Sunday, September 30, 2012

Running to catch up.

I've fallen of the Cinch wagon... and then rolled down the hill a couple miles. Ugh. Yes,sadly I caved and started eating stuff I wasn't supposed to. It all started when the chilly weather set in. I have to say it is very hard for me to eat a cold meal for breakfast and lunch when it's cold outside. 

Now, I am running to catch up. I want to get back on that wagon! I am re-committing myself and starting tomorrow, I will be back to Cinching full force. The worst part of all this is I've gained nearly 10lbs in a week! A WEEK! Now, some of that is bloating and water weight...but I know some of that is fat too. :( I can tell my jeans are tighter too, and that is super uncomfortable. My current weight is 216.8 lbs.  I'm hoping that the water weight will come off and I will be down to 210 in a week. That's my goal! 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Do you play...

Facebook games? I've dabbled in a few, but more recently my life's become quite busy so I haven't had much time to play. However, I did just start playing a new game, Tail Town Friends. Tail Town Friends (TTF) is a new game on Facebook. TTF is a game in a town full of drama where the "bad guys" are monopolizing the business and you need to help the town get out from under their reins. 

You get to create your own orchard, decorate it to your liking, and complete goals. Adding friends (from your Facebook account) will help you along the way and make the game more fun. Tail Town Friends is free to play, but you can purchase items to make the game more interesting, easier, or play faster (by buying energy). One of the most fun ways to enjoy the game is by purchasing the collectible figurines by Ganz. Each figurine comes with a code that enhances online play. These codes will give you special gifts and fun new goals to reach!

Being that the game is new and still in beta, there are some kinks to be worked out. I've found that loading the game isn't perfect, so sometimes you have to hit the refresh button. Since the game is new, however, you will be one of the first of your friends to join in the fun...and that will give you a head start on getting those goals completed! 

I love the fun challenges that the game presents and it's a good way to just relax for a moment. So, let me know... will you try Tail Town Friends?

I received monetary compensation for my time and two figurines to use in the game. All opinions are my own.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Picking a baby bottle...

One of the many things I've learned after having several children is that they are all different. That fact still rings true when it comes to a baby and his/her bottle. I don't think there is one best baby bottle...but there are definitely some good ones- and sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to find that bottle that is the best for your baby. 

Luke was born early... he was fed by an NG tube, and really didn't have a chance to suckle until almost a week after he was born. Even when he did have the chance we found that he was just too weak. So, since he's been home he's been using hospital bottles. We've tried a couple different brands, but none of them seemed to work for him.

We recently received the 8oz Nuby Wide Neck Non-Drip bottle to try. Luke actually takes to this bottle, but it takes him a long time to drink all his milk. The nipple is a variable flow nipple so the baby can control the flow... I guess Luke decided he wanted to go nice and slow! I'm just glad we have a bottle that he will use.

This is not how I "normally" hold his bottle... had to hold it differently to snap the picture. ;)

My favorite feature of this bottle is the "grow with me" feature. The bottle comes with (removable) handles, and a sippy spout! The bottle is meant for babies 3 months old and older. This will be perfect for transitions! Luke will be able to hold his own bottle with the handles, and then transition into a sippy cup.

The bottle is BPA free and be purchased at

I received these bottles to use for this review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper!

When you are expecting, the list of things you need to purchase for your new bundle of joy can be overwhelming. Wouldn't it be nice if you could buy one thing that could grow with your child? Well, this is what Tiny Love thought, too. 

The 3-in-1 Rocker Napper  can be three pieces of baby gear...this helps you save money (and space)! 

The 3-in-1 Rocker Napper can be a napper... a bassinet like area for your baby to nap in that can easily be rocked to help sooth baby; a play seat... baby can sit up at a gentle recline and bat at the playful toys while listening to a fun tune and watching glowing lights from the mobile; a seat... feed baby, play with baby, read with baby- you can do plenty of things while baby is sitting comfortably in a seated, but reclined, position in the rocking or stationary options. 

The 3-in-1 Rocker Napper is so nice for the newborn stage! We loved that the sides were there to keep Luke safe...not that he was going to roll around, but it was a barrier and helped keep his older brothers and sister a little less hands on. Other bouncy seats and swings weren't able to offer this protection! The interior is soft and slightly cushy. It is also very easy to switch the Rocker Napper's reclining positions with one hand...which is very convenient. 

