So Hot, SoCozy

The power has gone out again. The third trip to switch the breaker means I have to turn one of the air conditioners off. I really wish I didn't have to because it is already 81 degrees inside.

In order to keep the boys from getting even crankier and to keep myself from sweating to death, it is time to pack the boys up and head to the pool.

Lucky for me, my oldest might as well be a fish. He loves water. He begs me to let him wash his hands just so he can get them wet. My little guy will play around with brother for a bit and splash around then he wants to hang out with mama.

Once the boys tire of the pool it is time for snacks and a trip to the store.

This post featuring SoCozy is sponsored through Brand Backer. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Once we return from the store we have a dinner of hot dogs and chips so I don't have to turn the oven on. After an hour long struggle to get my oldest to eat his hot dog, we all have a cool treat of some mint chocolate chip ice cream on waffle cones. Then it is bath time which will allow the boys to cool down a bit again before going to bed.

The pool at Oma's house is a saltwater pool so the chlorine level is lower than normal but the neighborhood pool is a traditional chlorine pool. With the boys and I spending a ton of time at both pools, I needed some products to help minimize the damage from the chlorine and the sun.

This is a perfect opportunity for me to try the SoCozy swim line, available on Amazon, on the boys. Neither of them actually like the soap part of taking a bath. They'd much rather shriek and play in the water than get their hair washed.

So Cozy Swim


The first things I noticed about the SoCozy Swim 3in1 is the texture and color. It is much thicker and darker than I anticipated. As soon as I started washing the boys, I knew I was sold on this product. It lathered really well, plus it smelled amazing! I stopped mid washing to read the back to see what exactly made it smell so wonderful. When I read the label I was pleasantly surprised to see ingredients like green tea, acai, and goji berry.

After an extended time playing in the bath it time to put on some fresh pjs and go to bed.  Because the boys have air conditioning in their room, I tend to take a bit longer putting them to bed. I need just a few more minutes of coolness before I have to return to the heat.

I ask my husband to turn the fan on in the bedroom and the power goes out. One more trip to the breaker box.

I cool myself off by taking as cold of a shower as I can stand. After which, I decided to try the Swim Leave-In Treatment + Detangler for myself. The scent makes me smile, because it smells so much like a tropical summer vacation. I end the day by pulling my hair back with one of the France Luxe hair things, washing my face with a new cleanser, and applying a luxurious anti-aging skin cream, both by 37 Activities. Then I fall into bed and hope for a nice breeze.

37 Activities Cleanser and Cream



The Hustle Life

Oh wow it is the middle of July already! I have been going at life nonstop this month. So much to do, so little time!

Let's start with the big news first.  I am starting my very own blogger support group! This group is specifically for lifestyle bloggers. If you are looking for a specific niche support group those are definitely out there. I could recommend a couple if you ask me.

Most of you reading this are probably pretty aware of what a blogger support group is, but for those of you that don't I will try to explain. Basically, it is a group of bloggers that support each other. In the group you can ask questions, get feedback, participate in social share threads, and more. Well, I am still working on the more part. I want to add interesting articles, product promotion threads, and trainings too!

Right now the group is small. So I really need your help promoting it. I'd love for you to share my tweet, even if you aren't interested in joining. Maybe one of your friends or followers wants to start a lifestyle blog.

I am also looking for feedback. Suggestions on what you are looking for in a group and feedback on what I have so far is welcome. Leave a comment here, DM me on Facebook, or send me an email.

Lifestyle Blogger Facebook Group


So my shameless self- promotion is over. Let's move on to the rest of my life lately.

Reading
I am actually going to be putting out a blog post on my list of summer reads! I will link to it here when I get it posted.

Watching
 I have been burning the midnight oil working on my blog, the Facebook group, and launching my own consulting services. Iv'e been watching or listening to a lot of TV while I work so I don't fall asleep. Current favorites are Elementary, Property Brothers, and Good News. What are some of the shows you are watching lately?

Mom Life
Having two toddlers keeps me very busy. Right now they are on separate nap schedules again. So I am not getting very much done during the day. I'd love for them to nap at the same time but my oldest takes a late afternoon nap and the youngest takes an early afternoon nap. So I have one of them up at all times during the day. I know this sounds like a repeat because I had this problem a couple of months ago. Honestly, I found some better ways to manage my time, so I have been getting more done anyway.

