Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Drink In The Box Giveaway

Try to think for a moment about how much waste and trash each person throws out on a daily basis.  I can think of candy wrappers, juice boxes, boxes of any kind, napkins, and food boxes for starters.  According to The Center for Sustainability, the average American generates 4.3 pounds of waste a day.  This is a staggering number and can surely be decreased if we all do our part.

Drink In The Box wanted to create something that was convenient, travels well, and had to be made of a material that was durable and reusable.  Their revolutionary product was born and parents around the world rejoiced.  The Drink In The Box gives parents a way to reduce sugary drinks by filling the box with healthy alternatives like sliced fruit and water.  All kids love sweet drinks, it's undeniable.  Now, you can give them something that is sweet but healthy for them at the same time.  

Did you know that the average disposable juice box can hold up to 7 teaspoons of sugar? Let's say your little one has 2 juice boxes a day, that equals to over 30 pounds of sugar a year! That's an astronomical amount of sugar and no child should be having that much per day.  

These handy little juice boxes are reusable and dishwasher safe.  Pack one in your child's lunchbox, or in their backpack for on-the-go and traveling.  They'll be delighted to have their own juice box filled with something that contains far less sugar than store bought drinks.  Parents, you'll have one more thing to feel good about too.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Nutrisystem Introductory Post #NSNation

As of next Monday April 4th, I'll be starting 3 months of Nutrisystem.  Ever since I had my daughter in December of 2014, my body has never been the same.  It probably never will be quite the same and that's something I have to accept.

I'll be on a 12 week journey to lose about 15 lbs.  I don't eat a lot of fried or fast foods, and I don't drink a lot of soda.  My weakness is mostly carbs and sweets.  I'd love to be able to knock those enemies out and become more healthier.  Veggies and fruits are apart of my diet so I don't have any problem eating those or not eating enough of them.

I do go to the gym about 3 times a week to stay healthy, but I know that in combination with a diet plan I can really ramp up my fitness, go more, and lose weight.  My daughter is active and running around, and I want to be able to have the energy and drive to chase after her too.  These pesky pounds need to go! 

My belly has always been an issue for me and it's larger than I'd like it to be.  It would be so nice if I could finally lose that gut for once and for all.  I've been struggling with it for about 15 years now!

I'm very excited to be a part of the program and truly look forward to getting started. 

Stay tuned for my updates!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Nutrisystem for providing me with a complimentary 12 week program in exchange for updates.  All thoughts are strictly my own.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Mom Groups Are Essential When You're a Stay-at-Home Mom

When Scarlett was first born, it was just me, her, and our house.  My pediatrician told us not to go out for the first 3 months of her life because it was winter and she didn't have her shots yet.  I didn't last the 3 months, but only made it 8 weeks.  It was so difficult being stuck inside with a newborn during the snow and freezing cold temperatures.  I certainly felt like I was going insane at certain times, and a simple trip to the grocery store alone at night felt like a vacation.

I found a local group in my area when Scarlett was a few weeks old.  There were scheduled activities weekly and sometimes even daily! This was definitely what I needed and I was very excited.  I couldn't wait to connect with other moms and meet new people.

Once Scarlett was old enough, we made it to our first activity which was my library's story time.  Even though Scarlett slept through it at 9 weeks old, it was a chance for me to connect with others.  Plus, I really loved getting out of the house! I had a wonderful time and was so glad for the opportunity.

Fast forward a year later and I'm very active in my mom's group and have made wonderful friends.  Scarlett and I do activities 2-3 times a week and it gives her a chance to socialize as well as me.  My group has trips to museums, playgroups, park outings, story time, county events, and so much more.  There's even Mom's Night Out dinners without the kids or husbands! 

If you're a mom of a little one or will be having a new baby soon, I highly recommend joining a mom's group.  You'll love the opportunities that come with it! 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Radio Flyer Review

Now that Scarlett is older and walking, she's been spending more time outside playing. Here in New England, the temps have been more mild and have allowed us to play outdoors. Scarlett and I go to the park and the playground most days if the weather is good. Since she's a big girl, I know she'd want something to ride around town in other than her stroller. She needed something that is stylish yet makes a statement, and that's where Radio Flyer comes in.

Radio Flyer is a Chicago based-company founded in 1917 with the main goal of bringing joy to every boy and girl.  Today, the legacy continues by producing high quality and innovative toys to create warm memories that last forever.  All children would be delighted to own a Radio Flyer trike, scooter, wagon, and ride-on toy! The toys are quality made and built to last for years to come.  Now that warmer weather is here, why not surprise your little one with a Radio Flyer trike to ride around the neighbor with? Don't forget to include the family pet either, they can ride in the wagon.  Keep Radio Flyer in mind for any future gift-giving needs.

