NESHEAHOLIC

Monday, May 15, 2017

5 Reasons You Should Go to Therapy

Today's post is in honor of Bloggers for Mental Health Awareness. Follow the hashtag #B4MH for more content from Bloggers in support of Mental Health Awareness. 



I've been going to therapy for six months. There. I said it. Actually, if you interact with me IRL you probably already know this. I am a huge proponent of therapy. I'm not ashamed to say that I need help. I acknowledge that I am privileged in my ability to be comfortable in that confession. For many, having to seek therapy is something taboo or embarrassing.  Life can be overwhelming. Don't be ashamed to seek help. Whether you keep it to yourself or shout it from the rooftops you need therapy. Here are 5 reasons you should go to therapy:

Mental Health is a Part of Self-Care
I am a self-care advocate and an essential part of self-care is mental health wellness. Mental health is just as important as physical wellness. Maintenance of your mental health should be as routine as eating right, going to the gym, and brushing your teeth.

Your Friends, Family, and Spouse are Bias
 Many people think they don't need therapy because they have a vast network of friends and family, or a partner who they can go to to talk about their problems. The issue with this is that friends, family, and partners will always be biased. It is essential to have a person who has no stake in your life helping you to sort through issues. Friends and family, even if unintentionally, will steer you in a direction that is best for them. Your therapist is 100% on your team. They have no biases and function completely to support you and no one else.

Therapists are Professionals
 Another deficit of friends and family is that they are not professionals. Therapists go to school for years to learn methods and tactics to help identify issues and work through them. While it is great to have someone to lend an ear, therapists are professionally equipped to help you. A huge component of their skill is that they are able to help you work through your problems without taking on the emotional burden.

It's the Ultimate in Me-Time
How often do you focus 100% on yourself? Therapy is one of the only times where the focus is completely on you. It is a brief opportunity to focus completely on yourself without distraction. This is very important.

You Need to Get Your Feelings Out to Deal With Them
Keeping your feelings and emotions bottled up inside is not healthy. That practice will leave you extremely unhappy or to an explosion of emotion. I really love journaling as a way to get my feelings out. The combination of journaling and then talking about the things I've journaled in therapy has really been helpful in sorting out emmotions and taking action to change things that make me unhappy.

I can't end this post without acknowledging that everyone cannot afford traditional therapy services. If you fall into that category, please check out this post: 81 Awesome Mental Health Resources when You Can't Afford a Therapist. 
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Monday, May 8, 2017

Unconventional Potty Training Supplies

This post contains affiliate links. For more information view my disclosure policy

We're currently in the process of potty training. While I'd hoped we'd skate through on the three day method it's taking us a little longer than that to really get this potty training thing off the ground. We've had some potty successes, and I've cleaned pee from the floor a few times, but we're getting there!

In preparation for potty training I got all the usual supplies - a potty chair, a potty seat for our standard toilet, panties, etc. Now that we've been in this potty training game for a little over a week there are some other items that have come in handy that I didn't see on anyone's potty training prep list.

Unconventional Potty Training Supplies




Grubhub

Do you know what's extremely stressful? Trying to watch your child for signs they need to use the potty, putting them on the potty at set intervals, and trying to cook, all at the same time. I saved a bit of my sanity a few days by ordering food via Grubhub and putting all my focus on my daughter. It really is an all consuming processes if you're being as present as you should be so not having to cook dinner simultaneously was a weight off my shoulders. Alternatives are planning some freezer meals or crock-pot meals ahead of time, anything that doesn't require you to watch the stove tentatively.

Prefolds

We have prefolds around the house because we started our diapering journey with cloth diapers. I've found prefolds extremely handy during potty training for placing on surfaces like her high chair and car seat. Those are situations where she's seated for a while and not taking a potty break so I feel more comfortable knowing there is a barrier. An alternative I've heard of is people using puppy pads this same way. But prefolds are washable so it's more economical to use them and toss them in the laundry with any other casualties of potty training.

Babylegs

Babylegs are another item we had around the house that we've pulled back out during potty training. You're encouraged to have your child in either nothing or just underwear on bottom when you're at home to make for easy removal when rushing to the potty. When it's cold weather or your have the air conditioner running it's nice to have something covering your child's legs for warmth that doesn't need to be pulled down. And in all honesty, they help to catch pee if accidents to happen as well.

I'm crossing my fingers that we'll be out of the potty training weeds within a month. Please feel free to share any potty training tips, tricks, or resources you may have!

potty training book and potty training chart


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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

6 Expired Items In Your Kitchen Right Now

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase I get a small percentage of your order but your price remains the same. 

The other day while dinner was cooking I decided to go through my kitchen cabinets and refrigerator to toss any expired items. I filled almost an entire kitchen trash bag with expired items and I was amazed at how old some of the things I found were! I'm talking items that expired more than two years ago. There were some items that I honestly didn't think even had expiration dates. Here are 6 items to check the expiration date on today:

kitchen


Spices. 

I assumed because salt is said to never expire that all spices had an infinite shelf life, but that is not the case. Spices were the worst offenders in my purge. My issue is that I have so many spices in my cabinet that I often repurchase spices when I don't need them because I forget I already have them. I'm going to grab a couple of these revolving spice racks for my cabinet so I can better see what I have in stock and avoid double purchasing. I really don't need three containers of paprika lol.


Dried herbs. 

Similar to the spices, I often double or triple purchase dried herbs when I'm shopping for recipes because I forget I already have them. While dried herbs last much longer than fresh herbs they do expire! 

Sauces. 

Keep an eye on your sauces for two reasons. First, of course, is the expiration dates. Secondly, be cognizant of whether the sauce is to be kept in the cabinet or in the refrigerator after opening. While I was checking expiration dates I also found items that I'd kept in the cabinet for months that were supposed to be refrigerated after opening so I tossed them. Always rely on the manufacturers recommendation for how to store products. 

Flours. 

If you don't use flour often opt for the smaller bags to fit your specific recipe needs. Getting the big bags may seem cost effective but if 90% of your bag of flour will expire before you can use it it's not worth it. 

Sugars.

In this cabinet purge I ended up tossing all my sugar! I had some brown sugar and coconut sugar that were both expired. I also made the mistake of putting my white sugar in a separate container and not making note of the expiration date on my new container. Don't be like me! Label your items if you move them from their original packaging. 

Teas. 

Who knew tea could expire?! I had such a large tea stash and ended up having to toss a lot of it that had expired. I'm going to stick to sampler or variety packs of tea from now on so I can have flavors to choose from but not such a large volume since I'm the only tea drinker in the house. 

Now that I know these items indeed do have expiration dates I'll make checking them part of my spring cleaning routine each year. 
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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Trip to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia + GIveaway

Thank you to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia for our complimentary tickets and the tickets I'm giving away! 



The new LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia  just opened and we had a chance to visit this weekend. We had such a good time. I love places where BabyCakes can run around and explore to her heart's content. The facility is much bigger than I thought it would be. The 33,000-square-foot Discovery Center features 10 LEGO Play Zones.



As an adult I was really impressed by MINILAND®. It showcases Philadelphia landmarks recreated from nearly 1.5 million LEGO bricks. It's pretty impressive.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center MINILAND

LEGOLAND Discovery Center MINILAND


There is also the LEGO 4D Cinema, LEGO Racers Build & Test area where you can build a LEGO vehicle and take it to the ramps to test, LEGO® NINJAGO Training Camp and Laser Maze which are great for older kids looking to test out their ninja skills, Pirate Adventure Island which is a really cool pirate themed play area for kids between 36" and 60", and DUPLO® Park which was BabyCakes's favorite area featuring special big soft bricks.


Click here for the full listing of attractions. I was disappointed that the Imagination Express, an interactive LEGO ride, was having technical difficulties while we were there so we didn't get a chance to ride it. I definitely want to do that the next time we visit. 

I highly suggest if you plan to attend that you purchase your tickets and reserve your time-slot ahead of time. There were people attempting to purchase walk-up tickets when we were there at 10am and they were told there were no time-slots available until 2:45pm, so plan ahead!

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia

I'll make getting tickets even easier for you! I will be choosing two winners to receive 4 tickets to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia. Enter in the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway closes April 28th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Sunday, April 9, 2017

I Wasn't Ready to be a Mother to a Toddler

To my recollection I was a good kid. I can recall two spankings in my life - one for cursing, and one for saying our house was "ghetto." Because I was a good kid I assumed I would have a good kid. We had BabyCakes, she's a great sleeper, good eater, and says please and thank you. And then... the Terrible Twos hit.

flower nested in rocks

I suppose I should be grateful that they didn't come until 2 and a half. The tantrums, the intentional defiance, she became a tiny tornado in the house. Her daycare provider commented on her new level of noncooperation.  I had no idea what to do. Because I assumed I would just get a good kid, I hadn't deeply thought about discipline and behavior modification.

The reality is she is still a good kid,  great in fact, but I needed to step my parenting game up. Children NEED discipline, and I'd really only been intentionally disciplining about half the time. The other half I tried to placate  her to attempt to avoid a tantrum. She had been such an easy kid until 2.5 but she now needs more discipline and more structure. The toddler  years are really all about them exploring their boundaries, and if you let them, they will push you to the edge.

I've re-calibrated, and I'm putting more intentional effort into behavior management and I feel like I already see a change. I also picked up the parenting book (affiliate link) 1-2-3 Magic which was recommended by a lot of moms and I'm looking forward to reading it.

This is just one of many times I've wondered if I'm doing any of this motherhood thing right, and it surely won't be the last. Motherhood doesn't come with a manual and every child is different. I may not always know what's right but I'll always do the best I can to take care of BabyCakes and that's all I can do!



