Tips for a Chemical-Free Clean Home

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Hey there Mine for the Making readers! Bernice here from The Oily Bee, and I want to share something pretty awesome with you. I’m all about cleaning out the chemicals in your home. A healthy home=healthy life. So today I’m going to share tips for a chemical-free, clean home.

Do me a HUGE favor. Download this free app. It’s called Think Dirty. Its FREE, and opens up your eyes! Ever wonder what exactly is in the everyday products you use? From shampoo, to dish soap, to your deodorant! Holy smokes, it’s actually kind of, well, really crazy. Even most of your “all natural” products contain high levels of toxins. So what in the world do we do??

It feels like a losing battle sometimes when we have companies feeding us lies in order to sell a product. Well I have some simple solutions! It doesn’t take much to start changing out some of the products you are using in your home I’m going to give you my ultimate favorite product I use in my home, that does not require you to spend an arm and a leg! Are you ready?

My favorite cleaner in the world… Theives cleaner and I get mine from Young Living.   

For years I have been using other cleaning products, and even attempted to use the “natural” labeled cleaners. This is where the app came in handy- Think Dirty rates products from 1-10. 1 being non-toxic, and 10 being toxic. Many of the natural products showed as being 8 or 9, so I decided that I needed to find something out there that would replace my original household cleaner, but also able to clean the germs. Try it out on your cleaners at home!

Thieves cleaner has been in our home for over 2 years now. I use it for ALL of my surfaces. Mopping the floors, cleaning my granite counters, stainless steal appliances, mirrors, and I use it in my bathrooms. #winning! One, safe cleaner for all of that! 

It is a 14.4 fl oz bottle, and one bottle of Thieves cleaner has last me a little over a year. Why and how does it last so long? Well, it’s because it is so concentrated and a little goes a long, LONG way. Now, how do I mix it? It’s super simple. The recommended ratios are also posted on the bottle, but what I do is get a spray bottle, fill it to about 32 oz of distilled water, and then add your capful size of Thieves cleaner! There ya go! Throw out that old cleaner, because this one is about to rock your socks off!!

Some questions you might be asking yourself…is it kid safe? pet safe? safe to use when pregnant? YES to all! I have a pup, I have a 3 year old boy, and I’m pregnant with baby number 2. I’ve never felt so safe and good about using this cleaner around my home.

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It’s the easiest and most effective household cleaner I have ever used. I can clean my home safely and efficiently. Having that control over what you use in your home is a beautiful feeling!

Thank you all for stopping by! I look forward to sharing more healthy living tips with you.

Bernice Parker, The Oily Bee

Follow me on Instagram for more healthy tips!

Floral Themed Mother’s Day Gifts

It’s a new month, and that means it’s time for a new theme for our Must Have Craft Tips series!
Can you believe it’s April already? This month we’re sharing a little bit of Mother’s Day inspiration and some ideas for spring. I am loving these floral themed Mother’s Day gifts!

 

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
Today you’re getting a little bit of both! I’ve rounded up some stunning ideas of floral-themed gifts for mom that she can appreciate all spring long! Florals don’t just have to be in arrangements. They can be on decorative items as well! Hopefully you will love these creative DIY ideas as much as I do!

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
Hexagon Wall Florals from Style Me Pretty

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
Floral Embroidered Dishtowels from Flax & Twine

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
Floral Cross-Stitch Leather Cuff from The Scrap Shoppe

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
Chalk Paint Mason Jar Vases from Dainty Dress Diaries

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
DIY Perfume Roll-On from Hotel Wilderness

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
Mother’s Day Floral Printable from Holiday Printables

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
DIY Foral Embroidered Shoes from Canary Jane

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
Floral Zipper Pouch from Lana Red Studio

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
Reusable Grocery Bag from By Dylan M

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
Embroidered Baseball Hat from Lindsey Crafter

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
Photo Covered Notebooks from Personally Andrea

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
Floral Bath Salts from Married to the Earth

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
Dried Flower Pendant from Crafty Anne

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
DIY Disco Ball Vase from A Bubbly Life

Give mom something floral-themed for Mother's Day, and she can enjoy it all spring!
Spring Flower Wreath from Little Red Window

 

Aren’t these gorgeous ideas?

