Feb 262016
 

Disclosure: This #MothersPromise campaign was sponsored by Pampers and Acorn Influence.

Being a stay-at-home Mom isn’t always easy, but it certainly is very rewarding. I love being able to spend so much time with my kids, having the ability to watch them learn and grow, to teach them new things, to cuddle with them, to dance with them, and play with them.

me and kayleigh

I have been so very fortunate to be able to stay at home with my kids.  I know there are a lot of people that aren’t so lucky, and it is not something I take for granted.  Blogging from home allows me to earn enough income to not have to enter the work force outside of the house, and for that, I am very thankful.

Me and Logan

Nowadays, pretty much everyone has a cell phone, laptop, desktop computer, mobile device, etc. on them at all times.  It can be so easy and tempting to just spend the entire day glued to the screen, checking emails, browsing the internet, looking at Facebook, playing games, etc. As a blogger, it is especially difficult to detach myself from those things, as it is part of my job.

A little while ago, I found myself getting too immersed in the online world, when I should have been spending more time in the real world, with my kids.  When each of my children was born, I promised them that I would always be there for them, that I would be the kind of Mom that stays involved in their lives, that teaches them, that laughs with them, that gets down on the floor and plays with them.  I want my children to know that they always come first – not emails, not Facebook, not silly games.  They always come before all of those things.  I found that promise slipping away, and needed to make a change.

To help me keep that promise to my kids a priority, I placed a photo of them on the wallpaper of my laptop, and my cell phone.  This photo was taken at Christmas time last year, and it is one of my favorites of the two of them together.  We had a mini photo shoot together that day, as I was trying to capture the perfect photo for our Christmas cards.  This photo won out above the rest. I love that my daughter is hugging my son, and they are both smiling at me.  This photo makes my heart so happy and reminds me of why I love being their Mom so much.

#MothersPromise

I put this photo on my wallpaper, so that every time I pick up my phone, or every time I log onto my laptop, it is the first thing I see.  It is a reminder to myself that my kids always come first.  It makes me stop and ask myself if it is a good time to be looking at my phone, or working on my laptop.

Since I have set these photos to my wallpaper on my phone and laptop, I have noticed a huge difference in the amount of time I spend with my kids, and I think we are all a lot happier now!  I really try to limit my screen time during the day, and do most of my work at night after they have gone to bed.

#MothersPromise is the idea of promising something to your baby and keeping that message in front of you in order to not lose sight of your goals. By buying Pampers Premium Care, you are making a simple promise that will help you dedicate a lifetime of love to your new baby. Look for these diapers at a Walmart near you, or at www.walmart.com!

Pampers Premium Care Diapers

#MothersPromise Twitter Party and Sweepstakes

Pampers is hosting a fun Twitter party to celebrate their line of Premium Care Diapers, and to encourage mothers everywhere to create their own #MothersPromise. Check out the party details below, and I hope to see you there!

WHERE: On Twitter, hashtag #MothersPromise

WHEN: Thursday, March 3rd

TIME: 8:00PM CST (1 hour)

You can also enter to win some fantastic prizes below!

#MothersPromise March 3rd Twitter Party W Pampers Premium Diapers

This giveaway ends on March 3, 2016.

What is your #MothersPromise and how do you always keep that promise a priority? 

 

 

 Posted by at 11:40 am
Feb 252016
 

I was browsing Pinterest for some lunch inspiration the other day when I saw a pin for a taco salad pizza.  I haven’t had a taco pizza for a while, and it really got me craving one.  There is a local pizza place here that I usually get my taco pizza fix from, but I’ve been trying to eat a lot healthier this year, and their taco pizza is anything but healthy.  First of all, they make it with a double crust, because their normal crust isn’t thick enough to hold up all of the toppings.  They pile a whole bunch of greasy ground hamburger, taco sauce, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, lettuce and Doritos.  The combination of ingredients is truly delicious, but it is very fattening, so I decided to create my own healthier taco pizza right at home.

