The Non-Housewives
Sunday, December 3, 2017

Thank You Delivery Drivers!

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I've seen a UPS, USPS or FedEx driver at least once a day for the past week, even on Sunday. These men and women are working major overtime to help deliver our packages on time for the holidays. Between my love for online shopping and my husband's work packages getting mailed here, we are on a first name basis with our delivery team. This is why I wanted to do something special for them for the holidays...

These men and women are working crazy long hours (and in some states, in freezing cold weather), so I thought it might be nice to leave them out some goodies for their route. I went to Costco and bought a variety of chips, granola bars and trail mixes, and put them outside my door with a note. 

To our Delivery Drivers: Thank you for delivering our packages All Year Long! Please take some treats for your route. Happy Holidays & God Bless! - The Shermans.

Please feel free to steal this idea of you need to send a big THANK YOU to your delivery drivers - 'tis the season of giving! 
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Holiday Traditions with Package with Santa

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Every year the magic of Christmas gets better and better, and I'm loving building holiday traditions with my family. A new tradition we are going to start this year is from Package with Santa. I can't wait to see Max's face light up in amazement when he receives his personalized letter from Santa!

Every package comes with a free personalized call and video from Santa that can be scheduled at any time. I can't wait to video tape Max talking to Santa! There are 3 packages available, but I'm going to be reviewing the Silver Package that comes in a red box and includes the following:

- Personalized Letter from Santa
- Bonus - Personalized Video from Santa (retail $9.99)
- Bonus - Personalized Phone Call from Santa to a cell phone or land line! (retail $9.99)
- Personalized Nice List Certificate
- Autographed Santa Claus Photo
- Autographed Rudolph Photo
- Genuine North Pole Stamp
...and so much!

I'll be ordering mine soon and will post a review. I'd love to hear your experiences with 'letters from Santa' or other Christmas memories and traditions your family has. Please share in the comments below!

*Sponsored posts, all opinions are my own
Monday, November 27, 2017

3 Ingredient Holiday Ornaments

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Looking to get crafty for the holidays? We found this DIY holiday ornament craft from Fountain Avenue Kitchen that is a ton of fun. It's so easy, and there are several different steps your little ones can help out with. All you need are 3 ingredients and a few items you will most likely already have in your kitchen. We passed these out to aunts and uncles at Thanksgiving dinner and everyone loved how they smelled! Here's what you'll need:

Ingredients:
 - 3/4 cup applesauce, plus a few extra tablespoons
 - 1 cup of cinnamon
 - 2 tablespoons of white liquid glue (we used Elmer's)
Extra supplies:
 - Twine or ribbon for hanging
 - Straw or pencil for making a hole in the ornaments
 - Cookie cutters
 - Rolling pin
 - Sprinkles

Instructions:
1 - Mix together the applesauce, glue and ground cinnamon, and add in the extra applesauce a little at a time to make a dough consistency
2 - Roll out the dough. Pro tip: sprinkle a little flour on your counter or cutting board so the dough doesn't stick.
3 - Use your cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes, and gently use your straw or pencil to poke a hole through the top for string.
4 - Gently dab a little water on the ornaments before adding sprinkles so they stick better. We lightly pressed the sprinkles into the ornaments. You can also use frosting to decorate. I stayed away from this since I knew my son would want to eat it all!
5 - Place ornaments on parchment lined baking sheet, or you can use a pampered chef pan. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and bake for 1 hour. Let cool (they may be a little soft so let them sit and harden) and attach string for hanging.

Have you ever tried making your own ornaments? If so, which ingredients did you use? Would love for you to share in the comments below!

*Post contains affiliate links
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

8 Must-Haves for C-Section Recovery

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There is no 'easy' way to give birth. Whether you go naturally or c-section, there are pros and cons and a number of risks involved. My first c-section was a was a breeze, my second, not so much. I won't get into the details, but there were a few things I was extremely happy I had at home to help with my recovery.

Here are my suggested must-have items if you're having a c-section:

DockATot
After a c-section, your doctor will tell you can't lift over 10lbs, which basically means you can only carry your baby, and that's about it. For my second baby, I found the DockATot to be a lifesaver for multiple reasons:
1 - It's really light, so I could carry it from room to room on my own.
2 - My son loved it. Xavier would relax and play in it for an hour (with the toy bar).
3 - The cover is washable - this is key for those newborn blowouts!

I could carry the DockATot into different rooms and use it as a place where I could lay my son down to rest/play and free up my hands. We'll also be taking this on vacation with us for Xavier to play and sleep in. Xavier is so cozy in it!

Boppy Nursing Pillow
I've yet to see a baby registry without a Boppy pillow on it. There's a good reason for this - they provide amazing comfort for nursing and/or holding babies. Even though babies are so small, they can get heavy in your arms after awhile. They provide the necessary back support for nursing or cradling babies, and fit snug around your waist, while keeping pressure off of your incision. And if you have an older child at home, they make for great 'baby holding assistants.'

I also HIGHLY recommend bringing this to the hospital with you. Boppy pillows come in an awesome plastic carrying case that makes them easy to transport and most have washable covers. I used mine around the clock in the hospital for both my first and second son.

Meal Delivery Service
Do yourself a favor and sign up for a meal delivery service before you give birth, and have meals ready to go for when you get home. I'm not talking about Blue Apron where you still have to prepare the meals. I'm referring to meals that can be delivered, already cooked, to your door.

I've been using Small Potatoes Catering and it's been a LIFE SAVER. Small Potatoes is a local (Milford, MI) in-home catering company. Each week they come out with a new menu you can select meals from, and they are delivered to your door. There is NO prep involved. The meals are fully cooked and all you have to do is put them in the oven or microwave. If you live in the metro Ann Arbor area, and want to place an order (or have questions), email them here. If you don't live near here, search Google for a meal delivery service near you. This also makes a great gift for new moms!

