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DIY Daily Sink Scrub

DIY Daily Sink Scrub for Shiny Sinks

 

This DIY Daily Sink Scrub could easily be called twice a day sink scrub because I use it at least twice a day— if not every chance I get! I can’t tell you the satisfaction I feel making such a simple, inexpensive but effective DIY cleaning product. Yes, satisfaction, and JOY!

I know, it is a stretch to use the word joy with a cleaning product but this sink scrub makes me so happy. I’ve learned that scent is a very powerful way to experience emotions, especially when the scent is essential oil –pure and from nature!

Sprinkle on DIY Daily Sink Scrub

DIY DAILY SINK SCRUB – JUST TWO INGREDIENTS

DIY Daily Sink Scrub has just two ingredients—baking soda and essential oil. The essential oil not only makes it a powerhouse when it comes to disinfecting and cleaning your sink but can also be a powerhouse when it comes to affecting your mood!

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Decorating/ FAMILY/ Frugal/ HOME/ Homemaking/ Kids/Family

Family Room Basement Makeover With The Help Of Credit Card Points

Basement Makeover With Credit Card Points

My husband Todd is someone who has taught me many times what it looks like to live intentionally.  He is a thinker, planner, and is very strategic in making decisions.

He is wise and intentional when it comes to our family decisions and how we spend our money, including what credit cards we use. Thanks to carefully saving up our credit card points for 2 (almost 3) years, we were able to pay off our recent family room basement makeover.

Family Basement Makeover Paid For With Credit Card Points

We use the MasterCard Citi Thank You Preferred Card and earn ‘thank you’ points when we do. We use the credit card for everything that we can. Todd is careful to pay it off, in full, each month. The points add up, allowing us to do extra things that we normally would not be able to do, like makeover our basement.

family basement before and afte3r

Our girls are 13, 16 & almost 18. We wanted to create not just a family space to enjoy the little time we have left with them, but also a space that they could bring their friends (and boyfriends) to hang out and be comfortable (but not TOO comfortable…boyfriends..ahem..) in.

BOWMANS_CHRISTMAS_2016-15

We finished off our basement 10 years ago when we moved in, but it needed updating. The paint color needed to be changed, the couch was sad and sunken with so much wear and tear that holes were starting to form, and our TV was too small for the space. A bigger TV meant a larger TV console. We also wanted a table with 6 chairs for playing board/ card games and a ping-pong table.

Family Room Game Playing

Our Basement Family Room Makeover Wish List

  • paint
  • new couches
  • large television for movies and video games
  • television console with storage
  • table + 6 chairs for board/card games
  • ping pong table

Thanks to the help of credit card rewards/points, our wishes came true.

We changed the bright orange paint to a warm blue. We found gray couches that were firm but cozy. The table and chairs were hard to find since we were adamant about having 6 chairs but the space we had to fit them in was pretty small. Todd’s intentionality came in handy when measuring the space and making sure the table and chairs would fit. We have made some great family memories around that table already!

Family Basement Makeover Paid For With Credit Card Points

We have so enjoyed our larger TV during family movie nights and the storage in the new console is amazing. It hides all our video games and controllers. The ping pong table is very popular when friends come over.

ping-pong-family-basement

Family Room Games

We have so enjoyed our new family room basement makeover and are very thankful for the credit card we use, the rewards we receive and how it is the perfect match for our lifestyle!

Finding The Perfect Credit Card

There are so many types of credit card reward programs out there. There are some reward programs that literally give you cash back, others give travel points, and some even give gift cards to your favorite stores. Some have an annual fee, some don’t.

It can be overwhelming to decide which card is best for your particular lifestyle, but it doesn’t have to be. Creditcards.com believes in empowering people to make smart choices around their credit cards, which means using the right card for you in the right way.

home-cc.com-mid-big

Their CardMatch tool helps you find the perfect credit card match. It is easy to use and securely matches you with offers in less than 60 seconds. Did you know that 10% of your credit score is determined by the number of inquiries you make to new credit cards? This is why the CardMatch tool is so amazing, you can get matched up with several cards in seconds without your credit score being impacted in any way.

