Wish List #1

wishlist

A list of some pretty things I would love to own.  These items are all-natural, where it applies.

Rainbow Moonstone Necklace – Because I work in the gemstone industry, I’ve been lucky enough to hold a variety of gemstones in my hands.  I’ve been drawn to a few crystals in particular, one of them being moonstone.  Moonstone has a quality that is best experienced in person, because the luminosity of it can only be really seen when you move it around.  I love this necklace and it looks like it would work well dressed up or down.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Sleep Set – Totally unnecessary, but isn’t that sometimes the point?  One, I actually use sleep masks quite frequently.  Two, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” has been one of my favorite movies since I first saw it around 16 years old.  I suppose $89 is a bit steep for a sleep mask, night shirt, and ear plugs (and the mask is silk which I plan on avoiding now that I’m vegan) but…still.  Truth be told, I’d love to have this set.

Leahlani Mermaid Mask – Now that I’m in my 30s I’m really, really babying my skin.  I’ve wanted to purchase this mask for a while.  If the cult status of this mask says anything, it’s pretty darn fantastic.

Minimalist Baker Cookbook – I’m on a vegan cookbook kick lately (I’ve bought 3 in the past two weeks), and this one has had a lot of great reviews.

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer – This is one of the superstar all-natural products I’ve yet to get my hands on, but the next time I’m in need of a new highlighter, this is the one I’m getting.  RMS Beauty products are just stellar.

Pop Flex Mermaid Couture Yoga Mat – I want this mat.  It’s gorgeous…like, the most gorgeous yoga mat ever and everything about it screams out my name. If they don’t restock this mat, I’d settle for their mermaid legging.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks – I already have Fig…and I need more lipstick like the ocean needs more water.  However, maybe someday I will find a way to justify more.  I really like the pinks and nudes, like Honeycomb, Sugarcane, Meringue, and Sake…and their Butter Cream Lipstick in Pecan is calling my name…

Pacifica Dream Big Mascara – This is the next mascara I’m trying when my others are used up.  I love trying out new natural mascaras, and I’m always looking for the best of the best.

Matt & Nat Vegan Leather Bag – I can’t decide which bag I like best, but I do plan on investing in one of their classic crossbody bags sometime this year.

Tibetan Singling Bowl – One of my favorite meditation videos is Tibetan Singing Bowls, and I think they make one of the most beautiful and peaceful sounds that I’ve ever heard.

What items are on your current wishlist?  I’d love to hear!

 

Simple DIY American Girl Bedroom & Beds

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And when I say simple…I really mean simple – no tools, no nailing, no gluing, no difficult cutting!  YES.

For the past two years, I’ve taken my daughter to the American Girl store for her birthday.  Now that she has two dolls, she really wanted a bedroom for them.  I did a lot of searching for ideas – some were insanely over-the-top American Girl houses, and others were much more simple.  I don’t have any wood skills of which to speak, so I knew I needed to figure out something that would be affordable and simple.

For the room itself, I used a cardboard box that an accent chair was shipped in.  It was roughly 4’x3′ so I knew it was going to be a perfect size for a room. I used a box cutter to remove the top flaps of the box, and then to remove one side of the box.  What was left was the bottom of the box and 3 sides.  I reinforced the strength of the box by using duct tape around the edges.

The next step was covering the “floor”.  I found contact paper to be the best solution – it wipes clean, comes in lots of styles/patterns, and is affordable.  I found contact paper with a wood floor pattern which worked great for the bottom of the box.  I did have to be careful as I put it in place because without care, lots of air bubbles will get trapped.

For the walls I also used contact paper – this time a fun but somewhat muted polka dot pattern.  Again, I had to be extra careful as I put it in place to minimize air bubbles – there were still a few that I couldn’t manage to escape, but they aren’t noticeable.

 

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For the beds, I used two wire racks very similar to this.  When purchasing one of these racks for a doll bed, it is important to check the dimensions – some of the racks are not long enough for an 18″ doll like American Girl. Three great things about the style we have are: they are coated and won’t rust or break; they are affordable, and they stack if my daughter wants to change them into bunk beds (note: not all styles of these types of racks are stackable – make sure to read the info to know for sure).

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For the blankets, I suggest taking your child to JoAnn’s or someplace similar to pick out blanket fabric.  There is so much to choose from, but I recommend something soft and pliable. Some patterns are really eye catching, but if it is a super flimsy or stiff fabric, it won’t look nice as a doll blanket.

