Friday, October 31, 2014

Protect those little ones! #Sponsored #RSVAwareness #PreemieProtection #MC

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for MedImmune. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Let's talk about the smallest of the little ones... the preemies. Those precious little babies who came into this world too soon, and often fight a long difficult fight to stay here. A baby is such an exciting miracle, but it is so scary to have a child too early. 

I have been pretty lucky overall, the earliest any of my children have been born is 37 weeks. Some of you may remember when I had Luke at 37 weeks... although he wasn't technically premature, it was a very bumpy road. Luke's lung had collapsed entirely, and because of meningitis he was on antivirals and antibiotics. We were very lucky that he did well, but I can only imagine how it could have been made so much worse by RSV.

World Prematurity Day is on November 17, 2014. On this day it is great to raise awareness about prematurity and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). RSV is a common virus which nearly every child gets before they are two years old. The virus usually only brings common cold symptoms, but when a premature baby gets this virus, it can be devastating. 

RSV season is generally between November and March here in the US (it can vary a bit, but this is the typical time). Avoiding crowds with your baby can help prevent RSV, as well as frequent washing of your hands. Watching for symptoms can be very helpful, too... as early detection can really help those little ones.

 Check out this great infographic for more information (Scroll to get all the information):

Although Luke did not end up getting RSV, we have had two children who had it as young children. One was 18 months and one was 4 months old. It was definitely a scary experience! We had to have our children on breathing treatments and steroids- and there were many sleepless nights worrying about whether or not our children were breathing. RSV disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States, with approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 200 deaths. That's something to be worried about... and yet around a third of new mothers do not know anything about this virus. 

Remember, there is no specific treatment (other than monitoring and praying) for this virus once it is contracted, so it is very important to try to prevent your child from getting RSV.

What's the scariest illness your child has gotten? Do you have any experience with RSV or premature babies?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What the, Urbini? #MC #Urbini #Sponsored

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for Urbini. I received an Urbini stroller to both facilitate my review as well as thank me for my participation.

Let's face it... babies can be expensive! But, they don't have to be. If you are on a limited budget, or if you just want to splurge on something other than a travel system, then you should check out the Urbini Touri.  This travel system has a sleek design and is very pleasing on the wallet. At the current pricing of $119-$149 for both the infant seat and the baby stroller, this is definitely a steal!

The Touri makes it incredibly easy to bring baby along for the ride. This complete travel system includes the Urbini Petal Infant Car Seat and the fully-featured lightweight Touri stroller that has a reclining seat, removable cup holder, tuck-away sun visor, and a compact fold. It's ready to roll when you are. Light, stylish, complete. The world is waiting!

So, we got to test drive this set. For the price, it's pretty amazing. It's like getting the stroller for free, really... and that's the best lightweight stroller you can get! 

The car seat itself was decent. It is thin, so it is great for the middle bench seat placement. Designed for rear-facing use only, for an infant from 4-35 lbs and up to 35" tall. It only weighs 8lbs, so it's lightweight, too. The one problem I had with this seat is the harness straps. After adjusting them, I just could not get them to sit evenly on Orrin.

The one strap just seemed to not tighten up like the other, and even trying to evenly tighten them myself in the back didn't work. I'm not sure what the issue is, and I've read the manual several times to be sure that I have threaded the straps correctly. I think it may be because of how close the straps are to one another, and that Orrin was a bigger baby. If you look at the picture you can see that the harness straps are a little off. Other than this, the car seat looked great and seemed comfortable. 

The buttons are pretty typical for most car seats, and there is a removable infant and preemie insert for the car seat. There are also harness strap shoulder pads, which I removed to try to see if I could get the straps to be positioned better.  The release latch on this car seat/base is one of my favorites. It is much easier than some other car seats I have used.

The stroller is basically a nice umbrella stroller. I found that the basket is very small (not even big enough for a diaper bag), but it does have one, which most umbrella strollers do not. The handles are comfortable, and even my husband enjoys pushing this baby stroller. The stroller seems to roll well, even on rough terrain. We went for a walk on a nature trail and there were no complaints from my husband! 

My favorite features of the stroller are how it folds and locks. 

When all together, the Touri stroller is pretty compact, and it has a very convenient carrying handle. If you look above, you can see the red circle in the lower right of the picture. Well, that is what you use to open and lock the stroller in the open position.

