Friday, May 30, 2014

Natural Wrinkle-Reducing Remedies With Mary Kremer


Have you ever wondered how to make your face look younger and fresher, without having the “worked on” look associated with plastic surgery? Or maybe you’re just like me, and any kind of medical procedure freaks you out. I’m all about all-natural remedies, and I know I’m not alone. So here are a few natural remedies to help you revitalize your face and decrease the look of wrinkles.

Milk and Honey 

The land flowing with milk and honey wasn’t just abounding in food, it had a very effective facial cleanser. That’s right, milk and honey make a wonderful facial cleanser, and they’ve been used since the pharoah’s time. Just mix a tablespoon of honey with half a tablespoon of milk. The lactic acid in the milk will cleanse your pores and slough off old skin, and the honey will help you skin retain moisture. If you find this mixture is too harsh for skin, try adding less milk, or just using plain honey. Using this method daily can help increase your skin’s elasticity and prevent wrinkles.


Grape Seed Oil

  A little bit of grape seed oil can work wonders around your eyes. Grape seed oil is full of antioxidants that can help reverse the aging of your skin. It also keeps your skin moisturized and supple. Moisturized skin is less likely than dry skin to wrinkle. Just apply a dab of oil underneath each eye after you’ve cleansed your face each evening. This will help keep the skin around your eyes moisturized, rejuvenated, and less likely to wrinkle.

Lemon and Sugar

Lemon juice and sugar make a great exfoliator. The citric acid in lemon juice works hard to slough off dead skin and reduce wrinkles, and the Vitamin C in the juice also produces collagen. Sugar also contains an acid that help repair damaged skin. \ To make the exfoliator, mix a teaspoon of sugar with two tablespoons of lemon juice. Rub the mixture into your face (avoiding your eyes) and leave for ten minutes before rinsing.

 Coconut Oil 

Using coconut oil like lotion is another good way to reduce wrinkles and keep the skin on your face soft and supple. Coconut oil works by keeping your skin’s connective tissues strong, which can reduce sagging and wrinkles. Coconut oil not only moisturizes, it also repairs damaged skin, removing dead skin and bringing a youthful appearance back to your face.

 Egg Whites 

Whip up a couple egg whites for a temporary solution to wrinkles. Whip the egg whites of two eggs until they’re fluffy, then apply the foam to your face and leave for 20 minutes. Egg whites have astringent properties that help tighten the skin in your face and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is critical to maintaining healthy, youthful skin. Vitamin C is essential in producing collagen, the protein that gives your skin its elasticity. When collagen breaks down, your skin starts to wrinkle. Aging skin tends to lose Vitamin C over time, leading to wrinkles and age spot. But the good news is, you can replenish your skin’s supply.

Topical Vitamin C, applied directly to your face, is the best way to do this. You can get Vitamin C in lotions or serums (like this Vitamin C serum, from RainShadow Labs).Make sure the amount of Vitamin C in the serum is anywhere from 5-20%. Apply the serum daily and you’ll see a huge improvement.

Maintain Good Health

 Perhaps the most important step you can take to reducing wrinkles is maintaining good health. Wear sunscreen when you go outside (in all months of the year), and stay hydrated to protect your skin. Eat a balanced diet with lots of leafy greens, and get a full eight hours of sleep every night. Staying healthy and giving your body and skin the nutrients and protection they need is the best way to avoid wrinkles and other health problems.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kabobs and Snacks

Here we go with the next link party! This week's party is hosted by Debra from Housewife Eclectic. You're-Invited The Party girls: Jesseca from One Sweet Appetite, Holly from Bits of Everything, Jonie from Just Between Friends, and Debra from Housewife Eclectic. They all have such great ideas, be sure to go see what they’ve been up to.

 Things have been a little relaxed around Housewife Eclectic this month as I have been taking time off to spend time with my newborn, but I have had some awesome guest posts. Check them out.


Here are a few of my favorite things that were linked up to our party last week. Everything was gorgeous and delicious. I can't get over that No Bake Chocolate Mint Oreo Cheesecake. How good does that look?

