#Sponsored #BBWBabyBash: Graco Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™ #Review

sampleDisclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Graco. Opinions expressed are 100% of my own.

graco Graco Pack 'n Play® Playard Sport™

With kids in sports, church activities, and all the things this crazy family has going on in a given week, this has quickly become one of my favorite products EVER. Honestly. I don’t know how we survived this long without the Graco Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™!

There are so many reasons why I love this Pack ‘n Play. Let me list just a few:

  1. The Setup was SUPER easy! I literally pulled it out of the box, took it out of the awesome carrying case it comes with, and set it up. It went from box to complete in less than 2 minutes. (I LOVE that!!)
    graco Graco Pack 'n Play® Playard Sport™
  2. The canopy provides the perfect amount of shade, but I can still see inside the Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™ perfectly. Sawyer can see me, I can see him, but he’s protected from the harsh elements of the sun, wind, and/or sprinkling rain.
    graco Graco Pack 'n Play® Playard Sport™
  3. The “doggy door” – as my kids call it – as the absolute BEST feature. We can leave it unzipped, and Sawyer can crawl in and out as he pleases. He loves having the freedom to be in the comfort of the Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™ or in my lap. Whoever decided this should be a feature on the Playard is brilliant. It’s fantastic!
    graco Graco Pack 'n Play® Playard Sport™
  4. Sawyer loves it. If your baby loves something, you know it has to be good, right? Kids can be so funny, but when they find something they love, they let you know. Sawyer absolutely loves the Graco Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™, and I love that he loves it!
    Graco Pack 'n Play® Playard Sport™
  5. It’s just as fabulous indoors as it is outdoors! When we’re not using the Graco Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™ on the go, it’s set up in the middle of my living room. It’s so great on carpeted floors. Sawyer still crawls in and out, goes where he wants to go, and drags his toys into the playard. It’s easy enough to collapse and put away that we do it all the time.

While this is truly the best product ever, there are a few things I want you to be aware of:

  • Do NOT use the playard on hard floors or cement. There is absolutely NO padding on the bottom of the playard at all. None. Stick to grass and plush carpeting for baby’s sake. There have been times when we’ve only had hard, dry ground available, and it worried me to death the entire time Sawyer was in there.
  • I wish there were spikes so I could pin it into the grass when we’re out and about. Not having to worry about the playard blowing off while he’s not in it would be a wonderful thing.

If you are the type who is always on the go, loves to be outdoors, and needs a safe place to put your infant or toddler, I highly recommend the Graco Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™. If you need a playpen set up in the middle of your living room (carpeted!), the Playard Sport is a fantastic option. Sawyer just took his first steps inside his playard the other day, and I didn’t have to worry about him hitting his head on anything.

I’m in love with the Graco Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™, and I’m confident you will love it too!

Announcing the #BBWBabyBash

baby bash

It’s hard to believe that our baby, Sawyer, is now over a year old! Absolute craziness, right?

In order to celebrate his birthday, I’ve lined up several sponsors to help showcase some really great “MUST HAVE” baby items. If you are pregnant, just had a baby, or have an infant or toddler, you will want to be sure to check back at all of these items.

The easiest way to find the items will be to search the hashtag #BBWBabyBash.

We’ll get started with our first feature today, so stay tuned!!

#Sponsored: Enter the Store Brand Formula’s Unique Baby Sweepstakes #Contest

sponsoredDisclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Store Brand Baby Formula. Opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Be sure to read to the end of this post… I’m giving away a $30 Visa Gift Card to one lucky reader!

As a mom of 8, I understand the desire to cut costs without cutting quality. That’s why I’ve always been a fan of store brand baby formula. When I could no longer breastfeed my children, we made the switch to store brand formula. It has saved us lots of money over the years, and my kids are still healthy, happy, and thriving. Store brand formula is great when you need a little help keeping your costs low.

When it comes to infant formula, many factors will help make the decision of what’s best for your baby, but the name on the container should not be one of them!

What most moms don’t know is that the FDA strictly regulates infant formula to keep little ones safe, so store brand infant formulas, like Walmart’s Parent’s Choice and Target’s Up and Up, are nutritionally comparable to national brands like Enfamil® and Similac® and meet FDA standards, at a much lower cost to your family.

So essentially, the brand of formula you use is not unique, but of course your baby is unique.

Direct Link for Subscribers

To shine the spotlight on the most important part of the formula equation: your baby, Store Brand Formula is launching a “Unique Baby” Photo Sweepstakes in which the winner will receive $5,000 AND a year supply of Store Brand Formula.

Every baby is unique. Show us how YOUR baby is unique. We’re looking for funny, silly, odd, crazy unique baby photos.


My Sawyer is definitely unique. My goodness, this child is hysterical! The faces he makes, the things he gets into. He is the funnest little boy you will ever meet. Definitely one of a kind, and definitely one I want to show off to the world. 😉


Is your baby making a really bizarre expression?

Perhaps your baby is making an angry face?

Or maybe your baby’s hair is sticking up in a funny way.

Whatever it is, we’d love to see it.


How to Enter
To enter the Store Brand Formula Unique Baby Sweepstakes, simply visit http://bit.ly/1Fd2i6y and follow the photo submission guidelines and the on-screen instructions to complete the online entry form. All entries must be submitted between September 28, 2015 – November 5, 2015.

Limit one (1) entry per person, per day for the duration of the Sweepstakes

One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive $5,000 and a one (1) year supply of the winner’s choice of Store Brand Baby Formula. Five (5) First Prize winners will receive $200 and a one (1) year supply of the winner’s c choice of Store Brand Baby Formula.

