Child Hunger Ends Here – with us. With you. With me. With young music stars, too. #ChildHunger

start with a code

1 in 5 children in the United States of America suffers from food insecurity. That’s over 17 million children.  You know all those commercials we see, and infomercials, pamphlets and ads that come to our mailboxes?  All those starving children across the world?  They are here, at home, as well.  That’s not acceptable to me.  It infuriates me.  Unfortunately, I do not have a wallet nor the bank account as large as my heart so I have to find creative ways to make a difference and try to help stop this food insecurity.  Child Hunger Ends Here, a campaign started by ConAgra Foods to get rid of child hunger in America,  is a really great way for the “rest” of us to be able to give back, to help others.

This is the fourth year for Child Hunger Ends Here.  This year, CHEH is working with some top musical artists moms (like me!), kids and employees to donate up to 3 million meals.  Fill a Heart is a song meant to inspire- and has a version sung by Carly Rae JepsenTori KellyAmber Riley and Cody Simpson. You can download Cody Simpson and Amber Riley’s versions of Fill a Heart for FREE from Child Hunger Ends Here! These talented kids have given their time and talent to this cause in the hopes of inspiring other kids to get involved and help work to decrease child hunger.  Tori Kelly’s version will be available on iTunes 3/18 with proceeds going to CHEH.

marie callenders chicken pot pie

What can YOU do?  Well, you can do just what I do.  If you buy a ConAgra product, look for the big red push pin on the packaging.  There will be a code on that package that you can enter right over in my sidebar —->  OR, just below this paragraph.  It’s super easy.  It’ll cost you nothing but a few seconds of your time.  It WILL ask your zip code, and no, that’s not because they are going to come visit you.  Your codes entered can be sent to a food bank near to you so that you can help locally.  Isn’t that cool?  (Just so you know, you will be asked with each code to enter your zip code.  It’s an extra half second of time.)  It’s SO easy and takes almost no time.

Every time you enter an 8-digit product code at ChildHungerEndsHere.com, you also have the option to submit a zip code and give your local food bank a chance to receive the monetary equivalent of 80,000 meals from the total donations ConAgra Foods makes to Feeding America through the Child Hunger Ends Here program this year. If two million codes or more are entered, then the ten food banks nationwide with the most codes entered within their service area (based on zip codes) will each receive $10,000 (the equivalent of 80,000 meals) from ConAgra Foods to support the important work of feeding local children and their families.

There are over 151,000 kids going hungry in the state of Connecticut alone. We’re a smaller state.  That’s a lot.  I’m happy to say over 471,000 meals have already been donated as I write this since Child Hunger Ends Here began the 2013 campaign, but let’s get that number HIGHER!! Let’s hit 3 million!

If you are on Twitter, please join us from 1-2pm EST March 14 for a Twitter party discussing #ChildHunger and what we can do to help.  

 

This is a sponsored post with The Motherhood. Opinions are my own.

 

 

How Parents Can Teach Their Teenagers About Money

Teenagers need to be prepared for the real world where things cost money and not everything comes easily. As a parent, it is always a good idea to prepare your teenagers for what they should expect when stepping out into the real world by teaching them all about money and some of the best ways to save and budget so that money lasts longer.
cash

 

Earning an Allowance

The first and most important step is to have your teenager earning his or her own allowance by doing chores around the house. This will teach your teen that money does not come for free and that tasks will need to be performed in order to earn extra spending cash. It is also a good idea to prepare your teen to use their own money without having to ask you to pay for everything.

Have a Chat on Ways to Save

Your teen may be interested in updating his or her room to make it more appealing to their new interests and friends. This type of situation would be a fantastic time to teach your teenager how to save money for the renovation and remodeling of their room, which would include taking a look at things like Home Decorators Collection coupons. You can show your teenager these coupons and how they can come in handy when purchasing different things to redecorate the room.

Teenagers who have worked to earn their own money will be happy knowing that they can save some of it with the use of coupons. Explain to your teenager the importance of couponing and using promo codes wherever possible.

Set Up a Savings Account

You can open up a saving account in your teen’s name and have him or her start saving up for something they may want in the future, which includes their first car or apartment. Your teen will feel proud each time they are able to deposit some money into their savings account because they know that there is money piling up inside the account for when they truly need it.

