Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Growing Up Naturally In Home Child Care!

Thanksgiving is a beautiful time of the year for showing gratitude towards others and being grateful for what you have. It is also a time to spend with family or with those that are like family to you. Our Thanksgiving plans changed less than a week before Thanksgiving but that is not a bad thing. I am grateful because it opened up another door which is to allow us to visit with my foster mom - a woman who opened her doors to me as a child. A woman whom I can never repay for her kindness. I have not seen her in almost 14 years. She has not met our children although she has met my husband a couple of times back when we were dating. We lost touch with one another and got back in touch a couple of months ago. When she learned that our plans fell through, we were invited to join her and her husband and his family. (Thank goodness, as her home is much further than his family's home so the drive won't be as long for either of us!) My children are so excited to meet this wonderful, joyful, hilarious woman that they have heard so many wacky tales about. They don't yet fully understand why I needed a foster mom, but they know what foster parents are for since we were foster parents at one point as well. 

This year, while you gather around the table with those you love, be grateful for them. Enjoy them because you never know how much longer you have. My aunt went home on hospice last week after it was found that she has pancreatic cancer. There is nothing more that can be done at this point for her except to help her be comfortable. She is a fantastic woman who never married or had children of her own, but she loved us all like we were hers. She will not be at the Thanksgiving table next year. In fact, she probably won't be at the Christmas table this year either. Tell your family how much you love them. You never know when it may be the last time.

Enjoy the bountiful food that graces your table. You should not only be grateful for the people in your lives, but for healthy, hearty, life sustaining food! Eat whole foods and be well!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Where Does Your Salt Come From? Redmond Real Salt Review with Giveaway, Ends 12/18/13,US Only

Disclosure: I received free Real Salt, garlic salt, onion salt and seasoning salts in exchange for my honest opinion about them.

Redmond Real Salt sent me several varieties of their salt products to try. We switched from regular table salt to sea salt a couple of years ago. I am glad that we had the opportunity to try Real Salt as well!

Real Salt
When it comes to good health, we believe nature has it right. Real Salt is salt exactly the way nature made it–unlike most other salt companies, we don’t add anything and we don’t take anything away. The result is a natural sea salt with more than 60 trace minerals, a unique taste our customers love, and reports of health benefits around the globe.

Real Salt is the best tasting, healthiest sea salt you can find. Take the Real Salt taste test and discover why Real Salt is the best-selling brand of sea salt in America’s health food stores.

Look at all of the trace minerals in Real Salt!

Is your salt real?
Real Salt means – well, real, authentic salt. A quick glance at the ingredients label on most salts might surprise you! Many salts contain anti-caking agents and even dextrose (sugar). Others have been heat processed and stripped of their natural trace minerals. Real Salt brand, on the other hand, is unrefined and full of natural minerals and flavor – the way salt was meant to be savored.

We stopped using garlic salt and onion salt years ago because we couldn't find a sea salt variety. Plus, we usually use fresh or minced garlic and onion anyway so it wasn't really a big deal. So when Redmond Real Salt sent us some to try, it took some adjustment to remember to reach for the cabinet instead of the fridge or onion sack in the pantry!

I am delighted that we got to experience the Real Salt varieties though. It has certainly livened up our meals while giving our bodies the trace minerals and magnesium that we need! Where you get your salt from matters. And I am not talking about which store. I mean the source of salt that the company uses. Here is an infographic that might help you understand.
So where does Real Salt come from? 

I did have one minor issue which could actually not really be so much a problem as much as just getting used to something being more natural. We did have some caking happen with the lids, especially the seasoning salt variety.

Overall, though, we were very pleased with the Real Salt items and are glad to have found an easy way to incorporate trace minerals into our regular diet.

Redmond Salt is generously offering you a coupon code for a discount for 15% off your order! Use code GUNIHCC15 (VALID UNTIL 02/17/14).
Want to win one of each of these products?
 Enter to win!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tasty Gluten Free Ginger and Peppermint Tummy Drops by Enteral Health (Review with Giveaway, Ends 12/17/13, US

Disclosure: I received two free packages of Tummy Drops in exchange for my honest opinion about them.

At tummydrops, our mission is simple: provide all-natural assistance for common digestive problems. With countless claims made by over-the-counter supplements, sorting the choices out on your own can be overwhelming. With our backgrounds, we have taken the guesswork out of the process, and have developed products that use all-natural ingredients supported by medical literature.

I often have nausea and heartburn. We have not completely figured out yet why, but we think it is related to eating gluten. We have been on and off a gluten free diet and I seem to be better without the gluten. But, it's very expensive to eat gluten free and it takes a lot of time in the kitchen. Between my husband and I working often long and oddball shifts, it's not easy for us to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Discovering Tummy Drops has been so helpful for me. Tummy Drops come in two varieties - Ginger and Peppermint. I have found that the ginger works better for my heartburn and the peppermint works better for my nausea.

The ginger variety took a bit of getting used to as it can be quite zingy. But it tastes so delicious! It is definitely my favorite of the two! I love that the ingredients are plain and simple as well. The peppermint tastes yummy, too. It is a strong peppermint flavor which I am sure is why it helps my nausea so much!
The Tummy Drops are small enough to carry in your purse or pocket. The bags that they come in are a pull tab top and are resealable. The bags are small enough to fit in a large purse as well. I was really impressed with how many drops came in each bag. Here is just a small sample of them - there was easily thirty ,more of each!

My son has even occasionally used the ginger variety (he is not a fan of peppermint). He, too, found it zingy - and he is even less used to ginger than I am! But he also felt it really helped him feel better!

Don't they look tasty?! I promise you that they are! They are a good sized drop, too.

Get connected with Tummy Drops:

                                                       Like Tummy Drops by Enteral Health on Facebook

                                                       Follow Tummy Drops on Twitter

Enter to win a bag of each variety!

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Nursies When the Sun Shines Nightweaning Book Winner

Thanks to Nursies When the Sun Shines for sponsoring this giveaway. Thank you to everyone who entered to win! And CONGRATS to the winner! The winner has been contacted and was given until Saturday night at midnight to claim their prize (extra time was given due to the holiday). To see if you won, go check the Rafflecopter on the Nursies When the Sun Shines Nightweaning Book review post.

Who Won the Bestowed Monthly Subscription Box Giveaway?

Big thanks to Bestowed for sponsoring this giveaway. Another big thank you to all of you that entered to win! And CONGRATS to the winner! The winner has been contacted and was given until Saturday night at midnight to claim their prize (extra time was given due to the holiday). To see if you won, go check the Rafflecopter on the Bestowed Monthly Subscription Box review post!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lovable Labels' Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals!

Disclosure: I received free labels in exchange for sharing this information with you.

I have previously done a review for Lovable Labels.. Please feel free to read my review to learn more about my thoughts on Lovable Labels, why I love mine, and why you should go buy some!

This post is to share information with you regarding Lovable Labels' Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales!

Beautiful Handmade Crafts by KinseyKrafts (Review with Giveaway, Ends 12/17/13, US and PR Only)

Disclosure: I received a free handcrafted children's horseshoes toy set in exchange for my honest opinion about it.

As my regular readers know, Daniella turned three in October. I planned a vintage Americana country fair themed party for her and KinseyKrafts helped by making a special item - one of the fair games - a handcrafted horseshoes toy set. Isn't it beautiful?

I told KinseyKrafts what my theme was, that I was focusing on the colors red, white, and blue, and that I would like a horseshoes set. This is what she came up with - made to order! I love it.

The children at her birthday party had a blast playing it. It was handled by a couple dozen people through the course of the party, plus before and after. It has held up beautifully! There isn't so much as a tear in one of the cloth horseshoes!

The wooden stand was a great choice as it is very durable and sturdy. The white paint on it really helps the red and blue horseshoes show off their colors nicely.

Overall, we have been very pleased with this set. I would definitely recommend KinseyKrafts to you for birthday or Christmas gifts for your children! Such great items can be found in her etsy shop! Each item made is made to order and 100% handcrafted.  Special orders welcome.  If you don't see something you want - ask!!

Use coupon code REVIEW25 at checkout and receive 25% your entire order.  Exclusive for readers of this review!

Enter to win - $25 worth of product which can include the shipping cost.  Just contact KinseyKrafts through etsy with what you desire and she will set up a custom order.  Just let her know you're the winner (I WILL BE PROVIDING HER WITH THE WINNER'S NAME!). email:

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Catholic Learning Toys For Children (Review with Giveaway, Ends 12/16/13, US Only)

Disclosure: I received a free Catholic Mass felt playset in exchange for my honest opinion about it.

Juniper Plum made a gorgeous Catholic Mass felt playset for Daniella. I was able to choose the color for the background (I chose blue, as it is her favorite color) and whether I wanted the priest and the altar boy to be Caucasian or African American.

Daniella (3) is very interested in Mass at the moment. In fact, she's so interested in Mass right now that sometimes she can hardly sit still (let alone sit down) or sit quietly. Luckily, our monsignor encourages parents of young children to remain in the sanctuary, even if they are being a bit disruptive. Daniella asks many questions every week about what is going on during Mass. (In fact, this week, leaving Mass, she stopped to ask Father Pat who is allowed to open the tabernacle because she wanted to see inside!).
The Catholic Mass felt playset contains the following pieces:

Altar Boy
Priest's praying hands (to be placed on top of the chasuble chosen)
Vestment / Chasuble (green, violet, rose, gold, white, and red)
Altar cloth
3 Hosts
Sanctuary lamp
Book of the Gospels

This sweet play kit is so much fun! It can help your little one learn the parts of the Mass along with the various liturgical items. Use it to quietly follow along at church or to "play Mass" at home. 

