10 Innovative and DIY Ways to Make Your House Smell Good Naturally

Anyone who has children knows that, when you have kids, you sacrifice certain things. We sacrifice time, sleep, energy and everything else for the little people we bring into the world. It’s both exhausting and rewarding.

Unfortunately, some things that get sacrificed really shouldn’t be. For example…those first few weeks when you couldn’t remember when you last showered?

Sacrifice.

A good sacrifice? Maybe… it depends on who you asked at the time.

Another sacrifice I didn’t even realize I was making at the time: the smell of my home. I remember, before children, opening the door after work and being welcomed with the faint smell of the candles I had burning the night before.

After my children, there was a light scent of neglect and dirty diapers (far worse than the smell of not showering). So, in the spirit of renewing the smell of our homes I have researched and compiled a list of 10 really innovate ways to make your house smell good naturally – and they’re all things you can do yourself.

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9 Dollar Store Hacks that Will Make You an Organizing Genius

As a parent, I am always looking for ways to keep organized and make life just a little easier.  One of the problems I’ve found is that all of the really cool organization stuff out there is expensive.

And when you’re looking to organize drawers, closets, kids toys, etc. the cost really starts to add up.

Fortunately, genius minds of the internet have found a lot of really cool low budget ways to get organized.  I’ve compiled a list of my favorite, and it’s time to share with you.

Prepare to have your minds blown with my list for 9 Dollar Store hacks that will make you an organizing genius!

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Best Baby Bottle Warmer 2017 (surprisingly, this can make a difference)

Whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding is your plan with your little one, an electric bottle warmer can be a life saver!

When I was younger, warming a bottle basically looked like running hot water over the bottle while comforting a screaming baby for 10 minutes (or more!). Forget that.

One of my favorite conveniences as a new parent was using a bottle warmer. It made late night and “urgent” feeding times (those little buggers don’t often give enough warning) a lot easier to know a perfectly warm bottle was just a few moments away.

When I first went looking to add a bottle warmer to my registry, I figured they were all the same. We’re just heating water, right? But they’re not all same, and having the right one can surprisingly make a big difference.

Keep reading, and we’ll get into what we found to be the best baby bottle warmer (including a couple solid alternate options).

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How to Teach a Child to Count: The Ultimate Guide

Counting. Many of us don’t remember learning it, but this skill is something we use daily without realizing it.

Counting is the stepping stone to all other math skills, so as a parent, it is naturally on your mind to teach your child early. Early development of counting skills can be a great way to give your child a head start on their preschool class. Studies show that learning to count at a young age is a great foundation to future academic success.

Plus, the more comfortable they are with numbers, the more comfortable they are likely to be when introduced to other math skills like addition and subtraction.

Fortunately, teaching your child to count doesn’t have to be overwhelming or overly technical. Many of the best teaching items I have found are easily handmade or laying around the house already. The biggest key to success is consistency and enthusiasm!

So where do you start in teaching your little one to count?

Lucky for you, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to teach a child to count.  If you follow all the tips and strategies here, your child will be a better counter in no time!

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Best Toys for 2 Year Old Boys: 2017 Holiday Season Edition

With the holiday season quickly approaching, many parents are on the hunt for the “it” toy that is sure to put a smile on your child’s face.

Whenever I am shopping for my little guy, I know I want the best bang for my buck. I don’t want to buy a toy that will sit in his toy box or only hold his attention for 3 seconds while he quickly moves on to playing with the box it came in.

To help you prepare for the upcoming holiday season (or if your son’s birthday is coming up), we’ve put together a list of of the best toys for 2 year old boys.

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7 Crucial Things You Need to Know About Preparing for a Second Baby

Congratulations! You just found out you’re expecting….again!

If you are anything like me, the little plus sign on that pregnancy test brought me a wave of joy and excitement, quickly followed by a mini freak out.

How exciting! A baby, they will be best friends and think of those tiny toes!…..wait….Two?! How am I going to manage two of them?!

I quickly found out that, like my first, I would be taking it one day at a time and use the knowledge I’ve gained from my first to help me prepare for my second.

So, in the interest of sharing from experience, here is my list of crucial things you need to know about preparing for a second baby.

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Best Diaper Bag for Air Travel (for Style AND Function!)

There are few things more stressful for new parents than traveling with a new baby.

Not only do you have to remember the baby (okay, we can manage to do that) and figure out what kind of travel crib to put them into,  but you have the whole “everything but the kitchen sink” issue.

When our daughter was a newborn, just to go anywhere, I would have her car seat over one arm, a diaper bag, my purse and often another bag for my breast pump on top of all that. In the end, I looked more like a frantic pack mule than the serene new mother you see in magazines or on TV.

Traveling to the grocery store can be stressful with a baby, let alone air travel! Having the right bag can make all the difference when you need something quickly to to take care of your baby.

We did a bit of research to figure out the best diaper bag for air travel and this is what we found…

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10 Best Halloween Costumes for Baby Girl in 2017

With Halloween around the corner, we’re trying to decide how to dress our little girl for her first “real” Halloween (she was a newborn during her actual first Halloween, so we don’t really count that one).

When your little one is just a baby, Halloween and the costumes are more for you anyway. She’s not going to remember it.

But what she will remember are the pictures you show her when she’s a little older… 😀

I have to admit, picking just ONE costume is going to be difficult, but let’s check them out.

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Best Travel Crib for 2 Year Old Toddlers (one that allows you to enjoy your vacation)

If you have ever taken a vacation or traveled with a toddler, you know that more often than not, the vacation is for anyone but the parent!

One of the primary concerns you’ll find is the sleeping arrangements. Most 2 year-olds aren’t quite old enough to understand invisible boundaries and sleep in a regular bed all night. However, they are old enough to climb out of most travel cribs making for an interesting night and one LONG vacation.

What now?

We did a bit of research and came up with the best travel crib for 2 year old toddlers. With the sleeping arrangements managed, you can stop fighting your toddler about sleeping and get back to rest and relaxation.

Here’s what we found.

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Best Baby Climbing Toys: Which Ones Will Help My Baby Develop?

As a parent, especially a first time parent, tracking your baby’s developmental milestones can be stressful and frustrating when your baby appears to be behind.

We went through a bit of this with our daughter.

At 9 months, our daycare performed the ASQ-3 test to test motor skill, communication, and other milestones. Sure enough, she was behind in most areas.

As suggested, we brought the test results to our pediatrician to get a professional’s perspective, and they suggested a physical therapy evaluation.

The most concerning area was that she wasn’t yet starting to crawl or pull herself up. However, at the physical therapist’s evaluation, we were told that we shouldn’t really be concerned yet; we simply had to keep working at it.

Lots of tummy time.

But we also wanted to work on climbing/pulling, so we evaluated what some of the best baby climbing toys are. In this post, we’ll go through the ones we considered and tell you all about them.

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20+ Quiet Activities for Preschoolers (a must have list for parents)

Peace and quiet…something all parents can appreciate.

When you have a preschool-aged child running around, however, those moments are few and far between. Some kids are non-stop until bedtime.

While it’s tempting to sit them down to watch TV or a movie – and don’t get me wrong, that’s a good idea sometimes – it’s nice to find something a little more engaging for them to do.

So, as we usually do, we searched the depths of the internet and found over 20 great, and more importantly, quiet activities for preschoolers.

Check out the full list below!

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Triple Pepper Black Bean Chicken Salad w/ Avocado & Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette [Recipe]

As you may have experienced if you’re on a low carb diet, it can be a challenge to consistently find food that fits the “rules” for every meal.  One piece of advice to stick to your diet is to eat the same set of meals over and over again, so they become routine.

This may sound boring at first, but it allows you to stick to the diet.  When you really think about it, you probably eat the same 5-7 meals with some consistency, over the course of a few weeks or months.

So, I wanted to make a big batch of something that would keep well in the fridge – something that I could eat as leftovers for the next few days (either for lunch or dinner).  I decided that some kind of bean salad would work perfectly, which is what you’ll find here today.

Let’s get to the recipe.

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How to Play Heads Up 7Up (and variations of this game)

As a parent (or anyone who has to look after young kids), you can really appreciate the value of quiet games.  And one of the easiest places to start is by teaching your kid(s) how to play Heads Up 7Up.  

It’s a super easy (and more importantly, quiet) game to learn.

Kids love to play it because, every time you play, there’s a different outcome.

There are actually a couple ways to play this game, so we’ll go through both of them below, along with what you can do if you don’t have enough kids for the traditional version of this game.

Let’s get into all of the details.

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