Monday, February 27, 2012

Perrigo Nutritionals Infant Formula Prize Pack Giveaway!

As you all know I am a breast-feeding mama. I breastfed my oldest until he was around 17 months old. (He had a lot of difficulty weaning), and I am getting ready to wean my youngest son who turns one year old next week. I love the bond from breastfeeding, and I love knowing that I can supply my children with all they need. But when we are out and about I have difficulty breastfeeding. Our errand days are always hectic, and because we are involved in a lot of activities outside of the home it isn’t always easy to breastfeed. Especially when a trip to Walmart can sometimes take us 2 hours! So we buy formula to supplement. The problem with this is my youngest has a BIG appetite! He always has. He was over 10lbs when he was born. He is always hungry, and so far he hasn’t taken to well to whole milk. The only thing we can get him to drink right now is breast milk and formula. He of course eats some regular food, but when it boils down to it he just wants his milk! LOL. Sometimes it’s hard for me to pump breast-milk. I have always had trouble with this and it just tears me up. I can’t hardly do it.
Both of my sons have sensitive stomachs, with my first son we would spend a fortune on formula. I would supplement him while I had to be away at class and such. (at the time I was taking college classes still).
I have always been reluctant to buy store brand formula. As mothers we all want the best for our children no matter what the cost. When I first looked in the formula isle I felt so overwhelmed that I just mainly paid attention to the name brands.. I didn’t even want to look at the others, this was my baby and he deserved the best. What if the store brands weren’t as good as the name brands? But what we often don’t realize is ALL infant formulas made in the U.S. must provide complete nutrition for growing babies and meet FDA requirements for safety, nutrition, and quality. The store brands are nutritionally equal to national formula brands and yet cost HALF the price. Studies show that this can roughly save you around $600 a year!
I use other store brand items such as baby soaps, sometimes baby diapers, I always use store brand wipes, not to even mention the tons of other store brands we use regularly such as foods, products, etc., so why not do a bit more research on the store brand formula? I was pleased with what I found out.
 
Outlined below are intriguing statistics generated from a recent study* conducted among new moms like yourself:



*Baby-related advertisements strike an emotional chord with moms – nearly one in four feel overwhelmed (23%) and one in five feel anxious (20%) or confused (20%)
*53% of moms admit thoughts of their baby product budget plague them on a daily basis
*37% of moms feel guilty if they cannot afford a specific product for their babies
*Moms are willing to purchase store brand over the counter medicine for their baby (42%) and store brand pharmaceuticals (44%), but only 21% of moms are willing to buy store brand infant formula.

Perrigo Nutritionals store brand infant formulas, available at retailers, such as Walmart (Parent’s Choice), Target (Up & Up), Kroger (Comforts) and Sam’s Club (Simply Right), adhere to the highest quality standards, so you can feel confident that you have made a smart choice for your baby and save money for the family.
*All results are taken from the Perrigo Nutritionals “Brand” New Mom Study


Needless to say my little Levi took very well to the store brands, and as he is a picky eater at times this came as a relief. With two small boys I am always eager to save money here and there. lol


Here’s a little video from one of the country’s leading pediatricians, Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg:  


To get more info visit: http://www.storebrandformula.com/


One lucky reader has the chance to win a Perrigo Nutritionals Infant Formula Prize Pack which includes:





*Perrigo Nutritionals Store Brand Formula
*8oz. Baby Bottle
*Fleece Baby Blanket
*Baby Bib


 
Disclosure: Prize pack, information, and giveaway have been provided by Perrigo Nutritionals through MyBlogSpark. All opinions expressed however on my personal thoughts and experiences are solely my own.
 


Sunday, February 26, 2012

H.B. Wigglebottom Review/Giveaway -Telling The Truth

Lying is fairly common among children. They tend to tell fibs for various reasons. It could be anything from needing extra attention, jealousy over someone else, fear of getting in trouble, etc. Whatever the reasons are we can't ignore the fact that lying is wrong. It's our job as parents in this ever changing world to teach our children the values of always telling the truth. It's especially important to find time to connect with our children and have family discussions on such things as telling the truth and many other issues as well. I urge family discussions throughout our children's lives. This keeps us rooted in our children's lives, and makes it easier for them to come to us when they have a problem.

