Thursday, January 29, 2015

Step 2 Sit & Play Picnic Table Blogger Opp


Spring will be here soon! What better way to get prepared for the kids to be able to play outside in the warm sunshine than with a Step2 Sit and Play Picnic Table with Umbrella Giveaway?

Giveaway Dates: February 1-18th, 2015 

Hosted by So Simply Stephanie


Co-Hosts $10- Includes 6 links of your choice (no Google+) and at least 1 co-host page. 
Bloggers $5- Includes 3 links of your choice (no Google+) 

OR 1 FREE link with announcement post! Co-Hosts & Bloggers can receive an additional link with announcement as well!

Infertility Fears: Will this be my only child?


            I'm not really sure how to start this post, so let's begin with a disclaimer of sorts. Infertility is a touchy subject for most who experience it, and for good reason. I've been there myself and it can be extremely frustrating, especially when it seems like everyone around you is popping out babies left and right. You want to be happy for them, but there's also a big part of you that is insanely jealous.
           With that being said, it is not my intention to discredit anyone's feelings with this post, especially those of you who may not have been able to have ANY children yet. My intentions with this post are to share a little of myself with the world in hopes to reach out to other (what seems like small group of) women out there who have the same fears as me. Oftentimes it seems our fears about being unable to have any more children after having at least one get brushed to the side because after all, shouldn't we just be thankful to at least have one child after experiencing infertility?
            Absolutely! I'm thankful for my daughter every day, even if I have to remind myself of that occasionally on the days she is driving me crazy. But, and maybe this is greedy on my part, I've always wanted AT LEAST two kids. I grew up as an only child (I have a half brother and we are two peas in a pod now, but that is a whole other big, long story) and I was one of the ones who actually always wished for a brother or sister. I don't want that for my child. There are much worse things in the world than being an only child, but it's still something I think about a lot when it comes to Myka, especially now that she's older and we are ready for another baby.
            As I've mentioned before, it took us a little over three years to get pregnant with Myka. We weren't actively trying the whole time, but still. How many young couples (I was 25 when I finally got pregnant) can go for that long without using any contraceptives without having an "oopsie baby"?
            We were hoping after having Myka it wouldn't take nearly as long to get pregnant with our next one. Well, we haven't been "using anything" for a little over a year now, so needless to say, I'm getting a little worried again. We've already been through this once. Do we really have to go through this again?
            I've gotten my menstrual cycles fairly regulated myself without the use of prescription medicine, told my new gynecologist it's been over a year since we've used any protection and all about my previous problems, and she still manages to be blase about the whole thing and says to give it another year. And people wonder why I don't like doctors. I can't help but wonder why in the hell no one but me wants to get to the root of the problems and figure out WHY my cycles get messed up and WHY it's so hard for us to have a baby so that we can maybe do something about it. I'm still young. I still fall into the "if it's been 12 months and you still haven't gotten pregnant..." category, so what gives? But, I'm getting a bit off course, aren't I?
            With all of that being said, I've "caught" myself appreciating Myka in all her not-fun-for-mommy terrible twos glory more lately as I ponder over these things more and more. As much as I really dislike this stage in child development (I know. I should be "appreciative and embrace all stages", but I don't. If I said I did, I'd be lying. I've never liked this age.), I can't help but wonder now if it will be the first, last, and only time I experience these things with my own child. And it scares the hell out of me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On the Go in 2015 Giveaway

            All moms understand that it's really hard to travel with kids, even if only going to the park or the store. Here are some great products to make getting out of the house a little easier, whether it's just for an afternoon or for a whole weekend. We are excited to bring you this awesome giveaway in collaboration with Green Scene Mom!
Green Scene Mom On The Go in 2015 Giveaway

Make taking kids on the go a little easier, and definitely more fun!

