Monday, April 29, 2013

Diapering The Baby Alligator Death Roll As A #HuggiesTester

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Huggies®.

When it comes to raising babies, there are few things more labor intensive than diaper changes. I think back fondly to my very first parenting class in the hospital before the birth of my first son and I laugh at the task they set before us: to diaper a stationary baby doll. 

Sure those first few months the baby does indeed lay before you nice and still, a willing subject to the numerous diaper changes throughout the day and night but somewhere around the sixth or seventh month, those days of stationary baby diaper changes are long gone. 

In fact, that's the kind of test that hospitals should place before new parents. Someone should be wiggling that baby doll all around, tossing and turning him, replicating even the craziest of alligator death rolls as they try and attempt the diaper change. 

Throw in a surprise pee squirt or pudding-like poop and that's what I call a test!

With an almost three year old toddler and ten month old baby, I can't even begin to imagine how many hours I've spent changing diapers while simultaneously singing my heart out and begging them to "just lay still for one more second!" 

When it comes to changing the baby, our days of diaper changes on the changing table are a thing of the past as the only safe place to lay his squirmy, roll-y, wiggly body is the floor and talk about drama! You would think, based on the shrill cries, I was pulling his little baby toes off one by one if you weren't privy to what was actually going on. 

When it comes to diapers, I need a diaper that can move with my little cruiser. One that is soft to the touch, flexible and hugs his delicious rolls and curves, creating a seal that keeps the wet stuff in and the dry parts dry. 

Thankfully, Huggies has created a diaper that not only keeps my mover and shaker drier longer but with a new SureFit Design flexible waistband, not only am I guaranteed an easier time changing him but also long lasting leak protection with a close-to-the-body fit. 

As an official Huggies Tester, I have to admit, at first I was hesitant putting my super-soaker in these diapers overnight. Not only was I wary about the fit but I also wasn't quite ready to give up a long stretch of sleep thanks to soaked sheets and an unhappy soaked baby.

That said, I did want to put the "up to 12 hours leak protection" claim to the test. So I did. And the result? Eleven hours later I woke up to dry crib sheets and a dry, happy baby. I couldn't believe my eyes.

I needed a diaper that promised a comfortable fit and protection against leaks. Huggies Snug & Dry with SureFit Design did not disappoint in the least! 

Did you know that you, too, can sign up to become a Huggies Tester? It's free! What are you waiting for? 

Sign up to become an Official Huggies® Tester at and put your products to test! Get active on the Huggies Test Town website and register for product coupons, win prizes, and help children in need!

Official Huggies Tester
Huggies® Snug & Dry Diapers with NEW SureFit® Design provide long-lasting fit for up to 12 hours of leakage protection so your baby can sleep peacefully. How do you get your baby down? Tell me your secret.

Brand Statement: Huggies® is introducing parents to improved products that are designed to take on some of the messy challenges of parenting: Huggies® Snug & Dry Diapers with NEW SureFit* Design, Huggies Natural Care® Wipes with NEW Triple Clean* layers in the new Designer Tubs. In addition to the same trusted Leak Lock® protection parents have come to love and trust, only Huggies® Snug & Dry Diapers now have NEW SureFit® Design, to provide long-lasting fit for up to 12 hours of leakage protection.

Interested in trying out these new products for yourself? Huggies® is encouraging parents everywhere to become Official Huggies® Testers at and put their new and improved diapers and wipes to the test in their everyday routine – from playground play dates to messy mealtime.

To get coupons and other great rewards, visit the Huggies® Test Town!
Or check out the Huggies® Facebook fan page to learn more now!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Huggies®.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Ultimate Crossover Stroller? Good Question! Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect Jogger Review

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. All thoughts and opinions are my own, I am so thrilled to have this opportunity to receive a complimentary FastAction™ Fold Click Connect™ Jogger from Graco. 

One thing I've learned as a parent is that there is no single stroller on the market that does it all. From every day errands to a quick two miles on the pavement, it's difficult to find the form and function you desire in one piece of baby equipment. 

Sometimes there isn't enough storage, other times it's not a smooth ride. The handlebar is too high, the wheels aren't big enough to move from pavement to hiking trails or maybe baby just isn't comfortable enough for any sort of trip longer than a quick jaunt around the mall. 

