Saturday, December 31, 2011

4
Weekend Gathering Blog Hop!!

Hows it going? What are you doing this weekend?!

I'm just spending time with family! OH! And, I'm visiting all these awesome blogs from this Weekend Gathering Blog Hop! Check it out!


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Friday, December 30, 2011

0
Moms.. How do YOU feel sexy? (Intended for mature readers)


Major changes happen after a mommy has her first baby. - For me, mommy-hood is beyond amazing, words cannot explain how good it felt to hold my son for the first time, to look into his eyes, and now to see him smile at me. I wouldn't change a thing about having my son, but I will say this.. It took a toll on me.

So now my son is two months old, and me and my hubby are lighting up our flame, I'm starting to feel good again and he can tell ;) - But things aren't exactly the same, for the first time in my life, I've got stretch marks, I need to wear a push-up bra, and *ahem* some stuff just isn't how it used to be. 

I know I'm not the only mommy who has gone or is going through this, it happens to the best of us.

So what can I do to feel a little sexier? Well I think lingerie from EdenFantasys.com is great start.

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store


So here's what I'm looking at:

My True Beauty Fuchsia Chemise
 

This beautiful fuchsia chemise is just my style, it's adorable and sexy at the same time, and it's my favorite color PINK! (but you can also find it in black, which is sexy too!) It features an adorable ruffle hem and removable garter straps, and also comes with a matching thong. The sassy floral pattern is sure to appeal to any man (or woman) and I am just in love with the design of this chemise. What do I like about it most? The cute ruffle-design bottom and the comfortableness of having no under-wire! - But honestly, the thing I love about this piece the most is the same thing I love about all of the adorable lingerie from EdenFantasys, and that is the great prices, this chemise is only $29.99, which (if you do enough shopping for lingerie and intimates) is a great deal! Plus, right now you can save 20% site wide using the promotion code "Pleasure"

Check out their latest promotions: HERE

Edenfantasys offers a lot more than just lingerie though (read my review about EdenFantasys here.) and if you haven't checked out everything EdenFantasys has to offer, you should! They have a large selection of intimates, lubricants, condoms, adult toys, erotic books & dvds, and even bath and body products.

I'll be writing lots more about EdenFantasys, so stay tuned!

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

2
Merry Christmas Eve! Anyone still out there?

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!

It's a wonderful time of year, isn't it? I am totally in the holiday spirit!,
mostly because this is the first Christmas for baby Samuel (who by the way, is 2 months old now!!)
but also because I am with my entire family (minus my sister who lives in Florida and doesn't want to see her family for the holidays because she is overly busy being alone on Christmas day, but I'm trying not to think about that..) 

 My plans for today are to prepare the glaze for tomorrows ham, make the chocolate birthday cake for my brother, because his birthday is on Christmas!!, relax with my family, and then get some good sleep! (well okay, we might open a gift or two tonight!!) 

And for tomorrow, it's going to be a long day of laughing, cooking, eating, relaxing, receiving, giving, and loving! What are your big Christmas plans?! I'd love to hear them!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2
Have you looked into life insurance?

Being a parent changes everything in your life, doesn't it? You go from thinking about yourself to thinking about someone else all the time, at least if your like me, in an instant your entire life suddenly revolves around this one special little person and you want to be there for them every moment of every day, and while they're young you usually can be (luckily!) - But we all worry, and we all want to be able to take care of our kids, even where we're gone, right? Well that's where life insurance comes in.

What is life insurance?
Quite simply, life insurance is a contract between you and an insurer, in which the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money, or "benefits" upon the death of the insured person. The real advantage for having life insurance  is peace of mind, by knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of should something ever happen to you.

Who needs life insurance?
Most Americans need life insurance. If you pass, life insurance can help your family meet important financial needs like daily living expenses, funeral costs and college funding. To sum it up, If someone will suffer financially when you die, you need life insurance. The best way to figure out if you need life insurance is to ask yourself how your loved ones would take care of themselves and other costs when your gone.

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost?
How much you'll be paying always depends on your age and health and the size of the benefit you want. The younger and healthier you are, the less your premium will be. Just as an example (rough estimate) a healthy 40 year old man that buys a 20 year level term policy, that has a fixed annual premium, will probably pay about $350 a year to secure a $500,000 death benefit, whereas A healthy 50 year old man who buys the same policy could pay $1,000 a year and if he waits until he's 60 the policy can cost about $3,000 a year.

Aptus Insurance

Aptus Insurance focuses on finding the right policy for their customers, and they work with the most respected insurance providers in the nation, offering top quality insurance to fit into your budget. By making things easy, enjoyable and clear they make the online shopping experience hassle free and easy to do.Want a  free quote? it's fast and easy!, just fill out one simple online form. They also have great parenting tips on their new parents personal finance guide. Sometimes finding the right policy can be difficult, but one of the most common types of insurance people purchase is Universal Life Insurance because it is a permanent form of insurance, with no expiration date, and the policy will not automatically end . So you might want look into universal plans.

Disclosure / This is a Class A post, to read the Class A disclosure policy please click here. All opinions (negative or positive) are always my own and 100% honest.


0
This Moms Beauty Tips

When I was younger, I spent a lot more time thinking about my appearance. Putting on the make up everyday, doing my hair before even thinking about leaving the house, dying, straightening, curling and primping it everyday. But today, I'm lucky to work up the energy to put lip gloss on! - BUT! No more! My son will be two months old in two days and I think it's time for me to start pampering myself a little more. No, I won't be spending as much time as I used to on fashion and make up because moms, lets face it.. when you have to choose between folding laundry, vacuuming, cooking dinner, taking care of an infant, and finishing the other hundred thousand things on your to-do list for that day or doing your hair, I think your hair is going to lose that battle. - But we can still work in a little time for ourselves, and you might be surprised at how one little thing can help.I'm going to share a few of my quick-tips with you guys.

Olive Oil & Sugar Facial Scrub - This is the first one on the list because it is probably one of the most useful! It is so easy, simple and amazing. This home-made scrub leaves your skin feeling exfoliated and fresh, and incredibly soft. I recommend using this scrub 1-3 times a week, and if you have really dry skin (or the harsh winter is damaging your skin) you can apply moisturizer after using the scrub. It's as simple as this: Mix 1 Tablespoon of water with 1 Teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, mix until it creates a thick paste, then rub (softy) onto your face in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water. Done!

