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This is sponsored content from BlogHer and by the makers of ob tampons, CAREFREE Pantiliners and STAYFREE pads.

When I was first presented with the opportunity* to attend Lilith Fair I knew I couldn’t turn it down, I knew I had to make it work.  Not only am I an incredibly huge Sarah McLachlan fan but I was also in desperate need of a little momma’s night out.  So, I graciously accepted the offer to attend, invited my dear friend Heather and looked forward what I hoped would be a wonderful evening.
The idea of Lilith Fair, a whole festival put on by women, for women, is very inspiring.  Women have come a long way in the ranks over the years and I think this festival highlights those achievements.  It gives women, from all walks of life, an opportunity to see some amazing female musicians together on one stage.  It gives women a chance to celebrate being women, celebrate where we’ve come from, and where we’re going, all to a soundtrack of really good music.
Friday night, dressed in something other than my typical mom attire, I picked up my friend Heather and headed to the concert. We weren’t able to make it to the show to see the earlier acts because of other responsibilities and childcare issues, but got there in time to see some incredible performances from the likes of Court Yard Hounds, Emmylou Harris, Mary J Blige and, of course, the amazing Sarah McLachlan. Not a single performance disappointed.
After listening to the incredible musical talent of Court Yard Hounds and the awe-inspiring Emmylou Harris we decided to check out what the sponsor that had brought us to the event, the makers of STAYFREE® pads, CAREFREE® liners and o.b.® tampons, had to offer.
Our first stop was the Lilipad Bathroom. We all know how hard it can be to find a nice, clean women’s bathroom at concert venues. The Lilipad Bathroom was touted as a relaxing, cool women’s bathroom that was complete with an attendant and lots of free samples. The Lilipad Bathroom was huge, nice a clean and had really pretty decor, including pink lighting.  Unfortunately, I don’t think the venue was equipped for a particularly cool bathroom.  The area where the stalls were was almost as hot as it was outside, but there was a giant fan in the area where the sinks were so that was nice and refreshing.  And, true to their words there were a ton of free samples.  I don’t think I saw a single woman leaving the bathroom without something in her hands.  Everyone seemed really impressed with the free samples.  When we were standing in line for drinks later in the evening two girls behind us started raving about the free tampon carry case they got at the Lilipad Bathroom.  Our next stop was the Lilipad Lounge equipped to be a bit of a cooling station, lots of free samples and swag, and a opportunity to get your picture taken to look like you’re on stage. I’m pretty sure the best swag they had at the Lilipad Lounge was the cooling cloths, little wet and chilled wash cloths. Everywhere I turned I saw women and men with the cloths wrapped around their necks, tucked in the backs of their t-shirts, or just rubbing down their faces with it.  The  cooling cloth was definitely a huge hit. By the time we hit the tent, at about 8pm they were out of swag and closing up shop so I wasn’t able to get a cooling cloth of my own. The Lilipad Lounge and Bathroom seemed like great additions to Lilith Fair and seemed to be huge hits with the crowd.
We wrapped the night up by being completely wowed by the music of Mary J Blige and Sarah McLachlan.  When Mary J Blige took to the stage everyone was on their feet.  We danced and danced (who knew I was going to get a bit of a workout in on my night out!).  By the time Sarah took to the stage the crowd was in high spirits and ready to end the night on a high note.
One of the things I loved was listening to all the inspirational things each performer had to say about women. These ladies have all come a long way in their field and have seen things that female musicians a few decades ago could only dream about.  Each of them was aware of that and happy to be part of something as special and inspiring as Lilith Fair.  They each spoke to the beauty and strength of women and that every woman, no matter what she does or where she comes from has something to offer.
My favorite thing about music festivals, like Lilith Fair, is the opportunity they bring to see musicians from so many different genres.  The ladies of Court Yard Hounds said it best when they commented on the fact that only at Lilith Fair could you find Mary J Blige following Emmylou Harris.  Not only does the festival bring women together and break down the barriers that sometimes separate us but they bring together genres of music, and fans of those many different genres for an evening of us all rock out together, an evening where you are introduced to artist you may not have even heard of.
I had a fabulous time on my Momma’s night out at Lilith Fair and would like to thank the makers of STAYFREE®, CAREFREE® and o.b.® for this wonderful opportunity and for sponsoring an event that celebrates and empowers women.
And now for the best part, I’m happy to be able to offer each of you a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card.  There are three easy ways to enter for your chance to win.  The first is to leave a comment here telling me what would be your ideal Momma’s night out.  Or, you can simply tweet about this post or blog about this post.  If you do tweet or blog about this post please come back and leave me a comment with a link to the tweet or post so I can be sure you get your entry.  Each person can have up to two entries.  The contest is open until 5pm PST on August 4th.  The winner will be drawn using random.org.  Good luck everyone!
*I was commissioned to write this post by the makers of o.b.® tampons, CAREFREE® pantiliners and STAYFREE® pads and I received monetary compensation, as well as concert tickets and transportation to and from the concert.

When I was first presented with the opportunity* to attend Lilith Fair I knew I couldn’t turn it down, I knew I had to make it work.  Not only am I an incredibly huge Sarah McLachlan fan but I was also in desperate need of a little momma’s night out.  So, I graciously accepted the offer to attend, invited my dear friend Heather and looked forward to what I hoped would be a wonderful evening.

The idea of Lilith Fair, a whole festival put on by women, for women, is very inspiring.  Women have come a long way in the ranks over the years and I think this festival highlights those achievements.  It gives women, from all walks of life, an opportunity to see some amazing female musicians together on one stage.  It gives women a chance to celebrate being women, celebrate where we’ve come from, and where we’re going, all to a soundtrack of really good music.

Friday night, dressed in something other than my typical mom attire, I picked up my friend Heather and headed to the concert. We weren’t able to make it to the show to see the earlier acts because of other responsibilities and childcare issues, but got there in time to see some incredible performances from the likes of Court Yard Hounds, Emmylou Harris, Mary J Blige and, of course, the amazing Sarah McLachlan. Not a single performance disappointed.

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After listening to the incredible musical talent of Court Yard Hounds (who I am now a new huge fan of) and the awe-inspiring Emmylou Harris we decided to check out what the sponsor that had brought us to the event, the makers of STAYFREE® pads, CAREFREE® liners and o.b.® tampons, had to offer.

030 [640x480]

Our first stop was the Lilipad Bathroom. We all know how hard it can be to find a nice, clean women’s bathroom at concert venues. The Lilipad Bathroom was touted as a relaxing, cool women’s bathroom that was complete with an attendant and lots of free samples. The Lilipad Bathroom was huge, nice and clean and had really pretty decor, including pink lighting!  Unfortunately, I don’t think the venue was equipped for a particularly cool bathroom.  The area where the stalls were was almost as hot as it was outside, but there was a giant fan in the area where the sinks were so that was nice and refreshing.  And, true to their word there were a ton of free samples.  I don’t think I saw a single woman leaving the bathroom without something in her hands.  Everyone seemed really impressed with the free samples.  When we were standing in line for drinks later in the evening two girls behind us started raving about the free tampon carry case they got at the Lilipad Bathroom.  Our next stop was the Lilipad Lounge equipped to be a bit of a cooling station, lots of free samples and swag, and a opportunity to get your picture taken to look like you’re on stage. I’m pretty sure the best swag they had at the Lilipad Lounge was the cooling cloths, little wet and chilled wash cloths. Everywhere I turned I saw women and men with the cloths wrapped around their necks, tucked in the backs of their t-shirts, or just rubbing down their faces with it.  The  cooling cloth was definitely a huge hit. By the time we hit the tent, at about 8pm they were out of swag and closing up shop so I wasn’t able to get a cooling cloth of my own. The Lilipad Lounge and Bathroom seemed like great additions to Lilith Fair and seemed to be huge hits with the crowd.

We wrapped the night up by being completely wowed by the music of Mary J Blige and Sarah McLachlan.  When Mary J Blige took to the stage everyone was on their feet.  We danced and danced (who knew I was going to get a bit of a workout in on my night out!).  By the time Sarah took to the stage the crowd was in high spirits and ready to end the night on a high note.  It was an amazing show.  I never get tired of seeing Sarah perform.

041 [640x480]

One of the things I loved was listening to all the inspirational things each performer had to say about women. These ladies have all come a long way in their field and have seen things that female musicians a few decades ago could only dream about.  Each of them was aware of that and happy to be part of something as special and inspiring as Lilith Fair.  They each spoke to the beauty and strength of women and that every woman, no matter what she does or where she comes from has something to offer.

My favorite thing about music festivals, like Lilith Fair, is the opportunity they bring to see musicians from so many different genres.  The ladies of Court Yard Hounds said it best when they commented on the fact that only at Lilith Fair could you find Mary J Blige following Emmylou Harris.  Not only does the festival bring women together and break down the barriers that sometimes separate us but they bring together genres of music, and fans of those many different genres for an evening of us all rock out together, an evening where you are introduced to artists you may not have even heard of before but end up loving.

I had a fabulous time on my Momma’s night out at Lilith Fair and would like to thank the makers of STAYFREE®, CAREFREE® and o.b.® for this wonderful opportunity and for sponsoring an event that celebrates and empowers women.

And now for the best part, I’m happy to be able to offer each of you a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card thanks to the lovely people at BlogHer and Lilipad.  There are three easy ways to enter (official rules) for your chance to win.  The first is to leave a comment here telling me what your ideal Momma’s night out would be.  Or, you can simply tweet about this post or blog about this post.  If you do tweet or blog about this post please come back and leave me a comment with a link to the tweet or post so I can be sure you get credit for your entry.  Each person can have up to two entries.  The contest is open until 5pm EST on August 4th.  The winner will be drawn using random.org.  Good luck everyone!.

*I was commissioned to write this post by the makers of o.b.® tampons, CAREFREE® pantiliners and STAYFREE® pads and I received monetary compensation, as well as concert tickets and transportation to and from the concert.

