5 Healthy Sleep Tips + A Chance To Win An Amazon Gift Card!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own.

If you can't fall asleep, toss and turn all night, or can't sleep throughout the night, these 5 healthy sleep tips will ensure a restful night of sleep.

Sigh. Prioritizing sleep. Easier said than done, right? I’m one of those moms who choses to stay up late just to get some alone time to unwind and watch an episode of Real Housewives or catch up on a show that the kids can’t watch. But back in June I started Weight Watchers, one of the things I started doing was going to bed earlier and getting more sleep. I couldn’t believe how much better I felt getting rested sleep!

And then I kinda fell off the wagon, and started staying up later and having a glass of wine after the kids went to bed. I noticed that I’d lay down and not even be able to fall asleep, or that I would wake up for no reason at 3 AM, and wasn’t able to fall back asleep for more than an hour (and usually longer than that.)

If you suffer from insomnia (meaning you can’t fall asleep, or fall asleep but toss and turn) you are not alone. Approximately ten percent of the adult U.S. population experiences symptoms consistent with the diagnosis of insomnia.

I wanted to share some healthy sleep tips I found at the National Sleep Foundation. They provide great resources for people like me who are suffering from sleep issues (i.e. insomnia, narcolepsy, cataplexy and more.) You’ll also find out how to start a conversation with your doctor if you’re having sleep issues and need to determine how to get a better night’s sleep.

These 5 healthy sleep tips have made a huge difference in helping me fall asleep fast and sleep all night long. I feel energized in the morning instead of tired, have more energy throughout the day, and feel rested and relaxed instead of sluggish.

If you can't fall asleep, toss and turn all night, or can't sleep throughout the night, these 5 healthy sleep tips will ensure a restful night of sleep.

5 Healthy Sleep Tips

Exercise – Yep, after I quit walking regularly is when I also started staying up later. I got back into my lazy routine, and exercise stopped being a priority. And since I was staying up late, I also was tired…too tired to exercise. It’s a vicious cycle!

Exercising is so good for your body and mind. It relieves stress and helps keep you healthy. We should strive to get 60 minutes of exercise a day, and I know what you’re thinking…when do I have an hour to exercise? If you make it a priority, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to find an hour.

If you can't fall asleep, toss and turn all night, or can't sleep throughout the night, these 5 healthy sleep tips will ensure a restful night of sleep.

It doesn’t have to be a straight hour of exercise, you can break it up. Take a quick walk during your lunch break. Instead of driving to pick up the kids from school, walk. Play outside with the kids after school. Talk a family walk. Consider getting a Fitbit and try to get 10,000 steps a day.

The National Sleep Foundation says that vigorous exercise is best, but light exercise is better than no activity. Whatever you do, it counts.

Be Comfy When You Sleep – Is your room too hot? Too cold? Ideal sleeping temperatures are between between 60 and 67 degrees. It should be quiet (I wear Drift To Sleep earplugs to cancel out Jason’s snoring,) but if you’re a person who needs some noise to fall asleep, try a white noise machine or download white noise for sleep music/sounds.

If you can't fall asleep, toss and turn all night, or can't sleep throughout the night, these 5 healthy sleep tips will ensure a restful night of sleep.

Also make sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillows. We both sleep on a  MyPillow and we LOVE them! You can adjust MyPillow to your exact individual needs regardless of sleep position. I recommend these pillows for sure!

Avoid alcohol and heavy meals in the evening – Two of my favorite things that I’d put together at 9 PM after the kids went to sleep! It’s amazing how much better you’ll sleep just by not eating and drinking late into the evening. No large meals for two to three hours before bedtime. Need a snack before bed? Have one of these light snacks 45 minutes before bed.

Avoid Electronics Before Bed – I’m guilty of this one, too. As I watch TV, drink my wine, and eat my junk food, I would also be on my phone on social media. What I didn’t know is that electronic devices can make it hard to fall asleep, because the type of light that emanates from the screens is activating to the brain.

If you can't fall asleep, toss and turn all night, or can't sleep throughout the night, these 5 healthy sleep tips will ensure a restful night of sleep.

You need time to wind down, so do something relaxing like reading or yoga. Yoga For Stress Relief is my favorite DVD. It has yoga programs for both morning and night that are either invigorating or relaxing.

