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clickR Skin Polishing Kit | Mother's Day Give Away Event #gifts4mom

Monday, April 30, 2012

Everyone loves their mom and always wants to find the best gift to make her feel loved and appreciated. The must-have gift I have found to share with you is the clickR Skin Polishing Kit to help mom's face radiate that inner beauty and love. After you enter my giveaway head over to Makobi Scribe to see her mothers day gift ideas worth over $3000. Then stop by Sason & Pobi to enter the grand prize drawing of a Toshiba 32SLV411U - 32" class 720p 60Hz TV/DVD Combo!

I admit that I have not been taking really good care of my skin since I started taking care of a newborn again. I'm not getting enough sleep, my body is going through hormonal fluctuations and my face was starting to show it until I received the clickR Skin Polishing Kit. I have been using the clickR Daily Dermabrasion Wash (review here) and Vanishing Mist (review here) for several months with much success, so I had high expectations for this kit. It did not disappoint!

The kit comes with these products:
  • Pearl Wash – a smoothing, tightening cleanser that evens skin tone, balances PH and improves treatment absorption and moisture retention
  • Vanishing Mist - spritz on after cleansing with Pearl Wash to clear blemishes and refresh pores
  • Diamond Dust Skin Polisher – a skin resurfacing serum that maximizes your skin's immune function and regeneration with precious ingredients like diamond dust, silver, and gold
After two weeks of using the Skin Polishing Kit, my face has been restored to it's former brilliance. Really! It is is no longer dull and dry and those pesky postpartum pimples have cleared up.The Pearl Wash is like lotion and contains tiny scrubbing beads, and it rinses clean. My favorite is the Vanishing Mist for its corrective properties. I guess my skin likes precious metals and gemstones because my face drinks up the Diamond Dust Skin Polisher.
Get amazing, radiant skin like this!
The thing I love most about clickR is that it is safe and effective for women of all ages and skin types...just read the rave product reviews from teens to silver-haired divas on their website. Plus, it is an environmentally-friendly skin care line. ClickR is my skin care brand for life!

Buy It: Purchase the clickR Skin Polishing Kit online at clickr.com for $70.00 (it's really valued at $95) or at Amazon.com or Beauty.com

Win It: Win a Skin Polishing Kit for Mother's Day! Open to US Residents only.

Please Read How to Enter This Giveaway: you must use the Rafflecopter form below to record your entries. Comments left on this blog post for the required or extra entries don't count unless you record it on the Rafflecopter form. There have been some changes to Rafflecopter! For instance, you now have to login with Facebook or your name/email address. This enables you to see your entries in a giveaway and edit them if needed. Please wait for the form to load, it may take longer to pop up than the rest of the web page. Make sure you have java script enabled and your browser updated. If you encounter an error, refreshing the page usually resolves the problem. If problem persists, please report the issue to Rafflecopter. Login to get started, click "Do It" next to each task to see the instructions, and start collecting your entries!

Comment Consideration #4: How I Achieved a Natural Birth at a Hospital

I had both of my kids via natural childbirth (daughter's birth story here and here, son's birth story here). People's reactions to this news range from incredulous to impressed. They want to know if it didn't hurt...yes, it hurt. Having a baby is going to hurt no matter how you go about doing it. I'd rather take my pain upfront and get it over with. People also want to know how I got around the hospital's standard procedures (administering Pitocin after delivery to prevent hemorrhaging, for example) as if I got away with something...the answer is I educated myself, wrote a birth plan and assembled a birth team to advocate for that plan on my behalf.

For the purposes of this post, I define a natural childbirth as 100% drug-free, vaginal birth (I will let others quibble about what other medical interventions might disqualify a birth as natural). Also, the purpose of this post is to outline how I did it because so many of you want to know. I am not knocking anyone's choices for how they deliver their babies. To each, her own. My decision to have my children naturally was equal parts a health choice for me and my babies, a sociopolitical statement, and a leap of faith. I took classes with a natural childbirth counselor for holistic guidance in three areas:
  • Body Readiness: I grew up influenced by my grandmother's and mother's natural lifestyles. I never saw my grandmother take an over-the-counter medication much less prescription drugs. She gave birth to six children without painkillers. My mom did also. With that kind of example set for me, I always knew that I would do the same. My natural childbirth journey began with the recognition that my body was built to perform the job of childbirth. I had to do my part with diet and exercise. I knew that that developing gestational diabetes or preeclampsia could spell the end of my plans, so I was careful to go to my OB appointments, eat right, take my vitamins, exercise, not gain too much weight, and get plenty of rest. I did yoga for flexibility. I also saw a chiropractor trained in treating pregnant women (Webster technique) to keep my spine and pelvis in alignment so I would have an easier time pushing.

  • Mental Preparation: Natural childbirth is all about relaxing and letting go. This doesn't come easy for a control freak like me. I did psychological homework that made me dig deep for the issues that made me nervous and self-doubt because these could become potential roadblocks to a natural childbirth. You'd be surprised how fears and anxieties come into play in the delivery room. I read natural childbirth books and watched natural birth videos on YouTube for inspiration. My natural childbirth coach suggested I create a mantra to chant through the contractions. One of her clients spelled out her son's name, but I couldn't do that since I didn't know the baby's sex beforehand. So I came up with, "the pain is for a purpose." I also did a lot of visioning. I would just imagine the birth process like writing a script.

  • Spirit Consciousness: For me, having a baby was really a faith journey. I felt so connected with my spiritual side when I was pregnant. I acknowledged that my body was designed by God to bring forth life and put my faith in Him. I also read Birthing from Within which helped me with the letting go and letting God. 
Natural Baby #1
Natural Baby #2
Other tips for a successful natural childbirth:
  • Write a Birth Plan. Not only does it spell out your wishes, it helps your mental preparation to read it over and over.
  • Assembling an A+ Birth Team: Choose a maternity care provider who listens to you, respects you and supports your birth plan. Take a natural childbirth class (the hospital class usually focuses on the hospital's routines and doesn't delve deep enough into the mechanics of childbirth). Get a doula or friend to be your birth coach. Husbands/boyfriends are great support, but a female presence significantly increases your chances of a successful natural childbirth
  • Empower Yourself. Get educated. Read some books on natural childbirth. I recommend these two that were recommended to me: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and The Birth Partner. Also, watch "The Business of Being Born." The more you know, the more confident you will be that you can do this!

The Kids' Log: April 22-28, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My mom left on Tuesday. Damon went to the NFL Draft on Thursday and Friday. And you know what? I did okay managing two little ones by myself. Maybe this is practice for when I become a single mom after I kill my husband for going on these business trips. But seriously, I am so proud of myself for not coming undone. I just took each task one at a time, counted to ten a lot, and left some household chores undone (I also had Marlie stay for afterschool care until 5:30 pm on Friday). It's true what they say about how your parenting approach relaxes after child #2. For instance, Desmond is already a seasoned car companion whereas Marlie never left the house until she was two months old except for doctor's appointments. Marlie has been enjoying a lot more television and sugary treats since her brother arrived thanks to me feeling a little guilty. Speaking of Marlie...

