Wednesday, May 7, 2014

DIY Diaper Rash Cream

 As I have told you all before, we cloth diaper in this household (AND WE LOVE IT!!!)

I love the fact that I never have to worry about running to grab diapers in the middle of the night and also love all the dinero we are saving.  Its also softer with no harsh chemicals on our little monkey's bottom (I still don't understand why you need to put chlorine in a diaper... great article on what is actually in diapers found HERE)

With that being said, we still aren't immune from the occasional small diaper rash or dry skin spot.  We used Thirsties Diaper Cream, and were happy with it, but for $14+ for a 2oz container, it seemed a little steep.
Found on Amazon HERE
That's when I decided to do a little research and came up with an easy, natural, and CHEAP combo that works wonders.

All you will need are a couple of supplies: Coconut Oil, lavender, and a small container.
MASSIVE tub of coconut oil brought to you buy Costco
 You can use any old container.  I originally made this ointment in my old Thirsties jar, but you can also find little 2-3oz ones at Michaels.
 Instructions are simple.  Fill your container with coconut oil.
Look at me being all left-handed
 Melt down in the microwave (20 seconds oughta do it).
 And add in 10-15 drops of sweet, soothing lavender.
 I don't know if many of you know this, (I certainly didn't until I did my research), but lavender is MUCH more than just a calming smell.  The medical effects of lavender oil go back to medieval times and can be used to sooth just about anything!  Uses include: burns, bruises, earaches, bug bites, eszema, cold sores, laryngitis, tuberulosis, asthma, acne, hair loss, stretch marks, allergies, even whooping cough!!  When in doubt, lavender is a GREAT go-to!!

After adding the lavender and mixing it all together, you can either leave it out and it will harden (if your house is below 76-degrees (aka. Coconut oil's melting point)) or put it in the fridge real quick to harden a little faster.
 And boom, that's it!  Throw it next to your changing table and you are good to go!
I'll admit, when you apply it to little bottoms, it feels like you are greasing a turkey because it melts in your hands and on contact with warm baby booties, but the coconut oil is great for little sensitive skin and clears up rashes/dry spots in no time at all!!!  So much better than any harsh chemicals and at a FRACTION of the cost!!

Sometimes, I even throw some lavender in B's baths at night to help calm him down before bed time.
Lavender is safe to digest too, just in case you were worried
 Also great for post bath-time too...
Any way, sorry to sneak in pictures of my super-adorable kid... I hope you try out the coconut oil and lavender combo!  If you've tried it, or another all natural remedy, I would love your feedback!

Thanks!

-Samm

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Texas Tradition: Taking Pictures in Blue Bonnets

I'm not originally from Texas, (Arizona holla), but apparently it is a "thing" here that you HAVE to/MUST/FORCED/LEGALLY OBLIGATED to take pictures with your kids in the Texas state flower: Blue Bonnets.

Since this is Brooks' first year of blue bonnet season, we decided to give it a go.
 For all of those here in Dallas, we found a great little field out in Garland, about 20 minutes away from us.
Corner of Centerville and country club road in Garland
 We also heard that Samuell Farms in Mesquite had some good fields too (with a cute red barn in the background to boot) but we didn't make it out there this year.  Maybe next year.
Samuell Farm - Mesquite
But for the field we found this year, it was pretty beautiful and Brooks had a blast.  Mostly just playing with the flowers and figuring out if they were edible.
We weren't able to get any family photos of the three of us (boo) but we did get some good ones of us with our Monkey.
Those are two HANDSOME men!
Even though I have just shy of 15 million pictures of Brooks in his first couple months of life, I don't have many of just the two of us, which make these pretty special to me.
 
 
Consider this Texas tradition approved!  We will definitely have to come back and continue blue bonnet pictures as our family grows, hopefully even get a picture of ALL of us in one next year.
Have any other Texans out there done this before?  Or perhaps know of more blue bonnet fields in the Dallas metro?

Sorry for the quick post... just wanted to share the pretty pictures :-)

-Samm

Monday, May 5, 2014

Saving Money Monday: Week 2(ish)


Hey all!!

Sorry for the random 2 week gap!  Work is crazy busy and Brooks has now decided that he wants to stay awake until 10:30p and act like we've been feeding him sugar cubes (we haven't).  Plus, he is now "on the move".  Right now, the only direction is backwards, but hey, moving is moving. Putting him down in the living room and two seconds later finding him pushing himself backwards into the kitchen has made multitasking near impossible.  We're also in the super fun "put everything you can grab in your mouth" phase and if an entire day passes without him almost choking on a random piece of paper, I consider the day a win.  So between him attempting to push himself into the fireplace and finding an old receipt from 2011 that he wants to turn into a chew toy,  it leaves my time to blog somewhere between the hours of midnight and 6am. Hooray kid(s)! (*bonus point to you moms out there if you have more than one... you brave, brave souls)

The good news is I have a series of blog post coming up for your viewing pleasure so PLEASE stick with me... ... ... together, we will get Brooks to his 1st birthday alive and well (as you can tell, I have very low goals for parenting... keeping him living is pretty much my #1 and only)

So without further adieu, here is another Money Saving Monday in my never ending attempt to keep costs/spending down:
Join a local buy/sell private Facebook Group
Folks, if you arent apart of a group like this yet, get ready for your life to be changed!!

It started out with a recommendation from a friend (hi Sally!) regarding a private Facebook group of local moms buying and selling used kids toys, clothes, carriers, etc.  The first time I bought a handful of barely used outfits for Brooks for $5, I was hooked.  It's basically like one giant, everyday yard sale but with local people you know and trust.

You can get everything from cute kids accessories...
$5 for my child to look adorable? Ok
...to furniture...
...I missed out on this deal by MINUTES... $5?!! Ugh!
...and  stuff that you didn't even know you wanted but suddenly HAVE to HAVE!
My life will not be complete until I OWN a bouncy house...
It's also a great way to MAKE some money too!  Are you cleaning out your closet and found some old date-party dresses from college? Sell them to someone who will actually wear them!
It's been 6 years Samm... let the dresses go...
Best way to find a group in your area?  Do a basic Facebook search found at the top of your Facebook page:
Next, try just typing in your city or neighborhood name with some keywords like "sell", "exchange", or "yard sale" and see what pops up!
With some groups that are listed as "secret" or "closed", you may have to request to join the group so an admin can verify that you live in the area and whatnot, but over all they should be pretty easy to find. 

Honestly, I have used these groups to buy anything and everything for myself and my family which has saved us a ton!  $200 set of jeans that someone wore once?  Mine now for $10... A $275 seat/rocker for Brooks? (psh, like I would EVER pay that much for a baby seat)  $50 and a ride in the washing machine made it brand new.  Last minute game day tickets for half of face value?  Don't mind if we do.

These opportunities ARE out there so don't be afraid to look and be sure to get involved!! Can't find a group in your neighborhood?  START ONE!! Spread the word with other moms and you will be amazed how quickly you will be buying and selling stuff without every having to leave your house.

I hope this helps!!  Anyone out there in a group like this and equally as addicted?  In case you missed last week, here's the link to week 1's Money Saving Money!

-Samm

P.S- Oh, and here's a quick pic of my little backwards skoocher/paper eating/awake and adorable little guy in one of the hats that I got from another mom as seen above.
Ugh, this kid kills me... I love him so much... sorry internet, not sorry
P. P. S- Shout out to my new friend Carrie who came over to say hi to Chris, Brooks, the pups and myself while we were walking around White Rock Lake!  You have no idea how much it made my day to have someone stop what they are doing and tell me they enjoy reading this blog.  You made me feel like a celebrity for all of 5 minutes and put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.  Your quick act of kindness was very much appreciated :-)