Category: For Moms

Link Round-up: RVing, Rice Krispies Dinosaur Bones, Snacks, and More

Posted on Jul 24, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has reasons to go RVing, a Rice Krispies dinosaur bones activity and snack, recipes, and more.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom taught us how to make a decoupaged metal watering can.

Chocolate Covered Katie showed us how to make chocolate peanut butter buckeye brownies.

Crystal & Co. gave us eight reasons to go RVing.

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The Suburban Soapbox showed us how to make blueberry mojito popsicles.

The Partiologist showed us how to make Rice Krispies dinosaur bones.

Domestic Mommyhood taught us how to make funnel cake bites.

The It Mom shared a recipe for watermelon feta pineapple skewers.

Photo credit: Confessions of an Overworked Mom and The Suburban Soapbox

Carmex Gets a Back to School Makeover

Posted on Jul 23, 2014 by No Comments

Carmex Moisture Plus has gotten a makeover in honor of back to school season! The new packaging adds a stylish touch to the classic beauty supply.

With the colorful graphics decorating the lip balm tube, Carmex looks like something from the makeup counter at a fancy department store instead of a budget-friendly drugstore purchase. The slim tube fits easily in a purse, pocket, or backpack and the cap locks securely to keep lip balm from getting all over your belongings.

The new Carmex Moisture Plus lip balm features broad spectrum SPF 15 sunscreen, aloe, vitamin E, and a soft vanilla flavor. (It still contains camphor and menthol, which is what gives Carmex products that distinctive tingling feeling when you put them on.)

Carmex is a must-have for preventing chapped lips, but it also has a few other uses you may not have been aware of. Here are some of my personal favorites:

  • Dab a bit of Carmex on unruly eyebrows for definition that lasts throughout the day.
  • Use Carmex to sooth dry spots on your elbows or knees.
  • Use Carmex in place of cuticle cream to finish your manicure.
  • If you dye your hair at home, apply a thin layer of Carmex around your hairline to prevent the dye from staining your skin.
  • Add a bit of Carmex to a pesky mosquito bite to soothe the itching.
  • If you have a cold or suffer from nasty allergies, apply a small amount of Carmex to the dry skin under your nose to soothe and heal the irritation caused by constantly blowing your nose.

Are you a Carmex fan? If so, what is your favorite use for this product?

Disclaimer: Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of preparing this review.

Photo credit: Carmex

Link Round-up: Campfire Quesadillas, DIY Jewelry, Upcycling, and More

Posted on Jul 22, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has campfire quesadillas, a jewelry DIY, an upcycle blue jeans bowl, and more.

The Suburban Soapbox shared a recipe for campfire quesadillas.

The Partiologist shared tips for hosting a 70s theme party.

Domestic Mommyhood showed us how to make an upcycled blue jeans bowl.

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A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make a simple beaded necklace.

Raining Hot Coupons showed us how to make a strawberry cheesecake smoothie.

Create Craft Love shared some inspiration for a homework station.

Meet the Dubiens showed us how to make your own tutus with minimal sewing.

Photo credit: The Suburban Soapbox and A Beautiful Mess

An Easier Way to Return Online Purchases

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 by No Comments

Online shopping is a lifesaver when you have children, but returning unwanted items can often be cost-prohibitive and inconvenient. Return Saver is a new subscription program that hopes to simply the return process.

For a $49 yearly subscription fee, members can return purchases to online businesses without charge via FedEx, the exclusive shipping carrier for Return Saver. The only restriction is that the returned items cannot be more than 50 pounds in weight and must fit in a standard size box.

There is no limit to how many times a member can return purchases per year.

“Ninety-five percent of customers become repeat customers after a positive return experience,” says Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus Marketing Group. “The question of who pays the shipping costs for online returns has long been a point of contention in the ecommerce space. Beyond that, two-thirds of online shoppers these days check a retailer’s return policy before making a purchase on its website, and four out of five shoppers base their purchase decisions on the ease of making returns. Return Saver eliminates those concerns for consumers, while at the same time saving online retailers the cost of picking up return shipping charges for those customers.”

For me, I can see this service being especially helpful when buying clothes online. I try to buy from sites that offer free returns or in-store exchanges whenever possible, but both my husband and my son wear sizes that are difficult to find.

I’d love to be able to order things for them without worrying about the cost of return shipping if an item doesn’t fit as expected or the colors are drastically different than what they appeared to be onscreen.

Visit the Return Saver website to learn more about this new service or to enroll in the program.

What do you think of this idea? Would easy returns make you more likely to shop online?

Photo credit: Return Saver

IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation Illumination: the Holy Grail for Tired Moms?

Posted on Jul 18, 2014 by No Comments

My mom came to visit for a week, and she was gushing about this new foundation she had been wearing for the past few months. She had this happy, lit-from-within glow, so of course I was intrigued and had to go check it out for myself.

IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation Illumination comes in pressed powder form and offers medium to full coverage. My mild rosacea is covered, and it does make my skin look luminous, something powder foundations have never been able to do without the help of obvious shimmer—until this.

Bare Minerals came close, and this gives a similar look without the ingredients that cause breakouts and skin irritation in some people (namely bismuth oxychloride).

What I like about this, since I’m always looking for makeup shortcuts without going completely without it and scaring small children, is that it takes about 20-30 seconds to apply.

My previous go-to options were tinted moisturizers, BB creams, and CC creams, but those are harder to blend, harder to color match in many cases, and take longer, even though there are all the other “extras” included, like moisturizer (I always needed another moisturizer anyway), and skin treatments.

I can seriously do my makeup in about two minutes—foundation, blush, highlighter, eyeliner, and mascara. I can probably squeeze shadow in there, too, as long as I’m not doing too complicated of a look.

I use an inexpensive buffing brush I got from Everyday Minerals, so you don’t need to buy the expensive IT Cosmetics one to get a beautiful, polished effect that looks flawless and natural all at once.

One more thing: I have dry skin and it isn’t a problem at all as long as I moisturize first and give the product time to sink into my skin before applying the foundation. I can’t say that it will be the same in the winter, but for now, there’s no flaking, no accentuating pores or wrinkles, and no tight, uncomfortable feeling when I wear this.

Photo credit: Ulta

Link Round-up: Seashell Fish Craft, Gift Idea, Summer Hair and Makeup, and More

Posted on Jul 17, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a seashell fish craft, a gift idea, summer hair and makeup tips, and lots of delicious recipes.

Crafts by Amanda showed us how to make tropical fish out of seashells.

The Pin Junkie taught us how to make copycat Outshine strawberry popsicles.

Dieter’s Downfall taught us how to grill apricots to perfection.

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Simply Kelly Designs showed us a creative way to give money with a glass block bank.

Three in Three shared a stuffed ranch burger recipe that looks incredible.

Pint-Sized Baker offered a recipe for mint chocolate ice cream sandwiches.

Hello Little Home shared easy hair and makeup tips for summer.

Photo credit: Crafts by Amanda and Simply Kelly Designs

Link Round-up: Sweet Rolls, Tie-Dye, Calm Toddlers, and More

Posted on Jul 15, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has cherry limeade sweet rolls, a tie-dye how-to, tips for a calmer toddler, and more.

It Bakes Me Happy shared a recipe for cherry limeade sweet rolls.

Army Wife to Suburban Life showed us how to make a cute princess bird ring (think Snow White!).

Sand in My Toes shared seven tips for a calmer toddler.

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Crafts by Amanda taught us how to make a sunshine ombre shibori tie-dye top.

Delineate Your Dwelling taught us how to make a prisma wall décor knock-off like the ones sold in stores for a lot more money.

Seasoned Homemaker told us how to make homemade bug spray.

Beautify showed us how to make a duct tape beach or pool bag.

Photo credit: It Bakes Me Happy and Crafts by Amanda

Etsy Shop Spotlight: Disco Belly

Posted on Jul 9, 2014 by No Comments

If you’re expecting and looking for adorable maternity t-shirts, check out the Disco Belly Etsy shop.

The sprout maternity tee design featured in this post is my personal favorite. It comes in peach, mint, and gray. There’s even a two sprout variation if you happen to be expecting twins!

Disco Belly is based in Boston and has been selling on Etsy since 2007. The shop is owned by Alexa Noe, Justin Mantell, and Tim Hurley. They have a five-star rating and almost 4,000 sales.

Disco Belly’s shirts are 100% hand-drawn and hand-screenprinted. The t-shirts are custom-cut and sewn in the USA.

Disco Belly shirts sell for $22 or $24, depending upon the design you choose. I think this seems like a very reasonable price for a hand-screenprinted maternity shirt. It’s been quite some time since I shopped for maternity clothes, but I remember spending more than that on several of my shirts.

Disco Belly shirts come in the following sizes:

  • Small (0-4)
  • Medium (4 – 8)
  • Large (8-12)
  • XLarge (12-14)

They suggest ordering one size up if you’re not sure what to get, which is why I wish they offered plus sizes. Since the average woman in the US already wears a 12-14 and not every woman sticks within the recommended range for pregnancy weight gain, it seems like they’re missing out on a substantial number of sales this way. If I were to find myself pregnant again, I know an XLarge would be iffy for me.

What do you think of Disco Belly’s shirts? Have you seen any other cute maternity clothes on Etsy that Smart Mom Picks should feature?

Photo credit: Disco Belly

Link Round-up: How to Pit Cherries, a Shelf Makeover, DIY Oil Diffuser, and More

Posted on Jul 8, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has an easy way to pit cherries, a shelf makeover, tips for a DIY oil diffuser, recipes, and more.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom taught us how to make an oil diffuser.

Kalyn’s Kitchen gave us a black bean and pepper salad recipe.

View Along the Way taught us how to create a raised vegetable garden so easy a 4-year-old can do it.

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Suzy Sitcom showed us how to revamp a shelf with Shape Tape™.

The Neighborhood Moms showed us an easy way to pit cherries.

Sweet and Spicy Monkey shared a recipe for sweet cherry-coconut sherbet.

A Mom’s Take offered tips for keeping your child’s hearing safe.

Photo credit: Confessions of an Overworked Mom and Suzy Sitcom