Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Update in Pictures 12/23/14

            Hey folks! It's been a little quiet on the blog lately, so I thought I would do a little update post. If you've been missing giveaways, rest assured there are some more of those on the way soon too! I needed a little breather after my own giveaway event in October. :)

I thawed my blueberries out a little more than I meant so the scones turned out a little Smurfy. Oops. At least they tasted good!

            As I'm sure many of you have, we've been doing a lot of holiday baking in the past week. I made blueberry scones (just because) last Thursday and a loaf of banana bread (also just because) and gingerbread men Sunday. I'd always been too afraid to try gingerbread because I'd always heard it was a pain in the butt, but I'm glad I finally tried some because 1) They taste freaking amazing and 2) They were not hard at all! P.s. If you're American, have never had scones, and decide to try some one day, consider adding a little extra sugar. Traditional scones are not all that sweet. Just throwing that out there. :)

Myka helped us make banana bread and gingerbread men. Not sure why she needed her snow boots on with her apron. lol Tell me she doesn't look totally ornery either!

 I had already posted about our Christmas sensory bins when I took this, but I had to share. Poor Mittens. Good thing she's pretty laid back.

 We've also been playing with dinosaurs...a LOT. I can't complain, though. Her "tub o' dinos" was a birthday present from us, so I'm just glad she likes them. I'm not sure how well you can tell on the left picture, but she has them stuck on her fingers. lol On the top right you have the "dino derby", as I was calling it and the bottom right she had stacked those all by herself and got them to stay somehow. I'm biased, but I was impressed. ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Our (short) trip to the Veterans Park here in town a few weeks ago...Aka "The many faces of Myka".

Monday, December 15, 2014

Simple Christmas Crafts w/ Young Kids

            Hey folks! Looking for easy holiday crafts that your little ones can help make? Here are a few ideas below of things we made this year!

Foam Christmas Trees

Depending on your child's age, you can have him/her help you cut out the shapes he/she will be putting on the tree. You don't have to do shapes, of course, but I thought it would be both fun and educational that way. ;) Plus, you can work on colors too! It makes a nice little decoration for the wall or window or, you could go one step further and make it into a magnet or make the shapes detachable like I did in this foam Easter egg craft.

Fluffy Snowman

This was a spur of the moment idea when I was going through my 50 billion boxes of craft supplies to make the foam tree above. I thought the cotton balls might be fun and add a little character. :) He looks a bit funny around the face especially, but that's ok. Note: If you have a toddler that doesn't like to have "icky" hands like mine, you may not want to do this one as the cotton tends to stick to fingers what with the glue and all.

Yule Log

Admittedly, I didn't really let Myka help with this one. I tried to get her to help me color the log, but she was more interested in the colored pencils themselves. Anyways, I was going to make the whole thing out of construction paper until I saw the paper bags I still have. I thought this was kind of fun because you can decorate your log as much or as little as you want, PLUS it might be a fun lesson on what the heck a Yule log is for older children.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Truly's Natural Deodorant Giveaway

Truly's Natural Deodorant Giveaway Sponsored by Truly's

Hosted by Pea of Sweetness

Co-Hosted by Deals of Sweetness

Truly's Natural Deodorant Giveaway
Truly's all natural deodorant works all day long to keep you fresh without harmful chemicals. Truly's Natural Deodorant contains only organic coconut oil, powdered sugar, baking soda, and beeswax. It is non-staining, non-stinging, fragrance free, and does not show up white on your clothing. If you do not find Truly's to be the most effective natural deodorant you have ever used, they will refund your purchase price.
Emilee at Pea of Sweetness is big fan of Truly's Natural Deodorant and loves that it's safe for the whole family. She is so glad to have found a natural deodorant that works!
Would you like to try Truly's? One winner will receive a Truly's Natural Deodorant. This giveaway begins on 12/13 and ends on 12/27 at 10:00pm (times are Central) and is open to US residents ages 18+. Winner is subject to eligibility verification and will have 48 hours to confirm before a new winner will be drawn. One winner per household, email address, or home address. If you have won this prize on another blog you are ineligible to win again. For any questions/concerns please email emilee.roberts@peaofsweetness.com (consider adding this email to your “Safe List” as winning email notification will be sent from this email.) Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.
  Disclosure: Pea of Sweetness received complimentary product(s) or service(s) in exchange for an honest review. No additional compensation was received. Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Friday, December 12, 2014

