Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gluten Free Pumpkin Kale Sausage Ravioli

This is a guest post by the fabulous Renee from 'A Parents and Nanny's Guide on Everything Early Childhood.'

Fall is my favorite season. I love the crisp cool air, the changing leaves, and all the fall fruits/veggies. It's a great time to visit the Farmer's Market, the apple orchard, or the pumpkin patch. One of my favorite foods is Ravioli, after all I am Italian. Since Fall has a lot of pumpkins and Kale, I thought, "Why not make a Pumpkin, Kale, and Sausage Ravioli?" You could make this recipe vegetarian and omit the sausage, and you could substitute the Kale for Spinach.

Pumpkin Kale Sausage Ravioli:  

Ingredients for Filling-
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Bunch of Kale
  • 1 Egg
  • I small container of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 1tsp Garlic
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1tsp of sage
  • 1 Tsp of Cinnamon
  • Chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Ravioli-
  • 1 cup Better Batter GF flour
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp water (plus extra as needed)
  • extra flour for rolling
  • And wet paper towels to keep moist

Directions for making Gluten Free Wonton Wrappers- Using a mixer, beat the flour and egg together. You'll know it's the right consistency when you pinch it between your thumb and pointer finger and it holds together, kind of like playdough. Be careful about not adding extra water unless absolutely necessary. Better to err on the side of too little, as you can add water as needed.

I can't emphasize enough that you need to LIBERALLY use flour for the forming of your wontons. First, keep your rolling pin heavily floured every time you roll a wonton skin, using the same flour with which you made your dough. (Though I own a wooden rolling pin, I'll bet that the new silicon non-stick rolling pins would be excellent for making these wontons.)

Remove dough from mixing bowl and knead into one large symmetrical shape. Make sure your kneading surface remains constantly well-floured. Divide your shape into four pieces. Set three of them aside, underneath a wet paper towel or tea towel.
NOTE: I use a silicon baking mat as the surface on which I knead and roll my wontons. It is an ideal surface. 

Take one of the dough pieces and roll into a snake. Evenly divide the snake into four pieces. Lay three of the four pieces under the wet paper towel to keep moist. (Under your wet paper towel you should have three of the original larger dough pieces and three of the smaller dough pieces.) Take the remaining dough piece and use your hand to flatten it into as much of a square as you can.

Sprinkle the top of your square with flour. Roll it as thin as you can without breaking the dough. Flour the top of a thin metal spatula, then use it to carefully remove the finished wonton skin to a plate that has a piece of wet paper towel on it. Cover the wonton with another piece of wet paper towel. Continue until you have 16 wonton skins. Set aside.

Directions for Filling-
  1. In a saute pan put some butter, let it melt. Add your onions and garlic. Cook until they are slightly brown. Set aside.
  2. In that same pan, brown the sausage and drain it. Set it aside to cool.
  3. In a stock pot- add butter, spices, chicken broth, and kale. Stir it all together. Then cover the pot and let the Kale wilt. Cook it until it is completely wilted and then drain and set aside to cool.
  4. Get a big bowl- Add cheeses, pumpkin, egg, some more salt and pepper, add your cooled onions, Kale and sausage. Mix it to combine it all together
  5. Now you are ready to stuff your wonton wrappers.
  6. Add a small spoon full of the filling to the wrapper. Then you can use an egg wash or water along all 4 edges- This will help seal it. You can then fold it over to make a triangle and press the edges to make sure it seals. You can also if you want a tradition ravioli layer another on top of the bottom square and use a fork to seal the edges.
  7. Continue this process until you are all done.
  8. Boil in salted water until they float.
  9. For a sauce you can use regular marina sauce, or brown some butter with Garlic, sage, and Parmesan then toss in Ravioli.
  10. Enjoy

I hope you enjoy this recipe, I know I have. I also hope that you will make it at home. It is really not that hard. It is a great way to hide vegetables for picky eaters, and these are packed with a ton of vitamins.

