It's Snack Time: Almondina Toastees

What is your go to snack in your house? We were thrilled to receive Alondina Toastees for review! They are our go to snack in our house for the kids! And what do I love? That they are BAKED, that they are healthy, oh and of course that the kids love them!


My kids for sure get enough junk food. Candy, chips, you name it-- they love to snack. So why not give them something they can enjoy AND that is healthy? Alondina Toastees are a baked snack that is low in fat and cholesterol. They have a nice crunch to them and they are so tasty! My daughter loves the Cranberry Almond, and she keeps in her room for when she is studying.


Want to try them for yourself? This is a great Spring snack, and we know you will love them, so we are giving the same variety pack we received to one lucky winner! Just enter below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
MamaBreak received product to review here on the website. We did not receive any other type of compensation. As always, our opinions are our own. 


Mom's Guide to Diastasis Recti

As you may have guessed, I am a mom (wow! MamaBreak is written by a mom!!!???!!!). And I love being a mom. I have three children all delivered by c-section, with my oldest child delivered by emergency c-section. And recovering my body after it did something truly amazing has been difficult. I had heard about diastasis recti (which spell check does not even recognize) from a friend, and decided to do more research about it. See, I have this belly that never really went away after the birth of my three children. And as I lose weight, it seems like my belly is going no where.


I don't think my doctor has ever mentioned diastasis recti to me, which is not too surprising. When I was asked if I would review, "Mom's Guide to Diastasis Recti" and to host a giveaway, I knew I had to-- for both me and all of you.

The book isn't too long (thank goodness because I have all of 5 minutes of alone time), and thank goodness it fit into my handbag. It contains tons of information as well as quick exercises that were easy to follow and understand!

                                                     

If you have given birth, and your baby "bump" is still there-- you need to pick up this book! It is just $9.99 on Kindle from Amazon! Or enter below, and you can WIN your own copy! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Faith and Journaling

One of my new favorite things to inspire me this Spring has herb journaling about my faith. I was thrilled to be able to review the Complete Guide to Bible Journaling: Creative Techniques to Express Your Faith.

This book is such fun. It guides you through creative ways to journal with your bible and making your faith walk FUN! With stickers, stencils, and layouts to make beautiful bible pages, I love how this books takes your journey with the Bible to the next space to make it truly creative and your own!

Check out these cool tabs to add to indicate each book of the Bible, and this is just ONE of the many pages of stickers and tabs!

Oh, and did we mention that the book is only $13.38 on Amazon? A steal for everything that you get!
                                                        

MamaBreak received a copy of the book to review here on the website. As always, our experiences and opinions are our own. 

StyleWe and Just FashionNow for Women's Fashion


Are you looking for a fresh new site featuring women's fashion. We are loving the site StyleWe
Have you seen all the velvet jumpsuits out right now? So cute and oh so comfy!



Still looking for the fresh, new looks for Spring and Summer? Check out JustFashionNow. How about a sleeveless top for the warmer weather?



MamaBreak was paid to post this content. As always, our opinions are our own. 

Our favorite Lip balm: eos

Do you have a favorite product? One that you have used for years and could never imagine not using. We are going to be featuring some of our favorite things for Spring and Summer this week.

First up is our absolute love for eos. We have eos everywhere! On my nightstand, in the car, in each of the kids' backpack, in my handbag-- everywhere. It is easy to apply and I love the fun colors and the scent! Have you tried evolution of smooth yet?   Well, you can have smooth, fabulous lips with eos!

This post contains affiliate links. MamaBreak was paid to post about this product/ idea. All opinions are our own. 

The Click Trilogy Giveaway

If you are looking for a quick, delightful read-- the Click Trilogy is perfect! This collection of books includes Click, Double Click, and Right Click, all by the lovely Lisa Becker. I first read "Click" several years ago, and just fell in love with it. It is a fun, fast, and romantic read. Perfect for Spring!



We asked Lisa Becker our 5 interview questions for the month!

