Soap and water are not enough: The Seint skincare routine that changed everything.

As most of you have already read I have written previously about Saint and the products offered by this company however the skincare collection is something we’ve not yet covered. 

Makeup is an important tool for many people looking to enhance their natural beauty, cover blemishes, and improve overall confidence Seint does a wonderful job of all of the above with quality low impact ingredients and high-quality products of all types in cream & powder. 

Seint also offers makeup tools such as brushes apparel and storage solutions. 

But none of that does its job as well as it could without a strong well cared for foundation. The skin is your largest organ.

Just let that sink in. Think about all the things that we do in a day that could possibly be damaging to our skin.

Chemicals from cleaning, overuse of body products, The impact of laundry detergents, and of weather and sun exposure. 

These products have done my skin so much good and they’ve made the already amazing makeup application even smoother and simpler for me! As a busy mom with a demanding lifestyle I don’t have 2+ hours for self-care to get ready everyday and thanks to Seint I don’t need 2 hours, nor do I have to sacrifice myself for the sake of time. 

It takes me 30 minutes to do everything from skincare and clothing to makeup & hair CONSISTENTLY.  Yes, you read that right this ISN’T A FLUKE!

The Seint skincare collection consists of a three-step system and four items. 

•Cleanser (100 ml)

•Toner (100 ml)

•Creme (50 ml)

•Microfiber Cloths (Set of 3)

(The previously mentioned 50 count refresh wipes that I love so much are sold separately)

It really is as simple as 123. 

Wash your face with cleanser, wipe away makeup and any oils and residue with the buttery soft microfiber cloths,

Gently spray your clean, dry face with toner

And lastly, moisturize with milk cream to lock in all the healthy self-care effects!

DONE!

The microfiber cloths wash extremely well and the toner and cleanser can be refilled. 

You can use them all as a system or at separate times as needed for your schedule and for your skin the sky is the limit with Seint!

The packaging is classy and consistent always giftable and welcoming.

The microfiber cloths even come individually packaged and housed in a pull drawer box which is wonderful for storage!

If it works to breathe new life into my neglected tired-mom skin it can do wonders for anyone willing to pick it up and try it. 

I deserved the self-care and you do too. 

There’s no longer any guilt surrounding me taking care of myself because I’m giving my children and my husband the best of me not just what’s left of me and I’m not having to sacrifice tons of time with my family and doing the things they need me to do to take care of myself I can do them simultaneously things are still getting done and I feel better no one loses here! As cliché as it might sound it’s truly been a blessing to me so if you’re ready to jump on the Seint bandwagon, I’m genuinely glad I did shop with my favorite artist at the link below under the skincare tab. 

https://tamlynn.seintofficial.com/en

Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind: Spring cleaning – A purchase I wish I’d made sooner

If you know the family behind tatorthoughts at all, & if you’ve been here for a while you do you know that our go to for large purchases or important appliances & electronics is Best Buy. 

This week was no exception. 

After more than 3 years In our all hardwood home with the exception of the plethora of rugs we own I was absolutely burnt out over struggling to sweep.  Those with wood floors know the struggle needless to say sweeping multiple times a day was much more than a chore. 

I headed into Best Buy kid free for a moment 

Which rarely happens with only my husband and dreams of spotless floors in tow. 

I was a mama on a mission:

Obtain the thing that would decrease my ever growing daily to do list by at least 3!

I thought I wanted a bissell to match my hand held pet pro that I’ve loved since I got it only to discover something that better fit our needs & to my surprise at a better price!

This delightful creation being The Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind with Allergen Block

I opened it as soon as the box touched our living room rug

-It was well packaged and in several pieces.

-Smelt very strongly of new plastic and rubber which I didn’t mind because I’m one of the few who enjoy that smell (comparable to the smell of new tires.)

-packaging was informative and attractive on all sides which was a plus for me as someone who values marketing and aesthetic graphics on product packaging. 

-even with my physical limitations and dexterity challenges it took me less than 6 minutes to assemble everything by myself. 

I used it for the first time that same day and was both delighted and oddly disgusted over how well it worked on what I thought to be clean floors.

The cord has an incredible reach, and the fact that it is tangle free and retractable living within the machine is a major plus for us.  It’s a Super convenient feature!

I didn’t find the vacuum to be too bulky or heavy like reviews of others have stated and

I wasn’t too bothered by the noise level although it was louder than I initially expected, both my toddler and preschooler slept through it completely unbothered.

I like that I can change suction and performance type by using a dial and go from rugs to hardwood seamlessly. 

It comes with multiple attachments that work well for their intended purpose and there’s no loss of suction with use. 

It’s easy to empty the contents and allergen filter Maintainance is simple. 

All in all for a $180 purchase I’m extremely satisfied. 

