I’ve been a LuLaRoe consultant for almost 3 months! (Join my VIP group here) It has been such an exciting whirlwind! If you haven’t heard about LuLaRoe yet thats a post for another day but the cliff-notes version is I sell cute and comfortable clothes. While waiting for my on-boarding call I tried to prepare the best I could by purchasing items and researching best business practices. Here is a list of the tens things I wish I would of invested in . . .
The Go Giver – this is such an amazing book it’s a no wonder it’s a best seller. It’s a great business parable and worth the read.
Skirt Hangers – I bought regular hangers and non slip hangers but wish I had some skirt hangers, specially for my Maxi skirts.
Shopping Bags – I like local sales just as much as my online live ones. During my initial launch party I didn’t have any shopping bags because they were out of stock with LuLaRoe. So last minute pinch I put purchases in a brown lunch bag LOL.
Mailing Envelopes – There are many different sizes, colors and prints of poly mailer envelopes. I like buying the 10″ by 13″ sizes in bulk. I’ve shipped hundreds of garments already and these bags are amazing!
Thermal Shipping Labeler – I know Dymo is a pretty penny but will be worth the savings in ink for ink jet printers. Will also save a lot of time too.
Lighting Kit – Many times I’m photographing clothes at night time after my kids go to bed. A lighting kit helps give my online customers an accurate display of the clothes they are looking to buy. I took some pretty dark and sad looking pictures. It gets better with time, practice and of course a lighting kit.
Sizing Dividers – having sizing dividers helps me know what sizes and styles I need to order more of. It also helps my local customers look for their sizes easily.
Phone Holder – I use something to hold my phone steady during live sales makes it easy for my customers to see me and the clothes and easy for me to read comments during the live video.
Number Tags – giving each garment a number associated with it helps my customers and myself easily know which item they want to purchase during a live sale.
Tagging Gun – sometimes a customer comes into your home tries on an outfit and accidentally pulls the tag out. Or sometimes your kids get curious and pulls a tag as well. This is a life saver to put it back in place.
There are other items I would recommend getting but these are the top ten I wish I ordered sooner and learned some lessons the hard way. Hope it helps anyone who is a quebie or curious to become a consultant. I’m also finally finding my groove with time management and will be blogging and doing videos on the things going on in my life like LuLaRoe, Lillebaby and being a special needs parent.
I received this product in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and honest.
Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier Review
A good humidifier is a must have in any home. It’s my go to whenever the sniffles start making the rounds. I was thankful for this humidifier when I came home from the NICU with Cedar (sorry I’m still working on his birth story) because big brother and sister had some junk they were working out of their system. Humidifiers are amazing because they increase moister in the air making it easier to breathe and rest. They can also relieve cough, cold, and flu symptoms, nasal congestion, dry cough, sinus irritation, nose bleeds, and dry skin and hair. OK so let me tell you all the things I LOVE about the Crane humidifier . . .
Filter is not required, but they do include one for those who have hard water (which we do in AZ) so it was once less thing we had to worry about and buy
It’s a cool mist, so my home can stay a nice comfortable temperature. As mentioned about we live in Arizona so when it’s 110 plus degrees outside it’s a must have.
There’s no hazard of little ones putting their hands over the mist and getting burned, another amazing cool mist feature.
It’s super quite while it runs, no humming or buzzing so you can get the much needed ZZZs
Holds up to a gallon of water and is easy to fill up in bathroom sink. Other brands of humidifiers which I’ve owned in the past are large and awkward sized I’d have to clear the sink of dishes in the kitchen just to fill up. Let’s be honest there are almost always dishes in my sink and I don’t want another chore to do before I can get a peaceful nights rest.
It can run up to 24 hours at a time and has an automatic shut off. The red light green light indicator is a nice feature that I have not had with other brands.
You can adjust the amount of vapor that comes out and the top of the humidifier rotates 360 degrees so you can aim it where you would like the mist to go.
Extremely easy to clean and has antimicrobial material in the base to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
Crane offers a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty, which I am not worried about because after 6 months of rigorous use it’s still looks like it came right out of the box.
Fun to decorate! I’ve seen some cool drawings on the drop humidifiers and I decided to add my own flare of creativity and use my vinyl cutting machine.
Crane offers fun and exclusive colors and character humidifiers as well. You can check out all of Crane’s products here.
So if you don’t already have a humidifier or are in the market for a new one make sure to buy one or add a Crane to your registry.
Which color or character is your favorite? If you had one to decorate how would you do so?
I’m going to open up a little more than I like and be vulnerable for a moment here. I hope it’s not PPD creeping up on me again, but all week the thought of just running away just sounded kind of nice. It’s mostly the stress of life finally getting to me, but if my thoughts might help another mom out there it’s worth it.
I do have a lot of stress though. Catching up on blogging, church responsibilities, my son recently being diagnosed with ASD, nursing a newborn constantly, the battle with never ending laundry and dishes, marriage and financial stress . . . you get the point. I know I’m not the only mom dealing with multiple stressors. I tried getting myself and the kids out of the house because normally that helps but I underestimated what a true feat it is to be alone with three children. The youngest is a nursling, the middle child has Autism and is minimally verbal and the oldest feels neglected because the other two require so much attention and has some pretty bad behaviors to seek additional attention. It seemed every time I tried to go out and do something nice for the kids it always ended in blood, sweat or tears.
Everywhere I turned I felt like a failure. I felt like I was failing my children by not giving them all the attention they required. I felt like a failure in every room of my house because there was clutter and crumbs for miles. I felt like a failure in my marriage because I can’t remember the last time we talked or connected. I felt like a failure out in the public when people would make judgements about my parenting or children’s behaviors. Worst of all I felt like I was failing myself because I couldn’t find time for me. It really is true you need to put on your own oxygen mask first, you need to keep your tank full. You do you.
So here are 11 Ideas that have helped me when I’m feeling overwhelmed
Treat Yourself: Find a little sweet treat that makes you smile. Might I suggest Dr. Pepper, White Cherry Icee, Ice Cream Cone, Brownies, Cheesy Tots, Pretzel Bites. Whatever makes your stomach smile.
Go for a Drive/Walk: Sometimes just the act of driving to clear my head can shake me out of a funk. Walking the isles of Target also has the same affect.
Simply Smile: Find anything that makes you laugh or smile like a Youtube clip, Memes, or throwing yourself a dance party.
Reach Out: Ask for help. It’s hard to swallow your pride or admit to an area of weakness but you’d be surprised how many people would love to help you if you only ask. Remember most people cannot read minds and moms are masters at masking their emotions.
Special Activity: Do something you don’t always get to do like a girls lunch, going to a movie, bowling, paint pottery . . . you get the picture.
Feel Fancy: Embrace the goddess you truly are. Buy yourself that flattering top, get a manicure, pedicure or massage, get your hair done, splurge on a house cleaner.
Express Yourself: Try to label what your are feeling and open up to someone you trust like your partner, friends (in person or virtual), your mother or sister. They might be able to sympathize, validate and comfort you.
Create something: Channel your emotions into a creative outlet. Try that pin you’ve always wanted to do, write a poem or blog, color that adult coloring book that’s been collecting dust.
Lose Yourself a Little: Catch up on that show that’s been sitting in your que, bury yourself in a book or puzzle.
Serve Someone: When you can help another in need it can do wonders on your heart and soul. I recently was able to donate a third of my milk supply to a medically fragile foster baby that had me walking on clouds for days. Decluttering toys or clothes and donating to a local shelter or making a meal for another struggling mom who might have it worse than you are some other suggestions.
Seek Professional Help: The above ideas are simple ideas that might help but not true fixes to Post Partum Mood Disorders. If you are perpetually depressed, nothing is brining you joy or feel like harming yourself or your baby, please get help. Talk to your OBGYN, therapist and look into local resources. There are services, therapies and medications that can help you.
What I learned after doing all these things is that it can be normal to feel this way at different times. I was surprised when I opened up and asked other mom friends they all had periods where they felt like running away. You give and sacrifice so much as a mother it’s hard to remember to sprinkle in some self love. I also learned to be extra gentle and kind to yourself. If you had a loved one feeling everything you are feeling, you wouldn’t want them to feel any shame or guilt, you would just want them to be kinder to themselves.
*I received this product in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and honest.
After thoughts and reflections not included in the video demonstration and review.
This would make an extremely thoughtful gift for anyone who has a child in the NICU. Some times you might be able to expect or anticipate a NICU stay and other times your whole world shifts and you are left scrambling to adjust. A gift like this is literally giving your loved ones a hug and comforting them during a time of stress and worry.
Vija Designs has come up with a collection of different kangaroo care garments that meet various needs, including menswear and tops that work with twins! Please take a look at them all here.
There are different price points and levels that make it feasible for all to do kangaroo care and skin to skin time with their preemies and newborns.
Most baby carriers on the market require the infant to weigh at least seven pound before use. The Prema Wrap is a great way to wear your baby that has not yet met this requirement. Many preemies might take weeks or months before hitting that milestone.
You are able to breastfeed in this but I did not have much experience with this in the NICU because he was on the feeding tube a majority of the time but I was able to do non-nutritive nursing multiple times.
The Prema Wrap is more like an undergarment than an actual shirt, like some of their other products, which is great in the NICU because there are no seams on the baby. This style can also be a good option for mothers recovering from a cesarean section.
The center fabric is a soft polyester micro-fleece and the side fabrics are a cotton jersey. This means it is comfortable, light weight, and easy to wash.
Thank you Milk and Baby for quickly sending me the Prema Wrap in my desperate time of need. Your kindness and compassion is just a reflection of what great customer service and culture you have in your company.
My cervix has been called many names. I find the adjectives to describe my cervix quite amusing. It’s been called incompetent, beautiful, insufficient, high, tight, and my personal favorite dynamic.
I am on my fourth pregnancy. To give you a little history if you don’t already know my first pregnancy was with twins who I delivered at 20 weeks and was diagnosed with an incompetent cervix. I was told by many doctors if I ever wanted to carry a baby to viability or term I would need a cerclage placed and extra monitoring. So the next time I got pregnant with my daughter I did just that I got the cerclage placed because who wants to go through losing another child? Now you are asking what is a cerclage. Well its a really fun procedure you go to the hospital for, get a spinal block, put in surgical stirrups and you cervix is literally sewn shut. My perinatologist at the time kept describing it it like a coin purse he was synching closed. That was a fun day, I already have major hospital/surgery anxiety and was in the freezing operating room with the surgical team for whom this is just another day in the office. I’ll skip the not-so-fun part with the anesthesiologist and skip to the end. My perinatologist took a small step back form me and admired his work telling me and the surgical team that was the most beautiful cervix he had ever seen. He even went as far to leave the room go around the surgical floor pull in all the interns and residents and had them each take a look and applaud his handy work. I lay there spread eagle shivering and exposed and without my consent have a dozen plus doctors and students look into the most personal and private part of my body. I tried to laugh it off and tell them I felt like I was in an episode of Greys Anatomy and they laughed too. Following that procedure the remainder of the pregnancy was having ultrasounds to monitor the baby and my cervix and around 35 weeks I was worried about the contractions and/or Braxton Hicks I was having I asked if we could remove the cerclage. They agreed and told me the removal would be less invasive than it was to place. They would just need a speculum to snip and pull out the strings. It was uncomfortable but they found and cut the stings. Unfortunately the speculum got stuck and they could not loosen it. I was in lots of pain at that point and sent my poor husband to the other end of the curtain to loosen the screws so I could finally be free. I went home to finish off bed rest until I was closer to full term but kept leaking fluids and had my daughter 5 days later. She did not require any NICU time and I was so happy to bring my first rainbow baby home.
For my third pregnancy I knew I did not want to have a cerclage again. I consulted an OB and they recommend that I have weekly or biweekly ultrasounds to measure the length of my cervix and go from there. Anything to avoid the cerclage again. Around 27 weeks my cervix started to show some funneling which is a slight opening around the baby’s head. I was not dilated but my cervix was starting to act up so we started more strict bed rest, treating any preterm labor symptoms and got steroid shots for baby’s lung development in case I were to have a preemie. It was also stressful but I celebrated every week he stayed inside of me and also had him at 35 weeks and 5 days like his older sister, he also did not require any NICU time. Now my fourth pregnancy which leads me to writing this post. I chose the same path as the third pregnancy and started showing some funneling at 28 weeks. Today I’m 30 weeks and 5 days and had another weekly cervical ultrasound. I’ve had enough of these I know what I’m looking at and whats good and bad. When the ultrasound wand was inserted I could tell there was a change from the previous week. Before the gestational sac was nice and around baby’s head and now it was starting to bulge into the little bit of funneling and when there was the slight amount of pressure put on the cervix that opening widened. You can tell from my scan images below from left to right you can see the opening widen and by the last image my heart sunk.
I thought I would be escorted to the hospital across the street and have the remainder of my pregnancy and bed rest monitored at the hospital. I hate hospital bed rest, I’m more stressed there than at home but I understand its need, I really do want this baby to stay in for as long as we can possibly make it. Thankfully I was not having any contractions and my new perinatologist (who I LOVE by the way) explained something new. It’s called a pessary. Apparently there are different types of these and more commonly it’s for women who have prolapsed uterus. In Europe some doctor redesigned one to work for women like me who have dynamic cervixes. I do not believe any studies in the US have been completed on it yet but there are very minimal risks to it that I had no problem telling my perinatologist to place it today. I’ve posted a picture of what it looks like below but the best way I can describe it is like a silicone donut is placed behind your pubic bone below your cervix. It supports my already dynamic cervix and can hopefully buy us some more time to get closer to term. If you have used a reusable menstrual cup before it’s like that but bigger and with the cup part cut off. Placing it did not hurt and was just like any other manual exam. Thankfully I’m still closed and not dialating or contracting so for the next few weeks I will remain on bedrest, take progesterone suppositories and any other monitoring or medications my doctor might think will help me from going into labor. The great thing about the pessary is if my water breaks or I start leaking fluids like what happened in my last two pregnancies I will be able to tell because of the opening in the pessary. With the cerclage it was harder to tell because it was stitched so tightly.
I really wish my pregnancies were not like this. I’ve cried so many times doubting myself and hating my body for not being like other women who can carry to term with little to no complications. Every pregnancy gets a little better because I am more informed and practice my faith and optimism to keep the anxiety at bay. Today during my scan I wanted to cry and felt a panic attack coming but I said a little prayer for peace and comfort and began counting my blessings. I have so many things to be thankful for.
My husband who juggles two jobs and takes care of the kids and household chores.
My beautiful children, two on Earth who give me love and snuggles, two in Heaven who watch over our whole family and one special boy in my womb who I know will be worth all this stress.
My extended family and friends who help with watching the kids, bringing by meals, lending me an ear or shoulder when I need.
My medical team including midwife, midwife assistants, ultrasound techs, OBGYN and perinatologist. All who treat me with kindness and respect.
My readers and online friends who leave messages of encouragement.
Not having high blood pressure or an anxiety attack yet.
Netflix and Hulu to keep my mind otherwise occupied and not stressing about every little thing.
Donuts because they are yummy, good looking and remind me of my dynamic cervix!
*I don’t claim to be a cervix expert but I hope my story and experiences might help someone else out there going through similar issues. Know it’s OK to ask questions about a course of treatment your doctor might recommend. Thoroughly go over the benefits and risks with them and if they feel rushed or try and make you feel less than, go get a second opinion.
*I am a LÍLLÉbaby Ambassador and this product was provided to me by LÍLLÉbaby . All opinions expressed are my own. This posts contains affiliate links. If you buy products via my link I will get a small percentage which I use for gymnastics class for my daughter, speech therapy for my son, or to run this blog. So thanks in advance!
I cant tell you how excited I am for this launch! It’s been really hard for me to remain tight lipped about LÍLLÉbaby’s new carrier the Essentials!
It’s no secret I’m a LÍLLÉ Lover, but that’s only after trying Bjorn, Britax, Moby, Ergobaby, Beco, Tula, and many others. The new Essentials carrier is a quality SSC (soft structured carrier) for get this . . . UNDER 100 DOLLARS! That’s right you heard me! It’s $89.99!
Below is a chart I made to compare it to the other style LÍLLÉbaby carriers. If you are considering buying a LÍLLÉbaby and the budget is tight, you MUST try this. Also if you have a LÍLLÉbaby Complete already might I suggest getting the Essentials to be your car carrier? Because that’s what we do now and it helps me out on those many days I forgot to pack a carrier.
So this is a very exciting collaboration that has been hard to keep secret and I’ve only known a couple days ahead of the public, so great job playing this one close to the vest Lillebaby and Tokidoki! There are limited edition prints of Complete All Seasons (standard size) and Carry Ons (toddler size) available on lillebaby.com and the following stores listed below. Grab them quick before they are gone!
I got to thinking about what kind of mom I am. I know I’m a good mom, deep down I know that, but what kind of mom am I beyond that? I feel like I could argue a majority of mom’s are “good” moms [and trust me I don’t say that lightly. I work with low income families and children about 50 hours a week and most of the children I work with have behavioral issues do to the trauma of being removed from their mothers, but I digress…] Of course being a women means inevitably I succumb to comparing myself to other women and mothers or judging other women so I started off by listing what kind of mom I am not.
– I’m not that mom that can create character themed gourmet farm to brown bag lunches.
– I’m not the kind of mom that creates Pinterest worthy parties.
– I’m not the kind of mom that arrange a bunch of play dates.
Then I realized that was pretty harsh on myself and decided to focus on the things that make me better than just a good mom.
– I am the kind of mom that works a stressful full time job to help support our family dream of getting out of debt and changing our family tree.
– I am the kind of mom that makes cookie dough with my daughter and watches Gilmore Girls or Barbie.
– I am the kind of mom that breaks into spontaneous dance parties with her kids to avoid a pending tantrum.
– I am the kind of mom that takes her children on date nights.
I’m an epic mom. I am a mom that reserves the right to make mistakes and learn from them, and of course I couldn’t be that kind of mom with our a lot of support. Support from my amazing husband, support from my own mother and other family members, support from my army village of friends. It’s time we stop apologizing for what mom we are not and embrace the mom we are. So I ask you, what kind of mom are you?