Bug off! Non-toxic home pest control

It’s that time again! The end-of-summer showers have arrived, bringing with them lots of humidity loving… BUGS. Yep, just when you think school’s back in session and you are solidly on the way to a pumpkin spice latte, the summer heat and showers hang around and make it feel like these bugs are here to stay FOREVER.

macro photography of brown beetle with dew drops

Ok, ok, I exaggerate. But here, near the water, I feel like we’ve had more than our fair share of creepy crawlers this year, and  kid-friendly, non-toxic methods to deal with these seasonal pests is something that I find moms ask me about ALL the time. And I’m all for supporting eco-systems and letting bugs do their thing outside, but when they come inside on repeat?! Whole lotta NOPE.

So, when the little crawlers have you creeping, or shall I say “bugging out”?? (Who’s got mom jokes??) Have no fear, we got you. And as moms, we are particular. We want bugs out, but no toxic pesticides in either. Here are our go-to (and I don’t know if I can say stylish in this arena… but not-totally-smelly-and-disgusting-looking in the very least) methods for kid-safe/pet-safe indoor pest control to keep the summer bugs at bay.

apples assorted bananas bowl

The offender: Fruit Flies

Look. I love a beautifully arranged fresh bowl of produce as much as the next guy, but the GD fruit flies are really cramping my style. I am absolutely certain that every time I reach for a lime, those little suckers have multiplied. But homemade methods for trapping fruit flies can seem borderline sadistic. You know, the mashed-up fruit with the funnel in a cup trick? And the sticky paper?! No. The solution shouldn’t be more disgusting than the problem, people! Enter the saviors at Garden Supply Co. with this little beauty, pictured below.

fruit fly trap

This actually nice-to-look-at soapstone dish comes with two odorless bait inserts that lure in fruit flies and trap them. And it works. Like within days, you’re done. (Maybe the best part, even when emptying, the flies are OUT OF SIGHT!! Yes!) You can leave the simple, clean, soapstone container out on your counter preventatively and no one gets fruit flies in their wine. Win.

shallow focus photography of couple ants holding book figurine
I want to think of them being cute.  I just… can’t.

The offender: Ants, Spiders (and other crawly friends)

I really just can’t even list the names of all the summer crawlies. But thankfully, I don’t have to, because there is a natural, non-toxic solution that works on all of them called Diatomaceous Earth (DE). DE can be used indoors or outdoors, and deters ants, spiders and the like. It is made of the fossilized remains of phytoplankton (yes, REALLY!) and is completely odorless and about as worry-free as it gets. It’s harmless even if baby gets some in her MOUTH. (Little known fact: Humans actually can and do eat DE, as often farmers sprinkle DE in and around their grain to keep the bugs out of the grain.)

To use, sprinkle the powder where you think the little critters are coming in (vacuum excess if using indoors) and let this stuff do its magic. It takes a couple days, but we saw a drastic decrease in our stubborn sugar ants pretty quickly. For more information on DE and how it works, check out this article from SFGate.

toy fly on white graphing paper

The Offender: House Flies

Oh my flipping word… if another fly buzzes past my head at a summer meal!! Am I right?! Ugh, let’s just say I struggle to find the redeeming qualities of house-flies when the sight of them inevitably reminds me that they probably sat on poo before they sat on my kid’s sandwich. Every.single.time.

Common solutions to flies are often ineffective, smelly, loud, or visually pretty gross. Think fly-zappers, smelly traps, and yet again, the sticky paper. Why the sticky paper!? I don’t want to look at live flies, but I also don’t want to see them stuck to my wall. Instead, here are some quiet (maybe even interesting) and non-toxic solutions we use in my house.

fly trap

Venus Fly Trap

For real. You can get a plant that will eat your house fly problem. OK, carnivorous plants are basically just cool.  While interesting (and maybe fun in an odd way?) and happy to digest any victims of the fly-swatter, our Venus Fly Trap wasn’t up to the job of actually ridding our residence of flies. (Side note: did you know venus fly traps are actually native to the Carolinas?! They originally grew wild in boggy areas of North and South Carolina, gobbling up swamp bugs! Sorry, I digress. But really, that is cool.)

