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Products I Love, Real Mom Review

Real Mom Review: Target Beauty Box January 2018

 review target beauty box January 2018I have never been on the cutting edge of beauty, hair, or fashion but oddly in the last few years it’s become something I pay more attention to and actually enjoy exploring. Does it have anything to do with becoming a mom and suddenly looking 30 years older, haggard, worn out and exhausted? Who knows. (yes)

But my peaked interest in the beauty and style industry has made it glaringly obvious that I knew NOTHING. Nothing about how to apply makeup (why do I need to contour?), nothing about how to style my hair (I have two styles: straight and curled), or how to jazz up mom jeans (bedazzling isn’t cool, right?). But I’m trying and I’m starting to catch on. A little at least. 

And I know I’m not alone. I see comments online all the time from fellow moms who are equally in the dark on how all this works but are eager to learn. So I thought I could share some of my journey of FINALLY starting to figure some of this out at the ripe age of 30-something in hopes someone reading this will say “hey! She’s a complete fool when it comes to this too!” and not feel alone.

Kylie Jenner watch out, it’s time for a Real Mom Review!

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. What the hell does that mean? It means I might get compensated if you click on and purchase something from some of the links below. And by compensated I mean pennies. But hey, beer money is beer money.

Target Beauty Box January 2018
This review will take a look at the Target Beauty Box from January 2018. Every now and again Target compiles a grouping of beauty products together at a really reasonable price (this month is was $7). The sizes of the products vary from travel size to full size and there is usually around five items in each box. 

This month’s box contained six products ranging from eye shadow to a clay mask.

Pillow Plump Lip GlossSexy Mother Pucker Pillow Plump Lip Gloss
Let me start by saying I’m not a huge lip gloss fan. Lip gloss can be sticky and my fast food sticks to it. No one wants to see leftover french fries on your mouth. BUT, I gave this gem a try. And I hated it. Mostly because it felt like someone slathered Icy Hot medicated cream on my lips because they started tingling and heating up. I’m all for a good tingling now and then, but not on my face! I thought I was having an allergic reaction. Then I read the back label where it said “caution: this lipgloss will tingle”.

Goes to show ladies, always read the directions.
Real Mom Review:
Hell no. 

 

Botanics Clay Mask

Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask
I jumped on the clay mask bandwagon after becoming increasingly frustrated at my random adult acne breakouts. Who knew that shit didn’t go away? Not only do you have new wrinkles furrowing their way into your once sleek forehead, you also get to enjoy the occasional pimple add insult to injury.

I’ve been making my own clay mask concoction using this Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay and mixing it with apple cider vinegar and I think it does help speed up the process of getting those little effers off your face. It’s fun to paint the mixture on but the clean up is a bit of a pain in the ass. You have to be careful the clumps of clay don’t go down your drain because it could clog it up pretty easily. And it takes a little bit of effort to get it off. 

So when I saw the Botanics Shine Away mask in my bundle I was pretty excited to try it. Application was SUPER easy. It’s a thinner mixture than I’m used to so I could use my fingers to put it on. Wait 10 minutes then wipe it off with a damp towel. The removal was much easier than my DIY version and my skin was left feeling smooth. I had a major pimple going on under my nose and I do think it dried it up faster than had I left it untouched. But then again, who the hell knows. I’m not a dermatologist. 
Real Mom Review: Easy application and removal, leaves skin smooth. Seems to help with ridiculous adult acne. Would buy! Here it is in full size and travel size if you want to try it out. 

Sleek Eye ShadowSleek Eyesahdow Palette
The palette came with quite a few sample shades to try. I was really drawn to the sparkly colors and could tone it down a bit by covering it in a muted shade. I have no idea if that’s how you do it, but I liked how it looked. My one and only concern with eyeshadow is whether it gets clumpy and stuck in my lid creases. These did not! So it’s a win for sure.  
Real Mom Review: Would buy! This link takes you to the exact palette I used called When the Sun Goes Down.

 

 

The Righteous Butter Body Moisturizer
This was heaven from the get go. It felt like they have the formula down where it doesn’t feel greasy but it’s not thick as mud either. Smells delightful, though there is a fragrance to it so if you are sensitive to that I would stay away. I applied after taking a shower in the evening and even after sleeping all night I woke up and could still smell the lotion. I’ve never used a lotion that lasted that long so I’m sold. But again, if you hate the smell that could be more of a nightmare than a dream soooooo.

