Friday Favorites – Fitbit HR Charge Fitness Tracker

Friday Favorites (6)

My husband bought me a Fitbit for my birthday last year. Not because he thinks I’m out of shape but he knows how much I want one. I find myself in need of something to keep track of my bad habits so I can start to create new ones (sounds logical right?). Self care is such a struggle for me and I need all the help I can get!

The step counter is not 100% accurate. Somehow I can walk several hundred steps while driving my car; and I can just wave my hand (because who can talk without moving their hands?) and it will count as a step. Kind of a bummer right? But, that is because I am too focused on the numbers and not on how much fun I can have with my Fitbit!

Here is how I’m loving using my Fitbit HR Charge:

ADDING FRIENDS

Connecting my Fitbit app through Facebook has connected me to other friends using a Fitbit too! It’s like having a virtual support group. Knowing other people can see my activity level helps with accountability.

fitbit app screens

RACES

This has got to be my most favorite feature. I’m not one to compete for the biggest car, or the biggest house or the best of any material goods. But, we set a goal together and I will take you down! I got my first invite to a Work Week Hustle challenge and I was making it a point to go get every little request my family had. “You need a napkin, I’ll get it!” “You need me to pick up that tiny piece of lint all the way on the other side of the house? I’ll get it!” After all more movement means more steps which means I win!

WATER INTAKE

Now, I can easily track how much water I drink each day. I found a 16 oz. cup that I really enjoy using and every time I empty it I just add to the tracker before filling up again. This has actually helped me set a better habit to increase my water intake! (See bad habit identified, new habit created. My system works!).

CALORIE TRACKER 

Using this tracker has been super helpful in making healthier choices. I am a stress eater and I graze all day. All of that adds up and I have no idea why my jeans suddenly have a little less room in them. I know, simple math – calories in, calories out. Since I am horrible with numbers and I don’t have room to carry around a bulky notebook to write everything down this is a handy feature! What makes it even easier to use is the scanning option. I can scan the bar code on the package of my snacks or food items, and if it is in the database it will register the calories for a serving size. If a code is not in the system you can snap pics of the code and the packaging to help add it to the database.

SLEEP TRACKER

This is such a huge help for me! My kids actually sleep through the night but I don’t. I typically sleep between 3 and 6 hours per night. You’d think I’d get more done with those extra hours. But… I’m TIRED! Knowing where my sleep deceits are helps me know when I need to kick my self care into high gear and really stick to routines.

Even though I was disappointed at first because I felt like it wasn’t 100% accurate, I realize now our bodies are not an exact science anyway. Finding a truly 100% way to track what’s happening may not exist for the home user. But, that’s OK. I sure am having fun and enjoying how my Fitbit keeps me connected to my goals!

Got a Fibit? Wanna race? *wink*

 

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!

 

Gift Guide for New Moms

Good morning everyone! I’m so excited to introduce you to my new niece, Juliet!

Baby J

Isn’t she beautiful? And, so tiny! I haven’t held a baby this small since my girls were born. There were two to hold at the same time, so it felt different to hold one sleeping, tiny little baby. I swear my babies only slept like this a short amount of time before it was all crying all day. I think that’s just par for the course with twins.

Once Juliet arrived I wanted to get her something cute. After all, it has also been a long time since I got to shop for a cute little girly baby outfit. As much as I wanted to buy a baby gift, I really wanted to buy a gift for my sister in-law. This is child #2 for her. I feel like the more children we have the more effort we have to put into taking care of ourselves. By effort I don’t mean make up and expertly coordinated outfits. I mean managing stress and being able to feel refreshed. That’s hard to do with a newborn who doesn’t sleep through the night. Her son just turned six and I teased her that she was finally free from the sleep deprivation, but now she’s going right back in! So my gifts were inspired by those early days when self care is critical care.

