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Polly Pocket Summer Sets

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Polly Pocket. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Polly Pocket Summer SetsPouring water in the waterfall.

I was thrilled to review two adorable Polly Pocket sets!  They are so much fun to set up and play with.  I think I enjoyed them just as much, if not more than the kiddos.  They have adorable colors, lots of movable parts, and inspire imaginative play!  The girls especially loved the zip-line and the fun movable suctioned cup pieces.

Polly SlideIt can use real water!  I would have LOVED this as a kid!

Polly WaterfallCheck out the cute waterfall!

My favorite set, the Zip ‘n Splash Playset, is LESS than $10! It’s now only $9.59 and was regularly $16.99. This set includes a Polly doll with color changing hair {I know! How fun!}, a monkey, and a puppy. Super cute!

Polly TreehouseBoth of these sets were put together by a ten year old so they’re not too complicated.

Polly Tree House WindowThese cute flowers in the window are suction cupped on and can be moved anywhere.  So cute!

The Treehouse Playset was the other one that we reviewed and it was equally cute. It’s now on sale for $11.99 {originally $19.99} OR you could get ALL of the fun wall party playsets on sale for only $47.99 instead of the original $74.99. I really loved the built in slide on this one and the kids loved the translucent suction cup pieces {bird, cups, flowers, and so on}. We only have the one piece but I think it would be a lot of fun to have all of them attached to our wall and play with the zip-lines in between pieces.

Polly Pocket sets are not only a great gift to buy for your own kids but they make tremendous birthday gifts too!  Are you thinking about  who all you could buy a set for?  Good, because I have a great discount through July 7th where you can shop right here on my site, on this post, but you’ll be shopping through Amazon.  This is a pretty awesome discount too!  I’m very excited to share it with you.  Update: It’s now after the 7th and the prices have gone up a little but are still cheaper than regular retail.

A Simple Way to Encourage Fellow Moms

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Johnson’s Baby.  I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Motherhood is probably one of my biggest accomplishments but it’s undoubtedly my most exhausting job.  I’m constantly being questioned from others about the choices I make as a mother.  Whether or not I swaddled, what formula I used, whether I washed my girl’s clothes before she wore them {I choose to but my family doesn’t understand the need}, and most recently because I don’t let my daughter play on the steps by herself {She’s not physically capable of coming down them in any way without falling so I let her go up them when I’m behind her but that’s it.  We practice going down them but I’m not going to let her play on them alone.  I let her fall and make mistakes but not when it could involve her breaking her neck.  I don’t apologize for that!  Sorry for the rant, can you tell it bothers me when people insert their unwanted comments?}  With all the critical comments from others it’s probably hard to believe that I’m my biggest critic but it’s true.  I worry about her fine motor skills, gross motor skills, social development, potty training!, the variety of food she eats, that I’m training her properly, and the list goes on and on.  My mind is constantly a jumble of things to do and check up on.

Mommy and baby

Occasionally another mom will look at me and give me an encouraging look.  It’s as if, without words she’s saying, “I’ve been there.  It’s okay, you’ll make it through this.”  I’ve had a few moms I know give me incredible words of encouragement that have lifted my spirits far above what words could describe.

While I’m only a few years into this motherhood journey I want to be like those mother’s who have encouraged me.  I want to make a conscious effort to go out of my way to encourage new mothers. To tell them that they are wonderful and are fabulous mommies.  To tell them they look beautiful on days when they look a little disheveled.

I was excited to recently discover that Johnson’s has a great new promotion, it’s called Johnson’s Baby “Care Cards.”  It’s an easy way to share encouraging messages to moms no matter where they live.  Every mom has questioned whether they’re doing a good job or not {at least, I hope I’m not the only one!} and it’s important to tell them that they’re doing a good job.

