Category Archives: Family

What’s in My Hospital Bag? From a Mom of 3

Here we go again. We’re heading to the hospital because it’s time to meet baby #3. But this time I didn’t pack anything extra and only what I know I’ll need or want. So, what should you pack for the hospital for labor and delivery? Here’s what’s in my hospital bag and what’s not!

What's in My Hospital Bag? From a Mom of 3 | #baby #hospitalbag #babyontheway

For Mom

Loose PJ’s

While this isn’t an absolute must-have item, it’s one you’ll definitely want. If delivering naturally, you’ll be in the hospital for at least 2 days. And if delivering via c-section, you could be in the hospital for up to 3 days. While you can wear a hospital gown during the whole stay (I did this with my first 2 babies), you aren’t going to want to.

Yea, it’s okay for the actual labor and delivery, but after that you want to be comfortable and feel as much like yourself as possible, so pack some loose PJ’s. It doesn’t matter if it’s a gown or pajama set, as long as it’s loose you’ll feel much more comfortable and more like yourself in your PJ’s than a hospital gown. I opted for one of my favorite night gowns that is loose fitting and has easy access for nursing.

Toiletries

The hospital typically provides toiletries for mom, but they aren’t of the greatest quality. I packed travel size body wash, shampoo, conditioner (the hospital didn’t provide conditioner and my hair is near impossible to brush without it so thank goodness I brought some), and brought my toothbrush and toothpaste from home. And don’t forget a brush and hair ties. After pushing out a baby, my hair is the least of my worries and I just want it out of the way. Oh, and deodorant too.

What's in My Hospital Bag? From a Mom of 3 | #baby #hospitalbag #babyontheway

Phone & Charger

Obviously, you’re going to want to tell the world (or at least the important people in your life) that your new bundle of joy has arrived. Be it phone calls, texts, social media posts, or the hundreds of photos you take, it’s only a matter of time before your phone dies. As it is, you probably never leave home without your phone anyways so that’s not really to worry about, but don’t accidentally leave the charger behind. I think I checked about 3 times before leaving home to make sure I had my phone charger.

For Baby

Clothes to Wear Home

This has always been my favorite thing to pack in my hospital bag. Baby’s first outfit! I went through and separated baby’s clothes by size, and then picked my absolute favorite newborn sized outfit (that also fit with the current weather).

What's in My Hospital Bag? From a Mom of 3 | #baby #hospitalbag #babyontheway

Blanket for Baby

When baby #3 was born, the weather that week had been up and down. It was hot one day and cold the next, so I wasn’t sure what the weather would be like when we were discharged. I decided to pack a blanket for baby just in case it was cold outside and he needed some warmth.

On the same topic, you don’t have to keep your baby swaddled in the hospital blankets. You can bring your own and swaddle baby in his own blankets. I didn’t do this, but if it’s something you would prefer, by all means do it.

That’s it! I wasn’t weighing down my hospital bag with unnecessary stuff this time. Besides, I knew the hospital would be sending me home with diapers and possibly other baby supplies (formula, pacifiers, circumcision supplies) and supplies to care for myself post-delivery, and I would need room to carry it all. But this doens’t mean there aren’t other things you can take. I just personally didn’t find them necessary.


Optional Items

Change of Clothes for Mom

Like PJ’s this isn’t an absolute must because when discharged you can easily wear home the same thing you were wearing when you arrived at the hospital. That being said, I was induced so everything was planned. If you spontaneously go into labor, you may not necessarily be wearing the most comfortable clothes or even clean ones at that. You’re not going to want to wear those same clothes home, so having a loose fitting change of clothes in your hospital bag will be helpful in this instance.

Snacks

The hospital will provide you with 3 meals a day after the baby is born (you can’t eat while in labor), but as you probably know, hospital food isn’t that great. And even if you do eat it, you’ll probably still want some snacks in between. There’s no reason you can’t pack some snacks and munch on them between meals.

