Thursday, May 28, 2015

Three Dog Bakery Review

My dog Carolyn has three loves in life; her treats, her toys, and her family.  She eats, sleeps, and breathes treats.  I can assure you that when she's awake she's plotting of how to get more yummies, and when she's sleeping she's dreaming of them.  Carolyn does not discriminate against any treat but loves them all too much.  If you show her a bag of treats she will patiently sit and wag her tail, while staring at you with big eyes. She can hear the box of treats rustling from a mile away too.  This girl loves her treats! Why not make your dog the happiest pup on the block with delicious dog treats from Three Dog Bakery?

Three Dog Bakery is the key to every canine's heart.  Since 1989, the bakery has been selling all-natural dog and puppy treats, food, biscuits, and gifts.  You can rest easy knowing the delectable treats are made with only quality and wholesome ingredients.  Your dog will go woofin' crazy for flavors such as classic peanut wafers, strawberry cremes, and vanilla wafers.  Go ahead and delight your pooch's taste buds with flavored biscuits like cheese or apples and oats.  New summer flavors have been recently released which is music to your dog's ears.  While you enjoy your favorite summer treats, your pet can enjoy theirs too!

A UPS box recently showed up for Carolyn on our doorstep.  It's rare that Lynnie gets mail, so you can only imagine how excited she was! Inside was four new "ice cream" treat varieties that have debuted for summer.  She went nuts upon seeing them and her tail was like a metronome.  No dog can resist flavors like rocky road, mint carob chip, cookie dough, and neapolitan.  The best part is that the treat containers look like ice cream cartons.  Too cute!  The dog treats smelled like the real ice cream flavors and they looked almost good enough to eat.  Although I'll save the taste testing to Carolyn.

I let Lynnie sniff all of the containers so I could see which flavor she liked best.  She seemed to sniff the rocky road more than the other containers, so that was the winner!  Rocky road is one of my favorite ice cream flavors. How fun that it's made in a safe "ice cream" flavor for pooches! I hoped my love of that treacherous road would be passed on to my dog daughter too.

Lynnie waiting to attack her snack. Can you blame her though? 

Carolyn absolutely loved the bite-sized treat and would have happily eaten them all if I let her.  It's so funny how the treats look like the real ice cream flavor they're supposed to be. The cookie dough even has the bits of cookie speckled throughout it like true cookie dough ice cream.  Lynnie inhaled the treat in one second flat, so it's safe to say that she enjoyed it!  Of course she licked her lips while looking at me for more afterwards.  Lynnie is a little greedy sometimes, but that's okay!

I can't wait to have her sample the other flavors very soon.  Each container comes with a generous amount of treats, so it will surely last you a while.

If you're looking to make your dog's taste buds and tummy very happy, it's time to introduce them to Three Dog Bakery.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Three Dog Bakery for providing me with complimentary samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Summer Plans

Summer will be her before you know it.  I can't wait!  Our plans include:

-We'll be driving down to Florida with Scarlett and Lynnie
-Going to the zoo
-Visiting the beach and going swimming

We also have family pictures scheduled for July 18th.

What is everyone else doing? Let me hear your plans!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Ella's Kitchen Review

Scarlett has been eating solids for about 3 weeks now and she's 23 weeks old.  When my pediatrician gave us the go-ahead to start solids, I was very excited! You can only get so much joy from giving your child a bottle every few hours.  With solid food, you can create fruit and veggie combinations to delight your child's taste buds and make them happy.  I'm lucky that Scarlett is a great eater and enjoys everything I've given her so far.  When did your child first start solids?

Ella's Kitchen offers pouches containing organic food for babies and little ones.  Once your baby is ready for solids, Ella's Kitchen is ready for them! Start with stage 1 which is for babies 4 months and up.  These pouches contain pureed fruit and veggie combinations that will make their bellies sing.  Stage 2 is for 6 months and up and has offerings like cauliflower cheese with lima beans.  These savory purees help your child to continue on their tiny taste bud journey with a smoother, thicker taste.  Stage 3 is an exciting one for 9 months and up when you can choose from such options as Thai curry veggies with rice, or vegetables and chicken with mangos and spices.  These wholesome meals with soft lumps give new teeth a workout.  The last stage is for 1 year olds and up.  These babies will absolutely love lunchbox drinks, toddler snacks, electrolyte drinks, and nutritional shakes. Moms and Dads can love Ella's Kitchen every step of the way.  

Right around 20 weeks, Scarlett was hungrier than normal.  She could barely go 3 or 3 1/2 hours in-between feedings, when she used to be able to go beyond four.  She would be very interested when my husband and I ate around her, and she would endlessly stare at us.  I talked to some other mom's for advice and they agreed that she certainly needed to eat more. Her bottle just wasn't cutting it anymore!

At her 4 month check-up, I discussed starting solids with the pediatrician who agreed that Scarlett's belly needed more.  I went out and bought jarred baby food and her first meal ever was green beans.  It was certainly a learning experience in the beginning.  I was unsure if I was giving her enough food, and of course Scarlett was learning to eat.  I quickly figured out how much to exactly give her and we were good to go.  What I noticed in the early days of her solid food adventures was that she was an aggressive eater.  If I couldn't get the baby food fast enough into her screaming mouth, she would be hysterical.  She would kick the bowl of food which created a big mess.  She also grabbed the spoon and tried to shove it in her mouth while screaming and wouldn't let go.  Mealtime shouldn't be this chaotic!

