Virtuderm: Love Your Skin

                         
The Mediderm® WhiteDerm® Peel Rx Cream is a fantastic product made from a base of alpha hydroxy acids and glycol acids. In the past, I have found products with similar ingredients to be too harsh on my sensitive skin.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that this time released 10% glycol
acid cream provided maximum results without irritating my skin.

This product helps shed dry and damaged outer skin cells so that newer and younger-looking skin will be revealed, this process also allows you to get rid of blemishes and discolorations effectively.   You will be left with a brighter complexion without the irritation typically experienced with glycol acid irritation.
After my first night of using this product my skin immediately felt smoother and had a bit of a glow.  It smelled amazing, and it felt luxurious on my skin.  I really can not say enough good things about this product!  
Since this product is a bit pricey (but worth every penny),  I requested a coupon code just for Skinny Latte Mommy readers.  Enter skinnylattemommy20 at checkout to receive 20% off your entire order at Virtuderm.  
Additional Information:
  • Manufactured by: Mediderm® Laboratories 
  • Merchant SKU: 8209R
  • Product is based on liposomal glycol acid, will give the results of 10% glycol acid with no irritation
  • Helps remove the old skin cells as well as pigmented or wrinkled skin, replacing it with newer, brighter, smoother skin
  • Can be effectively used for uneven skin tones, pigmentation, dull skin, and mature skin, to renew and smooth-out old wrinkled skin
  • Good for all skin types
  • Paraben-Free; 1.7 ounces

I was contacted by Virtuderm and gifted the Mediderm® WhiteDerm® Peel Rx Cream.  However, the information I have provided reflects my honest opinions regarding the product.  I am in no way associated with Virtuderm.


The Pink Giraffe

I have always been a lover of anything monogrammed!  Thus, I was thrilled when The Pink Giraffe so generously gifted me with this Monogrammed Navy Anchor Beach Bag that is simply too adorable for words.  Not only does this bag capture the current nautical trend in a fresh way, but it is also extremely practical.  The polyester fabric and complete lining make it water-friendly and super easy to wipe off the sand.  There is so much space in this bag, and the hidden pockets are perfect.  One of my favorite features is the small bag which is attached to the inside.  This is ideal for stashing a cell phone in a way that keeps it dry and safe (something that is important to me after my recent mishap with a phone at the beach).  



I also recently used this as a weekender bag on a short getaway, and it was the perfect size!  This is such a versatile item that I know I will enjoy using all summer.  The following are specification for this beach bag:
  • 22" L x 8" W x 12" H 
  • Polyester
  • Inside Lining
  • Zipper Closure
  • Inside Zipper Pouch (7.5" x 5.5")
  • Outside Zipper Pocket (12.5" x 10.5")
The Pink Giraffe sells much more than bags.  They have everything from affordably priced children's clothing to linens.  The best part is that any item can be personalized with a monogram.

Skinny Frozen Coffee Smoothie


While I am obviously a huge fan of skinny lattes, the scorching heat of Florida summers makes hot drinks a bit less appealing.  Nevertheless, a mommy needs caffeine!  This morning I came up with the following yummy concoction that satisfied my craving for coffee in a refreshing heat-friendly manner.

Ingredients:
8 ounces of low-fat milk (I prefer Silk Almond Coconut Blend)
1 teaspoon of instant coffee 
2 tablespoons of flavored coffee creamer (I used Coffee-Mate Sugar Free French Vanilla)
1-3 teaspoons of Splenda (depending on your taste)
10-12 large ice cubes

Directions:
1. Add the ingredients in the order listed above to the blender.
2. Blend until smooth.  This will be quite thick due to the amount of ice used.  If you prefer a thinner smoothie, reduce the amount of ice or add more milk.
3. Enjoy!





15 Minute DIY Rope Vase


nautical

As a busy mom I simply do not have the time for complicated DIY projects.  If it takes longer than a toddler's nap time to complete I am not interested.  As with all my tutorials, this rope vase is incredibly simple and can be completed in 15 minutes or less!

Let's get started before the little ones wake up...

You will need:
Glass vase
Rope
Flowers
Foam floral arranger
Glue gun

Basic Instructions:
I picked up 3/16 inch rope in the home improvement section of Walmart (I noticed that it was cheaper than in the craft department). I began by singeing the end of the rope to avoid fraying.

Next, I gluing the end of the rope securely from the starting point near the base of the glass vase which I purchased form the Dollar Store.  I wrapped the rope snuggly around the base glueing as I went.

