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Little Remedies for Little Tummies

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I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Little Remedies. I received a product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I’m a mom to three kids now, and have been a mom for almost 8 years. Although I feel like I know what I’m doing now, when our first son was born we were definitely still learning the ropes. J had lots of issues with a gassy tummy, and boy did we ever know it! There was crying. And crying. And more crying (him AND us, haha!).

I din’t know prior to having children just how common gas pain can be for babies, but when they’re little and gulping down food it’s easy for them to take in excess air and end up with gas bubbles. Here are a few tricks that might help you out if you’re having issues with your newborn – or if you’re expecting, bookmark this list for future use!

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Bicycling our kids’ legs helped a lot, and thankfully we discovered Little Remedies products. They don’t contain any artificial flavors, artificial colors or alcohol and are created with the very specific needs of children in mind. There are two products in particular from Little Remedies that were real game changers for us, and that really helped relieve our babies’ gas pains:

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The Must-Have Pregnancy Tool – First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test

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I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for First Response. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I will never forget taking pregnancy tests for each of my three children. There were negative test results in between positives, of course, but oh. my. word. The thrill of seeing those two pink lines pop up – POSITIVE! – is just unlike anything else. You know your world is about to change in amazing ways, and you immediately have a need to protect. 

To tell my husband about being pregnant with our first child, I put my First Response test in a Converse shoe box with some baby Converse shoes, and told my hubby I’d gotten him a new pair of shoes. The look on his face when he opened the box was priceless!

Of course, if you’ve ever been in that phase of testing… and testing… and testing again, you know how agonizing the wait can be. One day feels like one year (and seriously, waiting for first morning urine – or “FMU” as all the books lovingly call it – rather than testing at night is so hard)!

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Guest Post: Laurie’s Weight Loss Transformation {#TransformationTuesday}

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I’ve been working on losing weight this year – I made that cliched resolution to get healthier, and so far it’s been sticking. If you’ve ever been on this journey, you know it can be really easy to get off track. I truly think a large part of the difference for me this time around has been watching people who are success stories; those who’ve been on this same path, who’ve stuck with their goals, and who have results to show for it.

My friend Laurie is one of those people. She works full time, she’s got three kids, yet she’s still managed to succeed – triumphantly – at her weight loss. I’ve been really inspired by her, and I asked her if she’d be willing to share her story because I think you’ll be inspired, too. Thanks to Laurie for agreeing to write this guest post!

Laurie’s Story:

I never had a weight problem. All of my life, I ate what I want, when I wanted and I was still able to maintain an average-sized frame. Don’t get me wrong, I was not a bikini model, but I did not gain weight very easily. I was happy with my body. I enjoyed eating junk food. I never had to think about what I was putting into my body and if I wanted an ice cream, I ate that ice cream. If I wanted to eat potato chips and soda before bed, I did.

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Pregnancy: Where it All Started

I got married when I was 23, and soon after, I found out I was pregnant with our first child. When I was pregnant, I took that as the chance to continue eat whatever I wanted, times two. I didn’t hold back at all. By the end of my pregnancy, I had gained over 70 pounds. This was my first pregnancy and I figured this is just the way it goes: you gain weight. I didn’t think I’d have a problem with the weight coming right off, because I never had issues with weight before.

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Encouragement Quote: Don’t Give Up!

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I’ve been losing weight since the start of the year – almost 25 pounds so far. I made the clichéd resolution to get healthier, but unlike other years I’ve been successful this time around. I’ve found a free app online to track what I’m eating, and a workout DVD that I actually enjoy (while simultaneously hating it sometimes – makes total sense, right?). My husband has been so supportive, working out with me and letting me ramble on about the calorie count of various foods.

What it all boils down to, though, is mindset. In previous weight-loss attempts I would use mistakes as an excuse to give up altogether. I mean, I’d already screwed up, right?

Now I get it. Mistakes happen, but they don’t have to shape your journey – or stop it. I hope this quote below helps encourage you with any change you’re wanting to make in your life, whether it’s losing weight, quitting smoking, making it through college, or whatever your personal challenge is. You’ve got this. Hang on to those eggs. 

If you drop one egg, you don't throw the other eleven on the floor. We ALL make mistakes. Don't let one slip-up derail you completely! Hang on to those other eggs.

Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant for Moms On-the-Go!

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Note: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Dove. I received a product sample and promotional item to thank me for my participation.

As a busy, full-time-working, freelancing, mom to three kids, I’m always on the go – there just isn’t much down time, and I think many of you can relate to that feeling.Baseball practice, time with family, church, and more baseball practice keep us out of the house many evenings each week. I’m also in the midst of doing a 30-day workout video, so many nights I’m sweating it up while burning off some calories!