The stroller also has a removable cupholder, which is a lot better than no cupholder (which most umbrella strollers are known for).  Another great feature for me was the fact that when used as a travel system, the canopies completely cover the infant seat. (See first picture in post). This is important for us, since we love to let the baby sleep- and bright sunlight doesn't allow that! It also helps to protect the baby from any other elements that may be out there.

As the stroller alone, this is a very lightweight stroller that also includes an adjustable 5 point harness with shoulder pads and removable arm bar.

The footrest can also be adjusted, and there is an adjustable recline as well.

The front wheels can be locked in, or allowed to swivel depending on what your need is.

Overall, this is a nice budget travel system that looks great and will be a great option for many parents. If you are looking for something with a little more features, you can also check out the still affordable Urbini Omni travel system.

Also check out the Urbini Facebook and Twitter pages.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nuance Wine Finer Deluxe Stainless Steel Wine Aerator #Giveaway

This giveaway is not administered by Eight in the Nest. This is a paid post to promote this giveaway.

Nuance Wine Finer Deluxe

Newest version of the fabulous Nuance Wine Finer comes in Stainless Steel.

As seen in Cooks Illustrated product reviews. Scoring a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED review.

The subtle taste of a fine red wine only comes out when the wine is thoroughly oxidized. This is easily and elegantly taken care of by the NUANCE Wine Finer.In just 30 seconds you can decant a whole bottle of red wine while pouring it into the glasses.

The elegant pourer filters out all sediments, pieces of cork and tartar, while a rushing sound of bubbles indicates an efficient oxidizing process.

The drip catcher ensures that not a drop is spilled, instead the wine runs back into the bottle whilst a small close-fitting lid keeps any leftover wine fresh for later use.A beautiful, simple and multifunctional pourer, that means you never have to apologize that the wine was not uncorked before the guests arrived.ABS rubber surface with stainless steel filters.

Hand wash only.

4 in 1 Wine Tool



-Non-spill pourer


Measures 7"H



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Let's Go! #GetGoing #MC #Snacktime #sponsored

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

Today we were doing a bunch of yard work... oh, the leaves! Autumn brings some beautiful colors, but a lot of work, too! We had the kids helping out, Nolyn was a huge help- he even tried to help us blow the leaves. All this "hard work" creates an appetite! 

We needed a mid afternoon snack, and Jif To Go was there to help!

The kids were very happy to try out these new treats... they all love peanut butter and pretzels (who doesn't?)!

Jif to Go Dippers are available at grocery stores nation wide and they come in two flavors, creamy peanut butter and chocolate silk peanut butter spread. Most of my family prefer the creamy peanut butter, the chocolate silk seemed a bit too sweet for me personally.

We're always needing quick snacks... we have football practices 3 nights a week, games on Saturdays, and we're always doing something, going somewhere. It's helpful to have a bundled snack that is something we can feel good about giving our children.

 Peanut butter is a great snack, too, since it satisfies hunger than many other prepackaged snacks we've had. With these being just a little over a dollar each, it's a snack that won't break the bank, either... even with a large family like ours.

Each Jif To Go Dippers package has individually sealed peanut butter and individually sealed pretzels. I like that they are individually sealed because we can use the pretzels at another time if we want to use the peanut butter for something else. I think these would be absolutely fantastic to have for a camping trip and picnics!

What flavor do you think you would prefer?
 Creamy Peanut Butter, or Chocolate Silk Peanut Butter Spread?

For more information, tips and recipes, find Jif on Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest and

Saturday, October 18, 2014

#BabyMantra #GoodStuff for #Baby! #Sponsored

I participated in Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Baby Mantra. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Our littlest, Orrin, who is 14 months old currently, has lovely baby skin. You know, that super soft, oh so kissable baby skin. Well, I want to keep it that way! We have eczema in our family, so we try to keep that at bay and hopefully avoid it with children who haven't had an issue with it yet. To do so, we try to keep bathing to at-needed basis and use very mild, gentle formulas- especially for the babies. 

Baby Mantra has a very gentle formula that we have really enjoyed using. 

All of the products have a very, very mild scent to them- none of them were over powering at all. I like that there is a little (natural) scent, but nothing overpowering. 

 Baby Mantra is a certified natural, cruelty-free and gluten-free baby skincare line that offers environmentally conscious products from ingredients to packaging. These products were created by two sisters on a mission to provide safe and ecologically sound skincare, and they've done a great job. All products are made in the U.S. and are inspired by all-natural home-based remedies.

