Seven Things You Should Do Before Getting Pregnant

7 Things You Should Do Before Getting PregnantI always knew I wanted to become a mother.  Some of my earliest memories involve dolls and playing house.  I often thought about what I would name my children, how many I would have, and who I would marry and what kind of dad he would be.  I also loved to baby-sit and work in the church nursery.  I just loved babies and could not wait until I had one of my own!  

When Ben and I got married, I knew that we needed to wait a few years until we had kids, but would have started trying right away if he wanted to!  We finally agreed to wait three years until we started trying, which turned into two years, but it was almost 3 1/2 years before we actually had the Captain.  

I do wish, now that, we had done more things as a couple before we had kids.  I feel like we spent so much time working and not enough time just hanging out with each other and enjoying each other's company.  His job was pretty stressful at times, as was mine, and we were spending too much time without really "unwinding."  You see, we both started our first "grown-up" jobs right after getting married.  I don't feel like our marriage suffered because of our job, but we definitely should have taken a few more breaks than we did.  "Breaks" for us was going to Walmart or out to eat…seriously!  So, here are some things that I should have done and also some things I did do and I'm glad about it.  As you begin trying to conceive and having kids, know that you will need to start taking advice with a grain of salt, because the advice will FLOOD in.  With that said, this is only my personal advice so feel free to take it or leave it.  

Please leave your "I wish I would have" or "must do before pregnancy"…in the comments section.

7 Things You Should Do Before TTC

1.  Go on a trip with your husband.  I had heard lots of people talking about a "baby moon," which is defined as "a relaxing or romantic vacation taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born."  That's great and all, but I wasn't a very good pregnant traveler.  I was nauseated all day, every day for the first trimester, had to pee every hour, was uncomfortable, had heartburn, needed lots of sleep, and probably was more unpleasant than I actually remember.  PLUS, I was paranoid about having the baby early (haha!) and felt I needed to stay close to home.  Needless to say, traveling while pregnant wasn't a good idea for me, at all.  What I wish that we would have done is taken a long, leisurely vacation before we got pregnant.  We had been married for 2+ years when we decided to start trying to conceive, and a cruise or other relaxing vacation would have been nice.  Now we have been married for 10+ years, have three kids, and while family vacations are awesome, I don't see us taking a couples' vacation alone for awhile.  It just would have been something nice to create extra bonding time and memories.  

2.  Take a look at your diet.  Now, I'm not saying go all out and google "pregnancy diet" and start an extreme fruits and veggies diet.  If you want to, then go for it, but you really don't have to eat anything specific to get pregnant.  Some women say that losing weight and exercising helped, but it's not a necessity.  DO look at what you're eating and see where you could make better choices to make yourself healthier and your baby-to-be healthier, too.  If your diet consists of packaged, processed foods, consider swapping out some with real food.  If nothing else, you will feel better.  And, it might make morning sickness easier and make it easier to eat healthy during pregnancy if you start now.

3.  Look at your budget, spending habits, and insurance.  I don't think you can ever have "enough" money to have a baby, but I do think couples need to have an idea of their spending habits and see if there are any ways they could cut costs if they need to.  You don't want to pay for a baby with credit, so make sure you understand your maternity insurance and decide if you need to cut out a luxury.  10 months of extra cable channels could give you a nice chunk of change that you can spend on hospital or midwife bills when the time comes.  Just be smart when you're spending.

4.  Start taking a good prenatal vitamin.  There are a lot of great, non-prescription options, in many different forms.  Liquids, powders, capsules, and the traditional pill form.  Read the labels, talk to your doctor or nurse, make sure it has enough folic acid, and choose real food vitamins whenever possible.

5.  Don't read any pregnancy books….yet.  Again, this is just my personal advice, but 40 weeks is a loooooooooong time when you are pregant and anxiously anticipating your arrival.  Unless you have a high stress job or hobby, you WILL have enough time to read a few books, magazines, and online articles about everything pregnancy, babies, and beyond.  There's really no need to read about the different types of baby poop when you aren't pregnant yet…unless you just really want to!


