Cheap Coffee Sugar Scrubs


Because our container STILL has not arrived, I decided to try something new to keep me occupied. The other day, the Mr. brought home a jumbo bag of used coffee grounds from Starbucks. The grounds are meant to be used for planting purposes but since we don’t have any plants just yet, I figured I can make some coffee sugar scrubs in the meantime! Genius, right? So, let me tell you how I made my coffee sugar scrubs for dirt cheap.

Here are a few things you’ll need:

Coconut Oil – I managed to snagged this little guy for FREE when Thrive Market was running a promotion. But you can find inexpensive coconut oil at Trader Joe’s for $6.
Coffee Grounds – FREE courtesy of my trusty Starbucks
Soap Base – I used a 50% off coupon to Michaels and snagged this Shea Butter Soap base for $5.25. I heard goat’s milk is also a great option but I was nervous about the way it would make my apartment smell.
Molds – I got mine from Ikea for $1. The flamingos are from Hollar for $1 as well!
(OPTIONAL) Essential Oils: I got my oil from Michaels with a 40% coupon. The oil cost me $2.40 but I will never, EVER purchase it again because it smells like wet dog. Consider yourself warned.

I try not to purchase crafts without a coupon or a considerable in-store markdown. So imagine my excitement when I saw that there was a 50% off coupon for Michaels when I started this project!!

The best part of this project was that I got to use my pretty copper measuring cups and spoons I ordered from World Market! Aren’t they preeeetty??


I made the soap scrubs while Ittybot was taking a nap so I was trying to do it quickly and quietly to avoid any grimy little fingers dipping into the soap mix.



It looks like dirty sand once it’s all packed in. Look closely, you can see some soap chunks because I wasn’t working fast enough. Who knew they’d harden fast?!


Aaaand voila! I got my little panda holder from Daiso. I really don’t know what it’s intended for but if it’s a Panda, I gotta have it!

I managed to make the scrubs for around $10! Not bad, right?! And I still have enough materials to make many more batches.



1 cup of granulated sugar

2 tbsp of coffee

1/2 cup of soap base

1/4 cup of coconut oil

25 drops of Essential Oil {OPTIONAL}

1. Melt your soap base. You can do this in the microwave according to directions but I chose to melt mine in a hot bath using a pyrex bowl.

2. While the soap base is melting, mix sugar and coffee in a large mixing bowl

3. Prepare your molds because once you mix the soap base and dry ingredients you will need to work fast.

4. Once the soap base is melted add in your coconut oil and essential oil.

5. Next, pour the base into your large mixing bowl that contains your sugar and coffee.

6. Mix thoroughly and pack mix into your molds – work fast because the soap will harden quickly!

7. Let sit for about 4 hrs before removing them from their molds


Next time, I will skip the essential oil entirely and embrace the coffee smell!

Give it a try and tag me in the pictures! IG: @MeetTheBots



Traveling to Dubai with a baby or toddler!

Dubai with a toddler

Dubai may not be the first destination that comes to mind for a family vacation. Especially when you’re traveling with a 1 year old! But we like to be adventurous so we took our Ittybot to Dubai and the Maldives in one trip!

Surprisingly, Dubai is probably one of the most baby friendly cities we have visited! There was so much to do and so much to see for the entire family that our 5 days there seemed way too short. You can get the full Dubai low-down here.

So lets get onto the real reason you’re here. I will break down the main things moms look for in a vacation destination.

Stroller friendly – Everything is so far apart that you basically cab everywhere (or you can do the big bus tour like we did) but once you are at your destination, it is fairly stroller friendly. There are usually large crowds of people that you would have to maneuver through but that’s a small problem.

Restaurants – The city itself has a heavy western influence so you will find lots of restaurants that you would find in the US. So of course, they were all pretty child friendly. From nice comfortable child seats, to child friendly menus, and those amazing cups with lids to prevent your little one from spilling all over the place. It’s the little things 🙂

Diaper changing stations – This is probably my favorite part of Dubai. Seems silly but when you live in Europe and have to change your baby in a tiny, dirty stall or even in their stroller, a formal changing room is the ultimate luxury. The larger malls have changing rooms that is like a retreat for mothers and their little ones. It’s sprayed with the most amazing light scented perfumes, there are toys for them to play with, the works.

