Mom clicks her way to a simpler day


A few weeks ago, I wrote about the clicks that help to get us through our day.  Seatbelts clicking, car seat buckles, doors closing, bells ringing, doors locking, they are all part of our routines, whether we think about them or not. Check out the cool infographic Lysol made compiling some of the clicks that a few other bloggers and I shared for how we keep our days running smoothly! You can download the Lysol_Click_Gel_InfoGraphic for yourself- I find it’s got some great reminders for ME just how many things I do accomplish on days that I’m feeling like things aren’t flowing.  Thanks again to Lysol for inspiring these posts!

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Lysol Click gel Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner is something I’ll be using for a long, long time. It’s really simple to use, it’s discreet, has a fun shape when applied, and, most importantly, freshens your bathroom without an overpowering cleaner smell.

lysol click box 3It’s easy to find, easy to use and works well… plus, it makes my day a little simpler, and helps me not have to clean toilet bowls quite so often- freeing me up for more pleasant tasks!!  You can find it just about anywhere cleaners are sold!

What are your clicks to make your day simpler?

 

 

Have you ever….

This blog post is sponsored by Mott’s and SocialMoms. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.Having kids in activities often means we’re on the go. Like many moms, multitasking and running all over is kind of the norm for me!!  With social media being such a prominent part of our lives, there’s almost an unspoken pressure to do fun, perfect things all the time.  Pinterest especially puts a lot of pressure on things- we’ve all seen Pinterest fails (and I’ve shared many of my own)… and the reality is, most of us aren’t living Pin-worthy moments every single day of our lives. But that’s ok.  We’re not supposed to have perfectly picturesque moments every single day. We’re supposed to be living this life, no matter how messy it gets.

 

 

Sometimes, I’m more with it than others.  Other times, like this past Monday, well, notsomuch.  We were kind of rushing to get out of the school parking lot- the kids kept stopping to chat and my son’s attention was not on staying with mom to get to the car…

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…anyway, we got to the parking lot and I had to grab a box of cookies someone wanted to buy so as I was opening the back of the van, I was asking the kids to please get in and buckle quickly. We didn’t want to be late.
Mind you, there were at least 10 parents/kids/teachers in earshot…as well as the k-5 kids getting on buses…my oldest got in and buckled, super fast. As she was doing so, I got the back opened and was shocked to see an empty trunk- no cookies, and none of the normal 1293535626 random things that live inside of the Martin mobile.
We were were at the wrong van. By this time, people were smiling, and a few laughing.  We live in a small town, so they knew.  I knew. I was laughing, and my oldest was all kinds of confused.

have u ever

My van was 2 cars down.  It’s silver.

 

The one I opened was gold.

 

The poor woman who owns the gold van was so confused.  She also never leaves her vehicles unlocked, she said, but today she was running late.  Thankfully she has a good sense of humor and laughed when I told her she may not EVER want to leave her van unlocked, not with the Martins in town!

 

Do you know I had parked my van not 15 minutes prior to going back into the parking lot?  Yep.  In 15 minutes I was able to forget where I parked and apparently, what color the van I’ve driven for 6 years was.

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In my defense, both vans (hers was the same “era” and model as mine) had an X on the plates.

 

 

We all had a good laugh at ourselves on the way to gymnastics.  We even made it on time!  AND, the kids were happy to have their fave snacks to enjoy in the car on the way. I was happy to have a Mott’s Snack & Go pouches with me – a no-fuss snack so we were sure to not have any other reasons to laugh at ourselves later on that night.

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Did I mention we also had one of the kids’ friends with us?  Who’s mom is also a teacher at school?  I may be getting kudos for my awesome snack supplies on the go with the kids, but oh, will it take a while for me to live the whole wrong car thing down.

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We LOVE Mott’s Snack & Go applesauce pouches.  The kids love the yum, and how easy they are to open. I love that they are getting the same awesome Mott’s applesauce we love to give them at home on the go- with no muss, no fuss, with no sugar added! Plus, it’s fun to have food in a pouch. No matter which of the Snack & Go flavors you choose – Strawberry (my little one’s fave), Original (my oldest loves this one) and the Natural – you’ll know you are giving your kiddos an excellent source of vitamin C and a healthy snack*.

