I’m BaaaAAAaaaCK!

After keeping us waiting until a solid week after her due date, sweet Charlotte finally made her debut. Eight and a half pounds and twenty one and a half inches… yea- I did that. She is wonderful, healthy and an excellent baby. And after taking a few months off from my responsibilities, I’m finally ready (I think) to return.

It’s been a bit of a challenge to be productive during the day. It’s true that two is more difficult than one. Chasing a toddler on anything less than a full nights sleep can (and does) test your patience. As Charlotte and I get to know each other better, there are times I could swear she nurses every half hour, which puts a complete stop to anything and everything else I might or might not be doing. They say to nap when your baby naps… but that can only happen when BOTH babies are napping (which has happened only once since she was born). I’m not whining. I promise. It’s not all bad. Bennett is handling the change like a champ, and I have a cuddly, soft, squishy baby to snuggle with (since my big boy seems to be outgrowing the cuddles). But these are my reasons (or maybe excuses) as to why I can’t seem to get anything done.

All of this aside, having another little person has allowed me a chance to try all of the newest baby gear and gadgets. And the best part- I get to share it all with you! I’ll be posting about the wonderful items when I can (I make no promises to be consistent), and am hoping to pass along the goodies as I can.

Stay tuned. It feels good to be back (and to get something done). However, I must go. My sweet squishy is calling for me.

Baby Wrap by Baby More Co. Review


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Baby wearing seems to be all the rage these days. But why wouldn’t it be? You get the best of both worlds… two free hands AND you can hold your baby close. They were just starting to get popular when I had my son. As a gift I received a super high quality sling and was very excited to put it into action. But I never really found it comfortable, and for that reason I only used it a few times. I’d seen women (and men) with their babies wrapped up on their chests and thought that it looked much more comfy than the sling I’d been struggling to master. Now that I’m expecting baby number two within the coming month or so, I’m super excited to put Baby More Co.’s wrap to good use.

First, a few words from the Amazon product page:

    • LET YOUR BABY ENJOY THIS EXPERIENCE. Did you know that babies learn by observing? They also feel safe in baby wraps and get more interaction while being carried. A safe and protective environment is the best atmosphere for the little ones to learn!
    • MORE THAN JUST CARRYING YOUR BABY! The special closeness you will share with your baby will make him/her feel more happy and confident. Babywearing also helps to regularize baby’s biorhythms and decrease the stress hormones in baby and mom. You will see a more calm baby.
    • HOLD YOUR BABY CLOSE TO YOUR HEART WITH HANDS FREE! What if I told you that you could hug your baby and do other chores at the same time? You can look after other kids, take good care of yourself, get some home chores done and much more while carrying your baby. Focus on what matters most without neglecting other things.
    • ENJOY AN UNPRECEDENTED 200% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE – I am SO confident you’re going to love your Baby Wrap from Baby More Co. that I have decided to add an unbeatable double guarantee! If, AT ANY POINT IN TIME, you decide you are not fully satisfied with your Baby Wrap from Baby More Co., simply let me know and I will refund every penny of your purchase. On top of that, I will also send you a brand new Baby Wrap free of charge! No questions asked.
    • THE BEST VALUE! We offer the same or better benefits as the more expensive brands BUT we believe EVERYONE should benefit from carrying their baby in a baby wrap. We have the BEST VALUE baby wrap out there! Other brands may have inferior products for a lower price or the same product for a lot more money. TRY IT NOW! You have NOTHING to lose and EVERYTHING to GAIN.

A few things to get excited about: Like I said, you get the best of both worlds. Second, they offer an unprecedented 200% satisfaction money back guarantee. Like I always say, if a company offers a money back guarantee, you probably won’t need it because the product will be absolutely amazing. This baby wrap is no exception.

