12/1/15 - 1/1/16 | NESHEAHOLIC

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 New Year's Resolutions

I like to make realistic New Year's Resolutions that are simple, but have a big impact. To this day, the best New Year's Resolution I've made and kept is to lotion my whole body every day. I've been ash-free for years now lol. Here are some small goals for 2016:

Face mask every Sunday. Right now my face mask of choice is Charcoal Purifying Mask from Shea Shea Bakery. I plan to rejuvenate my skin with a face mask once a week. Other face care goals that aren't necessarily resolutions are drinking more water, washing my face twice a day, and washing my pillow cases more often. 

Watch more TV. Most people are probably going into the New Year with the opposite resolution. I want to actually watch more TV this year. Really watch it. Not scroll social media while it plays in the background, or glance up at it while I'm working. I want to 100% watch TV while I'm watching TV this year. Looking forward to: black-ish, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Modern Family, Downton Abbey, Shameless, Portlandia, and for some reason - American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.

Limit phone usage when I'm not alone. If I'm in the presence of other people I'm going to try my best to engage with them rather than browsing on my phone. Unless I have a specific task I want to do, I'll keep my phone to the side. 

What are your 2016 New Year's Resolutions? 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Not-So-Perfect Christmases

My Christmas went SO WONDERFUL. It was our first time hosting Christmas and I really couldn't have asked for things to go better. The day was chill and relaxed, my Christmas dinner turned out great, and I got to watch BabyCakes walk around and play with her presents all day. 

I attribute the greatness of the day to me relaxing and letting go of expectations. I have a high propensity to have a lot of anxiety when it comes to hosting at all. Add to that the pressure that comes with making Christmas day perfect and magical and I had a higher than likely chance of being stressed out and disappointed that I didn't do things perfectly. 

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves during this season. It can be heartbreaking when things don't go as we plan. I've read two blog posts recently from people who didn't have the perfect Christmases they hoped for:

Kate at the Greatest Escapist writes about How She Accidentally Ruined Christmas

Marquette at Pinstrosity writes about How Christmas Really Went

Both of these posts touched me because I could see myself in them. I could remember times when I felt similarly. I appreciated how REAL and open they were. Neither post ended on a happy note and that is REAL. Sometimes we allow ourselves to be crushed by unfulfilled expectations. Sometimes we make a small mistake and allow that to consume us to where we feel like we do nothing right. Those are real feelings. I appreciate both of these women for sharing their experiences. 

I wish us all the ability to stop being our worst enemy is 2016!


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Newborn Items We Still Use at 15 Months

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

There is so much STUFF out there for babies. It can be a bit overwhelming when you're pregnant to know what to buy and what not to buy. What do you need? What is a luxury? Here is what we purchased in the beginning that we still use at almost 15 months.

Summer Infant 4-sided Changing pad. This changing pad has been great. I never mounted it to anywhere so that I could move it around the house as needed. I also didn't purchase a cover for it. Since we cloth diaper I have plenty of prefolds and flat diapers around that I lay on the pad. It's easier for me to swap those out when they get dirty.

Bottle drying apparatuses. I have both the Munchkin Deluxe Drying Rack and a Boon Lawn Counter-top Drying Rack. I use both. The Boon Lawn drying rack is always on the counter, while I pull out the Munchkin for back-up if it's been a long time since I've washed her dishes and I have a lot to dry. These have taken us through drying breast pump parts and bottles, to just bottles, and now to her various cups, bowls and spoons. 

Pack 'n Play. I actually just purchased a second Pack n' Play to keep in Connecticut for when I visit my family there. She slept in the Pack n' Play before we transitioned her to her crib. She sleeps in a Pack n' Play whenever we travel and she also plays in one when I take her to work with me.

Wipes dispenser. Buying wipes in bulk is the way to go. When you buy individual containers you're paying extra for plastic and creating more waste. I purchase wipes in bulk from Amazon and I have this OXO wipes dispenser.

Let me also share things that are nice to have, but I don't think are worth purchasing.

Bottle warmer. I'm not saying this isn't worth having, but I used mine so few times that I'm glad I received one second hand from a friend for free. I'd say I only used it for about a month, then I realized BabyCakes was totally fine with cold or room temperature milk.
Shopping cart cover. This came in handy during my new mom germaphobe can't let my baby touch anything phase, but I'm glad I received it as a gift because I think we used it all of three times. 
Which baby products could you not live without?


