Friday, August 22, 2014

9 Doctor Who and Union Jack Projects

In honor of Series 8 starting tomorrow, I thought we would celebrate by looking at some fantastic Doctor Who and Union Jack projects. These are some of my favorite posts on Housewife Eclectic and I absolutely can't WAIT for some of the awesome Doctor Who projects I have coming up for you over the course of Series 8!
 Crocheted Tweed Scarf, Fez and Bowtie.
 Doctor Who Cyberman Onesie.
 Customizable Doctor Who Pinboards.
 Doctor Who Lego Figure Necklace
"The Silence" shirt.
 Doctor Who Tardis Bag Tutorial by Rae Gun Ramblings for Housewife Eclectic
 Paint a Tardis Umbrella 
 Union Jack Rag Quilt.
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Baby Jogger Summit X3 2014 Giveaway!

I am so excited to be able to bring you this awesome giveaway for a Baby Jogger! Check below to see how to enter!

Welcome to the Baby Jogger Summit X3 Giveaway! hosted by Viva Veltoro & Thrifty Nifty Mommy, and generously sponsored by PishPoshBaby!
PishPoshBaby is the #1 online baby shop for all of your needs as a parent or caregiver. They offer top of the line baby brands with top notch customer service to go along with it. Their goal is to give you clarity, confidence, and comfort when making important and significant purchases for your precious little one. Speaking of important purchasing decisions, strollers can be a big investment. With so many to choose from, it's wonderful that PishPoshBaby has their team of "Mom Reps" available to guide you through the choices and give you feedback on which strollers might suit your needs best. Ruth from Viva Veltoro recently had the opportunity to review the Baby Jogger Summit X3 2014 from PishPoshBaby and she couldn't be more pleased with this fabulous jogging stroller. Make sure you check out the full review to see all of the great features of this high-quality stroller!



Here is a little bit of info about the Baby Jogger Summit X3 2014 from the PishPoshBaby website:
Go anywhere with this highly maneuverable hybrid jogger/stroller. With its all-wheel suspension, the Summit X3 provides exceptional performance on any terrain. A remote wheel lock on the handlebar allows you to easily shift between jogging and strolling. Features:
  • Patented Quick-Fold Technology--allows you to fold your stroller in one step
  • Universal Accessory Mounting Bracket: accessorize your stroller with ease
  • Remote action swivel lock to lock the front wheel for jogging exercise
  • All-wheel independent suspension
  • Hand-operated rear drum brakes for increased control on hilly terrain
  • 16" rear and 12" front quick-release pneumatic wheels with sealed ball bearings
  • Padded seat with additional support reclines to a near flat position
  • Vented seat recline with retractable weather cover
  • Ergonomic handlebar with wipe-clean grip
  • Multi-position sun canopy with peek-a-boo windows and side ventilation panels
  • Seat back storage compartment and large under seat storage basket
  • Adjustable 5-point safety harness with shoulder pads
  • Rear parking brake
  • Removable auto-lock to keep stroller folded for transportation or storage
PishPoshbaby is going to give one lucky reader a Baby Jogger Summit X3 2014 in their choice of color (valued at $429)!
Open to residents of the United States, ages 18 and up. Ends on 9/7/14 at 11:59 PM EDT. Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below. Good luck!
Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for hosting this giveaway. Viva Veltoro, Thrifty Nifty Mommy, and the participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Please contact vivaveltoro(at)gmail.com with questions about this giveaway. post signature

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What Bottle Feeding My First Taught Me About Breastfeeding My Second- A nursing story and Dr. Brown's Giveaway

I was given samples of Dr. Brown's products prior to writing this post. All opinions and experience are 100% my own.


My first breastfeeding experience was nothing short of a disaster. I nursed a screaming baby every 45 minutes for the first four weeks of her life. I was exhausted, in constant pain from sore nipples, but proud. I was doing it, even though it was hard. I felt felt exhilarated by my accomplishment right up until the moment that my daughter's pediatrician told me when she was four weeks old that I was starving her to death. I remember feeling like I had been punched in the stomach. I had no idea it wasn't working. I had no idea she wasn't getting enough. She was screaming all the time because she was hungry. I remember watching the nurse bring in cans of special formula for our very sick baby and stacking them on the exam table. It felt like a monument to my failure.

Fast forward to my second pregnancy five years later. People would ask if I was scared to go through labor again and I would laugh and say no, because I wasn't. Breastfeeding was what made me break out in a cold sweat. I analyzed my first experience over and over again looking for signs I missed that she was struggling and I read everything I could find on nursing. Now four months in, I can honestly say my little one and I have an incredible breastfeeding relationship. I look forward to the time I spend with just her every day and there is a part of me that is grateful for my first experience because it taught me how to succeed the second time around. I just want to take a second and say that one of my girls was formula fed and one is breastfed and  both my daughters are wonderful, sweet, happy girls. I am not condemning one way or another, I am just sharing my experience. Here is what I learned from my first experience that helped me this time.

1. Make breastfeeding part of your birth plan. I explained to my nurses when I was in labor that my number one goal besides a healthy baby was to establish a breastfeeding relationship as fast as possible. They were so supportive of me and I had my newborn in my arms seconds after she was born. We focused a lot on skin to skin contact and nursing before they had even wheeled me into the recovery room.

2. It hurts, but it gets better. Every thing I read told me that if the baby was latched right then nursing shouldn't be painful. So why did it feel like I was being seared with a branding iron every time she latched on? One nurse said it best when I asked, "You haven't had anything constantly tugging on your nipples before. Of course it is going to hurt, but it will get better." It hurt for awhile, but eventually the pain went completely away, until then I used a lanolin free cream and hard sided breast shields to keep my clothes from rubbing against me.

3. Use cream before you are sore. I picked up cream with my first and started using it once things were sore. With my second I started using it right away to prevent soreness. It was way easier to prevent it then it was to treat it. With my first I used a lanolin based cream but I hated that it stained my clothes and sometimes left greasy spots on other clothes in that same load of laundry. Dr. Brown's formula is non greasy and there is no need to wash it off before feeding.


4. Nurses are not lactation consultants. Most nurses have taken classes and can give you basic help, but what you really need is a lactation consultant. Ask to see one while you are still in the hospital and don't be afraid to go back to one later if you need to. I attribute the great breastfeeding relationship I have with my baby to a wonderful lactation consultant. Lactation consultants are also like doctors, sometimes you need to shop around and find one that fits your personality. The first one I ever saw was bound and determined to get me to use a nursing hold I wasn't comfortable with which just made me more frustrated in the end. I found another one that was more willing to work around what I was comfortable with and it has been wonderful.

5. It is OK to be cautious. With all of the weight issues with my first, I started bringing my second baby in for weight checks on my own when she was about three weeks old. We were able to catch a problem she was having eating while it was still a small problem before it became a huge issue. Most doctor's office or lactation clinics will let you weigh your baby for free. Call around if yours won't.

6. Pumping is not an good indication of how much milk you make. Watch your baby's diaper output very carefully in the first few weeks. If they are gaining weight and having a normal amount of diapers, you are doing fine. If you are still worried about it, most lactation clinics have an appointment where you come in, weigh your baby, feed the baby and then weight them again to see exactly how much they are taking in. I am so grateful for my pump, because it has allowed me to build up a wonderful freezer supply, but it is not what I use to measure how much my baby is getting.

7. Get the right kind of nursing pillow. I tried out several kinds of nursing pillows before I found one I loved. The Dr. Brown's pillow is fuller than others I have tried, so I don't end up shoving extra pillows underneath it or with a sore back.