 

Must Have Craft Tips & More!
Don’t miss next week and our next installment of must have craft tips!

 

Your hostesses,
siggie Signature signature allison
The Scrap Shoppe | Flamingo Toes | Mine for the Making | A Glimpse Inside

I Mom So Hard Interview

Hello there mommas and makers! If you’re like me, you spend some of your downtime on social media watching funny videos. Several months ago I stumbled upon two moms who were putting out totally relatable, totally hilarious videos on YouTube and Facebook (my favorite is the one about Spanx!). So immediately I started following along with the imomsohard gals and watching them grow, each video funnier than the next. All stuff us moms deal with on the regular… just made funny! You can imagine my excitement when I heard they would be performing in my hometown, Phoenix, at the same comedy theater my husband and crew performed at the week before! I immediately texted my mom gal pal and told her we had a date to see the imomsohard girls at Stand Up Live… and let me tell you ladies, it was one of the BEST stand up shows I’ve ever seen. Not only was it a sold out crowd of moms, but Kristin and Jen had the whole place rolling in laughter. It was the BEST moms’ night out. And guess what else…. I got to hang out with Kristin and Jen after the show for a little Q&A sesh. I’m pretty sure we are besties now. See for yourself…

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Told ya! Besties for the resties. Check out the interview with the imomsohard gals… I love how real and down to earth they are. 

 

Don’t you just love Kristin and Jen?! They crack me up! And let’s face it… if we don’t laugh at momming, we would be crying into our wine glasses or chocolate bars far too often. And life is much too short to take too seriously. So let’s laugh it up with our other mom friends while watching more imomsohard videos. You can find them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Don’t forget to check out their website for tour dates too…. grab your mom friends and have the best night out with imomsohard live on stage!

Embrace Motherhood In This Season

I remember that from a very young age I wanted to be a mother. At 5, I knew I was going to have lots of children and by 8 I knew that I also wanted to adopt. I had a plan, y’all. And it was to be the very best mother I could possibly be. Now as an adult, I have come to find that your life doesn’t always go according to your plan. In fact, most times it doesn’t go at all the way you had planned. And that’s okay.

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Throughout my 8 years of being a mom, I am finally starting to embrace motherhood in this season. I think this means something different for every mother. We are all in different seasons of motherhood, and I am coming to find that they don’t last very long. The seasons of motherhood move rather quickly. Sometimes while we are in the rough, sleepless seasons, we don’t realize how fast they really go until we are looking back on them.

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For a long time, if things didn’t go according to my plan, I would be devastated, annoyed, angry, stressed, worrisome… anything but happy. As a little girl making my lifelong plans, I had no idea that having babies would be such a struggle for me. The thought of infertility didn’t even cross my mind.  So going through multiple miscarriages was a shock. And it certainly wasn’t a part of my plan.

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Over the years, I put a lot of pressure on myself… for multiple things but mostly due to the fact that my womanly parts weren’t working the way I wanted them to. I wanted lots of babies… all close in age. Why couldn’t I have that? Any time I saw pregnancy announcements, I would secretly wish that it were me announcing a new bundle of joy. I’ve cried a lot of tears. I’ve mumbled lots of angry words. I’ve questioned God. I’ve even yelled at Him a few times. “I’m a great mother, God! Why does this keep happening to me?!” And through all of that sadness and anger and confusion, I was missing something super important.

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Gratefulness. I was missing the whole point. Gratefulness that I AM a mother. That I was able to experience pregnancy and child birth and all the firsts. And that I’m not defined by how many earthy babies I have. And I’m not defined by my fertility journey. And I’m not even defined by my broken plans. I am a mother to a beautiful, smart, healthy, passionate, creative, funny, loving little girl. And I need to embrace that… and be grateful.