Since baby girl isn’t here yet (that’s what we call her until we can decide on a name), I borrowed a friend’s baby to test it out. The first thing I noticed is the quality fabric. Since I’m an avid sewer, I’m pretty familiar with fabric. A lot of the wraps that I’ve seen are made from a much thinner jersey fabric, which while very soft has a tendency to stretch easily and therefore becomes loose easily. The fabric in this particular wrap is a bit thicker, and although it has ample stretch, it is a bit more sturdier than some other brands.

It’s also much easier to tie on than I expected. It looks complicated, but right on the Amazon product page here is a step by step picture showing little pictures of exactly how to tie it on. Putting the baby in is just as easy. Just slip them onto your chest with the criss cross between their legs, then lift up the piece that goes straight across your chest up over baby’s bottom and back. There you go, baby is ready to go.

It’s available in three cute colors too: black, pink and oxford blue. The only possible critique I can think of is that they are all made the same length. Therefore if you have a larger individual… take for instance my 6 foot 5 inch husband… it isn’t long enough to tie properly. I think it would be a great idea if they made larger sizes for situations like that (hint, hint).

Overall, if you’re having a wee one, this is an amazing way to keep you hands free while still snuggling with your new bundle of joy. Especially if you have older children… like an active toddler. To purchase the Baby Wrap by Baby More Co., click the link below.
TOP RATED ★ Baby Wrap Carrier Baby More Co . LIFETIME GUARANTEE . Adjustable to All Sizes Baby Sling. FREE SHIPPING . Safe & Comfortable . Perfect Baby Shower Gift . For Newborns Up To Toddlers Under 32 pounds (Oxford Blue)

Soothie Suckers Herbal Ice Pops Review and Giveaway


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What little kid doesn’t just LOVE popsicles? But have you ever read the list of ingredients? Oh.My.Gosh. Prepare to be disgusted. Pretty much, when your wee ones eat an ice pop they are eating straight up frozen corn syrup mixed with some nasty food dye. I’m not exactly the first person to claim to be the most health conscious, but I try to minimize the things that I know are the worst, and replace them with healthier alternatives. I was very excited to try out Soothie Sucker’s Herbal Ice Pops, and so was my son.

Here are a few fabulous facts about the ice pops:

  • Available in two flavors: Orange for Immune Support and Grape for Nasal Support
  • Can be eaten frozen or chilled as a liquid
  • Pre measured into 1 oz. pouches so you can take them with you on the go
  • Contains certified organic or wild-crafted herbal extracts
  • No artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup or alcohol

 

Admittedly, my son isn’t the pickiest of eaters. He’ll try just about anything once (he seems to trust my judgement… for now). So after popping one of each flavor into the freezer overnight, we were ready to try them! They are conveniently packaged, with just the right amount inside. Sometimes it seems that ice pops are so HUGE that by the time a kid is only a quarter way through it, it has already melted everywhere. But this is not the case with these Soothie Suckers.

We tried the grape first. Not what I expected. Usually grape flavoring (other than actual grapes) is totally not my favorite, and it always drives me nuts that it tastes nothing like real grapes. But this was different… in a good way. The flavor was less artificial tasting, and more like what I’d expect from something that claims to be ‘grape’. Little man didn’t mind the flavor… until he tried the orange. Once he got some orange in his mouth, he was no longer interested in the grape and I was lucky to snatch it away for just a moment to try it for myself. I must say, I understand why he liked it so much. The orange is DELICIOUS!

In terms of health benefits, it’s hard for me to say. Our household is rarely ill, and during the course of testing these we have not had any issues with sniffles, colds or flu. Perhaps we have the immune boost from the popsicles to thank for that!?

Overall, this is a great product made with kid and adult friendly ingredients. I always say, control what you can, and don’t worry about what you can’t. But what your kid puts into his/her mouth is something you can definitely attempt to control!

