2017 | NESHEAHOLIC

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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Sunday, September 17, 2017

5 Month Loc Journey

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




While I've shared on my Twitter and Instagram, I haven't made the official announcement here on the blog: I've loc'd my hair! I'm currently five months into my loc journey and I'm loving it.

Why I loc'd my hair


Since I went natural in 2008 I've love experimenting with my hair. I've enjoyed taking care of it myself since I stopped getting relaxers and have spent plenty of hours researching styles and trying them out on my hair. I'd been thinking about locing for a while. After having my daughter I just didn't have as much time or desire to spend on my hair any longer. I had considered cutting it, but never went through with it. My husband has had locs since 2009 that I maintain for him so I was very familiar with locs and the locing process. I decided locing was the best thing to do to my hair to lessen the my maintenance and styling time. In April 2017 I finally took the plunge!

Starter locs
April 2017 - Day 1 of My Loc Journey

How I started my locs


I went to a professional stylist to start my locs. She started them with the comb coil method. I've gone to her four times for a wash and re-twist, and I've washed and re-twisted myself two times in these first five months. I've decided that unless I want a style for a special occasion I'll be re-twisting my hair myself in an effort to save money and the time spent in the salon.

My wash routine/moisture routine for locs


I'm washing and re-twisting my hair about every three to four weeks. I've been using Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo to wash and Shea Moisture Manuka Honey Conditioner to condition. Right after washing I use the Alikay Naturals Lemon Grass Leave-in Conditioner and Essential 17 Hair Growth Oil before I re-twist. Between washes to refresh moisture as needed I use Shea Moisture Hold & Shine Moisture Mist on my scalp and rosewater and coconut oil on my locs. This routine is keeping my hair soft and moisturized.


Loc Journey
May 2017


How I'm styling my locs


I recently decided to try out a roller set on my locs because my DIY styling spirit is still alive and well. I grabbed a bonnet hair dryer attachment and it worked so well to set the curls! I can tell this is going to be my go-to style. 


I really feel like my hair was meant to be loc'd. It has taken to the process so well. I'm loving the loc'd life and looking forward to continuing my journey.

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section! 

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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Last Beach Trip of the Summer


BabyCakes has been asking to go to the beach for weeks. This summer we went to Wildwood, NJ and Virginia Beach. This kid loves the water. Although it's after Labor Day and fall is on the way we thought it'd be a great day for our last beach trip of the summer.




We kept the trip simple and low cost, packing sandwiches for lunch, some snacks, and some adult beverages in water bottles :-).

BabyCakes believes the beach is made up of sand castles, bathing suits, and ice cream cones. We were able to easily make her dreams come true.




After we were sufficiently sandy we headed to the arcade because my husband is a skee-ball champion and has to play. I was excited to find that they had a little toddler sized skee-ball that my daughter could play!



This was a great end of summer trip. We're planning on making a post-Labor Day Wildwood trip an annual tradition. We ended our day with ice cream and smiles.




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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Summer Crafts, Recipes, and Activities


Summertime is in full swing. Are there things you wanted to experience this summer that you haven't yet? Are you still looking to make the season special but don't know where to start? I've got your summer inspiration right here!  A great list of amazing summertime food, activities, crafts, and beauty tips. Summertime is for fun and fresh ideas. Try one of these before fall breezes in!

Food

Hawaiian Acai Bowl

Hawaiian Acai Bowl by Wanderzest
Margarita Bark recipe by Mom on the Side
Black Raspberry Frappé by (a)Musing Foodie
Strawberry Cheesecake Puffs by Moore or Less Cooking
Stay Hydrated during Migraines {Natural Pineapple Lime Electrolyte Drink} by Great Contradictions
ICED COCONUT MOCHA WITH STARBUCKS® by One Artsy Mama
Easy Oreo S’mores Ice Pops by Creative Cynchronicity Spiked S’Mores Milkshakes by Sweet Lil You
Tropical Flavored Popsicles Forever Green Mom

Blueberry Mug Cake

Blueberry Microwave Mug Cake by LoveJaime
Cinnamon Roll Peach Bake by Julie Measures
London Broil Marinade Recipe by Saving You Dinero
Blueberry Pie recipe by Chaos Is Bliss

Crafts and Activities

5 Ways to Prepare for a Road Trip with a Toddler by Nesheaholic.com
How to make a Flip Flop Welcome Sign by My UnEntitled Life
Make DIY Slime by Inspiring Momma
Top 10 Things to Pack for a Picnic by Finding Sanity In Our Crazy Life Summer Travel Essentials by A Tiny Traveler Blog

