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Christmas Gifts for Toddlers

If you’re a last minute shopper like I am, then you’ve come to the right place! In this post, I will be reviewing a few Christmas gifts for toddlers that make perfect gifts for the holidays. With Jaxon’s birthday being so close to Christmas (November 13th), the past month has been full of gift-receiving. Now that Jaxon is two, and he’s very knowledgeable when it comes to his letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc, watching him play with toys has become one of my favorite pastimes.

Purchasing Christmas gifts for a two-year-old can be tricky. They are at that age where they are old enough to begin grasping the concept of Santa Claus and Christmas, and they enjoy unwrapping things. Yet, they aren’t old enough to tell you exactly what they want for Christmas, and they are still in the process of discovering what they like.

For us, we haven’t had a difficult time figuring out what Jaxon likes. Because he is really young, it’s easy to assume that he will play with any toy – But that’s not true. We have noticed that his favorite toys are puzzles and anything involving farm animals. He is also really into electronics.

We are that family where technology has played a huge part in Jaxon’s development. We do not shy away from screen-time, because it has proven to be really beneficial for us.

This list is based on Jaxon’s personal interests as well as items that have aided in his educational and verbal development.

2018 Gift Guide VTech Write & Learn Activity Desk

The VTech Explore Write & Learn Activity Desk is a birthday gift from my mom and grandma. Since Jaxon has gotten it, it has been one of his go-to toys. This activity desk is perfect for him because it provides him with a different form of learning that what he’s used to. Normally, he is taught through videos, or us going through flashcards. This activity desk is hands-on & allows him the freedom to pick & choose WHAT he wants to learn & how he wants to learn it. The desk comes with 2 “cards.” The cards are plugged into the desk, and whatever lesson is on the card, is what the desk will teach him.

Example

In the photo above, Jaxon has inserted the “Body” lesson. With this lesson, the activity desk will call out different parts of the body. All Jaxon has to do is press the part of the body he wants to learn. Another feature of the desk will ask Jaxon to point to a specific body part. If he chooses correctly, he will get a “good job!” If he chooses wrong, it will ask him to pick again.

Additional Features

The “Write” part of the desk is one that Jaxon is having fun with, but hasn’t quite grasped. Mostly because he just turned two and he hasn’t learned how to write yet. He can hold a writing utensil, color, & scribble. But we have yet to start working on writing letters or numbers. However, the desk will guide the toddler on how to write each letter and number using the stylus pen.

If you are looking for educational hands-on Christmas gifts for toddlers, then this is the perfect gift for you.

LeapFrog 2-in-1 Laptop & Tablet

We’ve had a blast with this LeapFrog 2-in-1 Laptop/Tablet since my sister purchased it for Jaxon. This laptop has 5 different modes that include alphabet, numbers, email, and games. Jaxon always forces himself in my lap whenever I am typing away on my laptop. He likes to look at the keyboard and call out different letters and numbers that he sees. This laptop/tablet remedies that.

If only I had a quarter for every time Jaxon has disabled something on my laptop from pressing random buttons.

This toy is pretty self-explanatory. It functions as a laptop, but when it’s closed, can transform into a touch-screen tablet.

Special Features

My favorite feature on this laptop is the email mode. When Jaxon switches to it, he receives an email and can type out his response. It’s my favorite because since he knows how to identify his letters & numbers, I can guide him on what letters to choose to type out his response. It has been really fun to see his excitement grow with this toy.

Paw Patrol Read-to-Me

Another gift is Jaxon’s Christmas gifts for toddlers gift guide is the VTech Paw Patrol Marshall’s Read-To-Me Adventure. What I love about this toy is that it incorporates two of Jaxon’s favorite things. Reading & Paw Patrol. Jaxon was introduced to Paw Patrol a couple of months ago. However, he has been hooked since then, and can even ask you to turn Paw Patrol on for him to watch.

My heart fluttered when I heard him singing the theme song! *swoons*

I can’t wait to see him grow with this toy.

Melissa & Doug Puzzles Basketball Goal (Coordination/Sports)

Delta Children Paw Patrol Easel (Chalkboard & Dry Erase Board)

Stuffed Animals

Jaxon’s imagination is starting to grow. He has begun giving his toys names. He has a bath toy that is a penguin named “Woah Woah.”

Tablet Accessories

Youtube has been instrumental in our teachings for Jaxon. Our go-to channel on Youtube is Super Simple Songs.

Buddy Phone Explore Headphones 

iPad Protective Case 

The post Jaxon’s 2018 Christmas Gift Guide – Christmas Gifts for Toddlers appeared first on BeBright Daily.

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Mommy & Me Halloween Costume 2018

So we are back with our second edition of the Mommy and Me Halloween Costume for 2018! Last year, I did a recap on November 1st to show how I celebrated baby’s first Halloween, AND his last “first holiday.” Because Jaxon’s birthday is November 13, Halloween always serves as his last holiday before he turns a new age. If you haven’t read it yet, check out halloween recap from his first Halloween.

Fall Festival

I understand that Halloween is every October 31st, but I recently read an article from CNN about how people are petitioning to get Halloween moved to the last weekend of the month.

