Thank You, Nurses – Nominate a Nurse! #thankyounurses

From the moment I became pregnant with my first baby, Lucas, both Mike and I were filled with every emotion imaginable – love, joy, hope, excitement, nerves, and many more. We spent 9 months researching and planning for this little baby boy who would enter our lives. We wanted everything to be perfect – starting with his birth. I looked up every single stage of pregnancy, researched every baby product to a fault before buying or placing in my registry, read about every possible complication, and I even created a “birth plan” <insert giggle here>. I laugh because what I know now is that you can’t plan childbirth.

Here’s what I was NOT going to do:

  • I was not going to have a C-section.
  • I was not going to have an epidural.
  • I was not going to have Pitocin.
  • I was not going to rush to the hospital the second contractions started.

I wanted a natural childbirth delivered by a midwife in the hospital. I packed a bag filled with items that would make childbirth easier – an exercise ball, cute PJs, soft robe, lavender essential oil and lotion so that I could relax while in the hospital.

What actually happened:

Lucas was born almost a week late. My water broke around 10 PM ET on August 15th while I was writing thank you notes in front of the TV. I had spent the entire day cleaning on my hands and knees. I even shaved down and bathed our dog. The nesting instinct had kicked-in full force!

After my water broke, both Mike and I went into panic mode. We completely forgot about the “not rushing to the hospital” part of the birth plan. I ran upstairs to get ready for the hospital while Mike got my bag. Within minutes we were headed to the hospital, which was an HOUR drive away. Mike literally white knuckled the steering wheel the entire way.

We get to the hospital and I am only 1 cm dilated. Total buzz kill. By the next morning, I was still only at 1 cm so I started walking the hospital halls. From this point on, everything I had planned for went out the window. I ended up needing Pitocin to jump-start my weak contractions, an Epidural to take away the unimaginable pain, and Lucas was even turned the wrong way so my midwife had to turn him right before it was time to push. Lucas Malcolm Jolly was born on August 16, 2007 at 11:56pm ET. He was healthy and beautiful.

Childbirth taught me that there are things in life that cannot be planned. Nature will takes its own course and is on its own schedule. The other thing I learned? It’s all about the people who are with you during childbirth. If it wasn’t for my husband and an incredible team of nurses and midwives who advocated for me, supported me, walked with me, encouraged me, and above all – made sure both my baby and I were healthy – I couldn’t have done it. My labor &delivery nurses were truly amazing. They treated with me with love and kindness and ensured I kept my dignity through a process that is often anything but dignified.

The truth is that nurses play an essential role in facilitating strong relationships between newborns and their parents during the very crucial first minutes, hours and days of life. From holding a mom’s hand during labor and teaching new parents how to change a diaper, to being there for new parents and babies when they were needed most, nurses leave a deep, long-lasting impression through their endless support.

As the #1 Choice of U.S. hospitals*, Pampers Swaddlers wants to recognize and show their appreciation for these exceptional nurses. In collaboration with the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), Pampers has launched the second annual Pampers Swaddlers Thank You Nurses Awards to honor Labor & Delivery nurses, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurses and Postpartum nurses around the country.

One nurse in particular that I would like to thank is my sister-in-law, Cori. She checked on me after Lucas was born and most of all – she repeatedly checked in on Lucas who had a little health scare right after the midwife turned him and I started pushing. She was with him during his circumcision and made sure he was comfortable and everything went smoothly. For a new mom, it meant everything to know that my baby was cared for and loved.

My sister-in-law, Cori taking care of Lucas.

Now through January 27, 2017, Pampers is inviting parents, co-workers, family members and friends to nominate and share the story of an extraordinary nurse who provides babies and their families with special touches of love. Anyone who nominates a nurse will receive 10 Pampers Rewards points! To nominate a nurse, please visit www.pampers.com/thankyounurses and make sure to use #ThankYouNurses on all social posts.

This a sponsored post as a part of my partnership with Pampers, opinions and ideas are 100% my own.

 

 

 

 

Leave YOUR #Duckprint in the Fight Against Childhood Cancer

This post is sponsored by Aflac. I was compensated for writing it, but all opinions are 100% mine.

The C-word. Cancer has become a word that is all too familiar to families around the world. In my circle of friends and family alone, I know dozens of people who have gotten cancer over the years. Dozens. Some have survived and unfortunately, many have not. My mom and dad are both survivors and I can tell you that watching both of my parents fight cancer within a couple years of each other is one of the toughest things I have ever had to do.

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My mom during her battle with breast cancer; holding Amelia a few days after she was born.

I can’t even imagine if the roles were reversed and it was a parent watching their child fight cancer. A parent should never have to witness their child in pain. A parent should never have to suffer the loss of a child to cancer (or anything).

According to Cancer.gov, in 2016 the U.S. will see approximately 10,380 new cases of cancer among children from birth to 14 years, and about 1,250 children will die.

As helpless as the C-word makes us feel, there are things we can do to make a difference. Volunteer our time. Raise awareness. Raise money for research. This is how we will eradicate all childhood cancers one day! This is why I love when brands, like Aflac, not only support the fight against childhood cancer, but also give us simple ways to get involved and help.

Aflac’s new online game, “Build Your Own Balloonicle,” allows consumers to create their own Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloonicle, featuring the beloved Aflac Duck.

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Every game experience shared on social media with #Duckprints will generate a $2 donation toward children’s cancer (up to $1.5 million). Yes, $1.5 MILLION.

Another way to trigger a $2 donation is with the NEW Aflac Duckchat, an app where you can get custom Aflac Duck emojis and GIFs. The app can be downloaded on either the Apple iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store.

Aflac has been helping to raise awareness and money for childhood cancer for 20 YEARS and has donated over $111 million! Thank you, Aflac!

Visit www.aflac.com/parade today to build your own balloonicle! And, make sure to follow the Aflac Duck on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@AflacDuck)!

Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.

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Santa is coming to Kmart plus AMAZING deals!

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Ho ho ho! Guess who is coming to Kmart? The jolly old elf himself! Check with your local stores first, but Santa will be visiting with kids at Kmarts throughout the country on December 20th and kids get a free candy cane. How fun is that?

Plus, while you’re there visiting Santa make sure to check out Kmarts last minute-deals on this season’s best gifts for everyone in the family. Kmart is helping customers and Shop Your Way members complete their shopping lists with last-minute gift guides perfect for everyone, from Mr. Fix It to the pet lover and even to the tech-savvy teen.

For even more great finds, the Last Minute Deals Weekend Sale will be happening at Kmart.com on Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20. Whether you shop in-store at Kmart, online or use the Kmart Mobile App – Kmart makes it incredibly easy with convenient shipping options including free standard shipping on orders of $35 or more at Kmart.com, Shop Your Way Maxx Free 2-Day Shipping, Free Anyone, Anywhere Pickup and Free In-Store Shipping.

Shipping orders received by 4 p.m. on Dec. 22 will arrive in time for Christmas by Dec. 24, with expedited options available thereafter.

Just to give you a quick glance into a few of the deals…

50% OFF winter apparel

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60% off air hockey tables

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25% Star Wars figures and toys

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40% off cooking made easy

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Up to 60% off electronics like earphones, bluetooth speakers, TVs and more.

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Shoes – buy one get one 50% off

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50% off clothing for her

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up to 75% off jewelry

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Check out all of the deals and Kmart’s last minute shopping guides at Kmart.com!

12 Days of Holidays Your Way Photo Challenge #FiestasMyWay

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Join Orgullosa and DiMe Media to celebrate 12 Days of Holidays Your Way with a Photo Challenge!

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How To Enter:

Share your daily photos on Instagram and Twitter following the themes listed above, tag @Orgullosa and include the hashtag #FiestasMyWay for a chance to win one of the prizes listed below!

Prizes:

  • Week 1 Prize: One (1) $250 Target Gift Card plus P&G goodies
  • Week 2 Prize: One (1) $250 Nordstrom Gift Card plus P&G goodies
  • One (1) Grand Prize: $1,000 Visa Gift Card plus P&G goodies

Rules: For the official rules, click HERE.

Can’t Miss Black Friday Deals at Kmart

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The Christmas shopping season officially begins this week! Did you know that the term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season? Even though the holiday shopping season can get a bit crazy (read: traffic and lines are terrible), it’s still so much fun to go out and begin checking everyone off my list. There have been many years that we’ve even braved shopping on Black Friday – kids and all!

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Lucas with us shopping Black Friday deals at Kmart

Today I wanted to share with you a few of my Black Friday Shopping Tips – hopefully they will help you shop smarter this holiday season.

  1. Be prepared. Put together a holiday gift list  and do your research online before Black Friday to find out where to shop and where to find the best deals. Then, make a plan that includes the stores you will be shopping, their opening times, etc. You should lay out a detailed schedule.
  2. Take advantage of loyalty programs like the Shop Your Way program, which offers members rewards points for shopping or even special perks. For example, right now Shop Your Way members can shop doorbuster deals online BEFORE Black Friday. This allows you to shop the same deals without standing in line, traffic, etc!
  3. Get apps for your favorite stores. For instance, Bluelight Specials are available in stores, online and for the first time ever, via the Kmart mobile app. Download the app HERE (for Apple devices) or Google Play (for Android).
  4. Create a budget. Make sure to have a set budget that you want to stick to so that you don’t over spend.
  5. Black Friday is not just on Friday! Kmart will be open for doorbuster shopping beginning at 6 a.m. local time on Thursday, November 26 with deals lasting till 10 p.m. on Friday, November 27.

