Aug 312015

Potty training is a big transition for kids, and it can often be a challenging time for both them and their caregivers.  I have been trying to potty train my 2 year old daughter, Kayleigh, for a couple of months now, and it can get a bit frustrating at times.  Here are a few tips that I have found that help both Kayleigh and I to be a little more relaxed with this whole process.  If you are currently potty training, or about to start potty training your child, I think these tips will help you too!


1. Don’t Rush It –  Potty training is not something that can be rushed or forced.  If your child is not ready to go on the potty, and you try to force them into it, you may do more harm than good.  It is best to start potty training when your child shows signs of being ready.  If you think your child may be ready to start potty training, take this quiz to find out!

2.  Use Sign Language – It can be hard for kids to vocalize their need to use the bathroom, so teaching them the sign for potty can make it easier for them to let you know when they need to go.

3.  Implement a Reward System – A great reward system can be just the encouragement a child needs to use the potty.  Positive reinforcement is a great way to make your child feel proud of their accomplishments, and want to continue using the potty.  A reward chart with stickers and/or a jar of small treats, specifically designated for rewarding a successful potty session, is a great way to keep your child interested in potty training.

4.  Get a Training Potty – It is not uncommon for a child to be scared of using the big potty, so offering them a smaller, toddler-sized potty to use in the beginning is a great way to ease them into using the potty.  Once they feel comfortable going on the training potty, they are more likely to try going on the big potty.  The one I use with my daughter Kayleigh has a seat that lifts out to fit onto our toilet, and the base turns into a step-stool, for when she is ready to use the bigger potty.

5.  Use Pull-Ups® Training Pants – Pull-Ups® Training Pants are a great way to transition a child from diapers to underwear.  A child is likely to have many accidents while potty training, so using Pull-Ups® Training Pants is a great way to keep the mess contained, and also get them used to not wearing regular diapers.

Pull-Ups® Training Pants

Right now you can get Pull-Ups® Training Pants at Family Dollar for only $8.50.  That is $1.50 off their regular price.  All you have to do to get this great deal, is text CARE to 28767, available for a limited time only.  Click here to locate a Family Dollar store near you.


I recently picked up a pack of Pull-Ups® Training Pants for Kayleigh.  She absolutely loved the Doc McStuffins character on them.  She was not scared at all to put them on, they fit her very well, and she seemed very comfortable in them.

Pull-Ups® Training Pants

The sides also open really easy, so she can take them off by herself when she feels the need to go use the potty.  If she wants, she can also take them off like a big kid, because the sides are really stretchy and will just pull down over her legs, like underwear.  I love that they also have unique patterns that fade when wet to help her learn to stay dry. Other Disney designs available are Ariel, Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Lightning McQueen.

Pull-Ups® Training Pants

Hurry and grab this great deal before it’s gone, and good luck on your potty training adventure!  For more tips and tricks, visit the Pull-Ups® Training Pants website.

Potty Train in a Weekend

Aug 152015

How I Got My Toddler to Brush Her Teeth, Using One Simple Trick

Getting a toddler to do anything can be quite challenging, and getting my 2 year old daughter, Kayleigh, to brush her teeth was no exception.  While she absolutely loved licking the strawberry banana flavored toothpaste off the toothbrush, she just would not actually brush her teeth.  I tried to help her out, but every time I would go near her mouth with the toothbrush, she would throw her body to the floor, flail her arms and legs about, and scream as loud as she could in a fit of rage.  It was always a nightmare, to say the least.

One day, the topic of toddler teeth brushing came up in my Moms Facebook group.  A lot of us were complaining about how difficult it was to get our toddlers to brush their teeth without throwing a fit, and then this one Mom in our group chimed in with a trick that worked for her.  She told her son that he had “sugar bugs” in his teeth and that he needed to brush his teeth really good to get rid of them before they destroyed his teeth. 

I thought this idea was worth a shot, but the term “bugs” really kind of grossed me out, so I changed it to “sugar monsters” instead.  I tried it the very next night.  I told Kayleigh that she had sugar monsters in her teeth and that we needed to brush them really well to get rid of them before they destroyed her teeth.  And guess what?!  It actually worked!  I could not even believe it.  She thought it was the funniest thing ever, and brushed her teeth really well to get rid of them, and she even let me go over them with the toothbrush after.  Who knew it would be so easy to get my toddler to brush her teeth?!

How I Got My Toddler to Brush Her Teeth, Using One Simple Trick

I thought it must have been a fluke, so I tried it again the next day, and the day after that, and every day since then, and it has worked every single time.  Kayleigh no longer gives me any trouble at all when brushing her teeth.  She does a pretty good job at brushing them by herself now, but she will also let me go over them with the toothbrush after she has, just to make sure we got rid of all of the “sugar monsters”. 

I will usually say to her, “Open your mouth and let me see if you got all the sugar monsters.”  She will open her mouth, and then I will say something like “Oh, I see two sugar monsters in there.  I’ve got to brush them out before they ruin your teeth!” She will giggle, then open her mouth up wide, and let me brush away.  As I’m brushing her teeth, I say things like “Oh no!  He’s trying to run away from me!  I’ve got to get him!” I always end her tooth brushing session by saying “Yay!  We got all the sugar monsters!”  She laughs with delight, and I feel relieved that once again she did not throw a fit about getting her teeth brushed.  I can also rest easy knowing that they are clean.

How I Got My Toddler to Brush Her Teeth, Using One Simple Trick

Are there any special tricks you use to get your toddler to brush their teeth?  I’d love to hear!  Share in the comments!

Aug 142015

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Pantene.

Summer is my favorite time of year.  I live in Maine, so our winter months are quite dreadful.  Last year in particular was just horrible, as we got record amounts of snow.  When summer finally gets here, I soak up every second of it, because I know soon enough I’ll be stuck inside the house for months on end again. 

I do love summer, but I don’t like what the heat and humidity do to my hair.  I have very thick, coarse hair, that will turn to complete frizz in a split second on hot summer days.

I’ve dealt with this frizzy hair problem all of my life, and I’ve learned some tricks along the way, to beat the summer frizz.  Below are 5 really easy things you can do to combat your summer frizz too.

5 Easy Ways to Beat Summer Frizz

1.  Blot your wet hair with a towel. When you step out of the shower, be sure to only blot your wet hair with a towel, instead of roughing it up.  This will help your cuticles to stay healthy and allow your hair to lie flat, instead of frizzing up.

2.  Use a wide-toothed comb, not a brush to comb through hair.  Using a hair brush disrupts your hair’s cuticle and causes your hair to stretch, which can lead to breakage.  Using a wide-toothed comb is much better for your hair.

3.  Don’t use a conventional hair dryer to dry your hair.  Too much hot air from conventional hair dryers will dehydrate it and cause it to frizz.  Using an ionic hair dryer instead of a conventional one cuts down on drying time. By using less heat in a shorter time period, ionic dryers reduce frizz and protect hair against split ends. Shorter drying times mean less hair damage.

4.  Choose a hairstyle that works for you.  I was complaining to my hairdresser one day about not being able to grow my hair out long like I have always dreamed about.  I have tried several times, and it always just ends up looking completely dreadful.  I just don’t have the hair type to pull it off.  My hairdresser said something in response to my complaint, that really resonated with me at the time, and that I still think about to this day.  She told me that you should find a hairstyle that works for your type of hair and embrace it.  So what if I can’t have the long, beautiful hair that I have always wanted.  I know my hair looks best in a short bob hair-style, so I will rock that look.

5.  Use a shampoo and conditioner tailored for frizzy hair.  I have been using Pantene Smooth & Sleek Shampoo and Conditioner with Argan Oil for quite some time now, and I love it!  This anti-frizz shampoo and conditioner helps tame frizzy hair for up to 72 hours, which is great, because you are really only supposed to wash your hair a few times per week to prevent your hair from drying out.  Pantene’s damage defying formula helps your hair stay strong against damage, too.   An added bonus is that it smells great!

Pantene Smooth & Sleek Shampoo and Conditioner

It’s so important to use both shampoo and conditioner.  Did you know that Pantene shampoos and conditioners work together to make hair 2x stronger than shampoo alone?

Pantene Smooth & Sleek Shampoo and Conditioner

Pantene Smooth & Sleek shampoo and conditioner are available at Walmart, at an everyday low price, and they even offer a 2x money back guarantee if you don’t see the results you want.  How great is that?  If you can’t make it out to the store, no problem!  Go ahead and order it from Walmart online and have it shipped right to your door! 

Pantene Smooth & Sleek Shampoo and Conditioner

What tips do you have to beat summer frizz?

Aug 092015

I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of REACH® and One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.

Oral hygiene has always been very important to me.  I was the odd kid who actually enjoyed going to the dentist, and I still enjoy it to this day.  A lot of people think that’s really strange, but I just love that fresh, clean feeling after having my teeth cleaned.  They always feel AMAZING!

Having a good dental routine is key for keeping your teeth as clean and healthy as possible.  I’m constantly on the lookout for new oral care products, so when I heard about the new COMPLETE CARE™ line from REACH®, I just had to give it a try.

The new COMPLETE CARE™ line includes a Complete Care™ Curve Toothbrush and a Complete Care™ 8 in 1 Mouth Rinse.

The toothbrushes are really awesome.  The REACH® tip allows me to get behind my back teeth without any trouble.  I’m really a nut about making sure my ENTIRE mouth gets super clean while brushing my teeth, and this just makes the job a lot easier.

REACH Complete Care Toothbrush

This toothbrush also has triple angled brushes, with 3 directions of clean, so they cover more area than a normal toothbrush.  Score!

REACH Complete Care Toothbrush

Also included is a tongue cleaner, which is so great.  A lot of people forget to brush their tongue too, but a lot of yucky bacteria hides there, and can be a cause of bad breath!

REACH Complete Care Toothbrush

One more thing I love about this toothbrush, is the control grip.  I can’t tell you how many times I have dropped my toothbrush on the floor or in the dirty sink while brushing my teeth.  The control grip on this toothbrush is so incredible, that there is no chance it’s going to come sliding out of my hands and onto a dirty surface.

REACH Complete Care Toothbrush

Next up is the mouth rinse.  First of all, take a look at this bottle.  I bet you’ve never seen a bottle quite like this before, right?

REACH Complete Care Mouth Rinse

It comes with a pump to dispense the mouth rinse!  How cool is that?  You pump your mouth rinse right into this little cup that is also provided.  When you’re done rinsing your mouth, rinse out your cup, and store it right in the bottle.  The cup also allows you to properly measure the amount of mouth rinse you need.  I love it!  BONUS:  If you accidentally knock the bottle over, it’s not going to spill everywhere!

REACH Complete Care Mouth Rinse

And if that wasn’t enough, there is also a place to store your toothbrush, so you use less counter space!

REACH Complete Care Mouth Rinse

Some other great things about this mouth rinse:

  • Kills Bad Breath Germs
  • Helps Prevent Gingivitis
  • Reduces Plaque
  • Fights Tartar Buildup
  • Foams Between Teeth
  • Freshens Breath
  • Cleans Whole Mouth

And it does all of this, without burning your mouth!  That’s right.  No burn!  The arctic mint flavor is really quite lovely and refreshing.

So, what do you say?  Will you add the REACH® COMPLETE CARE™ line to your dental routine?








S’mores Brownie Cupcakes

 Posted by on August 7, 2015  1 Response »  Tagged with:
Aug 072015

Summer is almost over already.  Can you believe it?  It seems like just yesterday we were buried under more than 4 feet of snow and I was 9 months pregnant with my son Logan.  Time is flying by so fast.  He just turned 5 months old yesterday.  I wish time would slow down just a little bit! This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on a link in this post.

Having a newborn during the summer months isn’t easy.  They can’t wear sunscreen or be out in the sun, so we’ve been stuck inside at home most days this summer.  It’s been a very uneventful summer, for sure.  Last summer was too, since I was newly pregnant and suffering from intense morning sickness brought on by the heat.  I am really looking forward to next summer, when Kayleigh will be 3 and Logan will be 1.  I am so excited to bring them to the playground, the pool, the beach, the zoo.  I have a list about a mile long of fun family adventures that I want to go on.  I can’t wait!

I was kind of feeling sorry for myself today, thinking about how I had been stuck inside the house most of this summer, especially after that absolutely horrible winter we had here in Maine, so I thought I would make myself a s’more to cheer me up a bit.

S'mores Brownie Cupcakes

As I was contemplating this s’more, I had this thought to take it even further and make s’mores brownies, but then it really hit me.  This idea.  I would make s’mores brownies in cupcake form!  Who doesn’t love a cupcake?  I thought that would also keep me from eating a whole pan of brownies.  It’s a lot easier to eat one cupcake than it is to eat one brownie.

S'mores Brownie Cupcakes

I know this probably sounds a little complicated, but honestly, it’s really not.  It’s so easy that my 2 year old daughter actually helped me.  Well, she mostly ate them, but anyway, they are really easy to make.

S'mores Brownie Cupcakes


  • Prepared brownie mix (from box or scratch)
  • 7 sheets of graham crackers
  • 12 marshmallows
  • 1 full-size Hershey’s chocolate bar

    1. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
    2. Prepare brownie mix according to directions.  Set aside.
    3. Crush graham crackers in food processor until very fine.
    4. Scoop one cookie scoop full of brownie batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner.
    5. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of graham cracker crumbs on top of brownie batter in each cupcake liner.
    6. Scoop a second cookie scoop full of brownie batter on top of the graham cracker crumbs in each cupcake liner.
    7. Bake brownie cupcakes in a 350 degree oven for 23-25 minutes.
    8. Top each brownie with a marshmallow and place under the broiler (on high) for 2 minutes, or until marshmallows have melted a bit and are golden brown on top.
    9. Allow brownies to cool a little, then place a Hershey’s chocolate bar square into each marshmallow.

    S'mores Brownie Cupcakes

    See, I told you it was easy.  Now go enjoy some s’mores brownie cupcakes!