I have blogged before about the Howard B. Wigglebottom series, and the We Do Listen Foundation. Recently we have checked out their animated books and one of them is:
Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Monkey on His Back: A Tale About Telling the Truth

Howard B. Wigglebottom animated books and songs are free at http://www.wedolisten.org/.  Hardcover copies of the books retail for $15 and can be purchased most everywhere books are sold in the U.S. and Canada. They are currently on sale on the website for $6 each or $50 for a set of all ten books (US only).

Howard finds himself in various situations. Unsure of the best way to handle these situations he starts telling lies believing this will better benefit everyone. Ignoring the little voice inside his head one lie turns into more, and before he knows it he feels as if he is carrying a monkey around on his back all the time. It weighs him down and he feels worse and worse about himself. When he can't take anymore of feeling bad he decides to tell the truth. Terrified at first he begins to feel better each time he admits to one of his lies and the reasons behind them. Before he knows it he feels so happy and the monkey on his back disappears! He feels so much better about himself, and learns a valuable lesson about telling the truth.
This book does a good job of showing children why it's better to tell the truth. This animated version seems almost as if it's a cartoon. All the characters have voices, and they move. There's sounds and music in the animated version which makes it all that more fun and intriguing for children. The narrator does a good job of keeping the children intrigued and taking on all the right tones the sections in the book calls for. It just flows so easily and smoothly with no lags. Plus it's FREE to view the animated version of the book. There are more HBW Animated Books as well you can view for free.


The We Do Listen Non Profit Foundation is a group of writers, artists, designers, educators, therapists, parents, caregivers and teachers who share a vision of a kinder world with more harmony and peace and a better life for everyone to enjoy. Their books, animated books, songs, posters and lessons/discussion questions are intended to empower young children to deal with important life lessons like being a better listener, bullying, anger management, moderation, truth, divorce, peer pressure, belonging, generosity, sportsmanship, attention and feeling good about themselves. 

There is a song that goes along with this book called Telling The Truth Is Cool. Most children just LOVE music, and I love the fact that there are sing-a-long songs available on their website.
This song is really catchy and fun for children. It has a modern beat and sound to it as well. The beat of the song makes it really easy to dance to for children. I love how it flows so easily and incorporates rhymes to make the song that much more catchy. My son couldn't help but to dance along to it. It urges dancing in the song, and for a children's song this is a huge plus. Kids love interactive things whether it be a book, song, cartoon, activity, etc. And speaking of dancing there's a verse in the song that goes: "Wiggle to the top...Wiggle to the side...Howard Wigglebottom never tells a lie". It was so much fun dancing along with my son to this song, and after hearing it only a couple of times he was singing most of it on his own. Since it's so catchy and easy to remember it will help that much more remind my son of the lesson of telling the truth.

Here lately we have had some trouble with Lucas telling fibs. He is four years old and he knows not to lie. However sometimes he slips, and I find myself wondering the best way to handle the situation. One of the most recent episodes was a bathroom incident. Lucas had to use the potty to pee. He runs out of the restroom and tells me that Levi peed all over the floor and the toilet seat. Since Levi was down for a nap in his bed I knew this wasn't the case. I sat Lucas on my lap and told him that Levi was taking a nap so he couldn't have been the one to do it. If Levi didn't do it who did? Lucas looked at the floor and didn't say anything. Then I said: "It's okay if you had an accident, we all have accidents and you can tell me. I won't be mad" in which he responded: "Well, I did have an accident but I wanted you to be proud"
This just absolutely broke my heart because I am always proud of my boys. The fact that he uses the potty in the first place makes me more than happy. I told him this, and said that going to the bathroom on his own makes me proud all the time. I told him sometimes we just have accidents and can't help it but the fact that we tried is enough to make anyone proud. I asked him if he felt better about telling me the truth, and he said yes. Then I cleaned up the bathroom and he was as happy as could be. I'm sure he will tell more fibs in the future, it's something every child faces. It's also something us parents have to be prepared to address.
Has your child told you a lie or tried to hide something from you?
How did you handle it?
Do you have family discussions with your children on always telling the truth?
Feel free to leave any comments, experiences, or suggestions on parents addressing these issues. I would love to hear from you and I'm sure others would as well! :)

