Friday, October 30, 2015

Ready For Fall with Florsheim Kids {Giveaway - Ends 11/10}

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

Summer finally gave up here in Northern California. I couldn't be more happy to say goodbye to the lingering heat and welcome the mounds of falling leaves. Buddy's officially fall-ready with a cleaned-out closet, a few new pieces to wear, and some snazzy new shoes from Florsheim Kids' latest Fall/Winter collection. 

Florsheim Kids is all about rich details. Their boys dress and casual shoes are old-school inspired with a modern take, vibrant colors and high quality materials. Whether you need a classic wing-tip, an oxford dress shoe, or a sporty lace-up Florsheim Kids has many styles to choose from.

This season we chose a style that will work for all occasions. The Varsity Slip Jr. is a versatile athletic slip on that features smooth leather and suede uppers, elastic gores, an EVA footbed and rubber soles.

A grippy rubber sole is the perfect choice for this style as wet weather approaches. Buddy likes to test out every new pair of shoes by running in them. These passed the test, and have proved to be a comfortable shoe for everyday wear as well.

Heel tabs and elastic gores make this an easy grab-and-go style for any busy family. Slip on styles are Buddy's favorite. The navy color and bright yellow contrast is right on trend, along with contrasting white stitching that makes this style stand as it's own fashion statement. If you look closely you'll notice two yellow grommets on the inside arch of each shoe.

Florsheim Kids offers shoe styles that are versatile and can be worn everyday, to church and to special occasions with ease. Elevating any look is as easy as simply wearing the right pair of shoes. Navy goes with pretty much anything, and I love the pop of yellow that peaks out from this style. They're a fun choice, and they certainly look great on Buddy too!

The Varsity Slip Jr. is available in two colors with a retail price of $50. Shop today for this style and more at
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One of my readers will win a $60 gift card!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Introducing Solids with the OXO Tot Sprout Chair from buybuy BABY

Baby girl is already six months old and ready to join the family around the dinner table. Starting solid foods is a big milestone, and one that necessitates some preparation ahead of time. Undoubtedly the largest purchase for most families during this time will be a high chair, followed by bibs, spoons, and every baby-food-making gadget or accessory you can imagine. The right high chair for each family will of course vary greatly, so the opportunity to view as many as possible in person is a good idea.

I received complimentary product for review purposes as part of the babyhood Influencer Network. All opinions are 100% my own. 

After a trip to buybuy BABY I was sold on the OXO Tot Sprout Chair. They have plenty of high chairs to choose from, and most definitely no shortage of differing features among them. There's an option for every budget and every style.

After having an all plastic, Fisher Price Space Saver high chair with Buddy, I was determined to find high chair that would be more appealing to the eye. In addition, the three features I was hoping to find in one high chair were one-handed tray removal, all or partially wooden, and the ability to convert to a toddler/youth chair. Ultimately this narrowed down my search quite a bit, and the OXO Tot Sprout Chair is exactly what I wanted.

The OXO Tot Sprout Chair is a high chair and youth chair in one. It boasts a sleek, modern design that your baby won't outgrow, and neither will your home decor. The gorgeous walnut of the Sprout Chair blends perfectly with our hickory floors (there is a light birch available as well). I love the roomy seat for baby, yet the overall compact design that let's it tuck away in a corner if needed.

Although I love the look of a wooden high chair, the downside is that it will show wear sooner than plastic. That's just the nature of real wood. So far we've managed to cause a few nicks here and there, but nothing too terrible. A touch up pen made for wood covers any blemishes with ease.

The Sprout Chair is designed to grow with your child from age 5 months to 5 years. The 5-point harness works wonderfully to securely hold your child from 6-36 months. All straps are fully adjustable. The high chair mode comes with bottom and back seat cushions that attach with heavy duty velcro. Everything is fully removable, making it easy to clean after a meal, and to do any necessary deep cleaning over time. The cushions are firm and wipe up easily.

The plastic is BPA free and has a matte finish, so there's no shiny plastic to be found here. Instead it lends to the modern design of this high chair. 

