What Is Your Joy?

I received compensation for my work on this post about what brings me joy. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

It’s the season of joy. The season of thankfulness, of love, of happiness, of appreciation. The best season of the year! :) Which is why I’m going to share what makes me full of joy, and ask you to share the same with me. Why? Because joy needs to be shared. And because I always love hearing from you guys.

Abby and bear [Read more...]

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5 Must-Have Herbs for Winter Illness You Might Not Have Heard Of

With cold and flu season officially upon us, many have started stocking the medicine cabinet with various OTC pills in preparation for when illness inevitably strikes – but believe it or not, sometimes the best remedies can be found in our kitchen! Rather than purchasing expensive pills from your local pharmacy, go with herbal remedies – the natural, effective, and cheaper alternative to traditional medicine. I’ve had to really explore these options this year… I was diagnosed earlier this year with majorly high blood pressure {like, 190/120, totally not cool} and realized a few weeks ago when I got the flu that many cold meds say not to take if you have high blood pressure. Which no one had told me about – good thing I read packaging! So, whether you worry about medical issues, drug interactions, are just are trying to avoid lots of OTC meds {which I also try to do} – here are some great tips….

5 Must-Have Herbs for Winter Illnes

5 Must-Have Herbs for Winter Illness: Tips from Dr. Christopher Hobbs of Rainbow Light

[Read more...]

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Potty Training Tips You Need for the Holiday Season

I’m a Pull-Ups Potty Training Partner, and was compensated for this post as part of my relationship with the brand…

Can you believe the holidays are almost here? The stores are already full of Thanksgiving and Christmas goodies, my Pandora station has brought back my Christmas music station, and my stress level is rising day by day – as I think about travel and events and activities and parties and, and, and…. All the million other things going on this time of year.

Potty Training during the Holidays

The holidays are amazing and magical, no matter what your age. But, no matter what your age, they can still be stressful. Especially if you’re in the potty training stage – there are so many challenges at this time of year. But here are some tips and tricks I’ve used myself, that I hope can help to make it easier for you and your family. Learn how to get ready for the holiday season of travel and fun events…

Pull-Ups are a must for holiday events and travel!

1. Clothes: Think about the outfits you put your kids in. Puffy skirts that are hard to hold up above a potty chair, or new buttons and snaps on fancy trousers for boys, or any type of new zip or snap can be confusing for kids. So keep that in mind in mind as you shop for holiday gear. The easier the better. And think about things like – extra leggings or tights for girls, or maybe a second set of pants for boys.

2. Bathrooms: Whether it’s being uncomfortable in a mini-mart restroom or with the newness of grandma’s bathroom, new places can be intimidating. Be sure to discuss this beforehand. Let littles know about things like automatic flushing, sinks that turn on like magic, and how loud it all will be.

3. Supplies: Studies show that it’s best to be consistent with kiddos – and using Pull-Ups training pants are a necessity to have on hand throughout the entire potty training process, so be sure to stash some in your bag at all times. Even once you don’t need a “diaper bag,” you usually still need a “toddler bag” to be ready for emergencies. And I mean, Pull-Ups training pants are super fun, with all of the popular Disney characters. They are amazingly absorbent. And they teach kids great lessons about pulling pants up and down, to get them ready for big kid undies later on. Total win :)

4. Schedule: Holiday travel and events can mean tight schedules. But, as you plan outings, be sure to schedule some extra time for potty breaks. Whether it’s on the road where you map in extra rest stops – or just adding some extra time into your own agenda as you prep for holiday parties at home – make sure you leave enough time to not be stressed during potty breaks. Because a stressed out momma means a stressed out kiddo.

5. Treats and Drinks: Be aware of what your little one is eating and drinking during the holiday festivities. Too much to eat, or too many treats, can lead to tummy aches – which in turn lead to them not knowing when to do to the potty. And, too many cups or punch or juice at an evening party can lead to wetting the bed, when they usually don’t. One great idea to help with this are GoodNites Bed Mats - they help protect against accidents, no matter where you are. Which makes everyone happy. And speaking of good nights – check out all of these awesome tips to help kids stay dry at night.

6. Be Consistent: This is the most important. Try to keep up with your regular routines as much as possible. If you travel, bring things like your potty chair, special blanket or teddy, and any rewards you usually use – like stickers or suckers. And a great reminder when times get busy is to use the Time to Potty App – which is seriously, my NUMBER ONE recommendation to anyone who’s potty training. It gives you a timer on your phone, which beeps to let you know when it’s time to go potty again. It helps you stay on track, despite all of the holiday distractions – and gives kids something fun to motivate them. Also be sure to check out the Big Kid Academy, which offers customized activities and advice and is another great way to stay on track!

