DIY Baby Wipes!!

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With all the news about baby wipes being recalled lately, maybe we should all think about making our own with pure essential oils!  My cousin previously shared this recipe with me but I had no real incentive to try it before this week (I really love Target brand unscented wipes).  But since the recalls have been issued, it has made me think…why AM I using chemicals on my toddler’s bottom when I care so much about every other thing that I put on and in her body??  So I made them..it was SO easy and so far I really like them!! I have a feeling I will continue to tweak them until I get my ideal formula but it makes me feel good to be reducing the chemical load in our house just a little more!

Ok, basic recipe (and I’ll share my adjustments below):

1/2 roll of cloth-like paper towels cut in half (such as Bounty or Viva), store the other half for future wipe recipes

2 cups warm water

2 tablespoons natural baby wash

2 tablespoons fractionated coconut oil

3 drops pure lavender essential oil

3 drops pure melaleuca essential oil

-Mix all the liquids in a big pot, then put the towels in
-Flip the roll after a few minutes so both sides can absorb the liquid
-Then pull the cardboard out of the center of the paper towel roll and squeeze excess water from the roll
-The wipes should unravel from the center like commercial cleaning wipe wipes
-Store in a repurposed plastic jug

My adjustments:  I used baby formula unscented castile soap in place of baby wash and reduced the soap to just one tablespoon.  I also increased the essential oils to 7 drops each.  Note, if you want to learn more about pure essential oils, feel free to email me!  mariaferris@outlook.com 

My cousin’s adjustments:  She eliminated the baby wash altogether.  It was irritating her son’s sensitive skin.

My aunt’s adjustments:  She used dish soap (one tablespoon) instead of baby wash and substituted protective blend essential oil for the Lavender and Melaleuca to make surface cleaning wipes!!!  This is my next project!!

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Not my best look (with no make-up)…

But I needed to provide a link to a picture of my hair in its natural state to be selected as a hair model for a class at my salon this weekend.  Andre Richard Salon is the best!!

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If I were famous, this would definitely show up in the “stars without makeup” edition of People Magazine.   Eek.

Adventures in Applesauce

I absolutely love fall.  I love everything about it.  Pretty much my entire life has been spent in Southeastern Pennsylvania which is a great part of the country for fall weather and fall foliage.  I love the cool temperatures, the smell of leaves, the colors, fall activities, fall fruits and vegetables, watching football…you name it.  This year, we actually went up to Vermont for a long weekend in the early fall.  It was so beautiful.  Coming from such a developed and populated area, it is amazing to me that there are still parts of this country…not so far from me…that are so pristine and unadulterated.  One of the activities we did in Vermont was go apple picking!  Now, this is something that we do around here too, but it was hard to resist the beautiful Vermont orchards!  C loves apples and being crazy outside so apple picking is always a good choice!

We picked about 10 pounds of apples (and had another 5 or so pounds waiting for us at home) and there was not too much debate about what to do with the apples!  If you know me, you know I love to make applesauce…and I love to make homemade food for my little one…so mama’s world famous cinnamon applesauce pouches it was!  And it is SO EASY!!

1.  Pick your apples.  By far the cheapest way to get them.  And it’s fun!

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2.  Wash your apples with a veggie wash to remove any dirt, wax or chemicals that might be on them (even though I always try to find organically grown, it doesn’t hurt to wash wash wash).  Yup, I use Lemon essential oil in my veggie wash… if you want to learn more about pure essential oils, feel free to email me!  mariaferris@outlook.com

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doterrra fruit and veggie wash

3.  Peel your apples.  Not the most fun part, I admit.  And I don’t have an apple peeler/corer so it’s all done by hand…  It can be therapeutic though and it’s kind of exciting when you manage to get the peel off an apple in one long piece!  I usually get one or two out of the pounds and pounds of apples I peel.  Cut out the cores and roughly chop the apples.

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4.  Fill your crockpot/slow cooker with the apples.  My slow cooker is 6 quart which holds about 7-8 pounds of apples.  As long as the apples seem juicy, I don’t add any liquid.  Sometimes early-season apples are a little dry…in that case, I will add 1/4 – 1/2 cup water to the slow cooker.

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5.  Now, this is assuming the 6 quart slow cooker filled with about 7-8 pounds of apples…I add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.

