Category Archives: sponsored

Scotties Facial Tissues Welcomes The Homeless Into Permanent Housing

I love that Scotties Facial Tissues is such a large supporter of organizations like The Pine Street Inn which provides shelter for the homeless.

Pictured above (L-R) Lyndia Downie, President & Executive Director, Pine Street Inn Maria Suarez, Tenant John Robertson, Director of Marketing, Scotties Facial Tissues Pamela Ricci, Brand Manager, Scotties

Pictured above (L-R)
Lyndia Downie, President & Executive Director, Pine Street Inn
Maria Suarez, Tenant
John Robertson, Director of Marketing, Scotties Facial Tissues
Pamela Ricci, Brand Manager, Scotties

January was a great month for 100 homeless people in Boston who are now living in permanent supportive housing thanks to the generosity of The Pine Street Inn. The Pine Street Inn is the largest resource for the homeless in the state of Massachusetts. They provide emergency shelters for the homeless, have street teams, they offer job placement programs as well as many other resources.

In a partnership with Scotties Facial Tissues, the new residents were welcomed into their new homes with comfort care packs. In an effort to kick off 2017 with a worthy cause, Scotties provided each of the 100 residents with a queen-sized fleece blanket, warm slipper socks, a mug with hot cocoa and marshmallows, and of course boxes of  soft Scotties tissues! These small gifts of comfort can be just what may be needed to turn a house into a home. For so many homeless people, who have not had a room of their own for a long time, this acted as one small step in their journey to a better life for themselves.

Maria, who has lived in her beautiful home for the last three months was previously homeless.  She has made her home her own by beautifully decorating it in the style of her native home, Columbia.  She is eager to put the Scotties blanket to use this winter!

This post has been sponsored by Scotties Facial Tissues. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

How to Choose the Best Baby Carrier

Over the past 9 years I’ve used a lot of different baby gear and I’ve found that one of my must-have items is a great baby carrier. It’s simple, you need to get stuff done but babies demand being held. And while snuggling a sweet little baby 24/7 sounds awesome it isn’t practical. Baby carriers allow you to keep your baby close and feeling secure while freeing up your hands and allowing you to be mobile all the while.

Baby Carrier Back 2

There are many different kinds of baby carriers and the choices can be overwhelming so let me give you a brief run down on the various types of baby carriers.

  1. Wraps – Long piece of cloth that is wrapped around both the baby and user.
  2. Ring Slings – Long piece of cloth sewn on rings
  3. Pouch Slings – Sized pieces of fabric sewn together to create a pouch.
  4. Mei Tai – Waist band and shoulder straps sewn to a rectangular piece for fabric, belt and shoulder straps are tied.
  5. Buckle Carriers – Structured carriers that often have adjustable padded straps and buckles.

You can read more in detail about the types of carriers at Baby Wearing International. Of course there are also a variety of hybrid carriers as well.

So now that you know a little bit about carriers lets’ talk pros and cons.

Baby Carrier Wrap

I have found that I prefer different types of carriers for the different ages of my children and for different uses. I prefer a ring sling, pouch sling or wrap when my babies are newborns. They keep the baby close to my body and offer support for the baby’s head (when worn correctly). However, wrap slings do come with a learning curve and do require a bit of practice when tying different positions. Ring slings can put a lot of stress on one specific shoulder. And pouch slings are NOT one-size-fits all so you and your spouse will most likely not be able to share.

I prefer structured carriers or mei tais for older babies and toddlers. They are quicker and easier to operate and often provide greater comfort for the user. Most structured (buckle) carriers and mei tais can be worn on both the front and back. (I highly recommend getting a versatile carrier.) They are also typically adjustable to the size of the user, meaning both you and your partner can wear it. Structured carriers can get expensive and they often aren’t ideal for smaller infants and newborns.

You can read more about the pros and cons of different types of baby carriers on Parent dot Guide.

Baby Carrier Front

Ultimately I don’t think there is one superior carrier over another but you need to find out what works best for you and your baby. Examine your lifestyle and weigh out the pros and cons of the different types of carriers. And then once you’ve decided on the type of carrier then you have to compare brands to determine what fits your budget and which features you prefer. It can seem overwhelming but I think purchasing the carrier that works best for you will insure successful baby wearing. There are numerous benefits of babywearing and I’ve found that my babies are generally happier when they are being worn.

This post is a partnership with Nakturnal.

Keeping a watchful eye with a baby monitor

We have three of our boys sharing a room. They love it but sometimes it can get a little rowdy. We keep an eye on them with the help of a baby video monitor. We have on camera set up in the baby’s room and one in the room with the big boys. We can switch back and forth between the two rooms to make sure everyone is doing well throughout the night.

With the aid of our baby monitor we can see if the boys need our help when they get up in the middle of the night. If we hear a crash we can investigate the sound without interrupting everyone while they sleep. Most of the time it’s just someone tossing and turning in their bed. But occasionally we’ve found a child that needs help finding the bathroom or is having a hard time going to sleep. I feel so much more comfortable with the boys sharing a room knowing that we have a baby monitor.

I can keep an eye on 1 sleeping child while I’m busy with the others.

best baby monitors

Diapers.com has some of the best baby monitors on the market today.  We have a monitor that has a two-way intercom. This feature is especially useful while trying to keep an active toddler in bed. We mounted our cameras to the wall opposite the boys beds to keep the wiring secure and to give us the best view of the room.

There are many different types of baby monitors so if you need help deciding on which monitor to buy check out this article: How to Choose the Best Baby Monitor.

baby monitor

GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will win a $50 Diapers.com Gift Certificate. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway. Ends 11/6/16.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on November 6, 2016. The winner to be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. See giveaway rules for more information.

This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of a gift certificate

Unplug and Get Outside with CLIF Kid


My kids are really into technology. It sucks them in and and stimulates their little brains. I love technology, it’s an important part of our culture. Kids and learn so much just with the touch of a screen. But it’s also important for kids to be active and engage in physical play. So everyday we make sure to unplug from technology and just play.

“Play is the highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein

Photo Aug 01, 4 28 27 PM

We typically head outside, even if the weather isn’t ideal. When it’s cold outside we bundle up and play until our noses are pink. On rainy days, we don our rain gear and jump in the puddles. And on hot summer days we find respite under the shade of trees. The changing nature of the outdoors makes it an incredibly stimulating and multi-sensory place to play. Children learn so much through play and being outside in nature. But no matter the weather or our destination we always pack a snack. Kids need to fuel those little bodies while they explore the world around them and learn through creative, physical play time.

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 10.59.29 AM

Photo Aug 01, 4 18 04 PM

We like to pack portable yet nutritious snacks like CLIF Kid Zbar®. CLIF Kid® makes nutritious snacks from organic ingredients that are specially-crafted for kids’ developing taste buds and active lives. I always grab a few CLIF Kid bars and some water bottles before we head out the door. Keeping a healthy snack on hand keeps everyone happy and usually extends our play time.

Photo Aug 01, 4 20 00 PM Photo Aug 01, 4 18 42 PM

CLIF Kid is dedicated to reclaiming play.  They encourage boys and girls everywhere to get back outside, push their boundaries and feed their adventures. Hey moms, do you remember when you were a kid and spent hours playing outside?

CLIF Kid wants to remind you of how awesome it was being a kid….

Connect with CLIF Kid on Facebook and tell them your favorite way to play outside.

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

Stay Home and Avoid the Oops

It’s 8am and everyone is begging for breakfast but I have a baby with a stinky diaper. I run upstairs to change him only to find there are no more diapers in the box. I start to panic and then remember to check the diaper bag. Nothing. I run to the car and search for my secret stash. I find it! One diaper. It’s 2 sizes too small but it will have to do.

After everyone is fed and clothed I pile my four boys in the van and we head to the store for much needed diapers. The boys just want to go to the park but we have no choice but to go to the store. Diapers are needed ASAP.

Photo Jun 26, 5 24 06 PM

Taking 4 small children to the store can be an exhausting experience. I try to avoid it whenever possible, but sometimes you just have to go to the store to buy a needed item like diapers. Or do you?