Avoid Naps – Napping always sounds like a great way to catch some extra sleep, but they can actually hurt your ability to sleep at night. No more naps and go to bed at the same time each night – you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll sleep!

You’ll find more healthy sleep tips and other resources for a better night’s sleep at National Sleep Foundation. Be sure to follow the National Sleep Foundation on Facebook and Twitter to get more tips and learn more about the importance of healthy sleep. Beyondtired.org is another great resource. It helps inspire people suffering from insomnia to reach better sleep. Sleep.org also is dedicated to teaching us the benefits of positive sleep health.

Healthy sleep doesn’t have to be hard to get…you just have to know what to do to get it! What healthy sleep tips work for you?

If you can't fall asleep, toss and turn all night, or can't sleep throughout the night, these 5 healthy sleep tips will ensure a restful night of sleep.

Healthy Sleep Tips GIVEAWAY!

Guess what? I have a fantastic giveaway to share with you that’s just in time for the holidays! Enter now through November 23rd for a chance to win one of SIX Amazon Gift Cards! National Sleep Foundation is giving away (5) $100 Amazon e-gift cards and one Grand Prize $250 Amazon e-gift card. Good luck!

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National Sleep Foundation Giveaway

I-C will randomly select winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes (6 winners).

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Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and/or other affiliate sites. If you purchase any items through these links, I will get a few pennies as a thank you and you will still get the same low price! Thanks for supporting Mommy of a Monster.

5 Tips For Staying Healthy This Fall

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

It’s that time of the year! The weather’s getting colder and kids everywhere are starting to catch colds and other bugs. It’s the time of the year that my year’s always get sick. But there are some things that you can do to help prevent the kids from catching whatever’s going around. I’ve got five tips for staying healthy this fall.

5 Tips For Staying Healthy This Fall

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

Beware of the Playground

Not just the park, but any place the kids play. I read somewhere that jungle gyms are more germ-infested than public bathrooms. Blech! While yucky to think about, it makes sense; bathrooms are cleaned regularly but playground equipment is never cleaned.

Teach your children not to touch their mouths, noses, or eyes at the playground or anywhere they’re playing on play structures. Easier said than done, I know. Before leaving the park, make sure to use antibacterial hand gel on everybody’s hands and wash them thoroughly when you get home.

And on that note…

Teach Your Kids How To Cough and Sneeze

Teach your kids to sneeze and cough into the crook of their arm instead of just coughing or sneezing into the hands or the air. If your kids have runny noses, use tissues (or our favorite, Boogie Wipes) to clean up and then wash hands.

Wash Your Hands. A lot. And Don’t Touch Anything (only kind of kidding)

When you go to any store where there are shopping carts, make sure to clean the shopping cart handles with disinfectant wipes before you touch them. This is also true for anything you touch in  other public places: the gas handle when pumping gas, opening doors, money…just about everything you touch is fair game. Now you can’t run around with wipes or wearing gloves everywhere, but once you are back in the car you can use wipes or antibacterial gel to clean your hands. And when you get home, wash them really good!

A Note For You Moms With Little Ones: If you use a fabric shopping-cart cover to protect your child from touching shopping carts, know that germs can survive longer in fabric than on the cart’s plastic handle. Make sure to wash the cover regularly. 

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

It grosses me out to think that the kids are at school touching EVERYTHING like door knobs and  playing on the playground, coughing and wiping their noses. Then they head to lunch and eat with dirty hands. So I pack Wet Ones Singles in the kids’ lunch boxes so they can clean off of their hands quickly before they start eating.

Avoid Sickos

If you know somebody is sick, try to avoid being around them. Impossible for the kids at school, but you gotta do what you can at home. And remember, people are most contagious when they are running a fever. So if your little one has a fever, try to keep him or her away from other kids.

And because avoiding the sickos is nearly impossible…

Boost Your Immune System

Boosting your immune system will definitely help fight off any nasty germs and viruses floating around. And it’s easy to do!

Drinking plenty of  water is a simple way to help keep you healthy. Eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat will definitely help, too. Eating foods that are in season can help save you money on your grocery bill too!

Another powerful way to boost your immune system and keep strong is to get some exercise. Get the family out for a walk or a bike ride. Exercise doesn’t have to be structured – schedule a play date for your kids with friends and let them play outside.