Scarlett's 15 months old and constantly on the go and very active.  I know she'll have so much fun outside this summer, and I can't wait! Since she's at an age where she wants to do more, I knew it made sense for her to have a Radio Flyer trike.  She was lucky enough to receive a 4-in-1 Stroll 'N Trike to cruise around town with.  The fact that the trike came in pink made Scarlett one happy toddler.

This trike is the ultimate grow with me trike.  It offers 4 ways to ride, to accommodate ages 9 months to 5 years.  Your child's trike easily converts from an infant trike to a steering trike, learn-to-ride trike, and finally a classic trike.  For the youngest rider, a 3-point harness is included as well as a cup holder and wrap around tray.  The pedals become footrests for early riders and has quiet ride tires for when your child is pedaling.  The height-adjustable push handle and unique stroller-style canopy remove for older riders.

My husband was able to set this trike up in about an hour and a half by himself.  He said the instructions were clear and easy-to-follow.  Within a short amount of time, the adorable pink trike was assembled and ready for Scarlett to ride in style.  

This trike is just too cute, I can't take it! Scarlett's never been on a trike before and was really excited about it.  Once I securely strapped her in, she was ready to go for a ride around the neighborhood.  The pink trike is well made and features that classic steel frame that everyone knows and loves.  

I was able to push the adjustable handle with ease and Scarlett held onto the handlebars as she rode! She was just so happy to be on her new trike, who can blame her though? The trike moved smoothly and easily and I had no issues pushing it.  Scarlett rode like a queen and sipped her juice from time to time.  There's an included storage basket on the bottom that would be perfect for holding a toy or stuffed animal.

With sunny warm days on the horizon, the included canopy will come in handy for keeping the sun out of my little one's face.  

Since the trike grows with your child, Scarlett will be able to use it for the next four years.  I really like when toys grow with your child to ensure that they get many years of use out of them, it's a very smart idea! I'm sure one day in the not-so-distant future Scarlett will be riding the trike as a regular trike! It's hard to picture that day, but it'll be here.

We'll be using the trike a lot this summer when we do family walks and go to the park.  I know Scarlett will enjoy being out in the sun on her trike.  I'm sure we'll get plenty of fun times and memories for years to come and I have Radio Flyer to thank for that.

If you're looking to give your child a toy that they'll remember forever Radio Flyer is waiting to hear from you today.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Radio Flyer for providing me with a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Beauty Brands Review

As a mom of a young child, I don't always have a lot of time for a complex beauty routine. My child has little to no patience when I get ready and can only be entertained by toys for so long.  On the days that we don't leave the house, I don't wear makeup or blow-dry my hair. When we do go out, I have a standard beauty routine that takes a minimal amount of time.  I'm always looking for ways to cut corners but still look good at the same time.

Beauty Brands is a one-stop retail and online shopping destination for all things beauty.  The company offers products for skin, hair, nails, bath & body, and of course makeup and hair tools.  If you're looking to change up your look, why not try top makeup brands such as Tarte, Too-Faced, Stila, Laura Gellar and more? All makeup bags could use some new products from time to time, I know mine certainly can! Don't forget to take care of your skin with lotions and cleansers too.  Keep Beauty Brands in mind for any of your future gift-giving needs.  Everyone deserves to be spoiled from time to time.  

I was fortunate enough to receive products of my choosing from Beauty Brands.  Since my hair dryer has been on the fritz, I chose FHI's Heat Platform Hair Dryer in Strawberry Ice, the link is not available on the website anymore.  I've been looking to change up my makeup in the past and was excited to try Laura Geller's Simply Luminous 5-piece kit. Lastly, I chose Too Faced's LashGASM Mascara to complete my beauty look.  

After I took a shower today, I knew it would be a great time to try out the new products.  I first used the blow-dryer, which I was really looking forward to.  My old dryer sparked during the course of me drying my hair, and I knew it wasn't safe to continue using it.  I was glad to have a new and upgraded dryer that cuts blow-drying time in half, and is also feather light and has a quiet motor.  The tourmaline ceramic feature dries hair evenly and produces amounts of negative ions to help seal in moisture, repel humidity, reduce frizz, and help eliminate static.  What more could you want out of a dryer?

What I absolutely love off the bat about the dryer is the color.  This beautiful strawberry ice color is simply gorgeous and I can't get enough of it.  It's smaller and much more compact than my old dryer, but doesn't fold up for easy storage.  The dryer comes with three attachments, a speed dry nozzle, a curl defining finger diffuser, and a straightening comb.  My last dryer had no attachments, and I might as well have been living in the dark beauty ages!

The motor is truly whisper quiet and it performs fantastically.  In combination with using the speed dry nozzle, my hair was dry in record time.  I really couldn't believe it because my hair is long and it usually takes a while to dry.  This will really save me time in the morning especially when Scarlett doesn't want to wait for me to get ready! 

