Category Archives: Lifestyle

It’s Okay to Fail as Long as You Try, a Lesson From Sophie the Skunk

With kids heading back to school and fall sports programs starting back up, it’s important we keep our kids in tune with what matters. One of the most important lessons, and maybe THE most important life lesson, we have been trying to ingrain in our oldest son, is that it’s okay to fail as long as he tries. You never know, just like Sophie the Skunk Who Sometimes Stunk, failing at one thing could mean finding success in another.

It's Okay to Fail as Long as You Try | #SophietheSkunk #youhavetotry #itsokaytofail

~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, at no additional cost to you. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

My oldest son is just 6 years old, but for the past few years we’ve tried to get him to understand that’s it’s okay to fail. As adults, we know that failing is a part of life and if we don’t fail sometimes, we aren’t learning. Every day is an opportunity to learn!

Since he’s a young kid, it’s natural to feel like failing just isn’t an option. In his eyes, it’s win and succeed, or nothing. But it’s important to us, and we tell him all the time, it’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to lose. As long as you try. We’re trying to build his confidence and teach him to never give up.

It's Okay to Fail as Long as You Try | #SophietheSkunk #youhavetotry #itsokaytofail

So when I got the chance to get a copy of Sophie the Skunk Who Sometimes Stunk, I knew it would be the perfect book for him. The story of Sophie reminds kids that it’s okay to not always be the best at something. Like Sophie, kids can give new hobbies their best effort and trust that even if they don’t always make the team or get a part in the cast, it is better to try and fail, than to never try at all. Sophie the Skunk Who Sometimes Stunk is one of the most relatable books my son could own right now.

Sophie loves to sing and dance, but she doesn’t make the cut for the Talent Show. That doesn’t stop Sophie from continuing to sing and dance at home, though. It’s something she loves to do and one failure isn’t going to stop her. Maybe singing and dancing in front of an audience just isn’t for her. So she tries her hand at sports and guess what – she’s great at them! Failing at one thing could mean finding success in another.

Author, Kathryn Evans, says:

My goal is to show kids that sometimes it’s a good thing to not be the best at something. You might discover a new talent you may have not noticed before.

Had Sophie not failed at getting a part in the Talent Show, she never would have known she was so great at sports.

I sat down a few days ago and read Sophie the Skunk Who Sometimes Stunk, with my son. As we were reading I tried to explain each page so he’d really understand the lesson of the story, and tried to correlate it with activities he’s going through now so he’d understand better.

It's Okay to Fail as Long as You Try | #SophietheSkunk #youhavetotry #itsokaytofail

One thing that stood out to me, was that Sophie wasn’t the best at reading. But she read extra and more than was expected, and as a result she received a reading award at the end of the year. All because she kept trying and wouldn’t let herself give up. My son learned a lot of reading skills in kindergarten, but still has doubts about his abilities. We know that if he tries, his reading skills will shine. It was a perfect place in Sophie’s story to remind him that just like we tell him all the time, you just have to try.

So as your kids head back to school or start a new extracurricular activity, don’t forget that it’s okay to let them fail or not be good at something. It’s okay to not understand a math problem. It’s okay not to know how to draw a portrait. It’s okay to miss that soccer goal. Just encourage them to continue trying and do their best. And if they want to try something different, there’s nothing wrong with that either. They may find exactly what they’re amazing at and shine brighter than ever.

It’s okay to fail as long as you try.

Do your kids struggle with self-confidence and persistence?

Connect with Sophie the Skunk Who Sometimes Stunk: Website | Purchase

*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 at no additional cost to you. 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.

SomaSole Is Helping Me Get My Body Back {Giveaway}

Now that I’m done having kids, it’s time to take my body back. Since starting to grow our family, I’ve put on 40-50 pounds. And I know it’s not just the fact that I’ve carried 3 kids, but being a stay-at-home mom for the last 5 years has played a role too. I may be chasing kids all day, but there’s very little time to get a dedicated workout in. Who has time for the gym? I certainly don’t. And busy days usually mean quick and unhealthy meals. It’s time to take control and SomaSole™ is helping me do it.