1. What inspires you to write? 
I've always been a sucker for a good love story.  I was inspired to start writing when I met my husband online more than 16 years ago when online dating was in its infancy.  After we married, I was recalling some of the hilarious experiences that I had with both traditional and online dating.  I decided to capture some of them in writing and from there, my first novel emerged.   My ultimate goal was to create a fun read for anyone who has ever had a bad date, been in love, been dumped, or is searching for "the one."  But, the happy ending is real.  Steve and I have been happily married for 13+ years and have two amazing daughters - ages 12 and 10. I continue to write to give hope to everyone that love is out there and remind them of my grandmother’s favorite saying: "for every chair, there is a tush." 

2. Who is your favorite author? 
Right now, I am obsessed with books by Colleen Hoover.  Her books draw you in from the very beginning and have these amazing, interesting, unique twists to them that make them compelling but very realistic.  I highly recommend checking out her books. My favorites are Ugly Love and November 9.

3. Tell us a little bit about a book you have written. 
The clique trilogy is comprised of three books – Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click, and Right Click.  The first book follows Renee Greene, who is fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats.  She reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.  Double Click picks up six months after the original book ends, with Right Click taking place an additional six months later. 

4. What new and exciting things do we have to look forward to from you? 
In 2015, I released a novella called Clutch, chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags.  Based on the great response, I received a publishing deal to release an expanded version of the book.  It should be available in August.

5. What helps you to stay happy? 
I tell my children to “choose grateful every day!”  Happiness is a choice.  Whatever is happening in your life, you can look for and find happiness.  I often find it with my husband, children, friends or a good book. 


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 Want to win your own copy of the Click Trilogy? Just enter below! 

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Knot Genie on KidSteals Today!

Everyone! If you have been waiting to buy a Knot Genie or you need an additional one, KidSteals has them for as low as $9.75. We use our Knot Genie EVERY morning. We have featured them several times on the blog:
Here
Here  and
Here



Needless to say, we love the company, and love that they are available for such a low price. They are 100% effective at removing knots and it is the only brush I will use on my little one AND myself!

Check them out on KidSteals!

This post contains affiliate links. 

Love and War: Timeless (She Remembers) Giveaway!

I am so excited to bring you one of MY favorite things-- the author Josie Blaine. She is a lovely person AND a lovely writer and she has an all new book out called Love and War.

This month, we are going to be focusing on being happier, and bringing things into our lives that bring us joy. One of the things that brings me great joy is reading! With that in mind, each week I am going to introduce you to a new author you may not have heard of before, AND we will give away a Kindle copy of that author's most recent book!

This week, we are featuring Josie Blaine and her newest book Love and War. Josie is actually one of my very best friends, and we have known each other for over 20 years!!!! 

I asked Josie some questions about writing (we asked all of our featured authors the same questions):

1. What inspires you to write? 
I write because I can't not write.
2. Who is your favorite author?
My favorite author of all time is Laura Ingalls Wilder.

3. Tell us a little bit about a book you have written. 
Something About Sophia is the story of my great great grandmother. It is the tale of my family planting themselves on the plains, via the railroad and faith.

4. What new and exciting things do we have to look forward to from you?
A love story is on the way, and my publishing imprint, Sunflower Press ND, will be sharing stories of hope.
5. What helps you to stay happy?
My family is healthy. My friends are loyal, and my coffee is strong. Above all, God is faithful.
Josie's most recent book Love and War is a great fun, fast read. I enjoyed every moment, and it had me laughing and loving the characters! Set in the Dakotas, we see that "war stories" and "love stories" do not differ much from the past and the present. The book interweaves the stories to create a timeless story of love . . . and war. You can purchase your own copy at: 

And if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can download it for FREE! 

Ready to read it for yourself? Just enter below to win a Kindle copy of the book! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

MamaBreak was not given anything for this post other than the constant love and support from the author. We are paying for the giveaway copy ourselves! 
This post contains affiliate links. 

Daily Deals Sites: The One We Still Love

So, WAY back in 2012 (wow! 5 years ago!) we used to post all of the time about daily deal sites. You know the ones-- and I loved them because they had their hay day when I had a baby-- Baby Half Off, MamaBargains, BabySteals, etc.

In case you didn't notice, almost every one of these companies have closed their doors. Many of them were my favorite sites to visit! And I would visit (and often buy from them) daily.
Today, I want to feature one of the sites that still remains (and still remains awesome) and why I STILL--- after all of these years LOVE them.