6.  Get a hobby.  It doesn't take much time to create a baby, (wink, wink) but it does come with a LOT of waiting.  If your cycle is regular, you have about 28 days between periods to sit around and you do not just want to sit around waiting for that positive pregnancy test!  I enjoyed gardening to help keep my mind from obsessing about getting pregnant, but I also played games online when Hubby was at work or on a trip during the summers when I wasn't working.  It's very, very easy to be consumed with everything about babies and pregnancy.  Don't let your mind dwell there.  Start a hobby now so you can just continue it after you get pregnant.  Sewing, cooking, crafting, gardening, running, blogging, whatever you love and can get lost in.

7.  Start charting.  I have to conciously try not to get on a soapbox about this, but it helps SO much to know your body.  Read my "Newsflash: Not Everyone Ovulates on Day 14" article to learn more, but just know that if you're one of the ones without a regular cycle, or even if you really DO ovulate on Day 14 every single time, it's important to know your body.  Some women don't ovulate until day 20 (or later) and some never ovulate at all.  Charting and taking your basal body temperature every morning will shed a light on when you need to start trying to get pregnant.

Just ENJOY the days before you start trying to conceive.  Enjoy your husband, get to know yourself, get ready for a completely wonderful, yet life altering change!  And remember that this is the man you will be with after the kids are all grown, so build that relationship now, so it will stand firm during those sleepless nights, long days, and trying times.

When you ARE ready to try to get pregnant, take a deep breath, tell only who you want to know, and try to let life go on around you.  When everything else feels right, look to Astroglide TTC™ to help.  This special formula is made exactly for couples who are trying to conceive, supporting fertility with adjusted pH levels.

Here's a helpful article I wrote to pass along to friends and family, if ttc does stress you out and people's comments are ticking you off:  "What NOT To Say To A Childless Couple Who Is Trying To Conceive.

Do you have any other tips or advice for couples who are not quite ready to start trying to get pregnant?  

Astroglide TTC™ sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine


Astroglide TTCâ„¢ sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine

Make Better Choices on the Beverage Aisle {Plus a Beverage Bands DIY}

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #SipandBeFit #CollectiveBias

DIY Beverage Bands

If one thing is for certain, our family stays well hydrated.  We all love our drinks, but admittedly, they're not always healthy.  I have made a concious efffort to start drinking more water and when I want a sweet drink, to make it a better beverage choice.  I know the boys are always watching…and waiting to have a sip of my drink, as well!  I need to be making good drink choices not only for me, but for my family.

Walmart has lots of drink choices, and some of my favorite healthier options are in the beverage aisle.  Right now, you can print a money saving coupon on some better-for-you drink options at Walmart.  Also, don't miss this great Ibotta offer.

Making Better Drink Choices

One of my favorite new finds is bai5.  I love the Brasilia Blueberry flavor!  There are only 5 calories per serving and it is non-GMO and naturally sweetened.  It has blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry juices for flavor and even has some caffeine in it (35 mg, like a cup of green tea, so not all that much.)  I also love the taste and convenience of bottled FIJI water!  And the taste of Snapple iced tea is awesome, and there are many different choices to fit your preferences and dietary needs, like the Diet Snapple iced tea.

While we are making healthier drink choices, the issue still exists that we can't keep track of which drink is ours.  That's fine, I guess, since we are all family, but with the holidays and sick season coming up, I wanted to create a way to keep track of our drinks.  The boys and I made some super cute DIY Beverage Bands that were very easy!

Better Drink Choices

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Our Celebratory Snackation! {Easy, Delicious Crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars Recipe, too!}

This crunchy peanut butter chocolate bars and snackation post was brought to you by Smucker's.  All opinions are mine.

