How To: Make Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

magical mama blog cinnamon applesauce ornaments

How To: Make Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

Santa Claus is on his way and it’s time to bake some cinnamon applesauce ornaments! Yes! BAKE ornaments!

This has become a staple in my Christmas decorating season each year…yes, it can take me a whole season to put up four trees, ten wreaths, multiple sets of garland, wall decor, thousands of ornaments and small touches all over… I have a problem, I know.

WARNING: Your house is going to smell AMAZING!

magical mama blog ingredients cinnamon applesauce ornaments christmas tree decor cookie cutters rolling pin

What we’ll need

Applesauce (1 cup)

Ground Cinnamon (1 cup + extra)

Ground Nutmeg (a few shakes) – optional

Festive Cookie Cutters

Straw

String or ribbon

Head over to the spice aisle and grab the biggest container of ground cinnamon that you can find… I get mine at Sam’s Club. Grab a few snack tubs of applesauce or spring for the big tub!

Head home, throw on a family Christmas movie or two, and get to work!

magical mama blog cinnamon applesauce ornaments ingredients cookie cutters rolling pin

Mix

Mix together 1 cup of applesauce and a heaping cup of ground cinnamon in a bowl.  ( I like to throw in a bit of ground nutmeg for an even warmer and more delicious scent)

Once you get a good dough forming, throw down ground cinnamon and roll out your dough.  If your dough is sticking to your pin, add more cinnamon.  If your dough is crumbling, add more applesauce.

Your hands are going to be nasty!  But worry not,  mine have never been stained, they just require a good wash.

magical mama blog cinnamon applesauce ornaments dough roller cookie cutters christmas tree

Roll

Roll out to about 1/8″ thick and go to town with your cookie cutters.  Continue to roll out your scraps.  I can usually make about 24-26 ornaments with one batch.

Lay on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Take a straw and form holes where you can hang your ornaments.

magical mama blog cinnamon applesauce ornaments on cookie sheet bake baking christmas tree

Bake

Throw in the oven on 200 degrees for an hour or until completely hardened. (This is when you’ll want to bathe in the warm smell of your home!)

They’ll be done when they’re completely dry.  If they feel moist on the bottom, throw them back in.  You don’t want mildew hanging on your tree!

Take out and let cool.  After baking at 200, you can practically touch them right out of the oven.

(This is the point that you can decorate with icing if you’d like to and let it dry overnight.)

magical mama blog applesauce cinnamon ornaments baked christmas tree

magical mama blog cinnamon applesauce ornaments ribbon christmas tree

Decorate

Loop String through the holes you created and hang on your tree or garland.  I like to hang them higher up because we have a Bloodhound and a Bulldog that will eat them if given the opportunity.

These beauties will last the whole season and you’ll get endless compliments!  Be sure to send friends our way for instructions!

magical mama blog tree christmas applesauce cinnamon ornaments

magical mama blog cinnamon applesauce ornaments christmas tree

magical mama blog christmas tree cinnamon applesauce ornaments

 

Happy Baking and Happy Holidays!

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How To: Make Borax Snowflakes

magical mama blog how to make borax snowflakes

How To: Make Borax Snowflakes

I’m from the beach cities in Southern California, so growing up, my Christmases were never white.

Every year at Christmas, I would hang up the sparkly snowflake ornaments in windows and even went as far as stringing lights and fishing line along the ceiling of the hallway and hanging snowflakes from there… I was determined to have “snow” for every Christmas!

Even though I finally live where there is a bit of snow, I still adore hanging my snowflakes up every year!

Now, in addition to my regular sparkly ornaments, I’m adding in Borax snowflakes!

These are easy and fun to make and they have a 3D rock-candy type of texture that really catches sparkles!

Here’s what we need:

Box of Borax

Pipe Cleaners

Straw (or pencil or chopstick, etc.)

String

Pot

Water

Glass Jars

magical mama blog borax snowflakes christmas how to make create arts and crafts winter activities for kids

Head out to the store and grab your Borax in the laundry aisle and some Wintery colored pipe cleaners in the school or craft section.

magical mama blog pipe cleaners borax snowflakes how to arts and crafts winter activities

Chop up pieces of pipe cleaners and let the kids run wild twisting and connecting them into snowflake shapes.  Attach a length of string to your snowflake and secure the other end to a pencil, straw, or wooden spoon.

Cooking Time

magical mama blog borax snowflakes how to arts and crafts winter activities

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and mix in 1/3 cup Borax in.  Note: it will fizzle up when you add it… don’t worry, your pot won’t overflow!  Let cook until dissolved (2ish minutes).

magical mama blog borax snowflakes how to arts and crafts winter activities

Pour your solution into a glass or jar, submerge your designs and rest the pencil or chopstick on the top!

Confession: I tried doing multiple designs at once in the pot…don’t try this.  These did not turn out as gems!

For each design (or two small designs), make their own batch of boiled borax water and give them their own jar.

Though this may sound like a lot of work, it is an incredibly fast process, it’s not very wasteful, and it’s incredibly cheap! (A regular 65 oz box of Borax is about $3.)

While the kids are making their designs, you can boil each batch and pour them into jars so the designs can go right in.

For best results, your designs should be fully submerged, vertical, and you want to avoid them touching each other or the sides or bottom of the jar.

Magical Science Stuff

magical mama blog borax snowflakes overnight how to arts and crafts winter activities

Let sit overnight and watch their faces the next morning!  This is a fun little science experiment for them to bring up in class!

There was no way for me to capture the incredible sparkle that these things make!  Think of the inside of a geode rock, how every angle sparkles when lights hit it.

Hang them on the tree, in a window, or lay them out on a table runner as a centerpiece.

magical mama blog borax snowflakes how to winter activities arts and crafts

Happy crafting and Happy Holidays!


magical mama blog how to make borax snowflakes

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Christmas Toy Guide

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magical mama blog christmas toy guide 1 year old 2 year old 3 year old 5 dollars 30 10 15 20 toy list amazon ideas

Christmas Toy Guide

Here come’s Santa Claus! It’s Christmas morning and your spoiled rotten children are opening present after present… and they’re all toys… and they all make noise… thanks Grandma.

Isn’t that always the way?  The toys people get us as children make noise and drive our parents crazy and instead of ending the trend, they continue the cycle.

Can’t they get your constantly growing kid some clothes? Some books? No, of course not.

I’ve made a list of 16 toys that you can suggest to Santa’s helpers…that have no batteries and no noise!

These gifts will be best suited for a one year old to three year old boy OR girl.

Best of all?! I kept them all between $5-$30!

Disclosure: Prices are constantly changing, but when I looked, these were the prices!


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If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
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Swirl Ramp Ball Drop ($22)

Stack and spin these colorful ramps and your baby will be amused for a few minutes at least.  You can watch their brain tick seeing how the balls spin and drop while you enjoy some quiet time.

Quiet Book ($14)

It’s all in the title! Quiet! Buttons, buckles, shapes, colors, ties, zippers, clocks, etc.  This book is chock full of things to keep baby’s hands busy!

Plush Athletic Ball Set ($17)

If Dad is hoping for an aspiring athlete, this is a great start!  You don’t have to worry about any broken vases or windows with these plush toys.  Bonus? It comes with a bag so we can start working on those “clean up” skills asap!

Stacking & Counting Cups ($12)

A good old fashioned set of cups with numbers and animals on top of it. Baby can play Godzilla and knock over the towers you build until they’re old enough to create their own masterpieces.  My baby’s favorite thing to do with hers is banging them together.  Not always the most quiet… but it’s better than having Yankee Doodle stuck in you head!

Fisher Price’s Baby’s First Block Set ($10)

Time to get those motor skills going!  Yet another toy with built in storage and a handle for on-the-go play!