I had heard of Ella's Kitchen and seen them in the store, but I didn't realize at first that Scarlett could have them. The earliest stage, stage 1, is ideal for her.  The pouches are perfect for on-the-go traveling and don't require any sort of refrigeration.  What I like best is that everything is contained in the pouch, which creates much less mess.

Ella's Kitchen sent Scarlett a fantastic pack of goodies for her to sink her tiny gums into. We received pouches with such yummies inside as pears, peas and broccoli, cauliflower and lima beans, and apples, spinach, and rutabaga.  You can't forget about the helpful books which give you recipe and food tips from baby to toddlerhood.

Two of the pouches are for 6 months and up, so I can't give Scarlett those right away.  She'll be 6 months on June 9th, so the cauliflower cheese and lima bean pouch won't have to wait much longer to get into her tummy.   The pouches are eye-catching and offer brightly colored pictures of fruits and veggies.  

I did give her the apples, green beans, and raisins pouch yesterday.  What I didn't realize about solid foods at first is that you can mix them together.  The thought of doing that never occurred to me.  I would always give Scarlett just apples, or just green beans.  When you mix the combinations together, you're opening up their palette to new flavors and tastes which is awesome.  I also love that all of the food is organic with no added preservatives or unnatural ingredients.  This makes me one happy mom.

Scarlett has had green beans and apples before, so the only new addition to her was raisins. The pouches are fantastic because they make mealtime a breeze.  When you feed baby the food in a bowl with a spoon, mealtime can take forever an feel endless.  With the pouches, a feeding is done in record time! 

The purees are easy to eat and Scarlett had no problem eating it right from the pouch.  She seemed to enjoy it and ate it quickly.  These pouches are awesome for throwing in your diaper bag and feeding baby when out and about.  With all the yummy choices, baby will quickly form some favorites.

If you're looking to add some yummy, wholesome food into your baby's diet, please keep Ella's Kitchen in mind.  They will grow with your little one from baby to toddler.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Ella's Kitchen for providing me with complimentary products in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Stride Rite Review

There's nothing more fun than having a daughter.  I absolutely love it.  Even before Scarlett was born I was buying clothes, shoes, and accessories for her.  It's impossible to resist purchasing flowered winter boots or a flowered jacket for an infant! I have so much fun with Scarlett's clothes and everyday is a fashion show when picking out her clothes for the day. Of course it's essential to have a a matching shoe to go with the perfect outfit.  Why not start your daughter with accessorizing at a young age today?

Stride Rite is one of the first brands I think of when I envision shoes for children.  The company offers ridiculously cute shoes for boys girls, and babies.  Whether you're looking for flowered sneakers, a sparkly boot or flat, a flower themed sandal, or even black dress shoes to go with your son's school uniform, Stride Rite has it all.  Their shoes are long lasting, durable, and stylish.  There's nothing more adorable than a baby in a pair of silver sparkly Stride Rite boots. I have proof of that!  Go ahead and plan to have your child pick out a new pair of sandals or Mary Janes for this summer.  A pair of shoes from Stride Rite makes the perfect birthday or even baby shower present for any baby or toddler.

Scarlett was lucky enough to receive the Stride Rite Crawl Mini Quinn's and the Baby's Stride Rite SRT Soft Motion Bambi.  Both shoes are irresistibly cute and I just had to add them to Scarlett's collection.

Looking for a ridiculously cute pair of shoes? The Crawl Mini Quinn's are for 6-9 months, which will fit Scarlett this summer.  They are a soft sole which is perfect for beginning walkers.  How can you resist the silver sparkly Mary Jane with an adorable ruffle on top? You're not human if you can resist it!  All Stride Rite shoes are made well and extremely durable. I think the silver was a beautiful deep shade, and the sparkles were bright and noticeable.  Scarlett's foot is a little bit smaller than average, so the shoe is slightly big on her right now even though she's almost 6 months old.  This is not a problem since they will fit her longer. I can't wait until she wears these.  How cute will they be paired with a cute black sweater and jeggings? Scarlett will certainly be one of the best dressed babies at her playgroup.

I like to plan ahead with Scarlett's clothes and shoes, which is why I was interested in the Soft Motion Bambi's.  I chose these in a size 3, which will fit her when she's about a year old.  A unique feature about this shoe is that it offers soft motion technology which is specifically designed for early walkers.  This means it has deep flex grooves for maximum flexibility,  natural leather linings for breathability, an super soft construction for comfort.  

The adorable butterfly design of this is shoe is perfect for girly babies like Scarlett.  Of course her mom is also a fan of the shoe too! The hard sole will allow her to walk with ease, and I like that the velcro will allow me to take the shoe on and off easily. I can imagine her wearing these with a cute pink or white top and jeggings.  What an outfit! 

Scarlett loves having new shoes and was very excited to receive them.  The only thing she has to do now is sit back and wait for them to fit!

If you're looking for adorable shoes that are quality made for your child, head on over to Stride Rite for a pair today! 

