10 Quick and Easy DIY Valentine’s Gifts

Don't worry, there's still time to make someone you love a gift for Valentine's Day! Here are 10 Quick & Easy DIY Valentine's Gifts | www.morethanmundane.com

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, so in our home this week we’ll be working on putting together something for the kids to bring to school for their Valentine’s parties, thanks to Pinterest, along with making this simple heart banner as a fun decoration for our home.

I also got to thinking it would be fun to make gifts for some friends and loved ones. I kind of miss being in elementary school and getting to pass out Valentines to all my friends. I love making homemade gifts and since I’m not super crafty, anything I’m going to make needs to be quick and easy, and not require too many ingredients.

Here are some ideas I came up with–any of these would be great to bless a friend, sister, mother, neighbor, or anyone in your life who you want to show love to. And all of them are easy enough that you still have time to make them happen before Valentine’s Day!

You can’t go wrong with a delicious sweet treat! Here are some Edible Gifts for the sweets lovers on your list:

roasted strawberry goat cheese ice cream

**This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thanks for supporting More Than Mundane!

1. Roasted Strawberry Goat Cheese Ice Cream | More Than Mundane

It might sound strange to give ice cream as a gift but I think most of us would love a pint of homemade ice cream for a special Valentine’s Day treat. I love using these Frozen Dessert Containers to package my ice cream. You can even personalize the containers, making them perfect for gifting. And if Roasted Strawberry Goat Cheese Ice Cream isn’t your cup of tea, you can try my Simple, Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream, or check out my Ice Cream Pinterest Board where you’re sure to find a flavor you love!

2.  Herb Infused Mint Chocolate Truffles | A Delightful Home

Perfect for the chocolate lover in your life! Plus, they seem super fancy and yet not too difficult to make. You could also infuse your truffles with vanilla, lavender, or just keep them plain chocolate if mint isn’t your thing.

3. Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix | Deliciously Organic

This would be perfect paired with some homemade marshmallows and a cute mug.

4. Herb Infused Honey | Simple Bites

This one takes 5-7 days, so if you start it today it would be ready on time. There’s a recipe for lemon-rosemary honey or vanilla bean-cardamom honey, which both sound lovely. Or you can get creative and come up with your own combo. I think lavender chamomile would make a great infusion as well.

DIY Body Care Gifts:

delightful frankincense & wild orange sugar scrub

5. Body Scrubs: Perfect for your sister, friend, mom, or daughter–or really anyone in your life (my husband actually loves using scrubs too!) These are a few of my favorites:

I like to package my scrubs in Plastic Jars so they don’t break in the shower, but Wide Mouth Mason Jars always work great as well.

6. Chocolate Peppermint Lotion Bars | A Delightful Home

You could make these lotion bars heart-shaped using this Heart Mold Pan. And you can use this same recipe to make lip balm too!

7. Whipped Body Butter | The Nourished Life

This recipe only requires ONE ingredient, but of course you can always add some essential oils in to scent it however you want. Or you can try this Mint Chocolate Whipped Body Butter if you’re going with a chocolate themed Valentine’s gift.

8. Lip Balm

If you’re making the chocolate peppermint lotion bars above, you can use the same recipe to make lip balm. Or you can try one of these easy recipes:

You can use these Lip Balm Tubes and personalize your own labels.

Get Crafty with these Sew-Easy Handmade Gifts:

9. Heart-shaped Hand-warmers | Modern Mrs. Darcy

Even for someone like me, with no sewing ability to speak of, these hand-warmers wouldn’t be too difficult to make. Plus, you could also mix in some dried lavender or add some essential oils to make them smell good too!

10. Felt Coffee Cozy | Life Your Way

Perfect for the coffee lover in your life. This also would pair well with the homemade hot cocoa mix and a chocolate peppermint lotion bar.

So, now I just have to decide what I want to make…I think the truffles are calling my name!

Pinterest to Real Life {January 2014}

pinterest-to-real-life-2014-button

In January, I didn’t end up trying many new pins, but I did try a few things that I really loved!

After Nicole mentioned this chicken pot-pie soup in her post last month, I thought it sounded like something we needed to try, and it was delicious!

sleepy time bath salts collage

I made these sleepy-time bath salts to add to the kids baths in the hopes that it would make bedtime a little easier.

This healthy mexican meat and potato melt is our new favorite dinner and a great way to use up the potatoes that I keep getting in my produce box.

I’ve made these breakfast cookies twice now and I love them! It’s so nice to have something already made and on hand for busy mornings when I just need to grab something and run out the door.

gummies

These healthy gummies for cold, flu, and sleep sounded like the perfect way to get some goodness into my kids…but my kids are the pickiest eaters in the world and they were not huge fans. I thought they tasted great though and I definitely recommend them!

I love Nicole’s idea of looking through her pins at the start of each week and picking out some to plan on trying. I’m going to try the same thing so that I actually end up making some of these pins happen! Here are a few I’m going to start with (I figure if I put them on here I’ll have some added incentive to make them happen):

Vegan Butternut Chili in the Crock Pot because I always love a good crock pot recipe and I have a ton of butternut squash sitting on my counter right now.

This is my plan for Charlotte’s Valentines this year.

I’d love to make these Meyer Lemon and Olive Oil Cupcakes with Lavender Whipped Cream Icing as a special Valentine’s Day treat!

For more Pinterest to Real Life posts or to share your own Pinterest successes and challenges, head over to the link-up at Gidget Goes Home.

10 DIY Coffee Shop Drinks to Warm Up Your Winter

10 DIY Coffee Shop Drinks to Warm up Your Winter | www.morethanmundane.com

It was in college that I discovered my love for coffee shops. Whether it was meeting a friend to talk, taking some time to myself to read (or to actually study), I loved heading to one of the many fun and unique coffee shops that filled the college town I lived in.

I still love treating myself to a fancy latte at the coffee shop. But, it’s a rare treat because I have a hard time paying the $4.00 or more price tag, and to be honest, it’s not always as convenient to go the coffee shop with kids in tow when I can make myself a fancy coffee shop drink at home!

So, I’ve searched for (and found) homemade recipes to copy the ones I love to order at the coffee shop. And as an added bonus–these all are made with natural sweeteners and can be made in the comfort of your own home.

Gingerbread-Latte

1. Gingerbread Latte | Red & Honey (photo credit): This is one of my favorite coffee shop drinks and I usually keep ordering it well into January until they tell me it’s no longer available. But with this recipe, I can have my favorite drink anytime of year!

2. Cinnamon Dolce Latte | The Greenbacks Gal: The Cinnamon Dolce Latte is my next preferred drink, when I’m looking for something sweet for a special treat.

3. Homemade Vanilla Coffee Creamer | Live Renewed: I always love a vanilla latte or vanilla flavored coffee, so this vanilla coffee creamer is perfect to keep on hand for everyday enjoyment.

4. Homemade Peppermint Mocha Latte | Don’t Waste the Crumbs: This is a favorite, especially around the holidays. I always think mochas at the coffee shop are a bit too sweet, so I love being able to make them at home and adjust the level of sweetness.

honey lavender latte recipe using honey lavender syrup | morethanmundane.com

5. Honey Lavender Latte | More than Mundane: You might think lavender sounds strange to have in a drink, but it’s absolutely wonderful! Try it, I promise you won’t regret it.

6. Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate (or Mocha or Latte) | 100 Days of Real Food: I know there are a lot of pumpkin latte lovers out there, and in the same way I mourn when the season for Gingerbread Lattes is over, you mourn when it is no longer pumpkin latte season…but now–you can make one whenever you want!

7. Homemade Chai Tea Latte with Dairy Free Option | Live Renewed: Sometimes I get a little burned out on coffee, even though it is my first love, and when I do, I love a good chai tea latte.

8. Simple Hot Spiced Cider | Gnowfglins: If you’re trying to avoid caffeine, or looking for a drink to warm you up at night, hot spiced cider is the perfect treat. This one is great for the kids too!

9. Naturally Sweetened Homemade Hot Chocolate | DIY Natural: Another one that’s great for the kids is hot chocolate. Perfect for a special breakfast or movie night!

vanilla steamer

10. Vanilla Steamer: This is my favorite thing to make before bedtime, if I’m not having a cup of tea. It’s super simple too. Plus it reminds me of my college roommate, Monica, my non-coffee drinking friend. This was her discovery and now it’s something I love to make for myself as a bedtime treat.

Vanilla Steamer

Ingredients

Milk
Honey
Vanilla Extract
Cinnamon & Nutmeg

Instructions

Heat up 8 oz. of milk. Add in 1-2 TBSP honey, depending on desired level of sweetness. Add in 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg on top and enjoy!

For my everyday coffee, when I’m not making a special coffee shop drink, we add one of these delicious mixes to the coffee grounds before brewing for some yummy flavor. I drink my coffee with maple syrup and half & half.

  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Cinnamon and cocoa powder

What’s your favorite coffee shop drink?

A Day in the Life 2014

Today I’m linking up with Simply Rebekah to share a Day in the Life. This is my 3rd year participating and it’s always lots of fun. This particular day was January 24, 2014 and although every day looks a little different in our home, this is a fairly typical Friday, except for the fact that my husband was out of town for a work conference, which is rare.

**This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thanks for supporting More Than Mundane!

I woke up at 6:45 and jumped on my phone to check my email, FB, etc. (not a great habit, I know!) I didn’t remember yet that I was planning on doing a day in the life photos for today so I don’t have any to document the start of our day (this is probably a good thing!)

Shortly after I woke up, Isaac (4 yr. old) woke up and of course, called for daddy. Since Rick wasn’t home, I went in to get Isaac. Isaac was disappointed and missing Daddy, so we called him on the phone to talk and then I got Isaac breakfast,  and went to wake Charlotte (7 yr. old) up to get her going. Turns out, she was already up and working on this puzzle, so I asked her to come out and have some breakfast. I got Charlotte started on homeschool while I hopped in the shower. Usually I make the most of my shower-time but since Rick wasn’t here to keep an eye on the kids, I rushed through my shower.

charlotte spelling

Around 8am I saw the note in my calendar reminding me to take pictures for a day in the life. At this time Charlotte was working on spelling and I was made some hot water and lemon for myself.

Fridays are one of the days Isaac goes to preschool, so I packed a lunch for him, took care of a few things online, kept Charlotte going with homeschool, and then we all headed out the door to take Isaac to preschool.

preschool pj day

9am: Dropped Isaac off at preschool where they were having pajama day. Then I headed to Starbucks since I got this awesome tumbler for Christmas from Rick’s parents that came with a free coffee drink every day in January! I got my caramel machiatto with an add shot since I had stayed up late the night before and needed an extra kick. We got home, worked on some more homeschool and then got ready to head out for a play date with Nicole (a blogging + in real life friend) and her sweet kids.

charlotte by car

10am: Getting in the car to head to the park to meet our friends.

at the park

11am: Hanging out at the park with Nicole and her kids. The kids are eating snacks and doing Rainbow Loom. They really were having fun but you wouldn’t know it from the look on their faces!

exchanging addresses

12:15 or so: We started giving our five minute warnings that it was almost time to go. Charlotte and Gigi exchanged addresses so they could write each other. Before I knew it I was running late to go get Isaac from preschool so I left in a hurry.

preschool pick-up

1pm: Picked Isaac up from preschool and played on the playground for a bit. Then we headed home, and I attempted to get the kids down for rest time. Rest time is something both my 4 and 7 year old do just about every day. Isaac still falls asleep and takes a nap about 60-75% of the time. For Charlotte, she just spends time reading, or playing quietly in her room. But on this particular day…she wrote a letter to her new friend Gigi of course!

working

2pm: I finally get the kids settled for rest time, and sit down to get some work done, with my grapefruit soda and grapefruit candle (best candle ever, by the way–from my friend Kara for my birthday).

3pm: Still “working”, although not getting much done–same scene so I spared you a repeat photo. Not every rest time is, shall we say, restful…there are days (like this day) when Isaac calls me back numerous times with numerous requests and asks every 5 min. if it’s time to come out. But I stick with it because the 85% of the time when rest time goes well, is worth the 15% of the days like today.

movie time

4pm: Kids are now up from rest time, and I put on a movie so I can (hopefully) get some work done, and turn on the diffuser with my favorite blend of frankincense, wild orange, and On Guard essential oils.

pizza

5pm: I’m still working, so I throw a TJ’s pizza in the oven for the kids and I for dinner.

bath time

6pm: Bath time with sleepy-time bath salts, except I didn’t have crushed lavender so I added rose petals in. Isaac was not such a fan of things floating in his bath water, but I loved the coconut oil and the kids came out with moisturized skin.

bible for kids

7pm: PJs on, a phone call from Dad, and some iPad time with the Bible App for Kids (Isaac loves it!)

prayers

8pm: Saying prayers together in Charlotte’s room. Put the kids to bed and cross my fingers that tonight’s an easy night because I’m all out of patience. I make myself some tea and head to the computer to try and get some more work done.

9pm: Amazingly, kids went to sleep without a peep (which is rare), and I’m getting lots of work done.

bedtime

10:15pm: Finishing up with work, and heading to bed. I grabbed Charlotte and asked her if she wanted to sleep with me. One of the things I missed most while my husband was gone was our nightly prayer times. Usually, right after we get the kids to bed we take a few minutes and pray together. Since he was out of town, I spent some time praying before falling asleep.

For more Day in the Life posts, head on over to Simply Rebekah. If you want to look back on previous years, you can find 2013 here, and 2012 here.

Green Your Life: A Husband’s Perspective

Green Your Life: Get Started Today!

Note from Krissa: Shortly before Christmas, as my husband and I celebrated our anniversary, he expressed an interest in learning more about green & natural living. I had just received my friend Emily’s new ebook, Green Your Life, and thought it might be the perfect introduction to natural living for my husband, so I suggested it might be a good place for him to start. He agreed, and then I roped him into writing a review! So…for the first time ever (but I’m hoping not the last), please welcome my amazing husband Rick to the blog!

I’m about as un-green as they come. I was raised in Oklahoma where recycling is an afterthought and consumption is king. So, when my wife started her journey into natural living it took me a while to realize that, for her, it was more than a fad. Out went the paper towels, in came the reusables, and for me it was all a bit of a shell shock. A number of years went by, and, during a recent conversation at a dinner by candlelight, I decided the best thing to do would be to try and enter in to this way of life that was clearly here to stay. In an attempt to join what I was unable to beat I said something to the effect of…

“What’s the best way for me to get on board?”

Her answer came in the form of an ebook that she asked me to read and, being as I was already on the hook, I sat down one afternoon and read it. The first thing that resonated with me was in the first few pages. When it said I didn’t have to keep up with the Joneses, I decided to keep on reading.

This way of living has also resulted in a huge shift in our priorities over the past few years. Our lives have been changing in deep and meaningful ways as we have realized we have a much greater purpose than chasing after the next best thing or trying to “keep up with the Joneses”.

~Emily McClements, “Green Your Life”

I’m a big fan of practical application. I need to be told what to do, when to do it, and how to get it done, or chances are, I’m probably not going to do it unless it’s something I’m really passionate about. On the practical application front this book nails it. Wanna know how to make disinfecting wipes? It’s in there. Wanna know how to make detergent? It’s in there. Instructions on how to line dry your laundry without the dreaded fabric crunch? It’s in there. Wanna make your own shampoo, facewash, and deodorant? It’s in there. Need a master class on green baby care? Yup that’s in there too. Everything from baby food to sunscreen, to cleaning the garbage disposal, it’s all in there with reasons and whys to boot.

The only chapter I skipped was the section on “Natural Feminine Care” because, let’s face it, the less I know about that the better.

Coming in at 268 pages the “I’ve got better things to do reader” like me might be a little daunted. But I breezed through it and at no time did I feel it was over my head. It’s well written, to the point, concise, and informative with a friendly voice that will make you feel like going green is something you can actually do.

As for me, my old habits are going to be very hard to break. But reading this definitely changed some of my notions about the effectiveness of natural products and presented firm arguments as to why I should use them. While I have yet to throw away my favorite speed stick, I have a few weeds that need tackling and my first stop is going to be the vinegar.

 

green your life challenge

Green Your Life: A Guide to Natural, Eco-Friendly Living walks you through making simple changes to your home and lifestyle that can have a big impact on the world around you. 

Plus, as a thank you for purchasing the book, and to give you extra support, encouragement, motivation, and community to help you make changes in your life, Emily is providing a free membership to the Green Your Life Challenge she is running in February, a $14.99 value! 

In just 4 weeks you will:

  • Purge your bathroom cabinet of toxic and harmful personal care products.
  • Choose beauty and personal care products for your family that are safe and effective.
  • Make your own homemade green cleaners.
  • Clean your home with non-toxic cleaners that really work and are safe to use around your family.
  • Begin making simple and easy changes toward more real food and less processed, conventional foods
  • Use more reuseable products and fewer disposable ones around your home.
  • Work to eliminate and remove toxins all around your home.
  • Determine how you and your family can make an impact on the world around you!

Read more about Green Your Life the ebook and the Green Your Life Challenge here.

This post is part of a Blog Hop to celebrate the release of Green Your Life: A Guide to Natural, Eco-Friendly Living. Check out what other bloggers are saying about the great new book:

Jan. 8 – Ninth Street Notions
Jan. 9 – Red and Honey: This post shares Emily’s DIY Disinfectant Cloth Wipes from her book!
Jan. 10 – Running Family
Jan. 12 – Five Little Homesteaders
Jan. 13 – My Blessings Homeschool
Jan. 14 – Vintage Kids | Modern World
Jan. 15 – The Humbled Homemaker
Jan. 17 – Accidentally Green
Jan. 20 – Home With Purpose
Jan. 21 – Intentionally Simple
Jan. 22 – Feed Me Mama
Jan. 23 – Saving by Making
Jan. 24 – More Than Mundane
Jan. 27 – My Humble Kitchen
Jan. 28 – Sorta Crunchy
Jan. 29 – Simply Rebekah
Jan. 30 – A Delightful Home
Jan. 31 – Gidget Goes Home

**This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thanks for supporting More Than Mundane!

Essential Oils for the Shower

essential oils for the shower

I love starting my day with essential oils. One of the safest ways to use essential oils is aromatically. There are many ways to use essential oils aromatically, and I have found using essential oils in the shower is one of the easiest ways to work essential oils into my daily routine.

It’s this simple: After stepping into the shower I drop 2-3 drops of essential oil onto the floor of the shower, out of the path of the water. The essential oils are at my feet and I can easily breathe them in. The steam and heat from the shower also helps with this process. It’s that easy! I keep several bottles of essential oils in my shower so I remember to do this each day. *Always remember to keep essential oils out of the reach of children.

Another way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils is by adding them to your body care products, or by making your own body care using essential oils. My favorite thing to make is body scrubs.

  • They are super easy to make (takes about 5 min,)
  • they don’t require many ingredients,
  • they exfoliate and moisturize your skin,
  • and you can personalize them using your favorite essential oils.

My latest favorite is this Delightful Frankincense & Wild Orange Sugar Scrub, and here’s a list of 101 Scrubs so you can choose one that’s perfect for you!

You can also add a drop or two of essential oil to whatever products you already use. I do this with my conditioner, but this would work with body wash as well.

Here are the oils I keep in the shower to use on a regular basis:

Lavender: Well known for it’s relaxing and calming properties, lavender essential oil is a great choice for those days when you’re feeling anxious or for if you’re showering at night before bed. Lavender has been called the “swiss-army knife” of essential oils and can work wherever there is a need. So, if you’re not sure, go for lavender!

Balance: This blend from doTERRA contains spruce, rosewood, blue tansy, and frankincense and promotes a sense of balance and tranquility. It is my favorite oil to use in my daily showers.

Peppermint: For those days when you need help waking up, peppermint has a fresh, energizing scent and is known for stimulating the mind and helping with memory and mental performance.

Citrus: Uplifting and refreshing, citrus oils like grapefruit, lemon, and wild orange are the perfect way to start the day. Citrus oils are also known for their cleansing and disinfecting properties, making them a great choice for the shower. doTERRA also makes a blend called Citrus Bliss which contains a blend of citrus essential oils and vanilla bean extract and smells amazing.

Frankincense: This amazing essential oil helps improve concentration, reduce irritability and impatience and is perfect for those mornings when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Frankincense also has great immune boosting properties and is one of my favorite scents.

Rosemary: This is the essential oil I add to my conditioner. Rosemary is known for strengthening hair and preventing hair loss. Rosemary is also helpful for fighting the cold and flu and has immune building properties.

Eucalyptus: This is my go-to oil for clearing up congestion and helping with breathing. If you ever have a cold or wake up feeling congested, drop a few drops of eucalyptus into your shower to clear it right up! It’s also got a great, refreshing scent which not only helps clear your sinuses, but your head as well.

Do you use essential oils in the shower? What are some of your favorites?

Birthday Weekend Giveaway: Essential Oil Introductory Kit

Essential Oil Intro Kit Giveaway | www.morethanmundane.com

It’s my birthday this weekend so I thought it would be fun to have a little giveaway!

I’m giving away a doTERRA Essential Oil Intro Kit! The kit includes 5ml bottles of lemon, peppermint, and lavender and is valued at $26.67. The doTERRA Intro Kit is great for getting started with essential oils and contains 3 of my favorite essential oils.

Here are some of the ways I use lemon, peppermint, and lavender:

 

Lemon:

  • Add a few drops to the dishwasher for spot-free sparkling clean dishes.
  • Use as a “goo-be-gone” alternative.
  • Add to your homemade cleaners for a fresh, clean scent with extra cleaning power.
  • Use to make lemon-lime sugar scrub.
  • For green cleaning.

Peppermint:

  • Dilute several drops with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil or olive oil) and rub on your stomach to help with gas, tummy aches, indigestion, etc.
  • Diffuse to improve alertness and concentration.
  • Make a refreshing peppermint foot scrub.
  • Repel insects and rodents.
  • Add a drop or two to water and swish in your mouth to freshen breath.

Lavender:

  • Make a linen/room spray by adding 10-15 drops of lavender to a small bottle of water.
  • Use to help you sleep.
  • Make lavender vanilla sugar scrub.
  • Apply a drop to burns and cuts to heal.
  • Diffuse to help calm and relax.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to U.S. and Canada residents, 18 years of age and older, only. Giveaway will end on Sunday, Jan. 20 at midnight (PST). I hope you win! 

 

13 Things to Try When You’re Having Trouble Sleeping

13 things to try when you're having trouble sleeping | www.morethanmundane.com

I love my sleep. And I do not do well when I don’t get enough of it. Of course there are times in life when there’s no way around the fact that you won’t be getting enough sleep–like when you have a newborn. But for me, nothing is more frustrating than lying in bed watching the minutes tick by and not being able to sleep. Here are some things to try if you’re having trouble sleeping.

From the Kitchen:

1. Avoid caffeine for 4-6 hours before bedtime. Try an herbal tea instead. Chamomile is a great pre-bedtime option. Or try this recipe for Sleep EZ Tea.

2. You can also add a spoonful of Sleepy Time Honey to your tea before bed.

3. Or, if tea is not your thing, add a spoonful of honey, a splash of vanilla, and a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to some warm milk and drink shortly before bedtime.

Treat Yourself:

sleepy time bath salts

4. These Sleepy Time Bath Salts use epsom salt and lavender and not only help you get a better night’s sleep but are also immune boosting as well. These would also be great to throw in the kid’s bath before bed as well to help them calm down and get a better night’s rest.

5. Try an herbal steam right before bed to relax. Here’s how: Fill a steaming bowl of water or the sink with herbs that promote relaxation, such as chamomile and lavender. Lean your face over the bowl and cover your head with a towel. Breathe in the herbs and steam, making sure not to get your face too close to the hot water.

6. If you don’t have time for a bath or herbal steam, make your own linen spray and spritz your pillows and sheets before bed. Try this relaxing lavender and chamomile linen spray.

7. Diffuse lavender for 20-30 minutes before heading to bed.

8. If you can talk someone into it, a massage using this herb infused bed time massage oil would also be amazing right before bedtime!

Smart Practices:

9. Shut off the screens well before bedtime (I’m guilty of not doing this!) Try reading a book instead of watching TV, looking through Instagram, or surfing the Internet. Need a book suggestion?

10. Brain Dump: If you have a lot on your mind it can be hard to sleep with all the to-dos and ideas spinning around in your head. Try doing a brain dump right before bed (or if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep) by writing down all the things you’re thinking of. It will clear your head and help you get to sleep.

11. Stretch before bed. Try these bedtime stretches.

For the Kids:

gummies

12. If it’s the kids that are having trouble getting to sleep at night, try these Healthy Gummies for Cold, Flu, & Sleep. They contain tart cherry juice and gelatin, which have both been shown to help with sleep. I’ve been known to help myself to some of these as well!

13. Magnesium is needed for restful sleep and many of us do not get the amount we need. My favorite way to get more magnesium is by using a little Magnesium Lotion each night before bed. I’ve used this on my kids as well when they’re having trouble sleeping at night.

What do you do when you’re having trouble sleeping?

 

Sweet & Simple Winter Detox Juice

Sweet & Simple Winter Detox Juice | morethanmundane.com

Anyone feeling like you overdid it over the holidays? Ready to get back on track and detox from all those sweets?

Last year I was gifted this juicer and have been having fun ever since trying lots of different juice recipes. This Sweet & Simple Winter Detox Juice is a very basic, super-yummy juice that anyone is sure to love! It’s easy to throw together and I like to make it for the whole family. I made this juice for several days leading up to Christmas this year as  a “pre-tox”  before indulging over the holidays and am back to it now as a detox juice.

Not only does it taste delicious, but each of the ingredients has many health benefits as well.

Citrus

Citrus is in season during the Winter and is known for being packed with Vitamin C, making it perfect for during the Winter months when we are usually hit with more colds and illnesses. Citrus contains the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Potassium

Read more about the health benefits of oranges here and grapefruit here.

Carrots

Carrots are in season year-round and are well known for being rich in beta-carotene which helps to improve vision as well as slow down aging! Carrots also are high in Vitamin A, which is amazing for your skin and helps the liver clear out toxins from the body. Carrots contain the following nutrients:

  • Vitamins A, C, K
  • Potassium
  • Antioxidants
  • Fiber

Read more about the health benefits of carrots here.

Ginger

Ginger boasts many benefits and is perfect for detoxifying. It is also warming to the body, making it great for Winter. Here are some of ginger’s many benefits:

  • aids in digestion
  • contains anti-inflammatory properties
  • clears congestion
  • reduces nausea

Read more about the health benefits of ginger here.

Spinach

Spinach is one of the most nutrient packed vegetables and is known for its cleansing and nourishing properties. Here are a few of the many nutrients spinach contains:

  • Vitamins A, C, K
  • Folate
  • Antioxidants

Read more about the health benefits of spinach here.

And now for the recipe…

citrus + carrots + ginger + spinach

Sweet & Simple Winter Detox Juice

Ingredients:

  • Citrus (oranges or grapefruit, or a combination of both): 2-3 per person
  • Carrots: 2-3 per person
  • Ginger: 1/2 inch to an inch per person (or more/less to taste)
  • Spinach: a handful per person (optional)

Directions:

  1. Peel citrus and break into segments.
  2. Scrub carrots and cut into 1 inch segments.
  3. Peel ginger.
  4. Wash spinach.
  5. Add all ingredients to juicer, alternating as you go.

Enjoy your juice as soon as possible after juicing it!

If you’re looking for more delicious and nutritious juicing recipes, I have a whole board dedicated to Juicing on Pinterest.

From Pinterest to Real Life {Holiday 2013}

Pinterest to Real Life Holiday 2013 Edition | morethanmundane.com

I’m so excited my friend Nicole is resurrecting her monthly Pinterest to Real Life link-up because I love the added motivation to actually make/try some of the many pins I daily add to my Pinterest boards. Of course I didn’t remember to take pictures of everything but next month I’m hoping to do better with that now that it’s on my radar.

No huge shock here, but most of the pins I tried in the last month or so were food related! Here are some of my favorites:

Gingerbread Latte

My favorite holiday drink every year is the Gingerbread Latte and I usually keep trying to order it until they tell me they’re all out, but now I can make my own at home thanks to this recipe. Plus it’s better for me!

Slow Cooker Christmas Chicken

I always love a good slow cooker recipe and this one for Slow Cooker Christmas Chicken did not disappoint. Also, don’t let the title prevent you from making it any day of the year…it will definitely be showing up on our meal plan again!

Naturally Sweetened Chewy Molasses Cookies

I made these naturally sweetened chewy molasses cookies several times during the holidays and they are amazing! Even my husband, who doesn’t always go for my “naturally-sweetened” creations, thought they were great!

Natural Hand Lotion

The extent of my homemade gifts this year consisted of my new favorite scrub and this hand lotion, which I loved making because you can make it directly in the jars you are going to gift it in, which helps cut down on the mess.

Heart Shaped Snowflakes

Crafts/Artistic pursuits in general are not my strong suit and in previous years I’ve had trouble even figuring out how to cut out paper snowflakes with the kids, but these heart shaped snowflakes turned out great and were simple enough that even I was able to figure them out! I think they would be a fun Valentine’s activity/decoration as well.

New Year’s Jar of Memories

I saw this idea for a jar to add happy moments, blessings, etc. to  throughout the year and then on New Year’s Eve go through and pull out all the papers and read them so I made one for us to use in 2014. I’m super excited about it and think it will be wonderful to read through at the end of this year.

Did you have any Pinterest successes (or failures) this past month?