Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Aldona's Boutique Etsy Shop Review

It won't be that much longer before I start preparing a bag for the hospital.  Of course I will pack essentials for myself, but the most important contents will be for the baby.  I'll be including an outfit or two for her to come home in as well as other things she'll need. You can't have an adorable outfit without an oversized headband, it's practically mandatory. When I stumbled upon Aldona's Boutique, I knew I had to have one of her headbands for my daughter's first hospital pictures!

Aldona's Boutique is an Etsy shop specializing in handmade French and vintage inspired headbands, garters, hair clips, onesies and more.  Aldona certainly creates pieces that are unlike anything else I've seen before.  Her oversized headbands are my absolute favorite.  I love how she pairs large rosettes with feathers, beads, and pearls in gorgeous colors.  All of the colors and material work together well and look extremely beautiful.  Any headband or hair clip would look excellent in newborn or toddler professional pictures.  Aldona's open to custom orders if you can't find exactly what you're looking for from her shop.  How about creating your dream headband of an oversized black rosette with pink pearls and tulle behind it? That would certainly be beautiful. Aldona's talent surely shines through in her work as every piece is made with love and care.  Go ahead and surf on over to her Etsy shop today, I can guarantee you'll love everything.

The combination of the blush and grey together is stunning.  The small pearls inside the rosette offer a surprise finishing touch.

From the minute I started browsing around her shop, I instantly fell in love with the Blush and Gray Vintage Inspired Headband.  The old fashioned vibe drew me in and I knew it would be the perfect choice.  How can you go wrong with lace, pearls, and ribbon? I did ask Aldona to change the blush band to white.  I thought it would help to make the actual rosette piece pop.  The headband came very quickly and I was impressed with the quality and detail of it.

I tend to be drawn to oversized items whether it's jewelry, handbags, or even sunglasses. There's just something about larger than average items that I love! The rosette seems to be glued on very securely to the band and I don't see any issues with it separating.  You can tell a lot of time and effort went into creating the many layers of the rosette. As I mentioned above, the colors are so gorgeous together.  Pearls, ribbon, and lace are such timeless materials and I really enjoy how they look when used at once.  I certainly wish I had as much talent as Aldona does! The band is stretchy and offers a secure fit around baby's head.

I'm already planning what my daughter will wear in her newborn pictures.  You can guarantee that this headband will make an appearance in the pictures.  It's just too beautiful to not include it.  I won't have to wait much longer as she'll be here in 6 weeks or less!

If you're looking for gorgeous, one-of-a-kind pieces that will certainly spark conversation, please check out Aldona's Boutique.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Aldona's Boutique for supplying me with a complimentary headband in exchange for this post.  All thoughts are strictly mine.  


Monday, October 20, 2014

Dreft Review and Giveaway #DreftHypo

Since I'm now due in a mere 6 weeks, I've really been trying to get absolutely everything ready for my daughter's arrival.  This past weekend I filled up the remaining drawers of her dresser with freshly washed clothes. I love to be organized, so this was a real treat for me.  Is it excessive that she has clothes up to 6 months in her dresser? What can I say, I like to plan ahead! Go ahead and trust Dreft for all of your baby laundry needs, they will protect sensitive newborn skin like no other brand.

Dreft is a hypoallergenic baby detergent that is specially formulated to be gentle on baby's skin.  It's also tough against stains which is a big bonus for new moms.  I've heard of Dreft previously but never had a reason to use it until recently.  I know that using Dreft on baby clothes is an absolute must in the mom book.  It is comforting to know that you're using a laundry detergent that is safe against fragile skin and won't cause breakouts.  Not to mention it smells great too! If you know someone who's having a baby shower soon, it would be a great idea to give them a bottle of Dreft along with your main present.  You can never have enough laundry detergent when frequently washing baby clothes.

I was sent a wonderful package from Dreft which contained items that will be helpful in just a few more weeks! My big box contained 2 bottles of Dreft, 1 container of Dreft wipes, 1 laundry stain remover, 1 to-go stain remover, 1 odor eliminator and fabric refresher, 2 pairs of Little Me pajamas, and a $30 gift card for Little Me clothing.  If you didn't already know, the brand is the #1 baby laundry detergent choice of pediatricians.  

Baby Essentials 

Since I've only recently started washing and putting away my daughter's clothes, I had a small bottle of Dreft on the shelf in my laundry room.  Having two large bottles will make my life so much easier when I'm constantly washing baby clothes in the first few months. The smell of Dreft is so comforting, it's like wrapping yourself in a constant state of warm coziness.  Did you know that the brand has been trusted for over 80 years? The babyhood scent is beloved by moms and leaves fabrics clean and smelling great.  I've already caught myself smelling some of my daughter's clothes because I really enjoy the scent of Dreft! As everyone who is a regular reader of my blog knows that my daughter will be born in December, and I'm sure it will be absolutely freezing at that point.  I'm sure other moms are having winter babies too.  It's imperative that as parents bundle up their little one this winter that they use detergent that is gentle on baby's skin. 