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I need to embrace that I am her momma. Embrace that she is at such a fun and quirky age. Embrace that I know more now than I did as a new mom. Embrace that we get to share in this journey together. So instead of focusing on how my life isn’t going according to my original plan, this life I have is still so good. This life I have is still so sweet and full of blessings. That needs to be my focus. Because if I am busy being upset about what I don’t have, I will miss out on what I do have. And I have a whole lot, y’all. This sweet girl made me a mother. My heart is so full because of her.

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Embrace the season you are in, mommas. We are so blessed to play this role. Remember that this time we have with our babies is fleeting. Embrace the moments. Be present. Breathe it all in. And be grateful.

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Photo credit: Hovering Heart Photography

Dresses/Jewelry: Forever 21

 

Three Cheap Ways to Make Birthdays Special

Hi there makers! I cannot believe we are already into April! This year has been flying by so far. We’ve been busy with holidays, church events, traveling, work, and a very important birthday. My daughter turned 8 years old at the end of March and it was such a fun time. I love birthdays and I love making them special, so I thought I would share Three Cheap Ways to Make Birthdays Special for your kids. Don’t get me wrong… I love to go all out for birthday celebrations too. But there are a few things you can do that won’t break your bank and will still make the day super special for your kiddo.

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So… what can you do to make the day a little more special than normal, but not spend a ton of money? It’s actually pretty easy!

  1. Surprise bedroom decorating!

This is so fun and I usually do it right after the birthday kiddo falls asleep. I decorate the bedroom door with a handmade sign and blow up a bunch of balloons to put all over the bedroom floor. Sometimes I even hang streamers from the bedroom door. It’s the first thing your birthday babe will wake up to and they will LOVE it! It’s a tradition to do this every year now and it’s something my daughter always looks forward to.

eightisgreat-6             2. Donut Cake!

We are more of a donut family than we are a cake family, so this works perfectly for us! Plus, turning it into a cake and singing ‘Happy Birthday’ in the morning before you start your day is just plain COOL! It’s so easy… just stack up the donuts and stick in some candles!

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The candle is from Walmart and the cake bunting was on clearance at Target. Donuts are from a local donut shop!

           3. Birthday meal at a restaurant.

Going out to eat together as a family is always a special occasion for us because it’s not something we do super often. Going out to a restaurant for a birthday celebration is always extra special when you go to restaurants or dining places that offer special deals and meals for the birthday person. Some offer free meals, free drinks, and even free dessert! Here’s a LIST of restaurants that offer freebies for birthdays.

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We had so much fun with our birthday girl and making her day extra special. After the above festivities, we ventured to the dollar theater to find a good movie  (Star Wars!) and then to the American Girl store so my girl could get her very first AG doll. Later on, her daddy gave her a special birthday photo shoot… perks to being a photographer’s kid! Here are a few pictures from her shoot that I just adore! I’m such a lucky momma.

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What special things do you do for your kids on their birthdays? I’d love to hear about your traditions in the comments!

Proverbs 31 Mama

Being a parent can be hard, am I right? Adulting in general is hard. But raising tiny humans and molding them into civilized, educated, well-mannered, kind-hearted, good-humored people… now that’s the trick. I am, by no means, a perfect mother. However, I do strive everyday to be a Proverbs 31 Mama. I want to be a positive role model for my daughter. I want to raise her to be a Proverbs 31 Mama as well.

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Generous, noble, loving, virtuous, hard-working, creative, strong…

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Clothed with dignity, productive, wise, nurturing, confident, diligent…

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Joyful, blessed, praised…

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Motherhood is challenging, but it’s so overwhelmingly rewarding at the same time. I pray that as my daughter grows, she sees these qualities in me and that I am able to instill these same qualities in her. 

 

My comfy Proverbs 31 Mama shirt and awesome Mama Tote is from OriginaliTee Too and my photo cuff is from Pickture That. I love both of these Etsy shops, so be sure to check them out. Great gift ideas for the holiday season. 

When Your Best Friend Moves Away

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CloudPetsForever #CollectiveBias

 

Often times in motherhood and parenting, we encounter things head on for the very first time. Baby’s first steps and first words, first goal or dance recital on stage, first band concert or first dance, and so on. There’s a lot of firsts, am I right? And if you have more children, you are lucky enough to do those firsts all over again. One of the firsts we have encountered more recently is when your best friend moves away. If you haven’t encountered this one yet, let me tell you it’s hard and emotional. But there’s also ways to make that big change a little less sad. 

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My daughter’s best friend happens to be her cousin. Though there’s an age gap of 9 years, these two are thick as thieves and they love each other something fierce. 

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My niece is a military kid, which means her home has been all over the world… quite literally. We’ve been lucky enough to have this spunky girl living near us for the past 5ish years, which has made these cousins’ relationship that much stronger. When we found out that she and her family would be moving to Italy for the next three years, it was super bittersweet. How exciting and what an experience for them! But boy oh boy, I know a little girl who is really, REALLY going to miss her best friend. 

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Of course we plan to write letters and send postcards and FaceTime as much as possible, but with the time difference, it’s going to be rather difficult to do on a regular basis. When we are awake, more than likely they will be asleep. So when I found CloudPets™ at Walmart, I was SO excited!! This is a new, one of a kind product that keeps loved ones in touch when far away. There are 5 adorable and soft CloudPets™ to pick from and they come with a free app and are equipped with parental controls. CloudPets™ play features include: messaging, toy interactions, games, and stories. My daughter and her cousin are able to send, listen, and record messages to each other. 

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I cannot tell you how excited my daughter gets when her unicorn’s heart lights up, letting her know she has a new message to listen to. She simply presses the unicorn’s paw (hoof?) to hear the message and she presses the other paw to send a message back. This is PERFECT for these two to keep in touch. My niece can leave my daughter a message, even if we are sleeping, and my daughter has something exciting to look forward to in the morning and vice versa. It will make the transition SO much easier when her best friend moves to Italy. I can also see us using our unicorn CloudPets™ when my husband goes out of town for work! You can see more about how they work HERE.

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CloudPets™ are available at select Walmarts but will available nationwide soon. Be sure to grab 3 AA batteries while you are there! 

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So I’m curious. How would you use your CloudPets™?! And which one would you pick… the dog, cat, bunny, bear, or unicorn?

Printable Grocery List for Kids

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AHugeSale #CollectiveBias #Safeway

With back to school season upon us, we are busy prepping for the year. I’m sure most of you are doing the very same. With organizing the home and doing the school supply shopping also comes grocery shopping. It’s important to stock up on those healthy snacks, foods, and drinks so that you are prepared to start the school year off right. The grocery store can often be a dreaded chore, especially with children in tow. I’ve found that involving them in the grocery store process can not only be fun for them, but can help momma’s sanity while trying to conquer a packed grocery store with ‘bored’ kids.  Enter in… this Printable Grocery List for Kids.

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I made this simple grocery list right on the computer, printed it out on card stock and laminated it for durability (that baby gets thrown into my purse) and for multiple uses (pair it with a dry erase marker).

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The list I made is pretty generic, but you could easily make lists for your kids to fit their ages and your needs. I used pictures/clipart of the items to make the cuter, but picture clues are also great for beginning readers. For your older kiddos, you can actually have them write the list at home before heading to the grocery store. For multiple kids, consider giving them different lists so that they each have their own responsibilities, which helps to avoid arguments. 

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Not only does the list keep the kids busy, but it gets them involved in the process and teaches them an important life skill. And while the kids are busy with their lists, you are able to focus on those awesome deals to save you some money. We were able to shop Safeway’s Huge Anniversary sale and took advantage of the BOGO Steak Sale and stocked up on Life (Buy 4 save $2) and Gatorade ($0.58 when you buy 12)! Love a good deal!

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And since I had a helper with me rather than a hungry, bored kid, our shopping experience was fun, educational, and went by quickly. You can easily download the grocery list I made so that you can print one off for the kids to use on your next trip to the grocery store. Slips right into your purse or grocery bag!

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I shopped Safeway’s HUGE Anniversary sale, but you can be sure to check out what great deals are available at Albertsons, Vons, Osco, or Amigos too! 

