All Women Need To Know About…

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This will for sure be the most controversial of all of my posts THUS far.

I’m going to go there. Women sometimes don’t discuss these things. Brace yourself.

I firmly believe that if you don’t have good girlfriends who tell you about their most TMI moments, share their struggles as well as their secrets, then how the heck are we going to survive?!

I’ll be discussing some AMAZING things I found all on my own through some trial and error. I seriously think all women need to share what helps get them through life. Why be secretive?!

This covers menstrual cups (I hate the word menstrual), period underwear, & comfy bras! 

If I haven’t scared you off, then read on!

If I have, then read future blog posts I’ll be making!

PERIOD UNDERWEAR

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YES! I said it! P E R I O D underwear. Whether you are 40 or 14 you will benefit from knowing about these babies.

It seems like whenever you get your period its always at the worst times, in your sleep, while you’re out of town, while you’re wearing white pants. The list goes on and ON!

I began experimenting with Natural tampons for about a year because there aren’t any real regulations about what tampons are made of, AND the ingredients (think how they treat the material chemically) doesn’t have to be disclosed on the box.

How troubling is that?! We are literally inserting things in our bodies, where it comes in contact with our flesh month after month. Year after year. We are unknowingly subjecting our bodies to all sorts of chemicals just from having a period.

SO, I didn’t like the idea of wasting expensive hippie brand tampons just on the HUNCH I would start my period while I was sleeping or running errands and wouldn’t be around a bathroom if aunt flo came to town. Enter period panties. It sounds so silly but they’re awesome.

I can’t exactly remember HOW I found out about THINX, but I did. I ordered a few pairs of underwear, and they have SO many varieties now. Tried them out, and I have been using them ever since!

Their website tells us that you can completely avoid tampons and JUST use the underwear. That may work for some people, but for me it didn’t really work. Plus, I don’t really want to be sitting in my own blood for like a week. Too messy and not necessary when you read about my next life hack.

When I DO use the thinx underwear, I use it for the several days leading up to my projected period to bed so if I do (and it always happens) start in my sleep I usually don’t wake up and when I do wake up my sheets are never bloody. I also love them for when I’m on my period and running errands and going to bed so there aren’t any leaks on my sheets or my clothes. It’s the perfect backup barrier method and it gives me peace of mind! The underwear are so comfortable and don’t look like any different than typical underwear! They stand their product and if you have issues, they will refund you.

Give them a try! You just wash them and reuse them! They are lifesaving! Use this code to get $15 off of your order http://ref.thinxify.me/kOihx  !

MENSTRUAL CUPS

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There are all kinds of articles, studies and controversies about what tampons are made of and what they are treated with in the process. Whether thats bleaching, being made of rayon etc. it bothered me on a deep level that we use tampons that may or may not (most likely may not) be ok for our bodies. With our skin being the largest organ in our bodies, but inserting tampons for probably 30ish years til we hit menopause is concerning. We are subjecting ourselves and our internal organs to (and absorbing) chemicals and who knows what while we are on our periods. If you are curious about any of this google what tampons are made of, obviously make sure you are reading things from credible publishers. Here is one article I found thats not too out there. 

So, I looked around for more “natural” approaches. I tried I think  EVERY organic tampon on the market. I tried the 365 from whole foods, seventh generation, Luna, L.Organic, Honest Co., Natracare and probably more. They all sucked. There is no real elegant way to put it. They all sucked. They either had a cardboard applicator (which is ridiculous to use), NO applicator, and all of them just weren’t very absorbent. They didn’t really expand like typical tampons do when they are saturated. They were just stubby little nubs that really didn’t change shape and I hated all of them.

I then began to think about my other options. I know they make disposable menstrual cups, but thats still something we have to constantly purchase and then throw away.

I decided to try a menstrual cup. YEP, a menstrual cup. I never EVER thought I would do that, but I did.  After having kids, and I know not all women reading this will have had kids, you’re just more comfortable with your body in ways you didn’t think you would be. So, to save time, money, and not be throwing tampons away constantly, I thought I would give it a shot. They say these cups will last at least 3 years. Can you imagine how many tampons you would have used in 3 years?! Its unreal. There are plenty of them on the market, you just have to get in there (yes, I just said that) and try some!