In my opinion, that wouldn’t be such a terrible idea simply because when Halloween falls on a weekday, it’s really hard to have to go to work AND take your child to any holiday festivities. Most of them end around 5-6PM, and if you work until 5PM every day like I do, it’s impossible to make it with your fully dressed children somewhere on time. On the other hand, Halloween is a national holiday, which would mean the only way it gets changed, is if the President makes the change, and he doesn’t have a good track history with that (yikes).

Anyway…

We kicked off our Halloween festivities the weekend before by going to a local pumpkin patch.

It was actually Jaxon’s first time going to a pumpkin patch and I am so happy to announce that he had a blast! He was able to go on a hay ride, pick out a little pumpkin, play in a pool of corn kernels, eat kettle corn, and pet animals! I would recommend every parents have their child experience a good old fashioned pumpkin patch at least once.

Year 2

Halloween 2018 went A LOT better than Halloween 2017 did. Now that Jaxon is older, he is beginning to understand and recognize more. He was not as freaked out as he was last year. While scary vampires and witches still give him a fright, he knew what they were. You can point at a ghost and ask him what it is, and he will tell you, “Issa ghost! BOOO!”

So, of course, Halloween was a lot more fun this time around. There were some plus and minuses that we experienced this time around, but we rocked our mommy and me halloween costume, so let me dig in real quick.

New Home

I have not gotten a chance to talk about it on the blog yet, but I have moved! We live in Fayetteville, Arkansas now. I moved here at the end of September to start a new job at a PR agency. Unfortunately, I do not have any friends or family here, so we didn’t have any clue as to where we would be taking Jaxon for trick-or-treating.

Fortunately, my new job is super amazing, and the employees were able to bring their kids to the office for trick-or-treating! Talk about a good company culture…

Halloween Day

This year, I got to go all out with a work costume. My team decided to dress up and decorate our space as a haunted high school. To avoid having to purchase two costumes, I thought it was fitting to wear my old cheerleading uniform and dress up as a zombie cheerleader. The highlight of this costume was realizing that almost 10 years later, I can still fit my high school uniform perfectly. Go Gators!

Back in August, I thought of the perfect family costume idea. I came up with the idea to dress Marquis, Jaxon & I up as characters from Aladdin. Marquis was going to be Aladdin, I would be Jasmine, and Jaxon would be Raj, Jasmines pet tiger. However, it completely slipped my mind that Marquis does not celebrate Halloween. So, I had to rethink my idea and come up with something new and cute.

That’s how I settled on Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.

Halloween Night

For some reason, I really wanted Jaxon to dress up like a little animal. But, you know me. I have to stick with the whole Mommy and Me Halloween costume/Mommy and Son costume idea. I tried to search for ideas on Pinterest for costumes for mothers and sons, but nothing ORIGINAL was showing up.

Then, I saw an ad from Target that had a Little Red Riding Hood family costume idea, and the rest is history.

Thanks to a new customer discount at Halloween Costumes, I was able to score both of our costumes for only $50. The shipping was an extra $6.99, but it was worth it because it arrived in 3 days!

I was happy that we were able to do trick-or-treating at the office, because it was cold and rainy the ENTIRE day. We were going to go to the downtown area and go from business to business trick-or-treating like we did last year, but they moved the event to an inside location, and changed the times to 3-5. Since I was working until 5, I couldn’t take him.

Luckily, Jaxon is only “2,” so he had no idea that he was missing out on trick-or-treating. Crisis averted for now… I can’t imagine what it will be like if this happens once he gets older.

Thanks for reading this recap of our mommy and me halloween costume for 2018. I’m already excited for next year!

The post Mommy and Me Halloween Costume 2018 appeared first on BeBright Daily.

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Are you ready to pitch to brands for holiday campaigns?

If you’re anything like me, then you hate premature holiday decorating. We’re only halfway through October, but the Christmas trees are already decorated and lit in every store you walk in. It’s annoying to say the least, but you know what’s NOT annoying? Getting your sh* together and preparing to pitch to brands for holiday campaigns!

As some of you may know, I work on influencer marketing campaigns for national/international brands & retailers. Now is the time that we are finalizing holiday campaigns, deciding what influencers we want to work with, and so forth. I think that this is a great indication of what other agencies and brands are doing as well. That’s why I’m here to help you all with some tips to know before you pitch to brands for the holidays!

Start NOW

Any brand campaigns that were ran for Halloween are basically wrapping up now. Next up are Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. NOW is the time to start sending out your pitches to your ideal brands and agencies. Take a couple of days this week to research the brands that you want to work with this holiday season, then start gathering the ACCURATE contact information needed to email your pitch. The best time of week to email your pitches are Monday mornings. Don’t wait until Friday, because then you risk having your email looked over.

The best time of the week to email your pitches are Monday mornings. Don’t wait until Friday,…
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Some agencies like mine, use influencer platforms like TapInfluence to shift through influencer profiles. If you aren’t a part of any, then definitely look into signing up this week as well.

Update Your Media Kit

Stay on top of the game by making sure your media kit is up to date with new, HIGH-QUALITY photos, blog stats, and social stats. Are you a micro-influencer? Don’t worry, many brands work with micro and mega influencers alike, so don’t shy away from that!

