10 Activities that will keep your toddler happy and busy

There are many different ways teach toddlers basic skills. Todays toddlers have strong motor skills and they are really tech savvy! Keeping your toddler busy will require a combination of two basic ideas. Are the activities fun? Will the child learn or practice a skill?

Below is a list of activities and websites that will help your toddler learn and play!

(this blog contains affiliate links. I will be compensated if you make a purchase through my links. Of course, at no additional cost to you.)

1. ABC Mouse

ABCmouse is an amazing program. I am not an affiliate for ABCmouse, my review of the app is from experience.

With that being said, I love the app because of the variety of activities. My daughter loves the interaction activities and she loves that she can earn tickets. The app will work for children pk-2nd grade. The first month is free!

2. Make Colored Rice

Sensory-coloured-rice-collage

3. Make Maracas and Dance to the Music

maraca

colors
Available on Amazon


4. Make Pop-Sickle Stick Frames 

popsicle stick frame

5. Ball Toss

Ball Pit For Toddlers
Ball Pit for toddlers sold on Amazon

Use buckets for your targets. Mark them on the inside with
chalk or dry erase marker. Now you are ready to
start tossing balls in.

indoor toddler game
Games to keep toddlers busy.

6. Ball Sorter

balls

best Tablet for toddlers
Tablet for Toddlers and kids on Amazon

7. Edible Finger-paint

edible paint

8. Homemade Clay

HomemadeClayFeature

9. 100 Busy Bag Ideas

Busy Bag For Toddlers
Busy Bag for Toddlers available on Amazon

busy bags

10.Busy Boards For Toddlers

DIY Busy Board For Toddler
Busy Boards are available on Amazon

Must-Have Gifts For Your Entire Family

The holiday season is the most stressful time of the year for most people. Shopping for your entire family can be overwhelming. There are many ways that you can cut out the stress of gift shopping, but being organized is the #1 way to ensure that you have a stress free holiday season.

I have listed this years gift must haves for every one in your family. The entire list is accessible from Amazon.com and ETSY. You can also find most of these gifts in your local stores.

This post may contain affiliate links.  This means that I will be compensated if you make a purchase from one of the links, at not additional charge to you.

Toddler Gift Ideas

  1.  Play School Sit n’ Spin

2. LeapFrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart

3. Pop-up Tent with Camping Gear

Kids Gift Ideas

  1. Toy Tools

2. 5PC Ball Pit

3. Xbox

Teens & Adults

  1. GoPro Camera

2. HP Laptop Computer

3. Cricut Machine & Starter Kit

Gifts For Teachers

Gifts for teachers

Milkmakers Lactation Cookies

My first daughter was born 6 weeks premature. She spent her first 10 days of life in the NICU and when she came home she wasn’t interested in breastfeeding. I pumped and bottle-fed her for three weeks and my breast milk slowed down. I tried to stick it out but eventually had to use formula.

This post contains affliates links. This means that I will be paid if you decide to purchase something from the links from this post. Of course at no additional cost to you. Please see my disclosure page for more information.


My second daughter was born a week before her due date. She latched on perfectly and hit all of her markers for the first 6 weeks. My milk started to slow down around 7 weeks and I had to supplement. I searched for a way to increase my milk production and came across Milkmakers Lactation Cookies.

I read the reviews and found that it was common for breastmilk to slow down. I also found that the cookies helped other women in similar situations increase their milk production.

I found the cookies on Amazon in a variety of flavors. I really love the taste and crunch. There isn’t an after taste or chalky flavor. One pack of cookies and a cup of milk felt like a treat! I ate one pack per day and on the second day my milk increased. I ate a pack a day for a week and my breastmilk was coming in perfectly. I added my first full bag of milk to the freezer on day 8. I usually add my saved breastmilk to the refrigerator so baby can bottle feed while I sleep. But I had enough for the night time feeds and enough to freeze by day 8.

The box came with 10 packs of cookies. All of the flavors are pretty good. But my favorite is the Chocolate Salted Carmel cookies.

Have you tried Milkmakers Lactation Cookies? What is your favorite flavor? Did the cookies help your breastmilk production?