For official rules click here!

Want to win a $30 Visa Gift Card? All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and tell me one way your baby is unique. Bonus entries if you enter the Store Baby Formula Sweepstakes and if you share this post on your social media outlets. (Just leave separate comments each time you share! No limit!) Contest Ends October 11th.

How To Enjoy A Family Vacation Without Being Stuck In A Hotel

A family vacation can be the most wonderful time, however it can have it’s setbacks!. For instance, taking small babies for several nights not only requires a substantial amount of luggage but so much more preparation too. You need to organize special accommodation to make sure you have a safe cot for the little one. And it needs to be big enough to sleep all of us!

I’ve found that hotels and young children just don’t mix. They never have all the helpful facilities that I could do with, like a diaper pail! And a hotel room rarely has an opening window to get rid of the smell of four kids either. If there is a fridge, there is never enough space to store the formula. It can take an age to get room service to provide boiling water to make it up in the first place. And how are you supposed to sterilize everything?

For my family, a self-catering vacation is the way to go. Don’t get me wrong. I love to head out to a nice restaurant, and my kids behave beautifully. But having all the comforts of home, like a kettle, drinking water, a fridge, and some extra space is what we need. I’ve been checking out some destinations for our next big family vacation overseas. For me, the accommodation is everything.

When you think about France, you probably conjure up visions of the Eiffel Tower and the city of Paris. For me, I envision those beautiful Chateaux, quaint cottages, and luxury villas. I’m thinking about something self-contained and fun, but out in the country where I can get some peace and quiet. The South of France is famed for its gorgeous climate. Something with a pool and plenty of space is on my vacation shopping list this year.

The kids will probably be excited about the plane ride. Having small kids on a plane isn’t nearly as troublesome as some people think. Nowadays there is plenty of entertainment for them. They’re quite good at sleeping on journeys too. For those of you with babies, you’ll be pleased to know that airlines are much better at looking after you these days. There is space for nappy changing, and you are usually sat at the front so baby won’t disturb other passengers.

At the airport, we will probably hire a family car to drive down to the villa. European driving is a bit different to home, but I think I’ll be giving it a go. With a car, we can travel anywhere in the country we like. We could head down to Biarritz for the beach, or into the center of Paris for some French culture and tourism. The kids have already been whispering about Disneyland, but we’ll have to see.

kids jump in pool

The pic is from Flickr.com

I can just envision it now. I’m lounging by the pool while the kids are playing noisily. I can gaze out at the most incredible landscapes, and even enjoy some French cuisine. Best of all, I have everything I need to look after four kids just inside the door. What could be more perfect?

#Sponsored: Partnering with LeapFrog and the #LeapFrogMomSquad

sampleDisclaimer: As a member of the LeapFrog Mom Squad, I receive product in exchange for my honest review. While the products are given to me, the opinions expressed are my own.

leapfrog mom squad

Last month, I got an email informing me that I had been selected as a member of the LeapFrog Mom Squad. I couldn’t have been more excited! My kids and I all love LeapFrog, and we couldn’t wait to see what they had in store for us.

Early this month, I received our first shipment. Inside the box, we found the LeapPad Platinum, several Imagicard sets, and the Word Whammer.

My kids could hardly contain their excitement! I quickly set up the LeapPad Platinum, and added accounts from Carly, Gage, and Parker. Then, we added on the Imagicard kits that we received, and the kids were in heaven.

leapfrog platinum

The kids love the LeapPad Platinum. The Imagicard games truly take this toy to the next level. And the best part? The Imagicard games are run by some of their favorite friends: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Paw Patrol, and more! That makes them want to sit their and play, and while they are playing, they are learning SO much. As a mom, that makes me giddy inside! I love seeing my kids play together, but when I hear them learning while they’re playing, it’s that much better.

We’ve had the LeapPad3 for awhile now, and the kids also love it. However, the LeapPad Platinum is larger, and it has much more of a “tablet” feel to it. That, and you are able to do so much more on the Platinum. While I’m not crazy about having a bazillion Imagicards all over my house, (which will end up all over my house, I guarantee it!), I do love that they come with their own storage tin, and I can put them up when I need to. The kids love the Imagicards, so we just make sure we do that when they’re supervised. 😉

leappad platinum

If you’re already thinking Christmas, or if you have a child’s birthday coming up, I would highly recommend the LeapPad Platinum instead of the other tablets available. My kids love the Platinum, and it’s much more reasonably priced than other tablets on the market. Makes it totally worth it!

leapfrog word whammer

The other product we got is the Word Whammer. Gage absolutely loves this toy. This is the first toy he asks to play with in the morning. He takes it in the car with him, into the grocery store, even into the bathroom. (He is a boy!) Everywhere Gage goes, the Word Whammer goes with him. He seriously loves this toy.

We decided not to send Gage to Pre-K this year because of his seizure disorder. That means, I’m trying to find ways to help him learn here at home that will get him ready for Kindergarten. The Word Whammer was made for doing exactly that! Gage is learning letters, building words, understanding word sounds, and all by spinning, twisting, blasting, and WHAMMING! I can’t believe all the words he now recognizes because of this toy. It’s putting him on a path to a love of reading, and I couldn’t be more excited about that. And, at under $20, this toy makes the perfect birthday, Christmas, or “just because” gift for your 4 or 5 year old.

I am thrilled to be a part of the LeapFrog Mom Squad, and I’m excited to see what the next year holds. I hope you’ll stick around and join me as I bring you new products, exciting news, and so much more straight from LeapFrog.

