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How Printables Saved My Sanity – Guest Post

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Hi! I’m Carolina and kitchen printables have saved my sanity. I spent years believing that structure was for control freaks. Then I came to the life-altering realization that I desperately need order. Yes, after having kids. And yes, the kitchen was the place in most need of a change. That’s when printables started to appear on my fridge.

I used to believe that if I couldn’t keep my kitchen exactly the way I wanted it then it was a lost cause. It felt pointless to clean a mess only to have another one moments later. Dishes were dirty and the cupboards were cluttered. Food was going bad with no meal plan for the future. Having kids meant having even less time for chores. And let’s face it, some of us don’t adjust to motherhood in a timely fashion.

Thankfully, I found printables! Turns out there are whole Pinterest boards dedicated to organizing your life via pre-made lists, and worksheets that you can print at home.  While I wasn’t looking to go quite so crazy, I was willing to start with a simple grocery list to slap on the fridge. Guess what? It helped more than I could have imagined!

Once I got used to working with a grocery list printable I decided to expand my horizons. Before I knew it I was printing off cleaning checklists, cooking tips, weekly schedules and anything else that could up my game. Some I found more useful than others as there’s a huge selection online to choose from. The best allowed me to save time, manage my chores, and they even look pretty on display.

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Fast forward a few years and I’ve created my own set of printables to help busy moms like us. These get me through all the weekly chaos between a husband, two kids, appointments, sports, etc. The meal planner gives me a leg up on the week and basically determines my grocery list. The grocery list is divided into sections, so I can shave off a few minutes of misery not having to scan the entire list over and over while running down the aisles after a toddler.

When the holidays roll around, a self proclaimed scatterbrain such as myself needs a way to organize my thoughts amidst all the holiday madness. When I came up with my dinner party plan worksheet that’s exactly what I had in mind. How can I very simply (and on one sheet of paper) jot down the gist of what’s happening and what I need to do to prepare. With an overwhelming schedule, who can expect any parent to just “whip up” a holiday party? Now I can at least see the big picture. How many seats? Does anyone have a food allergy? Did I clean the bathroom that my 7 year old son destroyed? Never underestimate the power of a worksheet!

I’m no Martha Stewart, nor do I want to be. But I also don’t want to live life constantly at the mercy of my limitations as a parent. If I spend a few minutes per week scribbling off a few ideas on these printables it saves my sanity down the line. You know, like the grocery store line that you’ve waited in for 20 minutes only to recall a dozen items you forgot to pick up when you’re FINALLY next at the register. Ugh.

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Give yourself a boost and try out the grocery list or meal planner I’ve put together (everyone needs groceries!). See if it helps you gain a sense of empowerment in the kitchen. It sure did for me when I needed it the most. And besides, I’m always looking for help in the kitchen whether it’s an extra pair of hands or a to-do list I can print at the push of a button.

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* This season on my food & kitchen blog, A Butterful Mind, I’m connecting with busy mamas who are hosting for the holidays. Some love it, some hate it, some just need help! I’ve got a time saving solution that’ll further save you your sanity. Stay up to date with the progress of this e-book via Facebook and Instagram!

carolina-circleCarolina Weick is the creator of A Butterful Mind, a food blog with step by step recipes and kitchen tips. She lives in South Carolina with her husband and two kids and is all about the local food scene in Charleston. She’s a goofball who loves Jesus and hates chocolate.

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Friday Favorites – My Summer Life Hacks

5 Life Hacksfor Balance

The kids an I are in full camp mom mode and ready for our summer adventures. No school and no sports means the kids and I are spending a lot more time together. While I love the extra time (most days) having them home all day does cause a few hiccups in my daily routine. It isn’t easy shopping with kids in tow and having them home all day means I’m cleaning up all day.

As soon as my kids wake up they want a project to do. They will either pull out all of their toys or crayons and paper and set to work. It’s great to have kids who can so easily entertain themselves, but they are still working on the cleaning it all up part. I have learned to let somethings go, but I still find myself tidying up behind them. And if I want to get any kind of work done, I have to turn a blind eye to the mess they are making while I am in my office.

