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It Works! Ultimate Body Applicator Giveaway!

Ok Mommies (and Daddies!) – I know you’ve been hearing all the hype about the It Works! Ultimate Body Applicators. Curious about giving it a try? Skeptical? Want more information? You’re in luck because today, I am going to give you the skinny on skinny wraps. It gets better – Thanks to Lauren C. at https://laurenc.myitworks.com/Home, we are offering you a chance to try the Ultimate Body Applicator for FREE! Check it out.

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“The biggest challenge in this industry—and really the worldwide market—is to offer an uncommon solution, a true original, that captivates people and offers them something they never thought possible before.  When we found the Ultimate Body Applicator, we knew we had something special to share with the world.” – Mark Pentecost, CEO It Works! Global

It Works! offers a variety of products, such as body contouring wraps, skin care products, and supplements.

“To this day, It Works!’ first product is still its most popular: The Ultimate Body Applicator.  The site-specific body contouring treatment has been in the hands of celebrities at Hollywood events and at the doorsteps of people like you all over the world—exclusively available through It Works! Global.”

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The Ultimate Body Applicator is a fabric product placed over the skin and secured into place using plastic wrap. The product tightens, tones, and firms in as little as 45 minutes! The Ultimate Body Applicator will give you a fast and lasting result from a botanically based formula.

See for yourself!! Here are some photos of Lauren’s clients who are already changing their bodies for the better by using her products.

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You can check out even more photos at Lauren’s Facebook page or by visiting her official It Works! online store.

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Ok – Here’s the best part! Thanks to Lauren, you can enter to win a FREE Ultimate Body Applicator by completing the form below! What are you waiting for?? Enter NOW to WIN!

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And by the way, when Lauren isn’t selling It Works! products, she’s busy working as a kick ass hair stylist at Hair Extraordinaire in Rochester, NY. If you are local (and I know a lot of my readers are), you should definitely check out the salon. Visit their newly renovated website at http://www.hairextraordinairesalon.com/index.htm.

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5 Tips for a Stress-Free Vacation

I want to give a warm welcome to our guest author today, Kendra Thornton, a travel advocate and TV spokesperson. Thornton, the former Director of Corporate Communications at Orbitz.com and mother of three, has some great advice for planning a stress-free vacation when traveling with kids! Enjoy!

 

5 Tips for a Stress-Free Vacation

A summer vacation trip is the highlight of the year for many families, including mine. Yet as any parent knows, the logistics of trip-planning for a family can be daunting, especially when smaller children are involved. Anything can and will happen. On the other hand, over-planning is equally stressful and can take valued spontaneity out of the excursion. Here are five tips I’ve found very helpful when planning my family’s vacations.

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Tip 1: Get your day started right:

A long day in the heat can be extremely draining, and nutritious options are often limited, especially in venues like amusement parks. Prices are usually astronomical, and concession lines can be long. All this adds up to cranky kids. I always encourage my kids to eat a large breakfast before heading out for the day. Most Orlando hotels include a breakfast with a room stay, which saves a lot of money. Proper nutrition can also help prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion later in the day. Use travel sites like Gogobot to sift through authentic reviews – I always find the family-friendly comments when narrowing down my decision on where to stay!

Tip 2: Break up the trip:

One trick that’s helped me get through those long road trips is to plan a stop or attraction or two for each day of driving. It doesn’t have to be anything too major, but a diversion to look forward to along the way really helps the day pass. Plenty of bathroom breaks also help prevent unpleasant disasters.

Tip 3: Carry sanitizer:

I found out long ago that if it’s gross, my kids will get into it. Cleaning standards, especially on airlines and at amusement parks, can be infrequent and suspect. I carry a small bottle of sanitizer and wipe down seats, armrests, and kids’ hands frequently between activities. I also give my kids their own little bottle to clip onto their backpacks! That way, I’m not always reaching in my purse to pull it out.

Tip 4: Make it a home away from home

As stressful as vacation can be for parents, it can be equally intimidating to younger kids. When we took our oldest on his first overnight trip away from home, we brought a couple of toys and his special blanket along. This helped a strange hotel room really feel like home, which made bedtime a lot smoother. It’s a trick we’ve repeated with success for each of our other children.

Tip 5: Keep it Healthy

Whether you are walking around the amusement parks, sightseeing at the zoo or hanging out at the beach, I always encourage families to pack an assortment of healthy snacks! Bring fruits that will keep the kids not only well nourished but hydrated and I am so big fan of trail mix to give them that added boost of energy!

A little preparation can go a long way to ensuring everyone has a memorable summer vacation. Remember that the ultimate goal is to have a safe and happy time with those you love. Safe travels!

 

Bio:

Kendra Thornton: Travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. I am a long time travel expert who has been packing my bags and traveling the world since I was 3 months old! I’ve found my utmost desire in life is right here in my own home. I have mixed my excitement for travel by bringing the taste of authentic cuisine to my own home with some of my unique recipes and sharing some of my personal traveling tips. Enjoy!

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/KendraThornton

Website: http://www.thorntonpr.com/

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Wordless Wednesday

At 17 months old, it’s about time this kid started pulling his weight around the house. Now, if  I could only teach him to wash the dishes when he’s done cooking dinner….

cooking dinner

 

Why Couponing is a Waste of My Time

I hate to admit it, but I am totally worthless when it comes to using coupons. I’d love to say that I spend my afternoons clipping the Sunday paper and saving hundreds of dollars on diapers and wipes, but unfortunately, I just don’t have the patience for it. At one point, I gave using coupons a valid effort, but I ended up buying a bunch of crap that I don’t even need or use just because it was on sale.  Don’t get me wrong, it was thrilling to save some money in the checkout line. However, I think I’d be better off without a bunch of frozen pizzas and several boxes of Pop Tarts floating around my kitchen, even if I did save $1.47. So, sadly, I pay full price for a lot of products.

Luckily, I have a mother who loves spoiling her grand kids by spending ridiculous amounts of money at Babies R’ Us and Toys R’ Us, thus earning an equally ridiculous amount of rewards points and redeemable coupons. Every time she stops by, she brings me their most recent, infamous “20% Off Any Purchase” in the store. The problem with Babies R Us, and many other stores for that matter, is that by 20% Off Any Purchase, they really mean 20% Off Any Purchase… excluding diapers, wipes, furniture, toys, formula, clothing, breast pumps, monitors, strollers, car seats, or anything else useful. Really?? After everything that the coupon excludes, what the hell can you buy with it?? A bottle of water to rehydrate myself after the ranting I will do at the cash register about how the coupon is totally useless?

Like I said, I’ve given couponing a serious attempt. I designated a drawer in my kitchen and started saving the few that I thought might actually be worth something. The problem with people like me is that even if I go through the effort of clipping and saving the coupons, it’s pretty much a guarantee that I will leave the house to grocery shop without them. Getting myself and the kid out the door, around the store, and through the checkout line is overwhelming enough, so trying to remember to sort through and pack the relevant coupons becomes last on my list of priorities. What ended up happening was the creation of just another junk drawer, full of coupons, most of which are currently expired.

The Infamous (Expired) Coupon Drawer.

The Infamous (Expired) Coupon Drawer.

If there was one thing that I think it’d be worth trying to save some cash on, it’s definitely diapers. I can’t even imagine how much I have spent in the past 18 months. I know what you’re thinking. I should totally try cloth diapers – not only are they less expensive, but earth-friendly as well! Thanks for the suggestion, but I can barely get through the current amount of laundry that is sitting in my hamper and I don’t think adding 10-12 dirty cloth diapers a day is a realistic option for me. Oh yeah, I know, you can hire a diaper service to clean them. But doesn’t that defeat the purpose of trying to save some cash in the first place??

So, when I realized that Huggies offers a rewards program, I decided to give it a shot. All I had to do was take the rewards’ codes on the inside of the packaging and enter them online to collect points in which I could put toward purchasing prizes. I guess I sort of assumed that I’d be able to put these points toward purchasing more diapers, but I was wrong. I quickly realized that creating an account, trying to remember my password every time I logged in, and typing in each (lengthy) code was time consuming. I really wanted to stick with it, so I finally sat down one day and entered the millions of little codes I had saved, thinking I was about to score a serious amount of free shit. Turns out, I had saved about 400 points (and spent probably several hundred dollars on diapers and wipes to get there). I looked through the rewards catalog, realizing that the prizes were things like coupons to Shutterfly. Really?? Just more coupons?? Some of the worthwhile prizes, like a $50 Amazon gift card, cost something like 1300 points. I think I’d need to pop out a second kid and have two in diapers to be able to collect that many points. I finally settled on a one-year subscription to Shape Magazine. Fair enough.

Don't mind the dog hair on the table in this picture. Maybe I should have been vacuuming instead of couponing.

Rewards codes from hell. Do you know how long it took me to read the tiny print and enter the lengthy codes?? 

After realizing that I had wasted an entire nap time dicking around with these rewards codes and catalogs when I should have been washing bottles and mopping my floors, I decided that maybe it wasn’t worth the effort. I Googled the cost for a one-year subscription to Shape Magazine – which turns out is less than $18.00 per year. Next time, I think I’ll use my precious time more wisely and just spend the $18.00 to purchase a magazine, sans rewards codes.

Hell, maybe if I stop trying to be an Extreme Couponer, I just might have the time to attempt cloth diapers.

 

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Wordless Wednesday: Poolside Selfies

I see all these girls updating their Facebook status with selfie photos and something like, “Hanging by the pool all day!” such as the one below. (That is not my body unfortunately, by the way).

Photo via http://uk.omg.yahoo.com/

Photo via http://uk.omg.yahoo.com/

Well, guess what? Moms like to hang by the pool, too. Granted, there’s a toddler standing in the water and it’s a snake pool, but a pool nonetheless.

The Mother's version of "Hanging by the Pool" for the day.

Now all I need is a strong cocktail and some tanning oil.

Don’t Mess with a Mother.

I think what they meant to write on that sign was, "This window makes us more important than you. Just so you know."

I think what they meant to write on that sign was, “This window makes us more important than you. Just so you know.” Photo via http://www.chicagotribune.com 

 

As I walked into my doctor’s office this afternoon, I knew right away what was about to go down. I stood at the little glass window while the receptionist ignored me for at least five minutes. For whatever reason, that window makes these people feel as though the are part of an exclusive physician club, only allowing certain members to gain access to their precious office. And god forbid you have a cough. You better put a mask on before even attempting to get that chic to expose herself by opening the glass to take your germ-filled insurance information. If you were a typical mean girl in high school, you’d be perfect for a position within any doctors’ office. Being a major bitch is definitely the only necessary experience you’ll need to be considered for the job.

After Wendy  (whose name I know because of her name tag, not because she politely introduced herself) finally decided to allow me access to the club, she opened her window, looking overly (and very sarcastically) confused. “Can I help you??” she asked. I know why she was pulling this act, looking like she couldn’t imagine why I was there. I knew I was ten minutes late, which basically meant I would need to beg for the doctor to see me. “Oh honey, your appointment was at 4:20. I’m not sure the doctor will have time to fit you in now.”

Let me just stop you right there, Wendy. First of all, I am a mother. Showing up ONLY ten minutes late is a fucking victory in my book. Secondly, do you have any idea how much effort went in to actually getting here? It took me eight weeks just to schedule the damn thing because I’m too busy taking care of everybody else. Not to mention, I had to wait until my boss let me leave work and then I had to drop my toddler off with his sitter. You’re actually lucky I spent the extra ten minutes to get rid of the kid so that you don’t have to listen to his screaming throughout my entire appointment (he has a serious fear of every doctor….).Lastly, let me just take your little name tag with the “We care, always!” sticker and shove it up your ass because, clearly, you don’t care. And you know what, the next time I come in here with a cold, I’ll be sure to forget to put a mask on and accidentally spew my coughing germs all over your precious glass window. How about that?

My doctor sure as hell better be prescribing me some Xanax today because his passive aggressive secretary might just put me over the crazy mommy edge.

Moral of the story: Don’t mess with an extremely busy, overtired mother. Especially at the end of a very long day.

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Wordless Wednesday

They say sorting objects is an important early math skill. My son managed to eat an entire bowl of pasta and pick out every vegetable. On the bright side, at least he’s improving his math skills. He looks pretty damn proud of it, too.

pasta

 

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Post-Baby Body Swimsuit Shopping

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I came across an article in a magazine I was reading last week called “The Best Swimsuits for Your Shape.”  The article gave me some serious heartburn for several reasons. Not only does every woman loathe bathing suit shopping, but I instantly realized that within a few days, I’d be baring my post baby body in a swimsuit at the lake with all of my (non-post-baby-body) friends at a 4th of a July party. My son was only about four months old during the summer months last year, so I felt like I had an excuse for sporting a little extra cellulite. But after sixteen months, I guess I can’t really rely on the “I just had a baby, for god’s sake” justification. While it might have been a little too late to lose a few before the party, I decided that buying a new swimsuit and a few cute cover-ups would definitely boost my confidence.

That same magazine article suggested applying some self-tanner for a few days prior to swimsuit shopping to counteract the green cast from the fluorescent lighting and to hide imperfections like cellulite. Unfortunately, as a busy mother, I didn’t have the time to find, purchase, and apply any self tanner before hitting the store. It was a miracle that I actually had a few free moments to be reading this article, much less time to create a fake tan.

I might have been a little crazy for trying to shop for a swim suit the night before the big event. I might have been every crazier for thinking it would be totally fine for me to take the baby to the store with me (close to dinnertime, nonetheless), but my husband was at work and I had no choice but to cart the kid along.

While my son is typically well-behaved in public, there’s definitely a time limit involved. His attention span is pretty short and when we’re out shopping, I’d say he’s comparable to a ticking time bomb set for 45 minutes. My son decided for the very first time that he was going to refuse to sit in his stroller while I shopped. After a mini-tantrum in the parking lot, I gave in and let him walk. He’s old enough, now. He will listen to me in the store. He won’t run or grab things off the rack, right?

We walked up to the swimsuit section and immediately, my son started hoarding hangers, which I was totally fine with as long as he wasn’t trashing the place. I picked up three or four bikinis in every size possible, since my boobs and my ass have both changed size and shape at least eight times since pregnancy. Grey was holding a lime green, polka dotted, extra large bikini bottom that he refused to give up, so we brought that to the fitting room, too.

I began trying on a variety of suits as quickly as possible while my son snacked on some goldfish crackers that I had been hiding in my purse. Snacks always add a few extra minutes of time to that ticking bomb. The first suit I tried on was strapless. At this point, Grey started kicking the door to the fitting room out of boredom. I picked him up to calm him down and immediately the top of the suit began to slide. I realized that strapless might not be practical as a parent. Apparently, having the kid in the dressing room was (sort of) helpful after all.

The next suit I tried on was a one-piece. One piece bathing suits are coming back into style (thank God for mothers), so I thought I’d give it a shot. The great thing about a bikini is that you can choose two different sizes. Unfortunately, a one piece suit is only one size, leaving my butt squeezed into the bottom and my breasts hanging out of the oversized top.

After wrestling my ass out of the ill fitting one piece, I almost started to consider the extra large lime green, polka dot bottoms that Grey was still carrying around.

Low and behold, the last suit I put on fit flawlessly. It was like the top was made for post-breastfeeding boobs and the bottom was perfectly crafted for the post-baby butt. It was a black halter, simple and classy, just my style. For a split-second, I ignored the green cast from the lighting, the cellulite imperfections, and the fact that Grey was bouncing off the fitting room walls and I actually felt good about the way I looked.

All in all, it wasn’t a totally terrible trip. I got a new suit and a few cute cover-ups, too (although I almost had to buy that damn green, polka dot bikini just to avoid a major tantrum at the register). However, next summer, I think I will plan a solo trip to shop for suits. Oh yeah, and I’ll make sure to stock up on some self-tanner, too.

Check out the article I read, “The Best Swimsuit for Your Shape” at http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/beauty-style/best-swimsuit-your-body-type

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Wordless Wednesday

Child Development 101: Kids like to lick things.

Child Development 101: Kids like to lick things.

Toddler WrestleMania Time

This is Chris Masters applying a standing side headlock in 2005. I use a similar move during bath time wrestling to force the toddler into washing his hair.  Photo via www.wikipedia.org

This is Chris Masters applying a standing side headlock in 2005. I use a similar move during bath time wrestling to force the toddler into washing his hair.
Photo via www.wikipedia.org

Every parent has that particular time of the day when things start to get a little hairy around the house. It typically occurs in the late afternoon, somewhere around dinner time, when the kids are on the verge of a complete coup d’état due to hunger, exhaustion, and boredom.

At my house, the toddler takeover starts to transpire around 4:30PM. As if I haven’t spent enough time entertaining my child all day, he gets pretty pissed when I start showing some attention to chores that don’t involve him, like cooking dinner. He’s learned that swinging from the cupboards, pulling on my pant legs, and throwing himself around on the linoleum are usually good ways to distract me from cooking. As soon as I see him pulling out some of these moves, it’s go time. Toddler WrestleMania Time has officially arrived.

Unfortunately, I have to start the event off as a singles competitor since my husband doesn’t get home until about 6:00PM. I typically call him at least twice during his commute from work to find out exactly when my tag team partner will be walking in that door. I’m usually somewhere between running back and forth from the playroom to the kitchen, trying to wrangle the kid and watch the pasta without killing anyone. The minute he arrives, I tag myself out of that shit and head to the kitchen to finish cooking in peace.

Dinner time is a constant back and forth – I take a few bites while daddy feeds/entertains and then we switch. It’s like a little Wrestlemania meal time marathon. Usually, we distract the kid with dessert so we can take a quick break to say hello and catch our breath. But before you know it, he’s devoured his cookies and he’s ready to get back in the ring.

Daddy usually takes on bath time while I clean up dinner and wash the overpowering pile of dishes. The winner of the bath time wrestling match can really go either way. It depends on whether or not the toddler needs his hair washed. If you can avoid getting water anywhere near his face or his head, it’s typically not a terrible time of night. However, depending on how dinner went and how much pasta sauce he smeared into his hair, we might get totally screwed. It can take a combination of some serious wrestling moves to not only get soap in his hair, but actually get it rinsed out. The final moments include getting the overtired baby into his PJs before Daddy has finally used any available energy he might have left and slaps me up for the final tag of the night.

I take on the end of the match by getting ready for bedtime battles – overnight diaper is on, bottle is prepped, humidifier is running. I’ve usually had enough of a break from the action at this point to conjure up just enough energy to tag myself back in and power through the final fight.

A wrestler can secure a pin, which ultimately ends the fight, by forcing his opponent’s shoulders flat against the mat for a few seconds. In my case, I know I’ve secured the pin when the toddler is sleeping quietly in his crib. After a long evening of brawling, I celebrate the win with a large glass of wine and some trashy TV. Then, it’s early to bed to get some rest for another round of wrestling. And remember, who needs pay-per-view when you can just stop by our house for a little daily dose of Toddler WrestleMania?

 

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