Make Your Own Party Invitations

Make Your Own Party Invitations -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

I decided that I would throw Kelsey a one-year birthday party. Instead of buying my invitations on Walmart.com, like I did for her baby shower, I designed them myself online…for free. 

Check out my video if you would like to create your own invitations as well!

Don’t forget to NiftyMahoganyMom.com YouTube

I hope this helps!

NiftyMahoganyMom.com

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

Dealing With Separation Anxiety -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

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Fitness for the SAHM -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

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Dealing With Separation Anxiety

Dealing With Separation Anxiety -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

Kelsey is 10 months old now. We are spending time with family this summer and are having to find ways to help her with separation anxiety. Our family lives a few hours away, so she is not used to being around them. The first few days of being in their presence, Kelsey wanted absolutely nothing to do with them. It wasn’t because she doesn’t love them, or because they appear threatening, but just because they are not mommy and daddy. She is starting to understand “object permanence”. This means she knows that even though mommy and daddy leave the room (out of her sight), it doesn’t mean they are not somewhere in earshot.

I must admit, even though I have researched separation anxiety and know that it’s a normal part of development, it is still frustrating. I was looking forward to my time with family this summer being an opportunity to get somewhat of a break. It did not start out quite that way. I spent the first few days pretty much holding Kelsey the entire time and not being able to hand her to anyone because she would cry so much.

Thankfully, she is doing so much better now. I just had to be patient with her, and explain to others that she is in a new environment and will eventually become comfortable being alone with her family. Here are some things we did to help her.

1. In the beginning, I kept her with me whenever possible. Because she exhibited so much anxiety, I did not want to add to it by just throwing her into someone else’s arms (essentially a stranger to her) and walking away. That would just add to her discomfort and make her more nervous.

2. Family talked and played with her while I was holding her. I made sure to communicate with them in a friendly tone as well so that she would get the impression from mommy that this person is trust-worthy.

3. As she allowed others to hold her, I would leave the room for longer periods of time and then come back every few minutes to let her see that I was still in the house. If I didn’t go into the room, I would be sure she could hear me talking in another part of the house. This helped her to know that even though she is with someone else, mommy will be back to get her.

4. When she was alone with a family member and started calling for me repeatedly, I went to get her. I wanted her to trust that I would always be there when she called and that she didn’t have to be scared that I was going to just drop her off and leave.

5. The first time I left her with a family member, I only stayed away for a short time. This showed her that even if I leave, I will come back to get her. As time progresses, I will leave for longer time periods.

She is still getting used to being around new people, but she is getting better. With a little patience and extra love and care she is learning to be comfortable with others. By the end of our stay, she will be getting so much attention that she won’t want to leave! That’s my hope, anyway.

How do you cope with separation anxiety?

NiftyMahoganyMom.com

 

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Make Your Own Laundry Detergent -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

 

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

When I first saw a post about making your own laundry detergent I thought for sure that it would take forever. Luckily, I decided to try it out anyway. I was pleasantly surprised that making my own detergent is super easy! Not only that, but it saves me and my family money throughout the year.

I bought all of the supplies for roughly $21.00 at Walmart (before tax). The mixture usually lasts me about 4-5 months (it will last different periods depending on the amount you use per load).

If you want to save too, watch my video, and see how easy it really is to make your own detergent.

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

Here’s what you need:

– an empty, air tight container

– 3 Fels Naptha laundry bars

– 55 oz.  Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

–  4 lb. Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda

– 18 oz. Purex Crystals container

– 4 lb. Borax

– 3.25 lb. All Free & Clear Laundry Booster (or 3 lb. OxyClean Versatile Stain Remover)

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

Here’s what you do: 

Grate the three Fels Naptha laundry bars into your container, add complete packages of other ingredients and mix well. Keep container covered when not in use to prevent moisture from building up.

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

That’s it! I hope this helps!

