An Uncomplicated Life Blog

Thursday, October 20, 2016

October Currently

What I'm thinking, feeling, loving and hating right now!

I had honestly planned on doing a birthday recap post today. I turned 32 on Sunday and we actually threw a little party for me on Saturday. Turns out, I was having so much fun that I completely forgot to take a single picture! Whoompwhoomp. So I'll just break out a classic old school "currently" post, so y'all can get caught up with my thoughts give me some advice. Full disclosure? Monday's blog post was a ton of work and I have a few more coming up that are labor intensive sooooooo this post is just going to be a hot mess until I'm caught up with my posts/editorial calendar. That's what happens when you spend your weekend day drinking instead of blogging. But, yay birthdays!

Currently, I'm:

Loving: Henry at two and a half. The "terrible two's" is a load of garbage, two's are awesome! He hugs me and Otto constantly and says, "I love you mommy!" "I love you Otto!" and he helps me in the kitchen, knows how to do the laundry, helps clean up the playroom at night, loves a good game of tag, and most importantly, he walks himself to bed promptly at 7pm. What a champ. Before you Negative Nancy's speak up, I know - three is supposed to be awful. But he's not three, he's two and a half, and I'm enjoying it to no end. He's also taken a liking to Halloween, and it's making my little heart swell with pride!

Just look at this face!

Hating: All things social media. Obvi Facebook is a mess of political opinions. I've had to hide more than just a few people for their insane beliefs and comments. If you run a page for a business or blog, you've probably also noticed that your reach is way down. They've changed it so that you basically HAVE to pay to reach even the people who like your page, and it's outrageous. All the way until this summer, I got great organic reach through a simple strategy. Those days are over. Instagram is also falling to pieces with algorithm nonsense. And then I think, "am I really basing my blog or my own worth on the number of likes and comments it got?!" And that's just a sad place to be, isn't it? Ughhh social media, I hate you.

Basically I'm only enjoying Pinterest, and that's because I never "niched down" -- I always kept to pinning what I enjoyed, even if it was "off brand." Well low and behold, that's the only thing that's fun anymore!

Consuming: ProNourish. I'm pretty sure I wrote a blog post a year ago or so about how important breakfast is, yet I never eat it. I wake up and get one kid out the door to preschool, hit up a yoga or barre class and it's nearly noon before I'm back home and still just running on coffee. Not a healthy way to live, Paige! I found ProNourish and it's great - I can throw it in my purse and drink it en route to preschool drop off. It's a low FODMAP drink, so it fits with so many different lifestyles. Best yet, I scored it at Kroger on sale. Healthy, good tasting, I can eat it on the go AND on sale? Pshhhh, winning.

Feeling: Much better than last week! I was completely out of commission for several days with a stomach bug. Two weeks prior to that I had strep throat. For all of October I've had a sinus infection. It's been a hell of a month of sickness for me! But, um, the silver lining is that I' at my pre-baby weight so it's not all bad. Vain? Yeah, so what.

Shot this pic with a fever from strep:

Buying: Henry's teacher at school told me he was the only kid without a nap mat and I was like whaaaa? I mean, the school provides them mats, but I guess I was supposed to get some fancy cover thing for him. Thanks for waiting a month to tell me, preschool! So I got him (and Otto, who starts preschool in January) these cute nap mats. They come in tons of prints so if you have a little one heading off to preschool you should check them out! Reasonably priced, too. And now, Henry won't be "that kid" who's mom was too dumb to know he needed something special for naps. Poor guy.

Watching: American Horror Story. I loved season one, was ok with season two, hated season three and was meh over season four, but they've redeemed themselves with the Roanoke season five. I actually don't even think I watched every episode of the carnival season and I fell asleep for several episodes of the hotel season. But this one? Excellent.

Soon enough, I'll be on to Christmas movies. What's your favorite Christmas movie? I need to fill up our queue!

Reading: Car reviews. My lease is up in May and while I get that's more than a few months away, I need to have my replacement vehicle ready. I currently drive a Volvo XC60 and we're going to move 'er on up to a full sized SUV. Hubs and I are SICK of being cramped in the front seat with two car seats in the back! I'm tall, hubs is tall, Henry is tall, and Otto is the lankiest baby on the face of the planet. We need room for all these limbs, y'all! Volvo doesn't make anything with three rows so I'll be switching makes and models. Normally, I know exactly what I want but I've never had a car this big! I need room for the kids and the double stroller, so I need leg room and trunk space. Oh yeah, and safety is probably also important.

In addition to your fave Christmas movies, y'all got any thoughts on full sized, three row SUVs?  

Excited for: Otto's first birthday and the party I'm planning him! I'm in full out planning mode for his Lumberjack themed affair. His invites arrived from Mint and they're beyond adorable (as they damn well should be for what they cost), and now I need to get some decorations and favors in all things plaid and woodsy. Of course I know he won't remember this... First birthdays are for parents and pictures guys. I don't believe in throwing a big birthday party again until the child is old enough to ask for it! So. Much. Work.

Monday, October 17, 2016

DIY Raw Sugar Peppermint Foot Scrub

Make your own holiday gifts with this easy DIY

Ahhhh, the holidays are quickly approaching and with that comes all the gift giving. Honestly, gift giving stresses me out. I want the person to like it and I want it to be useful but also luxurious, and I also want it to be unique - not something I picked up at Target last minute, you know? The icing on the proverbial cake is that I want it to be cost effective without looking (or actually being) cheap. I know, so many hopes and expectations for the gift giving season! However, I think I found the answer with making this DIY raw sugar peppermint foot scrub! It meets all my criteria and best yet, I can easily make a large batch of it, pour it in individual glass containers and tie some bows around them to keep on hand for any last minute gift needs.

