Mommy Katie

Monday, September 18, 2017

4 Signs That You Might Need to Invest in a New Mattress


While most people are fully aware that they need to replace their mattress regularly, not everyone knows when it’s time to part with theirs. Some will wait until something major happens to switch, but a bad mattress can affect your life quality in many ways, and not changing an old mattress can also lead to a variety of other issues.

As a matter of fact, according to a study that was published by Best Mattress Brand, students who average 8 or more hours of sleep per night outperformed those who slept less than 5 hours by as much as 5% on their scores. Quality of sleep is not something to be taken likely and bad sleep can have repercussions on all aspects of your life. Here are some of the tell tale signs that you should get a new mattress today.

Waking up is Downright Painful

If you’re waking up with back pain and you have a sore neck and/or shoulders, then this might be a sign that your mattress can no longer give you the support that you need. With time, all mattresses develop lumps and dips that can cause major issues.

An uneven mattress can lead to misalignment of your spine during sleep, and more stress will then be put on the pressure points on your body, which eventually leads to pain which can become chronic over time.

You’ve Been Using the Same Mattress for More than 8 Years

The age of your mattress is one of the most critical factors when deciding when it’s time to make the switch. It can be difficult to know exactly when you bought your mattress and most people don’t keep these kinds of things on record, but it is recommended that you mark the date of purchase on the mattress label for reference. If you may feel like the mattress is more than 8 years old, then it is advised that you change it immediately.

Some Spots are More Comfortable

One of the most common issues with aging mattresses is that they start developing a sweet spot. You may start noticing that one part of the mattress might feel more comfortable than the other. In many cases, it is one of the edges as most people have a tendency to crowd the middle.

If you notice this, don’t try to alleviate the situation by changing your natural position or sleeping on one of the edges. Not only will you increase your chances of falls, but you will naturally tend to roll back to the middle during sleep, which might result in aches and pain in the morning.

Your Box Spring and Mattress are Squeaking and Creaking

If you bought your box spring and mattress at the same time, and one or both start creaking and squeaking, then it is a definite sign that you should change them.  A large portion of the support your mattress provides has to do with what’s supporting it. A box spring that doesn’t support the mattress correctly can affect the mattress’s support, comfort and shape. Similarly, if the frame doesn’t give enough middle support, the mattress might dip in its centre, leading to awkward sleeping positions and possible complications.


Changing your mattress is inevitable, and if your mattress fits any of the criteria above, it’s time to change it immediately. A new mattress will give you the support and comfort you deserve and will allow you to improve your sleep and life quality tenfold.



Friday, September 15, 2017

Protect Your Home with the CUJO Smart Firewall available at Best Buy



When it comes to our homes, families and the ways we protect them, we find that aside from having home security that we also need to protect the devices we use in the home as well. This is because, like many families and homes, when you look at all we might be using, we find that there can be a lot of devices used in the home that are on the network and that access the internet. With that said, we then find that this then leaves our families vulnerable when it comes to threats such as identity theft, virus's that can affect our entire network, hacks into our home network, and more. So like many who have a home that contains a lot that runs off of our WiFi, I seek out ways to protect my home by adding security devices like the CUJO Smart Firewall which can be found at Best Buy.


See with the CUJO Smart Firewall, I can not only protect my home business by utilizing the security that this device offers but also protect my family. This does not just include devices like our computers and cell phones, but also other connected items like our security cameras, thermostat, our gaming consoles, streaming devices and whatever else we have connected to our home WiFi.


I also like that when it comes to the protection that my family and I get with the CUJO Smart Internet Firewall, I like that I can use the parental control features as well. Giving me the access to control what my kids can see online, set limits, schedules, and even the sites that are okay for them to access. And I can do it all from the CUJO app that I can download on my phone as I monitor the CUJO both at home and when away from home, giving me remote administration of the features. Which allows me to have business level security for not only the home business but also for my family.


