Free Social Media Marketing Schedule

Today, I'm sharing with you my goal social media sharing schedule.  I'm not going to say that I hit target every day or week, but these are the times that I aim to have shares scheduled to my social media platforms.

Most of the share times are based on information found online about prime sharing times with a few randoms thrown in for test purposes and thoroughness.  Feel free to experiment, but I know for me it helps to have a checklist.

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My Four Day Facebook Unplug

I'm in a lot of Facebook groups. A lot! In one of my groups, someone brought up unplugging from Facebook for a few days. They mentioned all the time Facebook distractions took away from other things in their life, things that are actually important, especially our kids and family.
This really made sense to me, because Facebook is, admittedly, my biggest time suck. I'm always scrolling through, getting sucked up in all the pointless status updates, liking "cool" stuff, and catchy headlines like "15 celebrities who are now broke". Really, it's pathetic.

It distracts me from my schoolwork, family, housework, etc. It's just so easy to get sucked in.

So, I decided I was going to unplug too. Thursday to Sunday, I logged out of Facebook on my phone and computer. And you know what?

It was pretty great.

I'd like to say that I spent that time being super productive and accomplishing all these things I was missing out on before, but that would probably be a lie.

Thursday I watched a few hours of The Vampire Diaries with my husband. Friday I substitute taught Kindergarten, had some transmission work done on our SUV, and had my first drop (or two or three) or alcohol in over a year. Saturday I folded tons of laundry and watched waaaay too much The Fosters. Sunday I pulled out my stove and fridge out and swept/mopped. Something I haven't done in like...ever?

Okay, okay. So, there wasn't a big epiphany. My life didn't suddenly turn to unicorns and fairy dust. But... Facebook didn't implode without my presence, either. To be honest, it felt good to be disconnected for a few days. Like everyone else, I fall victim to wasting minutes turned to hours on Facebook doing nothing. I'm hoping this experience will help me be more tuned in to how I'm spending my time.

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Breast Pump Aversion: A New Relationship with My Pump

Not too long ago, I was an exclusively pumping mother. By choice. I was convinced I loved it. And, actually, this was my second time exclusively pumping. I did it for a year with my now four year-old son.

People were always surprised to hear that I exclusively pumped. Some were impressed. Others were confused. I think some people actually felt relief that they didn't have to watch me breastfeed. After all, I typically pumped in private.

However, people often seemed to think that it was such hard work.  I was baffled by this assumption.  This was the easy way, right?  I thought so, at least.  Pump and then just pop a bottle in that crying baby's mouth and go do dishes or something.  Easy peasy.

Well, after some soul searching and realizations on my own part, I returned to breastfeeding.  In case you were wondering, it's going wonderfully, still.  I can't believe I was slighting myself and my children on this experience.

While I was an exclusive pumper, breastfeeding moms always told me how much they hated pumping.  Many women claim that breast pumps just don't work for them.  Moms, professionals, and others also often claim that it is impossible to maintain a supply with a pump (which is false, in case you were wondering).

Now it was my turn to be baffled.

Of course, I had a great relationship with my pump.  I was an exclusive pumper, after all.

Well now I'm not.

Now, I'm a breastfeeder, just like all those moms who used to give me wide eyes.  Now I'm one of those moms.  My pump is like a friend turned enemy.  I avoid it like the plague.

I have a huge stash built up from when I was pumping.  Actually, my husband wishes he could find more than breast milk in our deep freezer.  So, every now and then when I really should pump... Well, I don't.

I actually hate pumping.  I don't know why.  It's not uncomfortable for me.  I've done it so many times that that's no big deal.  I just find it to be such a hassle and inconvenience now that it's not my every day life.

I get it now, ladies.  Pumping sucks when you could have a cute, cuddly baby do it instead.
A photo posted by momingabout (@momingabout) on

Hope your feelings aren't hurt too much Pump In Style breast pump, but I've moved on to a tooting, cooing, adorable baby girl.  I'll probably keep avoiding you, as much as possible.  But I won't forget what you've done for me.

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We Cloth Diaper

Confession: I love cloth diapers!  I never thought I'd say that, but it's true!  If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen me sharing pictures of some of our diapers.

I did a ton of research while pregnant on cloth diapers.  Honestly, it's more than a little overwhelming.  All the information out there is great, but it's hard to figure out what you're really looking for because there's just so much!

Plus, there's so many different options available to the modern mom who wants to cloth diaper that it's easy to get intimidated.  So, that's exactly what happened to me and my daughter went straight into disposables (often referred to as sposies in the cloth diapering community), just as my two boys had been.

However, almost a month ago I got turned back on to cloth diapers and finally decided to take the dive after, once again, overwhelming myself with information.

The best advice I can give is to find a support group to help to you through making your decision and to help to find the essential information.  There are plenty on facebook, such as Everyday Cloth Diapering and Fluff Love & CD Science.  In groups you can ask specific questions you might have and have conversations with people to help guide you in your decisions!  It's so much better than giving it a go alone.

Anyway, we have really had a fantastic experience cloth diapering so far.  My husband has embraced the decision, and we love all the cuteness!  So bye-bye $50-$60 a month on disposables.  I now have a nice and adorable stash of cloth diapers, which I can even resell when I'm done with them.

Oh and it's definitely not hard or gross, like many people assume.
Have you ever thought about trying cloth diapering?
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Overcoming Breastfeeding Shaming

In early September, I shared a post on A Fulfilled Mommy about dealing with judgement, negativity, etc. as a breastfeeding mom.  It's unfortunate but true that this is an actual issue.  I, myself, have experienced it firsthand.