To purchase a box of Soothie Suckers for yourself, click one of the links below to be taken to the Amazon product pages.
Soothie Suckers Nasal Support Freezable Ice Pops, Herbal Supplements for Children Ages 2 – 92
Soothie Suckers Immune Support Freezable Ice Pops, Herbal Supplements for Children Ages 2 – 92

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

Dot&Dot Large Packing Cube Organizer Review

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About a month ago, we got news that we had to move. As one of the many joys of renting, we had exactly 30 days to find a new place, pack and move. Did I mention that I’m 6 months pregnant and can’t move anything?! Ugh, it was a nightmare. But thankfully with the help of some fantastic friends, and Dot&Dot’s Cube Organizers, everything went smoothly.

Here are a few facts from the product page:

  • Available in One Pack and 4-Piece Value Set. Dimensions – 17.5″ x 12.75″ x 3.25″
  • Sort and Find Your Stuff Quickly! Makes packing and unpacking efficient and less time consuming.
  • Maximize luggage space. Protect your clothes from dirt, wrinkles and damages.
  • No more stress and troubles at the airport. Maintain your privacy during security inspections.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Obviously, these packing cubes are typically used when you are going somewhere fabulous on a trip. In my case, I used them to help pack and move the items that I couldn’t throw into boxes. My cubes arrived looking exactly as they are in the picture. I chose the grey ones out of the several different color options, so that if my husband needed to used them for a trip or something he wouldn’t be stuck in the security lines with girly colored bags.

As I mentioned, we had many wonderful friends help us out, many of which are my husband’s male friends. They are not always the most careful with delicate items, and I also didn’t want them to have to stare at my bras or underwear. I had left out a number of personal items that I needed to continue using until the morning of our actual move (ie make up, lotions, bras, underwear, personal products, etc.), so I just threw them into the bags and stacked them on the counter. As I mentioned, since I’m pregnant I wasn’t allowed to do any of the physical moving. But my husband and our friends had a very easy time moving them by using the attached handle on the side.

Overall, they are super high quality and are insanely convenient. I was a bit worried that with everything that I stuffed in there the zipper might give out or the fabric might rip, but everything stayed intact. I can only imagine how convenient these would be to keep your suitcase organized. Hopefully someday I’ll get the opportunity to go somewhere fabulous and try them out!

To purchase, click the link below.
Large Packing Cubes – Packing Squares Value Set – Fits in Carry on Luggage, Duffel, Suitcase, Backpack (4-piece set, Gray)

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

 

Dr Song Rosehip Oil Review


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Ah, Rosehip Oil… one of my FAVORITE skincare items. And while one of the suggested uses is in your hair for softer and shinier hair, I doubt they had my use in mind when they suggested it. Funny story (kinda)- I was in a wedding and had an updo done at a salon. When I got home after the wedding, showered and tried to brush my hair, I found MELTED PLASTIC stuck in the underside of my hair. The curling iron must have touched something plastic on her tray and melted onto it and then transferred to my hair. Needless to say I was less than pleased. So after doing a quick Google search for how to remove melted plastic from hair, one of the suggestions was to use oil as a lubricant to coax the plastic out. I grabbed my handy Dr Song Rosehip Oil, lubed up my hair, and was able to pick and slide 75% of the plastic out of my super long hair. A few strands had to be sacrificed, but I’m much happier that I was able to save most of them. So there you go… an unexpected use for Rosehip Oil. Moving on…

Here are a few facts from the Amazon product page:

  • 100% Pure rosehip oil
  • USDA Certified organic
  • Coldpressed and specially processed for cosmetic use
  • Bottled in glass and comes with a no hassle 365 day money back guarantee!! You don’t even have to return the bottle!

First impressions: Any time a product is organic, I consider it to be a bonus. I know it’s better for myself or my family but do not always have the luxury of paying the inflated organic price. So to find that this item is USDA Certified Organic, I was happy. The glass bottle is a very pretty blue, and makes the entire product seem like it is of the utmost quality. Unlike other rosehip oils that I have smelled, for whatever reason this one did not seem as strong. It is definitely still an earthy scent, but it did not offend my nostrils like many can.

First use: In addition to my wonderful experience with using it as a plastic remover from my hair, I also used it as recommended on my face. I applied some to my clean face before bed. I was happy that it seemed to absorb quickly, as I did not want to get it all over my pillow. And like I said, the smell is tolerable enough to be literally right under my nose without it bothering me.