During my hunt for high chairs when Buddy was a baby, I learned that a one-handed tray removal feature is a MUST for me. It's something that I personally prefer as I like to have one hand free to hold baby back a bit when putting the tray on or removing. I'm so glad the Sprout Chair was designed with one-handed tray removal!
While the tray on the OXO Tot Sprout Chair is a bit heavy, it is one-handed, right in the front, it's depth adjustable and slides off easily. It also lies flat on the surface you place it on, just in case you're dealing with an absolute mess of foody liquid.

Beyond it's use as a high chair, the Sprout Chair transitions to a youth chair. It truly grows with your child through age 5! Converting to the youth chair is a simple process and takes just a minute. There are three seat height positions and depth adjustments that click into place, as well as a height adjustable foot rest. The seat pad and center post are removable and a full square seat cushion (included) fits in their place. The 5 point harness can be removed at this point as well. No tools are required for conversion to the youth chair, or back to the high chair mode.

Baby girl has certainly been enjoying her new high chair! She already knows to expect something yummy when I strap her in. Although we're offering just purees right now, with the tray adjusted as far back as it goes, finger foods will have little room to sneak down and make a mess in the future.

We've slowly eased into starting solids with sweet potatoes, avocados, pears and prunes over the past few weeks. We tried carrots last week and had a reaction, so we're at a stand still right now. Despite the stress of that, I can say that having a high chair without any quirks is one less thing to deal with. I love everything about this high chair. 

We seemed to go on an OXO Tot brand shopping spree at buybuy BABY in preparation for introducing solids and bought several of their spoon sets and bibs as well. We also chose the Green Sprouts by i play Glass Sip 'n Straw Cup for water since I wanted a glass option this time around. I could rave about each of these all day long! 

We seem to have ticked all the boxes with the OXO Tot Sprout Chair. It's structure is wood, the tray is one-handed and after the high chair mode it will be baby girl's chair until she is 5 years old. Now that's what I call a practical baby gear investment.

The OXO Tot Sprout Chair is available at for $249.99. Go here to shop all colors. Replacement cushion sets are available as well if a new color is desired in the future.

I may be part of buybuy BABY's babyhood Influencer Network, but I can say with confidence that your everything-baby shopping destination is most definitely buybuy BABY. With a wonderful team of product experts at each store, your options will be presented to you in such a way that you can choose the best one that suits your needs. From each stage of pregnancy to infancy and beyond, buybuy BABY will help guide you through each step of your adventure through babyhood. 

 Shop over 30,000 items online today at or at one of their 100+ locations nationwide. Find your nearest store location here.

Monday, October 19, 2015

New “Love For Your Little One” Sweepstakes featuring prizes from Umi Children's Shoes, 7AM Enfant + Lucy Darling {Ends 11/8}

Umi Children's Shoes has teamed up with 7AM Enfant and Lucy Darling in their latest sweepstakes called “Love For Your Little One”! With 4 prize packages and $1,000+ in prizes to give away, this is one you don't want to miss. You can't win if you don't enter, right?

This giveaway will run from October 19 - November 8. CLICK HERE to enter for your chance to WIN!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Choosing Your Dinner Destination Is Easy With Groupon Pages

When deciding on a new place to dine out, I like to do a bit of research beforehand. Knowing there are gluten-free options, the price point, positive reviews and if there are any current deals going on are all very helpful. Groupon has just made dining out a lot easier.
This post is brought to you by Groupon. All opinions are 100% my own.

Groupon's latest feature is Pages, a directory of businesses around the country, including thousands of restaurants. Each restaurant's page includes all the information you need to know in one single location. Think of it as a business's social media profile page. 

The Pizza Place is a local pizza joint here in Rocklin, California. Their Page on Groupon Pages not only includes their location and contact information, but verified tips from real customers, a tidbit about the restaurant, photos, and any groupons that are currently available. You can even follow a business and get notified when they run a Groupon deal. Talk about convenient.

I don't have time to go scouring the web for reviews and pertinent information for every potential dinner destination. I love that Groupon is really trying to showcase the restaurants and businesses that they run deals with. Learning about a restaurant and the people behind it is a great way to personalize the dining out experience. 

Whether you're looking for a new eatery for a romantic date night out, or just a quick family dinner, check with Groupon Pages first. You might just find an amazing new restaurant.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Popular Classic Toys of the Past 150 Years

It is no surprise that we love classic toys, vintage games, and puzzles from a bygone era. These retro playthings have an inherently unique quality – a sense of history that pulls us back to vintage Americana, classic Europe, and beyond. 

From basic sock toys of the late 1800’s to metallic Slinky’s of the 1940’s, classic toys and games have soldiered on to stake a claim in our collective histories. Now, you can observe firsthand how some of these popular classic toys have evolved over the past 150 years. Cap guns of the mid 1800’s allowed young kids to play Cowboys and Indians – all while real Cowboys moseyed down the streets next to them. Robby the Robot toys and outlandish Ray Guns ushered in the Space Era, providing young kids with plenty to dream about. From Hula Hoops to Sea Monkeys, and beyond – we simply love classic toys, and this new infographic will take you on a stroll down memory lane.

Classic toys and games from Tin Toy Arcade deliver hours of fun and a unique experience that can be shared by those of all ages. Take a moment and check out our compilation of the most popular classic toys from the past 150 years! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Safer Nursery Environment with BreathableBaby

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

In recent years traditional crib bumpers have been getting a bad rap, and for good reason. They simply aren't worth the suffocation and entanglement risks posed to your precious baby. It's best to forgo those bulky bumpers and opt for no bumper at all, or choose a breathable option like the Breathable Mesh Crib Liner from BreathableBaby.

I'll never forget the screams of Buddy when he was a baby, getting his arms and legs stuck in between the crib slats in the middle of the night. I knew that I would not give in traditional bumpers but at that time I was not aware of any other options. Before baby girl arrived I spotted the Breathable Mesh Crib Liner at Target and knew I had to have it.

The Breathable Mesh Crib Liner is made from a lightly-padded, breathable mesh that uses exclusive Air channel technology (ACT) fabric to maximize air flow. In the interest of testing the breathability of the mesh, I smashed my face right up against it. I could breathe as though nothing was there, and I instantly felt relieved to have found a safe bumper option for my baby girl. The liner tucks below the mattress for a secure, safe fit.

The 100% polyester liner does not contain any chemicals, flame retardants or formaldehyde. It's completely washable, not scratchy at all, and protects baby from major bumps and bruises, and from getting stuck between crib slats. 

Two mesh panels are included, one short and one long, to provide full coverage with no gaps between crib slats and at corners. They are fastened with adjustable velcro at each end, and with several ties along each panel to obtain a secure fit. It took me a few tries to get the liner fitted properly but it's worth the effort.

I received the Mesh Crib Liner as part of the BreathableBaby 3-piece Safety Crib Bedding Set. This set also includes a white crib skirt and a white nursery blanket. The blanket consists of two layers of different breathable fabrics and features rounded corners. While it's not a large blanket and doesn't belong IN the crib with baby, it's perfect for times you'd rather not use a heavy blanket to cuddle with baby.

We may not be using the crib yet (the best laid plans never go as intended, right?), but when we do, baby girl will be safe. The Breathable Mesh Crib Liner not only keeps arms and legs safely inside the crib, but pacifiers too! I remember reaching behind Buddy's crib in the middle of the night to retrieve all the pacifiers that he had dropped. With the liner in place, everything stays inside.

The white mist color is a very bright white, and perfectly gender neutral. This set is also available in pink or blue, and all three colors can be found on Amazon for about $30-$40.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Why are social workers essential in the battle against dementia?

Disclosure: This is a guest post submitted by Kira B.

Dementia is widely acknowledged as one of the largest issues facing health and social care in the UK today. Affecting around 800,000 elderly people in Britain, it is estimated that one in four hospital in-patients is currently suffering from the condition. In addition to this, the current NHS spend on looking after people with dementia stands at a staggering £23 billion per year. And as our population ages and people continue to live longer, it is clear that the battle against dementia is a challenge we have to face head on.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

New Children's Joke Books from UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation Benefit Families in Need #UHCCFjokes

Disclosure: This post is brought to by UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation.

Kids love a good joke, right? Buddy is my little joker around here. His current favorite joke book has dozens of sticky flags poking out, bookmarking his most loved jokes. My search for another joke book for him is over with this new release!

UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) just released two new joke books with proceeds funding child medical grants for families in need.

