Homemade Baby Wipes

May 12, 2014

This evening, I found myself down to about half a dozen baby wipes. I have been meaning to make homemade wipes and figured now was a good time to give it a whirl. Keep reading if you are interested in finding out how to do this on your own.


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons baby friendly soap (I used Daisy Blue laundry soap)
  • 2 tablespoons Vitamin E oil (again, I used Daisy Blue brand)
  • 2 drops Tea Tree oil
  • 6 drops Lavender oil
  • Empty wipe container
  • 60 sheets of paper towels (I used the 1/2 size sheets)












  • Tri-fold the paper towels

photo 2

  • Stack them in the wipe container

photo 3

  • Boil the water
  • Add the soap and all 3 oils to the boiling water, stir, remove from heat
  • Slowly and carefully pour the solution over the paper towels (Hint: I separated the stack into 3 sections, put 1 in the container, poured some on, stacked another section on, poured more and then put the rest in the container and poured the rest of the solution. I’m hoping this helps ensure all of the towels get saturated)

Karis helped me tear apart the paper towels. She did very well for the 10 minutes that it took to tear and fold them.

I had Atley in my arms as I began to make the solution. She quickly got bored and fell asleep. Here’s a picture of her and I while we were waiting for the water to boil:

photo 1

This was a fun do-it-yourself project, and very simple. I believe that making my own wipes will save my household money. I’m also happy that I know everything that is in a product that I use daily on my daughters skin. I have not used my homemade wipes, yet. I will post again soon with my review. Happy day!


Let the final countdown begin!

February 10, 2014

Today I am 36 weeks, 4 days pregnant.

(Photo taken on Sun., Feb. 2nd )

We are making our final preparations for this new baby. We are expecting to add a second girl to our family. Someone asked me this week what we would do if we were surprised with a boy. We do have a boys name, but that’s about all. We would be calling on my sister to get ahold of my nephew’s clothes. I’m not sure I’d be mentally prepared for a boy, either.

Anyway, here’s what’s on the task list for this week:
-Install car seat.
-Pack hospital bag.
-Organize room… Karis and baby will be sharing so we need to pull out the baby clothes and make room for them (Dylan is working on this today 👍).
-Get things organized at CDI to ensure minimal issues while I’m on maternity leave.
-Figure out childcare for when I return to work.
-Purchase newborn diapers and any other essentials that we don’t already have.

I’m sure I’m missing a thing or two, but that’s what my list looks like right now. Oh wait, I thought of one more — continue the name discussion. We still haven’t agreed on a name. Pray for us!

I am feeling good. I see my doctor weekly now until baby arrives. As of last week, there wasn’t much activity (dilation, baby dropping, etc.). Therefore, we aren’t anticipating an early delivery. Dr. Clubb says we will most likely have a March baby. March 6th is the due date.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading my little update. Happy Monday!

Marriage and Money

January 29, 2014

I am in the process of developing a course for engaged couples on the topic of marriage and money. This is a topic that I feel is undervalued and should be a larger part of pre-marital counseling. Two people coming into a marriage most likely have significantly different perspectives on money. These perspectives are built from: parents, experiences in previous relationships, mistakes made, struggles overcome, successes achieved, spiritual beliefs, etc.

I believe that not only introducing, but digging into, the topic of marriage and money prior to getting married is critical. Money disagreements can cause a great deal of hurt. I believe a lot of them are avoidable by simply knowing what your future spouse thinks about the subject and having a plan as to how you will handle money together. A strategy must be made. You can’t skirt around the topic of money while dating/engaged, say I do, and then expect everything to just fall into place. MAKE A PLAN!

All of that being said, I’m doing some research on this topic. If you are married, please help me out by completing this survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5NJP23k) I would greatly appreciate your help! FYI — the information above is repeated in the description of the survey.

I will soon be setting a release date for this course so stay tuned!

Finally, if you know any engaged couple that may benefit from this course, please send them my way.

Email: nicolervangen@gmail.com

Hello 3rd trimester

December 4, 2013

Yesterday marked my entrance into the third trimester of my second pregnancy. Thankfully, it has been another boring, uneventful pregnancy. Which is just what I was hoping for.

There have been some differences:
-Faster weight gain
-A bigger belly
-A big sister to talk & sing to that big belly
-Less energy and being quite uncomfortable earlier (due to me not being as active as I was with Karis)

Overall, the pregnancy is great. I felt kicks and hiccups earlier. All of my prenatal checkups have gone very well. Little lady Vangen #2 is on track with heart rate and size measurements.

My 28 week checkup is next Thursday. I’m looking forward to seeing my doctor and starting to formulate a birth plan. My doctor was not present for Karis’ birth. She was on vacation. The doctor that was supposed to take her place ended up having a funeral on the day I went into labor. So, I ended up with the on call doctor. All went well, but I sure am glad my doctor isn’t planning a vacation around my due date again.

I have some goals for my third trimester:
1) Exercise 4 times a week
2) Continue eating lots of fruits and vegetables
3) Reduce the amount of sugary foods that I eat
4) Agree with Dylan on a name by week 36
I’m sure there are others, but that is all that’s coming to me at the moment.

Thank you for reading my little update. The Vangen family is abundantly blessed by all the wonderful people we have around us. There is no lack of love.


Fitness Monday – Exercise isn’t enough

July 15, 2013

This blog is made up of my experiences in 5 different areas that begin with the letter F. If you haven’t already, check out my intro post.

Fitness is one of my F words. My interpretation of the word fitness involves more than just exercise. I believe fitness is a lifestyle. Your eating habits, the frequency and intensity of your workouts, the amount of sleep you get and your mindset are all components of your level of fitness.

The food thing is the hardest part for me. I know what I should do and what I should eat, but I don’t always do it. Too often, I choose the meal that will give me temporary satisfaction. It’s so easy to do what feels good in the moment. In the long run, I always regret loading up on foods that have little to no nutritional value. I am ready to make some significant changes in this area. Check future blogs for more on this.

I love exercising. My workout routines include: running, lifting, sports, cross fit and more. The hard part for me when it comes to exercising is the scheduling issue. I don’t always make time to exercise. I know that needs to change.

I usually get 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night so I think I’m doing well in this area. I could handle getting to bed and waking up earlier. I’ll work on that.

I believe that I have a positive mindset. I know that I can achieve my fitness goals. I try to surround myself with positive reinforcements. If you are defeated mentally before you begin a new fitness endeavor, you are bound to fail. If you believe in yourself, encourage yourself and keep a positive mindset, you’ll succeed.

What one thing can you do today that will increase your level of fitness?

Putting my competitive nature to good use

June 3, 2013


Photo courtesy of Naomi Jirele Photography

People who know me well, understand that I am a competitive person. I enjoy competition. I like winning. Losing bums me out. I believe this is a positive characteristic. It keeps me working and improving. It helps me strive for excellence.

With the exception of summertime city league sports, my hunger for competition goes unfed. I have been trying to find a way to feed this area on a regular basis. I believe I discovered a solution today!

Before I share it, I must say that my exercise routine right now is quite inconsistent. I’ll occasionally get on a good streak. I have a generally active lifestyle. Unfortunately, I have yet to discover a workout I love to do regularly. I believe the same solution for the issue introduced above will solve this as well. Two for one – Sweet!!!

You are probably thinking, get to the point already… Okay! I decided today that I will make CrossFit training the foundation to my fitness routine. Check this out for more information on the concept of crossfit — http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/what-is-crossfit.html . This will allow me to always test my physical abilities, get in the best shape of my life, keep my workouts fun and ever-changing AND compete. I will measure the results of each workout (distance, weight, time) and try to do better next time. Thus, competing against myself.

I am very excited about this new take I have on both fitness and competition. I plan to dedicate future blog posts to my progress and experiences.

New perspective on goal setting

April 17, 2013

I read this on twitter the other day: You have not chosen an easy goal, so do not expect an easy path to achievement. (Chris Hogan)

Reading this gave me a new perspective on how I think about my journey from present state to celebrating my next achieved goal. As I think about my goals, I do not classify them as easy. In spite of that, in the past I expected the steps towards my goals to come naturally and easily. Why did I think that way? I don’t know that answering that will be beneficial so we’ll focus on my new way of thinking.

Art has never been a strength for me, but I took a stab at sketching out my new way of thinking about goal-setting.

To summarize:
1) I set fewer goals.
2) I take time to celebrate milestones along the way.
3) I expect roadblocks and distractions.
4) I admit that I’ll need outside help.
5) I don’t allow myself to get bummed out when things don’t go as I plan.

I am expecting this way of thinking to lead me to a higher success rate of goals achieved versus goals set.

Have you ever expected the path towards achieving your goals to be easy? What do you think now after reading this post? Please share your thoughts in a comment.