Dreams To Do

Easy DIY Lip Balm

It’s been over a year since I made this awesome Easy DIY Lip Balm for a post over on Daily Mom and I’m happy to FINALLY get around to sharing it with you here! This is seriously one of my favorite DIYs I’ve ever made. So easy, so moisturizing, and it really makes you feel like you’ve created something special.

With just a few simple ingredients, you can make your own moisturizing lip balm in under 5 minutes. 

INGREDIENTS

There are two primary components to this DIY lip balm: Beeswax & Coconut Oil. You can choose to just use these two ingredients and end up with a great lip balm on its own (just mix 1 part beeswax with 2 parts coconut oil). Or, you can get creative and add in other essential oils (like Vitamin E), honey, and even a flavor, like peppermint.

Here’s what I used to create this lip balm:

  • 1 tsp. grated beeswax (packed down) or beeswax pellets
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 4-5 drops of Vitamin E oil
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • Optional: for colored lip balm, add in remnants of a favorite lipstick – as little or as much as you desire!

NOTE: This recipe will make enough to fill a couple of small lip gloss jars or tubes. Feel free to double the recipe or stick to the ratio of 1 part beeswax to 2 parts oil to make as much as your heart desires!

HOW TO

The easiest and fastest way to make this lip balm is to mix all of your ingredients together and heat in 10 second increments in the microwave until the beeswax is melted into the oil. If you are opposed to microwave use, you can heat your ingredients slowly on the stove using a double boiler. Either way, make sure you stir your mixture periodically throughout the heating process.

Once the ingredients are heated and mixed together, immediately (& carefully) pour into your desired storage vessel. I used these lip gloss jars and these lip balm tubes from Amazon. I also purchased this small funnel set for easy pouring. You could probably make your own funnel or just pour very carefully, too.

Let your lip balm cool and harden for a few hours before using or giving as a gift.

Just a heads up that this lip balm will melt easier than the store-bought stuff if you keep it in a hot car (due to the coconut oil). Also, this version I made doesn’t have any special flavor (but I enjoy the way it tastes nonetheless). If you want to make a flavored balm, try adding in a flavoring oil of your choice. I think I’m going to experiment with this next time!

If you give this recipe a try, let me know! These also make great gifts. You can even create your own labels for them to make them extra fancy. Too much fun. ENJOY!

When it rains, it pours…

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances. ~ Martha Washington

Life is not always unicorns and rainbows around here. Sometimes the rain comes and it starts as a sprinkle before turning into an outright downpour of misery.

I’ve had the week from hell. Tiny little back-to-back irritations kept building up over the course of days until I found myself in a serious funk. I’m going to spare the details, although I will mention that shattered glass, an epic public temper tantrum, and cleaning up poop off the bathroom floor all added to the fun. I kept my cool as the days went on but slowly felt my defenses slipping as I eventually gave way to defeat. I felt like the universe was against me.

I ended up folding laundry in a puddle of tears, asking God, “WHY???” before realizing that maybe I was doing it to myself. Sure, I can’t control every drab detail I encounter in my day, but I can control my reaction. It’s becoming apparent that the more I notice the bad things, the more I dwell on the negative, and the more hurt comes into my life. Come on, you know you’ve had days where you spill your coffee, can’t find a parking spot, and trip and fall in a public place. It’s a cascade of disaster as you subconsciously await the next horrible thing to happen to you. That, my friends, is the law of attraction working against you.

If you want to change a pattern of negativity, it’s got to start in your mind. Oh, but that is SO much easier said than done. Digging yourself out of an emotional rut is a whole lot harder than getting down in there. However, it CAN slowly be done. For me a sweet treat, some happy music, and writing all help. A change of environment or making fun plans for the future are also game changers.

Despair is a slippery slope. It is far too easy to fall – to plummet – from a state of happiness or contentment. The climb back up takes effort. But, step-by-step we can rise again.

Setting the Record Straight: Working Moms VS SAHMs

I was a work-outside-the-home mother for 5 years before jumping at the opportunity to experience staying home with my kids after the birth of our third child. I’ve wasted so much time analyzing my life as a working mom compared to my life as a SAHM, but I’m done with it. I’ve finally figured it out and I’m here to set the record straight:

Being a mom is both difficult and rewarding NO MATTER WHAT. 

There is NO winner in the battle of Working Mom VS Stay At Home Mom. It doesn’t matter whether you work full time or part time, work inside the home or outside, or stay in your pajamas all day at home with your little ones. You will still experience the same emotions and the same struggles, just in different ways.

As a working mom you miss your children every day, but cherish the time to yourself. As a SAHM, you want to get away from your children sometimes, but you cherish the extra time you get with them. 

