October 9, 2018

DIY Harry Potter Wands

Disclosure: Affiliate links are also used in this post. Read my full disclosure here. 

We made these as favors for our wedding, which you can check out in this post, but these would also be great for Halloween costumes and Magical/Harry Potter themed birthday parties!

What You Need:


Wood Chopsticks – You can find big bags of these at Asian stores for super cheap, or if you eat at Chinese restaurants a lot, you can stock up on the ones they give you. Otherwise, there is always Amazon!

Glue Gun & Glue Sticks

Acrylic Paint – I used three different shades of brown, black, and white. The black and white were for mixing with the browns to make even more shades, or I would paint with the brown first and then use a fine point brush with the black for cool streaks and designs.

Newspaper or Paper Towel


Step By Step:


1. Plug in your glue gun to get it warmed up. Your glue gun will probably come with instructions and it will tell you how long to wait, mine takes about 5 minutes.

2. While your glue gun is getting warmed up, set up newspaper or paper towel on your work surface. We had hardwood floors, so I had set up my crafting spot on the floor.

3. Once your gun has warmed up, take a chopstick, hold it sideways, your hand should be covering the pointed end, the part you will not be hot gluing, and start covering the big end (the end you are not holding) in hot glue.

BE CAREFUL! Hot glue is hot enough to burn; I still have a burn mark on my leg from when I made these and a little dripped, so make sure you are holding the chopstick over the newspaper!

If you feel the need to shape your glue at this point, use another chopstick; do not touch the glue until it has had some time to cool down. You can touch it once it has cooled down and do some shaping then too before it solidifies.

4. After the hot glue has cooled on the stick, you can rub it between your hands and shape it however you want! You can add more hot glue to make a thicker handle or you can make fun bumps and designs (that is how I got the raised swirls on my wands).

5. Wait until your wand completely cools and hardens before setting it down to do the next one, or your designs could become misshaped as the glue will flatten on the floor. You could also get a styrofoam block and stick them in upright if time is of the essence.

6. After you have finished with the hot glue, it is time to paint! Once finished painting, set aside to dry, and then you are done!

Wands Drying
Completed Wands

For more photos of the process, Majan on Deviantart has a very similar step by step tutorial, which you can check out here.


October 1, 2018

When Consent Isn't Really Consent - This Is My Story

When I was 18 years old I was pressured by an older guy to do things with him that to this day I have not forgotten.

I didn’t speak up during the #MeToo movement because I didn’t feel my incident counts and even now I feel I fall into some gray area because I did technically consent.

The reason I’m sharing my story now, almost 10 years later, is because of the Kavanaugh case. People claiming Ford is lying, that she can’t remember, that it was a different guy and that she should have reported sooner, or why didn’t she say anything when this and this happened. People saying she’s in it for the money, etc.

So I thought, maybe if I share my story even if it may not apply, maybe, just maybe, people will understand why women don’t speak about their assault as soon as it happens or in some cases, the secret dies with them.

I was a senior in high school when M (I know his name, I’ll never forget it, but I won’t out him, so he will be referred to as M) contacted me through Facebook messenger.  I knew M through work, so it wasn’t some completely random guy, but it wasn’t someone I talked to regularly. He was a supervisor. I’m not sure on age, but probably twenties as he was in college; it wasn’t a "huge" age gap. I worked there since I was 16, so I knew who he was and so I accepted his friend request.

What should have been a red flag at the start was that he was engaged, and he was messaging me, telling me I was pretty, sending pics, sexting. Yet, foolish teenage me, me who had never been with a boy, who was already self-conscious about how I looked, thought that maybe he liked me and the other woman didn’t matter. 

In the end, M got me to agree to meet him at his place after school one day. I don’t remember if he asked to touch me, but I also didn’t say no. I remember I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t find my voice. It felt as if I didn’t have one.  I was vulnerable and scared in that moment. I didn’t fully understand what was happening, but it didn’t feel right having him touch me. It wasn’t how the media made it seem.

When one of his roommates came home, we stopped and that’s when I left.

The odd thing was he never pressured for sex, and he never kissed me on the lips. It was purely all hand stuff and nothing more.  He knew ahead of time, from our conversations, that I was a virgin and that I had never been kissed, so maybe he was playing off the “friend” role or maybe those were things reserved for his fiancé’ and part of some open relationship agreement they had.

M messaged me again later, talked about our time together and brought up anal (apparently his fiancé’ wouldn’t do it at the time), which I said no to.  I asked him if his fiancé’ knew, but he kind of skirted around the question, said we were just friends fooling around. That there’s no harm in that, convinced me what we were doing was okay. He managed to sweet talk me into visiting him again.

The second time around not much happened as one of his roommates came home earlier than expected.  That was the weird thing about the second visit. We were in his room, door closed, but when he heard a car pull up, he stopped everything, and opened the door. He even left for a bit to talk to his roommate, then came back and convinced me to play a video game with him for a bit (probably to give off the impression that we were just friends).

It hit me then that what we were doing wasn’t right as it seemed he didn’t want to get caught with me and that is where things ended. I was leaving for college soon anyway, which he knew, so we never met up again. He never contacted me again, though I still saw him at work (very awkward and uncomfortable), and I eventually unfriended him on Facebook.