Hi there, my name is Renee! I am a blogger, a wife, and a mom to 2 little dogs. My blog is called "A Parent's and Nanny's Guide to Everything Early Childhood". I have been blogging for a short time, and I blog about all things children. You will find activities, reviews, giveaways, helpful hints, tips, tricks, recipes, and much more. I hope that you will stop by and visit. I can also be found on Twitter at, Pinterest at, and Facebook at I look forward to getting to know you all, and thank you to Renae for letting me be a guest poster.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Get a FREE Month of Academic Tutoring!

Get a FREE Month of Academic Tutoring!

Struggling in class? Book with one of our private tutors and get the one-on-one guidance you need. For a limited time, you can get a FREE month of tutoring with TakeLessons - valid for any subject, in any location, with any tutor. For more information, call us at 800-527-1544 and mention the code FREETUTOR! Offer ends 10/31 and is limited to the first 1,000 customers. Search for local tutors to browse teacher profiles, or find out more about our live, online tutoring via Skype!

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Top 8 Annoying Cartoons

Kids love cartoons, that's a given. But...well, sometimes they are just plain annoying! Either they don't make sense or they have whiny, bratty characters. Before I had kids, I swore that I would never let my kids watch Barney. Now, though, I don't really have a problem with it. There are some others though, that I just can't sit through. There are even a couple that I have just plain banned from the house.

Below are my top eight annoying cartoons:

8. Max and Ruby. I actually don't mind this one so much, other than the fact that they have no parents! They have a Grandma, they have friends, but there is no mention of a mother or father. They don't live with their grandma either, so it's not that kind of a family. It appears that they are simply left to their own devices most of the time. Ruby is only 7, and though she generally appears to be quite responsible, I'm not sure leaving a 7 year old home alone with her 3 year old little brother all the time is a great idea. Someone needs to call Social Services. Seriously.

7. Phineas and Ferb. If you haven't seen this one, it features a set of genius twin boys and their older annoying sister who hates them.  For their part, Phineas and Ferb are pretty good kids, but it is more the secondary characters I have a problem with. Their mother is clueless. She has no idea what any of her children are doing all day and doesn't seem to really care either! Their sister, Candace, is a brat. She is a tattle-tale who is always trying to get them in trouble. She obviously has some deep-seated emotional issues.

6. Yo Gabba Gabba. What is up with those creepy puppets? And that poor man decked out in orange head to toe? Well, I probably shouldn't call him a 'poor' man, I'm sure he gets paid very well to dance around with other adults in completely random costumes. I guess more than anything, I just don't get it.l.

5. Wow Wow Wubbzy. Wubbzy is a yellow blob. It is unclear what exactly he/she is. The entire thing is insane. Every other word completely made up. Can anyone tell me what exactly is a 'Wuzzlenator'? The repetition of this kind of drives me nuts. "Wow, wow' everyone!" It just grates on the nerves like nails on a chalkboard, especially when you hear Wubbzy's high pitched voice screeching for a full half hour.

4. Peppa Pig. She is a rude little pig! There, I said it. Peppa is constantly dropping her best friend, insulting her father and is just plain bossy to her little brother, George. Of course, George isn't exactly a model citizen himself. He throws tantrums by whining and throwing himself on the floor and beating his fists. Who needs their children to learn that behavior? My children can figure out how to be naughty plenty well on their own.

3. Dora the Explorer. While I can appreciate that this show tries to teach children some Spanish (and that is what suckers me into letting my kids watch it), Dora is can I say this nicely? She about as intelligent as SpongeBob's friend Patrick Starfish. And that's saying something! She has a hard time figuring out where a mountain is when it is about 3 feet in front of her, and she has to constantly repeat everything at least 3 times.

It seems that Dora is another little girl that is routinely not being supervised by adults. I don't know about you, but I'm not letting my 8 year old that is already a little on the crazy side (she talks to inanimate objects and they talk back!) go face bridge trolls, a fox that is constantly trying to swipe stuff, and a monkey in boots by herself! Add that to the fact that Dora doesn't know what the term 'inside voice' means. The chica is always yelling! At you, me, her friend the map - she is an equal opportunity screamer.

2, Caillou. There is no nice way to say it. This kid is kind of a brat! When he cries, his mother and father give in and typically give him what he wants. That doesn't work in my house (usually!) and I don't want my children learning that kind of behavior - we have enough of it without getting it from the T.V. as well. Why do kids like this show so much? The kid squeaks and whines his way through life.

1. SpongeBob. This one is absolutely the worst of them all! I have completely banned SpongeBob from the house. Not only is that laugh of his beyond obnoxious, but he is constantly doing idiotic, pointless things that teach no real moral or educational lesson. I find it to be a complete waste of time and I refuse to let my kids get sucked into it.

What cartoons do you find the most annoying?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Save the Memories with YesVideo!

In my nearly 30 years, technology has made leaps and bounds. Computers in the home were not very common, most people had a VHS player, and CD's and DVD's weren't even around yet. Video cameras were these huge things that were expensive and bulky. Even so, they were pretty cool.

These days, you are lucky to even find a player for those old tapes! That is where YesVideo comes in. YesVideo is a company that can take those old tapes (and even old photos and film reels!) and transfer them into digital media that is stored online. From there, you can share them with family and friends, or create your own custom DVD's!

The process is simple. First, just place your order online. Next, ship your items (or you can have an EasyShipKit sent to your door). It will take only 15 days to get your items ready for online use. You can track your order, so you will always know what is going on with your precious memories. Once the order is processed, you are free to watch, share, and edit them online. From there, it is a simple matter of creating your own custom DVD! In case you were wondering - Yes! You do get your original videos and film reels back!

With the holidays coming up, now is the time to get your orders in for this unique service. It is the perfect gift for the person who already has everything. Can you imagine the joy on their face when they are able to watch their old films for the first time in years?

Right now, YesVideo is offering my lovely readers a discount of 20% off on their entire order! Simply use code BLOGYV1 at checkout and wait for your old memories to come back to life.

*I have been compensated to share this information with you. However, I only share information I believe will benefit you!

Halloween Addition Worksheet

It's been a little while since I shared a printable with you, so I decided to share a fun math worksheet printable, just in time for Halloween. It's ideal for kids ages 5-8, though as we all know, sometimes kids can surprise us!

As always, feel free to download, print it out and share it with your friends.

Instead of drilling addition facts, they can do a fun activity and you can rest easy knowing that they are learning while doing it!

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Royal Berkey Review and Giveaway!

For a while now, I have wanted to do something about the water my family and I drink to ensure it is as pure and healthy as possible. When I was offered the chance to review a Royal Berkey water filter, I jumped at the chance. I have had the opportunity to have it in my home for about a month now, and I am loving it!

Many people, my family included, have bought water from the store because the water on tap just doesn't taste very good. The sad fact is that many water bottling companies are really just selling what is essentially tap water. That, combined with the fact that the plastic the water comes in is bad for the environment made us search for another way to get good water.

My family has tried several of the products sold in stores, like the Brita pitcher and water bottles. Unfortunately, when looking at all of the facts, it just isn't up to par. The Berkey water filter not only removes far more contaminants than other filters, it is actually much more economical in the long run. I made the comparison chart below to show you what I found, it was pretty surprising! I was going to also show you the comparison with the ZeroWater pitcher, but there just hasn't been much testing done on it, unlike the Berkey, which shows proven results.

The Berkey not only takes out much more contaminants than a pitcher water filter, it is also more efficient. Each size of Berkey is different, but they all have the capacity to hold more and filter more than a pitcher filter can claim. Another thing that the Berkey can claim is the ability to wash the filters and continue to use them.

When my Berkey arrived in the mail, I was so excited! I couldn't wait to take it out of the box and put it together! First, though, I washed every piece and let them dry. I found it fairly easy to put together, although there were a few washers that confused me for a minute. Now that I have put it together once, I feel confident that I can do so again much more quickly in the future.

Once together, it is encouraged to do a test of the system. The test is simply to add red food coloring to your water and if it comes out clear, then all is working properly! After doing the test, you must wait until the filters do their thing and all the water has been filtered. This can take a while, especially at first, as the filters have air pockets in them that need to be forced out. (I find that it works well for me to fill up the Berkey before going to bed at night, so when I wake up, it's all done!) Upon completion of the test, I found that my water came out clean and clear.

Now my water tastes like...nothing! Exactly like water is supposed to taste! Looking at all facts, it just makes sense to purchase a Berkey water filter. It saves you money and it is a more healthful option than the others out there.

More Than Alive is a company providing a wide range of products, all geared towards helping others become more healthy. You can find food, herbs, water filters, even books and clothing! They are so committed to helping others that they are giving away a Royal Berkey to one lucky winner!

Please click on the banner below to vote for More Than Mommy! 
Just one click - no sign up required!
If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

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*I received a product to facilitate my review. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

LaVender Value Pack

When the colder weather comes, my skin tends to get very dried out. That is why I was interested in trying some products from LaVender that contain 100% natural ingredients - what they call the Value Pack. The samples arrived, and I was surprised at how many there were.

There was Olive Oil Facial Cream, Therapeutic Foot Cream, Deodorant, Nourishing Facial Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil Soap in Lavender, 'Gentle Care' Olive Oil Facial Soap, and Gentle Olive Oil soap in a 'Spring' scent. It came packaged in such a way to make a nice little gift.

LinaBag Review and Giveaway!

This past month, I have had the great privilege of using a LinaBag from Lina Jake! I have taken it everywhere. To church, to the playground, I even used it during our cross-country move. During that whole time it has held up well, past my best expectations.

The problem I usually find with diaper bags is that they are usually cute or functional - they are rarely both. This bag is one of those rare bags. I love the look of the snakeskin print and it is the perfect size. In addition, the outside is waterproof, making it so easy to keep clean.

The bag is filled with pockets, both on the inside and out (the two outside pockets also have snap closures. No more keys falling out!) On the inside, there is a zippered pocket, four elastic pockets, 2 pockets for bottles (these also have a band of stretchy elastic in them to keep bottles in place), and there is a huge pocket on one side that is perfect for containing your diapering supplies.

Look at all those pockets! The LinaBag has a total of 10 pockets!

For those of you who prefer your diaper bag to look like a purse, there are two vegan leather handles (no need to worry about where the leather comes from!). The awesomeness of the LinaBag doesn't end there. There are also snaps on the sides of the bag, so that when you are wanting to have a more sleek, purse-like feel, they snap together to create a smaller, sleeker look.

For those of us who tend to load up their diaper bags, there is also an included strap that is very easy to snap on or off. That same strap can be adjusted to carry over the shoulder, or across the body. If you would prefer to hang your bag on your stroller, the D-rings on either side of the bag make it easy to do so.

This is a bag that I will be using for a long time to come. Lina Jake is also generously offering one of my lucky readers a chance to win a bag of their own! Simply enter on the Rafflecopter below.

Please take just a second and click the banner below to vote for this blog! 
(No sign up required!)
If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
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*I received a complementary bag in exchange for my honest review. All stated opinions are my own. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How to Find the Right Academic Tutor

How to Find the Right Academic Tutor

Finding the right tutor for one on one tutoring can make a world of difference to a young scholar. If it’s a good match, he or she can help the student understand complicated ideas while building his confidence and commitment to learning. The tricky part, though, is finding that teacher. Check out our tips here...

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

LEGO KidsFest!

Ready your building skills!  The LEGO KidsFest, a nationally-traveling giant LEGO expo, is coming to a city near you!  This interactive LEGO extravaganza brings all of the creative hands-on, minds-on fun of LEGO building and experiences together in an activity- and entertainment-packed family event for children of all ages and builders of all skills and interests.

Among the many LEGO attractions, families will find:

  • LEGO Model Gallery: dozens of life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricks
  • LEGO Master Builders: live demonstrations and activities from the crew who get paid to play
  • Creation Nation: build your own creation to add to a custom map of the U.S. (in U.S. Markets only)
  • Race Ramps: build your own custom car, then race it down the ramp against friends and family
  • Construction Zones: creative free build, play and display areas
  • LEGO DUPLO®: younger visitors can explore imagination through building
  • LEGO Retail and KidsFest Marketplace: purchase LEGO and official KidsFest tour merchandise
  • Brick Pile: a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment
  • Monochromatic Builds: bricks of a single color to foster group creativity
  • Brickscapes: fantastic displays that combine lots of LEGO and DUPLO sets
  • LEGO CHIMA: choose your tribe and test your Speedor battling skills
  • And much more, covering over 150,000+ square feet of space

  • On tour since 2009, nearly 420,000 have attended a LEGO KidsFest.  Previous tour stops include Minneapolis, Boston, Austin, Cincinnati, Denver, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Hartford, Milwaukee, San Jose, Phoenix, Louisville, Cleveland and Raleigh.  Tickets for many cities have sold out with 27,000 to 30,000 visitors in attendance at each venue. 

    Based on sell-out attendance in previous markets, advance ticket purchase is strongly encouraged. Tickets for all 2014 tour stops are on sale at 

    Five sessions - all identical and 4 1/2 hours each - are available for the each tour stop.  For full details, visit the website at

    Stainless Steel Earth Pan by Ozeri

    Much of my cookware of late has had scratches in the Teflon coating. Upon researching the stuff, I have found that the EPA has identified cancer causing chemicals in it! Considering that this is a product that I routinely use in cooking for my family, I found this to be more than a bit alarming!

    While no Teflon products have been recalled, it makes me want to make other choices going forward. I recently received a Stainless Steel Earth Pan by Ozeri to try and so far, I have been impressed. I have been using it for about two weeks now and have found it to be reliable, non-stick and easy to clean.

    The Earth Pan is coated with ETERNA, which is free of the cancer-causing chemicals that Teflon contains. It also free of any unsafe heavy metals, which is great for peace of mind when cooking for my family.

    Now, you might be wondering it it will perform as well as Teflon. Personally, I think it works even better! I can use a lower heat and still have even cooking. I can also put it in the oven (up to 500 degrees). It is also far more scratch-resistant than other non-stick pans (compared to both Teflon and the OrGREENic pan - I have used both). I let my son do the dishes one day (he is a weird kid - he likes doing them!) and he used the rough side of a sponge to clean it before I could stop him. There was no damage!

    This pan has a heft to it that I like in my cookware. Being the klutz that I am, I tend to knock into things, and with a light pan, it can get off kilter (which affects how evenly it cooks). The pan weighs in at 2.4 pounds and 10 inches. Besides that, I love the look of it. It has a shine to it that just looks great!

    * 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.

    Mom Tell Me

    One of my favorite things to do as a child was to ask my mom questions about her life as a child. I wanted to know if she was at all like me. I was curious to learn whether we had the same struggles, the same desires and the same issues. As I got older, and became a young woman, I wanted to know how her experiences were different or similar to mine in facing young adulthood and then young parenthood.

    Personally, I think it is so important to preserve the memories of the past generations. Sometimes, it is necessary to do so earlier, rather than later. I speak from personal experience, as my Grandma passed away several years ago from Alzheimer's. It is a devastating disease that truly took her from us long before life actually left her.

    My mother spent many days with her, recording her thoughts and memories of her life, saving them for those of us who would find interest in them. It had the dual purpose of letting my Grandma know she was loved and respected enough to have family who wanted her to share her memories. I am so glad that this was done before her passing! We now have a record of some of the best parts of her.

    The Mom Tell Me book is a book which is meant to be given as a gift from a child to their mothers. It would make a great book for any holiday, birthday, Christmas, or Mother's Day. I think it would be a great gift to give or receive even if there is no holiday around the corner.

    This book makes what my mother did much easier. For one thing, hopefully it will be given early enough to be written by the Mom herself! For another, it is full of writing prompts, such as, "What decision do you regret most? Why?" and "In what ways do you think I'm like you and different from you, in both character and looks?" There are also lots of places to add photos, making those shared memories visual as well!

    The only difference I would make to this book is to include more parenting questions in it. I love to hear how my mother handled things when my siblings and I were children. While I don't necessarily want to copy all the things she did, it can give me something to go off of (in addition to making me feel better about when my kids are having a crazy day!).

    To check out a preview or get your own copy, be sure to go to their website.

    Easy Crockpot Vegetable Chicken Soup

    With the cooler weather and cold and flu season coming on, I thought it might be time to share a great chicken soup recipe. As with most of the recipes I share on this blog, credit goes to my husband. It is well known in my family that of the two of us, he is the better cook! I will hold tight to my title as the best baker, though!

    Easy Crockpot Vegetable Chicken Soup

    4 Pieces of Chicken (any cut)
    4-5 Cups of water (ensure enough water to cover other ingredients)
    1 Tbsp salt
    1 Tbsp pepper
    1 Tbsp Garlic
    1 Pckt Sazon Goya
    4 whole carrots sliced
    3 Celery sticks sliced
    2 Cups Fresh Green Beans
    3 ears of corn sliced off of the cob
    2 Chicken flavor cups Knorr Homestyle Stock

    Toss your ingredients in a large crock pot add all ingredients let cook on high for 1 ½ hour, or on low for 3-4 hours.

    This recipe is very easy and quick, and is also very filling without being very high in fat, calories, or carbs. It is a great recipe to use when on a diet!

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    World's First Pre-Screening on an Airplane!

    As I'm sure a lot of you are aware if you have young children, the Disney movie 'Planes' came out recently. My son Alex has been a fan of the Cars movies ever since the very first one came out. He wanted to watch it all the time. I still remember watching it over and over again, until we all had the words memorized!

    We were very excited when we saw that they were making the movie 'Planes.' Right away we were being pestered to go and see it in theater. To be completely honest, the Hubs and I wanted to see it too!

    Seeing it in theater is one thing, but 300 lucky kids had the opportunity to attend a 'Planes' experience. These children were invited on board KLM Royal Dutch airlines for a special pre-screening of the film. Each child was provided with drinks and popcorn, and were treated to a show they won't soon forget. The children got to experience everything that happened to the main character, Dusty. The special effects of rain, snow, fog and more kept the kids feeling like they were in the movie!

    Can you imagine taking your kids to something like that? I know that mine would  have loved it! The neat thing is that it was the world's first screening on a plane using special effects. And it was done for kids! How cool is that? It is definitely something they will remember for a long time to come.

    *I was compensated for sharing my thoughts with you. Regardless, all opinions are my own.

    Disney Jr. Live!

    This past Sunday, my family and I went to go see the Disney Junior Live! Pirate and Princess Adventure. We received tickets from USFamily Guide and my kiddos were so excited! Sofia the First is one of my family's favorite princesses, because of our very own little Sophia the First! Of course, Alex was most excited to get to see Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

    Waiting for the show to start!

    Shari was thrilled to see the very adorable Doc McStuffins (Shari was in heaven - she is a HUGE Doc fan!) Doc McStuffins makes an appearance about 10 minutes before every show, so of course we had to make sure we were present for that! At one point, she leaned over to me and said, "Mom, I think that is the REAL Doc!" When I affirmed for her that it was a real person, her jaw dropped. That moment alone made our whole trip out worth it for me!

    After Doc, Mickey Mouse and Minnie take it away and introduce the show. We got to see Sophia the first, Cinderella, Jake and Captain Hook. The whole show was a blast! At one point, bubbles rain down from the ceiling, which the kids all loved.

    One of the things that was great about the show was the way they kept the children involved in it all. They got to stand up and dance, sing along, and after the intermission, some cute little pirates were invited onstage to help out with another song and dance.

    I am so glad we went to this show. The kids were so excited and it is an experience that they won't be forgetting any time soon.

    *We received complementary tickets to facilitate a review. Regardless, all opinions are my own.

    Monday, October 21, 2013

    Essentia Comfort Pillow Giveaway!

    Essentia Comfort Pillow Giveaway!

    Hosted by:  More Than Mommy


    I bet you weren't aware that most memory foam is made using petroleum (I sure wasn't!) including those claiming to be "natural" or "Eco Friendly." The difference is that Essentia uses something called Hevea Milk which comes from the Rubber Tree (Hevea Brasiliensis). The process of collecting the Hevea Milk does not damage the tree and it is made in Canada!


    From there, it is turned into the natural memory foam that is used in all Essentia mattresses and pillows. You can read a complete review of the Comfort Pillow by Essentia from More Than Mommy.


    Now that you know how great Essentia is, I'm sure you would love to have some of their products! Not only we giving away a Comfort Pillow (worth $129!), Essentia is also offering you a chance to enter their $5,000 Facebook giveaway! To enter the Facebook contest, simply click the picture above and to enter the Comfort Pillow giveaway, you may find entries on the Rafflecopter below!  Good luck, everyone and I wish you great sleep!


    If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    *More Than Mommy received a pillow for review purposes. 

    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    Essentia Comfort Pillow Review

    Did you know that most memory foam is made with petroleum? I had no idea! That is, until I found out about Essentia. They make the only natural memory foam in the world. The difference comes from something called 'Hevea Milk.' Hevea milk is collected from the Hevea Brasiliensis (a.k.a the Rubber Tree).

    I was sent a Comfort Pillow from Essentia to try out, and I must say it is very comfortable! When I first opened the box it came in, I was very impressed with the care that was taken with it. It was not only in a great box, but it was wrapped in tissue paper and presented almost like a gift. I could already see that they cared about their products.

    Upon taking it out of the box, I did what everyone does with memory foam. I pushed it and poked it and watched the pillow come back to its regular shape. What does it say about my life that I found it entertaining for a while?

    Anyways, I did notice that it had a scent a bit like latex. It dissipated quickly enough, and with taking off the pillow case and running it through the wash, it was not something I noticed for long. I was also assured that it is a rare occurrence for any scent to be detected.

    The first night I put this on our bed, my husband tried to steal it from me! I stole it back and I'm glad I did. It is very comfortable and it's also hypoallergenic, which is great for allergy sufferers (which I am). The material is also very breathable, so if you are a 'hot sleeper,' then this would be really helpful.

    I currently have just a regular microfiber pillow. I have found the Essentia Comfort pillow to be quite the upgrade! Not only is it more supportive, but it also is more comfortable, regardless of my sleep position.

    Another thing I really like is that this is not a product that is made so far away from home. It's made in Canada! I always like it when I find products that are made more locally. There are stores throughout the U.S. and Canada, but you can also purchase online at

    Essentia is currently running a Facebook promotion where a lucky winner will receive their choice of product up to $5000! Essentia is also generously giving away a Comfort pillow on More Than Mommy. (Find the giveaway HERE).

    Saturday, October 19, 2013

    Reading Eggs Vs. ABC Mouse

    I recently had the chance to try Reading Eggs, an online program that helps kids learn to read and/or improve their reading skills during a free trial. As I have a Kindergartener this year, it was perfect timing!

    Kids, learning, comparison
    We have had a subscription for ABC Mouse, so I have had a chance to really compare the two programs. I have found that both my daughter and myself both prefer Reading Eggs. While both programs have some great learning tools, Reading Eggs also has placement tests, so your child starts where he or she will get the most out of the program. Reading Eggs also has a much broader age range, staring at age 3 and going all the way to age 13. ABC Mouse doesn't even come close.

    Even in the parents section, Reading Eggs holds the upper hand. After children have taken their assessments, an approximate reading age is given, and it updates after they complete more lessons successfully. The phonics skills and sight words that children know are also listed, making it easy to follow your child and encourage them outside of the program.

    Lessons are simple, yet effective. At my daughter's level, one of the lessons she is given is to choose which picture contains a certain letter sound. It works so much better doing this on the computer, versus doing it in a book, because there have been several times when working in a workbook that neither of us can figure out what they are trying to convey with a given picture. On the computer, it can verbally tell you what the picture is of - no more guessing!

    If you are interested in checking out this great program with your child, you can get a FREE trial!

    *I received a free trial to facilitate this review.