Thursday, February 28, 2013

Think for the inside of the box

    As many of you know I love the excitement of getting a box in the mail with fun goodies. I have tried out boxes in the past through promos or just plain curiosity and have stuck with a few others that I have come to enjoy and that I feel are worth sticking with. Sadly, I have seen some boxes fizzle and suspend service. 
    I try my best at keeping up with the new boxes and services out there but sometimes one or two sneaks by me. So I'm asking my readers if there are any boxes that they have discovered and are interested in learning more about.
It doesnt have to be a mom box or a baby box, it can be a hobby box, a food box, any type!
    Just leave me a comment with the name or the website and I will add them to the list of boxes to check out. 


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

How about a bit of bright art by Liv for today's Wordless? 
Can't wait for Spring!!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Chef Big Bro

    My little man has always been in the kitchen with me when I cook. He loves to watch, ask questions and try for himself. I think he really likes being my taste tester the most.
   We have been making an effort to prepping more baby food at home with Bear, it's just easier since we already have the fruits and veggies for the older kids so taking an extra few minutes to whip up some puree for her is super easy. And with the Farmers Market around the corner the timing couldn't be any better! I use just a simple food blender I acquired a while ago.
    Trey wanted to help me out with the batch of fruits we bought over the weekend. Here is he making his "Big Brother Blend" for Bear. *Don't worry that knife he has is barely a blade and the banana was the only thing that he used it on since that is about all it can "cut" 

Cutting up the banana - he put 2 whole ones in
Counting out the 14 blueberries and 2 blackberries
Mixing it up
 Last but not least, bottling it up.
This step was going slow but he was doing such a great job, until he figured out that it was really yummy. So I stepped in and finished up.
I let him have the rest and boy! He practically licked that container clean!  

Do you make baby food? Do you intend to? 
What do you use? Just a food blender or a baby food focused one?
Does your little one have a favorite blend? 
Bear still loves the avocado banana blend we whip up.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Like picking up confetti during a wind storm

    I don't remember sitting down at all today until now. No wait, I lied I did sit down when I was trying to rock Bear to sleep. (Emphasis on "trying' as it wasn't a success) Oy!
   So I have concluded that trying to clean and organize this house is like trying to pick up confetti during a wind storm. I was in the basement for 5 minutes before one of the Tweedles wandered down, he wanted juice. Then second Tweedle came down to see what Juice Box Tweedle was doing. And wouldn't you know it, 3 minutes after that Bear was growling from upstairs in her bed.

haha- I couldn't help it with the Tweedle reference
    I ditched the basement organizing and thought I could accomplish some clothing sorting. I have such a mish-mash of clothes and I made myself a promise (which might be a form of a New Year's resolution with no pressure) to go through all my clothes for once and for all. So long maternity clothes! No more babes for this family. So long those weird intermediate clothes which are not quiet maternity but not what I "use to wear". Adios old clothes that I use to wear to go out in. And I am guilty of still having clothes from high school..., that was well over 10 years ago. (And no, I did not go to the reunion.)
    That mission was easily distracted by the wall peelies that were suppose to be able to just peel off when we wanted to but apparently they didn't get that memo. So yea, we have flowers and lady bugs on our wall in our bedroom. Which judging by the amount of scraping I did, they will be up for a bit longer. Uhg! I got annoyed doing that and by the Bear had crawled her way to me. Did I mention that by then Juice Box Tweedle came upstairs from the basement to tell me Wondering Tweedle crushed his hand some how. He could still move his fingers so off he went back down in the basement.

Yeah! Flowers and lady bugs

How annoying!!

    I could go on but I will spare you the rest.., it was just one of those days. I'm going to just sit here surfing the Internet, pump for Bear then head off to bed.
    What do you do on days like this? Any hints on taking off those darn peelies?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tortle Review and Giveaway

    Nearly 1 in 2 babies will develop flat head syndrome. I know this was something that was on my mind for all three of my kids. I had to make sure I was proactively keeping an eye on how they slept and how they laid their heads.
    Although I didn't know all the statistics and the facts, I just knew that if I let my babes sleep on one side that they could develop flat sections on their head. I didn't realize all the ripples that go into affect if a child is to develop a flat spot on their skull. It's kind of scary, especially for first time mothers.
    I want to introduce you to Tortle. Tortle is an adorable beanie that is designed to help prevent flat head syndrome by Dr. Jane. It can even help to treat the early stages when detected early.


    The name is so unique and I like the background behind it. The name of the condition in which severe neck muscles tighten associated with flat head syndrome is called Torticollis. Influenced with the turtle's shell's soul purpose to protect the turtle and there you have the background story of the Tortle name.
    This beanie is an FDA-cleared Class I medical device. It promotes healthy head and neck motion without pillows or wedges which we all know are "no-no's"
Such a fun, adorable design! This pattern is Sweet Pink Flowers.

    It is very easy to use and is best used within the first 6 months. Just align the support roll behind one ear when you put the beanie on and then switch sides after a while. If there is already some flattening present, simply use the Tortle on that side to help prevent further flattening. Once this is establish you can begin switching from side to side. Please note that is not to be used overnight.
    Tortle comes in three sizes up to 6 months/20lbs. It also comes in three different colors: Classic White, Sweet Pink Flowers and Whimsical Elephant. The design of the one I received to review was Sweet Pink Flowers. They also sell these fun interchangeable headbands. Too cute!!

The headbands fit through a hole sewn in the beanie.
Here I took a ribbon to give an idea of where it is located.

    This product is definitely something that should be on baby registries! I am still at a loss to know that so many babies are affected by flat head syndrome which is easily preventable.
    I wish this was around when I had my first child. Luckily I think I did a good job at keeping up with how my kids laid their head. I'll admit that sometimes I take a while before checking on Bear because I am preoccupied with the Tweedles. I have been using the Tortle for when she is in the swing and when she takes the occasional nap in my arms. (I can't help it - she's my last baby and I want to soak it all up! As we all know they just grow up too darn fast!)

Swing time with her Tortle- it's such a cute beanie.

    Want to learn more? You can read more about the product and about flat head syndrome by visiting their website here. It is very easy and educational.

    Want to buy? You can purchase a Tortle on here on their website. Choose your size and color and your that much closer in preventing flat head syndrome for your babe!

    Want to win one? Use the form below for your chance to win a beanie! Good luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a free Tortle as part of a promotional program with MomSelect.
All opinions are my own.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

To you with love

    Happy Valentines day all! So I normally don't celebrate this holiday with such gusto as others but there is good reason. My birthday is on the 16th so growing up today was just another to get in the way of the birthday count down.
    Since the Hubs went out of state on a job interview the kids gave him his gift before he left yesterday and it was a smash! He loved it!! It was a personalized spinner ring by Snow Mountain Designs on Etsy. I worked with Fran on the details and she did such a great job! Instead of the kid's names, it has the kid's birthday days on so when someone sees it they wouldn't know what the numbers mean. Check her out. (PS When he comes back home later today I'm going to take a picture to post on here since the ring is with him in WI)
    For the kiddos I did pink heart pancakes. Yummy! The kids also had a blast doing these balloon popper things. You smack the bag and out pops an inflatable balloon. How fun. They each got a little toy too because I couldn't help myself even though I should - haha. Trey got a few HexBugs, Liv got the Valentine Lalaloopsy Mini and Bear got a little doll.
    What did you do today for your little folks? Any sweet treats or fun surprises?

Smack A Pack - picked them up at Target in their deadly but fun dollar section

All the smacked balloons

Ok so I know this is corny but here are the Tweedle's pink pancake heart breakfast. Bear had her favorite - avocado banana puree.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's more fun than a box - Stork Stack February

    The Stork came and brought some friends too! February's Stork Stack had a great theme. It was like Noah's arc! Ok - so I didn't get two of everything but that would have been really sweet if I did. The items in this box were super fun!  Let's start the animal parade!