 

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*Mott’s® Snack & Go Strawberry, Natural and Original applesauce pouches are an excellent source of vitamin C. Mott’s® Snack & Go Strawberry and Natural applesauce pouches have no sugar added.

 

 

 

This blog post is sponsored by Mott’s and SocialMoms. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

Being a prepared mom #MomsFirst

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pampers. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I was an expectant mom for the first time, I read anything and everything. I joined forums. I educated myself (ad nauseum). I was prepared

Then the baby was actually outside of my body and I realized, I wasn’t prepared. Not at all.  Even the moment I heard that first sound she made- I wasn’t at all prepared for the depth of love that came simply because she existed. I’d already loved her every moment she was inside of me, but that love grew instantly as I heard her first sounds, saw her for the first time…there’s nothing that can prepare you for that.  When you watch the videos- I noticed Morgan said the same thing.  It’s just amazing. Hearing a new mom share that sentiment and seeing how powerful her reaction was, it brought me right back to those early moments.   

Being a first time Mom can be both exciting and nerve-racking. The uncertain and anxious emotions are something every expecting mother encounters. Visit Walmart online and listen to stories, tips and advice from first time moms, experienced moms and expecting moms.

Walmart is hosting a web series, brought to you by Pampers Swaddlers, called #MomsFirst. It is an easy place to find helpful hints, great products and personal stories from moms like you. Do you have questions about traveling with your baby, bonding with your new baby or what products are best for your little one? Every mom has questions, regardless if it’s your first or fifth baby, and those can be answered here. It is always nice to have help with great information in one place especially when it’s designed specifically for moms, so experience what that’s like with Pampers Swaddler’s Moms First series at Walmart online.

I related most with Erin, the experienced mom, probably because of where I am in life. I’m past the baby/toddler diaper stages, but really, so much of the experiences are the same.  Juggling schedules, wondering how this affects one kid while doing something with another… 

..will being at sisters’ gymnastics classes and practices every week be a bad thing for him?

will being at brother’s swim meets and practices so often be a bad thing for her?

… it’s reassuring to know that so many other moms are feeling those things.  The happy, the sad, the questions, the answers, the worries, more. No matter if you are a newly expectant mom, or a veteran mom… chances are, someone somewhere has had the same feelings you have. Like Brittany said, you’re never going to be perfect (let’s all repeat that, because we won’t, and shouldn’t strive for perfection, because we’re human!), just do the best you can!

Find great Pampers deals at Walmart.com! That’s what our hospital used, and what so many moms have trusted for their babies’ diapers through the years. We still keep Pampers wipes around even without anyone in diapers- you just never know when someone will have a spill or an incident…they are one of the things we always have on hand!  See? I’m still prepared. 

I’ll just never be prepared.  With kids, things happen. Kids change. We change. Circumstances change.  We just need to do the best we can. 

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Shortcuts for Moms #Motts


Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Mott’s via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Mott’s.

 

As parents, we all have our shortcuts we take, for good and for bad.  Our confessionals can be the cause of many a laughter-filled gathering.  I’ll even share one of mine- one that we got “away” with for 9 years…

 

We told the kids when the ice cream truck plays music, it means they are all sold out.  No more ice cream treats to buy.

This actually didn’t backfire until last spring when we were at a soccer game and parents on the other team had asked the truck driver to come back around when the game was to end.  (We’re in a fairly rural area, so trucks aren’t frequently around). Normally when kids ran to the truck, my kids would be like “they will be so sad there isn’t ice cream left,” and we’d be leaving already and not see.  And it isn’t that we didn’t want the kids to have ice cream (and honestly, often we did at home later… it’s just that we live on a busy road and we were afraid the kids would run to an ice cream truck and not stop to think about the road and the fib started as a way to keep them safe… but we didn’t ever correct it).

 

Thankfully, the kids were laughing at us being “busted” and all 3 enjoyed from the ice cream truck that day.

 

Confessions of parents. Real life parents who aren’t perfect. And realizing we don’t need to be, our kids don’t want us to be.

 

Shortcuts for Moms

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#1 A favorite– and it’s a big one- SEMI HOMEMADE.

I prefer most of our meals to be from scratch.  In a dream world, they’d be all natural and all organic, sourced from a local farmer.

But we don’t live in a dream world. We live in Connecticut. With the schedule we have, I’m all about balance. Are you making a soup?  Frozen veggies cook up in no time at all.

 

Need cupcakes for the bake sale? I’ve even bought cupcakes from the store and just done the icing and decorations myself. Homemade is nice but isn’t always practical.  Prioritize and figure out what works best for you.

 

#2 Cleaning doesn’t have to happen all at once.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  It just has to happen.  My kids actually LIKE to help clean (when we ALL clean)…. But they’ve all been handed a cloth or baby wipe since they were toddlers to help out.  Our kids rinse the sink when they brush their teeth.  They understand that if they don’t, they’ll be cleaning the entire sink and counter later… so they get it.  A little effort now saves you more work later.

 

Let the cleaners work while you are away.  This is especially great for toilets, and even extra especially great if you have people in your house like I do that don’t seem to be able to get all of their body fluids to fit inside the hole in the toilet lid.

 

I usually squirt cleaner in the toilets right before I shower, and then don’t flush it down- whoever uses the bathroom next can flush.  That means within an hour or two, the bathroom smells pretty fresh and clean- AND you know the bowl had a good soak.

 

#3 Clean the tub/shower before and during your shower.  Yea, I said it.  I’m totally serious.  (This may not work if you are a bleach cleaner).  A typical shower time for me is like this:

Go in bathroom

Spray shower and tub with cleaner

Use toilet, flush

Squirt cleaner into toilet bowl, give a few good brush swirls, close lid.

Get in shower, wipe down walls and tub

Proceed with shower as normal

 

Now, you’ve gotten your bathroom “biggies” done and spent maybe 3 extra minutes doing it.

 

#4 If your kids really, really, really want to make cookies and you promised them but you aren’t feeling well and just.want.to.nap on the couch… pop into the store and grab the premade dough.  This way, you can give the kids (most of) the rein of making cookies, but in half the time, and you can get your head on the pillow that much sooner.  Everyone wins.

 

#5 Don’t go it alone.  Obviously if you have infants, they cannot help you to cut fruits or veggies and bag them.  But older kids?  Even little ones can put cut foods into baggies or containers with you, which means grab and go is simpler on busy mornings.

 

As the kids get older, teach them to use peelers and knives.  Obviously, supervise younger kids, but they are going to need to learn these life skills at some point, why not teach them while they are young and eager to help YOU?

 

#6 Prepackaged food is NOT the enemy. One of my secret weapons that’s almost always in my bag and/or van are applesauce pouches.

We make a lot of applesauce here. It’s mostly so food doesn’t waste, because we have apple trees, with apples= need to use it up.

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But my kids love Mott’s® Snack & Go applesauce pouches.  I’ve learned the hard way at least 11 times that whatever containers we own or will find in a store just don’t store applesauce well and it WILL explode all over the kid who brought it.  Maybe their neighbor.
So we do the fun pouches.  The kids think it’s just easy to open.  I know better.  It’s less mess for me to clean up. They don’t pop in a bag, they don’t explode when you open them.  It’s a universal win! They can be eaten at any temp (well, frozen is a tough one…) but you know they are having a healthy snack.  Period. Plus, they are an excellent source of Vitamin C.  That’s a win for all of us.

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Mott’s® Snack & Go is the nutritious applesauce kids love in a squeezable pouch they can take with them wherever they go. Mott’s is also the only applesauce brand with Box Tops for Education®, helping to support kids’ schools. Visit us on motts.com to learn more.

 

PS applesauce pouches are GREAT for camping. You can use them for baking and you can snack on them!

What are your mom or dad  shortcuts?! 

24 ways to keep your house running smoothly

There are 24 hours in each day. Sometimes that seems like a LOT of time, and other times, like it’s not possibly even close to long enough…but most days, well, they are in between. As a mom, wife, Executive CEO of running this house… there’s a lot that happens every day to keep this place running as smoothly as it does, or should I say, there are a lot of clicks that happen to keep things going!  (Please note, in full disclaimer, I am in no way implying that my house runs smooth like butter on a regular basis. We’re normal people and life isn’t always smooth).