I used a diva cup and I didn’t really like it. But I stuck with it, and because all of our bodies are different I tried one from faithful old amazon, that offered free returns, as gross as that sounds. Its called the BLOSSOM CUP.

Let me tell you, it’s been a game changer! I almost forget that I’m ON my period, aside from my insane moodswings and irrational behavior – but thats another story!

Menstrual cups are made of medical grade silicone and resist bacterial growth, which is why they last so long. There goes your risk of TSS from regular tampons as the absorbency increases. You can go as much as 12 hours before changing your cup! I know you are probably thinking, ya right. BUT, don’t knock it til you try it. That means you would change the cup TWICE a day!! WHAT??!??!

I love that even if you’re not home a lot, in a 12 hour timespan, odds are you will be home in the morning and at night. So you could easily change your cup in the privacy of your home as you head out the door in the morning, and when you come home at night. No more leaking in your sleep, no more tampons to change every 2-4 hours! PLUS, wearing your thinx underwear as backup you won’t ever get messy again!

There are all kinds of different ways to insert the cup, and its really not any harder than a tampon once you get the hang of it, you just have to stick with it and try for 2 or so cycles. If you google how to fold and insert a menstrual cup, you just have to try (ideally before you’re on your period) and see which way goes in easier for you.

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I personally like the punchdown fold, you just grab one of the edges with your finger and push down. It will make that shape. Hold that still with your fingers, and insert like a tampon. You will (like I said after childbirth and trying to conceive you do weird things) feel where your cervix is and just leave it right there. You will let go, it will open up AROUND your cervix and it stays put with natural suction. Its pretty cool, and probably sounds gross to read but its amazing. Emptying is easy, you just grab the cup with your fingers, pull out and dump the blood into the toilet. Rinse it off if you want, and reinsert. Its actually interesting to see the quantity you bleed, and you will learn a lot about your cycle by physically seeing it in the cup, and I think we all need to know these things about our bodies to be good advocates for ourselves and our health.

I love that I save so much time with using it, that it saves money, and that it makes my life easier. If you struggle with tampons and the pains of periods, give it a shot. You will probably be pleasantly surprised.  Read more about menstrual cups here 

Comfy Bras

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This is a much lighter topic. No more blood, cups, or period talk.

I’m home a lot of the time as a SAHM, and I usually wear sports bras. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that. But I wanted a bra that didn’t have uncomfortable straps or anything itchy etc. and I found True&Co!

They have SO many different types of bras its unreal! I also love the fact that they don’t objectify women in their advertising like another popular company. Its all about women, and being comfortable and still feeling like a woman. For once I wanted underwear that wasn’t for someone else. The bras I picked were not lingerie by any means, but MAN are they comfortable! They are seamless in design, no underwire (and they make some with that too), nothing rough or tight, and they had removable pads when you wash the bra.

They just came out with an actual sports bra design and I of course bought those too!

There is V-Neck, Scoopneck, racer back, you name it! I love that whatever you’re looking for its there. I was looking for comfort and I found it. I can wear these bras under my regular clothes outside of the house or inside lounging around and I was never uncomfortable or felt like anything was digging into my skin. I hate that.

So check out their website. They offer free returns and you can get $15 off your order with this code https://my.trueandco.com/x/dfTOZt

These are my faves

True Body Scoop Neck Adjustable Strap

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True Body Triangle Racerback

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True Body Triangle Convertible Strap

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True Body V Neck Bra

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Thats all I have! Hopefully you enjoyed, or got some amusement out of this post and my experiments!

Boys Bathroom Mini Makeover

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I’m all about farmhouse, industrial, rustic style. After-all, we do live out in the country on a ranch.

Naturally, I was getting an itch that just couldn’t be scratched without some DIY.

I wanted to make the boy’s bathroom a little more masculine looking.

With a few minor changes, and of course some chalk paint, we had a whole new look for their bathroom.  By swapping existing light fixtures, getting new mirrors that I chalk painted, we were able to achieve a totally different feel!

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The new mirrors were a chunky wood framed mirror from Lowes that I was able to chalk paint using Graphite from Annie Sloan Chalk paint. (read more about chalk paint here) 

 

Link to Mirrors We Used

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The new light fixtures also came from Lowes, click to view them

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Here is how it looked with the light fixtures changed and the new mirrors as they came, not chalkpainted.