#IC #Sponsored: How the #TBBloodTest Can Save Time & Sanity

sponsoredDisclaimer:I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the TB Blood Test. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

It’s no secret, I have a lot of kids. We spend a lot of time in the doctors office. Having lots of kids who loves sports and are in school means lots of TB tests. That means there’s a lot of waiting. Every time my kids have been given a TB skin test, I then spend my time obsessing over the test area. Then, it’s another trip back to the doctors office to get the results. So much time wasted. There has to be a better way!

tb blood test

Enter the TB Blood Test.

The TB blood test is a huge scientific advancement over the skin test that’s been in practice for over 110 years. The blood test can more accurately help diagnose tuberculosis (TB) with a more reliable result. The results of the TB skin test are completely open to visual interpretation, and can actually produce false positive results. In contrast, the results of the TB blood test are completely objective results, and they are the only available method of testing for TB where that is true.

With the TB skin test, you have to head back to the doctor for a second physical exam after a few days. That means more time spent in the waiting room and in the exam room, and then there’s the potential for that false positive I just mentioned. The skin test will show a raised lump where the tuberculin was injected. If you have ever had a TB vaccination, that can cause a false-positive result. Some patients can also experience severe itching at the puncture site which could also produce a false positive. The TB blood test will give accurate results in just one visit. That means the process is easier, saves times, and gives you peace of mind.

Here are some benefits of the TB blood test:

  • It is the most accurate test available for a TB infection. (Mostly because there’s no cross reaction if you’ve ever had a TB vaccination.)
  • It takes just a 3ml draw of fresh blood, regardless of the patient’s age or immune status. That makes it quick and easy.
  • Your doctor can call you with the results, instead of having you come back for a second visit, saving you time and money!

If you have kids, or if you need a TB test yourself, talk to your doctor about the new TB blood test. I will be at our next visit!

My Top Tips For Getting Out Of The Door For The School Run On Time

My children are my whole world; I have never been happier than I am now that I have little ones to look after. However, as I’m sure you will agree if you are a mummy yourself, parenting isn’t the easiest job. In fact, it’s one of the hardest.

Obviously, being a parent is more than worth the time and effort that you put into it, but that doesn’t make it any easier. For me, one area that I used to struggle with was the dreaded school run. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t seem to get out of the door on time.


Photo source

To combat this, I decided to mix things up a bit, and work out a way to ensure that I would get out of the door on time, every day. In case you are also struggling with this, I thought that I would share my top tips for school run success with you, here:

Shower the night before
Instead of trying to squeeze a shower into the morning, along with everything else, shower the night before. This is especially important if you plan on washing your hair, as this can shave valuable minutes off of the time it takes to get ready.

If you do have to shower in the morning, set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier than you normally would do.

Lay out clothes the night before
To make the morning rush a little easier, lay out yours’ and your kids’ clothes before going to bed. That way, when you get up, you don’t need to stress about working out what everyone is going to be wearing.

Perfect doing your hair and makeup in five minutes
Yes, when it comes to the school run, our aim is to get out the door on time. However, if you are anything like me, you won’t feel comfortable leaving the house unless you look at least half presentable.

The key to this is learning to do your hair and makeup in the record time of five minutes. It might sound impossible, but it’s not. If your hair is hard to manage, when you next go to the hairdressers, ask your stylist to give you an easy-to-do hairstyle. Explain that you want something that just needs to be quickly brushed to look good.

Wear a watch


Image link

This is a tip that a friend mentioned to me, as she found wearing a watch incredibly useful. When you are rushing to get out the door, it’s all about how much time you have. If you aren’t wearing a watch, you have to keep checking your phone for the time, and often, this leads to you getting distracted.

Plus, as I mentioned above, even when I leave the house for the school run, I like to look presentable. I find that when I am sporting a stylish watch, I feel a lot more put together.

If you don’t already have a watch, consider investing in one. Trust me, when it comes to the school run, a watch is a godsend. Have a look at the Shinola watches for women, to get an idea of the type of watch design that you would like.

Make breakfast easy
The most difficult part of getting the kids ready for school is often breakfast, especially when they can’t decide what they want. To make getting them fed and watered in time less stressful, look for easy breakfast options.

Things like fresh fruit smoothies, porridge, and bacon sandwiches are all easy options, as they can be eaten quickly. I find that for some reason, it always takes my little ones a lot longer to eat cereal, than other breakfast foods.

Being a mum isn’t easy, but there are things that you can do to make life simpler for yourself. If you want to make the school run a little less stressful, all you need to do is follow my tips and advice, above.

#Sponsored: How to Save Money During Back to School Shopping #Zulily #BTS

sponsoredDisclaimer:This is a sponsored post on behalf of Zulily. They provided the information, but any opinions expressed are my own.

As a mom of 8, with 5 kids in school this year, I need all the money saving tips I can get! That’s just one reason why I love zulily. So, when they asked me to share some fabulous money-saving tips from Shawn Anderson, the zulily kids fashion expert, I just had to jump on it! Ok, are you ready? Here are some fantastic tips to help you save money this Back to School Season.

How To Save During Back to School Shopping

To prepare your kids to head back into the classroom, zulily kids fashion expert Shawn Anderson recommends:

  • Plan in advance: Don’t wait until the last minute to start your back to school preparation. Avoid the stress of last-minute shopping by getting started now and finish before all the good deals are gone.
  • Get organized: Pull together a back to school checklist so you don’t forget any of the necessities.
  • Shop online: Sites like zulily.com offer parents a wide variety of back to school essentials for kids, including clothes, shoes, accessories, supplies and toys, at incredible prices. You can find everything your kid needs (and more!) and save money at the same time.
  • Stockpile your favorite items at a discount: When you find something your child loves and needs each year for school at a great price, be sure to buy a few extra. Take advantage of these deals for years to come!
  • Check in with the kids: It is never a good feeling to buy your child new clothes and school supplies, only to find out that their favorite color or cartoon character has changed. Involve your kids in the shopping process so you make sure you’re buying items they like and want to use.