Smucker's JIF Snackation

School started this week for the older two boys and man, it has been a long week!  The Captain started off apprehensive, but finished the week confident and looking forward to the next week.  D, however, back tracked and was very, very sad by Friday.  We all needed a break, whether we wanted to admit it or not.

I had planned a special "Snackation" to celebrate our first week of school and we just had a nice, relaxing time as a family in our backyard.  We are lucky enough to have the shade of a tree, a great swingset, and a relatively quiet neighborhood.  We laid a blanket out and just sat, snacked, talked, and had fun.  It was great quality family time.  And of course, there was yummy food!  I used the Smucker's and JIF products that I bought at Walmart for our Snackation and made a few special treats for us to enjoy as a family.

Baby Brother cannot have peanut butter, but he enjoyed a grape jelly sandwich and apple slices, as well as some strawberries.

snackation3D really loved dipping his apple slices in Jif to go peanut butter cups.  I think I will send some to school in his lunch box next week. 

We also tried the new Jif Cookies 'n Cream Hazelnut spread with strawberries.  This spread has so many possibilities.


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Should You Be Financially Prepared Before Starting Your Family?

#mysunnydayI had been working as a kindergarten teacher for 2 1/2 years before we got pregnant with the Captain.  Hubby had been working for a little bit longer than that, and we had saved up a little bit of money, but not as much as we should have saved, considering we had two incomes and one car payment.  Some people are big planners and wait until all of their ducks are in a row before starting a family.  That is very smart, and we tried to do it, but I think it is also true that if you wait until you have enough money and everything is "ready," then you will be waiting forever.  Kids are very, very expensive!  You do need to be aware of your financial situation and make a plan.

Three kids later, and I'm beyond thrilled to say that we are debt free.  We have been blessed, and it is something that we are proud of, but we should be saving more money for the future, as well.  The moment we became debt free, it was like a huge weight was lifted off of our shoulders.  And saving money creates a new confidence that we will have the funds needed when the Captain wants to play an expensive sport, D wants to start music lessons, or Baby Brother needs to start preschool.  Having extra money on hand is always a good idea, because there are many, many instances that come up when having a little bit of cash proves very useful.

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Mixify Tour: An Awesome Event For Teens – Dallas, TX

This post was brought to you by My Mixify.  All opinions are mine.

My Mixify Tour

Friday, August 7th, the Mixify Tour came to Dallas, Texas!  The event, which was held at the Klyde Warren Park, had over 150 teens participating in the fun that is part of a series of events held around the country.  There were fun activities, demonstrations, tips and tools, music, and giveaways.  The main purpose of this event was to help educate teens about the importance of balancing what they eat and drink and what they do.

Mixify at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, Texas, August, 7, 2015.

“Dallas parents and their teens are busier than ever before, and finding balance—especially when it comes to diet and exercise—can be a challenge.  That’s why we’re proud to step up and do our part to help support them in a new and unique way with this groundbreaking joint effort from America’s leading beverage companies,” said Susan Neely, American Beverage Association (ABA) president and CEO. “Mixify encourages teens to be thoughtful about the calories they’re consuming—including from beverages—and to be active. We know moms work to achieve this for their families every day and we’re taking this message on the road as one way to provide support for their efforts.”

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“I’m The Daddy”

I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for AVEENO. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. #UnscriptedBeauty

I'm so excited to have my awesome hubby guest post today!  As we celebrate Father's Day, I thought it would be a great time for him to tell a few stories of his favorite memories with our boys.  We are so blessed!


What's up, this is Gena's husband, Ben. I'm the daddy of the Captain, D, and and Baby Brother. One of my favorite labels I wear is the "daddy" label. I even have an awesome sticker that my wife gave me that is plastered on my work laptop. It says "I'm the daddy." I'm so proud of that title.