After the first row was secure, I made a thick line of glue a fourth of the way up the vase and tightly wrapped the rope around.  Once I reached the end of the line of glue, I placed another line of glue on another side of the vase.  I continued this pattern until I reached the top making four lines of glue in different locations.

I singed the end of the rope at the top and glued it all the way around to ensure that it would stay secure.  The hard part was over... now on to the flowers!

The stems of my flowers were ridiculously long, so I cut them to a more appropriate length.  I then dropped the foam floral arranger into the vase and stuck the flowers in.

Enjoy your new rope vase!






DIY Shower and Bathtub Cleanser



The harsh ingredients in traditional bathroom cleansers irritates my eyes and skin.  More importantly, I often worry that the chemicals are not completely removed by the time Miss Cupcake takes her bath.  While I am not typically a huge fan of DIY cleaning products, I decided that I would give this one a try.  I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with how the following super simple DIY bathroom cleanser performed.

You will need:
-White vinager
-Dishwashing liquid (I used Dawn Simply Clean)
-Plastic spray bottle
-Bowl and spoon for mixing

Step 1:
Heat up the vinegar in a bowl.  This will help to dissolve the dishwashing liquid and assist with mixing in the next step.  The original recipe called for 12 oz. of vinegar.  I opted to make a smaller batch since I have had several unsatisfactory attempts with DIY cleansers in the past.  I decided to make half a batch using 6 oz.

Step 2:
Add the dishwashing liquid.  This should be an equal amount to the vineger.

Step 3:
Pour the mixture into a plastic spray bottle and shake well.  Now you are ready to spray the cleanser into your shower and bath.  For serious scum (yuck) allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes.  Gently wipe off with a damp cloth... no scrubbing required! I was beyond excited to see how sparkly and clean this left my bathtub.  This is definitely something I will be making more of in the future.  In fact, I intend to try this on my tile floors as well.

While this did have a vinegar scent which was not entirely pleasant, I will take that any day over the harsh chemicals in traditional cleansers.

NOTE: This DIY is recipe was not my bright idea.  However, variations of it are found on so many different websites and blogs that it was impossible for me to give credit to the original source.

A Day In The Life Of A Stay At Home Mom: Toddler Version


Six months ago, I posted A Day In TheLife Of A Stay At Home Mom.  While this post accurately depicted life during that particular stage, I decided that it was time to create an updated toddler version.

6:45 am: I am awaken by Cupcake’s happy little chatter.  After glancing at the time, I roll back over hoping to sneak in a few more minutes of precious sleep before beginning the day. 

7:00 am: The happy chatter has turned to a desperate cry of “Mommy, Mommy!”  I drag myself out of bed and trudge down the hallway to Cupcake’s room.  She is standing in her crib eagerly awaiting my arrival.  As I open the door, a huge, toothy grin spreads across her face.  Those little arms fly up as she cries, “huggie!”  I swoop her up for a short lived embrace.  She immediately demands Cheerios.

7:15 am: I place her in her highchair and give her some dry Cheerios to munch on while I decide what we will have for breakfast.  She is not impressed and demands to have milk on her cereal “like Papa”.  I put a small bit of cereal and milk in a bowl and hand her a spoon.  She takes the tiniest bite before placing the spoon down dramatically and requesting oats instead.  I decide that sounds like a reasonable breakfast and make her some oatmeal.  However, that apparently does not hit the spot either because she presses her mouth tightly closed and refuses to even taste the oats.  She throws a spoonful of oats onto the clean kitchen floor (welcome terrible twos, we have been expecting you).

7:30 am:  I give up on the idea of breakfast for the moment.  We go to the living room, and I offer to read to her.  She seems to approve of this suggestion and runs off to her room to find a book.  She returns and we snuggle up together.  Two pages in she decides that she wants me to read a different book.  One page into the new book she decides she wants to watch her Alphabet Song DVD.  I tell her that we are not going to watch it right now.  Cupcake finds this news to be quite tragic and bursts into tears.  She falls onto the floor woefully.

8:00 am: We rush to the door to see a large truck outside.  Cupcake waves happily at the man collecting the recycling bins.

9:00 am: Cupcake wants a snack.  More precisely she demands “squares” (aka good ol’ crackers).  I give her a few in a small plastic Tupperware bowl.  Two minutes later she comes back with an empty bowl asking for more.  I am certain she could not have eaten them that quickly so I decided to investigate.  Sure enough, I find her cracker stash under the kitchen table.  She seems quite surprised when I inform her that she can not have more.