It won’t replace my desire to mop daily with my O-Cedar ProMist MAX Microfiber Spray Mop, but that’s simply by personal preference and the fact that I have small children who spend more time than most in our floors. 

Tatorthoughts is now a proud addition to Hoover nation and the Hoover whole house rewind family! 

Tatorthoughts 2022 Easter Basket Breakdown

This years Tatorthoughts Easter baskets include:

•Two dinosaurs from the target Dollar-spot

•Two grab and go color packs from the target Dollar-spot

•Two Crayola bath books from the target Dollar-spot

•One light up flamingo bubble gun from the target Dollar-spot

•Some bunny loves you book

•Leapfrog Leapland adventures video game

•Two sets of bunny ears from Pop shelf

•Two Usborne phonics books

•everyday kids brand satin-trimmed blanket

•American baby satin-trimmed blanket

•First years Take and toss cutlery set

•Two 2pack sets Chicco Insulated Rim Spout Trainer Spill Free Sippy Cup 9oz sets

•Two pairs of K KomForme Toddler Light Up patterned Rain Boots with Handles

These baskets were SO MUCH FUN to build!

The baskets themselves were made custom by Two incredible small businesses, both previous features on Tatorthoughts.com.

I guess you could say this mama is a little “EGG-stra”, but the way I see it is god gave ME the precious gift that is these incredible kids & I only get so much time with them young. It brings me so much joy to be doing the things I dreamed of and prayed for right now. 

I’m living my answered prayers!

Time moves so quickly and that fact is bittersweet but I’m thankful I get to simultaneously spoil my babies as I savor that precious time with them and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus this weekend. 

To many, it may seem like Easter baskets filled to the brim with small trinkets. For me, it’s a way of giving praise and thanks to the one who made it possible and speaking my love language of gift-giving and acts of service & togetherness to two small humans that light up my life. 

With that being said let’s dig into these baskets.

I chose these four retailers because they met both theme and functionality needs.

As per my latest post you know I’m new to pop shelf so the ears were a bonus but they were included in the baskets so they had to be featured here. 

We aren’t huge Usborne book readers however every once in a while we do make an exciting splurge purchase and I felt these phonics books made a great inclusion in their Easter baskets with “raccoon on the moon” being the phonics book for the letter R and “shark in the park” being the phonics book for letter S

Amazon is my go-to for a lot of things because it comes to me and if I have any issues I can make fairly simple returns so the fact that the majority of these items came from Amazon is a no-brainer.

I have no regrets on quality or prices here and I’ve got to say when it comes to these rain boots these shoes are pretty incredible!

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t trying to figure out a way to wicked stepsister my feet into these boots before my kids saw them I suppose it’s time for me to find some nice glitter rain boots for myself even if mine most likely won’t light up from heel to toe as theirs do. 

my kids love blankets and reading books so you really can’t go wrong there and for some strange reason we can never have enough silverware for adults or children.

I don’t get to shop at Target as much as I would like to but I do try to go at least a few times a year and Easter is always one of them the target Dollar spot is where it’s at for many things but Easter especially. 

We also got our entire family’s Easter outfits from target this year so it was easy during that shopping trip to grab and drop on our kid-free shopping spree to fill out those baskets. 

Don’t worry about the lack of candy pictured here, they will be getting plenty even if it’s not kept inside their baskets or hidden underneath what can only be described as the glitter of Easter decorations also known as plastic Easter grass. 

I guess I should HOP off here now and prepare for everyone’s favorite bunny to make his arrival and take all the credit for this show of love and pride that mom & dad put into things, ah but the years are so short so I digress. I suppose I don’t mind sharing credit for a while longer. 

I just hope I have some very happy grace-filled toddlers on Easter.

*I’ll report back with a quality update on any of these products later should one be needed.*

Happy Easter!

All my love, Tator. 


Pop Shelf : First impression Review

this week I visited pop shelf for the very first time with a really good friend of mine on what we have coined “mom‘s day out”

I had heard little of it before visiting myself, however, I chalked it up to them being fairly new. 

While my day out was fun I was only mildly impressed by this new mystical store I found myself perusing. (Think more colorful version of family dollar or dollar general here.)

Sure their cute seasonal setup was aesthetically pleasing and they have an array of items but I wasn’t immersed in wonder or jumping for joy. 

(To be fair, there is very little I would jump for.)

The item availability and quality seemed nice enough and their prices seemed fair but one item caught my attention specifically. 

Pink tax is real and in this moment that was evident. 

Being that my daughter’s birthday is in June and my son just had his birthday last month; I found myself browsing the party section filled with bags, gift wrapping, sashes, tissue paper, and birthday ribbons. 

The birthday ribbons I felt were a must purchase item until I saw that while one of each was gendered towards a boy and a girl and they were essentially the same generic birthday ribbons in pink and blue the pink one was TWICE the price of the blue for the same item in pink. 

