• Subscription Boxes for Girls
    Girl Mom Reviews,  Raising Girls

    7 Subscription Boxes For Girls

    I might be a little bit addicted to subscription boxes so my girls come by it naturally. I mean, what is better than receiving a box full of goodies in the mail? Check out these seven subscription boxes for girls. They are some of mine and my girls’ faves!

    1. Girl-A-Tude

    So first of all, I love graphic t-shirts and the Girl-A-Tude subscription box comes with a new girl-power t-shirt each month. It also comes with a peer-to-peer note that is personalized for your daughter + other small gifts that go with the monthly theme.

    Some of the goodies that have landed in the Girl-A-Tude box are a sling bag, personalized koozie, personalized 100 piece puzzle, giant blow up pool noodle, sequin mermaid key chain + sunglasses.

    2. Two Pink Balloons

    Two Pink Balloons is a subscription box full of handcrafted busy bags + educational activities that provide parents with a toolkit of activities to grab for on the go to help reduce the dependency on screen time, but also provide wonderful small moments of connection between parents + children.

    I have to say that my girls LOVE felt + felt boards so this subscription box is right up their alley.

    3. Confident-Crate

    Confidence is something a lot of young girls (+ girls in general) deal with. Confident-Crate helps boost confidence in girls with its monthly subscription boxes. It is for girls age 5-12 + comes with three full-size bath + body products + three additional items to help raise confident girls.

    Some of the items included in past boxes are sugar scrubs, lip balms, bath bombs, pop culture pins, patches + socks.

    4. Mom + Me

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Mom + Me box. It is made for mothers + daughters to share together. Each box comes with 9-12 full-size items such as spa items, matching items, fun accessories or activities for mothers + daughters to do together like a journal with prompts to fill out.

    I am always looking for mother-daughter date ideas to share with my girls but sometimes I have a hard time coming up with new ideas. The Mom + Me box solves this problem.

    5. Dream Girl Box

    The Dream Girl Box is the ultimate girl empowerment subscription box for girls. It’s a quarterly box with its own theme of girl power. The themes focus on goal setting, life skills + social media for girls + parents of girls.

    The Follow Your Heart theme box included a goal setting activity, journal, “Follow Your Heart” clutch, pencil case, planner stickers + a beaded bracelet.

    6. Em and Liz

    Em and Liz is another great monthly subscription box for girls. Each month has a theme + includes items such as age-appropriate beauty products, accessories, jewelry + more based on the theme. Each box also includes two sheets of theme-based stationary to encourage creative expression.

    7. Smarty Skirts

    If your daughter is a history buff or you want her to be then the Smarty Skirts subscription box for girls is perfect! Each box features a famous woman in history. All of the items + activities are based on this sensational woman.

    Boxes include stories, games, pictures, puzzles + activates to encourage hands on learning for everything from sports to science dedicated to a different woman in history.

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  • 26 Mother-Daughter Dates Ideas
    Raising Girls

    26 Mother-Daughter Date Ideas

    Ahhhhh…the mother-daughter relationship. It can be a tricky one but it can also be a totally fulfilling one. Here are 26 mother-daughter date ideas to do together.

    #1 Put Together a Puzzle

    While I am not a huge fan of puzzles, my girls LOVE puzzles. It’s also a great activity for young girls to do. So pull out a big puzzle that you can put together together. My girls especially love the HUGE floor puzzles but a table puzzle works just as well.

    #2 Go on One-on-One Mother-Daughter Dates

    With three girls in the mix, it can be challenging to spend quality time with each of them alone. While child experts say it’s more about quality time (can be as little as 10 minutes a day) than it is about quantity, plan regular one-on-one dates with each of your daughters. Let them pick an activity that they want to do with you + you alone.

    #3 Have a Dance Party

    Put your fave jams from iTune on your SmarTV + jam! My girls love music (+ so do I). We blast songs from different genres + times, dance, sing + have fun! Dancing around the living room can also be a great workout for you + your littles.

    #4 Read a Book

    My oldest started learning to read last year so she’s still doing a lot of practice reading. Every night, we read at least one book together. I have her read me a book that is at her level. Sometimes, we read chapter books together, where I read one chapter to her each night. The other two girls often sit in or we read with them separately.

    #5 Movie Night

    We tend to do this when my husband is traveling. We make a blanket bed on the floor in the living room with tons of blankets + pillows. We pick a movie to watch together while we munch on pizza + popcorn (+ sometimes ice cream). If you’re feeling financially fit, you can also head out to the movies to see a movie on the big screen.

    #6 Go to a Concert

    We have enjoyed everything from kid concerts outside to jazz concerts with the girls. As they get older, your daughter is sure to have a band or musician that she adores so buy her tickets as an experience gift + be her plus 1 for the concert.

    #7 Go on a Scavenger Hunt

    You can take this one a couple of different ways. You can create a neighborhood scavenger hunt, where you create a list of items to find as you traipse around your neighborhood. You can take it a step further + create a list of items to find around the town or city where you live.

    Since we live right outside of D.C., we can do this with monuments, historical spots, battlefields, etc.

    #8 Start a Business

    Our girls are more tech savvy than ever before. Ali Martinez runs an online girl’s clothing boutique from home with her two girls. Ali says being able to run the business from home allows her to spend time with her girls while she’s working + gives the girls a chance to see how her hard work helps to keep their family thriving. Depending on how old your girls are, they can help with things like prepping orders for shipping or creating a masterpiece on your invoice to add a special touch.

    #9 Participate in Afternoon Tea

    In our area, it’s Tea with Mrs. B. There’s likely one in your area, too. Get dressed up for the afternoon + head to the tea room for some tea (or lemonade for the girls) + yummies. Mrs. B has a warehouse full of dress up for the girls + she also gives a quick rundown of table manners before the official tea starts.

    #10 Conduct a Science Experiment

    My girls are always mixing up potions + are very interested in science experiments. It’s not really my thing but they love it so to foster this love for science + to watch their little faces light up, we subscribe to Green Kid Crafts STEM boxes, so that new experiments arrive on schedule + we always have some activities to do together.