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

Everybody always mentions taking Vitamin C to boost your immune system. I don’t know if it’s a proven fact or not, but Vitamin C helps neutralize free radicals and also helps iron get absorbed in the body. It helps support your immune system.† So I picked up someNature Made® Chewable Vitamin C tablets at Walmart to take along with my daily multi-vitamin. These aren’t for the kids: my kids take Nature Made® KIDS FIRST® multivitamins.

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

I take Nature Made® vitamins, supplements, and probiotics because it’s the #1 Pharmacist Recommended brand for many key dietary supplement categories* Nature Made® has a variety of vitamins, minerals, and supplements (VMS) to help support nutritional gaps with your health goals in mind ranging from Digestive Support, Heart Health & Function, Energy Metabolism, Women’s Health and much more!†

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

Why Walmart? It’s a one-stop shop! Walmart has everyday low prices on many of things that my family uses everyday, including Nature Made® items, so it’s easy to stock up and save and items I know that we use regularly. I got my hair, skin, and nail supplement while I was there, too!

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

Getting your gut healthy is a good way to boost your immune system too. Nature Made® Advanced Dual Action Probiotic has been clinically studied and provides dual support to both your small and large intestine for comprehensive coverage to help support digestive balance and healthy gut flora.†

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

It’ll make your gut feel better, naturally. Probiotics can help relieve occasional gas, bloating, constipation, and irregularity. So if you’re feeling sluggish, you might want to try a probiotic. A healthy gut will really make you feel better!

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

Nature Made® vitamins and supplements: An easy, convenient way to help your body get the nutritional support it needs every day, whether it be to support bone health, immune health or energy metabolism (helping convert food into energy).†

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

Not sure if Nature Made® is right for you? There’s no reason not to try them because you’re satisfaction is guaranteed or you’ll get your money back!\

Nature Made® Probiotics and other vitamins and supplements can be found at Walmart SuperCenters. For more information on Nature Made® vitamins and supplements available at Walmart, visit Nature Made®. You’ll also have a chance to enter to win one of 60 Walmart gift cards (each worth $50!) by taking part in the sweepstakes on the site (no purchase necessary). Good luck!\

*Based on the 2016 U.S. News & World Report – Pharmacy Times Survey.
 These statements have not been evaluated by the Food andDrug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.

Eat Healthy and Don’t Forget To Take Your Vitamins!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

Over the summer, I decided I was tired of being tired, feeling terrible, and eating terribly. So I started Weight Watchers and so far I’ve lost 15 pounds! Making the decision to lead a healthier lifestyle sounds easy, but putting it into practice on a daily basis for, well, the rest of my life has proven to be more of a challenge than I thought it would be.

Our busy schedules also interfere with all of my efforts and good intentions to eat a more balanced, healthier diet. But it’s working. There’s not as many sugary snacks or processed foods in the house, and the kids are learning that fruit does indeed qualify as a sweet snack…especially with a bit of peanut butter. We’ve all started walking everyday; the kids are in the 100 Mile Club at school and also walk in the evenings with me several times a week.

Because health and exercise are becoming priorities for all of us, I thought it would be a good time for everybody to start talking a multivitamin. So we headed to Target to see what would be the best choice for the kids and for Jason and I. Turns out, Nature Made® vitamins fit the bill for all of us.

Even if your family eats healthy, they still may not get all of the vitamins and minerals they need. Take Nature Made gummies to ensure they are getting what they need. Pick yours up at Target today!

We settled on the Nature Made® KIDS FIRST® multivitamin and fiber vitamins for the kids. My kids are picky about vitamins – they don’t like the hard, chalky ones or any vitamins that taste like vitamins. These are great because they are easy-to-chew, yummy tasting gummies.

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They come in 3 all- natural fruit flavors like Orange, Cherry & Mixed Berry. I like that the colors are derived from natural sources, so no synthetic dyes. They also do not contain any preservatives or yeast and are gluten free.

Even if your family eats healthy, they still may not get all of the vitamins and minerals they need. Take Nature Made gummies to ensure they are getting what they need!

Now as healthy as I try to make sure the kids eat, they still like junk food and would prefer candy over a plate of broccoli. I know they probably don’t get all the nutrition that they need each day, so the KIDS FIRST® multivitamin really helps ensure they’re getting the important vitamins they need like vitamins A, C, D, E, and B as well as minerals like iodine and zinc.

Even if your family eats healthy, they still may not get all of the vitamins and minerals they need. Take Nature Made gummies to ensure they are getting what they need!

