This post and giveaway were made possible by iConnect and Dreft. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions and moments swooning over baby items are 100% mine.
As nesting continues full force in our home, I am anticipating the arrival of Baby P more and more everyday.
We are in the process of rearranging rooms so that Mr. Charming can wainscot and paint the nursery and I am working on smaller details like finishing the registry and making sure all of our future littles things are ready for when he or she arrives.
As you are all aware of my affinity for wanting the best for the babes sensitive skin, I knew from before the time I got pregnant that I was going to use Dreft for it's hypoallergenic properties. With pollen and dust being a big problem here in the desert, laundry will be frequent and I wanted to use something that's going to sensitive enough for delicate newborn skin.
Dreft recently partnered with the renowned Dr. Dyan Hes, a top rated pediatrician by New York Magazine, a mother herself and founder of Gramercy Pediatrics.
Join Dreft, Dr. Hes & myself on Twitter May 9th, 9-10PM EST
Follow @dreft, @gramercypeds & @noshandnurture to get in the convo!
I honestly have been having so much fun shopping for the nursery bedding, little ones blankets and the itty bitty clothes! Oh, the clothes! Even though we arn't finding out the sex until he or she is born, there have been so many cute neutral finds and I'm washing them all this week to get them ready to be hung up and tucked in to baby's room.
Choose the right fabrics and care for them properly: When it comes to fabrics, it’s extremely important to seek out gentle and hypoallergenic items to care for the items that touch baby's sensitive skin. It's also essential that fabrics be cared for properly. Wash baby's items with a specially-formulated product such as Dreft, the #1 baby laundry detergent choice of pediatricians to be gentle and hypoallergenic on baby's skin. Trusted for over 80 years, Dreft comes with a babyhood scent beloved by moms, and it remains safe and hypoallergenic for baby. - Dr. Dyan Hes
Nothing else beats that fresh baby smell and Dreft just reminds me of memories of when my sister, my cousins and my nieces and nephews were baby's. There is just something so light and wonderful about it. And being the number one choice of pediatricians makes it a huge win in my book and makes me feel good about what I'm using on these adorable little garments.
We also purchased the baby's going home outfits. I am so in love with their vintage styles and they are so soft and now smell so, so good.
Heat is a common trigger for eczema and as the weather warms up, there are a few things you can do to help prevent flare ups of such skin irritations. The sun is strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. so try to shield baby from direct sun exposure during those times. There are also apps available that can inform you of the hottest part of the day – which can be helpful for parents as they plan any outings with their little ones! - Dr. Dyan Hes
Dr. Hes will be giving plenty more tips during the Dreft Twitter party on May 9th, so make sure you RSVP above and join us.
And what makes this party even MORE exciting? I am giving away a Dreft prize pack to a lucky mama or mama-to-be.
The package includes: Dreft Products (Newborn Detergent, Active Baby Detergent & the Blissfuls beads that make everything smell yummy) - as well as a gender-neutral hypoallergenic blanket. (ARV $60)
After spending many weekends on the house, another aspect I couldn't neglect was the car. A few years ago we purchased our Nissan Versa, as we knew it was going to one day be our family car. I love it's pep and spunkiness and it's comfortable and roomy inside for road trips and kiddos. Here we are about to meet our first little son or daughter this summer and I knew it was time to get the car into gear for their arrival.
I started with taking it in for a deep clean, both inside and out, so that it would be ready for the car seat installation once we were past my baby shower. As well as the regular three month check and tune up.
One of the most important aspects to me is that the air is clean inside and the engine runs as efficiently as possible, as filtered air, both for us and the car, is important when you're living in such a dry and dusty climate such as Arizona.
I'm thankful my husband has been patient to teach me about how to care for my car in ways both big and small, so that I can feel confident in the every day tasks, as well as in emergency situations. It's empowering to be a woman or a mom and be able to make these easy swaps to know you're making your car as safe as it can be.
I knew it was probably time to swap out my engines air filter, so that was my next step. We are FRAM fans, as they have an extensive line of wonderful items to help with our car care. Available at Walmart, the FRAM Extra Guard filter was easy for me to locate when it came to finding the right one for my car. On my cars model its super easy to find the filter box under the hood too, which made this a quick and easy task. If you need help locating yours you can look to your cars manual to help you locate it. Below I show you an easy step-by-step tutorial to changing your cars engine filter, once located on your car. I've also included below my step-by-step guide to helping you get your car ready for baby.
Like filtering the air in our homes the FRAM Extra Guard is your engines first line of defense. Which is really important to your car running effectively, increasing acceleration, horsepower, and improving your overall engine performance. Much in the same way that we perform most effectively when we can breathe clean air.
In less than five minutes, with zero tools, I started by locating my filters case and removing the lid. After snapping it off, I opened the new filter, ensuring it wasn't exposed to the elements until it was ready to be installed.