I doubt very seriously it cost them anything more to make the pink ribbon than it did the blue and I found the price hike unfair but I digress.

During this visit, I picked up a few items and collected a very small Pop Shelf Haul. 

The process of shopping and self-checkout was simple enough and it wasn’t overwhelmingly crowded or busy which I enjoyed for my calm leisurely day. 

While my first encounter was brief and left me with a slightly sour impression of the brand I may go back if I’m in the area. 

Don’t get me wrong, Pop Shelf has the potential to be great especially if they start paying attention to slight oversights and gaps in marketing. 

During this trip, I purchased two different print sets of Easter ears to include in my children’s Easter baskets 

An extremely soft cupcake print baby blanket for my daughter because I call her “Cupcake”

*DISCLAIMER: I’ve yet to see how well it holds up after washing*

The Birthday pin Ribbon For her upcoming birthday (only after mentioning the price discrepancy to the employee before my purchase was made)

And a beautiful well-bound journal/ Notebook for myself and upcoming big events. 

In short: yes, I’d go back likely once a season max.. Or if it were the last time simi-decent store on earth. 

Moral of the story; gender price hiking for the same exact item is crap & good friends make even somewhat lackluster things great!  

Be kind today

Xx -Tator

Farewell to a Childhood favorite…

Arthur will officially come to a close after a record-breaking 25-year consecutive runtime this February. Making Arthur the longest-running children’s animated series in history. 

The brainchild of author Marc Brown, 

Arthur is the main character of a book series turned animated show. 

Marc Brown is the author of over 100 books including but not limited to the Arthur adventure series, step into reading books, and Arthur chapter books. 

This Book-Turned-TV series dates back to the 1970s with the earliest original books but As of March 10, 2021, Arthur has aired a total of 249 episodes and 7 specials. The series began airing on October 7, 1996 and will air its final new release episodes in February of 2022. 

they plan to end the 25 year Series with a few all-new episodes one of which including the Ellwood city gang we know & love all grown up!

Over its 25 year run, Arthur and his friends have experienced some pretty heavy-hitting and relatable things The series often deals with important issues families face such as asthma, Allergies, natural disaster aftermath, poverty, sibling rivalry, dyslexia, cancer, diabetes, and autism spectrum disorder.

(Go here to access Arthur health resources for your family! https://pbskids.org/arthur/health/ powered by ABC Mouse)

They also showcase the normalcy of different family dynamics including single children households, large families, children raised by grandparents, and the natural connection to distant relatives. 

if your kids love Arthur and show an interest in discovering their family history for better understand this game on pbs kids also helps! (Can be notified for foster & adoptive families and saved to device of choice once finished!!

https://pbskids.org/arthur/games/family-history-fun#/setup

Yet another way of promoting advocacy, acceptance, and understanding!

Arthur was so successful that it even gained a spinoff series “ postcards from buster” which started as a small Arthur segment, Originally airing from October 11, 2004, to February 20, 2012, has 4 seasons and showcases Buster Baxter’s adventures with his dad and normalized co-parenting and single-parent households through buster’s storyline throughout both series runs. 

They even covered big events such as the Olympics, opera & music, and creative arts!

The Arthur Tv series includes 249 episodes (485 segments)

While no new episodes will be produced or released, All episodes will remain available to stream on the PBS Kids video app as well as games remaining available to play on the PBS Kids website. You can even shop exclusive Arthur and other PBS Kids licensed merchandise here:

http://arthur.shop.pbskids.org/?cid=6202756804f04

You can also still purchase Arthur books and others from Marc Brown from Amazon and other retailers and you can still check out these beloved books for your children or yourself from your local public library 

One bright side to this farewell is not only that The series will still be able to stream on-demand through the PBS KIDS Video app but that beginning February 16 PBS Kids and the PBS KIDS Video app will be running an all-day Arthur marathon for 6 days, featuring over 200 episodes leading up to the release of our last brand new adventure with our Ellwood city friends that we and our children grew up with finally getting to see the gang all grown up!

Is it bittersweet? of course!

However, seeing my children love something that I have loved in my whole life is a feeling that I can’t even describe with words. some may argue that Marc Brown and his messages were ahead of their time but there is no dispute that he and the characters in the world he created for us left a profound effect. everything he wrote was in one way or the other relatable he made sure that most everyone was well represented and could see themself as part of the Ellwood city crew. 

I appreciate his work and art form so much and as a parent who was once an Arthur-loving child, I say thank you. 

It’s an honor to know that as a parent and children’s book author myself that I stand at all in the same category as someone such as him. 

As a man in his 70’s, father of 4 wildly successful Author and illustrator, and executive creators & producer of something so profoundly responsible for breaking so many barriers for children like I was and my own kids I would argue that he’s left an incredible living legacy of magic even if this chapter is sadly coming to an end.  

it speaks volumes that after 25 years people are still not ready for it to end a quarter of a century and somehow it still wasn’t long enough. THANK YOU. 

