Friday, February 28, 2014

2 in 1 Organic Ultra naturepedic Twin Mattress Giveaway


When thinking about a great mattress for kids, there are several things to consider. You want to be sure that it will be easy to clean, non-toxic, but also comfortable. I was able to review the naturepedic 2 in 1 Organic Ultra Twin Mattress and found all of these great things in one mattress! Be sure to read my full review here.

One lucky reader is going to win their own twin 2 in 1 mattress! To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter form below. One entrant per household please! This giveaway will end on March 21, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be drawn.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I received a mattress to facilitate my review. Regardless, my opinion is 100% my own. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. The sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

2 in 1 Organic Cotton Ultra Twin Mattress from naturepedic

*This post is brought to you by naturepedic.
 
My son has allergies. It's something that we have dealt with for a long time, going all the way back to when he was a baby. He no longer gets asthma attacks, but the dust and pollen in the air and in fabrics do cause him problems sometimes.


Did you know that dust mites live in fabrics? According to WebMD, within 10 years, dust mite detritus can double the weight of your mattress! Dust mites can cause some nasty symptoms to those who are sensitive to them, such as coughing, itching, watery eyes - none of these things are great to deal with when trying to get a good nights sleep!

That is where naturepedic comes in. I was sent the 2 in 1 Organic Cotton Ultra twin mattress to review and we already love it! Like the name suggests, the mattress has two sides; one is a quilted organic cotton and the other is made of an organic cotton waterproof fabric.

The quilted side is very nice. It is much softer than your average bed. It should be - it is made with USDA certified cotton. I'm very impressed that the cotton used is grown in the United States and that it is made to such high standards. You've heard of the Amish people, right? Those hard-working, skilled craftsmen are the same ones applying their knowledge and attention to detail to each and every mattress from naturepedic.

The second side (and my personal favorite) is the waterproof side. When you hear "waterproof," you normally think of a plastic-y, crinkly, noisy surface. This couldn't be farther from the truth with naturepedic! While my eight year old "big kid" no longer has night-time accidents, there are many kids his age who do. It can be an embarrassing problem and hearing the crinkle of the mattress can be a reminder of that. The soft waterproof material is made using 100% polyethylene. It's stain-resistant and fairly easy to clean, lessening the humiliating impact accident prevention, while speeding along cleanup.

We are using the waterproof side of the mattress as it also doubles as a dust-mite barrier. It has been helping my son sleep better and have less issues with his eczema. For those of you worried about other allergy issues, this mattress is also wool-free and latex-free - both of which can cause issues to allergy sufferers.

Now we need to get one of these for everyone in the family!

Now for a Giveaway!

Now that you know how awesome this mattress is, I'm betting that you would love to own one, right? Check out the Giveaway we have going on right now, where one lucky winner is going to take home a 2 in 1 twin mattress of their own!


*I was sent a mattress to facilitate my review. Regardless, all opinions are 100% my own.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Storkcraft Aspen 3 Drawer Chest Review and Giveaway!

*This post is brought to you by Hayneedle.com

As anyone who has had at least one baby knows - you end up with tons of clothes! You need a place to put them all and if you are like me, you also want it to look great and be organized as well. I was very excited to review the beautiful Storkcraft Aspen 3 Drawer Chest in the Espresso color.


When it arrived, I was not surprised to see that it would need some assembly. I was unprepared for the amount of work that would be needed, however! While the instructions were fairly clear (mostly pictures), I saw my husband rolling his eyes at my feeble attempts several times. Eventually, he took over for a while. I think he was afraid that if he didn't help, it might collapse on someone at some point, but I am proud to say that I did most of it myself - even if it did take about 3 hours!


Once finished, this is a very solid piece of furniture (heavy!) and I love the look. Three drawers is plenty for my daughter, as it allows me to use one drawer for all my baby's current clothes, one for blankets and jammies and the last for clothes that are the next size up. The high sides on the top makes for a great extra storage area for diapers, wipes and all the other accessories that all babies need.