Needless to say, I need a good deodorant – I think all moms do! – so that I can avoid being a sweaty mess while I run around doing all that I do. I’ve tried lots of different deodorants over the years, and was really intrigued when I heard about Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant. I heard that it provides 48-hour odor and wetness protection, which means I can be out confidently all day long and not worry about sweat – but beyond that, it has NutriumMoisture, which is made up of ingredients known to moisturize skin. This means that not only do I get long-lasting benefits you typically associate with deodorant, I’ll also get softer, smoother underarms during the process. With summer coming up, tank top season is right around the corner, so underarms need to be in tip-top shape!

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Getting Ready for Summer: Test-Driving Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant

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I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Dove. I received a product sample and promotional item to thank me for my participation.

It’s basically already summer here in Texas, with temperatures regularly in the 80’s. My son is playing baseball and we’ve got lots of baseball practices and games in the near future, so I know I need to have a defense ready against sweat! I’m excited to try Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant because I love regular Dove deodorant and I’m looking forward to getting even more protection against body odor – it provides 48-hour odor and wetness protection, and it goes beyond odor and wetness protection to offer softer, smoother underarms. Can’t beat that!

Keep an eye out for my upcoming post, where I’ll put it to the test and let you know all about it!

 

House Calls via Technology with Doctor on Demand

Note: I participated in a Blog Blast Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Doctor On Demand. I received a free trial coupon code to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

We have three kids, and with kids come germs. As parents, you’ll inevitably end up having to take your children to the doctor at some point. But if you’re like us, you know it’s: a) difficult to find time to sit and wait for an hour or more to see a doctor, and b) a little disconcerting to sit in a room filled with germs as you wait!

Doctor On Demand is a healthcare service that solves both of those problems: it provides 15-minute Video Visits with board certified physicians, psychologists, and lactation consultants – and you can do it all from the comfort of your own home via smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers.

All you have to do is download the Doctor On Demand app on a smartphone or tablet, or you can visit www.doctorondemand.com on your desktop computer. Just provide a list of symptoms, and you’ll instantly be connected to a provider licensed in your state for a video visit.

Guess what? Right now you can get your first visit free! Just use the coupon code NOVICE15 and you’ll be all set.

 

New Year’s Resolution Success with Kohl’s

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Note: I received gift cards from Kohl’s to facilitate my post. All opinions are honest and my own.

I have a confession to make.

I’m pretty unoriginal with my New Year’s resolutions.

But, so far, I’m also pretty successful at keeping my resolution this year – so I guess in that way I’m fairly unique!

My resolution this year is to be healthier, which includes eating better and exercising more. I’ve tried this in the past and didn’t last long, but this time around I’m taking added steps to make sure I’m successful. I’ve found an app to help me track both calories consumed and burned; I’ve got an accountability partner (my husband – so convenient! And so amazingly awesome of him to agree to work out with me each night); and I’ve got the gear I need, thanks to Kohl’s.

I shop at Kohl’s pretty frequently for clothes, shoes, accessories, toys, and kitchen items. You probably do, too. But did you know Kohl’s has a pretty impressive line-up of items to help you live a healthier life?

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There are a ton of options for workout gear – I personally think it’s a morale-builder to work out in something you feel attractive in; and if you feel attractive, you’re more likely to want to wear those clothes and work out in them.  Whether you’re a gym rat or you like to walk around your neighborhood, there’s attire for you.

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Good shoes are crucial, and Kohl’s has plenty of those to pick from, too.

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Don’t forget some headphones to listen to music while you work out!

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They even have socks that wick away sweat, and I think we can all agree that’s a very good thing.

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Beyond clothing, though, there’s all sorts of exercise equipment, from weights to kettlebells to yoga blocks and more.

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And since you’ll be working up a sweat, you’ll want to make sure and stay hydrated. Kohl’s has got you covered there, too:

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Of course, exercising is just part of living a healthier life. It’s important to make good choices with what you eat, too. There are a ton of kitchen gadgets on the market that make it fun and easy to eat healthy, and Kohl’s offers a wide variety to choose from. There were two items in particular I looked at – the Nutribullet Pro (how easy would it be to make smoothies with this?):

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and this:

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You can make your own “noodles” out of veggies – too  cool! This would be a really fun way to give kids veggies, by the way. Or to lower your carb intake when it’s Italian night!

I decided to get something to help keep me accountable – a Fitbit Flex.

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It’s been really great at motivating me to want to fit in as many steps as possible – and we got one for Brian, too, so we can challenge and encourage each other to stay active! Our Kohl’s had a kiosk right by the jewelry counter with the Fitbit Flex, Charge, Charge HR and Aria scale.

If you were thinking about making a resolution to live healthier, it’s not too late to start! It’s better to start a little later than not at all. Stop by Kohl’s and have a little healthy-living shopping spree. Get yourself shoes and workout clothes; find a DVD you can do right in your living room and grab a blender for smoothies in the morning. And if you get a Fitbit let me know so we can be friends and encourage each other!

