Sugar Scrub Cubes Recipe

2013 is not getting off to a very good start around here.  When it rains…it pours…right?  So not only am I in the midst of a huge elimination diet due to some newly discovered food allergies/intolerances, but my sweet Mom suffered a stroke on Tuesday morning.  She spent two days at the hospital and we found that she has had some past strokes from her MRI.  She is just fine now with just a few lingering effects and hopefully she should recover fully in time.

Unfortunately, we have been down this road before with my Dad who has also suffered several strokes.  After one particularly large stroke, we discovered my Dad had a hole in his heart.  He had heart surgery to repair the hole about 8 years ago.

Anyways, needless to say I wasn’t around much last week.  Things are getting back to normal and I am trying to get caught up with my life.  I have had this post sitting here half finished, but there were plenty of more important things I needed to attend too.


With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to come up with a gift idea you can give to your girlfriends or yourself.  The sugar scrubs I have shared recently have been a big hit.  So I decided to switch things up and go with a Sugar Scrub Cube.


Sugar Scrub Cubes are fun because they are single serving cubes that have all the same qualities of an awesome sugar scrub in a fun this square.

I looked all over to see if I could find a great recipe, but I couldn’t find anything that didn’t require some special soap base, which I didn’t have.  So I did a little experimenting and came up with a little recipe that I really like.

Here is what you will need:

Almond Oil or Olive Oil or Coconut Oil (or oil of your choice)

White Granulated Sugar

Shredded Bar of Soap or Soap Base

An Essential Oil (I used DoTerra’s Citrus Bliss Essential Oil)

a few drops of Vitamin E oil (optional)

Mixing Bowl


Microwave and possibly a double boiler

A square silicon mold or a scoop

sugar scrub cube-1  scrub 2  scrub

This recipe calls for 1 part oil, 2 parts shredded soap, and 3 parts sugar.

Sugar Scrub Cubes:

1/4 cup Almond Oil

1/2 cup Shredded Soap

3-4 drops of Essential Oil

1 cup Sugar

1.  Pour the oil into a bowl and add the shredded soap of your choice.  Microwave this on high for 10 second intervals stirring in between each.  If this does not work to slowly melt your soap into your oil you may have to melt the soap shaving in a double boiler.  (If you don’t have a double boiler like me, simply place a small bowl over a saucepan filled with boiling water).

2.  When the mixture is melted and and stirred together, add several drops of your Essential Oil.  I used DoTerra’s Citrus Bliss.  {If you have not used DoTerra’s oils, you are missing out!  I love them.  I get mine here.  You can find more information by clicking on the link.  I will be sharing a bit more about my love for doTerra oils in an upcoming post}.

3.  Get your mold ready to go before adding the sugar.  This is important because once the sugar is added the scrub will harden VERY quickly.

sugar cubes 5

4.  Pour in sugar and stir quickly.  Take mixture and place it into your molds with your fingers.  Or…if you don’t have a mold you can take a scoop and make rounded sugar “cubes”.

5.  Let cubes harden by popping them into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.  Then pop them out of the mold and cut them into fourths depending on the size you would like them to be.

citrus sugar scrub cubes-04

Then simply throw them into a fun air tight container and add a cute label.

Sugar scrubs smell amazing and gently exfoliate your skin for a smooth feeling.  The fun thing about these sugar scrub cubes is that they also have a fun “cleaning” element with the addition of the soap.  And the citrus bliss smells amazing and has some relaxation and calming benefits which you can learn more about here.

scrub cubes

And…you know I am going to be sharing the fun labels if you would like to make some for yourself.  Click on the link below to gain access to the labels and to the use-age tag so that the gift recipient knows just how to use their fun and personal gift!

Citrus Sugar Scrub Cubes Labels

{click on previous downloads once you are taken to The Idea Room FB page}


What do you think? Have you ever tried Sugar Scrub Cubes?

scrub cubes 1

Interested in some of our past Sugar Scrub Recipes? Check these out:

Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub (featured on the Ellen Show)

Lemon Sugar Scrub

Peppermint Foot Scrub

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub

Brown Sugar Scrub with Honey

Bath Salts Recipe

So Apparently I have some issues…

Have you ever struggled with something for a really long time? Something that you deal with on a daily basis but never really talk about to others outside of your innermost circle of confidantes?  Today I want to discuss my hypothyroid symptoms and my new found health issues.

Since giving birth to my 5th child just over 5 years ago, I have been struggling with feeling like something was “just not right”.  After the births of my other children, I remember feeling like I got “my body back”.  Do you guys know what I am talking about?  It took longer after each pregnancy, but I always felt “back to normal” again.

Pregnancy can cause a lot of unpleasant changes in your body and for the most part I would get back to my normal “pre-pregnancy” state (well…other than wider hips and saggy belly skin, mommy brain, wider feet, stretch marks, etc…).  haha

For some reason I NEVER felt like I got my mojo back after my last baby.  I still felt pregnant even though I clearly was not.  I was tired all the time, I had no energy, and suffered from constipation.

