Share Your Journey into Motherhood & Earn Amazon Gift Cards!

This is a sponsored post. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

In the four years between my two pregnancies, I swear that everything baby and kid related changed. So many products on the market had improved so greatly in such a short amount of time that I couldn’t believe it! Improvements in technology are definitely to thank for some of it, but I think the main reason everything got so much better was that major brands are finally listening to real moms. Thanks to social media, brands can hear complaints and even raves in real-time from real parents.

Some brands are even taking it a step further and reaching out to moms to participate in groups or other opportunities where they can directly speak to the brands that they use for their babies and children- and even during their pregnancies! It’s a huge win-win because real moms can give real feedback, the brands can quickly learn what improvements to make, and then better products come out for all consumers!

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Are you currently expecting? If so, you can apply to join other expecting Moms in a private online community to discuss the joys and challenges of motherhood, as well as advise Mattel about their toys and games. Mattel is relying on these Moms to help them gain a greater understanding of the lifestyle and needs of their consumers as it relates back to the world of play, and is opening up this invitation to you.

What’s in it for you: In addition to the opportunity to impact the brand, members will receive a $5 Amazon gift code for joining and an additional $10 Amazon gift code each month for participating! Interested? See if you qualify here: http://mayweask.com/fisherprice20

Have you ever left feedback for a brand, either through email or social media?

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Fight the Cold, Not the Kid with Dr. Cocoa

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. However, all opinions, text and experiences are my own.

Last year, Shane spent the entire winter sick. He caught cold after cold after cold, and he never fully recovered from one before catching the next. He had ear infections, sinus infections, and a generally awful three months. It was bad enough being so sick, but then he had to take medicine on top of that to try to kick the sickness, which wouldn’t be so bad except he couldn’t stand the medicine.

He comes by it honestly- I still have a major taste aversion to anything cherry flavored after having to take a lot of cold medicine as a kid. It never tasted like cherry and my mom always made me take my medicine over the sink since more of it ended up in there than in my mouth. Well, I had to use the same trick with Shane because even when he tried his hardest, he just couldn’t swallow it all. It was messy, it was frustrating, and worst of all, it meant he wasn’t getting the proper dosage of medicine, making it even harder to fight the illness.

Dr Cocoa makes it easier for kids to take medicine, so you can fight the cold- NOT the kid!

A few weeks ago, at the height of cold and flu season, we discovered something that is going to change all of that- Dr. Cocoa for Children products. It’s the first-ever cough and cold medicine line that combines trusted, effective ingredients with 10% real cocoa. Coca. In medicine. Why wasn’t this around twenty years ago?! While I definitely could have used it for myself, I’m definitely so happy to have this for my own kids!

When your kids are sick, all you want to do is make them feel better. Having to struggle to get them to take their medicine just makes it harder for everyone, so having a chocolate flavored option makes it so much easier. They have three formulas- Long-Acting Cough Relief {for kids 4-13}, Daytime Cough + Cold Relief {ages 4-13}, and Nighttime Cough + Cold Relief {ages 6-13}.

Dr. Cocoa can help parents fight the cold, not the child- which also means dosages are more accurate since half of it doesn’t end up in the sink. It also means no more crying {from the kids or the parents!}, or making an already miserable kid even more unhappy.

Dr Cocoa

Luckily, my kids have only had one minor cold so far this year, but we still stocked up with the entire line. You never know when illness will strike, especially when kids are picking up germs at school. School aged kids get 8-12 colds per year. That’s like having one a month, all year long! While I really hope we’re able to avoid getting sick that many times, I know that the next time we do, we have a better solution in our medicine cabinet.

Dr. Cocoa products are available nationwide at stores and online. You can find out more and print a valuable coupon at DrCocoa.com! {You can also learn more about them on Facebook or follow them on Pinterest!}

Visit www.drcocoa.com for a $4 coupon and follow the brand on Facebook and Pinterest for more product info, sick day activities, and fun giveaways!

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. However, all opinions, text and experiences are my own

Starting a New Tradition of Giving at Christmastime

While I don’t have a lot of free time, I still like to try to stay relatively connected to the outside world. I spend a lot of time on social media and I love reading articles because they are the perfect length for me to finish while waiting to pick Shane up from school or while waiting for a pot of water to boil. My husband has his mobile homepage set to Yahoo for the same reason and is always telling me about this or that article that he found so I decided to check out Yahoo, too. It had been awhile since I had been to their website so I was pleasantly surprised to find the Yahoo Parenting section! One article in particular really got me thinking- “Does Your Child Have Too Many Toys?”

Does your child have too many toys

I almost didn’t want to read the article because without even reading it, I knew the answer was yes! I grew up not having much so now that I’m the adult, I am pretty quick to buy new toys for the boys. Half the reason is that I get bored playing the same things with them, but also I just really like that I can say yes, since so many times my parents were forced to say “No.”

However, it’s because I grew up with so little that I feel so strongly about teaching my boys to give back. We regularly donate to everything from food drives to animal shelters, and I always remind him that it’s important to make sure we are doing what we can to help others.

Operation Christmas Child giving

A couple of years ago we made a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child and donated a box of necessities and gifts to a child who otherwise wouldn’t have anything (or would have very little) for Christmas. Shane was only three at the time, but he was really excited to be able to make another kid happy at Christmas. Because of that experience, and because we have way too many toys, I decided to start a new tradition this Christmas: donating toys to charity!

We are going to approach this in two ways: first, I’ll be helping Shane to choose some toys that he no longer needs or wants. Aside from a couple of sentimental selections that I might save for Zac, we will bag them up and donate them to either a shelter for women and children or to a similar charity. Secondly, we will be purchasing some brand new toys to give to Toys for Tots- and encouraging our friends and family members to do the same! I want Shane to be able to experience the joy of helping others, so I will let him pick some toys out at the store to donate.