Expert Tip: Most influencers that have a lower amount of followers, usually have a higher engagement rate with their followers. Focus on your strong points, and what you can offer beyond just “numbers.”

If you are a mom blogger and you’ve taken family photos last holiday season, include those photos in your media kit. If you are a food blogger, and you created a holiday dish that was a hit, then include links, stats, and photos from that post. Don’t be afraid to show the brand how well suited you are for holiday campaigns.

Also, include in your media kit a rate card. It will be easier for marketers/PR people if they know off-hand how much you are wanting to charge for a blog post, social post, or both. Don’t forget to add in your payment terms such as net-30, 60, or 90.

Create a pitch template, then modify for each brand

You’ll save yourself a lot of time and anxiety if you draft a pitch template.

This template will include the basic information that you want to include in the email that you will be sending to the brands and agencies. Start off with a few brief sentences about yourself and your online personality. That will be the information that does not change. The only thing that you will need to do is adjust each pitch to fit the brand, your ideas for working with them, and how you can fulfill their needs.

Be Innovative

It’s very easy to fall into the typical holiday trends that we see every single year. We KNOW pumpkin spice flavored beverages and desserts are all the rage. Why not be innovative and introduce a delicious apple cider dessert instead?

For example, November is #NoShaveNovember. Why not reach out to a razor brand and write a blog post about why we should ditch No Shave November?

When you are innovative, you are giving brands a reason to specifically choose you over the hordes of influencers that are creating the same ‘ole content year in and year out. For inspiration, visit National Day Calendar to view a list of upcoming traditional or quirky holidays to help pitch a new idea to a brand.

Provide Value

Throughout this process, keep in mind that each holiday campaign will be for different reasons. One brand may want to raise awareness for holiday sales that will be taking place, some will want to drive online sales, and others may just want to promote a special holiday item.

When you reach out to the brand, if possible, know their background and what campaigns they have done in the past.

Always use correct grammar and punctuation. I can’t begin to explain how much harder the lives of marketing/PR people bloggers are when they have to edit EVERYTHING that is sent to them. Do your part to make their lives easier.

In conclusion, take the time out this week to work on this list on how to pitch to brand for holiday campaigns. The sooner you start, the better. Let’s stay booked and busy this season and finish out the fourth quarter strong!

For more tips on how to pitch, check out Pitch Perfect: How to Pitch to Media & Publications.

The post How to Pitch to Brands for Holiday Campaigns appeared first on BeBright Daily.

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5 Reasons Why Moms Need Non-Mom Friends

“Thank you, Brittany, for not talking about your baby this entire time.” A friend of mine actually said this to me one night as we were finishing up our dinner date. Honestly, I can’t say that it threw me off. Because it didn’t. I totally understood. Moms, we NEED non-mom friends in our lives. If you decide to keep reading, you’ll see exactly why it is important for moms to have non-mom friends around us.

You read it right. I was thanked for not talking about Jaxon. My friend proceeded to explain to me that when she hung out with a mutual friend of ours, all that mom did was talk about her baby.

I was once that woman who did not have any children. At this moment in time, none of my friends have children. So, we do not talk about children. What’s there to discuss?

I can see how frustrating it is to obsessively talk about your child to someone who does not have any children. They can’t relate. Stories about breastfeeding, temper-tantrums, and picky eating are lost on them.

At this point in my life, I have friends that are married, friends that are in their career, and friends that are still in school. At age 25, I consider myself a young mom. It’s not surprising that none of my other friends have children. And you know what? I’m okay with that. Allow me to tell you why.

Read: Friendships After Pregnancy

I’m More Than a Mother

I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. I am not just a mother.

Being a mother may be my most important role, but it is not the only role. I LOVE doing things that don’t involve Jaxon. I care about myself mentally and emotionally and sometimes that means taking a break from my child.

Thanks to my non-mom friends, I can leave home on a whim and go out to dinner or go shopping. Those non-mom friends don’t need to figure out who is going to watch their children. They don’t have to struggle with getting the stroller out of the car and wheeling the baby around the stores.

Taking a child somewhere is lowkey an exercise routine and it’s nice when you can just bounce around from place to place without a baby in tow.

When you have free time away from the kids, guess who else has free time? Your non-mom friends.

I also don’t have to talk about him if I don’t want to! When I’m with my friends, I get to relax and not discuss anything about the mom life that I live 24/7.  I’m not saying this to say that we do not talk about Jaxon. We definitely talk about Jaxon. We all think he’s cute, smart, and funny. My friends LOVE that little monster. But, he is not the focal point of our conversations.

Moms need non-mom friends because they remind us that we are more than just moms. We’re women who…
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No Competition

Have you ever spent time with another mom? Have you ever had a conversation that’s like:

You: “My baby can count to 10!”

Her: “My baby can count to 20!”

You: “Well my baby can count backward from 50 in Spanish.”

I mean really? Does everything have to be a comparison? I know as mothers we enjoy bragging about our children, but it’s not in an ill-intentioned way. We’re not trying to compete with other moms, but it could definitely turn into that. It becomes exhausting, and both moms can potentially end up feeling inadequate.

