Back to Blogging Giveaway Opp!

It's that time of year when the kids are about to go back to school, and we can start focus on our blogging again. What better time to step up our blogging game?

2 Winners: Each winner will receive a custom blog design by Clueless Momma Designs and a BlueSky Planner!

Free and Paid Options
 Co-Hosts Wanted and Needed

Click Here: Announcement Post

If you have any questions or comments about this giveaway, please contact Momma Without a Clue at [email protected]

Get Peace of Mind with Amwell

I participated in the Amwell blog program as a member of One2One Network. I received compensation but all opinions are my own.

How many of you have time to go to the doctor when you're sick? Even better question, how many of you can afford it? I know when we go for my husband, it's an all day affair. With no exaggeration, a 2 hour and 15 min drive there, usual double booking, another 2 hour drive home. The expense aside from the doctor visit itself is absurd: gas, lunch, snacks; then the priceless stuff: irritation, road rage, and extreme patience.

The most awesome thing ever came to my attention the other day. Although I can't avoid the hubby's doctor visits because it is a specialist, I have found a way to get a doctor visit for myself with nearly no hassle. So can you! Here is how:

American Well (Amwell) is the nation’s largest telehealth company, connecting people with board certified, licensed doctors for live online visits, immediately – day or night.  They're available on both mobile or desktop. Perfect for minor illnesses and injuries, general health and wellness concerns, prescription refills, and chronic condition management, Amwell employs primary care and specialist physicians, as well as licensed behavioral therapists and registered dietitians, to meet patients’ health and wellness needs. Amwell doctors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are dedicated to keeping you healthy – all from the comfort of your home.

It is so easy to get set up. I used my laptop to set up. It has an awesome testing system to make sure your device is compatible. This is a great site. It is so easy! You pick an actual doctor that you see and talk to.

It's not like sitting in a waiting room. Being in the comfort of your own home is so awesome. There is a time duration of 10-15 minutes for a doctors visit, 30 minutes for a dietitian, 45 minutes for a therapist. How awesome is that?! It's only $49 for the first visit!

It doesn't matter when you need a doctor, they are there for you. I don't know anyone with that kind of accessibility even with a regular office to visit. That is so great because sometimes I just don't feel good enough to drive. That's why I need a doctor

It's so great to not have to wait a week to be seen, I know there has been instances that by the time my doctor appointment came along, I wan't sick anymore. It's also a great thing to have if you're on vacation, out of town, or any other reason you might not be home. The doctors can call in prescriptions that you need so they can be filled right away.

It is so nice to be able to have the peace of mind of a real diagnosis instead of just guessing what might be going on.

13 Things To Do In Sydney (That The Kids Will Love, Too)

You spent a few years post-college hitting all the beachfront party destinations (Cancun, Cozumel, The Bahamas). And the romantic spots (think Rome and Paris) should be saved for a trip a deux. Because as nice as it would be to believe a toddler will appreciate The Louvre, we aren’t fooling ourselves. But just because you’re traveling companions require naps, frequent snacks, and choose cartoons over culture, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great experience. Hey, sometimes it’s nice to have an excuse to leave the museum early. “Someone’s just feeling grumpy today.” (Yes, and it’s me.)

In an effort to embrace the wild world of travel with kids, we scoured this year’s best destinations to find the ones you AND the little ones will love. There are a few great locations that combine grownup interests with kid-friendly fun — and Sydney, Australia, is one of the best. Nailing down an itinerary that makes EVERYONE happy doesn’t get any easier than this.

1. Sydney Harbour Bridge

Built in 1932, the “Coathanger” is the world’s largest steel arch bridge. Architecture buffs will love seeing this bit of history — it’s one of the first landmarks immigrants to the nation would’ve seen when arriving in the harbor — and everyone will be swept away by the breathtaking vistas. Climb on your own, or take a guided tour.

2. Taronga Park Zoo

Located in one of Mosman, one the city’s more upscale neighborhoods, a zoo trip offers great people- and real estate-watching in addition to close animal encounters. The Wild Ropes course and Lemur Forest Adventure are highlights. For serious animal lovers, the Roar and Snore, an overnight zoo stay, is can’t-miss.

3. Madame Tussaud’s

The Sydney outpost of the wax museum is home to historical figures like Captain Cook and Ned Kelly, leaders like Queen Elizabeth II and Barack Obama, and Marvel superheroes like Spider-Man and Wolverine. Kids eight and older can get a one-of-a-kind wax replica to take home.

4. The SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Take the animal fun underwater at Sydney’s aquarium, which houses Australia’s largest collection of marine creatures. Adrenaline junkies-in-training can can swim with sharks through a safe, see-through enclosure, and budding marine biologists can spend a day behind the scenes with the team.

5. Powerhouse Museum

Little learners (and big ones) can get engaged with the museum’s interactive exhibits on science, technology, design, and history. Plan your trip around the Sydney Science Festival, August 13-23, for even more learning fun.

6. Australian National Museum

The modern building was inspired by a jigsaw puzzle, and represents the many intertwining cultures that comprise Australia’s identity and history. Explore various facets of the country through exhibits like, “Defining Moments,” “Landmarks,” “Eternity,” and more.