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Since there are 24 hours in every day, I thought I’d share a list of 24 ways to keep your house running smoothly.

  1. Get anyone and everyone up at the time they need to be (click!)
  2. Shower (wipe down shower with cleaner before you get in)
  3. Prepare coffee, beverages, breakfast for family (coffee first=sane mommy)
  4. Talk to family about the day’s schedule
  5. Prep dinner (take meat to thaw, chop veggies, put in crock pot, etc)
  6. Prep/cook enough dinner for 2 nights’ meals
  7. Check for any papers that need to be signed, delivered, notes sent to school, etc.
  8. Pack supplies/clothes/snacks for any after school or work activities
  9. Pack snacks
  10. Fill water bottles (double check the lids!!)
  11. Pack lunches, if applicable
  12. Shoes/coats/bags on
  13. Unlock car (this also requires putting keys in the same place each night so you know where to find them)
  14. Buckle up and go (do a head count and make a note of what needs to be in the car with you as you buckle up)
  15. Get gas so you can get kids to gymnastics, swim, baseball, soccer, Spanish club
  16. Empty folders/sort mail
  17. Make to do list for next day while watching kids’ activities
  18. Finish dinner prep (or start)
  19. Turn off devices and spend time with family
  20. Check that devices are charging
  21. Check that doors and windows are locked/shut  for the night
  22. Make sure clocks are set to the right time, run dishwasher
  23. Double check that alarms are set on the devices that need to be set (alarm clock, phone, tablet, etc)
  24. Lights out (click!)

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Lysol knows parents work hard to keep their families and homes running smoothly. But little do you know, “clicks” pretty much power your day – checking that your kids’ water bottles are fully sealed (Click!) to avoid spills or snapping, unlocking the car (Click!) so the kids can pile into for soccer practice and uploading pictures of them in action (Click! Click! Click!).

lysol clicks

Now, parents can breathe a sigh of relief and do a not so pleasant household task – keeping the toilet clean and fresh – with one simple click. The new Lysol Click gel™ Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner is discretely applied into the bowl with one simple press & click to continuously clean and freshen with every flush in between weekly deep cleans.

 

Thanks to Lysol for sharing the Click gel with us and inspiring this post!!  It’s nice to remember the ways we get things done!

Teaching Teens About Finances

As parents, from the moment we have that precious bundle placed into our arms, we take on a huge responsibility. We are charged with taking care of this little human, teaching them right from wrong, educating them, keeping them safe from harm and doing what we can to raise them to be the best people they can be. As our kids get older, the responsibility shifts to a more mature line of parenting. As we prepare our teens for adult life, we begin showing them how to shop, to cook, to drive and get ready for college. One area that is of utmost importance that many parents may not think to teach their teen is about managing their money. Many college freshman are living on their own for the first time and are often inundated with credit card applications. If we do not teach them how to be smart about their money, they can be in a dire financial situation by the time they graduate.

If you are not sure how to broach the subject of money with your teen, you should turn to someone who has experience. With the H&R Block Dollars & Sense educational initiative, they are dedicated to increasing the financial literacy of our teens. The program gets educators, parents and high school students together to ensure our teens are given the financial foundation they need to succeed after graduation. Because many of our high school kids are leaving the nest with limited financial skills, it is crucial we teach them before they head off to college. Surprisingly, only five states require at least a one-semester, stand-alone personal finance course before graduation, which completely shocked me! In addition, only a third of parents are even comfortable talking to their kids about money. As a matter of fact, many parents would rather talk to their teens about smoking, drugs or bullying than they would about money.

In a recent survey, H&R Block Dollars & Sense found that a whopping 58 percent of teens are worried about being worse off financially than their parents. With today’s college student, more of them are paying for college themselves than ever before and many are taking on record-breaking debt once they graduate. If they are not going to college, many teens will be going to work after they graduate from high school and will move away from home. For many, they will be facing things like rent, grocery, utilities, car payments and insurance and other monthly bills. They have no idea how to manage their bills or even balance a checkbook. H&R Block Dollars & Sense equips teens with the skills, knowledge and confidence to manage their financial futures. The program covers subjects like budgeting, saving, spending, credit cards, student loans and more.

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Another cool aspect of the program is high school students receive scholarships and tips to help them become more financially fit. High school educators will receive classroom tools and resources to help them in teaching their students about personal finance. And, parents will receive lots of resources and statistics and tips on how to talk to their teens about money management.  The program is free to a classroom teacher at an accredited high school or home study program, as it is a teacher-tested, online simulation tool that replicates real-world budgeting and personal finance decision making. The developers of the program believe that by simulating an adult’s financial life, with paying bills, investing in retirement, managing loans and more that students will take a personal interest in this learn-by-doing educational approach allows high school kids to make real-world mistakes without facing real-world consequences.

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The educator can visit hrbds.org to register their classrooms. The H&R Block Budget Challenge immerses students in the life of a recent graduate who has been working for six months. Each participant receives a virtual salary and must make smart budgeting decisions with their expenses like rent, utilities, car payments and more. Students will receive bills on a regular basis and must pay them on time, while they maximize their savings via a virtual 401(k) and minimizing penalties like late fees, overdraft fees or other finance charges. H&R Block feels the simulation needs to include realistic surprise scenarios and monetary challenges such as a car accident or lost cell phone, just like we adults face in our every day lives. The participants can earn bonus points for completing quizzes on personal finance topics and H&R Block will award $3 million in classroom grants, college scholarships and cash prizes via the H&R Block Budget Challenge. Winners will be determined on both an individual and classroom basis. At the end, the one student who demonstrates they are the most “real-world ready” will receive a $100,000 college scholarship.  The next session begins on February 13, 2015 and will run through April 16, 2015, with sign-ups closing the week prior to the session begins.

Four Tips to Make Reading Fun for Kids

If you were to ask a teacher, they will tell you one of the hardest things they see is kids who are not reading at their potential. I had a lengthy conversation with one of my kid’s elementary school teachers about this subject. He said it was heartbreaking to see kids coming into his classroom who struggled with reading. This was heartbreaking to me because I love to read and so do my kids. It took work to get my kids to be on that level and I had to use a few tricks to cultivate their passion for the written word. This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Reading Eggs.  Here are a few of my tips:
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  1. Read Aloud: Many people think this is harmful when teaching kids to read but it is actually a great stepping stone. Reading aloud helps your kid’s helps to build vocabulary and attention skills as well as comprehension.

 

  1. Take It With You: Keep a few books in your bag or the car. When you have time where you are waiting like the doctor or carpool lane, or at the beach or just sitting in the back yard, pull out a book. Take turns with the kids reading aloud.

 

  1. Connect Books To Real Life: Try and make your books come to life, which will take learning to another level. If you are going to an art museum to see Van Gogh or Picasso, check out a book on the artist from the library.

 

  1. Make It Fun: If something is boring, your kids are going to shy away from it. If you can find an app, website or software that helps make reading fun for kids, they will be more likely to pay attention. With Reading Eggs, a website for kids ages 3-13, you get 24 arcade games, songs, rewards and more to make reading interesting and lots of fun.

 

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Reading Eggs is a wonderful website filled with incentives, cute characters and plenty of fun to engage your kids. Reading Eggs is also compatible with your IOS or Android device so you can take the program on the road with you! Kids can learn at their own pace and Reading Eggs is structured for reads who are just beginning their journey, to older kids who want to continue their journey. The games are fun, the learning is individualized and kids get a real sense of achievement when they master a level and earn their rewards and golden eggs.

reading eggs progress 5 year old

At the heart of Reading Eggs are My Lessons which includes 12 lessons which takes your child through 12 maps. You child can repeat any lesson they want to really bring home their reading skills. With My House, kids can make an avatar, play arcade games and can even write their own stories. With their Golden Egg rewards, they can head over to Reggie’s shop and purchase decorations for their house. For older kids, you can access 96 graded spelling lessons and the Driving Test Centre tests your child on their sight words, phonics, and content area vocabulary. Reading Eggs even has an area where your child can challenge themselves with 32 word puzzles. If your child loves music, they will really enjoy the Music Café where they will have 63 Reading Egg songs at their disposal. There are so many more fun areas to explore, activities to play and rewards to be earned.

 

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Sign up for your FREE 4 week trial now and see how much your kids enjoy Reading Eggs! This 4 week offer is good through February 28, 2015.

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Reading Eggs. #ReadingEggs

Tips to Surviving the Holidays with a Baby #TisTheSqueezin

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Happy Family Products for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Tips to Surviving the Holidays with a Baby

Being a parent can be so overwhelming, especially when it happens for the first time. Kids do not come with an instruction book, so when they get fussy or cry, it is hard to know what to do. It is even harder when you add the stress of the holidays with a new baby and that is a recipe for disaster! I know because I have known the stress of having a little one during the jolliest time of the year and it was tough! You want to enjoy your new bundle of joy while at the same time, enjoy the togetherness of this happy time of year. If you have a wee one at home, you may be better prepared with these helpful ideas.  My little guy was so easily overwhelmed and overstimulated in the early years… holidays were tough for him at times. We almost always found him wandering off into my sister’s kitchen and into her tupperware cabinet- it was familiar and I think just a way for him to kind of zone out and forget the sounds, people and general excitement of the holidays. Kids all respond differently to holiday events and activities, and we need to keep that in mind to help make things go as smoothly as possible.

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  • Keep Guests To A Minimum: A young child is super susceptible to germs, so keeping the number of people around them is crucial. The last thing you want during the holiday season is to have a sick little one on your hands.
  • Keep Commitments Down: Learn to say no! The fewer parties and get-togethers you oblige yourself to, the lower yours and your babies stress level will be. Remember, babies pick up on that stress and get awfully fussy!
  • Shop Online: With many major retailers and smaller businesses offering great deals and free shipping, you can do virtually all of your shopping online. Who wants to take a little one to the mall at this time of year?
  • Limit Travel Time: If at all possible, postpone or cancel any long distance traveling you may have. Invite those friends and relatives to come to you instead. You also don’t have to have get togethers ON the holiday itself.  Why not spread it out- it’ll be easier on your little one and make the celebrations last longer!
  • Be Food Smart: You and your baby need to eat healthy, especially at this time of year when healthy foods are not always available. Whenever possible, plan ahead and stock up on nutritious foods for your baby from Happy Family, the home of organic superfoods.

happy-baby Happy Family, is a company founded and operated by moms for moms. Launching on Mother’s Day 2006, Happy Family dedicated themselves to offering premium organic food while delivering optimal nutrition for the entire family. If you want to set your baby up for a healthy future, you need to start them out eating the right nutrition. The organic foods from Happy Family will get your baby’s palate off to a good start and are made with busy moms. Happy Family offers your baby’s first cereal made with probiotics for a healthy digestive system and is the only organic cereal that contains DHA and Choline which supports brain and eye health.

Visit the Happy Family website to learn about organic baby and toddler food.happy-baby-pouch-puffs-yogurt You can also find a ton of yummy foods for baby like squeezable solids and yogurts to melt in their mouth finger foods which help with baby’s tactile development. There are also foods for your toddler and older child which are perfect to take when you are on the go and still want to eat healthy. The Happy Family line will help your family stick to your healthy eating routines during this busy holiday season as well as all year round. Join Happy Family on Facebook and enter to win during December’s #TistheSqueezin giveaways!. The #TistheSqueezin giveaway is open through December 25th.

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Enjoy a $1 off coupon for Happy Family baby food pouches

 What are your tips for surviving the holidays with a baby?

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Parenting Teen Drivers #STSafeDriver

No matter how mature they are; or how well you’ve raised them… parenting a teen comes with a whole plethora of worries. One of the main worries comes hand in hand with the age-old rite of passage… the driver’s license.

 

Once your child has their license, it’s like they are unleashed into a great big world allowing them to explore new places. Places away from your watchful eye…

 

Let’s face it, this is scary.