SomaSole Is Helping Me Get My Body Back | #SomaSole #FinesseFitness

~I received a sample to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

Being a stay-at-home mom means kids are in my face ALL day. There’s no time for me to have a little peace and quiet, or simply time for myself, but with the help of SomaSole I can make time.

SomaSole, from Finesse Fitness, offers a portable resistance training workout. It comes with its own carrying bag, making portability as easy as ever. Take it to the park, the gym, while traveling, or even to the backyard, which is what I do. When the kids want to spend some time at their backyard “park,” it gives me the opportunity to make time for myself. I take my SomaSole outside and in between playing with them, get a workout in.

My recipe for a quick workout includes a beautiful day, happy kids, water, and of course, SomaSole! Oh, and some good ‘ol A/C for afterward because goodness gracious it is HOT outside.

SomaSole Is Helping Me Get My Body Back | #SomaSole #FinesseFitness

SomaSole Features:

  • The thickness, width, and anti-snap exterior of the Link (resistance bands) make them safe on the skin. So say goodbye to rubbery resistance bands that pinch then skin when it rubs.
  • The Link attaches to carabiner anchor points on your feet, eliminating the fear of resistance bands slipping out from under your feet.
  • Offers a combination of stretching, strength building, and dynamic exercises for a full gym-style resistance training.
  • Includes a variety of exercise cards for quick reference.
  • Comes with carrying bag for easy portability.

Finesse Fitness has also introduced its newest in the line of portable full-body workouts. Right now on Kickstarter, Finesse Fitness has reached its goal of $30,000 for its portable home gym bundles.

Built to fit anyone’s lifestyle or fitness level (even a stay-at-home mom’s), the bundles consist of meticulously designed equipment created with high-quality and durable materials, including the full SomaSole set.  To provide a full workout experience, Finesse Fitness bundles come with a mobile app platform where users can download or stream workouts, connect with their trainer, plan workouts, and give and receive support from the community.

There’s still time to get in on the Kickstarter campaign and lock in a super early bird special of $149, plus 3, 30 minute shoot-around sessions with NBA legend Metta World Peace!

SomaSole Is Helping Me Get My Body Back | #SomaSole #FinesseFitness

Backpack:

  • SomaSole™ Foot Harnesses (2)
  • Link™ Resistance Bands (2 SHORT, 1 LONG)
  • FreeWheel™ Instability Sliders (1)
  • FitStrap™ Bodyweight Trainers (2)
  • Adjustable Handles (2)
  • Small Door Anchor (1)
  • Trigger-Point Ball (1)

Duffel:

  • SomaSole™Foot Harnesses (2)
  • Link™ Resistance Bands (2 SHORT, 1 LONG)
  • Stem™ Dynamic Workout Bar (1)
  • FreeWheel™ Instability Sliders (2)
  • FitStrap™ Bodyweight Trainers (2)
  • Adjustable Handles (2)
  • Full-Door Anchor (2)
  • Small Door Anchor (1)
  • Foam Roller (1)
  • Trigger-Point Ball (1)

While you join the Kickstarter campaign and wait for those shoot-around sessions with Metta World Peace, I have your chance to win a SomaSole set! Enter using the giveaway form below.

Where will you take SomaSole?

Connect with : Kickstarter | Facebook


~GIVEAWAY~

SomaSole Is Helping Me Get My Body Back | #SomaSole #FinesseFitness

One lucky winner will receive a SomaSole set from Finesse Fitness!

This giveaway is open to residents of the US, ages 18+ and ends on August 2, 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.

 

 

*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 at no additional cost to you. 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 I Survived Flying Alone with 3 Small Kids

Just over a week ago my family moved from NJ back to FL. Things were a little more expensive this time moving to FL versus 2 years ago when we moved to NJ, so we opted to go the rental truck route and drive it down. There was no way we were going to make such a long road trip with 3 kids, especially the 2 month old, and keep our sanity at the same time. So daddy drove the truck down with a friend and I flew with the kids – All. By. Myself. Turns out, it actually wasn’t as challenging as I thought it would be, but I was also prepared. Here’s how I survived flying alone with 3 small kids.

