The Non-Housewives
Friday, March 24, 2017

DIY All Natural Hair Detangler Spray

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My son, Max, has really long hair that I can't bring myself to cutting short. He has so many years ahead of him to have a little boy cut. I just can't cut his golden locks!

The downside to this long hair is that it tangles easily, so brushing after showers or bath is sometimes a struggle. I found a few DIY hair detangler spray recipes on Pinterest and decided to put together my own.

Ingredients:
1/8 cup of water
2 Vitamin E drops (I purchased mine off of Amazon)
1 tsp. vegetable glycerin (also purchased off Amazon)
8 drops of lavender essential oil (I wanted to make sure this was included since I use it on Max's hair right before bed time)

Supplies:
2 or 4 oz glass spray bottle

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients into the bottle and shake before every use. I use about 4-6 sprays on Max's hair and then brush.

The result:
This works really well to help detangle Max's hair. Added bonus: it smells amazing. Nothing like a little lavender pre-bed to help get the kiddo in rest mode. I started with a smaller amount of ingredients just in case I didn't like how it turned out. If you double this recipe you will over a months worth of spray.

If you have your own hair detangler recipe, I'd love for you to share in the comments below.
*Post contains affiliate links
Monday, March 13, 2017

Overnight Trip to Cleveland

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My parents and I were looking for a quick over night trip that would be driving distance from Detroit, and fun for my 2 year old son. We decided to do a night in Cleveland and on the way there, stop by Port Clinton to do the drive through African Safari Wildlife Park.

Cleveland in the Spring, Summer and Fall, is a very walkable city. They have great restaurants and fun spots for kids, including the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center, and Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Here's a review of our trip from Detroit to Cleveland in a day...

If you haven't been to the African Safari drive through, you're missing out. It's about an hour and a half drive from Detroit, and totally do-able in a day (or an afternoon!). You pay person in the car, and for a cup full of food, and drive through the zoo. The animals are so use to this routine, they come right up to your window for food, and it's about the funniest thing you will ever experience.


I would post a video but most of them have me gasping for breath since I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. The drive through safari contained llamas, different types of deer, elk, buffalo, camels, zebras and more. Usually there is a giraffe but he was put indoor for the season.

There's a walk through zoo as well, with small animals, and a cute playground so your little one can stretch out. The gift shop has a stuffed animal in every size and species.

After the safari we headed to Cleveland, which was only a 1.5 hours away. We went directly to our hotel to check in before dinner. We stayed at the Westin Cleveland Hotel and they took great care of us there. They were able to accommodate our 2 adjoining rooms request, which makes a fun space for Max to run and explore between the two rooms.


The hotel was walking distance to East 4th Street, which is a fun part of Cleveland, lined with cobblestone roads and bars and restaurants. We ended up eating dinner at the Butcher & the Brewer and it was delicious. They had a huge beer selection, and they keep the wine on tap so it doesn't go bad - makes total sense! It was mostly shareable small plates. I recommend the bacon wrapped dates and fried chicken. It's a little bit of a louder spot, which didn't bother us since we had a 2 year old with us.

"This way momma...sharks!"
In the AM we had the most amazing breakfast at the Urban Farmer, located in the Westin (highly recommend the French Toast!), then walked it off on the way to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. The aquarium was a little over a mile from our hotel. It was 60 degrees and sunny that morning, so it was great strolling weather. If it would have been really cold or super hot, it would have seemed like a much longer walk.

The aquarium was small, but really nice. It has a really cool ambiance. It's on a lower level of the building and it feels like you are walking underground as you walk through. The highlights for us was the stingray tank where we got to pet them (Max was too afraid, so Papa and I showed him there was nothing to be scared of) and the shark tank. Similar to Toronto, they have a tank with a walkway through it, so as you walk through the sharks are swimming overhead and around you. Great picture opportunities!






This post is a little delayed, but figured I get it out there to help plan Spring weekend trips! It's going to get warm soon in the Midwest, right? (As I look out my window and see snow falling...).

Have you been to Cleveland lately? If so, any spots you'd recommend?








Thursday, March 2, 2017

Parent + Toddler Yoga at the Yoga Center for Healthy Living

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My toddler has been loving yoga lately, and he was over the moon excited when he got his own yoga mat for Valentine's Day. Him and my husband do yoga in the morning together and it's about the cutest thing you've ever seen.

For awhile now I've been wanting to try the Parent + Toddler class at the Yoga Center for Healthy Living in Brighton. I took their prenatal yoga class when I was pregnant with Max and loved every minute of it. It was a great workout and stretch, and just generally great to chat with other expecting mothers. I always said that I'd try the kids classes once Max was here, but didn't realized how hard it would be since the classes are during the day, and I work.

So this past Monday I had the day off and decided to take Max to the Toddler class. I told him that morning we were going to yoga and he kept asking "where's the yoga class mommy?' He was so excited! We bought him the pictured yoga mag for Valentine's Day and he was super excited to bring it along (you can buy it on Amazon here).

