Saturday, August 31, 2013

Juppy Momentum Review

I am above average in height for a woman (I am 5’8) and I have back problems. When my children reach the age when they are learning to walk, it can be quite exhausting and painful walking hunched over, trying to assist them. Finally, with child number three, someone has come up with something to help!

The makers of the Juppy sent me one to review, and I am so glad they did! Sophia isn’t quite to the point where she is taking steps, but she does love standing up and bouncing. The Juppy makes it really easy to hold her in a position that is comfortable for me, while being fun for her.

It was really easy using the Juppy. I had my husband hold the seat of it open, while I slid my daughter down into it, much the same as putting a child in any other walker. There was enough room to put her in it easily, while not being so loose as to be dangerous. While the fit was already perfect for us, there is also a zipper and Velcro secured buckles in the back to tighten or loosen it as necessary, which gives us plenty of growing room for the future.

The cloth is sturdy but light. My Juppy is lined with soft pink cotton, but it also comes in blue or yellow. The same soft cotton is repeated on the handles, making sure that your hands will not get irritated by the strap. As we all know, once a baby gets going, they want to keep at it for quite some time! Using the Juppy means that while you might get tired, it won’t be because you have been killing your back!

Another feature that is pretty neat is that because the Juppy is simply made of cotton, it is easy to fold up and bring with you anywhere. It even comes with its own bag, making it perfect for stowing in a diaper bag or for use while traveling.

Some similar baby walking devices do not look very solid to me. The Juppy Momentum has cloth going all the way around it, not just the front and back, which makes me feel better about trusting an unsteady baby to it. Just to be thorough, I tossed it in the wash (gentle cycle, like the tag says), and it came out great! Both the stitching and coloring stayed intact.

Sophia already had a great time when we were trying this out. I know that it is something she will continue to enjoy, while she is learning to walk. I especially love that when we go traveling, it will be one toy that we will be able to take with us without any hassle.

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, August 30, 2013

"Angels" by Alexis York Lumbard

I was recently asked to review a new children’s book, “Angels” by Alexis York Lumbard and illustrated by Flavia Weedn. They sent me the book in exchange for my honest review.

The book is, predictably, about angels. It is written for very young children. One of the things I like about it is the simplicity. There are no more than four words per page, and it rhymes, making it a great book for kids who may want you to read it over and over. The rhyme is pretty catchy, and can quickly be memorized.

This book would be perfect for someone who is not looking for something Biblically accurate. Angels are presented almost like fairies, in that it speaks of seasonal angels, angels with different colored wings, angels who like snow, and making flowers grow. In fact, when my daughter first saw it, she thought they were fairies.

This would make a great bed-time story, as it ends with a picture of a child in bed, with angels around. The parting words are, “Angels, angels, always near, protecting you, my special dear!” That is a really nice message for kids who might be dealing with nighttime fears.

You can connect with the publishers of this book at:

Or you can purchase it HERE. Also available is a book trailer, which offers a summary for those interested in learning more. This hardcover, beautifully illustrated book sells for $14.95.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Frecklebox Review and $40 Gift Card Giveaway!

My daughter, Shari, has a name that is not very common anymore. Even those who do share her name do not usually share the same spelling. Because of this, it is nearly impossible to find her anything that comes with her name professionally printed on it. That is, until I found Frecklebox.

Frecklebox is a company that has all kinds of things for kids. They carry things for school, holidays, games, parties and gifts. They have things for all ages – even babies! The best part is that every item is customizable with your child’s name! Frecklebox sent me a code so I could pick out some items to facilitate a review. I chose a folder with my daughter’s favorite colors – purple and pink, and a puzzle. They both have her name printed on them, and her face when she saw them was so much fun!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Markdowns at Tea!

Okay, all my Tea Collection lovers! Right now, you can get some great deals on your favorite clothes. Tea is offering 20% off of all of their boys and girls tees. You will find markdowns on the China Blue collection AND you can get 10% off on ALL the new arrivals! These deals won't last long, so make sure you shop now!

Finding the Silver Lining: When Your Child is Sick

My littlest lady, Sophia seems to be always catching a cold. It is hard on her little system, as she isn’t even 8 months yet. She has had several colds already, and she has even had croup once. When a baby is sick, snotty, and has a cough, they are miserable and you become miserable right along with them because there really isn’t much you can do for them.

As hard as it may be to find, there is a silver lining here! You may have to look hard to find it, but it is here.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hard Truths

Today, my son learned a hard lesson. He learned that some people in this world would not like him simply because of his ancestry. Alex is half white and half Mexican-American, as are all of our children.