7. Sydney Tower and Skywalk

Want an excuse to shop? This tower tops the bustling Centrepoint mall. But, the Skywalk is an attraction all its own. It’s the highest point in the city, and the stunning glass-floored viewing platform had an unbeatable view of the metropolis. You can grab a bite at one of the restaurants, or take a virtual tour of the city in the 4D cinema show that highlights notable landmarks.

8. Manly Beach

A famous surfing destination, Manly has some of Australia’s best waves. The beach is patrolled, and there’s a playground accessible for anyone who doesn’t fancy the water. Manly’s about a 30 minute ferry ride from Sydney’s Circular Quay, and has an electric BBQ for grilling, in addition to cafes and restaurants within walking distance, for when you’ve worked up an appetite.

9. Royal Botanic Gardens

The expansive grounds are open year round, and boast almost 20 theme gardens like the Begonia Garden, Rainforest Walk, Rare and Threatened Plants Garden, and Camellia Garden. There are free guided walks, and self-guided tours highlighting World War I and Aboriginal heritage.

10. Hyde Park

Named after London’s Hyde Park, this lush urban oasis is a sanctuary to office dwellers in the area, and home to several historical artifacts. It’s Australia’s oldest park and one of the most famous. Take a midday break at the Archibald Fountain, which commemorates the Australian-French alliance during WWI, and stop by the ANZAC Memorial, or take a break from your itinerary and enjoy picnic here after a trip to the adjacent Australian Museum.

11. Sydney Opera House

The monument superseded the Sydney Harbour Bridge as Sydney’s most famous landmark when it was opened in 1973. Construction had begun in 1964. The venue hosts music performances of all varieties, plus dance and theater. If you’re not up for a show, you can tour the edifice with tours in seven languages, and even explore a special behind-the-scenes tour.

12. Bike Tours

For an active, fun way of taking in the sights, try one of the local bike tours. You can bike the Sydney Harbour Bridge, see the opera house and Hyde Park, or ride through the fish market along the waterfront.

13. Greenwich Baths

A slower-paced beach experience than Manly, Greenwich Baths is an enclosed, harbor-side beach with lifeguard supervision. There are snacks and drinks for sale, and free deck chairs on offer.

There’s no way to see all the sights Sydney has to offer in just one trip, but this family-friendly list is a great place to start. Ready to experience it yourself? Catch a flight and start planning your travel now.

This post was posted by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on July 10, 2015

Remove Wrinkles with Juvederm

We have never been so concerned about the way we look. Nowadays, people are proactive about everything and they are trying to eat healthier, protect their environment and their physical appearance. Individuals are constantly striving to improve quality of their life and change everything that can be changed. This is precisely why there are so many cosmetic procedures available to us meant to refresh our looks and eliminate all the flaws that we might have. Among various cosmetic procedures, medical fillers stand out as the most advanced and at the same time, least harmful.

Unlike other treatments such as plastic surgery or botox, by injecting medical filler, you are able to improve your looks without subjecting yourself to invasive procedure or toxin. Furthermore, medical fillers are only using natural substances that are otherwise produced within our body. Until recently, fillers based on collagen were the most common. Having in mind that medical and pharmaceutical industry is always progressing experts have found a better way to treat folds and wrinkles. Today, drugs such as Juvederm that are based on hyaluronic acid are the best solution to our problem.

Experts from emphasize importance of hyaluronan for our skin. This substance has various roles within the body from cell migration, to hydration and repairing lost tissue. From this, it is obvious that this substance is crucial for youthful looks. This is precisely how Juvederm works in our skin: by hydrating and filling it up. By using this medicine, we are able to remove nasolabial folds, wrinkles that appear in the corner of the mouth, mimic wrinkles, jaw, neck and cleavage wrinkles. Also, medical fillers are great for face lifting. Some doctors use it to plump up the lips. An important thing about medical fillers is that it is completely safe. Furthermore, you are able to combine this procedure with other type of cosmetic treatments in order to remove other imperfections.

As previously mentioned, Juvederm is based on hyaluronan that comes in a form of gel. After injecting it into the skin, you will not be able to tell the difference compared to your natural tissue. Acid holds water and works as a cushion. Treatment itself is very fast and painless. Doctor will prick your skin a couple of times, in precise spots where you need correction. Drug lasts for 9 months up to a year. After that, acid will be absorbed. Another positive thing about medical fillers is that each subsequent treatment will prolong expected duration of Juvederm within your skin. So, if you take additional shot as soon as therapy fades, you are able to have even longer results the next time.

Have in mind that Juvederm is based on a natural substance. In that regard, body will see it as a normal substance that should be present within the skin. It won’t be rejected and it will not cause any side effects. The worst problem is reaction of the skin to needle. Because of that, you can expect various skin irritations in the following week after administering the drug.

Baby Shower Gifts that Last a Lifetime

Anyone can buy diapers and outfits as a baby shower gift, but what about those gifts that last forever? The ones that have real meaning behind them?  I want to share with you all a few ideas for gifts that will last baby a lifetime.