Then when it came to the set up, it was very simple by just hooking up the CUJO to my WiFi router, downloading the app and setting up my account to access my CUJO! Making the choice to add the CUJO Smart Firewall to your home network, a choice that allows you to have that sense of security that we seek when it comes to our homes and our families!



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. 

LEGO Inspired Parties at Oriental Trading

When it comes to our kids and their birthdays, we find that they really look forward to that day, and as parents, we seek out ways to make their special days even more special. We do this by letting them know how much we care about them, appreciate them, and by inviting their friends and other family members to celebrate their special day. And like many parents, when it comes to my kids birthdays, I like to set up the themed parties that incorporate my kids favorite characters and or interests. So when it was time to plan my sons birthday, I knew that we would go with a LEGO inspired color brick party and I went online to Oriental Trading where I know I can find the supplies we will need to make his party a success! 


When shopping at Oriental Trading for the items that I would pick up for my son's party this year, I liked that I was able to not only find some of the basic items I was looking for like the table cloths, plates, napkins and cups, but I was also able to find the favors as well! With my preschooler wanting to assist with finding the supplies he wanted for his party, he was able to find some color brick party supplies like suckers, bubbles and water bottles, along with other items to add to the favor list like some fun bows and arrows and trucks.


Then when it came to ensuring we had all we needed to make his party a success, I liked that while shopping the selection of color brick party supplies, that I could jump to the various tabs to make sure we got all of the extras to help bring the party together! Which in all, made our choice to shop online at Oriental Trading for my preschoolers LEGO inspired party a choice that was proven to make his party a success!





Product received, thank you to Oriental Trading as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Decorating Projects You Can Get the Kids Involved in


One of the joys of having kids is seeing them learn new skills and grow in confidence. Most parents realise that giving their children the chance to help them with DIY and home decor projects is a good way to encourage them to try something new.
Creating artwork for your walls

There are plenty of ways you can get your children involved in decorating the walls of your home. For example, you can order some nice Hello Canvas prints using photos that your children have taken. If they are old enough you can get them to edit the images and actually place the order. This is a great way of starting to teach them graphic design skills. Later, they can use this ability for other DIY projects as well as for their school work.

Let them do some painting

Potentially, even quite young children can help you with painting. Start them off with a small project like painting a chest of drawers or a table. When they are older and understand how to load a brush or roller with paint you can let them move onto other projects.

Get them involved in wallpapering

If you prefer to wallpaper your home you could potentially get your young ones to help. However, it is best to cut the wallpaper into the right size strips without the kids being around, especially if you are working with a double drop pattern. Kids can be very distracting, so any complicated tasks that require a lot of concentration need to be done before you get the children involved.

However, they will enjoy tasks like mixing up the paste and applying it to the paper. When they are older they can move onto simple tasks like cutting the bottom off of the wallpaper. However, it is still wise to let them do the bits that don’t show, for example, behind the sofa or other furniture. Once you are sure they are good at it, you can let them do the more visible parts.

Tiling

Kids are surprisingly good at tiling. They just need to be old enough to understand the importance of checking they are level and using the tile spacers. Again, set everything up before you get your children involved, and lay the first run yourself. That reduces the chances of things going wrong. Periodically check their progress, and continue to do the tricky jobs like cutting the tiles. Grouting is another job you can let the kids have a go at.

Where to get more inspiration

If you like the above ideas, you can find more here. I particularly like the Lego table idea. It is an easy project to complete, as well as a great way to encourage your kids to keep their building blocks tidy. This greatly reduces the risk of your treading painfully on a piece of Lego, which is an almost daily occurrence in some homes.

Don’t overdo things

The trick with getting the kids involved is to let them do a little bit. You want them to enjoy learning about DIY and want to do more the next time you have a new project. So, if they get bored it is usually best to let them do something else while you carry on.



Thursday, September 14, 2017

RC Fun with Little Tikes RC Wheels Bumper Cars


When it comes to playtime in my house, it seems that just about anytime can be playtime according to my kids. And as a parent, I find that I like to encourage playtime in my house by finding toys that they can engage with and even have fun with together. So when we were sent the RC Bumper Cars set from Little Tikes, I knew that it would be a toy set that not only my preschooler could enjoy, but one he could play with with his older siblings as well.


With this set of bumper cars, my preschooler along with whomever he chooses to go up against, can race and bump into one another over and over again. And when the cars bump into one another, the toy drivers that are in the bumper cars fly out, giving my kids a toy that gets them playing and laughing together over and over again!



The set comes with two bumper cars which each have their own remote and driver that is simple to put back in when they get launched. I also like that when it comes to the fun, my kids can race with their bumper cars, spin them as they do tricks, and bump into one another or even bump into walls to watch as their drivers get thrown from their seats. Making the Little Tikes RC Bumper Cars from the RC Wheels collection, a great toy to get your kids when you are seeking those toys that are both fun and engaging.


Product received, thank you to Little Tikes as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Doodle and Sketch Books from Quarto Group


Finding books for my kids to enjoy is something that I like to do. I like finding both the books for them to read as well as the books that offer fun activities as well. So when we were sent a selection of fun artistic activity books to review from Quarto Group, I was excited to share them with my daughter who enjoys doodling, drawing, and painting!


To get started, Estrella found the Cat Lovers Drawing Book, Catdoodles by Akiko Masudo to be right up her alley! In this book she gets fun prompts for drawing, sketching and decorating hundreds of different cats. These include cats with different feelings, cat dances, and even cat clothing, this book has lots of great ideas that is perfect for giving to the cat lover in your life!



With the book, Kawaii Doodle Class by Pic Candle and Zainab Khan, Estrella gets a book that is totally Kawaii and another one that is right up her alley when it comes to the items she likes to draw! The book includes steps on how to draw cute items like tacos, milk cartons, rainbows, clouds and so much more. Giving her 75 characters that she can learn to draw with the simple step by step instructions.


Then with the book, Playful Painting: Pets by Faye Moorhouse, Estrella can take to painting some very adorable dogs and cats. In this book, my daughter can take on more than 20 fun projects that take her through the steps of drawing, coloring and painting some very cute and playful pets. Which in all, makes this collection of art books that can be found from Quarto Group, a great selection to go with when seeking out art books to get your doodlers, painters, and sketch artists!


Product received, thank you to Quarto Group as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

#Giveaway Thumbs Up Johnnie Family Night Adventures + Ovation Brands Prize Pack


When it comes to the family nights where we enjoy going out to eat, we like to seek out the restaurants that offer a variety of menu options. We also like to go to the places that have family friendly environments and even family fun while we eat. So like many, we enjoy heading to our local Ovation Brands Restaurant like the Old Country Buffet, where we can not only find food choices for everyone to enjoy but where we can join in on the Thumbs Up Johnnie Family Night Adventures!


See starting tomorrow night, and continuing every Thursday night from 5 - 8 pm through October 19th, when we head to our local Ovation Brands or Furrs Buffet Restaurants, we can join in on the family night fun! This fun will include the Thumbs Up Johnnie books where the characters reinforce positive and healthy lifestyles. And each week on Thursday evenings during the family night fun, we can engage in the various themes which include:
  • September 14 - Thumbs Up to RED, WHITE & BLUE!
  •  September 21 - Jimmy Jam Germ & The Happy Handshake
  • September 28 - Buckaroonomics
  • October 5 - Adventures Through the Wild West
  • October 12 - Macro-Heroes Save Field Day
  • October 19 – Zipp, Little Digit & The Happy Signs
Making the choice to go with the Ovation Brands Restaurants and Furrs Buffet locations during your nights, a choice that everyone can appreciate! And to help with making that Family Night fun even better for you and your family, the wonderful people from Ovation Brands would like to give one of my amazing readers their own Family Night Prize Pack! This pack will include four (4) free meal passes for you and your family to enjoy a meal at any of Ovation Brands’ locations as well as six (6) Thumbs Up Johnnie books autographed by author Michelle Bain:
  • The Adventures of Thumbs Up Johnnie: Johnnie Finds a Buddy
  • The Adventures of Thumbs Up Johnnie: Jimmy Jam Germ & The Happy Handshake
  • The Adventures of Thumbs Up Johnnie: Thumbs Up to Red, White & Blue!
  • The Adventures of Thumbs Up Johnnie: Zipp, Little Digit & the Happy Signs
  • Thumbs Up Johnnie’s Buckaroo-nomics
  • Thumbs Up Johnnie and the Macro-Heroes Save Field Day