10 Things You Should Buy From Amazon When You Are Planning A Wedding + Wedding Binder Printable Checklist

There are many websites to help you save money on your wedding must haves. In fact, there are so many websites around the web that it may be hard to narrow down what you actually need.

Check out my FREE Downloadable Wedding Binder Printable Checklist to organize your wedding ceremony and/or reception.

Unqiue wedding supplies are not found in your local stores. If you are searching for personalized wedding accessories, Amazon has the best options available.

Amazon has everything from wedding planning books and planners to aisle runners for your special day. Below I am sharing with you some of my favorite Wedding Must-haves available on amazon.

Nicolenikkole reviews products independently, but I may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page at no additional cost to you. Please read my disclosure page for more information.

Do you need free professional advice at your own pace?

Get Two Free AUDIOBOOKS To Use To Plan Your Wedding

  • choose two wedding planning books
  • listen to them during your spare time
  • get free professional advice and apply the tips to your special day

1. Card Boxes

Rustic Card Box

2. Personalized Wedding Cake Toppers

Personalized Cake Topper

Personalized Cake Topper

3.  Wedding Arch

Metal Wedding Arch

Wooden Wedding Arch

White Arch

4. Unity Sand Ceremonies

Personalized Sand Ceremony Set

Heart Shaped Sand Ceremony Set

5. Wedding Accessory Sets

Wedding Accessory Set Heart Theme

Wedding Accessory Set

6. Aisle Runner

Aisle Runner

Aisle Runner With Quote

7. Bridal Party Gifts

Bridal Party Tote Bag

Wedding Party Gifts

8. Personalized Toasting Glass

Personalized Champagne Flutes Toasting Keepsake

Crystal Toasting Glasses

9. Artifical Wedding Bouquet

Bridal Bouquet With Bling

Bridal Bouquet

10.Wedding Favors

Bottle Opener, Key Chain

Wine Bottle Cork

Create an Amazon Wedding Registry

wedding registry

Did you know you could buy most of your wedding supplies from Amazon?

Top Laser and Inkjet Printers of 2019

Nicolenikkole reviews products independently, but I may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page.

When you are searching for a printer it is important to make sure that the printer that you select has all of the functions that you will need. Take a moment to think of your must-haves and select a printer that has everything you will need now and possibly in the future.

Inkjet and laser printers all have different functions and some are important to keep in mind. Below I have listed the top budget friendly printers that are designed for small businesses or your home printing needs. Each printer will ship for FREE.

1. Xerox WorkCentre 6515 Printer

Print speed: 30ppm | Paper size: up to 8.5 X 14 inches | Paper capacity: 250 Sheets |    DPI resolution: 1200 X 2400

Pros
+Great quality multicolor Print |+Two sided print |+Scan images to your most common applications (ex. Word)
+Wireless |+connect to any device |+5-inch color touchscreen
Cons
– Large  | -Heavy
– Slow to color printing

Xerox printers are high quality and mostly used for home or small businesses.  The Xerox WorkCentre 6515 will work for your craft needs.

Xerox WorkCentre 6515  Amazon

2. Epson Expression ET-2750 EcoTank Wireless Color All-in-One Supertank Printer with Scanner and Copier

Print Speed: 10.5ppm | Paper size: 8.5X 14 inches | Paper Capacity: 100 | DPI resolution: unknown

Pros
+ Wireless | +Drop printing (any device) |
+ 1.44 inch color touch screen |
+ Vibrant Color |+ Color & Black
Cons
– Slow to print |-Small paper capacity

Spon Expression ET-2750 Ecotank All-in-one  Amazon

3. Epson XP-7100 Expression Premium Wireless Color Photo Printer, Black

Print Speed: 15.8ppm | Paper size: 8.5X 11 inches | Paper Capacity: 30 | DPI resolution: unknown

Pros
+ Wireless | +Drop printing (any device) |
+ 3.8 inch touch screen |
+ Vibrant Color |+ Color & Black |5-color Claria ink
Cons
– Slow to print
Espon XP-7100 Expression Premium  Amazon

4. Brother MFC-J895

Print Speed: 12ppm | Paper size: 8.5X 14 inches | Paper Capacity: 150 | DPI resolution: unknown

Pros
+ Wireless | +Drop printing (any device) |
+ 2.7 inch touch screen |
+ Vibrant Color |+ Color & Black
Cons
-Slow to print

Brother MFC-J895 Amazon

5. HP LaserJet Pro M402n Laser Printer with Built-in Ethernet, Amazon Dash Replenishment ready (C5F93A)

Print Speed: 40ppm | Paper size: multi-functioning  | Paper Capacity: 350 | DPI resolution: unknown

Pros
+ Laser | + Fast printing| +Multiple page/paper size | +Envelope printing capability
+ Multiple user accessibility (up to ten users)
+ Vibrant Color |+ Color & Black
Cons
-Ethernet | Large in size

Newborn Schedule Essentials

There are so many joyous and amazing milestones that we reach as we grow older. Becoming a parent is one of the happiest moments of our lives. Like most firsts, being a new parent can also be a challenge and scary. There are so many different things to learn about your baby that you can feel overwhelmed.

All babies are similar in their needs, yet different in how they want those needs to be taken care of. To learn what your baby needs are you will need to keep a record of their entire day. By keeping a record of when they were fed or when the diapers were changed, you will be able to put your baby on a schedule. While putting your baby on a schedule may seem like a simple task, it is not!

(this post may have affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure page for details)

The entire NEWBORN printable bundle is available for easy printing at the end of this post!

Schedule

Why is it important to put your baby on a schedule from day one?

When you put your baby on a schedule you are also putting yourself on a schedule. The reason why schedules are important for any new parent and newborn is because eventually you will introduce baby to your busy life. Lets be honest! Most parents are working parents, meaning that when you go back to work in the next 6-8 weeks, baby will be introduced to an entirely new lifestyle. If baby is not on a schedule, parents and baby will have a hard time with the transition. Even if you are a stay at home parent, there are many different things that you will be responsible for in a single day. Knowing when baby needs to eat and sleep will help you find time to complete important tasks and it will also help with planning your naps and rest time. Resting during the early months when baby arrives is EXTREMELY important. If you are not getting the proper rest, you may experience breastfeeding issues or post partum depression. Both are serious issues and resting will help you and baby.

Baby Swing Sale!

Safe Swaddles

Feeding

If you have decided to exclusively breast feed, you have made a great decision. We all know that there are great health benefits to breast feeding your baby. We also know that breast feeding creates a bond between mommy and baby. The experience should be a happy one for both mommy and baby and a good way to ensure that it is, is to write down when baby ate, which breast was used during last feeding and how long baby used that particular breast. These are important questions to answer during each feeding because it will help you avoid sore breasts by not over using the same one and it will also help build your supply of pumped milk.

Breast Pump Bundle Deal

Nursing bra’s are essential

Rocking Chairs

Diapers

Did you know that it is important to monitor your babies diapers?

Who knew that dirty diapers would be important to track? It is important to track how many dirty diapers your newborn has because dirty diapers will let you know a lot about babies digestion, milk intake and sometimes your diet if you are breast feeding. If baby had an emergency, doctors will ask about the last poopy diaper and all of the details around it. Tracking will also let you know when baby is most likely to have a poopy diaper so that you can plan around it.

Changing Table

Medication 

In a perfect world, all babies would come home perfectly healthy and thrive without assistance. But there are so many different issues that could happen with a new baby that we may need to rely on medication. In the event that your baby will need medication, it will be important to track when the baby received the medication and which medication baby received. A medication tracker will also come in handy when baby or toddler is sick and has multiple caregivers.

 

Newborn Printable Bundle (15 Pages)

Click here to check out Baby Essentials

Nursery Inspiration

Planning your babies nursery is a fun experience. There are so many options available around the web that I decided to put together some of my favorite brands as inspiration.

I chose to use one color scheme because, to be honest, we are expecting #3 and although we haven’t found out babies sex yet, a bold base color feels right. We are not sure if baby number #3 will be the last addition to our family or not. So a unisex color seems like the best choice.

Most of the links attached to this blog post have a variety of color choices. If you like the style check out the colors that are available.