I was first introduced to the Steals network around the time they launched (within a few months). They launched April 2008, and I started shopping with them, I believe, in 2008 when my son was a baby (and we had first moved to the North). Either way, I have been shopping with them a LONG time. So why do I (and I think other moms) love them-- and they are able to survive the test of time:


  1. Customer Service. When other companies had lackluster customer service, the Steals Network has risen about the rest. I remember when they were every small and I emailed to ask a question, the agent emailed back asking about one of my children BY NAME (I was apparently even more active on their Facebook fan site than I thought). They have always been responsive to any errors. In fact, this past holiday season, there was an error in my order and it was corrected immediately (I got a refund because sadly my item was sold out). I think it was taken care of within 24 hours of me emailing though! Super fast service-- always. 
  2. They LISTEN to their customers. When we all said "shipping is too high" they found us lower shipping. When people ask them to look into a brand, they usually do. Have a brand you want featured? Email them! 
  3. Jana Francis. Jana Francis. Jana Francis. She is the brand and the brand is definitely her. There are actually 2 owners), but Jana is always talking to her customers, producing videos, chatting on the fan pages-- she is very present. And I think that matters. She is a real person behind this brand and she shows her love and passion for it-- even after 9 years! 
  4. Innovation-- what I love about steals is their willingness to try new things. They have tried more than 1 steal a day (they are back to 1 a day at 8 a.m. PST), a chat and trading site (which I LOVED!!!!), live sales (which I LOVED even more!!!! And I hope they have another because it was a BLAST!!!!), and lots more. I love the updates and the constant strive to make things better! 
  5. The points system! This was one of the new things they have tried and I love it. Did you know you can get 8 points a day just from logging into each of the steals sites? 100 points = $1 so it doesn't seem like a lot, but it adds up! You can get over 200 points a month, which will be about $25 in a year. Just make sure you are logged in and you will see your $$$ add up every day. 
  6. Finally, your baby can grow with the Steals sites. Of course BabySteals is my favorite-- but once your child gets older, you can move on to KidSteals, and of course there is something for mamas at SheSteals and scrapbook items at ScapbookSteals. A good variety of items every day! 

We will be featuring items from the Steals sites each week (some we own, some that are that day's steals) so join us! 

(For those curious, MamaBargains, BabyHalfOff, GreenBabyBargains, EcoBabyBuys, GaGaDeals, ASideofPeaches, and many more have all shut down).  

This post contains affiliate links. 

12 pack of Bai Bubbles as low as $5.97

This is an awesome deal! I think the lowest I have ever seen Bai Bubbles for! Bad Bubbles is Trim Healthy Mama friendly!

This sale DOES require an Alexa enabled device!!!


Here are the steps:

1. Tell your Alexa device, "Alexa, order a Bai Bubbles Variety Pack."
2. Alexa will ask if you want to buy it. Say no. (DO NOT ORDER!!!)
3. Go to this link: http://amzn.to/2k0xwHN to purchase.
4. Clip the coupon if it is not already coupon
5. Choose the Subscribe & Save option and click "Subscribe now"
6.  At check out, you should see 3 discounts taken off, making your total as low as $5.97 with 5 S&S items.



Want to learn more about Subscribe & Save? Click here.

This post contains affiliate links. 

Feeling Fabulous February!

January is done, and it is time to move on to February! Each year, I choose a "word" to focus on throughout the year. It is kind of like a new year's resolution, but instead focuses on an intention. This year, I chose the word "LOVE."




And February is supposed to be all about love, right?  But this February, I challenge you ALL to do something a little different. Instead of focusing on loving your family, your partner, or the other people in your life, I challenge you to choose YOU to love! Choose your SELF! It is one of the things I am trying for this year-- loving myself more.



So, all this month, I am going to share in ways I am working on loving myself more! There will be giveaways, recipes, reading ideas, and so much more! I cannot wait to share with you the ways I am working on being better to myself each day!

New Year, New You: Okra Challenge Final Weight In

Well, today is the final weigh in for my okra challenge, since I weigh in during my mornings. This morning, my weight didn't move at all, and I am at 243.2


I am fairly happy with the okra challenge. It was not pleasant on some days, but once I got down how to make the shake, even my husband and kids wanted some. I will definitely do it again if I ever have a weight stall! All together, I lost 3.6 pounds in just 7 days, so about 0.5 pounds a day which is amazing. I am just doing the challenge for 1 week.

Day 1/ Start weight: 246.8
Day 2: 246
Day 3: 245
Day 4: 245.6
Day 5: 245.2
Day 6: 244.8 
Day 7: 243.2
Day 8/ Last Weigh-in of Challenge: 243.2



New Year, New You: Okra Day 6/ 7



Ok, so yesterday was a crazy day (you all know how it goes with 3 kids), but I did weigh in in the morning, and I did have my okra. Weigh in:

Day 1/ Start weight: 246.8
Day 2: 246
Day 3: 245
Day 4: 245.6
Day 5: 245.2
Day 6: 244.8

So, I was down below that bubble of 245, so that was exciting! My lowest weight pre-holiday was 244.6 so I was just hoping to make it there by day 7 (I guess I will weigh Day 8 as well since today-- Day 7-- is the last day of having okra).

You all may be wondering what the heck I am doing, especially if you have not been around on the blog the last 7 days. HERE, the sisters explain about the okra challenge briefly and also give the recipe for the pumpkin big boy (I have been doing the chocolate big boy from the cookbook, which can be purchased HERE).
I have been eating in the Trim Healthy Mama way of life for 8-9 months now. I have lost  . . . oh my gosh I can finally say it . . . 33 pounds during that time (I average 1 pound a week). Since the holidays I hit a roadblock. I was not losing weight at all. I would step on the scale AND . . . nothing. Occasionally, the scale would even go up, so I thought I would give the okra challenge a shot.

So, let's look at the Day 7 weight . . . I am SOOOO excited!!!!

Day 1/ Start weight: 246.8
Day 2: 246
Day 3: 245
Day 4: 245.6
Day 5: 245.2
Day 6: 244.8
Day 7: 243.2

I can hardly believe it! I stepped off and back on to the scale a few times this morning just to make sure!!!! That's 3.6 pounds in a WEEK. A WEEK. After having a stall for SOOO long.

So, yesterday the shake was not awful thanks to the amazing ladies on the Trim Healthy Mama Facebook group. Seriously, if you are even considering doing Trim Healthy Mama, you have to join the Facebook group. The best support system EVER!!! So, they gave me a TON of advice, and these are things I did to change the taste (and make the shake not only drinkable but so delicious).

1. Blend the water and okra a TON before adding ingredients.
2. Drink IMMEDIATELY.

My Saturday shake was super frozen, so I actually ate it with a spoon for a while. It was almost like having a frosty. It was really good. It took me a while to eat/ drink the whole thing because it was so cold I was getting a brain freeze. Towards the end (it took me over an hour to finish), it was melted down a lot, and did start to get a little slimy and okra-y (I could taste the okra), so I recommend drinking/ eating your shake within 30 minutes of preparing it.

Someone did ask me if they thought the okra challenge would work WITHOUT being a Trim Healthy Mama. I cannot answer that conclusively, since I only have my experience to go by, but I would think it would still give you the same benefits and would result in weight loss. I am thinking of the Trim Taco Soup that was in Women's World, and I think non-Trim Healthy Mamas saw success with that.

Another question was if I ALWAYS eat Trim Healthy Mama. I am almost always eating on plan choices, but I don't know anyone who NEVER eats off plan foods. You simply give yourself grace for those moments, and work on your next great on plan meal. For example, I did have an off plan cookie during my okra challenge.

And one final question/ answer-- No, you absolutely don't need to have your okra in the big boy. There are a ton of okra recipes in the cook book and around the web that are on plan and would work just as well, I have been having some pickled okra here and there, and am adding that to my fruits and vegetables that I eat daily.

Tomorrow will be my last weigh in day, and I am excited to see what my final total is.

This post contains affiliate links. 


New Year, New You: Okra Challenge Day 5

Ok, so let's get the weights out of the way.

