First Time Mom Products I’m Glad I Splurged On

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Body Pillow

I did not spend big money on a pregnancy-specific pillow. Instead, I bought a long, rectangular pregnancy pillow with a pillow case. I love that I can wash my pillow case with my sheets. This type of pillow saved my so much money! I bought this body pillow by BioPedic and a Jersey Knit pillow case to fit. This pillow case gets softer with each wash.

A long body pillow is great for supporting your growing belly, and it has really helped me with sciatic pain. I tuck the pillow between my legs and sleep soundly.

At-Home Doppler

I use my At-Home Doppler religiously. These dopplers are safe to use every day, and I have found the heartbeat with ease since the 10th week of pregnancy. Without this doppler, I would be living in fear of loss. This has given me so much peace and joy. You can get a Summer Infant At-Home Doppler here.

KT Tape

I use KT Tape to tape up my big belly. It relieves a lot of the pressure off my back. I prefer this to a pregnancy band because it’s not as hot. My pregnancy is during summer, so I like to stay as cool as possible! This tape does not peel off in the shower, so I wear it for days at a time. It never gets smelly either.

Bonus: Baby Moon

Though I did not technically buy a baby moon, I am incredibly happy we went on one! This was our last vacation before the baby will arrive, and it has been so worth it. I enjoyed some quality time with my husband away from the stress of home and work, and I wish I could do it again! While we did not spent tons of money, we really enjoyed getting out of town. If you can, you should do something fun with your special someone! You will not regret it, and you really deserve a treat.

My Favorites This Week

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Okay, guys! I have a lot of awesome things to tell you about this week. All of which I have testing personally and ended up loving!

Fake Bake Self Tanner

I purchased this Fake Bake Self Tanner a week ago, and I have been loving it! I use it every other day, to create a base tan. The tan stays even after I shower, but I reapply to build a darker tan. Once your desired tan is established, you only have to reapply weekly. This tan actually looks very natural. It comes in a 6 ounce spray bottle with a glove included. It costs $16.

Dip Powder Starter Kit

This Dip Powder Kit is also a new investment. I love having pretty nails, but I do not love paying the price for those nails. This kit makes strong nails that last as long as salon nails. Dip nails are easier to do than regular nail polish, and it lasts longer! This kit comes in a color set and a french tip set. I got mine for $36. I also bought these BeYou Natural Tips to extend my nail length – these were $8.

“You Are Loved” Mug

This Porcelain Collins Mug is so cute, and, if you’re a coffee drinker like me, you really can’t ever have enough mugs. This would make a great birthday or Valentine’s gift or even just a gift for yourself. You can get it for only $12.99!

Dooney & Bourke Crossbody Pebble Letter Carrier

I only have one “designer” handbag, and it is a Dooney & Bourke. Dooney & Bourke bags last for years, and all bags come with a full year of warranty. This crossbody Pebble Letter Carrier comes in multiple shades, and is genuine, pebble-grained leather. You can get this bag for $178.

Shein

Get this Maxi Dress for $25!

Shein is a website with high quality affordable clothing. I have purchased over 11 different pieces, all for under $100. I first heard of this website from a family friend. She is so well dressed all the time, so I decided to check this website out. The clothing is all from $3 – $30, depending on the item. All of the products I’ve purchased have high quality fabric, and everything is exactly as described. Shein also accepts returns! Shein runs sales periodically, making it easy to get out with tons of products for a little price.

I hope you enjoy my weekly favorites! Don’t forget to like, share, and follow my page for more content like this!

“Life Hacks” That Didn’t Work For Me

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If you have any form of social media, you’ve seen a plethora of “life hacks” from sites like 5 Minute Crafts or Nifty. Some of these hacks look genuinely useful, so I tried them. There are some great hacks out there, but this list won’t have any. Instead, these are the hacks that I failed at the hardest.

