Monday, June 30, 2014

What's hiding your jetted whirlpool tub?

Oh, sigh, the luxury of having a jetted whirlpool tub in your master bathroom.  You know it's a great selling point when you buy a house and you imagine how many wonderful, candlelit bubble baths you'll have while you read a good book and soak in luxury, right?
Well, then there were kids.....and laundry........and toys. The list goes on but my recent discovery about my beautiful jetted spa was not that I didn't have time, I just simply couldn't find the thing.  It was always hiding under things and got so neglected that I just didn't have the time to clean up all the things in the tub to actually get in!
So pregnancy has set in and the aches and pains tend to get a little bit worse near the last half and I needed a solution.  The kids were at grandma's house taking a short summer get away and I was left, to myself, with nothing to do....errrr, a million things to do. I was doing the laundry and decided to make a goal of getting it ALL caught up and completely & deeply clean my bathroom. While picking up the last load of laundry piled high in the re-purposed luxury jetted tub I discovered that I HAD a luxury bathtub and it was dirty.  Spiderwebs and lurking spiders, potted plants with dried up leaves, empty bath salt jars, all left to rot and untouched for months. Well, I said to myself, this has just gone too far.  How could I let my perfectionism get away like this? Shame on me.

So, I dove in and tackled the job.  I did a thorough job of filling up the tub with water and cleaning out the jets, I swiped up cobwebs and cleaned up my plants.  Then I filled up my lonely jars with epsom salt, polished the jar with dried lavender in it and placed my loofah right there in the midst of them.  I put a clean cloth and towel on the edge and waited for the hot water heater to refill so I could finally enjoy my luxury.   After all, I deserved it and really needed the soak while I listened to spa music and watched the baby in my tummy kick and make waves in the bath.  Oh, so nice and long overdue.

Soaking recipe:
1 c. epsom salt
5-10 drops Young Living Essential Oil (lavender is nice)
tablespoon of baking soda

A word of advice: ok, well a list of things to keep from neglecting your tub and take some time to refresh yourself for a change;
1. Don't use your tub for dirty laundry, EVER. Just use a portable hamper if you need the space and just take it out when ready for a spa time.

2. Keep your bath supplies ready and filled and dusted.  You don't want to see dirt while you're in the tub. Use glass canisters to give it a spa luxury feel.  Using a large apothecary jar is nice filled with epsom salt.  Add some essential oils nearby for quick access.

3. Keep a fresh towel and cloth on the side for quick moments of peaceful relaxation.  Even a 20 minute soak with jets will give you an all over boost.

4. Use fresh and organic plants near the tub and don't pile up ANYTHING unless it pertains to a spa time.  You don't want to see rubber duckies or spiderman diving gear anywhere near your quiet just ruins the mood!

5. Keep the tub rinsed out and dusted and ready to go, otherwise you'll just walk on by!

Please feel free to write your thoughts here, I'd love to read them!

Roasting Marshmallows Indoors?

Whether you like your marshmallows a burnt crusty black or a nicely toasted light brown, you can have the same great taste indoors.  Granted it won't have that woodsy & smoky campfire taste, but the taste is a close second when you use the Broiler in your oven. 
 Having pregnancy cravings have pushed me to find a way to have a toasty marshmallow without the effort of a huge campfire in our backyard fire pit by myself.  No, i normally sneak one when the kids are napping or playing by themselves.  I just don't like to share sometimes or maybe because it's almost dinner.
I've found that the biggest delight is from the Giant marshmallow roasters. For one serving  I like to stick 2 marshmallows on a non-stick baking pan in the oven and turn on the Broiler to Lo.  Caution: Oven Broilers should not be unattended.  Once you turn that bad boy on, just stay right there in front of the oven on a stool and turn the oven light on.  Don't check your email or phone messages while you wait because things can go really crazy if not watched.  Just really like watching your marshmallow on the open never know when it could catch on fire.  Take the swollen marshmallows out when they reach the desired layer of toasty and enjoy immediately.  The longer they sit on the pan the harder they are to get off.  The outside is crispy and inside is ooey goodness!  An extra bonus comes when mixed with Nutella or almond butter and honey. Yum.

If you want to make indoor s'mores, just put your graham crackers on a separate pan and take them out sooner then your marshmallows, they brown very quickly. Once you get them out of the oven, put your chocolate squares, Nutella or almond butter right on the warm cracker.  When your marshmallows are toasted enough, just layer it in between and eat up.

Please feel free to write your thoughts here, I'd love to read them!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Last Minute Father's Day Idea from Younger Children

fatherson10  adventure box  gift for dad  different cute idea
As I researched Pinterest this week for some backyard ideas and also a few photo prop ideas, I stumbled across the idea of an adventure box for Dad on  Inside was just a few items to use your imagination to play with your son in the backyard or outdoors inside a nice treasure chest box. Check out her site for detailed information.
 So this sparked my idea to make adventure boxes from my son, who is 6, and daughter, who is 2 1/2, with some real activities. Since my husband needs a little help in the creative & planning department (given his little free time), I gave specific ideas on index cards! Some ideas were; biking on trails, fishing, geocaching, bird watching, canoe riding, archery, building kits, catch lightening bugs, camping in back yard, roasting hot dogs on the new fire pit, etc.. 

The boxes were not fancy, which is unusual for me to hold back, but I wanted the kids to say they are completly decorated by themselves. They had a blast drawing on these most of the morning.  Most items inside were no cost activities, but are guaranteed to give many lasting adventure memories.

 Items here (already from his room): Race Car kit (opened but not finished), Train Painting/building kit, a robotics kit (both from Christmas, and unopened), flashlights, glass jar with lid and holes, duck calls, fishing poles, tackle box, sleeping bag, a new tent (not pictured) for camping in the backyard on Saturday evening, Davey Crockett Hat, pirate treasure map, bucket, bungee cord, magnifying glass, air sky blades shooter and an envelope with tickets on Father's Day to the Naturals baseball game.
I researched the local Nature Center and printed out packets with maps and calender of events.  I also found a bird watching booklet, a trail guide and a fishing guide plus coloring books. The Janet Huckabee Center offers free tackle gear, hunting trails, a lake to fish for free, bicycle trails,  archery classes, summer fun camps, Arkansas river boat tours, camping tips and so much more.  Their site is for those in the ft. smith, AR area.

In his eyes, this was the most amazing box ever. He was so proud of his drawings and ultimately proud of the things in the box representing lots of fun times with Dad ahead.  My son is a planner and he wakes up and goes to sleep worrying about what's coming next....especially if he doesn't know.  This will give him many planning projects to count down the days.

My camera battery died, so I have no more pics. My daughter's box was a smaller box with crazy marker artwork and multiple stickers.  Inside her we will put ideas on index cards and put items like; tea party set, bubble wand, kite, baby doll outfit, coloring book and a few other littles. She loves to go to the park so I will put those ideas on cards for her dad to read and plan a father/daughter play date.  

I hope this has helped you last minute gifters or those just simply on a tight budget, to prepare some memories for the Dad of your children at least it's sure to get you a little free time with one less child running around. Happy Father's Day to all the dads who want to be a role model for their children and play the most important role in their child's development and simply just being there for their child. Hats off to you!

Please feel free to write your thoughts here, I'd love to read them!