October 12, 2017

QueBébé Bath Kneeler and Elbow Cushion Giveaway

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Sponsored By: QueBébé

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Co-Hosted By: Easter Babe's Theory

10 Winners will receive: 

QueBébé Bath Kneeler and Elbow Cushion ($44.95 RV)! A $449.50 TRV giveaway!



The QueBébé Bath Kneeler and Elbow Cushion is going to change your thoughts on giving your little one a bath. With their high-quality materials and an oh-so-cute gender neutral bath-time fun pattern, this makes for a great baby shower gift. So not only you, but your loved ones can have the same bath time comfort you enjoy.
Click here to read Love, Mrs. Mommy's full review!
Open to US entrants and must be 18+ to enter.
Giveaway Dates ~ 10/12 12:01 AM EST through 11/2 11:59PM EST

Good luck everyone!
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winners will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

October 6, 2017

DIY Harry Potter Themed Wedding

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Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Any purchase you make using these links supports this site.

Since today is our 5 year anniversary, I thought it would be perfect to flash back to our Harry Potter themed wedding! Yes, that's right, I was able to convince my husband into having a Harry Potter themed wedding. It was one the best days of our lives. The birth of our daughter, of course, trumps it now, but the wedding is definitely second on the list!

We were fortunate enough to have parents that were able to help pay for our wedding, but even so we had a budget to stick to and did a lot of the decorations ourselves! Here is a list of what we had done ourselves and if you scroll to the bottom, you will find more photos of our wedding!

1) Origami Bouquets


Flowers are on the most expensive items for a wedding, so we chose to skip real flowers and make our own origami ones! Luckily, my favorite flower is the lily, and origami lilies are super easy to make! 

All you need is some paper, floral wire, floral tape, and some ribbon. You make the origami lilies, which you can find a pattern for here, then attach them to the wire with the tape. You then wrap a bunch of stems together using the ribbon and your bouquet is complete! You can either tie the ribbon so you have a bow or you can use hot glue at the end. 

Below you can see my finished bouquet and the bridesmaid's bouquets. We used the main Hogwarts house colors primarily for our wedding (red, yellow, green blue) and then did the secondary colors as accents (gold, black, silver, and bronze). As you can see the bridesmaids each represented a different Hogwarts house (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw)!



2) Origami Corsages & Boutonnieres 


Like the bouquets above, I made origami lilies for these as well, but on a smaller scale. The boutonnieres were done the same way as the bouquets except smaller, each only had two flowers. The corsages were done a little differently.

For the corsages, I  made three lilies for each, cut off the pointed bottoms, and then hot glued them to ribbon. I used sticker gems to add a little bling. I made sure the ribbon was extra long so they would fit anyone's hand and brought scissors with on the day of our wedding so people could cut off the extra length if they didn't want a huge bow.


3) Kusudama Pew Deocrations


I made Kusudama balls and then glued them to ribbon so they would hang off the church pews. You can find a tutorial on how to make Kusudama balls here.

I had also made some extra to decorate the cake table.



4) Wands as Favors


You can find my tutorial for making wands over a Potter Mama! These were so much fun to make and a huge hit at the wedding! They made great photo props!

We had kept a few and so I even used them as a prop in some baby photos. However, I would be extremely careful when using the wands as a baby prop or use them during the newborn stage as baby won't be able to grab them and move much. I think I waited too late, so I had to make sure our daughter didn't put it in her mouth or poke her eye out when I did photos.



5) Owl Place-markers


I had managed to find Harry Potter themed 3D paper owl templates on line! I printed and made a ton of these. I then typed up everyone's names, printed them out on paper, cut them out, and glued them to the owl's feet! 

Unfortunately it looks like 3EyedBear no longer offers the Harry Potter colors, but they have other cute owl colors, some that are more natural, so could still work for a Harry Potter themed wedding. Otherwise you may to have to contact them to see if you can get the templates I used. 

If you aren't doing assigned seating, these would still be cute for decor!


6) Table Markers


Since we did assigned seating, I chose to label the tables after places in Harry Potter. The bridesmaids table was Beauxbatons, groomsmen were Durmstrang, and our table was Hogwarts. The guests sat at a variety of locations, such as Hogsmeade, 4 Private Drive, Diagon Alley, etc.



7) Invitations & Thank You Cards


To cut costs we skipped sending Save The Dates and just sent wedding invitations, which I had made. I also made our Thank You cards as well.

At our bridal shower, we had gotten a Harry Potter wax seal kit, which I used to seal the Thank You cards I sent out. I wish I had gotten some sooner to use on the wedding invites as well as the results were pretty cool!



