**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**
Back to school shopping is no fun when you are an adult.
Fighting with the crowds, leaving the store without an item (or two) from the school supply list and spending more money than you anticipated makes the experience miserable.
This year I enter my 11th year as a school counselor and I have 2 school aged children.
I’ll admit that even though I’ve been in education for awhile, it was a whole different story when my kids started school.
While I was offering suggestions to parents about their children, I never thought about taking my own advice!
Here are a few simple tips I’ve learned that will make your back to school shopping experience easy (and not miserable!)
Download the back to school shopping list early
Most schools require their staff to make a list of needed supplies at the end of the school year so it will be ready to go by Open House. Check out the school’s website for an updated list for the school year at the end of the year (and if it’s not available you can check periodically throughout the summer).
When you know what’s on the list before everyone else, you can do your back to school shopping at your leisure during the summer and put all the items away until it’s time to go back to school!
Insider School Counselor Hack: You can also just look at the list from the previous year. Not much will change and you can get the bulk of your shopping done early!
Take Advantage of Sales & Buy Clothes During the Summer
I have 3 kids, so shopping sales gives me more bang for my buck.
I also use to work retail, so I know that all prices eventually come down. I’m that girl that sees an outfit I love and will watch it until it’s the price I want. There’s no shame in holding on to as many of your coins as possible!
Since Amazon Prime now includes a pantry, I often order snacks for my family in bulk.
This is especially convenient for back to school shopping because while everyone else it out shopping, I wait for my boxes patiently at my doorstep. Win, win!
And Amazon has near 100 school supply items under $5!
If you are looking for items for your multiracial family, let me help! I’ve got a store front with organized categories WITH YOU IN MIND. Check it out here.
Wait Two Weeks Before School Before Buying New Shoes
When my daughter was in PreK, I found several good sales and I stocked up on shoes.
Sounds like a smart thing to do right?
My daughter was going through a rapid growth spurt, so she only got the wear the new shoes for a couple of months before I had to buy new ones. Sometimes growth spurts are unpredictable, so make sure to do your back to school shoe shopping closer to when school actually starts to avoid having to buy new shoes again so soon.
If you have more than 1 child, check out stores that offer buy one get one 50% off.
Stock Up on Teacher Wish List Items
Why do teachers ask for so many items? Well, some of their students cannot afford the necessary items, let alone the wish list items. Good teachers will not let their students be without, so those items come from their personal pockets.
We all know that being a teacher is a commendable job, but the pay doesn’t reflect the amount of work they put into their students and classrooms. When you gift your child’s teacher with wish list items throughout the year, you are investing in your child’s classroom experience.
Simple things like having extra tissue ensures that kids have what they need while at school and are spending less time outside of class to ask another teacher for an item that their teacher doesn’t have.
Insider School Counselor Hack: Stock up on toiletry items (tissue, hand sanitizer, etc) and keep in a well known location in your home. Send the items throughout the year instead of having to buy them over and over. If you have elementary children, buy your child’s teacher a book or two to add to the class collection. Then volunteer to read the book! Find a book that is diverse in nature.
*This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links on this page.*
Our skin absorbs 60% of what we put on it, so making the choice to use non-toxic products for baby hair & skin care can leave you at ease, knowing that you are using the safest ingredients.
Choosing non-toxic products for your baby is important because their bodies are more sensitive to chemicals than ours. Chemicals that are used in products can adversly affect their development.
We can’t completely eliminate our baby’s exposure to toxic chemicals, but we can definitely make conscious choices about the products we use for baby skin and hair care.
When you are looking at product labels, make sure the ingredient list of full of things you can pronouce. They shouldn’t be full of fillers and preservatives.
Here are a few of my favorite baby skin &Â hair products that are gentle, safe & moisturizing!Â
I use essential oils daily in my household, so when Young Living came out with the Seedlings baby line, I knew I had to have it. What I love the most about Young Living is the Seed to Seal promise that guarantees the purity & potency of each oil.
The baby oil and linen spray are two of my favorite products from the Seedlings line. Everytime my son wears the oil, people ask if he is wearing cologne.
It has a nice, clean smell, and hydrates his skin.
The linen spray is lavendar scented and I spray it in his bed before a nap or bedtime. It has a nice calming effect, so sometimes I spray it on my own bed too!
Want to know more about why I chose essential oils as a part of my everyday routine for my children? You can read more about my journey to wellness here.
Burts Bees uses a variety of natural ingredients in their vast line of products: almond, aloe, beeswax, cocoa butter, honey, acai berry, just to name a few!
89% of their packaging is made from recylcable materials.
Not only do they make a wide range of products for expecting mamas and babies, but their products extend to oral care, makeup, and so much more!
What I love about Many Ethnicities is that it was created by a multiracial mama who saw a need for multiracial curly haired kids to have products that worked specifically for them, and she created it! Her daughters have 3 different textures of curly hair, so she created her products with kids like hers in mind.
Honey Baby Naturals
Honey Baby Naturals is the first Latina owned hair and skin care line for naturals that is available in major retail stores. That alone is HUGE!!
For 15 years, she worked in the hair and skin care industry before stepping out to create a brand of her own. What I love about this line is she has hair and skin care products that are gentle enough for babies, yet powerful enough for your older kids too!
This brand has been around since the 90’s and doesn’t disappoint. Not only do they have hair and skin care items for babies, but they also have products for expecting and nursing moms!
Want a larger, comprehrensive list of safe(organic) products for your baby’s skin and curly hair? Then I’ve got you covered. For only $20, the Curly Hair & Skin Care for Babies & Toddlers E-book gives you tips for nighttime care, tips for handling cradle cap, a bonus list of YouTube vloggers to follow and so much more!! Click here if you want to purchase.
This post is sponsored by Dents de bebe, but all thoughts are my own.
If I’m being totally transparent, when I look in the mirror, sometimes I don’t love what I see anymore.
The day after I was discharged from the hospital, I was diagnosed with postpartum Bell’s palsy.
And almost one year later, I still suffer from some of the effects.
I had a normal pregnancy, normal birth, and the baby was healthy when he was born.
All I knew at the time was that my face felt weird, I couldn’t drink from a straw, and my right eye wouldn’t stop watering without being covered.
An hour visit to the E.R, a few tests and several hundred dollars later, the doctor told me what my mom had already guessed–I had postpartum Bell’s Palsy.
It was tough ya’ll. I wanted to take pictures with our new family of five, but it was discouraging because I looked like I had just had a stroke. The right side of my face drooped and I couldn’t smile even if I wanted to.
While mourning over my face, I tried to focus on my three blessings, especially my newest tiny blessing.
During my maternity leave, I spent many days in various doctor’s offices as they told me that most people with bell’s palsy saw a full recovery six to eight weeks later.
While most of the symptoms aren’t visible to strangers, I still have a few minor issues. On windy days, my right eye still waters. And I try my best not to be seated directly under a ceiling fan.
To me the most noticeable and most difficult to ignore is the right side of my face is still slightly paralyzed. Now when I smile, my face isn’t symmetrical.
When I see pictures of myself, it’s hard not to overanalyze the obvious. I’ve been blessed with such a loving and supportive family–especially a husband who tells me how beautiful I am regardless.
Postpartum bells palsy has been a journey from the inside out. Now the phrase “beauty is only skin deep” has a new meaning for me.
My girls often watch my get ready for work in the morning and tell me how beautiful I am. (trust me, I’m not paying them to say that).
I realize that I have a responsibility to them to show them what a strong woman looks like.
A strong woman isn’t perfect.
A strong woman perserveres through adversity.
A strong woman acknowledges when she needs help.
A strong woman apologizes when she is wrong.
Raising children in a day and age when they have access to social media can be exciting, yet damaging. We are constantly pushed images of “perfection.” We often don’t see the edits to make people look flawless, and we definitely can’t see the pain behind the images they project.
I’m learning that I am so much more than my face. And if my face never returns to how it looked before babies, I am learning to be okay with that too.
Are you loving the teething necklace I’m wearing? Head over to dentsdebebe.com and enter code YOURKIDS for 20% off!
Do you know someone who has suffered from postpartum bells palsy? Share this post with them!
This post is sponsored by Dents de bebe, but all opinions are my own.
After I had my first daughter, people often looked at me with disgust with they found out I continued to breastfeed a teething baby.
She was only 6 months old, and I wasn’t ready to give up breastfeeding, but I had to adjust some things to help her through the teething process without getting bit.
Now that I’m breastfeeding baby #3, I’ve had to adjust greatly. My son (unfortunatly) is a chronic biter!
He’s 11 months old, and I want to at least make it to a year of breastfeeding successfully, but teething is rough this time around!
Here are a few tips to help you continue to breastfeed a teething baby:
Wear a teething necklace
My son loves to use his teeth on EVERYTHING.
He’s bitten a hole in my p.j shirt, chews on books, and the worst thing—bitten me while nursing.
Most of the bites have happened as he was falling asleep and was grinding his teeth. I try to pull away before he completely falls asleep, and sometimes have to squeeze his face if he’s already chomped down on me.
Since he likes to try out his new chompers on any and everything, to help myself, I wear a Dents de Bebe teething necklace.
Dents de bebe necklaces are not only fashionable, but the silicone beads are 100% food grade, FDA-approved, BPA-free, Phthalate-free, Lead-free, Cadmium-free, Nitrosamine-free, and Latex-free.
Hygenic and hypoallergenic, items made of all silicone parts are easy to clean and top-rack dishwasher-safe.
They also make perfect shower gifts! (Grab the code at the end of this post to get 20% off!)
Use Essential Oils
Copaiba has been my best friend. It can be used diluted in a roller bottle and rolled on the gums, or if you feel more comfortable with oils, you can put a small drop (neat) directly on your baby’s gums.
Teething is such a painful process for little ones, and many teething remedies have been recalled which makes finding a pain reliver difficult for parents.
I like using all natural remedies as much as possible. I love Young Living Oils. Their seed to seal guarantee ensures that their oils are pure and aren’t filled with synthetics or cheap fillers. If you are ready to dive in, I’d love to help you on your wellness journey! All you have to do is click here.
Invest In Your Own Wellness
When babies are teething, they are often irritable, sleep less and require more of your energy and attention. If you aren’t getting enough rest (when you can) and taking care of your body, the teething process can wear you out.
If you are struggling to get back on the wellness track during the postpartum period, don’t be afraid to ask your spouse or friend to keep the baby to give yourself a break.
Many mothers feel guilty about having “me time” after the baby. Without a little time away, regrouping can become difficult. Be kind to yourself as you are bouncing back.
If you are feeling down and can’t seem to shake it, or having feelings of harming yourself or the baby, please consult your physician.
Don’t Give Up If Your Baby Refuses to Nurse
Keep in mind that teething feels like a terrible toothache.
Would you want to eat or drink if you had a toothache? Because breastfeeding is as much of a bonding experience as it is for nourishment, it is common to feel defeated if your baby refuses to nurse. Remember to pump if your baby is refusing multiple feedings. This will ensure that you can keep up your supply.
Remember, if all else fails, fed is best. If you cannot keep up with the demand of your baby, or you simply cannot produce anymore, that doesn’t make you any less of a mom.
Do you want one of these beautiful teething necklaces for yourself or a friend? Head over to https://www.dentsdebebe.com/ and Use the code: YOURKIDS for 20% off.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links.*This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links on this page.
I’ve been lucky to not have any issues with breast milk production.
Baby #3 has been a game changer in a number of ways.
My son eats ALL the time, and life is challenging. I have two kids in school, and a very demanding school counseling job.
I knew that stress could affect your milk, but it never got in the way of my production in the past, so I
Mother’s Milk/Lactation Tea
Lactation Tea is great for boosting your supply, not necessarily for maintaining it.
Mother’s Milk contains fennel, aniseed, coriander, fenugreek and blessed thistle. Due to all the natural herbs included in the tea, it is an acquired taste.
Mrs. Patel’s Chai tea was a nice change in taste for me. Mother’s milk tea was effective, but I wasn’t big on the strong herbal taste.
Fenugreek is an ancient herb that women have used to increase breast milk production for thousands of years.
Many women have reported that their milk, urine and/or sweat has a maple syrup smell after taking fenugreek supplements. You can find it in most health food stores & grocery stores.
Eating lactation cookies has been my favorite way to increase breast milk production.
You can purchase them, or make your own. There are several on the market, but my favorite are Fenugreek
I usually buy them in bulk off Amazon and take some to work, keep in the pantry, and at least 1 in my purse.
One of the hardest parts about the postpartum journey is losing the baby weight.
A quick way to slim down is to pay attention to your diet–notice I didn’t say diet. While you are breastfeeding, it is important to consistently eat healthy foods so that you can pass along the nutrients to your baby.
With the exception of Vitamin D, your breast milk has everything your baby needs.
I love adding granola to the top of my yogurt for a healthy snack.
Increased Water Intake
I don’t know about you, but I know I’m guilty of drinking everything but water.
It’s easy to drink water when I’m active or outside, but I struggle with drinking the proper amount daily.
One of the ways I’ve combated my lack of desire for water is to infuse it with fruit, lemon/lime and bringing water to work.
I’ve noticed when I am drinking more water that my skin feels better AND I can produce more milk.
Get Adequate Rest
How can getting adequate rest help breast milk production? Feeling tired affects your mood, which in turn affects your milk.
It’s tough to get a lot of rest with a new little one, especially when they are still waking several times at night.
This may mean that you have to take a nap when they are napping instead of doing the dishes or folding laundry. While those things are important, sometimes those things can wait.
Look At Pictures of Your Baby While Pumping
Sometimes pumping at work can be stressful. Finding the time (and sometimes the place) to pump is a challenge, and you often feel rushed to get back to work.
I’m a school counselor, and there have been many times when a simple knock on the door has interrupted my milk flow. Now I try to make a habit of taking out of my phone and scrolling through videos and pictures of my son while I pump.
Not only does this make me feel good, but it also stimulates the hormone oxytocin, which gets my milk flowing.
If you continue to struggle with your supply, consult a lactation consultant. They can go through a few other options with you, such as checking to see if your baby is latched on correctly and taking in an adequete amount of milk.
And remember, every mom is different. Don’t fall into the comparison trap and feel bad if you can’t breastfeed as long as you’d hoped. Fed is best.