Parenting is messy, but how we handle it shows our growth and patience as parents. I haven't and still don't always show grace under pressure, but as I have mothered four boys over a span of almost ten years, I have learned (most of the time, there is no perfect in parenting) to show a little grace and love in messy situations.
Plus these messy situations make pretty cute pictures and memories. This little guy is now seven going on eight. I'm so glad to have this precious memory of his blue iced face on his 3rd birthday. Had we not taken a picture, I don't think I would have remembered.
Here is the same little sweetie even younger and messier. He used to get into everything. Another precious memory I am glad we documented with photos. I am so glad that I am smiling in the photo and handling it with grace. I would rather remember the joy of the little years more than the frustrations.
This brings us to our newest little sweetie as we are reminded to #hugthemess with Huggies.
We went to Family Dollar to pick up Huggies Snug & Dry diapers. Have you heard of Family Dollar Smart Coupons? They are new to me. You simply go to the Family Dollar website and click on the coupons you want to add to your "wallet". It's really easy to do. When you checkout after shopping, enter your phone number in the keypad to redeem your coupons. You can save $2 on Huggies Snug & Dry diapers with the Family Dollar Smart Coupons!
This little guy loves to shop since he has a great view of everything around him from the security and comfort of being next to me in the baby carrier, so we bought a few extra things we needed. Honestly, I haven't done much shopping in Family Dollar in a while and was pleased with the large selection of home goods. I even bought some curtain rods I needed to replace, saving myself a trip to another store.
We also picked up some Huggies One & Done Refreshing Wipes. I love the cucumber and green tea scent and they are strong, but soft on baby's skin. They are also packaged so that only one wipe comes out at a time so you don't have to stuff any unused wipes back in the container.
These are also handy for washing blue iced faces at birthday parties, just make sure you get a picture first!
Since we're getting real here about parenting and messes, I didn't try to edit out the laundry all over the couch or the hamper in the middle of the living room because this is life in all of it's beauty and messiness.
Look at this curious little one checking out his Huggies Snug & Dry diaper. So cute! Huggies Snug & Dry diapers have increased absorbency at the same great value. Now that this little guy is sleeping through the night most nights, I really appreciate the more absorbent Huggies Snug & Dry diapers.
Disclosure: I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Life as a Mom is wonderful, amazing and I am cognizant of the fact that these years will go by all too quickly, but it's also so so busy. Some days I am lucky to grab a cookie for breakfast between dropping kids off at school and nursing our infant son. I am not complaining, I think parenting is the greatest calling, but there isn't much down time or time to sit and eat a meal (which can contribute to poor digestion).
You can even catch this foodie who loves to cook standing in the kitchen eating store bought (you read that right, processed, not homemade) snacks because real moms don't have time to make healthy snacks everyday, much less sit down and eat them before they are asked to build another paper airplane, clean up another mess, or tend to a waking baby . I was actually asked to build a paper airplane while I was in the shower the other day, LOL. My five year old sat outside the shower waiting for me, paper in hand.
I make a healthy dinner almost every night, but when we are in a busy season like now with sports, end of school year, and parenting an infant, some nights call for pizza or the drive thru. And I am ok with that, I would rather keep my sanity than stress over trying to prepare meals when we just don't have time.
I do care about health though, even and especially in our busy seasons (which is pretty much always). I have four boys to care for so I have to stay at the top of my Mom game. Parenting takes a truckload of energy and add my other responsibilities of running this blog and my graduate courses ...it can take its toll.
I have been gradually adding supplements including probiotics to my routine over the years. NOW is a brand I have trusted for a long time. (I buy the giant bottles of NOW Magnesium Citrate 200 mg,250 Tablets from Amazon). (affiliate link)
About NOW® Women’s Probiotic 20 Billion
NOW Women's Probiotic 20 Billion is really easy to take. One little capsule a day is all you need and it is designed especially for women. Since I am nursing, I appreciate that it may help to support healthy immune function in pregnant and nursing women. I have felt really good lately. Maybe it is due to taking this probiotic along with Now Super Enzymes.
I read recently that because we eat so many processed foods with preservatives our body has a harder time digesting these foods. The idea was that this leads to weight gain through our bodies storing what they can't breakdown. Another article I read said that after age 30, our body's production of enzymes drastically diminishes. Interesting since most of us do gradually put on a few pounds as we age. I also read that taking the digestive enzymes amylase, lipase, protease, and bromelain would help our bodies break down fats, carbs, and proteins. NOW Super Enzymes have all of these plus more.
My kids have been taking the NOW Berry Dophilus Kids for gastrointestinal support.
