Thursday, June 23, 2016

U-Konserve Review

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Anyone who is a regular reader of my blog knows how much my daughter enjoys food.  She eats, sleeps, and breathes food.  If she had her way, snack time would occur on a minute-by-minute basis.  I feel like I'm always filling up containers for on-the-go snacks for my diaper bag.  I've been interested to try to do my part by helping the environment and using less plastic products.  U-Konserve shares my philosophy on this important matter.



U-Konserve offers reusable food storage containers, lunch bags, and glass water bottles. Helping the environment isn't a topic I speak about frequently on my blog, but it is something that's important to me.  Think about how many plastic bags you throw away on a daily basis and multiply that number by one month, and even by one year  I'm sure the end result is staggering! One reusable solution can save thousands of single-use items from the landfill.  

You'll love U-Konserve's variety of sizes of stainless-steel reusable containers.  Whether you need a small round one to hold your blueberries for breakfast at work, or a large square nesting trio of containers to hold leftovers for your family, there's certainly a container size that would work well for your needs.  The divided containers are perfect for your child's lunchbox at school.  You can move the divider to the space you desire to make the inside bigger or smaller.  Feel free to take it out if you want to as well.  One side can hold crackers and the other can hold a sandwich.  All of the containers come in various colors too.

Don't bring another plastic water bottle to the gym or the park again.  With U-Konserve's glass water bottles that come in many different colors, you'll be drinking delicious water while helping the earth at the same time.  What could be better?



Scarlett was sent a Divided Rectangle Container in Lime as well as a Food Kozy which is a reusable sandwich wrap.

Since it's summer, we're doing a lot more activities now that the weather is nice.  Scarlett and I go to the beach and the park a lot.  In her mind, this means snacks! I've been looking for a really functional and reliable container to house all of her snacks and food in.  I definitely think the divided rectangle fits that bill.



Not only is the stainless steel bottom with green top very attractive, but it holds a lot of food! I can see my husband and I taking Scarlett to the park and giving her a sandwich with some dried fruit or pretzels on the side in this.  If you want to use it for just snacks, you can too.  The possibilities are really endless.  Throw this in your work bag or travel bag for on-the-go munchies.  This 33 oz BPA leak-proof container is a wonderful solution to plastic alternatives.  The lid securely stays shut and it's a reliable container that you'll really enjoy.  Just throw it in the dishwasher and you'll be able to use it for years to come.  

The Food Kozy helps you to save money as well as saving plastic bags from the landfill.  This is the perfect alternative to plastic bags for sandwiches, snacks, and leftovers.  Replace disposable bags with this BPA-free alternative that also doubles as an on-the-go placemat.  This would be a great item to use when packing your families sandwiches to go to the beach.



Instead of using plastic bags that will just be thrown away, you'll be able to use this time and time again.  Think of how many plastic bags you'd be saving if your child took their lunch to school daily.  The number is remarkable! Your whole family will enjoy this product that comes in different colors and patterns. 

If you're looking for a way to enjoy your food in a safe and responsible way, U-Konserve is it.  I'm definitely going to be ordering more of the containers in the future, I absolutely love them! 

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to U-Konserve for providing me with product samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  



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Monday, June 20, 2016

When You're The Mom of a Toddler

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Having a child comes with so many emotions and feelings, both negative and positive. When Scarlett was first born, it was overwhelming.  You're responsible for a tiny, helpless human being who relies on you for everything.  At that point, you can't see how things can ever get easier.  You know of course they do, but it seems like lightyears away when you're doing a 3 AM feeding.

I remember in the early days of Scarlett's life thinking ahead to all of her future milestones. You envision your baby's first smile, first time they roll over, when they crawl, and then walking and talking.  All of this seems to have happened so fast.  My tiny baby is now a TODDLER. Scarlett no longer lies on the floor and stares at a mobile contently.  Oh, no.  She tears through my house at lightening speed running and laughing.

Scarlett has endless energy that leaves me exhausted at the end of the day.  It takes me so long to get a good picture of her because she never sits still! I'd love to have that baby stage back for just a few hours if I could.  My house was clean at that point and everything remained unbroken and untouched by tiny hands. 



I was inspired to write this post as I watched Scarlett walk up the stairs unassisted earlier today.  It seems like she no longer needs my help as much as she used to.  Obviously she can't bathe or dress herself yet, but she can feed herself, she can hold her own sippy cup, and open her container of snacks among many other things.  Scarlett amazes me with how smart she is and I'm proud of her each and every day.  Even when I'm exhausted and have no energy at 8 pm, I know we got through another day together.  Of course she will still need me for a long time, but it's bittersweet to see how much she's grown and changed in just 18 months of life.  

Scarlett will be 2 at the end of the year.   How can almost 2 years have already gone by so fast? It boggles my mind.  You wish your child could stay little forever, but it's not possible. Her personality is silly and fun.  She can be very sweet at times and loves to give me and her dad hugs.  Animals are one of her biggest interests and she loves to point to them in her books.  She will continue to grow and develop and in just a few short years she'll be in kindergarden.  It's hard to believe.  I know at some point she'll be all grown up and move out of my house too.  I don't want to think about that.  

Being the mom of a toddler is challenging.  Your child can't express themselves the way an adult can and they throw tantrums.  I'm surprised I still have a floor in my house from the amount of times Scarlett's thrown herself down and kicked and screamed out of anger.  On the upside, there's nothing like seeing the world through your toddler's eyes.  I love when Scarlett learns something new and smiles and is so proud of herself!  It's a magical feeling for both people.

This stage of life is fleeting.  To all moms of toddlers everywhere, enjoy it while you can.  there's nothing quite like it.  





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Babies Around the World Have Good Dreams Thanks to Pampers +Giveaway #PampersDreams #Ad

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I'm very lucky that Scarlett has been sleeping through the night since she was 6 months old. We've been using Pampers since she was born and we rely on the Baby Dry diapers to keep her dry overnight.  It's so nice to have her sleep through the night and not wake up due to a wet diaper.  I wonder what she dreams about though? I'd have to say her Pampers Dreams are probably based on food!


Pampers has recently partnered with Olympic swimmer and mom Dana Vollmer for the Rio 216 Olympic Games.  This is her first Olympic Games since giving birth to her son last March.  Pampers knows that the big dreams of babies start with a good night's sleep which is why they've created products designed to help little ones sleep comfortably by offering overnight protection.  There's nothing worse for a baby than waking up in the middle night uncomfortable and needing to be changed. A good night's sleep for baby means a good night's sleep for mommy and daddy, enabling all to wake up well rested and ready to conquer their dreams.


It's hard to believe, but Scarlett will be two at the end of the year.  It honestly feels like she was born yesterday.  Children grow so fast.  I'll blink and she'll be off to kindergarden.  It's so sad to think about, but it's also a part of growing up.  She can't stay little forever, although I'd love her to.  As Scarlett grows, I want her to know that anything she want is possible.   She only has one life and she should do everything in it to meet her goals and dreams.  

Everyone's favorite diaper brand will continue their celebration of the Rio 2016 Olympic games on their social channels through the competitions.  You can follow them by searching #PampersDreams. In support of the games, Pampers is hosting an Instagram contest where one lucky winner will receive a $400 AmEx card.  Can you imagine how many Pampers diapers you could buy with that?!  The rules are simple, post a picture of your little one sleeping and caption it with a big dream that either they have or that you have for them. Don't forget to use #PampersDreams and follow the brand on Instagram either.  Maybe you'll be the lucky winner?



Since Pampers knows how much my readers love to win prizes, they're offering you a prize too! How does a $50 BabiesRUs gift card and Pampers diapers sound?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to like Pampers on Twitter and Facebook

This post and giveaway were made possible by iConnect and Pampers. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine."

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Children Learn and Develop Through Toys #Ad #TechToys @BestBuy

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It's really interesting to watch your child learn and develop through play.  Always let your child play independently and figure out how the world works through play.  My daughter is 18 months old and really has learned so much through her educational books and toys. There's nothing more that you could want as a parent than to see your child grow and thrive.

Best Buy is offering children the chance to learn, grow, and develop through toys.  With special tech products and gadgets geared towards children, keeping your kids engaged couldn't be easier.  The Code-a-pillar  allows children to "program" his path in a fun and entertaining way.  Everytime kids change and arrange the 8 pieces of the Code-a-pillar  he takes a different path.  With fun lights and sounds that allow children to make the toy go right, left and straight they'll always have a great time.  Two targets are included that work well on hard, flat surfaces.   

Children will enjoy the opportunity of programming the path for their Code-a-pillar.  Will they make the toy go two lefts, one right, and straight? The sky is the limit for their creativity! The toy teaches planning and sequencing along with problem solving and critical thinking.  I know as a parent I value any toy that can teach my child, this one is no different.

Even though Scarlett is young, that doesn't mean that she can't enjoy the Code-a-pillar too. The bright colors and music caught her attention and made her smile.  I helped her connect some of the pieces together and we had a great time with it.  I can see her using this for some time to come, especially as she gets older.  

Code-a-pillar will keep little ones engaged for hours. Maybe you and your child can even rearrange the toy to send him around a table or around a chair.  Draw a map and see if you can get Code-a-pillar to follow it.  After all, the best memories are made with your kids.

This is a wonderful toy that will help your children build some basic life skills that they'll use forever.

*DISCLOSURE* The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free


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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Natrapel Giveaway

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Now that most kids are finished with school for the summer, it's time to get those family trips planned! Whether you're hiking or camping in the woods, it's vital that you'll have to defend yourself against pesky mosquitos and insects this summer.  Nobody wants to have to constantly scratch bug bites when they're enjoying time with their family.  It's time to have fewer bug bites this year!



Natrapel will help fend off bug bites for the whole family this summer.  Whether your daughter is boating at sleep away camp, or your son is hiking with his friends, it's just what they need to keep their skin bite free.  This bug and tick repellant contains a CDC recommended 20% picaridin formula which provides up to 12 hours of protection.  It's time for people to have more fun in the sun without worrying about bug bites.  Natrapel is EPA registered and safe for everyone including pregnant and breast-feeding women.  Keep a bottle of this handy with you all summer and you'll be a lot happier.

The product comes in a spray which allows you to quickly guard yourself against mosquitos.  Zika is on everyone's mind this summer.  The fact that this repellant provides up to 8 hours of protection from mosquitos makes everyone's life easier and less worrisome.  



Keep a can of Natrapel in your backpack or bag with you at all times for a worry-free summer.


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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Let Foot Pain Be a Thing of the Past

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Millions of Americans suffer from foot pain.  Whether you have pain in your tootsies for medical reasons, or you have a job where you're on your feet a lot, it seems like you can't get rid of that nagging pain.  Don't give up, there is a solution!

The Vive Foot Stretcher is a versatile device designed to help alleviate foot pain and strengthen the plantar fasciia.  Your feet can be stretched with ease and comfort and are supported by two rubber strip pads that prevent the product from moving around during use.  There's nothing more uncomfortable and stressful then extreme foot pain.  When you stretch your foot, you're allowing your muscles to move more which lessens your pain and stretches the discomfort from your feet.  What could be better than that?



You no longer need to spend money on foot massages or reflexology to help your pain, you can treat that nagging pain right in the comfort of your home.  Sit in front of the TV and relax while you slowly rock your feet from ouch to yay.  The Vive Foot Stretcher is small and can be compactly stored in a closet or underneath a bed when not in use.  You'll be amazed at how quickly your foot pain will be gone.  Your feet will go from sad to happy in minutes and the stretcher is one size fits most. 