It’s an honor to know that while I never pictured myself being an author or illustrator as a kid, I stand here today one just the same and I can’t help but believe this man had an incredible impact on me becoming that.

I’ll never forget learning to draw the Arthur character’s straight from marc brown himself as a recorded endcap to episodes over the years, it’s now become a huge skill and great “party trick” among the kids in my life especially my own!

Disney’s Encanto – The groundbreaking first-time experience

My youngest kids are turning 2 & 3 years old in 2022.

(writing that sentence broke my heart a little.. Anyways let’s continue)

Their ages mean that they’ve either never had a life not somehow impacted by the covid 19 pandemic or had very little of one that he probably will never remember. 

This also means their “firsts” look a lot different than most. now that they’re *Almost* to the age where they can sit through a movie we decided to test it out and create a movie theater experience for them at home. I 10/10 recommend doing this! This wasn’t the first movie they’d seen by any means, but this was the first movie we made a huge deal out of and the first one they actually sat through 90% of before getting distracted by their desire for more Snacks. Thank God for a pause button and Disney+!

Encanto broke barriers, my family is Disney driven but I’ve always pushed for Disney to do better & do more in the representation department, and with this movie they did just that, and no I’m not JUST talking about a female character ( Luisa ) with visible muscles and demonstrated strength, but that is a good point too. Let’s not forget this movie showcases STRENGTHS AS GIFTS.  As if to imply anyone’s strong points in life are gifts as well, which I love!

Go listen to the songs, look up the lyrics if you have to. Really understand what they’re saying and look how they are portraying it. 

This movie has deeper meaning and value beyond catchy, well-written scores, accurately drawn characters, and bright vibrant colors. This movie is empowering to Young and old & healing for those who need it most. 

Don’t ask me. if I have a favorite character because I don’t, but if I did we couldn’t talk about him- no-no-no. 

BRUNO… Why can’t we talk about him?!

He’s AWESOME!

A little yuppie sure, slightly superstitious, and a little awkward from being given such a powerful gift no one but Mirabel bothered to look at for more than face value & then living life surrounded by his rodent friends hidden in the shadows in the walls of his family’s magical home for what some might argue was just a “few days” too long. He always had the best of intentions and went away to wage protection. Again the movie is deep but unless you’ve been exiled or looked at differently by your family you may not understand Bruno’s plight. It’s no fun being the one “we don’t talk about.”

I do admire him for looking over his family from a distance and totally vibing in the background of that musical number though!

You go, Bruno! Also, the connection between Mirabel and Bruno is top-notch! 10/10 recommend. 

There are a plethora of gifts graced to the Madrigal family and it simply wouldn’t be a Disney movie without the stereotypical feminine perfectionist Princess – Isabel. 

She’s the less evidently flawed, somewhat full of herself sister who can make flowers bloom. I like beauty and traditional princess types as much as the next person but I gotta say she’s one of my least favorite characters until her attitude changes towards the end of the film. 

Pepa and Félix are Mirabel’s quirky aunt and spunky uncle and are parents to Dolores, Camilo, and Antonio. I love these two and think their bond brings a fantastic representation to the Disney table. 

Pepa’s gift is the ability to affect the weather with her emotions and Felix is her grounding force you never Can tell what mother nature has in store with an absolute certainty but you can be sure that pepa’s emotions swing like shutter doors in a windstorm and can often be unpredictable as well it’s fitting and I found it really sweet that he is the one for her and is simultaneously able to help calm her literal storm. I found it both amusing and wonderful that throughout this movie they normalized such a large range of emotions and you can pause the movie at any point on anyone’s face and see legitimate reactions granted I know that they are drawn characters but for kids to see real emotion is a wonderful thing it empowers them to feel what they feel and expressed that as such and I as a parent am 1000% here for it!

The youngest of the Madrigal clan, Antonio is shy with a huge heart. He has a special connection to Mirabel, relying on her for comfort and courage—especially on the day he is to unveil his gift. I find his connection to his cousin extremely sweet and I can see so many similarities between my son and his character so grateful for large families such as ours and the fact that my children will also know the support of their elders especially cousins! I just found him absolutely adorable throughout the movie and I truly believe that his relationship with Mirabel solidifies that she is the glue to the family and that in and of itself is her gift for me. 

Camilo, Pepa and Félix’s middle child, was born to entertain. Throw in his magical gift that allows him to switch up his appearance to be whomever he wants to be in the moment, he’s definitely the life of any party because he can hold a 17 person play on his own. I admire that as someone who used to be a major part of theater however he does have some typical teenager attributes that had me rolling throughout the whole movie the budding self-confidence was a plus for me though! but this goes back to my comment about this movie being chocked full of legitimate expression, look at this kid every time he changes it is on point!