Wifey Life
So this was pretty complicated for a bit.  Things are getting better. My husband and I are both trying harder yet we haven't actually talked about what the problem was. This isn't surprising because my husband is not a talker. Like at all. I think we both realized we need to be a bit more supportive and we need to spend more time together just the two of us and as a family. I do know that come October things are going to be stressful again because that is when his schedule gets busy again. Hopefully this time we can keep things from getting so bad.

Blog Life
So I already talked about this at the beginning of this post. I've been super busy with trying to launch the Facebook group. let me tell you, that is a TON of work. Just scheduling the threads takes forever! I totally have a new appreciation for the people that run the groups I am in. Hats off to you! As for the blog, I know I have been sharing a ton of sponsored content lately. Running a blog, raising a family, and saving for a house are all really hard to do on one income. I do want to let you know that I really try to only promote good things on Feisty Green Polka Dot.  I am working on balancing that out with more of my own unsponsored content.  As for Instagram,  I am moving towards posting a bit less and engaging more. I will be liking and commenting more on your posts. Plus, I will be sharing more behind the scenes moments on Instagram Stories.

Instagram Posts

So that was a really long life lately update. I had a lot to say. I'd love to hear what you have been up to this month too! Share a link to your update post if you have one or leave a comment!


What's In My Diaper Bag: Summer Edition

During the warmer months, we love to get out of the house. Most of the time we are running errands, buying groceries, or going to the park. On the weekends, we might take longer trips to beach or the zoo. Either way, we have to make sure we are prepared for anything.

This post was developed in partnership with Similac. All opinions are my own. 

Here are my basic diaper bag essentials:

Change of clothes
Diapers
Wipes
Snacks
Sippy cups


During the summer, I like to make sure I also have gear for playing outside. I pack extra bottles of water, sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses.



Even though both of my boys are eating table food at home, I love to pack snacks that are easier to eat when we are on the go.

Right now, I am really loving the Go & Grow by Similac pouches. The pouches come in a variety of flavors available for both babies 6+ months and toddlers. Each pouch has a combination of 3-4 servings of fruit and veggies.



While I try to make sure the boys eat healthy, I'm not always able to make sure my oldest eats all of his veggies everyday. The Toddler Drink Mix is a great solution to make sure he gets added nutrition. It is so easy you just mix it into their drink.

Look for the Go & Grow by Similac pouches at Walmart in the baby food aisle. If they are not available at your store yet, you can order them on Walmart.com and have them shipped to your house or get free pickup at your local store.

Go & Grow by Similac at Walmart

Don't forget to get your extra savings with Ibotta by getting $0.50 back on any one Go & Grow by Similac Pouch. Also, make sure you head over to SheSpeaks and enter their giveaway for your chance to win a $50 Walmart Gift Card.



5ish Ways To Reduce Stress

I have been way STRESSED OUT this month. Actually I have been in a perpetual state of stress for a while now. The worst part is that I know better. I have been down this road before. I also know how to avoid and reduce stress. Yes, I know, what you are thinking. I've done all of the things that lead to stress thinking I was, somehow, magically immune to being stressed. So now that leads me to sharing with you, my methods of reducing stress. 

***I do want to note that I am referring to stress not trauma or large life problems. I wish I had the answer to dealing with big life challenges like death, divorce, and childhood trauma. If those are examples of things you are dealing with, I can only hope and pray you find the help and guidance you need.***

It is really better, though not necessarily easier, to avoid becoming stressed rather than having to reduce stress. 

Top Stress Causes

Taking on too much: This is the one I am the most guilty of right now. I am a mother of two toddler, a blogger, and I run business. Oh and I am trying to launch my consulting service within the next month. I took on way too much. This is so easy to do between soccer, school, church,  grocery shopping, volunteer work,  and the list goes on. 

The solution: Learn to say no. 

Procrastination: Sometimes when we take on too much we get overwhelmed. Sometimes this leads to paralysis. Unfortunately this doesn't help with getting things done. Other times, we procrastinate because our work load is light. We think we have all the time in the world but then in a blink of an eye you draft of your work project is due. And you have NOT started. 

The solution: Make a plan and stick to it.

Money: So money money money. This is a huge stressor for me as the person that takes care of the household finances and as a business owner/entrepreneur. For me recently, I took on way too much work and didn't say no, because I needed the money. Ugh. I hate that. I'm betting a lot of you might be in the same situation. Of course they do say, "More money, more problems." I've always gone by the saying, "More money, different problems." If having too much money is your problem, I don't have any experience with that. 

The solution: Budget better and spend less. (I hate saying that but it is true. Now I know that there are people that live in situations where there just isn't enough money. I grew up devastatingly poor so I can relate. Unfortunately, I don't have a solution for that type of stress. I certainly wish I did.) 