8) Origami Cranes


Being half Chinese, I wanted something from my Asian culture at the wedding, and in the Asian culture there is a tradition that anyone who folds 1,000 cranes will be granted a wish (source). I ended up making 988 cranes, while my husband only made 12! We strung the cranes on string and used them as various backdrops. We had so many, we ended up decorating the cake table and guest book table with them as well!

You can find a tutorial on how to make them here.




9) Wish Tree Guest Book


We wanted something more unique and fun than just a boring guest book, so we chose to do a wish tree! This was really simple to make. All you need is some sticks, river rocks, and a pot. We picked out some fun looking sticks, bunched them together and set them in the pot, you will have to hold them. Then pour in some river rocks around the sticks till you have enough that they don't move out of the position you want. 

For the wish cards, I made a template in Microsoft Word and printed them out on 4x6 note cards, then used a hole punch to punch hole at the top so I could run some string through. On one side people could write whatever wedding wishes they wanted for us and on the other side I had made a contact info page so we could get addresses for sending out Thank You's. 


10) Origami Lucky Stars 


I made a bunch of the cute paper stars to use as vase fillers. I also used them to cover up the rocks on our wish tree, which you can see in the photo above. You can find a tutorial to make your own lucky stars here.

***

Those are just some ideas on what you can do yourself to cut down on wedding costs and how you can throw your own Harry Potter theme wedding! Now for what most of you are probably looking forward to, here are some more photos from our wedding!

I had asked the bridesmaids to bring their favorite Harry Potter book!


September 29, 2017

How To Survive a Long Car Ride With a Baby

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Last month we took our baby, 8 months at the time, on a long car ride down south to visit my family. This was our first long road trip with our daughter and things went way better than we expected. I think we got lucky when it comes to babies and got one that is totally chill (for the most part). She did get fussy at times, usually when her diaper was dirty or she was hungry, but she never wailed in the car.

According to Google maps, the trip down would take 6.5 hours with no stops and the trip back home would take 9.5 hours with no stops. We stayed with my cousin for a night on the way down before driving another 3 hours to visit my grandpa, but we didn't stop anywhere on the way back home, so the trip down would have been the same as the trip home had we not stopped for a day. 

Let's just say that with a baby and a dog, we had to stop a few times for diaper changes and feeding, which added about 2 hours to the trip, so the way down ended up taking close to 8 hours (going to my grandpas the next day only took the suggested 3 hours as we did that drive with no stops) and getting home took close to 11 hours.

I had originally planned on flying down to avoid these long drives, but the hassle of getting to the airport and on a plane, plus the cost of flying, just made driving make more sense and we will most likely drive down again next year. 

Here are some of my tips for surviving a long car ride with a baby:

1) Rest Areas Rock!


Rest Areas are way more baby friendly than gas stations and fast food places. The bathrooms are always cleaner and the changing tables way nicer, at least in our experience. There is almost always a family restroom, which will allow dad to change baby's diaper if you need a break. However, if your baby is like our baby and hated the public bathrooms, Rest Areas are great because there is plenty of seating, so you can always change your baby outside on a table instead, weather permitting of course. The availability of seating also makes feeding your baby easier than being cramped in the car.

2) Ready Mixed Formula Makes Feeding Easier & Faster


If you are not breastfeeding, I highly recommend getting the ready-made formula for the car rides so you do not have to deal with mixing bottles in bathrooms, making feeding time faster.

3) Cereal Puffs Help Keep Baby Calm


If your baby is old enough for solids, then you will want to bring puffs! Our daughter loves puffs, so I made sure to bring two containers, one in the diaper bag and one in her suitcase as a backup. Whenever she began to get cranky and we were not near a rest area, I would dig these out and hand her a puff at a time. It was the perfect distraction and helped keep her calm till we could give her a proper meal at a rest area. Plus she gets to practice feeding herself!

4) Bring Disinfecting Wipes & Paper Towels


Maybe it's because I am an over packer or just a great planner, but my husband was thankful that I had thought to bring these items! Babies are messy and thus, will make messes so you will want these in your car to clean up those messes. We also used the disinfecting wipes and paper towels to clean the pack n' play and her toys while we were staying with family. 

5) Soft Toys For Baby In The Car


We only let our baby play with soft toys in her car seat as if we happened to get in an accident, it would be less likely to hurt her. I would make sure to choose toys that your baby loves or even give them a new toy at this time so they are distracted. We had a stuffed animal that she loves to snuggle and a rubber teether so she had something to chew on. 


