Costco $50 Cash Card Giveaway!

Good morning everyone! Today I am hosting a giveaway for a $50 Costco Cash Card!

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I feel honored to have been a part of this Huggies campaign and really happy to have sampled such a great product. The Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers were probably the most secure and absorbent diapers I’ve ever tried on my son (and believe me, I’ve tried many different brands!) and it’s such a great deal to get these at $6 OFF right now at Costco! The Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes were also a wonderful product, especially since my son has sensitive skin. I’m very selective with the wipes I use. After all, they are used on the most sensitive areas! These did not disappoint. Right now, you can get them at Costco for $5 OFF.

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On to the giveaway!

You do not need to buy Huggies diapers or wipes to be a part of this contest (although I highly recommend it if you have a little one!). Here’s what you need to do:

1. Leave a comment below saying what you buy at Costco.

2. Leave a comment on my Huggies post and then comment on this post “I commented on the Huggies post” below!

3. To receive more chances of winning, reblog any of my Huggies posts. Here is the first POST. Here is the second POST. Comment below with the reblogged link so I know you did it.

4. Receive more chances of winning by retweeting any of my @Huggies tweets. If you haven’t followed me on twitter, I’m @beenznrice, so get ready to RT me today!

The winner will be chosen at random. Good luck everyone!

 

Save $6 on Diapers and $5 on Baby Wipes with this Exclusive Offer Only at Costco!

Huggies Products from Costco

Some of you may have read my previous post about Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes and what a great product it is. My son is still happy, clean and dry in his diapers! I wanat to share some great savings EXCLUSIVELY at your local Costco Warehouse. Get $6 off Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and $5 off Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes!

To get this exclusive price, visit the Costco website HERE.

For more information, go to http://www.huggies.com/costco

Savings valid 8/7-31

Rocky

Here’s my Rocky playing care free with his Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers! He’s an active boy and these diapers provide complete protection with their trusted Leak Lock® system. They’re extremely comfortable and cloth like, so he’s happy all day long! Huggies Natural Care® Wipes are a dream come true, especially for the bigger messes. They’re thicker than standard baby wipes and don’t have that questionable chemical odor that other wipes have. So far both my toddler and myself have been very happy with both diapers and wipes from Huggies®!

March Against Monsanto

I completely forgot my Friday post again but for good reason. We stayed up working on signs for the March Against Monsanto that happened worldwide on Saturday. So many people don’t know what corporations are doing to over 90% of the food we buy, and the worst types of GMO foods are being marketed and fed to our children! I’m not trying to guilt people for not eating organic 100% of the time, but I am trying to help educate people so that they can make an informed decision about what they eat and feed their families, instead of blind consumerism. Check out the pics from our march here in Ventura, CA!

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Toxic Kiddie Pools

It’s becoming harder and harder to be safe these days. So many things are made with toxic materials, ESPECIALLY things made for children. Here’s a great blog about the dangers of those little kiddie pools everyone buys when it gets hot. I admit, I almost bought one yesterday. I need to find one that is PVC and BPA free! Let me know if you guys know where I can get one for inexpensive!

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“From BPA to phthalates, there’s no end to the unsettling headlines featuring toxic plastics these days. So it’s no surprise that as temperatures rise and summer dawns, parents have questions about the safety of the plastics used to make kiddie pools.” Read more at healthychild.org

Happiness – A Journey

Going through a very transitional period in my life. I can feel the pull to either make it or break it. Vernon Courtland Johnson once read me, in passing while reading the rest of my family in more depth. I was busy vending at an art show, so I only had time to say hello. He asked me, “What makes you happy?” I froze a little, because the question came out of nowhere, and I hadn’t really thought about that in a long time. I pointed to my family and said “They do.” He told me that I was on my last life ( speaking of past lives, and I’ve lived more than most) my challenge in this life is to just be happy. It struck a chord with me, I didn’t know this man, I didn’t tell him anything about myself or my life, and most people see me smiling all the time in public, and assume I’m a quiet and happy person. How did this person totally hit it on the head? Whether you believe in past lives or not, my reality is that I struggle to be happy. I have a good life and I love my family. I’m very fortunate, and I’m grateful for my kids and a wonderful husband who is nearly perfect in my eyes. But, I struggle to be happy. Most days I am sad or angry or feel guilty or like a failure. Even on days where I feel happy, there’s an underlying sadness. Lately it’s been worse. I keep thinking about what VCJ told me.

I took a little time after talking to Carlos about how I was feeling, cried it out a bit, then after getting some work done, took my little one outside. I finally opened up this bubble machine that Rocky got from his Aunt and Uncle for Christmas over a year ago. He loved it. I left it on for him, the wind was making those bubbles dance around, and I wrote about happiness. No real focus or structure, I just wrote. Here’s what came out:

Self realization, letting go of guilt, doubt and fear. Soul searching, finding out who I really am so I can love myself again.

Happiness is not the same as success. It’s not measured in accomplishments. Due dates, schedules and time limits do not help find happiness. Sometimes the brain completely blocks the pathway to happiness.

When one has learned to harden and guard the heart, it’s often frozen over, or it feels as though a layer of concrete is around it, like what was done to some adobe structures, only for the concrete to cause issues unseen, deep within. It’s necessary to be vulnerable in order to be truly happy. Too many disappointments in oneself or others cause true instincts to be seen as a weakness.

While at times, it is necessary for your heart and emotions to go into survival mode, this way of thinking, of practicality, of self preservation, this tactic can get in the way during times of life when you can put down your defenses. It can get in the way of being able to feel happy and to find true happiness. You’ll miss opportunities of joy, because you’ll be too logical to see them. While there is such a thing as wastefulness, you must learn the differences between that and the fun you allow yourself to have.

What makes a two year old truly happy? Not the most expensive toy, or travel, or fancy clothes. It’s so simple. A hug or a kiss from Mommy, bubbles floating in the air, sand between their fingers, their favorite worn down toy, a juicy piece of fruit, dancing wildly, hearing a lullaby being sung, splashing of water, the sound of rain, wind upon their face, running wild while screaming and laughing. Simple things make a child so happy. Somewhere between this age and just before puberty, we lose a chunk of this, especially in our modern society. How do we get some of it back? For someone who analyzes everything to death, it’s extremely difficult. But it’s not impossible. Turning a new leaf and meeting my life’s challenge head on.

Rocky running through bubbles in the wind.

Priorities, priorities, priorities!

Being a work at home mom, I tend to overwork myself, even when I know it’s unhealthy for myself. Many moms I know tend to put themselves at the bottom of the family totem pole, and I am guilty of that. VERY GUILTY. It’s only when mom gets sick or has a nervous breakdown does she truly realize that she is the nucleus of the family. Without her, things just don’t run as they should. But when she’s overworked, stressed, and has a terrible sense of self, how well can she run that family even when she’s getting by? Not very well. This is the lesson I learned this month.

My son got a cough, then my husband, then me. It was bad-it was more than a cough or a cold. This one led to some respiratory issues and it lasted about 3 weeks before showing any signs of going away. Previous to me getting the bug, I’d been overworking myself with my job, my freelance jobs, guilting myself over housework, guilting myself for not doing my best as a mom, feeling depressed and then feeling guilty about that, trying to fit in laundry and dishes, guilting myself for being unhealthy, dealing with the stress of a difficult teenage girl, a very difficult two year old going through the terrible twos, and an otherwise easy middle son who was feeling ignored and slipping at school. My job and getting more freelance work was something I felt was for myself, and necessary, as working from home hasn’t matched up my old income from working for a corporation yet. But, it was starting to become an escape, and not a healthy one. Finally my mind and body had had enough of my crap, and my immune system shut down. I got that virus and ended up having to go to Urgent Care. I couldn’t breathe or sleep for 3 nights. Truth be told though, I hadn’t been able to sleep right in a long time, and not just because of a nursing child. My mind was riddled with stress of all kinds. The pain in my chest started more mental and emotional than physical, but it was manifesting itself into the physical and grown into pain in my digestive area and then acid reflux. So when I got sick, I realized what I had done to myself.

So shifting my priorities now. Taking care of my health and making sure I eat right again. Being active again-starting a little slow because of the weight gain that all the cortisol from the stress had caused. Reconnecting with the kids-and they in turn have reciprocated my efforts and have been helping me with the housework more, without me having to nag half as much. I even reconnected with my daughter after having been disconnected for about 6 years now (that was a BIG one). Rocky even sleeps through the night! He even had his first 2 night sleepover at the grandparents’ house which was a miracle! I’m not going to say all my problems are solved but they never will all be solved will they? It’s all in how I handle it-and I know if I want to avoid another WORSE physical breakdown, I need to keep my chin up and remind myself why I’m staying at home in the first place. I could get more work done easier in an office, but the reason I decided to stay home and work from here is to be here for my family. And I have to remember that to be truly HERE for my family, I need to take care of myself, too.