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What would make you feel most safe with your child being on the road?

 

For me, it would be the opportunity to be a “fly on the wall”. While I know my child will be on their best behavior with me in the vehicle, I’d love to see how safe they are when I’m not.

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Have you ever felt this way?

 

If so, you’re in luck. In honor of National Teen Driver Safety Week, which takes place October 19-25, Straight Talk Wireless is teaming up with Driver’s Edge to bring to life the importance of eliminating distractions while driving.

 

With Straight Talk’s Safe Driver Car Connection device, you can now experience the next best thing to being an actual fly on the wall!

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What is Safe Driver Car Connection?

 

It’s an easy to use device that plugs directly into your car’s computer system (OBD-II port). It literally provides you with all the tools you need to monitor your child (and your car) from afar using your computer or smart phone.

 

Worried about your child texting and driving?

 

Safe Driver Car Connection has a feature that disables calls and text functionality while the car is in motion.
That’s right.  It disables calls AND texts while the car is moving.

 

Want to know when your teen leaves the neighborhood?

 

Safe Drive Car Connection will alert you when the vehicle enters and leaves predetermined “safe-areas”.

 

Wondering how many “close calls” your teen has in the car when you are not around?

 

 

 

Your child can receive a driving score. This is determined using measures such as hard braking, acceleration, and sharp turning, alongside other driving habits and factors, to develop an overall score.

 

In addition to knowing your child is safe, you’ll also receive alerts about the health of your vehicle, including maintenance alerts.

 

Be sure to pop into your local Walmart, or head to Walmart.com or straighttalk.com to find out about the Safe Driver Car Connection and other awesome deals happening with Straight Talk right now! There’s the Alcatel OneTouch Pop Icon smart phone that’s available this month, along with the new Bring Your Own Tablet program!

 

October is a month to be excited!

 

What do you worry about most when it comes to your teen driver?

 

This is a sponsored post as part of the #StraightTalkTesters program. Opinions are my own.

Ways to Stretch Your Budget for Children’s Clothing

It seems like no matter what you do, your kids will outgrow their clothes at twice the speed you buy them. Always. The younger they are, the faster they outgrow their things! The most important aspect for a child’s clothes, however, is comfort. If your child is in clothes that are outgrown, and no longer comfortable, this directly affects their happiness.

Here are a few ways to stretch your budget for children’s clothing, so you can keep your child up to date (and size) without breaking the bank:

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Buy Off Season:

Don’t be afraid to buy clothes for the next season, while they’re still on sell. Be sure to buy a size or so up to account for growth spurts! This is a great way to find clothes at the most affordable prices.

Be The First To Know:

Many of your favorite stores have email list that will alert you to upcoming deals that are going on! Be sure to get on this list so you can be the first to know about these events as they arise.

Shop Smart:

When you purchase clothes, be mindful of versatility. Buy tops and pants that are interchangeable, and you will find yourself with a much greater variety of outfits. Garanimals, at Walmart, offers great pieces of clothing that are carefully designed to provide babies and kids with affordable fashion and comfort!

Pass Them Down:

Most kids outgrow clothes way before they wear them out. Pass them down. We bought a lot of basics in neutral colors when the kids were little and added things depending which kid wore them. Onesies, for example, were always white, in both short sleeved and long. You can layer with fun tops and bottoms and shoes (and accessories)!

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Garanimals clothing range from size newborn to 5T, and are outgrown far before they are worn out. In our house this means, they are passed along to a younger sibling. If the seasons and/or gender of your clothing don’t match, consider consignment.

Consignment/Garage Sales:

Both of these are great ways to gain money on clothing you no longer need, while earning money for new clothing in the process! Win Win situation!!!!

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Also, keep in mind that all outgrown clothing isn’t a lost cause! Sometimes shirts that are a bit two small in the arms make for great undershirts in the winter. Pants that have become to short can easily be hemmed up to make a cute pair of capris in the summer time! Dresses that are too short can be worn as a top with leggings… sleeveless dresses can be worn with a long sleeved shirt underneath in colder months. Use your imagination and get creative… your budget will thank you!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Garanimals. The opinions and text are all mine.