CardMatch Landing Page

Using a credit card responsibly can be a great way to make life easier, and being intentional in saving the rewards or making sure the benefits fit your lifestyle can add much value to your life. It sure has ours.

A basement makeover is great, but the memories we are making and continue to make with family and friends in that new space are amazing. Intentionality pays off!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CREDIT CARD? DO YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF REWARDS?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

DIY/Crafts/ Frugal/ HEALTH/ How-Tos/ Natural Products

DIY Ring Cleaner Avoid Ring Finger Rash

DIY Ring Cleaner

Oh how I love my wedding ring that was chosen so carefully 20 years ago by my Todd, and oh how happy I am that this DIY Ring Cleaner works! I recently started getting a rash under my ring and it was driving me crazy! It was just underneath the area that my diamond sits and it was red, dry and had itchy little bumps. I had a feeling it was from gunk that had collected under my ring, as on each side of my diamond on the underneath part there are hollow areas in my wedding band. It is the perfect area for grime to accumulate. I was right. After using this DIY Ring Cleaner, I have been rash free.

DIY Wedding Ring Cleaner

diy ring cleaner using vinegar and hydrogen peroxide

I wanted to make my own cleaner for several reasons:

  1. I didn’t want to go run an extra errand to pick up store-bought cleaner
  2. I didn’t want to use harsh chemicals
  3. I didn’t want to store it
  4. I didn’t want to spend the money

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Frugal/ Gardening/ HOME/ Homemaking

My Simple Potted Plants

Follow New Nostalgia

SIMPLE-POTTED-PLANTS

I kept my potted plants simple and cheap this year! My energy has been down and I really didn’t want to spend a lot of money on plants. I’d rather save it for making fun summer memories with my girls!

Here is what I did:

DALIAS

2 Green pots of Dalias to greet my guests at the stairs by my front porch

Herb-Basket

1 Galvanized Steel Bucket holding herbs and a Mother’s Day gift from my Mother-in-Law

SPIRAL-GRASS

1 pot of my favorite funky spiral grass named Corkscrew or Juncus effusus ‘Curly Wurly’ that I plant every year.  It is so easy to keep happy and I love how fun it looks.

1 pot of plain jane red geraniums (pictured above).  They are the cheapest way to add color and take very little care.

SNAP-DRAGON-1

1 pot of snap dragons.  They were on sale and I wanted to add a pop of yellow to my backyard.

All in all, I only spent $25.00 for potted plants for both the back and front yard.  Not bad, huh?  They are nothing fancy, but they sure make me happy and make our little yard look thought of and taken care of.

……………

What did you plant this year? Do you plant the same types of flowers every year?

Frugal/ HOME

Saving On Summer Beauty Products For My Teen Girls

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dollar General for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

{my 3 lovlies}

Summer break has officially started in the Bowman household. I’m super excited about having my girls home for the summer.  Honestly, it used to send me into a bit of a panic thinking “what am I going to do with my 3 lovelies with all this time on our hands?”  Now, post-cancer, I am just grateful to be here and for the time I have with them. Being teen girls they are much fun to hang out with & I can always find something fun to do with them.

I am a licenced cosmetologist, although I have not practiced in the salon for over 14 years!  I still have my skill set, which comes in handy with 2 teen girls (and one pre-teen)  especially in the summer.  The challenge is finding ways to have them home & have fun with summer beauty products without breaking our budget!

Frugalness is something I preach often, and summer beauty products are not something I want to spend a lot of money on.  But, I have 3 girly girls who love to express themselves and get creative with how they look, as most teenage girls do.  I love seeing what they come up with, and I’m amazed at their fashion sense & find lots of joy seeing them all express themselves with their own unique style.