Toddler Log: 2 Years and 36 Weeks Old 
I have been making a concentrated effort to give her undivided attention as well as not to yell so much. It is paying off. There has been significantly less drama this week. Before my mom left, we gave Marlie a beauty day. My mom braided her hair and I painted her fingernails and toenails. Her daddy took her to the park. The Markeys brought us lunch on Sunday and she played with their daughter Orlaith. I think all that special treatment got the week started on the right foot. She is still struggling to cope when the attention is not on her. Her go-to is imaginary bumps and bruises. I think she has suffered an injury to every body part this week. Her new thing is ghosts, monsters and scary noises that need immediate investigating. Sigh. On top of it all, she has been asking when it will her birthday party. She really likes attention, but she also likes to give attention. She is all hugs and kisses and high-fives. She will help you out in a heartbeat. Marlie has been so affectionate toward her little brother and so helpful. She loves to help change his diaper. On Friday she exclaimed, 'baby growing so big!" and her eyes danced. I could tell she was so proud of him.

Baby Log: 4 Weeks Old
Magoo's personality is starting to show itself. He is going to be the serious one. He doesn't smile easily. I remember Marlie cracking a smile at his age when I made funny faces. Desmond just looks at me and frowns. He discovered the mobile this week and likes to track its movements with his eyes. He can also roll over onto his back from his stomach. He is going to be demanding like his big sister. He knows what he wants and he wants it right away. No patience with this one. I broke my pledge to stop giving him a pacifier because I can't always stick a boob in his mouth to calm him like when I am driving. It's another one of the rules parents break with the second kid. But there some things that don't change like using Dr. Karp's 5 S's for soothing Mr Magoo when he is fussy:
  • Swaddling: babies are curled up like roly polys in the womb. Swaddling recreates that sensation. I also do skin-to-skin contact for extra snuggling.
  • Sucking: that reflex is powerfully strong. I prefer the non-nutritive breastfeeding, but the pacifier works too as long as he doesn't drop it.
  • Shushing: mimicking the loud whooshing sound of the womb is calming to a baby. When I can't shush in his ears, I turn on the blender. In the car, I turn the radio to a static station.  
  • Stomaching: babies like to lay on their stomachs. I lay Desmond downside, long ways across my arm in a football hold and he is in heaven
  • Swinging: The motion of a gentle jiggle (not shaking) or rocking back and forth instantly calm him down.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hello Ladies,

Before sharing how I juggle motherhood and my quest as published author, I want to welcome baby Desmond in the world and congratulate Marlie's mum and dad for the lovely new addition. Happy new second time motherhood to our lovely Teresha. 
Now, onto me.

by TOI

I am a mother for only five months but I wonder how mothers of two or more manage their time and their chosen careers, especially writers. Even before getting pregnant I wanted to find balance between motherhood and my quest to get published. Currently I am trying hard to combine my love of caring of my daughter and my love for writing, however sometimes I feel like pulling my hair off because though my daughter doesn't request my time every second, she is getting to the stage where she knows I am not giving her attention. writewithmum So when it comes to motherhood juggling act and my quest as published author I am learning to not be afraid to leave few things undone. For instance I might have mountain of plates to wash but when my child wants to feed or wants to play my time is for her. But as soon as she falls asleep it is not a crime to take some time off to write, even if is only half an hour. Another thing I am learning is to never be afraid to ask my husband to help. We don't live close by our family members so we are both juggling parenthood together. 
For instance my husband helps me with the cooking and washing the dishes. He likes cooking and sharing in the choirs and he doesn’t mind doing some diaper changes. He is very helpful in all that.lunch
A month ago I started a writer's writing club. The nights when I meet up with my fellow writers hubby comes home from work on time to look after our daughter for the two hours I am out. He sees that moment as bonding time with our daughter. I believe motherhood and my writing are going along nicely, just because I have a great daughter and a supportive husband whom give me time to put my creativity to work.

All the above rambling just to say that when it comes to juggling motherhood and my pursuit as a published author, my remedy is to seek support from my husband and not feel guilty if I write when my child is asleep.

rockingmotherhoodTOI is a new mother, a writer, a world traveler, a trilingual lady blogging about her life journey at Life of TOI. She loves to photograph, paint, read, listen to music and being a SHMW {stay at home mummy writer} to one lovely daughter. She currently documenting her life in Canada, after living in Europe for more than 20 years.

Wordful Wednesday: Ponytails

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Marlie has been asking to have her hair combed in ponytails. Grandma happily fulfilled her request because mama has zero skills when it comes to hairstyling.

[Guest Post] Busy Moms Need Fit Bodies

Monday, April 23, 2012

These guest bloggers were gracious enough to share their thoughts on the Motherhood Juggling Act while I'm on a babymoon. Please support them by leaving some thoughtful comments and visiting their sites.
Busy Moms Need Fit Bodies by Kia Lewis

Finding the time to exercise while juggling a husband, children, a full-time job, household duties, and insert-other-obstacle-here is tough. But there are tons of mothers out there who make it work in some capacity. I don't want to talk about that today. You can really use any generic time management strategies that you want to make time to exercise. I want to talk about *why* you should make fitness a priority. If fitness isn't important to you, you'll always be too busy to exercise. We make time to do things that are important to us. Fitness is one of those things for me and I feel like it should be one of those things for everyone.

Lately, I've been battling feeling a little down about some weight gain. I've lost 80lbs of baby weight over the past two years, but managed to re-gain about 15 pounds in spite of doing tons of exercise. I sometimes get really annoyed that I exercise way more than the average person yet still struggle to control my weight. 

However, I had an epiphany of sorts in the gym last week after doing a guided MP3 workout on the elliptical. At the end of the workout, my "coach" shares some encouraging thoughts. His notes on this particular day really struck me. He spoke of the whole "before and after" transformation culture of fitness (of which I am one!) and how it can direct us away from the whole point of exercise in the first place. Exercise isn't about getting ripped or running a gazillion miles in order to burn off a slice of pizza. The best reason to exercise is how it gives you the ability to live your life with energy. 

This message hit home for me. Sure, I want to lose the extra weight that I allowed to creep on. But I don't exercise simply to maintain a certain look. That is a nice side effect, but that isn't what keeps me going during a hard workout. What really keeps me going, besides the fact that I enjoy the activities I do, is the desire to carry out the basic tasks of life with ease. I was extremely overweight after delivering my son. Looking in the mirror was disappointing, but I could easily avoid mirrors. It wasn't as easy to ignore the fact that a simple trip up the stairs left me huffing and puffing. I make exercise a priority so that I can tote my 30lb son around for a long time without complaining that my arms hurt. 

I make exercise a priority so that I can dash up the stairs with ease. I don't want to hit 50 and be saddled with Type 2 diabetes like my father. I value my fitness because I want to be able to take long walks with my husband when our hair turns gray. These are the real types of reasons that I prioritize fitness and none of them involves fitting into size 4 jeans or 6-pack abs. I wake up for 6AM boot camp with the goal of living a full, energetic and active life not hindered by physical disability. 

The activities I gravitate towards tend to be a bit "extreme" (ultramarathonsCrossFit), but I do things that I enjoy and they don't feel like a chore. How can I not make time to do things I love that increase my quality of life? How can I not make time to do something that might ensure that I stick around a little longer for my husband and child? How can YOU not find a little time to work on your physical fitness today?

