Quick Tip Tuesday: Keep it real

My tip this (almost) Thursday… is to keep it real.  Weird right?  This isn’t really a tip is it?  Well, I’m not really in the mood for a tip.  Lately, I’ve been tired.  I’ve been really beaten down by life and things have just been hard.  I sat around tonight wondering what my tip could be this week and all I could really think about is how I’m feeling right now.  Specifically, how there is no tip that anyone can give me to make things easier necessarily.  So… I decided to just come to the blog with how I feel.  So… my tip is keeping it real.

If I’m being very real… rather than post a tip, I wanted to come here and tell you guys that I’m extra exhausted right now but I can’t do anything but obsessively clean my house.  (Wow! What a work in progress that is… I could work for a year and not be done most likely)  All I can think about is how I want to organize things or what needs to be cleaned next.  I don’t know why …but its the only thing I feel like I have control of at the moment.  I’m also sad for my husband… who is sad, obviously.  I’m sad when my son realizes each day that granddaddy is indeed still in heaven.  I’m stressed beyond belief… and I’m having trouble managing it.

Tonight, I texted my doctor to tell her that I couldn’t remember if I’d taken my medication, and feared I may have taken it twice.  Though I knew this would not be a problem, I compulsively had to text her.  And call the pharmacist.  And my mom.  And my husband.  This panic and paranoia landed me a 9 am trip to her office tomorrow morning.  When things feel out of control I start to spin out of control.  It is my reality.  I have dealt with it for many, many years.  Thankfully, I have amazing healthcare providers that can see it and know when to step in and check on things.

Overall, I think we’re doing a pretty damn good job of handling the absolute insanity that has come our way this year.  My kids are happy.  I get out of bed every morning.  We sometimes make it to story time.  We drive around… we talk, we play and we laugh.  So, even though I have very hard moments, I’m still happy and I’m still blessed.  And I’m not just writing that so that this happy mommy blog post has a happy little ending.  I mean it.  I’m lucky to have my kids, my husband, our home and so much love.

Maybe next week I’ll come at you with a new tip… a real one.  But for now, this is all I’ve got.  <3.

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Quick Tip Tuesday: Video baby monitor


When I got pregnant with my first child I wouldn’t accept anything less than a video baby monitor! I know, I know… many people have been fine with audio monitors but I felt it necessary to have a video monitor.  Funds were tight… so I got a a Levana monitor from Groupon.  It worked pretty well for a while.  Eventually, we moved on to a Samsung.  The Samsung was okay but eventually quick working.  Finally, when pregnant with my second, my mother-in-law gifted me with a Motorola Video Baby Monitor with 2 Cameras.

The Motorola was my favorite camera of the ones I tried, but eventually it stopped rotating.  Being able to control the camera was one of my favorite features so this bummed me out!  Then, the cord broke.  I got a new one from ebay, but that one broke too.  I couldn’t find another, so I looked for a cheaper option.

My husband went to Amazon and found this gem!  Wansview Camera

It is $32.99!  Yes, you read that right- it has all the features of these other cameras (more than some) and it is $32.99! win!  So I was skeptical at first… but we got the camera, set it up and it works perfectly!

You set it up, download an app on your phone and there you go.  Your sleeping babies are right there in view.  You can listen in on them, talk to them, change the clarity of the image, etc.  It is amazing, especially for 32 dollars!  I *WISH* I’d had this from the start.  I wouldn’t have wasted hundreds on the other monitors.

Check it out 🙂  And if you have any other items you’ve saved a ton of money on share in the comments! I would love to hear about them.  <3.

Quick Tip Tuesday: Target Red Perks & Cartwheel


I am addicted to Target.  There, I said it.  Admitting it is the first step right? hahaha.  My first job was at Target, so this has been a long obsession.  As for me, I didn’t need any reason to go there more often… but good o’l Target is always looking out for me and they developed a few really good reasons to shop there… for everything.

1- Red perks.
2- Cartwheel.

So if you’re a Target regular you may already know about these sweet treats… but if you’re only there every now and then, you may want to take advantage of these offers and visit more often.