Let's get a new party started. Share your projects with us for a chance to be featured next week!
You're Invited Invitation & Rules
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Top Newborn Must Haves

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boppy Newborn Lounger . The opinions and text are all mine. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

We were well out of the baby stage in our house when I found out I was pregnant with our second child. I hadn't changed a diaper in years and night time feedings were a distant memory. I wasn't that worried about it, surely a having a newborn is like riding a bicycle, right? Not as much as I thought it would be. We have had to ease ourselves back into the newborn phase and everything that comes with it. These are the things that have helped us keep our sanity and enjoy our new baby.

1. Boppy Pillow. These are an absolute necessity for me when it comes to nursing. Without a Boppy Pillow, my back gets stiff and my arms gets tired, which I have little patience for during the day, let alone in the middle of the night. I actually have two of these, one for upstairs and one for downstairs, so I don't have to drag them all over the house.

2. Diaper Changing Basket. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but a central basket that has diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream and other simple necessities is a life saver. There is no walking around the house trying to remember where you left the rash ointment because it is in a central place.

3. Nursing Tanks or stretchy tanks. With the help of tank tops, I was able to get into my regular clothes must faster even as much nursing as newborns do. It allowed me to layer my clothes and feel comfortable nursing wherever I was, because I didn't have to displace everything I was wearing.

4. Swaddling blankets. I used to think that a blanket was just a blanket. Never again. Blankets that are specifically made for swaddling work so much better and keep baby warmer.

5. Boppy Newborn Lounger. This baby seat has been a life saver. It is light weight enough that my 5-year-old can grab it for me if I need it in another part of the house and it cuddles my newborn perfectly, so she will do something she wouldn't do it any other seat, calmly sit while awake.

The Boppy Newborn Lounger is specifically designed for babies up to 16 pounds, it is portable, with an easy carry handle and it has easy to clean fabric since we all know that newborns are the messiest little people on the planet. While the Newborn Lounger isn't meant for sleeping, it is a great seat for your baby when you need both hands free.

I seriously love the Boppy Newborn Lounger, its portability means I need fewer baby seats and clutter in my house. Since it is so easy to clean, I don't worry about any messes and it really does keep my newborn comfortable when I am cooking dinner or helping my 5-year-old.

To stay up to date with all the products from Boppy, make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. Boppy has even been generous enough to offer all Housewife Eclectic readers 20% off the purchase of a newborn lounger. Just use the promo code NBL20 at checkout. 
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boppy Newborn Lounger . The opinions and text are all mine.


Monday, May 26, 2014

The Best Books for Toddlers with Jane from xo, from Lauren and Jane

I am thrilled to have Jane from xo, Lauren and Jane here today to talk about my favorite thing, books! Make sure you check out her blog, some of my favorite posts include Grilled Fruits and Vegetables and Lauren's Postpartum Survival Kit. 


I'm Jane from xolaurenandjane.com, a blog about fashion, beauty, kids, life, DIY and everything in between. I’m excited to be here at Housewife Eclectic today! 
Like Debra, I’m an obsessive reader. I love reading and am so happy my almost 2-year-old loves it as much as I do. I regularly find her sitting in the glider in her nursery “reading” to herself. It’s cute AND as the daughter of a teacher, makes me so happy because learning to love reading at a young age is important. 
Today I’m sharing some of our favorite, must-have (and in our opinion, the best) toddler books. 

Pete the Cat The Wheels on the Bus: A fun spin on the traditional “wheels on the bus,” Pete the Cat is the driver and we meet several animals along the way. Pete the Cat is a series about a cat who goes on all sorts of adventures. One of our other favorite Pete books is Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

The Very Hungry Caterpillar: We love this book so much that we have it in both a large size and a smaller size that fits nicely in my diaper bag. Even as a baby, my daughter was fascinated by this book and loved watching the caterpillar grow larger and larger. Now, as a toddler, she chimes in when you ask her to point to certain fruits or foods and loves the final reveal page, when we see the beautiful butterfly the caterpillar has turned into!

For Just One Day: We love animals at our house, and this book is filled with them, in a story about a child who pretends to be different animals on every page. The moral of the story is great: the very best thing you can be is exactly who you are! This is one book we will keep around for years. 