Kia is a wife, mother, and software engineer who enjoys running ultramarathons and lifting heavy things in her spare time. She blogs at Determined To Be Fit.

The Kids' Log: April 15-21, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I don't really know what to say about this week except that having two little ones is H-A-R-D! I'm not complaining or whining, just stating the facts. I have new found admiration and respect for moms (stay-at-home, working, work-at-home, single, partnered, married) who have more than one child, especially if they are under age 4. It's things like only having two hands when I need eight that cause the most stress.

Marlie had a cold this week that she proceeded pass onto Desmond who passed it onto me. It's situations these that make me wonder how I am going to survive when my mom goes back to Miami on Tuesday. She has been a guardian angel, running divine intervention with Marlie and keeping me in culinary heaven. Marlie wakes up in the middle of the night and won't go back to sleep?...put her in bed with grandma! I'm exhausted at the end of the day and it's dinnertime?...Grandma can whip up some brown-stewed chicken! I was not being facetious when I said she has spoiled me rotten these last two weeks. We even went for pedicures and shopping at TJ Maxx on Friday. I am going to more than miss her when she goes. I think I might go loco.

My mom and us at dinner on Friday. Magoo slept the whole time.

Toddler Log: 2 Years and 35 Weeks Old
Marlie continues to make the tough transition from being the only child to being a big sister. Some days she is perfectly fine. These are the days that I am able to spend some one-on-one time with her. But on the days that I can't (because her brother has a head cold and needs lots of comforting), she goes ballistic and that is no exaggeration. She regresses big time...soils her underwear, refuses to eat, wakes up at night and won't go back to sleep, crawls around on the floor, and whines. She can be more work than her newborn brother! I met with her school's director on Friday to discuss her enrollment in the primary school this Fall. I was told that although she is highly intelligent, there was some concerns about her maturity level and her being able to handle the more independent environment of the primary school. I know Marlie struggles with independent play, following directions, and self-control, but I pointed out that if she stayed behind in the toddler group while all her best friends move up that could make her behavior regress even further. The director agreed to enroll Marlie in the primary school given that she has the next four months to do some growing-up. That means her daddy and I have to get on the ball with helping her.

Baby Log: 3 Weeks Old
Other than a nasty head cold, Mr. Magoo continues to be an easy-going baby. He is focusing his eyes (watching the leaves on the trees is his favorite pastime), holding up his head, gripping, and smiling more. And he is filling out...he's already gained over a pound since his birth. His pediatrician was happy with his growth and development too at his check-up on Monday. He had to get another heel prick for the PKU screening blood draw and he slept right through it again. Such an easy-going baby! He is still sleeping and eating like a champ, but gets fussy when he is gassy. I bought some gripe water from the natural food market on Thursday and gave him some later than evening. He started choking on the last little bit and went limp. The color drained from his face and his eyes glazed over. I remained calm, tried breathing up his nose to open up his airways. When that didn't work, I instructed Damon to hold him football-style and slap his back. He still wasn't responding, so I grabbed the that blue bulb they give you at the hospital and sucked the fluid out of his throat. He screamed, cried, then farted. I just kissed him all over and held back the tears as I said a silent prayer of thanks. I have never been so scared, but so in control in my life. In less scary news, I like my manual breast pump which I bought because I learned last time that the cheap-o electric pumps aren't worth the boxes they come in. I would love to have a fancy dual electric pump, but I can't justify the cost since I am not pumping everyday. I was able to get an ounce out on Tuesday morning and I will probably get more with more practice. The great test came on Wednesday when I was in between feedings and had to go get Marlie from school. My mom fed Mr. Magoo a bottle of pumped breast milk with no problems. He even got upset when it ran out. He's such an easy-going baby, except when he has to go in the car set...that sets him off!

Poppet Baby Wear Review

Friday, April 20, 2012

poppet baby wear
Poppet Baby Wear is handmade baby clothing that uses the finest fabrics to produce beautiful New Zealand Merino wool garments. It is the softest wool and doesn't have that prickly and itchy feeling caused by other wools, which makes it very suitable for babies and toddlers aged 3 months to 2 years.

baby sleep gown reviewI received the Poppet Handmade Natural Merino Baby Sleep Gown for my newborn baby boy to review. It looks big on him, but that's because I ordered a size 6-12 months so he could wear it this winter. The beauty of this wool material is that it is so breathable that he stayed cool when I put it on him in this warm weather. And I imagine it will keep him warm in the cooler months. The fabric is so soft! The best way to describe it is like touching clouds. I could tell he loved the feel because he kept rubbing his arm across his cheeks! I also love the drawstring tie at the bottom of the gown for quick and easy diaper changes.

Other facts about Merino wool: 
  • Naturally anti-microbial, stain and odor resistant and can be machine washed and tumble dried.
  • Nature's smart fiber, it cool or warm your baby's body by regulating their body temperature to keep them cozy without overheating.
  • Naturally fire resistant and rated low fire risk so no need for polyester-fireproofing chemicals that can irritate baby skin.
Buy It: You can buy Poppet Baby Wear directly from their website. The Merino baby sleep gown retails for $74.99, but is now on sale for $59.99, that's 20% off!


[Guest Post] How to Stop Picky Eaters and the Food Wars

Thursday, April 19, 2012

These guest bloggers were gracious enough to share their thoughts on the Motherhood Juggling Act while I'm on a babymoon. Please support them by leaving some thoughtful comments and visiting their sites.  

How to Stop Picky Eaters and the Food Wars 
by Kelley Johnsen 

One of the top phrases I hear a lot is, "my kids are such picky eaters". You are not alone. Many parents battle the food wars with kids everyday. The meals consist of chicken nuggets, hotdogs, and macaroni & cheese. I understand this, because my first born was very similar. One thing you can take comfort in is that all kids enjoy these foods, even the healthy eaters. Processed foods are made in a way to be easy on the taste buds and have them coming back for more. I would like to help you take the food wars out of the house and keep it on TV, where it belongs. Kids will let you know if they don't like something. Most will look at their food and decide they hate it before ever tasting it. I know this from experience. I have one of those picky eaters and know your struggle. First know that changing the meal plans can be difficult at times, but stay positive and strong. You are giving your child an inheritance of good health and better eating habits.