For more on how I am getting car ready for baby, click here to see my Top 10 Steps for Preparing Car For Baby.
Do you have any tips on preparing car or home for baby? I'd love to hear them below!
1. Oil Change
One of the most basic, but one of the most neglected services, your oil change is important to keep your car running efficiently and staying in top shape. You can opt to do this yourself, or take it to a professional. I personally take my car to the dealer because I adore the staff there and they always send coupons!
2. Tire Check
A service that is included in most oil change services is a tire check, this is critical, especially if you're going to be driving around a little. I always have them check for wear, tear or nails. I rotate regularly and purchase new tires when needed.
3. Deep Clean Your Interior
Luckily I have a husband who LOVES washing cars, so our cars are always pretty sparkly. But a good deep clean, chemical free preferred, is important before bringing baby home. We cleaned ours top to bottom and gave it a thorough vacuum to prep for the car seat.
This can be scheduled during one of your routine oil changes, but its important to know what may need to be tuned up on your car. Squeaky belts? Loose brakes? All of this should be addressed before your baby's birth date.
This should go without saying, but important piece of information to make the list. Make sure your emissions, tags and registration are up to date.
6. Easy DIY Upgrades
Items like faulty windshield wipers, adding air to your tires, or swapping out easy changes, like your cars engine air filter, can all be done at home to save you on labor costs. See how I easily swapped out my cars engine air filter in under five minutes.
7. Mommy Car Care Kit
Aside from the diaper bag, I created a Mommy Car Care Kit. It's a small box in my trunk that includes a pair of flip flops if I need to pop on some comfy shoes, diaper wipes, a small pack of tissues, an extra changing pad, a few diapers, a hoodie for me, a hoodie for baby and a summer change of clothes for baby as well. Always better to have extra items on hand than not enough I always say. When our babes gets older, the kit reflect that. With non-perishable snacks, color books and a toy or two.
8. Car Emergency Kit
Mr. Charming and I are big into kits, for home, work and car and our car emergency kit consists of items such as flashlights, emergency blankets, water, a few canned foods, a First Aid kit and boots/close toed shoes, as well as the necessities to jack up the car or change a tire.
9. Window Covers
This one is optional, but where we live in Arizona, the summer gets extremely hot. Shaded window covers and a car seat cover are must haves to keep the baby's area cool when we are shopping or out of the car.
10. Car Seat Installation
Once your car is clean and checked its time for the cherry on top, installing car seat for baby! We plan to visit our local Fire House to have them install our model for the first time. To be safe, we can see how to properly install our chosen car seat in our particular car model as they are all so different.
Do you have any additional tips on getting your car ready for baby? I would love to know if I missed anything as we prep for Baby P this summer!
Goals are an important part of life. They help keep you focused, organized and driven towards both large and small accomplishments. I've seen many bloggers, creatives and others in the online field sharing their monthly goals for accountability and to inspire others to take action and keep track of goals as well.
As a nutritionist, one of the main components of my business is helping people create, achieve and surpass their goals. Below you will find my Personal and Business goals for April.
- Catch up with my Pinterest and actually apply some of the info I've saved.
- Hit my number goals that I've set.
- Prepare for my big Spring seminars
- Revamp my business plan
- Finalize my insurance/permits
- Sign up for birthing classes
- Choose, and register, at our chosen hospital
- Start cleaning & organizing the nursery to get it painted.
- Knock out more Spring cleaning.
- Prayer time each morning before I start my day,
Most women, at the mention of those two little words, cringe, and for a while I was right there with you. Room by room I’d start to sort through piles of unworn clothes, paperwork that badly needed filing and other knick-knacks I’d collected over the last year. (How on EARTH did I end up with so many mismatched socks and an excess of coffee mugs when I’m not even a coffee drinker?)
Feeling overwhelmed and burdened by something that SHOULD make me feel lighter, I took a step back, took a deep breath and got organized. Below is a guide to five ways you can clear the clutter in a way that is fast, efficient and (nearly) STRESS-FREE. I couldn’t totally sell it like it’s a beach vacation ladies, we are still cleaning after all.
1. Make Yourself A Schedule:
This is number one. With so many responsibilities for today’s woman, we won’t make time to deep clean or Spring clean unless we schedule it. Pick a day and a few hours on a calendar and make it an appointment for you and your home to have some uninterrupted one on one time. I have a large home, so I usually schedule 1-2 hours a day for an entire week to complete it.
2. Take It One Room At A Time:
For so long, when I’d take on a task such as “clean the house” or “Spring clean” I would tinker a little in each room, not accomplishing all that I wanted to get done and feeling like I didn’t do enough. Now, I make it a point to take just one or two rooms a day and complete them before moving on to the next. That way I have areas that are sparkling, and can focus all my attention on the next spot that needs my attention.