Laura Geller's Simply Luminous kit comes with a moisturizing primer and peachy highlighter to instantly illuminate your look, while their easy to wear eyeshadow trio and liquid lipstick brings out your natural allure.  The kit also contained a double-ended brush for flawless application.  A really nice advantage of this kit is that everything is included, you don't need to think about buying pieces individually.  Everything comes ready for you to use, with no thought required.

It's been a while since I had new makeup, and every lady always wants a change once in a while.  The makeup primer went on easily and smooth and I was able to use my regular foundation in coordination.  My skin looked great thanks to the primer! The birthday cake eye trio contained such beautiful colors that all complimented each other well.  I was able to use the included brush to apply the eyeshadow.  The trio gave me a smoky eye look that I really liked.

Oh, but that lipgloss! It's hard to buy a new lipstick or lipgloss without testing it out.  Ask me how many lip colors I've bought over the years that look great on the shelf, but not so great on my lips.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the color.  The shade is called cherry almond and it's a beautiful muted shade. I'll definitely be using this lipgloss on a regular basis.

To really give my eyes a pop, I used Too Face's LashGASM.  This mascara creates dramatically long lashes instantly.  Once I used the mascara, I instantly noticed how long and beautiful my lashes were. It was like I was wearing false eyelashes, but I wasn't! The mascara applies easily and effortlessly and I had no issues at all using the wand.

I'm very satisfied with the products I chose from Beauty Brands, and I can't wait to use them in my daily beauty routine.  If you're in the market to upgrade your appearance or try something new, Beauty Brands is waiting for you. 

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

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Head Kandy Review

When I was younger, I had pin straight hair.  I remember my friends being jealous because I had to use absolutely no products to achieve the hair results I wanted.  Just blow-drying my hair alone made it look great.  Fast forward into adulthood and I was graced with frizzy and wavy hair.  If I don't flat-iron it daily, I look like a poodle! Luckily straighteners exist to give you the hair you desire.

Head Kandy allows you to transform your hair instantly using a hair straightening ceramic styling brush.  It's time to kick that wavy and frizzy hair goodbye and say hello to beautifully straight and smooth hair! The brush is easier to use than a flat-iron and seals the hair cuticle, reducing frizziness and increasing hair manageability.  With a 450 degree F heat-up and the ability to increase natural hair shine, what's not to love? If you have extremely curly hair and spend a lot of time straightening it, this brush will cut that time in half.  Every bathroom drawer across America should have a Head Kandy straightening brush in it.  

What I first noticed about the straightening brush was that even though it looks like a regular brush, it's a lot heavier.  Don't be fooled by thinking it's lightweight, because it's not. The bristles are thicker  and chunkier than a standard brush's.  The teal color is beautiful and catches your eye.  It's compact enough to be thrown in your carry-on or purse for traveling.  

As soon as you plug it in, there are buttons on the side of the brush to turn it on and set it to the temperature you want.  I chose a lower temperature since it was my first time using the tool and I didn't want to burn my hair.  Watch out, because the brush heats up quickly.  

The digital display window is large and easy to read 

I took a shower earlier and didn't blow-dry my hair or put any product in it.  It was important to show what my hair looked like completely natural and free of anything.  As soon as I ran my hair through the brush, I noticed results.  The bristles are thick so it will take a few times to get the results you want.  I saw that my hair was shiny and looked beautiful! I was impressed because I usually have to use hair products daily on top of flat-ironing.  

As you can see, the left side of my hair was not straightened, while the right side was.  My hair was left looking like I spent a lot of time on it, but I really didn't! The straightening brush cut my straightening time in half and I was done in half the time.  As a mom of a little one, I welcome any corners I can cut in my beauty routine.  

I'm very pleased with the straightening brush and will surely be using it on a daily basis. It will even replace my flat-iron! Go ahead and spoil yourself or someone you love with this beauty tool.  They'll absolutely love it.  

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Head Kandy for providing me with a product sample in order to facilitate this review.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Osmotics Cosmeceuticals Review

Like many ladies do, I own a lot of cosmetic and skin care products.   It's important to take care of your skin well as you only have one face. Why not keep it looking its best as long as possible? I frequently like to try new products and find new favorites that provide me with the results I'm looking for.

Osmotics's clinically proven cosmeceuticals feature the finest ingredients and most powerful technologies available to fight and prevent signs of aging and damaged skin.  Everyone at some point in their life worries about aging.  I know I have fine lines near my eyes that I didn't have years ago.  It's important to me to treat those as best as I can.  Osmotics offers anti-aging products, cleansers, toning mists, exfoliators, moisturizers, eye care and more. Any product from this line would be ideal in your bathroom drawer or cabinet.  If you're looking to give your skincare the boost it needs, Osmotics is the brand for you.

I admit that I don't take the greatest care of my skin, it's sad but true.  I don't have a regular skincare routine that I follow daily or nightly.  It's not something that I'm proud of, but something I'm trying to fix.  Now that I'm getting older, it's as good of a time as any to work on my skin and give it the best products possible.  