Inside the gift bag for my little peanut Juliet I included some things I knew my sister in-law would enjoy. I didn’t want to just get her stuff she needed. I wanted to get stuff just for her to enjoy. Moms deserve a little something JUST for themselves to celebrate that giant feat of birthing another human being!  Here is my list of gift ideas for new moms:

Really Good Tea

Harney tea

A good cup of chamomile herbal tea (no caffeine) will help soothe those frazzled nerves from not getting enough sleep at night. You don’t have to break the budget to get good tea. Most grocery stores now carry some really great choices for around $5.00. Many of which look very fancy.

Chocolate

Taza Chocolate

If she doesn’t like chocolate then add in a different special little treat just for her. If you don’t know if she likes chocolate you can still put it in the basket. Worst case scenario she can always share the chocolate with hubby, or friends who stop by to see the baby.

Luxurious Lotions

HelloMellow Body Butter

A nice mild lotion with minimal fragrance so as not to irritate her skin or her baby’s skin. It’s just nice to have a soothing lotion on hand to feel pampered.

Lip Balm

Kiss My Face Lip Balm

New moms can dehydrate quickly so a lip balm will help keep lips kissable soft for baby’s tender skin.

Essential Oils

 

Essential Oil Roller Ball

A roller ball gives mom the chance to apply a mood changing, or uplifting sent when she needs to. Or, if she has a diffuser she can easily use to fill her room with a calming scent. Lavender is great for calming and soothing, and orange mixed with peppermint is great for an energy lift.

Gift Bag

RuMe organizer

You can easily put all of these lovely gifts into a paper gift bag, or even a basket. But, why not put them in a cute little accessories bag she can reuse later. Moms NEVER run of out uses for extra bags! Adding a monogram truly makes this gift personal.

What else would you add to this list of gifts for new moms?

 

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!

 

April 2nd is World Autism Day

rd autism

 

Happy Saturday!

I know, I typically do not post on a Saturday. But, today is an important day to share. April 2nd is now celebrated as World Autism Day and it kicks off a month long celebration of difference and spreading awareness about Autism. Not only are the statistics alarming (1 in 68 are diagnosed), but it is more alarming how difficult it is for autistic individuals and their families to find acceptance and understanding. This boggles my mind because we are so much more alike than we are different.

Years ago, I worked as an assistant in a school for autistic children. I worked in the preschool classroom during the morning and then in the afternoon I worked in the older classrooms. I have witnessed miracles happen and I have witnessed heart breaking sadness for children working so hard to cope. That experience changed me forever. In fact, after two weeks on the job I said one day I would write a book titled, “Everything I Needed to Know about Life, I Learned from Autism.” Later, I found a deeper passion linking parents to therapeutic services for their children. My wish would be that everyone could see autism the way I do- through love, compassion and understanding.

I found this post when I logged onto Facebook this morning. It is written by my friend Erin who is an amazing mom, a “Coastie wife” the owner/designer at Rose Door Designs; and now mother of an autistic son. I agree with her message and I simply love how beautifully she has shared her and her son’s story.

Erin and Liam

erin d

“Today is World Autism Awareness Day. And while I think it’s great (really!) if you want to change your profile pic, Light It Up Blue, or even share my cover photo, those things won’t necessarily make you or anyone else more “aware” of autism. But knowing someone who is autistic might.

My Liam was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in June 2013, just before his fifth birthday. He doesn’t “look autistic;” for many people he “seems normal.” But the more time you spend with him, the more pronounced his differences become…and the more amazing you realize he is. Liam struggles every day in a world that often overwhelms and doesn’t make sense to him. He shows up and he does his best and he fights his way through. He’s brilliant and funny and talented and sweet as can be. He’s my hero.

So today, you can say you know a person with autism. One person. Because every person with autism is unique. There are no cookie cutter signs or symptoms; you can’t spot it from across the room. Autism doesn’t come wrapped in a blue puzzle piece ribbon.

For anybody out there facing an ASD diagnosis–whether it be your kid, a friend’s kid, a family member–IT’S GOING TO BE OK. I promise. You will find your way. There are helpers. Liam has been able to make remarkable progress since his initial diagnosis thanks in large part to the incredible work of some really amazing special educators, regular classroom teachers, therapists, school psychologists, aides, and paraprofessionals. So, to those of you doing that really difficult, really important work: THANK YOU. I know it doesn’t always feel like it, but you make a huge difference in the lives of kids like mine every single day.

