9/09/2014

Homemade Flea Repellent Shampoo & Spray for Dogs & Cats

In our household, my husband can't say no to cute, furry critters.  Although he frequently tries to pin that on me, he truly is the culprit for bringing home and/or begging for all the animals we have.  We currently have four fur babes: two cats and two dogs.


Our black cat, Elle, is very sensitive to fleas.  One or two and she starts losing hair, digging herself raw, etc.  Both cats are indoors, except once or twice when my mischievous male went out and got himself stuck in a tree.  However, she seems to get them once a year, probably from the dogs trekking in and out.

Anyway, I really hate how ridiculously expensive flea treatments and even shampoos and sprays are.  So, today I decided to turn to the internet to find how I can treat my animals without emptying my wallet.  Plus, my dogs were getting a little stinky and needed a bath anyway.

Flea Repellent Shampoo for Dogs & Cats

You will need:

  • Pet friendly/safe dish soap or shampoo
  • Distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Lemon juice (optional, but not recommended for cats)

Mix equal parts dish soap, vinegar (or apple cider vinegar), and water.  You may add 1/2 cup of lemon juice, as well, as it contains a chemical that kills/repels fleas but it harmless to your dog.

Flea Repellent Spray for Dogs & Cats

You will need:

  • Water
  • Distilled white vinegar and/or apple cider vinegar
  • Essentials oils (optional for use with dogs only)
Mix 1 cup vinegar to 1 quart water.

Skip the nasty chemicals.  Save money.  And make an effective, natural shampoo and spray for your pets.  It's really a win-win!

How do you deal with fleas?  What kind of pets do you have in your household?

Never miss a thing! Subscribe via email today!

9/07/2014

Our Favorite Video Games


Here in the Taylor household, we probably get too much screen time and my kids are allowed to play games that include violence.  I hardly feel the need to defend this parenting decision, because it is what it is.  My husband is not only a movie buff, but an avid "gamer".  I would probably say I'm more of a casual gamer.

Mom's Games


  • Sims 4 (I'll probably be doing a full review on this ASAP)
  • Sim City
  • Roller Coaster Tycoon
  • Fable
  • Dragon Ages

Dad's Games


  • Titanfall
  • Diablo III
  • World of Warcraft
  • Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare
  • Halo
  • Fable
  • Dragon Ages
  • Grand Theft Auto

Kids' Games


  • Minecraft
  • Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare
  • Call of Duty
  • Angry Birds
  • Risk

Obviously there's some crossover in game preferences.  I tend to be a fan of simulation, where my husband is not so much.  However, he enjoys first person shooters and I hardly do.  We both love RPGs/adventure games, so we tend to bond there.

What are some video games that you love?  What's your preferred gaming system?
Never miss a thing! Subscribe via email today!

8/31/2014

August's Movie Reel

I don't know if I've ever mentioned that my husband is a movie buff, but he is.  He watches so many movies and TV in general.  He loves it.  It's his thing.  Therefore, I've seen more than my share of movies (good and bad) during our relationship.  August seems to have been a real kicker for me, so I wanted to share the movies I've watched and my experiences with them.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


A reimagining of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies,  reporter April O'Neil is looking into a local crime organization and gets saved by mutated turtles who intended to not only save her, but the entire city of New York.
Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, and William Fichtner
This seemed like a must watch from the second the trailer aired.  With the Turtles boasting a new, unique look to them and a humor-packed preview, I was beyond excited.

Unfortunately, the movie was a little dry and predictable for my taste.  All of the funnies seemed to have been left in the trailer with nothing to look forward to in the actual movie.

As expected, the story line was predictable, but not exactly the same as the original Ninja Turtles'.  Therefore, they surely upset a few hardcore fans.

We did take our 8 and 4 year-old and our newborn.  The boys loved it and were zombie fighting ninja turtles (yes, my boys were cross over some other favorites) for a few days following the movie.

Rating: 6/10

Blended


A story two parents who have an awful blind date and then are forced together with their separate families on spring vacation.
Starring: Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler
Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler have great chemistry, yet again!  I laughed so hard I was brought to tears by this romantic comedy of two radically different single parents who just can't seem to get away from each other, no matter how hard they try.

We watched this as a couple and it was everything we hoped it would be.  It was appropriately funny with just enough romance.  We were disappointed to only have rented it and will definitely buy it soon!
Rating: 10/10

Leprechaun: Origins


Another re-imagining of an old favorite, Leprechaun: Origins promises to be more scare and gore minus the funny of the other Leprechaun movies.  Two couple travelling through Ireland are about to discover a small village's dark secret.
Starring: Brendan Fletcher, Melissa Roxburgh, Andrew Dunbar, and Stephanie Bennett.
I was not looking forward to this movie.  My husband was boasting how scary it was going to be, and I expected to spend most of the time with my head buried in his chest.  Instead I spent the entire movie waiting to be that scared.  To say it was a huge disappointment to both of us would be about as accurate as I can get.

We expected much more from this movie, but maybe the Leprechaun story just doesn't exist without that funny, demented, evil Leprechaun from all the other movies.  Personally, I think there is no wow factor and they could have done so much more with this.
Rating: 3/10

The Expendables 3


The Expendables must take down an international arms dealer, who just happens to be an old friend-turned-enemy of Barney's that everyone thought was dead.
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, and Jackie Chan, among others.
We couldn't wait to go see this movie, and we lucked into being the only two people in the theater!  How great!  Anyway, the movie was another action packed win in our book!  My husband even speculates that they've set the stage for the next generation of Expendables with this one.
Rating: 8/10

Never miss a thing! Subscribe via email today!

8/18/2014

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
Yummy chicken fajitas!
I love my slow cooker, if that isn't already obvious.  I'm a busy, busy person and my slow cooker gives me some extra time in my day instead of slaving over the stove.

I shared my favorite Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas over at Plucky's Second Thought.  Why not take a look?
Never miss a thing! Subscribe via email today!

8/16/2014

0-3 Months Favorite Baby Items

Awwww.  It's so sad (and, okay, also exciting).  My baby girl turned three months old on August 2nd (yes it really is August guys).  So, I know many of you are rounding up last minute school supplies or maybe your little (or not so little) ones are already back in school.

I was just thinking about some of my favorite things so far with kiddo #3.  I've discovered many new baby items that I wish I'd known about before!  We all know that diapers and wipes and somewhere for baby to sleep are essential, so let's skip those things and talk about some other great baby items for your baby from newborn to three months.


0-3 Month Essentials & Favorites

One through five are not affiliate links of any sort.  They're simply links to Amazon for the exact item which I use, except for the ring sling.  I made my own ring sling.

1. Baby Trend Sit N Stand Ultra Stroller

I absolutely adore my stroller.  I posted about getting one back in February, before Luna was born, and I have been thrilled with it, just as I expected I would be.  It's absolutely perfect for my preschooler and infant combination, since my 4 year-old likes to get in and out.  If you want to know more about the Sit N Stand's features, feel free to read my original post recommending it.

2. Bright Starts Bouncer

We have this exact bouncer.  My daughter absolutely loves it.  I stopped putting batteries in it after the second time someone took her out of it and didn't turn it off, so the batteries died the same day they were put in.  

She likes the activity bar that you can attach to it and I often clip other colorful toys onto it.  Plus, it's a great way for her to get in some kicking action.  She kicks her leg  to bounce herself.

While we loved the swing the first few weeks (and still use it 1-2x a day), the bouncer is much more portable and she seems to like it best.

3. Ring Sling

I am so sad I didn't know about babywearing with my first baby.  However, I'm so glad I've discovered it this time around.  I made my own ring sling for around $15, but this is a link to an Amazon search for ring slings.

You can also search Google for some smaller businesses that sell ring slings or look on Etsy.

Either way, I highly recommend one!  They are easy to use, versatile, great for nursing in (especially in public), and will allow you some hands-free cuddling and nursing time.

4. Munckin Cleaning Brush Set

All you Dr. Brown's lovin' mommas out there (sorry, I'm not one of them) will be really excited about this.  I have heard lots of moms recommend Dr. Brown's bottles, but I personally think they look like a nightmare so I've never used them.  

They have that long straw-like tube, that is apparently impossible to clean without the brush that comes with the bottles.  

You can buy replacement brushes (~$5) from Dr. Brown's, but I've never seen them in store.  On the other hand, I purchased this Munchkin cleaning brush set at Wal Mart for about $4.  It has 2 nipple brushes, 1 valve and 1 spout brush.  

How awesome, right?

These are also really great for cleaning breast pump parts.

5. Baby Trend Play Yard (Pack N Play)

My wonderful father bought me this as a baby shower gift.  It's absolutely amazing!

With our first baby, we used a pack n play almost never.  We lived in a single story apartment, briefly shared a room as a family at my mother in law's, and lived in a two bedroom trailer during my son's infancy/early toddler years.  There was rarely a need for him to be in the pack n play.

However, we now live in a two story home.  We bed share with our daughter, but she does still have a crib and pack n play.  The pack n play is downstairs for easy access for diaper changes and daytime naps.

Luna has just started noticing the giraffes hanging from the canopy, and she loves to stare at them.  The storage attachment on the front holds wipes and diapers, and then still has room for other essentials (like baby powder or lotion) and there's a pouch on the side I use for her dirty clothes!

6. Diapers.com

Now, I used Diapers.com one time with my first baby because new customers can save $10 off their first case of diapers (use code:  HEYMAMA) and free 1-2 day delivery at $49.

However, I never realized how fantastic Diapers.com was until I gave it a go this time around.

After I finally ran out of diapers from my husband's pre-baby diaper party, I looked to Diapers.com for my diapering needs.  There's always a coupon code to be had or a sale to take advantage of.  Also, you get discounts for autoshipping!

You can set up an auto shipment for every 1-16 weeks or every 6 or 8 months.  I get an auto shipment every 4 weeks.  It's fantastic that I never have to worry about running to the store to buy diapers or wipes, and they come right to my door monthly.  Convenient and I'm not spending more than I would buying them at the store!

Actually, I've always saved money thanks to discounts, sales, and coupon codes.  How awesome is that!

If you use my referral code, you can get 20% off your first order at Diapers.com or any of the other Familyhood sites, except BarSoap.  And I will get $5 credit toward my future orders.  Use code AMAN90535 at check out.

They're also having a sale on breastfeeding related items this month, so go check them out!

Never miss a thing! Subscribe via email today!