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Stride Rite for providing me with complimentary shoes in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Skip Hop Review

When you're out and about with baby, it may seem like your diaper bag never has enough storage.  How can you efficiently store your own things in it, along with baby's and your toddlers? A bag and purse can only hold so much! The basket on the bottom is a nice addition, but what do you do when you fill that up too? It's safe to say that you need extra storage and to be able to bring even more essentials with you along for the ride. Luckily, Skip Hop is here to help.

Skiphop is the ultimate headquarters for anything baby and child.  The brand offers designer diaper bags, developmental toys, zoo packs, bath toys, and nursery and crib decor. Skiphop's products are adorable and will instantly get you many compliments.  Your child will surely love to play with their turtle island bath playset the next time they take a bath, or be rinsed with a fun whale shaped bath rinser.  If you're expecting a new baby, why not outfit your child's nursery and crib with a treetop friends or springtime birdie themed room? Skiphop is your go-to brand for making sure all of your kiddy needs are covered.

Lately, I've been using my stroller more than ever when I go out with Scarlett.  We've recently been to the park, the grocery store, the mall, and even the nail salon! I don't like to bring my purse with me when I'm out with her because it's one more thing I have to carry.  Usually, I just put my wallet, phone, and keys in a pocket in the diaper bag.  I've been wishing for some extra storage for the stroller and thought that it just wasn't an option.  When I realized that Skip Hop had a Stroller Saddlebag, it was like all of my storage dreams had come true!

This handy bag attaches itself to the side of any stroller with ease.  You'll have so much more room you won't know what to do with it.  I hope you'll store some cookies in there! 

If you're a mom, this saddlebag is a definite must for your stroller.  If you're like me and wondering how you can tote snacks, sippy cups, toys, bottles, diapers, wipes, and everything else at once, wonder no more! 

Every Mom needs something to call her own once in a while.  Let this bag be just for you, and keep your child's things separate from it.  Why not even call it the Mom saddle bag? Put your sunglasses, wallet, phone, iPod, and anything else in there too.  You'll feel happy knowing that the bag is connected to your stroller and can hold anything you want.  The insulated interior also keeps food cold after supermarket trips which is a big plus in any mom's book.

I don't know how I managed motherhood without this saddlebag previously.  It attaches onto my stroller effortlessly and securely stays on.  The bag is durable, lightweight, and made well.  Since my stroller is black and red, the sleek black bag matches perfectly.  I have a Skip Hop diaper bag that I also love, so I feel proud to have two brands on my stroller that I'm a loyal fan of.  I used it for the first time today and really enjoyed it.  My daughter and I went to the park and I was able to fit my phone, wallet, car keys, book, and even water bottle inside.  There was even some room left! How fantastic is that?

I'll surely be using this bag for years to come.  It's wonderful that I don't have to carry my purse and a diaper bag along with my child all at once anymore.  Let's just say that makes for some back pain! With the Skiphop saddle bag riding on the side of the stroller, I'll always be able to take anything I need with me.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Skip Hop for providing me with a complimentary product in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Babyproofing Your Home

As a first-time mommy, I know how scary it can be bringing a delicate baby into your home. The last thing you want to have to worry about when you bring your new arrival home is safety. If you follow these straightforward steps, you’ll know that your baby is safe to roam around. Make sure you make all the changes you need before your child starts to crawl!

Tidy Away Small Items

If you have any small decorative items around the home, at a height that a crawling baby can access them, move them! Kids are naturally curious and may try to eat small objects. Your child could easily choke. Be careful about leaving toys unattended in your baby's nursery too. I like to make sure anything that’s small and not fixed down is high up and out of reach.

Get To Know Your Neighbours

Getting to know your neighbours doesn’t sound like a step for childproofing your home I know! But trust me, as your children grow and want to play outside, it’s nice to know people are looking out for them. If you know your neighbours, you’ll feel safer about letting them play out. I’d love to live in a close community like Ultris at The Madison. Meeting your neighbours is also a good way to meet any other young families in the area.

Secure The Kitchen

When babies begin to crawl, they start to explore. The kitchen is full of many dangerous for small children, so it’s best to keep them out. If your child is in the kitchen, make sure they don’t have access to anything sharp or harmful to them like alcohol.

In the kitchen, you also need to make sure your fixtures and fittings are safe. Make sure anything loose is fitted securely so your little one can’t pull it out. You also want to be careful that when you’re cooking, they can’t climb near hot pans or stoves. It all sounds scary but if you keep an eye out you can keep your baby safe.

Watch Your Doors

Adventurous babies will crawl in and out of rooms and climb into any open cupboards. If you’re allowing your child to get used to their surroundings, I’d always advise you supervise. But, just in case, make sure you lock your doors and shut cupboards. If your child finds something, that sparks their interest it could end up in their stomach!

Get Safety Gates

Safety gates are great for keep your kids from going upstairs or into any areas that aren’t safe. It’s a good idea to get these installed as early on as possible, so you don’t have to think about it when they start to crawl! Make sure the gate you choose can be open only by yourself (and other adults) and is not easy for a child to open.

Secure Your Blinds And Curtains

So many parents don’t think about making sure your blinds and curtains are safe. Babies will pull them and they will play with any loose dangling cords, you can guarantee it! I recommend choosing blinds that comply with health and safety regulations. Special blinds can are available that are built to make sure children can’t get tangled in them. If your kids like to play near windows, always make sure you’re watching!

