Packing Your Hospital Bag- A Little Help from Push Pack

Packing your hospital bag can be really difficult. After all, pregnancy brain is totally real and you don’t want to forget a thing when you’ll be away from home for a few days. There are so many other important things to do and think about before baby’s big arrival. When packing your bags, Push Pack has you covered!

 

Push Pack is a pre-packed essentials bag perfectly created for your maternity stay when giving birth to your new baby. The Push Pack bag includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash, facial soap, lotion, make-up remover wipe, nipple cream, toothbrush & toothpaste, lip balm, deodorant wipes, razor & shave cream, comb & hair band, baby bottom balm, nail file, breast pads, maxi pads, disposable underwear, note pad, lollypops, snacks, mints, thank you cards & pen, and a “sticky-belly” baby milestone sticker. You can choose between three color bags: pink, blue, or green.

My Experience:

I had a Push Pack when I delivered Jackson and it made packing my bag SO easy! I was afraid of going into labor and then forgetting something important like my toothbrush or deodorant. I was able to pack my bag and the baby’s bag to leave by the door with nothing else to pack! When I went to the hospital, it was so handy to have! I remember using the lip balm in between contractions and sneaking a lollipop or mints in between my nurse coming in! 😉 In my opinion, it’s a must-have for your hospital bag and would make a fantastic baby shower gift!

 

Want a Push Pack for yourself or a friend? Use the code FLUFFBUM for 10% and enter in the giveaway below!

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The Truth about Motherhood

 

When you become pregnant, the “truth” about motherhood is almost hidden from you. Been there, done that moms don’t want to scare you with what is about to come.

You’ll never get to pee alone. I don’t care if your child is 5 days old or 5 years old. Chances are, you’ll never use the bathroom alone again. And if you try to, that’s when they’ll start getting into stuff (especially during the toddler phase) and you’ll regret not taking them with you in the first place.

You’ll survive on coffee. And wine. There are nights that you can count the hours of sleep you got on one hand. You’ll be exhausted. Coffee will be your best friend. And then when you’ve had a rough day- wine will be necessary to make it to bedtime. Might as well buy stock on both after you get that positive pregnancy test! 😉

Hello internet friends. Hanging out with friends with kids can be super hard. I love my Target dates and going to ChickFilA with other moms, but in all honesty, I get the most interaction from my internet friends. These moms are up breastfeeding when I am, they’re pulling out their hair midday just like me, and they crave adult interaction as much as I do. Sometimes the best mom friends you’ll have, are friends you’ve never actually met in person.

You’ll catch vomit in your hands, at least once. This is something that you never imagine will actually happen…. But it will. I can almost guarantee it! And if it isn’t your hands catching the vomit, it’ll be your hair. Your shirt. Your mouth. Yep- the real truth.

Prepare for the newborn pee/poop. On you. If you have a baby boy, you probably know this is coming. But if you’re having a girl- you can get peed or pooped on too! Just a word of advice: be quick. And if you plan on changing them in your bed at night, have towels nearby to throw over the mess so you can go back to sleep. Change those sheets in the morning! 😉

Babies get older…. And they turn into kids. I mean, I know we all know this will eventually happen. But I know I wasn’t really prepared for this. Give me a newborn or a toddler and I’ll rock that kind of motherhood! Give me a school-age kid with homework and preteen emotions at 6 years old- SEND HELP. Kids do not get easier as they get older. They get more independent, sure. But easier, oh heck no.

 

Motherhood is not for the weak. But let’s be honest- women are pretty badass so we get through it just fine. With wine. And cookie dough. What’s a “truth” about motherhood that comes to your mind?

 

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Buon Bambini Pouch Topper Giveaway!

The Buon Bambini Pouch Topper has been such a lifesaver! You know how kids like to squeeze those food pouches until there’s a giant mess? Yeah- mama doesn’t have time for that! These pouch toppers will fit on the baby food pouches you buy from the store or the reusable pouches you fill at home.

The pouch topper keeps the mess at bay by controling the flow. Your baby or toddler can not squirt the baby food pouch all over the floor anymore! 😉 They literally have to suck it out like a straw.

I have been using this since Jackson started on solid foods last year and it is still a super handy food accessory in our home. It’s really easy to clean out either by hand washing with a nipple brush or rinsing it out and putting in the dishwasher. In my opinion, if you’re going to use food pouches, these are a must-have item!

 

Because this is one of my favorite baby food products and can be used into the toddler years- I want to give one away to a lucky reader! 🙂 Comment below with why you’d like one and subscribe to Fluff Bum Babies for a chance to win! I’ll pick a winner on April 21st! 🙂

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A Look @ Babyganics + a Review!

 

As a Guidance Guide Brand Ambassador- I received this amazing package from Babyganics! Inside the package included baby wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, body lotion, and body wash/shampoo. I’ve used a few Babyganics items in the past- but not all of these!

Baby Wipes

Babyganics face, hand & baby wipes are made with plant-based ingredients. These baby wipes are super thick- but not so thick that you can’t handle them easily. They also have a slight texture to them to help clean up the messiest messes on baby! They’re fragrance free, so super gentle on baby’s sensitive skin. Added bonus? They’re also free from alcohol, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial dyes! I’m very particular about what baby wipes I use for diaper changes and these are my new favorite- hands down! They get the job done but without a bunch of added “stuff.”