Indoor Silent UV trappers

UV light trappers are not new, but the quiet, indoor models are. (Trust me, this is not the porch zapper of our childhood.)

fly catcher

I love this method because it emits ZERO chemicals into our home and the clean, non-offensive look of this trap (pictured above) in particular that comes with a lot of solid consumer reviews, makes for a tidy and non-toxic but effective fly-catcher. (Works for mosquitoes too!)

white and purple flower plant on brown wooden surface

Whole home: Essential Oils

Another method for cleansing your home of pests is essential oils. While they won’t trap or rid your home of infestations, they will smell nice, and have a deterrent effect that can help keep pests out instead of drawing them in. Some great scents to try include Rosemary, Citronella, Lavender, and Tea Tree oil. Always diffuse with care and according to instructions.

Try a drop of each in a carrier oil such as ghee butter, olive, grapeseed, coconut, or avocado oil. Rub it all over as a deterrent. If you wish to diffuse it, grab a diffuser from any health food store (don’t make it expensive) and place 3-6 drops of each oil each in your blend if you are relaxing outside.

When in doubt: go with Hollywood. Honestly, the best pest deterrent is pure garlic oil. Crush a clove or two….or three… You’ll have to bathe after, but you won’t have West Nile. (Or vampires.) I’m just sayin’.

Wishing you a pest-free weekend and a fresh, clean home! I’ll be here, doing my no-fruit-fly happy dance. From my fruit-bowl to yours, you’re welcome.

 

fullsizeoutput_658Christiana is a Navy wife and mother of 3, attorney and former realtor, world traveler, home renovator and decorator, yogi, fitness enthusiast, and fly-swatting ninja.

Photo credit: Tara Liebeck Photography

Zucchini Mania

Anyone else getting overloaded with some zucchini this time of year??

Image result for zucchini hunting season

Here are 2 recipes to add to your arsenal of zucchini disposal – bonus, my kids love both!!

Lemon Zucchini Cake

This recipe and gorgeous photo above are from Mom On Time Out Blog with a couple very slight tweaks – a little less sugar, used divided, and I used unsweetened macadamia milk and butter instead of almond milk and olive oil. She has a ton of awesome zucchini recipes – definitely check her out!

Ingredients
  • 1 cup granulated sugar – divided
  • 6 Tbsp melted and slightly cooled butter
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened vanilla macadamia milk (I like Milkadamia)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 2 cups cake flour (can substitute AP flour following directions here)
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1½ cup shredded zucchini, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the sugar and toss in a mesh strainer. After prepping rest of above, squeeze excess liquid out.
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
Glaze (optional)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Spray a loaf pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside. Prep zucchini. I like to cheat and use the food processor for shredding.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3/4C sugar and butter. Whisk to combine.
  5. Add eggs and macadamia milk and whisk together.
  6. Add lemon juice and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  7. Add flour mixture and stir just until incorporated.
  8. Fold in zucchini and lemon zest.
  9. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. The top of the cake should look dry.
  10. Place the loaf on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Use the parchment paper to carefully life the cake from the pan. Let cool completely on rack.
Glaze
  1. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Drizzle the glaze over the cake.
  3. Slice and serve.
  • Still have more??
  • Triple Chocolate Zucchini Muffincakes

    These are my stand-by “get kids excited about something with zucchini in them” food. I think, hand to God, these are more delicious than regular chocolate muffins without the green stuff. The chocolate is in cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips and then optional ganache frosting and the zucchini makes these more decadent than a muffin but also healthier than a cupcake…. so I call ’em muffincakes.

    Makes 12 regular and 12 mini muffincakes

    • 1 C All purpose flour + 1/2 C whole wheat flour (optional substitute gluten free flour – works great in these
    • 1/2 C cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp cinnamon (also optional)
    • 2 tsp coffee granules (if you don’t have, sub 2TBS strong coffee into wet ingredients)
    • 1/2 C melted butter or coconut oil
    • 2/3 C sugar (divided)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 2C grated zucchini – sprinkle with a handful of the sugar and toss in a mesh strainer. After prepping rest of above, squeeze excess liquid out.
    • 1 C dark chocolate chips ( I like Guittard)

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare muffin tins by spraying with coconut oil or lining with cups.
    2. In medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients (flour through coffee granules)
    3. In mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and then vanilla. Stir in zucchini.
    4. Mix dry into wet in a few portions until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips and pour batter into muffin tin.
    5. Bake at 350F. 10-12 min for minis and 15-17 min for regulars.

