Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Favorites - Something Different

Messy Messy Fail - So you surely remember my rant in this post about my cute bathing suit whose fuchsia color still runs to this very day - well I stupidly put it while still damp in a plastic bag with one of the baby's swim shirts and VOILA - hot pink baby swim shirt.  The tag said do not bleach - non-chlorine bleach and OxiClean did nothing, so I used bleach.  The pink was starting to come out, so I added a little more bleach and let it sit over night.  When I went to check my progress in the morning, the hot pink that had bled in was no longer there, but the sleeves that were formerly gray were now a soft orangeish/pink.  Awesome.  At least it looks slightly more purposeful (I guess!).

Tidy Victory - There were a few plants around the house that I nearly killed, so I've been slowly nursing them back to health in various inconvenient locations, i.e. in the bright upstairs bathroom, sill above the kitchen sink.  Some philodendron, which ironically enough is on many websites as a "houseplant that's impossible to kill" and an African violet.  Well, today was the day I deemed enough root growth from these plants to replant them in soil in their own containers.  The philodendron is going back into the toddler's room and the African violets.....well I'm not sure where, perhaps I'll give two of them away as gifts and keep one.  I'm just happy they all didn't completely perish, I would feel guilty about it (not kidding).

Typically on a Friday I link up with "Oh hey, Friday!" and present my list of 5 things on my mind.

Let's try something different today - Friday Favorites!

Here we go:

Favorite Song - I am not one for keeping up on the current hits necessarily, I just like what I like.  I got the ole' iPod up and running again this week, and I keep humming Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA".  She has definitely gone in a different and quite unique direction as of lately, but this song is just so darn catchy!

Favorite Recipe - I am making this quick and easy shrimp dish for dinner tonight with some fresh corn on the cob from my Egg Lady down the hill.  Garlicky Baked Shrimp will be a perfect light dinner before my husband goes to work this evening for the opening night of the opera at the Chautauqua Institution.

Favorite Workout - Let me remind you that I live in a two-story house with two boys and my husband and the washing machine/dryer are in the basement.  No more explanation needed.

Favorite Purchase - Scored an elegant yet rustic new 4x6 picture frame from the clearance shelf at Michaels - $5.99!  I just finally ordered the baby's 1 year pictures (taken at the end of May, FAIL!) and I'm thinking about putting in it a shot of him sitting in my husband's old Radio Flyer red wagon that he had repainted for the kids.

Favorite Social Media Shoutout - I actually got my first feature this week from the lovely ladies at the Monday Funday Linky Party from this past Monday, July 27th.  You can check out my feature (Pretty Frame Ring Holder) and their linky party here.  Ladena from MyBabyStuff chose my post - yayayayayay!  Of course this little blog of mine is all in fun, but it certainly is nice to get a little recognition.

Favorite Funnys - I think Jimmy Fallon is so unbelievably hysterical, especially when he does this skit.....

I'm not sure if it's his voice, the gum chewing, or the faces he makes, but I die every time.

On that note - welcome August, goodbye July, see you on the flip side!

Linking up with....

Meet @ the Barre

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Make Your Own Hummingbird Food

Messy Messy Fail - Wouldn't you believe that the toddler ripped a horrid word (I can't type it out loud it's too embarrassing!) at Sherwin Williams this morning when I was returning and picking up some new paint chips.  Mortified, I flew out of the store as quickly as possibly, but hey wait a minute...."I shouldn't be embarrassed, I didn't say the word.  You did, and now you are going to apologize to the nice lady in the store where you said that horrid word!"  And apologize he did.

Tidy Victory - My leverage?  No lollipop from the bank drive-thru.  Little boys who say rude words do not get lollipops from the bank.  I don't think he'll be saying that word again any time soon - I win (kind of).  Now I will admit I certainly am not perfect and horrid words do slip from my lips time to time, but now I (we!) REALLY need to be mindful.  We are the example and this was an excellent wake up call for that.  

One of my favorite summertime visitors to our backyard deck is the hummingbirds.  It's so exciting when I see the the small little zippy bird fly up and check out our red flowers (did you know they love red flowers?).

I once saw a hummingbird hanging around our red plastic garage door emergency pull.

They really like anything red.

I know lots of people with feeders who buy the red hummingbird food at the store.  Why do that when you can just make your own?

And even though they like the color red, the hummingbird food doesn't need to be red.  

In fact, I have read that the red-dyed food you buy may not be that good for them.

But anyways, back to the topic at hand, you should make your own hummingbird food.  

It is beyond easy and as inexpensive as it gets.  

To make your home hummingbird food, you need:
  • 1/4 c. of granulated sugar
  • 1 c. of water

And here is what you do:

  • In a small saucepan over low heat, warm up the 1 c. of water.  The water does not need to simmer, just be heated.

  • Pour the 1/4 c. sugar into the heated water and stir in the sugar.  Allow the sugar to dissolve completely, remove the pan from heat and let cool completely.