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I really wanted a dark framed mirror but couldn’t find one that I liked. So out came the good ol’ chalk paint to achieve the look I wanted. The graphite really pulled in the grey tones in the granite and hardware finish color.. AS WELL AS take care of me not obsessing about clashing wood colors between our cabinets and the wood tile floor.

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After Chalk painting with Graphite

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All done!

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Loose Wave Curls Tutorial

My hair never used to be curled, like ever. I started using a curling wand a little over a year ago and it was a game changer!

Since then, lots of ladies have asked how I curl my hair.

While I was getting ready one morning, I made a video explaining how I do it loose wave curls and what products I use. I figured, why not?!

I’m by no means an expert, but I’m just passing along what works for me. If you are curious click the link below and check out the video.

Turn your phone into landscape (horizontal) mode to see a bigger picture- I’m still figuring this filming thing out!

Specific links to the products I mention in the video:

I use a L’ange 25mm ceramic curling wand

Use this code for 50% off of their site

Davines Heat Protector

Davines Dry Texturizer

Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast

Davines Shimmer Mist

Wella Hairspray

Hopefully this gives you some ideas about how to change up your hair routine and try something new!

XoXo

-Hannah

Teacher Mason Jar Craft

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FullSizeRenderI love making handmade gifts. If there is a holiday, you can pretty much guarantee I will want to make something to give someone. Call me crazy, or just resourceful because the nearest store with craft supplies (besides a dollar general) is more than 30 miles away; its just easier to make something sometimes!

 

Having some basic craft supplies that you buy for a project once will last for multiple projects. With that being said, I had all of the materials on hand to make these cute little mason jars for the kiddo’s teachers as a beginning of the year gift. This would be perfect to give a teacher anytime! Christmas, Teacher appreciation day, you name it!

 

Materials You Will Need:

  • Acrylic paint in red, pink, yellow, brown, grey, black and green.  Feel free to mix red and white for pink and black and white for grey, if you don’t want to buy all of them. I didn’t have black so I mixed blue red and brown til I got a deep enough color to pass for black
  • Paint brushes, foam brushes are my fave. They always come in a pack and you can just toss them when you are done since they are so cheap.
  • Paint pens if you want to trace the zig zag pattern on the pencil or write No. 2 on it in black or the teachers name
  • Painters tape if you want to have super clean lines by the rim or any areas on the pencil you want to be crisp.
  • Mason jars, I used 16oz
  • Twine
  • Pencils or candy to fill up the cups

I used this image (that had no instructions) from Pinterest, it was a craft I think they did at Michael’s. (its not the best quality, but you get the idea)

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Directions:

For the pencil I used, black, pink, grey, yellow acrylic paint. I actually didn’t have some of the colors, so I mixed red and white to make pink. I didnt have the black either and mixed some blue red and brown to make a deep enough color to pass for black since it was just a small spot on the pencil. You have to be resourceful sometimes

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It took my mason jar and and used some paint pens I already had.

I painted the pink eraser part first, then I moved on and and grabbed some painters tape to make a clean line for the metal part of the pencil and used a sharpie paint pen because I didn’t have a grey paint or colors to make grey.FullSizeRender-2

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FullSizeRender-1Then I just freehand traced an outline of the zigzag pattern on pencils with another paint pen (bought them for a previous project and had all the colors) and outlined where the yellow would go and painted that area. I let each section dry in front of the fan before I moved on to the next area. I painted the wood part brown and then I took the mixed colors (purple,blue and brown) to paint the black part of the pencil on the rim of the cup.

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My biggest tip for crafts like this is to let things dry in front of a fan, it will make things dry so much faster! 

 

For the apple, I painted the mason jar red then waited until that was dry and painted the rim brown. I took some of my green paint and painted on a leaf. You could tie some twine or ribbon and cut out a leaf shape from paper or felt if you have it and hole punch it and attach to the twine and tie that on the rim too!

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I popped some pencils in them from Dollar General, and spent under $5 for each jar!

I hope you try these out and give them to the teachers in your life and it makes them smile.

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All About Chalk Paint

I have been using Chalk Paint for over 5 years now and its hands down, the best way to refinish projects! I honestly can’t even count how many pieces of furniture I have used chalk paint on, but its A LOT!