That doesn’t happen with your non-mom friends. They serve as your child’s bonus Aunt, so any “bragging” that you do to them, won’t seem like bragging. They’ll enjoy listening and they will be just as proud as you are! They love seeing your child grow, learn, and change. I mean, they MELT over the “goo-goo’s” and “ga-ga’s.” Other moms have been there and done that.

No Filter

As a Mom, you have to be careful about what you say and when you say it. Every word is calculated so that you can avoid saying something that your baby’s sponge brain will pick up on.

When I’m with my non-mom friends, there’s NO FILTER.

I can go hang out at their house, or we can go out to eat and throw back a few glasses of wine and talk about WHATEVER. We can laugh loudly, there’s no curfew, and no expectations to “keep it together” and “act like a mom.”

Blessings

Although I do not ask any of my non-mom friends when they plan to have children, some of them have expressed that they want children now, or in the future.

Because of that, they never fail to remind me of how blessed I am to have Jaxon.

Motherhood is exhausting. The newborn/infant stage was so easy (besides breastfeeding). But once Jaxon began walking and talking, all hell broke loose! Now on the brink of turning 2, he has literally turned into a wild monster baby & he drives me up the wall. However, when I look at his gorgeous, innocent face, I KNOW that I am blessed.

My non-mom friends don’t see Jaxon in that light. They see a fun kid. They see the innocence and playfulness, which reminds me that at this age, that’s all he really is. A sweet, innocent kid. Regardless of his rowdiness. They see someone polite when I sometimes see a child that ignores me on purpose.

I Can’t Live Without Them

I know it may sound like I am the only one that benefits from this mom/non-mom friend relationship but that’s not the case.

Yes, my friends are there for me when I need a break from being a mom, but the feelings are mutual.

So many moms have lost friendships after they became mothers and vice versa. In my opinion, I am lucky to still be able to have my best friends in my corner. I feel like they are happy with me, too.

The post Non-Mom Friends & Why Moms Need Them appeared first on BeBright Daily.

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Mommy and Me Fall Outfit – Beige & Gray

With Summer quickly wrapping up, and Fall hanging out just around the corner, now is just a good of a time as any to begin shopping for Fall. One thing that I have encountered as a boy mom is that it is difficult to find Mommy & Son outfits. I get jealous sometimes for having a boy that has the same face as his father. I LOVE when people tell me that Jaxon looks like me, even though I know he doesn’t. Since we don’t have the same face, I try to coordinate our outfits so we can look alike. In this post, I will be sharing one of my favorite mommy and me Fall outfits that Jaxon I have rocked

Layering

Fall and Spring are my favorite seasons. Living in South Mississippi, It gets HOT. We don’t get to experience the bitterly cold weather like the rest of the country does, but we definitely have to suffer through hot summers. For us, we don’t get a chance to break out the heavy coats until January/February. We will get a few cold snaps before then, but it never lasts more than a few days. Fall and Spring are just right. We have those days where layering is necessary.

Because of our bipolar weather, I get to shop around for layering pieces that come in mine and Jaxon’s size.

Where I Shop

I get asked a lot about where I shop for Jaxon. It’s not hard to notice that when you shop for children, girls have a bigger selection than boys. Their clothes are just WAY cuter! It makes me want a little girl! But, I still have fun searching for the right pieces for Jaxon. I shop at H&M, Target, TJ Maxx, & Old Navy. Although all of his clothes do not come from those 4 stores, most of them do. As I begin to build our mommy and me fall outfit wardrobe, those will be my go-to stores.

Opt for easy outfits that include layers. T-shirts & Jeans are the easiest to find coordinating pieces. Staple pieces for the fall are going to include jean jackets, cardigans, & bomber jackets

Beige & Gray Outfit

The first outfit in our mommy and me fall outfit series is a Beige & Gray combo that we donned this past Spring.

I went with this color combo because since I am matching with my son, I want to choose colors that fit not only me but him as well. Therefore, I tend to shy away from bright colors. The other reason is that my fashion aesthetic includes neutral colors (black, gray, white, tan/beige, blush, olive green). So our outfit choices are definitely gender neutral. 

My Look: I am wearing a beige bomber jacket & beige tee from Forever21, with a pair of Nike Air Max, and gray moto jeans that I purchased back in 2015.

Jaxon’s Look: Jaxon is wearing gray jeans from H&M, a blush/gold pair of Adidas Swift Run, and a beige tee from Walmart. During that time, there was also a beige bomber jacket in his size at H&M that I didn’t get a chance to order. I can’t find it now! (Wahhh!)

You can shop our look below!

Tips for Mommy & Son Matching

Moms, if you are having a difficult time figuring out how to match with your son, take a look at these quick tips.

  1. Opt for easy outfits that include layers. T-shirts & Jeans are the easiest to find coordinating pieces.
  2. Staple pieces for the fall are going to include jean jackets, cardigans, & bomber jackets. Sidenote: If you find a toddler bomber jacket in your son’s size, don’t hesitate to buy it! They’re rare finds and they sell out QUICK!
  3.  You can almost always find the exact same pair of shoes. Pick a playful color scheme & dress it down or down with a t-shirt, jeans, and hat.
  4. Stores like Target & Old Navy usually have a family collection of t-shirts.
  5. Since boys clothes are more limited than girls/women, find your son’s outfit first. If you do it this way, it will be easier to find matching pieces in your size.
  6. Spice up your outfit by wearing a pair of heels.
  7. If you are looking for a piece of clothing in a specific color, use the Google Shopping search tool

Shop the Post

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The post Mommy and Me Fall Outfit – Beige & Gray appeared first on BeBright Daily.

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How to Conquer Motherhood & Feel Great While Doing So

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks. You can go here to read my full disclosure statement

I wear many hats, and I have many jobs. However, Motherhood is my most important job. It is never an easy feat, though. That doesn’t mean that I have to compromise on my style and comfort. As a toddler mom, I’m always on “Go” mode and comfort is more important now than ever. Since becoming a mom, my body has made some MAJOR changes, which means I’ve also had to make some lifestyle changes. Thanks to Always and Walmart, I’ve found what works for me. Here is how to conquer motherhood and feel great while doing so.

Lifestyle Changes

In the past, I’ve spoken about the challenges my body went through during my pregnancy and childbirth. With the growth of my fibroid tumor, also came with changes to my menstrual cycle and how my body reacted to certain products I would use before pregnancy. Before becoming pregnant, tampons were my “go-to” product. Since my tumor grew, my period returned with a vengeance.

Now that my I’ve been through childbirth, the growth of my tumor, and my c-section, tampons just do not work for me anymore. They simply cause me extreme discomfort now.

Naturally, I was super excited to find out that Always Radiant and Walmart introduced two new sizes that are the perfect fit for a woman’s size and flow. Following the Always Size Selector Tool™ guidelines, there is now an Always Radiant pad that will work for every underwear size and menstrual flow combination. Using the Size Selector Tool, women can easily find the right-sized pad for their unique monthly cycle. The fabulous FlexFoam™ absorbs 10 times its weight for protection you’ll forget is even there. It also gives you up to 10 hours of worry-free protection. And of course, these amazing pads are available every day at Walmart’s low prices.

After using the Always Radiant pads for a week, I knew that there was no turning back. They are small and have a fresh scent. I was skeptical at first, but, so much power is packed into such a small pad. The protection gave me confidence in the changes that my body has experienced, and now I feel like I know how to conquer motherhood.

Radiantly Stylish

When I feel comfortable, I feel stylish.

No mother should have to compromise her style just to feel comfortable. Self-care is a huge part of knowing how to conquer motherhood and feel great while doing so. Our self-esteem plays a significant role in our self-care routine. If we feel great about ourselves, then those good vibes will transfer to our children and everyone else around us. When I feel comfortable, I feel stylish. Here are 4 Tips on how to conquer motherhood while being radiantly stylish.

Never compromise style for comfort

As active moms, we have to be in great shape, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I mean, we have to chase kids around all day! We have to go to work, cook, clean, and shop on top of all of that. Obviously, we want to be as comfortable as we possibly can while we’re living the “Momthelete (Mom + Athlete)” life. But, we shouldn’t have to sacrifice style for comfort.

We know our bodies, and we know what works for us and what doesn’t. I conquer motherhood by accepting the way my body is and styling myself to fit my lifestyle. Those days when I’m not with my little one, I find joy in dressing up and throwing a cute pair of heels or wedges. If it’s mommy & me day, then you will find me in some stylish athletic wear and a cute pair of sneakers.

Style does equal comfort.

Eliminate doubt

When you doubt yourself, you are telling yourself that you are not good enough. Eliminate your self-doubt by telling yourself that “you can.” You can be successful, you can knock out your to-do list, you can do it all. Working moms, stay-at-home moms, and work-at-home moms alike.

Wake up early

I always find my days a lot more productive when I wake up a few hours earlier than my son. I get to drink coffee, take a bubble bath, and relax before the chaos of my day begins.

When you start your day relaxed, you will be more prepared for the challenges that will arise.

Always come prepared

You know the saying, it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it? Yea, well no truer words have ever been spoken. That’s why I cannot go anywhere without a fully packed baby bag. When I have everything I need, I feel like I have this motherhood thing under control.

What’s in my baby bag?

My baby bag isn’t just for Jaxon, but for myself as well. In my baby bag, I keep:

BABY

  • Extra diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Change of clothes
  • Toy
  • Cup of water
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses (because he’s cool)

MOMMY

  • Always Radiant pads
  • Lipstick
  • Perfume
  • Lotion
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunglasses (because I’m sorta kinda cool too)
  • Mascara
  • Always planner

I hope that this post about how to conquer motherhood and feel great while doing so has inspired you to make it a point to put mommy’s self-care at the top of your daily “to-do” list. Visit RadiantlyStylish.com for more information.

The post How to Conquer Motherhood & Feel Great While Doing So appeared first on BeBright Daily.

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When Can You Take Your Baby to the Movies?

A dark room with loud noises, junk food, a ton of random strangers in close proximity, and your baby. Doesn’t that sound like fun? *inserts sarcastic tone here.* Have you ever wondered when can you take your baby to the movies? Taking your young children to the movies can be a nerve-wracking thought. It’s much like taking them on a plane for the first time. 

What if they start to cry or won’t sit still? What if they throw something at the person sitting in front of them? I actually did not think of that IRL, but LOL.

