Category: Reviews

Babywearing A Little About Now and Then

Recently, I have been hearing a lot of people say that babywearing, or carrying your baby in a device strapped to your body, is a new fad.  In fact, babywearing has been around since ancient history. Native Americans (North, Central, and South), Africans, and pretty much all cultures across the world have had some sort of babyway wearing in their history.

 

The type of babywearing that we have now days is new.  There are so many types of carriers and choices of fabric.  You can buy carriers that are super cheap not ergonomic and do not hold the baby in the most comfortable position and you can go all the way up to carriers that are are hundreds of dollars and made with hand woven fabric that is more like the first kind of babywearing. In this post, I will show three different kinds of carriers that are available to parents now days.

IMG_1215Stretchy Wrap

These wraps are normally made from a t-shirt like jersey knit and are very stretchy. The wraps like the Baby More Co.’s -like I am wearing in the photo above- are best for newborns and infants. The carrier says that it can be used up to 32lbs.  However, I have found that with these types of carriers, that at about 15lbs you will want to start looking for a new carrier because this one will not last much longer.  The stretchy wraps are awesome for inward facing front carries, but should not be used for back carries or forward facing carries.

IMG_6134The Baby More Co. wrap was really nice.  I am a plus size woman, and I was able to tie the carrier on my back with with a little fabric to spare.  I wish it was a little wider, but it worked for the doll I was wearing and my 7lb dog (don’t judge, the dog loves it haha).  The Baby More Co. wraps are found on Amazon, and come in three colors; Grey (Like I have), Black, and Pink.  These wraps are super soft, and are machine washable.

Please excuse the blurriness of the photo.  My 4 year old took the picture.
Please excuse the blurriness of the photo. My 4 year old took the picture.  Also, sorry for the crazy hair.  This summer has been very humid.

Ring Sling

Ring slings are among one of my favorite carriers.  A ring sling is a long piece of fabric with two rings sewn to the end.  The fabric is threaded through the rings in a way that creates a pocket for the child to sit or lay in.  They are super easy to use, very versatile and can come in a variety of fabrics, prints, and other options.  I’ve actually used a ring sling to help keep Goose near me in public places.

There are so many carries you can do with a ring sling.  I am doing a tummy to tummy with the doll above, but there are so many more.  You can do cradle hold, clutch hold, kangaroo carry, snuggle hold, hip carry, and so many more.  Just check out this YouTube search for more carries. 

The ring sling I am using above is the Mamaway Ring Sling.  Once again, it’s found on Amazon, and they have so many options it’s unreal.  Mamaway

First of all, I LOVE that this Mamaway ring sling folds up into it’s own little pouch.  That way it fits neatly into diaper bags or purses.  I also really like that part of the rails are a little padded, so they are a little more comfortable on your baby’s legs without causing a huge bulk in the sling.

The Mamaway is made from fabric that feels a lot like a bed sheet, however, some other brands of ring slings can come in woven, linen, mesh, or even silk.

ZirakiSoft Structured Carrier (SSC) or Buckle Carrier

Soft structured carriers are also among my favorite carriers.  If you think a ring sling is easy to use, the SSC is so much easier.  This is a backpack type carrier that does not have an ridged parts other than a the buckles.  

IMG_6365I got the Ziraki carrier to review.  I was so excited because the description on Amazon says that it fits up to 55″ waist.  I was really disappointed with I tried it on though.  The carrier does not fit me at all.  I had someone else try on the carrier who wears about a size 16 womens clothing, she was able to get it buckled, but it was not comfortable.  I’m not sure if the company sent me the wrong one, or what happened. The carrier is beautiful, looks to be very well made, and has wonderful pockets, and an awesome hood.

I hope that I have explained some of the modern day carriers a little more.  I really liked the Baby More Co and the Mamaway carriers.  I cannot say if I liked the SSC since I was not able to use it.  Disclaimer

I would like to say a huge thank you to my sponsors for this post.  I have been suffering through “blogger block” (writer’s block).  There was also a death in the family and some other personal problems.  I really appreciate these three sponsors for being patient with me and understanding.

 

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Medication Free Pain Relief and Reviews

babymarohnEver since I was a child, I have suffered from scoliosis back pain, and recently, my knees have started acting up.  I hate taking NSAIs because of the side effects, and I just don’t like to put drugs into my body.

For a long time, I would just have Michael massage my back when it started acting up, but since he is now working full time and going to school, it’s been hard to get any relief for my back.  Then a few months ago, my mom broke her ankle and had to start going to therapy to help get motion back.  They used a machine in her therapy called a Tens unit. This is basically a machine that has electrodes that attaches to whatever body part is tense, and uses electric pulses to stimulate the muscles. I knew right away that is what I was going to need for my back.

