World Breastfeeding week Giveaway!

From worldbreastfeedingweek.org:

“The World Breastfeeding Week 2016 theme is on raising awareness of the links between breastfeeding and the Sustainable Development Goals. By recognizing that breastfeeding is a key to sustainable development, we will value our wellbeing from the start of life, respect each other and care for the world we share.”

This is a big statement. I am sure the people that wrote this took a long time to put it together and come up with this beautiful set of words.

Me? Not so good in fancy sentences. So I’ll just say it as is.

I am a mom who breastfed all her kids.

When it comes to choosing between bottle or breastfeed I find that most moms have a very strong opinion- either they will nurse or they will just let that milk dry within a week after giving birth (uhhh… the waste of that golden liquid…). And all of them KNOW why they made the choice. I have not met one mom that was “converted” from breastfeeding to formula and vice versa.

So all we have to do is go to the ones that are on the fence and try to tip them over to the nursing side.

Why I choose to nurse

You will find all the studies that link between mother’s milk and higher cognitive performance, booster immune system, less allergies what not…

The fact is, it’s all statistics, and for anyone who ever took statistics class, we know that it’s really very hard to prove anything for 100%. My older son was breastfed for 6 months and still had chronic ear infections. My younger son was breastfed for a year (never had formula in his life) and has major speech delays… some of my friends did not breastfeed for one second, and still have healthy, smart kids.

So why do I choose to nurse and not use formula?

Because this is the natural thing to do!!!

There are very few natural things left in this world of technology, cellular, manufacturing and materialistic world. Even our vegetables and fruits that we think are natural, stopped being simply natural… Breastfeeding is one of the only things left that nature just hands it over to us. Nature literally yells “this is what you need to do!”

So when I have something that is so obviously natural, it must be healthy. It must have some kind of an advantage over a formulated, manufactured, reversely engineered food. I’ve heard horror stories about missing ingredients in formula, salmonella in formula and other human errors that have cost babies their lives and health. I am not willing to take even the smallest chance. Our babies and kids have to face so many health obstacles in our ever changing planet that if there is one thing I can do to help, especially when they are that young and totally dependent on me, I’m going to do it.

Added bonuses of nursing

Well, of course there are some other advantages, that make so much sense to me like:

–No need to prepare a bottle, make sure it’s the right temperature, the right amount blah, blah… breastfeeding is just a shirt lift away… (this is a huge advantage for night feeding!)

–No washing bottles, sterilizing, drying and all that hassle

— Clutter free diaper bag – no carrying bottles, formula (or being stuck with none!)

–This might sound selfish… but that time you have to sit down to nurse… it’s just heaven for me. I can actually take a break, relax and do nothing besides looking at the masterpiece called my baby

Which mom are you?

Although I’ve always breastfed, I’ve only pumped with my older one since I went back to work when he was four months old. I totally get moms that are pumping. Sometimes its easier to know how much the baby had, and obviously the advantage of being able to leave the baby and have someone else feed is a plus. In fact, the number one reason for moms to choose a bottle is that others can help feed the baby! I really don’t think they realize it can be done by pumping!

However, weather you choose to lactate, pump, or formula feed, we all are adults and have our kids interest in mind. I don’t judge. I just tell my story, my side, and if somehow it will make someone who’s on the fence breastfeed more that she would’ve done, I’ll be happy.

10 fun facts about breastfeeding

To finalize this blog post, I’ve gathered some fun facts about breastfeeding that you may or may not know!

1. Ready for a shopping spree? Breastfeeding saves a family approximately $2 to 4 thousand dollars annually (compared to cost of formula).
2. Feel guilty about not going to the gym? It takes 1000 calories a day on average to produce breast milk! – same energy it takes to walk 7 miles!
3. They don’t call it liquid gold for nothing! Human milk is sold on the Internet for $4 per ounce. That’s about 262 times the price of oil.
4. Bigger is not always better- The amount of breast milk a mom produces has nothing to do with her breast size.
5. Looking to make a career change? Throughout history, mothers who could not breastfeed their babies employed a wet nurse. Yes, nursing was an actual job.
6. The ’60s sucked for nursing- US breastfeeding rates were lowest in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when only 20 to 25 percent of mothers breastfed. It’s not a coincidence! This is when baby formula as we know it started to emerge and come out with marketing campaigns that provided inexpensive formula to hospitals and pediatricians.
7. It’s all about the money? infant formula companies heightened marketing campaigns in non-industrialized countries. Unfortunately, poor sanitation led to steeply increased mortality rates among infants fed formula prepared with contaminated (drinking) water and over-diluting the formula in an effort to “stretch” supplies resulting in malnourishment for the infant. This may be remembered most as the Nestle Boycott of 1977.
8. Don’t try this at home! Exclusive breastfeeding, with no supplemental formula or solid feedings, delays the mother’s ovulation and works as a natural form of birth control for the first six months after childbirth, if the mother has not resumed her menstrual cycles and if her baby is continuing to breastfeed fully both day and through the night. But be careful! I’ve trusted this and still unexpectedly got pregnant with my third when my second was six months old!
9. Stinky Business- A breastfed baby’s stool do not smell as pungent as a formula fed baby poop. They also differ in color and consistency.
10. Not for drinking only! Breastmilk has other surprising uses due to it’s immunological agents and anti-bacterial nature. Use it to treat pink eye, dry skin, cradle cap, diaper rash, insect bites, chicken pox, warts, sore nipples, cold and even make up remover!

