NESHEAHOLIC

Monday, July 11, 2016

Imperfect Moments Make the Best Memories


The other day I was tickled when I noticed the lock-screen photos my husband and I had chosen. There were a few similarities: 

1. We both chose pictures from our trip to Sesame Place which has been one of the highlights of our summer (read that story here.)

2. We both chose pictures of each other with our daughter. 

3. We both chose very unmanicured photos. In mine he's wet and BabyCakes isn't looking at the camera. In his BabyCakes is in motion and there's a bunch of stuff in the background/foreground. 

4. In both pictures we are smiling ear to ear. Real genuine smiles. Not "I'm taking this for Instagram" smiles. 

This is why we go so well together. Our photo choices are a reflection of what is important to us; our family. Our lives aren't perfect but they don't have to be for us to be enjoying them.

Imperfect moments make the best memories. 

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Crock-pot buffalo chicken sandwiches + Crock-pot Cleanup

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


Who doesn't love buffalo chicken wings? Sometimes the wing format can get old but you still want that buffalo chicken flavor. Enter crock-pot buffalo chicken sandwiches. This is a really easy crock-pot recipe that makes a tasty dinner with no fuss over the stove. 

Crock-pot cooking is easy, but crock-pot cleanup can be a drag. For this job I picked up the new Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloth 2-pack available for $4.99 at Target. They're available in gray, mint, coral, and navy. I picked up gray. The Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Dish Cloth is washable, reusable and sturdy. It works really well because it gives you the versatility of a dish cloth but has Scotch-Brite scrubbing dots to scrub stuck on food bits which crock-pot recipes often create.

CROCK-POT BUFFALO CHICKEN SANDWICHES

Ingredients

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
A bottle of buffalo wing sauce
1 packet dry/powder ranch salad dressing mix
Potato rolls
Blue cheese crumbles 

Instructions

In your crock-pot place the chicken breasts, 3/4 cups of the buffalo wing sauce, and the packet of dry ranch salad dressing mix. 

Set your crock pot either to high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, depending on your hunger time frame. ;-)

Once the chicken is cooked, use two forks to pull/shred your chicken in the crock pot. Allow the pulled chicken to sit in the sauce for an additional 30 minutes to soak up all the flavor. 

Serve on a potato roll, with additional buffalo wing sauce to taste, and blue cheese crumbles on top. 

I served mine with celery slices to keep with the buffalo wing theme. 


Make your crock-pot cleanup easy with Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Dish Cloth. Non-scratch scrubbing power with the wiping and drying functions of a dish cloth.





Note: you won't find these with the other dish cloths, but in the kitchen tool area. 



Using the Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Dish Cloths is just one of the tips I have for sink/counter organization. Here are a few others: 

Put everything in a bucket. I keep my under-sink space tidy by placing all my cleaners together in a bucket. This keeps them easily reachable and also makes it simple to take them to other parts of the house if need be. 

Over the cabinet dish cloth bar/rack. Using a dish cloth rack allows for dish cloths to dry between uses and is a much more convenient way to store them than hanging them over the faucet. This can hang either inside or outside the cabinet. I choose inside so my toddler doesn't grab them. 


Washable dish drying mat. The plastic trays that go under the dish drying rack can get pretty gunky really fast. Opt for a washable dish drying mat and you can wash it weekly with your laundry along with your dish towel so you don't have your clean dishes sitting above a moldy dish rack tray. 



Save now on Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Dish Cloths at Target with this Cartwheel offer good 6/26-7/2. You can also check out other great recipes and cleaning tutorials here.

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Snapple. The opinions and text are all mine. #TrueTeaTaste


I’m so excited summer is finally here! With summer comes more opportunities to entertain and more time outdoors enjoying good food and beverages. Having a good pasta salad under your belt is imperative for both entertaining and being a good summer guest who brings a dish. If you’re looking to step your game up from the average pasta salad I have a great recipe for you: BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad. 

Ingredients
2 cups Shredded Rotisserie Chicken
2 cups dry tri-color rotini or pasta of choice
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 small red onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Shred your rotisserie chicken and set aside. To shred simple take your chicken off the bone and use two forks to separate the meat until you have nicely shredded pieces.  You could also make your own chicken breasts and shred them, but for summer entertaining I like to take any opportunity to cut time and keep the oven off.  


Mix  together the barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl to make your dressing. Chop your veggies. For the red onion, after dicing, place the onion in a bowl of cold water until you are ready to add it to the salad. Soaking the red onion helps to take away some of the bite that raw red onion has and give it a milder flavor.



You can use any type of pasta for this recipe but I love to use tri-color rotini because the color makes for a nice visual appeal, and the sauce gets sucked up in the little corkscrews. Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and immediately toss with about 1/4 cup of the dressing to keep the pasta from sticking and to make sure it gets coated with flavor.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, chicken, drained red onions, pepper, and celery. Toss with the remaining dressing until evenly coated. Taste the salad and add salt, pepper, more mayonnaise, more barbecue sauce, or more apple cider vinegar to suit your taste.

Serve immediately. This is best at room temperature, but you should refrigerate leftovers. 


I cannot tell you how refreshing this salad is with a nice cold glass of iced tea. It really puts you in a summer afternoon mood. I’m currently loving Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea. Made with all-natural ingredients. Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea tastes like fresh brewed iced tea. You can keep everyone happy even if you are working with different tastes as they have three levels of sweetness, plus black, green and rooibos tea varieties. On my last trip to Giant I picked up the Sweet, Sorta Sweet and Rooibos varieties. 


Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea has sleek new packaging and was easy to find at my grocery store. 


Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea Sorta Sweet Honey Green and Rooibos are new varieties available now so pick yours up soon!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

10 Years of Love in Photos

After some couples get married they stop celebrating their dating anniversary, but I think the day we first committed to each other is still a pretty important milestone. On this day 10 years ago I agreed to be the girlfriend of the man who I would eventually marry and have a beautiful little girl with. 

10 Years of Love: 

2006 at the Fourth of July Fireworks in Philadelphia


2007 at the call center where we met.

2008 at my graduation.

2009 at our wedding. 

Parasailing Bahamas Cruise 2010

Philly Natural Hair Meetup 2011



San Diego Segwaying 2012

Poconos 2013

Baby Shower 2014

2015 Fall Family Photos

New Year's Day 2016

Looking forward to many more adventures for many years to come. I love you.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Finding the Best Care for Your Child



Disclaimer: Many thanks to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for sponsoring this post and helping to keep children healthy. 

Parenting is stressful. You're responsible for a tiny human who can't fully communicate for the first 2-3 years of their lives. You're always wondering if you're doing things right. Are they eating enough? Are they sleeping enough? Is that bump harmless or a problem? 

A few hours after having my daughter the nurses took her aside to do all her testing. She passed everything with flying colors except her body wasn't processing sugars like it should have. The nurse informed us that they had to take her to the NICU provided by CHOP Newborn Care at Pennsylvania Hospital for monitoring, where they would test her blood sugar every hour.


 I was not happy. It seemed like we had just settled down into being a family of three after the chaos of an emergency c-section. I had to let my little precious human who had lived under my heart for 10 months go floors away to be taken care of by strangers. I couldn't even go down with her as I hadn't been cleared to get out of bed yet.

My husband split his time between being with me and sitting with her. The very moment I was cleared to leave bed he wheeled me down to see her. She was comfy laying under the heating lamps adjusting to life on the outside. 

The atmosphere of the NICU was calm and the nurses were very friendly. After 24 hours of monitoring she was processing sugar regularly and was returned to our room. I feel blessed that she wasn't being treated for a more serious cause, but I was comforted to feel like she was under the care of good people. 


I always thought CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) only provided care to very sick children but they offer a wide variety of services throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey: 

CHOP Primary Care provides convenient access to primary health and wellness services for children close to home. 