Tie Dye T-shirts

Summer Fun Tie Dye Playdate by Crafty Mama in Me
DIY Patriotic Centerpieces by Happy Family Blog
Kool-Aid Dyed Yarn DIY Plant Pot by Organized 31
Summer Bucket List ideas for families by The Momma Diaries
Homemade Handprint Garden Stones by Ava's Alphabet

DIY Cooler

DIY Industrial Cooler Five Marigolds
Sip Back and Relax Wine Glasses by Happy Go Lucky
Family Pickle Canning — Sharing is Caring by Beauty Brite
Privacy Planters with Lattice DIYDanielle

Entertaining

Pizza

Outdoor family game night by My Life Homemade
The Perfect Tournament Pairing-Modelo and Elotes by Southern Mom Loves
Pink flamingos Birthday Party by Five Marigolds

Barbecue party decor

Chillin’ and Grillin’ Backyard Barbecue by Five Marigolds
Host an Americana Summer Picnic by Revel and Glitter

Beauty and Fashion

DIY: Soothing Orange and Chamomile Body Scrub (W/Free Printable Tea Envelope) Winter and Sparrow
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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Our Breastfeeding Story

The end of our nursing journey


Our breastfeeding story

My original breastfeeding goal was six months. Three or four months in I loved breastfeeding and decided I would likely nurse at least a  year. As the months continued I intended to make it to at least 14 months, weaning before my 30th birthday.

Three months to eight months breastfeeding


My daughter started daycare at three months old when my maternity leave was up. At that point I began pumping while at work to produce her daycare bottles. I envied all the breast milk stash shots I saw online. Moms who had freezers full of breast milk for a rainy day. I was not so lucky. My pump output was usually exactly what my daughter needed for the following day, with little to no surplus for a stash.  At around 8 months my pump output started to decline so I had to increase my number of pumping sessions to keep up with what she needed during the day at daycare. Although my pump output went down, when she nursed directly from me she was satisfied.

Beginning to supplement


Around 9 months my pump output became so low that we had to begin supplementing with formula at daycare pretty regularly, usually one bottle a day.  At this point she was still satisfied nursing directly. 

By 10.5 months my pump output was so low that I no longer wanted to take the time at work to do it for just a few ounces. I was still nursing her mornings, nights, and weekends. Because breastfeeding is completely a game of supply and demand, I knew that no longer pumping would decrease demand, and therefore further decrease my supply. 

At about 11.5 months she was no longer satisfied from nursing sessions, and I knew our nursing journey was coming to an end. It was time to wean.

The end of our breastfeeding journey


Weaning was extremely easy for us. She had been off bottles for months and was already drinking from sippy cups. Because she'd been having formula at daycare already she had no problem continuing. She also began transitioning to almond milk and cows milk shortly after weaning and began eating table food regularly so her milk intake in general decreased in favor of solids.

When I stopped nursing I was very fortunate to not get engorged or have any pain, I didn't even leak! My supply waned very easily, thankfully. 

Emotionally, I was sad for a few days. I really enjoyed breastfeeding, and I had hoped to make it a few more months. Initially I felt like a failure for not making it as long as I wanted to, but then I had to congratulate myself for making it as far as I did. The commitment to breastfeeding is not always easy, and I made it 11 months. I'm proud of me. 


RELATED POSTS


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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ham and Cheese Quesadilla Recipe

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

I wish I had the time to create extravagant meals every day for my family. The reality is on week nights there is a short window between when we get home and bedtime. I don't want to spend all that time at the stove. I love creating simple, quick, and filling recipes for week nights, especially during seasons when we have a lot of extracurricular activities going on. One of these quick and simple recipes is a ham and cheddar quesadilla.

ham and cheddar quesadilla

Three simple ingredients: 


Eckrich Honey Cured Ham
Shredded mild cheddar cheese
Whole wheat tortillas

Eckrich is making it easy to get your deli meat at your local Walmart - enter for a chance to win a $100 Walmart gift card!

#EckrichFlavor #Sweepstakes (7/11 to 8/18)

Eckrich Deli Meats is about tradition, flavor, and affordability. Their hams are specially trimmed for consistent quality and feature a wide selection of flavors. Their products are gluten free, and they have a full line of quality natural smoked and natural juice hams.

I love shopping the deli counter at Walmart for recipe ingredients. One of my favorite memories as a child was visiting the deli counter with my grandfather and being able to test the first slice of cheese or meat the deli attendant sliced to check the thickness. It was a tradition with me and my grandfather, and now I get to share that with my daughter, who happily dances in the deli section eating her ham or cheese.