And then you are given the opportunity to test out the Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect Jogger and suddenly you think you've come awfully close to having it all in a single stroller. 

Prior to attending a local Graco event where fifteen moms and their babies gathered to chat about our experience with the stroller, I had been using our stroller for weeks on end, toting it from park play dates to trail hikes to the local shopping center all in the back of my mid-sized SUV. 

The verdict? I love this stroller and have taken to using it much more often than my previous single jogger, one that in comparison is much heavier, bulkier and an all around pain the rear to travel with.

The Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect Jogger is being marketed as "the ultimate crossover stroller, combining all the comfort and convenience features of a traditional stroller (FastAction Fold and Click Connect Technology) with performance and maneuverability of an all-terrain jogger."

A few of my personal favorite features include the multi-position reclining seat with 3 or 5 point harness, dual cup holders for mom and baby (that's a total of four cup holders!), smartphone cradle and extra large storage basket. 

Now, let it be said that I'm not a runner but I do love a nice, slow jog and more than that, a daily 2-3 mile walk through our neighborhood. If I'm feeling really adventurous, I'll take the boys down any one of the numerous hiking trails that can be found within our neighborhood and we'll go "off-road" for a bit. Not once have I had any trouble with this stroller when moving between asphalt and dirt trails. 

Some key features of this stroller's performance as an all-terrain jogger include a lockable front wheel, larger air-filled rubber tires and a hideaway hand strap for use when taking the stroller for a run. 

As I mentioned earlier, I've been using this stroller on-the-go and have really grown to appreciate the ease with which I can fold it using only one hand. A simple tug on the strap hidden neatly beneath the seat and in one second the stroller folds easily in half with it's own kickstand for self-standing. 

This stroller is so lightweight that I'm also able to unload the stroller from my trunk and open it using only one hand, most often while holding Maclane on my hip. This is something that I've never been able to do with my previous single jogger. 

It was so much fun to attend the local #GracoJogger event this past week. Maclane and I had a blast meeting up with other local mom bloggers and their kids as we chatted about our experiences with the Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect stroller. If you have any questions as to how the stroller handles on a distance run, I would encourage you to speak with our hostess and avid runner, Katie. You can read her review here

If you follow the hash tag #GracoJogger on both Twitter and Instagram, you'll find pictures and news from the events held all across the country! Interested in learning more about the Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect Jogger? Check out the official Graco website here. This stroller is available for purchase at the following retailers: Amazon, Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby. The jogger retails for $179.99 and the jogger/car seat travel system retails for $299.99. This jogger is compatible with any car seat that has the Click Connect Technology. 

Graco’s NEW jogger is the ultimate crossover stroller, combining all the comfort and convenience features of a traditional stroller (FastAction Fold and Click Connect Technology) with performance and maneuverability of an all-terrain jogger.
As an added bonus, Graco’s innovative one-second, one-hand FastAction™ fold automatically locks & is self-standing.
This post is sponsored by the Graco.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Let's Get Honest In The Bathroom.

I can remember all the way back to high school chemistry, afternoons spent working with caustic chemicals behind hoods, goggles and other protective barriers, learning how they mixed (and did not mix) with other substances and what type of effects these chemicals had on the environment around them and on those who used them frequently. 

A few of these chemicals were ones that I now see in my every day life, chemicals such as phosphates, chlorine and sulfur oxides. Chemicals that I once used to disinfect and clean the surfaces of my home. 

As a mom, my outlook on the use of some of these chemicals in the home has changed. I try my best to be mindful of what products I use around my children and the effect it may have not only on their little bodies but also their environment. As cheesy as it sounds, I try to be more mindful of leaving them a world that will be safe to grow in.

But, I also want a sparkling clean, germ-free bathroom! Is that too much to ask? I would be lying if I said I once thought I couldn't achieve that without harsh chemicals!

That's one of the main reasons I was so excited to test out some fantastic household products from The Honest Co., a company devoted to embracing the belief that we can make the world a better place for our children through the use of non-toxic, safe and healthy products and with more than twenty products to choose from, they are succeeding at redefining the "family brand."

Other important and interesting takeaways regarding The Honest Co. include: 

Honest is a Certified B Corporation. This means they are dedicated to making a profound social difference, safeguarding people and the planet and making efforts to be a better business. How awesome is that? It's like earning a LEED or Fair Trade certification, but for a business. 

With every purchase that you make, The Honest Company donates time, money and product to their current charitable partner, This worthy non-profit supplies families in need with essential baby gear and clothing fo children up to age 12. 

The Honest Company's goal is to provide customers with products they need and love (and exceptional service). This means that their ear is always to the ground- they love to hear from their community and take the feedback they learn from Facebook, their blog, Twitter and Pinterest, as well as customer support to create products that make sense for your lives. 

Let's face it, second to the floors, the bathroom is one of the dirtiest places in our house and it's even dirtier now that we've started potty training our toddler son, so these products couldn't have arrived to our house at a more perfect time.

The first mess I decided to tackle was the toilet and from the second I opened up the wonderfully minty smelling toilet cleaner, I had my doubts. There was no way this eco-friendly, natural green cleaner was going to put a dent in the icky build-up of our toilet. So I squirted the product beneath the rim and watched as it clung to the bowl of the toilet just like those other cleaners clung. I let it sit, still doubtful, and moved onto the bathroom counter tops.

The counter tops that were sticky and tacky with the residue of hairspray, hand soap, children's toothpaste and lip gloss. Surely these messes would be no match for the bathroom cleaner!

I sprayed it on and went to wiping. Within minutes it looked as if I had cleaned using the other harsher bathroom cleaners that I had grown so accustomed to using. The stains lifted away and my counter tops were smooth once again. No streaking, no leftover residue. I immediately started thinking to myself where else I could use this cleaner and went to town on the bathroom fixtures, the shower walls and even the floor around the toilet. What a difference it made and without all of those added chemicals!

Oh and the toilet? Remarkably clean. So clean, in fact, cleaner than I ever imagined possible without the use of those harsher, toxic chemicals. I was and continue to be amazed and will never go back to using those other toilet bowl cleaners.


Okay, so I wanted to swap out some of the harsher chemicals that I've grown accustomed to using the bathroom but what about some of the products that aren't designed to clean surfaces but rather tiny, little sensitive bodies? Those are just as important, am I right?

I wanted to make the switch to a safe, new shampoo and body wash for the boys, one that was non-toxic, phlalate-free, hypoallergenic but also smelled deliciously yummy. As you and I both know there are few things greater than the smell of a freshly bathed baby and with some of the all-natural products out there, that sweet smell is hard to come by! 

Let me just say, after using this shampoo and body wash on the boys, I wanted to eat them up with a spoon! I couldn't stop myself from nuzzling my nose into their heads every chance I could. They literally smelled like tiny scrumptious creamsicles thanks to the delectable orange vanilla scent.

Speaking of heads, I'm always on the hunt for a detangling conditioning mist for the toddler's mess of beautiful curls. Too many mornings are spent fingering through the knots that so often accompany his bedhead that we've been desperate for a product that not only detangles but is also safe and full of ingredients I could pronounce. This product does exactly that! And not only does it detangle but it also enhances his soft, sweet curls! A win-win!

Have you ever thought about making the switch? I know one barrier for our family was always cost. I never thought I would be able to cost-effectively make the switch to more green-natured products and manage to stay within our monthly household budget but after a little research it's clear that The Honest Co. provides affordable products designed to promote a safe environment both inside and outside your home. 

If you've ever worried about the cost of making the switch, here is a special promo code. You can get $10 off of a $40 purchase at The Honest Co. using the code 10off40Pollinate. This coupon code is limited to first-time customers only and is good for one use per customer. It expires May 8th, 2013 so don't hesitate! 

If you are unsure of where to start, check out the following popular consumer options: 
Email Sign Up :: Diaper Trial :: Cleaning Trial

Now that I've decided to make the switch in our bathroom and have been pleasantly surprised with the results, I can't help but wonder what other rooms in the house I can tackle using safe, healthy, non-toxic products from The Honest Co. Perhaps the kitchen is up next? After all, they've proven to be worthy equivalents to those other cleaning products that you would find in the aisles of your local grocery store. 

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and The Honest Company but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #NaturallyHonest”