Monday, June 30, 2014

Understanding Infertility Infographic

I have lost two children via miscarriage. It took us almost three years of trying naturally to get pregnant with Daniella and we haven't used any form of birth control since having her...but we haven't gotten pregnant again since losing our last baby in January 2012. I know that I am not the only one affected by infertility. Please share your story in a comment below.









This Understanding Infertility infographic defines infertility, discusses causes and contributions of infertility for men and women, and offers ways to get informed and make a plan for men and women interested in starting a family.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Learning is Fun with Educational DVDs from Organa Kids (Review with Giveaway, Ends 07/13/14, US Only)

Disclosure: We received two free DVDs in exchange for our honest opinion about them.


 
 
 
Organa is introducing American families to cultures from around the world through stories and characters with universal themes. As mothers of small children, we evaluate hundreds of titles and hand-pick our catalog with an emphasis on stories, art and science. It is important that kids entertainment is high quality and age appropriate without speaking down to them. Entertainment and technology should inspire kids to have an awareness of the world as a whole.
 
Organa encourages a balance between technology use and real-world experiences. Our first app for the iphone, “Scavenger Traveler” is a scavenger hunt that encourages kids to explore the world around them and bring home mementos of their travels.
 
Our founders have ties to The Criterion Collection and The Voyager Company known for quality entertainment and ground-breaking multi-media. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your preschooler gobbled up the first volume of Professor Iris teaching science so quickly that we had to get you more!
Professor Iris has a knack for explaining things so that young children will understand and each episode includes a song to reinforce the theme. Each episode begins with Professor Iris arriving in his classroom greeted by his students. The theme of the episode can usually be found in his oversized bowtie.
Designed for preschoolers and created by award-winning cartoonist and animator Henri Desclez, who brought in puppeteers from the show Fraggle Rock. The set and the puppetry are great quality.
Episodes on this volume:
  • Seasons
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Hot & Cold, Nature
  • The Earth and the Sky
  • Minerals
 
 
 
I really like that this DVD focuses on several different science topics for kids. It's 87 minutes long so each segment is about 15-20 minutes which is just long enough to hold little ones' attention.
 
 
 
The episodes are really cute, yet informative. Daniella (3) especially likes the Fruits and Vegetables one! Brandon (12) didn't love it but he watched it. I like being able to put on something educational when my kids insist on screen time. 
 
 
 
Want to go to the zoo and hang around with the bendiest monkey in town? Better teach your scooter how to fly, then! Come stomp with the elephants, nibble leaves with the giraffes & tuck yourself up in a tortoise shell. Every animal is special in its own way - just like you!
Make play an adventure for the body in this of yoga instruction for kids. Join Scooter and the Boy for an action adventure that improves Flexibility. Enjoy 30 minutes of interactive fitness fun that kids will want to do again and again. Help your children discover flexibility through yoga. Stories are thoughtfully written to teach social—emotional lessons. Accompanying guide supports you in building on the skills and lessons in the stories. Playing and exercising with your children will lay a foundation of fitness that will last throughout their lives

BENEFITS:

  • Cost-effective movement enrichment – a specialist for the price of a DVD
  • Kids get the exercise/creative play time they need everyday – even indoors
  • Requires no additional supervision or equipment
  • Progressive – the more kids participate, the more they master and benefit
  • Develops self-awareness, gross motor skills, attention and self-regulation
  • Nurtures kinesthetic intelligence – 80% of kids are kinesthetic learners
 
buy The Birthday Gift: Strength: Children's Fitness DVD

DVD is 25-30 minutes and includes:

  • Warm-up
  • Story + Creative movement + Yoga + Brain Gym®
  • Relaxation
  • Adventure Skill (self-regulation) review
  • Teacher Guide
 
All DVD exercise sessions are comprehensive and balanced. Movement is informed by creative movement, yoga, Brain Gym(R), and educational research to optimize physical and cognitive development. Stories are thoughtfully written to teach social – emotional lessons. Online P/T guide supports you in building on the skills and lessons in the stories.
 
 
 
This DVD is 30 minutes long and is very yoga-like. It highly encourages movement with little ones. Brandon does like this one a bit more and did get moving some with it, but not as much as Daniella! She absolutely loves this DVD! Now that we are in the heat of summer down here in Hotlanta, Georgia, I love being able to put on a DVD that encourages my children to get up and move when it's too hot to enjoy being outside running, playing, biking, etc.
 
