5 Great Potty Training Tips with Disney Princess Magical Sparkle Potty System

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I will be the first one to admit that I do not know everything, but boy do I love a good tip or idea. Through my own experience potty training 2 children and through other moms around me, I have learned some fantastic potty training tips that I would love to share!


Start Practicing When You See Signs of Readiness

Watch for those signs of interest/readiness and slowly move forward with training. My youngest started showing signs of readiness around 13 months. I thought I was making it up in my head, but she did it every day (i.e. bring me diapers when she needed a diaper change or she would hang out near the bathroom when she was doing her biz). I think it is a bit early to start full on potty training, but I can start practicing. Every morning when she wakes up, I will have her sit on her potty chair and she will usually “go” within a few minutes. We make it fun by singing a few songs while we wait and definitely shouting for joy when she does “go”.

Potty Chair Review - The First Years - Princess


Pick the Right Potty Chair For Your Child

Take your time to research a good potty chair that will work for your family and more importantly one that your child will love to use. When it was time to start potty training my first child, I rushed to my local store and picked what I thought would work best for him from the three options there. We went through 2 different potty chairs and he never really liked using them, but they made great stools!

Times have changed quite a bit in the last 7 years and technology has improved. There are plenty of ways to research for a good match on a seat and you are definitely getting more bang for your buck if you can find something like the Disney Princess Magical Sparkle Potty System by The First Years that is a 3 in 1 (a potty chair, removable seat to be used on the family toilet and a stool that can be used for years to come). It is available on Walmart.com.

This particular chair is perfect for my youngest. She loves everything girly and with the pink, purple and the added “magical twinkle” sound at the push of a button, this fits her just right. An added bonus is that her big sister is so excited that it has princesses on it, she is always around to cheer our toddler on in her potty training efforts! Big sister was always a fan of the Huggies Princess Pull-Ups Brand Training Pants and this chair matches perfectly.

2014-02-25Potty Chair Review - The First Years - Princess

Other features that I really like is that is comes with a padded soft-seat that she seems to like. We have tried another chair and I simply cannot get her to sit longer than 10 seconds on it. I do not have that problem with this chair. It also comes with a lift-out pot for easy emptying and cleaning, which  is also awesome because I can see if and how much she went. And finally, I love that it can be used on the adult seat, too. I was a little confused on how to do this at first, but you basically remove the entire lighter pink part of the seat. And, at least on our toilet lid, the potty chair has some clasps that hooked under the rim of the toilet seat to prevent her from wiggling the potty chair around or accidentally tipping the whole chair forward.


Make It Exciting

Make potty training an enjoyable experience for everyone involved! If everyone is stressed out, nothing is going to get accomplished. So, find their reward button. For some it is treats, for other’s it is praise (i.e. shouts of joy and sticker charts), little toys or some other creative reward. Since I am starting my youngest daughter a lot younger than her siblings, we are aiming for the fun and praise and hope it will be enough. It took me a lot longer to figure out the magic reward for him was that he was banned from wearing shorts and flip flops unless he went on the potty. Ha! I guess he really loved his shorts and flip flops a little too much.


Think Ahead and Take It With You

This is a fantastic tip that I learned from watching a good friend potty train her oldest. At some point in the potty training journey we all have to leave our house and when we do we may be leery of trying a public bathroom. Instead you should just keep one with you in the car. A potty system just like the one above is perfect to keep in your trunk and use when you are on the go with your potty training child in hand. Before you leave your car you can have them sit and do their “business” (hopefully parked in a discreet part of the parking lot away from the public). Keep a couple plastic bags and bottle of water in the back of the car with the chair to help rinse and dispose of any potty “treasure”. This will be so much easier on you and your child.