Back to School with Zulily

Why you should download the Zulily App Today:

Using the zulily app is like opening a hand-held treasure chest every day. You never know what you’ll uncover but you know you’re bound to find something great.

Shop back to school for your kids on any mobile device to save money and discover the items you need and want – even when you’re on the go.

zulily App Highlights:

  • Educational Tutorial – after first installing, users are displayed a brief, informative tutorial on how to use the new application.
  • “New Today” Event Accessibility – a clear, easily accessible layout displays a customer’s personalized list of “New Today” events directly through the application.
  • Personalization zulily has built upon its proprietary personalization technology to create a completely individualized homepage view, from top to bottom. The app learns customer’s preferences and then features the most relevant sales events and information front and center for quick, meaningful shopping.
  • Daily Refreshment of New Events – the shopping platform refreshes every morning at 6 a.m. for customers to shop newly curated events.
  • “Bookmarked” Favorites – while browsing zulily’s events, customers have the ability to select favorites and “bookmark” for easy access.  A “bookmark” ribbon will be displayed on the watch application and instantly synced with the “New Today” tab on the existing iPhone application. This feature allows shoppers to easily customize events to shop at a later time on the iPhone app.

I hope these tips help you with your back to school shopping. I know it can be a stressful time, but zulily makes it easier, I promise! If your kiddos have already started back to school, it’s not to late to stock up for new fall fashions, Christmas gifts, or even just something to brighten your child’s day. Don’t miss out on your last chance to save on Back to School Favorites! Head on over to Zulily and start shopping now!

#Sponsored: Check out the DC Kids Super Hero Creator

sponsoredDisclaimer:This is a sponsored post on behalf of Warner Bros. They provided the information, but any opinions expressed are my own.

It’s no secret that we love super heroes in our house. So, when I found out about the DC Kids Super Hero Creator, I had to try it out! Oh my goodness! My kids all love it! I have to admit, I did too! I loved it so much, in fact, that I had to create my own Super Hero!

superhero image

Also be sure to check out some of the amazing new videos from Warner Bros, including all your favorites like Scooby Doo and Batman Unlimited.

There will be lots more updates over the next year, so be sure to subscribe to all of their channels!
DCKids Channel
WBKids Channel

If you try out the DC Kids Super Hero Creator, I’d love to know what you think! Also, be sure to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win an amazing toy gift basket!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

International Travel With Kids: Good Times for Everyone

traveling internationally

Planning an overseas family vacation this coming year? Or, considering a family move outside the country? Whether it’s a vacation, an expatriate assignment or a permanent move, there’s some tried-and-true things you should be thinking about if your international adventure includes bringing kids. With the right considerations, you’ll make memories for you and your children that you’ll talk about for years to come.

Get Your Passports In Order
It might seem logical that your passport need only be valid until the day of your planned return home but don’t risk getting stuck in country. There’s all kinds of reason’s your trip might be delayed – from weather and closures, civil unrest or in-country transportation issues. Make sure your whole family’s passports are good for a minimum of three months past your expected return date, longer is even better.

Defeat Jet-Lag on Day One
It’s tempting to want to crash as soon as your reach your hotel at your final destination but you’ll make the most of your trip when you fight the jet-lag fatigue and stay moving once you arrive. Research fun kid activities in advance so you know what’s in close range of your accommodations. This might include outdoor parks, interactive children’s museums, hikes or public swimming areas. Also research when culturally-appropriate meal times are so you can get your kiddos on an eating schedule that matches when restaurants are serving. Keep snacks packed nearby to fight off the munchies.

A Stressed-Out Parent Does Not Make Calm Children
Every parent understands this but when you are travelling abroad, it’s especially important. If you are renting a car and planning to drive, understanding local driving laws and road culture is a must. This is especially important in countries like the UK where driving rules are different than in many parts of the world. Another tip: Stay busy but not too busy. Packing every day from end to end will not only frustrate you when something doesn’t go as planned, but also, your rush and tension will wreck havoc on your kids as well. On the other hand, not having enough to do might leave you and the kids bored which can lead to whining and sibling bickering. Best to have a few planned activities each day but to keep a back-up list that you can pull out and pick from should a flexible change of plan dictate. Better yet, let kids help design their day. Enthusiastic kids make for happier parents.

Give Older Kids Opportunity
In each new phase or day of your trip, create a flexible daily budget they can spend on whatever they like. Ahead of the trip, buy conversational language books and make a game or a contest out of memorizing new words. Elementary and middle-grade kids can make their own bingo-style boards ahead of time that they can use to spot the new words on street signs and billboards. Each day, a different child can pick the restaurants you’ll go to. Teach them how to ask for options from a concierge, read printed guides or maps, or talk to locals about recommendations. Last, find places and ways for them to interact with other kids. Children are far more open, naturally curious and tolerant than many adults. Let them be your ambassador.

Travelling with kids can be a wonderful experience that creates a family bond like nothing else. The more you engage your children in the experience and the more you remain flexible and open to letting each day unfold inside the umbrella of some foundational planning, the more likely you’ll enjoy a trip that none of you will ever forget.

