MommyCon Austin 2017 Schedule and Giveaway!

It’s that time of year again, mamas! MommyCon Austin is a little less than two weeks away, and I am so excited! I am so lucky to have been invited to be a part of the blogger collective again, and I get to be a part of the media team for the VIP session that Friday as well (more on that later!). AND I have a pair of tickets to giveaway too! Check out my Instagram @sharonisamom for the ticket giveaway (good luck!). The giveaway closes on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, and a random winner will be drawn to win a free pair of tickets for MommyCon, so bring a friend to share in the fun!

MommyCon vendors | sharonisamom.wordpress.com

The general admission day is on Saturday, June 3 at the Austin Convention Center. There will also be VIP sessions available the day before on June 2 as well. If you don’t have a ticket yet, you can use my code SHARONISAMOM17 to get $5 off your general admission ticket (you can use the code for any of the MommyCon locations, not just Austin!).

I always seem to luck out on the timing for MommyCon. Last year, my husband had a trail race in the area that he wanted to do that evening, so our trip worked out perfectly then. And this year my husband and son will be going to San Antonio (not far from Austin) for my nephew’s graduation that weekend, so we just have an extra excuse to be staying in Austin for the weekend. Plus it’s our anniversary weekend, so we’ll get to spend an extra day in Austin having fun and eating lots of delicious food. So looking forward to it!

If you’ve never heard of MommyCon before, I’ll let you in on the details! Last year was my first time at MommyCon, and I loved it! It’s all about breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapers and more! It’s a great place to find your new Mom BFF and be surrounded by a group of like-minded mamas. There are a wide variety of sessions to check out, a ton of awesome vendors, and at the end, they giveaway thousands of dollar worth of awesome baby gear! Plus the swag your get in your general admission bag is fantastic too. You get so much for the price of your ticket!

They just released their finalized schedule for MommyCon too, and I’m going to go over a few highlights of the sessions I’m most looking forward to below.

Let’s start with Friday’s VIP session: Not Your Momma’s Baby Shower! This VIP session will be so much fun, with a 1950s ice cream parlor theme, complete with food, games, prizes and more! Plus Jessica Martin-Weber (AKA the Leaky Boob) will be hosting with Ameda. I am already Pinteresting 50s hairstyles and hoping I have a dress that will work. I Thought this VIP session is too perfect for me to pass up, since I’ll be 4-5 months pregnant come MommyCon! It’ll be a co-ed baby shower too, so both moms and dads are welcome. They’ll even have Ameda Aunties there to help if you are bringing your little ones too!

For Saturday, I think I’m most looking forward to the birth story circle. Pregnant or not, I have found that I love hearing other people’s birth stories and sharing mine as well. But since I will be pregnant at this year’s MommyCon, I am especially looking forward to this session!

Another one of my favorites on the schedule for Saturday is the session on Natural Remedies for Common Childhood Ailments. I love having natural options to try and help my little one feel better instead of going straight to medicine. Heck, even if I wanted to do the medicine, it always tastes so gross, my child spits it right out anyway. So I am looking forward to hearing more natural ways to prevent and treat things like ear infections, sleep problems, reflux, colic and more!

And that’s just a taste of what’s on the schedule! All sort of topics will be covered, like Breastfeeding and Pumping Q&A, potty training, cloth diapering 101 and much more! Check out the full schedule below!

MommyCon Austin 2017 Schedule | sharonisamom.wordpress.com

Don’t forget to use my code SHARONISAMOM17 for $5 off your ticket and check out my giveaway to win a free pair of tickets to MommyCon over on my Instagram @sharonisamom! Hope to see you guys there!

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Fresh Wave Giveaway!

This has been one busy summer over at our house this year! Last summer, I went back to work full-time when Ellis was just 6 weeks old. After digging into my sick time and vacation time for my maternity leave, things were too hectic at work to be able to afford to take any more time off or even think about the costs of vacation after shelling out thousands of dollars of medical expenses. Now that I’m home with Ellis though, this summer has been the best one yet.

My husband is a teacher, so it has been great getting to spend so much family time together the last couple months. Without an office job to get back to, we’ve been able to work some vacations into our schedules this summer, and it’s been awesome! We took our longest vacation yet: 8 days in Portland in July! And we are squeezing in one last trip before summer’s over and heading to Gulf Shores with my dad (Ellis’s first beachy vacation!). We also worked it out to take a mini-weekend trip to Austin in June for MommyCon.

