Lindsay Gill: May 2016

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Guest post by Nicole: Rainy Sunday Aromatherapy Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Today, my good friend, Nicole, is going to share her homemade aromatherapy play dough recipe! Nicole is a wife, mom, elementary art teacher and great friend!  She loves everything DIY, interior design, thrifty fashion finds, and she is a great cook!  To see more of Nicole, follow her on Tumblr

Hey guys! As a full-time working mama of two little dudes under age five, life is pretty hectic around here, and I will admit that lately I have a love/hate relationship with the weekend. 

Remember weekends before kids? A time to relax and re-coup for the grueling week ahead; a late morning trip to the gym after a cup of coffee that hasn’t been microwaved 5 times, followed by a quick pedi on the way home before getting ready to out to dinner-maybe throw a nap in there to mix it up.  

Yeah, not happening now. Typically, our weekends revolve around some planned activities like a birthday party or trip to see friends or family and then there’s the inevitable catching up on house-functioning stuff like grocery shopping and laundry. I try to "infuse" the weekend with a few little surprises for the boys to make it seem like a special time as we escape the monotony of the week. It’s not always easy because frankly I find it more tiring being constantly on as a mom vs. teacher, but it’s important and it is in fact the little things….right? That’s what they’ll remember. I keep telling myself that.

This past Sunday was a doozy. It was dreary, cold, and rainy and we were all in our PJs long enough to contemplate even changing out of them. I dug deep into my mom bag of tricks for a fun indoor activity and out came homemade play dough. Since we’ve been on an essential oil kick we through some of that in there along with some food coloring for visual stimulation. 

This stuff hits all the senses guys. Your kids will love it! Heck, you’ll love it!  Ok, here’s what you need…you probably already have all of it in your kitchen...
(I doubled the recipe so that I had enough to make two different colors/scents.

Play Dough Recipe

1 cup flour

1 cup water

½  cup salt

1tsp. cream of tartar

1tbsp. vegetable oil

 food coloring (the type A in me likes to match the colors with the scents)
essential oils of your choice. (I used 4 drops per batch-more would yield a stronger scent)

1.        In a medium sauce pan mix together all ingredient except food coloring and EOs.

2.        Cook over medium heat stirring frequently for approximately 5-10 minutes.

3.        Add food coloring and oils. Let cool for the kids, and voila!

A few months ago I ordered the Young Living essential oil starter kit. I love how versatile essential oils are, and how they have made my family feel. My husband loves it when I diffuse Thieves, a Young Living oil blend, in the house. I have also made some little natural remedy products that I really feel have enhanced our overall well-being. I use a pocket reference to look up the health benefits and therapeutic properties of each oil, because there are literally thousands. Lavender and lemon both come in the starter kit. They are completely safe to ingest and use topically with small children in directed amounts.  There are countless medicinal benefits to these oils, but for aromatherapy purposes these are the main influences:

Lavender-Improves concentration and mental acuity. (Calming, relaxing and balancing) What toddler doesn’t need a little of that?!

Lemon-Promotes clarity of thought and purpose. (Invigorating, enhancing, and warming)

Get your own Young Living starter kit here for 24% off! (a great Mother's Day present, too!)

We used a clay tool set similar to this Melissa and Doug one to play with the dough. I like this one because it has a variety of different texture makers, stampers, and cookie cutter tools. I try and take off my art teacher hat as a mom, but I couldn’t help adding a little coil rolling lesson in there as we explored the dough.  I think my oldest ended up making “a tower or something." He is three and likes to follow up everything with “or something”, because I guess everything is something. And we will leave it at that.  Enjoy moms, dads, and caregivers alike!
This post contains affiliate links, thank you for your support!

Monday, May 2, 2016

StitchFix: Just what I needed

I thought I covered everything in my first StitchFix "order."  Anything else we should know before we style for you? We're all ears! they said. Okay...Here's what I like.  Here's what I don't like.  Here are my measurements. Oh, and I have a shower to attend on this date.  Thanks so much!

My husband then muttered. "I'd hate to be your stylist!"

So my clothes arrived. How fun, how adorable.  A little box, just for me.  Filled with the cutest and most current styles.  I tried them on right away.  They fit!  They were great. This was the best thing ever.

Then Luke came running at me trying on the dress screaming, "What is that?! Can my hug it?!" with sticky hands.  I escaped just in time and folded it up quickly and put it in the return bag.  I'm not spending that much on a dress to have a sticky hand print on it! Return bag.

The sweater was adorable. But I knew the velcro from all of our diaper bags and raincoats would tear the strings out of place instantly. Return bag.

The shirt was ideal. Fancy enough for day to night. Chic with a feminine touch. But it didn't fit my nursing boobs at their fullest state. Return bag.

The white distressed jeans. The distress helped to disguise the distress that would soon be upon them. All I could think of was white jeans in a dirty sandbox.  Return bag.

Lastly, a gorgeous shirt that would require a strapless bra. Not happening, return bag.

I realized I hadn't been specific enough.

Anything else we should know before we style for you? We're all ears!

I have to be able to wear a real bra. The shirts have to accommodate my boobs throughout the day from a C to a DD. White will get ruined. Sweaters will get pulled. Luke wants to hug my dresses because he has never seen me in one.  Realistically, I'm going to get paint on something. Wine on something. Coffee on something. Spit up on everything else. Thanks so much! (no I didn't really send this)

I imagined the StitchFix team starting to tear up. Everyone trying to pass on my order to the next girl, or the new girl.  

I realized that at some point, I'm going to have to just make the purchase. To buy something with the 100% risk that it will be ruined.  But realized that there is something special about wearing something nice, something new. Something just for me.  Something to make me feel pretty.  Maybe it won't be a cost-efficient or a smart purchase.  I can see how easy it is to let everything go in the return bag when it comes to this knee-deep-in-mommy-stuff stage of my life. 

I am happy that I did keep a shirt from my second Fix.  I bit the bullet and kept a nice blouse.  I know I can wear it for work, date night, or a brunch with girlfriends.  I'll do my best to keep it "nice" but it might get ruined.  I know that I'll miss these dirty sandbox days. I'll miss my variety of stains, and miss the days when I get sticky hugs from my kiddos. 

I really think the StitchFix process was fun! It forced me to sit down and decide what styles I like and dislike.  It forced me to have some "me time."  I encourage you to give it a try!  Even if you don't want to keep anything, I think it is worth the $20 (that otherwise goes towards a purchase) just to "play dress-up" and have someone dress you!  Of course I would also encourage you to use my referral link so that I get credit towards my next Fix. Please share your experience with Stitch Fix, I'd love to see what you get!

P.S. Mother's Day is coming up, I think a gift certificate is a great gift for the mommy's in your life!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

What can my baby see?

I just returned from an Orthoptic conference, and I wanted to share this amazing app that I learned about.  It's called Baby See App, created by Boston Children's Hospital, and allows you to use your phone camera to see what your baby can see at different ages.  Our house is filled with bright and sometimes obnoxious-looking toys for Sophie, based on the fact that high contrast objects are necessary for normal visual development (not just clarity but also depth perception, the ability to use the eye together, and more!)  This app really makes it "clear" why a baby's environment is crucial for proper development. I focused on the most neutral item in our house, Sophie's swing, and the most color-contrast items in our home: a pile in the toy room:





I think the biggest difference is that the swing tends to look about the same as time goes on, while the contrast items start looking closer to normal adult vision as the eyes are brain become more fully developed.  Need to add some contrast to your baby's environment?  These toys are some of our favorites! The items below do contain affiliate links, thank you for your support!