3. Prioritize The Critical Corners:
Spring cleaning means cleaning out and sorting through things you’ve probably haven’t gone through in a year (or maybe more). Old paperwork, coupons, receipts, clothes, chipped kitchenware, all the stuff that gets forgotten. It’s important to not only schedule out your rooms, but the corners of the rooms that needed the most TLC. For me that means the mail cubbies in my kitchen, sorting through silverware and cleaning out my pantry. In my office, its sorting tax documents, organizing receipts and business cards and cleaning off my computer. And so forth…
4. Commit To Letting Go:
This one is a hard one for a lot of people. I’m a purger, meaning I probably get rid of too much each year, whereas my husband likes to hold on to things. If it’s important documentation, tax receipts or sentimental items, find an organized, specific place for them. If it’s old mail you don’t need, shred it. If it’s clothing you havn’t wore since last year when you held onto it during Spring Cleaning, donate it or throw it away. It’s ok to let go. It makes room for the new.
5. Think Twice, Before You Buy:
Or sign up for that next newsletter or put your name in on a sweepstakes for cookware when your kitchen is already overflowing. There are so many ways in the world today for us to obtain more STUFF. Impulse purchases at our favorite stores and taking freebies we really don’t need just because they’re free. Fill your home with things that mean something to you. Things that are beautiful and have a place. And just because you discard the old, doesn’t mean you have to replace it. Think twice before you buy, and envision where it’s new home will be before you bring it home only to find there aren’t any vacancies left.
So while Spring cleaning doesn’t feel like a vacation, it doesn’t have to feel like work either.
What are your least and favorite aspects of Spring Cleaning?
My heart is so thankFULL everyday. This week has been a whirlwind of awesome that I just want to take time to soak it all in this weekend. I had multiple girl-day catch ups with some of the women who make my heart feel so full. At the new magazine I'm continually meeting amazingly talented artists and I get to interview an actress from one of my favorite shows next week.
I then spent the afternoon on the phone with a major reality show yesterday talking about parts of Mr. Charming's and I health & travel adventures and this week I'm honored to be a part of Earth Balance's Vegan Holiday Bake-Off! It's surreal and amazing and all the Glory to God for these opportunities!
Does this mean starve yourself? Abolutely not.
Does this mean sitting out of all the fun and resenting the day? Absolutely not.
Just know your limits. While I eat a primarily Paleo diet, I am a PIE fan from way back. So on special occasions, or a random Wednesday, you know whatever, I allow myself the slice of pie. Why? Because mentally, depriving yourself is only going to make a healthy lifestyle harder. Today I am forgoing pie because, cake & I may whip up a batch of my Paleo chocolate chip cookies to share with the littles. You can see my full menu below.
I live by a 90/10 rule. 80/20 when I'm feeling fantastic. I make healthy eating and fitness my priority, every day. So I'm conscious of what I'm consuming. That's the best way to enjoy the best of both worlds.
My charming little Charlie is going bananas over all the smells in the house today, and I took some time during the bake off to get some new shots of my little love. Isn't he just so darn handsome? I think so. He and his fur-brother got a special breakfast of chicken livers, chicken, brown rice, carrots, peas and vitamins. So, he's happy as a clam right about now.
As for our menu, it looks a little something like this...
N&N Thanksgiving Menu
Fruit & Veggie Tray
Turkey Cooked With Onions, Celery and Organic Bone Broth
Mr. Charming's Famous Dairy-Free Sweet Potato Au Gratin
Whipped Garlic Butternut Squash
Coconut Flour Honey Biscuits
Garlic Roasted Broccoli
Glazed Maple Apple Bundt Cake
Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sparkling Organic Cider
Hot Crio Bru
I decided to start a small series on how I balance working from home and running my growing brand that I have fallen head over heels in love with. Below I've included the blog tasks I focus on each day, as well as the other tasks I have on that given day. With school & finals and multiple journalistic & coaching endeavors, its important to keep a structured layout that doesn't get boring.
Sunday is primarily a day off for Mr. Charming and I to enjoy church & family, but Sunday evenings I do write out my editorial calendar / class schedule / writing deadlines for the week before we go to sleep.
Monday is catch-up day. I answer all comments on the blog from the week before and I connect with the blogging & Christian community. I spend a couple of hours in the blog groups catching up with others and loving on their works as well.
My Other Daily Tasks Today: All social media management for our magazine, Runway, which takes most of my day, as well as meal planning for our week & housework.
I post my latest Tickle Me Tuesday post and prep one other post for the blog. I also participate in many Twitter chats today to connect more with community and study the business of blogging.