    #11 Visit a Farm

    We are lucky enough to have several farm visit options in our area. Find a farm that is within driving distance to your home. Spend the day petting + feeding the animals. Many farms also have people that explain to you how a farm works, hay rides + more for the girls to enjoy.

    #12 Create Care Packages for the Homeless

    I am borrowing this idea from my daughter’s vacation bible camp. Stock pile some supplies + gallon storage bags. Spend an hour or two with your daughter filling the storage bags with items such as a:

    • Bottle of water
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste (small tube)
    • Small notepad
    • Pen
    • Shampoo (sample size)
    • Granola/energy bar
    • Lip balm
    • Deoderant (trial size)

    Keep the filled bags in your car or bag. When you’re out + about + see someone who is homeless, give them one of the bags. My daughter really enjoys filling these bags with items people without homes need. Giving them to someone is a life lesson in empathy, humanity + kindness.

    #13 Plant a Garden

    Plant a veggie or flower garden with your daughter. You can spend some quality time in the great outdoors + teach her about caring for live things. She’ll rejoice in the fruits of her labor as her veggies + flowers grow. We also did this with trees. We live in a wooded area + had to take some trees down for our safety + the safety of our home.

    We bought at least 3x the amount the of trees that we cut down to replant with our girls. We taught them about replenishing + how trees provide us with the oxygen that we need to breathe!

    #14 Volunteer

    Spend a day (or more) volunteering with your daughter. Choose an organization that is near + dear to your hearts. Volunteer at a nursing home, hospital, animal shelter or soup kitchen. One of my daughters attended a Kids Give Back summer camp, where each day they made or assembled items for a charity or cause. She had a lot of fun but she also learned about helping others.

    #15 Have a Dinner Date

    Make reservations at a fancy restaurant. Get dressed up + go on a dinner date with your daughter. The conversation tends to be fascinating when you are focused on each other + enjoying your delicious meals.

    #16 Hit an Orchard

    Depending on the month, find out what is in season + go picking! Pick apples, strawberries, pumpkins or whatever is in season in your area that particular month! When your bring your pickings home, eat them as is or find ways to turn them into new creations, like apple pie.

    #17 Bake for a Neighbor

    Bake cookies or a pie together. Deliver the baked goods to a friend or neighbor. If you bake enough, you can deliver the items to several friends or neighbors rather than just one.

    #18 Spa Day

    You don’t have to go to a fancy spa to have a spa day when you can bring the fancy spa to your house. Amber Spence has two girls. She says on a lazy Saturday , she + her girls put on their robes, do their nails, a facial + their hair. I remember I let one of my girls do my makeup. I am pretty convinced the then 4 year-old did a better job of it than I could.

    #19 Be a Tourist

    Every town or city has something for tourists. If it’s not your city or town then find the closest tourist attractions. Spend the day doing things a tourist would do if they visited your area. Go to a museum, find the best restaurant in town + eat there, take photos with statues + monuments + in front of exhibits (when the museum allows).

    #20 Play Board Games

    Host a board game day or night. Let your daughter pick a few of her favorite games + spend time together playing. Board games teaches your daughter many skills while you get to spend time together.

    #21 Cuddle with Cats at a Cat Lounge

    Find a cat lounge in your area. A cat lounge is a location where kittens + cats lounge. You can visit with them, cuddle with them + play with them. It’s a great activity for cat lovers that might now have a furry feline at home (or even if you do, you can spend some time with other kitties).

    If you + your daughter are more dog people than cat people, then visit a shelter + cuddle with dogs + puppies instead.

    #22 Cook Together

    My oldest two girls are intrigued by what I am doing in the kitchen. Have your daughter pick a recipe + cook it with her. Walk her through the steps of mixing the ingredients + working through the steps to get the food from the stove (or oven) to the table. Then, you can enjoy the meal together.

    #23 Try a New Ice Cream Place

    Check out a new ice cream place. If you + your daughter are feeling especially adventurous, try out a new ice cream flavor. We had this on our bucket list last summer + discovered a delicious local ice cream shop that makes their own ice cream + sells mini scoops so you can get 5 mini scoops of different flavors to try instead of one (or more) big scoops of one flavor. Genius, if you ask me 🙂

    #24 Walk the Runway

    When my girls get new clothes, they love to have a “fashion show.” They make me the announcer + then they strut their stuff down the runway (OK, the hallway + into the living room). They think it is so fun. When I get my Stitch Fix box, they make me do the same thing. They have me try on my clothes + strut my stuff on the runway. It is a lot of fun!

    #25 Nail It!

    Pick a DIY project on Pinterest that you + your daughter can tackle together. Follow the intructions. Take pictures to document the process of your project. Take final “after” pictures. Compare it to the picture on Pinterest to see if your Nailed It (or not).

    #26 Go on a Girls’ Weekend

    Plan an overnight or weekend getaway for you + your daughter(s). Maybe you spend the weekend at a nice hotel + spa. Maybe you jet off to her favorite amusement park. Visit the local eateries, museums + other must-see spots while you’re in town.

    The mother-daughter relationship is a special one. Use these 26 ideas as inspiration for the next activity or date night you have with your daughter.

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  • Girl Mom Reviews

    Angel Food Cake Recipe

    Broiled Angel Food Cake with Maple Whipped Cream

    Once you’ve tried broiled angel food cake, there is a good chance you’re never going to want it any other way. With a crisp, golden brown crust reminiscent of toasted marshmallows + that tender melt-in-your-mouth interior you’ve come to expect from angel food cake, this is sure to become one of your favorite go-to dessert recipes for fast + delicious results.

    This recipe can be made with your favorite homemade angel food cake recipe or with the store-bought variety. However, if you buy a pre-made cake, look for one that is not packaged inside a disposable baking pan. The exterior of cakes sold like this tend to be very sticky, which makes them more difficult to slice. Look for one that is packaged with just plastic wrap around it for protection, instead.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 pint heavy whipped cream
    • 1-2 T. real maple syrup
    • 1 angel food cake, homemade or purchased
    • 5 T. unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, hulled + cut into chunks or slices
    • ½ pint fresh blueberries, washed

    Directions

    In a large glass bowl, blend 1 pint of heavy whipping cream with a hand or immersion blender until it doubles in size + changes texture. Then, drizzle maple syrup into the bowl + continue blending until the mixture is light + fluffy. Set aside.