They love these little berry flavored animal shaped probiotic pills and no one has complained of any tummy aches lately so they must be working:)
Want to win a bottle of NOW Women's Probiotic 20 Billion? Enter here!
And check out NOW’s probiotic chooser tool to help you pick the probiotic or gut health product that best fits your wellness needs.
I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.
I read an article recently about the impact our clothing choices have on our world. It was pretty eye opening. I generally knew that some choices were better than others, but I didn't really know why. Honestly, I lived most of my life without even thinking about the environmental impact of my clothing choices. Until recently, it didn't even cross my mind. I read another enlightening article about how clothes are potentially polluting the food supply. Love microfiber fleece? We do too, but the fibers have been found to pollute water and marine life.
Over the last year or two, I've noticed a cultural movement towards being more intentional in how we live and the choices we make. Maybe we should be more intentional concerning our clothing choices too and the impact that those choices have on textile workers, farmers, farmland, and now even the water supply. We should consider our overflowing closets too and make intentional choices based on what we really need and will wear again and again.
Luckily because of companies like PACT Organic it is getting easier to find clothing that is better for both us and the planet. PACT Organic uses organic farming practices that don't pollute the soil or water, while working with organizations that protect the well-being of people who make the clothes.
I was excited to review several pieces of PACT Organic clothing. As you can see they sent several things to try. The packages say super soft for a reason...the clothes really are super soft.
I love black leggings and have worn them for years and my new PACT Organic leggings are both soft and strong. I love that they are thicker than many of the leggings I have worn and stay comfortably in place. No tugging to keep them up. They are also nice and long. I am around 5' 10" and these leggings fit perfectly in both length and size.
My husband tried the boxer briefs. When I asked him how he liked them, he said he loved them and that they were so soft and supportive. This is a lot coming from him because he is really particular. I always tell him he should be in quality control or a food critic.
I LOVE my new PACT Organic light weight hoodie. First the color is the most beautiful blue stripe that goes with so many things. Second it is so soft and cozy. I have worn this sweatshirt many many times in the short time I have owned it.
As I have mentioned before, I am on the tall side and often have trouble finding shirts that have long enough sleeves. My new sweatshirt has wonderfully long sleeves, maybe because it has wrist slits for your thumbs which could come in handy if you are a runner. I haven't used this option, but love the sleeve length and coziness. I think my new PACT Organic hoodie might just be my favorite piece of clothing I have ever owned.
I wasn't sure if I would get much use out of my new PACT Organic camisole since I am nursing my 7 month old son, but it actually works well as a nursing tank. I wear a nursing tank every single day under my clothing so that my middle doesn't show when I lift my top shirt to nurse. What I like about this tank is that it is supportive enough to stay in place, but stretches enough to make access for nursing. The fabric is really soft, stretchy and supportive all at the same time. It doesn't loose its shape at the end of the day like some tanks do. I have found that if worn with jeans, it tends to ride up at the waist and I end up pulling it down throughout the day, but if worn with yoga type clothes (which I wear a lot), it stays in place. You can see it peaking out from underneath my shirt in the pictures above.
Check out PACT Organic and see all the cozy, comfy styles available. You can save 25% off your order with my discount code, AtHome25. There are some really cute affordably priced casual summer dresses and adorable baby things too. I just ordered some baby things for gifts and was impressed with the ease of ordering and how quickly my order shipped.
Have you heard of VitaTops MuffinTops? They are a new discovery for us. Our whole family has an overactive sweet tooth, well almost...my oldest prefers savory over sweet. The rest of us however, would live off of sugar if we could. These VitaTops MuffinTops are a great snacking solution when we are craving something sweet. My oldest would choose something savory over VitaTops, but the younger boys gobble them up.
Depending on the flavor, VitaTops MuffinTops are 100-150 calories, low fat, high in fiber, and made with clean, simple ingredients. We tried Deep Chocolate which are 76% organic and only 100 calories each with 10 grams of fiber. We also tried Protein Banana Chocolate Chip which are only 130 calories each and contain 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.
They also come in Wild Blueberry, Superfood CranBran, and Protein Lovers Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip.
VitaTops MuffinTops are easily portable, making them an easy on-the-go healthy snack.
Perfect for taking on outdoor adventures! Our boys love the outdoors so we do lots of exploring and VitaTops MuffinTops are great take-along snacks.
And I know I am not the only Mom out there who gets so busy with the day to day tasks and all that mothering involves that I don't always eat well or much at all. VitaTops MuffinTops are perfect for grabbing a quick guilt-free snack that you can easily eat while handling that never-ending to do list.