P1110299Potty Chair Review - The First Years - Princess


Every Child Has Their Own Time Schedule

Most importantly you need to remember that every child has their own schedule, Even though you may want them to be potty trained yesterday, they may not be as eager or ready to start. My eldest was not ready to fully potty train until he found out at 3.5 years old that his boy cousin, who he thought was the coolest, could go to the bathroom on his own. My 2nd was on a schedule of her own. It drove me bonkers! No matter how much we bribed, pushed and encouraged, she took her sweet little time and was ready to be potty trained when she decided. My youngest, thank goodness, is a way more eager and so I am encouraging her at slow speed. She has some great examples around her, a seat she enjoys and a ton of encouragement, so I am hoping we will have an early, or at least earlier than her siblings,  potty trainer!


What Are Your Favorite Potty Training Tips?


**I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Exploring the Benefits of Music and Color with GiggleBellies Musical Adventures {Giveaway}

 I was provided with a GiggleBellies Ultimate Fan Pack to review and share my experience with you, my readers. Regardless all opinions are 100% my own!


GiggleBellies logo

Before becoming a parent, my idea of children’s music was something that scared me and I avoided it, but I have been proven wrong again and again over the years with music like the GiggleBellies. This is not the typical annoying music that I remember my little sisters listening to with crazy instruments and high pitched singing. The music from the GiggleBellies Musical Adventures are beautifully sung songs that I, as a parent, would not mind having stuck in my head all day and better yet, my children love them. They especially love watching the DVD that accompanyies each song that was designed with specific colors to match the mood of each tune and interesting GiggleBellies characters to catch your youngsters attention.


“We strive to initiate the words “Play it again” and bring forth valuable and fun entertainment to your little ones. Our goal is to inspire toddlers and preschoolers to sing, dance and learn, which we believe is a balanced approach….Simply put, we create unique music and creative worlds that kids enjoy and understand. AHOOGA!™”

Scientists have studied the benefits of music and color and the creators of Gigglebellies have put these studies into action by creating entertaining and colorful scenes to go with each song and in turn truly creating a musical adventure. I have read articles about the science of color theory in relation to children and it has been so fun to actually see it in action and experience it with music.


Our Experience

As soon as I turned on our first DVD all my children were mesmerized by the music and colors. I will admit that I was a little more curious about the animals that are part of the music. They are different, but they children loved them and they have grown on me because, like I mentioned earlier, I really like the music. My two older children will stop everything they are doing to listen to the music. My 15 month old really likes them, too, but she has her own way of enjoying them. I like to put a DVD in while I load the dishwasher to distract her. It will not be long before I hear her squealing on the other side of the room from me dancing and twirling. (Watch her in action here) Love it!

GiggleBellies review and giveaway


A couple other things that surprised me was that a lot of the songs are classics that every child should know, like “Working on The Railroad” and “Down By the Bay”. My other surprise were the GiggleBellies characters. They are  a bit quirky looking, but they have grown on me and my children did not even notice that they were different. They love them just as much or more than the music! In fact, before I ever agreed to try out these videos I made sure to play a few previews to see their reaction. When they all came running across the house when they heard the music and then kept asking to see more, I knew they were all going to enjoy these!


Other Gigglebellie Perks

With each DVD all the songs are available in MP3 format and include free color pages, lyric sheets and a couple fun wallpapers. This means I can make my own CD or download them onto my phone to let my little ones listen to when we are on the go.  I can also download and print the coloring pages for my 2 older children to color their hearts out, which my 6 year old will enjoy the most because she is a coloring maniac!


Enter to WIN!

You can win your own The GiggleBellies DVDs Triple Pack by entering below OR if you cannot wait and want to purchase them now you can use the…

coupon code: mom2014 for 10% your entire purchase

…with no minimum purchase amount. The coupon code expires on March 31, 2014

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Skinny Limits {Review}

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetsSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.


To be honest, when I had previously heard the phrase “juice cleanse”, I just assumed hunger and a lot of work prepping was involved. I was wrong! Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to experience a Skinny Limits juice cleanse first hand. It really was a simple process. The hardest part for me was figuring out a good time that would let the juice cleanse kit benefit me and not set me up for failure with a big holiday party or wedding.