Day 1/ Start weight: 246.8
Day 2: 246
Day 3: 245
Day 4: 245.6
Day 5: 245.2

So, once again I did lose, but did not rebound below the 245 I had on day 3 (who knows what happened on Day 3). Down a total of 1.6 pounds in 5 days.


And the shake. The worst one yet. This should go into a book called, "When THM goes bad . . ." The taste was horrible. The texture was really, really thick and oh so clumpy. My daughter said it looked like "wet cat food, chicken, and tuna all mixed into one" and it smelled about the same. I mean . . . ugh! I did add peanut powder (thanks for the recommendation)-- the peanut powder DID make it at least someone manageable to gulp down. I did try to blend it really well this time. I also tried to make sure I had no brown parts on my okra. BUT, what I did do this time was set it in the refrigerator after making it for a while because I was running out the door and forgot it in the fridge. It sat in the fridge for about 7 hours, so I think it may have solidified more during that time? So, DON'T LEAVE in the fridge for 7 hours????

To see more posts about the okra challenge, you can follow my journey in the trim healthy mama tab on the blog. Until tomorrow . . .

2 days left. Trying the Zuppa Toscana soup tomorrow from the cookbook.


New Year, New You: Okra Challenge Day #4

I wish I could tell you all that my shake tasted amazing this morning. I wish I could tell you all that I lost another pound and am down to 244! But I am not :( I am at 245.6. GRRR. And what is with the 0.6 endings all the time. So, for those not closely following along, and you want to . . . here is the break down:

Day 1/ Start weight: 246.8
Day 2: 246
Day 3: 245
Day 4: 245.6

So I AM down 1.2 pounds total still, but I am really hoping that scale moves DOWN more and not up by tomorrow morning.


Also, my shake tastes awful right now. Really, truly awful (I mean-- it even looks worse, right???). I am pretty sure I know what okra tastes like now. And it IS a little slimy. The difference? I ran out of okra so I had to purchase a new frozen bag, and they didn't have the same brand as the original. I had green giant originally, so I will definitely going back to that (I have generic this time). It does seem to matter the brand you are buying. I am still getting down my big boy though!

Oh, and I tried these lovely treats last night.



And they pretty much taste like pickles. They were expensive at $8.99 for the jar you see. I wasn't really fond of the texture, but they tasted pretty much like pickles. I am going to be trying to get more of them each day as well.

Until tomorrow . . .

New Year, New You: Okra Challenge Day #3

Honesty, I thought losing 0.8 pounds by yesterday morning was a fluke. I thought I would wake up this morning and be the same exact weight as yesterday morning. I hope everyone is sitting down for this. I think I need to sit down.

1 MORE POUND DOWN!! Isn't that crazy. And I don't mean now a total of 1 pound, I mean now a total of 1.8 pounds. I stepped off and back on to the scale like 5 times to check to make sure. I am just flabbergasted. I don't even know what to say. Apparently, the okra challenge works???? This is so crazy!

I am doing the chocolate big boy again (I know same old thing). I did pick up some pickled okra so that I have some tomorrow.





















To answer a few questions I have been asked:
1. No, I have not changed anything else in my diet. I always eat in the Trim Healthy Mama plan (with a few moments of grace here and there, but nothing too huge). But, I didn't really change anything. I am not drinking more water or anything like that.

2. I am using frozen okra in my recipe. It has never come out slimy that I have noticed, and honestly does taste like a chocolate shake.

3. I do weigh myself at the same time in the same weight in the same location. I always weigh when I come home from dropping off the kids right before I hop in the shower (so clothes are never a factor).

4. Someone asked me if I like okra. I guess I will find out tomorrow? I don't even know what okra tastes like (and I am assuming it is not chocolate milk).

5. I have been on THM for about 8 months and have dropped a total of 32 pounds. I started at 276.5. Lowest was 244.6 which was pre-holidays. I bumped up to 246.8 (I know, I know only 2 pounds which could be caused by almost anything). I just got super frustrated because the scale was not moving from 246.8. And I was 100% back on plan for a few weeks and STILL no movement. So frustrating. For those wondering, I was at 245 even this morning. Which is still mind boggling when I didn't see the scale move AT ALL for 3 weeks straight. I am still just stunned.