    Place your oven’s top rack on the highest setting + turn the broiler on high. 

    Due to its round shape, angel food cake is normally cut into a series of wedges. However, the pieces are not going to brown evenly under the broiler if cut like this.

    Instead, carefully slice the angel food cake with a sharp knife into equally thick sections by making a series of parallel 2” wide cuts, starting on one side of the cake + working toward the opposite side. Trim the pieces so they are all approximately the same size. The result should be uniformly sized pieces that will brown evenly.

    Place the angel food cake slices on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper + brush the top with melted butter. Turn over each piece + repeat on the other side.

    Place baking sheet under the broiler until a golden-brown crust starts to form. (You may need to rotate the baking sheet to get uniform results).

    Keep a close eye on the cake during this time because it can burn very quickly. Once toasted, remove baking sheet from oven + turn over each piece of angel food cake. Place back under the broiler + toast the remaining side until golden brown.

    To serve, arrange toasted slices on individual serving plates + top with maple whipped cream + fresh berries.  

    Angel Food Cake Recipe
    Angel Food Cake Recipe
    Angel Food Cake Recipe
    Angel Food Cake Recipe
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  • Uncategorized

    Hearty Minestrone Soup Recipe

    Fall is the perfect time of year to start making + eating soup. It’s a healthy way to warm your insides when the air is starting to turn chilly outside.

    This satisfying minestrone soup features a classic combination of fresh herbs, vegetables, white beans + pasta. Although this recipe is delicious as written, don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with the ingredients. This dish is a great way to use up any extra fresh herbs + vegetables you have available. 

    Tip: For best results, cook the pasta separately, rather than in the same pot with the rest of the ingredients. This extra step yields more consistent results by eliminating the release of excess starch into the soup. It also prevents the noodles from becoming too soft + mushy, which means more appetizing leftovers the next day + better results when freezing for future use.

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Cook time: 50-55 minutes

    Serves: 6-8

    Ingredients:

    • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
    • 3 large stalks celery, finely chopped
    • 1 28-oz. can petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans, drained + rinsed
    • 4 c. organic vegetable broth*
    • 2 whole bay leaves
    • 1 T. fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped (or 1 t. dried)
    • 1 T. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 t. dried)
    • 1 T. fresh oregano leaves (or 1 t. dried)
    • ½ T. crushed red pepper flakes
    • Sea salt + black pepper, to taste
    • Optional: 3” Parmesan cheese rind
    • 2 c. Fusilli pasta
    • 2 c. fresh green beans, cut into ½” pieces
    • 2 c. fresh arugula
    • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • *Use additional vegetable broth to reach desired consistency, if needed

    Directions:

    1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil + garlic in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or just until garlic starts to turn golden brown.
    2. Add chopped onion, carrot + celery. Cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are soft + tender.
    3. Add diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, 4 cups vegetable broth, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, oregano + red pepper flakes to pot + stir to combine. Add Parmesan cheese rind + season with salt + black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover + simmer 20-25 minutes.
    4. While soup is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining pasta. Rinse pasta + transfer to a medium bowl + toss with remaining olive oil. Cover and set aside.
    5. Remove cover from pot or Dutch oven and add green beans and the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Stir to combine and continue cooking, uncovered, another 20-25 minutes or until green beans are crisp tender.
    6. Add arugula + additional vegetable broth (if needed) + stir to combine. Season with additional salt + pepper, to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until arugula begins to wilt.
    7. To serve, divide cooked pasta among individual serving bowls + top with hot soup. Top with chopped parsley + freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve with crusty bread + a crisp, green side salad for a hearty meal. Enjoy!
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  • Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body
    Raising Girls

    7 Ways to Help Your Daughter Feel Comfortable in Her Own Skin

    I remember when I was growing up, I quickly noticed that girls come in all different shapes + sizes. I was always kind of tall + skinny but at the same time I had thick thighs + a big bootie. I yearned to be petite, short + tiny like some of the girls I knew.

    I guess you always want to be different than you are but your daughter (+ my daughters) shouldn’t have to feel that way. What really jarred me were the results of a study by the Girl Scouts of America that found 80% of 10-year-old girls (TEN YEARS OLD) were afraid of getting fat.

    This is mind boggling! Ten-year-old girls should not have this worry on their minds!

    Discover 7 ways you can help your daughter love her body + feel comfortable in her own skin — whatever shape, color or size her skin is.

    1. Read Books With Strong Girl Characters

    Coincidentally, my oldest daughter came home from school with the library book, I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont. I cannot say how much I LOVE this book!

    The character in this book is a little girl that is the perfect role model for other young girls. No matter where this little girl goes in the book or what situations she finds herself, she continuously reiterates that she is special because she says, “I am me!”

    This is just one of many books you can read with your young daughter that helps with self-esteem + body image.

    Some other books you can read with your young daughters are:

    Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

    Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

    Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls combines the world of make believe with reality. Each story is about a true strong woman but is told as a fairtytale. This is a lead by example book for raising strong girls.

    The book includes 100 stories illustrating the lives of extraordinary women with the likes of Amelia Earhart, Jane Austen, Coco Chanel, Cleopatra + Marie Curie. The illustrators of the book are 60 women. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a book for girls written about girls (past + present) by girls + illustrated by girls.

    It is a bit more for younger girls than it is for adolescent or teenage girls. Much like the fairytales from Disney, the book has engaging stories while teaching life lessons. It is the perfect book for bedtime stories.

    Strong is the New Pretty

    Strong is the New Pretty

    You know what they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So true. What is pretty to me may not be pretty to you. What is pretty to you may not be pretty to me.

    Strong is the New Pretty is a photo book that depicts girls just being themselves in all sorts of different outfits + situations. It debunks the myth that girls have to look or act a certain way to be pretty, to be accepted or to be liked.

    The 175 photographs depict that raising strong girls is all about fostering the beauty that is on the inside + that what is beautiful on the outside is a strong + confident girl.