 

Hand Sanitizer

Visitors in my house probably think I’m a germaphobe because there is hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE throughout my house. I also be sure to keep one in the diaper bag. This was a product that I already owned and love. There are seriously only 7 ingredients in the alcohol-free version. This particular hand sanitizer also foams, so it’s fun for the kids! And we all know that if the kids think it’s fun…. they’ll actually use it! 😉 My favorite part about this hand saniziter is that it doesn’t have a sticky feel after it’s all rubbed in. A little bit also goes a long way, so even the travel size lasts a long time!

 

Sunscreen

Here in Ohio, we don’t need sunscreen until May…. sometimes June! I’m really picky about the sunscreen I use, if I’m being honest. Babyganics’ Suncreen is SPF 50 and is mineral based. In their sunscreen, you will not find PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances or nano-particles. It’s made with plant-based and certified organic ingredients. Being tear free and non-allergenic, it seems like a pretty good sunscreen to try! Babyganics also states that it is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes! I’ll definitely be trying this on the kids this summer for sure!

 

 

Body Lotion

I absolutely love this body lotion! Jackson loves his bath time, but it’s hard on his skin since he has some eczema. This lotion isn’t harsh on his sensitive skin but still smells super good! (We have the chamomile verbena scent!) It has all the good stuff- plant-based and certified organic ingredients like aloe, shea butter, olive oil, vitamin E and avocado oil. And again, you won’t find any parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, artificial fragrances or dyes in this lotion! Jackson’s skin is super smooth after we use it and it also doesn’t get that sticky feeling. I’ve even started using on super dry hands- totally helps moisturize them. It’s also not super thick, so it’s much easier to rub in than some other baby lotions we’ve tried.

 

 

Body Wash/Shampoo

The Babyganics Shampoo & Body Wash is also a foaming soap- like their hand sanitizer. So obviously, it’s a huge hit with the kids! I love it because I don’t have to lather it up. I feel like that step has already been done for me! This particular soap makes me happy because it’s also tear free- we all know babies and toddlers don’t sit still for long! I like knowing that we won’t have a complete meltdown if some gets into Jackson’s eyes. Like the rest of the products, it’s made with plant-based and certified organic ingredients and is free of all the junk. It not only cleans baby’s sensitive skin, but it also has a 100% natural NeoNourish® seed oil blend to nourish skin as well.

 

 

All in all, I’m really happy with the Babyganics products! Last summer, I found their Insect Repellent and fell in love with it right away! But after trying all these products- it really makes me want to take a trip to Target and grab a few other of their products to try! So tell me this- do you use any Babyganics products in your home? What’s your favorite??? 🙂

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MommyCon Chicago- An Attendee’s Point of View

Earlier this month, I had the privilege to attend MommyCon Chicago! I traveled 6ish hours from Columbus- and it was SO worth it! This mama needed a vacation and I figured what better place than MommyCon?! I took Jackson with me and attended with my sister-in-law and nephew. While I wasn’t totally “child-free,” it was still a little freeing to get out of the house and have two children less for a few days! 😉 MommyCon Chicago was combined with WEAR this year- so we were looking forward to three days of the event!!!

 

We left Ohio Friday morning and made it with very little bumps in the road. We only stopped twice; once for lunch and once for gas. Can you believe we only stopped twice with TWO rambunctious toddlers? Yeah- I can’t either. But it worked out!!! We made it an hour before check-in, but Hilton was amazing and let us check-in early since our room was ready. After we got into the hotel room, we got ready and headed to MommyCon! Luckily, I really only wanted to attend one of the sessions on Friday and it was the last session of the day. After the session- I stopped at the MommyCon Shoppe and grabbed a new Milk & Milk & Milk shirt for Jackson!

Friday evening was the Wear Party presented by Abby’s Lane. Christy from Smartbottoms, Ula from Tula Baby, Julie from Cloth Diaper Geek and Stephanie from Abby’s Lane were on stage and spoke to the party-goers. It was hard to hear the amazing women on the stage, which was disappointing. But we all had a drink ticket, entered to win some prizes, and had some delicious food! (They served brownies, cookies, and a veggie tray with hummus!) Jackson enjoyed dancing to Miss Jamie’s music!

 

Saturday was the main event day! The exhibitor hall was full of amazing exhibitors and I picked up some amazing goodies! 😉 As a blogger for Cotton Babies, Jen Labit invited me up on stage during the mob party! I (unexpectedly) spoke to the attendee’s about why we started cloth diapering and why I started this blog. It was super exciting. I feel like I looked silly- my last “public speaking” was 8+ years ago in high school!

Also on Saturday, I took pictures with everyone I could! I love meeting new people and seeing my internet friends! Saturday felt really hectic so it was nice to be in the hotel connected to the convention center. I could go back to the room as I pleased to just decompress, grab a snack, etc.