All Skinny Limits juices are made fresh to order and delivered immediately after being produced. They are also all completely natural and raw, made without pasteurization or processing. Plus they are vegan and gluten-free. 


What Is In the Juice Cleanse Kit?

The standard 3-day juice cleanse kit includes 18 bottles of juices total, in varying flavors and fruit/vegetable combinations. The retail price of a 3-day Skinny Limits juice cleanse is $147. Each day you will drink six 16oz bottles of juice.

The ingredients in each type of juice are listed below:

Pure & Simple (Green Juice): Kale, spinach, parsley, cucumber, apple, and lemon.

Balance (Green Ginger): Kale, spinach, parsley, cucumber, apple, lemon, and ginger.

Green Firefly: Kale, spinach, parsley, celery, cucumber, apple, lemon, and pineapple.

Scorpion Lemonade: Lemons, agave nectar, cayenne, and filtered water.

Crescent Moon: Raw cashews, vanilla bean, cinnamon, agave nectar, coconut oil, himalayan sea salt, and filtered water.

Skinny Limits Review

How Does a Juice Cleanse Work?

Once I decided on when I was going to do it, I ordered a week in advance just to make sure I did not forget to order it in time and started to eat more raw foods in preparation like they suggest in the video below. My juice was delivered cold to my door on a Tuesday and ready for me to begin the next day! Good thing too because when they said it was fresh, they were not kidding. My juice was set to expire with only enough time for me to do my 3 day cleanse.

The kit comes with simple instructions and it was all I needed to get going! Each day I would drink 6 16 oz bottles of juice every 2.5 – 3 hours in the order specified in the instructions. They recommend finishing your last bottle of juice at least 2 hour before bed. They also recommend starting out your day with a cup of hot water with lemon to wake up your body, which I really loved and will probably keep on doing this. Some people may do juice cleanses to lose weight, but Skinny Limits even states in their instructions that this should be more for a wellness journey and weight should not be obssessed about.

Skinny Limits Review

The Results

Overall, I really enjoyed the Skinny Limits juice cleanse and, to my surprise, was full and satisfied the entire day. My main purpose for participating in a cleanse was to detox in preparation for me to lose my last bit of baby weight (if I can even call it that any more) in my Fresh Start Fitness Challenge and to give my body a fresh start from all my sugar cravings. Here are a few notes I took during the cleanse:

Day 1: By the end of the day, I missed chewing and had a very slight headache ,which I was warned may happen. It only lasted about 30 minutes and I noticed it was during the time that I am usually craving sweets at 2:30-3:3- time of day.

Day 2: It got a little difficult to keep with the 2.5-3 hour schedule because I was not as diligent at keeping track as Day 1.

Day 3: That morning I woke up expecting to be tired of it, but I acutally enjoyed all the juices even more than the days previously and even had more energy. I did not even miss chewing like I did on Day 1. My favorite juice had to be the last one of the day, Crescent Moon, which reminded me of Horchata with it’s cinnamon flavor.

The end results: Two weeks later and I still do not have any huge sugar cravings like I did previously. I still find myself looking for chocolate, but I am discovering that is more out of habit than my body REALLY wanting it like it did before the cleanse. I also feel more aware of what I eat and how it makes my body feel. The hardest part of the entire cleanse was keeping all my Littles and Hubby from wanting to drink the juice!


Tips and Tricks that worked for me

  • I would fill up my finished bottle of juice with water and my goal was to drink that before it was time for my next bottle of juice.
  • I found writing down the times when I had my juices was essential to keep me from forgetting a “meal” and letting my daily activities get in the way of my juice schedule.


5 Tips To Decorating a Room On a Budget with AllTapestry.com


We moved into our house over 2 years ago and I am slowly moving from room to room. So, when I had the opportunity to review a tapestry from AllTapestry.com, I knew this was a perfect opportunity to focus on another room makeover! I have come up with 5 tips that have helped me to decorate our Family Room on a budget.