The first time I used Dreft I was very impressed with the product.  Not only did it leave my daughter's onesies and pajamas clean with a pleasant scent, but there were no harsh chemicals used in the product at all.  I can put the clothes on her and not have to worry about her breaking out or having a rash from the chemicals or unnatural ingredients.  As a first time mom I'm sure I'll be worrying a lot.  It will be fantastic to have one less worry on my list!

I don't think my daughter will get the opportunity to wear the pajamas that were included in the package.  They are size 6 months and she'll be 6 months in June.  It'll be too hot at that point for long-sleeves, but you never know!

The stain removal products will be excellent in making sure any spit up stains or other baby messes are magically erased.  I'm sure I'll be dealing with my fair share of stains in the beginning months.  I've heard that Dreft is fantastic at getting tough stains out, so this will be my go-to product when needed.  The on-the-go small bottle will be in my car or diaper bag at all times. You never know when you'll need it!

I'm sure I'll be getting a lot of use out of the wipes and fabric refresher too.  All fabrics need a little refreshing from time to time, not everything always smells good! Just a quick spray or two will envelope my daughter's clothes into a Dreft dreamland.  Before receiving the Dreft wipes I didn't know they were made.  I love that I can safely clean surfaces or toys that my daughter touches.  The best part is that there are no strong fumes and all ingredients are derived from natural sources.  

If you're a new mom, take the headache out of life and make sure that you always have a bottle of Dreft in your laundry room.  Just think of it as your pink and white lifesaver. Head on over to Dreft's website to receive a $2 off coupon to try the detergent yourself! 

Looking to win some prizes? How about joining a #DreftHypo Twitter party on Thursday, November 6th from 9-10 pm EST? There will be a discussion from Dr. Dyan Hes, a New York Magazine 2013 top doctor, about the best ways to keep baby safe and comfortable from the cold this winter season.  Valuable information will surely be discussed.  Don't miss the conversation and of course the chance to win great prizes like Dreft prize packs and Little Me gift cards! RSVP here

One lucky winner will be transitioning into a Dreft dream world as they will have the opportunity to win the same prize pack I received!

This review and giveaway was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Dreft. I received product free of charge, but all opinions are 100% mine."


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Check out my Premium Advertising Section!

If you haven't noticed all of the ads on my sidebar, please take a look.  Go ahead and click on over to their Etsy shops and give them some love!


Have You Heard about Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers? #Sponsored #MC

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for Huggies and Target. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

I recently went to an infant care class at my local hospital.  The speaker told us how newborn babies go through about 280 diapers a month.  I was shocked at how high the number was.  It's essential to stock up on diapers before baby comes so you have a stockpile to use in the beginning. Huggies Snug and Dry diapers will keep baby and mom very happy.

Huggies Snug and Dry diapers have a surefit design that guarantees for up to 12 hours of leakage protection. Any new mom will love to hear that!  The diaper offers a flexible waistband for added comfort.  I highly suggest pairing the Snug and Dry diaper with Huggies Natural Care Triple Clean wipes.  The layers of the wipes are thick enough to handle any mess, with a texture that's soft against baby's skin.  You can feel good about using the wipes on your baby as they are fragrance-free and provide a gentle touch of aloe and vitamin E.  If your baby has sensitive skin, this would be the perfect wipe choice for you as they won't irritate.   An interesting fact about the wipes is that they come in designer tubs to match any nursery.  Both the wipes and diapers can be found at your local Target. 

Target has launched a new subscription program for automatic shipments of diapers, wipes, formula, and other household essentials.  This is the most convenient thing I can think of for new moms.  Go ahead and re-order your baby items as soon as you discover you're running low on them.  The fact that you don't have to load baby and other children into the car and drive to Target to purchase the items desired is fantastic.  Some people don't live near Target and the fact that the items can be delivered to their homes is a lifesaver.  I will definitely be trying out the subscription program as I don't live extremely close to Target.  The last thing that I want to be doing is going out into the freezing winter air once my daughter is born to buy diapers and wipes.  I highly recommend any new mom take advantage of the Target subscription program, you'll definitely notice how much easier it makes life.  Let the UPS man do the hard work for you! 

Make sure you check out Target's coupons where you can score $1 off a package of Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers.  All savings helps when you have a new baby!