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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Why Moms Need a Good Night’s Sleep and How to Get It

I don't know if you could tell, but sleep is very important to me. Hence my posts:

How to get a good night's sleep as a couple & The three stages of pregnancy sleep

It became even more important to get a good night's sleep after I had BabyCakes. I'm the first one up in the morning so I set the tone on getting everyone up and out the door.

Today I'm sharing a contribution from freelance writer Jenny Holt about why moms need a good night's sleep, and how to get it. Jenny is a mother of two. She loves nothing more than getting away from it all and taking her pet Labrador Bruce for long walks, something she can do a lot more now she's left the corporate world behind.

sleeping mother

I used to sleep well. Really well. In fact, a little too well. Years of good, happy sleep felt beyond me after I became a mother. That’s what we do, right? We somehow keep on going, drawing on superhuman supplies of hidden energy to do all the things we need to do, look after the kids, and all without a good night’s sleep. However, this does not have to be the case. We can, get a good night’s rest, and here’s some strategies to help:

  1. Sleep Training for the Kids: Perhaps the most important one is their sleep, not just yours. By training your children early to sleep in predictable patterns and to not wake you up during the night, you too can sleep well. Start at the 4 month old mark and be prepared for sleep training, it won’t be easy.

  2. Make Sure Your Bed is Comfortable: A good bed is a necessity and not just a luxury. You want one which is comfortable, has good, soft sheets, and is a pleasure to lay in. Find a bed which suits your preferences to get the best sleep possible.

  3. Diet: Be careful of what you eat. Some foods, such as those full of sugar or caffeine will inhibit sleep. It’s ok to have a coffee or three in the morning, but keep off the caffeine after midday. Furthermore, promote wholegrains and vitamin rich foods in your diet. It’s ok too to use supplements such as magnesium which promote a natural, good sleep.

  4. Changing our Lifestyles: Exercise as a mother is not normally an issue, but if you feel you’re not getting enough, see if you can find ways to walk more or do fitness classes even if it means giving their father more alone time with the kids. This can make it easier for the body to shut off. A bonus is, if you get a good night’s sleep after exercising it promotes weight loss.

  5. Turning Your Mind Off: The mind can easily become overactive; especially if you are using TV, computers or smartphones late at night. Instead, switch them off an hour before bed, and read or talk instead. Furthermore, try deep breathing meditation as a means of clearing the mind and calming the heart.

  6. Stick to Your Schedule: Create a schedule for yourself, some studies even suggest having the same waking and sleeping schedule everyday of the week be it a work day, a weekend, or a day off. Keep to the schedule so your body falls into a good rhythm.
How are you working to get better sleep at night?
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Sunday, March 26, 2017

5 Ways to Declutter Your Life

a clean minimal desk

I am overwhelmed.

Is it just me or is it hard to focus on just one thing at a time these days? We're pulled in five different directions, doing three things at once, while two different electronics chirp, beep and buzz at us with reminders and notifications.

As part of my goals for the year I want to live a life of less. I want less of what I don't need so I can enjoy what I have more. I'm working on a minimalist journey. This is happening in multiple ways. I'm getting rid of obligations that don't serve me, I'm getting rid of physical items from our home that we no longer use or need, and I'm simplifying my online life.

5 Ways to Declutter Your Life


Unsubscribe from unwanted e-mails. Making a quick count, I manage four e-mail addresses every day and more than that on occasion. My inbox is one of the most cluttered spaces in my life. I am unsubscribing from e-mail lists from places that I no longer engage, or retailers where I rarely shop. It's very nice to see a manageable number of unread e-mails and not waste time deleting things that don't interest me.

Turn off push notifications on your phone. You don't need notifications every time someone posts into a Facebook group or tags you in a funny meme. Those notifications can easily derail you from your important tasks during the day. My phone only alerts me for calendar reminders, calls, and text messages. Anything else isn't urgent. It's very easy to get sucked down a rabbit hole from getting game or social media notifications. Avoid that all together by turning off push notifications and only engaging in the apps when you have time or when you've planned to. Turning off Facebook notifications in particular has made my life so much better. Speaking of Facebook...

Clean up your Facebook groups. For some reason Facebook allows your friends to add you into Facebook groups without seeking permission. The consequence is consistent notification of postings in a place you didn't opt-in to. Don't feel bad about ditching a group you aren't interested in, even if a good friend invites you.

Clean your work area at the end of each week. This was actually just suggested to me recently and I love it. It is understandable that you don't always have time to clean up your desk as the week gets hectic with deadlines and responsibilities. At the end of each week before you retire into your weekend clean and straighten up your work area. This sets you up to come in to a clean space on Monday morning which will help with your mood and productivity.

Clean out your fridge each week. One of my goals is to get better with eating leftovers. I'm not quite there yet, so I often have one serving of a meal leftover longer than it is edible. Cleaning out your fridge weekly keeps things neat and organized. This makes sure you can see what you have available so you remember to eat them and don't double purchase things.

Clutter - whether digital, physical, or mental - does nothing to serve you. I'm looking forward to getting rid of more excess so I can always be close to what is important. Live more with less.
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Related: Four Ways to Decrease Toy Clutter

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