How I Survived Flying Alone with 3 Small Kids | #flyingalonewithkids #flyingwithkids

~This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase, at no additional cost to you.~

The flight from NJ to FL was to last around 3 hours. From gate to gate it was a little longer than that, but we were only in the air for about 2.5 hours, which isn’t that bad. I knew the kids would be pretty occupied while walking through the airport, so it was just the actual sitting time – waiting to board and the actual plane ride – that I needed to keep them busy.

As for the baby, I knew as long as he was fed and content that he’d be fine. What I worried about with him, though, was getting through the airport and security with all 3 kids, and then how to keep myself comfortable while on the plane since I was holding him as a lap infant. Three plus continuous hours is a long to time hold a baby, so I had to think about how I could keep the both of us comfortable.

Here’s everything I did to manage it all and ease my concerns!

Limit Carry-Ons

One of the first things I did was plan the number of carry-ons we were going to have. Whether that meant checking a bag or limiting what we actually took with us, I wasn’t going to stress myself more than I had to by having multiple carry-ons. Between the 4 of us, we had just 2 carry-ons and didn’t even check a bag, which saved time.

My son carried his backpack and I carried a bag that had enough clothes for us all for just a couple of days. Daddy would be there in time for clean clothes or we could wash what we had with us if we needed to. The only other thing I needed was baby supplies (diapers, wipes, supplemental formula, burp cloth). I knew I could buy more once we got there, so I only carried enough to get the baby through a day or so.

With just 2 carry-ons, there was absolutely no stress ensuring we had all our bags with us.

Stroller

To get through the airport fairly hands-free with all the kids I opted to check my Doona car seat/stroller at the gate. Since the wheels literally fold up under the car seat, I was able to get my son out of it at the security check and with the help of a fellow traveler behind me (because I was holding the baby at this point), we folded the wheels up and put the car seat on the belt. Once through security I was able to release the wheels and put my son back in the stroller without a hitch. Getting through security was a big relief.

 

 


Not only did the Doona help me through the airport, but because it can be used without a car base, it also helped with travel after the flight. I had originally planned on just traveling with our Lillebaby carrier, but then I started thinking about how we’d get around once we arrived. If I didn’t take a car seat with us, the baby would have no seat for the car. So again, Doona to the rescue!

Baby Carrier

Even though I took the stroller, to keep me and baby comfortable during the flight, I decided to use a sling carrier. I actually put him in the carrier before we boarded the plane and prepared the Doona for gate check. With baby already in the carrier, once we got to the plane my hands were free to fold the wheels under the car seat and give it to the staff. Then we continued right onto the plane and to our seats. I was able to feed my son while he was in the carrier and he rested well in it too. I did have to take him out for takeoff and landing (per the flight attendant), but aside from that he was in his sling during the flight.

How I Survived Flying Alone with 3 Small Kids | #flyingalonewithkids #flyingwithkids

You may be wondering why I didn’t use my Lillebaby carrier since I recently raved all about it. Since I decided to travel with the Doona, I wanted a carrier that fit in my carry-on without taking up too much room. That’s exactly what my sling offered. If I hadn’t been traveling with the Doona, I definitely would have opted for our Lillebaby.

Seat Arrangement

We had 3 seats and as previously mentioned, the baby was riding along in my lap. I decided it would probably be best for me to sit in between the 2 older kids because they have their moments. I was not about to referee unnecessary kiddie arguments during the flight.

How I Survived Flying Alone with 3 Small Kids | #flyingalonewithkids #flyingwithkids

How I Survived Flying Alone with 3 Small Kids | #flyingalonewithkids #flyingwithkids

From there I felt better having my older son in the aisle and my toddler by the window. I knew she’d be a wiggle worm, want to stand, do this and do that, and if she were by the window I could at least keep her contained and not running up/down the aisle. This seat arrangement worked perfectly for us!

Tablets

The night before we were to leave, I charged the older kids’ LeapFrog tablets and I even bought them 2 new games, figuring something new would keep their attention longer. And it did. While waiting to board and then on the plane, one kid was on the LeapFrog Epic and the other was on the LeapFrog Platinum.

