Right around Madeline’s first birthday we started looking for a solution for her to feed herself. We have followed a modified baby led weaning approach to introducing her to table food, but she’s at a point where she needs to learn to use utensils. Why? Because she is little miss independent, and spoon feeding her is no longer an option! That being said, yogurt is one of her favorite foods, and the only way she will eat veggies is in a pouch. So, without a solution, we’re left with a really messy kid!
That’s when I discovered the company ChooMee, and I have fallen in love!!! They make two different products, and we love them both for different reasons.
The first are these silicone spoons. They’re small, easy to hold, and malleable, so they’re perfect for little hands who don’t understand why spoons are curved with a top and bottom. They have a cutout on the spoon part, so when dipped, they pick up the food you’re trying to eat. This makes it easy for toddlers to learn, we found it works best with a thicker liquid, so yogurt was perfect! It absolutely helped Madeline learn how to use utensils and she loved that she was doing it herself.
Then I discovered these pouch tops! They are a life changing invention!
Essentially what you do is put this on top of the existing pouch spout. What it does is make it so that you have to suck on it for the food to come out! This helps avoid spills and not squeezing the pouch onto the floor (Madeline’s favorite activity) and helps your child learn to use a straw (same sucking motion). They have made giving Madeline a pouch wonderful and worry free, and she loves the independence of eating by herself!
We got our Choomee products on Amazon and in true prime fashion, they were here in two days! We love them, and while we no longer use the spoons, we don’t go anywhere without the pouch top!
**The product we received for this blog post was in exchange for our honest review. All of the opinions stated here are entirely our own.**
If you’ve been following along for a while, you will know that we love Mabel’s Labels! We have loved using their clothing labels for our little ones for years and we were so excited to be able to try out some of their other products from their Safety Products & Home Organization Labels line! The kids’ safety products help ensure your child’s allergies, special needs and important information is always close at hand and their custom household labels are ideal for helping families stay organized and can be used for everything including jars, cans, bins and more!
When it comes to your child’s safety, no mother messes around! That is why we jumped on the opportunity to try the Kids Safety ID Bracelets. Our kids are crazy toddlers, they have their own ideas of where they should be and why…and my goodness- they are so fast! These durable, disposable ID bracelets are perfect for trips to museums, theme parks, field trips, the list goes on! You can personalize them with names and numbers. These bracelets contain your contact information to help lessen the panic of being separated in a crowd. If you want that extra layer of privacy, the bracelets can be attached around belt loops or under socks.
The added bonus of purchasing this product? Mabel’s Labels donates a portion of all sales of this product to Autism Speaks, an organization that promotes research and awareness about autism.
We tested these bracelets out during a family trip to the NYS museum. Logan thought it was so cool and we felt peace of mind knowing if we ever were to get separated because he sprinted off, our information was on him. This is most helpful because Logan is still too young to memorize our phone numbers.
Is your home in need of an organization makeover? Then Mabel’s Labels has the products for you! FYM Emily loves the Write Away! Labels for Home. Theses labels are self-laminating, writable labels and are the perfect label for everything around your house. Simply use a permanent marker, write, seal, stick and you are good to go! Whether you’re labeling bins, jars, cans – these durable labels are guaranteed to meet all your needs!
Emily uses them to label her Essential Oil bottles, they’re great because they never peel off or wipe off – they’re just perfect!
Are you like us and store your stuff in totes and bins? Ever find yourself having to open each bin to see what is inside? Well, that is something Sherrie finds herself doing a lot! So she tried out their custom Storage Bin Labels! These labels are great because you get to customize them with text and different styles! They are durable enough for storage totes and containers and are guaranteed to last anywhere in the home – from basement to garage to attic.
Sherrie customized them with baby/toddler clothing sizes, as well as all the seasons/holidays for her bins of decor. Finding stuff in her basement is a breeze now, especially the kids clothing. As Finn moves up in sizes, it is so much easier to stay organized and put his outgrown clothing back in the labeled bin and grab his new size. She also love how organized it makes her basement look!