When I first picked up Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, I was intrigued by the ease of the whole chalk paint process. Five years later I still love it and will only use it!

I love Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Because…

  • There is NO SANDING
  • NO STRIPPING
  • There’s virtually NO PREP work
  • There is NO ODOR, and its NON TOXIC
  • Cleanup is done with soap and water and is so fast
  • You paint INDOORS (no more messy outside projects)
  • Super FAST DRY TIME. You can legit finish a whole piece in one day!
  • Its Multi Surface, you can use it on wood, metal, brick, tile and a lot more!

With all of this being said, at some point I want to make separate posts for different projects I have done with all of their specifics. For now I will give you general Chalk Paint 411 and what you need to know about beginning a chalk paint project. I’ll be sure to link any pictures used in this to those posts when I do do them.

I want to stress, the quality of Annie Sloan paint and how it relates to the projects you take on. If you have a super sentimental piece of furniture you are redoing that’s been in your family or something like that DON’T go the cheap route and make your own chalk paint or buy some from for example, Michael’s. Its NOT worth it to ruin a piece and save $10. In the long run Annie Sloan is AMAZING quality and will be durable and last. You will never achieve the same quality with a cheaper product and its not worth it for good pieces of furniture to go that route. To me its like comparing different car manufacturers. Sure, a Mercedes and a Mitsubishi will get you from point A to point B; but the ride will be completely different! Yes, there are other chalk paint brands and other DIY things you can do to MAKE chalk paint, but I don’t recommend them. You wont achieve the same results as you would with Annie Sloan with another inferior product. Annie Sloan is the best and one quart of paint will last you for MULTIPLE projects. I can get at least 3 big projects out of one can, and with it being $38 thats a little over $10 a piece in paint. Can you imagine painting a dresser for $10?!

I’ll talk about my most recent redo for instructions on how to chalk paint, my old dresser. I got this when I graduated high school and it is just dated and needed to be revived.

Supply List

  • Chalk Paint (you can mix two or more colors to get a more specific color)
  • Paint brushes
  • Tarp, sheet, or construction paper
  • Painters tape if you need to tape off any edges depending on your piece
  • Clear Wax
  • Sand Paper (optional) if you are adding distressing
  • Dark or Black Wax (optional) if you are wanting to add shadowing and age the piece

Directions:

  1. If your piece is grimy, really dusty or has any kind of film take some mineral spirits and lightly wipe off the piece. You can even use water and a damp cloth to just take off any residue before you paint.
  2. Remove the hardware. You can spray paint, chalk paint, or even replace hardware. For this piece, I removed, and just replaced it. I have done other pieces where I bought new hardware, and where I used a spray paint that had paint and primer in it and sprayed existing hardware and then put it back on. Tape any edges you want protected. I was lazy and free-handed it, and could have taped around the edges of the drawers so paint wouldn’t get on the sides of the drawers.
  3. Lay down a tarp, an old sheet, or in my case, some craft paper. I didn’t move this, and just painted it right in my room. Its super easy! I took some old pieces of wood to list up the dresser and paint the feet.
  4. Take your paint and paint brush and begin to apply your first coat of paint. You will want to use a good quality brush like Purdy or Annie Sloan (if you’re buying the paint from a stockist, odds are you can pick up a brush there too). You can find a stockist here. When you’re applying the first coat, don’t worry so much about how it looks but getting a good even coverage on your piece and not applying it too thick. I promise you that your first coat will look awful! It is kind of thin and you’ll probably think you made a horrible mistake. But trust me, proceed and it will get better! Here is the first coat of paint on my dresser.
  5. Let the first coat dry. Honestly it will be dry on the side you started on by the time you get to the opposite side and start and you might not even really need to wait. Waiting 30 mins to give yourself a break would be fine and it would be ready for the second coat.
  6. Apply your second coat. Now you will see it all blending together, and not looking so messy. Apply an even and thin coat. You will be able to see if its not enough to add a little more. Chalk paint is so forgiving and really easy. You just have to try it to know what I mean. Depending on the color you chose, and the color of the piece you could be done after two coats. For this piece I went ahead and did 3 coats of Old White, since its such a light color and it was going over such a dark dresser to begin with.
  7. When its all dry, you will use Annie Sloan Clear wax. Its a really neat process, you just take a lint free rag (like a shop cloth or old sheet) and rub it into the piece like rubbing lotion on your skin. You will rub it on and then LIGHTLY wipe off the excess if it feels tacky. You can wait 24 hours and then go back and buff the piece and it will give it a slight shine to it, or leave it as it is!