How to make a ham and cheddar quesadilla

ham and cheddar quesadilla recipe

Spray your skillet with non-stick cooking spray and warm to medium-high heat. Place one of your tortillas on the warmed skillet. Layer cheese on top of the tortilla. Place slices of ham on top of your cheese and then sprinkle with just a little more cheese on top of your ham, and place your second tortilla on top. The second layer of cheese acts as glue between the ham and your top tortilla. Because of the water in the ham the tortilla and ham won't stick without a little bit of cheese!

Plated ham and cheddar quesadilla


Cook your quesadilla for two minutes on each side until brown. Pro-tip: the best way to cut your quesadilla neatly is using a pizza cutter.

I serve this to my daughter with chips, veggies, or fruit. Ham and cheddar quesadillas are great warm, but they are also good room temperature - a great choice for school lunch boxes!

quesadilla with grapes

Visit the Ask for Eckrich site for more back-to-school recipe inspiration. 

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How to Prepare for a Road Trip with a Toddler

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


5 ways to prepare for a road trip with a toddler


We are headed on a road trip to Virginia Beach at the end of the month. This will be our longest road trip with a toddler! Road trips with a toddler can definitely cause a bit of trepidation so we're planning early to make the trip go as smooth as possible.

5 Ways to Prepare for a Road Trip with a Toddler

Prepare Your Car

bmw

Make sure your car is in good working order. No matter how much you plan, an unexpected detour to the side of the road can throw all of your preparation out of the window. Make sure your car is in tip-top shape. I took my car to Walmart's Automotive Care Center to get my oil changed with Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® motor oil. The great thing about dropping your car at Walmart's Automotive Care Center is that you can get your road trip shopping done while your car is being worked on. Definitely a time saver.

walmart auto care center

back of walmart auto care center

The mileage on my car just passed 75,000 miles so opted for the Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® motor oil which is specifically designed for vehicles with over 75,000 miles, with the mission of keeping engines running clean and going strong.

Visit the Walmart Automotive Care Center Rollback page for the current discount.

Walmart Automotive Care Center Rollback page


Grab new small toys

A great trick for keeping your toddler entertained on long trips is having a stash of new small toys that you can pull out when you feel their patience is getting low. Choose toys of their favorite characters or with a mechanic that you know they like. You don't want something with many pieces that your child could drop in the back seat. Great choices are a small doll with a brush so you child can brush their hair, small coloring books with just a few crayons, toys that function with magnets so they stay together well, etc.

Stock Up the iPad

toddler with ipad

If there is ever an occasion for screen time it is when you're on a road trip with a toddler. Stock up the iPad or similar device with their favorite games and if possible new episodes of their favorite shows. If there aren't new episodes choose their favorite episodes and episodes that deal with travel, road trips, waiting, and patience. You can also choose episodes that relate to where you are headed. Going to a beach destination? Choose the beach episodes of their favorite shows. Headed to an amusement park? Find the episode where their favorite character rides a roller-coaster. This way you can engage them in conversation about where they're headed.

Pack Snacks

Snacks are essential on a road trip. Something about sitting still makes toddlers more hungry than usual. Pack your child's favorite snacks, but nothing that is too messy. We love pouches and beanie snacks. To make snack distribution easier pre-pack one serving portions so that you can easily hand your child their food at snack time. Also included in packing snacks is making sure you have mess free cups on hand, at least two, one for water and one for another beverage. Of course, if you bring beverages into the equation you'll have more frequent bathroom stops so give beverages sparingly.

Plan Your Stops Strategically 

mother and daughter in back of bmw

We have a five hour ride ahead of us and we know there is very little chance that we'll be able to go straight through without giving our toddler a break to run around a bit. Research rest stops ahead of time but also be flexible to your child's disposition and possible naps. We're planning for a stop at rest stops that offers picnic tables and space to run around or a restaurant with an indoor play space. Knowing where these stops are ahead of time gives you some options to choose from when you make your stop, which you should plan for after your child wakes up from a nap, or after around two and a half hours for us on this five hour trip.

I don't want to feel like I can't travel until my daughter is older. With these strategies on how to prepare for a road trip with a toddler I feel like we'll have a great road trip and a fun time together once we reach our destination.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

4 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Wardrobe


You own more clothes than you wear. You get comfortable wearing your favorite pieces from week to week. Here are some steps to help your look be more diverse, make your clothes last longer, and help you purge yourself of unneeded/unwanted clothes. 

Four ways to get the most out of your wardrobe: 


Turn Your Hangers Around

Once you've worn a piece that hangs up, turn the hanger backwards, to signify that it's been worn. Try to go through your clothes until all items have been worn. You'll find gems that you forgot you had. 

Clean out a Drawer

For your folded clothes, have a cleaned out drawer that items go to once you've worn them. This leaves clothes you need to wear in your other drawers. When is the last time you've made it to the bottom of your drawer? Use this opportunity to really see what's been sitting in your dresser. 

