Spring Clean Hacks

For most of us when we think of spring cleaning, we think of the horrors and traumas that come with cleaning. Well for me, anyways. I don’t particularly like to clean or do anything that remotely resembles the chores that I did growing up. But the end result far exceeds the process. So if you’re like me, the biggest for you is not actually cleaning but having the motivation to actually start cleaning. Here are a few tips to get you into the cleaning mood.

Upbeat positive music.

Everybody knows that music has a profound effect on our mood. Cleaning is not exactly that chore that gets you in the mood so why not make it fun. Having something super upbeat and energetic to get you moving is sometimes motivation enough to get out of bed and do something. Might as well make that “something” your spring clean.

Have a plan of attack

Make sure you have a list. The job can seem overwhelming if you try and do everything at once. That is sure way to get nothing done and feel like the day was wasted away. Do what you can when you can. You may not get to everything on the same day but have your list ready and do the best you can.

If you have family members that can help, ask them. Don’t do it alone. Make it a family project, it’s their house too. Get them involved, you may find that your spring cleaning turns into a much needed family bonding time.

Rearrange your furniture

Nothing says, “out with the old, in with the new” like a newly redecorated room. I remember when I finally finished cleaning my daughter’s bedroom I knew I had to leave that room better than I found it. Clean was great but I needed the room to be and feel different. So I rearranged it. I’m not into interior decorating but there’s something about a clean that just leaves room for creativity to flow out of you. Embrace it. It’s quite liberating and in the end you find yourself in a new living space.

Reward yourself for a job well done.

Always make sure that you give yourself the credit that you are due. You worked hard and you deserve to be rewards. So crack open that tub of ice cream, you totally deserve it.

 

How did you muster the strength to get your spring cleaning done?

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My Favourite Toddler TV Shows

I’m probably one of the few moms who will admit to watching some of my toddler’s television shows, but I do. I know I wouldn’t be one of those moms to limit the “screen” time but to be honest when the laundry needs to get done and I can’t wait for naptime, a good tv show helps. Also, when should I be inconvenienced for some peace and quiet? I believe we should all be entertained…even if I’m not the target audience.

The Backyardigansdownload

This was the very first show I introduced to my daughter that didn’t make me cringe. I loved how diverse the names of the characters. I loved the concept of using three known animals and a very unique creature with the name of Uniqua. I also very much enjoyed how strong the female characters were in comparison to the male characters.

If you haven’t seen it, let me give you the gist. It’s a show about four friends who share a backyard. They meet up almost everyday and create an adventure purely based on their imagination. It does tend to have a musical feel to it, since they do sing. But they songs aren’t too bad and the dancing is cute too. It’s only three seasons long but every episode is themed along with the music. It’s truly a staple in our household.

Super Why

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Super Why is one of those shows that has the benefit of entertainment and education all enrolled in one. My daughter is almost 2 and knows her alphabets by heart. She loves how interactive the show, she genuinely feels like she’s a part of the team.

I love how it encourages reading and it’s never too early to create an engaging dialogue regarding letters and words. This shows involves a boy, a girl, a princess and a pig who go around solving their problems using the alphabet, spelling and reading. It’s pretty impressive how quickly the kids get involved.

Peppa Pig

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I love Peppa Pig. This show hails from across the pond. It is a British tv show that revolves around Peppa and her family and friends. She is a kind, friendly and very cool kid. But what I love about the show is the way it’s written. The dialogue between her and friends are very down to earth and appropriate for anyone. Some of the scenes have made my husband and I laugh. I genuinely enjoy it.

I think it’s the only show that we don’t mind having on a loop.

So here are my favourites, I just pray that as she gets older we continue to enjoy the same kind of shoes.

3 Ways to Get Ready Faster aka on Mommy Time

Every mother out there knows that the effective way to get through any day of the week is to do everything at the same time, efficiently and effectively. Even if it means skipping a few hygienic steps along the way. The struggle is real, I won’t lie but I think I’ve been able to cheat the system.