DIY Clorox Wipes


The “Hack”: I tried to create DIY wet wipes from squares, cut from an old towel. The idea is that these “wipes” can be used, washes, and reused, cutting down costs on traditional cleaning methods. I whipped up my own recipe to moisten the “wipes,” this would be the actual cleaning agent. I used vinegar, baking soda, Tea Tree Oil ,and dish soap. This was an excellent cleaning remedy! You can always count on Teat Tree Oil and dish soap to get the job done, and vinegar is a gentle way to clean delicate surfaces. The first use of these wipes was incredible. The wipes really did clean up all my messed, even better than Clorox wipes, but my glee was short lived.

The Issues: The trouble began when I tried to wash these wipes. They completely fell apart in the washer, and they could never be used again. Because the rags I used were knitted together (most are), when I cut the seam, the rags completely unraveled. Buying new rags each time would be a waste of time and money.

How to make it work: This hack could still totally work. All we need to do is use full sized rags, or a different piece of fabric that wouldn’t unravel.

Tie Organization

My husband has gobs of ties, and I have tried everything I can think of to make his collection more organized.

The “Hack”: This isn’t so much of a hack as it is my blatant failure at organization. I tried two methods of tie organization: first, I made a makeshift tie rack from a clothes hanger, and second, I tried actually using a tie rack. The clothes hanger was actually more effective than the tie rack, if I tied the ties in knots. The tie rack didn’t have any traction, meaning the ties just slipped off the rack and hit the floor.

The Issues: No matter how I arranged these ties of clothes hangers or tie racks, the ties would inevitably find their way in a pile at the bottom of the closet. The only resemblance of success was when I tied the ties onto the clothes hanger and tie rack. This worked in theory, but in reality, it only held up for a few weeks. The issue was not so much the idea, but my husband. Sorry! My husband would not, for the life of him, tie his ties back up. He would just drape each tie of the tie rack hook, and soon, they would be back in the floor.

How to make it work: We have ended up designating a specific dresser drawer to his ties; this is effective, but not as storage friendly. A more expensive tie rack might work if each bar had something to hold the ties in place.

DIY Hanging Laundry Basket

A very successful option of this hack by Karisa. Learn from my mistakes and try this, instead!

I tried to make a hanging laundry basket on the fly, because my bathroom is tiny. We have no room for a laundry basket, and, at that time, we were broke. Man, was that project a disaster! Learn from my mistakes.

“The Hack”: I used a hula hoop, an old set of black out curtains, and a sewing machine. I sewed the curtains together and turned them inside out to make a basic bag. Just this bag pattern probably wouldn’t have been an issue. I, then, sewed the edge of my, now, bag around the hula hoop. It was easy, and it was finished within 30 minutes. It was not, however, high quality, long lasting, or safe spacing.

The Issues: The hula hoop made the opening of the bag entirely too big, and because it didn’t have any handles, it was a real pain to carry back and forth to the laundry room. Not only was it a bit inconvenient, it was also hideous. We used it for several months before finally purchasing a more ideal and ascetically pleasing at Target for $3. Worth it? No.

How to make it work: Sometimes, it is just better to spend a few bucks to use something that will do what you want it to, rather than struggle with an ugly, bulky laundry basket, that still ended up costing me $3. If you must try this, I would not use a hula hoop as the opening. Use something smaller and included handles. You could always try this pattern. It turned out 1000 times better than mine!

Clear Labels from Packing Tape

Gather and Flourish

Months ago, I saw a “labels from paper and packing tape” hack. It is, ideally, very easy. The above picture is not, however made from packing tape. This hack is meant to be a cheap alternative to Cricut labels, which is how the above label was made. In my opinion, this”hack” ends up just being a sad, obvious reproduction.

The “Hack”: Most “hack” websites instruct you to print out your labels on plain printer paper with normal black ink. You are then supposed to place packing tape over your paper, and cut around the tape. In a bowl of water, you place the “label” in the water, and begin rubbing off the paper. The paper section is the back of your “label.” Eventually, you will rub off the paper, and you will have a clear label.

