Essential Oils for Diaper Rash Spray

Friday Faves: Essential Oil Diaper Spray

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.

Essential Oils for Diaper Rash Spray Essential Oil Diaper Spray Fractionated Coconut Oil Essential Oil Diaper Rash Spray

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?



Sunshine Blogger Award!

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

The Crocheting Mom 

The Strattons

The Life and Times of a Happy Wife

A Pint Sized Life

Adventures with Nico 

Parenting Expert to Mom 

House of Psych

Rogers Party of 5 

Coffee and Sarcasm 

Mama Bear Daily 

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!

Blogger Recognition Award!

What can we say but WOW! We are blown away, we never expected our blog could touch so many people, let along be recognized, so THANK YOU!

We were nominated by Oak City Mama, Mommy is Exhausted and Holden Down the Fort!

Thank you so much to all of you for the Blogger Recognition Award! We are so honored you picked us as one of your nominees! We both love all your blogs!

Here are the Rules:
Thank the blogger who nominated me and provide a link to their blog ✔
Write a post to show the award ✔
Write a brief story of how my blog started ✔
Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers ✔
Nominate 15 Bloggers for the Award ✔
Comment on their blog to know they have nominated ✔

How Our Blog Started: 
Our blog idea started up when we were sitting at the dog park one morning while our husbands were playing soccer. Sherrie said to Emily we should write a mom blog! Logan was a few months old and Emily was still due with Madeline. We didn’t let that idea die at the dog park! Here we are today, a little over a year in, enjoying sharing our journey with everyone!

Two Pieces of Advice:
1. Never give up. Even on the days or weeks you think, “is this even worth it?” Trust us – it is. Keep on, keeping on and you will find your way. We are still navigating the blog world ourselves, but a small win, is still a win.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask other bloggers for help. Blogging is SO hard. There is so much to learn. There are plenty bloggers out there who are flooded with information and knowledge and have no problem sharing – don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is no such thing as a stupid question!

We’re thrilled to be able to pass this on to some of our other favorite bloggers! Check out these blogs too and be sure to give them some love!

  1. Babies to Bookworms: Of course we are going to love a blog about books! You may have figured out we like to read. Vicki over at Babies to Bookworms has an amazing knowledge of children’s (and adult) books- but what we love most, she takes the time to make an experience for each of the books she recommends! Whether that’s a DIY craft  or a fun activity- her blog is the stuff Pinterest dreams are made of 🙂

2. Mom Monster Blog: Morgan over at Mom Monster Blog is one of our favorites because she keeps it real! Literally every post she writes, we can relate to, and she’s brave enough to share it, good, bad, or ugly!

3. The Accidental Mrs.: Amanda at The Accidental Mrs. is our go to resource on all things Disney! You can imagine, Emily can get lost in her blog for quite a while! But seriously, she’s a funny, sassy southern momma and we can’t get enough!

4. This Connecticut Mom: This blog makes us want to live in Connecticut!! Seriously though, she’s always sharing the cute things she does with her son and is out and about- so many neat things to do! We’re jealous!

5. 700 Smiles: We are lucky enough to know Chelsea over at 700 Smiles personally.  FYM Emily (a lifetime ago) used to be a wedding planner and actually was the assistant on Chelsea and her hubby’s wedding! Since then we’ve gotten to watch her journey to becoming a mom and I can tell you this girl is all heart and perseverance.  She is blessed with an adorable little man, Luca, and we are so thrilled to see this take off for her! She blogs for a cause as well, raising money for Cleft Pallet awareness, be sure to stop over and give her some love!

6. Mommy is Exhausted: Cat over at Mommy is Exhausted helped contribute to our Favorite Mom Products post! We love her blog especially her post on breastfeeding. It is always nice when you can relate other moms when it comes to struggles!

7. Simple Kinda Mom: We stumbled upon one of Kyler’s post in a mom group and we were instantly connected. She is open and honest about herself as a mom and we LOVE that!

8. My Joy in Chaos: Katie is another blogger who contributed our Mom Faves post! Her blog name fits her blog perfectly, joyful! Also, she has some amazing free printables you can download!

9. Holden Down the Fort:  Emily is another blogger who keeps it real. It is so refreshing to see other moms who don’t hold back and tell like it is. She is one of them!