…Or at least pretend I did. However, if you keep reading you’ll be able to get your skin care regimen done in half the time and still look like an Instagram-mom. Or at least you’ll be able to look like a human and not a zombie fighting the toddler apocalypse.

Moisturizing Body Scrub

One of my favourite, I mean absolute favourite skin care routine is shower time. Unfortunately, my toddler…you know what I mean.

I can’t always pretend to be on a weekend getaway or make time to moisturize my skin, so I do the best that I can.

This winter was one of the worst I’ve ever experienced. I had to take action in some way, shape or form and so I did. But I needed to do it, in time and on time.

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Introducing the LuvBody Pure Shea Butter Organic Scrub with organic turmeric & sweet orange.  The only body scrub I have ever used that actually keeps my skin moisturized.

On the coldest days of the year, my skin would start to itch as soon as I left my house. Maybe it took about 15 minutes of waiting for the bus, but you get my drift. My skin was screaming  for some love, but my time was telling me that time was not on my side. I couldn’t find the right skin cream or make the time to search for it.

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Knowing that I needed a good body scrub and get my skin feeling nice and smooth as soon as possible I had to take action. So on a cold winter night, once the baby was asleep, I drew myself a bath to warm myself up. I used this amazing scrub and the results were beyond what I could imagine. It was everything I needed in a scrub.

The ingredients were natural without any weird chemical made in a lab with potential carcinogenic effects in the long run. The only damage I could do to my skin is to over scrub and further damage the skin I was trying to repair. I was loving my scrub a bit too much. So I had to minimize it to once a week.

It was definitely the best way to get my skin glowing in the dead of winter. I honestly believe that without it my skin would’ve died.

One Step Make-Up Remover

I am big on proper skin care. I did the whole double cleansing method, using the micellar water, using makeup remover wipes and even a makeup remover face towel. Believe these are all great ways of ridding your face of your daily makeup application. After a long day, when it’s finally time to hit my bed, I found that all of these makeup removal application took a long time. In fact, it took longer than I was willing to spare. So either I fall asleep with a face full of makeup or I need another solution.

inf_1553171435611-01218399974.jpegI found this Neutrogena naturals fresh cleansing and make-up remover on clearance at my local Rexall pharmacy. I was drawn to the fact that most of its ingredients were natural based. It claimed to be able to remove make-up and act as a face cleanser.

I won’t lie I was scared because it was not oil free, but the way my skin was acting, I knew I didn’t have much to lose except my money.

One pump was all I needed. It didn’t matter if I had a ton of make-up on or minimal 5-minute daily face (you know, just enough make-up to look human). This cleanser was up to the task every single night.

The first week, I experienced a few outbreaks and the smell can be a bit off putting at first, but otherwise this has cut down my nighttime routine a ton.

5 Minute Make-up

20180705_123508-01-011907797856.jpegEvery woman needs a fail proof 5 minute make-up routine whether you are a mother or not. My favourite routine consists of four items:

  1. Foundation
  2. Blush
  3. Mascara
  4. Lipstick

I actually have eyebrows so I don’t need to fill them in to go to the grocery stores. I don’t need every blemish hidden so as long as I have a decent foundation on I’m good. If I really need to add a pop of colour I use a coloured lipstick. A bold red lip can pull a look together in no time. Now if you plan on being out for more than 3 hours, I highly recommend setting your make up down with a spray. It doesn’t hurt and it’s literally two seconds to do.

I hope you enjoyed it.

How do you cut down on getting ready?

 

Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Primer Vox Box

Hey there! I’ve been m.i.a for awhile and I’m so sorry. But I’m back and will do my best to stay consistent.

I received the Marc Jacobs Epic Lash Primer as well as their Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara. This 2 step Volumizing duo does just as the name suggests.

I found that both were super easy to apply. But you have to be careful with the mascara. It can easily clump your lashes if you go in with a heavy hand. It’s definitely smudge proof and really long lasting. It’s easy to remove without drying out the lashes.

How did you like it?