My Other Daily Tasks Today: School in the A.M for Nutrition, Conference call & social media for my songwriting and music works with Universal in the P.M., housework
Wednesday is dedicated to Wanderlust. I catch up with travel clients and finalize bookings on up-coming trips and reviews.
My Other Daily Tasks Today: I usually submit to more freelance clients or work on freelance projects & do housework. I also make menus and meal plans for new nutrition clients and work on my nutrition branding materials.
Thursday is the day I get my Hootsuite plugged in for the week and catch up on my pins. I also do a blog clean-up if it needs it.
My Other Daily Tasks Today: School in the A.M. for nutrition, Holy Yoga, housework and I try to plan a dinner with a girlfriend on Thursday nights since Mr. Charming is in school.
Along with my Fitness Friday series, I write two more posts to go out for the week or the following week. I also seek out new organic cafes to review for Zomato.
My Other Daily Tasks Today: I assist Mr. Charming in photo editing on his weeks photo shoots, grocery shopping, housework.
We travel most weekends, but when we are home on a Saturday, I do a quick social media check in and then its date day with Mr. Charming! It's not healthy to work ALL the time!
What I enjoy is the diversity. Growing up as an entertainer through my teens and twenties, my schedule was ever changing from shows and touring different cities to auditions and shoots. As an adult, I still love the different & I love consistently mixing it up.
I would love to know your weekly schedule tips! Also, if there is something you'd like to see in this series, leave it in the comment below.
Next up in the series: How to rock at Instagram Takeovers. Sign up to be alerted to when it goes live.
8:00 or 9:00 am - I've been sleeping in a little more since working from home since we are working to get our fertility in order and I hold my sleep on high importance. I'll wake up, make a pre-natal smoothie or healthy breakfast, play with and cuddle on the dogs and do my daily devotional to set my intentions right for the day.
10:00am - I take class at this time. I'm in an advanced program for Nutrition, getting my advanced diploma in Childhood, Pregnancy and Food Allergies. School is feeding my soul and allowing me to take my brand to a new level that I am so blessed God led me to.
12:00pm - After class and tests I usually work the next five hours on branding, marketing, recipe development, networking and post planning for Nosh & Nurture. I also work on Freelance projects and Social Media Management for Runway and my record label. I usually have lunch between 12 and 3, depending on when I am hungry, and it's usually a protein packed meal to get me through to dinner.
5:00pm - Around five, I will wind down to do some wifely house duties :) It makes me so happy to be able to still care for our home and my husband in traditional ways even though I work full time. A BIG perk from working from home. I will tidy up the house and if dinner wasn't put in the crockpot at breakfast, I will cook dinner now and spend more time playing with our fur babies. When Mr. Charming comes home, we spend time finishing up dinner, eating, watching one of our favorite shows or going out for a date night.
7:00pm - Around 7pm I will sometimes resume work for a couple hours, as this is usually the time I will have my conference calls and songwriting sessions for the label. Days I don't have these calls or sessions, Mr. Charming and I will spend the entire evening together, which is so good for my soul.
And that wraps up a general day! I also try to squeeze in yoga and walking with the pups, but on jam packed days my fitness has been falling to the way side (I know, bad!) My professor even scolded me today, haha. Oops! I realize I definitely work out SO much more when we are seaside... hint hint to Mr. Charming...
1.) It allows you to meet new people, find a sense of community and share in things & topics you care about.
2.) It allows you to promote other great content creators and have your work promoted as well.
3.) It allows you to sometimes get outside of your creative comfort zone and write pieces and recipes that may not fit into your own blog.
Then there is the other circumstance, where the content you create on guest blogs will be content that would speak greatly to your readers as well. Now, it is bad form to publish content you've written for another site on your own personal site, but I do like to however point my readers to content that I write that is useful or tasty.
In this case, I believe this to be useful.
Over at Around My Family Table- I wrote an easy to follow guide to check out:
Spring Cleaning Your Home & Office In 5 Easy Steps.
But as I've experimented, I've learned that only do some of the recipes get the house CLEAN, that when used with the right natural oils, it can smell heavenly. No chemicals, no worries.
What You'll Need
1 1/2 Tbsp. Baking Soda
1/4 C. White Vinegar
*optional - you may add 5 drops of your favorite essential oil. I myself keep this one unscented to save cost.
Mix all ingredients in spray bottle. Use caution when mixing, as the vinegar and baking soda will foam up when mixed. Spray on stove and inside oven door and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Sprinkle a small amount of added baking soda to really bad stains or areas. Clean with a scrub sponge, one that's abrasive, but still gentle enough for a delicate flat top stove surface.
Wipe with a damp towel to remove any baking soda residue.
This worked WONDERS on my stove top. I have burnt on rings around each burner and soaking them in this solution allowed it to wipe clean with minimal elbow grease! My kind of cleaning and NO chemicals!!
I'd love to hear your natural kitchen remedies!!