If I could change anything about the 3-in-1Rocker Napper it would be the colors. The light interior is nice when it's new...but it's hard to keep as clean as it is at first. I really like the olive green color on the outside, and I would love to see the interior that color as well. I also found that my older little kids found it very easy to remove the mobile.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the Rocker Napper, and I am sure we will be using it for some time to come!

I received the 3-in-1 Rocker Napper at no charge to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and I received no monetary compensation.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nuby Flip Flop Teether Book!

The Nuby Flip Flop Teether Book has fun filled pages that crinkle with baby's touch. A simple story on chunky pages that are easy for baby to flip, all in a fun shape. 

With this book there are so many things for baby to explore. It's easy to hold and grasp for babies...and fun for any baby right from birth! 

We especially loved the bright colors and great patterns. Nuby is great at getting baby's attention with their bright designs. 

Luke especially loved holding on to the ring on the front of the book- but he also was attentive when I read the story to him. And, there is a fun squeeker to get baby's attention...and of course, great textured teether "feet".

You can purchase the Flip Flop teether book at BuyBabyDirect, currently offered at $11.99

I received a Flip Flop Teether book at no charge to facilitate this review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

JJ Cole for a day out. #TOMYToys #Sweepstakes

So... I recently received some items from JJ Cole... In fact, there were three things sent to me. I will get to these items here in a paragraph or so, but first I want to tell you a bit about JJ Cole.

JJ Cole has been around for about 14 years. Being a parent comes with a lot of challenges, but JJ Cole wants to make things a little simpler for parents. In fact, JJ Cole has made it very simple for parents to trust the company by offering a quality guarantee- products are under warranty against manufacturer defects (certain restrictions may apply-see JJ Cole for more information). A company that stands behind its products really makes me feel more at ease when purchasing from them. 

Like I said in the beginning, we received three great products from JJ Cole.

Pictured from left to right: Bottle Pod, Diapers & Wipes Pod, and Bib Set.

Let's start with the Bib Set. The Bib Set includes three bibs, you can choose blue or pink as the color schemes on the website. My favorite feature about these bibs is the fact they are completely wipe-able (take that, spaghetti sauce!). I also like that these are large; they cover a lot more baby than most bibs I have used. Now, Luke is still too little for food, so we haven't got to use these for feeding (I think that pocket there will really save the highchair and floor!), but I can say that I know we will get a lot of use from them when he does start to have solid food. The material is PVC and Phthalate free. Take a look at the video to see more!

The Bottle Pod is made of laminated canvas, so it is also very easy to wipe down. I love the Strawberry Burst design on this, however I think it would be nice to see a more masculine print available as well. The Bottle Pod is great for those times when you know you will be needing a warm (or cold) bottle for the baby. It easily attaches to any bag, or stroller, so you won't misplace it! 

My favorite product of the three is definitely the Diapers & Wipes Pod.

This print is AWESOME. :) Although we have a boy that uses it, it is still a great accessory for me. I'm not a big fan of bags, especially when I just need to run into the store. I love keeping this packed with a travel pack of wipes and a few diapers and left in my car. I swear Murphy's Law seems to come into play every time I manage to forget the diaper bag when I run into a store- with the Diaper & Wipes Pod I can just grab that and go... no more worrying about having to run back out to the car if something happens. You can easily stuff 3 disposable diapers, a travel pack of wipes, and the included changing pad in the Diapers & Wipes Pod. If you're taking some cloth along you can fit at least one diaper, but I managed to fit two pocket diapers and a travel pack of wipes. The wipeable fabric is definitely one of the best features, this pod is so easy to clean!


Loading Entry-Form...

I received these items for the purpose of my review. All opinions are my own and I received no monetary compensation.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Text Books and Operation Smile

Okay, what do text books at Operation Smile have to do with one another? Well, how about helping a little when getting something you need already... such as college text books! has partnered with Operation Smile to help kids who were born with cleft lips and cannot afford the surgery to fix it.

Aside from being able to be a part of helping while getting something you need anyway, there are a lot of other perks that come from renting your text books. Campus Book Rentals offers free shipping both ways (huge plus...shipping can be pricey, especially for heavy books). Renting a book is also a lot cheaper than buying a book you'll probably never look at after the class is over, and don't worry...with Campus Book Rentals you can really use your book so don't worry about highlighting the important stuff! Also, if you do think you'll be wanting that book later on you have the option to buy it! Campus Book Rentals will deduct what you already have paid from the value of the book and you only have to pay the balance.

Annnnnd... how about a 30 day window where if something happens (you drop your class, someone else gets you a book as a gift, etc) you can return the book and get your money back? Yep. They do that too.