Easy CupcakeRecipes For aDessert Party

Now-go enter our awesome giveaway!

We are giving out a baby mushroom mat and a beautiful Sarah Wells famous Lizzy breast pump bag (oh… I wish I had that 8 years ago when I had to schlep that ugly Medela Bag when I was going back and forth to my office…). Don’t miss a chance to win by getting all the entries you can!

Enter HERE!

Cheers!

Liat

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Behind the Scenes of Amazon Prime Day 2016 – And a Special Thank You Gift

In a rush? Here’s our special deal (starts at 4pm)
Get 30% off ANY Baby Mushroom Product with code PRMDYAGN (ends 7/14/16 at midnight)

Everything Has Changed…

Amazon has changed everything we know about shopping. They’ve made it so many people can get away with fewer trips to the local store, fewer struggles with parking and traffic, and no need for moms like me to change out of those yoga pants and into skinny jeans that motherhood has made a bit more of a challenge to fit into.

For many, Amazon is right at the center of our overall shopping experience.

So it’s of no surprise that Amazon created it’s own Black Friday/Cyber Monday version right in the middle of summer!

Amazon ‘Prime Day’.

It’s especially exciting for me, as my birthday happens to be mid July (2015 prime day was on my birthday!). So if this tradition continues, I have just one more reason to look forward to my upcoming birthday – although this year is the big 4-0h for me!

As some of you know, I am a mom entrepreneur and selling my products solely on Amazon is my way of passing the savings to my customers. Manufacturing and shipping of products can get really expensive when you are a small business, and with the markup that big box stores like Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us want, it is next to impossible to offer any of my products in these stores without making them too expensive for the consumer (or having my business losing money…)

Amazon has also made it easier for many small businesses operationally. For a very small fee, they pack and ship all orders on behalf of Baby Mushroom and they will even take care of any issues for you (unless of course you prefer contacting me, in which case I am always here for you!). The well oiled machine of amazon is just a win-win situation for the small business owner and the consumer.

The exciting news is that all this enabled us to offer some of our products on Amazon Prime Day 2016!

Our Exciting Amazon Prime Day 2016

If you didn’t have the chance to see our products in the Baby PRIME DAY DEALS category, here’s a recap:

  • Our awesome play mats (The Snug Square) were on sale for $69.99! Some of the colors were sold out in less than 30 minutes… no wonder, as we know most customers do a research on our mats before they get it, and we know that some of them were waiting to see if there will be a deal on PRIME DAY.
  • Another popular product that was completely sold out way before the deal time was over, is our super easy to use baby handprint kit. We’re thrilled to announce that our deal helped us earn a shiny new “#1 Best Seller” badge in Baby Hand & Footprint Makers!
    Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 11.14.37 AM

So thank you for your support! Without customers like you, we wouldn’t be able to continue offering you great products for an affordable price!

A Special “Thank You” Discount…

As our token of appreciation, and for any of you who were hoping to catch these deals but didn’t, we are extending PRIME DAY 2016 through Thursday!

Use coupon code PRMDYAGN – for 30% off ANY BABY MUSHROOM PRODUCT ON AMAZON!

Hurry… deal ends 7/14/16 at midnight!

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How to Create Unique Halloween Costumes for Kids

I used to be the cool aunt that makes my nieces the most unique costumes every year!

I was young, single and was just looking to fill up my time with something…

Now, as a busy mom of 3, it takes me almost two hours in the morning to get to my coffee!

However, I still can’t seem to bring myself to buy those itchy polyester costumes for my kiddos comes Halloween. Here are some ideas of how to get cool and unique costumes without breaking your back or your bank:

1. Transform a store bought costume:Screenshot_2015-10-22-11-34-24il_570xN.844845783_4usg

My kids are obsessed with the new Disney Junior TV show PJ Masks.

The show just launched so you can’t find tKSGR_2hose costumes in stores. This equals an opportunity for a unique costume by itself! To make the costume, I combined store bought morph suite costumes with hand made masks I got on Etsy for beautiful PJ Masks characters costumes for my kids.

 

 

 

IMG_62262. Etsy:

This is the best hand made items marketplace! You will not only get a hand made beautiful costume, but you are also supporting someone (maybe a stay at home mom?) that turned their passion and talent into a small business. This year, I combine a morph suite with a hand made mask I got on Etsy for beautiful PJ Masks characters costumes for my kids. This new Disney Junior TV show just launched so you can’t even find those costumes in stores.

 

This Elsa costume was actually able to stand out in the sea of Elsas everywhere we went during the holiday last year. and they cost just about what a regular store bought costume will cost.

 

 

3. Simple hand made Costumes:

From Jelly Beans Bag to Emoji icon, just google it and you will be amazed by how many costumes are just so simple to make on your own at the last minute with at home items:

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4. Use accessories to create a whole costume:

An old white sheet can magically turn into a ghost costume, an old witch hat with a black dress is a new wicked witch. And don’t forget that wig that just sits in the toy box that no one played with for the longest time-I’m sure it can turn any kiddo into an old grand mom, a rock star or an evil queen… Just take accessories that grow with your kids and put it together into a whole new costume.

Happy Halloween!

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5 Tips to a Magical Disney Trip with Little Kids!

If you haven’t taken the kids to Disney World yet, sooner or later, you will. Children always find this magical place enjoyable, but for us, adults, It can be a total blast or a total misery. Luckily, my husband is one big kid and when I suggested a Disney vacation he was more excited than the kids!
We had a great time, despite the aching feet and the steaming hot temperatures….
There really is a lot to know before you visit the park. Or rather, parks, since Walt Disney World Resort includes the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Disney is very helpful in assisting you plan your trip, so take advantage of their website, call center and app. But before you do that, make sure to read my top five tips for making your trip super magical:

1. How to never wait in line-
Waiting in lines with little ones can be a nightmare. Luckily, we never waited more than 10-15 minutes on any ride! Here’s how we did it:
FastPass (FP)- yes, everyone knows about it, but the trick is to know the secret sauce to using it! If you sign up to my-disney-experience and upload your tickets, you will be able to book your fast passes 30 days in advance (60 days if you’re staying on Disney property).
The real secret is to book all 3 fast passes early in the day (you can change the time of your FP on the disney app). This way, after you use the 3 FP you book in advance, you can book more at the park kiosks (one at a time, but they are everywhere, so just keep booking them every time you get off the ride).
Disney Experience App- download the app as soon as you know you are going on a disney vacation. The app has real time waiting times for rides, so you can figure our which rides are most popular and prioritized your FP.
Some rides rarely have a long waiting time - so they are not worth booking a FP for. This applied for most of the shows (Disney Jr. Live, Mickey Philharmagic in Magic Kingdom, Lion King in Animal Kingdom and Frozen Sing Along in Hollywood Studios). Keep your FP for most popular rides (seven dwarfs mine train in Magic Kingdom, expedition everest in animal kingdom, soaring in Epcot, rock-n-roll in hollywood Studios). unnamed-31

Parent Swap- Use the app to check height restriction and appropriate age for the rides. Some of the rides offer parent swap, so if you have a little one, they will let one parent go with the older child and then give you an extra FP for the same ride. That FP will be valid for about two weeks! so you can come back to that ride later on your vacation and skip the line.
Refresh the FP booking- I learned this trick from a cast member- if you are trying to book a FP for a popular ride, sometimes it wouldn’t show since the FP sold out. However, if you keep refreshing your app or the at the kiosk, it might have a slot if someone just cancelled…
Arrive early to meet the characters- My kids were so excited to meet the characters and get their autograph in their autograph books. The app tells you exact location and time of character greetings. We always arrived 5-7 minutes before the character, so we were first in line when they came!unnamed-28
Off Pick Hours- Take advantage of slow times of the day-early morning, late lunch time and evening/night are the slowest time of the day-you can do 2-3 rides in less than an hour.

 

2. How to not break the bank-
There are a lot of ways to save money going to Disney. As parents, we decided to allow our kids to pick one gift per day from the park stores. We wanted them to feel rewarded for good behavior and feel the excitement of the vacation. The way we saved the money was by bringing our own water and snacks!unnamed-30
Yes, Disney is one of the only parks that let you bring food and water into the park (no glass bottles)- so instead of spending $2.75 for a bottle of water (and you need at least 8-10 per day for a family of 5!), we stopped at the nearest target and loaded our car with water bottles and healthy snacks.
At a store like Target you can also pick up some glow sticks and misting fans that cost a fraction of the price at the park.

 

3. Avoid meltdowns
We were brave enough to go in the midst of summer! So the fatigue was also accompanied by heat exhaustion… So I can’t say there were no meltdowns, but the following really helped keep it to a minimum:
Use a Stroller- we brought a double stroller with a rider board, so the 4 and 3 yrs old were sitting and our 7 yrs old was standing. We still had some arguments, but altogether it was manageable. Even if your kids are older, a stroller is always a good idea if someone gets tired or wants to take a nap. You can also rent a single/double stroller at the park. unnamed-22
Take a mid-day break- We did it a couple of times, and we all recharged (nobody unnamed-32napped but nevertheless!) and went back to the park for another 2 hours. Late night at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios is really awesome!
Baby Care Center- Each park has a Baby Care Center that is cool and quiet for when you need to get away with the little one to decompress. You’ll find changing tables, rocking chairs in the private nursing area, high chairs… even a full kitchen where you can prepare food or warm milk. They also have a store with all kinds of baby items like jars of food, extra formula, diapers, wipes, and sunscreen. You know, the stuff you inevitably forget to pack.

 

4. Disney’s best value for your dollars-
Disney offers a lot of things that are really worth the money, even if some sound expensive. Here are the top three for me:

Disney family tour- This hidden gem is really such a great way to experience Magic Kingdom in a differenunnamed-25t way. The tour is about 2 hours and is basically a scalage hunt with a cast member. My kids had so much fun looking for the clues and finding them! It also included all of us going on the Winnie the Pooh ride on the FP lane (never wait in line right?), and a meet and greet with Peter Pan (again, no wait!). At the meeting point each one gets a bottle of water. at $34 a person, this was really a great experience for the whole family.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique- When you walk around Disney you see all the beautiful girls with their hair up in a bun and a small tiara and all in their princess costumes. I knew a Disney vacation for my 4 yrs old girl, who just by accident was born to our family and not to an actual royal family, wouldn’t be complete without it. $60 sounded pricy when I booked it, but it was worth every penny! The hairdo lasted to 8 days (don’t judge me-I couldn’t convince her to take it off!), and with it she got a nail polish, a make up set, a cute bag and a comb. the experience for her was really priceless.unnamed-26 Small tip: if they don’t have a spot at the salon in Magic Kingdom on the day you want, book the boutique in downtown Disney and go early morning to the one in MK, they have cancellations almost every day and availability early morning, so you can switch it right at the park.

Multiple day tickets- Once you go over 4-5 days tickets, the additional amount you need to pay for every day is about $10-$15 a person, so it’s really worth going to a longer period of time and spread the trip to multiple days. Especially with little ones, you will find it beneficial to spend half day at the hotel pool and then go for 5 hours at the park rather than try to squeeze your trip into 3-4 days with full days at the parks. Skip the park hopper option. It’s hard as is to get to one park a day, nonetheless multiple ones…

 

5. The never ending dilemma- park shuttles vs. Car rental-
If you are staying at a Disney property, it makes sense to use the shuttles/monorail/boats. But if you would like to save some money staying at an off site hotel is really not that bad!(we booked our hotel with Hilton Honors points so we didn’t pay for our hotel stay..).
Staying around Downtown Disney or even a little further can make your stay much cheaper. As long as the hotel is close to the highway, driving a car to the parks takes no more than 20 minutes (even in rush hours!). Taking a car makes carrying strollers, water, and all hundresds of items you need when traveling with kids, much easier than if you need to go on the shuttle bus. Apart from Magic Kingdom, all parking is a walking distance to the park entrance and also have trams if you really get lazy (for us walking was much better since we had a double stroller). At Magic Kingdom, the parking is off site, but the boat and monorail that takes you to the park entrance are working all the time, so even if you have to wait, it’s not more than a few minutes. Parking is $17 a day, and if you decide to leave for a break in the middle of the day you just need to present your receipt from the morning.
We really found it convenient to have a car. We could go to Target to stock on the things we needed, without having to schlep some of it all the way from NY. We also went to eat outside the park, spent one afternoon at downtown Disney, and just felt we had more freedom in coming/going whenever we wanted without looking at the shuttle schedule.

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Enjoy your trip!

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25 Best Father’s Day Gifts Under $25

25Father's Day Gifts-2

Figuring out a great Father’s Day gift isn’t easy! Men (at least most of the ones I know) only want a few things, and when they do, they simply get it for themselves. So when Father’s Day comes, it’s so hard to choose a gift. If you have unlimited budget, just get him a new car :) That’s always a winner. But if you want a unique gift on a budget, you might need some help.

Here are some ideas for great gifts for dad, all under $25!

  1. Beer Cooler – Make sure dad enjoys his beer by getting him this unique gadget that cools your beer within minutes and keeps it cool until the last sip!  1beer cooler$23.97 on amazon.com
  2. A 6-pack of beer, or hot sauce or… – Why not give Dad what he really likes? Instead of pairing it with a boring greeting card, say “Thanks” to Dad with this six-pack carrier + greeting card in one, of course filled with his favorite beer (or ciders, BBQ sauce, hot sauce, olive jars, spices, olive oils, or whatever else he likes)2thanks $13.95 for set of 4 on beergreetings.com
  3. Wine Gift Set- If Dad prefers wine, this beautifully packaged gift set includes Luxury Wine Opener, 2 Foil Cutters and 2 Swarovski Crystal Magnetic Glass Charms- by Simply Charmed.12simpycharmed$24.99 on amazon.com
  4. On the ROCK Glass with Ice Ball Maker – for the dad who prefers whiskey, and really cool ice cubes22.glass$ 19.99 on Brookstone.com
  5. Eco-Conscious Cups – for the health conscious smoothie/protein shake drinking dad, these Universal Cup Lids and Silicone Reusable Drinking Straws are a perfect match!11greenpaxx
    $10.95 for 2 lids or 4 straws, by GreenPaxx on amazon.com
  6. Who’s Your Daddy? – Make a statement with this “Who’s Your Daddy” Tshirt or apron. High-quality 100% cotton.3apron3tshirt$16.99 by Double Blessing

  7.  It Must Be a Sign – “Dad You’re Way Cooler than Mom”, playful message stands out on a wooden box sign with smooth edges and a distressed front.  It’s ok if Mom gets this for dad right?20.coolerthanmom$12 on nordstrom.com
  8. Cool Undies – The world’s best dad deserves the world’s best underwear. MeUndies makes their line of underwear from a special blend of Lenzing modal. It is super soft, ecological and comes in original prints (the tie die is our personal favorite!).8meundies$20.00 on MeUndies.com
  9. Fossil Men’s Clark Trifold – Paying the bills just got a little more stylish with this Fossil classic wallet. Precisely crafted in rich leather with plaid accents. And it has a place to put Dad’s kids picture!!9fossilwallet$24 With 20% off coupon code: JUSTFORDAD on amazon.com
  10. Cupping Massage Set – This is a great gift as dad not only gets this set, but an at home massage too! Don’t worry- 5 Minutes of CUPPING = 30 Minutes of Deep Tissue Massage!
    5lure$19.75 for two Vacuum Cups by  LURE Home Spa on Lurehomespa.com
  11. B.O.N® Nourishing Skin Oil - This natural oil blend of Rose-hip, Grape-seed, Avocado and Vit E. NO mineral oil, is an all-natural and effective way to stimulate hair growth. It is also great gift for the handy Dad, who needs an effective solution for his dry skin hands.4bon$24.99 for a 3.38oz bottle. Save more with an exclusive 20% off coupon code: CELEBRATE on amazon.com
  12. The Beatles “Yellow Submarine” Album in Vinyl - Vinyl records are back! This is the best combination of a unique and classic gift for Dad!7beatles$22 when using coupon POPS on RockandSoul.com
  13. The Godfather - This classic film is always a great gift for the movie loving dad.23.godfatherOn sale for $9.99 target.com
  14. Movie theater tickets – That’s also a guaranteed date night!24. movie tickets$10-$24 for 2 tickets at your local theater or on moviefone.com
  15. SoundBot Bluetooth Shower Speaker - Dad will love this little gadget! He can listen to the game or his favorite tune while in the shower. Also good for outdoor use!16soundbot$13.99 on amazon.com
  16. Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction - If dad loves grilling, he’ll find tons of helpful information on the pros and cons of different cookers, fuels, woods, and grilling gear; how to light and tend a fire; how to tell when your steaks are done; as well as Bobby’s top ten tips for the perfect cookout. With 150 recipes and 100 color photographs, Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction is the best gift for the BBQ loving dad.$20.47 Hardcover on amazon.com
  17. Magazine Subscription - These are really affordable and Dad will remember your gift every month! Depeneding on Dad’s interest, you can choose any kind of magazine, like this Money magazine for the finance dad.13moneymagazine$5 for one year (when you choose auto renewal, which you can cancel at any time!) on amazon.com
  18. World War II Jigsaw Puzzle – This 1,000 piece puzzle seems to be perfect for a dad who’s already a grandfather. The combination of history and something to keep him occupied is perfect! But really, with all the technology, we forgot how much fun it is to sit all the family together and put a puzzle together… and they are so affordable!17puzzle$15.87 on amazon.com
  19. Extreme Paddleball - a premium version of this classic childhood game will surely excite dad and kids alike!19puddleball$24.95 at thegrommet.com
  20. Tile- Item Finder - combined with an app, this little device will help the forgetful dad to find anything he keeps looking for…18tile$20.00 for 1 pack, on amazon.com
  21. Printable gift – This $5 printable makes a great DIY Father’s Day Gift. Print the 8×10 sized file of art print at home or at the local print shop and frame however you like.  We loved the Patriotic or Military Family Sign Camoflauge Flip Flops Mom Dad Kids one, but there are many more prints you can choose from.6brookphoto$5 By Brooke Photo Studio on etsy.com
  22. Super Dad! Project -There are many ideas of DIY projects at Michael’s stores. This is our favorite one.michaelsAll materials $13.96 at Michael’s stores or online michaels.com
  23. Printable Coupons- You can download these for free and if you can’t find a good coupon, you can think of one and just scribble it down! I know what coupon most men wish for! And they should be able to use it at any time!25. coupon FREE! here’s one option, but you can find them all over pinterest.com!
  24. Drop Stop Seat Gap Filler - As seen on Shark Tank, help Dad block the gap between the seat and the center console of his car using the Drop Stop Seat Gap Filler, so he doesn’t lose his keys or a cell phone in that crevice.21. drop stop$19.99 for a set of 2 at Bedbathandbeyond.com (or use their in-store never-expire 20% coupon to save $4!)
  25.  Auto Seat Back Protector and Car Organizer – If you do have that unlimited budget to get Dad a new car, make sure you keep it brand new with our very own Baby Mushroom Kick Mats! These affordable Mats will fit most vehicles and keep Dad’s car clean and organized (even that old car you can’t afford to replace…)10kick matsNow for the lowest price since we launched these- $11.99 when you use Coupon code: CSS7B34Z! on amazon.com
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7 Tips for Raising a Confident Girl

unnamed-8My little princess turns four years old today.

When her bestie asked her if she likes her mom, she told her “yes, she always calls me a princess.”

It’s true. I call her a princess, countless times a day. It’s my term of endearment, and I think at this point she thinks she is a real princess. I also find myself calling her “beautiful”, and “pretty” more than a handful times a day.

Sound familiar?

I mean, it seems like there’s nothing wrong with making your daughter feel good about her exterior, but I also know that it’s not enough. I want her to feel confident and supported in all respects.

I looked at what experts are saying about this issue, and for her 4th birthday decided to choose some of the best tips as a reminder to myself and others looking to raise a happy, confident girl.

1. It’s ok to tell her she is beautiful if it’s said correctly

In a mother’s eye, every child is beautiful, so you want to tell her she is beautiful in a way that compliments her mind. Instead of saying, “Your shirt is pretty” or “Your dress is pretty,” comment on her choice of the outfit rather than the outfit itself. When she gets a little older, explain to her the importance of the way you carry yourself, and who are you, rather than what you look like. Beauty goes far beyond appearance.

2. Make sure she know what kind of princess she is

If you were to ask a four years old 30 years ago what princesses do, she might say something like: “They clean houses and they wait for princes to marry them.” Luckily, this is 2015 and we have a few princesses that actually give a pretty good example of what the real world is like. My favorite episode of Sofia the First (yes, I do secretly pay attention when Disney Jr. is on) is when she decides to go for a “boys” sport of riding the flying pony. Despite some doubts from her sister and friends, and failures while she was practicing, her persistence paid off and she won the race. Tell your little one she is a princess, but make sure she knows what kind of princess she is… one who works to earn the respect of others.

3. Praise her daily, in detail

I mean, there are so many things you love about your child besides her being beautiful. Tell her! And get specific. “I’m so proud that you finished that book all by yourself but asked for help when you needed it!”; “You shared your toys with your brother and it made him really happy, I love it when you play so nicely together.” Recognize, then verbalize what is good about her and she will incorporate it into her self-esteem.

4. Change your vocabulary

Retrain your brain to use the word “smart”. Sure the dress you just put on her is adorable, but did she lift up her arms when it came time to slip the frock over her head? Tell her: “You’re so smart!” Whether it’s figuring out where to put a puzzle piece or identifying her nose, telling her that you love the way she thinks will start to sink in from young age. What a great way to instill confidence.

5. Tell her you believe in her

This is great advice to any of your kids-but in our world, it’s especially important to say it to your girl. Help her believe in herself and her ability accomplish what she puts her mind to. Sometimes kids get frustrated and believe they can’t do something… whether it’s tying shoes, solving a puzzle, or riding a bike. Tell her you believe in her. Tell her it might take work, but that you know she can do it.  This goes for you too, parents. If there is something you always wanted to do, do it! Go back to school, open your own business, start a new hobby, learn how to play tennis. It will not only make you feel a sense of accomplishment, but also teach your little one by example.

6. Encourage her to participate in sports, and get her outside

Putting your daughter in sports at an early age makes her appreciate her body for its strength, skill, and agility, rather than just its beauty. Giving your daughter the comfort and skills to play outdoors will also instill a greater sense of her body as a source of strength and teach her to take healthy risks. It also promotes teamwork which builds confidence as well. Try to introduce her to tree climbing, bug collecting, camping, and other outdoor activities – even if you prefer being indoors yourself.

7. Teach her to speak her mind

The goal: to build your daughter’s self-esteem by giving her a voice. This is such an empowering tool for life, and will be helpful in so many situations… in school, in relationships, at work, and all throughout her life. You want your daughter to speak her mind and to believe in the power of her voice. The way you achieve that is by validating things she tells you and empowering her through developmental stages between early childhood and adolescence.

What is your best advice for raising a confident girl? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Earth Day Giveaway Winner and 15 Exclusive Discounts!

earth day giveawayThe “Earth Shattering” Earth Day Giveaway winner has been chosen…

We’re truly grateful for all who participated.

And logged over 10,000 entries in total. Whoa.

Prizes for Everyone

Before I announce the winner, I want to let you know about some awesome runner-up prizes for all!

I asked the participating mompreneurs to give me a great deal to pass along to everyone. They didn’t disappoint. Here are the discounts. Many of them are available for a very limited time, so grab these deals today!

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Congrats to Our Winner

The winner of our giveaway is… (drumroll please)…  Stacy Lynn!

Congratulations to Stacy on the WIN, and her mega-haul totaling over $600 in eco-friendly products. We hope you enjoy each and every one of them. Thanks again to all of you for participating, for buying green, and for supporting all of these fantastic hard working mompreneurs!

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It’s Earth Day and we have an earth shattering giveaway!

We love earth so much, we have teamed up with 22 earth loving companies to make this day an amazing celebration!

One of you will get a package of products worth $600!

Here’s a round up of our earth rocking companies and the moms behind it:

Show your love to earth and to all these small mom owned companies by following their social media (you get extra entry for each follow!), and choosing them as your next unique gift for someone special! Take a look at these mom designed, earth conscious products and make sure to sign up to our mailing list to get special offers for earth day!

Baby Mushroom-I am proud to introduce in 2015 our new organic play mat, designed with all organic and eco friendly materials. Our special edition snug square also uses the same plant based foam as our Baby Bello Organic Play Mat.Snug Square Special Edition

Bobee- Stacy Harfert creates elegant and modern nursery decor. Her new to the market paper lanterns are made of eco-freindly rice paper.bobee-picture

Baby Jack and Company- Kelley Legler created these sewn shut ribbon loops Sensory Tag Blankets. Most of the designs are made by moms in the US. This ABC educational blanket is just one of her popular designs.unnamed-5

B.O.N. Skincare- Kate Schumann and Jenny Baker bring you a line of B.O.N. Natural Skin care products. Good for earth, great for you. The winner will get a Combo Pack of Nourishing Skin Oil20140303_1698_008-2_large

Baby Dipper-Barbara Schantz’s designed a BPA free bowl that enables parents to feed their baby with one hand, and help special need kids self feed.  baby dipper-picture

Bestvitality- Marianna Burwell created a line of natural dietary supplement. This B-12 Plus is so important for moms to keep up with their little ones!bestvitality-picture

Brooke Photo Studio- Brooke Becker is a super talented photographer that created amazing earth themed printable monograms. Pastel Wooden Frame Isolated on White with a Clipping Path.

buti-bag- Nicole williams just launched a modern moroccan tiles Reusable shopping bag. These will save plastic bag in real style!buti-bag-picture

Gentle Goodnight- Lyssa Armenta’s book will teach you a Dancing Sleep Method so your kids can have great dreams of a healthy planet.gentle goodnight-logo:pic

Green + Lovely- Samantha Heithaus’s skin-loving natural and organic products are handcrafted just for you, just like this Botanical Bath Salt Set.green & lovely- picture

GreenPaxx- Cindy Schiff made sure your healthy smoothy is healthy for earth as well with her reusable Cool Straws & Cool Capsgreenpaxx-picture

Lalabye Baby- Melissa Huynh makes cloth mainstream with Lalabye Baby one-size cloth diaper. Saves you money, saves earth disposable diapers.lalabuy baby-picture

Le bibble- Michelle Cloney made sure to solve bottle leaks with a bottle bib and help earth get rid of somele bibble-picture2 of the conventionle bibble-picture1al baby wipes with Le swipe organic wipes .

 

 

Lilywrap- Ashley Edmonds designed these Reusable Gift Wrap – Small/Medium Combo Pack in Green Herringbone

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Lure-productLure Home Spa- created by a mom who was is determined to give other moms the fountain of youth for an affordable price, non-invasive procedure and a natural way. Her products are based on an ancient Chinese cupping therapy technique used by many celebrities.

 

 

Parking Pal- Denise Whitney’s car magnets will keep your kids safe in parking lots by teaching them to stay next to the car, hybrid or not…

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Simply Charmed Magnetic Wine Charms- Leann Pignone designs a variety of Magnetic Wine Charms. Her Swarovski Crystal are hand made in the US.

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Smart Sheep- Christine Krogue’s Premium Wool Dryer Balls are an eco friendly alternative to dryer sheets-they are reusable and reduce drying time. Save money, save earth.smartsheep-photo1

spbang- Sherri French’s reusable bags are perfect for snacks, crayons or anything that you can think of! They are dishwasher safe and from zipoloc bags the earth  save!spbang-picture

 

Spray Pal- Jen Aprea is determined to change the world, one cloth diaper at a time!

unnamed-4Her Spray Pal cloth diaper splatter shield is a must have for every cloth diaper parent out there. And she has a handsome PR manager that works really hard to #makeclothmainstream. (p.s., he is only three years old)

 

 

Squishy Snak Pak- Michelle Zacharias designed adorable reusable snack pouches not only for little ones!

squishypacks-pictureTangee Inc- Tangee Pritchett created Couture Clip Binkie Lovey to combine two favorites of little ones… Made of organic cotton.

couture clip-pictureTivoli Couture- Stella Rubinshteyn Is a serial woman entrepreneur. She created a luxurious line for babies, with her signature stroller liner to keep your baby’s stroller clean and comfy.

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Thank you to all the sponsors of this giveaway!

DON’T FORGET to SHARE this post, you’ll get extra entry for that and you’ll help all these brands spread the word about their awesome earth friendly products!
Enter here: Earth Day’s Giveaway!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Mom Entrepreneur

The working mom and the stay at home mom used to be a complete opposite (at least in each other’s eyes…). But these days, many working moms are looking for more flexibility in their work, and many stay at home moms are looking to create a home based business for extra income, self fulfillment or both.

As a mom who took that leap of faith and left my corporate job I wanted to share with you my 5 tips to becoming a successful mom entrepreneur (frequently referred to as “mompreneur”), and letting you know that you can, too, become one:

1. Set big goals

This is really two things you need to do. One is set A goal and the other is set it big.

If you don’t have a goal, how do you know where you want to go?

Setting big goals will motivate you, excite you and make you work really hard for it. As part of your business plan, you will be able to break the big goals into smaller actionable steps so you can work wisely to achieve them.

2. Build a support network

Get your ideas out there, ask for friends and family’s opinions (and even financial support!).

Make sure your spouse is joining this ride with you, both mentally and financially.

Look for mentors from day 1. It is very hard to find the right mentor, so always keep looking. You will need someone who have much more experience than you and of course someone that is willing to mentor you (I don’t recommend paying anyone. Great mentors are usually very well off and doing it to pay it forward).

3. Get ready to work hard

That doesn’t necessarily mean work a lot of hours. The juggling act of being a mom and an entrepreneur is not an easy task, and that is one of the difficult aspects of being a mompreneur. But with time, you will learn what is the best way for you to do it (work late at night, early morning, nap time, etc.). Also, if you start this journey, you will feel as if this is another “baby”, it will be growing, it will need attention, some days will be super good, some will be not so much…

4. Make it Happen!

Believe in yourself and be confident, and always take real actions. Many entrepreneurs hope they are the “next big thing”, but the majority of businesses don’t succeed overnight or while doing nothing.

5. Be flexible with your plan and business model

There is no “one size fits all” in business. depending on your personality and the type of business you choose, certain things will show more results than others. In my first year of business I spent over $10,000 in marketing that resulted in very little return, based on other business owners “excellent experience”. On the other hand, I spent only a few thousand dollars on a training program that covered itself with the profit I made implementing it within one month! 

 

If you already visited the “our story” section, you know that motherhood got me to become a mom entrepreneur. I simply couldn’t go back to work full time, and was looking for a more flexible way to contribute to our household income. I did so by introducing the Snug Square Play Mat. 

It took a while until Baby Mushroom got to replace my full time income, but it didn’t have to. If only I was paying closer attention to my cousin’s emails about how to market my play mats online (and NOT to stores), I would’ve signed up to the amazing selling machine training program earlier. I could’ve prevented myself many heartaches and saved a lot of money wasted on unsuccessful marketing efforts. The course is pure gold and made me focus on direct to consumer sales, utilizing Amazon. The training is very action oriented, motivating and easy to follow. Since I joined this course, I came out with a few different version of the play mats, as well as Car kick mat and organizer, and some more products are coming out this summer!

I did all this while staying home with my three kids! I was able to nurse my third until he was a year old, I go to every event at their school, I make them chicken soup when they stay home sick, I do my grocery shopping and other chores on the weekdays, and I now have a higher income than I had at my full time job.  unnamed

Moreover, when you have a business, you are worth more than just your income. You create value in the business itself, in which you can alway sell in the future. We all know the story about how Julie Aigner-Clark founded The Baby Einstein Company and then sold it Disney! 

Well, The Baby Einstein is an extreme case and doesn’t happen often, so you probably shouldn’t run out and quit your job tomorrow or if you are a stay at home mom, you shouldn’t spend all your savings on a business right away. But I just wanted to tell you that I’ve achieved my wish to financial freedom and flexibility that enables me to care for my three little munchkins, and if you set your mind to it, you can do it too!!!

If you are interested to learn more about the amazing.com course that opened the fast track to my business profitability, click here

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Birthdays and Giveaways

As years go by, we find inspiration for things we do, things we love and things we pursue in many people. It only seems logical that they will be people who are closest to us, older and more experiences than us, or leaders and influencers (yes, like Sir Richard Branson…).
But every now and then, there is someone who we least expect to be inspired by. I mean, they are small, cute little creatures that for the most part are so dependent on us, that it seems impossible that they will be our source of inspiration.
When I was introduced to a group of women entrepreneurs, I had the privilege to learn so much from this group. I was witness to their success and had so much admiration to each and every one of them.
Jennifer Closson Aprea was one of the group members. At the time, this super mama was a teacher, an entrepreneur and a mom of two. Her product, the Spray Pal (an amazing cleaning accessory for cloth diapers), was very successful in the cloth diapering community. After following her for a little while I understood why her community of cloth diapering parents were not just customers, but huge supporters! They were all, like myself, inspired by this little blond guy that was staring in the Spray Pal’s blogs and posts.
Ryan (affectionately referred to as mini Spray Pal 2.0) is one the most adorable little boys I’ve ever seen! More than that, he is an unexpected source of inspiration to me, and I believe to all of Spray Pal’s followers. At the time, he was not even two years old, and already overcome so many challenges in life, since he was born 3.5 months prematurely. You can read the full story and Jen’s amazing blog on her website http://www.spray-pal.com.

Thank you Jen for sharing with all of us the amazing journey of your family and your little hero, and congratulations on the success of Spray Pal!

As if Jen is not busy enough, every year, around Ryan’s birthday she shares the celebration with all her followers by organizing huge giveaways! Just to give you an idea of how many companies wanted to participate in the giveaways-she had to do 10 days of giveaways that will lead to his 3rd birthday on March 20th!!
Today, day 6 of the giveaway, we are honored to be part of it.
The prizes are:
A Baby Bello Organic play mat from Baby Mushroom (valued at over $200!)
$50 gift card to Kelly’s Closet
$50 gift card to Sticky Bellies
Rock-a-bums diaper package valued at $50

And as Jen said on her blog “may the odds be ever in your favor!”
Happy 3rd Birthday Ryan!

Yours,
Liat
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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