Product received, thank you to Ovation Brands as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Magical Toy Line Up from Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom

When it comes to playtime and my preschooler, I have found that he enjoys a lot of the toys that incorporate the characters from some of his favorite shows. I have learned that by adding some of his favorite characters to his toy line up, they help to bring his and his friends imaginations to life! And like many kids his age, he likes to tune into Nick Jr and watch that magical show, Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom. So when we were sent the collection of toys that are available for Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom fans, we were excited to check them out and begin playing with them!


After looking over the selection we were sent, we set up the Little Castle with Holly, Daisy & Poppy. We found this fun portable castle to have all of the items needed for pretend play that my preschooler and his friends can play with. The set includes four rooms filled with furniture that Holly, Daisy and Poppy can use while they are in their magical castle. The castle folds up easily and allows my son to store all of the items from the castle inside, and when he wants to take his play to go with him he can carry his castle with him using the handle. As the characters take their play to head out on adventures with Nanny Plum, they can do so in the Royal Car with Nanny Plum and Holly. The characters fit easily into the seats, the doors and the top open and close and when the crown on the front of the car is pressed, it plays the music from the show!


Then to go along with both the Royal Car and the Little Castle, we found that the characters can take on even more play as they engage little imaginations with the Fairy Tea Party and the Magic Movers 4 Pack! The Magic Movers 4 Pack includes 4 buggies with the characters, Holly, Ben, Barnaby, and Violet, and move up and down as the kids push the buggies along. And with the Fairy Tea Party set, you get Holly and Violet along with a slide, toadstool and items needed to make their tea parties a success! Making the magical toy line up from Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom, a great collection that is the perfect addition to add to any Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom fans collection of toys that are sure to engage little imaginations! You can find the toys from this collection at Target and online.






Product received, thank you to Jazwares as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Cleaning Made a Little Easier with the nugeni STEAMPAC+ Handheld Steam Cleaner


When it comes to the home and the cleaning, I have learned that it can be a never ending chore. I mean between the kids and pets and the constant of the pet hair, dirt and dust, I find that there is always something that needs to be cleaned. And like many out there, I seek out the products that can help make the cleaning a little easier for everyone and also seek out the products that offer safer solutions when it comes to the cleaning products we use. So when we were sent the nugeni STEAMPAC+ Handheld Steam Cleaner to review, I was curious to see how it worked and also learn how it can help to replace some of the chemicals we might use in the home when it comes to the cleaning.

First off, after unboxing the nugeni STEAMPAC+, I noticed that it came with several tools. These include the steamer itself along with attachments that are easy to utilize and change out as I go along cleaning the home. There are also cleaning and water filling tools included, a strap I can attach to make carrying my nugeni easier as I go from room to room, and even a hanging storage bag to store my nugeni and all of the parts in when I am not using them!


From there, I found the use of the nugeni STEAMPAC+ Handheld Steam Cleaner to be very simple, where I just fill the chamber with water, attach the tool I will be using, plug and begin cleaning. The unit is very light weight and with the strap, I can carry it around and move items out of the way without the issue of having to then life a heavy steamer to get to those hard to reach places.

I found that I have been very impressed on all that I can clean with this handheld steamer. I mean, I can not only clean my showers and tubs using the nugeni, but I can clean the sinks, counters, mirrors, grill and even use it to steam my floors, which includes around the toilets in the restrooms!

