Packing for 3 Days in the Skip Hop Forma Backpack: It Can Be Done!

This post was written by Linzy of Crawfish Tales. While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

With a four year old, we were in the system of leaving the house with no supplies. No need for diapers, wipes or extra clothes. But now that baby #2 just entered our lives three months ago. We are getting back into the routine of packing up enough for a weekend trip just to leave the house for a couple of hours.

I will admit that I hate diaper bags. I don’t like all the baby patterns or the hard plastic. I mean come on, why can’t it look like it has some style? So I am a tough candidate to test out a diaper bag. But I have had the opportunity to check out Skip Hop’s Forma Backpack Diaper Bag.

YES! Not only does it look cute, it is a backpack. When you are trying to navigate two kids, one being mobile you need all the hands you can get so I LOVE the backpack feature. On the back, out of sight, out of mind.

And when I said pack enough for a weekend trip I meant that literally. I did pack up the Forma Backpack Diaper Bag for a weekend trip for Easter. Here’s what I managed to fit in it:

  • outfits and spares for three days
  • shoes and socks
  • diapers, nighttime diapers and wipes for three days
  • pack n play sheets and a blanket
  • pacifiers, toys, a baby monitor
  • formula for three days, bottles (in the exterior pockets)
  • and the sleep suit. And it was not even busting at the seams.

I love that it has the two pouches in the front. One is insulated which was great for snacks and a juice box for my older kiddo. I am all about convenience and the fact that it can hook on to a stroller is amazing. This makes it even more convenient and would be great for anything from an amusement park outing to navigating an airport.  Another perk? I have seen that the changing pad pocket can also hold a laptop which means that this would be useful to mommy even after the diapers are gone.

The Skip Hop Forma backpack comes in two colors: black and peacock and retails for around $70.00. I am impressed with this diaper bag for sure. It has long term use and can go beyond the baby stage and grow with the child. Thumbs up to Skip Hop for this for design and function!

Share Your Special Firsts with Pampers

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy who is a member of the Pampers Baby Board. All opinions remain 100% honest.

After trying for 6 months to become pregnant with our first child, I started to worry that something was wrong. Every negative pregnancy test made me yearn to be a Mother that much more. But finally in 2004, my husband and I were thrilled to announce we would soon become a family of three.

The first time I heard the heartbeat. The first ultrasound. The first flutters of baby kicks. The first contractions. All of these firsts were magical moments I will never forget.

And then she arrived.

The first smile. The first solid foods. The first laugh. The first time she walked.  All precious memories to me.

Pampers is honored to be a part of the journey of amazing firsts for millions of families around the world and created this heartwarming video to celebrate of those “firsts” moments with babies. It certainly brought back memories of all those special firsts with my daughter. And now, you can share your own special “firsts” memories, too. Beginning February 16th, create and share your own journey of Firsts at pampersfirsts.com.

After my Maternity Leave was over and it was time to head back to work, my arms actually ached for my baby while I was away. But, the fact that I had two loving family members watching my baby the first few weeks of her life, sending me pictures and texts and answering my 1,000,000th phone call to make sure everything was OK, somehow made things bearable.

And I am eternally grateful. For all the firsts and for all of the people who made those firsts even more memorable. Thank you.

Building a Blog as a Business through Consistency

This post is written by guest blogger Ponn Sabra and is one-stop in the month-long Blogger Babes blog tour which began here with it’s opening post on Double Duty Divas’ blog. To read this post in-context, we recommend starting at the beginning–then hop along with us for the full journey.

While many bloggers start blogging as a hobby; that wasn’t the case for me. I was a freelance writer and published in academia for over a decade when I came online to simply publicize my debut book as an author. I knew my blog had to serve 3 main purposes:

  1. Position me as an expert,

  2. Build a following of my target market, and

  3. Help publicize my services and products.

So, I came into blogging with a totally different mindset. From the get-go, I was strategic in what I chose to write, even my very first blog post over 10 years ago.