Pop Up Ball Pit ($11)

And…Ball Pit Balls ($30)

This ball pit folds up flat and the balls come with their own zippered mesh bag!  This can keep baby busy for a quite a while.  Mine just got in her first ball pit and started organizing the balls…a girl after my own heart.  This is fun for parties and play dates as well as rainy days or a boring afternoon.  You can do a disinfectant wash in a bathtub and kill the germs on all the balls before returning them to their mesh home.

Wood & Wire Bead Maze ($15)

Travel back in time to your childhood in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.  My favorite thing about these is that there are not a million pieces to step on!

Set of 4 Bath Books ($24)

If your child is anything like mine, as soon as she learned how to stand, that’s all she wanted to do in the bath…even though she adores bath time.  She needs all the distraction she can get.  These water proof books are a great!

Nuby Octopus Hoopla Bath Toy ($7)

More bath time distractions!  But who’s to say you have to use bath toys only in the bath? A little ring toss never hurt anyone!

Rock n’ Stack Toy ($9)

I am all about blocks, rings, links, lincoln logs, and cups.  The simple toys of yesteryear that require no batteries or assembly are my favorite and I’d much rather see my child playing with this stuff and using her imagination than staring at a light up noise machine.

Wooden Cheese Lacing Game ($12)

Montessori approved!  A simple wooden block that can be laced and untangled.  A puzzle with NO PIECES to pick up!

Infant to Toddler Swing ($30)

If you don’t have a swing set, but you maybe have a big tree, grab an attachment kit  and strap it to a tree.  Your little one will be secure in this seat and you can enjoy the giggles as they swing back and forth.

Little Tikes First Slide ($29)

In the playroom or the backyard, a slide can keep a kid busy for at least 30 minutes…how? You got me… but you can get something done as they race around time after time climbing and sliding.  Let them get all that energy out!

Number Match Puzzle ($20)

A nice old fashioned wooden puzzle!  It’s never too early to work on counting and putting things in their proper place!

Pretend Food Grocery Set ($17)

I remember spending hours velcro-ing and cutting the fruit and vegetables over and over and never getting tired of it. They come with their own basket to play grocery and… store all the pieces in! Are you picking up on a trend?  Your little one can associate each toy with it’s home and can start helping with clean up!

Wooden Alphabet Block Pull Cart ($12)

Your little one wants a puppy? They can walk this pull cart instead! Get to work on their alphabet and number recognition or color sorting.  They can stack and knock them down.  AND they can put them away!


There you have it!  A quick guide to a quiet Christmas!  You can save the noise for New Year’s!

When the noisy toys start dying, don’t replace the batteries!  Save money, expand their imaginations, and save yourself from Yankee Doodle on a loop in your noggin.

Happy Holidays and Happy Santa-ing!

magical mama blog christmas toy guide 1 year old 2 year old 3 year old 5 dollars 30 10 15 20 toy list amazon ideas

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How To: Make Butternut Squash Baby Food

magical mama blog how to make butternut squash baby food stage 1 stage 2 stage 3

How To: Make Butternut Squash Baby Food

Stage 1, Stage 2, & Stage 3!

So you want to try making your own baby food?  Great!  Welcome to the money-saving, clean-eating party!

It may seem daunting, but don’t you worry!  We’ll cover butternut squash today and see how we feel at the end.

Butternut Squash is a great beginner food as it is not a harsh flavor, won’t shock their systems, and is very nutritious. It is also a great food to use as a base when you start mixing and concocting recipes.

If you’re ever out of creativity for recipes, simply look up what the baby food companies use together and copy them!  Let’s dive right in!


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If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

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Your baby has reached the 4-6 month range and you’re ready to start solid foods!  Congratulations and get ready to buckle down and be patient…

Stage 1 should be runny.  Your baby has been on a liquid-only diet for their entire life and shoving something solid down their throat can take them by surprise.  Make the transition as smooth as possible!

Your baby is now agreeing to eating from a spoon and is ready for something a little more filling…

Stage 2 should be thicker, but not chunky.  Your baby has gotten over the trauma of solid foods and is showing interest in the spoon. Give their mouth a little more texture and let them get those muscles ready for more.

Your baby is good at solid food and it ready to experiment with “table food” and feeding themselves…

Stage 3 should be chunky.  Baby is beginning to chew.  You want to be able to squish whatever they’re eating between your fingers with ease.  Some will have teeth and some won’t (like mine) but they should be able to mash food with their gums.

How to make Stage 1 & Stage 2

magical mama blog butternut squash baby food

Head to the grocery store or farmers market and grab a fresh Butternut Squash.

magical mama blog butternut squash cut baby food

Slice it in half lengthwise.

magical mama blog butternut squash baby food scoop seeds

Scoop out the seeds just like you would a pumpkin.

magical mama blog butternut squash oven steam aluminium foil

Get out a 9×13 dish and fill with about half an inch of water.  Place your halved squash cut-side down in the water and cover with foil.

Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour.  The water steams and gives you a nice even cook.

When you pull it out of the oven, let it cool so you don’t scald your hands.  Scoop the good stuff out of the skin and toss it into a food processor.  I use this Hamilton Beach Food Processor and I adore it!

In a few weeks, I made 6 months worth of baby food and it never let me down!  You can also use a blender if you’d like.  I used a Magic Bullet if I just needed to make a single meal from a small fruit or vegetable.

Once you get it all evenly blended, either spoon into ice cube trays or pour into Ziplock bags, cut off a corner and fill in ice cube trays like you would use a piping bag to decorate a cake.

 

magical mama blog butternut squash ice cubes stage 1 stage 2 ice cube tray food processor

Freeze and pop cubes out into a labeled freezer-safe Ziplock bag and use over the next 3 months.

When it’s time to eat, pop out a few cubes, put them in a microwave-safe dish and heat for 20-30 seconds, stir, 20-30 seconds, stir, then 10 seconds at a time until it reaches a desired heat.  You want to stop and stir so it cooks evenly. You can test it on the inside of your wrist if you’re unsure of how hot it is.

Stage 1: Add breast milk, formula, or water to thin the squash until it is runny.

Stage 2: Add some rice cereal or oatmeal cereal to thicken the squash so it has some texture.

How to make Stage 3

magical mama blog butternut squash baby food

Grab a Butternut Squash at the store or Farmers Market for around $2.

magical mama blog butternut squash cut baby food

Slice in half lengthwise.

magical mama blog butternut squash baby food scoop seeds

Scoop out the seeds.

magical mama blog butternut squash peel baby food

Here’s where we begin to differ from Stage 1 &2.  I like to peel the skin off at this stage.    This way, you don’t have to scoop it out once it’s cooked and can just slice it into baby-sized finger food.magical mama blog butternut squash baby food oven steam

Fill a 9×13 with half an inch of water.  Place your squash cut-side down in the water.

magical mama blog butternut squash oven steam aluminium foil

Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for about an hour.

Pull it out of the oven and let it cool.

Slice away to your heart’s content to make baby bites.  Serve once it reaches room temperature or place in tupperware in the fridge and use within 3 days.  You can also throw some on a baking sheet and freeze them then toss into a labeled, freezer-safe Ziplock bag and put in the freezer (use within 3 months).

magical mama blog butternut squash stage 3 bites

I spent $2 on this one Butternut squash to make stage 3 baby food.  This Gerber stage 3 food is about $1.20 for 2 servings and only has a few small chunks in there.  My baby prefers to feed herself and these chunks are much less of a mess than the watery puree and chunks that she can fling all over.

I was able to make 10 meals for $2! It would have cost me $12 if I would have bought it at the store!  THIS ADDS UP!

I know what is in my baby’s food…pure vegetable and I know it’s fresh.  It takes about a minute to heat up and my baby loves it!

This whole process can be done in an hour or two on the weekend and you have meals for your baby all week ready at a moment’s notice!

I will not diss store-bought baby food!  It is convenient!

I always have some in the pantry so if we find out we’re going to a restaurant for dinner or we’ll be out for the day, I don’t have to worry about keeping her food cool or warm, it can just be tossed in my diaper bag and can get thrown away at the end.