10. My So Called Mommy Life: You want to read an entertaining post? Then you have to check out My Kids are Assholes by Renee over at My So Called Mommy Life. This mom is even more amazing as she is currently battling breast cancer. Truly inspirational woman and mom!

11. I, Mommy: Maria is a very supportive mom blogger! She also contributed to our Mom Favorites post. She wrote about her experience with PPD for Mental Health Awareness Month which is such an important topic that needs to be discussed. Also, we love how she ends her posts with, “MM, out!” 🙂

12. Adventures of a Young Mother Kayla is a young mom and she is so proud of it and rightfully so! She wrote an amazing post on how moms may miss who they were before having kids – you need to check it out! It is so true!

13. Love, Life & the Little One Meghna wrote a beautiful post for Mother’s Day about promises to her little one and it hit home for us. Very touching post! She also shared a mom product for our Mom Faves post too! Check her out!

14. Fab Working Mom Life: Julie is just like us in that she is a working mom and she is a military spouse just like Emily. She really gets it and offers some amazing advice and tips for all types of moms!

15. Young Love Mommy: Ellen at Young Love Mommy has a lovely blog! We love that she not only talks about motherhood, but even shares some delicious recipes to try! Her latest recipe is definitely one we want to try!

Thank you so much again for the moms who nominated us! Please check out and support these other awesome Mom Bloggers we love!

 

 

Teaching Baby Sign Language

One of the things I was adamant about doing when Madeline was born was teaching her American Sign Language.  I wanted to make sure that she was able to communicate with me, even before she could speak, so that I could better understand her needs.

The easiest way to teach this is through repetition.  From the time that she was about three months old, I would say the word I was trying to sign and also make the sign in front of her face, that way she’d know what it meant.  She got a few down and was using them from 9 months to a year, but in the last few months, as she’s also learning to speak, has started to use them even more. I am lucky that her daycare also teaches sign language in the infant and one year old rooms, so it’s reinforced learning.

Here are some signs to get you started if you want to teach your baby American Sign Language:

Milk: This was by far the easiest sign for her, probably because she asked for it all the time! She started signing just after we weaned from nursing.  I think it helped because instead of rooting or grabbing my shirt, she had a signal to show me she needed (or rather wanted) milk.  Then I would get up and get it for her.  You make this by making a closed fist and squeezing.  She still makes that sign to this day, though she can now also say “milk”.

baby sign language milk

Finished/All Done: This was another sign that she picked up very quickly.  We followed a modified version of baby led weaning, so she is frequently in her high chair with a few choices in front of her.  We had noticed that when she was finished she would wave her hands across and knock all the food on the floor.  Not acceptable behavior by any stretch of the imagination.  So, we started teaching her all done, and she picked up very quickly.  For this, instead of turning her palms over, she waves her hands all about, but we know what it means, and again, in teaching repetition, and eventually speech, when she does it, we say “All done?”  What’s really neat, is that she’s taken it from just eating where we started to other places.  When she’s done her bath now and wants to get out, she signs all done.  When she doesn’t want to play with something anymore, she signs all done.  It’s so helpful in figuring out her wants and needs.

baby sign language all done

Sleep: Sleep was a pretty easy one for her to learn, it’s a pretty natural movement.  Madeline figured this one out on her own, we didn’t really teach it to her.  That being said, she doesn’t quite do it correctly, which causes some confusion.  The sign is both hands clasped together like a pillow.  But, Madeline uses one hand and places it over her ear.  This has been a little bit of a problem, particularly at daycare because they frequently tell me that she’s “pulling on her ear and cranky.” They think it’s a sign of an ear infection, I know that’s her sign for tired.  Every baby is going to have some differences and pick up on signing a little in their own unique way, it’s important to just know your child and trust your instincts.  And of course, if you’re concerned about ear infections, or other illness, call your pediatrician.

baby sign language sleep

More: Madeline didn’t master this one until just after a year, while this is one we’ve been working on for a while, it’s taken her gaining some independence to be able to do it.   After her last leap (see our post on The Wonder Weeks) she was able to figure out cause and effect.  Because of that, she now knows that when she asks for more, she’s likely to get something, or be told no.  So, she does it frequently, particularly with whatever we’re eating.  But, she also does it for toys, games, and reading books.  It’s a very clear and direct indication of what she wants and helps to eliminate some of those toddler tantrums by being able to communicate instead of getting frustrated.