The class is from 11:40 to 12:40pm, which is perfect for us (on days off) since nap time is around 1:30 these days. You have to pre-book online, but from talking to others in the class, it usually doesn't fill up. The class drop in rate is $15 for both a parent and a toddler, and you pay before the class starts.

Description on their site: 
*Toddler and Parent Yoga  | As children grow and develop, the need to be active in a fun and safe environment is important. There is no better time than now to introduce toddlers to yoga and enjoy it together. Yoga supports the development of balance and coordination and sets children on a path of healthy living. This fun class is also often the basis for lasting friendships.

The instructor started the class off by setting expectations that this is a toddler class, and basically anything goes. This immediately relaxed me knowing that a little toddler fun (or tantrum) frequently happens!

The class started off with all the toddlers picking out a little 'buddy,' which was a small stuffed animal. The instructor then had the kids doing fun little moves with the buddies, including balancing them on their heads and shoulders. Max was still warming up during this part of class and didn't participate, but I was surprised by how attentive he still was and just sat there taking it all in.

The rest of the class was more active. We played a yoga version of 'Ring Around the Rosie' and set up an obstacle course with yoga blocks and foam rollers. At the end of class we used essential oils for foot and back rubs and had a bit of 'quiet' time (as quiet as toddlers can be).

I will definitely go to this class again with Max. I hope next time he's not as hesitant to participate in the first part of class since he'll know what to expect. Have you done yoga with your child before? If so, where at? And how did your little one do?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Save Money this Holiday Season with Ebates

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Make sure you save money with Ebates this holiday season!

Shopping season is just around the corner...unless you already started! I love Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday. I think it's fun to see all of the retailers battling promotions and  I love finding that perfect gift for a loved one.

As a savvy online shopper, I always spend extra time price comparison shopping and trying to find the best deal or coupon. It's time consuming, but I love the feeling of finding a 'good deal.' My friend Justine wrote a post last week that reviewed her top 3 grocery shopping apps, so to kick off the holiday shopping season, I thought I'd share my hidden shopping secret: Ebates.

If you shop online, you NEED Ebates. Last December I signed up for Ebates and received $50 cash back in 2 weeks. You can still use all of your retail coupons and take advantage of promotions, but also get cash back (via a check or Paypal). No minimum amounts need to be met. They pay out at the end of each month.

Here's how to use Ebates:
1 - Always go to Ebates.com first, before shopping
2 - Search Ebates for the retailer you want to shop with. For example, let's say you want to buy a personalized gift from PersonalCreations.com, you would search on 'personal creations.'
3 - If the retailer partners with Ebates (Personal Creations does), Ebates will list all of their current promotions, and how much cash back you will receive if you shop with them (for Personal Creations, it's 15% cash back on your purchase!).
4 - Make sure to click through to the retailers site from Ebates, and voila, you'll earn money back for shopping!

Moral of the story, sign up for Ebates, and start there first when shopping online. Also, keep an out for double cash back days and other promotions for the holiday. Sign up today and get $10 cash back once you make a purchase through Ebates!

*Post contains affiliate links
Monday, November 14, 2016

Top 3 Coupon Apps for Grocery Shopping

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Post by fellow Non-Housewife, Justine!
If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking to save some extra money when it comes to grocery shopping. Whether that extra money is for the upcoming holiday season, a dream vacation, or just a little money in your pocket, you want to save as much as possible, while still keeping your fridge full and your pantry stocked.

I have always been a bargain shopper and actually enjoy cutting coupons out from the newspaper. While I still rock my scissors and coupon section, I have also started exploring the world of coupon apps. Over the past 2 years, I have jumped into virtual couponing and love it! I’ve received over $200+ dollars in my pocket since I started using these apps and that’s on top of using regular coupons and special store promos!

Here are my favorite three coupon apps:

This is the one I’ve been using the longest and the most often. What’s great about this app is that the coupon savings are not limited to groceries; you can find coupons for clothes, restaurants, and craft stores! If you’re looking to grocery shop, you can select your particular store and all the available coupons will pop up. Once you click on a coupon, you unlock it, and it is now available for you to redeem. After you grocery shop, you click on the redeem button in the app, scan the products, and then capture a picture of your receipt. It’s that easy! The money goes into an account through Ibotta and can be “cashed out” once you’ve hit $20.00 

To get you started, you’ll get $10 for signing up and redeeming your first coupon! Referral code: aropcus. Use this link to get started! 

Pros
Can be combined with traditional coupons (yay for double savings!)
You can receive your “cash out” via paypal or a variety of gift cards
App is very organized, so if you want to just search for produce coupons, you can do that
Generic coupons are available for many grocery staples
You can earn in-app bonuses for your everyday purchases
Earn money for referring your friends- they earn money, too! 
Can unlock coupons before or after grocery shopping

Cons
Sometimes you have to watch a short video (20 seconds) to unlock some of the bigger coupons
You have to wait until you reach $20 to cash out
Have to redeem in time, or the coupons will expire (like regular coupons) 

Unlike Ibotta, Checkout 51 focuses primarily on groceries, with the occasional restaurant coupons thrown in there. However, this app packs a ton of coupons with big savings. Some upwards of $2.00 off an item! With this app, you simply click a little star next the coupon you want to “clip” and it’s ready for you. Like Ibotta, it is also organized by store, so it cuts down on scrolling past items you aren’t interested in. Additionally, you can sometimes claim more than 1 item (while offers last)! New offers appear weekly, so be sure to check in often.

Pros
A large variety of grocery coupons
Can be combined with traditional coupons (yay for double savings!)
Can “clip” before or after grocery shopping.
Organized by category (popular, produce, pantry, etc)
Organized by store
Check mailed to you once you hit $20.00

Cons
No referral program
You have to wait until you reach $20 to cash out
Have to redeem in time, or the coupons will expire (like regular coupons)

 
MobiSave focuses only on items found in the grocery store. I’ve found this app to also throw out some bigger coupons like Checkout 51. When using this app, you have to plan ahead because you have to “clip” (or save) the coupons before you shop. Once you “clip” a coupon, it goes into your saved offers. In order to redeem a coupon, the item must be in your saved offers before grocery shopping. After you grocery shop, you click on the redeem button in the app, click the products, and then capture of a picture of your receipt. Your savings are automatically transferred into a paypal account, so no waiting until you reach a certain amount of money before the cash is in your pocket!

Referral code to enter when you sign up: YMSSPHSC. Use this link to get started!

Pros
A large variety of grocery coupons
Can be combined with traditional coupons (yay for double savings!)
Organized by category
Money is transferred into a paypal account after each redemption
Referral program
No scanning of products required

Cons
You must “clip” your coupons before you shop, or you cannot redeem them
Have to redeem in time, or the coupons will expire (like regular coupons)

I hope everyone can take advantage of saving some money on groceries, especially with the holidays just around the corner. If you have a favorite grocery saving app, please let us know in the comments below!


*Post contains affiliate links
Sunday, November 6, 2016

Easy Play Dough Recipe

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I was inspired by one of my best friends last week. Beth runs a daycare out of her home, and threw a Halloween party for the kids last week. On top of fun games, goody bags and treats, she made pumpkin spiced play dough for the kids to have some Halloween themed creative play. I really have no idea how she does it all. I was so impressed with how good the play dough turned out, I had to try it for myself!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of boiling water
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of salt
2 Tbsp of cream of tartar (you can find this in the spice aisle or buy online here)
2 Tbsp of Oil (I used EVOO, but vegetable oil works too)
food coloring (optional)
pumpkin pie spice (optional)
essential oils (optional)


Instructions:
Step 1: Mix all of the dry ingredients together (flour, salt, cream of tartar) in a large mixing bowl
Step 2: Add oil to the dry ingredients and stir
Step 3: Add in boiling water
Step 4: Mix all ingredients really well. I used my hands when the mixture got really thick to make sure everything was mixed in. It should feel like a thick pizza dough.
Step 5 (Optional): Add in food coloring, spices and/or essential oils and mix in. Beth's Pro Tip: Only make one color at a time - when kids mix multiple colors it turns brown.

Before I added the food coloring, I split the dough up into 5 smaller balls, which makes it easier to work in the coloring evenly. After working through the coloring I added 2 tablespoons of pumpkin spice and 10 drops of Thieves Young Living oil. It smells amazing!

Why make your own play dough? Here are a few reasons:
  • If you have multiple kids, or run a daycare like Beth, this allows for each kid to have a lot of dough to play with (without breaking the bank)
  • In my opinion, play dough can get gross after awhile (crumbs, pet hair, etc. stick to it) so you won't feel as bad when you have to throw it away. 
  • It's cost effective. Once you have all of the ingredients, you can make several batches.
  • You can be creative with colors and scents by adding spices and essential oils. Lavender is a good essential oil to add for calming. And I can't wait to make mint color play dough with Peppermint oil for the holidays!
I found the cute little tupperware cups at Marshall's (pictured above), which hold the perfect amount for a play dough play session. The dough usually lasts up to a month and may keep longer when kept in the fridge. 

Have you made play dough before? If so, how did it turn out? what are some other DIY things you make for kids creative play?

*This post contains affiliate links
Saturday, October 29, 2016

Fall Fun at Spicer's Apple Orchard

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A few weekends ago we went to Spicer's Orchard in Fenton. We are early birds and arrived shortly after they opened. It was still moderately busy but not overwhelming.

The kids play area is epic there. $2 for each adult, kids are free. There are several large play structures, swings and slides. The petting zoo is also in this area. Max was a little overwhelmed at first, but then settled on the giant wooden ship with slides. There are bounce houses that cost tickets, not sure how much, since Max is still a little frightened of them.

Max had so much playing in the kid area that we lost track of time, and before we knew it, an hour and half went by! We didn't even pick apples because we spent so much time here. We went into the market afterwards and bought donuts and cider and had a picnic on the lawn. We picked pumpkins out afterwards and were on our way home for nap time.

Petting zoo

Large drain tile slide

Choo-choo!

Climbing ship

So many pumpkins!


Posting this so I can compare to next year's height