During family movie night, we were watching ‘The Perfect Game.’ You can find it on Netflix. This movie is set in a time when racism was rampant. The Mexican boy’s little league baseball team came to America to play the Little League World Series and was treated terribly.

My son has heard about racism, but it wasn’t until watching this movie that he realized that it could be directed at him. He was shocked. While I am so grateful that he has not discovered this on his own yet, I know that it is a possibility in the future. We decided to take the opportunity to have an honest discussion with him about it.

We spoke about how people used to be treated, and how he is blessed to live in a time when more emphasis is placed on a person’s insides than out. We also discussed how he should act if someone ever does say or do something mean to him. We told him that he should say, “God loves you and God loves me,” and then he should walk away.

I hope that he never has an encounter where he would need to use the words we gave him. Unfortunately, I know that there are still people who would only see what they want when looking at him. They would not see the sweet, smart, funny, kind young man that he is becoming. While it was a difficult conversation to have, I believe that it was also necessary.

Racism is not something that I want him to dwell on, as I don’t think it benefits anyone to look for it so hard that you find it everywhere – even in places where it is not. Now that we have had this conversation, we are going to let it be and simply hope that he will never have to think about it again. He knows how to handle the situation should he have need and he knows that we are here if he ever has questions in the future.

Have you had to have this conversation with your children?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mamas & Papas Stroller Giveaway!

Viva Veltoro and Thrifty Nifty Mommy have hit some blogging milestones!  
To celebrate Viva Veltoro reaching 10,000 Facebook followers and Thrifty Nifty Mommy 
reaching 25,000 Facebook followers, they're hosting a huge giveaway event!
Today's event is coming to you from Mamas & Papas!

Monday, August 26, 2013

SmartSilk Giveaway!

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

KRE-O CityVille Invasion: Marina Madness Review

*We received a product in exchange for our honest review from BzzAgent.

We spent our Saturday running around doing errands. My son, Alex, was so well behaved and patient throughout all of it, that it was perfect timing to find a box with the Marina Madness inside waiting on our front porch! It was a well deserved reward. He spent the next 2 hours (yes, two hours!) putting all of the various pieces together. He has become very interested in all things aquatic lately and has been using his Lego's to build submarines and all other manner of underwater contraptions. This set fit his interests perfectly!

 These are very much like Legos, but then again, they are definitely in their own league. They are compatible with all of the existing Lego pieces, which is a really nice bonus - you can use them to supplement sets that you already have and love. They are different from Lego’s though, in that there are sounds, vibrations, and a “swimming” shark that actually moves on its own! Alex was especially taken with the shark, and a “gun” that really shoots (don’t worry parents; it only “shoots” out about an inch and even then not anything that could hurt anyone).

There are several figurines included with this set, allowing his little sister to get in on the play as well. A workable truck, boat, and several other fun parts makes this something that he will easily spend hours playing with. He has informed me that this is going to be his new "Navy Headquarters."
There were some difficulties with assembly. Putting this set together is not an easy task. There are dozens of tiny parts (206 to be exact), which can easily get lost if accidentally dropped. We had to stop and search for little parts several times during assembly.

This set requires 3 AAA batteries, which do not come included. In order to load the batteries, you have to put them in before putting the entire set together. If you don't, you will have to take the large block off of the blue “water” piece, thereby detaching everything that is already attached to the block  in order to load in the batteries and then replace it all (I'm speaking from experience here!). Needless to say, this is something that could use improvement.
While my 8 year old was pretty much able to assemble this on his own, I would not recommend letting a younger child do it without assistance (this is recommended for ages 6-12).

All in all, I think this is a great toy. Now that it has all been put together, my son loves it. I have a feeling I am going to have to start looking at the other KRE-O sets for Christmas!

Friday, August 23, 2013

MilkMakers Lactation Cookies Review and Giveaway!

I am a nursing mom, like many of you. While my milk supply is currently stable, it has not always been so. I have tried the fenugreek tablets (so gross!), pumping more often (painful and time consuming), and just recently, I had the opportunity to try MilkMakers Lactation Cookies.

These cookies are by far the easiest and tastiest way I have found to keep and maintain a milk supply. I tried the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, in exchange for my honest review and I am so glad I did!
These cookies are made with organic ingredients, and contain key elements that are instrumental in boosting the milk supply. Oats, brewer’s yeast, and flax seed are all known to increase a mom’s milk supply and each are included in these cookies in a delicious blend.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Find the Silver Lining: Not Sleeping Through the Night

Sleep. Oh, how I miss it! With my daughter being 7 months already, I keep hearing about other babies who were sleeping through the night by this time and sometimes even much earlier! I posted on Facebook last week, asking when other babies were sleeping through the night. It turns out that I’m not alone! There were several of you who shared how your children didn’t sleep through the night until much later, even after they were a year old. (Oh, Lord, please don’t let that be Sophia!)

Now, while this is a bit disheartening, someone also shared a very interesting resource. There is an article in Psychology Today that talks about babies and their natural sleeping rhythms. Basically, the natural state is for a baby to not be sleeping through the night at such young age. Waking every few hours is normal for a baby for two reasons.

First, as we all know, they wake up to eat!  A breastfed baby wakes up more frequently than a formula fed baby because it takes longer to digest formula, as it contains a lot of additives and it’s higher in fat than human breast milk. 

Second, (and I found this really interesting), they are designed to wake up every few hours so that they don’t spend so much time in the deeper sleep stages, from which it is more difficult to wake up. A baby who does not sleep so deeply for long stretches may be at less risk of SIDS. That is probably the best silver lining to a baby not sleeping through the night that I have heard of! It certainly makes me feel better about Sophia waking up several times throughout the night.

As for my own experience, Alex (my oldest) started formula at around 2 months old, but he still wasn’t sleeping through the night until he was about a year old. Shari, (my 5 year old) started formula when she was about 4 months, and that is also about when she started to sleep through the night. Sophia has been exclusively breastfed, and she doesn’t look to be anywhere near sleeping through the night any time soon!

What ages were your children when they were sleeping through the night? Did you formula feed, or breastfeed, or both?

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

$30 iTunes Multi Pack for just $25

*This is a sponsored post, however, all opinions expressed are my own.

With school starting back up and kids getting back in the swing of things, it is important to remember that they also need to relax. Working hard deserves a reward and JC Penny has just the thing!

Right now, you can buy a $30 iTunes multi-pack of gift cards at JC Penny for just $25. For those of you who have kids going off to college, or needing some new music to study to, this would make a great gift, while helping you to save some extra cash.

This offer is available for a limited time only from August 18 to the 31st. While supplies last, see store for further details.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Soda Causes Aggressive Behavior?

Do you let your children drink soda? If so, then you need to read this! There has been a recent study published linking the amount of soda children consume with their aggression levels. The study found that almost half(!) of the 5 year olds in the survey took in at least one serving of soda per day and their aggression levels increased with each added serving. Some of the behaviors reported from those taking in more than 4 servings per day were physically fighting, destroying property, attention problems and withdrawal. That’s a pretty scary thing to think about for our young ones!  

My own children don’t drink much besides water, milk, and juice on occasion. The only time they ever have soda is when they take a sip of mine or Handsome’s. Our oldest, Alex (8), took one sip and decided that he hated it, which is awesome, but foolishly led me to believe that all of my children would be like that. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Shari (5) would drink it all the time if we let her!

Now, to be fair, the researchers do not yet know what specifically is causing the rising aggression levels. It could be the caffeine, the sugar, or something else entirely. I think it is pretty well established, however, that soda (coke for the southerners!) is not really good for any of us, let alone the smallest members of our society. I'm totally guilty of drinking my share of soda, even though I know how bad it is!

Trying to get off of caffeine tends to give me withdrawal headaches and I feel tired all the time (although with an infant in the house, I can’t entirely blame caffeine withdrawal). If it affects my body that way, I can only imagine what it could to do a little one. 

When I was a kid, I remember that our elementary, middle and high schools all had soda machines readily available for kids to buy from. Diet Coke was a staple in my house growing up and I probably drank that more than anything else. Today, though, people are becoming more and more aware of the negative effects, and are starting to ban it from schools. On this issue, I do not see the need to ban soda completely, but I do think taking the machines out of schools would be beneficial.

What do you think? Do you allow your children to drink soda? Do you think it should be banned from schools?

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Thyme Maternity Nursing Top

Thyme is an international brand of maternity and nursing wear that focuses on making a woman feel and look her best throughout pregnancy and into early mommy-hood.

They recently sent me a top to review, and I have to say that for the most part, I am really pleased! My problem with most nursing tops that I have seen is that they are cut too low for me personally. This top is cut so that you can adjust it so that it sits a little higher on the chest, or lower, depending on your own preferences. 

I also love that it doesn’t necessarily look like a nursing top. No one would ever guess that each side of the ‘V’ splits open to allow for discreet nursing. While I was able to feed my daughter through the slit in the top, I found it easier and more comfortable to simply pull one entire side down, which is great for when you have no need to be discreet. The material is a jersey knit, which makes for a very stretchy and comfortable fit.

The way this shirt works is, each side of the ‘V’ in the V-neck is made up of two panels. When you pull just the front panel down, there is a slit in the second panel, allowing for much more discreet nursing. When you pull the panel back up, the four panels merge together. 

Another thing that I like about it is that it is a maternity top and a nursing top. I for one, dislike purchasing so many maternity clothes that you will only need for a few months and then might never wear again. Thyme maternity has several tops that encompass all the ways that a woman’s body changes throughout the stages of motherhood, allowing you to make the most of your wardrobe.

So, where can you get it? You can find Thyme Maternity and nursing wear at Babies R Us. If you don’t have one near you, you can order online. I can tell you that in my experience, the sizing was accurate. Right now, this top is on sale, so you might want to hurry!

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Welcome to the For The Home Giveaway Event!

Welcome to the For The Home Giveaway Event!

Hosted by the Southern Mom Media team:

Welcome to the For The Home Giveaway Event featuring 5 awesome products for your home! With the cooler seasons coming, you'll be spending a bit more time indoors and we want to make sure that your home is stylish and ready for all that extra attention.

If you have been waiting to jazz up your home, now is the time, with some help from your Bloggy friends! Here are the list of prizes!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Vote For Me!

A few days ago, I signed up with Top Mommy Blogs, which is a website that ranks (obviously) the top mommy blogs! I would be honored if you all would vote for me and put me on the map!

And did you know that you can vote every day, from every laptop, desktop, or mobile device?

All it takes is a moment of your time to click on this banner below. That's it - one click. You don't have to sign up or register for anything!

You can do this daily, the banner is right under the top tabs. 

Spark of Amber Review and Giveaway

Several weeks ago, I got the opportunity to try out the Baltic Amber and Hazelwood necklaces from Spark of Amber. If you are not aware, Amber teething necklaces are very popular right now! Not only do they look adorable, but they serve a purpose as well.

Amber has been used for a very long time as a natural remedy for pain relief. When wearing the Amber against the skin, it heats up and the oils from the fossilized resin have a soothing and calming effect. Teething is not the only use for it though! It can also aid with inflammation (think ear infections or a sore throat).

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to School in Style with Matilda Jane!

For those of you who don’t already know about Matilda Jane, they are a fabulous boutique children’s clothing company! I was so flattered and excited recently when they sent me a dress to review for my little Shari, and she was so happy! 

Matilda Jane calls themselves ‘An unpredictable clothing company’ and it is so true! You won’t find clothes like this anywhere else, and I find it so amazing how easily their styles and colors capture the spirit of fun and adventure that children have. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pretty Mommies Skin Care Giveaway!

Pretty Mommies is the #1 physician recommended maternity skin care line on the market.
Pretty Mommies Mom and Baby
Although it's aimed at those who are pregnant or nursing - it's natural, safe, skin care that's great for ANYONE - men included!

Anyone who has had skin problems during pregnancy should check out Pretty Mommies. We all want to feel pretty, and this is a great, luxurious way to do it!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

All About Me for Back-to-School

With the new school year starting, I thought I would share one of the traditions I started with my son and am continuing with my daughter for her first year of school.

At the beginning of each year, I write out an ‘About me’ style worksheet for my son to fill out. Then, at the end of the year, we will look at it again and see all the ways he has grown and changed during the year.

The list can include anything you want it to. You can ask about their favorites (we all know those change almost on a daily basis!) or about what they want to be when they grow up. If you would like, you can download this PDF I have created. Feel free to share it with your friends!

My Favorites
Think about what you wanted to be when you were 5. Did you end up doing that? I wanted to be a veterinarian and while I still love animals, I never got anywhere near that as a profession (science classes killed me!) Those are the memories that are fun to reminisce about and even share with your own kids. My kids love to hear how I behaved – or didn’t! – and what I thought or wanted when I was their same age.

Someday, I would like to make a scrapbook for each child, made up of the pages from each year. How much fun would it be to look back at it when your child has graduated high school, or even college? It would provide the perfect way to embarrass them to their future spouses as well!

What are your back-to-school traditions?

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