 
Check out the other products Organa Kids has to offer:

ANIMATED STORIES FOR KIDS ON DVD: http://j.mp/AnimatedTales
• The Moushole Cat
• Stories from East of the Moon
• The Adventures of Mouse & Mole
• The Angel and the Soldier Boy
• A Small Miracle & On Christmas Eve
• Castle Farm
• Happy Valley

YOGA FUN & FITNESS FOR KIDS ON DVD: http://j.mp/Yoga4KidsDVD
• PIZZA PARTY! Yoga Class for Kids
• MOVE WITH ME: Monkeying Around at the Zoo
• MOVE WITH ME: The Birthday Gift
• MOVE WITH ME: Possum's Tail
• MOVE WITH ME: Heart Series
• MOVE WITH ME: Mind Series
• MOVE WITH ME: Body Series

SCIENCE FUN ON DVD: http://j.mp/Science4KidsDVD
• Iris: The Happy Professor

ANIMATED STORIES FOR KIDS ON CD-ROM:
• Croatian Tales of Long Ago: Part One
• Croatian Tales of Long Ago: Part Two
• Stribor's Forest





Organa Kids is running a special now that with a purchase of $50, shipping is free. Several products are reduced in price, including especially all CD-ROMs, which are only $5 each! There is no code needed to receive this discount.
 
 
 
 
Connect with Organa Kids -
 
 
Website - www.organa.com
 
Facebook- http://www.facebook/organakids

Organa Kids has offered a giveaway for one lucky winner to receive a copy of Iris: The Happy Professor Volume 3!

 
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Get Ready for Back to School with Little Passports

Disclosure: **The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.**

Little Passports is excited to announce a limited-edition of Little Passports themed back to school supplies!  
As you take a break from school runs and practice pick-ups, now is a great time for you to prepare for the annual school shopping trip!  Are you looking for things to keep your kids organized this year? Little Passports has the perfect personalized products -- see below for full details.  Back to School Bundle
Little Passports Back to School Bundle for only $19.95
Includes:

1 Folder
1 Notebook
5 Bookmarks





Premium Lunchbox
Little Passports Premium Lunchbox and Chalkboard for only $29.95
Features: Fun chalkboard for your own hand-written messages!

Roomy at 7.5" x 6.5" x 4".
Sturdy tin design.





 
Get Ready for Back to School with Little Passports

As summer kicks off and families enjoy pool time, summer vacations and more, Little Passports is working to get their explorers ready for back to school time. Keep the journey of Sam and Sophia going with new personalized products perfect for keeping kids organized as they embark on another year of learning. Choose from a Little Passports Back to School Bundle for only $19.95, which features a folder, notebook and 5 bookmarks or a Little Passports Premium Lunchbox and Chalkboard for only $29.95 with a fun chalkboard inside to write hand-written notes. Even better, pick up both! These items are only available for a limited-time, so order today!

 
 

I know that we are all in summer mode right now and are not necessarily thinking about the school year yet, but there's a limited time available for these so I suggest that you hurry!


Little Passports Premium Lunchbox and Chalkboard for only $29.95
Little Passports Back to School Bundle for only $19.95
Little Passports USA Edition: 1 year at $10.95/month

All Natural, Gluten Free Fruit Crisps by Brothers All Natural (Review with Giveaway, Ends 07/12/14, US Only)

Disclosure: We received free fruit crisps in exchange for our honest opinion about them.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I am excited to tell you about  Brothers All Natural . I was specifically looking for a sweeter, healthier snack to add to my kids' Easter baskets, although these are great for lunch boxes, after school snacks, and even for trick or treating! We received two boxes of their Mickey Mouse Apple Cinnamon crisps.

 
 

Here's Daniella's Easter basket with books, Thomas wooden trains, and Brothers All Natural fruit crisps!
 
 
Here's Brandon's Easter basket with books, DVDs, and Brothers All Natural fruit crisps.

 
 

Each bag is 1/2 cup of real, sliced Fuji apples. The water has been gently removed so that they have been dehydrated, and then they add a little bit of real cinnamon. Brothers All Natural fruit crisps are a true 100% natural, freeze-dried fruit snack. They contain no preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors and added sugar! Plus, they are allergy free:  gluten free, soy free and peanut and tree nut free. Not to mention, they are vegan, non GMO, and OU Kosher certified! The only thing that would have made them better would be if they were made from organic apples since apples are part of the Dirty Dozen.


They have the simplest ingredient list ever-
Ingredients: 100% Freeze-Dried Fuji Apples and Pure Cinnamon! That's really it.

 

 
These two boxes seriously disappeared from our house faster than any food ever has! Can you see the pure joy in her face about how much she LOVED these fruit crisps?

 
 
We have tried many other brands of freeze dried fruits and vegetables since we began baby led weaning with Daniella and she would never eat ANY of them...until Brothers All Natural.

 

 
She wanted bag after bag after bag! Brandon and I had to sneak some just to get a chance to try them. Daniella especially liked the Mickey Mouse packaging!

 
The pieces were a good size, too. Just right for her little hands.

 
 
Goofy kid!!! Lol
 

 
 
This is how much there is in each bag.
 
 
 
 
Use coupon code growingupnaturally10 to save 10 % off your purchase! (one time use per customer)Brothers All Natural even provides free shipping for orders over $25.00!
 
 
 
Connect with Brothers All Natural-
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For a giveaway, Brothers All Natural is offering a Variety Pack of their Fruit Crisp. The winner can choose regular or Disney packaging.
 
 
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Canning Season is Here! Did You Know That Lovable Labels Makes Canning Labels? (Review with Giveaway, Ends 07/10/14, US and Canada Only)

Disclosure: I received free labels in exchange for my honest opinion about them. If you make a purchase using the coupon code enclosed in this review, I may earn additional free products. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention and this proved all too true for Laura Porreca, Owner and President of Lovable Labels. 
 
When Laura’s first child entered daycare, she was told to label all his belongings.  This meant labeling everything from his outdoor clothing, to his indoor shoes, lunches, sippy cups and backpack. Laura recognized a need in the market for personalized labels that were tough and durable and could stand the test of time and the everyday use that children put them through.
 
After researching and testing many different products and designs, Laura created a line of labels that include Regular and Slimline Stickers, Shoe Labels, Iron-ons and Bag Tags.  They are not only bright, fun and colourful but also met the high standards that parents have come to expect.  The Regular and Slimline labels are microwave and dishwasher safe, the Iron-on labels stay put in the washer and dryer, the Shoe Labels have an extra strength adhesive to ensure they won't come off and the Bag Tags are made of a durable and flexible plastic.  
 
In 2003 Lovable Labels was born!
 
Today, the company continues to grow and offer exciting opportunities for its team of sales agents.  Laura also feels strongly about giving back and has incorporated fundraising into the Lovable Labels company. Schools, daycares and camps use our labels to raise funds for extra-curricular activities while providing a practical and useful product for parents and children. 
 
 
 
 
For this review, I received Lovable Labels' canning labels. Here's some information about them:
 
 
Jar Toppers and Jar Labels
Dress up your jam, jelly, salsa, fruit & vegetable canned goods! Personalize them any way you like and impress friends with your fancy jars!
Round labels fit the lid of a standard regular or small jar.
 
Write-On Labels
These "Write-on" Labels are made to be written on over and over and are completely safe to use in the fridge/freezer, microwave or dishwasher. Great for labelling home-made canned goods such as jams, jellies, baby foods, fruit and even food containers.
 
Features:  Safe for Dishwasher, Microwave, Fridge, and Freezer! Peel & Stick

Price:
$14.95

Colors: Available in 4 color combos and 3 styles

Features: 
Safe for Dishwasher, Microwave, Fridge and Freezer! Peel & Stick


Quantity & Dimensions: 
Jar Toppers:24 Labels per pack
4.7 cm x 4.7 cm (1 7/8" x 1 7/8")
Jar Labels:28 Labels per pack
6.73 cm x 3.05 cm (2 3/4" x 1 1/5")
Write-On Labels45 Labels per pack
6.73 cm x 3.05 cm (2 3/4" x 1 1/5")
 
 
 
These are the round Jar Toppers with the Flower Power design by Lovable Labels. See how I was able to personalize them to say "Becky's Homemade Broth"? I make my own broth at least twice a month. We use broth at least once or twice a week around here.
 
 
 
 
These are the Write-On Labels with the Dotty Dots design. These will great for when I can jams or pickles which I don't make as often (once every year or two). You can wipe them clean and use them over and over again! 
 
 
 
 
 
These are the rectangular Jar Labels with the Mayan design. I like having the jars labeled from the front and the top. The rectangular labels are very visible when the jars are on the fridge shelf. The round jar toppers are better for when the jars are on the fridge door.
 
 
 
Doesn't that broth look delicious??? Mmmmmm...
 
 
Aren't these labels a fun way to dress up your jars AND keep them organized? I love mine! At only $14.95, it's a great deal for personalized, reusable labels!
 
 
Use coupon code BeckyBLB1 to save 10% off of your order!


Enter to win some canning labels from Lovable Labels!



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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Preparing for Elementary School Grade Levels with Lakeshore Learning Materials's Are You Ready? Game Show® (Review with Giveaway, Ends 07/08/13, US Only)

Disclosure: We received a free game in exchange for our honest opinion about it.
 
 

  • $29.99

 
Is your child ready for kindergarten? Find out—with our super-exciting game show! It’s packed with 6 fun games that let kids become game-show contestants—winning pretend cash for each math or language question answered correctly. Plus, after completing each game, your child wins a reward coupon—and is treated to the prize of your choice! Best of all, after you play, simply enter the game results online—and we’ll give you an instant online assessment that pinpoints any areas where your child may need additional help. We’ll even provide FREE printable activities that focus on the exact skills your child needs to practice, plus product recommendations to build skills even further—and ensure a successful school year! 6-game set includes 198 playing cards, a game stand with a discard tray, play money, reward coupons and a score tracker to record the game results. Game stand is 11 1/4" high.
 
 
 
 
 
Daniella is 3 1/2 years old. The beauty of homeschooling is that we can more easily teach her at her grade level. Due to her birthday being in October, technically she should be starting preschool tis coming year. However, we did Pre-K this past school year, adding in some Kindergarten level work for the last couple of months.
 
 
 
This coming school year, we will be doing Kindergarten with Daniella. She is so excited! As a parent tough, sometimes it's easy to wonder if you are "doing it right ". Have I really taught everything she needs to know to be ready for Kindergarten already? I don't want to push her if she isn't ready. 
 
 
 
The Lakeshore Learning Are You Ready? Game Show® game has shown me that she truly is ready! We have had to occasionally explain a question to her, but as soon as we do, she has ALWAYS  gotten the question right. Daniella has truly impressed me with this game!
 
 
 
The game sets up just like a real game show and the child gets to pick a category and how much money they want to earn if they answer correctly. There are three categories- Math, Language, and Challenge.
 
 
Daniella was super excited to earn $3 of play money to answer a question about an ABC pattern.
 
 
She loves it when Brandon says in his best game show host voice "Choose your category!". It makes her giggle as she selects.
 
 
 
 
 
Their cousin even wanted to check out the game!
 
 
 
 
In the front of the game stand, you can see how the used cards have a sorting area - Correctly Answered and Incorrectly Answered.
 
 
 
Here is three Language category cards, one from each dollar amount.
 
 
Here are the exact same three cards flipped over in the same order so that you an see some examples of the questions asked.
 
 
Here is three Math category cards, one from each dollar amount.
 
 
Here are the exact same three cards flipped over in the same order so that you an see some examples of the questions asked.
 
 
Here is three Challenge category cards.
 
 
 
Here are the exact same three cards flipped over in the same order so that you an see some examples of the questions asked.
 
 
 
Daniella won the game! This particular game, she won $16!
 
 
 
Connect with Lakeshore Learning-
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
To get $10 off any Are You Ready? Game Show®, enter code 9141 at checkout or click here for a store coupon!  Expires 7/31/14.
 
 
 
How about a giveaway for (1) Are You Ready? Game Show to (1) winner? Winner may choose which grade level they want (K-5th).
 
 
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Monday, June 23, 2014

Enter to Win an All American Half Bathroom Giveaway from June 23-July 4.


Are you All-American? Do you, like me, prefer to purchase as many Made in America products for your home as you can? Well, then this giveaway is for YOU!!


 
 
 
 
 
All of the items are made in the USA.
Hosted by Change Your Bathroom, Inc.
Sponsored by Delta, American Standard, Rayne Mirrors and National Builder Supply
 
 

 
 
 
 
Scroll down to enter.
 
One very lucky participant will win:
 
A Delta Touch20 Faucet ($423.50),
An American Standard Cadet Pro Toilet ($401),
A handcrafted in America Silver Wide Mirror ($455),
A Brownlee 2 light vanity fixture ($134),
A Kohler wall mounted sink ($359.75),
A Hand cut glass tile from Change Your Bathroom for a back splash (230),
A towel holder ($43)
and a toilet paper holder ($63.65).
**Other finishes and models might be available.

Total value of all the prizes is $2,109.90
 
Change Your Bathroom specializes in designing and installing bathrooms.
 
 
 
“Are you ready for a luxurious bathroom? We make sure you have the best finished product and best possible experience. Our name, Change Your Bathroom, reflects our passion and specialty…bathrooms.” They have their own proprietary products including: The Dust Defense Containment System (no dust in your house throughout the whole remodel process) and Splish Splash Shower Systems (a hidden curbless shower drain). www.changeyourbathroom.com Rayne Mirrors is a family owned and operated business out of Southwest Missouri, United States. They manufacture hand crafted, Made in America, framed wall mirrors with a focus on detail and quality. “Our number one priority is customer satisfaction. Our family promises to value our customers and uphold our integrity while doing business with our clients”. They specialize in providing a drop ship program for online retailers for their full collection of wall mirrors. www.raynemirrors.com National Builder Supply is a full-service ecommerce site (backed by an on-site warehouse and customer service team) offering low prices on products like toilets, faucets, sinks, and light fixtures. “we continue to grow and strengthen relationships with our customers, partners, and manufacturers. Each day our team strives to make our customers’ lives a little easier, delivering personalized service to contractors, plumbers, designers, and homeowners alike.” They are revolutionizing the traditional plumbing supply industry by providing extraordinary customer service through strong customer relationships, large inventory and customer focused technology.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

What Every Parent Needs To Know About Summer Safety


Disclosure: This post about summer safety is sponsored by Pop-A-Lock. Even though I received financial compensation for this post, I have been honest on this topic and service. 



 
With the start of summer just around the corner, thoughts turn to the school year's end, family vacations, and swimming in the community pool. However, in addition to typical safety concerns that most parents share – such as wearing sunscreen, bug bites, and talking to strangers – Pop-A-Lock, the country’s largest security company, wants parents and caregivers to be informed about the extreme – and sometimes fatal – dangers of locking a child in a vehicle during soaring summer temperatures.
 
 
In preparation for summer heat indexes, Pop-A-Lock wants to focus on the dangers of leaving children in unattended vehicles and educate caregivers about the company’s PALSavesKids Program. Aimed to support local police and firefighters, the program educates parents to first call 9-1-1 and then call 1-800-Pop-A-Lock. The Pop-A-Lock technician nearest to the scene will leave all other priorities aside to arrive as soon as possible to unlock the child from the automobile. (Note from Becky: I love that the safety of the children in the community comes FIRST!) This free community service was originally launched in 1991 and since then has saved over 350,000 children.








The following are some daunting facts about the severity of leaving children in locked vehicles:
  • The Department of Earth and Climate Sciences at San Francisco State University cites that: “Last year, 2013, there were at least forty-four deaths of children in vehicles; thirty-nine of which have been confirmed as heatstroke and five which, based upon the known circumstances, are most likely heatstroke.”
  • Since 1998, media reports about the total 606 child vehicular heatstroke deaths shows the following circumstances:
 
    • 52% - child "forgotten" by caregiver (316 Children)
    • 29% - child playing in unattended vehicle (175)
    • 18% - child intentionally left in vehicle by adult (108)
    • 1% - circumstances unknown (6)
     
     
To prevent these situations from occurring, Pop-A-Lock’s PALSavesKids program includes a call-to-action: “PALSaves 1-2-3.” The “1-2-3” reminds caregivers to “look before you lock” by: 1-stopping; 2-looking; and then 3- locking. PALSavesKids’ mascot, PALS Puppy, is a gentle reminder to caregivers to always look in the backseat before leaving the vehicle. Specific recommendations on using the PALS Puppy as a visual reminder are noted in the campaign’s “PALSaves 1-2-3” Tips Sheet. The following is an excerpt:
 
      · Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway and always set your parking brake.
  • Put something you'll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, etc., on the floorboard in the back seat.
  • Keep a large stuffed animal or favorite toy in the child's car seat when it’s not occupied. When the child is placed in the seat, put the stuffed animal or toy in the front passenger seat. It's a visual reminder that anytime the stuffed animal or toy is up front you know the child is in the back seat in a child safety seat.
“We launched this program in 1991 to educate caregivers about the severe dangers of leaving children in unattended vehicles or mistakenly locking a child in an automobile,” said Don Marks, CEO of Pop-A-Lock. “By using our expertise in the security industry, we are able to quickly and efficiently remove children from harm. This program is one of the numerous ways we give back to the community.” (Note from Becky: Isn't this a FANTASTIC community service? I absolutely love that this service is completely FREE!)
For more information about Pop-A-Lock, Pop-A-Lock’s Summer Safety Educational Awareness Series, or the PALSavesKids Emergency Door Unlock Program, please visit:
 
 
follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@popalock).
 
(Note from Becky- Not only does Pop-A-Lock care about your kids, but they also care about your pets! Check out the picture below for more information on this.)
 
 

About Pop-A-Lock
 
Pop-A-Lock(TM) is the most trusted team of security professionals in the nation. It was founded in 1991, in Lafayette, Louisiana by two law enforcement officials who recognized the need for security services in their area. Since then, the company has grown to serve 8,500 communities throughout the U.S. and Canada, providing advanced technology security services, locksmithing, roadside assistance, and free security audit information for businesses, homes, and schools. All Pop-A-Lock technicians are trained in the latest technology and have cleared background and drug tests. Look for our technicians in their easy to identify orange and black uniforms and vehicles.