Christmas Tree with presents

I’m really glad that I stumbled upon that article and I’m so excited to start our new tradition! Whether you’re looking for a new holiday tradition or just want to read up on the latest parenting tips and tricks, be sure to check out Yahoo Parenting!

How do you deal with toy overload?

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

5 Tips for Adjusting to Daylight Saving Time with Kids {&Giveaway!}

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Pampers. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.

They always say that two kids born to the same family can be completely different, and my boys have proven that to be very true. While Shane was always very flexible with naps, Zac makes sure he gets his three naps every day like clockwork. So to say that I’m nervous for this coming weekend when the clocks change is an understatement!

Shane sleeping at 13 months

Shane, circa October 2010

With Halloween coming up on Friday, Daylight Saving Time is sneaking up on us all. On Sunday, November 2nd, it’ll be time {no pun intended} to “Fall back” an hour and effectively set back all naps, bedtimes, and midnight Halloween candy binges. While I’m still a bit nervous to see how my Type-A baby handles the transition, I’ve come across a number of great sleep tips over the years that definitely helped with Shane.

1. Listen to white noise. Not only does white noise help baby to fall asleep, but using it every night can condition your child to associate it with sleep and make them more tired just by hearing it!

2. Follow a set bedtime routine. A bedtime routine is a nice way to bond with your child and create a bit of calm after a busy day. It can also work like the white noise by giving your baby cues that bedtime is approaching. Whether your routine consists of a story, a song, a bath, brushing teeth, rocking, or a combination of those, choosing a soothing and not-too-stimulating way to end the day is a great way to send your baby off to slumber.

3. Prepare for Daylight Saving Time ahead of time. Start putting your baby to bed a little bit later in the days leading up to the time change {so, this week!} so that when Sunday rolls around, they are right on schedule.

4. Be prepared to be flexible yourself for a few days. Babies can’t tell time, so their little bodies will not get tired or wake up just because your clock says so. It can take a few days for baby to adjust to a new schedule, so try not to plan anything that can get interrupted by naptime or bedtime.

5. Make sure baby stays dry. A 2013 survey conducted by Pampers found that 24% of mothers felt that a dry diaper was the number one thing that enabled their baby to sleep through the night. Pampers diapers have three absorbent layers that provide up to 12 hours of overnight dryness protection

Twitter Party Alert

To help you get ready for Daylight Saving Time, the Double Duty Divas and Pampers will be holding a Twitter party tomorrow night where you can win great prizes! {You can win a prize here, too- see more below!}

To participate, follow your hosts @DoubleDutyDivas, @BridgetteLA, @CeceliaMecca @AngieKcom @WhatMommiesNeed @RamblingChick, and our sponsor @Pampers.

Twitter Party Prizes Include:

-Prize 1Twinkles Nightlight in Blue, 148 ct of Pampers diapers and a pack of wipes.

-Prize 2 – Pottery Barn plush security blanket, $50 Barnes & Noble gift card, a pack of Pampers diapers and wipes.

-Prize 3 – A gift card to The $125 Children’s Place for pajamas, a pack of Pampers diapers/wipes

-Prize 4 – A Kindle Fire so parents can purchase baby bedtime books, an $100 Amazon gift card to purchase the e-books, a pack of Pampers diapers and wipes.

Click here to learn more and RSVP!

Win It: One lucky reader will also win two free product coupons for FREE Pampers diapers and wipes! Just enter using the form below. Good luck!

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Learning How to Use the Internet to #ShareAwesome


My life is on the internet. My job involves running a website, my list of hobbies practically starts and ends with Facebook stalking, and most of my best friends are people that I met online, who live all around the country. It sounds weird to some, but I grew up this way. And this is how our kids are growing up as well.

Computer 2000

Me at my spiffy computer circa 2000. {Most likely printing out pictures of the Backstreet Boys for my walls because OMGTHEYARESODREAMY.}

Shane has just started going online {he has used the iPad for years, but not beyond his educational apps}, so we’re trying to navigate the depths of the internet as a family. Anything he does is monitored and he has parental controls in place just in case. At five years old, this is easy to keep a handle on, but I’m sure as he grows older we will need to be ever vigilant to keep him protected!

The internet can be a wonderful “place”, full of friends with common interests and the answer to any question you can think of. It can also be a scary place, though, and it is important for us to teach our children how to conduct themselves online. I was part of the first generation to grow up online, and back then we didn’t know much about internet safety. Now that it’s our turn to raise tech-savvy kids, it’s important to teach them how to safely walk that fine line between over-sharing and sharing awesome.

What is sharing awesome? It’s using social media in a positive way- keeping out-of-town relatives updated on what’s going on in your child’s life, keeping in touch with friends after school in a friendly way, or just generally using digital media in an uplifting way. To help parents teach their children about the both safe and positive way to use digital media, the National PTA has partnered with LifeLock to share awesome ways families can create an open, evolving conversation about positive, safe decisions when using digital tools. It’s all part of having a happy, healthy lifestyle. You, your family, your friends, and the whole world- everyone benefits when you #ShareAwesome {like I did below}!

Right now, the National PTA & LifeLock are hosting the #ShareAwesome contest. The contest invites social media users to share a smart and safe decision, uplifting accomplishment, or positive action for the good of others using hashtag #ShareAwesome on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Visit ShareAwesomeNow.org to learn more.

Snap a photo of an awesome moment in your day and share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the #ShareAwesome hashtag!

Students who enter the #ShareAwesome contest between September 15 – November 30, 2014 will have a chance to win fantastic prizes, including tablets and a $2,500 scholarship!

How do you #ShareAwesome?

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

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