Do you have any other advice for keeping young children safe? Let me know, I’d love to hear.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Prettie Girls Giveaway

It's important to teach your child about cultural diversity from an early age.  They need to know that people hail from different countries, have customs that we might not be used to, and also their appearance might not look just like ours.  Answering any questions that your child might have about race and background is essential for learning.  Remember, everyone should celebrate who they are.

Prettie Girls has four different dolls that make up the collection.  Each doll has their own unique story, style, and personality and are waiting for you to learn it!  Lena,Valencia, Kimani, and Dahlia embody the positive and aspirational attributes that every little girl can embrace.  Every child needs a positive role model to look up to and a Prettie Girl doll not only serves as a role model, but a fun toy too.  Why not let your child enjoy playing with the doll while receiving a wonderful message too.  Keep Prettie Girls in mind for a birthday or Christmas present as well as an young graduate gift too.

Do you think the Prettie Girls will give me some fashion tips?

Valencia (who is in purple above) is bold and daring and has a passion for healthy lifestyle.  She's a young athletic girl who focuses on eating right, exercising, and being the best she can be.  Valencia wishes for every girl to achieve their goals and dreams in life and be as happy as possible.  She'd love to find a home in your child's room or playroom to spend time with them everyday as they play with her.  

You'll feel happy knowing that your child is playing with a doll that sends such a positive message.  Valencia is not wearing inappropriate clothes or too much makeup.  Her image is very respectful and certainly one you want your young daughter exposed to.  

Every girl needs a doll in their life, when will your own pretty daughter receive her Prettie Girl doll?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Kick Up Your Dinner with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

If you're looking for a side dish to compliment chicken or steak, let me introduce you to my rosemary roasted potatoes.  I promise you won't be able to eat just one.  These golden brown beauties are perfectly crispy on the outside, deliciously warm and fluffy on the inside, and an all around party in your mouth.

You can cook these potatoes with any seasoning you want.  I'm not a fan of pepper in general, so I don't cook with it.  I don't even own a bottle of pepper! I feel rosemary compliments potatoes in general, so that's my go-to seasoning.  Generally, I use classic russet potatoes.  You can use any kind of potato you want.  Chop the potatoes in wedges, cover them generously with olive oil, and season away! Put them on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes at 425F.  When the timer goes off, you'll be presented with the most heavenly side dish your taste buds will ever meet.  Trust me on this one!

Two potatoes is more than enough for two people.  If you're cooking for many people, I would use an entire pack of four potatoes that you can easily buy in your grocery store.  

These roasted potatoes will certainly be your new side dish of choice for any meat you serve.  Happy cooking!

Netflix #StreamTeam May 2015: Family is What You Make It

My family consists of my husband, my daughter Scarlett, and our dog Carolyn.  I'm a stay at home mom to Scarlett, while my husband works.  This makes the most sense for our family at the moment, but I do plan on returning to work at some point.  I feel very grateful that I'm home with Scarlett daily to play with her, watch her grow and develop, and make memories.

In my opinion, my family is pretty traditional.  Both my husband and I do not have half siblings, step parents, or any adopted siblings.  I'm actually an only child.  If that makes us a little boring, I'm okay with it! For the month of May Netflix is focusing on untraditional families.  Families have long evolved since the white picket fence days of the Cleavers.  Today's families may include a mom and step dad raising step and half children all while their grandparents live in their 3rd floor loft.  This is surely reminiscent of today's modern family.

Grace and Frankie, is Netflix's new funny and fearless original comedy featuring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen, and Sam Waterston.  This series is a perfect example of how today's families can shift, rearrange, and blend in unexpected ways.  When Grace and Frankie's husbands leave them after 20 years of marriage-to be with each other-the woman find themselves facing a change they never expected, but they shift their perspective to get through it.  They both use humor and their newly found blended family for guidance.  

What's your family like? Maybe your house consists of an untraditional definition of family, but that's ok.  In the end, family is family and that's what's important.  What is it about your modern family that you wouldn't trade for the world? 

Netflix has compiled a list of picks that make other families unique.  Why not gather the family around the TV and celebrate by choosing a show that emphasizes that your family is special and one-of-a-kind.  Don't forget Junior Mints, white cheddar popcorn, and Dr. Pepper.  You can thank me for those suggestions later!

For your little kids:

1. Lily's Driftwood Bay
2. The Tigger Movie
3. Guess How Much I Love You: S1E5 Big Like You
4. Angelina Ballerina: Superstar Sisters

For your big kids:

1. Crash and Bernstein
2. Life With Boys
3. Spy Kids
4. Russell Madness

For teens and adults: 

1. Raising Hope
2. The Fosters
3. Gilmore Girls
4. Life Unexpected

Whatever adjective describes your family, the important thing is being close and making each other feel loved.  That's what family's all about.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Grout Genie Review and Giveaway

Grout is truly one of the hardest things in a house to keep clean.  A regular linoleum or hardwood floor is easy to upkeep and requires minimal effort.  A tile floor on the other hand requires a lot of maintenance.  It's very easy for grout to become dirty and discolored.  With the right tools, your grout can look new and white forever.  If you haven't cleaned your tile grout in a while, why not make it look superb today?

Grout Genie is a revolutionary product that attaches to a Swiffer WetJet and cleans and restores your grout to a sparkling finish.  The Grout Genie is a pad featuring compact bristles to scrub your grout to remove all of the dirt and grime, leaving you a happy and satisfied homeowner. You can use any cleaning solution for grout, but the Swiffer WetJet solution will work great too.  No longer will you have to scrub your grout on your hands and knees, leaving you in pain.  Cleaning grout with a mop and bucket doesn't remove the dirt well, but actually pushes it back into the grout.  This causes a bigger problem over time.  Those fine bristles truly get into the nooks and crannies of your grout.  If you're looking to truly make your tile floor look fantastic again, it's time to try Grout Genie.  

My master bathroom has a beautiful ceramic tile custom floor which is the result of a renovation a few years ago. The floor features light blue circles with marble and white grout.  It's truly stunning. When my husband and I bought our house in May 2014, the floor was truly one of the selling points of our home.  It was gorgeous and unlike anything I had seen before.  

Fast forward exactly 12 months later and that floor is not as good looking as the day we moved in.  Walking with bare feet on the tile created dirt in the grout and made it discolored and unattractive.  I tried cleaning the floor on my hands and knees using any kind of cleaning solution known to mankind.  I used a steam mop and that didn't work well either. The grout would be slightly better after I cleaned it, but I wasn't getting the results that I truly wanted.

Grout Genie, I have 3 wishes for you and one of them is for a clean floor!

When I came across Grout Genie, I knew it was the answer to the cleaning prayer that I was searching for.  As soon as the product arrived, I put it to the test.  The genie pad easily attached to my WetJet and I began scrubbing like a fool, hoping for results. The pad easily stayed attached to the bottom of the Swiffer throughout the cleaning process.  Twenty minutes later, my grout was clean and the bottom of the pad showed evidence of a job well done.  I'm talking truly clean like it was the day we moved in.  I was truly shocked and couldn't believe how easy it was to clean.  Those bristles really did a number on my grout and I'm eternally grateful to the Genie forever!

My floor is not a typical case.  Usually you would think about cleaning grid line grout.  I'm so glad that the product worked on my grout too! 

Look how beautiful my grout looks.  You can really see the difference.  I'm amazed!

No longer will I have to be ashamed to look at my bathroom floor, but I'll be smiling from ear to ear.  If you're looking to give your grout the makeover it deserves, Grout Genie will be there for you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Scarlett's First Time to The Aquarium

Scarlett went to the aquarium for the first time today.  She really enjoyed herself and especially loved the jellyfish since she tried to touch them through the glass.  Good thing she didn't touch them in person!

She saw fish, meerkats, sea otters, lizards, iguanas, seahorses, sharks, and so much more.  I was sad that she slept through the seals being fed.  Scarlett definitely would have loved it.  

Here are some pictures of her from the aquarium today.  When did your child first go to the aquarium?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tommee Tippee Review

Whether you breastfeed or formula feed, choosing the right bottle is important for both you and baby.  You want something that will prevent air from getting in baby's belly, be BPA free, and also be easy for your little one to use.  There are so many options out there, it can be hard to figure out which brand to initially try.  Once you find the brand that fits your needs, you'll be a loyal customer! Whatever bottle brand you choose though, make sure baby gets every last drop of milk!

Tommee Tippee is an internationally renowned baby product brand that offers bottles, breast pumps, pacifiers, sippy cups, and other baby feeding products.  I'm very familiar with the brand and have seen Tommee Tippee bottles in the store.  For whatever reason, I've never owned any of their products before.  The products grow with your child from infant and beyond, so Tommee Tippee will be there every step of the way.  All of Tommee Tippee's goods are BPA free to give parents everywhere one less thing to worry about.  How about giving a new mom or a mom-to-be a bottle set, a bottle warmer, or even a pacifier? Every new baby needs those things.  Keep Tommee Tippee in mind for all baby needs for present and future.

Scarlett is now 5 months old.  She drinks more ounces now than before and seems to always be hungry.  She has the appetite of a 15 year old boy at only 22 weeks old! I've been wanting to try a new bottle brand for a while now.  My current brand has been disappointing me lately for various reasons.  

When I came across Tommee Tippee, I was really interested to try their bottles.  The bottles are smaller and easier to hold, and they also allow you to be closer to baby while they feed. I'll take anything to be closer to my daughter no matter what!

Scarlett and I were sent the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Tip it Up Bottle to Cup Set.  The set contains two feeding bottles and one first sips transitioning cup.  The bottles are for 3m+ while the sippy cup is for 4m+.  While we're not quite ready for a sippy cup yet, it's good to have one at the ready.

I love that the bottles are pink and feature an adorable flower design.  My daughter is very girly and these are right up her alley and mine too! The feeding bottles go up to 9 ounces which is nice, since my old bottles only went up to 8 ounces. Scarlett eats 5 ounces at every feeding except her dinner time feed when she gets 4 ounces and a whole jar of baby food.  

These arrived right around her dinnertime feed and I was curious to put them to the test.  I put 4 ounces of formula in the bottle and gave it to her to see how she'd react.  Some babies have issues with taking to a new bottle nipple, but she had no problem.  Nothing really seems to phase her.  As long as she's eating, she's happy! The bottle was easy for me to hold (although we're working on having her hold the bottle herself now too), and she did great taking to the new bottle.  If you do breastfeed, the breast like shape of the bottle offers an easy latch on for baby, and the flex and stretch ripples mimic breastfeeding.  