The KIDS FIRST® fiber gummies provide a good source of fiber for the kids’ diet, which helps support healthy digestion†. Fruits, veggies, legumes (beans), whole grain and cereals are great options…and while the kids do eat those things each day, I’m still not sure that they’re eating enough fiber. And just like with the multivitamin, these gummies are gluten free, contain only all natural flavors and colors, and contain no preservatives or yeast.

Even if your family eats healthy, they still may not get all of the vitamins and minerals they need. Take Nature Made gummies to ensure they are getting what they need!

The Adult Gummies are good! Jason and I take the Fiber gummies, and like the  KIDS FIRST® gummies, these also come in all natural flavors with fruit flavors like mango, peach and strawberry. Not sure if Adult Gummies really work as well as other adult fiber and multivitamins? Give them a try. Nature Made® is so sure you’ll love the taste that they guarantee it with their “Love Them or They’re Free” gummy guarantee. Check it out! It says so right on the band when you buy a bottle of them.

Now that I’ve talked about trying to feed the kids delicious, healthy foods, let me say it’s been a challenge and they’ve fought me almost every step of the way! Here are a few healthy snack recipes they all have given thumbs up to.

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They love these Caprese Bites, and ask for them at least once a week. They’re so simple to make that I can’t say no when Lila asks if she can make them!

568de16c-3c5f-11e5-9acb-22000af93a2d Mia’s a fan of this Tropical Fruity Yogurt, and likes to change up the fruit we put in it.

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By far, Ethan’s favorite healthy snack is Crispy Kale Chips. He will eat an entire bag of kale when I make it this way!

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And all of us agree that these Peanut Butter Apple Slices make a great dessert. And if you’re doing Weight Watchers like I am, this dessert is only 5 sp!

Head over to Target now to get Nature Made® vitamins and supplements for your family. You’ll be glad you did, and everyone will love how delicious they are!

How do you ensure your kids are getting the vitamins and nutrition that they need each day?

†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Dramamine for Kids Really Works!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Dramamine® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

We are back from Hawaii! We had an amazing trip, and we can’t wait to go back. We ate delicious food (mom and dad even enjoyed some local adult beverages like a Lava Flow and Kona Brewing Company beers), we swam in beautiful warm waters, and drove through the gorgeous windy roads from Kona through Waimea and to the other side of the island to hike to incredible waterfalls.

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Akaka Falls, The Big Island of Hawaii

It was our first “big” family trip, and it’s one we will never forget. The kids had a blast, Jason and I had a blast, and we are all wondering when we can go back.

Remember I mentioned I was worried that the kids or I might get some motion sickness? Mia and I both seem to be affected by it, and so I dreaded the possibility. We had plans for a trip to the other side of the island (and those roads are windy.) That’s when Mia normally gets sick, in the car. So I was worried that the other two might as well.

We also had a trip to take a boat out a few miles off shore to snorkel with dolphins. We went out early morning – when the dolphins come in from feeding all night – and hoped to catch them in their resting spot for the day. I was concerned about Mia being on a boat since she gets sick in the car. She was also concerned that she might get sick and told me that her tummy hurt from the car ride. So before we headed out on the boat, I gave all of the kids Dramamine® for Kids in the hopes of staving off any potential sick issues and having to help her puke over the side of the boat!

Do your children suffer from motion sickness? Taking an adventure by car, boat, or train and not sure if they do? Don't forget Dramamine® for Kids - it WORKS!

There are other over the counter medicines out there, but we choose Dramamine® because it’s the #1 pharmacist recommended brand for treating and preventing motion sickness. I like the ability to be proactive and give it to the kids before, but if they start experiencing motion sickness when we aren’t expecting it, I can still give it to them if they get it and it helps mellow out the symptoms.

Dramamine® for Kids is the only medicated motion sickness relief product just for children ages 2-12. Since I have three in that age range, it’s perfect for our family. Just like the adult Dramamine®, it can treat symptoms of motion sickness on the spot, or you can use it before an outing to prevent nausea, dizziness, vomiting and queasiness. One of my favorite things about Dramamine® for Kids is the convenient travel case that it comes in that I can just toss in my purse or bag. Each tablet is a precise dose (no measuring needed) and the kids said that the grape flavor was really good…no complaints about taking yucky medicine!