The books – “Little Book - Big Laughs” Riddle Book and Little Book - Big Laughs” Knock-Knock Book are available on for just $5.99 each. They include more than 350 knock-knock jokes and 500 riddles that were submitted by kids around the country to share laughter and smiles with other kids. The books are ideal for children ages 4 to 12, but can be enjoyed by anyone who loves a good joke.

The first Little Book-Big Laughs joke book was released April Fools' Day 2014 and was a Mom’s Choice Gold Award recipient for juvenile books. The success of the first book helped propel the idea of creating two additional books for a joke book series.

“The inspiration behind these books is to bring smiles and laughter to children, whether in a hospital, in the car or just hanging out with friends and family,” said UHCCF President Matt Peterson. “Earlier this month, we awarded our 10,000th medical grant, and the proceeds from these books will help us further our mission of helping thousands’ more families in the years ahead.” 

The proceeds from the sales of these two new books will help raise funds for UHCCF grants that help families pay for children’s medical expenses not covered, or not fully covered, by a commercial health insurance plan. Since 2007, UHCCF has funded more than 10,000 medical grants totaling more than $29 million. To apply for a grant, donate or learn more, please visit

UHCCF also publishes the award-winning Oliver & Hope™ series of children's storybooks and other fun product, which also help fund child medical grants. These are also all available at Amazon.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Number Lovin' Oven - New from LeapFrog! {Giveaway - Ends 10/18}

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

The Number Lovin' Oven is the latest addition to the LeapFrog collection of educational, learning toys for children. Add this one to your little one's wish list this holiday season - it'll be here before you know it! Toddlers and preschoolers will love this interactive play oven and all it's fun features that encourage early math skills.

Little ones can pretend they're cooking along with mom and dad in the kitchen with this new cooking toy. The 2-5 year old crowd will love counting and singing along as they explore numbers, time, temperature, parts of a whole, sharing and vocabulary skills in a fun way.

The Number Lovin' Oven comes with 16 pieces and an oven door that opens and closes (and stores the pieces!) to activate responses about cooking and sharing. Fry an egg in the skillet on the stove burner, which makes real sizzle sounds! Bake up a loaf of bread that separates into thirds, a pizza that separates into fourths, or a couple cupcakes on the baking tray. Count down with the timer until it dings, and see the light blink off when the food is ready to eat. Press the chef's hat for over thirty learning songs and fun phrases. 

Although my littles miss the target crowd on this toy, both kiddos are still enjoying it. Baby girl loves toys that make noise right now, and she likes to grabs the pieces which fit perfectly in her little hands. Buddy just loves toys that are for younger kids. At almost 7 years old, he can't get enough of them! They play well together and it only gets better as baby girl gets older and interacts more and more each day! 

Are you putting this one on your little one's Christmas list? The Number Lovin' Oven is available now online and all major retailers for $24.99.
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One of my readers will receive a LeapFrog Number Lovin' Oven!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Not Another 'How to Get Your Pre-Baby Body Back' Article

Disclosure: This is a guest post.

Browse the Internet, watch TV, or flip through a parenting magazine and chances are you'll come across advice for new moms who want their bodies to "bounce back" after pregnancy. It's pretty whoever coined that phrase has never been pregnant, because it sounds so simple.

The truth is — notwithstanding photos of celebrity moms who emerge a few weeks after giving birth with flat tummies and perky breasts — your pre-pregnancy body is pretty much history. Every woman's experience is a little different, of course, but even die-hard exercise junkies know that hardened abdomens remain disguised by wrinkled skin that spills over the top of their jeans.

As another blogger said, "I really don't know why it's called a muffin top. Muffins are delicious and make me smile. But the dough ball that continues to rise over the top of my pants is not delicious and it does not make me smile."

Experts warn that when it comes to getting that post-pregnancy body back in shape, neither crash dieting nor a stringent exercise program is the way to go — particularly if you've had a difficult pregnancy or a C-section delivery or are breastfeeding.

The talk about getting back into shape refers mainly to a woman's midsection. Post-pregnancy breasts, of course, are a lost cause. It's not uncommon for women to drop a full bra size after having a baby. That's compared to the pre-pregnancy breast size. They get saggy, they get smaller, and if you have more than one baby, it gets worse with each pregnancy.

