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Protect Your Eyes from Long Term Damage #MC

I wrote this review while participating in an Influencer campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. and received a promotional item from Mom Central to thank me for participating.

Protect Your Eyes From UV Damage

I’ve been in corrective lenses of one type or another since I was 5 years old.  With all of the time I had spent in the eye doctor’s office, I thought I knew quite a bit about eyes and eye health.  Then, I spent a summer working with my sister-in-law at a local eyeglasses store and realized how much I still didn’t know.

Part of my job was to help customers pick out frames, glasses lenses, and contact lenses that met their individualized needs. In order to do a good job, I started learning as much as I could about the different lenses and options we offered.  I was particularly interested in the information we had about the damage UV rays can do to your eyes.

I think most people are aware of the damage that UV rays can do to your skin, but very few are aware of what harm they can cause your eyes.  Here are a few things you need to know:

UV eye damage is cumulative

Basically, this means that even if you are just being exposed to a little bit of UV radiation each day, the effects can build up and result in eye damage later in life.  Since there really isn’t any way to know how much is too much exposure, minimizing it every day is your best bet.

UV eye damage is irreversible

While the effects of continued UV exposure may not be apparent for years, once the damage is done – it’s done.  There’s no going back.

Children are at particularly high risk of damage.

Because children have larger pupil, typically have clearer lenses, and often go without eye protection, they can be exposed to a significant amount of UV radiation by the age of 18.

Damage can occur even without exposure to direct light.

UV rays reflected off of surfaces such as  snow, water, and even grass and soil can cause damage as can UV rays that sneak through light cloud cover.

Sunglasses alone may not provide enough protection.

UV rays can sneak around the edges of most sunglasses as the sides, top, and bottom may not fully shield eyes.  Hats offer no protectionfrom rays bouncing up from the ground.

Some contact lenses offer UV protection.

Not all contact lenses offer UV protection, and, of those that do, not all provide similar absorption levels. ACUVUE® is the only major brand of contact lenses which blocks approximately 97%of UV-B and 81% of UV-A rays as standard across the entire range of its products.  Now, UV contact lenses are not a replacement for other precautions, but another layer of protection that can be added to precaustions a person is already taking, like sunglasses.

For more information on the effects of UV rays on the eyes and what can be done to protect yourself, check out Fast Facts for Your Health: The Sun & Your Eyes: What You Need to Know” on the ACUVUE® Brand website.


Treating Eczema Without Steroids #CLnSkinCare #MC

Fighting Eczema without Steroids

CLn When LJ was about 18 months old, he developed a pretty nasty rash all over his face and torso. When we took him to the doctor, we were told that he had eczema and given some advice on how to cut down on the severity and some steroid cream to use on his torso.  I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of putting steroid cream on a toddler, but the idea of getting a secondary infection from the raw skin left after all of his scratching was also pretty concerning. After a few years, his facial and torso breakouts went away, but he started getting a bumpy, itchy rash on his legs.  Once again, we were given steroid cream and instructions to only have him bath every few days to minimize any drying out the water and soap might be causing.   We wound up using the steroid cream much more than I would have liked and tried a ton of soaps, cleansers and moisturizers that promised results but rarely delivered.

CLn review


We were offered a sample of CLn Skin Care to try – both the facial cleanser and body wash.  LJ tried the body wash on his legs as he was in the middle of a flare up when the CLn arrived.  He showered as usual and then turned off the water and applied the body wash to his legs and let it sit for 90 – 120 seconds. He rinsed with luke warm water and patted his legs dry.  The first few times he used it, it complained of a little stinging, probably because his legs were raw from the outbreak.  By the end of the first week, he no longer felt any sting and his legs were looking visibly better.  By the end of the three week trial, his legs looked almost normal despite taking daily showers. We have not used the steroid cream since starting with the CLn. (I cannot remember the last time we have gone 3 weeks with no steroid cream.)

