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?

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

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?

Smart Watches, How do they Compare?

With the new year approaching, most people are reevaluating their fitness goals and preparing their minds, body, and souls for their fitness challenges. If you are planning to take on fitness in 2019 there are a few key things to consider. Will you hire a trainer? Should you take on the challenge alone? Are there any friends that can help you reach your fitness goal? Do you have the necessary products to help you reach your goals? There are many products out there that promise to help you with your fitness goals. But how do they compare? I am going to compare two watches that caught my eye for my fitness goals. Both are equally great, but their features are different. If you are new to fitness or a fitness guru, a smartwatch is a must for your fitness goals.

There are many brands of smartwatches available online and in retails stores. The best reviews are from the popular brand Apple! Apple’s smartwatches are a huge success because of their user-friendly features. As fitness becomes a huge trend, smartwatches are contributing to the likelihood that your fitness goals can be reached. The latest smartwatch from Apple is the Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular, 40mm) – Space Gray Aluminium Case with Black Sports Band.

Key Features:

  • Large display
  • NEW electrical heart sensor
  • Low & high heart rate detector
  • Fall detection and emergency SOS
  • Automated workout detection
  • New yoga & hiking workouts
  • Up to 5 metrics to track your favorite ways to train
  • Activity tracking with friends
  • Personalized coaching
  • Monthly challenges
  • Achievement awards
  • Walkie-Talkie
  • New Siri features
  • Phone calls & messages

Apple has made sure that they are on top of the technology world! The watch is basically a trainer that will help you keep your fitness goals organized and you’ll look chic while doing it.

Check out Apple’s smartwatches HERE

Another smartwatch to look out for is the 321OU Touch Screen Bluetooth Smart Watch Smartwatch Phone Fitness Tracker. This smartwatch has plenty of features for the average person and is compatible with Android. This watch is for people who want to make their fitness goals and save cash at the same time. There are many great features to this watch, but my favorite is the material that the watch band is made from. The anti-sweat feature is my favorite feature because I hate when my watch feels like it is wet or slipping off. The material allows the watch to stay in place even when you are sweating during your workout.

Key Features:

  • Stainless steel wire drawing surface
  • Anti-sweat matte surface treatment
  • Precision laminating process
  • Ergonomic convex design and soft strap which makes wearing more comfortable
  • Two working models. 1. Bluetooth 2. SIM card
  • Sync function
  • Multi-function fitness tracker
  • Android & IOS compatible

This watch will not disappoint in any area. It is lightweight and the features are comparable to top brands of fitness watches. The reviews for this watch and the price of this watch makes it a favorite for many. For the amount of technology and chicness put into this watch, it is priced very well.

Check out the Touch Screen Bluetooth fitness watch HERE

I decided that whichever watch I buy will be a good choice because both of the watches have the features that I need. I am new to the fitness and health scene and I need to start this journey with a head start. The most important feature is the tracker that both the watches comes with. The workout tracker is important because when I am on my morning runs I want to know when I hit my mile goal and what my heart rate is at my highest running speed. I also want to know when I am pushing myself too far or when I am not pushing far enough.

I ended up with an Apple watch because I am serious about my weight loss goal and I already have an iPhone. I also loved the choices in colors and the way it fits my small wrist. I’ve bought watches in the past that were adjustable, but my wrist is so small that the watches would move as I ran leaving a watch print on my wrist. For my Apple products are easier to use and understand, so it was just an easier choice.

What fitness products have you used that you loved? Do you know of any fitness challenges that actually work for weight loss? Please let me know in the comments below, I still have room in my workout schedule that is blank!

After Christmas Amazon Deals That Are Happening Now And They Too Good To Pass Up

Amazon always has special deals, but this month’s deals are just too good to pass up. My family has been in the market for a few different products that will help add value to the home that we purchased a few months ago. I always make sure that I do a bunch of research on the product that I need to make sure I am getting the best price. I stumbled onto amazon because I am in the market for a specific backsplash tile that I checked out in home depot. I figured I would search online for a better deal before I jumped into the project. Of course, once I got onto the Amazon website, I started to double check the other things on the list and a few of them are cheaper to buy online. Here’s a list of times that are on sale this month. There are limited amounts available and some of the sales can end without notice.

