NESHEAHOLIC

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas Magic for the Magic Makers

Christmas Tree Lights


If you are the Christmas Magic Maker in your family, this post is for you. The Magic Maker is the chief person who brings the magic of Christmas to the rest of the family. After you have purchased the decorations, put up the decorations, searched for the perfect presents, purchased the presents, wrapped the presents, planned the Christmas menu, purchased the Christmas food, cleaned the house for your Christmas guests, created your Christmas cards, purchased the stamps for your Christmas cards, mailed your Christmas cards, checked and double checked the shipping on the presents you've purchased online, brainstormed your Christmas eve activities, etc. etc... I want you, Magic Maker to do one or more of these things for yourself.

Take a luxurious shower or bath. I'm not talking about one of those hurry up and get clean showers. I'm talking about start out with a face mask, use a special body scrub, take your time moisturizing afterwards type showers. Give yourself an hour to do all the self-care you would do all the time, if you had time. 

Get a massage. Take some time to pamper yourself. Your body and spirit will thank you. You'll love having someone take care of you, if even for just an hour. 

Get a manicure. Same principal as above, and you'll have beautiful nails to show off during the holiday festivities. 

Go on a solo date. Take yourself out for a meal. Read a book, scroll Instagram, do anything but worry about any of your responsibilities. 

Nerdy Christmas Ornaments
Our nerdy Christmas ornaments. 

Go to a movie. Going to a movie in a theater is the perfect pastime because you are expected to put your cell phone down throughout the entire experience. For many of us, our phones are tied to responsibilities - work e-mails, texts we need to return, etc. Seeing a movie in a theater makes you focus on the movie and just enjoy yourself. 

Have someone else wrap your gifts. You can go as high-end (department store) or low end (person on craigslist)  as you want for this one. The point is outsourcing one of your responsibilities for the result of more time for other tasks, and really pretty looking gifts under your tree. 

Order yourself a subscription box. Who are we kidding? If you are the Christmas Magic Maker, you're probably the person holding down the fort the majority of the time. Purchase yourself a year of a subscription box, and get a surprise gift every month of the year, because you deserve it.

Christmas tree



What are you doing to take care of YOURSELF during this holiday season?


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Monday, December 4, 2017

Holiday Guest Bathroom Basket

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


Holiday guest bathroom basket


I enjoy hosting and I try to make my guests as comfortable as possible when visiting or staying with me. Part of this holiday's hostess duties for me was creating a holiday guest bathroom basket. This basket is filled with things to make my guests comfortable and try to limit any awkward moments. In my basket I include painkillers, washcloths, toothbrushes, holiday socks for when they're in pajamas if they forgot slippers of their own and Poo~Pourri.

We only have one bathroom in our home, so with the combination of our family of three, overnight guests and people visiting during the holidays that bathroom is highly trafficked. No one wants to come into the bathroom behind someone and get hit in the face with funk! So I was excited when I saw Poo~Pourri, the Before-You-Go® Toilet Spray . It's a funny product, but it works, and the packaging is elegant enough to keep around even the fanciest home.

Poo~pourri

The mechanism is simple. When spritzed into the toilet bowl before you go, Poo~Pourri's all natural essential oil blend creates a film on the surface of the water. The barrier traps odor under the surface and all you smell is freshness when you flush.  Poo~Pourri transforms your bathroom experience (and those who come in after you) by stopping bathroom odor before it begins.

I wanted to choose some scents that evoked the holidays, as well as a scent I could use as the year moves on. I decided on Secret Santa- a blend of cinnamon, vanilla and citrus natural essential oil, Merry Spritzmas® - peppermint, vanilla, and citrus, essential oils and Lavender Vanilla.  Their website is so fun and easy to navigate.

Poo~Pourri



Hover over and click the image below to purchase from PooPourri.com. 


Use my special coupon code, WORKING, to get 20% off. 


Creating one of these baskets is super simple. You'll need: 


A basket
Ribbon (I recommend ribbon that has wire lining so you can make it keep the shape you want)
Christmas berry stems from your craft store's floral department
Pine garland
Pou~Pourri and assorted bathroom items for your guests
Wire cutters

Pine garland craft

Measure your pine garland to the length of the perimeter of your basket and cut to size. To secure your garland to the basket hook small pieces of the garland's wire around the basket.

Basket with pine garland

If your basket is deeper than you'd like for this project, as mine was, you can place a styrofoam block or other filler inside the basket to lift things up. Create a bow, or multiple bows from your ribbon and affix to your garland with a section of the garland's wire. Add in your guest items and place in the guest room or bathroom, and you're good to go!

bathroom guest basket






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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Giveaway: FERDINAND Advance Screening

We had our first movie outing to a real movie theater over the summer to see Despicable Me 3. Armed with a big bag of popcorn BabyCakes sat through the whole movie! We really enjoyed it. During the previews for the movie we saw the trailer for FERDINAND, the story of a giant bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. Set in Spain, Ferdinand proves you can't judge a bull by its cover.


From Blue Sky Studios and Carlos Saldanha, the director of "Rio" and inspired by the beloved book "The Story of Ferdinand" by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, "Ferdinand" is a heartwarming animated comedy adventure with an all-star cast that includes John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez, Anthony Anderson and many more.

Ferdinand


The movie comes out December 15th, but the FERDINAND team has offered me tickets to an advance screening of FERDINAND on December 9th at UA Riverview (1400 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia). Enter to win tickets in the Rafflecopter widget below!

