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Spread the love with Huggies #UltraHug contest

Wednesday, April 29, 2015



As a parent, I tend to take things for granted. You've probably heard me (or seen me write about) minor motherhood annoyances and common parenting woes, such as a lack of sleep, teething babies, temper tantrums, and so on. In the moment, these little things always seem huge. My baby didn't sleep through the night last night! My life is so rough!

In reality these are problems that people all over the world would kill to have. I know that I'm lucky because I've never had to deal with a major illness when it comes to my children. Meanwhile, there are millions of children that are hospitalized with life threatening illnesses and who's parents wish that they only had to deal with a cranky, teething baby. So when I heard that Huggies was giving away $2,000 grants to 10 people for the community project or charity of their choosing simply by uploading a selfie, I was totally on board! I could think of no better place to donate the money to than my local Ronald McDonald House Charity.

The RMHC provides a "home away from home" for out-of-town families with children accessing medical care. These families may have to travel very far away from home to seek the best medical care for their little ones, and when that happens, where do they stay? What do they do? They can't just live at the hospital. This is a huge burden for a lot of families, and it's such a hard thing to have to deal with on top of having a sick child and all of the scary emotions that go along with that. My local RMHC has a room inside of our specialized children's hospital that is a free place for families to rest and regroup right at the hospital while their child is being treated. They also have a mobile clinic on wheels that offers basic medical and dental care to thousands of children in my state. If I were to win a $2,000 grant from Huggies I would donate it to the RMHC in my city to help these families in their time of need. No one should have to worry about these added stresses while their sick child is in the hospital!

So how does the #UltraHug contest work? 

From April 20th until June 25th, Huggies will be accepting all selfies of you and your baby with the hashtag #UltraHug, and featuring them in a collage on the campaign landing page. On July 6th, voting will begin to narrow down the 20 finalists to 10 winners who will win a $2,000 grant from Huggies for their nominated community initiative.

How to Enter the #UltraHug Selfie Contest

• First, take a selfie of you and your baby and upload that selfie to Twitter or Instagram. Make sure to use the hashtag #UltraHug
• In your same post, make sure to include a text nomination (approximately 100 – 120 characters) including a name and/or identifying description of a community project in the US, which you would like to nominate. Make sure the community project is something near and dear to your heart.


While you're getting all of the details on the #UltraHug contest, make sure to also check out the new Huggies Snug & Dry diapers. They have a conforming, gap-free fit to keep your active baby dry throughout the day and night. The trusted Leak Lock system has quick-absorbing layers for up to 12 hours of protection.

I'm challenging all of my mom friends out there to upload your own baby & me selfie on Twitter or Instagram! It's too easy not to, and if you win you have a chance to do something really amazing with the money. I would be absolutely thrilled to give the RMHC $2,000 from Huggies on my behalf. It would help so many families in need!

Don't forget to use the hashtag #UltraHug when posting your selfie! I can't wait to see all of those beautiful faces online.

What community project would you nominate?

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New beauty goodies for Mama & happy 9 months

Friday, April 24, 2015

Three quarters of a year. That's 9 months, and my sweet Harper will be celebrating her first birthday 3 months from now. It's crazy how quickly these 9 months have flown by because the 9 months of pregnancy sure lagged at times. Maybe because time always seems to creep by slower when you're really anxious or excited about something, like say, meeting your new baby. Then after baby arrives you want time to slow down so you can savor those precious newborn moments, but instead time steps it up into overtime and starts to fly by. Screw you, time. 

My teeny baby is now this massive thing. She's still not crawling...yet, but she does go from sitting to getting on all fours and looks like she really wants to move. She's also trying to pull herself up on everything, but hasn't quite mastered standing independently.  Her big brother and sister love that she "plays" now and they love entertaining her and making her laugh. 

We're still going strong with breastfeeding, though she's nursing less and less nowadays. Some of her favorite foods are blueberries, bananas, tomatoes, broccoli, whole wheat pasta spirals, & string cheese (cubed). She may only have 3 teeth but that doesn't stop her from eating all of these big girl foods!


Check out Miss Attitude not liking her adorable sun hat. Don't let her cuteness fool you. She knows how to throw a big fit and get her way. Don't you just want to nibble on those chub rolls?