Taco Pizza

I’ve been eating Joseph’s lavash bread a lot lately, since they are pretty low in calories, and have lots of healthy things in them like flax, oat bran, and omega-3.  They taste pretty good, too!

Joseph's Lavash Bread

TACO PIZZA

I started my pizza off by making a double crust just like my local pizza place does.  I simply cut one of the Joseph’s lavash breads in half and stacked them on top of each other.  Before I stacked them together, however, I spread a layer of low fat refried beans and a little bit of shredded Mexican cheese in between, to give it some flavor, and help the two layers stick together.

After building my double crust, I spread a layer of homemade taco sauce on top, and then sprinkled on some diced onions and more shredded Mexican cheese.  I baked the pizza in the oven for about 10 minutes, and when it came out, I topped it off with some shredded romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and instead of Doritos, I used Late July Mild Green Mojo Multigrain Chips.  These taste amazing, and are much better for you than Doritos are.  They are also gluten free!

Late July Chips

Below are the full instructions for making this delicious, healthier version of a taco pizza at home!

Taco Pizza

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Joseph’s Lavash Bread
  • 1/2 cup low fat refried beans
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  • 3 tablespoons taco sauce
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup Late July Mild Green Mojo Multigrain Chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Cut 1 Joseph’s Lavash Bread in half and place 1/2 on baking sheet.
  4. Spread refried beans on top of the Lavash Bread that is now on the baking sheet, and sprinkle 1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese on top.
  5. Place second half of Lavash Bread on top.
  6. Spread taco sauce over Lavash Bread.
  7. Sprinkle onions and remaining shredded Mexican cheese on top.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Immediately after removing pizza from oven, top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes and chips.

For more Pinterest remakes, visit a few of my favorite bloggers:

 Posted by at 1:00 am
Feb 182016
 

This is a sponsored post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Taking your infant or toddler on an overnight trip can be stressful and chaotic. Their schedules get all messed up, they can easily become overwhelmed by new and different surroundings, and there is always so much stuff that you need to pack for them.

I have taken my 2.5 year old and 11 month old on several overnight trips, and I have found a few tips for packing for an overnight trip with your infant or toddler that really help to make things run much smoother over the course of the trip. After trying to find numerous items buried under a pile of loose clothes, diapers, wipes, snacks, toys, etc., I decided it was time to find a better way, and I came up with a solution that works very well for me now.

5 Tips for Packing for an Overnight Trip with Your Infant or Toddler
  1. Pack 2 large sturdy zippered bags – one for clothing, shoes, diapers, wipes, toothpaste, toothbrush, teething gel, medications, etc., and and one for formula, water, food pouches, snacks. Having these items separated will make it easier to find what you are looking for when you need it.
  2. Put each of your child’s outfits into a separate plastic storage bag, and label it with your child’s name and what’s inside (clothes, pajamas, swimsuit & hat, etc.). This is something I started doing when I sent the kids to stay with my Mom for  a few nights one time.  I wanted to make it easy for her to just pull out an outfit for each kid, without worrying about trying to find matching items or wondering which outfit belonged to which kid. This keeps each child’s clothes organized, and also takes up much less room in your bag than loose clothing does. After an outfit has been worn, stick it back in the bag, and mark the bag “dirty”. Now you won’t have to wonder what’s dirty and what is clean!
  3. Take snacks out of boxes and put them in resealable plastic storage bags instead. Boxes take up a lot of room in an overnight bag, they get crushed, spill contents, and you can never really tell how much you have left unless you open the box up to check. Having snacks stored in plastic storage bags will take up less room in your overnight bag, prevent spilling, and you’ll easily be able to tell how much is remaining.
  4. Put small things like combs, hair accessories, toothbrushes, toothpaste, teething gel, medications, etc. in a resealable plastic bag together so they don’t get lost or scattered throughout your overnight bag.
  5. Store your baby’s formula in a high quality container like this one from NeoTop, made with Tritan™ plastic.  Tritan™ plastic is a clear, tough plastic that doesn’t scratch or break, or retain odors or stains, and it makes this formula dispenser awesome!  It looks like glass, but it’s not as heavy.  It has a greater shatter resistance than other plastics do, and it won’t warp or crack in the dishwasher!