8. If you want to do any distressing, you can do it one of two ways. Take a fine grit sandpaper (220) and rub it along the edges you want to be distressed AFTER you wax, or before. I have done it both ways, and its just kind of a personal preference. All roads lead to Rome. If you distress after you apply the clear wax, then there is a little less mess in my opinion because the chalk paint isn’t flaking off as much onto the floor as you rub the sand paper of the piece. The wax seals it in, but its still workable and you can distress after the wax. You can choose how you want to do it.

Additional or Optional Steps

If you want to add dimension and age the piece, Annie Sloan sells Dark Wax (which is brown) and Black Wax. Both of these should be applied AFTER you apply the clear wax. I repeat, apply the black or dark AFTER the clear has gone on. This is simply because it can be spread around once there is that clear layer to protect the piece, if you did it directly on the paint it would essentially stain it and you couldn’t manipulate it to be lighter or darker. So apply dark or black wax in areas where there are crevices and would be shadowed from again and then apply a little clear wax over those areas to blend it in. It should create a seamless look and look like it was natural.

So step 1, apply clear wax. Step 2, apply dark or black wax. Step 3, apply a little more clear wax to blend it in if its not blending well when you first apply it. This will obviously darken the piece when you apply these and will change the paint color a little bit.

Here is a nightstand I redid, with Old White, and applied dark wax into the crevices and blended it all together with a little more clear wax. You can see its darker and has an aged look. Gel stain is applied to the top of the dresser for a different look, and I The hardware on it was originally brass, and I removed it and spray painted the handles with a Rustoleum flat black and put them back on. I plan on posting about these processes and will link that when I do. Its amazing as well. You can always add more if you want it darker, or remove it like an eraser with clear wax if its too dark. Its all preference based so just step back and look at it as you go adjust it if you need to. Doing this over that first layer or clear wax makes this possible.

I hope this answers some chalk paint questions you may have had. It really is such an easy process with great results so give it a try. I’ve refinished bookcases, tables, desks, dressers, nightstands, mirrors, shelves, and even brick with chalk paint. Its AMAZING. I’ll be sure to make more posts soon about other chalk paint projects!

Share this with your friends if they’d love to learn more about chalk paint and tag Doing It Like Martha on FB or IG!

If you want to check out Annie Sloan’s website to see the products or learn more about the techniques its a great resource!

DIY Color Me Mine Project At Home

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It’s secret that I’m obsessed with doing crafts at home, and I love the idea of Color Me Mine… but its kind of far from my house and I have done a couple projects where I paint a ceramic piece and bake it in the oven and I don’t have to leave my house to do it!

So if your kids are misbehaving you didn’t expend energy getting out of the house to go to color me mine and come pick up your finished piece a couple days after you leave.

All you need is a ceramic piece, and enamel paint!

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I found these ceramic pumpkins at Hobby Lobby when I was getting some fall decorations and HAD to buy them. I like doing crafts with the kids, as well as alone. This was perfect because I would display their work with my fall decor.

 

You take your paint and paint the piece,

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and when you’re done just pop it in the oven on a cookie sheet.

When you finish let it sit inside while it preheats to 350.  

Let it bake for 30 mins and take it out to cool.

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If you have paint pens from another project have your kiddo sign the bottom or back and  write the year its made before you put it in the oven to cure.

You can do this for so many holidays and occasions. Hopefully you do this and have some fun with your kids!

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Let’s Talk Gel Nails!

I love going to a salon, and just disconnecting and getting my nails done. But I’ll be honest. When I’m out running errands I’m usually on a tight schedule where I need to get X Y and Z done and be able to be home to pick up the kids, bring home dinner or whatnot when I venture into town (yes, I have become THAT country). Most of the time it means I would rather save time and not be rushed and I end up doing my nails at home. Sure, it might not be as relaxing but I am not frazzled and end up saving quite a bit of money. Once you invest in a some pretty inexpensive supplies you pay for it after 2 manicures at home and even quicker if you do a mani and pedi! The salons can charge as much as $40 for a gel mani and with a pedi you are over $100 when you’re out the door. Supplies can cost around $70 max and when you buy polish you’re spending around $10 so its definitely worth doing IMO. Sometimes at Ulta there will be sales where its BOGO Half off and that’s a good time to stock up on colors.