 

Saturday night was a night to remember! I snatched tickets for the Tula Party! They did not disappoint- when using the #freetogrow on instagram, there was a printer printing out your photos! There was also an awesome green screen for pictures and they printed out those pictures right there as a souvenir! We were the first to see the upcoming release of the new Free to Grow Tula carriers and we were able to not only see them- but we could try them on as well! And did I mention…. open bar? Yeah. It was a phenomenal party! Perfect for a mom-cation! 😉

 

Sunday was our last day. The initial plan was that we would stay until giveaways that day- but it just didn’t work out. We were tired. And we didn’t pace ourselves well on Saturday. I attended a social media session with Xza and Mat York first thing in the morning and did a little bit more shopping. By that point, the toddlers were done. And the mamas were tired! Plus, add in the fact that we had a 6+ hour drive ahead of us…. it was just time to go. 🙁

 

MommyCon Chicago did not disappoint. Per the usual, we left with amazing freebies from sponsors and bags full of items that we purchased. I got to meet some of my new friends, take pictures with people I love talking with everyday, and got a weekend away. It was perfect. <3

 

 

*Want to see more pictures? Check out my instagram! I took so many pictures and don’t want to overwhelm this post with all of them! 😉

Thinking about attending MommyCon? Check out my “MommyCon 101” Page for tons of helpful tips and information- including a coupon code for your general admission ticket! 😉

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What Every New Mom Should Have in Her Bag

*Sponsored Guest Post

Image Source: Public Domain Pictures

For busy moms on-the-go, you’re going to need to ensure you’re well equipped for any situation. A well prepared bag is a necessity. Make sure you pack these essential items before heading out the door.

Wet Wipes

Newborn babies are mucky at the best of times, so make sure you have wet wipes handy wherever you go. These multi purpose cleaning tools are not only great for diaper changing, but also getting rid of stains and spillages. They’re excellent for cleaning little hands too. Muslin squares will also do the trick. Make sure to pack a hand sanitizer too, for those times when there’s no place to wash your hands.

Image From Flickr

Cloth Diapers

When it’s baby changing time, cloth diapers are definitely the way to go. Not only are they prettier and more cost effective, but they are also environmentally friendly. While disposable diapers take 200 years to fully decompose, cloth diapers are made from natural materials and can be used again and again. The removable linings make them really easy to wash, and you can choose from a number of designs and colors. Make sure you have a diaper pail at home. Look online for the Best diaper pails for cloth diapers and dispose your diapers in this odor preventing bin. They’re made especially for trapping unpleasant smells.

Plastic or Biodegradable Bags

It’s a good idea to have a plastic bag rolled up and ready in your bag for disposing of any used diapers and soiled clothes. Bring a few just in case and make sure a secure knot is tied, to prevent leakages and odors being released. Special baby changing bags will have separate compartments, so you don’t need to mix your trash with other items in your bag.

Image: Pixabay

Toys and Comforts

To keep your baby from tantrums and tears, you’re going to need a few distractive toys on hand for any temper outbursts. A pacifier is perfect for keeping your little one entertained, plus it’s small and soundless and isn’t disruptive in a public place.

Changing Mat

Some baby changing bags come complete with a changing mat. If yours doesn’t there are many styles of mat that are light, padded and easy to roll up to pack in your bag. Some public baby changing rooms also have them, but it’s definitely more hygienic to have your own.

A Spare Change of Clothing

Just in case of accidents and mini emergencies, it’s very helpful to have some spare clothing with you. Babies can be very unpredictable and if any leaks or spillages occur, you don’t want them to be uncomfortable in wet or dirty clothes for hours.

Baby Bottle

It’s important to have your baby’s milk prepared before you leave the house. Even if you’re breastfeeding, a bottle might be more practical at times when you’re out in public and baby is hungry. You’re going to want to bring along a bib as well, as babies are notoriously messy eaters! You might also need a bottle of water to mix with dry formula food.

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Upspring Baby Products Review

As a MommyCon Parent Squad member, I received the opportunity to try some of the Upspring Baby products made for breastfeeding moms. Jackson is 15 months old and still nurses pretty regularly throughout the day and sometimes during the night. Throughout our breastfeeding journey, we’ve (luckily) had very little bumps along the way. At one point, I had doubts about my milk supply. At another point, I learned (rather quickly) that my breasts don’t respond well to pumping. Recently, I started to doubt my milk supply again- so these products arrived just in time!

 

Vitamins

Upspring sent me prenatal vitamins that you continue to take while breastfeeding. With these gummy vitamins, there’s also a softgel filled with Omega 3, DHA/EPA, and choline. These vitamins are non GMO, gluten free and have no artificial ingredients. I’m really terrible at remembering to take my vitamins, but these are seriously SO good- that I look forward to eating them. (I don’t know about you, but I’ve tasted some horrible gummy vitamins before!) I was prepared to hate them but the Mango-Peach flavor is just right.

 

Powder Drink Mixes

I also received samples of their Milkflow Fenugreek + Blessed Thistle Powder Drink Mixes. I received the Orange, Berry and Chocolate flavors. Here’s how they affected my milk supply:

On day one, I just received my package and couldn’t wait to try one. I also received a shaker bottle to mix it up quickly and easily. I went for the Berry flavor- because I just don’t think you can go wrong with berry drinks. I honestly really liked it. It smells a little weird- you definitely can smell the fenugreek! But it’s sweetness of the drink masks the flavor of the herbs. Pretty good! I couldn’t see much of a difference yet, but I was sure it took more than one drink to pep up my supply. That first night, I could tell a difference in my milk supply. It really felt like I had more milk. Jackson wasn’t fussing at me as much as usual and wasn’t unlatching like crazy, like he had been.

Throughout the past few weeks, I added the drink mixes into my water. (Or milk- the chocolate mix uses milk instead of water.) I have really noticed the affect on my milk supply. It’s been awhile since I would leak from the opposite side he was nursing on- but it has started happening even in the middle of the day. My opinion? They work! The Berry flavor is totally my favorite of the three choices. (Which, is also the only flavor conveniently sold at my local Target!)