Between cleaning up the messes, making snacks/meals, schlepping us to the park, the library and playing outside; there is the laundry, the grocery shopping and writing a few blog posts each week. I also have a mile long summer project list of things like painting the deck, cleaning out the garage and creating a dramatic command center before school starts (ha, ha OK that’s not really going to happen).

That sure is a lot for one person to manage in a day. So, here are a few ways I am hacking my way through summer:

  1. Get a Cleaning Lady. I know everyone thinks this is a luxury they can’t afford. It isn’t something I can afford regularly either, but during the summer months I hire a little extra help to balance life out. I pay a local mom who is looking to make extra cash to stay home with her child. Not only am I supporting another mom, but she isn’t charging as much as a cleaning company. I also only have her come to my house every two weeks for a bigger cleaning. Narrow down what you need the most help with (for me it’s the bathrooms and the floors) and ask for a quote on only those areas.
  2. Outsource Your Shopping. My biggest time (and sanity) saver is ordering my groceries online. In the past I have had them delivered directly to my house. Now I use a curbside service where someone else spends the time pulling the groceries and bagging them up and then they bring them to my car. I don’t have to get two kids out of the car to shop!
  3. Do The Laundry Every Day. I know this sounds like a lot of work. Between the wet towels and bathing suits, the 10 outfit changes per day I find summer brings more laundry. I toss a load of laundry in the wash at dinner time and then in the dryer after dinner. Then I fold heaping piles of laundry while sitting in front of the TV at night. I don’t even put it away until morning. Actually I make everyone put away their own laundry away in the morning.
  4. Give The Kids A Bath. I know it can be hard to give kids a bath every day, and there are some nights, especially if we’ve been home all day, where we skip bath. Make their bath time the last activity of the day. Give them fun things in the tub to play with like glow sticks, grow capsules, shaving cream tub paints, or colored ice cubes. Set them up with a dinosaur wash, or a car wash and let their imaginations take over. Giving my kids extra time to play in the tub gives me extra time to do other things. Like sit down.
  5. Give Yourself A Break. If you are home with kids all day, or maybe you work a 9-5 and the evenings are packed with a bustle of family life, it’s OK to take a break. Enjoy some time to relax. Even if that means leaving the dishes in the sink while you sit outside with your beverage in hand soaking in the evening sunlight. Be sure to take some time with friends, or take a walk alone. I personally like to take the kids to the gym with me (childcare is free) so I can watch my grown up TV shows and they can play. It’s a nice break in the day.

There ya have it, my five go-to favorite summer life hacks. I can’t get everything done in a day without relying on these five things!

What other tips do you have?

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.

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Closing our Eyes to Sandy Hook

Turning Our Backs on Sandy Hook

This week I am taking a break from sharing my favorite things to share with you my thoughts on gun violence. I don’t even have enough words to put together to express my feelings over the tragic loss of lives in Orlando. It has taken me this long to find the words you are about to read. I have been a weeping mess of sadness trying to make sense of my own feelings about this. My heart is aching while my kids are at school and I am a hugging machine when they are home. I have no idea what I should be doing to make things different. Then I saw this:

 

Stacey Wehrman Feeley

June 15 at 8:10pm

“I took this picture because initially I thought it was funny. I was going to send it to my husband to show what our mischievous little three-year-old was up to. However, the moment she told me what she was doing I broke down. She was practicing for a lock-down drill at her preschool and what you should do if you are stuck in a bathroom. At that moment all innocence of what I thought my three-year-old possessed was gone.

Politicians – take a look. This is your child, your children, your grandchildren, your great grandchildren and future generations to come. They will live their lives and grow up in this world based on your decisions. They are barely 3 and they will hide in bathroom stalls standing on top of toilet seats. I do not know what will be harder for them? Trying to remain quiet for an extended amount of time or trying to keep their balance without letting a foot slip below the stall door?”

 ‪#‎dosomething ‪#‎prayfororlando ‪#‎wecandobetterMoms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Photo credit: Stacey Wherman Feely. Her daughter drilling active shooter drills at home.