I am also pleased to announce that I will be doing another Howard B. Wigglebottom giveaway! If you haven't already checked out the Howard B. Wigglebottom books I urge you to head on over to their website. There are songs, interactive games, animated books, hardcover book selections, lessons/posters, etc,. Howard B. Wigglebottom is created by the We Do Listen Foundation (a non profit organization) which encourages children to feel good about themselves. It's mainly directed at children ages 4-8. It truly is a fantastic resource for parents and children. Entering is simple and easy, mainly the same thing as before but I will have some extra entry options for those interested. :)
*If you have previously won a Howard B. Wigglebottom book please refrain from entering in order to give others a chance to win. Thank you!

Sincerely,
Tori


Monday, February 20, 2012

I'm Back



I know I have been basically MIA lately. Not that I didn't want to write, on the contrary. Me and hubby have just been super swamped getting things in order. So let me just update you on things one step at a time.

Today for the first time we attended a playgroup at the library. This playgroup was mainly directed at Levi's age (ages 0-2), but Lucas had some fun as well. The group is called Boogie Woogie Babies, and thanks to Leslie for inviting us along with her and her daughter Addie. They really enjoyed it, and I did as well. I'm eager to make it a weekly thing. We sang songs, nursery rhymes, began our memory books, read stories, and the babies got to play so it was definetely exciting. It's only an hour long which was JUST enough time because Levi started getting grumpy and ready for lunch and a nap.
They have another playgroup later in the week for preschool ages which I'm going to take Lucas too. They do basically the same things but target the preschool ages and work on letters, sounds, words, etc. You should check at your local library and see if they offer the same things. It's free and the kids not only have lots of fun but they get to interact with other children, and moms can interact with other parents. It's a plus for all.
After the playgroup Lucas chose some books to check out and after saying goodbye to Leslie and Addie we headed home.

The past month in general has been a whirlwind for our family. They decided to tear my dad's house down and so he bunked with us for a couple of weeks until his new place was ready. It's been busy, but he moves into his new place today. Much to the kids dismay because they love their Poppa (that's what they call my dad instead of grandpa) and they will miss him.
Me and Josh decided to take some money out of our savings (which we NEVER do) and combine it with tax money to get some much needed things. We each got a Ford Taurus which I am as tickled as can be over. We found amazing deals on our vehicles, and I was extremely pleased. Mine for sure was way under priced. The thing with it is it has a couple of dings and scratches. Nothing that's a major ordeal, and won't cost much to fix. It was basically covered in a layer of grime both inside and out, and you couldn't really see the true beauty of the car. Basically the first owners bought it from the dealer, and just NEVER cleaned it out in like five years. It was terribly disgusting inside the car. Not the worst I've seen, but far from the best. I seen the true beauty of it though, and it runs so smoothly I just couldn't pass it up. Me and Josh set to tackling it and now it is just amazing! I love it, and I feel like it's truly my car now. We did a flip this car I guess. A diamond in the rough for sure.

We finally threw out our 8 year old Queen mattress and got a King size memory foam mattress. Since it was tax time we got a great deal on it. Our Queen matress was just so worn it was embarrassing. It was worn from years of use and we were starting to feel the springs in the mattress. I was skepitcal about getting a King size because it's just me and Josh and a Queen is usually plenty of space. But when one of the boys would have a nightmare or were sick and needed mommy and daddy they would want to sleep with us and it would get incredibly cramped. There are more of those days to come I'm sure so with a King size nobody will be cramped. Plus I will admit I tend to be a bit of a bed hog, and now maybe I won't crowd out Josh to much. haha.

Hubby bought me the best Valentine's gift I could've hoped for. A Kindle Fire! I have had it for a few weeks now, and I am just in love with it. It's amazing! At first I was just completely set against an eReader as I didn't want to betray my good old fashioned books. But there are so many great eBooks out there that aren't yet in print, and the Kindle is easy to pack. Especially if you have to travel you don't need to worry about bringing a gaggle of books, just one thing. I have heard some gripes from various people concerning the battery life of the kindle, but it doesn't affect me really. It gives me enough battery life throughout the day that I need, and I just charge it at night. It has some amazing features other than books, and I am usually never without it now. :) I am going to write a personal review on it sometime this week so if you've been thinking about buying an eReader or if you just want some unbiased info on one you should definetely check it out.

We have been contemplating whether to move or stay when our lease is up, and after much thought and discussions I think we will move to another complex. We have had some crime in our complex, and unfortunately it tends to just get worse. It isn't as bad as some, but I'm not getting the secure sense as I've had before. We are under new ownership, and they don't seem as concerned with it as some of the tenants are. We live in an apartment at the moment. We aren't quite ready to spring for a house just yet, and want to finish growing our family before we dedicate ourselves to something permanent. Plus we aren't 100% exactly what we are looking for in a home. We DO know that when we do buy a house we don't really want to stay in the town we are in. Personally I would favor another state entirely, but it's something we still need to consider. Still for now an apartment fits us well, and we don't mind it. There are perks in an apartment complex such as playgrounds, pools, maintenence, etc., so I definetely don't mind that! haha. Anyway we will be staying until our lease is up, but that's it.

Anyway things have quite calmed down now for the time being. Will they stay this way? Probably not, but we can only take things as they come. I hope you all stay tuned I have some more reviews and giveaways that are upcoming. Thank you for taking the time to visit me here today, hope to see you again soon! :)


Sincerely,
Tori

Monday, February 13, 2012

NanoStyle Jewelry Review



Whether it's Valentine's Day, a birthday, anniversary, special occasion, or if your just wanting a sweet way to say I Love You NanoStyle Jewelry fits what your looking for.
I was recently given the opportunity to do a review for Nanostyle jewelry, and for the review I got this necklace:



It is the I Love You 120 Languages Pendant Onyx necklace from the Tokens of Love collection.It says "I Love You" in 120 different languages! The words are imprinted in 24kt gold on an onyx stone. The onyx stone is set in a sterling silver setting which makes a really unique and one of a kind necklace.
It isn't bulky or overwhelming, nor does it look or feel cheap. You can definitely tell it is quality jewelry.
I wasn't too impressed with the chain it came on, but a chain is a simple fix. And if your ordering it for yourself or a loved one there's a really nice chain upgrade feature that you may consider. The necklace even comes with a little magnifying glass on a key chain so you can see clearly all the languages on the necklace. It's pretty impressive to say the least.



I got many oohs and ahhs over the necklace when I wore it out and about, it compliments any outfit whether your dressing up, or just dressing to run errands. People seemed to be most impressed about all the writing on the necklace, and when I pulled out my key chain to show them all the words they were most impressed.
It was delicately packaged, and I received it in pristine shape. Even the key chain had it's own separate box and was carefully packaged. On the jewelry box there are even simple care instructions which makes it so simple to care for your jewelry as time goes on. Caring for our jewelry makes it last for years so for me the simple care instructions were a welcome. All jewelry requires different types of care.

What I really love about the Nano Style jewelry is they have an amazing collection of cubic zirconia jewelry that is just dazzling. There are many unique collections to choose from as well from: Tokens Of Love, Zodiac, Universal, Christianity, New Age, and more...

You can find out more about Nano Style Jewelry by visiting their website @ http://www.nanostyle.com/
There's a sign up option towards the bottom left hand side of the page where you can sign up for their newsletter to receive special offers.
You can also find them on Facebook @ : http://www.facebook.com/NanoJewelry
And Twitter @ : https://twitter.com/#!/nanostylejewel


Disclaimer:
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

When The Soul Mends Book Review


  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400072948

  • At the very young age of 17 Hannah Lapp finds herself in the midst of a terrifying and unfortunate incident.
    Her entire community and even her loved ones choose to shun her without listening to her entire story. Hannah has no choice but to flee the Plain life and live among the Englischers. While there she finds a love that accepts her how she is and prompts her to heal. Just as she is becoming accustomed to an Englischer life she receives a letter from her sister begging her to return home.
    Hannah acquiesces and returns to her former home of Owl’s Perch. While there she realizes that her sister is in dire need of medical help before she hurts herself or someone else.
    Even though Hannah herself is studying to become a nurse, the problem lies within getting her parents to see the light that her sister needs help. Deeply rooted in their plain ways, and with Hannah’s shady past they are reluctant to listen to her. Hannah has no choice but to work side by side with her ex fiancé Paul to get her family and community to see reason when it comes to her sister’s well being.
    Struggling between the call of her Plain roots while trying to maintain an Englischer lifestyle Hannah feels torn as to how to please everyone around her while trying to please herself. Most of all Hannah struggles with the pain of her past and trying to forgive the ones who wronged her.
    This book is a wonderful story of healing and forgiveness. It truly touched my heart, and just goes to show that there is a side to everyone’s story. Before you can truly heal yourself and forgive others you owe it to try to uncover as many details as possible. This makes moving on much easier.
    I love how even though this is book three in the Sisters of The Quilt series it would make a great stand alone book. This covers all the main details that you may have missed in the first two.
    Hannah is such a captivating character! I never knew what kind of mood she would be in, what she would say next, and her actions were a complete mystery. Just when I thought I had her all figured out she would surprise me.
    While the story is mainly centered on Hannah and her struggles other characters shine as well in the story light. There is her deeply troubled sister who needs as much help and compassion as she can get. There is Hannah’s ex fiancé Paul who loves Hannah so much and so dearly that he finds it troubling to just let go. There are many other characters as well.
    The story flows so well, and is filled with much mystery and suspense. I could not wait to see how everything would unfold with all the characters. What I really liked is the epilogue did a fantastic job of making sure it covered all the characters. Usually I am disappointed when it comes to the epilogue because it leaves a few characters out that I wondered about. But as usual Cindy Woodsmall delivered another fantastic book!

    Want to see my star rating of this book on Goodreads? CLICK HERE
    Interested in purchasing this book? Available on eBook or Paperback.
    If you check into it feel free to come back here and comment on how you liked it. :) Enjoy.
     

    Disclaimer:
    Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Working in the city

    Content by Sol Rosales

    In my experience living and working in the city has its major advantages. First of all work is pretty close to home so there is little to no commute. Second of all when people at the office want to head out to happy hour straight after work you can easily walk to the happy hour place and then (in my case) walk home to my apartment afterwards, laughing all the way because everyone else has to sit in traffic to get to the suburbs. Another thing that is a total advantage is most in town residences are relatively small. This is good for me because I don’t need that much space and I barely have any furniture to put in a large space anyway. Another great thing about having a small space is that it is fairly inexpensive to keep the heater and air conditioning running. I already have great houston tx electric rates so I don’t have to worry about spending too much plus I am hardly ever home so I don’t have to heat or cool the place when I am out.

    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Will You Be My Valentine?

    Valentine's day is fast approaching, and I am so excited to get started on the Valentine's Day crafts. Thanks to my obsession, Pinterest, I have found some pretty awesome stuff I can't wait to start on! I wanted to make sure to share these fun crafts with you all incase you would like to try them as well...


    ***This would be a really fun Valentine's game for the whole family. The kids especially would enjoy it. So inexpensive, the conversational hearts can be found almost anywhere, and you can make the Bingo cards yourself, and you can pull the folded up numbers out of a bowl or something.
    http://pinterest.com/pin/155726099585013514/

    ***This is a really fun and healthy treat for the kiddo's. Cut out heart shapes in fruit. You can use cookie cutters or shape them yourselves. You can use regular yogurt as a dipping sauce and it tastes so good. If your kids are finnicky on yogurt you could also use vanilla pudding or something. But it makes the holiday even that much more fun, and it's a healthy snack so it's a win win.
    http://pinterest.com/pin/103371753916833941/
     ***This is so adorable!
    http://pinterest.com/pin/11540542764983651/


    ***This makes a really great sign to hang up somewhere in your house, or give as a gift. Really cute whether you have just one, or more children. You can even put all your prints on there as a family!
    http://pinterest.com/pin/155726099585050196/


    I am really eager to help the boys make these crafts along with some of our own. In our house crafts are a definite MUST. They help keep the imagination sharp, and they are above all just plain FUN! I have done crafts for as long as I can remember, and they just help relax me. It's also a great way to connect with your kids. If you have any crafts whether they pertain to Valentine's day or not you would like to share you can leave a link in a post if you would like to share with others. Thanks for visiting today!



    Sincerely,
    Tori
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