Friday Favorites- NAK Hair Accessories {Giveaway}

Friday Favorites{Giveaway}

Raise your hand if you are counting down the days until the kids go back to school? I know some of my friends in the south sent the kids back weeks ago. And some moms are still waiting to see their little ones on that bus. At the start of the summer I was having a really hard time accepting my babies are growing up. I felt like I had wished away our years together. Now, I am a little anxious but, I am truly excited to see my newly minted Kindergartner’s ready for their first day.

We have already selected our new back packs and planned our first day of school outfits, right down to the hair bows. My friend Tammy at NAK Products makes these super cute hair bows for every holiday and in just about any theme you could wish for. All her bows and headbands are hand made in small quantities with quality materials. I like that my girls will have one of a kind hair bows. These bows are created individually and are not mass produced. So not everyone will have one!

NAK stands for Need A Kitchen. It’s a funny name, but that is truly the reason Tammy began her business. This mom of three loves to cook, but has never had a dishwasher in her pre-1860’s kitchen! She decided to start NAK Products to earn money to fund her kitchen renovations. Tammy has a love for all things crafty so this just felt like the best way for her spend her time earning extra money. And it turns out she’s really good!

This particular bow is a replica of the bows girls get at the American Girl store. Tammy and her daughter had tea with the American Girls and there were similar bows used for the napkin rings. Little girls attending tea can take them home to use for themselves or their dolls. She recreated them for her daughter to have plenty of options to choose from.

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nak 4

Just when you think you can’t have enough Frozen accessories in your home, there’s this! My little Frozen fan LOVES this bow!! She has already coordinated her favorite Frozen themed dress with this bow. It is hanging in her closet ready for the days ahead in her new school.

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Nak 1

You can find dozens of adorable bows on the NAK Products Facebook page, or at Craftsman by Design in the Poughkeepsie Plaza. Tammy also sets up at local craft fairs, so be sure to like her Facebook page so you can find her! You can also win one of your very own unique hair bows from NAK Products! I guarantee your kid will move to the head of the class in either one of these one of a kind bows.

Nak bow 1

OR

nak bow 2

Just enter below by midnight Sunday and watch The Whatever Mom Facebook page for the winner! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(One winner per bow) Comment below with which bow you like best!

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia and The Novice Mommy.

The Whatever Mom did not receive financial compensation for this review. Promotional product received in exchange for this review and provided by NAK Products. All genuine opinions belong solely to The Whatever Mom. 

 

 

 

9 Truths I Learned Baby’s First Year

9 Truths I Learned My Daughter's First Year

I thought I knew what I was getting into when I became a mom. I felt pretty prepared because I have always had kids in my home. I have fostered children and I have watched and loved kids as my own for years. I was not ready for the realism of being a full time parent of two. Let me share with you some of the things I have learned from my baby’s first year.

DON’T BUY EXPENSIVE TOYS

Yes new is great and in your new parent excitement you will buy that ridiculously priced contraption. Then once it is setup at home, you will find out the hard way that your baby hates it! Oh, and baby will only use it for three months. There are usually floor displays so you can try it before you buy it. Put your baby in it. Let them explore it. Take the time to examine it. My husband and I realized this after oohing and ahhing over a Jumperoo. We put our daughter in it and she freaked out as if she was going to seriously have a heart attack if we left her in it. We found out she prefers to wander freely. Her favorite toys are the walk behind and ride on toys we were given by family and friends.

Baby's 1st Birthday

THE RULES ARE ALWAYS CHANGING

What works the first few nights to soothe your baby will not work three nights later, nor will it work in another week. Babies are the rule makers. No matter how much you think you are going to set the rules and they are going to be on your schedule it very rarely works that way. Surrender right now! The moment that little bundle of frustrating joy is born it owns you! You will no longer have control over what time you wake up or go to sleep. You will no longer be out of the door on time and you most certainly will never be able to think the same again.

I CAN TUNE ANYTHING OUT

First time parents are typically on high alert for any little sound baby makes. During those early months my husband could hear the rustle of our baby’s crib sheets two rooms away. But as our baby grows we are learning to filter out the unnecessary noise. While on a call with a business associate, I was able to tune out an episode of Dinosaur Train playing on the TV, my baby screaming at her brother, her brother screaming back, and my husband getting the dog to bark on command while the washer and dryer were doing their jobs. My associate actually asked me to call her back because she was getting a headache from all the “background noise” in my home. When on the phone with non-parents go to a room as far away from the noise as possible. Folks without kids cannot tune out the commotion of your daily life the same way you can.

Skylers 1st fam

MY MARRIAGE CAN WITHSTAND ANYTHING

Just before the birth of my daughter, my family endured a lot of big changes. The week before she was born, my husband was seriously injured when a drunk driver hit him. Then within a month, we unexpectedly gained full custody of my stepson. Together we were struggling to adjust to full time parenthood with a newborn and a four year old. Neither of us were able to work. He was trying to heal from his injuries, and I was still healing from pregnancy on bed rest and child birth. I started to feel like a single parent of two while my husband was limited physically in what he could do to help. This all took a huge toll on us as a couple. Somehow, we made it through. Talk, Talk, Talk especially during the times you do not want to. Becoming a new parent is life changing in its self and when life adds those extra struggles, the situation feels almost impossible.

I AM INVINCIBLE

After becoming a mom, I completely fell apart. I struggled with the lack of sleep, the lack of help and lack of knowledge. However, I found an inner strength I never knew I had. Suddenly, I was able to feed a newborn with one arm while making a bowl of cereal for a toddler. I learned to multitask like a boss. I was able to keep a floundering family together and I was able to become me again.

On those really tough days, give yourself credit for even the small things you accomplish each day. Eventually you will start to see the bigger things you accomplish. When feeling like you cannot possibly take one more thing thrown at you, look in the mirror and tell yourself “you got this.” Be your own cheerleader because there will be times when others just do not understand what you are dealing with. You will overcome!

skylers 1st moments

I TREASURE EVEN THE TINY MOMENTS

During the struggles of this first year as a mom,  it has been the tiny moments that kept me going. A simple brush of my husband’s hand across mine reminds me that the man I married is still in there somewhere. Seeing my baby sleeping on her daddy’s chest reminds me of why I fell in love with him. Hearing my baby’s first giggle refreshes my weary soul. Watching my two children play together reminds me how blessed I truly am. When life is at its toughest keep looking for those tiny moments until you find a glimpse of joy. The tiniest moment can be the glue you need to mend that broken heart or those frayed emotions.

HUGS ARE SOOTHING

When children are hurt,  or scared, unsure or happy they look for a hug. We can do the same! Hugs can be comforting and assure us we are safe. I personally have always enjoyed a good hug from a special cousin. I’ve even driven to her job just to get a hug. This last year I learned to accept hugs from others who could see me struggling but had no words to console me. HUG! It is that simple. Sometimes we just need to feel a little human connection. A hug is the simplest way to connect. Did I mention HUG!?

IT IS OK TO CRY

We are born with the natural ability to cry and yet we are taught that it is not OK to do it as we grow up. During some of my toughest moments the only thing that made me feel better was crying. Sometimes tears would just roll down my face without me realizing it. There is no shame in crying. It is like cleaning our emotional chalkboard of stress. Crying can lead to sleeping and sleeping equals silence. I am not just talking about babies. Sometimes all we really need is a good cry and a nap.

skylers 1st

I AM NEVER ALONE

It is strange but when you become a new mom it feels like you are suddenly alone and nobody understands what you are going through. The reality is once you have children you will never be alone again! Even though I wasn’t really alone, there were still times I felt like I was drowning in loneliness. Don’t be afraid to invite friends and family to visit. Get out of the house and find community events to enjoy.

In this past year, I had to find what worked for me and my family to survive the curve balls thrown at us. We made it! Our struggles have given us a new understanding of our relationships with each other and our friends. If you are struggling too, just know that you will overcome the first year, and the second year, and the third year and so on!

deb editDebra is a first time mom to her beautiful rainbow baby Skyler, a wife, a blogger and an ordained minister. She enjoys crafting and creating educational fun for her step sons and decorating her home. Find Debra at Crossing New Bridges on Facebook and on Twitter.

Friday Favorites – My New Breakfast Routine

Breakfast Just Got Easier

Oh boy do I hate breakfast. It’s not that I don’t like eating breakfast; it’s just that I have two picky eaters who protest everything I make. The amount of time it takes me to cater to their morning desires and get them to actually eat, I have very little time left to make my own nutritious breakfast. With school starting in just a few weeks I am already worried about making sure everyone has enough time to eat a healthy breakfast before the bus arrives. Including me!

I have some crazy food sensitivities so now I have to watch everything I eat. I often make all my food from scratch (not requesting any medals here moms. I’d quickly give up having to grill my own chicken for a fast food chicken sandwich any night). Not being able to eat gluten, dairy, soy and eggs makes breakfast a big challenge for me. I have the best luck with whole food smoothies, but oh man that takes a bit more time than I have in the morning. Yes, I can prep ahead at night for the entire week, but that is another to-do on my already lengthy list. What I need is simple, quick, easy and nutritious.

When Kathy from Kick Ass Healthy Moms contacted me directly to sample some gluten free, dairy, soy and egg free products I was super excited to give them a try! It is everything I am looking for- fiber, protein, vitamins, free from my trigger allergens and very convenient to use. There is very little prep time involved which is key for me!

isalean shake

Kathy and I spoke over the phone for a quick no pressure consultation to discuss my dietary needs and my lifestyle. I joined her Facebook welcome group so I could meet other moms like me and get some tips about including healthy eating in my busy day. Together we came up with a plan to get a healthy breakfast and pump up my energy! We agreed to keep in touch via email. It was reassuring to have Kathy available at any time to ask questions.

I’m not big into weight loss shakes, but if that is your thing then trust me these products will work for you. I lost 8 lbs. in the first month by following the weight loss methods (and not a lot of exercise). I replaced two meals a day and ate two snacks. I love how low maintenance it makes my breakfast routine! I just rip open a packet and whirl in my drink blender with water and ice and I am done. I can drink it while I’m making breakfast for the kids.

isalean shake mix

Each shake packet carries 250 calories and is packed with over 20 grams of plant based protein and 8 grams of fiber. As much as I love my whole fruit and berry smoothies- these shake packs keep me feeling fuller for longer; which is exactly what I need to keep up with two busy kids. I also notice I have less sugar cravings (you know that gotta have afternoon treat). I plan to continue with the shakes simply because they are such a quick way to get a nutritious breakfast together for me in the morning. All the ingredients are non-gmo and there is nothing I can’t pronounce.

Isalean greens

Kathy also sent me the Greens powder. On its own it tastes…well, wild. As in I am eating from the wild. When I consulted with her about my disappointment in the taste she suggested adding a half a scoop to my morning shake. So much better!!! The point of the greens is to help supplement the amount of green veggies you get in a day. Adding into my morning shake gives me one veggie serving at the start of the day. On those days I am running around crazy and I forget to eat, or I don’t have enough time to plan, I am covered with my initial serving of greens. A friend of mine shares that she even puts it in her kids smoothies on the days they are especially picky about eating.

isalean supreme

This right here is my liquid gold and I love it! If I drink this one alone as a 1 oz. shot it is also has a potent taste. Pouring it over ice and adding cold water creates a slightly sweet green drink that I actually like. I savor this as my mid-morning treat. It is also a great way to ensure I am drinking enough water in my day.  (Something I am always working on).

Isalean supreme shot

The b-vitamins, herbal blend; juice and fruit extracts give an extra anti-oxidant boost as well a natural energy boost. There is no caffeine added to this, but I am telling you it gives me a better energy boost than a cup of coffee.  If I have a really draining day I drink a second around 3:00 p.m. to get me through the rest of our crazy day.

There were some other goodies included in my sample pack like the 5 hour energy shot full of b-vitamins. After drinking it I felt more awake and alert. My mental fog wasn’t as thick. I’m not saying that’s a cure for mommy brain, but I definitely noticed some of that lift. Kathy also shared some dark chocolate and Isalean bars that were so good!

After only a few days I had more energy to keep up. I felt more alert and less mental fog. And after two weeks I started to release weight and just felt good overall. I still really love eating whole foods, but the shakes, the greens and the Ionix Supreme are exactly what I need to supplement those difficult mornings with. As a mom I often neglect my own needs, like eating a meal, to satisfy the needs of my family. I don’t have to do that now!

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia and The Novice Mommy.

No financial compensation was made for this review. Promotional products provided with compliments by Kathy LaMarr and not Isagenix directly, in exchange for this review. All thoughts and honest opinions are solely my own. 

 

Sometimes I’m Jealous of Moms with One Kid

Yup. I said it. While I love my kids, and I wouldn’t do anything to change this crazy chaos of having four kids 5 and under, sometimes I look at the mom with just one kid and wish it were me.

How amazing would it be to completely focus on one child for more than 10 minutes straight? Sometimes one of my older girls wants to tell me a story, or build a Lego castle, and after a few minutes her little brother has gotten into something or one of the other kids starts crying. Even though I tell her I’ll be back, I know I’ve lost the moment.

Swim lessons? It would be awesome to do mommy and me, but there’s only one me and always at least 2 of them. The library for circle time? Nope. The library is the worst. They all have to sit and be quiet while someone reads a book; I can do that at home and not stress about how much of a trainrweck we look like when it’s time to go. The park? We tried to go to the park once when there was a field trip happening. I turned right around and went home. There’s no way I can keep track of my four kids in a sea of 40 other kids.

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I discovered I can fit three kids on my lap at once, but that means one is always left out. At every meal it’s a negotiation for which two kids get to sit next to me. I feel like every day is an intricate balancing act of everyones emotional, physical, and mental demands, and most days I’m failing.

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I’ve started thinking about the financial aspect too. Not the bigger issues of putting four kids through college, but the smaller impact having four kids can put on my budget. Souvenirs when we’re on vacation, treats when we’re at the store, uniform and activity fees in sports, even taking four kids to a fair. With tickets, food, rides, games, etc it adds up. Our tooth fairy needs to get a side job because it’s going to get expensive paying for four kids teeth!

Even something as simple as running errands; if I’m at the house and I discover I don’t have an ingredient that I need for dinner, there’s no running to the store really quick if my husband isn’t home. I’m making a different dinner. It’s at least an hour ordeal to get everyone ready, shoes on, in the car, buckled, to the store, in the cart, items found and purchased, then back in the car, buckled, and unloaded at the house.

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How much easier would it be if I could just focus on one kid? Getting their shoes on. Getting them buckled. Shopping with one kid in the cart. Buckling one back into the car. Back to the house.

And taking one kid to the fair; going on rides wouldn’t be a problem because no one would have to stay back with the kids that were too small. I could cuddle one kid in my lap and no one would feel left out. You want to go to the park today? Sure! I only have to keep track of one kid; perfect!

Realistically I know it’s not that simple. If I really only had one kid I wouldn’t feel this way, because I wouldn’t know how crazy it is to have four. And I would never wish any of my kids away; they’re all amazing little people who I couldn’t imagine living without. But sometimes, I look at the mom who says she’s tired from chasing her one kid around all day, or that it’s hard to go anywhere with a kid in tow, and I’m jealous.

 

Jennifer at Sweet DiscordJennifer is a stay at home mom with two sets of twins. She copes with having four kids ages 5 and 3 with wine, desserts and cooking. But at the end of the day she wouldn’t trade her crazy life for anything. You can read more from Jennifer at Sweet Discord.

 

Friday Favorites -LuLaRoe {Giveway}

Friday FavoritesLuLaRoe

I am a little late to the LuLaRoe party. I was very hesitant to get started with these pricey leggings in bold prints that I could never see myself in. That is until my friend Heather Bunch invited me over to one of her pop up shops for some personalized shopping. I went alone without kids and really took my time getting to know more about the company and the clothing line. It turns out LuLaRoe has way more than just leggings!

I confess, I am a recovering (self) body basher and trying on clothes is a trigger for me. It takes me back to a time in my life when I was so self loathing and hated looking in the mirror. I am accustomed to hating the whole experience of clothes shopping and the body shaming that follows.

But let me tell you, this experience is trans-formative. It isn’t simply because the clothes are magical, but the LuLaRoe clothing line is designed to accommodate all body types. It enhances what you do like about yourself and smooths out the rest. It also helps that Heather is on a mission to make women feel good about themselves. She says after all, “I’m not just selling clothes, I’m selling confidence.” The in-home shopping experience is way more personal than shopping at the mall. And Heather is not only there helping coordinate outfits, but she is there telling me how to be kind to myself.

The first thing I try on is the Azure skirt. You can see in this picture I’m still really skeptical about this whole process.

LLR Azure HB

I am traditionally anti-skirts. I don’t like the fussiness of having to sit still, or the way every skirt rides up over my hips. Thankfully, the yoga band at the top keeps the skirt in place and makes it oh so comfortable. I can sit tall and still breathe. It is also a very versatile piece that can be worn as a strapless dress, or turned upside down and tied at the ends to create a scoop neck top.

Next, I try on is the classic T with the beloved Cassie skirt. I am starting to warm up a bit more.

LLR Cassie HB

My typical mom uniform is a t-shirt and blue jeans. It’s quick, it’s easy and I don’t have to think about it. It requires very little effort on my part, and I’m starting to think maybe I want to look like I put in a little effort. Wearing clothes that are tailored to fit my body type and style, gives me a little more freedom to feel like myself.

The Cassie skirt is form fitting like a pencil skirt, but it is flattering to many different body types.

Then, I try the Nicole dress. As you can see I am much more comfortable with trying on new things.

LLR Nicole HB

I would never pick this out for myself. On the hanger it looks too form fitting. But it is actually very roomy. It is also very comfortable, light weight and easy to change the look with accessories. I can wear with leggings or without leggings, or dress it up with a belt and a chunky necklace. I am starting to see the possibilities!

The more tops and skirts Heather hands to me to try on the more comfortable I become with getting dressed and undressed. I am not so worried about the mirror. This experience becomes less about my body and more about finding comfort and joy in what I am wearing. Suddenly I want to find prints that I like. There are classic prints, fun and whimsical prints and some very unique prints. There is quite literally something for every style and taste.

After two pop up sessions of trying things on and learning what I love, I am now hooked. As a mom I often feel uncomfortable spending money on myself. But I work really hard and I deserve nice things. Most of all I deserve to feel good about myself.

As you can see by the pictures below, Heather is right. She DOES sell confidence!

BEFORE LULAROE

LLR before HB

AFTER LULAROE

LLR Gloria

Giveaway Heather is giving away $25.00 LuLaRoe Cash to ONE lucky winner!!! Enter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That’s not all! Visit Heather at one of her pop up shops and tell her The Whatever Mom sent ya! You get a 10% discount just for mentioning my name! Pop up shops are Friday’s 10 am – 2 pm and by appointment only. Located at 164 Linderman Ave. Kingston. Call Heather directly to set up your appointment 845-532-9373 or email [email protected]

Join Heather’s exclusive Facebook VIP Boutique to hear about all her sales and upcoming parties!

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia and The Novice Mommy.

The Whatever Mom did receive complimentary LuLaRoe product in exchange for this review. However, all thoughts and opinions are solely my own. This transformation really did take place and my experience is genuine.

When There Is No Space For Mom

No Space for a Mom

Before I dive right into my blog topic for today, I just want to say a big THANK YOU to my contributors that have helped me get through summer this far! Thank you Jennifer, Debbie, Amber, Gloria and Diedre! Without each of you I wouldn’t have had the extra time to spend with my kids and work on my blog. I am taking some workshops and training courses to learn how to convert this blog into a business! As exciting as that sounds it isn’t easy to fit it all into my day of being a mom. It is especially difficult when there is no space for me.

I thought working from home is  a dream come true. Until I started actually working from home… and the kids are here. Having the kids home while I’m trying to works is even harder than actually going to work. Yes, it saves me in day care. Yes, it saves me from schlepping and we can keep our own schedule. But at what price? My sanity. My sanity is the price.

Without a break from the care taking and the constant demands of sandwiches and laundry a mom could go insane. I am literally one person taking care of three other humans. I am all there is. I don’t have a mom close by that can help me take the kids to the park, or a sister two towns over who can take my kids to the movies one day. I have a husband who works a lot and two kids who demand a lot. That’s it. We see extended family once a year when I pack up the kids and drive home by myself. My life as a mom is so overwhelming.

I try to find space for myself in the small parts of the day not occupied by my kids and husband. I get up earlier than everyone else so I can sit outside and listen to the birds and drink my coffee. But I am usually interrupted with a screeching howl of, “MAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHM.”

I try to exercise to get the good energy flowing. But then I have to stop short because the kids are fighting over the TV.

I try to get to the gym so the kids can be the daycare providers problem and I can zone out on the treadmill and watch TV. But no one wants to cooperate to get out the door.

I try to read a book while the kids are quiet. But then I have to stop every other paragraph to make a snack, or change a channel, or end a dispute.

I try to enjoy a good home cooked meal. I miss connecting with my kitchen. I used to pour a glass of wine, light some candles, turn on the music and whip up a meal with fresh ingredients. Now I am tied to the toaster oven reheating frozen chicken nuggets.

I wake up early to get some blog writing done in those “fringe hours.” But suddenly one child is awake and crying. It is like I have an alarm button on the bottom of my feet that alerts I am upright and ready to accept their commands.

I attempt a moms night out and get a text from hubby we are out of over night underwear. I have to leave my friends early to go to the store and bring them home.

Nearly every day it is a struggle to find a space for just me. I can’t finish a sentence, a phone call a blog post or even check Facebook from my phone without a constant barrage of noise. My kids are almost six years old and I still don’t get to take a shower every day. It feels like every moment in my day is interrupted.

But then, in the moment just before I crack. Just as my tears start to well a little arm goes around my shoulders and a tiny voice says, “I love you mama.” The tension eases away. My jaw starts to release and the tears calm. “I love you too sweet heart.” This is the space where I belong. Right here in the comfort of little arms snuggling me tight. I belong right here in the little hearts who think I am the safest place on earth.

There is no space for me to exist any more without my beautiful, wonderful children. I am learning to let that space be big enough.

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia and The Novice Mommy.

 

 

Friday Favorites- Limelight by Alcone {Giveaway}

I’ve already shared with you my favorite Summer Sun Skin Care items I use all summer long. But today I am excited to share with you some new products I’ve found through LimeLight by Alcone. I am always on the hunt for great makeup and skin care products. I have found a line that I truly love and look forward to using!

I met with my friend Tenaya who is now a Beauty Guide for LimeLight by Alcone. She treated me to a make over with skin care and make up products that are all manufactured with your health and the health of the planet in mind. I was excited to spend the day outside on her deck enjoying the beautiful day kid free, and getting some extra pampering.

Alcone Chemical Free

The first thing I tried is the Dream Clean set which is a basic starter collection. I could feel my skin immediately hydrate and it felt really clean. My skin felt smooth after using all of the products which is key for me. I loved the feel of the masque of zen. All of these products are plant based and smell amazing.

Alcone set

Next up Tenaya matched me up with a foundation color. I will say this was the most perfectly smooth foundation I have ever tried. Not only did it go on easily but it made my skin absolutely flawless- no redness, no freckles it was all covered. I am not a fan of foundations that have a strong “plastic” smell. This cream foundation had none of that. It felt light and was totally fragrance free.

Alcone foundation

I learned that this makeup line is used by Hollywood makeup artists. In fact, the family owned company has been the number one makeup supplier for generations. Adding in a plant based skin care line and removing non essential chemicals from the makeup formula is what gives this company it’s modern edge.

The Alcone product I am most in love with right now is the Make-Off make up remover cloth. It is gentle enough to use every day and will take off your make up in one swipe. With the summer heat here I’ve started carrying these little prepackaged cloths in my bag and even in my beach cooler. As soon as I am done with a day of sun with the kids I pull out one of these cloths. The rosewater is refreshing and hydrating and I can feel my hot skin start to calm. Super convenient!

Alcone MakeOff Cloth

All of the Alcone products come with a 100% happiness guarantee, so if you don’t love your products you get your money back. Oh I almost forgot to share with you the best part about the packaging! Not only is it gorgeous, but it is 100% recyclable. The color pallets and the foundation pallets all pop out of the cardboard case; all of which can be tossed into your recycle bin. Each one is small enough to carry in your purse or add to your makeup bag!

Alcone package

If you want to learn more about LimeLight by Alcone stop by Tenaya’s personal shopping site, or ask to join her exclusive PRIVATE Facebook group. You can ask any questions there and get all the details on new products and upcoming sales promos. If you are local and would like to have your own make over and foundation color match you can schedule one with Tenaya through her group.

Alcone Tenaya

* * * *  GIVEAWAY TIME * * * * *

 

Alcone giveaway

Three lucky winners are going to get a $25.00 gift certificate to shop with!! How exciting is that? If you haven’t tried Alcone products before this is your chance! Simply follow the link to Tenaya’s closed Facebook group and request to join. Then like and share the group for extra entries! You are entered for your chance to win! (Contest open now through Sunday 7/24/16. Winners announced on Monday 7/25/16).

Happy shopping!

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia and The Novice Mommy.

 

The Hilarious Things My Kids Say

Kids can be the most unintentionally hilarious people. They might make an observation that is 100% true, but no adult would ever say out loud. Or, they mispronounce a word that alters what they’re trying to say. Or, it could just be a word they cannot completely remember how to say, and the version that comes out is off just enough to be adorable.

kids

One of my older girls is five and doesn’t pronounce the word ‘pattern’ correctly. She pronounces it ‘patter-in.’ She is starting Kindergarten and  I should correct her, but I love that little reminder that she’s still so young and not just my grown up girl going off to school on her own.

Both of my older girls still routinely say ‘lellow’ instead of ‘yellow’ as well. I feel like it doesn’t hurt anything, and most words they’ve learned I make sure they can say correctly, but yellow and pattern I just can’t bring myself to correct. I’m sure in no time they will have grown out of mispronouncing those words and my sweet, little girls will talk to me like older girls; with no reminders of the toddlers they used to be.

My husband was singing ‘Mambo #5’ the other day and the girls wanted to learn it. My oldest was trying to sing back the words and kept saying ‘everyone in the clubhouse go ride’ instead of ‘everybody in the club say come on let’s ride’ because of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show. I mean, that’s adorable, and even though we corrected her a few times, I still think it’s hilarious and awesome that she’s putting Mickey’s Clubhouse in the song.

Just like my girls my son has his hilarious moments too. He has the best mispronunciation. He’s turning 3 this summer and has an amazing vocabulary, but struggles with fire truck. In fact, for a few months he couldn’t say ‘truck’ at all without it coming out as ‘f*ck’.

fire truck 1

‘Mommy! Fire F*ck!’

Now, I know it’s a bad word, and I shouldn’t encourage him to say it, but I can’t correct it. It’s hilarious! He’s already started to grow out of it and says fire engine about half the time now.  Usually he says the ‘tr’ in truck, but for those months he mispronounced it I would simply smile when were out.

Sometimes I can get too caught up in being busy and getting things done and I forget my kids are just little. They don’t have the same patience as me, or view of time, or ability to wait when they ask for something. So when my older kids say they ‘have a loose toothes’ or ‘their teeths came out’ it helps remind me that they’re not adults yet, They are still kids and I need to enjoy them now, before they totally grow up on me. I will never get these moments back.

When my son is being crazy and literally bouncing off the walls because he’s a 2 year old boy, and then he says ‘Look! A big f*ck!’ when we drive by a semi-truck, it makes me laugh when I might not have otherwise. Eventually these will just be stories that I tell about my kids when they were little, but for right now they are my everyday life. I’m going to enjoy it and if I happen to take the back road by the fire station instead of the main road to go to the grocery store, that’s just my wanting to share a laugh with my kids.

Comment below to share some of the hilarious things your kids say. 

Jennifer at Sweet DiscordJennifer is a stay at home mom with two sets of twins. She copes with having four kids ages 5 and 3 with wine, desserts and cooking. But at the end of the day she wouldn’t trade her crazy life for anything. You can read more from Jennifer at Sweet Discord.

 

Update on My Norwex

I really make it a personal standard to only share with my readers products that I have used in my own home and truly enjoyed. I want to only promote items that make our lives as parents a little easier, because, well parenting is already hard enough! Whether it is self care products, home care products, fun things to entertain the kids, or a subscription box everything I share has been tried out by myself, or my guest contributors.

Several months ago I shared with you my love for Norwex products and how I can clean my home using just water. Since then I have truly enjoyed the ease of cleaning my house with zero chemicals and in less time. But I have to confess that there is one product I was deeply skeptical of and did not share in my original post. I thought it was too hokey to work. In fact I refused to use it for nearly six months.

The Nylon Mesh Dishcloth

mesh cloth

I really thought there is NO WAY this thing was going to clean all of my dishes. It feels like a jersey you’d wear in gym class. I imagined it would only make a giant mess and wouldn’t work. Until I ran out of my stash of kitchen sponges and needed to wash the dishes. I thought OK. Let’s give this thing a try. And it actually works. Like really works. Better than a sponge! I have wiped away spots on my stainless steal cookware that I would have had to scrub with a regular sponge.

Food pieces wash away completely and when finished using you lay it out flat over your clean dishes, or hang up to dry. There is no place for bacteria to grow. No hidden spots for mold spores and best of all -there is no smelly sponge to toss and pay money to buy more. My friend and Norwex Rep Rebecca shares her dish cloth is going on two years. She has not had to purchase a dish sponge in two years. That’s a savings for your wallet and the planet!

Speaking of saving the planet I am now curious about other Norwex products that will help us reduce our plastic consumption. Here is my Wish List For Savings:

We use a lot of plastic straws. We toss at least 100 straws a month into our trash. The plastic used in drinking straws is not biodegradable. It just sits in our landfill. I also spend around $25 a year on plastic straws alone. So we are switching to stainless steel straws to save the planet and money.

stainless steel straws

We buy a lot of produce at our grocery stores and farmer’s markets. We often stuff our fresh selections into a plastic bag that gets tossed in the trash. (I haven’t found another use for them). So picking up some reusable mesh produce bags will really help cut down on the amount of plastic bags we throw away. These are washable and easy to carry along with our reusable shopping bags.

produce bags

We don’t use a lot of plastic wraps in our house. I have invested in several quality sets of reusable glass and food grade plastic containers to keep plastic wraps out of our home. I really love the sandwich wrap and snack bags from Norwex! These are great for packing sandwiches and our coveted gold fish crackers for a quick picnic in the park.

Sandwich wrapsnack bag

If you have not yet fallen for the craze that is Norwex please feel free to use my personal shopping link to find out more and feel free to ask questions. I promise it has been worth every penny spent! We can breathe easier in our homes and know that we are saving money and our planet!

Have you tried Norwex yet?

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia and The Novice Mommy.

 

Friday Favorites – Bean Box And Fun With Coffee

And all the moms chant, “What do we want? COFFEE!” “When do we want it? NOW!”

I believe there are two drinks that moms use as appropriate survival tactics – Coffee and Wine. I have three main reasons why coffee is a must have in my home and here they are:

Bean box boys

Lately, I’ve been on a subscription box kick. It’s such a great way to try new things that you normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to, or even know about. While doing a search of the top subscription boxes  I found Bean Box. Samples of coffee beans from roasters in Seattle straight to my door? SIGN ME UP! Seattle is synonymous with coffee so I know I’m in good hands.   

bean box coffee

My first customized Bean Box sampler arrived with four specialty roasts from four different independent coffee roasters – Kuma Coffee, Herkimer Coffee, Lighthouse, and Conduit. You can customize your box depending on your roast preference from light to dark. Each coffee you select is shipped within 48 hours of roasting so that it’s always fresh. A ampler box includes four 1. 8-ounce packages of whole bean coffee. If you are new to brewing beans like I am, this is the equivalent to approximately 16 cups of coffee. You can purchase a decent coffee bean grinder for under $20 on Amazon. I scored a Cuisinart Grind and Brew coffee pot at a yard sale for just $5!  It is super convenient to throw the beans right into the coffee maker and let it do the rest with a touch of a button.

bean box table

Sharing a fresh cup of coffee is a great way to connect with others, so I asked a five of my friends to come over and sample some of this good stuff! We started with a pot of Drip Blend by Herkimer Coffee which has hints of cherry, caramelized sugar and chocolate. Not surprisingly, we went thru that pot quickly and made another. Our second round was the Guatemala Chuito by the award winning Kuma Coffee. They describe it as a bright roast with notes of brown sugar, blueberry juice and lime. Would you believe we made a third pot? Did I mention that all five of us have toddlers? We finished up with a pot of Colombia Finca Veracruz roasted by Conduit.

Each bag of coffee includes a brief description by both the roaster and Bean Box. Bean Box described it as a “bright, white grape juice, creamy cocoa and a spicy finish of nutmeg in this intense, yet friendly, roast.” My husband and I shared Lighthouse’s Roaster’s Choice  which like the others was a great bold cup of coffee.

Do you have another coffee lover in your life? They have some great options for gift giving from the Coffee of the Month to the World Coffee Tour Box. You can also purchase the 12-ounce size bags of your favorites that include espresso and decaf options.

Good-Bye plastic pods of coffee! Bean Box has made me a believer in how coffee is supposed to be!

 

FUN THINGS TO DO WITH COFFEE:

Create Personalized Coffee Mugs by purchasing white coffee mugs from the dollar store. (The cheaper mugs are more porous to accept the paint). Use Sharpie Paint markers to create your design. Let it dry for 72 hours. Put mugs in a cold oven and turn to 425 degrees. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave them in there to cool off.

bean box mugs

 DIY Exfoliating Face Scrub Mix 3 Tablespoons of new coffee grounds with 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar and add 1 Tablespoon of natural oil of your choice (olive, grape seed, coconut or almond oil). Store mixture in an air tight glass jar. Massage gently on to your face and rinse with warm water.

 


Gloria DarmaninGloria Darmanin is a three time boy mom and completely outnumbered. She works hard to spread awareness for childhood cancer, authentic inclusion for persons with disabilities and gender equality. When she isn’t hiding from the kids she is off planning her annual St. Baldrick’s event and dreaming of ways to make money for charity.