**GIVEAWAY CLOSED**Nebo Skincare Products New Years Giveaway!!!

fullsizerender**GIVEAWAY CLOSED** Congratulations to Gretchen!!!!! 🙂

As you all know, I am very passionate about both supporting small businesses and caring for the planet. I was so excited when I received an email from Nebo, a wonderful duo of beekeepers who make their own clean and amazing skincare products. They generously offered to sponsor a giveaway and I am SO excited to share these gorgeous products with you! I am obsessed and will definitely be ordering from them in the future! Not only are these products incredibly beautiful, smell amazing and are of an impeccable quality, the family is making a huge difference by lovingly caring for their bees. As you know, bees need all the help they can get these days. And without bees, this planet cannot exist.

Nebo is a family owned operation, and they live, work and play in the beautiful rolling fields and quiet northern woods of the Connecticut River valley in New Hampshire. (SWOON!) Over years of beekeeping, they accumulated a wonderful collection of beeswax and began to transform it into their simple, all natural, small batch lip balms, soaps and lotions. Other ingredients come from the family’s own garden and neighboring farms.

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Nebo generously sponsored a giveaway for an entire Box Set! (See box details below).

 

 

 

To enter the giveaway, simply:

  1. Follow Nebo on Twitter or like them on Facebook
  2. Subscribe to this blog (links for Nebo directly below, enter email at top of this page to subscribe to this blog). (Having technical trouble subscribing? My bad…I’m working on it. Just send me an email in the contact form below and state GIVEAWAY)

Winner will be selected via email so make sure to both follow or like Nebo and subscribe! (Tap links below to follow or like and enter email at the top of this page to subscribe to this blog).

Nebo Twitter

Nebo Facebook

Now, let’s talk about us what this awesome boxed set includes! (Description from Nebo.storenvy.com)

“Surprise your special someone (or yourself!) with this little box full of big goodness. Soaps, lotion, and lip balm bursting with natural ingredients, like beeswax from our honeybees, pure essential oils, and clay from our brook, will take care of the body and mind, and be easy on your wallet too!” -http://nebo.storenvy.com/

Comes in a kraft box with happy green tissue paper.

Includes:
1 Lemongrass, Rosemary Goat’s Milk Soap Bar
1 Lavender, Tea Tree Whey & Clay Soap Bar
1 Herbal Lotion in WinterNights
1 Peppermint, Rosemary Bee•U Lip Balm

 

fullsizerender-41 Lemongrass, Rosemary Goat’s Milk Soap Bar
1 Lavender, Tea Tree Whey & Clay Soap Bar

 

 

 

 

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1 Herbal Lotion in WinterNights

 

 

 

 

fullsizerender-21 Peppermint, Rosemary Bee•U Lip Balm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winner will be announced next Wednesday, January 4th, 2016! Winner will be notified via email and tagged on applicable social media accounts.

(sorry, US applicants only at this time!) Per Instagram, Twitter and Facebook rules, we must mention this is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Twitter or Facebook Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram, Twitter and Facebook of responsibility, and agree to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook’s term of use.

On Setting an Example of Balance

Click here for my latest Monday Morning Coffee Rant “Let’s Talk Body Image”

(as promised, the Apple Crumble recipe is posted above under the ‘Recipes’ tab, enjoy!!!)

img_2110I don’t think it’s a shocking revelation that becoming a parent is one of the MOST beautiful, stressful, all absorbing, all consuming life events that can happen to a person. Being a mom is without doubt the greatest gift I’ve ever been given. It’s also the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced. The love you experience as a parent washes over you like a giant ocean wave and consumes your entire heart and soul.  As my mom always said, watching your kids really is like watching your heart walk around outside your body. I am completely, head over heels, in love and obsessed with my children. And no, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I do, however, think that this presents an interesting challenge. While they occupy my every heartbeat and breath, I also have to find a way to take care of myself not only because I am a human and have needs too, but because I want to give them a mother who is interesting, who has passions, who can teach them how to be their best selves by being my best self.