Results: In the morning when I woke up, I felt a bit more greasy than usual, but I imagine that is to be expected when you are applying more oil to an already oily face. After washing my face using my usual routine, I noticed that I had less red spots on my cheeks and less dryness and tightness on my forehead above my eyebrows. And this was only after one use. After continued use, my face feels softer and more refreshed overall.

To purchase this product, click the link below to be taken to the Amazon product page.
Dr Song Rosehip Oil 4oz (4 oz)

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

 

SnotSuk Nasal Aspirator for Infants Review


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It is inevitable… your baby or toddler will get sick. The worst part for me is the helplessness that I feel knowing that there is actually very little that I can do to make my little man feel better. Just last week Bennett got hit with a crazy virus that drove his fever WAY WAY up and made his nose excessively leaky. Lucky for me, I had just received the SnotSuk Nasal Aspirator and was able to relieve a bit of his stuffed up nose.

First impressions: Eww. For those who know me, I have issues with snot and boogers. Give me throw up, poop or pee any day over snot. I really can’t explain my aversion, it’s just the way it is I suppose.  So the concept of using my mouth to suck snot from his nose made my stomach roll. A good friend of mine had told me before about a different brand that essentially does the same thing, and she swears by it. So I figured if she could do it, and she promised me that fluids were not actually exchanged, then I could at least try it. I read the instructions in provided in the box and was pleased to learn that while you use the suction power of your mouth to suck the snot from baby’s nose, the snot does not travel to anywhere near where your mouth is. Aaaahhh, a sigh of relief!

First use: Bennett’s leaky nose was out of control. He was sneezing, coughing and essentially choking on it when he’d try to lay down for a nap. So I followed the super simple assembly instructions and put together the SnotSuk aspirator. I laid Bennett down flat on my bed, and showed him the contraption so he wouldn’t freak out when I used it. I imagine you wouldn’t have this problem with younger children as they don’t typically have as much of an opinion as a two year old. After he had inspected it for a minute, I put the parent side into my mouth, stuck the pink tube into one of his nostril and sucked. My eww factor jumped up here because the amount of snot that it removed was revolting. It actually worked… and not only did it work, it REALLY worked. I couldn’t believe it was even possible for such a little nose to hold so much yuck.

Results: The first few passes were incredibly successful. It did not cause Bennett any discomfort, and he actually giggled a bit in the beginning. After the first few tries, he grew tired of me poking at him and grew frustrated. Again, another problem you wouldn’t have with an infant. But in all, it was incredibly successful. His nose was much more clear and he was able to lay down for a nap without hacking and choking. Cleaning the tube was a breeze, I just followed the simple instructions to dismantle the tube from the rest and washed it all in warm soapy water. Each package comes with several parent-side sponges to allow for quick and easy clean up should the snot reach that particular barrier.

Overall I was very impressed with the simplicity and user friendliness of the design. If I was able to do it, given my intense aversion to snot, then anyone can do it. After all, you’re just helping your baby breathe better!

To purchase this product, click the picture below to be taken to the Amazon product page.

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

InstaNatural Deep Cleansing Facial Oil and Rosehip Seed Oil Review

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I’ve always struggled with oily and therefore acne prone skin. Recently I was introduced to the idea of using a cleansing oil rather than a traditional soapy or foamy cleanser to clean my face. At first I thought the idea sounded ridiculous… you want me to add more oil to what I already consider to be an oily disaster? But I read some reviews written by those who have similar oil control issues and decided to give it a shot. Then about a month ago I was given the opportunity to try out Insta Natural’s Deep Cleansing Facial Oil in exchange for an honest review. Talk about perfect timing!

First impressions- The bottle is glass, which always makes me feel a bit more comfortable (I’ve read that plastic can often seep chemicals into whatever is inside). The dropper on top makes it convenient and easy to use because it does not make a mess and you can control exactly how much comes out.