When I had the opportunity to try Osmotics, I knew it was the boost my skin needed.  I received the anti-radical age defense moisture complex, and the cream extreme intensive repair.  The shiny silver jars that the product comes in are so pretty, I was instantly attracted to them.  

The moisture complex is fabulous! It's a light and airy formula that is a daily must for defending your skin against the ravages of time.  I put this on first before my makeup in the morning.  My skin is very dry in the morning, and it's been wonderful to have my it feel hydrated and nourished. As soon as I put it on I notice a difference.  Most moisturizers feel greasy and don't rub in well, but that's not the case with this one.  All day long my skin is left feeling smooth and fantastic.  I couldn't ask for a better moisturizer.

My nightly beauty routine has now accepted the cream extreme into it.  This is seriously magic in a jar.  I slather it on at night after I wash my face and I'm left with the silkiest and smoothest skin I could possibly ask for.  A bonus is that it has anti-aging ingredients in it so your skin will look younger and youthful.  It applies and rubs in with ease and I couldn't ask for a better product.

I'm extremely satisfied with both products and will continue to enjoy using them for some time to come.  I don't know how I lived without Osmotics, but I know that my future won't be without them!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Osmotics for providing me with product samples in order to faciliate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Everyone Loves Jigsaw Puzzles

Why Jigsaw Puzzles Will Never Die!

Jigsaw puzzles are about as traditional as it gets when it comes to things you can play with and relax over. They’ve been around since 1767, when they were invented in England as a teaching aid for kids. You would think then, that jigsaw puzzles wouldn’t do a lot to capture our imaginations in an age where we can get new puzzle games in an instant on our tablets and phones, and when children can play sophisticated video games rather than messing about with a box full of pieces to make up a picture. However, jigsaws remain popular, with children and adults alike, and if you check out Stave’s jigsaw puzzle site you’ll see that they are also popular gifts. 
Why is it that this simple concept has stood the test of time as a physical object, when so many other traditional puzzles and games have either diminished in popularity altogether or converted into a digital form?

Jigsaws Are Relaxing
Putting together a jigsaw puzzle is a great balance between being challenging enough to keep your mind occupied, and relaxing. It takes time and concentration, and at a time where other traditionally relaxing activities like coloring are becoming popular again, taking some time to puzzle over a jigsaw can be a satisfying break from dealing with technology and fast paced life. 

They Can Be Done as a Family, or Alone
Another great thing about jigsaw puzzles is that while they are nice to do on your own, there is really no limit to how many people you can have working on a large, difficult puzzle with you. This can make them a nice thing to do as a family, even with very young children. You can work as a team to complete the puzzle, and enjoy some quality time together chatting as you sort through pieces and match them together.

Jigsaws Don’t Work Well as Apps
Another reason why jigsaws are still popular as ‘real world objects’, when other puzzles mainly exist in app form, is that they just don’t work very well as digital puzzles. Dragging and dropping pieces to make a picture on an app just doesn’t recreate the main work involved in completing a physical jigsaw, and when you’ve finished, all you have is another photo on your screen – it really doesn’t create the same sense of satisfaction as making a real jigsaw and finding the place for every last piece!

They Are Easily Customized
Jigsaws can be made featuring any image you want, so whether you are looking for something really difficult, like those jigsaws that make up a picture of lots of very similar things so they are hard to do, something beautiful, or something with a picture relevant to you, you can get it. Some people even have family photos made into jigsaw puzzles to give as gifts.
These are just some of the reasons why the jigsaw puzzle as a personal or family activity will always remain popular.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Little Partners Review

Now that Scarlett is older, she's at that age where she's into everything.  She wants to explore and go through every cabinet and drawer in my house.  Lately, she's very into helping me which I really enjoy.  She will watch me fold the laundry or empty the dishwasher and try to help.  It's pretty cute.  I figure she won't want to help me as much in a few years, so why not encourage it now?

Little Partners offers hand-crafted products that nurture a child's blossoming independence, while providing a secure environment to create, learn and play.  The brand's products make wonderful gifts for practically any occasion.  Any child would be absolutely delighted to have a learning tower, step stool, or even an easel for the budding artist.  You can't forget about playhouse kits featuring a lemonade or ice cream stand either.  Those will surely bring hours of fun.  Little Partner's products are built to last and will grow with your child for years to come.  Please keep Little Partners in mind for all of your future gift giving needs.

Scarlett loves to be with me in the kitchen when I make dinner.  If I'm cooking, I'll put her in highchair in the kitchen so she can watch me.  She enjoys banging a spoon or some measuring cups while I prepare meals.  When I discovered Little Partners Learning Tower, I knew it would be absolutely perfect for her.  She could be right next to me in the kitchen to "help" while I prep dinner.   

The learning tower was shipped to me extremely fast.  Be aware that the box is very heavy though! I chose white, but it's available in many different colors including espresso, dark wood, white, red, natural wood and more.  My kitchen is white so I was happy to have the tower match perfectly. This is certainly a unit that is constructed well.  It's sturdy and built to last and very secure.  