6) Have Someone Sit Next To Baby


My husband and I took turns driving, but instead of sitting the passenger seat, the one not driving would sit in the back with the baby. This provided a distraction for her and gave her someone to play with. It also allowed us to see her so we knew when she was getting cranky. This made it easier to know when to look for a rest area.

This is the one thing I think that prevented her from wailing in the car. The only time she actually cried during the trip was in the bathrooms when getting changed due to the loud noises of flushing and hand dryers. 

7) Make Meals Ahead Of Time


This was one mistake we made on the way down. We had to stop at fast food places to eat, which takes a lot longer, especially since we had a dog with us, so we had to order food, then stop at a Rest Area to eat. 

For the way home, we decided to make sandwiches in advance, which was the best idea ever. This allowed us to avoid stopping as we could eat in the car or we only had to stop at a Rest Area, no extra stops at restaurants. Plus it's also healthier, so wish we had thought to do the same for the way down.

8) Do Not Commit To Anything


With a baby, you have to be flexible which is why when my cousin asked if we would like to do dinner with them, we chose to not commit and replied with we will join you if we can make it, but do not wait for us.

The stress of traveling with a baby is enough, do not add to it by making plans to arrive at a certain time. I guarantee you will not arrive and your family and friends may be upset because they are waiting on you.

We, of course, as predicted did not make it to dinner and everyone was okay with that as we had let them know in advance that we would most likely not arrive in time to join them. We had our own quick meal and then met everyone at the house instead. There was no stress or pressure on our end to arrive at a certain time, making the trip worry free!

September 22, 2017

5 Reasons Why I Don't Wear Make-Up

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I would like to start off this post by saying that I am not against make-up, nor do I judge anyone who chooses to wear make-up. Make-up is an art and it can be fun.

My main issue with make-up is when people depend on it in order to feel good about themselves. A good example of what I am talking about is episode 9 of Last Man Standing (Attractive Architect). For those who have not seen this episode or do not watch the show. Here is a little recap:

Eve takes all the make-up in the house and hides it to make a point to her make-up obsessed sister, Mandy. Mandy is then forced to go to school with no make-up and she basically tried to hide her face from everyone. She is so dependent on make-up that she feels ugly and can't function without it.

She learned that without make-up, people think she is smart and a lot of "nerds" try to talk to her, which she considered a bad thing. In the end, she comes to this conclusion:
"I learned something really important today. Life is beautiful. But it’s more beautiful when you’re beautiful." Mandy (The Last Man Standing). 
This episode left a bad taste in my mouth for many reasons. One, you shouldn't judge someone based on how they look. Two, women should want to be seen for more than a pretty face. Unlike Mandy, I would rather be seen as smart and successful rather than attractive and dumb. My final reason is my number one reason why I don't wear make-up, which you can read below.

1. Make-Up Does Not Make You Beautiful


We should not need make-up to look and feel beautiful. In fact, I actually find those who do not wear make-up to be more attractive than the ones with painted on masks. The best kind of make-up, in my opinion, is the kind where you can't tell the person is even wearing make-up, but at that point, it's kind of like why bother putting on make-up?

If you are so dependent on make-up in order to feel good, it's an addiction. Make-up may not be as damaging to the body as drugs or alcohol, but it definitely can affect your mental health and affect your self-esteem, especially if you depend on it to cover whatever flaws you feel you may have, which I can assure you, you don't have any. We are all beautiful in our own, unique way.

If you are so focused on one "flaw," then you may have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BBD) and should seek help.

If you use make-up to attract the opposite sex, then you have a problem. Honestly, do you want some guy who only wants you because of how you look with a painted on mask?

When I first started getting interested in make-up (yes I have worn it in the past), I was in high school and it was my younger sister who actually was interested in first, which got me interested. My mom did not wear make-up, or if she did I could not tell and I never saw her put it on. I do know she owned some tubes of lipstick, but again, I do not remember ever seeing her use it!

If my mom had been more into make-up, I am sure it would have impacted me sooner, which is why I am more hesitant now to even consider wearing make-up as I do not want my daughter to feel she needs it to be pretty. I want her to love the way she looks, so by seeing how confident I am in my own skin, I am hoping she will learn as I did from my mother, that make-up is not needed to be beautiful.

The last time I actually remember wearing make-up was on my wedding day back in 2012. I do still keep a cosmetic bag lying around. However, all the beauty products in there are probably expired and should be tossed, so even if there was ever an event I felt the need to hide a zit for, it probably wouldn't be a good idea to use it. I am actually considering digging it up and throwing it out as I am typing this post.