If you have any questions about Liam, what autism looks like at our house, or about ASD in general, I’d be happy to try and answer them. It is, after all, World Autism Awareness Day.

Love and light,
One Lucky Mom”

When I asked Erin for permission to share her post she asked me to really emphasize the value of the hard work special educators put into helping kids like Liam, “Special educators are absolutely saints and deserve millions of dollars and their own velvet roped VIP area in heaven. We are so, so thankful and forever indebted to his teachers and aides. They have loved him like their own and have made it possible for us to be better parents.”

I also asked Erin if she could offer any advice about what kind of support she needs as a parent, “I guess the best support anyone could offer me would be to try to understand. Ask questions, be observant, and offer to help maybe (though I’m not big on accepting help! LOL). It drives me nuts when people say things like, “Oh, he’ll be fine,” or “He looks so normal,” or “He doesn’t seem so bad.” It may be true in that moment, but they haven’t seen the day to day struggles.”

I would like to add to Erin’s advice by saying don’t judge a parent by their child’s behaviors. A child struggling to cope in public can often look like they are “misbehaving” and believe me EVERYONE has an opinion on how to handle THAT child. None of that advice is helpful. Instead, ask, “What can I do to help?” “Is there anything I can do to help you right now?” Sometimes just offering help with compassion offers enough room for a parent to take a breath and face that struggle. Sometimes knowing you are not alone in the struggle is all it takes for families living with autism to feel accepted.

autism ribbon

To learn more about Autism and how it affects families visit http://www.autism-society.org/

 

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!

 

 

Friday Favorites- Relax Body Oil by HelloMellow

Friday Favorites

This has to be one of my most favorite products right now! During the winter months the air in my house gets so dry and ultimately so does my skin. Even though it is officially spring I am not giving this product up! I was given a travel sized bottle of Relax body oil by HelloMellow as a gift from a friend. I could not wait to try it and once I saw the results I couldn’t wait to share it!

Clearly my gifting friend picked just the right product for me because relaxing isn’t something that comes easy to me. Even before I had the ‘twinadoes’ take over my life, I was never one to sit still. Now as a mom I rely on stolen moments of deep breaths with essential oils to keep my sanity. Hiding in a closet with a chocolate bar is delicious, but it’s not as relaxing as it sounds.

Relax

The directions say you can use this on wet skin right after the shower. Do not dry off! Using immediately after a shower leaves my skin super soft and amazingly hydrated. You can use on dry skin as well, which I often do before bedtime to ya know…relax! The scent is very subtle which is great for anyone with asthma, allergies or breathing issues. And, it won’t over power your partner sleeping next to you who always complains about too many flowers at bedtime makes him sneeze. *wink*

tracy feldstein

HellowMellow products were created by Tracy Feldstein, a massage therapist with extensive experience and education on bodywork therapies. Tracy wanted the most nourishing products for her clients. That’s why all of HellowMellow’s products are vegan, paraben free and without chemical preservatives which makes them perfect for nearly everyone! What’s in it you wonder? SPOILER ALERT: It’s NOT coconut oil! I know it’s hard to imagine a luxurious body oil company not using the most popular oil on the planet to make their products. Ingredients for each individual item is listed right online.

Relax 2

My new favorite Relax blend is made of cold pressed extra virgin sesame and olive oils, avocado butter, mango butter and essential oils of clary sage and grapefruit. (Smells great by the way!).

b4bc-survivorship-logo

By now you may all know I am always excited to share a product that does some good too! For every purchase of any item in the Balance line, 5% is donated to Boarding for Cancer Survivorship Fund. Established in 2009, the B4BC  Survivorship Fund connects breast cancer survivors with nature-based health & wellness retreats in order to enhance their path of healing and long-term survivorship. Since its inception, B4BC has connected 14 survivors to a retreat.

You can find additional products safe for expectant moms, nursing moms, the man in your life and even someone undergoing chemotherapy. The shop has convenient subcategories for weddings, baby showers, for the baby, for the home and in treatment and has pre-bundled gift packs for each occasion.

There are no affiliate links contained in this post. No financial compensation exchanged for review. Opinions expressed belong solely to The Whatever Mom.

 

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!

 

 

Spring Cleaning (Not A Guide)

Spring Cleaning

Phwew! Spring break is over and the kids are back at school FOR SIX HOURS TODAY!! We survived!                I survived!!! Now, to update you on our week!

Last year for spring break we took an amazing road trip to Mystic CT (<—click it) to see the aquarium and a few fun little museums. This year (are ya ready for this?) we stayed home to spring clean our house! I know…that crazy Whatever family! It’s all about balance right? Amazing fun doesn’t come without the price of cleaning up a mess. Don’t worry; this isn’t another blog about how to clean your house, or what schedule you should follow to spring clean in 30 minutes or less. This is a blog about survival.

Although I do love me a good clean house to live in, having me tell you how I clean my house really doesn’t matter. You know how to clean a house right? Even if you clean your house in a different order than I do mine you’re not doing it wrong. It may set you at ease to read this next confession of mine; I haven’t cleaned my home in five years. OK that’s a little misleading. I have cleaned my house, but I haven’t been able to clean my house for FIVE. YEARS. All the sticky parts were cleaned up and the most trafficked areas maintained, but cleaning any deeper just did not happen.

When you have two little kids always stuck to you like Velcro, and zero extra help you do what you can to survive. Even if that means stacking things high on top of the fridge, or into as many distant corners as possible to keep them from destroying things. That’s what you do. Survival. Survival can get dirty. I didn’t even take pictures to share with you because, well things were dirty. We cleaned behind furniture and found things we thought we lost years ago. Did you know spiders can create webs that connect your furniture TO the wall? Yep. Found a lot of those too.

We washed curtains, shampooed carpets, washed windows and here’s my favorite part: we threw things away!! If you’ve read my posts before you know I am an avid “chucker.” I love to throw out duplicate items, small random toys that have no meaning and riding my closet of tiny clothes I’ll no longer squeeze my mom bod into. I admit I felt a sharp pang in my heart when my five year olds fit into my old concert t-shirts. I’d be lucky if I could get even one of those shirts over my thigh now. *sigh*

We moved furniture to new locations and organized kitchen cabinets. So much work. But, so happy it’s all done. I am having a lot of emotions about the girls starting Kindergarten and I feel like settling things in our closets and cupboards will help me feel like I have some amount of control over this new season of parenthood (and maybe breathe a little better without the inch of dust on my walls). In some weird way it makes me feel more prepared. I feel like we are closing a chapter on their early childhood. All the baby stuff. All the toddler games. It’s all gone. We are no longer spending hours piled under tents and learning our ABC’s. My kids know their ABC’s.

This spring cleaning was about tucking away the memories of our lives at home the last five years. It was about me carefully and lovingly packaging those moments up neat. I packed away all evidence of our preschool years now preserved in a box on a shelf. We can visit those days again, but we won’t have those moments to live again. I’ll miss being at the park at 10:15 a.m. on a Tuesday soaking up the sun while listening to my kids gleeful screeches. I’ll miss watching them in the backyard lost in a daydream while swinging higher and higher.

As I blew off the dust that collected during the last five years of survival, I began to look forward to surviving the next five years. Bullies. Heartache. Bus rides. Science. Learning. Navigating friendships. Understanding more about the world. This spring cleaning was a way of holding on and letting go at the same time. It is so hard to let go of those “little” years, but I have to let them go to make room for what’s to come in the next five years.

I know I’ll never have everything perfectly crossed off of my list. I’ll never accomplish all the things I want to with my kids as time passes by too quickly. But, I’m doing my best to hold onto who they are today, before leaving those little people in our past. Now that our house is clean I feel like we each have a fresh place to start this next leg of our journey. Join me five years from now when I “deep clean” our house once again. *wink*

Got a great been there done that survival tip for the Kindergarten year? Please share it below! You can also share it on my Facebook Page or Twitter!