But, freelance writing, especially AP style in my role as the networking columnist of Entrepreneur magazine’s women’s site was very time consuming and hard to balance with a new family of 3 girls under 5 years old. So, I found my joy of “hobby blogging” by having my side mom blog. Those 6 tiny blogs ultimately became my “professional mom blog” for the next 6 years. Now a decade later, I’m transitioning back into a blend of both those worlds in my role as the managing partner of Blogger Babes.

My point is: no matter which route you take, the intentional (like my first blog), or the accidental (like my second) there’s something you ultimately have to decide:

Is your blog a hobby or business?

Can I use a strategy to leverage my passion of blogging and growing audience to turn a profit? Or, am I fine just blogging for the the joy and pleasure of blogging–which there’s nothing wrong with at all.

Bridgette and Cecelia found a way to leverage their experiences and relationships with blogging, and successfully launched and run the awesome blogger network Double Duty Divas. As a blog network owner myself, event planner, and brand-to-blog campaign organizer, I can attest that this may not be the “job” every blogger aspires.

But, that’s not your only option.

Building Traffic through a consistent blogging calendar

Simply blogging in one particular niche, adding affiliate links or having an ad network are three great ways to make a steady income. And, our Blogger Monthly Tutorials help you figure out if you have the time and stick-to-it-iveness to blog regularly, so you can actively have enough traffic to make a good income through your numerous affiliate relationships.

The only way to maintain traffic is by always giving fresh, unique content for your readers to come back too. And, being consistent is much more important than writing 10-days in a row, then not blogging for 10-weeks.

When I came on-board at Blogger Babes, it took me a couple months to get my blogging calendar set–and in January I have been able to maintain a steady Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday schedule. Our readers expect it and it helps me stay organized. This is one thing I felt was very important in developing steady blogging habits–that’s why our debut Monthly Trainer has a blogging calendar sample for you to duplicate.

Need Help writing consistently? Click here to sign up for the Early Bird special release of $5 per month!

Win Two-Hours of Blog Coaching with Heidi and Ponn ($298 value)

We’re crowdsourcing the name of our Monthly Training tutorials. Creating the eKits is one-thing, and publicizing it through a 25-blog blog-tour is another… and trying to tackle a creative training title is something my poor brain cannot handle alone.

So, we need your help!

Grand Prize: Two-Hours of Blog Coaching by Blogger Babes Co-Founders (Value $298)

  • Two one-hour blog coaching sessions, one with Heidi and one with Ponn. Coaching will be conducted separately on the phone (domestic), Skype, or our recorded webinar room (international).

How to Enter:

  1. Make one comment below for each monthly subscription title you create. Make sure you use your primary email, so it’s easy for us to reach you if you win!

Rules:

  1. Any age, any country. Minors with guardian’s permission.

  2. Unlimited number of entries across any/all guest blog posts from now until Monday, April 20, 2015.

  3. Deadline date: Monday, April 20, 2015 11:59 pm Pacific Time. [After all, we need time to design the covers. ;-) ]

  4. Winner selection: Heidi and I will select one winner and announce it Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

You can even champion your title by letting us know on Twitter @TheBloggerBabes or Facebook @TheBloggerBabes.

[Note: these actions do not serve as contest entries. Official entries must be made on this blogpost...but, we’d love to connect with you nonetheless.]

Next Steps:

  • Check out our draft sales page now, take some time, and share your proposed title below in the comments area on or before April 20th 11:59 pm Pacific time. While you’re there, sign up for our Early Bird release special!

Ponn Sabra is a best-selling author and homeschool mom of three tween and teen daughters, also bestselling authors and probloggers. The Managing Partner of Blogger Babes, Ponn has a secret passion for sewing…what’s your secret passion you’re willing to share?

Keeping a Eye on Baby with Levana Sophia Digital Baby Montior

This post was written by Linzy of Crawfish Tales. While a product was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

You learn so much between your first child and your second child. For my first child, I had a standard audio baby monitor. I didn’t understand what the need for video could be. However, I quickly learned that video is not for the first couple of months. The video capability is a necessity for the mobility stage. It would have been really nice to know with my first child if she had rolled over, stood up or was playing in her bed. You just can’t pick up on those things on the audio only monitors.

So now, with number two, I am trying out the video monitor. Thanks to Levana I am testing out Levana Sophia Digital 2.4-Inch Video Baby Monitor.

The specifics:

  • Features 48 hour battery life battery life in power saving PEEP mode
  • Temperature monitoring to ensure your child is comfortable
  • Night vision up to 15 feet
  • 500-foot ClearVu® digital signal
  • Talk to Baby two-way communication
  • Invisible night vision LED¹s, a soothing nightlight that can be controlled from the parent unit
  • Can be expandable up to four cameras

The best part about this product is that the price point gives you all of that capability for the suggested retail price of $89.99, for one monitor and the hand held receiver. The camera is available on Amazon and at MyLevano.com.

Now this transition to a video monitor has not been without fail. My first night with it, I stayed up all night watching the baby on the monitor. While she did sleep, I did not. I was distracted by the ability to be able to look at her and be reassured that she was fine. But, by the second night, my husband took the camera and put it on his side of the bed so that I couldn’t get distracted and would sleep. Lesson learned. Don’t stay up all night watching the monitor!

I love how super simple it is to set up this monitor. I have even packed it up in a ziplock and taken it on vacation with us. It is so easy to use and great on the go! The battery life is fantastic and it has a great picture.

So if you are looking for a video monitor with a great price point definitely check it out.

Building Up My Budding Engineers with GoldieBlox

I have never been scared of a little hard work. Tackling a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Minor in Chemistry, I plowed full steam ahead to Graduate School. After graduating with a Master of Science in Biology, I landed my dream job in a Government laboratory.  As I worked my way up the career ladder, I got married and had two beautiful daughters.  Life was great.

And then it happened.  Budget cuts.  And with the budget, went my job.

My daughters saw me at the lowest point of my life as I struggled to figure out what was next for me and how I would support my family.  I took a job as a Secretary in order to get my foot in the door of a place that I could see a future.  At age 40, I was starting over, dusting myself off and climbing the ladder….again.  Two years later, the hard work and determination paid off and I am better than ever.

I am hoping that my two daughters will take something away from watching me climb the ladder not once but twice in a male dominated field. From not giving up and believing in myself, I was able to transform my situation and I hope I made them proud. But more importantly, I hope that I have showed them how to have pride in yourself and not let circumstance define your self worth.  Look fear in the face and create your own destiny!

Needless to say, I am a huge supporter of getting my girls involved in science and math activities. Solving problems can make you feel powerful and GoldieBlox helps them achieve that feeling while having fun.

In a world where men largely outnumber women in science, technology, engineering and math, girls lose interest in these subjects as early as age 8.  Construction toys develop an early interest in these subjects, but for over a hundred years, they’ve been considered “boys’ toys.” GoldieBlox is determined to change the equation. We aim to disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of female engineers.

My girls got to try their hand at the GoldieBlox and The Builder’s Survival Kit which retails for $59.99. With over 190 piece, GoldieBlox Diary of Inventions tells a story with included prompts for girls to complete Goldie’s projects along the way. My older daughter tackled the Go-Cart while my younger worked on Nacho’s Dog House. Both were all smiles as they completed their task and couldn’t wait to show off the finished product. As a Mom, I loved watching my daughters disconnect from their electronics and not only take an interest in Goldie’s storyline, but enjoy the hands on problem solving as they worked together to find the correct pieces needed for the projects.

GoldieBlox would make a great Easter gift, birthday present or Summer activity for your budding engineer or scientist.  Use code Spring2015-9f63aetc to get 20% off your GoldieBlox purchase before April 5th!  Want to win a GoldieBlox Action Figure and Builder’s Starter Kit of your own? Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway