NESHEAHOLIC

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Go outside and play!

This post is sponsored by the Voice of Play.


Everyone loves getting outside during the spring and summer months. We love to hit the swimming pool, the playground, and our back deck. There's usually a bit of lamentation as the warmer months come to an end as we feel it signifies the end of outdoor play. But it doesn't have the be that way! You can get outdoor play in all year round, and it's really important for kids to have that time outdoors.


The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) is currently running a campaign called Voice of Play encouraging parents to get their kids outdoors for play all year round. They share the scientifically proven physical, social, emotional and cognitive benefits of play.


In the fall there is fun with playing in the leaves. You can also still hit the playgrounds you frequent in the warmer months.  In the winter there is fun times to be had with the snow. Cold weather doesn't mean you have to hibernate. Bundle up and get outdoors. With a very active toddler we'd lose our minds if we tried to stay inside all winter! And really it's important for both children and parents to spend time outdoors in play.


This is our first fall/winter where BabyCakes is completely mobile. She loves crunching in the leaves and I'm looking forward to building snowmen and making snow angels when the snow begins to fall.

Check out the Voice of Play website, Facebook, and Twitter for more encouragement to get outside for #YearRoundPlay.

How are you enjoying outdoor play?


The post is brought to you by Activate by Bloglovin and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How to Clean Your Oven Naturally

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ScrubSeason #CollectiveBias

No matter what holidays you celebrate it's a good chance that your traditions involve food and cooking. The end result of cooking is delightful - turkey, stuffing, ham, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, oh my! To get to those dishes, however, it takes a lot of work and preparation if you are the hostess. You have to clean before guests arrive, and then again after everything has been prepared.

I have been really neglecting my oven cleaning and now that the holiday season has come around I have to get things right! I'm afraid of the self-cleaning oven feature so I choose to clean it by hand instead. Rather than using a commercial cleaner I use a combination of vinegar and baking soda to clean the oven.

PLEASE DON'T JUDGE ME BY THIS "BEFORE" PHOTO


How to Clean Your Oven with Baking Soda and Vinegar


Tools:
Baking Soda
White vinegar in a spray bottle
Gloves
Water
Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge

Instructions: 

Add 1/2 cup baking soda to a bowl. Add warm water one tablespoon at a time until you have a paste consistency. I used four tablespoons of water.


Spread the baking soda paste on the trouble spots in your oven. For me this was my entire oven door!


Spray the vinegar on the baking soda paste until it's saturated enough for the baking soda to bubble up. Let the paste/vinegar mixture sit for at least a half hour.

After the paste has had time to settle scrub away with your Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge.




LOOK AT THE DIFFERENCE! 
After you've scrubbed out all the stains you can use the softer side of the sponge to wipe away any baking soda residue.

When you use the right tools for each surface, cleaning your home will be easier and faster. The green sponge is the Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge while the blue is Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge. The Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge works great for this job and is also recommended for garage and outdoor use. The Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge is good for counter-tops, non-stick cookware and dishes. Find more tips and tricks on cleaning your biggest messes HERE. 

The Scotch-Brite™ Heavy Duty & Non-Scratch Scrub Sponges are very reasonably priced. 3-Pack for $2.96, 6-Pack: for $5.48 and 9-Pack: $7.97. I grabbed mine at my local Walmart.


Click here to save $1 on any two Scotch-Brite Products (Scrub Sponges, Lint Rollers and Scrubbing Dish Cloths).
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How to Make Time For Self Care When You Don't Have Time


Self-care is a huge topic right now, as it should be. I am a strong believer that you can't be useful to others if you do not take care of your self first. Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is self preservation. The problem is most of us feel like we don't have time to care for ourselves in lieu of work, family, and other obligations and responsibilities. Here is how to make time for self-care when you don't have time.

5 Ways to Make Time for Self-Care (when you don't have time)


Wake up Earlier

Waking up earlier gives you actual additional time in the day. I'm not saying wake up an hour earlier, but giving yourself 20 - 30 extra minutes in the morning all to yourself to stretch, sip coffee uninterrupted, journal etc. allows you to start the day focused on yourself before everyone else who needs you begins to pull at your attention (children, chores, husband, work e-mails, etc).

Actually Take Your Lunch Break

Research shows only 1 in 5 workers actually step away from their work for their lunch break. The other 4 in 5 are scarfing down their lunch at their desk while they work or not eating at all. I am very guilty of this. I can't remember the last time I ate my lunch away from my desk. TAKE YOUR BREAK. That time is built into the day so that you get a brain rest and eat to refuel yourself. Leave your desk, go outside or go to the break room and eat your lunch, and do something not work related.

Take a Day Off

Utilize your days off - vacation days, sick days, or otherwise- to give yourself time for yourself. You don't want to burn out. Take a whole day away from work and do something you enjoy - go shopping, make an elaborate meal, watch Netflix, nap, whatever makes you happy.

