Tuesday, December 30, 2014

28 Week Pregnancy Update + Another Bump Style From PinkBlush Maternity {Giveaway - Ends 1/12}

I received complimentary product for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Am I really in the third trimester already? How on earth did we get this far? I'm dreaming. Someone pinch me!

You know, there's something about wearing cute maternity clothes that makes the woes of pregnancy sort of seem a whole lot more tolerable. The weight gain for instance. I know, I know, I'm thin to begin with. But none of my pre-pregnancy clothing fits, at all. Heck, I've had to invest in size large sweatpants for lounging at home because I carry so low and nothing can put too much pressure on my belly or I get a load of contractions! Every stranger I encounter thinks I'm having a boy with how low I carry. Sorry peeps, it's a girl and I carry low the entire pregnancy. And yes, I have 3 months to go, so please pick your jaw up off the floor.

So, back to maternity clothing. You know, even though this is my second, this feels like my first. Maternity styles have changed drastically in fit, and it's relatively easy to find flattering maternity clothing for every stage of pregnancy. Thank goodness! I have a bit of an obsession with browsing the huge selection at PinkBlush Maternity, specifically.

Here's my latest complete outfit from PinkBlush Maternity! Seriously, it's so easy to achieve effortless style with this brand.

These prices are pretty awesome! For around $100 you can score a budget-friendly maternity outfit that's also versatile and totally adorable. {Through January 4th your can score an extra 25% off your order with code NEWYEAR25}

Everything but the jeans will totally work as non-maternity too. The jeans fit very nicely, with a full over-the-belly-panel which I prefer. Besides the panel, the rear and legs fit like my pre-pregnancy jeans! I do wish I had ordered a size larger though! I didn't take into consideration the weight gain of the rest of this pregnancy, and I was at the end of the size range for size 27. They fit just perfect right now, but a pound or two more and they probably won't!

I love, love, love this scarf! It's not itchy at all, and is super soft and warm. The grey and black go with a lot too. The cami is pretty basic and stretches way more than I expected. When I took it out of the package I thought there was no way it would fit, but it fits wonderfully. The cardigan has 3/4 sleeves and will be perfect for postpartum paired with a nursing camisole. Another fun, functional, and beautiful outfit from PinkBlush Maternity!

And now for the latest events of this pregnancy!!

How Far Along: 28 Weeks

Due Date: March 23, 2015

Weight gain:
+17 pounds

Boy or girl: GIRL!!!! :)

Symptoms: The past few weeks are probably the best I've felt so far! I'm hoping this trend of energy continues for a while before I need to slow down. I think I've just figured out my food needs a bit more so I've lessened those low blood sugar episodes. Nesting is in full force, to the point I'm feeling frantic at times. But hey, that means my house will be spotless and decluttered so I'm not complaining. It's actually a very welcome feeling. My pelvic pain has been okay in general, although I had to waddle through a few days of shopping over last weekend. But I'm okay again? I'm looking forward to my chiro appt next week.

Cravings: Delicious food in general, but chocolate mostly. Surprised? I think not.

What made me cry recently: My little sister (the one in Alaska) had her baby boy on the 17th! It was so hard to not be able to be there with her, but I was able to FaceTime a bit during her early labor, text of course, and FaceTime shortly after his birth. She did AMAZING and I have a new nephew! 

Medical stuff/appointments: I finished my glucose testing this month and will get my results on Wednesday at my 28 week OB appointment. I'm SO glad I had the option of not going the nasty drink route. I can totally relate to this mom here who described what many healthy eaters experience when given such a sugary drink on an empty stomach. It often leads to a false positive if your body is simply never exposed to so much at once. I also have my first chiropractor appointment next week which I'm really excited for! 

Something I am excited about:
With our insurance changing on January 1st, I'm looking forward to transferring care to a very VBAC-friendly OB/Midwife practice. The drive to the hospital will be 45 minutes away on D-day (that's WITHOUT traffic!), but it's really my best shot of being fully supported in my desire to have a VBAC water birth (or at least a gentle cesarean if necessary which is possible at this hospital).