The main reason I haven’t shared my story, as I stated before, is because I consented. I never said no. I never said stop. However, I didn’t feel good. I didn’t enjoy it. I felt weird, confused, and humiliated afterward. I wanted to forget the whole thing, so I thought if I didn’t talk about it, then it didn’t happen, but here I am, almost 10 years later, and I still remember it like it was yesterday.

However, the law and others won’t see my inner turmoil. Putting myself out here now, I’m sure I’m going to have people saying “well you consented so…” or “you never said stop…” Both of which are true, but as I said, at the time I felt vulnerable. I didn’t feel I could say no. It just didn’t occur to me that was an option. 

I think consent can be a tricky thing for this reason. It’s great to teach our kids “no means no,” but sometimes, “no” isn’t always so clear and peer pressure can cause someone who is on the edge to say “yes” when they really don’t want to.

Had I been one year younger, he would have been labeled a predator due to the age difference, but because I was 18 when he chose to get in touch with me, I lost that defense.

So I don’t believe assault to be black and white. I think there is a gray area, which is where I fall into and I think many girls do, and I want them to know they aren’t alone.

I also never told anyone because I thought it was just a really big mistake. I was the one at fault, but now I’m not entirely sure that’s the case. I think this guy saw an opportunity. He found me, a girl who knew nothing about sex, nothing about relationships, and used it to his advantage. He manipulated me, made me believe that what we were doing was okay, and basically convinced me to say yes.  

So I totally understand why many women don’t speak up until years later. They blame themselves. They want to forget. They had strict parents, like I did, which is another reason I didn’t say anything until now.

I grew up with abstinence-only education, so what I learned was mostly from bad young adult novels, friends, and worst of all, porn. I really didn’t have anyone I could go to talk about boys or sex. If brought up, it was basically "don't do it" or "you'll get diseases and die." I lacked the education that may have saved me from this situation.

I was also somewhere without my parents’ permission, so if I told them, they would find out I was lying and I feared the punishment, so I chose to pretend it never happened, which is another reason why many women don’t say anything until years later because they were likely somewhere they shouldn’t have been, like a party or friend's house. Something bad happened, but they feared punishment or worse, that their parents wouldn’t believe them or even worse, their parents would blame them, so they choose to live with the shame instead.

In the end, I’m left with a bad memory and no words for it. I don’t feel it classifies as assault, but I don’t think he is innocent either. All I know is, he wounded me and the scars will forever remain.

September 24, 2018

What Is The Best Diaper Rash Cream?

Disclosure: Some products in this post I have received for free, but all thoughts and opinions are my own! Affiliate links are also used in this post. Read my full disclosure here.

There are so many diaper rash creams out there today, that it made it surprisingly hard to even just pick one when we needed to get some for our daughter.

It gets a little more complicated when you cloth diaper as many aren't safe to use on cloth. You can get around this by using fleece liners, which is what we chose to do as it was too much work to figure out what was or wasn't safe. You could also switch to using disposables till the rash heals, which we did when she ended up getting an open sore because you want to keep the butt as dry as possible and disposable diapers are better at that.

To make it a little easier for you, I have ranked all the diaper rash creams we have tried below, starting with our favorite. 

#1 Pinxav


I actually won this from a giveaway on another blog and so glad I did! I would not have heard of it otherwise as I have yet to see this brand in stores near us, but it is available on Amazon.

This stuff is amazing, it works overnight! It also has a really good smell, in our opinion. Apparently, the menthol smell can be a put off for some people, but I think it actually helped our daughter sleep better as I think of it as a soothing or calming scent.

The only downside for us is that it is pink! If you are using cloth diapers, this will stain, so highly recommend using fleece liners (the liners will stain too, but who cares about the liner right?).


#2 Desitin


This is the one our pediatrician recommended and is probably the most common or well-known brand. It was the one we started out with and it works! From our experience, it's not as fast acting as Pinxav. but still better than a lot of the other brands we tried. It's also got a thicker consistency which makes it stay in place better. Plus you can find it in any store!


#3 CeraVe Baby


This came in one of Target's Baby sample boxes, so we gave it a shot and I would say it's on par with Desitin. The only reason I ranked it lower is that it feels like a more liquidy version of Vaseline.

However, it's the only clear diaper rash cream I have seen (most are white), and that may be a bonus for those using cloth as it won't stain! I would still recommend using fleece liners as it may affect your diaper's absorbancy later on.


#4 Aquaphor


Everyone seems to love this cream, but we just didn't. It's white and runny, super messy to put on, especially if you aren't at home! With it being so liquidy, it doesn't cover the rash as well and it didn't appear to work as well as any of the above brands.


#5 Baby Butz


This is a new brand that just appeared at Target and I was able to get some free samples to try. I wanted to love this cream, I really did, but it just didn't compare to the others. 

The thing I really liked about this cream was how thick it is. It's a really thick white cream, which makes it a little difficult to get out of the container, but it covers the diaper rash so well!

However, despite covering the rash well, it didn't seem to do much healing. We ended up switching back to Pinxav as we didn't want our daughter to be uncomfortable at bedtime and it was gone by the next morning.



Final Thoughts


These are the 5 brands we tried and the top 2 are the ones we plan on sticking too. Now keep in mind what worked best for our daughter may not work best for your baby, so this post is just to give you a starting point as well as introduce you to some of the diaper rash creams out there. 

Have you tried any of these? What worked for you?