This was a recent situation that Marquis & I encountered. Another notch to add to our parenting belt. We sat through an entire movie with our 18-month-old baby. How did it go? Keep reading to find out!

The #1 date option for Marquis & I is always the movies. It’s just a no-hassle date. No dressing up involved, minimal planning. It’s the perfect date for lazy people like us! Being that it is such a no-hassle outing, we decided it would be a good idea to take Jaxon to the movies with us. It wasn’t because we wanted him to go with us, but because we were out of town, and it was easier to take him with us instead of trying to find someone to watch him.

Marquis & I had been waiting on Avengers: Infinity War to come out for the longest. Because we didn’t have a sitter for Jax, we decided to go during his regular nap time. It’ll be no big deal!

What is the appropriate age?

Marquis & I discussed this not too long after Jaxon was born. I asked a few people I knew that had children, and a lot of them said their children were 3 or 4 before they could sit through an entire movie. In my mind, I felt like that would be a great age to expose Jaxon to the theatre.

That all changed when we saw the trailer for the Incredibles 2. It was slated for a summer 2018 release. We were 10-11 years old when the first Incredibles came out. So, naturally, we were super excited for the second one. Jaxon would be 19-20 months and hopefully well-behaved enough to sit through it. But, it did not work out that way, and his first movie trip came at 18-months.

What the Experts Say

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 18-months not be exposed to “screen-time.”

Experts believe that too much screen time, including going to the movies, isn’t recommended due to the fact that:

  1. Movies are too loud
  2. Images may be harmful/graphic
  3. Movies have the “ability to negatively impact language acquisition, emotional and social development, and even your baby’s sleep and weight in the first few years of his life, when his brain is growing the fastest.”

Taking your baby to the movies should be more a rare occurrence.

Forget all of that, though.

Jaxon has learned SO much from watching Youtube. He is already counting to ten and saying his ABC’s on his own. So, I really don’t care about “recommendations.” Jaxon LOVES television just as much as he loves to play outside. That’s just MY opinion, though.

Baby’s First Movie

Like I mentioned earlier, this was our only opportunity to see Avengers: Infinity War together and we didn’t have a babysitter. We also thought Jaxon would sleep through the movie, which of course, he did not.

But, it wasn’t a bad experience at all.

As soon as we got the opportunity to see the movie without a full theatre, we took it. We went in the middle of the day on a weekday, so there was hardly anyone in the theatre. Apart from us three, there were about 5-7 other people in the theatre.

Although it was during Jaxon’s nap time, the movie was 2 1/2 hours long so it was also going to be during his lunch-time. We opted for a quick and easy lunch that he could sit in his seat and feed himself. Turkey, cheese, and crackers à la Lunchable. That kept him quiet for a good little while.

His behavior during the movie was great. While he quietly sat and ate his lunch, he would watch the movie. Although he never did fall asleep, he was quiet for the most part. The loud noises from the action movie never startled him. He would get antsy every so often and want to sit in either of our laps. Halfway through the movie, I took Jaxon for a diaper change.

During some loud scenes, he would yell a little bit in excitement, but nothing to disturb the other moviegoers. As we were getting closer to the end of the movie, Jaxon became restless. Since we were sitting closer to the back of the theatre, I turned on one of his favorite Youtube shows and put the sound on mute, and turned the brightness down. That way, he was able to direct his attention towards that and sit quietly for the remainder of the movie.

I would rate this experience an 8/10.

Tips for Baby’s First Movie

Are you considering taking your baby to the movies soon? The question isn’t necessarily “what age can you take your baby,” but “when can you take your baby to the movies.” We were able to take Jaxon to the movies with us at such a young age because he is able to obey rules. If we tell him to whisper, he will whisper. When we tell him to sit down, he will do that as well.

Here are a few tips that I have to share with other moviegoing parents preparing for their child’s first movie experience. Go when there isn’t a crowd

We went to the movies when most people are at work or still in school. The earlier in the day on a weekday, the better.

Take snacks

Not only did we take a Lunchable for Jaxon to be able to feed himself, but we also took his favorite juice and a few other snacks just in case he wanted more. When he is eating, he loves to sit and watch tv. So planning a movie trip around lunchtime was a good decision.

Be prepared to miss some of the movie

Jaxon and I took a bathroom break halfway through the movie in order for me to be able to change his diaper. I think that refreshed both of us a little bit. So, be prepared to miss some of the movie. Although Marquis & I had been waiting to watch this movie, I did not mind missing a few minutes of it. Avengers was a 2 1/2 hour movie. We needed the break. Also, be prepared to miss the rest of the movie. If your little one gets upset, then you may have to leave the theatre out of respect for everyone else.

Take back up entertainment

Make sure that you have entertainment waiting just in case your baby gets bored with the movie. There is no way to know whether your child will enjoy the movie or not. To be on the safe side, take some quiet entertainment for them to enjoy. The phone worked for us because there was no one sitting behind us to disturb.

Practice at home

If you’re considering taking your little one to the movies, practice at home first. Observe how they sit through shows and movies that interest them. How long can they sit still before they get bored? Do they get antsy easily? Are they easily startled?