Real Mom Review: Would buy! Long lasting, great texture. Here it is in full size and travel size

 

Being a mom is hard AF

No7 PrimerNo7 Airbrush Away Primer
This was probably the most surprising product in the box. I was excited to try the primer because I am always on the hunt for a product to even out my skin. And I was surprised to see it come out in a white color because I thought all primers were tinted. (They aren’t. I’m still learning.)

I smeared it all over my face and was immediately taken with it. It felt like silk draped on my face. No joke. It was glorious. And I could tell it was creating a bit of a barrier between my skin and my foundation and made for a nice smooth base. It does seem to help make my makeup last longer throughout the day as well. I never thought primer was a must have, but I think I’m changing my tune. Maybe not everyday use, but for days you have enough energy to put some work in to your look, this is a delightful addition.
Real Mom Review: Would buy! Less than a minute to apply, this silky tube of goodness makes your makeup look better. 

No7 SerumNo7 Restore and Renew Face & Neck Serum
I’m admitting defeat on this one. I don’t understand serums. It seems like voodoo meant to make you think you are reversing time on your wrinkles. I’ve never seen any actual results from them and this one is no different. My skin felt good, but my wrinkles persisted. Plus, this shit is pricey. Good reviews on Amazon though so judge for yourself!
Real Mom Review: Nope. Too pricey and no tangible evidence that my kid-induced wrinkles will be going away any time soon. Much like the kids who caused them to begin with. 

 

 

If you are looking for some other products I love, check out my must haves for babies! Some of these saved my sanity. And some I still use today!

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How to keep your children safe online
Guest Posts

Guest Post-How To Keep Your Children Safe Online

This is a guest post written and sponsored by AnchorFree.

How to keep your children safe onlineYou Can’t Keep Your Children From The Internet

In today’s internet era, keeping your children off of the internet simply isn’t possible. Your children are going to be exposed to the internet by their friends, at school, and whenever they watch television and see a commercial for the latest smartphone app. Although it isn’t possible to shield your child from the internet, it is possible to make sure that your child gets the lessons in online safety that they deserve. Children aren’t born knowing how to navigate the web, and their are cyber bullies, online predators, identity thieves, and other types of threats that lurk in the shadows. Your job as a parent is to prepare your child to avoid these types of threats so that they can have a safe online experience. 

Do Your Children Know How To Stay Safe Online?

You must make sure that your children understand how to stay safe when they use the internet. The first step is to let your child know what types of sites are safe online and which types of sites are not. Your child should learn what kind of information is off-limits (such as phone numbers, addresses, birthdays, and social security numbers). Your child also should learn not to converse with strangers online, and if they feel uncomfortable, they should know to contact an adult that they trust, like a teacher or a family relative.

Identifying Online Threats

It is important that you learn to identify new online threats. Malicious software installed on websites and email phishing schemes are just a few types of the well-known online threats. But identity thieves, online predators, and cyber bullies are also threats. Make sure that your child knows to stay away from dangerous sites, and keep tabs on their general whereabouts online. Parents must learn about new risks, and teach their children how to stay safe from rising threats.

Helping Children Learn Their Way Around The Web

Parents around the world are using VPNs, or virtual private networks, in order to help their children stay safe. VPNs like Hotspot Shield work by creating a tunnel between a device connecting to the web and a server located somewhere else around the world. All of the data that travels through this tunnel is encrypted, meaning hackers, identity thieves, ISPs, and government actors are locked out. For children, that means they can access the web safely in public spaces without the fear of a hacker getting into their public Wi-Fi connection and stealing personal data.

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Kids cold and flu season tips from a pediatrician!
Baby, Parenting Tips, Toddler

Kids Cold and Flu Season Tips-From a Pediatrician!

Kids cold and flu season tips from a pediatrician!Am I the only one who feels like I have to re-Google anything and everything having to do with sick kids once cold and flu season starts? As soon as I sense the first sniffle or cough I’m brushing up on what meds are safe to take for each kid and when to know if a fever is a high fever or not. Even then, I always have a slight hesitation when I make any medical-related decisions with my kids. 