We discovered VitaTops MuffinTops in the frozen section of the natural foods aisle of our Kroger store. We tried two flavors, Protein Banana Chocolate Chip and Deep Chocolate.
My favorite flavor is deep chocolate, but I'm kind of a chocoholic. You will have to try them for yourself and decide which is your favorite.
I found my VitaTops MuffinTops at Kroger! You can find yours at your nearest Publix, Kroger, Stop & Shop, Shop-Rite, or Target locations.
Click here to learn more about VitaTops MuffinTops!
This post was sponsored by NUK as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own.
Since I work from home, I am blessed that I can spend each day with my infant son and I am doubly blessed that I have been able to breast feed him. But there are those times when we need to bottle feed...appointments, date nights, that time I was really sick. Actually, he is getting really used to being bottle fed this weekend because I had to have an injection yesterday and I have to wait 48 hours to nurse him. I actually cried at the thought of not being able to nurse him for 48 hours, but it has been fine. Plus my husband has been helping with feedings which has been good bonding for both of them and has given me a break.
We have been using our new NUK Simply Natural Bottles and the transition to bottle feeding has been pretty smooth. The bottle design is closer to a natural breast shape than other bottles we have used in the past giving it a close-to-mom feel which is so important in fostering the feeding bonding which helps shape baby's well-being. I am not completely transitioning to bottle feeding, just when I need to, so I am glad to have bottles that promote a natural transition between breast and bottle.
I love this picture! He's so relaxed. Just chillin and enjoying his bottle. He really does seem to like his new Simply Natural bottles with a nipple design that is modeled after the shape of a real breast. It also moves flexibly to ensure a continuous latch and is made with extra soft silicone so that it feels more realistic.
NUK Simply Natural Bottles have up to nine nipple holes, just like mom’s breast providing a more natural feeding experience. Plus, there are three different flow rates, so the bottle grows with my baby. We found the nipples with six holes are best suited for our five month old and as he grows, he will transition to the nipples with nine holes.
Even the nipple shape is a more natural shape.
My five year old loved helping feed the baby with our new bottles.
He was so excited when the baby grabbed the bottle and fed himself.
We really like our new NUK Simply Natural bottles. I love that they are easy to clean and have a simple air vent instead of lots of tubes and extra pieces to wash. My husband wished that they wear curved so he did not have to recline the baby when feeding him. When I nurse the baby, he is lying next to me so this didn't bother me. I hold the baby in a reclining position when bottle feeding just like I would when nursing. I love the natural feel of these bottles and think they are a great choice for transitioning from breast to bottle feeding or for occasional bottle feeding.
For more information visit NUK Simply Natural.
I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.
Have you heard of Green Chef? It's an organic meal kit delivery service with pre-measured and mostly prepped ingredients. You select your dietary and delivery preferences.
You can choose from:
2-Person Plan (3 dinners a week for 2 people)
• Omnivore: Crave variety? This diverse, flexible menu has meat,
seafood, and vegetarian dinners.
• Carnivore: Meat and seafood lovers, dig in. Every dinner includes a land or sea protein plus veggies.
• Gluten-Free: Always gluten-free and flavor-full, with meat, seafood, and vegetarian dinners.
• Vegetarian: More than just salads, every dinner makes veggies the star in unique, delicious ways.
• Paleo: Eat like an epicurean caveman. This paleo menu is rich in fresh produce and proteins.
• Vegan: Plant-based just got better. An innovative menu with natural, specialty ingredients.
• Family Plan (2 dinners a week for a family of 4)
• Omnivore or Carnivore
We chose the carnivore family plan (2 dinners a week for a family of 4). Watch our unboxing video to see what it is like to get Green Chef delivered to your door.
We were sent all of the ingredients with the recipe cards to make lemon-chive salmon with dill-roasted red potatoes and mixed green salad and Italian meatballs and orzo. The ingredients are color coded to match the recipe card they coordinate with. (I didn't realize this until writing this post, but it sure does make it easy.)
Both meals were fantastic and we were able to make them in under 40 minutes. Our absolute favorite meal was the lemon-chive salmon (pictured above) It was incredible! The potatoes were perfectly cooked and seasoned, the salad was delicious plus it was fun using ingredients we don't normally use, and the salmon was so tender and flavorful. Luckily our kids ate dinner at church the night we made this because we finished it all ourselves. This meal is amazing and I would order it again, but not to feed a family of four. I think it is best proportioned to feed two to three people.