So let's stipulate that exercise and healthy eating habits should be encouraged, but they won't tighten your skin or boost your breast size. That's why plastic surgery — specifically a "mommy makeover" —is an increasingly popular option.

If you're like many women, it's likely you've waged an internal debate about plastic surgery. Post-pregnancy bodies should be appreciated for what they are, says one voice. But I'm really, really not happy with this body, the other voice counters.

The author of an article that appeared on the Salon website summed it up this way:

"Never in my life would I have guessed I'd get plastic surgery. I disdained women like that: insecure and shallow about their looks. And yet, after having two children, I found myself at 25 years old with the body of an old lady. My grandmother’s 82-year-old figure was more feminine. My body was like a rubber band that had been stretched one too many times, unable to snap back into its natural shape."

A mommy makeover combines body contouring procedures such as a tummy tuck and liposuction with cosmetic breast surgery in a single operation. A tummy tuck removes excess abdominal skin and, when needed, repairs abdominal muscles separated by pregnancy. Breast surgery usually includes a breast lift, which is often combined with breast augmentation.

On his website, Sacramento plastic surgeon Dr. Wayne Yamahata says the benefits of a mommy makeover often go beyond physical changes: "Many women with children tend to put off taking care of their own needs. But pursuing a desire to get that pre-pregnancy body back can have both physical and emotional benefits. Most women feel more confident and have renewed energy after a Mommy Makeover."

Indeed, the satisfaction rate among patients is reportedly very high on the RealSelf website, a very popular online forum where people who are either considering or who have had plastic surgery can connect with other potential patients and board-certified specialists.

The website includes a "Worth It" feature that gauges patient satisfaction rates for different treatments and procedures. Of the 3,661 reviews submitted during a 24-month period, 98% rated mommy makeover surgery as worth it.

Hard to argue with those numbers. It's safe to say, however, that satisfied patients are those who carefully research potential surgeons and ultimately select a specialist who is board certified and is experienced performing the procedures involved in a mommy makeover.

The decision isn't easy, of course. But it's helpful to know you're not alone.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Umi Children's Shoes :: New Styles for Fall {Giveaway - Ends 10/11}

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

Helloooooo fall! I've been impatiently waiting for summer to end because my favorite jeans and flannels have been calling my name! I love fall as its not too hot, not too cold, but juuuust right. Fall means school is back in session, pumpkin spice everything, and i can turn on my oven any time of day without overheating the whole darn house (and that means lots of baking and hopefully some good freezer meal prep too). I also love the change in seasons for all the new shoe collections and style trends that pop up! 

Umi Children's Shoes' new Autumn/Winter 2015 collection is now available. I'm seeing fun textures, colors, and modern classics for boys and girls!

The Riley is a leather buckled chukka, perfect for any outfit whether it's casual or dressy. The buckle detail features a hook and loop closure, so these are easy to put on and take off without needing mom or dad's help. I love the additional orange detail along the rubber sole's edge, which really gives these "boots", as Buddy calls them, tons of personality. They seem really well-made and durable, which I need of course with my busy boy.

I adore this style and would consider it a must-have this season for any young boy. Buddy continues to reach for these the most on his way out the door, no matter what our destination may be. The Riley is versatile and really elevates any look you're going for, and is available in tan color too.

This time we chose a style for baby girl as well, her first pair of Umi's! This is the Poppy B in pink, which is also available in navy, gold, or silver. The mary jane style is one of my favorite for baby girl since the adjustable closure helps keep the shoes on.

The Poppy B from UmiBaby boasts lots of texture, quilted sides and a shimmery canvas to boot. The uppers, lining, and footbed are all canvas, and the polka dots on the footbed just kill me! These are a great everyday shoe for any little girl, and will go with pretty everything. They're just darn tootin' cute!

Can you tell these are still huge on baby girl? Haha, yes, they are way too big. I don't think I got an accurate measurement on her little feet (she's such a wiggly thing!), so she can't quite wear these and probably won't until spring. The thicker sole is probably best for a walker anyhow, so that's okay. However, I'm really excited about Umi's new infant collection that just came out, which is probably a better option for baby girl right now.

Awwww, my sweet kiddos on a lovely morning at the park. Don't grow up too fast now, ya hear? To shop the all the new styles in the Autumn/Fall Collection, go to Happy Shopping!

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