A Family, Beauty, Health and Lifestyle Blog
Parenting is difficult enough when you are perfectly healthy. When you are dealing with an illness, however, it can often feel that your children end up taking more care of you than you are of them. This can be incredibly frustrating and limiting, and that, in turn, can hamper your life in so many ways. You need to have a positive outlook on life in order to make the most of it and in order to be the best mom you can be. Disparaging on what you cannot do won’t help, instead, focus on what you can do. Learning how to manage your illness and live with it will be hard, but very rewarding. Start by following this guide:
Take Control of Your Healthcare
Being shuffled around from one treatment option to another just because you are on Medicare is not okay. You have a right to choose what care you get and who takes care of you. A loved one, like a sibling, a parent, or friend (but not spouse) can be trained and certified to take care of you and get paid for their work. These sorts of options put the choice back into the hand of patients, allowing you to make the best decision for your life. To opt for this option, of course, you need to enroll in the program. For more information on the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), visit freedomcareny.com; they help streamline the process and make it easy for you to get the help you need.
Find New Things to Do
Accepting your limitations will be difficult. Focusing too much on what you can no longer do can inhibit you severely and make healing difficult. Instead, find new things to do that will help you live out your life the best way possible. Start a website, read more, write, create art, learn – there are so many options available to you that you can live a fulfilling life where you complete all your goals, regardless of how inhibiting your illness is.
Improve Your Base Health
Improving your base health is a crucial step that you need to take. Base health refers to the lifestyle habits you can make towards your health, like exercising or eating healthy meals. Do this because a body that gets all the nutrients that it needs works better, meaning you can fight against your illness or disability better and, at the very least, you can benefit from an improved mood.
Find New Ways to Spend Time with The Kids
You don’t have to be able to run around the house with them or drive them to practices in order to be a good mom. You can help support your kids in so many ways, and with technology, this becomes even easier. You can stay in touch with text, and you can call long distance for little to no extra charge, as well as speak to them through video. Help them with their homework, see their day through their photos, send jokes, articles, and more. Spend time with your kids no matter where they are simply by learning how to use the messaging systems on your phone.
Staying upbeat when you are living with an illness might be difficult, but by focusing on the things that you can still do because you are alive is the only way to live a happy life.
I have just discovered the cutest, most adorable children's show ever! Molang is a round, fluffy, and happy rabbit, who joins his friend, Piu Piu, a poised, timid, and reserved yellow chick, as they explore everyday life.
Despite their many differences, Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a special friendship. They have amazing times together ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary. From finding themselves in the middle of the jungle, going to the circus or enjoying a rainy day, Molang and Piu Piu embrace every daily adventure together. Who knew dancing in the rain with your best friend could be so much fun? No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with sheer happiness. Embark on 52 lovable adventures with Molang and Piu Piu!
I was given the chance to review Molang Season 2, and was also sent a few adorable little toys and a shiny sticker book to enjoy along with the DVD.
There is just something so endearing to me about bunnies and chicks. The animation and stories are sweet and entertaining to my little ones (and to me as well, as I am always finding myself watching along with my nieces.)
Enter to win! One winner will receive:
- 1 Unforgettable Fun with Molang Season 2 DVD
- 1 Molang Loves Book
- 1 Push N Peel Pop
- 1 Best Friend Charms
How? It's easy! Just fill out the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!
Learn more about Molang on NCircle Entertainment here.
*Product received. All opinions are my own.
With festival season approaching, you need these last minute beauty essentials to help you feel a dash fresher during the day and night. I'm headed to Destin, Florida soon next month and the following products will be definitely be located in my weekend tote! (And if I can't check 'em, I am tossing these must-haves in my suitcase!)
Rita Hazan Lock + Block Protective Spray ($26 at ritahazan.com)
A dry, weightless mist that locks in color and style, blocks out humidity and UV rays, and protects from premature color fading formulated for color-treated hair, but also protects natural hair color.
Josie Maran Moonstone Stick ($25 at sephora.com)
A multi-use highlighting and pore-smoothing glow stick infused with Pure Argan Oil and holographic priming pearls for a radiant glow on the go.
MALIN+GOETZ revitalizing eye gel ($42 at malinandgoetz.com)
Rejuvenate tired-looking eyes with this lightweight eye gel. Rice and soy protein amino acids brighten the overall eye area while cooling cucumber extracts soothe dry skin and help alleviate puffiness.