SO- I’m going to give you the lowdown on what I have used and it always yields salon quality results, and it does not take being a professional to do a good job! Let’s face it, we have been painting our nails since we were teens, am I right? Gel polish is no different.

I usually shop at Ulta, or Amazon for my gel nail polish. I know that you can pick up stuff at Sally’s Beauty or any other beauty supply around you. I have used Sensational which you can get it Target (but their bottles seem smaller), Red Carpet a lot, its what Ulta and sells and it works great! I have bought Gelish from Amazon and recently bought CND and really like that too. I feel like most are pretty comparable.The one kind I have used that I did NOT like was Sally Hansen. It wasn’t any cheaper and it was definitely NOT good quality. I used ones that required a lamp and one that didn’t need a lamp from Sally Hansen and I would just avoid that one. If I had to chose one, I would recommend Red Carpet.

The process is the same as painting your own nails.

  1. You will want to start with clean, filed, and cuticle trimmed nails.
  2. Wipe your nails with a facial cotton, or paper towel (something that’s lint free) with alcohol or acetone to prep the nails for polish.
  3. You paint a thin layer of base coat on all of the nails and stick them under your UV lamp.
  4. You put 2-3 thin layers of gel polish over the base coat, curing in the lamp with each coat. You paint it on just like you would with regular polish. You will need 3 for some of the super opaque colors.
  5. When the color is all done, you put a layer of top coat, and then cure in the lamp.
  6. Once the top coat is applied and cured, take a cotton ball or facial cotton and soak it in acetone or rubbing alcohol and wipe off the tacky layer you just cured. It should not remove the color and it will leave your nails clean and shiny.

Gel polish last up to 14 days and doesn’t chip off like regular polish. I love how it holds up because I to LOTS of things from refinishing furniture to washing dishes, and GEL HOLDS up its end of the bargain. I won’t touch regular polish.

Here is what you will need:

    • Nail file, Cuticle Trimmers
    • Acetone or alcohol
    • UV lamp (I use the Red Carpet lamp I got from Ulta years ago regardless of the gel polish I’m using at the time).
    • Gel base polish, Gel color, and Gel top coat

 

Here are some kits I recommend

This Red Carpet kit comes with a light and all the essentials from Amazon

This is from Ulta (you can use coupons) and comes with a few less things

So give it a try and if spa time isn’t in your schedule or budget this will definitely be a great solution!

The Best Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

I have been making these cookies since I was a little girl with my mom. Growing up I remember rolling the cookies into balls, dropping them into some cinnamon and sugar and gently flattening them with this small glass we used only when making these cookies.

I’m UBER picky with snickerdoodles because of this and frankly because these are SO good and better than most. Its really simple, and always tastes so good!

The Best Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

  • Servings: 4 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

3 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp salt

2 sticks of butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

For rolling:

3T sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1. Combine the four, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a bowl and set aside.

2. In a separate bowl beat the butter for 30 seconds. Then add sugar and beat until fluffy.

3. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat well.

4. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet mixture.

5. In a separate small bowl mix cinnamon and sugar to roll cookies in.

6. Roll dough into 1” balls, roll into cinnamon sugar mixture and place on a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper 2” apart. You can use a cookie scoop if you have one.

7. Take a small glass and use the bottom to GENTLY flatten the tops of cookies before putting in the oven.

8. Bake at 375 for 8 mins. Let cookies cool for 5 mins on sheet then place on cooling rack.

Cookie Hack

My friend, fellow boy mom and cookie lover told me her cookie dough trick recently. She told me to not bake all the dough, bake a dozen or so, put the rest in a storage container and store in the fridge. Throughout the week bake a few cookies, so you don’t feel like you bake cookies and half go stale. Every time you bake them they are fresh baked! Its genius! I did it this week with the snickerdoodles, and its awesome! So now I bake a few and they are fresh cookies and I love having them to put in the boy’s school lunches.

I know you will love them as much as we do!

The #MOMLIFE reality that isn’t trendy

If you are a new mom, a mom of small children or just in a new phase of life, odds are you are not unfamiliar with the feeling of loneliness.

