The Importance of Life Insurance For Families

Sometimes we don’t like to talk about the hard stuff, myself included but its so necessary to have a plan in place!

If you have children or any loved ones that need to be taken care of financially when you pass away, then life insurance coverage can be really important.  A life insurance plan is a policy that will pay a specific amount of money that is given to a specified beneficiary upon the death of the policyholder.

The beneficiary or beneficiaries (usually the children) will receive the money and it can be used for anything they might need in the future including, for example, their first home purchase.

What Kind of Life Insurance Do You Need?

There are different life insurance policies, but the two most popular are called: Term Life and Whole Life Insurance, which is also known as Permanent Life Insurance.

1. A Term Life Policy

A Term life policy will cover you for a specified time frame or term and typically will range from a 10 to 30 year period.  If you were to pass away within that time, your beneficiaries will receive a payment (tax-free) in the amount of money that you had chosen when buying the policy.

For example, if you have children, you can decide when your kids might need the money the most in their lives.  Or if you are single without kids, you might want enough coverage that can help pay for any mortgages or other debts that might be outstanding.

2.  A Whole Life Policy

A permanent (or whole) life insurance policy will allow payment to your designated beneficiaries whenever you pass and not within a certain term.  Permanent policies are much more expensive and not necessary for young families.

Why Parents Should Consider Life Insurance

A few questions might help determine why parents should consider life insurance:

Does anyone in your family, namely your spouse, rely on your income?  This could also be an aging parent, a child, or even someone that co-signed a loan.

A life insurance policy replaces the financial support that you would give to your kids when you are no longer here to support them.

Parents with younger kids should consider life insurance

Your kids, particularly at a young age, might depend on you for years.  You might want to save for their future college tuition, another type of schooling, or general expenses they might need.  Unless you already have your entire life savings set (and who does?), a life insurance policy can help fill in the financial gap if you are no longer here to help.

How much life insurance will you need?

The best way to figure out the amount of life insurance you need is to try to add up all the money and sources from which your kids might eventually have monetary income coming to them. The number could be low such as $45,000 but the policy should be 10 times that amount or $450,000.

Think about your kids, your own financial situation, and determine if a life insurance policy will help you in the future.  There are many reputable companies out there so if you figure out what you might need and talk to a few companies, you can then decide if a life insurance policy will help you and your kids.

 

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Returning To Work After Maternity Leave

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I have officially been back at work for 2 months now and it’s been an adjustment. I didn’t realize how much my life would change when I returned. Motherhood + working can be difficult to balance, especially if you’re not prepared. Today, I’m sharing my 5 things I wished I would have known before I returned to work.

 

1.       Ease back into work.

I was out of work for 8 weeks and immediately returned to work. I thought that I could do this, I mean I had two other children and I was fine. Nope, when I had my girls I was in a different position and not steadily working. So that was taken into consideration this time around.

Now I work, like a real job. So on day one, I was Natalie. No slacking, expected to be the same person I was when I left. Not the case. If I could change things, I would have eased myself back into my job.

Speak with your employer and come up with a temporary schedule to make your transition easier.

Do a trial daycare run, don’t send your child for a full day. (Trust me, you’ll feel better.)

2.       Create a schedule and stick to it.

This has been a lot of trial and error for me. I have school aged children and an infant with school and childcare being on different sides of town. My day starts around 5:00 am and ends around 10:00 pm.

When you return to work, you won’t be sleeping as much as you did when you were home. So you need to use your time wisely. Most children won’t be sleeping through the night when you’re returning to work around 6-12 weeks, so you’ll still be awaking at night.

If you’re breastfeeding, make sure you prepare your pump and parts at night. It’s also helpful if you have an extra set of pump parts. (Just in case you forget and one day you might.)

3.       Assess your mental health.

You have spent the last nine months carrying a child. Your body has changed both physically and mentally. You are not the same and for some it takes a few moment (months) to adjust. Before you commit to anything have an honest check in with yourself. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you’re feeling at the time and see how to proceed. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and unsure. If needed, seek professional help and be honest with your doctor about how you’re really feeling.

4.       Your supply will decrease (don’t panic)

If you’re a breastfeeding mom – your supply will take a hit or at least mine did. Milk supply tends to regulate between weeks 6-12. Most moms return to work around week 6 and have to immediately begin pumping. It’s a shock to your body that’s why easing back into work can be a good thing.

If you’re using formula, make sure you prep your bottles at night. It will save you so much time. Depending on your childcare provider they may be willing to prepare your milk for you.

5.       Speak up for yourself

It sounds silly but you really have to learn how to speak up for yourself. Your needs are different now. You have to be willing to take help when people offer it and you have to be willing to say no. You must become your own advocate! It’s not easy especially if you aren’t used to doing it but practice makes perfect.