    Raising strong girls is not for the faint of heart. It’s a tough process but you don’t have to go it alone. There are numerous resources available to you, Mama, so you can raise strong + confident girls that are going to do great things for this world.

    2. Model Positive Body Image

    Choose your words carefully when you’re talking about your own body to + in front of your daughter. Avoiding saying negative things about your body, like how you look fat or you wish you were thinner or prettier.

    Instead of focusing on the negative or parts of your body you dislike, point out at least one positive thing about you or your body. Say things like, “My eyes are always bright + sparkly,” or “My nails always grow long + strong.”

    Whatever part you’re talking about, put a positive spin on it rather than a negative one.

    3. Acknowledge Her Feelings

    Your daughter has a right to feel a certain way about her body. Acknowledge her feelings about the fact that she doesn’t like her curly hair or wishes she had longer, thinner legs. Let her know that she has a right to feel this way.

    Tell her that there are things you didn’t like about your own body growing up but that it is not something that defines who you are or who she is as a person. This reveals to her that you survived into adulthood in spite of not liking something about your own body growing up + she will too.

    4. Compliment Other Attributes

    Looks are not everything. Mom + Dad should point out positive attributes their daughter has that has nothing to do with her looks. Practice positive daily affirmations by saying things like:

    “You are a great artist.”

    “You are the kindest girl I know.”

    “You are a good friend.”

    “You kick a soccer ball farther than anyone else I’ve seen.”

    I tell all three of my daughters on a regular basis that they are smart, pretty, kind + funny. While pretty seems like a physical attribute, to me, pretty truly is something that is on the inside + out.

    5. Accept Compliments With Grace

    When someone compliments something about your appearance, avoid negative comebacks. Instead, gracefully accept the compliment + thank them.

    If your friend says, “Your skin is glowing + you look great today,” don’t say, “Really? I feel like a cow in this outfit.” You want to focus on the positive instead of focusing on the negative.

    6. Introduce Them To Other Positive Female Role Models

    Avoid allowing your daughter to watch TV shows, look at magazine articles or follow celebrities online that are overly sexual with the way they dress, act, or the things they say.

    Think Doc McStuffins or Taylor Swift as opposed to Keeping Up With the Kardashians or Teen Mom. If your daughter is watching something that focuses on how someone looks, point out that the characters (or real people) seem to be obsessed with how they look + how that is sad + that they should be concerned with how she thinks + acts.

    7. Put On A Bathing Suit

    This probably sounds so trivial but moms across the county (+ maybe even the world) are avoiding getting in a bathing suit because they don’t like the way they look in it. Instead of telling your daughter she shouldn’t be worried about how her body looks, show her.

    Put on your bathing suit. Head to the pool. Lay on the beach. Frolic in the water. Show your kids that your body might not be perfect but you’re having fun it your own skin anyway!

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    ways to help your daughter love her body
    ways to help your daughter love her body
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  • green kids crafts sneak peek
    Girl Mom Reviews

    Green Kid Crafts September Box + Halloween Science Pack Sneak Peek

    My two oldest girls love arts, crafts + science. It seems like an unusual combination until you realize how closely related art + science can actually be! Green Kid Crafts offers fun boxes for kids that mixes arts, crafts, holidays + science into each box.

    They have monthly subscription boxes but they also offer specialty boxes that you can buy individually.

    Here is a sneak peek at what the September box + Halloween science box have to offer your kiddos.

    Halloween Science Pack

    This spook-tacular 3-box STEAM education set inspires hours of fun + learning. Save 15% off your total cart with the code SCHOOL15. This code is good until Sept 25, 2019. It includes the Slime Lab box, Chemistry box + Mad Science Box.

    Slime Lab Box

    Chemistry Box

    Mad Science Box

    September Boxes

    Inspire your kids to take care of the planet with art, science + engineering projects.

    Green Kid Crafts is the perfect way to help your child learn while also helping the planet. Green Kid Crafts encourages creativity, literacy + learning through monthly STEAM science + art projects, all made with carbon-neutral, sustainable materials.

    Every box includes up to 6 creative STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts + mathematics) projects designed for kids ages 2-10+. I have a 6-year-old + 4-year-old that love these projects.

    If you order before September 25, you can save 15% off your total cart order when you use the code SCHOOL15 at checkout.

    Boxes are divided by age groups so they receive age-appropriate arts, crafts + science projects.

    These are the sneak peeks at what is inside each of the age group boxes for September. Check them out.

    Junior Reptiles Box (ages 2-4)

    Soaring Into Flight Box (ages 5-10+)

    Don’t forget to use the code SCHOOL15 to save 15% on your entire order during checkout.

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  • nighttime potty training
    Raising Girls

    7 Tips for Nighttime Potty Training Girls

    My oldest daughter was finally potty trained right after she turned 3. She was a nightmare in potty training, to say the least. I won’t get into the long convoluted story.

    My second daughter potty trained herself by the age of 2. I’m almost convinced God gave me a pass since my first daughter was such a nightmare.

    The baby hasn’t started yet so she’s an unknown. 🙂

    Nighttime potty training was a bit of a different animal. Similar to their day potty training, my oldest daughter was waking up with a totally soaked nighttime pull-up while the middle daughter woke up dry or 99% dry almost every morning.

    Nighttime Potty Training

    I had talked to other mothers + I had talked to the pediatrician + both said nighttime training is harder + best left to allowing it to happen naturally. While that theory seemed to be working with the just turned 4-year-old, it was lost on the just turned 6-year-old.

    At her 6-year-old wellness checkup, I spoke to the pediatrician again. He told me to rip the bandaid. He said a pull-up was acting as a crutch. He said to send them to bed without a pull-up + to give it a try for a month or so. If that didn’t work, he suggested a bed wetting alarm.

    If the bed wetting alarm didn’t work, then he said they would send her to a specialist to see if there was anything physically wrong or if it was more of a behavior issue.

    First Nighttime Potty Training

    That night, when my husband arrived home, I told him what the doctor suggested. We decided to go with it. We had a mattress cover on their mattress.

    We cut liquids off 1/2 an hour before bedtime. We had them brush their teeth + use the bathroom before climbing into bed. We woke both of them up to use the bathroom again before my husband + I went to bed.