Maybe next time I'll have a milkshake in my bottle instead of formula?  I like change.

She got every last drop of milk with no issues.  On my old bottle, sometimes the nipple would get clogged throughout the feed and if I couldn't get it unclogged fast enough, Scarlett would be hysterical.  I told you, the girl likes to eat! I didn't have that problem with the Tommee Tippee bottle which was awesome.

We're not using the sippy cup yet, but the soft silicone spout helps your little one to drink easily.  The cup is BPA free and dishwasher safe which is conveniently fantastic.  The removable handle helps for training baby to transition from bottle to cup effortlessly.  I'm sure we'll be using this in no time though.

I'm very satisfied with Tommee Tippee products and will be using them as my go-to bottle brand from now on.  If you're looking to make the switch from your old baby essentials company to a new one, I highly recommend Tommee Tippee.

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

Monday, May 11, 2015

AudreysBear Etsy Shop Review

I'm no stranger to loving personalized items for Scarlett.  There's just something so exciting and unique about something made to order that you can't buy in a store.  Scarlett has personalized bibs, onesies, and even toys in her room! She is a lucky girl and I believe loves the items just as much as her mom does.  If your child doesn't have anything personalized for them, it's time you order something for them today!

AudreysBear is an Etsy Shop ran by owner Rachel who creates personalized blankets and swaddle blankets.  I remember my daughter was always in a swaddle blanket during our time in the hospital.  Skip those boring hospital blankets and wrap your baby in style with a beautiful blanket with his or her name on it.  Thanks to the lightweight jersey knit material, baby will always be cool and comfortable.  You can choose from various colors and font styles depending on your preference.  Rachel is open to custom requests and would like to create the blanket of your dreams for your little one.  Keep AudreysBear in mind for any future baby shower or new baby gift too.  They definitely won't get duplicates of this blanket!

Scarlett was lucky enough to receive a fabulous blanket with her name on it.  I chose a beautiful soft pink background and had her name written in a pretty white font.  There are white hearts dotted throughout the blanket too.  

Can this girl get any more comfortable? I don't think so! 

This blanket is perfect for Scarlett to lounge around with or cuddle up to a book with her mom.  I love the soft, jersey-knit material that is ideal all year-round.  The colors are bold and bright and of high quality.  I don't notice any cracking or fading in the letters at all, it's simply perfect.  

Since this blanket is personalized with her name on it, she'll be able to use it for years and years.  It's not juvenile at all and will grow with her overtime.  I can definitely see us bringing this for traveling on plane and car trips.  The length of it is perfect for a baby or a toddler, but I do wish it was slightly longer.  Eventually it'll be too short to completely cover Scarlett when she's a lot older. 

I'm very satisfied with this blanket and think that everyone should buy one for their child.  It would make an awesome birthday or Christmas present.  Please keep AudreysBear in mind for any of your future gift needs. 

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to AudreysBear for providing Scarlett with a complimentary item in order to facilitate this review.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Everywhere That Tommy Goes Review and Giveaway

I was asked to read and review this book.  The author Howard K. Pollack graciously sent me his first novel to read.  I was pregnant with my daughter, busy getting ready for her arrival and then life happened and I wasn't able to read the book right away.  I finally squeezed in some time and am glad I did.

To be quite honest, I am not an avid reader nor do I like the genre of suspense and murder.  To my surprise, you don't have to be a fan of either to enjoy this book.  There is so much more to the story than a murder.  It makes one question people's motives and sanity.  So much is going on you are compelled to keep reading to keep up with the story and figure out the outcome.  

This is a fictional story about a man who is set up for murder.  The two main characters are Tommy Sullivan and Troyer Savage.  Tommy has suffered migraines from early childhood and has found an experimental drug that he believes is his miracle.  The only problem is it sometimes leaves him with blackouts.  He is losing a bar fight when he first encounters Troyer Savage a martial arts expert who steps in and saves him.  Tommy is so impressed with this stranger, at first he is blinded by his act of kindness.  It doesn't take long before Tommy is forced to question whether or not Troyer really is his friend.  Troyer's behavior is odd.  We learn early in the Prologue Tommy is clearly disturbed.  Almost immediately in Chapter 1 we also realize Troyer Savage is another character whose behavior is violent and past is tragic.    

A bartender is missing and Tommy becomes the prime suspect.  After too many drinks he is left with the evidence pointing to him.  He fears he will be arrested and has no choice but to run.  He is secretly followed by Troyer.  Another horrendous murder occurs and Troyer vanishes.  Tommy is left with the victim's blood on his hands.  His blackouts intensify and he suffers memory loss.  His life is a living hell and only continues to deteriorate.  The police build a case that links him to murders on Gilgo Beach on Long Island, NY where bodies have been buried in shallow graves.  They try to tie Tommy to these murders as well.  

Tommy is left trying to figure out how and why he was set up.  The suspense and tension build as the police are in hot pursuit and Tommy delves into his own past and memories for clues and answers.  He encounters other characters on the way that we wonder if they are involved.  We are never quite sure.  He also has a relationship with a character named Aurora and shows us a tender side to Tommy.  The reader is side tracked by their relationship and is left wondering as is Tommy, if he is the murderer or not.  You want to keep reading to find out the ending.  