Dolores is Mirabel’s cousin who’s usually the first to know the town’s biggest secrets, most compelling drama, and juiciest revelations. She can’t help it: she was blessed with extraordinary hearing. Whisper if you will, but Dolores can still hear it!- 

oh, I found it hilarious that she associated Bruno with the sound of falling sand which I understand because I mean look at his room the house is no longer powerful for Mirabel to assist in her journey to find his vision and it’s literally a wall of sand, I guess you could consider that ironic but between Bruno’s living within the walls of the house constantly throwing salt in superstition and complete life of secrecy I found her compelling and her comparison of him to be very fitting. this is one thing my family cannot relate to though because several of us have a hearing deficit as well as auditory processing disorder so as happy as I am for her I wish Disney had more representation for those who are differently able. still holding my breath for a Disney character that uses sign language.

Julieta and Agustín are parents to three daughters: Isabela, Luisa, and Mirabel. Julieta, one of Alma’s triplets, was blessed with the power to heal. Radiating warmth and kindness, her magic is found in the food she lovingly prepares for all who need it. 

They always say a mothers love is healing and I guess that is accurately represented in Encanto. good job Disney moms everywhere are thanking you right now!

Meanwhile, Agustín is somewhat out of place, A man with no gift having married into the magical Madrigal family, I found myself well represented in him. I much like Augustin am clumsy yet well-intentioned always willing to help and doing my absolute best for those I love especially my children. 

That sums up the family Madrigal and briefly explains our overjoyed connection to it. The 1hour & 39minute runtime was one of the best more “normal” firsts we’ve had with our kids and i’ll always be grateful for every second of it. Such precious memories made here and it sounds so refreshing to say that because you often don’t realize you are living the best days of your life until you are long out of them this one I don’t have to wait for. I know today these are the days I’ll consider some of the best of my life. 

now I must say as a lover of the arts, and creative mind and since retired thespian myself this movie shocked me. it was absolutely beautiful in every way so vibrant and full of color and life, loud & booming, with astonishingly breathtaking music so fitting to the film that there was absolutely nothing I would critique or change the musical numbers were powerful inclusive, and impactful I will be singing the scores for years to come and I need this album in my everyday life. not only was the cast star-studded but the musical input and reference points were amazing Lin-Manuel Miranda did an amazing job but would you expect anything less from Hamilton?! 

brava Disney, take a bow!


Momma Made Designs LLC Product Review Showcase: Mom makes magic within handmade clothing market!

You may think hand made clothing is a thing of the past. I’m here to tell you it’s not!

Tatorthoughts firmly believes in celebrating individuality, and all things unique in life. 

Of course mass produced clothing garments have their place in the market and can become meaningful, sentimental keepsakes for many but there’s something that stands alone among those things. 

Hand made, custom entrepreneurial dreams.

These things may seem to be just simple fabric and stitching but to me these items are so much more. 

They represent the meticulous, artistic passions of a mother. Taylor welsh of Momma Made Designs LLC pours love and compassion into every item she creates and does so with pride. 

As a mother and caregiver being able to showcase these personalized items is an honor and privilege her skills are impeccable and not even the best of photos give her craftsmanship and product quality justice. 

For this review we are featuring 

A size 3t custom “hidden Mickey” dress

 (I suppose you could call it anything you like, we’ve coined it the “hidden Mickey magic” dress because my daughter and I were absolutely blown away by the sight of it upon opening the box. And love that even the inside of the dress has Mickey fabric lovingly sewn into it!)

A size 2t “bipity bopity boo” dress

With incredible sleeves and tule skirt detail. 

2 SURPRISE matching headband bows that Taylor so kindly included without my prior knowledge to accompany both dresses. 

& last but not least A size 5t Boys Dino outfit shirt & pant set. 

As a mother of sons the fact that Taylor also  offers boys products through her shop rather than solely catering to girls clothing means the world to me. 

It is with pride that I’m able to say my sons aren’t always excluded from the finer things simply because they are males. 

It’s also incredible that many of her items including this Dino set could be gender neutral, this could be paired with a bow for a little girl or worn as is!

The saying often goes “you get, what you pay for” and in this case it absolutely rings true. Momma Made Designs LLC offers high quality, customizable children’s clothing and accessories made with quality materials, love and precious time meticulously spent. 

It is evident that Taylor is a mother as you can see her loving parental touch shine through with every item. 

Supporting small businesses helps families and dreams flourish. 

If you are looking for anything with a unique touch to adorn your children in whether it be for family photos, church, everyday wear, special occasions, dress up or your next Disney adventure I highly recommend you reaching out to www.mnmdesignz.com with your need! You will be met with top notch customer service, impeccable products and irreplaceable memories afterwards all with the satisfaction that you’ve also supported someone else’s dream. 

