Thursday, November 3, 2011

First Response Fertility Test - Review

I have baby fever!  There, I said it, and now it's out there for the whole world to google, find and see.  It's scary having baby fever, because as a woman with high anxiety levels I tend to worry.  Actually I tend to worry a lot.  So naturally I'm worried about fertility, fertility issues and things of that nature.  Sure, I'm only newly 26 years old, I'm relatively young, I'm relatively healthy and I have had two wonderful pregnancies which have resulted in two relatively easy 3 hour or less labors which included pushing for a combined time of 45 minutes (20 minutes of pushing with my first, 25 minutes of pushing with my second) and then out came my two healthy, happy, beautiful baby boys.  So why should I be worried about fertility?  Easy, peasie, one, two, threesie, right?

Well that's not necessarily the case for anyone.  You see, I have baby fever in the midst of my close friends battle with pregnancy loss, fertility issues and her fight to have a second child.  She lost a son to still birth just over two years ago,and she's had at least one miscarriage and a dozen false positives since then.  So I'm naturally concerned, not only about her but about myself.  Although, I must admit, I'm mostly worried with her.  Watching my friend walk down this road has given me a new pair of eyes.  I don't take anything for granted any longer.  I don't naturally assume that just because I want to have another baby with every fiber of my being that God will see fit to bless me a third time.  So I'm nervous, I'm anxious...I'm worried.  What if I never get to be pregnant and bring a baby home from the hospital again?  What if I never get to have my baby girl that I'm so desperate to have?  What if there's something wrong and my fertility has dwindled.

That's where the First Response Fertility Test comes in.  It has the potential to calm the fears and quiet the nagging questions of the mind for so many women.  I recently had the opportunity to try out one of the new Fertility Tests, and I'll be honest, I wasn't so convinced before I tried it out.  How can I pee on a stick and get the answers that I'm seeking out of it?  It's by no means the end all be all of fertility, but it's a nice little at home reassurance. And if it shows up that that your FSH (follicle stimulating hormones) are out of wack, well then, it could lead you to the doctor where you can get more in depth testing, and some help that you may have not even known that you needed.

I had intended to take this test earlier than I did, but apparently my 'special monthly visitor' (yes, fellas, I'm talkin' about my Aunt Flo...ya know, my period!) had other ideas, which actually led me to pee on a more traditional stick before I even got the chance to pee on this newer stick technology.  I was late, reaaaaaaly late...but I'm not pregnant, so I finally got the chance to use my First Response Fertility Test!  Which I was really excited about trying, by the way.  The wait was enough to drive me mad.

I finally got the chance to take my test though, and get my results.  You do have to wait a little longer with the Fertility Test than you do for a Pregnancy Test, but the sticks, and the form the results take, are quite similar.  All you do is POAS (pee on a stick) and wait, after thirty minutes you can read your results.  It's as easy as that.

So if you've got questions, or even if you're just thinking about starting to try to conceive, pick up a test and give it a go.  It can ease your mind or it can point you in the direction of your OB/GYN...and either way, it's good to know, or at least have some indication of what you're in store for on your road to having a baby!

Thank you to Clever Girls Collective for allowing me to be a part of #CleverTTC #Spon & for giving me the opportunity to team up with First Response & review their new Fertility Test!

[sponsored content & disclaimer] I was selected for the post by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ways to give back to your community

Thanks to Walgreens for sponsoring my writing. Help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote."

It doesn't matter how old you are, how much money or time you have to spare, what your race or background is or what gifts or talents you have to offer.  We all have something that we can do to help give back to our community, and even to the world for that matter, but today we're talking about giving back on a bit of a smaller scale.
If you've thought about helping out or giving back why not start in the most logical place?  Right in your own back yard!  After all you do live there, most likely work there, your children attend schools there, play on teams and take extra classes and activities there.  We all have a responsibility to ourselves, our neighbors, our community and most importantly our children to give back to our communities, build up our communities and try to make them the best places they can be.  Think about it, why wouldn't you want your children to live in a better place?  Why wouldn't you want to better the lives of your own family while also bettering not only your community but the lives of the other people who live in it?  Helping out is so much more important now than it ever was before, because of all of the problems we're having now that weren't such huge problems for past generations. 

Giving back doesn't have to take up all of your free time (what is that and who has it, anyway?) or your extra money.  The only thing you need to give back is the want to give back, because as we've all heard before 'Where there's a will, there's a way!"  I honestly believe that's true.  Don't have a lot of extra cash?  Then volunteer your time!  Don't have a lot of extra time?  Then volunteer your used clothing, some canned food, some extra money for project supplies.

There are countless ways in which you can give back to your community, and teach your children a valuable lesson and enrich your character and theirs while positively impacting the lives of others all at the same time.

You can donate items to local charity organizations, churches, homeless shelters, womens shelters and countless other places.  Don't just donate clothing, donate toys, sample sized lotions, face washes, moisturizers, soaps, shampoos or conditioners that you get for free, or you could even donate full sized items that you've purchased on sale as well as shoes and accessories,  food and many other items.  The items you can donate and the places to donate them to are endless!

Become a big brother or big sister to a local child whose parents work or are in jail!  If you have older children they can be a big brother or big sister too.  It's true that getting your children involved in giving back at a young  age makes them more likely to give back when they're older and teaches them valuable life lessons and to be grateful for the life they have and the things and people who are in it.

Which brings me to my next option, volunteer with your children.  Join in a program that will allow you and your children to help clean up a park, clean up the local schools during summer, clean up the neighborhood, food drives, toy drives or anything that you take a liking to.

Have your children pick out a few toys during Christmas time from the store that they would like to donate to toy drives and take the opportunity to explain to them that not all Children get to have Santa come and Mommy & Daddy buy them things too.  Let them pick out some of their own toys to donate to a Church toy drive or to your local clothing center and allow them to go through their closets and take out the clothing they don't wear or fit in anymore to donate there as well.

If you have a talent then donate that as well, if you own a business donate your goods or some money so that some children can go on a field trip they otherwise wouldn't have gotten to go on..

Volunteer your time by serving meals to the homeless, or helping to write resumes for them so that they will be prepared at job interviews.

Volunteer to tutor a child during the school year, or use your bilingual abilities to help a child in some way.  The possibilities are endless!

If your children are old enough to shovel snow or rake leaves have them volunteer to do that for an elderly person on your block or in your neighborhood and help them with it!

I think that giving back should be a family affair, if we all show our children how to give back then they will show their children how to give back.  This is something that I want to pass down to my kids, something that I want them to learn and to continue to do for years to come.  If we all help someone then maybe one day when we need it someone will help us, and we can make the world, starting with our community a better place to live in!  Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I truly believe this.

If 200,000 LIKE and Vote at Walgreens’ Facebook page during this promotion, at the conclusion of voting, Walgreens will donate up to 200,000 flu shot vouchers to individuals who do not have insurance for a flu shot and are unable to afford one. Distribution will be based on voter participation. Voting runs from 9/08/11 through 10/8/11.

Don't forget to help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do."


Monday, September 12, 2011

Playing Catch update

Hello there my lovelies, since I've been super busy I've not had a lot of time online lately.  So I wanted to take this opportunity to post an update on how things are going!

I'm now working, and have been for about 3 weeks or so and so far I really like it.  More than that, I enjoy most of my coworkers and making polite (adult) conversation with customers.

Some Eat Fresh...Thanks, Google!
I'm a sub technician at Eat Fresh Inc.  (that's my fancy-schmancy way of telling you all that I make subwiches at Subway...snazzy, yes?)  I work over 40 hours a week, so I don't have a lot of extra time on the computer.  I miss blogging.  Due to my last week having me log 46 hours at the job, I've had to take a break from Mommy Style for a bit, but look for a special edition of Mommy Style that will go live on Wednesday which I'm calling Mommy Style; The Busy Moms Guide to Style.  This special edition on Mommy Style will run for 3 days, and will be a basic style guide for Mamas!  Which means it's no nonsense and straight to the point, because as Mommies we don't have a lot of time for beating around the bush.

