Disclosure: As a member of the USFamily Guide I was given the opportunity to try out the Squishy Mat and give my honest opinion.
So baby fever has hit full force in my home, despite us already having 3 kids combined they are all in school so my nest is empty-ish. That being said it's very unlikely we shall be adding another kid to our blended family however that just means I will have to get my baby fix through my sisters! Luckily for me, my sister is due in a few months and I will get to shower my niece or nephew with lovely gifts. The Squishy Mat that I received for review will be absolutely perfect for him or her. Where were these mats when my little ones were actually little. I say that but I already see them eyeing it for playing video games on and honestly they may end up stealing it before it makes it's way to my sisters babyshower.
Okay so now that you got to read about my fever and love the Squishy Mat maybe I should spend a bit of time explaining why I love it and why it's so awesome. Firstly, you can see the beautiful smokey grey color with soft luxurious ribbed fabric on the outside. Although my pictures never give the color the proper service, it's a flat grey that is totally in fashion. The 3x3 mat folds up and wraps closed using the handles to make it the perfect to go play mat, so that you can ensure your little one has a good place to lay, play or sleep when your out of your home or even when your in it. The inside is a super soft cream colored micro-flannel that feels amazing under my hands. And as if its not enough to be non-slip and super soft it's also memory foam lined. Definitely perfect for any little aborable baby to crawl on.
As I was looking up on their website trying to figure out the name of the fabric, which I am still wondering which one they are talking about as it's just this super soft almost fluffy fabric. I noticed that it's not just for our human babies but is a great option for our fur babies too!! This is extra exciting for me since my birthday is bringing a new furry addition. Now the debate begins save the Squishy Mat for my sister, my bigger kiddos or for our fur baby. Oh man how will I decide?
With the deal available right now for 15% off with the promo code: USFAMILY on all sizes I can make it easier on myself and just order a few of them.
This post was brought to you in part from the Real Milk Paint, and contains affiliated links.
So I have been looking for activites that would help Lily my daughter and I bond. She has always been much closer with her dad, they have a similar sensitive artistic nature, which I tend to be signifcantly more analytical. So I took on the task of getting a bit more DIY with her this weekend. We took a desk my fiance had in his storage unit that was pretty much hideous and with the help of the Real Milk Paint in the color Spearmint we updated it to be a little more her style. We added new knobs and contact papered the inside of each draw for a full update. I was excited to be able to do this entire project with her minus a few hardware steps which my lovely fiance took care of for us.
Being that I am so new at anything "Do it Yourself" and Lily is the ripe old age of 7 there was a bit of a learning curve for chalk paint application. The Real Milk Paint came in powdered form with 1:1 ratio of powder to water for 21.99. It required 5 mins of shaking and 10-15 min of waiting for it to set up. To cover the read and black it took two coats which I pretty much expected and the 1 quart size more than covered it. I am glad however that I did get a full quart as smaller than that wouldn't have been enough to get two even coats. One of the qualities of Milk Paint that made it perfect for this experiement in parenting is it's low toxicity. It's very important to me that it's safe for Lily to help with and this is definitely safe for her to paint alongside me. The application of a chalk paint is definitely different than I had ever experienced, you can definitely see every single stroke of the paint until it dries, so Lily and I had to be sure our coverage was good and smooth. As it dried however it meant less and overed great.
The knobs I got to replace the plain silver were these unique diamond looking knobs. I ended up ordering them on Amazon at 10 pieces for 7.99 so I still have 6 which I plan to use on another project with her later. I found the contact paper at the Dollar Tree so it was a steal to say the least.
Overall, I am pretty happy with the results on her desk update. She has mentioned she would like to add some gold sponge paint to it in the future. I also added a vintage looking mirror above it so when I move it into her room so as she gets older she can treat it more so as a vanity. I'd like to thank the Real Milk paint for providing a quart of Spearmint for Lily and I to make our project happen in a creative and safe way.
If you are ready to start your own DIY project or want to do a bonding project with your child head to your local flea market, thrift store or even check out your storage unit to get an item that is in need of some new life..
See us on Pinterest to see more of Lily's hard work!