You can shop Momma Made Designs LLC products by visiting their website: www.mnmdesignz.com

Or via Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/mommyandmedesignz/

Nicu Awareness 2021

People thought I was crazy for taking pictures of everything in the Nicu. The doors, the monitors, the wires. Our view from his room. The truth is that you never forget seeing your child like that. The sound of his ventilator echoes in my brain. The beeps of the monitors, the scars that adorn my sons feet from the blood draws that kept him with me his first 11 days of life. I’ll never forget the prayers I prayed within those halls. The irritated skin on my hands from scrubbing in so many times. The irritation on his tiny cheeks when the tubes were finally removed and there was no longer a need for tape on his face, the smell of clean and pure fear with only my faith to get me through some days.
Not being able to touch him or speak too loudly when he was on zero stimulus protocol.
And the knowledge that some families simply don’t leave with their baby. The baby they also prayed for.

You never forget as a Nicu parent because you never want to forget how far they’ve come, your now thriving healthy, beautiful child who In my case is my son. Because you will never forget how close you came to losing them. How close you came to living an entirely different life. Or how much your fragile, fierce & fearless baby taught you within the walls of that Nicu that holds their first memories. The very same Nicu that saved them. The nurses, the doctors that will always be part of your child’s story because they made sure they did everything that could be done.
Believe it or not your family left a mark on them too.

How do I know? Because I’m a Nicu mom.
Because I am Raiden’s mom.
Because I’ve lived it.
Because we are the statistic.
Because of all babies.. It was mine.

It wasn’t what I would have chosen for my son, or for my family. But it is our story. One I will always tell and celebrate.
To admire my child and the ones who survived.
To honor & remember those who did not.
To thank those who’s lives are dedicated to Nicu families and to their own.

This is September. This is Nicu awareness Month.

#proudNicuMom

#nicuawareness

Back to School with Handcraft!

Buckle up y’all, this review is going to be a long one. as most of you know my partnership with handcraft has been long-running. we’re talking nearly since the creation of Tatorthoughts long!

And just when I thought it couldn’t possibly get any better they prove me wrong!

When you think handcraft by now you probably think potty training genius, children’s underwear and convenient on the go change kits. And if that’s what you think about you would be absolutely right! But they are so much more than that, of course potty training with confidence is a big priority but evidently so is generosity. This review is proof of that.

My good friends at handcraft have completely out done themselves, in honor of back to school they have generously sent me thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. (see detailed list below) but let’s discuss why. You’re probably thinking “what’s the big deal?, it’s just underwear.”

But it’s so much more than that many children have nervousness and anxiety over starting back to school, or starting school, or changing schools, or even just change in general. A change like this is huge! 

And even the best potty trained of us will experience an accident at some point regardless of age. So handcraft and I have partnered together to end the stigma around accidents of all kinds & For kids of any age regardless of the circumstance!

You might be thinking to yourself “my child is “too big” for that” you would be wrong.

en·u·re·sis

/ˌenyəˈrēsis/

noun

involuntary urination, especially by children at night.” See also nocturnal Enuresis.

Nocturnal Enuresis commonly referred to as bedwetting is most recognized in smaller children however it can affect people of any age, regardless of gender. However the inability to control your bladder especially in tense upsetting situations isn’t as commonly recognized and it’s nowhere near talked about enough! 

This can affect people of any age regardless of how long they have been or even how well they were potty trained.

27% of parents whose children presented a problem sought medical attention for it, it is seen in nearly 29% of all children. It is more common in males and you are more likely to have it if you have a prevailant family history of it, But with so few willing to talk about it how would we know?

I am a mother before I am anything but I take being an educator very seriously. It is my duty to not only advocate for my own children, but all children. 

I’m open enough to discuss that this is something that directly affects my family. I’ve also seen it heavily affect the children that I’ve taught. There is no shame. There is no stigma, not with me, within my family or in my teaching environment because THERE SHOULDN’T BE!

If it’s up to me to advocate and educate then I will, but clearly I won’t be doing it alone. The amazing folks at handcraft stand with me!

And we haven’t even scratched the surface this is only talking about diagnosed Enuresis, but what about the fear of a new place, being too afraid to ask for permission to go to the bathroom or even for directions to a bathroom, anxiety or any other chronic medical condition that could cause any type of incontinence whether it’s urinary or otherwise. 

If it’s not us who shows these children grace regardless of their age, my question to you is who will? No bodily function warrants scolding and it might be an unpopular opinion but I stand by it. Sheets and clothes can be changed, messes can be cleaned, but you cannot undo emotional damage from scolding a child for something that they have no control over. Parents and teachers please be mindful of this as your children are sent back into the world of education no matter what that looks like for your family. 

Advocacy is clearly very important to me as well as this amazing company. they were so kind to send me so many wonderful things and I can’t wait to share them all with you! 