I spend all of my moments away from work with my family.  We plan lots of activities for the boys, plan lots of fun events and pose them for the "perfect" picture, but most of the time, it's the simple, unscripted moments that are the best.  When it comes to unscripted moments with my kids, it's much harder to pick just a few of my favorites.  I take tons of photos of unscripted moments, so I'll try and give you a glimpse into these moments through a few photos.

Daddy's Unscripted Moments
Here, me and my sons are training for our first 1-mile fun run. The boys took the "race" so seriously that they asked if they could train every day for a week leading up to the race.  I was so proud of them for being excited to exercise and work hard.  When they put their game face on, I had to snap a pic before we started the training race. They both ran hard and made me proud in the race.

You've gotta hear the story behind this photo! So, recently my son has figured out the front camera on my phone. He noticed that I've taken selfies of a goofy face, just to share with the family. So the Captain grabs Gena's phone from her at HEB and snaps this gem.  They come home and he shows it to me with pride.  I took one look and laughed so hard because it's purely his personality. He came up with the face on his own, and I was so proud of this unscripted moment that I tried to match his face and Gena put them side-by-side. We pull it up once a week and just reflect on that moment and have a good belly laugh. 

DaddyOne thing you must know about me is that I like to eat. If eating were an olympic sport, I would qualify every 4 years.  One of my favorite cuisines is Chinese food.  My favorite Chinese restaurant is a place called "Little Panda" in Abilene, Texas. Gena and I fell in love around this exact dish from the picture. It was a lunch order of orange chicken with fried rice, for $4.28. I didn't plan on sharing this particular lunch, but the Captain walked up curiously, and actually showed interst in trying.  I was so proud that I immediately fed him a bite, and waited for his verdict.  It was spicy, so I was worried he was going to spit it out.  HE DIDN'T! He loved it, and ended up splitting the rest of the chicken with me.  It was a special moment, that I'm glad Gena caught on camera.


Another very important part of my parenting is reading the bible to my boys.  They were so proud to get their first bible from their grandparents, so here I was reading it to all three of them.  It's hard to get all 3 boys captivated at the same time, but there is power in this book like no other, and it kept the attention of all of them for a good while. I'm thankful to God for His word. That He thought it was important enough to captivate children, orchestrating some of the most amazing stories for us to tell to our kids.


In this last picture, their faces say everything. You don't get any more candid and real than the sheer joy that was emanating from my boys this particular afternoon.  If you look at the top of the picture you'll notice there's a toy quad-copter suspended in the air. They had never seen such a thing, and couldn't believe that my dad was flying it right above their heads.  It was a proud moment for me because my dad was showing me how to be a good dad to my kids. He ended up leaving the quad-copter for my kids to have. 

This Father's Day, I hope you have enjoyed reflecting on my life's most beautiful unscripted moments.  I challenge you to pull out some photos of your children when you shared moments like these.  Show the pictures to them and relive those memories so they never fade.  More importantly, don't spend too much time reflecting on the great past, but go and have new unscripted moments with your children. 

An AVEENO survey found most parents say that “unscripted” moments are more beautiful than those that are perfectly planned. At the end of the day, it’s sharing candid, unscripted moments that build authentic relationships. 

AVEENO is creating an #UnscriptedBeauty Movement, encouraging parents to embrace the natural beauty of a life that doesn’t always go as planned.  Visit the AVEENO Facebook page to see more moments of #UnscriptedBeauty and submit your own.  You can even enter to win by uploading your favorite moment to Instagram and using these hashtags: #AVEENO #UnscriptedBeauty and #Contest.  The winner will receive a photo shoot with acclaimed photographer, Danielle Guenther!

What was your favorite #UnscriptedBeauty moment?

Stream Christian Movies And Shows Instantly with gMovies – FREE 2 Week Trial {giveaway, too!}

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.   Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

gmoviesAs the boys get older, we are becoming more and more aware that what they see on TV can greatly impact them.  Their attitudes and behavior can change just from watching one commercial!  We try to stick with kids' channels, but even those are iffy sometimes.  We  have tried other instant streaming services, and the Captain quickly learned how to navigate and select which show he wanted.  But even with the parental controls in place, I wasn't happy with the selections.  

