Motherhood In Progress

Exploring the growth, learning and progress of motherhood

Motherhood In Progress - Exploring the growth, learning and progress of motherhood

Back to School Deals at Zulily!

 It’s almost hard to believe that Summer is more than halfway over and the kids will soon be going back to school. Right now you can grab some seriously great Back to School deals at zulily!  At our house, we’re all about the Mouse. While my little one still has a few years before we go to school I’m seriously tempted to snag her backpack and lunchbag now since Zulily has such affordable sale prices on them! These back to school essentials are so cute, they’d be great for imaginative play and vacations too! For the pre-k and grade school kids a backpack with their favorite character, style or personality is probably their number one favorite item!


Minnie Mouse ”All Girl All Style” Backpack – $12.99

Retail Price: $22.00
You Save: $9.01
from: Zulily

Minnie Mouse Backpack – $11.99

Retail Price: $18.00
You Save: $6.01
from: Zulily

Minnie Mouse Backpack & Lunch Box Set – $12.99

Retail Price: $22.00
You Save: $9.01
from: Zulily

Red & Black Minnie Mouse Backpack – $8.99


Mickey Mouse Lunch Pack Set – $22.99

Retail Price: $35.00
You Save: $12.01
from: Zulily

If a cute mouse isn’t your little one’s style, there are perfect sets for boys too including Cars and Planes!


Lightning McQueen Backpack – $11.99

Retail Price: $18.00
You Save: $6.01
from: Zulily

Planes Backpack & Lunch Box Set – $11.99

Retail Price: $18.00
You Save: $6.01
from: Zulily

Ten Retro Art Nursery Finds

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When it comes to style in the baby’s nursery retro prints are a great way to add vibrant, bold pops of color, sleek and graphics that are highly appropriate for your little’s one’s developing mind. They’re eye-catching but also a look that obviously can stand the test of time. I’m rounding up ten favorites today that could fit a variety of nursery themes.  Pair them with heirloom toys or furniture to maximize the look.  The best part is that they’re highly affordable and come in a variety of sizes to suit most budgets (some you can even print yourself by purchasing a downloadable file from the artist). To shop, visit the links below each picture.

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Expand your View by Handz

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 Let’s Monkey Around  by Yumalum

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for the Record(s) by GoodNight Owl Designs

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Alice in Wonderland by OBSESSIVISION

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“Oh; if you’re a bird” by ModernPOP!

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Oopsy Daisy by Sara Blue Creative

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Matrioshka Doll Art Print by Rainbows Lollipops Art

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Letter R from the “Asimov” collection, by Awesome Alphas

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Retro Otter Poster by Emu Designs

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Hot Air Balloon Nursery Art Print by Cheeky Sheep Designs

Time to shop! Additional 40% Off at Tea’s Semi-Annual Sale

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

It’s time to go shopping! Tea Collection’s Semi-Annual Sale is even more of a deal as they’re marking sale items down an additional 40% off starting today (7/3) and ending Monday (7/7). Darling dresses, fun tees, super cute bodysuits and more all filled with the rich colors and intricate patterns of faraway Morocco, are part of this sale. Simply use the promo code: MORE40 when you checkout. Don’t wait, styles will sell out as the sale is almost over. Better get to Tea Collection’s Semi-Annual Sale before I snag all the deals!

A few of my favorite styles right now:

Tea Collection Sandcastle Floral Romper Dress
Tea Collection Coastal Waves Wrap Neck Dress
Tea Collection Surfing Camel Graphic Tee

FREE Summer First Aid Kit Printable Checklist

When Summer is in full swing that’s when it’s essential to be the most cautious. You and your family are spending a lot more time outdoors and are much more active. You don’t want to assume that accidents and injuries will happen, but you certainly want to be prepared. Today I’m sharing another FREE printable. This one is a printable first aid kit checklist that’s especially for SUMMER!

Here’s a preview of the checklist.  If you’d like to print your own personal copy you can click the link to a printable .pdf below it. (the .pdf won’t have the red star mark)

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To print your own click here:    firstaid

$2 Full Size Samples and Free Shipping at Abe’s Market – #ad

The following contains affiliate links.  I may make a commission if you purchase through these links. 

I search high and low to find retailers where I can buy organic and natural products and I’m thrilled to share that I’m a new affiliate for Abe’s Market, the online marketplace of organic and natural goods.   Not only am I incredibly happy to have found a place to shop for organic and natural products myself, but I can share my finds with you too.  Already, I’m excited that they just launched a great new sampling program that lets consumers buy full-size product samples for just $2 each, with free shipping! The way it works is that every day, Abe’s Market cracks open cases of their favorite products such as Quinn Popcorn, KIND granola, even vegan smoked jerky. Consumers can pick up to three samples every day, and shipping is free!

