5 Tips for Helping Your Kids Get to Sleep (Guest Post!)

Sleep can be a big struggle with babies, infants, and toddlers. Check out these 5 tips for helping your kids get to sleep. #sleep #bedtime #sleephabits #parenting

Sleep seems to be the ultimate struggle as a parent – both sleep for yourself and sleep for your child. Once new parents get past their newborn sleeping through the night, they may believe that their sleep troubles are over. Oh, you just wait new parents. There is more to come. Today I have a guest post from Judith, a mother of two, with 5 tips for helping your kids get to sleep. These tips really apply to any age, but seem most applicable to toddlers and young school-aged children. Hope they help, and you find some rest! read more

25 Ways to Make Money Blogging

Whether you are considering starting a blog or have been at this for a while, there is one question that all bloggers want to know the answer to - how do I make money with my blog? Here are 25 ways to make money blogging. Monetize your blog. Money making blog. Make money with your blog. #blogging #workfromhome #passiveincome

Whether you are considering starting a blog or have been at this for a while, there is one question that all bloggers want to know the answer to – how do I make money with my blog? There are so many ways to monetize your blog out there. It can be hard to decide which to try and which will be worth investing your time into. I have been doing this for a couple of years now, and have tried a handful of methods to make money blogging. Here are 25 ways to make money blogging that I have found worthwhile. Not a blogger? Give this post a look anyway! There are many ideas here that can make you a little extra cash through social media as well. read more

Maternity Active Wear from Pink Blush

Finding comfortable maternity active wear that fits can be a huge challenge. Pink Blush has a great line of maternity active wear for pregnant mamas. #pregnant #activewear #fitmom #fitpregnancy

When you are pregnant, finding the energy and motivation to workout can be a challenge to say the least! It doesn’t help that as your belly grows, it gets harder and harder to find comfortable clothes that fit. Maternity active wear seems to be the hardest to come by. Yes, you can just wear regular clothes or a big t-shirt, but that can be cumbersome for some types of exercise. Not to mention, for many pregnant women, it can be a challenge to keep your self-esteem up at the gym to begin with. Having comfortable and functional maternity active wear can really help you to feel better about getting to the gym. Check out the maternity active wear selection from Pink Blush for some great options meant just for your pregnant body. read more

10 Christian Books for Baby

Books are a great way to introduce your little one to God's love as early as before birth! Check out these suggestions for Christian books for baby. #christianparenting #christian #books #booksforbaby

Books are a great way to pass time, interact with your baby, and teach language skills to your little one! They can also be a great way to introduce your children to faith and God’s love from the very beginning. There are many books about Jesus, prayer, and Christian values out there. Some are obvious and studious like beginner’s story bibles and some simply follow themes that instill Christian love. Whatever your day calls for, there is a great Christian book out there for you to share with your little one. Check out this post to see some of our favorites and suggestions for Christian books for baby. read more

Boba Air Carrier Review

The Boba Air is a great carrier choice for infants and toddlers! It's lightweight, convenient, and packs up into a small pouch. Check out my full Boba Air review for more. #babywearing #babycarrier #toddlerwearing

There are so many great baby carriers out there with so many great merits to each. It can be hard to decide what carrier will be best for your family or even which carriers! (Many parents have multiple for different uses.) Our son is two now and the only carrier that we have ever used for him is the Boba Air. It’s been a lifesaver in many situations including summer festivals, long walks, and even just family trips to the mall. In general I love that this carrier is lightweight, super portable, adjusts to fit myself and my husband, and is still comfortable for my toddler. Read on to see a more detailed Boba Air review.  read more

The Best Deals on Amazon Family

Amazon Family is a great way to save on diapers, snacks, and other household staples! The best part is that it's free with your Prime membership. #deals #dealsformom #amazonfamily #amazonprime #diapers

As the holidays draw near, it can be important to cut back on daily spending to make room in your budget for things like fun outings and gifts for your loved ones. One great way to save on household staples is by using Amazon Family, and specifically the Amazon Subscribe and Save feature. Subscribe and Save is a free program for Amazon Prime members that allows you the convenience of a subscription service with a discount as an added bonus! Some items seem to be close to the same price as they would be in stores, but with a little bit of hunting there are some great deals to be found. Check out this post to see how it works and learn some of the best deals on Amazon Family.

*Please note: this post contains affiliate links. For more information on affiliate and sponsored content on this blog, please see sidebar.

What is Amazon Family?

Creating an Amazon Family profile will essentially build you a dashboard of savings and suggestions based on the needs of your family. You add in the age of your child/children and Amazon Family does the rest. You will get an overview of current deals, a list of recommendations, easy access to your Subscribe and Save lists, coupons, and articles for your family. The best part is that Amazon Family is free feature included in your Amazon Prime membership.

Find out more about Amazon Family and check it out for yourself here.

How to use Amazon Subscribe and Save

Amazon Subscribe and Save is one of the best features available with an Amazon Family account. Amazon offers up to 15% off of household staples and 20% off of diapers delivered right to your door on a regular schedule. Simply shop the Subscribe and Save store, add items to your list, and tell Amazon how often you want your items delievered. You can add, skip, or cancel subscriptions at any time.
Don’t forget to check out the coupon page of the Subscribe and Save store as well!

What are the best deals on Amazon Family?

Diapers

If you buy name brand diapers, Amazon Family is the single best way that I have found to get the best price. We started using it before our first son was born to work on building his diaper stockpile. (Check out The Complete Guide to Building a Diaper Stockpile)
I have seen Pampers as low as $0.08/diaper, Huggies as low as $0.12/diaper, and Luvs as low as $0.09/diaper. Just keep an eye out for sales/coupons!

Coffee

If you are a K-Cup user especially, Amazon Family is the place to buy your coffee.
These Java Factory Vanilla Dream Pods always seem to be a great deal, but there is plenty of variety to choose from.
Bags of coffee grounds or whole beans can also be found for a nice discount.

Baby Food

Baby food, especially the jars or pouches of puree, can definitely get expensive! For families that chose to feed with baby food, Amazon Family can help you save some dollars there.

Snacks

For the rest of the family, Amazon Family can help you find deals on all kinds of snacks. Whether you go for individual packages or buy the larger containers and portion yourself (check out 14 Ways to Eliminate Single Use Plastic), stocking up can help you save some extra money on snacks for your family.

Household Staples/Paper Products

Toilet paper, paper towel, tissues, you name it – Amazon Family can help you to save on your staples as well as automatically restock them so that you don’t run out! I do generally find that the prices are not as good as buying the generic brand at the store, so this is one to be careful with. You can find some good deals if you watch for coupons or buy in bulk though.

Cleaning Supplies

I bought a 24 pack of sponges a while ago, and feel like I will never run out again. There are also plenty of options for cleaners, dusting supplies, and even reusable cleaning cloths.

 

In general, Amazon Family can help you save on disposable products and consumables for your family. The discount is nice, and the convenience of the auto-restock is awesome for busy parents. There are always deals to be found by visiting the coupon page or your Amazon Family profile.
You can see some of my personal Amazon Subscribe and Save orders from the past (including pricing) by visiting this page here.

There are so many great deals to dig through. Moms and Dads – what are the best deals on Amazon Family that you have found?

The Best Place to See Santa in Milwaukee – Top 5 Santa Spots Ranked by Moms (2018)

I asked local moms to vote on the best place to see Santa in Milwaukee. Here are the top 5 mom favorite Santa Spots. #Santa #Christmas #MKE #MKEMom #MilwaukeeMom

Visiting Santa is a holiday tradition that many families look forward to every year! It can be a fun event for children or a crazy and long process for the whole family. Unfortunately, holiday crowds are a big part of the season, but there are so many places to see Santa that you should be able to find one that will be a fun family outing! Visiting Santa should be a magical experience that your little ones can look back on fondly. I asked local moms to vote on the best place to see Santa in Milwaukee. Here are their choices for the top 5 best Santa spots.

Please note: this info is meant to be a helpful reference for you, and is up-to-date as of November 7, 2018. Please double check hours, availability, etc. before planning your trip!

The 5 Best Places to Visit Santa in Milwaukee:

Brookfield Square Mall

Brookfield square mall tops our list as best place to see Santa in Milwaukee. This is our personal favorite as well as a favorite among local moms. Peanut and I visited Santa here on Christmas Eve last year, and it was great! There were only two other families in line, so we were able to wave to Santa before and take our time visiting.

Hours: Starting Saturday November 10th
Monday – Saturday: 10am – 9pm
Sunday: 11am – 6pm
Some special holiday hours – see website for details.

Cost: Visit is free, photo packages range $24.99-$49.99

Click here for more info

Cabela’s in Richfield

Cabela’s makes the list as a mom favorite because of the over-all experience that they include. They have activities, crafts, and giveaways to make the whole trip more fun.

Hours: November 11-December 1
Weekdays: 5pm-9pm
Saturday: 10am-8pm
Sunday: Noon-5pm
December 2-December 24
Weekdays: 10am-8pm
Saturday: 10am-8pm
Sunday: 10am-5pm

Cost: Complimentary 4″x6″ photo for each family

Click here for more info

Milwaukee County Zoo

Milwaukee County Zoo offers breakfast and lunch with Santa, Ms. Claus, and musical performer Fred Turk. Your admission includes a meal and admission to the zoo for the day. Pre-registration is required.

Hours: December 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 2018, 9:00 am breakfast and 12:00 noon lunch

Cost: $22.95 for adults, $17.95 for children 3-12, $5.95 for children 2 and under (20% discount for zoo pass members – check your email!)

Click here for more info

Mayfair Mall

Another great place to see Santa at a local mall. Get some shopping in and make a whole family trip of the day if you want to! You can also save some time in line by making a reservation on the website in advance.

Hours: Starting Saturday November 10th

Monday – Saturday: 11:00 AM-8:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM-6:00 PM

Some special holiday hours – see website for details.

Cost: Visit is free, photo packages range $39.99-$49.99

Click here for more info

Von Maur at the Corners in Brookfield

Does it get any more American than taking your kids to see Santa at a lavishly decorated department store?? Hello, Christmas Story flashbacks. Von Maur is a great new addition to the list, coming in as the fifth best place to see Santa in Milwaukee.

Hours:

Saturday, November 24th from 12 noon to 5:00 pm
Sunday, November 25th from 12 noon to 5:00 pm
Saturday, December 1st from 12 noon to 5:00 pm
Sunday, December 2nd from 12 noon to 5:00 pm
Saturday, December 8th from 12 noon to 5:00 pm
Sunday, December 9th from 12 noon to 5:00 pm
Saturday, December 15th from 12 noon to 5:00 pm
Sunday, December 16th from 12 noon to 5:00 pm

Cost: One complimentary photo per family

Click here for more info

There are so many great places to see Santa in the Milwaukee area! Where did we miss? Share your vote for the best place to see Santa in Milwaukee in the comments below.

thredUP Review – Maternity Edition

Need some new staples for your maternity wardrobe, but don't want to spend a fortune? Shop #secondhandfirst with thredUP! #sponsored #thredup #maternity #pregnant #maternityoutfit

When it comes to baby and maternity clothes, I hate spending money on things that I am only going to use for such a short time! Maternity clothes especially can be really expensive. With both of my pregnancies, I have been fortunate enough to have friends pass on some of their old clothes. Hand-me-downs have seriously been great, and their clothes are always still in great condition. During my first pregnancy, I ended up doing one big shopping trip from an online consignment shop to get the rest of the staples that I needed. Unfortunately, my second baby is going to be born in the exact opposite time of year. I have one September baby and am expecting our next little one to arrive in April. Guess those prized maternity jean shorts won’t come in too handy for this winter pregnancy. Now it’s time for another shopping spree from thredUP! Check out this post to read my thredUP maternity review and see some of my favorite new pieces for fall and the upcoming holiday season.

 

*please note: thredUP sponsored my shopping spree in exchange for me sharing my honest opinion with you. For more details on sponsored content on Mommy: Home Manager, check out the side bar.

Shopping thredUP

thredUP is an entirely online consignment store. You can filter your results to see just your favorite brands and styles. It saves “my sizes” and starts with only those when I search for anything. I also always turn on the “new with tags” and “like new” filters. This makes the items more expensive, but I know that they are going to be a good value because they are still less expensive than full retail price and will be in good condition. They have a full section of maternity clothes and much better selection than others that I have seen.

Have maternity or baby clothes to get rid of?

You can also sell your items using thredUP’s website. They send you a clean out bag, you send it in, and they sell your items for you. The payment process depends on the items that you send in, so check out this page here to see what they accept and how you can expect to get paid for your clothing and accessory items.  You can use these sales dollars to buy yourself some new post-baby wardrobe treats.

Check out my first thredUP review to see more on non-maternity shopping from thredUp.
Check out this post here if you are looking for more ways to cut down on household waste.

My Haul

As I said, I went on a big shopping spree to get ready for a fall and winter pregnancy.  I ended up with 4 dresses, 7 tops, a paid or leggings, and a pair of tights for a total of under $200. 

It was a very big haul for me and more than I usually spend on clothes at one time, but I feel like I got some really great staples. I’m going to need them since I am 18 weeks now and already showing much more than my first baby!

(The above prices reflect the price of my purchases before a 20% discount promo code) read more

Homemade Orange Spice Cleaner

Are you looking for a natural cleaner for your home's surfaces? Check out this homemade orange spice cleaner recipe! #greencleaning #essentialoils #DIY #vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar is a trick that goes back generations. It’s a simple, inexpensive, natural alternative to many chemicals that we use to clean our homes. Unfortunately, many people don’t really like the smell of vinegar, and it is one that can linger. This homemade orange spice cleaner masks the vinegar smell plus adds in oranges, which are said to have antibacterial properties of their own. Throw in some germ-busting essential oils, and you have a great multipurpose solution that will clean your home’s surfaces and leave behind a nice, pleasant smell behind! Check out my recipe for homemade orange spice cleaner below.

Cleaning with Essential Oils

Just check out your favorite social media site for a minute and you will find 320948983 recipes for using essential oils in your home. When making these swaps, make sure to do your own research!

When you are looking for information on your oils, always look for credible sources. As much as I love a good blog post, do a little digging above and beyond. Look for articles from medical journals or trusted health magazines/resources.

Additionally, the quality and safety of your essential oils matters. Always check the ingredients and source of your essential oils, no matter where you buy them. I personally have bought my oils from a mixture of doTerra, Young Living, and Plant Therapy – all trusted distributors/brands. I also love that Plant Therapy marks which oils are kid safe and gives a warning against oils that should be avoided while pregnant or breastfeeding. (This referral link will get you $10 off your first order from Plant Therapy!)

Some of my favorite oils for cleaning are Tea Tree, Frankincense, LavenderPeppermint. 

If you are interested in learning about essential oil use during pregnancy, check out this post.

Homemade Orange Spice Cleaner Recipe

Ingredients/Supplies:

  • 2-3 oranges
  • 1-2 cups of white vinegar
  • mason jar or other glass container
  • glass spray bottle
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • Frankincense Essential Oil
  • Cassia or Cinnamon Essential Oil

Step 1 – Infuse Your Vinegar

Peel the oranges and put the peels in the mason jar. Fill jar with vinegar and let sit for 7-10 days. Strain vinegar and add to glass spray bottle.

Step 2 – Add Your Oils

I used 5 drops Tea Tree, 12 drops of Frankincense, and 5 drops of Cassia. This ended up smelling very strongly of the Cassia oil. Remember that Tea Tree and Cassia both have very strong aromas, so they will easily overpower the other scents in your cleaner. Adjust these numbers (or even oils) to suit your personal preference.

Step 3 – Dilute, Shake, and Use!

Fill the rest of the bottle with water, shake it up, and you are ready to go! Remember to shake up your bottle each time that you use your cleaning spray. Also, since the essential oils are mixed into a water-base and not another oil, they are not considered diluted or safe for use on your skin. This mixture is meant for surfaces in your home. I love this scent for cleaning my kitchen counter and cabinets. It’s a great one for the fall and upcoming holiday season!

Do you have a favorite recipe or mixture for a household cleaner? Go ahead and share in the comments. It’s always fun to mix it up and try a new combination! Hope you enjoy this orange spice cleaner recipe.

8 Moves to Work Your Abs During Pregnancy

Keeping your core strong during pregnancy will help with back pain, waddling, child birth, and recovering after baby is born. Check out these 8 moves to work your abs during pregnancy. #fitpregnancy #pregnancy #pregnant #fitmom #prenatalexercise

Having a happy, healthy pregnancy is every expecting mama’s number one goal, right? Well, I would hope so at least. Many of us are focused on staying in shape through pregnancy with the end goal of getting back into shape quickly after baby is born. The truth is that keeping up your health and fitness during pregnancy will help your pregnancy itself to go more smoothly! Keeping your core strengthened and engaged will prevent (or at least help) back pain, lessen the pregnancy waddle, improve your balance, and help when the time comes to deliver baby. The trouble is that your abs are now shaped differently and need to be worked in different ways. Everyone’s comfort level and exercise style is different, but here are a few suggestions. Keep reading for 8 moves to work your abs during pregnancy.

*Please note, I am not a medical professional or trainer. These are just suggestions of moves that myself and other mamas have used during pregnancy. This post is meant for mamas who are comfortable with their fitness level and are looking to continue to exercise through pregnancy. Please talk to your doctor and/or a certified trainer if you are looking to start any new exercise routines.

Here are 8 moves to work your abs during pregnancy:

Push-ups 

Push-ups are an awesome total body move. They strengthen your core and upper body at the same time. Over time, your range of motion may become limited, but you can always modify by doing push-ups on your knees or against a wall to adjust for your comfort!

Planks 

Similar to push-ups, planks are a great way to tone your whole body and keep your core in shape. Also, strengthening your obliques and serrates will help you out during labor!

Side Planks 

Adding another level to your planks, side planks engage your transverse abdominals and the muscles around your hips.

Yogi Squat

This one is not specifically just an ab strengthener, but the yogi squat is my all-purpose favorite pregnancy move. Keep your abs engaged, hips open, and balance in check. Sit in a yogi squat while you watch tv. Your body will thank you during labor.

Bird-Dogs

These seem to be the number one recommended pregnancy move. I see them everywhere! They’re simple and don’t wear you out too quickly, so they’re a nice way to get in some exercise when you’re not feeling full beast-mode.

Candle Stick Dippers

Back to keeping your obliques in shape, candle stick dippers are great. They can easily be modified to fit your comfort level with the placement of your arms and just simply not leaning over as far.

Standing Bicycle Crunch 

Many women prefer not to spend time on their backs later in pregnancy. You can still benefit from bicycle crunches by doing them standing up.

Standing Side Crunches 

The same goes here. You will want to avoid standard crunches during pregnancy, but side crunches can easily be done while standing or sitting on a yoga ball.

 

Mamas, what are some of your favorite moves to work your abs during pregnancy? Share in the comments below.