Thursday, January 31, 2013

What's more fun than a box - Conscious Box January

    What an amazing little box! I'm not referring to the items inside, I am referring to the size of the box that was stuff to the gills of goodies! I signed up to Conscious Box through a voucher I purchased. January's box was my first box and I am impressed.
    Conscious Box is a monthly subscription box that delivers sustainable products that are from businesses that care for the planet for $19.95/month. There are plans for 3 and 6 months. They also have a Vegan as well as a Gluten-Free box option.

Opening the box. That is a wonderful welcome card to say hello to the service. Very nice touch!

A beautiful horse postcard.

After I opened the tissue paper. This box is loaded with goodies!!

Seriously! I cannot believe all this fit into that box! Lots of awesome stuff!!

 2 Soft Gel sample of Nordic Naturals DHA Xtra. They support brain function, memory and mood.

7.5ml Waxelene sample - a petroleum jelly alternative. Not greasy and they do not test on animals. With this weather we have been having I am sure we'll have some chapped lips here.

Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood Wild Berry Flavor Drink Powder. Made with organic wheat grass and each packet says it provide the nutritional power of 3 servings of fruits and veggies.  Perfect for my kids to try out! (Esp. my little man)

Peeled Snacks Apple Clusters. Organic and a natural source of fiber! Liv already called claim to this.

Larabar Roasted Nut Roll. A perfect combination of sweet and salty. It is gluten free, non-gmo and kosher. I have a feeling the hubs will find this.

Hail Merry Macaroons!! Gluten free, vegan, made with no refined sugar. These looks majorly delish! I think I will be stashing these for when mommy takes a bath. Their salad toppers look yummy.
(Seriously, sorry guys, I'm not going to share these!)

The Chia Co sample of chia seeds. Chia seeds are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3, dietary fiber, protein, and antioxidants. There was a recipe included to make pumpkin, cashew and chair soup but I think I will put 1 tbsp in my oatmeal in the mornings.

 Koopuwa by Maakoa. This sample is of a super food, super antioxidant, super-stimulating blend of phytonutrients with deliciously distinctive flavors coming right from fruits such as CupuaƧu, Acai, red grape, pomegranate, and berries. Says to just drink it from the package. This is 1fl oz.

Nutiva Organic Hemp Seeds shelled. Another great source of protein and those awesome Omega-3s. The package says it can be added to smoothies, cereals, omelets or just eat them out of the bag. I think since we have some frozen blueberries and bananas left, the Tweedles and I will make some smoothies and toss these in.

 I love my morning oatmeal so I am excited about this sample from TeeChia of their Blueberry Date High Performance Super Seeds Cereal. Contains chia, flax, quinoa, amaranth, ramon and pumpkin. It is gluten free, no sugar added, has those awesome omega 3s, whole grains and fiber.

Tea Forte Minteas in Lime Mojito. These are just awesome. I love lime and I love mojitos! These delish mints help to support the body's defense system with preventative antioxidants.

Pamela's Products all natural wheat-free, gluten-free, non-dairy Chocolate Brownie Mix. This is by far one of the coolest dessert mixes I have seen. Why? Because you can whip up some fudgy brownies in minutes and they are quasi guilt free.

Qbel whole grain crispy wafers in Minty Mint. I definately have to hide these from the Tweedles. 100% natural and dipped in Belgian dark chocolate you can indulge in whole grains with a minty taste! They even have hazelnut wafers! Yum!

All in all this subscription box service was very cool. The product samples were excellent sizes with a great variety and high quality. I definitely can't wait until February's box comes to see what goodies they send. 

I purchased this Conscious Box and was not compensated in any way.
My opinions are my own.