Here’s just a few of the standout products you can try with this tremendous deal:

Fruit.0 – A super portable, compact fruit pouch containing, well, just fruit. The 100% organic crushed fruit contains no additional ingredients or sugars and is vegan, non-GMO and free of nuts, fat, gluten and artificial ingredients.

Birch Benders Micro Pancakery – Making pancakes has never been easier. Certified organic and non-GMO Birch Benders include all the wholesome ingredients in the package and you only need to add water, shake and cook. The line offers gluten-free options and delicious flavors like cinnamon and banana buckwheat.

KIND: Load up on healthy and tasty gluten-free snack bars, granola, healthy grains bars and more. KIND products are GMO free, protein packed, high fiber, dairy free and all natural. Toss a couple in your bag, your desk or in your gym locker and grab it whenever you need a little extra energy with great taste. (Note: The KIND clusters in this promo are GF)

World Peas: This green pea snack makes it easy for you to forget high-fat greasy chips. With exotic flavors like Sicilian tomato, Santa Barbara Ranch, Hungarian garlic and Nagano wasabi, World Peas delights without gluten, dairy or high fructose corn syrup.

I Heart Keenwah: Love quinoa but don’t like when it spills in your bag when you try to take it on the go? I Heart Keenwah, with its delicious gluten-free, high-fiber crunchy clusters of almond, chocolate, peanut butter and cranberry, is a perfect snack to take anywhere with you.

Richard Demb co-founder and CEO summed up how awesome this promotion is: “We have partnered with many of our favorite brands, big and small, to make it easier than ever to try their products. We all understand that trying something new is sometimes a risk — maybe it won’t taste good, maybe my kids never touch it — at its core we are removing that risk and opening up new, better, options.”

Personally, I love the opportunity to find new foods to stock the refrigerator and pantry with that will be much healthier for my family.  I like to chance to try new things that will be more natural and nutritious. Plus, as my family has begun to get away from overly-chemical laden foods, we’ve found that natural and organic food tastes so much better.  I can’t wait to try a lot of new foods!

Mabels Labels Back-to-School Early Bird Sale!

*This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

While we may be in the middle of Summer School is still going to sneak back up on us before we know it! Remember all the items you had to organize last year?  Get a jump on that organization of belongings before school starts up again, and take advantage of Mabel’s Labels Back-to-School early bird pricing. Whether you select the bestselling Mabel’s Labels Ultimate Back-to-School Combo or the new Mabel’s Labels Stylish Scholars Combo , you’ll receive 108 tags that are UV resistant, waterproof, dishwasher and microwave safe—perfect to track everything from tablets to bento boxes. And, if you purchase in July, you spend only $39 per combo pack (regularly $42). Take advantage of Mabel’s Labels Back-to-School early bird pricing and get your household organized long before the school year begins.

Scooter Booties Spotlight and Giveaway

I promised you last month that I was going to have a special feature about the winner of our 2014 Best Baby Products Readers Choice Awards. Well, here it is!

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Scooter Booties had the most votes in any category in the handmade portion of the awards.  It’s not surprising that these darling shoes were a favorite.  Owner Brittany, began Scooter Booties in 2012 and already she’s had a large number of incredibly happy customers.  Scooter Booties are handmade soft soled shoes for your baby or toddler and they are adorable! There are a multitude of styles, fabrics and colors to choose from so you are sure to find something to fit your child’s interests or personality.  Bibs have also been recently introduced to the shop so you can even coordinate your accessories!

The shoes are even vegan, made from quality materials with 100% cotton prints and a 100% cotton flannel lining, which allow the feet to breathe, a soft a faux sherpa interior and a faux suede sole.

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Right now you have the chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the shop–which is a generous prize! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
There is even more to win right now too, as I’m participating in the huge 2nd Annual Red, White, and Blue Giveaway Hop – a Hop where we celebrate Independence Day, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network. We’re celebrating the 4th of July with giveaway for a whole 2 weeks, so be sure and hop around to all the great blog giveaways that are linked up in this hop. And be sure to let Step2 help your child go Red White and Blue with a patriotic Choo Choo Train! Don’t miss out on that fantastic Grand Prize!

Red White and Blue GP

So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, Motherhood in Progress and the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Red, White, and Blue participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Northeast Ohio Bruegger’s Bagels New Summer Menu Spotlight and Giveaway

Thank you to Bruegger’s Bagels for allowing me to select free products from their Summer menu to try so I could share my review with you!