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Safeway is my go to grocery store. Shop the HUGE Anniversary sale and stock up on your favorite brands 7/29-8/11. I’d love to hear how your family stock up for the school year!

 

Marvel Optics Glasses

Recently my daughter and I had our yearly eye exam and were told we needed new prescription glasses. After looking at the frames in the waiting room, I quickly ruled out the over priced glasses. They just weren’t in our budget… especially not two pairs. I decided on Marvel Optics glasses after looking through their affordable prices and the convenience of online shopping and ordering on their site.  

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Once we both decided on a style of frames we liked, we emailed a copy of our prescriptions and placed order. That easy. 

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They arrived on our door step several days later in cases and with little lens wipes. They fit great, the prescriptions are correct, and we couldn’t be happier with the convenience and service.

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My daughter loves her pink ‘reading’ glasses with Mickey on the arms. I think they make her look older! Not sure how I feel about that one… LOL!

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Right now Marvel Optics has a summer promotion running for 10% off all orders with code BEACH10 at checkout. Head on over and check out the large variety of styles for men, women, and kids. They even have sunglasses! 

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Connect with Marvel Optics on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

This post is a review based on my experiences with Marvel Optics. I was provided glasses to share my opinions, which are 100% my own. I only share products I think my readers will love too!

Matching For Family Photos But Not Twinning

Hi Everyone! It’s Siri of Pumpkin Thieves and Buffalo Wings back to share another fashion post.

A lot of mamas love the idea of matching with their littles and their family for photos.  It’s aesthetically pleasing and sometimes they won’t let you do it when they’re older. So take advantage of it now! But where most mamas go wrong is in thinking that to match, their family has to wear everything exactly the same. Today I’m here to give you some tips on matching for family photos but not twinning (dressing exactly the same). 
 
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1. Choose at least three colors to be in your outfits. 

Back in the day (meaning the 90s and beyond) people thought that for family pictures, everyone had to wear the same color shirt, or worse, the exact same shirt. 

That’s not how families work. 

Each person is unique in personality and style. So choose several colors as your family’s color scheme and let each family member go from there. Try to NOT all wear the same color shirts. Wearing different colors or shades of colors in shirts helps to distinguish between each person in your photos. 

I personally don’t want to be a big blob, so since Svea’s colors in these photos are lighter and mine are darker, you can better see my waistline and make both of us out clearly.

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2. If you want to match something exactly the same, have it be a small accessory, like bracelets, cufflinks, belts, or necklaces. 

This way, everyone still maintains an individual look, but a sweet, little detail ties you together. Svea and I love our matching bracelets from Just an Armful of Sugar and they give just the right dainty, matching look.

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3. Wearing the same item of clothing is appealing, if you can make it unique in color or pattern. 

For instance, if three brothers all wear blue polos, but one is dark blue, one is light blue striped, and one is grayish blue, they all maintain their own look, but the article of clothing reminds you that they belong together. Svea and I wore cardigans here, but in different colors and I styled mine with a belt. 

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4. Only add one pattern. 

If one person is wearing stripes, someone else may not want to wear plaid or polka dots. If stripes is the pattern of choice, then stick with them and family members can wear different sizes and colors of stripes. In my professional photographer’s opinion, it just looks cleaner and fresher if you aren’t throwing tons of patterns into a photo. One pattern with some solids is best. 

I chose polka dots as the pattern for Svea and my outfits here. I made sure to have them be on a different part of our outfits too, again to match, but not be exactly the same. 

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Momma’s Outfit Details: 

  • Dress- Downeast Basics, Cardigan- Target, Heels & Belt- Ross, 
  • Bracelet- Just an Armful of Sugar
  • Svea’s Outfit Details:
  • Dress- Gap, Cardigan- H&M, Shoes- Freshly Picked, 
  • Bracelet- Just an Armful of Sugar, Hair Bow- Target

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Have fun taking family photos and good luck choosing outfits that will help you match, but still allowing everyone to look unique and distinct! I hope these four tips helped you!

Thanks for reading!

Siri {Of Pumpkin Thieves and Buffalo Wings}