Just when I thought I figured out what was happening, there would be a twist and I would have to keep reading to find out what was next.  It is a cliche to say, but I did find it truly nail biting.  I was not prepared for the ending and can honestly say I was shocked and surprised!

If you're looking for a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, I highly recommend Everywhere That Tommy Goes.  The book would also make a great gift for any book lover too.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lili Collection Review

Scarlett is only 5 months old and already has an impressive shoe collection.  I absolutely love to dress her and feel that socks are not as fun as shoes.  Her little feetsies have already been in sandals, flats, and furry boots all in her short 21 weeks of life! It's hard to resist tiny baby shoes and Scarlett is definitely aware of that! Every baby needs new pair of shoes from time to time, why not treat yours today?

If you're looking for the most adorable shoes, you've come to the right place.  Lili Collection offers boots and moccasins in a variety of prints and colors for fashionable boys and girls.  One of the most unique styles offered are the animoccs, featuring animal faces on them.  Every child will go absolutely crazy for them! The shoe sizes from baby to toddler.  Your son would be delighted to own a pair of camouflage or black moccasins for the summer. You can't forget about your daughter! She'd love a pair of brown leather boots for the fall, or a pair of cute moccasins featuring bacon and eggs on them! There's truly a shoe for everyone's style.  Keep Lili Collection in mind for a fun birthday or Christmas present for a lucky boy or girl.  

Scarlett was lucky enough to receive the Daisy Boots in brown to review.  I chose the 12-18 month size for her which will be perfect for this winter.  These adorable boots would look perfect with a skinny jeans and a cute sweater or top, or even a sweater dress with tights. I'm already planning out what outfits will go with these boots and we're 7 months away from her wearing the shoes! Can you tell I'm excited?

Not only are these boots ridiculously cute, they are made very well too.  The boots are comprised of 100% genuine leather, making these an all-around perfect winter shoe for your little one.  The smallest size offered is 3-6 months, but they go all the way up to 3T.  The 3-6 month size has a soft sole, while the other sizes come in rubber soles.

The brown is deep, rich, and gorgeous.  The leather is soft and supple too.  I just love it! Since brown is neutral, it will go well with so many colors.  A fun detail about this shoe is the scalloped daisies on the side of both shoes.  This whimsical touch brings added fun to the shoe.  

I'm really happy with the Daisy boots and can't wait for Scarlett to wear them.  I know she'll be quite the little fashionista! 

If you're looking to introduce a gorgeous pair of boots into your daughter's closet, why not consider the Daisy Boots from Lili Collection? It'll be one pair of boots that will quickly become her favorite pair!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Lili Collection for providing me with complimentary product in exchange for this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Everyone Loves Welch's Fruit Snacks! + Giveaway

One of my husband's favorite snacks are Welch's Fruit Snacks.  He is very particular with his flavor choice and almost always opts for strawberry.  I've seen him attack a few bags of Welch's at once whenever we have them.  There's no denying his love for those lovable gummies, that's for sure! If you haven't tried Welch's before, you'll definitely fall in love with them instantly.

Welch's creates everyone's favorite jams, jellies, and fruit snacks. Those fruit snacks come in mouth-watering flavors like strawberry, mixed berry, fruit punch, tangy fruits, and more.  If you're a fan of those irresistible gummies, listen up! Did you know that Welch's has a Fruit 'n Yogurt fruit snack?  These yummies offer real fruit surrounded by creamy yogurt, you will not be able to resist them.  How does a choice of either blueberry or strawberry sound?  These snacks are perfect for throwing in a child's lunchbox, or keeping in your desk drawer at work for a mid-day snack.

The Welch's Fruit Snack team recently conducted a survey to ask America how they eat their fruit and yogurt.  The results concluded that:

-75% of people prefer flavored yogurt over plain.
-Strawberry yogurt is the fan favorite with 37% of the vote, while blueberry received 25% of the votes
-More than half of the voters said breakfast time is their favorite time of the day to eat fruit and yogurt
-54% of surveyors enjoyed fruit and yogurt at least once a week.

How do you enjoy fruit and yogurt together? I love breakfast parfaits, especially with granola.  I haven't had one of those in a while, I think I need to fix that!

One lucky winner will be able to satisfy their fruit and yogurt cravings when they win Welch's Fruit 'n Yogurt snacks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Monday, May 4, 2015

Life is Better with Cookies #CarringtonMayOnTheMove

Cookies are everything to me.  I could eat them every single day without fail. My dentist probably hates me.  How can anyone resist freshly baked, warm chocolate chip cookies? Of course you can't forget a tall glass of milk either.  If this doesn't appeal to you, I don't think you're human.  Go ahead and have a cookie or twelve today!

Carrington Farms offers healthy food for a healthy soul.  If you're looking to get healthy and give your body the boost of nutrition it needs, Carrington Farms is there for you.  Some options the brand provides are coconut oils, flax and hemp seeds, and chia seeds.  There are so many different recipes that you can use any of the selections above for that you'll never run out of ideas.  Did you know that not only is coconut oil great in food, but also good for your skin and hair too? Carrington Farms will help you get back on track with optimum nutrition.  Why not start living more healthy now?