BUT…

I like to save money and I like making my baby happy and healthy.  Give it a try and see what your baby thinks!

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Toy Disinfectant Spray & Wash

magical mama blog toy disinfectant spray wash clean

Toy Disinfectant Spray & Wash

My little one was diagnosed with Hand Foot and Mouth disease this week.  A week off of day care for her, a week at home with baby for me…and a house full of nasty germs continuously coming in contact with my sickly little one.

Though it is not medically necessary to clean, viruses can remain on surfaces of toys and can remain contagious.  I would like to give my whole home a clean sweep any time anyone is sick to avoid the others getting sick and to speed up the healing process.

It took about 35 minutes in one evening to clean every single toy of my daughter’s.  Let’s get yours sterilized that quickly too!

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease:

For those that don’t know what this is, hand foot and mouth is a highly contagious virus that causes ulcers or sores in the throat, in and around the mouth and bumpy rashes on the hands, feet, arms, legs, and behind.

Though it sounds horrible, it is not serious and is is very common.  Anyone can get this “disease” but it is most common in children under 10 who attend day care or school.

There is no cure, but you can ease the symptoms while you let the virus run its course.  Early symptoms are a sore throat, spike in fever, and painful blisters in the mouth.  The rashes will soon follow.  It usually takes about 7-10 days for the virus to work its way in and out of your baby’s body.

The doctor can easily diagnose with a physical exam and will likely suggest lots and lots of liquids, popsicles, Tylenol, and love until the rashes have scabbed over and baby is no longer contagious.  Wash those hands, wash those hands, wash those hands! The virus can hang around in baby’s mucus and bowels for weeks!

Toy Disinfectant Spray

 

magical mama blog vinegar essential oils

Grab a new spray bottle.  It doesn’t have to be a big one, just one with a fine mist setting is your best bet.  I grabbed mine in the Target travel section for $1.

This spray is great for toys because it disinfects and has no harsh chemicals to leave behind.  It may irk your nose when you mix it, but the smell will dissipate as it dries.

2/3 cup clean water

3/4 cup vinegar

20 drops lemon essential oil

20 drops tea tree essential oil

Use this spray for your toys with electronic parts that cannot be submerged.  Spray them down with a light mist and let them dry.  Or get a paper towel damp with the mixture and wipe down these toys.

For stuffed animals that cannot be put through the washer (Stuffies with plastic pieces, rattle boxes inside, etc.), give them a good mist bath and allow them to dry.

magical mama blog toy disinfectant spray electronics


Toy Disinfectant Wash

magical mama blog plastic toy disinfectant

For all of those completely plastic toys that can be full submerged.

Plug sink and fill with hot water

2-3 cups of vinegar

20 drops lemon essential oil

20 drops tea tree oil

Soak for 30 minutes

Lay out to dry on a fluffy towel

Because we live far from our families, we spend a lot of time on FaceTime so people can see our little one grow.  Because my daughter is accustomed to being around phones, they end up in her mouth quite often.  We took our Otter Box cases off, wiped down our phones with the spray and threw the otter box case pieces in to soak as well.

Game plan:

  • Put the kids to bed
  • Round up the all-plastic toys and get them soaking in the sink
  • Get the stuffed toys on a fluffy towel and spray down
  • Spray or wipe electronic toys
  • Drain sink and lay plastic toys out on fluffy towel
  • Allow to dry overnight

There you have it!  Around 35 minutes and all the toys have been disinfected and will be ready to be played with first thing in the morning!

If your baby is affected with hand, foot and mouth and you’re giving them oatmeal baths every day to help ease their rashes, be sure to check out how to clean and disinfect your bath toys or throw them in the sink with the toy disinfectant wash!

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The Ultimate Family Christmas Movie List

ultimate 38 family friendly movie list christmas ratings run times descriptions plot summaries release years

The Ultimate Family Christmas Movie List


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If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


Here are the ratings, release years, running times, and descriptions for 38 Christmas movie classics. Yes. That’s right, 38!

If you don’t own these holiday staples and don’t want to research where they are or fight the crowds, simply click on the image of the movie and you’ll be directed to get your movies delivered right to your door (most of them for $5-$10!)

I always put on these movies in the background while I’m decorating, enjoying holiday treats, or spending some quality time snuggled up with the family.  All of these films will give you the warm fuzzies!  Dive right in!  Happy Holidays!

  • Elf

PG (2003) 1 hr 37 min

Starring: Will Ferrell, Bob Newhart, James Caan

Since this movie came out almost 15 years ago, it has become a staple in most homes.  Join Buddy the elf on his adventure from the north pole to find his real father in New York City.

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Live Action)

PG (2000) 1 hr 44 min

Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski

This imagining of Dr. Seuss’ classic Christmas tale brings the colorful characters of Whoville to life.  Enjoy watching little Cindy Lou Who make the Grinch’s heart grow 3 sizes.

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Animated)

Unrated (1966) 26 min

Starring: Boris Karloff

If you love the classic tale but have small ones with a short attention span, spring for the tale told in less than 30 minutes!

  • The Santa Clause

PG (1994) 1 hr 37 min

Starring: Tim Allen, Wendy Crewson, Judge Reinhold

Get wrapped up in the clause with Scott Calvin as he inadvertently takes out Santa on Christmas Eve and gets roped into doing the job himself!

Can you believe this classic is almost a quarter of a century old?!

  • The Santa Clause 2

G (2002) 1 hr 44 min

Starring: Tim Allen. Elizabeth Mitchell, David Krumholtz

Dive deeper into the Santa “clause” as Scott Calvin finds out he needs to find a Mrs.

  • The Santa Claus 3: The Escape Clause

G (2006) 1 hr 37 min

Starring: Tim Allen, Martin Short, Elizabeth Mitchell

Meet the Counsel of Legendary Figures and Jack Frost as he plans to take over Christmas in this time bending, alternate universe story unwinds.

  • Muppet Christmas Carol

G (1992) 1 hr 25 min

Starring: Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire

Join the whole Muppet gang as they bring the classic Charles Dickens story to life in true Muppet Fashion.  Songs, dances, and amazing puppetry will keep your little ones drawn in.

  • Polar Express

G (2004) 1 hr 40 min

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks

Journey to the North Pole on the wildest express train your imagination can fathom.  The classic book was brought to life with ground-breaking animation and teaches lessons of bravery, friendship, and the spirit of Christmas.

  • Frosty the Snowman

TV-G (1969) 25 min

Starring: Jimmy Durante, Billy De Wolfe, Jackie Vernon

The greedy magician tries to steal the magical top hat that brought Frosty to life.  This quick classic is wonderful for those short attention spans.

  • Santa Clause is Comin’ To Town

TV-G (1970) 48 min

Starring: Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn

The stop-motion origin story of Kris Kringle will answer questions about why Santa comes down the Chimney, why stockings are hung, and why Santa comes on Christmas Eve.

  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

TV-G (1964) 47 min

Starring: Burl Ives, Larry Mann, Billie Mae Richards

This stop-motion classic gives a back story to the song of the same name.  What happens between all of the other reindeer calling him names and all of the reindeer loving him?

  • The Little Drummer Boy

Not Rated (1968) 25 min

Starring: Jose Ferrer, Paul Frees, June Foray

The not-so-well known stop motion TV classic brings the song to life.  A young boy takes out his frustrations on a drum and meets three wise men on an important journey.

This is a great short one to watch on a night that you set up the nativity scene.

  • Home Alone

PG (1990) 1 hr 43 min

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern

Kevin McCallister is left behind during the family vacation.  Watch Kevin protect his house from the Wet Bandits, Harry & Marv with booby traps while his family fights to get back home.

  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

PG (1992) 2 hr

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern

The year after Kevin is left home alone during the family vacation, he finds himself separated from his family yet again…in the bustling streets of New York City with none other than Harry & Marv.

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas

TV-G (1965) 25 min

Starring: Peter Robbins, Tracy Stratford, Bill Melendez

Charlie Brown accepts the position as Christmas pageant director while he struggles to get past the materialism of the season and seeks help from his friends in order to understand the true meaning of Christmas

  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas

Not Rated (1999) 1 hr 6 min

Starring: Kelsey Grammar, Wayne Allwine, Russi Taylor

A three part special.  “Donald Duck Stuck on Christmas” Donald’s own “Groundhog Day” experience. “A Very Goofy Christmas” Goofy’s journey to Max believing in Santa.  “Minnie & Mickey’s Gift of the Maggi” Mickey and Minnie recreate the ironic story about giving all you have.

  • Beauty and the Beast: An Enchanted Christmas

G (1997) 1 hr 12 min

Starring: Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, Jerry Orbach, Angela Lansbury, Tim Curry

When Belle finds out that the beast hates Christmas, she decides to decorate and celebrate against his wishes.  Forte, an enchanted pipe organ, has more meaning to his master as an enchanted object than as a human and plans to rid the castle of Belle.

  • The Snowman

G (1982) 26 min

Starring: David Bowie

Raymond Briggs’s book brought to life in simple animation. Christmas Eve brings a boy’s snowman to life and they journey to the North Pole to meet Santa Clause.

  • Father Christmas

Not Rated (1991) 25 min

Starring: Mel Smith

Another Raymond Briggs book brought to life.  Father Christmas vacations in France, Scotland & Las Vegas before returning home to get back to work.

  • Arthur Christmas

PG (2011) 1 hr 37 min

Starring: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy

The answer to the iconic question of how Santa gets the presents all delivered in one night with a dysfunctional family full of hijinks behind it all.

  • The Nutcracker

Not Rated (1977) 1 hr 18 min

Starring: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gelsey Kirkland

Tchaikovski’s score is brought to life when Clara’s grandfather, a magician and toy maker brings a nutcracker as a gift to a Christmas Eve party.  Clara’s evening brings about a battle, dancing snowflakes, dancing candy, dancing fairies…dancing everything, it’s a ballet.

If you have an aspiring ballerina on your hands, grab this and let them get inspired for auditions!  I have this on VHS as watch it every year.

  • Christmas with the Kranks

PG (2004) 1 hr 39 min

Starring: Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Akroyd

When the kids are finally out of the house, the Kranks parents decide to skip Christmas all together, until their daughter makes a surprise visit.

  • Jack Frost

PG (1998) 1 hr 41 min

Starring: Michael Keaton, Kelly Preston, Joseph Cross

A traveling singer struggles with spending time with his son and tends to break his promises. One year after he dies in a car accident, he comes back as a snowman and is given the chance to do all the things with his son that he missed out on.

Although this one is rated PG, if you’re not ready to discuss death with your little ones, skip it.

  • An Elf Story

Not Rated (2011) 23 min

Starring:Leslie Bellair, Brendan Dooling, Evie Eikhoff

Chippy is assigned to a family and finds his job difficult.  With a little help from Santa, the boy he is assigned to believes.

If your kids are all about their elf on the shelf, let them enjoy this short based on their favorite Christmas tradition.

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas

PG (1993) 1 hr 16 min

Starring: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara

Jack, king of Halloween Town discovers Christmas Town and and tries to take over the holiday.

This is rated PG, however, little ones who don’t do well with Halloween may have trouble with this one.

  • Jingle All The Way

PG (1996) 1 hr 29 min

Starring: Arnold Schwartzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman

A mattress salesman and a mail man are both fathers hunting for a Turbo Man action figure on Christmas Eve and every store in town is sold out.

  • Ernest Saves Christmas

PG (1988) 1 hr 35 min

Starring: Jim Varney, Douglas Seale, Oliver Clark

Silly Ernest is at it again but this time he joins Santa in the search for his successor.  Failure will result in no Christmas!

  • Deck The Halls

PG (2006) 1 hr 33 min

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Danny DeVito, Kristin Chenoweth

A town’s resident Christmas man and his family prepare for their favorite time of year when a new family, the Halls, move in across the street.  Mr. Hall wants his house to be seen from outer space.  So begins the rivalry of Christmas decor.

  • White Christmas

Not Rated (1954) 2 hrs

Starring: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney

A successful song and dance duo become romantically involved with a sister act.  The four travel to Vermont for a booking and find out that the owner is an old friend who is in dire need of help.

It is not Christmas to me until I hear Bing Crosby sing White Christmas and this spectacle brings it to life.

  • Holiday Inn

Not Rated (1942) 1 hr 40 mins

Starring: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds

A successful singer leaves the business in order to settle down on a farm with an inn only open on the holidays.  Once he finds himself with too much time, he begins writing shows for each holiday celebration.  Mystery and a love triangle cause mayhem followed by Bing Crosby singing none other than White Christmas.

 

  • Miracle on 34th Street

Not Rated (1947) 1 hr 36 min

Starring: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, John Payne

A last minute Santa replacement for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade turns out to be a hit and is quickly recruited to become the store Santa for the season.  Kris Kringle believes himself to be the real Santa Claus but is not met with approval.

  • It’s a Wonderful Life

PG (1946) 2 hrs 10 min

Starring: Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore

An angel is sent from heaven to save George Bailey from his contemplated suicide.  The angel shows George what the world would be like if he had never been born.

  • A Christmas Story

PG (1983) 1 hr 34 min

Starring: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin

A young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his family, his teacher, and Santa himself that what he wants most for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun.


Movies for Mom, Dad, and the teenagers

The following films are filled with some more adult-aimed content.

Enjoy some quiet time with your significant other after the kiddos have gone to bed or when they are at Grandma’s house.

While You Were Sleeping

PG (1995) 1 hr 43 min

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher

A Chicago transit authority token taker falls for a stranger more and more every day.  He is knocked unconscious onto train tracks, she risks her own life to save his.  When he hospital staff won’t let her see him, one of the nurses claims that she is his fiance in order for her to gain access.  The man’s family hears word of their fake engagement, and she is quickly welcomed into their home for the holidays.

Definite chick flick.  If your husband hasn’t seen this one, perhaps have a girls night with some wine and some 90s-tastic Bill Pullman

  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

PG-13 (1989) 1 hr 37 min

Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki

Family joins the Griswolds in their home for Christmas.  Mishaps, mayhem, and madness occur within their home while everyone just tries to survive the holidays as Clark waits for his Christmas bonus.

Great if you have teenagers, but there’s some language to be weary of.

  • The Holiday

PG-13 (2006) 2 hrs 18 min

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black

Two women both troubled by the men in their lives swap homes for a home exchange vacation over the Christmas holiday.

Chick Flick alert.  Plenty of humor, a lot of bedroom talk.  Great for a ladies night in.

  • Four Christmases

PG-13 (2008) 1 hr 28 min

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall

Brad and Kate are in a happy relationship and have no intention of marriage or children.  Each year at Christmas, they come up with an excuse and head off to an exotic location for vacation.  When a fog rolls in and ruins their vacation, they suddenly end up having to do what they try to avoid every year, visit all 4 sets of their divorced and re-married parents in one day.

  • Scrooged

PG-13 (1988) 1 hr 41 min

Starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe

While a cynical TV executive is putting together a live portrayal of A Christmas Carol at his station, he, himself, is visited by the ghosts of past, present and future to help him change his ways and get into the Christmas spirit.


#39 Bonus: Adult Only Movie

  • Love Actually

R (2003) 2 hr 15 min

Starring: Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Martin Freeman, Kiera Knightly, Laura Linney, Alan Rickman, Billy Bob Thorton, Rowan Atkinson,

Warning: nudity & language

This British classic follows the life of 8 very different couples that are all intricately intertwined the month before Christmas.  Follow the heartbreak, love stories, and drama as it unfolds.

Definitely to enjoy on a night the kids are out of the house!