All children love to be like mom and dad, and the learning tower gives them that opportunity.  It's the only step-stool on the market carefully designed to meet the needs of toddlers ages 18 months and up.  The unit grows with your child from toddler all the way up to 6 years old.  Rest assured, the four-sided railings provide support while your child climbs in and out and prevents falling when inside.  It's been tested to hold up to 500 lbs and fits flush against counters for safe access.

The unit comes in pieces and an instruction booklet.  My husband isn't the handiest, so it took him about an hour and a half to put together.  It might take you less time if you are better at assembling.  Scarlett was very excited when it was finished and she couldn't wait to stand in it and help her mom.

We used the learning tower for the first time this morning when I was making breakfast.  If you don't have an open and wide kitchen, the unit will take up space.  I have a galley kitchen and it's a tight fit in there.  I do wish the learning tower was slightly more compact.  The tower pushes right up against my cabinets for a secure fit.  Scarlett enjoyed standing inside and seeing life from a whole different perspective.  I made pancakes and made sure she was included by giving her some kitchen utensils to play with.

The only thing I would change about the learning tower would be to include a safety belt. This would allow the children to be strapped in while ensuring they don't try to escape. You'll be right next to your child the whole time and will have all eyes on them though in case of anything.  All in all, we both really enjoyed the unit and look forward to using it for years to come.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Little Partners for providing me with a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

IFME Review

Now that Scarlett is on the go and officially walking, it's imperative that she have good walking shoes. She is walking outside all the time and really loves it.  Scarlett has plenty of shoes in her closet that are fashionable, but don't offer what she needs as a walking girl.  As a mother, I look for not only a cute shoe, but one that provides the support her growing feet need.  IFME will make all of your toddler shoe needs a reality.  

IFME has always had children's developing feet in mind since 1999.  The brand was developed based on research and development with Japanese based medical professionals specializing in children's feet.  The name IFME is short for "If It was Me", reflecting the brand's deep commitment to customer satisfaction.  The shoe styles are offered for boys and girls in both baby and child size.  There are many shoe choices to choose from depending on your style and color needs.  Why not get a pair of aqua and purple shoes for your daughter and navy and red for your son today? Keep IFME in mind for all of your child's future shoe needs.  

Scarlett was fortunate enough to receive the Venice in Berry Lavender shoes.  I chose to receive these in a bigger size so she has room to grow into them.  Her little feet grow a lot faster than they used to! The crazy thing is that I thought they would be exceptionally big since they are a few sizes bigger than what she's wearing, but they weren't as big as I thought.  

The shoes are really easy to put on and off and they stay securely closed with velcro.  What I like most about these shoes is how colorful they are.  You can spot these on Scarlett a mile away! The pink is bold and vibrant and it's accentuated by strips of yellow, red, green, and blue.  The bottom of the shoe is a light purple.  Normally, you wouldn't think to combine all of these colors together, but they work well.

Scarlett was instantly attracted to how colorful the shoes were and was touching them and laughing.  She enjoyed when I told her what each color on the shoe was. 

Scarlett has no issues walking in the shoes and she seems comfortable and happy while wearing them.  Since they are so colorful, they will go with practically anything you wear. The shoes are sturdy, durable and reliable.  What more could you want out of your footwear?

It shouldn't be too much longer until Scarlett will be walking around town in these adorable kicks.  I can just see her now playing outside this summer wearing them.  Every parent appreciates fashionable shoes that serve an important purpose for your children.

If you're looking to introduce a new pair of shoes into your little one's life, why not chose IFME?

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to IFME for providing me with a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

FreshPet Review

My dog Carolyn has three loves in life; her food, her toys, and her family.  She eats, sleeps, and breathes food.  I can assure you that when she's awake she's plotting how to get more food and when she's sleeping she's dreaming of it.  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.  Why not make your dog the happiest pup on the block with delicious dog food from FreshPet?

FreshPet is the first pet food company to provide fresh refrigerated pet food in grocery and pet speciality stores nationwide.  The brand uses the highest quality meats, poultry, and fish combined with fresh veggies and fruits.  There are no artificial preservatives or fillers like corn, wheat, or by-products.  Delight your dog with such tasty flavors as tender chicken with spinach and potato, or roasted lamb with vegetables and barley.  Don't forget the treats either.  What dog can resist turkey bacon or chicken treats? Treat your dog like a king or queen and introduce FreshPet into their lives today.

Lynnie received a large shipment of FreshPet branded products and couldn't wait to dig in. She doesn't mess around with food.  When she sees food, she wants it and she wants it now. As a pet parent, I appreciate the fact that I'm feeding my dog nutritious food that is natural and healthy for them.  

We received a nice selection of products including dog food, treats, and the grain free selections.  Lynnie was very excited about the tender chicken and veggies, as well as the chunky chicken and rice.  She loves chicken and rice.