(Video and photo coming soon)

I ended up getting the PM-120 tens unit from Santamedical on Amazon to review.  This is a pretty cool little unit.  It has 6 stimulation modes, each imitating a different massage type.  The strength of the electric pulses is easily and gently changed with the buttons on the front.  One of the best parts is you can attach up to 4 electrodes to the unit.  That means more area of the muscle can be stimulated at one time.  I personally like to use two on my back, and if my knee is bothering me, I put the other two on my knee. There is also a self timer on the unit.  It has a default setting to 20 minutes, but it can be changed from anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes.  The very best part of the whole unit is how small it is.  It is about the same size as a small MP3 player (or like the 1st gen iPod nano), so it would easily fit in a travel case or purse if you needed to use the tens unit on the go or while traveling.  If you want to read more about the PM-120 tens unit from Santamedical, you can find it on Amazon here.

natural pain relief

For my knee that I have been using two different compression sleeves. One I reviewed a few months ago here, and my new one that I got to review is an Tourmaline infused compression sleeve that emits infrared pain relief from Tayere.  I, honestly, don’t 100% understand how this works, but here is the jist of it.  The tourmaline is a semi-precious mineral, and it has been shown to produce a weak electrical charge, giving it magnetic field properties, which is what enables it to produce and emit Far Infrared Rays and negative ions. That somehow causes a warming effect that is supposed to penetrate deep into the muscles and tissues. I know that the compression sleeve feels great when I put it on my knee.  I love how the sleeve fits nicely under pants and shorts.  It will wick away moisture so you don’t have to worry about becoming over warm wearing it. However, I can’t wear it long because it’s a little too tight on my thigh, which makes my leg hurt after I wear it for a long time. If you want to read more about all the awesome features of this knee compression sleeve, you can check it out on Amazon here.

Overall, I do love both the tens unit from Santamedical and the knee compression sleeve from Teyere Therapeutics.  They offer medication free pain relief, which is completely AWESOME.  I really enjoyed reviewing these two products, and I hope to find more natural ways to relieve pain soon.Disclaimer

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Coosh Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor Review

CooshRecently, my doctor noticed that my blood pressure has been creeping up over the past few years.  I tried to tell her that it was because of the long wait to see her, and the fact that I have a preschooler at home.

The doctor didn’t like my excuse and wanted me to start taking medication for my blood pressure.  However, my blood pressure was not too much above normal and I hate some of the side effects that the medication was going to cause, so I talked the doctor into just checking my bp regularly at home.

When I got home I started looking at all the different blood pressure monitors on the market right now.  I became very overwhelmed very quickly. There are a ton of features that the monitor can feature, and I wasn’t sure that I wanted a multi-user blood pressure monitor.

The two I ended up getting (actually I was able to review them so that really worked out for me) are from Coosh. The models I got are the CBPM002 and the CBPM001.  I love them both, but there are a couple of differences.

Coosh

The Coosh CBPM001 has a large backlit display, which I LOVE.  It is so easy to see, and very user friendly.  This model also stores up to 90 readings, so you or your doctor can view your results and trends.  This model also comes with a carry case.

Coosh

The Coosh CBPM002 is smaller, which is nice and makes it easier to carry around because it doesn’t come with a carrying case.  It stores 60 results, which is very nice if you are not having to monitor your blood pressure as closely.

Both monitors are approved by the FDA, and they both have a WHO classification indicator.

There are a couple of things I didn’t like.  One is the cuff size.  The cuff says that that it can be used for someone with a 8.7″-12.6″ bicep.  I am a plus size gal, and this cuff is a little uncomfortable on me.  I luckily had another cuff that goes with another bp monitor that works perfectly.  The second is that I cannot find any user manuals online for either of the monitors.  Maybe I’m not searching for the correct keywords.

If you would like to purchase one of these awesome blood pressure monitors, you can find them on Amazon.  Here are the links CBPM001: http://www.amazon.com/dp/b00vvs7ada and CBPM002: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VVSXS4U?psc=1.

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Little One’s Pillow Review

little one pillow

 

When our kids are infants, we constantly hear no pillows, no blankets, no stuffed animals, so I’ve always been a little apprehensive about giving Goose a pillow to sleep on.  She has been a co-sleeper since she was a few months old, and during the night she’s has always creeped her way onto my pillow.  So, when she started sleeping in her own bed a few months ago, I was really confused about if she was supposed to have a pillow and what kind of pillow she should have.

After some research I found that you could start introducing a pillow at about age 2, but I always tend to err on the side of caution.

I knew when I did chose to introduce a pillow it should be small. That’s why I decided to go with a toddler pillow. I know the amount of toddler pillows on the market can be very overwhelming. One of the best toddler pillows that I’ve come across is the Little One’s Pillow.

little ones pillowI love that it is made with organic cotton that is grown and woven in the USA. Some other great things are the pillow is only 13 in x 18 in, hypoallergenic, and can be machine washed. That’s a huge plus in my book. Goose LOVES how soft and fluffy the pillow is, and will not sleep with any other pillow now. 

If you would like to purchase the Little One’s Pillow and Pillowcase, you can find them on Amazon, and you can read more about the set on their website http://www.littleonespillow.com/. The pillow is a little expensive at about $26 (7/1/15) and the pillowcase is about $20 (7/1/15). It’s still a great investment, and they have a guarantee if you do not like the pillow.

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Awesome Day Trips for Summer Part 1: Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokey’s

welcome-to-gatlinburgRipley's Aquarium of the Smokeys
This past weekend we decided to take a little day trip, and headed up to Gatlinburg, TN.  I have lived my entire life in East Tennessee, and I am still not tried of the beautiful montian views that Gatlinburg supplies.

gatlinburg-169145

Goose LOVES the aquarium up there and I love the mountains, so our plan was to go there, then see how much time we had left, and then maybe go to the national park.  However, the traffic and weather had other plans.

Like I said, I have lived here my whole life, and I continually forget how bad traffic can get in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.  The trip took us at least 45 more minutes than it normally does just to get to Gatlinburg,

garage closed When we got to the Ripley’s Aquarium, there is supposed to be parking beside the facility, however, the garage was full.  We had to go up the mountain, find someone’s driveway and turn around, then wait in traffic again to find another place to park.  By then, Goose was getting very very tired of being in the car, so Michael dropped the Goose and I off near the aquarium, and went to park.

silly goose

If you ever have to wait or just need a place to rest outside the Ripley’s Aquarium, there is a little area beside the creek that is beautiful.  There are cute little ducks, lots of seating, and a concession stand where you can purchase snacks and drinks. Ripley's

Inside Ripley’s aquarium, there are plenty of things to do and see.  Most of the fish and animals are saltwater, but there are a few freshwater animals to be seen as well.  There is a hands on learning area for kids after you go through the underwater tunnel.  Goose doesn’t care too much for it, but she is not a normal child.  I love looking at the clownfish, puffer fish, and horse shoe crabs in that area. The doctor fish and penguins are also among our favorite places to visit while at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokey’s.  Here are a few videos that I took.  One is from this visit and the other is from a visit earlier this year.

Other than the traffic/parking hiccups, my family and I had a blast, and we plan on visiting again soon.  If you would like to check out Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokey’s for yourself, I have a special saving you can use.  If you go to http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=10276&dealid=1704 and enter coupon code: USFAMILYGUIDE you can get $2-$3 off of kids/adult admission.  This a great deal if you do not have any other coupons or deals to use.

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Dancing Pet Best Groomer’s Pet Shampoo Review and Giveaway

First of all, I need to wish Sophia a very happy “Gotcha Day”.  Sophia has been with us for a year now, and I have to say that she has changed so much in that time.

Sophia 2014When Sophia came into our home, we right away had some issues that we knew we were going to have some trouble with.  For one, she was not potty trained.  Maltese are hard to potty train anyway, but Sophia had an addition problem; she was already 2 1/2 years old.

Sophia was also very very afraid of grass and dirt.  We right away knew that she was not going to be the one digging in the yard, but it also made it very challenging for potty training.  It took Michael and I weeks of picking her up and placing her in the grass or gently leading her into the grass to get finally get Sophia to walk unassisted into the grass by herself.

IMG_0775 IMG_6612Another problem we had was, the previous owners I guess didn’t know what they were getting into when they bought Sophia, and the poor dog’s hair was matted down to her skin in places.  Her first haircut I gave her, she was awesome.  I had to cut the hair all the way down, and she never once complained.

Betta Bridges Pets Eye Tear Stain Remover

 

Over the past year, she has obviously overcome that fear of grass (dirt is a whole other issue), we are constantly working on getting her to pee and poo outside.  She is doing so much better, but there are still days where she has accidents inside, so we have just learned to watch where we walk and the best ways to clean up the mess.

I made a promise to Sophia after that first grooming, that I would never let her get that matted again.  I try to completely shave her every three of four months, but in between that those total cuts, I use detangling shampoo.