Then when it comes to the health benefits my family and I can get from having the nugeni STEAMPAC+ Handheld Steam Cleaner in the home, I like that it not only cleans without the need for any chemicals, but it also helps to reduce any allergens and kills germs! The cleaning process is also a faster one for me, because the only thing that might take time is moving items around in the home as I clean, but other than that I found the cleaning time to be cut in half which is always a big plus in my book! Oh, and for those out there like myself who have kids who can help with the cleaning but worry about the products they might come in contact with, well this tool is one that even my 9 year old has learned to use. Giving the kids access to a cleaning tool that can help make their chores a little easier to get done as well without parents worrying about issues with any chemical products being used. Making the nugeni STEAMPAC+ Handheld Steam Cleaner, a must have in my book when it comes to seeking out cleaning tools that offer a safer cleaning solution for the home!




Product received, thank you to nugeni as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Ready for School with Obersee Preschool Backpacks


With the kids back in school and the little ones enjoying their days at preschool, I have found that having the fun supplies my preschooler might need on hand can help make his days that much better. I can do this by simply finding the fun backpacks he can take with him when he heads out for the day or for those field trips as well. So when we were sent the Obersee All in One Backpack with Cooler in the Robot design to review, I knew that my preschooler would be excited to check it out and begin using it!

See with this backpack, we get a great way to organize the days from the very start. We can do this by first utilizing the inside compartments that allow us to place his books and folder in and even organize other supplies in the various parts on the inside. This allows my little guy to not only stock up on his favorite books to share for the day, but when going on field trips, he can pack his coloring books along with some pencils and crayons to use as he explores the world around him. Along with the compartments for his items, I like that the straps are padded and that this backpack is designed to be comfortable for kids to use and carry. I also like that it is designed to be just the right size for little kids to use.


Then when it comes to those lunches, well we can keep them nice a cool in the front of the bag using the insulated compartment that opens up and allows us to pack lunches and snacks. We can even carry a water bottle in the mesh pouch on the side, which allows my preschooler to be able to access all he needs in one bag, eliminating the issue of multiple bags to have to keep up with during the day. Making the choice to send your preschooler to school with the Orbersee All in One Backpack with Cooler, a choice that both of you can appreciate as your preschooler heads out on their next adventure!



Product received, thank you to Orbersee as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Monday, September 11, 2017

STEM Conference for Girls with Invent it. Build it.

This post was sponsored by SWE through their PR, and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.


When it comes to our children and the paths that they will choose to go down on in their futures, as a parent, I like to seek out programs and products that can help them explore all of their options. These can include various workshops we can attend, along with the products that I come across that can be very engaging. And like many with kids, I am one who seeks out ways to engage my children in STEM learning, so that they can explore and learn from the experiences they gain. I have also found that when it comes to my daughter and STEM, that I want her to know that just like her brothers, she has options as well. So like many parents with daughters who are interested in STEM, I seek out not just the products that help to encourage her but also the events that we can attend like the Invent it. Build it. conference that will be held on October 28th, 2017 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX.


When we attend the Invent it. Build it. event, we can go knowing that my daughter can join in a day filled with hands on engineering experience with members from the Society of Women Engineers from all around the world. She can experience all the conference has to offer alongside other girls in middle school and high school, while parents like myself and educators can learn about engineering careers, scholarships, college resources and more!


While at the conference, girls can learn all about STEM while they are building and inventing their own projects. We can also continue to take all that the event has to offer by learning about the various engineering clubs my daughter can join, along with camps, after school programs and even competitions.


Then, at the end of the conference, we can both go away knowing that my daughter not only gained more confidence when it comes to the skills she can gain from STEM learning, but I can also have resources for us to reference to as we prepare her for her future! Making the choice to attend the Invent it. Build it. STEM Conference for Girls on October 28th, 2017 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX, a choice that both you and your daughters can appreciate having been a part of and look back on!



For more information about Invent it. Build it. and to register, visit inventitbuildit.swe.org


For more information about the Society of Women Engineers, visit swe.org





Friday, September 8, 2017

Back to School Lunches with Mott’s® NEW 100% Juice Pouches

This post was sponsored by Mott’s® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.


