Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fun Painting Project for Kids of All Ages


If you are searching for creative ideas to keep your children busy this summer look to nature for inspiration! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How to Survive the Stay at Home Mom (or Dad) Experience

  22 Things You Should Know About Being a SAHM

Before I had children, I had a romantic view of what kind of parent I would be. I fantasized about peaceful days of organized bliss. I imagined my children engaged in stimulating activities created for the purpose of developing their brains and fine motor skills. Our home would be clean and full of beautiful things - something out of a Martha Stewart Living magazine. I just knew that I would get up early and have all my housecleaning done before my little darlings woke up so I would be able to devote all of my attention to them. I’d finally have time to try new recipes and maybe even take up scrapbooking. I couldn’t wait until they were old enough to go on field trips and playdates. And I always wore something white and elegant in my fantasies. Funny right?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Black Bean & Chicken Layered Enchilada Casserole

Is your family bored with the same old meals?  Why not try this delicious economical dish tonight?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Serve This Ridiculously Easy Breakfast Casserole - Good Enough For Company

For a quick and easy meal that will impress even the pickiest eaters, keep just four ingredients on hand.  Our family loves this recipe anytime of day and we often make it for our daycare children (who can be pretty tough customers in the food department).  My husband was head chef today so I snapped some shots of him putting together this super easy recipe. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

How to Really Get Rid of Acne Scars

*UPDATE 7/19/16 - See video below to learn how to apply the peel. Viewer Discretion Advised - I have NO makeup on (not for the faint of heart)

As many of you may know, I've struggled with acne since I began having children.  I've shared with you how I banished acne from my face (see A Truly Amazing Acne Treatment).  Now I want to tell you how I got rid of those years and years worth of acne scars.  A glycolic acid skin peel once a week for several months resurfaced my skin into a smoother, nearly scar-free complexion. 

I considered many options when researching how to get rid of my scarring.  Other than surgical procedures, a peel was the most viable option for me.  There are many peel products on the market. But most seemed ineffective (based on reviews) or only available at salons or dermatologists.

Salon skin peel treatments are effective and offer a wide variety of types but knew I wouldn't be able to afford the treatment on an ongoing basis ($50 - $100 per peel).  I searched around and decided to buy a strong glycolic acid solution from a supplier and do the peel myself at home.  Although many recommendations were to go with a weaker strength (30% or lower), I wanted the same strength that spas use (70%). 

The product I chose is (1 oz / 30 ml) GLYCOLIC Acid 70% Skin Chemical Peel - Unbuffered - Alpha Hydroxy (AHA) For Acne, Oily Skin, Wrinkles, Blackheads, Large Pores & More (from Skin Beauty Solutions).  It has good reviews and is priced at $14.99. Glycolic acid is reportedly good for both acne and wrinkles alike! Not a bad combination for a 40 something year old with both acne scars and fine lines! 

I purchased my first 1 oz. bottle in November 2011 and it lasted for over a year.  It is very economical.  You only need a few drops per peel, especially if you use your finger to apply rather than a gauze pad.

I just followed the instructions in the packaging and left it on until I started seeing redness(for only a minute or so) then followed directions for rinsing.  An invaluable tip included in the instructions was to prepare a baking soda water solution to neutralize the acid once you are done with the peel.  It works and I was thankful to have it handy.  Each week I was able to leave the product on longer (up to 10 minutes).

You can see my application technique in this video - Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel!
I'll be filming additional videos for some of my most popular posts as well as new creative ideas to live well while saving money.

If you choose to treat your acne scarring or wrinkles with a glycolic acid peel you will want to follow the directions and be cautious until you know how your skin will react.  The time you should leave on will vary based on your skin type and sensitivity. 

Please note, it is possible to blister your skin.  This isn't a  weak AHA lotion that you can buy in the drugstore.  I can't stress enough that this product is the real thing.  You will want to store it as you would any dangerous chemical, especially if you have children. 

Just read the directions, use caution and common sense if you decide to do it yourself at home.  And don't forget to wear sunscreen! Done properly you can have a beautiful clear complexion AND save yourself a ton of money.

As with any medicine or cosmetic treatment, discontinue use and consult a physician if skin seems unreasonably irritated.  Should your skin flake (common with a peel) do not pick at your skin.  Doing so can cause scarring.

After care update ~ It has been some time since I began using the 70% peels and most of my scarring is completely gone. I found a great maintenance product that is inexpensive and also seems to prevent breakouts completely.  It is Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Lotion 10 percent Glycolic AHA -- 6 fl oz Anti-WrinkleIt costs around $10 a bottle and lasts me two months.  I use it once in the morning and once at night.  It's marketed as a wrinkle treatment but it works just as well for acne prevention and keeps my skin feeling soft and glowing!  I love it!  I have also bought the generic brand that is offered at Walgreens (about $9 a tub) and think that it does a nice job as well.       

If you liked this article, you may enjoy reading ~

Also check out Perfectly Posh by Poppyjuice to see commercially prepared products using only naturally based ingredients.  Luxurious pampering products with all of the good and none of the bad!

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Clever Graduation Gift Ideas

Almost everyone knows someone who is graduating from high school or college this month.  Money is a great gift for a new graduate but it can be a little boring to give it in a card or money envelope.  Why not present a gift of money in style?  I found some clever ideas to help your gift make any graduate feel extra special.

Tasty Pizza Biscuit Bake - Easy and Delicious!

Are you trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight?  Feeling uninspired?  Look no further because this easy main dish is big on flavor and requires little effort.  You can even prepare it ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until it's time to bake it!  Our Tasty Pizza Biscuit Bake is good enough for company especially when served with a fresh salad.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hearty Italian Sandwiches and/or Pasta Dish

Are you in the mood for something different?  This delicious recipe is one of our family's favorite meals.  It is big on flavor and small on effort.  It can be prepped ahead of time and put in the crockpot or just baked in the oven.  Best of all, the leftovers from this tasty recipe can be easily reincarnated into a pasta dish.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Adding Trisodium Phospate to Your Dishwasher Detergent

In the past few years, dishwasher detergent manufacturers have taken out that magic ingredient called phosphates.  For a period of time we handwashed all of our dishes because