CHOP Specialty Care and Surgery Center provides the area the services of renowned Children’s Hospital surgeons who have the same training as those at the Main Campus without having to travel into the city. 

After-Hours Urgent Care offers fast, convenient care for children ranging from infants to adolescents when your doctor’s office is closed and your child needs to be seen right away but it isn’t a true emergency. 

Home Care provides a multidisciplinary team who coordinate home visits for children who are recovering from illness or coping with chronic conditions because they understand home can be the best environment for recovery. 

If you are in the Southeastern Pennsylvania or New Jersey areas I highly recommend you check out all the services provided by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Care Network


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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Sesame Place Adventure

sesame place

I woke up this morning at around 4:30am from excitement. You would have thought we were going to Disney Land. Sesame Place is the first amusement park we've gone to as a family. I'd even been playing Sesame Street daily for BabyCakes the last few weeks hoping she would begin to recognize the characters and songs.

My excitement turned to disappointment after I checked the weather. Not only was it supposed to be just a cool 65 degrees but the forecast called for thunderstorms and hail! After contemplation we decided to still head to the park, bathing suits on, and hoped for the best. After-all we'd already taken the day off  work and the Groupon I purchased for tickets expires at the end of this month. Also we knew the park has a Sunny Day Guarantee (if you are in the park for an hour while it's raining you get free tickets to return). 

When we arrived the weather wasn't looking bad at all. It was warm enough for some water play so we spent time in the Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave, Big Bird's Rambling River, and  Ernie's Waterworks. BabyCakes LOVES the water. She squealed happily and enjoyed getting splashed. She also loved the freedom of wandering around the park. I purchased a baby leash but I didn't need to use it. 

The temperature began to drop so we decided to change back into our warmer clothes so we could enjoy some of the dry rides, but the weather had other plans. What started as a sprinkle turned into a hail-mixed torrential downpour quickly. We decided it would be a good idea to go catch one of the shows and get under cover. On the way to the show we ran into Abby Cadabby and we were able to get pictures with her before we headed to the The Magic of Art Show. Babycakes enjoyed it. I could tell because she was tapping her feet and clapping along. 

See that halo of rain around our feet!?

After the show was over it was still raining very heavily. They weren't running any of the rides because of the weather so we started our expedition to the car. We got SOAKED with rain, but it was so fun. We stopped at the shop near the exit to grab some dry Sesame Street t-shirts and sweat shirts to change into then made a final very wet dash to our car. 

sesame place swag
Our new Abby Cadabby and Elmo Swag

Even though we didn't get to go on any of the dry rides we had such a great time. Dodging the rain and getting soaked made it even more of an adventure. Our first amusement park trip is in the books. 



 
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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Save time & money: online shop for your automotive needs

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone. #DotComDIY #CollectiveBias
penzoil
If you missed the announcement on Facebook or Instagram, as of February I am a licensed driver! Getting my licence at 30 might seem late to most, but I am very proud of myself for finally getting over the anxiety I had around driving. Now that I'm on the road I'm also learning the ins and outs of car maintenance and fitting it into my schedule. 

In today's busy world, there is little time to make a trip to the store. Why fight the crowds?

Save time and money by fulfilling your DIY oil needs on Walmart.com. Their amazing selection of items, including exclusive specialty automotive items, can be found just a click away.

On Walmart.com you can find many Pennzoil Platinum products currently on rollback (for a limited time), including Pennzoil Full Synthetic and Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage. Based on your car's needs and the number of miles, one of these two oils is right for you.

  • Platinum Synthetic: With Pennzoil's PurePlus™ Technology, the Platinum® motor oil is proven to keep pistons up to 40% cleaner than the toughest industry standard. (Use if < than 75,000 miles)
  • High Mileage: Perfect for the vehicle with over 75,000 miles as it helps to reduce leaks and oil consumption in a well-used car.

Save yourself a trip to the store and get your oil on rollback at Walmart.com today!
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