What's in My Hospital Bag? From a Mom of 3 | #baby #hospitalbag #babyontheway


Do Not Take These Items

Computer

You will not have time to be on your computer! While in labor you’re going to either be focused on breathing and getting through the pain, relaxing and sleeping before baby comes (thank goodness for epidurals), or will be too nervous to focus on anything else. And once baby arrives he’s going to need a lot of attention and you’ll be sleeping whenever you can. You will not have time to be on your computer so leave it at home.

Baby Supplies

While in the hospital, you will be supplied with everything you’ll need for baby – diapers, wipes, formula, etc., and can even take home the extras. There’s no need to bring any of that from home. In fact, I suggest you take home as many baby supplies as you can from the hospital. Don’t be afraid to ask the nurse for extra diapers or formula. Most of the time they’ll say yes and the worst they can say is no.

Breast Pump

Even if you plan to be a pumping mom, there’s no need to bring a breast pump to the hospital. If you want to pump, the hospital will have a pump on hand for you to use (just ask) and will also store the milk in a fridge until you need it.

What are your must-have hospital bag items?

*Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

When Reading Practice Becomes Sibling Bonding Time

When you have one kid who loves to be read to and one kid who’s learning to read, reading practice becomes a great time for sibling bonding. Even more so when the book being read is all about groups or families of animals. When Fur and Feather Get Together is the newest addition to my kids’ home library and it’s one I love seeing my son read because it teaches how beautiful family really is. I’d say that’s a pretty great way for my kids to bond.

When Reading Practice Becomes Sibling Bonding Time | #reading #WhenFurandFeatherGetTogether #kidbooks

~I received a sample to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

When Fur and Feather Get Together by David Margrave is a fun rhyming book that teaches kids what groups of animals are called when they get together. For example, a group of fish is called a school. A group of rhinos is called a crash. A group of geese is called a gaggle. But the overall takeaway is that no matter what group you’re a part of, family is everything and each family is beautiful in its own rights.

The book gives readers the chance to teach their kids many things, like

  • Animals have families too, and have fun spending time and playing with them.
  • Learning doesn’t have to be serious – it can be silly too.
  • Although people and animals may be different from each other, they also have many things in common.
  • How ideas and stories are brought to life through art and creativity.
  • Why it’s so important to build memories through spending time with family and learning from one another.

This last point is exactly what I see when my son reads to his sister. Memories for us all and they’re both learning from each other. He’s getting in his reading practice and sounding out new words, while she listens to a fun rhyming story and starts learning from him. It makes my heart melt.

Do your kids love reading together?

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*I received a sample to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

The Truth About Death Bills of the Stay-at-Home Mom

While no one likes to think about dying, have you considered what type of financial strain you may be leaving your family if you were to die today? This isn’t something I’d ever thought of, especially considering I’m a stay-at-home mom, but after some research I discovered it’s something I really NEED to consider. And the more I think about it, the more appealing a life insurance plan becomes. The truth about death bills of the stay-at-home mom is eye opening.

The Truth About Death Bills of the Stay-at-Home Mom | #deathbills #lifeinsurance #JennyLife #ad

~This is a sponsored post with Jenny Life Insurance and BraVoMark. All opinions are mine.~

Let me hit with you a shocking fact – Americans die with an average debt of $62,000 (source). Thinking about your own debt, do you meet this average? Is your debt less than this? Or is your debt more than this? For me personally, I have $90,000+ in school loan debt alone and not all education loans are discharged when one dies. That doesn’t even take into consideration anything else and this is one scenario where I don’t particularly strive to be above average.

Even as a stay-at-home mom with no tangible income stream, I still have my own debt and would be costing my family a lot if I were to pass away today, or even in the next several years for that matter. I’d be leaving behind not only my school loan debt, but my credit card debt as well.

On top of that, the actual cost of a funeral continues to rise and as of 2017 the median cost was $7,360 (source). My family doesn’t even have that much in savings right now, so what would happen to me if I did die today?