    I went to sleep expecting to be woken up in the middle of the night with soaked sheets + kiddos (or at least one kiddo). At the every least, I expected when they woke the next morning, one or both would be wet, if not soaked.

    To my surprise, neither of those things happened. BOTH girls woke up COMPLETELY dry.

    Beginner’s luck, right?

    Nope.

    Every night since we started, we go through the same routine + both girls wake up completely dry.

    I am not suggesting this works for every child. I am not suggesting that it’s going to work for your child. I am saying that it worked for two out of three of my girls. If you have concerns about day or nighttime potty training for your child, talk with your child’s doctor.

    Nighttime Potty Training Tips

    Every child is different. I also hear that nighttime training boys can differ from training girls. I wouldn’t know anything about that but here are some tips to help you start nighttime training when you + your kiddo is ready.

    • Start after daytime trained. Make sure that your child is completely potty trained before even thinking about approaching nighttime training. We waited close to 3 years + 2 years, respectively, with our girls before attempting a more formal nighttime training process.
    • Assess the situation. I had nighttime accidents until I was about 7 or 8. It wasn’t an every night thing but an occasional accident here + there. I also read that bedwetting can be hereditary so I always chalked my oldest daughter’s bedwetting to something she might have happened upon naturally. It turns out that she was likely just afraid of the dark so with her new bathroom routine at night and leaving some lights on, she gets to the bathroom in the middle of the night if she needs to go.
    • Cut out liquids. Some parents start cutting liquids out after dinner. We cut them out about 1/2 an hour before bedtime (so 7:30 for an 8 pm bedtime).
    • Create a bathroom routine. Have your child use the bathroom before they go to bed + again before you go to bed. The second time is optional so do what you think works best for you + your child. Have them use the bathroom again as soon as they wake up in the morning.
    • Expect accidents. We have had a good run of dry nights so far. I expect we still have some accidents in our future + that’s totally OK. I’ll take it. Expect that your child is going to have some dry nights + some nights where they have accidents.
    • You can wait it out. You certainly have the option of waiting it out. My plan was to have the girls wear pull-ups until they were waking up dry for a couple of months. While the 4-year-old was pretty much there, this plan wasn’t working for the 6-year-old. You can follow your child’s lead + wait to yank the nighttime pull-ups until they’re waking up dry for a few months.
    • Make a big deal of successes but don’t stress over the accidents. We made a big deal out the mornings when the girl woke up dry with whooping + high fives + praise. We also let them know that accidents are okay, too. So far, we haven’t had any accidents so we’re trying not to stress over it ourselves + avoiding stressing the girls out about any accidents that might occur.

    Now, I’m off to see how I can use all of the money I am now saving on nighttime pull-ups. I also think it’ll cause us to approach nighttime training with our youngest daughter differently than we did with the first two, when the time comes.

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  • Best Baby Wash
    Girl Mom Reviews

    Best Baby Wash + Shampoo

    As the mom of three girls, we have gone through a lot of baby wash. We took a couple of classes before we had our first daughter. One of the things the nurse giving one of the classes advised was the best baby wash.

    While we started out using the baby wash the nurse recommended, as time went on, we went rogue + tried out some other baby washes.

    1. Aveeno Baby Wash + Shampoo

    On the recommendation of the trained nurse that taught our “Baby Bundles” class, we started out using Aveeno Baby wash + shampoo. If she was getting a morning bath, we used the regular wash. For before bedtime baths, we used the Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort with lavender + vanilla.

    Since it is hypoallergenic + tear-free, it was perfect for our first daughter. She had super sensitive skin so it helped to keep any sort of reactions at bay + could wash her from head-to-toe without worrying about it irritating her eyes.

    The Calming Comfort version helped to soothe her as part of her bedtime routine. It settled her down enough to read her a book (Yes, even as an infant), feed her, diaper her + then put her down for the night. The major drawback, for me, was the price ta. The Aveeno Baby Wash + Shampoo, lotions, etc., are a bit pricier than some of the other products on the market.

    2. Johnson’s Baby Wash + Shampoo

    After a relative remarked that our babies (we had two by this time) didn’t have that “new baby smell,” we decided to give the traditional Johnson’s Baby Wash + Shampoo a try. It wasn’t just the “smell” factor, either. Our second daughter’s skin was not nearly as sensitive as our first daughter’s was + we were looking at less expensive options.

    Surprisingly (or maybe not), Johnson’s Baby Wash + Shampoo does not have the strong scent that it did when I was a baby. It is very lightly scented, making the smell factor a non-existent factor.

    Johnson’s Baby Wash + Shampoo is a head-to-toe option that promises no tears, too, + is also hypoallergenic. While my second daughter didn’t suffer as bad as my first daughter did with sensitive skin, she still had some sensitivities (+ maybe a touch of eczema) I found it to be just as good as the Aveeno Baby Wash but without the heftier price tag.

    3. Little Journey Baby Wash + Shampoo

    By the time our third daughter made it on the scene, I had discovered Aldi. We did start out using Johnson’s Baby Wash + Shampoo with her but then I switched over to Little Journey’s Baby Wash + Shampoo.

    Little Journey Baby Wash + Shampoo is comparable to Johnson’s Baby Wash + Shampoo with an even less expensive price tag. Little Journey is hypoallergenic, tear-free + a head-to-toe wash.

    What I love, love, love about this baby wash (besides the fact that I can buy it through my Instacart grocery delivery) is the scent. It is not an overbearing scent but the wash + shampoo does have a refreshing scent that is clean + yummy (in a baby kind of way).

    Our youngest just turned 19 months, so this is a baby wash + shampoo that we are still using.

    4. Honest Baby Shampoo + Body Wash

    We LOVE The Honest Co. products. We use their diapers, wipes + diaper rash cream so it seemed like a natural segue to baby shampoo + body wash. Similar to the other products we use it is free of harmful chemical, hypoallergenic + tear-free.

    The Honest Co. Baby Shampoo + was also comes in four scents. Technically, it’s three scents + an unscented option: Sweet Almond, Sweet Orange Vanilla, Lavender.