As a working mom you feel guilt over leaving your children in the loving care of others. As a SAHM, you feel guilt over leaving your kids in the care of technology so that you can steal a few moments to yourself from time to time.

As a working mom you enjoy getting dressed up and going somewhere each and every day, but as a SAHM you enjoy being able to stay in yoga pants for extended periods of time without having to go somewhere each day.

As a working mother you battle guilt, regret, and exhaustion, but still experience joy, self-fulfillment, and fun. As a SAHM, you battle guilt, regret, and exhaustion, but guess what? You still experience joy, self-fulfillment, and fun.

If you’re a working mom who wonders what it’s like “on the other side” like I always did, stop wondering. Being a SAHM isn’t easier than working, but it isn’t more difficult either. It’s just different. Some days I want to return to the work force and others I can’t imagine my life any other way.

So, let’s put the whole Working Mom VS SAHM battle to rest – whether this battle lives between friends or lives in your own head. Instead let’s focus, as moms, on finding our happiness WHERE WE ARE NOW. Make the most of each day. Encourage each other. Cry together. After all, no matter how we slice and dice it, we’re doing the toughest and most rewarding job in the world.

Making Me Happy

Sometimes (ok, a lot of the time) I get so caught up in my monotonous day-to-day to-do list and the endless stream of pretty photos on instagram that I start to feel a little bit down. Don’t we all? When I start feeling myself spiraling, I really try hard to just stop and focus on the little things that are bringing some happy to my life. Re-adjusting your mindset by giving thanks for the little pieces of happiness can do wonders to brighten a dull mood. Thus, my Making Me Happy posts! I’m toying with the idea of doing these posts weekly and maybe even turning them into a fun link up. A place we can share favorite products, fun moments, inspirational words, anything that’s just plain good. Would any of you be interested in that?

Ok, enough blabbering. Here are a few little tidbits of happiness in my life right now…

>>> New Planner & the BEST Pens!

I’ll forever be a paper planner girl. While I do find it convenient to set reminders on my iPhone, I like the visual that a paper planner gives me. And I like making it a point to sit down and plan out my week (which always happens a lot the first couple months of the year and then slowly not so much).

Last year I splurged on an Erin Condren Life Planner (which I LOVED!), but this year I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that much money. So instead, I got a lovely planner from A Beautiful Mess (unfortunately it looks like they sold out). It was a fraction of the price and it’s perfect.

Now, even more exciting than the new planner are the pens I found! {{Certified pen snob over here!}} They are by Le Pen and they are slim and sexy in pretty colors. They write so smoothly and don’t bleed through paper! I may be having a little too much fun color coding things in my planner. Can you say NERD?!

>>> The Bachelor is back!

bachelor-brittPhoto Via

I don’t watch much TV anymore, but one show I will not miss is The Bachelor. Maybe it’s a little bit pathetic, but I’ve watched the show since I was in high school and I just love it! I’m a hopeless romantic at heart and the psychologist in me just loves analyzing people on reality TV. I can’t get enough! We’re only 2 episodes deep this season and it’s already become something I look forward to each week (does this speak to how boring my life is?).

So, this season I have a major girl crush on Britt. Come on, I know I’m not alone here! If you’re obsessed like me, I highly recommend following her on IG (@brittkarolina).

>>> Roman’s endless smiles

Yesterday I got Landon down for a nap, put the baby on the floor to roll around, and kicked back on my chaise lounge (my favorite spot) to check out Facebook for a few minutes of me time. I looked up after a bit and this (^^^) is what I saw. This kid is such a ham and such a ray of light in my life! You don’t even know how many times I’m just going about my business and glance over to find him gazing up at me with that big ole goofy toothless grin. I love him so.

>>> Tzatziki

I discovered this dip at Costco a couple months ago and could pretty much live off it. We seriously eat it for dinner like once a week with some crackers and veggies. SO good. Food makes me happy.

>>> 100 Days of Real Food

Speaking of food…. You probably already know about this website, but it’s a fairly new discovery for me. As a working mom I was LAME in the kitchen. Now that I’m home, I’m really trying hard to step up my game. 100 Days of Real Food has tons of awesome, healthy recipes. I’m not lying when I say I’ve baked these Whole-Wheat Carrot Applesauce Muffins twice in the last two weeks. They are SO easy and SO delicious. I highly recommend.

It seems like most of the people I follow on instagram are doing the Whole 30 thing right now. Are you one of them? I think it’s AMAZING and I really would love to clean up my eating act, but I’m not quite ready to go that far yet. I feel like at least attempting to eat more “real” food is a good first step for me.

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So there ya have it! Five little things that are making me happy just thinking about in this moment. What about you?