Don't forget to follow Huggies on Twitter and Facebook


How to Choose the Right Stroller For Your Tot

Selecting the perfect stroller for your tot can make your life as a parent much easier. The trouble is, there are so many different products to choose from that it can be difficult to know where to begin.
The following guide should help you to purchase the right buggy for your youngster.
On the move
One of the things you’ll need to think about when you’re perusing the array of popular strollers on offer is how you’ll get around. If you travel a lot on foot, you’ll need a product that is easy to push on a variety of surfaces. It should also be simple to manoeuvre over curbs and up and down stairs. In addition, the item should have effective protection from the sun, wind and rain. Ideally, it should feature plenty of storage for shopping bags too.
If you’re a frequent public transport user, your buggy must be quick and easy to fold and it should also be lightweight.
Meanwhile, if you mainly get around by car, the product and its accessories must be able to fit into your boot. It’s also worth considering getting a stroller that comes with a detachable car seat.  
Another key issue to bear in mind is storage. You’re unlikely to go to the effort of folding your buggy up each time to you get back to your home. Therefore, it’s important that the unfolded item can fit comfortably into your hallway without blocking access.
If you have an especially narrow hallway, you might want to get a stroller that stands upright independently when folded as these tend to be easier to store.
Know your options

Once you know what criteria you want your buggy to meet, it’s time to choose a specific model. However, before you start shopping, it’s important to ensure that you’re aware of all the various different types of stroller on offer.
Fully reclining versions are intended for new babies who need the back support that these products give. Meanwhile, sitting up buggies are designed for youngsters aged six months and above.
Some buggies feature travel systems that include a child car seat. These can be handy if you want to be able to transfer your tot from stroller to car or vice versa without waking them up. It’s also possible to get buggies with reversible seats. These products enable you to see your baby’s face as you’re walking along.
If you’re planning to walk over rough ground, a three-wheeled buggy is worth considering. These can be more sturdy and manoeuvrable. However, bear in mind that you shouldn’t use these products over uneven terrain until your child is around six months old. This is because newborn babies’ necks aren’t robust enough to withstand a bouncing head.
You can visit parenting websites such as http://www.essentialkids.com.au/ for more information on strollers.
It’s also worth checking out online reviews before you splash your hard-earned cash on any one particular item. This could help you to avoid potentially costly mistakes and it will ensure you can buy with confidence.


The Complete Guide To Planning A Romantic Trip (When You Have Children)


When you have children, keeping the romance in your relationship can be difficult. Children change every aspect of your life in ways you can't imagine. That means that your relationship with your partner changes. You are no longer a couple; you are mommy and daddy. That means that you start acting more like parents than people. You need to take some time out now and then. Spending quality time with your partner will help you to revitalize your relationship. Remember, relationships take hard work. Nobody has a perfect relationship straight away. You need to work at building a successful relationship. Many parents feel guilty about leaving their children and taking a mini-break. That feeling is normal. If you have never been away from your children before, the idea of leaving them will terrify you. You can't be great parents if you have a bad relationship with one another. That is why it is so important to spend some time together. Here is the complete guide to planning a romantic trip when you have kids.

Choose the right time to travel

Choosing the right time to travel is vital. The important thing is not to disrupt your children's lives. Make sure you think about the right time to go away. Check that your children don't have any important events coming up and that they won't need you for anything. For example, if your child is in the school play, make sure your travel times don't overlap with their opening night. Making sure that you choose the right time to plan a vacation will make a huge difference. Going whilst the children are at school will mean that the trip is cheap.

Keep things short and sweet

Whilst it is important to get some time away together, you must make sure that you keep the trip short. You may want to travel Europe for three or four weeks, but doing so is not practical. Your children will miss you if you leave for too long. The fact that you are not around could have a negative impact on their school work. You should make sure that you keep the trip short and sweet. Plan a trip for just a few days. Your children will be fine without you for that period, and you will still get a great break.

Tell your children why you're going without them

The fact that you're going away without your children might be a little hard on them. If you, usually, vacation as a family, your children might think they've done something wrong. Explain to your children that they have done nothing wrong. Tell them that you guys need to go away without them this time, but that next time you will all be together. Make sure that your children understand why you're leaving and tell them when you'll be back. Tell them you'll bring them presents when you return.

Find the best childcare

You have likely left your children with a babysitter for a night before now. Leaving your children for an extended period can be difficult. It is vital that you find the right childcare for your children. Make sure that you choose somebody who you can trust while you're away. You will not enjoy your vacation if you spend all the time worrying about your children. Look for potential candidates on http://www.findababysitter.com.au. Hold interviews for babysitters who you like the look of, and see whether you can find the right person. When both you and your partner are happy with someone, hire them for the role.

Make a schedule for your children

You need to make sure that your children are busy while you're away. Leaving everything up to the babysitter isn't fair. You know your children, and you know their usual routine. Keeping a level of stability in your children's lives while you're away will make the process easier. Make a schedule for your children that you can leave with the babysitter. Include things like bedtimes, meal times and study times. When your babysitter knows the schedule, he or she can make sure that your children stick to it. Your children will be more likely to obey your babysitter when they can see that you've told him or her all the rules.