NiftyMahoganyMom.com

 

 

stayawhileEasy, Affordable, Natural DIY Glass Cleaner -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

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Easy DIY Foaming Hand Soap -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

 

 

DIY Glass Cleaner

Easy, Affordable, Natural DIY Glass Cleaner -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com Now that I have Kelsey in the house, I’m a little more cognizant of the chemicals and cleaners that I use. I started making my own glass cleaner and I love it. It’s super easy to make, it doesn’t have a strong smell like some of the other formulas I’ve tried, and of course…it’s inexpensive. Try it out! Easy, Affordable, Natural DIY Glass Cleaner -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com Here’s what you need:

– clean spray bottle

– 2 cups of warm water

– 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol

– 1/4 cup white vinegar

– 1 TBSP corn starch

– a few drops of essential oil (optional)

Here’s what you do: 

1. Use a bowl to mix all of your ingredients.

Easy, Affordable, Natural DIY Glass Cleaner -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com 2. Stir it all together well.

3. Funnel it into a clean spray bottle. You can find these at Dollar Tree, or you can just re-use one you already have in the house. Easy, Affordable, Natural DIY Glass Cleaner -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

*** I used tea tree essential oil this time and I ended up not liking the smell too much. So, I added a tablespoon of lemon juice and that made it smell amazing. When I made this formula in the past, I skipped the essential oils altogether and I still loved it. ***

Easy, Affordable, Natural DIY Glass Cleaner -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com I hope this helps!

Did you make it? I would love to see. Tag me on Instagram or Twitter with a pic!

NiftyMahoganyMom.com

stayawhile It's Okay if Your Baby Isn't Perfect. How to cope with the anxiety of having an imperfect child -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com   Easy DIY Foaming Hand Soap -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com   New Ways to Save Money with Your iPhone -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com   Nutella Banana Bread -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

My Baby Isn’t Perfect

I know this title seems crazy. How dare I insinuate that all babies aren’t precious, perfect, blemish-free beings?  Well, I’m not talking about the fact that every baby is a beautiful gift, because of course they are. What I am saying, is that sometimes we, as parents (especially mothers) often have this picture in our minds of a perfect little bundle of joy that will not have anything abnormal or wrong with them. The anxiety behind finding out that your baby has certain issues can be overwhelming. I know, because I dealt with them as well.

My baby girl was born with extra “digits” on both of her hands. This occurs often in my family. I had them, both of my brothers had them, and my dad had them. It was something that a very simple “surgery” (if you can even call it that) fixed. She had them removed probably in her second week of life. I was too hormonal to take the fact that she was crying when they removed them, but it was quick, and she won’t even remember when she is older.

It's Okay if Your Baby Isn't Perfect -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

She also had what is called a shortened frenulum or tongue-tie. Basically that means that the tissue at the base of her tongue was too short. She had to have it clipped soon after she came home from the hospital. Again, I couldn’t bear hearing her cry, so I waited in the lobby while my husband went back with her. It took, literally, 2 seconds to actually clip her tongue. She cried for 3 seconds, and then she fell asleep.

At Kelsey’s 4 month visit her pediatrician detected a heart murmur. So, I had to take her to the cardiologist to ensure that she was alright. Ultimately, she was fine. But the thoughts that ran through my head were terrible and waiting for that appointment was the longest wait of my life.

Kelsey had infant acne for a long time, she had cradle cap that made her lose a lot of her hair, she had bad eczema. She is my beautiful baby girl, but at times she was not the cutest. I still love her to the moon and back!

Read my post about what I used to help her eczema.

It's Okay if Your Baby Isn't Perfect -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

So, what’s the point of this post? It’s a quick way to let you know that even if your baby is not perfect, it’s okay. I suffered through a lot of anxiety when Kelsey was going through all of these things and I wish I would have spent less time worrying, and more time having faith that she would be alright. Just know that if your baby is overall healthy, just take it one day at a time. Try not to worry too much about small issues that will be easily corrected. Trust me, there are a lot of other mommies dealing with the same issues you are. You are not alone.

If you want to connect with other mothers…ask questions, get support, or just feel included, join our African American Homemakers group! We are on Facebook and Google+. Also, feel free to connect with me on Instagram and Twitter.

I hope this helps you in some way.

NiftyMahoganyMom.com

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Coping with Infant Colds

Coping with Infant Colds -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

My sweet baby girl has a cold. She is 9 months old and has been sick before, but this is probably the worst cold she’s had so far. Her nose is running terribly, it’s harder for her to drink her formula, and she is super fussy and needy. I have taken this as an opportunity to give her more cuddles, but I feel terrible that there’s not much I can do to help her. Here are some things that alleviate her discomfort.

1. Use saline spray and an aspirator. I use Little Remedies only twice a day. Usually she needs it more in the morning and late at night. I use a Coping with Infant Colds -- NiftyMahoganyMom.comnormal bulb aspirator, but I have heard great things about Nose Frida. This is a device that allows an adult to literally suck the mucous out of baby’s nose. I know that sounds disgusting, but there’s a filter so no fear of getting any in your mouth. Have you used it before? Comment if you have. I would love to know if it works.

nosefrida

2. Use steam. When I take my shower, I put Kelsey in her little seat and let her get exposed to steam. This helps to clear out some of her congestion and makes it easier for her to breathe through her nose. Just make sure that you turn the fan on and don’t let baby stay in for longer than about 15 minutes.

Check out my YouTube channel!

3. Give more fluids. I typically give Kelsey at least a little water every day (she’s old enough to have it), but when a baby has a cold, they require more fluids to help flush out their system. I have also noticed that when she is sick, she doesn’t eat as much solid food. She usually wants more formula during these times.

4. Hold her a little more. When she’s sick, she needs a lot more attention. I can remember being sick as a child and really the only thing I wanted was my mommy (I’m sure some of you can relate). So, I take the time out to just sit and hold her for at least 30 minutes and just rock her and let her know she will be okay. When I give her this little extra special attention, I notice that she doesn’t fuss as much. She just needs to know that mommy and daddy are here to take care of her. The cold may interfere with baby’s sleep habits as well. Check out my post about infant sleep regressions.

Coping with Infant Colds -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

5. Use a humidifier. We always use a humidifier for Kelsey, but when she is sick it’s super important that we have it running especially while she is sleeping. Humidifiers add moisture back into the air, and during dry months, it’s a lifesaver to help with her congestion. This is the humidifier we use.

coolmist

6. Put Vicks rub in a scent warmer. Kelsey is still too young to rub Vicks directly on her body, but you can put about a tablespoon into an electric oil warmer and sit it close to baby while they sleep. It works great.

7. Give Infant Tylenol. I try my best to not give Kelsey much medicine. But, if I can tell that she is really having a hard time I will give her the recommended dose of Infant Tylenol. I use the Coping with Infant Colds -- NiftyMahoganyMom.comEquate version. I just think about how I would feel if I were trying to rest and possibly had a headache and body aches. Just make sure that you get a chart from your pediatrician to determine how much your baby should have.

8. Take her temperature often. When Kelsey has a cold, I make sure that I take her temperature at least 3 times a day. I do this because I want to ensure that she doesn’t have anything more serious like the flu. That would require a bit more attention and possibly a trip in to see the doctor. I use the Braun ThermoScan and I love it. It’s an ear thermometer and it takes literally a second to read her temp.

Coping with Infant Colds -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

That’s it. I use these things to help my baby feel a little more comfortable when she has a cold. There’s not much else you can do, but give them extra love and attention until the sickness passes.

What do you do to help your baby when they have a cold? 

Hope this helps!

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Easily Make Your Own Foaming Soap

Easy DIY Foaming Hand Soap -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

I was really excited when I went to Dollar Tree yesterday and saw foaming soaps. Not because I wanted to buy foaming soap, but because I really wanted the dispensers for my DIY soap. When I looked online to buy foaming dispensers some of them were upwards of $15. I really didn’t want to spend that much so I was thrilled when I realized I could buy some for a few bucks and just reuse them.