Baby Powder For Super Soft Skin - It's silly how something you probably already have laying around the house can make such a big difference in the appearance and softness of your skin. I've always had baby powder around somewhere, but recently I've been using it after I get out of the bath, all over my body. It leaves your skin silky smooth and also keeps you smelling fresh (all over!) for a good amount of time. It's refreshing and light, and I love it. Simple as anything really, just take a 15-20 minute hot shower and after drying yourself (patting your body all over, not wiping with the the towel.) put some powder on all over, or even just the dry spots you are trying to moisturize. This is a great tip to keep in mind, because I never would have thought it would make such a big difference, but it does! 


These two simple things really do work wonders, I promise! Do you have any tips or tricks you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

1
Review for EdenFantasys.com (Adult Content)


Sexy Christmas gifts from EdenFantasys - the sex toys shop you can trust!

Recently I have come across many reviews for EdenFantasys.com, and I was so excited to have the opportunity to work with EdenFantasys! If you haven't heard about EdenFantasys yet, it is a wonderful adult toy store with a huge selection of great gifts to give this holiday season if you want to spice up your love life or treat someone else to a personal gift.

This wonderful website offers toys for couples, women and men, sexy lingerie and beauty and body gifts. Me and my hubby received this Trojan Pleasure 12 Pack from EdenFantasys for the first time and we were happy with the variety this multi-pack offers, my personal favorite from the mix was the "Her Pleasure" which was no surprise, for me at least! I would definitely buy this 12 pack, it is a great deal for the variety it offers, just $16.99.

As I was browsing around EdenFantsasys I came across so many adorable lingerie sets, one of my favorites was this Pink Robe and Babydoll, but honestly it is hard to choose a favorite because they have such a great selection. I would definitely recommend any of my readers to check out EdenFantasys, they are a fabulous website and right now is a great time to shop with them because they are also offering free shipping on orders over $25, and with their holiday sale you can save up to 70% on selected products.


Sexy Christmas gifts from EdenFantasys - the sex toys shop you can trust!


Monday, December 12, 2011

1
Considering Redecorating My Home After The Holidays

A year ago I couldn't have imagined my life would be what it is today. I was living in California, working a 9-5 job and living in a tiny apartment. Today, I am a stay at home (while working) mom living in Texas with an amazing son (who is coming up on his 2 month point!!) and a loving husband and great family, in a gorgeous 4 bedroom home with a big backyard and great dane puppy who is growing faster than my eyes can keep up with. My life is great! The only problem I've run into lately is the lack of comfort ability in my home because I haven't gotten to go buy things to interior decorate yet. In our tiny apartment, we had more than enough things (possibly too many) but now that we're living in a bigger home we look empty!

So I came across this website that is going to help me tremendously with my decorating adventure. It's called Houzz.com and it is super cool! You can view all kind of photos to get inspiration for your next remodeling project, and you can browse ideas by category like Asian, Contemporary, Traditional, Modern, Tropical, etc..

I'm no interior designer, and I'm not trying to be. But I do want a home that is warm and welcoming, and a home that has my style. Houzz.com is going to help me create an ideabook to inspire warm changes all around my home! If you want to create an ideabook of your own, it's easy and free! Just visit their website and get started today. I was surprised at the amount of work put into Houzz.com, the ideas you can find are endless and if your like me and crave a little of your own style in your home, let Houzz.com help you create it!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

1
Making the switch from GFC to Google+ (HUGE GIVEAWAY)

If your a blogger, I'm sure you might have heard the big news about GFC be discontinued in 2012. Instead of using GFC, we'll be using Google+ to keep our followers updated. I'm still getting the hang of Google+ (I didn't even have a Google+ Page until I found out about the discontinuance of GFC) and I'm slowly but surely getting followers (people who have added me to their Google+ Circles). I've completely made the switch, I am no longer asking my readers to follow me via GFC, instead I am asking them to join me on Google+.

This being the case, in my desperate attempt to gain more people on my Google+ Page I am going to offer a giveaway like I've never offered before. Keep reading for the juicy details!

Here's how it's going to work! I am going to offer my readers tons of chances to win PayPal Cash! This giveaway is going to be constantly getting bigger because for every 20 people that add my page to their Google+ Circles I will add $10 to the prize! The prize is going to start at $100 PayPal Cash and will continue to grow every time 20 more people add my page to their circles! After the prize hits $200 I am going to start splitting it up into multiple prizes, so the grand prize will be $200 but there will be other prizes for $10, $20, and $50 to make sure everyone has their chance to WIN! This giveaway is going to run until February and will be open to anyone over 18 years of age with a PayPal account.

But wait.. It gets better! I'm going offer you an awesome way to score 100 entries into the giveaway EVERYDAY! How? - Simple, refer a friend to this giveaway and make sure to tell them to answer with your name in the box that's is going to ask them who referred them, then after they've entered the giveaway you can come back and click 'I referred someone!' and fill in your information and their name! EASY PEASY! and it's worth 100 entries everyday, AND the more people you refer, the bigger the prizes will be! Entering the giveaway is easy as can be with the rafflecopter form below!

ENTER TO WIN!!







Tuesday, December 6, 2011

8
(1) $50 Walmart Giftcard + (1) $50 Macy's Gift Card Giveaway!!

The holidays sure know how to put a dent in your budget, and I know just how hard it is to shop without breaking the bank. So I've decided to help out (2) of my lucky readers with gift cards! There are lots of ways to enter (using the rafflecopter form below) - And I'll be adding TONS of more ways to earn entries over the next few days, so keep coming back to get even more chances of winning!

Giveaway Starts December 5th and Giveaway Ends December 15th
*Open to US residents only*

GOOD LUCK!





Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2
Beautiful Hematite Eye Bracelet for only $6.99 + Free Shipping! Great stocking stuffer!


Did you know that most people open their stockings before any other present on Christmas? - Since this is the case, I think we should fill the stockings full of seriously awesome gifts! Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing all the best "stocking stuffers" I can find with all of you. Here's the first one!