Relax

Every child is different. There will come a point in a parent’s life when they are going to take their child to the movie for the first time, and it will be a nervous experience. All “firsts” can be. So just relax. If your child is enjoying the movie, great. If they aren’t’, then it is okay to leave. But, don’t feel bad! There’s a first for everything!

What was your child’s first movie and how old were they? Sound off in the comments!

The post When Can You Take Your Baby To The Movies? appeared first on BeBright Daily.

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Are Toddler Boys Rowdier Than Girls? Jaxon’s 18-Month Update

I have not updated you all on Jaxon in a very long time. But now is the best time to do so, because Jaxon turned 18-Months a few days ago. He is 6 months away from never being able to fly free ever again. 6 months away from TWO! I honestly believe that the “terrible twos” have started early for us. In the past couple of months, Jaxon has become extremely rowdy! So, it leads me to ask the question, “are toddler boys rowdier than girls?

Jax’s Rowdy Behavior

Well, his behavior has been off the chain. He is getting older, so naturally, his vocabulary is beginning to expand and he is becoming a wonderful listener. Jaxon loves to sing and every day we catch him singing something new. His favorite word is “dog,” and his new favorite saying is, “no, I don’t! Yucky!” It’s super adorable and will make your heart melt.

Jax is a joy to be around, but his behavior is overwhelming at times. As an only child, he receives A LOT of undived attention from multiple people. I feel like he is aware of this.

But why is that lately, I have been breathing a sigh of relief whenever I put the little angel monster down for a nap or he finally knocks out for the night?

It’s the constant climbing on everything, the yelling, the hitting, the throwing things, and the ATTITUDE!

OMG, the attitude!

He’s at the age where he understands if you tell him not to do something and he will obey. But with obedience also comes pouting, angry mugs, whining, and laying out on the floor. He HATES when people try to hold his hand, and he wants to do things on his own. But, then he’ll turn around and try to feed you his food.

It’s hard to imagine toddler girls with this behavior. I imagine that they too have issues with hitting and sassy attitudes, but I can’t help but feel like little boys have WAY more energy and are just downright ROUGH. It just feels to me like toddler boys are rowdier than girls.

Could I be right?

Research Proves Boys ARE Rowdier

According to research, “A boy’s brain secretes less serotonin than a girl’s. This makes boys more fidgety and quicker to act on impulse.”

Also,

There is some evidence that boys tend to be more easily agitated than girls and have a harder time self-soothing. According to one study, even when 6-month-old boys appeared as calm as the girls in the face of frustration, measures of heart rate and breathing suggested that they were actually experiencing greater distress (parenting.com).

Therefore, research suggests that toddler boys rowdier than girls because:

  • Boys are easily agitated
  • They are quicker to act on impulse
  • They take longer to express themselves verbally as opposed to girls
  • Less likely to notice emotional range in people’s voices
  • Boys tend to focus more on mechanical movement rather than human movement
  • Less likely to feel fear
No to “Bad”

So, I was right. If we had a daughter, she would be more chill than Jaxon.

We have a rule in our house that we will not call him “bad.”

The reason behind that is because we do not want him to associate his very normal toddler behavior with the term “bad.” I feel like if he grows up hearing “you’re so bad,” when he really isn’t, he’ll try to live up to the term, so to speak. It’s not his fault! He’s just a toddler.

Instead, we like to describe him to each other as “curious,” or “active.”

Tips on How We Discipline

When have seen that at this age, spankings are not effective when it comes to disciplining Jaxon. We’re not going to hit him hard, so when we do pop him on the hand, he just laughs. It doesn’t cause him pain, and he thinks it’s all a game. As a reaction, he’ll try to hit back.

That’s not what we want! *Face palm*

I have noticed that when I speak to him directly, “Jaxon, do not do that,” “Jax, you better sit down right now,” he obeys.

Another lesson that I have learned is that he just wants someone to pay him attention. A lot of his rowdy behavior shows the most when no one is paying him any attention. He absolutely loves playing outside and he loves watching Youtube. If he is acting rowdy, it’s probably because he is bored.

Conclusion

So, in conclusion, YES Jax is extremely rowdy and easily angered. NO it does not make him bad. NO we do not spank him. YES he is just bored. His behavior is how he communicates with us! We want to do whatever possible to keep that beautiful smile on his face, and we want to foster a parent/child relationship where he will always feel comfortable communicating with us.

Toddler boys are rowdier than girls. So next time someone tells you that it is easier to raise boys as opposed to girls, just look at them like this…

The post 18-Month Update: Are Toddler Boys Rowdier Than Girls? appeared first on BeBright Daily.

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8 Creative Ways to Add Video Marketing to your Marketing Plan

Guest Post Submission: Olivia Johnson

If you build it, they will come.

It’s a nice sentiment but not really the case. Ask almost any entrepreneur, and they will tell you that creating a product or offering a service is only a part of the battle. Companies big and small spend a considerable amount of their efforts (and dollars) on marketing. In fact, if you are bringing in less than 5 million a year the U.S. small business administration recommends allocating 7 to 8% of your gross revenue on marketing.  This is due to a simple concept. If your ideal customer doesn’t know you exist you aren’t going to be able to grow. What better way than to add video marketing

Why Do You Need Video Marketing?

