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Encouraging Little Readers with Capstone

Today we head out of the Bayou and off on a fun adventure. While the trip will be a blast I’m a little exhausted over packing and getting 9 people ready for a week away. Y’all that is no small task, can I get an amen?! Even after I’ve made sure every child has clothes, pjs, and underwear, I still have to take into consideration our 7 hour drive TO our location. Keeping children entertained and seated for that long is quite the challenge. So we travel packs full of snacks, a blanket, few toys, and even some books to read.
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Right now our house is bustling with little ones who are fresh and new readers. It’s crazy to think that I have 4 almost FIVE children reading now. But with that new found excitement comes the challenge of providing more material for them to dive into reading. I mean you can only read the starter books we have at home so many times before you’re begging for something else, ha! Does anyone else have this problem?!
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I was recently introduced to Capstone Young Readers and their amazing collection of books; I mean they have a giant catalog full of fantastic options. Boy were my kids excited, but what impressed me the most was their CapReader iPad app. It’s a library full of e-books you purchased, all one click away. Seriously, I kid you not what I tell you this app gets me giddy. My little ones can read the books themselves or the books can be read to them, full illustrations too! Just like flipping through the actual paper copy. This also makes our traveling and entertainment so much easier. Instead of shoving the bags with books they can use their iPad to read and pass the time while using their imagination on our trip. Best part is they can’t buy books on the app, so no unapproved purchases.

All I had to do was download the app on my iPad and go to the website to create an account. Then I could purchase any and all e-books which automatically appear in my app library! P.S. I’d head over and download the app right now you get a free copy of “Really, Red Riding Hood was Rotten”. BUT it gets even better, right now Capstone Young Readers has offered to do a giveaway where 25 readers can win 5 e-books from their Back to School promotion. Entering is quite simple and can be done below. Don’t miss out because the giveaway ends Monday September 25th, midnight CST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Do your kids love to read? Which books are their favorite?

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All You Need to Know About Great Sleep!

There aren’t many things that I consider myself a professional on, but sleeping is one of them. For real, I’ve seen a 30 day napping challenge circulate around on Facebook and I seriously think it’s a challenge that I can get behind!
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But falling asleep isn’t the only thing you need to be concerned with, how about the QUALITY of sleep? Did you know your mattress has a lot to do with that? Boy have I learned a great deal about sleep over these last few months. It’s something I’ve become passionate about and wanted to share with you! In a few other posts I talked about how important your mattress REALLY is as well as what a lack of GOOD sleep can do to you. These were such a shocker to me, but now I look forward to laying my sweet little head on my mattress, because since switching to intelliBED I have never slept better.
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Last month I was able to chat with sleep expert Shawn Clark of intelliBED. We discussed EVERYTHING sleep related. He just such a great insight and helped answer many of my questions. In fact we recorded a webinar so you can hear all the great details Shawn shared with me:

 

Are you sold yet?! It’s not about a mattress friends, it’s about making sure you get the best healing sleep you can!

Here’s the deal!

For the next month, you can use the coupon code: BrittanyEstes and receive 10% off of an intelliBED mattress. AND if you order a queen or king size mattress, you will also receive a luxurious set of Bamboo sheets and 2 intelliBED pillows (can I please have a set?!?!) all valued at $500! This offer expires on October 14, 2015, so hurry over to intelliBED and try out their 60 day, risk-free mattress trial. You won’t regret it.

Could you use a new mattress?

 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of intelliBED but my love and thoughts on the product is all my own!

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It’s Official Now- Adoption Day!

A day it seems like I’ve waited my entire life for finally arrived. From the time I was a teenager I knew adoption was in my future. The when and how part was just a little unclear. So to be sitting in that courtroom on that hot July day felt surreal and time stood still. Our day was here, these babies would finally be ours. Truthfully this adoption journey has been one of the easiest when it comes to foster care adoptions and for that I am grateful. But nothing prepares you for the moment you sit in front of a judge and swear to take care of and love these children forever as your own. On of our good friends wrote a post about our adoption day and it brought me to tears. And because the pictures say it better here you go…

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Estes party of NINE!!!

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Donut Thursday and other musings

So this morning I woke up in the mood for donuts. Has this ever happened to you?! (Before we get crazy, no I am not pregnant.) But this week has left we feeling all out of whack and I really wanted a little “hey the week’s almost over” pick me up! And that my friends happened to be donuts.
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Oh the tasty, warm goodness of a freshly glazed pastry. I’m pretty sure there is almost nothing sweeter. Can I get an amen?!

Anyway, now that I have the sugar rushing through my veins and have downed a cup of coffee…or twelve, I’m on to business. Would you like a little end of the week pick me up as well?!

With my recent site overhaul (isn’t it beautiful?!) I’ve brought back some old school advertising. In the next few weeks I will be attending Periscope Summit, meeting up with other bloggers, and giving YOU many opportunities to shine in front of many! To top that off, October will be a HUGE month for me and I want to get these spots filled ASAP! Each spot will be live for TWO months (Sept-Oct) and we can work together to find the BEST way to highlight your brand/business in the best way possible. More bang for your buck friends!

So do you want to give your business an extra kick right before the holidays? Then partner with me! Making YOU look good is my specialty!

Head over to my advertising page to get started!

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That time I got my nose pierced

Yes, I may be almost thirty years old, but for 12 years I’ve wanted to get my nose pierced. However my sweet little hubby has NEVER been a fan of the idea. Now I know that I could totally go get it pierced without his approval, but I respect him enough not to do so. Plus I’d like him to like it after it’s done. I mean he DOES have to stare at this mug until the day he dies. Lucky man, ha!

Well you all know that I have become COMPLETELY smitten with Periscope. Who wouldn’t, it’s down right the best thing ever! Anyway, Sam gave me what seemed to be an impossible challenge in gaining over 150,000 hearts on periscope in only ONE week. If the goal was met, I could get my nose pierced. WOOHOO! Honestly, I thought I would have to work HARD to barely squeak out a victory in that week. Never did I expect to have my followers get as excited about a challenge as I was and rise to occasion so quickly. With their enthusiasm we blew our 150K goal out of the water in a little over 24 hours. Seriously, I could NOT believe it.
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Without waisting time I jumped on the opportunity and went out for a night with some friends as I got my nose pierced. And like the good Periscope gal that I am, I scoped the entire thing! Would you like to see it?

Man, it’s still a little weird to see that go down, but y’all I’m in LOVE!! What do you think, like it?

Any of you have or want their nose pierced?

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Getting Gorgeous Lips with Restylane® Silk

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Restylane® Silk. However, the thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the Getting Gorgeous event in New York City. First of all, NYC makes my heart skip a beat; I just love that place. But then you combine that with an event specifically made to pamper women- yeah I was in heaven.
BhPqGtejO0Ut1wmvcgbvh8UIFA7bxASlw3FZCtNGy2IIMG_3066 I think a party like this would be any woman’s dream! We tasted fantastic food, made some jewelry, had our nails painted, make up professionally done, and so much more. I never wanted to leave, in fact I may have tried to just sleep there that night, ha!
IMG_3067myzOrckcDvLPB43rqqJ9g9TAhJrIBY_LwauoryfjixE While I was at the event I learned about Restylane® Silk. Let me just be honest with you for a second, I never thought I would consider having a lip enhancement done like Restylane® Silk. Something like that seemed a little frivolous and just not practical for me. But when the opportunity presented itself, I HAD to see for myself and I’m so thankful I did! Secretly I’ve always wanted to try it- aren’t we all like that?! I never thought I had small lips, but I HAVE been known to color a little outside of the lines while applying lipstick. Hey, a girl’s gotta do, what a girl’s gotta do!Z-XXYdedPxLGQxm_hzTGwKHliAc7G10p_elYjt3Y8iYXKU6iUAj42LHGUdPiqaMMAcUaxtxnkT01Q8NaD8tnDQ So let me share with you really quick what they taught me. Like other areas of the face, the lips and area surrounding the mouth also show signs of aging as an individual gets older. This often results in lip thinning, lost shape, and/or an increase in vertical lines above the lip. Restylane® Silk is the first and only FDA-approved product specifically designed for lip enhancement and the smoothing of wrinkles around the mouth in patients 21 years of age and older. It’s unique particle gel formulation and ultrafine needle are designed to smooth the folds and wrinkles around the mouth and provide subtle fullness and definition to create a more natural-looking smile. (That’s exactly what I was looking for!) My favorite part though, in a U.S. clinical trial involving 221 mostly female patients, 98 percent of patients reported a visible improvement in lip fullness 14 days after injection and 76 percent still had lip improvement at six months following injection.
QMxaBkOK62NwqySU7wa_TnVZjb2mp7j6SzLvliLr480 Sign me up! I was able to sit down with their doctor (Dr. Whitney Bowe) and have a consultation to determine what I’d like to see and what they’d suggest. She was so sweet and professional I almost forgot that I was about to allow her to stick a needle in my lips, ha! After looking at my lips and deciding on a game plan (like making the right side of my upper lip even to match the left side) we began. She applied a cream to my lips and the area around it; this helped numb them so I could be as comfortable as possible. t4-FCDk1mu78X22Z1htQp_EuT5NZIEWc_lssCmCXxjA Okay, so the first injection stung- like a bee had set up camp on my upper lip, ha! But all of the injections after that I really couldn’t feel which surprised me. As she finished each focus area the doctor then grabbed my lip and massaged the area to mold the Restylane® Silk. Then once she was completely finished she handed me a mirror so I could see the results. And let me just tell you ladies and gentlemen, I was in love!! lips before and after She did exactly what I had hoped for, nice and subtle improvements. I was ready to strut my stuff all around the city with this new kissable pout. Now before I signed the paperwork I read up on all the side effects like the most common such as swelling, tenderness, bruising, pain and redness at the injection site. But I didn’t think about was how I treated my lips after my injections would determine how “bad” my reactions would be. Thankfully there wasn’t any bruising, but I did have some swelling. I spent the rest of the day after the event at a conference chatting with brands and other bloggers. This gave my lips quite the work out and by the end of the night they were so sore and extremely swollen. (i.e. See Will Smith in the movie Hitch.)

Because the doctor told me about these side effects I wasn’t worried at all and I had already seen what the end result would be before the swelling began! So I applied cold, wet wash cloths that night, took some tylenol, and even a Benedryl to help with the swelling. Those babies did the trick! So just a quick tip to those who decide to use Restylane® Silk (and for the record, I am totally a fan), after your treatment head home and rest those sweet lips. Trust me, you’ll thank me for this!

We are a little over a month out now and I still love how my lips look. Even the hubby thinks they look cute too, ha! In fact if the opportunity presented itself again, I’d definitely jump to have it done again!

What’s one thing you’d like to change/enhance about your lips?

 

Before you take the leap here’s some important safety information: 

Indications: The Restylane family of products includes Restylane®, Restylane-L®, Restylane® Silk, Restylane® Lyft with Lidocaine, and Perlane®. Restylane, Restylane-L, Restylane Lyft with Lidocaine, and Perlane are indicated for the correction of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds. Restylane and Restylane-L are indicated for mid-to-deep dermal implantation. Perlane and Restylane Lyft with Lidocaine are indicated for implantation into the deep dermis to superficial subcutis. Restylane Silk is indicated for submucosal implantation for lip augmentation and dermal implantation for correction of perioral rhytids in patients over the age of 21. Restylane Lyft with Lidocaine is also indicated for cheek augmentation and for the correction of age-related midface contour deficiencies in patients over the age of 21. Restylane and Restylane-L are also indicated for submucosal implantation for lip augmentation in patients over the age of 21. 

Products in the Restylane family contain traces of gram-positive bacterial protein and are contraindicated for patients with allergies to such material or in patients with severe allergies that have required in-hospital treatment. These products should not be used by patients with bleeding disorders or by pregnant or breastfeeding women. Restylane and Restylane-L for lip enhancement and Restylane Silk should not be used by people under 22 years. Restylane-L, Restylane Silk and Restylane Lyft with Lidocaine should not be used by anyone with a known allergy to lidocaine. Products should not be injected anywhere except the dermis, superficial subcutis (Perlane and Restylane Lyft with Lidocaine only), or lip submucosa (Restylane, Restylane-L, and Restylane Silk only). 

Use of products in the Restylane family at the site of skin sores, pimples, rashes, hives, cysts, or infection should be postponed until healing is complete. The most commonly observed side effects are swelling, redness, pain, bruising, headache, tenderness, and itching at the injection site. These are typically mild in severity and typically resolve in less than 7 days. Serious but rare side effects include delayed onset infections, recurrence of herpetic eruptions, and superficial necrosis at the injection site. Do not implant into blood vessels. Use with caution in patients recently treated with anticoagulant or platelet inhibitors to avoid bleeding and bruising. 

The Restylane family of products is available only through a licensed practitioner. Complete Instructions for Use for Restylane, Restylane-L, Restylane Silk, and Perlane are available at www. RestylaneUSA.com. Complete Instructions for Use for Restylane® Lyft with Lidocaine is available at www.RestylaneLyft.com

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Helping Baby’s development with Gerber Lil’ Bits

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gerber.

Last week I was able to spend some time with family in Dallas. Man do I miss that area since we moved to Louisiana. But the best part of the entire trip was snuggling, holding, and kissing on my precious niece. You know I’ve always been the mama and this is really my first time to be the aunt on my side of the family. So that baby had NO idea what was in-store for her when I came to town, ha! I made her laugh, tickled her endless fat rolls, and pretty much never let her lay down for a second. That girl LOVES her some Bubby (my cute little aunt name)! So when I needed to head out for an event with local bloggers I just HAD to bring her along, I mean is WAS and event for Gerber and she IS the cutest baby I know right now!
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Now this was probably one of the CUTEST blogger parties I’ve been to in awhile and the decorations were down right fun! We were ready to join the Gerber Chew U with the festive blue and orange colors and supplies!
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Look at sweet Ellie Mae, she’s ready to head off to school now, ha! I was such a proud auntie and showed her off to everyone there. I mean, No longer are my babies that small, so I desperately needed the baby fix!
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While it was fun to chat with other bloggers and feast on the fantastic food, I was really impressed with what I learned about the new Gerber’s 3rd Foods® Lil Bits™ Recipes. The Lil’ Bits recipes are made with perfectly sized soft bit of fruits or veggies that help your baby learn to chew and mash. This is PERFECT for helping them transition into table food. Ellie Mae is just now entering the food stage and I love that as she works all the way up to “big kid” food she can use the Lil’ Bits line!
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Gerber is launching 10 new Lil’ Bits recipes, 7 fruits and 3 veggies. The tasty fruits are: Apple Blueberry, Orchard Fruit Medley, Apple Banana, Banana Apple Strawberry, Pear Apple Berry, Island Fruit Blend and Banana Apple Mango. And the hearty veggies are: Mixed Carrots, Corn & Butternut Squash, Butternut Squash & Potato, Sweet Potato Apple Carrots & Cinnamon. Your little ones are going to LOVE them.
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This little cutie is WAY too excited about her Gerber’s 3rd Foods® Lil Bits™ Recipes! And right now Gerber has the Gerber Chew U Instant Win Promotion. Simply apply your little ones to Gerber Chew University and you can come back daily for a chance to win. But the promotion period ends on September 4, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. ET

How do you transition your baby into table foods?

 

 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gerber.

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Snack Time for the Littles with Plenti Yogurt

One thing we take seriously in our home is food. And since we are a family of 9, we can sure pack it away, ha! I swear my kids could eat ALL day if I allowed them too, so it’s important for me to get them healthy snacks that will fill their little tummies and tide them over until our next meal.
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The other day while I was grocery shopping, I picked up some Plenti Yogurt for the kids to try. But what I didn’t expect them to eat all of them in two days! they seriously loved the stuff! It’s called Plenti for a reason– wholesome ingredients and protein. Plenti Yogurt is Greek yogurt with whole grain oats, flax & pumpkin seeds and delicious fruit mixed right in. Doesn’t that sound tasty?! Somehow I only managed to sneak a bite from Pippa’s cup instead of getting one on my own. I guess that means I’ll be heading back to get a few more and hide them for myself!
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See what Plenti has to say about their new yogurt:

“We start with Yoplait Greek Yogurt, a good source of calcium and vitamin D. Then we add just the right amount of hearty ingredients. Packed full of goodness, Plentí is a healthy, high-protein snack. A full life requires a fulfilling snack. No one has time for an energy dip. Plentí stays with you. It’s substantial and satisfying—an energy booster. Now you can keep going and have a truly plentiful day. It’s also gluten free and has a 1:1 protein to sugar ratio (12g of each).”

If you’re like me, then you like to know that your snacks are more that just empty calories full of sugar and leave you wanting for more. I want to snack well and I want my kids to do the same! So head out to your local grocery store and grab some!
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For more information check out on Instagram and their website!

 

Thank you to Plenti for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to try their new fulfilling yogurt!

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The Wonderful World of Periscope

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Have you ever tried something and then all of the sudden everything just clicked? Well I must tell you, this is the wonderful world of Periscope for me. (you can find me on there at: @naturallyestes) When my sweet friend Alice talked me into doing my first scope, I was nervous to say the least. Who will watch me? What will I say? Do I have food in my teeth? Forsaking all my nerves I jumped right in began with a tour of my hotel room in NYC. Now it was nothing spectacular, but friends, I was hooked. What else could I scope? Who would be watching this time? Please don’t let another creeper ask to see my boobs.

You see this community is one like none other. You are able to stream a video in real time and in that moment reach out to your audience and chat with them. They can comment, ask questions, and you can answer them right then and there. It’s pretty amazing.
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Who knew that I’d be okay with seeing myself on camera and people would actually like hearing what I had to say?! Or maybe they’re just laughing at how crazy I am, who knows?! And I love getting to see little snip its into other people’s lives and families. This new world of Periscope has so many possibilities and I’m excited to roll with them. There’s a few series I’ve started, like my Monday night chats (9pm CST) with my hubby called “Scopes with Britt and Sam”. We mostly discuss life changing important things such as our first kiss, and the moment I knew he was a keeper. Spoiler alert: Neither of those stories sounds as pretty as you’d imagine, ha! The other series are quite as awesome too! But the ideas are endless! So that brings me to Periscope Summit.
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I’m proud to say Sam and I will be heading out to NYC with hundreds of other Scopers ready to learn more about this platform we so love. The very FIRST Periscope Summit kicks off September 22-24th and should be like none other. Have you thought about attending? If not, you totally should! (Full disclosure, I am not paid to say this, just a huge fan!)

Are you on Periscope, if so comment with your username so I can find you!

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Doctor Visits with the Comfort of Home #momsloveamwell

Here’s the deal, I have seven children and when one of them get sick I often have to load up and take ALL of my kids to the doctor. Not only is that a complete pain and flat out struggle, but I’m taking 6 healthy children where all the other sick kids are. This is a no go. Wouldn’t it be nice to meet with a doctor in your own home?! Could that even be possible?

A couple of weeks ago my family FINALLY took a break from all that’s going on in our crazy, busy lives and went on a vacation. On man were we excited; it was going to be a week of fun, relaxation, and uninterrupted family time. Or so we thought. The first morning we woke at our destination Penelope woke up sick. At first we didn’t think it was a big deal, but when her temperature shot up and she started shaking because she was so cold, we knew a trip to the doctor was in store.
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But where? This wasn’t our town, we had no clue where to go. We ended up wasting half a day to pay an arm and a leg in order to meet with a stranger. That’s when I knew there had to be a better way. And wouldn’t you know, there is.
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Amwell is the nation’s largest telehealth company, connecting users with board-certified, licensed doctors for immediate and live, online visits—day or night, on either mobile or desktop. Some general conditions our doctors encounter include: minor illnesses and injuries, general health and wellness concerns, prescription refills, and chronic condition management.  We employ primary care and specialist physicians, as well as licensed behavioral therapists and registered dietitians, to meet our patients’ health and wellness needs. Amwell doctors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are dedicated to keeping you healthy  — all from the comfort of your home.
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Once I found out about Amwell there was only one thing left to do- try them out! And truth be told, it’s pretty simple and super convenient. All I had to do was head to the Amwell website, log in, and I was well on my way to meeting with a doctor. And this is no joke. You get to actually see and talk to a LIVE doctor through your computer. So there is no guessing as to what’s been ailing you. Nope, they can see for themselves and find the proper course to treat you.
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Is that not amazing?! No more sick trips to the doctor, instead I’ll just stay in my pajamas. Because honestly when you’re sick that’s all you really want to do anyways, ha!

Here’s the best part friends, you can try out Amwell with your first visit FREE! Just use code MOMSQUAD! Not too shabby right?! Oh and did I mention that Amwell also has an app so to use on the go?! Now that’s just cool!

If you want to check out more about Amwell find them on Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram!

 

 

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