Make changes gradual, replacing an item of grocery a week.
  • First start by replacing your white and bleach flour product with whole grain and wheat. White flours have been stripped of their fiber and beneficial vitamins. Some have nutrients have been added back in as a synthetic form (enriched) but these are harsh on the digestive system.  
  • This can be a gradual change and not stress over every meal with the family. Once you replace an item don't go backwards. You can try other whole breads, flours, and recipes to get the right choice, but don't revert back to the white flours. 
  • Then move onto your pastas, peanut butters, rice, and on. When you make a healthier alternative change weekly, kids forget about the item they changed a couple weeks back and forget they dislike it. You also, wont have an entire pantry and fridge of foods they refuse to eat from grocery day. Gradual with kids is key! 
  • While changing try to focus on one meal at a time. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you are breaking your nighttime fast. Make your first week's focused meal breakfast choices. Whole grain cereals, yogurts, granola, fruits, toast, and eggs. Don't even touch lunches and dinners until its that schedules week. 
Be creative 
  • Presentation plays a huge role here. Kids judge an item by appearance as to whether they will eat it or not. 
  • Bright colors are pleasing to the eye, so think of the rainbow when you make the plates. Sandwich, blueberries, carrots, and broccoli. 
  • Try cutting shapes into your foods. When starting with wheat bread I would cut small sandwiches with cookie cutters to make it fun for them. You sometimes waste a little, but I would keep the left extras to make bread crumbs for meals to come. Waste not want not. 
  • I love Bentos! You can get a lot of wonderful ideas from their Facebook page to give you healthy creativity!
Tips for getting your kids to eat what you put on the table!!! 
  • Set the example. Eat with your kids and let them see that you eat these foods too. 
  • Remember the changes are gradual. All at once may be too much for them to deal with. You will have mutiny! 
  • Don't offer unhealthy foods, try to keep them out of the house to prevent temptation. 
  • Be consistent in your goals and menu. Once you decide to clean your diets, don't give them some junk food and some healthy. Once their taste buds change, they don't ask for the other stuff. 
  • Start with small portions of new meals and dishes. This way it is not overwhelming and they can try with no endless pile of something scary in front of them. 
  • Get them around other kids who eat healthy. Kids like to copy other kids especially if they see them happy about it. 
  • Provide healthy alternatives for snack foods for them at parties and social activities. My kids don't mind at all. They usually let me know what they would like to share on these days. 
  • Don't feel like all is lost when they like only two things. They will learn to expand their tastes. Remember it is a gradual process. Continue to offer the foods as if it is a normal thing. Think long term and not next month and you will be less stressed over the process. 
  • When they ask for snacks offer them fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grain breads with peanut butter, humus, yogurt, and the like. Keep it simple and have these items ready to enjoy. 
  • Get your kids involved. Make little score sheets to rate a meal, snack, or item. Have them suggest what they would like with it. Also, ask them what do they want their new fruit or vegetable of the week to be. If its their choice they will take ownership of the food. 
  • A standing phrase in our house is, "try everything". I can't count how many times they have turned up their nose at a new dish. Once we started to have the rule, try everything, they usually end up cleaning their plates surprised they enjoyed it. 
  • Sneak in your vegetables. I like to grind and puree vegetables that are difficult for them to enjoy into soups, sauces, and casseroles. When it is small enough that they can't recognize it they will go on taste. 
  • Talk to your kids about the reason we are eating healthy. To have less time being sick, to help our bodies grow like plants strong and colorful. 
  • Most important have fun and stay positive. If they see you are excited about it they will be also. If you are unsure and doom and gloom, they will be too. Kids copy the feelings and behaviors around them. 
  • Have fun dips to eat with the vegetables and fruits. I love to mix yogurt and peanut butter which is great for most fruits and veggies. Use ranch, humus, yogurt, peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter and more. Kids like variety.
As a Certified Nutrition Counselor and busy mom of four Kelley knows how food benefits the family wellness. She has a great passion for food and the effects it has on the body, both inside and out. Everything you eat and do not eat has a profound effect in hair, colon, eyes, energy, and more. Make great choices today for a better life for you and your family. Kelley blogs at Kelley's Passion for Nutrition. Also check out her Facebook Fan Page and Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe.

Renu Makes Redecorating a Snap!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Leviton for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's springtime and, after the spring cleaning, some of us catch the redecorating bug. But redesigning just one room can put a hurting on your wallet even if you "Do It Yourself." One budget solution is to make small changes to freshen up your home decor and Leviton’s newest product Renu is the smart new way to update the look of a room in a snap!
Renu<sup>®</sup> > Brands > Solutions from Leviton Web Site 
The Renu® collection includes:
  • Switches
  • Combination switches
  • Wallplates
  • Dimmers/Remotes
  • Tamper Resistant Outlets
  • Tamper Resistant GFCI Outlets
  • QuickPort Connectors
Renu® products are available in 20 paint colors picked out by decorating experts and makes turns the electrical device into a decorative, easy to change accessory.

dimmer switchI would love to change this dull-colored dimmer switch on the wall in my master bedroom to a brighter color that will complement the walls. I really like Cornsilk on the color palette. What do you think?
To learn more about Renu® products, visit Leviton on Facebook. And don't miss out on the chance to win some Home Depot gift cards by attending any of the three twitter events Leviton is hosting on these dates and times:
  • Wednesday, April 18th 9pm EST
  • Thursday, April 26th 9pm EST
  • Wednesday, May 2nd 9pm EST
All you need to do is follow @Leviton and #Renu on Twitter to participate!
Visit Sponsor's Site

Make Your Garden Green With Whitney Farms Organic Plant Food

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whitney Farms for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
I love flowers. I love trees. I love fruits and vegetables. I love all plant life.
I long to plant and care for a garden. The problem is that I have a serious brown thumb. Cactus have died on me. I am depressed by my lack of gardening skills, but not defeated. I am going to plant and maintain and organic vegetable garden this fall and Whitney Farms® is going to be my secret weapon. Whitney-Farms-Logo_Banner_New_C.jpg (6 documents, 6 total pages)
Whitney Farms®  offers a full line of 100% natural plant foods and soils with no additives, nothing artificial, just ingredients from the Earth, designed to give you big, beautiful flowers and veggies. By next spring I am going to be serving up juicy tomatoes and sweet carrots to my family. And I will feel good knowing that they were grown without the toxic chemicals used in conventional plant food brands.
vegetable garden
This is the kind of garden I want to have. Greenhouse too! (Photo Credit: geograph.org.uk)

109103_1.jpg (6 documents, 6 total pages)Whitney Farms® has been around for more than 25 years establishing themselves as a leader in the gardening industry. They have taken the decades of experience and research and improved to their products to have:

  • low to no dust
  • no manure odor
  • easy to apply
  • Contains beneficial microbes
  • Specially designed protein-based blends provide your plants with
  • both macro and micronutrients they need to grow and thrive
Use this $3 off  coupon to try Whitney Farms® organic soil and organic plant food and get the goodness of gardening naturally!
Visit Sponsor's Site

Giveaway: Camilia Homeopathic Teething Medicine by Boiron

BOIRON logoIf you are a long-time reader of this blog then you already know that I believe in homeopathy.It's not that I shun modern medicine, but I prefer to try a natural treatment first before I put any chemicals in my body. I feel the same way about my children. When my firstborn started teething, I stuck to homeopathic remedies to relieve her teething pain and never used over-the-counter products.

teething relief productBoiron, my favorite homeopathic brand, has introduced a teething medicine  called Camilia that I am going to add to my teething relief toolbox. Camilia works naturally and safely with the body to relieve teething pain without side effects or risk of overdose. Camilia’s sterile, single-use liquid oral doses are pre-measured, easy to administer, and worry-free; they do not cause numbness, drowsiness or an upset stomach. They contain the following three natural, plant-based active ingredients that work together to relieve pain and restore the peace:
  • Chamomilla 9C HPUS* - Relieves teething pain accompanied by irritability 
  • Phytolacca decandra 5C HPUS - Relieves painful gums 
  • Rheum officinale 5C HPUS Relieves minor digestive disorders associated with teething 
*HPUS indicates that this ingredient is officially included in the Homeopathic PharmacopÅ“ia of the United States 

Camilia can be used for children ages one month and older, and parents can dose as frequently as every 15 minutes. With Camilia, there’s no risk of overmedicating, drug interactions, masking of other symptoms, or numbing your baby’s gag reflex. It is made without benzocaine, dyes, sugar or preservatives, and it is tasteless.