Ask for Contributions

If your teen is working or even doing chores around the home, ask them to contribute in little ways. Contributions may include paying their own part of the cell phone bill, putting up money for groceries, or even helping pay for some gas if they are asking you to take them shopping, to a friend’s house, or to various events.

Answer Questions That Your Teen Might Have

Sit down and have a nice talk with your teenager. Explain to your teen that there are so many different ways to budget and save money so that it lasts longer. Always be friendly when speaking to your teen about how they can save money with things like Home Decorators Collection promo codes, coupons, and discount offerings. Answer any question that your teen could have on saving money and setting a budget for their wants and needs.

By teaching your teen how to handle money, you are preparing your teenager to lead a responsible adult life. As a parent, it’s your job to make sure that your teen is prepared for the things to come in adulthood. Use these tips to ensure that happens.

 

Contribution made by Becky W

Friday is Family Movie Night #PopSecretMovieNight

kids beanbag #popsecretmovienight

Friday is Family Move Night in my house.  We have dinner, everyone gets in their “jamas” and we snuggle in for viewing time.  All 5 of us.  No phones, no newspaper, no tablets, no magazines…it’s family time.  My son has a humongous bean bag in his room that the kids like to snuggle together on to watch movies- so he and my oldest usually head up to grab that to bring downstairs.  The kids love this tradition, even we’ve only been doing it a few months- and they like it just so.  The littlest one has to get on the bean bag first, then my son, then my oldest.  They like me to “throw” them onto the beanbag and wiggle them around so they are just “so.”

#popsecretmovienight kernelsOnce we’re all in comfy clothes and jamas, we start the movie, or at least get it in hand to put into the machine to play.  (Yes, we do still use machines. We’re archaic over here!) Which is when there is a chorus of protests “MOM!  MOM! Where’s the popcorn?!”  because, apparently, movie night just isn’t going to be movie night without popcorn.  They don’t know it but I don’t like to watch previews so I kind of wait to start popping until those start so I can skip them.  Shhhh.  It’s a mom secret.

#popsecretmovienight cups

We can’t just have popcorn, of course.  Someone *coughcoughMEcoughcough* decided to add a few chocolate candies to popcorn one night and movie popcorn was created.  We must have MOVIE popcorn for family movie night.  no exceptions.  Sure, the kids like buttery popcorn, but they LOVE popcorn with chocolate in it.  I mean, who wouldn’t, right?  My son just wants butter on his.  He likes the sweet, too but he LOVES buttery popcorn. So I guess one of the secrets to our movie nights really is (Pop Secret) Popcorn!

PopSecretLogo

Sometimes the hubby and I have a non “G” movie night after we put the kidlets to bed- it’s a nice way to keep the snuggle time going and really refreshing to just chill out together and relax for a few hours.  Of course, we’ve been known to make an extra batch of movie popcorn.  Just don’t tell the kids.  It’s just really good.  Friday= family movie night. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

04_Poster_MovieNight_Small

What are your family movie night must-haves?

At Pop Secret, we love movies as much as you love movies. So we’re on a mission to make movie watching and popcorn even more social and fun. We’re sharing a bunch of apps, tools, and fun partnerships with everyone over at our hub, Pop Secret Labs (http://www.popsecretlabs.com/).  Keep checking back to try ‘em all out and give us feedback. The more you get involved, the better all of our movie experiences will be. See you there!

#popsecretmovienight collage

 

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Pop Secret via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Pop Secret.

 

 

Important deadline approaching for your Flexible Spending Account – Use your 2012 FSA funds by March 15 #FlexSpending

If you’re among the 30 million Americans with flexible spending accounts, you may still have time to spend your 2012 FSA dollars. FSA plans end at different times depending on the account, but for many plans there is an additional grace period to spend your funds. The grace period gives you an extra 2 ½ months, and if your plan has it, it ends on March 15.  We’ve had a flexible spending account for several years now, and we’ve frequently found ourselves having a balance left at the end of the year.  I don’t know about you, but the idea of use it or lose it makes me 100% certain to use- I don’t want to give our hard earned money away simply because we didn’t use it- that’s just silly to me- and wasteful.

fsastore health savings jar

Millions of dollars are lost each year when people don’t use their pre-tax FSAs on time. You should contact your benefit administrator to find out if your plan has this particular deadline before it is too late. You might like to know what you can use your FSA on if you recently got an FSA.  If you don’t want to use yours, I’m more than happy to take it off your hands.  But please, please don’t just let it go to waste.  Not in need of FSA items?  Consider buying some of the first aid kit items that sports teams and schools need and donate them.  Or just buy some items and donate to a local shelter. Then you aren’t wasting your money, you are helping others, and filling a need.  That’s a win all around!