    Optional Ganache

    • 1 C dark chocolate chips
    • 1/2 C heavy cream or coconut cream

    Heat together on stovetop or in microwave at 20 second intervals until chocolate is soft and can be stirred to smooth, melted heaven. Spread on cooled muffincakes. Indulge.

    Messy kitchen + happy kiddos + healthy treats = a win in my book!

    xoxo Dr. Annie

    Friday Faves: Rainy day “bored games”

    If you’re like many of us East Coasters here lately, there are only so many interesting muddy puddles to be found in a rain-filled summer like ours.  With the weekend forecast looking something like this for um, the ENTIRE coast… we thought some of you parents out there might be in need of some rainy-day entertainment for the kids.

    rain map

     So,  here is our list of favorite rainy day family “bored” games when the weather takes you and your littles indoors, again.

    Kristy’s picks

    Chutes and Ladders

    chutes and ladders export

    This classic game is simple enough for the youngest players and nostalgic fun for the whole family. If you have a competitive guy, like I do, they’ll have so much fun laddering up to take the win!
 And, um, consider yourself warned if you have more than one competitive guy (or girl)…

    Hedbanz

    This game has us using our brains, laughing, and teaching our kids how to ask relevant and out of the box questions. We love it for the laugh factor, and the fact that there are moving parts that can be delegated amongst all the kids.

    hedbanz

    One kid is on timer, one divvies out the winner’s coins, and the oldest plays the games. Our little one has the job of the main “yes, no, or maybe” regulator which adds an extra element of fun while teaching her how to spell and understand the word that is in play.

 #rainydaywinner

    Annie’s Picks

    I’m not afraid to say that I may be a bit of a board game traditionalist. These oldies but goodies keep us (and more importantly) the kids coming back time and time again.

    candyland export

    Candyland

    Everyone still plays this game for a reason. There are simple instructions for the youngest players,  bright colors, matching, and a little healthy family competition.  (The health of said competition may depend, however on your sibling situation…) “WHY DO I ALWAYS GET THE ICE CREAM?!?!” You know the feeling. We all do.

    Uno

    Another classic. UNO is awesome for one, because it is a card game with NO board to take up space in avalanche that is your board game cabinet. You’re welcome.

    UNO

    UNO is also super educational and can easily be played at whatever level suit your child’s abilities. Players take turns matching one of their cards with the color or number card shown on the top of the deck, and first player out of cards wins. You can write your own rules with customizable wild cards that older kids love, too. 

    Christiana’s Picks

    I will just come straight out and say that both of my picks here are for NON-competitive games. As a mother to fiercely competitive brothers who turn life’s most mundane daily activities into a competition, some days I really just don’t need another “I WON!!” in my life. With that in mind…

    Hoot owl hoot

    Hoot Owl Hoot

    Hoot Owl Hoot is an adorable, award winning cooperative matching game that encourages players to work together instead of compete against each other to win.  I wasn’t sure if my boys would go for it, but BEHOLD! They love it. 

    Our family has fun working together to “fly all the owls back to their nest” and our middle child loves the suspense of moving the sun toward the dawn as we race to the finish. As a bonus, this game can be played at two difficulty levels so it can grow with your children. Highly recommend!

    Wooden Dominoes

    I love the look and feel of this sweet wooden domino set. Our kids love matching, playing and building with these, and the illustrations keep even our little 18 month old engaged.

    dominoes

    These sets are durable, fun, and great for teaching animal names, as well as counting, hand-eye coordination, and word recognition. Perfect for a rainy day!

    Oh, and muddy puddles aren’t all that bad either. 😉 Happy summer showers, friends!