TDT: Not Your Typical Bubble Painting

            Hey folks! My poor little peapod has been sick, so I figured what better time to do a fun activity indoors? I started out with the whole mixing water with cornstarch business, but Myka wasn't that into it. When I let the goop drip off my fingers onto hers, well, let's just say there were tears and not from me. I let her wash her hands in the kitchen sink and that's when I had the "brilliant" idea of combining her two favorite things: bubbles and playing in water.
            My best friend got her a beginner set of watercolor paints for her birthday in October and we just got around to using them a few weeks ago. As it turns out, Myka liked playing in the water with the brush more than actually painting. (Figures, right? I try to look at it as, "At least she was still entertained".) She has also "helped" me do the dishes a few times lately and absolutely LOVES playing with bubbles in the bath. So, I rinsed out the goop from our activity tub, as I call it, and filled it up with warm soapy water. I got the watercolor paints out and we went about our "bubble painting".

            This is a great activity for toddlers for several reasons. First of all, I can't be the only one who has a kid that doesn't enjoy messy sensory activities. Plus, what kid doesn't like bubbles? Two, it provides an opportunity to learn colors. Three, it's good hand-eye coordination practice as well as helps develop fine motor skills. Four, even if your child decides to stick his/her hand/arm in the water, it's just soapy water and watercolors! Nothing too nasty to worry about. ;) Five, you have one less component to clean up since you can just dip the paintbrush in your water tub. Finally, this is practically a self-cleaning activity.
            What kind of painting activities do you and your children enjoy?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

TDT: Christmas Sensory Bins 2014

            Hey folks! It's that time of year again and what a great time for sensory bins too! It's hard to believe I first discovered them over a year ago and have enjoyed putting them together for Myka since then. She really likes them too because they are great for young children who are very much in the sensory stage of learning.
            You know what else is great about sensory bins? You don't have to spend and arm and a leg on items for them! This year I bought a few cheap things from the bargain area at the front of Target. (You know, where everything is under like $3, MAYBE $5 at the most?) I purchased a couple of bows with bells, a bag of red garland-type stuff, a bead kit with red, green, and white beads along with a cord, and a small Snoopy bucket.

            It wasn't until the next day, AFTER we had played with the new stuff, and I was getting last years decorations/crafts out that I realized just how much stuff I had saved from last year's sensory bin. Whoops. So, I decided to split it up into two different sensory bins. More fun and the longer she'll be occupied, right?

Here is ALL of the stuff in both bins.

A closer look at half of it. Some old strings, wrapping paper, tissue paper, garland, Snoopy bucket, things from trees. We got the latter at a storytime we went to last week...which Myka did not sit and listen to the story for.

In this corner: some scrap tulle from tutus, lots and lots of pompom balls, beads, jingle bells, bows, and the one last mini present that remains from last year. lol Btw, have I mentioned how awesome pompom balls are? There are a surprising amount of things to do with them, they are relatively cheap (depending on where you get them), and if your kid is anything like Myka, it will keep his/her attention for longer than you would expect. 

            As you can see, you don't even necessarily need to go out and buy things for sensory boxes. In typical kid fashion, most of the time "trash" is more fun to play with anyways! 

Disclaimer time!
Please use common sense when creating your own sensory bins for your children. Age and habits should be carefully considered when choosing items to use. Even between children of the same age, some items in one child's sensory bin may not be appropriate for another child. For example, I have some VERY small parts in our bins. My 2 year old has never been the kind of child that puts anything and everything in her mouth, therefore I trust her with small pieces. I am sure there are some children out there the same age as her (and older!) that should not be allowed to play with small things like beads yet. That being said, also ALWAYS supervise your child. My daughter and I play with sensory bins together when there are small parts just to be safe.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Natural Products Network

            Hey folks! It can be hard to find beauty products that aren't full of junk and harmful chemicals. Have you been looking for natural beauty products that won't compromise your green lifestyle? If so, I have a great website to share with you today!
             Natural Products Network is not only devoted to bringing you the latest and greatest natural products, from clothing to cosmetics to food, but you can also find informative and useful articles and chances to win prizes from their tv segments on their site as well! Whether you live an ultra hardcore green lifestyle or are just beginning to look into the benefits of items made with natural instead of synthetic ingredients, you'll definitely want to see for yourself what the Natural Products Network has to offer.
            If you happen to be one of those people I mentioned at the beginning of this post, you may be interested in the new Rejuva Minerals Water Resistant Mega Lash mascara. I'm sure we all know by now that traditional mascara can contain lots of nasty ingredients, some of which may be harmful to your health! Two of the things I look for first when researching new bath and body products is whether the ingredients are A) listed and B) easy to find. Needless to say, I was very happy when I saw that Rejuva Minerals met both of these "qualifications" on their mascara.
            Rejuva Minerals Water Resistant Mega Lash mascara is just one example of the awesome products you can discover and win on the Natural Products Network. So, what are you waiting for? Go discover and fall in love with some new products for yourself!

Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post, but did receive products. Regardless, all opinions are my own and may differ from your own.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Disney's "Frozen" Toddler Bed and Chair Giveaway

Everything Mommyhood has teamed up with a handful of bloggers to bring you this fabulous giveaway just in time for the Holidays! Special thanks to our co-hosts Our Piece of Earth, Bayou City Mamas, Metro Detroit Mommy, The Stuff of Success, and Found Frolicking. Sponsored by Delta Children!

Everything Mommyhood received both Disney's Frozen Upholstered Chair & Canopy Toddler Bed, make sure to check out her review! Disney's Frozen Upholstered Chair Review Disney's Frozen Canopy Toddler Bed Review

Disney's Frozen Upholstered Chair A cool chair fit for a (snow) queen, this Frozen Upholstered Chair from Delta Children will cast a stylish spell on your girl's room. Featuring colorful graphics of Anna and Elsa, this comfy chair boasts a sturdy hardwood frame and plush seat, making it the perfect place for any Frozen fan.
  • Recommended for ages 3-6
  • Holds up to 100 lbs.
  • Features a hardwood frame and padded seat
  • Assembled dimensions: 23.5"L x 17.5"W x 18.5"H
  • Wipe clean with mild soap and water
  • Meets or exceeds all safety standards set by the CPSC

Disney's Frozen Canopy Toddler Bed With fun graphics along the canopy, headboard and footboard that feature Princess Anna and Queen Elsa, your child will love the Disney Frozen Anna and Elsa Canopy Toddler Bed. Two attached sleep rails help keep your little one from falling out of bed while sleeping, and the sturdy steel frame and high-quality plastic construction are easy to assemble and provide durable support for your child. The bed meets or exceeds ASTM and CPSC safety standards.
  • Two attached guard rails provide safety as your little one sleeps
  • Colorful Frozen graphics feature Princess Anna and Queen Elsa on the canopy, headboard and footboard
  • Low to the ground design helps make the bed easy to get into and out of
  • Steel frame and high-quality plastic construction provide a sturdy and durable design
  • Fits a standard-sized crib mattress (sold separately)
  • Simple assembly
  • JPMA certified to meet or exceed ASTM and CPSC safety standards
  • Recommended use: up to 50 lbs.
  • Product dimensions: 54"L x 31"W x 29"H
Buy it: You can purchase the Frozen Upholstered Chair at Toys R Us for $69.99. You can purchase the Frozen Toddler Canopy Bed at Toys R Us for $79.99.
Make sure to follow Delta Children on Facebook!

Now for the giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a Frozen Upholstered Chair AND Frozen Toddler Canopy Bed, Retail approximately $150.00. Open to US only, 18 and up. Void where prohibited. One entrant per household/IP Address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Giveaway ends 12/20/2014 at 11:59pm CST

Disclosure: Everything Mommyhood received the items mentioned above for the posting and promotion of her review and giveaway. This blog didn’t receive any monetary compensation for the promotion of this giveaway. All opinions are 100% our own and were not influenced in any way. Everything Mommyhood and participating bloggers are not responsible for prize shipment, Delta Children is responsible for prize fulfillment/shipment. Only one entrant per household, per address may enter. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond. Failure to respond in a timely manner, a new winner will be chosen and you will forfeit your prize. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and any other social media are not affiliated with this posting or giveaway. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. If you have any questions, please email EverythingMommyhood@gmail.com.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Spreading Holiday Cheer All Throughout the Year