This photo was taken by Stacey Wherman Feeley, mother of this beautiful 3-year old girl and it is going viral. As it should! This is what we need to see every single day- the conditions in which we are forcing our children to grow up in. What Can I DO to help? This is the question every single person living and breathing in America should be asking right now. Every teacher. Every parent. Every nurse, doctor and lawyer. WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE A CHANGE? HOW CAN WE KEEP OUR CHILDREN SAFE AT SCHOOL?

I may be the Whatever Mom learning to keep my cool and let things go, but this is something that gets me really hot under the collar. The gun issue sickens me. Instead of tightening up safety measures we are teaching our vulnerable children to:

Hide.

Live in fear.

To think about staying alive during the school day.

Parents are on pins and needles leaving their kids at school, at day camp and dropping them off at the mall just hoping today isn’t the day someone decides they have the right to use a military grade weapon to kill and maim innocent people- of which could be their child.

My heart has been in pieces since Sandy Hook just thinking and worrying about my kids. And your kids. For the last few years I have listened to my friends talk about the active shooter drills in their kids’ schools. Their kids are coming home with anxiety about going to school and getting killed.

In the picture above a 3-year old is poised on top of the toilet practicing her balance and keeping quiet. THIS IS HOW WE TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO BE SAFE? How can we expect a child not yet developmentally capable of sitting still and keeping their emotions under control to fend for their own lives like this? They aren’t going to stay quiet long enough for a gunman to think, “Well, no one in there” and walk away.

Teaching our children to behave like sitting ducks just waiting to be plucked is teaching them to tolerate and accept violence as just a part of everyday life. Doesn’t that sound broken to anyone else? Doesn’t that sound like we have failed our children in some way? “Gee kids we’d really like schools to be a safe place for you to go to every day, but it just doesn’t look like it’s happening any time soon. And to the kid being abused at home and already living in fear every day we sure wish we could give you a secure place to let down your guard and find some solace in your day. Unfortunately none of us can agree on what that looks like. So for now just hang tight in the bathroom stalls and try not to make any noticeable sounds with your wiggly bodies and your loud personalities. We’ll just hope for the best.”

I don’t know about you, but I am mad. I am mad at our flawed system. I am mad at people who think mass murder is a justifiable act. I am mad there isn’t enough help for folks living with mental illness. I am mad at the people pointing fingers and blaming. And I am mad at myself. Sandy Hook happened four years ago and I have done nothing to be a part of the change I want for my kids. There have been how many more shootings since then? Sure, I signed a few petitions online and completed a few acts of random kindness to celebrate the lives of the kids who were murdered. How long can we close our eyes on what we learned from Sandy Hook? Another senseless shooting happens and I’m suddenly awake to how broken our system is. But what have I DONE to make change happen for MY OWN CHILDREN? Nothing. Until now.

Now, with a fire in my belly, I am calling every single representative, tweeting and a sharing on Facebook. I am texting #DisarmHate and hash tagging #wecandobetter like my fingers are on fire and the keys are going to put them out. I am educating myself on ways to close the loopholes in our gun laws. I am answering every call to action. I can’t stop until something changes for the better. It isn’t enough to teach our 3-year old children to suck it up and deal with the way the world is today. There has to be more.

Let it begin with me and you. Share this post. Sign up to follow your senators who are fighting for change. Follow groups like Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and answer their calls to action. Please help me find a way to keep guns out of the hands of folks who just want to use them to hurt our children.

For more information on what you can do to combat gun violence in America read Senator Chris Murphy’s words here.

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.

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Friday Favorites: FabFitFun 2016 Spring Box

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Fellow Mombies nod your heads if you agree with any of the following statements:

  • I wear pajamas all day and maternity clothes past their prime.
  • My meals consist of 3 times reheated coffee and leftover chicken nuggets from my children’s plates.
  • I’ve run on just a few hours’ sleep for the last five years.
  • I want to lose the weight that crept up on me but with 3 boys under 5 years old, the only thing I am losing is my sanity.
  • I am not being the best version of me!