Dancing Pet Review

Recently, I’ve been using the Dancing Pet Best Groomer’s Pet Shampoo. It’s great for dogs that are prone to tangles and dry skin.  Which is definitely Sophia.

I love this shampoo because it’s an all Natural Formula – no harsh chemicals, there is no oatmeal to irritate – only a grain-free alternative to soothe, no alcohol to dry or damage skin, no tea tree oil to sting or leave greasy residue, no hydrocortisone to break down the skin, no toxic stuff like MEA’s or DEA’s, it’s eco-friendly, all plant-based naturally-derived ingredients, and the biggy Doesn’t Deactivate Topical Flea Treatments.

Sophia 2015

I also love the the Dancing Pet shampoo because it leaves Sophia so soft, fluffy, and makes her hair super white. It also smells great.  The shampoo has a very fruity smell, and deodorizes great, there was no “wet dog” smell after her baths.

Overall, I love this shampoo, and I would recommend it to anyone who has a dog with long hair.  If you are interested in purchasing a bottle for your dog, you can find it on Amazon here.

Goose and Sophia

You can also enter to win a bottle for yourself.

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Titan™ Genuine Military 550 Paracord

Recently, we received Titan™ Genuine Military 550 Paracord for a blog review. Most people would look at paracord and not think much about it since it doesn’t look very impressive, but in this instance appearances are very well misleading. Currently it is $15.99 on Amazon and is available in various colors including neon pink.

So the first question is always, what can you do with it? Well unlike most ropes or cords paracord is extremely versatile, light weight, and strong. You can even use paracord to make bracelets such as:

Paracord Bracelet
Paracord Bracelet

This allows you to have not only something that looks rather nice, but can be used during hiking, camping, fishing, and other outdoor recreation activities. When its always handy to have a few feet of strong rope or better yet paracord. I know some people are already thinking that they cannot do it that is why the Titan™ Genuine Military 550 Paracord comes with two free ebooks on uses for the paracord.

So not only do you get a great product, but you can get access to information that allows you to realize some of the potential of this great product. For more creative designs you can mix and match different colors that way you can personalize it instead of just having a clump of bulky rope.

As I mentioned before I love to take paracord hiking because it is properties, everything holding your gear together to making a quick shelter is easily done with paracord and you don’t have to worry about it holding up because of the wind or rain. And unlike most rope or twine, paracord doesn’t fray as easily so it makes it easy to untie complex knots.

If you are looking for a Father’s day gift this would be a great item to consider, since not only does it make a great gift on its own, but you can get creative with it and pair it with other outdoor activities to make a very special gift.

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Betta Bridges Pets Eye Tear Stain Remover Review

betta bridges tear stain remover

To me, keeping our pets safe from unwanted chemicals is almost as important as keeping those chemicals away from our children, and when we got Sophia last year, I knew we were going to have some challenges, but I never imagined we would have problems with face stains with her.

betta bridges tear stain removerWhen I first realized that were were going to have issues when Sophia and her tear stains, I looked into products at the pet store.  I was really concerned about some of the ingredients that claim to remove the stains.  Some had hydrogen peroxide, which you as you may know, should NEVER be used in or around the eye, and others had antibiotics that could cause problems of their own and has to be ingested.  When I first saw Betta Bridges Pet Tear Stain Remover I was very pleased to see that this tear stain remover contains nothing that will harm your dog. You should always avoid the eyes when using Betta Bridges tear stain remover, but it really makes me worry less since I know that the ingredients are all natural and non-toxic.

Betta Bridges Pets Eye Tear Stain RemoverThe best way to use Betta Bridges Pets Eye Tear Stain Remover is to take a cotton ball and pour 1/2 a cap full on it.  Dap gently around the eye and muzzle or anywhere there is staining. Sophia doesn’t mind really anything, so I am able to just sit her on my lap and just gently rub that area with the cotton ball.

Betta Bridges Pets Eye Tear Stain Remover
Before we started using Betta Bridges Pets Eye Tear Stain Remover.
Betta Bridges Pets Eye Tear Stain Remover
After we’ve been using Betta Bridges Pets Eye Tear Stain Remover for two weeks.

As you can see there has been quite a bit of change we started using the Betta Bridges Pets Eye Tear Stain Remover two weeks ago.  I think the more stained areas are just going to have to grow out and then be cut off.  I am going to finish this week of using Betta Bridges Pets Eye Tear Stain Remover everyday and then next week start with the once a week thing.

Overall, I have been very please with how well Betta Bridges Pets Eye Tear Stain Remover has worked for Sophia.  I have never had to deal with tear stains with any of my other white dogs, so this was a whole new experience for us.  I am so glad that I found Betta Bridges Pets Eye Tear Stain Remover.

