Garbage Toys

If I had known what a scam toys were, I would have saved my money and started saving more garbage instead. My two-year-old finds the recycling bin to be better than Toys 'R' Us. Various throw-away items get new life when she stumbles across them, and I'm all about upcycling in this house.

Here is my list of trash that ends up being the most entertaining toys:

  • Empty plastic bottles. Babies love an empty water bottle (cap removed)
  • A roll of toilet paper
  • Pots, pans and cooking spoons
  • An empty paper towel cardboard tube
  • A basic calculator
  • Bubble wrap
  • An empty diaper box
  • A key ring (remove actual keys and fill it with plastic keychains with rounded edges)
  • Greeting cards that sing
  • Tissue paper
  • An empty coffee or oatmeal container with lid
Oh, and if you're worried that any of these are potential choking hazards, the solution is to just actually watch your kid. Easy peasy. Happy garbage collecting. Your toddler and wallet will thank you.

Feel free to share any surprising items your kiddo's love to play with!

Pampered Mamas: DIY Sugar Scrub Recipe

Valentine's Day is near, so all you partners out there who have yet to buy a present-- listen up!
We have a guest post from Michelle Pino of Skana, a spa in Verona, NY. Moms can whip up this special treat for themselves, or you can gift it to that special lady in your life who deserves some TLC. Enjoy :)

Rub Away Winter Skin: Simple Ways to Pamper Yourself

Are you ready for some sunshine?  This time of year most of us are.  Months of minimal sunshine and holiday entertaining leave our skin looking dry and dull.  Like most busy mothers, we have spent the last several months shopping, baking and attending our children’s holiday programs.  In the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season, we have not had time to pamper ourselves.  

One of the best ways to keep energized and focused to look good, and feel good, not just on the inside but the outside too. As mommies we all need a little “me” time. Setting aside a whole day to spend at a luxurious spa and resort is usually just out of the question. But, who says you can’t bring the spa home to you? No one!

If you cannot make it to the spa, consider creating this treatment at home, and give yourself a little boost of confidence!  

Do-It-Yourself Body Scrub

            3 cups of cane sugar
            3/4 cup of olive oil
            essential oil (up to 8 drops depending on preference)
            food coloring, if desired
            Mason jar or other container for storage
            Large Spoon for mixing
To Make:
Place the cane sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add olive oil slowly as to not over saturate. (The mixture should not be too soupy.) Next, add a few drops of the essential oil to get the desired scent. Continue to mix. If you would like to add a little food coloring, again, add drops slowly and mix thoroughly until you achieve the perfect color. (The food coloring will not rub off when you are applying the mixture!) Scoop the mixture into a mason jar or other storage container until you are ready to use it! The scrub will store for about a week and a half.

To use the scrub, begin by washing in a warm shower or bath.  Apply the scrub to the body.  Pay special attention to rough areas like elbows, hands and feet.  Rub the scrub in a circular motion.  If you use the scrub on your face, rub gently to avoid irritation.  Rinse thoroughly.  You can use this treatment several times per week.

To get the ultimate at-home-spa-pampering-experience, get your body scrub and a warm cloth (towel) ready, grab some fresh fruit, a glass of wine (as long as you aren’t in charge of the kid-o’s!), and some chocolate. After take a nice hot shower using your body scrub, sit and relax with a warm cloth on your face or shoulders. Some fresh fruit dipped in chocolate with a glass of wine to top it off will be the perfect way splurge a little and to pamper yourself without spending a fortune or taking up precious minutes of your already busy days!