But…I was a mom to 5 busy kids, age 9 to newborn.  My husband had a busy job that took him out of town for up to 3 weeks at a time.  And I liked to keep myself busy with my projects.  So, I just assumed I felt this way because I had a lot going on.

(March 2010—Puffy face)

I thought that when my kids got older things would get better…but it was slowly getting worse.  Then 2.5 years ago my hair started falling out in clumps. I was developing some pretty serious carpal tunnel in my wrists and elbows, which I attributed to typing on the computer and my home projects (remember my painting addiction?).

I also developed arthritis in my left pointer finger joints.  On top of that, I was freezing…all of the time, like so cold that I would get grumpy if I had to go outside in the cold.  Ha!  I even slept with a heating pad in the summer.  But I had been running at night, so I assumed it was because my body was cold because of the sweating.

I also began to develop some serious anxiety.  I couldn’t ride in the car with someone else driving because I was seriously anxious about their driving skills.  I mean, I was fine on the outside…but on the inside I was a tangled wreck of nerves.  I was also getting pretty irritable.  I also suffered from muscle aches and pains.  My immune system was terrible.  I never used to be sick.  And suddenly I was catching every little cold out there.   My memory was horrible and I was beginning to forget all sorts of things like picking up my children, appointments and deadlines.  Something needed to change and my life and kids were suffering.

family 2012

(August 2012—Non puffy face)

I was pretty good at looking like everything was okay on the outside.  Because really…who wants to hear about how lousy you feel…all the time? I didn’t want to be “that” person.  But in the back of my mind I knew I was not “normal”.  Or at least I was not “my normal” self.  I felt crazy!  But every symptom could practically be assigned to being a busy wife, a mother and a wanna-be runner.

So 2.5 years ago I went to see a couple of different doctors.  I got the “your getting older and need to eat right and exercise” dismissal talk.  One doctor even told me my thyroid was abnormally enlarged but then dismissed all my symptoms (which were classic hypothyroid symptoms).  What??  He then and sent me on my way telling me I was just a normal middle-age woman who needed to get some exercise and eat right.

Gah!!! I was so frustrated!  Maybe I was just getting older.

By this point, I was waking up tired and was not be able to get through my day without needing to take a nap.  I have NEVER been a nap person.  I usually lay there thinking of everything I should be doing.  On Sundays, I began taking a 3 hour nap and and still be able to fall asleep for the night at 11 pm. I was ALWAYS tired!

After giving birth to my 5th I was able to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight.    But I was slowly gaining weight and gained back 25 pounds.  In spite of all my running and efforts to eat right, I couldn’t stop gaining weight.

thyroid gland image source

amy thyroid 2

So we prayed and my husband and I searched the internet looking at reviews trying to find a great doctor that would LISTEN to me.  Someone who could help me figure out what was wrong with me.  I found an amazing doctor, who I believe I was meant to have.  He is not a thyroid specialist but is actually an allergist (which ended up being a huge blessing in disguise).  I decided to meet with him since he had some great reviews online from patients who had trouble getting diagnosed with hypothyroidism who claimed to be having great success with his treatment.  So in December of last year I finally was able to meet with him.

He listened to everything I had to say and spent a lot of time talking with me and asking me more questions.  He ordered all sorts of tests instead of the normal thyroid tests and actually tested my thyroid hormones instead of just my TSH levels, which is all my other doctors had ever done. He wanted to see what was actually going on with my thyroid because of all the symptoms I did have.

Well, it turns out that I was on the high end of “normal” and that…yes indeed my thyroid was not functioning properly.  He immediately diagnosed me with hypothyroidism and told me I also was suffering from a severe vitamin D deficiency.  He immediately started me on Armor Thyroid.  I shared more about that initial diagnosis with you in an earlier post about my hypothroidism here.


(before Thyroid medication)

Well, my diagnosis and taking the Armour Thyroid, of my hypothyroid symptoms have gotten so much better.  I haven’t taken a nap since last January! My hair stopped falling out and I felt like I was getting back to normal…Finally!  We have made several adjustments got me on a dosage that seemed to be the right amount.  It took about 6 months.

However, I hadn’t lost a single pound but I haven’t gained any weight either.  I was waiting for my body to regain it’s balance and expected that I would start being able to drop weight again when my body caught up.

But I started to have people ask me if I had lost weight.  After looking at pictures of myself before and after the medication, I realized that it my face was loosing it puffiness.  My face was most definitely thinner and therefore I looked like I had lost weight.

amy 1_edited-1amy

(after Thyroid medication and same weight)

There was one symptom that I couldn’t seem to get any relief from.  My constipation actually started to get worse.  Much worse.  And then I started having a little bit of night-time bloating.  It continued to get worse despite my best eating efforts.  I felt swollen everywhere.  Gah!  I kept saying to my mom and husband, that my abdomen felt puffy and swollen.  It was different than weight gain and it was only around my mid-section.  At night I looked like I was 8 months pregnant.  Not. even. kidding.  I was trying to eat so great.  I had cut out most sugar and running a ton and I still could not lose ONE single pound.  Not one!