 

fsa banner

FSAstore.com is a site that was created to help consumers easily use their FSAs. You can shop for thousands of FSA eligible products depending on your health care needs.

Products Ideas:

  • Keep your heart healthy with blood pressure monitors or heart rate monitors.
  • Stock up your first aid kit with bandages, Band-Aids, and gauze.
  • Safely soak up the sun with FSA-eligible sunscreen.
  • Wondering about baby care? Everything from breast pumps to prenatal vitamins is also FSA eligible.

If you or someone you know has a flexible spending account, check out FSAstore.com. FSA Store carries brand name FSA eligible products, provides a database where you can find health care providers, and find answers about your FSA in the Learning Center. The store accepts all FSA debit and major credit cards, offers 24/7 customer service, one-to-two-day turnaround for all orders, and free shipping on orders $50+. There is also no need to submit receipts for products purchased with an FSA card.

This post is brought to you by FSAStore.com.  Opinions are my own. 

Westin Kids Club Activities at the Westin Copley Place

Over President’s Day weekend, the kids and I headed up to Boston for a few days of fun.  The Westin Copley Place invited us to come up and check out their Kids Club, which was having it’s first vacation event.  There’s nothing else to say except that we had a blast!  I was particularly excited to visit the Westin because they have a lot of green and sustainable ideas that they put into practice. Environmentally friendly bath products, vouchers given for days you refuse maid service, CFL and LED lightbulbs throughout the hotel, salt water pool, low flow shower heads and more.  They are a pet friendly hotel for dogs up to 40lbs.



We had no idea when we were on the way to the hotel that we’d be on the top floor.  We had views of most of the city!  The rooms are beautiful- and the beds make you never, ever want to leave. Ever.  If  I was the stealing type I’d have snuck the sheets and comforter into our luggage.  And the mattress.  It was most definitely a Heavenly Bed as promised.  Even with my 3 year old kicking me in the neck both nights, I slept better than I have in years.

westin copley rooms

Shortly after our check in for the Kids Club Winter Vacation event, housekeeping knocked on the door and we got some cookies and milk– Westin style! The kids were amazed at this spread- I was too!  Huge warm cookies, fresh milk in real milk bottles (on ice), and an assortment of fresh fruit.  Sparkling and spring water for the adults was also included with a nice welcome note from the hotel management.  Top notch.  Also, complimentary for the Kids Club Winter Vacation program guests.  My kids haven’t ever had room service before so this was a huge treat in many, many ways.

cookies and milk westin

Shortly after the cookies were gobbled, we headed down to paint some ceramics on another floor, the Kids Club vacation activity for the day.  I’d assumed there would be a few pieces to choose from, but there were several, and the kids were allowed to paint more than one if they wanted!  Lots of fun, and the planning that went into this was great- normally paint your own pottery has to be kiln fired but the staff was able to find some glaze that made the pieces look fired, even though they weren’t. I need to find out if I can use my mug that my son painted for me for my coffee- I’m not sure if the glaze is food grade or not.  Regardless, the kids had a blast.  The snack spread in the room that was available at all of the Kids Club Vacation events was great for both adults and kids- cold drinks, fruit, and snacks.  Excellent touches to make things easier for us.

