Oct 17, 2018

The Importance of Inclusive Play

This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of a Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Lily is one to love playgrounds. She loves to climb, run, swing and jump. The bigger the playground, the higher the slides, the better! Another thing my daughter loves to do is meet new friends. I'm thankful even at four and a half, she's a social butterfly and gets along with just about everyone. One thing I'm extremely proud that we did for her when she was just two and a half, was get her feet checked out because she kept tripping all the time. After taking her to a orthopedic, we discovered that she was weak ankles and needed braces to help correct her foot while she walked.

Two years later we were able to get them removed and now she not only walks but runs without tripping! A few times here and there of course she'll go down but for the most part, her confidence is back and that's all that matters, especially when it comes to being on the playground.
While searching for a playground to take her too this past weekend, I cam across one that we had never been before. It was with Landscape Design at an inclusive playground. We both loved it so much! Her reaction was of something of pure joy when she saw everything that this particular playground had to offer. It was a nature inspired playground filled with stimulating colors, musical instruments, easy access to get up and down various parts of the playground and even a small barn with pretend horses!
Their Inclusive Playground design promotes a higher level of inclusive by addressing accessibility, age and developmental appropriateness and sensory-stimulating activity! What does that mean? It's flexibility in use, it's simple and institute use, low physical efforts and used for perceptible information! It was truly amazing. The size and design is perfect for safety, comfort and social participation within their play environment! They believe through inclusive play that kids can learn life lessons such as leadership, support, empathy and persistence. That's why they create a play environment where all kids can play together!

October is Sensory Awareness month and this month is also essential to keep getting my kids out to play before the weather turns too cold. How will you let your child enjoy inclusive play?

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Oct 16, 2018

Bedtime Routines For 4 And Younger

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GetJohnsonsBaby #ChooseGentle #CollectiveBias
Shop these products by clicking the picture above
To be honest, I was always good at having my children on routine when we lived in Atlanta. They knew when dinner was, followed by bath and then books and sleeping. Since moving back to my hometown in Chicago, our kids routines are all over the place and I can tell that their moods have been affected by not having a routine in place. 

I decided that we needed to reestablish a bedtime routine again, a set bed time for all of us know because we all do better when we know what's expected. My husband and I both are able to participate in the routine as well which I know both our kids enjoy because they just want some extra time with the two of us. So what's a good routine for your little ones besides running around and chasing them after a towel? These 5 steps really help our toddlers and I think they'll help yours as well. 

1. Winding Down - Give a few minute warning to let your children know its almost time to get ready for bed and may help with tantrums and transitions. Before, I would say "ok! It's time for bed" and it was chaos. Both my children would begin crying and I would feel my anxiety start to climb. Now, I give them a 5 minutes, 2 minutes and 1 minute warning to let them know that there is a countdown and they aren't so upset about transitioning from playing to bath time. It's sincerely helped the meltdowns ( and for me to think ). 

2. Bath Time - Giving a bath before bed can calm both kids down. I love using soothing soaps and lotions like  JOHNSON’S® to help my kids relax, feel their best and keep their skin feeling soft in the summer months. It's gentle to use and love that there are no parabens, no phthalates, hypoallergenic  or Landon's sensitive skin.  The wash actually smells amazing and one of my favorites to use on my little guy. 

3. Gentle Massage- Having a 3-5 minute massage after bath time with  JOHNSON’S® gives my kids the quiet time plus helps relax their muscles before bed. It allows them to breathe in the soothing aroma of the lotion too. The easier to use pumps allows me to just worry about making sure my child's skin is smooth and creamy and the less worrying this Mom has to do, the better! 

4. Read - My kids adore picking out books to read after a cozy bath. We grab as many blankets and pillows as we can to snuggle together. 

5. Hugs And Reassurance- My kids need a few hugs, kisses and reassurance to stay in bed to get the best possible sleep they can. I always say I love you to them and assure them I'm always here if they need anything. Once they feel safe, snuggled and soothed, they fall asleep within minutes!

We found all our Johnson's lotions at our local Target! It's our one stop shop to find everything we need to keep the kids happy, clean and feeling the best they can. Make sure to find samples of these products here

How does routine help your little ones fall asleep?
Do you enjoy using Johnson products too?

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Oct 15, 2018

Save Time and Skip the Appointment with 1-800 Contacts ExpressExam

This post is sponsored by 1-800 Contacts but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
I've been blind as a bat since the 3rd grade. I remember sitting in class one day and having such a difficult time seeing what my teacher was writing. I came home and told my Mom who almost didn't believe me since I had said I wanted glasses like my other friends at school. She made the appointment anyways and sure enough, my eye's were extremely near sighted!

I've been going to the eye doctor ever since and have gone through various glasses until high-school when I finally decided to switch over to contacts. What a game changer! I went through a few different pairs until I found the right one that really worked for me and my eyes. As I've gotten older and my time is more limited ( running my business, two kids, new home etc ) I've barely had any time to get myself to the eye doctor!
 I found the solution though to help with my busy schedule while still being able to renew my contact lens prescription! The best part is, I can do it all from the comfort of my own home and don't need to make an appointment. 1-800 Contacts is so easy to use!

First, you take a quick online vision exam from your own home on your time, get new contact lens prescription within about 1 business day and the exam is so simple to use and guides you through each step! When your exam is complete and a doctor has renewed your prescription, you can order your contacts with just a few clicks!
I actually was a little nervous because I realized my eye doctor in Atlanta had closed his practice but reaching out to customer service, they reassured me I was still able to receive my contacts, and this was at 10pm during a live chat! They are available 24/7 and extremely helpful!
My kids were extremely interested in the 'eye box' Mommy had received only a few days later and I explained to them how Mommy's eyes need a bit of help to see. My four year old thought it was fascinating when I even showed her how to put in my contacts! Hopefully she gets her eyesight from her Dad who has 20/20 vision but if she does need contacts in the future, I know that we'll be making sure we get them right to our door with 1-800 Contacts.

Thanks to 1-800 Contacts for making the process so simple, affordable and extremely easy for this busy Mom! Now with the extra time, we're able to make forts with the left over box and I'm able to spend more quality time with my kids.
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