Drop-Down Menu

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Butterfly Garden

I rarely post things like this, but had to share this deal. If you're looking for a fun project to do, check this out. Friends of ours did this last year with great results (I was completely skeptical that they would live, but they did!) and I've had it on my Amazon wishlist because Carys was completely enthralled with the whole process and asked to go to their house to check on "her" butterfly babies every single day.  So I put it on my wishlist with the intention of grabbing it sometime this summer for a fun short-term project, and just today saw it dropped in price from $16.99 (which is what it's been for months and months now) to $11.89!!!! Needless to say, I jumped on it and since it's so much cheaper than it normally is I wanted to share it with you guys just in case anyone else might be interested. Even when it was listed on Zulily, which normally has pretty great deals (a lot of Carys's clothes and toys are from there), it was going for close to $17.00.

(P.S. You do need to pay $5 for the butterflies once you get the kit.)

If the above image doesn't work, try this link: http://amzn.to/PgCg9j

Note: I paid full retail for this! I have no idea if it's going to be awesome or a dud (hopefully awesome like our friends' was) but this isn't a sponsored or paid post or anything. Just me being excited over a deal!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Letters to Emmy : Four Months

March 12 to April 12, 2014
Dear Emmeline:

Not just dear. Dearest Emmeline. You are SO sweet; my little laid-back munchkin. You go with the flow and don't cry very often and smile all the time. I'm not kidding when I say that everyone that interacts with you comments on how incredibly sweet you are.

Your great-grandma can't get enough of you. 

You're getting so big - at your four month appointment on Thursday, you were 16lbs., 3oz., and just under 27 inches long.  I missed your exact head measurement (mom fail) but it was the 88th percentile - no surprise there, because you have the biggest, roundest head this side of the Mississippi. And the biggest, roundest eyes. And the biggest, roundest cheeks. And hand dimples. And wrist folds. And thigh rolls. And everything about you is just pinch-able perfection.

And your dimples. They deserve their own paragraph. They are just the best. I could pretty much subsist solely off of your dimples.

Your hair is coming in white blonde (!!!!) and your eyes are still a deep blue (to compare: Carys's hair came in dark blonde and her eyes were deep blue until a little over a year old; they are now solidly hazel). I am so very curious to see what you look like when you get bigger - I just cannot picture you as anything other than my chubby baby. I love to rub your fuzzy little head - so very soft. But then I stop because I'm worried about rubbing off what little hair you have. Right now, you've the little bald spot in the back of your head that some babies get, with the little fringe at the nape of your neck. But you're mostly bald. Adorably bald.

You've begun babbling constantly, in this gutteral gurgle-y voice. And you will talk and talk and talk. And you love it when we talk back to you

You found your feet and constantly are grabbing them, whenever you're on your back. It. is. SO. CUTE.

You also have your hands in your mouth about 90% of the time you're awake. One or two fingers or the whole fist, it doesn't matter.

I think you're about a week from legit sitting up on your own, which is terrifying - it's too early! You aren't that big yet! But you already tripod sit for a few seconds at a time (before folding on yourself and touching your head to your toes).

You are about a centimeter away from rolling from your back to your tummy - you just haven't quite figured out what to do with that pesky bottom arm yet. (Tummy to back is ages away, it seems - you hate being flat on your tummy for tummy time so you usually do it propped up on a rolled-up blanket or on my stomach, so I anticipate that you won't get that move down for a while.)

I don't know why I find this so charming, but when I lay you down for a nap, instead of stretching your arms out or waving them around like you normally do, you tuck them tight against your side in anticipation of being swaddled.

You JUST started the "pull-off-and-smile-up-at-me" thing while nursing. It makes nursing sessions take longer, but dear lord do I love it.

You and your sister are thick as thieves already. You break out into the widest grin when she is around and will sit and watch her do anything. She just loves to hold and cuddle you (though gets a little frustrated you aren't sturdier when I have to remind her to be gentle), and trying to make you smile is a favorite activity: "Give me a smile, baby!" She loves responding to your babbles with, "Oh, yeah? Tell me more, baby!" and you love talking to her. She shares her toys with you and wants to share her food with you (not quite yet!) and tells you all the time how much she loves you (and also tells me sometimes that she doesn't love anyone but Emmeline - ouch!).

Em, Emmers, Emmy. I love this age where my cheek rests against your whole face and where you can't turn from my kisses and cuddles. I love it when you're tired and you'll tuck your head into my shoulder. I love kissing your cheeks and neck. I love the way you grab at my neckline while nursing. I love the way you sleep next to me, with your face towards me and one hand thrown over my chest.

You get the bum end of the deal sometimes, being the second kid. Some days I want to just hold you the entire time you're sleeping and feel your body heat and feel the weight of you and just BE with you, but I have another kid to feed and clothe and keep alive. But come her bedtime, it's just me and you, kid, and I get to breathe in your essence.  I know this time where I can let you sleep on me for hours on end and your tiny body just melts into me is too short and I wish there was a way to capture every moment of this time permanently.

I love you so very much, Em.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Terrible Almost-Threes

Oh, my god.


Did one of you happen to see my sweet little girl? The one who is kind and loving and nice and a good listener?

Because hot damn, I want her back.

Today, at a playdate, my best friend and I were getting ready to leave. We did all the "right" things: we gave warnings, we gave choices, we were loving but firm. And for our troubles, I got a handful of dirt thrown at me and she got an epic tantrum.  And I truly believe we are both good moms. Really good moms. We've read the books (I freaking worship Love & Logic*) and gone to the seminars and followed our instincts. And pre-kid me would have judged the shit out of these two moms who couldn't get their two-year-olds to sweetly and obediently leave the park. Because through eight thousand hours of baby-sitting, I never had to live with one of these tiny terrorists.

If I'm being totally honest, I probably would have judged those moms six months ago, too. I, somewhere deep inside, thought we had gotten off easy, because we had almost none of the "terrible" in terrible twos. There were tantrums here and there but parenting was still easy. Maybe I was just that awesome of a parent? Maybe she was just that awesome of a kid? But as we've gotten closer and closer to three, these glimpses of a child I don't know and at some points don't WANT to know.

This age is hard, ya'll. It's like she's suddenly discovered that in her mind, she has all the power. And the problem is, SHE DOES. Because this girl does not give a shit about your discipline techniques. Take toys away? "PSH. I HAVE OTHERS," she says. Time out? "HILARIOUS." Physically forcing her to cooperate? "JUST TRY."  She knows all of the exact right things to say to break my heart, all of the exact right things to do (or not do) to test my limits, and all of the exact right attitudes to throw out to make me want to scream. And drink a glass of wine. A big glass.

I am seriously at a loss sometimes as to what to do to combat this...this...toddler.  She's just a two-year-old, how is she possibly besting me?!?!?! Theoretically I'm stronger and smarter with better self control. Sometimes I worry I'm raising a little psychopath, until I talk to another toddler parent and am assure that yes, their child too is a violent, whiney little f*ker. I had to use the edited version of that word because I feel bad calling my kid a f*ker, but seriously. Some days.

Carys, if you're 18 and reading this, be assured that I still loved you to freaking bits every single millisecond, you just made me work for it.  You're such an amazing kid, truly. You're so smart and funny and strong and such an incredible little girl. And most of the time you are just the sweetest little ball of curly-haired awesomeness and you totally amaze me with the depth of your love.



But then I tell you that you can't have ice cream for breakfast and you lose your ever-loving mind. Or I need you to get out of the swing so I can lay baby sister down to sleep and you refuse and you hit me when I pick you up. Or I have the audacity to be sleeping in my own bed when you crawl into it at 6:30 in the morning and MY BLANKET TOUCHES YOU AND YOU ONLY WANT YOUR BLANKET OH THE HORRORS OH THE HUMANITY and you start kicking.

I was just listening to a story on NPR (yes, I'm one of those, sigh) about "Bad Babies" and a Yale researcher said that two is the most violent age and that the only reason the families of two-year-olds survive is because they aren't strong enough and don't have access to lethal weapons.  And when I watch this small child flailing on the floor because I picked out the wrong pair of jeans, I kind of think that he's right.

Lucky for her, she also wraps her arms around my neck and pulls me in nose to nose and whispers, "I love you, Mommy." And lucky for her, she randomly tells me, "You're my favorite Mommy." And lucky for her, if I get the tiniest owie, she runs to the freezer to get me an ice pack and smother me in kisses and tell me it will be okay.

Lucky for her, I love the shit out of her for all those reasons and a million more.

(But you're on my list, kid....watch it.)

UPDATE: Hm. I just realized that this post and the "no naps" post go hand-in-hand. Did I just have a parenting breakthrough? I wonder how much of this is caused by being overtired. Probably a lot. Maybe I need to push naps harder or try to get her down to bed earlier. Experiment time!

*Regarding  the "Love and Logic" series - not a paid advertisement or anything; it's truly one of my favorite parenting concepts. Big on real-life consequences and acting with empathy and love. I don't agree with every word on the page, but overall one of my favorite parenting books (and I seriously doubt there is any parenting philosophy or book out there that I'd agree with 100% - all kids and all parents and all families are different, obviously, and one book won't cover everything, duh). I have both "Love and Logic for Early Childhood" and the regular "Love and Logic" book, but they cover mostly the same information.  I also just got their book about entitlement but haven't read it yet. Seriously, such a great concept. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

DIY : Elsa & Anna Costume Capes from "Frozen"

Now. I do not claim to be a sewer. I mean, I sew, but I really BARELY know how to use our sewing machine. So probably a hundred things are wrong with these and I used a bing-blong stitch when I should have used a nappy stitch or something. Loose threads everywhere. Uneven hems. Visible threads. Mistakes galore. This is not a professional seamstresses project. I did the best I can. The best I can pretty low on a sliding scale, though.  

However. From a distance, they look good. And whenever I post a picture of Carys wearing her capes on Instagram or Facebook. I get questions on how I made them.  So maybe there are other non-sewers like me out there who are looking for inspiration for their similarly-obsessed kids. 

Like 2/3 of kids under the age of 30, Carys is completely in love with the movie "Frozen." So much so that she has an entire routine for the "Let It Go" song, complete with *exact* choreography and costume changes, which I of course have recorded and uploaded to YouTube and which YouTube promptly blocked since it had the actual "Let It Go" song in the background.  (Instagram isn't so picky: Here's a quick clip of her early version - it's become much more sophisticated since then.)

At her second cousin's "Frozen" themed birthday party and in heaven. 
Best part of the picture is the kid in the background.

That obsession led to capes. Anything was a cape. Everything was a cape. Towels were capes. Blankets were capes. Coats were capes. My clothes were capes.

I thought it would be a FANTASTIC idea to make her an actual cape like Elsa and Anna have in the movie. Seriously, BEST MOM EVER is what I was going for. I thought she'd flip her lid, especially since she saw the fabric before I did anything with it and knew immediately that it was "Frozen" costume fabric (in the video linked above, she's playing with the raw yardage). 

Well, the day I introduced the capes to her (after having SLAVED over them), she was having a terrible day and didn't want anything to do with them. She just went right back to her blanket-cape. I was completely crushed.  I did get her friend Leah to wear it, though.

Eventually, Carys did come around to the capes, though, and now they are absolutely required wearing any time we watch the movie and/or just the "Let It Go" song (which is a lot) (like a lot a lot). 


I made a kind of Elsa/Anna hybrid cape with a hood, because when she was using blankets as capes, she always gave them a hood. So even though neither Elsa nor Anna have hoods on their capes, I thought she'd appreciate the extra touch. You can easily modify these instructions to do it without the hood.

I also used a shiny fabric that unravels like crazy and is a total bitch to hem. If you are a crappy sewer like I am (or even a non-sewer) you might want to consider using something like a lightweight felt. You won't have to serge or zig-zag stitch the cut seams at all, you won't have to hem, and it will go approximately 124% faster. You also won't have to worry about the "right" and "wrong" side of the fabric since it's the same on both sides (if you're a beginner - the "right" side of the fabric is the side that you want to see; the wrong side is the "inside" of the fabric).

I drew out the instructions for a friend and decided to just take pics of the drawigns because a) lazy and b) I had no idea so many people would want instructions and I didn't take any in-progress pictures.  I really don't know if I'm explaining how to do this well; hopefully you can kind of piece it together since my instructions are shit. 

I used about a yard of fabric for the purple cape. I got it at Joann's - I just wandered around until I found this fabric that looked like it was the right color. In hindsight, it was kind of a huge bitch to work with. 

To create the hood,  I took a hoodie that she already owned, laid it down while folded in half, and traced the shape onto paper, then enlarged it a bit to account for seams (so you'll end up with kind of a "D" shaped pattern). Then trace that pattern onto your fabric twice, since you need two hood pieces. Cut two hood pieces. 

Measure your kid from the shoulders to where you want the cape to end (I did calf-length) to determine how long the cape should be. I used a rounded, curved shape for the cape - you could just as easily (actually WAY more easily) do a rectangular shape for yours.  I then eyeballed the length of the capelet (the shoulder part) based on the length of the cape. I just drew right on the fabric for the cape since it didn't have to be exact, but you could do it onto a piece of paper first to get the shape exactly right. Don't forget - since the final product will be gathered, the raw pieces should be much wider than you want the final product to be. At least twice as wide. On the final product, the width of the cape (after it's gathered) will be equal to the width of the open hood, so you could use 2x the length of the open hood as a measurement for the width of these pieces.  Cut one capelet piece and one cape piece.

1. Pin the hood pieces together, wrong sides facing each other. Sew along the curve (see illustration). If needed, you can hem the front of the hood. The bottom of the hood will be sewn to the cape, but if you have a particularly fray-y fabric, you might want to serge or zig-zag the bottom of the hood after you've sewn it together (make sure you do this while the hood is open; you don't want to sew the pieces together along the bottom!). 

2. If needed, serge/zig-zag stitch the top of  the capelet and cape pieces, and hem the other sides (see illustration). Sew a gathering stitch along the top of each piece and gather them to match the width of the hood and each other. (Not sure how to gather? Check this link.)

3. Lay the capelet on top of the cap, pin in place, and sew them together (both pieces of fabric should be facing the same way - so when you're looking down at it you should see the right side of both pieces). 

(What kind of drugs was I on when I wrote step one? 
I think I meant "sew hood pieces wrong side together")

4. With your newly sewn cape laying with the right side of the fabric facing up, pin the open hood to the top of the cape. The hood should have the right side facing down.  Once pinned, sew across the top to attach the hood to the cape.

5. Cut ribbons to the desired length. If your ribbon will fray, fold the ribbon onto itself and sew across (or go the easy route and paint clear nail polish along the bottom of it, or lightly burn it with a lighter).  Sew the ribbons to the inside of the cape on each side. I did it along the seam where the hood and cape met, using a zig-zag stitch and going over it several times so it was secure.

6. I randomly found a button at Joann's that looked a lot like the brooch that is on Elsa's cape, so I bought it and added it to the side of the cape where the ribbon comes out. Totally optional.

Inside of cape showing all the seams. Pretend like this isn't blurry. 

Hemming the edge of the cape.

Ribbons folded over and sewn through. I used a decorative stitch and contrasting thread.

The hood looks really tall/long - and it is. I did it that way to get that drape-y effect when worn (see picture of Leah wearing it). Also, is that a crumb on the carpet? Yes. 


Technically, when Elsa transforms into the ice queen (SPOILER ALERT) she isn't wearing a cape; it's actually part of her dress. But for dress-up purposes, this works nicely.

I found a piece of tulle at Joann's that had silver glitter dots all over it. Any type of sheer, sparkly fabric will do nicely. The amount you need will depend on the width of the fabric; I used half a yard, I believe, but it was very wide fabric.

Detail of fabric

This cape is ridiculously easy, because the fabric doesn't need to be hemmed or the edges finished in any way. (Yes, you could get all crazy and use piping around the edges or do a million other things, but I'd just devoted 1/3 of my life to creating the purple cape, and I was spent.)

You need a piece of fabric that's at least as tall as your child (I made mine even longer, to drag on the floor like Elsa's does in the movie) and at least twice as wide as you want the final width, and a piece of ribbon long enough to go across the back of the cape and be tied in front.

1. Sew a gathering stitch across the top of the fabric and gather to desired width.

2. Pin a ribbon across the top of the fabric, with the ends extending out on each side to act as the ties later. Sew in place with a decorative stitch. Finish ends of ribbon if needed (folding it over and stitching shut, or using nail polish or lightly burning the ends).

3. Done. That easy.

I see mistakes in both capes all over the place, but I'm really ridiculously proud of them (especially the purple cape) and Carys absolutely loves them (now. thank god.).  And no, there is absolutely zero chance that I'll be selling these on Etsy anytime soon. Doing these two sapped all my sewing ability for the next five years.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Climb On : Preferably Without Injury

I went climbing with my sister today and almost killed her. And in the process ripped a bunch of skin off my pinky.  But I learned an important lesson: when belaying, let the rope out slowly and keep your fingers away from the ATC device.

Listen to me, dropping lingo like I know what I'm talking about. LAUGHABLE. I'm still such a beginner. A newb. A no0b, even. But in the most simple of simple terms, belaying = holding the rope for the person climbing and keeping them from falling (hint: I failed at this). ATC device = I don't know what this stands for, but it's a little thing that the rope goes through when you're belaying someone that helps control the rope and provide friction. Google tells me ATC stands for air traffic controller, which....okay? I guess? I don't get it.

We go top-roping, which means that the climber is attached to a rope when climbing (and the belayer has the other end to keep the climber safe). After she reached the top of the wall, it's my job as the belayer to lower her back to the ground. I went a little too fast when lowering her and lost control a little bit and ripped the skin of my finger a little bit and, um, dropped her a little bit. Luckily she was almost at the ground and luckily there are thick mats surrounding the climbing wall, so she didn't get hurt.


(Actually hurts quite a bit.)

(that's a Black Diamond Harness and chalk bag, FiveTen Rogue shoes, and a Camelbak water bottle WHICH I LOVE OH SO MUCH)

And I feel ridiculously guilty. Even though she told me it's fine. Even though I successfully belayed her several more times that night after learning a new technique. Even though she claims to still love me. We'll see.

When you climb indoors at a gym, there are holds bolted all over the walls and specific routes marked, meaning that you can only use specific holds to get to the top (for example, you can use only ones marked with yellow tape).  They give the routes punny names, like "Florist Gump." Each route has a different difficulty level, based on a number of factors, like the sheer number of holds available to get up, the type of holds ("jugs" are holds that you can grab and get your fingers into and are the easiest type of hold to use, whereas "crimps" are these tiny motherfuckers that you can't really grab and can just barely get your fingertips on - a more difficult route would be low on the jugs and high on the crimps, for instance), the amount of overhang, etc. Traditionally, the hardest move on a route determines the grade. So if a route is incredibly easy but has one really difficult move, it's rated on the level of the really difficult move.

The ratings go from 5.0 to 5.15, with 5.0 being the easiest and 5.15 being the hardest. I know. It's a weird system. 5.0 to 5.5 apparently don't really exist. I guess? At least not in my gym. I trained on the one 5.6 route that they have.  Then I've done two 5.7s to completion. There are two more 5.7s that I'm working on (a route you're working on completing is called your "project").  There's a huge leap between ratings and a huge range within each grade (hence being able to complete the one 5.6 route the gym has easily but still struggling on 5.7s). My sister, who has been going for almost a year, is still on 5.8s (though she's about ready to move to 5.9s). My other sister, who has been going just a couple months, is also on 5.8s, just to put it in perspective.

We also boulder a little bit, which is climbing without being attached to a rope. You can't go up nearly as far safely (the bouldering wall at our gym tops out at maybe seven feet?) but there's a ton of overhang and a ton of strength needed for even the easiest routes. You often start with a sit start, meaning you're literally sitting down and grabbing the rock from that position, so it takes a ton of strength to pull up from that position. Bouldering routes are rated from V0 to V16, and there ARE routes all the way down to V0. I've done a V0 but am struggling on a V01 (harder than a V0, but easier than a V1).  Like I said, there's a HUGE difference between difficulty ratings.

Also, I'm pretty sure boulderers look down on top-ropers. I think there's some rock-climbing hierarchy and I'm at the very bottom of the very bottom.

Here is the face of an exhausted, injured beginner climber

All that is to make this next part make even the slightest bit of sense to all you blog readers (ALL THREE OF YOU!) - I want to keep a running log of where I'm at and what I'm working on, and of course it only makes sense to do it publicly in order to ensure the most humiliation when I fail. Right?

Climbing Summary 4/1

Attempted: 5.10 "Dr Moorehead"
Cleaned: V01 (bouldering); 5.7 "The Crag" (twice!); 5.7 "Leadable"; 5.8 "Florist Gump"
Current Project(s):

Attempted: 5.7 "The Crag"; 5.7 "Leadable"
Cleaned: V0 (bouldering); 5.7 "Steve's New Route"
Current Project(s):  5.7 "The Crag"

Monday, March 31, 2014

Life as I know it is over.

Remember last month? When I blogged about how having two wasn't really that hard and most of that was coming from the fact that I got a couple hours of free time to myself each day? When they both napped? At the same time? For like two hours? Every day? And it was awesome?

Let me refresh your memory:

What is hard is rarely having yourself to, well, yourself.  I'm lucky, like I said, and I actually get some time during the day and evening to myself when they are sleeping concurrently...usually. However, on days when Carys rejects her nap and is awake all day, I usually get to a point where I. want. to HIDE. Five minutes to shower, PLEASE. I'll even take two minutes to go pee by myself without someone needing me. On the days when they both don't nap, it's 12+ hours of constantly. being. needed. And touched. And serving two little dictators with no regard to yourself. With no break. Really, it's hard enough to go all day like that WITH a nap and an hour to yourself. On days without that hour break, it's just really, really hard.

I also said:

Also, thank god for naps. Please don't stop napping til kindergarten, Carys.

So karma decided to punish me for bragging and now Carys doesn't nap.  WHAT THE FUCK, KID? You're supposed to nap until you're three. THE BOOK SAID SO.

It's like a 90% chance she'll skip it any given day.  Swim class followed by four hours at the zoo where she walked the entire time? No nap. NO NAP. It's super awesome because now she's exceptionally grumpy come bedtime (but an earlier bedtime doesn't seem possibly - she already goes down at 7:30 or 8). It's super awesome to have to be "on" for fourteen hours a day. It's super awesome to have a toddler breathing down your back every minute and super awesome to not ever take a shower alone again! SUPER AWESOME FUN DAY!

I kid, I kid.

No, no, I don't. It really sucks.

On the plus side, though, I no longer have to schedule our days around naps (and have a little bit of time before I'll have to start doing so for Emmeline), which means we have slightly more relaxed days and can spontaneously do things as soon as the mood strikes. And she's slowly getting adjusted to less sleep, so the grumpy evenings are improving.

Oh, and also...

Speaking of sleep.

She sleeps in the hallway now.


It's either a parenting win or a parenting fail (probably fail) but at least she goes to bed without a fight.

She was having a really hard time going to sleep, for several weeks. It was becoming a ridiculous spectacle. One night, she kept coming out and laying down in the hall and I put her back a hundred times and on the hundred and first time I went to put her back and she'd fallen asleep. The next night she came out again, and I asked her to go to bed, and she said, "No, thank you, please. I sleep here," and promptly fell asleep.  At that point I had to ask myself if I really wanted to spend two hours going back and forth with her every night, and whether I really cared where she fell asleep, as long as she fell asleep. And I thought really hard about it and decided that nope, I don't care. I just want her asleep, without a big production.

So the next night I asked her if she wanted to go to sleep in the hallway or in her bed. And she choose the hallway. So together we picked out a pillow and a stuffed animal and made her a little bed outside the door, and she promptly fell asleep.

And she has repeated that every night since.

And it's a parenting win because she's sleeping without a fuss.

But obviously also a parenting fail because hallway.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

DIY : Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

I've been making this coconut oil sugar scrub for myself for a few years now, ever since I discovered the magical cure-all that is coconut oil, and made it for a few people for Christmas. All but one of them (what, don't you like it, mom!?!?) asked for directions to make it themselves. So maybe it's good? Maybe it's something people like?

All I will say is that I used it religiously with Carys when I was pregnant with her and only had one stretch mark (named Judy). I was not nearly so diligent with using it when I was pregnant with Emmeline and got like a thousand stretch marks.  COINCIDENCE?


So this is easy. There are a ton of variations you can do to personalize it to your preferences - some are pictured below.

But the basics are coconut oil and sugar.  Use white sugar for a soft, gentle scrub; brown sugar for a slightly more exfoliating scrub, and turbinado sugar for the scrubbiest of all.  Sometimes I go a little crazy and mix more than one type of sugar in! HOLD YOUR HORSES.


- Coconut oil (I used this one)
- Sugar (white, brown, or turbinado)


- Other oils, such as olive oil, almond oil, or vitamin E oil (I got the olive oil and vitamin E oil at Trader Joe's and the almond oil here)
- Scents, such as vanilla (my preference), lemon, orange, lavender, or eucalyptus

1. Gather your supplies. Don't forget the two-year-old who won't stop touching everything.

In this picture, going clockwise from left, are turbinado sugar, white sugar, olive oil, almond oil, vitamin E oil, coconut oil, lemon essential oil, vanilla, and eucalyptus essential oil. These are just options - you really just need the two basics. For this particular batch, I used coconut, almond, and vitamin E oils, the turbinado and white sugar, and vanilla.

2. Mix the sugar and the coconut oil in about a 50/50 ratio. Err on the side of too much sugar. This particular tub of coconut oil was about 2/3 gone, so I just made the concoction in the coconut oil container (it's actually the PERFECT size and plastic, so I can keep it in the shower).  I let Carys help. Pouring sugar in a small container is apparently messier than I anticipated.  Keeping it real in the pics below. Mess, represent.

The coconut oil will be solid at room temperature (unless it's really warm). That's okay. Just scoop some out like ice cream. Once you add the sugar and start to mix it up, it will start to liquify.

You can be done here. EASIEST SCRUB EVER. But I like to be unpredictable so I kept going. What will I add next?!?!?!

2. Add any other oils - I added a few good drizzles of almond oil and vitamin E oil. It's okay to skip this step, or to add just olive oil if that's all you have on hand (I've done it that way and it's still awesome). You want to maintain the 50/50 sugar/oil ratio.

3. Ours was looking a bit soupy (you want it a thick hummus-like texture) so we Carys added more sugar. A lot more. Whoops.

3B. Add a little more oil to counteract the extra sugar. Repeat ad nauseum.

4. Add the scent. I REALLY love the vanilla with the coconut and the sugar. It's like a delicious dessert. But I've made it with orange essential oils before and that was really nice, too. I add a capful, and then a little extra splash just to really push the crazy.

5. Mix, mix, mix.

You'll likely have some white chunks in it. Don't worry about them.

6. Go take a shower and come out smooth and yummy-smelling. I use it on wet skin, and do it as the very last thing so that more of the oils stay on my skin and don't get washed off. But you can use it on dry skin for a really rough scrub.  When I use this, I don't have to put lotion on afterward. It's slightly oily but dries really quickly - and leaves your skin SO SOFT.

Note: The next morning you might find that the coconut oil has solidified and left a white solid layer on top of the scrub - that's fine. Just use your hands in the shower to mix it back up. You might also find that the scrub has become soupier as more sugar dissolved in the oil - just add a bit more sugar to fix that issue.

Enjoy, and try to refrain from eating it! Carys has. She says it's delicious.