pottery painting at westin kids club

Each day of the week held a different Kids Club activity during the week.  There were family movie nights, family game nights, crafts like picture frame making, pottery painting, cookie decorating, tie dye-ing t shirts, and more.  Each activity was set up with the snack station so that parents and kids didn’t have to look far for cold water, juice, soda or a light snack.  There were a lot of details that were very well thought out.  Having all of these activities planned throughout the week was really great for families who didn’t want to be on the go, go go all day every day.  We actually enjoyed things so much we never left the building while we were there- we did go explore the attached mall across the Skywalk when there was blizzard-like conditions on our second morning but rushed back to enjoy the cookie decorating and tour of the kitchen with the Chefs.  That was my kids’ favorite part of the trip- it was really fun to see where all of the foods and supplies are kept and made to feed so many people!

turner fisheries dinner

The food was fantastic everywhere we ate while at the Westin.  Anyplace who serves cookies like this must have good food, yes?  We got to eat at Turner Fisheries and oh.my.goodness. Delightful experience. I wasn’t sure how well received I’d be with the three kids in tow but we were welcomed with open arms, seated in the solarium part of the restaurant so we had a view of the street- which was lots of fun for the kids to people watch.  The kids were excited they got colored pencils for coloring on their placemats instead of the normal crayons (maybe we don’t get out much?) so that was big news.  The food was amazing and it was nice to be at a restaurant that believes in sustainable fishing practices– while none of us had seafood (my oldest wanted lobster and they didn’t have any right then, and my dinner came with crab meat on top of the filet but I don’t eat things from the water…) its always nice to know of places who are like-minded to the idea that we have to be responsible in how we interact with our world.

If you are looking for a different spin on a hotel stay, definitely check out the Westin Kids Club Vacation Packages.  You’ll save a lot and get a lot of extras with your rates- at the Westin Copley Place, the rate included breakfast for kids (with adult), milk & cookies at check-in, parking ($47/day) and all of the activities and crafts.  There’s a nice and not super deep heated pool that kids can enjoy from 5am to 10pm that’ll keep the kids active and let them get some energy out!

For everyday with the Westin Kids Club, younger guests get coloring books and bath toys, and enjoy the story line, a bedtime story service over the phone. Westin Kids Club® is the only hotel children’s program that offers special services and amenities for infants.

Other items available on request at no additional charge:

  • Bottle Warmers

  • Diapers and Wipes

  • Strollers

  • The Heavenly Crib

  • Bed rails

I can’t wait to see the next vacation week plans that the Westin Kids Club makes- and I hope we get to be part of it! Thank you so much for having us!

GoodNites Bed Mats Help Boost Kids’ Confidence

There’s a phase for many kids between being potty trained and being dry at night.  For some kids, it’s a short time, for others, a really long time.  The older kids get, the less they want to have to wear absorbent pants of any kind- and I can’t say I blame them.  My littlest one has bedwetting accidents at night- and I’d be fine with her in pullups for a while but she wants to be a “big kid” and be in underwear at night. I can either let her sleep in pullups and have a battle of wills every.single.night or I can find a solution that works for both of us.  I don’t know about you but this isn’t a battle I want to choose- so I’ve found a solution that offers a compromise.  GoodNites Bed Mats let HER be a “big kid” and me not have a dirty load of bedding to wash several mornings per week. The Bed Mats are sized to fit under where your child sleeps- a generous size but not so big it covers the whole mattress.  There are 4 large sticky tabs that peel off and give a really good grip on your mattress or sheet to keep the bed nice and dry.  They offer a nice solution for sleepovers, travel, and more.  It’s easy to quickly get one of these mats on, and they don’t make a noticeable sound when you move on top of them so your child won’t have to worry that others may “hear” and “know” that they have a mat underneath.  I didn’t do a lot of sleepovers as a kid because I had so many accidents and I would hate for my kid or others to miss out just for that reason.  This way, everyone wins.

goodnites bed mats boost confidence

You can see the Bed Mats outline by her little hand (and yes, we do sleep in fashionable accessories in our house!) under her sheet.

Helpful for parents- less laundry.  My little one just wants to be a big kid, and does not want to sleep in pullups or any kind of absorant pant at night.  The Bed Mats allow her to sleep in undies and me to not have to wash her bed sheets every day of the week. With the Bed Mats, it isn’t a battle of wills.  She can do her undies, I can save my laundry sanity.  When we went to Boston last week, I just tucked a few Bed Mats in my bag for nights, and didn’t have to worry about her having an accident in a hotel bed.  I love these mats. There’s no laundry, they are easy to use, easy to clean up, and with a coupon, they don’t cost a ton.  Very convenient, very easy- and a very good compromise.

Helpful for kids-  They have the confidence of the mat just in case, but aren’t stuck wearing asborbant pants or having a rubber sheet.  It’s not fun to be “older” and still having accidents- this I know, because *I* was still having accidents well into 4th grade. My little one is 100% fine with the bed mat on her sheet, as long as she doesn’t have to wear “baby” diapers to bed.  She doesn’t have accidents daily, and if this saves from a huge battle at bedtime each night, I’m all for it.

GoodNites Bed Mats have been so popular that over 50,000 American Shoppers voted and chose these at the 2013 Product of the Year in the Children’s Products Category! That’s saying a lot! I can see why- easy to use, discreet for kids, and a great way for kids to have a little more confidence at bedtime.  You can read more about the award in this Parade article that was released recently and also download a $1.00 coupon for GoodNites.

Huggies Confidence Booster Kit GoodNites Bed Mats


I received a prize pack in exchange for my post. Opinions are my own. 

Protect Your Kids’ Eyes with Real Kids Shades

I think sometimes we forget as adults that kids’ eyes need protection from the sun just as much as ours do.  For me, I’d quite easily forget, but I have a husband who has eyes that are very photosensitive and it’s made me much more aware about his comfort- and that of our children.  I’ve been trying to encourage the kids to wear their sunglasses more and more- explaining that it’s a safety measure, and a precaution.  The cool factor and how adorable they look in them in secondary.

Lots of bad things can potentially happen to our eyes simply from exposure to UV rays.  We have to do what we can to protect our body parts so that they last as long as possible.  There’s not exactly a replacement guarantee on body parts, you know?

real kids shades

I like Real Kids Shades for many reasons- they offer sunglass protection for kids that’s versatile, durable, 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays, removable wrap around straps, styles kids will want to wear, and for the price.  That’s a lot…but there you go.   I have found over the years that products like this that truly stand up to what kids can throw at them- at affordable prices- are often designed by parents who saw the need and found a way to meet it.  Real Kids Shades was begun by parents who couldn’t find quality sunglasses for their kids to protect their eyes in an affordable price range.  There are 3 size ranges for RKS- 0-3, 3-7 and 7-12.  Each pair of glasses you get comes with a neoprene strap with velcro closure.  These glasses are meant to be worn comfortably under a hat or helmet, so that kids aren’t left uncomfortable and wanting to remove one or the other.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how many truly trendy options there were on the Real Kids Shades site.  Like this Fabulous pair that my daughter wears- she adores them because they look just like the ones people wear on tv and in magazines.  I adore them because I know they’ll hold up to her 7 1/2 year old shenanigans, they will last, and because I know they’ll keep her beautiful baby blues safe.  (As an aside, these are also great sunglasses to wear up on her head to push her hair back- the larger size means they hold her hair back well).  She’s not one to wear the strap that came with the glasses but I’ll keep that around just in case. It says something that she gets upset if we start to leave the house and she can’t find her shades.  Kids who love their sunglasses are far more likely to WEAR their sunglasses!


realkids shades fabulous
There are many great options for boys including the Glide shades- since my little guy is all about running around and digging, he doesn’t ever want to stop to adjust things, put them back on, etc.  Having these glasses will be perfect for him for tball, basketball camp and just running around outside- plus he’ll still look “cool” (which is why his hair is spiked, he’s decided he wants to look cool all the time now).

real kids shades extreme sports red black

Real Kids Shades and Prevent Blindness America, the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organizations, are engaged in an ongoing effort to increase awareness and understanding of the long-term danger of unprotected sun exposure to  to children’s eyes.



Thanks to Real Kids Shades for sending us some cool shades to protect the kids’ eyes! Opinions are my own. 

 

 

Come talk about health tips for our families at the #CDCFlu Twitter Party March 5th

#cdcfluI don’t know about you but having kids also means having germs, in excess.  Three kids in school just means more chances for more germs!  Typically, February is the month my family is sickest- somehow we escaped that this year, although all three kids had pneumonia over Christmas.  I’m always up for finding new ways to keep my family healthy in cold and flu season, aren’t you? Come join us March 5th as we chat about this!What: How long is flu season? When is the best time to receive the flu vaccine? What are healthy flu-fighting habits to teach children? We’ll be answering these questions and more during this informative Twitter party! The Motherhood is joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in their mission to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health. Join us to share and listen to helpful health tips for your family!When: Tuesday, March 5, 1 p.m. ET (the party will last one hour)

Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #CDCFlu hashtag to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Twtvite: http://bit.ly/XYyMp9

Hashtag: #CDCFlu

 

Hosts: @theMotherhood, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann, @CDCFlu

TweetGrid for the party: http://bit.ly/13fnEfp

For more information: Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/
This is a sponsored post with The Motherhood. Opinions are my own.

Spread a Little Love Today…and Every Day


Happy Valentine’s Day, friends.  Today is a day of love and kindness, friendship, romance.  It’s a day that some call wonderful and others hate.  I myself have called it “Stupid Cupid” day more than once.  I realized I was looking at it wrong.  Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about having someone love you….you can make it about what makes your heart feel happy.  Acts of love and acts of kindness make my heart happy, and so that’s what I have chosen for Valentine’s Day to mean to me.  I’ve been the recipient of so much love and kindness in my almost 39 years, and I hope that I’ve passed some along to others.

spread some love on valentines day

I’m sending love and kindness to Kindergarten today!

One easy way to spread love and kindness is a simple phone call.  A simple “Hey! I was thinking about you today!” can really make someone’s whole day brighter.  So can a quick handwritten note.  There’s just something about picking up the phone to a friendly voice that does the heart some good.

When friends or family are sick, offering to pick medications or items they may need at the store is a simple act of kindness.  If the family has the flu, some chicken soup, ginger ale, and some Kleenex would be so appreciated- and doesn’t cost a lot of money.  Spread a little love by sending a Kleenex Care Pack to someone you know who is sick or in need.

Smiling at that mom who looks like she’s going to fall over from exhaustion and her kids are “done” at the store but she still has to pay for her groceries. Telling her kids a joke to distract them from the wait.

Holding the door for a stranger.  Paying for the coffee of the person behind you.  Passing out $5 bills at a grocery store.  There are a billion ways  to do acts of kindness.  When you stop to think about it, it’s pretty amazing what gifts we are all able to give without spending a single cent.

This may seem a little weird to talk about today, on Valentine’s Day, but I think that the events of December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook in Newtown, CT and so many things that have happened afterwards are a truly amazing testament to acts of love and kindness.  The very instant the horrible, the unthinkable began, the love and kindness also began.  Yes, the shooter wreaked havoc and yes he robbed 27 people of their lives, but in doing so, he also created an outpouring of love and kindness.  Think about it.  The staff who thought only of the children in their care.  The first responders.  The second responders. The third…the waves of folks who came to help.  This quote that went viral from Mr. Rogers says so much.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.

 

 

What did we all do as we learned about Sandy Hook?  We prayed.  We reached out.  We spent a little more time with our own loved ones.  We wrote letters to our representatives.  We were a little kinder to our neighbors, to people in stores.  We wept and grieved and came together to share in that- hoping that one of our own tears falling might, just for a moment, ease the pain of just one of those parents from Sandy Hook.  We loved together.  We sent bears.  We sent flowers, and cards, and money.  We sent our pets, our friends, our friends on motorcycles. We sent our neighbors and our firemen and our police officers.  We sent love and kindness where it was needed most.  We did random acts of kindness.  We hugged our neighbors…we prayed together, we wept together, we have begun the road to healing together.

So many police officers from other places went to Newtown so that their police officers could have some respite.  They went in the cold and in the rain.  In the middle of the unspeakable grief this town was living with, they opened their doors and brought hot coffee to officers.  They put pins on their lapels and said “thank you.”  They’ve sent thank you notes and even Valentines to the departments who came to help – my friend shared an image of one of them on Facebook.  It made my heart happy, and I think of how it must have made the kids in Newtown happy to be able to give something to someone else again.