The Truth About Death Bills of the Stay-at-Home Mom | #deathbills #lifeinsurance #JennyLife #ad

And it doesn’t stop there. I have three small children that I care for day in and day out. I AM a stay-at-home mom after all. If I were taken out of the picture, my boyfriend would most certainly incur childcare costs. Want to know how much that is? In my state (NJ), the average cost of a childcare center is more than $22,000 (source) and I have 2 kids who would require childcare during the day! My oldest is in school, but even for an after school program it would cost more than $10,000 per year. Add it all up and my family would spend $54,000 annually in childcare alone. That’s an entire person’s income and THIS is the prime reason I’m a stay-at-home mom in the first place.

Add to all of this a stay-at-home mom’s value to the family in terms of cooking, housekeeping, chauffeuring,  doctoring, teaching, etc. I’m already upwards of $250,000.

So let me ask you, stay-at-home mom, still don’t think you need a life insurance policy? A life insurance plan will help cover the cost of your debt, help cover the cost of a funeral, and help cover the cost of childcare.

The Truth About Death Bills of the Stay-at-Home Mom | #deathbills #lifeinsurance #JennyLife #ad

Life insurance goes even further than that and will help cover the cost of the your children’s education. I’ve already told you my own school loan debt exceeds $90,000 for a master’s degree and just like everything else, the cost of college is continuously on the rise. By the time my kids are old enough for college, they’ll incur costs much higher than mine were. Why not leave your children some financial assistance to put towards an education?

If you don’t have a life insurance policy, there’s no better time than now to get one and Jenny Life Insurance makes it easy. There’s even an app for simple applying! Don’t wait until it’s too late.

How much financial debt would you be leaving your family if you were to die today?

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*This is a sponsored post with Jenny Life Insurance and BraVoMark. As always, opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Mom is the Queen This Mother’s Day at Medieval Times + Giveaway

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and this year it’s never been easier to make mom feel like a queen. Just head to Medieval Times and enjoy a fun-filled evening of medieval tournament and a feast fit for any queen. Oh, did I mention mom is free?!

Mom is the Queen This Mother's Day at Medieval Times | #MothersDay #MedievalTimes #giveaway

My family absolutely loves when we go to Medieval Times, me included. From our first family visit, to our most recent visit where we got to see the new queen (#AllHailtheQueen), the entertainment and feast never let’s us down. What has me excited about our upcoming trip is that this time I get to feel like a queen.

For all shows between May 1st and May 13th (Lyndhurst, NJ Castle), mom is free when accompanied by one full-paid adult admission (promo code MOM18). And if you want to make the evening even more special for mom, when you upgrade to the Mother’s Day Package (extra $20) she’ll get her very own queen sash, framed photo, and souvenir glass of champagne or mimosa. What a great way to celebrate mom!

To sweeten the deal, I even have a chance for you to win 2 tickets to the Lyndhurst, NJ Castle (for use at a later date). Simply enter using the giveaway form below!

How are you celebrating mom this Mother’s Day?

Connect with : Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


~GIVEAWAY~

Enter to win 2 tickets to Medieval Times Lyndhurst, NJ! | #MothersDay #MedievalTimes #giveaway

One lucky winner will receive 2 tickets to enjoy the new Medieval Times show at the Lyndhurst Castle in NJ!

By entering the giveaway you are opting in to occasional emails from Medieval Times with exclusive discount codes and events. This giveaway is open to US Residents, ages 18+ and ends on May 13, 2018 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

 

 

*This is not a sponsored post. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Photo a Day: Weeks 47, 48, 49

Photo a Day: Weeks 47, 48, 49 | #photoadayforayear #photoaday

Week 47

Photo a Day: Weeks 47, 48, 49 | #photoadayforayear #photoaday
This week it finally started to feel a little like spring, so one day after picking my son up from school we went to the ice cream shop (luckily it’s open again from the winter months). He also attended a soccer parade, marking the start of the new soccer season (it was freezing out that day). And I’d say the silliest thing I saw all week was my daughter eating her Apple Jacks right off the table top like an animal. Kids are wild, what can I say?