 

Friendly Tip:

Start looking for childcare around month 7 or 8. The waiting list for newborns are relatively long.

Motherhood is tough but so are you!

Mom Hack: Clean Your Child's Toys Quickly With Dapple All Purpose Wipes

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Baby Clay is growing up on me y’all. I didn’t think things happened this quickly but they do! He coos, smiles, spits, and tries to put things in his mouth. I know it will only be a matter of time before he’s putting EVERYTHING in his mouth but I’m ready for it because I have Dabble Baby on my team!

Upon finding out I was pregnant, I began obsessing over what was best for new babies and I found Dapple Baby.  They were very well ranked online and a few of my mom friends mentioned how much they were enjoying their products so I knew I had to try it. I purchased the Dapple Baby Dish Liquid and fell in love! After many uses, I can truly see what all the fuss was about. My bottles are extremely clean without the film and I don’t have to worry about what’s going into his body. (I even use it on my pump parts!)  

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Dapple Baby was nice enough to send me some of their other great products so I could let you all know what’s up!

They offer a wide range of products:

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Dish Soap (Scented, Unscented)

Dishwasher Detergent Pacs

Laundry Detergent

Toy and Highchair Spray

Stain Remover

All Purpose Wipes

All Purpose Cleaner

More importantly, all of their products are made with plant-based ingredients that are biodegradable, and made without parabens, formaldehyde, SLS and SLES, as well as synthetic dyes or fragrances. So you don’t have to worry especially if your kiddos have sensitive skin or allergies.

Dapple Baby makes these All Purpose wipes that I love to use when I need to clean his toys after they’ve been dropped. I can also clean his car seat when we’re on the go and any other surface that he will come in contact with. This comes in handy when I’m not able to get to the kitchen sink to wash things.

So if you’re in the market for some new cleaners make sure you check them out!

Keep up with Dapple Baby online:

Website

Instagram

Facebook

The Ugly Truth: Postpartum Depression

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For every woman motherhood is not some magical place. She’s not jumping over the moon with joy or smelling every flower she sees. She’s tired, sad, frustrated or down right confused! I’ve been there and trust me it isn’t easy.

It is estimated that 1 in 5 women who give birth globally experience postpartum depression. (Read more here)

I was a part of that 1 in 5 when I had Madelynn. The crazy part is I didn’t even know I had it. I was doing everything I could just to keep going. I had so many mixed emotions and I wasn’t attached to her like you would have expected a new mom to be. I did what I had to just to get through the day. I neglected myself and partner.

Upon finding out I was pregnant again, I was terrified. I wasn’t sure if I would have to go through this again. Lord knows I didn’t want to. I felt so conflicted and stressed myself out constantly. Studies say that women who have suffered from PPD before have a 50% chance of having it again. That did not ease my fears.

Thankfully, I’ve been doing well. I’m bonding with my baby and having the time of my life lol, outside of the sleepless nights and milk supply worries. It’s typical mom stuff.

BUT

If you feel like you could be experiencing postpartum depression don’t be afraid to seek help. When people ask is there anything they can do for you allow them to. You don’t have to be super woman all the time. We’re human! Your life will never be the same after having children. Embrace the change, know that you’re stronger because of it and most importantly BREATHE! They are only little for a while.

 

Staying Fly From Pregnancy to Motherhood | PinkBlush

PinkBlush kindly sent me this top – as always the opinions are my own!

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Who wants to choose between style and comfort? I don’t! Most days you’ll catch me in some comfy pants and an oversized shirt. Especially now that pregnancy is over and I’m dealing with my new body and giving myself time to heal after a minor setback. However, I do know how to clean up rather nicely!

One of my FAVORITE things about PinkBlush is they know how to do motherhood style right! They truly take you from pregnancy and beyond and this top I picked out is no different. As most of you know, I have plans to nurse my little guy so anything I’m choosing to purchase these days has to meet those requirements: easy access to the milk! The shirt was designed to accommodate you before, during and after pregnancy.

Back View Top

I’ve chosen to pair this sweater with a tank top underneath. I love that it clings at the bottom as it won’t rise up when I bend over. The front opening is perfect for the times I have to breastfeed on the go. I can simply slide my t-shirt up and still have coverage on the sides as my stomach will not be exposed.

I’m wearing an XL. This shirt comes in sizes S-XL. The color does say beige but it’s more of a gray.

For my plus size mamas, you know I can’t forget about you. They also have this top just in a different color. Check it out here!

Looking to level up your spring wardrobe start now and check out their latest styles here!