Whether you need this for yourself or an elderly relative, they'll really enjoy it.  You'll be endlessly thanked with a smile when they are able to live life again with diminished foot pain! 

You can buy the product on Amazon here

*DISCLOSURE* This is a sponsored post for which I received compensation. 

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Gerber's Lil Beanies is Scarlett Approved

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Scarlett is the queen of snacks and meals.  Her love of food knows no bounds and she can finish food in record time.  My friends and family continue to be impressed by how much she eats, and my husband proudly declares that she takes after her dad!

When it comes to snacks, I tend to give Scarlett choices that are made with natural ingredients that I can pronounce, have low sugar, and offer some nutrition.  Gerber has always been a fan of Scarlett's since she started having solid foods.  When I discovered their Lil Beanies line, I knew my little one's tummy would say "yum!"




Gerber's Lil Beanies are made with 2 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber per serving. What I like about them is that they contain natural ingredients like navy beans.  These mess-free crunchy treats come in original or white cheddar and broccoli.  Scarlett and I headed over to the store to give these yummies a try.  We decided on the white cheddar and broccoli flavor.  She's a huge lover of cheese and broccoli, so I knew it would be a great fit for her.



Scarlett is a big snacker during the day and constantly wants to eat.  It can be challenging to find healthy options for her that are quick and easy.  Gerber's Lil Beanies fit that bill and the best part is that they're portable!




These delicious little crunchy snacks instantly got Scarlett's attention and she got to work on chowin' down.  I don't blame her though.  I tasted them and they were actually very good, it's easy to see why little ones love them! What parent wouldn't want to give their child a snack that is not only nutritious but tasty too?

If you're looking to make your toddler happy, these Gerber Lil Beanies can be found at your local Target.

 




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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Baby Deedee Review

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Scarlett is known for her pajamas among my friends and family.  Whether she's rocking a pair of ice cream jammies or a set featuring Hello Kitty, you can guarantee it'll be cute.  It's hard to resist buying those sleep sets with an adorable pattern or print.  Scarlett probably has more pajamas than the average kid, but she wants to look good when she sleeps!



Baby Deedee is the headquarters for everything sleep! Your little one will be comfortable to snooze the night away in their fabulous sleep sheets, quilts, nests, tees, blankies and more! Everything from Baby DeeDee is comfortable and perfect for baby shower or new baby gifts.  Choose from styles and patterns for both girls and boys that you'll absolutely love. 

When Scarlett heard about Baby Deedee's sleepsie lite pajamas, she knew she had to get her hands on a pair.  I've been buying ahead in clothing sizes since she was born, so she's guaranteed a full wardrobe ahead of time for larger sizes.  Luckily she's been able to wear everything I've bought so far.  The sleepsie lite in heather pink caught Scarlett's eye and she requested it in a 2T.  The pajamas are available for boys and girls in sizes 3 months-2T. How wonderful that such a great pair of pajamas can grow with your child for many months.


Scarlett will be wearing a size 2T early next year, so it's really not that far off.  These pajamas are fabulous! Not only are they made of double layered soft indian jersey cotton and can be worn all year round, but they have an inverted zipper at the bottom which makes diaper changes a breeze.  If you have a toddler, you know how difficult diaper changes can be! Having the option to not have to take the pajamas completely off to do diaper changes makes moms everywhere smile.

Your child can wear these year round which really allows a parent to get their money's worth out of the item.  Go ahead and layer with a long sleeve body suit for year round use, no need to worry about seasons.  

The pink is a beautiful light shade that I absolutely love.  What baby wouldn't love to sleep the night away in something as soft and comfortable as these pajamas? The sleepsie lite pajamas are machine washable and will quickly become your child's favorite pair.  

I can't wait until Scarlett can wear these jammies, it won't be too much longer.  Until then, they will be waiting for her in her closet.

If you're looking for a new baby gift for a friend or family member, keep anything from Baby Deedee in mind. 

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Baby Deedee for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 


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Friday, June 10, 2016

The Mix Of Activities That's Best For Your Kids

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The activities that you expose your son or daughter to at a young age could shape them for the rest of their lives. That’s how important this issue is. So, what’s the best way to get that mix of activities right for your kids? It’s not an easy balance to strike, but make sure you include the kinds of activities outlined below.

Exercise

Childhood obesity is one of the biggest problems we face today. And one of the major causes of this is a lack of exercise. It’s up to you as a parent to encourage your children to get outside and get active. It’s something that kids naturally like to do when they’re young. It’s only when they get into the habit of sitting in front of a screen all the time that persuading them to get active becomes a problem.

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Creativity

You want to encourage creativity in your children as well. This is an aspect that tends to be ignored or forgotten about. Parents put all their focus on the academic success of their children. But sometimes being creativity can be just as important. It offers them something different to try out and enjoy. It’ll also give them a new set of skills that they might want to use in their future careers if they find that they have a creative side to them. So, offer them as many opportunities as possible to get creative.

Social

Building up your children’s social skills is something that you should focus on when they’re young too. The social skills they learn when they’re young will stay with them for a long time. So, you should make sure that they are able to play alongside other kids their age. It’s something that can start at a very young age. The more time that they spend around children their age, the better they will become at developing social skills that are so important for them.

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Play

Playing is an important activity for your kids to do. It’s when they get to have fun, experiment and use their imaginations. There are many different ways in which you can teach your kids to play. When they’re young, letting them play with toys that encourage them to use their imagination. And when they get older, video games can be a good way of your children using their imagination. You can download the latest Cabal 2 here if you want to let them try an interesting new game.

New Experiences

Exposing your children to new things is important too. There is a whole world out there for them to explore and see for the first time. And children who are exposed to different cultures and ideas when they’re young can really benefit from the experience. It opens their eyes and expands their horizons. That can only be good for them as their minds develop. Travelling can help to do this for them if you’re able to take them to different parts of the world to see new things.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Downy Makes Moms Everywhere Smile #ProtectClothesYouLove

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As a mom and especially a stay-at-home mom of a young child, my days revolve around laundry.  I do a minimum of 5 loads a week and it seems like my washing machine is constantly running.



When I moved into my house in 2014, my fabulous LG front loaders came with it! Those beautiful appliances make doing laundry a true dream.  I'm very lucky that since the machines are so high-end, all stains always come out of everything I wash.  Even when my daughter was a baby and constantly stained her clothes, everything came out clean and perfect.  

When you frequently wash your clothes, you're eventually faced with the items starting to look worn and old.  Clothing loses its shape and the color will fade.  It's hard to avoid this sad fact! Everyone has a favorite article of clothing that they love to wear and its important that it always looks its best.  Moms around the world will rejoice thanks to Downy's Fabric Conditioner.  



Downy's Fabric Conditioner is truly magic in a bottle.  The back of the bottle should say open and pour liquid magic into your washer.  The conditioner protects clothes in each and every wash and provides less static, pills, wrinkles, stretching, and color fade.  What more could you ask for?  Towels and sheets will come out looking like rectangles of soft heaven. With Downy's fabulous April Fresh scent you'll be doing laundry with a smile on your face.

Since my bottle of Downy arrived on laundry day, I was interested to put it to the test.  My sheets and towels sometimes come out stiff and I could always use a little more softness with them.  From the moment I used Downy's Fabric Conditioner, I knew it was the answer to my laundry prayers.  That fabulous fresh scent was pure bliss.  

My sheets and towels came out looking the best I've ever seen them.  The towels were cuddly soft, smelled amazing, and looked wonderful.  My daughter Scarlett laid down on the floor and hugged the towels and smiled! Downy, toddlers even approve of you! 

I'm so satisfied with the fabric conditioner and I can't wait to see how it works its magic on my clothes.  Clothes that last longer and look new again? Yes, please! My clothes definitely could use a boost and this is just the answer.  

You can find Downy's Fabric Conditioner at your local Walmart.  Head on over today and buy a bottle to have your laundry experience revolutionized.

*DISCLOSURE* This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/P&G.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 


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Hot Tools Giveaway

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I regularly flat iron my hair.  Even though I don't have curly hair, the bottom is wavy.  The flat iron smooths out any waves on the bottom of my hair not to mention decreases my frizz. Having straight hair is easily achievable thanks to this tool, but heat styling can be dangerous to your hair.  Make sure you use heat protective sprays and serums that keep your hair looking fabulous, each time you straighten it!



Hot Tools leads the world in innovative and professional hair styling tools.  Make your hair look its best with blowdryers, curling irons, and flat irons.  There's certainly a tool for everyone's needs.  Hot Tools products offer fantastic results that won't break the bank.  Everyone wants to change up their look from time to time, why not give your hair a makeover? You can give all the credit to Hot Tools.

Since summer is around the corner, that means tons of BBQ's and summer soirees! Everyone knows that the rise in temperatures means humidity and potentially frizzy hair.  Don't let your hair suffer from extra heat damage.  Instead, introduce it to a smooth and frizz-free look everyone will love thanks to the Cool Tools Conditioning Vaper Flat Iron.


By using up to 100 degrees less heat to style your hair, color retention is increased, hair breakage is decreased, and styles are ultra-soft and manageable.  Less heat allows your hair to be stronger, healthier, and shinier too! Cool Tools will keep your locks under control when things start heating up.  



Since using heated styling tools can be damaging to your hair, that worry will now be a thing of the past! Look and feel your best this summer thanks to Hot Tools.





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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Stage 3 Gerber Toddler Drink #FormulaForHappiness #Ad #Spon

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It seems like just yesterday I got the all-clear from my pediatrician to start solids.  Scarlett was exactly 20 weeks old and I was so excited to begin.  I went to the grocery store and picked out a jar of green beans for her first meal.  Upon first taste, Scarlett burst into tears.  I remember being shocked at her reaction but I think it was just sensory overload for her. Soon after that, she bit the spoon so hard at each bite and wouldn't let go!

First time having solids!

Fast forward many months later and she's now the queen of food.  I'm very lucky that there isn't much that Scarlett refuses to eat.  My child devours fruits and vegetables first on her plate at mealtimes, and I'm sure every mom wishes her little one was like mine.  Usually, I feel bad telling people what a good eater she is because their child is beyond picky or barely eats.  My husband loves to say she gets her appetite from her dad! 

Mealtime can be stressful at times because Scarlett tends to throw her food from her highchair to the floor.  It's not that she doesn't want to eat, but enjoys feeding the dog a little too much.  This is one phase that I hope we get through quickly. 

If your child isn't the greatest eater and you struggle to get through mealtimes, there is an answer for you! I know every parent worries that their child isn't getting enough nutrients from table food when mealtime doesn't always go as planned.  Gerber's new toddler drink, Stage 3 Gerber Good Start Grow Toddler Drink is specifically designed for toddlers ages 12-24 months.  It has essential nutrients to help fill common nutrient gaps that many toddlers experience as well as probiotics to support digestive health.  The drink nourishes toddler tummies so they can focus on what makes them, and you happy, their growing independence.



What are some of your favorite mealtime memories from when your children were babies or toddlers? It's certainly a milestone as babies turn into toddlers and grow and develop, but it's also sad too! Make sure you check out Gerber's store locator to see where you can find the closest retailer to you to buy the toddler drink!





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Summers are Made for Crayola Products

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As a child, I remember loving to color and using colored pencils, markers, and crayons for my creations.  There's just something magical about filling in a blank picture from a coloring book.  You're in charge of making it come to life in whatever colors you want. Now that I have a child, I get to relive childhood again through my daughter's eyes. You can bet that Crayola is already a popular brand in our household.

