This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Luvs. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.
Luvs‘ new line of NightLock diapers will hit store shelves across the nation on September 16th! These new diapers offer their largest absorbancy area EVER, to lock away wetness, even overnight.
I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek, and try these diapers out first hand already. I must say, I sure do love them! Kayleigh’s starting to sleep through the night longer now, so I want to make sure she has a great fitting, super absorbent diaper on before bed, that will not leak during the night. I don’t want to have to wake her up every few hours just to change her diaper if I don’t have to! I’ve been using these diapers for about a week, and have no complaints! They fit great, and definitely do their job very well.
Luvs NightLock diapers are equipped with Leak Barrier Leg Gathers, to ensure leaks are kept away from baby’s, and stay in their diaper, where they belong!
Luvs NightLock diapers come in two new diaper designs per box. They still have the same funky Luvs monkey design we all know and love, and new fun designs as well.
Luvs feels so strongly about their product, that they are offering a Money-Back Guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with these diapers, simply send them your original receipt, UPC, and one unused diaper within 60 days of purchase for a refund. The address is right on the back of the package at the bottom.
To coincide with Luvs NightLock diapers appearing on shelves starting September 16th, they will be offering print-at-home coupons for the first time EVER at Luvs.com. Luvs will also be releasing a new series of beloved “First Kid/Second Kid” commercials on their YouTube page on that same day.
Follow Luvs on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with their latest news and promotions!
Are you excited to try Luvs new NightLock diapers?
Yesterday, I called my birthing center and asked them to switch me over to the birth control pills that contain estrogen because I was done breastfeeding. The nurse asked me if I was “done, done”, and I quietly replied “Yes.” That’s when it really sunk in that I was done breastfeeding Kayleigh, for good.
I snapped this pic during one of our final breastfeeding sessions, to remind myself that I did breastfeed Kayleigh for 3 months. I tried my best, and that’s all I can do!
Breastfeeding was never something that I enjoyed. In fact, I wrote a post titled “7 Things I Hate About Breastfeeding”. When Kayleigh started teething at only 2 months old, it really took a toll on my ability, and desire, to breastfeed her. Her gums were hurting her, so she kind of went on a breastfeeding strike. I tried to pump, but never really got much out, and it seemed to take forever for me to pump even 2 oz. from each breast. I just didn’t have the time or patience for it, and I didn’t want my little girl to go hungry.
I managed to breastfeed her until she hit the 3 month mark, supplementing with just one bottle of formula each day, but our breastfeeding journey eventually came to an end completely. Kayleigh didn’t really put up much fuss at all about it, and seems to enjoy the formula.
Even though I didn’t enjoy breastfeeding, at all, I have mixed emotions about the end of our breastfeeding journey. While I feel “free” again, and back to my old self, I also feel like I let myself, and my daughter down. I wanted to make it to 8-10 months, and I only made it 3. I keep asking myself over and over again what I could have done differently that would have helped me to go longer. Maybe if she hadn’t started teething so early? Maybe if I had try to pump more from the beginning to increase my milk supply?
I also feel like a failure, because there are all these other Moms out there that breastfeed their children for well over a year, seemingly without any problems at all. They often act as though breastfeeding is the only option for babies, and if you feed your kid formula, you are a terrible parent. I know not all breastfeeding Moms are this way, but when you start feeding your child formula only, you really feel looked down upon from a lot of breastfeeding Moms.
All I can do now, is look back on my breastfeeding experience with Kayleigh, and be proud that I did it for 3 months. I’ve heard that any amount of time you can breastfeed for, is beneficial to your baby. I’m really glad that I gave it my best shot, and I will definitely breastfeed baby #2 when that time comes. Maybe I’ll have learned from my mistakes this time, and have better success next time!
Did you breastfeed your children? How long did you make it?
John and I took Kayleigh out in the backyard for a bit yesterday to pick the wild blackberries that seem to be taking over the yard. We got quite a haul, and I really wanted to create some sort of dessert with them.
I had decided to make Wild Blackberry Pie Squares, so I got to work on putting the crust together. After I was done with that, I went to wash the blackberries. That’s when I noticed a tiny white worm munching its way through one of our beautiful berries. I picked that berry out of the bunch, hoping that was the only one, then scoured the rest of the berries very carefully. That’s when I noticed another, then another, and another.
