Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sick Day and Sunshine

I took a sick day today – it wasn’t planned even though the weather was A-MAZ-ING! See the pic for proof.

I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, add a horrible night with a teething toddler (molars are the worst!), the fact that I get migraines with seasonal changes and lack of sleep, and the time change kicking my butt – it was the perfect combination to make the executive decision to stay home and rest so things didn’t get worse.

Sometimes a sick day with a little sunshine is just what the doctor ordered (even though I still have the nagging sore throat and general head yuckiness).

Things I learned today:

1) Blanket tents are great at all ages. I made a quick one for Baby A and she enjoyed it for a little while.

2) Rocks are awesome! Even better than school buses apparently.  And especially to an almost 15 month old. Baby A was so cute picking them out of our rock landscaping. She stood on our steps and held my hand – maybe for balance, maybe just to be sure that mama wasn’t going anywhere, maybe she just wanted to share her little adventure with me. Whatever the case, it was great.

3) I finally figured out the secret to filing her toe nails. Let her play with above rocks as a distraction while I file. She wasn’t thrilled with it, but it wasn’t nearly the fight we normally have.

4) Discovering shadows for the first time – and watching this discovery unfold was amazing.

5) Juan Pablo (for you Bachelor fans out there) is still awful and getting worse as I get closer to the finale – yeah, I’m still catching up. I can’t wait to see the Women Tell All episode. It should be interesting to say the least.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom!


This goes out to an amazing woman who has always done everything she can to give us anything she could...

Thank you Mom, for everything you have done - 
for being a strong, loving, caring, supportive woman and Mommy, 
and now a wonderful Mee Maw! 

Happy Birthday and may you have many more! 
(Remember - it's just a number! :)  )
I love you!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Plum Organics

Good evening!

It’s been quite the weekend – again. And they just seem to go faster and faster and faster with each passing one. Everyone says that time flies when you have a little one, but I wasn’t prepared for this.

Friday night we went to a fish fry with a few of our friends and their 2 little ones. Their Little C and Baby A-2 are adorable! We sat down and had the baby girls at the end next to each other – both Baby A’s were together. As we sat there eating, I looked over in time to see my Baby A sharing her food with Baby A-2 who is about 5 months younger. She was so sweetly setting the food onto her tray and watching to see if she would eat it. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride wash over me – just watching how kind and sweet my little baby girl is, and a hope that she will always stay this way.

I feel like as parents, we all do the best that we can. And I guess at some point we just need to hope that something we did was right and will stick to make them good little people when they are on their own, and we aren’t standing over them making sure they are doing the right things.  

We decided from the beginning that we wanted to do the best we could (for us – I know this is a highly personal choice and everyone does what they feel is best for their family) with starting Baby A out on mama milk (breast milk) and organic purees and fruits and veggies when she started solids.


One of the products that we have used from the beginning of Baby A’s solid food adventure is Plum Organics. She has always been a fan of most of their products. Of course, all babies have their own personal preferences – we’ve been very lucky and she is a very good eater and loves fruits and veggies.
Not only is Plum an organic company (as their name indicates), but they also give back where they can. “The Full EffectTM is Plum’s program dedicated to nourishing little ones in need across America.” Check out their website to see everything they do – it’s pretty awesome! I wasn’t aware of how they worked to help kids until I was looking for companies to write about, but I’m happy to say that our family supports them.

In addition to “The Full EffectTM”, be sure to take a look at their “Partners” that they support. All really great stuff!

Plum has a variety of products for a range of ages from baby to tots to kids. They have puree pouches in fruits, vegetables, yogurts, and mixes. They have snack foods that include Little Cremes, Little Yums, Super Puffs, and Fiddlesticks just to name a few.



Even though Baby A is fully eating solids at this point, we still give her pouches as a “supplement” whenever I feel that she isn’t getting enough nutrition from the meal we are having – you know – for those pizza nights or whenever she’s feeling picky. We will continue to buy Plum products especially now that I know more about what a good company they are! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Chicken!

Monday, Monday, Monday.

Okay, so I think I started this week in a short week hangover – if that makes sense.

Short week last week + normal week this week + what felt like a super-fast weekend = me not wanting to be at work today.

Here’s a joke for you:
Why did the chicken cross the ocean??? Because the USDA said it could!
Yeah, yeah…not funny, I know!

But anyway, I was at work today, chatting with one of my boob buddies as my boss would so eloquently put it (a few of us girls from our Special Needs Room have become pretty close), and she informs me that the USDA has approved the US to send our chicken to China to be processed and then sent back to the US to sell.

I’m sorry if I’m about to offend anyone in China, but really – that’s gross. Horribly, terribly gross. Chicken is already known for all kinds of nastiness – salmonella and that sort of stuff. So I’m sorry if I don’t want a country that has food preparation standards that our lower than ours preparing our chicken and sending it back for our stores to sell. And not to mention the fact that it is going to be shipped back and forth and could possibly start to thaw if it isn’t handled correctly in all of this transport.

Here are just a few highlights from this gem:

“As the New York Times first reported, the products will be offered without a country-of-origin label. The chickens will still be raised in the U.S., Canada or Chile (the only countries approved by the USDA), but can be processed in China because USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) auditors have approved four Chinese poultry plants to start exporting processed poultry to the U.S.”