Eczema before and after CLn


As a side note, I tried the facial cleaner even though I didn’t really have any conditions I was aware of. (The facial cleaner is typically used to treat rosacea, acne, and eczema.)  While I have not ever been officially diagnosed with rosacea, it does run in my family and I have a pretty ruddy complexion that I typically cover with foundation.  It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been comfortable venturing out without make up on my face.  I liked the way the CLn facial cleanser made my face feel and used it for several weeks.  One day, I noticed that my skin tone had evened out considerably.  I was even able to give up my heavier foundation for a light BB cream instead.

These are just my anecdotal stories about how CLn has helped my family, but it has also received national recognition from such organizations as the National Eczema Association who awarded CLn the Seal of Acceptance.  While CLn does not claim to cure these conditions,  it calms and soothes the skin and reduces the appearance and feel of dryness and redness.  It is safe for children 6 months and older and can be used head to toe. The ultimate test for us as to whether a product really works is whether we are willing to spend our own money on it once the sample is used up. In this case, I’m sure you have already figured out that we will be using CLn long after this campaign is over!

Learn more about CLn here:  

CLn Skin Care website:

CLn Skin Care Facebook page:

CLn Skin Care Twitter page:

CLn Skin Care Pinterest page:

Check out other people’s experiences by following the hashtag: #CLnSkinCare

Making Healthy Habits Fun #MC #HealthyFusion

vitafusion multivites

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Vitafusion. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and promotional item to thank me for participating.

I have to admit that I’m not always so good about making the healthiest choices without a little push.  Let’s face it, sometimes the good-for-you choice is not as tasty as the not-so-good-for-you choice.  Sometimes it’s just not much fun.  I put vitamins in this category. I’m pretty sure that this traces back to those nasty prenatal vitamins I had when I was pregnant with LJ. They were HUGE. I choked on one once and could have sworn I felt it in my throat for the rest of the day.  That whole experience pretty much turned me off on swallowing any big horsey pills unless my life was in immediate danger.

I know how important it is for me to take my vitamins. I feel better when I do and I swear that I get sick less. I’ve always noticed a difference in my skin, nails, and hair when I take a god vitamin regularly but, man, they can be nasty!

One morning, I realized this was in total contrast to LJ who took his vitamins with a smile and would remind me if I forgot to give them to him. You know why?  Because I had gotten him those gummy vitamins and they were FUN and YUMMY.  He actually looked forward to taking them.  Why couldn’t I have a fun vitamin like that?

It turns out that I can!!  Vitafusion has come out with a line of gummy vitamins just for adults (and by “for adults” I mean that they are not mean for consumption by children).  They come in a bunch of different formulations – the MultiVites  cover all of your multivitamin needs and then have a little something extra depending on your individual requirements. You can get MultiVites with Digestive Support, Heart Suport, Immune Support, or Hair, Skin, and Nails Support.

Vitafusion vitamins

I received both the MultiVites with Hair, Skin, and Nail Support and MultiVites with Digestive Support. I was immediately won over by the fruity flavors and the fact that I can chew them up before swallowing them.  I quickly found myself actually looking forward to taking my vitamins rather than avoiding them.



Zarbee’s Naturals Seasonal Relief

Zarbees Naturals Seasonal Relief

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Zarbee’s Naturals. I received a promotional item and a product sample as a thank you for participating.

To say that we have had a long winter here in Wisconsin is probably a bit of an understatement. Between the copious amounts of snow that fell and the well-below-zero temperatures, we began to wonder if any living thing would ever emerge from the frozen ground again.  But, just as predicted, we are starting to see daffodil leaves, green grass and tree buds.  While all of those things are  beautiful and welcome signs of spring and the warm days to come, they are also harbingers of a much less loved springtime visitor – seasonal congestion.

LJ and I both experience seasonal congestion and I am always looking for a natural option to help me make it through the tougher times (like when the trees first begin to bud).  I’ve tried a variety of things including adjusting my diet and trying to be more careful about washing my hair and clothes after being outside.  Recently, I’ve added Zarbee’s Seasonal Relief to my arsenal as well.  (We have been Zarbee’s fans here ever since we discovered their cough syrup a while back.)