10:00 am: I find Cupcake dragging an enormous basket of shoes.  On a daily basis, she takes all the shoes off her shelf, brings them into the living room in a large basket (the purple basket used at her birthday luau), and sits admiring them.  She lines them up perfectly before deciding which pair she wants to try on.  This goes on for quite some time.

11:00 am: Naptime has arrived! I place her beloved elephant and a sippy cup in her crib and turn on her musical bear.  Now time lure her into bed.  I whisper, “Shhhhhhh… elephant is sleeping.  We have to be quite.”  She dramatically places her finger to her puckered lips and quietly whispers a string of unrecognizable words.  Together we tiptoe off to her room.

11:15 am:  I look around at the mess she has created and make a mental list of things I need to get accomplished while she is sleeping.  The moment I am ready to begin, I hear a desperate scream of “Potty!!!!!!!”  I take her to the bathroom and place her on the toilet.  She protest adamantly until I have taken all her clothes off… even her socks.  She also requests a book to read.  I bring her a book and tell her to call me when she is finished.  I stand right outside the bathroom and wait (if I stay she will immediately want up).  Five minutes later she announces that she is finished, and we celebrate her victory. I redress her and send her back to bed.

1:00 pm: Cupcake has awaken from her nap.  As she does daily, she requests macaroni and cheese for lunch.  She is thrilled when I agree but more than a bit impatient during the preparation time.

2:00 pm: Cupcake is feeling particularly inquisitive.  For the twentieth time, she points to a photo on the wall and asks, “What’s that?” I explain to her what it is and she appears convinced.  Five minutes later, she notices a new candle on the counter and the interrogation begins again.

5:00 pm: I begin preparing for dinner.  She notices me place a large pot on the stove and asks if she can see what is inside.  I lift her and show her.  She then asks if she can cook.  I give her a large plastic spatula and allow her to gently stir the pasta.  She beams with pride.

6:30 pm: After a bath, we curl up for our evening snuggle time.  We read several books, sing a few songs (her current favorite is one she has entitled “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Spider”), and say a prayer.  Teeth brushing happens with a bit of a struggle. 

7:00 pm: Night-night kisses are given and a ginormous group hug (on evenings dear hubby is home) takes place before Cupcake begrudging agrees to join elephant in bed.

7:30-11: pm: Now that I am off school for the summer and my hubby is home most evenings, I have the pleasure of enjoying a few glorious hours with the man of my dreams.  We chat about our day and relish this quiet time together.

11:00 pm:  As I have every night since Cupcake was born, I peak in on her before drifting off to dreamland myself.  My heart is still full of gratitude each and every time I see that little face.  I cover her up with a small crochet blanket although I knew she will immediately push it off.

One thing I have learned in the past two years is that parenthood is exhausting, time-consuming, frustrating… and ultimately the most amazing blessing I could possibly imagine!



Running While Pregnant: Myth vs. Fact


Photo Credit: Robert Eiserloch "She Turned Away"

Before giving birth to Miss Cupcake, I was an avid runner.  My OB/GYN assured me that it was completely safe and healthy to continue my routine.  However, I noticed that many people seem to be under the misguided impression that running while pregnant is a risky practice.  Despite the disapproving glances and questions, I continued to run until the beginning of my third trimester.  At that point, I discontinued running merely out of humiliation from the giggles that I received from the middle school students that hung out near my track.  In their defense, I can only imagine how ridiculous my waddling running must have appeared to them in my pleasantly plump state.

However, I believe that my exercise routine was extremely beneficial to me physically and emotionally during my pregnancy.  I highly recommend running to women who are seeking to stay fit and avoid excess weight gain.

The following recommendations are only applicable to healthy and reasonably fit pregnant women.  Obviously, it is vital to discuss your exercise routine with your doctor.  Every pregnancy is unique!

Myth vs Fact
Myth: Running while pregnant will deprive your baby of necessary nutrients.
Fact: Baby will ultimately take the necessary nutrients from your body.  As long as you are eating enough to cover your usual calorie needs plus 300 extra calories for baby you have nothing to worry about!

Myth: It is necessary to keep your heart rate under 140 beats per minute. 
Fact: While this was once the recommendation, it is quite outdated.  Doctors now recommend that pregnant women stop running when they reach the point that it would be difficult to carry on a conversation.  This varies from person to person and is a much more accurate measure of what is safe for your current fitness level.

