Jul 30, 2013

The blog in which it's a recipe for a sugar scrub.

At the end of last school year, Charlie's first grade teacher gave me a "thank you" gift for helping out in the class.  That seems silly to me- to get a gift as a thank you for serving my own children.  That's what Mother's Day is for!  Anyway, I have loved this gift and wanted to share it with you.  

The gift was a small, reusable container with a home made sugar scrub in it.  I used it judiciously.  I really wanted it to last.  Finally, I emailed the teacher and asked her for the ingredients, and then, searched different Pinterest recipes, and made my own concoction.  I found that I really loved the coconut oil smell and that is the base, along with plain white sugar, and then, I used grapeseed oil as well, since that is full of vitamin E, and better if I wanted to try to use it on my face.  For now, I use it only on my arms and legs.  I don't need lotion, and only use the scrub every few days.  

My mom, ever so practical, commented on how it must cause build up in the shower.  NOPE!  After each shower in our bathroom, Geoff and I spray the shower with my home made cleaner.  (40% Dawn, 40% white vinegar, 20% water)  I never scrub that shower.  Just leave that until the next shower, and then, it rinses down and never allows soap scum to accumulate.  Bathroom is always fresh smelling, too!  I also spray the toothbrush heads with that each week.  I clean the kitchen, bathrooms, and even parts of my vacuum out with it.  I spray door knobs with it, clean windows with it, etc.  I make up big batches and just refill the spray bottles with it.  

So, I bought some new plastic containers, and used 4 cups of white sugar, one cup of coconut oil, and one cup of grapeseed oil.  Coconut oil is a solid, so you have to put into the microwave for about 15 seconds.  It stays soft enough to use in the shower without concern.  If it solidifies, you can place it in the shower on the floor during your shower, and it will soften.  I have not had this issue, but read about it when I researched it.  I couldn't afford the essential oils, but you can add lavender, peppermint, etc.  I actually love the coconut smell.  I bet a little vanilla would smell good, but I really am happy with it, as is.  
Top picture- The gift I was given. 
Bottom picture- The entire kit I used to put it together.  I took the partial one and put into the shower.  The other two are in the fridge.  Might make a nice little "appreciation" gift for someone in need of soft, subtle skin ;o)  I have more than half the bottle of grapeseed oil left, and at least a half, if not more, of the coconut oil.  I bought it all at Kroger.  I think each batch cost about $3-$5.  I am totally guessing, but it cost about $17 for the ingredients (both oils), and the three pack of containers was $1.99.  Then, the sugar was next to nothing.  Adding it all up, and then dividing up by the total of batches that can be made????  

*Starr- you don't need to sandpaper my elbows anymore.  (I swear, she took a nail file to my elbows one time.  That's what friends are for.)  

Jul 29, 2013

The blog in which I implore you to monitor your children's computer usage. (Funny)

Alright fellow mommy's... gather round!  It's time for another edition of "Doesn't she seem like the perfect mother and yet behind her back her migits make her look like a moron?"  I'm certain this is not the first in this series, and no doubt, it won't be the last.

First, let me make this abundantly clear.  I do not think I have my stuff together 100% of the time.  In fact, I aim for 50/50.  I don't always reach my target, but if I didn't screw up a little, there would be nothing to talk to their therapist about in years to come.  Naturally, parenting comes harder for me since I am a control freak, and parenting, the good kind anyway, is about not controlling, but allowing children to learn and grow in an environment that allows them to have natural cause and effect to build upon.  However, my migits aren't blessed with that.  They have a black and white up bringing, and one day, they will have a lot to discuss with a therapist.  For now, I do my best.

So, I have been a hover style parent to this point, and now, I am allowing both children to experience and do things I never thought I would.  I allow them to play on their own Macbooks, in their own room.  The catch?  They can not access the internet without me pulling it up from hiding.  Then, they can only go onto websites that I have bookmarked.  Luckily, they are all educational, and neither child is super computer literate, and the oldest doesn't even really know how to read.  Therefore, it is rather safe.  However, I witnessed my son and his recent play date using the computer to take pictures and videos.  Then, I decided to check on the pictures they took.  There are special effects that can be applied fairly easily, and they seemed to have mastered them.  Chaz will be eight years old in September.  While I worry that his love of all things girlie would hinder his play date, I see that he must have found a few straggling testosterone bits.  See for yourself....