How I Survived Flying Alone with 3 Small Kids | #flyingalonewithkids #flyingwithkids

How I Survived Flying Alone with 3 Small Kids | #flyingalonewithkids #flyingwithkids

Blankets/Jackets

Having flown before, I knew it gets pretty cold on the plane. So in my son’s carry-on backpack not only was he carrying their tablets, but he also had a jacket for each of them and a small blanket for their legs just in case. It just so happened that my son was pretty exhausted (our flight left around 5 pm and we didn’t sleep much the night before) so shortly after takeoff he fell asleep.  He slept pretty much the whole flight and I actually had to wake him up just before we landed. He didn’t even wake up for the drinks and snacks.

How I Survived Flying Alone with 3 Small Kids | #flyingalonewithkids #flyingwithkids

Snacks

Did you know when traveling with small kids you can bring your own drinks and snacks from home? We didn’t have any snacks left at home since we were trying to eat everything before moving, but I did have some small cans of apple juice. And you better believe I packed them in my carry-on. We then bought some snacks before boarding.

I was a little concerned about giving my kids too much to drink because that means more potty breaks. Being by myself, I’d have to take all 3 kids to the plane bathroom if someone needed to go, and just thinking about that is too much. I made sure everyone went, or tried to go, before boarding, just to be on the safe side. Luckily, my older son slept most of the flight and the toddler was pretty occupied with her tablet, watching the TV on the plane, and looking out the window. We made it through the whole flight without needing a potty break. Phew!

That’s it! I can’t think of anything else I did to prepare for what I thought was going to be a grueling flight alone with 3 small kids. This was my infant son’s first plane ride and he did great. The other 2 kids did great, too. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience and think my preparation went a long way.

Have you ever flown alone with multiple kids?

*This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase, at no additional cost to you. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Alex & Me Blu-ray Giveaway #AlexandMe

As the FIFA Men’s World Cup continues, there’s no better way to keep the soccer fun going after the games than watching the new movie,  Alex & Me, starring Olympic Gold Medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, Alex Morgan. Don’t have a copy of your own? No worries because I’ve got your chance to win a copy on Blu-ray!

Alex & Me Blu-ray Giveaway | #AlexandMe #AlexMorgan #giveaway

~I received a free copy of Alex & Me on Blu-ray, compliments of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, to help facilitate this post. As always, my opinions are still 100% my own.~

If you’re a soccer fan, you probably already know all about Alex Morgan. She’s one of the top soccer players on the planet and I had the chance to see her play a few months ago in the She Believes Cup. In her new movie, Alex & Me, she’s helping one soccer hopeful accomplish her goals (no pun intended).

Alex & Me Blu-ray Giveaway | #AlexandMe #AlexMorgan #giveaway

Teenager, Reagan Willis, has one dream – to play soccer like her hero, Alex Morgan. Her bedroom is a shrine to all things Alex, including a life-size poster of the Olympic gold medalist. Yet in the Willis house, Reagan lives in the shadow of her prep football superstar brother, Logan. When Reagan fails to make the cut of the premiere local soccer club team and is humiliated by her rival Claire, she’s certain her ship has sailed. But after accidentally hitting her head, Reagan’s poster of Alex Morgan suddenly comes to life and everything changes!

Soccer Emoji Creator

Want to have a little fun before watching the movie? Use the app below to have your kids create their own soccer emoji (scroll down to see mine) and share it with their friends! They’ll be able to pick their player’s look, signature move, and fun tagline. And you can download the Family Goal Chart, having your kids set and mark off goals as accomplished. Setting goals is key to success and the sooner kids learn that, the better they’ll be prepared for life.

 

Here’s my soccer emoji! I’m a bit of a wimp so if I really used my head to hit a soccer ball, I’d probably cry (and have a headache for days). That’s why I chose this position; I can live vicariously through my soccer emoji.

Alex & Me Blu-ray Giveaway | #AlexandMe #AlexMorgan #giveaway

Connect with Alex & Me: GoWatchIt


~GIVEAWAY~

Alex & Me Blu-ray Giveaway | #AlexandMe #AlexMorgan #giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Alex & Me on Blu-ray!