Make the teething a process a little easier on your baby (and yourself) with Camilia, the safe, natural, single-dose liquid for all teething frustrations.

Buy It: You can buy Camilia at Walgreens, Whole Foods and The Vitamin Shoppe, as well as many local health food stores. Suggested retail price $7.99. Get a $1.00-off coupon at www.camiliateething.com, and join their community of parents on Facebook!

Win It: A lucky reader will get a 15-dose box of Camilia Teething Medicine. Open to US residents only.

Please Read How to Enter This Giveaway: you must use the Rafflecopter form below to record your entries. Comments left on this blog post for the required or extra entries don't count unless you record it on the Rafflecopter form. There have been some changes to Rafflecopter! For instance, you now have to login with Facebook or your name/email address. This enables you to see your entries in a giveaway and edit them if needed. Please wait for the form to load, it may take longer to pop up than the rest of the web page. Make sure you have java script enabled and your browser updated. If you encounter an error, refreshing the page usually resolves the problem. If problem persists, please report the issue to Rafflecopter. Login to get started, click "Do It" next to each task to see the instructions, and start collecting your entries!

[Guest Post] How Does She Do It?!

These guest bloggers were gracious enough to share their thoughts on the Motherhood Juggling Act while I'm on a babymoon. Please support them by leaving some thoughtful comments and visiting their sites.  

How Does She Do It?!
by Lee-Ann Lawrence

Saying No!
It never fails that you are super busy with life in general and people ask for more of your time. Learning to say no is huge. Do I always have to say no?  Nope, but it's definitely needed sometimes. If you can't say no try to compromise, "I can't help you out right now but how about next week Wednesday?" Learning how to say no and compromising are huge.

My iPhone is my best friend. My entire life is scheduled in it from activities for the kids, meetings with clients, and my work schedule. I try to keep up a month in advance so that I'm aware of what is going on, what is a conflict, and where everyone will be. I try to send my schedule to the sitter a month in advance and volunteering in the classroom? I book a couple of weeks in advance. I also try to keep up with my live-in man friend's schedule because he works weird hours, just like I do.

Letting Things Go
My house, well, it is a disaster most of the time. I should feel guilty right? Well truthfully I don't most of the time. I mostly do the bare minimum and if we have company coming that was scheduled well they'll get a glimpse of the rare moment when my house is totally picked up. So things like a clean bathroom, clean clothes, and a clean kitchen are done the majority of the time. Trying to walk through my kids bedroom? Well you better hope you gave us at least a month of prep time! I learned with little kids and a busy life to just let things go and this is one of the areas in which I do. I'm also not against fast food, doing homework in the car or maybe even one day paying people to do things for me that I could probably do myself but it is worth the time I'll save.  

Having a Back up Plan
With a life as crazy as mine I need a back up plan because you know in the midst of one of the busiest weeks that someone will get lice or spike a 104 degree fever! I have 3 teenage babysitters, my regular babysitter, a live-in man friend who can sometimes be flexible with his work time, and a couple of neighbors I can use in a pinch. I also have great personal leave and vacation time at work if  needed and a staff team who will fill in if I need it. All these people are in town, I have some more back up further away if I'm really stuck but usually the first line of defense is good enough. So if you haven't already, get your back up plan ready.  

Take Time for Me or We! 
This is a huge one. My life is in a constant state of chaos but every once in a while I slip away from it all and enjoy some peace and quiet by myself or with a friend. My favorites? Seeing a movie alone, dinner with a friend, or heading to the mall to shop. Also sometimes it is nice to do a 1-1 outing with my live-in man friend or one of my kids. Recharging yourself or your personal relationships are so important. Slowing down to enjoy life around you makes all the chaos worth it. So apparently this is how I get through my crazy life on a daily basis. Saying no, cutting corners, using technology, believing in a village, and taking some me or we time.  Tell me how you do the working mama juggle?!

Her life is crazy, hence the title of her blog, Lee-Ann's Crazy Life! She has three beautiful babies, works full-time, just started her own doula business, and attempts to keep stress to a minimum. Want to know how she does it? So do I!

Desmond's Birth Story

Monday, April 16, 2012

They say each childbirth is different for a mom. So true. Marlie's birth was stressful thanks to a cold midwife and last minute transport from the birthing center to the hospital. I still delivered her naturally, but the labor was traumatic in many ways I wouldn't process until later. I didn't know what to expect with my second as I prepared for the challenge of having a natural childbirth in a hospital again. It could not have gone more beautifully if I had scripted it myself. I'm thinking of writing a separate post on how I achieved a drug-free birth in a hospital, but for now, I'll focus on his birth story. I want to thank my birth coaches (Damon, Jenni, and Val) for their support and filling in the blanks...

It all started at 1:48 am on Sunday, April 1st. I was awakened by a contraction and immediately knew it wasn't of the Braxton Hicks variety. It wasn't painful, but it was definitely more than just pressure. I laid in bed to see what would happen. Two more contractions followed within the hour. I tapped Damon's shoulder and let him know that this could be it. He asked me what we should do. I told him we should probably go back to sleep because it could be awhile before things pick up. But I couldn't go back to sleep, so I went downstairs and watched TV while timing the contractions. By 5:00 am they were closer, about 10 minutes apart, but only lasting for 20 seconds. Marlie woke up to use the bathroom around this time, and I went up to help her then put her back to bed. She came downstairs an hour later and we snuggled on the couch. The contractions stopped. Just like that. I must have unconsciously sent a signal to my body that I had to take care of my little girl first.

Damon joined us downstairs shortly thereafter and started working on breakfast. I decided to go for a walk to see if I could get things moving. I wasn't crazy about the idea of delivering on April Fool's Day, but I knew better than to waste precious contractions. I didn't want to be in labor for days! I grabbed my iPod and headed out the door. On the way back I ran into my natural childbirth counselor. I told her I started having contractions earlier that morning, but they had stopped and I was trying to kick-start them again. She commented on how beautiful I looked walking. I really did feel beautiful and peaceful and confident, like I knew everything was going to work out. I arrived back home around 8:00 am, had breakfast and then this sudden urge to clean. I stripped the beds and washed the linens. I cleaned the bathroom. By noon the contractions started again. They were about 30 minutes apart and didn't interfere with my activities. They started getting closer around three in the afternoon, but weren't longer than 15-20 seconds. I remember getting annoyed at this point. I tried to take a nap, but was too riled up. As dinnertime approached, they started to feel more intense, closer, longer. I was sure we were cooking this time! I called my volunteer birth coaches Jenni and Val and told them to be on standby. Damon began getting Marlie ready for bed. I tried to remain calm and time the contractions. I willed each one to come quicker and last longer than 30 seconds. Jenni called around 8:00 pm to see what was going on. I was so disappointed to tell her that they were holding steady at 15 minutes apart and 30 seconds long and not going anywhere. She asked if I wanted them to come over and go for a walk. I declined. I was tired and fed up. I told her we should all go to bed and see if anything happened in the night.