Now for a Giveaway!

A total of TEN winners are going to take home this and other prizes from Hayneedle's 'Top 10 Baby Must-Haves'. To enter, simply go HERE and use the Rafflecopter form to enter. This giveaway will end on March 14, 2014. Good luck, everyone!

*I received a product to facilitate my review. Regardless, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Finding the Silver Lining: When Siblings Argue


In my house, we are currently in one of those phases where my older children (Alex, 8 and Shari, 5) are constantly fighting. Sometimes it is over something legitimate, like a sibling who took something that doesn't belong to them, but it's usually over something completely inane, like when my daughter got angry at her brother for "Looking out her window in the car."

The unfortunate fact is that siblings argue. It's pretty much a fact of life that if you have a close-in-age sibling, you are going to have fights and it doesn't always make sense why. It can be enough to drive an already frazzled parent crazy!



Monday, February 24, 2014

iCoffee Review and Giveaway!

*This post is brought to you by iCoffee.

My husband is the coffee drinker in our household. I prefer to get my caffeine by other means (hey, there's caffeine in chocolate!), but love the smell of freshly brewed coffee. The iCoffee machine doesn't let either of us down! Not only is the coffee aromatic, but in my husband's words, it is "creamier" than what you get from a regular coffee maker.

Opening up the lid of the iCoffee, what you see is much the same as a regular brewer. There is a reservoir to hold water and a basket for your grounds. Operating the iCoffee brewer is just like any other machine - very easy. But that is where the similarities end.

Most coffee makers use a drip system, which can compact the coffee grounds and bring out too much of the bitterness of the beans. In contrast, the iCoffee by Remington machine steams the grounds before using hot water jets to stir them, extracting the maximum amount of great flavor. Another very unique difference is that this coffee maker will sing to you! When you press the button to start the brewing process, it plays a few notes of Mozart. It also plays when your coffee is done brewing.


Some of my favorite features are:


  • Auto-off feature kicks in after 2 hours
  • Pre-programmable -up to 24 hours
  • No filters and the ability to use less coffee saves money

Now, obviously, no products is perfect. The iCoffee requires more clean up than other brewers. Because it doesn't require a paper filter (the filter is metal), you need to clean the filter and the coffee pot after each use. There is also sometimes sediment in the bottom of the coffee. This doesn't present much of a problem, however, with the addition of the extra filter that was included in our iCoffee box.

Now for a Giveaway!

The iCoffe Brewer can be found at many major retailers and retails for $170. One lucky winner will be taking home their own iCoffee maker! To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway will end on March 10, 2014. Good luck!


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*I received an iCoffee for review purposes. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter. The sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Yoomi Feeding System review and Giveaway!

*This post is brought to you by yoomi.

Earlier this week, I told you about how my daughter is weaning. Well, it is not always easy to get her to take a bottle from me. She is much more willing to take one from my husband, which is fine when he is home, but not so much when it's just me and her. Something that I have found that helps is heating milk up before feeding her.  That is where the yoomi feeding system comes in.


The yoomi is essentially a self warming bottle. Of course, there is a little prep time involved, (self-warming does not mean self-cleaning!) but I have found it to be much faster than my previous method of putting a bottle in a cup of hot water to warm.

To use the yoomi, you should first watch the video below. If you don't, you will make it much harder on yourself than it needs to be! Trust me, I speak from experience here... After watching, I was easily able to assemble and work the warmer and bottle to both my and my daughters satisfaction.


First, make sure your warmer is charged. While you have to do this before each use (and you must wash it each time also), once you have charged the warmer, it stays charged until you use it. This means that it's very easy to throw in your diaper bag to take with you, or you can have it ready to use for those nighttime feedings.

Once the warmer is ready to go, it takes only 60 seconds to have the bottle warm and ready to go. Just 60 seconds! When you have a baby who wants to eat NOW, each second counts and the makers of yoomi clearly know that.

The bottles come with a slow-flow nipple, which my little Sophia was not a fan of, so if your baby is used to eating faster, you will want to purchase a faster flow nipple ($5.95 per 2 nipples). The great thing about the nipples is that they are naturally shaped and equipped with a 6 anti-colic vent system. You can buy them in four different flows (super slow, slow, medium and fast), though they will fit any size yoomi bottle.

The yoomi feeding system is fairly inexpensive, as far as warmers go, at just $32.95 for the entire 8 oz. system.You can also use code MODERNMUMMY at checkout to save 15% on your order!

Now for a Giveaway!

One lucky winner is going to take home the 8 oz. yoomi feeding system for themselves! To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway will end on March 7, 2014 at midnight CST. One entrant per household, please!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
*I received a yoomi feeding system for review purposes. Regardless, all opinions are my own. Yours may differ. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. The sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Perfect Kitchen Accent

This post is brought to you by EverythingDoormats.com
 
When you spend as much time in your kitchen as I do, you want to be comfortable. I finally decided that I should get a floor mat, making the time spent on my feet just a bit easier. I reached out to EverythingDoormats.com, because they have every kind of mat imaginable, including some beautiful Kitchen Anti-Fatigue Mats.



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It's About Time Book Review

I just finished reading the book "It's About Time" with my children. Like the title says, this is a book describing time, in terms that children can understand. It covers everything from what a second is, to days, months, years and even centuries. It's great for a Preschooler or Kindergartener just beginning to understand the concept of time.



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

When to Wean?

Weaning. During the early days of nursing, when it hurts and your baby is wiggling and even biting down (ouch!), weaning sounds like a lovely distant thing. My daughter is now 13 months and we have gotten into a place where nursing is a great bonding time for the two of us. It no longer hurts and has become a time of cuddles and precious moments. Weaning doesn't sound nearly as great now, though for us, the time is right.


We have been gradually weaning, starting first at night. She is starting to sleep through the night (hallelujah!) without needing to wake up for a feeding, allowing everyone much better rest. She has also been increasing her intake of solids and other liquids, so she has naturally been breastfeeding less, weaning herself, in a way.

I had been contemplating weaning and how and when exactly it should occur, when this past week, I had surgery. With the surgery, I was put on a medication that greatly reduced the amount of milk I was able to produce. Rather than let my child starve, we have introduced more and more bottles and less nursing. Right now, we are down to about one nursing session per day.

It is bittersweet. On the one hand, I now have a bit more freedom, since she is not completely reliant on my body for her nutritional needs, but it also means that I have to make an extra effort to get in that one-on-one bonding time. My little Sophia is a baby who loves to cuddle, so we are still cuddling while she takes her bottle, but now, my husband can get in on the cuddles and have some of that special time for himself. The extra cuddles also help her to be able to still feel the security and comfort that nursing can bring and help ease the transition from a real nipple to a fake one.

I know that someday soon, even our one session a day will come to an end and I am more ready for it than when we first started. If you are thinking about beginning the process of weaning, a great resource is Kelly Mom. Also, be sure to remember that while 13 months is a good time for me to wean, for you it might not be. Lots more moms are practicing extended breastfeeding these days and it is perfectly natural and totally okay if that is what works for your family.

Have you gone through weaning yet? What was your experience?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Batman Car Seat Giveaway!

Sponsored by Kids Embrace

 



Kids Embrace knows that keeping kids safe in their car seats, means they have to actually be sitting in a car seat! Kids have to be willing to sit in their seats. Kids Embrace solves this problem by offering seats with characters that kids love, like this Batman seat.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Beauty Encounter Coupons for February!

*This post is brought to you by Beauty Encounter. 


Got to Love Beauty Encounter Coupons this February!

If you’re looking for affordable fragrances, beauty and body products, bath necessities, cosmetics, skincare and hair care treatments, BeautyEncounter.com will happily deliver you all the products you need. What’s more exciting is that Beauty Encounter coupons make every shopping spree more fun by giving you extra discounts on your purchases.