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6.  That’s it…just set the slow cooker for 7 hours on low.

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7.  Every 2-3 hours, remove the lid and give the apple mixture a stir.  At the end of the 7 hours, the applesauce will have broken itself down (no need to mash, just give it a strong stir) and be a beautiful caramel color.  I really do get lots of compliments on this recipe….no added sugar, yet it is amazingly sweet with warm vanilla spice flavor.  It actually TASTES like fall.

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8.  Now, if you are going to package it up for little ones (or really anyone…even adults slurp applesauce out of packets these days), break out your Infantino Fresh Squeezed Squeeze Station and your Infantino Pouches.  Set up a nice assembly line…

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9.  Since the applesauce is so yummy, I fill the pouches to their maximum (4 ounces).  Fill the cups…press…viola!!  Applesauce pouches!!  I leave a few in the fridge but freeze most of the pouches and take them out the night before I plan to pack them for lunch, take to the park, etc.

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So easy and such a fun fall activity, especially if you have children who are a little bit older and can help you out.  Don’t forget to serve some of that applesauce warm, right out of the slow cooker…yum…and use some in your baking!!  Apple spice muffins…need I say more??

Stitch Fix #2 Review – October 2014

My second Fix arrived on a Friday which was super exciting to me because I had the whole weekend to try everything on and show a few friends in person before I had to make my decisions.

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Let me just say, I am totally loving Stitch Fix.  In the days leading up to the arrival of my Fix, I check the mail anxiously every day hoping it will arrive early (which it did this month, it was scheduled for Saturday, October 4th).  Even though I pretty much know I am only going to buy one or two things, it is so exciting to see what’s in the box!  If you want more information about what Stitch Fix is, click here to read my prior blog post about it.  Ok, here is what I got this month:

1.  Tart Colbie Striped French Terry 3/4 Sleeve Blazer (blue) – $128

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Fit really well.  I thought it was a little weird that there were slight shoulder pads but they gave the blazer a nice shape which I assume is important since it is such a soft fabric.  It was incredible comfortable and would be really cute with both work pants and casual jeans.  My issues with the jacket were the price ($128) and the fact that I probably don’t have too much right now that would go with it.  Maybe if it were a different color or pattern, I would have sprung for it.

Status: Sent Back

2.  Mak Jaclynn 3/4 Sleeve Button-Up Cardigan (burgundy) – $38

3.  Papermoon Cecil 3/4 Sleeve Aline Dress (grey) – $68

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Cardigan:  Fit fine, good price.  Nothing special at all.  I already have a million cardigans.

Dress:  There was something just not right about the way this dress fit.  The waist is elasticized and seemed too tight and too high.  When I tied the sash, even when I tied it tight, it hung down below the waist line and looked a little strange.  Overall, not particularly flattering.  Maybe it would have been better in the next size up, though I feel like it might have been too BIG at that point.  Also, I already have a few grey dresses so this one wasn’t a stand-out to me.

 Status:  Sent Both Back

4.  Just Black Riley Distressed Boyfriend Jean – $68

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These jeans are also pictured above where I am modeling the Blazer.  I knew from doing the sneak peek preview (googling the items on my checkout screen as soon as they ship) that I was going to love these jeans and keep them.  They did not disappoint.  Although they were pretty tight (jegging tight) when I first put them on, they fit perfectly, were so soft, and stretched out to the perfect relaxed fit.  I’m not sure exactly what boyfriend jeans are supposed to be, but these are fabulous.  And how can you beat $68 for jeans?

Status:  Kept

5.  Margaret M Duboce Straight Leg Jean (white) – $58

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Let me say, from the start, I knew these were going back.  There are people who can probably pull off tight white pants…but I am not one of them.  You may be wondering what the top of the pants looked like on me, but I am doing you a favor by not showing you.  That being said, the size was right, they were really comfortable and I liked the cut.  If they were a color other than white, I probably would have kept them.

Status:  Sent Back

Even though I only kept one item out of this box, I was not disappointed.  There were a few close calls and I feel like my stylist is on the right track.  I have heard that every month your Fix will improve as long as you leave honest feedback on why you kept or sent back items (which I am trying to do).  Looking forward to my next Fix!  Schedule your Fix here!  And follow me on Facebook and Instagram!