Yes, he really did this on his own.  A collage, of him being "FAB-I-LOUS!"   
Yup.  Another that he figured out by bending his leg and then using the "mirror" effect.  Charming.  I am so proud.   

And another.  And honestly, their were more.  Way more.

Moral of the story?  Don't ever take my parenting advice.  I mean- EVER.

Jul 27, 2013

The blog in which it is Super Saturday again! (dates for both migits)

Six, going on sixteen.  She was ready to go on another "Daddy/Daughter" date, and when she learned that Charlie was having a play date come for lunch and the afternoon, she then began the questions.  "Is his friend allergic to anything? Do we have food he would like?  Maybe his mom will pack a lunch.  What will they do?  Is his friend allowed to jump on the trampoline if his mom isn't here?  Do you think his friend will understand Charlie?  Are you (meaning me) going to be with them the whole time?  Will they close their door?  Will they be allowed to get undressed to play dress up?"  I swear, the list was endless.  As if I can't do this without her.  
This was picture and pose was by her request.  

Doggie photo bomb!  Love that pup.  
My fav.  
She is always ready to laugh.  Such a joyful spirit.  

Trying to do head shots the night before.  This girl makes me laugh.  She has no idea how beautiful she is.    Humble heart that loves to be happy.   
Play date is going really well.  Chaz says to his friend, "You having fun?"  Friend says, "Yea, you?"  Charlie- "Yes.  Good spare!"  They were playing Wii bowling.  Too cool.  I wonder if Shay is okay with second graders playing Wii Sports on a play date.  I'll have to check with her when she gets back home ;o)  

So, it was down time for me, and I baked some banana bread, and made this blog.  This "Super Saturday" is making me happy.  Enjoy your day!

PS  The "Daddy/Daughter" date was to the mall to have one of her American Girl doll's ears pierced, lunch, ride the merry-go-round at the mall,  and then to the Cheesecake Factory to share a dessert before leaving the mall area.  Shay had this date planned two months ago!  She has a better dating life than I do!  Anyway, my aunt called this afternoon, and it wasn't until I let the words out of my mouth that I realized how ridiculous it sounded.  "Yeah, Shay is on a date with Geoff to get her doll's ears pierced."   Currently re-evaluating my own life based on that last sentence.

Jul 26, 2013

The blog in which it's back to Friday Family Fun Night!

Ice cream in a bag

Shay loves to help make dinner.  This is home made Bagel Bites.  

Bagel Bites, carrot stick and sliced apple.  You might notice the paper plates.   I need a break.  Been a busy day.  
It's back to our adventures again!  Friday Family Fun Night is back in full swing now that we are settled into our newly renovated home.  We are doing a free code Redbox movie, Smurfs, and as usual, I am here, but really not into the movie.  Luckily, I have a recipe to share you with you guys.  Geoff is watching on the floor beside the furry child, and the migits are snuggled together under a cover on the love seat.  So, we returned to our roots on this one.  First, we made our own pizzas.  Bagel Bites with mini bagels, spaghetti sauce, and deli cheese.  Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes.  Then, after dinner, we made ice cream in a bag.

Ice cream in a bag has lots of options, and really, wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either.  I went with a recipe I found that was slightly healthier than other options.  (I used a mixture of 2% milk and a little half and half, thinking I would cut some of the fat from the recipe.)  The recipe was okay, but we had to add crushed Oreo's, sprinkles, and finally, chocolate syrup to it once it finally melted enough and the migits asked if I could put the melted concoction into a cup so that they could drink it.  First- the whole thing, including the prep, takes about 15 minutes to make.  I mixed up a large batch in a pitcher, then poured out about half a cup of the liquid into the baggies.
I added a third bag.  First, the sandwich size baggie that holds your  liquid.  Then, a slide lock baggie to to keep the rock salt and ice off the liquid baggie, then the gallon size bag to hold the ice and rock salt.  Shake for about ten minutes.  Will turn into a soft serve consistency, and then, you open and add any toppings, and eat!
I have been busy today, and not sure how, but I missed out on most of the pictures in this project.  
We chose to wear gloves and put the whole bag into a towel.  Darn it was cold!  (Yes, Geoff and I did a lot of turn taking with the shaking.)