baby sign language more

Change:  This is one that we worked on for a while, but it’s so much harder to teach. For a long time, Madeline had no concept of when she needed changing.  It’s taken until she’s been just over a year old for her to realize that she’s uncomfortable and that is because she needs her diaper changed.  Typically, I can smell that she needs it before she signs it to me! But, nonetheless I have been trying to teach her and she’s picking it up sometimes.  She is able to sign change when she’s wet, and that helps! This is another one that she doesn’t quite get 100%, she grabs her wrist and thinks that means change, when it’s not quite the right sign.  Again, every baby will be different and it just takes working with them and knowing them.

baby sign language change

Please: Please, and consequently, thank you have been really hard for Madeline to learn.  She’s just shy of 16 months at this point and starting to pick up on them, though not consistently.  About a week ago she was staring at me, and I know she wanted the item I was holding.  I kept saying “say please Madeline” and showing her what the sign is.  I’d rub my chest in a circle and say “please.”  I even picked up her hand and rubbed it in a circle on her chest and said please.  Inevitably, instead of doing it herself, she walked up to me, took her tiny hand and rubbed it on my chest in a circle.  I’ll take that- it’s all part of learning!  Since that day, she’s started to do it more herself, they are working on it with her at day care and that helps, but she’s also picking up on if she says please (or signs please) we are much more likely to give her what she wants quickly.  Again, it’s part of that cause and effect learning skill developed in her last leap. Once she can demonstrate please consistently, we will try thank you.

baby sing language please

We’ve really loved watching her be able to communicate non verbally through American Sign Language – it makes our lives as parents easier.  But what I will say as a piece of advice for those wanting to try it- make sure your child is developmentally at a place where it’s appropriate.  Read The Wonder Weeks, look for cues of recognition and then try to teach the appropriate words and phrases.  And above all, be patient.  It’s a very big world that they are learning about, and while you’re trying to help them, you have to make it fun and easy for them.  If you’re looking for additional resources on teaching baby sign language to your child, check out this great website, it has tons of tips you may find useful, I know I did!

Friday Faves: Mom Products!

In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend we thought it would be fun to ask other awesome Mom Bloggers to share with us what their favorite Mom products are. We asked, what products helps you out as a Mom? It could have be anything – we set no boundaries. We wanted their honest answers!

For us, hands down our favorite has to be the Sarah Wells Breast Pump Bag. As nursing moms, the stress of having to pump at work, or anywhere that isn’t the comfort of your own home, can take a toll on your supply. Let’s not forget that carrying around a breast pump is not high on our list of fun things to do. Sarah Wells designed special bags specifically to transport breast pumps that allow for ease when it comes time to pump. The pumparoo that goes with is also great for carrying and storing your parts in between pumping sessions.

Pumping Bag- Sarah WellsBag for Pumping at work

Here are 12 Mom Products other Moms like us can’t live without!

1. Katie from My Joy in Chaos
Mom Favorite: Sweaty Band

This is the only headband I’ve found that stays in place, even while doing intense workouts, and looks great. I wear one nearly every day to add a little somethin’ somethin’ to the classic mom bun as well as wearing one with my hair down for an added pop of color and style. I can be practical and a little stylish with the variety of colors and patterns. I wrote a longer review of them here. You can buy them on amazon.

2.  Maria from I, Mommy
Mom Favorite: Laneige – Lip Sleeping Mask

This is one of my most favourite lip care since buying it at Sephora in January. I suffered from super chapped lips especially during the winter months. I’ve tried so many products to help and it never quite got the job done. I love this product and recommend it to anyone who has the same issues.  I love this because I don’t really have the time in the morning to do my regular face routine with helping my skin throughout the day. So I have time just to wash, and moisturize. With three kids, my time to care for my skin is at night time. Applying a small amount of this at night or morning helps hydrate my lips all day. It also lasts a while. I’ve had it for three months and have yet to use half of this 20g bottle.

3. Jessi from The Coffee Mom
Mom Favorite: Ergo Carrier

For both of my kids, my one must have was my Ergo. It let me get everything done while still technically holding my clingy babies. Especially with two kids, it is important to have free hands for the 4 year old, but still hold the baby. It makes everything easier from house work, grocery shopping, and family trips! No stroller for me, the Ergo is so much easier and convenient. I got mine on sale on Zulilly.com, and they go on there often!