7. Be Patient: Regression can be normal. Even kids who are almost-to-fully potty trained can have setbacks you don’t expect. The holidays  are stressful for us all, so it makes sense that little ones would feel that stress too. And stress can make kids suddenly start wetting their pants or the bed. Some ways to overcome this are to make sure you’re giving them your full attention, at least a few times a day, no matter what else is going on. Have family members that are visiting {or that you’re visiting} give them accolades and encouragement when they go potty, and maybe go back to using rewards like stickers again.

Pull-Ups Logo

And remember too…. Breath. The holidays get hectic. Preschoolers get hectic. Combined – it can lead to a lot of stress. Don’t let that happen. Just keep up the routines you’ve had, as best as you can. Be sure to keep supplies on hand, like extra clothes and Pull-Ups. Get the app, to keep you both on track with “potty times.” And keep your sense of humor. Because accidents happen. Trust me – they’re funnier later. Like this one….

Abby in the potty

When Abby was first learning to potty train, I heard her in the bathroom one day. Came in. And she was IN the toilet. She said – “I’m on the potty train mom. When does it start going?” Followed by some chugga chugga choo-choos. :) And it’s so funny how parenting has changed – my mom would have right away picked me up out of there. But I grabbed my phone to take a picture first <3 But how to you not capture a moment like that? It’s frustrating at the time – but it I promise, all of the potty training stress will fade away before you know it, and lead to lots of funny memories.

We Love Pull-Ups Training Pants

And as you can see – kids truly do LOVE Pull-Ups :) Abby is hugging all of her favorite characters – like Doc McStuffins and Ariel, from The Little Mermaid!

I asked on Facebook what challenges other moms face with potty training during the holidays – or what tips anyone has to share. Feel free to join the conversation – I LOVE to hear from you guys!

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Getting Our Home Ready for the Holidays

I cleaned up with Zep Commercial® as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars. #TryZep

We moved into our house about 3 years ago. We were buying it from a family member, but it was a long process. {Also, a looooong story.} We just finalized the deal earlier this year – so it’s finally really-really-truly ours! Yay! I co-own it with my mom. She lives her part of the year, when her boyfriend travels. But we’re best buddies so it works great :) Well, now that it’s ours, and the summer months of building our giant garden and taking care of the pool are over, it’s time for some awesome home improvement and DIY projects. Especially with the holidays on the way!

Living room furniture - green [Read more...]

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Entertain in Style this Holiday Season with New Appliances from Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. All opinions are always my own. #holidayprep

Prep for the Holidays with Appliances from Best Buy… Yep, it’s that time of year. The major holiday season has arrived. We entertain a ton around here, all year ’round. But summer months are so easy… Toss some floaty lounge chairs in the pool, throw some meat on the grill, add some beverages to a cooler, make sure your wireless speakers are turned up, and bam – you’ve got a rockin’ party. But during the colder indoor months, parties take a bit more planning. Which is why I LOVE the Holiday Prep at Best Buy ideas and product tips!
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Frigidaire Self-Cleaning Electric Convection Induction Range [Read more...]

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How to Make Mornings With Kids Less Stressful

Big thank you to Mom It Forward Blogger Network and IKEA for partnering with me to share solutions for morning madness – #first59

I’m a firm believer that the quality of your day doesn’t depend on outside forces or experiences – it’s all about your attitude and choosing to be happy :) But getting your day off to a good start, during that first hour in the morning, can help make having a good attitude much easier! We’ve all felt the stress that comes with a disorganized morning… Can’t find your keys or the kids’ shoes. Someone reminds you last minute about a game or teacher conference you forgot about. There’s nothing for breakfast, or you forgot to pack lunches. There’s yelling, nagging, grumpiness, and everyone starts their day stressed out. Which is NO good, right?

Beautiful Sunrise - How to make mornings more manageable for busy moms #first59 [Read more...]

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Why I’m Falling in Love with the Philips Airfryer

Big thank you to Best Buy for sending me a complimentary Philips Airfryer to test out and share with you guys. It is AWESOME and I know you’ll love it too!

I am a healthy eater, 90% of the time. You wouldn’t know it by looking at the size of my hips, but it’s true. I eat small portions, whole grains, lots of fruits and veggies. But…. I have been known to say that “deep fried” is one of my favorite flavors :) And this would be an area where I splurge once in a while. We have a deep fryer, and ohmanohman can it make some good stuff. But it’s hot, messy, and FATTENING! So when I learned that there was a new super-cool technology that would give me a healthier alternative to frying… I was totally excited to try it out. Skeptical, I admit. But excited.

Philip's Airfryer - multitasker in the kitchen. Fry, bake, roast, AND grill!

Philips Airfryer is a total multitasker in the kitchen. It can fry, bake, roast, AND grill. Which I appreciate… I’m a kitchen gadget addict. But I only have so much room in the kitchen. So anything that has multiple purposes is a win, and a space saver. So – let’s take this as a dating scenario… He looked good in his online ad. And, upon meeting him – he made a good first impression. [Read more...]

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