Baby purchases: The crib is coming next Monday (eeek!) and I just bought a second-hand jumperoo, the same one we loved when Buddy was a baby. Every shopping trip I manage to pick up another pair of baby socks, shoes, or something cute. Ah! Girls are so much fun!

Favorite part of the past few weeks: The words that come to mind are just feeling content and happy. Having suffered multiple miscarriages and years of infertility, I finally went through Buddy's birthday on the 19th and then Christmas with complete joy and without unresolved feelings of sadness. Call it a personal pity party if you want, but the joy of knowing what is to come has helped me to not feel sad for my son that he would be an only child, and that's he's growing up so fast. I didn't cry on his birthday this year - shocking, especially since I'm pregnant! 

Enter To Win:

One of my readers will receive a $25 e-gift card to PinkBlush Maternity!

Monday, December 29, 2014

10 Novel Uses for Toothpaste

Disclosure: This is a guest post.

OK, so you already knew that toothpaste was great for your teeth and gums….but did you know it’s also great for about a hundred other things? Some of those things are tremendously useful, and others, a bit more obscure – but the bottom line is, there’s a lot you can do with that one little tube. Here’s a look at what toothpaste can do for you, in addition to helping with healthy teeth and gums.

Jewelry Cleaner
Simply scrub your jewels with a soft-bristle brush, and rinse immediately and shine them up with a cloth.

Stain Remover
Forget pricy stain removers – try putting a little paste directly on the stain, and then rub it in and toss it in the wash.

Shoe Shiner  
Make those white sneakers shine like new again by scrubbing them with your toothbrush and a little paste.

Silver Polisher  
It works for jewelry, and it works for silverware and candlesticks. Dab some on a cloth, and rub it in for instant shine.

Sink Shiner  
Yes, the same thing that leaves those messy gobs behind can actually keep your sink clean if applied to a soft cloth and rubbed in.

Smartphone Screen Cleaner
Dab a little on a cotton cloth and run gently into your screen. Clean it with a different clean cloth, and you’re good to go.

Goggle De-Fogger
Apply a little paste to the inside your goggles using a soft, circular motion, and enjoy a little clarity next time you ski, golf, or bike.

Iron Cleaner
Get rid of mineral buildup on your iron by rubbing it (turned off!) with a little paste applied to a damp cloth.

CD/DVD Scratch Remover  
Bid farewell to light scratches by rubbing a little paste on a cotton cloth, and then work your way in from the outside of the disc.

Filler for Nail Holes
If you’ve moving out and trying to undo the damage you did to your walls, start with a little paste in place of spackling or joint compound.

That little tube of paste serves an array of practical purposes, whether keeping your teeth pretty or performing some other helpful task.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pottery Barn :: $100 Gift Card Giveaway! {Ends 1/7 - Open WW}

Pottery Barn Giveaway.jpg
Would you LOVE a little post-holiday shopping fun? Perhaps some new decor from Pottery Barn is just what you need to spruce up your home this winter. I've joined several fabulous bloggers to bring you this fun giveaway, just in time for some Christmas fun!

Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

Co-hosts: Miss Trend SheJenn's Blah Blah BlogBabies Boardrooms & BlowoutsThe Reynolds Mom

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 1/7 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email and can opt for a Pottery Barn gift card or cash via Paypal.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

Image via Unsplash

Win It!
One winner will receive a $100 Pottery Barn Gift Card!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Need a Family Gift Idea? Capture Memories with Canon at Best Buy #HintingSeason

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

I've had a Canon point and shoot camera for six years now, and I've loved it. It's been used to death so it's literally almost falling apart, so I'm hoping to upgrade and perhaps even find a new Canon under my tree this Christmas! I'm still doing some research but I'm pretty sure I'll be sticking with Canon which has not let me down.