Aiden & Jagger lovin' on each other on the first day of Pre-K!

Aiden has started Pre-K at the local Elementary School here!  Which makes me too sad (and too excited) for words because this is his first official year in the school system.  He loves it, we pack his lunch and I walk him to school in the mornings since it's just a short walk from our house.  He's doing rather well, and has finally adjusted to the change and has gotten into the groove of things.  I however am having a harder time with the adjustment, as I'm not home most evenings to make dinner or bath my baby loves. 

Aiden's First Day of Pre-K!

Jagger is...well, he's Jagger.  Obsessed with cars and trucks, still a little chunky monkey and he's growing up way too fast right before our eyes.  He's learning new words all the time, and he's into all things relating to his older brother, which is causing some brotherly issues between them because big brother doesn't want baby brother following him around and toy jacking him all the time.  Oh the joys of having two little boys, luckily the (literal) joys of having and getting to see the bond between brothers form and grow makes it all work it...most of the time.  Jagger does this cute thing lately which we have named the 'Jagger Smile' because it's this adorable little grin, but there are two versions of it, version 1 - eyes open and version 2 - eyes closed and silly.

The Jagger Smile Version 1

The Jagger Smile Version 2

Other than that I've just been trying to get in some quality time with my Baby Loves and my Husband.  I answer blog related emails at night when I get home from work, which is usually anywhere from 10:30 to 11:00 and then I have enough time to get some non sub related food to eat, watch an episode of Big Brother from Season 11 (Go Team Jordan & Big Jeff!!), shower and talk to my Husband for a bit before I pass out in my big comfy bed.

What have ya'll been up to?  If your kids are in school this year how are you adjusting to the schedule change and if this is your first year as the Mama of a preschool or school aged child how are you adjusting to that?  I'm having some troubles with it myself, as I mentioned before.  Help a Mama out, advice...anyone?


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mommy Style - Fall Fashion Bomus Look 1

This weeks first celebrity bonus look is Ashley Greene, and it's a super cute look for fall that is perfect for Moms!  Ashley Greene has a very cute and casual style, but she can also dress up and get it right every time.  Her look is very trendy without being overly so, and she knows how to pair on trend items with her favorites and make it work.

In the look I've recreated she's wearing a pair of boots that she wears all the time, I could have chosen 10 other looks with this same pair of boots in them.  When you have a favorite piece it's so easy to work it into a ton of outfits and change it up each time.

The Bonus Look: Ashley Greene Fierce Fall Fashion

Mommy Style - Fall Fashion - Celebrity Look 1

Boyfriend cardigan
$23 -

Knit cardigan
$32 -

T shirt
$30 -

V neck t shirt
$7.99 -

Old Navy v neck t shirt
$8.50 -

Forrest Bob v neck t shirt
$30 -

$49 -

Bluemint skinny jeans
$48 -

Hollister Co. cuffed jeans
$20 -

Thigh high boots
$30 -

Thigh high boots
$40 -

Not Rated high heels
$45 -

Not Rated high heels
$50 -

High heels
$40 -

Vintage handbag
$38 -

Satchel handbag
$20 -

Cross body handbag
$50 -

Owl necklace
$20 -

Pearl necklace
$9.99 -

Owl necklace
$15 -

ASOS owl pendant
$6.40 -

Owl necklace
$9.99 -

Wet Seal owl pendant
$8.50 -

The second pair of jeans is probably the closest to the pair that Ashley is wearing in the original photo, but as always I love to give ya'll a ton of options on prices and how you want to do this look.  If you're wearing top 1, 2 or 3 (or one of a similar color) then it would be best to go with cardigan number 2, but if you're wearing top 4 or 5 then it may be best to go with cardigan number 1, or a similar color.  This is because in this particular look Ashley's cardigan is darker than her top.  Any of the tops will go with any of the cardigans and can be paired with any of the jeans, boots, necklaces or bags!  As always everything is $50.00 or under and I've given several options on everything and options for flats instead of heels!

This look is so cute, and it's really similar to a few outfits that I have for Fall!  I love this look because it's so casual, but not overly so.  Still it's not as dressy as our Kim Kardashian Bonus Looks were.  This is a look that looks so put together and fashionable but is effortless and so easy to achieve.  

Don't forget to check back on Saturday for our last two bonus looks for the Fall Fashion Mommy StyleI've got two really cute looks ready for my favorite hot mama's and I'm so excited to share them with you all. 

Also look out for an awesome revew & giveaway tomorrow and a list of my current favorite makeup & beauty products to go along with this weeks Fall theme to the Mommy Style looks!

Thanks and I hope that ya'll have enjoyed this look & that you all like it!  

xoxo - Ashlee, your Personal Mommy Stylist!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mommy Style - Fall Fashion

It's Monday, so that means it's time for a brand new Mommy Style!

I was going through my list trying to figure out who to use as my celebrity inspiration for this week and as I was googling, I kept seeing a common theme - cute clothes for Fall.  I took this as a sign from the all mighty interweb search engine, Google, and ran with it this week.
So unlike last weeks Kim Kardashian style guide this weeks Mommy Style isn't going to be based around any one celeb, but around a couple of them with a common theme, which is Fierce Fall Fashion! 

I took ideas from Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and every ones favorite Twilight little sister, Ashley Greene.  So look for an extra bonus looks this week, as I will also be posting them on Thursday instead of just on Saturdays since this weeks theme is based on more than one fashionista.

Also, if you haven't already, check out the two Kim Kardashian saturday style bonus looks that I posted for ya'll on Saturday.  They're super cute!

I've decided to do things a little different in another way this Monday as well.  I'm going to be posting my take on the looks first, and then on Thursday and Saturday I will be posting bonus looks from the celebrities, I will be recreating specific looks from them.  This is how it will work when I don't have one particular celebrity as a style icon or fashionista for that particular week.  I may post another bonus look on Wednesday. 

So lets get down to it, shall we? 

As always everything in my looks is $50.00 or less, because I'm all about looking hot, but I'm not about looking hot in the poor house! 

There are three seperate looks in my polyvore look book today.  Look 1, Look 2 and Look 3!  I also included several shoe options for each outfit as well as including the cutest blazer I've ever seen as a bonus piece because this blazer will look cute with all three outfits and will instantly bring it from casual chic to work / office appropriate!  So for those of you that work in an office or somewhere similar I highly recommend purchasing this weeks bonus piece, the blazer, because you can wear it with a skirt suit or you can use it to dress up dark wash skinny or bootcut jeans for work!

My Take on Fierce Fall Fashion:

Mommy Style - Fall Fashion

Wet Seal scoop neck tee
$23 -

G by Guess cropped cardigan
$45 -

Jigsaw drape front cardigan
£25 -

H M loose shirt
£13 -

Daytrip lace blazer
$34 -

Old Navy super skinny jeans
$25 -

!iT Jeans slim bootcut jeans
$50 -

Black strappy heels
$27 -

Ballet flat
$30 -

Platform pumps
$50 -

ASOS high heels
$40 -

High heels
$50 -

Not Rated high heels
$50 -

ALDO high heels
$50 -

Foldable flat
$30 -

ALDO high heels
$35 -

I will break down the looks for you if you request that I do.  I'm not sure what ya'll would like to see me do with Mommy Style, so if you have any ideas please feel free to post them in a comment here, hit me up on Twitter or contact me directly at AHousewifeManifestoBlog [at] gmail [dot] com  If any of ya'll would like to see a specific look, style or celebrity featured in Mommy Style or have any style related questions you can contact me in one of those ways as well!

Also, I have set up a account where ya'll can go to ask me questions, and I will be answering all the question in a Vlog in a week or so.  So go check out my Formspring account and ask me some questions, I'll answer anything, I'm pretty much an open book as ya'll already know!

I hope that ya'll have enjoyed the looks I've put together for you today and don't forget to check back on Thursday and Saturday for this weeks Celebrity Inspired Bonus Looks!

xoxo - Ashlee, Your Personal Mommy Stylist