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Health & Beauty – Frugal Novice
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Health & Beauty

Teaching Healthy Sun Care Habits – #MimicMommy


This post was sponsored by Neutrogena as part of an influencer activation for The Motherhood. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. All opinions are honest and are my own.

It may just be May, but it’s basically been summer in Texas for weeks now. With the abundant sunshine comes lots of time outside, whether it’s in our yard, on a walk around the neighborhood, at baseball practice or one of the many other places we end up.

Being outside and enjoying sunny days is great, but it also means we need to take precautions to protect our skin – and especially our kiddos’ skin! Did you know that despite all we know about sun protection, skin cancer continues to be a health epidemic in the U.S.?  On average, more than 350 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every hour – even though skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers.

We talk to our kids about the importance of sunscreen, but the best way to really get them to buy in to sunscreen is by example. Studies show that kids are more likely to adopt healthy habits, like applying sunscreen, if they see their moms applying it on themselves. Sparking this simple, healthy behavior change early on may help reduce the likelihood of developing skin cancer later in life.

I am completely committed to instilling safe sun behaviors in the next generation of children, so I always make sure my kids see me applying sunscreen on myself first to set the right example. I can remember having a couple of painful sunburns as a kid, and I don’t want them to have to go through that – both because of the pain and because of the long-term damage it can inflict upon their skin.

We went to the Texas Rangers game (the craaaazy one with the punch) – and with all the antics going on, we ended up being out in the sun for almost 4 hours. We used our Neutrogena sunscreen to protect our skin and keep us from getting sunburned while we rooted for the Rangers!



Because of how important I think skin health is, I’ve partnered up with Neutrogena, the #1 Dermatologist Recommended skincare brand, to help spread the word about teaching our children skin protection – and in particular, being an example for kids with our own sunscreen usage.

Neutrogena has a variety of sunscreen options, and it’s great for our family. I love the UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen. It has a high SPF, and it’s so lightweight – not heavy and greasy like so many sunscreens! The kids love the CoolDry Sport because it’s so easy for them to apply (note – if you let your kids do their own sunscreen, closely supervise to make sure they get good coverage!) and this summer I know we’ll adore having the Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray while we’re at the beach.


My sister-in-law loves the Pure & Free Baby sunscreen for my nephew – so we’re all covered… literally!

Head over to Neutrogena Choose Skin Health for more information – and check out Neutrogena’s FacebookTwitter and Instagram for more skin health care tips.

Now it’s your turn to show how you #ChooseSkinHealth by getting your kids to #MimicMommy! Three lucky winners will receive a set of Neutrogena sunscreens for the whole family!

For Moms:
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 100+
Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

For Kids:
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 60+
Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 70+

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When Sick Gets Real


As a parent, there’s not much worse than looking at your child feeling miserable.


We’ve been really thankful that our kids rarely get sick – but when they do, we want to do anything we can to help them feel better. When we feel like Sick Just Got Real™, we head to Target and stock up on medicine, like:

  • Infants’ and Children’s Advil® provide unsurpassed fever and pain relief(1) , and contain ibuprofen, the medicine pediatricians use most for their own kids’ fevers(2) (for ages 6 months -11 years)
  • Children’s Robitussin® provides soothing action and cough control with some formulations lasting up to 8 hours (for ages 6-12 years)
  • Children’s Dimetapp® provides great-tasting cold-fighting power and is the #1 pharmacist recommended brand for children’s cough & cold symptoms(3) (for ages 6+)


If the kids are battling a cold, we let them sleep in our room; we make a comfy bed on the floor with plenty of pillows to prop them up; I run a humidifier in our room and also have the kids spend time in steam by running the shower hot. I also set alarms on my phone to get up periodically through the night and check temperature.

What do you do to make your kids more comfortable when they’re sick?  Well, you can start by having Pfizer products on hand! I’m giving away a Pfizer prize pack, and it’s super easy to enter for a chance to win!
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1 Among OTC pain relievers.

2 Based on a survey of doctors.

3 Source: 2015-16 Pharmacy Times and U.S. News & World Report.

Win the Sickest Day Ever with Advil®


The Advil® Sinus Congestion & Pain product, information and gift have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

We’ve all had a sick day. In fact, Brian and I both are just now getting over colds, and it is not fun! We had just received our gift pack from Advil® and it couldn’t have been better timing. Advil® Sinus Congestion & Pain provides fast, powerful relief for a number of severe cold, flu, and sinus symptoms, and it’s a lifesaver to have on hand when you’re sick.

Advil® Sinus Congestion & Pain is the only over-the-counter cold and sinus medicine that combines the speed and strength of Advil® with a proven nasal decongestant for fast, effective relief of severe cold symptoms including sinus pressure and headache. It contains Phenylephrine, a nasal decongestant which reduces swelling and allows the nasal and sinus airways to expand to their natural state for easier breathing, and ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that has been repeatedly proven to reduce pain safely and effectively when taken as directed.

While we’ve all had sick days, Advil® wants to help three lucky winners have the sickest day ever (in the best possible way)! Just enter a video of yourself reciting the Sickest Day Ever tongue twister and upload it to their sweepstakes page. The tongue twister is:

“Six of my sickest sinus symptoms solved with the speed and strength of Advil® in Advil® Sinus Congestion & Pain for a chance to win the Sickest Day”

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Boys & Girls Clubs of America Triple Play


I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Boys & Girls Club of America. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Our kids are young – 8, 6, & 3 – and Brian and I think all the time about how this is a time in their lives in which we’re helping them establish habits that might last an entire lifetime. We hope to teach them polite habits, thoughtful habits, and healthy habits. Being healthy, of course, can encompass so much – mind, body, and soul. From a young age, activities such as taking part in school sports, making friends at after school clubs, and maintaining a balanced diet contribute to the health in all three of these areas. The skills and routines practiced as children influence habits well into adulthood, and establishing healthy lifestyle patterns with our children helps them carry these skills forward for the rest of their lives. Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Triple Play program encourages us to continue shaping our children’s future and get out and about with our family.

Triple Play launched in 2005 and has made close to 10 million connections with kids, sharing how important it is to have physical activity and proper nutrition.

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WaterWipes are 99.9% Water & Chemical Free – Perfect for Newborns


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

My sister-in-law is pregnant with her first baby, so although my youngest baby is turning 3 soon my focus has been back on baby products again. I’ve told her all about products we used and loved, and when I learn about new products I think she’ll love, I definitely pass them her way. One of those products is WaterWipes.


When I first had my babies, I could see how it’d be easy to get overwhelmed with how many different things there were to worry about. Childproofing and which baby food to use and oh my word there were chemicals in everything. 

With all of our kids we dealt with diaper rashes – it’s a very common problem for parents to encounter with their children, and I know some kids deal with chronic diaper rash that can sometimes get pretty severe! Our kids’ never got too bad, thankfully, but when they did have diaper rashes I always worried that the chemicals in the wipes we used would irritate their even more sensitive skin. If only I’d had WaterWipes available then!

WaterWipes are a solution for any mom worried about chemicals in baby wipes. They are chemical free baby wipes that contain only two ingredients! They are 99.9% pure Irish water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. I love this, that there are durable, effective wipes available to use on the sensitive skin of newborns. WaterWipes provide a safer, more natural option for babies, and that makes me as a mom feel great.

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Little Remedies for Little Tummies


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!


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


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}


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.


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.

Laurie_Pregnant1 Continue Reading…

Encouragement Quote: Don’t Give Up!


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!


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

Sea shells

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.