This love month, Beauty Encounter offers limited deals to let you enjoy bigger reductions on your already discounted items. Find these three coupons waiting for you this February:


ReusaWool Dryer Balls Review and Giveaway!

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.  

I love trying new products. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you have probably figured that out by now! My favorite products are ones that can be used for a long time or really give a great bang for the buck. The latest product I got to review is the ReusaWool Dryer Balls and it fits into this category nicely.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Vowel Owls Review and Giveaway!

Teaching children to read is not an easy task. Some children can really struggle, which can make it even more difficult for children and adults. Sadly, some children even get to a point where they don't like to read.

Learning Resources is all about learning - but learning in a fun way. When children don't engage, they are learning. Learning Resources actively seeks to get kids and parents involved. When that happens - not only are kids having fun, but they are learning without even realizing it!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I've got Summer Dreams

*This post is brought to you by Toe Joez.

Even though we are still smack dab in the middle of winter here in the Great Frozen North, I have dreams of summer days where I can wear my sandals all day long and not be constantly wearing a big puffy coat that makes me looks like the Michellan Man. Of course, come summer time, I will probably be complaining that it is too hot, but that is for another day!

In reality, I won't be waiting for summer to bust out the sandals. I have been known to wear sandals around the house, even throwing them on when there is still snow on the ground if I have to make a quick foray outside. Basically, I just love sandals. I would live in them year round, if I could.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fergus Ferry Review and Giveaway!

Fergus Ferry is a loveable children's book series that follows Fergus on his many adventures. Your child will be inspired by Fergus's great attitude and willingness to help those around him. My little girl has certainly enjoyed them and will continue to do so for quite a while, I hope, as these stories are wholesome and filled with good lessons for kids.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Restaurant.com Dinner & A Movie Deal

Ten years ago, my husband and I had our first date on Valentine's Day. We went out for dinner and a movie (50 First Dates!). It can sound like such a simple thing, just a dinner and a movie, yet it has led to something absolutely wonderful!

Oh, for the love of dinner and a movie!

Here’s a fun way to beat the cold days of February and save! Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with loved ones or just looking for a night out, enjoy dinner and a movie - and save over $90 while you’re at it.


With this exclusive Specials by Restaurant.com deal, you’ll receive two movie tickets to use at one of your favorite movie theaters, along with a $100 Restaurant.Com eGift Card…all for just $30! You’ll love the great deal of choices ranging from a heart-warming feature such as Winter’s Tale, an action-packed reboot like RoboCop, a star-studded drama in The Monuments Men or the all new 3D Lego movie.

Don’t miss out! Take advantage of this exclusive offer today and spread the love - Specials by Restaurant.com offers make great gift ideas for everyone. This offer is only available while supplies last, so be sure to take advantage now!

Locate your theater here and you’ll be on your way: http://emoviecash.com/locator/
Deal Link: http://rst.cm/t2Onc

Shopping with Swapdom.com (And a Giveaway!)

*This post is brought to you be Swapdom.com.
I am a woman who likes to shop. It's a total cliche, I know. With three kids constantly underfoot, it can be difficult to actually go anywhere to do some shopping, as I will inevitably have one begging to leave the store, one who wants to buy everything, and one just wants to chew on the shopping cart. So, lately, I have been looking into other ways to get my shopping fix, without spending a lot of money, which leaves out many of the traditional online shopping methods.

For those of you seeking more adventure and fun while you shop, there is now Swapdom.com. Swapdom just opened their kids section and it is already off to a great start. I have been trying it out over the past week and I've found it to be pretty interesting!

We all know that when our children are very small, they will grow out of their clothes before they wear them out. This is especially true of babies. Most parents have so many baby clothes, that their children will only wear each outfit a few times. My children are no exception. With each of them, I have had way more than we ever needed. In the past, I have given clothes away to other parents or donated to thrift stores. While this can be a great thing, it doesn't really leave me with anything other than the need to go get more clothes that will fit my growing children.

http://www.swapdom.com/user/mostly%20together

Using Swapdom, you can trade the (gently used) clothes you no longer need for ones that you can use. I uploaded a couple of different outfits that my daughter has outgrown, but are still really cute and she only wore a few times. I also uploaded a Jenny Jump Up that my daughter decided she didn't really like.

Now that my items have been added to the list of items that people can request, I can go shopping! I simply peruse the available items and make my selections. Now, it is the job of Swapdom to make the trade happen. For instance, if I would like a pair of jeans for my daughter, I make the request and let them know what I am willing to offer in trade. If the person who owns the jeans is not interested in my items, Swapdom works to make a trade happen between 3, 4, 5 or more people. Everyone in the trade gets the item that they want and you have gotten rid of something you don't need, in favor of something you do.


Now for a Giveaway!

To celebrate the launch of the new Kids section, Swapdom is hosting a giveaway! They will be giving away a top-of-the-line Phil and Ted stroller! The giveaway ends at midnight on February 28th, so get moving and enter to win!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Monday, February 3, 2014

Saving Time with Ingo Money

*This post is brought to you by Ingo Money.

As many of you know, my family moved across the country several months ago. If you have ever moved, even if just down the street, you know that the work doesn't end with just packing and unpacking boxes. You also have to change you address on every piece of mail, your drivers license, even your banking information.

Dealing with banking matters is perhaps the worst thing when you move. You first have to get your new license, then notify your bank, then wait for new checks to arrive; it can be a long, drawn out nightmare. Right after we moved, I received a check that I needed to cash. Having just moved, we did not have a local bank, and for some reason, the magnetic strip wasn't working, so I couldn't cash it at Walmart. I eventually had to mail it to my bank and wait for them to deposit it, then wait for it to clear. It was a pain! The fact that it was right around the holidays and I needed the money for presents just made the whole thing worse.


A new service, called Ingo Money seeks to make things a lot easier (and faster!). With Ingo, you can load funds from approved checks directly onto a Prepaid Visa for a small fee. If you'd rather not pay a fee at all, and you have the time to wait, Ingo will get you your money in as little as 10 days, for free.

The way it works is this:

Step 1  Download the Ingo Money app. (iPhone or Android!)
Step 2  Create an Ingo account and enter your participating Visa Prepaid card info.
Step 3  Take a quick picture of the front and back of your check. (Yes, they even take personal checks!)
Step 4  Simply wait for your check to be processed at the speed you choose. Voila! You haven't even had to leave the house!


The process couldn't be easier and Ingo gets you your money when you need it, safely and securely. You haven't had to drive to the bank (or wait for the mail to be processed), deal with persnickety machines or grumpy employees. You simply have your money, without all the hassle.

As if that doesn't make Ingo Money awesome enough, all by itself, there is also the Ingo Money in Minutes Instant Win Game! You can play every day and get the chance to be one of four people to win $20! Plus, every day that you play or refer a friend earns you an entry into a sweepstakes to win $500 towards the smartphone of your choice!

*I am blogging on behalf of Ingo Money and received compensation for my time from Ingo Money for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Ingo's. Learn more about the Ingo Money mobile app at http://www.IngoMoney.com, or connect with the Ingo community at https://www.facebook.com/ingomoney.

Iris the Happy Professor (Volume 2) Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.  

I recently got the chance to review a DVD called, "Iris The Happy Professor (Volume 2)." During the first 5 minutes of the DVD, the feeling of nostalgia washed over me, as this is highly reminiscent of the "Fraggle Rock" show that I watched as a child. Turning the DVD case over, it was quickly explained why. The Iris series was created by the same cartoonist and animator (Henri Desclez) that worked on Fraggle Rock!



Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tacky Words Belong in a Tacky Box!

Children are unbelievably impressionable. They are constantly learning new things, both good and bad. They will repeat the things they hear around them, much to the chagrin of their parents. I think every parent of a child old enough to talk has been embarrassed by the things they have said at one point or another. Sometimes, we don't even know where they come up with things!