Keeping Up with Summer Fun with 5-hour ENERGY® Shots #ThisIsMySecret

Monday, June 30, 2014

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone. #ThisIsMySecret  #Collective Bias




I love summer.  My husband and I just had this conversation the other day about how much I would not miss snow -- not even on Christmas.  If I could live by the beach or in warm weather for the rest of my life I'd be in heaven.  I'm crossing my fingers that both my children inherit this love for warm weather like me because during summer break I'm all about spending time out and about.  So far, so good I think.  I'm getting ready to start my fourth week of summer break and my calendar has been nothing but full of fun activities for us to do.  But let's be honest, it can be awfully hard to get through a day without hitting that energy slump.  I have a little secret to share with you --5-hour ENERGY® shots keep me going at mom speed, especially when my energy level has hit the wall.  Let me recap one of our crazy busy days and you can see why these energy shots are essential for my day.

A Day in the Life of a Busy Mom (Who Really Loves Summer)

7:00 A.M. -- I workout.
Most days it's a quick run on the treadmill, a DVD workout or if I'm feeling really ambitious I drag the dog out of bed and hit the neighborhood real quick.  Either way, my goal is to get home before my husband Lola wakes up for the day.  Today I got outside and was able to take in the beautiful silence before the wrath of Hurricane Children took over my day.




9:00 A.M.-- Breakfast with the Baumgartners
If I'm organized, this task can go quite smoothly.  That would mean kids eat and mom eats.  If I'm not organized, I start to panic and regret not being prepared for this meal.  In this instance, kids may eat, mom doesn't eat and the dog gets double the breakfast for the day.  But no matter what by the end, the kids eat and my cup of coffee has been consumed.  
Winning.


10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. -- Just Whistle While You Work
This is the only time of the day that I will get to spend on house chores until the evening.  Now add trying to pick up a house, prep dinner for the evening and keeping a wild three year old quietly occupied at the same time while his sister is sleeping.  I call that multitasking at it's finest.  These are the days I wish the Cat in the Hat was real.  Or that I had magical robot arms.  Either would do.


Noon -- Ready to Roll
By noon I am ready to get out of the house!  Today we decided to spend the afternoon at our community pool.  I have no problems basking in the sun and keeping cool in the pool.  Plus my kids have a blast -- I really wonder if Cohen was secretly a Merman in his other life...




However, around 1:00 P.M., I'm starting to crash.  I mean Yawn Central.  You know, that feeling where you aren't sure how you are going to survive the rest of your day?  Yikes! I'm glad I'm not alone!  Luckily, on a recent trip to CVS, I decided to stock up on 5-hour ENERGY® shots to keep in my pool bag for this kind of energy crisis.  Seriously, as a mom of two little ones there is no way I can afford turning into a sloth at the peak of our activity time during the day.  The great thing about 5-hour ENERGY® shots are the convenient bottle size so I can take them with me to ensure I get my daily energy shot.  Plus they contain no sugar, carbs or herbal stimulants and each bottle is just four calories!  I usually drink my 5-hour ENERGY® shot poolside and continue to play away with my kids.  My sloth mode quickly turns back around to mom mode and my energy is at the same level as my crazy kids.






5:00 P.M.  -- Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
It's dinner time and I'm still feeling good!  I just cooked a meatloaf, corn on the cob and blueberry muffins.  That's Betty Crocker status right there!  With the help of my 5-hour ENERGY® shots I am always confident that I can conquer the rest of my day.

And then I get to wake up tomorrow and do it all over again.

Did I mention how much I love summer?


 Win It!
Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a 6 month supply of 5-Hour ENERGY® shots!


No Purchase Necessary. The How Do You Use 5-Hour ENERGY® Products To Keep Up With Your Busy Summer Days Sweepstakes begins on 6/15/14 at 12:00 A.M. ET and ends on 7/31/14 at 11:59:59 PM ET. Legal residents of the 50 US/DC only. Void where prohibited. By participating you agree to the Official Rules.

Win It! Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor with Temperature Sensor

Sunday, June 29, 2014

One of the most important baby products you can buy is a baby monitor.  Now here's your chance to win one!

If you have little ones you need a Baby Monitor. Jay @Crafty Spices is giving you the opportunity to win a Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor with Temperature Sensor
To learn all about the features of this monitor see Jay's full review Here



This giveaway ends on Wednesday, July 15 at 12:00am. Enter the rafflecopter for a chance to Win.



This giveaway is open to US and Canada Residence, void where prohibited. The winner Will be notified via email he or she will have 48 hours to reply before another winner is selected. All entries will be verified.


Disclosure: Jay @Crafty Spices did receive a product for free and is sharing her opinion with all of us.  Her opinion may differ from ours and yours. 


Good Luck

Preventing the Scary L Word


I'm a germaphobe.
Maybe it's the fact that I'm a mom but I'm sure being a teacher doesn't help either.  Yes, I'm the teacher that gets to school early just to use disinfectant spray on the kids' tables and chairs after a stomach bug epidemic.  I'm also the mom who has a set sterilizing day each week for bottles, pacifiers and toys that come in frequent contact with the mouth.  And I may be the teacher that likes to play "clean the classroom" during indoor recess once a month with our disinfectant wipes.  Let's be honest, it's always better to be safe than sorry, right?

But one of my biggest fears that I always face every year -- head lice.

There are several reasons why I shudder and cringe at these outbreaks:
1.  I have long hair and I'm basically asking for these pests to come on over and make a home.

2.  My son has an amazing thick head of clean, silky hair that lice would die to live in.

3.  Lice is a pain in the behind to get rid of and extremely contagious.

I've been lucky enough to never have had head lice or endured an outbreak at home.  (I'm knocking on wood as I write that.)  With the school year approaching, I have decided that I'm going to be proactive by preventing the lice before it has a chance to even think about making it's way into our home.  Lice prefer clean hair because it's easier to attach to an uncoated hair shaft, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop giving my kid bath - no one wants to be the stinky kid.  I have read that herbs such as rosemary, citronella and lavender oil have proven to repel head lice and wanted to find a product that was gentle and kid friendly to use on Cohen (and myself) during the school year.  I remembered seeing a product called Fairy Tales Hair Care once when I had taken Cohen to get his haircut, so when they approached me about trying out their products I was excited to see what they had to offer!

Here are three prevention products we received to try out:

Rosemary Repel Shampoo
This shampoo is a blend of vitamins and minerals that soften and hydrate your hair as well as repels lice and other insects  It's paraben and sulfate free and will also gently remove dirt and other yuckies in the hair.  You use the Rosemary Repel Shampoo just like your normal shampoo, but only every 2 to 3 days.



Rosemary Repel Creme Conditioner
This conditioner is to be used after using the Rosemary Repel Shampoo.  It contains organic rosemary and geranium that have also been proven to repel head lice.  Just like the shampoo, the Rosemary Repel Creme Conditioner is used like a normal conditioner after the use of the shampoo.  However, you can choose to rinse out this conditioner or leave it in for extra protection as well as some good deep conditioning.



Rosemary Repel Conditioning Spray
This spray is a mix of organic rosemary, citronella and tea tree herbs.  It is also paraben and sulfate-free and gently detangles, conditions and protects the hair.  Simply spray the Rosemary Repel Conditioning Spray onto wet or dry hair and brush it through.  Most importantly, be sure to spray behind the ears, back of the neck and top of the shoulders since those seem to be the hot spots for head lice.  This spray can be used daily before school, camp or daycare.





While we haven't endured a lice outbreak since using Fairy Tales Hair Care products, I definitely am more confident with our proactive approach to preventing head lice by using the prevention product line.  With over 12 million cases of head lice reported a year, I feel good knowing that we are doing what we can to not be part of that statistic.

For more information on Fairy Tales Hair Care products including their line for eliminating head lice, visit their website.  Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter, too!



Disclosure:  I received product samples in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Cohenisms Part 3 -- Words From the Wise 3 Year Old

Wednesday, June 25, 2014



I still have to say it -- three is definitely not my favorite age.  While I love that he is more independent and loves to play, have fun and be a boy, the age comes with some rough edges.  But that is a post for another day.

But what I do love about my Monkey is that he is one of the funniest kids I know and has the best personality.  

So here is installment three of our Cohenisms.

"Hey mom, lift your arm.  I want to see your black scratchies."  Note to self -- shave your armpits.


While we are waiting for our prescription in Kroger the other day, Cohen of course has to use the bathroom.  Keep in my mind I had both kids with me.  So I inform the pharmacist we will be right back because we had already ticked her off by dropping off our script 10 minutes before they closed.  As we quickly walk away Cohen says to her, "We will be right back.  I have to poop."  
Well I'm quite certain that definitely won her over.



My son has started to become quite smart in his attention grabbers to deal with my husband's selective hearing.
"Dad.  Hey Dad.  Daddy."
Kurtis still not responding.
"Kurtis! For real!"
I wonder where he heard that one before...


On another trip to the pharmacy, I am greeted by a friendly Indian pharmacy tech with a bindi on her forehead.
"Hey Mom!  She's got a boo boo on her face."
Our next lesson will be on cultural customs.



Kurtis and I were in the kitchen one evening and he was having an intense conversation about work with me.  Cohen comes in with his hands up and says, "Guys, guys! Calm down! Just calm down!"
At least one of us has a level head.


Every month we try to take Cohen on a special Mommy-Daddy Day where it's just the three of us.  On this special date we were going to see Sesame Street Live, which happened to be around Easter time.  Casually Cohen asks, "Did Elmo die on the cross?"  No buddy, but that's a good attempt at making connections.



Cohen Lee I cannot tell you how much you brighten up my life.  Even when we spend half our mornings in time out or you whip out those crocodile tears and pathetic fake cry, I still love you to the moon and back.

Just promise me that 4 will be a little bit better behavior wise...please?


Love you, Monk.





Target Match Ups for the Week of 6/22

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I know I know.  I slacked on last week's match ups.  But don't fret -- here are this week's deals!
Even better select women's apparel is buy 1 get 1 50% -- HOT DOG!
Don't forget to use your $3 off $15 of women's apparel Target mobile coupon too!

Okay, so while you are shopping for new clothes, here are some other great deals you can snag:
--Carefree pantiliners- $0.96.  Use $1 off (carefree.com).  Final Price: FREE

--Select Up & Up baby products -- varies prices but use $2/2 Target printable (target.com) and you can score some GREAT prices

--Kandoo wipes - $1.00.

--Simply Balanced Greek Yogurt cups - 10/$8.20.  Use $0.75/4 Target mobile coupon.  Final Price:  $0.63 each when you buy 4.

--Market Pantry frozen veggies - $0.99.  Use 10% Cartwheel deal and $0.75 Target mobile coupon.  Final Price: $0.15 -- hollla!

--Market Pantry ice cream - $2.79.  Use 10% Cartwheel deal and $1 Target mobile coupon.  Final Price:  $1.51

--Brookside Chocolates - 3/$10.  Use $1 off (SS 5/18) and $1/2 Target printable (target.com).  Final Price:  $1.83 each when you buy 2.

--Hebrew National hot dogs - $2.99 and get free Hunt's Ketchup when you buy 2.  Use $1.50/2 Target mobile coupon.  Final Price: $2.24 each when you buy 2 plus free ketchup 

--Hasbro Memory or Cooties games -- $5.00.  Use $2 printable.  Final Price: $3


It's supposed to rain tomorrow...so I guess we're going to Target!

Any good deals you found this week?



Baby Favorites - 4 to 6 Months

Monday, June 23, 2014

Now that my Lola Girl is officially past the half year mark (tear, for real) I have compiled yet another list of my favorite baby items and gear for the ages of 4 to 6 months.

Here are my favs:



1.  Baby Eisten Exersaucer -- This is the exact one that I have used for both Cohen and Lola. I love that it plays music, has fun little characters including that precious Lion puppet and the babies can easy swivel themselves around to each of the different activities.  I started using this with both kiddos around 4 months and would put blankets around them to stabilize their wobbly, tiny bodies.  Lola still uses this and is a major fan of the music of course.

2.  Fisher Price Projection Mobile -- Once again, this was an item purchased for both Cohen and Lola and honestly it has been a true lifesaver several times.  It has three different sound options and you can project the mobile on the little covering above when the babies are little.  When they get older, you can take it off and the projection can go on the ceiling which is super great too.  Trust me, once they can stand those animals get pulled down fast and furious.  It also has a little remote you can use to turn the mobile on and off if you are standing at the door so your babe doesn't see you and freak out, like both of mine do.

3.  Fisher Price SpaceSaver High Chair -- I don't have this exact one, but I have one very similar.  The great thing about this chair is it can be used from newborn up to toddler.  Plus it saves a ton of space compared to a normal high chair.  

4.  Summer Infant Baby Monitor - Yes, this is the exact model I have.  Yes I am aware that the size is comparable to Zack Morris' cell phone.  And no, they don't make it anymore.  However, I bought this with Cohen before he was 2 off a lady on Craigslist for $40 brand new in the box.  Bam baby!  It still works great and I don't plan to upgrade until this puppy dies.  I love the fact that I can see my bambino at all times.  It's comforting to roll over in the middle of the night and do a quick peek at Lola without waking her up by opening her door.  

5.  TinyLove Developlace Gymini Activy Mat -- I reviewed this mat earlier this year and we still are huge fans of it.  The best feature is that it grows with your baby as they grow and so far Lola is not bored with it at all.

6.  Zipadee-Zip Slumber Sack -- This slumber sack is amazeballs my friends.  If you swaddle your baby and are ready to transition them out of it, this is the route to go.  I received this puppy when Lola was about two months and used it until she was 6 months old.  When we were ready to transition her out of her Zippy, it was no problem at all, unlike the swaddle situation we had with Cohen.

Be sure to check out my Newborn to 3 month lists of favorites too!  I also have a Mommy Must Have list of items that definitely came in handy during my hospital stay.

Now I'm going to take the world's fastest shower because Lola is starting to wake up.  Wish me luck!

What are your favorite baby products for this age range?


CVS Match Ups for the Week fo 6/22

Sunday, June 22, 2014




Well it's another Sunday my friends!  I looked outside today and the sky is a gorgeous bright blue so I'm hoping to catch some rays today -- hopefully during nap time?
Wishful thinking

Here are a few of this week's best deals you can grab at CVS this week:
--Neutrogena face care - Spend $25 and get $10 ECB.  Use $1/Pore Refining product (neutrogena.com)

--Coppertone sunscreen - 2/$19.98 and get $7 ECB when you buy 2.  Use $4/2 (SS 5/18 -- expires TODAY!) or $3/2 or $1/1 (SS 6/22).  Final Price:  as low as $4.49 each when you buy 2 after ECB

--CVS face care, personal cleansing or hand/body items - Spend $12 and get $4 ECB

--Gillette or Venus disposable razors - Get $2 ECB with purchase.  Use $1 off (RP  6/22) or $3/2 (RP 6/22 or 5/18) or $2 Venus printable or $1 Gillette printable

--Colgate Optic White toothpaste, rinse or brush - 2/$6 and get $3 ECB when you buy 2.  Use $1/rinse or $1/brush (SS 6/1) or $0.75/paste (SS 6/15).  Final Price: as low as $0.50 each after ECB when you buy 2

--Colgate Total toothpaste, rinse or toothbrush - Spend $10 and get $5 ECB.  Use $0.75 or $0.50/toothpaste (SS 6/15) or $1/toothbrush or $1/rinse (SS 6/1)

--Xtra laundry detergent - $2.49 and use $1 CVS coupon (machine in store).  Final Price: $1.49

--Powerade, VitaminWater - 4/$5 ad get $2 ECB when you buy 4.  Final Price:  $0.75 each when you buy 4.

--Goldfish - 2/$4 and get $1 ECB when you buy 2.  Final Price: $1.50 each after ECB.

Spend $30 on the following items and get a $10 Gas Card:
--CVS baby wipes - 2/$4


--Huggies, PullUps, GoodNites or Lil Swimmers - 2/$18.

--Enfamil Ready to Use - $11.00.  Use $3/2 (SS 5/11).  Final Price:  $9.50 each when you buy 2.

--Ajax dish soap - $0.88

--Dial body wash - Buy 1 Get 1 Free.  Use Buy 2 get 1 Free (RP 6/15)

--Irish Spring body wash - 2/$4.  Use $1 printable.  Final Price:  $3

--Right Guard body wash - Buy 1 Get 1 Free.  Use $2/2 Total Defense or Xtreme (RP 6/15).  

--Speed Stick deodorant - 2/$8.  Use $2 off.  Final Price: $2.00

--Nivea body wash, scrub, lip care or lotion - Buy 1 Get 1 50% off.  Use $2/Nivea lotion or $2/Q10 firming products (RP 6/22) 

--Pepsi 2 liters - $0.99

--Coke 2 liters - 4/$5

**There are several other items that fall within this deal but these are the ones that look the best!**

Any great deals you found this week at CVS?

Lola Girl is 7 Months Old

Friday, June 20, 2014



How has another month passed?!? For real!
My Lola girl is already 7 months old!  Now that it's summer I get to thoroughly enjoy both her and my Coco bear and I am eating up every second of it.  I have quickly gotten my daily groove back and honestly have no issues getting up at 7:30 because I know I can hang out in my jammies until 10:00 if I want.  Which, I'm not going to lie, totally happens because let's get real - coffee and Kelly and Michael is an absolute summer must.  

Lola is starting to get to that fun and busy age.  She is so vocal and a little wiggle worm!  I finally had to just lay a blanket on the floor with a bunch of toys because I'd turn around and she'd be stuck on the sides of her play mat.  One day she caught sight of Brady's tail and ever since she has been a rolly poley.  Cohen thinks it's hilarious at how fast she can roll.  Every time she flips herself over he squeals and shouts, :"Wohwa that was fast!"  (We're working on those l's.)  She also thinks she's pretty big stuff after she rolls.  It's funny to see where she ends up in the morning in her bed.  Most days it's the opposite end we laid her down in and completely upside down compared to how she started.  Lola is also a grabby thing so you have to be careful because she will grab something and within milliseconds it's in her mouth or on the floor.  She can also sit up but is still a little wobbly.  She has figured out that she can't move anywhere so usually when I sit her up she finds a way to slither back down to her stomach so she can roll somewhere else.  The kid loves to jump and sometimes I'm afraid she is going to end up giving herself whiplash.  




So what is my Lola girl up to these days?


Size: She's definitely not a brute like her brother was at this age.  I'm guessing she's around 16 or 17 lbs right now.  She comfortably fits in 6 or 6-9 month clothing, but 6-9 can be a little big at time.  Yes.  She is still rocking those rompers and I am loving it.  She is comfortably in size 3 diapers still.  I like to give her some wiggle room in her jammies so those are mostly 9 months.

Eating:  Lola still eats 4 bottles a day - 7 oz, 5 oz, 5 oz and 7 oz at bed.  I'm hoping to drop those 5 oz bottles down to 4 over the next month.  I'm still pumping and have a great supply in the freezer.  My plan is knock down to just 2 pumps a day when I head back to work and slowly use up my supply.  Then, once my paychecks are back to normal, I will probably phase out all the pumps and go to all formula.  Remember when formula was expensive?  I'll give her the free milk as long as possible.  

She is eating solids like a champ.  At 9:30 she eats a fruit and oatmeal, at 12:30 she eats a veggie and 1/3 of a YoBaby yogurt and then for dinner she eats a veggie with some rice cereal and a fruit.  I am still making her food and I promise you, it's ridiculously easy.  I have it planned for an upcoming post and I'll share how I have been making it.  But so far her favorites are avocado, sweet potatoes and bananas.  I gave her pears tonight just plain and not mixed in with her oatmeal and the kid gagged like none other.  Super funny, not going to lie.





Sleeping:  There's a good new and a bad news.  The good news - she will sleep 12-13 hours a night.  She goes down by 7:30 and sleeps until 7:30 or later.  If she wakes up earlier she will just play in her crib until 7:30 like a good little baby.  Oh how she is the happiest little thing in the morning too.  She will hear me open the door and I can hear her squeal and kick her little legs.  It's my favorite time of the morning.  Now the bad news:  The kid hates naps again.  Of course she was a napping champ for Maggie, the babysitter, when I went back to work.  Now I'm lucky if i can squeeze out two 40 minute naps in the day.  I still follow the same routine and watch her sleep cues.  She goes down at 10 and 2.  Some days it's an hour, maybe an hour and a half or maybe a whopping 30 minutes.  I'm hoping she's getting ready to hit another milestone and that's why she's been so inconsistent.  

Likes:  Lola LOVES her brother.  She looks for him wherever she is at.  If she's crying and he walks over to her, she stops.  He can be so rough and tough with her and she still just beams at him.  It really melts my heart to watch their relationship grow.  I know Cohen is only 3 so I'm hoping as he gets older he will be a little less rough with her.  



She also loves music of any kind.  Her face lights up and she just beams away when she hears someone or something singing -- especially my dad.  We will FaceTime and he always sings to her and she just eats it up.  Speaking of eating the kid loves her food.  When it's meal time and it's not ready watch out -- Baby girl needs her nutrients.

The kid is a blanket lover too.  I have two blankets in her crib (gasp! It's fine, I have a video monitor, relax.) and she snuggles up to those puppies every night.  Her bunny blanket, Bun Bun, is her favorite snuggly.  She's still a paci girl too, which reminds me to go stock up on a few more my next Target trip...

Dislikes:  She is starting to get a little separation anxiety if I walk into another room and she can't clearly see me.  I usually just continue to talk to her and she will calm down.  Even though she hasn't been napping lately, the kid hates to be tired.  There have been a few times when we were at the pool and of course Cohen works at snail speed and snail speed is not fast enough for a tired baby.  

Milestones:  Rolling and sitting were her two big ones this month  She has also started babbling and constantly says "Mama."  

I know.  I die.  God I could seriously eat her up. 
(Please disregard her brother screaming in the background.  Boys.) 

Lola also has two bottom teeth and two little bumps next to those teeth which can only mean two more are getting ready to make their appearance.  Teething sucks.  That's one thing I totally forgot about with Cohen.


I'm so excited about this summer with Lola and Cohen.  I have an awesome Cohenishm post that will have you rolling.  The kid is a comedian and doesn't even know it.  Trust.  
The next month will be super fun with more time at the pool and our first family vacation to Lake Michigan together.  I'm hoping to venture out to story hour at the library and Barnes and Noble too.  Ambitious, right?
Totes.




Here's to another month little girl!  And do mommy a favor -- please start napping again.


Yum Yum Snack Time

It's summertime so if you are like me you need to keep those pantries and freezers stocked with food for the family.  I've compiled a list of the best snack printables so get your printers ready!





Happy Printing!