And we got to see, hear, and swim with the dolphins! Bear with the terrible underwater pictures; they were taken with a $13 underwater camera and dolphins move FAST!

Mia didn’t want her picture taken underwater, but you can see her watching the spinner dolphins as they spin out of the water. They put on quite a show! The first (blurry) dolphin picture shows a dolphin who thought it was fun to zip past me – look how close we were! The bottom picture was of a mom and her baby. The baby was doing all kinds of spins in and out of the water. As a scuba diver who has often heard dolphins while diving but never got to see them, this was a really special experience for me. And it was made more special because the kids got to be a part of it as well.

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Now that we are home and out of vacation mode, I still keep Dramamine® for Kids in my purse for those “just in case” moments we decide to take another adventure! The L.A. Fair is here…I’m sure we’d all need some Dramamine® for all of the roller coasters and fast rides!

Do your children suffer from motion sickness? Taking an adventure by car, boat, or train and not sure if they do? Don't forget Dramamine® for Kids - it WORKS!

We were so happy with how well that Dramamine® for Kids worked, that Mia and I have given it the Mommy of a Monster stamp of approval!

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Do your experience motion sickness? Next time you travel, you can try Dramamine® too! Sign up for the latest news and promotions, and receive a $1.00 coupon towards Dramamine® products.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Dramamine® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

 

Do your children suffer from motion sickness? Taking an adventure by car, boat, or train and not sure if they do? Don't forget Dramamine® for Kids - it WORKS!

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The Freedom Challenge: Help End Modern Day Slavery

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Freedom Challenge.

Here’s a very sad but true fact: Modern day slavery exists. Every 10 minutes, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. Every 30 seconds, someone is abducted into slavery. That means, by the time you are done reading this, there will be 4-5 more slaves in the world.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

Did you know that there are 30,000,000 slaves worldwide? The International Trade Organization says that 80% of them are women.

Thirty.Million.Slaves. And 24,000,000 of them are women and children.

Let me give you an idea of how many people that is: Imagine that every woman in America between the ages of 18-24 was enslaved. Now add the entire population of New Zealand to that number. Next add in the entire population of Jamaica…and the entire population of Fiji. That’s how many
women are enslaved worldwide.

24,000,000 women and children have been forced into labor or indentured servitude, have been trafficked and sold, or that have been forced into marriage as a child bride. 12,000,000 children are under the age of 12. 2,000,000 children alone are exploited in the commercial sex industry.

Many of these women are sold to another human for less than one hundred dollars. Imagine one of your children being taken from you and sold for $100.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

That makes me want to do something about this very real, worldwide problem. And that’s where the Freedom Challenge comes in.

What Is The Freedom Challenge?

Freedom Challenge is made of women all over the world who participate in physical challenges. These physical challenges test our limits while raising funds and awareness to free oppressed and enslaved women and children all around the world, and set women and children on the pathway to freedom. They use a four-pronged approach to freeing women and children around the world. Their goal is to Prevent. Rescue. Restore. Develop. You can lean more about it here.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

Their mission is to free 1 million slaves and has already raised over three million dollars for the cause to date. The goal for 2016 is to free 1,000 women and children.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

So how can you help? Together we can make a difference because when we do things together, we can accomplish more than when we are alone. There are so many ways to show your support!

You can join a local event in your area or even get together a group of friends and create your own Freedom Challenge doing whatever you like to do – you can run, walk, swim, hike, climb…the challenges are endless.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

Physical challenges not your thing? You can still show your support. You can donate. You can sponsor someone else’s challenge. Every single penny helps get us to the goal, but if you are unable to do give monetarily, you can show your support by spreading the word about the Freedom Challenge.

Join me in spreading the word about the Freedom Challenge

Simply helping spread the word about the Freedom Challenge is a huge support. Knowledge is power, and if you are deeply passionate about a cause, introducing others to it is a great way to drive awareness to the cause.

You Can:

Sign up to stay in touch with Freedom Challenge and they’ll share the work and impact of The Freedom Challenge with you. Encourage others to do the same.

Read stories of women and children who were freed from slavery by the Freedom Challenge and share these heartbreaking but courageous, inspiring stories with others.

Follow Freedom Challenge on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Freedom Challenge is women fighting for women.

It’s Our challenge for their Freedom.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

Disclaimer: I received compensation in exchange for writing this post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.