An Uncomplicated Life Blog

Monday, June 27, 2016

DIY Bug Spray

Make your own all natural, nontoxic and cost effective bug spray using essential oils

Time for another installment of a DIY using essential oils! We're thick in summer season, which means we're really thick into bug season. Down in Texas, mosquitoes are unlike anywhere else and anything I've ever seen! They're not large like they are up north, nor do they make noise... They're silent and deadly! No literally, they carry West Nile virus (including the nerve-damaging variation of the virus) and Zika were here in Texas, and in Dallas to boot. Not to mention, they're thick this year because of a rainy spring! Yuck. At least up north you can hear them flying around and know they're coming... Down here they just bite the heck out of you. Nothing bothers me more! All of this is to say, if I'm posting the recipe for a DIY bug spray on the blog, it has to WORK.

This DIY bug spray is super easy to make and it WORKS! Great for kids too

Now, deet hasn't been clinically proven to cause any harm to anyone, even pregnant women. And if you happen to be pregnant, especially if you're in Texas or anywhere near a Zika virus case, please use deet bug spray all the time and protect yourself and your baby! You do what you gotta do to keep those icky bugs off you.

However, if you're like me, you might hate the way conventional bug sprays feel on your skin. They're sticky, right?! Gross. And the smell is horrible! Even the "non-scented" versions have a terrible smell to them. Alas, we arrive at this DIY bug spray. It smells great, isn't sticky on the skin and most importantly, it works! And if it works for me in mosquito-hell-Texas, then it will certainly work for y'all!

I made a larger container and then poured it into the smaller spray bottle. It was the only size I could find, but you can find better spray bottle options here.

DIY Bug Spray
- 8oz water

Mix it all together and put it in a spray bottle. If you live in the South, hose yourself down spray liberally before leaving the comfort of your AC'd home. Actually, you should probably do that if you're up north too. I hear the mountains don't have too many bugs... Must be nice.

Looking for more ways to use essential oils in your everyday life? Check out this AMAZING face wash that cleared my acne, this DIY nontoxic sunscreen (works great if you have an olive complexion!) and these diffuser blends to diffuse throughout your home.

This DIY bug spray is easy to make, smells great and actually works!

Enjoy the pleasant scent and spending the time outside being non-sticky with this DIY bug spray!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Yoga Studio Etiquette

What to and what NOT to do on your mat at a yoga studio


Every studio has it's own vibe. Some have rules that are more stringent than others, like please don't talk to your neighbor while on your mat - have the conversation in the lobby. Some want you to lay your mat out as close to the next person as possible so that the studio can fill the room, others you leave at least a foot of personal space. Those are all flexible rules of etiquette. However, there are a few things you should and should never do in a yoga studio! Let me be your guide...

What you need to know before you head into a yoga studio for the first time

I really thought this one was a no-brainer. I really did! But guys, it is absolutely NO OKAY to sing along with the music, at any time of the class. Nobody want to hear you. Especially at the end in peaceful savasana! So leave your singing skills to the shower, shut your mouth, and focus on breathing, mmmmk? That said, it's totally ok to breathe, and breathe loudly. That's the whole point of yoga! So please, breathe on! But if your jam comes on, keep your trap shut.

And please; don't strike up a conversation with the person on the mat next to yours mid-class. I feel like that's also really obvious but it happened last week in a class I was at. No - I do not go to yoga to listen to you complain about how hard the class is for you. Keep those thoughts to yourself until after class, and find a friend to complain to if you feel so inclined!

It's completely ok to show up to a studio without a yoga mat! Every good studio will have them for you to use. The jerk studios charge you to use them and the good studios let you use them for free. But let's just talk about how you clean those communal mats. Usually, there's a bottle of cleaner somewhere in the room. The proper way to do it is to spray the mat, wipe it down (with a clean towel, not the sweaty one you were using in class!) and then hang that mat up to dry. You don't want to roll up a wet mat! It will get so funky so fast. Plus, have you ever rolled out a mat, sat down to collect your thoughts before class begins, and as you're sitting there you realize your bum is getting wet... It's so gross! So please. Wipe your communal mat down and hang it to dry. Not down with communal mats? Me either. Here's one of my fave yoga mats to buy and bring with you.

Ahhhh, yoga pants, everyone's favorite! Myself included. If you invest a little cash into your yoga pants, odds are good you can wear them out and people will think nothing of it because they look so good! Now, you don't *need* to have expensive yoga pants to hit up a yoga studio. You do, however, need to ensure they're not see-though when you bend over. In yoga, you're going to spend about half that class bent over to some degree with your bumbum in the air. It reverses the blood flow to your brain and strengthens (read: tones) your arms. Yay! But that also means the fabric stretching across your butt is stretched thin. So do a test before you head out to your favorite yoga studio: Bend over in good light and make sure nothing "comes to light" if you catch my drift... These are my favorite go-to opaque pair to wear, FYI.