This was right at the same time that I was training for my 2nd half marathon this past summer.  Was I overdoing it?  Was I stretched too thin?  Was it stress?  I didn’t feel like it was.  Running actually made me feel better and helped relieve some of my symptoms. But I knew something else was wrong this time.  It was different than my thyroid symptoms.  I was so frustrated because I was FINALLY feeling like I was getting back to my normal self.

(August 2012)

So, I shared my new concerns with my awesome doctor (who is a trained allergist) and he decided he wanted to do some food allergy tests.  I went in on December 21, 2012 and was tested for 17 of the most common food allergies.  I was SHOCKED to find out that I had 7 major food allergies/food intolerances.  The normally 3-hour test took over 4 hours because they had to keep neutralizing my reactions.

I had the greatest reaction to corn and tomatoes, and also found allergies to soy, wheat, yeast, peanuts and milk.  Say what???  SHOCKED!!

allergy test 3allergy testallergy test 2

But…at the same time…I felt vindicated.  So many explanations for all my crazy symptoms.  And?  I wasn’t crazy.  Maybe, just maybe there is an answer and a solution now.  So…I am currently embarking on a HUGE elimination diet.

I was really overwhelmed as I began the diet.  How was I going to do this?  Pretty much everything I was eating I was allergic too.  This was going to be an entire lifestyle change.

As the year was ending, I began going through some major food withdrawl, which I had been told to expect. I was so sick and couldn’t sleep. And I was angry. I spent over two hours searching the aisles of the grocery store for something I COULD eat and there wasn’t much.

So I started to think about what I could eat.  I can eat chicken, meat, fish, fruits and veggies (except for tomatoes), rice and oats.  I had several people suggest looking into the Paleo diet since it was pretty similar to what I needed to be eating with a few personal adjustments.  But everything I eat has to be clean.  No sauces, or packaged foods or prepared foods.  It is time to get to the basics.  I can’t eat gluten free items because they are usually filled with corn and soy to replace the wheat.

So we are in a lifestyle change here.  I am currently still making healthy meals for my family like I normally would and then making something for me on the side.  I have been eating about 5-6 small meals during the day instead of eating 3 large meals.  I have found this works best to keep me feeling more full.

I am not going to lie.  At first I was simply overwhelmed and in shock.  I felt really sad, but also felt a bit vindicated.  But as the holidays set in with the food and the parties I was angry.  Haha!  I couldn’t eat my Grandma’s Fudge (which I did sneak a little bit).  Our culture is so tied into food and I was beginning to realize just how difficult this new lifestyle was going to be.  It was going to be a life changing event for me and my family.

But, I feel like I am at the point where I can actually talk about it and be okay with it.  I can see now what a blessing in disquise this is going to be.  I never ate terribly unhealthy and I have always been a runner.  But I can already feel a difference in my body.  My bloating has gone way down.  I actually look like I have a waist again.  And I feel less puffy.  My jeans even feel different on the last three days!  I had a few days last week where I felt so great that I noticed it.  And then it made me realize just how yucky I have been feeling.  It happened so gradually that I didn’t realize just how sick I really was.

So the plan is to go off all the no no foods completely.  Let my intestines heal from a state of chronic inflammation which could take from several months to a year or two.  Then I can start to add foods back into my life one at a time and see how my body reacts.  Right now I am not thinking about the adding them back.  I am trying to embrace my new lifestyle.  I am optimistic and am looking forward to feeling better and maybe finally getting my life back.  I have taken a little break from running which I do each year at this time but am ready to get back into it with some new found energy!

I just felt like I needed to share this with you since I have met so many women who are dealing with similar issues.  Get checked!  And be sure to keep looking for answers.  And I would love some awesome new recipes if any of you have any that fit my needs!  I am dying for some yummy food again! xoxo

p.s.  Let’s not be repinning my puffy face pictures :)…just kidding! haha!!

Bringing Home Baby- Helping Older Children Adjust

It’s time once again for Heather Johnson from Family Volley to share with us some Parenting Tips as part of her “Parenting Tips” here on The Idea Room. Here’s Heather in her own words…


Summer is upon us. Time for weddings and babies.

There is great joy in bringing home a new baby, but it can also be an adjustment phase for older siblings who might feel resentment and/or jealousy. They might even feel a little anger as they struggle to figure out their new place in the ever changing family dynamic.

An older sibling’s biggest concern is that there just won’t be enough love for them, with a new baby in the house.

As parents there are some things we can do to help create a smooth transition for our family and the new baby. 

1. Talk about what will NOT change.

Even though we know that things will change, it is important to talk to older children about what will stay the same. Kids like predictability. It makes them feel safe and secure. If they think the new baby will make everything in your family “different”, they won’t be very excited about the new baby.

2. Focus on their role as a big sibling.

Talk to your older children about how they will be great big brothers and sisters. Be smart about it though. Getting our older kids excited about things the baby can’t do until they are 5 (like playing tag), will create false hopes.

3. Don’t blame the baby.

We shouldn’t say “we can’t go ______ because of the baby.” This will teach our children to resent the new baby because he/she is keeping them from what they want, and changing how you would normally do things. Leave the baby out of it.

4. Let your children help make decisions.

There are lots of little decisions that your older children can make and do so they feel they are apart. They could choose some new clothes for the baby, or make decisions about the paint colors for the nursery. Have your kids make artwork and then frame it for the babies room. I even have some friends who let their kids help choose the babies name. One friend lets her children choose the baby’s middle name. What ever it is, involve siblings in making meaningful decisions when you are preparing for a new baby. When kids get to make decisions, they feel ownership and that they are included.

We have a really fun way we include our children when we have a new baby. We give each of them their own disposable camera and put them in charge of being the photographers. It makes them feel important and they have so much fun taking pictures at the hospital and after we bring the baby home. We make a big deal of developing the pictures and spend time as a family sitting down to look at all the memories they captured.

Once you bring the baby home…

Stick to your routine.

Remember that kids like things to be predictable. Try to keep things after the baby, the same as they were before the baby arrived. How? Think about the parts of your day and activities that mean the most to your children and do your best to make sure those things don’t change.

Control the Celebration.

It is normal to be excited about the new baby. But older siblings will start to resent the new addition if the constant cootchy-cooing makes them feel left out. Continue to pay attention to your older children and ask that family and friends do the same. I have a dear friend who always drops off dinner when we have a new baby. When she comes, instead of rushing to the new baby, she brings a small treat for our other kids and talks to them first. She congratulates them on being big brother/sister’s. It always makes them feel special.

Don’t make the baby off limits.

This one is always hard for me. Between post pregnancy hormones and lack of sleep, I catch myself wanting the kids to keep their distance from the new baby. But, we should work hard to let our kids be involved in the experience, and not make the baby off limits to our older children.

Have them read stories and sing to the baby. They can choose what the baby is going to wear and round up necessaries for the diaper bag. When we had our second child, I included our son who was 2 at the time, to do everything with us. He helped me bathe her by pouring water on her feet, he read stories to us as I nursed her, and made smiley faces at her when I dressed her. There are so many things our kids can do to help, and they will be much better behaved if we include them instead of shoo-ing them away.

Plan one-on-one time.

Spending one-on-one time with each of our children individually is one of the best ways to make the transition smooth. 15 minutes of individual time a day. As simple as this sounds, a new baby, new responsibilities and not a lot of sleep can make this simple suggestion sound impossible. Do all in your power to make it a priority. Take time to show older children pictures of when they were young. Watch home videos of them as babies. Talk about how cute they were and what a special time it was when they were babies. Go get a special treat and talk, visit the library, play ball, read to them, draw together. Show them Love. Remember, love is spelled T-I-M-E.

Take some time pre-baby to think about the ways you can prepare your older children. When the baby arrives and your mind has been taken over by sleeplessness and hormones, the transition will be one less thing to worry about.

Do you have a baby on the way? When are you due?

Have any of your children struggled with jealousy towards a new addition?



Happy Mother’s Day

I just wanted to take a moment and wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day and share with you some photos of the amazing women in my life. These women have and continue to be examples of beauty and service to me.  I have been blessed to be surrounded by women who are quiet, yet strong examples of what Motherhood is all about.


*from theidearoom on instagram

My Mother

Each of these women have all had their own unique challenges, some large, some small, some whose burdens have been known to others and some who have had struggles known only to them while carried deeply within their own hearts.

But they each have been and continue to be examples of courage and strength by the way they live and have lived their lives.


My Mother and Grandmother

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."

–M. Russell Ballard “Daughters of God,” Ensign, May 2008, 108–10


On my blessing day.

My Mother, Her Mother on the left and my Dad’s Mother on the right.

I truly believe that women have the ability to love many children and friends as she would love her own physical flesh and blood.  And that Mother’s come in all shapes and sizes.  Some have their own children by birth, some love and raise children that are born from another, some have mother hearts to others around them, and some mothers have empty arms where children should be.  Regardless, we are all women who are striving to raise generations of happy and beautiful children.



Motherhood is challenging.  It is a 24 hour a day job that can be physically, emotionally and spiritually demanding.  We women should be building each other up, supporting each other and cheering the other on as we try to Mother in our own and unique ways.

I am so grateful for the women who are teaching me how to Mother my own children. And I am grateful for the women who love my children as their own….aunts, grandma’s, neighbors, teachers, leaders, and my dear friends.

Here’s to wishing all of you a Happy Mother’s Day.  I hope you are able to spend it with your loved ones.  And if not, that you are able to reflect on the great blessings that those women have brought into your life.