For me, some of the biggest acts of love and kindness have been directly from the families- little Ana Marquez-Greene’s parents who continually and deliberately choose love, and ask others to do the same.  Daniel Barden’s parents ask “What would Daniel Do?” and share of Daniel’s love and kindness in his short life.  There have been foundations and donations and animal rescues and there have been so many other ways that these families have been able to spread a little love and kindness.  If they can take an unspeakable tragedy and find a way to spread love and kindness from it, so can we.

Today marks 2 months since the events at Sandy Hook.  2 months since acts of love and kindness “went viral” and I hope that this continues.  So I challenge myself, and I challenge you- what acts of love and kindness will YOU do today?  
kleenex author logo

Kleenex brand, America’s softest tissue*, knows that once one experiences the softness of Kleenex brand tissues, they will be eager to share it with other cold and flu sufferers, friends and strangers alike, as a way to show they care. This cold and flu season, make the care complete with a Kleenex Brand Care Pack, and together we’ll turn a seemingly-small gesture into something bigger, to make everyone feel better. Visit kleenex.com/softness to learn more.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Kleenex via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kleenex

Aquaphor’s Tender Loving Care For Your Skin- Not just for babies (Prize Pack Giveaway) #WorksWonders

aquaphor tlc prize pack

Aquaphor was one of the first brand names I remember other moms recommending on a message board when we were trying to conceive our first child.  It’s so great, they said.  So versatile.  Great quality.  So obviously, as time progressed and I got pregnant, and started preparing for baby, I purchased some of Aquaphor’s Baby Healing Ointment.  At first, I bought the tube.  Then I got some of the gentle baby wash and shampoo.  It wasn’t very long into my pregnancy that I discovered one of the many, many “surprises” that come along with the pregnancy hormones- skin changes.

Almost overnight my hands went from normal hands to dried up hands that felt like they were going to crack.  I was hooked.  I used the Aquaphor ointment on my hands, my feet, dry ankles, lips…everywhere.  By the time the baby came, I was on my second tube.  I got that tube, and a big tub.  Then I actually had a baby (and then two babies, and then the third baby) and we found we used Aquaphor Baby products very regularly.  When my mom started declining and started to need oxygen, I brought her a tub of Aquaphor.  She used it to soothe the irritated skin under her nose.

There are many uses for Aquaphor besides for baby care -caregivers for older children, adults and seniors who have incontinence issues can also use Aquaphor as a treatment for protection and for relief.

little girl aquaphorbig girl aquaphor

I think my personal favorite application for Aquaphor’s Baby healing ointment (now that my littlest is 3) is to keep the kids lips, cheeks, nose and chin from getting chapped when playing outdoors.  We woke up to well over 3 feet of snow this morning, with drifts 6-8 feet high in places in our yard- there was nothing that would keep my kids inside.  They were ready to head outside before 7am .  Of course, they had absolutely nowhere to go since they couldn’t actually walk…but they all had Aquaphor on their little faces to protect their skin from the cold harsh wind (blizzard conditions lingering) and cold, wet snow.  I have been known to put some on my husband’s cheeks too before he heads out to snowblow the driveway.  I think I’ve done it so many times he does it on his own now!

 

 

 

Aquaphor DEFINITELY helps us to enjoy our favorite winter activity- playing outside in the snow !!!

little man winter fun

He was yelling into the the tunnel he dug to see if anyone in China could hear him. He’s 5. It was funny.

After a long day of playing outside, coming in to dry off and warm up, going back out…we were all pretty beat.  The kids were all in agreement that Aquaphor ROCKS! because they sent us Ice Age Continental Drift with some other goodies and we all snuggled in with blankets, hot cocoa, and enjoyed a relaxing family movie night.  I think we made a lot of memories this weekend- with the blizzard, not seeing out the bathroom window upstairs because there was a huge drift on the roof below it, playing hide and seek in the snowbanks…movie to end the day…that’s what this life is all about.

One reader will win a Bundle of Joy Package from Aquaphor including:

$50 Visa gift card, Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment, Aquaphor Baby Wash & Shampoo, Pottery Barn picture frame, Godiva hot chocolate, a “Warmy Buddy” Penguin, and Ice Age Continental Drift (2012) DVD!
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I received a prize package from Aquaphor to thank me for taking the time to share this post. Opinions are my own.