In a yoga class last month, a woman's pants were so bad, it was pornographic. I could see everything! I didn't know her, but I approached her after class to let her know (I'd want someone to tell me if you could literally see all my lady parts - all of them).  She looked at me and laughed and said, "Oh, thanks for letting me know!" Then she showed up the following week in the same pants. I don't think she got it. If a stranger tells you your pants are see through, they're SUPER see through! When your pants become so sheer that there are no mysteries as to what lies beneath, it's time for a new pair.

A few things you really need (and some yoga studio etiquette tips) and what you can skip buying for a yoga class

While on the subject of apparel, let's talk about the other end - your chest! Now, I'm speaking from experience here. I'm guilty as charged. While you're doing the bend over test with your pants, make sure the girls stay in your top! This has actually happened to me twice... First time was at an outdoor yoga class when I still lived in Minneapolis. It was a warm summer day, and I had just been to lululemon and bought an adorable ballet-slipper pink top. I didn't try it on before I bought it because it was so cute I had to have it! Fast forward to this outdoor flow. I'm flowin' and zenin' and all is well until I flop out of my top. Again and again. It was cut SO low, all hope was lost for that shirt. Then again when I was pregnant, I had a shirt that had passed the boobie-test. But with pregnancy comes a larger chest, and a larger chest wasn't going to work with this top... While I didn't fall out outright like I did with the pink shirt, I was spilling so far out of it there was no way I could be comfortable during class! Lesson learned. Do a boobie-test pre-yoga class. Here's one of my favorite, spill-over proof bras to invest in for a happy, peep show free class!

T&A, friends. Make sure yours is covered! And guys, this applies to you, too. Make sure your shorts have a liner in it or you wear compression shorts under them. Letting your member fly free for the whole class to see isn't very zen-like of you, k?

Yoga studios are heated to various degrees. They're crowded. So you'll want to bring a good water bottle like this one. The "yogi way" is to bring a reusable glass or metal water bottle. Most studios will have a drinking fountain or a water cooler with cups. Please - don't bring a cup of water into the studio! Someone WILL knock it over. Perhaps the teacher his/herself as they walk around the room adjusting! Or your neighbor as they bust out their side crow pose. So go ahead and bring a water bottle that won't spill if it gets knocked over, lest you ruin those beautiful bamboo floors your studio just installed!

Yoga studios all have their own sets of rules and etiquette. But some rules are standard across the board! Please, don't make these etiquette mishaps. Follow the rules of the yoga studio land and be respectful to the yogis around you! Namaste.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Helping Your Toddler Eat Healthier

Healthy AND affordable rarely go hand in hand, but Gerber® Lil Beanies™ is a nutritious and wallet-friendly option!


Raise your hand if your toddler is a picky eater! *raises hand* Protein is the challenge in our home. Henry REFUSES to eat meat. I can get a few bites of this recipe by his lips occasionally, but other than that, he sticks to eggs, cheese, fish and hummus. Four. Four measly protein sources! I mean, c'mon Henry... Let's broaden those horizons buddy. This kid even knows when I try to sneak stuff into his meals! That's what I get for having a smart toddler.

I've read the posts from other mom bloggers who tell us to sneak veggies into smoothies. Yeah, that works 50 percent of the time for us. It's like Henry has a radar on him that alerts to protein powder or fresh spinach! Anyone else's kid or am I alone here with the only toddler on the planet with this radar ability?

Fruit and veggie pouches are great, and some of them even have protein in them. They're also super convenient. But holy crap are they expensive! For one pouch they usually run between $1.50-$2.00. My child can eat up to three of them at a time, so that's one expensive snack! Also... Henry thinks it's pretty fun to squeeze all the contents out and smear them around. Then acts like he's mad when he's sticky. I don't need to "act" like anything, I AM mad because he just wasted a pouch AND I have to clean him up! So while these are great, they require supervision and a large(r) paycheck.

The funniest worst is when we have play dates with other kids, and Henry decides it's time to go on a eating rampage. I kid you not, this boy spends his play dates eating ALL the food. And by ALL the food, I mean all the traditional, carb and salt heavy items. I won't name any names... But the current favorite offender is a small orange square that's "cheese flavored" and I can literally see the sodium sitting on the top of the cracker. Let's get serious, they should just call crackers crack. Because Henry acts like a crack fiend when he see's them, and when he's finished consuming them. Worse yet, when he's done with what I packed him (6 minutes later), he moves on to eating what everyone else brought. And let me tell you, non of it is healthy! AHHHHHHHHH.

I know what I feel like after I've downed a bunch of junk food, so I can only imagine what Henry's little system makes him feel like after his binge eating play date snack fest. Poor little dude!

In my desperation to find a snack that isn't just a salty carbohydrate and also save face with all the moms at said play dates, I was thrilled to find out that Gerber® Lil Beanies™ contains 2 grams of protein per serving. It's healthy AND affordable, perfect for toddler fingers and snacking on the go! They're about $2 for a whole container, so I can bring them on play dates and not cringe when a kid takes off to consume them like I do those food pouches.

Helping your toddler eat healthy isn't an easy task. It requires consistency, thought and usually a tad more money. But not with these great snacks! Load up on them the next time you do your Target run (available in the baby food aisle) and rest assured that you're helping your toddler eat healthier.