Wally Inflatable Bed Rail, from The Shrunks giveaway
The Shrunks Wally Inflatable Bed Rail - $25
At The Shrunks, we believe that kids are cool. Creating stuff that makes bedtime fun and safe for them, wherever they are, is what we love to do. Keep your child safe from rolling off the bed with The Shrunks Inflatable Bed Rail! Its slim design allows the bed rail to slip conveniently under any fitted standard sized twin, queen or king size bed sheet. Each package comes with a bed rail, foot pump, and a carrying bag for easy transport to all of your destinations. Recommended for kids 2 years and up. Shop @ theshrunks.com.
Milkdot Popdots Go Pouch giveaway
Milkdot Popdots Go Pouch - $20
Popdots Go Pouch is the perfect carryall for everyday or for travel. Plus, it's insulated so it makes a great snack bag too. Use it as a toiletry bag, storage bag or quick change diaper bag. With one large elastic pocket and three smaller elastic pockets, your items will stay in place and organized. It's the versatile pouch for children, teens and women to take on the go for school, work or travel with plenty of room for school supplies, arts and crafts, toys, cosmetics, medicine, toiletries, first aid, baby essentials, snacks, drinks and much more! Shop @ milkdot.com.
Poncho Baby Pack-N-Run Organic Diaper Pouch giveaway
Poncho Baby Pack-N-Run Organic Diaper Pouch - $35
This eco-friendly and portable organic diaper bag pouch is perfect for those times when a diaper bag is too big. Made in the USA with 100% Cotton Muslin Imported. Use it for a quick trip to the supermarket, the park or an airport bathroom. It's been carefully sized to hold just the necessities. Also works great as an insert in a purse or diaper bag. Shop @ ponchobaby.com.
Poppy Drops $30 Gift Certificate giveaway
Poppy Drops $30 Gift Certificate
Poppy Drops was created due to a dilemma lots of us face — when to pierce a little girl's ears? Poppy Drops earrings really are the perfect solution that is practical for parents and super fun for kids! From our signature earrings came other solutions for modern kids! We now offer Tattoo Nail Art, Mix & Match Tattoo Jewelry, Perfume Sticks & Lip Luster — all of which are designed for little ones but are great for EVERYONE! All of our products are made with natural ingredients — 100% safe for any age. We make staying young even more fun than growing up! Shop @ poppydrops.com.
yummi pouch reusable food pouch giveaway
Yummi Pouch Reusable Food Pouches set of 6 - $15
Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches combine style and convenience in an eco-friendly container you can fill with homemade smoothies and blended snacks! Yummi Pouches are easy to fill and clean through the top zipper opening and are great for taking healthy snacks on the go. Shop @ yummipouch.com.
Zippyz Baby Footed Pajamas
Zippyz Baby Footed Pajamas - $27.99
Zippyz are baby footed pajamas with a patented design to make diaper changes quick and easy. Zippyz have a zipper from foot to belly so parents can change diapers quick and easy while keeping their baby covered and warm. Shop @ shopzippyz.com.
Pacidoodle Personalized Pacifiers set giveaway
Pacidoodle Personalized Pacifiers set of 2 - $12.50
Pacidoodle Personalized Pacifiers are the Cute, High Quality Solution to Accidental Paci-Swapping! Baby's name, monogram or cute saying is engraved on pacifiers and will not rub off or fade. "A little paci love made with a lot of His love". Shop @ pacidoodle.com.

Enter to win this Amazing Prize Set!

This giveaway is open to United States and Canada.
Green Scene Mom On The Go in 2015 Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Mixed Bag Mama was not compensated for this post. Opinions may differ from your own. This giveaway is not affiliated with any social media platform.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Culinary Gadgets Blogger Opp

Blogger Opp ~ Culinary Gadgets Giveaway ~ Free and Paid Options Available! ”Kitchen
I have been given the chance to review each of the items that are included in this giveaway and am able to share them with 1 LUCKY Winner for this fun Culinary Gadgets Giveaway! I will be adding items as well as my reviews throughout the sign up process, so be on the lookout!

1 Lucky Winner Will Receive: 1) KitchenPalz Smooth Edge Automatic Electric Can Opener ($39.99 ARV)
2) Shatterproof Glass Water Bottle – 3 Pack Giveaway ($55 ARV)
3) Stainless Steel Microfiber Cleaning Cloths ($34.99 ARV)
4) Pro Chef Kitchen Tools Premium S Shaped Hooks in 10 Pack Stainless Steel Metal ($28.99 ARV)
&
5) Smart Touch Wine Opener ($24.99 ARV)
($180 Total Package ARV) & I will add more if they become available!

Now I need your help promoting!

As always, 2 FREE links with announcement post! (Choose from Facebook Visits, Twitter, Pinterest and / or Instagram Follows) OR Pay $3 For the 2 links without Announcement Post Payable to mcushing7@hotmail.com via PayPal ANNOUNCEMENT POST BELOW (Just copy and paste) Co-Hosts Needed: $5 for 5 links of your choice PLUS the 2 FREE links above = 7 links total. And I mean ANY links you choose… Facebook Likes, shares and or Comments, Twitter Re-tweets, Website Comments, Giveaway Entries, Daily Votes, Daily Endorsements, Extra Follows, Anything, you tell me! You will be be highlighted in the Giveaway Picture and Giveaway HTML, as well as receive a co-host page PLUS an extra follow page or two depending on total number of entries which are all linked back to your website. ***Other Sign Up Options Available On Sign Up Form*** SIGN UP HERE SAVVY OFFER: The Blog With The Most Referrals for this giveaway (whether your own announcement post or word of mouth) will receive a FREE Co-Host spot for this giveaway. If you sign up for the co-host spot and have the most referrals you will be refunded the co-host fee. Open To Us Residents and must be 18+ to enter SIGN UPS Close 2/01! Don’t Wait! Giveaway Dates: 2/03 12AM EST until 2/26 12 AM EST