Everything you do in an effort to tell people about your business falls under the marketing umbrella. It covers a variety of things from branding to social media, to email.  Video marketing is just one of the moving parts of an effective marketing plan.

Every year video marketing is seeing upward mobility with no signs of letting up. Just take a look at these statistics:

  • By 2021, 82% of all consumer Internet traffic will be coming from videos. (Cisco)
  • 54% of consumers say that they want to see videos from brands they support. (Hubspot)
  • Youtube has over one billion users, which is almost one-third of the internet (Youtube)
  • One-third of online activity is spent watching video. (wordstream)

And there are many more. In my personal experience as a videographer, I have seen well-crafted videos add massive value to my client’s businesses. The audience learned more about them through a short video then they did reading pages of copy. This is not to say that well-written copy isn’t crucial, because it is! But if you aren’t using video, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with your audience.

Video gives you the highest and quickest return on your investment. This is because video encourages higher engagement, works to establish you as an authority in your space, and solidifies your brand.

You may think that you don’t need video because of your particular business. Trust me, you do! No matter what industry you are in, you can (and should) be making videos. Here are 8 creative ways you can add video to your marketing plan.

1 – Make a Business Profile Video

Many people know about commercials. They are an advertisement with the goal of selling something. They are an effective way to tell people why they should buy your product or service. But if you don’t already have one, I recommend opting for a business profile video.

A business profile video is like a mini-documentary for you and/or your company. It’s perfect for soloprenuers, small, or large businesses that want to connect with their audience in a real way. It tells the story behind your business. It is a powerful tool to establish who you are and what sets you apart from your competition.

2 – Make Short Social Media Videos

Using video on your social media platforms is an excellent way to market yourself. And there are a variety of ways you can do this! You could make “360 view” videos to show the unique packaging (or branding) of your product. You could film “action” shots of your product in use. If you offer a service, you can make quick videos giving consumers advice.

Whatever you do, social media video is booming and you can make them with little effort. You can plan them in advance and have them ready to post weeks prior. If you commit to a schedule, you’ll likely see more engagement and followers.

3 – Make Supplemental Video for Your Email Campaigns

Customers want to see videos from companies they support over newsletters. So why not give them the best of both worlds? Email marketing is still a mainstay for business. Adding video will only bring more value to your audience! Along with your email campaign, you can make supplemental videos to support the message.

4-Make Content For Youtube

Even if you think you don’t, you can make content for youtube. It’s just a matter of identifying what information you want your clients to know. If you make health products, then why not create health and wellness material for youtube? Do you design printables? Why not make videos showing other people how you do it? If you run an online store, maybe you can make videos to help others get their online stores off the ground?

But someone else is already doing that, and probably doing it better than anything I could do. No need for me to throw my hat in the ring.

I hear you. And you may be right.

But it doesn’t matter.

Let’s refer back to that statistic above. 54% of people say they *want* to see videos from brands they support. Think about that. That means if they support you they want to see videos from you! Not the other guys. They may be doing great work, but that has nothing to do with you and your audience.

TIP: If you are having trouble coming up with content ideas for youtube. Look no further than your…
Click To Tweet

5- Do Live Streams

Live streaming is an emerging video marketing tool that a lot of companies are using. If you want to give this a try, I recommend picking one platform, like Facebook live and doing all your live streams there. I also recommend following a schedule and planning out the content you want to talk about in advance.

6- Make Videos Of Your Podcasts

Have a podcast? You can repurpose those into videos by filming you while you record it. I have seen a lot of radio stations expanding into this tactic, something tells me they got wind of the importance of video! You can just pop up a camera on a tripod and hit record!

7 – Make Timelapses Of You Working

Timelapses are nothing more than a bunch of photos strung together or a long video sped up. If you are a creator or do work that is physical, you could pop up a camera and film the process. People *love* seeing the process of how things are made and you can put these on youtube or your social media profiles. It’s a great way to give your audience a look behind the scenes!

8-Make a Testimonial Video

Collecting written reviews is a great way to establish social proof of what you do. It’s a good idea to start collecting those as soon as possible. What if you took those testimonials and made them into a video? You could do that by using motion graphics/test. Or you could have your most die-hard supporters give their reviews on camera!

If you think that’s going to be a tough sell, you could offer an incentive by giving them a discount on their next purchase!

Video Marketing is the Future

These video content ideas are easy to add to any marketing plan. So what are you waiting for?! Your supporters want to get to know you better, give the people what they want! Don’t miss this invaluable opportunity to connect with your audience.

Once you begin to see a return on our investment, you can hire a videographer or consultant to help you build your video marketing plan.

Olivia Johnson is a videographer, photographer and freelance writer in the Atlanta, GA area. She works with soloprenuers and businesses to create video content that resonates with their audiences. Her full-service video production company, Silver Iris Entertainment specializes in commercials, business profiles, and event videography. She is also the founder and main contributor at Creatlivity, a lifestyle blog for women in business. She contributes articles about entrepreneurship, marketing, videography, photography, and tech. 

The post 8 Creative Ways to Add Video Marketing to your Marketing Plan appeared first on BeBright Daily.

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