Mom’s Prep Guide for Sunday Mornings

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I recently wrote about How To Survive Church with a Toddler, and I was asked about  getting ready for church? I thought, that is so true! What about the mornings? Thank God I only have one but for awhile we struggled to even get out the door and very soon we were barely getting anything out of the service because we were so late.

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As much as this post is geared towards Sunday morning it can be applied for all events where you just want to get out of the house in one piece without having to feel like you have fought two worlds wars. I mean there’s no need for you to feel like you are fighting your household when you should be enjoying this time. And yes, getting ready in the mornings can be fun.

As a kid, Sunday mornings sucked. We were always late and we always seemed to run out of time no matter what the situation brought. Fast forward 20+ years and I saw myself conducting business the way it had been my whole life and I knew it was time for a change.

Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance

The five P’s are essential for anything with a goal attached to it.

I absolutely love going to church, my favourite part is the worship. I love to worship. In order for me to get to the worship portion, I have to be there on time. So that became the goal. How do I make it to my place of worship for 11:00 a.m.?

1. Have a goal

You need a goal. A very tangible and specific goal. In my house, I know that if we are to make it on time for worship we need to leave by 10:25 a.m., latest 10:30 a.m. and that is non-negotiable.20171105_104723740541751.jpg

If you have a spouse, share your goal with them. If your kids are of age that they can understand share it with them. When you include everyone in your hopes, dreams and goals you would be surprised at how willing they are to help out. Most of the time, the “world wars” that we as moms fight are because we are trying to do it on our own. We are not alone, we have our family. Families stick together.

2. Prepare the night before20190209_185643-ANIMATION.gif

If you start preparing day of, you’re in trouble. Sunday mornings should be as stress less as possible, at least that’s what I believe. If you could remove some of the load off, why wouldn’t you? As much as you think you can’t, you can. Just get ready, the night before.

You know you want to do a twist out, do it the night before. Get your clothes ready, the night before. Get your kids to pick their clothes the night before. Get that diaper bag ready the night before. In the morning, all you really have to do is follow through and eat breakfast. Believe me, things are a lot smoother in the mornings when the thinking has been done the night before

3. Have Fun!

I can not stress this enough. You need to chill out and HAVE FUN! Put on some music, some uplifting music. Dance with your family! Sunday mornings are great. There’s not much sense in going to church angry and mad at your family for making you late. By the way, stop blaming your family for making you late. They can’t make you late, you made you late.

But in all seriousness, HAVE FUN! Everyday you are alive is a good day. You get to be with your family. You love these people, they aren’t perfect but they are your people. Some of them you were very instrumental in bringing into the world. So let’s makes Sunday mornings great.

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Did you enjoy this post? I hope so. If there’s anything I missed please let me know.

How To Survive Church With a Toddler

Every Sunday, we go to church as a family. We attend a pretty vibrant and loud church,

20190204_115850_00001137990843.pngwhich my daughter absolutely loves but then the preacher begins to prepare as the sermon is about to be given and that’s when all hell breaks loose. My daughter all of a sudden decides that the church is now too quiet and she must take charge and fix the solution.

Sometimes we get the sympathetic stares from others as we try to shh her into quietness. We give her the stare-down, you know, the “you-better-behave-yourself-and-shut-up” look we once suffered from our parents. We’ve tried to be diplomatic with our toddler, let’s just say that didn’t work. Eventually, we just ended up annoyed at our toddler, defeated as parents and embarrassed at our “failure” as church parents.

I spoke to a friend of mine who is also having the same issue as me. We would meet with restless toddlers in our hands, understanding each other’s struggle all the while sharing what we were going through as mothers. Another friend of mine altogether stopped going to church because her toddler wouldn’t stop making noise. I realized this was an all too common issue for not just myself but many church attending parents, so I prayed about it. Is there a way to make church enjoyable for the whole family?