Baby Mantra is available on, at, and select Walgreens stores. 

The newborn shampoo and body wash is our favorite product. It's just what you want when you are wanting to give your baby that nice, soothing, gentle bath. The massage oil is my second favorite Baby Mantra product. It has a lovely light scent. I use this right after bath time, and it's helped keep Orrin's skin very soft! 

If you are looking to give your baby a very soothing, very natural and gentle bath experience I would highly recommend Baby Mantra.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Don't Break the Bank- Just Eat! #SaveALotInsiders

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Save-A-Lot. This could include Save-A-Lot providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

As you likely know, it can be a bit rough on the pocketbook to host a great get-together. 
Food alone can be so expensive! We have to deal with this every. single. day. A family of 10 can be expensive to feed!

We've been very thankful for Save-A-Lot.  Whether you are hosting a party, or have a big family yourself, or just need some great go-to snacks for the school year,  you can expect to find some great deals at Save-A-Lot. 

We ventured out to visit our local Save-A-Lot recently to pick up something for the crock-pot. 


 Cocktail links smothered in barbecue sauce sounded like the perfect crock-pot party pleaser!

My family's favorite barbecue sauce is Sweet Baby Ray's, so I always look for a great deal and I was very glad to see it on Save-A-Lot's shelves! Perfect!

One of my favorite things about this is how quick these are. If you need it quick, you can easily heat it up in a pan on the stovetop, and transfer them to a crockpot to keep them at temp. Plus, you can't beat the price. I purchased two packs of cocktail links, and one bottle of barbecue sauce. So, for just under $7 I was able to have a great little snack for everyone!

During my trip we picked up some hamburger as well- I don't know what prices are like in your area, but in most stores I am paying about $5 per pound of ground beef. I can usually get ground beef from Save-A-Lot for around $3 a pound. That's a huge savings!

Whether tailgating, or making sure the kids have a great snack, you can count on Save-A-Lot saving you money on your grocery bills... letting you stretch your hard earned cash a little more.

Fear not, Dishes, Cascade is here! #DDDivas #cascadeshiningreviews #sponsored

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Cascade. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.

What's better than a great party with some great people? EASY CLEANUP. So glad I was able to relish in both this last weekend! We enjoyed a great "breakfast", French Toast, syrup, home-made strawberry topping, and lots of delicious fruit. Oh, and the brownies! We couldn't forget the brownies!

We also couldn't forget the Cascade Platinum either! With Cascade Platinum we were able to just place the sticky dishes right into the dishwasher- NO pre-wash/rinsing!  Even those knives that had dried on brownie stuck on came out perfectly clean.

 It's pretty amazing to see what your dishewasher can do with the right detergent and instructions!  What's important? SKIP the prewash! Why? This is because the special enzymes in Cascade Platinum latch onto the leftover food particles, breaking them down so they can wash away - even 24-hour stuck on food like the brownie batter above. With no food particles on the dishes, the enzymes can’t do their job as well!

Nearly all dishwashers have a built in garbage disposal, so those left over bits will go down the drain- NOT harming your dishwasher (I do recommend scraping off significant food scraps). 

Cascade Platinum’s superior technology achieves a clean so powerful it eliminates the need to pre-wash or pre-rinse dishes and even helps keep your dishwasher sparkling. Its advanced triple-action formula has powerful enzymes that break down even 24-hour stuck-on food for Cascade’s best clean and shine. Cascade Platinum is available at mass merchandise outlets, grocery retailers, home improvement stores and e-retail sites throughout the U.S.---- Want to try it now? Well, check out our great giveaway!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Check out the Fast Track Raceway from @MegaBloks! #FirstBuilders

Drivers, start your engines! Gear up and get ready for some high-speed adventures with the Fast Tracks Racing Team by Mega Bloks First Builders. Your little race car driver can build with the tracks and blocks and mix and match the race cars for endless play. Use the colorful stickers to create even more imaginary fun. Watch as they screech and vroom through the raceways, and the fans in the stands cheer them on! Who will be in the lead, as the checkered flag is waved?
Ideal for ages 1 to 5.

         Two mix-and-match buildable cars for lots of raceway fun!
         50 pieces, including new easy-to-build tracks and three building plates
         Fun sticker sheet to customize your little racer’s blocks and cars!
         Compatible with all Mega Bloks First Builders sets for endless building possibilities and family fun

Here are the kids ready to build. Luke loved the cars. And the final product (minus stickers). We ended up with three extra pieces. Hmmm,

Did I mention that Luke, who is 2 years old, LOVED the cars?

Unfortunately, I really don't think this toy should be for 1-5 year olds. Luke got very frustrated with it breaking apart all the time, and even Annabelle (who is nearly 4) had a very hard time with it too. Our 5 year old, Nolyn, loved the toy, however, as he was more able to take the time to fix it when it broke.

Overall, the kids have enjoyed it, but it definitely does not still look like it did in these pictures. We've had older brothers helping the little ones try to keep it in tip "track" shape. 

Want to win a track set for your favorite little one? Enter below!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

#TheBestOfMe #Movie #Giveaway

Visit the official sites
Like The Best of Me on Facebook
Follow / Subscribe Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube

Want Nicholas Sparks to join your Book Club?
Calling all book clubs! You and your club could win a visit from a professional moderator & special guest appearance from Nicholas Sparks via Skype.  All you have to do is tweet a question you'd like answered using #BestOfMeBookSweeps!
About the Film
Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they've never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today. Spanning decades, this epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances.
The Best of Me stars James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato.

Thunder and the House of Magic! #Movie #KidsFlick

I received the item below in exchange for this post.


Directed by Renowned 3D Filmmakers Ben Stassen and Jeremie Degruson,
With Original Music by Ramin Djawadi

Featuring the Music of Selena Gomez


This fall, venture inside an intriguing mansion full of endearing animals and a dazzling array of automatons and gizmos, and spellbound by the exciting animated adventure of THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC. Already a great box-office success in much of the world, this highly entertaining family movie is directed by renowned 3D filmmakers Ben Stassen (Fly Me to the MoonSammy's AdventuresEscape from Paradise) and Jeremie Degruson (A Turtle’s TaleSammy’s Adventure), with original music by Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones). The film also features the music by Selena Gomez.

On September 30, 2014, Shout! Factory is proud to present THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC on DVD and on two-disc Blu-ray™ 3D Combo Pack (Blu-ray 3D and 2D, DVD and digital)available exclusively at Walmart stores everywhere. The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack allows viewers to enjoy THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC on the platform of their choice and includes spectacular movie presentation on Blu-ray 3D and 2D, DVD and a digital copy of the movie. This highly anticipated movie can also be seen in select U.S theaters and on VOD September 5.

THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC is a whimsical animated family adventure, bringing to life a unique story with a great sense of humor, positive values and universal appeal.  Brimming with spectacular animation and endearing characters, this internationally acclaimed motion picture delivers a fun and captivating movie experience for the entire family.

The film tells the story of Thunder, an abandoned young cat who stumbles into a magical old mansion operated by a dazzling array of automatons and gizmos. Owned by a retired magician, the house is occupied by an assortment of his wacky assistants who don't all welcome the new houseguest. But when the magician lands in the hospital and his scheming nephew puts the mansion up for sale, our young hero and his new friends join forces to save their magical home.

Filled with laughter and adventure, THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC is a wonderful tale that you and your little ones will love.

THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC is written by James Flynn, Domonic Paris and Ben Stassen, based on an original story idea from Ben Stassen. The film is produced by Caroline Van Iseghem and Ben Stassen, executive produced by Olivier Courson and Eric Dillens, and features original music by Ramin Djawadi. The 85-minute film is produced by nWave Pictures in association with Studiocanal and Anton Capital Entertainment. 

Visit for more information about the movie.

 We really thought this was a cute movie! The main "villain" says the word, "damn" often and it doesn't seem like there is much reason for him too. Other than that, we really enjoyed the movie and have been really impressed with how much the kids really enjoyed the movie as well. We are huge fans of  A Turtle's Tale, so we were really hoping for another amazing movie and we weren't disappointed!

About Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos,

Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD and Blu-Ray™ offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials in lavish packages crammed with extras.  Shout’s audio division boasts GRAMMY®-nominated box sets, Broadway cast albums, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations.  In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America.  Shout! Factory also owns and operates Timeless Media Group, Biograph Records, Majordomo Records, HighTone Records and Video Time Machine. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention.  Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit
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