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23 Products for the Germophobe Mom

magical mama blog 23 products all germophobe mom need


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


23 Products for the Germophobe Mom

By absolutely no means am I a germophobe mom, however, if my baby had spent months in the NICU or had a delicate immune system for any reason I’d be all about it!

No Germs On Board Sign

This sign easily attaches to your car seat handle.  It simply gives nosy strangers a big fat stop sign and gives friends and family a reminder to keep your little one safe without you having to tell them over and over.

Baby Hand and Face Wipes

These wipes are a gentle alternative to regular baby wipes or burp cloths that can grab germs off of baby and then be tossed into the trash!

Hand Mitts

Keep baby’s hands safe from germs while protecting their face and body from scratches from those little nails!

Disposable Place Mats

Throw one of these down while you’re out at a restaurant so baby can’t reach for the dirty table underneath.  Throw one down at home to protect your dining room table from becoming a baby food wasteland full of old food and germs.

Shopping Cart Cover

The first thing my baby does as soon as I put her in a shopping cart is open her mouth as wide as possible and try to get every inch of germ ridden metal in her mouth.  Cover the germs, give them some comfort and give yourself some peace of mind.

Sanitizing Wipes

These are great to throw into a diaper bag to wipe down a surface before baby’s hands go to town.  My favorite use for these is in your carry on bag to wipe down plane seat arm rests, windows, and tray tables.  How often are planes deep cleaned?  They are a jungle of germs in a pressurized cabin.

Toy Disinfectant Spray

When you haven’t had the time to clean their toys in a while, give them a spritz.  Throw in the diaper bag for on-the-go disinfecting power.  If your little one takes a toy to the park and throws it into a puddle or the dirt, give it a spritz and wipe down before you throw it in to infect everything else in the diaper bag.

Boogie Wipes

These saline wipes are meant for getting those slimy or crusty boogers off of faces, hands, bodies, and even out of noses.  Using regular baby wipes can cause rashes for babies with sensitive skin.

UV Light Sanitizer

If you have stuffed animals that are being drooled on and cannot be thrown in the washer or glasses that grubby little hands are trying to rip off of your head, throw them in for a UV light bath and prevent mildew and germs from spreading.  Bonus: You can throw your phone in here to get it disinfected!

Cell Phone UV Sterilizer

Specifically for your cell phone.  There have been studies that some cell phones have more germs on them than a public toilet seat.  This device charges your phone while it cleans.  You can also throw in your toothbrush or earphones.

Germs Are Not For Sharing Board Book

Educate the kiddos from day one about germs and get them into good hygiene habits.

Babby Bottle & Sippy Cup Cleaning Tablets

These are space savers!  If you’re going to be having a long travel day or you’re going to be out for an extended period of time without the essentials to clean your baby’s bottles, all you need is some tablets and a bit of water.  These are your on-the-go bottle brushes and soap.  Say you’re doing a weekend at Disney World.  Do you want to take 4 bottles with you for the day?  Or take one or two plus some tablets.  I wouldn’t trust the soap and water in public bathroom sinks to clean my baby’s eating supplies.

Laundry Sanitizer

If your child enjoys jumping into mud puddles, piles of leaves, rolls in the dirt, etc., this is for you!  Remove the germs from their clothing!

Sippy Cup Strap

Easily attach your sippy cup to the stroller, grocery cart, high chair, or diaper bag.  When baby is clumsy…or throws it out of spite, it won’t get anywhere near the ground.  Bonus: you don’t have to play fetch.

Wireless Wipes

Sanitize your cell phone, ipad, and kindle while you’re on the go.

Foldable Travel Potty Seat

Keep potty training on the go, or save your child from the public toilet seats with this handy-dandy device.

Mosquito Repellent Clip

If you have not been able to find a safe mosquito repellent lotion or spray or your child has sensitive skin, clip this on them and set them free.  Keep them safe from bug bites.

Natural Dish & Bottle Soap

Extra clean, toxic chemical free soap to clean you baby’s eating supplies.

Portable Hanging Changing Table

No changing pad will stop a child from rolling off or touching the lovely public bathroom counter or changing station.  This device allows you to change baby anywhere!  DADS can even take baby into a men’s room where it is very unlikely they will find a changing station to lay baby on.

Baby Bottle Bands

To label your baby’s bottle so there are no mix ups at day care.

Pacifier Clips

Never lose a pacifier again with these clips.  Baby can’t throw their pacifier into the abyss of the back seat, out of their stroller, onto the ground, under the couch.  The clips easily hook onto clothing, bibs, car seat restraints, etc.

What I love about these particular ones is that they are plastic. They are easy to clean, baby doesn’t get metal anywhere near their mouth, they don’t rust, and their grip stays stronger than the metal versions.

Pacifier Wipes

Steaming or washing pacifiers usually end in there being water trapped inside which can turn to mildew or mold…and your baby is now sucking on that.  If baby drops their bink while out and about, you can give it a wipe down and get it right back where it belongs.  You can also give all of their binks or bottle tops a general wipe down at the end of the day.

Key Chain Germ Utility Tool

This swiss army knife for germophobes!  Never again will you need to touch a public restroom door, stall door, toilet seat, flushing handle or button, soap dispenser, towel dispenser, trash can lid, gas station key pads, ATMs, drinking fountain buttons, crosswalk and elevator buttons…the possibilities are endless!

Simply wipe clean with a disinfectant wipe or spray and go on your way!

Pro Tip: When pulling or pushing on heavy doors, give it some extra support with your hand so it does not compromise the strength in the middle.

 

Now that you’ve eliminated germs, get to keeping your home clean, or doing a full sweep for Spring Cleaning!

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Diaper Rash: 7 Causes & 11 Cures

ihelpmoms.com magical mama blog

This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

Diaper Rash: 7 Causes & 11 Cures

Nothing hurts your heart more as a parent than your baby being in pain.  It’s even worse if you can’t help the pain stop.

No matter what you do to prevent it, every single baby will get diaper rash at some point or another.

Some may get lucky and have mild rashes that go away quickly, but most parents will encounter the dreaded severe diaper rash that leaves your baby screaming and squirming on the changing table.

Diaper rash can show up on the bottom, the genitalia, and even the abdomen.

I have included direct links to any product I talk about so you can have it at your door in a matter of days or you can run to the store and easily recognize it!

What causes diaper rash?

  • Baby not being kept clean and dry

Baby having a diaper full of pee and pootie constantly putting pressure on their skin causes skin to get raw and turn into a rash.

We all know it is impossible to put your life on hold for a few years to watch your baby’s diaper and change it the moment it turns from yellow to blue.  It’s impossible and diaper rash of some sort is inevitable.

  • Diarrhea caused by illness or antibiotics

Having some watered down pootie pressed up against their skin will definitely cause rashes.  It is full of waste bacteria and is usually very acidic.

  • Friction

Moist diapers rubbing on the most sensitive skin on baby’s body will make the skin red and irritated,

  • Sensitivity to certain brands of diapers, wipes or creams

Not all brands are for all babies.  Not all diapers are created equal.  This may not always be agreeable with your budget, but if you go through every treatment for diaper rash and do everything you can to prevent and they STILL came at you with a vengeance, consider changing brands.

  • Introductions of new foods or acidic foods

Baby’s bowel movements will get weird once you start the solid food journey.  Color, texture, and smell will be at each end of the spectrum. Baby’s tummy will have a hard time with some foods which can cause bowel movements to drastically change and that will take baby’s skin by surprise.  If baby is eating a lot of fruits, bowel movements can become very acidic and can give the skin a slight burning feeling.

  • Bacterial and yeast infections

Your baby may have an internal infection that could be affecting their digestive system and therefore causing some nasty bacteria or yeast to come crawling out.  Diaper rashes can also become infected.  Both usually require a visit to the pediatrician who will prescribe antibiotic ointments or antifungal medication that is taken orally.

  • Eczema

If your baby has a pre-existing skin condition such as eczema, it can pop up where the sun don’t shine and cause severe itching and discomfort.  In most cases, they will be prescribed an antibiotic ointment.