Start Your Outfit with an Unworn Item 

Start your outfit planning with a clothing item that hasn't been worn yet in order to insure you get at least one thing you haven't worn recently into your clothing rotation. 

Sell, Giveaway and Throw Away

Through this process you will undoubtedly come across things you know you don't want or need any more. Get rid of them instead of taking up valuable space. If it's in bad shape, throw it away or turn it into a rag for cleaning. If it's in good shape but no longer your style or fit, sell it or donate it. I usually donate to Purple Heart. You can set up the donation online and they come to your house and pick up the items.  

This process really makes me think outside my usual box when creating outfits. It's also helped me find pieces I forgot I even had, and to get rid of things I know I'll never wear again. 

How are YOU getting the most out of your wardrobe?
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Monday, June 26, 2017

Why you should get pregnant in January

This post contains affiliate links. 
why you should get pregnant in January

My husband and I are avid planners. There aren't many decisions we make that aren't planned out and we have spreadsheets for most parts of our lives. When we decided to have a child we aimed to knock me up at the beginning of the year. I purposely got pregnant in January. Starting your pregnancy in January means: 

You'll be the most pregnant in summer.  

On the surface this sounds like a horrible thing, but being the biggest in the summer means spending way less money on maternity clothes than you would in the winter. Maternity clothes are expensive, and the more fabric you need to clothe yourself, the more expensive they're going to be. There is no need to buy maternity outerwear or sweaters when you're pregnant in the summer. I was able to stretch many of my summer dresses into maternity dresses. Also, flip flops. By the end of my pregnancy the only shoes I could fit were my Nike flip flops, I don't know what I would have done if I needed to wear closed shoes. 

You'll start breastfeeding in colder months. 

This is going to come in handy because you can get away with draped and heavy fabrics in the cooler months which can help you cover up while feeding if needed, and hide those wacky breast pads or surprise leaks.

You'll still be bundled up while you lose the baby weight. 

 I was glad to have a few months before I had to be in a tank top again. The fall/winter months gave me a chance to shed some of the baby weight before less clothes and thinner fabrics were a must. 

No matter what month you get pregnant in, you get a baby at the end, and that is spectacular. 



When did you get pregnant? What were the advantages of the time frame?
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Sunday, June 11, 2017

3 Ways to Keep Kids Interested in Their Toys


It used to feel like BabyCakes had a boatload of toys but we still found ourselves trying to figure out ways to entertain her. We do have a lot of toys, but they weren't keeping her interest. I stopped buying new toys and tried three things have that proven to keep her playing with the toys she does have.

3 Ways to Keep Kids Interested in Their Toys

Rotate Toys 

A great way to keep kids interested in their toys is to rotate them. Don't have all your toys out at once. Have a group of toys out and rotate them occasionally. Because BabyCakes is at school during the day and doesn't play with much during the week we rotate toys about once a month. If there is a long stretch of time when we are stuck in the house I may rotate them more often. Most people suggest 6 weeks as a good amount of time between rotations. This makes kids re-engage with items they haven't played with in a while and it's like they have a new toy!

how to keep kids interested in their toys


Use Toys in a New Way

If your child doesn't seem interested in a toy anymore try using it in a new way. If they are tired of building with blocks try having them sort blocks by color. Create a homemade ramp to race toy vehicles down. Hook vehicles together with pipe cleaners and create a long train of vehicles to push around. Think outside the box!

Play in Different Spaces

Playing with a toy in a different area can be all a child needs to get excited about the toy again. If it's warm bring some toys outside for play. Set up a play space in the kitchen or any other room where your child doesn't normally play. This will give them the opportunity to interact with the toys in a new way!

Even with trying these techniques there may be toys that your child is just not into any more. Check out my tips for decreasing toy clutter.

How do you keep your child interested in their toys?

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Corner Bakery Cafe Giveaway

Corner Bakery Cafe was gracious enough to send me $30 in gift cards and I'd like to gift them to one of the lovely Working Motherhood readers!



Corner Bakery Cafe started in downtown Chicago creating artisan breads and freshly baked sweets. Neighbors began to ask for sandwiches made with that fabulous bread, followed by homemade soups and salads. As guests' requests grew so did their menu and business.

Today they are serving ingredient-inspired, prepared-to-order food in 26 has states. Their menu includes salads, sandwiches, breakfast items, soups, chili, bakery goodies and more. Their kids menu is also very diverse.

Credit: Corner Bakery Cafe Facebook Page

If you live near a Corner Bakery Cafe enter to win $30 in gift cards below!
Giveaway closes midnight June 11, 2017. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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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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