It's a stacked Stork Stack

How adorable are those giraffe BabyLegs leg warmers?!?! Years ago I purchased some for Liv when she was a wee bit; one of my favorites and still a classic is the Rainbow print. I just popped on their website to look at all the new designs and I think I might have the leg warmer bug again for Bear. They have fun designs for both girls and boys. These giraffe print ones are too cute!!
I see you! Melissa and Doug's Peek-a-Boo Panda is a beautiful wooden click clacking toy painted with child-safe dyes. This lovable panda promotes fine tuning those motor skills. I have a feeling that Bear will enjoy this little guy.
EBoost EBOOST is a naturally flavored effervescent vitamin supplement that comes in powder, tablet or shot form. EBOOST’s natural proprietary blend delivers energy that is unyielding, focus that is unclouded, immunity that is derived from vitamins and minerals, and a means of recovery that is not only sugar-free, but delivers essential nutrients. EBOOST gives all those who rely on it a healthy competitive advantage.
Under the Nile Flat Elephant is stuffed with 100% GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic Egyptian cotton. This measures about 7" long and is adorable! I got the rugby red one but they also have it in rugby blue. We have a few other Under the Nile toys that the kids have enjoyed like one of my favorites, the Grapes.

Ok - I am going to admit it! I tried some and I really didn't want to share this treat! Little Duck Organics Tiny Fruits are hands down delish! Since Bear is just on the cusp of chomping pieces the Tweedles and I tried this out. These are freeze dried fruits that are 100% organic fruit, non-gmo verified, gluten free with no added sugar or zombies (haha - the package actually says that!) The blueberries are awww-some!! If they are not available in a store near you - they are available online. We highly suggest checking them out. The wee folks give it four thumbs up!

    This was a fun themed box. Of course I have a little box envy of the toddler age group ones. They received TheraPearl Pals. Too neat! We could use two or three in this house for sure! I love our crazy crew but they get the occasional bumps and bruises. (Like when Liv got a black and blue eye right before Great Grandpa's 100th bday party. Oh the family pictures! haha)
    I am so pleased with this service that I opted to purchase another three months. I'm still keeping it under Bear so next month my box will be geared towards 9 month babes.
    And by the way - I can't say this enough about this company - their customer service is amazing!! I have dealt with a few other subscription box services that are not as awesome as these guys. And I'm so elated to know that with my three month box subscription that a box will be donated to their Give Back Program.
    What do you think about this month's themed box? What was your favorite surprise?
I purchased this Stork Stack Box and was not compensated in any way.
My opinions are my own.


Next box to review: Wittlebee box - February

Wordless Wednesday

    This is what it looks like when I suggest "Let's have an ice cream lunch" 
and let Liv make a creation herself. Wow! The perfect lunch!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mermaid and Pirate Party

    I'm normally not one to do fun holiday cookies or cupcakes with frosting and icing and toppers but I have always made my children's birthday cakes. This year's theme was Mermaid and Pirate. Another fun birthday combo party theme. Last year was just Princess and Hot Wheels but the year before that was Alice and Madhatter. That one was a fun one too!!
    Liv doesn't eat cake, just the toppings so I had fun making her cake with plenty of jelly beans, chocolate shells and an edible mermaid tail. (That's not Barbie - that is Chelsea just to get a size reference).
    Trey has started to eat the cake part but still is focused on the frosting and toppings as well. I used a sugar sheet for the black and white skull and some jelly bean waves with those yummy red Swedish fish.
    For the guests I usually use the rest of the cake batter to make cupcakes so I did an easy split down the middle and did part in mermaid and part in pirates. I even made them choose at the door if they were going to be a pirate or mermaid. It was a fun party. I'm looking forward to Bear's first birthday.., I'm thinking Pink Lemonade theme!!
     What kind of themes have you had to celebrate your kid's birthdays? How do you make it extra special?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

We're the Brightlings

    It's a rarity that we have a peaceful, slow wake up on a Sunday morning. (I hope I didn't just jinx myself). Liv is coloring, Trey is drinking juice and playing with a ring toy and Brynn is crawling back and forth between the edge of the carpet and the Brightlings. We're letting the Hubs sleep in a bit because he went to play hockey with the boys last night.
   As I was watching her I couldn't help but smile. When I was pregnant with Liv some 5 and a half years ago I had registered for LeapFrog Baby's Exploration Station and actually got it. Whoo hoo!!

    When it came time for her to explore and play with it - she LOVED it! Same thing with Trey. He had a blast with it too. Now it's Bear's turn and just as you can predict, she is having a ball with it. I smile because all my children have played and enjoyed this exploration station.
    The only place I could find it for sale still was on Amazon. It describes the product as: The Brightlings Exploration Station is a mini-world of discovery and learning that grows with your child. There are loads of places to visit and lots of things to push, pull, open, close, drop and spin. Add lights, music, talking characters and learning songs to bring this magical world of learning to life. There are three ways to learn - baby mode, toddler mode and music mode.
    I love that this toy has entertained and kept in one piece from kid to kid to kid. And I am sure that who ever ends up with this station that their kid will enjoy as well. The Leapfrog brand has been one of our favorite brand of kids products. My older daughter has the LeapPad. Trey has a bunch of their other products like the cell, computer and a letter pad. We have a few more items too. Such a great company for quality kid learning toys.
    Do you have the Exploration Station? What is one toy that you have watched your children play with?
How fun and adorable is this??! I love the characters and bright colors.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Like a blizzard

    What a week it has been! I don't even remember Monday to have distaste in Monday. If I didn't have four calendars looking at me right now I would have thought it was Wednesday. Ever have one of those weeks?
    So without getting into a mega sob story, my current office is a hole in the wall with no windows. Sometimes that is a good thing when I have denial about the winter weather, but sometimes its a bad thing like when I see the sun shining. Then again, both conditions make me wish I was home and not at work.., haha. 
    Right now it's a blizzard - well not full on, crazy blizzard but it is snowing more than has all winter. I am dreading the drive home, the drive to pick up the kids, the drive to gymnastics (assuming they are not cancelled tonight) and then the drive back home. (wah!)
    What is the weather doing by you today? Sun? Snow? Sleet? Rain? What do you do when you have to drive in awful conditions? Sometimes I will switch my music over to classical to help calm the mood. 
 What I feel like driving - sans the beard

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

The treasures my son leaves in his pockets for when we do laundry 
- what a bounty!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday and Friday

    I have two nights that are my busy nights.., Monday and Friday. Monday is just an eternal sucky day because it means the weekend is over and back to the grind we go. Friday should one of those awesomely cool days where you grab the kids and relax because the weekend is finally here.
   Monday is a long night for me because the Hubs works until 8pm so I pick up the kids, sit in traffic, make them dinner, feed Bear and the Tweedles, bath, books (depending on how long bath takes and Bear's mood) and then Tweedles  to bed. Then I turn around and feed Bear so she will lay down with just enough time to spare to make something to eat for the Hubs and I. Oh and get Liv's dance clothes ready for the next day along. Phew!
    Fridays currently are gymnastics days so its work, rush to get kids, have Liv change while rounding up the other two - I go to her classroom first with her bag and have her change in the bathroom - race out to the arena then home to eat, followed by bath, books, bed, blah blah blah. Luckily that season should be nearing an end within a month or two.
    What are you busy days? What do you do to keep things running smoothly?

What's more fun than a box - Citrus Lane January

    Citrus Lane is a monthly subscription box that has full sized and sample sized products accordingly to your child's age, stage and gender. It averages $25 a month and has 3, 6, or 12 month subscriptions that offer a per box discount. If you ever need to pause your service you can. You can also send these as gifts to new moms or kiddos.
    I purchased a voucher for a 3 month subscription and this is my second box from that deal. (Sorry I didn't review December's box. Things were a little hectic here with the holiday and upcoming birthday celebrations but we're back on track)
    This was an excellent box! I am thoroughly impressed. The products were awesome! I aimed my profile to my wee bit Bear so this box was for an 8 month old. Let's start the show!

Cheerful and bright! Instant fun mood!
Peek a boo! I see you! A full box is an awesome sight.
I love this! It's a Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie insulated lunch bag. The owl is too cute.  It is BPA and phlhalate free. High quality and colorful. It is roomy with a mesh pocket inside to stash utensils, wetnaps, etc. These retail at $14.

 We love food pouches. I toss them in our day packs and away we go! Easy to stash, retrieve, use and dispose. We haven't tried Ella's Kitchen yet so I am excited. (And I think our Babies R Us/Toys R Us just started to stock this brand so these will definitely be on my list to keep an eye on.) These are 100% organic fruits and vegetable purees with zero additives. Pure goodness.

Next few products are a full sized and a sampled sized by Episencial. The full size Soothing Cream soothes and comforts itchy, irritated skin and eczema. It is organic and unscented. Perfect for my little one with this wintery mix weather here. I just noticed today her legs were looking dry so I put a little on them after bath. The full size retails for $11. The sample sized Playful Wash is a mild pH neutral baby cleanser made with organic calendula, oat extract. Both are for ages 0+ and feature that hungry little caterpillar fellow. 

This disinfectant spray by Clean Well is sure to be a diaper bag essential, especially when the weather breaks and we venture out to the zoo or museum. I always wipe down the tables but never feel like I get the gunk off enough. This can also be used on changing tables, toys and even toilet seats. Kills 99.99% of germs botanically and eliminates odors. It does have a nice light lemon citrus scent. We have tried their all natural hand sanitizing wipes before and were very pleased with this brand.  Can't wait to try this spray out! A two pack of these retail for $7.99 on the company's website.

I love, love, LOVE board books! Why? Because I have three kids and when I invest in a book I want it to last longer than a month. I really love brightly colored board books with fun pictures and drawings. This is an uber fun book! Bear in a Square by Stella Blackstone and Debbie Harter is a wonderful book from BareFoot Books. This is really a neat book that lets your little one interact with it while you read and they look for the shapes with the adorable bear. In fact there are a few more Bear books in this collection, like Bear in the Sunshine. (I'm also in love with this because our wee one's nickname is Bear) This retails for $6.99

This really was a great box! I can't wait for February! Interested in signing up? Use this link to save $10 off your first month. Let me know what age group you signed up for.  You can also receive more than one box if you have more than one kiddo. You do have to set up different accounts with different emails addresses though, but it is easy enough and judging from this box - it's worth it!

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



Next box to review: Stork Stack box - February

Sunday, February 3, 2013

To make a bid or not

    So a while back I b*tched complained pointed out that our current state of our house is that it is stuffed to the gills and is too small for us. Well, it was small for us two kids ago but who is keeping track?
    Yesterday we toured a house that ironically is diagonal from the one that I "house stalked", which by the way came on the market at an ungodly asking amount for an abandoned foreclosed property. But I'm not going to linger on that. (Even though it still grinds my gears) This house we toured is mainly what we want. A two story colonial style house with four bedrooms, a few bathrooms and a basement. Only "hiccup" on this property is that there is a dry pond in the back yard after the property line. The good news is that the town will never, ever, EVER build on it but the bad news is that we could never, ever, ever purchase that land behind ours and build Hub's dream barn/workshop.
    I'm struggling with this idea that if we were to put an offer on it and it was eventually accepted that the perfect property and dream home in our price range and desired school district would pop up on the market! Maybe because this type of thing has happened before.
    You know what I'm talking about, where you do all your research, you save up, you finally get what you had wanted/needed and then the next day there is something exactly what you were looking for but instead had already "settled" on what you worked up towards.
    One realtor that we were working with pointed out that this next house should be looked at being ours for the next 20 or so years. That's a long time! I wasn't even thinking about time spans when Hubs bought this house. Although we had both agreed that eventually we would put an addition on current house..., which has obviously changed.
    Have you ever felt like something better was going to come to light after you finally decided? How about on something big like a house? What did you do? I'm half tempted to promise myself to never, ever look online at the new houses for sale after we hopefully find ours. But the cat in me would be uber curious.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

What's more fun than a box - MommeBox February

    It's here again. My shiny black box just for me! My February MomméBox came and again it totally rocks! Mommébox is a monthly subscription box of beauty, lifestyle and education products selected for mothers.
    The boxes are themed and the list can be found here. There are a few different billing options and can cancel any time. I am not sure if you can pause your subscription though. I'll have to find that out. 
    February's theme was Share the Love although I'm not sure how much sharing I'm going to do with my goodies. Haha. Let's dig in shall we?

Told you she was shiny.

The note card from the Mommebox Team with product descriptions.
I love opening the box and unwrapping the tissue paper!!

Plant Fusion Protein Powder in vanilla bean. This shake has no dairy, soy or animal. It is hypoallergenic and gluten free.

This looks yummy, although I am sure I have to wait until I am done breastfeeding. Click espresso protein drink is a three in one drink for performance, energy and nutrition. With 23 vitamins and minerals it is only 120 calories. It is also gluten free and has no artificial colors or flavors. Nice!

Health Warrior Chia Bar in coconut. All natural, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. It does contain tree nuts. It also has those awesome for you omega 3's, protein and antioxidants.
Another bar that came in the box was the EcoTrek Fitness Whole Food Bar in dark chocolate toasted coconut. Non-dairy, vegan and 100% natural. This bar is packed with six servings of fruits and vegetables. Sound like the health nuts version of an Almond Joy. I'm excited to check these out!

A coupon for a free 10.5oz Sambazon Superfood Juice or Smoothie. I'm thinking I'm going to look to try either the Supergreen with Kale and Ginger or the Protein with Chocolate, Almond and Coconut Milk since I still have to stray from caffeine. Has anyone ever tried these before? What was your favorite?
Dr. Cleangreen's Handy Essentials moisturizing Hand Purifier. It is USDA Organic and kills 99.9% of germs on contact. It is made with a blend of purifying essential oils so there is no excessive alcohol, hazardous chemicals, artificial colors and fragrances. I can smell the clove, cinnamon, thyme and some lemongrass. It has a pleasant sweet smell .

Two samples of Glee Gum with a bogo coupon. This gum has natural ingredients with no preservatives and no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. It is gluten, dairy and nut free. Need another reason to check this gum out? It is made in the USA and is a member of Green America.
Next is a Hyde Yoga savings offer. Hyde has organic cotton yoga clothing. I might have to get some new yoga pants.., and then take up yoga.
Last is a savings offer for Dr. Robin for Kids. I wish we could have received a little sample from this company but the savings offer is worth checking out. They carry gentle, gluten-free and vegan skin products. They do not test on animals. There is no chemicals, phthalates, parabens, animal-derived ingredients or fragrance used.
Another great box from MomméBox. I'll be tossing those snack bars into my purse for a quick pick up on those long days for sure. And once I can indulge in caffeine again I'll mix up that Click espresso protein drink. March's box can't come soon enough! This is an excellent subscription box service so far and we're only the second box in. Are you signed up yet?

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


Next box to review: Citrus Lane - January

Friday, February 1, 2013

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

    I remember reading once that if you wanted good luck in the new month that the first thing you say is "Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit". Since it was so long ago that I read that and I can't recall where it was written I got good ol' Wikipedia to confirm that memory.

From Wikipedia:
 "Rabbit rabbit rabbit" is one variant of a common British superstition which states that a person should say or repeat the word "rabbit" or "rabbits", or say the phrase "white rabbits", or some combination of these elements, out loud upon waking on the first day of the month, because doing so will ensure good luck for the duration of that month. Today, it is a frequent tradition in many English-speaking countries.

     Well - I didn't say it this month. (oh dear!) I thought of it. I really did. I have done it in the past. Eventually it has to work and lord knows I'd love some good luck. I thought of saying it quietly enough so no one could hear but still be out loud. I even hesitated before I got out of bed. But instead life got me and in one swoop I hoisted off the covers, got out of bed and went to the living room to see the morning commotion status was so I immediately went into "get ready for work while getting the kids ready to all get out of the house on time" mode. 
    What things do you do for good luck? Have you ever heard of this Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit superstition? 

rabbit rabbit rabbit