Don’t forget, they aren’t just for mamas they carry baby and kids items too! Look here!

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Pretty in Blue 💙💙💙

This dress was graciously gifted to me by Pink Blush and my opinions are my own!

We’re officially over the hump! We’re in the second trimester and past 20 weeks!!! Reality is finally settling in and Baby Middleton is preparing to make his arrival in January! I had the opportunity to bring you all another awesome collaboration from Pink Blush! This time I wanted to pick something that would pair perfectly for my maternity photo shoot!

Here is my style of choice the light blue maxi dress.

I know you’re probably thinking…that’s it? But yes, honey! This is it! First and foremost, its simple and beautiful! With an understated item like this YOU choose how to dress it up or down. This dress comes in a variety of colors but of course, I chose blue because this mama is having a BOY!!

The look I was going for was simple yet whimsical. I added a pair of light blue flats because you can’t really tell because of the length of the dress. (Which is a major plus!) I accessorized with simple baby blue and gold necklace/bracelet and earring set.

Color Options: 13

Sizes: S-XL and 1X-3X

Plus Sizes: Click Here

Straight Sizes: Click Here

What I LOVE about this dress is the material. I’m always leery of maxi dresses because if the material isn’t right it will hug me in the wrong place and this mama isn’t having that! I like a dress that flows with my body and shows off my curves but covers my flaws. This dress is a thick jersey/spandex like material and it does an excellent job at flattering my body type. It also has some support for my heavy chested ladies!

I can definitely see myself wearing this post pregnancy because I love it. That’s another great perk about Pink Blush, they make clothing that you’re able to wear during and after pregnancy so you don’t feel stuck with a bunch of maternity clothing. This color will be perfect in the Spring time as well.

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As always, remember if my style isn’t on your radar check out some other trendy options that they have. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Maternity Dresses

Pink Blush Clothes

Related Article: Getting Ready for Fall with Pink Blush

Plus Size Barbie? | Barbie Fashionistas Dolls - Curvy

A few weeks ago Kaydence came home excited to tell me about the new dolls she had gotten while she was with her Nana.  “Mom, guess what?” “What” I replied. “I have plus size Barbies!” I was in shock and wasn’t quite sure how to respond but I had to see it. She knows I’m all about loving your body at every size!

I saw it and I was shook! These dolls are actually called Barbie Fashionistas – Curvy and honey let me tell you, these dolls have curves!

First and foremost, I always allow my daughters to pick the dolls of their choosing and really like for them to pick the ones that look like them. I’m all for representation, ya’ll! So I was extremely tickled. Even though this isn’t major, I’m excited to see things like this happening. I also know they have dolls that are disabled as well and I think this is awesome. We are all unique in our own way and deserve to be celebrated!

 

What are some toys you purchase for your children that make you proud?

Want to get your hands on of these for your child? Click here!

Price: $8.99 - $15.99

P.S. Christmas is right around the corner and this week ONLY Target has a toy sale! Spend $50 save $10 or spend $100 save $25! Week of October 7 - 13, 2018! Click here to shop online and pickup in store!

Diaper Bag Backpack

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I feel like such the “cool mom” this diaper bag is everything people! I mean EVERYTHING! I didn’t know I needed a diaper bag backpack until now. First of all, it’s comfy! I’m not straining my shoulder to carry it around. I can imagine once I need to carry the car seat this will work wonders.

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I love the idea that I can be hands free! This bag has so many compartments. I not only have stuff inside for the baby but myself as well with room to spare. I can also store a few things in for the girls as well.

I can’t wait to use it full time.

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Not to mention how affordable it is! I went looking at diaper bags at Buy Buy Baby and OMG, they are expensive so I feel secure with my choice. This diaper bag comes in right under $30 I would actually pay more for it because it’s that good! Even dad likes it, he wants one for himself!

Want the exact one click here!

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Not really a fan of the gray? Well you’re in luck while on my hunt I found a few other sellers that have this back pack in other colors. I can’t speak to the quality but the reviews seem great!

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In my 10 years of parenting, what I know is that you want a durable diaper bag. One that’s leak proof and easy to carry. On a scale of 1 - 10 this diaper bag comes in at a 10 for me. I didn’t think I would ever be this excited to carry a backpack!

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3 Reasons Why You Should Take Maternity Photos

Yay, you're pregnant and like the millions of other women out there you've looked at maternity photos. You can't help it! It's contagious. I'm sure you've searched cute bump photos on Instagram and you're just not sure if you want to do it. 

If you're looking for that push or voice of reason, it's me! Do it! I had photos taken with my oldest but not my now middle child and I regret not doing so. You don't have to spend a lot of money. If you can't afford a high-end photographer go to your local Sears or Picture People. 

