New Products for Mommies at Anna Naturals {giveaway closed}

Anna Naturals

I'm excited to be able to tell you about some new natural products for mommies from one of my favorite companies, Anna Naturals.  These products have been tailor made for new and expectant mommies any all of the "issues" they sometimes face.  These awesome little products will help any new mama be able to enjoy their little newborn more and not have to think about stretch marks, sore nipples from breastfeeding, pain from childbirth, or the baby blues!

Baby Bump Oil™ hinders stretch marks and provides relief as your belly grows. Its light, non-greasy feel and subtle citrus scent makes it great for everyday use.

Healing witch hazel blended with therapeutic grade essential oils, Soothing Mama Postpartum Spray can help soothe and cool after delivery.

Blended with therapeutic grade essential oils, All Smiles Postpartum Spray can help elevate your mood and calm your mind.

Nursing Mama Natural Nipple Cream is specially formulated to soothe and heal dry, cracked nipples and is completely safe for baby — no need to wash off before nursing!

new products

Order these and more great products at Anna Naturals!  Each one of their products are recommended for use during pregnancy and nursing are developed with only all-natural and organic ingredients, and never contain any harsh chemicals, additives, artifical flavors, artifical colors, preservatives or any other harmful ingredients.

anna naturals

New & Natural Mama Gift Set containing:

-Baby Bump Oil 2oz
-All Smiles Uplifting Spray 4oz
-Nursing Mama Nipple Cream 2oz
-Soothing Mama Healing Spray 4oz
 
Retail value = $45.96

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Stay Committed to an Exercise Challenge – Getting Healthy and Fit with Aveeno

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Aveeno. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item for participating.

I have never been one to work exercise into my daily routine.  There was always something more important (and fun!) to do.  When Mom Central and Aveeno challenged me to accept a daily challenge of exercising 30 minutes per day, using the Aveeno daily moisturizing lotion, and just taking care of myself, I was definitely up for it.  Exercise is one of those things that you know you should be doing, but actually doing it is oh so difficult.  Well, for me at least.  After having three kids, it is passed time to start thinking about myself and making choices to improve my own health.  

When the challenge started three weeks ago, I was pumped and ready to go.  We recently found out that a nearby church has a fantastic facility that is open for anyone in the community to use.  It has a basketball court and a track around the court for walking or running, as well as exercise machines.  Hubby and the boys like to go and play basketball, and so I decided I should start going and walking with Baby Brother.  I also decided that on days when the church gym is closed, we could take walks outside or I could walk on the treadmill.  Fantastic!  I had a plan!

The first day was gross outside, so I walked on the treadmill.  I knew I needed accountability, so I enlisted the help of the Captain to tell me to exercise every day.  There's nothing like a five year old annoying you about what you need to do!  He decided to make me a sticker chart (because we're all about the sticker charts in this family!)  I would get a sticker for every time I exercised.  He even drew a picture of me on the treadmill:

aveeno daily challenge

We made it to the gym a few times, and I even got the help of a FitBit Zip to track my steps.  That was encouraging and helped me feel like what I was doing actually was important:

aveeno daily challenge
aveeno daily challenge

This is where we found ourselves most of the time, walking in the neighborhood, whether it be to the park, playground, or taking our recycling to the bin:

aveeno daily challenge exercise

Most of the time Hubby came with us, but that day I was feeling super adventurous, taking the double stroller, which of course the older boys never, ever stay in.  That's okay though, they need their exercise, too!

I also used the Aveeno daily moisturizing lotion to help my skin feel great.  I always forget to moisiturize my hands and so it was a nice treat to use the Aveeno lotion.  I put the bottle in the kitchen, right by the sink so I could use it after I washed my hands.  I've found that bottles that sit in the bathroom never get used!

aveeno daily challenge

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion is formulated with ACTIVE NATURALS® Colloidal Oatmeal and blended with rich emollients to soothe and moisturize dry skin. ACTIVE NATURALS® Colloidal Oatmeal is the #1 natural ingredient most trusted and recommended by dermatologists.  When used daily, it is clinically proven to improve the health of skin with significant improvement in 2 weeks. This lotion is non-greasy, fast absorbing, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and noncomedogenic.  There is no overpowering smell and it doesn't smell like chemicals, either.  It's very pleasant.

Towards the middle of the three week challenge, we all got sick.  Spring allergies, stomach bugs, viruses, just yucky all around.  It rained a few days and on the other days, the wind was insane outside.  Sadly, I did not get my 30 minutes of exercise each day but I tried to improvise in any way possible.  At the bare minimum, I would get on the floor and do some stretching and light activity with the boys.  On a good day, I would speed walk for a minimum of 30 minutes and really push myself.  The 20 extra pounds of Baby Brother in the Boba carrier was great, too!