When I was going to school I was lucky that most of my material was provided. However, I did have to buy one book- Anatomy and Physiology. It was $175 plus shipping... I could have rented it for $41! FAQ's: 

Okay...did you watch that video? LOL! If you did watch it, please leave me a comment letting me know what you though. I'd love to hear what part was your favorite.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Brica Infant Comfort Canopy

I've recently discovered a company that makes some neat children's products...can you guess how I found it? That little owl up there! Yes, yes I am obsessed with owls. lol.

Okay, aside from the owls, there are many great things to be found at Brica's website. One product that interested me was the Brica Comfort Canopy.

The Comfort Canopy is a cover for infant car seats. I can't tell you how many times I have covered our infant seats with a blanket, in hopes of keeping harmful sun rays or mosquitoes out. If only I had had the Comfort Canopy Sooner!

The Comfort Canopy fist all major brands of infant seats. The canopy is super easy to put on, and it has GREAT packaging! It comes with its very own carrying case for easy storage!

The Comfort Canopy goes over top of the infant seat. Nothing straps to the bottom, or goes on the bottom, so it doesn't interfere with any bases that you may use. It literally takes seconds to take out and put on.

Once you unzip the pouch and unsnap the snaps on the canopy, the canopy springs open in a flash. Then you just pull the canopy over the seat and poof! Done.

The canopy features a zippered opening in the screen as well as a retractable UVF 50+ rated sun cover. The sun cover conveniently folds down into a zippered pocket when it isn't in use.

I really like that I can still use the handle for my car seat when using the canopy. Nothing ties or restricts the handle at all.

With the West Nile outbreak recently it is also very nice to have the mesh to protect Luke. If we are outside, or out for a walk I don't want him to be unnecessarily exposed to bugs.

The canopy could also be used indoors....think shopping malls. I know around here strangers will come up and oogle over the baby. While I don't mind people coming to admire, I do mind a bunch of people coming up to touch Luke. The mesh allows for people to look in, but will keep hands off!

The Brica Infant Comfort Canopy Car Seat Cover is reasonably priced at $24.99


a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received the Comfort Canopy for the purpose of my review. I received no monetary compensation and all opinions are my own.

Five Ways to Keep Kids Occupied on Summer Holidays

Five ways to keep kids occupied in summer holidays

The sweltering days of summer can be among the most trying of the year for the parents of young children. The school holidays can offer a bit of a conundrum to parents at the best of times over how and where to provide appropriate distraction for children, yet the month of January – the longest school holiday of all – also offers some of the most uncomfortable weather of the year. And it can be extra intense for youngsters not so used to having to deal with it all.

So, what is required is really a fine balancing act between enjoying the sunshine and things to do to keep out of the sun when the mercury gets too high. Thankfully, Australia can offer the best of both worlds – plus there is always the option of home entertainment.

Here are five of the best ways to keep the kids happy in the summer holidays.

Inland swimming

Frankly, forget the beach, with its sunburn, crowds and sometimes pollution. A much more enjoyable experience can often be to head in the opposite direction to take advantage of the countryside’s waterholes. There are several reasons this is the perfect fun day out for children. Firstly, a trip to one of the many freshwater swimming locations in the Blue Mountains is invariably a quieter one when you get there than a trip to Bondi or Coogee, while the roads may be clearer also. Swimming in such places is also free of any threat of strong rips, tides and waves, make it overall a safer experience too.


Lots of people have humdrum childhood memories of being dragged along to museums, bored out of their brains. But never underestimate the appeal of such institutions as the Powerhouse Museum, the Australian Museum, or the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne. Interactive displays and installations especially designed for kids make it a hugely engaging visit for youngsters, and it is, mercifully, out of the sun too.

Concerts and events

So many events are put on in the summer months for children. These include concerts and fetes in local parks or perhaps goings-on at your local library. Often, these events are free too, and stand as useful exposure to arts such as music and theatre. Such things are often posted in local newspapers, on the web and on public noticeboards.


The comforts and familiar environment that is the home should not be forgotten about when planning a summer of fun for your children. And we’re not talking about television or computer games. Invest in some well-made and rewarding toys for your children, helping them learn in a variety of ways. As well, don’t neglect the joys of painting, drawing and building. Sometimes home pursuits can be just as fun and nourishing as a trip to the museum. I recommend buying toys from Only Online.