Find Enjoyment in Required Tasks

We're adults, we have responsibilities, and there are things we just have to do. Find opportunities to bring more enjoyment into things you have to do. One of the ways I do this is play music and dance around while I'm folding laundry or cleaning the house. Adding music to tasks is always an easy way to make them more enjoyable. Or if you have a favorite podcast or audio book listen to those!

Extend Your Shower

Most of us are taking utility showers - soap up, rinse off, get out. Give yourself an additional 1 - 5 minutes to just enjoy the shower steam, use a body scrub, or massage your scalp.

How are you making time for self-care?

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Mom Confessions


It is really nice to hypothesize the kind of parent you'll be before you have kids. You know all the things you won't do and all the things you'll do religiously. Then, you actually have a kid and things change lol.

Here are some of my Mom Confessions: 


My daughter eats candy first thing in the morning. 

Not every day. And by candy I mean one gummy bear or a single Pez. Did you know they still made Pez dispensers?! They do, and BabyCakes loves her pumpkin Pez dispenser. I'll probably get her another cute Pez dispenser for Christmas. 

How did we get to this morning candy situation? It goes something like this: 

Me: ::goes into her room:: ::whispers:: Do you want to go wake up dad?
Her: ::whispers:: yea!
::she goes into our room and taps him to wake him up::
Her: Dada, candy.
Him: ::finally wakes up even though I've been trying to wake him up for 30 minutes. gives her candy::
Her: ::runs to me to show off candy::

At the end of this exchange I go from no one in the family being awake to both of them being awake and functional. It works for me. And it all happens before she brushes her teeth so does it really count? lol

Everything my daughter eats is not a home cooked meal (and it's usually nuggets). 

Well I guess you probably figure this out from my first confession. I really envisioned myself making homemade baby food and providing fresh foods at every meal but the reality of the matter is I don't have time for us to eat completely homemade all the time. When I was pregnant I also swore to myself that I would not raise a "nuggets and fries" kid. Lo and behold, if you ask BabyCakes what she wants to eat she's likely to ask for nuggets and grapes. At least she likes grapes over fries right?

My child has screen time every day. 

BabyCakes absolutely LOVES watching Thomas the Train and playing with the Kidloland App. She's not stuck to a screen all day, every day, but has time daily. She still plays great with regular toys and uses her imagination so I'm not worried. Screen time when used strategically can be a great tool for parents.

I like to go places without my daughter. 

I love doing family/kid things with my daughter, but if I'm going somewhere for adult fun or where there isn't something specifically for kids we both are happier if she gets to stay in her environment and play and I get to have some much needed adult time.


Although I'm not the mother I thought I'd be I am proud of the mother that I am. 


I don't think I'm doing a bad job at all. Look at this sticker covered face.


What are your Mom Confessions?




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Sunday, November 20, 2016

How to Make Holiday Entertaining Easier

This post brought to you by DairyPure Milk. The content and opinions expressed below are that of http://www.nesheaholic.com/. This post contains affiliate links. 


The holidays are a wonderful time, but they can also be a very stressful time if you are the host or hostess. We're all looking for pure and simple solutions to help make the holidays a little easier.


Five Tips for Making Holiday Entertaining Easier: 


() Decorate Early - Set it and Forget It
When I say early, I mean... right now. This is the time. Before you are really consumed with all the extra activity that the holidays bring. Decorate now, and you'll have a huge load off your shoulders when it come time to entertain. Keep the majority of your decor a general "Winter Holiday" theme, and then you can just change small details like your wreaths or place settings to distinguish between Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years, Three Kings Day, etc.

() Plan Your Pans
A huge part of the holidays is of course THE FOOD! There is nothing worse than planning out your menu, getting ready to cook, and realizing you don't have enough pans or serving dishes for your meal. Plan your pans. While you are making your meal plan, make note of which pan and serving platter you will use for each dish and make note of how many pans and dishes you may need to pick up to complete the meal.


() Calculate your libations
Probably the next biggest part of holiday entertaining is the drinks! You don't want to run out of beverages just when everyone is in the middle of merriment. The chart below is a good reference for the amount of alcohol to purchase or request from your guests.



() Play Some Joyful Tunes & Universal TV
Set up a holiday Spotify playlist that can play throughout the party. The playlist sets a joyful tone and atmosphere, and might even trigger and impromptu holiday song singing session from your guests! If you want a TV on I'd suggest putting on Food Network. Food Network is a please-all TV station. Its appropriate for all ages and provides a point of conversation for guests who may not know each other.


() Keep the Coffee (and milk!) Flowing
Almost as important as alcoholic beverages are caffeinated drinks. If you are entertaining in the morning/afternoon or preparing for people to hang around a while after dinner you want to have your coffee and milk ready. I choose to use a single serve coffee brewing system when I have guests so that people have a variety of beverages to choose from. I keep a gallon of DairyPure Milk on hand for those who want to lighten up their coffee.

You can get DairyPure milk from your local dairy, it is a simple choice for entertaining. DairyPure milk is the only milk backed by an exclusive 5 Point Purity Promise:

• No artificial growth hormones (note: no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from cows treated with the artificial growth hormone rbST and non‐rbST‐treated cows).
• All milk is tested for antibiotics
• Continuously quality tested to ensure purity
• Only from cows fed a healthy diet
• Cold shipped fresh from your local dairy

Learn more about DairyPure.

Not a coffee household or want to know more uses for DairyPure milk? Like DairyPure on Facebook or find DairyPure Recipe inspiration on Pinterest.

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Friday, November 11, 2016

5 Ways to Be a Better Recycler

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TubeFree #CollectiveBias

I'm really trying to take small steps towards having my family live a greener lifestyle. This is fueled by the fact that we only have one planet and because greener practices are usually healthier practices as well. We've been consistently recycling for about four years. If you are already recycling give yourself a round of applause! If you aren't recycling consider starting.  Here are some tips on how to be the best recycler you can be.

Five ways to be a good recycler: 



Check the rules for your specific area. 

Look up the specific recycling rules for your neighborhood. Make note of the recycling schedule. Check to see if you are required to get a specific recycling bin or if you can use any receptacle. 

Recycling rules are in place to limit non-recyclable materials from getting into the recyling stream. Those materials expose employees to unsafe working conditions and increase operation costs which lowers the value of recyclables. Examples of rules for my borough include no plastic bags and no lids/caps on glass bottles or jars. 

Rinse and dry containers before putting them into the bin. 

You don't need to run your jars through the dishwasher but the important thing is to rinse away all the food residue and to make sure the containers are empty and dry. I sit bottles in a box that I'm also recycling, or on a drying pad.



Re-purpose items.

For both recyclable and non-recyclable items make an attempt to re-purpose them before you toss them. Our actual recycling bin is a regular kitchen trash can that we used to use in the baby's room to hold dirty cloth diapers. I re-purposed it for recycling when it wasn't needed in her room any more.



We use a re-purposed baby wipes dispenser to store plastic bags from the grocery store that we re-use to bring our lunches to work.



Buy recycled. 

The symbol for recycling is a circle of arrows because the intention is to have a continuous loop of using, recycling, and re-using materials. You complete the recycling circle of life by buying recycled products in addition to recycling.

Accumulate less waste. 

Living a lifestyle that accumulates less waste should be the ultimate goal. This takes stress both off the recycling and trash systems. It's important to be mindful on how much waste you accumulate. Purchase at brick and mortar stores instead of online when you can to limit the use of packing materials. Buy in bulk when you can. Use Scott Tube Free.



I appreciate Scott Tube Free for eliminating a piece of waste households deal with constantly. Over 17 billion toilet paper tubes are used each year. That is a huge number. Even if you're already an avid recycler the bathroom is huge place of neglect when it comes to recycling items. Scott Tube Free makes it easier to have less waste to worry about recycling.

You're probably wondering what exactly happens when you get to the end of the roll? The paper just sort of...ends. It has enough structure so that it doesn't fall off the toilet paper holder but once you pull the final sheets it ends. It also goes on easily to common toilet paper holders.



The Tube Free design doesn't sacrifice the softness of the product, in fact Scott Tube Free has softer sheets than Scott 1000.

Scott Tube Free is available in common retailers. I grabbed mine from the local Rite Aid.


Get more details and specs on Scott Tube Free on RiteAid.com.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Creamsicle Smoothie Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HowDoYouEmergenC #CollectiveBias

I love the flavor of creamsicle. Something about the creaminess mixed with the tartness of the orange is the perfect combination. For a while I only indulged in creamsicle in the form of a creamsicle popsicle from the ice cream truck in the summer. But who wants to wait for one time a year for that sweet creamy goodness?! I wanted to figure out a way to enjoy the flavor of creamsicle whenever I wanted and without all the sugar of a commercial creamsicle pop and my Creamsicle Smoothie was born. This smoothie recipe is very easy and replicates the classic creamsicle flavor with fresh ingredients. The hardest part of this recipe is that you need to freeze your banana ahead of time. 




Ingredients: 

1 frozen banana (peel your banana before freezing it)
1 orange peeled and seeded
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 cup of ice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 packet Emergen-C Super Orange flavor

Instructions

Place all your ingredients in your blender on the highest setting and blend until smooth, about 1 - 2 minutes. 






Emergen-C really kicks this smoothie up a notch. It is packed with 7 B vitamins,  Zinc and Manganese - which are antioxidants, electrolytes and vitamin C. I have been a fan of the product since back when I was in college. During the winter months it gives me peace of mind to have Emergen-C as part of my regimen. I feel fortified when I drink it. It's an easy way to take vitamins. The Super Orange flavor fits great into this smoothie but there are 20 flavor varieties available.

I grabbed my Emergen-C from Walgreens. 


Check out more Emergen-C recipes HERE.

This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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