So we love Mabel’s Labels so much and we know you will too! They have generously allowed us to giveaway one of their products to one of our lucky readers! We chose to giveaway the Baby Label Pack! The Baby Label Pack is the perfect bundle of customized waterproof labels and tags designed especially for all of your little one’s needs. From diaper bags to bottles to onesies – this pack is perfect for any type of mom! The Baby Label pack includes:
15 Personalized Name Stickers
16 Mini Custom Name Stickers
2 Custom Shoe Stickers (1 pair)
21 Tag Mates™ Stick On Clothing Labels
2 Personalized Bag Tags
Your choice of text, style and font!
To enter this AMAZING giveaway* all you have to do is comment below with how many kids you have! For an optional, additional entry subscribe to our blog! In the upper right hand corner you will find the form, simply fill it out and check your email to complete the subscription process! Don’t worry – we won’t spam your emails. You will be signing up for our monthly newsletter with links to all our posts as well as future content and giveaways!
*Official Sweepstakes Rules & Regulations*
No purchase necessary. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of the United States and must be at least 18 years of age. Contest begins August 7th and the deadline to enter is Thursday, August 10th at 8:00 PM EST. Winner of the prize will receive a code to order (1) Baby Label Pack (retail value of $26.95) described above and cannot be exchanged for cash value. Winner will be selected at random draw and the number of eligible entries received determine the odds of winning. Winner will be announced Friday, August, 11th at 12:00 PM EST on our social media pages; Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
You’ve heard us mention before how much we love Essential Oils! Well, we quickly discovered that when you have a lot of the oils and accessories, you need a way to organize and store them or it can get out of hand quickly! FYM Emily found a convenient, easy, and affordable way to store hers and it utilizes another one of our favorite companies- Thirty One Gifts!
Meet the Glamour Case- this is a cute, compact case that’s lined in plastic. It’s actually made for carrying makeup- but it’s the perfect height for bottles of essential oils! I liked to organize alphabetically so that it’s easier to find! I have found that one of the things I need at this point is labels for the tops of my bottles!
I started with my blends first because I have less of them! And put them in alphabetical order, but I quickly found I needed dividers! So I cut out the back of the black boxes that Edens Garden oils come in and voila! Instant divider.
Once the blends were in- I put in my single oils, again, alphabetically. And then of course- another divider.
What I found at this point was I didn’t have enough oils! But it allowed me to have extra space for my glass roller bottles and 2 oz spray bottles. I ordered these from Amazon- they’re great for blending and making the things you need. They came with dividers and fit perfectly in the case.
That filled the case! And it left a little room for me to add my oil journal- this is where I keep track of the blends and diffuser recipes that I love. On top of that I put on my Mabel’s Labels. If you thought that Mabel’s Labels was just for kids- you need to think again! They sent us these great home labels called Write Away. I am obsessed! They have two layers- the label and a white plastic. You use a sharpie (that I keep in my case) to write on the label. Then peel both and place on your roller. The white plastic smoothed the label so that there are no air bubbles, then peels off and leaves the perfect stick! I love it! I’ve tried labels that are just sharpie on the bottle, cricut vinyls, and nothing stands up like these! They are now my go to!
Anytime I I need a new blend or a refill, it’s easy to make- I just pull out my handy case and I’m good to go!
Ready for more ways to save money?! This is another rebate app that we love, but can be slower to earn money from. It is called Checkout 51. It is an app for your phone that gives you a certain amount of money for purchasing specific things. Similar to the other apps we have shared, you need to upload a photo of your receipt and then select the items you are claiming, however you do not need to scan the bar codes of the specific items like the other apps.
Once the receipt is processed, it deposits that amount into your account, when you hit $20 you can request a payout via check or PayPal! So while this does take a little longer than some of the others, it is still an easy way to have a forced savings. Particularly if you’re using the funds you have from couponing for something like a college savings, or a vacation, you can watch this accumulate.
Unlike some of the other apps that only pay you for one of a certain item, Checkout 51 allows you to claim multiples (with a limit that varies per item). There are also bonuses for purchasing specific items or multiples that let you get more savings!
Important to note about this app is that the offers change on Wednesdays, which is different than most sales cycles. So if you’re counting on it in your weekly match-ups, just be sure to shop and upload your receipt before the offers change! They are also limited and tend to be claimed fairly quickly, so if it’s a good deal, don’t wait to claim!
We like this as an added bonus for saving money. So far FYM Emily has earned $83.55 and FYM Sherrie has earned $92.25. Do you use Checkout 51? How much have you saved?
Another one of our favorite money saving coupon apps is SavingStar! This is another app that gives you cash back for buying specific items. This app tends to sync up with the Sunday coupons every week, so it’s a good way to get some freebies!
First things first, you need to download the app, we’ve connected our bank accounts to it so we can get paid cash directly. You also need to connect your store cards to the app as that is how it verifies your purchases. This is a little different from apps like Ibotta, but it means that you don’t have to take the extra step of uploading receipts! The app is available for a wide variety of stores and will show you what’s available near you using your zip code.
Then, you choose the rebates you want, sometimes it’s cash for a specific item, and sometimes it’s a larger amount of cash for spending a certain threshold. For those types of rebates, you can also participate in learning more about the product to get a “boost” towards your spending – that’s easy, free money!
When you purchase the items, or reach the threshold of particular items, you are automatically credited with the rebate amount. Once you reach $5, you can cash out in the form of gift cards, Paypal, or even directly into your bank account! It’s an easy was to earn cash back!
Unlike some of the other apps we’ve shared with you, SavingStar can also work from a desktop, so if you don’t like to download apps to your phone- never fear! You can still use this one! It all adds up, since she started using it about two years ago FYM Emily has saved $311.45 and FYM Sherrie has saved over $100!
What are you waiting for? Get started here!
I have really enjoyed using more essential oils in our cleaning products! One place that I hate using chemicals in particular is in our bathroom. Every time I clean it, I feel like I’m just inhaling fume after fume. I specifically do it while Madeline is asleep so I can shut her door! and even after all that, it never seems to be that much cleaner!
That’s when I discovered a soft scrub recipe using essential oils on Pinterest. I never have bought soft scrub before, I always used a cleaner like Scrubbing Bubbles. I was excited to give it a try! And I was able to make it with ingredients I had in my house!
Here’s what you’ll need:
3/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup castille soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s and LOVE it!)
1 Tablespoon Water
8 drops Lemon Essential Oil
5 drops Lime Essential Oil
5 drops Cleaning Blend Essential Oil
First you mix the baking soda and castille soap together with a wire whisk or a fork, make sure there are no clumps! Then add in the water and mix. After that, add your oils (you can change the combination, but don’t lose the citrus!) Mix thoroughly and you’re ready to go! If you don’t use it all in one sitting, you can keep it in an airtight container out of the sunlight.
I just added globs to the places I needed to clean; tile, bathtub, toilet boil, bathroom sink. Using a scrubber sponge and water it took no time to scrub down everything! I even used it with my regular toilet brush in the toilet instead of toilet bowl cleaner! I was amazed and how stains that I felt like had been there since we moved in came off with ease! Warning- the state of my bathroom was gross before cleaning, I’m almost embarrassed to post them!
This is a staple in our cleaning routine now, I make it weekly, so much faster, more efficient, and safe to use!
If you’re an online shopper (which if you’re a mom, let’s face it, online shopping is life) and you’re not using Ebates then we’re about to change your life!
We do a lot of online shopping! Being a mom is exhausting and you may not have a lot of free time to be out shopping. So online shopping whether during a late night feeding or waiting for your kid at the bus stop is a life saver. Ebates is a great way to make those online deals just a little bit sweeter by paying you cash back, literally cold hard cash, for shopping through their links!
Here’s how it works:
Log on and create an Ebates account. Once you do that you can can activate cash back two ways. The first option is you can go to directly to the site, search for the store you’re shopping at and click through from Ebates. The second option is you can install the Ebates cash back button for your internet browser. We both like the second option because what can happen is that you forget to click the links through Ebates first. So anytime you visit a site eligible for Ebates cash back it will create a pop up that asks if you want to activate your cash back – super easy!
We also recommend checking out their mobile app. They do promos like Mobile Mondays! On Mondays (and other holidays) by shopping through the app instead of the computer links, some stores will offer higher percentages of cash back. This is awesome! Particularly during the holidays when it happens all the time.
You can also earn bonuses for referring friends- they get money and so do you! It’s a win win all around.
This has totally changed the way we online shop. To be honest, we get more than a little sad when we see 0% cash back on a store. 😭! To date, after almost two years Emily has made $426.24 and Sherrie has made $258.55! Are you an Ebates user? If not, you will be now! Ready to get started? Join us here or here!
One thing both of us here at Forever Young Moms love to do is read! But it’s increasingly hard to find or make the time to read for fun. We love the idea of book clubs for moms because it forces you to make the time and you are exposed to new books you may not have tried before!
FYM Emily introduced Sherrie to a Mommies Only Book Club on Facebook. This is the best of both worlds, not only are you getting to read a new book, but you can discuss the book over a weekend, on your own time, and you don’t have to clean your house to host others!
While I get frustrated with book clubs because I find myself reading books I didn’t want to read, it’s also good because it’s an eye opener. I recently discovered the author Jodi Piccolut. I had heard great things but never really tried her books until I read two of them for a book club. Turns out, I really like her style of writing and the stories she creates- and now I have so many more choices to read!
Books clubs are a great way to have something for yourself. As moms, we are always go, go, go, putting everyone’s needs before our own, but self care is extremely important. That’s why we love book clubs, it helps to keep some time just for you, where you can relax and escape your reality for a little while. Even if you don’t love the book, it’s nice to just get away. 🙂
When we first started using Essential Oils one of my goals was to have more natural products for Madeline. One thing we use almost daily is diaper rash spray. Madeline has sensitive skin, and her tush is easily irritated. I hate lathering her up in messy butt paste (even though FYM Sherrie swears by the bum brush!)! So when I came across a diaper rash spray, I was excited to try it out!
Here’s what you need:
2 oz spray bottle.
20 drops tea tree oil
20 drops lavender
Fractionated Coconut Oil
It is important that you always use a glass container for holding your essential oils! The oils can break down plastic- so you’re better off safe than sorry! I add 20 drops of each oil and then just fill it to the top with fractionated coconut oil. Once the top is securely on, just be sure to shake it delicately back and forth a few times to be sure it’s all mixed.
I have made a habit of keeping two of these, one on the changing table and one in the diaper bag. Any time she has a little redness I spritz her and it clears up with the next change. Since we started using it, she has yet to get a big, sore rash like she used to! And as a plus- her diaper smells a little better! We love having a natural solution for her that works! Do you use a natural diaper rash spray? How does it work for you?
All we can we say is WOW! We are so unbelievably honored to receive the Sunshine Blogger Award! Thank you to Kayla of Adventures of a Young Mother for nominating us! The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award for bloggers who are creative, positive, and always aim to be inspiring.
As part of the award we need to share the love! We have to nominate 11 other bloggers who will be required to:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated them and link it back to their blog
2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them
3. Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 new questions to answer
4. Notify your nominees and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post
Kayla gave us some really awesome questions to answer!
1. What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
Our favorite thing about blogging is being able to share our stories of our journey and the community that we are building around that! Whether it’s readers, other bloggers, companies, and people in the community, we feel like we’re creating an extended family, and that’s a wonderful feeling!
2. What do you want reader’s to take away from your blog?
The single more important thing we want our readers to take away is you’re not alone. There’s always someone going through a similar situation and you’re surrounded with support. We hope that we’re helping other moms just get that break of sanity that they may so desperately crave!
3. What’s the best blogging advice you’ve been given?
The best blogging advice we have been given is to have fun! It would be very easy to let blogging become a job and feel like you have to fit within certain rules. We started this for fun, we always want it to stay that way! And we’ve been able to have great experiences, try great products and make great activities and crafts and memories with our kiddos!
4. many children do you have?
Between the two of us we have 3 children. Sherrie has two boys, Logan and Finn, and Emily has one girl name Madeline.
5. How old are your LO’s?
Logan is two years old, Madeline is 1 years old and Finn is 6 months old.
6. What makes you happiest to be a mother?
Sherrie: The thing that makes me happiest to be a mom is seeing my kids smile, laugh and enjoy life. Their is no greater joy than experiencing life through the eyes of your child.
Emily: The happiest part about being a mom to me, is just that I’m able to be! I struggled with infertility so the fact that Madeline is here and perfect and healthy is just such a miracle and a blessing. I love seeing the world through her eyes, now that I am a mom, I can’t imagine it any other way! It’s the best job I’ve ever had!
7. What is the biggest struggle you’ve encountered as a mother?
Sherrie: The biggest struggle for me has been balancing everything. Between two kids who are 18 months apart, it can be difficult to find time to squeeze it all in. It makes it even harder that the days fly by!
Emily: Wanting to do it all, and mom guilt. I totally struggle with mom guilt, I always want to make sure we are doing the best we can, making the best decisions, and exposing Madeline to fun and new things! So days that I get impatient or that we don’t do too much, I struggle with guilt.
8. What do you do for me time, when you get the chance?
Sherrie: My down time is shopping, getting a mani/pedi or getting my hair done!
Emily: Umm– down time? Seriously? Well, I crochet and that helps, but to me, my downtime isn’t really downtime, it’s working on my masters, working on this blog, running my Usborne Books business and reading as an escape. (Or Pinteresting and DIYing).
9. What’s your favorite movie?
Sherrie: Wow, that is a tough question and not sure I can name just one, I love too many! I enjoy suspense thrillers, comedies and every now and then a romance movie!
Emily: Conspiracy Theory! Seriously, it’s great. But I love a wide variety of movies, I think I’ve seen The Proposal 15 times and still it never gets old. And forget a Harry Potter or Disney Marathon on Freeform- I’m there, all day.
10. What’s your favorite date night?
Sherrie: Matt and I are so low key that dinner and a movie would do. The last date night we had we went to lunch and then ended up birthday present for shopping for Logan. Even when not with the kids, it is hard not to include them somehow and we are perfectly okay with that!
Emily: It is crazy but Mike and I have only been on one “date night” since Madeline was born! It was a wedding of a close friend. Not that we don’t know it’s important or don’t have the time, we’re just so thankful for her that we like to spend dates with her- we can’t get enough of soaking her up! It would be nice to get out alone, but we just end up talking about her! We have always loved going to breweries and getting out- that would be fun to do still (you can bring a baby right?)
11. What did you get for Mother’s Day?
Sherrie: The boys got me the sweetest card! Matt got me one of my favorites for breakfast, munchkins! And prepared my favorite meal for dinner while he cleaned the entire house top to bottom, washed and folded all the laundry – he basically gave me the day off! 🙂
Emily: Madeline made me the sweetest card! Mike was a champ, he totally stepped in and made an amazing breakfast (even fixed my coffee!), changed all the poopy diapers, and then made dinner not only for me but also for my mom. He did a great job!
We are so happy to be able to share our journey of motherhood with you all! We started our blog just over a year ago not knowing what would come of it. We thought, we’re moms, we’re married to twins, we like to DIY, we could totally write a blog! With very few expectations we’ve been blown away by the community we are creating and the opportunities that have continued to present themselves. What started as a little dream has become a very large part of our daily lives!
Emily wanted to offer a piece of advice to others who may be thinking of or starting a blog. Plan Ahead! The one thing that has surprised her the most is how much time it takes not only to blog and promote, but to grow a blog! Whether you plan ahead your post you’re going to write, the social media you’ll be sharing, or the back end work of keeping up a website- it all takes a LOT of time and focus. Planning for it helps to keep you from getting overwhelmed. We know that when we are planned well, we run like a much smoother machine (though not flawless!) than when we don’t! And it helps keep blogging enjoyable and not a job!
And the award goes to…
The Coffee Mom
You are all so deserving of this award! We feel that you exceed the requirements for the award and we love following your journey to and through motherhood as well! Keep on shining, Moms! Here are your 11 questions we want you to answer. 🙂
1. Where are you from?
2. How did you come up with the name for your blog?
3. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
4. If you could have dinner with any one person dead or alive, who would it be and why?
5. If you could only listen to 5 songs for the rest of your life what would they be?
6. What’s the one thing you say often (to your kids) you never thought you’d say?
7. What’s the funniest thing your child has said or done in the last month?
8. How did you announce that you were pregnant? Show us those photos!
9. How did you choose your baby’s names?
10. Using 3 words, describe your motherhood experience.
11. Now that you have kid(s), what advice would you give to yourself when you were pregnant?
Can’t wait to see what you all come up with! Congratulations!