In other news, I made a few beauty purchases I wanted to share with you all. After years of longing and lusting (and asking for everyone's input on social media) I finally took the plunge and splurged on a Clarisonic! After a lot of back and forth I decided to go with the Clarisonic Mia 1{affiliate link} and it's even more beautiful in person than I was expecting. The brush head is also much softer than I anticipated, and the first time using it was Ahhh-mazing! My skin felt so smooth and clean afterwards- it was so refreshing! I don't have breakouts anymore (thanks to my ACV toner), but I do suffer from blackheads, clogged pores, and flaky patches. I'm also getting those awesome little telltale fine lines & wrinkles, so exfoliating with a device like the Clarisonic is supposed to be great for cell turnover and helps with those pesky lines and wrinkles. I'm so excited to be adding this to my skincare regimen and I'll be sure to update later with some before and after pictures. 


Next up was new organization for my makeup. I seriously have so much makeup, it's ridiculous. I have my regular, every-day stuff that I wear most of the time, and then my linen closet is packed with old makeup bags and trunks stuffed with all kinds of fun products for different occasions. My bathroom doesn't have a lot of storage (just a basic sink with a vanity) so my makeup is usually everywhere. It's a nightmare when my husband is in there trying to get ready for work, and then I worry about things getting knocked onto the floor or in the sink (ever cried over a broken, shattered eye shadow or blush? I have!) After looking all over the interwebs for the best makeup organization and storage solution and after sifting through a lot of reviews, I finally decided on this one: Ohuhu® Acrylic Transparent 3 Drawers Storage Box/Makeup Organizer from Amazon. {affiliate link}


After unboxing it I couldn't wait to fill it with my hoards of makeup goodies. It was even more glorious in person than it looked on the computer screen. Some people complained in the reviews that theirs arrived chipped or cracked so I was a little worried at first, but mine was absolutely flawless and looked to be the perfect size for my collection. 


I'm so happy I bought this organizer! Like I said, I have a lot more makeup than just this, but it fits my every day stuff just perfectly. No more digging through bags or trying to find that one lip gloss or eyeshadow color. Everything has a place and all is right in the world. If you're looking for a great organizer for your bathroom or vanity this is a great option! Now I might just need another one for my skincare collection.

How do you store your cosmetics and skincare?
Please share your organizing tips!


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Creating a fun Instagram canvas & prints {CanvasPop giveaway + promo!}

Friday, April 17, 2015

Please tell me I'm not the only one out there with almost 2,000 pictures hogging up all the darn memory on my phone. Did I mention they were just from the last year? Yeah, I know. I'm totally that annoying mom who posts way too many pictures of my kids on Facebook and Instagram. It's just so easy, especially with Instagram's lovely filters (a selfie's best friend). Sometimes I'll take the cutest picture though and think it should go in a frame or up on my gallery wall, rather than just stuck online in my online albums. Really, how often do you actually do something with the pictures you take? For me, not often enough, so when I was contacted by CanvasPop to do a product review I jumped at the chance.


I knew right away that I wanted to do some kind of collage or mosaic because like I said, I have a lot of pictures and choosing just one proved much too difficult. Uploading my pictures on CanvasPop was easy because I was able to like my Instagram (or Facebook) account in just a click (since I was already logged in on my computer).


I started off with a few of my favorite fun shots of the kids. A few turned into over 50 and I finally had to cut myself off and whittle it down to 36. I knew my canvas was going to be 20x20 inches and the pictures wouldn't be too small  on a canvas that size. I ended up doing a mosaic so the order of the pictures was completely random. That was probably the best choice for me because I probably would have spent way too much time second guessing how I had them all placed. This way was totally easy and from start to finish my canvas project took only mere minutes to create. I'm all about quick and easy projects these days! I can't be taking up an entire nap time just to complete one task, so this was perfect for me.

My CanvasPop mosaic arrived so quickly- I was surprised! I had a big box sitting on my porch within a week of placing my order. Very impressive for a custom order. My canvas was packed up safely and it was beautiful!


I have to admit- I was super impressed with the quality of CanvasPop's canvas print. I had a canvas done a while back from a big chain retailer (who shall remain nameless) and I was a little disappointed. I had even used a very large, exceptional quality, professional photo for that canvas (I'm talking over 5,000 pixels) and it still looked blurry to me. A lot of the details were lost when viewed up close, and it seemed cheap looking to me.

My family oohed and ahhed over the CanvasPop canvas for while right after I unboxed it. There are so many fun memories on it! That's what I love- these are not staged, dressed up pictures I captured. They are fun, spontaneous, day-to-day pictures I snapped quickly on my phone or iPod, so they really capture the real moments from our lives. There's the first picture I ever snapped of Harper in the hospital, Lily playing in the snow, Ayden outside walking around being Batman, all four cousins together on Christmas, Lily feeding Harper her first bottle, a very pregnant me & the kids at a birthday party, daddy with all the kids at the park while on a road trip, etc. Even our big fat cat Muffin is in a few of the pictures, which made the kids giggle like crazy. She's a part of our crazy family too.

As for the quality of this one- it's really nice, very sturdy, and looks stunning. You can really tell that this was handmade (see the sticker?) CanvasPop thought of everything, and even provided all of the hardware to hang it- including a nail. Seriously awesome!


I found the perfect spot for our new CanvasPop mosaic on the fireplace mantle.


I love CanvasPop! It was so easy to create my custom mosaic canvas, and I can't wait to get some prints made to add to my gallery wall I'm working on. CanvasPop has the best quality canvas printing and framed prints, unbeatable customer service, free digital proofs, and their 100% "love it" guarantee for life. Need some inspiration before you create your canvas? They have a great Idea & Inspiration Gallery you can check out on their website. It's full of real photos from real customers and some of these rooms are just gorgeous. I'm definitely going to browse around in there before I make my next CanvasPop creation!

OK, I know you all are dying to get your hands on a gorgeous canvas of your very own, and I have some great news! From now until June 30th you can use the promo code LULUSWEETPEA35 to get 35% off your CanvasPop order! (US & Canada only). Use it, share it, and pass it around to your friends and family because that is a killer deal.

Here's some more good news. One lucky person is going to win a FREE 16x20 canvas print with a .75 inch frame, courtesy of the lovely people at CanvasPop! You can enter the giveaway on the Rafflecopter widget below. Only the first entry is mandatory, and then more bonus entries will become available upon completing the first one. 

This giveaway is open to US & Canada only.
Winners will be selected randomly via Rafflecopter.
Giveaway is open until April 27, 2015.
Please refer to the terms and conditions.
Void where prohibited.
Don't see the widget? Try refreshing the page.
Good luck!

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I was given a free canvas print in return for my honest review. All opinions are, as always, my own. Thank you to CanvasPop for sponsoring this giveaway!

Get Spring Clean with PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PurellWipes #CollectiveBias
Ahhh, children. I love all three of mine. They are the apples of my eye, my pride and joy, and my favorite little humans in the world. But they are also some of the messiest people I know. Between school germs, playing outside, eating, fingers in the nose, and frequent trips to the bathroom (which probably didn't include hand washing), my kids are basically walking, talking, sticky, germ-covered, grubby little creatures. Sometimes hand washing isn't even an option when we're running around to the playground or in the car. Let's face it, baby wipes and hand sanitizer can only do so much. Thankfully, these new PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes have my family covered for those times when we need to sanitize our hands and clean our faces.


Trying to keep germs and dirt away from these chubby hands is hard.

PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes are awesome! They are a totally new product from my family's favorite brand of hand sanitizer, all in a super convenient little canister. I found them at my local Walmart in the household cleaning aisle (not where the hand sanitizers are). PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes are available in two sizes- either the 70 count Clean Refreshing Scent or the 35 count Fragrance Free canister. I opted for one of each since I have a lot of little mess makers. The fragrance free option is perfect for my girls' sensitive skin. I love that PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes are safe to use on both the hands and face and are perfect for use at home, work, in the car, or on the go.


My kids and I love playing outside in the spring when the weather permits. Our favorite thing is to spread out a blanket on the front lawn and get out the bikes, scooters, sidewalk chalk, and yard toys. The kids will be crawling all over the ground drawing stop signs and arrows along the sidewalk and driveway after they dig their bikes, scooters, and helmets out of the shed. There's not much shade in the front so they usually turn into sweaty messes and then beg me for drinks and a snack. I usually make them come inside to wash up, but sometimes I forget. Either way, the little picnic is interrupted at some point for more tree climbing, digging in the dirt, and picking flowers. Kids are so easily distracted! So much for clean hands to eat with.

PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes are proven to reduce the transmission of germs in households. They are specifically formulated to remove soils and kill illness-causing germs on hands while still maintaining the skin's condition. This is big for me because I don't want to use anything too harsh on these cute little hands and faces! Plus, sometimes your hands are not going to come clean with just some regular hand sanitizer or a baby wipe. PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes knock out the grimy dirt and germs at the same time.




I've got PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes stashed in my diaper bag and in the car now at all times to keep my family clean and germ free. It's part of after school routine now- get in the car, grab a wipe,, and sanitize your hands before you touch anything! (including the baby). PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes help keep the school germs at bay.

Be sure to head over and grab this $1.00 off coupon to try out these awesome wipes yourself! PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes really are the perfect way to get spring clean.

What mess would you clean up with these wipes?

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Melissa Swenson and Lulu & Sweet Pea