And I know I’m not alone, so earlier this fall I had pediatrician Stephanie Dekom as a guest speaker in my private Facebook group to chat with me and all my mammas about cold and flu season and how to deal with all of the grossness and uncertainty that comes with it. 

Stephanie addresses a lot of the common questions we all have as well as a few questions from the moms in my group so check out the video below for some amazing info!

And follow Dr. Dekom on Instagram because she is offering up great advice on all those tricky questions you have! You can ask her questions anytime and she is such an amazing resource to have in your corner.

And if you are looking for a new thermometer, check out my review of the TempTraq wearable thermometer! 

How To Avoid Flat Spots
Baby, Parenting Tips

What’s Up with My Baby’s Weird Shaped Head and How Do I Fix It?

I’m just going to say it…sometimes babies are born with some funky noggins. Whether it’s because of their positioning in the womb or the way they were birthed, sometimes a baby’s head comes out more alien-like than you would expect. The good news is it’s totally normal and should correct itself over time.

How To Avoid Flat Spots On Baby's HeadHowever, there’s always a concern for something a bit more serious, called positional plagiocephaly, to occur in some babies. This term refers to the flat spots that develop on the heads of some babies due to inactivity. This inactivity could be from the baby not being active enough or that the baby may be restricted in it’s movements more than is recommended.

One reason a baby may not be as active as it should could be due to a lack of muscle development in the womb. This is very common for multiples or those babies who felt a bit squished in a smaller womb. Another reason a flat spot may develop is the child’s preference to prefer a certain head direction, called infant Torticollis. You may notice signs of Torticollis if your child tips their head in one direction, prefers to look at you over the same shoulder instead of turning their head to follow you, prefers one breast over the other, or gets frustrated when unable to turn their head completely.

Another typical reason for flat spots to develop is the overuse of baby holding devices. It’s so easy to fall in to a routine as parents, ESPECIALLY if you find something that your child actually likes sitting/sleeping/existing in for more than five minutes. I mean, moms need a hot shower every now and then. BUT, sometimes we end up relying on these devices more than is recommended which can lead to those flat spots to develop.

For example, car seats should really just be used in the car. I mean, a quick Target run is one thing, but if you know you will be strolling outside at the park or an event, consider baby wearing to take the pressure off of the back of their head and allow that skull to shape properly.

Being a mom is hard AF

Here are some more tips to help avoid flat spots:

  1. Tummy time-You’ve probably heard of this one, as well as the general disdain most babies have for it. But allowing a few minutes of unrestricted movements on their tummy will do wonders to strengthen muscles and counter-act flat spots. A good recommendation I came across is to try and do just a couple of minutes of tummy time after each diaper change. That way you are getting enough time in without the tears and frustrations that longer sessions will have. 
  2. Change up the direction you have baby on the changing table. Those habits are hard to break, especially if you get in to a diaper changing groove, but babies love to look at mom and dad when getting their diaper changed. So adjusting their positioning will force babies to turn that head in both directions on a regular basis. 
  3. Speaking of habits, try to change of the positioning of how you are holding baby. If you find yourself favoring one cradle arm over the other, try changing it up.
  4. Change up the direction you lay your child in when they nap or sleep in their crib. Again, they will likely affix to something interesting on the wall or ceiling and simply changing their sleep direction will encourage head movements. 

Are you wondering if your child might have a flat spot? Here’s a great post that goes over a really simple way to measure flat spots at home. But if you are still unsure, check with your doctor. And the sooner the better because treatment can be as easy as adjusting some lifestyle changes like those tips mentioned above. But if you wait too long, you may end up having to be fitted for a helmet that helps reshape baby’s head. So if you feel something is off, ask your doctor. And be your child’s advocate if your doctor takes the let’s wait and see approach. Keep close watch and if you feel things are not improving even after you’ve made changes at home, ask your doctor again to take another look.

One thing to remember, DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP over this. Flat spots can develop without you noticing because it’s not like you are in the habit of studying your child’s dome from all angles every day. You are doing great mama!

If you’re reading this than I’m sure you already know…but being a mom is hard AF! I’m trying to make it a little easier by creating a kick ass community of moms where I bring in expert speakers to give you the knowledge you need to keep your head above water. Come check it out!