Baby Gifts.png

The Gift of Knowledge

Books of all shapes, sizes, and topics make the perfect gift to encourage a lifelong love affair with the written word. The joy of reading is learned early. When you read to your child regularly, you nurture a love of books. There is no better time to begin, than when your baby is born. Story time with your newborn is more about sharing a special bond than reading, but this positive early experience may help your child develop a thirst for knowledge and a healthy attitude toward learning.

The Gift of Music

From gentle lullabies to classical compositions, early exposure to music may become another gift of a lifetime. When you play music for your baby, he learns the beauty of sound. Variety is important here. The more types of music your child hears, the more he learns to enjoy. Vocal and instrumental selections expose your baby to different qualities of music, as does playing a variety of musical genres – classical to calm, jazz to uplift, and so on. Who knows, your baby may even grow up to be a famous singer or musician someday.

The Gift of Touch

Infant massage and baby yoga classes give the gifts of healthy touch and movement. The classes provide a superb bonding opportunity for you and your baby, but they may also do a lot more. What people experience as young children goes a long way toward establishing who they become as adults. Infant massage may help babies learn about their bodies and healthy touch. It also facilitates a strong parent-child bond, which may improve your ability to maintain open communication with your child as he grows.

The Gift of Health

Perhaps a gift that you may not have ever thought about, what about the gift of health?  Cord blood banking is one of the newest technologies that can ensure that baby is protected throughout their entire lives.  Did you know that cord blood could literally save your child’s life?  I didn’t realize this until I saw this video:

Why Stem Cells?
Medical professionals are learning more each day about fighting against disease using our own body’s natural resources.  A stem cell is a single cell that can replicate itself or differentiate into many different types of cells. Our bodies are made up of hundreds of specialized cells that develop into specific organs, tissues, neurons… everything!  Stem cells are the raw material that everything in your body starts out as.

There’s three different ways to harvest stem cells: bone marrow, which can be painful for the donor; embryonic stem cells, which has a lot of controversy around it; and cord blood stem cells.  Cord blood stem cells can be harvested quickly and painlessly right after birth, processed in a lab, and then cryogenically frozen.


CariCord offers cord blood banking at the Stem Cell Bank at the University of Colorado, an FDA-Licensed Cord Blood Manufacturer. You don’t have to worry about whether or not your baby’s cord blood will be available when they need it with CariCord because they’re located in Anschutz Medical Center at the University of Colorado.

Think Cord Blood Banking is unaffordable?  CariCord offers personalized payment options that are interest free, no administrative fees or credit approval needed. You can save thousands by banking with CariCord.

Join us in the conversation about cord blood banking on Twitter -
July 30th at 7pm CST using the hashtag #CariCord

CariCord is also offering an opportunity to win $2,000 worth of baby gear!  Visit their site to get your free cord blood banking information kit and to enter.  Click the picture below to check it out:

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 12.24.28 PM.png

Learn more about cord blood banking at the You can also find more information about CariCord by calling: 844-227-4267

Exploring Denver's Craft Brewing Scene

The flavors and styles from the craft brewing movement meet mainstream productions in Denver, and the result is a win for beer lovers. The Denver Beer Triangle--as it's been named--encompasses Denver as well as Boulder and Colorado Springs. Hotels in Denver can serve as your base for exploration.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Full Calendar of Festivals

This area knows how to celebrate good suds. From weekend events high in the mountains, neighborhood brewery parties and big events like Denver Beer Fest, there's plenty of fun to be had. The granddaddy of them all is the Great American Beer Festival, with over 3,000 offerings available to sample.

Cross the Divide

With numerous international awards over the years, Great Divide Brewery has established itself as a must for beer fans visiting Denver. You're just a few blocks away when you stay at the Oxford Hotel downtown. Take a walk over to the tap room and sample the greatness.

The Mega-Micro

Tour the world's largest single-site brewery at the giant Coors Brewery in Golden. Next, head to Coors Field in Denver inside the park's tasting room to sample the craft Belgian tastes of Blue Moon, a smaller niche brew owned by MillerCoors. The CrawfordHotel features a luxurious hotel experience and is just a short walk away.

Brewery District

The part of the city locals call RiNo, for River North, is an old warehouse district quickly becoming a hotbed for great craft brewing. Great Divide will be opening a location here, and they'll be joining around 10 existing brewhouses, with more in the works. The interestingly-named Our Mutual Friend is one of the neighborhood's anchors and is more than worthy of a try.

Head Down the Trail

The Denver Beer Trail will take you to more than 20 breweries to get a wide-spectrum take on what the Mile-High City has to offer beer lovers. You'll be able to sample distinct flavors like Graham Cracker Porter and Colorado Red Ale. Stay a little out of downtown at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Denver Stapleton North and save some Beer Trail spending money.

There's no question Denver should be on every beer lover's visit list. The sheer variety of options and local flavors mean a great adventure awaits.