4. Kayla from Adventures of a Young Mother
Mom Favorite:  Mama’s and Papa’s Baby Snug Seat

I’m a new Mom still doing a lot of experimenting to figure out what works for not only me, but my little man! He’s only a 4 month old baby so he’s just discovering all that he can do! Recently he’s started holding his head up extremely well, and has been sitting in his Mama’s and Papa’s Baby Snug seat. It’s been beneficial for him as he’s beginning to sit up unassisted but also such a lifesaver for me, I’m able to prop him in his chair, put a few toys on his tray and get what needs to be done around the house DONE. He’s able to sit right next to me as I do dishes, prepare meals, or even sit on my laptop and get some blogging done. There’s also an added activity play tray that you can purchase, it’s basically a tray that sticks to the tray below, with tons of toys attached to entertain! We were given ours at our baby shower but it was on our registry at Target. I know you can also purchase them at Toy’s R Us, Walmart, and Buy Buy Baby. You can also purchase them online on Ebay. From what I’ve seen, they run from about 44.99 to 63.99, depending if you purchase the activity tray with the seat.

5. Meghna from Life Little One
Mom Favorite:  Uppa Baby Vista

My favorite Mommy Product, without a doubt, is the stroller we invested in. It’s called Uppa Baby Vista. It is the SUV of the stroller if you may. We bought it during my babymoon at London, UK and lugged it all the way to Muscat, Oman since it was not available in the country 2 years back. The stroller comes with a bassinet, so this was my infant’s first ride. She is 2.5 years old and she still sits on it every single day as I take her in her Uppa Baby stroller to her nursery. This stroller is a bit heavy but it is so sturdy and spacious and useful that we have taken it with us to all the trips we have taken with our little one which covers 5 countries and 3 continents, and Uppa Baby has been a dependable travel partner.  Here’s the link to the site to read about it and buy. It is now available in the USA, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East too.

6. Crystal a.k.a. The Messy Mommy from The Messy Truth of Motherhood
Mom Favorite:  Bubula

If you use disposable diapers, there’s really no way to keep your typical plastic diaper pail from smelling like crap.  That’s why I LOVE my Bubula. (Bubu-wha? Bubula.) It’s a stainless steel and aluminum diaper pail with an air-tight lid (i.e., nearly odorless). It’s 50 percent larger than standard diaper bins, and you can use tall kitchen garbage bags in it. Because of it’s size and quality, I only have to change the bag once per week, and my daughter’s room always smells fresh.  The important thing to know about Bubula is that the company’s customer service is stellar. The lid on mine broke after six months, and Bubula shipped me a new one — no questions asked — within a day. For free. The company’s vice president even emailed me to make sure I received the replacement. You can’t beat that kind of care. Bubulas, which cost about $90, can be purchased on Amazon.com and at Babies/Toys R Us.

7. Dâmares from  How to Marry a Millionaire
Mom Favorite: Diaper Bag from Hema

I actually don’t have a favorite product, or one that would make my life more practical or easier, but I thought of my diaper bag (from Hema) that I take with me everywhere (just as my daughter 🙂 ). It carries not only her necessary things but also all my things, while still having enough empty space and not being heavy. It’s black, of a good quality and it fits our lifestyles, which I have to say wasn’t that easy to find… in the midst of so many plastic colourful bags. I like it ’cause it doesn’t even look a baby’s bag.

8. Kali from Oak City Mama
Mom Favorite: Organic Cotton Nursing Pads & Anvy & Me Diaper Changing Clutch

Maybe it’s just me, but I leak breastmilk constantly. I have to wear nursing pads at all times so that I don’t soak through my shirt. I’ve tried several different kinds, and these Organic Cotton Washable Nursing Pads are my favorite. They are really soft, so they don’t cause extra irritation like the terry cloth ones do. I bought them at Babies-R-Us, but you can also get them on Amazon. I think most diaper bags come with changing pads, but mine didn’t. The first time we tried to leave the house with Beckett, I realized we had nowhere to change him. Oops! I like the Anvy & Me Diaper Changing Clutch that I found on Amazon because it has a place to store diapers and wipes, which makes it really easy to grab and know that you have everything you need.

9 .Cat from Mommy is Exhausted
Mom Favorite:  Munchkin Diaper Bag Dispenser

One of my absolute favorite mom items is the Munchkin Diaper Bag Dispenser.  I know, it probably seems really insignificant but it makes my life so much easier.  It is only 3.99 and comes with lavender scented, baking soda infused bags.  It is a clip on diaper disposal bag dispenser!  I did an entire post on it because I love it so much.  It is so convenient since it clips right on to the diaper bag and I always have a place to dispose of dirty diapers.  I can tie them up and throw them out and no smell lingers.  An advantage over throwing them in a plastic store bag.  I ordered mine from Amazon.  It is also available at Target!

10.  Christine from Nigel’s Village
Mom Favorite: Sound Machine by Rohm

My “Mom Favorite” has to be the portable sound machine by Rohm! We travel a lot with our baby, Nigel, and find that it helps him sleep uninterrupted, whether it be in our hotel room or in the car or even in his stroller. It packs a punch for being so tiny. You can visit my YouTube channel to get more details! I bought mine on Amazon.

11. .Rio Steven from This is the Mama Life
Mom Favorite: Kiinde Twist Breastfeeding System

My mom favorite is hands down The Kiinde Twist Breastfeeding System! It completely eliminates a lot of breastfeeding hassles. The breast milk storage bags can be attached directly to your pump so you don’t have to worry about transferring your milk, and possibly spilling that liquid gold! Once you’re ready to feed your little one, you just pop on a nipple and you can feed right from the storage bag. They are easy to freeze or store in the fridge with the breast milk organizer as well. The Kozii Breast Milk Warmer in this set is amazing! You can warm the milk in the storage bag, or in any bottle. It can be used to heat baby food, making it an item you will use as your baby grows and explores purees. This set takes the guesswork out of heating milk and baby food, no need to worry about getting the temperature just right. It saves you time when pumping and preparing bottles, and you just toss the storage bags when baby is done! Minimal clean up! Now that is a beautiful thing. I personally bought my set at Amazon, but it is available at Target, Toys R Us, and Bad, Bath and Beyond. Read more about my review on my blog here.

12.  Anitra Elmore fromThe MamaZone
Mom Favorite:  Grove Collaborative Subscription

My favorite thing right now is my Grove Collaborative subscription. Grove sells amazing health and beauty products from all my favorite brands. I know it’s not necessarily a “thing,” but it’s making my life super simple these days. I love that I can get our cleaning and beauty products delivered to our door like clockwork each month. And, the biggest bonus is that there’s a great referral program, so we’re getting free products as well. 

13.  Melissa from Mrs. Jackson Tells
Mom Favorite: Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo

My mommy favourite would be the fisher price Rainforest Jumperoo. I got it from Argos in the UK for my then 6 month baby boy. For me It’s a favourite because before getting this toy, Eli wasn’t interested in any other toy and so he only played with me, which I loved, but it meant that I wasn’t able to get much done around the house, something I believe all mummies know about. After we bought it, Eli loved it and would spend 10-20 mins playing on it before he wanted off, that’s 10-20 mins I didn’t have before. Plus it meant that I didn’t feel like I wasted a lot of money on something else that was going to just sit around like his other toys.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms reading this! Perhaps you want to treat yourself to one of these products! 😉 A special thanks to all the Mom Bloggers for sharing their favorites with us! 🙂

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Mom Judging: Why it Needs to Stop

Scroll through Facebook.
Find a catchy title on Scary Mommy.
Read the article.
Laugh as I totally relate.
Skim the comments.
“How dare she feed that baby formula?”
“I would never let a daycare raise my child!”
“Oh, she cloths diapers…that is so gross.”
“What mother feeds her baby food from a jar?”
“Is she really breastfeeding her toddler?!”
“It is not childbirth if you had a c-section.”
Rush of emotions come over me.
Instantly feel like a horrible mother.
Resist the urge to throw my phone.
Repeat.

We need to STOP. Stop this nonsense right NOW. Mom judging is everywhere. In the store, at restaurants, on social media, the workplace, the list goes on. What happened to the golden rule if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it at all?

On my first day back to work after having my second child, while in my very first pumping session ever at work (that is right, I didn’t need to pump at work for Logan, he was mostly formula fed *gasp!*) Emily sent me the cheesy, yet adorable song from High School Musical, “We’re all in this together.” As the video drowned out the sound of my pump, I laughed and laughed and even shed a tear. Emotions were high that day. I never got into High School Musical, but it got me thinking. These kids are onto something. We really are all in this together. Whether you whip out that boob from day one to year two. Or you wash bottles late into the night from formula feeding during the day. Whether you purchase a food processor to make your homemade baby food, with or without organic vegetables. Or you go to the store and pick up the baby jars of food. Whether your child came out of your vagina (yeah, I said vagina). Or you had a c-section, by choice or not. Whether you decide to spend your money on diapers. Or if you’d rather just do it with the cloth. Whether you stay at home and take care of your kiddos. Or you need to place them in someone else’s care so you can pay the bills. Should I keep going?

A couple of years ago Similac shared an amazing video. Before you jump out of your seat, this video was not promoting their formula. In the video you see all different types of moms bringing their kids to the park. They begin to judge each other immediately – you see the breastfeeding vs formula, the cloth vs diaper, the working moms vs. the stay at home moms, and on and on. At the end the end of the video a situation happens and you know what? They all come together as one. Because when the kids go to bed at night and we finally get to take that deep breath – we are all the same inside.

Being a mom is damn hard. Easily the hardest job of my life and no matter how we choose to “mom” – we are all faced with similar struggles. We teach our kids to be kind to one another and then we immediately turn around and make snarky comments because another mom is doing something we didn’t do. It is a bit twisted and backwards if you ask me. Next time you want to judge a mom, put yourself in her shoes. Everyone has battles that we know nothing about. It is time that we put that negative energy towards something else.

So moms – I am are here to say, can’t we all just get along?!
Don’t make me use my mom voice. 😉

 

Mom Judging and Why it needs to stop!”</div>
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Mommy Support Groups

Since I found out that I was pregnant, one of the things I’ve been adamant about is building my “tribe” or finding my “village” as it’s sometimes referred to. I have a few good mommy friends local to me, but I was looking for more support. Since then, I have found many mommy groups and boards and from that made some amazing friends.

Just Mommies Due Date Clubs: I don’t even know how I found the justmommies.com site, I must have searched for it on google. It is a community of women who are all due at the same time called Due Date Clubs. These are essentially groups of discussion boards where you can interact with other women around the world going through the same stages of pregnancy. When all of our babies were born, our due date club switched to a Facebook Group and we still all interact on a weekly and monthly basis. From this board, I met two women who I consider to be great friends of mine. They are definitely part of my village! Sharilyn and Megan are the sweetest women, we have a ton in common, and as consultants, they both feed my lularoe habit! But, seriously, I talk to them every week and love that I have them as a support system. Plus our kids are all within days of each others age, and that helps us relate as well. I still have yet to meet these two fabulous ladies in person, but that hasn’t slowed our friendships at all!

Facebook Groups:  Nearing the end of my pregnancy, I also joined a few Facebook groups dedicated to nursing moms.  They were a huge help, especially with Mike being gone a good chunk of the first part of Madeline’s life.  As a first time mom, breastfeeding was completely new to me, so to be able to just jump on at any time of the day or night, ask a question, and get a friendly response was a huge piece of mind.  Many of the ladies in these groups feel like an extended part of my tribe, even if I haven’t met them.  Towards the end of our nursing journey, I met a woman (again thanks to Lularoe) who I just adore.  Holly (and her husband Partick) are amazing, and at the time I met them, had just started their journey to become lactation consultants and doulas. They are so much more than their business, they truly live and breath what they do- and they care! I can’t say enough good things about That Doula Couple.  As a part of that, they each run a support group, one for moms and one for dads.  This is a huge resource to be able to utilize! After Madeline was born, and still now, I suffered from some Postpartum Anxiety, but these groups and the people who run them have truly been a way for me to ease out of that anxious state and know that I’m not alone.  I think that’s all a new mom can ask for, is a little support.

Meet up Groups: There are also local meet up groups in my area.  I joined two but never actually found the time to go to a meet up! Being a working mom, it’s hard to find time to get to playdates as they tend to be during the day.  But, they are a wonderful way to make friends, socialize your children, or just get out of your house!

 

Mommy Support Groups: When and Why to Join Them!”</div>
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Baby Banana Brush

Friday Faves: Baby Banana Brush

**This post contains a product review, while we were given the product, our opinions are all our own.**

Have you ever heard the horror story of a child who was running with a toothbrush and then suddenly they trip and it punctures a hole in their mouth? Sounds absolutely terrifying and terrible, right? That is exactly what can, and has happened, when you use the typical hard plastic toothbrushes designed for young kids. That horrifying incident happened to a family when their 2 year old slipped while brushing his teeth causing his toothbrush to puncture the roof of his mouth coming within centimeters of entering his brain. Can you imagine that happening to your child? As parents, the last thing you want is to see your child in any sort of pain or danger. This is why the family of that 2 year old boy decided it was time to take action to prevent something like that happening to another child. That is how the Baby Banana Brush was born!

You may have seen the Baby Banana Brush  when creating your registry, in the baby store or other families using it. It was rated a best product for babies and we are here to tell why! If you are thinking, do I really need this? Guess what – YOU DO! We LOVE these toothbrushes for our kiddos.  Even if your child doesn’t have teeth yet, baby banana has toothbrush products designed for teething infants up to fussy toddlers. We are so thankful to be able to try out these products for our kiddos!

Infant Toothbrush

Baby Banana Brush Tooth GelI know you are probably saying to yourself, my infant does not need a toothbrush! But the truth is that it is never too early to introduce good dental hygiene habits from the start! Baby Banana Brush designed this flexible infant brush in a fun banana shape! It has a soft texture and is made of the highest quality silicone. The  unique design of the wide banana peel handles allows infants to easily grasp the brush to learn how to use the brush in their mouth. You can even use the handles to hold a binky strap! The added bonus? It doubles as a teether! It can sooth sore gums for a cranky teething baby. You can even throw it in the freezer! This brush is intended for children under 1 year of age which was ideal for our littlest family member, Finn. He is 5 months old and in the early stage of cutting teeth. He loved it! The brush was easy for him to hold – he  didn’t want to put it down! 🙂

 Baby Banana Brush TeetherBaby Banana Brush Teether

 Toddler Training Toothbrush

Toddler Baby Banana Brush

When your baby turns to a toddler it is crucial you really get into the habit of teeth brushing, especially since they are now eating mostly solid foods. The toddler training toothbrush was designed with safety in mind. To prevent mouth injuries, it is flexible and bendable and is made with medical grade silicone. The small bristles also massage teeth and gums. This brush is designed for children over 12 months of age, perfect for Madeline who at 1 year of age has 11 teeth! This toddler version of the classic banana brush was the just the right upgrade for her.  We put a pea size of the Kid’s Spry tooth gel and let her chew on it, making sure she’s hitting all of her teeth.  She loves it and we think we have her fooled into thinking it is just another toy! 🙂

 Baby Banana BrushBaby Banana Brush


Elefriend Toddler Toothbrush

Baby Banana Brush Elepfriend

The elefriend toddler toothbrush is a flexible toddler toothbrush also designed to be safer than typical plastic toothbrushes to prevent mouth injuries. The adorable toothbrush is an elephant whose spout is a bendable neck with ADA recommended nylon bristles with enough resistance to effectively remove plaque. This brush was designed for children 2 to 4 years old. This was the perfect toothbrush for Logan, who just turned two last month! He loves animals so the elephant design was right up his alley. He is also not a sit still toddler so we have peace of mind knowing it was designed with his safety in mind. 🙂

Spry Tooth Gel

Baby Banana Brush Tooth GelWhen your kids reach the age of one they can begin brushing their teeth with tooth gel. In addition to their fun and safe toothbrushes, Baby Banana also has tooth gel. The Spry Tooth gel is safe to swallow, fluoride-free and comes in a variety of great tasting flavors! They have banana berry, strawberry banana, bubble gum and more!  And the best part? It is made with all natural ingredients. The gels contain the xylitol which is a proven cavity fighter and provides tooth-strengthening calcium to protect and strengthen developing teeth. Madeline got to try the strawberry banana and Logan had the bubble gum – they loved it! 🙂

 

We cannot say enough wonderful things about the Baby Banana Brush company and their products. They are fun, effective and safe for children and it is great that they have created a products for teeth brushing for all ages.

Baby Banana Brush

Our kids love their products and we know yours will too! To view and purchase more of their  fun and amazing products, visit their website! Thank you so much, Baby Banana Brush!!!

 

Money Saving Mamas: Ibotta

Saving money and couponing in this day in age is definitely at least half digital! There are so many apps out there to increase your savings. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing our favorites!

One app that we both love is Ibotta. This is a rebate app that works at multiple stores. The rebates rotate, but essentially, you make an account with your Facebook  and it will automatically puts you on a “team” of your friends.

Then, you shop the listed stores and buy the items there are rebates for. When you get home, you verify the rebates by scanning the barcode and uploading an image of your receipt. It is that simple.

Within a few hours you are credited the amount of the rebate! It accumulates in a bank and when you hit $20 you can cash out either via a gift card or directly into a PayPal account.

Every month there are team bonuses where you’ll get extra savings for redeeming a certain number of rebates and money value within your team.  Additionally, some brands have bonuses where you can earn an extra $1 or $2 for completing them!

Ibotta Bonus Ibotta Teamwork

What we love about Ibotta is that it is not just grocery stores,  there is also rebates for retail stores too. For example, the craft store Joann’s (and you know we love our craft stores!) occasionally pops up as a rebate!

Ibotta Joann Rebate

Since this is money already spent, you can use this money as a savings plan. Emily was putting all her savings into Madeline’s college fund,  but they recently decided they want to take a family trip to Disney. She saves up to buy Disney gift cards from Target  where she also saves an additional 5% with her red card! Sherrie and Matt put their savings towards paying down their student loan debt. Every little bit helps!

Want to get started? Join our teams! Either use this link or this one to create your own account and start saving! FYM Emily has saved $434.10 with this app alone in the last two years and Sherrie has saved $107.10 over the last 6 months! What are you waiting for?!

Get Started Saving Money with Ibotta!”</div>
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Eden's Garden Essential Oils

Why We Love Essential Oils!

As you may know essential oils are all the rage right now. But don’t worry, we’re not here to make you join a group or buy oils from us, as we know it’s pushy consultants that can give compamies like this a bad rap.  Luckily, we’ve been really fortunate to meet some phenomenal consultants from many companies including DoTerra and Young Living who have gently introduced us to the wonderful world of essential oils.

As moms, we’re always looking for ways to keep our families healthy.  For Sherrie, it started as a replacement to candles who wanted something more natural in the air and safer for her very tall toddler. For Emily, she was looking for a way to introduce a more natural healing method- Madeline was constantly getting sick and she was tired of giving her Motrin or Tylenol.

That’s when we discovered essential oils, whether they’re diffused, in a roller ball, or in a cleaning solution- they have changed our lives dramatically!

What exactly is an essential oil? Well, it’s the extract from a plant. These oils are all therapeutic grade and each oil and plant has its own properties and different uses.  Call us cooky- but this stuff really works!

So how do you get started? We recommend trying out oils from all different brands before committing to a company, each has different standards so you will get to know what fits best for your budget and which companies you like.  We have found for our family that we love Eden’s Garden. These oils are a great quality without carrying a huge price tag. They have single oils, plus some amazing blends and even a line specifically made and diluted for kids!

Eden's Garden Essential Oils Purify Blend Essential Oils

So which oils do you get?  There are SO MANY choices that it can be easily overwhelming- here’s what we recommend starting with.

Lemon– lemon is a staple in both our houses! It’s amazing for cleaning- works like a charm! But it’s also good to diffuse and create a nice crisp, clean scent in your house.

Lavender– lavender is another staple. Known for calming- this is great to add to a hot shower, diffuse before sleep and is the base of many roller ball and spray blends!

Thieves (or the Fighting Five)- this is a blend of many oils. It’s well known for its immune boosting properties. Diluted with fractionated coconut oil- Emily has been rolling this on Madeline for two months and she hasn’t been sick since!

What else will you need? A few things to help you along the way.

Diffuser- Be sure to invest in a good diffuser. This is an easy way to get started with oils. Trust us, you’ll soon find you use it daily. FYM Emily loves this one! We recommend just cleaning them once a month by diffusing a blend of 2/3 water and 1/3 white vinegar.

Roller Bottles– another quick find from Amazon– you’ll soon realize you’re creating blends and rolling them topically. We keep two rollers on Madeline’s changing table and another 2 in her diaper bag! I also carry four rollers in my purse at all times- the headache blend saves Emily at least three times a week!

Fractionated Coconut Oil- If you’re going to get in to blending for rollers or sprays, you’re going to need to dilute your oil. We’ve found coconut oil to be a great way to do this! Fairly inexpensive and doesn’t bother anyone with sensitive skin!

Ready to get started? We will be sharing some of our favorite blends in the coming weeks. In the meantime- follow along with our It’s Essential Pinterest board! We would love to see how you are using oils in your lives!

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