I was selected to be apart of Carrington Farm's May on the Move blogger program.  They sent me a variety of products and I was to make a recipe with one of the products.  I was very interested in trying the chia seeds in some kind of dessert recipe. Chia seeds are extremely healthy and have amazing health benefits like being high in protein and are loaded with antioxidants.  I had a vegan friend come over recently and I thought it might be fun to actually have something at my house she could eat for once!

I pondered over what to make and discovered a vegan cookie recipe online.  The only vegan changes in the recipe were adding in vegan butter, whole wheat flour, whole cane sugar, and chocolate chips, which are easy to find at any local health food store.  You also had to substitute eggs for chia eggs, which is where the chia seeds came into play.

As I mentioned earlier, I live for cookies.  So when I had the chance to create a new cookie recipe, I was excited for the opportunity.  It would be different for me.  The cookie dough was pretty simple to whip up.  When it came time to add the eggs, I had to create chia eggs. This may sound difficult but it wasn't that bad.  I do have to admit, I was slightly nervous! You make 1 chia egg with a tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water. You have to let the "egg" sit for at least 10 minutes until a gel forms.  This represents one chia egg.  The recipe called for two eggs, so you get the picture.  Chia eggs have the same binding strength of a regular egg, so they are ideal for vegan desserts.

The cookies came out fantastic and I was really impressed with myself for trying something new. They didn't taste odd or different at all to me really.  So not only are we eating fabulous cookies, we're also receiving nutritional benefits from the chia seeds.  What a win-win! Of course my friend and I gobbled the cookies up like wild animals.  What do you expect from two cookie lovers though?

I'm very interested to try using chia seeds in many more dishes in the future.  I have my eye on a chia crusted chicken recipe that I'll be making in the near future!

If you haven't tried chia seeds before, I highly recommend you experiment with them and create crowd-pleasing dishes featuring chia seeds! It's never too late to start eating healthy.

*DISCLOSURE* I received complimentary product samples as part of Carrington Farm's May on the Move Blogger Program.  All thoughts are strictly my own.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Things Remembered Review

This Mother's Day is going to be a special one for me as it will be my first! I'm very excited to be able to spend the day with Scarlett and my husband and create long-lasting memories. I certainly want to take a lot of pictures and document it!  Mother's Day only comes once a year, so whether this is your first or your fiftieth one, make sure you celebrate in a big way.

Things Remembered offers engraved and personalized gifts for Christmas, birthdays, weddings, and any other occasion.  The store offers a variety of items including jewelry boxes, picture frames and albums, kitchen and bath, drinkware, water globes, and so much more.  Any item can be personalized or engraved specifically to your needs in a font chosen by you in-store.

Delight Mom this Mother's Day by giving her a jewelry box with her initials on it, or a birthstone necklace featuring her grandchildren's birthstones. Don't forget about Grandma either! She'll love a specially engraved picture frame holding a photo of her grandchildren or great-grandchildren.  If you're going to a wedding in the near future, why not give the bride and groom engraved champagne flutes? The possibilities of gift giving are endless at Things Remembered.  Stop by today to pick out the perfect gift for that special person in your life.

Since it's my Mom's first Mother's Day as a Grandma, I knew I wanted to get her something special to commemorate the day.  When I was presented with the opportunity to review the Grandma Shadowbox Frame, I knew it was the absolute perfect pick.

Scarlett designed this frame to make Mother's Day extra special for her grandma this year! 

My mom absolutely loved this frame as soon as she saw it. I gave it to her as an early Mother's Day gift.  There are three separate sections to put in the pictures of your choice, but my mom hasn't figured out which pictures to put in yet.  She wants to pick the best ones, and of course put in one of her and Scarlett together.  I didn't have the option to put in my own photos when I received this review opportunity, or else I would have selected them for my mom.  That might be a positive thing in the end, since she can pick which ones she wants herself. 

The shadowbox frame is absolutely beautiful and would match anyone's home decor.  The frame itself is constructed well and quality made.  It will surely last for years to come.  I think the white outside of the frame paired with the silver interior looks wonderful together. The silver letters spelling out Grandma on the top are bold and shiny and you're drawn to them immediately.  What's really special are the Grandma quotes on the top and bottom of the frame.  It will surely make any Grandma smile! 

For an extra special touch, there's an area on the bottom that can be engraved with a quote or saying of your choice.  Since Scarlett is only 20 weeks old, she's still far too young to have anything special to say to Grandma, so I selected a quote for her! I had "I love Grandma, Love Scarlett" engraved in a beautiful font on the bottom.  This is a timeless quote and will hold true for years and years.  My mom really enjoyed that.  The engraving is bold and thick and very easy to read.  I've had some engraved items where it's a struggle to read what it says.

I was too excited to wait till it was actually May 10th to give my mom this gift.  I'm terrible with presents and want to give them to the recipient earlier than needed! I just can't wait to see their reaction. It was exciting to see her reaction and of course she was thrilled about the shadowbox frame.  She has it in her living room and will be putting in pictures in the coming days. It will make her smile to see pictures of her granddaughter every single day, and you can't put a price tag on making Grandma happy! 

It's not too late to make Mom feel special this Mother's Day.  Why not go ahead and order her a shadowbox frame or any other personalized gift from Things Remembered? It'll be one gift she'll remember forever.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Things Remembered for providing me with a complimentary item in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.