Week 48

Photo a Day: Weeks 47, 48, 49 | #photoadayforayear #photoaday
This week we actually got 2 whole days of spring weather before it turned cold again. That meant washing the car one day and just enjoying some time outside on the other. My son also got a cool new lunch box and look at that wild thing he drew at school. I have no idea what it is, but it’s a big step up from his usual.

Week 49

Photo a Day: Weeks 47, 48, 49 | #photoadayforayear #photoaday
Woohoo! First soccer practice of the new season! My son could not have been more excited. There was also a lot of coloring happening this week and of course, all the time I spend with my daughter resulted in some pretty funny shots.

Did you miss a previous week? Check them out here!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Weeks 14 & 15 | Weeks 16 & 17 | Weeks 18 & 19 | Weeks 20 & 21 | Weeks 22 & 23 | Weeks 24 & 25 | Weeks 26 & 27 | Weeks 28 & 29 | Weeks 30, 31, 32 | Weeks 33 & 34 | Weeks 35 & 36 | Weeks 37 & 38 | Weeks 39 & 40 | Weeks 41, 42, 43 | Weeks 44, 45, 46

*Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Life Insurance – There’s an App for That

Moms, I have a very serious question for you.

Do you have life insurance?

For many moms, me included, the answer is no. The answer could be no for many reasons – it’s just not something you’ve thought about, maybe you’re a stay at home mom with no income and don’t feel like it’s necessary, applying for life insurance is time consuming, etc. It’s time to put all of that aside and get the life insurance you and your family deserves. It is something you need to think about, even if you’re a stay at home mom, and with Jenny Life Insurance the process is quick and easy.

Life Insurance - There's an App for That | #JennyLife #ad #lifeinsurance

~This is a sponsored post with Jenny Life Insurance and BraVoMark. All opinions are mine.~

Let’s first start by establishing a few things. Every parent needs to think about getting life insurance. If something were to happen to you, what all would you be leaving behind for your spouse and/or kids to take care of? Why wouldn’t you want to leave your family financially stable?

Stay at home moms, that goes for you too. Even if you don’t have an income stream, you are worth A LOT. According to Salary.com stay at home moms work close to 95 hours per week and are worth an annual salary of $113,000 (show me the money!). Besides, I’m pretty sure my boyfriend wouldn’t know what to do if I left him with 3 kids and all my debt.

And while the typical life insurance application process can be a daunting one – shopping around for quotes, completing an application, getting a medical exam and blood work, waiting weeks for the approval process, and then finally getting an answer, maybe even an unfavorable one – it  doesn’t have to be that way. Skip the weeks and months of waiting, and even the medical exam. Because let’s be real, those of us with small kids don’t have the time or patience to haul them to our own doctor’s appointment. How do you avoid all of this? With Jenny Life Insurance.

 

Jenny Life has modernized the life insurance buying process by allowing us busy moms to apply right through the Jenny Life mobile app (iOS | Android). Yeap, there’s an app for that. And guess what? There’s no medical exam and no long wait times for an answer. Just download the app, complete the application, and get an answer in about 3 minutes. Now that, I have time for.

While Jenny Life isn’t just for moms, it was made with moms in mind. Founders, Lief and Chirag, saw firsthand just how daunting the life insurance buying process was for their wives and knew it was time for a change. The Jenny Life mobile app is that change.

Moms can’t live carefree. Your whole life is built around caring. We’re making it easier for you to care.  —Chirag, Founder

Fellow moms, do you currently have life insurance?

Connect with : Website | iOS App | Android App | Facebook | Twitter

*This is a sponsored post with Jenny Life Insurance and BraVoMark. As always, opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

How to Get a Free Baby Box

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from having kids, it’s that they are expensive. We want our kids to have the best gear and anything they could want or need, but the reality is, they don’t need it all. One of the things on most parents’ baby registries is a crib or bassinet. That’s fine. In fact, we are still using the convertible crib we got when my first was born. My daughter is currently using it as a toddler bed. But a crib isn’t needed right away and many times can be dangerous for newborns and infants. So as a soon to be three time mom, my advice is to start with a baby box. Save the crib expense for later and focus on other things. Besides, many of you can get a baby box for free and I’m going to tell you how!