Depending on the fabric type, you can make the blanket in different ways – sew with a machine, hand stitch, use liquid stitch, or if it’s a fabric that won’t fray, you could just cut to size and call it a day!

I could have gone all-out and made a headboard and a dust ruffle for the beds, but I chose not to.  Instead, each bed only has a “mattress”, blanket, and pillow.  I recommend not using cotton batting for the bedding because it is too fluffy – not what you want for a realistic looking bed.  Instead, I used layers of an old terry cloth bath towel and used that as the filling inside fabric.  For one mattress I used leftover felt, which is very easy to work with.  For the other bed, I used a leftover cotton pillowcase which worked well, too.  The mattresses are thick and soft, but not lumpy.

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We added a few accessories – I picked up the small wooden doll dresser at Michael’s for less than $10 and my daughter painted it with watercolors believe it or not.  The zebra rug was a piece of craft fabric I also picked up from Michael’s for about $5.

Breakdown of what I spent:

  • Contact paper for floor/walls: $10
  • Dresser: $8
  • Rug: $5
  • Bedding Fabric: $10

Everything else was repurposed, i.e. FREE:

  • Cardboard box
  • Wire racks (from my mom)
  • Leftover fabric
  • Terrycloth bath towel

I hope you enjoyed reading how I made a simple, affordable American Girl doll bedroom!  Maybe one day I’ll be really adventurous and make a kitchen or bathroom…

Natural Kid’s Products for Outdoor Playtime

outdoorkidsproducts

It’s almost summer, so that means the next few months will include a lot of sun and outdoor activities.  To keep my daughter protected from sun damage and buggies, here are a few things I keep close by.

Sun Hats and Caps – For me and my daughter, a hat is an absolute necessity in summer.  Both of us being fair skinned and prone to burning, I use physical “sunblockers” as often as possible – meaning I try to shield our skin with clothes, sunglasses, hats, and natural shade that things like trees provide. We also aren’t fans of tank tops because our shoulders would burn too quickly.  I am not a fan of being in direct summer sunlight; it somehow zaps my energy and makes me very uncomfortable physically.  There are lots of companies that specialize in clothing that have a sun protective factor that is essentially built-in to the garment.  I actually do not own any clothing products like that, so I can’t offer any feedback.  However, a good old fashioned ball cap works, too.

Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 – This is a great versatile, vegan, paraben-free sunscreen.  It’s lightweight enough to wear under makeup, or to slather all over my body and my daughter’s body.  It doesn’t have much of a scent and though there is a subtle white cast, it isn’t that bad (I’ve definitely seen worse).  The ingredients are great, too.

Honest Company Sunscreen Spray and Sunscreen Stick – At the risk of being controversial, I also have a couple of Honest Company sunscreens.  I actually purchased these a while ago, before the controversy over the efficacy of their products.  I’ve used their sunscreens many times, and personally, have never had an issue at all.  However, the responsible thing to do it to reapply sunscreen frequently.  If my daughter is swimming outdoors, you better believe I’m reapplying sunscreen every 30-40 minutes like clockwork, regardless of the brand.

Hurraw! Sun Balm SPF 15 – A lip balm with SPF?  How very 21st century!  When I was growing up, and indeed, until a couple of years ago, I’d never heard of a lip balm with SPF.  Talk about a product that makes you go, “Why wasn’t this widely available a long time ago?” I guess I’ll chalk that up to more and more awareness of the effects of sun damage on us, so there is more demand for sun protection.  Anyway, I love this balm.  I keep it in my purse because I have my purse when we’re out-and-about.  Smells pretty nice, too.

Badger Anti-Bug Spray – First, we don’t spend a lot of time outdoors. I have a deep appreciation for nature and we do go on walks, to parks, nature preserves, etc.  However, I don’t spend a lot of time outdoors except maybe in spring and summer.  My daughter and I are not only sensitive to heat and sun, but I am not a fan of bugs.  That’s me just being honest!  However, for times when my daughter is playing in the backyard or climbing the neighbor’s tree (which the neighborhood kids love to do), I have her spray her exposed skin with this bug spray.  It has really clean ingredients – only organic oil and essential oils, so I don’t have to fret about what is getting absorbed into my daughter’s bloodstream via her skin.  So far, it seems to work pretty well based on our needs.

What outdoor products are essential for you and your family?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments!