We Tried It

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    By now, you have to have been living under a rock not to know about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I mean, pssst! Everyone is doing it, from Martha Stewart and Kris Jenner to Jimmy Fallon and the folks at Good Morning America. Even Oprah and President Obama have been dared.

    You know how it works, right? A person or group is challenged to dump a bucket of ice water over their heads. They either accept -- or donate to the ALS Association, which raises money for Lou Gehrig's disease. If they take the plunge, they in turn challenge others ... and a viral sensation bigger than "Call Me Maybe" was born. But this one has a good cause attached: to raise awareness and money for a deadly, crippling illness with no known cure.

    Well, we here at CafeMom's The Stir were recently challenged by other bloggers at SheKnows. Sneaky! And we are NOT ones to take something like that sitting down. No, we're more likely to take it on a New York City sidewalk at rush hour instead.

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    I put on lipstick every morning before I leave for work, and it usually disappears by the time I get into the office. Obviously I could reapply once I get into work, but then I'd have to 1) remember to bring it with me and 2) remember to re-apply it. Believe it or not, these two things are completely beyond my capability. Help! I need lip color that thinks for me and works overtime.

    Am I asking too much of my makeup? Of course not. I've come across 5 lip products that multitask for me like a busy mama needs them to. I love these lip treatments so much, I could kiss them.

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    If you're anything like me then you might have some kids at home complaining about being hot and bored this summer! I'm always open to trying out new activities I see, and when "ice cream in a bag" pins started making their way through my Pinterest stream, I knew my children would love to try it!

    To start, I gathered heavy cream, vanilla, milk, and sugar. I added those ingredients to a small Ziploc bag, put that into a larger Ziploc bag, and covered it with ice and rock salt.

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    In my next life, I will be one of those ladies who has her hair colored, professionally, properly at a salon. But for now, I am one of those ladies who colors her own hair at home. And you know what? It's going all right. I've gotten a lot of practice and learned a lot of hard lessons. Like, hair-falling-out-in-my-hands kind of lessons. Ugly lessons. 

    We'll get to that in a minute. The good news is, if all you want is a simple, single-process color, you can do that yourself. In fact, the only reason to get a single-process color in a salon is just to save yourself the mess and trouble. But really, it's not that difficult. Here's how.

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    I never thought I'd send my child to private school. I was a public school kid. When I was growing up, private school was for fancy people. If you were just a regular, middle-class kid, you walked down the street to the nearest school and enrolled. It was that simple.

    A generation later, things are a little more complicated. And I've been (GULP!) sending my son to a private school. It's a major sacrifice -- as in, some days I think I must be insane to be doing this even with the tuition break. But then I come in for those parent-teacher conferences, or I read my son's progress reports, or heck, I just have a conversation with my son and I think yep, worth every penny.

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    Rice is a favorite material for sensory play at our house. Not only is it easy to set up and clean up, but a batch of colored rice also lasts for years. The bright colors are so inviting, and making your own colored rice in any colors you choose is such an easy process that even a toddler can help.

    Here's how to easily color rice for a beautiful rice sensory bin

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    Of all the things you can make from scratch, a gift bow seems like a giant waste of time, doesn't it? I mean, who really has the energy to top every present with a homemade bow? Answer: me. A mom of three who also works full-time. And you can do it too. In fact, it is one of the easiest, most original, handiest things you can do when you're a busy mom.


    You're never without a bow! Last Saturday my husband and I found ourselves two hours away from a birthday party with no wrapping paper or ribbon on hand. So what did we do? We decorated some butcher paper with markers, folded a card from printer paper, and made our own bow. It looked SO much better than the store-bought kind and only took about five minutes to complete. Here is how we did it:

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    You've heard composting will save the world -- or will save us all from our garbage and feed our gardens, anyway. But isn't it smelly? Doesn't it attract pests? Isn't it just a complicated hassle for hippies? Well, maybe I'm kind of a hippie, but I've been composting for over a decade. And if a flake like me can do it right, anyone can. It's actually easier than you think.

    Here are 7 tips for turning your kitchen scraps into a rich, nutrient-dense fertilizer your garden will love.

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    Have you ever been stranded without meds when your period hit? Or tried to go without pain killers because you thought you could handle the menstrual cramps on your own? I ask like these are terrible misfortunes or masochistic stunts -- and that's because I have a history of crazy insane painful cramps. So when I hear "natural remedies for menstrual pain," I usually roll my eyes and say, "Yes, and also tell me about flying monkeys." I mean, is holding a hot pad over my abdomen really going to do anything?

    But hey, you never know. That's why, skeptic though I am, I'm willing to try some of these "natural" menstrual cramp pain relief alternatives to my favorite (legal) drugs.

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    There is almost nothing in the world more frustrating than stepping out of a perfect shower only to find that your bathroom mirror is completely fogged. Okay, so that might be a SLIGHT exaggeration. Mirror fogging is hardly a matter of national importance. But the fact is it really is one of life's little annoyances and one of those things you often wish you could find an easy way to combat.

    The answer, my friends, is so much simpler than any of us could have imagined. It turns out, something you already have in your bathroom can stop the foggy mirror blues once and for all. It's as basic as a bar of soap and a towel. I've tried it. It works!

    Defogging your bathroom mirror is an easy six-step process. Wait 'til you see how it's done ...

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