Johnsons Baby Cares

You can join Johnson’s Baby “Care Cards” by creating and sending a digital Care Card to send to a special mom in your life on Facebook.  You can send a card to your mom, grandmother, fellow moms, new moms, and well, any mom!  Here’s the icing on the cake, for every card sent, liked, or shared Johnson’s Baby will donate $1 to Save the Chiildren, up to $150,000, to benefit early childhood education.  Isn’t that great?  They’re close to $100,000 now so there is still $50,000 left to raise.  Get sharing!  This is a great way to encourage someone you care about while also supporting those in need.  Through Johnson’s support of Save the Children’s Early Steps to School Success program, they are helping to provide moms with the skills and knowledge to successfully support their child’s growth from pregnancy until school age.

Every mom

To every single mom who is reading this, please know that you are enough.  You are a great mom!  As Mr. Fred Rogers said, “You are special just the way you are!”  Don’t let other people’s comments ever get you down.  They haven’t been where you are.  Some days are longer than others but on those days try to keep the big picture in mind and remember that one day you’ll look back and wish you could relive these days.

Happy Belated Mother’s Day!!!

Aflac Real Cost Calculator

*This post has been sponsored by Mom Central Consulting and Aflac but all opinions remain my own. Full disclosure is at the bottom of the post.

Aflac Logo I’ll be honest, paperwork confuses me.  I have to set aside time to focus, read, and reread information before I can comprehend it.  Any paperwork over two or three pages is overwhelming to me.  School loans {thankfully paid off!}, a will {which we have to sit down and read over our draft before we make it official}, retirement choices, any type of medical or insurance paperwork.  I understand all of these things in theory but instead of just assuming I’m making the right choices and winging it I want to slow down and carefully consider everything.  I don’t want to cross my fingers and hope that I my husband has enough money to retire one day, or that he’ll have enough money if I happen to pass away, or that I’ll have the insurance or savings built up to cover an emergency.  I enjoy being prepared…even if that takes a lot of effort on my part.

Some expenses people incur are obvious ones, ones that should have been planned for.  Wedding anniversaries come once a year, I can’t for the life of me understand why people don’t save money for them or add them to their budget instead of charging an expensive gift.  Of course buying a gift they can afford or making a homemade gift would be great too.  School clothes and supplies are a hassle every year….every year.  Devise a plan to pay for them instead of paying off your credit card till Christmas when you’ll pile on more debt.  It just makes sense to me!

With medical expenses, things are less black and white.  You never know when an emergency will arise.  You have to consider your family’s health and bank account and weigh the options.  Do you have the money in savings to cover $X amount of bills?  Would you rather pay for someone else to cover your costs in the event something were to happen?  Everyone’s situation is unique.

Hospital pic

This time last year I was in the hospital and it was totally unexpected.  I went to the doctor to complain about a pain I was having and ended up spending days in the hospital.  I had a follow up visit to remove a pump they put in.  Then I had surgery a few weeks later.  Again, I had more follow up visits.  These were definitely some unexpected medical costs!

I’ve seen some dear friends and family really come close to losing everything after an unexpected medical emergency.  Even with medical insurance the out of pocket costs added up quickly.

The Aflac Real Cost Calculator is a great tool that can help you break down the expenses of medical care.  I spent some time playing around with the different scenarios and the numbers were crazy!  A broken leg seems like a common procedure but it costs over $10,000!

I heard somewhere that medical debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy and I would have to agree with that.  If people have planned ahead and had a savings account built up then I would say skip the insurance but if they don’t, Aflac insurance might be a good safety net to have.  Aflac helps offset the out of pocket cost of medical bills.  If you’re interested in getting this extra safety net for your family check our the Aflac Real Cost Calculator for yourself.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Aflac. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

National Boys and Girls Club Week

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Boys and girls club

I’ve wrote about the Boys & Girls Club in the past because I love what they do!  For quite some time now the Boys & Girls Club have been a safe alternative for kids who don’t have enough structured extracurricular activities.  Instead of the kids running into mischief on the streets or spending time unsupervised at home the Boys & Girls club have given kids a safe place to learn, grow, and belong.  This week is National Boys & Girls Club Week!

This year, the National Boys & Girls Club Week is being celebrated by encouraging everyone to “Open the door.  Take the tour.”  They want everyone to come and see what the Club is about and if it’s right for them.  Local communities will be encouraged to visit their local Club and see what happens behind the blue doors.  If you don’t want to leave your house right now you can take a virtual Club tour.

I’ve taken the virtual tour and loved what I saw.  I’m hoping to soon visit our local Boys & Girls Club to take part in the many activities they have planned.  Anything that increases our activity is a wonderful thing.  Plus, I’ve heard that they have a great swimming program!

If you’re interested in visiting your local Boys & Girls Club, they have a whole lay out of themed events scheduled to show you all of the things they do for children.

The schedule for this year’s celebration includes the following:
• Monday, April 8 – Open the door to education.
• Tuesday, April 9 – Open the door to technology.
• Wednesday, April 10 – Open the door to character and citizenship.
• Thursday, April 11 – Open the door to healthy lifestyles.
• Friday, April 12 – Open the door. Take the tour.

Go here for more information on how you can help support National Boys & Girls Club Week.

You can also connect with Boys & Girls Club of America on Facebook or you can follow them on Twitter @BGCA_Clubs.

#ShareBreakfast with Kellogg’s

Kellogg's share breakfast logo

Everybody knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It’s the meal that gets your metabolism jump started in the morning and preps you for a good day of energy and concentration.  Being a mom with a toddler at home I need all the energy I can get and since I’m a blogger I need all the concentration I can get.  I don’t have a lot of time to blog so when I do it’s nice to be able to focus completely on what I’m doing.  My husband used to dislike breakfast but he has found that when he eats breakfast he’ll make better food choices the rest of the day.  If he skips it, he’s starving by the time lunch comes and makes unhealthy choices.  My little toddler sleeps tremendously at night but when 8 o’clock rolls around she is ready to eat!  Giving my family breakfast is a small thing that I can do to help my family have the best start to the day that they can have!  Kellogg’s believes the same way I do and they want to make sure as many people as possible can have that same great start to their day.

The sad truth is, not every child is able to have the great start to their day that comes from eating breakfast.  1 in 5 kids may go without breakfast everyday and Kellogg’s wants to do something to change that.  This is where their “Share the Breakfast” campaign comes in!  This is the third year they’ve hosted it.  This year Kellogg’s and celebrity Taye Diggs have teamed up together to help reduce this high number.

We can all help a child in need with a few simple actions!  This is what I like to call a Free Donation.  You won’t pay a dime, you only donate a few brief moments of your time.  For each of the following actions Kellogg’s will share breakfast to a kid who might otherwise go without.

Until April 15th we can all share a breakfast with a child in need with a few simple actions. A dollar will never leave your pocket and it won’t take more than a minute. For each of the following actions Kellogg’s will share breakfast to a kid who might otherwise go without:

Here’s what you can do to help:

It’s very sad to think about any kid not being able to have access to the food that they need.  As a child I was never without food and it just breaks my heart to think of a little one going hungry.  Head over now and let’s take these simple steps to help feed needy children.

 

Kelloggs Share Breakfast Infographic

Here’s a few pictures from a #ShareBreakfast get together I had with a bunch of friends.  We had Kellogg’s cereal bars, fruit, eggs, and biscuits and gravy.  It was yummy!

 

Breakfast

This is me and my little lady.

 

#ShareBreakfast

Friends of mine enjoying breakfast.

 

Breakfast Line

Here the men are at the food table.

 

#ShareBreakfast with Kellogg's

Cute kiddos enjoying their breakfast!

 

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Kellogg’s. I received a product sample as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.

Little Remedies…because kids get sick!

Little Remedies Logo

 

Despite my best attempts, my little girl has gotten sick.  She’s come down with an awful bug and it breaks my heart.  While I just hate seeing her so miserable I am enjoying the extra cuddling.  It’s cough and cold season and there is only so much you can do to protect them, right?

 

As a mom I want to do my best to keep my family healthy and some of the ways I do that is by fixing nutritious meals, staying active, and keeping the house clean.  When they do get sick though, it’s important to me that the medicine they take is good for them.  As natural as possible.  You moms out there know that it’s not always easy finding an effective medication out there that fits that bill.  There are so many choices, different wording, different dosages, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed.  That’s why I was so happy too learn about Little Remedies products early on.  They are fabulous!

 

Little Remedies® products do not contain any artificial flavors, artificial colors or alcohol and are created with the very specific needs of children in mind. Little Remedies® Everything they need. Nothing they don’t.™

 

Little Remedies uses the “Less is More” approach with their products.  That means that they use as few ingredients as possible and they keep their products free of alcohol, artificial dyes, or artificial colors.  Isn’t that comforting?  You don’t have to look for the dye-free version of one of their products because they all are!  If you’re trying to be more natural in how you treat your children then you’ll want to check out Little Remedies.

Little Remedies New Parents Survival Kit

I registered for Little Remedies’ New Parents Survival Kit because this sounded like a dream for a new mom.  It came with a good selection of safe, gentle, and effective products for relief of common disorders.  I remember reading that each of the items included were recommended by pediatricians.  It even came in a convenient carrying case.  Convenient, safe, baby products, organized, easily accessibly and able to be stored neatly out of kids reach?  Check!  Before I went into labor I was feeling like a good mom.  No one ended up buying this for me off of my registry but it was important enough for me to have it that I bought it myself.  I am so glad that I did and I’ve recommended it to every new mom that I know.

 

Little Tummys Gas Relief Drops

 

I started out using Little Remedies when my sweet newborn had an upset tummy.  The Little Tummys Gas Relief Drops helped soothe my little one’s tummy.  They were such a blessing in those early days!  I really don’t know what we would have done without them.

 

Little Noses Nasal Aspirator

 

Ever since those early days I’ve been grateful for the nasal bulb that came with that kit.  It has a smaller tip than the many others I was given, which makes it much easier to use.  It’s also the only one that has a clear tip (so you can see what you’ve got) and that has a removable tip so you can clean it out (I recommend using pipe cleaners).

 

Little Noses Saline Drops

 

During these cold and dry winter months I’ve come to truly appreciate the Little Noses Saline Drops.  They are fabulous!  My daughter used to mind them but now she sits still and lets me use them.  They help her breathe better when she’s stuffy and help keep her nasal passages moist when she’s not.  Bloody noses are an awful thing to deal with but especially for a toddler.  I’ll do anything I can to help keep bloody noses at bay.

Little Remedies for Fevers

 

This latest cold has been rough and we pulled out the big guns, Little Remedies For Fevers, Infant Fever/Pain Reliever and Little Remedies For Colds, Honey Elixir.  My little one’s fever just broke.  Yay!  I have been using Little Remedies For Fevers to help bring down her fever when it gets too high.  There’s nothing worse that a sweet little one with a fever.  It’s pitiful. I’m so glad to have a safe fever reducer that I can turn to.

 

Do you remember when my whole family was sick earlier this year?  You might not remember my posts but I sure remember being sick!  My whole family had a horrible cough and I researched every homemade cough remedy I could find.  One of the things that was safe enough for my whole family to use was honey.  It worked well at temporarily relieving our coughs but it was so hard to dispense to my daughter, well, because she doesn’t drink tea.  I was relieved when a friend of mine recommended Little Remedies Honey Elixir.  She gave me her bottle to use until I could get my own and my daughter loved it.  A syringe was much less messy than a teaspoon, it tasted great (because you know that I had to try it!), and it had no artificial ingredients, saacharin, or gluten.

 

Kids will always get sick but Little Remedies safely helps them get better, safely.

 

What’s your favorite Little Remedies product??

 

 

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Little Remedies. I received product samples as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.”

 

Pull-Ups’ First Flush Party in Times Square!

Huggies Pull Ups LogoRecently The New York Times recognized the Pull-Ups brand’s efforts to celebrate the potty training milestone of the first flush.  Huggies knows that parents often dread potty training and procrastinate starting the process.  They are seeking to make the process easy and fun.  Pull-Ups is kicking off the New Year in a BIG way!  They are going to be hosting a larger than life party!

 

This is your invitation to join the largest ‘First Flush Pull-Ups’ party ever!  On January 29, 2013, Pull-Ups will be in Time Square in New York City with a HUGE potty, live performers, and more to help kick off potty training the right way!  How awesome is that?  If you aren’t local to NYC {or don’t want to book a flight!} there is still a way you can participate!  How?  YOUR child could be featured on the big billboard in Times Square!!!

 

First Flush

 

Pull-Ups is asking parents to share their tot’s First Flush celebration moment for the chance to be featured on a Times Square billboard during the First Flush celebration on January 29 – and ultimately be entered to win a trip to the most magical family getaway destination on Earth {hint: it’s in Orlando!}.   I’ll be entering and you can too!  Go to the Pull-Ups Facebook page to enter.

 

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Pull-Ups. I received product samples to facilitate my review and to host a party. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

You’re Invited – Scott Shared Values Twitter Party! 12/19/12

scott share values logo

 

Join us for the #ScottSharedValues Twitter Party from 3 – 4 to chat about holiday preparations, shopping and tips to help save money!


Date: Wednesday, December 19, 2012

 

Time: 3 – 4 PM EST

 

Moderator: @MomCentral

 

Mom Central Team: @MomCentralChat

 

Me: @Beauty4Moms

 

Brand Team: @KCCorp

 

Party Theme: Holiday preparations, shopping, and how to save money while doing it all!

 

Hashtag: #ScottSharedValues

 

Pre-Party Prizes: 2 pre-party winners will each win a $50 gift code.

 

Party Prizes: 6 party winners will each win a $50 gift code and a Scott prize pack.

 

Tweet Grid: http://bit.ly/VMJ7DJ

 


Pre-Tweet to Win!
Anyone who tweets this from now until the #ScottSharedValues Twitter Party will be eligible to win one of two $50 gift cards!

 


About the Party:
All year long we try to save money on the products we buy regularly but around the holidays finding deals proves even more important! The Scott brand realizes the value of getting a good deal, and is offering consumers the chance to save money on every day products! By signing up for Scott’s consumer rewards program, you will have access to a variety of rewards from the Scott brand, including access to high-value coupons and special offers. To sign up for the Scott Shared Values Program, please click here.

I’m A Pull-Ups “First Flush” Ambassador!

My Daughter

 

I’m super excited to be participating in the Pull-Ups First Flush Ambassador Program. I’m grateful for this opportunity because we are just beginning the Potty Training phase with my toddler.  When I say beginning, I really mean thinking about.  Thinking about it and reading book after book!

 

I’m glad to be apart of this program for many reasons but one of the biggest is that I get to host a “Why Wait?  Let’s Celebrate – First Flush” party with my friends.  I’m eager to gather them all together, feed them, play games, and ask them a bazillion potty training questions that I have. By the way, if you’re interested in holding a “First Flush” party with your friends you can find more information on First Flush section of Pull-Up’s Facebook page.