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Bruegger’s Bagels recently announced their new limited time Summer menu with three new items joining a past favorite. I was given the chance to try out the new menu, and as a new mom, I thought a little date outing to grab a treat with my daughter was a great idea.  There’s a local Bruegger’s Bagels just minutes away with a park nearby, so it was easy to swing by and pick up a sandwich and coffee. Having some “Mommy and Me” time with the little one was a relaxing proposition from our usual hectic schedule.

I opted to try the new Jalapeno Bacon and Egg Sandwich and pair the spicy Latin flavors with an Island Coconut Iced Coffee to complement the sandwich with something cool.

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The  Jalapeno Bacon and Egg Sandwich consists of a sofrito sauce of green bell peppers, cilantro, garlic and roasted onions, plus jalapeno bacon, cheddar and egg, all served on a 12-Grain Bagel. I found it had the tiniest kick, but overall  the heat was pretty mild.  I definitely like how a classic bacon and egg sandwich was given a little extra flavor with the sauce.

The Island Coconut Iced Coffee (which could also be served hot) adds the a tropical flavor of coconut to the brew, so you can pretend that cup of coffee is a treat on the beach versus perhaps a pick me up on the way to work. The coffee isn’t one of those super sweet, creamy coffees.  It was actually a dark coffee with a hint of coconut so you could taste more of the flavor of the beans instead of just a mouthful of sugar.

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Rounding out the new menu are a Edamame and Beet Salad with a combination of beets,grilled chicken, blue cheese and pickled onions, tossed with a summery honey-orange vinaigrette plus a new Whipped Blueberry and Greek Cream Cheese and Greek Yogurt Spread to go with any of the bakery’s bagel varieties. View their entire menu for more tasty selections including bagels, soups, sandwiches and coffee.

Ready for a bonus?  One of my lucky NORTHEAST OHIO readers can win a prize pack consisting of gift certificates where you can choose any two (2) of the menu items from the new summer menu:

  • Blueberry Cream Cheese and Yogurt Spread (Certificate comes with a Big Bagel Bundle,  which includes 13 bagels and two tubs of cream cheese) $13.99
  • Bacon Jalapeno and Egg Sandwich $4.39
  • Island Coconut Iced Coffee $2.19

You can enter through the Rafflecopter form below (Please note, while many of the contests and giveaways I run are national, this one is only for the local Northeast Ohio Readers) :

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Circus Theme Birthday Party

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A circus theme birthday party is a great idea for guests of all ages (but especially the littlest ones!) It’s festive, fun and colorful and there are lots of potential game ideas and ways to decorate. Here’s a few items to begin your shopping list and get your creative juices flowing to plan a circus themed party:

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Let the little princess show off her colorful style with the Under the Big Top ShabbyTu (tutu) from Chic Somethings.

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Rainbow colors also lend a festive, circus-like atmosphere. When planning the games think of the types you find at carnivals like bean bag toss, ring toss and more.

To shop, clockwise from top left to bottom left:

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Party treats are sure to please with circus favorites like popcorn and candy apples.  Add other favorites like hot dogs, cotton candy, peanuts(check for allergies, though) and you’ll be sure to have something for even the pickiest of eaters.

Shop (clockwise from top right to left):

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If you’re willing to put your printer to work you can even purchase an entire circus birthday party printable set from Sweet Scarlet Designs. that includes so many fun printables to label your food, party decor and even photo booth props!

A Letter to My Daughter

Today I’m sharing something personal. While it’s hard to ever completely describe what being a parent does to your heart, someday when my daughter is old enough to understand it, I want to share this with her.

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Dear daughter,

It’s incredible to me how much I love you.  I always knew I’d love you with my whole heart but I don’t think I realized how much my heart could and would grow having you in my life. Your laugh and giggles are the sweetest sound my ears have ever heard. Your eyes, full of intelligent curiosity and wonder, remind me to look at the world from a different perspective.  Your occasional whimpers and tear-filled eyes break my heart but remind me of the importance of empathy.  I love your smile of pride when you accomplish something new and I cheer for you.

It can almost be painful at times to love this much, as I now understand what it means to be a worry filled parent.  I’m filled with an overwhelming desire to protect you, to keep you safe, to do everything I can to make sure I can always hold you in my arms and I know that I never have total control over the rest of the world.

You have brought me a renewed sense of joy, a special reason to live fully, a constant reason to let my heart be full of love, challenged me to be the best I can be, and are a reminder of all that is beautiful in this life.

I love you at this moment with my whole heart and will love you more and more every single day.