This giveaway is open to residents of the US, ages 18+ and ends on June 30, 2018 at 11:59 pm est. Each household is only eligible to win Alex & Me Blu-ray via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

 

 

*I received a free copy of Alex & Me on Blu-ray, compliments of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, 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.

6 Essentials for a Breastfeeding Mom

Simply put, breastfeeding is hard. I can confidently say it’s probably one of the hardest and most frustrating things I’ve ever done. I had planned to nurse my firstborn, but being as inexperienced as I was, it just didn’t work out. When kiddo number two came along, I was determined to make breastfeeding work and I did; but the first few months were hard. And now with kiddo number three, here I am nursing again. Even after successfully breastfeeding my second child for over a year and a half, getting started with my youngest has still been difficult. The good news is that there are products available that make the process a lot easier and these are my six essentials for a breastfeeding mom.

6 Essentials for a Breastfeeding Mom | #breastfeeding #Lilbuds

~Thank you to Lil’buds for providing a sample for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

1. Nursing Bras

6 Essentials for a Breastfeeding Mom | #breastfeeding #LilbudsThis may be a no-brainer, but breastfeeding moms will literally live in their nursing bras. There are some nights I don’t even bother with pajamas and just wear my nursing bra to bed. This is one essential that doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, either. In fact, the ones I am using now were purchased at Burlington for around $8 each. They’re comfortable, cute, and serve their purpose.

What I look for in a nursing bra are that they’re made of a soft material, are stretchy, supportive, and easy to clip and un-clip with one hand. It’s pretty amazing what a mom can do with one hand.

2. Nursing Pads

6 Essentials for a Breastfeeding Mom | #breastfeeding #LilbudsIt’s only a matter of time before a breastfeeding mom starts to leak. It can happen when you get too full, when you hear your baby crying (or another baby crying), one side can leak while feeding on the other, etc. Leaking happens!

My absolute favorite nursing pads are Bamboobies. What I love most about Bamboobies is that their unique heart shape make them less noticeable in my bra. The round shaped nursing pads, even those with cinched middles, show horribly through my bra and shirt.

3. Nipple Cream

6 Essentials for a Breastfeeding Mom | #breastfeeding #LilbudsThe first week, at least for me, has been the most painful (until teething starts). You and baby are trying to work together to get a proper latch, but sometimes it takes a bit to get it together. An improper latch causes dry, cracked nipples and man do they hurt. Nipple cream will help to heal your nipples and prevent them from becoming dry and cracked in the future. Any brand of nipple cream will do and they should all be safe for baby to put in their mouth.

4. Breast Comfort Packs

6 Essentials for a Breastfeeding Mom | #breastfeeding #LilbudsWhen milk supply starts coming in, your breasts always feel warm; but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use some more warmth or even cool compression to help ease some discomfort. Lil’buds breast comfort packs can help with both!

6 Essentials for a Breastfeeding Mom | #breastfeeding #LilbudsWant to warm your milk ducts to ensure you get the most out of pumping or feeding? Need some relief from clogged ducts, mastitis, engorgement, pumping, etc.? Lil’buds can be heated in the microwave for a warming effect, or chilled in the freezer for a cooling effect. And since they’re filled with flax seed, they’re an all-natural product.

After feeding my little one I love using my Lil’buds out of the freezer. The cooling effect feels nice when my breasts are warm all the time from milk production. Their shape is perfect for slipping right into my nursing bra. No matter where I want coverage or how much coverage, I can use one or both at the same time and they form well to the curves of a breast.

6 Essentials for a Breastfeeding Mom | #breastfeeding #Lilbuds

5. Breast Pump

Even if you are exclusively nursing from the breast, it’s a good idea to have a breast pump around. Pumping can help build up your milk supply initially and help relieve engorgement in between feedings. It can take a few months for your body to equalize to the point it only produces as much as your baby needs, based on how often they come to the breast. But until you get to that point, there’s a chance you may overproduce or even under-produce. Pumping can help with that. And for those moms who overproduce all the time, a breast pump will be your best friend. I can only imagine how much engorgement would be caused when the milk builds up.