This beautiful Hematite Eye Bracelet is only $6.99, and shipping is totally free :)

Hematite is known as the calming stone. It is a semi-precious gemstone and its magnetic characteristics balance out the emotions and energies between body, spirit and mind.

The colors of this bracelet are absolutely beautiful! I think the design in adorably unique and I think it's a great deal for only $6.99. I also think it would be cute if you kept it in a small jewelry box and wrapped it in your favorite Christmas wrapping paper, and tie a tiny little ribbon around it!




BUY IT: You can head over here to buy this gorgeous bracelet =)



1
Cash For The Holidays Giveaway Coming Soon!

Some of you might have already entered or heard about my New Year Kickoff $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway going on right now, it's a great chance to win extra cash for the new year. But with the holidays coming up soon I know we could all use a little extra holiday cash. And that's why I'm prepared to offer (2) of my readers a $50 gift card to Walmart and Macy's! That's right, two lucky readers will receive a $50 gift card to their choice of either Walmart or Macy's. This giveaway is going to start December 1st and end December 15th, I will use Rafflecopter to collect entries and there will be tons of chances to win (I'm setting up my Google+ page and I will offer 15 entries to every person who joins my circle, plus 20 entries for every person who checks out the Facebook Page of Matthew Doolan and 'Likes' it, and I'm opening up a new website and I'll offer 100 entries to everyone who checks it out! - Plus many more bonus entries!)

I still have tons of work to do to get my new website up and going, so I'll be busy working on it for the next two days! Don't forget to come back and enter to win! :)



Monday, November 28, 2011

0
Easy Steps To Keeping a Clean Home (On a Busy Schedule)

Being a stay at home mom is perhaps one of the best jobs in the world, but it is certainly a job. Here are a few of my tricks to keeping my home clean all the time, without having to clean all the time ;)

- Schedule! This is probably the most important. Once you have a set schedule for your household duties everything will be much easier. Everyone works a little different so find a routine that works best for you (for example, I schedule my household duties around my sons nap-time, that way I can tend to him anytime he's awake and my hands aren't too full) I recommend creating a daily schedule and keeping it on your fridge.

- Leave shoes at the door! This is certainly the second-most important. Carpets get dirty faster than you could imagine, and I recommend regularly shampooing your carpets to keep your home fresh, but no matter how often you clean your carpets they will never stay clean long if your walking on them with dirty shoes. I think keeping a shoe rack by your front door is a wonderful idea.

- Clean up as you go! Don't wait for a little mess to turn into a mountain before you clean, stick to your cleaning schedule (as mentioned above) but in between times be sure to throw that candy wrapper away or pick up toys that are laying around. You will be surprised at how much cleaning can be done in under a minute! 

- Put things up! A lot of time can be spent just putting things in their proper places, so instead of putting things down when your done with them, put them away where they belong. Encourage family members to take this extra step and notice how much cleaner your home stays.

- Throw junk away! Old magazines and useless clutter will make your home look messy and give you a lot more to pick up each day, so be sure to designate at least one day out of each week (I picked Fridays) to de-clutter your home, this means throwing out those old mags, cleaning out the fridge and getting those leftovers out of there, throwing those expired coupons away and deciding what you'll use again and what you won't. 


 These are just a few tricks I like to keep up my sleeve, do you have any super-mom tricks you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

1
How your credit score affects your life

A lot of people might think that only those who are trying to buy cars or homes or obtain loans and credit cards need to care about their credit score and report; but those people might just be in for lots of trouble.

So what exactly is your credit score? - Your credit score is a three digit number that represents your "creditworthiness", in other words, your ab
ility to pay back your debts. Your credit report contains records of all your "borrowing" (credit cards, loans, etc) and repayment history. It contains information about your loans, when you took them, when you re-payed them, current balances, and how frequent you are with payments. Your credit report will also contain personal information like your name, Social Security Number, your date of birth, current and recent addresses, and current and previous employers.


  • There are three agencies that gather your information and summarize it into your report, these three agencies are Equifax, Trans Union and Experian.


why is it important? - To understand why your credit score and report are important you should first understand who will be looking at your credit report. Generally, your credit report will be viewed by insurance companies, potential lenders, landlords and employers (however, when a potential employer receives your verified credit report it probably will not include your credit rating or score, or any indication of how good or bad your credit is, instead what they will receive is a credit history based upon information found using public records, usually this includes issues like prior bankruptcies, payment history, and tax liens.) Your credit report will help them decide whether to approve your application for a credit card or loan, housing or job, or even to offer you a service or product at a lower or dropped rate. For great instance, people with higher credit scores might pay less interest on cars. Knowing this, you should also know that 1/3 of all credit reports have some sort of error on them and this is why it is important to obtain a copy of your credit report from all three credit-reporting agencies at least once each year.
  •  Credit scores range from 300-850 and the average score today is 678. Scores over 700 will usually qualify someone for interest rates and terms while scores in the low 600’s and below usually face higher interest rates, so those with scores over 760 usually obtain the best terms and rates.

Being a mother makes me even more cautious about my credit score and keeping track of my report, and it's really easy to do because you can go online to find your free credit score.  Always keep in mind that your credit history is  an indication of how you handle credit responsibilities, and those who look into your credit history might use it as insight to your character and your ability to manage your own lifestyle.

Keeping up with your credit score can be exceptionally easy with FreeScore! I hope this was informational and helpful for everyone!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

0
Wordless Wednesday



The two most handsome men in my life ;)


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

0
Thanksgiving Plans?!

I love thanksgiving. It is *perhaps* one of my favorite holidays. But this thanksgiving is going to be the first thanksgiving that I don't get to eat until I'm sinfully full. I'm trying to lose this baby weight because me and my husband and son will be going on vacation to Las Vegas in February where we'll be meeting up with lots of old friends we haven't seen since we left California early this year, and I really want to look my best. I have 40 lbs I need to lose, and I know I won't lose that before February, but I'm hoping to do the best I can. I'm not going to enjoy watching everyone eat the yummy food I spent all day making while I snack occasionally throughout the day. But by next year, I'll be fit and ready to enjoy thanksgiving like I normally do.