    Pricing is closer to Aveeno Baby Wash but I can bundle it with my diaper + wipes bundle so I get a discount on any additional products I order — bringing it down somewhere between Johnson’s + Journey Baby Wash pricing.

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  • self-care for moms
    Mom Blogger Resources

    Self-Care for Moms

    I remember after having my first daughter, I totally lost myself in motherhood + being a wife. I gave up all the things I loved doing — reading, working out, going out with friends, getting my nails done.

    It was the WORST possible thing I could have done.

    Self-care for a mom is soooooooo important. It goes back to putting your oxygen mask on first before helping your child put on theirs when you’re on an airplane. If mom isn’t breathing then nobody is.

    So, Mama, put on your oxygen mask. It’s going to make you a better mom, person + wife if you take care of yourself first.

    Why Self-Care for Moms Matters

    You’ve probably heard the term “self-care” used a lot lately. It’s become a popular buzzword in the media + in personal development circles. However, you still may be unclear on what it means. While the concept does involve taking care of yourself, it actually goes much deeper. Read on to learn what self-care is, why it matters + how to get started doing it.

    About Self-Care

    Self-care covers a lot of areas with regard to caring for yourself. It involves nurturing your body, mind + spirit. It focuses on building yourself up so that your internal resources don’t become depleted.

    Essentially, self-care is being as good to yourself as you would be to someone you care about. It requires you to show yourself some compassion + encourages you to be vulnerable with others, asking for help you when you need it.

    What doesn’t fall under the umbrella of self-care are self-destructive coping mechanisms such as using drugs, drinking, gambling or retail therapy. These things only make you feel good in the short-term.

    The Benefits of Self-Care

    There are lots of benefits to practicing self-care. Embracing this concept can be difficult for those who’ve always placed emphasis on the welfare of others. However, giving all your energy to those around you without filling your own back up leaves you depleted + empty.

    That’s no way to live.

    Instead, spending time + effort on yourself rejuvenates + energizes you. Taking time to indulge in your own interests demonstrates your worth, leading to improved self-esteem + a more positive outlook on the world. It teaches you a lot about yourself + provides you with insight into what you need to be the best version of yourself.

    Self-care helps you better cope with stress + to prioritize what’s important to you. You’ll be better able to take care of others when you also take time to meet your own needs.

    Examples of Self-Care

    self-care for moms

    There are countless ways to add self-care into your routine. The key is to choose activities that are most enjoyable to you + provide you with the most benefits.

    Going for a walk in nature is great for those who enjoy the outdoors. Other forms of exercise like yoga, running or going to the gym work well, too. Spending time with friends can be rejuvenating, but so can saying no.

    Allowing yourself to decline invitations or favors when you’re feeling run-down is a big part of caring for yourself. Treating yourself to a favorite, affordable indulgence like a movie, manicure or ice cream cone are all good examples. As is taking a bath or meditating. These are just a few of the ways you can easily incorporate self-care into your life.

    Now you know what self-care is + why it’s important. You’ve also got some ideas of how to get started, so you’re well on your way to adding this useful practice to your life.

    Start + End Your Day With A Little Self-Care 

    Like any new habit, adding self-care into your life can seem kind of tricky. You probably wonder how you can find time to do anything extra for yourself, let alone how you can remember to do these things.

    One of the best ways to get started is to build your activities into predictable parts of your day. In order to make something a habit, it has to happen regularly. Keep reading for some tricks to making self-care a routine part of your life.

    Make It Personal

    The first thing that can will help you in creating your self-care rituals is to choose activities that are meaningful to you + that you enjoy. This is your practice, so you want to be sure it’s customized in order to get the most out of it.

    Consider making a list of things that help you to feel relaxed, peaceful, excited or happy. These activities should be able to be done in a short amount of time + easily fit into your life without special equipment or tools. At least as you begin your practice, the things you choose to do should be as simple as possible.

    Fit It In

    You should add your self-care rituals to the most convenient parts of your day. Choose times that are already somewhat flexible so that incorporating something new into that space is less stressful.

    Many people go with morning or evening routines, right when they wake up + before going to sleep each night. Getting up fifteen minutes earlier than usual + setting aside a window during the usual night-time schedule are usually things most folks can do.

    However, designating your daily lunch break as your self-care time might work better for you. Consider activities like writing a gratitude journal entry before bed, listening to music while having your morning coffee or going for a short walk over your lunch hour. It might require trying out self-care activities + times of day to find a moment to call your own.

    Be Flexible

    It’s best to come up with a routine that works for you + stick to it. Committing to a particular schedule can help you create a habit + ensures that you get the self-care you need. However, try to cut yourself some slack.

    Some days are more hectic than others. You may not be able to fit in your anticipated self-care activity + that’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day + you can try again. Soon, you’ll find yourself wanting to take part in these rituals, + getting back on track becomes easy.

    Getting into the practice of regular self-care doesn’t have to be difficult. Making a few adjustments to your existing schedule can free up some space in your day. Choose things that refresh you + that are simple to make getting started a breeze.

    Try Something New Today

    self-care for momsWhile creating habits + adding activities to your calendar help increase your chances of sticking with your new routine. Another way to keep things interesting is to treat yourself to things you’ve always wanted to do.

    Adding new + novel experiences to your self-care routine is like giving yourself a little gift every day. It’s a great way to stay motivated to do things to care for yourself.

    Pamper Yourself

    Taking physical care of yourself in a pampering way makes us feel good. Pampering is a go-to for many people when it comes to their self-care routine. Think of something you’ve never done before. It doesn’t have to be expensive.

    A small act of indulgence can have the same effect as an extravagant one. Maybe consider scheduling a manicure if you’ve never had one. A bubble bath with candles can be soothing if this is something you don’t do very often. If your budget allows, a spa day with a friend can rejuvenate your body + spirit.

    Celebrate Today

    Most of us don’t buy ourselves presents very often or even give ourselves little treats. You can change that starting now. Think of something within your budget you’ve been wanting for a while now.

    Then give yourself permission to buy it. Maybe it’s that snazzy pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on or the cell phone upgrade that would make your life easier. Giving yourself one gift, no matter how small, can be a boost to your self-worth.

    Enjoy the Little Things

    Self-care really doesn’t have to be on a grand scale. The tiniest gestures can be the most meaningful. Indulging in small free or low-cost treats allow you to spoil yourself more often.

    What are some little things you’ve never done for yourself that you can start adding to your life today? Have you ever bought yourself flowers? Give it a try.

    You get a little boost every time you see that beautiful bouquet on your table or desk. Think of your favorite food item, the one you have on special occasions. Why not make one day a week a little more special by trying a new version of it? For example, commit to tasting a new truffle each week at your favorite chocolate shop. Get creative with it.

    Adding new experiences to your self-care routine keeps things interesting + can also help make them more meaningful. Novelty can also expand your world + enrich your life. Plus, it’s just fun!

    Make A List Of 5 Simple Self-Care Routines

    self-care for momsBeneficial habits like self-care often go by the wayside during stressful times. It can be difficult to focus on anything but the bare minimum when life gets hard. The fact is, though, that these are the days when you most need to take care of yourself.

    Keeping a list of self-care routines as part of a self-care toolkit can make it easier for you to implement them when needed. There are some other tricks you can employ to get you through the tough times, too. Keep reading to find out more tricks you can keep up your sleeve.

    Make a List

    Create a list of at least five activities you can easily fit in your life during the most stressful periods. The list is a simple reminder you can keep on-hand + pull out when you need to pick a little something for some self-care.

    These can include super simple reminders like go to bed early so you get enough sleep, eat nourishing food to keep your energy up or ask for help you need it because these are all things you might forget when you’ve got a ton on your plate. During times of trouble, the very basic foundations of self-care can be the most important.

    Make a Care Package

    Another way to focus on self-care during hard times is to prepare a care package ahead of time. This can include some of your favorite little indulgences like a good book, herbal teas, facial mask, fuzzy slippers + classical CD.

    Consider it your own subscription box!

    Include anything that brings you joy. Being able to reach for this package when you’re stressed can mean the world + make a huge difference to your outlook.

    Enlist Your Crew

    When things look bleak, you may require a bit of help to get back on track. That’s why it’s a good idea to reach out to trusted friends + family now to enlist their help for the future. Talk to your closest confidantes to ask for their encouragement with your self-care routine.

    Share with them the benefits it’s provided you + tell them you’d appreciate their assistance if they see you aren’t caring for yourself as well as you should be. Sometimes those who know us best can see things we don’t. When your crew knows to look out for you in this regard, they can reinforce your self-care needs during times of stress.

    Taking steps to plan now can make maintaining your self-care routine easier in the future. Always remember it’s during the hardest times that you need to nurture yourself the most.

    Self-Care Doesn’t Have To Cost Anything

    Lots of people get the wrong idea about self-care. They think they have to be deserving of it. They feel like it’s splurging to do something good for yourself. It can seem extravagant.

    I’d like to change that mindset today.

    Self-care is something you deserve. Everyone does. It benefits us all, along with those around us, when we put our own well-being at the forefront. You can’t take care of others when your own well-being is suffering. Let’s take a look at some free + low-cost ways you can care for yourself.

    Take a Time Out

    Sometimes just a little bit of alone time is all you need to feel rejuvenated. So why not give yourself a time out? Lock yourself in your room with a nice cup of tea. Listen to some quiet music. Just sit still + let your mind wander for a bit. It’s a luxury we all can afford.

    Waste Some Time

    We often feel pressured to be productive all the time. Being busy is a sign of worth + accomplishment. However, it really doesn’t have to be that way.

    Just kicking back + doing nothing is important to recharging our batteries. Let yourself have some down time to do something frivolous like binge your favorite Netflix show, take a nap or just sit + pet your cat. You deserve it.

    Do Some Writing

    Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, journaling can be a very therapeutic activity. Jotting down what you’re grateful for has been proven to be beneficial to well-being.

    It can also be energizing to simply do a brain dump in which you write down all the things that are floating around in your head. Jotting down dreams for the future might inspire + motivate you to take action. Give it a try.

    Reach Out to Someone

    Socializing is a crucial part of self-care. Even introverts benefit from interpersonal connection. Humans aren’t meant to be isolated.

    Pick up the phone to call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Sit down to Skype with your favorite Internet pal. Meeting up in person for a walk together or a cup of coffee is even better. Connecting to others might just provide the spark you’ve been missing.

    Change Your Perspective

    A change of scenery can be a wonderful source of renewal + it doesn’t have to be an expensive trip, either. Just heading out to walk in your neighborhood might help when you’re feeling stir-crazy in your home. If you’re able to afford it, a low-cost staycation to a nearby location for a day or two is a fun way to switch things up. It’s surprising what this change of perspective can do for you.

    While these are just a few of the countless ways you can indulge in self-care without spending much money, perhaps they’re just the jumpstart you need to begin exploring this concept. You truly do deserve to spend time, energy + effort on your own well-being.

    Don’t Feel Guilty For Practicing Self-Care

    Mom guilt — it’s probably the #1 reason moms don’t indulge in some self-care now + then. Maybe you feel guilty for spending time + resources on yourself.

    It’s actually good for those you love when you take care of yourself. You truly can’t fill another’s cup if your own is empty. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to emphasize why you shouldn’t feel any mom guilt for practicing self-care + encourage you to do so in every area of your life.

    It’s Not Selfish

    Taking time to care for yourself is not selfish in any way. It may be hard to get past the mindset that the needs of others are more important than your own, but overcoming this mindset is essential to allowing yourself to adequately meet your own needs.

    Care isn’t a zero-sum concept. When you care for yourself, it doesn’t have to mean you don’t care about others.

    It’s Necessary

    Self-care isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. It really is like the airplane air mask comparison. You have to ensure you can breathe before you can help those around you. If you’re tired, rundown + overwhelmed all the time, you absolutely cannot give your best self to your kids, your spouse, or anyone else. You also can’t offer yourself the very best. Remember that self-care isn’t selfish.

    It Sets a Good Example

    Investing in self-care for moms is not only good for you, but it sets a good example for your kids + for those around you. In order for a stigma to end, it has to be normalized. When more of us let the world around us know why self-care matters, they may begin to change their minds about the concept, as well.