2. Time Consuming


As soon as I started putting on make-up, I began to realize it was not worth the time for me. For one I had no idea what I was doing and no one to really teach me, so applying make-up took me a good 30-45 mins in the morning just to make sure it looked okay or at least what I thought was okay, which often ended up with me looking well, just like me. I did play around more with eyeshadow as I loved the colors.

Like I said in the intro, make-up is fun as an art, but I just didn't think the art was worth my time. I am still amazed at what some people can do with it though. A good friend of mine actually has a beauty blog and her make-up is amazing, so I highly recommend checking her out at The Minnesota MUA!

For those interested in what the average time spent on make-up for a woman is, well here is what a survey found:
"Women spend an average of 55 minutes every day working on their appearance... That amounts to 335 hours every year — or an entire two-week vacation — lost to their looks, according to the TODAY/AOL Ideal to Real Body Image Survey released Monday." (Source)
To me that is time wasted. I have better things to do than paint my face every morning, only to wash it off before going to bed and starting again the next day. Personally, I would rather take that two-week vacation than wear make-up.

3. Expensive


Make-up is just not cheap.
"A new survey from SkinStore.com reports that the average woman wears about $8 worth of makeup and skincare products every day. That adds up to almost $250 a month and well over $200,000 in a lifetime." (Source)
I don't know about you, but I can find a ton of other things I would rather spend $250 on or better yet, save that up for a dream vacation!

Source

4. It's Uncomfortable & Inconvenient


I have attempted to wear mascara and it sucked when I couldn't rub my eyes in fear of smearing it everywhere, or even a tearful yawn could be a disaster. I did eventually get waterproof mascara, but even that would rub off. In the end, I ditched it.

Eyeshadow was also a pain for this reason, but not as bad as Mascara.

I could never do lipstick or lip gloss. I wiped it off immediately. Having something sticky on your lips is just unpleasant. Plus then you have to worry about leaving lipstick stains on your glass or smearing it while eating. I think our wedding day was the only day I managed to wear lipstick, but I had it done at a Salon, so the quality was probably a lot better than what I had on hand.

I have tried face creams to hide blemishes and various other products, but the sticky textures annoyed me and so I never did them again. I couldn't do powders as they rub off if you touch your face.

Make-up was just a hassle I was not going to put up with on a daily basis and so it became more of a special event type of thing, and now I never put it on. Like I said, I think the last time I worke make-up was on my wedding day.

5. Animal Cruelty


Many make-up products are still tested on animals to this day. Sure you can go out of your way to find cruelty-free products, but a lot of the time those can't be trusted either as cruelty-free can just mean the actual product hasn't been tested on animals, but the ingredients in them may have. You can read more about cruelty-free labels on MSPCA's website.

I guess if you aren't concerned about testing on animals, this may not matter to you as much, but it is an added bonus for me for not wearing make-up.

***

Some important things to note is that I do wear nail polish and shave my legs. Nail polish is something I throw on maybe twice a year? If you can't tell, I don't like wasting time on things that I don't think are important. 

The last time I remember painting my nails was a week before the baby was born. There is not much you can do when pregnant, so this cured my boredom. I can't say I never have gotten my nails professionally done, but it's only been three times in my life so far. Once with a group of friends for prom, once for my cousin's wedding as I was a bridesmaid, and once for my wedding. I have never gotten my nails done on my own, but if a group of friends ever asks then I would totally go for the social aspect of it.

As for shaving. I have debated stopping altogether, and I admit this is one of my insecurities and I blame society for that. Body hair is totally natural and in Europe women are allowed to have it! I do hate doing it so I do only shave once a week and just wear leggings or jeans on the days the hair starts showing up. I wear shirts with sleeves when the armpit hair starts showing up as well, no tanks on those days!

The only area of my body that I shave and think is worth shaving is the bikini area. I have irregular cycles, so when I get my period, it is heavy, having no hair down there really makes keeping it clean a lot easier. I do not do it for looks because no one should be looking there without my permission! And no man should ever demand that you shave for him nor should you feel obliged to shave for any man! 

I do wish I could be more confident in this area, but I don't think I could handle being that woman pointed out on a beach full of freshly shaved women for her hairy legs and armpits. I admire those women who are confident enough to do so though and applaud them! I hope to be able to one day join them.

Shaving actually costs a lot less than wearing make-up. My husband and I did the math and it came to about $14 a month, so a lot less than make-up. Now if you're doing more than just razors and shaving cream, like going to get waxed or laser hair removal, then that might raise that number quite a bit.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on Pexels.


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