Myth: Running is not safe in the third trimester.
Fact: As long as you are healthy and fit, it is perfectly safe and beneficial to run up to the day you deliver!

Myth: If you never ran before, it is unsafe to begin while pregnant. 
Fact: As long as you keep you exertion at a moderate level and eat properly, it is perfectly healthy to begin running while pregnant.

Precautions
A hormone called relaxin is produced in your body while pregnant.  Relaxin lubricates your joins and makes labor easier.  However, it also causes your joins to become more flexible.  You may feel that you can push yourself while stretching because it is less difficult than before.  This is a bad idea and can lead to injury.

Always listen to your body.  Pregnancy is no time to push your limits.  If you feel exhausted, lightheaded, or short of breath you should stop running immediately.

Stay hydrated!  Be sure to sip water periodically while running and rehydrate when you are complete.

May you have a healthy, happy pregnancy!





Cupcake's 2nd Birthday Luau

Time flies when you're having fun!  I can hardly believe that my sweet baby Cupcake is now a two year old.  I am incredibly proud of her budding little personality.   She is such a little smarty-pants and has truly brought oodles of joy into our little family.  

In honor of her journey into toddlerhood, we hosted her a luau at Nana and Papa's house.  My goal was to keep the party relatively low-budget.  Thus, most of the items were DIY projects, thrift, or Dollar Store finds.  This framed chalkboard was a DIY project created with a Goodwill photo frame and chalkboard paint (if you follow me on Facebook you already know I am obsessed with chalkboard paint).  It greeted the guests and was surrounded by gifts...and a random pineapple!  I purchased tropical background music from Amazon.
Outside the front door hung a large basket filled with leis for the guests to wear at the party.  The basket was one that I picked up at a yard sale and painted last Easter.  The chalkboard sign was purchased in the craft department at Walmart.  I hung the basked from a plant hanger that my parents already had in their front yard.
As the guests arrived, I took a quick photo of them holding a large decorated picture frame or a surf board.  I created the frame photo prop by removing the glass from an old panting I purchased at Goodwill, painting it Seafoam Green, and attaching a large tulle puff (this was made using the method demonstrated in the tulle puff headband post).  The surf board was borrowed from my brother.


These adorable bamboo torches were a lucky find at the Dollar Store!  I used them to line the walkway into the house.  A "Kick Off Your Flip Flops" sign was placed on a small lawn table near the entrance.


The yard was decorated with a variety of Hawaiian themed items that I had been collecting for several months.  Most of these items were found while thrifting or at the Dollar Store.  I wanted the atmosphere to be as beachy as possible!


No party is complete without a fantastic cake!  This gorgeous and positively delicious cake was created by Yum! Cakes.  I could not have been more pleased with how it turned out.
The menu included these fun little "crab-wiches" which were made out of croissants, black olives, and vegetarian bologna.  I snipped the ends to create the claws. 
The yummy and refreshing citrus punch made by my lovely mother.  We froze lemon, lime, and grapefruit slices and floated them in the punch. 
We also served a vegetable and dip tray, fresh fruit in a carved watermelon bowl, assorted crackers, and cheese balls.  In the living room, a large wooden bowl of kettle corn was enjoyed by all. 
All guests were given a number when they arrived and the chosen number received a fresh pineapple as a door prize.  The hula hooping competition was a favorite, and the winner received an inflatable parrot.
I am so thankful for the many guests who made the event such a pleasure!  We had such a lovely afternoon celebrating the first two years of life for my beautiful baby girl.  
Happy Birthday, Cupcake!  
Mommy and Daddy love you to the moon and back.