My 3 year old is in love with this set. She hung on my knee the entire time I was working on it and kept asking to kiss "The Jesus" (the host). Every time I left my work table, I would come back to find the little parts moved around and the host missing. :) 

There are felt vestments in all the liturgical colors so that little hands can pick out one to match what Father is wearing that day at Mass. Then after setting up the Mass scene, they can move the felt priest from altar to ambo, etc., following where the priest goes and what he does. The tabernacle has a small door that opens and shuts so that the hosts can be taken in and out. 

The set comes with a sewn felt book that opens up into a church shaped playing board. The book is thick with extra heavy stabilizer inside. It measures approximately 6x9 inches - perfect size to fit into a purse or diaper bag and be held on a child's lap. It comes with a ribbon tie and a pocket sewn on the back to keep all the felt pieces stored in when not in use. 

The priest and altar boy can be made to look either Caucasian or African American. Please chose the option you prefer, along with your felt book color choice when ordering.

Best of all, this kit is entirely made out of felt, so it is completely quiet! At least until your toddler starts singing alleluia. :)

We have answered many questions from Daniella about the proper names of all the pieces. She wants to know what they are, how they are used and where they can be found in our sanctuary. This toy has sparked many conversations. She always watches the priest now as he enters Mass to see which vestment to put on her priest so he matches. So far, since receiving this playset, Father has worn three different vestments which has given us the opportunity to discuss why he wears different vestments for different Masses. Just in case you are curious, the three vestments have been green for ordinary time, white for All Saints Day, and gold for Christ the King Day. 

I love how the little pocket and ribbon closure keeps all of the pieces together so nicely!

Here is a couple of pictures of Daniella using it in Mass. As you can see, she moved a few pieces around on her own! :)

Here you can see Daniella dressed in her costume of Saint Katherine Drexel for All Saints Day while playing with the playset.

Here are both of the children dressed for All Saints Day. Brandon was Saint Paschal Baylon.

We love to move the pieces on the felt playset to mimic the movements of the priest during Mass. This is really helping Daniella begin to understand the parts of Mass better than any of the Children's Mass books or missalletes that we own!

I have had several parents approach me after Mass to inquire where we purchased this Catholic Mass felt playset from and we have proudly told them from Juniper Plum and told them that they can be found on etsy!

Note: This product is designed for kids ages 3 and up. It includes small parts that could pose a choking hazard. Not for children under 3. Buyer assumes all responsibility.

This set is handmade to order, so slight differences in shape or felt color may occur.

The Catholic Mass Felt Playset is $30 and would make a great stocking stuffer! Juniper Plum sells all kinds of Catholic learning materials that will help entertain your children during Mass while encourage them to learn more about their faith.

Juniper Plum will be offering a 10% off discount code the week of the review. Coupon code: NOV10
The giveaway item will be a "gift certificate" for any item from her etsy shop! How generous!

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Enjoy Helping Your Child Learn Yoga With Storyland Yoga by Playful Planet Review

Disclosure: I received a free yoga kids DVD in exchange for my honest opinion about it.

First off, I have to say that I LOVE the NON-PLASTIC made of fully recycled products case that this DVD came in. It still protects the DVD from scratches! There's also lots of great tips and benefits to yoga listed within the case, too!

The back of the case tells you about the two about 20 minutes each episodes within the DVD.

I really love how Ahmed, the yoga instructor, leads the yoga poses for kids by leading the children through a story. Each episode is a separate story. 

My daughter (3) personally LOVES the Save the Whales episode.

I love the mention of electric cars in this episode to encourage the children to think about energy conservation and the environment!

Daniella, age three, is copying the stretches that Ahmed leads the children through by having them pretend to apply sunscreen!

Brandon is pretending to drive the electric car!

Driving uphill!

Applying more sunscreen!

Applying more sunscreen!

Sitting on her "boogieboard".

Paddling their "boogieboards".

Even though this DVD is geared for kids ages 3-8, my 11 year old enjoys it just as much. In fact, we recently had 2 friends over on a chilly and icky day and did this DVD with them. The girl is 11 and the boy is 8 and they both thoroughly enjoyed it as well. Prefect icky weather DVD. I look forward to using this with my children throughout the winter as an alternative form of exercise when we don't get outdoors as much. Perfect for homeschool PE class! I am so glad they they have come to enjoy yoga so much.

Not bad for only $14.99 for the DVD or $3.99 per episode download!

Storyland Yoga is a fun-filled adventure that infuses children with an eco-conscious message. Two unique stories, Save the Whale and Condor Trek, engage a child's imagination through storytelling. Kid's learn yoga postures by becoming part of the story and imitating animals. Yoga is great exercise and helps to calm children, giving them greater focus and increased clarity. By connecting with nature and gaining respect for their own health and well being, children become empowered to create solutions for the health and sustainability of our planet. Storyland Yoga is equally fun for parents and family members who can benefit from yoga, while enjoying organic time with their children.

Find Playful Planet on Facebook.

Connect with Playful Planet on Twitter.

Learn more about Playful Planet.

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