My friend Heather over at The Spohrs Are Multiplying, wrote what was for me, a very thought provoking piece today.  As you all know I am a big advocate of breastfeeding and I think every mom who can should give it a try.  I write a lot about the benefits and the challenges.  I’ve shared my own successful breastfeeding story.  Breastfeeding is a big deal to me.

After reading Heather’s post and learning about her fear to admit that she had given up breastfeeding it made me question my advocacy a little bit.  I still wholehearted believe that every mom, if she can, should try to breastfeed.  Advocacy is important because it provides education, information and support.  However, does advocacy make those who try but decide to give it up feel more guilty than they should?

I know breastfeeding isn’t for everyone.  Sometimes the challenges of early breastfeeding are too much for some.  Sometimes the baby just never figures out the latch and pumping and feeding just are practical.  Sometimes, like in Heather’s situation, a mom has to give up breastfeeding so she can take care of herself and be the best mom to her baby.  I don’t want my advocacy to make those women feel guilty.  I don’t want them to be afraid to admit that they have chosen not to breastfeed.  There is no shame or defeat in saying you gave breastfeeding your best shot and it just didn’t work out, no matter the reason.

My mom suffered, and still does suffer, guilt over not being able to breastfeed my youngest brother. He was born 8 weeks premature and at the time of his birth, 19 years ago, they didn’t have women pump and feed their premature babies in the NICU.  Plus, due to major complications after my brother’s birth my mom was on some heavy duty meds.  So, as my brother grew stronger and gained the weight necessary to come home, as my mom attempted to recover from a very difficult birth, her milk dried up.  She had breastfed 4 previous children and not being able to breastfeed her baby made her feel incredible guilt.   She still to this day wonders, worries and feels guilty about not breastfeeding him.  She shouldn’t have to feel that guilt.

To all the moms out there who give breastfeeding a try and it just doesn’t work out.  To all the moms out there who have to give up breastfeeding.  To all the moms out there, like my own mom, who can’t breastfeed for some reason.  There is no shame in formula feeding a baby.  We are all good moms, breastfeeding moms and formula feeding moms.

It is impossible to come up with the right words to express what being a Mom really means to me.  I try, but nothing seems to do it the proper justice.  The day Maya came into my life my heart grew in a way I couldn’t even have imagined possible.  I looked down at this tiny little being and knew without a shred of doubt that I was already madly in love with her and that she was my heart.   Hearing her call me “Mommy” is the best gift I could ask for.

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Today, on this day to celebrate Moms, I think about the Moms in my life that have shaped me and guided me and helped me become the type of Mom I can be proud of, the type of Mom that my daughter deserves.  I think about my own Mum who means the world to me and who has always shown me what it is to be a good, loving, kind mother.  I think about my Mother-in-law who raised 3 wonderful boys, one of whom I am honored to call my husband. I think about my Nana and Gramma, and my Aunt.  I think about the mommy friends in my life who inspire me.

Today is your day, every mom out there.  Enjoy it!!  Today is my day to celebrate and reflect on the joy that I feel in having a little person in my life call me “Mommy”, there truly is nothing better than that.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there.  You are amazing.

bubblebath

When you become a parent you quickly discover just how necessary “me time” really is to your sanity.  You’ll read about in books, on parenting websites, hear it from friends but until you are in the midst of caring for your little one you won’t truly “get it”.  Setting aside some time each day to focus on just you will help you keep your cool, stay sane and give your best you to your kids.

As time gets the better of you and you are so busy taking care of your family, cleaning the house, running errands, keeping everything  and everyone on the right track it can be easy to forget about YOU.  When life seems to be operating in fast forward who has time to slow down and take a little time out for themselves?  However, that hour or two hours or whatever you need can make a huge difference.  I admit that I haven’t been the greatest at taking time for just me since my daughter was born, but I try.  I changed my routine up a bit and stopped using naptime for chores and instead began to use it for my me time.  Even the couple of hours I get in the middle of the day while she is napping makes a huge difference.  Instead of cleaning or doing other chores I try to do something I like during that time.  I’ll write, or read a book, or take a quick nap, or even just sit down and watch a little television.  By doing something for me I don’t feel robbed of “me time” at the end of the day.  I don’t feel like I’m ignoring my own needs and wants.  You would be amazed how much difference an hour of time on something you love, something your doing just for you can make.

So, no matter what your thing is; be it getting a massage, taking a hot bath, reading a good book, playing your favorite sport, going to the gym, shopping without kids in tow, or just sitting quietly alone, be sure to set aside sometime for your “me time”.  If you can do it every day, if you can’t try to make sure you don’t go more than a few days without some “me time”.  When we are too run-ragged, too frustrated, too tired parenting is that much harder.  When we are happy, mentally and physically rested, in the groove everything becomes that much easier.

What do you do for “me time”?  How do you make sure you fit it into your routine?

Happy Mother’s Day to all you fabulous moms out there. Whether your children are near or far, here or gone you are a mom, and for that you deserve a day of joy and peace. I hope today is a good day for everyone.