Teaching Children a Little R-E-S-P-E-C-T

It’s time once again for Heather Johnson from Family Volley to share with us some Parenting Tips as part of her “Parenting Tips” here on The Idea Room. Here’s Heather in her own words…


A few weeks ago I was teaching a group of about 40 women. We were talking about the changes they have seen over the course of their lives. They talked about milk men and ice boxes, outhouses and telephone operators. Amongst the comments there was one common theme. Every comment also included “kids have changed, they are so disrespectful these days”.

There is a pretty strong argument, from many people that kids now-a-days, are very disrespectful. Gone are the days of Beaver Cleaver with all of his “thank you’s” and “yes ma’ams”. Instead there seems to be a lack of respect and a sense of entitlement and expectation. 

As parents, it is our job to help our children learn Respect. We need to start young and not only teach them, but show them with OUR own actions. 

Here are 8 suggestions for helping our children develop lifelong respect for things and people and life in general. 

First, we have to start with ourselves and Be Good Role Models
Children will do what they see us do. We can’t be disrespectful. 

We need to model the behavior we want to see in our children. Respect our belongings, be patient and open minded with others, and listen with full attention.

Expect Good Manners

Don’t let children think that manners are optional or temporary.

Expect good manners in all situations. When children are young, remind them to say “please” and “thank you”. Help and teach children the importance of writing thank-you notes. When you are going somewhere, be sure you remind them what you expect in the upcoming situation and how they should act. It will take constant cues on your part, but soon, it will become natural and your children will remember on their own. Make it clear that bad manners will not be tolerated and be sure you enforce the consequences. Even if it means leaving the restaurant or get-together. When good manners are demonstrated, make sure there is lots of praise. Not just “good job”. Explain to your children why the good manners are important and what their respect means to the people around them.  

Don’t Tolerate Rudeness
When we allow our children to be rude, talk back, or talk snotty, we lead them to believe it’s okay to disrespect us and other people too. As parents we need to respond to this behavior. We need to make it clear that no matter how frustrated or annoyed our children may be, it is never okay to speak to other people in those tones. 
Encourage your kids to express their feelings, using statement that start with “I”. “I feel angry and frustrated”. “I feel mad”. Encourage them to put their feelings into words by asking them questions. When our son is making sarcastic comments, I find myself saying “you seem upset, let’s talk about it”. It will take time for your kids to learn to express their emotions instead of being rude, but it will work. When they slip up, teach them the importance of saying “I am sorry”.

Respect Belongings
Don’t let children disrespect belongings.

As parents, and grandparents, we need to be cautious with the amount of toys and things we give our kids. Too many things and they will not appreciate what they have. 
When kids disrespect their toys, don’t rush out and replace them. It is okay to explain that they have one firetruck and they need to take care of it or they won’t have a fire truck anymore. Explain the worth of belongings. When our daughter went through a phase of ruining her older siblings pictures, it wasn’t more reprimanding that she needed. Instead I talked to her about the time that went into making the picture and that it was special. It hurts feelings when we ruin other’s special things. Talk to your children about how they would feel if someone ruined their picture. 
Make the rules clear. When my girls want to smell my perfumes, they know I have to get them out. They have to be sitting down to hold them, and they can’t push the buttons. It teaches them to respect my belongings. 

Teach Your Children to Listen

One of the most fundamental ways to show respect to other people is to listen to them. That means giving them our time and attention. Don’t let your kids watch television while you are trying to talk to them…or keep their head down in their books, coloring, or looking at the floor. 

Remove distractions by turning off the T.V. and putting down what they are doing. Expect them to look you in the eye and give you their attention. This means we have to do the same when our children are talking to us. Another key concept to teach, wait your turn to talk and don’t interrupt others when they are talking. We are always working on this in our home. Especially when my husband and I are talking. We have had to work really hard to teach our kids to wait until we are done talking to each other, then it is their turn. 

Diversity Makes the World go Around

Children are very quick to point our differences. Every one of our children has turned me red faced at least once in a pubic place when they have pointed out someone who looks different. My first reaction is to quickly “shush” them. 
We need to explain that we are all different and that is not a bad thing. It is a good thing. When you encounter new people, explain that there are differences AND similarities. We dont have to forgo our values. There are choices that other people make that are not acceptable in our home. That is fine, but that doesn’t mean that we are judgmental or rude. To raise children who accept diversity we have to expose our children to different cultures and traditions. Start by letting them try different foods and learning about different cultures.  

Encourage Your Children to be Open Minded
Treating others with respect means that we take some time to get to know them and understand them. This is a principle we have to teach our children. They might not like all the other kids, but they need to give them a chance. 
Encourage your children to get to know someone new and find out what they have in common. If after time they conclude they have nothing in common, teach them that they still deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. We have had to do this with our daughter. She went through a phase in Kindergarten where she clung to one or two kids and had a tough time giving other classmates a chance. We gave her a challenge to play with a new person in her class every week. It made a huge difference. It has taught her to be much more open minded, respectful, and accepting to all people.