First use- I put a few drops into the palm of my hand and used my finger tips from the other hand to massage it into my face in a circular motion. It smells really good, so my pregnant and picky nose was not bothered at all. I was skeptical about using it on my eyes, mostly because I’m not the hugest fan of the stinging and burning sensation that usually comes with when you put a cleanser in your eye. But I gave it a shot and it didn’t sting at all. To rinse, I just cupped my hands and splashed my face a few times until I felt it was removed.

Results- I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and I swear my oil production is more under control. I still get shiny at times, but I don’t feel like a grease bucket by the end of the day. My face feels soft and well hydrated, and my pimples seem to be clearing up. To be honest, since I’m pregnant and my hormones are changing every day, it’s hard for me to accurately judge whether I can attribute less acne to the Cleansing Oil or if my hormones are finally just mellowing out. Either way, I’m VERY happy with the results. As an added bonus, using it to remove my eye make up properly and in entirety has made my eyelashes softer, longer and fuller than they ever have been. What woman doesn’t want that?!

Here are a few pointers provided by the folks at Insta Natural:

– The Facial Oil Cleanser can be applied directly onto a dry face – in fact we recommend it!
– Pump the oil onto a washcloth, pad or cotton ball. You can use your hands as well.
– Massage the oil onto your face in circular motions to lift dirt and impurities.
– You can even wipe around your eyes to gently yet effectively remove makeup like eye liner and mascara.
– Use warm water to rub away the oil. It’s best to run a clean wash cloth under hot water and use this to remove the Facial Oil Cleanser.
– The facial oil should not dry out your skin and should leave your skin feeling soft and nourished.
– Useful Tip: You can use the facial oil cleanser to also clean your makeup brushes, such as an eyeliner brush. The oil will tackle any built-up material on the bristles to remove and break it apart, making the brush easier to clean.

To purchase this product, click the link below to be taken to their Amazon page.

 

Insta Natural was generous enough to also provide me with their Rosehip Seed Oil, which also has been known to calm acne and give the skin a natural, even glow.

First impressions- Like the Cleansing Oil, it comes in a glass bottle with plastic dropper to make for easy use and control. Upon opening the bottle, I was surprised to find that it does not smell like roses at all. In fact it has a bit of a fishy smell to it. Perhaps if I had taken the time to read the information provided by Insta Natural I would not have been surprised. They clearly explain that because the product is high in omega fatty acids, there may be a slight fishy smell to it. Unfortunately, my pregnant nose seems to be magnifying EVERYTHING that is even remotely fishy, and it was a bit too much for me. Luckily, I had my mom on hand to volunteer to try it out. She swears it doesn’t smell bad… it must just be me.

First use- After cleansing her face at night, she pumps 2-3 drops onto her fingertips and rubs them on her face and neck until it is absorbed. Then she goes to bed as usual.

Results- After using the product for roughly three weeks, she is insanely happy with the outcome. She has enjoyed fewer breakouts (I suppose I can thank her for the adult acne gene), and feels like her skin is more even and much much much softer.

Here are some pointers provided by Insta Natural:

– A patch test is recommended before using InstaNatural Rosehip Seed Oil.
– Before using the product, cleanse the face and pat dry.
– Take 2-3 drops of our Certified Organic Rosehip seed oil on your fingertips. Rub the fingertips together and then apply on face, neck and body.
– Massage it gently into the skin till absorbed completely.
– It can also be used with your favorite moisturizer or cream. Just mix a few drops of Rosehip Oil with your moisturizer and apply as usual.
– For hair and scalp, massage a few drops with fingertips. You may also use Rosehip as part of your hot oil therapy. Just include few drops of Rosehip oil in your hot oil mixture (coconut oil, argan oil, etc.). Finally, try adding few drops of Rosehip oil to your favorite conditioner to give your hair an extra boost in nutrients.
– Massage a few drops on nails and cuticles.
– Keep your bottle of Rosehip Seed Oil refrigerated and away from light to extend shelf life.
– If any irritation or redness occurs after using the product, discontinue use and consult your doctor.
– Please note that Rosehip oil is not recommended as a facial moisturizer on very acne prone skin, because it may worsen the condition, but it can be applied liberally all over the body.