I’ll admit to be being a bit skeptical of all natural remedies. (Chalk that up to being burned a few times in the past by products that did not deliver as advertised.)  There is nothing worse that heading out for a day of fun and realizing not too far into it that whatever you took is not cutting it!  Luckily, I have had a great experience with Zarbee’s Naturals Seasonal Relief!  I’ve been able to go about my regular activities with little to no interruption and love that I’m not adding yet another medication to my list.

In addition to being really happy with the product, I also love that Zarbee’s has launched the Seasonal Relief Project.  

The Zarbee’s Seasonal Relief Project website is a great place to go to get coupons or samples, find tips on how to deal with seasonal congestion, and report back on how Zarbee’s Seasonal Relief is working for you.  A really cool thing is that, when you report back, Zarbee’s will make a donation to a cause of your choice that supports and promotes the protection of clean air including the Fresh Air FundChildren & Nature Network, and Moms Clean Air Force, and Healthy Child Healthy World.

Zarbee’s Naturals’ Seasonal Relief is available over the counter at CVS and Target and is intended for children 12 years of age and over

Please keep in mind that I am NOT a doctor, in fact I tend to pass out at the sight of needles or blood. Also,  these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is a natural supplement and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.



Build Your Own Elevated Raised Garden Bed

How to build an elevated garden bed. #gardening #DIYWhile I love the fresh veggies we get from our garden every year, I was not thrilled about the amount we were losing to rabbits, deer, and other critters who were helping themselves to the fruits of my hard work!  I began looking at my local garden supply stores for a solution and came across a great idea – an elevated garden bed.  This takes the idea of a raised bed garden one step further and puts it at waist level.  Not only does this deter rabbits, deer, and the like, it also makes weeding a snap as you don’t have to bend over.

I found this VegTrug elevated bed at a local store and fell in love. When I showed Jay, he winced at the price and assured me he could build me a bigger one for a fraction of the cost.

expensive vegtrug elevated bed

We headed to Home Depot where we bought everything we needed for the project.  We got:

Twenty 2″x 4″x 8′ cedar boards

One 1″ x 2″ x 8′ cedar board

A box of 2 1/2″ screws

We had the following already at home:

A miter saw (If you are not able to cut your wood, a Home Depot employee will be able to cut them to the needed sizes)

A drill and drill bits

A tape measure

build your own elevated garden 1

Here is how Jay went about building the elevated bed:

1) Cut the 2′ x 4′ pieces (or have them cut) to the following sizes

  • 8 pieces cut to 3 feet, 11.75 inches (long side bed pieces)
  • 8 pieces cut to 3 feet, 4 inches (short side bed pieces)
  • 4 pieces cut to 36 inches (long leg pieces)
  • 4 pieces cut to 23 inches (top short leg pieces)
  • 4 pieces cut to 9.25 inches (bottom short leg pieces)
  • 2 pieces cut to 36.75 inches (leg supports)

Jay stacked the boards according to size to keep them straight.

build your own elevated garden 2

2) Begin with the legs of the bed.  Screw together the long leg pieces and short leg pieces so that they are flush on one end.  You should end up with four legs.

build your own elevated garden 4


3) Take two of the completed legs and fasten them to one of the support leg boards.  Repeat with the other two legs.

4) Attach the bottom short leg pieces just below the support board and screw into place on both sets of your own elevated garden 5

5) Stand the legs up so that they form H’s with the cross piece toward the top.  Take a long side bed piece and use it to connect the legs together as shown in the picture.  Repeat all the way around the bed.

build your own elevated garden 6

6) Continue building the sides of the bed by placing the remaining side pieces around the outside of the bed.

build your own elevated garden 7


build your own elevated garden 9

7) Once the sides are built, screw the 1″ x 2″ piece along the inside, bottom of the sides to form a lip which will act as a base for the bottom.

8) Cut the remaining pieces to fit inside the bed and form the floor.  The measurements do not have to be exact – small gaps will allow water to flow through.

build your own elevated garden 91


build your own elevated garden 93

And voila!! You now have an elevated garden.

How would you like to win enough to cover the cost of this project, all of your gardening supplies or whatever other projects you have planned?  From today, April 21st through Wednesday, April 23rd, is giving out $3,000 in Home Depot gift cards.