Belly Button Book: Sandra Boynton is a favorite board book author of ours. In fact, my husband loves her books so much that since my daughter was a teeny tiny infant, whenever he spots one of her board books, he buys it. I think we own nearly every one! Belly Button Book is our favorite, though. Ask my daughter to point to her belly button, and she gets the biggest, cheesiest grin on her face as she points to it. 

Dear Zoo: More animals! Lift-the-flap books are perfect for my daughter and her hand-and-eye coordination, and plus, she gets excited to see what’s behind each. We’ve used this book to teach her different animal sounds, so as we flip to each page and pull back the tab, she immediately makes the correct animal noise. This book has been a great learning tool. 

BabyLit Series: My friend Lauren (the same gal that I blog with over at xolaurenandjane.com) introduced me to this series when my daughter was first born and it’s been love ever since! They’re fun reads for both my daughter and me, since these are classics-turned-children’s-books (and classics that I love!). As the BabyLit website says, “BabyLit is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature.” We own five BabyLit books (so far!), including Pride & PrejudiceRomeo & Juliet,Jane EyreAlice in Wonderland and Sense & Sensibility

What are some of your favorite toddler books? 

Follow us on Pinterest and check out our kids’ board for more books and items we love for kids. Be sure to check us out on Facebook and Instagram, too. Have a great day!

Friday, May 23, 2014

15 Snacks for Kids with Jesseca from One Sweet Appetite

Today I am thrilled to have Jesseca from One Sweet Appetite here to share some snack ideas. I love Jesseca and her blog, every single post is drool worthy, my favorites are  her Philly Cheese Steak Sliders and her Breakfast Burger. Check her out, you won't be sorry.
Hello! My name is Jesseca and I am so excited to be guest posting today from my site One Sweet Appetite! Summer is quickly sneaking up on us which means most of us will be spending a lot more time with our kids. I’ve been searching the internet looking for some great healthy-ish snacks. The only problem is I am the mother to the worlds most picky eater. Ever.

It seems like the picky side has only just recently shown up. What’s the deal with that?? Someone please tell me it doesn’t last!

So here’s my list. Fifteen snacks for your picky eaters! Most are healthy and great for summer!
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Thank you Debra for letting me come take over today. Congratulations on your new addition to the family. Give that little baby lots of hugs and kisses from us!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Pizza Salad and Crayon Rubs- You're Invited Link-Up

Thursdays are quickly becoming some of our favorite days simply because we LOVE seeing what you have been working on! We hope that you have enjoyed our link party and the features that we share every week. Jonie from Just Between Friends is the one that is going to chose the features for the week, so I will just let her take it away. You're invited header 2 
Aloha! I am excited to be able to share a couple of projects that I have been working on over on my site as well as some of your fantastic projects. I have spent the last week in Hawaii and now am trying to play catch up a little bit. I do have some really fun ideas that I am dying to share with you that I know you will love. Today, though, I am sharing two posts that I recently posted. One is for some DIY crayon rubs that are SO easy and fun for kids. My girls love them. The second post is an update to my seasonal welcome post that I have on my front porch. PicMonkey Collage  
I don't know if it is because I am hungry while writing this, but the food posts really appealed to me. Don't these look delicious and fun?! I think so. Click on the links below the pictures to go to the post, and be sure to pin from their site directly.
Now for the fun part! Link up your projects in this week's linky party for a chance to be featured next week. I can't wait to see what you've been up to!
You're Invited Invitation & Rules

 
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Bow-Tie Pasta Salad with Julie from Confessions of a Cooking Diva

I am so excited to have Julie here today to share a fantastic recipe with us. Julie blogs at Confessions of a Cooking Diva, make sure to check out her Crock-Pot Lemon Chicken

Hi. My name is Julie and I blog over at Confessions of a Cooking Diva. I blog all about food. I love to cook and try new recipes all the time. I like to make a mix of dishes some complicated and some super quick and simple like this pasta salad. bow-tie pasta supreme
This salad can be done in 20 minutes or less and is packed with tons of flavor. I've made this salad for many potlucks and it's always a hit.

 To Make - Ingredients: Salad: •2 plum tomatoes, chopped •½ medium red onion, chopped •1 small green pepper, chopped •1 lb. mozzarella cheese, diced •¼ tsp. basil •1 lb pasta of your choice •Dressing: •1 tsp garlic salt •1 tsp dried oregano leaves •1 tbsp tomato paste •2 tbsp red wine vinegar •⅓ cup olive oil •black pepper to taste

1.Cook pasta according to directions and drain, set aside in a large bowl.
2. Chop the vegetables and add them to the pasta. Add the cheese and basil to the pasta.
3.Mix well.
4.In a small bowl, whisk the garlic salt, oregano, tomato paste and vinegar together. Stream in the olive oil while continuing to whisk.
 5.Once the oil is incorporated, pour the dressing over the pasta salad, add the pepper and toss well.

Julie is a food writer and recipe developer at Confessions of a Cooking Diva. She enjoys teaching others how to cook delicious food that their families will enjoy. She lives in Salt Lake City with her fiancé and adorable basset hounds.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Creamy Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup with Meredith from Perfection Pending

Today I am thrilled to have Meredith from Perfection Pending here to share a fabulous crockpot recipe with us. Meredith has some great parenting posts up, I love this one about why Moms are terrible drivers. Check Meredith out and make sure to leave her some comment love.

Hi! My name is Meredith, and I'm a mom to three blogging over at Perfection Pending. TimelineCover
I mostly blog about life with three kids, and how I'm trying to learn to let go of perfectionism, but I also love sharing recipes that I've tried, taste yummy, and my kids will eat!! This recipe is so easy and simple because it uses ingredients that you almost always have on hand. AND it uses the best kitchen invention ever….the crockpot! When it gets warmer outside, it's time to break out the crockpot, because who wants to be slaving over a hot stove or sticking their head in an oven? Not me! So, here it is. I hope you love it (and more importantly, I hope the kids will eat it too!)

Creamy Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

Creamy Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup Here's what you'll need: ©ingredients Ingredients

  • 1 10 oz. can of cream of chicken soup
  •  1 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup 
  •  5 cups water 
  •  2 large chicken breasts, still slightly frozen 
  •  1 9-10 oz. package frozen mixed veggies 
  •  1/2 teaspoon pepper 
  •  1 teaspoon garlic salt 
  •  2 cups dried egg noodles

 Defrost frozen chicken just enough to cut into cubes. In your crock pot, add both soups and whisk in the 5 cups of water until well blended. Then, add frozen chicken, vegetables, pepper and garlic salt. Cut pepper in half if your kids sometimes complain of things being "too spicy". We get that a lot around here. :) Cover, and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 4 hours. If cooking on low, switch to high 20 minutes prior to eating and add the dried egg noodles. *Don't overcook noodles or they will become very soft and mushy. That's it! Enjoy!!

 You could also check out some of my other recipes like my Cilantro & Black Bean Salad or 30 Minute Chicken Pot Pie as well as my Turkey Greek Pitas with Cucumber Tzatziki Sauce. Thanks so much for having me Debra!!
  July 2010 (Utah visit) 048Meredith is a mother of 3 that is all about trying to be “real” when it comes to motherhood after years of trying to fake perfection. But, it’s the hardest job she’s ever done. She loves blogging about all the perfect and not so perfect moments on her blog, Perfection Pending.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chocolate Banana Smoothies and Baked Onion Rings - You're Invited Linkup

Can you believe it’s already time to link up? The projects and recipes everyone shared last week were amazing! We all loved going through the list. Today Jesseca from One Sweet Appetite is taking over to share what she’s been working on and a few of her favorite link ups!
You're-Invited
This last month has been a busy one for me! I joined forces with the super talented Tried and Tasty to bring you all one full week of burger recipes and have dived right into summer favorites. Just to give you a quick idea of what you can find over on my site I’m sharing three of my favorites:
My Recent Posts
chocolate banana breakfast smoothie // simple balsamic vinaigrette // baked onion rings

It was tough to narrow down my favorites from the week. Everyone linked up some amazing projects. The top three that stood out for me were:
Link-Party-Features
sweet teacher appreciation gifts from the happy scraps // ice cream sandwich cake at mostly food and crafts // love you like a bee loves honey from it’s always ruetten

Now on to the party! Here are the rules:
You're Invited Invitation & Rules
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hidden Beauty Toxins to Avoid While Pregnant

There is nothing that makes me more cautious than being pregnant. Most of the time, I drink my fair share of Diet Coke and eat more than my fair share of Oreos. When I am pregnant, I strive really hard to eat as healthy as possible and keep artificial things out of my diet and my beauty routine.


Personally I avoid caffeine, medication of any kind unless absolutely necessary, dyeing my hair, artificial sweeteners and bleaching my teeth. For me, if there is a question about a product, I try to avoid it, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

I was surprised when I found this infographic, that lists all of the toxins and chemicals that can be in your personal care products. Some of the information I knew, such as avoiding hair dyes, but who knew that 60% of lipsticks contain detectable levels of lead? With more than 287 toxic chemicals have been found in newborn cord blood, eliminating exposure to known toxins should be a top priority especially when pregnant. Check out the infographic for information on all of the hidden toxins that could be in your beauty routine. To learn more check out the free e-book, Easy Steps to a Safer Pregnancy.

What do you change about your routine when pregnant?

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

One-Pot Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup with Katelyn from Ambroisa & Nectar

Today I have Katelyn from Ambrosia &Nectar sharing her One-Pot Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup. Check out Katelyn's blog where you can find her Chocolate Orange Truffle Cake and Creamy White Chili and lots of fantastic recipes. Make sure to leave her some comment love! 

Hi, hello! I'm Katelyn Heiner, over at Ambrosia & Nectar, where I blog about my cooking exploits in the kitchen. Well, the successful ones anyway... The failures I just keep to myself. :) By way of a quick introduction, I currently live in northern Utah, in a teeny little apartment that my husband affectionately calls our "extended stay motel." We're just getting ready to move in a couple months for medical school, (not me, him) so we're off to some new adventures!

Today I wanted to share a quick and easy dish for those crazy busy nights when one kid's screaming, another has gum in their hair, and the other has a science fair project due tomorrow (ugh, just the word brings dread to my heart). Or, if you don't have any kids but just plain don't want to spend the entire evening in the kitchen, this recipe is perfect for those nights too. This is a One-Pot Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup, and it's been one of my favorites since I was young. It's utterly hearty and delicious, and will win you over simply because you only have to dirty one dish to make it, let alone because it tastes amazing. If you like this recipe, come check out some of my others here.

One-Pot Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:
5 cups water
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups each, celery and carrots, diced
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 onion, diced
2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
½ cup milk
¼ cup flour
¼ cup butter, melted
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 (3-oz.) pkg. egg noodles

Directions:
In a large pot, bring water to a boil.
Add chicken breasts and chicken bouillon cubes and boil until chicken is cooked through. Remove and shred. Set aside for later.
Add celery, carrots, and onion to the water and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine melted butter and flour with a fork, stirring until smooth (this makes our roux).
Add Cream of Chicken soup, milk, and roux to the soup pot, stirring until roux is dissolved.
Return chicken to the pot and add egg noodles.
Add freshly ground pepper to taste.
Cook until egg noodles are done.

And that’s all there is to it! Whew! Not onto that science fair project…

Thanks for letting me be part of your day!

Monday, May 12, 2014

5 Ways to Treat Ear Infections at Home


There is nothing more frustrating as a parent than to have your child wake up screaming in the middle of the night with ear pain. Since the pressure in the ear builds up more when your child is laying down, often times the middle of the night is the first indication that you have that there is an ear infection. I hate the helpless feeling I have when my child is screaming at 3 AM and I don't know what to do for her. After a lot of research and some trial, these are the things I have found that I can do at home to treat an ear infection.