We love Austin anyway (lots of good vegan food us there), and I was psyched to meet up with other crunchy moms at my first MommyCon. While I was there, I scoped out the vendors and found some awesome, crunchy-mom approved goodies to take home.

My favorite from MommyCon was Fresh Wave. I hadn’t heard of them before, but I’m so glad I found them. They make natural products to remove odors from your house without all the icky-chemicals.

Over the last couple years, I’ve been trying to slowly replace things in our house with natural alternatives and a few DIYs. We swapped out cleaning products for natural versions, I make my own laundry soap, and I’ve even tried my hand at a few Pinterest projects.

When it comes to bad odors, we used to spray a bunch of Febreeze on a regular basis. Now I’m weary of putting all that crap in the air with a baby around. I found a recipe on Pinterest called “Faux-breeze” and gave it a whirl. Worth a try, right? Well, sadly the result wasn’t anything to write home about. It didn’t really cut it, so I set it aside and gave up for a while.

So I was really glad when I found Fresh Wave to give their products a try. I tried out their odor removing spray, gel, packs and fresh pod.

Fresh Wave Giveaway | sharonisamom.com

Their spray was the perfect solution to replace my Pinterest fail. You might think we’d need it most for baby-related stinks, but we actually use it most for animal-related smells! We have two cats and two dogs. Between the lot of them, it seems like it’s nearly every day that I’m spraying to remedy their dog farts, vomit and poop accidents. Oh my!

I use the fresh pod on the inside of the lid for our diaper pail. It sticks right on to eliminate odors round the clock! We use the Diaper Décor brand one for our cloth diapers, but it’ll work on most any diaper pail. After a few days, the diapers start to pile up, and the smell is not-so-alluring. The fresh pod has been working great at removing those odors though! I think I may need to get another one for our trash can in the kitchen as well now! After 30-60 days, just pop it open and replace the odor removing pack inside. Easy peasy!

We also use spare odor removing packs as car fresheners. I stuck one under the driver’s seat in my car and my husband’s car. They’re quite versatile!

Best for last! The odor removing gel just might be my favorite! My office/guest room has been taken over at our new house as the “cat room.” Things were starting to get pretty gross in there with the litter boxes. It was so distracting that I couldn’t even work in there anymore! Stuck the gel on my desk and noticed instant relief. We keep one in the living room as well. The changing table or bathroom would be another great spot for one though!

Check out freshwaveworks.com for more info on all of their products. Fresh Wave is also available at Target and on Amazon.

And what you’ve all been waiting for… how to win it all! I’ve partnered with Fresh Wave for a giveaway on my Instagram @sharonisamom. One lucky person will win everything pictured: a fresh pod, odor removing spray, odor removing gel and odor removing packs. The giveaway ends on Sunday, August 7 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Good luck, mamas!

MommyCon Giveaway

MommyCon Austin is only one month away! It is going to be my first MommyCon, and I could not be more excited! The general sessions are on Saturday June 25, and VIP sessions are on Friday June 24th. I am practically chasing my tail with all the excitement, and I am so happy that I get to be a part of the MommyCon blogging team as well!

MommyCon Growing together
Is this not the coolest graphic ever?? I am obsessed!

First off, what is MommyCon? It’s a convention series all about natural, gentle parenting. I’ll be going to the one in Austin, but MommyCon will also be in many other cities across the nation. With many awesome speakers on the lineup, the biggest focus will be on birth, breastfeeding, babywearing and cloth diapering. In other words: all the crunchy-mama things I love! So of course I am going!

MommyCon 2016 | sharonisamom.com

Tickets are only $45, but you can use code SHARONISAMOM16 to get $5 off your ticket.

MommyCon will be a great opportunity to connect with other like-minded mamas, moms-to-be (and dads too!), discuss, learn, and grow together. AKA build your tribe! This will be a great opportunity to make some new friends. One thing I love most about motherhood is the friendships I’ve made. Parenting can be tough at times, but it’s great having friends to talk to and laugh with who are going through the same things as you and understand where you’re coming from.

MommyCon swag | sharonisamom.com
Here’s an example @itstheaveragejo shared on Instagram of the general admission swag bag she got at MommyCon Chicago. Swag will be different city-to-city, but I love seeing examples!

