Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Homemade Soap!

     Three of my children have birthdays in January so my husband and I decided we would throw them a big joint party (they are still young so we can get away with that)! As I begin looking for and thinking of ideas for party favors I was not overly excited about the choices out there, most of the things were little toys that would break in about 5 minutes. I stumbled across some soap party favors on and loved them! I loved the gold fish in a bag soap the most but didn't want to that much for them. I was not able to find any plastic goldfish locally to make my own so I settled for the tattoo embedded into to soap idea instead!
     I picked up some Jake and the Neverland Pirates and The Little Mermaid tattoos at Party City when I went to buy the party decorations. The only downfall with the tattoos I bought were that the Jake and the Neverland Pirates tattoos had words on them, making the words backwards in the soap because I decided to embed it between the layers instead of placing the tattoo on top of the soap (I wanted the image to last longer). I googled and youtubed videos on how to make it and I found that the Soap Queen TV videos were the best! This v
ideo "how to make tattoo soap" is the one that I used!

What you will need:

     Clear melt and pour soap and white melt and pour soap (make sure they are the same brand). I found mine at Michael's. There are many different kinds of melt and pour soap in the store...they had honey, olive oil, goats milk, shea buttter, and etc.

     You will need a spray bottle for alcohol ( you spritz the soap after putting it in the mold to get rid of bubbles and you also spritz before pouring the next layer to adhear your layers together, and a soap fragrance ( I chose lavendar vanilla).
if you forget to spray the clear layer with alcohol before pouring the white layer, the layers may start to pull apart from each other.

    You will need to pick out some temporary tattoos of your choice or even a toy to put in between the two layers.

     You will need a soap mold or any type of container that is a little flexible so that you can get the soap out once it has hardened. 

     You will need a microwave safe measuring cup or container to melt your soap in.

     And finally you will just need something to wrap your soap in to finish it off once you are all done!


(i recommend watching the Soap Queen TV video first)
      To begin making your soap you need to get your mold and make sure it is clean and dry, once you have finished that then you can take the clear melt and pour soap and cut it into cubes and put it into your measuring cup. Place your measuring cup with soap into the microwave and start out by cooking it for 30 seconds, then you will do 10 seconds at a time after that until it is all melted (you do not want it to start boiling or you will burn your soap). Stir your soap and then pour it into your molds, filling them halfway. Spritz your clear soap with some alcohol to get rid of all the bubbles. Now wait 10 minutes for a thick layer to form on your soap. Once the thick layer has formed you will need to take your tattoo (cut around the edges of the design) and place it onto the soap. Take a sponge and transfer the tattoo onto the soap. Now wait another few minutes for the tattoo to dry onto the soap. Once it is all dry you will need to take the white melt and pour soap and put it into a measuring cup and cook it in the microwave (following the same cooking directions as the clear soap). Once the soap is melted you will add your soap fragrance ( I did not add the fragrance to the clear soap because I wanted the clear soap to stay really clear). Stir the fragrance into the white soap. Now you will spritz your clear soap with some alcohol and then pour the white soap on top filling up the rest of your mold. Once you have finished filling the mold you will spritz the soap again with alcohol to get rid of all the bubbles. Now wait 40 minutes and your soap will be all finished! If you have any trouble getting your soap to pop out of your mold just put it into the freezer for about 20 minutes and it will come out really easy that way!


     I bought 8lbs of soap all together and was able to make 42 bars of soap out of it! Each 2lb container cost me $9.99 which makes each bar of soap cost right under $1 each (not including the cost of tattoos, fragrance, or the other supplies you need). I really enjoyed making the soap and so did my 6 year old son! I even made some for myself when I was all finished making the birthday party favors! 

Friday, January 3, 2014

You have to REALLY want it!

     As many of you know I have lost a lot of weight within the last year. I was on such a roll with my weight loss before I found out I was pregnant with Hattie that I wanted to continue my path of eating and living a healthier lifestyle. It was a tough pregnancy though because  of medical issues and I was not allowed to do any type of exercising, I was packing on the weight and seeing the numbers on the scale rise and rise was really bugging me. My goal for 2013 was that after I delivered Hattie and was released to begin exercising that I would not waste any time. The reason I am writing this is because I am constantly asked "how did you lose so much weight", "what is your secret",  and "tell me how I can lose weight too".
     The number one reason that I was able to loose so much weight was because I REALLY wanted it. I have tried to lose a few pounds here and there before but I honestly was not really dedicated to it. Once I decided that I wanted to do this, I then figured out how I wanted to go about it. I did a lot of research because I was and still am breastfeeding my baby girl. I wanted to make sure that I was still taking in enough calories to feed her but not so many that I was eating too much. I also spoke with my doctor about it because their knowledge is very helpful when starting any diet and exercise routine. I told the doctor I was thinking of trying Weight Watchers online and she agreed that, that would be a great route for me to take because they calculate in the fact that I am a nursing mother. I have done Weight Watchers 3 times now and I would recommend Weight Watchers to anyone who wants to start loosing weight. It is not a program that is going to do the work for you though, you have to prepare the meals and check the nutrition facts and etc. (there is no diet out there that is going to do the work for you....just so you know!)
     On March 11, 2013 I was finally cleared to begin my diet and exercise..... and let me tell you, it was not easy! Adjusting my eating style had me so hungry the first week or two and beginning to exercise again left my body feeling sore (its a good sore though because you know that its working!). I started the C25K (couch to 5k) app on my phone and followed that program all the way through. I had never been a runner but I always wanted to be! I would recommend the C25K program to anyone, it really has changed me and I am able to run distances I never thought possible.
     My first weight loss goal was to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, I was able to accomplish that goal just a little shy of 4 months after my baby girl was born. I then set a second goal, and a third, and then finally my fourth  (to maintain my current weight). It was important for me to remember to set realistic goals that I would actually be able to accomplish, because if you don't then you are setting yourself up to fail. When I started out I was running 6 days a week plus going to the gym for Zumba classes, now that kids are getting busier I run only every other day but I still so workouts at home as well. I am currently doing the Hip Hop Abs from Team BeachBody, Zumba, and running at least 3 miles every other day. I plan to start doing a little weight training sometime in the future but right now I am content with my exercise routine.

No matter what route you go just remember you are doing this for you!!!! -Julie

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes!

It has been FOREVER since my last blog post, I have been busy with school and the new baby but my love for cooking and baking is has not stopped! I just finished making these delicious lemon blueberry cupcakes from Inside BruCrew Life! When I came across this recipe I was a little intimidated by making a cupcake that had a filling in it but I figured I would give it a try anyway! I am certainly no cupcake artist but I think this came out wonderfully! The smell of the homemade butter cream frosting reminds me of what my Grandma Doris' cake kitchen used to smell like! She had a kitchen in her basement that she used just for her cake business, she made some beautiful wedding cakes! I only wish that that I would have been older so that I could have learned a few decorating tips and her secret recipes!


1 lemon cake mix
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup lemon curd
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
2 Tablespoons water
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 cups powdered sugar


1.  Bake the cupcakes according to the package directions, using the lemon juice    for part of the water. Bake cupcakes for 18 minutes. Let cool.

2.  Place the blueberries and water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to stir and to smash all the berries. Keep heating until the berries have softened and the mixture has thickened slightly. Cool.

3.  Beat the butter, shortening, and salt until creamy. Add the blueberry mixture and beat until completely mix in. Slowly add the sugar until it has all been incorporated.

4.  Use a cupcake corer or a melon scooper to remove the center of the cupcakes. Fill with lemon curd and top with the blueberry butter cream. Keep refrigerated until serving. Makes 24 cupcakes.

If you want to look at the original post for this recipe head on over to Inside BruCrew Life and check out it out!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Long Tailed Baby Elf Hat!

     I made this hat for my friends baby shower gift and it turned out so cute! It was very easy to make, only took me about 3 hours. I got the pattern from and if you click right HERE! it will take you to the pattern. there was one stitch I was not familiar with but youtube has tons of great videos for crocheting and I easily picked it up! I hope you enjoy this super cute newborn hat too!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Coca-Cola Pulled Pork!

     There are many different versions of this recipe all over the Internet. I'm not for sure which site should actually get the credit for this one but it's definitely not my own recipe! This is a slow cooker recipe which makes it very easy! You only need 3 ingredients to make this; a pork shoulder, a can of coke (i have also read that Dr. pepper is really good to use as well), and some BBQ sauce!

3-5 lb pork shoulder
1 can of coca-cola
BBQ sauce

1. Place the pork into the slow cooker and pour the coke on top, cook for 6 to 8 hours on low.
2. Remove the pork from the crock pot and shred it with a fork, strain the juices from the slow cooker and save them for later.
3. Place the pork back into the slow cooker and add some BBQ sauce (add as little or as much as you desire) add a little of the juices from the slow cooker to thin it out...and more if you would like!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Celtic Knot Headband!

     Pinterest is way way too addicting haha but of course I found myself trying another pinterest project! This is a Celtic knot headband that is super easy to do! I made mine totally no sew because I was feeling too lazy to whip out the sewing machine just for 5 seconds of stitching! I used hot glue instead and it worked out just fine! The step by step picture tutorial comes from the blog Love Stitched and if you click right HERE!! it will take you there! I hope you enjoy this little project as much as I did!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Taco Braid!

    I love to try new things so when I came across this recipe on pinterest I was excited to try it out. This recipe is super easy and there is so much that you can do to spice this up if you would like! The recipe comes for the blog Life as a Lofthouse and if you click HERE it will take you to their step my step tutorial!

 1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup water
1 can refried beans
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1 can Pillsbury Pizza Dough
1.Unravel the Pizza Dough and let sit out on a greased cookie sheet while you brown the ground beef. Once beef is cooked, add the taco seasoning and 1 cup water. Mix well and let simmer for 5-10 minutes on low.
2.Now that dough is room temp and easy to work with, shape out into a large rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut one inch strips down along sides of dough. In the center spread out the refried beans.
3.Next spread the seasoned ground beef on top of the beans, and then drizzle the salsa over the meat. Last sprinkle the cheese evenly. Now start braiding the one inch strips over the top.
4.Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown! Let cool 5 minutes and ENJOY!