Choose a destination

Choosing a destination is not just about picking a place you want to go. When you have children, it is important to stay close by so that you are near if they need you. Choose a destination from which you can easily return if you need to do so. Finding a romantic place that is not a million miles from home will mean you are on hand when your kids need you. Look for romantic breaks in nearby states or countries.

Find cheap fares and hotels

If you travel when the children are at school, you will find that everything is cheap. Travel companies boost their prices during the children's school break. That means that if you travel during term time, you will get a great deal. Talk to a travel agent about the best deal for you and see what they have to offer. It is worth going to a range of different companies before you book your vacation. Doing so will mean that you can compare prices so that you know you are getting the best deal. Look at reviews online to find the right hotel for you.

Call to check on your children (but not too often)

When you're on vacation, there will be a temptation to call home every ten minutes to check up on your children. Of course, you need to call home a few times while you're away, but try not to call too often. Calling once a day is plenty. You need to trust the babysitter to do a great job. He or she can't do their job if you are calling all the time. You should also remember that this is a vital time for your children. If it is the first time you've left your children for more than a day, it will be a learning curve for you. You don't want to teach your children to be completely reliant on you. If you call too often, your children will believe that is a normal thing to do. Instead, make a few calls while you're away, but focus on enjoying your break.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

From Scratch Giveaway

The Food Network is a TV station which I'm convinced has magical and captivating powers. No matter what show is on it leaves me completely hooked.  It's very impressive to watch someone finely dice or chop a tomato with ease while my knife skills look like a small child's.  I love to watch the chefs or cooks create fabulous mouth watering meals and desserts that I would gladly gobble up in five seconds flat.  Has anyone figured out a way to take a fork to the TV screen successfully yet? Please alert me when that happens.  If you haven't tuned into a Food Network TV show lately, you should really do so today.

From Scratch: The Uncensored History of The Food Network is the first book about the network that covers the whole story from the beginning.  It includes a brand new afterword with behind the scenes information about your favorite Food Network personalities.  How about learning of a bullying Robert Irvine as he confronts a rising rival, or Paula Deen trying to rebuild her brand against all odds? So many Food Network names are covered in the book including The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, as she struggles to adapt to being a TV star.

Illuminating one of the most notable cultural and media trends of recent decades, the rise of a food-obsessed culture, the book also tells a powerful business story.  Turn the pages to discover how creativity, chance, technology, and money sometimes work together when building a brand.  

There are some interesting facts in the book including:

-A hedge fund billionaire paid Guy Fieri $100,000 to be his friend for the day.  
-Rachael Ray almost burned down Emeril Lagasse's set during her first screen test
-Paula Deen's agent pushed and cursed the president of the network to give her a shot after a programming executive who was biased against Southerners kept rejecting her.

This would make a fantastic Christmas present for yourself, or any other Food Network fan.  Let the book answer all of your burning questions about the network.  There will surely be some secrets and surprises on each page.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fresh Nation Review

I was just thinking recently about how I don't go to as many farmers markets as I should. The fresh produce, delicious baked goods, and juicy fruits are always a favorite in my book. Over the summer I purchased a 2 pound bag of green beans and roasted them.  They came out phenomenally and were gobbled up in no time.  If you have never been to a farmer's market previously, you should make a mental note to visit one this fall.  You will not be disappointed, and the quality of the food is stellar.

Fresh Nation is a first of its kind farmers market delivery service.  It works by connecting neighboring markets through an online marketplace where consumers can shop from the convenience of their home.  The best part is that the farmers market comes straight to your door! You can choose from various kinds of produce including peppers, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli and so much more.  Don't forget about ordering a fantastic pie or some fresh apples either.  During the ordering process you're able to input how many pounds of each item you want to purchase. A Fresh Nation gift card would be an excellent present for a friend or family member, especially if they're interested in eating healthier.  This is such a wonderful service that brings healthy eating to the palm of your hand.  Fresh veggies are so versatile and work well in soups, stews, casseroles, salads, and so much more.  Be creative and let your imagination flow and create a fabulous dish today.  

I was able to review the service which was extremely exciting to me.  Eating healthy is always on my agenda and I loved that veggies would be coming straight to my door! The online ordering process was very easy and in no time my order was complete.  Today was my lucky day as my order was delivered.  I wasn't home at the time of delivery, but the service had no problem leaving my order on my door step.  This is a convenient feature because not everyone is able to be home when their order comes.  

I received broccoli, carrots, kale, raspberries, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, and green beans.  What I noticed instantly was that some of the produce was a little smaller than what I was used to.  There's nothing wrong with this at all, you'll just have to order more to compensate when cooking.   The only thing I wish was different was that more fruits and baked goods were available, along with breads.  It would have been nice to have been able to include those in my order.  I am not sure if the selection was just not available in my area or what.  Possibly others would have more of a variety than I had?

Produce Party! Look at all of the delicious veggie options to choose from. 