We used a recipe that was lower in fat, and tasted more like an ice milk type of a treat.  I actually found another recipe that had less ingredients, and had more fat.  I will try it next time.  Here is the recipe we tried.

Ice cream in a bag- 

3 cups milk
1 cup half and half
5 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix together, then pour about half a cup into each sandwich bag.  Then, insert that bag into the quart size bag and seal.  Then, place those bags into the gallon sized bag, add lots of ice and rock salt.  Shake for about ten minutes.  Enjoy!  

We played in the rain at the pool and then again when we got home.  We jumped on the trampoline for hours, played with friends at the pool, and did some baking.  Trying to enjoy a stolen summer.  I think we nailed it today ;o)  
Shay choose this hairstyle and picture as her audition headshot for the play.  (I made it black and white and printed it.)     I am excited to have her  so excited to try something new.  She is also excited to begin acting class next month.  Chaz has his gymnastics, and maybe Shay will find her niche'.  Tisha Gotte at the Cherokee Arts Center lit her fire for acting this summer in a way that has lasted, weeks after camp.  After each play we have attended, she has told us that she wants to do that one day.  (act)  With classes created for her age and level, at a very affordable rate here in Canton, we will see where this takes us.  Luckily, our entire family shares a love of theater, and whether she is assigned a roll in the upcoming play or not, she will be given a life learning experience that will build character and confidence.  
I just added his video.. doubt you can see it.  I am adding it as a test.  Thanks for playing along.  It is a video of Chaz working on connecting a couple of skills on the floor.  He has grown leaps and bounds in the past 10 months of gymnastics classes.  We are beyond blessed that he has found a passion, a place that works incredibly well with him, and boosts his confidence in ways that I could not provide.  The staff at Head Over Heels in Canton, GA is unlike anything I could have dreamed for our family.  They love my Charlie, and they treat him so well.  
Of course, blurry, and not a whole picture, but I was working on a head shot this afternoon.  No such luck.  Got one, but didn't love it.  One day, I'll figure out how to get the kids pictures without blinding them with the flash ;o)

Jul 22, 2013

The remediation and restoration process is complete! LOTS of pictures.

Well, nearly two months after we began this hell, um, I mean, renovation, we have finally moved back into the house, and are fully functioning.  With a tick.  And nightmares.  And for those of you who missed the set up to this perfect storm, let me recap for you.

First week of summer break we had our flooring pulled up from the entire downstairs in order to concrete stain it.  Mold was found, and that stopped all progress on floor.  Mold source was found, but a the cost of a portion of wall and a week of remediation and treatment to the affected area. Basically, we were a science experiment for a week.  Mold, dead rodents and feces, OH MY!  If my walls could talk....  So, instead of just getting a new floor, we had to get new walls, new paint, and then a bevy of extras, just because.  Let me just say that we have as close to a movie theater experience as one can have, without even having basic television service into our home.  Netflix- here we come!  My air ducts were cleaned, we had french doors installed since the sliding door in the back didn't work, had a wall extended slightly, and a new configuration to our furniture to accommodate the new additions.  Mostly, we have room for the migits to do gymnastics again, and access to the bar in the garage, and that is all that really matters ;o)  Actually, Brody was most affected, and he kept Geoff and I up for hours last night, as he was wanting to play now that he was not looked in a room, at Grandma's or contained to play in a small place anymore.  We have at least ten feet of run distance again down the hall way or in the living room.  (The house is under 1,400 sq. ft.- it's not like he had a freakin' mile run or anything before.)

During this period of time we had lots going on, and somehow, we managed to do it all.

One little girl lost her first and second tooth (on different occasions).
Went to tennis camp, gymnastics camp, acting camp, tennis camp again, and then the entire month of July has been two hours of gymnastics training Monday through Thursday.  (He can now do a back handspring and a back hip circle, and working on front walkovers and tucks at home.)
Went to a local park for a free concert.
Spent a week volunteering with the newest radKids.
Swam and had numerous swim play dates.  (Couldn't entertain here at all due to the circumstances.  That was super hard for all of us.  We love to share time with our friends, at least a few times a month.)