How to Get a Free Baby Box | #free #babybox #TheBabyBoxCo

What is a baby box?

To my knowledge baby boxes are a fairly new concept to the U.S., but have been around for a long time in other countries, especially Finland. It’s literally a cardboard box for baby to safely sleep in. It comes with a firm, box fitted mattress and a sheet for the mattress.

How to Get a Free Baby Box | #free #babybox #TheBabyBoxCo

How to Get a Free Baby Box | #free #babybox #TheBabyBoxCo

I know it sounds weird to have your baby sleeping in a box, but other countries have found a reduced number of infant deaths from using them. Some reasons for reduced deaths include things like:

  • Not placing blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals in the box with baby.
  • Firm mattress eliminates risk of suffocation.
  • It’s portable and can easily be moved from room to room (don’t move it with baby in it), which makes parents less likely to place baby wherever is convenient.
  • Just a reminder – no matter what baby is sleeping in/on, he should always be sleeping on his back.

How to Get a Free Baby Box:

People living in certain states have the ability to get a baby box for free from The Baby Box Co. All you have to do is “attend” Baby Box University. Don’t worry, it’s literally just watching about 20 minutes worth of online videos.

Even as a third time mom, I found the various videos to be great reminders. Of course, I was already aware of most of the info, but it was nice to have a refresher because after having your first child you get comfortable, and know what to expect and what works for you. Quite frankly that can sometimes put your child in an unknown danger. And as a first time parent, the info in the videos is even better.

Once you’ve completed Baby Box University, simply place your order. You’ll be given options in your area to pick up the baby box for free from places like local libraries, or for $3 you can have the box delivered. I paid the $3 and just had mine delivered. So for free (or even $3 for convenience) your baby can have a safe and compact place to sleep.

To find out if your state or facility qualifies visit The Baby Box Co.

Has your child ever slept in a baby box?

*This is not a sponsored post and Making Time is in no way affiliated with The Baby Box Co. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

People Footwear Giveaway

If your kids grow as fast as mine do, they are probably in need of some new shoes. I swear we just bought our son a new pair within the last two months and he already needs a bigger size. If you’re in the same boat, this giveaway is perfect for you! One lucky winner will get a kid’s pair of shoes AND an adult pair of shoes from People Footwear (because us adults like new stuff too).


April 7-April 21, 2018

US & Canada

Enter for your chance to win

(1) Pair of People Footwear Kids Shoes!

AND

(1) Pair of People Footwear Adult Shoes!

A retail value of over $100!

 

Sponsored by:

People Footwear

——————————————-

Hosted by:

MamatheFox

Co-Hosted by:

Miki’s Hope

*Making Time is in no way responsible for giveaway management or prize fulfillment. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Photo a Day: Weeks 44, 45, 46

Photo a Day: Weeks 44, 45, 46 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear

Week 44

Photo a Day: Weeks 44, 45, 46 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
This week had some pretty fun moments. Us girls painted our toe nails, my son took his first subway ride in the city, and the kids played in the water outside, or at least Sadee Cakes got her “feet wet.” She also fell asleep in a pretty awkward position on the chair. She was kind of upside down, but looked comfortable so I just left her. The kids also got new coloring books and I found some fun black/white photos in my phone that the kids must have taken. In one my son is showing off his stick, which now resides in his room. It has become one of his favorite play things.

Week 45

Photo a Day: Weeks 44, 45, 46 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
Sadee Cakes is all over my photo roll this week, well, because we spend a lot of time together since brother is in school. I did sneak him in once with his after school snow balls. When is this snow going to stop? As for the other kiddo, she had a lot of fun this week. We (I) practiced french braiding her hair and I’d say it’s getting better, but I still need some practice. She pulled out the old classic tape recorder toy and hit a few notes, and for whatever reason decided to ride her rocking tiger with her feet in the air. Whatever, she was having fun. She even got all the goodies at the doctor’s office even though I was the sick patient. Kids get it all.