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Event Recap: TresseNoire Noire Soiree

photo credit: Terrell Halsey

Last month I had the pleasure of attending the TresseNoire Noire Soiree. It took place in the cutest restaurant, Point of Destination Cafe (which is right next to the Upsal Regional Rail station if you're in Philly). I was running behind so I wasn't able to get any of the food but the atmosphere of the restaurant was really cute and cozy. I checked them out on Facebook and their menu looks delicious.  

photo credit: Terrell Halsey

One of the vendors was cinagrOrganic. I don't need any more products so I tried to ignore her stand lol. But I heard her explaining her all natural handmade products and I wanted to support so I got my friend Tanya a set for her birthday. 

photo credit: Terrell Halsey

The lovely hosts for the program were the duo from Curlswithlove, who had their hair styled for the event by the TresseNoire team. 

First in the program was Tonya Ladipo from The Ladipo Group, an all African American group of therapists and counselors. For Tonya's presentation she did a very important exercise using a jar, sand, rocks, and pebbles, to illustrate that in order to maximize our capacity each day we have to be sure to take time for ourselves and our families and not let small tasks overwhelm us or make us lose sight of the bigger things in life. 

photo credit: Terrell Halsey

D&P Financial Services gave tips on saving more and spending less during the holiday season, including cashing in rewards points that you develop throughout the year on various cards and bringing cash only shopping so that you stick to your budget.

LeeAnn Willis, the Weight Loss D.I.V.A., gave an intro to her book and journey with weight-loss. 

One of the TresseNoire stylists did a quick and easy hair demo right in front of the audience. 

photo credit: Terrell Halsey

While the program went on attendees were able to get services from the Glam Bar: manicure, curl consultation and/or massage. It was a lovely time with a very diverse group of women.

Although TresseNoire is a mobile hairstyling company, the event was so much more than hair. It offered enrichment for hair, mind, body and budget. I really admire the founders,Octavia and Regina, for seeing a need (the need for in home professional hair care services for women who don't have the time for the salon) and taking a leap to fill that void.

They are currently running a 12 Curls of Christmas giveaway on their Instagram, now through Christmas. Follow them for details on entering!


Thursday, December 17, 2015

3 Ways to Entertain a Toddler with Plastic Balls

This post contains affiliate links. 

toddler activities with plastic balls

Entertaining a toddler takes a lot of strategy. We've had two packs of these plastic balls (phthalate free, BPA free, crush proof) for a while now and BabyCakes loves them. Here are 3 ways to entertain a toddler with plastic balls.

Put them in (and out) of a muffin tin. BabyCakes is really into organization, and fitting things into place. I'll give her a muffin tin with a ball in each hole and she'll independently play taking the balls in and out of the tin. Right now I'm working on getting her to put them in organized by color. 

Play catch. We roll balls back and forth. She also plays catch with herself, throwing the ball, chasing after it, then throwing it again. 

DIY baby ball pit

Make a DIY baby ball pit. I shared before our method of creating an easy DIY baby ball pit (if you missed it read here). Four months later she still enjoys playing in the ball pit. Because the container has a lid, it's also very easy to close it up and tuck it away when she isn't playing. 

The only "downside" of ball play is that BabyCakes can't quite clean them up by herself yet, so that's my job after bedtime lol. But I'll happily trade ball collection for some free moments during the day while she entertains herself. 

What are you doing to entertain your toddler?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Motherhood is Cray

The baby is just hanging around in a cloth diaper and socks because she had just peed through her diaper and her clothes and I could only get her into a fresh diaper because I was changing her while on a conference call for work. It was supposed to her nap time, but she refused to nap and talked through the call.

I have the utmost respect for work-at-home moms. I could not do this long term. I'd lose my mind.  

I'm exhausted because she woke up at 4:45am and wouldn't go back to sleep until 6am. 

Hubs and I joke that she runs the house and we're just her servants. Which, although a joke, is basically true. I've taken to calling us "male servant" and "female servant."

Male servant, throw me up and down until I giggle uncontrollably. 

Female servant, pick up my toys so I can throw them around all over again. 

Toddlers are cray. Parenthood is cray. As Hubs says, it's my favorite inconvenience. It's all worth it for this smile: 

Note: cray = crazy, but without the Z ;-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Easy Head-wrap Tutorial

I love a good head-wrap on a:

1. bad hair day
2. hit snooze too many times day
3. too lazy to do my hair day
4. really want to stand out day

This is my go-to wrap style. It is quick, easy, and cute!

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