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!

 

Commending Our Heroes and Empowering Girls

Princesses & Protectors

Happy Monday Morning All!!

Last week was a busy week for us! We did a lot of crafting and celebrating. We celebrated St. Patrick’s day and the arrival of Spring! We went out to dinner for St. Patrick’s day, we took some long walks and just played outside for hours. I am beat just remembering of all of it!

Saturday the girls and I took a wonderful trip to the NY state Museum of Firefighting in Hudson, NY. We attended the Princess and Protectors tea party where boys and girls met with female fire fighters. It was such an amazing way to celebrate fire fighters (many of whom voluntarily run into a burning building) and to empower young girls to be anything they want to be!

Princess and protectors

I have to confess here that I easily turn into a blubbering mess any time there is a hero to honor. Anyone in messy turn out gear, wearing a badge or camouflage all get my deepest respect. I can’t imagine what it takes to put on those uniforms every day with the sole purpose of saving and defending strangers. My dad was a volunteer firefighter when I was really young. I have no recollection of worrying about his safety, but now as a wife and mother I can only imagine the anxiety I would feel at every fire call, or every morning my loved one left the house with a gun holstered to their hip.

Queen Phoenix attended as the hostess of the party and invited each of the fire fighters up to get recognition and a round of applause. I got teary eyed. I was so happy to see the recognition and imagined how proud these women must feel and how proud their families must be. It takes a lot of hard work to become a firefighter!! Not everyone makes the cut! I imagined how proud I’d be if my daughters were standing up there.

Jr. Firefighter Challenge

We sat next to Princess Kendall, a 16 year old firefighter who joined her firehouse when she was just 14 years old. Kendall is not old enough to rush into the buildings (she has to be 18), but she has already been on the scene helping. She runs the tools from the truck to the fighters, she is learning to be at the ready and all the skills she will need to know to save lives! It is amazing to see such a young woman realize THIS is what she wants to do. THIS is where she wants to be! Kendall was shy and quiet, but you could not contain her enthusiasm when it was time for her to gear up to show the kids what a fire fighter looks like. She was more than happy to pose for pictures with the kids and tell them how her gear works.

IMG_20160319_111922460_HDR

It still completely baffles my mind that not all firefighters are paid for their service! Did you know that 70% of the nations firefighters are volunteers? This means they do not get paid to run into a burning building, or to answer an emergency call! They do not get paid to save lives they do it because it is something they feel they must do! The average salary range for paid firefighters is $22,000 to over $110,000. Salary is based on experience and rank. If you are living in a small town chances are the first responders in your local firehouse are volunteering their time away from family and second to a full time career.

My girls really enjoyed the tea and crumpets, the crafts and getting their picture taken with a queen. The really enjoyed going through the obstacle course and looking at the antique fire trucks.

Craft time

But, I really hope they take with them the message that they can be anything they want to be. I hope by meeting these women in person helps my girls form their own strong identities as capable humans. More than anything I hope this empowers them to find their own passions and not let gender stereotypes dictate what they can and cannot do.

How do empower your young kids?

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!

 

How Far Do I Have To Run To Leave The Madness Behjnd?

IMG_20160318_185820868

Have you ever had a day just so insane you wanted to run away? That was my day today! After months of my husband working 6 day weeks and traveling I was feeling pretty streched thin!

This week my kids have been especially crazy. They are constantly arguing and not listening and just not nice to each other. I knew my nerves were shot when I sent hubby this text:

Me:”I had to take away all the chairs from our kids today. I banned them from using CHAIRS!!!!”

Hubby:”I don’t know what to say except what kind of wine do you want me to bring home?”

Me:”THE BIG ONE!”

I felt like the harder I tried to settle the kids so I could have space to do a little work and maybe wash some dishes, the harder it was to wrangle them. So , I turned on the TV, went to my own room and called my mom.

Me:” This morning I told my child to get in the car and for some reason she starts running around the car and dancing across the front yard. I have yelled so much this week I swear the neighbors set their clock, brew a nice cup of coffee and watch out the window just waiting to see what $#@+ show my kids are creating each day”

Mom: Laughter. Of course she laughed. Not because I am funny but because she remembers what it felt like (and now she’s free from the tyranny that was the “know it all” me).

As soon as my husband arrived home I ran out the door to grocery shop. I had no list. No idea what I needed to buy. But I was gonna walk every aisle in each of the stores I regularly shop! First, I’ll treat myself to a chai latte from Dunkin Donuts. Uggh…except my driver side window is stuck and won’t open!! What is this day trying to do to me?!?

Never mind. I will drive to the Quick Check gas station and get something. I settled on a decaf coffee with chemical creamer. I didn’t even care. I wanted a stinking vanilla caramel latte darn it! As I looked around for a brownie (because I like my emotions to taste sweet) a beacon of light shown forth and there it was! A gluten free chocolate chip brownie. For ME. Waiting so patiently.

I didn’t even wait to pull out of my parking spot before snarfing that little slice of perfection into my mouth!

IMG_20160318_191437910

#noregrets

I continued to my stores in absolutely no hurry. I read every single label on my food selections. I even offered to read the lables for other shoppers on their products. I am so not in a hurry to get back that I am actually sitting in the Aldi’s parking lot typing this post!

I knew I had to share this with all of you. Someone out there is having a day just like mine. Maybe they need to hear they are not alone, or permission to just laugh at the craptastic events of today. And, maybe I feel better knowing I’m not the only one who fantasizes about running away.

Whatever the reason you have read this far, thank you! Tomorrow is another day. I am hoping it is a better one. If not, I at least have the big wine! 😉

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!

Friday Favorites: Money Saving Apps That Earn You Extra Cash

MoneySaving Apps

This week we upgraded my dumb “smart” phone to a much better option! My last phone really was the dumbest smart phone ever! If I tried to download an app (or use any app) the phone would freeze. I would have to turn it off and restart it every time. I couldn’t upload any of my pics any where and it would just shut off randomly. I know… first world problems. But, it can be frustrating when you are trying to use your phone for business and an all inclusive scheduling tool.

Now that I have a fully functional phone I am finding more apps that save me time and money! Who doesn’t love that? During those early years of paying for formula and diapers for two babies I spent a lot of my time clipping and organizing coupons. Now, I just don’t have the time. So apps like Target’s Cartwheel and Ibotta are super easy to use and much quicker than clipping and sorting coupons!

I feel like I’ve come late to the party because just about everyone already knows about these apps. But, if you are as late to the party as me, let me share my favorites!

 

ibotta app

The Ibotta app allows me to unlock savings deals on grocery items, apparel, electronics, specialty gifts, pet supplies, arts and crafts and more. I simply unlock a coupon to get cash back on that item instead of the amount deducted up front like a coupon. Once the cash amount reaches $20 you can cash it out and transfer to a Paypal account to spend any way you want. Who doesn’t want EXTRA cash?!

walmart savings app

I am not a fan of shopping at my local Walmart. Mostly because it is swamped no matter what time of day I go. There’s never an easy place to park and the lines are always so long it’s never just a quick stop for me. But, a lot of my friends are using the Walmart Savings Catcher app when they shop. It automatically searches your purchased items and compares the prices at other local stores. If an item is cheaper at another store Walmart refunds the difference! Another way to make EXTRA cash! (I have not used this one yet).

cartwheel app

The Target Cartwheel app is super easy to use and you can stack your savings! If you have a coupon for an item already AND there is a cartwheel coupon you can use BOTH! I purchased bathing suits for my kids Easter baskets this week. As I was standing in line I remembered I could use the app! I’m glad I did because there was a coupon in there for 15% off kids bathing suits AND additional coupons for the candy items I purchased too. I didn’t pay full price for anything! You don’t get cash back with this app, but saving up front is a great way to keep cash IN your pocket! The best part is no coupon clipping and it stores your digital coupons in your dashboard to access at the cash register!