Next box to review: Mommebox - February

Monday, January 28, 2013

A whole hand

     My baby girl - well my first baby girl who technically is not a baby but a beautiful, wonderful young lady - is a whole hand's worth of fingers! She is 5!
    She was so excited for this day to finally be here. She woke up and tried on her fleece and was surprised it still fit. Then she showed Bear her hands were bigger and her legs were longer. Apparently turning five years old you go through an instant growth spurt.
    She even went as far as to request her first cup of coffee.., because as you know., she IS five. Happy birthday to my beautiful, amazing baby girl!!
Waiting for her turn at the Keurig

Thursday, January 24, 2013

LooHoo! Who? You!

    I love finding new, fun things. I especially love finding new, fun things that are green and that help to save time and money! I signed up for Green Child Magazine recently and found just that.
    LooHoo (formerly Wooly Rounds) are wool dryer balls that are an all natural, chemical free alternative to dryer sheets. These are great for your family members and the environment. 
     While the LooHoo wool dryer balls tumble around in your dryer, they naturally soften the fabrics. Don't ask me how but that is pretty cool! They can even be used with delicates. I have been told not to use dryer sheets in with bath towels so that they absorb better - I'm thinking these would be perfect to have soft bath towels without compromising the fibers.
    Need another reason to look into these? These dryer balls tumble with your laundry and separates it which allows more air to circulate. The more air that circulates, the faster the dry time is. I know what you're thinking, why do I want to get to folding my laundry faster? I know I don't (haha) but saving time and energy are two thumbs up in my book!
    I am definitely going to add the Deluxe Starter Pack to my wish list. As a mum of three I think these are going to be an awesome investment! And that is one my resolutions - to expand being a green household.
    What do you think? Do you use dryer balls? Pros? Cons? 

I love the colors!! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Surprise Party

    I have been missing for a few good reasons. My little man turned three last Wednesday and my little miss is going to be turning five on Sunday. So I have been planning their combined birthday party. It is a bit of a surprise for them. It seriously is nothing big. There are 5 kids and 15 adults, which is all of our immediate family. There are no extra friends or family, so it's a small thing.
    I asked Liv if she wanted a big party or a small one and then we could go on a trip. She chose the small party which I didn't predict. I thought she would have gone big. But it is really awesome that she wants to go on a trip.
    Naturally I could not help myself since my first born is turning five. A WHOLE HAND PEOPLE!! That is insane. I dont know what Im going to do when she turns ten.
    So we are going to have a little party with a Mermaid and Pirate theme. I am super excited. I was able to find an amazing place that is affordable and the kids will have a blast at. That is hard to come by for winter birthdays. Our current house is on the "small for party" side. The science museum was expensive and so was the zoo - besides who wants to go to the zoo in the snow?
    All my mums who have kids with winter birthdays - what do you do? When do you stop having family parties for the kids?

Wordless Wednesday

It's a play with dinos type of day!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Whats more fun than a box -Stork Stack January

    Stork Stack is one of the subscription boxes that I reviewed under a discount voucher and decided to continue my subscription. I opted to go with the oldest kid box this time to see what kind of things were out there for the Tweedles. This is my second box received under that age group and I'm going to admit that it is again "so-so". It might just be me but the younger boxes look more fun.
    January's theme was "Happy, Healthy New Year" 

The anticipation is super exciting!

I see goodies!

My January Box spread - not too bad.
The cards include a $10 sign up offer from Instagrad to link to your existing 529 to allow friends and family to directly give money to the 529. Perfect! I will be setting this up. There was also a product card and a wonderful card to wish Trey a Happy Birthday this month. That was nice.
I wasn't expecting that. I'm digging that personal touch!

Cook it! Book by George Birkett.
 This Childs Play book has fun pictures with bright colors.
A fun book that I know Little Man will like.
He is my kitchen helper - always has been.
That little man loves being in the kitchen during meal prep.
The overview on Barnes & Noble is: Who’s home for dinner? What shall we cook? What do we need to buy? And don’t forget the washing-up! Helping with real tasks is a natural progression from pretend play, and is a crucial stage in a child’s development. Achieving a shared goal encourages a sense of responsibility, and develops many skills useful in later life. Simple conversational text and lively illustrations are carefully designed to encourage further dialogue between reader and child.

Sorry for the glare in the picture. This is 4.17 fl oz bottle of Susan Brown's Baby Naturals Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer. This is for the mums not the baby. It is antibacterial with vitamin E, paraben & phthalate free and jojoba. There is no animal testing and no animal ingredients. It doesn't feel sticky and hasn't dried my hands out. It has a nice and pleasant light scent. 
(I keep this in my pump bag.)

Sweat Unlimited! Apparently Sara Haley wants to make you sweat! According to her website she has many accreditation's like she is a certified Pre/Post Natal Exercise Specialist by the American Fitness Professionals & Associates. 
Almost makes me want to find the time to work out. I remember after having kiddo #1 I was motivated to do a mommy and me work out. Bought a dvd and all but that never happened. Unfortunately, I abandoned that desire after having kiddo #2. As a full time working mum of three I am lucky I get to take a shower in the morning before making a decaf coffee. I understand the theme of the box and what Stork Stack was going for, but insert a "wah-wah". Perhaps one day I can truly give a review on this item but until I find that time, energy and desire this will be filed with the dvds.

The big winner from this month's box was the Contigo Autoseal Kids Trekker Cup. It is BPA, Phthalate- and PVC-free. If there is one thing these kids like it is water bottles! Little Man tried this out and it is a perfect fit for his grip. Might have to look into ordering another one so the Tweedles each have one of their own. Major kudos on this item.

    Overall this box was okay. I did end up sending a message to switch from a three year old geared box back to an infant geared box. I really like how easy it is to communicate with the company and how friendly and fast they respond. Even though this box was "so-so" to me, it's not going to make me cancel.
I'm going to let it ride. What do you think of this box? Hit or miss?

   I purchased this Stork Stack box and was not compensated in any way.
My opinions are my own.

Next box to review: Conscious Box - January

Flip a coin

    I am one of those people who thinks things happen for a reason - not all the time but most of the time. Today is one of those days where I could flip a coin to figure out if its a good sign or not.
    As you might know the Hubs and I are struggling with figuring out if we should add on to this house and keep living here, or move to a new one. The market in our area is very slim picking right now. And we have had a few houses squeak out from under us as we were late comers to the search. (Major bummer on the one - grrrr!)
    With that being said, I have had my eye on an abandoned house. Yeah that makes me a house stalker. Haha. It had been on the market when I had Trey then it went off and was never on again. It has been empty since. That's nearly three years! One day I drove by and saw signs on the front door, so I stopped to see what they said. Mainly the town had deemed the property empty and that the bank was to assume ownership and care. So I called the town and they put me in a direction of who owned it. I am still amazed at what I was able to piece together of the history and owner. Thank you world wide web. The town advised me to write a letter to see about the status but since it was a few days before the Christmas holiday I decided to wait until after then New Year. Might have been a good thing I waited.., maybe..., flip coin here.
    That brings us to this afternoon. It's a split work day with Hubs so when I get home he goes to work. He drove by this dream house of mine and he called to let me know the sign out front. Never heard of the realtor company and their website wasn't working so I drove out and grabbed the phone number. Insert severe anxiety here. I couldn't call.  I was chicken poop. I didn't want to hear some ungodly price and crush my dream. So he called.
    Apparently the house is just starting in the foreclosure process and it will be sold "as-is". This is where I crossed my fingers, toes, legs, arms, eyes, EVERYTHING!! This could be a good sign. I hope it's a good sign. I have to stay positive on this. Although waiting is horrible! My mind is churning. What number will the bank come up with? Did someone beat us to contacting them? Lots of what ifs and pleases whirl through my mind.
    It brings me to another thing - what is the process for pursing foreclosures? Has anyone bought a house "as-is" and in a state of foreclosure? Any tips or pointers? Things to ask about?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Little man's birthday is today!! He is the big three! 
Here is Lulu peeking in on him when we brought him home. 
Three years ago I became a mom of two and she became a big sister!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What's more fun than a box? Wittlebee

    I love kids clothes! I love to look for fun, original clothes for all three of my kiddos. I recently purchased a deal on a subscription to WittleBee. It is a monthly kids clothing club that hand pick outfits to match your style profile.
    It costs 39.99 per month for a 6 item box that has a retail value around $100, there is no contract, shipping to your house is included. You are also invited in member-only sales and flash sales. I missed out on the recent mystery bag sale but hope to catch one of those soon! Can't beat a mystery!!
    I signed up with Bear for clothes 6-12 months, long sleeve, pants/leggings, dresses/skirts in earth tones. There are many selections you can choose for your style profile. There are brights, pastels, black & whites or set your own in the color schemes. You can also choose short sleeves and onesies in what you prefer to dress your kid in. You can select up to size 6 in clothes. They also have an accessory selection if you wanted tutus, headbands or pajamas. The accessories count as an item - so if I want to get headbands I would get that and 5 clothing items.
    My first box arrived and I was very excited to see what came. Wittlebee works with some great clothing companies like Tea Collection, Baby Nay, Sweet Peanut and just recently announced their partnership with Threadless.

The Bee is in the house!!

Clean, pretty presentation.

Sage green leggings in Wittlebee brand 6-12m, Pink & orange dotted pattern cross over long sleeve top in Sweet Peanut brand 6-12m, soft purple floral Baby Nay pants in size 12m.

Adorable baby blue milk & cookie short sleeve shirt. 6-12m, I think this is a Treadless design.

Red sneaker long sleeve shirt from Sweet Peanut brand, 6-12m.

Close up of pink & orange dotted pattern cross over long sleeve top in Sweet Peanut brand 6-12m

Close up of Sage green leggings in Wittlebee brand 6-12m

Full view of the Baby Nay outfit with matching top. Adorable bell sleeve top with flower accent. Very cute!! Can't wait for Bear to grow into this!!

    I am pretty pleased with the selection they sent. I was surprised with the Sweet Peanut bright red sneaker shirt but to tell you the truth I think I like it. It's not an earth tone but it's definitely fun! I like the style of the cross over long sleeve top - the colors again are not what I would consider earth tone but it is cute. I can see me using three or four of the items for Bear out of the box.
   I went into my Wittlebee account and tweaked my style profile for my next box. That is a great option. You can also send a message to your stylist. I removed the long sleeve selection this time. I'm hoping to get more dresses than this box. I kept the earth tone color scheme and did not choose any accessories again.
    Interested? Try it out for a month or two. Use this link to receive $10 off your first order. Let me know what your style profile is and what adorable clothes you receive!

UPDATE - Second box was a total bummer - what was equally disappointing was the customer service - This has been cancelled since - Too bad

(They are currently on a hold therefore no boxes right now)

My review of Mommebox and you can read about it here.

Upcoming review: Stork Stack January Box

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Eat your veggies!!

    I am a busy mama, there is no doubt about that. I have always made it a priority, however, to make sure my family has a wholesome and nutritional meal for dinner that is enjoyed altogether at the dining table. Even when the Hubs works until 8pm I make the kids sit and eat at the table with zero television.
   I will admit I am guilty of some non-nutritional, yet savory meals for the kids like corndogs, buttered up grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken nuggets. Oh! And let's not forget the rare infamous run to "Old McDonalds" for a hamburger kids meal. Liv eats all but the fries and some of Trey's apple slices and Trey eats just the burger with a "forced to eat apple slice".  I have been doing really well at making Bear fresh food now that she's eating. She is very fond of avocado and banana. She will eat it all and then lick the spoon clean!
    So why am I babbling about cooking for my family? Well right now I am watching a documentary called Forks Over Knives. Some of the description on is as follows : FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the so-called "diseases of affluence" that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. 

    It is really amazing what they are presenting in their medical findings and the links between animal foods with cancers. I believe that everything that is good is good only if done in moderation. I have become privy to this while I am cooking and focus more on fruits and veggies. More than half the time there is seconds available of those than of anything else, whether it be fish, meat or poultry.
    I know that foods are made differently than they were years ago. Mac and Cheese is not the same that I had when I was a kid. We are very fortunate as a family that we are all healthy, trim and fit. We normally do not eat a lot of sweets or chips. I wish we lived in a climate where we could grow veggies year round. I wish that we lived in a climate that allowed us to visit a farmers market weekly. I wish the veggies and fruits at the supermarkets weren't so homely looking on certain days that make me leave the store without any fresh produce.
    I hardly doubt that we will become a meatless, dairyless family. We like the occasional hamburger, sushi and salmon fillet. Oh and let's not forget our precious Buffalo Wings here! But I am now MORE aware of what I was aware of before, fruits and veggies are more of the staple for your health than meats and dairy.
    That is why I plan to follow through with my desire to cook with something new every now and then like the artichoke from last week, or plantains last month. I want to try to make a broccoli pesto like dressing for noodles and some lentil hummus and a cauliflower pizza crust I saw somewhere once!! And by the way - I can make a mean lentil chili!! It is pretty tasty and ya wouldn't tell the difference.
    Have you made any changes to the way you cook for your family?  What have you done? Removed meats? Dairy? What is one thing you cannot live without? (Currently my guilty pleasure is this Auntie Anne's hot pretzel the boys brought home to me - yum)
A yummy haul from the Farmers Market over the Summer


Friday, January 4, 2013


    There is nothing worse than being sicker than sick! I have had no motivation to do anything. I just want to lay in bed under the covers and not have a care in the world - but the cold hard reality is that I am a mother of three and I'm still breastfeeding/pumping and I have now used 1.5 sick days at work which thankfully renewed last week.
    So in a round about way this is my apology that I haven't been much of a blogger. But I did receive some new subscription boxes today so I hope to get those up and posted.
    And now I will retreat to some saltines and tea.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

One of the best parts of Christmas Eve - and those are the last of them

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year, A New List

    Happy New Year!! So the family plan was to see how long we could all make it. Trey fell asleep first at 9:15, he was doing good until he laid down to watch Despicable Me. Bear was next, the Hubs was cat napping on the recliner but woke back up. I couldn't make it past 11:01. Liv was holding strong as I tucked myself in my bed and was very determined to make it to 11:59 but the Hubs told me this morning she made it 11:40ish. So close! It's 9:52am and she is still in bed sleeping. You would think I have a near teenager on my hands but nope.., she is going to be turning 5 in a few weeks.
    I make a lot of lists throughout the year so I wouldn't say I have resolutions but sitting here I am thinking of so many things I want to accomplish this year. Aside from the obvious of working on getting a bigger house and finding my groove back in my job that I seem to have lost when my mac computer was switched to a pc (who does that to an artist?! My IT personal sucks!) here is my first list of 2013 to have something to aim for.

    Become more organized with paperwork, coupons, ideas

    Clean out the basement - kids clothes, kitchen items, crafting area, etc

    Sort out clothes - bye bye maternity and pre/post pregnancy clothes

    Frame all my pictures and get those hung before they're too old

    Finally get that Etsy shop in gear - I bought more papers the other day!!

    Exercise my patience better - not only with my kids but with others

    Grow a vegetable garden and kind of tend better to the flower garden

    Fire back up my sewing machine

    Continue cooking with something new and different at least once a month

    Gather, sort and store each kiddos memory box items
    Last but not least - grow this blog. To continue with reviews and product boosting posts. To let you know what worked for us and what didn't. To brag about the kiddos or complain about crap. I would love to be able to host giveaways or special savings. To welcome you into our journey and stay along for the ride. To share your thoughts and helpful pointers.

    I take a moment to pause to look at my three kids. I have one that will be turning 3 in two weeks, another that will be turning 5 in four weeks and my 7 month baby bear is crawling around heading towards her goal which is currently one of Trey's toys, I can't help but smile and take a deep breath in. It's amazing what a new year on the calendar will fuel us with. I am ready for my first day of 2013.

Move forward into the New Year!!