If you’ve never used Rosehip Oil before, please note that Pure Rosehip Oil does not carry any rose fragrance as the oil is extracted from the seeds or fruits and not from the petals which contain the aromatic molecules.

Unrefined Rosehip Oil (Purest Rosehip Oil, with nothing taken away) should always have a very characteristic smell, having a sort of warm and earthy tone: pleasant or unpleasant depending on your taste. There should also be some fishiness to the scent, as is the case due to the high contents of omega fatty acids. This scent dissipates after a few minutes. Of course if you still find the scent too strong, feel free to mix the rosehip oil with a lotion or moisturizer to improve the smell while retaining the many benefits of the oil.

To purchase this product, click the link below to be taken to their Amazon product page.

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

Daily Deals 7/9/14

Deals:

  • I didn’t find anything new or notable today, but check back tomorrow!

Freebies/Giveaways/Samples:

  • Allure Beauty: Be one of the first 500 to sign up at 12 EST, and receive FREE full size samples!
  • Dunkin Donuts: Join the DD Perks reward program and get a FREE drink at Dunkin Donuts for signing up and one on your birthday
  • Julep: FREE 5 Piece gift valued over $80, just pay $2.99 shipping
  • Enter to win a FREE Marshmallow and Hot Dog Roasting Forks

Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s deals…  many of them are still active!

*Disclosure- This post may contain affiliate links*

Please feel free to comment below and tell me what stores you’d like to see on this list.

Daily Deals 7/8/14

Deals:

  • Payless: Clearance sale, up to 60% off!
  • ELF Cosmetics: 50% off everything, use code ‘OHYEAH’ on orders over $35
  • Victoria’s Secret: Bras ship FREE, plus get a FREE panty (excludes clearance)

Freebies/Giveaways/Samples:

  • Allure Beauty: Be one of the first 500 to sign up at 12 EST, and receive FREE full size samples!
  • Kohl’s: Enter to win a FREE make up bag filled with products. Just follow the instructions on the link, can enter via Twitter or Instagram, but not both.
  • CoTZ: Get a FREE sample of CoTZ sunscreen, simply follow the EASY instructions on their Facebook page
  • Cesar: Give a FREE sample of Cesar dog food to a friend, and have them send one back to you!
  • Julep: FREE 5 Piece gift valued over $80, just pay $2.99 shipping
  • Enter to win a FREE 4 person tent

Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s deals…  many of them are still active!

*Disclosure- This post may contain affiliate links*

Please feel free to comment below and tell me what stores you’d like to see on this list.

Daily Deals 7/7/14

I hope everyone had a stellar 4th of July weekend!!

Deals:

  • Sears: 15% off clothing and accessories with code ‘SUMMERSALE’, extra 20% off bags and accessories with code ‘ACCESSORIZE’, plus 15% off one pair or 25% off two pairs of shoes with code ‘SHOE1520’
  • Crazy8: Up to 75% off all markdowns during the Crazy Good Sale, skirts and shorts just $3.99 and accessories starting at $1.99
  • Michaels: Go crazy with coupons… over 10 to choose from!
  • Joann’s: 70% of summer clearance, plus $1.99 flat rate shipping with code ‘SHIP188’

Freebies/Giveaways/Samples:

  • Allure Beauty: Be one of the first 500 to sign up at 12 EST, and receive FREE full size samples!
  • Disney: Get a FREE printable Disney Princess activity kit
  • Julep: FREE 5 Piece gift valued over $80, just pay $2.99 shipping
  • Enter to win 2 FREE Large Yankee Candles

Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s deals…  many of them are still active!

*Disclosure- This post may contain affiliate links*

Please feel free to comment below and tell me what stores you’d like to see on this list.