Rebels Refinery Dirty Boy Bamboo Face & Body Wipes ($7.99 at rebelsrefinery.com)
These natural face and body wipes can help any dirty boy or girl get clean. Rebels biodegradable, natural bamboo wipes are softer than the softest cotton and contain natural anti-fungal properties. Stay clean, cool and non-sticky in any “pinch” of a situation.
The Incredible Egg has once again put out a call for the country’s most incredible kids – do you know one?
Inspired by the stories from the first You’re Incredible Because… Contest in 2017, the nationwide search is on for the second time. The American Egg Board, in partnership with gymnastic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez, is recognizing kids doing incredible things such as engaging in social good projects in their schools and communities, excelling in sports or extra-curricular activities, raising money for those in need and more.
Last year’s contest spotlighted amazing stories of incredible kids, including a boy in Wisconsin who overcame homelessness and bullying to become a published author and business owner; a girl from Arizona who donated more than $1,800 from her lemonade business to a local children’s hospital and other incredible kids.
Entering is easy. Upload a photo of the incredible kid(s) to Instagram or Twitter with a brief caption explaining what makes them incredible, using #IncredibleBecause and #Contest.
What’s the prize? This year’s most incredible kid will win:
- A check for $2,500
- A $2,500 donation to their school
- An Incredible Egg-themed prize pack
- A special feature on IncredibleEgg.org and The Incredible Egg’s social channels
For entry inspiration, we’re happy to connect you to last year’s contest winner, Alex Hart-Upendo. He can share his incredible story and how it feels to be the first-ever You’re Incredible Because… Contest winner!
For immediate access to contest information, visit IncredibleEgg.org/IncredibleBecause.
You only have one chance to make a good first impression! That first impression is everything. Your first impression is critical, so make it your best. So, you have landed your customer. Hurray! Don't get too excited just yet, however. You haven't really won them yet!
The fact is that only 40 to 60% of customers will not follow through after signing up for your product or service. (I am personally guilty of such behaviour!)
How do you keep that customer wanting for more?
This is where you need to focus on customer onboarding; the process by which you take the customer from point a. to point b. This is where you take them from potential customer to definite customer!
How can you make that transition as smooth as possible, while keeping the customer happy?
The following are a few helpful tips and ideas to help you maintain and keep happy customers:
Keep it Simple~ Sometimes people (like myself) get overwhelmed with too much information. They get lost in the process. I do know that from personal experience, my mind shuts down and I stop listening. I nod my head and smile a lot, but yet I am not at all following what you are telling me.
You need to visually explain to the customer where they are now and how to get them to the next step. Whether that may be drawing a little diagram, or showing a chart that you have set up, make sure that you haven't 'lost' the potential customer in the sign-up, or beginning process.
Baby Steps~ By showing your users exactly where they are in the process and how much they have left to go, you make it easier to get started, and via the endowed progress effect, make them more motivated to finish with every step that they take. Make sure all instructions are precise, clear and to the point. Don't give them a chance to get confused and give up.
Only ask for the Basics~ Again, be careful not to overwhelm your potential customer when signing them up. You don't want to make them feel like they are signing their life away. Stick with the basics, such as an email address and zipcode.
Make it as Easy as Possible~ Be Specific! Make sure instructions to sign up are clear and direct. Stay away from anything too fancy. I know that if I have to question anything, you have lost me.
Show off a bit! Make sure you show off the best features of what you are selling! Do a little 'Show and Tell' about your product! This is where you can let them know how it works, and why they simply cannot do without it!
Use videos or clever photos to help explain what you are selling, and why it is the best of the best! Many companies also use videos as a way to walk new customers through a product.
Ask for Customer Input. Make the customer feel like their opinions are valid. For instance, ask, "Is there anything we can do to improve?" Or, "Is there anything I can help you with?" The best way to understand customer-defined success is simple: ask the customer.
Provide Exceptional Customer Service~ Make sure your customer service is just as valuable as the product. Make sure the customer feels special, pampered and important. Everyone wants to feel like they matter. Give them something to remember you by. Whether it is a compliment, a smile, or even a free gift of some sort for signing up. A little bit of kindness goes a long way.
Provide a personal touch~ A meaningful way to welcome a new customer on board would be through a thoughtful, genuine email from a team member letting them know that you’re here to help. But do not underestimate the personal touch of a good-old fashioned hand written note.
A phone call~ in which you make sure that somebody actually picks up and connects with the customer in a friendly way is a great way to stand out!
An in-app message with a warm welcoming, personal message makes a lot of difference. Make the customer feel like you value them, and are happy to have them (stay clear of, "all signed up!") How about, "Welcome on board. We're happy you are here."
Keep in mind that user adoption strategies within an organization can be crucial to the new system's success. Good luck!
I am so excited whenever I discover another amazing hair care company that specializes in making my hair beautiful, and yes, SEXY. My hair is one of my main focuses of beauty. If my hair does not look good, then I will not even leave the house. That sounds so shallow, but it is so true!
PK by Pearson Knight is Pearson Knight is an independent, free-spirited hair stylist + style maker who has created beauty products that reflect his passion for high-fashion and fierce love for effortless, natural + raw beauty.
That sounds like just the kind of hair styling products that I seek! Products that make me look effortless and natural, so I knew that PK by Pearson Knight products would be right up my alley.
Beach Grit Volume and Texture Spray
Sexy, effortless, casual style that is always a good look on any day. Mist on damp or dry hair from root to tip for easy, undone texture and enhanced natural waves. Or, just hit the roots for extra volume.
I am in love with Beach Grit! First of all, it smells heavenly! I apply it to my hair when it is dry, and spray it all over, and then I start scrunching it. This adds delightful beachy, wavy texture and shine. I love it!
For effortless texture and hold, apply into palms, then work through damp or dry hair to define and shape as desired.
I always enjoy a texturizing product in my hair styling routine because I like to tame the baby hairs closest to my face. I also use the mud to 'flare out' and add volume to my bangs and my sides. (This is similar to how I styled my hair in the 80's.) This product gives my hair amazing, yet flexible hold without any flakiness.
I can count on PK products to ensure that I never have another 'bad hair day.' Another plus is that my hair is done in minutes, and I am always thrilled with the results!
For more information on PK by Pearson Knight, go to: https://www.pearsonknight.com
*Product received. All opinions are my own.
Scientific and medical journals are filled with articles on the activity and benefits of probiotics - their value to human health continues to generate optimism …
Probiotics are living micro-organisms which, when consumed in sufficient quantities, produce systemic and digestive benefits. Among the many probiotic strains, the lactobacillus genus of bacteria is particularly well represented. Colonising the intestines and vagina, lactobacillus has various effects and in particular, can:
• relieve irritable bowel syndrome
• restore the balance of microflora
• reduce various types of diarrhoea
• optimise the body’s natural immune function
• protect against the flu virus
• prevent colonisation of the gastric mucosa byHelicobacter pylori.
Lactobacillus gasseri, a strain naturally present in human breast milk, is thus part of the group of micro-organisms that are essential for overall equilibrium. A recent discovery, however, has identified its potential in a completely different area - that of weight control.
~Indeed Lactobacillus gasseri represents a major new addition in a field where there is considerable cross-over between genetic and metabolic causes, low metabolic energy, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
~A number of studies report that consumption of Lactobacillus gasseri promotes a reduction in abdominal adipose fat. A 12-week, double-blind Japanese study of 210 adults with abdominal adiposity clearly showed that Lactobacillus gasseri reduced BMI (Body Mass Index), waist and hip circumference, and abdominal fat mass by 8.5% in comparison with a control group where no such parameter changes were noted. However, the researchers also found that regular ingestion is necessary for such effects to endure.
~Research published in the journal Nature in 2006 had already indicated that microbial populations in the gut are different between lean and obese people and that when obese people lose weight, the composition of their microflora reverts back to that of individuals with a normal BMI, thus suggesting obesity may have a microbial component.
~Another study conducted on mice also demonstrated that consumption of L. gasseri not only reduced weight and body fat but also lowered blood glucose levels in animals with type 2 diabetes.
~The mice were divided into three groups - the first receiving a normal diet, the second a high-sucrose diet and the third the same high-sucrose diet but supplemented with Lactobacillus gasseri, for a period of 10 weeks.
~At the end of the study, it was shown that L. gasseri considerably reduced bodyweight and adipose tissue in the supplemented mice, and also had substantial ‘anti-diabetes type 2’ activity.
~Sub-cutaneous adipocytes are the major source of leptin and adiponectin. Leptin is an adipocyte hormone which controls weight by regulating food intake and energy output. Leptin concentration is closely linked with body fat percentage and higher serum levels are always found in obese individuals. According to this study, administration of L. gasseri suppressed increases in plasma leptin, suggesting that a reduction in weight and fat mass is associated with a decrease in serum leptin. Similar effects had already been observed in earlier studies.