Treating Diaper Rash

  • Clean with washcloth or a nasal aspirator

When changing baby, instead of using your regular baby wipes, try a washcloth dampened with warm water or a nasal aspirator filled with warm water…(or one of the peri bottles you stole from the hospital!).

Avoid baby wipes that are scented or contain alcohol as they may further irritate baby’s skin.  If it continues to reoccur, you may want to think of switching to a “natural” version of your brand’s wipes or a different brand all together.

  • Hair dryer

While drying baby’s bum after wiping, instead of air drying, or patting with a dry cloth, try putting your hair dryer on the low, warm setting and keep dryer at least a foot away and get baby’s booty completely dry.

  • Diaper Rash Cream

A classic!  For your basic, run of the mill, bright pink bum, using a cream which contains zinc oxide can help shield baby’s skin from the moisture and friction.

If the rash has broken skin, don’t apply cream to those areas as it can slow the healing process.

  • AVOID Baby Powder & Corn Starch

Both of these have been pushed to help keep baby’s skin dry but they can actually cause the opposite to occur.  The powder can sit in skin creases and hold moisture which will help bacteria spread more quickly.  This can cause the rash to graduate to an infection.

  • Petrolium Jelly

An good old fashioned tub of Vaseline.  This will keep baby’s cheeks slick so they don’t stick and will make a barrier between skin and bacteria.

  • Naked Time

Nothing make’s baby’s sweet skin happier than some fresh air.  Yes, baby will pee and even poop wherever they are, but their skin will be getting a much needed break!

Throw down a towel if they’re not on the move yet.  I would put a changing pad liner down under the towel to prevent full soak through.  If they’re slightly on the move, throw down a blanket.

If you don’t want to do laundry, take them outside and get some sunshine and some fresh air on those sweet cheeks.

  • Warm Sitz Bath

Not much feels better than a nice warm bath.  Throw a few tablespoons of baking soda into baby’s bath water for a refreshing sitz soak.  Baking soda eliminates toxins and neutralizes skin acidity which will calm the rash and make baby’s bum relaxed.

  • Milk Bath

The wonder of breast milk at it again! Fill baby’s tub with some warm water and add just enough breast milk to make the water cloudy.  Let them soak for about 10 minutes, drain all of the milk/water, then give baby a regular bath.  The antibodies in the milk prevent germs and soothe injured skin.

  • Oatmeal Bath

Aveeno has oatmeal bath mix specifically for baby skin.  It can help treat, not only diaper rash, but eczema and chicken pox!  This hypoallergenic powder moisturizes and naturally cleanses without harsh soap.  Oatmeal bath is also great for full body rashes like those that come along with hand, foot and mouth disease.

  • Coconut Oil

Much like Petroleum Jelly, coconut oil keeps the cheeks from chaffing.  Coconut oil has anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties that can help prevent the rash from progressing to an infection by killing the bacteria sitting near baby’s skin.

  • Pepto Bismol

The chalky pink drink?  You heard right!  Shake your Pepto, pour a generous amount on a cotton ball and dab onto the affected area.  Let it dry completely then diaper normally.  It will dry up all the moisture sitting in baby’s sensitive skin and will act as a wall preventing more from getting in.

If your baby’s rash does not begin to improve after 4 days, consult your pediatrician.

Good luck and happy diapering!

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15 Amazon Products All First Time Parents Need

This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

magical mama blog 15 amazon products all first time parents need

15 Amazon Products All First Time Parents Need

 

  • Subscribe & Save Diapers!!!!

Oh my goodness!  This has changed my life! We had a diaper shower and filled an entire closet up with diapers…that barely lasted a few months!

I did research on the average of how many diapers you would need of each size until your child is potty trained and registered for those ball park numbers and we didn’t get anywhere near what we needed.

This program has saved my sanity!  I haven’t had to go to the store for diapers or even have them on my grocery list.  An entire month’s supply comes straight to my door automatically!

I can go in at any point and move around my delivery dates or change the sizes or number of boxes we need!

On top of your peace of mind in not having to think about diapers, subscribing saves you money!  And as first time parents, you’re going to want to save as much money as you can while you adjust to financing an additional human being in your home!

I cannot say enough good things about this program!

Check it out on Amazon right now!

  • Nose Frida

I’m so sorry if you’re grossed out by this, but it dances circles around bulb syringes!

There was a night my baby couldn’t sleep because she could barely breathe and was so uncomfortable.  I was trying to suck my poor baby’s snot-filled nose with a bulb syringe while she screamed.

The next morning, after basically no sleep, I decided to get over it and get this thing that every one was raving about and BOY was I happy I did!

I wish I would have registered for this! If I could have had this from day one, I could have saved myself a lot of sleep.

Don’t worry, it’s basically impossible to suck the snot into your mouth.  Everything gets trapped in the base.  Even if it doesn’t, it would have to travel through a long tube and go through the filter before getting to the mouth piece. You’re safe.

It’s easy to clean and has come in handy on so many occasions, I can’t even count and my baby is only 9 months old!

  • Baby Bum Brush

In the prehistoric days of applying rash cream with your bare hands, you always seemed to end up with more cream on your hands and under your nails than on your baby’s bum.

So now you’re slimy, baby’s rash is no better off, and you’ve wasted more than half the cream on your hands that you now have to go wash off.  I don’t know if you’ve looked lately, but diaper rash cream is expensive!

This is a game changer in the diapering game! Babies pee a lot and they’re stuck with constant moist friction on their sensitive skin. There’s no way you’re going to be physically able to change them so often that they avoid diaper rash.  It’s going to happen.  Make it easier on yourself.

This magical invention will save you money and sanity.  Simply get a dab on your brush, slather onto your baby, wipe the brush with a baby wipe, the end!  No cream on you, baby’s bum is happy, and no waste!

  • Onesie Extenders

Your baby will change sizes overnight…literally.  They will be wearing one size when you put them to bed and when you put on their onesie in the morning, suddenly they’re a stuffed sausage and you can’t snap them in.

In the instances that they haven’t been able to show off the cute outfit their aunt got for them, you aren’t ready to accept the fact that you spent money on something and they only wore it once, you don’t have something in the next size ready to go, or your baby has a monster of a torso, these little beauties are amazing!

You simply get to add about an extra 3 inches of room for their shoulders and legs to breathe.

  • Little Remedies Kit

Thank you, Little Remedies, for giving me the ability to make the screaming stop!

All the books will tell you: when your baby is crying, check that they have been fed, burped and changed…well, book, what now?

So many times, you get to play a guessing game with no answers.  Your baby could be having tummy troubles, digestion issues, or breathing trouble that no amount of food, burping, or diaper changing will fix.

The gas drops work wonders for baby tummy bubbles and they work quick! Gripe water will make hiccups, colic and gas disappear.  I have seen the Nasal Drops perform actual magic by transforming 2 nostrils that were completely crusted close to moist, clear passages!

Save yourself the sleep and make your little one comfortable!

  • Pack n play

Whatever genius took the old portable play pen and turned it into this all-in-one miracle is a genius and I hope they get lots and lots of money!

It has a changing table, bouncy seat, pocket caddy, noise maker/night light, bassinet, and pack-n-play.

We had it set to the bassinet level with the changing table on it in our room.  We had our little one near by for late night feedings.  When she woke up, we were able to change her without taking a single step because the changing table was next to where she was sleeping and the pocket caddy had diapers, wipes, and everything we needed in it.

I’m pretty sure our baby lived in that bouncy seat if she wasn’t being held.  It vibrates and kept her nice and cozy at a slight angle to avoid digestion issues.

It’s the swiss army knife of baby products.  Register for it now!

  • Rocker

Didn’t you say products on Amazon?  I sure did! Furniture delivered right to you!

I know some people think they’ll be fine with a regular chair or additional bed in the nursery to feed and hang out with baby in the middle of the night…treat yo self!