Favorite Maternity & Nursing Fashions

Oh man, this post is a long time coming. You see, I’ve had a bazillion posts swimming around in my head for months now and I’m slowly going to find the time to get them put together. Starting with some of my favorite maternity and nursing fashion brands!

So, since we are 99.8% sure that my pregnancy with Roman was my last one, I definitely tried to make the most of it. I had a lot more fun with my growing belly in terms of fashion this last time around. Instead of just throwing on whatever was the most comfortable each and every day (although comfort did play a big part in my wardrobe), I tried to look and feel my best. I loved flaunting my pregnancy and embracing my changing body instead of letting it get me down.

Here are some of my FAVORITE fashion finds for pregnancy and breastfeeding…

Liz Lange Maternity (via Target)

When it comes to affordable maternity fashion, you can’t beat good ole Target in my opinion. My FAVORITE item from there, that I still wear all the time and would even purchase when not pregnant, are the Liz Lange Maternity Tank Tops. These tanks are super stretchy, super soft, super long, wash well, and can be worn during every season. I just love them.

Actually, I love anything from the Liz Lange maternity line at Target. Super high-quality clothing at an unbeatable price. Those shorts above are also Liz Lange with a super soft, below-belly elastic waist band that I wore throughout pregnancy and for the summer after I had Roman when I couldn’t fit into anything else. I highly recommend!

Ingrid & Isabel

>>> Ingrid & Isabel Pleated Tank Dress

I was introduced to this extraordinary maternity brand through Daily Mom and it quickly became my favorite! Seriously, the most comfortable, versatile maternity clothes I owned came from Ingrid & Isabel. The pieces are a little bit more on the spendy side, but I’ve learned that it is SO worth it to invest in a few high-quality versatile pieces that can get you through your pregnancy. Here are just a few of my favorite items…

>>> Ingrid & Isabel Flowy Maxi Skirt

>>> Ingrid & Isabel Convertible Maxi Dress

>>> Ingrid & Isabel Ponte Skinny Pants (I lived in these!)

>>> Bellaband (allows you to wear your pre-pregnancy pants unbuttoned)

The thing that makes Ingrid & Isabel clothing stand out to me is how soft the fabrics are. I wish you could feel them right now! Seriously the softest, most comfortable fabric blends used in their maternity clothes.

Boob Design

So, working with Daily Mom has totally opened my eyes up to new, amazing brands outside of my usual Target and Old Navy standbys for maternity and nursing wear. One of the coolest brands I learned of is Boob Design. And being a hoodie lover (like I pretty much live in them), my favorite breastfeeding-friendly clothing item I own is the B Warmer Hoodie. As you can see, you can wear this hoodie while you’re pregnant, but the real magic happens after baby is in your arms. There’s a front flap you can lift up for easy boob access! Love!

It’s not just the awesome designs that Boob has, though. Each piece is made from organic and eco-friendly materials that are super soft and you can feel good about wearing them. This means their items are a little bit more expensive, but are made to last and getting better with wear.

Dote Nursingwear

>>> Dote Alexa Dress

Dote is an international brand of nursing wear that offers hundreds of high-fashion nursing pieces that you just can’t seem to find in the U.S. Having weddings and summer parties to attend shortly after giving birth, I was stumped for ideas as to what to wear that would look dressy, but still allow me to discreetly breastfeed as needed. I was happy to discover that Dote has TONS of amazing nursing dresses (!!!) offering non-maternity style with easy access to the boobies. So cool! Yes, it’s a little more expensive, but if you have a nice event to attend with a newborn, it’s worth it.

>>> Dote Julia Dress

Man, why didn’t I know about these liftable boob flaps before Roman?! They make life so much easier as a breastfeeding mom. :)

Peachymama

>>> Peachymama Nursing Dress (same style)

Another AWESOME nursing brand that you may not be familiar with is the Australian line, Peachymama. They offer a variety of fun and funky dresses, simple tank tops, and comfortable tops and pants for pregnant and nursing mommas. Again, the dresses, tanks, and tops all feature easy access for breastfeeding, which is SO nice. I have a few items from Peachymama and they are all made of super soft fabric. That dress (above) is so awesome because you can shove it in a suitcase and it resists wrinkles! Great for travel. Of course, items are coming from Australia so may take a bit longer to arrive and cost more in shipping. Just keep that in mind if you’re interested.

>>> Peachymama Boat Neck Nursing Top

So there you have it! A few of my favorite fashion discoveries as a pregnant/nursing mom. Now, as a disclaimer I will say that there are still hundreds of amazing brands out there that cater to expectant moms, but these are just the ones I’ve tried and loved.

For more details on some of these brands as well as others, check out these posts over on Daily Mom:

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