     

     

    Friday Faves: Summer Grilling

    With Fourth of July festivities behind us, summer grilling season is officially in full swing. And nothing quite says summer like the unmistakable smell of dinner on the grill after a day in the summer sun. So…. who’s grilling this weekend? We are!

    giphy

    So let’s take a look at what’s cooking, good looking. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the all-time favorites from our Lockers to Littles summer grilling menu.

    close photography of grilled meat on griddle

    Dry Rubbed Baby Back ribs with Raspberry Chipotle sauce

    These are the only ribs we will ever make in our house ever. again. They are total summer perfection with all the flavor and just enough kick. The rub is from Food Network chef Jamie Deen (Yep, that would be Paula’s son, so you know he’s legit. You can link to the original recipe here.) We give it our own twist by teaming it up with Raspberry Chipotle sauce for the perfect blend of spicy and sweet.

    For the rub:

    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
    • 1 1/4 tsp salt
    • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 4 lbs baby back ribs

    For the sauce:

    • 1 bottle BBQ sauce of choice
    • 1 cup fresh raspberries or raspberry preserves
    • 1 can chipotles in adobo sauce

    OR

    • Robert Rothchild’s Raspberry Chipotle BBQ sauce

    In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients except the ribs. Rub mixture all over both sides of the ribs. Wrap ribs in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 (or up to 12) hours.

    For the sauce, I love this Robert Rothschild prepared raspberry chipotle bbq sauce made with simple, fresh ingredients, or you can make your own raspberry chipotle sauce by adding raspberries (or raspberry preserves) and chipotles in adobo sauce to any BBQ sauce and adjust the heat to taste with red pepper flakes and honey.

    When ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium heat. Arrange the ribs on the BBQ and brush generously with raspberry chipotle sauce. Reserve any extra sauce. Grill for 40 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally (and sipping requisite summer beverage of choice). Cook until the meat is browned and crisp on the outside. Serve with remaining sauce on the side (and lots of napkins).

    Recommended Bev Pairing: A light wheat Beer such as Hoegaarden or Bell’s Oberon

    lobster

    Grilled Lobster with Garlic-Parsley Butter

    If you like lobster in the slightest, stop what you are doing right now and make this recipe. Credit for this recipe is fully given to Saveur, and we have changed nothing because it’s perfect.

    • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
    • 1 12 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
    • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 1 lobster (about 1 to 1 12 lb), halved
    • 14 cup olive oil

    Combine butter, parsley, chile flakes, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a bowl; set aside. Transfer lobster halves, shell side down, to a baking sheet; crack claws and place them on the baking sheet. Drizzle halves and claws with oil, and season with salt and pepper.

    Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side (see “Grilling 101”). Place lobster halves, flesh side down, and claws on hottest part of grill; cook until slightly charred, 2-3 minutes. Flip lobster over and using a spoon, spread lobster with the garlic-parsley butter; continue grilling until lobster meat is tender, 3-5 minutes more.

    If you’re dealing with live lobster, learn how to humanely prepare your lobster here. Please don’t boil.

    Recommended Bev Pairing: A crisp Sauvignon Blanc, or a smooth Unoaked Chardonnay

     Tyler Florence has always been a go-to for me in the grilled meat department. He nails it with this bacon wrapped scallop recipe. The spicy Sriracha Mayo is the perfect sweet heat compliment to the saltiness of the grilled scallop with bacon.

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 pound large scallops
    • 1/2 pound thin-sliced bacon
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 cup good quality mayonnaise
    • 1/4 cup hot chili paste (recommended: Sriracha Hot Chili Paste)
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
    • 2 heads Bibb lettuce, washed
    • 3 avocados, sliced

    Instructions

    ****Pssst…the recipe calls for a broiler but the smoky flavor that the grill can add to the scallop is divine!*******

    Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn burner to low on one side (see “Grilling 101”).

    Wrap each scallop in a piece of bacon and secure it with a toothpick. Place the bacon wrapped scallops onto grill, drizzle them with olive oil, and season them with salt and pepper. Grill them away from hottest part of grill for about 10 to 15 minutes until the bacon is cooked through, turning halfway through.

    Make the spicy mayo by combining the mayonnaise, chili paste, lime juice, and chopped cilantro. Stir well and refrigerate until ready to use.

    To serve, carefully peel away the lettuce leaves and line a large platter with the lettuce cups. Top each with a bacon wrapped scallop, 2 slices of avocado, and a spoonful of spicy mayonnaise. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

    Recommended Bev Pairing: A crisp and light Rose to compliment the heat of the recipe

    Proscuitto-Wrapped Grilled Brie with Pineapple

    download (11)
    Photo from Food Network

    Hold the phone, Food Network. You’re grilling cheese with pineapple and wrapping it in Ham? Holy delicious sweet gooeyness, this app will tell the other cheese on your cheese board to step up their game. My favorite grilled appetizer recipes comes from the Food Network’s Show: How to Win Summer

    Ingredients

    • One 1-inch-thick slice pineapple, peeled and cored
    • One 8- to 12-ounce wheel Brie or Camembert, cut in half horizontally
    • 8 slices prosciutto (about 8 ounces)
    • Crackers and bread, for serving

    Instructions

    Prepare a grill for direct and indirect heat: For gas grills (with 3 or more burners), turn all the burners to medium-high heat; after about 15 minutes turn off one of the side burners and turn the remaining burners down to medium. For charcoal grills, bank one chimney starter-full of lit and ashed-over charcoal briquettes to one side of the grill. Set up a drip pan on the other side to avoid flare-ups. (Be sure to consult the grill manufacturer’s guide for best results.)

    Grill the pineapple over direct heat until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Let cool 5 minutes, then place on the cut side of one of the cheese halves. Place the other piece of cheese on top with the cut side touching the pineapple. Lay the prosciutto slices out on a work surface so they overlap in the middle and look like the spokes of a wheel. Put the cheese and pineapple round in the middle of the prosciutto and bring up one slice at a time to cover. The cheese and pineapple should be fully wrapped in prosciutto.

    Grill over direct heat until starting to turn golden and crisp, about 3 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook until golden and crisp on the other side, about 3 minutes. Move to indirect heat and cover the grill. Cook until hot throughout and gooey, 5 to 8 minutes more depending on your grill. Serve immediately with crackers and bread.

    Recommended Bev Pairing: A deliciously smooth white wine blend or if you’re a beer person, try a Farmhouse Saison brew such as SmartMouth Alter Ego.

    AlterEgo.png

    asparagus bunch bundle close up
    Photo by Foodie Factor on Pexels.com

    Grilled Asparagus with Curried Dill Sauce

    We are rounding out the end of asparagus season depending on your climate and this one makes an excellent grand finale for the spears.

    • 1-2 bunches of medium to thick speared asparagus
    • 1/4 C olive oil
    • 2-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon (set aside other half)
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    *As soon as you get home from the store: Trim bottom 1/2 inch off asparagus and place in a bowl of water in a sunny window. This will plump them up so they’re crisp. If you’re on a time crunch, use warm water. Can be left here for 1 day.

    Combine all of the above in a gallon baggie or in the bag in which you brought the asparagus home. Squish around to mix. Make Sauce (see below)

    Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn burner to low on one side (see “Grilling 101”). Place spears crosswise to the grill on the low side; cook 2-3 minutes and flip. Cook until just starting to char, 3-5 minutes more. Remove to platter, do not cover.

    Curried Dill Sauce

    • 1/4 C good quality mayo (we love Sir Kensington’s) or Greek Yogurt
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 1/4 tsp curry powder
    • 1/4 tsp dried dill – crushed in your hand before adding or 1/2 tsp fresh finely chopped dill
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    Mix together and chill. Serve with Asparagus. Works equally well as sauce for steamed artichokes, fish, or broccoli rabe.

    Recommended Bev Pairing: A crisp Sauvignon Blanc (a Sancerre if you can find) or Pouilly Fume

    fruit apricot knife kitchen
    Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

    Grilled Peaches with Creme Freche

    This is one of the universe’s most delightful summer desserts and it’s not even that bad for you! Winning!

    • ~6 medium firm, but not hard, free-stone** peaches (1 per serving)
    • Avocado oil or coconut oil
    • 1/2 pint Creme Freche (or plain whole milk yogurt if you can’t find but you’ll need to add more honey)
    • Zest of 1/2 lemon or lime plus ~1Tbs of juice
    • 2 TBS Finely chopped fresh mint
    • 1/8 C good quality honey

    **free stone peaches will twist off their pits when halved – as at the store if they know which ones work, or if they’ll cut one for you to test

    Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn burner to low on one side (see “Grilling 101”). Halve peaches and remove pits. Brush skin and face with oil (if using coconut, you’ll have to warm it to liquid). Grill peaches over high heat face down for 2 minutes. Turn skin side down on low heat area of grill and cook until softened and skin is starting to easily pull away – about 6-8 minutes more.