Since Best Buy has all the latest cameras, I've been comparing what they have. I really like the features of the Canon EOS Rebel T5i, which is one of the best-selling DSLRs (although I'm so intimidated by learning to use a DSLR!). This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression. It would be great for capturing holiday memories too if you need a new camera right now.

Canon EOS Rebel T5i

• Capture Hollywood caliber full HD video
• Continuous autofocus while taking HD video
• Features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images.
• The 3" vari-angle touch screen simplifies navigation.

Save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy, valid 12/7-12/20. Visit Best Buy to learn more.

Do you own a Canon camera? We'll see what Santa brings me on the 25th, okie dokie? :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Drunk Driving and the Holidays

Disclosure: This is a guest post.

The holiday season is the perfect time to get together with friends, family, and loved ones to celebrate, but too much overindulgence in alcohol can be a recipe for disaster. Experts and law enforcement know that there are a few times each year that drunk drivers are out on the roads in force, and Christmas time is one of them.

Above the Legal Limit

Drinking more than you should is not just bad for your health; it can be bad for those around you. Getting behind the wheel with any amount of alcohol in your system can significantly impair your ability to drive. Any blood alcohol level about .08 is illegal, and if you are pulled over you could face serious legal consequences.

The Deadliest Holiday

Once Christmas is over, New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, and it is a holiday well-known for alcohol consumption. This is the holiday with the highest percentage of fatalities due to drunk driving, thanks to a combination of increased pedestrians out on the street, bad winter weather, and sleepy drivers. When combined with too much to drink, it can be dangerous to be out on the roads.

The following infographic provides detailed statistics about drunk driving and the holidays, as well as steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe so that you are around for next year’s holiday celebrations.

Drinking and Driving on the Holidays Statistics

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lighting Up Your Home

Lighting is a crucial decor element for every home. Providing the right type of lighting is important as it can set the ambiance and mood of your space. 

This past year Hubby and I have been working diligently to update the entire interior of our home, complete with new paint, carpet, furniture and lighting throughout. Just recently we chose new recessed lighting in our kitchen, which has made a world of difference to the normally dark, central area of our home. We have a new chandelier all picked out for over the kitchen table too.

Consider Your Space

When choosing which type of ceiling lights are best for your home, consider the space. A light fixture that is too large in a smaller area will look out of place. But one that is too small in a large area will not provide adequate light. It's also necessary to consider the height of your ceilings, and even the color of the ceiling lights you choose. Be sure to not mix chrome and bronze within the same room for instance, especially for such a large room accent.

Types of Ceiling Lights

From chandeliers to pendants, choosing the right type of ceiling lights for your home can make the difference between dull and awkward to modern and warm. Tracking lighting may be what you need for an elongated office space or dining room. Perhaps a flush ceiling light is appropriate for your bathroom.

Coordinate With Your Decor

It may be tempting to go with the first ceiling fixture you find, but I assure you that proper research is required to ensure your room decor flows. This is especially true when considering a chandelier for a formal space. Choose a chandelier that compliments with your existing decor and doesn't clash due to color, style, or size. Don't choose something too modern for your space either. Instead, choose ceiling lights that mesh well with your existing decor and will give a timeless appearance.

Lighting your home properly can make it a warm, inviting place for your family. With extra time spent looking into ceiling lights options, you can assure your lighting investment is the best choice for your home.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Safety 1st :: Holiday Travel Safety Tips & Advance 65 Air+ Convertible Car Seat Giveaway {Ends 12/31}

{The following post was written by LeahSay's Views.}
Advance Se 65 Air + Safety 1st Car Seat

With the Holiday fast approaching that means many of us will take to the roads to travel to see loved ones. Safety 1st would like to pass along travel safety tips on "How to Survive the Holidays with Kids". 

I've been blessed, my immediate family are all with in an hours drive, which helps reduce this grandma's anxiety level.