How to get OOTD with a four-month-old | I Prefer My Puns Intended

Welcome to guest blogger, Beckah!
Bekah writes I Prefer My Puns Intended, which is a blog detailing the life and times of a wife, mother, runner, former and future ninth grade English teacher, and part-time fashion enthusiast. The titles of her blogs may be cheesy, but the content gets feta.  Sorry. Better. Enjoy her experiences attempting to get OOTD with a four-month-old in thirty minutes or less.
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
It is my understanding that nothing good happens at five in the morning.
It comes as no surprise that when my little boy woke up screaming at that early morning hour, his nursery was not a friendly place.
I let him cry for a few minutes, hoping upon hope that he just had just startled himself awake…but when the crying persisted, I knew.  He had pooped through his pajamas, sleep sack, and onto his sheets.
‘What is it about babies,’ I thought through my morning fog, ‘every time there are big plans for the day, they have their own agenda at night?’
After changing him and his sheets and getting the sweetest of smiles (which of course makes every early morning wake up call totally worth it), I laid him back in his crib for a few more hours.  Today was sure to be a long, but wonderful day.
I have recently decided to resign my position as a ninth grade English teacher.  It was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made, but totally worth it.  I am so grateful to have the opportunity to have mornings like these, and get to spend the rest of my day playing with my little guy.  Two of my best friends just had babies really close to B Bear’s birthday, so we had our first weekly ‘playdate’ scheduled for today.
So…what happens when you wake up at five in the morning and have very little time to shower; you have hair a day past washing; and you have to prep your infant for a day full of play?
First, two cups of coffee happen
Coffee!
There are a few things I never had to think about B.B. (before baby).  First, I never had to plan out hair and earring choices according to how much losing either would hurt.  I never anticipated thinking about worst case scenario colors, or clothing that withstands the all-day stretch test. Now, I don’t get dressed without thinking about the practicality of each hairstyle, makeup, and outfit choice.
Practicality in hairstyle starts with hygiene. Cue my good friends, dry shampoo, the wet brush (voodoo magic for ladies with fine, tangly hair) and a rubber band: otherwise known as the mommy hair trinity. I suppose it was a good thing my hair had a little extra dirt to hold an updo. After all, have you ever tried to play with a grabby four month old with super long hair? I will give you two guesses as to why hairbands are a new essential in this mommy’s repertoire. I am betting both of your guesses are right. Ouch and ouch.
Wet Brush, Big Sexy Hair Dry Shampoo, and goody elastic hair tie…otherwise known as the mommy hair trinity.
I decided to do a french braid to test out how it may look.  The results were a bit too…Lara Croft.

Not bad.
Tomb Raider was never one of my favorite heroines.
After vetoing the simple french braid, I decided to loosen my braid up a bit on top and twirl into a side bun. Much more practical for a playdate with three babes under six months. I use the Goody’s Spiral Pins to get an all day hold. This entire hairstyle took about five minutes to complete.
The final product
Primer, BB Cream, blush, Bare Minerals Foundation, L’Oreal gold, brown, and iced latte eye shadow, Covergirl Mascara.
Mommies, remember the days when you had all day to spend on make-up? Remember those glorious moments when you would tell your husband to wait just a few more minutes as you perfected the smoky eye? There is a part of me that misses those nights, but I have certainly gotten my makeup down to a science.  It takes me five minutes to get from tired to glamour mommy.  I try to stay minimal and clean as most of my outings include bottles of milk rather than beer these days.
Oh…so glamorous
I hate to admit this, but my husband walked into the kitchen the other day and asked why I was so “dressed up.” Sadly, I was wearing a t-shirt and jeans.  I used to love styling outfits…and still do.  I just style less frequently.  Oddly enough, an Al Horford Jersey isn’t exactly the hottest must-have piece this season.  Instead, I wanted to go for a nautical look. My only consolation was that I was going to dress myself in Hawks colors: red, white, and blue. The result was…ok, but not exactly the clean, nautical look I had in mind.
Original red, white, and blue outfit choice.
Meh.
I realize I am a mom, so what I am about to say sounds rather snobby, but I felt much too much like a mommy in these digs. The shorts were hitting me in the wrong place, the blouse was a little too drapey.  My solution? Change the outfit, but keep the inspiration. I realize that white jeans aren’t a popular mommy choice, but I have found that it is much easier to bleach out stains than to treat them on patterned fabrics. Plus, these Juicy couture jeans withstand the all-day stretch test.
Please excuse the fact that I am standing on a toilet…desperate times…
In total, I spent fifteen minutes getting myself ready.
Before and after
Then, it was onto my little guy.  Who can resist this face!?!
Like any true fashion icon, Bennett had a few outfit selections for this particular occasion.  What I have really loved about dressing a baby boy are the simple separates that can be mixed and matched with just about anything in the wardrobe.  We layered a Mud Pie Chambray Shirt (which was a part of a three-piece summer set) over a custom onesie from Littlest Prince Couture and paired with some plaid Carter’s shorts.   We also had a navy anchor romper on deck just in case….pun intended.
It is a good thing we ha a second outfit, because in the five minutes it took for us to get to our playdate, he had another surprise waiting for mommy.  I just chalk it up to him wanting to flex his fashion muscles.
Mommy’s little sailor
Big buoy! ;)
It may take a little longer, but it is totally worth it to get OOTD with your baby boy (or girl).