Shay was leaving notes for the "Tiny Tooth Fairy" at the Tooth Fairy door.   The Tooth Fairy was impressed that with all that was going on, she still remembered to write back.  And prepare a dollar bill by spraying it was glitter hair spray.  That was the  night we had to leave the house in the middle of the night.  I found the money that was left, and brought it to Grandma's.  I swear, I wonder if my migits will ever know how few braincells I had for important things, and still remembered to keep this stuff up.  Yes, even Shout, our elf, has been corresponding back with Shay.  He is a devoted little elf.   
These were the local ServPro guys.  I loved having them around.  They had a fantastic sense of humor.  But seriously,  what they had to do?  You couldn't pay me enough to do what they did.  

Here are the pictures, not in any particular order. Enjoy!
Found this vanity as an open box clearance.  The mirror comes compliments of Geoff's mother.  She heard of one of the many stupid mistakes that were made along the way, and offered to cover the cost of a new mirror.  I had already told Geoff how much I was willing to spend on a mirror, and luckily, she allowed wiggle room if my budget was unrealistic.  I was a dollar over.  (I said we could find a mirror for no more than $20.  It was $20.98 I think.)  This bathroom has become one of my favorite rooms in the whole house.  It is so my colors and simplicity, and yet, so classy.  
The migits got to try their hand at painting with me.  I let them strip down to  undergarments and we all painted.  I let them edge, and roll, and both did great!  They loved getting to be a part of the process.  Shay thinks she did a fantastic job.   Ask her about painting the half bath.  She will have you believing that I was the one helping her ;o)
This dispenser is a hands free soap dispenser that Lysol brand sells.  I researched online prior to the purchase- yes, it can be refilled.  Go to Youtube.com and see for yourself.  I can not dilute it as I do to make my foaming soaps, but I think it generally gets less usage, and for a guest bath, would be nice to have the hands-free option.  (I really just love blue and brown together.)
This is the hand sanitizer bottle that I covered with the same contact paper I bought today to line my cabinets and that bathroom vanity with.  I think it looks nice.   
Lined the vanity.  
Put the rug back in- I think the few boxes of baking soda that I sprinkled and then vacuumed a day later have helped the smell that was contracted by being rolled up in the garage and then rained on while in the renovation process. Each time we do something different, we wonder if "Lady Liberty" will remain in our home. Yep, she stays!  (Otherwise, she will be forced to live in the garage.  I will never get rid of her.  She is family now!  As gaudy as they come, and as out of place as ever, I love her.  So thankful that I got "stuck" with her.)   
The stained concrete without the rug in the living room area. That table is out in the garage too.    
Entry from the garage into the kitchen area.  The color looks different there, but it is the same color as in the rest of the downstairs.  My friend's husband has his own concrete staining business, and did an amazing job.  Mucho gracious to Hannah's daddy!  
freshly stained concrete

I found the spray paint and painted all the outlet covers as well as some doorknobs.  LOVE!  

It was a cluster fuck for my OCD much of the past 45 days.   I wish I could have just handled it better.  Or, I wish it  didn't take up my entire summer break.  (We get two weeks before school starts without any more home renovations.  Robbed of normalcy.  Sleepless nights.  Nightmare filled nights.  Oy.  It sucked scissors.)  
Due to the conditions downstairs, we spent many a meal at Shay's desk.  (I am the mom that doesn't allow even water upstairs, and here we are, full meals!  I treated them with juice and prepackaged foods some days.  I swear they are too easy to excite.)  
LOVE the look!

Nice, right?
This was how it looked, much of he time.

Jul 4, 2013

The blog in which I had an artistic moment.

My moments are basically hanging in between stressed and more stressed, to the occasional nightmare-filled sleep.  I am not one to be out of control, and this past month has been nothing if not out of my control.  It appears that we have another week or two of downstairs renovations before we can bring in furniture again. So, I had this moment of artistic ability and it fit perfectly into my cleaning routine today.  I bleach washed linens, shower curtains and liners today, so when I went to put them back up, here's what I did for the migit's bathroom.  

The inside liner is held by a clear, plastic liner holder.  The outside curtain is held onto the bar by alternating ribbon.  It is subtle, and yet, makes a huge difference in the bathroom.
The migit's bathroom is a tiny box.  Less is more in this sort of home.  Basically, a "throne," "dental station," and a tub that is more beach shower size than actual tub area.