Unfortunately, when I first returned to breastfeeding my daughter (rather than exclusively pumping), I had some negative reactions after I posted breastfeeding and proud photos on my social media.  What was even more shocking was that these came from family!

I just couldn't believe it.  These are the people that we expect to support us the most.  Well, this made me even more determined because I was doing something I felt strongly about.  I had my own realizations about why I'd stopped breastfeeding with my son and, for several months, with my daughter shortly before this happened.  I wasn't going to be shamed or bullied into hiding in a corner (or a nasty bathroom) somewhere.

I still post breastfeeding photos, and I think it's important for other moms to know that you are not alone.  Feel free to read my entire post at A Fulfilled Mommy, where I talk more in depth on the topic.

Have you ever had negative reactions or feedback to your breastfeeding or know someone who has?
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Transitioning from 2 to 3 Kids & More Changes

Sour candy face.
My daughter is 5 months old! Time has flown by and, as this has been happening, I've managed to lose my control of my time. I've managed to let life take a hold of me and drag me along, rather than me taking life by the reins and being in charge of my own time.

Auntie babysits while
mom is in class.
I'm definitely standing by the fact that transitioning from 2 to 3 kids has been harder than the transition from 1 to 2.  However, I think a big part of that might be due to our more hectic lifestyle now.

I work more.  My husband works more.  And we have obligations for the two boys on top of stuff for the baby.

It's so easy to be overwhelmed, and I have to admit that I've been drowning in my own chaotic mess and obligations.  I'm not good at asking for help and I've loss all sense of organization and management of my time.  I feel like I'm constantly forgetting things, missing appointments, cramming for schoolwork or other stuff, and so on.

I've lost the balance.

Poof.  Gone.

I'm ready to get back on track with my life, my goals, my health, my family (as I sit here drinking a Mt Dew...oops).

Life really is about what you make it, and I've been letting it be in charge of me.  I need to own my life and shape it into what I want it to be, and I'm ready to do just that.  I'm tired of being tired.  I'm sick of not accomplishing the things I want to.  I'm ready to pursue my dreams and reach my goals.

I'm starting now.  Today is the day I get it all together and start to feel a little less overwhelmed.  I can do this.

What tactics do you use to keep your crazy life balanced?
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Slow Cooker Pork Loin

I just had this absolutely ah-mazing Slow Cooker Pork Loin the other day, and I'm still in awe of the fact that pork loin was not a part of my life for 22+ years!  I was seriously missing out!

I recently shared my Slow Cooker Pork Loin recipe over a Plucky's Second Thought, so go ahead and go take a look.  Whether you're a pork loin newb like me or you already know how awesome pork loin is, go ahead and give this simple, delicious recipe a try!

Homemade Flea Repellent Shampoo & Spray for Dogs & Cats

In our household, my husband can't say no to cute, furry critters.  Although he frequently tries to pin that on me, he truly is the culprit for bringing home and/or begging for all the animals we have.  We currently have four fur babes: two cats and two dogs.

Our black cat, Elle, is very sensitive to fleas.  One or two and she starts losing hair, digging herself raw, etc.  Both cats are indoors, except once or twice when my mischievous male went out and got himself stuck in a tree.  However, she seems to get them once a year, probably from the dogs trekking in and out.

Anyway, I really hate how ridiculously expensive flea treatments and even shampoos and sprays are.  So, today I decided to turn to the internet to find how I can treat my animals without emptying my wallet.  Plus, my dogs were getting a little stinky and needed a bath anyway.

Flea Repellent Shampoo for Dogs & Cats

You will need:

  • Pet friendly/safe dish soap or shampoo
  • Distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Lemon juice (optional, but not recommended for cats)

Mix equal parts dish soap, vinegar (or apple cider vinegar), and water.  You may add 1/2 cup of lemon juice, as well, as it contains a chemical that kills/repels fleas but it harmless to your dog.

Flea Repellent Spray for Dogs & Cats

You will need:

  • Water
  • Distilled white vinegar and/or apple cider vinegar
  • Essentials oils (optional for use with dogs only)
Mix 1 cup vinegar to 1 quart water.

Skip the nasty chemicals.  Save money.  And make an effective, natural shampoo and spray for your pets.  It's really a win-win!

How do you deal with fleas?  What kind of pets do you have in your household?

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Our Favorite Video Games

Here in the Taylor household, we probably get too much screen time and my kids are allowed to play games that include violence.  I hardly feel the need to defend this parenting decision, because it is what it is.  My husband is not only a movie buff, but an avid "gamer".  I would probably say I'm more of a casual gamer.

Mom's Games

  • Sims 4 (I'll probably be doing a full review on this ASAP)
  • Sim City
  • Roller Coaster Tycoon
  • Fable
  • Dragon Ages

Dad's Games

  • Titanfall
  • Diablo III
  • World of Warcraft
  • Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare
  • Halo
  • Fable
  • Dragon Ages
  • Grand Theft Auto

Kids' Games

  • Minecraft
  • Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare
  • Call of Duty
  • Angry Birds
  • Risk

Obviously there's some crossover in game preferences.  I tend to be a fan of simulation, where my husband is not so much.  However, he enjoys first person shooters and I hardly do.  We both love RPGs/adventure games, so we tend to bond there.