The Issues: This was not the worst “hack” I’ve tried. It did technically make a label, that would stick to glass if you placed it immediately and never moved it again. The issue arose when I tried to readjust the label. This label has almost no adhesive after being dampened. It is also nearly impossible to completely remove all of the paper off the back.

How to make it work: Though this “hack” technically works, it is not a high quality reproduction of the Cricut labels. With the internet so readily available, I would rather purchase glass labels online. Here is a link where you can find some for less than $15.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my “life hack” failures! Comment yours below, and don’t forget to like, share, and follow this page for more.

My Favorites This Week

My favorite things this week come from Etsy. I don’t know about you, but I love all things Etsy! From vintage cookware to unique, handmade apparel – Etsy has it all, so let’s support some small businesses!

Customizable Map Tie Clips

This has been the month of gifts for me, with my grandma, my dad and my husband having birthdays! I bought this Custom Map Tie Clip by AllAboutYouCreations for my dad’s birthday, and he loved it! He is originally from Arkansas, so I asked the creator to put Arkansas in the middle of the pin. It was beautiful in every way!

Wooden Tie

My husband has been raving about this one for month. This is a Classic Wooden Tie by ClassicAdvent He saw a tie like it at a convention years ago, and he has never forgotten it. For his birthday this month, I got it for him! He cannot wear it enough!

Personalized Laptop Bag

This Personalized Laptop Bag by GiftsForGuysCo ended up being another gift for my husband. He really loved it, and it is super high quality! This bag is actually much more affordable than most bags on Etsy, too. I would recommend it to anyone!

Moss Ring

I indulged and bought this Moss Ring by Eterniada for myself last year. It has lasted very well over the months, and I get gobs of complements over it! This ring really has moss and flowers in it, but I would recommend you size up whatever your normal ring size is.

Crochet Navy Whale

Alright, let’s see if my husband reads my blog! I want this Crocheted Whale by Cuddle&Yarn for my birthday! I have been eyeballing this whale for over a year. Look at how cute it is! It would be perfect for baby rooms, or, if you’re like me, living rooms, too!

I hope you love this week’s picks! Don’t forget to like, follow, and share this page for more content!

Also, don’t forget to checkout our Merchandise!

New Merch!

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Hello, all! As some of you know, I have created my own line of vegan beauty and pet products. Here, I will give you a little background information on these new products!

Vegan Shampoo for Dry and Damaged Hair

The Damaged Hair Shampoo line has two scents: Dry Scalp Original, and Orange Mist. These two shampoos vary slightly for great results. Both contain a vegan soap base, Organic Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Oil, water, Cornstarch, and essential oils.

The Dry Scalp Original is ideal for people who struggle to keep dandruff and itchy scalp at bay. This contains additional oils and essential oils that nurture the scalp back to a healthy Ph level, while enhancing the hairs nature shine.

Orange Mist has fewer oils than the Dry Scalp Serum, and Orange scents to fill your shower and hair with a pleasing aroma that will linger for hours. This shampoo is designed for those who need more moisture in their hair, but do not struggle with dandruff.

The Dry Scalp and Orange Mist shampoo is ideal for dry and damaged hair, so using this shampoo on silky hair might result in greasy hair. When I tested this shampoo, my hair became greasy earlier than it usually would, because I have naturally oily hair. My husband, however, struggles with dandruff, and these shampoos made a world of difference in his scalp comfort.

Vegan Shampoo for Oily Hair

I have oily hair naturally, so I was so excited to create my Greasy Girl line. Right now, it only has one original scent.

This shampoo contains a vegan shampoo base, Water, Cornstarch, Vitamin E Oils, and some Essential Oils. This nourishes the scalp, and helps prevent dandruff and itchy scalp, while maintaining the cleanliness necessary to avoid excess grease and oils.