I watched some TV, then headed upstairs. I took a shower and climbed into bed. The second I put my head to the pillow...BAM! The most powerful contraction I felt all day hit me. I told Damon to start timing and twelve minutes later another intense one. I told him I was going to call Jenni and Val if I had two more just like those and, sure enough, they came on strong at 30 seconds long about seven minutes apart. I placed the call to my birth coaches. They rushed over. I was bouncing on my birth ball watching Family Guy when they arrived. They immediately took charge. We sent Damon back to sleep and they got me started on walking laps around the ground floor, squatting through each contraction to open up my pelvic floor, breathing deeply and staying hydrated. The next two hours seemed to sweep by. Thanks to the workout, my contractions leaped forward. I was at 4-1-1 (contractions four minutes apart, lasting one minute each for at least an hour) in the blink of an eye. I said it was time to grab my birth bag and head out. We woke up Damon and I threw some last minute items into my bag. I called my OB who thankfully was on-call at Dallas Methodist Medical Center and said she'd meet me there. Jenni was staying to watch Marlie while Val followed behind our car. The drive over was less than five minutes, we arrived 10-15 minutes before midnight. I had two more contractions on the way to labor and delivery, one in the car and one on the elevator. I was taken from admitting by a sweet nurse who examined me (Damon and Val had to wait in the admitting area). I was 5 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced with a bulging bag! She said she had read my birth plan and was impressed. She also said she thought it was a great idea to labor at home as long as I did so I wouldn't be twiddling my thumbs at the hospital. I thanked her for being so supportive.

Damon and Val rejoined me, and I was transferred to a room in the Labor and Delivery wing. My labor nurse was equally kind and had also read my birth plan. She recited the top three: informed consent to all procedures, absolutely no drugs, and immediate skin-to-skin contact and nursing after my baby is born. It was my turn to be impressed! She said I had to take a shower with Hibiclens. I was not prepared for this. What is it with hospitals wanting to kill off all the germs? Some germs are good! I started to argue that I had already taken a shower than evening, but decided that some hot water on my back would actually feel nice. I jumped in the shower and used one of the packets of antibacterial soap to wash my body and nether regions being careful not to use too much to protect some of the flora. Then I removed the shower head and let the jet stream soothe my lower back. Suddenly, I felt a pop. I turned off the water, toweled off and stood still. Yep, my water broke and I was leaking. I quickly put on the hospital gown and came out of the bathroom announcing that my water broke. The nurse helped me into bed where I was nearly knocked over by a contraction. I could see the immediacy in her eyes. She grabbed her clipboard and started quizzing me on my medical history while another nurse ran my IV. At this point, the contractions are on top of each other and they want to know if I have diabetes?! Don't they have my records from my OB on file? Thankfully, my OB appeared at that moment. After some quick introductions and greetings, she checks me and I am 7 centimeters. Everyone continues to prep like it's going to be a little while longer, but the next contraction tells me otherwise. I could feel the baby drop into the birth canal. I tell all in the room that I am going to have to push soon, but my OB replies that I'm not even crowning yet. The next contraction sends me up on my hands and knees yelling, "I have to push!" I felt this urge to go to the bathroom. I tell them I have to make a bowel movement (what happens next is TMI so I'll move on). The next thing that happens is my OB gets behind me and exclaims that I am fully dilated (I had jumped from 7  to 10 cm in under five minutes). She asks if I am comfortable pushing in my current position and I shake my head yes. I stretch out like a cat and give one good push, then I collect my breath and push again. I hear my OB say, "the head is already out." That's my cue. I felt the "ring of fire" and pushed one more time. I felt a big release!

The next thing I hear is mewing. It was not like the great wails that Marlie cried. Then my baby is in my arms. "Here is your son," my OB says. It's 12: 47 am. Everything else fades to gray. It's just me and him. I am told later that there was lots of suctioning and massaging because he was a little limp. I don't remember that part. I just remember holding him to my bosom and getting him to latch. I was also told later that the umbilical cord was wrapped around my left leg and the nurse had to untangle it. I don't remember this either. The next thing I remember is my OB announcing that the cord had stopped pulsating and she clamped it and asked Damon if he wanted to cut it. He did. After that, my OB examined me. The placenta was sitting there, so I had to push it out. I also had a tear (again!) that needed repairing.  I refused Pitocin in my IV to help stop the bleeding so there was lots of uterine massaging and fundal pressure applied. I had to let go of Desmond so all this could get done. He went across the room to get measured and weighed (6 lbs and 11 oz, 20 inches. Bigger than Marlie, but not the 8-pounder I was anticipating). I sat in stirrups to get stitched up and drank some Red Raspberry Leaf Tea to help staunch the bleeding. My doctor gets paged for another delivery. I hug and thank her before she goes. After a couple of hours we are moved to a private room on the maternity ward.

The super awesome volunteer birth coaches.

Val had gone home by this time and it was just me, Damon and Desmond, for like a minute, then the endless parade of hospital staff started marching in. The nurse tells me that she will check on me and Desmond every two hours. She didn't say anything about the people in between...the lactation consultant, the photographer, the patient tech, housekeeping, food service, other administrative staff dropping off paperwork. They were all lovely people and very professional, but the interruptions were driving me batty. I wanted some sleep! So I started working on getting released that day. I was asked why the rush multiple times. Did I really have to explain the constant intrusions and no rest? After much lobbying and a sworn vow to the pediatrician that I would bring Desmond in first thing in the morning, we left the hospital that night and slept fitfully in our own beds.

ZeroWater Pitcher Review + Giveaway {2 Winners!}

Zero Water PitcherWhen I first started following a holistic health program six years ago, one of the first things I learned was how important drinking purified water is to keeping the body functioning at an optimal level. That is why I am so thrilled to give the ZeroWater Pitcher a try. I live in Northeast Texas, Dallas to be exact, I call it the hard water capitol of the south. The tap water here tastes vile. I bought a water filtration pitcher right after we moved here and it does an okay job, but I can still detect a slight metallic aftertaste when I drink from it.

When my ZeroWater Pitcher arrived I literally tore open the box. I read all the literature that was included and learned about the TDS or Total Dissolved Solids in water. TDS comes from natural deposits and man-made sources and causes water to taste bad. The FDA standard for purified bottle water is a TDS reading of 000-010. A typical TDS reading for tap water in the US is 240 parts per million. I used the free TDS look-up at ZeroWater.com to find the reading for my zip code, it measures 176 pp/m. Ick. The ZeroWater Pitcher comes with a TDS meter, so I performed a little comparison experiment measuring the TDS of my tap water, the water from my old filtration pitcher (in order to be fair, I changed the filter in my old pitcher and washed it clean before the comparison test), and the ZeroWater Pitcher. Here are the results:

zero water review

I was surprised that my tap water TDS was lower than what the zip code look-up said, but I was even more surprised that the TDS of my old water filtration pitcher so high...only 49 pp/m lower than the tap water! What have I been drinking for the last four years?!

Why I love my ZeroWater Pitcher:
  • It keeps bottles and filters out of landfills. Even better, ZeroWater is the first major company to recycle gravity-fed filter cartridges from US consumers!
  • The capacity. It holds 10 cups of water which is twice the size of my old pitcher and means less refilling. Its filter is even bigger. No wonder it can catch all those nasty solid particles.
  • The water tastes fantastic...pure and clean!