Room Makeover


Find Something That Inspires You

This past month my focus has been on our Family Room. This room has been bare walled and neglected since it is a back room in our house and rarely visited by anyone outside of our family. But that has recently changed when we took over the Living Room with a Play Room for the kiddos and with this change we now needed to make our Family Room something I am excited (and comfortable) inviting guests into!

I am excited to announce that I found the inspiration for my Family Room decor at AllTapestry.com, where I found this Poppy Tango Wall Hanging.

Alltapestry.com review

It is large enough to help fill my large wall and has a lot of bright colors, including the right shade of green that matches the paint of the nearby Kitchen. I love that it is a tapestry because I do not have to worry about  one of the kids bumping it off the wall when they “accidentally” do a headstand on the couch or throw a ball in the house.


Family Room redecorating on a budget



How to redecorate on a dime

There are hundreds of options to choose from at AllTapestry.com of varying sizes and themes, including classical artwork that I grew up looking at in museums and books. The tapestry was easy to hang once we got our hooks for our rod level. We could not find our leveler to double check, but lucky for us there is an app for that!



Painting is not always necessary, but is a cheap way to make a big change to a room. This room before we painted it, were all orange. Although orange can be a great color, it was not for us! So we opted for our current Crouton color and that is what we have had until I found our large tapestry for the wall.


Create Something Unique

Making something unique to go into the room is always fun. For this room I wanted to create some pillow that would bring in some more color to the room and the brown couch. I was afraid that my kiddos would ruin them by turning them into wrestling pillows, but came up with a great solution! To solve this problem I had my children help me make the pillows and make them something personal.

How to make a handprint pillow


Now they think they are something special and are really careful with them.

How to make a pillow


Borrow and Reuse

Finding items in your house that you can repurpose or make better use of in the room you are decorating is a great way to save money on decor. We had a tree that no longer had a home in our Living Room that was perfect for our Family Room just behind the couch. I think it helps create a soft break between the Kitchen and the Family Room. The added perk is that our toddler can no longer reach the base of the tree to spread the fake grass around the house!


Clean and Organize

Giving the room a good clean and reorganization is a great way to help the room feel fresh and bright. That added layer of dust can really dull the color of our book shelves! I forgot how much I loved their color until I gave them a good dusting. Moving the books around really helped keep the not so kid friendly books from being torn and scattered all over the house by my busy toddler’s hands.


We still have a little bit more work to do, but overall I think we have a really great start!

How to redecorate on a dime


 **I received product to help facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own!


Nothing says Christmas like M&M’s and Forza 5 #FueledbyMM

I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and its client.

M&M Coupon #shop

How many of you are out there last minute Christmas shopping for the perfect gift for your husband, brother, kids or the video game lover in your life? Have I found the gift for you!! Xbox One has come out with a game everyone will love. Forza Motorsports 5 is partnering up with M&M’s to make gift giving even more fun and affordable. Right now if you buy Forza 5 and a big delicious bag of M&M’s in any flavor you get a $10.00 e-gift card. I will be the first to admit I am the absolute worst at rebates. Copying the receipts, finding a stamp and taking something to the mailbox just never happens with me. This is no longer a problem for me with the Buy, Snap, Redeem offer!! I bought the product at my local Wal-Mart, took a picture of my receipt with my phone and texted it to the number given and the next day had an e-gift card sent to my phone!! Easy peezey lemon squeezey!! I hope this is the wave of the future because I am in love!!

Forza 5 coupon #shop


Lucky me I now have a present wrapped and ready under my Christmas tree and a gigantic bag of Peanut Butter M&M’s. Now snacks and video games go hand in hand in our house and M&M’s are great by themselves but make an even yummier snack in these fabulous cookies. They can be made with any variety of M&M candy but peanut butter is our personal favorite. Try making them while you have your next family game night with Forza Motorsports 5. I am sure you won’t be disappointed.