Lalaloopsy Diaper Surprise Giveaway

Lalaloopsy Diaper Surprise Giveaway (2)

Hosted by CT Coupon Crazy Mommy

Co-hosted by Barbara's Beat
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           With Lalaloopsy Diaper Surprise you can explore the magical world of Lalaloopsy and see your favorite Lalaloopsy characters when they were babies! And each Lalaloopsy Baby poops magical charms in reusable diapers! Just feed your Lalaloopsy Babies water, press their belly “button,” and check their diaper for a surprise! So many charms to collect! See the complete review here. Want to win this cutie for your cutie? Enter below! Giveaway is open to US residents, ages 18+. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway ends February 9, 2015 at 11:59pm EST.
Disclosure: The above item was received in order to facilitate review. I have not been compensated for this post. The Coupon Crazy Mommy blog will always provide honest opinions, beliefs or experiences on products reviewed. We will only recommend products or services that we feel are of benefit to our readers. Coupon Crazy Mommy is not responsible for prize fulfillment; sponsor will be responsible for prize fulfillment. This event is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. If you have any questions, please contact me couponcrazymomblog {at} gmail {dot} com. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review of Dawn Publications' Spring 2015 Children's Book Releases

            Hey folks! I love me a good book, but I almost enjoy finding quality and entertaining children's books even more! It's that time of year again and I'll be sharing a little about each of Dawn Publications' Spring 2015 releases: Noisy Bird Sing-Along, Over on a Mountain, and Pitter and Patter. If you're unfamiliar with Dawn Publications, they are all about teaching children nature appreciation through lovely books, and even include extra activities on their website as well as resources for teachers and much more!


            Noisy Bird Sing-Along by John Himmelman is all about, you guessed it, bird calls. Ranging from the smallest of hummingbirds to barred owls, children are sure to recognize a few of the feathered friends and be introduced to some new ones. As you can imagine, children will learn all sorts of fun and interesting bird calls along the way which can be made even more fun to learn by "singing" along!
            Geared towards 3-8 year olds, I thought this was a pretty cute book and age appropriate since that age range will be able to join in on the singing. This would definitely be a fun read-aloud book for a preschool or lower elementary classroom. (Or story time at a library!) I liked that there are fun little facts about the birds included in the story as well. As always, there is even more info on each bird featured in the story at the end to extend the learning as well as resources for bird projects!


            If this is the first time you're hearing about Marianne Berkes' Over on a... book series, do yourself (and the child in your life) a favor and check all of them out on Dawn Pubs website. (After you finish reading this, of course. ;) ) I previously had the opportunity to review two other books in the series and they are two of my favorite that I have reviewed from Dawn Pub thus far. Even though she is not in the age range the books are targeted for (3-8 year olds), Myka still enjoys getting these out and looking at them at 2 years old.
            Over on a Mountain is all about critters that live in different mountain regions around the world. Not only will children learn a little more about animals they're already familiar with and be introduced to new ones as well, but they will learn that not all mountains are the same! As always, there are more suggestions at the end for ways to expand upon learning from the story, with activities that can range from preschool/lower elementary levels to higher elementary grades.
            In case you couldn't guess, I was really excited when I saw there was a new Over on a... book. The first thing that caught my attention, as with the first two I reviewed as well, were the illustrations. While the illustrator for this book is different from the previous two that I reviewed, the pictures in this book are not what you would normally see in a children's book, but they are extremely unique and beautiful the more you look at them. Jill Dubin uses pieces of paper (I'm guessing a lot of scrapbook type paper with lots of different "textures" was used) with colored pencils and pastels to bring the story to life. You can get a good idea of it just from the cover image above. How cool!
            I also love these stories because they incorporate counting, so they are perfect books to incorporate into a numbers lesson for younger children just starting out with learning numbers. Animals and books make just about anything fun, right? Also, since this book can be read/sung to the traditional Over in a Meadow nursery rhyme, it could be a fun way to introduce poetry and/or what rhymes are to children. Plus, as I've stated what feels like 500 times, I truly believe that rhyming helps young children learn and retain information better.