All of these things were my life. Then something finally clicked and I wanted to start taking care of me! It’s my responsibility. I owe it to myself and my family. After this epiphany I found myself walking around Ulta Beauty for an hour trying everything on. Then I got my hair colored in a salon as opposed to my generic $6 box o’ color. And I am finding ways to budget in purchasing a couple of new outfits. Overall I am beginning to live a healthier life for me.

With the weight finally coming off I want to give myself a reward. Let me introduce my new healthy obsession: FabFitFun!

Fit Fab Fun Magazine Box

The FabFitFun box is a quarterly subscription service that sends out products each season. Each box shares full sized products from the latest in beauty, fashion, home, fitness and health. I love this subscription box! There are items in here that I would never splurge on myself with, nor would I even know about them. Each box will always contain full sized premium products with at least a $100 retail value. The Spring 2016 box is worth $282 but the subscription cost is $49.99. Read below to get $10 off of your first box, or prepay the annual subscription fee and get a $20.00 discount and pay only $179.99. Most of these products include a promo code just for FabFitFun members to use toward next purchases.

Let’s go over all my new goodies…..

Herb Garden by MakersKit –  How cute is this wooden trough? It comes complete with compost, containers, basil, mint and thyme. Instructions are also included. Perfect for Spring! ($35 value).

FitFabFun Magazine Unboxing

Contour Kit by Ish – I have watched contouring videos before and I’m too frightened to even try. I was happy to find that Ish makes easy to follow “HOW TO” videos that you can watch HERE. If contouring is still not your thing you can just use them as blush, eye shadow, or highlighter. ($32 value).

Bath Bomb Trinity by Jus ‘Amour – Confession: I don’t own a bathtub. Another Confession: After smelling these bath bombs and reading the essential oil blends, I’m being selfish and not giving these away as a gift!  I’ll use them at some point in my life during a dream vacation. ($28 value).

  • Love Potion (Jasmine, Rose & Sandalwood Essential Oil Blend)
  • Wake Up (Eucalyptus, Peppermint & Lime Essential Oil Blend)
  • Deep Breath (Lavender, Chamomile & Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Blend)

FitFabFun Magazine Unboxing

BodiPure Keratin Gloves & Socks – If you can’t go to the spa, bring the spa to you. These left my hands and feet silky soft. Make sure the kids are asleep so you can put your feet up and relax! These items are packaged separately so you do not need to use the socks at the same time as the gloves. ($10 value).

Tag Necklace by Jook & Nona  –  I typically wear silver, but I adore this 18K gold plated necklace engraved with the word “LOVE.” This is an example of something that I wouldn’t have purchased on my own because it’s gold. I’m so glad that they picked it out for me! I hear celebrities love Jook & Nona so now I feel like a VIP. ($65 value).

Jook and Nona Love in Gold

Shaving Emulation Lotion by HelloLegs – Spring means Summer is around the corner and Summer means shaving. Make this tedious task easier with this combination of body lotion and shaving cream. The website hasn’t launched yet, no full value price available.

Argan & Hemp Oil Therapy by Marrakesh – This product left my hair feeling healthier, smoother and with a shine. However, I just want to keep smelling it. It’s amazing! You need it.

Marrithew Mat Strap Plus – My initial reaction was “I hate yoga.” I do. I know that I’m in the minority but my body and brain just can’t get on the same page when it comes to yoga. If you do enjoy yoga or Pilates – this is a pretty nifty strap. It has a 3-1 versatility so I did actually get some use out of it. Use it as a strap to hold your yoga mat, to assist you in yoga poses, or resistance exercises. Great for travel! ($15 value).

There were 2 gift cards included that did not come with any stipulations so they are as good as cash!

  1.  31Bits– I used this $25 gift card to purchase a gift for my niece. After shipping I only paid $6.00. I love what they are doing to make a difference in the world with their products.
  2. Sterling Forever  I typically don’t purchase inexpensive earrings without trying first, but I made the splurge. By splurge, I mean $10 since $30 was already covered! ($30 value + free shipping).

