I recently had a birthday. I am 31 years old. (Shhh! Don't tell anyone!) I prefer to just say I have celebrated the second anniversary of turning 29. That seems to work well, and I don't have to acknowledge having passed the dreaded 3-0 mark. Sure, that's very silly of me and age is nothing but a number, but this Mama is still in serious denial. My husband just laughs at me, and that's okay, because I can laugh at myself, too!
In all seriousness, though, as women age, we become increasingly aware of all the little changes our bodies and complexion go through. I have had 3 children, all via cesarean sections, so I am constantly noticing the changes that came with each pregnancy. Wobbly bits, a belly pooch, and of course, stretch marks. In a perfect world, a tummy tuck would be included in the cost of childbirth and/or bodies would simply bounce right back to their pre-pregnancy states. Hey, a girl can dream, right?
Another thing that I have noticed are some slight changes in my complexion, some brought on by the above mentioned pregnancies. You see, back to back pregnancies can be quite unkind to the skin. When I was expecting Sophie and then Xander soon after, I tended to break out some due to the influx of hormones. This unfortunately left some mild discoloration and unevenness on my skin. Fortunately, it hasn't been too severe, but I notice it.
Another thing women start to notice in their 30's are the beginning signs of wrinkles. These can creep in as fine lines or can blaze in full force as crow's feet or what I like to call "Angry 11's". (Angry 11's are 2 vertical lines right between the eyes at the bottom of the forehead which become more pronounced while scrunching the brows in an angry face.) Luckily, so far wrinkles really aren't an issue for me. I think that's because I have been using skincare products religiously since my very early 20's, and I always use a good SPF to protect my skin from harmful sun exposure. When it comes to skincare, prevention is key. You're never too young (or too old!) to start being proactive about maintaining a fresh, youthful appearance.
Thankfully, there are some great skincare products out there that can help prevent and even correct these all too common skincare woes. One of my favorite skincare companies, Perfective Ceuticals, just introduced a line of brightening products that are designed specifically to help prevent and correct discoloration of the skin that can occur from several environmental factors as well as hormonal changes. So whether you suffer from acne scarring, sun spots, or discoloration that simply comes with age, these products can help make a very visible difference and help bring back that youthful glow!
Moms are pretty smart cookies. With the daily demands of motherhood, we almost HAVE to be! Let's face it: Moms are the epitome of multi-taskers. We are doctors, professional conflict resolution experts, chefs, chauffeurs, secretaries, teachers, and about a million other things, all wrapped up into one beautiful title, simply known as "Mom". Being a Mom is a tough job, and one that is too often under-appreciated.
I know I encounter many challenges while juggling working from home, maintaining a household, and caring for 2 toddlers and a preteen. Some days I find myself wishing I could find innovative products that would make my life easier. Thankfully, there are more and more "Mom-Preneurs" who are creating ingenious products that only a Mom could think of. One of my favorite Mom-Inspired products? Teething Bling! Oh, and Clouds and Stars Quick Zip Bedding!
Huggies recognizes that there is a dynamic and talented community of moms who strive to make life as a parent easier and more enjoyable every day. Now in its third year, the Huggies® MomInspired™ grant program celebrates the natural creativity of moms, who solve real parenting challenges every day in innovative ways.
***Disclosure: By posting about the Huggies MomInspired Grant Program, I am entered to win a prize. However, I only share information I feel would be of value to my readers, and as always, all opinions are 100% honest.***
It seems like more and more expectant parents are making a conscious effort to make more environmentally friendly choices in regards to parenting styles.With so many revelations being made about the potential harm found lurking in everyday products like diapers, bath and body products, and even in our foods, it's really no surprise that more people are choosing to go a more natural route. So many products contain these hazards in the form of pesticides, chemicals, preservatives, and GMO's. While this is something most people usually never even think about, they have been linked to potential adverse effects, and science is discovering more and more about them every day. The best way to avoid these issues? Go organic!
Sure, some may call green parents things like "hippies" or "tree-huggers".Trust me, I know all about the stereotypes that green families are labeled with. I cloth diaper, use organic bath and body care products, eat organic, locally sourced food whenever possible, and I use naturally based household products. I even have a tie-dye purse. So of course, some people tend to assume that I am living in the wrong decade and I belong at Woodstock, singing Kumbayah and smoking a suspicious green substance!
I must admit, I am not a hippie. I don't drive a hybrid, and I wouldn't ever hug a tree, since I know they're crawling with bugs. I am not a vegetarian, and I shave my legs and armpits, and deodorant is my friend. That's the funny thing about stereotypes. They tend to be completely misleading.