Guest Post: Signs That You Are Overprotective As A Parent

So many parents are out there that think they are helping their children when they keep protecting them but this is not actually the case. Being overprotective is something that would lead towards many problems you do not want to be faced with as a parent. If the child is too protected, his development is delayed. That can lead towards emotional, mental, practical and psychological issues in the life of the child.

Being overprotective is always a really bad thing and the big problem is that most of the parents that are like this have no idea that this is the case. That is why we have to highlight these signs that you are overprotective.

The Child Never Failed Till Now
When the child is too protected, he/she will not make mistakes. Failure is never tasted. This is bad. Children will learn a lot from their mistakes, just as much as they learn from their successes. Sometimes they actually learn more, allowing them to overcome normal bumps that they are faced with in their development.

You Are Choosing Your Child’s Friends
Monitoring the company that the child has is definitely an important part of parenting. We cannot deny that. However, when you choose friends, you are getting way too involved. This actually impairs the child’s social skills and life is actually impacted in a negative way.

The Child Always Comes To You When A Problem Appears
It is great to be needed as a parent. This is something that we love and we should never lie about this. The feeling of a child telling you what they feel makes you feel as if you are a great parent. The problem is that any kid has to learn how to process feelings without the parent getting involved. This is true for everything from excitement to sadness. You have to teach the child to find his/her own way to go through emotional landscapes.

The Child Has Zero Chores
If your child lives a life without any worries, he/she will just think about having fun. Childhood is a time when you need to learn about collective, social and personal responsibility, together with everything that this covers. You need to basically start small and then go steady. Never shy away from having the child struggle. This is a principle that is as old as time. You can see it highlighted in spiritual books and the best parents always use chores. However, this does not mean that you have to be strict. Try to do all that you can in order to create a steady growth in chores and responsibilities so that the child can adapt.

The Child Is Afraid Of The World
One of the clear signs that you are overprotective is when the child is afraid of the world as you paint a really horrible picture about it, one focused on negatives. The child ends up thinking that the world is hostile, terrible, dangerous and that home is the only place where safety exists. Well, truth is definitely a sanctuary but that does not mean that the world should be afraid of the world. Fear should never be seen as a good control strategy. It almost always fails. It is a lot better to focus on highlighting the truth: the world can be great or bad, based on many factors.

#IC #Sponsored: #Backtobgosh Makes Back to School Fun! #BgoshJeanius

sampleDisclaimer: I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for OshKosh B’Gosh. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Make sure you read this post all the way to the end for a coupon for 25% off your $30 purchase.

back to school with oshkosh

It’s that time of year again! Time for back to school!

With 5 kids in school, I am always on the hunt for great deals on back to school clothes. My absolute favorite place to shop is OshKosh B’Gosh. Their jeans are top of the line, last through dozens and dozens of washings, and even do great once they are passed down to the next kid in line. They use only the best materials and construction in their clothes, and all of their fun, unique designs and trendy fashions make my kids excited to show off their new clothes at school. Better confidence because of what they wear leads to better performance in the classroom. That’s absolutely true with my kids!

For this post, OshKosh B’Gosh sent me a gift card to head to my local store and stock up for the school year for my kids. The one that needed clothes the most was Parker, so I decided to spoil him a little bit.

back to school shopping

Alright, so maybe I spoiled him more than a little bit. 😉 He had a blast picking out all his new clothes. While I expected him to pick out t-shirts and active pants, he wanted dressier clothes: button up shirts, polos in fun colors, and more. I did get our must haves: jeans, denim shorts, and khaki shorts, plus a whole bunch of shirts he picked out for himself.

back to school shopping

We both loved all the gorgeous colors and fun designs they had available, and all at such a great prices! We had so much fun shopping for Parker. It’s not often I get to spend some one-on-one time with the kids, so this was a blessing!


Did you know that right now, OshKosh B’gosh is running their “B’gosh Jeanius Campaign”? OshKosh B’gosh wants every child to have everything they need for school, whether it’s books or blue jeans. OshKosh B’gosh has partnered with K.I.D.S./ Fashion Delivers, Inc., and DonorsChoose.org, and customers get the opportunity to donate either a brand new pair of blue jeans or choose to make a cash donation to a student in need. Any denim donated from July 28th through September 15th of this year, will be delivered to local kids in need through K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, and all cash donations will be dispersed to locals through DonorsChoose.org. Want to know the best part? The Carters Charitable foundation will match all cash donations up to $50,000 and they’ll also match all denim donations with a new item of clothing. I think that’s awesome!! All you have to do is decide how you want to give kids a leg up, and either donate a pair of blue jeans or some cash at the register. (For more information, please visit www.oshkosh.com/bgoshjeanius.

back to school shopping

Need to know where your closest OshKosh B’gosh store is located? Check out the handy dandy Store Locator feature. It helped me find a great little shop I didn’t even know was near me. And we got to go to the ice cream store right next door. Win – Win!

back to school shopping

Not only does OshKosh B’gosh offer fantastic deals on their awesome clothes, they always go above and beyond and give their customers great discounts through coupons. This time is no different! See the coupon below to get 25% off your $30 purchase now through September 30th. (Some exclusions apply. Please read the fine print.)

OK_Fall15 Blogger Coupon

Thanks, OshKosh B’gosh for always offering such great clothes at a price I can afford. The only thing I’d love more is if you offered sizes up to 16 so I could buy clothes for all my kids in one place. :)

Readers, I want to encourage you to check out OshKosh B’gosh and learn more about them. Make them your first stop for Back to School Shopping this year, and be sure to follow them on all your favorite social media channels:

#Sponsored: @Pampers Premium Care a #MothersPromise to my Baby @SheSpeaksUp

sampleDisclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Pampers through SheSpeaks.

pampers premium

As a mom, I make lots of promises to my children: “I promise we can go to the park.” “I promise I will love you forever.” “I promise to always be here when you need me.”

What about, “I promise to give you the very best that I can give”? That promise can hold true even when it comes to something as simple as the diapers we put on their little behinds.

pampers premium

Pampers and Walmart recently teamed up with the release of new Pampers Premium Care Diapers. Thanks to SheSpeaks and Pampers, I had the opportunity to test out these diapers on Carly and Sawyer.

I have to say, I am quite impressed with these diapers! I can’t get over how soft they are. Not only are they soft, but they are also absorbent. We call Sawyer our little “Super Soaker.” It seemed like every night, I was changing the crib sheets in the middle of the night because he had soaked through his diaper. That was until I made the switch to Pampers Premium Care Diapers! Now, he can make it all night long without soaking through! The extra absorb channels the diapers offer distribute the wetness evenly for up to 12 hours – making for a happy baby and an even happier Mommy! Because Sawyer has incredibly sensitive skin, there are several features in the diapers that make them perfect for him: 1. The Absorb Away Liner pulls wetness and messes away from baby’s skin. This helps keep him clean and dry, and the number of diaper rashes he’s gotten has decreased significantly! 2. The Breathable Material keeps the air circulating around baby’s skin, keeping him dry and rash free. 3. The are completely Hypoallergenic, perfect for even the most sensitive skin, like Sawyer’s.

pampers premium

Another thing I love is that the diapers are available at Walmart. That means I know I’m getting a great product at a great price. The diapers won’t break my budget, and I can grab them while I’m at Walmart getting everything else I need.

To learn more about new Pampers Premium Care Diapers that are now available at Walmart, I encourage you to check out the following links:

Head to Walmart and grab a pack of Pampers Premium Care Diapers for your little one today.

Have you tried new Pampers Premium Care Diapers? What do you think of them?

#Sponsored: Don’t Miss this Amazing Deal on #HPink! #HPMoms

sponsoredDisclaimer:This post is part of a sponsored campaign on behalf of HP through MomSelect.

HP Ink 3

Do you go through printer ink like I do? My goodness, I can’t keep up with the demands around here.

Lucky for me, (and you!), HP is having an amazing deal on their printer ink right now. There hasn’t been a deal this good since 2012! You don’t want to miss out. It’s the perfect time to stock up and save, especially before the kids head back to school.

Now through August 1st, when you buy one cartridge of HP Ink, you get the second cartridge for 50% off! (Second cartridge must be equal or lesser value.) So, if you buy the color cartridge, you can get the black and white for half off. See how great this deal is?!

You can take advantage of this offer on the HP website, or at your favorite retailer like Staples, Office Depot, or Best Buy.

This is one deal that is just too good to pass up. But, you have to hurry. It all goes away after August 1st. Head to the website or your favorite store and stock up now.

3 Incredible Destinations for an Educational Family Holiday

Going on vacation gives the whole family a chance to have a break. You can spend the whole time lounging around by the pool or on the beach if you want. But for a lot of people, going on a trip is about more than relaxing. It’s also a chance to see the world and learn new things. If you have kids, it’s an excellent opportunity to expand their worldview and teach them about different cultures. If you want your children to be educated and open-minded, taking them on historical and cultural vacations will help them achieve it. There are so many incredible destinations around the world, but here are just a few you can enjoy as a family.


Chris Yunker

Florence, Italy

Europe is full of fantastic cities and historical sites to visit. It can be difficult to know where to start. In fact, if you have plenty of time, it can be best to try and see as much as possible. But if you’re going to Italy, Florence is one of the best places you can see. A lot of people would be tempted to start with Rome, but Florence is the city to see. Its historical center is a beautiful place to explore. And there are endless architectural wonders to admire. Even the accommodation offered by Venere hotels is often in grand buildings that will wow you. This city is the birthplace of the Renaissance. You won’t run out of art, architecture and culture to experience.


Eneas de Troya

Mexico City, Mexico

If you want to learn about some history a little closer to home, Mexico is brimming with it. Although it might seem unlikely, Mexico City is one of the best places to go for history and culture. There are some significant sites in more rural locations, but even the city has plenty to see. A must-see site for any history lovers is the Templo Mayor. It’s a thirteenth-century Aztec Temple. But that isn’t all there is to do in Mexico’s capital city. For another fantastic building, visit the Catedral Metropolitana. Art lovers will enjoy the Diego Rivera Museum too, as well as Rivera’s murals in the Palacio Nacional.



Lost City of Petra, Jordan

The Middle East doesn’t necessarily have the best image for the average person. But history and culture lovers know that the region’s countries have rich cultures and histories. Jordan is one of the best places to go on an educational vacation. Visiting is generally safe. However, it’s advised you don’t go within a few kilometers of the Syrian border. If you visit Jordan, Petra is the one place you must see. The archaeological city may have been established as early as 312 BCE. It’s the most visited tourist attraction in the country, where you’ll find fascinating ruins. You can observe tombs, a theater, and the famous Al Khazneh, which was a treasury.

You can find hundreds of incredible locations that are perfect for an educational holiday. When you plan your trip, think of ways you can get the kids involved in the history and culture of your destination.

Everything You Need To Know About Taking Your Kids On Holiday

Taking your kids on holiday for the first time is an experience that you will never forget, for better or worse. Either it will play out like a family scrapbook of fun filled activities that you did together. Or, it will be a nightmare you try erase with your next family holiday. But, either way it is certain to be memorable. With that in mind, here on some tips on how to get the former experience rather than the latter.

