Summertime with your Kids - Prepare Now, Relax Later

Shelin Graziela CC BY-SA 2.0
Summer is quickly approaching. With the kids home, you may find yourself too busy running around, preparing meals, and chauffeuring them to and fro that you don't get a chance to enjoy yourself. Summer days can be long, busy, and not quite the relaxing vacation you deserve. Luckily there are a few things you can do to prepare now, so things run smoothly later. These items should head off most complications and allow you to relax and enjoy summertime.

10.  Frozen foods are your friends

"Grocery Store Frozen Food Aisle" by Colin Knowles  CC by 2.0
It's hot outside and there's so much to do. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the kitchen. Make sure to stock up on frozen foods for fast easy dinners that don't heat up the house. Keep some frozen rolls on hand for burger buns. Frozen fish and veggies make a delicious healthy dinner. Head over to Trader Joe's and stock up for some great meals.

9.  Stockpile Snacks  

When your kids get invited to a last minute event, have some snacks available for them to take along. Make sure to stash them away so the kids don't eat them.

8.  Don't forget the Googles

Never mind that you never wore them yourself. Your kids cannot survive without them. You can go ahead and pick up the big pack at Costco. Eventually your kids will need some new ones, so stock up to avoid a last minute run to the store.

7.  Sunscreen Stick

Face it, your kid isn't going to use regular sunscreen without you. Make sure to buy one of these sticks because your kids is much more likely to use it if you aren't around.  They may not get the full coverage that you would like, but it's something.  Pick your battles. 

6.  Jergen's Natural Glow

Don't be pasty. It's quick and easy to look like you have a healthy tan. It's affordable and it doesn't make you orange. Here's the amazon link, because you must get it now.

5.  Anti-Itch Cream

This cream is amazing. I discovered it in a pharmacy in Stokkel, Belgium. Mix equal parts Hydrocortisone cream, Benadryl cream and Lidocaine cream. It provides complete lasting relief from mosquito bites. Sometimes just one application is enough to make the bite entirely disappear.

4.  Stocked Beach Bag

Keep it ready for your kids last minute events - towel, sunscreen, goggles, pool toys, hair-ties. Just grab a suit, some snacks and they are out the door.

3. Stock your Trunk

It's time to check your trunk and prepare it for Summer. Don't forget a cooler (excellent for running errands), spare towel, beach blanket, sunscreen, first aid kit, bug spray.  I love this bag for my trunk.  And the collapsable cooler fits perfectly.

2.  Prep your Bikes

If your bike has been in storage all winter, it's time to get it prepared for the season.  Don't wait for the last moment only to find a flat tire; check out your bikes in advance. Pump up those tires and make sure you don't need new inner tubes. Tighten your chain and inspect your brakes and safety gear.

1.  Prep your Car

Get your car ready for a road trip.  Go ahead get the oil change, vacuum and wash the car.  Dig out that roof-top carrier and bike rack so you can be ready for anything. 

These tips should keep you prepared for all the summer time hiccups that prevent you from relaxing and enjoying the summer. Enjoy!

Shelin Graziela CC BY-SA 2.0

The Best Bug Bite Anti-Itch Cream Ever - Belgian Secret

One of my favorite souvenirs from our 6 years in Belgium is the most useful. It's the Belgian Anti-Itch Cream. One day while walking to the metro, I stopped in the pharmacy in Stokkel to find something for my daughter's bug bites. Remember the old pharmacies where they actually mix medications, well they still do that in Belgium. Each pharmacy has it's own anti-itch cream. Well, we lucked out because this cream was incredible. It worked like a miracle cure. One application and all itching was gone.

CC Image courtesy of Sam Burnett on Flickr
Over the course of the years, I bought this miracle cream many more times. Luckily one time it had the ingredients on the label. So now that we are back living in the US, I can recreate it. And you can too. It's very easy and takes just three over-the-counter ingredients that you can find at any store. You can watch me make it here.

Belgian Anti-Itch Cream     

·       Lidocaine Cream
·       Hydrocortisone Cream
·       Diphenhydramine (Benadryl Cream)
·       Small Storage Container

1.  Place equal amounts of each of the three creams in the container. You may weigh or measure them out to be exact. But approximate amounts work just fine.
2.  Stir to combine all ingredients in the container.

To apply:  Use a small amount of compound mixture and rub into skin covering bite and the surrounding area, about 1 inch radius from bite.  Obviously do not use if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.

I hope you have excellent results with the compound.  Enjoy your summer!

Pathetic Purse Purge - Lipsticks - Let go of the past

I made a new video of my purse purge. I finally cleaned out the lipsticks that have found a home there. You can watch it here.  

What I learned is that I tend to hold on to things that I hate, even things that make me unhappy. I need to let them go, throw them in the trash and move on. Surround myself with things that make me happy.

Also I learned...

1.  Try on lipstick before purchase
2.  Don't buy online without being sure of the color.
3.  Some things are not worth the splurge.
4.  No corals, definitely not frosty ones.
5.  No warm colors

Know thyself.


10 Ways I Fail at Social Media

Let me count the ways I suck at social media....

10.  Twitter -  I am neither quick nor witty.


9.  YouTube - I am super pedantic and annoying.  It's like when I try to be light and funny, I only make it worse.


8.  Facebook live - I just forget the english language, stare at the camera awkwardly, and blurt something out.


7.  Pinterest - not talented


6.  Snap chat - take the worst selfies


5.  LinkedIn -  Stay-at-Home Mom for last 15 years


4.  Facebook - I'm worried I'm annoying my friends and family


3.  Google+ - Yeah, I just don't get it


2.  Instagram -  not a photographer


1.  Blogging - I'm not a writer.  I'm neither original nor profound.


New Starter Kit at Limelight by Alcone

Finally Limelight by Alcone seems to have solved their manufacturing delays and have opened up for new new Beauty Guides. It's been a long wait. And I have almost made my decision, but then, everything changes. Limelight changed their starter kit, no more foundations or concealers. Instead you get two lipsticks, an eyeliner, and a bamboo renew.

Basically now for $169 you are getting some skincare and a whole bunch of lip stuff. Really $169 for some lipgloss??? Seriously, if you want to sell you really need more items. It's an additional $112 for two foundations and concealers. Assuming retail prices:

                              Starter Kit                                $ 169
                              Foundations/Concealers       $ 112
                              Sotox/One Drop Wonder      $ 112
                              Primer                                        $ 32

That's $425 to get started. That's definitely more than I expected to spend just to get started. I knew that eventually I would have to buy more products but I hoped to be able to do a full face without additional expense. Here's me wearing the botanical foundation, which I love and I really hope to enjoy all the other products as well!

So now I'm thinking that I really need to sell some things on eBay soon to get some cash. I have bins of items stashed under my desk, waiting for me to find eBay inspiration. Unfortunately, right now, the Ikea wet bar install is taking over my space. I am hesitant to throw anything out until it's complete, which is only a few day away. So eBay and Limelight will have to wait.
My workspace is covered with IKEA debris
Check me out on YouTube discussing the new Limelight by Alcone Starter Kit.  Enjoy your day!