Oh, and the swag. How have I not mentioned all the glorious swag you’ll get to take home?? You get a bag full of cool baby gear with your general admission ticket. If you sign up for additional VIP sessions too, you’ll get even more swag to take home from each VIP session you attend as well. I won’t lie. I was up until 3:15 a.m. one night pouring over MommyCon hashtags on Instagram and drooling over the loot ladies went home with. PLUS each event ends with $10,000 worth of giveaways! Yes, I too am gawking at that number on my computer screen. You may want to pick your jaw back up off the floor at some point though!

MommyCon giveaway | sharonisamom.comNow for what you’ve all been waiting for… I’m giving away TWO tickets to MommyCon Austin! Head over to my Instagram (@sharonisamom) for your chance to win. The giveaway will close at 11:59 p.m. on June 3, so make sure to get your name in the drawing! Good luck, mamas!

For more info on MommyCon, check out their website at mommy-con.com.

Boob & Baby review and giveway

It’s time for another product review and giveaway! This week I got to try Boob and Baby’s Boob Butter. This nipple cream is truly a godsend for new mamas. Those first few weeks of breastfeeding can be excruciating on sore, cracked nipples, and using a nipple cream every time you nurse is a must if you want to make it through this with nipples intact.

Boob & Baby review and giveaway | sharonisamom.com

Back in my early days of breastfeeding, I was given lanolin (Lansinoh and Medela brands), and it wasn’t until later that I realized what it’s made of, and that it’s not vegan-friendly. Aside from that, it was sticky and smelled funny.

The boob butter on the other hand feels quite luxurious: goes on smooth and doesn’t stink. Plus I don’t have to feel bad about the ingredients! It is lanolin, shea and beeswax-free and vegan-friendly (yay!).

The 1 oz jar will last you quite a bit too. Even if you’re using it every time you breastfeed, it’ll last you about 2-3 weeks.

As some of you may remember, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to pump more, so I could donate more breastmilk to babies in need. I’ve added the boob butter to my pump bag. I rub some on before I pump, as it makes for a great lubricant. I highly recommend this to maximize your pumping output!

If you find yourself with any boob butter left over, you can also use it for chapped lips, stretch marks, pregnant belly itching, diaper rash (it IS cloth-diaper friendly too!) and windburn. Wish I had this after my race in November! Poor Ellis came to cheer me on, and even though we bundled him up in the stroller, the 25 mph winds that day left his little cheeks with windburn. Boob butter would have been a perfect fix! The ingredients soothe and heal skin great. I’ve even tried it as a tattoo moisturizer! Great for healing new tattoos or as everyday moisturizer to keep tattoos bright and vibrant.

I’ll be giving away Boob Butter to one lucky mama on my Instagram, so make sure to tag your breastfeeding friends or anyone you know who’s expecting! It’d also make a GREAT baby shower gift. Score 10% off your order with code LETDOWN! Giveaway ends Sunday, January 31st, and winners will be announced on Monday February 1. Good luck, mamas!

Teething Necklaces: Review and Giveaway

Teething necklaces rock. They’re cute and stylish for moms, and teething little ones love to chew on these silicone-beaded necklaces.

Teething necklace review sharonisamom.wordpress.com
Ellis found a teething necklace he approves of!

I got my necklaces from Zack’s Lucky Charms in right after Thanksgiving, and I’m already in love! I was excited to try it out, since Ellis already has his bottom two teeth, and the top ones are about to break through.

No matter what necklace I’m wearing, Ellis likes to grab it, put it in his mouth and gnaw away. Not always the best idea with most jewelry! That’s why I think this mama jewelry is such an awesome creation! It comes in plenty of cute designs, and the color combos are customizable too.

As soon as I put it on, Ellis gave it the ol’ taste test. He was going after it all day! He likes to chew on it when I’m holding him or wearing him in the ring sling, and he also likes to play with it while he nurses.

He loves it, and I do too. It’s officially mama and baby approved! I think it’s a must-have for anyone with a teething babe. Add it to your wish list for Christmas, or it’d make a great baby shower gift for a mama-to-be too.

Zack's Lucky Charms teething necklace giveaway sharonisamom.wordpress.com

After putting this one to the test, I am in love! I wanted to share these awesome teething necklaces with my readers, so I’ve partnered with Zack’s Lucky Charms to give away a necklace from their Mama & Mini collection to one lucky mom! Head over to my Instagram for your chance to win.

BONUS: Check out their shop here, and snag 15% OFF your order with code SHARONISAMOM. Enjoy!