We had ours in our room the first 3 months then moved it into her room and it has become a staple in our bedtime routine.  That rocking for her, that lounging for us, and the peace for all!

  • Swing

We’re squeezing every last minute out of our swing! Our chunky monkey could be bending the metal any time now.

If she kept everyone up all night long screaming, we would put her in this and all was well in the world.  At 9 months, we can still put her in it and she’s out in a matter of minutes.

Your arms and your back will thank you for this addition!  When you can’t stand the walking, bouncing and rocking, let the swing do it for you and give yourself a break.

  • Hello Baby Monitor

I can’t give a good enough review for this monitor!  It has color picture and infrared so you can see just as clearly when the lights are out. You can make the camera go close up to make sure your baby is breathing without having to get up.  There is a microphone so you can talk to your little one and comfort them…or tell them to lay down for the fortieth time.

There’s an indicator for the temperature of the baby’s room!  This was a huge help!  If my baby’s room was below 70 or above 78, she would wake up.  Now, I check at bed time and know how much we need to change the thermostat or the vent in her room to make sure we all have a peaceful night.

The receiver is a great size and I attached it vertically with some 3M hooks to our nightstand so we can always see it when we hear her making noise in the middle of the night.  It also has great battery power and a little kickstand so you can watch your little one during nap time!

  • Boppy

Weather you’re breast feeding or bottle feeding, this pillow will pay for itself 10 times over!

It gives your arms, back, and neck a huge break when you hold them so you can relax.  It is great for little ones starting tummy time.  Mine hated being on her stomach and having her head down.  The Boppy was her tummy time buddy for months!

You can prop them up to give them a new view, relieve tummy trouble, keep them in one place, and work on some core and neck strength.

It is the perfect support for when your little one is trying to figure out how to use their muscles to sit up on their own.  It gave me peace of mind when my daughter enjoyed straightening her legs and hurling her head backwards.  That Boppy saved us from a lot of bumps, bruises, and crying.

Be sure to grab a waterproof cover for those projectile vomit or projectile…anything else incidents.  Then dive into the thousands of covers you can get!

  • Cool Steam Humidifier

Not for the sick adults!  For the happy babies! Humidifiers protect against dry air.  They are especially important in the winter months when you have on heaters which pull moisture from the air.

Babies are prone to runny noses, coughs, and cold symptoms.  Keeping the air in their room moist makes for the best breathing conditions which keeps them comfortable and reduces the risk of them getting sick.

It protects your baby’s sensitive skin from become dry and itchy and retains its natural moisture.

On top of the health benefits, it’s practically a white noise maker in itself!

  • Velcro Swaddlers

All the time you spent working on swaddling in class?  Put it to good use. But as soon as your baby is big enough, get them in a velcro swaddler!

No matter what type of blankets and hacks you’re using, your baby will figure out how to worm an arm out or snuggle in and have blankets around their face.  With velcro swaddlers, there’s no escaping AND when it’s 4 o’clock in the morning and you’re changing your 10 diaper for the evening, you don’t have to think or wrestle with your baby to get the blankets tucked in just so.

Once my little one was out of preemie sized clothes, I put her in one and never turned back to those dastardly blankets! In the middle of the night, we’d slip her out, change her, slip her right back in, feed and burp her while she was swaddled and laid her right back down.  Easy peasy!


  • Bath Thermometer

I don’t know about y’all, but I like my showers scalding hot.  When it comes time to run the baby a bath, the books say to dunk your elbow in…when I checked the temperature of what I thought felt appropriate, I could have scorched my little one.

These devices have given me so much peace of mind. The screen turns blue if it’s too cold, red if it’s too hot, and green for when it’s just right for the baby bear.

Pro Tip: Be sure to let it dry with its sensor side up so that the screen doesn’t go out.

Check out how to clean and sanitize your baby’s bath toys!

  • Play Gym

My baby lived on hers for the first 4 months of her life.  She gazed at the hanging toys, played the piano with her feet, napped, did tummy time, and learned how to roll over on this mat.

The great thing about this one is that you can de-tatch the piano once they outgrow the mat and they can continue to play the familiar tunes.

  • Delicate Laundry bags

If you do not already have these in your home, get them, get them now!

I have a small bag hanging on the side of baby’s laundry basket.  This is where I throw all of her itty bitty baby socks.  When I pull it out of the dryer, not one sock is missing… EVER!

I have a medium bag in our bathroom for her washcloths and sponges from her bath time.  Once her laundry is done, I can return the whole bag back to our bathroom without having to sort!

I have a large bag hanging on the back of the chair that her highchair sits on.  This is where I throw her bibs and wash cloths after meal time.  The velcro from the bibs doesn’t get stuck on any of her other clothes and when laundry is done, I can fold her eating laundry right in the kitchen and put it back in her kitchen cabinet with..NO sorting!

These come in handy when you are away on a trip.  You have portable laundry bags!  No wondering what is clean and what is dirty!

Bonus: If your kiddo loves Legos (or other small plastic toys that are after your feet with a vengeance), you can throw them into a bag and then into the sink with some hot water and vinegar to give them a good cleaning and disinfecting.  If you throw them in here, hundreds of little plastic pieces stay together and don’t go down your sink drain!

 

And there you have it!  15 amazing products that you can have delivered straight to your door!

Thanks for reading and happy shopping!

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21 Ways to Make Your Home Smell Great

21 way to make your home smell great magical mama blog cleaning smell aroma scent stink fresh air deodorize

21 Ways To Make Your Home Smell Great

Isn’t it interesting how we can go to other peoples’ homes and immediately pick up on the general smell of the place? But when you walk into your own home…nothing?  We become so acclimated to our homes, we don’t even notice it anymore… it’s almost physically impossible to smell your own home.

It’s like wearing a regular perfume…after you put it on in the morning, you can’t smell it anymore throughout the day.  Every once in a while, after a vacation or a cold, I get a quick whiff of my home and I’m not happy about it!

No matter how much you clean your home, some smells just need some Ghostbuster-style annihilation.

We’ll go through my 21 favorite tricks to get your home smelling spectacular!

 

Vanilla Extract

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog vanilla extract baking oven cleaning

Throw about 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract in a dish in the oven at 300 degrees for an hour.  This is great if you get home before a dinner party and realize your house smells like dogs…or feet.

This is a trick a lot of realtors use for open houses.  Not only does it mask nasty odors, it makes your home smell like warm, fresh baked cookies. Win-Win.

Coffee & Candles

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog candles coffee beans clean

Get some small bowls, place a small vanilla scented candle in the center and fill the empty space with coffee beans.

Small candle is the key because you want the candle to warm quickly to get the aroma from the coffee beans.  A tea light or something slightly larger will work. Dollar store for the win! (Bowls were $2, candles were 4 for $1)

No matter the season, there’s nothing like some Fa la la la la French Vanilla Coffee in the air!

If you’re not a fan of coffee, The Downey/Gain wax scent booster beads work the same way.

Car Air Fresheners

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog clean car air freshener air vent hvac

Take a walk around your house.  Check out how many vents are in the walls, floors, and ceilings.  Somehow, our eyes pass right over them since we live with them.  However, this is how we get air circulated around our home.

To get a whiff of something delicious, snag a few car vent fresheners on your next trip to the store – You can write them down on your handy dandy shopping list

Place them on vents around your home, but spread them out!  They can be very strong if they are placed on every vent.

These last from 2-4 weeks depending on how much air is traveling through them.  I nabbed these at the dollar store and prefer them to the Febreze car vent clips because they’re much less of an eye sore.

Wax melter

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog wax melter essential oils candle plug in gain downey scent boosters

Grab your favorite scented wax cubes around the candle section and throw a few in your melter.

If you’re not a fan of the scents at the store or you don’t like the wax itself, grab 2-3 Tablespoons of coconut oil and some of your favorite essential oils.

Not a fan of essential oils?  Grab some spices from your pantry and throw those in there with your coconut oil.  Does it have to be coconut oil?  It has the proper texture to melt and mix with the other things you’re adding to it…splurge the few dollars then go on Pinterest to find the millions of other uses for it!

If you want your home to smell like fresh laundry (my favorite) grab some Gain or Downey wax scent boosters.

Two options for wax melters.  The plug in versions you just have to flip on and the light melts whatever is in the dish.  These are usually $7-$20 depending on how fancy you’re going.  The dollar store has candle heated melters for 1 whole dollar! And tea lights (tons of them) for a dollar.  You can choose depending on style, budget, or convenience!

Box fan

Is the air in your home stagnant?  (If you don’t have a cooling/heating system, this is great to have around!)

Grab your box fan and grab an HVAC filter.  Turn the fan on and place the filter against the back.  You’ll be grossed out by how much guck gets sucked into the filter.  Ta-Da! Home-made air purifier!

DIY Febreze

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog diy febreze homemade cleaning

Grab some Downey or Gain scent boosters and throw a handful into an empty spray bottle, add some hot water and swirl until mixed.  Spray to your heart’s content!

This is great for drapes or black out curtains that you can’t wash.  It makes them smell like they’re fresh out of the laundry!

HVAC Filter

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog air filter essential oils

Find your main machinery for your heating/cooling system and replace the filter with a fresh one.  When you pull out your filter, write down the dimensions and run to your neighborhood Lowes or Home Depot and grab a replacement (and a few extra for next time) they’re just a few dollars.

Not only will replacing the filter help your system work well and clean the air more efficiently, you can throw some drops of your favorite essential oil on there and the air coming into your home is gaining pleasant scents along the way!

Garbage Disposal

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog lemons vinegars ice cube trays clean

Go ahead and stick your head in your sink and smell what is wafting from your drain and disposal.  Chances are it’s not flowers and meadows.

Get out an ice cube tray, 2-3 lemons, and some white vinegar.  Chop off some chunks of peel and put little bits into each cube.  Fill the tray with distilled white vinegar and freeze.

Once frozen, remove from tray and put cubes into a gallon sized plastic bag and BAM! You now have garbage disposal deodorizer cubes for any time it needs a refresh.

Grab 2-3 cubs and toss them into the sink. Turn your disposal on.  Don’t be afraid of the sound.  The ice sharpens the blades, the vinegar and lemon peels disinfect and deodorize.  NOW smell your sink!  Delightful!

Dryer Scent Beads

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog scent boosters polyester bags

Run over to the party supply section of the store and you’ll likely find a pack of these itty bitty mesh drawstring bags for a dollar or two.  Now run over to the laundry section and pick up some Downey UnStoppables or Gain Scent Booster. Throw a small amount in each bag and you have portable scent boosters.

Attach them to a hangar in the back of your closet, throw them in your shoes, in a drawer, in your linen closet, on a towel rack, anywhere!  They’ll last a couple of weeks and are easy to replace!

Tea Bags

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog tea bags

If you don’t want to splurge on dryer scent pebbles, scout your pantry for some tea bags.

Tea bags help to absorb smell.  They won’t necessarily give off any exciting smells to tickle your nose, but they can work great in shoes and gym bags.

Carpet Powder

If your carpet smells like dogs and feet…don’t they all at some point?… Sprinkle baking soda and let sit 10-20 minutes before vacuuming.

If that’s not doing anything for you, jump on Amazon and grab some carpet powder.  It is designed for this exact purpose, there and a ton of scents to choose from, and it helps with the lovely burning smell that comes along with vacuums.

Vacuum

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog essential oils cotton balls cleaning

Speaking of that burning smell when your carpet gets hot and is sucking up all of that hair.. bluh!

Get a few cotton balls and throw some drops of essential oil on them.  Toss those in your vacuum bag or bin and that should diffuse it.

Trash Can

When was the last time you washed and disinfected your kitchen trash can?  Would you jump in it if you were dared?

This is the place where you put garbage in one of the most frequented locations in your house. It sees food scraps, clean up waste from spills, etc.

Take your trash can outside and give it a proper wash with soap.  Spray down with vinegar or bleach depending on how terrible it is.  Not only will this make it smell better, it will give you peace of mind.

Put a cotton ball with 2 drops of lemon oil and 2 drops of tea tree oil at the bottom before putting a bag in to decrease trash odor and detoxify.

Toilet Paper

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog toilet paper essential oils

Toss a drop or two of your favorite essential oil on the inner cardboard tube of your toilet paper rolls. Each time it is rolled, a little bit of scent is re-released.

Vinegar

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog cleaning vinegar

If a room has recently been painted and just doesn’t seem to be airing out no matter what you do, or a smell of any kind is lingering, throw a bowl of just plain distilled white vinegar into the room.

One of vinegar’s amazing abilities is to strip scents from air and surfaces.

I used this hack when I was pregnant.  My husband had painted the nursery and I felt the need to get in there and organize and nest…but that silly rule about pregnant ladies and paint fumes! We had windows open, fans blowing, nothing was working…until we tried the vinegar bowl!

Refrigerator

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog coffee grounds mason jar refrigerator cleaning

How long has it been since you have wiped down every surface in your refrigerator? Changed the baking soda?  The food you feed your family is kept here.  Nasty germs could be causing food to spoil faster and even get to the point of making food unsafe to consume.

Take everything out of the fridge, even drawers and shelves.  Toss anything expired.  Wipe down your entire fridge with a safe cleaner.  Wash or wipe down each shelf and drawer before returning.  Place all food back in and organize while you’re there!

Throw a cup or jar of coffee grounds in there overnight to absorb any lingering odors!

Baking Soda

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog baking soda essential oils mason jars

Grab a mini mason jar and poke holes in the lid.  Fill with baking soda and your favorite essential oil.  If it starts to dwindle, give it a good shake or throw a few more drops in.  These are great for people with very sensitive allergies to artificial scents.

If you don’t want to splurge on mason jars (which really aren’t bad! I got 4 for $5 at the grocery store!), you can just put this mixture in a bowl.  Unfortunately, the delightful smells will ware off much more quickly in a bowl, but feel free to add more drops of oil as needed.

Toilet Brush

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog toilet brush lemon pine sol cleaning

Fill up it’s holding container with some lemon fresh Pine Sol!  Not only does it clean …can that thing ever really be clean?…no…but it also provides a lovely scent and is a deodorizer!

We need all the help in the bathroom we can get!  A lot of bathrooms don’t even have windows and they are rooms where we wash dirt off of ourselves, go to the bathroom, and are a moist breeding ground for bacteria that cause terrible odors!

Towels

21 ways to make your home smell great cleaning vinegar baking soda towels

Run your towels through 2 hot wash cycles.  One with vinegar.  One with baking soda.  DO NOT WASH TOGETHER!

This will get the mildewy smell out of them and give them a fresh, new life.  A lot of times, your towels will be fluffier and will absorb water well again.

Pets

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog dog bath cleaning

Give them a bath and their bedding.  Would you lie in their bed right now?  Most pets enjoy their beds as nasty as they can get because it smells like them and it’s conformed to them.  They can get it back to that state in no time.

BONUS: Car Candle

21 ways to make your home smell great cleaning car candle

If your car smells like soccer shoes and spilled fast food, take that candle you love that is becoming impossible to light, throw it in your cup holder and let the sun do its work.

Obviously this works best in warmer weather, but sometimes, the sun cooking your car just a bit will be enough to release some great scent from your sad, dying candle.

 

I DO NOT RECOMMEND that you go and do all of these things right now.  It will be like walking into a Bath and Body Works…ridiculous amounts of smell…and strong ones at that all conflicting and you won’t be any happier than you were before.

Try a few tips and see if you like them.  Try a few more if you notice a certain smell starting to stick out.  Don’t go overboard!  And if your home maybe doesn’t smell fresh because it hasn’t been well cleaned in a while, go grab my Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist and give your home a bath!

 

Good Luck and Happy Cleaning!

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