The first thing I wanted to try was making kale chips.  Kale chips are one of those things that I've heard positive things about, but have never tried them.  I looked up a quick recipe online and I got started.  Flavor is imperative when making the chips, so I cut up the kale and seasoned it with olive oil and seasoned salt.  They came out fantastic and my husband didn't believe they were kale at first.  We both enjoyed their crispiness and of course devoured the entire plates in seconds flat.

Crispy, crunchy, everything you could want

From the minute my order arrived, I knew I wanted to make a big salad and eggplant parmesan for dinner tonight.  I cut up tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers for the salad.  To switch things up a bit, I covered the carrots and beans in rosemary and olive oil and roasted them.  This was honestly a fabulous decision as they came out so wonderful and full of flavor.  I want to roast every vegetable possible now when I cook, it's that good. 

Veggies, meet my belly

The vegetables in the salad were so fantastic and full of flavor.  I can't stress enough how fresh they were and how much my husband and I enjoyed them.  We feel spoiled now because we know the produce from our local grocery store is not this fresh! Everything went together wonderfully and we dressed it with a light Italian dressing.

I love you salad

Lastly, I made a delightfully cheesy eggplant parmesan to go along with the salad.  You can never go wrong with marinara sauce and cheese in my book.  Italian dishes are also a dinner staple in my household.  I assembled the dish and stuck it in the oven for 35 minutes. When the timer buzzed, I was met with a beautiful bubbling dish of deliciousness.  My mouth watered and I knew it was time to eat! The eggplant was not bitter at all and was very tasty. My husband didn't even want to speak in-between bites.  :)

We're in a relationship, and I think it's serious.

A meal made in heaven

I highly recommend Fresh Nation for any of your future veggie needs and meals.  I was thoroughly impressed with the service and the produce received.  I'll certainly be ordering from them again in the future.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Fresh Nation for providing me with a complimentary gift card in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 


Jif To Go Dippers Makes An Excellent Snack #GetGoing #Sponsored #MC

“I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

Kids have tons of after school activities these days.  Take a look at your weekly planner and you'll most likely see that your daughter has piano and ballet lessons, while your son has soccer practice.  Once you pick them up from school it seems like everyone's on the go for a few hours.  It's never fun when children are hungry either! Luckily Jif can satisfy your children's stomach and taste buds when out and about.

While I don't have a child who's in school just yet, I know what it's like.  For many years, I babysat children who had to be picked up from school and taken from one various after school activity to the other.  The biggest challenge was making sure their hunger was addressed before we left.  You don't want to give them a messy snack in the car, but having something that's portable is a lifesaver.  Jif To Go Dippers are the answers to your snack prayers. 

If you don't already know about Jif to go Dippers, you're missing out! These handy and portable snacks are just the what you need if you're craving something delicious.  Choose from Jif creamy peanut butter or chocolate silk with pretzels.  Everything is self contained to make snacking on-the-go a breeze.  Throw one in your purse for a mid-day pick-me-up at work, or they make the perfect treat for your child's lunchbox too.  My favorite is surely the chocolate silk with pretzels, but would you guess any differently? I absolutely love the sweet, rich chocolate paired with the salty mini pretzels.  It's a life changing experience for sure! Children will be delighted when they see the Jif packages in their lunchbox or given to them after school. 

Making Jif To Go Dippers as part of your family's snack routine would be a very smart decision.  The next time you or your child is looking for something tasty and quick, let Jif address that hunger.

Check out Jif on Facebook and Twitter


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Modern Family's "Fall for All" Event Takes Over Union Square + Giveaway

If you're local to New York City and looking for something fun to do with the family next weekend, I have the perfect event for you.

Stop by Union Square in Manhattan on Sunday, October 19th from 12-8 pm to be treated to a fall extravaganza.  It's certainly not common to see an interactive corn maze that's over 60' long and 8' foot tall in the city! As guests journey through the corn maze, they will be met with several activities that allow them to test their Modern Family knowledge.  Modern Family is a hit show on ABC that allows packs a lot of laughs.  You'll also be able to retrieve iconic show clips through an augmented reality experience, and strike a pose before exiting into a pumpkin patch full of surprises.  

The event will have numerous photo and video friendly opportunities for families including a seasonal pumpkin patch with hundreds of art pumpkins, a 20' interactive gallery wall with clips from the show, and of course snacks and face painting too! 

Skip the routine Sunday afternoon activities like going to the movies or a museum with the family.  It's time to do something fun that will put a smile on everyone's face!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Huggies Review

With my daughter due in under 8 weeks, I've certainly done my fair share of getting everything ready for her.  The drawers in her changing table are filled with newborn and baby care items, and the shelves underneath are stocked with diapers and wipes. Babies go through countless diapers in their first few weeks of life so it's essential to be ready.   If you're having a baby soon, do you have everything you need for your little bundle of joy's arrival?