6. Oh, someone asked me if I noticed a change. So, these may be unrelated, but I have noticed a few things. I believe I have had more energy (again, this could be just because it is warmer outside instead of days on end below zero). I also noticed yesterday that I am not hungry as often. Yesterday, I made a big mistake and I got so busy I forgot my afternoon snack (I eat at 8:00, 12:00, 3:00, and 7:00). I remember taking out my snack (000 yogurt with chocolate chips--recommended by a THM Facebook member), and when I went to start dinner it was still sitting there. But even at dinner I was not starving. I still ate, because I know not eating is one of my pitfalls, but maybe okra keeps you fuller longer? I don't know. I was drinking my big boy in the morning (before lunch), but today I drank it with lunch.

7. And finally-- someone asked me if it tasted good, truly. I know it doesn't sound like it would, but it really does.

See you all tomorrow when you will find out about pickled okra (I am a little nervous), and let's hope I wake up at 244! Wouldn't that be amazing!!!!

New Year, New You: Okra Challenge Day 2

So far-- down 0.8 pounds. That is CRAZY. My weight was stalled for 3 WEEKS and already almost a pound? So excited to see what tomorrow brings.


This was once again my okra serving in the chocolate big boy. I think I am going to also try the Trimming Taco Soup and pickled okra this week.
I do recommend drinking the Big Boy out of a mason jar like this. It is kind of a gulper kind of drink (think almost like a chocolate shake), and isn't great to drink out of a straw.

I have been doing Trim Healthy Mama for almost 8 months now and have lot a total of 32 pounds (which is about 1 pound per week-- on average). Which is not the FASTEST weight loss, but not the slowest either. I keep reminding myself that I spent over 10 years with no weight loss or weight gain, so this is a great thing! My goal is to lose 135 pounds, which is 1/2 of my beginning weight.

If you want to check out the Trim Healthy Mama Plan, you can find their book HERE

This post contains affiliate links. 

New Year, New You: SmartBowl for Easier, Faster Cooking

As you all probably know, I started Trim Healthy Mama last year. And one of the things that drives me crazy is the amount of dishes it takes! Measuring spoons, measuring cups, etc. It all just gets to be a bit much. We received a set of SmartBowls for review, and what a difference it makes.


If you can imagine having something to measure in, something to cook in, AND something to eat in-- ALL AT ONCE, you have a SmartBowl. These wonderful dishes have measuring line for convenient measuring, a fabulous cookbook filled with tons of recipes, and it all comes in a convenient bowl you can easily eat out of!

They also have a resealable lid! So, if you don't finish, just pop on the lid, and put your bowl into the fridge for later!


A great way to make food prep-- and eating-- easier!

Check out SmartBowl at: https://smartbowlsystem.com

New Year, New You: Okra Challenge

So, I have been in a weight loss stall for the past month. The holidays were a mess for staying on a Trim Healthy Mama plan, and I ate many off plan meals and dishes. So, to try to get back on track, I decided to try what many other mamas have been trying-- the okra challenge.


It is pretty simple- have a serving of okra every day for a week. Okra has been shown to have weight loss and blood sugar lowering effects, so I thought I would give it a try!

I am trying the Chocolate Big Boy Smoothie today (straight out of the THM cookbook you can find here). You can find the Pumpkin Spice recipe here:
http://www.trimhealthymama.com/vol-11-recipe-bb/

It is creamy, delicious, and I have never tasted the okra in it-- unless okra tastes like chocolate milk.

This post contains affiliate links. 

Flash Giveaway: Make the Switch to Jennie O

Did you know that turkey has less fat than beef? It is leaner, and if you are a Trim Healthy Mama like me, it can be easily incorporated into almost all meal types (in both an S and an E-- because it is a lean protein). It is such a versatile food and a great way to make an easy change to be healthier in the new year! Just out Jennie-O's make the switch video!



We are giving away 2 packs of these $5 off coupons. We know they expire soon, so this is a flash giveaway which will end tonight! I will mail them via priority mail tomorrow (so that you get them before they expire) and you will be well on your way to being healthier too!


Just enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MamaBreak received coupons to share with our readers here on the blog. We did not receive any other type of compensation. As always, our experiences and opinions are our own.