Lastly, Rules are important
Don’t allow children to do what ever they want.
Instead…Set boundaries. Believe it or not, children want rules and boundaries. This will help children learn to
 respect authority and that the world doesn’t revolve around them. This is a skill they will need in everything they do. 


.Set the rules
.Talk about why the rules matter
.Explain the consequences for breaking the rules.
.Be strong enough to follow through with the consequences. 

Helping our children develop RESPECT will not only help them in society, but our homes will be more pleasant too. 


Anatomy of a Great Date

It’s time once again for HeatherJohnson from Family Volley to share with us some Parenting Tips as part of her “Parenting Tips” here on The Idea Room. Here’s Heather in her own words…


Research suggests that married couples should go on a date at least every two weeks. The LDS church admonishes that couples should go on a date every week.

You don’t have to tell me how hard this is. I know. Impossible it seems. As married couples we start to trick ourselves. We think that just because we live together and sleep together every night that we don’t need to go on dates. It is because we live and sleep together that we do need to go on dates. We might have lots of time together with our spouses, but it is not special time.

Dates involve getting away from the routine and doing something together for the purpose of feeling–not just living–close.

There are three main ingredients to consider for a great date.

  • Privacy
  • Enjoyment
  • Conversation.

Going out with other couples is fun, but we need time as a two-some. Otherwise we forget how to talk with one another and being alone can become awkward and embarrassing. Funny, when we were dating, sitting across from each other in a restaurant wasn’t awkward. Privacy also gives us the chance to hold hands, show affection, and look into each other’s eyes again.

The date needs to be enjoyable, for both partners. This doesn’t mean that we have to like all the same things as our spouse. But remember, chick flicks for every date won’t cut it either. (That is unless your hubby loves chick flicks too).

A great way to approach date planning, take turns. One week you plan, the next week your spouse plans. The only condition is that when it is not your week, you participate with a good attitude and a willing heart. You both have to be ready to do whatever is planned. Even better, instead of always choosing activities you are used to and like, choose new activities. Try different things together. That way you are not doing “his” activity or “her” activity. Instead you are establishing “our” activities. You could even make the rule that ever other time you choose, it has to be something new.

Rushing to a movie and then home doesn’t count. Same for bike rides if you never stop to talk. These are great activities and we should be doing them with our spouses, but we need to mix them with meaningful time together also.

Date conversation works best when we leave tension and conflict out. It is possible to put troublesome topics aside for a few hours and just enjoy each other.

It is also okay to talk about things other than the kids too. I know for my husband and I, when we go on a date, the first thing we start to talk about are the kids. After a few minutes we realize what we are doing and try to talk about something else.

If you have not been dating your spouse, conversation might be hard at first. Try thinking ahead, like if you were going out on a date with someone you were just getting to know. Come prepared with different conversation starters. Here are some conversation starters that can help.

It is worth the sacrifices we have to make, to find time to date our spouse. Don’t think about dates as expensive. Money isn’t necessary to connect us. Instead, think of ways that you can reconnect by having privacy, enjoyment and conversation with your spouse. Plan activities that fulfill those three requirements. Go for a walk and hold hands, lay out a blanket in the front room and have an indoor picnic at home once the kids are asleep, trade babysitting services with another couple every other week so you don’t have to pay for a sitter. Do what ever it takes to spend time together. We will quickly realize that dates will recharge our Marital Battery. They bring us closer together and strengthen our relationship. It is that strength that will help us get through the challenges that our families will face. It is that strength that reminds us why we married our spouse in the first place.

What is your favorite date to go on with your spouse? Let’s share some ideas.
When was the last time you went on a date with your spouse? 
Are your dates filled with privacy, enjoyment and conversation?

Hair Tool Storage Cabinet

I FINALLY got a second to sit down and write up this post.  Sorry to leave you hanging about what exactly was hidden behind this Bathroom Towel Rack Cabinet door.  Many of you guessed there was a laundry chute inside.  Oh how awesome that would be…I had one growing up in my parents house and though we DID use it for laundry, it was also used by us kids for many other devious purposes…hehe!  But, unfortunately my laundry room is on the opposite end of the house so it would have to be quite the chute to get the laundry to the laundry room and I am sure that more than just a sock might get lost in there.


So, the next best option for me was to create my very own personal Hair tool Storage Cabinet.  I do love my curling iron…when I actually don’t have my hair in a pony tail *ahem*!  And…I have three girls…enough said!

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So that means I spend a little bit of time doing hair on Sunday mornings and before school (when they cooperate). And even though my girls have THEIR OWN bathroom, they tend to gather in our Master Bathroom. Can any of you relate?

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We simply made a “box” that contained three sides.  We left one side off the back so that we could tuck all the cords behind it to keep them from being seen all strewn about in the cabinet.  We also left a small gap in the back so that the cords could fall down behind the box shelf.

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Then we placed the box into the bottom of the cabinet.  This becomes the base that we screwed the hair tool station onto.

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We ordered this hair organizing station online.

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Directly behind our customized towel rack, was an electrical outlet.  We wanted to be able to utilize this without having the electrical cords showing so we did what any normal person would do…

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We took (and by we…I mean “the hunky Mr. Idea Room”) drilled some holes in the back of the cabinet so that we could cut out the cabinet directly where the electrical outlet was.

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After the 4 “pilot” holes were drilled Mr. Idea Room took his jigsaw and cut out a small rectangle to expose the outlet to the inside of the cabinet.  Then we placed our electrical strip inside so we had plenty of spots for all of our hair appliances.

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I LOVE it!  I love being able to turn on the curling iron or flat iron and let them heat up and not be cluttering up the counter top.  They are hidden AND out of the way.  Just the way this momma likes to have things that she uses on a daily basis. 

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Maybe it will help with the clutter…Haha…Here’s to hoping!

And…to answer your questions…you can find all of the following here:

Update Builder Grade Cabinets with finial feet.

Painting Bathroom cabinets white tutorial.

The yellow rug was painted by me…Painted Rug tutorial!

DIY Trumeau Mirror (not pictured)

Framed in Builder’s Grade Mirror

Original Customized Towel Rack post.

Towels are from Anhropologie.

Hair Appliance Tool Holder purchased here.


What do you think? If you had a cabinet like this what would you like to store in there?

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Mr. and Mrs. Sign

Learn how I made this Mr. and Mrs. sign…

So…as some of you may know…if you follow The Idea Room FB page, that I have been painting and sprucing up our Master Bedroom which has been the same since we first moved into our home almost 9 years ago. And for me, who grew up rearranging her bedroom every few months, that is a LONG time with no change.  With the new paint color, we had to get a couple of new décor items.  I thought it would be fun to make a sign that was unique to our wedding date.

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I was inspired by a wedding photo I saw where the bride and groom were each holding their respective signs.  I knew I wanted to use some weathered wood and had the perfect wood to use.  We “inherited” this old beat up garden swing when we moved into our home from the previous owners.  It was broken but I always had plans to fix it up and use it.  But it never happened.  We had slated it for the garbage man and the morning it was to be hauled off I knew I had to rescue it.  So before my husband left for work he rescued it out of the garbage can.  Phew…disaster averted.

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We cut the wood off the swing using a reciprocating saw.  Then I took 3 of the wood planks and glued them together with some left over wood scraps on the back. 

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Then using my new Silhouette Cameo machine, I cut some vinyl for the Mr. and Mrs. using the ChopinScript font.


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Carefully add the vinyl lettering to your sign.

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Then, I added a thin coat of Mod Podge (Matte finish) to the sign.  I did this because the paint was peeling off.  I did not want to lose any more of the paint or have it shed in my room.  I also wanted to keep it just the way it was.

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I really like the personal touch it gives our Master Bedroom.  And I have a few more pieces of the weathered wood that I hope to find some fun projects for.

Linking up here:

The Shabby Creek Cottage


Let’s have a little chat…

…shall we?

I often get emails from readers wondering how I do it all. Or wondering if everything at my home is as perfect as it seems from the outside. So I thought we could sit down and have a heart to heart. I would like to address this with you so that I am not giving off the wrong impression as it is not my intention to seem like my side of the grass is greener.  My life is not perfect nor am I…

I do try to have a positive outlook on life and feel like that most of the time I am blessed to have that perspective. I believe that a lot of it stems from my upbringing, my mother and my religious beliefs.  And, the truth is that my life has its ups and downs just like everyone else. My family and our extended family has their own unique issues, and problems…whose family doesn’t?


I definitely have moments where I worry about the kind of mother I am, am I doing things right?  Am I making the right choices?  Am I doing enough?  Am I doing too much?  I believe every woman, mother or not, has those moments.  I think that is normal and healthy.  And I believe that it is important as women that we try to join together and uplift each other where we can. 

It is so important to support each other in our efforts while raising these future generations.  It is a lot of hard work and we need to be kind, loving and accepting of each other despite some differences we may have.

This blog has been and continues to be a place for me to share the good things in my life. I love to share the things that inspire me in hopes that it will inspire others…and YOU! So I choose not to always share the not so inspiring moments. And you need to know that even though I choose not to share them here in this forum, does not mean that they don’t exist in my life.

EVERYONE has a story.

The world is full of criticism, judgement and negativity. We get enough of it.  It is all around us. 

I felt a strong compulsion to start this blog and create my own little positive space in the world.   A place that I enjoy coming to and interacting you amazing women.  Women with whom I share common likes and interests.  Women whom I would have never had the opportunity to “meet” otherwise.

I have pinned the following quote onto the bulletin board in my craft room–

The world has enough women who are tough;

we need women who are tender.

There are enough women who are coarse;

we need women who are kind.

There are enough women who are rude;

we need women who are refined.

We have enough women of fame and fortune;

we need more women of faith.

We have enough greed;

we need more goodness.

We have enough vanity;

we need more virtue.

We have enough popularity;

we need more purity.

-Margaret D. Nadauld

I love this! And I believe it is so true.

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So, I just wanted to share with you some of my thoughts about this. Everyone carries their own personal problems, hurts, worry’s, fears and concerns. These may be public knowledge or known only to you…due to their nature.

As women, we all have the same basic wants and needs.  A need to be loved and understood.  And a need to live a life of value. And though, I am not oblivious to the negative that is out there, I just choose to focus on the positive. 

Thanks so much for all your amazing support and kind comments.  I truly love my readers and coming here to share the things that inspire me.  I still find it hard to believe that there are so many of you out there who are checking in to see what I have to say.  I mean…who are you people Smile?  Haha!  Know that I truly appreciate you and love to hear and see the things you are doing as well.  And though my time and my ability to visit your sites and comment back to you becomes more and more limited, I want you to know that I read and value each and every comment and email you send.  You have and continue to be a blessing in my life.

Okay then…that was a good chat right?  Thanks for listening…

What do YOU think?


Celebrate Their Differences

It’s time once again for Heather from Family Volley to share with us some Parenting Tips as part of her “Parenting Tips Series with Heather Johnson” here on The Idea Room. Here’s Heather in her own words…


They might look alike, but that is where the similarities end.

Last night I couldn’t sleep. This is strange, given that I am up every two and a half hours nursing our 4 month old. At this point of new-born-ness I am so tired I can barely remember what day of the week it is. 

It didn’t take long for my husband to sense my restlessness and wake up. 

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“I can’t stop thinking about the kids.” I said.

The two of us spent the next two hours talking about each of our children. Not as a collective group, but as individuals. They are growing. We are entering uncharted territory. I worry.

We started with our new baby. At just a few months old her needs are pretty straight forward and her personality is “pending.” Then we worked our way up to our oldest. With each child we continued to realize that even though they come from the same gene pool, they are very different. What worked with our son when he was 7, doesn’t work with our almost 7 year old daughter. Each child is unique.

They have their own struggles and temptations.
They have their own strengths and weaknesses.
They have their own understandings and confusions.
They have their own hopes and dreams.

They need attention in different ways, and they need us to recognize them for different things.

They need to be loved the same but different.

As parents, for us to be successful, we continue to realize how individual our actions need to be. Lumping our kids together means we are missing out on what they need and how they need it.

Being a parent is tricky. Developing an ability to see what our family needs as a whole, while seeing each individual family member as an individual takes work, and faith, and patience. It takes discernment and insight.

It takes a lot of those late night, long conversations where you think and think and pour your heart out about your kids.

You see yourself in each of them. Good and bad. You want to spare them pain, but you want them to have experiences.

More than anything, you want them to be happy, to know who they are, what they believe in, and that you love them more than words can ever, ever begin to describe.

You want them to know that you love their differences as much as their similarities.


Figuring out how to do this will be different for each of us, but there are a few things we can all do to help us parent individually.

Figure out how your child feels loved: For our son, love is spelled l-i-s-t-e-n. For our daughter it is spelled p-l-a-y. w-i-t-h. m-e. o-u-t-s-i-d-e.
Be Flexible: Just because it worked with the first child, doesn’t mean it will for the second. Don’t force things, be flexible and give your child what they need, not what you want.
Don’t compare: Pitting our kids against each other and comparing them will not help us or our kids. They are different. Accept that and steer clear of comparing them to one another, especially in front of them.
Stop Multitasking: Don’t try to make dinner, talk on the phone, and listen to your son tell you about his day. One thing at a time. Kids first.
Put yourself on their level, literally: If that means you need to sit on the floor, then have a seat.
Simplify: Don’t let our lives be so busy we can’t be with our kids.
Seize the moment: It is now or never. Our kids need us now. Not when things are less busy. They will never be less busy.
Observe: Instead of rushing around our kids, sit back and watch them. What makes them happy? When do they laugh? When do they show frustration?
Make individual time: Spend one-on-on time with each child. Even if it is just 30 minutes. They are different when they are alone. They will talk and open up. We will learn all about them.
Play with them: If they are teenagers, “hang out.”
Look and Listen: Look into their eyes and hear every word.
Celebrate the differences.WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT YOUR KIDS?
Have a question or just want to say hello.
Thanks so much Heather! I love that advice.  In today’s busy world,
I know we can all find a few tips to follow from your article!

I’d like to take just a minute and introduce you to The Idea Room’s latest sponsor…Home Talk.

Home Talk is a FREE online home improvement community that can answer all your home improvement questions.


This is a great resource for helping you with your home improvement, home remodeling, or home repair questions and concerns.  A place you can go to get real answers from real people and from Home improvement and design professionals.  Home talk can also be used to get questions you may have about gardening and lawn care.   It is like having a group of homecare professionals right on hand to help you along with all your projects.  You can also upload your own photos and share your tips and advice for certain home projects that you have had great success with to help others who may want to accomplish something similar.

Head on over and check it out for yourself.  And stay tuned because we have a fun giveaway coming up here soon sponsored by Home Talk.

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