A few weeks ago, we were given the opportunity to try out gMovies.  I hadn't heard of this service yet but I am glad that we found it!  gMovies is full of faith and family content that we all can enjoy, for only $4.99 a month.  gMovies is powered by the UP network, which is America's network for uplifting entertainment.


With gMovies, you can select the genre of TV show or movie you'd like to watch, read some information about it, and instantly watch it.  We quickly found "Pahappahooey Island" in the kids' section!


Also on gMovies is the teen drama "Much Ado About Middle School" and countless movies and TV shows that all ages would like!  

Over 2 million people are already enjoying gMovies.  Join them to get instant access to over 300 Christian movies and TV shows with new titles added monthly.  Stream from your iPad, Android, or PC.  And there is no contract – just cancel anytime!

If you'd like to check out a 2 week trial of gMovies for FREE, enter code "FREETRIAL13" at the gMovies website.


Want to win 6 months of gMovies?  All you have to do is enter in the Rafflecopter form below!  Good luck!  US/CAN only, please.

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Watch Disneynature’s “Monkey Kingdom,” Learn, and Give Back!

monkeykingdom54877da023d63I am so excited about the newest movie from Disneynature!  "Monkey Kingdom" is coming to theatres on April 17, just in time to celebrate Earth Day 2015.  My boys are excited about this movie, because they are in love with animals!  

About the movie:

Life is an adventure for Maya, the clever and resourceful blonde-bobbed monkey in “Monkey Kingdom,” Disneynature’s new feature film set among ancient ruins in the storied jungles of South Asia. Maya’s world is forever changed when she welcomes her son, Kip, into her complicated extended family. Like all families, Maya’s has more than its share of colorful personalities—and she’s determined to give her son a leg up in the world. When their longtime home at Castle Rock is taken over by powerful neighboring monkeys, Maya's whole family retreats, and she uses her street smarts and ingenuity to uncover untapped resources amidst strange new creatures and unsettling surroundings. Ultimately, they will all have to work together to reclaim Castle Rock, where Maya can hopefully realize her dreams for her son’s future.


Featuring a rich variety of characters, including a mischievous mongoose, simple-minded langur monkeys, predatory leopards and monitor lizards, “MonkeyKingdom” is narrated by Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), directed by Mark Linfield (“Chimpanzee,” “Earth”) and co-directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Chimpanzee,” “Bears”). With music from award-winning composer Harry Gregson-Williams ("The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," “Shrek” movies), Disneynature’s eighth True Life Adventure—the follow-up to 2014’s “Bears”—swings into theaters April 17, 2015.

monkeykingdom547fa84e5b6d9 monkeykingdom547fa84e7cbf9And to make the educational message stick further, download the free activity pages in the Educator's Guide.


Did you know?

  •   For every ticket sold opening week (April 17-23, 2015), Disneynature will make a donation to Conservation International to help    protect monkeysand other endangered species in their natural habitats. 
  • “Monkey Kingdom” is the sixth theatrical release for Disneynature, the first new Disney-branded film label from The Walt Disney Studios in more than 60 years.  The label was launched in April 2008 to bring the world’s top nature filmmakers together to capture a variety of wildlife subjects and stories.
  • The first five big-screen releases under the Disneynature label—“Earth,” “Oceans,” “African Cats,” “Bears” and “Chimpanzee”—are among the top six highest grossing feature-length nature films of all time.
  • Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife documentary filmmaking, producing 13 True Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, including “Seal Island” (1948), “Beaver Valley” (1950), “The Living Desert” (1953) and “Jungle Cat” (1958). The films earned eight Academy Awards®

Watch this "Thank You" clip from Disneynature:

Will you be seeing "Monkey Kingdom" this weekend?