NeoTop Baby Formula Dispenser

Not only does it take up less room in your overnight bag than the regular formula container you get from the store, but it is also way more sanitary and spill proof! Formula is expensive, and I have had the misfortune of spilling a bunch of it in the bottom of one of my nice bags once. It got all over everything and was a sticky, powdery mess. Now that I have the NeoTop formula dispenser, I don’t have to worry about that happening anymore.

NeoTop Baby Formula Dispenser

This revolutionary dispenser was designed by a board certified neonatologist, and just by looking at it, you can tell that a lot of thought really went into the design of this product. I love how easy it is to use. You simply pour your entire store bought container of baby formula into it, and when you are ready to make a bottle, you don’t even have to scoop it out with one of those formula scoops. You simply twist the container with the built in handle, and it will dispense precise servings of formula right into your baby’s bottle.  I can actually make a bottle one-handed while holding onto my son with the other now. Before, he was always trying to grab that scoop out of my hand while I was trying to make it. He can’t get his hands into the NeoTop formula dispenser, though!

NeoTop Baby Formula Dispenser

Check out the great video below which shows exactly how to use this product. I’m super impressed, and I know you will be too!

Follow Tritan on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 Posted by at 9:12 pm
Feb 122016
 

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up very soon, and it also happens to be my sister’s birthday. I’m not sure what she has to say about it, but having a birthday on a holiday seems pretty fun to me. I have always had a blast celebrating her birthday over the years because I really love going all out with the St. Patrick’s Day theme. I loved to bake her a cake or cupcakes decorated with candy shamrocks, give her gifts that were all green in color, and for many years we would go to McDonald’s to fill our bellies up with a minty shamrock shake, too. This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on a link in this post.

Now that my sister and I are older and have children, things are a little different. As a Mom, I know that taking time to pamper yourself is really important, so for my sister’s birthday this year, I made her a gift that she can use to make her tired feet feel a little better – a Green Tea and Peppermint Sea Salt Foot Scrub.

Green Tea & Peppermint Sea Salt Foot Scrub

GREEN TEA & PEPPERMINT SEA SALT FOOT SCRUB

This foot scrub is loaded up with some really great stuff for the skin – coconut oil, green tea, sea salt, peppermint essential oil, lemon, and even spinach.This foot scrub smells absolutely incredible. I found myself going back over and over again just to smell it. This foot scrub also leaves the skin feeling so soft and smooth. I just love it! I will definitely be making another batch to keep for myself.

I originally added the spinach to this foot scrub to try to give it a naturally green color, but the green tea kind of overpowered it, so in the end I had to add 2 drops of green food coloring to give it that nice green color. You can absolutely leave the food coloring out if you want to – it will be a sort of white/brown color. The spinach is still really great for the skin, though, as it is full of antioxidants and can help with inflammation, so I decided to just leave it as part of the recipe.

Get the Ingredients!

 Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 Ounce doTERRA Peppermint Essential Oil – 15ml Twinings Green Tea, Green & Lemon, 20 Count Bagged Tea (6 Pack) Realemon 100% Lemon Juice, 15 oz Coarse Salt – Sea Salt – Natural, Unrefined Sea Salt – More Minerals Than Himalayan Pink or Rock Salt – Substitute for Iodized Sea Salt – Unprocessed & Hand Harvested By Artisans – 100% Satisfaction Lifetime Guarantee McCormick Green Food Color, 1 fl oz

Green Tea & Peppermint Sea Salt Foot Scrub

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Combine water, spinach, 3 of the green tea with lemon tea bags and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn heat down to low and simmer for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the liquid has concentrated down to about 2 tablespoons remaining.
  3. Remove spinach and tea bags from liquid, making sure to squeeze all of the liquid out of them into the saucepan first.
  4. Allow concentrated liquid to cool.
  5. In a small bowl, combine sea salt and concentrated liquid.
  6. Add coconut oil that has been slightly softened.
  7. Add contents of last tea bag, essential oil, and food coloring, if desired.

Store your green tea & peppermint sea salt foot scrub in an airtight container.


For more St. Patrick’s Day and Irish ideas, visit a few of my favorite bloggers:

 Posted by at 1:00 am
Feb 112016
 

VTech digital video baby monitor

I have to admit, I’m a bit of a helicopter parent. I’ve been a stay at home Mom since the birth of my daughter, Kayleigh, in 2013, and last year we welcomed our son, Logan. I spend almost every waking hour of every day with my two kids, and I (almost) always know exactly what they are up to.

Kayleigh is finally at the age where I can leave her alone for a few minutes to do things like run downstairs and swap the laundry over. Logan, however, recently started walking, and gets into anything and everything  you could possibly imagine. He is also at that stage where he puts everything he can find into his mouth – clumps of cat hair, pieces of old food that he finds in random places, his sister’s small toys, and I have to watch him like a hawk, so he doesn’t put a choking hazard into his mouth.

I have always been a worrier, and that has only gotten worse since I’ve had kids. Kayleigh slept in our bedroom until she was almost 10 months old, just so I could hear that she was still breathing. Yes, I am that Mom.

Both kids are now, thankfully, sleeping in their own bedrooms at night, and we keep their doors closed so that our cats won’t disturb them while they sleep. I honestly would go nuts if I wasn’t able to check on them while they slept, and that is why I am so happy to have a VTech VM343 digital video baby monitor. It allows me to check on my kids any time I want, without disturbing them.

Another perk of having the VTech digital video monitor is that I get to see cute little moments like this:

VTech Video Monitor

I was downstairs taking care of laundry when I heard Logan start to make some noises during his afternoon nap. I looked up at the video monitor, and saw his cute little face just standing there, patiently waiting for me to come get him. Isn’t he just the sweetest?! He was quietly cooing to himself, and I just stood there and watched him for a minute, taking it all in.

I love that I get to see moments like this while he’s still little. I feel like he is just growing up so fast, and that the years are going to fly by.

VTECH Safe&Sound® VM343 Expandable Digital Video Baby Monitor

I’m really loving all of the features of the VTech Safe&Sound® VM343 Expandable Digital Video Baby Monitor, which include:

  • A pan and tilt camera with 2x zoom, which allows you to easily scan your baby’s room and zoom in close. The camera pans up to 270 degrees side-to-side and tilts as many as 120 degrees up and down. It has quite a range!
  • Automatic night vision so you can see your kids clearly, even during the night hours.
  • Full-color, high-resolution video equipped with night vision on a large 4.3-inch LCD screen. The picture quality is absolutely amazing!
  • The monitor can expand up to four cameras, so you can keep an eye on your little one from any room. You can choose from multiple viewing options:
  1. Single view (one camera only)
  2. Split-screen viewing (all paired cameras at once)
  3. Patrol mode (a single view that transitions to a different camera every seven seconds)

I absolutely love having this option, because now I can keep an eye on both of my kids with one monitor, all night long!

VTech digital video baby monitor

  • Digital transmission that keeps all videos private and secure, while cutting down on background noise to ensure the only sounds you hear are your baby’s.
  • A range of up to 1000 feet! This is one of my favorite features. In the summer time, I love to sit in the back yard, around the fire with my husband, while the kids sleep. Being able to take this baby monitor outside will help me to be able to relax, knowing that they are safe and sound asleep in their beds.

I’m so excited to have peace of mind, knowing that I can check in on my kids any time I want. Having this ability, certainly helps me to sleep better at night. I keep the VTech digital video baby monitor right next to my bed, and if I hear any bumps in the night, I can quickly look over at the monitor to make sure my babies are safe and sound in their beds.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 Posted by at 10:11 pm
Feb 102016
 

This Michael Angelo’s Frozen Meals post has been sponsored by the  Sverve Community. All opinions listed here are 100% my own.

Since the beginning of the year, I have been eating cleaner and healthier.  I’ve cut out junk food and processed foods that are full of preservatives and ingredients that I can’t pronounce.  I’m turning 35 this year, and I figured it was time I finally started taking better care of myself.  I’m feeling so much better overall already.  I have more energy, my clothes fit better, and I don’t have that constantly bloated feeling that I used to have.

While I am enjoying eating cleaner and healthier, which includes making the bulk of my meals completely from scratch, so I know exactly what ingredients are being put into them, I don’t always have the time or the energy to make a meal.  I have two little kids to take care of, and they always come first. Sometimes that means rocking a teething baby for hours on end, or cuddling with my 2 year old daughter on the couch when she doesn’t feel good.  On days like that, it can be difficult to cook a healthy dinner, so I looked for some quick and easy healthy meal options on my last grocery shopping trip.

I was really happy to recently discover Michael Angelo’s meals in the freezer section at my local Walmart store.  Now, I know you may be wondering how a frozen dinner fits into my new lifestyle, but Michael Angelo’s meals are full of real ingredients that you can recognize and understand, have no preservatives or artificial ingredients, and they are truly delicious because they are made with high quality ingredients.  Best of all – these meals can be cooked in the microwave, or just thrown in the oven, which means no work or mess for me!  Michael Angelo’s believes “less is amore” with their authentic Italian meals, and I definitely agree!

Michael Angelo's

I was just amazed at the great selection of meals available – Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Eggplant Parmesan, Shrimp Scampi, Vegetable Lasagna, Chicken Piccata, and more.  I absolutely love Italian food, so I was right in heaven.

Michael Angelo's

I cooked the Chicken Parmesan for lunch today, and it was so tasty!  I could have cooked it up in the microwave, but I had some time on my hands and decided to cook it in the oven instead.  By the time the meal was done cooking, my house smelled so good.  You would have thought I had been slaving away at the stove for a while, but this meal took almost no effort on my part.

Michael Angelo's

I shared my meal with the kids, and they both absolutely loved it.  They couldn’t get enough! I loved it too, and I didn’t feel bad feeding my kids a frozen meal, knowing that it was full of real ingredients and no preservatives.

Michael Angelo's

These meals are going to be a staple in my freezer from now on, for those days and nights when I just don’t feel like cooking, or when I don’t have the time.  I can’t wait to stock up on my favorite meals again!

Which Michael Angelo’s meal are you most interested in trying?  Click here to find a store near you that carries Michael Angelo’s products and enter to win $25.00 in Michael Angelo’s meal vouchers below!  Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, must 18+ to enter. Ends February 17, 2016 at 12:00am.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stay connected with Michael Angelo’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  

 Posted by at 12:01 am

What You Need to Know About Migraines

 Comments Off on What You Need to Know About Migraines
Feb 052016
 

I created this post as part of a campaign by Teva Pharmaceuticals. I received an American Express gift card for participating.

What You Need to Know About Migraines

What You Need to Know About Migraines

Have you ever had a migraine? If not, you may not really understand just how awful they can be. Migraines are not just a regular headache.  I have had regular headaches, and migraines are much, much worse.

I have had several migraines throughout my lifetime, and they are absolutely debilitating. I started getting migraines when I was about 12 years old, which means I have suffered with them for over 20 years now.

There are many things that can trigger a migraine – stress, medications, loud noises, bright or flashing lights, foods or beverages, missing a meal, and fatigue.  I have noticed that hormonal changes, such as when I have my period, during the first trimester of pregnancy, or in the weeks after giving birth, trigger migraines for me.  I also have a hard time with bright and flashing lights.  It always bothers me when I am watching a television show or a movie and there is suddenly a very bright light or flashing lights. I have to close my eyes and look away until the scene is over with.  Another trigger for me is the weather. I almost always get a migraine on overcast days.

migraines

Migraines can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours.  Mine usually last for 2-3 days and the pain comes and goes in waves.  One minute I will be feeling okay, thinking that the migraine has finally left, and then suddenly the pain just comes rushing back and lasts for several hours.  It completely disrupts my life, especially now that I have two young kids that I need to take care of.  I can’t just leave them alone to go lay down in a dark room, so I am left to suffer through the pain.

Migraines really are truly painful.  Symptoms vary for individuals who suffer from migraines, and each attack can feel entirely different.  I have birthed 2 kids completely naturally, without medication, and I didn’t take any pain medication after my umbilical hernia surgery 2 years ago, so I know I have a rather high tolerance for pain, but those migraines are no joke.  Sometimes it feels like someone is banging on my head repeatedly with a hammer.  Other times it feels like someone is poking a screwdriver through my eyeball.  I honestly would rather go through a med-free labor again, than to have a migraine.  It really is that bad.

Migraines leave me feeling completely useless, as all I want to do is lay down in a dark room until it passes.  Standing up while I have a migraine makes me feel dizzy, and I get so nauseous that I don’t even want to think about eating.  Watching TV, or typing on the computer or my cell phone is completely out of the question, as the light just bothers me too much.  I can’t read anything, as the words just look all blurry to me.  I am also very sensitive to sound, which is not an easy thing to deal with when you have two young kids.

Migraines rank in the top 3 of the world’s most prevalent conditions.  Did you know that nearly 36 million Americans suffer from migraines, including its various characteristics? That is a whole lot of people!  18% of American women and 6% of men suffer from migraines.  They seem to run in my family, as my Mom and my sisters both suffer from migraines, too.

To learn more about migraines including facts, common triggers, lifestyle tips and more, visit MoreToMigraine.com.

 

 

 Posted by at 5:15 pm
Feb 012016
 

I have been eating a lot healthier since the beginning of the year, and I have to say, I am actually enjoying it. I have always loved to experiment with foods, so I have been browsing Pinterest for some great new ideas. One of the things I have loved most is searching for healthy breakfast recipes.

Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day, but I was used to eating eggs cooked in tons of butter, toast slathered up with even more butter, salty bacon or sausage, thick pancakes coated in sugary syrup… not really the best choices for my waistline.

Eating a healthy breakfast is now something I look forward to every day, and I have really found a lot of recipes that are not only easy to make, but taste wonderful too. I hope you enjoy these awesome healthy breakfast recipes as much as I do!

25 Healthy Breakfast Recipes

  1. Banana Applesauce Muffins from From Away
  2. Banana Peanut Butter Chia Seed Pudding from The Suburban Soapbox
  3. Blender Banana Oatmeal Muffins from Well Plated By Erin
  4. Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potato from Smile Sandwich
  5. Cheddar & Herb Savory Overnight Oats from Sinful Nutrition
  6. Creamy Vanilla Breakfast Pudding from Running with Spoons
  7. Curried Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowls from Back to Her Roots
  8. Dark Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl from Minimalist Baker
  9. Fluffy Vanilla Greek Yogurt Pancakes from With Salt and Wit
  10. Healthy Baked Broccoli Tots from Gimme Delicious
  11. Healthy Peanut Butter Breakfast Smoothie from Mindfully Frugal Mom
  12. Italian Spaghetti Squash Breakfast Casserole from Peace, Love and Low Carb
  13. Kale Pesto Quinoa Breakfast Bowls from Simply Quinoa
  14. Morning Glory Breakfast Muffins from Natural Girl Modern World
  15. On-The-Go Breakfast Oatmeal Trail Mix Cupcakes from Chocolate Covered Katie
  16. Portobello Mushroom Egg Bakes from Running to the Kitchen
  17. Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Bars from I Should Be Mopping the Floor
  18. Savory Egg-Topped Oatmeal from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
  19. Spinach Chickpea Omelets from My Whole Food Life
  20. Spinach-Pesto-Feta Egg Casserole from The Pinning Mama
  21. Spinach Quiche Cups from Manila Spoon
  22. Stuffed Breakfast Tomatoes from Pip and Ebby
  23. Sweet Potato and Kale Hash from Shared Appetite
  24. Toasted Coconut Breakfast Porridge from Pinch of Yum
  25. Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Scones from Joyful Healthy Eats

Which of these healthy breakfast recipes will you try first?

 Posted by at 10:21 pm