Crayola offers arts and crafts products for children of all ages to ensure that their masterpieces can become a reality.  Any boy or girl would be thrilled to own markers and crayons that come in all different types.  How about window markers to decorate the window in their playroom, or even scented markers to ensure that their picture smells like raspberries? You can't forget that iconic 96 count box of crayons that I had as a kid either! I'm so glad that it's still around.  Any color you could possibly want is in that beautiful box. For the younger toddler, Crayola has a Mess Free line which allows your little one to color on a special page with markers that only show up on the paper.

Keep Crayola in mind for all of your budding artist's future pieces.  Now that summer is here, kids will be thrilled to spend their free time putting their imagination to paper.  I have an 18 month old who is slowly starting to be interested in arts and crafts.  I'm so glad we're past her wanting to only put the crayons in her mouth, now she wants to color! We trust Crayola for quality products that deliver you bright and bold color that will keep your pictures beautiful for years to come.




Crayola knows that Scarlett is a little artist and wanted to celebrate her creativity! We received a huge and generous box of assorted product that we both can't wait to use. Although some of the products are a little advanced for her at the moment, we'll get there. Also, she can use the markers and other items with Mom's help too. There were many different types of markers including scented and power lines.  As soon as I saw the marker boxes, I was instantly transformed to my childhood again!  Currently, the iconic brand is promoting Finding Dory and Shopkins products, so we received some branded markers and crayons.  


Choosing a color isn't easy!



As soon as I opened the box, we couldn't wait to dig into it.  The Giant Finding Dory coloring pages book seemed like a great place to start.  I absolutely love the size of the book and it allows a child to spread out comfortably on the floor and get to coloring.  There's a lot of space to fill in and it will keep your little one occupied for a while.  It would be nice if Crayola introduced a giant coloring page book that was blank so a child could color whatever they wanted.  I wanted to admire all the colors, but Scarlett had no interest in allowing me to do that!

Scarlett enjoyed coloring Dory purple and actually was engrossed for a long time, I was impressed. I tried to help her color and she pushed me away.  This girl takes her art seriously! It's a lot of fun to watch your child take interest in something and see how they do things their way.


We also loved the window markers and tried those out soon after too.  The colors show up well on the glass and of course what child wouldn't want to draw on the window too? Scarlett was enthusiastic about scribbling with the yellow marker on the window.  She tried to also use a crayon on the window too, but it just wasn't the same! I love these markers and I think we'll write out a message for my husband for Father's Day! Don't worry, once you're done the marker comes right off the glass. 

Since we have so many different arts and crafts products, all of them will keep us busy this summer.  We're going to visit Grandma in a few weeks and I know Grandma will enjoy coloring with Scarlett.  Those travel sized boxes of crayons will come in handy too! 

Thanks to Crayola, children all across the world can let their inner artist out.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Crayola for providing me with product samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  


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How Great Recipes Can Enhance Your Lifestyle

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Life is often too busy to spend much time in the kitchen. We’ve got other chores to do, kids to care for, and a career to juggle. But spending that little bit of extra time considering your next family meal could be one of the best ways to enjoy more quality time with them. Sitting down as a family at the table is still a very important way to bond with your kids and partner. It gives you all a chance to chat and catch up, as well as spending quality time together.

Of course, if a family meal is important in your household, you need to make sure you have some really great recipes. Suiting everyone’s tastes can be tricky, though. Some people may be keen to watch their waistline, while others might be ready to eat for two after a long day! So how do you get it right? Having a good recipe book can really help. Understand the method and the number of portions you’ll get. This can help you to make the minor adjustments your family members might request. Sounds like hard work? Here’s why picking great recipes could be good for your lifestyle:

Calorie Control
A good recipe will either detail the calories for each portion or be simple enough to calculate for yourself. So many of us are actively monitoring what we eat these days. And it can be so much easier if we know just how many calories we’re taking in. It can also help you work out if that tasty dessert can fit into your calorie limits!


Fat and Sugar Reduction
Many of us are also trying to reduce the amount of fat and sugar we have in our meals. This can be tricky to do if you’re buying sauces from a jar rather than making them yourself. Excess sugar in our diets can lead to diabetes and other health complications. Of course, it’s not just fat and sugar we need to be wary of. Some people need to avoid nuts, gluten, lactose, or meat. Checking all the labels all the time is really hard work! Why not use healthy shop bought options to save time on some of your ingredients? Things like the Just Mayo Hampton Creek range offer foods that are free of things like egg. Pop it in your recipe and you can opt for a healthy home made meal.

Processed Foods
If you’re trying to cut down on processed foods, then cooking all your meals yourself can certainly help to avoid them. Not all foods in jars, tins and packets are harmful, though. And some recipes can be made much easier when you add ingredients that are ready to go. However, food tastes incredible when it’s really fresh. Try to find recipes that include lots of fresh ingredients. They’ll be packed full of amazing flavors and nutrition to make your tummy smile.


Easy and Convenient
Whether you love to cook or not, there will always be days when you’re looking for something easy and convenient. A great recipe gives you a way to make tasty, wholesome food quickly and easily. It’s also convenient if you can batch cook. Freezing extra portions for another day saves you cooking at the stove when you’re home late. Pop it in the microwave to reheat and you can enjoy that fabulous dinner again.

Fun to Cook
Some of my favorite recipes are actually really fun to cook. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of food preparation, there are always fun recipes out there that bring pleasure to the process. You might be a fan of kitchen gadgets that make light work of peeling, chopping, shredding, mixing and blitzing. Soup makers, blenders and smoothie machines also make everything more convenient. Great food created in a fun way can really bring the joy back to dining.

Master of the Kitchen
The more you cook, the better you become. Lots of recipes need a little tweaking to taste the way you want them to. If you understand the relationships between the flavors, you can do that with ease every time. You’ll become quicker at chopping and peeling. And your favorite recipes will soon take just a fraction of the time as you become familiar with the method. Not only will you enjoy providing fabulous meals for your family, but you’ll be cutting down the time it takes to do as well. All that adds up to more quality time with the kids.


Easy to Shop
A really good recipe collection is easy to shop for. You should be able to find all the ingredients in your local stores. And if you have the recipe to hand on your phone, you can easily shop for the right quantities of the things you need. Shopping for dinner should be fun. It should help you build expectation and excitement for the culinary delights that you’ll create. And choosing your own produce to pop in the dish helps you to know you’re getting fresh ingredients that are healthy. If you want a meal that is good for you, it makes sense to source each of the ingredients yourself.

Choice
Some recipes also give you plenty of choice in how you use them. Dishes like Pasta can be used hot or cold in a salad. Finding the right recipes that can give you the variety you’re looking for doesn’t need to be tricky. Think back on some of your favorite meals you’ve had recently. Would any of those work cold? Would you need to change any of the ingredients? The best bit about versatile meals is that you can pop leftovers in the fridge to have later or take to work for lunch.

Forward Planning
A little forward planning when it comes to your meals can make life so much easier. Make a meal plan. Figure out which of the meals your kids can get involved in making. Which can make delicious batches for convenient meals when you’re out late? And if you’re short on time, pull out all the ingredients and head to the shop to pick them all up in one go. Great recipes really can make your lifestyle easier and happier.


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Monday, June 6, 2016

25 Fun Toddler Activities for Kids this Summer

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If you have a young child like I do, it can sometimes be difficult to make sure they're entertained all the time.  While the weather is hot, you don't want them to spend so many hours in the powerful sun. Babble has a list of 25 fun toddler activities that any child will absolutely love! I hope you can get some ideas from it.

Create a quick and easy outdoor sprinkler with a drill and water bottle


Indoor DIY bowling is also a fun idea too!



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