This is the only shampoo I use anymore, because it works perfectly for my hair type. Is there a specific vegan scent or hair type you would like to see added to this line? Let me know in the comments!

Vegan Peppermint Lip Balm

I created this lip balm around Christmas time, and I genuinely love it. It tingles when I put it on, which is a must for me. I can’t use most lip balms because I have sensitive skin, but this balm doesn’t cause irritation.

This lip balm smells great and is cute, but the real reason it exists is because I have chapped lips all the time. ALL THE TIME! Why? I lick my lips and don’t drink enough water. You might be like me if you often replace water with coffee. Any sleep deprived coffee drinkers out there? My lips were so chapped, and I hated using big name-brand lip balms because most contain chemicals and materials that cause your lips to peel even more than ever. Big companies do this to keep you coming back. My balm doesn’t have anything like this; your lips won’t peel any more than they naturally do, and there aren’t any harmful chemicals.

You might be wondering, “what exactly is in this lip balm that makes it so great?” This balm is packed with the highest quality, all-natural ingredients. It contains soy wax, Organic Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Oil, and skin-safe essential oils.

Puppy Poo” Shampoo & Conditioner

No, there isn’t any real puppy poo in this shampoo and conditioner combo, but it is completely vegan and natural. It is safe for sensitive skin, and the essential oils help keep fleas and ticks at bay (though we aren’t certified on the last part). We have used this shampoo and conditioner on our dogs for a while, and they love it (well, as much as they can love bath time)! This contains a soap base, water Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Oil, and essential oils. This shampoo and conditioner is thinner than our other shampoos, making it easier to spread across dirty, little puppy bodies.

This is safe to use on cats, as well, though you might gain a few extra scratches from this attempt. In all honesty, this shampoo is made at human-grade, so you could even use it if you wanted! It is vet and groomer approved.

Pet Paw Balm

Our last and favorite item is a pet paw balm. We use this on our cats, dogs, and even our foster dogs. They all love it! I have used so many different brands of Paw Balm over the years, and our pets always started licking their paws after application. This is normal, and doesn’t really affect the medicinal affects of the balm, but I was concerned because I didn’t really know what was in other brands.

It is shocking how many chemicals and toxins are allowed in pet supplies, so I quickly started making my own, vegan pet balm. This is safe for your pets to lick or even eat (though we don’t recommend it)! It is similar to our lip balm, meaning, you could even use this on your mouth. Our balm contains a soy wax base, Coconut Oil, and Vitamin E Oil.

Our pets are our family, so we only use the highest quality ingredients in our pet products. What else would you like to see added to our pet line? Comment below!

Use this coupon code for 25% off our Merchandise: WORDPRESS

If you are interested in purchasing one of these items, you have options! You can purchase through Etsy here, or you can purchase directly through this website here.

Etsy Try

Hey, guys! This week, I tried two products from Etsy, which I’m sure you’ll all love. I know I did.

This page has affiliated links. I will receive a small portion of the profit, if you click and purchase from these links. There is no additional cost to you!

Some/All images come from Pexels.com – the royalty free collection of stock photos.

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Laundry Soap

The first product is a Organic Powdered Laundry Detergent by Melissa at ConcordSoaps. I got the 3 oz. Warm Vanilla Sugar Homemade Laundry Soap for $2.50.

3 oz. of this soap washed 4 loads of my laundry, and left every article of clothing smelling great! This detergent is vegan and offered in a variety of scents and sizes.

Use the coupon code 20OFFBLOG18 for 20% off your order for any item on her page.

Dry Shampoo

The next item I tested was All Natural Dry Shampoo from Michelle at DirtyMouse. This product was pretty great, and I had high expectations. I’ll be one to admit that I do not wash my hair as frequently as I should. I usually use Batiste Dry Shampoo, which I adore, but this dry shampoo gives Batiste a run for it’s money!

Below, I’ve attached a side-by-side photo of my hair pre and post dry shampoo.