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Kmart Black Friday Deals

This year, shoppers will see Blue on Black Friday as Kmart celebrates the return of Bluelight Specials – every single store, every single day and online and via mobile app! Plus, they are offering fun activities for kiddos with Freebie Saturdays and visits from Santa. Kmart shopping = fun!

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Kmart has everything you need for everyone on your list! They have everything from toys to small home appliances and so much more.  Take advantage of some ridiculously awesome doorbuster deals at Kmart including:

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens Extendable Lightsaber; sale price $4.99, reg. price $9.99
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens Classic 20” Figures; sale price $9.99, reg. price $19.99
  • Dakota Spruce 6 ft. unlit tree; sale price $15.00, reg. price $49.99
  • Poinsettia; sale price $0.89, reg. price $2.99 – $4.99
  • BE and Piper Faves Kids’ Denim; sale price $6.00, reg. price $12.99 – $14.99
  • Up to 50% off holiday lights; reg price $2.99 – $29.99
  • Proctor Silex appliances; sale price $3, reg. price $9.99
  • Swift Stream Z-9 Camera Drone; sale price $59.99, reg. price $99.99

 

There are so many ridiculously awesome ways to shop at Kmart this holiday season. Score super cool deals on Black Friday at Kmart, on Kmart.com and the Kmart mobile app.

Remind Others the Reason for the Season with #TheGivingHat

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The holiday season is all about giving. Giving of our time, love, friendship, and service. Of course, these are things we should all do year-round, but the holidays are a special time. Every year, we always look for any way that we can give back. We bake treats for our local firehouse. We donate toys and food to a local family in need. We do whatever we can to give back in some way.

Over the past nine years, Kmart shoppers and associates have embodied the holiday spirit with their generous support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®’s Thanks and Giving® campaign.  Since 2006, Kmart has raised more than $76.7 million dollars to support the patients and families of St Jude.

This year, St. Jude and Kmart collaborated to design The Giving Hat™ – sold exclusively at Kmart stores or online at Kmart.com/StJude. When you purchase The Giving Hat™ for just $5, $1 from each hat sold will be donated to St. Jude.

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The gray and lime green winter knit hats are one-size-fits-all (adults and kids ages 9+) and are available with three different embroidered messages inspired by St. Jude patients and their families:

  •  SMILE
  •  LAUGH A LOT
  •  GIVE THANKS

Both of our kiddos are always making everyone around them smile so we chose the “Smile” hat. It represents their personality and also reminds others to “Smile” this holiday season. Lucas looks so cute and pretty cool in his new hat and I love knowing that we are helping to generate awareness about childhood cancer.

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The Giving Hat™ is available exclusively at Kmart and Kmart.com/StJude while supplies last.

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Put the FUN Back Into Shopping Again

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“Attention Kmart Shoppers!” Bluelight specials are back! Every single store. Every single day.

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I can vividly remember shopping at Kmart with my grandmother and mom when I was a kid and they would get so excited when they saw that blue light flashing because it meant a must-have deal. Plus, it was fun anticipating when that blue light would come on! Now, it’s our turn to have fun! Here’s how it works:

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I love a good deal…especially around the holidays and these Bluelight Specials are REALLY GOOD deals. For example, you may see a deal like this: 16 piece comforter set regular price $119.99 on sale for $79.99 and Bluelight Special price is $19.99 

That’s more than a deal. That’s a steal.

What I love (besides the really great deals!) is that Bluelight Specials are available in stores, online and for the first time ever, via the Kmart mobile app. Download the app HERE (for Apple devices) or Google Play (for Android).

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In addition, Kmart is also bringing family fun back to stores with the introduction of Freebie Saturdays every Saturday and other in store events like Santa visits during the holidays! Every Saturday Kmart will have a freebie for kids 12 and under such as popcorn, a box of apple juice, a small toy – starting at 8am and while supplies last. I don’t know about your kids, but mine aren’t usually excited about a day of shopping, but it’s these little things that make it more enjoyable for the kiddos. I love that Kmart is doing this!

Visit Kmart.com for additional information.

Take a Fall Family Break with Wyndham Extra Holidays Deal (Coupon Code)

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One of our favorite things to do during the holiday season is travel. Whether it’s taking a trip to see family or going on a short weekend getaway, holiday travel is the perfect way to spend time with loved ones. We have made so many unforgettable memories!