According to the AAA last year 94.5 million people were on the roads, train tracks or in the skies during the holiday season. Wow, that a lot of people! Then add your own kids into the mix of congestion and for some it can mean holiday headaches. However Safety 1st has some tips to help fight some of those headaches this holiday season (no these suggestions won't help you deal with Uncle Bob who has a tendency to be a bit to loud). :)

Safety 1st granddaughter leahsays views
Let me tell you, I snapped at least a dozen photos of the princess in the new Advanced SE 65 Air+ Convertible Car Seat. They were each and everyone a bit fuzzy because she's officially a mover and a shaker!

top car seat safety 1st
1. Avoid peak travel days: Try not to fly or drive the days immediately before and after the actual holiday. Those are the busiest travel days. However, if you fly or take a train you might save money by traveling on the actual holiday, the roads are less congested too.

2. Prepare your child for the trip: Holiday parties can be overwhelming with sensory overload. Especially for young children its good to talk about the upcoming trip days even weeks in advance. This will help him or her get excited about the journey. Show photos of family members or friends your child has not met yet, this way the new faces might be a little familiar upon arrival.

3. "Are we there yet?" To help avoid that dreaded phrase and amour into your six hour trip reserve a bag just for the kids, include books, toys, diapers a change of clothes and snacks. Pre-load a tablet or smartphone with kid friendly apps or games. If you are driving keep all necessary items such as wipes, hand sanitizer or tissues easy to reach in a moment, there are times you may not want to be digging through the bottom of a bag for such items. The Safety 1st Car Door Sanitation Station is a great solution.

4. Car Seats: if you are flying check to make sure your car seat is FAA certified. If it's not clearly labeled contact the manufacture. For parents with older children the Safety 1st BoostAPak can double as a kid survival kit, it's FAA certified , and will fit in the plane overhead bin area.

If you are driving make sure your car seat is installed correctly. If it's been awhile side you visited a car seat check, it's recommended to check your seat with a Certified Child Safety Technician in prior to your trip. Safercar.gov is a great resource.

5. Prepare the guest room: If your child will be sleeping in a Play Yard during the trip, use that for a bed or nap the entire week prior to your trip, thus allowing your child to adjust and feel more comfortable in a new environment. Also if your infant or child sleeps better in a dark room or tends to wake up early with the morning light, bring a dark sheet to place over the window, with the same effect as room darkening curtains.

car seat safety 1st
Safety 1st introduces the latest car seat featuring Air Protect + technology.

The Advance 65 Air+ Convertible Car Seat features Air Protect + to keep children form 5-65 pounds safer in the car.

Air Protect + combines the advanced protection of Air Protect® fusion system with patented GCell HX™ foam designed with hexagonal shapes for superior protection around the torso. TOGETHER they provide full body side impact protection.

In addition to Air Protect+, the Advance 65 Air + uses a STEEL-REINFORCED metal frame for extra stability and includes a 4-position recline for an optimal fit to your vehicle. They've also included color-coded belts paths and installation labels to help you install it quickly and correctly, which means less time getting it into your car and more time to enjoy the ride.

Super-extended weight range
Rear-facing 5-40 pounds
Forward-facing 22-65 pounds
Featuring Air Protect +
Air Protect® advanced fusions system protects your child's head, where it's needed most
GCell HX™ patented foam with hexagonal shapes inside the seat provides superior body protection
10-position headrest grows with your child
No re-thread harness
4-position recline for optimal fit to your car
LATCH equipped
Integrated cup holder
Meets or exceed Federal and ASTM Safety Standards

Win It!
Safety 1st is Giving One Of YOU The Opportunity To WIN the Advance 65 Air+ Convertible Car Seat

Eating Out Doesn't Have to be Daunting

Disclosure: This is a guest post.

When maintaining a healthy lifestyle is priority, going out to eat can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. You can keep a few basic tips in mind to make sure that the food you have on your plate is beneficial to your health. Keep your plate colorful for optimal amounts of power packed vitamins and nutrients. If you expect a high calorie item to come along with your order, ask to substitute steamed or raw vegetables when you can. Take a minute to ask the server how they are prepared to avoid veggies that are prepared in non-healthy fats or fried. 

Be sure to get plenty of protein with your meal. If possible, avoid the red meats, which have been correlated with a slew of health concerns. Instead, find your protein sources via legumes, soy based dishes, lean white meats or seafood. Calcium can make its way onto your plate without going too heavy on the cheese and other high fat ingredients. Add it in with nutty additions such as with dishes like almond-encrusted fish and various high-calcium produce such as broccoli. Rice and coconut milks are other alternatives while remaining dairy-free. 

As for bread, you don’t have to avoid it completely to keep a healthy plate. Just make sure you opt for whole grain options. To ensure you order a meal that is balanced and doesn't interfere with any health goals you may have, check out the following infographic for tips on dining out healthy. 

10 Ways to Eat Out Right 
Presented By Gardein


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Savers Thrift Stores :: An Opportunity to Organize the Home + Give Back & The Best Way to Dress The Family For Winter

Have you rotated your wardrobe for the cold winter ahead? Is your home as clutter-free as you'd like? 'Tis the season to be jolly and give what you don't need. I can't think of a better time to do some home organizing and give away the clutter that someone else could surely use. 

I received Savers gift certificates for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

Savers Thrift Stores is celebrating this holiday season by inviting everybody to “gift back” this December! Donating your gently used clothing, books, and other household goods at Savers is an easy way to keep that holiday spirit alive. Every donation helps benefit the community by providing jobs at your local Savers, and by supporting a local nonprofit partner such as Big Brothers Big Sisters or the Epilepsy Foundation of America.

Donate NOW
It's a great time to donate your unwanted items in preparation for your next Savers haul of winter clothes. And with Christmas in just over a week, your home may likely acquire a few more treasures then too. NOW is the time to purge!

Need another reason to donate? We're nearing the end of the year so it's the perfect time to donate and get a last-second tax refund credit before the end of year cut off.

I'm cleaning house and helping nonprofits at the same time! It's beginning to feel like winter here, complete with the cold bite of clear evenings. I just finished rotating Buddy's outgrown clothes, along with some random clothing of mine and hubby's. And then I donated a nice full bag to Vacaville, Ca Savers location during our trip last week. I'm also still prepping baby girl's closet so a few odd things I discovered were also donated. I love purging what we don't need and now is a perfect time to do it with the change of seasons.

You know what? A lot of good people I know wish they could help others in need, but don't have any extra cash themselves. We often fall in that category as a family too. However, there are always several ways that anyone can give back including volunteering your time, or by donating usable things you don't need anymore. Those in need get help and you get a more organized home. It's a win-win, right?

While at Savers I scored a lot of gently used clothing to dress my family this winter. We needed a few things after our purge! Not only did I find kid's tops starting at just $1.99, but I found beautiful name brand pieces from GAP, Ralph Lauren, Old Navy, The Children's Place and Carters at very reasonable prices. It's not unreasonable to completely outfit your child for the winter season for under $100.

Savers was stocked with jackets, long-sleeved tops, sweaters, scarves, hats, jeans, and pants in every size. I even found a lots of amazing deals for baby girl for next fall and winter that I simply could not pass up. There was plenty to choose from for Hubby, with many name brands at great prices like J. Crew, Banana Republic, Levi's, and GAP. He's quite hard to shop for so I have to plan another day to take him in to Savers with me soon. There was a even small maternity section with hardly worn pieces from Motherhood Maternity and Liz Lange Maternity. I was so happy to find these!

Our shopping trip to Savers in Vacaville was a total success! Along with plenty o winter finds for Buddy, baby girl and myself, I also found a rack of brand new socks and even leggings which I'm hoping will work nicely in the postpartum months when I just want to be comfy. We purged, gave back, and scored with Savers!

“Gifting Back” Savers Holiday Contest
Head on over to Savers on Facebook to enter! Click on the “Gifting Back” Savers Holiday Contest tab to share how you're #GiftingBack to your community during the holidays. Enter with a photo, a story or both, or by using the hashtag #GiftingBack on Instagram or Twitter by January 3rd for the chance to win a $1,000 Visa Gift Card. To spread the cheer event further, Savers will donate $1,000 to the nonprofit of your choice! Two runners up will receive $500 Visa gift cards and Savers will donate $500 to the charity of their choice.

While you're on Saver's Facebook page, I encourage you to check out the “12 Days of Giving” stories from December 1-12. Savers has been highlighting the unique story of one of their nonprofit partners each day!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

More Great Gift Ideas for Under The Tree from Best Buy #HintingSeason

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

What's going to be under your tree this Christmas? I'm back with a few more gift ideas for you from Best Buy - your destination for the latest technology and electronics this season.

Best Buy is known for their expert service and unbeatable prices, so shop with confidence this Christmas! There are several easy-to-please gifts that you simply can't go wrong with this year. Anyone would love one of these gifts, so check them out!

How 'bout an Xbox One? Xbox One is the place for games. My brothers all have an Xbox One now, and hubby really, really wants one too but we'll see. All I know if you can't go wrong gifting an Xbox One this Christmas!

Xbox One was built by gamers, for gamers. With the best exclusive titles (Halo, Sunset Overdrive), the biggest blockbusters (Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty) the hottest sports franchises (Madden 15, FIFA 15, NBA 2K15) and top family titles (Fantasia: Music Evolved, Just Dance 15, Skylanders) Xbox One takes gaming to a whole new level.

In addition to being a great gaming console, Xbox one connects consumers unlike any other device.  Xbox One enables access to the latest TV shows and movies through your favorite apps.  With Xbox One all of your media is at your fingertips when you want it.

Give JBL Bluetooth Speaker or Headphones - superior sound and portability for everyone!

JBL Charge 2- Between the twin passive radiators for deep bass, the massive 6000mAh battery and the hands-free conference speakerphone the key benefit is the Bluetooth Social Mode which allows up to three different users to take their turns to play their own playlists on a single speaker.

JBL Flip 2- Aside from the dual performance-tuned JBL drivers and a built-in bass port, the key benefit of the JBL Flip 2 is the SoundClear echo and noise cancellation combined with the state-of the art microphone system to pick up calls on the speaker.

JBL Reflect Earbud headphones-  Sweat proof ergonomic design.  With a 5 hour rechargeable battery and a reach of about 40 feet, the JBL Reflect BT’s key benefit is the design of the ergonomic eartips along with the built-in magnets which keep your buds on standby without loose cables.

Give the gift of clear direction with a new GPS from Garmin or TomTom! Featuring bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, traffic and weather updates, lane assist, lifetime traffic and map updates, and voice recognition technology. 

Garmin 52LM

  • 5.0” display 
  • Maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates 
  • Lane assist with junction view 
  • Displays speed limit and accurate arrival time 
  • Easily find addresses and millions of points of interest 
  • Spoken turn-by-turn directions
Garmin 2597LMT

  • 5.0” display 
  • Maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates 
  • Lane assist with junction view 
  • Displays speed limit and accurate arrival time 
  • Easily find addresses and millions of points of interest 
  • Spoken turn-by-turn directions

TomTom Go 50s

  • Lifetime TomTom Traffic: Drive with TomTom Traffic for the lifetime of your device
  • Lifetime Maps (US, Canada, Mexico): Always drive with the latest map
  • 3D Maps. See buildings and landmarks in stunning 3D
  • 5" touchscreen with advanced lane guidance

Best Buy - Great gifts for all this Christmas! Which of these would you LOVE to give or receive?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Simply Merino :: 100% Merino Wool PJ's + Thermal Layers for Baby & Kid {Winter Wonderland Giveaway Hop Event - Ends 12/20}

Welcome to the Winter Wonderland Giveaway Hop Event! 

{Hosted by LeahSay's Views and Planet Weidknecht}

~~This event will run December 10-20. Please take the time to visit each of the blogs listed in the linky below my giveaway. Each blogger will be hosting a review/giveaway valued at a minimum of $25. Good luck and have fun!~~

I received complimentary product for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

Simply Merino is a Canadian company I am proud to feature for the third year in a row! Made in New Zealand, their 100% Merino Wool sleep wear and play wear for newborns up to age 12 is just fantastic. Buddy is now in the 7-8 size so we selected matching top and bottom thermal underlayers in the heather grey. He'd wear them all day if I let him!

WHY Merino Wool? 

Directly from Simply Merino, here is why Merino Wool is superior to synthetic materials, and appropriate for sleeping and layering especially. 
  • Naturally flame resistant.
  • Incredibly soft (many people think wool is itchy, but they haven’t felt Merino wool yet. Some people have even told us that despite their children’s wool allergies they have no problem with Merino.)
  • A moisture-wicking material, so it has a temperature-regulating effect.
  • Naturally odour-resistant
  • A sustainable product.
Simply Merino proudly manufactures their products in New Zealand using environmentally safe practices, and dyes that are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) approved for organic fabrics. Garments are not chemically treated in any way.

Now that we're in the larger sizes (7/8, 9/10, & 11/12), the top has thumb holes to keep wrists warm, although they don't have to be worn like this. Buddy thinks this is the coolest thing ever though!

As our third pair, I can attest to the beautiful quality and durability of Simply Merino. They wash like a dream, they're light yet insulating, stretchy and super soft for total comfort. Buddy tends to be a hot sleeper still, but he never complains when wearing natural fibers, and especially not with these. They're always Buddy's go-to pajamas! If we were in a colder climate, these would definitely be the perfect thermal layers for snowy weather. Perhaps we'll make it to the snow this winter, and if so Buddy will be wearing his Simply Merinos.

For the practical gift this Christmas, I highly recommend investing in a pair of these for every kid in your family. They will definitely make it through a couple kiddos too, so I've saved the previous pairs for little sister when the time comes. They even make infant gowns, baby sleepers and other Merino Wool accessories, including baby gift sets! You can't go wrong with gifting Simply Merino!

Win It!
One winner will receive their choice of product from Simply Merino!

Monday, December 8, 2014

PinkBlush Maternity + 25 Week Pregnancy Update

Hellooooooo 25 weeks! I can't even begin to describe the joy I've felt in passing the 24-week viability mark. I know this sweet baby is healthy, but I'm sure anyone with an infertility background will agree when I say it won't feel "real" until she's in my arms. A day that I long for, when I finally have two babies here on earth with me. A day I'm patiently waiting for!

I received complimentary product for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own. 

To make up for my lack of pregnancy updates from the whole past month, here's a photo bomb for you featuring my latest finds, courtesy of PinkBlush Maternity

(ALL of these are currently on sale as of this posting, so click to see the current sale prices!)

It's cooled down a lot in recent weeks, so a light coat for errands is absolutely a necessity. I love this one from PinkBlush! It's perfect for cooler days, with room for a sweater underneath when needed. It accommodates any stage of pregnancy since there are only 3 buttons at the top. The belt can be tied or left open. It's a wonderful navy blue that goes with plenty, including these delicious fleece leggings and my own boots.

When I don't need a coat or boots, I can throw on my ballet flats and show off this beautiful top! I love, love, love prints and sadly have not found enough cute ones this pregnancy. This one is fitted yet very stretchy for growth. It's also plenty long and covers my rear, which is what you need with leggings. 

Accessorizing this outfit is so simple. A statement necklace and drop earrings are perfect for going out, or swap the necklace out for a beautiful plain colored scarf to compliment the top. Either way, PinkBlush has you covered when it comes to maternity fashion and style!

And now for the latest events of this pregnancy.

