Category: Friday Favorites

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.

whippedcream (1)
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 -Anna Nova Review & Giveaway

Spring Awakening Satchel Anna Nova

Anna Nova Australia is hosting this promotional giveaway and has provided the merchandise depicted for review. All honest opinions belong solely to The Whatever Mom. No affiliate links are contained within this post and no financial compensation given.

Before I was a mom I loved the fresh scent of a new hand bag. I would drive an hour to my favorite outlet to peruse the season’s newest offerings.  Those gorgeous designer bags were replaced by cute diaper bags and large shoulder bags. As cute and functional as those bags are, I miss carrying something I absolutely love. I am super picky when it comes to my hand bag choices. I want to carry a bag no one else has, I want quality and I want something that makes me happy. Oh and now it has to have enough room to carry the stuff my kids hand off to me.

Just when I thought designer bags were no longer in reach for my mom lifestyle I was asked to review the Anna Nova Spring Awakening Traveller. (I may have literally squealed with delight). To have designer quality in my hands again felt like a luxurious dream come true.  I have been longing for something that could keep up with the busy demands of my mom-lifestyle, yet make me happy to carry around. Maybe it is because Anna herself is a mother of 4 she understands how to marry together form and function with fashion.

The Spring Awakening Traveller Satchel

I don’t know why I never thought to carry a cross the body satchel before! Even though this satchel is half the size of my current bag, everything fits inside! There are pockets galore creating a very efficient way to carry my mom items (I could write a separate post on the amount of stuff I have inside my mom bag). After I transferred everything into the satchel I discovered an entirely empty pocket still available for all the future stuff I’ll need to cram inside!  All the pockets are secured with a zipper or a snap making it hard for tiny hands to smuggle things in or out.

anna nova stitching

I could see right away my Anna Nova is stitched with quality and care! The stitching on my worn out shoulder bag is frayed and very thin (clearly not a designer bag). The turquoise threads on the Anna Nova Traveller is not only gorgeous but heavier and deeper which means less fray and longer wear.

Anna Nova Traveler

The fabric on the inside of this satchel feels much softer and I can tell immediately it has a better thread count (it simply means a tighter weave which equals longer life). The fabric inside my cheap shoulder bag became “pilly” and worn shortly after I purchased it. Not a very luxurious feeling.

After years of carrying shoulder bags that slide down my arm while trying to hold two little hands across a parking lot, I am ready for a cross the body bag. This week alone I wore my Traveller to our soccer practices, during preschool drop off and even out shopping. Knowing my items are secure and safe from falling off of me and spilling out as I am chasing a kid gives me less to worry about. It is so light weight and comfortable I find myself going back into the house to look for my purse. Meanwhile, I’m already wearing it! Ha, ha!

Anna Nova Spring Awakening Traveler

If I am being honest, this print wasn’t my first choice, but I kept coming back to it because there was just something comforting about it. It reminds me of the floral prints I used to wear as a teenager (back when I was carefree and had time for fashion). The pastels on black aren’t super bold, but lend just enough color to make a statement and still coordinate with my casual outfits.

I know no one likes to chat dollars and cents but I feel like if I am bringing you an honest review we have to go there. I feel everything is very reasonably priced for designer quality. This particular bag is around $105 which is way less than any other designer bag I’ve purchased, but the quality is on par. Take a look at the Anna Nova website to see the other affordable pieces available; from coin purses to phone pouches, from back packs to overnight bags there is a bag to fit every need.

The Spring Awakening Pouch

Anna Nova Spring Awakening Pouch

The folks at Anna Nova also sent this companion pouch that fits inside my satchel. I have filled it with my arsenal of lip glosses, lip balms and favorite essential oils. The pouch fits perfectly inside any pocket on this satchel. It is also a great pouch to store your cell phone in inside of a diaper bag, or large shoulder bag for quick access.

Guess what?! I have one extra Spring Awakening Pouch to giveaway!!  Are you excited?!! You should be!!  This roomy little pouch can be a piece of luxury you can count on every time you open your purse.

To enter follow the instructions below and check back on The Whatever Mom Facebook page on Monday morning!

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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. 

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Friday Favorites – Brighton Jewelry

Brighton collage

Last year my husband’s company flew him out to Las Vegas to receive an award for being the best in the entire North East region. What made this trip so special was he also received national recognition for being the BEST at his job! This three day excursion included a stay in Cesar’s Palace, rubbing elbows with the national team, exclusive sneak peaks at new product and a tour of his choice. He chose the Hoover Damn. Um… hello how many movies were shot at this historic site? The nerd in him was super excited to see where some of his favorite celebrities once stood.