I have discovered that shopping at Dollar General is a great way to get some great summer beauty products that my girls love, without breaking the bank.  I was surprised that I found so many products that they are familiar with, would want to use, and would get excited about.

This mascara is super recognizable.  Everyone woman knows that pink and green bottle as it has been around for years.  This is the mascara brand we use and love, and I was delighted to find it at Dollar General at almost 1/2 price of what I am used to paying for it.

My girls also love these particular eyeliners from Mayballine, for 2 reasons.  One, no sharpener needed.  Just twist and use.  Also, they have a great sponge tip at the opposite end for blending.  I’ve shown my girls the importance of keeping makeup natural, a way to enhance their God-given natural beauty, not distract or take away from it.  Blending eyeliner with the sponge tip makes it look so soft and natural.  This is another prodoct I was super happy to find at Dollar General.

I picked up a few more items while I was there.  Sponges for blending coverup for those teen blemishes.  Some Aloe Vera gel to soothe summer skin, cotton balls to use for removing polish, and my fav — pony tail holders to hold up our messy summer buns!

I grabbed a bottle of sparkly polish for our summer toes and a palate of eye shadows to experiemnt with.

I will be doing some posts coming up of all the ways we have fun with beauty around here, from doing our own manicures and pedicures, to our favorite detox bath using epsom salt and baking soda.  I was SUPER excited to find epsom salt and baking soda at the best price at Dollar General!

For more information and inspiration from Dollar General, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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Frugal/ Healthy Eating/ HOME/ How-Tos/ RECIPES/ Simplifying

How To Have A Friend Over For Lunch Without Cooking Or Baking

I’m slowly getting my energy back after 2 surgeries, but not so much energy that you will find me cooking and baking up a storm in my kitchen just yet!  Thankfully, I have a great little market super close to my home.  It is a little health food co-op grocer and they have a small deli in the back where they sell amazing homemade wraps, salads, etc.
I often use their food to help make entertaining a breeze.  I love that they use ingredients that I would use here at home.  They have lots of vegetarian, vegan & gluten free choices, so no matter who my company is, I can usually find something good for us to munch on from my local co-op.  

Recently I had a friend over for lunch.  It took no time at all to set out a nice little lunch that tasted homemade.  I stopped over at the co-op grocer, picked up a few things, and within minutes had my table set and ready to serve my sweet friend.

I kept the cost down by splitting the wrap in two.  The cake and granola bar is made there at the grocer and are only 99 cents each.  I got a salad mix, some organic corn chips, salsa that is made fresh by the grocer which is to die for, some curry quinoa & chickpea salad, & a couple kiwis.

I peeled a couple of clementines and tossed them into the salad mix along with slivered honey almonds and dried cranberries.
This huge burrito wrap was a little over 3 bucks and was plenty filling for the both of us.
Banana cake with cream cheese frosting & a granola bar cut in half for dessert.  Perfect to eat with coffee!  I bought one piece of cake and one bar and cut them in half.

 Pretty is important…or at least it is fun!! Put food on pretty platters, add a little lemon to the water.  Throw on a pot of coffee and make sure to have some cute napkins on hand to brighten up the table.

 So easy, very delicious!  My friend and I had a great time catching up over lunch & I know she felt loved and cared for by the food I fed her.

{Don’t forget to PIN IT!}

Do you ever buy pre-made food instead of making everything yourself?

What foods do you like to throw onto platters and pass as homemade?

Do you admit to your company that you didn’t make it?    I do, as I like to show people that it is easy to entertain without spending hours in the kitchen.  PLUS, the food is always so good that I always get asked for the recipe, so I might as well fess up ahead of time!  Ha!!

Beauty/ DIY/Crafts/ Frugal/ HEALTH/ HOME

12 Must- See Homemade Remedies To Save Your Health And Your Budget

So its been all over the news that they are finding parabens in the breast cancer survivors breast tissue.  My ears perked up with this because I have been in the beauty business for years as a cosmetologist, and parabans seem to be in EVERY beauty product.  I have also met way too many young hairstylists that also battled breast cancer, and it has made us all say “hmm.”

Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as antimicrobial preservatives in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, including underarm deodorants. Parabens are absorbed through intact skin and from the gastrointestinal tract and blood.
Measurable concentrations of six different parabens have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors (Darbre, 2004). The particular parabens were found in relative concentrations that closely parallel their use in the synthesis of cosmetic products (Rastogi, 1995). Parabens have also been found in almost all urine samples examined from a demographically diverse sample of U.S. adults (Ye, 2006a).
Parabens are estrogen mimickers, with the potency of the agonistic response being related to the chemical structure (Darbre, 2008). They can bind to the cellular estrogen receptor (Routledge, 1998). They also increase the expression of many genes that are usually regulated by estradiol and cause human breast tumor cells (MCF-7 cells) to grow and proliferate in vitro (Byford, 2002; Pugazhendhi, 2007). Nevertheless, parabens as a class do not fully mimic estradiol in the changes in cellular gene expression nor are the effects of all parabens identical (Sadler, 2009).
    Parabens are estrogen mimickers.”  This really made me pause, as my cancer and the majority of breast cancers are fed by hormones.  I had symptoms of estrogen dominance for years and I often wonder if this contributed to my diagnosis.
    As I have been trying to avoid parabens, I have been on a kick of making my own beauty products, and in my quest to avoid chemicals, I have also been back on track of making some of my own cleaners. There are some wonderful healthy products out there, but they usually end up costing an arm and a leg, so have been quite motivated to make my own.
    My inspiration comes hugely from my Pinterest Boards.
    Here are a few that have caught my eye on
    {wanna follow me there? Click here.}

    6 DIY Homemade product ideas

    1. Anti-Eczema Lotion Bars.
    My youngest deals with a few patches of eczema every once in awhile.  I like to have something on hand, and I usually buy it from our local health food store.  I compared the ingredients in these bars to the product we use and love and they are super similar.  Makes me happy as the one we buy is not cheap!
    Source: ehow.com 
    2.  Peppermint Oil Insect Repellent
    It is natural, smells good, and is green, too!
    3. Coconut Scalp Treatment Oil
    This post is by Destri at The Mother Huddle, whom I love.  She, too, is a licensed cosmetologist and knows what she is talking about when it comes to the scalp and hair.
    4. Instant Olive Oil Sugar Hand Scrub
    This one is also from The Mother Huddle.  Love that I can grab 2 ingredients in my kitchen and have soft hands within minutes.
    5.  Natural Wood Polish
    Equal parts olive oil and vinegar!  So easy.  So cheap!
    6.  Homemade Air Freshener–those store bought sprays are full of chemicals and can trigger allergies, not to mention the propellent in aerosol sprays!

    6-12 homemade cleaning products, cough syrup, gunk remover
    7.  DIY Super 40 Load Dryer Softener Sheet
    Take your favorite liquid fabric softener and soak an old hand towel or flour cloth completely with it. Wring it out and let it dry completely, then throw it in with your next load. This mega-fabric softener sheet should be good for at least 40 loads of laundry WHAT A GREAT IDEA!! (If you want to be super green, I have heard that vinegar in the rinse cycle is great for making clothes soft.)

    8.  DIY Organic Dry Shampoo
    This intrigues me.  The link has great directions on how to make it, just not how to use it.  If I make it, I will let you know what I figure out.
    Source: make-it-do.com 
    9. Spring Clean Your Mattress
    Use baking soda and essential oils.
    10. Goo Gone Substitute
    Coconut oil + baking soda. Gets the sticky off!
    Source: ekwetzel.com 
    11.  Bathroom Air Freshener
    Put a few drops of essential oils into the toilet paper roll.
    12. DIY Cough Syrup
    Frugally Sustainable has tons of awesome “make your own” ideas.  Love that site!

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