What are some video games that you love?  What's your preferred gaming system?
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August's Movie Reel

I don't know if I've ever mentioned that my husband is a movie buff, but he is.  He watches so many movies and TV in general.  He loves it.  It's his thing.  Therefore, I've seen more than my share of movies (good and bad) during our relationship.  August seems to have been a real kicker for me, so I wanted to share the movies I've watched and my experiences with them.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

A reimagining of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies,  reporter April O'Neil is looking into a local crime organization and gets saved by mutated turtles who intended to not only save her, but the entire city of New York.
Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, and William Fichtner
This seemed like a must watch from the second the trailer aired.  With the Turtles boasting a new, unique look to them and a humor-packed preview, I was beyond excited.

Unfortunately, the movie was a little dry and predictable for my taste.  All of the funnies seemed to have been left in the trailer with nothing to look forward to in the actual movie.

As expected, the story line was predictable, but not exactly the same as the original Ninja Turtles'.  Therefore, they surely upset a few hardcore fans.

We did take our 8 and 4 year-old and our newborn.  The boys loved it and were zombie fighting ninja turtles (yes, my boys were cross over some other favorites) for a few days following the movie.

Rating: 6/10


A story two parents who have an awful blind date and then are forced together with their separate families on spring vacation.
Starring: Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler
Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler have great chemistry, yet again!  I laughed so hard I was brought to tears by this romantic comedy of two radically different single parents who just can't seem to get away from each other, no matter how hard they try.

We watched this as a couple and it was everything we hoped it would be.  It was appropriately funny with just enough romance.  We were disappointed to only have rented it and will definitely buy it soon!
Rating: 10/10

Leprechaun: Origins

Another re-imagining of an old favorite, Leprechaun: Origins promises to be more scare and gore minus the funny of the other Leprechaun movies.  Two couple travelling through Ireland are about to discover a small village's dark secret.
Starring: Brendan Fletcher, Melissa Roxburgh, Andrew Dunbar, and Stephanie Bennett.
I was not looking forward to this movie.  My husband was boasting how scary it was going to be, and I expected to spend most of the time with my head buried in his chest.  Instead I spent the entire movie waiting to be that scared.  To say it was a huge disappointment to both of us would be about as accurate as I can get.

We expected much more from this movie, but maybe the Leprechaun story just doesn't exist without that funny, demented, evil Leprechaun from all the other movies.  Personally, I think there is no wow factor and they could have done so much more with this.
Rating: 3/10

The Expendables 3

The Expendables must take down an international arms dealer, who just happens to be an old friend-turned-enemy of Barney's that everyone thought was dead.
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, and Jackie Chan, among others.
We couldn't wait to go see this movie, and we lucked into being the only two people in the theater!  How great!  Anyway, the movie was another action packed win in our book!  My husband even speculates that they've set the stage for the next generation of Expendables with this one.
Rating: 8/10

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Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
Yummy chicken fajitas!
I love my slow cooker, if that isn't already obvious.  I'm a busy, busy person and my slow cooker gives me some extra time in my day instead of slaving over the stove.

I shared my favorite Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas over at Plucky's Second Thought.  Why not take a look?
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0-3 Months Favorite Baby Items

Awwww.  It's so sad (and, okay, also exciting).  My baby girl turned three months old on August 2nd (yes it really is August guys).  So, I know many of you are rounding up last minute school supplies or maybe your little (or not so little) ones are already back in school.

I was just thinking about some of my favorite things so far with kiddo #3.  I've discovered many new baby items that I wish I'd known about before!  We all know that diapers and wipes and somewhere for baby to sleep are essential, so let's skip those things and talk about some other great baby items for your baby from newborn to three months.

0-3 Month Essentials & Favorites

One through five are not affiliate links of any sort.  They're simply links to Amazon for the exact item which I use, except for the ring sling.  I made my own ring sling.

1. Baby Trend Sit N Stand Ultra Stroller

I absolutely adore my stroller.  I posted about getting one back in February, before Luna was born, and I have been thrilled with it, just as I expected I would be.  It's absolutely perfect for my preschooler and infant combination, since my 4 year-old likes to get in and out.  If you want to know more about the Sit N Stand's features, feel free to read my original post recommending it.

2. Bright Starts Bouncer

We have this exact bouncer.  My daughter absolutely loves it.  I stopped putting batteries in it after the second time someone took her out of it and didn't turn it off, so the batteries died the same day they were put in.  

She likes the activity bar that you can attach to it and I often clip other colorful toys onto it.  Plus, it's a great way for her to get in some kicking action.  She kicks her leg  to bounce herself.

While we loved the swing the first few weeks (and still use it 1-2x a day), the bouncer is much more portable and she seems to like it best.

3. Ring Sling

I am so sad I didn't know about babywearing with my first baby.  However, I'm so glad I've discovered it this time around.  I made my own ring sling for around $15, but this is a link to an Amazon search for ring slings.

You can also search Google for some smaller businesses that sell ring slings or look on Etsy.

Either way, I highly recommend one!  They are easy to use, versatile, great for nursing in (especially in public), and will allow you some hands-free cuddling and nursing time.

4. Munckin Cleaning Brush Set

All you Dr. Brown's lovin' mommas out there (sorry, I'm not one of them) will be really excited about this.  I have heard lots of moms recommend Dr. Brown's bottles, but I personally think they look like a nightmare so I've never used them.  

They have that long straw-like tube, that is apparently impossible to clean without the brush that comes with the bottles.  