Six Tips To Help Parents Get More Sleep

 Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Restonic and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own. #GoToBed  Six tips to help parents get more sleep

I frequently joke that I haven't gotten a full night's sleep for about 7 years now.  I used to be able to sleep through the night, but then around the second trimester with the Captain, I had to wake up multiple times a night.  I either had to use the restroom, or my hips or back were hurting.  Then, of course, he was born and my sleep was interrupted by a crying baby….often.  He did not sleep through the night until he was about 18 months old, and even then, it was not every night.  Through three pregnancies, three newborns, multiple moves, sicknesses, and more, I can honestly count on one hand the nights I have slept 6 consecutive hours.  Baby Brother, at 16 months old, is working on sleeping all night long, and does great sometimes, but other times, not so much.  I crave a 20 minute "siesta" after lunch on most days!  

People do not realize how your sleep takes a drastic hit once you have kids.  Now, if you are one of the lucky ones who has a baby that sleeps through the night consistently, do know that you ARE lucky!  I have heard stories of parents with six year olds who still wake up in the night.  

The Captain did not sleep through the night consistently until D moved in his room when the Captain was 4 1/2!  It seems he just needed to know someone was nearby and thankfully, his little brother sleeping in the same room helped.  Hallelujah!  But there have also been nights when everyone is sick and we are up multiple times a night.  When Baby Brother was a newborn, I made this meme to add humor to our situation because for awhile, this was all too true:

wake up our parentsWe are on the verge of it all being behind us (hopefully!) but it isn't quite funny yet.  Some kids just don't sleep well and unfortunately, 2/3 of our sons are like that.  That's okay…we have learned to make the most out of our son's sleep habits and are counting our blessings for our one good sleeper.

Six Tips To Help Parents Get More Sleep

We have spent six and a half years thinking about, craving, and not getting enough sleep.  So, I consider myself a professional of parenting while not getting adequate sleep, and I have compiled a list of five tips to help every parent get more sleep, no matter what kind of sleeper you were blessed with!

1. Reevaluate bedtimes.  We found that no matter what, the Captain would wake up at 7:15 on the dot, most days.  We discovered that he was sleepy by 8 PM and so I started aiming for 8 for their bedtime.  This gives us more time to catch up on chores, veg out in front of the TV for a few minutes, spend time together, and finally, get to bed at a decent hour.  Every parent needs a little downtime, and bedtimes don't have to be super early or super late, just do what works best for your family's sleep needs.

2.  Don't be afraid to train kids to help themselves in the morning.  I know, I know, this might sound horrible, but there comes a time when kids are old enough to be independent.  We told the Captain that if he couldn't help waking up at 7:15, that he didn't have to wake us up until 8.  Call us lazy, but those extra 45 minutes are blissful, especially after the baby has been up during the night!  I sat down with the Captain, who is 6, and wrote out a list of things he could do in the morning.  He isn't allowed to watch or use a "screen" until 7:30, to allow his body to wake up naturally and so he doesn't think he can get up at 6 AM and watch TV.  He can pour himself a bowl of cereal, read books, color, etc.  Now, it took some training and a lot of worrying on my part.  I checked on him a lot during those first few mornings, and coached him through it.  He loves this special time when he is the only one awake and he knows what he cannot do.  I trust him to be safe and he likes the independence.  And on the days when D wakes up before we do, the Captain loves taking care of him and helping him with his cereal.

3.  Go to bed!  Set a timer for the time you want to be in bed.  Get everything you need to get done before that time and if you're not done, save it for tomorrow.  And, either leave your phone in the other room, or set another timer so that you will only spend 5 minutes on your phone and then turn it off (or silence it.)  Smart phones are a great convenience, but really do mess with sleep!  Go to sleep!

4.  Use a sound machine and put the baby monitor in the other room.  I leave the monitor in our bathroom, close the door, and I still hear him when he gets up.  I don't need to hear every single sleep noise, only when he needs me.  And the sound machine drowns out the annoying noises like birds in the morning, kid's sleep talking and noises, and more, but isn't so loud that it drowns out crying and yelling "Mommy!" when someone has a nightmare.