I’ve tried fancy and expensive breast pumps in the past, and personally I don’t find them necessary. Right now I’m using the Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump and it’s doing just fine. I like that it’s small in size, so it’s easy to take wherever I need to. It doesn’t need it’s own separate carrying bag, like some others. It may not look like much, but it also has different settings and it doesn’t cost $300+.

6 Essentials for a Breastfeeding Mom | #breastfeeding #Lilbuds

6. Water

Last, but not least, water. Not only does water intake help with milk production, but when I get to feeding or pumping I get a thirst like no other. So I find it helpful to always have water nearby when breastfeeding.

Do you have any other breastfeeding essentials?

Connect with 6 Essentials for a Breastfeeding Mom | #breastfeeding #Lilbuds: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

*I received a sample of Lil’buds to help facilitate this post. This post 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.


Can Playing Fortnite Put You at Risk for Identity Theft?

Anyone with a gamer in the house knows just how hot Fortnite is right now, me included. Both my boyfriend and son are obsessed. But can playing Fortnite put you at risk for identify theft?

Can Playing Fortnite Put You at Risk for Identity Theft? | #Fortnite #identitytheft #scams

You may have noticed recently while playing Fortnite, a screen that comes up reminding you not to share your passwords with anyone. As soon as I saw this, I knew something must be going on. Then I came across an article titled, “While You’re Playing Fortnite, Fraudsters are Looking to Play You,” authored by Matt Tatham, the manager of content insights and data analyst at Experian. I thought, oh boy, here come the scams.

Because the game is so popular in my house right now, the article piqued my interest, especially because my 6 year old son plays. He doesn’t always know what he’s doing or pushing because he doesn’t take the time to slow down and read things on the screen. I wanted to make sure it was safe for him to play and that he’s not putting his father at risk for identity theft and such, considering it’s his father’s sign-in info he’s playing under. Delving into the article, I found just what’s going on.

Being a victim of scams and identity theft isn’t an issue of actually playing the game, but it’s going outside of the game and sharing information you shouldn’t be sharing, that puts you at risk. If your kids are playing, make sure they’re aware of these scams. The tips Tatham shares in his article should be common sense to adults, but kids may not be aware.

One of the things Tatham brings up is a common Fortnite scam, where you watch YouTube videos and follow the directions in the video to receive free V-bucks, virtual Fortnite money used to buy new gear. These are scams! Oftentimes the videos will ask for account specific information and if provided, can allow the user on the other end to access your personal information, like payment info.

The scamming even goes beyond that. Fortnite is currently available on iOS devices, but it is NOT yet available on Android devices. If you have an Android device, do NOT download any app posing to be Fortnite because it’s not official. If you download one of these apps, you’re simply downloading spyware and adware, and I’m sure you have quite a bit of personal information stored on your phone. It’s identity theft just waiting to happen.

Just play safe and keep practicing your Fortnite dance moves!

For more details and safety tips, read Tatham’s full article HERE!

Have you seen any of these Fortnite scams?

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

Photo a Day: Weeks 50, 51, 52

Photo a Day: Weeks 50, 51, 52 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear

It’s finally the end of the year! At least for my Photo a Day series. And if you’ve been following along, you may have noticed I’m a bit late with this post. Okay, I’m a few weeks late, but it’s for the best reason ever. The newest addition to our family arrived! With that being said, I lost track of my daily photos so this last post will be filled with lots of kiddo shenanigans and baby pics from the past several weeks.

On top of adding to the family, we’re moving in about 3 weeks so we’ve been preparing for that too. Once we’re all moved and settled in, I’ll be taking a look back at all of the photos in this series and giving you my final thoughts on the year. I can’t wait to really see how much my family has changed (more so than just our new addition).

Photo a Day: Weeks 50, 51, 52 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear

Photo a Day: Weeks 50, 51, 52 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear

Photo a Day: Weeks 50, 51, 52 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear

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 | Weeks 47, 48, 49

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

A Day at the Park with LÍLLÉbaby

Let’s talk baby carriers. As a mom of three I’ve had my fair share of baby carriers and have actually written about some on the blog. But you guys, there is NO baby carrier that compares with LILLEbaby. This was made very apparent to me when I spent a day at the park with the my youngest two.