Zero Water Pitcher comparison

Buy It: You can buy the ZeroWater Pitcher directly from their website for $34.99. Use coupon code MC30, to get 30% off your purchase. Also follow ZeroWater on Facebook!

Win It: 2 lucky readers will get a free ZeroWater Pitcher! Open to US residents only.

Please Read How to Enter This Giveaway: you must use the Rafflecopter form below to record your entries. Comments left on this blog post for the required or extra entries don't count unless you record it on the Rafflecopter form. There have been some changes to Rafflecopter! For instance, you now have to login with Facebook or your name/email address. This enables you to see your entries in a giveaway and edit them if needed. Please wait for the form to load, it may take longer to pop up than the rest of the web page. Make sure you have java script enabled and your browser updated. If you encounter an error, refreshing the page usually resolves the problem. If problem persists, please report the issue to Rafflecopter. Login to get started, click "Do It" next to each task to see the instructions, and start collecting your entries!

The Kids' Log April 8-14, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The husband went back to work on Monday, but my mom flew in on Tuesday night. So, I haven't had to juggle the two kids alone yet. I have to admit I am a bit anxious about it. There will be times I am breastfeeding and Marlie will want a snack or help going to the potty. Right now, I send her to her grandma. I'm spoiled, LOL! My mom has been a huge help. She is so good with both grandkids and with me. I am getting a solid six hours of sleep at night because Mr. Magoo only wakes up once to eat. I was so sleep-deprived with Marlie because she woke up constantly. Babies really are different. I have been working on getting my shape back. My chiropractor made a house call yesterday to fix the kinks in my shoulders that have developed from craning my neck while breastfeeding. I've been wearing my postpartum compression wrap and it's been shrinking the stomach. I have my two-week follow-up at my OB/GYN tomorrow and I plan to ask if I can start walking around the neighborhood.

Toddler Log: 2 Years and 34 Weeks Old
The honeymoon is officially over for this one. The novelty of her little brother has worn off and she wants all the attention back. Her grandma has been loving on her, braiding her hair, singing and reading books to her, but that is not always enough. "I want my mommy!" is a phrase I've heard one too many times this week. She has also been acting out in destructive ways. She ruined all my chapsticks and threw handfuls of rices around her room. She has also been fighting bedtime. Damon took her out Saturday for some one-on-one time. They happened upon an Avengers promotional event at the mall. You know how much she loves her Marvel Comics characters. She got her picture taken with the superheros and souvenirs. She was in a much better mood when she came home.

Baby Log: 2 Weeks Old
Desmond is becoming acclimated to his big sister's dramatics and now sleeps through her noisiness. His features are changing, but he still looks like my brothers. He is still an easy baby except for a couple of nights this week when he was really fussy. I think it was something I ate that disagreed with his stomach. He was back to normal by Friday. We used a pacifier to soothe him to sleep during this rough patch and it just reminded me why I hate those things. Unlike Marlie, he actually took to it but when it fell out he woke up screaming bloody murder. This happened often enough for me to quit offering the pacifier to him. I'd rather he do non-nutritive soothing on my breast because he falls into a deep sleep quicker and is down until his next feeding. Just call me the human pacifier. His umbilical cord finally fell off on Saturday. Thank goodness. We had started him on disposables while we waited for the cord to detach because I wasted money buying the newborn diaper covers for Marlie and her cord fell off in two days and then she outgrew them in a couple of weeks. Not my Mr. Magoo. His cord stayed on for almost two weeks, during which time we spent $30-$40 on disposables. I should have just bought the newborn covers! Damon wants to nickname him Goldmember because of his peeling skin. The thought of my child eating his own skin...Gross. I vetoed that nickname.

Ultimate Baby Shower Event Grand Prize Give Away April 13-May 11

Friday, April 13, 2012

Having a baby means a lot of joy and a lot of expense! A great group of bloggers and companies have come together to give away...everything!

Just check out this prize list!

  • Nursery Furniture: Crib and Dresser- Sponsored by your blogger hosts!
  • Crib Bedding- Sponsored by your blogger hosts!
  • High Chair- Sponsored by Joovy
  • Stroller- Sponsored by Joovy
  • Play Yard- Sponsored by Joovy
  • Hand Made Quilt- Sponsored by Baby by Krista
  • $200 Gift Certificate for Organic Baby Clothing- Sponsored by Baby Essentials
  • $200 Gift Certificate for Organic Bathing Products- Sponsored by Happy Future USA
  • 100 Keepsake Favor clips and Bows- Sponsored by Keepsake Bows
  • Loaded Gift Basket- Sponsored by Bea's Gift Baskets
  • Pampers Premium Diaper Cake- Sponsored by Cute-Ecakes

Overall Retail Value: $2500.00!!!

Best part- you have so many ways to enter! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!  a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Ulitmate Baby Shower Event Give Away {2 Winners!}

I am one of the hosts the Ultimate Baby Shower Event by Moms with Voices Media. This event will start on April 13th and run until 11:59 EST on May 11th.The grand prize is a complete nursery and other baby gear valued at $2500! Click to ENTER THE ULTIMATE BABY SHOWER GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY, but before you run off check out my giveaway for mommy-to-be and new baby:


Prize #1: New Baby Pkg- $69 Value (US/CAN)
Win a set of Happy Future baby skincare products, the first certified ‘ORGANIC’ baby skincare products formulated entirely without any nut by-products. The winner will receive Non-Rinse Cleansing Lotion, Moisturizing Cream, Liniment Oil, and Delicate Cleansing Bath and Shower Gel. These fine French products assure better protection of baby’s delicate skin and sensibilities and are environmentally friendly. Receive 25% off with coupon code BB1036 before April 30, 2012! Read my REVIEW POST.

Prize #2: New Mommy Pkg-$38 Value (US)
Win a Organic Nursing Cami from Leading Lady, a premiere intimate apparel company dedicated to creating comfortably functional, remarkably affordable, stylish and easy-to-wear bras, camis and sleepwear. This prize includes free shipping on your entire order within the continental US. Leading Lady is running a promotion on their organic line, which includes a discount on their organic products and a free organic panty set with every order. Any site discounts will come off your order automatically. No need for a coupon code! Read my REVIEW POST.

Please Read How to Enter This Giveaway: you must use the Rafflecopter form below to record your entries. Comments left on this blog post for the required or extra entries don't count unless you record it on the Rafflecopter form. There have been some changes to Rafflecopter! For instance, you now have to login with Facebook or your name/email address. This enables you to see your entries in a giveaway and edit them if needed. Please wait for the form to load, it may take longer to pop up than the rest of the web page. Make sure you have java script enabled and your browser updated. If you encounter an error, refreshing the page usually resolves the problem. If problem persists, please report the issue to Rafflecopter. Login to get started, click "Do It" next to each task to see the instructions, and start collecting your entries!