Huggies is the first brand I think of when it comes to diapers.  The disposable diaper brand has been a staple for babies since 1978.  Huggies is there for your baby from the very beginning as a preemie, all the way up to size 6 which would be for a toddler.  The product-line up includes Little Snugglers, Little Movers, Snug and Dry Diapers, Pure and Natural, and Overnites.  Pull-ups are also available for children who are transitioning from diapers to underwear.  Huggies is a trusted band that's been recommended to me throughout my entire pregnancy by many moms.  If you're currently researching diaper brands for your child's arrival, you can count on Huggies to get the job done.

I have to admit that I've never changed a diaper in my life, and neither has my husband.  I know that might be hard for some to believe, but it's true.  We have an infant care class coming up and diaper changing will be a topic that will be discussed.  It's essential that we pay attention and ask any questions we have, because it's important to know how to properly change a baby.  

Luckily, we'll get a lot of diaper changing practice in soon because Huggies generously sent a wonderful package.  Inside the large box was a Skip-hop grey chevron diaper bag, two packs of diapers, a soft cuddly toy, baby lotion, and a wonderfully luxurious blanket.  This was so kind of them and it put a big smile on my face when I opened the box.  

The diaper bag is really cute and I actually like it a lot better than the one I currently have! Chevron is one of my favorite prints, and the grey neutral theme is not overly girly for when my husband needs to use the bag.  I'm sure he'll appreciate that! The deep, spacious pockets are ideal for holding anything you need for baby while on-the-go.  Since my daughter will be born during the cold months of the year, the lotion will be essential for keeping her dry skin at bay.  The cuddly toy is perfect for letting my daughter hold and play with.  What baby doesn't love a soft and cute bear? I absolutely love the included throw blanket too.  It will be practically mandatory for cuddling up with on the couch for TV watching when she's sleeping. 

The Huggies diapers are from the Little Snugglers line.  I received two packs, one in the newborn size, and the other in size 1.  The newborn size goes up to 10 lbs, and size 1 is for babies up to 14 lbs.  If you don't know what size diaper you need for your baby's weight, the indicator is right on the bottom. This is certainly convenient and will save you a headache when at the store.

Little Snugglers diapers give your baby unbeatable skincare.  There are many features about this diaper that are truly awesome.  How about a flexible, pocketed back waistband to help keep in mess? This will help contain potential blow-outs which no parent wants to deal with. In the beginning when diaper changing is still new to me, I want all the help I can get.  The wetness indicator lets you know when it's time to change baby.  This is certainly a fantastic feature since you won't have to keep guessing or wondering if baby went to the bathroom. An umbilical cord cut-out helps to protect sensitive belly buttons on a newborn, which I will be thankful for in her first few days and weeks of life.  The unique stretchy snug fit waistbands provides a gentle secure fit which you and baby will approve of.  

A new feature of the diaper is the gentle absorb liner which offers a cushiony layer of protection with hundreds of tiny absorbent pillows to help draw mess away from your baby's delicate newborn skin.  The cottony soft inside and out helps to keep baby comfortable.  No baby wants to be left in their own mess so the fact that the gentle absorb liner is there to help baby is a huge plus.  What more could you want out of a diaper?

I've opened the packs to put the diapers away in the changing table.  Even though my daughter is not here yet to use them, they seem very durable and ready to handle any job that comes their way.  I'm impressed with their thickness and high quality.  I know this is one brand that I'll be trusting for some time to come.  

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to the Huggies team for the complimentary diapers and other goodies in exchange for this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fisher-Price Review

My daughter's nursery is now completely finished and I couldn't be more excited! I absolutely love how it turned out.  My husband and I put the finishing touches on it yesterday.  Her room is so adorable and I can't wait for her to see it.  I have just 8 weeks or less to go with my pregnancy, and I am very much looking forward to meeting her!

Fisher-Price is the headquarters for all toys and baby gear.  I've known about this brand for years and moms trust and depend on it.  When I think of toys, Fisher-Price is the first brand that comes to mind for infants and toddlers.  The adorable toys promote learning, hand-eye coordination, and development. If you're looking for toys to help your child learn and grow while having fun, this is your brand. For all moms who are pregnant or who have recently had a baby, why not check out Fisher-Price's baby swings and play mats? Your baby will certainly enjoy those.  I recently discovered that Fisher-Price produces furniture, which I was not aware of.  If you're currently decorating your nursery, a baby crib or changing station would look wonderful in the room. Any item from Fisher-Price would make an excellent baby shower gift too. 

In the early stages of planning my daughter's nursery, I had no idea how I wanted it to look. I knew I wanted espresso furniture, but had no idea how I wanted to decorate the actual room.  When I stumbled upon Fisher-Price and saw their gorgeous baby furniture, I knew I had to have it.  The sleek and modern furniture is perfect for a boy or a girl.  