            I have to admit the cover of Pitter and Patter tricked me. I was hoping it was going to be a story about squirrels, but I was wondering why the raindrops were so big. ha ha Following the journey of two raindrops, Pitter and Patter, this is a fun little story to introduce 4-10 year olds to the water cycle.
            Once Pitter and Patter land in separate areas, we follow them along their individual journeys back to becoming part of a cloud, meeting lots of animals, insects, and more along the way. As Pitter and Patter travel down streams, through underground caves, and more, they eventually meet up again in the ocean where they turn into water vapor and head back up to the sky.
            I've always thought learning about the water cycle was kind of fascinating and this book makes for a fun and simple way to teach children about it. It's very straightforward and provides plenty of opportunities for expanding learning, both by talking about the story itself afterwards and with the activity suggestions provided at the end. And, if you are reading this with younger children, the illustrations are absolutely fantastic! Now that I have my own child, I'm finding that I don't care for the illustrations in many children's books, but I've previously reviewed another book Cathy Morrison has illustrated and her drawings are just so colorful and full of life!

            All three books will be available starting in February, so be sure to keep a look out on Dawn Pub's website!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Experience with BBT Charting-Post #1


            Hey folks! As promised in my blog update post, I'm going to be branching out into some new areas this year, one of which is fertility. I get the distinct impression that this is NOT an issue for most of my readers, but I do know that many people still keep quiet about infertility, so I hope some of you out there get some use from these posts and know that you are not alone!
            To give just a little background, my cycles started getting erratic (and sometimes non-existent!) right after my husband and I got together, oddly enough. My body having regular cycles is like having an "on again, off again" boyfriend. Sometimes I've been able to get them regulated, other times I have gone for months on end without having one. But, that's a whole other can of worms, really.
            Since I've had pretty regular cycles (for myself) over the past year and a half AND, as I've mentioned before, my husband and I aren't exactly trying to NOT get pregnant, I thought I would finally give in and try this whole basal body temperature charting business I have read a little about. First and foremost, I should/do need to lose weight before getting pregnant again, but I thought I would use this charting business as an experiment of sorts, if nothing else, to figure out 1) If I even ovulate and 2) Find out when since my cycles are longer than "normal".
            I am at the beginning of cycle 2 of charting and I can already tell a difference from the first month. For whatever reason, my temperatures don't seem as erratic as the ones on the chart in the picture. Maybe it's from drinking more of my hormone regulating tea than normal last month? I was also starting to question the accuracy of the thermometer, but maybe it was just me since my temperatures aren't fluctuating as crazily this month so far.
            I also used some urine ovulation tests I received for review in conjunction with charting the first month. I thought it would be interesting to see if they correlated like they should. i.e. Getting a positive ovulation (LH) test a few days before a noticeable and sustained increase in BBT. The results? Honestly, it would have been hard for me to tell just by looking at the chart.
            However, I at least have an idea now of when I ovulate...at least on one side. ha ha I'm planning on keeping up with the charting, but using more of the ovulation tests when it gets closer to the time I *think* I should be ovulating to see what happens.

            Have any of you used charting or ovulation tests when trying to get pregnant? Do you think they helped or were you indifferent toward them?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Birthday Goodies!


            Hey folks! My birthday was last week and I thought I would geek out with you about some goodies I bought with my birthday money. (Yes, I'm 28 years old and still get money from some family members occasionally on birthdays. Is that weird?)
            Something that a lot of people don't know about me is that I absolutely LOVE stores that carry bulk herbs. After we went out to eat and ran to the store for a few things last weekend, we decided to stop at a store called The Sunspot on the way home. We had been there a few times before we moved to Arkansas and it was ok, but it seemed like they had a lot more things that we are into now. (Or maybe we're just more into the things they've always carried than we used to be. Who knows!?)
            Anyways, John and I were both excited that they had a section for bulk herbs and loose leaf teas. (It was also nice for both of us to actually be able to look around because Myka was at Gigi's house!) Not that we buy herbs all the time, but they seemed very reasonably priced. We ended up getting some dong quai powder and muira puama (your guess on pronunciation is as good as mine) to use in my "Aunt Flo regulating tea". We were a little disappointed they were all out of the other one we use in it (damiana), but we have seen it popping up in more and more places AND we can always order some online, so we weren't too worried about it.
            I also got some Saint John's Wort to drink as a tea. In case you didn't read my posts on S.A.D., I have been taking D3 and using a Saint John's Wort supplement in my water daily to fight off the winter blues. I'm going to have to try out the tea some other time, though, because I just received a goody in the mail for review that contains Saint John's Wort as well and is specifically formulated to help with seasonal affective disorder symptoms!


            Speaking of tea...we went a little overboard and ordered some more online earlier last week. This is the first time we've tried tealyra, so I'm hoping they are good! As you can see in the picture, we opened the bags already and they smell really good! lol

            Do you use herbs in anything? Tea, homemade salves, etc? I'd love to hear about it!