8. Reusable nursing pads are way softer and more comfortable than disposable ones. While I love disposable nursing pads for some things, nothing beats the soft feeling of the reusable Dr. Brown's pads. I absolutely love them and recommend them to be people as my absolutely number 1 nursing must have. They are soft even against sore nipples.


9. Dressing in nursing friendly clothes doesn't have to be hard. With my first baby, I always used a cover and couldn't for the life of me figure out why you would nurse with out one. Then I had my second, right before summer. The poor little thing hated the hot nursing cover and would scream and refuse to eat anytime I had it on and I can't say I blamed her. For my own comfort in nursing without a cover I began wearing a long tank and a shirt. I would pull the shirt up and the tank down so I could nurse pretty much anywhere with nobody even looking twice. H&M makes absolutely hands down my favorite tanks for nursing and they are usually 2 for $10!

10. Relax. You are doing great. As women we compare ourselves to others way to much. When I formula fed I was convinced everyone was judging me and I would tell any stranger who watched me bottle fed my baby the entire story of why I was bottle feeding her. After my second baby refused to nurse with a cover, I would tell anyone who would listen the saga of why I couldn't cover. In the end I realized it really didn't matter what anybody else thought. I was feeding my baby and that was all that mattered.

Breastfeeding has been both the hardest thing I have ever done and one of the best. It didn't work out for my first, no matter how much I wanted it to, but I am thrilled that this time around it is working. When it comes down to it. We are all good moms just trying to do the best we can.

I was lucky enough to be able to try some of the nursing products by Dr. Brown's. I have found some of my absolute go to products in their line. I will never use another kind of nursing pad, their breast milk storage bags are so easy to use and I LOVE my Gia nursing pillow. I am so excited that Dr. Brown's has agreed to give one Housewife Eclectic reader the same opportunity. Enter to win some of their fantastic nursing products using the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage II Giveaway

There are few things I wanted more than I was a little kid than a play house in my backyard. Today I am thrilled to be joining some fantastic bloggers to bring you just that! 

Welcome to the Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage II Giveaway, hosted by Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro and sponsored by Step2!
As a Step2 Ambassador, Thrifty Nifty Mommy just had the opportunity to review one of Step2's newest products, the Neat & Tidy Cottage II. This realistic playhouse will look great in any backyard because of its charming exterior that resembles stone and wood. Your little one can pretend to cook, clean and welcome guests into their very own house. Check out the Thrifty Nifty Mommy's full review of the Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage II to see all of the awesome features of this playhouse. Details of the Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage (obtained from the Step2 website):
  • Open design keeps kids visible during playtime
  • Working Dutch door and shutters
  • Interior includes kitchen seat, fireplace, wall clock, play phone, built-in shelves, kitchen table and faucet
  • Exterior features pass-through mailbox and realistic doorbell
  • Molded-in flower box is perfect for real or fake flowers (flowers not included)
  • Built-in floor with drain holes
  • Adult assembly required, Requires two "AAA" batteries (not included) for doorbell.

One lucky reader will WIN the Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage II, ARV $189.99!
Open to the Continental US only. Ends 9/3/14 at 11:59 PM EST. Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good Luck!
Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by the Step2 Company. Viva Veltoro, Thrifty Nifty Mommy, and the participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, or Instagram. Please contact thriftyniftymommy{at}yahoo.com with any questions about this giveaway.

Kicked-Up Sweet Chili Quesadilla


When it comes to Mexican food, it's easy to throw the humble quesadilla at the bottom of the list of options. But who says the quesadilla has to be boring?

We often make quesadillas as a quick-fix meal and as a result they end up being quick-fix quality: dull and average. But, like so many other things in life, if you add a little time and thought, you can make quesadillas an awesome dish.