(This blog post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more details)

1. Rocking Chair 

 

2. Nursery Organizer & Storage

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3. Baby Crib

4. Changing Table

5. Cute Area Rugs

6. Book Shelf

7. Baby Mat

8. Wall Decals

9. Teddy Bears

10. Wall art

How To Plan A Wedding + Printable Binder Checklists

Your prince charming has asked you for your hand in marriage! Now that the easy part is out of the way, it is time to plan for the big day. Planning a wedding is a really long process and will require a lot of planning and a lot of patience. There are so many different ideas on the web that it is easy to get overwhelmed. But rest assured that this wedding checklist will give you all the planning tips that you will need to have a successful wedding. (this blog may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more details) FREE WEDDING BINDER PRINTABLE CHECKLIST AT THE END OF THIS BLOG! 1. Start a wedding binder Read […]

Your prince charming has asked you for your hand in marriage! Now that the easy part is out of the way, it is time to plan for the big day. Planning a wedding is a really long process and will require a lot of planning and a lot of patience. There are so many different ideas around the web that it is easy to get overwhelmed. But rest assured that this wedding checklist will give you all the planning tips that you will need to have a successful wedding.

Print the FREE Wedding Planning Checklist at the end of this page.

(this blog contains affiliate links. I will be compensated by Amazon for purchases made through the links listed below at no cost to you. Please see my disclosure page for more details)

FREE gift when you sign up for a WEDDING REGISTRY with Amazon

wedding registry Start Your FREE Wedding Registry Today !

1. Start a wedding binder

Read through wedding magazines and articles for inspiration. Your wedding binder should be organized in categories that fit your needs. For example, your guest table inspiration should be located in the same section with images and price points. It is important to keep track of the ideas that inspire you, but it is even more important to keep track of the cost. If you are actively searching for something and you come across a sale, you should right it down with the web address and amount for future reference. When you are ready to purchase the item, you will know that you found the best price and the website you found it on.

2. Work out your budget

Determine you’re out of pocket cost and be sure to leave yourself a room in the budget for last minute needs.

The most common mistake is under estimating the overall cost. When you set your budget, budget an extra 20% for items you may need the day of. Focus on the small details of your budget early on.

3. Pick your wedding party

Choose your wedding party early. If you choose your wedding party early, your wedding party will have time to adjust their schedules for the events that lead up to the wedding day. Once you’ve chosen your wedding party, it is a good idea to start planning bridal party gifts.

Bridesmaid Gifts Click Here

4. Start your guest list

The earlier you start your guest list, the easier your overall planning will be. When you know the number of guests that you will invite, you will have a better idea of the amount of money and resources you will need to entertain your guests. Don’t go over board when inviting guests. A lot of money and time will go into planning your wedding. Invite people who are worth enjoying the time and effort that goes into planning your big day.

5. Reserve your wedding date and venues

Once your wedding venue is secured, planning your wedding will feel a bit easier. Venue selection should be completed as soon as possible. Once the venue is secured, you should go back to your budget and rework anything that may not fit or should be added. This is a very important step to move on to the next phases of planning. When you visit the venues, make sure that you can visualize your setup. Your reception setup is important to map out as soon as possible. Whatever you want in your setup, have an idea of where it will go, how much space it will use and what will be needed to make it stand out.

Click Here For Centerpiece Inspiration

6. Book the officiant

A lot of people wait until a few months before the wedding to secure their officiant, but, the officiant should be booked early on. If you decide o book your officiant later on in your planning, make sure that you have another option. Wedding season is from early March until late August. Officiants are usually booked ahead of time because there aren’t many great ones available. Do not take this step lightly.

Wedding Welcome Sign

7. Research entertainment

Decide how you will entertain your guests. Most weddings have bands or a deejay to entertain their guests. You also have the option to hire performers. This step depends on the vibe that you want to have. If you are planning a reception only, a deejay would be perfect. But if you want real entertainment you may want to look into a performance of some sort.

8. Plan an engagement party

Not everyone will have an engagement party. It totally depends on you. An engagement party is a celebration for the bride and groom to be on their upcoming nuptials. The engagement party can be a huge celebration or it can be small like a dinner or outing with friends. It really does depend on your personal style.

9. Pick your photographer or videographer

Decide early on who will be your photographer. Most photographers have a package deal that will come with wedding day video and photographs. But if you are lucky the photographer may be able to shoot your engagement photos as well. The goal is to save in most areas of the wedding. Do not try to save money when choosing your photographer! Think about the fact that these pictures will be forever and you want to make sure that they are perfect.

10. Choose your food

If your venue doesn’t have a food option, you may want to figure out what you want to serve early on. Brides have the option to ask guests for their food choice. In your invitation set, there should be an option to choose their meats. If you plan to add the option, decide who will cater early on.

11. Choose your dress

Look through magazines, search online or in stores for dress inspiration. It is important to go into the dress shop with an idea of the type of dress you are looking for. If you don’t have an idea of the dress that you want the chances of finding your dress during your appointment will be stressful. Dress shopping should be a fun experience, don’t ruin it by going in blind.

Rustic Personalized Wedding Signs Click Here

12. Launch a wedding website

Your website is another thing that is fun, yet still important for your big day. Once you announce your engagement, a wedding website is the best way to keep your family and friends in the loop. It is also easier to make announcements, stay organized and get input for your big day. Seriously consider wedding websites, but only if you will be able to put in the work to run it.

Personalized Wedding Cake Topper Click Here

13. Register

Register for your wedding day and bridal shower as soon as possible. If you are like me, there are things that pop into your mind that you may need at random times of the day. It was easier for me to add things to my registry as they popped into my mind because I registered for everything early on. As I cooked dinner I would see things that I needed to buy and instead of purchasing it, I added to my registry and placed the money that I would have spent on the item in my honeymoon jar. I actually had an extra $500  to spend during our honeymoon from this hack.

14. Invitation selection

There are so many invitations around the web that I actually got overwhelmed. You will find options to purchase invitation bundles and you can find templates for invitations that you can make yourself. This step is totally up to you of course, but understand that they both have pros and cons.

15. Save the date cards

Save the date cards are not necessary for all weddings, but they are essential to save the date weddings. If you are planning to send save the date invitations make sure that you send them to your guests at least six months in advance.

Personalized Wedding Favors Click Here

Check out my wedding binder printable bundle at the end of this post!

16. Booking your rehearsal dinner and venue

If your wedding venue does not have an option for a rehearsal dinner, plan a rehearsal dinner that is intimate and purposeful. Go over the day of details and make sure that everyone’s day of needs are met.

Ring Security Case Click Here

Hair Accessories Click Here

Free Wedding Registry With a FREE GIFT From AMAZON

wedding registry

Click here to start your Wedding Registry Free.
Bridesmaid gift ideas
Bridal Party Gift Idea! Click Here

Click the Link To Download The Entire Binder Package !

free wedding planning checklistHow to save money on weddingBudget wedding

Click Here For The Free Wedding Planner Binder Inserts

Wedding Advice Cards Click Here

Continue reading “How To Plan A Wedding + Printable Binder Checklists”

10 Ways To Update Your Car Under $20

I have put together a list of 10 ways to upgrade your car under $20! When updating your car, there are so many ways to make your car your own. Most of us already love our cars, but as we spend more time traveling, it becomes a small box of clutter. We can easily update our cars by adding new car organizers, cleaning our upholstery, adding new floor mats and even cleaning our car floors.

(This blog may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more details)

Check out the list I put together and let me know what you think in the comments below!

10 Ways To Upgrade Your Car Under $20

  1. Car Floor Mats

One way to update your car is by adding new floor mats. Sometimes a small pop of color will give your car a bold upgrade.

Purchase Car Floor Mats

2. Bluetooth Wireless FM Transmitter

If your car does not have the option of an auxiliary cord, a Bluetooth transmitter will be a great upgrade option. Most transmitters will require a charging port, but it will be easy to plug in your cell phone or music player.

Purchase the Wireless Car FM Transmitter

3. Car Armrest Cover

Look for your favorite color armrest and matching car mats to really add a personalized look to your car.

Purchase the Car Armrest Cover

4. Car Rug Floor Cleaner

The obvious answer to updating a car is to give it a good cleaning! Cleaning the cars carpet is apart of normal upkeep. But, most times we don’t clean the carpet until a disaster strikes! The Car Guys brand will cut through dirt and oil and it is very well priced. It also comes with a microfiber towel to help collect dust and dirt from your dashboards.

Purchase the Car Cleaner

5. Brush Attachments

If you need to clean your upholstery or your car floor, this attachment will help you clean it quickly and easily. This is my go-to attachment to clean anything, especially the tile in the bathrooms. But, once I used it in my car, I was hooked!

Purchase the Brush Attachment

6. Car Port Charger

Double port car chargers are great to have on hand. The idea of sharing chargers on long road trips are a thing of the past. Charge anything from cell phones to portable DVD players quickly with these fast powered car charging ports.

Purchase the Double Port Car Charger

7. Cell Phone Mount

Car mounts are essential to safe driving. Almost every State in the United States has a policy that doesn’t allow the motorist to operate a cell phone while driving. Rideshare drivers need a heavy duty car mount because they frequently use them. My motto is buy it cheap, buy it twice! This heavy-duty car mount should not be overlooked.

Purchase the Car Mount

8. Interior Car Cleaner

This all-purpose cleaner is the best for wiping off leather car interior and dashboards. It is organic and safe to use around pets and children. I love how it leaves behind a polished finish. And if you use the free microfiber towel that comes with it, it will also do a good job of grabbing all of the dust. I don’t have to use it as often as other brands because it blocks dust from settling around my dashboard. The bottle really does go a long way.

Purchase this All Purchase Interior Car Cleaner

9. Glasses Holder

These cute clips are an easy way to organize your car. They come in cute colors to match any car interior and they are really easy to use. If you frequently lose your driving glasses or sunglasses, this is a great idea to stay organized.

Purchase the Sun Visor Glasses Holder

10. Back Seat Car Organizer

Back seat car organizers are great for family cars. Organizing your car for long road trips with children can take up a lot of needed space. These organizers will make it easy for your children to entertain themselves as well as keep your back seat organized.

Purchase the Back Seat Car Organizers

How Closely You Monitor Your Kids Could Be The Difference Between Life And Death For Your Entire Family

When we look at our children, we usually see their innocence and careless but careful demeanor. But there are children across the world that have committed the worst crimes known to man. Some were caught right away and some almost got away with it. The most surprising child killers are those who have not reached puberty and are female.

Jasmine Richardson 

Jasmine was a 12-year-old preteen that lived in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada with her family. In April of 2006, unknown to her mother, father and brother, Jasmine and her adult boyfriend decided to kill her entire family in the name of love.

Jasmine in her preteen/teen phase met her adult boyfriend Jeremy who was 23 years old. They met online in a Canadian chat room for young adults. Jasmine lied at first, telling Jeremy that she was 15 years old. She pretended to be older than she was until she and Jeremy met face to face. He knew that she was younger than she leads on, yet he still pursued her anyway.

Soon friends and family began to question their relationship and this infuriated them both because they were unable to see each other. Jeremy did not care that his friends and family despised his relationship. After all, he was a 23-year-old man and Jasmine was a 12-year-old girl. Even though his family and friends disagreed with his relationship, Jeremy continued to pursue Jasmine. There were other weird things about Jeremy that 12-year-old jasmine did not understand. For instance, Jeremy believed he was a werewolf and he wore a vial of blood around his neck. To the average 23-year-old woman, this would have been a red flag that something was off about Jeremy and it would have been a signal to end the relationship. But, 12-year-old Jasmine thought that he was good enough and continued to date him.

One night, the happy couple decided to watch the movie Natural Born Killers. Jeremy has been quoted from his friends that he was going to carry out the movie exactly the way it plays out in the end. So on that fatal night, the pair used a knife to butcher Jasmine’s entire family so that they could be together forever in peace. The murder plan worked perfectly in their minds. They decided that if they killed her family, no one would be able to keep them apart. After the murders, they ran away to begin their lives together. Not before they were caught and charged with three first degree murder. Jasmine was a preteen when she committed the murders. In Canada, the laws don’t allow children to serve life sentences, she was sentenced to 10 years for her role in the murders. She was released in 2017 without any restrictions.  Jeremy, however, wasn’t so lucky! He admitted to murdering the family and received a life sentence for each of the murders.

The reality of children growing up is scary for most parents. It is the unknown. In most cases, parents seem to be unprepared for the different stages and changes that could happen in life. You may believe that you understand or know your child. But what if you don’t? Do you think that Jasmine’s parents could have prevented this from happening? If so how?