Mom Hacks: blueberry muffin mix hack, tot cots, and self tanner reviews!
Where is Spring? Asking for a friend ...
Well hello! This week did not go as planned for me. I ended up in the hospital with some GI issues. I was told I had an intestinal hernia and would require surgery. No fun!
I'm fine now. Emergency surgery was averted thanks to my own body self-correcting (or so I was told) and I'm back to regular life. But WOW! A few days out of the routine and pattern of life will really slow a Mama down! Thankfully I have a village to lean on. My people were here for me and my sweet kiddos and we were all happily reunited and back to regular life within an hour of my release from the hospital.
When I was released we had not gotten into our planned meals for the week due to my unplanned absence. The fridge was empty and Madeline and I were starving so I made egg salad with all of the leftover dyed eggs from Easter. Madeline was really upset that I would not let her eat the shell. Then when she finally tried some egg salad she told me she was "disappointed" in me. Tough crowd!
If you see glitter in my teeth it's from the Easter egg salad.
I had to laugh (after the pain was gone!) at the number of comments and compliments I had on my nail polish while in the ER and hospital. I was thinking that I was all set and ready for my first week of April at work with fresh pink nails that I blogged about last week, but instead I was stuck in a hospital bed while it snowed outside. Spring will come eventually, right?
Oh well. I’m fine now and I have some really great hacks for you!
Boxed blueberry mix muffin hack
I love blueberry muffins. My kids love blueberry muffins. I would love to make them fresh from scratch, but I am just not about that life. I bake from boxed mixes because I have a business to run, kids to raise, and a blog to write. ;)
One day I added a few extra things to a blueberry muffin mix and it was a game changer. It was just stuff we had around the house on that particular day and now we can't make blueberry muffins any other way.
Here it is: add one small container (or a few handfuls) of fresh blueberries to the boxed blueberry muffin mix once it is wet, and stirred. I still use the canned stuff they include with the box but add the fresh ones at the end. Zest one lemon into the wet mix as well. Then stir it up and bake as the box instructs.
We have also added other fruit to this. In the photo above some of the muffins also have diced strawberries.
THEY ARE SOOOOOO GOOD.
Kids in your bed? Mine like to come in at night and crawl in bed with us. As cute as it is, it really puts a damper on the restorative sleep I am supposed to be getting according to the interwebs.
A few months ago I picked up a cot online for Madeline. She was waking up every night and getting in our bed. It was ruining my life. My sweet Cameron would just come in and lay on the floor with his blanket and pillow and never bug us. Not Madeline. The princess would not sleep on the floor. (Truth be told I was also worried about her getting wrapped in a cord and she had ended up UNDER our bed by accident screaming and panicking a few times. No bueno!)
These cots just fold out easily. The kids do it on their own. They also came with some sheets but we just put some old crib sheets on them. We store them in a closet or behind a dresser.
Often when we travel with the kids we know there will not be enough bed space for them. Cameron has terrible allergies so I hate to have him sleep on the floor. Plus the floor is kinda dirty and I can clean the crib sheets for the cots easily. Heck, I have enough old crib sheets for a fleet of cots!
But seriously, the cots have been great for us at home and on the move. Maybe we are giant suckers but sometimes they just like to be close to us. They’re only little for a short time. Who cares as long as we’re getting enough sleep?
The kids each have a blanket for traveling, whether it be in the car, to a hotel, to a relative's house, or just to our bedroom. They call them their “star blankets” and like to use them on the cots. I picked them up at Target and you can find them here.
FYI the carpeting in the bedroom will be GONE this summer! We are putting some of the DIY hardwood plank floors in up here. Our bedroom is the last room to get a makeover. Obviously it desperately needs some makeover attention!
Spring 2018: where is the sun?
I have always loved that sweet glow of summer skin. When I was going to my very first prom, my mom actually suggested I go tanning to get rid of some lines I had from being on spring break visiting my grandparents in Alabama. I cannot possibly express how INSANELY CRAZY that is. Guys, my mom is a total retro health nut that was feeding us whole wheat pasta long before it was cool. But that is just how crazy the 1990's were. Health nut moms thought tanning was okay because health food stores had tanning beds back behind the vitamins. CRAZY!
Flash forward to now. I'm a suburban mom who obsessively gets a mole scan from the dermatologist every year for fear of developing skin cancer from all my 1990's and early 2000's misdeeds. I still love being tan. To be more honest and accurate, I hate the sight of my pale legs in skirts and shorts.
So I have tried a quite a few self tanners over the years. Here is my honest review of my top four.
One: Jergens Natural Glow Firming Moisturizer. Pros: inexpensive, available at Target, and "firming," heck yes! Cons: I am not a fan of the smell and sometimes I want more color.
Two: St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse. Pros: you can see it go on, the color develops quickly, the smell is good, the color is more natural, and still relatively inexpensive. Cons: it doesn't last as long, it stains sheets, etc. more than the others I tried. Note: you also definitely need the application mitt! At first I tried this without the mitt and my hands looked like I played in the dirt all day. After I was done putting on the self tanner, I also put on a layer of lotion to smooth it all around. I feel like this helps make it a little more even.
Three: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Wipes . Pros: the color is great, the color lasts the longest, the wipes are really easy to use. Cons: it's expensive and there are eight wipes per box. Note: I also follow up with a layer of regular lotion with this to make sure that the color is even and smooth.
Four: St. Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Everyday Body Lotion . Pros: The smell is good, the color is good. Cons: This would be used up quickly if you use it everyday, and it doesn't get me quite the color I would like. I actually mix this with regular lotion when I put it on so it applies evenly and lasts longer. Note: I use the medium/dark color.
What have I settled on? I like the Glow Wipes for when I want to be tan. They are hands down my favorite. I use the St. Tropez Gradual Tan Lotion mixed with regular body lotion daily in the spring and summer. When I have time to mess around with the foaming mousse I will use that in lieu of a precious Glow Wipe.
In the photo below I had used the Glow Wipes the day before we left for Vegas. I saw how stark white my legs where in our California pictures (they looked scary!) and it was slightly painful.
Terry looks tan because he is covered in a thick layer of body hair. Nature’s sweater. He is not tan and does not participate in my adventures in self tanning! Haha!
Now if anyone has any hacks on not getting my intestines bunched up I would love to hear them! Mamas don’t have time to be sick!