Gift guide for kids and toddlers

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This year, my family is making a big push away from flashy, one-trick-pony toys – you know, the ones on commercials and in catalogs that every kid has to have because it’s so wildly publicized and commercialized. These are usually toys with batteries and these are the toys that pretty much do the work for you. There really isn’t a need for imagination, and there’s only one way to use the toy.

We spent last week purging our toy room away from these toys and donated them to a local up and coming daycare center. Now, we’re purposefully keeping items that are multi-use, spark imagination, and can be used over and over again for years to come.

Check out my top picks for toddler and children gifts this year, and let me know what’s on your kids’ wish lists!

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The one car seat you’ll ever need: Britax One4Life

Thank you Britax Child Safety, Inc. for sponsoring this post – all opinions are my own.

As a mom to three little ones ages 4 and under, you’d think I had the whole car seat thing figured out by now, but alas, I did not. I was always dependent on my husband to install our seats or fix them when they got loose, and when I’ve had to swap seats out occasionally because of a change in schedule, I’ve had to call my mom or sister over, and between all of us, we haven’t been able to do it!

Just when I was getting ready to schedule a car seat check at our police station (yes, this is a thing! And it’s free, you should check it out), the Britax team reached out and was kind enough to spend the afternoon with my family, going over the ins and outs of the new One4Life Car Seat.

I don’t know who is more excited, the girls who have comfy, safe new seats or me, the mom who can now install seats HERSELF, the mom who will never have to buy another car seat again, because, you know, it’s called One4Life for a reason.

Why we love the Britax One4Life Car seat:

How I manage chronic pain with CBDMEDIC

This post is sponsored by CBDMEDIC but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

It started 5 years ago – my body aches and pain – and grew increasingly worse each year. It started about halfway through my first pregnancy, the pain in my lower back, and turned a highly active, high-intensity workout girl into a low-impact, slow walk kinda gal. Then after I delivered my first baby, my pain got worse. Right when I started to feel somewhat normal, I got pregnant – the aches and pains started earlier and were more aggressive the second time around, and my third pregnancy was almost unbearable. I was hardly weight-bearing the last few months and used a cane or crutches to move around.

Needless to say as a working mom to three girls ages 4 and under, I’m busy – aint nobody got TIME for pain like this. I’ve tried everything over the years – I’ve seen specialists, been tested for autoimmune diseases, done physical therapy, seen chiropractors, altered my diet, gone to acupuncture, and more.

Marie Antoinette costume for kids

This post contains affiliate links.

If you’re stuck in a costume rut with your little one and looking for something unique, girly, and not just another princess costume, you’ll love this Marie Antoinette costume for kids!

Marie Antoinette, the last reigning queen of France before the Revolution, represented, on the surface, opulence, fashion, and indulgences – she is often used as a symbol of over-the-top, girly girl couture fashion, usually seen with elaborate gowns, extravagant hair, and surrounded by the most beautifully delicious sweets. Underneath all the extravagance stood a Marie who represented feminism, strength, and a tender-hearted, complex woman who matured from a teenage queen to a graceful, elegant mother.

Who wouldn’t want to dress up as Marie Antoinette?!

The problem was, once I set my heart on my daughter being her for Halloween, all the costumes I fell in love with were at LEAST $300. I can’t even tell you how close I was to pulling the trigger on one of those gowns – thank goodness I didn’t because I found so many equally beautiful, affordable, more wearable options – and don’t worry, I’ll share them with you below.

The other alternative was to buy your typical princess, Marie Antoinette, or period-piece costume that are over-produced and way under the quality I was hoping for.

Favorite products for new mom and baby

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com.

Whether you’re pregnant, a new mom, or looking to treat yo-self or a friend, it can be overwhelming to sort through all the “stuff” to find tried and true products. Check out my top picks, including something for pregnancy, baby, new momma, and post-partum.

Pregnancy life-saver:

I was one of the lucky ones who had morning (aka all day/night) sickness for 40 weeks of pregnancy. I kept stashes of Ginger Chews from Prince of Peace in my nightstand, in my purse, and at the office.

I actually love these always, not just during pregnancy. During pregnancy, they helped with the nausea, but the warm, yummy chews are also packed with health benefits.

Get your Ginger Chews here

Tips for transitioning back to school

This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.com on behalf of popchips.

After seeing everyone’s social media posts about the end of summer and beginning of school, I feel a bit relieved that my kiddos don’t start until September (the way it SHOULD be). At least it’s this way for our 2 and 4-year programs, but I’ll take it. While we’re still enjoying every last bit of summer break, I’m also mentally and logistically preparing for our new routine.

When my schedule changes, I always enter panic mode at the beginning – anyone else? I literally have to map out and write down how drop offs, pick ups, office time, doctor appointments, babysitters, etc. will all fit together, and it looks like some serious A Beautiful Mind stuff. In the end, with organization and preparation, it always works out.

Here are some of the ways I’m prepping to transition into back to school mode.