With the kids back in school and us as a family trying to get back into those routines, I find that I like to ensure that we have all we need for the school lunches each week. I also find that when it comes to the school lunches that I have the products my kids like and that allow me to balance their lunches. And like many parents, I turn to the brands that we know and trust. So when I saw Mott’s® NEW 100% Juice Pouches on the shelves at my local Albertson's that go great with the Mott’s® Applesauce, which is a lunch box staple in my home, I was very excited to get some to add to our lunch boxes for the kids!


See, when we add the Mott’s® NEW 100% Juice Pouches and the Mott’s® Applesauce to our pantry, we can not only the applesauce and juice on hand for those school lunches, but also have them available for the kids to have as a after school snack. The kids enjoy the flavors and varieties that are available from the Mott’s® line up, and I like that they offer mom approved snack choices. I also like that with the Mott’s® NEW 100% Juice Pouches, I can add them to the lunches for my kids without the issue of them getting too much sugar at lunch.


Then when it comes to the flavor selections that we get, I like that I can find flavors that all of my kids can enjoy that include Original Apple, Apple White Grape, Apple Cherry, Apple Mango. Giving us options when it comes to the juices we can add to our pantry for not just those school lunches, but for snack time, when we are on the go or even for giving to the kids and their teams after a game! Making the choice to add the Mott’s® NEW 100% Juice Pouches to your lunch and snack menus, a choice that both you and your kids will appreciate! And right now you can save at your local retailer when you get your $1 off Mott’s® 8-Pack 6.75oz 100% Juice Pouches coupon.

Bėaba’s Top Five Fall Recipes Just for Babies

Baby food can be a surprisingly complicated subject, especially for new parents. Take the mystery out of baby’s daily food choices with the help of BabyCook baby food cooker from Bėaba. Bėaba is a popular French company that provides design-driven infant care solutions for every family. The BabyCook steam cooker provides rapid, thorough preparation for a surprising variety of foods, which allows parents to prepare delicious meals with a delectable selection of whole foods with a soft texture perfect for growing infants.

Raising Healthy Eaters Does Not Have to Be a Battle


All parents want their children to grow up happy and healthy. The right dietary choices can help make this possible. Introducing children to a wide variety of foods early in life helps develop their taste for the many solid foods you enjoy as a family.

Steaming vegetables is a great way to encourage children to explore the flavors and textures of many common cooking ingredients. Introducing foods like broccoli, peas, carrots, and avocados early on provides growing kids with a well-rounded diet and a healthy nutritional sense. You can pave the way to great childhood nutrition and argument-free mealtimes by making a wide variety of foods available at this key moment in life.

 

Save Time and Money By Making Baby Food at Home


Making your own baby food at home is not only a shortcut to great nutrition, it also saves families over $1,500 at the grocery store. Commercial baby foods may contain additives and artificial ingredients that simply are not necessary part of a growing child’s diet. Shopping for top quality foods can get expensive very quickly. Sidestep the entire matter by bringing home a BabyCook of your very own. As you will discover, this steamer is perfect for preparing foods for the whole family. Use the BabyCook to steam favorites such as:

·         Chicken
·         Fish
·         Pork
·         Carrots
·         Sweet potatoes
·         Russet potatoes
·         Parsnips

Steam locks in flavor without adding fat; it is an easy and hassle-free way to prepare all kinds of delicious foods. With BabyCook, no pre-baking is ever required; you save lots of time compared to steam cooking with other systems. When preparing baby food, simply remove the steamed ingredients from BabyCook, blend to the desired consistency, and serve.

We have prepared some simple and low-fuss recipes to show you just how simple and fun it is to use BabyCook to make great fall recipes.

Simple Broccoli and Sweet Potatoes


Broccoli has an interesting texture that many babies love; the natural sweetness of the sweet potato gives this recipe a well-rounded taste and nutrition.