For dinner last night, she dined like a queen and indulged in the tender chicken and veggies. This was very thrilling for her because she doesn't receive high quality meals like this all the time.  It was a special night for her! She gobbled it all up happily.  I know she's looking forward to trying the other flavors too.  The good thing is that the food stays good in the fridge for months.  So if you don't want to give Fido or Sparky the food everyday so it lasts, it works in your favor.

The treats aren't going to last more than a few days in this house.  Lynnie's middle name should have been treats, thats how much she enjoys them.  Check out her reaction to the DogJoy turkey bacon treats! I'm lucky I still have a hand to type this post with. :)

These turkey bacon slices look very realistic and even smell like turkey bacon.  I wished I could have one, but I'm not a dog so I'll stick to the real thing.  Lynnie gobbled it up in 1 second and looked at me for more.  It's safe to say that she's a fan!

If you're looking to make your dog happy with food that's not only delicious but healthy too, FreshPet is waiting to meet your pooch's belly.

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

Freshly Picked Review

Since my daughter Scarlett was born 15 months ago, everyday has been a non-stop fashion show.  I regularly dress her up in adorable dresses and girly outfits.  No outfit is complete without a matching hair bow either. Scarlett's tiny clothes are hard to resist and of course she looks so cute in them.  I feel that every little girl's wardrobe should include a lot of polkadots and glitter.

Freshly Picked offers high quality leather moccasins for both baby boys and girls.  The soft-soled moccasins are easy to take on and off and stay securely on your child's feet.  Most of the style choices come in solid colors like black, brown, and pink, but there are a few themes such asHe watermelon, the American flag, and army camouflage.  A great thing about Freshly Picked is the the moccasins range in sizes from 1-10 and fit true to size.  Each pair of shoes is hand-made in the USA and will look fabulous on your on child's feet.  Keep Freshly Picked in mind for a baby shower or child's birthday present.

Scarlett was sent the Heirloom in Cream and Gold and they are just to die for.  Who doesn't love the combination of cream and gold with polkadots? It all goes together so well and looks gorgeous.  The moccasins are elastic at the opening which make the shoe easy to put on, easy to take off, and they stay on your child's feet securely.

I'm so happy that Scarlett has another pair of Freshly Picked moccasins in her closet.  She recently outgrew her Frosted Rose Limited Edition pair and it was a sad day.  Her feet are so happy to welcome Freshly Picked onto them again.  We trust the brand for a shoe that offers a secure fit that's easy and comfortable to wear.

Since Scarlett's now walking, she's wearing shoes all the time now.  Her little footsies need to have not only an adorable shoe on them, but comfort and support as well.  This is where Freshly Picked steps in.  I ordered these moccs in a bigger size so Scarlett has room to grow into them.

The moccs feature the softest and most supple leather ever.  It's like butter! The cream is beautiful and muted, while the gold polkadots are bright and vivid. Could you ask for anything more fabulous? I surely can't.  I love that the bottom is all gold for an extra boost of personality and style.  You can't forget the adorable fringe on top of the moccasin either.

I can't wait until Scarlett will be able to rock these moccs.  Of course I'm already planning what she'll wear with the shoes.  I'm thinking an adorable black dress so the gold and cream gives it a pop of color.  They'll even look good with a black top and jeans too.  I really like how versatile the moccasins are.  Scarlett will have a solid gold bow in her hair to complete the look. 

Until Scarlett can wear the shoes, they sit in her closet awaiting her feet! 

If you're looking to give your child's footwear a boost, Freshly Picked is awaiting your order.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Freshly Picked for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Hartz Review

My dog Carolyn is my pride and joy.  Since my daughter was born, I feel bad for Lynnie because she doesn't get the same level of attention she used to.  When Scarlett goes to bed, I try to give Lynnie lots of hugs and kisses to ensure that she feels special.  There's nothing like seeing my pooch's tail wag over a new toy or bag of treats.  Make sure you take excellent care of your four legged friend to make sure they are as happy and healthy as possible.

Hartz provides over 1,500 products catered to not only dogs and cats but birds, rabbits, fish, guinea pigs and more! The company's love for animals has been going strong since 1926, and their goal is to make products for people who love their pets.  There's truly an item for every pet parent's needs including toys, treats, flea medicine, heart worm pills, reptile supplies or even bird food.  Whether your pet has four legs or two, make sure you regularly spoil them with Hartz branded products.

A large box containing Hartz goodies showed up for Lynnie recently and she couldn't have been more excited.  What dog can resist bacon scented bones, rubber chew toys, and a squeaky duck? Lynnie definitely could not.  Just check out her reaction to her loot.

The products that Lynnie received are ones that I'm familiar with and have used before. Hartz is my go-to brand for monthly flea and tick protection, so it's nice to have a brand you trust included.  There were some others items in the box that I didn't know existed which was interesting.  Last summer Lynnie had a large tick on her back that was not fun to deal with. It was unfortunate that we didn't have the flea and tick collar and shampoo at the time, it would have probably eased my fears and worries.  Luckily, we'll have these products on hand this time to prevent those nasty bugs.

Despite my dog's many wonderful qualities, she has one quality that isn't so great.  She sometimes has bad breath that we work to correct.  We use breath refreshers and solution in her water to regularly kill those mouth germs.  In the past she hasn't always been so great with letting me brush her teeth.  Maybe she'll be more interested in letting me try now with the poultry flavored toothpaste. Lynnie goes nuts for any and all meat, and I'm hoping this will be right up her alley.  

Lynnie has been labeled a "power chewer" by anyone who comes in contact with her.  You can always see her furiously chewing and gnawing on bones.  What can I say? The girl loves to chew.  She was absolutely thrilled to receive three new bones to go nuts with.  The bacon scent is the icing on the bone cake in her eyes.   Lynnie went nuts over the purple bacon scented bone and was having a wonderful chewin' time.  The bone really does smell like bacon.  With its durable and hard exterior, I know it'll hold up to her chewing for some time.  She can't wait to get her paws on the other two bones.  It shouldn't be too long either.  

She went wild for this duck toy! The realistic quacking sound probably made her feel like she was attacking a real duck.  Sadly, I know she'd probably love to do that.  It's the terrier hunter within her.  The toy was soft and squeaky and perfect for her to sink her teeth into. The large size of the toy made it easy for her to shake and throw around too.  To say she loved the toy was an understatement. Her tail just kept wagging and wagging while she was playing with it.  I love seeing her that happy. 

Lynnie and I look forward to using the rest of these products in the coming days and weeks. If you're looking to buy your pup some presents, look no further than Hartz. 

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Hartz for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

HALO Review

It's imperative that babies feel secure from birth.  They need to feel close to their parents in order to properly thrive, grow, and develop.  Make sure that you interact with your child and hold them tight as much as possible so they feel loved.  Sometimes babies need a little more than you can realistically provide, and that's when HALO steps in.

HALO offers wearable blankets that replaces loose blankets in the crib that can cover your baby's face and interfere with breathing.  For young babies, HALO offers the only 2-in-1 adjustable swaddle that allows for swaddling arms in and out for baby's comfort.  The wearable zippable blankets come in patterns and colors for both boys and girls in a variety of sizes.  You can choose from materials such as micro fleece, 100% cotton, 100% cotton muslin, 100% organic cotton, and plushy dot velboa.  Besides just sleepsack swaddles, HALO offers SleepSacks, SleepSack gifts, comfortluxe sleepwear, and much more.  If you're going to a baby shower anytime soon, any item from HALO makes the perfect gift.

Since Scarlett's been born we've been using HALO products.  We started off with sleepsack swaddles and then at 3 months old we transitioned into sleepsacks.  Depending on the season, Scarlett goes to bed every night with either a cotton or a fleece sleepsack.  They keep her secure and comfortable and I don't have to worry about the hazards of a loose blanket in her crib.  That's a win-win for mom and baby! You can't beat the pretty colors and patterns that sleepsacks are offered in either.

Recently, Scarlett began walking.  I knew it made sense for her to get an early walker's sleepsack.   HALO came to the rescue and offered us the Lightweight Knit Sleepsack Early Walker Wearable Blanket in the pink flower print.  This adorable sleepsack came to us in size large which is meant for 12-18 months and 22-28 lbs.  Scarlett fits this age range perfectly at 15 months.

This sleepsack for walkers provides greater mobility when children are awake, but keeps little feet covered and warm while sleeping.  Your child will have the secure feeling that they need to fall asleep fast and sleep soundly throughout the night.

Scarlett truly loves her sleepsacks and was very excited at the opportunity to have a new one.  They come in fleece or cotton, and I opted for a cotton one because warmer weather will be here soon.  Who doesn't love the cute pink flower design too? I did notice that the sleepsack was a little large, but this is because it allows feet to be tucked inside at night.  I love this feature since you don't have to worry about having your child wear socks at night and potentially overheating.

The sleepsack was easy to put on and zip up.  The light pink color is vibrant and the flower detail adds an extra girly touch.  Scarlett had no problems walking around in it and seemed very comfortable.  I think she enjoyed the comfort of the sleepsack on her and it was like wearing a bathrobe.  I'm very pleased with the quality of this sleepsack and will definitely be purchasing a fleece one for the winter.

Don't ever worry about your child being cold at night again.  With the comfort of HALO sleepsacks, they'll always be warm and toasty.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to HALO for providing me with a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 
Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Tasty Spring Dessert to Delight Your Belly

Spring is on the horizon and everyone is ecstatic about warmer weather. Now is the perfect time as any to whip up something special in the kitchen.

