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DIY Sugar Cookie Scrub - Dreams and Caffeine

DIY Sugar Cookie Scrub

I have to admit one of my favorite things about the holiday season is the amazing smells!  Seriously, you can’t walk anywhere without experiencing some type of holiday aroma!  My favorite is sugar cookie anything and everything.  I love sugar cookie diffuser blends, body lotions, hand soaps, sugar scrubs, and whatever else I can find!  Therefore, I couldn’t help but share my little DIY Sugar Cookie Scrub.

Ingredients Needed for Sugar Cookie Scrub:

  • ½ Cup Pure Cane Sugar Golden Brown
  • ½ Cup White Granulated Sugar
  • ½ Cup Organic Coconut Oil
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ½ Teaspoon Almond Extract

Supplies Needed for Sugar Cookie Scrub:

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring Cup
  • Spoon
  • Fork
  • 4 oz. Mason Jars
  • Twine or Ribbon
  • Scissors

Instructions for Sugar Cookie Scrub:

Step 1:  Pour both sugars into the mixing bowl.

Step 2:  Mix the coconut oil into the sugars.  I used a fork to mix it well with the sugars.  Feel free to mix in more coconut oil if you want a wetter scrub or less if you prefer a dryer scrub.

Step 3:  Mix in the vanilla and almond extract.  Mix the scrub well!

Step 4:  Using the spoon, scoop the Sugar Cookie Scrub into the mason jars.

Step 5:  Complete the Sugar Cookie Scrub with placing the lid on and then decorating the top with ribbon or twine of your choice.

sugar-cookie-scrub-close-up-dreams-and-caffeine

This scrub has no preservatives in it, so it will keep between one to two months.  It will keep longer if kept in an airtight container.  This makes the perfect gift for family and friends.  I hope this sugar cookie scrub tutorial comes in handy this holiday season.  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Cheers,
Lisa

This post contains affiliate links that, when clicked on and purchased, help support my family.  Thank you very much!

Mickey & Minnie Mouse Holiday Bark - Dreams and Caffeine

Mickey and Minnie Holiday Bark

I picked the wrong name for this recipe… it really should be called Mickey and Minnie Holiday SCREAM, because that is what my daughter did when I told her what we were making.  To say the least, the holiday bark was a very successful treat in our household.  Even Superhero dad loved it, which is saying a lot, because he doesn’t care for sweets.

Luckily this recipe is easy-peasy… even with little hands helping!

What you will need to make the Mickey & Minnie Holiday Bark:

1 Package regular Oreos
1 Package mini Oreos
1 Package of “Minnie Mouse” Candy Bows
1 Container of Holiday-Themed Sprinkles
Melting Chocolate – Vanilla
1 Cookie Sheet
Parchment Paper

Directions for the Mickey & Minnie Bark:

Step 1:  Place the cookie sheet on a flat surface and lay the parchment paper on the cookie sheet.  The parchment paper will make cleaning up quick!

Step 2:  Prepare the Oreos by pulling them apart. I just put the side that has cream on it face down into the chocolate.

Step 3:  Open and prepare the bows to be dropped into place.

Step 4:  Open the sprinkles and have them ready as well.

Step 5:  Prepare the melting chocolates per instructions on the container.

Step 6:  Pour the melted chocolate in the cookie sheet in a thin layer.  Try to keep the layer of chocolate about a quarter inch thick.  Use a spatula to smooth things out.

Step 7:  Decorate with the Oreos, sprinkles and bows.

Step 8:  Place the cookie sheet in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

Step 9:  I used a knife to guide my cuts then broke the rest of the bark by hand.  Just be careful next to the bows and Mickey & Minnie… they will break as I found out when I was making mine.

Step 10:  Grab a glass of milk and enjoy with your littles!  Keep the extras in a sealed container in the fridge.

mickey minnie mouse holiday bark plate dreams and caffeine

I hope you give this fun recipe a try… we had a great time making it together, plus its delicious!

Cheers,
Lisa

Things My Mother Taught Me - Dreams and Caffeine

Things My Mother Taught Me

Things my mother taught me… words that I have been hesitant to write about.  My mother was an amazing woman and mother.  She did a wonderful job (alongside my dad) until I went off to college, then our relationship started to change.  We slowly shifted from a mother-daughter relationship to a mother-daughter friendship.  Of course, she was always my mother first, but the addition of friendship was fantastic.

Unfortunately, right after I got engaged, she unexpectedly passed away… hence the hesitation to write an article about her.  Though I’m finally beginning to feel that there has been enough healing to write about my mother… my best friend, I still struggle with my loss.  At the same time, I want to celebrate her.  So here’s to you Mom… Things My Mother Taught Me!

Life is too short to stay angry, mad, sad, or unhappy
Of course, it’s okay to feel these emotions, it’s just not worth getting stuck on them.  She always said life is too short to waste it and not enjoy it!  So, make amends, cry and let it out, write it down, then let it all go!

Life is too much fun to waste it on alcohol or drugs
My mother was never a drinker nor did she ever do drugs.  She always enjoyed her life and said she didn’t want to miss it or not remember it because she was intoxicated.  So, skip the alcohol and drugs and go have some fun.  Of course, that is not to say she didn’t enjoy a nice cold margarita every now and then.

Take care of your obligations
Pay your debts on time and take care of your responsibilities.  She said that if you couldn’t be responsible for yourself, you would never be able to take care of yourself, let alone anyone else, and would always struggle in life.

Modesty
You should always be modest, which doesn’t mean you can’t be fashionable.  It just means you’re advertising your style, not your body.

Saving yourself for marriage
Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free?  A statement I heard literally from the time I learned about the birds and the bees well into adulthood.  Though not the most elegant statement, my mother felt very strongly about it.  She said that living together and having intimate relationships with your partner was meant for after the I do’s, not before.  She also said every time you are intimate with someone you give a small piece of yourself to them that you will never get back.  A lot of this didn’t make sense to me at the time, but now that I am a married woman with children, I FINALLY GET IT!  Thank you mom!

Marriage and children are life’s most precious gifts
My parents would have been married 55 years if she had made it to their anniversary the year she passed away.  She always said that marriage and children are the toughest jobs you can ever have in life, but the benefits far outweigh the hard work.  She said to always make sure your husband is your best friend.  Always love him… though you don’t always have to like him.  And teach your children to have loving relationships with family and friends.

Take care of your family… always say I love you!
Don’t forget to show your husband and children that you love them.  Take care of them, nurture them, and don’t forget to snuggle, cuddle, and kiss them.  Make sure to say I love you frequently and when parting… you never know when it will be your last time to say it.

Take pride in homemaking… it is a life skill
Have a clean and tidy home and keep it and your family organized.  It will allow you to enjoy life more and be less stressed.  I definitely have not perfected this one!

Don’t lie
This was very black and white in our house growing up.  Lying just causes more problems than the truth ever will cause.  So don’t do it.  That’s not to say telling the truth is always easy or there won’t be consequences for your actions… she just thought it was easier than trying to make up a lie, make it believable, and then keep the lie (or lies, because one lie is never enough) up.

Be kind… even to those that are not kind to you
It doesn’t matter how others act; it only matters how you act.  Life is rarely fair and you have no idea what storm God has asked someone else to walk through… so be kind.

Follow your dreams
Dreams are part of making life tons of fun.  The desire to accomplish something or do something you enjoy is a wonderful thing and it builds character.

Always say your prayers and give thanks to God for all of your blessings!
I don’t think an explanation is required here 😉

Alright ladies and gentlemen, thank you for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my challenging, but rewarding post today.  Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know things your mother taught you. Happy Tuesday!

Cheers,
Lisa


Toddler Carrier Review Tula vs LilleBaby

Toddler Carriers – Tula vs. LilleBaby

Welcome back and I hope everyone had a safe and fun 4th of July weekend!  I am hoping your Thursday is off to a great start, because mine definitely is.  The sunshine is out, the kiddos woke up after mommy enjoyed a cup of coffee by herself, and I am finally sharing my review on TODDLER CARRIERS!

I purchased all three of these carriers with my own money because I was in need of a carrier for my toddler.  This review is 100% my opinion and none of these carriers were given to me or loaned to me for review.  Since, I had done the research, I thought I would share with everyone just in case anyone else was in or going to be in my current situation.  However, this site does contain affiliate links, which help support my family, but in no way shape my opinion.

Before my little Moose was born, I was adamant that we did not need a second stroller.  I absolutely loved my Bob stroller and did not want to replace it with something larger (the Bob is already big enough) nor did I want to spend the moolah on a double stroller.  My goal was to wear my son, which would allow our daughter to still use the stroller as needed, but she didn’t regularly ride in it willingly.  Great plan… unless your adorable little boy came out with absolutely no intention of allowing you to wear him!  Keep in mind, I have many baby carriers and to my total dismay, he has no interest in any of them despite the variety of ways you can wear him.  He is just not a snuggler (I may be crying a little as I type this sentence).  Unlike his sister, who would still love for me to wear her, he doesn’t like to be cozied up.  Instead, he likes to be laid out with lots of space to wiggle and move.  So what is a mother to do?  To the Internet I went – researching other options that would fix my current situation.  At that point I realized there are carriers made specifically for toddlers.  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR, right?!

Let’s go over the basics that should be considered before selecting your toddler carrier before we delve into the details of each one.  Toddler wearing is a personal choice and finding a comfortable carrier that suits your and your child’s needs varies.  Things to consider before purchasing your carrier are:  your size, age, where/how you prefer to wear your child, what kind of straps and padding does the carrier provide, if it provides lumbar support, where and how long will you be wearing the child, what kind of weather will you be in, and lastly, the size of the child.

I am a plus sized short female.  I planned on wearing my toddler, who is about 35 pounds and 37 inches tall, while grocery shopping, going to amusement parks (when she needs a rest), taking walks around the neighborhood, and while doing chores around the house when she needs to be cuddled and I still have stuff to get done.  It was important for me to find a carrier that allowed me to carry her in the front, the side, and on my back, since I wanted to have the option to have my hands and front free in case I needed to pick up my little guy.  I also wanted something that had well-padded shoulders, some type of lumbar support, and was roomy enough for her to be comfortable.  The carrier needed to be made out of durable material that was breathable and easy to clean.  I know, I know, it’s a huge wish list!

After a lot of research, I narrowed it down to three carriers:

Below is a break-down of each carrier along with pictures.

Tula Carrier

The Run Down….

The Tula Toddler Carrier has quite the following.  Their variety in patterns allows you to select one that suits your mommy personality, taking baby gear to a whole new level of style.  I purchased the Bandit pattern, which I absolutely loved and thought both kiddos would approve being carried in it.  This specific carrier is a toddler-only carrier and is not meant for babies under 25 pounds.  The Tula carrier can be used on toddlers weighing between 25 – 50 pounds (approximately 18 months through 4+ years old) and must be at least 32 inches tall.  It allows for an ergonomic m-position seat which supports optimal development for the child’s body and is made out of a nice breathable material that is machine washable.  There is a large pocket on the hip belt that holds keys or a phone.  It also has a removable hood that provides protection from the weather and can support the child’s head while sleeping.  I have also been told it allows for comfortable breastfeeding, but I don’t know from personal experience.

My experience…

All in all, the Tula is a very nice, light weight toddler carrier.  I liked that it was machine washable and needed no special care to clean.  The material is not as easy to wipe clean on the spot as the other two carriers are, but you can’t beat the style and infinite patterns you get to select from.  The straps were standard straps that were sturdy and they provided nice secure support for carrying.  I felt that the entire time I had my daughter in the carrier she was secure and comfortable.  The shoulder straps are padded, but not nearly as padded as the other two carriers.  The Tula material was on the thinner side and not quite as roomy as the LilleBaby CarryOn.  The straps also didn’t have as many adjustable positions as the other two carriers did, which is important if you wear a variety of clothing while carrying (sweatshirts, jackets, t-shirts, tank tops, etc.).

Another downside that I found with the Tula is that it only allowed for me to carry in the front and back and I really wanted the option to carry on the side as well.  I figured if I was going to invest the money in a toddler carrier, I wanted as many options for carrying as possible.  Since I was going to be packing the two littles around by myself, I also wanted to make sure I could get the carrier on and my kiddo in it (BY MYSELF) in all of its carrying positions.  I was able to do this without issue in the Tula.

*One thing to understand is that the back carry position is a little tricky to get your child in by yourself in any carrier in general, but with a little practice it becomes very quick and easy.  This holds true for all three carriers.*

One of the biggest downfalls of the Tula was not having lumbar support.  When carrying for a longer period of time (hour +), I started to feel the weight of the child in my lower back in the front carrying position.  This is where the other two carriers take the lead, leaving the Tula behind in their dust.  The lumbar support makes a huge difference distributing the child’s weight, which is very helpful on longer carries.  This is probably not such a big deal if you are only looking for a carrier for short carrying times (15-30 minutes), but anything longer and I would say the lumbar support makes quite the difference.

Since I have my carrier with me at all times (either in the car or in the bottom of the stroller), I wanted something that would fold up and not take up a lot of room and this is where the Tula really outdid the other two carriers, folding up much smaller than the other two.  However, do realize these types of carriers are a little harder to squish into a diaper bag since they’re larger to accommodate toddlers, though if you have a huge diaper bag you might be able to fit it.

http://www.tulababycarriers.com provides instructions on how to care for your carrier as well as instructions on how to put on the carrier in both carrying positions.  If you chose to buy from them, you should also check out their return policy and customer service reviews.  I purchased mine from amazon.com because they had it on Prime and I couldn’t wait to receive it.  Plus, Amazon has an amazing return policy if you have any issues.

Tula Carrier Side Tula Front Tula Carrier Rear

LilleBaby Complete

The Run Down….

The LilleBaby Complete is a six position ergonomic baby – toddler carrier made with a mesh insert for temperature control, thus making carrying in all seasons delightful.  It is made of 100% cotton that is durable and soft to the touch and is of course machine washable.  The Complete features lumbar support, neck support (newborn carrying), a hood that is easy to use, two-way adjustable shoulder straps, and a decent sized pocket that zips.  What makes this carrier special is that it can carry from newborn (7 pounds) all the way up to 45 pounds, with no additional products to be purchased or added in, making it versatile. I would classify it as a hybrid carrier meant for someone who is looking to buy just one carrier and have it until their child no longer needs to be carried or reaches 45 pounds.  The straps are 3 inches wide and very sturdy.

My experience…

This is a wonderful carrier… sturdy and comfortable with lots of flexibility for a parent that does not have another carrier and wants to purchase one that will last from birth to toddler.  The LilleBaby Complete felt like a jack of all trades carrier.  It was an over-the-top carrier for an infant, yet fell short in the toddler carrier category when compared to the Tula and LilleBaby CarryOn.  I did consider this carrier to utilize as my only carrier, but the lower weight limit was a huge negative.  You also have to do a lot of adjusting to switch from newborn/baby carry to toddler carry positions and the toddler carry position did not appear to be as roomy as the LilleBaby CarryOn and Tula.  Unfortunately for this carrier, once I had experienced the toddler-only carriers, this hybrid was out of the running!  Please keep in mind, it is still a very nice carrier and definitely worth looking at if you’re in the market for a newborn/baby carrier with a higher weight limit.

LilleBaby Carrier Complete Rear LilleBaby Carrier Complete Side LilleBaby Carrier Complete Close

LilleBaby CarryOn

The Run Down….

The LilleBaby CarryOn is a toddler only carrier.  I decided to go with navy with ikat rings and it is worth noting that there are not as many colors or patterns to choose from in comparison to the Tula.  This carrier can be used on toddlers weighing between 20 – 60 pounds (approximately 12 months +).  The material is 100% durable cotton that is soft to the touch and machine washable and allows for ergonomic front, side, and back carry, which is a huge plus in my current situation.  It also has lumbar support with three-way adjustable straps.  Two larger pockets and a removable hood are also included.

My experience…

This carrier is absolutely amazing!  It is the Cadillac of carriers.  The material is light, durable and easy to clean and the torso portion is much roomier than the other two for my little one.  She can easily put her hands inside or outside of the carrier or relax back with no lack of room or support.  The pockets are big, but I don’t use them because I generally forget that I put something in it and it either falls out on the ground when taking the carrier off or I lose it until the next time I put the carrier on and find it.  The three-way 3 inch adjustable straps are so nice, especially when wearing different types of clothes (example: sweatshirt vs. tank top) and the straps are super padded…like a pillow on your shoulders.  The icing on the cake is the lumbar support…I seriously cannot believe what a major difference it makes when doing the front carry!  It helps disburse the weight of the child, which makes quite the difference on your back after carrying.  The CarryOn goes on just like the Tula in the front and back carry positions, but the CarryOn allows for a hip carry position as well.  Easy to put on and take off and folds up nicely to be packed.  Tula definitely gets a point here, since it folds up the smallest between the three carriers.

http://lillebaby.com provides instructions on how to care for your carrier as well as instructions on how to put on the carrier in each carrying position.  If you chose to buy from them, you should also check out their return policy and customer service reviews.  I purchased mine from amazon.com because they had it on prime and I couldn’t wait to receive it.  Plus, Amazon has always been great to work with if there was an issue with my order.

LilleBaby CarryOn Side LilleBaby CarryOn Front LilleBaby CarryOn Rear

So Which Carrier Would I Recommend?…

Do you even have to ask?  I would recommend the LilleBaby CarryOn to anyone looking for a toddler only carrier.  It exceeded my expectations and I truly enjoy wearing my kiddo in it.  Now, I will also admit that I loved the other two carriers as well, but the LilleBaby Complete seems to fall short as a toddler only carrier (which is what I am looking for) and the Tula (though super stylish) just didn’t provide as much support as the LilleBaby CarryOn.  Again, everyone wears their carriers differently and are looking for different qualities in the carrier they select.  Don’t get me wrong, all three carriers are great and I wouldn’t turn down any of them as a gift, but as far as selecting one to buy, LilleBaby CarryOn wins hands-down!

Definitely do your research and know what your goals for the carrier are.  Please feel free to leave a comment or email me any questions you might have.  Best of luck!

Cheers,
Lisa