So what's your plans thanksgiving? Small family gathering? Large family gathering? Tons of food? Or are your dieting like me? I'd love to hear about your plans :) Lets talk!


0
Gifts for comfort :)


I know it might not be fancy or extravagant, but some of the most important gifts on my Christmas Wish List are gifts that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (plush blankets, a cotton bathrobe, pajamas, etc..) - I moved back home to Texas earlier this year from California, and I honestly forgot that it actually does get cold here. I have pajamas, but they are all tank top and shorts, not exactly what I need this time of year! Anyway, I've always loved Aeropostale, and they have some great sleepwear that I would love to see under my tree this year :) They also have major good deals going on right now, I've seen shirts regularly priced at $29.50  now being sold at just $12.00, a full-zip hoodie regularly priced at $39.50 now being sold at just $19.75, and tank tops regularly priced at $22.50 now marked down to just $10.00. I also browsed around at the clearance section and noticed that they have some adorable shirts up for grabs priced as low as $4.99. And to make things just a little sweeter, they are offering free shipping on orders over $75.00. I love getting deals like these! I'll definitely be doing some more shopping at Aero this holiday season, especially with good deals like these. Check out this adorable set of pajamas, I love it :)



Friday, November 18, 2011

1
CP Toys - Review



All parents want to give their kids the best holiday season possible. Once you become a parent you put a lot more effort into buying the gifts, decorating the trees, making the amazing dinners, and creating those holiday memories. I've always thought that the gifts during Christmas aren't as important as the thoughts behind them. The sweetest gifts to give are something personal, something sentimental. But honestly, we all know kids don't care about that! They want the hottest toys and gadgets available, they don't want a hand-made sweater! Well thankfully, my son isn't old enough to ask for any certain gifts yet, but I have a huge family so I still need to buy toys for older children. If you plan on buying toys for children this year, check out CP Toys. You might have read my last post which was a review for U.S. Toy company, well CP Toys is a sister-company to them and they also offer amazing deals and toys! If you a gifting to a young girl, I suggest you check out the 18 inch doll - They are adorable and you can also purchase additional holiday clothing for any of the dolls, reasonably priced. - They are definitely a one-stop-shop for gifts for young children. They also have a variety of items that are on sale and have been marked down to very competitive prices. Another thing I love about their site is that you can browse items by category (Books, Puzzles, Electronic Toys, etc) or by age (infant, 18+ months, 3 years, etc) and even by price range (they even have toys under $10.00) I strongly recommend you check out their site and cash in on big deals for your toy shopping this holiday season!



Thursday, November 17, 2011

4
US Toy - Review

We all know how exciting the holiday seasons are, and for me one of the biggest excitements comes from all of the holiday decorations we get to enjoy. The lights, the stockings, the novelty hats, they are all so much fun and bring the holiday cheer. I have trusted U.S. Toy for my holiday needs for a long time, and if you haven't heard about them, I'd love to tell you all about them! - U.S. Toy was founded in 1953, and the original owners started this business out of there own living room. Today, U.S. Toy is still family owned and operated.  They have a huge selection of products that will surely accommodate to any of your holiday needs, OR party necessities. They offer products for many different party themes. They are always trying to offer the best product for the best prices, some things are even sold for $0.01 a piece! They also have a selection of novelty toys, which make great under-the-tree gifts. Another thing I love about U.S. Toy is that they are now offering free shipping on every order, no minimum purchase necessary, no gimmicks, just free shipping! I hope you can check them out and find great products for great prices this holiday season! :)


0
How I manage getting a little extra sleep at night...

When I was pregnant, everyone told me to rest as much as possible because it would be hard for me to get rest after my son would arrive, foolishly, I kind of shrugged it off and thought "it won't be that bad!" - Well, after not getting much sleep for the last four weeks, I'm looking back thinking I should have considered appreciating my rest a little more! On the bright side, Samuel is sleeping longer through the night, instead of waking up every 2 hours, he sleeps 4-5 hours at a time now (which is making this mommy very happy).

I suppose, the reason he is sleeping longer could be that we have switched from breast milk to formula, and because formula is harder to digest, it makes him feel full longer, keeping him asleep longer. But on top of that,  to maximize the time I spend sleeping.. Here's what I did:

First of all, I brought his changing table into my bedroom. If he's sleeping in the room with me, I don't see the point in walking across the hall into his room to change his diaper at night. Once he starts sleeping in his own room, I'll put the changing table back in there.

Secondly, I use my nightstand as a feeding station! Every night before we lay down I make sure I have 8oz of filtered water, the bottle warmer, and two clean bottles on the nightstand. That way, when he wakes up, it's just a routine - Get out of bed, get him out of is bassinet, walk over to the changing table and change his diaper, walk back to the bed, sit down and make his bottle, feed him, put him back in his bassinet. TA-DA!

It's funny how the simplest things can make such a big difference, I feel like I'm getting so much more sleep now that I'm not going into his room to change him, then to the kitchen to make his bottle, and then back to bed. It really does save time! :)

Do you have any magical mommy tips you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them!



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

1
two thousand mile drive

This guest post from Arlene Guthrie
My husband’s job just relocated him to Oregon. It is about two thousand miles away from where we live now, in North Carolina. As soon as we found out that he was offered the promotion, after discussing it and decided that it would be good for our family, we headed to Oregon to find a place to leave. We had never even been the Pacific Northwest! Anyway, we were amazed when we got out there. The area is absolutely beautiful. It is nestled at the base of the Cascade mountains. We are also excited about getting to ski. We actually found a really great house at a good price in the area. It is two stories with great views. It is a four-bedroom / five bath house that is going to be perfect. While we were out there and closing, I called HOME SECURITY BEND OR and set up an appointment for a home security system to be put in. All that is left is the two thousand mile drive across the country!


0
Gift Baskets For Christmas



It's getting closer and closer to the holidays, and I'm going crazy thinking about what I'll be buying for everyone. *Sigh* - I love this time of year, and I'm usually overly-excited about shopping for the holidays, but lately I've been exhausted! Learning how to keep up with a newborn sure has taken it's toll on this first time mommy. Nonetheless, I am still my normal cheery self . I am still excited for the holidays and anxious to start wrapping gifts! But this year, I will be taking a few short-cuts. And one of those short cuts will be gift baskets, I normally make my own baskets or go with more personalized gifts, but not this year! I'll definitely be taking the easy way out by ordering several gift baskets, for friends and distant relatives mostly. I just love that it is going to make my holiday season so much easier, kind of like buying turkey that's already cooked, or heading over to your families thanksgiving dinner so you don't have to cook the turkey! There are probably a million holiday short-cuts one could take, and I'm seriously considering making a list of all the things I can do to make this holiday season a little less stressful on myself.  Did you know that 'hamper' is a word used in the UK meaning gift baskets?  - I had no idea! - Anyway, I remember when my mom used to buy gift baskets for our neighbors or friends during the holidays and we would joke about how lazy she was for it, well now is probably the first time in my life I realize why she took the short-cuts she did, especially as a single mom with three kids working two jobs! I can't imagine doing all the things she did, and I'm surprised she found time even just to order gift baskets during those hectic holiday seasons.

So how do you plan on making this holiday season easier on yourself? Any short-cuts you plan on taking? Do you order gift baskets, and if so, who do you give them to?




0
Big changes coming up!

So I've been looking into ways I can make my blog a better place, and the biggest thing that I want to change is having my own domain. I don't want to be magicallifeofmamas.blogspot.com, I want to be lifeofmamas.com. - It sounds simple, but I've looked into it further, and apparently I have a lot on my plate..

So I'm going to buy my domain, buy my hosting, then switch my blog from blogspot to wordpress, and then upload my blog to my domain. - Is that right? - I'm so confused! I'm no expert at these things, but I'm going to try anyway. I'm wishing now that I would have just started with wordpress from the beginning *sigh*

I guess the biggest reason I want to have my own domain is because I think of my URL as an eye-sore with that pesky ".blogspot.com" at the end. What do you think? Do you think a blog with its own domain looks better? If you own a blog, have you switched to your own domain yet, or will you?

Lets talk!


Monday, November 14, 2011

2
Travelnursing.org- Review

Registered nurses who are willing to travel have endless possibilities, and Traveling nurses can make up to $40 per hour depending on the location they choose. But the pay isn't the only reason registered nurses might consider traveling, as the experiences are also unique. Maybe you've thought about wanting to live somewhere but aren't sure you would like it, traveling for temporary work (usually 8 weeks) will allow you to get a feel for the place and see if you would like to stay. Additionally, traveling nurses make a big impact on the world of health care because without them many places would be lacking skilled health professionals. Traveling as nurse is a great adventure that allows every nurse the unique opportunity to work with new colleagues and meet new friends. Another satisfying advantage of being a traveling nurse is free housing. Companies that work with traveling nurses offer quality housing that is both close to where nurses work and play, for a great price! FREE!

So if you are a registered nurse and you would like to join a free placement program and start working this week, I'd like to tell you about travelnursing.org, a great website that can help you to find your perfect nursing job because they partner with top travel nursing companies to make sure that you get the fit you need. They are also able to provide scholarships for qualifying applicants applying to a medical related field or who are currently pursuing further education in the fields of nursing and medicine.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, I hope they can help you in finding the perfect nursing job and I wish you good luck! 
~ Additionally, I want to give big thanks to all of the RN's out there who work hard to provide quality medical care. I know the job must not always be easy, and it takes strength to take care of people in need as a profession. Last time I was in the hospital I couldn't have appreciated my nurses enough, I spent more time with them than I did my own doctor and they tended to my needs, which meant so much to me. They made my stay at the hospital a breeze! ~ 


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Become.com - Review

Have you done any shopping on Become.com? With the holidays arriving so rapidly, I'm sure we can all appreciate the hot deals, price comparisons, and product reviews this site has to offer! You can even save money on shipping by checking out these awesome offers from stores, some offering free shipping on orders over $100, others offering free shipping on order over $35, and another store even offers $7 flat rate shipping. But the great offers don't stop there, they have a long list of great offers from different types of stores you'll want to get your hands on. Another thing I love about Become.com is the "top 10 lists" they feature on the site. It makes it so much easier to shop because when I'm stumped on gift ideas I can easily come across great ideas for every one in my family. The selection of products and great deals are wonderful on this website, everything is organized and easy to find. Say your looking for that green leather chair to go in your living room, or to replace that Hampton laminate flooring in your home, or maybe you need a new hand held shower mount, you can find all these things and so much more easily and for a great price at Become.com. They feature products sold by large-brand merchants all over, while shopping for my baby I noticed that they list products from companies like Target®, Babies R Us®, and The Land of Nod®. They also feature electronic products sold by Dell®, Toshiba®, and AT&T®. But it doesn't stop there, they have tons of merchants offering great deals on their site. They also have made it super easy to do your shopping anywhere with their free app for the Ipad. While browsing the site, I found some great deals right away, I found a Sonicare Essence 5200 toothbrush for 13% off making it only $139.99, and a Canon Powershot 16 megapixel camera at 44% off, making it just $129.00, a really good deal in my opinion. I am happy to have found this website and be sharing it with you guys today because the holidays are always so hectic for me, trying to find the right gifts, find the best deals, and get all of my shopping done in time can make me feel exhausted sometimes, but I'm looking forward to using Become.com as my side-kick in shopping this year to make things a little easier (And with taking care of my newborn son, and learning how to be a mommy for the first time, God knows I could use all the help I can get!) - So what gifts will you be getting this holiday season? What is your favorite part about this time of year? And how do you look for the best deals? Don't be shy! I'd love to hear about your shopping-savvy ideas and tips! Lets talk about the holidays!



Sunday, November 13, 2011

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Trying to make an educated decision about immunizations and my baby

The world we live in today is magnificent, through a lot of dedication and focus scientists are constantly discovering new ways to cure our diseases, and finding ways to prevent them. So if someone asked me "Don't you want your baby to be protected from Hepatitis B, the Rotavirus, Pertussis, Polio, the flu, and other things?" I would say most definitely! But if that same person asked me "Would you consider possibly giving your child autism as a side affect from trying to prevent them (with no guarantee that it will prevent them) from having Hepatitis B, the Rotavirus, Pertussis, Polio, or the flu?" I would obviously tell them heck-no!

With my newborn son in mind, I have been carefully examining tons of articles and reports about infant vaccinations, as Samuel will be going to his two month appointment with his pediatrician next month I am trying to make the most informed decision about his vaccinations possible. I had no second thoughts to vaccinating until I came across some horrifying stories from mothers all around the world, after reading a few of the terrible stories, I began to wonder if I should vaccinate my baby. So I knew I needed to research, and as I began to I found that just with any other subject, most people have their own opinion.. so I found lots of "pros and cons" to think about. A few considerable reasons to get your children vaccinated could be these:

  • The more people who are immunized, the less the risk of serious illness for everyone.

  • If parents don't have their children immunized, they place other children in their community at risk.

  • Diseases will change over time. So if people choose not to protect themselves or their children from illnesses, the viruses that cause these diseases get a chance to change into new forms that the original vaccine may be unable to protect the body against.

    So, after reading that, what's left to question right? Immunizations sound great.. But I had to do more research than that, I had to look more into it. I wanted both sides to the story, but I didn't just want opinions, I wanted facts! I didn't want to be tricked, or pressured into it getting my son vaccinated if I had absolutely no balanced information.

    Well, for starters, consider this: In the beginning, a virus or bacteria cannot grow without unclean conditions to live on, so to manufacture a vaccine, they must use animal or human tissue and blood products to grow the virus or bacteria on. Which means these vaccines you will consider putting in your teeny-tiny babies' perfect little body contains traces of this tissue. Kind of gross, but hey, it's science, right? Then, lets talk about preserving these vaccines, since some of these vaccines we give to our children contains inactive viruses, they must add in a substance to render the virus dead, which is most often Formaldehyde, one of the world’s most toxic and carcinogenic substances. 

    ~ "Formaldehyde is highly toxic to humans, regardless of method of intake. Ingestion of as little as 30 mL (1 oz.) of a solution containing 37% formaldehyde has been reported to cause death in an adult. Water solution of formaldehyde is very corrosive and its ingestion can cause severe injury to upper gastrointestinal tract." ~

    I'm sorry, did I just read that correctly? one of the preservatives in the vaccine I'm considering giving to my perfect baby is highly toxic? I almost couldn't believe it! What is Formaldehyde, and what is it made of? I discovered Formaldehyde is a simple substance consisting of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon, and is a natural part of our world, in fact it is part of our human metabolism and it occurs naturally in the air that we breathe. It is even emitted as a by-product of certain vegetables, when they are cooked. And  plants and animals also produce Formaldehyde. Nonetheless, increased exposure to Formaldehyde is definitely unsafe. Many case studies have suggested an association between Formaldehyde exposure and several cancers, including nasopharyngeal cancer and leukemia, and Formaldehyde has been classified as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. - So I began to think, if this substance is so toxic.. Why on earth would I consider letting someone inject my baby with it? ..But the better question, why would my doctor suggest me to have this done to my child?

    So what else is in these vaccines? I found a full list of all the ingredients in the vaccines my child would be receiving, and so I started researching the ingredients. I found that almost all of them contain Formaldehyde, and the Polio vaccine contains monkey kidney tissue (weird!) and the vast majority of these vaccines contain Thimerosal, a mercury containing compound that is used as another preservative in vaccines. Did you know that mercury acts as a neurotoxin in the human body, interfering with the brain and nervous system, and exposure to mercury is considered hazardous to humans, particularly pregnant women and small children. and even in low doses, mercury may affect a child's development, delaying walking and talking, shortening attention span and causing learning disabilities. Infant mercury exposure can cause mental retardation, cerebral palsy, deafness and blindness - On the contrary, the American Academy of Pediatrics  and vaccine manufacturers came to an agreement in 1999 that Thimerosal should be reduced and/or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure, and since that time they have found no "convincing" scientific evidence that low doses of Thimerosal in vaccines causes serious harm.- Even understanding these studies and keeping the low risk in mind, it is hard to understand why I (or anyone else) would want to vaccinate a baby with even the smallest traces of this substance..

    So we've already learned about two different preservatives in vaccines that don't exactly seem "appealing".. but I'll be doing a lot more research in the next few weeks, and of course, I'll be sharing what I find with you guys.

    I'd also love to hear your opinions about vaccines! Have you vaccinated your children? Did your mother vaccinate you? Do you get your Flu vaccine every year? Do you believe that the horror stories about vaccines are just myths? Don't be shy! Share your thoughts.



Saturday, November 12, 2011

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Sunday, Sunday!

A great day for blog hopping! Here are two blog hops I've already joined! Lets all hop along, increase our followers and meet each other! :)


New Button





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What do you like to see in a blog?

There is an enormous amount of blogs here on the world-wide-web, all unique, yet similar in many ways. The variety of appearance, and the way the author(s) write their posts makes spending time surfing from blog to blog or "blog hopping" tons of fun. There isn't a "wrong" way to blog, I suppose... But some blogs are more enjoyable to visit, for everyone I' m sure. Of course, a lot of the time it must be about personal preferences! For instance, most mommy-bloggers tend to enjoy following other mommy-bloggers in their quest to read and write about the journeys of motherhood and family life, while a techy-blogger probably enjoys visiting similar kinds of blogs. - Still, even when visiting a blog that shares your interests, there are some things that can make a blog a little stale, or uninteresting. So, what are some of these things, and how can every blogger protect their blog from being one of those stale or uninteresting blogs? Here are my top 5 reasons:

Firstly, an unorganized blog can sometimes be frustrating! When visiting someones blog, half of my enjoyment comes from stumbling around the content they have.. So I don't like to see it when there is no organization to the pages or posts, or they have a zillion buttons, made of different sizes and dimensions on their sidebars that have no flow or placement to them. Always remember that organization makes all the difference! :)

Secondly, I always appreciate a blog author who often posts fresh, and new topics. Repetitive posting gets a little old.. Reading about the same topic every week becomes stale, and so I'll visit another blog to get something fresh.. So always remember that keeping each post unique and different will keep readers coming back to your blog for their reading pleasures :)

Thirdly, honesty is a huge factor in my likings to a blog. I enjoy reading posts from blog authors who take time to write their honest opinions or tell their readers about things they honestly believe. There is just something more special about reading something that came from someones heart. So remember to be honest and thoughtful about your posts and always 'keep it real' :)

Fourthly, consistency is always good. I love blogs that are frequently updated. When I visit a blog and see that their most recent post was a month or two ago, I am less likely to follow them because I don't feel like I will see 'fresh' and new posts frequently enough. 

Fifthly, loyalty to your readers! I love when I follow someones blog and comment on their posts and they actually respond to and recognize me. Now, I completely understand that it is difficult to respond to every person who comments on your blog, but making the effort to connect with your readers makes your blog so much more enjoyable. So remember, appreciate your readers and be as loyal to them as they are to you! :)

Now that you've read a few of my opinions, I'd love to hear yours! What do you like to see in a blog? What don't you like to see? Don't be shy! Lets talk!


Friday, November 11, 2011

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Winners! Winners! (Look For Your Name!)

Two of my lucky readers have each won their very own gorgeous panther ring from fancy sexy me jewelry today! The winners are:

  • Amanda Hoffman - For "google +1 this post"
  • Trista Zollars - for "Like Magical Life of Mama's on Facebook"

Congratulations to the both of you! & Thanks to everyone else who entered that awesome giveaway!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

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$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

New Year Kickoff $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway!!


I'm going to start this post by first thanking all of my followers and readers for being so awesome! My blog is fairly new, but has grown quickly! In just one month, I've gained 100+ followers on GFC and Twitter alone! I can't wait to see how much more my blog can grow before this year is over! That being said, I am feeling generous to my readers and I am going to reward one of you awesome followers with a $100.00 Visa Gift Card to kick off the new year! That's right, $100.00 just for following me! This giveaway starts TODAY (November 10th) and ends on JANUARY 1ST! - Entry is super easy with the rafflecopter form below! Just follow this one simple rule while entering!:

  • You must be a GFC follower to participate in this giveaway!
    (And leave your GFC name in the 'extra info' box in rafflecopter,
    because I WILL be verifying every entry.) 

& Of course, there are additional ways you can enter the giveaway for even more chances to win!

Good luck to everyone!!





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FiveFingerTees.com (Review)


I was delighted the opportunity to review FiveFingerTees.com, a t-shirt company with a huge variety of great stuff! They offer everything from funny T-shirts, geek T-shirts, political T-shirts, sports T-shirts, hoodies, holiday T-shirts, and so much more! They even offer blank T-shirts for a great deal, just $4.99! When choosing which shirt I was going to review, it wasn't easy! There was a huge selection of shirts I would love to have, but since I had to pick just one, I chose this totally lovable "Free Hugs" T-shirt!! :) - You can customize the style (men or women's), the size, and the color of the shirt to your liking, but I chose to keep it the original color (yellow) because it is so bright and fun! I was surprised when my shirt arrived because it is super soft! I guess, because they use soft preshrunk 100% cotton shirts (which I totally love.) I also love the fact that all of their T-Shirts are professionally screen printed in the U.S.A & they never use heat transfers or irons-ons, which means these shirts are going to last a long time (not be destroyed by your washer and dryer!) - With the holidays coming up soon I keep thinking about what gifts I'll be buying for relatives and friends, and really, you can't go wrong with a shirt you know they'll love! Sure, it's classic, but never out of style! In fact, I have a lot of friends that are simply hard to shop for, they are just way too picky about some things, so it makes it really difficult to shop for them, but everyone loves a comfortable T-shirt that says something about them on it, I would never turn down a T-shirt (would you?!) - So if you're looking to buy some great T-shirts (at some great prices!!) I recommend you visit FiveFingerTees.com and check out their great selection! Their website is adorably funny and has lots of character, I suggest you visit their "half shirts" category when you visit their website (Too Funny!!) -  Just in time for your holiday savings, they are offering free shipping on orders over $50.00! I think I'll be taking advantage of their great deals soon because it sure is getting cold here and I'd love to have a few of their awesome hoodies (which are all priced at just $29.99!)

*Disclosure: The above review is my own 100% honest opinion(s). I received products to complete this review but I was not obligated to write a positive review, I honorably only write my honest thoughts on all companies/products that I review.*


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

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Worldless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday...

 

 Have you ever seen a sign spinner?!



I'll be writing more about sign spinners and the art of this guerrilla marketing technique in my next post 'Thoughtful Thursday', so stay tuned!

Until then, check out this music video starring sign spinner Matthew Doolan,



Saturday, November 5, 2011

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Ilumina Organics Product Review

I was recently delighted the opportunity to try three great products from Ilumina Organics, a company dedicated to making 100% natural, safe and gentle products. As a parent, you come to realize how important your babies skin really is, you want to use only the safest and most gentle body washes and oils, because really.. who on earth would want to damage a babies perfectly soft skin?! And in the world today, the government has a very loose definition of "organic" and "natural", making it really difficult to pick out the products that are actually real! [and] some manufacturers will say anything to have people buy their products.

But not at Ilumina Organics! They promise that if their name is on a product, you can sleep good at night knowing it is 100% safe and effective! They stand by their products that are free of chemical preservatives, toxins, and fragrances. And there is wonderful people behind this company, owners Scott and Kathy have the best of intentions for there customers and if you would like to read more about them personally just click here!

Products That I Am Reviewing:
Starting with the Head to Toe Baby Wash with Aloe, I absolutely loved it (and my little one did, too!) My son is still very young (He hit his 2 week mark yesterday!) and I want to use only the safest products on his delicate skin. It has a very light, herbal like smell that I just love, I also love that it does not contain harsh synthetic detergents and it helps to prevent dry itchy skin, which is great for my newborn because his skin was starting to become a little dry and flaky. Then, after his bath we tried the Baby Oil, and loved it just as much! The smell was extremely pleasant, especially because I have been so accustomed to using the typical baby oil, which doesn't smell bad, but the natural, herb-like smell of Ilumina Organics Baby Oil was such a refreshing change. The baby oil is made from a combination of apricot seed and grape seed oil, also essential oils of lavender and chamomile and vitamin E. And to make it even better, this oil comes in a bottle that uses a atomizer sprayer to prevent spillage and messes! And yesterday we got to use the Bottom Balm for the first time, thankfully it wasn't because of a diaper rash, he was just a little red and irritated on his bottom but no rash had formed yet, I caught it early enough and put the Bottom Balm on it, and it soothed him immediately! The balm is made from herbs that prevent and heal skin irritation. Likewise to their other products it is 100% safe and contains no chemicals or synthetics. It's ingredients and reliable, yet simple, extra virgin olive oil, calendula oil, St. John's wort oil, organic beeswax, zinc oxide, & vitamin E. 

I recommend all of my readers to try any of these products for Ilumina Organics, I know you will love them and your babies' sensitive skin will appreciate them! And, their line of products doesn't stop at baby skin care, they also offer a variety of lip balms, body soaps, and shampoo and conditioner. The next product I would love to try from them is their Spearmint Lip Balm, it looks amazing!

*Disclosure: The above review is my own 100% honest opinion(s). I received products to complete this review but I was not obligated to write a positive review, I honorably only write my honest thoughts on all companies/products that I review.*


Thursday, November 3, 2011

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Brand New Look!

Notice Anything Different?!

I
updated the look of this blog today, I completely erased the last template and started over! I'd love to hear what you guys think of the change! If you haven't been here before and don't know what it looked like, I'd still love to hear what you think of it now! Feedback would be awesome, I love hearing what you guys 'n gals think :)

Also, I'm getting started on some new reviews and giveaways very soon, sorry for taking some time off, it's a little hard to manage with my little one around now. But, we're (slowly) getting a schedule and I'll have more time to get things back to normal here.

IT'S ALMOST FRIDAY! YAY! :)



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

4
Wordless Wednesday


If only I could sleep like he does! (when he does let me sleep)

  Oh, I'm also very happy to announce that I have reached 100+ Followers on GFC and Twitter! Yay!


Monday, October 31, 2011

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Thankful Tuesday

I think one of the most relaxing practices you can do is what I like to call a 'thankful meditation' moment. It's not hard, it doesn't take long, it makes you feel refreshed and joyous, all you have to do is take a moment to recognize and appreciate all (or even just a few) of the things you are thankful for today. It's something everyone could benefit from everyday, if not at least a few times a week.

That's why today I'm opening up a weekly blog post called 'Thankful Tuesday'. I'll post a few of the things that I am thankful for, and then ask you to leave a comment telling me something your thankful for today.
___________________________________

I am thankful for:
  • My hubby who wakes up at 6:00AM to go work, and still comes home and takes care of me and our baby.

  • My baby boy being a healthy, beautiful gift from God, I couldn't ask for a more perfect child! He is wonderful.

  • Eggnog being sold this time of year! ;)

  • My family being supportive and helpful during my labor/delivery, it was a rough 21 hours and I don't think I could have done so well without them!

  • Halloween giving me the excuse to eat more candy than I should have!

     

    So what are you thankful for today?
    I'd love to hear from all of you! :)


    Stay Positive! Hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far.


0
Review for Brynn & Amie Good Karma Foods


Brynn & Amie Good Karma Foods
I was recently delighted to have the opportunity to review some wonderful chocolate from Brynn & Amie Good Karma Foods! Oh my gosh, delicious! I reviewed a box of their 'Chocolate Bliss' and it was phenomenal! It is a wonderful mix of yummy dark chocolate, dried cranberries, dried tart cherries, crystallized ginger, & pistachios, with just a pinch of sea salt that just makes these treats delectable! Also, they are made to order with no additional preservatives. I loved the pinch of sea salt, it compliments the dark chocolate amazingly! I have a few pounds to lose after having my baby and after trying these chocolates I think I'm going to have a hard time staying on my diet! My hubby asked me how they tasted, I told him they were amazing and he didn't believe me, he gave me one of those doubtful faces, but tried one for himself later and actually ended up finishing up finishing the entire box! (no fair!!) Simply put, he absolutely loved them too! Another great thing I loved about these chocolates was the adorable box they came in! They make a great gift because the packaging is so adorable! But they are also available to order in a gift package with a handmade ceramic candy dish. You can order the Chocolate Bliss Box, which contains 12 individual pieces, (the one I tried, presented in the super cute box!) or the the Chocolate Bliss bag, which contains 24 individual pieces.

I am excited to try more treats from Brynn & Amie Good Karma Foods, One thing I would love to try is their homemade, all natural granola called 'Karma Krunch' which is full of healthy fruits, nuts and seeds, and made with pure maple syrup, making it just slightly sweet (yummy!)


The holidays are approaching quickly, and I am recommending all of my readers to try some treats from Brynn & Amie, I promise you will love them!

*Disclosure: The above review is my own 100% honest opinion(s). I received products to complete this review but I was not obligated to write a positive review, I honorably only write my honest thoughts on all companies/products that I review.*


Sunday, October 30, 2011

2
Win $450 worth of baby stuff!

I love entering giveaways! It is (almost) addicting! And today I came across an amazing giveaway that I'd love to share with you guys. myfourmonkeys.com is hosting a giveaway that is perhaps to big to miss out on!

It's a huge prize package including a BabyBjorn Baby Carrier Miracle, a Baby Dipper Bowl and Utensil Set, a Boppy Newborn Lounger and many more!
Click the button below to go enter now!


My Four Monkeys




Saturday, October 29, 2011

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My Son is a whole week old!


On Friday (10/28) my beautiful baby boy turned one week old! I can't believe how fast time is going by! Granted, I did spend the first three days in the hospital, and with all the medication they were giving me, everyday felt the same. I was so happy to come home with my baby and felt so comfortable sleeping in my own bed again.

Since coming home, we've been working on getting him to sleep in his bassinet, but he's pretty stuck on sleeping next to mommy. At his one week appointment at the Dr. he did great, he has gained 10 ounces since coming home! (that's 10 ounces in 4 days!) which is apparently  more than they estimated would! & he is restlessly trying to hold his head up on his own!

He took the bottle for the first time on Thursday, (still breast milk, no formula for this baby) so now Daddy can help with night time feedings! 

As for mommy, well I'm not getting much sleep! I'm trying to put him on a schedule as early as possible but that's just not happening this early! (I'd love to hear any suggestions from other parents on this matter)

He is looking more like his daddy everyday!