Trying to find balance as a mom with a special needs child….

In a previous post, I’ve described a little about Selective Mutism but in short, it’s a type of anxiety which prohibits my daughter from communicating with people.

Navigating through parenting to normal kids is hard enough but to parent a child with special needs is that much harder.  Every day feels like a challenge.

Recently with school being out for summer vacation, the family is confronted with the need for a new schedule.  Transitions are hard for her in general but such a huge shift in our schedule has really thrown her off.  We still have her in a summer program but the schedule looks a bit different and also the school activities are different as well.

Just the norm for other kids can throw her into a whirlwind of anguish and fear.  We recently started swim lessons.  I mistakenly signed her up for two different programs.  Initially, we started the lessons at a local park and the first couple of days were a nightmare.  she cried and screamed as if someone was out to get her.  We had taken some lessons before at our local YMCA and another local program and those lessons went well.  I didn’t think that it would be so different this time.  But oh boy, did she freak out.  The instructors eventually got her to get into the water and swim a little by the second week.  But before we had started the lessons at the park, I had already signed the kids up for another swim program in fear that the local park one wouldn’t go well.  I had heard really great things about the local high school program so I signed up for the it for the next four weeks.  This was a huge mistake since we had already established a routine and she had started to really enjoy her instructors and the lessons.  I unintentionally pulled her out and placed her in another terrifying situation.  Again, she cried and screamed in fear.  It will take time for her to become familiar with her new setting.

Even though I meant well, I placed her in the most uncomfortable of situations.  It’s so easy for her brother situate well into any type of situation but so hard for her.  It’s terrifying for me to know if the things I do for her is right or wrong.  As a parent it is so hard to see her struggle when it comes so easily and naturally for other children.

This is just one example out of the many different situations we are placed in within our daily lives.  I pray that it will get easier with time and that I will be able to find the resources she needs and be able to assist her with the ability to overcome her anxiety.


Social Nature

Social Nature is a company that sends out products for consumers to review.

First you find the products you’d like to try and answer about 5 general questions and put it on your wish list. Then, if they select you, you will receive an email and the product or the free product coupon will be sent out to you. Once you have received the product and tried it, you can leave a little feedback about the product.

This time I received Herbamare which is Organic Herbed Sea Salt. It is a sea salt that is infused with 12 organically grown herbs. It is free of top 11 allergens, USDA certified organic, Non-GMO verified, and MSG and Gluten Free. #gotitforfree


While I loved the thought behind this product, I did find this salt to be very very salty. It was overwhelmingly salty. The consistency of this salt is super fine and a little of this will go a long way. I did like the flavor and reminds me very much of a classic chicken noodle scent with the celery as one of it’s herbs-almost like a bullion. It’s a salt that I can cook with but not put it on the dinner table as the bottle dispenser is way too big. If my kids were to get a hold of this, most of it will probably spill out onto their food. I did try it on some roasted vegetables and the kids enjoyed it. I think it would be great in soups in the fall for the added flavor. It’s just too warm to try that for now!

Have you tried Herbamare before? If not, get it for free at Social Nature!

Using Essential Oils as Natural Bug Repellent

So now that the kids are on summer vacation, we find ourselves out in the nature more either swimming in the pool or out at the park.  With that, we have also found ourselves covered in bug bites.  There’s also been reports of the West Nile Virus in our area so I searched for bug repellents.  Yikes!

I was reading the ingredients from some of the more natural bug repellents and a lot of what was in the bug repellents were essential oils.    To be honest, I didn’t even think about using essential oils for bug repellents  even though  I did have some on hand from two years ago when I started dabbling with essential oils when my daughter was going through some anxiety issues.  She had a hard time falling asleep at nights, had muscle aches from being tense all day,  had tummy aches, and also had some asthma issues.  I wanted to look for a more holistic way to deal with her issues and rather than giving her medicine, I tried essential oils.   We use them almost everyday but it just never crossed my mind.  Anyways, I digress, I searched for some recipes and just used whatever oils I did have on hand for my recipe.


For the bug repellent, I used:

3 drops of Lavender

1 drop of Lemongrass

2 drops of Clove

3 drops of Wild Orange


2 drops of Melaleuca which is also known as Tea Tree Oil

and filled the rest of my roller bottle with a carrier oil in which I used Jojoba Oil from Trader Joe’s.  I played around with the amount of drops until I found it to be pleasant.  The oils that I don’t want to add a lot of were Lemongrass and Clove because they are too strong for children to use topically.

When you use essential oils, it is very important that you use a carrier oil so that you are diluting the essential oils.  Especially if you are using it for children the oils are very strong when not diluted and can potentially be harmful for your child.

I do not sell Essential Oils, but I do enjoy using them.  Doterra and Living Young are two of the most popular brands in the business.

If you are curious, the oils I use for my daughter are from Doterra and I use them as such:

Peppermint for tummy aches

Lavender for calming

Deep Blue for muscle aches

Breathe for breathing issues


On Guard for health immunity and cleansing

Do you dabble with Essential Oils?  What are some of your favorites?  Let me know if you have any other questions.  I did some extensive research on it before I used it on my kids and make sure you do as well!

Hope all of you are having an awesome summer so far!



Virtuoso House Party

Have you guys ever heard of House Party?

It’s a website that makes it easy for you to have parties at your house while House Party provides awesome products you can share with your friends.  The best part is that you never have to sell anything or pay for anything.  House party provides the products and the fun and all you have to do is leave reviews!

You can sign up for the parties you like to host and for this time I signed up and was picked to have a Virtuoso Pizza Party!  Who’d say no to a party and free pizzas?

Join me while I unbox this Virtuoso party pack!


It came in a big box this time!



Here are the contents:

  • 8 Virtuoso Pizza Gratuity Coupons
  • 1 Wooden Style Pizza Cutter
  • 1 Round Wooden Pizza Cutting Board
  • 1 Taste of Simpler Times Hosting Tips Placemat
  • 11 Virtuoso Pizza Coupons for guests
  • 16 Plates
  • 30 Taste of Simpler Times Napkins
  • 1 Set of 10 cards for the Taste of Simpler Times Charades Game
  • 3 Virtuoso blind-tasting masks
  • 3 Silicone Oven Mitts for prizes


She’s getting the party started!  🙂



The Art of Nail Stamping

Nail stamping is a fun way of creating nail art. It does take practice and patience but the creation will always pay off in a big way!

Here are some of the items you need.19125590_10156271292258626_1261264571_o.jpg

Here I have a Simply Neat Miracle Mat. You do not need this but it’s nice to have so that your work area is protected. Also it allows you surface where you can play with art without having to do it on your nails.

You can find it here at:

The polishes I will be using are Loreal Greycian Goddess 560, Color Club Cloud Nine, and my top coat at the moment, Seche Vite.  There are stamping polishes on the market, but I’ve always just used more opaque nail polishes from my collection. Certain brands stamp better than others and you will just have to experiment with what you have.  There are lists of regular nail polishes that do stamp well floating around if you google them.

You will need a stamping plate. The one I am using is Bundle Monster 023 and it’s one of my all time favorites. I’ve used this plate the most out of my collection. Nail stamping plates are fairly affordable and is easily found on ebay or amazon.   I enjoy using plates from more popular brands because they are etched better.

Here are some plates you can find on Amazon:

Next up is the nail art stamper. The one I used is a older one and they have newer versions that are clear. Those are nice for more precise stamping. I like my old one because I’ve always had more luck picking up images than the new clear ones. Though I will use those if I want a more detailed look.

You can find the stamper at:

The next three items are a lint roller, a old credit card, and an Elf concealer brush for clean up. The lint roller is awesome for cleaning up the left over polish on the stamper. It helps the stamper last longer and won’t eat up the stamper like acetone would. The Elf concealer brush is my go to for a cleanup brush. It’s affordable, cleans up my cuticles well, and the hairs on the brush stay intact after using acetone. Lastly, you will need an old credit card to scrape the nail stamping plate.   I will show you the details below.

First polish you nails with a desired base color.  This is my first time using this polish.  The first layer was patchy and I was worried that it will not be opaque, but the second layer surprised me and it level off well.  I was pleased with two layers.


Next up, I put a bit of tissue paper under my plate and dabbed some Color Club Cloud Nine on my plate.


Next, with my credit card, I used a 45 degree angle to scrap the nail polish across the plate.  There is where technique and practice over time will help you with the cleanliness of your image. The angle in which you scrape is important as well as the pressure you scrape it with.  If you scrape too hard you will have scraped all of the nail polish away, but if you scrape too gently, your image will not be crisp.


After you scrape off the nail polish, you have to quickly roll the stamper across the image to pick up the image.  If you take too much time, the nail polish will dry.  Special nail stamping polishes will allow you more time.


Once you roll it, the image should be picked up like this.


Than you position it to where you like the image just roll it onto your nail just like you did off the plate.


And when you finish, clean off the access with your Elf Concealer brush and top it off with a top coat and you are good to go!

Have you tried nail stamping?  Are there any tips you suggest?


Review of Smashbox Primer Water and Too Faced Hangover RX Primer

I am currently using the Smashbox Primer Water and Too Faced Hangover RX Primer. I enjoy them both very much.

The Too Faced Hanover RX is in a 0.68 FL OZ pump bottle at the price of $15.  I got this in a travel size as I had wanted to try it out before purchasing the full size.   I adore that this comes in pump form. I wish every product in form of cream or lotion in the beauty industry comes in a pump bottle. I just feel like it’s so much more sanitary and convenient to use. It smells a bit coconut-y and is very pleasant. It helps my make up stay for much longer than if I were to not use this primer.  It is paraben free and vegan friendly.


The website claims that this product will use the unique combination of coconut water, probiotics, and skin revivers to work together to:

  • Hydrate and brighten skin
  • Promote skin’s elasticity and tone
  • Soothe and smooth the skin
  • Get all the priming benefits you love while looking like you received eight hours of sleep and drank your daily dose of H2

You can find this product at:


Next up is the Smashbox Primer Water. The primer water comes in at 3.9 FL OZ and is priced at $32. I love the sprayer on this product. It sprays the perfect amount with the perfect mist setting. Some setting sprays will flood your face or the sprayer will spray out huge droplets of mist whereas this one is perfect.

I use this more as a setting spray but will use it as a primer too if I’m in a rush. I tend to only use this only if I feel like my face is looking a bit cakey. It lessens the appearance foundations that seem to refuse to settle in properly. The Smashbox Water primer is formulated without parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, silicone, oil, and talc. This is definitely a product I will repurchase.


The website claims that this product will:

  • Immediately moisturizes, soothes & adds radiance
  • Preps skin for makeup application
  • Instantly absorbs into skin for lasting hydration
  • Leaves skin looking ultra soft without adding shine
  • Revitalizing electrolytes reawaken skin & restore moisture
  • Can be used as a setting spray
  • Use to refresh makeup throughout the day
  • Ideal for all skin types

You can find this product at:

Which primer are you currently using?




Review of Insta Natural Samples

Currently, I am on the search for a all natural cleanser and skin care so I emailed Insta Natural’s customer Service to request some cleanser samples. I prefer to ask companies for samples before purchasing since I have pretty sensitive skin. There are companies that will refuse to send samples and say that they have 100% satisfaction guarantee and that I can send them back and receive full refund. However, I feel like I would be wasting their money and resources if I have an allergic reaction or just do not prefer them. I asked Insta Natural for two samples but they sent me three. I appreciate the company for going out of their way for their customers.


Insta Natural products was developed by using organic and natural ingredients without adding any additional ingredients that is not necessary. They also promise that their products do not contain parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, formaldehyde releasers, MCI/MI, and synthetic dyes.

The Vitamin C Facial Cleanser comes in a 6.7 OZ bottle at the price of $21.97.

The products info is listed on their website as:

Refine the tone and texture of your skin with our Vitamin C Facial Cleanser. Infused with the natural antioxidant Vitamin C and extracts such as Green Tea, Chamomile and Sugar Cane, this cleanser defends the skin, while Coconut Water and Aloe leave the skin feeling hydrated and refreshed.

  • Helps reduce and prevent the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots, fine lines and other signs of aging
  • Carefully selected ingredients work together to rejuvenate the skin for a healthy complexion
  • Balancing formula keeps the skin feeling hydrated and refreshed
  • Decreases the appearance of blackheads and enlarged pores
  • The ultimate cleansing treatment for all skin types

My initial reaction to this product is that I like it. It didn’t have a smell when I first opened it but after I slathered it onto my face, I can smell a bit of the vitamin C. I’m weary of using products with vitamin C in it because after continuous use, I tend to break out in dry patches. I do like how my skin feels after using this. It feels clean and moisturized but with this tiny sample, I will not be able to know how my skin will react to it in the long run.

The Dead Sea Mask comes in a 19 OZ bottle at the price of $24.97.

The products info is listed on their website as:

Our Dead Sea Mud Mask is an all-natural detoxifier rich in magnesium, sodium, bromine, potassium and calcium that absorbs excess oil, dirt and toxins on the skin. Featuring pure mud from the renowned and sacred Dead Sea, our mask helps to restore a smoother complexion by clearing breakouts, blackheads and dull skin. Perfect for use on the entire body, this mask gives you complete care from troubled skin. Our formula also contains a blend of Organic Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Aloe Vera, Calendula Oil and Hickory Bark Extract which aid in providing excellent moisture to dry and irritated skin.

  • Minerals in the mud detox the skin by removing excess dirt
  • Provides nourishment and moisture with Organic Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil and Aloe Vera.
  • Soothe and purify with Calendula Oil and Hickory Bark Extract
  • Body treatment that helps clear and purify skin from head to toe


The Dead sea Mask threw me off a little bit as the texture of the mask is gel like.  I didn’t really know how much to slather on so I went all out.  Here’s a scary picture of how it looks.


The website says to wash off after 15 minutes but I think I over did it and had to wait for more than 30 minutes before I washed off.   I have to say I love this stuff!  My skin after this mask looked unbelievable.  I felt like I had a layer of new skin.  It felt so much cleaner and my skin glowed!  It feels so refreshed!  With the sample they gave me, I think I’ll try it again but with a lighter layer.

The Dual Action Gel Cleanser comes in a 6.7 OZ bottle at the price of $17.97.

The products info is listed on their website as:

Our Dual-Action Gel Cleanser easily removes impurities and makeup in one quick step. We’ve designed this cleanser to efficiently cleanse the skin while being gentle enough to avoid stripping its protective barrier. Infused with skin nourishing extracts and vitamins, our cleanser will leave your skin feeling clean and refreshed.

  • 2-in-1 formula removes makeup and thoroughly cleanses away dirt, debris and dulling skin cells
  • Nourishing vitamins provide replenishment to the skin
  • Gentle ingredients dissolve excess oil without stripping or drying the skin
  • Powerful extracts such as Willow Bark, Sugar Cane and Apple Extract refine the skin to decrease the appearance of enlarged pores
  • Powerful enough to remove stubborn mascara and eye makeup

Some of the sample leaked so I wasn’t able to get enough for a full review.  I did notice that it comes in a clear liquid form and that it also had a light scent.  I wanted to try this product because it said it shrinks pores and that it removes make up.

Best of all, all these products didn’t bother my skin nor my eyes.  I have very sensitive skin surrounding my eyes and with some products, my eyes will get irritated and it will make my eyes water for a couple of hours.

Free shipping is available over orders of $45. Their products Insta Natural sells also has 100% satisfaction guarantee. Customers can sign up for their newsletters and also receive a 20% off their first purchase.  Free phone consultations are also available.

What products are you looking forward to try? I’m super excited about trying the Rose Mask as I’m obsessed with all things rose and maybe their all natural deodorant!  The bath bombs look amazing too!