wanted to wear his Christmas Pajamas while he watched Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas.

After some reheated sweet potato pancakes he opened up some more gifts from us.  

He previously got his kitchen set

and he also got his bicycle early as well.

The next day (July 5th) we went back to Red Robin.  He ate fries and drank freckled lemonade.  They then sang to him which he LOVED!!!   He was so beyond excited it made my day.

For dessert he got a chocolate milkshake.  That he refused to drink until after we pushed him to try it when he realized he did in fact like chocolate milkshakes.
When we got home from lunch he opened a few gifts from family before heading to bed. 

All in all I think he really enjoyed himself.

Happy Birthday, Little Bear!

Barbie Hair Fixes Part 1

Let's jump right on into it.   Every doll hair fix tutorial I could find started with brushing out the dolls hair.  It may look worse...