2017 | 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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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. 


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