A Day at the Park with LÍLLÉbaby | #LILLEbaby #Disney #babycarrier #MickeyMouse

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

You’ve probably heard or seen LILLEbaby somewhere at some point. I’ve actually been eyeing them for about two years, but I had been gifted other baby carriers (various slings and traditional carriers) and just used those with my now two year old. Now that kiddo three is here and we’ve decided he’s going to be the last, I knew this would be my last chance to see what the LILLEbaby hype is all about. The hype is everything it’s said to be!

Design

I decided to go with one of LILLEbaby’s COMPLETE All Seasons carriers and there are so many amazing features, I don’t even know where I want to start. How about design? LILLEbaby carriers come in all different colors and designs, whether your style is plain and simple, or you like to have a little fun with prints, LILLEbaby has lots of designs to choose from.

A Day at the Park with LÍLLÉbaby | #LILLEbaby #Disney #babycarrier #MickeyMouse

I have a lot of simplicity in my life, but sometimes like to stand out a little, so I opted for the Mickey Classic design from the Disney Baby Collection. My kids love all things Disney, as do I, and I’m sure my newest little guy will be no different. I think the Mickey Classic print is just as cute as can be and when we visit Disney World in the next few months, my little mouseketeer will fit right in.

Versatility

None of the carriers that I used with my first two kids were so versatile that I could use them in six different positions. With the LILLEbaby COMPLETE All Seasons baby can be carried in front-fetal, front-infant, front-outward, front- toddler, hip, and back carry.

A Day at the Park with LÍLLÉbaby | #LILLEbaby #Disney #babycarrier #MickeyMouse
It doesn’t look like it from this angle, but my little guy is in there, sitting comfortably in the front-fetal position.

 

My son just turned one month so we’re currently using the front-fetal position. While you can purchase an infant insert, it’s not needed. All it takes is a rolled up swaddle blanket and we’re in business. And I have to tell you, I’m pretty stoked that I’ll be able to use this same carrier through his toddler years. In fact, my two year can be carried in the back position.

Comfort

When it comes to LILLEbaby, comfort comes two-fold, comfort for baby and comfort for mom and dad.

Baby

  • Always in a seated position. This is important for proper growth and development, and not all baby carriers take this into consideration.
  • Fabric is made of microfiber and breathable 3D mesh, so baby stays comfy and won’t overheat.
  • The extendable torso helps provide back and neck support, not just for infants who can’t hold their heads up, but for taller babies too.

A Day at the Park with LÍLLÉbaby | #LILLEbaby #Disney #babycarrier #MickeyMouse

Mom and Dad

  • The wide, padded shoulder straps and waist belt make carrying baby so much more comfortable since baby’s weight is distributed evenly for maximum comfort.
  • The little piece that goes on the lower back is such a simple addition, but makes a world of difference in lumbar support. I’m able to carry my little guy in his LILLEbaby for prolonged periods of time without straining my back because I’m maintaining a healthier posture and alignment.
  • Easy to adjust straps make getting settled in a breeze. From the time I start putting our LILLEbaby on, I have full and easy access to the straps and buckles I need to adjust so that the fit is tight, but comfortable. Some adjustments are as easy as reaching over and behind my shoulders, or simply by my side/ribs or hip, and baby stays calm the whole time. Thank goodness for no more frustrating finagling!

Extras

I’m not going to lie, when I had my first look at LILLEbaby carriers I was intimidated. I was thinking how in the world am I going to figure out how to use all the buttons and buckles. It just seemed to be like a complicated contraption that I didn’t want to deal with. But now that I’ve taken a little bit of time to learn about all of the features and just how everything works, I’m in love. Even the extra components come in handy.

A Day at the Park with LÍLLÉbaby | #LILLEbaby #Disney #babycarrier #MickeyMouse

Pockets have become an exciting accessory in dresses, so why wouldn’t they be exciting on a baby carrier. You are wearing it.

Friend: “I love your dress.”

Me: “Thanks, it has pockets.”

In LILLEbaby terms –

Friend: “I love that baby carrier.”

Me: “Thanks, it has pockets.”