If you are battling tear stains on your pup, I would really suggest looking into Betta Bridges Pets Eye Tear Stain Remover.  You can find them on Amazon (PRIME!!!), right now, one 8oz bottle is about $20.  Yes, I realize there are less expensive products out there, but with how little you use, and how well it works, I feel the cost is justified.  Disclaimer

 

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Argan Oil – 100% Pure & USDA Organic Review

argan oil

I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about the benefits of argan oil.  I figured it would be another one of the passing trends, but when I kept hearing about it, I wanted to try it for myself.

First of all, it’s always nice to know what the product is and where it comes from.  Argan oil comes from the seeds of the argan tree in Morocco.  It is pressed into an oil, and traditionally has been used in foods and to treat skin problems in that culture.  And I have to tell you something, I think they are on to something.

I have been using the GoPure Argan oil for a few weeks now on my hair.  I was having some real problems with dry hair with split ends.  To use, I just take a quarter size amount in my hand and massage into my hair, I wait about 5-10 min and rinse.  I’ve read that if you leave the oil in loger, the benefits are greater, but I’ve really seen a difference in the amount of time I’ve been using it.

argan oil

My Nonna (grandmother), also helped me out with this review.  She has been using the GoPure Argan oil on her hands, arms, and face as like a sort of lotion.  She reports that she has noticed that her skin has not been as dry, and looks and feels more hydrated.

Overall, I think I will keep using the GoPure Argan oil on my hair.  I am really loving how it’s working for my needs.  As for my Nonna.  She loves the Argan oil too, and has been asking me if I can get her some more (hahaha I think she is addicted to it). We both love that it is all natural and free of any dyes and chemicals.

If you are interested in purchasing some GoPure Argan oil, you can find it on it on Amazon (PRIME!!!) or the GoPure Naturals website.  My bottle was sent via Amazon, and I had no problems with it.  The box was very sturdy and arrived right on time.

 

 

I have to apologize.  I have photos of my hair after I started using it, but my computer is pitching a fit tonight.  So, when it decides to act like an adult, I’ll upload the photos. Disclaimer

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Amber Crown Flea and Tick Collar Review

Amber Crown flea and tick collarWe’ve talked about the benifits that Baltic amber has for babies and kids this week, now it’s the furbaby’s turn.  How could Baltic amber help your dog or cat?  Would you believe that it may actually help prevent fleas and ticks?!  I must admit that before I applied to review the Amber Crown Flea and Tick Collar, I had no idea either.

We’ve been using Frontline/Advantage/Advantix for years and years to help prevent a flea infestation again, they worked really well, but I always worried about the chemicals I was putting on my dogs.  I worried for their safety and the safety of the chemicals around Goose and the rest of us.  We really didn’t think we had a choice though.  I knew from my years of working in vet clinics that the “all natural” topical flea products from the store just didn’t work.

Amber Crown Flea and TIck CollarYou are probably asking yourself, how does a rock help prevent fleas and ticks. Well, according to the people at Amber Crown, the Baltic collars work like this.  Baltic Amber is a tree resin that has been fossilized for millions of years.  When the raw Baltic Amber rubs up against your dog or cat’s fur, it causes aromatic terpenes to be released, thus repelling fleas and ticks.  Another way that it works is causes static electricity, fleas and ticks do not like this and let go of the animal.

Amber Crown Flea and Tick COllarSophia doesn’t mind the collar at all.  She has been wearing it for almost a month now, we’ve not seen any ticks.  I have seen some fleas, however, we have been taking the collar off while she was playing with the other dogs or my sister’s dog.  The two fleas we found was when she wasn’t actually wearing the collar, and the fleas were moving really slow so I believe they were dieing.

Amber Crown FLea and Tick Collar

 

The Amber Crown flea and tick collar has a really nice leather closure.  I was really impressed with the quality of the clasp and the leather.

 

Amber Crown Flea and Tick CollarThere was one little adjustment that I made to the collar.  The leather strap that closure does not have anything that holds the extra strap down.  I added a small rubber band just to keep that piece down.  It never bothered her, but it irritated me I don’t know how, but it did.

Overall, I am really surprised how well the Amber Crown flea and tick collar has worked.  I may not completely give up using Frontline/Advantage, but maybe not quite as often.

If you are interested in the Amber Crown Flea and Tick Collar, you can find them on Amazon (PRIME!!!).  They are currently about $31, but that is not a bad price considering they do a 100% guarantee for 100 days, and if it works for you then you will have about a year’s work of flea and tick protection in one collar.

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