You can buy replacement brushes (~$5) from Dr. Brown's, but I've never seen them in store.  On the other hand, I purchased this Munchkin cleaning brush set at Wal Mart for about $4.  It has 2 nipple brushes, 1 valve and 1 spout brush.  

How awesome, right?

These are also really great for cleaning breast pump parts.

5. Baby Trend Play Yard (Pack N Play)

My wonderful father bought me this as a baby shower gift.  It's absolutely amazing!

With our first baby, we used a pack n play almost never.  We lived in a single story apartment, briefly shared a room as a family at my mother in law's, and lived in a two bedroom trailer during my son's infancy/early toddler years.  There was rarely a need for him to be in the pack n play.

However, we now live in a two story home.  We bed share with our daughter, but she does still have a crib and pack n play.  The pack n play is downstairs for easy access for diaper changes and daytime naps.

Luna has just started noticing the giraffes hanging from the canopy, and she loves to stare at them.  The storage attachment on the front holds wipes and diapers, and then still has room for other essentials (like baby powder or lotion) and there's a pouch on the side I use for her dirty clothes!


Now, I used one time with my first baby because new customers can save $10 off their first case of diapers (use code:  HEYMAMA) and free 1-2 day delivery at $49.

However, I never realized how fantastic was until I gave it a go this time around.

After I finally ran out of diapers from my husband's pre-baby diaper party, I looked to for my diapering needs.  There's always a coupon code to be had or a sale to take advantage of.  Also, you get discounts for autoshipping!

You can set up an auto shipment for every 1-16 weeks or every 6 or 8 months.  I get an auto shipment every 4 weeks.  It's fantastic that I never have to worry about running to the store to buy diapers or wipes, and they come right to my door monthly.  Convenient and I'm not spending more than I would buying them at the store!

Actually, I've always saved money thanks to discounts, sales, and coupon codes.  How awesome is that!

If you use my referral code, you can get 20% off your first order at or any of the other Familyhood sites, except BarSoap.  And I will get $5 credit toward my future orders.  Use code AMAN90535 at check out.

They're also having a sale on breastfeeding related items this month, so go check them out!

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14 Quick Breastfeeding Facts

Think you know all there is to know about breastfeeding?  Here are 14 facts.  See if you knew them all!

  1. Human milk can be sold for anywhere between $1 and $10 or more on the internet and to at least one legitimate milk bank.
  2. Breast milk sprays out of many holes on the nipple. Hello breast milk sprinkler!
  3. Around 75% of moms produce more milk with their right breast.
  4.  Breast size has nothing to do with milk production.
  5. Breastfeeding and being breastfed both reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  6. Breast milk adapts and changes as baby gets older and may even vary from day to day.
  7. Breastfed babies have a lower risk of SIDS.
  8. Mothers can have let down (the reflexive flow of milk) from seeing baby, hearing baby cry, thinking about baby, thinking about breastfeeding or, sometimes, for no reason at all...not just when nursing.
  9. On average, breastfeeding moms get more sleep than formula feeding moms.
  10. Your breast milk has a distinct scent that baby can detect.
  11. Almost 75% of breastfeeding (or pumping) moms seek outside help, such as a lactation consultant or support from La Leche League.
  12. Starting your period or hormonal birth control can decrease your milk supply.
  13. Lecithin supplements can help with clogged milk ducts.
Did you learn anything?  What do you think should be on this list?

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Back to Breast: My Journey Back to Breastfeeding #worldbreastfeedingweek

Ahhh! Where have I been?

Oh. You know. Around.

I know I've been very absent the past few weeks and I could work up a million (totally legit) excuses, but let's just move on, shall we? And let's get to celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7 2014.

I mentioned in the past that I was exclusively pumping for my daughter, as I did for my first child. This was something I was doing by choice, rather than something I was forced to do, as some moms are.

However, after some self-reflection, experiencing the desire to return to nursing my daughter, and stumbling across some great breastfeeding bloggers (ahem, The Badass Breastfeeder)...

Well, I came to some conclusions. I was pretty ashamed of what I came to realize.

My Self-Imposed Breastfeeding Obstacles

  1. I was scared.
  2. I thought exclusively pumping was what I wanted, but really it was more about the following realizations...
  3. I was trying to convenience everyone else, and I thought breastfeeding was going to somehow inconvenience others.
  4. I didn't want to offend anyone by breastfeeding my daughter in front of them and/or in public.
  5. I had my own insecurities about my body.
I was pissed at myself for letting the fact that breastfeeding, and especially breastfeeding in public, is still so taboo. I was afraid of being judged or, heaven forbid, that someone would be downright nasty with me. I decided, right then and there, that everyone else could screw off. For some reason, I missed the breastfeeding relationship I had with my daughter.

Working Through It

After two months of exclusively pumping for Luna, we returned to nursing. Like the beautiful, amazing baby that she is, we returned like bottles had never been a thing and breastfeeding was all she'd ever known. Obviously, I'm more than blessed because many, many women struggle to get that first latch or struggle with nipple confusion and bottle preference later in breastfeeding.

This isn't me bragging that I didn't have to suffer through that. This is me joyously celebrating that I did not have to experience the disappointment that surely would have ensued had I made the decision to return Luna to the breast and she refused. I'm sure I would have been crushed.

Am I still adjusting? Yes. Do I still feel insecure at times? Of course. However, I'm not about to be bullied into denying myself or my daughter this experience.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week everyone!
What struggles have you experienced breastfeeding? Can you relate to any of my self-imposed struggles?