Stock up this Holiday Season with Healthy Essentials

Note: This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them. Third party trademarks used herein are trademarks of their respective owners.

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With the holidays right around the corner, the likelihood is good that you’ll be hosting company sometime soon. One of my favorite things to do when I’m preparing for guests staying with us is to stock up on any toiletries they might need. I set them out in a basket in the guest bathroom, and they’re able to have access to anything they might have forgotten.

If you’re wanting to stock up for guests or for your own family, now’s a great time, because I have a link to all sorts of savings on all the essentials! Just click here to go to the Healthy Essentials site and see all the coupons you can use on products like:

  • NEUTROGENA® Healthy Skin® Liquid Makeup, http://www.neutrogena.com/ – Silky-light coverage glides on for a perfectly natural look, while the exclusive blend plus Broad Spectrum SPF 20 work together to visibly improve skin’s luminosity, tone and texture.
  • CLEAN & CLEAR® Night Relaxing Deep Cleaning Face Wash, http://www.cleanandclear.com/ – With deep sea minerals and sea kelp extract, this purifying cleanser cleans deep to effectively wash away daily build-up – like dirt, oil and impurities deep in pores. So effective, this foaming cleanser even washes away dirt and oil you can’t see while calming aromas help wind you down – leaving you clean and relaxed. Oil-free. Won’t clog pores. Won’t over dry.
  • AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT® Targeted Tone Corrector, http://www.aveeno.com/ – Helps reduce the look of stubborn dark spots, discolorations, and uneven tone to improve skin’s radiance in just 2 weeks. It is oil free, noncomedogenic and nonirritating.
  • LISTERINE® ULTRACLEAN® Dental Floss, http://www.listerine.com/products/ultraclean-floss – Shred-resistant dental floss stretches, flexes and slides easily between teeth. MICRO-GROOVES® Technology removes 2x more plaque than Glide® Mint Floss.
  • LISTERINE® ULTRACLEAN™ Mouthwash, http://www.listerine.com/products/ultraclean-cool-mint-antiseptic-mouthwash – The only leading mouthwash with an anti-tartar ingredient and new EVERFRESH™ Technology for a dentist clean feeling that lasts up to three times longer vs. brushing alone. Has the clinically proven plaque and germ-killing power of LISTERINE® Antiseptic.
  • BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages, http://www.band-aid.com/ – America’s #1 bandage brand covers all your wound-protection needs. BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages have covered and protected cuts and scrapes for millions of people over 90 years.
  • JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® Detangling Spray, http://www.johnsonsbaby.com/ – Works to instantly unlock knots and tangles in wet or dry hair. Easy detangling and manageability. Gentle NO MORE TEARS® formula.

You can also find coupons for Splenda, which is perfect for holiday baking if you’d like to have less sugar in your final products!

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Be sure and head over to HealthyEssentials.com now to get started saving right away!

 

 

Spread RSV Awareness in Honor of World Prematurity Day

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Note: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central forMedImmune. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

My kids are 7, 5, and 2 now but I can remember when they were each born like it was yesterday. I remember how tiny and fragile they seemed, and I definitely remember being incredibly cautious with them and germs the first few months of their lives.

RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) is a really common virus that occurs in epidemics each year, usually between November & March. Nearly all children contract it by the time they reach age 2 – I know all three of my children have had it! For babies that are healthy and full-term it can just cause moderate cold-like symptoms, which of course moms will still worry over.

RSV is the top cause of hospitalization for babies from birth to age 1 in the United States. About 125,000 babies are hospitalized with RSV each year,  and sadly up to 200 infant deaths. While every baby is at risk of contracting RSV, babies born prematurely have a much higher risk – they’re twice as likely as full-term infants to be admitted to the hospital for RSV-related symptoms.

One of my really good friends had premature twins in October several years ago, and I know they had to be extra-careful to keep their babies germ-free. My smallest baby was 6 pounds, 10 ounces, but seeing my friend’s preemies made me realize how much more fragile they are, and how important it is to protect them from diseases like RSV. World Prematurity Day is coming up on November 17, so this is especially on my mind right now.

Despite RSV being such a common disease, and potentially a scary one for preemies, one-third of mothers have never heard of the virus. I’m really glad to be able to help promote awareness and help other moms! Here are symptoms of severe RSV that you should keep an eye out for. If your child exhibits one or more of the following symptoms, be sure and contact your child’s pediatrician immediately:

  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
  • Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
  • Fever (especially if it is over 100.4 degrees F [rectal] in infants under 3 months of age)

Of course, preventative care is especially important too. There’s no way to avoid germs completely, and RSV is very contagious. It can spread very easily through touching, sneezing and coughing, and it can live on the skin and surfaces for hours. Here are some important things you can do to help minimize the spread of RSV:

  • Wash your hands and ask others to do the same (I kept hand sanitizer around for people to use along with washing their hands, just to be extra careful)
  • Keep toys, clothes, blankets & sheets clean
  • Avoid crowds and other young children during RSV season
  • Never let anyone smoke around your baby
  • Steer clear of people who are sick or who have recently been sick – even if they said it was just allergies, I liked to be cautious and still ask them to wait until they’re better before having contact with my babies.