Everyone always recites that cliché saying “your whole life changes when you become a mom” right? You hear it, and it passes in one ear and out the next. Honestly though, your life changes in ways you totally did NOT see coming. I could write a bazillion, yes I said bazillion, posts about the ways your life changes after being a mom from postpartum bodies, sleep deprivation, to succumbing to a messy house. But what I’m wanting to write about is how you mentally change. Yes, there is postpartum depression and that’s a very real thing that so many women have to deal with, but there are plenty of women who are undiagnosed (and may or may not have ppd) and struggle with LONELINESS.

The loneliness you start to feel creep in is subtle, but its real. Here you are a new mom, you’re adjusting to a whole range of things like how to keep this child alive, how to function on 3 hours of sleep, how to adapt to your changing body, how to breastfeed, how to formula feed if breastfeeding didn’t work out, how to not guilt yourself, its ENDLESS. At the end of the day, I’m sure you are left feeling lonely and like no one else is struggling like you and you’re the only one that understands you in these moments. You probably feel like other moms have this all figured out and they’re just coasting through life with their bffs and loving life. This was one of the lies I let my self believe for too long.

I wanted to be a young mom, to basically do the opposite of my parents (who were older than most parents) and start a family young. When I did though, I of course knew I changed my life, but the change I didn’t see coming was in my friendships. I was the first of my “friends” to get married, first to have kids, and because of those things I was just in a different phase of life than anyone else. That alone separates you and puts you in a different category than your friends. I felt myself not connecting the way I used to, and it just made me feel lonely. I got in my head and questioned if I had made a mistake wanting to make these big life choices earlier than people I knew. I was left feeling empty, lonely, and just sad a lot of the time. Those feelings weighed on me, like a weight on my shoulders I carried around with all of the other things I was juggling at the time… like being a mom and a wife.

So for about 4 years I didn’t really connect with women like I wanted to. I felt different, I didn’t feel like I had any real friends, and I was just bound to my house as a slave to the nap schedule of my child. When we had our second child, our lives had to adjust to the new addition and when he was close to one, someone mentioned to me casually that I should attend a MOPS group. I responded to.. um what the heck is that?!

MOPS stands for Mothers Of Preschoolers. Typically MOPS groups are ran through churches across the nation, but I (at the time) was not a person who had been to church. I did not grow up attending church, and the idea was pretty foreign to me. But, I was feeling lonely, and I thought, there was some promise in the idea that moms met 2 times a month, who were just like me in this unique phase of life with small people to chase after day in and day out. A few months earlier, I had started my first online bible study through some ladies in a direct sales company I worked for at the time, and felt I was semi- prepared to enter into a church environment because I had been doing that for a few weeks. So I asked around on facebook who attended a “MOPS” group, and I did get a couple responses and looked one of them up and went to their park play date sign up. I hesitantly walked up to a table with a big sign and signed myself up for “MOPS” and whatever that was.

I have been apart of MOPS for 5 years now, and unless we have another baby, then this will be my last year. Truthfully, I wish I would have known about it SOONER! That first year, I was a new-ish mom and didn’t have any connections or friendships, I struggled with loneliness, and I became SO connected and had life breathed back into me!

I sat at an amazing table of 7 other women and one mentor mom, who happened to be the head of women’s ministry at that church. It was a life changing year. It sounds so corny, but just going to those meetings, and listening to the speakers, the videos, and other moms at my table and not at my table revitalized me. Suddenly, I was not some leper cast away on an island to live alone, but I was JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Other moms struggled with not feeling like they are enough, and feeling like they were one timeout away from losing their minds.

That year I made lasting friendships, and to this day, 5 years later I still call most of them great friends. Several of them have “aged out” of MOPS and their kids aren’t in the 0-5 year range, but I still text and connect with them on a pretty regular basis. Each year I met amazing women and it truly opened up a door for me to see that I am not alone.

If you are feeling at all like how I felt, and this is how you are hearing about MOPS, you should look on their website and connect with a local chapter and GO! You can look for a group here. Nothing is holding you back but yourself and your fear. If I hadn’t walked up to that table at that park play date and let fear paralyze me then I wouldn’t have made any of the friendships or connections that I have over these last few years and my life would be SO different. No one can support you, or understand you like a fellow mom. Don’t let yourself live isolate and feeling lonely.