 

Coconut Oil

Also in this Upspring goodie box, was coconut oil. Not just any kind of coconut oil but 100% Pure Virgin Coconut oil. It’s USDA certified organic and is lanolin, petroleum, paraben, gluten, and GMO free! We replaced lotion after bath on Jackson with this stuff- and it’s amazing! He smells good and his skin is so much softer! It’s also helped his eczema! I’ve also used it a few times on my lips since they’ve been extremely dry- darn Ohio weather! There are so many uses for coconut oil and I’m finding new uses for it every day.

 


Upspring also included Breastmilk Alcohol testing strips and Nipple Balm. While I haven’t been able to use them, I still thought I’d give you some information on them as they are great additions to any mama’s breastfeeding supplies!

 

Nipple Balm

Nursing can be so tough on our nipples. I don’t know how I would have continued breastfeeding without nipple balm. I have not had the opportunity to use this specific nipple balm, but I would definitely keep it around if I need it in the future! 😉

This nipple balm is made with beeswax, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, shea butter, cocoa seed butter, calendula flower extract, and rosemary seed extract. All these ingredients are natural and 100% organic. No need to wipe off before nursing baby again!

You can also use the nipple balm as a lip balm, dry skin moisturizer, ointment for cuts and scraps, and so much more!

 

Breastmilk Alcohol Test Strips

While studies have shown that some alcohol consumption while breastfeeding is okay, some mothers don’t want to chance the slightest amount of alcohol in their breastmilk. Upspring created these handy test strips that take just a few drops of breastmilk. You can either drip a few drops onto the strip or dip the strip into a small container of breastmilk. Within 2 minutes, you’ll have a result of whether or not there is alcohol detected in your breastmilk. I have found these at my local Target store- and they’re available online.

 

 

All in all, I highly recommend all of these products from Upspring! A huge thank you to MommyCon and Upspring for sending me the package to review! My milk supply, my toddler, and I thank you!!! <3

 

 

 

*Please note: I did receive these goodies in order to conduct the review. No other compensation was made. My opinions are 100% my own.

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MommyCon Q&A

 

How much money should I bring with me?

This greatly varies from person to person. Some people will walk in and not spend a penny. Others, could spend $500+. Make yourself a budget- do you cloth diaper? Will you want to buy a baby carrier? Will you want to buy a new diaper bag? Put a little wiggle room in your budget for new items that maybe you’ve never seen before. A lot of vendors also have MommyCon exclusive items so keep that in mind. You may find something you love that you can ONLY get at MommyCon!

 

How many diapers should I bring?

MommyCon has teamed up with Babyganics to have diapers and wipes available in the changing areas. Diapers are available in various sizes. Many parents bring a handful of their own diapers and then use the Babyganics diapers throughout the day as well. Last year, I mostly used the Babyganics diapers with a Flip cover on top, just in case since we cloth diaper 95% of the time. However, keep in mind that this is supposed to be a secondary option- not all you should use for diapering your baby during the event!

 

Are tickets sold at the door?

No. Most of the time, the event sells out. Don’t plan on being able to purchase a ticket the day of the event. Plan ahead and get your ticket weeks in advance so you don’t miss out! (Use the code FLUFFBUM17 for $5 off your general admission ticket. Combine it with the social share option at checkout for a total of $7 off your ticket purchase!)

 

What should I bring?

Bring your bump, your baby, your toddler, or your child. Don’t forget the things they’ll need throughout the day- but try to keep it light! It gets crowded, especially in the exhibitor hall. And you’ll have enough to carry between the goodie bag and the items you also purchase. Plan ahead and maybe bring a reusable tote to carry your purchases in as well! I also recommend bringing along a phone charger or one of those portable chargers. I use my phone so much during an event between taking pictures, looking up companies’ social media sites, and checking in the MommyCon hashtags to see what everyone else is doing!

I’m done with the baby phase- is MommyCon for me?

Check your event’s schedule to really decide. While there are products there for toddlers and older children, MommyCon focuses more on newborn to age 5. The sessions and exhibitors vary from event to event. Some sessions that are scheduled for MommyCon Chicago that I think any mother would enjoy include everything from Vagina Village, Angel Laketa Moore’s “Fall in Love with You,” “Redefining Motherhood” with Amy Appleton and Ilana Grostern, and the “Loss Mama Sanctuary” with Ambyr Amen-Ra- if that applies to you.

Does my child need a ticket?

Children under 16 years of age do not need a ticket when attending with an adult! Bring along your newborn, infant, toddler, school age kid, teenager or leave them at home and enjoy mom’s day out!

 

What time should I show up?

Come about 15-30 minutes before the event’s start time. There will be a line for registration! Be prepared with a print-out of your ticket or will it pulled up on your smartphone! This will help the line move a little faster. Be aware that the exhibitor hall will not open until the event’s start time so you may have a few minutes of waiting.

Can I bring items to donate?

YES! Cotton Babies’ cloth diaper bank, Share the Love, will have a box for cloth diaper donations and The Carrying On Project will have a place for baby carrier donations! Share the Love provides cloth diapers to families who could not otherwise afford them, and the Carrying On Project provides baby carriers to military families. They both accept new and used items.

 

How do we sign up for sessions?

