Strawberry-Mango Smoothie

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It’s been a long winter here in Indiana and I’m so glad that Spring has finally decided to show her face. This Winter was unbearable and it seemed like the more the snow would fall the more I would stuff my face with nonsense! Food is obviously how I cope… I guess I felt the need to confess that. Well, now that it’s getting time for swimsuit season I’m starting to regret all that crap I ate. One of my New Year goals was to include more fruit into my daily life instead of grabbing chocolate and chips and anything else thats uber unhealthy. I’ll admit, so far I’m not doing so great folks… but I’m finding I tend to get my fruit intake better if I mix it into a smoothie. I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes…

STRAWBERRY-MANGO SMOOTHIE:

  • 2 cups strawberries (green leaves and stems removed)
  • 1 ripe mango (cubed)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mint (optional)
  • Handful of ice cubes
  1. Combine strawberries, mango cubes and milk into the blender and blend for approximately 1 minute.
  2. Add in the yogurt and mint into the blender and blend for about 30 more seconds.
  3. Fill your glass with ice cubs and pour the smoothie over the ice.
  4. Now, slurp that goodness up!

On a nice, hot day this drink is amazing to sip on and it’s a recipe that the kids will love too!

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Enjoy!

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 (More slurp-tastic recipes: Orange Julius and Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie.)

DIY Wall Decals

 

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I am stoked to finally be sharing this project! I’ve been MIA for a while now, ya know, just lost in wallpaper hell. I had this clever idea that I was going to strip down the wallpaper from our entry and give it a little bit of a fresh look. Yeah, about that… Have you ever heard someone chomping their gum over and over again while talking in a nasally voice and all you can think about is how nasty all that spit sounds in their mouth?!? Well, stripping down wallpaper is just as annoying, IF not worse! Don’t get me wrong, I’m a little obsessed with all of the trippy wallpaper designs they have out but I can promise you now folks, I will never ever let wallpaper touch our virgin walls in this house. It’s possibly the worst sin I’ve ever committed in my DIY world. Okay, well now that confession time is over… I’d like to give you the DIY details of how this entry makeover came about. I follow the ever-so-amazing and lovely Emily from everythingemilyblog.com on Instagram and I instantly drooled over her nursery that she shared. I had already been brainstorming on how I wanted to makeover the entry and as soon as I saw her plus sign nursery wall, I fell in love. Madly in love. I new right then that was going to be the inspiration for our entry. It’s a very easy and inexpensive project. All you need is…

ITEMS NEEDED:

  • scissors
  • pencil
  • measuring tape
  • thin duct tape (you can purchase this in any craft store such as JoAnn Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, etc. in the scrap booking section)

the HOW-TO:

Find the full tutorial HERE. You’ll be amazed at how simple yet amazing this is! Oh and I was concerned about the tape peeling off the wall and wanted to ease everyone’s minds. Our taped/decal wall has been up for nearly a month and none of the tape has peeled off in the slightest BUT the good thing is if you get bored with the decals they come off with no hassle!

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Thanks Emily for the inspiration! I hope this post inspires someone else too!

What are your thoughts about this space? I’d love to hear your input in the comments!

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7 tips to Eliminate Postpartum Depression

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(I understand this is not my typical posts that I have on here but I felt the need to connect with some other moms out there and just be real!)

As many of you already know, I have two precious babies that I love from the deepest part of me and would do anything for! My first pregnancy was a complete surprise and I remember thinking “my life is over”. Actually, I didn’t just think it, I said it! We had been married only 6 months when I found out I was pregnant and so my “2 year plan” was out the window. Once I heard my daughter’s heartbeat, I melted though and for the first time I felt true excitement about being pregnant! As time went on throughout the pregnancy I fell madly in love with the little lady that was growing inside me and could not even sleep at night because I was so anxious for her arrival!

My second pregnancy was slightly different. We had planned to get pregnant and actually expected it to happen quickly. Life doesn’t always work how you want it to though and so after trying for a year, we finally saw the words “pregnant” on the test! We showed up to our first doc appointment and I was beaming as I heard the heartbeat but I was slightly uneasy at the fact our nurse wasn’t saying anything! She spoke with the doctor, came back in and said we needed to have another ultrasound within a week. After explaining our baby wasn’t developing she led us to believe we would miscarry within the week. As expected, we were devastated. We didn’t have a clue what to do but pray and wait for that week to be over. We went back for our next appointment to find he had developed dramatically and was bigger than the standard baby at that stage in the pregnancy! He continued to grow rapidly and was born a 9 lb 7 oz baby!

Although I was blessed with both children and they are my world, after each pregnancy I had postpartum depression. There I was holding my beautiful healthy baby and yet I didn’t feel like I could connect with my baby or anyone around me. “I should be happy. Many people would give anything to have a child!” I used to tell myself. I struggled to find other moms to connect with about it because let’s be honest, we all want to look like we have it together. That made it worse. I sunk deeper into depression because I felt alone. The doctor recommended medicine after my first child was born but it was not helping but more or less making me worse off. After medicine failed I went searching online for tips on how to eliminate postpartum depression. I found many things but these are tips I applied in my own life and it dramatically changed my situation. Actually eliminated postpartum in my case!

1. Keep a journal. I was always one that was just too cool to be caught writing in a journal but this was actually the most effective tool I used! I didn’t write out all my day because that was overwhelming to me but instead I would just write these three questions out before bed and answer them: 1) What was the high point of my day? 2) What was the low point of my day? 3) What am I looking forward to tomorrow? I eventually started added a verse as well that I found encouraging. This worked for me because I saw how shallow the lowest point of my day was. You know, the thing that was supposedly ruining my life? Yeah, when I looked at it on paper it didn’t seem so bad. Here’s an actual page of mine…

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2. Daily devotions. I know this one may be controversial but for me it is faith based which encourages hope and good into my life. I set the “Word” app on my phone and each day a snippet of a verse will show up on my phone and it’s a reminder of all things positive. I enjoy taking a moment to read a couple verses on my phone and then saying a short prayer to get my day started. Here is an example of one of them…

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3. Eat healthy. This one is tough for me because naturally I’m a picky eater and a snacker. Oh AND a stress eater! I do find that I am more emotionally stable and feel better all the way around when I eat more nutritious foods. Studies show the more caffeine and alcohol we intake the worse we feel. (Find more here: livestrong.com) It seems to increase anxiety, panic attacks and extreme highs and lows. Foods that help fight depression are: apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, peaches, pumpkin, sweet potato, blueberries, grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, nuts and seeds.

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4. Allow others to help. This is another toughy for me. I’m hard-headed and independent and think I can do everything alone. Postpartum knocked me flat enough though for me to see it was time to ask for help. Luckily we have an excellent family that is willing to lend a hand when needed. They would come watch the baby for me to just take a nap or for hubs and I to take a date night. It’s okay to be open and honest enough to admit you need help. You’ll be glad you did!

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5. Get rest. This one is huge! I know you’re probably thinking “how am I supposed to rest with a new baby?!” This ties in with #4. Allow others to help so you can rest. Even if you ask your husband to help out with the baby in the night, your mom or mother-in-law to watch the baby so you can take a nap or if you don’t have a lot of people you trust, nap when the baby naps. Your house and all the chores can wait. Your sleep however, cannot.

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6. Do something for someone else. I found this to be incredibly rewarding! I was so caught up in feeling depressed and having a pity party for myself that I realized I was using the word “I” a lot. Too much in fact. I wasn’t thinking about anyone around me. I found it was time to do something for someone else. Whether you take someone out for lunch and pay for their meal, send a card, an encouraging text, buy flowers for someone or volunteer your time, they will appreciate the gesture and it will get your mind off of your own problems.

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7. Be silly. I know this sounds so basic but it works! I would be almost obsessed day and night with my own struggles that I realized it had been days I had gone without laughing or just being silly. Laughter is the bodies naturally anti-depressant. Laughter does the body good! At some point I chose to just act silly throughout the day whether it was dancing crazy to my favorite song, giving my oldest child a piggy-back ride or just sharing a hug or tickle with someone.

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I know this isn’t a cure-all but it does improve your situation if you truly apply each of these to your life. It put things in such a perspective that in my case it nearly eliminated it completely from my life and that’s without anti-depressant drugs! I pray this helps someone else as well and makes you find the beauty in the simple things around you. What did you find that helped you in postpartum?

Love your guts,

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Side Note: If you have applied these to your life and you are finding you are not improving I suggest you consult your doctor and see what other options they may give. 

Pallet Chalkboard Tray

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Have you ever thought about how endless the list of projects are that you can make from a wood pallet?! It’s incredible! I’ve given you a list before featuring other bloggers projects from pallets and it’s amazing how creative you can get with them! I decided to put my hand to the test once again and see what I could come up with from a pallet. I wanted a new rustic style tray for my kitchen table so naturally I pulled out the pallets! Thank goodness for my amazing husband who was a tremendous help and actually made the cuts for this project! He was my perfect assistant for the day… I think I’ll keep him.

ITEMS NEEDED:

  • Pallet
  • Circular Saw
  • Wood Screws
  • Rope
  • 1/2″ Drill Bit
  • Drill
  • Chalkboard Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Measuring Tape

HOW TO:

1) Using your circular saw, cut two 16″ pieces, two 11″ pieces and two 14″ pieces of wood from your pallet.

2) Lay both of your 16″ pieces side by side and add one of your 14″ boards directly on top, aligning the pieces. Screw each end to secure the board.

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3) Repeat these steps for the other side of the board.

4) Place your last two boards in the remaining spaces on each side and screw together.

5) Now that your tray is completed, take your 1/2″ drill bit and create two holes on both sides of the tray.

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6) Run your rope through the holes and tie knots to create handles.

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7) Using painters tape, mark off a rectangle on the front of your tray and paint it with chalkboard paint.

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8) Once dry, remove the tape, chalk it up and decorate it as you please!

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Simplistic and fun! Can you tell I’m anxious for Spring and Summer? I threw in the oranges into this crate to make me at least feel like warm weather is here!

Have an amazing day!

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Just a reminder: The $150 Target gift card giveaway is still going on until March 10th!

Nutella Brownie Parfait

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I have been sick lately and have had no appetite for anything healthy, not even my favorite soups! (And if you know me, you know I’m joined at the hip with my soups.) I hate when you’re sick and food looks so deliciously scrumptious but as soon as you put it in your mouth there is NO flavor. It’s like your taste buds just gave up on life. That being said, the only thing I’ve wanted these last few days is chocolate. I mean I ALWAYS want chocolate but right now that’s the only thing that sounds good. We don’t normally have any chocolate snacks in our house except chocolate chips and sometimes I’ll pop a few of those in my mouth to quench my chocolate desire but that wasn’t cutting it today. I was craving some good ol’ fashion brownies, folks! I saw we didn’t have any cocoa powder but we did have Nutella. Surely I could whip up something to cut the craving! I whipped up a few ingredients and voila! Nutella brownies were born.

NUTELLA BROWNIE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups Nutella
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • milk (enough to moisten the mixture)

RECIPE:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine your Nutella and flour. Mix well.
  • Add in your eggs one at a time, mixing after each egg is added into the mixture.
  • Now add a dab of milk into the mixture (just enough to moisten it) and stir.
  • Put mixture into a greased pan and let it bake for approx. 7-10 minutes (or until the center is not gooey).

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I decided to go a step farther with this recipe and layer it up. Ya know, make it more fun…

First, I crumbled up the brownies and put a small amount into the bottom of a mason jar.

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Then, I layered vanilla yogurt, chocolate sauce and chocolate chips on top of the brownies to give it some more pizzaz, repeated the steps once more, topped the dessert off with orange peels and boom. A simple but delicious dessert within no time!

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There are endless possibilities for what you could layer yours with! Peanuts, m&m’s, whipped cream, crumbled heath bars, crushed peppermint, etc. Slurp. You really can’t go wrong…

Have fun creating your own and feel free to share in the comments below what you added into your dessert!

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Similar posts: Chocolate Lave Cake and Momma’s No-Bake Cookies

 

AVOCADO face mask

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I’m a sucker for a good face mask but it seems to be ridiculously hard for me to find ones that don’t break out my skin and make me look like I’m going through puberty again. Anyone else have this problem? Many times advertisers practically claim their products to be miraculous but I’ve found they tend to give misleading information just to make a buck. Since I’ve had children my skin seems to have changed and I really haven’t found a facial product I’ve been smitten with. My skin seems to reject everything. I decided to go more natural with it… I’ve heard wondrous things about using avocado on your skin and for some reason I hadn’t tried it, until now friends. My goodness I’ve been missing out! I searched out PINTEREST for many recipes that use avocado and I pulled the common ingredients from my favorites. Here’s what I came up with…

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 avocado (mashed)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey

RECIPE:

  • Combine your mashed avocado, plain yogurt and honey together. Mix well.
  • Apply to your freshly washed face. (It’s best to apply it to your face with a brush or spa sponge.)
  • Keep your mask on for 30 minutes…
  • Wash it off with warm water.
  • Apply your regular moisturizer. (optional)

One of my favorite things about this mask is it hydrates your skin naturally as well as cleanses it, leaving it baby butt smooth.

Q’s & A’s: -

Why avocado? -Avocado is rich in vitamins A, D and E. These are all vitamins that help maintain healthy skin

Why yogurt? -Yogurt is full of protein, enzymes and zinc which naturally cleans and softens skin.

Why honey? -Honey is naturally anti-bacterial and is full of antioxidants all of which helps to boost your complexion, reduces aging, cleans pores and reduces acne.

This is a great mask for sensitive skin and itchy skin. I hope you find it to be as helpful as I have!

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Similar posts: Protein Hair Mask Recipe and Banana Face Mask.

 

Target $150 GIVEAWAY

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Okay DIY-er’s, I am pumped to be sharing this giveaway with you! As you saw from the picture, I am giving away a $150 gift card to Target! I might just be slightly obsessed with Target. Oh who am I kidding?! I love this store and I am falling deeper and deeper in love with it daily! Ha. They have amazing furniture lines and crafting products and who doesn’t enjoy the perfect $1 section. I get sucked right in every time. Alright so let’s get to it!

How do you enter for a chance to win?  -I will be posting a picture for the giveaway on the DIYconfession’s Facebook page and on DIYconfession’s Instagram. All you need to do to enter for a chance to win is:

If you share the picture on both Facebook and Instagram your chance of winning doubles!

The giveaway will run from February 10th – March 10th and the winner will be revealed on March 11th!

(In my best announcer  voice) In THREE, TWO, ONE… let the sharing begin!!!

Best of luck,

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Grocery List Printable

IMG_3419Does anyone else find it incredibly hard to juggle life sometimes, especially with kids?! I am desperately trying to latch on to organization so daily life runs smoother and I can attempt to keep my sanity… welllll, as much as you can with a 2 year old and 2 month old. I’m the dorky one that loves organization and checklists. I have a serious love affair with checklists. (Any other nerds with me on this one?! I believe I may be standing alone here…) On the other hand, one of my least favorite things to do is to go grocery shopping. I know some people (uh-hum. My husband…) love to grocery shop but I for one am NOT (all caps were necessary here) the lover of buying groceries. I’ll gripe if we don’t have groceries in our house but it takes me too long to get motivated to go out and buy them and mainly for the reason that my husband enjoys to grocery shop and who would I be to take that away from him. (Good excuse to get me out of it.) In all seriousness though, to make it easier for the both of us, I decided to create a grocery list that I can print off, highlight the items we need and check it off as I pick them up. It’s so simple but so helpful! I’m enjoying it so much that I wanted to share the printable with you all. Oh and did I mention the printable is FREE! Click below to download it…

sample docClick here for download: GROCERY LIST PRINTABLE

I hope you find this to be as helpful as I have! You’ll be in and out of the grocery store in record time now.

Enjoy!

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DIY Banner

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My daughter’s room has been in dire need of art and inspiration. It’s just a whole bunch of kids toys thrown into a room with no rhyme or reason really to it which is great and all but it needs a little TLC. Soon I am going to spruce it up a bit but first, I decided to start with something smaller…making an art piece before I tackle the big project of organizing a toddler room. This banner was a slow process for me between feeding the baby, potty breaks with the 2 year old, making meals and keeping my toddler from feeding the 2 month old her meals BUT all in all, it was a fun DIY! I have been wanting to make this for quite some time but I couldn’t figure out exactly what I wanted it to say. Today while encouraging my toddler I caught myself saying, “Be brave baby girl… try again!”. Instantly I thought that’s it! I want to place a quote about bravery on the banner for her. So that is how this came about…

ITEMS NEEDED:

  • fabric (28 inches tall & 22 inches wide)
  • glue gun
  • twine (36 inches long)
  • small wooden pole (Cut to 27 inches long)
  • letter stencil
  • black fabric paint
  • small paint brush
  • scissors

HOW TO:

1. Fold your fabric in half keeping it vertical.

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2. Cut your fabric at an angle to create a point.

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3. Open your fabric and using your stencil, paint your phrase onto the fabric.

4. Once dry, fold over the edges of your fabric approx. 1/2 inch (with the exception of the top of the banner) and glue with your hot glue gun.

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5. Now, fold over the top of your banner just enough for the pole to fit through and glue.

6. Place the pole through the gap of the top of the banner.

7. Tie your twine from one end of the banner to the other.

8. Hang and admire your work!

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I’m pumped to have this little uplifting phrase posted in my daughters room! Although she has no idea what it says it still brings positivity and encouragement to a child’s space!

Have fun creating your own phrase!

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Strawberry (Cake Mix) Cookies

photoA few nights ago I pulled my daughter over to me and told her I had a secret for her. I blurted out with excitement that I was going to take her to see Disney on ice! Once she heard that all the princesses were going to be there and that she was able to dress up in her princess costume, boy was she all in. We decided to celebrate all the girly happenings by making pink cookies… with sprinkles, of course. This was honestly the easiest cookies I’ve ever made in my life and I can’t even begin to describe how scrumptious they were too. These little tasty goodies only require a few ingredients and are done within minutes! These are fail-proof folks.

STRAWBERRY CAKE MIX COOKIES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 strawberry cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • cream cheese icing (optional)
  • sprinkles (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven for 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together until well combined.
  3. Drop teaspoons of dough onto a greased or lined cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for approx. 8-10 minutes.
  5. Let cool.
  6. Once cooled, spread cream cheese icing across cookies and add your sprinkles.
  7. Now, pour a large glass of milk, snag a cookie (or two, or three…) and enjoy!

I thought these were so fun and beyond tasty! These would be perfect to make for a Valentines Party or a girls birthday party!

Enjoy munchin’ on your treat!

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