I yelled out to John, “These berries are full of worms!!” He was so heartbroken, and so was I. Those berries looked so delicious, and I had already made my pie crust, which was just sitting there, waiting to be covered in beautiful wild blackberries.
Angrily, I tossed the blackberries in the garbage can. John knew how upset I was. I was already having a bad day, and this was just the icing on the cake. So, he offered to go to the store to get more berries. He was going out to pick up a pizza anyway, because I had burned our chicken dinner. Like I said, bad day. I also woke up this morning, COVERED in mosquito bites from our little adventure outside yesterday.
When John came back from the store, he delivered a package of blackberries, a package of raspberries and a package of blueberries to me. He said the blackberries were a bit on the expensive side, and the raspberries and blueberries were cheaper, so he just decided to get a package of each of those instead of three packages of blackberries. That was fine by me. I’ll never turn any kind of berry down!
I actually think the mixture of berries adds a depth of flavor to these pie squares, that wouldn’t be there with just a single berry. If you want to use just a single berry, that would work well too though.
Crust and Topping:
3 cups all purpose flour 1 cup granulated sugar 1 tsp. baking powder 1 cup (2 sticks)cold butter 1 egg 1/2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup blackberries 1 cup raspberries 2 cups blueberries 4 tsp. cornstarch 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
4. Cut in 2 sticks of cold butter, and incorporate into flour mixture with a fork or pastry cutter until it’s crumbly.
5. Add egg and vanilla, and combine into flour mixture until it forms a dough-like crust mixture.
6. In a separate bowl, combine berries, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and cornstarch. You could add a little lemon juice to this for added flavor, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I didn’t.
7. Take 1/2 of your crust & topping mixture and pat it into the bottom of your greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
8. Spread berry mixture evenly over the top of the crust.
9. Sprinkle the remaining crust & topping mixture evenly over the berry mixture.
10. Bake in 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.
These pie squares taste great all warm out of the oven, but I think they taste even better when they have been cooled in the fridge for a few hours. It also makes cutting them into squares much easier!
What kind of berries would you use to make these Triple Berry Pie Squares your own?
Wow, can you believe Labor Day is almost here?! For most of you, your kids have already gone back to school, marking the end of your summer. Kayleigh’s not in school yet, so for me, the end of summer comes with Labor Day.
As always, I’m very sad to see summer go. It feels like it went by so fast this year. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about fall – apple picking, decorating pumpkins, the crisp air and the beautiful leaves changing color, but fall signifies that winter is on its way. I live in Maine, and I hate our winters!
When Labor Day comes around each year, I like to make the most out of it, and really celebrate those final days of summer. One thing I enjoy doing is baking up some summery desserts, before everything turns to apples and pumpkins! Below is a list of 20 Fabulous Labor Day Desserts I found across the internet. I can’t wait to try some of these out!
1. Lemon Blueberry Trifle – Is there anything more refreshing than lemons and blueberries? Put them together, and you’ve got a dessert that’s out of this world! I love how light, yet so satisfying this dessert is!
2. 3 Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream – What’s summer without ice cream?? Skip the expensive ice cream stands and make this ice cream at home instead! With only 3 ingredients, it’s super simple to make. Add your favorite toppings to make it your own!
3. Gooey S’Mores Bars – S’Mores are a definite summer staple for me. Summer’s not over until I have a s’more. If you’ve already packed up your campfire gear for the year though, here’s a great recipe for Gooey S’Mores Bars you can bake inside all year long!
4. Watermelon Smoothies – John and I have had our fair share of watermelon this summer. It’s one of our favorite summertime treats. Here’s a great recipe for a refreshing watermelon smoothie!
5. Strawberry Dessert Pizza – Unfortunately, John and I never got to go strawberry picking this year like we had wanted to, but I still can’t wait to try out this awesome looking strawberry dessert pizza!
6. Peach Cobbler – Oh, how I love biting into a juicy peach, or sipping on some peach iced tea on a hot summer day. Here’s a great recipe for a delicious peach cobbler.
7. Rhubarb Dessert – When I was a little girl, I loved picking rhubarb from my Dead’s garden, dipping it in a bag of sugar, and munching on it throughout the day. Here’s a recipe for a rhubarb dessert that looks amazing!
9. Chewy Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies – I just love the flavor combination of lime and coconut. There is something so tropical about it. It takes me away to the beach in an instant. I can’t wait to try these Chewy Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies!
10. Simple Mango Cupcakes – Mango is another great summer flavor, and I think these Simple Mango Cupcakes sound delightful!
14. Zucchini-Bread Cookie Whoopie Pies – When I was a kid, my Dad’s garden was always overflowing with zucchini. He’d have so much of it that he would send me around the neighborhood giving armfuls away to our neighbors. If your garden’s overflowing with zucchini this year, try making these Zucchini-Bread Cookie Whoopie Pies. They look heavenly!
15. Best Carrot Cake – Speaking of gardens, we also had bunches upon bunches of carrots to harvest. This Best Carrot Cake recipe looks like a great way to use up all those carrots!
16. Homemade Fried Dough – I love going to fairs during the summer time, mainly for the fried dough! Check out this super simple recipe for Homemade Fried Dough.
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walmart for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Even though I’ve been out of school for 14 years now (where does the time go?!), I still remember what those first few days of school each year were like. Amongst all of the excitement of seeing friends again, there was always that sense of dread at having to get up early, sit in a classroom all day, study, do homework, and deal with new teachers.
One thing that I looked forward to each school year, was covering my school books. Mom would bring a bunch of paper bags home from the grocery store, and we’d devote a whole night to covering my books. After they were covered in brown paper, I’d get out my markers and draw all over them. This was always really fun, and a great way for me to express myself.
Now, kids have even more ways to express themselves, thanks to Duck Tape®! Duck Tape® is super awesome because it comes in a ton of different colors and designs, and is really easy to work with.
My sister, Angela, and I, recently went to Walmart to check out their selection of Duck Tape®.
We first looked in the office supply section, and found only a few rolls. There were pink zebra striped, Minnie Mouse, and Hello Kitty designs. While these were super cute, I wanted to see more of a selection.
We headed over to the Back to School section at the front of the store, and hit the motherload! There was a huge display of Duck Tape®, with lots of really great colors and designs! Don’t forget to grab a couple of rolls while you’re there doing back to school shopping!
Angela and I must have stood there for 15 minutes just trying to decide which designs we wanted to get. She ended up getting the pink zebra striped one, and I got a dark grey roll with hearts and skulls on it. We picked up a couple of notebooks while we were there, and were on our way!
When we got home, we sat down at the kitchen table, and had a lot of fun with our Duck Tape®. Angela wrapped a pen in her Duck Tape®, and made this super cute flower on the end of it.
You can find instructions for making a Duck Tape® pen here.
I covered my notebook in the Duck Tape® I had selected. I bet kids would have a lot of fun doing this, and it really makes the notebook unique. It was really quick and easy to do too.
Next, I made a bookmark, simply by taping 2 pieces of Duck Tape® together.
Finally, I made a hair bow with my Duck Tape®.
This was really quite easy to make. First, I just cut out four strips of Duck Tape®. How long you cut it depends on how big you want your bow. Then, I cut a strip of Duck Tape® that was about half the size of the other four strips. Then, I cut that shorter strip lengthwise down the middle, into two pieces.
Overlap two of the four strips of Duck Tape®, so that the sticky side is facing the same way. Then, take the other two strips of Duck Tape® and lay them sticky side down over the overlapped Duck Tape® pieces, making sure they they all line up evenly.
Then, take your strip of Duck Tape® “fabric” and pinch it together in the middle, creating a bow shape. Then, take one of your smaller pieces of Duck Tape® and wrap it around the middle where you have it pinched together.
Then, lay a barette down on the back of it, and use the remaining piece of Duck Tape® to secure the barrette to the bow.
I can’t wait to experiment more with bows. I think I’ll make them a bit smaller next time, and add a few different colors.
Overall, we had a lot of fun with Duck Tape®!
Visit http://duckbrand.com/duck-tape-club/ducktivities, or follow @TheDuckBrand on Twitter, for more creative ideas, and don’t forget you can buy Duck Tape at Walmart!
As you already may know, since I’ve posted about it a million times now, Kayleigh has been teething since she turned 2 months old. It’s been a pretty rough time for all of us in the house. I can tell her gums really hurt her a lot of the time, and it just breaks my heart to see her in so much pain.
Kayleigh loves chewing on her fingers for some pain relief, and when she sits in my lap, she chews on mine. We’ve tried giving her many different kinds of teethers, but with her being so young, her fine motor skills aren’t really all that great yet, so she has a hard time hanging onto them, and bringing them up to her mouth. This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
After an online search, I came across Sophie the Giraffe Teether, and I just had to get it for Kayleigh. Sophie arrived in a pretty box, which would be great for gift giving!
Sophie the Giraffe Teether
Sophie is made from 100% natural rubber and food paint, and is Phthalates and BPA free, so it is completely safe for her to put in her mouth.
Sophie has a long neck, which makes it easy for Kayleigh to pick her up and hold onto her for extended periods of time. She also has long, skinny legs, which Kayleigh loves to chew on. Sophie is very soft and flexible, and has dark contrasting spots all over, making it easy for Kayleigh to recognize her.
Kayleigh also likes the fact that Sophie squeaks. She can’t squeeze her hard enough to make her squeak yet, but she laughs up a storm when I do it for her.
Sophie is a bit on the pricey side for a teether, at about $20.00, BUT, I truly think she is worth it. Sophie has excellent reviews on Amazon, and a lot of them have said that she will last for a very long time. I know Kayleigh will be teething for a long time to come, so she’ll get a lot of use out of Sophie. Giving Kayleigh a little teething buddy to help her through this rough period is well worth the $20.00 out of my pocket.
Vulli has also recently come out with the So’ Pure Teether, which is very similar to Sophie, but has easy to grab handles on the sides. This one is priced a bit lower, at about $14.00.
Do your kids have a favorite teether? Do you think they’d like Sophie the Giraffe?
Kayleigh woke up at 5:00 this morning. I brought her downstairs to feed her, like I do every morning when she wakes up. John doesn’t wake up to get ready for work until 6:30, so I know he appreciates that extra quiet time I give him.
As I was feeding Kayleigh, I checked Facebook with my cell phone, which I also do every morning. As I scrolled down, I saw something absolutely horrifying. My sister had posted a picture of John, Kayleigh and I, and I was completely mortified by it. Why? Well, because I look huge in it!
All of these horrible feelings came over me so suddenly. I was angry with her for posting that picture to Facebook, and tagging John and I in it, for all of my friends and all of his friends to see. I didn’t even know that she had taken this! I was so embarrassed by the way I looked. I felt defeated, and depressed about my weight. It was really not the way I like to start my morning off.
I’ve known for a while now that I still have a lot of weight to lose. I have 20 pounds to lose to get back to pre-pregnancy weight, and even then, I’d still like to lose at least another 20 pounds.
Since becoming a Mom to Kayleigh, I’ve found it very hard to get myself into a routine that will allow me to exercise. I also find it very hard to eat healthy. I’m usually so busy between taking care of her, and blogging, that I grab whatever is convenient to eat when I have a free minute. That usually involves unhealthy things, like muffins, donuts, potato chips, cookies, etc.
I also don’t own ANY clothes that properly fit my body right now, which doesn’t really help my self-esteem issues.
Seeing that picture today really prompted me to start taking better care of myself. I need to find at least 30 minutes every day to exercise, even if it’s just taking Kayleigh for a walk, which would be great for both of us anyway. I need to start eating healthier. To do that, I need to keep healthier foods on hand, like yogurt, vegetables, whole wheat bread. I plan to cut down on starches and sugars significantly too.
I begged Angela to take that picture off from Facebook before anyone saw it. I kept refreshing the page to see if she had deleted it yet, until finally, she did. Before she did though, I saved a copy to my computer.
After my initial embarrassment wore off, I looked at the picture again, and I saw something I didn’t see before. When I looked at the picture before, all I saw was me, and how fat and awful I looked. What I didn’t see, was the way John and I were looking at Kayleigh. I was looking down at her so motherly, and John has the happiest expression on his face. Kayleigh is looking right into his eyes and loving every minute of it. When I first looked at this picture, I didn’t see our happy little family, gathered in the kitchen, spending quality time together.
Yes, I am overweight in this picture, my hair is a mess, and that dress does absolutely nothing to flatter my body, but in that moment, I was happy. I AM happy. Being a Mom is all I have ever wanted, and my dream has come true. My weight is something I need to work on, but I’m not going to let it take away beautiful moments like this.
The other night, John and I were planning to have steak, mashed potatoes and a veggie for dinner, until I spoke with my sister, Angela. She was having company over for dinner that night, and was in the process of getting her homemade mac and cheese ready.
Ooooh, homemade mac and cheese! My thoughts instantly shifted from steak to homemade mac and cheese. I e-mailed John and asked him to bring home the ingredients for homemade mac and cheese when he got out of work. He eagerly agreed!
John and I have an incredible recipe for Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese. It always comes out super creamy and delicious, and the blue cheese gives it just a little bit of a bite. It’s way better than that stuff in a box!
One of the things I love most about this Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese, is the crunchy saltine cracker topping. It’s absolutely perfect.
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni 4 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese 5.5 oz. crumbled blue cheese 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk 1 sleeve Saltine crackers (crushed) 2 tablespoons butter 2-2.5 tablespoons flour
How to Make
1. Start by cooking the macaroni until it’s al dente. While the macaroni is cooking, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. The next step is to make a roux. To do this, simply melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in enough flour to make the roux, about 2-2.5 tablespoons. After the flour and butter are well combined, slowly stir in the entire can of evaporated milk. Let the milk mixture heat up a bit, then slowly add 2.5-3 cups of the shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, and about 3/4 of the blue cheese, stirring continuously so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan. Continue cooking until all of the cheese is melted.
3. Drain the water out of the macaroni and dump it into an 8×8 casserole dish. Then, pour your melted cheese mixture over the macaroni, and stir it all together, making sure that every piece of macaroni gets covered with the cheese mixture.
4. Next, sprinkle the crushed Saltine crackers evenly over the macaroni.
5. Then, sprinkle the remaining shredded sharp cheddar cheese and blue cheese over the Saltine crackers.
6. Top the macaroni with a few small pieces of butter.
7. Cover the macaroni with aluminum foil and cook at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
8. Remove the aluminum foil, and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the Saltine crackers have turned golden brown.
This recipe is really quite versatile. You can easily switch out the type of pasta, and types of cheese you use. We’ve done this quite often, but I really like the combination of sharp white cheddar and blue cheese. I used Gemeli in the mac and cheese pictured above.
We love to serve this with a couple of dill pickles on the side.
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Banana Boat. I received product samples and promotional item as a thank you for participating.
Summer is flying by. I seriously cannot believe that August is almost over, and that kids everywhere will be heading back to school any time now.
John and I have had so much fun with Kayleigh this summer. She’s still just a tiny thing, so we haven’t exposed her to the sun too much yet, but there were a few times when she did get some, like when we went to Viles Arboretum and Fort Point State Park.
Thank goodness for the protection of Banana Boat’sNatural Reflect Baby sunscreen lotion! It has 50+ SPF, and is free of PABA and Paraben. It is also tear and sting free and very water resistant. Using this product on Kayleigh’s very fair and sensitive skin certainly gave us a little more peace of mind when we had to have her out in the hot sun. *Be sure to ask your pediatrician before using on children under 6 months old.
John and I made sure to protect our own skin as well, with Banana Boat Protect & Hydrate Sunscreen Lotion and Sport Performance Coolzone Continuous Spray Sunscreen.
The Protect & Hydrate is a 2-in-1 sunscreen and moisturizer lotion that combines Aloe with Antioxidant Vitamins C & E to maintain 100% of your skin’s natural moisture. This is SPF 15. I loved this product because it left my skin feeling very smooth and soft after being exposed to the sun. There have been many times in the past when I didn’t use sunscreen while out in the sun, and my skin got very dry and rough. Another great thing about this product, is that it is non-greasy, and absorbs into my skin in just seconds. As a Mom of an infant, I definitely need something quick and easy to apply!
The Sport Performance Coolzone Continuous Spray Sunscreen is an awesome product! I love how quick and easy it is to apply. This comes in 30 and 50+ SPF. John, in particular, likes this product. Let’s just say, he doesn’t have much hair on his head these days, so this spray is a very easy way for him to protect his head from the sun. It goes on clear, and has a light refreshing scent.
Next summer, when Kayleigh’s a year old, I just know we are going to have a blast with her. Living in Maine, we have big plans to take her to our beautiful coast, quite often. I can’t wait to bring her to Acadia National Park, and to the beach. I keep imagining her sitting in the sand with a little plastic bucket and shovel, having the time of her life. When that time comes, we’ll be sure to use Banana Boat’s Kids Broad Spectrum Sunscreen on her. It is SPF 50+, tear and sting free, very water resistant, and also fragrance free.
Limiting sun exposure, wearing protective clothing like hats, and using sunscreen may reduce the risks of skin aging, skin cancer and other harmful effects of the sun, so make sure your family is prepared with Banana Boat’s line of sunscreen products!
Did you and your family have some fun in the sun this year? What steps do you take to protect you and your kids from the sun?