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5 Simple Steps to a more Productive Day

How many of you feel like you could have a more productive day?!

If you’re like me, you go to bed at night with the resolve of tackling the next morning head on. But something happens from the moment your head hits the pillow and your alarm goes off. Your pjs are so comfy, the coffee isn’t strong enough, and maybe the weather seems a bit drowsy. All of these things lead to binge watching Netflix and afternoon naps. Before you realize it, the day has passed you by and now it’s time to make dinner. (And if you’re being honest, you’d rather order pizza.)

Now hear me out, days like this AREN’T bad. Shoot, I have my fair share of them. If you are a mom to babies or toddlers, please GIVE YOURSELF GRACE!! It’s little kids will suck the life right out of you. Yes, it’s okay to love them and still say that. Feel accomplished that the house hasn’t burned down and your children are alive and fed. THAT is success, my friend.

But maybe you’re ready for something more. That’s okay too. I hope you’ve taken a second to watch the video linked above with a few ideas on how to have a more productive day. However, I didn’t want the help to stop there. If you’re like me, my intentions are great, but sometimes the follow through is lacking. So having something to tangibly hold and write on, helps me greatly. If you’re waving your hand in the air screaming, “That’s me too!”, perfect I have exactly what you need.

Here’s where my printable will help you. It’s so simple,  nothing flashy, but helps you stay focused on what really matters. Print this out, fill it in with what you hope to accomplish, and get to work! See how it can help you have a more productive day!

And if you’re feeling EXTRA motivated, tag me in a picture with your printable on Instagram!

FREE DOWNLOAD! (just click and save the image)

Now, seize the day!

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CARPE that DIEM

It is time, ladies.

It is time.

No more fear, no more regrets. Let’s live like we are worthy, called for a purpose, and SEIZE THAT DAY!

You are invited to a sisterhood of women ready to tackle our days- full of joy, excitement, and determination! No matter what you are called to do with your life we each have a choice every day. Do we live in the “ehh” or charge forward confidently?! Grab a shirt, wear it proudly, and CARPE THAT DIEM!!

Ordering your shirt is simple! Just click on your size/shipping options and order through the button.

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Sizes

***More sizes below! If you have any other questions please email me at: jbrittanyestes@gmail.com***


More sizes



 

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Let’s do it ladies. Join the movement and our sisterhood!

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Promise

Well, it looks like it’s been awhile.

Are blogs even really a thing anymore? Or are they old artifacts marking our pasts and creating interesting exhibits for onlookers to see? I’m still unsure.

What I do know is that I’ve kept mine around for some reason or another with the option of returning to it one day. Is that time now? And can I really breathe new life into these dry and dusty pages? Will it be worth it?

These thoughts  and more swirl around in my head as my emotions ping pong between fear, excitement, inadequacy, and determination. 2018 is my year of promise.

So I’ll trust it’s time.

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Let’s RUN…

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Making memories with our Oceanview Wooden Swing Set from Backyard Discovery™

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There’s one thing I’m fairly certain about- and that would be the innate desire of children to run free outside. In fact when I was a child I remember my mom would make us go outdoors and play, joking about not coming in until the street lamps turned on. So many fun memories were made as my sisters, neighborhood friends, and I spent our days dreaming up adventures and exploring everything around us. That’s why I’m thankful that my kids ALWAYS seem to be begging me to let them go out and play. Granted that usually leads to them getting pretty messy, but I’ll take it over sitting on the couch all day in front of the television. And it’s nothing a good bath can’t solve, Amen?! Now they NEVER want to come inside thanks to the Oceanview Wooden Swing Set from Backyard Discovery™ we received as a part of this sponsored post.DSC_0075

Listen, the daily cries for a trip to the park have subsided, instead they run out the back door into their own little park. Which quite frankly, I am 100 percent okay with. Parks can be fun, but keeping up with 7 crazy, little kids in an over crowded, noisy place isn’t pleasant. We usually only make it an hour and then need to head home; mainly due to one kid’s breakdown or another who had an accident. Either way, we don’t last for very long. When it’s all said and done, it takes us the same amount of time to actually get to and from the park as we did to play in it. This, my friends, is the definition of frustrating. Something had to give and I’m glad it went in the direction of “Estes Park”, ha!

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As we looked into “breaking ground” on Estes Park we knew that we wanted a wooden swing set, but not just ANY swing set. We have 7 children, who inevitably will want to all be playing on this set at the same time, so it was important to us for our swing set to have a variety of fun features and be one that the kids could still play on as they grew.

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Just looking at the Oceanview Wooden Swing Set, I feel like all of my dreams have been answered. For me, the wooden swing set was much classier and better looking. And while each of my children have a favorite part of the swing set, mine would have to be the clubhouse on top. Actually I may have told my children a time or two that the clubhouse is mommy’s, ha! It’s seriously the coolest, can you blame me?

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If you think my Oceanview Wooden Swing Set is pretty awesome, then maybe you should get one too! In fact, we have a handy dandy giveaway ready to make one reader’s backyard dreams come true! Yes, you read that right…one of you could win this beautiful Oceanview Wooden Swing Set, too. Entering is easy, just look below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s the details: The giveaway is sponsored by Backyard Discovery™ and will be open from 11/18/15 to 12/11/15. One winner (from all 5 blogger giveaways) will be selected to receive one (1) Oceanview Wooden Swing Set delivered to the winner (ARV $1,399, excluding installation) Sway Group will select a winner on 12/14/15, which will be highlighted in the Rafflecopter and they will follow up with the prizewinner*.

*Winner will give Backyard Discovery™ permission to use their name and likeness for publicity.

If waiting isn’t your style, and you’d like to find out more about the Oceanview Wooden Swing Set or buy your own today, then you’re in luck! They’re sold at Sam’s Club, on Amazon and on their website.

Truly it’s a purchase for the whole family! Even our puppy S’more is a fan. She has been known to climb up the stairs and go down the slide on her own, and it may be the cutest thing ever!

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Oceanview Wooden Swing Set from Backyard Discovery™.

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When you need help… 3 Steps to Succeeding

Often I get asked “How I do it all?” and quite frankly that makes me laugh. I’m not sure WHO I’m fooling here, but truthfully I don’t do it all. I can’t. Being in ministry full time, raising 7 children, homeschooling, and blogging as a job can be too much. The one thing I AM good at is finding ways to get help, ha! So when you need help, here are 3 steps to succeeding.

1. Get a planner…and use it. I would lose my ever-living mind if i didn’t use my planner. It sounds silly, but it actually makes me excited to do things (even the no fun parts of adulthood), because I can put them down in my planner! Right now I’m using the Erin Condren Life Planner and their Teacher’s Lesson Planner. These babies are FUN and if you’d like to snag one for $10 off you can use my referral code here. My sweet and talented friend Emmy just opened back up her planner business and they are ADORABLE (with fun covers too)! Like SO adorable I’ll be switching to them when it becomes time for a new planner! They are a great price point and you can see them over here!
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2. Hire a Virtual Assistant. Seriously, this will save your life. My friend Christie runs Silently Social and she handles anything social media related – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. And even better, if you need a break or more help she can do some content creation to basically fully managing your accounts. Then she does your average VA type work of email management, post editing, site maintenance, etc. So all the things that suck your time and can halt creativity for a person like me, she does. I am the idea person, the right brained gal, so I’m bad about doing all the up keep and managing type things, and frankly they aren’t any fun for me. Y’all I know it sounds weird to pay someone to do these things, but this saves you tons of time and Christie works her tail off to help you look good. Now that’s what I’m all about! Do yourself a favor and look into Silently Social, you won’t be sorry.
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3. Take breaks – aka: Treat Yo’ self (any Parks and Rec fans out there?!). If all you ever do is run, run, run and never stop working you are a ticking time bomb my friends. Believe me, I’ve learned the hard way. There have been many times where I think I can do it all and then everything comes crashing down because I am exhausted. The more you realize that YOU need breaks and time to yourself, the better mother, wife, teacher, and/or business woman you’ll be! I love to go out for coffee, go on a date with my husband, and spend time crafting. Simple things, but they make me feel more like myself! Since all the other points had links, I didn’t want this one to feel left out, ha! So if you’d like to donate to the “Brittany needs adult time full of coffee fund” click here. (Can’t knock me for trying, ha!)
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There you have it friends, I don’t nor will I ever have it all together, but I’m okay with that. For me the key to success is being able to give up and cry Uncle. Well that and utilizing the three things listed above. They are so simple, but incredibly worth it!

What are some things you do to be successful?!

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Getting your little girl dressed for the holidays

As the holidays are vastly approaching I’ve started to panic a little about our annual Christmas card picture. Finding outfits for nine people to wear that semi coordinates, is no joke. Seriously, that’s why it doesn’t happen often, ha! Then after you have all of the clothing situated you pray for a miracle and all children cooperate for just one perfect shot. It’s a lot of work, whew.
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But I must saying finding the perfect dress is a magical moment. Especially when said dress can be located online and it arrives at your door better than you had imagined!

This year I think we plan to be a little dressy for our pictures and then wear those clothes for Christmas Sunday. Two birds, One stone- see what I did there?! Anyway, I love a good black and white combo with a some pops of color. So when I found this dress for Paisley I may have squealed a little. I found this beauty (the dress not the girl) at Girls Dress Shop and let me tell you, I almost purchased them all because they were so adorable and such high quality. More importantly, I love that they believe children should look like children and their clothing is an expression of themselves. That means they sell beautiful, trend right, yet still age appropriate styles for girls from newborn to age 12. Now that’s what I’m talking about!
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I think Girls Dress Shop really knows mothers too. When we shop, we imagine our little girls actually IN the clothing, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Smiling at how they’ll look, what they’d do, and how much you love them. That’s pretty much what they think too…

“At Girls Dress Shop, we love to make moments. We believe in sidewalk chalk masterpieces, Saturday afternoon tea parties, and epic blanket forts. We think twirling in a favorite new dress is a totally worthwhile way to spend an afternoon, and — having a pretty new dress now and then is a girl’s right!

In her gorgeous new dress from Girls Dress Shop, she can dazzle on the dance floor, make her grandmother smile at a family dinner, amaze the audience at her choir concert, or just feel more confident on her first day back to school. We want to share in all of those moments that make your daughter extraordinary.”

How could you not get excited about a dress like that?! Come to think of it, I made some pretty fantastic memories with my precious little lady while snapping these pictures. She is growing up to be such a sweet, caring, intelligent girl. It makes me excited to see her as she grows, who she becomes, and style blossoms.

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But for now, she’s still my baby girl and in a second our little photo session was over. My model met her photographing limit, found her inner diva, and couldn’t stand still any longer. Good thing she’s still cute!
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What are your favorite kid holiday clothing trends?

 

 

Compensation was provided by Girls Dress Shop via MomTrends Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Girls Dress Shop or Momtrends Media.

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Hashtag Because I’m a Parent

We never seem to get any good pictures of our kids dressed up and mainly that’s because I’m running around with my head cut off trying to keep up with them. Not to mention help out with our church’s Light the Bluff (community Halloween alternative). So this year I had a game plan. I’d get the kids dressed up early and we’d go out somewhere to have a fun photo session. This is the best we got, ha!

Our Boys were ninjas:

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They each chose their own costume and I was surprised they ALL wanted to be the same thing…just slightly different versions.

Ethan was a “Fire Dragon” ninja. (Apparently they are very different ninjas and I have to get the complete names correct.)
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James was a “Howling Wolf” ninja.
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And Finally Titus. He was a “Dragon Slayer” ninja.
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Now for our pretty ladies. Sorry, but I have to brag, I have been blessed with THE most BEAUTIFUL daughters.
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Poppy danced the night away as a ballerina.
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Paisley begged to be Cinderella, so after 10 minutes of negotiating she won. Really her points were quit valid. A few years ago she was Cinderella and now she can’t fit that costume to play dress up in. So she wanted to be Cinderella again so she could play dress up in one that fits. Smart girl.
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Penelope was super incredible as Violet. Don’t mess with her.
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And Pippa marched around saying, “Who painted my roses RED?!?!” as the Queen of hearts.
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Little sister kisses. Melts my heart. Poppy is such a good big sister to Pippa!
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Lastly, I tried to get a group photo by the water and they just weren’t having it. I mean, I DID have them facing the sun. Either way, here’s my crazy crew. I’m one lucky lady!
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DIY Entryway Makeover featuring a pallet wall

DIY entryway makeover featuring a pallet wall
We recently finished a complete overhaul on a large, sort of awkward, entryway of our house. For over a year now, I worked on a vision/plan with a way to transform the space and make it look inviting. While I didn’t take an official before picture, this is one I snapped right after we moved in. I was actually thinking about redoing the wallpaper and having a feature wall, because we started out with some crazy dated textured paper.
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Then this gal right here got a little antsy with the already-peeling-mess-of-wall paper and had to rip it down! Seriously, one day Sam came home home from work and was like, “What just happened here?!” I was a woman on a mission and the paper had to go.10603281_735317381709_5649723179481315629_n

It was now a beautiful blank canvas screaming for me to paint a story and boy did I! And of course by “I” I mean my husband, a good friend (a talented designer), and myself created this masterpiece. IMG_4525IMG_4522IMG_4521
Our feature wall, which you’ll see in a minute, is a dark color so I wanted to paint the other three walls with a subtle gray color and had the trim pop in white. (My friend suggested having the trim be a dark gray and that might look cute too!) But for reals, I’m in love with this gray!
One of the biggest struggle for me was to figure out how to “dress” this room because of it’s size, without over dressing it. I found that fantastic chair on sale at Pier One and I already owned the pillow/throw combo. We also placed this cute metal side table complete with books, magazines, and funky turtle shell. When I ran across that shell statue in Target, I KNEW it needed to come home with me because my kids would love it, and boy was I right! My boys seem to think we have a ninja turtle in our home, ha! Lastly, I stacked these amazing square frames from Ikea to add height to the wall. Inside the frames are pictures drawn by my little ones; every so often we will rotate artist’s work. Which was a HUGE win, the kids feel so special with their work of art being displayed for all to see. We needed something to help warm the room as well as break up all the tile that adorns the floors of our house. So I pulled this cute Ikea polka dot rug from another room and gave it a brand new home!

My favorite part of my room is right here. This wall I dreamed up and combined a few ideas I had run across on pinterest before. Of course I had to put my Brittany spin on it.IMG_4516IMG_4519IMG_4520
How beautiful is this wall?!?! I’m not sure that I’ve ever been more proud of something in my life, ha! Sam put so many hours into making this pallet wall. We collected pallets for what seems like FOREVER. Then he had to remove all the planks, sand them down, stain them, and cut some to size. Shoot that was only the half of it, because next he built a structure against our current wall to nail the boards to and on top of that he had to figure out the layout and attach the boards. It was quite the ordeal, but I wasn’t it so worth it?! What was I doing while all of this was going on? Supervising- the toughest job around, but somebody’s got to do it.

Pallet walls seems to be increasing in popularity lately and while I’m not one to really jump on trends- I’m a trendsetter, not follower (ha!), this was a trend I could get behind. Well, with a little tweaking. On pinterest I saw where some had a wall with a picture of each child, the day they were born, and then a clock stopped at they time of their birth. I like the idea of honoring each of those life changing moments for us, but wanted it to be a little more abstract. So our giant clock displays the time from when Sam and I got married, you know, the moment that began our family. Each clock surrounding it is stopped at the time each member of our family was born. I know which clock “belongs” who which child and so do they, it’s quite comical. As far as the clocks go, most were purchased from Hobby Lobby, on sale or using a coupon…and definitely not all at one time. But boy were they worth it!

Speaking of Hobby Lobby, and who doesn’t love that place, these fantastic marbled arrow head mirrors came from there. I love how they fit snuggly in that little awkward small space. Just the perfect little pop to our room. IMG_4523
Okay, there is one key thing about this room that I haven’t mentioned yet and that would be our light fixture. If you remember we had this shine gold, screaming “I’m from the 80’s send me back” hanging in our room. Not only was it a bit outdated, but it was a little too formal for what we wanted in this room. After a little shopping at Lowes I grabbed this farmhouse light for CHEAP and spray painted it the precise steal color I had hoped for. But I had a major problem, I am NOT an electrician and I needed a professional’s help. A few months back I was introduced with a company called HomeAdvisor and they specialize in helping connect homeowners with home improvements specialists. Actually, they are the largest online network to do this! This was exactly what I needed.
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They have a screening process to make sure only the best and most trust worthy professionals are available through their site. So, it seemed like a no brainer to give them a try. Using the HomeAdvisor website was such a breeze, they helped me narrow down my search for what I needed, and even showed me a true cost guide where I could see about how much my project should be. Then I was able to request a quote from my local business. So simple and easy to do from my own home- plus I loved having the peace of mind with hiring a professional. But my favorite part by far was the customer service. After my project was completed HomeAdvisor called me to see if I went with the professional I received a quote from, asked me how they were, what kind of job they did, etc. They were so thorough and I respected the fact that they only wanted to make sure they were only offering the BEST professionals to their homeowners. This flat out impressed me.

What HomeAdvisor didn’t know was that I have MANY more projects to complete in my home. They treated me well and I’m proud to say that not only will I be using them for my next room makeover, but I’ll be sharing with all my friends as well.

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Even this little munchkin loves our new space.

After all was said and done, I am beyond pleased with how it turned out. In fact sometimes I just sit in my beautiful new chair and stare at our clock wall…because how cool is that?! And I’m not the only one who is a fan of the room’s facelift.

 

 

Thanks to HomeAdvisor for letting me share with my readers about your services. All the love and opinions are my own!

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I’m Pregnant…Now What?! More with Panorama Natera Prenatal Screening

Do you remember the moment that you found out you were pregnant? I can distinctly recall every time I saw those two pink lines pop up on each test I took. Sometimes I was excited, once I cried, and I even laughed hysterically in disbelief after seeing one test. Even though the years have past, it still seems like yesterday. But nothing speaks to that feeling than when it was the first time. Whew, that moment was CRAZY!
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Sam and I had be married for only 6 months and using birth control to family plan. So the idea of having a child was far from our minds, but when I was a few days late on my cycle we began to wonder. Funny thing is we weren’t that worried. I remember waking up the morning I took the test, reading the directions four times over to make sure I took it right. Seriously, I may have studied harder for this test than my ACT for college. I never concentrated more on peeing and 3 minutes never seemed longer. As my sleepy, fuzzy eyes focused on the two very faint lines I began to wonder if I was in fact pregnant, unsure though I thought it best to shove the test in Sam’s face and wake him to see what he thought. Much to my relief he assured me that the line would appear darker if I was pregnant, but a faint line meant nothing. Oh weren’t we so naive.