 

Just a few of my questions are:

  • Is a potty chair really a necessity? {They disgust me!}
  • If so, what are things to look for in a potty chair?
  • What are some things you wish you knew before you started potty training?
  • Toilet paper or wet wipes?
  • Are flushable wipes really flushable?
  • How do you reward them? {I’ve read about candy, dances, hugs, etc.}
  • How long did it take your kids to be potty trained? {Both all day and all night}

 

My biggest question is, how do you know when they are ready?  As I’ve said before, I have read and read about potty training but none of the answers have satisfied me on knowing when to start.  Whether a mom started at 6 months or 3 years, everyone says, “When they are ready.”  For crying out loud, HOW CAN YOU KNOW THAT?  Some books say when kids take an interest in underwear.  I haven’t even bought underwear yet for her to be interested in.  But if I do, does carrying it around or putting it on her head show interest?  I’ve read about how starting too early can be damaging to the child physically and emotionally so I guess that’s why I’m so worked up about when to start.  I just need to get surrounded by real moms who have been in my shoes recently and can say, “It’s fine.  If you try and she doesn’t seem interested it’s okay to stop and try again later.  You won’t scar her for life.”  Sometimes only another mother can comfort the heart of a worrying mom, don’t you agree?

 

I’m very excited to become a Pull-Ups “First Flush” Ambassador and I hope you’ll follow me along on this journey.  Don’t worry, no indecent pictures will be shown, just stories about the ups and downs {haha!  Get it? Pull-Ups} of potty training.

 

To stay on top of the latest Pull-Ups info, you can visit their Pull-Ups website, like Pull-Ups on Facebook and follow Pull-Ups on Twitter.

 

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Pull-Ups. I received product samples to facilitate my review and to host a party. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

MedImmune RSV & Preemie Awareness #protectpreemies #rsv

preemie awareness day

Did you know that children are susceptible to RSV even at the age of 2 years old?  RSV (Respiratory Syntactical Virus) can be a deadly virus.  It typically shows up with minor symptoms in most babies but in high-risk babies it can quickly become an infection that is very difficult for their little bodies to fight.

 

I am so blessed to have gone through a full-term pregnancy and to have a healthy little girl.  Some of my friends haven’t been so fortunate.  I know many friends who have had premature babies and a few of them had babies who got RSV.  They have had to leave their baby in the hospital for a couple of months while the babies got the care they needed.  Even after they were allowed to bring their babies home it was a while before they were considered “healthy” again.  It’s heart breaking to see such a little one struggle with the virus.

 

It’s scary to think that my daughter isn’t out of the woods yet.  She’s not 2 years old yet and I’m very cautious about what she’s allowed to touch and who she’s allowed to be around.  It’s a constant struggle for me to find balance between being over protective and being cautious.  I choose to err on the side of caution.  Check out a few tips from MedImmune on how to keep your baby healthy.

 

Here is an infographic about RSV:

 

 

RSV Quick Facts:

  • RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, and severe RSV disease causes up to 10 times as many infant deaths each year as the flu.
  • RSV is most prevalent during the winter months. The CDC has defined the “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America.
  • In addition to prematurity, common risk factors include low birth weight, certain lung or heart diseases, a family history of asthma and frequent contact with other children.

 

Prevention is Key:
RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Since there’s no treatment for RSV, parents should take the following preventive steps to help protect their child:

  • Wash hands, toys, bedding, and play areas frequently.
  • Ensure you, your family, and any visitors in your home wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid large crowds and people who are or have been sick.
  • Never let anyone smoke near your baby.
  • Speak with your child’s doctor if he or she may be at high risk for RSV, as a preventive therapy may be available.

 

Symptoms:

  • Know the symptoms of RSV and contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits any of these symptoms:
  • Severe coughing, wheezing or rapid gasping breaths .
  • Blue color on the lips, mouth or under the fingernails.
  • High fever and extreme fatigue.

 

What makes RSV so dangerous is that the symptoms are similar to those of a mild to moderate cold.  RSV is easy for any baby to catch so it’s important for all parents to be educated on the dangers of RSV.  It can be transmitted by coughing, sneezing, and simply touching.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about RSV Awareness {and I recommend that you do!}, you can visit RSVProtection.com.  There, you can find ways to bring up  the subject of RSV up with your doctor, personal stories from real parents, and most importantly, find out when the RSV season is in your part of the country.

 

 

“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for MomCentral Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”