Choose Where You Want To Go
Your first task is to do some research online and think about where you want to take your children on holiday. Many parents make the mistake of picking a destination they want to go to and then hoping their kids will just roll with it. Trust us, you will have a far more relaxing experience if you put your children first from the word go. If you like, ask them where they would like to go on vacation. Depending on their age, they may already have some ideas for their dream destination.

Pick The Family Activities
We have got two words for you that will make your holiday as easy as pie: AMUSEMENT PARKS. We have no idea why more families do not choose this option. Perhaps they do not realise the obvious advantage. of this vacation activity. First, if you have young children, chances are they will not be tall enough to go on some of the most thrilling rides. That means you are safe from being hurtled into the air, upside down at lightning speeds. Second, if you have older children, they will be big enough to on these rides by themselves. Third, almost every theme park we have ever been to had a part that catered specifically to adults. You will have a fun time no matter what.

Other family activities you may want to look into would be sporting events or simply head to your nearest information point. They will be able to tell you about the family activities specific to the area where you are staying. If you are staying on the coast, we would recommend looking at boat hire to get an entirely new perspective of the location.

Book In Advance
You should always try to book your holiday in advance, preferably as early as possible. If you can do this, you may find some excellent deals that will mean you have more to spend on other aspects of your vacation. You should never leave booking a holiday with children to the last minute. This can lead to disaster and long waits in hotel lobbies that may cause your children to become disruptive.

Take A Shopping Trip
Finally, before you leave on holiday take a fun shopping trip with your family. For you this will be to get the necessities for travelling. For instance, you should make sure you have a good supply on suntan lotion if you are going somewhere tropical. For your kids, it will be a chance for them to try new clothes and to get them excited about going away.

family vacation

Pic Link

Tips for an Unforgettable Family Vacation in Venice

The joys of family vacations are moments to be cherished, and for parents, watching your kids explore new and unfamiliar places, and begin to encounter new cultures is a thrilling and wondrous experience. There are few places in the world that pack the type of scenic beauty, delicious food, and new experiences that Italy’s northern city of Venice is famous for, so if you’re thinking of a family vacation, here are a few reasons why Venice is the perfect destination for you.


Waterway transportation
For anyone who hasn’t grown up in a city of canals and waterways, the chance to experience the boat taxis and gondolas that ferry tourists (and locals) around this stunning city is absolutely thrilling. Even upon arrival there are boat services that can take you from Marco Polo Airport into the center of the city, which is bound to start your holiday off on the right foot with your kids.Following arrival, a great way to acclimatize to the city and begin to adjust to the canals, bridges, and narrow passages is by taking a boat tour, which will lead you down the Grand Canal and allow you to map-out many of the city’s famous sites, such as the Rialto Bridge, Piazza San Marco, Saint Mark’s Basilica, and the Doge’s Palace.

Family-Friendly Eating
The easiest part about taking family trips to Italy, is that most children love the type of food that is available to them, pizza and pasta can be found at all restaurants. If you’re looking for an atmosphere that is laid back and friendly with kids, the Rialto San Marco if the perfect place for you. After dinner or on hot afternoons, a stop by the gelato shop will give your family a tasty experience that the ice cream back home simply cannot match.

Relax and Play at the Lido
The Lido is Venice’s beach and is located on the Adriatic Sea. It is actually a sand bar that is about 11 kilometers long, and features both private and public beaches. Heading to the north or south will allow you to access the Lido’s two public beaches, whose waters are warm and shallow, making them a perfect place for kids to play. The local area is also home to a sporting centre that features football pitches, as well as tennis courts. If you happen to get hungry and haven’t packed a lunch, then there are plenty of family friends eating options around.

Explore by foot
The narrow winding passageways and staircases that open up onto Venice’s beautiful squares provide a magical experience of discovery for visitors of all ages. And when your family are tired and need a break, the cafés featuring live music in the evenings are a perfect place for parents to relax and unwind with a bottle of wine, while the kids chase Venice’s famous pigeons around the square.

So whether your kids are babies or teens, there are plenty of great reasons to book your flights to Venice and give your family an Italian experience that you will never forget.

Picture used by permission. View it here.

#IC #Sponsored: Insomnia Nation – Let’s Get Some Sleep!

sponsoredDisclaimer:I participated in an Ambassador program on behalf of Influence Central for Pernix Therapeutics. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Yaaaaawwwwwn. As I type this, I’m struggling to keep my eyes open. Why, you ask? Because, once again, I didn’t get a full night’s sleep.

I struggle with sleep every night. Sawyer still gets up several times a night, but even on the rare occasion he *does* sleep all night, I’m still up all night long, tossing and turning, worrying about all the things I’m behind on, all the stuff I need to do around the house, all the things the kids have going on, finances, my weight, whether I exercise enough, friendships… it’s one thing after another. I’d give just about anything to fall asleep quickly and get a full night’s sleep.

Insomnia is a big deal. Did you know nearly 4 million Americans suffer from insomnia? While some people have trouble falling asleep, (myself included!), more than half of Americans struggle with being able to stay asleep through the night. (I struggle there too!)

Take a moment and look at this infographic:
insomnia infographic
(You can click on the infographic or click here to see it in a full size, printable PDF.)

Take a look at those statistics! Only 12% are actually diagnosed by a doctor? Why aren’t more of us talking to our doctor about our sleepless nights? And is sleeplessness really glamorized? Not in my world! 😉 I’d feel way more glamorous if I could actually get a full night’s rest. Yet nearly 3/4ths of Americans, (72%!) are missing out on almost 3 weeks of sleep every year! (That breaks down to 470 hours. YIKES!)

Did you know that getting a full night of sleep can actually empower you? It helps our memory, our immune system function, and other vital functions that keep our bodies going every day.

So, what are we to do? Is there any good news for those of us who struggle with sleep?

Yes! There really is good news! There are effective treatment options available for those of us who suffer with insomnia. The first thing you need to do is have a conversation with your doctor about your restless nights. Be sure to discuss your lifestyle, routine, and all the symptoms you are having. You doctor is always the best place to start.

You can also learn more about getting a full night’s sleep by visiting wanttosleepmore.com.

Do you struggle with getting to sleep or staying asleep every night? Do you follow a bedtime routine for yourself, or is every night just chaos? I want to hear from you!

Mexico: An Amazing Vacation Destination – Even with Kids!


Have you ever traveled to Mexico for a vacation? I have been several times, and I just love it! In Mexico, you can find some of the most beautiful beaches , taste great food, and experience true culture unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

What if you’re traveling with kids? Do you think that’s going to make it much more difficult?

Absolutely not! Traveling with kids to Mexico can be fun!


Here are a few must-visit sites in Cancun, Mexico that are kid friendly:

1. Captain Hook Pirate Dinner Cruise – This looks amazing!! We are Captain Hook/Peter Pan fans around here, and while we haven’t had the opportunity to try this dinner cruise yet, it would definitely be number one on our list. Check it out. There’s even a coupon code on there if you book early.

2. Dolphin Discovery – Take a beautiful boat ride, and then choose which type of swim you want to do with the dolphins. Packages range from giving them a hug to getting pushed around on a boogie board by them. Whatever you decide, you’re sure to make lasting memories for your whole family. Call 1-866-393-5158 to book your reservation.

3. Interactive Aquarium – This aquarium is rather small, and can be done in less than an hour, but the memories you make will last a lifetime. There’s no charge to touch the manta rays or the gorgeous sea turtles, but there’s also a gift shop where you can purchase mementos of your time there. It’s located inside the La Isla Shopping Village. Call 998-883-0411 for more information.

4. Crococun – This is at the top of my hubby’s to-do list! Located just 19 miles from downtown Cancun, this interactive conservation zoo began as a crocodile breeding farm. After Hurricane Gilberto destroyed it in 1988, it’s now changed from breeding crocs to protecting and promoting them. You can hold a baby crocodile and even stroll through an area where 50 crocs (or so!) roam free. Awesome! Call 998-850-3719 to learn more and book your trip.

5. Xcaret – This park, (pronounced “Sh-car-ret”), is filled with things to do the whole family will love! A butterfly pavilion, flamingos, spider monkeys, even swim with dolphins or just relax on a beautiful beach! They are always hosting annual events and festivities, so be sure to call and ask what’s happening during your trip. You can learn more by calling 800-212-8951-1-8881.


Whatever your interests, whether it’s dolphins, ancient ruins, or just lounging on the beach, there’s always something your whole family can do in Mexico!

Have you traveled to Mexico with your family? What were your must-do activities?

**Pictures provided by Flickr. Click on the picture to see the original.

Guest Post: Dads: Fitting the Perfect Nursery Blind

Considering all of the safety issues that have been reported in relation to blinds over recent years, it should come as no surprise to read that dads up and down the country are fretting about whether or not they have installed their little one’s nursery blind accordingly. If you fall into this category, or are about to anytime soon, it’s time to read on.

Of course, it’s not all about safety. While this will be the biggest factor plaguing most parents’ minds, we should also point out that a correctly installing your blinds can affect a whole host of other issues including sleep.

In fact, let’s start this guide on a sleep-related note. This isn’t necessarily a piece of installation advice, but more on the type of product you should be selecting. If you haven’t yet purchased your blind for your newborn, you need to be making sure that it falls in the blackout category. Anything less will rob you of precious hours of sleep and as any new parent will tell you, this is the last thing you need.


Something else that will aid with that elusive shut-eye is just where you install the blind. Most products will give you the opportunity for a recess or exact fitting and when it comes to blocking out the maximum amount of natural light, the recess option is by far and away the most advisable. This hangs on the recess, covering slightly more than the window opening. In contrast, an exact fitting fits inside the recess and on these occasions it’s hard to block out every speck of natural light.

Now we’ve dealt with the sleep issues, let’s move onto safety. If you haven’t purchased a cordless blind, it’s time to sit up and listen. Firstly, make sure that you use every component that arrives with your blind. This includes the cleat which even though it may look quite basic, it can in fact be a lifesaving part at the same time. In simple terms, it allows your cord to wrap around the cleat and prevent any dangling strings. This immediately quashes the risk of accidents – although make sure that the cleat is installed high enough so it’s out of the way of reaching hands.

The last installation tip also revolves safety, but around one of the lesser-known devices. The cord stop is essentially a knot that is positioned on the cord, to prevent excess unraveling. Again, it’s all about minimizing the amount of cord that does dangle from the blind to ultimately reduce those risks. By making sure that this knot is positioned correctly, you can do exactly that.

As you can see, the installation process for a nursery blind is hardly extensive. We’ve covered the most important tips here and if you can get these right, you will have immediately installed a blind that’s both safe and can promote maximum sleep. These days, blinds are made-to-measure anyway, so there’s no cutting down to size or anything else along those lines – just make sure you get the basics right and your little one’s room will be ready in no time.