How To Clean a Doll’s Hair – FAIL

Fail Cleaning Doll's Hair

When we went back to our hometown for Thanksgiving, I picked up one of my old Cabbage Patch dolls, Nellie, because I thought that Audrey might like to have a talking doll that looked like her.

Nellie, however, needed to go to the salon for some serious help on her hairdo. I looked up ways to fix dolls hair, and I can across one post that seemed easy enough (“How to Clean and Restore Doll Hair” by The Krazy Coupon Lady).

So I took a quick before shot,

Nellie Hair Before
filled the sink with a little fabric softener, and gave Nellie a hair washing.

Nellie Hair Fabric Softener Conditioner

As I worked through the knots with a comb, I realized that we had a serious problem on our hands. Nellie’s hair was in awful shape. Because she had electronics in her head, I had to be careful not to soak her hair up to her scalp. Yet I also had trouble combing through the knots. They were impossible to get through without pulling out her hair.

Clump of Doll Hair

Now I know why all of my Barbies had short haircuts. Knots in a doll’s hair  = pull out the scissors.

No, I didn’t cut Nellie’s hair short. We will let Audrey do that in a couple years if she wants to. For now, Nellie just has a very clean and shiny, but very knotty hairdo.

Nellie Hair After

Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays – Why Do You Say It?

Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays - DoyleDispatch.com

I am Jewish, but I have always LOVED Christmas and the whole Christmas season. And yes, I do consider it the “Christmas season.” I love the feelings, the songs, the lights, the trees, the stockings, the traditions… I love it all.

Now, that doesn’t take away the fact that I also LOVE Chanukkah and my Judaism. I just also love Christmas.

That being said, when I am out and about (any time after Thanksgiving… I refuse to say it before then), I will wish people a “Happy holidays!” I don’t just say it, though. I actually mean it. It comes from my heart. I truly want them to have the best of holidays.

I know that there has been a lot of discussion in recent years about saying “Happy holidays” or “Merry Christmas.” I personally say “Happy holidays” because I enjoy them all. I don’t know the background of the stranger I am conversing with, so I stick with a saying that could fit anyone. If I know the person, I would tailor my well-wishes to their particular holiday. My wishing someone a “Merry Christmas” doesn’t make me Christian. It (hopefully) makes me a considerate person.

If someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, I give the biggest, more sincere smile and wish them the same in return. And I mean it. I don’t take offense because I don’t celebrate it, and I don’t make a big deal about it. I just honor their kindness in wishing me well, and I happily return the favor.

The thing I don’t like or appreciate is when others have to get on their soap box about it. Let me paint a picture.

I am at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and we have just had wonderful service from a cashier (no surprise there… I love BBB’s customer service). As we are ending the transaction, I lean in and say “Thank you so much. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!” My voice changed, my tone changed, my eyebrows raised. I meant it.

Then the older lady behind me in line leans in and says, “And Merry Christmas!” in a voice that reminded me of being chastised when I was doing something naughty. My wonderful mood turned sour. Tim escorted me away quickly as I muttered under my breath something like “I’m Jewish, and I choose to say ‘Happy holidays’ to include everyone. I love Christmas too, but…” (and then I was too far out of the store and stopped talking).

It really made me think about this issue. Since when is it a problem if I say “Happy holidays” to someone? Can’t I say what I want, as long as the intent is there? As I said earlier, I have absolutely no problem in other well-wishes, and I will return the favor if it is appropriate. Why did that woman have to correct me for something that honestly needed no correcting?! I know why. In the past year as a Mom of Multiples, I’ve learned that it’s because people think they know everything and love getting all up in your business.

Well, ma’am, I do wish you a very Merry Christmas, but butt out of my business, please!

 

Chanukkah Post Round-Up

This year, Chanukkah will run from the night of December 16, 2014 through the night of Tuesday, December 23, 2014. I have written about it extensively on The Wise Baby (see the posts below… I will update them as they get published), so I thought that I would do a little round-up of some Chanukkah posts from this and past years, both from my blogs and others. Enjoy!

*All images come directly from the link featured on this blog. If you click on them, they will take you back to that blog.*

 

“Chanukkah Gifts and Decorations” from The Wise Baby

 I wrote this post to be published last week on The Wise Baby. It talks all about traditions (at least for our family) all related to Chanukkah.

 

Crochet Yarmulke Pattern” from Petals to Picots

Although I do not crochet, this seems to be a fairly simple pattern to create an adorable yarmulke for all occasions. I might have to learn so that I can make this!

 

“Geometric String Craft Stars” from Creative Jewish Mom

 

I love how simple, yet absolutely beautiful these are! I can imagine many different possibilities and hours of creating these with Audrey and David in future years. Plus, they can be used for many seasons and holidays.

 

“My Crazy-Mixed Up Interfaith Family” by Mommy Runs It

Wow, does this woman sound just like me! Jewish woman marries a Christian. Celebrates both Chanukkah and Christmas. Loves both holidays. Yep, that’s me!

 

“Star of David Salt Dough Ornament” by This Mama Loves

While these aren’t just for Chanukkah, they would be a great homemade addition for the winter season, if your child wants to have ornaments but you don’t have a Christmas tree.

 

“Tacky Chanukah Sweater” by Doyle Dispatch

This is my tacky sweater that I created because I thought that we Jews needed something tacky just like those Christmas sweaters. This awesome piece of tacky won me the first prize in our school’s contest that year!

 

“Babies’ First Chanukkah and Christmas” from Doyle Dispatch

Audrey and David were mere days old when we first celebrated Chanukkah with them last year. This year should be a lot more fun (and hopefully we will be less exhausted).

 

“Holiday Traditions” from Doyle Dispatch

 

In this post (please excuse the same picture), we documented how we would enjoy our own traditions as we meld two religions into one family.

 

Diaper Stroller Bag Review

*I apologize for this post mysteriously publishing twice before. This is the actual review.*

Children N Us Stroller Bag Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Whenever we go out, we basically have to use our stroller. We have tried baby wearing or simply holding the twins in the past, but with my bad back, I really have to limit the amount I hold our wiggly toddlers when we go out and about (as I’m all about holding them as much as possible when we are at home).

That means that when we are out and using our stroller, I need to have things accessible. A current trip to the mall or even just the store requires a water bottle for me, plus my phone, keys, wallet, hand sanitizer, and snacks for the twins within reachable distance. The stroller caddy we had been using from Baby Jogger was nice, but it was a little too specific with the multiple, small compartments. I needed something with a large opening that could be used in different ways.

When we received the stroller bag to review from Children N Us, I was thrilled! It seemed to be really well-made (just like my Baby Jogger one), but it had the space that I really wanted and needed. With two clicks, I had it on the stroller and was ready to go!

Overall, I really like it. It can carry so much, and I love the versatility! I can put in bigger toys, socks, drinks, snacks, and small items too, and it all fits!

Children N Us Stroller Bag Review Inside Detail - DoyleDispatch.com

The biggest issue that I have is that when you adjust the straps to make it tighter and closer to the stroller handle, it quickly loosens up and falls down again. I think it is because the clips were installed backwards (so it doesn’t stay tight). That is my biggest issue with it. For the price ($20 and Amazon Prime eligible) and the space, I still think that this is a great addition to our stroller!


Children N Us Stroller Bag Review Side Detail - DoyleDispatch.com

Sister Bloggers

I have to admit that I have amazing sisters-in-law! I think the three of us complement each other so well, and each of us Doyle Sisters are now bloggers too!

Kathleen is Tim’s sister, and she has just started Self-Care for Social Workers, a blog to help those in the social work field establish healthy habits and take care of themselves (something that is often overlooked when you spend your life caring for others). I particularly love her post about self-guided meditation, because it’s a technique that I have used for years and years.

Lauryn is Tim’s brother Kevin’s wife, and she has a blog From NoVA to SwVA, documenting the adventures in their homeownership. If you check out her post about the dot walls, yours truly may have helped to contribute. You can see her guest post on this blog about her re-doing a vanity.

Congrats Kathleen and Lauryn for joining the blogging world! Welcome! May you find fulfillment and joy and no writer’s block! Love you!

Bloggers and Sponsored Posts

I have recently done a big purge of my inbox in order to have it under 10 messages (we’ll see how long that lasts). While going through the messages I had sent myself, I rediscovered this great article about blogs and sponsored posts. It’s an interesting read!

 

http://blog.webbizideas.com/2014/10/24/make-money-blogging-with-sponsored-reviews-giveaways/

Tips and Tricks for New Baby

Tips and TricksLast year, I wrote a few posts about tips for new moms, but since then, I have had some friends have babies. I feel like I have a year of advice, and I hate to overwhelm them with everything, so I thought I would write up a post about it. These are from my memories. Some will be similar to what appeared in past posts, but they will be the biggest tricks we still stand by today.

At the Hospital:

  • Have a dark-colored robe and a nursing bra. If you only pack two items, let it be these two. That way you can cover up for visitors and for the photographer.

The First Weeks:

  • Limit Nursing Time. Of course, you will want to talk to your pediatrician and/or lactation consultant, but you don’t want to let your newborn nurse nonstop during a session. Our pediatrician recommended we stop them after 20 minutes. If I still had milk left in me, I could pump and then syringe feed. If they nursed for longer, then they would spend more calories than they would gain by eating.
  • Nipple Balm is Your Friend. You will never know know how painful nursing is until you actually go through it. Every 2 or 3 hours you will have a baby (or babies in our case) tugging and nursing and having trouble (or success) latching. Use lanolin or another nipple balm (my pick is Bella B) and put it on thick! Use lanolin before showers and turn your back to the water. Use the balm after nursing (and in between sessions too). Use cotton/reusable nursing pads for added protection. Use a gel pad (Lily Padz is a great one) from the fridge/freezer for extra help.

Tricks for Home:

  • Have a Diaper Changing Station for Each Floor. We still have one on each floor with a replica of the caddy right next to it. It saves us so much trouble and steps!
  • Have a Sink Cleaning Station for Each Floor. With pumping supplies and sometimes bottles, you will want to have an area by a sink on each floor, just like you have a setup for diaper changes on each floor. We highly recommend the Boon Grass for drying. It looks silly, but it works so well that my mom got one for her home.
  • Keep a Tub of Water and Detergent to Prevent Stains. You have no idea how this saved our water bill. Just by having a tub of water with a little detergent  in it right by the washer/dryer, we could drop in the messy onesie or clothes and then we could wash them when we were ready. We rarely had to pre-treat stains and kept all our (and the babies’) clothes looking new despite many blow-outs and spit-ups.
  • Puppy Changing Pads on Changing Table. Babies will pee all over the place. And they will poop. And spit up. And you DON’T want to constantly change and wash your changing pad cover. It’s obnoxious. So, do what we did and get the blue puppy changing pads to put on top of the cover. It fits perfectly, it’s cheap, and it contains all of the mess. You can use them over and over and over again, and then when they get dirty or start falling apart, throw it away. Eventually you can go without this but you will want it for a while. Oh, and we found that girls need this even more than the boys. With the boys, the stream goes up and around. With the girls, it goes down and all over the place.

Do I have even more tricks than this? Absolutely! But these were the big ones for us to pass along. If you have great tricks, please leave them as a comment! I can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

1 Year Old!

We all made it to a year!!! We had the most amazing year full of challenges, laughs, milestones, and love.

12 Months Old

 

 

Things We Love About Audrey:

Audrey 12 Months Old

  • the way she throws her head back to laugh
  • the new “words” she learns to use daily (mama, dada, bye bye, ditkwa ditkwa, va va)
  • the way she waves by opening/closing her hands
  • her copy-cat motions, especially when we want her to come to us
  • how proud she is when she stands on her own
  • how fast she learns new tricks

Things We Love About David:

David 12 Months Old

  • his new-found cuddly nature (it’s back!)
  • his obsession with books
  • his favorite words (up, pop)
  • the speed in which he crawls
  • how he loves to instigate chase/hiding games with Audrey
  • his “secret” hiding spots throughout the playroom
  • his goat laugh
  • his fake goat cry
  • his belly laugh

Review: Shaving Brush and Bowl

 

 

 


Shaving Bowl ReviewShaving Brush Review

For years, Tim has been using a shaving brush, brush bowl, and special shaving cream along with a straight razor. They have saved us so much money over the years, and Tim loves the shave that he gets with it.

Tim takes great care of his possessions, but the wooden shaving bowl that he had been using just was falling apart after the constant use, so it was time to upgrade.

As a special gift to him, I requested for us to review a 100% pure badger shaving brush and a chrome shaving bowl with a lid. Let me just say that they are fantastic additions to our bathroom! They look so nice and clean, and they go along with the spa-like feel we have tried to get in that room. Tim loves using the shaving bowl instead of his old wooden bowl or the travel plastic one, and over the past few weeks of use, it has stayed very clean. When you are building up the lather, it keeps everything contained so much better than his other options. It is also really easy to rinse and keep looking new!

The brush looks nice and the handle feels really comfortable. The bristles don’t spread as wide as some shaving brushes, so it takes a bit more work to lather.

Overall, Tim was really happy with these gifts. Thanks to Tomoson for helping to give him a little treat!

 

#SimplyBeautifulShavingBowl

#SimplyBeautifulShaving

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Blog Hobnob Linkup ~ December

 Welcome to the December Edition of a New Linkup!

August Edition

We are back with the December edition of the Hobnob Linkup! Made in a Day‘s former Blog Hop Social has been renamed the Blog Hobnob, and it is a great chance to find other blogs out there and meet new bloggy friends. Come and join us, why don’t you? I have found and connected to some amazing blogger through this hop!

This Blog Hop is a Meet & Greet where you can connect and network with other bloggers in various genres! Link up below and check out other blogs, follow them on social media and leave a nice comment! Super easy to make new friends!

This is a monthly Link Up. It will start on the first day of the month and will stay open until the last day of the month. So stop back by and check out who’s new each week!

[Read more…]