If you’re thinking about getting away this Fall, you should consider staying at Wyndham resorts. Wyndham resorts offered by Wyndham Extra Holidays are your ticket to the perfect vacation! With spacious and comfortable suites plus all the amenities of home, you can be sure your Fall vacation will run smoothly. These suites include fully equipped kitchens and private decks. I personally love that they include kitchens because I hate eating out all the time when we travel. I prefer to cook some of our meals. It’s healthier and it’s more affordable, which is a WIN-WIN in my book!

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Best of all, you can stay at select resorts for as low as $84 a night this season! Hurry—offer ends October 31. For more information, visit Wyndham.

OFFER DETAILS: Book by October 31, 2015. Travel by November 24, 2015. Mention code FALL15. Two-night minimum length of stay required. Valid for new reservations only. Reservations subject to availability. Reservations not valid over holidays and special events. Cannot be combined with any other offer. All monetary amounts are noted in U.S. Dollars unless otherwise noted.

Make sure to follow Wyndham on Facebook and Twitter to get additional information and get the scoop on promos and offers!

 

Make Halloween a Family Affair

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Did you know that more that 67% of American’s believe that Halloween isn’t just for kids? More and more people consider Halloween to be a family event and this year since Halloween falls on a Saturday, it’s a great excuse to dress up and take part in the fun fall events and activities! Halloween is actually one of our favorite holidays because it’s really the start of the holiday season. From now until the end of the year, we are in full “holiday” mode and I love every second of it. It’s the perfect reason to gather the family and spend quality time together. That’s what it’s all about! Today, I wanted to share with you a few of our favorite activities to do around Halloween.

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  • Visit a local pumpkin patch or corn maze. This is an annual tradition for our family!

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  • Check to see if your local area offers any ghost tours. Most old cities have a “haunted” past of some sort!
  • Invite the whole family over and host a laid back Halloween party. On the menu: a big pot (or cauldron) of soup, crusty french bread, and candy for dessert, of course!
  • Pop some popcorn, grab the Halloween candy, and make it a “scary” movie night with the kids! There are lots of awesome family friendly Halloween movies that the whole family can enjoy (i.e. Hocus Pocus, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown).
  • Have fun planning your costumes as a family! Choose coordinating costumes or everyone can be whoever they want.

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Looking for the perfect costume?

At Kmart, they make it easy to find ridiculously awesome costumes that are a treat for the entirefamily. They have more than 5,000 awesome costumes – from Minions™ to Marvel’s Avengers™both in store and online at Kmart.com/Halloween.

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Treats, please!

What’s the trick to making Halloween a treat? The candy of course! Kmart also has your favoritecandy on-sale from 10/25 – 10/31. You can grab two Hershey, Mars or Nestle fun size candybags for just $5, while supplies last.

Halloween at Kmart

On Saturday, October 31st, Kmart is your destination for Halloween fun! The first 100 kids 12years old or younger will receive a free fun size candy bar at every Kmart store location. Plus, if you wear your costumes, you will receive a coupon for 5% off of your total purchase of $30 or more that day.

Visit your local Kmart store or check out Kmart.com/Halloween all your Halloween needs!

Start Your Holiday Shopping Early

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It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost November. Holiday decorations have begun to show up in store aisles and my kiddos are already talking about their Christmas lists for Santa. Time flies and it will continue to fly through the holidays, which is why it’s a good idea to get a jump start on holiday shopping. Kmart’s No Money Down Layaway makes it easier for shoppers to get everything on their Christmas gift list by planning and budgeting early. No Money Down Layaway is returning for its second year and is available now through Sunday, Nov. 29. You can place the hottest items across dozens of categories on layaway including toys, home products, apparel and electronics, with no down payment for in-store contracts and only one penny down for online contracts. It’s pretty much a no-brainer way to shop!

I recently tried Kmart’s online Layaway Program to purchase Amelia a powered ride-on toy – the Disney Minnie Mouse Quad Trax. It is an adorable beginner powered vehicle for a tiny driver like my baby girl. And…it’s Minnie Mouse! She loves Minnie Mouse! I can’t wait to see her face light up on Christmas morning!

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Putting the toy on layaway was very easy. All I did was add the item to my cart, choose the “Pay with Layaway” option, review payment schedule terms, and then pay $0.01 (for online layaway) or NOTHING for in-store layaway.

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Layaway Process At-A-Glance

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Cancel anytime!

Kmart’s layaway online service is low-risk; you can cancel at any time to receive a full refund, minus a small cancellation and service fee.

Additional Information

For more information and to start holiday shopping early, visit Kmart.com/Layaway.

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