Finally, GLUT4 is one of the main transporters of glucose in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Increased expression of the GLUT4 gene in adipose tissue is known to improve the insulin resistance associated with type 2 diabetes. In this study, L. gasseri significantly increased expression of the GLUT4 gene in adipose tissue. In addition, insulin levels fell significantly. Given that in pre-diabetic states, increases in blood glucose stimulate the secretion of insulin, and that hyperinsulinaemia is frequently accompanied by obesity, consumption of L. gasseri would appear to help reduce insulin resistance and thus improve pre-diabetic states.
These results therefore suggest that:
• the anti-obesity effect of L. gasseri can be attributed to the blocking of leptin;
• the anti-diabetes activity of L. gasseri can be attributed to elevated GLUT4 levels and reduced insulin levels.
In summary, the probiotic L. gasseri helps reduce bodyweight and adiposity by lowering levels of leptin and insulin, suggesting that it may facilitate treatment of metabolic syndrome.
The fact that Lactobacillus gasseri is easy to take, totally safe, with benefits both for the digestive system and for weight control, makes it a ‘must-take’ daily supplement.
Alongside the strain Lactobacillus gasseri, other probiotic bacteria may be of interest for their protective effects. They include the patented strain Bacillus subtilis, recognised for its immune-stimulant properties, and Lactobacillus reuteri, indicated for intestinal problems such as diarrhea.
As probiotics are particularly vulnerable to stomach acids, Lactobacillus gasseri comes in DR Caps™ - gastro-resistant capsules - to ensure optimal delivery of six billion micro-organisms a day.
When you’re pregnant you get advice and opinions about everything, which if you’re new to this whole thing like me, is generally pretty helpful. However, some things you just can’t really take advice on because you have to have baby here to guide you. One of the huge things on that list is bottles. People shared with me their babies preferences, some saying their baby would ONLY take a certain brand or nipple type. For some it was very difficult to transition from nursing to bottles and some babies handled it just fine. The problem is, every baby is different and I had no idea how our little Reylin would feel about bottles until she got here!
We tried bottle feeding pretty early on (but not too early because we were worried about nipple confusion) and she took to it right away! We were very surprised and happy and her grandparents and uncle LOVED feeding her, and it was adorable to watch (and honestly a little bit nice to have a break). I have been so lucky to exclusively breastfeed so far with baby but knowing that she would actually take the bottle was still a huge relief. At first I was trying basic bottles and the ones that came with my breast pump which worked good but we're definitely missing something...and we wanted better than good. I didn’t like how how hard and unfriendly these bottles seemed and I wanted to find something that felt a little more natural for baby.
I came across Comotomo and immediately loved their design. Their bottles are made to simulate natural breastfeeding. Their hygienic silicone bottles are soft, squeezable, free from any chemicals and so much more friendly for little baby hands. They also keep mom in mind - these bottles are SO easy to clean and take apart, yet they are absolutely leak free. The other plus? These bottles are so cute and instagrammable! I always call my baby cute but I didn’t think I’d say that about a bottle itself and here I am! These bottles are truly better than good and I will definitely be sticking with them.
I will be returning to work this month and while it will be emotional for me and baby, I am grateful that she will be in daddy’s loving arms during the day. I am also grateful that if she can’t be nursing, she can be using Comotomo’s bottles filled with breast milk which really is the next best thing.
While I know it’s difficult to know which bottle baby will want until he/she is here, I must say that Comotomo really put a lot of thought into this design and hit all of the marks that a baby’s missing from other bottle brands. This bottle is designed to ease the breast to bottle transition and I would highly recommend trying this one specifically with your babe first!
For more information, please visit: http://www.comotomo.com
*Product received. All opinions are my own.
Healthy Baby, Happy Mom BioGaia Probiotic Drops
After I had our sweet daughter Reylin, the first weeks were a little rough. Healing from having a baby in general takes some time (I still can’t believe I did that!!) but in the early weeks I came down with a fever and the doctor put me on antibiotics for what they thought was Mastitis. NOT. FUN. I was grateful to have something to start feeling better but after receiving the medication and being told that it would be a good idea for me to take a probiotic I immediately started having mommy guilt as I was still planning on breastfeeding. I did what all new moms do (and probably shouldn’t) I started googling how my new antibiotics could affect baby and I got scared! I didn’t want to hurt this perfect little human in ANY way whatsoever let alone tamper with her sensitive gut health because of my antibiotic!
One good thing did happen with my googling; I came across
BioGaia baby probiotics. Their extremely natural and heavily researched products are aimed at keeping everyone’s (especially baby’s) gut health as strong as possible. Their formulas containing good bacteria help keep our immune systems strong and fight off illnesses and build up what can be lost by taking things like antibiotics. I checked with my pediatrician like I do before giving baby anything and she agreed that this product would be a great idea so I was sold!
I absolutely love/recommend the ‘BioGaia ProTectis Baby with Vitamin D’ drops. Not only does this work great to build baby’s gut health like I was worried about but it also includes the daily dose of Vitamin D that babies need. Since our baby has so far been exclusively breastfed, our pediatrician prescribed us vitamin D drops to give to her daily. (They say that baby’s can lack this vitamin in breast milk, and Oregon is definitely lacking the sun during the winter months). I actually prefer BioGaia vitamin D supplement over the prescription because it contains much more natural ingredients than the drugstores version. (The prescription contained things like caramel flavoring and that just seemed so weird and unnecessary for a newborn!) I love that with using BioGaia’s product I’m not only getting baby extra gut health protection but also giving her the vitamin D she needs too!
BioGaia is designed to grow with you and has products for every age. I am excited to continue working with them and using products that I can feel good about for my little one and I encourage you to give them a try too!
Here’s their website filled with a lot of great information: https://www.biogaia.com
*Product received. All opinions are my own.
Keeping Baby Busy while Nursing with Busy Tabs!
by Cassidy Newton
When I was little (probably around 7 years old), someone let me hold their cute little baby at church. I was so careful holding the little baby’s head just so and made sure that she was safe. However, I had long blonde hair that this cute little infant immediately gripped with the strength of a bodybuilder. I didn’t know how to react and my mom and the babies mom were busy talking away and didn’t seem to notice. I let this baby yank on my hair for a good five minutes because I didn’t want to move my arm in fear of dropping her. I was scared of an infant. Of course the mom attended to her babe after awhile and carefully untangled the baby’s tiny little fingers and whisked her away unfazed. I, on the other hand would quickly refuse to hold any new, cute, adorable incredibly strong little cuties for the next few years until my fear subsided. Silly, I know, but I was genuinely in fear of babies and their hair pulling strength!!
Flash forward to now with my 3 month old, my fear is gone and she too has pulled my hair with incredible force. Of course I’m not afraid of our cute little pudgy girl but the hair pulling wasn’t my favorite. She especially likes to grab a nice handful while she is nursing and pull in it until she is full. Of course I could put my hair up while nursing but honestly, when baby’s gotta eat sometimes you don’t even have time to think about that! While talking to other moms about this they told me horror stories of babies nursing habits (one boob for nursing, one for twisting) and I wasn’t thrilled with that idea one bit!!
I’m always looking for products to make life with our sweet new baby easier and was happy to come across NurseMeMama’s instagram page where I saw their BusyTabs. While looking through the pictures and website I realized how genius this idea was and how awesome it could work for my little girl’s hair pulling obsession! I was so excited to try these!
The concept is simple, you just clip the tabs to your bra or shirt and forget about it! Then, when baby is ready to nurse they have something to play with while they’re latched. Not only does this product keep them entertained and give them something easy to tug on, it also encourages longer/better latches which is great for breastfeeding mommas.
My daughter and I also love the cute patterns on the tabs themselves. My three month old is very visual right now and loves looking at patterns so these definitely caught and held her attention. I even tried clipping the tab on her blanket and she loved reaching for it and using her little fingers to feel the soft ribbon. The clips are strong enough that you don’t have to worry about baby pulling it off and it works great to just leave the clips on all day so they’re ready to go when baby’s ready to nurse!
This would make a great addition to your baby ‘want’ list, a perfect gift for a new mom or just a great buy for those that want to keep baby focused on breastfeeding instead of hair pulling.
Thank you NurseMeMama for coming up with this awesome concept and product! This company not only offers this awesome product but is also a great resource for breastfeeding support, tips and tricks!
Please visit their website (https://www.nursememama.com/products/busytabs-box).
Also follow their instagram to see real mom’s using the busytabs and a little bit of mom humor: