Sunday, February 12, 2017

How supplementing with formula saved my mom sanity

I'm no stranger to fussy babies. My two girls were both colicky, gassy, and overall pretty unhappy babies until they eventually grew out of it around six months of age. Of course, there were tricks to soothing them, like baby wearing, swaddling, burping, and letting them sleep in a swing, but it was still a pretty unpleasant experience for the entire family when one of our babies went through the colicky newborn stage. I didn't realize it could get worse.

Baby number four took fussiness to a whole new level. From the second night at home, I knew he was going to be an extremely difficult baby boy. I couldn't even sleep in the same room as him because he was so loud- constantly grunting, squirming, crying, and waking to snack all night and all day. The grunting...oh the grunting! Josiah was and still is the gassiest baby I've ever been around, so his loud grunts would drive me insane. It would wake me up at night from the other room. He needed to be burped so frequently and forcefully or he'd wail in agony from trapped gas in his tummy. He was a snacker, only wanting to nurse for a few minutes and then wake up after an hour or two around the clock with no regard for whether it was day or night. It was maddening!

After months of constant crying and fussing, the extreme fatigue was wearing on me. My stress level was through the roof and my milk supply was dwindling. I had a bit of postpartum anxiety going on too and I'm sure my raging hormones weren't helping the situation either. After weeks of trying everything I could to increase my milk supply, I realized that I was going to need to supplement my breast milk with some formula too. Luckily for Josiah, I knew which one I was going to use: GERBER® Good Start® Soothe.

GERBER® Good Start® Soothe Infant Formula contains L. reuteri, a probiotic that is naturally found in breast milk, and is specially designed to ease excessive crying, colic, and fussiness while providing complete nutrition. 

GERBER® Soothe Probiotic Colic Drops also contain L. reuteri. Research indicates that the type of bacteria in an infant's intestine may determine whether a child is colicky, and probiotics can support a balance of good bacteria in their digestive tract. While it's not intended to cure or treat any disease, it has been clinically shown to reduce crying time in colicky breastfed infants! I received a free sample of GERBER® Soothe probiotic Colic Drops from Gerber. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fast forward one month and we are now inching closer and closer to Josiah being six months old (which is crazy!), and he's getting out of that difficult "newborn" stage. He's a much happier baby now that he's grown out of the colic and his digestive system is a little more mature (though he is still pretty gassy- I guess he's just a stinker). I'm still supplementing my milk with GERBER® Good Start® Soothe and I couldn't be happier with my decision. I mean, look at those chubby cheeks! We're all much happier and we're finally sleeping (a little) at night now too. 

Have you had a colicky baby before? What's your formula for happiness? Just know that you are not alone and that there is hope out there. Consider a probiotic like GERBER® Soothe Probiotic Colic Drops or GERBER® Good Start® Soothe Infant Formula. Gerber also has some great experts available (registered dietitians, certified lactation consultants, and certified baby sleep consultants) to answer any of your questions! You can find out more about excessive crying, colic, and fussiness here.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Beauty and the Beast 2017 collection from Gelish MINI & Morgan Taylor

Hey dolls! I haven't started a blog post like that in a while, but I couldn't resist because I am so flippin' excited about what I'm about to show you. How many of you ladies out there are excited for the new live-action Beauty and the Beast movie? The one with Emma Watson as Belle? (ahhhhh she's perfect! I just love her!) I've been dying to see it since it was first announced like two years ago because I've got a soon-to-be 9-year-old daughter who used to be (and kind of still is) a huge Disney Princess fan. What a sweet little movie date it's going to make for her and

In correlation with the new movie, Gelish MINI and Morgan Taylor are launching their enchanting spring Beauty and the Beast 2017 collection, and it's absolutely stunning! This is so exciting because whether you're a gel polish fan or if you tend to stick to regular nail polish you can still rock this lovely collection. Everyone knows I'm obsessed with gel polish and I knew Gelish MINI wouldn't let me down. Remember the spring 2015 collection for the live-action Cinderella movie? Those were gorgeous. So when the lovely people at Gelish MINI and Morgan Taylor sent me a little box full of goodies I did a little happy dance! Look at these beauties. 

Romance lights the way...

This collection is filled with dreamy shades in red pears and pink and baby blue cremes. Whimsical is a good way to describe it...anyone who wears these will feel like the Belle of the ball. The CEO and Founder of Gelish and Morgan Taylor says "It's extremely wonderful to collaborate with Disney again and create this collection for the movie. We wanted to be honorable guests of this beloved and classic story by developing colors that reflect the beauty that comes from within."

Let's take a closer peek at these swoon-worthy shades, shall we? 

From left to right, adorn yourself in these enchanted shades:
  • The Last Petal- Red Pearl
  • Be Our Guest- Pink Creme
  • Plumette With Excitement- Pale Pink Creme
  • Days In The Sun- Yellow
  • Gaston And On And On- Baby Blue Creme
  • Potts Of Tea- Alabaster
  • Enchanted Patina- Specialty Patina Overlay (Morgan Taylor exclusive only) 

I have to say that when I started swatching these colors on the nail sticks, I may have squealed with joy just a little bit. I thought they looked pretty in the bottles, but that didn't really do them justice. I used the Gelish MINI gel polish to do my swatching and I was quite pleased with the consistency and coverage they provided. Sometimes the lighter gel colors tend to be a little opaque and streaky but that wasn't the case with these at all. Days In The Sun (yellow) and Potts of Tea (alabaster) were probably my two favorites because of their iridescent, pearly hues, but both of them required an extra two coats to give really good coverage and not look see-through. This wasn't a huge deal to me because they are simply gorgeous- Days In The Sun reminded me of Belle's golden yellow ballgown she wore in the movie, and Potts Of Tea perfectly matched the color of Mrs. Potts! You just have to see this collection in person. It's stunning!

I can't wait to actually try this collection on my own nails! I seriously just did my nails the day before these beauties made their way to my house, so I haven't had a chance to actually try them on yet. I can't even decide which one I'd wear first. When I make a decision I'll be sure to share some pictures with you all. Make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook (I post a lot of sneak peeks and behind the scenes stuff, so I know some of you already caught my live unboxing I shared on my Instagram story last week!)

I'm hoping to do a full review with more swatches of all the colors later to come here on the blog, and I may or may not be planning a fun little check back for that.

The Beauty and the Beast 2017 collection from Gelish MINI and Morgan Taylor will be available for a limited time beginning February 2017. Gelish will be available for $12.99 at Sally Beauty. Morgan Taylor will be available for $9.00 at

Don't forget, if you need some gel nail tutorials I've got you covered! Check out my gel nail series for some of the best, most detailed, picture heavy tutorials out there.

I was given these products free of charge from Gelish MINI and Morgan Taylor for reviewing purposes. All opinions are, as always, my own.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Winter Adventures

Jumping off of my last post, today I'm talking about more winter fun. I don't know about anyone else, but I struggle with the word "fun" in the winter because it's always cold, wet, and dreary. It's so hard to find the fun in that, besides Christmas, and sometimes we have to get really creative when it comes to entertaining ourselves when you're snowed in or when it's too crummy out to do anything. Add a bunch of kids to the mix and you've got a recipe for disaster, so my older kids and I sat down and put our heads together and made a list of fun, free, or really cheap things we could do to fight winter boredom.

Hit up your local library. My kids and I love going to the library, and not just for books. They get to browse magazines, check out DVDs, and play educational computer games. We also like to take a peek at the library's schedule for free community events. We've gone to magic shows, carnival nights, and a mini reptile exhibit at our local library and it was all free for any kids and parents who wanted to attend. If you have preschoolers or toddlers you should see if your location does a weekly or bi-weekly storytime. I took my two oldest to storytime almost every week when they were little and they loved it! They'd also sing songs and play little games and get the kids to participate and interact with each other. The library has so many great free services so be sure to look at their schedule (you can usually find it on their website too). 

Visit a children's museum. Another favorite of ours. Years ago, we invested in a pass to our local children's museum and it was money well spent when you considered how often we went. You can also purchase day passes for fairly cheap, and if you've never been, you should ask about a free day pass for first-time guests to check it out. Some places offer that!

Go to a matinee. Or see what's playing at a nearby discount theater. Sometimes they play some really cool older movies, and the snacks are generally cheaper too.

Visit your local YMCA. Check out their schedule for free or really cheap events, family movies nights, open swim, game nights, etc that are open to the community, not just Y members. You can also get free day passes if you take a tour and inquire about a membership. We did that and swam in the pool and did the rock climbing wall before deciding to become members (they offer discounts for military families and there is a sliding scale option for memberships based on your family size and income, so ask!)

Get outside. Build a snowman, grab some Tupperware and make an igloo, go sledding, or play on the playground with your snow pants on! A lot of kids get super bored and really antsy being cooped up inside and not being able to burn off the energy their little bodies need to expel. Bundle up and get outside. Make sure to bring a snack and a drink to stay hydrated!

My kids love Fruit Shoot, which has teamed up with Pizza Hut for a great cause- children's literacy. Right now, every Fruit Shoot purchase at Pizza Hut will support the First Book literacy program and help get more books into the hands of children. So make one of your winter adventures a trip to Pizza Hut and help support this great program! You can also find out which of your local grocers carries Fruit Shoot by going here

What are your favorite fun winter adventures? We need some more ideas because this snow is just not letting up anytime soon! 

A big thank you to Fruit Shoot brand for sponsoring this post! And thank you to all of my readers for supporting the partners that make this little blog possible.


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