Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Sad broken computer

My trusty computer has a virus and is out of comission. I'll be back asap as soon as it is back in working order. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, 19 November 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, visit SouleMama.

A HappyBelly is just one bite away...

While exploring options for organic baby food, I came across Happy Baby and am so excited to share their awesome products with you. They carry a huge line with a lot of variety. From baby snacks like puffs and melts to toddler meals, they are sure to have just what you need.

What caught my attention right away is that their baby foods come in pouches rather than jars. The reason for this is that it allows them to preserve them without additives and at a lower temperature. This is important because preserving at a lower temperature yields a higher nutritional value. Another great thing about the pouches is that they are BPA and Phalate free! Woot Woot!

HappyBaby pouches come in three stages. Stage 1, Starting solids includes classic starters like pears and mangos. Stage 2, Simple Combos has some really fun combos like “banana, beet, and blueberry”. Stage 3, Balanced meals, are geared toward the more practiced eaters with a bit more texture and options like “amaranth ratatouille”.
We were lucky enough to review HappyBellies organic baby cereals. They come in three varieties: organic brown rice, organic oatmeal, and organic multi-grain cereals. They are the first baby cereals to incorporate DHA and probiotics (good bacteria that strengthen the digestive system and help to prevent allergies).

My babies are past the point of eating just cereal mixed with breast milk, although it can be prepared that way. We have had some food aversions and setbacks in the eating development area, that had to do with the fact that they were born 5 weeks early. So, I have been working with them on texture by adding cereal to their purees. A is doing great with it and will pretty much eat anything you put in front of him. L however, is back on a non-gaining streak again. Ugh.

He refuses anything with texture, with the exception of cheerios. Who knows why. The “big brand” infant cereals tend to clump up when mixed with purees, but I have not found this to be the case with HappyBellies cereals. It seems to me that it is more powdery and mixes more nicely into the food. I started by mixing it with sweet potatoes. L didn’t have a problem with it at all, and he normally spits out anything that I mix with cereal. Also I love that the mixed grain cereal is a combo of whole oats, amaranth, and quinoa. It's a much more interesting combo than the other available options out there.

HappyBaby has many other baby and toddler foods that you should check out, and they are kind enough to be giving one reader a set of coupons for free products!

To enter, head over to HappyBaby and comment on this post, telling me about one other product that you like, other than what I mentioned in my review.

Want extra Entries???

Leave a separate comment for each entry.
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Like HappyFamily on Facebook.
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Tweet this giveaway and leave a link to the tweet (can do once per day)

Open to US residents only. Ends on 12/13/10. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated for this review other than being sent coupons for free samples of the product to review.

Monday, 15 November 2010

A new hat for baby!

I made this new hat for A this week and I'm head over heels in love with it. I can't help but show it off here, so forgive me while I do just that. The best thing is that it was super easy and took less than two hours.  The pattern is the Brr Baby Beanie. You can find it for free on Ravelry. The awesome yarn is from my friend Tina, hand dyed by Mrs. Fuzzy Wuzzy herself! Check out her shop here and here for beautiful yarns and the worlds best dryer balls.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Another great product from Thirsties

Cloth diapering folks, you've got to try this detergent from Thirsties! We started having some diaper issues about a month ago. It seems that baby A has very sensitive skin and something in my favorite powdered detergents was really bothering him. I'm not sure what it was, but it was just rash after rash, and only on A. L didn't show any signs of irritation. So, I switched diaper detergents. I now use Thirsties Prewash and Superwash. His skin is clearing up and we pretty much rash free.

I've loved Thirsties products since we started using cloth, and I've talked about their duo diapers before here. When I started looking for another wash solution, Thirsties was the first thing on my radar. Not only did it clear up the rash, but it really simplified our wash routine. All you have to do is pre-clean the diapers with 1/2 ounce of Thirsties Prewash on cold. Follow that with a 1/2 ounce of Thirsties Superwash on hot, with one extra rinse. That sure is an improvement from the complicated laundry routine we were doing. Also, with my old laundry routine we had terrible ammonia build-up and were regularly stripping diapers once a month. There is no need for that anymore, as we haven't had ammonia issues since the switch.

Here's a bit of info on Thirsties Prewash:
•Completely non-toxic solution

•100% biodegradable
•Custom formulated by a chemist specifically for use in pre-washing diapers
 •Designed to help loosen and rinse away waste and bacteria
•Antimicrobial ingredient purifies naturally
•Washes completely clean; will not leave residue
•Highly concentrated to reduce costs and carbon output
•HE Safe
•Made in the USA

And a bit of info on Thirsties Superwash:
•Completely non-toxic solution

•100% biodegradable
•Odorless & colorless
•Custom formulated by a chemist specifically for use in washing cloth diapers
•Probiotic solution introduces good bacteria
•Reduces odor
•Helps prevent diaper rash
•Effectively brightens and whitens without harmful additives
•Washes completely clean; will not leave residue
•Highly concentrated to reduce costs and carbon output
•HE Safe
•Made in the USA

You can purchase Thirsties Prewash and Superwash at various online retailers, and be sure to request one of their catalogs here.

Thanks to the fabulous folks over at Thirsties, you have a chance to win a set of Thirsties Prewash and Superwash!
Here's how to enter:
This comment is mandatory and if not included, all other entries will be void.
Visit Thirsties and comment here telling me about one other product that you'd love to try.
(make sure to leave an email address to contact you with)

Want extra Entries??? 
Leave a separate comment for each entry.
{Ended} The winner is: # 12, Chelsea! Congrats, I've just contacted you!
Giveaway open to US residents only. Ends at noon pacific time on 11/28/10. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated in any way other than receiving this product to review. Thank-you Thirsties.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

There's a Party in my City!

This last week was a light blogging week for me, because we went out of town to take B and the twinners to see Yo Gabba Gabba Live, in Spokane, WA. Spokane is only a couple of hours away for us, but we decided to make a little mini-vacation of it, and went up Thursday, caught the 3:00 show on Friday and came back home afterwards.
If your family has a Gabba fan, you don't want to miss this show. I heard comedian Paul Scheer describe it as Mardi Gras for kids. He couldn't have described it better. Confetti was shooting from the stage. Thousands of balloons were falling from above. The excited squeals of hundreds of preschoolers was unreal. When Biz Markie came out to do Biz's Beat of the Day, I thought B might pee his pants. He was that excited. There was not a dull moment. B never looked away from the stage.

 I was a bit worried beforehand at how the babies would handle it. We've never taken them anywhere with so many people, or such loud noises and bright lights. L freaked out initially, but it only lasted a split second and then he was completely consumed by the show. A loved it, and swayed back and forth in the Baby Bjorn that my husband was wearing him in. He "danced" through the entire show. I love baby "dancing". I'll be so sad when he grows out of it, and like B refuses to dance if anyone might be watching. Maybe he won't.

Monday, 8 November 2010

So, about that book...

Remember how I was sent Jenny McCarthy's new book, Love, Lust & Faking It: The Naked Truth About Sex, Lies, and True Romance? Well, I read it about a month ago and have actually decided not to post an in depth review on my blog, because, being a family friendly blog, a review may not be entirely appropriate for my younger viewers. I did read it from cover to cover and it was pretty funny, with a little bit of serious here and there. There is a chapter on Brad Pitt that will leave you laughing for sure.

That is all I have to say about that right now, but I do have another copy, signed by Jenny McCarthy, to give away to one lucky reader.
Here's how to enter:
Follow my blog and comment here telling me why you want this book.That's all you have to do! Easy Peasy!
The winner is:
#1 Mommy Minded! Congrats, I've just sent you an email :)

Open to US residents only. Ends on 11/22/10. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated for this review other than being sent a book. Prize will be shipped from me to the winner, via usps media mail, so delivery may be a tad on the slow side.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Miracle Blanket Giveaway!

I'm so excited to have the opportunity to give away a Miracle Blanket! When the twins were little this was a lifesaver! You might remember my review of them Here. If you weren't with me then, go back and read the review. It's a fabulous product.

Miracle Blanket is running an awesome Miracle Fall Festival and is giving away 30 miracle blankets with 30 different blogs. I'm lucky enough to be one of those blogs!!! Enter here and be sure to check out some of the other participating blogs on Miracle Blankets Facebook page.

Here's how it is going to work:
Head over to facebook and "like" Miracle Blanket and then head to Twitter and follow Miracle Blanket. You must do both of those things to be eligible to win. Then, enter here by leaving a comment telling me your craziest/funniest/most desperate getting baby to sleep story. That's it!

I will chose a random winner with and the winner will be announced on Tuesday afternoon on Miracle Blankets Twitter and Facebook pages only. So keep your eye out there!

Disclaimer: I was not paid in any way for this post. I received a sample for my review months ago, but nothing for this post. The prize will be shipped by Miracle Blanket and the winner will only be announced on their facebook and twitter pages. Ends 11/8/10 and is open to US and Canada residents only.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Teething? Inspired by Finn Review and Giveaway {ended}

I hate teething! My babies sure are not a fan of it either. I thought it was tough when we went through it with B, but that was nothing compared to teething twins. We've had two very fussy little guys around here lately and this mama is trying everything! That restless nights, followed by fussy days is getting old, and fast!

My favorite pain reliever for my teething babes is their amber necklaces. Hold up for one second. I know how this is going to go. I'm going to tell you about a magical necklace made of magical little amber stones with healing properties. Then you will stop reading and tell me that I'm a crazy crack head and probably never return to my little blog. Eh, off with you then, and that includes you too my darling husband. For those who stuck around and want to know how amber really really does work for us, here we go. Oh, and for those who are a bit o.c.d. like myself, amber isn't a's fossilized tree resin.
When I first heard about amber teething necklaces, I thought they were meant to be chewed on my the teething baby. In my mind, it was something that the mama wore and her little AP baby, always in a carrier could grab at it and chew on it to soothe those sore little gums. Nope. These necklaces are for baby to wear.

So, my next thought was, how is this safe? I ordered a relatively small one, so that it would not hang down for my little ones to grab at it or to get caught on anything. You can also chose to have a magnetic clasp if the thought of it being caught up on something worries you. I did not chose that option, because frankly the thought of losing the amber necklace worries me more. Besides, my kiddos are always supervised when wearing their amber and I take it off when they sleep. The genius part of the necklace is that it is knotted between each bead. If a amber tug of war breaks out between your little angels and it snaps, you are not going to have a bunch of beads spilling all over the floor for the little ones to pick up.

Now I'm not saying that Amber jewelry is the miracle cure, but it seems to help. When my boys wear their necklaces, they are less fussy and happier all day. You can read more about why Amber works on Inspired by Finn's website. I started using these with B quite a while ago, and now all of the boys have one. When my wisdom teeth started to poke through and bother me this spring, I ordered myself an adult sized one. I wear it all the time and I do notice that I reach for the tylenol bottle far less often on days when I am wearing it.

To purchase your own Inspired by Finn baltic amber jewelry visit their shop here. To save 20% go over and like them on Facebook and use code FB20. To save even more 25%, go over to facebook, click like and suggest their page to your friends. Of course you should try to win one as well! Inspired by Finn is giving one lucky reader their choice of in stock amber jewelry 16" or smaller.

Here's How to Enter:
Visit Inspired by Finn and comment here, telling me one benefit of Baltic amber.
(This comment is mandatory, and if not included all other entries will be void.)
{Ended} The lucky winner is #2 Josephine! I'm sorry about the delay in drawing a winner. Congrats Josephine!

Extra Entries:
leave one comment for each entry
Open to US residents only. Ends on 11/20/10. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated for this review other than being sent a necklace to review.

Sew-Along Day 7

This is the last day of the sew-along, and is far behind schedule. This little project is the "Baby-in-the-Hood Jacket" from the book, Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby. I was a bit distracted by my two smallest ones turning one year old today, and let myself fall behind. Today I'm supposed to be attaching the buttons, but what do ya know....I forgot to buy buttons for this one. Oops! So, I'm going to briefly walk you through sewing on the plackets, and then show you my buttonless near-finished product.

Take your placket pieces and fold one of the long edges in 1/2 inch. Press this well. Place your strip of fusible interfacing on the placket piece and make sure that it is at least 1/2 inch from the other edges. Fuse it in place.
Take your 1x16" strip of fabric and press it in half, right sides together. Unfold it and fold each long edge in towards the crease. Press it. You should end up with a 16" long, very skinny strip, with all of the raw edges hidden on the inside. Cut this into 4 equal pieces. Pin those pieces onto the outer part of the jacket front and tack down with your machine.

Now, Lay the placket piece down right sides together on the front of the jacket. It will hang off the top and bottom by 1/2". Stitch the seam and press it open. Like so....
Fold the placket in half, right sides together, The creased edge will meet the seam that you just made.
Sew along the top and bottom edges of the placket, using 1/2" seam allowance. Turn it right side out, and press. I clip my corners before I press because I find that it has a crisper look to it. Position the placket fabric so that the edge that is in the inside of the jacket covers the seam that is there and top stitch it together.
 And, that is it! Well...except for those pesky little buttons. :) What do you think of it? It's a birthday present for one of my twins. What's better than a handmade item that will be saved and hopefully become an heirloom.

 Thank-you Pocketful of Roses for sewing along with me. I can't wait to see your finished jacket!

If anyone else was sewing with us, hit the contact me button on the top...yep way up there... and shoot me an email with a photo of your jacket. Although, I think it was just the two of us sewing. ;o)

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