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6 Ice Cream Recipes to Celebrate National Ice Cream Month

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?

Well, you do now!
National Ice Cream Month Recipes

Ice cream is often a guilty pleasure of mine (and my husband's). I even made an ice cream sandwich birthday cake for Gabe's fourth birthday party this year.

Obviously, we like ice cream at this house.

To celebrate National Ice Cream Month, or just because you love ice cream, why not try one of these amazing ice cream recipes!

1. Blueberry Muffin Ice Cream

from Julia at Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body.  (This is an absolute must try for me!  ASAP!)

2. One Ingredient Ice Cream

a sure to be yummy and healthy ice cream variation from Andrew Olsen at the One Ingredient Chef.

3. Chocolate Chip Cookie Crunch & Peppermint Ice Cream

Yum!  My kiddo loves peppermint ice cream!  This recipe is from The Nest.

4. Ice Cream Cupcakes

OMG!  These are cute, already portioned, and simpy perfect!  From The Cupcake Daily Blog.

5. Fried Ice Cream

Uhm, yum!  Even I could make this!  Thank you Miriam at Overtime Cook!

6. Strawberry Cheesecake Icream

Oh, how I love cheesecake.  And ice cream.  Why not put them together?! From Tiffany at Creme De La Crumb.

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Where to Donate or Sell Breast Milk

There are many, many moms who struggle with breastfeeding for some reason or another. Many women struggle with an inadequate supply. Some women simply cannot produce milk. Often times there are medical issues to consider that might prevent breastfeeding.

On the other hand, there are women out there who make an overabundance of milk. Some of these women have crazy stashes of breast milk in their freezers and many even end up throwing out perfectly good milk (GASP!) because they don't know what else to do with it.

There are two alternatives to simply disposing of unused, excess breast milk: donate it or sell it.
Excess expressed breast milk can be sold or donated to be purchased or given to mothers and babies in need!
There are definitely plenty of women who have never even thought about it and not necessarily because they are against it. It's very possible that they just have been informed about the possibility.

You'd think with the way some women and children's agencies and others more or less shame mothers whose babies aren't getting breast milk; that they'd be all over advertising that you can, at the very least, donate excess milk.

1. Mother's Milk Cooperative (MMC)

Mother's Milk Cooperative (MMC) is my favorite choice, personally.  The MMC claims to be unique on two fronts:
We are the one and only milk bank owned and controlled by our donors. We also have the only paid milk donation program in the United States.
The MMC is a co-op, owned and controlled by its members (donors).  In order to become a donor, you must complete a medical history questionnaire to be pre-qualified, pass a blood test, and donate 100 ounces to cover the costs of screening you as a donor.  A minimum of 300 ounces must be shipped at a time because of the cost to ship breast milk.

2. Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA)

The HMBANA is a nonprofit milk bank where mother's with surplus milk can donate after being screened and approved.  HMBANA then distributes milk, mostly to NICU infants.

3. National Milk Bank

The National Milk Bank is literally a family business (two sisters-in-law and a daughter-in-law) with the goal of facilitating the delivery of human milk to premature and critically ill infants.  They are a donation only company.

4. Only The Breast

Only The Breast is like Craigslist for breast milk.  Buyers and sellers can post ads on their respective forums, which include a forum for selling 0-2 month breast milk (and other age groups) and a forum for men looking to buy breast milk.

I wouldn't recommend OTB for the easily offended.  It might seem like the perfect place for a quick sale, but use caution.  Even though it's not allowed, adult wet nursing ads are sometimes posted and/or ad placers are sometimes contacted about reconsidering their no adult wet nursing policy, even though it's strictly against OTB's terms.
Please NO nudity, NO pornography sales, NO adult services and NO adult wet nursing ads. We will remove any ads or members in violation.
Some people are down right vulgar when posting or contacting, too.  Therefore, I've come to believe that OTB might seem like the easy way out but it really can be challenging to find a legit buyer, if that's your goal.  The site does not seem to be as aptly moderated as it claims, either.

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First Aid Shot Review #FASTRelief

I received this item complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received. #FASTrelief #SurfsUpVoxBox.

A few weeks ago I attended a bachelorette party.  I rarely go out, have girls nights, etc.  I'm more of a stay-at-home-and-read kind of person.  If I get a night to myself, I spend it catching up on TV shows, reading a book, surfing the internet, or...sleeping.

First Aid Shot Therapy #FASTrelief #SurfsUpVoxBoxAnyway, I cracked open my first alcoholic beverage in nearly a year; a fruity wine cooler, I knew I'd love from past experience.  Not even halfway through the wine cooler and I have the worse head ache imaginable.  I feel like the side of my face is being smashed in.

Unfortunately, on that night, I did have any First Aid Shot Therapy (FAST) pain reliever.  I was forced to drown my pain in jello shots and amaretto sour.  It was either that or call the hubby to come get me and scrap my whole night of fun.

So, it took a bachelorette party and a wine cooler to discover I have a tooth that for sure needs pulled, if not two.  However, lack of health coverage has me dentist shopping and, therefore, suffering a little while longer (and skipping the wine coolers until further notice).

FAST pain relief is a liquid, single does shot made with FDA compliant active ingredients.  When another tooth ache assaulted me the other day, I quickly downed FAST instead of my usual acetaminophen.

FAST claims to be berry flavored, but I don't really know.  I tipped my head back, dumped it in, a pretty much swallowed before I had to taste too much.  It's fairly bland if taken quickly, though I did get a quick bitter taste before I swallowed.