1. Garlic Mullein Oil. Just a few drops in the effected ear a few times a day will help clear that infection up.
2.  Applying warmth to the area can help reduce the pain. I like to soak a washcloth in warm water, ring it out and then place it directly on the ear.
3. Ear Massage. This will relieve the pressure by moving the fluid out of the ear. Start behind the ear and massage the ear, and the neck.
4. Essential Oils. Rub Melaleuca oil on the outside of the ear. You can also put basil on a cotton ball and put them in the ears. 
5. Colloidal Silver. Colloidal Silver is a natural antibiotic and you can help kill any bacteria in the ear by putting a few drops in the ear.

Colloidal Silver is not something I grew up using, but something my husband did. His family used to it to treat everything from ear infections and sore throats to burns. I have always been a little skeptical of it, but intrigued by it as well. When I began researching ways to help treat my daughter's ear infections without racing to the doctor, I was surprised to find most of the articles suggested silver.


Silver has been used for thousands of years, being used by the Ancient Greeks as a way to purify water. Today it is used to treat stomach problems, sunburns, diaper rashes, sore throats and many other ailments. What I personally like about silver is all of the different ways it can be applied. You can put in in water and drink it for stomach or liver health and you can put it in a dropper bottle and use it to treat ear infections directly. You can also put it in a spray bottle and spray it over a a particular area or use the topical gel for ailments such as sunburn and diaper rash. This is hands down the best diaper rash remedy I have found. It works wonders.

The wonderful thing about silver is even with as long it as has been used it hasn't developed any tolerance to bacteria or viruses, so it kills them as effectively as it did years ago. Silver today is now available in a safe PH balanced formula. My Doctor Suggests, where I get my silver has it in a 10 PPM version for daily health or a 30 PPM version for when your immune system needs help fighting something off. They also sell a Silver and Gold Combo for joint health, silver lozenges, soap and gel.

Ready to try silver out for your family health's needs? You can find everything you need to get started with silver here.



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Saturday, May 10, 2014

My Best Day Ever

You can vote for this picture in the Best Day Ever contest here

Birth is an ending of one chapter of life and the beginning of another. For me, it was the end of a very painful chapter. Before I even knew I was pregnant, something felt off. My body felt foreign to me. It ached like I was hard core training even when I spent all day in bed. Migraines plagued me and I felt drained of life.

One positive pregnancy test later, I was completely baffled. I had been pregnant before, I knew what it felt like and it felt nothing like this. I called the doctor and the nurse told me that I was most likely experiencing a miscarriage. Since my last doctor told me we would never have another child, I was devastated. A miracle had happened and just as fast had been ripped away from me. A week later I was still feeling terrible, so I called the doctor again. This time the nurse was more positive and I began to hope again. This nurse didn't seem so sure the pregnancy was over and scheduled an ultrasound. A day later my world shattered again when the ultrasound tech not only couldn't find a heartbeat, she couldn't even find a baby.

I spent the next week in a fog of emotional and physical pain. The aching got worse and I developed sharp pain on my right side. The pain was so bad that standing and walking were almost out of the question. I called the doctor again and was back in for another ultrasound to find the culprit for the right-sided pain. In that ultrasound they found the reason for the pain, but they also found a surprise: a baby and a heartbeat.

In that ultrasound, along with our miracle baby, they discovered I had pelvic varicosities, varicose veins in my pelvis that were causing extraordinary amounts of pain. Normally this was something they could do surgery for, but since I was pregnant I just had to figure out a way to stand the pain. Throughout my pregnancy, as the baby grew, so did the pressure on the veins and so did the pain. I passed what I thought was my absolute threshold for pain... twice. Luckily, all of the complications I was experiencing mostly just effected me and not the baby, so we had great hope for a completely healthy baby.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I heard about a campaign from Elevate Promo where people shared their version of the "Best Day Ever." I knew immediately what my Best Day Ever would be. It would be holding my beautiful baby girl. It would be making it through the pain to the ultimate reward on the other end. For the last two months of my pregnancy everything was painful. Walking was painful, standing was painful, but I knew if I could just make it to the end everything would be OK.

The day my daughter was born was truly the best day ever. It marked the end of a very painful chapter of my life, but better yet, it opened an amazing new chapter for me as a mother of two.

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