Winners will be notified by 12/6.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Sunday, October 29, 2017

How to Make Time to Read When You Don't Have Time

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here

How to make time to read when you don't have time

I’ve been searching for a “thing.” A pastime or hobby that’s all my own. A Facebook group I’m a part of recently started a book club and I thought that would be a great idea to give me something to do that’s not connected to Hubs or BabyCakes. So I excitedly bought the book. Then I thought: When in the world am I going to have time to read? I have a job, a husband, a home, a daughter, and a theater company. When was I going to read?!

I’ve found that I can make time for reading. It doesn’t look like it used to, snuggling up with a book for as long as I want to, but I can make it happen.

How to make time to read when you don’t have time:

The first thing that is imperative to this for me is having the Kindle app on my smartphone. We always have our phones with us. It’s much easier to read on something you always have than from a physical book, or even an actual Kindle, that you have to remember to carry around. I also always buy the accompanying audio book when I buy my kindle books on Amazon. The app lets you transition seamlessly from reading your book to listening to your book, and back again.

Read, don’t scroll


Most of us spend a lot of time scrolling social media. You can turn that same time into reading a book on your phone. You can make it through your book with these 15 minutes chunks of time when you’d usually scroll. Times like waiting in line at the post office, waiting for your child in the pickup area at school, in the bathroom, etc

Read on your commute


Of course this is easy if you have a long commute on public transportation. But even if you only have a 15 minute walk or ride, take that that time read or listen to your book.

Read While You Cook


This is where having the audio book accompaniment really comes in handy. While you’re prepping your food or cooking on the stove top you can listen to your book. While food is baking in the oven you can read. I’ve been getting a good 30-45 minutes of reading time in while making dinner.

Listen during chores


Listen to your book while folding clothes or cleaning. It will make your chores go by faster and is a great time when you’re generally alone anyway, to get some reading/listening of your book in.

Incorporate into self-care


What I’ve realized in making my time for reading is that I’m inadvertently making more time for myself, which is much needed.

Make time solely for you a priority, and if you’d like time to spend that time reading I hope these tips help!

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

We were Born to Shred

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

Post Born to Shred

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Don’t forget! You were #BornToShred and live a flavorful life.
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Sunday, October 22, 2017

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Brick-or-Treat

Thank you to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia for our complimentary admission. 


LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia Brick-or-Treat



Today we had our second visit to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia. Our first visit was last spring on Easter. We had an even better time this visit for a few reasons. 

Every October weekend is a Brick-or-Treat experience. There is Halloween themed decor, lego pumpkin building, Halloween photo ops, and more. You can also wear Halloween costumes. We decked BabyCakes out in a Halloween themed outfit.


The first time we visited LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia the Imagination Express train ride was having technical difficulties. This time we got to ride it and it was so much fun. We rode the train from the entrance into the center. Inside was an interactive train ride where each rider gets a wand and there are screens where you have to shoot your wand to gain points and help the train move forward. They take a picture during your ride. Here's our family popping bubbles and escaping the sharks with our wands lol


We were able to do one of the 4D movies this time around. The movies are only about 15 minutes long but we didn't think BabyCakes had the patience the first time we went. It was so cool. You get 3D glasses and the 4D elements are things like wind, snow, rain, and smoke that make you really feel like you're in the scene. We enjoyed it a lot. 

Legoland Discovery Center Philadelphia 4D Movie


This visit BabyCakes was also big enough to go in the Pirate Adventure Island area, which is a kids only pay area. You have to be taller than 3ft to enter and she just made the cut! She held her own running around with all boys who were older than her. 

She had a great time exploring and building with LEGOS. Probably her favorite part was the LEGO bubble machine. 


I'm looking forward to more seasonal events at LEGOLAND Discovery Center and seeing how our visits change as BabyCakes gets older. I could already see how much more outgoing and brave she was this visit compared to our last. She's growing so fast, and I cherish these family weekend adventures. 

If you're in the Philadelphia area make sure you don't miss the Brick-or-Treat events this October.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center


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Saturday, September 23, 2017

The ABCs of Fall: A is for Apples


One of my absolute favorite memories from childhood is each fall when we would visit the farm with our class. We would each get to pick out a pumpkin to bring home. The best part though, was the farm had a really big apple cider pressing machine. We got to watch the machine work, then drink a cup of fresh apple cider and bring home a small container of cider along with our pumpkin. I think those experiences shaped my absolute love for apple cider.

I find apple cider to be the PERFECT fall beverage. You can drink it cold, but even better, you can drink it warm, and even better than that, you can drink it warm with a shot of rum or brandy. ;-) Spiked warm apple cider is the perfect hot toddy when you are sick in the fall/winter as well.

I've put together a roundup of apple activities for the kids, and apple cocktails for mom, that I'm looking forward to trying this fall.

Educational Apple Activities


apple stamping activity

Mommy University has a great roundup of educational apple activities for kids.  

You can try out this apple volcano science experiment. 

This apple activity for toddlers is great for fine motor skills and teaching numbers or letter.

If you can bear to use your apples for non-eating purposes try out this apple stamping craft.


Apple Cocktails



Colleen from Souffle Bombay has a recipe for Apple Pie Moonshine.

Jo-Lynne shares an Apple Cider Mojito recipe.

How about this recipe for a caramel apple sangria?!

Wine in Mom has a recipe for Double Bourbon Apple Pie Ale.

What apple themed recipes, activities, or crafts are you looking forward to this fall?
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