(I love that you are reading my list of after Christmas sale ideas. But first I wanted to let you know that if you make a purchase through one of the links I provided I could receive a credit or compensation at no cost to you)

1. Echo Devices

I was skeptical about the Echo devices because I thought it was strange to have someone do everything for me. It took me a while to take it out the box and set it up because I just wasn’t interested in it. Once I finally set it up, I am in love with this thing. The sound is really good and it actually helps out a lot. I would recommend that if you have a busy life and need a personal assistant to remind you of this, this is the device for you.

2. Fire Tablets 25% off – Trade In and Gift Card

The trade-in promotion is happening now and it is one of my favorite promotions that Amazon has. The idea of buying the kids a new tablet every year is driving me nuts, but now that this program is available, I don’t mind it as much since I earn a gift card and a discount. Lets face it, tech is taking over the world and this is one of those things that parents cannot stop from happening. I encourage parents to download educational games and lock anything that may be inappropriate. Amazon also has an app that is only for kids. It is really good and if you want to check it out, click HERE.

3. Fire Sticks

The fire stick has been upgraded with data and speed. I love the fire stick because it keeps all of our favorite things like Netflix and Hulu in one place. Fire sticks are taking over cable because it helps cut costs. If you haven’t purchased a fire stick yet, now would be a perfect time.

4. Fire HD 10 Tablet

Each year Amazon releases a new version of their fire tablet. Each year the new tablet is better than the previous years. This year’s tablet comes with features like Alexa and audio books already available for download. The speaker system is clearer and the screen and graphics are really good.

5. Wilson Sports Products

Wilson is a popular brand that is used in most sports. Because of the brand popularity and how great the products are made, Wilson is a more expensive brand of sports products. The deal is discounted for the after Christmas sale.

Best Tools To Use If You Are A New Blogger

When you’ve finally decided to start a blog there are so many things that you should consider. Like, where will you host the blog or what are the best free tools available for new bloggers? I have put together a list of easy to use tools that will be helpful for any blogger, but most helpful for a new blogger.

this blog post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information.

Check out The Beginners Affiliate Blueprint Free eBook from Amazon to learn how to use affiliate marketing to earn an income.

(I love that you are reading through my blog tooltips. But first I want to let you know that if you purchase an item or service from one of the links provided, I may be credited or compensated for your purchase, at no cost to you.)

Hosting & Domain

1. I currently use WordPress.com for my host and domain. I choose the premium plan because I wanted to monetize my blog. Monetizing your blog is important if you plan to earn an income from blogging. There are free plans available, but they are not allowed to be monetized.  If you select a premium blog plan or business plan, your blog will automatically qualify for WordAds. WordAds is similar to the affiliate GoogleAdSense, except WordAds are automatically available without building up your blog’s traffic first. There are many different themes to choose from within WordPress or you have the option to upload your own theme. Check out WordPress.com and read through the available plans and benefits to see if this is a great fit for your needs.

Click here for more information on WordPress

2. Wix.com is similar to WordPress with a variety of blog themes and design. But the site isn’t as versatile with plug-in availability. If you are planning to start a free blog just for fun, Wix.com is a good choice. Check them out if you are on a tight budget and want to start your site.

3. BlueHost.com is also a really good host for a beginner blogger because they are discounted and they have a great response team that will answer all of your questions. If you are interested in flexibility with your website and/or blog, I would recommend checking out BlueHost.com.

Scheduling & Email

1. MailChimp.com is a great tool to use to collect subscriber information. If you are planning to monetize your blog but you are not ready to invest a lot. Sign-Up for MailChimp.com to make sure that you are collecting subscribers. It is free to sign-up and your first 2,000 subscribers are free. The app allows you to create popups and campaigns for welcome emails and newsletters. I currently use MailChimp.com and I love the app! When I have an idea about a newsletter and I am away from home, I can write down my ideas in the form using the mobile app.

Affiliate Marketing

Check out The Beginners Affiliate Blueprint Free eBook from Amazon to learn how to use affiliate marketing to earn an income.

1. Amazon is a very good affiliate marketing tool to use for the round-up post, how-to videos or posts, product reviews, and service reviews. If you plan to earn money from blogging, try amazon and play around with the products and services of the site in your blog posts. The possibilities are endless because of the variety of products. It is free to signup and there isn’t a minimum traffic requirement. To sign up scroll to the bottom of the Amazon link provided and click Become an affiliate.

Sign up for FREE to become an Amazon affiliate

2. Shareasale.com has a collection of merchants that they have placed in one place. You can pretty much find anything worth sharing on their website from clothing to digital products. Share A Sale is beneficial for round-up blog posts as well as product reviews. It is pretty easy to get approved for this affiliate. Once you apply, you should receive a response within 24 hours. I was approved in an hour to become an affiliate and around 24 hours for my first merchant approval. If you are considering an affiliate that works well with any website or blog this is a great choice.

Sign up for Free to become a ShareASale affiliate

3. Creativefabrica.com has many great benefits to joining their affiliate program. I stumbled upon this website when I was searching for free fonts to use for my Etsy shop design. What’s amazing about this website is that they have created an email list that blasts out free downloads for almost everything craft. To sign up for free fonts, graphic images, SVG files and themes you have to create a profile. Once you’ve created the profile you may apply for an affiliate number. It’s an easy process with many different benefits. Check out the affiliate website and explore their freebies.

4. Wayfair is another great affiliate program that new bloggers should join. Wayfair makes it easy to add their banners to your website and they have pretty good instructions about how to grow as an affiliate. The tools available allow you to use them for any affiliate program. It is really informative and worth signing up for. The process is really simple to sign up and they have a good commission rate as well.

Sign up for free to become an affiliate at Wayfair.com

Cricut is another affiliate that I am proud to join. Cricut has a huge customer base and it isn’t as difficult to make a sale. The idea behind joining the Cricut affiliate program was I own Cricut products and I will write tutorials about my favorite products and tools from the brand. It does take a while to be approved and they do not approve every application. There isn’t a traffic requirement, so I suggest that everyone should apply.

Sign up for free to become an affiliate at Cricut.com

Ebates is another affiliate to look out for. I love to shop through Ebates because I earn cashback. But their referral program is also a nice deal. If you have friends and family that don’t have an Ebates account you can refer them and earn a referral credit and they also earn a credit. Ebates is also great to add to your blogs for the round-up post and money-saving tips. You can fit Ebates in almost anywhere.

Sign up for an account HERE

I will update this list as I find new tools that are helpful. I have tested all of the tools listed and so far they have worked for what I needed them for.

Do you have a favorite blog tool? Share it in the comments below!

10 Christmas Gift Ideas For Your Mother-In-Law

(this post may contain affiliate links)

The first Christmas after marrying your sweetheart will be the toughest yet. Should you buy gifts for your new family? What kind of things will my mother-in-law be impressed with? Sure, you’ve bought your mother-in-law gifts before, but this time, you may want it to be really thoughtful and special. Maybe she’s hard to impress or you guys may even have totally different tastes in gifts. I had the same nervous feeling when I chose a gift for my mother-in-law. I put together a list of things that have worked for me over the years and things that I plan to buy in the future.

If you have not started a list of things that you’ve noticed she’s interested in, now would be a good time. The list that you are about to read is actually a real list of things my mother-in-law has mentioned or showed interest in over time. When she buys something for herself, she usually mentions it to me and I mark it off the list. The list below is not exactly what I planned to buy her (just in case she reads this) but it is the general ballpark area.

Holiday Gifts For Your Mother-In-Law Count Down

#10 Crock Pot

#9 New Pot Set

#8 China Set

#7 Portal Handsfree Video

#6 A Charm Bracelet

#5 Diamond Earrings

#4 Espresso Machine

#3 Foot Massager

#2 A Watch

#1 A Gift Card

Holiday shopping is easier for me when I have lists like this one because when something goes on sale, I already have an idea of what I am looking for. It is easier to save money when you are prepared. I try to always have a plan!

Do you have a list of holiday gifts handy? Name a gift that I should add to my gift list in the comment list.