Bottoms up!  #FASTRelief
When I sniffed it before pouring it down my throat (yes, I did that), it was odorless.  Therefore, I wasn't sure what to expect when swallowing it.  Hence my decision to down it ASAP.

I'm not really sure when the pain relief came (between a crying baby and an only partially potty trained pup), but it was within the hour and it lasted over four hours.  I ended up going to sleep before it wore off or at least I went to sleep without my toothache returning.


FAST pain relief combines caffeine (a pain relief aid) and Choline Salicylate (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug - NSAID) for a fast acting, convenient pain relief solution!
First Aid Shot Therapy #FASTrelief #SurfsUpVoxBox
Find F.A.S.T. at a location near you!
I was really impressed with FAST.  As the acronym suggests and the product promises, pain relief is quick and lasting.  And the single dosage shot is super convenient!

Have you ever tried FAST or something like it?  What's your go to pain reliever?
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5 Benefits of Bed Sharing

With my first child, I became an accidental bed sharer during my first few weeks of breast feeding.  Even after I switched to exclusively pumping, bed sharing just felt right for me.  It worked for our family.

At first I felt guilty.  Bed sharing is bad, right?  Sleeping with your baby leads to suffocation and SIDS, right?

Not exactly.

Safe bed sharing does exist.  There are right and wrong ways, to do it.

And believe it or not, there are actual benefits linked to bed sharing.

All this good information is just buried beneath nay-sayers and Westerners who only support solitary sleep and see it as a child's first step toward independence.

Bed Sharing Benefits
Regardless of what you've heard, bed sharing does have it's benefits!

1. Breathing regulation.

Especially when baby sleeps on mom's torso, bed sharing helps with breathing regulation and breathing patterns!

Mom's own breathing helps regulate baby's.

2. Convenience when breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is natural, right?  So, it must be easy, right?

Okay, well, if you've done it then you know the answer to that is not exactly, lady!

Breastfeeding can be challenging, but is something that many of us find important and strive to do for our children. Therefore, why not make it easier by having your baby sleep with you?  

Bed sharing moms tend to breastfeed twice as much as solitary sleeping moms throughout the night.

3. Babies grow faster and experience less stress

Less stress?  I know I like less stress, so I'm sure baby does too!

4. Bed sharing moms get more sleep.

Okay, so I bet you think I'm joking right?

Especially after I just dropped the bomb about feeding twice as much.

But it's true!

Bed sharing moms don't have to full rouse to feed their infants if they breast feed!

5.  Infants use energy more efficiently & maintain lower blood pressure & more!

Really?  YES, REALLY!

But wait...  There's more!

It also positively affects infant's body temperature, brain-cell connections, calorie absorption, heart rate and sleep-arousal patterns.

Are you a supporter of bed sharing?  Have you ever shared a sleeping space with your child?

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Image courtesy of GaborfromHungary on morgueFile.

Shayla Black: Ours to Love | Book Review

I recently read Shayla Black's Ours to Love; an erotic tale self-described as "a wicked lovers novel."  This is the first book I've read by Shayla Black, but definitely not my first delve into erotic novels (Harlequin books, anyone?).

Ours to Love Shayla Black
Ours to Love book cover.
Black wastes no time getting down and dirty; a few sentences in and I'm already wondering Is every erotic novel based on the BDSM scene?  Obviously, I'm referring to the recent fame and success of BDSM erotica Fifty Shades of Grey.

Yes, you've heard of it.  I'm sure.

Starting off strong, I fully expected Black's book to be filled to the max with steamy goodness.  Well, that, it was.

However, when you stripped away all the sexing, there really wasn't much sustenance to the book.  Was there really much of a story in there?  No, I didn't think so.

Ours to Love features a sweet, naive, somewhat sassy female that seems top clique and I was feeling all been there, done that while reading the story.

I'm someone who has to know the ending, so I, of course, finished it.

In my opinion, Black's book was mediocre, at best.  It was thoroughly lacking a story when you stripped away all the sex.  The story that was there seemed to play out too quick, which caused for lack of character development and everyone seemed very bland.

I will probably give Ms. Black another chance sometime in the future, but Ours to Love is not a book I'll ever read again.
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Breast Milk Storage Guidelines

For breastfeeding, and especially for exclusively pumping, moms it's essential to be aware of proper breast milk storage rules.  By simply typing breast milk storage into Google search, you'll find a ton of information.
Breast Milk Storage Handling
Widely accepted storage times for breast milk.

I'm sure we can all agree that breast milk is a precious resource.  The last thing you want to do is end up throwing out some of your liquid gold because of improper breast milk storage or be giving your baby old, possibly "expired" breast milk.

I was amazed when I learned that breast milk can be stored in a deep freezer up to 12 months!

My Mistakes

This is my second time exclusively pumping, but when I was a newbie pumper...I had no idea what I was doing!

I had so many unlabeled breast milk storage bags.  I froze my milk in ugly shapes and just tossed in in the freezer carelessly.

It's okay if you're cringing.  I was bad.  It was bad.

I did buckle down though.  I did get informed.

Use a Reference

Most new moms will get some kind of breast milk storage chart in their hospital goodies, from WIC, or with their breast pump.  If not, I have created a very simply breast milk storage chart to use as a guide.

If you click on it, you'll be taken to the full 4x6" scale, which you could theoretically print out and put on your fridge/freezer/in your diaper bag.
Medela's own Breastmilk Storage Guidelines.

Here is Medela's breast milk storage guide, which I managed to snag as a magnet with my first baby.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a great breast milk storage system, even after I found the proper guidelines.  I lived in an apartment sans deep freezer and was even storing some milk at a relative's home.

When my son weaned, I was left with tons of milk, much of which was not properly labeled.  I didn't really know about the options of selling or donating breast milk.

I ended up throwing out several gallon size freezer bags worth of breast milk because I felt so overwhelmed and disorganized and didn't know what to do with it!

This time I've been careful label everything and to store it in a way that's convenient!

Do you have a breast milk freezer stash?  When do you plan to dip into it?

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10 Netflix Must Watch Shows

10 Must Watch Netflix Shows #netflix
If you're one of the many homes with Netlflix (and you should be), then I have compiled a list of some of my favorite television shows you can stream.  Dexter and Switched at Birth are my most recent indulgences, but I can't forget how much we loved Lost or how much I'm anticipating the new season of Sons of Anarchy!

I'm not a channel surfer.  Actually, I can't wait to cancel our cable in August when the contract is up.  It's a total was of money on our part because we all rarely watch it.

When we do, we're turning it on for a specific television show, many of which we can purchase a season pass to on Xbox Live.

Or, if you're like us an love too many shows and can't keep up, we can catch them when they come out on Netflix.  Dexter, for example, we never watched when it was on cable television.  We discovered it on Netflix and we're loving it on Netflix!

If you're wondering, this post is not sponsored by or endorsed by Netflix.  I have not been compensated by Netflix or anyone else for this post or these recommendations.  We pay a monthly subscription fee ($7.99) for Netflix and truly enjoy the service!

What's your favorite TV show to stream?

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Two Fantasy Book Series Worth Reading

So I recently connected with Elle in a blogger support group, and I'm super excited to be guest posting for her today (and hopefully again in the future).

For my first guest post on her blog, Elle Ay Ess, I will be sharing my two favorite fantasy book series that you absolutely must read!

We have one PG-13 and one X rated series that each present their own beautiful world, characters, and stories.

If you want to find out what my two must read fantasy book series are, then hop on over to Elle Ay Ess and READ MORE!

Leashing Your Kids Controversy

I'm never let down when searching Facebook, that's for sure. I've been inspired to write several blog posts thanks to the time sucker that is Facebook.

I stumbled across this photo/post on Facebook and was completely surprised by all the negativity around the idea of leashing kids.

Poor Choice of Words

First things first, I think the fact that it's been decided that this is "leashing" children automatically makes people think of dogs. Therefore, they start comparing putting your child in a harness as wrong and treating them like a dog.

But why do we leash dogs?

I was under the impression that we did it for their own safety and our own peace of mind.

We don't want our pets running off, getting hit by a car, stolen by some less-than-reputable-new-owner, and so on. Is it so terrible that we also don't want those things for our children?

Drawing Conclusions Without the Whole Story

Second, this post should not be considered reflective of all parents who leash their children in children's safety harnesses. My first instinct is to comment that it's bad parenting. However, we don't really know what's going on in this photo.

Maybe the boys are doing what they're doing (lying on the floor, that is) to get attention or as retaliation because they wanted that lollipop at the gas station. Many parenting experts would tell you not to acknowledge such attention seeking behavior because then you're giving them what they want.

Who really knows?

Bottom Line

Unfortunately, leashes or anything that looks like a leash is, more often then not, associated with pets, especially dogs.  I think that parents putting their children on leashes is slowly finding its way toward being at least semi-mainstream and mostly accepted by society.  However, there are still going to be people who stare, gawk, glare, sneer, or simply come out and say something rude.

Putting a child or children on a leash might be the only practical option for some parents and/or that parent may just feel that it is the right choice for their family.  

As fellow human beings and parents, I think we should respect the decision, even if we disagree with it.

At least those children are unlikely to put themselves in harms way or be taken by a stranger.

It happens, even to the best of parents.  So is it fair to judge?
What is your opinion of leashing children?  Have you done it? 

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Tax Break for Breast Feeding Moms

Before finding Modern Mom's article on the subject, I had no idea that breast feeding mothers could have the opportunity to deduct a breast pump and related supplies as medical expenses on their taxes!

While there seemed to be equal outrage and support on the matter based on the comments on Modern Mom's website, the benefit is one that the American Academy of Pediatrics has been pushing for, for years.
Breastfeeding Tax Deduction
You might be able to count your breast pump as a medical expense.
Apparently, this is old news, so maybe you're already aware. The decision was made in 2010 and families whose medical expenses are more than 7.5% of their adjusted gross income can claim breast pumps and related supplies as medical expenses on the tax return.

Of course, this requires itemizing or having an FSA to be taken advantage of.

What is your opinion on the tax break? Do you think it's fair that breast feeding moms get a tax break while formula feeding moms don't?
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I don't have an education or professional training or knowledge in tax laws or filing taxes. Please consult your accountant and the IRS website.

Pull & Pray Might Actually Work

So, while stumbling around on the internet searching for resources for making printables, I somehow came across's 16 Things You Probably Don't Know About Birth Control and was quite surprised when I came to Fact #16:
The “Pull Out Method” Is Fairly Effective, But Not Foolproof.
Pull Out Withdrawal Method #birthcontrol #contraception
My first reaction is simply to laugh. However, a little Google search informed me that pulling out (AKA: the withdrawal method) is no longer holding the bad rap it used to. Okay, so, I'm still laughing even if there was a study published in Contraception magazine.

I'm on board with Dr. Melissa Gilliam who reportedly told the New York Times:
In terms of a reliable method used over and over again, the risk of failure is quite high.
The biggest concern among medical professionals and especially teachers (and I'm sure parents, too) is that this sort of information and data doesn't translate the message we want to send our youth, especially teenagers. Even if only 4% (4 out of every 100) of couples who do it right every single time will get pregnant, which puts pulling out close the the effectiveness of a condom, it does not protect against STDs and requires great self control and experience.

So, I'm still pegging this birth control method as risky and relatively irresponsible, especially for casual sex.
Do you think this method of birth control is viable? How do you feel about these facts?

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Photo courtesy of via

Jello Cupcakes

I may have missed guest posting at Plucky's Second Thought last month, but I'm back for June with an absolutely scrumptious Jello Cupcake recipe.  Hop on over and check it out and show some love to the blog's other posts.

I also had a fabulous helper!  See how much he loved stabbing the cupcakes!

Gabe Makes Jello Cupcakes #cupcakes #baking

First Month with a New Baby

Oh. My. Gosh. Luna was officially one month old as of Monday.

I just can't believe it. It's so bittersweet. I just want her to stay my cute little cuddle bug forever, but looking at the two children I already have reminds me that she won't be my sweet, wittle baby for long.
First Month Postpartum Tips
It's important not to forget about mom during these first weeks after child birth. 
It's almost enough to make me feel guilty for going back to work this weekend. Almost. But money doesn't grow on trees or something like that.

Anyway, I just wanted to take a minute to savor this beautiful time with my daughter.

To intentionally feel the blessedness.

And to remind others to do the same.

Regardless of how old your children are, each moment is sweet and worth savoring. Worth remembering. Every now and then, we need to stop and take a minute to appreciate who they are at any given stage in their life.

Now that we've gotten all touchy feely, I want to share a few tips for your first month postpartum.

1. Sleep, sleep, and...don't forget you need to SLEEP.

Seriously, I was blessed with both my children being awesome sleepers.  My daughter currently sleeps between 5 and 8 hours in a typical night.  So, yes, I totally understand if you up-every-two-hours-moms are glaring at your screen right now.


Either way, sleep when you can.  You might not be sleeping every single second your baby is, but take advantage of them sleeping when you are sincerely tired.  And if that means you are sleeping every single second they are... Well that's okay, too.

Which brings me to another very good tip!

2. Don't wake up your baby.

I don't know why we used to think this was necessary.  And by 'we' I mean those meany nurses and doctors who insisted we wake our newborn to feed if we so happened to luck into a baby who slept more than two hours between feedings.

Yeah, I had a nurse like that the first time around.  I learned quickly (and most medical personnel will agree) that it wasn't necessary to wake my infant to feed.  
He would wake up when he was hungry.

My daughter has slept long stretches since day one and is perfectly healthy.  Obviously, if there are health concerns or your baby is not gaining weight you should consult your doctor.

3. Sleep close to baby.

There are many known benefits of sleeping near your baby.  The AAP recommends room sharing because evidence suggests it can reduce the chance of SIDS up to 50%.  They don't support bed sharing; claiming that the evidence is not substantial enough or is mixed.

However, research such as that of James J. McKenna's and his Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory seem to indicate that bed sharing can be and is a viable sleeping arrangement for babies and is challenging so-called authorities who reject it as such.

4. Take some mommy alone time.

It might be hard to pry yourself away from your new baby, whether because you feel guilty, don't really want to, or have no one to assist you in your quest for alone time.  However, you will greatly appreciate taking some quality time for yourself, even if it's just a few hours to read a book or take a nap or (like me) go get a pedicure.

Plus, you'll probably miss that baby so much that every two hour feedings doesn't sound so bad.

5. Don't get overwhelmed.

Doing #4 should help you with this, but I feel it deserves its own spot.

So you just added a new baby to your family?  Maybe she's your first.  Or fifth.  Does it really matter?  Nope.  The family dynamic changes with each person added.

Plus, mom still needs recoop time.

You might have a weeks worth of dishes or still be wearing the same yoga pants from three days ago because you haven't done laundry.  Seriously, who cares?  Don't sweat it.

If it can wait, it can wait.  If you're tired, take a nap and know that you can sweep your kitchen tomorrow.

Prioritize yourself and your baby.  And remember that baby feeds off mom.  So if you're stressed, she's going to feel that and react accordingly.

And if it's a screaming, inconsolable, possibly colicky baby that's got you ready to throw in the towel..... Well, know that it's okay to put her in her crib/swing/bouncer/whatever and walk outside or in the other room for five minutes.

Yes, she's going to keep crying and probably still be crying when you come back.  But you need to recognize when you need to walk away.  Frustration with your baby can lead to horrible things, like shaken baby syndrome.
It's okay to take five minutes!

6. Don't be afraid to seek support, help, and guidance.

Especially if you're feeling overwhelmed, you should ask for help. Obviously, friends, family, spouse or your significant other are ideal. However, some people just might not have this option.

If that is the case, seek other help. Look for your local La Leche League or ask your local WIC agency about support groups.  You could also look to see if there's a local MOPS group or start your own!

If you're feeling depressed, considering suicide, or simply feel you need should consult your doctor ASAP.

Never be ashamed of how you feel or to ask for help.

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