5.  Don't be afraid to nap.  Naps save me, no lie.  I am both lucky and cursed that I can only sleep for about 15-20 minutes and then I'm up.  Naps are a great way to recharge midday.

6.  Most importantly, don't take your sleep for granted.  It's simply not true that you can ever "catch up" on your sleep, so sleep when it's time and don't sacrifice your sleep for things that just don't matter and can wait until tomorrow.  Because you never know when the kids will be up sick or having a nightmare in the middle of the night!

 Visit Restonic for more information about getting a good night's sleep!  And make sure to follow Restonic on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news.  And follow the #GoToBed hashtag on social media channels, as well.

Remove the Chemicals and Clean Up Your Personal Care Products

This personal care products shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NaturalGoodness #CollectiveBias

#NaturalGoodness #ad #CollectiveBias

For about three years now, I have been trying to eliminate chemicals and unnatural additives in the products that we use.  I was very intimidated with this huge task when I first began, but it is easy if you take it one product at a time.  The first thing I did was take a look at my personal care products.  You would really be surprised with the amount of stuff is in the products we use most often, like toothpaste.  I love a good minty toothpaste and was frustrated when looking for a toothpaste that made my teeth and mouth feel fresh and clean without the additional chemicals that I felt I did not need.  I soon found a toothpaste that I love and is my favorite – Tom's of Maine Antiplaque & Whitening Peppermint Fluoride Free Toothpaste.  It has not let me down.  I used it through my pregnancy with Baby Brother to keep my mouth feeling fresh and clean and felt better about using an all natural toothpaste.

Another personal care product that contains a crazy amount of chemicals is anti-pespirant.  We lather the chemicals and aluminum on our armpits and create a big mess when it's really not needed.  Did you know that by practicing good hygeine (using soap and water), a good deodorant like Tom's of Maine Long Lasting Apricot Deodorant, drinking lots of water to flush the toxins out, and eating a healthy diet, we can eliminate our addiction to anti-perspirant?  I have not used an anti-perspirant in a few years and sure, there are those hot summer days that are a challenge, but a little sweat never hurt anyone.  It's really not even the sweat that makes you stinky, it's the bacteria.  Most people adjust quickly to switching from anti-perspirants to natural deodorants.  And there are many tricks to get you through the process, too, because believe me, I know it's an addiction that we all have!  We think we need anti-perspirants, but we really don't!  Tom's of Maine makes it easy and smell good, too!

toms2I love the Tom's of Maine products because I know I'm getting high quality, effective products that offer different options for different needs.  And, they're readily available at Walmart, which beats having to special order them or go to a special health store to buy them.  They're right there on the toothpaste and deodorant aisles!

Tom's of Maine at Walmart

Tom's Deodorant at Walmart

Save $1.00 on any Tom's of Maine product at Walmart with this coupon.  


Visit Tom's of Maine for product information, ingredients, and more.

Not only do I use Tom's of Maine eco-friendly products for me, but the kids use them, too.  They like to have their choice of toothpaste and flavors, but sometimes they need a little bit more motivation.  They love to use a tooth brushing chart and check off the days they remembered to brush.  They also need a reminder of how to effectively take care of their teeth.  Do you have kids that think they can fool you by  just wetting the toothbrush?  No?  That was fairly common when we were working with teens and preteens at the children's home.  And they always thought we would buy it!  We know that the boys need to get into the habit of effectively brushing with toothpaste, flossing, and taking care of their precious teeth.  Good habits start early!

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Print this free toothbrushing chart to help your kids remember to take care of their pearly whites!  Just click on it to open up a printable PDF.

Complete tooth chart

We are constantly making new changes to live a green lifestyle.  What changes has your family made or what changes are you hoping to make soon?