#HonorEarth Give Away: $50 GreenBox from GreenDeals.org

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Honor the Earth button
Eco-living should be a year-round goal, but at this special time of year we redouble our commitment to save our planet from wasteful and toxic consumption. Welcome to the Honor the Earth Giveaway Hop, hosted by Happy Mothering and DeDa Studios. Each of the participating blogs has a prize package worth at least $20 that will help you live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. After you enter my green giveaway, be sure to visit all of the other amazing blogs listed below the Rafflecopter form. Thank you and good luck!

green boxMy sponsor is GreenDeals.org, which offers discounts and deals from local and national green online businesses approved by Green America every 24-48 hours. Each Green Approved Business is examined for you to ensure they have deep commitments to social and environmental responsibility in their policies, practices, and products. GreenDeals is here to help you live greener, spend, consume, and conserve for a better world. That's why GreenDeals gives you more than just great deals. They also feature green tips for everyday living, green coupons, and other offers from their Green Approved Businesses.

Buy It: The GreenBox is a monthly package of 10-20 products, samples, and coupons from various Approved Green Businesses from Green America. Each month you will have the opportunity to purchase the GreenBox starting on the 1st of the month. Inventory is very limited so make sure to check back on the 1st of each month to grab your GreenBox before they are gone. Join GreenDeals today to start saving on your favorite eco-friendly products! Get $5 in GreenDeals credits by entering promo code “MarlieMe5” when you setup a new member account and get $5 in your account to use on eco-friendly and green products

Win It: Win a GreenBox filled the following products, valued at around $50 (US residents only): 
  • Green Irene Cleaning Kit 
  • Organic Sunscreen 
  • Flax Crackers 
  • Glee Gum
  • Organic Scrubbing brush 
  • Organic Laundry soap 
  • Plus various coupons from Green Companies.

Please Read How to Enter This Giveaway: you must use the Rafflecopter form below to record your entries. Comments left on this blog post for the required or extra entries don't count unless you record it on the Rafflecopter form. There have been some changes to Rafflecopter! For instance, you now have to login with Facebook or your name/email address. This enables you to see your entries in a giveaway and edit them if needed. Please wait for the form to load, it may take longer to pop up than the rest of the web page. Make sure you have java script enabled and your browser updated. If you encounter an error, refreshing the page usually resolves the problem. If problem persists, please report the issue to Rafflecopter. Login to get started, click "Do It" next to each task to see the instructions, and start collecting your entries!

Wordful Wednesday: Baby Dreamscape

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I've always wanted to do a sleeping baby art photo

Ultimate Baby Shower Sponsor Spotlight: Leading Lady Nursing Apparel

Ultimate Baby Shower button Any new mommy who plans to breastfeed should also plan to invest in quality nursing wear. Lactation experts recommend nursing apparel be worn 24 hours, so they need to be structured, comfortable, and durable.

nursing camiIf you are confused about style, fit, or have breastfeeding questions look no further than Leading Lady. Leading Lady is... 
"a premiere intimate apparel company dedicated to creating comfortably functional,remarkably affordable, stylish and easy-to-wear bras, camis and sleepwear. A family owned and operated business, Leading Lady has been expertly tailoring nursing bras for top brands and retailers across North America for more than 70 years. For the first time, Leading Lady’s comprehensive line of nursing intimates, including their limited edition 100% certified organic line, can be purchased directly online at LeadingLady.com"

LeadingLady.com also offers a wealth of resources on breastfeeding such as an E-book, tips, lactation consultant, nursing blog, nursing bra guide, and bra fit calculator. I was sent Leading Lady’s Organic Nursing Cami to review. It's basically a tank with a built-in nursing bra. Some key features are: an inner sling for added support, quick one-handed clasp for easy nursing, and adjustable straps for a perfect fit.

Why I LOVE my Leading Lady Organic Nursing Cami: I have several nursing bras, which are fine, but I have to wear a shirt or tank over them. I am constantly pulling up fabric or pulling down extra straps to get to the bra. The nursing cami is all-in-one, so it can be worn as outerwear. I've worn it out in public without anyone being wiser. It's so comfortable that I sleep in it too! The fabric is 100% certified organic cotton, which is a major plus in my book. My only quibble is the care instructions are to hand wash. With the time constraints of caring for a toddler and newborn, I have given up on hand-washing my intimates. I placed the nursing cami in a lingerie wash bag and laundered it on the gentle cycle with mild soap. It came out fine.

Leading Lady is also a philanthropic leader. They have just joined forces with The Bra Recyclers, an organization dedicated to recycling and donating new and gently used bras for women in transition. To learn more about Leading Lady’s partnership with The Bra Recyclers and for more information about donating bras, please visit their blog.

Leading Lady Nursing and Full Figured Bras

Buy It: Visit the Leading Lady e-boutique to purchase. Leading Lady is running a promotion on their organic line, which includes a discount on their organic products and a free organic panty set with every order. I also received a 2-pack of the panties and they are the best-fitting underwear I have ever owned! Any site discounts will come off your order automatically. No need for a coupon code!

Win It: Come back April 13 for the "Win Your Nursery" Ultimate Baby Shower Event and the chance to win an Organic Nursing Cami, a $38 value, right here on Marlie and Me!

Follow Leading Lady on Facebook and Twitter and Google+.  


Ulitmate Baby Shower Sponsor Spotlight: Happy Future Baby Skincare

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

ultimate baby shower button In case you didn't see the news plastered all over Facebook and Twitter, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on April 2nd. He was born au natural and I want to keep it that way, especially his newborn skin which is very fragile.

happy future baby bath products reviewI was adamant about giving him his first "wash" with an organic cleanser and was able to do so thanks to Happy Future baby bath products. I used the Non-Rinse Cleansing Lotion to wipe him down right after he was born. It was so wonderful on his delicate, newborn skin and smelled really nice! It was the perfect product to use at the time because I couldn't use water near his umbilical cord. I have also been using the Liniment Oil with each diaper change with terrific results. It cleared up a rash in less than a day! We have baby in disposables until his umbilical cord falls off, but I have been assured that the Liniment Oil is cloth diaper safe.

Happy Future sent me these four products in their baby skincare line:
happy future baby skincare line Liniment Oil for Diaper Change ($17): Soothes and helps prevent diaper rash, dry skin and even eczema.   
Non-Rinse Cleansing Lotion ($17): Easily removes impurities and refreshes the delicate skin of baby any time of day, without bathing, while leaving a delicate natural fragrance.   
Face & Body Moisturizing Cream ($16): Soothes normal skin dryness or adult skin irritated by shaving. Feel immediate relief. It has that good baby smell!   
Delicate Cleansing Bath & Shower Gel ($19): Wash skin and hair clean with one simple product that rinses clean, quick and smells fabulous.

Why I LOVE these products: Developed in France with the finest ingredients, Happy Future are the first certified organic baby bath products that are formulated entirely without any nut by-products. This avoids the problem of allergy development. The baby-friendly formulations are dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic, paraben-free and meet the strictest US and highest EU certifications. They are pricier than other popular brands, but the extra pennies are worth it! The bottles will last you a long time because you only need a tiny bit to get the job done.

Buy It: Visit Happy Future USA to purchase these products. Use coupon code BB1036 to receive 25% off (expires April 30). Shipping available for AK, HI, US Territories, Canada and Mexico

Win It: Come back April 13 for the "Win Your Nursery" Ultimate Baby Shower Event and the chance to win this set of Happy Future baby bath products worth $69 right here on Marlie and Me!

Follow Happy Future on Facebook and Twitter. They love to hear from fans!

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