The Non-Housewives
Sunday, June 18, 2017

AhhSoles Flip Flop Review & Giveaway

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I'm learning the hard way how important comfortable shoes are during pregnancy.  Being pregnant with a toddler at home means I'm on my feet a ton. And I don't remember it being this hot out when I was pregnant with Max! Maybe because I could hibernate in the air conditioning whenever I wanted to? Now, being pregnant with #2 and having Max at home, I find myself out in the heat more and on my feet. No more heels or flats in the third trimester, it's all about comfort!

I came across AhhSoles flip flops and was immediately intrigued by their unique looking foot beds. I was able to try out the Green Coral flip flops and thought they were ridiculously comfortable. Wearing these flip flops feel like walking on football turf, or as the website says, soft coral (which I've never walked on, so I can't attest to this!).

AhhSoles also offers flip flops with ripply foot beds, so with every step, your foot gets a massage. How amazing does that sound? Especially if you're pregnant!

If you're wondering how they came up with their name, think about how good it feels to take off your shoes after a long day and walk on fresh cut grass or walk on soft sand...doesn't it make you want to go 'Ahhhhh...'? Which is how they got the name AhhSoles. Their foot bed textures are unique and so truly comfortable, you won't want to take them off. These are my new go to flip flops for this summer. For boating, running errands and wearing on walks with Max, I am all about AhhSoles 'offensively comfortable' flip flops!

Want to try a pair of AhhSoles and see for yourself how awesome they are? Lucky for you, AhhSoles was kind enough to sponsor a giveaway. One lucky reader can enter to win their own pair of AhhSoles Flip Flops! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter daily! Contest will end July 5th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Product was offered for review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Saturday, June 3, 2017

PinkBlush Maternity Online Boutique

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When I found out I was pregnant with my first son, Max, I was super excited to shop for maternity clothes. I thought, "What fun! A new wardrobe!" Little did I know that it is really hard to find cute maternity clothes. Everything I initially tried on looked like a tent on me!

For this pregnancy, I discovered PinkBlush maternity, a trendy online boutique, and found so many cute dresses and tops that I could wear to both work and for every day weekend wear. They have a huge selection of ridiculously cute clothes in both normal and maternity sizes. Their prices are also very reasonable (much more reasonable than mall-based maternity stores).

Because I travel to see clients for my job, I needed to have at least 3 dresses or outfits I can wear to client meetings throughout my pregnancy. I started to show a lot faster with this pregnancy, so I had shop for maternity clothes really early on!

I purchased two black dresses first. I was panicking because I had a wedding to attend at 5 months pregnant, and there was no way I was fitting into any of my normal dresses. I purchased the Solid Scalloped Hem Maternity dress in black and received so many compliments! It's hard to tell from the picture (below), but the sleeves and bottom trim have scalloped edges. Since the dress was pretty plain I paired it with a big, chunky necklace, black peep toe shoes, and called it a day! This dress comes in 12 different covers. If I didn't only have 5 weeks left I would totally buy it in another color.


The second dress I purchased was a Black Solid Cutout Shoulder dress I was going to wear for client meetings. I have a client in Florida so even in the coldest Michigan winters, I have to have warm weather work clothes. Since it's solid black, I wore light blue shoes for a pop of color, but this dress would also look cute with solid black heels. For traveling back to Michigan, I wore a jean jacket over it that dressed it down a bit. This dress has a semi sheer layer underneath, so I didn't have to worry about this dress being see-thru, and it packed really well (pretty much wrinkle free!).


I also wanted to get a top I could dress up for church or pair with jeans for a fun dinner date. I found the below Navy Lace Up Cold Shoulder top at PinkBlush and thought I'd give it a try since 'cold shoulder' tops are all the rage. I was a little skeptical at how it would fit since it was flowy. I'm always afraid of looking like I'm wearing a tent with maternity clothes, but it's actually extremely flattering. I loved the purple color (description says Navy, but it's very purple) and the lace up front. I paired it with skinny jeans and heels for Mother's Day.


With all of the items I've purchased and worn from PinkBlush, I've been extremely satisfied with the quality of the items. They also shipped fairly quickly! I'll definitely be purchasing a few more items from PinkBlush, including nursing-friendly clothes, and maybe a casual summer dress or two.

Have you ever shopped at PinkBlush? If so, what did you buy? Or share what's on your wishlist below in the comments!

*A portion of these items were provided by PinkBlush for an honest review.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

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The one food we waste the most in this house are bananas. They get ripe so quickly and before I know it, they are no longer good to eat. I refuse to waste another banana, so I found this great recipe for Healthy Banana Bread at Cookie + Kate, and made my own alterations to make it even cleaner.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup of maple syrup
2 eggs
2 large ripe bananas
1/4 cup of milk (I used Vitamin D)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
3. Combine oil and maple syrup in a large bowl and whisk.
4. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk.
5. Add in baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon and whisk.
6. Add in whole wheat flour.
7. Pour batter into greased loaf pan and add a dash of cinnamon to the top.
8. Bake 60 minutes. I usually poke the loaf with a toothpick around 50 minutes to see how it's coming along. At 60 minutes the toothpick should come out clean (if not, cook longer).
9. Let cool, slice and serve!

I put the leftovers in the fridge, and toast the slices when I'm ready to eat again. I top with butter and also a cinnamon honey spread. My toddler approves!

If you have good recipes for ripe bananas, please share in the comments below!
Saturday, May 20, 2017

New York City with a Toddler

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So many people probably think my husband and I are crazy for taking our son to New York City for vacation. We brought him first when he was 8 months old, and we just wrapped up our 4th trip at 2.5 years old. We lived there for a year before my son was born and we always say it was the best year of our life (pre-Max). We love visiting and showing our son all there is in the city to see.


If you travel to NYC with a toddler, here are a few places and sites we'd recommend:

Children's Museum of Manhattan
The Children's Museum of Manhattan is a hands on museum that is great for ages as young as one years old. My son, who is 2.5, loved this place. There are 4 different floors with various themed rooms with a ton of sensory and interactive activities.

It's important to note that strollers have to be checked at that door, so make sure you little ones are up for walking around.

The Museum is on the upper west side, so make sure you visit hungry and either go to Good Enough to Eat before hand for breakfast (get there early!) or Serafina for lunch afterwards.

Children's Museum of the Arts
This museum is located in West Village, and is focused on art and musical stimulation. Max's favorite part was one of the music sessions they hold throughout the day.


American Museum of Natural History
Even at 2.5 years old, my son had a blast at the American Museum of Natural History. We went on a Sunday morning and it wasn’t too crowded. Max loved the dinosaurs and sea life exhibits. In the lower level of the sea life exhibit, there is a large screen that plays a movie, and families can sit down and have a little picnic while watching. This is a great spot to take a break and have snack. There’s also a hands-on type room here, but we didn’t make it there to check out.

There's a cafe at the museum, but you can also pack your own snacks, and the museum is very stroller friendly. We slipped out as it was starting to get really busy around 12:30-1pm.

Central Park, even covered in snow, is a must visit. Although Max couldn’t play in his favorite water park, he still had fun swinging in the snow and watching the ice skaters. in the summer there are several playgrounds and splash pads filled with kids. You can rent bikes, take rowboats out for spin and visit the Central Park Zoo!

My son loves a good playground, or as he calls them, ‘play places.’ You don’t have to wander too far to find a playground in NYC. They are tucked away in most neighborhoods and are usually filled with kids. Check out this Google Map link that can help you locate one near you. In the summer, most of the parks have mini splash pads that help the little ones cool off.  My husband and I would bring Max to a playground after breakfast and let him get some exercise, while we keep an eye on him we usually enjoy our morning coffee.


Other kid friendly spots include:
  -   The Bronx Zoo - This is one of the nicest zoos I've ever been to. It's about an hour to get there              from Midtown on mass transit, and a pretty straight shot. 

- The Lego store in Flat Iron. Different from the one in Times Square, this one has a small ‘playroom’ with Legos for kids to play with.

- M&M store. We didn’t visit the store because I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to leave without eating massive amounts of chocolate, but I’ve heard great things about it for kids.

- Sugar & Plumm is one of my favorite new discoveries (just a few blocks away from the American Museum of Natural History). I snuck in to get coffees and macaroons, but wanted to stay for a tea party. The decor is so amazing, it's like walking into a scene from Alice in Wonderland. I bought a package of 8 macaroons and they were delicious. Very unique and fun flavors. I'll definitely be dining in for tea and dessert next time I'm here.



- Sheraton Time Square - This hotel was very kid friendly and accommodating. Being a traveling sales woman has it's perks - hotel status! I booked adjoining rooms, but we were upgraded at check in to the parlor suite + an adjoining king room. It was a perfect set up. Max could nap and go down at night in his own room, connected to ours by 2 doors, and we could watch TV, talk, etc., without waking him up. Staying in Times Square can be hectic, but it was fun to see Max's face light up looking at the lights out the window. This location is also right off a main subway line, helping you get anywhere in the city pretty quickly.

- The Subway! Max requested non stop to ride the subway. It's so much cheaper than taking taxis everywhere. Don't be intimidated by the map or the stereotype of New Yorkers - I've always found people on the subway very helpful when it comes to directions.




Toddler Travel tips for NYC:

- Bring a stroller. It's a lot of walking! Make sure to bring one that collapses easily. Most restaurants have you fold them and store them in a coat closet or behind the reception since space is usually limited. Our City Mini stroller was perfect for cruising around town and going in and out of stores.

- In Manhattan, there is a drugstore and grocery store close by wherever you are. I only pack a few diapers for the trip in and then usually buy a small package of diapers and wipes when I arrive to last me the entire trip. This way you save room in your luggage.

- If there are restaurants you really want to visit, make reservations for your ideal dinner time well in advance. If not, you'll be waiting for awhile for a table, and that is no fun with kids in tow!

If you have tips for traveling to NYC with a toddler, or you live there, I'd love to hear about your 'must sees' in the comments below!

*Post contains affiliate links
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tips for Pumping while Traveling

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Breastfeeding while traveling can be tricky, but it's totally do-able. Millions of women do it, and you can too.  I went back to work when my son was 5 months old and breast fed/pumped until he was about a year old. So when I was on the road or plane traveling, I had to prepare for pumping and bringing my milk home for Max safely. Here are my tips:

1) If flying, always carry your breast pump on the plane. I'd recommend getting a bag that can double as a work/laptop bag + breast pump and cooler bag. 

I splurged on a Lo and Sons 'OG' bag so I could carry my laptop and breast pump on the plane with me, along with my carry on suitcase. Especially since most of my trips are only one night trips,  it's important to me to be able to have only 2 bags to carry on the plane, so I don't have to check a bag.

2) If you have a long flight, you'll have to be prepared to pump in the airplane bathroom. It's not luxurious, but it can be done! 

Few tips for pumping on a plane:
 - Let a flight attendant know what you are doing, so if someone complains that someone's been in the bathroom for a long time, they know why. I've always had a positive experience once I give the flight attendant a heads up, and usually they offered me extra water and snacks :)
 - Buy a mini cooler to keep in your carry on bag. This Munchkin cooler fits perfectly in the Lo and Sons 'OG' bag, alongside my pump, laptop and a notebook. It's very slim but can fit several full milk bags in it. You can also pack a separate one to pack in your luggage for transporting milk home. It comes with an ice pack you can freeze and bring along for your trips.
 - Buy milk bags so you can store the milk efficiently in the mini cooler. You can also fill a bag or two with ice and use them to keep milk cold on the go. I liked the Medela milk bags and Lasinoh bags. I never had trouble with either of them leaking.

3) Ask your hotel if there will be a refrigerator in your room. If there won't be, request one immediately. 
Sometimes hotels only have a few refrigerators on hand. If you explain why you need one, they should prioritize your request.

4) Pack items to make cleaning on the go easy.
 - Medela breast pump wipes - I love these for cleaning breast pump parts, bathroom counter tops, etc.
 - Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam bags - These handy bags disinfect your breast pump parts in 3 minutes. All you need is a microwave (which most hotels should have in rooms, cafe or lounge).
 - Travel size dish soap to do a deep clean once you get to the hotel.

5) Bring extra power cords, batteries and pump parts.

Pumping while traveling is hard work, but again, you can totally do it and bring all of your milk home safely. You can read up on TSA's policy on traveling with breast milk here. If you have tips to share, please post them in comments!

*This post contains affiliate links
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spring Fashion is in Full Bloom!

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I hope everyone had an amazing Easter last weekend! Ours was filled with family and friends, beautiful midwest weather and Easter egg hunts galore. Max was super happy to ride his new scooter first thing in the AM, and I was equally excited to get him dressed to wear his new Easter outfit.

I scored big at Old Navy and purchased Max's entire outfit for 40% off (except for shoes, those are Toms, and hat is from Gap). I forgot how slim Old Navy clothes run, so I'm really glad I got a 4T in everything.

I also stocked up on these maternity summer dresses for work and play:




These dresses can be dressed up or down with wedges and flats and go well with a jean jacket and scarf for cooler spring days. I'm currently wearing the cream and navy striped dress with grey Converse shoes for travel! Not only does Old Navy have great prices and on-going sales, but you can also use Ebates to get extra cash back for shopping.

What's your staple for your Spring wardrobe?


Friday, April 7, 2017

Unique Easter Basket Ideas

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Easter is around the corner and I'm having a blast planning out my son's Easter basket. Last year I prided myself on not including any candy in his basket, and I think this is going to be my new tradition. He will get so much candy from our family, he doesn't need any more from the Easter bunny!

Here are some fun candy-alternatives for your Easter basket this year....

Creative play & crafts
I think it's fun to try and incorporate Bible stories into Easter gifts. I purchased this Bible sticker & activity book for both my son and my niece and they are loving them.

Few other ideas include:







Easter themed Play-Doh sets







Paint set


Outdoor toys
Side walk chalk, Easter Peeps bubbles and soccer balls and more...I can't wait for it to warm up in the midwest!

My son spotted a little boy on a scooter in NYC and has been talking about it ever since. So, the Easter bunny is bringing a Red Flyer scooter this year (which is on sale!). It won't fit in the basket, but I think he will be over the moon about it.

Few other ideas include:



























Healthy snacks
I like to include a few healthier 'candy' options in my son's basket as well. Annie's Organic snacks are fun because they are bunny shaped snacks, including fruit snacks, cheese crackers and more. Other ideas include:




Fun snack containers filled with snacks, like Cheerios or pretzels


Do you have fun and different ideas for Easter basket fillings, besides candy? If so, please share them in the comments below!

*This post contains affiliate links