How Far Along: 25 Weeks

Due Date: March 23, 2015 

Weight gain: +14 pounds

Boy or girl: GIRL!!!! :) 

Symptoms: I'm feeling a bit better than my last update, that's for sure. Nearing the end of the 2nd trimester, I've realized this is as good as it's going to get. I still feel strangely weak at times with a racing heart, especially in the morning. Sleeping is getting difficult, but that's to be expected! Time to add more pillows. I'm still dealing with pelvic pain, but the sciatica has not come back for several weeks - yay! I'm trying so hard to hold off until January 1st when our insurance changes and will provide us with some chiropractic coverage. Hot showers before bed do help, but do not completely eliminate the pain that wakes me frequently and causes me to toss and turn. Some yoga-type stretches are helping too.

Cravings: Still sweets, specifically chocolate lately. It's often what I reach for if I feel faint or weak, so I'm thinking it's a low blood sugar issue. Glucose testing this month! 

Aversions: Nothing specific at the moment.

What made me cry this week: Plenty, lol! I'm totally hormonal so sweet flash mob viral videos make me cry. Also, the pain I've been in also has me at my wits end at times, so watch out for cranky mama! I definitely have a very limited amount of shopping/walking I can handle each day before I need to lay down so I'm learning my limits quickly.

Medical stuff/appointments: Just had an OB appointment for 24 weeks, next one at 28 weeks. I have lab slips for fasting glucose and non-fasting (high carb/sugar meal) glucose tests this month. I'm skipping the nasty, toxic drink and going this route, especially considering my weak spells which appear to finally be concerning my doctor enough. That drink on an emtpy stomach would surely come up and/or make me pass out.

Something I am excited about: The office/schoolroom is now empty and resides in our dining room. With just over 3 months to go, it's go time with nursery decorating! Next up, getting the crib and a twin mattress for her room.

Baby purchases: With Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping I scored some amazing deals on baby clothes and cloth diapers. I've also had great luck on a few local Facebook yard sale sites. I found a like new shopping cart cover and play mat for just $5 each!
Favorite part of this week: LOTS of rolling, punching and full-on tummy assaults from this little girl. I love getting to watch and feel the action! Also, big brother Buddy is finally wanting to talk to his mini sister, requesting to say goodnight to her and this morning he told me he forgot to say good morning to her! Melt my heart! I. love. it.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

It's #HintingSeason at Best Buy :: The Ultimate Destination for Camera + Camcorder Shopping #CamerasatBestBuy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

We're well into #HintingSeason and it's no secret that I would love a new camera under my tree this year. With a new baby on the way and a once-fabulous 6-year-old camera now on it's last leg, I'm due for an upgrade! 

Of course I use my camera for my blog too, so I'm loving these three cameras from Nikon, Sony and Samsung, which are all equipped with built-in Wi-Fi so I can share my photos with ease. This season, I'll be checking out Best Buy for the latest cameras and camcorders to fit my needs. Whether you need one now to capture holiday memories, or you'd love to gift or receive a new camera this year, Best Buy is the ultimate destination for camera and camcorder shopping.

Nikon D5300 DSLR w/18-55mm VR Lens (available in red or gray) :A DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi so you can capture high quality photos and share them instantly. This Nikon D5300 DSLR camera comes with an AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II lens that enables you to capture sharp photos and video footage. Optical image stabilization helps prevent blurring to ensure image clarity.

Sony α6000 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (available in white or silver): A compact system camera with the World’s Fastest Autofocus, this Sony Alpha A6000 features a 24.3-megapixel, Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor that makes it easy to shoot scenes in stunning clarity. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you share stored content across devices.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2: A digital camera that allows you to shoot, share, and use Android Apps, this Samsung Galaxy 2 digital camera's 16.3-megapixel, 1/2.3" BSI CMOS sensor allows you to capture sharp images and high-definition video footage. The 4.8" touch screen simplifies operation, and built-in Wi-Fi makes sharing stored files easy.

Be sure to visit the Best Buy Holiday Gift Center to see more great cameras! Whether you’re giving as a gift or upgrading for yourself, never miss a moment. #CamerasatBestBuy