Week 46

Photo a Day: Weeks 44, 45, 46 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
This week was my son’s spring break from school and quite frankly, I never had a spring break that I couldn’t really go outside because of the weather. One day it was nice enough to go to the park, so we jumped at the chance, and another day we just went for a short walk, but aside from that we’ve been stuck inside. Not to mention I’m still sick. So, we’ve been learning to clean. The kids helped mop the floor and my son helped wipe down the inside of the fridge. They also enjoyed some Easter candy and on one of the rainy days, Sadee Cakes brought the rainy fun indoors, using a large umbrella as a sort of tent/shelter to play in. I don’t know what I’d do without these kids.

Did you miss a previous week? Check them out here!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Weeks 14 & 15 | Weeks 16 & 17 | Weeks 18 & 19 | Weeks 20 & 21 | Weeks 22 & 23 | Weeks 24 & 25 | Weeks 26 & 27 | Weeks 28 & 29 | Weeks 30, 31, 32 | Weeks 33 & 34 | Weeks 35 & 36 | Weeks 37 & 38 | Weeks 39 & 40 | Weeks 41, 42, 43

*Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Family Stories Makes World Travel Possible and Personalized for Kids

I have always been a fan of travel and one day hope to travel the world. I wish the same for my kids, too. New people, new experiences, new food, new sights, traveling is a true adventure. Luckily for my daughter, she gets to travel the world now with her new personalized adventure book from Family Stories.

Family Stories Makes World Travel Possible and Personalized for Kids | #FamilyStories #kidsbook #personalization #giftidea

~I received a sample to help facilitate this post. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

Do you have a travel bucket list? Maybe you’d like to visit Peru, or Kenya, or how about somewhere a bit more local, like New York? Australia is on the top of my list! My daughter recently got the opportunity to travel to all of these places, plus some, with her personalized adventure book from Family Stories.

Family Stories Makes World Travel Possible and Personalized for Kids | #FamilyStories #kidsbook #personalization #giftidea

Country after country, her character travels all over the world in just a single day, with a little birthday magic of course. It was quite the adventure – visiting new lands, learning a little about each place, and meeting new friends. And because it’s all in a book, she can travel back anytime she wants.

Did you notice I mentioned her character? It’s true! My daughter can look through her book, “Sadee Travels Around the World,” and actually see herself traveling to all of these places. The personalization of this book isn’t just adding my daughter’s name to the story, but when I ordered it, I was able to create a little Sadee character that looks just like her (hair style and color, eyes, nose, skin color, clothing). It’s the cutest thing to see her point herself out while we read the book. “My Sadee!,” she says.

Family Stories Makes World Travel Possible and Personalized for Kids | #FamilyStories #kidsbook #personalization #giftidea

Family Stories Makes World Travel Possible and Personalized for Kids | #FamilyStories #kidsbook #personalization #giftidea

Family Stories Makes World Travel Possible and Personalized for Kids | #FamilyStories #kidsbook #personalization #giftidea

And the personalization doesn’t stop there. Mommy and Daddy get characters too. She knew right away who we were when we read the book the first time. One of the things I like about the personalization of this particular book is that if you have a family with two moms or two dads, that can be done too.

After the personalizing was completed, I got to preview the graphics exactly as they would look in the final print, right down to every last page. It is one of the cutest things I’ve seen and my daughter really seems to enjoy seeing and reading about herself in a book. I can’t wait to see if Family Stories will come up with other story lines!

Family Stories Makes World Travel Possible and Personalized for Kids | #FamilyStories #kidsbook #personalization #giftidea

Do your kids have any personalized books?

Connect with : Shop ($34.99 + free shipping) | Facebook

* I received a sample to help facilitate this post. As always, opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.