We are meant to live in connection with each other and not apart from each other.

With this most likely being my last year at MOPS, and with it being the beginning of the year, it got me thinking about my time there and left me with the feeling that I needed to write about MOPS. Maybe there is a mom who will read this who is feeling just like I felt.

This year’s theme for MOPS is called “FIND YOUR FIRE”, and its so fitting. Most of us let our fires go out when we become moms because we have to do so many new things and we lose ourselves. Don’t let yourself make that mistake, because our fires were not meant to be extinguished.

“Never let your fire go out. When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful. Share with God’s people who are in need. Welcome others into your homes.” Romans 12:11-1 NIV

My Favorite Quiche

I’ll begin with the fact that I love eating breakfast! With that being said, no I don’t eat quiche everyday, even though that sounds like a divine life.

I’m not quite sure how my love of quiche even manifested… but its my go-to breakfast dish. Whether I’m attending a MOPS meeting and have to bring a hot dish, making brunch or just want something delicious for home. This recipe does NOT disappoint. 

I found this quiche recipe from an episode of Pioneer Woman that I watched and knew I had to make it. This quiche is called “Cowboy Quiche” and my husband and everyone who has eaten it have loved it!

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I love that you just need a few ingredients: Eggs, Butter, Onion, Bacon, Heavy cream, Cheese, and a pie crust. Ingredients and printable directions are listed at the bottom of the post.

First you cut up an onion, and sauté them until they are a gorgeous golden color. You will cook them over low heat for about 15-20 minutes stirring them on and off. When they are done set them aside to cool.

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Cook 8 slices of bacon, and then roughly chop them up. Don’t get them extra crispy while you are cooking them, you want them somewhat chewy because they are going in the egg mixture and will cook some more in the oven. Be sure to have some extra slices on hand for snacking, I’m talking about you or any tiny hands. Somehow bacon disappears in my house, I’ll let you decide if its from adults or hungry boys. 

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Combine eggs and heavy cream

Whisk them together

Add in Salt and Pepper to taste

Roll out your pie dough, or grab your prepared pie crust you have from the store. I always keep a couple in my freezer to have on hand for pies, quiche, etc. Just let it thaw for a bit and then roll it out.

Lay the crust over your pan, and use a DEEP DISH pan for this recipe.

It makes a lot of quiche and you’ll want to use a bigger pan for one quiche. I have a Martha stewart pan thats extra deep that I used.IMG_3384You can use two regular pie crust pans and bake two (freeze one, or eat two, no judgement) you can see how the Martha Stewart one I used is wider and deeper than a regular pie pan. IMG_3385.PNG

Throw your onions and bacon into the egg mixture, add cheddar cheese (try not to drool into the mixture) and then pour into the pie dish with your pie crust.

DoingItLikeMartha.wordpress.com-5.pngDoingItLikeMartha.wordpress.com-6.png Bake at 400 for 40 to 45 minutes, with foil lightly tented over the top. Take the Foil off and cook for 10-15 minutes more until the crust is golden brown and the center is slightly still jiggly. It will continue to cook when you take it out of the oven.  If it looks like it needs more baking time, just pop the foil back over the top so the crust doesn’t get too dark and let it keep baking. Let it rest for 15 minutes after you take it out of the oven before you slice it.

Voila!

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Enjoy this amazing dish, and print it out down below.

Pioneer Woman Cowboy Quiche

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Unbaked Pie Crust (enough For A Deep Dish Pan)
  • 2 whole Yellow Onions, Sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 8 slices Bacon
  • 8 whole Large Eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream Or Half-and-Half
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preparation

Fry the onions in the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat for at least 15 to 20 minutes (maybe longer), stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Fry the bacon until chewy. Chop into large bite-sized pieces and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the pie crust and press it into a large fluted deep tart pan (or a deep dish pie pan).

Whip the eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a large bowl, then mix in the onions, bacon, and cheese. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.

Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet, cover lightly with aluminum foil, and bake it for about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the quiche is set and the crust is golden brown. (The quiche will still seem slightly loose, but will continue to set once remove from the oven.)

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. If using a tart pan, remove the quiche from the pan, cut into slices with a sharp serrated knife, and serve!