    It Demands Respect

    It also sets a precedent for how you expect others to treat you. When you demonstrate that you value yourself + that you find worth in investing time in yourself, others will respond in kind. Learning to say no + set boundaries is good for your relationships. It teaches others how you expect to be treated + makes it clear that you see yourself as a priority. There’s no reason to feel guilty for that.

    With practice, you can come to see the benefits of self-care and that it doesn’t have to be something that causes guilt.

    Tips To Continue To Take Care Of Yourself

    Self-care is a process. It requires practice + dedication if you want to make it stick. Don’t get discouraged if it takes time to make this new concept a part of your life. It’ll get easier, and you’ll probably find yourself craving your self-care activities so much you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.

    However, there will inevitably be times that are busier or more stressful when self-care may go by the wayside. If you find that happening, be sure to follow these tips to continue to take care of yourself going forward.

    Follow Your Gut

    Sometimes we get so busy that we find ourselves living on auto-pilot. That’s only natural during hectic times, but it’s critical that you make an attempt to listen to your instincts during these times to know whether you’re in need of a boost.

    When you start to feel especially frazzled or fatigued, it’s your body + mind telling you that you need a break. Listen to these clues. Look for other unusual signs that things are off balance with you such as irritability, eating poorly, losing sleep or indulging in bad habits. These things are telling you to take care of yourself.

    When I feel especially frazzled (usually from being with my three kiddos 24/7), my husband always tells me to go do something out of the house. Whether it’s girls night out, heading out to read a book or get a manicure + pedicure, I always come back a much better person, wife + mother.

    Sometimes it is only a 10-minute or an hour break but this small time to give something to myself is priceless + it is just enough to calm me down + make me come back refreshed + ready.

    I’ve also started regular self-care with:

    • Book club for moms (We read a book a month but we really just meet up for dinner + drinks rather than a book discussion)
    • Bunco group
    • Professional mani-pedi once a quarter (paint my own in between appointments)
    • Spa day once a year courtesy of my hubs

    Schedule It In

    A trick that helps some people to fit self-care into their schedules when life gets busy is to actually write it in their date book or calendar. Treat your self-care commitments like any other appointment or event. Write down the time your self-care “appointment starts + finishes.

    Try to be specific about the activity you’re going to engage in. Doing these things increases the odds that you actually follow through. It’s easy to put yourself on the back burner when life gets crazy, but don’t forget that these are the times you need self-care the most.

    One final word. Take time to assess your self-care needs regularly. This can help you stay on track. Ask yourself once a week or so if you’re giving yourself enough time + attention. Listen to your instincts. Make adjustments as necessary. Self-care is an ongoing + evolving process that requires your constant attention.

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  • Uncategorized

    Healthy Eating at Your Fingertips

    Yesterday, I shared with you some health issues I faced when I was a twenty-something. I also shared info about the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle.

    Hundreds of people have already bought the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle, but you might be wondering if you should be one of them. I collected the most commonly asked questions to help you decide if you should buy the bundle.

    So if you still have questions, keep reading!

    Q1: Is this one big course? Or a bunch of different products?

    A1: This bundle is a collection of 47 eBooks, 32 eCourses, audios + workshops, 10 printable packs + workbooks + 2 summits. Once you purchase, you receive an email with all the login information so you can access your bundle inside the Ultimate Bundles access area. You can download all the eBooks, access the eCourses + start putting all the information to work right away! It’s basically all your favorite bloggers’ products together in one collection – all for $37.

    Q2: What if I don’t want all the resources?

    A2: That’s the beauty of this bundle! Some of the eBooks + eCourses have a lot of appeal right now + some won’t. You have lifetime access to everything so when things change in your life, you can turn to these resources- it’s like your own personal healthy living library! Not to mention, there are 24 resources alone that are individually worth as much or more than the cost of the bundle itself. So, even though you won’t use every resource in the bundle, it would still be really hard to not save a ton of money anyway.

    Q3: Will this bundle actually improve my health?

    A3: Obviously, that’s up to you. 😉 What I can tell you is that this bundle has high-quality resources on brain + mental health, how to balance your hormones, create a successful exercise program, eat healthy, allergy-friendly recipes, protecting yourself from EMF radiation + more! There’s no reason why you can’t apply the strategies in these resources to improve your health, but the results are totally up to you!

    Q4: OK, but what if I buy it + don’t like it?

    A4: Although Ultimate Bundles has an extremely low return rate at less than 1/4 of the industry standard, there are some people who it doesn’t work for. That’s why they offer a 100% happiness guarantee refund policy for 30 days. If you don’t love it, just email customerservice@ultimatebundles.com to ask for a full refund. No questions asked, no problems.

    Q5: This sounds like a scam. Can you prove it’s not?

    A5: I know it seems too good to be true. Pay $37 for $3,108.45 in resources? Doesn’t that mean someone’s losing big time? Or the prices are inflated?

    I totally get your concerns. I’ve been an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles for years + I can tell you that I offer these bundles to my readers because they’re a great value. Even though a blogger may be including their product in a bundle that costs less than their product, product creators get exposure to new potential readers, which can pay off in big ways later. When you buy a bundle through your favorite blogger (hopefully me!), you’ll support them, too! Plus, the bundle is offered for such a short time that they can go back quickly to selling their product at full price.

    In short, it’s a great deal for everyone. Ultimate Bundles is a reputable company, so if you try the bundle + don’t like it within 30 days, just ask their friendly, helpful customer happiness team for a refund.

    Q6: What are the cheat sheets?

    A6: The cheat sheets were created because bundle customers wanted a quick way to find the resources that were most applicable to them right now. These CliffNotes-style summaries of each resource allow you to zone in on which resources you should start with + allow you to absorb the key principles wayyyy faster. This helps you take charge of your health on your terms – without missing a beat. 🙂

    I hope that fully answers your questions!!

    In my opinion, you really don’t want to pass up a deal this good. But I’ll leave that up to you. Just don’t wait too long, because the sale ends Monday! Learn more or get your bundle here: https://ultimatebundles.com/sale/uhlb2019-main?a_aid=a7102&a_bid=18a928db

    XOXO, Kristie
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