Such is the case with these Kicked-Up Sweet Chili Quesadillas. They are a fusion of Asian and Mexican and the flavors are complex and delicious!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 to 1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 green onions, diced
  • Shredded cheese
  • Tortillas
  • Sweet chili sauce
  • Sour cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. Boil the chicken until cooked through and shred in a Kitchen-Aid. Pour in a tablespoon or two of sweet chili sauce and mix well. Be careful not to add too much. You want the flavor, but you don't want the chicken to be drenched in sauce.
  2. Saute the red bell pepper in a little bit of olive oil until it just starts to darken.
  3. Assemble the quesadilla in a pan over medium heat by placing a single tortilla on the pan and add the cheese. Add some shredded chicken red bell pepper and green onion. Place a second tortilla on top.
  4. Check the tortilla to make sure it is starting to turn a light golden brown. Flip and repeat until the other side is the same color.
  5. Sprinkle a light dusting of chili powder on top.
  6. Serve with sour cream and sweet chili sauce.
It's a perfect blend of heat and sweetness. The flavors kind of unfold as you eat it. It's quick to make and super tasty!
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Let It Go "FROZEN" Pencil Case

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias
 We are hitting a huge milestone in our house this upcoming week. My little girl starts kindergarten. She is completely oblivious to the fact that she is supposed to be nervous about school starting soon, but I sit here with knots in my stomach hoping she loves it as much as I want her to. Instead of focusing on my nerves, I have thrown myself into getting her ready and in our house, that means everything FROZEN.

My little girl and I picked up a backpack, folders and notebooks all FROZEN themed at Walmart, all while she was dressed like Elsa becaues when she is not dressed like Elsa these days? When we got home, she asked if we could make her pencil case FROZEN themed too. We decorated the cute silver one we picked up to match the #FROZENFun. This super easy project can be thrown together in just a few minutes and it is so cute

You will need: 
  • A pencil case
  • light blue vinyl 
  • transfer tape
  • a cutting machine or scissors and patience 
  • a credit card or other type card to help smooth
  • ruler


 First thing you need to do is measure your pencil case to see how long and wide it is. Then subtract about a half inch on top and bottom. That way your image will fill the area of the pencil box without being too big. You can either find your own silhouette of Elsa, or download my pencil case file here. Just make sure to resize the file to fit your case. 
 Cut the file using a machine or a pair of scissors.
 Peel away the excess vinyl. Make sure to get all of the tiny pieces out of the snowflake on Elsa's braid.
Apply transfer tape over the top of the vinyl. Use the edge of your credit card to rub the transfer tape onto the vinyl. Slowly peel the transfer tape up, it should bring the vinyl with it. Center your image over your pencil case. Lay it down on top and then using the credit, smooth the vinyl onto the pencil case. After a couple minutes of smoothing, peel back the transfer tape, leaving the vinyl on the pencil case.

Add the case to the other FROZEN themed items you have picked up and your child is ready to start school. The vinyl on the pencil case is really durable so it should wear well even when tossed in a back pack. 

I love how many different options they have now for back to school. She can truly be herself all the way down to her notebooks. She loved buying her school supplies, just as much as I used to when I was her age. New crayons, new notebooks. There is nothing quite like it. I have always liked the beginning of the school year even more than New Years. It seems like the fresh start comes with a new class and new teacher, not in the winter. 
We have her first day of school outfit picked out and her backpack packed. Now I just have to convince her that her Elsa dress ups are not acceptable school clothes. Wish me luck! 

Are you kids going back to school in FROZEN style too?
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$150 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Can you believe that we are headed Back to School already? The ending of summer snuck up on me like it never has before. My husband used to be a school teacher and usually by this point in the summer I was ready for him to go back. Ready for our daily routine to fall back into place and get our normal back. This year, my little girl starts kindergarten and I am not sure that I am ready for that to be our new normal.

Instead of focusing on my jitters, I thought I would focus on something fun instead. I have teamed up with 9 other awesome bloggers to bring you $150 to Amazon. Check out the awesome bloggers below and then enter using the Rafflecopter. Crossing my fingers for you!


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a Rafflecopter giveaway
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