The raw sugar in the peppermint foot scrub is the key to why it's for feet. Raw sugar has larger crystals than refined sugar, so I wouldn't use it on my face. But it's great for getting off all the dead skin that tends to pile up over the winter months! That said, if you wanted a facial scrub, I'd swap out the raw sugar for refined sugar and you'd be good to go.

It's so easy to put this together! It took me no more than two minutes to mix together and there's only four ingredients. If you're already into oils I bet you already have these on hand, and if not, I'm not sure what you're waiting for! Peppermint oil is a staple and good for SO many things - headaches, upset stomachs and foot scrubs, just to name a few. Get on the essential oils train and make this DIY raw sugar peppermint foot scrub for yourself and your friends!

  DIY Raw Sugar Peppermint Foot Scrub
- 1 part coconut oil
- 1 part raw sugar
- 20 drops peppermint oil (per 6oz container; you can adjust this to make it as peppermint-y as you'd like)
- 5 drops eucalyptus oil

I've gotten questions from my DIY acne clearing face wash post on what "1 part" means. I use 1 part because the actual quantity doesn't matter. You could make just one small jar and use a half cup or you could make 10 jars and use five cups. The important part is the ratio. So when it's "1 part coconut oil and 1 part raw sugar" you use equal amounts of coconut oil and raw sugar. Again, it can be any amount, you just need to be mindful of the ratio.

Easy DIY to make for Christmas presents for friends!

Back to the recipe: Heat the coconut oil until it's just soft enough to stir with a spoon, like the consistency of icing. Add in the raw sugar. Add your essential oils. Pour into a glass container and let set up. Depending on the temperature and humidity of your home/climate, it should be ready to go in about an hour.

Easy DIY to make your friends' Christmas presents

If you're giving this as a gift, a great idea would be to make a tag for the ribbon you'd tie around it, with the title of the scrub on one side and the recipe on the other! That's my plan, anyway. Of course, all my friends now know that they're going to get this DIY raw sugar peppermint foot scrub so all the mystery is removed, but that's how it goes when you have to have your Christmas posts up before November! Now go enjoy some soft, sweet smelling feet.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Best Books for 1 and 2 Year Old's

Reading is an important habit to start early on, but reading the same books over and over can try a parent's nerves! Here are the best options for 2 yr old's that they'll love but won't drive YOU crazy!

Henry has loved to page through picture books since he was old enough to sit up on his own. Then at around a year to 18 months old, he'd sit and babble at the books, pretending to read. At two and a half, he's still not reading yet, but his babble is more advanced. He's reciting colors and numbers and the names of the characters in the books. The thing is... He's two. So he loves to read the same books overandoverandover again. He loves to read to Otto too. Which is great! I'm proud he loves them so. Yet... Holymoly can that wear on your nerves, hearing about the same characters and having him want the same short stories actually read to him several times a day. Here's a short list of our favorite books that I actually don't mind reading a ridiculous amount of times, because hey! They're actually pretty entertaining, even for an adult.

Great books for bed time or story time

These books have thicker pages to they can't tear easily. They have bright colors so younger babies love to look at them. And most include animals, which I realized after I put the list together, because animals go over well in this house. The pictures I'm posting are of our actual copies so you can see how well loved (and used/read) these books are!

The best books for 1 and 2 year old's:

The Gruffalo and Friends
The Gruffalo and all his friends come to us out of the UK. There's a series of eight books, all of them equally charming. They rhyme but in only a way a clever British person could pull off. Unlike Dr. Seuss where I stumble to read the book with all the made up words, these flow quickly off your tongue and you actually look like you know how to read to your toddler. Does anyone know what I mean?! When you're trying to read to your kid and you have to spend time "sounding out words" and your kid looks at you like, "What's the hold up on the story, momma?" Just me that's been there? Ok cool. Well, you won't have to struggle with this series. They're entertaining and flowing and rhythmic in the best way possible.

Pajama Time!
This is a bedtime staple in our house. Perfect way to cap off an evening and get your kids excited about being in their pajamas and in bed. It also rhymes but isn't obnoxious about it. Am I the only one who gets really annoyed by cutesy rhyming books?! Maybe it's because we read them 9, 984 times but geez. Anyway, Henry gets a kick out of pointing out all the purple pajamas, since purple is his favorite color. And when he sees this book, he knows it's time for bed, which is another massive plus.

Little Owl's Night
Now maybe it's because one of Henry's favorite words to say is owl, but this one has been on repeat since he was about 9 months old. He loves to point out and say all the names of the animals in the book. It's full of nontraditional animals likes skunks, porcupines, beavers, and the like. Plus, is there anything funnier than having your toddler go nuts for a beaver?! "Mommy, beeeva! Beeeva!" It makes my day every time. Every. Time.

Oscar Otter and the Goldfish
This book is a winner for both Henry and Otto because there are animals hidden beneath pull up pages that they love to find. There are also textures to feel on the book, so it's great for the younger crowd too. Plus, otters are just adorable. Who doesn't love a cute otter?! It's well illustrated, so I don't mind reading this one over and over, and having both Otto and Henry be surprised at which critters are hidden in the pages time and time again.

These books are all great options for one and two year olds. And they're also great for parents, since we're the ones who are tortured by reading books to the point we can recite them even without the words on the pages. I wanted to make a list of some non-classic books (I think we all own a copy of Goodnight Moon, amirite?!) so that you have some fun options next time it's story time in your home!