The second meal we tried was the Italian meatballs and orzo made with cremini mushrooms, lacinato kale, tomato sauce, and fresh herbs. This meal was really good too and expanded our horizons a bit. I have never cooked with kale and was hesitant to do so, but did so that I could follow the recipe exactly and share this experience with you honestly. To our surprise we didn't notice any strong flavors from the kale. It blended in nicely with the recipe which was quite tasty. I thought this recipe was a little more involved than the salmon, but was still fairly quick to prepare. It took right around 40 minutes. The meatballs were even better the next day as leftovers and did make enough to feed a family of four.
Green Chef meal kit delivery service is an easy way to simplify making healthy meals at home. Recipes and all of the ingredients are sent directly to your door. I love trying new things so making recipes I have never made before was a lot of fun. My husband helped make the meatballs and we enjoyed our time cooking together. One of my favorite things about the meal kits is all of the fresh produce and herbs. I don't usually cook with fresh herbs, but feel inspired to use them more often. I just planted some basil and it is already about two inches high. If you want an easy way to eat healthier and expand your culinary horizons, give Green Chef a try.
New customers save $50 off your first box through my link at Green Chef.
Disclosure: I received complimentary products for review, but all opinions are honest and are my own. #ad
Welcome to my review of prAna clothing. I have seen prAna online through blog reviews, but had never tried the clothes before this review. I was excited to try out some new things, but a little apprehensive about how I would look in them since I am on the tall side at 5'10" and I have a 2 month old and am carrying a little extra weight around the middle.
I was very careful when ordering and took my measurements since I have never worn prAna clothes before and my post baby body isn't back to normal yet. I even read reviews online to get a feel for the sizing.
I chose the Kara jean which is their most popular style in denim size 6 and the Stacia sweater in harbor blue size M. They are both made of organic cotton which I don't think I have ever worn before and have to admit is super soft. The sweater is fair trade certified which makes me feel good as a consumer knowing that the workers who made it are working under fair working conditions.
You are probably wondering how I really feel about my new prAna clothes after wearing them. First let's talk about the Kara jeans. They can be worn cuffed or uncuffed. Since I am so tall, I wear them uncuffed. In the summer, I may wear them cuffed as capri pants. You can see them cuffed at prAna.com. They are cute either way and if you are tall like me, you can still wear them. As far as fit goes, my Kara jeans fit really well except that they are in my opinion too low at the waist. I don't like having to worry about my backside showing when I sit down or bend over. I remedy this by wearing long tops with these jeans. Most of my tops are longer anyway, but I wouln't wear a short top with the Kara jeans.
As far as comfort goes, the Kara jeans are sooooooooo comfortable! The first day I wore them, I commented to my husband that night that I felt like I had worn yoga pants or sweats all day. You get the look of jeans with the comfort of sweats. They are so soft and flexible you could proably do yoga in them if you wanted.
The Kara jeans are pricier as far as jeans go, but a good pair of jeans is a wardrobe staple. I have probably worn them at least 10 times since I received them for review. They are my new go-to jeans that I wear all the time.
Now let's talk about the Stacia sweater. Based on my measurements and the fact that I just had a baby, I ordered a medium. This sweater is not fitted at the waist and is a little larger than I realized it would be. If I would have known, I would have ordered a small. So my sweater is bigger on me than I would like, but I still wear it because it is super comfy and I love the color. It is a beautiful blue green color. One thing I love about this sweater is that the sleeves are long enough for my arms. I almost always have to order tall size tops and can't just walk into a store and buy one. This is not a tall size sweater and the sleeves are long enough for me. There is one flaw in my sweater and that is that it is not perfectly symetrical across the front. The left side is slightly longer than the right and I find myself tugging on the right side to make it longer. Good news is I don't think anyone else notices.
Overall, I recommend the Stacia sweater as a fashionable and comfortable piece of clothing, however, if I had purchased the sweater I would have sent it back for a smaller size that was symetrical across the front.
I have had a good experience reviewing my new prAna clothing. I have worn both the sweater and jeans multiple times in the short time I have owned them and know that if I had purchased them myself I would get my money's worth. My new prAna clothes are fashionable and functional which is important to this busy mother of four.
Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for someone special? Save 15% with promo code BLOGF16FAST until Monday December 19th. Promo code is not valid for “On Sale” items. Shop prAna.com.
Linking up at Share the Wealth
What do You Value as a Parent? New & Improved Luvs & a $25 Gift Card & Diaper Giveaway #WhatULuv #ad
This review was made possible by iConnect and Luvs. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.
Parenthood is an amazing journey of ups and downs and everything in between, but as an experienced mother of four, I try to take it all in stride. I value the things that make my life a little easier - from my close friends who are always there for me to great products that work well at affordable prices (like Luvs). With four kids, we have used a lot of Luvs in our house and they are good diapers for a reasonable price. I know I can trust Luvs to do a good job and save us money too.