All the awesome sessions you see in the schedule is included in your general admission ticket! No need to sign up unless it’s a special event that requires RSVP. Just show up to the room at the time of the session and find a seat!

 

 

Have any additional questions? Check out the other posts on the MommyCon 101 page or ask them in the comments below! Enjoy MommyCon!!!!! 🙂

 

 

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Pink Lemonade Shop’s Love the SKIN You’re In #Selfcare Giveaway!

Enter to win $300 in personal care products just for YOU!

Self care is important and often overlooked and this ‘Love the Skin You’re In’ Giveaway features all the products you need to treat yourself! Pink Lemonade Shop has partnered with some amazing brands and businesses to highlight some of their amazing self care products. These products will make you feel pampered, pretty, healthy, cozy, safe and feisty!

So who are these amazing sponsors and what are their prizes?

Austin Tie Dye Co-

Creator of gorgeous hand-dyed super soft swaddles, blankets and clothing, Austin Tie Dye Co has contributed (1) 47×66 Hand-Dyed Buttery Soft Adult Pastel Blanket Valued at $66

The Amber Monkey

Baltic Amber, Gemstone and Hazelwood Jewelry for adults and children that will soothe and relieve ailments and discomfort naturally and they’re stylish too! The Amber Monkey has contributed (1) 17-18 Hazelwood & Turquoise Necklace Valued at $35.99

Eclipse Sun

Eclipse is the manufacturer of 50+ UPF Sun Sleeves, Bonnets, Gloves and Sun Shawls. Eclipse products are perfect for active, outdoor families who want immediate sun protection without having to apply sunscreen. Eclipse has contributed a NEW 50+ UPS Sun Shawl Valued at $35

Elevated Body Care

Elevated by Taylor’s, the creators of Balm Baby, is a line with self care in mind. Natural, non-toxic and cruelty-free, these Elevated products will leave you feeling elevated to say the least! Taylor’s/Elevated has contributed (1) Lovers Lube Valued at $17.99, (1) Lovers Kit Valued at $19.99 and (1) Goddess Foreplay in a Bottle Valued at $29.99

Eco Sprout Soap

Eco Sprout is a family owned business based out of Arizona that has your family’s health and well-being in mind. Eco Sprout has contributed two of their most popular products, (1) 24/48 Bag of their Laundry Powder Valued at $7.95 and (1) The Coconut Stick Valued at $10.95

Pink Lemonade Shop

If you haven’t given Pink Lemonade Shop’s cloth pads a try then this is your chance! Cloth pads are more comfortable, more absorbent, non-toxic and a money-saving alternative to disposable menstrual pads. Pink Lemonade Shop has contributed (1) Set of FOUR Minky Pads in a variety of sizes, colors and prints Valued at $44

Lularoe by Sue Nichols

Sue Nichols, the owner of Pink Lemonade Shop is also a successful Lularoe Consultant! Sue has contributed (1) Pair of Buttery Soft (OS) or (TC) Mystery Leggings Valued at $25

The Giveaway

This prize pack is valued at approximately $300. This contest is open to the USA & Canada. Contest is open 2/1-2/10/17. Winner’s entries will be verified and the winner will be notified by email. Winner will have 7 days to claim their prize. Prizes will ship separately from each sponsor and delivery times may vary.

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter entry form below. Feel free to complete as many or as few entry methods as you’d like.​<​/p><​p> ​<​/p><​p> ​<​/p><​p> ​


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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4 Simple Reasons We Eat Dinner Together 


You could say we’re “old fashioned” when it comes to dinnertime. A majority of our dinners are homemade and we eat together at the dining room table every night. (Sure, there’s an occasional “eat wherever you want” but it’s few and far between.) Here are 4 reasons we eat dinner together as a family:


Healthier Meals.

I’m sure this isn’t the biggest reason why we eat dinner as a family- but as a family of 5 on a budget, it helps. Homemade meals are much healthier than buying take-out regularly. Sure, there are nights that we buy take-out AND eat together but it’s still few and far between. Plus: Healthier foods equal healthier kids.

 

Communication.

Now that the older two kids are in school, sometimes our dinnertime is the only time we can really sit down and talk about our day. I love listening about what’s going on at school and what they’re learning. They always have the best stories to tell us and we usually end up laughing more than eating! 
 

Unplug for 20 minutes.

My husband and I have a rule- no phones at the table. If someone calls us, texts, or emails us… they just have to wait until we’re done. This time is 100% for us as a family. We want zero interruptions in our time together. 
 

Teach manners.

Table manners are important to us too. We started teaching them to the girls pretty early. Some family members think we’re just mean- but I’m pretty proud to be raising little ladies that have good table manners. How can you teach good table manners when your kids aren’t eating at the table? 
Do you make it a point to have a meal with your family at the table regularly? What’s your biggest reason? Comment below and let’s talk about it! 🙂  

 

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Why I Love Target- The #MomLife Addiction

It’s true- I’m addicted to Target. You’ll find me browsing around the store maybe two or three times a week. Why? Well- Because it’s the magical land of the basic stay-at-home-mom. You might think I’m joking. But this is serious. I really do love Target.

10 reasons we’re all a little (or a lot) addicted to Target:

It’s basically the SAHM meeting ground. I meet up with a couple other moms for “Target dates” a few times a week. Other than hanging out with my husband after he comes home from work, this is sometimes my only other form of adult interaction.

Starbucks. I basically function on caffeine at this point. With three kids, I’m not allowed to sleep through the night. One of them is always waking me up. Starbucks in the store makes it much more worth it for me to go to Target. Plus- I earn free Starbucks because of the Starbucks rewards program!

The dollar section. Well, not everything a dollar anymore. All the items in Bullseye’s Playground is between $1 and $5. It’s super rare that I don’t have at least one product from that area. You can find holiday décor, arts and crafts, party supplies, gift wrap, toys for kids, candy. So much to choose from!!!

Baby Nap. Jackson gets some of his best naps during our Target trips. He usually ends up driving me crazy in the cart so he ends up in a baby carrier on my back. Within a few minutes, he falls asleep. Of course, this doesn’t happen every time. But it’s still a perk when it does! 😉

Cartwheel. If you haven’t heard of the Cartwheel app, then you’re seriously missing out. You can find a lot of instant coupons on your phone in this app. I save a good amount of money using it!

The atmosphere. I swear they have to be pumping something into the air in Target. It almost makes me instantly happy walking through those doors. It could be because I’m a shopaholic. Or it could be the air. Ehhhh. Whichever it is, it’s fine for me.

Clearance. Let’s be honest- Target makes it super easy to find clearance items. Again, I usually end up with at least one clearance item in my cart. I’ve found some pretty good deals through the years!

Price matching. Did you know that Target will price match? Yep. I went to purchase a new cup for Jackson and it was $3 cheaper on Amazon prime. I really didn’t want to wait 2 days for the cup so I went to customer service. They price matched it quickly and easily! I got the Amazon Prime price but that day. Oh and I got to use the next reason I love Target…..

RED Card. My RED card makes me so happy. It’s a debit card attached to my bank account. Every time I use it, I automatically get 5% off. I can also use it to get free shipping with that 5% discount on target.com. Sure, 5% doesn’t sound like a whole lot…. but using it with the Cartwheel app, printable coupons on their site, manufacturer coupons, clearance- all that savings really adds up!!!!

Awesome Stuff! You see that amazing sweatshirt and giant coffee mug in the picture above? Yeah. Those are Target purchases. Basically the best coffee mug and sweatshirt I’ve ever purchased. I love Target. <3

 

 

BONUS. I’m raising little Target lovers as well. Baileigh loves Target just as much as I do. I see this as both a good thing…. and a problem. 😉 She asks me to take her to Target multiple times a week. Thank goodness she goes to school through the week so she only goes once. Because she talks me into things like little hats:

 

 

 

*This is not a Sponsored post. At all. I received no compensation for posting how much I love shopping at Target. However, there are some affiliate links throughout the post to help make a tad bit of $$$$ to keep this website going.*

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How To Raise Responsible Children

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It’s every parent’s nightmare. To raise a child that turns out to be irresponsible. Running amok without any consideration as to how their actions have consequences is not how we want our children to be.

But is it possible to instil a sense of responsibility into a child at a young age, whilst still nurturing their innocent, child free nature?

Apparently so.

The word responsibility merely means to have a duty or to be accountable for. In order to introduce the concept of accountability to our child, we need to communicate to them what it is that’s happening, and explain how we expect things to unfold.

Just like you wouldn’t know what to expect or how to behave in a brand new situation, children need things to be spelled out to them very clearly. The simple skill of communicating with our children is something we very easily forget or are too busy to do.

By pointing out “If you do this, this will happen” and “If you do otherwise then this will make *this* happen” we are informing our children that their actions are to be accounted for. They might not grasp it right away but that’s okay. Giving children time to understand rules and boundaries is vital to their social development.

By being consistent and fair when dishing out discipline we are actually teaching about cause and effect.

But responsibility isn’t all about rules and punishments. We want our children to feel part of the family and to take pride in participating in chores, family events and to have jobs to do.

Toddlers can even take part; tidying up at the end of play time, throwing their toys into a box or even carrying a (very light!) shopping bag from the car into the house.

When you’re preparing a meal you can get all the kids around you with different tasks, peeling and chopping (if they’re old enough) or the simple things such as laying the table or taking the salt and pepper pots into the dining room.

And on an additional note if you’re wary of spending too much time in the kitchen and the kids are getting antsy, why not consider batch cooking or look at how you can save time by meal planning in advance and being a savvy cook. This leaves you with more time to be with your children, which is all they actually all they really want.

And of course, one of the more obvious ways you can teach responsibility is to have a pet.

Taking care of another being is the highest form of responsibility there is. While the duties can be many; from grooming to walking and feeding; the rewards are great. Just remember to read up on the proper care for the animal beforehand, nobody wants an unruly animal and an excitable child! Dog training 101 would be an option for a wannabe canine lover.

From gardening to grocery shopping, there are ample ways that you can get your children to participate in family life and enjoy a sense of responsibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Sponsored Guest Post

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Pregnancy Survival Guide: Looking After Mom And Baby

If you’ve just found out that you’re pregnant, you’re in for a rollercoaster ride. Some days, you’ll be over the moon and incredibly excited. Others, you may feel exhausted and emotionally drained. When you’re pregnant, it’s normal to go through ups and downs and to experience both physical and psychological changes. Most women prioritize their baby from the moment they find out that they are expecting. However, the best thing you can do for your baby is look after yourself. This simple guide will hopefully help you to stay fit and healthy throughout your pregnancy.