Being a maven of saving you as my readers are very aware of my love of a great deal, however I am also extremely into quality. Having both a high quality and cost efficient product and being an experienced mom I am working with WellBeginnings diapers to share a bit about them with you my readers.
I'm sure it's cliché at this point to say time moves faster once you have kids, but I can honestly say it does feel that way. When I was little all I thought about was how long it took me to get to the next milestone. It felt like it took forever to be able to be a big girl and go to start school, then camp, then drive and finally become an adult. My parent's have always told me for them it wasn't long enough for them, it was more like they went to sleep, woke up and I was all grown up. I honestly didn't understand until I was a mother.
Photo credit: Green Vintage Photography
I remember my first moments with Lily and my first with Luke, they were so very tiny both under 7lbs and in these tiny little diapers. Their little old man looking faces and super soft skin. I remember what felt like a never ending cycle of feed and change their diapers, but for me looking back it actually seems like a privilege to have been so needed by two of the most important people in my life.
Recently, she was introduced to WellBeginnings diapers an exclusive brand available at Walgreens that is definitely helping to elevate some stresses. Especially the financial stress, because all parents know that a major expense with babies is diapers. WellBeginnings diapers with spectacular 12 hour leak protection allow her to get more sleep than she did the first time. Which if that alone isn't a magical thing than I don't know what is. As well as gives Tristan a dryer night's sleep to leave him more rested for the days activities. The Wellbeginnings diapers stretch with strong but soft waist that allow Tristan to wiggle to his hearts content and Jen to relax with less dreaded blow outs or leaks. Especially as this little slugger starts the beginning of the belly scoots stage. She can spend more time playing with Tristan and less time changing him, washing clothes soiled clothes that he leaked through or working to pay for high priced diapers. The last is especially important as she can start to save more for his future by spending less on the diapers and wipes that literally go into the trash all this without compromising on his comfort or her own ease of use. At the everyday low price of 6.99 a pack, WellBeginnings definitely doesn't break the bank and provide everything the name brands offer.
If you would like to hear more about the products offered at Walgreens by WellBeginnings head into your local Walgreens or click here to learn more. And just to make sure you are left smiling as well honestly how can an adorable baby in a diaper not make you smile I thought I'd share just one more pic of him as he is shocked to hear how much his mom is saving on these new diapers.
Photo credit: Green Vintage Photography
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of WellBeginnings
So far in my daughters 7 years of life there have been two incidents of the forgetful tooth fairy parent. Once at her dad's this summer which didn't really surprise me as he tends to forget things and now at my house. I typically pride myself on being on top of things like the Tooth Fairy so this #momfail definitely burns a bit.
I personally believe that there are so few years of things being magical in our lives in general that as long as I can I will stretch out the Easter Bunny, Tooth fairy and Santa. My children are however very smart, inquisitive and have probably already figured it out that I am all of those things. At 5 and 7 they don't however pretend to go along with it all. My son at 5 is still a bit more convinced and any little magical thing that happens gives him this glorious look of wonder. My daughter whom I failed this morning however is less convinced. That being said since I did so epically fail on the tooth fairy front this morning I was forced to go above and beyond. Hence the tiny little envelope below.
Below is my version of a tooth fairy apology letter stating that she was predisposed yesterday and failed to retrieve the tooth before morning. I used a key as comparison but you can see the fairy envelope is a little bigger than a key and hopefully will be something she treasures. This little bit of effort (10-15 minutes) will at very least show her how loved she is even if the magic isn't as strong.
Have you ever #momfailed? If so share your story below I would love to hear how you talked your way out of it or how you had the "talk" with the older sibling in order to keep the magic alive for the younger.
Right now I am going through the process of switching from standard PG&E grid based power to solar through Vivint Solar. To be honest I do want to reduce my families carbon foot print and solar is a great way to do that, however this is mainly a financial change for us. PG&E is our only energy provider so they don't exactly have to compete and they definitely take advantage of that. We have had ever increasing cost increases per kilowatt hour every few months for a few years now. With another cost increase hitting us on the first of this year. So when the Vivint Sales person came a knocking offering a flat rate with no tiers that is 3 cents cheaper than the lowest tier I thought to myself now this is a great option.
So this is what I have done thus far and what I know about the process itself. I have allowed them to run a credit check on me to make sure I am an eligible homeowner. They have a minimum credit score because like a 20 year loan they are loaning you several thousands in equipment and labor to install in order to make sure you as a homeowner have a good track record for paying. So once you pass the minimum which is I think about 660, but I am sure it depends. Then they do the site survey. Today I had a Vivint employee who was super nice checking in my crawl space taking measurements as well as checking my panel etc. Overall, I would say it was a simple experience.
I will update further with the progress as it occurs.... next step wait for the design
So my goal of 2016 is to get into the best shape of my life. I hit 30 a couple of years ago, two kids, bought a house, have been through a divorce and fell back in love. I have done quite a bit over the last few years, but one thing I haven't done is put the focus on my own health. Over the last year, I managed to get myself down to obese rather than morbidly however it's really not where I want to be. I want to be physically fit enough to stay active with my kids and keep up with them when in all their energetic adventures. So I have restarted my favorite physical activity to date... Yoga. I however am still in the warming back up phase and started with a two week Yoga Shred from doyouyoga.com. My online instructor, Sadie Nardini is a seemingly rocker chick with a mohawk who whips me into shape. I am working on day two right now and will continue to blog about my progress if your interested in joining me head over to Youtube or doyouyoga.com to participate. I'd love to share my pain with someone. Leave comments below or message me on facebook about your experiences!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.
Have you ever been standing under a shower that had literally no pressure because the head is defunct? Or tried to wash you hair with a shower head that dizzles out? That is currently my life, I recently moved into an apartment with by and far the worst shower head in all history. Okay, it's probably not the worst but it definitely is ranking high in the world's worst. I know it's not a pressure issue due to lack of water because the bathroom faucet and the bathtub spicket are extremely high powered.
So the only conclusion I can reach is that it's the head. In attempts to unscrew and figure out why it was so bad, I figured out that whomever lived in my apartment prior to me had attached a flow restriction device to save water. With the current drought that California has been facing over the last few years I can completely understand why they would do so however, I can't stand it. I have impossibly thick hair and it's hard to clear out all the shampoo with a weak flow. So I took off the flow restriction device and figured since I am going to have decent flow now I might as well start shopping around for a new shower head that I can attach to it.
In my search thus far I have been looking into massaging shower heads as I figure this momma is going to spoil herself. I was looking into several multi-mode models. I am thinking I need something at least about 4 inches as my shower is small, but I am a tall girl and want it to fit around the crown of my head for a firm scrubbing stream. I also want to be able to alter it to firm massage when I am sore or washing my hair and soft for when the kiddos are in the shower. They prefer it to rain down on them.
So far I have found a couple I am leaning toward and in the near future I will be relaxing in my steady stream shower.
Coconut Chicken Recipe:
This same recipe can be done either with chicken or shrimp for our house, we are chicken people so we went with the chicken. Here is what you will need recipe is for 1 lb of chicken:
When preparing this recipe modify to add spice or to make them more savory than they are sweet.
Orange Marmalade Dipping sauce:
Coconut Chicken Strips:
Disclosure: I received 4 free packages of Frosting in order conduct a review, it did not however change my opinion on the product.
I was recently given the opportunity to try out the Velvety Vanilla Frosting from the Frosting Queens. The Frosting Queens offer four varieties of All-Natural Frostings made with real butter including Velvety Vanilla butter cream which I used for this recipe!
The Velvety Vanilla butter cream contains Pure Cane Sugar (some cornstarch), Salted Sweet cream butter, pure vanilla extract, soy lecithin, Grade A Milk, Cream and Tocopherols (a natural antioxidant. This being said I found a way to incorporate it into the Lemon Brownies substituting many of the traditional ingredients to make an easy four ingredient recipe that is super yummy!
What you will need to make the yummy lemon brownies of your own:
So trying to match the car seat to the kiddo with rules in constant flux is definitely not an easy task. So now the people over at safercar.gov offer this cool tool. I thought I'd share with you! I know I'd like to keep my little bugs safe in the car.
Head over to http://www.safercar.gov/parents/Car-Seat-Finder.html and try it out for yourself!