I then tossed the “wasted” test in the trash and began getting ready for work. Walking out the door I began to question Sam’s assessment of our possible parenthood. Having never done this before I decided to ask a professional for help. So I grabbed the test out of the trash, wrapped it in paper towels, and headed into work. There I pulled my friend and co-worker aside to see what she thought. I mean she HAD done this before and that qualified her as an expert. Thankful when I unrolled the paper towels revealing the two very faint lines she didn’t gag. Instead she chuckled and informed me that I was with child. She said, “Brittany, there wouldn’t be a line AT ALL if you weren’t pregnant! So faint or not, you have a baby in your belly.” Oh goodness, that day began my journey.

1923258_503594266689_1093_n1923258_503594261699_9882_n Pregnancy while incredibly exciting can be full of worry, especially for your first time. Will my baby be okay? What books do I read? What can/can’t I eat while pregnant? I mean really, how many cups of coffee are okay? And the list goes on. Knowing about the Panorama Natera Prenatal Screening test would have definitely easier my fears. The test is an accurate way to get a peek at your baby as early as 9 weeks gestation with a simple blood draw. Panorama is a DNA screening test that can tell parents important information about their pregnancy. They can find out if baby is at risk for having Down syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. Panorama can also tell parents the gender of their baby. Non-invasive and highly accurate, Panorama has the lowest false positive rate of any prenatal screening test for the commonly screened chromosomal abnormalities, trisomies 21, 18 and 13.
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Who wouldn’t want a peak at their little one as early as possible. Honestly if we found any health concerns with our little one it wouldn’t change a thing. Well yes it would, it would give us the ability to have a game plan down when he/she arrived. I think I’m not alone in this thought process, am I?! So if you are pregnant or plan to be, ask your doctor about having this test done. Peace of mind helps with a stress free pregnancy!

To find out more about the Panorama Navera Test, check them out on Twitter, Facebook, or even Pinterest!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Keeping Baby Comfy with Aquaphor’s Diaper Rash Cream

Can I be honest with you for a second?

I mourned the day we decided to not have anymore babies, though I knew it was the right decision because we wanted to adopt but I was sad to see those days fade away. Then I realized I had 2 beautiful sisters who were bound to give me some of the CUTEST nieces and nephews, right?! So that’s where I placed all my future baby hopes, ha! And it’s working out pretty well I think, I mean look at my precious little niece Ellie Mae!
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But another benefit of going through the baby stage already is being able to help and cheer on my sisters. From big things like vaccines to breast feeding, to simple things like which diapers, lotions, and creams to use. Score, this is my expertise! That’s why when I had the opportunity to have a bunch of Aquaphor products sent to my little cutie, I had to jump on it. Some of my favorite products are Aquaphor and now they’ve launched a new Baby Diaper Rash Cream.
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We love it and in fact, here’s a little more info from the brand:

“For cuts and scrapes. For simple skin woes. For beauty dilemmas. Who knew one little product could do so much? But ask Aquaphor devotees – to know the product is to love it. From the mom on-the-go who carries it in her bag, to the dermatologist who recommends it to his patients, so many people have trusted Aquaphor for over 90 years for one simple reason: it’s the multipurpose product for so many of your skin-related needs.

With the launch of Aquaphor’s new Baby Diaper Rash Cream, we’re on a mission to show that a happy baby begins with a rash-free bottom, and our new product is a must-have for achieving that.

Along with our new stash of baby products we received THE cutest onesie to decorate. And I had my sweet little helper get in on the fun!

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Of course we ended with a photo opp, isn’t that the money shot?!
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But because Ellie Mae loves you and your little ones so much Aquaphor wants to giveaway one of their New Baby Diaper Rash Creams away! All you need to do is comment and tell me about your little one! One random winner will be chosen this week!

Check out more about Aquaphor and their diaper rash cream on Facebook and Twitter. And for more pictures and ideas look over to Pinterest and Instagram.

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Compensation was provided by Aquaphor via MomTrends Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Aquaphor or Momtrends Media.