 

So here are my 3 reasons I'm taking maternity photos!

1. I will only pregnant ONCE with this baby.

We've all heard what people say "the first baby gets everything" and omg, it's true. I did everything with my first child. We have to remember each child is special and they deserve their moment. When they look back in the photo books they want to see what you looked like pregnant with them. 

2. I'm embracing this new body.

This is baby #3 for me and you can imagine the changes that your body goes through when you're pregnant. Most women shy away from the camera but I want to be in front. I plan to show my belly instead of hiding it. Yep, I have stretch marks and all and I don't mind showing them. 

3. I want to!

It's really that simple. I don't have some philosophical speech about why I'm doing it, I just really want to. I'm in a different place in my life and I would love to document it. I was pregnant at 16, 21, and now 27. I am not the same and that should be showcased! 

Are you considering it? What's holding you back?.

Don't think you can afford it? We all know someone who takes good photos or wants to be an photographer. Be their muse and worst case senerio you'll still have a cute pic. 

The Perfect Baby Shower Dress

We all know baby showers have become a fashion show now. Like seriously, have you seen them? From the over the top flower walls to the King and Queen chairs - its a full on event. I'm not hating! However, I believe that moms to be want to be comfortable. You'll be hugging people, getting up and down to open gifts and you might want to partake in some dancing. So why feel restricted in your outfit?

Here are my top 5 picks for the dress that will do just that! 

Outfits by PinkBlush Maternity 

1. Mint Floral Mini

This dress is ADORABLE and gender neutral. I would totally wear this if I was having a girl and pair it with some ankle boots! 

Sizes: S - 3XL

Photo: PinkBlush

Photo: PinkBlush

2. Mauve Striped Ruffle Trim Midi

This dress is perfect for brunch baby shower. It's lightweight with a little stretch. Stripes are always nice it will help smooth you out if you have that concern. 

Colors: Black and Mauve

Sizes: S - L 

Photo: pinkblush

Photo: pinkblush

3. Blue Lace Mesh Dress

This is for my boy moms! OMG, I'm thinking about grabbing this one for myself! It's so pretty and sexy! I'm all for embracing this pregnant body! I can see it so don't be surprised if you see this dress again! 

Colors: Black, Blue, and Mauve

Sizes: S - 3X

photo: pinkblush

photo: pinkblush

4. Pleated Chiffon Plus Maternity Gown

This dress looks amazing. It has a stretching top for your growing girls and a beautiful pleated bottom that is SO ON TREND right now! It's simple and not to flashy.

Colors: Aqua, Pink, and Lavender 

Sizes: 1X -3X

photo: pinkblush

photo: pinkblush

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5. Ruffle Trim Off the Shoulder Dress

Now this is for my moms to be who aren't afraid to show what your mama gave ya! It's cute and flirty. I would rock this for my shower if I knew it was going to a party! I would opt for a longer version for a day shower but that's just me. So honey, do you!

Colors: Magenta, Navy Blue, Red, and White

Sizes: S- XL 

photo: PinkBlush

photo: PinkBlush

6. Floral Wrap Maternity/Nursing Maxi Dress

I have seen this dress on several ladies and it is STUNNING!!! No matter your shape or size this A-Line cut flatters!!! This dress gets brownie points because you can use it during pregnancy and after. The top perfectly unfolds to allow you to nurse your little one!

Colors: Pink and Blue

Sizes: S - 3X 

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7. Cream Floral Paisley Wrap Dress

This dress can be for your baby shower or gender reveal and some people are having them the same day so BAM! 2 in 1 and you're good to go. I do love how pretty the pink and blue flow so well together. 

Sizes: S - XL

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8. The Traditional Gown

We've all seen this dress but it never gets old. I think it's a classic really. From showers to photo shoots you can't go wrong with choosing it in pink or blue! 

Colors: Black, Blue, Red, Magenta, Ivory, Navy Blue, and Pink

Sizes: S -3X

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9. Chevron Mesh Overlay Dress

This dress is a great alternative to similar lace styles. Lace can snag pretty bad but the mesh is a great alternative.

Colors: Ivory, burgundy, navy blue, and olive green

Sizes: S - XL 

Photo: PinkBlush 

Photo: PinkBlush 

10. Ivory Floral Off Shoulder Maxi Dress 

I love the off the shoulder trend. It's classy and still modest. I love the grays and blues in this dress!

Size: S-XL 

Photo: PinkBlush

Photo: PinkBlush

I hope you've enjoyed my top picks for your baby shower. Whatever you wear make sure you're comfortable and HAPPY. That's the most imprortant thing.

Already had your shower? What did you wear?