Parenting Tips, Toddler

6 Tips To Survive Meals With a Picky Eater

 6 tips to survive meal times with picky eatersYou probably won’t admit it, but I will. I was one of those pre-kid people who vowed that all my children will eat anything I put in front of them. Picky eaters were not going to be a part of my household. This and my blanket statement of saying my kids will never eat McDonald’s are just the tip of the iceberg of stupid shit I said before actually becoming a parent.

I don’t think I’ve met a single parent who has said to me “Oh my Johnny, he will eat ANYTHING I make for him. Asparagus, green beans, corn, he LOVES his veggies!” Instead, I usually bemoan my child’s eating habits during lunch playdates as my friend asks what foods my kids enjoy (ummm, carbs?).

Kids can really suck at eating all those good-for-them foods that we are told we must introduce to them. And it’s easy to feel like we are failing them as parents when it seems like they aren’t getting a balanced diet. But meal time is already a challenge. I don’t remember the last time I sat down to my dinner while it was still hot. And I’m too exhausted at the end of the day to care that much about the food pyramid.

So I wanted to share a few tips that I use to help keep my sanity with my picky eaters that seem to be working:

  1. Turns out kids have some inherent trust issues with new foods. When introducing something new they are very likely to turn their nose up to it. And it makes sense. Kids love routines and things they are familiar with. If you come at them with something new, and maybe a little scary looking, don’t be surprised if their first reaction is a hell no! 

    Keep introducing that food to them over the course of many meals. It may take as many as 10-15 times (or more!) before a kid gets used to the idea of the new food. Play the long game, and don’t get frustrated in the short-term if they don’t immediately take to the new food. Put something on their plate that you know they will eat so they don’t go hungry, but don’t worry if they aren’t interested in the new item. It’s totally normal!

  2. Don’t force them to eat something they aren’t in to. Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you NOT to do something? What did you do? The exact opposite. If we force our kids to eat something they think they don’t like (or are maybe just not used to yet) then they may react defensively and never give that food a chance because of the way it was introduced.

    I personally have a ‘try it’ rule. Even if that means a quick lick of the butternut squash, that’s all I ask. They don’t even need to swallow it (and often don’t!) but the more they get used to seeing it, smelling it, tasting it, the easier the transition will be. 

    Being a mom is hard AF

  3. When in doubt, dip it! I don’t know about your kids, but mine love to dip their food. The obvious, and less healthy dip, is ketchup of course. But you can also opt for more healthy dip options like hummus, yogurt, low-fat salad dressings. This allows kids to mix something they are familiar with in with something they aren’t.

    You would be surprised at how exciting it is for a kid to have dip. Seems silly, but it’s almost like a challenge because of the dexterity they need to use to accomplish the dipping, so they are less focused on the food and more focused on dipping! I have found that this helps me determine if they REALLY hate the food (which is totally ok! we all have preferences) or if they just aren’t used to it yet.

  4. Cooking together is another way to get picky eaters more interested in new foods. When my kids help me make calzones they love throwing on the green peppers and mushrooms. And since they had a hand in making dinner, they usually don’t think twice about the ingredients while stuffing their face. 

    Try getting them involved in the prep process of meals and you may see them have a more adventurous appetite at the table. If nothing else, they will get an understanding of the hard work you do in preparing them meals so really it’s a win-win!

  5. This might be hard at times but keeping your cool at dinner is key in helping kids continue trying new foods. If dinner is a battle or they fear they will be in trouble by the end of it then they may not be very eager to try anything new. You want them to look forward to meal times and that positive energy you bring will go a long way. And I know there’s nothing worse than working hard to cook a meal that your kid says YUCK to. But stay the course and over time you’ll see some improvements.

    Celebrate the wins, even if they are few and far between. If they try something new and they don’t like it, brush it off nonchalantly with a “That’s ok, I’m really glad you tried it!” and move on. Don’t belabor the fact that they didn’t like it, just take a short break from that food and try again another time.

  6. I noticed that keeping snack foods out of the house helps a ton with picky eating. If my kids are hungry at meal times then they are certainly more likely to try everything on their plate. Kids are super smart and they will realize they can manipulate meal times if they know a snack option is a mere half hour away.

    I’m certainly not anti-snack all the time and think there are times kids REALLY do need any extra pick-me-up, like after an athletic event. But in general, snacking just hasn’t proved to be very effective and made me feel like all I do all day is feed my kids.

Meal times are important for families and picky eaters can make it tough. But don’t stress mammas! All of these picky eating habits are completely normal as your kid starts to show independence and preferences. Show them good eating habits by displaying them yourself and they will begin to see all of the new foods as normal. And it’s ok if you aren’t perfect. I know I’ve totally dropped the ball in some of the green veggie areas because I hate them myself and don’t prepare meals with them often. But focus on the good things you are doing and keep after it!

If you’re reading this than I’m sure you already know…but being a mom is hard AF! I’m trying to make it a little easier by creating a kick ass community of moms where I bring in expert speakers to give you the knowledge you need to keep your head above water. Come check it out!

 

Toddler is constipated
Parenting Tips, Toddler

Your Toddler’s Not an Asshole, They’re Just Constipated

Toddler is constipatedAny mom will tell you that kids go through seasons. This is especially true for toddlers. They have ups and downs of epic proportions that seem to last weeks, if not months. One minute they are sweet little angels giving you kisses and hugs. And the next they are sassing you with an attitude you thought was reserved for the pre-teen years.

You get used to the roller coaster of emotions and often find yourself on guard, wondering whether it will be Jekyl or Hyde that will be greeting you today. So when my two year old was showing some of the finest displays of sass I have ever seen, I simply chalked it up to the terrible two’s. I bemoaned to my husband that we must have entered another ‘low season’ and wondered how long this one would last.

Her bad behavior became so commonplace that we joked about how it’s just who she is now. She’s just a sassy girl who cries over everything and makes her opinion known. We could easily label her the strong willed child that everyone talks about.

It just so happened that at the same time our angel started showing her dark side that we were potty training. She had shown signs that she was ready to roll and we were obviously eager to be rid of diapers. Training got off to a great start and though we had our fair share of accidents and cleanups, she got the hang of things pretty quickly. 

Well, minus one very important part. Half of the potty training equation actually. Pooping on the potty. This eluded her. Peeing was a cinch, pooping was a nightmare.

I read about how typical it is for toddlers to have some issues with going number two and wasn’t overly concerned. I assumed she would eventually come around so I didn’t push it. By the end of month three we were taking her out in public in just underwear and were generally confident that she would tell us when she needed to go. And we counted on nap time as her time to do her other business which worked fine because we were still putting her in pull-ups when she slept.

But we started to notice that a few days would go by and she had not pooped. And by day three she would stand, legs rigid, with a miserable face that read “why me?” while her body was trying to figure out how to get rid of three days worth of waste. She was uncomfortable, constipated, but eventually she would get the job done.

But that pain and discomfort led her to withhold her poop (yup, poop withholding is a thing) even more and it created this vicious circle of constipation. Apparently constipation in toddlers is more common than I initially thought because as I started sharing what was going on I had many moms reach out with their own stories and remedies. 

Potty Training is The Worst, Which is Why I Stopped

We tried altering her diet, pushing more water, and made all the changes we could. But we didn’t see very good results. So after consulting with my doctor we started mixing some laxatives in with her morning breakfast to get things moving. 

And within a day we started to see a difference. Things were finally moving in the right direction (down the toilet that is) and a flip was switched with my daughter’s demeanor as well. It was like we had a whole different kid on our hands. She was back to her mostly sweet self, and although still opinionated she was less of an asshole about it.

I almost couldn’t believe it but it makes so much sense looking back at the timing of everything. I so easily chalked up her change in behavior as a season when really it was directly related to her health and discomfort. Lesson learned that when your kid is being a turd, well, turds might actually be the problem.

Knowledge and community right at your fingertips!

If you’re reading this than I’m sure you already know…but being a mom is hard AF! I’m trying to make it a little easier by creating a kick ass community of moms where I bring in expert speakers to give you the knowledge you need to keep your head above water. Come check it out!

Cool Shit
Baby Products, Cool Shit

Cool Shit You Might Like (because I do) Week of October 16th 2017

Being a blogger means I’m constantly coming across some cool shit and I want to share it with my readers. It might be kid related, it might be mom related, or it might be simply interesting to me. Think of it as Oprah’s Favorite Things but without the car giveaways. Sorry.