Not offering a country-of-origin label leaves consumers in the dark, with no way of knowing if they are eating a product that comes from a country that has recently seen a series of food safety scandals, like China, where there was a recent outbreak of H7N9 bird flu virus in fresh meat markets.

After reading about this I informed the hubby that we will only be buying local chicken from local farms.

So, that’s what I’ve been hung up on all day. And to try to take my mind off of it, I went on a small shopping spree for spring clothes for baby A. It's so much fun to buy cute things for little girls! 

Tonight I’m going to just tell you about a couple of the goodies we keep in our living room for those emergency hand and lip issues – chapped skin and lips!

(What can I say – this picture just felt right with what I wanted to tell you about today!)

Yes, you are seeing it right. The lip stuff on the left is Chicken Poop lip balm. And no, it does not really have chicken poop in it!
Ingredients include: Avocado oil, jojoba, sweet orange, lavender essential oil, bees wax, and Vitamin E. (as listed on the tube)
It is a little slimier than the Burt’s Bees, but it is very moisturizing and nice for the winter months.

The lotion in the middle – the Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream – LOVE this stuff for when my hands are super dry. Yeah that about covers every day right now. Again, a little slimy, but it’s great for when I’m just watching tv and not doing much with my hands. Give it a few minutes and the slime fades away.

And to the far right, the Burt’s Bees original Beeswax Lip Balm. This is my all-time favorite lip stuff when my lips are dry. I layer it under lip gloss, lipstick, or go naked! It’s minty-ness is awesome, it isn’t greasy. And did I mention that the hubby loves it too? I’m pretty sure we have upwards of 8 tubes floating around our house, in my purse, in our bedroom, in his coats….so yeah, we are big fans!

Here’s to hoping that your week goes quickly!  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy President's Day!

I'm home enjoying my day with baby A today in honor of President's Day (have I mentioned that bank holidays are great?). I love having extra time with her! 

This morning I looked outside and saw 3 pretty amazing things:

1) Apparently in recognition of Valentine's day (or just because she loves us), Daisy made a snow heart for us! 



2) and 3) Blue skies and sparkly snow!!!! (And this means that there is sunshine!)


I hope you all are enjoying a little sunshine in your day and your week to come! 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Snow days and Make-up

Snow days…
  



I HATE complaining about the weather. We live in Pennsylvania. I know there are seasons – one of which means there will be snow.

BUT

I’ve had enough! Really! I really have!

Talk about a waste of make-up!

Thursday morning, I get up, get ready, get baby A ready, and off we go. I drop her off at daycare where I’m told that they will be moving her up to the toddler room. (*Insert tear here! Can we please just make it slow down???) In case that wasn’t rough enough, I get back in my car, turn down the hill to head to work, brake gently since the roads were less than ideal to say the least, and proceed to gain speed toward the house at the bottom of the road. I somehow managed to get it turned just in time to miss the house, but at that point I decided that I wasn’t going to the office. I turned around, went back to the daycare, called my boss, went back inside to get baby A, and we slowly made our way home.

 
But seriously, had I planned on working from home today I wouldn’t have gotten up at my normal time, showered, and put make-up on.

I have reached out to some great companies so I can get back to doing what I love to do and sharing amazing products and companies with you. But while I’m waiting to hear from them, I will tell you how we’ve put our money where our mouths are. I am going to do is tell you about some of the products that we’ve been using around our house!

So speaking of make-up – first I’ll tell you about the stuff I’ve been using. I have been transitioning from anything that tests on animals to cruelty free and more natural products. As I previously mentioned, I don’t think animals should have to suffer for my vanity.

Here you will see the things that make an appearance pretty much daily in my morning routine:


1) Twisted Peppermint moisturizing lotion soap from Bath and Body Works (Did you know that as a company they don’t test on animals?! This is great since I love their soaps!)

2) LUSH Imperialis moisturizer – light and has a great scent to it. My skin is loving this stuff right now with how dry I am.

3) BareMinerals (from left)
                - Flawless Definition mascara – I’m not positive about this one. It does make my eyelashes look long, but I don’t get much volume from it. I might still be in the market for some *good* mascara.
                - Ready Foundation – makes my skin look great with just enough coverage.
                - Well-Cared for brush cleaner – I will admit that I haven’t tried this yet, but I will let you know what I think when I do.
                - Warmth All-Over Face Color – This is awesome for some all over face glow. I know I need a little help in the sun-kissed look at this point in the winter!
                - Mineral Veil Powder – I like this for the finishing touches over the foundation.
                - You will also see the Prime Time primer and the eyelid primer – These are great for getting your face ready for your foundation. I find that it gives me a great canvas to start on.

4) Tom’s of Maine deodorant – in Fresh Apricot – I will admit that I am having a love / hate relationship with this stuff. It has a great smell, goes on light, and is all natural. BUT I find that I do tend to sweat a little more with this than my old antiperspirant/deodorant that I used to use. I think it will be good for the cooler temps, but I might miss staying dry in the summer.

So there we have it! That is what I’ve been using in my morning routine.

Let me know what natural or no-animal testing products you’ve been using and what your thoughts are – I’d love to hear from you!



Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! 


I hope you had a sweet day with your loves - I had twice as much love this year and it was amazing!