My first obsession was Cartwheel.  Cartwheel is a money saving app at Target.  You get a certain number of “free spots” and you can add featured products for the week and save a certain percent off on these items when shopping.  You download the app to your phone and the cashier scans it at checkout.  Your discount is applied right there.  Now, you can even scan the items in your cart before you get to the checkout to see if anything you bought is featured on cartwheel.  I love it!  If you’re not brand specific in your purchases, it can show you similar items that are on cartwheel if your selected item isn’t featured.  I’ve had Cartwheel for a 2 years or so… and have saved over $400!  I’ll take it!

In the same app as cartwheel, is Red perks.  Previously, these were different apps but Target made it convenient by putting them together! Basically red perks is a way to earn points for every dollar spent.  10 points for every dollar.  Once you reach 5000 points you can choose from a list of freebies!  Let me tell you something about Red Perks.  I haven’t bought a package of baby wipes in months.  One of the freebies is any brand wipes up to $10.  (This used to be 20, so I was bummed when they bumped it down to $10, but hey, you can’t have it all I guess).  Anyway, I shop at Target so often that I get to the 5000 pts fairly quickly and always choose wipes!! Other examples of featured freebies are:  free pajamas, sunglasses, laundry detergent, movie/cds/books, coffee, pet item, etc.   At one point I know that this feature was only available in certain markets.  I’m not sure if this is still the case… but if so, come on Target!  Give it to everyone! Its awesome!  And if you’re listening, my store could really use a Starbucks– and a babysitter.

Okay, so …there you go.  My tip for today.  If you’re going to go to Target and spend money anyway, may as well find ways to save! Right?   Do you enjoy money saving perks at other stores?  Share your favorites in the comments!

Quick Tip Tuesday: Calm down app for kids


Today’s quick tip Tuesday is coming at you on Wednesday, again.  I’m sorry.  This week has not been what we expected.  A close family member is sick and in the hospital.  We’ve been hanging out there this week and I haven’t had much time for blogging.  I haven’t even thought about it really.  But, I’m here now and I’m excited to share this tip with you…& if you wouldn’t mind sparing a bit of time to say a prayer for our family that would be pretty amazing and greatly appreciated.

So! For the tip… it is an app download.  My son is very anxious.  He is also prone to tantrums or meltdowns.  I think he’s growing out of them, but when kids are young… it happens.  One thing I found to be really helpful is an app called “Settle Your Glitter”  Basically, it is a glitter jar… but in your phone– which is actually super convenient because sometimes you don’t have a glitter jar, but you usually always have your phone.  At least that is the case for me.

This app starts by asking how you’re feeling.  It has silly faces and choices and you can select the best description (mad, sad, silly, worried…).  My son is very responsive to this and seems to like that he can put a label on how he feels at the moment.   Once you select your feeling it asks how intense the feeling is.  (a little, very, extremely) …then you shake your phone (which is kind of awesome in itself… it puts the focus on something else and lets your child get rid of some of that built up anger and anxiety.)   You then see the “glitter” swirling around in the circle and a little character practices mindful breathing with you!  We’ve used this multiple times and it usually does the trick! 🙂

Anyone know of any other great mindfulness, calming apps for kids?  I would love to find more!  Leave suggestions in the comments– and check out the app!

Quick Tip Tuesday: Diaper Bag Dispenser 


My quick Tip Tuesday is late again 😩. In my defense …this is due to my computer issues. The fan broke on my laptop and it won’t be back until tomorrow. So… this got delayed! Doing updates from your phone is hard!  Anyway…here we go. (edit: got my husband’s work computer to complete this… mobile is too hard for me..)

My tip this Tuesday is amazing for diaper duty. Just this week…I was taking my son to a doctor’s appointment and in the 5 seconds I was dropping him off …my daughter pooped.  I had to run out to the car, change her in the front seat..and then I was left with a dirty diaper in an 80 degree car! 😩. I learned from last year…the heat of summer + poop diapers = disgusting.

My previous solution to this was to try to keep Target/Food lion/plastic shopping bags in the car so I can at least bag up the mess… but I kept forgetting to take them to the car and when I remembered, they didn’t mask the smell very well anyway.  So… I was scrolling through Amazon Prime Now recently (Bless my heart… Prime Now is going to be the end of me… or my banking account at least) and noticed the Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Bag Dispenser.  I read about it and thought I’d give it a try.  It is only $3.99 so I thought that seemed worth it.  So… details– here we go…

It has a hook so that it can clip on to anything– diaper bag, stroller, changing table, etc.  It has a roll of plastic bags that are infused with baking soda and lavender.  They smell really nice and clean!  They are large enough to fit a few dirty diapers + wipes.  (I know this because I change entirely too many poopy diapers at the same time ha)  and they tie up easily.  AND- if you forget and leave it in your car or bag for a day… (don’t judge me) your car will not smell like a dumpster.  It is amazing.  You can also get refills.  (Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Bag Refills, 72 Count)

Truthfully, I feel like a ton of “essential” mom products are ridiculous and unnecessary– and I wondered if this would be one of those products when I ordered it on a whim… but… it really is a very helpful item!  It is inexpensive, convenient, and helps me feel like I have my life together.  (That got a little heavy…)   But you know what I mean.  When you’re tired, it is hot, your car is a mess, your 1 year old pooped and is screaming while your son is running away from you in a parking lot… it is nice to have one thing in place hahaha.  Rather than throw the diaper on the floor of my car and deal with it later, I can reach for one of the bags…tie it up– and if I forget it for a moment… I won’t pay for it later ha.

So… there is my Tuesday  Wednesday Tip.  Grab you one of these dispensers and then come back and thank me in the comments 😉

Quick Tip Tuesday: One Weird thing!


Okay, so…  the tip this Tuesday is a bit weird.  Bear with me.  I discovered this very early in my mom life.  My son was 5 or 6 months and he wouldn’t stop crying.  Nothing was right, everything was wrong.  I didn’t know what else to do so I started singing a high pitched note and made up a ridiculous song using crazy voices.  He stopped crying.  He stared at me like I was absolutely insane… but he stopped crying.   I got to the point where I would try just about anything.  The crazier I looked the better.  You really can do anything.  Balance the remote on your head, pinch your cheek while trying to yodel, vogue like Madonna while blinking 400 times.  Your kid will love it.  They will look super confused but they will stop crying and usually forget why they were crying to begin with.

I know this sounds crazy, and probably not like a real tip… but I found it to work so well that I told my husband about it …I told him it was called “one weird thing.”   When I had my second child I remembered how well it worked with Jack and tried it out again… of course, it worked.  Not only does it work, but it really opens up a very playful environment for you and your child.  Sleepless nights, no showers, poopy diapers and screaming babies can really wear you down.  Sometimes you want to zone out in the little peace you can find in a day.  Doing “one weird thing” brings some quiet, some relaxation, and some fun into the moment.  It really helps you be present with your baby.  Plus, babies love weird things.  They live for funny faces and silly noises.

I cannot say for sure what sort of lasting effects this “one weird thing” has on a child hahah… All I know is my son is almost 4 and he made his first pun at 2.  So… there you have it.  Evidence.  One weird thing will calm your baby down in a crying fit and it will make them cool for years to come.

(I was not drinking wine when I wrote this// this is just my life.)  Have a good week!

Quick Tip Tuesday: Shower Crayon Learning!


Okay, it is 8 pm and I am posting my quick tip Tuesday!  Maybe I should just continue to call this Quick Tip Tuesday and actually post on Wednesday ha!  It is funny how often I go not realizing what day it is until halfway through.  I am tired haha.

Today’s tip is one I am so excited about sharing.  I discovered this over a year ago.  My son was 2, almost 3 and I wanted to start practicing words with him.  He is already so interested in how words are spelled, but he has a tough time sitting still!  It makes practicing a bit difficult.  I gifted him with Shower crayons the Christmas before and while bathing him one night decided to write a few words on the wall.  Before I knew it he was learning the words and we were adding more!! He was so excited to learn a new word each bath and I found that he was identifying them without error!

I posted a video to social media and friends were so impressed with how well he knew sight words.  He eventually was spelling a few 10 letter words!  This is something we have been able to keep up with and I am excited to share with my 1 year old in the next year or so.

Shower crayons are pretty cheap and lots of fun.  Your kids will think it is fun to draw all over the bathroom walls and they wipe off pretty easily.  I highly recommend this when you want to introduce sight words to your little one!

bathtub crayons
At just 3 years old my son was identifying every word you see here and spelling most of them!