The proof is in the pudding, folks. I didn’t even take my bun down to get these results. I used the “dark hair” version of this dry shampoo, but it also comes in “light.” It has a great consistency and smell.

Go checkout these awesome products, and comment your thoughts below.

Don’t forget to like and share my posts to be entered into this week’s giveaway!

Stay tuned next week for the giveaway winner, as well as, my post A Pinterest Laundry Room for $50 or Less.

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4 Products I CANNOT Live Without

We all have things that we cannot live without. I have narrowed my list down to 4 things that I cannot live without. For me, this is easy, but it has not always been that way. For years, I didn’t know how to be content with the products I was using in my house and on my body. I jumped from product to product, unable to “commit.” Over time, I have found some things that I would buy over and over again, regardless of the price. Here are some of them.

4. Tea Tree Oil

All pictures shown, unless otherwise noted, are from pexels.com

I use Tea Tree Oil religiously. It has the germ killing power necessary for cleaning agents, and it is delicate enough to be used on skin.

I first discovered the rich powers of Tea Tree Oil when I tried a DIY Athlete’s Foot treatment on my husband. For those of you that don’t know my husband, he has some stinky feet. Once he started rubbing tea tree oil on his feet, his feet stopped stinking within a day, and within the week, they stopped itching and peeling.

I use Tea Tree Oil in my DIY All-Purpose Cleaner, and the Tea Tree Oil is what gives my the peace of mind that my kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room are really clean!

I use Tea Tree Oil to kill mold in my shower, to soften my hair and scalp, to make DIY make-up remover, and to 

3. DIY Laundry Detergent

I am not trying to toot my own horn, but this stuff is really great. It make my clothes look and feel great, but it also smells amazing! Honestly, though, I am not very picky about my laundry detergent. I don’t want it to use bleach, and I want it to clean my clothes completely. I care most about how tough it is on my clothes (like many of you, I want my clothes to last and look good for as long as possible), and how it smells. This detergent smells great, and it is gentle on clothes.  Check it out here

2. Downy Unstopables

This photo came from unstopables.com

I love love love downy unstopables! They make every load of laundry (including my laundry room!) smell fabulous. I mix these with my laundry detergent when I make it, and it holds well in liquid detergent. 

I have used many detergent softeners, but Downy Unstopables are my favorite by far. Many softeners left residue on my clothes and sheets that irritated my skin and felt unpleasant. With the unstoppables, I don’t have any of these problems. 

You can find coupons for this product here!

1. Roomba

This is number 1 on my list because it is the one I am most in love with. I LOVE my Roomba! It has honestly saved me so much time and effort. Before we made “the switch,” I was sweeping twice a week, and my floors were still gritty. I hated having dirty sock bottoms! When I upgraded to Roomba, that all changed. Really! We have this Roomba, and we have it set up to run every morning at 6 am. We empty the little dirt hatch once a week, and then we forget about it. It really is that simple. 

I have heard some negative reviews on the Roomba, and it would only be fair to talk about those, too. Some reviewers say their Roomba did not work well with multiple pets or small children. I am assuming this is because of pet fur and the likelihood of children leaving their toys in the floor. We have not had any issues with pet fur clogging up our Roomba. While we do not have children, we do often leave bags, shoes, and dog toys in our floor throughout the day. Our Roomba occasionally gets stuck on these things, but we do not mind helping him get unstuck! For us, the pros far outweighs the cons.

Honestly, if my Roomba died today, I would buy a new one tomorrow. That being said, I first bought a refurbished Roomba from Amazon, and I would not recommend that. The refurbished Roomba did not work effectively and was not worth the effort that we had to exert to exchange it. I would recommend just buying it on their website! They have excellent customer service.

Use the code SAVE10 to get 10 percent off an IRobot bundle!

Come back next week to see how we refinished our old, grime-y shower to make it look brand new!

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Some/All images come from Pexels.com – the royalty free collection of stock photos.