Bambo Nature Diaper Giveaway

BamboNature Giveaway Event new dates 

Hosted by: Easy Green Mom and Sponsored by: Bambo Nature 

We want to introduce you to Bambo Nature, a premium eco-diaper for you and the environment! Also, offer you a chance to win a case of these eco-friendly disposable diapers!
Amber from Easy Green Mom, a cloth diaper Mama, has been using Bambo Nature disposable diapers as her back-up diaper for over a year. You can read her review of Bambo Nature Here.

Bambo Nature

Bambo Baby Diapers carry the official environmental Nordic Eco-Label, the Swan. Certified free of harsh and dangerous chemicals. Certified non-toxic and hypoallergenic. Eco-friendly & transparent manufacturing process. Available in sizes 0-6.  Product Details:
  • Easy-to-adjust hook-and-loop fasteners can be opened and closed as often as necessary, making sure that your child can have an active and safe day.
  • An easy fit due to new flexible side panels with stretch ensures increased comfort and freedom to move.
  • Efficient leakage barriers ensure a snug body fit and minimize the risk of leakage.
  • The super absorbent core ensures high absorption capacity and a dry surface. One of the highest absorbers on the market.
  • Bambo is one of the only diapers with a breathable back sheet which ensures that the skin can breathe; keeping the skin drier.
  Bambo Nature logo
You can purchase Bambo Nature from their official US retailer, Giggle Monkey online. You can also find where to buy Bambo Nature products here.
You can Connect with Bambo Nature on Facebook and Twitter.

Enter to win!

Win 1 Case of Bambo Nature Diapers (up to $87 value)!

This giveaway is open to US residents, 18+ only. The giveaway will end at 11:59 pm CST on 02/02/2015. 
Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Bambo Nature. Easy Green Mom and the participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, or Instagram. Please contact amber{at}easygreenmom.com with any questions about this giveaway.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Breaking Your Pop Habit-Tea is Your New Best Friend!-Part 2


            Hey folks! Thanks for coming back for part two of this post. In case you missed it, I gave some background on my own pop drinking habits and how/why I decided to finally start cutting back on it in the first post. Today I'm going to share my favorite teas as suggestions for "tea newbies" to try and some fun tea making gadgets that I have come across.

            Now, when I talk about tea, I'm not talking about brewed cold sweet or unsweet black tea. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm the only person on the face of this planet that DOESN'T like sweet tea. I know. Crazy. Let's talk about herbal tea! While yes, the majority of herbal teas do NOT contain caffeine, there are a few standbys that are pretty much guaranteed to contain caffeine. As I said, there are tons of yummy teas without caffeine, but for the sake of this post, I'm going to talk about the ones that DO contain at least some.
             Since I had never drank tea before this point, I just started experimenting and trying any kind that sounded good and weren't caffeine free to see what I liked. A year and a half later, I can't really say that I've had a bad tea yet. No matter the flavor, you'll want to look for something that contains green or black tea if you want caffeine.
            I have a couple of my favorite teas pictured above at the beginning of this post, which are the Jasmine Oolong from Teavana (on the left in the orange bag) and the Green Tea Lemongrass from Traditional Medicinals on the right. The jasmine oolong has been growing on me. For obvious reasons, it has a floral taste, which is a bit weird to me, but it's not unpleasant. However, it's great if you need a boost in energy. (Especially if you use too many pearls by accident like I did the first time without knowing any better! lol It's amazing I ever went to sleep that night. Seriously. lol)
            The Green Tea Lemongrass is probably my absolute favorite one that I've tried so far. I've been on a big lemongrass kick as far as scents go over the past year, and now it has transferred over into tastes too! This tea just tastes fantastic, it's very refreshing, and, not to sound like some tea connoisseur, but would probably be best enjoyed in the afternoon for a relaxing pick-me-up.
            Another one of my favorites that is not pictured is the Green Tea Pomegranate from Yogi. This one, again, as you can imagine, has a nice fruity flavor. I like this one because it's the most flavorful of the teas that I've tried. Plus, pomegranate is a super fruit!

I just tried this one for the first time the other day and it's pretty good too!
            While really all you need is a coffee or tea cup and some water to make tea, there are some other items I've come across that can come in handy, like the electric kettle in the first picture above. If you're in a hurry or just lazy like me, you can just warm a cup of water up in the microwave. If you're planning on making multiple cups a day or happen to like filtering your water first, an electric kettle might be a good investment.
            If you plan on using loose leaf tea, I highly recommend buying a strainer of some sort. I love the mini one I have in the first picture, but you can also get them in "ball" form or they even sell one time use and reusable tea bags for cheap. You don't absolutely need one of these, but it's a lot easier than trying to fish everything back out! 

My mom got me this nifty to go cup specifically for making loose leaf tea for my birthday. You can either use the strainer to make the tea ahead of time or it serves to keep your leaves in and you can just keep re-adding water! Nifty, huh?
            As some last words of wisdom, if you do decide to cut back or eliminate pop altogether, don't be too hard on yourself. Make goals to cut back a little at a time, kind of like when some people quit smoking. Sometimes life happens and you have a rough day and cave. It happens. Don't be afraid to splurge every now and then too once you've reached your goal. I'm still a sucker for an occasional Vanilla Coke or Mello Yello. :)

            What's your favorite tea? Do you prefer loose leaf or the pre-packaged kind? Are you planning on cutting back on pop this year?
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post nor am I affiliated in any way with any of the companies mentioned or products that were linked to in this post. These are not affiliate links. I receive no money from the companies by sharing them. All opinions are my own and may differ from your own.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Breaking Your Pop Habit-Tea is Your New Best Friend!-Part 1


            Hey folks! Now that the new year is here, there are probably a lot of you out there who have made some New Year's resolutions. We all do at some point in life, right? Other than weight loss and fitness goals, cutting out pop, soda, Coke, or whatever you may call it seems to be another popular resolution. Being a former "pop junkie" myself, I thought I would share with you about my own experience with cutting pop (Yes, I call it pop. I'm from Indiana. :P) out and give you some suggestions on tasty teas to try out for starters!
            First of all, I thought I would NEVER be able to stop drinking pop. Seriously. Every time I saw someone on my Facebook announce that they were going to stop drinking it, I always thought about how hard it would be, but were proud of them for trying to do so. After all, I had grown up on Diet Pepsi. I even worked at a convenience store at one point after high school and drank two to three 32 ounce fountain drinks every time I worked. How in the world could I possibly just stop drinking pop after so long?
            While I know that not all of you have children, are planning to, or are simply past the child-bearing age (or maybe you're a man!) and I'm certainly not suggesting that you go out and get pregnant just for this reason (that would be insane!), but getting pregnant with my daughter helped start my own personal "no pop" movement. I worked at a coffee shop for 7 months of my pregnancy, so I'm not going to lie and say I NEVER drank caffeine while I was pregnant, but I did get a LOT better about drinking water. Before that, I never drank water. Honest. I just didn't like it. It was bland, boring. But I knew it was good for a healthy baby, pregnancy, and me!
            Anyways, as any new parent knows, it is easy to fall back into bad habits if they're easy and started drinking more pop than I should have again for awhile. Then, about a year and a half ago, I made a conscious effort to really try and cut back on the sugary drinks. Pop is expensive! Not to mention it really is terrible for your teeth. I still HAD to have some form of caffeine, though, because I didn't want to go cold turkey and be a total, headache having grouch around my family. (And honestly I still feel like I can't "function" without a little bit of caffeine each day.) So, what could I drink that still had caffeine, had some flavor, and wasn't carbonated sugariness? Tea!

           As usual, this post seemed to have taken on a mind of its own and wrote itself...In other words, the more I wrote, I realized I needed to break this post up into two separate posts, otherwise it would have been way too long! Trust me, I hadn't realized it was possible for someone to talk this much about tea either. :) I do apologize and hope you'll come back for the rest of this post tomorrow. (Once it's live I'll share a link to that post here.) I'll be sharing my favorite teas to try and talking about some different tea making gadgets.

Monday, January 12, 2015

"Terry Treetop Saves the Dolphin" Children's Book Review



            Hey folks! It's been a LONG time since we've done a book review! Let's start out 2015 with this cute, but educational tale from Tali Carmi.
            Terry Treetop Saves the Dolphin starts off with Terry Treetop, as he's known for his love of climbing trees, and his family vacationing at a marine nature preserve. He wants to check things out early one morning and decides the best way to do that is by climbing up a tree, where he discovers a group of dolphins playing nearby. Eager to play with the dolphins, he hurries down the tree and heads for the dock. All of the adult dolphins are leery of Terry, but one baby dolphin is just as curious about Terry as he is of the dolphin.
            Sadly, as the baby dolphin is swimming over to Terry, he gets caught in a fisherman's net. Luckily, Terry is able to find a park ranger to help the little dolphin out and he even gets to play with him after all afterwards!
            Intended for children ages 2-8, I think this story would appeal to both boys and girls and would make a great read out loud book or a read alone book for young elementary school children. This story helps teach children several important things, including problem solving, responsibility, and an appreciation for nature and protecting wildlife. Terry Treetop Saves the Dolphin is also full of simple, colorful pictures and straight forward text so children won't get bored.
            You can find this lovely little e-book for just $1.00 for your Kindle device on Amazon. (You can also purchase it in paperback for $8.80 HERE.)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and may differ from your own. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Blog Update: What's Coming in 2015?


            Hey folks! As I mentioned on my Facebook page, I have been doing a lot of thinking lately over what exactly I wanted to do with the blog this year, hence the crickets chirping so much around here for the past few weeks. After much deliberation and wishy-washy Charlie Browniness of going back and forth changing my mind, I finally have a plan for 2015. (I'm at least going to give it the old college try, anyways, and see how it goes. ;) )
            Mainly, there are going to be lots of changes. First of all, just as I expanded my scope some last year, I'm looking to incorporate some new things into the blog this year as well. Now I know that in general, as a blogger, it's good to have a main "theme" and stick with it. But personally, I get bored with that. I'm interested in TONS of different things and as such would like to share a little on all of them. My interests range from looking for natural remedies to playing computer games...and hiking, and reading, and doing crafts with Myka etc. etc. I can't be the only one out there who gets bored with having one central theme, right?
            This year I'd like to incorporate more kitchen-type stuff, such as product reviews, baked good recipes, easy meal ideas, and who knows what else. Don't get the wrong idea, though. I'm not going to turn into a recipe blog. I don't like cooking THAT much. ;)
            I'd also like to start doing more fitness-related reviews. I don't know about you, but I hate working out to dvds because I get bored with them quickly or can't follow them very well. I'm hoping to find something that works for me and keeps me interested this year for the times when getting outdoors for walks and hikes is not feasible! (Like right now!)
            I'm not for sure yet, but I may also include some gaming reviews, videos, not really sure what exactly yet! I know from a conversation on my Facebook page awhile ago that there are a lot more of you that play video and computer games in your spare time than I would have expected, so this aspect might be fun to include as I've been playing more games myself recently. Or, I may just start my own separate YouTube channel for this endeavor if I can figure out how to make videos. lol ;) (Have I mentioned I'm not the most technologically savvy person in the world?)
            Oh! I almost forgot! Since it is no secret we are kind of working on having a second baby, there will hopefully be more posts geared towards trying to conceive. It seems like most of my readers don't have a problem in that department, but I'm hoping some of you out there get some use out of these posts to come. :)
            The biggest change, though, is that I'm going to put "regular" posts on the back burner, somewhat, and focus more on product reviews and giveaways. To be perfectly frank here, while there is quite a bit more work that goes into reviews and especially giveaways, I find it easier to do these less often than regular posts, I'm running out of ideas to keep up a steady pace of regular posts, and I just enjoy doing product reviews.
            Also, I just don't enjoy writing regular posts like I used to. Again, to be real honest, I was getting so burnt out on trying to keep up with my goal of just 3 a week that I contemplated quitting blogging altogether before I came to this decision. Well, ok, there were lots of other factors pushing me towards quitting too, but let's not go there until I do decide to bite the blogging bullet for good. ;)
            I feel really good about coming to this juncture and hope you guys are as excited as I am! What change are you most looking forward to?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

For Your Bug-a-Boo Giveaway


for-your-bug-a-boo
Welcome to the For Your Bug-A-Boo $50 Gift Card Giveaway
Hosted by Miss Frugal Mommy & Sponsored by For Your Bug-A-Boo

About For Your Bug-A-Boo

“The goal of this business is to provide a selection of baby care products that are of high quality without many of the extra ingredients that may be harmful to our babies. I have searched for products such as non-toxic teethers, organic cotton layette, and 100% Natural baby wash and diaper creams to name just a few. I have also included latex-free Soothie pacifiers which my son has been using since his birth.”
You can discover more about these amazing products in Miss Frugal Mommy’s review!
Now for the exciting part! One lucky fan is going to win a $50 gift card to the For Your Bug-A-Boo website! This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older. Enter to win in the giveaway tools below, all entries will be verified, one entrant per household or you will immediately be disqualified. Winner will be contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the sponsor and not the participating bloggers. Good Luck!!!



 I was not compensated for this post. This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, administered or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. If you have any questions, concerns or would like your product featured in the next giveaway, please contact Miss Frugal Mommy via email: MsFrugalMommy@hotmail.com

S.A.D. Update


            Hey folks! Some of you may have read my post on Seasonal Affective Disorder a little over a month ago, so I thought I would do a little update! Here is the original post, if you would like to read it, but in a nutshell I went over what S.A.D. is, ways to combat the symptoms naturally, and what I planned on trying out to deal with my own symptoms.
            First of all, I have to admit that I feel a little silly taking a D3 supplement just because most laboratory created vitamins and supplements are not very bio-available, aka the body is unable to absorb as much of them as naturally occurring D3 in foods, for instance. (At least that's what I got from the way my husband, who has degrees in chemistry and biology, explained it to me.) But, I figured it's worth a shot and has to be doing some good, right?
            I started out taking a gummy D3 vitamin from vitafusion because, well, I'm a puss when it comes to swallowing pills of any sort. Unless it's the size of a small BB, it ain't happenin'. I liked them because they were easy to take and helped make me, erm, "regular", but I don't really care for how sugary they are. (The prenatal ones are even worse in that department!) When I started running low on them, I started looking around for a different kind and happened across the ones pictures above at the dollar store here in town, of all places.
            I don't know about you, but I actually loved the chewable Flintstones vitamins when I was a kid, so the kid in me was excited to see there was a chewable D3 vitamin AND it tastes like strawberry banana! And, surprisingly, it really does taste like that and is pretty yummy. I just eat one in the morning with breakfast and another one some time later in the day when I eat. Easy peasy. And I'm the queen of forgetting to take pills.
            I've also enjoyed taking my FES Saint John's Wort for several reasons too. First of all, I feel like it's more "pure" than the D3 vitamins. Also, since it is liquid and meant to be put in water and drank, it gets me to make sure I drink more water throughout the day, which is especially helpful on the days my husband is home because I seem to slack for some reason those days. Saint John's Wort is also supposed to aid with sleeping issues too...though most of my sleep issues are "toddler not wanting to sleep in her own bed" these days. Finally, I get my FES Saint John's Wort from a place called New Age People, which is one of my favorite stores ever, so it gives me a good excuse to go there occasionally. :) (Yah, I'm one of THOSE people.)
            As usual, I hadn't intended for this post to be this long. I apologize, as they kind of write themselves a lot of times. So, time for the bottom line: Do these things seem to be helping with my seasonal affective disorder symptoms? Yes. Everyone still has "off days", but in general they both seem to be helping me not feel so grouchy, lethargic, apathetic, etc. etc. If nothing else, it helps me to at least get motivated enough to get laundry or dishes done...most days. ;)

Disclaimer: I was not compensated to endorse any products mentioned in this post. Further more, I am not affiliated with the companies that manufacture them in any way. All opinions are my own and may differ from your own.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Easy@Home Ovulation Test Kit Review



             Hey folks! While I don't talk about it much, it's not exactly been a secret either that my husband and I haven't exactly been trying to NOT have another baby. I've also mentioned several times in past posts that it took us quite awhile to get pregnant with Myka with no medical help. Needless to say, we're hoping it doesn't take nearly as long to have our next child (I'd rather Myka not be 5 or older before having a brother or sister!), so I was excited to try out the Easy@Home Ovulation Test Kit.
            It couldn't have come at a better time, either, as I decided to start charting my basal body temperature this month too. I thought it would be interesting to see if they "match up", especially with how crazy my cycles can be. (Can we say 30-40 day cycles with no rhyme or reason?) I don't know if my thermometer is just not that reliable (my bet) or my body temperatures fluctuate a lot more than you would think, but I am a much bigger fan of the ovulation test strips so far. From my experience so far, they are more accurate and easier to interpret than charting temps.


            Personally, I like the Easy@Home test strips better than the ones you find at the store too. Why? For one, you get a LOT more test strips for your money, which is especially convenient for me as I am not only trying to figure out when I am ovulating, but if I am at all. Therefore, instead of using them for the 5 or so days around your expected ovulation time, I have been using one each day since a few days after my last period ended. I would only be getting a handful of the amount of test strips for the same price at the store. Second, these test strips are small, as you can see in the pictures, so the optimal way to test is by peeing in a container first and dipping the test strip in for 3 seconds. I'm guessing a lot of you are like me and peeing in a cup isn't exactly your favorite thing to do...but it beats the nightmare of trying to hold a stick WHILE you're peeing. Also, since they are much smaller than store bought test kits, they take up less room in your cabinet. :)


            Another added bonus of the Easy@Home Ovulation Test Kit is that you also get 20 pregnancy tests! It's pretty much one-stop shopping when it comes to getting pregnant. ha ha! But seriously, any woman who has ever been trying to get pregnant can tell you how expensive store bought pregnancy tests are and how quickly that expense can add up!
            If you're thinking about having a baby in the near future (especially if you're not sure when you ovulate!), I highly recommend this product. You can find it on Amazon for just $21.99 right now!

Disclaimer: I received this product in return for my honest opinion and review. No other compensation was received and my opinions and experiences with this product may differ from your own.