A lot of people assume that organic products are not as effective as their traditional counterparts. I used to think that, too....Until I tried them! I never really thought about going green until I was pregnant with my now 2 and a half year old, Sophie. During my pregnancy, I did a ton of research on the best products for babies. I was shocked by how many natural and organic products were available, and also by how much people seemed to love them!
That's how my love affair with going green began. I have used several different products from many, many natural companies. Once I went green, I never looked back. It's something I feel good about as a parent, since I know I am exposing my children only to pure, natural ingredients as well as teaching them to respect the Earth we call home.
If you're the parent of a little one or even heading to a baby shower, I have some great, organic gift ideas that I highly recommend from an online store called Nature's Basin. Nature's Basin is amazing, and they offer only top quality, natural and organic products for the whole family. That's right! They've got products to pamper everyone from birth all the way to 102!
Do you have an adorable, fluffy-bottomed little bundle of joy? Okay, to many parents, the idea of a "fluffy-bottomed" baby sounds absurd. But if you're a cloth-diapering family like we are, you know what I mean. Let's face it: Cloth diapers are making quite the comeback, and for good reason. Not only are they environmentally responsible choice, keeping tons of diapers out of our already overflowing landfills, they're also absolutely adorable!
You see, cloth-diapering has never been so fashionable! Gone are the oversized prefolds and squeaky rubber pants that Grandma used to use. Today's modern cloth is fun, fresh, and on the cutting edge of baby fashion. I love nothing more than seeing my babies in their cloth diapers. I have hundreds in all different patterns, fabrics and colors. I am even guilty of basing an entire outfit around what diapers my kids are wearing that day. OCD? Perhaps! But it's all in good fun.
Kushies, a leader in cloth-diapering based out of beautiful Canada, wants to see YOUR Kushies Baby!Kushies is debuting the Kushies Baby of the Month contest where proud moms, dads, grandparents and others can submit photos of their most precious little ones wearing a favorite Kushies item. Each month a winner will receive $100 in fabulous Kushies products. This month’s contest will end on July 31 and a winner will be announced on August 1.
HOW TO ENTER:
You can submit your baby's photo on the Kushie's Facebook Page! Good luck!
About Kushies Baby
Based in Ontario, Canada, with U.S. headquarters located in Niagara Falls, New York, Kushies® creates and provides an innovative collection of quality baby products and accessories. Trusted by moms since 1987, Kushies offers more than 350 superior baby products including stylish layette and playwear, washable diapers, the award-winning Kushies Zolo toy collection and a broad range of baby essentials. The worldwide market leader in reusable cloth diapers and accessories, Kushies takes great pride in operating as a responsible company and as an environmentally concerned member of our planet. For more information on Kushies visit www.kushiesonline.com.
Summer is a great time for kids to get social. The weather is beautiful, the sun is shining, and plenty of families are making their way to the park or the pool for an afternoon of fun and frolicking.
Another wonderful way to allow kids to socialize is to host a summer play date in your home. This can be a ton of fun, and there are so many possibilities. Perhaps you could implement a weekly theme, such as Water Week or Discovering Nature. Maybe it's a bit hot outside? No worries! There are loads of exciting and educational science experiments that can provide even young children with a hand's on way to discover the world around them!
As you make plans for your child this summer, here are just a few suggestions to help ensure the experience is more enjoyable for you and your kids:
-Open a discussion with the other parents beforehand regarding their own children’s behaviors, likes and dislikes, as well as any restrictions they may have like food allergies.
-Make sure you clarify your own guidelines and expectations and discuss them with the other guardians ahead of time so that they can lay down the rules with their children in advance of the play date.
-Set a limit on the number of children that are invited. It will take a lot of the pressure off of you if you are prepared ahead of time regarding how many children will be present. With fewer kids in your home, your child will be able to develop more meaningful relationships and will be less overwhelmed by new faces.
-Have a variety of mess-free, convenient and quick snacks on hand to share with your child and guests. Earth’s Best recommends a few snacks perfect for summer play dates:
Sesame Street Fruit and Yogurt Smoothies: a nutritious snack made from organic fruit and real organic yogurt, these smoothies are easy to serve and quick to clean-up.
Organic Letter of the Day Cookies: these cookies can make your play date an educational experience by presenting a great tasting way for kids to learn their ABC’s.
-Always be flexible about changing play date arrangements or making last minute adjustments.
By following these simple guidelines, you can take the stress out of having a successful summer play session. You can be relaxed, and the kids will have an absolute blast. I can't wait until we move in a couple of weeks. I think I saw some kids Sophie's age on our block, and I will be sure to set up our own play dates soon!
Be sure to let me know all about your summer play dates! I'd love to hear about them!
***Disclosure: As an Earth's Best Blogger, I receive periodic samples and information to facilitate my posts. All opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
Hers or His Power Wheels Event
hosted by: Mom Blog Society
This is a free blog event! You will receive one link for your participation.
Event Giveaway Dates: July 30 - August 13
Prize: Disney Princess Girls' Convertible or Lil' Rider Sports Car
If a winner is selected from outside of the US, they will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate
Welcome to the Michelle B Cookware Event!
Michelle B. 10-Piece Induction Ready Forged Aluminum Cookware Set produced by Fagor America.
Almost no other Miami chef has made as big a splash on the national culinary scene as Michelle Bernstein. A James Beard Award winner and author of Cuisine a Latina, diners are loving Bernstein's cuisine at her two successful South Florida restaurants: Michy's and Sra. Martinez, dubbed one of the Best New Restaurants in America of 2009 by Esquire Magazine. Michelle appeared on the Food Network to battle Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America, from which the Miami chef emerged victorious. Michelle continues to appear on national television shows, ranging from Top Chef and The Today Show to the Martha Stewart Show. This 14-piece Induction Ready Forged Aluminum Cookware Set includes: 1-1/2-inch-quart Sauce Pan with Tempered Glass Lid, 3-quart Sauce Pan with Tempered Glass Lid, 5-quart Stock Pot with Tempered Glass Lid, 11 4-quart Saute Pan with Tempered Glass Lid, 9-1/2-inch Fry Pan, 8-inch Fry Pan.
One lucky winner will receive a complete Michelle B. 10-Piece Induction Ready Forged Aluminum Cookware Set.
Giveaway ends August 6th at 11:59pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!
My beautiful, fabulous Sister-In-Law is an Army wife living at Ft. Hood in the wonderful state of Texas. She has been there for about 4 years now, and she is always telling me about how many amazing things there are to do in the Lonestar State. She and her soldier have done a lot of great things like visit the Gulf of Mexico, go to real life rodeos, and so much more! I actually live vicariously through her, since with 2 toddlers, it is rather difficult to find the time to take a vacation.
I have always wanted to visit Texas, despite the heat, and have done a lot of research on places I would love to visit there. One of the best vacation destinations? San Antonio! From historic places like the The Alamo to fun theme parks like Sea World and Six Flags, this city seems to have it all! There's even great shopping and delicious restaurants!
Because of the diverse attractions in San Antonio, this has made it onto my must-visit list. Thankfully, I recently discovered a program in San Antonio called SAVE. You can use the San Antonio Vacation Experience (SAVE) program to get exclusive discounts and deals on attractions around town.
Here are just a few of the places I would use SAVE – San Antonio Vacation Experience to help me keep my money in my pocketbook:
1. SeaWorld! I remember going to the SeaWorld in Ohio when I was a kid, and I loved seeing all of the aquatic life and getting splashed by Shamu the Killer Whale. Sadly, this theme park no longer exists in Ohio. But they have one in San Antonio! This season,Sea World San Antonio is debuting “Aquatica,” an 18-acre aquatic park with up-close animal experiences, high-speed thrills and relaxing, sandy beaches. SAVE discounts include deals on family-four packs, second day free, $10 off admission and more.
2. Six Flags! This theme park features over 50 rides and attractions, including eight roller coasters. New at Fiesta Texas is the SkyScreamer swing ride that provides aerial views that surpass the park’s quarry walls. SAVE discounts include adults pay kids price, buy an adult ticket and get a child’s free, next day free and more.
3. The Zoo! Experience the plants and animals of Africa and go on Safari—all in San Antonio! The San Antonio Zoo's exhibit Africa Live! has exotic exhibits and even an African street market. How cool is that?! SAVE discount is $2 off admission.
4. Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch! This local favorite has animals from all over the world: zebras, wildebeest, giraffes, rhinos and more. The SAVE discount is $2 off admission.
5. Water fun at Splashtown! This water park is a perennial favorite, with over 50 rides and attractions, concerts, and “Dive In Movie” nights for families. SAVE discount is up to $42.
6. San Antonio Botanical Gardens. This relaxing retreat offers acres of lush vegetation. Visitors can wander through formal gardens and even a special garden for the blind where emphasis is placed on the texture and scent of plants. SAVE discount is $1 off admission.
I would also love to visit the many area restaurants, shopping boutiques, and maybe even take one of the quaint trolley tours available in San Antonio! This gem of a city has so much to do for families! Whether it be a romantic retreat for two or fun for the kiddos, there's always something to do in sunny San Antonio!
Hey everyone! Happy Friday! Before I settle in for a long weekend full of packing, packing and MORE packing, I have a couple of lucky winners to announce!
Winners have been contacted via e-mail and have 48 hours to claim their prizes. Thanks to everyone who entered, and be sure to check back regularly for more great giveaways!
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud mama of two munchkins and a teen. You can read more about me HERE. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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