Expect What You Get At Home

20190204_120146_00012006991538.pngMy toddler is a loud, exuberant, vibrant ball of energy. She loves to laugh, sing and dance. She’s always been that way. She loves to run, jump and make new friends. She’s super fun. To be honest, I should’ve known better than to expect her to instantly shut that down just because we entered a building. Come to think, that was silly on my part. She’s comfortable enough to be herself in a different environment and that’s great.  I’m just saying I got what I got. I have a loud kid. She’s a great kid, but she’s loud. I can’t expect her to be a completely different person because of where we are. And come to think of it I wouldn’t want her to.

Engage Them In Worship

This may be easier to do if you attend a church that practices worship in a musically loud way. I find that my worship expression takes on a different form when we worship together as opposed to letting her figure it out by herself. During worship we clap our hands, dance, shout, sing, sometimes we run. She’s involved in all of it. In fact, we even do this at home. So when she sees it at church it’s not foreign. She’ll say, “Amen and Hallelujah”. As of late, Jesus has been her favourite word to say. (I did not force it on her!) Bring the church experience down to her level, you may be surprised at how your perspective may change when it comes to the way you do church.

Entertainment is Your Friend

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Snacks, videos, colouring books whatever you need to keep them quiet, DO IT! Go all out. Does your kid love watching Peppa Pig? Then bring Peppa Pig to church. God can save Peppa. Does your baby love to eat animal crackers? Then let your baby become the ark the animals get on it during church (I know cheesy Sunday School joke, lol). Does your toddler enjoy colouring? Then let them creative in the sanctuary. You never know, you could be raising the next great artist. I mean the Sistine Chapel ceiling was painted by Michelangelo in church, right? At the end of the day, church is meant to be enjoyed not dreaded.

Step Away When Necessary

Sometimes your little one needs a time out and that’s ok. Sometimes you need a time out and that’s ok too. Growing up, church used to last a good six hours. Yea…I’m not doing that to my baby girl. If that works for you, cool but be ready to take a break because your little one needs it. For us, the church service takes place during her nap time so we know that halfway through we’ll take her to the lobby and she’ll take her nap. Sometimes frequent breaks are necessary and that’s alright. At the end of day, we’re at church. We had a goal and the goal was to go to church as a family. Maybe your little one needs a snack, step away. Maybe your little one wants to fix the quietness of your church (like mine does every it’s time for the sermon), time to step away. Or, maybe your toddler is inspired to train for a marathon and the church space is the appealing ground for your toddler, (I don’t know, it’s the only logical idea that comes to mind), guess what? It’s time to step away. Don’t be afraid to step away with your little one and press the reset button.

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I hope that this is helpful. How do you keep your sanity with your toddler at church.

Make Bath Time Great!

Bath time is hands down our favourite activity in our household. Bath time is so much for her. She loves being in the water as long as it’s warm. She gets to splash it, gets wraps herself in it (or she tries) and we have our most interesting conversations during bath time. It’s mostly one sided because all I hear is gibberish and I can’t respond accordingly but you get the picture.

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She understands that bath time precedes bed time. She’s aware that in the next 30 minutes after bath time ends, bed time will follow and that’s ok. This is the time we get to spend together and it’s as much about her being clean as it is about us engaging together. This is our time and get to spend it together.

*FYI: Some of these items have been gifted but the opinions shared are mine nonetheless.

So this is how we do bath time in our house.

  1. Bubbles20190122_201534-011635871559.jpegMost babies and toddler have delicate skin to begin with. Winter doesn’t help. So we might as well cater to their needs and keep their skin baby soft.

Jonhson’s has recently relaunched their baby care line and their lavender bubble bath smells so good. The lavender smell is not overpowering, it’s faint like a whisper for your nose.

But this girl only cares about bubbles. She always wants to eat it too, I don’t know why. She loves to touch it and try to mold it. I think she’s just trying to make sense of this soft white foam that can’t seem to hold itself still. It’s quite fascinating to watch her with the bubbles.

2. Gentle Cleanser

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LaRoche Posay has a great skin care, especially for sensitive skin. Their Lipikar line has been a life saver for my baby girl. It’s fragrance free, super gentle and so creamy that it just feels like a satin glove on your skin. It lathers beautifully and keeps her skin from being dehydrated.

She loves to just put it on her skin by herself. In fact, lately she’s been asking me to do things by herself. She’s pretty good at wiping herself with the wash cloth too. My little girl is growing up (insert tear). Where does the time go?

3. Toys!

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Toys are always fun. We always incorporate some kind of toy with her at bath time. Some times we use the rings, sometimes it’s a cup and other times it’s a pitcher. A jug or juice pitcher that would otherwise be used to pour water on her.

Honestly, most kids do not need much to keep themselves entertained. I don’t even know why I bother buying toying when she’s more interested in a pitcher, a bag or a box as a form of entertainment but she is and that’s that.

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I hope these tips help. How do you keep bath time entertaining at your house? Let me know in the comments below.

Postpartum Pregnancy: What I Wish I Knew

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After Pregnancy….

First off, I want to say welcome to MOTHERHOOD! We are an exclusive group of ordinary woman gifted and entrusted to love, take care of and raise a brand new human being. This fun job comes with superpowers where strength undiscovered is suddenly utilized and where your love knows no bounds for your precious bundle of joy. Unfortunately, as amazing as motherhood is, there is a transition period that I personally was unaware of until after I had my baby girl. I thought I would share it with you.

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What first caught me by surprise was lochia. What is lochia? I call it 9 months worth of menstruation that suddenly flows out of you for about 2 months. At least that’s what it felt like to me.

I couldn’t use a tampon because…well there’s something about pushing a human out of your vagina. You just don’t want anything up there for awhile.

My favourite pads were anything that could take heavy flow. I mean HEAVY!

It looks scary but it’s not.

However, if you ever feel unwell or something seems off, don’t hesitate to get checked out. Hemorrhaging can occur after birth.

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Then there’s the inexplicable fear of pooping. I know it sounds absurd but again something about pushing a kid out that makes pushing anything out of your body so undesirable.

The good news is you can’t push your organs out of your body. That was my fear (don’t judge). You will be fine. All you gotta do is take some stool softeners until your first poop.

Breathe and push. It’ll be over before you know it and you will be back to your regular pooping self…

Until the next kid.

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Ok, “Snapback” is a lie straight from hell. It’s an illusion created by the Illuminati, just kidding. (Or am I?)

In all honesty, I expected to go from the top pic where I’m 198 lbs to my pre-baby weight, which is the bottom pic, like Beyonce did. Ha! What a joke that turned out to be.

So for a year people thought I was pregnant after I had the baby…despite my workout regimen and my morning smoothies. None of it worked.

All I’m saying is be kind to your body. It’s transitioning as well. You didn’t gain all that weight overnight, so don’t expect to lose it overnight. Take your vitamins, drink your water and be patient with yourself. Your body has done an amazing work, so be kind to yourself.

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Sleep is the only thing I wish had some sort of preparation tactic for…alas there isn’t.

Unless the good Lord above has mercy on you, you might get a baby that sleeps through the night right off the bat. It does happen.

Unfortunately for most that is not the case. Mine didn’t start sleeping through the night until she was 1 year old. Some sleep through the night earlier and some later.

Whatever happens, know that you are equipped to handle this. Yes you will be exhausted and yes, your limits will be pushed but you got this Mama. God created you for this purpose and you’re the best mother this little baby has.

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Last but not least, the joys of motherhood is largely understated. There is something about getting to know someone who could care less what you look like, doesn’t care about your past or your shortcomings they just want to love you and let you love them.

In turn, they get to know you. The real you. The fun, quirky, weird, loud, funny, goofy, most loving part of yourself you have to offer. Believe me, they love every part of you to pieces. So embrace the love they have for you.

You will learn more about yourself and your purpose once you hold them in your arms, wipe their tears away and make them smile. That warm and fuzzy feeling may not hit at you first (it didn’t for me) but you learn and adapt and become the supermom you were destined to be.

I hope this helped. If it did, let me know in the comments.

My Favourite Products of 2018

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Hey there! Welcome to my back to my blog. Today I’m sharing with you my favourite items of 2018.

I believe that all products should be worth whatever monetary value is placed on them. If you know me, you know that I’m all about making cost effective investments when it comes to making me and/or my family better in our daily lives. If you agree and apply that principle in your home then I think we’re going to get along marvelously!

These items were gifted to me but all of the opinions shared with you are completely my own. So stick around, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show.

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Ivory Snow was gifted to me via a Peersway campaign

This year I had the opportunity of working with Ivory Snow, which was a complete blessing to me.

I just applied a cupful of detergent to the laundry water, then I added her clothes and let my washing machine do what I paid it to do.

Ivory Snow is known for being hypoallergenic which is great for sensitive skin. As a mother I need to be able to do my kid’s laundry without fearing whether she’ll get a rash afterwards. It has a slight fragrance that I didn’t mind on her clothes. It works really great on stains, even after the newborn phase.

A great detergent that cleans well without my baby’s skin going berserk, count me in.

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I got this complimentary of Influenster as part of their #LetItGlow campaign to test out. 

Bioré Charcoal Self Heating 1 Minute Mask is the facial I didn’t know I needed.

These masks come in these individualized packets. I opened one in rubbed it on my wet skin.

It cleanses your pores really deeply, and that self-heat is heaven for my overworked skin. It is important to note that I noticed that as long as I kept rubbing my skin, the heating continued. If I stopped, so did the heating.

I really liked the smell as well. It’s really soothing and my skin felt soft, clean and refreshed.

FYI: rant coming in 3, 2,….

WINTERS IN CANADA SUCK! (really I’m talking about the weather, because it’s actually really beautiful to look at in the Winter)

There I said it and I’m not taking it back. God knows that if I could afford it, I would be an official snowbird, but I’m not…insert tears of sorrow. 

The dry air and cold temperature are terrrible for my skin and have caused my baby girl. This has caused her to break out in eczema. Also, I end up with super dry skin that I fear may someday spark a fire if ever I rubbed my thighs too hard.

I was able to test out the LaRoche-Posay Lipikar skin care line as courtesy of their #sleepikarchallenge. I was not disappointed.

I was able to test out the Lipikar Baume AP+ (balm), Lipikar Syndet (cream cleanser) and Lipikar stick (anti-itch stick) and all of them are AWESOME!

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This item was gifted.

Lipikar Baume AP+ is a thick, white cream that comes in a cylindrical tube and is dispensed with a pump. It goes clear on the skin (no white cast) and just get absorbed into the skin very easily without any greasy aftermath. Once the moisture is in, it stays locked into the skin.

Lipikar Syndet is a white cream cleanser that comes in a cylindrical tube and is also dispensed with a pump. A few pumps is more than enough to lather up and take care of the whole body. Literally, lather and apply to the body. It gently cleanses without overdrying the skin. It’s perfect for sensitive skin, in fact it’s so gentle that you can use it on a newborn. I absolutely love how easily it dissolves into a lather and how gentle it feels on the skin. It’s like a cleansing glove that you wash off of your body.

Last but not least, the Lipikar AP+ stick. I’m not going to lie, at first I thought it was a deodorant stick…it’s not. 20180702_123454

This anti-itch stick does exactly that. My daughter was scratching herself silly and bedtimes were becoming more of a nightmare than our much anticipated bonding time. And she wasn’t sleeping through the night because of the itch. I wasn’t sleeping and I was getting frustrated and annoyed at all the scratch marks (what would the other moms think of me at playgroup?).

Once I started using the stick, the scratching drastically decreased and she sleeps through the night again (yay!). That little thing is a miracle worker.

That’s it for now.

I love products that are effective and that my whole family can use. It’s important for me to be able to safely invest in products that make our lives convenients. That’s why I picked these products as my favourites.

I hope this helped you and if it did please let me know below.