I might include people I’m fan-girling over, a new kid product or activity, or something on Amazon that you can’t miss. Or Target deals, ’cause Target=life.

Enjoy!

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. What the hell does that mean? It means I might get compensated if you click on and purchase something from some of the links below. And by compensated I mean pennies. But hey, beer money is beer money. I’ll throw a * next to those so you know. Carry on. 

Picture This Clothing
If you have a budding artist in your house (or your kid is marking up your walls in crayons), put their creative juiciest to work by designing their own t-shirt or dress. This company takes your child’s drawing (even the random shit you have no idea what it’s supposed to be) and screen prints it on a shirt or dress. They look incredible and I bet your little artist would love to see their work come to life. 

Or hey, maybe you’ve been working on a masterpiece yourself! Design your own print and create a clothing line. #sidehustle 

Picture This

 

Polar Post
It’s never too early to prepare for Christmas and this is something that might put a little extra sprinkle of magic to the season this year. A blogger I follow on Instagram posted about this sweet little shop in the UK and I fell in love. I don’t get too Pinteresty but I do try to bring something special to the holiday each year.

This year’s extra little bit of special might just be these letters from Santa. They are personalized with your child’s name, where they are from, and even mentions a toy that they received (mom can put it in when the letter is ordered). The letter can be waiting for them under the tree or by the fireplace Christmas morning. It even has a beautifully handwritten envelope that you can get creative with. I’m thinking something along the lines of “Barely made the nice list…do better next year or else.”

 

Parenting The Sh*t Out Of Life*
Based on the title alone I was already sold, but this ‘parenting’ book is by one of my fave mammas out there, Anna Whitehouse of Mother Pukka. Anna has a way of seeing the humor in parenting which I find to be one of the best coping mechanisms a person can use. 

She uses her platform to raise awareness on how common miscarriage occurs as well as the need for flexible working environments for families. She’s spunky as hell and someone I could totally be BFFs with. At the very least check her out on Instagram. You may piss yourself in laughter.

And her book is good. REALLY good. She and her husband take turns writing about their parenting journey and though they say they aren’t dishing out parenting advice, you can’t help but learn something form two people who are really working through the shit stages of parenting.

You can get it on the Kindle app too which is a plus. 

 

TED Talk On Why You Don’t Need to Sweat the Small Stuff About Screen Time
I know you’ve felt guilty about handing over your phone or tablet to your kid to either distract them or get a few minutes of uninterrupted time to cook dinner. Maybe you’ve even been judged for it. I know I’ve seen the awkward glances from strangers if one of my kids is on my phone in public. 

Well fear not, because this really great TED Talk by Sara DeWitt talks about how screen tech can actually be freaking awesome for your kids. It’s called Three Fears About Screen Time for Kids-And Why They’re Not True. It’s about 13 minutes long but worth the view if it makes you more confident to hand over that phone.

 

Amazon Finds*
For when you spend too much time on your kid’s Halloween costume and forget about your own…

For when you like your coffee sassy like you…

-bonus for this mug is even when your kids learn to read they probably won’t get it. 

 

Andrea Rhoades is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

 

 

How I Grew My Instagram Following
Humor

How I Grew My Instagram Following from 430 to 433 (then Back Down to 430) in 30 Days

How I Grew My Instagram Following from 430 to 433, then back down to 430 in one month! It's so easy!If you are an entrepreneur and on Instagram then you are all about growth. You see other accounts in your niche who are killing it on IG and you want a piece of that lucrative pie, right? Of course you do! That’s why I’m so excited to share with you my method for Instagram growth. You won’t believe the five easy steps I took to grow my account by three followers, then lose them just as swiftly, in 30 days.

But reader beware, these aren’t for the faint of heart. We all know that to achieve TRUE growth on Instagram that you have to do it right and put in the time. 

Alright, let’s get down to it because I know you are eager to hear how I had such huge growth. Follow these five steps and in 30 days I’m sure you’ll see similar results!

  1. Watch no less than 15 webinars and Facebook lives of IG growth experts who you can’t quite tell if they’ve actually ever had a successful business prior to preaching about IG growth. But their account numbers don’t lie, so you need to sit through 20 minutes of a terrible intro (while they wait for enough people to jump on so FB promotes it) before they actually get to tactics. Then you realize most of the tactics are fluff and the others you’ve heard before and you realize you won’t get that half hour back of your life.
  2. Spend 23 hours per day following other relevant accounts and commenting on posts to try and drive 1% of traffic back to your account. Then hope and pray with all your might that they follow you back. NOTE: Your loved ones will not understand why your head is buried in your phone all day. It’s cool. It’s just part of being on the path to success.
  3. Stack your social calendar full of interesting events and gatherings so you can share them on your IG stories.How I Grew My Instagram Following If it’s a choice between sharing your kid’s soccer game or an awesome boomerang of Rosé Sunday with your girlfriends, skip the game. Your kids will understand. And speaking of kids… IG LOVES kids. Well, the cute ones anyway. Preferably under the age of 6 and only if they are wearing whimsical and chic clothing that costs more than your entire wardrobe. So prepare accordingly.
  4. Be real and authentic. In the same way that Taco Bell is real and authentic Mexican food. Meaning the photos you share on IG are actually your life, but more palatable to the masses. Posting about T-Bell isn’t a bad idea either…
  5. You’ll want to partner with a brand or an Etsy shop to give away something you think your followers have to have. Then make them jump through 15 hoops in order to qualify for the giveaway. Some ways to make it count is to have them follow you, follow the account the giveaway product is from, follow your sister’s account, tag 25 friends, have all 25 friends follow your account, follow your dog’s account, and have them send you a video of them patting their head while simultaneously rubbing their belly in a circular motion. All of that for the chance to win a $25 item will be sure to get you the growth you are looking for.

And that’s it! How easy is that? And if you do all of those steps I am confident that you will gain three followers and lose them almost immediately. Can you believe it? I wish someone would have told me about this method sooner but I’m so happy to share with you what I’ve learned. 

Oh, and did I mention that I will be hosting a webinar that will give you EVEN MORE amazing insights like these? I’ll be sharing how I grew my FB group from 50 members to 53, so you won’t want to miss out! It’s FREE!

Free (totally not fake) webinar on FB growth

Parenting Tips, Toddler

Potty Training is The Worst, Which is Why I’m Stopping

Potty training is a roller coaster. Here's why I decided to get off the ride and have no regrets.I can see it so clearly. A future where I’m not constantly wiping asses and carrying around a bag full of diapers and wipes. The vision is marvelous. I can almost touch the freedom and I’m eager to make it a reality.

So when my youngest started showing signs of potty training readiness I did a happy dance and Amazon’d all the necessary potty training paraphernalia. We started talking to her about how amazing it is to wear underwear and pee like a big girl and she was on board. And of course the bribery didn’t hurt either. She very quickly learned that a trip to the potty yielded lots of praise and treats in return and she maxed out the opportunities.

We were on a roll and I could sense the end of diapers was near. But one big, and I mean big, thing stood in our path to success.

Shit.

Yup, the deuce. Poop. Number two. Chocolate delight. Whatever you call it, it was screwing my diaper-free fantasy up royally. My daughter refused to poop in the potty. Which for most kids is completely normal at the beginning of potty training. But after trying many methods to get her to overcome this hurdle it just wasn’t happening.

We continued on, hoping to master the skill of peeing while developing her turd-ometer as time went on. Surely at some point she would get tired of shitting herself, right? And to be honest, it really wasn’t a big deal in terms of clean up either as she almost always waited to drop her load during naps or bedtime when she had a pull-up on. 

Progress was steady and I was even confident of being out in public with her for longer periods of time without worrying about an accident. And for anyone who has potty trained a child before, you know how big of an accomplishment that is.

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And then we moved. And everything went to hell. Prior to the move she would go a few hours without an accident and would either tell us when she needed to go or would at least begrudgingly head to the potty when prompted. Now, she was piddling (puddling? Whatever, she pissed herself) often. I’m talking once every half hour. The accidents started small, barely enough to dampen her underwear. 

I quickly familiarized myself with potty training regression to figure out how to quickly get her back on track. One of the key triggers in potty training regression is a recent life event or change. Like a move. Super. But, at least I knew what might be behind this backwards trend. So we reminded her of what she already learned and tried not to get upset with her (though we weren’t perfect) when she had an accident. But three weeks after being in the new house and things got worse, not better.