Grocery Delivery Service
Need milk? Have a nighttime craving? Company coming over to visit the baby and you want to have snacks available? Use a grocery delivery service like Instacart or Shipt to do the shopping for you. My experience with Instacart has been amazing, and usually I can get a 2 hour turnaround time for my groceries to be delivered.

As your personal shopper is shopping, he or she can contact you through the app or text message to ask questions about substitutions or specific items you have on your list. Groceries are delivered directly to your door. Sign up using this link and get $10 off your first order.

Nursing Nightgown
After a c-section, you may be a little sore around your incision area, and pants/shorts may irritate you. I would recommend packing a nursing nightgown for the hospital (and to wear at home), so you don't have anything tight around your lower abdomen.

Main floor changing station or diaper caddy
If you have two floors and your baby's room is upstairs, you will not want to go upstairs (nor should you) for every diaper change. For newborns, it seems like they need a diaper change every hour! One thing that was recommended to me by my good friend (thanks Erin!) is to have a diaper caddy filled with diapers, wipes, water bottle for mom, snacks, etc., that you can take from room to room. I kept a diaper changing mat (like this one) in my living room for quick and easy diaper changes.

Lightweight Stroller
We are big into strolling. We walk uptown every weekend in the Spring, Summer and Fall, and always have our stroller with us. When I first found out I was pregnant I wanted the 'best' stroller and bought the BOB. It's a beautiful stroller, easy to push, roomy for kids, but it's extremely heavy. I couldn't lift it in and out of my trunk while I was recovering. I recommend buying a light weight stroller to start, that is compatible with your car seat.

Belly Binder
I received a belly binder from the hospital, but you can also buy them online. I started wearing this immediately in the hospital after my surgery, and they even gave me a second one to take home. AT first it may feel weird, or be a bother to take on and off, but you'll get use to wearing it. My wound would hurt when I laughed or coughed, but if my binder was on, it made a little more comfortable when I had to use my abs.

*Post contains affiliate links
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Slow Cooker Bacon & Chicken Recipe (Keto diet friendly)

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Both my husband and best friend told me that this was the best slow cooker dinner ever! My husband is doing a ketogenic diet and it's really hard to find meals to make. I came across this recipe from PaleoMagazine.com and thought it sounded delicious. Anything with bacon sounds good, right?

The only change I made was I used two packages of skinless, boneless chicken thighs, instead of chicken breasts. I was a little skeptical about not adding broth but once this dish was done cooking it was extremely juicy and moist. I made a side dish of green beans and avocado.

Ingredients:
2 packages of skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Package of bacon (around 12 slices)
2 tablespoons of thyme
1 tablespoon of oregano
1 tablespoon rosemary
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Instructions:
1 - Put chicken in slow cooker and layer bacon on top.
2 - Add spices
3 - Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 - Cook on low for 8 hours.
5 - Around the 7 hour mark (or at the very end), take two forks and shred the chicken and bacon. It should shred very easily at this point.
6 - Serve with a slotted spoon to drain the oil and enjoy!

My husband eats this by itself, but if you are not avoiding carbs, this would be delicious on a pretzel bun. Serve with a salad or veggies and you have yourself a very easy dinner. I love these 8 hour recipes that cook while I'm at work. The leftovers are delicious too.

I'd love for you to share your favorite slow cooker recipes in the comments below!
    Wednesday, November 1, 2017

    Easy Slow Cooker Applesauce Recipe

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    slow cooker applesauce

    Shout out to my neighbor (and friend!), Cally, for the huge bag of delicious apples delivered direct to my door! I used them in the slow cooker to make applesauce and it turned out amazing (if I do say so myself). It was a fun recipe to also get Max involved as a my designated apple washer.

    Not only is this extremely easy to prep, but it also makes the house smell amazing as it cooks. I started mine after dinner and let it cook overnight.

    Ingredients:

    9 medium size apples (give or take a few)
    2/3 cup of water
    1/2 tsp of cinnamon
    1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice (optional)

    Steps:

    1. Wash apples! This is a good place where a toddler can help out. Max took a bite out of the apples here and there, but for the most part did a great job washing them for me.

    Max washing applesMax taste testing

    2. Slice your apples. I leave the skin on for added fiber.

    Apples in slow cooker

    3. Throw slices in the slow cooker along with the water, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Let apples cook on low for 8 hours. I let them cook overnight. Once my slow cooker reached 8 hours it switched to 'warming' (here's the slow cooker I have). 

    Slow cooker applesauce

    5. The sauce will be chunky, and some people like it this way. I rather have it smooth, so I transferred the sauce to my Nutri Bullet in 3 different batches and blended until smooth.

    Slow cooker applesauce

    6. This batch made about 6-8 servings (see below reference for the containers I filled). I froze half of it to enjoy at a later date.

    Slow cooker applesauce

    I love knowing that this apple sauce has no added sugars for my boys. If you've made homemade applesauce before, I'd love to hear how your recipe differs from mine in the comments!

    *This post contains affiliate links
    Wednesday, October 25, 2017

    Target & Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway

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    Today, I was able to enjoy a nice, peaceful visit to Target, and let me tell you, it made my day. There's something about grabbing a Starbucks and going up and down every aisle at Target, looking at stuff I don't need, that is very therapeutic! I think all moms need a solo shopping trip at least a few times a month!

    Next time you get that solo day, please enjoy a cup of Starbucks coffee and treat yourself to something special from Target, on me! Enter below to win a $25 gift card to Target AND a $10 gift card to Starbucks!



    a Rafflecopter giveaway