Blogger Busy Box Swap

When you're a momma of little ones, one of your most valuable resources is other moms. There is truly nothing better than being able to call or email a friend who also has a two-year-old and an infant to get some of their sage advice or just to share war stories. 

I've been fortunate enough to find myself in an amazing group of momma bloggers with kids who are similarly aged. In the past, we've done some fun swaps for our kids like our Secret Santa swap. For this back-to-school fall season, we decided to do a homemade busy box swap. 

A busy box or bag is simply a little kit created to keep a toddler busy for about a ten minute period. Each busy box includes a learning concept designed to teach our little one while keeping them entertained. A busy box is perfect for a car trip or to keep HDawg busy while I'm nursing Little Lady June.

We each made a busy box for another little one in the group. Here are the gals who participated!

Colleen at Meet the Sullivans
Emily at Dear Owen
Natasha at Schue Love
Erin at Hello Erin

We were lucky enough to receive a busy box gift from my sweet friend Natasha and her little boy Ethan. HDawg got the perfect busy box for him... alphabet magnets in a tin camo box!

H is obsessed with the alphabet right now and is constantly pointing out in books, road signs, etc. his favorite letters. "MOMMMMMA! IT'S A 'D' FOR DADDYYYY! V FOR VEGGABLE! LOOK, IT'S S FOR SNAKESSSSS!" This cute little metal lunchbox not only holds the magnet letters but he can use the box itself as a magnet board! So cute. As he was playing with the box he kept yelling out "THANK YOU ETHAN!!!!" He was just so excited. This is going to be a great busy box for us to take on an upcoming road trip.

Head on over to Julia's blog, Life in Transition, to see the busy bag I made for her little girl!

Busy boxes are seriously so easy and fun and there are a ton of great ideas on Pinterest if you're interested in making one for your kids or their friends. Each of us will be sharing the tutorial for the busy box we made next Tuesday and I think we'll make it a fun little party with a blog link up. Whatcha think? Anyone interested in making and sharing a fun busy box idea?!

Six Natural Skin Care Products to Love

Last year, I made it a personal goal to enhance my skin care routine. While my lovely golden age of thirty is certainly not old, I ain't no spring chicken. I started shopping a few natural products and began testing them out to find out what worked best for me. Then I got pregnant again, like a minute later (hey, Little Lady June!), and my skin went wack with preggo hormones and I sort of gave up on really setting roots with my new skincare routine.

But, here I am, six month post-partum and ready to get my skin back on track. Through several trials and tribulations, I have finally mastered a mostly natural skin care routine that I love.

Let me start by saying that I prefer to use products without parabens, dyes, phthalates, sulfates and other crazy chemicals (yes, that's a scientific term). I'm sure there are some other outrageous, wrinkle-preventing mega beauty products out there but while I'm nursing and have kids licking my face on a daily basis these natural products are a priority for me.

So. My nightly routine. Wash off the makeup/pureed sweet potatoes/craft paint from my face with the Alba pineapple wash. My friend Courtney introduced me to this product line and I love it. The cleanser gets all of my makeup off and leaves me feeling clean but not too squeaky, if you know what I mean. Plus the pineapple smells delicious. When I don't have makeup to wash off or sometimes to wake me up the mornings, I wash my face with the St. Ives scrub just to give myself some extra buff. The green tea extract in the St. Ives scrub makes my face feel totally refreshed, it's awesome. And now I sound like a commercial. FYI for you pregnant mommas out there, there is salicylic acid in the St. Ives green tea scrub so I didn't start using this product until after LLJ came along.  Both the Alba and the St. Ives products can be found at the drugstore, which is great on the wallet and convenience factor.

Next, I use the Korres face serum. I'm pretty new to this product, but I love the natural ingredients and their firming/smoothing technology. I put one squirt in my palm and use on my face and neck. Next, I follow up with the Korres moisturizer which IS. THE. BOMB. Seriously, y'all. I love it. I took a brief hiatus from it when I stopped working for six months earlier this year because I thought, self, you don't need to pay $40 for moisturizer. I tried a few drugstore varieties and couldn't find anything I loved. Now I'm back to the Wild Rose moisturizer and I'm obsessed. It's the perfect weight- not too heavy, not too light and feels great, even under makeup. Love it.

Then my tired little eyes and their friends, Bags McGee, get a nice dose of the eye serum. Something about the tea extract in this makes everything feel better in the world of puffy eyes. I've even had friends remark that my eyes were looking good once I regularly started using this product.

As for the St. Ives lotion, it's a little heavy for me to use ever day, but I keep it in my purse for when I'm having dry, patchy moments.

So there you have it, my six favorite natural skin care beauty products. I like that I have a good mix of drugstore and "nicer" products. Next up, I need to lock down a great vitamin routine. Any suggestions? I have been taking prenatal vitamins since the summer of 2011 (yes, seriously) so I am way behind in the vitamin world!
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