Dreamy Bamboo Sheet Set Giveaway

Dreamy Bamboo Sheet Set Giveaway!Dreamy Bamboo Sheet Set Giveaway

Sponsored by Cariloha

Hosted by Tales From A Southern Mom

Co Hosted by Michigan Saving and More and IMHO Views, Reviews and Giveaways

These sheets are so incredibly soft and wonderful! Bamboo is a sustainable fiber that is breathable and wicks away moisture so you never feel over heated. You get into bed and are ready for dreamland, they feel nice on your skin and wash up beautifully! Cariloha is sponsoring this giveaway for our readers so that you have a chance to try these sheets. You can read all about the Cariloha Bamboo Sheets in review here.
Good Luck all!
Participating bloggers were not compensated and are not responsible for this giveaway.No purchase required to enter this giveaway and there is a limit of one entrant per household. Void where prohibited. All entries are optional. A new winner will be chosen if the original winner(s) has not responded within 48 hours of email notification. Tales From A Southern Mom is not responsible for shipment of the prize(s). Sponsor is responsible for all shipping this prize. This giveaway is not administered, sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or other social media outlet. This is posted in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Any questions, email [email protected]

Family-Friendly Things to Do in Calgary, AB

Image Source: Wikipedia
Calgary is well known for having one of the youngest populations in the country, and the city's vast array of kid-friendly things to do reflects that it is a place that takes family fun seriously. No matter what time of year you visit, you are sure to find something fun to entertain the kids. You might also want to stay at a hotel in Calgary that is located in the heart of the city so you stay close to all the family-friendly activities.

Fort Calgary

Fort Calgary is open daily and helps bring the area's history to life with a variety of events. The national historic site covers more than 40 acres. You should make sure everyone in the family is wearing a comfortable pair of shoes, because the kids will want to explore every corner of the fascinating historic fort. There is an interpretive and learning center with active, hands-on exhibits.

The QuaintCottage Home sits near Fort Calgary and provides guests with access to a communal kitchen, which is a benefit if you are traveling with children.

Calgary Zoo

The Calgary Zoo lets you get up close and personal with over 1,000 animals. You will have the chance to travel back in time when you explore their Prehistoric Park with life-size dinosaurs. Your children are sure to have a memorable day when they come face-to-face with a T-Rex. To cool off, explore the Penguin Plunge, where you can watch the antics of the resident penguin flock.

The Delta BowValley Hotel is located in the downtown area of Calgary and is a short drive from the zoo. The 25-story hotel has a fully staffed concierge who will be happy to assist you with planning your day at the zoo or any other event for your family.

Calaway Park

The kids are sure to love Calaway Park's 32 adrenaline-fueled rides. If it's a hot day, you can cool off riding the park's log ride, Timber Falls, where there's a chance you may get splashed. The Vortex roller coaster will take you upside down at high speeds for several loops, and it's guaranteed to thrill both young and old.
The InternationalHotel Calgary is located in proximity to Calaway Park and houses 248 rooms. The kids will enjoy taking a dip in the indoor pool while the adults may want to utilize the 24-hour fitness facility.

Family fun abounds in Calgary. It doesn't matter if you are spending a holiday in the thriving metropolis or an extended family vacation, you are sure to find exciting things for everyone in your family.

Save on Textbooks with CampusBookRentals

This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of  All opinions are my own. 

It's almost that "Back-to-School" time, and students are looking for cheap textbooks.  Buying textbooks online is one way to save money on books you need for college, but renting your textbooks can save you even more!

CampusBookRentals offers a cheaper alternative to buying textbooks - with prices 40-90% less than bookstore prices.  Why buy a textbook that you will only use one semester?  At CampusBookRentals, you can rent a book for 55, 85, and 130 day, or you can select your own return date.  Handy for those shorter classes, or if you need the same book for another class.  They'll even email you to remind you when a due date is coming up.

They offer free shipping, both ways, so all you have to do is pick your books and they'll be sent right to you.  Highlight as much as you want, and then send them back when the rental period is over. You'll even receive a package to return the books in!

Wondering how it works?  Check out this cool video to learn more:

Some perks of using CampusBookRentals for your college books include:

  • 21-Day Risk-Free Returns 
  • All major credit cards are accepted
  • No membership fees or gimmicks
  • Available nationally to any person - even if you're not enrolled in school
  • Save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
  • Flexible renting periods
  • For every textbook rented, they make a donation to OperationSmile - a charity that forever changes children’s lives through reconstructive cleft lip surgeries. 
Find out how you can save money on your college textbooks at

A Perfect Day in Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn is so much more than just another suburb in New York City. Today, the Borough of Homes and Churches feels more like a city in its own right, known for the distinct diversity of its neighborhoods, for its cultural richness, art and entertainment scene, and abundance of sights and attractions. It’s a world worth exploring, even if it’s just for one day.

8 a.m. Start Your Day Early with a Visit to Brooklyn Bridge Park

Go for a stroll or maybe even a jog along the East River, admiring the early morning view of the iconic landscape of the lower Manhattan skyline. Take some time to admire the Brooklyn Bridge, a structure of beauty and one of the most iconic landmarks of New York City.