At the very minimum, most of the places you would visit have a changing table for you. Except maybe the beach but that’s a given!

Activities – We used our Hyatt points and stayed at the amazing Grand Hyatt Dubai. The service and the pools were amazing. We almost didn’t want to leave the hotel at all. The staff was amazing with Ittybot. He was given lots of attention and treats – which was probably his favorite part.

There were plenty of activities in Dubai for the little ones. There is even an aquarium within the mall! Finding activities for your family won’t be a problem. Your problem will be narrowing it down to a few!

We highly recommend doing a trip to the desert. We did a low-key jeep drive to the desert with little bits of crazy driving through the dunes which Ittybot loved. He also loved the show that the staff put on which included lots of music and performances. Definitely a treat for the entire family!

FunTours trip to the Desert in Dubai!
FunTours trip to the Desert in Dubai!

Transportation – This is probably my only gripe with Dubai. Carseats aren’t required in Dubai! Much like Thailand, kids are free to roam about the car as they please. There are however, pink taxis that will bring a carseat at your request (but those require a lot of planning ahead and it’s not always available). We did the big bus tour most of the time but the few times we needed to take a cab Ittybot had to sit in between us buckled in SNUG. We only did this for very short rides but it was nerve wracking every single time.

I hope this was useful for those planning a trip to Dubai OR for those considering a trip. It was such an amazing trip and we are so excited to show Ittybot the pictures and footage from the trip. Hopefully, it will inspire him to go back on his own one day!


First Impressions: Britax B-Agile (plus review!)

I was going through our old hard drive and I found a video of us putting together our Britax B-Agile stroller. I thought it might help some fellow mothers out there who are considering this (awesome) stroller! Note, this was even before Ittybot was born!

We got the infant carseat that sits right on top of the stroller and let me tell you, the duo is a BEAST. While the carseat for the stroller is quite on the heavy side, we loved how they fit together and it made our lives so much easier.

Fast forward 2+ years and we still love this thing! It has been dragged to numerous countries (and we know how strollers are taken care of in baggage) and it is still holding strong! I realize that there are new strollers out there that unfold themselves and probably can serve you an espresso but we feel like the Britax B-agile is the best bang for the buck. We received a 20% off coupon from “Buy Buy Baby” but we realized that it was STILL cheaper on amazon. Remember to do your research! Most stores will price match with Amazon these days!


Organize yourself!

Some days I wake up and I just feel like there is so much to do. Which sometimes only overwhelms me and deters me from getting anything done at all!

A couple months ago, I decided to make a valid effort to organize my daily and weekly routine. To help me, I made a checklist to keep above my desk. Trust me, it didn’t magically work overnight but I am making great strides to making this routine work. Some areas could use extra work and attention but progress makes perfect.


I’ll briefly explain my (pretty obvious) checklist. I organized chores for each day and some chores I do on a daily basis like vacuuming the rug and sweeping the floors. The daily fitness area sometimes intertwine with the fitness bracket so I don’t over exert my muscles. The fitness bracket is just how many days/times I want to do a certain muscle group or class. I find this bracket the easiest to knock out, surprisingly.  The most important part of my checklist is the “hydrate” section. I am TERRIBLE at remembering to drink water. This has helped me SO much. It feels good to cross off a glass, as ridiculous as that sounds.

I struggle the most with my web project section. I’ve been swamped with sessions and other projects that I haven’t been diligent about staying on schedule. I am working towards mastering that column!

I highly recommend trying this method out since it has helped me out so much! I’d love to see yours too – it may inspire me to add a couple more items 😀


A letter to my pre-baby self…


Dear pre-baby Dana,

Remember back when the doctors told you it could be difficult for you to have a baby? Well, doctors can be wrong sometimes. Your uterus functions just fine and you will be blessed with an incredibly handsome boy. No, you are not biased, your son is freaking cute. Ok, you probably are but you refuse to believe otherwise.

I realize you think you’re too selfish to have a baby any time soon and that life after baby will be “boring”. I want to reassure you that you are dead wrong sista – old me! Your life has gotten exponentially more exciting! He is the greatest gift the universe has given to us. He has taught us strength, patience, and as cliche as it may sound, the meaning to life.

Here are some dumb but useful warnings and notes I took for you – because you can always refer to other sources for the serious ish:

  • It’s ok that you didn’t read that FAT book that the hospital sent you because there’s an app for that. Yes, there is an app that tracks your pregnancy and gives you notes/tips about what you should be doing at that point and time. Plus, the universe has also blessed us with Google.
  • Everyone and their mom will try to traumatize you with their horror stories.
  • Cocoa butter is your BEST FRIEND. (Don’t forget your butt and thighs)
  • Please for the love of {insert religious figure here} go to lactation classes. It’ll save you much stress at the hospital.
  • Pack the PS3! Despite what others say – you will have a lot of down time between being admitted and actual go time. People have said that being entertained is the LAST thing you’re concerned about during labor – but in your case, it was the only thing on your mind.
  • Pack a sleep mask – nurses are turning the lights on and off all night!
  • Your husband will swear up and down that he will stay up with you the entire time – that is a lie.
  • There will literally be a team of people staring between your legs so modesty is out the door.
  • The hospital provides you with the most unattractive mesh underpants in the world. Bring your own.
  • Don’t get me started on the giant pads…
  • In the unfortunate circumstance that there is a c-section (yes, you fall in this category) things are even more awkward. Nurses have to care for you like YOU are a baby too! Yes, wiping and all because bending over ain’t happening with that huge gash in your abdomen.

I know all this won’t traumatize you from having another because you, er, WE would happy to do it all over again in a heartbeat. That little face is worth every bit of awkward/uncomfortable weirdness.


Get it or Skip it: Kiko’s Night Balm


I wanted to write a very short review on a new product I tried out. Frankly, I don’t like reading long drawn out reviews because seriously fellow busy bees, who has the time!?

On black friday, Kiko cosmetics was offering a 30% discount. Of course I had to jump on that! I came across the kiko night balm which was listed as a “best seller” and had pretty good reviews from what I saw. I’m a bit of a lip balm addict so I went ahead and ordered myself one.

When the package came, I was excited to give it a try that night. To my dismay, the balm maybe lasted 20 minutes tops. The next morning, my lips were dry and chapped. I had better luck using my husbands lip balm.

I could have very well gotten a bad batch, but I’m not sure I’ll give it another chance to find out.

Final verdict:



Foodie Friday: Tatortot Hotdish


You can take the girl out of the midwest, but you can’t take the midwest out of the girl.

I know it’s been quite some time since I’ve done a foodie Friday post. Up until Dubai, I was eating salads all the time. Not too exciting, huh?

Well, vacation is over, diet/fitness has been put on hold until after Thanksgiving week. I mean, c’mon I don’t like to set myself up for failure.

Thanksgiving in the Bot household isn’t complete without some tatortot hotdish action. At first glance, you think, “these people just throw a bunch of stuff that tastes good together”. Um…yep, that’s about right!

The salty, crunch to the tatortots greets your tastebuds than you get savoriness of the ground beef and vegetables. Mmmm. I like to top off my tatortot hotdish with LOTS of green onions and a dab of sour cream. Completely optional, but you’re missing out if you don’t try it at least once.

Again, I’m not one to measure out ingredients so this is a rough recipe.


  • 1.5 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 can Corn
  • 1 can Peas
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom
  • 1 can Cream of corn
  • Tatortots
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar
  • Green Onions
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Optional: Sour Cream

1. Brown your ground beef. Salt and pepper to taste

2. Drain and transfer your ground beef to a casserole dish.

3. Add your peas, corn, cream of mushroom, and cream of corn

4. Add half a cup of grated cheddar. Optional: Add 1/2 cup of sour cream

5. Mix.

6. Salt and Pepper to taste

7. Layer frozen tatortots on top.

8. Throw it in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour or until the tatortots are slightly browned.

9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 min.

10. Top it off with a little more salt and pepper! Optional: Here is where you can add your chopped green onions and a dab of sour cream.

11. Devour tatortot hotdish.

SO EASY. Enjoy!