So what does his fabulous trip have to do with this jewelry? Well, since I don’t get any corporate perks at this mommy gig, hubby felt I deserved something shiny in recognition of all the hard work I put into helping him be the best at his job. Kind of like my own award for being the best at my job. Daw… what a nice hubby right?

He brought home this gorgeous necklace and charm bracelet from a Brighton Jewelry shop.  I absolutely love the finer details which really make this necklace and charm bead unique. The color is perfect to wear with my favorite coral summer tops.

 

brighton charm brighton love

So far both pieces have held up pretty nicely with the number of times I’ve worn them (which is a lot). The silver has not tarnished and the leather chain shows no sign of wear and tear. They seem to be holding up well to the demands of motherhood! Overall, I am really impressed by how beautifully and well made these Brighton jewelry pieces are. Plus, I love all the compliments I get when I wear this necklace. To see more products from Brighton Jewelry or to find an outlet near you just visit here. In looking around online I see the price points are amazingly affordable. There are gifts for less than $30.

brighton leaf brighton rock

Now for special occasions when hubby is stuck for a gift idea he just finds the perfect little charm or bead to add on to my bracelet! How brilliant is that? He pretty much just set up an efficient gift giving system without even trying (take note hubbies!). Don’t forget Mother’s Day is only a week away! Go online now and order something unique from Brighton.

And of course you know I love to dig into a companies charitable giving! Brighton is donated over 9.5 million dollars to various charities including breast cancer charities, feeding programs and soles for souls which gets shoes to people in need. You can learn more about their efforts here.

No financial compensation was received for this review. No affiliate links contained in this post. All opinions belong solely to The Whatever Mom.

 

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

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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 – Special Books by Special Kids

rd autism

As I mentioned in my post on April 2nd, April is Autism Awareness Month. No one is more aware of autism than the individuals who live with this diagnosis, and their families who love them. They are the ones who live with the challenges and differences every day. But, there are some unsung heroes out there helping them find a comfortable place of acceptance: Special Education Teachers and Therapists.

Teachers and therapists working in the world of special education truly have the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve met. They have to give enthusiastically for 6-8 or more hours a day. What makes them truly special is they can breathe the power of belief into the hearts of our special kids who don’t always believe in themselves. They can bring relief to a parent filled with worries and doubts. What an amazing super power!

I am a huge fan of this guy: Christopher Ulmer. We have never met and probably won’t. But, I want to introduce you to the important work he is doing. He is working hard to open doors of acceptance for children with autism and different abilities. His passion and his energy in the videos he posts are contagious. I hope you catch it too and pass it on to friends, family and strangers. As he says in nearly every video, “we are all more alike than we are different” and no matter what our abilities are we all need one thing to thrive. Love.

Here is a PopSugar video of “Mr. Chris” (as his students call him).

Mr. Chris tried to publish a book series written by his students. It was rejected 50 times. Instead he now travels the country interviewing individuals and their families and posting those videos online. Through sharing these stories on social media he is hoping to create a platform to educate the world and invite others to learn more about neurodiversity.

Mr. Chris uses rough 1/3 of his teacher salary toward promoting this project. I encourage you all to go check out the Special Books by Special Kids website and Facebook page. If you are inspired by his work feel free to click on the donation tab on the website and contribute to his gofundme site. Mr. Chris is using donations to fund his expenses to travel to each family and to keep SBSK operating. And, if you know a publisher who would be willing to publish his book series don’t be afraid to reach out to him directly. 😉

Please share this blog post on your social media pages. We can make Mr. Chris’s work a little easier by helping create a better understanding of what it looks like to treat others with compassion despite their diagnosis.

 

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 – Fitbit HR Charge Fitness Tracker

Friday Favorites (6)

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

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

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

ADDING FRIENDS

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

fitbit app screens

RACES

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

WATER INTAKE

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

CALORIE TRACKER 

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

SLEEP TRACKER

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

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

Got a Fibit? Wanna race? *wink*

 

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

 

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Friday Favorites- Relax Body Oil by HelloMellow

Friday Favorites

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

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

Relax

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

tracy feldstein

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

Relax 2

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

b4bc-survivorship-logo

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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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 – Jolly Dragons GIVEAWAY!

Jolly Dragons Organic Kids Clothes

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

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

Jolly Dragons

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

Jolly Dragons Logo

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

Jolly Dragons family

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

 Jolly-Dragons---Spider

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

 GOTS

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

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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