10 a.m. Reward Yourself with a Delicious Brunch in Cobble Hill

Make your way over to Cobble Hill, an old-time Italian neighborhood known for great pizza, antique bookshops, and great restaurants. Treat yourself for a delicious brunch at Brucie                     , one of the best brunch spots in all of Brooklyn, which offers a perfect combination of upscale Italian blended with a perfect retro-rustic casual charm. There are always pancakes on the menu at Brucie loaded with butter, maple syrup, and bacon. For something more savory, try one of their fried egg dishes. The menu varies day by day, so every meal at Brucie’s is different.

12 p.m. Take a Stroll in the Botanical Gardens or Explore the Brooklyn Museum

Spend a few hours exploring the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, a 52 acre garden that’s been opened to the public since 1911. If you are lucky enough to be visiting in spring, you’ll get a chance to discover the largest cherry blossom trees in one place outside of Japan.

Culture and history buffs may prefer to spend the afternoon at the Brooklyn Museum, the second largest art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection includes more than one million artifacts, ranging from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to modern-day art.

If you happen to be in the city on a Saturday, pop into the Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market, on the Northwest corner of Prospect Park, for a great selection of fresh local produce and a cheeky afternoon snack, like the cider donuts!

4 p.m. Dabble in Some Vintage Shopping

Let’s face it, a visit to Beacon’s Closet is a bit of a Brooklyn must-do for a trendy shopaholic visitor. This chain of incredibly cheap yet hip second-hand stores is constantly inundated with fresh arrivals from neighborhood fashionistas. And with convenience of four different locations, including one in Park Slope, it is easy to include it in your Brooklyn trip’s itinerary.

7 p.m. Watch the Sun Go Down Over Williamsburg Bridge

After a long day of walking around the city, it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy the view. Head over to one of the rooftop bars in Williamsburg for some pre-dinner drinks and a perfect sunset view over Williamsburg Bridge. Try a place like Reynard or Berry Park.

9 p.m. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

There is no shortage of choices for dinner and drinks once the sun goes down and Williamsburg is a perfect neighborhood to finish your perfect day in NYC. It’s a diverse area popular for its art scene, hipster crowd, and a great choice of restaurants with all kinds of cuisines.

After dinner the choices are plentiful. New hot bars and restaurants are popping up here every month, but old-time favorites, like the dive bar, Lady Jays, and the whiskey bar, Noorman’s Kil, continue to draw in their regular crowds.

Late night partiers will enjoy the scene at Output Club that hosts many up-and-coming names as well as well-known acts. Good night’s always end at the stylish Brooklyn Bowl, a neighborhood bowling alley with really strong beer that stays open until at least 2 a.m.

Must-Eat: Explore Brooklyn’s Food Tours

Taking part in a Brooklyn Food Tour is one of the best ways to sample bits and pieces of the city’s best culinary offerings. You can taste your way through a series of neighborhoods and experience the diversity of ethnic communities that make up Brooklyn’s fascinating food scene.

Popular Hotels in Brooklyn

There are many great hotels in Brooklyn from $88. The Aloft New York Brooklyn hotel is a great budget choice starting at just $109 per night. Majority of top end hotels are located in Downtown Brooklyn, while many budget and mid-tier hotels are situated along the Third Avenue corridor that connects the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Park Slope, and Gowanus. Trendy and boutique hotels are often found in areas like Williamsburg and Carroll Gardens. Hostels and Airbnb options are also popular with savvy travelers.

This post was posted by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on June 11, 2015

Necknapperz Review

This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Necknapperz.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Have you heard of these yet?  Necknapperz are these adorable little neck pillows that turn into a stuffed animal.  Necknapperz combine ultra-soft fabrics with space-age micro-beads and high quality craftsmanship for the best in comfort and support for your kids. In addition, each Necknapperz neck pillow unzips and completely transforms into a huggable plush toy.

We received Buddy the Dog, and my little ones love snuggling him.  The best part, is that they can use him when in the car as a neck pillow when they start getting sleepy.

Our Necknapperz is soft and durable, and holds up well to toddlers playing with it.  There's no mistaking that this is their new favorite toy, and he goes everywhere with us now.

Check out Necknapperz here.  You can also find them on Twitter and Google+ +Neck Napperz

Know Your Terms

Tracking Pixel
My baby girl was born at 36 weeks.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s (NICHD) Know Your Terms Initiative.

I’d like to tell you our story.

It wasn’t planned for her to enter the world as early as she did. My doctor and I had agreed on bedrest and taking it as easy as possible as soon as I hit 35 weeks to try and convince her to stay in a while, but labor started anyway and there was no slowing her down. Weighing in at only four pounds and fourteen ounces when she arrived, this tiny little bundle was just so delicate and fragile – I was terrified for her! She dropped down to 4 lbs 6 ounces by that first night. We ended up having to stay a few extra days in the hospital while she received oxygen and medication to ensure her lungs were fully developed, and so she could gain back a little bit more weight.

NICHD wants everyone to know that the pregnancy terms have changed. 39 weeks is now considered full term. This is to ensure that babies are given plenty of time in utero to grow, develop, and be born healthier.

►DID YOU KNOW that babies born before 39 weeks gestation are at a greater risk for problems? Preterm and early term babies are more likely to spend time in the NICU and to have problems with breathing, feeding, and controlling their temperature. They are also at a higher risk for other serious health problems, such as blood infections, and for having a learning disability.

In the past, 37 weeks was deemed “term” and women would opt to deliver as close to that they could – thinking that their babies would be perfectly developed. Now though, research has shown that babies have a better chance of being healthy when they are carried until at least 39 weeks.


  • Babies born in weeks 37 and 38 are now considered early term.
  • Babies born in weeks 39 and 40 are called full term.
  • Babies born in the 41st week or beyond are called late term.

A baby’s lungs, liver, and brain go through a fundamental period of growth between 37 weeks and 39 weeks of pregnancy. Waiting to deliver until at least 39 weeks, in a healthy pregnancy, gives your baby the time he or she needs to grow. These terms are important to know so you and your healthcare provider can talk about what is best for the health of you and your baby.

For more information, visit the NICHD’s website.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Know Your Terms Initiative.

Why Raising A Puppy Is Great Training For Having a Child

Just to clear the air, raising a puppy and raising a child are very different things. For example, puppies come with expenses, however they won’t reach anywhere close to what a child will cost you. Regardless, these added expenses are a great way to give you a glimpse of your financial future. You also are not allowed to kennel your child, regardless of how awesome the kennel is. Another difference is that even though your puppy can graduate from puppy school, it simply pales in comparison to the amount of schooling your child will go through.

With all of those differences said, there are also a handful of similarities that make raising a puppy great training for having a child. Now let’s take a look at all of the similarities and how they provide initial training for having a child.

Potty Training

Whether you have a puppy or a child, potty training is inevitable. The main difference is when you start this training. For puppy owners, you will be working on potty training the minute you take the dog home. For children, you will be using diapers for some time before the training begins.

Potty training both a puppy and a young child involves hard work, great communication, and the more than occasional cleanup. However, it can be such a relief, no pun intended, when both a puppy and a child have been potty trained to perfection.

Behavioral Training

Another similarity between raising a puppy and a child is behavioral training. With a child, you normally don’t classify it as “training” per sea, however it is essentially the same thing. Your puppy will get into all sorts of mischief. From chewing on cords or furniture legs, to attempting to pull you on the leash during walks, there are any number of behaviors that you need to work on correcting. Through positive training, you can train your puppy to behave in a manner that is suitable to you. This training will take a lot of time and energy but will leave you with a well-behaved dog in the end.

Children also happen to get into a lot of mischief. Playing in the mud and then running into the house, not washing their hands and grabbing for food, and even getting into fights with other children are all behaviors that parents strive to correct. The earlier the desired behavior is instilled as habit in a child, the easier it will come to them in the future.

Added Food Expense

Raising a puppy is all fun and games, expect when it comes to dishing out extra money. Raising a puppy does require additional food expenses on your part. Quality, natural dog food is not cheap and can vary depending on the size of your dog.

Having this added expense is great training for you because it forces you to think of your expenses and plan for another being in the family. Adding a child will add another mouth to feed, just like a puppy does.

Health Expenses

Another way having a puppy gets you ready for having a child is the increased health expenses. It is unfortunate but almost unavoidable that your dog will need to visit the vet at some point. All puppies are required to have certain shots such as rabies, but your dog will most likely get sick at some point in its life. This unexpected expenses are absolutely necessary and can train you to budget for life’s unexpected misfortunes.


Puppies need playtime. Most of the time, that you means you will need to join in. Puppies love it when you play catch with them or play tug-of-war with a chew toy. Without this playtime, or regular exercise, they can often have pent up energy which they release through negative outlets such as barking and chewing on things other than their toys.

Kids are fairly similar. They need exercise and playtime to release all of their energy. Boredom can bring about some unwanted behaviors such as complaining or an unexpected bout of rambunctiousness.

Love and Attention

Finally, all puppies and children need your love and attention. Without love and attention, you can’t accomplish all of the other things listed above. Having a puppy is a great way to prepare yourself for caring for another being, often times, putting its well-being before your own.

$50 Winner's Choice Gift Card #Giveaway

You asked for it, you got it!

$50 Gift Card of Your Choice

$50 Gift Card Your Choice

Feedback I got said that people wanted money more often for giveaways. Well, here you go! The winner of this giveaway may choose any gift card that I can order online and email or ship to him/her. Don't want a gift card - then Paypal is available as well.

Thank you to all of the blogs who co-hosted or participated in this giveaway. I appreciate your support!
We all appreciate if you visit our pages, follow us, and "like" us on Facebook. This helps us get more sponsors and be able to offer more giveaways.
Enter the giveaway below. You can enter as many or as few of the entries that you wish. There are no mandatory entries. Open to US residents, 18 years or older. One entry per person. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck to everyone!
Disclaimer: IMHO Views, Reviews and Giveaways is responsible for providing the prize to the winner. None of the blogs participating are responsible for the prize. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly picked by the Giveaway Tools widget used for this giveaway.

National Ice Cream Day with Mars Ice Cream #IceCreamMonth

Happy National Ice Cream Day! 

I remember going to the local ice cream shop with my great grandma and getting a cherry dipped vanilla ice cream in a waffle cone to celebrate National Ice Cream Day when I was just a girl. Hot summer days are the foundation of so many amazing memories in my life. I do my best to relive those memories, and make new ones with my girls and their cousins as much as I can.

Now my girls get to experience the same thing. I love it when special days like Ice Cream Day are just as important to them as the big holidays. When we celebrate, we like to get our favorite ice cream and tell our favorite ice cream stories.

This year, thanks to Mars Ice Cream, we're starting a new tradition with Snickers Ice Cream Bars, Starbursts Sorbets, and Twix Ice Cream Bars.

Snickers has been a family favorite for years, and what better way to share generations of love than enjoying a Snickers Ice Cream Bar on a hot day? My mom, my sister, and 2 of our daughters got to enjoy something that means a lot to all of us. This is going to be a lifetime memory for the whole family.

Snickers has this oh so delicious creamy and smooth peanut butter ice cream, amazing caramel, roasted peanuts and a chocolate coating that is the perfect crisp to bite into. It reminds me of that dipped ice cream I got with my grandma so many years ago. 

The Strawberry Sorbet Bar is so creamy, light, and good.  They seriously taste just like Starbust candy! The delicious fruity desert is a great treat for all of us. 

Then the Twix... Oh man it is so GOOOOD!!!  The awesome vanilla ice cream, gooey caramel, and layer of cookie makes the Twix Bar a party must have. 

Are you a chocolate lover? Or do you prefer fruit-flavored treats? This summer Mars is providing summer sweets for both kinds of taste buds with its chocolate-covered ice creams and its fruity STARBURST™ Brand Sorbet Bars.

Mars offers so many amazing flavors of ice cream. Twix Bars, Dove Bars, Starbursts Sorbets, Milky Way Bars, and M&M Cookie Sandwiches. There are all great ways to enjoy National Ice Cream Month and Day. 

This was a conversation sponsored by Mars Ice Cream.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

How are you celebrating National Ice Cream Day?

My Accident-Prone Kid

My poor little guy.  He definitely inherited my grace - or should I say lack thereof?  While I'm constantly walking into things and tripping over my own two feet, he's a bit more rambunctious and so his injuries are always a little more adventurous.

Accidents happen.  You can't predict them, nor can you always prevent them.  A couple of months ago, for example, we were all outside playing - Kaya on her scooter and Sammy on his balance bike. Just up and down the sidewalk, with me standing right there with them.

Kaya decides she wants to be a big girl and started running toward the road.  Scared to death, I ran and scooped her up - only to be startled by a scream from Sammy.  I turned around as fast as I could but didn't see him anywhere.  Running toward the driveway, I realized he had ridden his bike off of the hill and over the wall and landed in the driveway.

Now, the fall could've been a lot more damaging.  The injuries could have been a lot more substantial than just a few scrapes and bruises.  My poor baby was hurt, but it could've been worse.  He walked away with a few scratches on his face and noggin.  We still made a trip to the emergency room to have him checked out for a concussion, but they just cleaned his boo-boos and sent us on our way.

When I asked him how he fell, he said he was trying to pet the cat with his bike.  Boys, amiright?

Keep Your Kids Safe this Summer with these Simple Tips:

One thing all parents have in common is the goal of keeping their kids safe – especially over the summer when they’re constantly outdoors, playing summer sports and more. Here are a few summer safety tips from Jennie Finch, USA Olympic gold and silver softball team member, to help make sure your kids aren’t sidelined by injuries this summer:
  • TIP 1: Use appropriate gear. For parents who have young children playing, the most important thing to have is the proper equipment. Some equipment may look “optional,” but it is important to wear all necessary pads and safety gear each time you play a physical sport.
  • TIP 2: Preparation is important. Kids should be adequately prepared with warmups and training sessions before practices and before games. They may want to go 100 percent as soon as they step onto the field, but they need to remember to progress up to their top speed. This will help ensure that they have fun and reduce the chances of an injury. They also should drink plenty of fluids and be allowed periods of rest during practices and games.
  • TIP 3: Listen to your body. Teach your children that if at any point they feel pain or discomfort while playing, they should notify their coach and get out of the game. While sitting on the sidelines is one of the most difficult situations a player can face, pushing through injuries increases their severity and keeps you out of action longer.
  • TIP 4: Make sure your family is covered. It’s a parent’s job to make sure their family is protected. That’s where my friends at Aflac come in: If an athlete with their supplemental accident insurance plan experiences a serious injury, Aflac can help provide peace of mind and cash benefits to help you and your family get back in the game fast. With Aflac’s new One Day PaySM promise, accident claims can even be processed in just ONE DAY.

Accidents happen. When unexpected injuries happen, make sure you’re prepared with supplemental insurance like Aflac’s accident policy to help cover out-of-pocket expenses. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 2.6 million children 0-19 years old are treated in the emergency department each year for sports and recreation-related injuries.

Active families should consider learning more about accident insurance. 
Aflac’s accident insurance is offered through a direct basis and through company benefits programs.
While families usually cannot purchase accident insurance until their company offers open enrollment each fall, it is important to understand what accident insurance is and how it can help keep your family’s finances protected prior to selecting next year’s benefits.

Accident insurance helps families stay ahead of the medical and out-of-pocket expenses that add up quickly after an injury, so they can focus on recovery – not finances.

Cash benefits can be used to help cover emergency treatment, hospital stays and medical exams but also for other expenses families may face, such as transportation costs, lodging needs and daily living expenses like groceries or monthly bills.

Accident insurance may be particularly important to families who generally do not meet their major medical deductibles since benefits can be used to help pay out-of-pocket medical costs, including deductibles and copayments.

Aflac will be introducing a new accident plan that includes a benefit for injuries sustained while playing an organized sport. This summer, in advance of open enrollment, take some time to look at what insurance is offered by your employer to be sure you have the right coverage for your family. 

How are you preparing for accidents this summer?

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

When Snacking Goes Wholesome with Yoplait®

We are a snacking family.  I have a four year old and a two year old who tend to be extremely picky and refuse to eat much at a time, so I have to make sure that every bite they do take counts.  That's why I've teamed up with Yoplait® to share a few of my favorite wholesome snacks for toddlers.

Yogurt isn't just for breakfast anymore, and Walmart carries many different varieties of Yoplait yogurt including Original, Light, Greek, and Gogurt® - in all kinds of flavors that make snacking possibilities endless!

While I usually prefer the Original Strawberry, the hubby likes the Whips!®, and the kids are always grabbing a Gogurt® on the run - I love that Yoplait has something for everyone in the family.

If you have picky toddlers like I do, or even if you're just looking to jazz up snack time, there's all kinds of ideas on my Toddler Yogurt Snacks board on Pinterest - check it out below:

A few ideas for incorporating yogurt into your little ones' snack time:

  • Freeze Gogurt® for a nice cool treat on the go
  • Make apple dip with yogurt and peanut butter
  • Use yogurt in place of oil and water next time you bake cupcakes
  • Make a fruit pizza with baked croissant dough, yogurt, and fruit toppings
  • Let the little ones add their own fresh fruit into plain yogurt
  • Smoothies
  • Frozen yogurt pops

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Yoplait®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Trying to Conceive: 7 Tips for Getting Pregnant

This conversation is sponsored  by Astroglide TTC.  All words and opinions are 100% my own.

So you’ve decided you want to start a family, or perhaps you’re wanting to add an addition to the family you’ve already started.  Pregnancy doesn’t just happen to every woman on their first try though.  If you’re trying to conceive, here are a few tips that may help increase your chances.

Know your body. 
It’s helpful to track your monthly cycle so you can note any fluctuations in your periods, and so you can figure out which days you will be ovulating.  Pregnancy is most likely to occur with intercourse within the three days before ovulation.  Check out this free period tracker printable to help get you organized!

Quit smoking.
If you smoke cigarettes, now is the time to quit.  Smoking affects how receptive the uterus is to the egg. And in men, smoking can reduce sperm production and damage DNA. Experts also strongly suggest quitting smoking before you’re pregnant. Smoking while pregnant boosts the risk of miscarriage.

Watch your weight.
Studies have confirmed that women who are obese or overweight can take twice as long to get pregnant.  Similarly, underweight women may have an even harder time with fertility.  Optimal BMI for conception ranges from 19-25, or what is considered a normal weight.

Eat Well.
Make sure to include enough protein, iron, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin D in your diet, because deficiencies in these nutrients have been linked to lengthened menstrual cycles (and therefore less frequent ovulation) and a higher risk of early miscarriage. Ask your doctor if you should take a daily multivitamin supplement.

Stress has a way of wreaking havoc on everything, including your fertility.  An American study that followed 401 couples who were trying to get pregnant found that women with the highest levels of alpha-amylase, a stress biomarker, had a 29 percent lower probability of pregnancy than did women with the lowest levels of the stress biomarker.  Too much stress on your body, and your mind, can disrupt hormones, causing menstrual cycles to change and making ovulation less reliable.

Have intercourse more often.
If you want to increase your chances of getting pregnant, it stands to reason that you would need to start having sex more often.  Research suggests that women who engage in regular (at least weekly) intercourse are more likely to have predictable menstrual cycles and normal ovulation than women who have sporadic sex.  According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, having sex every one to two days during your fertile window is associated with the best chance of pregnancy.

Be smart with lubrication.
When trying to conceive, it is vital to provide an environment where sperm has a chance of survival. Environmental conditions are affected by pH levels, osmolality (the concentration of substances like sodium and potassium) and the consistency of egg white cervical mucus. While traditional lubricants may affect these conditions and inhibit sperm motility, studies have shown that Astroglide TTC is compatible with sperm, oocytes and embryos and allows sperm to move freely.

Astroglide TTC™ is a specially formulated for couples who are trying to conceive.  Astroglide TTC supports fertility with adjusted pH levels, compatible osmolality and a consistency similar to your body’s cervical mucus. Each package contains 8 pre-filled disposable applicators that make it easy to coat the inside of the vagina, supplementing natural fluids and enhancing comfort. 

For more information regarding Astroglide TTC™, fertility support, and where to buy please visit the TTC homepage.

Astroglide TTC™ sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine