Friday, January 30, 2015

The one about Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion

I was super stoked to go out to my mailbox earlier this week and see that I had gotten my Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion sample. I like the idea and theory behind it. I used to lotion after a shower, but then 2 kids later and always running behind, that ended. One thing I hated about lotioning is that you feel sticky and it's hard to get dressed until the lotion has soaked in. So in theory Nivea In-Shower lotion would take care of those worries.

When you open it up and put some in your hand, it looks exactly like lotion. Basically you are supposed to wash your body as usual, and then last before you get out use the lotion. The texture, look, and feel are exactly the same as lotion at first glance. It has a pleasant scent. 

But once you apply it on your body it almost leaves an oily or waxy residue which I found to be unappealing. After showering, it does solve the problem of not being able to dress quickly, it is dry and soaked in by the time you rinse it off and head out of the shower. It doesn't feel sticky, but it does feel waxy like I said. I think it's how they get the lotion to stick through the water. 

Lastly, does it make your skin feel softer? The answer to this question is yes. It definitely leaves your skin feeling smooth and soft just like lotioning.

For me, it isn't a product I would go out and purchase on my own. It was fun to try it out, but that's about where I leave it. Unfortunately I'd say the in-shower lotion is a bust!





Note: I received this product for free, but the thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The one with a quick health update on Harper.

So Harper finally had her appointment yesterday with the ENT and since we've seen no improvement with medicines, all systems are a go for tonsil and adenoid removal. The doctor took another peek at her tonsils and they are still incredibly large and touching the uvula. Because of the size of her tonsils and the severity of her apnea, Harper will be staying overnight at the hospital for observation. Most kids are in and out, but I'm glad they are taking precautions. He's also going to look at her ear tubes and see if they are about out and possibly replace them at the same time. To which I said, yes please dear lord look at them so this child doesn't have to have another surgery before she even turns 5.

I'm so thankful for the continued good thoughts and prayers where she is concerned. Her apnea is pretty severe and it's a bit scary to think of her being put out and having to re-learn how to breathe. The doctor said by about 3 months post-surgery we will know for sure how effective the surgery was. She will have to have another sleep study at that time and could potentially need a CPAP machine if her breathing hasn't been significantly altered, but he seemed very hopeful that the tonsil and adenoid removal would be the end of it. Right now Harper wakes up about 10 times an hour and her oxygen drops to the low 80's which is not good. Most kids wake up once an hour and that's normal and then they get themselves back to sleep. Waking up 10 times an hour just seems insane to me. This child is  never getting sleep! She's still pretty energetic considering, so I'm a little afraid of well-rested Harper potentially exhausting mommy.

Can we talk about this weather? In Missouri it was 55 yesterday and today it's 40, but the wind is cutting in so heavily that it's freezing. I'm so thankful that I got outside yesterday to play with the kids and burn some of the inside blues that we've been getting. It's definitely soup weather today.

I am very excited for tomorrow's blog post, I got some Nivea In-Shower Lotion that I will be reviewing. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The one where 11:00 feels like 3 a.m.

I have noticed lately that I am not a late person. Tristan has been up all night the past few nights and it is really wreaking havoc on my system. The poor little guy is either just really reacting to eating cake or he has ANOTHER tummy bug. I'm not quite sure yet. Either way he's in a lot of pain and everyone around the house is simply exhausted.

I can't believe that as I get older staying up until 11 just feels unbearable. My kids always get up at 5, so that's part of it. But if I don't get a good night's sleep I am just wrecked the next day.

I had my girlfriends from high school over on Saturday night and we had an awesome time, but the next day I really felt it. I'm like crap, I'm not even 30 yet and I can't stay up past midnight to save my life. We used to be able to stay up all night with no problem at all, now everyone left at 11 and I'm feeling like I had an all night bender.

I think this is probably a normal phenomenon, but I don't like the thought of getting older. Me and all my friends were all freaking out about our age. One of my friends has a 12-year old. How is this even possible? All of us are getting to be middle-aged. Ugh.

Bottom line is I loved having my friends over, but we are getting older and it's hard to come to grips with sometimes. Aging is not anyone's friend, especially a woman's. Coming to reality with the fact that you will age is something that is hard for anyone. I'm turning 30 this year and in ways I'm dreading it, but also looking forward to it. My 20's were full of good, my 30's will probably be even better as I have been becoming so comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life.

On other notes, please give me all your good thoughts for Tristan and also because tomorrow Harper has another ENT appointment and we will be scheduling her surgery. I'm very nervous about it. I am anxious to have the surgery done, I think her quality of life is going to vastly improve, but it's definitely a stressful thought in my mind.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The one about my man crush Monday.

Few times in your life do you meet someone with whom you have an instant connection. Maybe it's a close friend or if you're lucky it's the love of your life. When I met Zak I instantly felt a connection that was so strong it was a little scary to both of us. Scared is good. I've never met anyone who has said it's not a little scary to meet the person you're going to marry. What if they don't feel the same? All those subtle and not so subtle insecurities that can creep up in your mind. Within a week of being with Zak, I told my best girlfriend that I was going to marry Zak. She told me I was crazy, but I wasn't.

He's my eternal man crush Monday. He is such an amazing partner and friend in life. He's endlessly funny, even though he also has major foot in mouth syndrome and says a lot of bad jokes. He's smart and he's the best father I've ever known. He cares so much about his kids that it's something to see them together. They love him so much and he is just as crazy about them.

When Zak and I met, it was through my best girlfriend and I still remember it like it was yesterday. I'd just gone through a breakup and my girlfriend told Zak about me and he wanted to meet me. I remember rushing out to their mutual friend's house hoping to see him. She had told me he had to leave soon and that I might miss him. He ended up staying and we talked for hours and had a really good time.

I had to get home and so we went outside and he stole a kiss from me, he asked me to give him a kiss on the cheek and turned his head and we shared our first kiss that first night. (Pretty smooth honey.) I gave him a rock I found in the driveway (Weird, huh? Lol I was young.) He gave me one and at that time I had these shoes called Kangaroos with little zippered pockets on the side (those were cool, now I have to internet search them), and I kept that rock for a really long time.

We spent the next few weeks talking on the phone until all hours of the night. Within a few months we moved in together. Several years later we were married. I guess I proved my friend wrong, I'm not crazy, just in love.

Love you husband!



Thursday, January 22, 2015

The one about L'Oreal Paris Total Repair Extreme Hair Care Products

I've talked pretty extensively about my beauty routine or lack thereof. Few times do you find yourself with extra time with a one-year old and a three-year old running around. Showers are oftentimes interrupted by long periods of crying and hands being stuffed under the door. But sometimes you get a glorious all to yourself shower and yesterday was finally one of those times. I'd been sent L'Oreal's new Total Repair Extreme hair care products a week or so ago, but hadn't gotten a good opportunity to try them out.

I was excited and interested when I saw the products. They sent me Total Repair Extreme Shampoo and Conditioner and an Emergency Recovery Mask. I was stoked to hop in the shower and try them out.

First the shampoo, the first thing I noticed was the glorious scent. I mean this stuff really smells good. It also had a good consistency. It didn't feel super thin which usually means cheap shampoo. It had a thicker texture and upon using it, it really felt like it smoothed out my hair. The overall feeling after the shampoo was good.

Next came the conditioner. You have to leave the conditioner in your hair for 1 to 3 minutes, hence me needing a good long shower time. The conditioner also smelled amazing and had good consistency. It left my hair feeling silky smooth. I could easily run my fingers through my hair without tangles. It really smoothed it out.

Finally, I tried the Emergency Recovery Mask, again SMELLS AMAZE. This one you leave in your hair for 5 minutes.

After the shower, I could easily pass a comb through my hair and I could feel that it was silky smooth. This morning when I woke up, I again combed out my hair with no problems. My hair was silky, smooth and shiny. I could really tell a big difference with just one treatment. This is a product I would love to add into my beauty routine. It's an easy way to fix up damaged hair. I think I know my next splurge purchase at the store. You should definitely try out the Total Repair Extreme line. You won't be disappointed!


NOTE: I received this product for free, but the opinions are my own!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The one about Love with Food, January Box

I walked out to my mailbox on Friday and got super excited about the Love with Food box that was in my mailbox! I've raved about Love with Food quite a bit on my blog, but for those who haven't been around for that, basically Love with Food is a snack subscription service where you get 7 or 8 healthy snacks. They pride themselves on having all natural foods. Some are organic and GMO free. They are snacks you can feel good about eating. 

This month I got:
-Dark Chocolate Cacao Nibs
-Chocolate Dipped Coconut Luna Bar
-Energy Kettle Cooked Apples
-Somersaults (Seeds and Grain Snacks)
-Breakfast Tea
-Cassava Pops
-Velvet Truffles 
-In-Shell Almonds

This month's box was the first month I've been a little bummed about a couple things that I received. We don't do tea, so that was a throw out item. Also no one in my family likes coconut, so the Luna bar was out, too. But of course as with all my Love with Food boxes, the first thing I did was try the chocolate. The Velvet Truffle was fabulous and with less than 10 ingredients, it was definitely a keeper. I wish there would have been more than one though. One just seems like a tease.

Next the Cacao Nibs. I'm very into dark chocolate so these nibs were the perfect little treat. 

All the rest of the snacks have been making their way into our lunches and so far I haven't had a disappointment in the bunch. You have to try Love with Food if you haven't already. You won't be disappointed. Especially if you are on a whole food diet. They are the perfect snacks when you don't want a bunch of junk like potato chips, etc. 

Still love Love with Food! And I just want to remind you that one of the coolest things about the boxes is that for every box they ship, they donate a meal to a hungry child in America. So you can totally justify your monthly snacks with helping the world. :) 

Disclaimer: Contains affiliate links. Opinions are my own.


Monday, January 19, 2015

The one about cheddar mashed potatoes.

I'm a simple kind of woman. I like for meals to be easy, but also delicious. On the drive home tonight, Zak and I were talking dinner. I knew I was going to make some smoked sausage (one of the only meals my picky 3 year old would be caught dead eating right now) a Caesar salad, and some potatoes, but I didn't know what kind of potato to make. I'm a potato connoisseur of sorts. I am Irish in every sense of the word and if you give me potatoes, I'm going to make the shit out of them.

Zak said he wanted some mashed potatoes, but he wanted them loaded up. A-ha! Something I can get on board with. I whipped up this little devilish gem I keep in my cooking artillery.

CHEDDAR MASHED POTATOES

Ingredients:
-6 Russet Potatoes, Peeled and Cubed
-1/2 to 3/4 cup milk
-1/2 cup butter
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (I only use fresh grated cheese. It melts better and it doesn't have wood pulp, which I like)
-Garlic Powder to taste
-Salt to taste
-Pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Boil potatoes for 30 minutes or until they pierce easily with a fork.
2. Drain potatoes.
3. Add milk, butter, and sour cream to the pot and mash thoroughly. The potatoes should be smooth. If they aren't add a bit more milk.
4. Add Cheddar cheese and mix thoroughly until they look orange and delicious.
5. Add seasonings and stir thoroughly.
6. Enjoy!

This makes a fair amount of potatoes, probably about 5 servings. They are oh so delicious! Expect them not to last long.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

The one with a Selfie Sunday.

I want to branch out on Sundays and get really personal. I decided to call it Selfie Sunday, how fitting in today's world. I want to start it out with a selfie picture and then 5 things about me that you may or may not know. I hope to keep it going throughout the year.


Selfie with my beautiful daughter.

1. I was raised by my dad. My mom was troubled and they divorced when I was young. I am a tomboy because of this. My husband was raised by his mom. His parents divorced when he was young. I think we are a perfect mix because of this. The raised by her dad woman and the raised by his mom man. How perfect is it that we found each other?

2. I'm currently binge watching The Blacklist on Netflix. I don't get to watch it too much with the kids, but if I get a free minute, that's probably what I'm doing. It's such a good show! You have to watch it if you don't yet. HAVE TO! 

3. We didn't name Tristan for almost 5 days. We had no name picked out before we went to the hospital. We had one name possibly picked out before we went to the hospital and then he was born and it did not fit him at all. Honestly I didn't expect him to have red hair and when he did, the name just didn't fit. We could not decide on a name. It took us forever and a lot of hemming and hawing until the fourth morning when Legends of the Fall came on the hospital TV. Brad Pitt's character is named Tristan and that's where his name came from. I don't know if we were intoxicated by Brad's good looks or what, but we both loved the name Tristan. His middle name, Alexander, is after me.

4. Harper's name came from an odd baby name blog post. I came across it. Before we chose Harper, her name was going to be Hayley. Her middle name, May, is the maiden name of Zak's mom. I am so happy we ended up with Harper. It fits her to a T. 

5. I love being a stay at home mom, but it can be lonely. You can find yourself going a whole day without human interaction. Everyone glorifies being a stay at home mom, and I wouldn't change it for the world, but it can be lonely also. I think that everyone glorifies one side or the other, but that both sides have vast pros and cons and decisions that have to be made that can only be made by your family. I know moms that bash one side or the other, but the truth is, it's so vastly different from family to family that I wish that all moms could be a little less judgey and a little more caring and understanding towards each other. I am so thankful that my husband works so hard so that I can stay home, but it doesn't change the fact that I do miss grown up time. When I worked at an office, I would never go a day without hanging out with grown ups and doing grown up stuff. Now my days are filled with watching Winx Club and playing with toddler and baby toys. It's not bad, just different and I'd be lying to say I don't on occasion miss my other life. It feels pretty far removed now. So different. 

So there you have it, my first Selfie Sunday. I hope you liked to learn about me and I'm going to keep up with this so you can keep learning about me!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The one about Burt's Bees 100% Natural Lip Crayon

I am big on entering contests. It's kind of one of my things. I mainly enter contests for Disney World (God I need to win a trip, it's so expensive). But sometimes I enter other contests for gift cards and things, too. And sometimes I win. Last month I won a Beyond the Rack gift card. Beyond the Rack is a cool discount clothes website. They sell name brand stuff at discount prices. I got Harper a really adorbs Frozen nightgown (which she is wearing right now) and I got Tristan a cute outfit, all for free. See friends, this is why I enter contests.

But as a bonus, when I got my Beyond the Rack order, they also sent me the new Burt's Bees 100% Natural Lip Crayon! Now as you know, I'm a mom of a toddler. This means my beauty routine is usually, "HA! What's a beauty routine?" But I was excited to try this out because it's all natural and I generally love Burt's Bees products. I was excited for the next time I actually got to wear makeup. So when that one day a week or so rolled around I pulled out my lip crayon and put it on. Now one of the cool things about the lip crayon is that it's a fat crayon, so it's not like a lip liner pencil. Since it's such a large crayon, it will stay in that shape for way longer and you don't have to sharpen it. This is a plus since I barely have time for makeup and I'm always on the go.



It feels like lip balm when you put it on. It's got a nice smooth feel to it and I really liked that. It's also got a nice tint to it. My shade I got is a nude color which is probably what I would have chosen for myself had I bought it. It gives just the perfect amount of color to my lips without looking fake. I prefer natural looking makeup.

So overall, I'd have to say the Burt's Bees Lip Crayon is a hit! It's definitely become part of my makeup routine and I've been wearing it sometimes when I'm not wearing other makeup, too, because I like the feel of it. Try it out for yourself!




DISCLAIMER: Contains affiliate links. Also, I received this product for free, but the opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The one about Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Soup!

Today I want to feature a delicious recipe that my family has come to love from another blog, The Gunny Sack, Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Soup. As you know, my family is all recovering from the stomach flu, so tonight for dinner we needed something mild and hearty and I knew just the recipe to pull up from my Pinterest.  This is also great because it's perfect for my cleaner eating approach. I have really made an effort to get all the processed stuff out of my house and focus on making stuff from scratch. This soup has a super delicious cream of soup base, but you have the option to make it from scratch, so that's what I did. The rest of the ingredients are just simples, vegetables, potatoes, and chicken. It's perfectly filling and all of our strained tummies appreciated the mildness. 

Here's the recipe, I just copy and pasted from The Gunny Sack, but I put my changes in parentheses:

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Soup:
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I use frozen)
  • 2½ cups frozen, mixed vegetables
  • 3 cups cubed potatoes
  • 3½ cups cream of chicken soup (homemade recipe below OR use 2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup plus 1 cup of water)
  • Optional: ½ cup instant mashed potato flakes OR 2 tbsp cornstarch + 3 tbps cold water (I omit this)
Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup:
  • 2½ cups water
  • 7 tsp chicken bouillon
  • ½ cup half n half
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 tsp minced onion flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic
  • ¼ tsp parsley
Instructions
Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Soup:
  1. Start by cutting about two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into cubes and place them in your crock pot. (I skip this step and just put in 2 frozen chicken breasts and shred the meat at the end.)
  2. Top with about 2½ cups of frozen, mixed vegetables.
  3. Add 3 cups of cubed potatoes.
  4. Top it all with about 3½ cups of cream of chicken soup.
  5. Mix it all together and cook on high for about 6 hours. (I cook on low for 8 hours.)
  6. Although the soup will thicken a bit as it cools, you can thicken it more if you want using ½ cup of instant mashed potato flakes or using cornstarch. To use cornstarch, mix together 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of cold water. Stir the mixture into the chicken pot pie soup. Put the lid back on and allow the soup to thicken for about 10 minutes. This method will only work if your soup is simmering or boiling slowly. If your crockpot isn't that hot, stir in instant mashed potato flakes, put the lid back on and allow the soup to thicken for a couple of minutes. (My soup is always thick and perfect, so I've never had to add any starch.)
Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and milk until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Bring water and half-n-half to a boil over medium high heat.
  3. Stir in chicken bouillion and reduce heat to medium.
  4. Slowly pour in the milk and flour mixture in a steady stream while stirring constantly.
  5. Add the seasonings and continue heating, stirring constantly, until thickened.

ENJOY!
So delicious!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The one about the stomach flu.

This has been our life since Friday:


Seriously, our house has been rocked by the stomach virus that came out of nowhere. Seriously, my kids and I only went to the grocery store and bread co in the past 2 weeks and magically we picked up this terrible nasty little virus somewhere. It hit Tristan on Friday like I already said and cancelled his birthday party. Then I got sick, then Harper, then Zak, and then Taylor. It's a really fun time at my house right now. Anybody want me to make some plague cookies for them? They make great Christmas gifts for the special people in your life. 

But seriously, we are so over it. It's still better than the 2013 Flu-Mageddon. Sicknesses have decreased by about a billion times since we quit doing the daycare and I started staying home with the kids. Which makes me do this dance:

Break dancing bear suit

I don't miss that part of the job at all. Here's to hoping that we all get over this plague really soon! 




Saturday, January 10, 2015

The one about 5-layer dip.

Today was supposed to go a lot different than it did. Today was supposed to be Tristan's first birthday party. But instead we woke up at 10:30 last night to a baby with the stomach flu! My night was not fun. Side note: It's also sad that I was already asleep at 10:30 on a Friday night.

Anyway, one of the plans for today's party was a 5-layer dip. We were sans party, but I went ahead and made my 5-layer dip anyway. Zak and I gorged ourselves on it's deliciousness for lunch. Here's the recipe:


INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 can refried beans
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheese (I used fresh shredded Monterey Jack and Sharp Cheddar)
  • 1 packet of Wholly Guacamole guacamole

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a 1.5 quart casserole or dip stoneware (I have the super fancy Rachael Ray Bubble and Brown Stoneware Cookware set which makes a beautiful looking dip. Thanks Dad! See link below) you will layer the refried beans at the bottom.
  3. Next layer your freshly shredded cheese
  4. Bake the beans and cheese for 10 minutes in the oven.
  5. Then you will layer your salsa. I like the organic mild one from Aldi.
  6. Next comes guac.
  7. Finally sour cream. YUM. Whose hungry?
  8. ENJOY!





Zak's mom dropped off a stomach flu care package for us because she's a saint. She also dropped off a fun project for me and Harper to do and a Frozen Trouble game. Harper made a really pretty butterfly. The day hasn't been all bad and that's good. Can't wait to have his first birthday party in 2 weeks!



Here's the link to the Rachael Ray cookware:

Friday, January 9, 2015

The one about Degree Motionsense Dry Spray Deodorant!

I was so excited a few days ago when I got my very first Influenster box in the mail. I was chosen to try out Degree's new Dry Spray Deodorant.

Let me preface my review by saying I normally hate spray deodorants. They feel wet and sticky and I just generally don't like them. So when I was selected I was skeptical, but excited to try it because they specifically called it Dry Spray Deodorant. Which implies that it will spray on dry of course.

I have tried it for the past 5 days and let me tell you, I have been pleasantly surprised. I knew I needed to try it in a couple of different situations, most importantly a sweaty one. I had a great opportunity yesterday (I know what you're thinking, uh, hey you live in Missouri and it was 5 degrees yesterday), but I had a long car ride yesterday and guess what, my car creates sauna like heat. I don't know why but my van's heater is hotter than Death Valley in July. You literally have two settings, hotter than Hades or ice cold. I had my coat on in the car and the heat set to hotter than Hades and I was sweating, but you wouldn't have known it. My underarms stayed dry and I didn't stink. YES! THIS IS A WIN. Stinking is not cool.

Next, does it spray on dry? I've already mentioned my supreme hatred for the wet feeling of traditional spray on Deodorant. The answer is YES! It sprays on dry! I don't really understand how it works, but we're going to go ahead and say that it's some sort of elf magic. I don't really see what else it could be. Elf magic it is.

Finally, does it smell good? The answer to this is also yes! It has a nice smell that's not too overbearing.

The only thing I didn't love is the aerosol smell. It reminds me of Aquanet in the 80's, but the pluses definitely outweigh the minuses. In short, I definitely would buy this at the store. There is a whole line of dry sprays and I'd like to try out some other kinds.

All the varieties of dry spray!

I love it!

DISCLAIMER: I received the new Dry Spray deodorant for free from Influenster, but the opinions are my own!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The one about my little boy.

One year ago today I wondered what you'd look like.

One year ago today I hoped you wouldn't have red hair.

One year ago today I wondered if I was going to be able to love you as much as I loved Harper.

One year ago today I drove in a huge snowy, icy storm to get to the hospital.

One year ago today I arrived at the hospital a half an hour late, because it was so treacherous and it took so long to get there.

One year ago today your dad and I tried to joke with the nurses as they rushed to prep me for surgery.

One year ago today your dad held me as I whispered, "I'm scared." as your dad held me and they placed my spinal block.

One year ago today I saw some panic in the doctors' faces as I lost a lot of blood and things got a little hairy for a few minutes.

One year ago today I asked, "What color is his hair?" as they retrieved you from my body.

One year ago today I met you and in an instant, I fell deeply in love. You had red hair and chubby cheeks. You were absolutely perfect. I am so happy you are my son. You are the light of my life. You are endlessly sweet and the happiest baby I've ever met. I'm a little sad that you are turning a year old and before I know it you won't be a baby anymore. But for today I'm going to enjoy endless hugs and kisses and hold you tight, because I won't be able to forever. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.

Tristan trying ice cream for the first time. 





Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The one with the update on Harper.

Little Miss Harper had her doctor appointment yesterday with the pulmonologist. We had to see the pulmonologist because of her suspected asthma and to get her cleared for surgery. Everything went good with the appointment. He confirmed that she has asthma and gave us an inhaler to use when she wheezes when she exerts herself or as Harper calls it, "her puff medicine". She thought it was really fun when she got to try it out in the office. She gets a special mask and everything!

He also cleared her for surgery, so now we go back to the ENT and get that scheduled. I'm antsy to get them out because she sleeps miserably and I think her life is going to improve so much when she gets them removed. It's going to be really weird timing because I don't want her to be recovering around her birthday in March, but the way everything is timing out I'm worried we won't have much of a choice. Regardless, at least I know she's got the best doctors on her side and everyone is working together to get her better. In fact, her pulmonologist is hopeful that maybe her tonsils might be causing her asthma symptoms and removing them may mean that we get rid of all of the medicines she's on! I would love that because she is becoming a regular ol' pharmacy.

In other news, a certain little boy turns 1 tomorrow. I can't believe it's been a year already! I'm so excited!

Monday, January 5, 2015

The one about my first Influenster box!

Hey guys! I'm super stoked because I just got my first free product to review for you all! I made a video of me unboxing my spoils from Influenster!! Ignore my dorky first time on camera weirdness!

Note: Contains affiliate links.
Other Note: I received this product for free from Influenster.
Other Other Note: I'm awesome!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The one about Disney Infinity 2.0

My family is Disney obsessed. Harper is basically counting down the days until she gets to go to Disney World. We watch a ton of Disney movies. Some of her favorites right now are Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen. So when we took our oldest daughter to Game Stop after her birthday and Harper saw Disney Infinity, she decided it was a must have.



Disney Infinity is basically Disney's version of Skylanders in that you have a base to put your toys on to play with. It's got some cool twists though that make it a little different. Disney Infinity is more about creating worlds with "toys". You unlock toys through playing different missions and fighting enemies. Right now we have several physical toys for our base. We have Anna and Elsa from Frozen. Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph, Rapunzel, Merida from Brave, and Stitch. With each of our characters it unlocked special content for our toy box.

Basically the toy box is full of creatable content where you can design your own levels and worlds. At almost 4, this is way above Harper's pay grade. It does come with a few pre-designed toy box levels, though. Harper had a bit of a tough time picking up some of the more intricate controls, but overall she is figuring it out pretty well. I'm working on designing her levels that she can play easily. That's the cool thing about Disney Infinity. You can design the game play down to the last detail and make a world that your 4-year old won't struggle with so much.

We got the Toy Box version of Infinity which came with 2 hexagon shaped toy box game discs. These game discs basically have playable mini games and worlds. Since the toy box version comes with Merida and Stitch the worlds were based on them. Harper thought it was pretty cool to play in Merida's world, but she has a hard time with Stitch's.

Another aspect of Infinity that Harper and I really enjoy is the 2-player game play.  This is helpful for tougher spots. I can do the brunt of the hard work and she still feels like she's' playing. Plus it's another thing for us to do together. I love anything that helps us get some time together.

Overall, I would rate Disney Infinity highly for any age children. The box suggests 10+, but that's mainly because a lot of the content would be over the head of younger children. But that doesn't mean that younger children won't have fun playing it by any means. They can get just as much enjoyment out of the game just in different ways. If you don't mind helping your child play (that's the fun part anyway) then you will definitely enjoy this game. And if you've got a Disney fanatic like I do, you will definitely enjoy this game!


Friday, January 2, 2015

The one with the best rewards programs that you should join right now!!!


I love getting rewarded for things that I am going to do anyway. I use a number of brand rewards programs and I've compiled a list of my favorites that you should join if you haven't already. 

1. Kellogg's Family Rewards- Kellogg's Family Rewards is a great one if you use any Kellogg's products at all. We buy a lot of Kellogg's products between cereals, crackers, and waffles. The codes are printed right in the box and can be entered via text which I really like. The points that you get can be redeemed for coupons for more Kellogg's products. My husband likes E.L.Fudge cookies and if I catch it right, I can get them for free using the coupons I got with my points. Plus the free product I just got has more rewards points. Super cool! Also if you are a member of Kellogg's Family Rewards you get access to exclusive coupons for members. I love using coupons. If you are going to buy stuff anyway, why not get money off of your purchase? Kellogg's Family Rewards is great overall. I definitely recommend joining.

2. Pampers Gifts to Grow Program- The Pampers Gifts to Grow program is another one that I use frequently. Tristan's overnight diapers have to be Pampers and so this is another, "If I'm going to be doing it anyway, why not?" program. You can enter your codes via text. I like to just let my points sit there and then when Christmas comes around I have enough points to get free Christmas presents. We are always running a super tight budget and so Christmas could really strain if we didn't have all of my rewards programs.  

3. Walgreens Balance Rewards- If you ever buy anything at Walgreens, you need to be a member of Balance Rewards. Balance Rewards will save you tons of money. They also let you clip your coupons directly to your card so you don't have to bring in printed ones. That's pretty cool. I don't shop at Walgreens a lot, but when I do, I'm always glad I have a Balance Rewards card.

4. Huggies Rewards- This is another program like Pampers Gifts to Grow Program. If you save them all up until Christmas, you'll be able to get a free Christmas present or two. It's a little less user friendly in that you can't enter your codes via text. I really prefer text method entry. 

5. Bing Rewards- Bing rewards gives you rewards for searching online. Something you are already doing. You can cash in your rewards for Amazon gift cards. Amazon gift cards are as good as cash in my opinion, because you can buy everything on Amazon, including groceries. Bing is a pretty fast earner and if you do your searches religiously, you will earn about $5 a month, more if they are running a double points promotion. Every little bit adds up around my house. 

Do you have anymore rewards programs that you love? Tell me about them!

(Disclaimer: Contains affiliate links, but the opinions are my own.)