Oh, man. I wish I had a dollar for every time I said I was tired. As a working, blogging mom, I can certainly get myself stressed out and wound up pretty often. Sleep isn’t something I get enough of and I always feel like I have something hanging over my head that needs to be done. Relaxation isn’t something I get to do very often. In fact, it often feels like a fantasy. One morning recently, I putting on my makeup before work and couldn’t help but focus on my super dark and deep under-eye circles. I quickly realized that if I feel (and look) this way, lots of other moms just like me must, too. So, I decided to start a blog series highlighting some of my favorite products to help us mamas relax! Just because we don’t have time to get to the spa doesn’t mean that we can’t bring the spa to us, right?!

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Crying it out is a waste of time. But not in the way you might think.

With both of my girls, I was a “Babywise” mom (which basically is a philosophy of keeping your baby on a rolling 3 hour schedule of feeding, playing, and sleeping). In Babywise, the author (who a lot of people hate) talks about allowing the baby to cry before falling asleep but checking on them throughout to make sure they’re okay. I took the Babywise approach with A and let her cry it out (CIO) many times. I had a change of heart with E – not because I didn’t think it worked; A slept and still sleeps like a champion. E does, too. But see, as a first time mom having no experience under my belt, I was afraid that I would “spoil” my baby and that she would never sleep on her own if she couldn’t “self-soothe” so I did what the book told me (to an extent). With E, having been more experienced, I adopted the 3 hour schedule but with some small tweaks, including removing CIO (which kind of happened unintentionally, actually). But, this isn’t about the effectiveness of CIO or the studies that go with it. I’m not here to start a debate or mommy wars. This is about what I learned as a mom my second time around.

What I learned is that CIO is a waste of time: A waste of precious baby time.

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I’ve never considered myself to be a crunchy mom but I do pride myself in label reading and trying to find the best products to use for my family. I’ve tried a few different organic brands and to be honest, haven’t been that impressed. Enter, Raise Them Well. First, let me tell you the reasons I am a fan of this company, and then I’ll highlight the products I’m loving right now.

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I often get asked, “How do you do it all?” or something similar, and I also often hear that I appear to have such balance. Well, I must make it look really easy because 1. I don’t do it all and 2. I have zero balance. Some one actually used the word “glamour” recently and as sweet as the comment was, I laughed out loud. That said, I thought it might be a good idea to share what a typical workday looks like for me lately.

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One of the advantages of having my girls’ birthdays be two days apart is that I can throw them a joint party every year until they’re too old to allow it. Since I wanted E to have her own party for her 1st birthday last year, this year was the first time we did the joint party thing. I had it all planned out in my head until A decided she had a theme in mind: Hello Kitty. She mentioned it months before her birthday and never gave up on it despite my attempts at convincing her. Why would I try to change her mind, you wonder? Because A has like 2 Hello Kitty things and I still have no idea where she got that idea from and/or why she was so dead-set on it. The problem is that E is obsessed with Minnie Mouse. A likes her, too, so that seemed like the easy choice. But, nope. A wouldn’t let up. So, I had to figure out how to do both in one party. Here’s how I did it.

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