Easy DIY Foaming Hand Soap -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

Making hand soap is really easier than you might think. All you need is liquid castile soap and water. I like to use Dr. Bronner’s, but most brands will do (you can get a 32 oz bottle for roughly $16 on Amazon). They come in several fragrances. The one I have currently is lemon. You can also add essential oils to make the soap more fragrant, but for me the lemon scent is usually enough.

Here’s what you need:

– Water (you may want to use distilled water, or boil it first)

– Liquid Castile Soap

– Essential Oil (optional)

– Olive Oil (optional)

Here’s what you do:

1. Fill your foam soap dispenser with about 1/8-1/3 castile soap (depending on the concentration you like).

Easy DIY Foaming Hand Soap -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

2. Add water to almost top.

Easy DIY Foaming Hand Soap -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

3. Add about 1 TBSP of olive oil (This makes the soap feel a little more moisturizing. Just know that if you add olive oil, it will settle at the top of the soap. If you are using a clear dispenser it won’t look pretty…but it will work well.)

Easy DIY Foaming Hand Soap -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

4. Add about 10-20 drops of essential oil depending on the size of your dispenser.

Easy DIY Foaming Hand Soap -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

That’s it!

Now you have natural, safe, easy, affordable foaming hand soap. I have had one bottle of liquid castile soap for several months now, so it is definitely worth the money in the long run.

IMG_4909

Did you try this? If you did, I would love to see it. Tag me on Twitter or Instagram with a pic! 

instagram twitter

I hope this helps!

NiftyMahoganyMom.com

 

 

 

New Ways to Save Money Using Your iPhone

New Ways to Save Money with Your iPhone -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

I love using my iPhone to organize my life, takes videos, pictures, shop, and save money. Although I still love my coupons that come in the Sunday newspaper, I have also started using some iPhone applications to rack up even more money and rebates. I wanted to share these with you so that you can save right along with me!

The first app that I love is the Walmart Savings Catcher. This app lets you scan your Walmart receipts into a database that compares the items you bought to the same ones at other stores in New Ways to Save Money with Your iPhone -- NiftyMahoganyMom.comyour area. If a lower price is found for any item, Walmart will give you the money back in Walmart Bucks. This is probably my favorite savings app right now.

Watch my YouTube video about some of my other favorite iPhone apps. 

My next favorite app is called Shopkick. This app gives you “kicks” from doing things like walking into a store, scanning products, New Ways to Save Money with Your iPhone -- NiftyMahoganyMom.comand making purchases. As you accrue kicks, you are offered to redeem them for certain rewards. For example you can get a Starbucks gift card, a Kitchen Aid appliance, or even a television! Obviously each reward requires a different amount of kicks. I’m going for the gold! I changed my reward to that TV. Hopefully I’ll get there one day.

Next, are the apps Ibotta and Checkout 51. They both allow you New Ways to Save Money with Your iPhone -- NiftyMahoganyMom.comto upload receipts from various stores for items listed in their databases and give you money back on an online account. Then, you can cash out onto a Paypal, venmo account, or you can use your money for gift cards to popular stores. These two apps are my favorite for rebates because they include items and brands that my family uses on a regular basis.

If you like Target, Cartwheel is a great app for you. They offer virtual coupons for a lot of items available in the store. What’s cool about this app is that you don’t have to scan each individual barcode. You just add the items to a list that you are going to purchase, then when you get to the checkout, the cashier only has to scan the barcode once and all of your discounts will be accounted for.

New Ways to Save Money with Your iPhone -- NiftyMahoganyMom.com

If you like discovering less mainstream brands, or are big on organic, gluten free, and specialty foods then you should check out Jingit, Berrycart, Shopmium, and Shrink. They are all based on pretty much the same concept: shop for the brands they recognize, and receive money back.

These apps have made saving money a little easier for me. What apps do you use? 

Hope this helps!

NiftyMahoganyMom.com