Look at this crew… they’re a handful.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 5.09.38 PM

You’d think after 4 kids I wouldn’t run out of diapers but it happens. I just don’t have the time to get to the store as often as I need but thanks to this thing called the internet I don’t have to go anywhere. I can order my must-have daily items like toilet paper, diapers, wipes, etc… online at www.avoidtheoops.com

I ordered diapers, wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, and some cleaning supplies. It’s so easy to avoid the oops moments by ordering P & G products directly from Walmart.

Products Offered through Avoid the Oops:

  • Kitchen
  • Laundry
  • Cleaning
  • Baby
  • Bathroom

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 5.04.48 PM

Connect

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Walmart.

Ways to Save When Preparing for Baby

In celebration of moms this Mother’s Day I’ve teamed up with online retailer zulily.com to share some great budget tips for all things baby.

Here for some of the survey insights they found regarding spending and saving habits when preparing for baby:

  • With annual childcare costs hovering around $6,000, it’s crucial to choose (and pay!) the right person to watch your kids.In our survey Julia Roberts was voted the top celeb moms would let babysit, but Kim Kardashian didn’t make the cut and was only selected by 3% of respondents.
  • Raising kids can get pretty pricey, so it’s no surprise a third of mothers surveyed said they’d compete in a monthly random dance battle (32%) in exchange for free baby gear, attire, etc.
  • Almost half of mothers surveyed (45%) said the most missed pre-mom indulgence is actually having a day off.
  • 33% of moms agreed that the most common squabble couples have regarding new parenting is about money.

WAYS to SAVE

  1. Borrow – If you have friends or family that have recently had babies and may not be ready to pass along their gear ask to borrow items like a bassinet or baby swing for a short time.
  2. Buy Used – Baby clothes and other baby gear is great to buy used at consignment sales or online. However, beware about buying certain items like car seats and cribs.
  3. Sales – Always look for a sale, shop sites like zulily.com to get great deals on hot products for baby.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 7.45.39 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 7.46.39 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 7.47.14 PM

With all the above stats, it’s no wonder moms everywhere are always on the lookout for smarter ways to spend on baby, and online retailer zulily is dedicated to helping their plight by serving up fresh, unexpected items for baby and the whole family, in fact, just in the last year customers have saved millions of dollars on baby gear items. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Savings on baby blankets: over $2.4M
  • Total savings on key items needed to set up a nursery: over $2.6M
  • Savings on all baby feeding supplies: over $4.5M

Be sure to check back on zulily.com or on their app every morning to discover new finds, especially on Mother’s Day (May 8th) for their Moms First event, to shop everything a new mama wouldn’t want to be without.

mothers_day_infographic - FINAL

This is a compensated post. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and not influenced by the company.

Summer Camp at Home with Netflix

Last week we had summer camp at home, Camp Lieb. I incorporated a lot of Netflix Streaming shows into our daily themes.

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 1.58.47 PM

Here’s a list of  our theme Netflix shows:

Friendship Day
Daniel Tiger: Friend Help Each Other
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast

Space Day
Bill Nye the Science Guy: Planets
Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle
Little Einsteins: Ring Around the Planet
Magic School Bus: Gets Lost in Space

Nature Day
Bill Nye the Science Guy: Earth’s Crust
Wild Kratts
Magic School Bus: Goes to Seed

Ocean Day
Lego Atlantis
Bill Nye the Science Guy: Ocean Life
Magic School Bus: Goes the Mussel Beach

Ninja Day
Lego Ninjago
Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation
Power Rangers Ninja Storm

I’m sure there are more shows and movies that are on Netflix Streaming that would fit into many of these categories but these are just a few of our favorites.

My All-Time Favorite on Netflix Streaming

One of my all-time favorite T.V. shows is Quantum Leap. I remember watching it when I was young with my dad. We always enjoyed see which period in time Sam would leap into and what crazy things he needed to “set right”.

quantum-leap-on-netflix-instant

After Jude was born Joe and I spent most of our evenings watching TV and Quantum Leap was one of the first shows we binged watched. Granted this was in the days before Streaming TV but we carefully planned out our DVD arrivals so we could watch as many episodes as possible.

quantum-leap

We spent many nights cuddled on the couch with a newborn baby watching Sam and his hologram friend Al travel throughout time hoping his next leap might be the leap home.

Now Quantum Leap in on Netflix Streaming and we can watching it whenever we want.