The great outdoors

On the cooler summer days, consider allowing your child to become a little better acquainted with nature. This means modest bushwalks or visits to areas of natural interest and beauty. Another option is of course the zoo or marine life centres for the same reason. Particularly if you are raising your children in the inner city, a trip out to the fresh air and rolling hills can be hugely invigorating for a child.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gold Kili Ginger Beverages

Photo via Facebook

I'm not one to do a lot of food or beverage posts since food really is so subjective. However, I do like to try new things, and I am sure many of you do, too. I recently received some Gold Kili Ginger beverages from DC Distributions Inc.

I received both the instant and ginger brewing bag versions of both Ginger, and Ginger Lemon flavors. 

I have to say the instant versions of both the Ginger and Ginger Lemon beverages were my favorite. My favorite way to drink them is by mixing the mix with a small amount of hot water, then adding cold water and plenty of ice. The colder, the better. It's a strong spicy flavor! It took a couple cups to get used to (I wasn't very fond of it at first), but now I really do love it! 

With the brewing bags I found that I could make my beverage a lighter tasting beverage. Since the instant beverage is so strong, it's nice to be able to drink a calmer, less spicy, version. I'm personally not as fond of the warm version, however.

You can purchase these beverages online at

I received product samples to facilitate my review. I received no monetary compensation and all opinions are my own. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Nuby No-Spill Insulated Cool Sipper cups!

No-Spill. What does that mean to me? Less work. You probably know exactly what I'm talking about if you've ever tried to eat with a toddler. Meal time serve a nice cup of milk with the food only to have it on the floor two nano-seconds later. *ugh*

You have probably also tried another "leak proof" cup as well....only to find that somehow that kiddo can make the impossible happen. So, is this No-Spill Insulated Cool Sipper cup any different...? Yes. Yes. it. is.

This cup's magic is all in the lid. The silicone spout covers the whole underneath of the lid. One solid piece means that there isn't a way for the liquid to escape unintentionally without force. I have been amazed with these cups, simply amazed. 

The cup is meant for children 15 months plus. I let my almost two year old daughter and three year old son use these cups. They usually find a way to make their sippy cups pointless (usually by finding something to jam into the spout and make it leak/pour out). The Nuby No-Spill Insulated Cool Sipper hasn't been successfully tampered with yet!

There are plenty of cute deigns to choose from as well. We received this design:

It's a good gender neutral design so both our kiddos can use it. I also really like that each cup has a "This cup belongs to:" area where you can write in your child's name. This is great for daycare or when you are out and may loose it (or forget it at a playdate).

I give Annabelle and Nolyn a cup (of ice water) during rest time in the afternoon, especially in the hot summer when it's often much warmer upstairs than it is downstairs. 

I love that I can trust the Nuby No-Spill Insulated Cool Sipper to do it's job. It helps rest time be much easier than when the kids come downstairs a million times for a drink before finally napping. 

The only con to this cup that I have found is that it is a little difficult to clean the spout part. It's slotted, and can be a challenge to get clean. I've found the easiest way to clean it is to soak in hot water and use a q-tip if needed. Overall, it's a great cup and I would recommend it to anyone with a toddler!

I received the  Nuby cups free of charge so that I could use them to make this review possible. I received no monetary compensation and all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cinch me, more time. #Cinchspiration

So, after my disappointing weight gain recently, I got slightly depressed, but as of this morning I am 207.2lbs! Woohoo! 

For the most part, the Cinch Inch Loss Plan has been one of the easiest diets I have been on. Everything is laid out and right there for you. The Transformation Pack makes it so easy. I do have to say there are days that I want other food, but really I can't complain!

Bananas have been my best friend along this journey...they are a staple in my shakes. I love how they really thicken the shake up and add a boost of flavor. Plus, they're good for you and give you the potassium you need.  I have also finally found a way to drink my tea... I add it to (artificially sweetened) sweet tea and it is much easier to consume. I find that the tea has a very smoky flavor which isn't my I had been skipping it. I'm glad I added it back in and I am excited to see if it aids in my loss!

Well, until next time.... 

Back to school!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Make Milk.

If you make milk too... I have a product you'll want to hear about!

The Simplisse Double Electric Breast Pump is a pump that is different. The Simplisse pump was designed by lactation consultants and moms to feel like breastfeeding. If you an experienced pumper, you may be familiar with pumps that tug painfully at your nipple. The Simplisse pump is a lot more gentle. I'll get into that more in a bit. First, I want to show you what the Simplisse Double Electric Breast Pump includes....



The Simplisse pump comes in a stylish bag (awesome!). I was very impressed with this bag, it seems a lot more like a purse than others that I have seen so it's much more discreet. The actual pump portion is fairly small, and it's neatly tucked away in a zippered section of the bag. 

Included with the pump is...
Two collection units
 Air tubing
Two extra collection bottles
An insulated cooler bag with two ice gel packs
Wet bag for parts
10 breastmilk bags
4 breast pads
Product manual

My favorite feature of this pump has to be how it feels when expressing my milk. It isn't painful. I've been pumping since Luke was born. Exclusively pumping for the first month of his life. The hospital pumps and my first electric pump tugged on my nipples and breasts causing discomfort and sometimes pain. The Simplisse pump has a very, very flexible and soft breastcup. The opening for your nipple is smaller as well. At first I was concerned about how small this opening was; I didn't think it would fit my breasts. I was surprised when it took in just the nipple. 

When I turned the pump on I was also surprised that it didn't feel like it was working. It didn't feel like my other pump... it didn't seem to have that suction. I waited a moment, then another... and finally my milk letdown came and I realized how nicely the Simplisse pump expressed milk. When I say nice, I mean nice like kind. It wasn't harsh on my nipples! 

The box warns that if you currently use an electric pump you may not get as much milk for the first few uses while your breasts adjust. I was ecstatic when I actually expressed more milk than usual. I honestly think this is because I was more relaxed and that allowed for greater letdown of my milk.

If I could change one thing about the Simplisse pump it would be the expression units. While they allow for the comfort I just talked about, they are also quite detailed. There are many, many parts to take apart and put back together when cleaning. I kept the instructions next to my sink so I could use them when I needed to put the expression units back together. After enough cleanings I was able to put the units together without the manual, but it definitely takes a few times to remember how they go back together.

Of course as its name suggests, the Simplisse Double Electric Pump is run on electricity. Plug it in and turn it on and away you go! Okay, okay... you won't go anywhere, but your milk will! The pump is a little louder than others I have had, but it is something you get used to over time.

Overall I would recommend the Simplisse pump for breastfeeding mothers. If you have had any difficulty with your current pump being to harsh for you the Simplisse Double Electric Pump might be just the pump for you!

I received the Simplisse pump free of charge to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own and no compensation was received for this review.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Nap Nanny cover saves the day!

You may remember that I reviewed the Nap Nanny Chill when our Annabelle was born. We loved it, she loved it. But... it was pink. Perfect for a girl, but when we found out we were expecting another boy we didn't really want to use the pink Nap Nanny for him. 

Thankfully, Nap Nanny offers interchangeable Nap Nanny Chill covers!  

We received the Nap Nanny Chill cover in giraffe. *Adorable!*

The Nap Nanny Chill cover was super easy to remove and put back on. I love that the matching harness part of the cover comes with the new cover, which has pressure release clasps that enable the harness to match the cover. I had wondered how this worked when I first saw that the covers were able to be changed, but I didn't realize the entire buckle part of the harness comes off.

One huge improvement that I noticed from our first cover is the placement of the warning label. With our first cover the label was under the baby's head:

With our new giraffe cover it's at the foot of the Nap Nanny Chill... still totally visible, but not irritating to the baby.

Of course, all the children still love it...and it's hard to get the older kids to leave Luke or the Nap Nanny alone when he's in it. It's a huge hit, especially with Luke. He's as comfy as can be and rockin with the new giraffe print!

The Nap Nanny Chill covers are reasonably priced at $49.99 and available at Nap Nanny. It's a great way to save some money if you use it for more than one child... or if you just want a fun new look!

Please remember, the Nap Nanny is meant to be used on the floor, and on the floor only. Do not place on an elevated surface and do not put the Nap Nanny near a wall, couch, or other area where the baby could become entrapped. 

I received a Nap Nanny Chill cover for review purposes. All opinions are my own and I received no monetary compensation for this post.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Nuby Teething Blankie gets lots of smiles!

So, most babies aren't teething at 2 months, but I have found that Little Luke loves the Nuby Teething Blankie already! 

Of course, he'll be getting plenty of use out of it in the next few months as well, once he starts teething.

I like the Nuby Teething Blankie because of the fun patterns, bright colors, teething corners and plush animal in the middle. And, you can toss it in the wash when it needs it! 

Luke likes the bright colors and patterns too...

and his older brother loves showing him them. 

The Nuby Teething Blankie features crinkle noise and squeaky noise when the plush animal head is squeezed so it's a great sensory toy.

It's a great value, currently priced at $5.88 from

Real Time Web Analytics