Luvs just introduced the new and improved Luvs Ultra Leakguard Diapers with NightLock Plus™. These new and improved diapers even come with a money back guarantee.
Luvs surveyed Moms across the country to find out what they value most and this is what they found out.
I can so relate to sleeping through the night. It will be awhile since my baby is only 8 weeks old. I got 5 solid hours a couple of nights ago and it was amazing. Also, I so enjoy my "grown-up" shows on Masterpiece theatre, but rarely have "me time" to watch them. Showering uninterrupted, sleeping through the night, watching "grown-up" shows... these are all at the top of my wish list! What would you "luv" to do with some free time?
Luvs is offering a great money-saving deal with a $1 print-at-home coupon off any one diaper pack. Print this coupon and use it at any mass, discount or grocery stores where Luvs Diapers are sold.
Enter to win a $25 AmEx gift card and a pack of the new Luvs NightLock Diapers!
Want to win even bigger? Join the twitter party to win a $300 AMEX Gift Card+ Luvs product!
Luvs is on a mission to celebrate and embrace what experienced parents value and “Luv” every single day. Be sure to join the #WhatULuv Twitter party hosted by @iConnect and @Luvs, on November 29th, 9-10pm EST to share what you value as a parent.
Get Ready for Halloween and Hours of Fun Dress-up Play with this Star Wars The Clone Troopers Commander Cody Costume and Clone Trooper Blaster
Disclosure: I received complimentary products in exchange for an honest review.
As you can imagine, in a house full of boys, Star Wars is a big deal. When asked to select a Halloween costume from Oriental Trading Company's wide selection, my son went straight for the Star Wars collection.
He chose this "The Clone Wars Commander Cody" costume and the "Clone Trooper Blaster" (sold separately). My son loves this costume with all of the details and the really cool helmet. The helmet has a front and a back piece that velcro together to form the clone trooper helmet. The helmet pieces seem to fit together well, but can come apart easily during play too. When they come apart, you can just put them back together again.
This "The Clone Wars Commander Cody" costume not only looks good, it is flexible and easy to wear for dress-up play too. I'm sure this costume will get hours of play long after Halloween has passed.
The boys are all excited about the Clone Trooper Blaster. They love playing with it and when they pull the trigger, it plays authentic Star Wars movie sounds. It takes two AAA batteries (not included).
Shop Oriental Trading Company for all of your Halloween costume needs for the whole family.
Linking up at Friendship Friday
This post was sponsored by Premama as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. #DrinkPremama #IC #ad
As most of you know, I am currently pregnant and anticipating the birth of our fourth child very soon. In the beginning of this pregnancy I experienced a lot of morning sickness. In fact for the first three to four months, I could get sick anytime of day. I unfortunately lost a lot of prenatal vitamins due to being sick all of the time. I even tried taking them at night, but could still get sick after taking them. I wish I would have had Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink Mix since it is easier to take for women who experience morning sickness. It is also easier for those who have trouble swallowing pills.
I have been craving juice and fruit pretty much this entire pregnancy so it easy to remember to take Premama Essentials + DHA with my juice every morning. I keep my Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink Mix on the window sill above the kitchen sink and mix it with a big glass of orange juice every morning.
It is both delicious and an easy way to take prenatal vitamins.
On a recent trip to Meijer, I found the whole collection of Premama Vitamin Drink Mixes in the vitamin section under the home health sign located near the pharmacy.
You can find all five varieties of Premama Vitamin Drink Mixes at Meijer.
I trust Premama products to provide the necessary vitamins and DHA for my growing baby. They contain folic acid levels similar to many prescription prenatal vitamins, and equal to, or greater than most leading nonprescription brands. They contain Omega-3 fatty acids and non-constipating iron often found only in prescription prenatal vitamins.
Strawberry Orange Smoothies
1. C. frozen strawberries (I freeze fresh strawberries for a few hours prior to blending.)
1/2 C. orange juice
1 packet Premama Vitamin Drink Mix
To make these delicious strawberry orange prenatal vitamin smoothies simply blend all ingredients in the blender.
Enter to win a Premama sample and $5 coupon by completing two social media actions before September 29th! Choose between Premama Lactation or Premama Fertility.
Use the Premama store locator to find a retailer near you.
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science (Home Economics) Teacher turned work at home Mom, bringing you family friendly, homemade recipes and homemaking tips to simplify your life. Join me on my homemaking and mothering journey.
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