Rest

You don’t need to spend all day every day in bed from day 1 of pregnancy, but rest is essential. Most women experienced tiredness in pregnancy, and you may hit a wall in the afternoon even when you’ve slept well the night before. As you go through your pregnancy, you may find that your energy levels peak and trough. In the latter stages, exhaustion is common. As you approach the third trimester, increase the number of rest breaks you take at work and take things easy at home. If you feel tired, take a nap. It can be really difficult to get comfortable when you go to bed, and this can affect your sleep patterns. If you can’t sleep in certain positions, or you’re tossing and turning, you may benefit from using a pregnancy body pillow. The pillow helps to support your body weight, and you can use it during the day and night.

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Eating well

Your baby relies on you for vital nutrients, so your diet is really important. The foods you eat can also help to boost your immunity and keep your body fuelled when you’re feeling lethargic. There is a list of foods you can’t eat when you’re pregnant, but you shouldn’t have to overhaul your diet completely. Start the day with a hearty, healthy breakfast, and try and incorporate fruit and vegetables into your lunch and dinner. If you find that your energy levels dip between meals, snack on raw vegetables, fruit and foods like whole grain crackers or toast. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to eat for two when you’re pregnant. In fact, you only need around 200-300 extra calories per day.

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Supplements

Pregnant women are advised to take certain supplements, including folic acid, from the beginning of their pregnancy. Folic acid helps to reduce the risk of birth defects, such as spina bifida. You can buy supplements specially designed for pregnancy, which contain a host of different vitamins and minerals.

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Exercise

Exercise is great for pregnant women because it lifts your mood, tackles stress, and keeps you supple. It can also strengthen your core muscles and improve your circulation. Check with your doctor before you exercise, as some activities are not recommended for pregnant women.

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When you’re pregnant, it’s important to look after number 1, as well as your unborn baby. If you’re fit and healthy, there’s every chance that your little baby will be too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Sponsored Guest Post

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MommyCon- Is it worth it?!

Mama- it’s worth it.

I have already gone over the MommyCon Basics & FAQS, MommyCon on a Budget, 10 Tips for MommyCon, and the latest post- MommyCon VIP. But in case you still need some convincing on just how awesome MommyCon is….

 

My goodie bag from Columbus 2015

The Goodie Bag

In case I didn’t write enough about it, did you know that every attendee will leave the MommyCon event with a super awesome goodie bag filled with stuff?! The sponsors have been pretty generous in the past. While this shouldn’t be your #1 reason to attend MommyCon- I can tell you that in my experience, the goodie bag is worth more than your general admission ticket price. It’s filled with samples, coupons, and full sized products.

 

The Sessions

The sessions and seminars you’ll attend at MommyCon will probably leave you with some awesome new knowledge. And in my experience as a parent- knowledge really is power. Whether you’re taking away facts from Cloth Diapering 101 or from Kim Rosas’ Reusable Menstraul Products- that’s up to you! I highly recommend attending as many sessions that you can squeeze in!

 

Jackson wearing Cotton Babies’ Exclusive MommyCon Flip Diaper for 2016

Exclusive Products

Did you know that many vendors go to MommyCon with “MommyCon Exclusives?” Cloth diaper companies like Cotton Babies and Smart Bottoms have had exclusive diapers. Pink Lemonade Shop had an exclusive pad print. Eylas had an exclusive water bottle last year. Tekhni typically has an exclusive wrap for each MommyCon event. Basically- lots of things you’ll find ONLY at MommyCon! 😉

The Giveaways

Now, I know I didn’t talk much about this. Did you know that at the end of event day- MommyCon does a HUGE giveaway?! I mean like $10,000 worth of products huge. It’s really easy to enter- go to MommyCon! When you check-in at the beginning of the day, you’ll be given a badge with a number. That number is your “ticket number” so to speak. If you hear/see your number called- YOU WON! You’ll get additional entries for any VIP tickets you purchase. My first year, a few moms couldn’t stay for the giveaway. They handed me their badges since they wouldn’t get to use them. I won a set of RePlay, even though it was with my own badge number. But I was super excited!!!! You can not win a giveaway if you are not present. So if you can stay the whole day- I suggest you hang around. (There have been car seats and strollers given away! 😉 So yeah- be there.)

The Experience

I have only given you some tools to make your MommyCon experience great. Now- it’s completely up to you to make it great. Take pictures. Meet new mom friends. Meet some of the small businesses that are exhibiting there. Buy yourself something. Buy something for your kiddos. Learn some new information. Take the day to be “free” if you go without kids. Take the day to bond with your significant other, if they go with you. The experience will vary from person to person since no two people will visit the exact same sessions, meet the same people, or buy the same things. The “ideal” MommyCon experience is unique to everyone and really- your overall experience is up to you!

 

Still need to buy your general admission ticket? Use the code FLUFFBUM17 for $5 off, combine this with the social sharing discount at checkout for a total of $7 off!

 

 


 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the posts in my MommyCon Series! And be on the lookout for a GIVEAWAY of MommyCon tickets! EEEEK!

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MommyCon VIP Sessions- A Community Post

I have not personally attended any of the MommyCon VIP sessions- although I have heard many great things about them! VIP Sessions take place the day before the event, so on a Friday, and they are small seminars with some amazing people. Because I can’t personally tell you about my experience and why they’re so great- I asked some of my blogger friends to help with this post! 🙂

Want to purchase a VIP upgrade? VIP sessions are typically announced 30 days before your city’s event.