There's no better way to welcome Spring in then with a fresh and fruity dessert to make your taste buds smile. Why not make a delicious key lime cheesecake that your family will devour?

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 
6 tablespoons butter, melted
24 ounces of cream cheese softened 
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 eggs
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
2/3 cup key lime juice 

1.Combine cookie or graham cracker crumbs with butter or margarine.  Press into bottom and partially up sides of 9 inch springform pan.  Refrigerate. 

2. In a large bowl, beat with an electric mixer the cream cheese, the sugar, lime peel, and cornstarch until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, blending just until smooth.  Add key lime juice with mixer on low.  Finish mixing by hand.  Do not overheat or dessert will crack during baking.  Pour into prepared crust.  

3. Bake at 300F for 55 to 65 minutes, or until set.  To minimize cracking, place a shallow pan half full of hot water on lower rack during baking.  

4. Turn oven off, and let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes with the door open at least 4 inches.  Remove from oven.  Refrigerate cake overnight, and up to 3 days.

You better get a piece as quick as you can, because this sweet and tangy treat will not last.  Top with whipped cream for the ultimate dessert you won't soon forget. 

*Recipe taken from* 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Scarlett 14 Months Update

Scarlett is officially 15 months tomorrow! This month brought so much change and development, it's crazy!

Scarlett started walking at the end of February.  She had been taking small steps for a few weeks and at one point just got up and walked.  People ask me if I can recall the exact moment she started walking, but I cannot.  I can only say that one minute she was crawling, and the next she was walking! She is still a little unsteady on her feet, but getting better everyday.  I took her to Stride Rite last week to get some real walking shoes with support.  She has many shoes in her closet, but they are for fashion and not the best for her feet.  

I can't say I notice a big difference with her getting into everything now that she's walking.  Everyone says oh when they start walking, watch out! She was getting into everything when she crawled, so it's not much of a change.

We've finally made the transition from bottle to sippy cup! My pediatrician told me at 12 months to get her off the bottle.  It wasn't as hard as I thought and I honestly should have done it before 14 months.  Scarlett didn't notice that the bottle is gone and loves to drink her milk.  Next step is getting rid of the pacifier! I'm sure that project won't be as simple as getting rid of the bottle.  

Scarlett's first word was mama, which was very exciting! I was thrilled because I stay-at-home with her and spend every waking moment with her. I would hope she appreciates me! :) I have it recorded on my phone which makes it extra special.  It's fun to watch it and it always makes me smile.  She hasn't said any other words yet.  

This girl's appetite is out of control.  I'm sure everyone's seen the pictures of her food that I sometimes post on my Facebook fan page.  It's true, she really eats as much as a grown man!  Her breakfast can consist of a slice of toast with jelly, eggs, and fruit.  Scarlett never says no to food which is wonderful.  She is not picky at all and will eat whatever you serve her happily.  Some of her favorite foods are chicken, blueberries, cheesticks, and Greek yogurt. I love that she is a big fan of veggies too!  She also loves snacks like Goldfish or peanut butter crackers.  If you eat around her, forget it! Scarlett will walk over to you and grunt and make noise until you give in.

What I've noticed most about this month is how much she's able to understand and grasp.  She's starting to recognize animals more and can point to a picture of a dog in a book when you ask her.  If you also ask her simple requests like to pick up her pacifier, or hand me a specific toy, she'll do it.  I love that she can clap on command too.  It's crazy how much she's changing! 

Scarlett is generally a really happy baby.  She walks around laughing and smiling all day.  When she's happy, she screams! It's pretty funny.  She absolutely loves to play.  What I've noticed recently is how much of an interest she's taken in books.  She loves to hold books and turn the pages and "read." We read all day long to her and it's really been beneficial.  I love that she has a big zest for reading and I hope that continues as she gets older.

Another thing that's new is that Scarlett will point at things that interest her. She'll point at an object and I'll tell her what it is.  There's been a big love affair with the light switch lately.  She loves to turn it on and off.  Silly girl! If you ask her to hug something, she puts the item near her head and rests her head on it.  That's her version of a hug and it's very sweet. 

I can't wait to see what the next few months brings! I'll be sure to keep you all updated.  

Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Fun Easter Craft for Kids

Easter is just around the corner! I'm sure you're planning your Easter dinner menu and putting the finishing touches on your child's Easter basket.  To get in the Easter spirit, how about doing this fun seasonal craft with your children? They'll enjoy the activity and you'll love making memories with them.

Fill a colorful sock with dry rice and tie off the top with a rubber band.  Wrap a ribbon around the "neck." Cut round ears, add a felt face, and a pom pom tail.  Kids of all ages will enjoy this craft, and it's a wonderful way to celebrate Easter.  

The best part about this craft is that it'll last for future Easters to come.  Use different socks for fun color combinations that'll be a hit as a centerpiece on your table for Easter.  However way you do it, just have a good time.

*Craft taken from Reader's Digest*