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!
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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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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.

Tivolli-product

 

 

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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Snug Square Featured on Mommies247

Snug Square ReviewMelissa Orr Azzarto from Hoboken’s Mommies247 just added the Snug Square to her “Our Favorite Things” list!

She and her daughter love it!

“The first time I put it down for her, she rolled around in joy for most of the morning.”

You can check out the full review here.

 

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