Often these kinds of apps offer a chance to earn extra cash by sharing with your friends. So, the first time they use the app you are rewarded with $5-$10 in your account to spend any way you want. Between earning cash and saving cash you are getting paid to shop!

I am hooked on using these apps to save and make money. Now, I am curious what other must have apps are out there! Which ones are your favorites?

PLEASE share in the comments below!

 

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!

Friday Favorites – Jolly Dragons GIVEAWAY!

Jolly Dragons Organic Kids Clothes

Promotional products generously provided by Jolly Dragons. No financial compensation was received for this review. All opinions are honest and belong solely to The Whatever Mom. Does not contain affiliate links.

Here it is … my new favorite: Jolly Dragons organic kids clothing! I’ll be honest I had no idea the difference between organic cotton vs. typical cotton fabric until I held these shirts in my hand. They are so much softer than any t-shirt my kids own. 

Jolly Dragons

When our package arrived, our shirts were hand wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with an adorable Jolly Dragons logo. There was a hand written note included! How often do you get a hand written note with your products? Right away my girls loved the designs and the colors. Mermaids and butterflies are kind of their thing. I am so impressed by the fabric quality, the colorful print on each shirt and the attention to detail in the design and packaging.

Jolly Dragons Logo

Jolly Dragons is a family owned business located in Cape Cod, MA. and what a delight it has been getting to know the owner in our email conversations! Each shirt and body suit is designed by this mom and dad team. What I love most about family owned businesses is that they GET ‘family’ in every sense of the word. They get the struggle for balance and the struggle to find safe products to use on our kids. And, that’s how Jolly Dragons was born!

Jolly Dragons family

This family puts great emphasis on using organic cotton fabric to keep pesticides away from your baby’s new skin, and sustainable printing methods. Your toddler won’t care they are wearing an organic shirt printed with eco-friendly digital printing. But they will LOVE the vivid and colorful prints! How cute is this spider shirt!!?

 Jolly-Dragons---Spider

Sizes range from newborn to size 6T. You have your kid’s skin covered (see what I did there) through every tender stage of their young lives. You will have peace of mind knowing these shirts are labeled with the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) seal of approval. 

 GOTS

My kids loved the shirts Jolly Dragons sent for review so much that they argued over who gets to keep which design. (There were actual tears and fist-a-cuffs). This means there will be TWO lucky winners receiving an organic t-shirt for free! 

EVERYONE is getting a 25% discount just for being a reader of The Whatever Mom! Perfect timing to help fill those Easter baskets! Shop the Jolly Dragons catalog and when you are ready to check out use the discount code: thewhatevermom.  Enjoy the savings! The folks at Jolly Dragons have a lot of exciting new things happening! So be sure to find them and like them on Facebook so you can be the first to see!

Follow the instructions below to enter! Good luck! Winners can select from the two designs pictured above (mermaid or monarch).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

Giving Up My To-do List

Tea time yogi

Most Tuesdays I drop the kids off at school and rush home to finish my work. I catch up on blog writing and photo edits.

But today I am giving up my usual agenda to take one of my girls on a date day.

Kindergarten prep requires a physical exam. It is much easier to take one kid at a time to the doc. After that we are spending the rest of the school day together.

It turns out I have a five year old super fan who knows exactly how she would spend the day with me, her favorite celebrity.

“First we’re gonna swing together, then blow bubbles together, then take a nature walk and have a picnic lunch.”

That’s a pretty specific list of things to do. Listening to my girl describe our dream date made me realize how insignificant all my chores and to-do lists are. Those things will always be there. But a day will come when my daughter doesn’t want to spend an entire day with me. She will have her own list of things to complete.

I am enjoying my cup of coffee while she still sleeps. In a moment I will wake her up to start our day. Here is hoping your day is filled with love and don’t forget to cherish the little people in your life.

 

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!