M&M instagram contest #shop

M&M Cookies


  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • ½ c white sugar
  • 1 c shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ t vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ c all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 ½ c M&M candies any variety



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together both sugars and shortening. In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients. Add eggs and vanilla to sugars mixture and mix. Slowly add dry ingredients and when all mixed add M&M’s and mix one last time. Bake for 9-11 minutes.

M&M cookie recipe #shop


Holiday Meals – Let Fry’s Do The Cooking! {$75 Giveaway}

Fry's food stores

The holiday season is busy enough, why worry about cooking dinner? Let Fry’s do the cooking! We recently hosted Thanksgiving dinner for my side of the family and thanks to Fry’s Food Stores we were able to order a Turkey Holiday Dinner pre-made and ready for pick-up from our local Fry’s Deli. With all our family coming from a good distance away, this eased the typical kitchen pre-holiday meal prep stress and chaos. Instead, we arranged for everyone to go on a scenic family hike while the meat warmed. By the time everyone got home, dinner was ready and the kitchen looked great!


How It Works

Let Fry’s Do the Cooking!

The site has everything from meal details, ingredients, and ordering forms.


Our Experience

We ordered a Express Turkey Dinner via online and picked up our order from the deli the night before Thanksgiving. As packed as a store can get the evening before a holiday, we could have been in and out of the store in less than 10 minutes, if the deli was our only stop. The Fry’s Deli employee placed our turkey dinner order directly into our shopping cart for us with these two reusable shopping bags.

Fry's Holiday Meals Review

Our Express Turkey dinner included: a 10-13 lb. Oven Roasted Turkey, 1-24 Oz. Mashed Potatoes, 1-32 Oz. Old Fashion Stuffing, 1-24 Oz. Turkey Gravy, 1-12 Ct. Dinner Rolls.

Knowing we were going to be serving 15 people, I knew we did not have enough sides in the order (little kiddos love mash potatoes!). Luckily, they had additional sides in the refrigerated section across from the deli and I could snag enough of the individual sides we needed. We also picked up a ham from the meat department, some corn on the cob from the freezer section, and some paper plates/plastic utensils…all the essential for a great holiday meal!

Fry's Holiday Meals Review

Since the turkey was already cooked, we decided to slice it up and remove all the meat from the bone. We did the same with the ham and placed them in 9×13 pans all ready to be warmed the next day. It felt great to have the majority of the meal prep done before we even went to bed.

When my family arrived at our house (some of them for the first time) the next day, it was so nice to be able to have an entirely clean house, especially a clean kitchen, to show off, have dinner already prepped and not be stressed out. Everyone was able to enjoy just spending time together instead of making a mess in the kitchen and hoping the turkey would be done in time. Awesome!

Fry's Turkey Holiday Meal Review


All the food tasted great! My husband was a little concerned about the way the stuffing looked coming out of the package, but once we fluffed it, it looked fine and tasted pretty good. I do not think we heard a single negative comment from anyone, even our pickiest eaters (see below ;-) )! We did use crockpots to keep the food warm to be served, but we literally pulled them out 20 minutes before serving. We heated the majority of the food (not the meat) in the microwave and then placed them in the crockpots. That way the food stayed warm for those who wanted seconds.

Fry's Holiday Meals Review

We will definitely be ordering another meal from Fry’s in the future. Can you imagine enjoying Christmas Eve Dinner instead of being exhausted from cooking a nice family meal? You have to save that energy for all that Christmas Morning fun, right?


Win a $75 Gift Card

Can you imagine enjoying Christmas Eve Dinner instead of being exhausted from cooking a nice family meal? All that energy needs to be saved for Christmas morning fun, right? Enter to win $75 to order your own Holiday Dinner courtesy of Fry’s Food Stores.

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