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The Ultimate Breastfeeding Gear Guide

I am grateful that I was able to have a breastfeeding relationship with both my children. I nursed Max until he was 8 months old and I’m still nursing Alexa at almost a year. Throughout that period, I’ve used a lot of different gear and equipment for nursing. This is my compilation of all the things that I’ve ever needed.

the-ultimate-breastfeeding-gear-guide

1. Vitamin D drops – Most pediatricians recommend that you administer vitamin D drops to your baby if you are breastfeeding. They usually recommend Enfamil D Vi Sol. Stay away from that crap. Use pure vitamin D drops instead. (You can read my review comparing the different brands here.)

2. Lanolin cream – If you are like 99.9% of the breastfeeding population, when you first start breastfeeding, it will feel like “someone” took the coarsest piece of sandpaper he/she could find and viciously went to work on your nipples. And by “someone,” I do mean your angelic, darling, newborn baby. You will need lanolin cream (a.k.a. wool grease).

3. Breastfeeding bra – For the first few weeks, when you are stuck at home, and basically breastfeeding 24/7, don’t bother wearing anything at all. However, once you are required to face humanity again, you’ll need a good breastfeeding bra. If at all possible, stay away from underwire when breastfeeding. The last thing you want is plugged ducts.

4. Nursing pads – Some women leaks and other don’t. You won’t know until you start breastfeeding the extent to which you might leak. But if you do leak a lot, you can’t go without nursing pads.

5. Breastfeeding top – You need to wear tops that allow easy access to the goods. You can buy tanks like these that are designed for that purpose. I bought a few when I was pregnant with Max. But, the second time around, I just wore a lot of low cut tanks.

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Lessons from Daniel the Tiger

lessons-from-daniel-the-tiger

As any parent with more than one kid knows, sharing can be a big issue among siblings.

Max is fickle when it comes to sharing with Alexa. Some days he’s great, other days not so much.

Well, the other day, we were watching an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood about Daniel the Tiger having issues sharing with his baby sister, Margaret. Dad Tiger comes over and explains to Daniel that he should try sharing with his sister because they might have more fun by playing together. Dad Tiger explains it by singing, “Sharing with you is fun for me too.

I thought it was the perfect jingle to remind Max to share with his sister. So I had everyone sing it a few times.

I secretly patted myself on the back for being an awesome mom at teaching life lessons.

A few hours later, we all went out to the supermarket. I bought myself a box of chocolate Belvitas for breakfast. Max must have been eyeing it the entire way because, the second we arrived home, he grabbed the box and demanded to have some.

I told him absolutely not! It was close to his dinner time and I never planned on giving him any of my Belvitas in the first place.

So Max comes up to me and puts a hand on my shoulder (I’m squatting down to put away the groceries). He looks at me all wide-eyed and with a very earnest expression on his face. I have no idea what’s about to hit me. Then he opens his mouth and starts to sing, “Sharing with you is fun for me too. Sharing with you is fun for me too. Sharing with you is fun for me too.”

Let’s just say, he got the Belvitas.

Sprouting Threads Review – 2016 Fall Edition

sprouting-threads-review-boxed

What it is:

Sprouting Threads is a high-end, subscription-based styling service for children ages 2-12. It is geared towards professional parents who value the convenience of aided shopping and clothing variety.

When you sign up, you fill out an in-depth questionnaire about your child’s size and style preferences. You will also rate several different outfits in four style categories. Based on your selections, the stylist will send 2-5 outfits for your child to try out.

Sprouting Threads source their clothing from approximately 60 high-end boutique kids’ clothing lines such as Tea Collection, Janie and Jack, Mini Boden, Nono, and Kickee Pants.

How it works:

With every box, you can choose to receive only new pieces or a mix of new outfits and “reThreaded” outfits. If you choose reThreaded items, there is a wider variety of clothing brands to choose from at a lower price point.

After you receive the package, you have 5 business days to decide whether you want to keep or return the clothes. Once you decide, all you have to do is log onto your account to select and pay for the items you want to keep. You can also fill out a short questionnaire for each article of clothing so that the stylist can make better styling decisions for your next box. The last thing you have to do is to put the clothes you want to return in the included envelope with a prepaid label and ship it out. Done!

However, my favorite part about Sprouting Threads’ subscription service is the reThread program.

As we all know, kids go through clothes crazy fast! With the reThread program, once your child has outgrown an article of clothing, you can send back any piece – whether purchased from Sprouting Threads or not – that falls under the approved brands for free.

If the clothes are in good condition (soil free, no stains, tears or noticeable wear) you will receive credit on your account for approximately 20-30% of the original purchase price (that’s around $5-$20 per piece)!

I don’t know about you but I have donated or given away a ton of Max’s clothes that are still in great condition. Being able to recover some of the cost is ahhhmazing!

Finally, Sprouting Threads has a referral program for all members. Once you sign up, you will receive your own unique referral link to send to family and friends. If you use any of my referral links, both you and I will receive a $25 Sprouting Threads credit!

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How to Make Money Blogging – Part 1: Create a Killer Website

How to Make Money Blogging - (even without tons of traffic) - A step-by-step guide for beginners - no computer skills required
I have been blogging for almost two years now. In that time, my “mom blog” has grown to the point where it is earning at least four figures each month. (You can read my latest traffic and income report here.)

As you can see, my blog is making a decent amount of money despite not having a ton of traffic. Most bloggers who publish similar income reports have significantly more page views.

Learn how I quintupled my income in 6 months to 3K/month without even doubling my traffic!

But before I can begin talking about how I monetized my blog, I have to start at the basics.

I plan to post a several part series – for beginners – sharing exactly how I started my income-producing blog from scratch with limited computer knowledge and zero design experience. (This will be very mommy product review blog focused since it’s my area of expertise. Nonetheless, most of my tips can apply to any type of blog you want to create.)

This first part here is about how to set up a good foundation in which you can grow your traffic and income.

Before I begin, know that growing this blog has been an intense labor of love.

It requires an immense amount of time, effort, and patience. I can’t stress enough how much time you will need to put into a blog so that you can actually make money. Blogging is one of those things where you should only do it if you love to write and can write about something you love. Otherwise, it’s truly not worth the effort.

When I was starting off, I benefited greatly from other bloggers who wrote this exact type of post. I figured I would do my own version where I share my personal strategies and experiences to help others – including some of my mistakes!

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Blog Income & Traffic Report – August 2016

Mommy to Max - Blog Income & Traffic Report - August 2016

I published my last blog income & traffic report exactly half a year ago. I mentioned that these reports were not going to be a regular feature on my blog but I do think it’s worth updating at certain intervals.

Up until recently, I did not consider myself a “real” blogger. Some of it probably stems from my own insecurities: I know there are a lot of bloggers out there that write better than me, design better than me, and take better pictures than me. But, my blog has reached a point where I can no longer deny that, yes, I am a blogger.

Blog traffic and income has its ebbs and flows. What I have found, though, is that the blogging world is a true meritocracy. In the past 6 months, I have put in a lot more effort into growing my blog and I can definitely see the results.

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