I love fall most of all. Ok, maybe I love caffeine most of all, but I DO love fall and all the pumpkin things! If you love Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, you’ll love this version! I found a few recipes on Pinterest and I’ll be updating this recipe as I tweak it to perfection, so stay tuned for updates!
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp pumpkin purée
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp honey
Pinch of pumpkin pie spice
Add ice to a glass and pour cold brew over ice.
Add all other ingredients except pumpkin pie spice to a glass and mix using a blender or milk frother until we’ll blended and light and fluffy.
Pour over cold brew. Add a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice to top of cream and enjoy!
So, you found webbing all over your plant and leaf edges are browning and dying… now what? There are fuzzy little white things all over your plant and new leaves are suffering… now what? Nearly every plant I’ve brought home from Lowe’s has been infested with mealybugs or spider mites, but don’t panic! I have several options that will eliminate soft bodied pests and keep them away.
Identifying the Pest
Usually spider mites create tiny webbing on the tips of leaves or where the leaf meets the stem. These pests are very, very tiny and are typically on the back of leaves in these locations.
The pests may even create webbing on the pot or basket in which the plant is contained. The photo above shows webbing that appeared after being misted with water.
Mealybugs look like fuzzy little dots on plants and can be found on the underside of leaves and the stem. They sometimes clump on the stem at new leaf growth.
Step 1: Physical Removal
Remove all webbing and spider mites using a damp paper towel or lint roller. Remove a sheet of lint roller sticky tape and gently press it on the back of leaves to remove all spider mites.
Remove mealybugs by soaking a cotton ball with 70% isopropyl alcohol and dabbing each bug. This will kill them in contact.
Wash hands thoroughly after removing pests to ensure no other plants are affected.
Be sure to keep the affected plant(s) away from all other houseplants until all spider mites are eliminated.
Step 2: Elimination and Prevention
There are several methods for this part. I’ll provide the 3 options that seem to work best for me: chemical pesticide, natural soap wash, and alcohol and water wash.
Each method has its pros and cons. While chemical insecticide works well, there are drawbacks as well. It is, after all, a chemical that isn’t safe around pets or children and should be used according to the instructions. When I have used this method, I was able to eliminate the spider mites in one use.
The soap wash and alcohol and water wash are also effective and safe to use around pets and children. These methods do sometimes take several applications if there is a large infestation.
Physically remove any pests with the method described earlier, then apply the Garden Safe product. This should be sprayed outdoors all over the front and back of leaves, on stems, and on the top of the soil to kill any pests.
Move the plant to a spot indoors to fully dry away from the sun, as direct light after application of this product could cause burning of leaves (as me how I know… oops!). Wash hands thoroughly after application.
Check the plant weekly for pests after application and physically remove any pests and follow with insect killer application weekly if any pests are found.
This happens to be one of my favorite methods, although not as effective as the other two. If it’s not as effective, why is it my favorite, you ask? Well, because it’s easy, has no odor, and I can do it quickly weekly without worrying about chemicals or ruining anything else in the house like rubbing alcohol could if there’s a spill.
I also bring my plants inside and allow them to dry on a potting tarp to avoid leaf burn in direct sunlight outside. This is one of my favorite plant care items and you can find it here on Amazon!
1 quart warm water (tap water will work fine, but may spot your plant leaves when dry, so use distilled water if you want to avoid hard water spotting on your plants)
1 Tbsp Castile soap (I prefer Dr. Bronner’s, but any pure Castile soap will work fine as long as it has no dyes or fragrances)
Physically remove pests using the previously described method.
Mix ingredients well in a spray bottle.
Move the affected plant outdoors and spray leaves (front and back), stems, and top of soil thoroughly.
Move the plant back inside to dry on a surface that won’t be damaged by drilling soap mix, such as a tarp or repotting mat. Do not leave the plant outside as direct sunlight could burn leaves.
Keep the affected plant away from other plants to endure spider mites do not spread to other houseplants. Wash hands thoroughly after completing this process.
Repeat this process weekly to ensure pests are completely eliminated.
Isopropyl Alcohol as Insecticide
This method works well and kills pests on contact. Namely, mealybugs. If you have fuzzy white bits on your plant, this method may be for you. This will also help eliminate fungus gnats and spider mites.
Remove any spider mites with the previously described physical removal method. Remove mealybugs by soaking a cotton ball in 70% isopropyl alcohol and dabbing any visible mealybugs. This will kill them in contact.
Mix 50/50 water and 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle. Add 1 tsp Dawn dish soap and mix well.
Spray entire plant, front and back of leaves, stems, and top of soil with alcohol, water, and soap mixture.
Allow plant to dry inside, away from direct light in an area that won’t be damaged by the dripping alcohol mixture such as a tarp or repotting mat.
Wash hands thoroughly to avoid spreading pests and chemicals to other houseplants.
Inspect plant daily for pests. If mealybugs are found, remove by dabbing with alcohol soaked cotton balls.
Repeat this process weekly until all pests are eliminated.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Starbucks. I always pass on the Refreshers and Pink Drink because I feel like I SHOULD be able to make something similar at home. But do I? Nope. I came across this Dragonfruit Refresher “recipe” and it is delicious and only has two ingredients that are really easy to find in stores.
1/2 Bottle Power-C Dragonfruit Vitamin Water
2 Tbsp Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
Add ice to your favorite glass or tumbler. Add Vitamin Water and Vanilla Syrup.
These recipes are ALL OVER Pinterest. I’ve tried some that are good, some that are not so good, and some great ones. I found one that was so simple I couldn’t pass it up, so I decided to try it. Well, Target failed me and didn’t have the Ocean Spray White Cran-Strawberry juice I needed for the recipe, so I substituted with Cran-Raspberry. This one was definitely a keeper! Two ingredients and throw in some frozen raspberries and voila! Pink drink! Easy. Chip. Fast. What more can you ask for?
Original Silk Almondmilk
Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice
Frozen or fresh raspberries (optional)
Add desired amount of ice to a glass. Add frozen or fresh raspberries, if desired.
Pour almondmilk into the glass until it’s half full. Fill the rest of the glass with cran-raspberry juice.
I’ve always loved seagrass baskets, but always thought they were so expensive. I decided to look around the interwebs one last time to see what deals I could find. I came across these seagrass baskets from Potey on Amazon for $30. What a deal, right?!
I was shocked by the quality of these baskets for the price. The one pictured in my house is the smallest size this set comes with (see the tiny 10 lb chiweenie for size reference below). This particular set also comes with several different color combinations, including all natural, natural and white (pictured here), and black and natural. Check them out and check out all of Potey’s planter options while you’re at it!
I’ll be sure to follow up with other places I’ll be using these baskets in our home for storage and of course, other plants because, let’s be honest… there are many more plants that need baskets around here!
I’ve waited this long to jump on the air fryer bandwagon and I’m just hoping I’m not disappointed! Kohl’s currently has a sale on Ninja Air Fryers, 15-30% off when you use your Kohl’s card (15% without a Kohl’s card), 5% back in Kohl’s rewards, $10 Kohl’s cash for every $50 spent, 1% cash back with RetailMeNot, and 3% cash back with Swagbucks.
Since I love making large quantities and having leftovers or feeding a crowd, I opted for the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL with 5 different settings. It had great reviews, holds a large quantity in its basket, is dishwasher safe, and one of the settings is a dehydrator (yes, I’ve always wanted a dehydrator, so I’m pumped!).
Here’s a breakdown of the cost after all of these discounts and rewards:
Sale Price: $149.99, Sale Price: $179.99
30% Kohl’s Discount with Card: $104.99
Kohl’s Cash Earned: $20
5% Kohl’s Rewards Earned: $5.25
1% RetailMeNot Cash Back: $1.05
3% Swagbucks Cash Back: $3.15
Total Savings: $104.45 (a savings of 58%!!!)
Total Purchase Price after Savings and Cash Back: $75.54
Let me know what your favorite air fryer recipes are and maybe they’ll make a feature here in the future!
You guys… YOU GUYS! I haven’t blow dried or straightened my thick, wavy hair since our oldest child was 2… that was over 6 years ago. Why? My hair is THICK… like, thick thick. And wavy. Not a good combination. Sometimes it looks great air-dried with an oil (slight, loose curls) and other times it’s just like, “nope… you ain’t looking cute today without effort”. It takes 45 minutes (and sometimes longer) for me to blow dry it myself and when I do it’s a frizzy hot mess, which requires product, straightening, and a lot of crossed fingers and prayer to make it look somewhat decent. You know what? Ain’t nobody got time for that, so it’s usually a piled bun on top of my head as soon as I exit the shower, or air dry and hope it curls well (which it typically does, so I am thankful for that). If it doesn’t curl well, I add some loose waves and curls with my curling wand or straightener. If you want to see that technique and the products I use, I gotcha covered! Check it out here.
Enter the REVLON One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush. GAME. CHANGER. I’ve tried hot air brushes in the past and not one has met my expectations, so I was very skeptical on this one. Man… not only were my expectations met, but they were exceeded! The total style/dry time was around 30-45 minutes and it was sleek and perfect at the end. I think if I was going anywhere in public (thanks, COVID… I sit and rot at home even when I’m having a great hair day…) I would’ve run a flat iron through a few portions that I didn’t hit that well, but I was experimenting and going quickly, so overall, I’m definitely a fan! Here are some style tips and products I used for an (almost) effortless blow-out style:
To start, shampoo and condition your hair as you normally would. If you need suggestions on great products, check out some Verb products I reviewed here. Towel dry your hair to remove any excess moisture.
Apply a good heat protector or blow-out product. I’m a fan of John Frieda for protection/volume. I also love a flat-iron spray to help protect my hair and eliminate flyaways post-style. I recommend Garnier’s products for heat protection. Comb these products through your hair with a wide-tooth comb to evenly distribute product and remove any large tangles or knots prior to styling. Allow your hair to air dry approximately 30 -45 minutes if you have thick hair. The air dry time will depend on the thickness of your hair. Allow it to dry until it’s still damp and you’ll be able to style/blow dry it. Don’t allow it to dry too long, otherwise the blow-dry heat won’t style it if it’s dry.
Separate your hair into three sections if it’s very thick: bottom (style this first), middle, and top/crown. Clip the top two sections up and focus on small sections of the bottom layer of hair. If you want your hair to curl under, start with the REVLON brush under the roots of your hair, concentrating for 2-3 seconds to fully dry the roots while pulling tightly through your hair slowly to fully dry/straighten. Curl the brush out down to create an under curl on ends. Do the same for the following two layers.
If you prefer a flipped out style on the bottom, do the reverse and use the REVLON brush on top of the section of hair you’re drying/styling and curl the brush up to create a flipped style.
If you have very long hair and want the loose wave, blowout style, use the brush on the side of the hair and alternate flipping directions to create loose waves.
When you’ve completed your style, finish the look off with a small pump of Verb Ghost Oil. Pump a small amount onto your fingertips and run it through your hair to prevent flyaways or frizziness.
I’ve tried some great haircare in the past, but nothing has compared to Verb. I guess I have what would be considered “curly” hair. It’s more or less wavy, but if I twist it while wet, it will curl and I can wash and wear with no styling, so I’ll call it a hair win. I’ll tell you what I love about Verb products, give a review of each of the products I’ve tried, where I purchase them and the purchase options available, and provide you with some super low maintenance hair tips. I mean, what mom has time to style her hair? Mom buns get old after a while, guys, let me tell you…
Verb Ghost Shampoo and Conditioner
My love of Verb products all started with my mom (shoutout to all of the amazing moms who know what their daughters want when their daughters don’t even know themselves… you know who you are!). She bought me a Verb Ghost set for Mother’s Day a few year’s ago. I had never herd of Verb and thought “Ooooh-new hair products, niiiiice!”. Little did I know how much I would love these hair products. If you’re not sure what type of hair you have, Ghost products are for you. I have wavy, soft, thick hair, but these products are great for any hair type. They clean hair well and my roots don’t get oily too quickly, but it also doesn’t dry my hair out with regular use. My hair stays soft and shiny and styles very easily. Ghost is great for color treated hair and helps your color last without being too harsh. If you’re not sure where to begin, Ghost products are for you!
Verb Curl Shampoo and Conditioner
After Verb products became much easier to purchase (Ulta and direct from Verb’s website), I decided to try their curl shampoo and conditioner. I’m definitely a believer after using these. My hair seems to maintain curl or wave much better than any regular shampoo, doesn’t get oily, and the roots don’t just lay flat after shampooing, but maintain some volume (win, win!). If you have curly or wavy hair, you’ll love the curl shampoo and conditioner.
Verb Ghost Oil
Yes, it’s an oil… don’t be afraid of it-it’s weightless! Since I have wavy/curly hair I use it after finger combing my damp, microfiber towel dried hair so it doesn’t become frizzy after air drying or styling. A little goes a long way. It’s not sticky and doesn’t make my hair look greasy. I make sure to concentrate on my hair several inches from my scalp to make sure I get some extra non-hair washing days in (yeah… I said DAYS… I’m a mom… give me a shampoo break pass, ok?). If you want to eliminate fly aways or give your hair a smoother look before styling it with curing or straight irons, you’ll love Ghost Oil.
Verb Ghost Mask
I’ve never understood the point of hair masks. My hair usually stays soft, I don’t tend to get many split ends because I never use heat on my hair (not because I’m afraid, but because it’s a time suck due to my thick, THICK hair), and it’s not colored. Verb had a sale on their website for different sets and the set that had curl shampoo and conditioner with Ghost Oil came with a Ghost Hair Mask, so I figured I might as well try it. It is a GAME CHANGER! I never thought I needed a hair mask, but this mask is super easy, super quick, and super effective. Use it once a week after shampooing your hair for 5 minutes, rinse, and voila! Soft, manageable hair!
Where to Find Verb Products
Verb products were a little difficult to find for a while and could only be purchased in some salons or on Amazon from an authorized salon. Now their products are easy to purchase directly from their website and yes, they have sales… GREAT SALES! I like to purchase their package sales because they tend to create packages with products you’ll actually use. Shocker, I know! If you’d like to try several of their products I suggest waiting for one of their sales and purchasing direction from them. They also have great sales on larger bottles of Verb products. So, you get the advantage of a discount due to a bulk product AND a great sale on top of that (usually around 20% when they have their large product sales).
If you prefer to walk into a store and purchase Verb products, Ulta has a great selection. They don’t typically have sales on any of their Verb products, but you can purchase for pickup online and walk into the store and take your products home that same day. You can also have them shipped if you’re like me and the thought of walking into a store is too much to bare any longer. Bonus? ULTA POINTS, GUYS… ULTA POINTS. Ulta also usually has a $3.50 coupon or some type of promotion going on with samples, so there’s always that.
Effortless Hair Styling Tips
Like I said earlier, I have wavy/curly hair that is soft, but SUPER thick. I have found the most effortless way (besides the mom bun piled on top of my head) is to let my hair air dry, but frizz, guys… frizz. Here is my process for frizz-free waves/curls:
Shampoo and condition hair as normal.
Use a hair mask once a week to help lock in moisture and shine.
Finger comb wet hair to remove any knots, then towel dry briefly with a microfiber hair wrap like this one from Amazon. Don’t have one or want to purchase one? Use an old t-shirt!
After briefly drying with a microfiber towel or t-shirt, twist some strands of hair to encourage curl. Apply a small amount of Ghost Oil on all hair, concentrating mostly on the ends and scrunching to encourage curl/wave.
Let hair air dry.
Let me know what your favorite Verb products are so I can try some new ones!
essence has done it again, people! Their products never cease to amaze me. They’re as affordable as it gets, yet they can compete with the super duper expensive brands. How do they do it?!
I always see Thrive mascara ads on Facebook (thanks, Facebook ad people, but you’re not getting me this time!) and wonder if it is REALLY that great. I have friends who have tried it and didn’t really care for it all that much, although they said the results were great-long, thicker lashes. So, I went on the hunt for a dupe. I found one… for $5. Actually, less than $5! I was able to score this mascara for $3.75 on Prime Day, BUT… it’s only $4.99 regularly, so win-win.
I couldn’t add to cart fast enough on this one. essence’s Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara adds insane length to lashes, but doesn’t feel stiff or brittle. I would compare it to Benefit’s Roller Lash mascara (yes… one of my favorites!). One of my all time favorite drugstore brand mascaras is Lash Paradise and I honestly think essence’s formula blows it out of the water… especially because of the price! It’s also gluten and cruelty free, you know, in case you’re overly concerned about the gluten in your mascara…
The only complaint I have is that because the formula is a little waxy like Benefit’s Roller Lash you have to bake under the eye like crazy so it won’t transfer and give you that raccoon look. They do have a waterproof version, but I honestly think it’s a little stiff and brittle for my liking. It does stay put a little better and is hard to remove even with eye makeup remover. It’s vegan and cruelty free, which is also great. For $4, you CANNOT beat it!
The weather is starting to change and we’re sprinting towards the winter months. This means dry skin, dry hair, dry nails. Ok, you can only moisturize so much and cuticle or nail oil is great… when you actually remember it. I don’t know about you, but things around here are extra crazy this time of year and 2020 has not been kind to anyone, so I definitely don’t have time for 500 steps in my skincare routine right now.
My nails keep splitting and breaking way, way, WAY back. If I paint them this won’t help with the breaking, so I thought maybe I’d go get them done soon with a gel manicure. Ok, that might help some, but it still won’t stop them from splitting or breaking too far back. I suddenly remembered seeing a Facebook ad for dip manicures. Hmm… ok, but are they sturdy enough to withstand the cracking, splitting, and breaking nails?
Like all of my posts, I’m sure you know where I headed. Time for some hardcore Amazon research. I found many kits, but I always opt for the ones with the best price and best reviews. Bingo… I found a starter kit that contained colors I love and there was a coupon with a lightning deal. I looked at all of the photos, read the reviews, and this seemed like the real deal, so I went for it.
What I liked about this particular set is it seemed like there were only a few steps, the kit came with everything already included, and the colors were perfect! I chose the kit with a gray and pink color scheme. This particular kit had a two different color options, so if I did fall in love with it, I could order a second set in a different color scheme.
The directions were simple and there wasn’t too much to read through. I was able to apply the dip powder easily and quickly. I completed my entire manicure in about half an hour. The manicure looked great for a first attempt. I know the second attempt will be even better now that I know what I’m doing. Next time I will make sure I don’t get sloppy with the base coat as it can go outside the nail line fairly easily. Once you go outside of your nail line it adheres to your skin and it’s a little difficult to correct. When applying regular polish I’ve always gone very far outside of my nail line and cleaned it up later, but this forces me to be a little bit neater.
My nails are now strong, sturdy, and aren’t tearing, breaking, or chipping like they have been the last few weeks. I think this is a great solution to help me grow my nails out without them continually breaking. The colors are great in this kit, it is quick and easy to apply, and I found it to be very forgiving for a dip manicure newbie. For the price of one manicure I will now be able to keep up with them myself at home whenever I have time. I believe I will be purchasing an electric nail file to sand down the manicures when I need to fill in in a few weeks. Otherwise I think they’ll become a little too thick after fill-ins.
If you like a little more length than what you currently have, Amazon has a lot of options for tips. The directions in this kit even tell you how to apply the nail tips, then apply the dip manicure for a great finish.