  • When cooled, pour the sugar water into your hummingbird feeder and hang for your little buddies.

I have a small feeder and find that if I make a larger batch it gets wasted because the sugar water gets moldy before it is all eaten.

If you need to make a bigger batch, just change your amounts to 1/2 c. sugar and 2 c. water.  Any sugar water you don't use can just be kept in a container in the fridge until ready to use.

As you can see from my pictures, I have the cheapest feeder ever.  I really think I paid around $4.00 at Walmart for it.  I've had the best luck with it.  I had a pretty glass one - it fell off of the hook and broke.  I had other bigger, prettier ones but they were a huge pain to take apart and clean.

An avid hummingbird enthusiast once told me, 'The cheaper, the better."

This one seems to do the trick.

Check out my husband's awesome fire pit in the background, we love having campfires even though we haven't gotten to use it much this summer.

If your feeder does get moldy, just take it apart and clean it with a sponge and mild dish soap.

Amish playground (squeal!) on the right.

I'd try to get a picture of one of my little visitors, but it's near impossible.  

I'll let you know if I get one.

Try this, save money and enjoy the little zippers!

Linking up with....

This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

The Diary of a Real Housewife

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Favorite Shots

Messy Messy Fail - I find it very irritating when I buy a product and it does not work properly (see this post).  I don't care if I paid $100.00 or .01 - it should work as it's supposed to.  So when I bought this sponge holder by Interdesign and one of the suction cups was so cockeyed that it would not properly adhere to the sink, I tossed the whole thing in a plastic bag and hung it on the doorknob so I wouldn't forget to return it.  Four months later, there it still hangs.

Tidy Victory - Both of my daycare provider's two sons (who are about 3-4 years apart) enlisted in the army this past spring.  Both of her sons were around my boys at daycare as she runs her business out of her home.  To show our appreciation to them, I had the toddler make cards to send to them at their current station.  I think it's very important to show our appreciation for those who have chosen to serve our country, and not just during patriotic holidays by at any time.  They need to know that their sacrifices and commitment does not go unnoticed.

Photo taken at Hidden Bench Winery in Beamsville, ON with my Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX100V

Five Minutes for Mom

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Anne of Green Gables Lemonade

Messy Messy Fail - I found a really cute bathing suit on sale at TJMaxx a couple of years ago - tankini style, fit great.  Except after 2349872320 washes from uncountable swimming lessons, the fuchsia color still runs.  And stains anything it comes into contact to.  Like the baby's white swim t-shirt.  He looks great in pink now.

Tidy Victory - I had 10 episodes of Pioneer Woman and Trisha's Southern Kitchen DVR'ed so I could save recipes on Pinterest - pinned and deleted.  The DVR now has 39% free space.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Oh Hey, Friday - Nearly Half Way

Messy Messy Fail - My hanging baskets are really starting to flourish.  Guess who else discovered my beautiful baskets?  Darn those pesky Japanese beetles!  They especially seem to be enjoying the purple sweet potato vines.  I hate to put up a Japanese beetle bag, that just draws more and is a last resort.  I'm going to try some Sevin Dust, we'll see how it goes........

Tidy Victory - We had to dig up some plants and bushes to make way for the front yard revamp and they have since been sitting in their rootballs or make shift pots around the backyard.  We have an ugly water meter on the side of the house and have been looking for something to plant in front of it that looked appropriate.  How convenient that we have a fluffy looking Dwarf Alberta Spruce laying in our yard that needs a new home!  BOOM - water meter covered.

This summer is going by so fast, I feel like it was just yesterday I was yacking about my first week of summer!

There is plenty going on around here as I type and watch my 92873408927340th episode of the Pioneer Woman (I DVR her cooking show).  

<One> Blueberries - I was driving to drop off the toddler with my in-laws for a fun camping trip at a local private campground when I saw the sign "U-Pick Blueberries up the hill".  Hands down the easiest berry to pick - you just hold your bucket under the branches and delicately roll your fingers together over the berries and they just fall right in.  You can fill a bucket easily in a half hour.  The baby loves them fresh off the bush and the toddler will eat blueberry muffins until he's sick.  I like to freeze a big ziplock bag of them to use throughout the winter for pies, pancakes, waffles, breads and ice cream.  Happy national blueberry month!

<Two> Hot Air Balloons - Often times, we'll see hot air balloons taking their occupants for a gorgeous ride over the lake and through the hills of our beautiful country side.  If the toddler is in the car when we see one, we chase it, and that is not an option.  Luckily he was not in the car when we (the baby and I) came across this one this evening, but we still chased it a bit anyways.  When I yelled up (they weren't that high) and asked how the view was, they replied "It's okay."  Yeah right.