I’m sure everyone is familiar with Champion brand authentic athletic wear but did you know that champion is handcraft?! Until our partnership I had no idea I knew I loved their products on the shelves but I had no idea whatsoever just how many things handcraft as a company has a hand in! 

(pun intended)

They were so kind as to send me not one not two.. but FORTY-ONE PAIRS of authentic champion athletic socks!!

Needless to say there will be no cold or Barefeet around me anytime soon!!

This in and of itself blew me away, but they didn’t stop there and the box that arrived at my door May as well have been the Mary Poppins bag of all shipping boxes!

They sent me 73 pairs of underwear! Ranging in size from 18 months to medium 10/12!

They also sent me 6 Handcraft change kit plus packs as well as 7 original handcraft change kits.

Guys they sent me the equivalent of an entire washing machine load! Needless to say when any accidents do occur on my watch and believe me they will. there will be no shortage of preparedness, we will not only be ready we will be proud! Accidents signify being human although they might be slightly embarrassing I can tell you one thing that definitely eases that sting..  The incredible print options they sent me! (Honestly I wish I could wear some of these.)

But.. THERE’S MORE! 

We all know we’ve been living in The COVID-19 pandemic, for quite some time.

Handcraft sent me 3 packs of kids facemasks! While my children may be too young for masks themselves, I know more than enough children who aren’t that actually need masks!They’re washable!, super cute and all kid friendly!

And just when you think we’re done.. we’re not!

Not only did they send me everything above they continued to show they care about their partners and the community by sending me several promotional products!

Handcraft sets the bar extremely high especially in the generosity department!

Potty training and crappy days in general can be quite stressful they sent me 14 custom branded poop emoji stress balls And 2 incredibly squishy handcraft underwear logo shaped stress balls.

My friends at handcraft had no way of knowing about my Neurodivergence or the Neurodivergence in my family but they hit the nail on the head with this one! Not only are these incredible for sensory purposes they make great additions to any classroom treasure box. 

They sent me three individual prize packets containing a very well-written congratulatory letter, A three pack of primary colored crayons, two potty training genius custom coloring pages, A company product informational slip, and a very unique punch out magnet photo frame for when your child becomes a potty trained genius!  I look forward to giving these to three special families!

Along with those they so kindly sent 30 additional potty training genius magnets and something that made my 90s kid heart flutter with complete unadulterated joy!..

They sent me a handcraft branded pin art board in the shape of their underwear logo! 

Needless to say everything is appreciated but I will proudly display the pin art board on any desk I have until the end of time!

To recap here’s an entire list of this seemingly endless cornucopia that I am extremely grateful for, it seems like Thanksgiving and Christmas came early this year!

-14 Poop emoji handcraft branded stress ball squishes

-2 underwear shaped handcraft branded stress balls squishes

-30 potty training genius Photo frame magnets

-3 Handcraft potty training genius care kits with coloring pages and crayons

-2 Handcraft potty training kits

-6 sets of 2 pair signature orange youth crew champion socks in size 3 years – 5 years

-4 sets of 2 pairs youth crew champion brand authentic athleticwear socks In white and champion symbol red. 

-One set of 2pairs 3-5 year sized youth crew socks in white and black with black champion brand logo

-3 sets of two pair packs 3-5 year youth crew champion authentic athletic wear socks

-Six pairs youth crew 3-5 year sized champion athletic wear black socks

-Two sets of champion youth crew 3-5 year gray and white socks with embroidered embossed logo

-1 three pair set of youth grippy no show champion socks in 6 to 12 months

-3 individual handcraft change kit plus packs in 3T-4T boys & 3 girls 3T-4T change kit plus packs

-7 individual boys original handcraft change kits 3t-4t 

-1 pack 4ct medium boys 10-12 tek gear dry tek  moisture-wicking boys boxer briefs

-3 packs 3ct boys briefs in size 6 Star Wars print

-2 packs  3ct girls panties size 6 in Disney’s frozen print

-1 pack 4ct girls briefs size 6 in LOL surprise print with bonus coloring page

-1 pack 3ct boys briefs in size 6 marvel Spiderman print with bonus coloring page

-2 packs 3ct girls panties size 4 in Disney’s frozen print

-1 pack toy story Disney Pixar print size 4  3ct boys briefs

-1 pack 3ct Disney’s frozen print girls panties in size 8

-1 pack 3ct girls training pants Disney princess  print size 3T with bonus potty training chart and stickers included

-1 pack 3ct girls training pants Disney jr Minnie Mouse print in size 3T with bonus potty training chart and stickers included

-1 pack Disney Junior Mickey and the roadster racers print toddler boys training pants size in 18 months with bonus potty training chart and stickers included

-1 pack Disney Junior Mickey and the roadster racers 3ct toddler boys training pants with bonus potty training chart and stickers

-2 packs 3ct marvel superhero adventures print toddler boys briefs 4t

-1pack three count toddler girls panties size 2T-3T Disney’s frozen print

-1 pack toddler girls panties size 4T Disney frozen print 3ct

-1 pack 3ct toddler girls training pants size 4t Disney Junior Minnie mouse print with bonus potty training chart and stickers

-1 hanger style pack size 6 Jurassic World print 4ct boys athletic boxer briefs

-1 hanger style pack size 8 super Mario print 4ct boys athletic boxer briefs

1 pack 3ct washable children’s facemask in nickelodeon JoJo Siwa print

1 pack 3ct Nickelodeon SpongeBob SquarePants print washable children’s facemask

1 pack 3ct washable children’s facemask in DC Batman print

Now that we’ve gotten into the specifics of their overwhelming generosity, everything this review includes & why this review is as necessary as any other back-to-school feature you’ll see this season, let’s discuss quality. handcraft sets the bar sky high and not only do I think that’s a great example for our children I think we as parents and caregivers can take pride in knowing that our families use, support and value their products with ease and peace of mind. even from the tiniest of tush that’s ready to potty train they’ve got you covered! Their thick absorbent , Soft and nearly plush potty training underwear are exactly what any child needs to have the independence of big kid status with the protection that they may need as they learn.

their potty training change kits give grab-and-go simplicity to preparedness, giving parents peace of mind and one less thing to worry about so that no matter where your adventure takes you your family is always ready. 

The all-inclusive potty training Genius kit gives a child all the tools they need to succeed, in a fun interactive and easy to understand way. Just add praise and support from loved ones and watch them flourish!

Their underwear of all types accommodate all shapes and sizes. Giving kids regardless of age or gender comfort that comes adorned with their favorite characters!

Their socks regardless of style give comfort and confidence and parents can take heart knowing that their children are covered from head to toe in the Best. these high-quality socks are the right fit for all with varying thickness options and cuts you’re sure to find what works best for you.

The partnership with my friends at handcraft has been one of the most enriching and enjoyable experiences I can say that I’ve ever had. they’ve been so kind and shown so much support for not only me but for my dreams over the last two years and I could never repay that of course I will always be a proud supporter of any product they create because I know without a doubt it will be great.  They have been nothing short of an absolute joy to work with and a blessing in my life. I find myself short of the words to accurately describe the feeling so simply put it’s pride. Not only am I overflowing with gratitude I’m proud of the work that we’ve done together and the work that we could continue to do and my only hope is that they as a company are equally as proud of what we’ve managed to do together. The change we’ve been able to create,the awareness we’ve been able to give and the incredible products I’ve been able to display in front of all of you thanks to their generosity and Faith in my abilities. 

Thank you to both Julia and JoAnn from the bottom of my heart, from all of us at Tatorthoughts and every family who has benefited from your company’s existence. 

so I challenge you next time you visit your local preferred store look around I promise you’ll see handcraft products that you and your children love.

If you take away anything from this review please let it be that being prepared is simple, being kind is easy, and no matter your story, background ,or need handcraft has you covered. I hope all families regardless of the path that this year takes for them have an incredible school year, whether you’re starting school this year or you’re graduating for the final time here’s to the class of 2022!

Please visit their website embedded below for more information!

xx Tator

Kellogg’s is feeding reading!

My family and I are proud supporters and participants of Kellogg’s feeding reading program: offering free penguin random House books to families and schools. 

As part of the feeding reading program if you buy a box you get a book you simply submit your receipt on their website after creating an account and for every eligible item on your receipt you receive a point for a free book limit six per participating registered account but you can either choose to keep or donate your books to a school of your choice. The books are either shipped directly to your home or to the school of your choice depending on which option you choose. 

I as a parent and an educator I know the importance of literature availability regardless of age and it’s such a wonderful thing to see companies like Kellogg’s freely offer the joy of reading through programs like this. 

As for my family we chose to take our six credits and keep four, to foster the love of reading in our home and donated two to our favorite local school to put more books at the finger tips of children looking to learn and explore through the art of reading literature. 

While you’re out shopping preparing for kids going back to school and gearing up for lunches and snacks on the go look to your favorite brands and see if your family could earn a free book just by doing the shopping you already do! My guess is you’ll have no trouble. 

Buy a box, create an account, submit your receipt & choose your free book! 

It really is that simple..

Visit the link below to register and submit your own receipts the joy of reading is a few clicks away!

https://www.kelloggsfamilyrewards.com/en_US/promotions/2021-bts-national/login.html

*Send each receipt separately. Receipts must be submitted within 14 days of purchase and no later than 10/14/21. Book credits must be redeemed by 10/31/21 at 11:59 PM (ET). Limit 6 books per participant. Must be a U.S. resident, 16 years of age or older, and a registered member of Kellogg’s Family Rewards®. See FeedingReading.com for full list of participating products.*

Huge thank you to kellogg’s for understanding the value of books and for this opportunity!