My biggest tip? Don’t worry about what other people think of your caution. I would much rather feel silly for being over-cautious than end up with a severely sick child. And I’d rather hurt someone’s feelings by making them wait to hold my child. You’re your child’s best protector against RSV!

Find out more about RSV at RSVprotection.com, like tips on talking to your pediatrician about your child’s risk factors, data on the RSV season in your area, and real stories of families’ experiences with RSV. And check out this infographic below for more helpful facts:

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Living Proof: Perfect hair Day Update

Note: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence central for Living Proof. I received product samples to facilitate my review and to thank me for my participation.

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A little over a month ago I told you how I was starting to use a line of hair care products from Living Proof called Perfect hair Day (PhD). I was only about a week in to using the shampoo and conditioner at the time, but I already knew I really liked  it.

Now that I’ve been using it day in and day out, I can definitely attest to the fact that it makes a difference. I’ve never been one to have great hair. It’s okay, but I’ve never had an easy time getting it to really look good. I have oily hair, which means I wash it daily, but then I end up with frizzy hair, which isn’t so great either!

I’m also not a person who has a lot of patience with styling my hair. I’m never going to be the girl that spends hours of time (or, let’s be honest, even one hour of time) on my hair, so I typically just blow dry it with a round brush and it ends up looking okay.

With the Perfect hair Day products, my hair looks sleek but not flat. It has body but isn’t frizzy. It’s a perfect balance that I’ve been trying to achieve for years, and I love it!

Here’s my routine: I wash my hair every day with the Perfect hair Day shampoo. It doesn’t make my hair frizzy at all (happy dance!!). I follow up with the conditioner, and once a week I use the Restore Mask Treatment.

After I let my hair towel dry a bit, I put on the Prime Extender and then the 5-in-1 styling treatment. I blow dry my hair with a diffuser and a round brush for about 10 minutes, and I’m golden!  Here’s my finished look:

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And here’s what my hair looked like before – much frizzier!

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I love having a product on hand that gives me salon results for a fraction of the cost – and something I can easily keep up with on a regular basis. My husband and I recently celebrated our 11th anniversary, and it was nice getting to feel great out on our date night!

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If you’re like me, a busy mom who wants to look her best without having to invest tons of (non-existent) extra time, Living Proof Perfect hair Day products are just what you’re looking for. And guess what?!

Now through November 8th, with an order of $20 or more, you can enter the exclusive code NOV2014 to get a free Perfect hair Day (PhD) 5-in-1 Styling Treatment in travel size. With this order you will also receive free samples and free shipping!

Don’t forget, you can keep up with Living Proof on social media, too! You can find them on:

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Healthy Habits are Underway Thanks to LISTERINE!

Note: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

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Well, we’ve had our LISTERINE products for a while now and we’ve been integrating them into our oral care routine – and loving it. It doesn’t take much time at all to add Smart Rinse to what we’re already doing, and as a mom it makes me happy to know that the Smart Rinse is helping to clean all the germs the boys may have missed when they brush their teeth (let’s be honest; we all know that elementary-aged kids aren’t the most diligent brushers!).

The boys think the Smart Rinse is fun because it’s green and because it has the Avengers on the front of it, so it made it easy to introduce to them. Sometimes they (especially our oldest son) can be resistant to trying new tastes, but they both were open to using this and they like swishing it, too.

I love the floss for myself, because that’s one area I haven’t always been perfect about. I’m a twice-a-day brusher, but I know flossing is crucial for oral health – and LISTERINE has floss for virtually every type of mouth. The POCKETPAKS are another favorite of mine. They’re so easy to keep in my purse and pull out when I need them. They don’t just make your breath smell better, folks. They kill germs, so these are great to use after a meal or snack (and especially after sugar). The kids love them, too, because they think it’s magical how the strips dissolve on their tongues.

Have you tried any of these great LISTERINE products? Click here to find out where you can buy them, and you can visit the LISTERINE website, too, to find out more about what all they have to offer. And don’t miss the great Healthy Habit Heroes videos on the LISTERINE YouTube page!

Be a healthy habit hero and get your kids started NOW taking good care of their teeth. We talk to our kids about how important it is especially once they get their “grown-up” teeth, and we hope that we’re instilling habits that they’ll continue throughout their lives!