            Hey folks! Christmas season is well underway now. As you may have gathered if you read my posts somewhat regularly, this time of year isn't exactly my favorite. One of my bigger "beefs" with the holiday season is the whole "giving season" business. Now, before you run away thinking this is going to be one of my rants on commercialism, it's actually not. I promise you. I actually have a very good point (in my opinion, anyways) to make.
            I do like the whole idea behind "the season of giving". I think it's great that people want to and are able to get out there and help those in need in various ways. What gets me, though, is I feel like we (as humans in general) should focus on selfless giving all throughout the year, not just for a few weeks. After all, people need help year-round, not just at Christmas time.
            Maybe I just don't see it because we don't have tv any more, but where are all the commercials and other advertisements to help the needy and homeless during the rest of the year? There are still going to be people without a roof over their head in June. Kids who will still need clothes in March.
            So, while I'm not delusional and know not many people will be reading this, maybe you can help me out by sharing and passing this post along to your friends and family if you agree with me. I have a little challenge for you:
            For those of you who already volunteer or help the needy and homeless out in some way during the holiday season, I challenge you to continue to do so year round. Maybe not every week, but at least once every month or two. For those of you who don't already do something, start! There are TONS of things you can do. Don't have enough money to donate? Donating time is just as important! Not sure where to begin? Here are a few ideas to get your started:

Volunteering Opportunities
-nursing homes or senior living communities
-schools or daycares
-animal shelters
-local parks
-Girls Scouts or Boy Scouts
-teach a class at a community center
-homeless shelters/soup kitchens
-halfway houses
-residential women's safe houses

-food items
-clothing (don't forget coats, boots, etc!)
-blood and/or plasma
-old vehicles
-old, but still working appliances

            I'd love to hear your ideas and your personal volunteering/donating stories in the comments section below!
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Green Scene Mom's Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway

            Green Scene Mom's Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway features top picks for Eco-friendly and innovative Christmas gifts for moms, kids and babies! Each of these items inspire Eco-friendly lifestyles, learning, and creative expression. Check out Green Scene Mom's Gift Guides and enter to win these amazing prizes from our giveaway sponsors!

Giveaway Prizes

Buttons Cloth Diapers giveaway
Buttons Diapers - Diaper Cover, 3 Daytime Inserts & Flannel Wipes
Buttons one-size cloth diapers are soft, durable, and leak proof with double gussets around the legs. They fit babies 9-35 lbs and come in many colors and prints. The snap-in inserts are made from soft microfiber or a natural hemp/cotton blend, with a layer of soft fleece on top. Shop @ buttonsdiapers.com.
Oogaa giveaway
Oogaa - Plate, Placemat & Spoon
oogaa designs and manufactures non-toxic feeding products for kids. Their award-winning divided plates are stackable, soft, durable and easy to clean. oogaa's silicone plane and train spoons make mealtime fun, featuring molded designs that kids will love using! Shop @ oogaa.com.
Yummi Pouch giveaway
Yummi Pouch Brights
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 great for taking healthy snacks on the go. Shop @ yummipouch.com.
Artterro giveaway
Artterro - Collage Jewelry Kit
Embellish wooden pendants, beads and a bangle to create 6 gorgeous jewelry pieces, and proudly wear your own fashions! Shop @ artterro.com.
Pacific Baby giveaway
Pacific Baby - Natural Feeding Plate, Bowl & Cup - Green
Pacific Baby's all natural feeding bowl and cup is completely plastic-free and made from natural bamboo. It's strong, durable and dishwasher safe on the top rack. Made from biodegradable and compostable materials, this feeding set comes in several colors and is a stylish way to go-green at mealtime! Shop @ pacificbabyworld.com.
Austin Lloyd giveaway
Austin Lloyd - 1 Month Subscription Box
A 1 month subscription of engaging surprises from Austin Lloyd. Each box includes 3-5 toys and at least one book that are customized to the development stage of your child. Shop @ austinlloyd.com.
Preserve giveaway
Preserve - Mixing Bowl Set - Red
The Preserve Mixing Bowl set includes three nested bowls (2 qt, 3 qt, and 4 qt) made in the USA from 100% BPA free, recycled #5 plastic. Bowls are wide for comfortable mixing with an easy grip handle that aids pouring. Available in assorted colors. Shop @ preserveproducts.com.
Ubbi giveaway
Ubbi - Cloth Pail Liner
This Eco-friendly luxury liner is washable & reusable, pvc-free, waterproof, and odor resistant. Holds 7 gallons and closes with a drawstring. Shop @ ubbiworld.com.
pediped shoe giveaway
pediped Shoes - 1 pair boys or girls
Exceptional quality, unsurpassed comfort, and distinctive styling have made pediped the fastest growing children's footwear brand in the United States. pediped is sold in over 2,500 US stores and 40 countries worldwide with an offering of more than 140 designs for boys and girls. The award-winning footwear is available in EU sizes 17 to 36. Shop @ pediped.com.
MAM Holiday Pacifiers giveaway
MAM Holiday Pacifiers
MAM pacifiers are available in boy and girl holiday themed packages. Each pacifier is decorated with fun, seasonal designs and will help keep your little one calm during the year's most joyous festivities. These pacifiers feature an anti-slip silicone nipple and curved shield with multiple small openings to allow air to circulate and baby's skin to breathe. Shop @ shopmambaby.com.
Wobabybasics giveaway
Wobabybasics Swaddle Me Blanket & Sweet Dreams Nursing Gown
Whether it is for swaddling, cuddling, warming or playing, this soft blanket will be a perfect companion for your little one. The unique hook and loop strap allows you to secure a pacifier, toy or to transform the blanket into a cozy cape. Mothers will appreciate the convenience of the simple yet stylish, pull-down nursing gown. Wobabybasics provides easy-to-wear, comfortable and practical organic cotton essentials for children up to 8 years old. As the healthiest option for babies and the planet, only GOTS certified organic cotton textiles and chemical free dyes are used. Shop @ wobabybasics.bigcartel.com.
Wishy Life Buddies giveaway
Wishy Life Buddies - Interactive Book Set
Children bring their 'Buddy' to life by naming him and sprinkling him with Wishy Dust. The book includes a 'Buddy', Wishy Stem, Wishy Dust and seven empty eggs that can be filled with stickers, treats and small gifts. Shop @ wishylife.com.
Wristy Buddy giveaway
Wristy Buddy - Teething Wristband
Wristy Buddy is designed for babies who haven't developed the motor skills to hold traditional teething objects. It is made of absorbent and non-toxic materials to help keep little faces and clothing dry. Shop @ wristybuddy.com.
Bert&Bratt giveaway
Bert&Bratt pure-Go Portable UV Sterilizer
Pure-GO by Bert&Bratt is a Portable UV Sterilizer for pacifiers, bottle nipples, small teethers/sippy cup tops. NO heat, water or chemicals required. Just push a button to eliminate up to 99.9% of harmful germs in 4 minutes. This small/light sterilizer is perfect for travel and easily fits in your purse or diaper bag. No more hassles to try to find soap and water or do the "drop and pop". Just grab a Bert&Bratt sterilizer to conveniently help keep your baby healthy. Shop @ bertandbratt.com.

Enter to win this Amazing Prize Set!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to United States entries who have a US mailing address.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Seasonal Affective Disorder: Fighting the Winter "Blahs"

            For most (and according to that catchy holiday tune), it's the most wonderful time of year. However, for an estimated 10 million Americans it can feel like quite the opposite this time of year. If you tend to get a bit down in the dumps during the colder months, it may not be just stress over the holidays.
            By now I'm sure many of you have heard of seasonal affective disorder. (Or SAD for short. Appropriate, eh?) For most sufferers in the northern hemisphere it begins in late fall when days are getting "shorter" and there is not as much daylight time and generally lasts until spring or early summer.
            SAD is a subtype of major depression and as such has similar symptoms. People who suffer from it may feel lethargic, don't take enjoyment in things they normally would, withdraw from friends and family, become irritable, have trouble sleeping, experience weight gain, and the list goes on.
            There is no official medical test for determining whether someone has seasonal affective disorder. However, your doctor will ask you plenty of questions (and possibly do tests) to determine whether there may be an underlying medical cause for your depression. He/she will also more than likely ask you if you have experienced your SAD symptoms in past years.
            As with major depression, antidepressant medications and, sometimes, psychotherapy (talk therapy) are two of the main treatments used for seasonal affective disorder. Popular medications used are Wellbutrin and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Prozac. As with most medications nowadays, the side effects of these can be just as bad as the symptoms they are meant to treat! Phototherapy is another treatment option that involves sitting in front of a light box for a specified amount of time each day.
            It wasn't until the past year or two that I realized that I probably have SAD. I have a history of depression as well as family members who do as well. I have gotten the "blahs" around this same time every year since my early 20's. I always just thought it was because I'm not as into Christmas as everyone else around me seems to be, but now it all makes sense! (By the way, women and young adults are drastically more likely to suffer from SAD. Also, not surprisingly, the percentage of SAD sufferers correlates to geographic region: the farther away from the equator you are, the higher the rate of people with seasonal affective disorder.)
            As with most non-life threatening medical conditions, I like to take things into my own hands before I absolutely feel the need to resort to a doctor. Yes, I'm stubborn and yes, I hate taking medication. So, with my recent moodiness onset, I decided to look up natural ways to ease SAD symptoms:
-get outside as much as possible during the day (That's kind of a no-brainer, right?!)
-exercise and eat healthy meals
-open curtains/blinds to let more light in and sit close to windows when possible
-St.John's Wort extract
-essential oils, such as lavender, chamomile, and jasmine, as well as citrus ones
-vitamin D3

            Personally, I have already started taking some D3 and have not been nearly as grouchy as I was just a week ago or so. It may be the placebo effect for all I know, but who cares as long as it works, right? I really need to break out the essential oils too. Not like we don't have plenty of those laying around!
            What would you try or have you tried if you have seasonal effective disorder?

Disclaimer time!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, nor should my opinions or suggestions above be taken as medical advice. I am not responsible for any harm that may come from the opinions and information in this article. Do not substitute the above information for advice from a licensed medical practitioner. I would also like to note that my symptoms are not severe, comparatively. If I were having suicidal thoughts, causing bodily harm to myself, etc. I would definitely make a doctor visit as you should as well as soon as possible if you are experiencing similar symptoms. 

Herbal Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder 
Alternative Mental Health
7 Tips & Home Remedies for Coping with SAD - HealthCommunities.com
Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) -- Diagnosis and Treatment
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) Treatments and drugs - Diseases and Conditions - Mayo Clinic
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) | Mental Health America
Seasonal Affective Disorder | Psychology Today
Seasonal Affective Disorder: Learn Symptoms and Treatment
Seasonal Affective Disorder

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

MBM's Best Of: Review Products

            Hey folks! Have you ever wondered when reading a blogger's product review if they really liked the product or if they were just writing good things about it because they (more than likely) received the product in question for free? If so, you're not alone. I'm not a hardcore review/giveaway blogger by any means (which I'm sure you've noticed!), but I've done my fair share. Even if I end up not liking an item or it just plain and simple doesn't work for our family, I still like to be honest about it. (In a polite manner, of course.)
            So, what does all of this have to do with today's post? Well, I thought it would be fun to share with you what products I have reviewed since I started blogging that I still use, have gotten the most use out of, and still love! I've been meaning to do a post like this for awhile and what better time of year, right?

1) Ozeri Instavac Food Storage Set
These things are amazing! I won't go into details since you can read the review for yourself by following the link above, but I still use these all the time. Not just for leftovers, either. Just last night John had the bright idea to use one of the bigger sizes as a muffin container. I've also used them as mixing bowls when I didn't feel like dirtying up one of our big ones.

2) Lullaby Light Cube
I have to admit that I can't write about this without having a little smirk on my face. I recently had a comment on my review of this product on Amazon from a fellow user (reading between the lines: troll). His (I'm assuming) or her comment was short and to the point: Sounds like you work for the company. I sent a nice little message back to him stating that I didn't, but I did receive the product for review and regardless, my daughter still loves it after over a year of using it.

In this instance, "loves" is quite possibly an understatement. She requests it every night and everyday at naptime. "Moon? Moon? Moon?" The Lullaby Light Cube is fantastic. No sarcasm for once.

3) Woolzies Dryer Balls & ReusaWool Dryer Balls

Both sets of my dryer balls permanently reside in my dryer. I have to say that I did notice a difference sometimes on certain loads of laundry when we were living with my parents and didn't use our dryer balls. Not surprisingly, it took towels and heavy things like blankets longer to dry. I also like them because they don't have yucky chemicals in them!

Honorable Mentions

Pink Lemonade Shop Cloth Pads

I have to admit I still use tampons most of the time during my period...But to be fair, I only have two pads from PLS that are actually, well, pad sized. All the rest are pantyliners. If you are thinking about trying cloth pads, definitely be sure to check out Pink Lemonade Shop! They have super soft fabrics and fun designs...for what it's worth. :D

Dustpan & Whisk Broom from For Small Hands

 I know I just posted my review for this about a month ago, but we've actually been using it for a few months now. Not only does Myka enjoy using it to "help" clean up messes, it comes in handy for me as well if there is a mess that's not worth getting the broom for!

Monday, November 24, 2014

TDT: Learning w/Simple Toys & Household Chores

            Hey folks! It's been a VERY long time since I've done a post specifically for Toddler Discovery Time! Compared to what we have been doing the past few months (in a nutshell, moving a lot, if you haven't read) I would have much rather have been working on fun posts like these and doing more crafty things with Myka! Anyways, onto today's topic...
            I've been thinking a lot lately about how many parents seem to think their children need complicated toys to keep them entertained or "kid activities" (for lack of a better way to put it) for them to learn. Looking at our society as a whole and certain commercials on tv, it's easy to see why a lot of parents think this way. However, there is much to be learned from simple toys (or even "non-toy toys"!) and everyday activities around the house. 

            As I've mentioned before, I am really interested in the Montessori educational philosophy (and a growing interest in Waldorf education, as well). The activity pictured above is one I've seen many variations of around Pinterest and the internet in general when looking up Montessori based activities for young children. I've been meaning to get the "materials" for this for awhile now and just recently got around to it. (I know. Who doesn't have ice cube trays? Technically I do, but they're used for other crafty stuff at the moment.) I got the ice cube trays in a set of 3 and the tongs for cheap at the Dollar General store.
            Myka really enjoyed doing this activity because she has always had rather good fine motor control for her age. I was worried about her getting frustrated with the small size of the holes, but she did fine. You can do all sorts of variations on this, using just about anything you can think of to sort. I've seen people have their older preschoolers use tweezers instead of tongs. Also once they are older, you can ask you child to sort their items according to color, size, number, etc. No matter what age, this is a great activity for working on attention span/concentration, hand-eye coordination, fine motor control, etc.
            Myka has also enjoyed helping me out with household chores for as long as she's been able to, which until recently was mostly laundry and sweeping. I'm not sure how it got started, but several months ago she started wanting to throw trash away. (She has actually thrown a fit on several occasions if it's something we don't want her touching, therefore us not letting her do it. O.o)
            In typical little kid fashion, she started getting whiny when John and I were baking something a few weeks ago because she wanted to do what we were doing. He actually gave in before I did (have I mentioned I'm a little OCD about messes?!) and let her have her own bowl of flour and a spoon to play with. She LOVED it. I got a wild hair up my butt today and let her "help" me wash dishes for the first time. She thought that was pretty cool too, especially since she's obsessed with bubbles, thanks to my mom. And to be honest, it actually made washing dishes a lot more enjoyable. (Probably because she behaved and washing dishes is one of my least favorite things to do, but I'll take it. ;) )
            Besides the fact that kids enjoy doing what adults do, letting them help out with chores at an early age promotes responsibility, self-esteem, accountability, feeling more involved with family, and the list goes on. Plus, it can be just plain fun sometimes letting your little ones help with otherwise mundane chores that need done. (Did I mention I really hate washing dishes?)
            What chores do you let your little ones help out with?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Easy Peasy Tuna Casserole

            Hey folks! It's not really a secret that I'm not a huge fan of cooking. It's never been my favorite and I have poor time management skills in the kitchen. Needless to say, I'm all about easy recipes. Tuna casserole is one of my (and John and Myka's!) favorites. If you're looking for something easy tonight, give this a try!

What You'll Need:
-small can of tuna of your choice
-egg noodles (regular sized bag)
-shredded cheddar cheese
-2-3 cans (normal size) cream of mushroom soup
-1 (regular sized) can of corn
-potato chips or crackers (optional)

1) In a large pot, boil enough water for your noodles and peas. I use half the bag of egg noodles and probably 1/2-1 cup of peas. (Not gonna lie. I eyeball a lot of stuff on this recipe.)
2) Once your water is close to boiling, add your peas. Once it is fully boiling, add your noodles. (This is only if you are using FROZEN peas, so they have a little more time to thaw and cook.)
3) Once your noodles and peas are finished cooking, drain the water and add them back to the pot. Add your cans of soup, corn (we use a regular sized can, which is probably still a little much for some people, but it really adds flavor!), and tuna. I also suggest adding a little of the cheese in at this time too. Mix together well.
4) I don't think it really matters what kind of pan you use, but I suggest a medium-sized rectangular casserole dish. Pour your mixture into the dish. Add some extra cheese on top (up to you how much cheese you like) and crumble some plain potato chips or Saltine or Ritz crackers on top if you like.
5) Bake in oven at 350 F for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melty.

(In case you're wondering why in the picture I made mine in a cake pan, we currently do not have an oven that works, so I used a cake pan to make mine in our toaster oven!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Baby Munchkin Boutique Giveaway


Giveaway Hosted by: Tales From A Southern Mom and Mommy by Nurture Sponsored by: Baby Munchkin Boutique    

There are just so many adorable things. She has nursing covers, blankets, headbands, hats, car seat covers and ties for little boys. It seems that everyone buys new babies the same things sometimes, some onesies, some socks, maybe a bib or two, but it is always nice to find something that is special. Jamie from Baby Munchkin Boutique makes all of these things by hand and she even does special orders, so if you need something custom to match a nursery she is the shop to stop at.  


The Baby Munchkin Boutique is a definite stop on your holiday list, if you have little ones to buy for. Boy or girl, she has very cute and very reasonably priced handmade gifts that you don’t have time to hand make yourself. Jamie is sponsoring a giveaway for a Winter Wonderland package with your choice of blanket and hat. Enter below, Good Luck and Happy Holidays!

This blog did not receive any compensation for this giveaway. Sponsor is responsible for shipment of prize to the winner. This giveaway is no way sponsored, endorsed by, affiliated with, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google or any other social media platform. If you have any questions or would like to see your product featured please email Julie at julie.talesfromasouthernmom@gmail.com

KidOFit Shoes Giveaway


Giveaway Hosted by: Tales From A Southern Mom and Mommy by Nurture Sponsored by: KidOFit  

These are great shoes and the KidOFit website has so much information on what is good for kids feet, not to mention a vast selection of shoes for your kids from sizes 4-12. They would make a great gift for any kid. If you have shoes on your list for the kids you are buying for you will want to check out these shoes, they are incredible!


A perfect gift for kids, these shoes are fashionable and very good for their feet and growing bodies. It is a bonus that you can see their toes on the bottom and know when they are too small or large or if they are still fitting well. You can win your very own pair of shoes of your choice from KidOFit! Enter below, Good Luck and Happy Holidays!

This blog did not receive any compensation for this giveaway. Sponsor is responsible for shipment of prize to the winner. This giveaway is no way sponsored, endorsed by, affiliated with, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google or any other social media platform. If you have any questions or would like to see your product featured please email Julie at julie.talesfromasouthernmom@gmail.com

Monday, November 17, 2014

Our Thanksgiving Unit

            Hey folks! It's hard to believe that it's almost time for Thanksgiving already for those of us here in the U.S. Now that we're all settled in our new place, I've been trying to get back into our learning activities. We stopped on the letter C...at least a couple of months ago. lol So, I thought we would start out again with some fun Thanksgiving themed things.

            Now don't get me wrong. I don't actually expect Myka to be able to "do" some of this stuff "the right way". It's best suited for preschoolers. To be honest, I mostly did the printables because I've had a bad case of the lazies recently and figured it was better than nothing...Plus, since I decided to laminate them, we'll be able to use them for the next few years. Moving on...
            I got the cute puzzles, counting, and tracing sheets from Learning 2 Walk. She has both a general Thanksgiving themed printable pack and a turkey one. I've been using our pumpkins from the fall sensory bin to use as "dobbers" of sorts on the counting sheets to physically represent the numbers. Oddly enough, Myka is a lot more into counting than she is the alphabet.
            I also came across some cute Thanksgiving poems when searching for Thanksgiving stories for toddlers online. I like that they rhyme and some of them are to the tunes of well-known songs/rhymes (i.e. Frere Jacques) You can find the THANKS poem in the top right picture HERE and the list of poems on the left HERE.
            John and I visited the book store last weekend so I could find a new Thanksgiving book for Myka and a book to take to my friend's daughter's birthday party this weekend. I was actually really impressed with their selection of Thanksgiving books, plus they had their own display, making them easy to find. Their children's section is laid out WAY better than the book store we used to go to in Arkansas. Anyways, I chose The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing. Yes, it is like The Night Before Christmas and it actually made me literally lol a few times. Definitely worth checking out.

            We finally finished making a paper plate turkey I had started last year. It actually turned out to be kind of convenient because I already had the body painted and glued together. :D Myka loves using the glue stick, so I let her help glue things on, she placed a few of the feathers and the face pieces, and helped me ruffle the feathers up. The turkey looks a bit scared, don't you think? I would be too if I were a turkey this time of year. ;)
            What sort of fun Thanksgiving themed activities have you been doing with your little ones this week?