And no, I cannot do this every day. Sometimes (oftentimes) the mommy they get needs a shower, is emotional, tired, and drained. And sometimes I force my smile and pretend I actually got sleep last night. And sometimes I put on Veggietales so I can answer work emails in img_1994peace for ten minutes. And that is ok. We cannot be perfect every moment of every day. What matters is our long term approach. I want my daughter and son to grow up with self respect and self esteem, I want them to be brave and feel confident and deserving of pursuing their passions. I don’t want to give them a mom who is a potato, thus possibly leading them to one day become potatoes themselves. I want to give them a mom who is full of life, passion, drive and balance, and inspire them to become such people as well.

fullsizerenderBut if they grow up with a mother who does none of these things, what am I teaching them? If I never take care of my own needs and desires, never do anything just because it brings me joy, what does that show them? Is that the example I want to be? Heck no. And motherhood is sacrifice. An absolutely worthy sacrifice but sacrifice it is, there’s no way around that. Most days I drink my coffee cold, I buy their clothes and needs first, and I don’t always get a shower. And as I’ve said before, I think that’s the way it should be. I chose to bring them into this world, not vice versa. And I find joy in the sacrifice. I will continue to put them first, always.

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PC: @renegadedrifterphotography

But I do think it’s important to set an example of personal respect and self esteem, and that entails doing things for me. And don’t get me wrong, my children DO bring me joy. THEY are for me. I have never experienced such complete, utter happiness in my heart and soul as I experience watching my children flourish and thrive. No craft project, baked cake, or career achievement could even begin to come close to that feeling.

But I do love to sew, to bake, to write, to play music. And I do want them to learn to love such things also. And they will learn to pursue img_2103what brings them happiness when I share with them what brings me happiness. The joy I have in watching their little personalities develop is unequalled, my daughter is obsessed with cats and Pooh Bear. My son is obsessed with Duplos and figuring out how things work, they both love books and pianos. I want them to celebrate those unique qualities and feel confident in pursuing things they love, and so I am going to do my best to show them that by doing things I love too.

It really is all about balance, isn’t it?

Let’s Talk Body Image

The Effort and Guilt of Doing Nothing

fullsizerenderOn the heels of my pursuit of peace post, I thought today I’d chat a little more about that and how HARD it is to just, well, chill out. I’m a bit of a ‘wound up’ person, I’ll readily admit it. Let’s just say there’s a reason my family lovingly refers to me as Scrat (Ice Age anyone?) Sitting around and doing nothing legitimately stresses me out, but if the holidays bring anything they bring times of extended sitting and visiting with family and friends. Which is a beautiful thing, but for me personally it’s hard. Like, WAY hard. My mind and body were always ‘on the go’ before kids, it’s just my personality, and now that I’m a mom I’ve gotten even worse. I come by it honestly, my mom is the same way. I used to (and still do) tease her that she is allergic to sitting still.

fullsizerenderI think our culture really contributes to this mindset of having to always be doing something. I mean, being busy is the norm. If you’re not busy, you just must be doing something wrong, right?! And life is busy, especially with kids. That’s just the way it is. But, at least for me, I feel guilty if I’m not accomplishing something almost constantly. Sitting with coffee? Well I could/would/should be folding laundry/picking up toys/cleaning something at the same time. Babes sleeping on my lap?! Time to crunch work emails! I mean, there is always, ALWAYS something to get done and heaven forbid I stare out the window for five minutes while I drink my coffee.img_1874 The only time I don’t feel pressured to be doing something is when I’m sleeping (which as you mamas know, with little ones, sleep isn’t exactly something that’s overflowing in my life at the current moment).

Many other cultures emphasize the importance of those moments of nothing, accept them and even celebrate them. And I think that is SO beautiful, and I wish our own culture was like that. So, while I cannot single handedly change our entire culture, I can start to work on my own mindset. Thus, in addition to my pursuit of finding peaceful moments, I’m going to actively work on fighting the guilt and stress that inevitably comes along with those peaceful moments of doing ‘nothing’. As parents, we aren’t exactly overflowing with opportunities for ‘relax’ practice anyway, so the holidays feel like a good time to start. Who’s with me?!

Let’s Talk Getting Out The Door with Kids

Looking for the special discount codes post? Click here
Looking for a Monday morning laugh? Watch the video below 🙂

The Pursuit of Peace

In hopes of helping simplify and bring you a moment of peace, I have compiled a list of special discounts at the bottom of this post that I have procured to share with you, my dear readers!

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Pic Credit: @renegadedrifterphotography (Click to find on Instagram)

As I sit here, my babies sleeping quietly on my lap, drinking a cup of coffee and watching the deer wander slowly through the early morning snow outside my Christmas light wrapped window, a rare moment of beautiful, peaceful calm washes over me. My mind typically feels like a loud blend of several race car tracks, loud music and airplanes roaring overhead, all set to the soundtrack of babies yelling and people trying to talk to me through this insane commotion in my head. I feel like I am always in full speed ahead mode, wash this, move that, always trying to focus enough on the task at hand that I am able to move on to task number two (or two thousand) as efficiently as possible.

But in this moment, the silence strikes me. fullsizerender-3For a moment, the race car tracks are empty, the metal band in my head is still and the sky is clear of airplanes. No children are crying, and no one is trying to ask me anything. The loud static in my head has been at least temporarily replaced by the soft shhhh of the house heat and the gentle purring of the cat. For a moment, everything has stopped, everything is still.

And it feels incredible. I want to freeze this moment, to make it last. I find myself almost nervous to breathe because I am not ready to let it go. But reality is, it will go. The race car tracks will roar to life, the metal band will wake up, (as will most certainly my children) and the sky will populate itself once again with those ridiculously loud airplanes. And that is life. And I love my big, joyous, loud life. But big ships come in over quiet seas, and minds that never stop burn out. I mean, if I was a computer, I would have overheated and blown up quite a while back. As parents, I think one of our biggest challenges is trying to find these quiet moments. It’s so, SO hard to just STOP. To stop our physical, mental and emotional activity and just BE for a moment. There is always something to do, to think about, figure out, or complete.

fullsizerender-2And I think we need to stop, to let the machine cool off, the water to be still, to RECHARGE and reset, to rest. And I think that takes focus, takes effort. And it’s hard to add one more thing to accomplish when you feel like your to do list is already out of control. I mean, yeah, great, let’s add ONE MORE THING to worry about, right? But I think if we can work on these moments, everything else will eventually seem a little less overwhelming, maybe if we find these quiet moments we can enjoy the loud ones a bit more. And while I don’t do New Years resolutions, (hello PRESSURE) I do believe I will add this pursuit of peaceful moments to the top of my goal list. Even if it means getting up fifteen minutes earlier.img_1714

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading The Pursuit of Peace

**GIVEAWAY CLOSED**Plum Organics Eat Your Colors Giveaway and Review

img_1666Like many naturally minded mamas, my plan was to make all my own baby food. And I did try, I still make some. But frankly, life is CRAZY and I just don’t have the time! So, while I am willing to bend on not making everything, I am not willing to compromise the quality of food my children eat. And I had suuuuuuuch a hard time finding clean, simple baby food! It was so disheartening to see all of the junk that is put in ‘natural’ baby food! Not to mention, wow does that stuff get expensive! To my relief, however, I found Plum Organics. And we LOVE them. They’re organic, clean, delicious and budget friendly! We especially love their new Eat Your Colors pouches! Check out my video below to see why! (And don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway! Details below!)

Plum Organics Giving Back Programs (click each for web link)

The Full Effect

B Corp

To Enter Giveaway:

(Winner will receive six total Eat Your Colors pouches, one each in red, orange, yellow, green, white and purple).

Follow @themamaplaybook and @plumorganics on Instagram

Like and repost the Original Instagram Giveaway Post or like and tag a friend in the comments

Subscribe to this blog (enter your email at the top of this page, those emails are how I will notify the winner!)

Giveaway closes Wednesday December 21st Midnight MST (winner will be notified via email and tagged on applicable social media accounts).

(sorry, US applicants only at this time!) Per Instagram rules, we must mention this is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s term of use.

Let’s Talk Random Places for Breastfeeding

 

Looking for the SnoofyBee review? Click here

 

SnoofyBee Changing Pad Review

img_1538**DISCOUNT CODE AHEAD!! I will only, ONLY ever feature products on my blog that I have personally sought out and use and love. My heart in reviewing products is to be able to test drive them for you mamas, and then if I deem them worthy of your love, I will procure a discount code so you can enjoy them also<3**.

Months ago, I discovered a product called the SnoofyBee and have been wanting to get one ever since. A SnoofyBee is this incredible product that keeps babies hands safely out of their diapers at changing time while simultaneously keeping them entertained. No, I have no idea why I waited this long to get one. Simply put, as I know many babies do, my wee ones each LOVE to turn into a rabid octopus at changing time. Arms, hands, legs and whatever toy is nearby are doomed for a poopy demise. I mean seriously how do they somehow seem to sprout six extra limbs suddenly?! Short of sitting on them I’ve been at a loss as to how in the world to keep them out of the mess at changing time. Clothing, toys, baby and me often get wiped out. But! Enter the SnoofyBee! Mine arrived this week, and all I can say is, HOW DID I EVEN GET THROUGH DIAPER CHANGES before! Mamas, you need this. Dads, you need this. Every parent grandparent aunt and uncle needs this. Seriously, it’s worth every penny and henceforth shall be my go to baby gift (and a cost effective one at that!). Please enjoy my demonstration below, then click here to shop and use code THEMAMAPLAYBOOK for 10% off!!!

 

Let’s Talk Mommy Shaming