Reducing Stress 

Exercise: The number one stress reducer is exercise. I pretty much hate exercise. The thought is stressful because I am so out of shape right now. That being said, I feel 100X better after working out. Don't just take my word on it. There is actual science that backs this claim. Regular exercise reduces stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins. Plus exercise helps you sleep better and increases your self confidence!   

Eat better: Stress levels and food have a super complicated relationship. Some people forget to eat when stressed. Others can have the tendency to overeat or chose unhealthy items.  Both of these scenarios are not good for your stress. Low blood sugar from not eating or high blood sugar followed by a crash are both bad for stress. Fruits, veggies, and fatty fishes are the best for reducing stress. That third cup of coffee and glazed donut...not so much.  

Spend time with others/socialize: Spending time with people you like is so good for you. Socializing with other's cause your brain to release oxytocin, which is a natural stress reliever. Yay, no pills needed! If you can laugh that is even better. Laughing causes you to bring in more oxygen and releases tension in the body. While being with a  real person is the best, you can sub in a funny book, movie, or podcast. 

Self-care: If you have been following me for a bit, you know I am big on the self-care. I'll just leave the link to my self-care post here

*Bonus Sponsored Content*

I was sent a set of TouchPoints. TouchPoints are a non-intrusive neuroscientific wearable. They use bilateral alternating simulation. They are controlled by an application in iOS and Android devices. There are six settings: focus, calm, anger, performance, sleep, craving. They retail for $240. 

They can be used proactively in the mornings to prevent intense stress response, before and during stressful situations,  and before bed for more restful sleep.

Please note that TouchPoints are NOT a substitute for medical care.




I Will Always Love You, Chicago



Growing up, my family went to Chicago every year. While we technically went to visit my grandparents that lived in the surrounding suburbs, we always made trips into the city.  I have so many memories there. I broke out in chicken pox during a visit to the zoo, one year. I took a mini train ride at the museum and saw baby birds hatch. I tasted my first gyro. Let's just say some of my best memories took place in Chicago, because I could go on forever!

After college, I went to Chicago and lived in the area for a bit. If I could do things over, I would have stayed longer. Leaving my beloved city so soon is one of my biggest regrets. 

Don't make the same mistake I did. If Chicago is calling your name, you need to answer. You will be so glad you did. 

If you still need some convincing before you make the move to Chicago, let me share with you some of my favorite things about the city.

1. The city is beautiful. 

For a small part of my life, I thought I wanted to be an architect. Then I learned that most architects build boring things so that was the end of that. While my desire to be an architect is gone, I still really appreciate a beautiful building, public art, and a beautifully designed city. 

One of my favorite places in the city is of course the beautiful Millennium Park.  I have more awe and wonder for this place. When designing this place, you can tell they really thought about how to make it aesthetically pleasing. 


Isn't the Jay Pritzker Pavilion just beautiful?! I remember when my brother saw it for the first time. He called it a Picasso. While not true, it is was a surprising similarity for a child of his age to notice.  


I'm pretty sure everyone that knows anything about Chicago can recognize this picture. Of course, I will never call it Cloud Gate. It will forever be The Bean to me.

2. There is so much to do.

I've been to Chicago more times than I can count and I still haven't done it all. That's how much there is to do in this city.

I love to visit museums. yes, I visit the same one over and over again! There is always so much to see and absorb. You really can't get it all in the first time. 

Growing up my favorite museum was the Museum of Science and Industry. This place has changed so much over the years of my life. 

Of course, now that I am older, my interests have changed from submarines and coal mines to art and history.  I never miss the Art Institute of Chicago or  The Field Museum when I am in town. 

3. The food is amazing!

If you love food, you will love Chicago. It is one of the places where you can have the best meal of your life at some random place for $10 or you can treat yourself to an opulent dinner that costs hundreds.

So I'm going to say something that will make some people angry. I don't really like Chicago style pizza.... That being said you should try it and decide for yourself. Pizzaria Uno is a great place to try. I'd recommend the sausage. Growing up, we always had Aurelio's. 

Looking for some suggestions for food? I have you covered! 

Haute Sausage is a great place for some serious dogs. Also never put ketchup on a hotdog. You may incite a riot. 

Garret Popcorn is an absolute must. I can smell it from here. 

Le Bouchon if you are looking for divine French food. 

Want a cup of coffee in the prettiest place on earth? Try The Allis at Soho House Chicago. While you are there, check out the local listings at ForRent.com