The accidents suddenly got larger and more frequent. And we also noticed that she wasn’t dropping deuces during nap times like she usually did. She was constipated and irritated. A bad combo for a 2 1/2 year old. I’ll spare you the details but we got her relief and hoped this would be a start to getting her back on track. But it wasn’t.

At this point everyone was exhausted and frustrated. My daughter started reacting to her accidents as if she knew she had done something wrong and was ashamed which broke my heart. I never want her to feel that way about potty training and it was at this point that I said fuck it. She’s going back in pull-ups full-time.

This was a big shift for me because I’m fully in the camp of once you put a child in underwear you don’t put them back in pull-ups because it’s confusing. And I still believe that. But clearly my daughter, who seemed ready earlier, is no longer ready to potty train. And I need to respect the signs she’s showing me and slow down. 

My pediatrician’s office echoed my thought process and also warned me that I may get judged by others for this decision. And I might. But I just don’t care. No one knows our potty training journey but us. No one heard my daughter whimpering after having a large accident. No one can understand the thought process of a 2 1/2 year old who just had a major life event. No one can feel our sanity slipping as we try to make sense of the regression when everything seemed to be going so well.

So judge on if you must. But my daughter seems perfectly happy to once again have a saggy pull-up on as she explores and adjusts to her new home. And when she feels more comfortable and starts to ask to use the potty on her own again, I’ll gladly oblige. 

But for now I’m grateful for a potty training reprieve. Because potty training is a bitch.

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If you’re reading this than I’m sure you already know…but being a mom is hard AF! I’m trying to make it a little easier by creating a kick ass community of moms where I bring in expert speakers to give you the knowledge you need to keep your head above water. Come check it out!

 

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5 Ways to Ease Heartburn During Pregnancy
Parenting Tips

5 Ways To Ease Heartburn During Pregnancy

5 ways to ease heartburn during pregnancy. Great tips for the expectant mom! #heartburn #pregnancy #pregnant #newmomIf you are reading this then you have probably felt the fiery rage of heartburn while pregnant. It’s a bitch to say the least. And for some women it hits early and often throughout their entire pregnancy. The joys of motherhood strike before baby even arrives!

Pregnant women produce more progesterone which relaxes the muscles of the uterus. That all sounds great except it also relaxes the valve that keeps your food from seeping back up in to your esophagus. So I guess we’ll call it a scratch. Except you are left with the burning hell that is heartburn. 

And as an added bonus, that growing baby needs room which means all your organs get the shift. Including your stomach. And when your stomach gets pushed up, the food inside it does as well. Your body does some amazing things as it grows a human, but there’s only so much room to fit them all in.

Prevention is key in keeping the fire from your belly from erupting in your throat. Here are some tips to help you through this phase of your pregnancy.

  1. Instead of three large meals a day opt for smaller meals throughout the day. This makes digestion easier and 
  2. Sleep in a slightly elevated position. Gravity can do wonders for keeping your digestion where it should be. 
  3. This may seem obvious, but avoid the foods that seem to trigger the heartburn. I know, as if you didn’t already have enough dietary restrictions. Some of the most common triggers are: carbonated drinks, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, foods that are fatty, spicy or fried, tomatoes, mustard, and vinegar.
  4. Don’t eat directly before going to bed. Give you body time to digest and settle and you may avoid revisiting your dinner for a second time.
  5. A more liquid diet may be your friend. I’m talking smoothies, soups, yogurts, puddings. And yes, milkshakes. Liquids digest faster, thus less risk for them returning to the scene of the crime.Join this judgement-free community of kick ass mammas!

If none of these tips help, you can always ask your doctor about medicines that are safe to take while pregnant. I should have purchased stock in TUMS during both of my pregnancies. I wished they sold them as a “bucket ‘O TUMS” because that would have been more cost effective.

There’s no reason to be miserable if there’s a solution out there that can help. Your partner will thank you for putting an end to one of the hundreds of valid complaints you have about being pregnant!

And as a new mom (or new again!) you’ll need some extra support along the way which is why I’ve created an amazing group of kick ass ladies for you to lean on! I’m bringing in expert speakers every month to talk about topic you care about (like heartburn!). Plus, this is a judgement-free zone where those who behave like asshats see the door fast. 

Join us and gain knowledge and support so you can live your best #momlife!