See what I mean? Haha! The LILLEbaby COMPLETE All Seasons has a large zippered storage pocket and an easy to reach pocket for storing the hood and other essentials. Leave the purse behind and carry your phone, cards, and keys in a pocket!

And I just mentioned the hood, which is great for supporting and shading baby’s head while sleeping, and also provides privacy while nursing. It’s totally an optional thing and can be removed if you don’t need it, or simply when not using it. I breastfeed my son, so it is definitely handy to have around.

A Day at the Park with LÍLLÉbaby | #LILLEbaby #Disney #babycarrier #MickeyMouse

Oh, and did I mention it’s machine washable? What a lifesaver. We haven’t had any blowouts or spit up incidents in our LILLEbaby yet, but after three kids I know it’s only a matter of time.

So I ask, what’s not to love? I’m telling you, the hype is real. LILLEbaby is literally the ONLY baby carrier you will ever need. The quality is great and it will last from infancy through toddlerhood. That’s why a price tag of $170 doesn’t even phase me and shouldn’t phase you either.

A Day at the Park with LÍLLÉbaby | #LILLEbaby #Disney #babycarrier #MickeyMouse

How did our day at the park go? It was hot as heck, but I unzipped the back of the LILLEbaby to expose the mesh material so my son could get some ventilation. He slept the entire time. It took no time at all for him to fall asleep after I got him settled in and started walking. Of course, this made the day easy and I could focus my attention on my toddler while she played on the splash pad.

What is your favorite feature of LÍLLÉbaby?

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*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.

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.

GuruNanda Natural Mist: A Plug-In Essential Oils Diffuser

Have you hopped on the essential oils train? I have and there’s no turning back. Up until now I’ve used essential oils as air fresheners (and reaped the various benefits) in table top diffusers and even humidifiers, but now it’s easier than ever and more effective with the GuruNanda Natural Mist, a plug-in essential oils diffuser.

GuruNanda Natural Mist: A Plug-In Essential Oils Diffuser | #GuruNanda #essentialoils #diffuser #plugin

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

With three kids in the house now I’m a little more conscious of the chemicals I allow in my home, particularly when it comes to the indoor air we’re breathing. But with that being said, when there’s three kids running around things get a little stinky from time to time. Sometimes I just need a little scent refreshment and that’s when I turn to my essential oils. Not only do I get the refreshing smells around the home, but we all reap the various benefits of each essential oil I use.

Natural Mist Features:

  • No water required.
  • Diffuse essential oils directly from bottle.
  • Chemical-free freshness.
  • Two spritz modes – every 10 minutes or 20 minutes.

Up until now I’ve used essential oils in table top diffusers and humidifiers, but of course that requires watering down the actual oils. With the new Natural Mist by GuruNanda, water is completely eliminated and I get nothing but pure essential oils to liven up my home. Simply place the essential oils bottle directly into the diffuser and it’s ready to mist pure essential oil right from the bottle.

But it’s not just the lack of requiring water that makes the Natural Mist so special. It’s a plug-in diffuser! It can be plugged into the wall just like a traditional air freshener (minus the chemicals), or even plugged into a USB port. So it’s not just for use at home, but can be taken to the office or even outdoors for instant aroma therapy. The plug-in feature has freed up space on my counter and table tops, and it’s just overall a quick and easy way to refresh my home.

 

You may know that I have a newborn in the house now and in the weeks leading up to his arrival I had a bottle of tea tree oil in my Natural Mist. I wanted to make sure the home was clean of as many toxins as possible and tea tree oil is great for cleansing living spaces. Since no water is involved, it took no time for the home to smell and feel lighter.

GuruNanda Natural Mist: A Plug-In Essential Oils Diffuser | #GuruNanda #essentialoils #diffuser #plugin

Now that he’s here I’ve switched to lavender oil to keep the mood relaxing and improve everyone’s quality of sleep. There’s no doubt we need all the help we can get when it comes to sleeping with a newborn in the home. Every time the Natural Mist sprays, the essential oil travels throughout the room and it’s an instant sense of calm.

No more chemical filled air fresheners for this house! Now I just need a GuruNanda Natural Mist for every room.

Where would you use a GuruNanda Natural Mist?

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*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.