At the end of the three week challenge, I was disappointed that I didn't get to exercise each day.  I was pleased that I had lost 3 lbs, however, and had really changed the way I ate as a result of this challenge, even though that wasn't part of the challenge at all.  Sometimes knowing that you need to be healthier and do something makes you want to change all areas, I suppose.  I am going to continue with this challenge and take time to better myself and my health!  I was featured on the Aveeno Facebook page.  Check it out!

daily exercise challenge

  • Have an alternate game plan.  If I had just said "run on the treadmill every day," I would never have done it.  I thought of different ways to exercise and did whatever I could that particular day.
  • If you have a baby or toddler, use a baby carrier like the Boba 4g, it makes exercise so much easier!
  • Get the family on board for not only accountability, but extra fun and together time.
  • Use a pedometer or other exercise tracker like the FitBit Zip!
  • Remember to treat yourself.  The Aveeno lotion was a constant reminder of "Take care of yourself!"
  • If all else fails, just get up and do anything active.  Anything!  Anything is better than sitting on your bum all day.  :)

What tips do you have for making sure moms take care of themselves?  What do you do for yourself?

Great Resources, Advice, and Peer Support for Working Moms at Mom Corps YOU

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Mom Corps YOU. I received a free trial to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

working moms

As a stay at home mom who is also a blogger, I have realized how important networking and blogger groups are.  When I started this blog three years ago, I only knew one other friend who had a blog and I asked her a lot of questions.  Since then, I have met lots of other bloggers online who have given me valuable tips and support.  The secret to success, I truly believe, is support.  That's what I love most about Mom Corps YOU.  (I have partnered with Mom Corps YOU to share all of the innovations and resources the site for working moms has to offer.)

Not only will you find support from peers and other working professionals who are mothers just like you, but you will find support from the career counselors, who are ready to help you with any questions you may have.  If that's not enough, there are so many resources, readily available day or night, like webinars and guides.  A couple of my recent favorites have been "How To Build Your Personal Brand" and "How To Get A Flexible Work Arrangement."

Mom Corps YOU understands the challenges of going back to work for moms.  Even if you have done it before, it always helps to gain another perspective and helpful, time tested tips are beneficial to making the transition easier on you and your family.  Resume' building, finances, working from home, and time management are also discussed in depth at Mom Corps YOU.

mom corps working moms

 

All of these great features and more are included in your Mom Corps YOU subscription and available for an introductory price of $99.99 or $19.99 a month.  Visit Mom Corps YOU and check it out for yourself.  

How Can Working Moms Manage Finances? Mom Corps YOU Can Help!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Mom Corps YOU. I received a free trial to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Many obstacles and challenges can come up when mothers re-enter the workforce after having children.  Adding income can help immensely, but managing finances and planning for the future can also be challenging.  Finances are a big stressor for married couples and single mothers.  There is a lot to think about and plan for when adding a new income!

Mom Corps YOU has great rescources concerning this very matter.  In the past couple of weeks, Mom Corps YOU has had a few great events that are accessible for thirty days.  Jean Chatzky spoke on "Become a Savvy Saver" and had great tips on cutting fixed expenses, how to hire a financial adviser, and how to pick the best credit card.  I love the way Chatzky breaks it down and explains the different options when choosing a credit card.  Did you know that if you spend time overseas, you could be charged a foreign transaction fee, ranging from 2-3 percent?  She recommends a card from Capital One, like the VentureOne rewards card.  I found her advice to be very beneficial and hope to hear more from her in the future!

Career counselors have become popular in recent years, but hiring one can cost you hundreds of dollars per hour.  I like Mom Corps YOU's live chat feature because you can receive career coaching and advice for whatever stage you are in.  You can get advice on your resume, how and where to start your job search, interview tips, and more.  And what is best about the live chat is that it is all included in the annual price.

All of these great features and more are included in your Mom Corps YOU subscription and available for an introductory price of $99.99 (regularly $149.99) or $19.99 a month.  Visit Mom Corps YOU and check it out for yourself.  It could be just what you need to put you in a good place financially, or give you tips to find the perfect job so you can be in a good place financially.

In my partnership with Mom Corps YOU, I continue to discover new innovations and resources this awesome site has to offer!

Mom Corps YOU helps Working Moms

If you are a working mother or thinking about going back to work, definitely check out Mom Corps YOU for these and other terrific resources to help you with your journey!

Mom Corps YOU is Making Going Back to Work Easier

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Mom Corps YOU. I received a free trial to facilitate my review and will receive a promotional item as a thank you for participating.  This post about going back to work contains my personal opinions.

MCYsquare300dpi

I was a kindergarten teacher for three years before Captain Fussybuckets was born.  I got the job after we got married, but it took about four months to land it.  I still cringe when I think of all of the interviews – 13 to be exact – that I had to go through to finally get a job.  It was frustrating to apply, set up interviews, get my resume' all ready, find the school (because we were new to the area,) and then the waiting!  The waiting was the worst part.  I felt like I was on my own and could have really used support and advice from others, like me, who were searching for a job.

I'm not currently thinking about re-entering the work force full time, but I know that day will come soon enough.  Whatever I choose to do, I am going to need advice and support for all of the ins and outs of working, from preparing my resume' to balancing home and work.  Mom Corps, a national award winning professional talent acquisition and career development firm, has recently launced Mom Corps YOU.  MCY is an online community for moms in the workforce.  It is a place to help professionals better integrate their professional and personal lives.  There are lots of great aspects about Mom Corps YOU that I can use now, as a work-at-home mom, too.

[Read more...]

Sweep Up Just About Anything with the New Swiffer Sweep & Trap

This post was brought to you by Swiffer Sweep & Trap and SheSpeaks.  All opinions are mine.

sweep & trap

Life with three boys is messy, but this mommy doesn't like to clean messes.  So when I was given the opportunity to try a new way to clean big messes, the Swiffer Sweep & Trap, I jumped at the chance!  The Sweep & Trap promises to clean big and small messes, and my trial kit came with exactly that, big and small messes, to test out my new snazzy Swiffer!

My boys are constantly dropping things on the floor.  Rocks, cereal, and leaves are some of their favorite things to leave lying around on our floors.  When I saw that the new Sweep & Trap could pick up nuts and bolts, I seriously had my doubts.

IMG_0010

But, wouldn't you know it, it really did trap these little guys in the Swiffer!  It effortlessly picked up every single piece:

swiffer

The secret is this little invention:

IMG_0009

The new Swiffer Sweep & Trap glides over big particles and sweeps them right into the chamber for easy disposal.  Next up in the toolkit were some sort of wood shavings.  Now, my husband and boys know that I don't like crumbs or little particles all over the floor, so this was exciting, too.  Again, the Swiffer picked up the big shavings and the cloth swept up the little pieces.  

IMG_0004

IMG_0008

I did find that I had to "chase around" the little pieces a bit more than I would've liked.  Since getting this product, I have found that I grab it to pick up big pieces like cereal or food, but I still turn to my broom for the little pieces.  That's okay, though, this is still a great product and will be used a lot for the big pieces because we know there will be many of those!

swiffer

You can find the new Swiffer Sweep & Trap at Walmart!

How could you use the new Swiffer Sweep & Trap at your house?
 

Dairy Fairy – Help For Low Milk Supply Mommies

Disclosure: I received this product as part of an advertorial. All opinions are mine.

Being that Baby Brother is #3 for us, you would think that we had it all down.  While I do feel like I was very well prepared going into this for the third time, I never quite knew what to expect.  Breastfeeding was never easy with the Captain or Baby D, and after countless chats with lactation consultants, doctors, fellow mommies, and reading up on my own, I now realize that having to supplement the boys wasn't my choice, but there are great ways to give the most and best to my newest bundle of joy.  I know that breastfeeding is best for babies, and I am so happy to have breastfed the boys for as long as I did, but we did always have to supplement, and while most people were understanding and supportive, there are some people that just won't be supportive at all.  I'm glad that there are honestly nice people out there, doing all they can to support new moms and not give them a guilt trip for their choices, or as was in my case, things that weren't my choice.

dairy fairy

[Read more...]

The Iced Coffee That Broke My Water

I have an interesting story to tell.  But, before I tell it, please know that this is NOT meant to be advice and shouldn't encourage anyone to do anything out of desperation.  But….the Pioneer Woman's iced coffee broke my water.  Okay, maybe it was a coincidence….but here's how the story goes:

Three weeks before my due date, I went to my routine OB visit.  He estimated that the baby was nearing 9 lbs.  He didn't do an ultrasound or feel around on my belly, he just looked at my large belly and made his guess.  I laughed.  The Captain was 8 lbs, 11 oz and D was 8 lbs, 10 oz.  (The Captain was a few days late and D was a week early, mind you.)  At that same appt, at 37 weeks and some odd days, doc said I was 2 cm.  (I really don't know why people share that information….it is information about your cervix that you're sharing with the world, you know, but whatever.  It is pertinent information for this story though, so I'll share with you now.)  The next week, at 38 weeks, I was at a 4.  I was shocked because even going into the hospital with BOTH other boys, I was barely a 1.  I was completely shocked.  (I attribute it to raspberry leaf tea, by the way, but who really knows.  Could be all that walking I did at the fair or shopping or … whatever.)

[Read more...]

What NOT to Say to a Woman Who is Full Term (or Beyond)

I'm currently 39 weeks pregnant and definitely feeling it!  In a world of friends "going early," scheduled inductions and c-sections, and the lucky few whose water breaks "right on time," it can be frustrating to be patient and let nature take it's course, especially since it seems like most people expect no one in their right mind to actually get to their due date.  (Remember:  39 weeks is full term, first time moms generally naturally go to 41 weeks, and women who have had a child before tend to hit 40 weeks, 3 days, on average.)  I try to avoid public discussion about my pregnancy this late in the game, but do try to take such comments with a grain of salt.  After all, people are well meaning and just trying to make conversation.  I've asked my blogging friends to contribute to this post of "what NOT to ask or say to a woman who is 39 (or beyond) weeks pregnant!"  Check it out and see if you can relate!

what not to say

  • "You're STILL pregnant?"
  • "It'll be over soon enough."  
  • "This too shall pass."
  • "Enjoy the quiet while you can."
  • "You better catch up on your sleep now!"  (as if that's possible anyway…)
  • "You haven't had that baby YET!?"
  • "WOW!  You look like you're about to POP!"
  • "Are you SURE you're not having twins?"
  • "Wow…you don't even look that far along!"  (translation:  I just look fat and swollen.)
  • "Are you going to breastfeed?"  
  • "When is your doctor going to induce??"
  • "Please tell me you're getting an epidural."
  • "You are HUGE!"
  • "You look like you have dropped!"  (Why shouldn't you say this, you might ask?  Well, it gives false hope to those who don't know that some moms don't ever drop at all, some drop weeks before birth, and most women who have had a baby before sometimes don't drop until labor actually begins.)
  • "You are making my stomach hurt!"  (yeah…..sorry about that….  ???)
  • "What are you/baby measuring?"  (Whether it be estimated weight of baby, fundal height, cervical status, or whatever, it just doesn't matter.  And frankly, I don't need anyone to know the state of my cervix, thank you very much.)
  • "Have you tried [castor oil, walking, sex, spicy foods, moving furniture, cleaning, pineapple, mango, acupuncture, massage, or other natural induction method]?"  Just don't.
  • And last but not least, do not try to predict when the baby will come, especially if you are a doctor or midwife.  Telling a woman at 37 weeks that she could "go any minute" makes her pretty darn unhappy by 41 weeks.

These comments don't bother me anymore, because I feel well educated after doing this for the third time.  But, it can be a very depressing day to hear so many of these comments, and most of us can't just sit in solitude until labor begins.  So, my suggestion is just to just smile and keep comments and suggestions to yourself.  Chances are, the woman has heard it all before anyway.  

Special thanks to the awesome bloggers from:  

7 On A Shoestring, Southern Girl Ramblings, Roasted Beanz, and Tales From The Nursery

Create a Pregnancy Keepsake with the Belly Casting Kit

This belly casting kit post was brought to you by Pearhead.  All opinions are mine.

It has been a whole different experience being pregnant this time around, with Baby #3.  The Captain and D are both old enough to find my huge belly fascinating and ask questions…lots and lots of questions.  It's hard to believe that in a few weeks, this belly will be considerably smaller (haha, let's hope!)  I wanted to be able to create a lasting memory and pregnancy keepsake that involved both boys, and I knew I had found it with Pearhead's Belly Casting Kit.

belly casting kit

It is recommended that you wait until the very end of your pregnancy so your belly will be at it's biggest.  I waited until about 38 weeks and it worked pretty well.  The kit comes with: 

  • 5 rolls of plaster tape
  • belly casting lubricant
  • plastic drop cloth
  • non-latex gloves
  • sanding screen

I had the boys help me with this project, but in reality, should have waited until Daddy was home.  It was a bit messy, though not too bad, but probably messier that the boys were helping.  You have to cut the rolls of plaster tape into long strips, dip them in water, and then place them on your belly.  This was fun for a few times but then D just wanted to play in the water, of course, but I was able to finish it up myself and even take some pictures.

belly casting kit

After it's all done, you simply let it dry on your belly for about 10 minutes.  Then, you take it off and let it dry for a day.  After that, you can do whatever you want with it…paint it, hang it with a ribbon, etc.  I am still deciding what I want to do with mine, but it does look great without doing anything at all "artistically" speaking.

You can purchase the Belly Casting Art Kit at the Pearhead website or Amazon for less than $25.  It's such a simple, fun activity that you will always have to cherish those last few days of pregnancy.  This would also make a terrific shower gift for a mom-to-be.

pearhead belly casting kit

Follow Pearhead on Twitter and Facebook, and check out the other fun things they have in their online store, such as frames, books, keepsakes, and more for babies, parents, and even pets!

disclosurereview