My favorite item in the entire box is surprisingly NOT a product. It is a little note card from I AM THAT GIRL. It’s a non-profit organization but at its core – it’s a movement! Empowering girls to love, express and be exactly who they are. I AM THAT GIRL has made a difference in thousands of girls lives from all over the world connecting them both in online and offline programs and initiatives.  If you want to raise the standard on how girls treat themselves, each other and the world then consider being a sponsor. I am hanging this card on my bathroom mirror to “remind myself that I’m not alone, that I’m beautiful, that my voice matters, and that I am enough.”

Follow FabFitFun’s Facebook page for great tips and articles!

Sign up for a subscription box here. Treat yourself, you deserve it! Use Promo Code: GLORIA for an additional $10.00 off your first box!

Thanks for reading to the end! As promised here is the Giveaway Winner for 4 Mess Fest tickets!

Congratulations Jennifer R. You will be contacted directly via email today!

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.

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Friday Favorites- The Muddy Puddles Project {Giveaway}

There is a strong magnetic pull between a child and a muddy puddle. Before you can stop them they are already splashing away with a smile from ear to ear. I used to shout at my kids, “No! Don’t!” whenever they approached a muddy puddle. Now, I embrace every second of it. I changed my mind about splashing in puddles when I read a blog post about a boy named Super Ty.

super ty

Ty was just five years old when he passed away from brain cancer. It broke my heart to read his mother’s story how Ty would look out his hospital room window and dream of jumping in muddy puddles (much like his favorite character Peppa Pig). Ty’s dream inspired The Muddy Puddles Project, a completely volunteer driven fundraising platform.Their mission is to raise funds to help scientists discover less toxic, less invasive and more effective treatments for children with cancer. I love everything the Muddy Puddles Project represents: celebrating childhood, finding the fun in messes and not sweating the small stuff. The more I learned about the Muddy Puddles Project and the TLC (Ty Louis Campbell) Foundation, the more passionate I became about supporting childhood cancer awareness.

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It’s no wonder Pie Face is the official game of The Muddy Puddles Project!

My family will again attend the Muddy Puddles Project’s Mess Fest held at Kiwi Country Day Camp in Mahopac, NY. This year the 4th Annual event takes place on Saturday July 30th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is an all day adventure of messy fun! Your kids will love getting to splatter paint, run the “slopstacle” course, toss a cream pie, enter food fights, toss water balloons, zip line, climb walls, paddle boats, enjoy live entertainment, play games, jump in bounce houses and swim in the pond or pool. There is so much more! Like the crowd favorite GIANT MUD PIT where you can sign up the whole family to take the “dirty dunk.”

mess fest flyer
4th Annual Mess Fest Flyer

The dirty dunk takes place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the main Mess Fest event. Your $100 donation (per participant) will include your ticket to the event, a professional photo capturing your moment and a fun memory to last a lifetime. Raising the $100 donation amount is easier than you’d imagine. My family held a garage sale and lemonade stand and we easily raised more than half of that in just a few hours. Don’t forget it all goes toward helping find a cure for childhood cancer (which is priceless!).

Muddy Puddles Dirty Dunk
Taking the dunk with my son in 2014

Tips Before You Go:

  • Print out your tickets ahead of time to avoid lines.
  • As messy as this event is, there are plenty of chances to clean up before heading home. Stop by the fire truck to hose off, or towel off and change in one of the onsite bathrooms.
  • All parking is off site with continuous shuttles via school bus. (We were able to bring our stroller with us).
  • Bring a change of clothes, a bathing suit, towel and sunscreen.
  • No coolers are allowed on site, but you can bring water bottles and small snacks for the kids. There are multiple food vendors where you can get lunch, treats and extra drinks.
  • Check out the map before you arrive to get an idea of how everything is laid out.
  • Bring a camera! There is a pretty good chance you will run into Peppa Pig this year’s Celebrity Ambassador and charitable partner!
Kiwi Country Day Camp
Map of Kiwi Country Day Camp

Visit the Muddy Puddles website to learn more about how to host a mini-mess fest in your own back yard or local park and other ways to get involved. Getting kids involved with Mess Fest is a great way for them to engage in philanthropy and it encourages them to have fun while doing good!

********EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY*******

Just for being a reader of the The Whatever Mom you could win a FAMILY 4 PACK of tickets to the 2016 Mess Fest happening on Saturday July 30th in Mahopac, NY! Winner announced in my next Friday Favorites blog post on June 17th.

Get ready to feel like a kid again! Enter to win below, or click here to purchase your tickets. (FOR A VERY LIMITED TIME you can get early bird pricing of $10 off the regular event admission price!).

“Let your kids jump in muddy puddles whenever they want. Let them get wild with finger paints and glitter. soon they’ll be all grown up and see the dirty clothes and wet shoes as nothing but a nuisance. It’s beautiful that children can find such joy in the simple things that we no longer appreciate as adults.” -TLC Foundation

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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.

 

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Friday Favorite- Lose That Mommy Guilt {Giveaway}

WELCOME TO

Happy Friday All!

This week guest blogger (and new mom) Debra shared with you how she’s read all the latest books on baby sleep and none of them work. Guess what I’m sharing with you today? A book written by an expert. Wait, wait, wait!!  This isn’t just any expert. She is an expert at letting go of perfection. Lose That Mommy Guilt, Tales and Tips from an Imperfect Mom by Cara Maksimow. 

mommy guilt cover

I know most days it’s hard to find time to read the back of a shampoo bottle let alone an entire book. But the 150 pages is a quick read! Instead of the pretentious lecture about the exact steps you should follow to execute efficient routines, Cara gives a few options with the understanding that not everything works for everyone. 

cara maksimow

Cara is a certified therapist, writer, mother and owner of Maximize Wellness Counseling & Couching, LLC. Everything written in this book encapsulates my exact mission as The Whatever Mom. And it touches on nearly every area of motherhood where I feel guilty. From potty training, to pacifiers to dealing with kid drama Cara shares her own guilty moments and what works for her.

I love that Cara encourages us mommies to embrace our imperfections as part of this motherhood experience. We are all going to make mistakes and it isn’t worth our time to continually beat ourselves up over them. “As the baby grows the mommy guilt grows. It doesn’t matter how good of a mom  you are, you will find a way to beat yourself up over something, I am here to say that it does not have to be that way. As moms, we are amazing and we don’t recognize it enough! . . . You do not need to let “perfect” get in the way of amazing parenting.”

I literally felt myself breathe a sigh of relief after reading those words. I wish I had read them sooner! Cara delves deep into the mom psyche and pulls out the big things we stress ourselves out with and then tells us, it’s going to be OK! I don’t know about you, but for me, I need to hear that now and then. I need to hear someone tell me that I’m not the only one worrying about ruining my kids lives (don’t worry we aren’t ruining anything).

We all get caught in the big trap of anticipating judgement from bystanders. Even a woman who has degrees and is educated on human behavior gets stuck in those real moments. You know the ones where you have to make a snap judgement to let your kid pee in a parking lot?

“I admit I taught my three-year-old girl to squat in the mall parking lot once (maybe more than once) to avoid unbuckling the baby from the car seat and going all of the way back inside the mall to find the nearest bathroom. I was smart enough to know we would not make it in time. Driving home quickly would have at best lead to a urine soaked car seat, so I made my choice.

Thankfully, it was summer and she was wearing plastic jelly shoes. I was worried someone would see me and judge my parenting. My negative self talk was on high that day. What mom lets her three-year-old girl pee in the parking lot? Clearly, I was that mom. It is what it is. I am not particularly proud of it, but I have learned to let go of that particular guilt.”

That’s why I enjoy this book so much. Cara writes from an authentic place of struggle and humor. I feel like she gives us permission to be real about the crazy choices we make as parents. And isn’t that what being a Whatever Mom is all about? Letting go of the idea of perfection? Life is messy and completely imperfect. You do whatever works to get through the day even if it is just surviving from one moment to the next!

Cara has also published a few other books that you can find on Amazon. One lucky reader is going to get a copy of Loose That Mommy Guilt and a bonus planner for a Kick Ass Month! You know the drill, enter below!

kick ass month

Thank you Cara for writing this book so the rest of us can realize not one single mom has it completely together and none of us is escaping motherhood without feeling guilty.

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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.

Disclosure: There are no affiliate links contained in this post. Product for giveaway provided by Cara Maksimow personally. No financial compensation was received for this review. All opinions contained herein belong solely to The Whatever Mom. 

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Friday Favorites- Earth Day Roundup

Happy Earth Day!

Yes, today is the day we celebrate the earth and all the fabulous wonder it brings. Hug a tree, recycle a container or go out and plant something. Here are my Top 3 favorite earth friendly (and human friendly) products I have shared so far in my Friday Favorites series!

NORWEX

Norwex

My absolute top favorite is Norwex. We use the Envirocloth every day and need only water to clean with! This has cut down my household dependence on paper towels, cleaning chemicals that wash into our water supply and I let my kids help out more often too! That saves my energy resources. 😉 I started using the crazy mesh dish cloth I thought would never work and now I am hooked! It cleans better than a sponge and food doesn’t get stuck inside. I no longer have to buy pesticide soaked sponges! That saves me money, our water supply and adds way less waste into our landfill. You can find my original post about Norwex products here.

 

RUME

MyRuMe

I still love my RuMe reusable bag! I carry this tote inside my mom purse where ever I go. It has saved me from using countless plastic bags when shopping for only a handful of items. I can skip the plastic bag at the library too when out with the kids. And I can even use it to carry home a wet pair of pants (don’t ask). It is a great size and rolls up small so I can carry in my purse. It is washable and very sturdy! You can read my original post about my favorite RuMe products here.

 

POOFY ORGANICS

Poofy Organics

Last but not least, Poofy Organics has become our bath time favorite! My girls are still using and loving the Young Wild and Free shampoo and conditioner. I am loving the organic ingredients (entire product is not organic certified) and that it is cruelty free. The products clean really well and smell wonderful! We also use the lice prevention spray in the morning before leaving for school. This also smells really good without being over powering! All products that are good to our earth from start to finish! You can read my original post about Poofy Organics here.

There ya have it! A round up of my Top 3 favorite eco-friendly products I can count on! For me being kind to our earth is necessary to leave behind a healthy world for my children and my children’s children. What earth friendly products do you love the most?

All links to giveaways are now closed. Winners have been chosen and prizes distributed. No financial compensation given for reviews all opinions belong solely to The Whatever Mom. No affiliate links contained within individual posts. 

 

 

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. 

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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!

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Friday Favorites- Perfectly Posh VALENTINE’S GIVEAWAY!

Honeycomb

No financial compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are tried and true and solely belong to The Whatever Mom.The links contained in this post are not affiliate links. 

Do you know why I love giveaways? It isn’t just because everyone loves free stuff. It’s because I LOVE treating my friends and readers to some really awesome products! I only share with you products I use in my own home! This week I’m in love with Perfectly Posh products! In honor of Valentine’s Day I am giving some for FREE!

What made me fall in love with Posh products is they are cruelty free and never tested on animals, there are vegan options and everything is made with plant based natural ingredients. I love that I can pamper myself and my little girls without worrying about fillers and synthetic chemicals. Now I don’t mind sharing my products with them! You can find a list of product ingredients at Perfectly Posh.

Of course you can also count on me to find a company that contributes to charity and a great cause! Through the You Deserve It charitable program Posh generously shares their products and raises funds for women’s shelters. They also collect needed items like socks and gently used shoes for women and children living in YWCA shelters. I don’t know about you, but for me buying products I can safely use with my children while supporting families in need feels like a really big win!

Here are my personal favorites:

Brazillian Bombshell Body Butter

Perfectly Posh brazillian bombshell

This 10 oz. tub of awesomeness goes a long way! I use it every morning in place of perfume. Essential oils gives this creamy body butter a fragrance that lasts a long time without over powering. My kids and I both have sensitivities to strong fragrance, but this has no effect on our allergies! I use this rich body butter to moisturize before bed too!

Caffeinator Skin Stick

Posh Caffeinator Skin Stick

This skin stick has amazing super powers. I’m not kidding! The lemon powered scent is reviving and the caffeine helps with that over tired look. I have used at the beginning of a migraine and found relief! It really helps! I keep mine in the fridge for a nice cooling effect when I need that afternoon pick me up.

Gender Bender Chunk Big Bath Bar

Perfectly Posh gender bender

This chunky bar is vegan and made with natural charcoal powder to draw toxins from the skin. The shea butter leaves a nice smooth layer of moisture and the scent is light enough for guys or gals. I use in the shower for a five minute spa effect. I’d almost forget I have kids if they weren’t yelling through the door.

All products are Made in the USA and every item costs $25 or less! I know! That means you can afford to pamper yourself and share a little with the kids (although you might not want to share). Speaking of sharing it’s time for our giveaway!

My very generous friend Stacey a.k.a Dr. Posh (yes she really does have a PhD!) is sponsoring today’s Posh giveaway! Two readers will win a posh Valentine’s Day Treat!

Be sure to comment below which item you would like to win! A full size Gender Bender Shower Bar, or a Starbucks travel cup filled with samples and Valentine chocolates!

Don’t miss out on these amazing specials happening right now! If you are already a Posh fan then you won’t want to miss out on these freebies with purchase! You can also join the perks program and earn free products! Find out more here.

posh chunk bar posh hand cream posh lip balm

Contest opens midnight Friday February 12, 2016 and ends February 14, 2016. Winners will be announced on Monday February 15, 2016 on The Whatever Mom Facebook page. If you are not following on Facebook yet, you can do so here.  Why not sign up to follow the blog via email and never miss out on another giveaway again!

 

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The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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Friday Favorites-IntelliDent Toothbrush Shield – FLASH Giveaway

IntelliDent Tooth Brush Covers

January is the perfect time to re-organize things around the home. I like to start my “spring cleaning” now so that once Spring arrives I can be outside. One of the first rooms I tackle is our main bathroom. Scrubbing and cleaning the tile is essential, but I also like to clean out our storage closet and medicine cabinet. I toss out old or expired medicines and update my beauty supplies. One thing in my bathroom that I am not crazy about is the plastic covers I use on each of our tooth brushes.

I try to replace the covers each time I change out our tooth brushes (every 2-3 months), but once those caps are used I can’t just toss them into the recycling bin. So they end up in our landfill. I also worry about germs and viruses gathering on our toothbrushes. Keeping them covered and in the medicine cabinet creates a nice dark, damp place for little bugs to breed. If you’re like me, you don’t have time for stomach bugs and viruses!

IntelliDent 10 pack Toothbrush Shields

So, when Lisa Smith, Executive Vice President of IntelliDent Products contacted me for a review I was excited to try these out! Lucky for you Dear Readers, she was generous and sent extras to GIVEAWAY!

Here is what I love about the IntelliDent Toothbrush Shields:

These covers are breathable, dry quickly and perform like a surgical mask for your tooth brush! The plastic covers keep the toothbrushes damp and collect tooth paste teaming with bacteria. Yuck!

Plastic tooth brush covers

Each cover blocks against 99.9% of airborne and surface bacteria. (Did you know your toilet can contaminate your bathroom surfaces within a six foot radius in you bathroom?).

The antimicrobial preventive protection of these covers lasts up to 7 days, then you can toss into the trash. It takes up less room in the can and degrades much faster than plastic.

Tooth brush covers compared

Covers are individually sealed to ensure a fresh product every time.

IntelliDent Covers Are Fresh

The covers are so easy to slide over a tooth brush my five year olds don’t need any help. (However, they are disappointed they can not select their favorite colors and decided to add a sticker to their covers). My family started using these covers over a month ago. Now that I know the benefits and can see the difference, I won’t be using those plastic covers any more!

IntelliDent products are made in the USA by a women owned company. They also make a Mouth Guard Shield. The covers are not available in stores, but are available online at Walmart.com, Drugstore.com, Walgreens.com .

Orrrrr, you can just enter here for your very own 10 pack to try! TWO lucky readers will win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget there is always a chance for bonus entries!

 

The Whatever Mom was provided with free samples of IntelliDent Toothbrush Shields in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this post belong solely to The Whatever Mom. 

 

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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