<Three> Shrimp - A special treat for dinner at our house - my husband and I love grilling or baking this festive seafood during the summer months.  Be it with linguine, baked with breadcrumbs and garlic or with cocktail sauce, the adults love this refreshing meal.  A nice change from beef, venison or chicken.  Sounds like a good idea for a round up post......  I went to grab a family pack bag of frozen cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp at Wegmans when I saw the price and about fell over ($29.99).  Good thing the bag next to it was raw EZ peel for $19.99 - a glass of wine will make that prep work go quicker. 

<Four> Cards - You'd think this would happen in the opposite order now that I have two kids, but I used to love buying funny cards at the store to have ready.  Now, I've found how creative I can (or can't ha!) be by making my own.  It's amazing how expensive cards can be at the store - I've seen a price point of $8.49, but that had lots of sparkles, bows, and sound.  I still do buy cards that I just can't resist purchasing for that special someone, but I have also accrued quite the collection of scraps, stickers, odd and ends for making cards.  I love making people feel special by spending the extra time to create a card just for them.

<Five> Weddings - I have the honor of playing at a co-worker's wedding tomorrow and cannot tell you enough what a MARVELOUS job they have done organizing and decorating.  The couple is getting married at the bride's parents' house which is set on a few acres in the hills with an apple orchard and pond.  They built a magnificent arch in front of the pond from trees on the property and used burlap, lace, tree stumps and antiques for decorating.  There are signs everywhere painted on wood pallets with the menu, wine list and games available to play on the large side lawn.  I'll put more pictures on my Instagram account so you can check out the awesome job they did.  Congrats in advance you crazy love birds!

We'll be spending time at the campsite with the kids this weekend, enjoy your weekend with your family as we pass the halfway mark!

Linking up with.......

Bright on a Budget

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy Skin - Product Review

Messy Messy Fail - The toddler now thinks he can take off his night-time pull-up when he goes #2 and clean it up himself - MEGA FAIL!  Let's just say my carpet shampooer has gotten used daily this last week.

Tidy Victory - I scored some EXCELLENT purchases at TJMaxx with a gift card I received from some dear friends for my birthday.  Nothing is better than the clearance rack at TJ's - 5 cute shirts and the sweetest dragonfly bowl EVER under $70!

The first time I saw the commercial for Gold Bond's New Rough & Bumpy Skin Daily Therapy Cream I about fell out of my seat.

Ever since my first pregnancy 3.75 years ago with the toddler, I have been burdened with the dreaded "chicken skin" as I call it on my upper arms.

Red, blotchy, rough, bump - not very attractive looking.

I've also acquired some "teacher arms", "bingo arm", "bat wings" whatever you want to call them, but that's for another post ;)

Anywho, I saw the commercial for Gold Bond's new product and I HAD TO TRY.  Exfoliating hasn't work, remembering to use lotion on my arms hasn't work, NOTHING HAS WORKED.  I was beginning to accept my "chicken skin" when this commercial appeared and I thought, heck my arms can't get any worse than they are now!

So I waited for a Gold Bond coupon to appear in my Sunday paper because I'm frugal (cheap!) and when it did, I swiftly ran to Walmart and made my purchase.  This cream isn't terribly cheap - price point is $9.97 - but I got a buck off with my coupon and it if worked, it would be worth it.

To document my use, I took some lovely pictures of my arms before:

Now to be quite honest, I did not use this product every day during the 3 month period - it started out that way, then maybe every few days, and more recently just once a week.

Here is the after:

Some important points I want to make about this product:

  • It significantly improved the roughness & bumpiness of my skin
  • It DID NOT significantly improve the redness and blotchiness of my skin (which is what I was really hoping for), just slightly
  • It does not smell great, but it does not smell bad either
  • It also significantly improved the roughness of my horrid feet

It's hard to tell from the before and after pictures (different lighting and angles) that the redness did improve a bit, but the biggest improvement was the smoothness which you cannot tell from the pictures unfortunately.  

Added an HD filter to this picture so you could check out the great creamy consistency of this product.

It clearly states on the lid of the product that "90% experienced smoother, softer skin in just one week" which I did, and "72% reduction in bumps/the appearance of KP in 4 weeks" which I also did experience.  

KP, or keratosis pilaris, is the scientific term for the little red bumps that I have around the hair follicles on my upper arms, AKA my chicken skin.

This product DID boast smoother softer skin which it did do.  It DID NOT mention a reduction in redness, which I wish it had done.

Therefore, I think it is safe to say that Gold Bond's Rough & Bumpy Skin Daily Therapy Treatment did for me what it said it would do - give me smoother skin.

Fun fact - under the sticker on the lid, it also mentions this product can be used for rough skin on elbows, knees and feet, and by golly it has done a great job on my nasty dogs.  

I have very dry, cracked feet and this product has significantly helped that.

I will NOT be posting a picture of my tootsies - sorry to disappoint! :)

If you are experiencing any of the same issues I am, try this product, it may work for you.  But remember your results may be different!

Hope this helps you and your chicken skin (or your feet)! ;)

*The opinions in this post are solely of my own.  I was not compensated for this post.  

Linking up with........

Makeup Monday