Fisher-Price gave me a fabulous opportunity and sent a Riley Island crib and changing station.  The pieces are available in espresso and snow white/misty grey.  I chose the espresso for both.  Not long after, two gigantic boxes showed up on my doorstep, which was very exciting!  I am not handy at all and gave the job of assembling the furniture to my husband.

He put together the changing station first.  Everything comes in many pieces with detailed picture directions on how to assemble. This wasn't quick to set up and took him a couple of hours each day for about 2 days.  All of the hardware that you need is provided for you.  He said the directions were easy to understand and only got stuck at a few steps.

Once he finished it, I was excited and very proud of him.  My changing pad fit right on the top and looked great on.  There's a drawer underneath that holds diaper changing essentials like diaper rash cream, baby powder, etc. The drawer is very spacious and holds quite a lot. At the bottom of the changing station, there's two shelves.  How very convenient for holding diapers, wipes, and anything else you need.  I could envision putting a few toys there to have baby play with while you change them, or even a spare outfit. The changing station is very attractive, built securely, and is very durable.  I feel that espresso furniture is very versatile and works well with a variety of colors to fit your nursery theme.  The richness of the deep brown hue is just stunning.

The finished nursery

The next project was assembling the crib.  Once my husband started putting together the crib, he realized it was a lot less involved than the changing station and would take much shorter time. In about an hour and a half the crib was done.  He was very grateful for minimal pieces and instructions!

The crib was beautiful and I loved the classic and timeless style it radiated.  It was secure and made extremely well.  Both pieces looked excellent together and I was impressed by their craftsmanship. Once I put the crib mattress inside the crib, everything was officially completed! I do not use bumpers because they are unsafe for baby, but you can easily hang a mobile or add a crib skirt for extra personality.

I am very impressed with the quality of the furniture and look forward to having my daughter use both pieces.  I feel that they are wonderful pieces that can easily grow with my child for years to come. Now all I have to do is wait for her to arrive! If you're looking for fantastic furniture for your child's nursery, I highly recommend Fisher-Price.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Fisher-Price for providing me with complimentary nursery furniture in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own. 


8 Important Things You Will Learn When You Get A Family Kitten


All parents have thought about getting a family pet. Getting a family pet is a great way to bring the family closer together. If you have young children, they will love having an addition to the family. As a general rule, children love animals. Make sure that your children don't have any allergies before you get a pet. When choosing the right pet for your home, it is important to think about your lifestyle. Dogs are a popular choice for many families. You can take a dog out for walks together with the family and even train the dog to do tricks.

If a dog's not for you, why not consider getting a cat? Cats are low maintenance when you compare them to dogs, but can be just as loving. If you are going to get a cat for your family home, I suggest that you get a kitten. A kitten will find it easier to adapt to a new family than a full-grown cat would. You will also find that your children take to a kitten more easily than they would take to a cat. Getting a kitten is a whole new experience, and if you are a first-time pet-owner, the experience will be full of surprises. Here are eight important things you will learn when you get a family kitten.

1. Not all kittens will be litter-trained

Many people make the mistake of thinking that all kittens are litter-trained. Litter-training takes a long time, and not all kittens take to using a litter tray with ease. When you are buying your kitten, look for retailers who specialize in dealing with cats. Ask them whether they have litter-trained the kitten before you buy it. If the answer is no, it might be wise to look elsewhere. Getting a litter trained kitten will save you a lot of hassle and mess in your home.

2. Pet insurance is always a great idea

When animals get sick, treatments can be expensive. You should register your kitten with a local vet service in the first few weeks after you get him or her. You should also make sure that you invest in a pet insurance policy for your kitten. When your kitten gets ill, you want to make sure that he or she gets the right healthcare. An insurance policy will help you to cover the costs of healthcare for your pet. That means that you can afford both large and small treatments for your cat.

3. Sometimes kittens are fussy eaters

Kittens are like children; sometimes they are fussy eaters. Trying to get your kitten to eat processed food might be tricky. Try mixing some cooked chicken into the regular kitten food. Doing so will mean that your kitten is more likely to eat their food. Over time, you can put less chicken in their food.

4. Buy kitten milk, not normal milk

It might seem natural to give your kitten a saucer of milk now and then. TV often shows kittens drinking milk, and so you might think that you should give your kitten a little milk to make them happy. The problem is that most cats can't tolerate cow's milk. If you give your kitten the same milk that you drink, he or she will become ill. Instead, buy some special kitten milk so that it is safe for your kitten to drink.

5. Some kittens come with fleas

Many owners have a shock when they get their first kitten. Sometimes your kitten will have fleas when you buy him or her. The last thing you want is fleas in your family home. If you see any signs that your kitten might have fleas, treat your kitten as soon as possible. You can buy special treatments online at www.petfleas.co.uk. You may have to get a carpet cleaner for your home as well to make sure that there are no fleas in your carpets.

6. Kittens have two moods

Kittens have two moods. Kittens are either excited or sleepy. You will notice a pattern in your kitten's behavior during the first few months of you having him or her. Your kitten will get excited and run around for a while. When your kitten is in this mood he or she will scratch and chase everything in sight. After that, your kitten will feel sleepy. He or she will sleep for a while. You might find that your kitten curls up into a ball and sleeps for a few hours at a time. When kittens are small, they want to explore the world, but they also need to sleep quite a lot. Don't worry if your kitten seems hyperactive. He or she is a baby, and so this level of energy is normal.

7. Your children need to befriend your kitten

When you bring a new kitten into the household, you need to make sure that your children befriend your kitten. When your kitten is small, he or she will begin to develop a personality. It is important that your children give your kitten a lot of attention so that he or she gets used to their company. Make sure that your children spend a lot of time playing with your kitten. That should be no problem as most children find kittens fascinating and so won't leave them alone. The kitten needs to form bonds with everybody in the family, and so you should make sure everybody gets a turn to play with him or her.

8. Sometimes kittens cry for no reason

If your kitten cries when you first get him or her, don't worry. Your kitten is a baby, and babies tend to cry all the time. Remember, when your kitten comes into your household, he or she has left his mom and siblings behind. It is normal that he or she misses his or her family. Do your best to comfort your kitten when he or she cries. Give your kitten loads of food and attention to help them to settle into the family home.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Smith Brothers Giveaway

Now that cooler weather is here, it's imperative to keep yourself well. Sickness is definitely lurking as cold and flu season is upon us.  Many people in my office are sick and I'm doing the best I can to stay far away from them.  It's my goal to get through the Fall season without getting sick, especially since I'm pregnant. Thankfully, Smith Brothers is here to work its magic on you when you're under the weather.  Just leave the cold season remedies to them.

Smith Brothers are the only brothers you need when you're sick.  Just call out to them when you're ill and they'll be there to provide you with throat drops and and chewable tablets. Soon after you'll feel like a brand new person.  Remember those cherry flavored throat drops that you had when you were a kid? Those are still available, as are a host of other flavors including honey lemon and warm apple pie.  The minute you feel that tickle in the back of your throat, you know it's time to pop a Smith Brothers throat drop.  The long lasting relief and great taste will make you a fan for life.  Keep Smith Brothers throat drops or chewable tablets in your purse, backpack, or glove compartment for easy access when you need them most.

The brand has recently introduced a comprehensive wellness regimen that addresses three phases of cold and flu.  The phases consist of immune support, relief of cold & flu, and restorative wellness.  All Smith Brothers products represent the highest in safety and are effective and deliver what they promise.  If you're on-the-go a lot, the products are very convenient for traveling.  Simply throw them in your purse or backpack when you need them most. 

Everything you need to help you get well again

If your medicine cabinet doesn't currently hold these products, it's time to change that.  I love that each item is targeted to different symptoms ranging from cough and congestion to cold and flu and even immune support.  Add the stick packs to tea or water to feel the curing and healing effects immediately.  While the brothers cure you, you'll also be receiving vitamins and electrolytes from the products that your body needs most.  

Make sure you rely on Smith Brothers this cold and flu season to keep that awful cold at bay. If you do get sick, you know who to call.


Monday, October 6, 2014

My Ugly Christmas Sweater is Perfect for Your Upcoming Holiday Parties!

This year has gone by so fast.  I feel like we just celebrated Christmas and New Year's and here we are again approaching another year of holidays. The holidays are my absolute favorite time of the year and I love everything about them from the holiday cheer and music, to the fantastic baked goods.  I always say that it's a special time of year that brings friends and family together to celebrate.  Are you starting to think about planning your upcoming Christmas party?

My Ugly Christmas Sweater offers a fun and tacky way to ring in the holiday season. Whether you're throwing a house party, going to a bar crawl, or attending an office party this year, there's no reason why the dress code can't include an ugly Christmas sweater.  The sweaters range from light up Christmas trees, pullovers with 3D embellishments and cardigans with horrible cheesy patterns.  Of course you can't forget vintage reindeer and corny teddy bear sweaters too! All sweaters come in a variety of styles and sizes for men and women.  Have a contest with your friends, family, or coworkers to see who's sweater is the tackiest and ugliest. Everyone will surely have some great laughs. If you don't want to do a contest, implement a rule that your guests must come in some sort of tacky attire, that will be equally as fun.

If these sweaters don't make you cringe, there's certainly something wrong with you.

Wow, my poor eyes! Those sweaters really are terrible.  However you plan your holiday party this year, make sure it involves ugly Christmas sweaters and tons of delicious food.  You cannot go wrong with spending time with your loved ones while enjoying fabulous indulgent treats.

*DISCLOSURE* This is a sponsored post that I received compensation for.  All thoughts are strictly my own.