** Still need to buy your MommyCon ticket? Remember to use the code FLUFFBUM17 for a $5 discount! Please not that this code is not valid on VIP ticket upgrades. **

 

Cotton Babies VIP Session

I attended the Jen’s VIP session at MommyCon OC 2015. It was a small circle of about 15-20 women with babies having freeplay in the middle of the circle. We had light snacks and drinks and it felt very inviting. Jen had everyone introduce themselves and share what we wanted to get out of the session. We were able to ask questions and it never felt rushed it was very natural like a group of friends. Xza was in and out of the session visiting too. We each got a tote from catbird baby, and inside was a bum genius diaper, wet bag, wipe spray, maxaloon style pants, and several samples of other cloth diaper safe products. The products we received were well over he $40 session price, the inspirational message from Jen was worth more as well. I’m still friends with some of the moms I met there 2 years later.

– Hannah

 

Mommy-con Atlanta 2016 was my second mommy-con experience and my first time going all the way and doing a VIP session as well as breakfast with Jen before my VIP session. My sister in law and best friend took the plunge with me as my twins and her son are 10 days apart and we share many parenting values. She had also been by my side during our first mommy-con in 2015!
Bright and early on Friday morning I picked her and my nephew up and we drove to the hotel that the breakfast was scheduled at. When we arrived Jen and Jimmy were already seated and there was coffee ( a twin moms lifeline 😂) ready to drink! We were joined by a few other moms including both Dona from black women do cloth diaper and Deja from sunshine fabric and designs. We had an excellent conversation about race and equality in the diaper industry over an amazing breakfast. We talked until it was time to head over to the convention center for the first VIP session of the day With Jen!
When we got to the convention center I had a good idea of the layout as I had been there before so we knew where to park and walked right in. The mommycon shoppe and the tekhni booth were both open allowing us first pick at all the merchandise as well as the tekhni exclusive which was amazing! We got there about 30 minutes before our VIP session was set to begin so we mingled with eachother as our kids played with the amazing variety of toys set out for them. I will admit I was attempting to wrap one twin when the other ran through my legs and toward the door but was thankfully quickly caught by another mom and returned to me.
I’m not going to lie I attended Jen’s session purely because I wanted to see her not because I have any interest in running my own business. The session was however amazingly interesting and informative! My twins were pretty interested in the toys which was nice so I even got to listen to her talk without one of them yelling in my ear. We also got some amazing swag in our bag (which was it’s self super cute) including a cloth diaper and wet bag, doodle pants, mother love diaper and thrush cream, a tekhni head wrap, and other fun goodies from mom owned businesses! I’m so glad I chose to do a mommy con VIP session it added so much to my weekend!!!!

– Colleen Walker Sondergaard

 

The first VIP session I attended was hosted by Jennifer Labit the creator of Cotton Babies who shared insight into her life journey. She spoke openly about how she transitioned from a mother struggling to balance the home budget, highlighting how her struggle was the catalist into becoming an entrepreneur and founder of a successful business. Her honesty was refreshing and encouraging. We all struggle and fall; hearing how the most difficult times of her life.

– Patricia @ Dr Mommy Rx

 

Pool Party

At the Baby Safe Pool Party with Mat York from that That Dad Mat we were treated to a full table of Babyganics goodies and a bag absolutely stuffed with poolside treats including a Beachfront Baby ring sling. Mat helped everyone get comfortable with the slings. Unfortunately we were inside because of Hurricane Hermine. It was a good thing the session was hosted by Mat because it was the most fun pool-less pool party ever!

– Alexandria Lawrence @ Naturally Made with Love

 

Feed the Baby

The Feed the Baby VIP with The Leaky Boob’s Jessica Martin-Weber was something I’ll never forget. We had a rap session about how not every experience is a “rainbow farting unicorn one”. The swag bag for this session had some seriously cool gadgets. Gootensils, and EZPZ mat, Bitsizers, a donut rattle from Pebblechild, a gift voucher for Undercover Mama, a Re-play set, a reusable squeeze pouch… and more! A lot of these have become regular daily use items for us, that I can’t imagine our life without.

– Alexandria Lawrence @ Naturally Made with Love

Babywearing

Laura Brown from Ergo and Angelique Geehan of Beco gave us some helpful insights at Babywearing VIP. I got an Ergobaby organic SSC (which is still my favorite carrier to date!) in my swag bag. After a run down on the carriers with how to-s and safety features we played two rounds of a game like heads up. All of the cards had terms used during the session. What an exciting way to use the knowledge we gained from our fun instructors!

– Alexandria Lawrence @ Naturally Made with Love

 

The second VIP session I attended Friday afternoon was called Babywearing. This session is very popular because each attendee is randomly given either an Ergo or Beco baby carrier. Hosted by two industry professionals, including Laura Brown of Ergo, this session focused on proper ways to wear Ergo and Beco soft structured carriers. Additionally, they were more then happy to take the time to help parents trouble shoot any struggles they are having with their own person baby carriers (of all forms). 

– Patricia @ Dr Mommy Rx

 

 

Want to see more posts about MommyCon? Here are some other posts a part of my MommyCon Series:

 

~ MommyCon Basics and FAQS ~

~ MommyCon on a Budget ~

~ 10 Tips for MommyCon ~

 

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