    While peaches cool, combine Creme Freche with juice and zest. When peaches have cooled to room temp, serve with a dollop of Creme, sprinkle of mint and generous drizzle of honey across the top.

    Recommended Bev Pairing: A mellow chardonnay, Fume Blanc or sweeter dessert wine if you like them.

    Eat, drink and be very, very merry friends!

    xoxo, Lockers to Littles

    Frugal Friday: Drugstore Cosmetic Finds

    Ever had that feeling when you find EXACTLY what you want at the cosmetic counter or drugstore for way less than you thought it would cost?

    No?!? 

    Ok, so we usually don’t either. But oh man, when it happens…

    Cosmetics shopping is one of those things that somehow seems to constantly disappoint. All that money spent, and everything fits in a bag the size of my socks?!? Great

    Every. single. time.

    Yet, in life, and this world we live in, there are plenty of things worth stressing over. (See Wednesday and Thursday’s posts if you need reminding.) Make-up just isn’t one of them. So when that $40 mascara dries out in a week, or when your toddler drops your fancy mineral powder (worth more than their whole outfit) and it decorates your bathroom floor?? Fughetaboutit. We got you. 

    assorted blur close up container

    Here are the Lockers to Littles’ tried-and-true, best-ever drugstore cosmetic finds. No disappointment, and no stress necessary in the case that toddler-cosmetic-sabotage should occur. (Well, no financial stress anyway. Good luck cleaning your tile… and your toddler for that matter.)

    Christiana’s Picks

    Maybelline Tattoo Studio Waterproof Eyebrow Gel

    Brow gel
    Maybelline Tattoo Studio Waterproof Eyebrow Gel, $10.99

    True story, I have only been using this product since the beginning of this summer, and I have already been asked about it more times than I can count. In short: you apply the tinted gel to to shape and color your brows for a natural looking, perfectly groomed, smudge-proof brow that legitimately stays put. Period. All day, in the pool, on a long run, or at the beach. Seriously, this stuff is amaze-balls. Eyebrows on fleek all summer long. Poolside mojito please! 

    Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun

    Tan Foam
    Jergens Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse for Body, $12.99

    As an active mom and outdoor enthusiast that still likes to get dressed up every now and then, this sunless tanning mousse has saved me from more than one serious fashion faux pax. I run (a lot) and as of late, most of it is outside in the summer sun. So despite my best sunscreen efforts, my racerback tan line is bad. news. bears. This miracle foam has literally taken my tan lines from sports bra to off-the-shoulder-black-tie in minutes. No messy slow-drying cream, and with an instant tint there are no streaks to fear. For only $12.99, I am a big fan of evenly bronzed décolletage for this summer’s return of the the off-the shoulder trend!

    L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara

    Mascara
    L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black, $8.44

    This little guy has been my go-to mascara for YEARS now. Every so often I get lured into trying a new fancy-looking mascara (that typically costs a LOT more) and I have yet to find one that compares to the clump-free, perfectly black, lengthened lashes I get with this product. At under $10, it has been and will remain a very affordable and permanent staple in my bag!

    fashion girl makeup paint

    Annie’s Picks

    Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker

    Lip Smacker Lip Gloss, Dr Pepper [640] 0.14 oz (Pack of 3)img_2054

    This little bit of magic came out at some point in middle school and I have never found a chapstick with better natural color and artificial taste since. It gives just a little rosy red tint. Thank you also, Snapchat, for making the rest of my face as nice as my Dr.Pepper tinted lips.

    Maybelline MasterPrecise ink Metallic Liquid Liner

    Maybelline New York Master Precise Ink Metallic Liquid Liner, Black Comet, 0.06 Fluid Ounce

    I took this with me on vacation to a wedding in Hawaii where I knew there would be swimming and sweating followed immediately by dressed up events. It did not budge, my eyes stayed glam through the whole day and night. It then washed right off with my (super awesome Nerium) facewash when I was done.

    Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lipcolor

    Colorstay
    Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lipcolor, Stay Currant, $10.49

    Don’t we all want pretty, perfectly shaded lips that last through long work days, evenings of mommy-kisses, and dare I say a date-night?! Let’s get crazy, people. ColorStay Lipstick actually stays! Between patients and parenting, this doctor mom appreciates a lip color that only needs to go on once. Work smarter, not harder! (Even better, you can get it on the cheap!)

    Margo’s Picks

    NYX Under-Eye Concealer for Dark Circles

    If you have olive-toned skin like me, one of the things you might battle is under-eye darkness.  I have found that sometimes the only thing I need to walk out the door is GOOD under-eye concealer, a bit of mascara and some lipstick.  But, not all under-eye concealer is created equal!

    In comes NYX.  It’s usually between $5 and $6, it’s in a teeny tiny container, but it will last for a LONG time.  It covers well and comes in awesome natural colors.

    Revlon Matte Lipstick

    See Annie’s above pick that’s Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lipcolor?  I use that AND this Revlon Matte Lipstick together.  Why, you ask?  Because I love the staying power of the ColorStay, but I want a matte color.  So, I put the ColorStay on first, and then, while it’s still wet, I overlay the Matte Lipstick in my favorite color.

    Voila!  It stays ALL day (no lie) and it’s the color style and type that I like best on me.  (Make sure you let it dry thoroughly before eating and drinking, though, otherwise, you’ll get it on your cup!)

    flat lay photography of makeup brushes and compacts

    That’s a wrap! Your wallet and killer summer looks thank you. Happy Frugal Friday from the LtoL crew!

    giphy4

    Friday Faves: Summer Smoothies

    Summertime is coming in hot across the country right now (see what I did there, hehe) and that means breakfast and snack time need refreshing makeovers. We love smoothies all year round, but especially when it’s 80 degrees already at 9 am, ain’t nobody wanna be slaving over a splattering pan of bacon and eggs.

    sliced strawberries banana and blackberries
    Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

    Smoothies offer densely packed nutrition, portability and refreshing yum-factor, it’s a win-win-win. It helps to do a little on-the-fly prep as your week goes by. Whatever extra fruit you have lying around about to go bad, chop it up and freeze it. Bananas (obvi), melon, berries, pineapple, mango and watermelon are all great frozen additions. OJ been sitting around for a while? Toss it in an ice-cube tray for future smoothies.

    Here are some faves! Fire up that blender and enjoy.

    girl holding yoghurt
    Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

    PB&J Smoothie

    This is Annie’s OG smoothie from back in medical school and is still her go-to for a filling breakfast. You can make it thicker and have it as a smoothie-bowl with some nuts and fresh berries on top also. All measurements are super-approximate, I don’t actually measure anything.

    3/4 Cup Frozen Organic Mixed Berries (I usually get from Costco)
    1 small frozen banana
    1.5 C spinach or kale
    1 C Cashew milk (or any other creamy substance you like)
    1 heaping TBS cashew, almond or peanut butter
    Optional 1/2 C plain whole-fat yogurt
    beverage blur close up drink
    Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

    Watermelon-Cucumber Refresher

    Ultimate afternoon pick-me-up right here. Not super filling – great for after workout or if you didn’t quite eat enough of your kids’ leftover dino-nuggets at lunch to get you through till dinner 😉 It’s super hydrating and also packed with great vitamins with the watermelon and cucumber combo.

    This one also makes a great alcoholic slushie if you cut out the yogurt and add a shot of vodka or gin instead.

    1 C frozen watermelon chunks

    1/2 C roughly chopped cucumber – if bitter, skin mostly removed

    1/2 C plain whole milk yogurt

    1 TBS fresh mint

    Enough OJ or pineapple juice to be able to blend – the watermelon has a lot of water, so you won’t need much, start with 1/2 C.

    Bonus Boosts

    For added protein boost to any smoothie, consider throwing in a scoop of healthy protein powder.  Annie’s fave is NanoPro Vanilla Protein powder, Margo’s prefers Arbonne Vanilla Protein and Kristy’s go-to is Ascent Native Whey Protein Powder.

    You can also add a super-food powder such as Youth Factor powder by Nerium or Lifeguard Greens to get a huge boost of anti-oxidant power.

    Hope you all have fun getting your blend on this weekend! xoxo, Lockers To Littles crew.

    Friday Faves: Summer Cocktails

    With Memorial Day weekend coming up, we thought you all might be interested in mixing up the usual libations.

    We’ll start with the fancy and finish with the simple. Cheers!!

    Annie’s Picks:

    Gin and Tonic Granita

    This fantasical dessert-cocktail courtesy of Amanda on Chew Town Blog is as refreshing as it gets. If you’re somewhere like my part of California and looking at 90 degree temps for the weekend, this is the drink for you!

    Gin and Tonic Granita | Chew Town Food Blog

    I personally decrease the simple syrup from her recipe, but if you like it sweeter, adjust to your taste. I have converted her funky milliliter measurements (silly Australia) to ounces 😉  If you don’t have a juicer for cucumber, just blender them until they’re smooshy and push juice through a fine-mesh strainer.

    GIN AND TONIC GRANITA

    1/2 cup water
    1/8 cup fine white sugar
    5 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
    16 ounces tonic water (I like FeverTree)
    1/3 cup cucumber juice (made using household juicer)
    Cucumber ribbons, to garnish

    Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan and heat over medium high heat, stirring until sugar has melted. Reduce to a simmer and continue to heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

    Once cool, place in a medium baking dish and add gin, tonic and cucumber juice. Place in the freezer and each hour, take a fork, and fluff up the ice crystals freezing for at least 4 hours.

    Serve topped with skewered cucumber ribbons. You can play around with adding mint or thyme to the simple syrup as it cools for more herbal flavor. Makes ~4 depending on your serving size.

    Gin-Gin Fizz

    This is one of my own creations. I’m admittedly a ginger-fanatic. The world has yet to make a ginger beer that’s gingery enough for me. If you prefer your ginger on the lighter side, omit the extra fresh ginger and/or swap out the ginger beer for club soda. You can also go full-domestic and make your own honey-sweetened ginger ale from This Post on Kitchen Stewardship (picture below from that blog).

    natural ginger ale recipe

    GIN-GIN FIZZ (for each)

    1 oz Domain De Canton Ginger Liquor
    2 oz good Vodka
    1/2-1 tsp fresh grated ginger (can also buy in a jar or tube)
    Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime (Meyer lemons are great too)

    2 Tbs fresh mint leaves

    Strong ginger beer (I recommend Cock and Bull) or club soda to top off 

    Muddle first 5 ingredients together. Add ice and shake vigorously to chill. Strain into ice-filled glass.

    Top with ginger beer, garnish with lime and mint.

     

    Christiana’s Pick:

    Blackberry Mojito

    This tart little twist on a traditional mojito is absolutely perfect for a southern summer afternoon. Even better, an urban gardener can grow these ingredients themselves and make some seriously farm-to-table beverages. We personally made these with our backyard blackberry and mint harvest last year, and loved every sip.

    photo of orange beverage in clear glass mason jar
    Photo by Jess Watters on Pexels.com
    There are several takes on this recipe, here’s mine.
    BLACKBERRY MOJITOS
    Per serving:
    • 5-6 blackberries (frozen work great too, if you don’t have fresh ones on hand!)
    • Small handful of mint leaves
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 1 1/2 tbsp simple syrup
    • 1 shot of good quality light rum
    • Club soda
    Muddle blackberries, mint, lime, and simple syrup in glass. Add rum, and fill glass with ice. Fill to the top with club soda and ENJOY. Easy, peesy, mojito squeezy.

    Margo’s pick:

    Grown Up Cherry Coke

    This one is fast and delicious. Goes great with burgers on the BBQ!

    coca cola cans and glasses with lines
    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

    GROWN UP CHERRY COKE

    Love Cherry Coke? You will love this:

    1. A shot (or two) of Three Olives Cherry Voda

    2.  Coke or Diet Coke

    3.  Splash of Amaretto

    You won’t taste the alcohol, and it will bring you back to the 90’s when cherry coke, lucky strike candy cigarettes and hot fries were your go to at the community pool!!

    white and red flag
    Photo by Aaron Schwartz on Pexels.com

    Enjoy any/all of these responsibly with 1 glass of water for every cocktail 😉 Dr. Annie’s orders!

    With love from the ladies of Lockers to Littles