Ingredients

1 head broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1 lb. sweet potatoes, cut into small pieces
1 – 2 Tbsp. of water
Dash of salt (optional)

Begin by prepping the vegetables and then placing them in BabyCook’s steam cook chamber; fill the water compartment according to the unit’s directions. Once steaming has finished, carefully remove the vegetables from the unit and place them in your blender. Add the salt (if using) and begin blending. Add the water to achieve desired consistency. Store any leftovers in baby food storage containers for up to a week.

Kabocha and Delicata Squash


Kabocha is a soft gourd vegetable sometimes called a Japanese pumpkin. It is naturally sweet and the thin skin is entirely edible (although you may wish to peel it before using it in this recipe). Delicata squash is also naturally very soft and cooks quickly. If you are preparing it for older members of the family, a bit of Chinese five spice blend is the perfect addition to this dish.

Ingredients

1 small kabocha (or half a large kabocha), seeds removed, cut into slices
1 – 2 delicata squash (depending on size), seeds removed, cut into slices
1 – 2 Tbsp. of water
Dash of salt (optional)

Wash both vegetables thoroughly; peeling them is not necessary because both skins are very thin and can be blended but not all children like the texture of unpeeled vegetables. Cut into the squash and kabocha to remove seeds. Slice vegetables into chunks small enough to fit easily into the BabyCook’s steaming chamber. Prepare the unit as normal and let it steam cook the vegetables. Remove the finished squash gently and place into a blender along with any desired salt. Blend until smooth; serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can be kept up to a week in the refrigerator.

Perfectly Steamed Peas


Peas are a late summer/early fall treat that steam cook very easily. Babies love the smooth texture; parents love the healthy nutrition of this fresh humble pulse. Frozen peas can be used in this recipe but try for fresh if you can get them.

2 cups of fresh shelled peas
¼ cup of water
Dash of salt (optional)

Set up BabyCook according to instructions. Place shelled, washed peas in steam chamber. Allow peas to steam, then remove them and place them in your blender along with salt, if using. Blend peas, adding water a tablespoon at a time until peas reach desired consistency.

Pureed Yams


This simple recipe uses a traditional fall favorite – the yam. Experiment with Japanese yams or purple sweet potatoes.

1 – 2 yams
¼ cup of water
Dash of salt (optional)

Wash and peel the yams, then chop into small chunks. Place the chunks into the steam chamber of the BabyCook, then steam according to directions. Once the yams are finished steaming, place them in a blender with salt (if using). Add water to yams a tablespoon at a time to achieve the desired results.

Blended Apples and Winter Squash


Apples are a delicious and nutrition meal choice for babies just experiencing solid foods. Combine with winter squash of any variety for a perfect combination.

1 cup red or yellow apples (cubed)
3 cups squash (peeled and cubed)
Dash of cinnamon (optional)
Dash of salt (optional)

Prepare the BabyCook steam cooker according to directions and place apples and squash in the steam chamber. Fill the water chamber according to directions and set BabyCook to steam. Once the fruit and squash are finished steaming, remove from BabyCook and place them in a blender with any cinnamon and salt you are using. Blend to desired consistency and serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in refrigerator for up to a week.




Thursday, September 7, 2017

#Giveaway SONGMICS Bamboo Lap Desk

When it comes to working from home, I have learned that I can end up doing my work in a variety of rooms in the home. This can include my home office, or even my living room, and when it comes to having what I need to get my work done, I have found that having the right surfaces available for both convenience and comfort is ideal. So when I was sent the SONGMICS Bamboo Lap Desk to review, I was excited to have it for using when I am relaxing on the couch or even when I want to do some work from bed!

With this lap desk, I like that it can double as both a desk for doing work on as well as a breakfast tray for those days where pajamas and work just go together and work best from the comfort of my room. The design offers holes on it that allow air to flow and keep my laptop or tablet cooled down while I am using them. The top is also designed to tilt, allowing me to adjust it as needed so that I can get the ideal angle I am needing.


Then when it comes to the other features, I like that there is not only a mousepad attached but there is a drawer that pops out that is perfect for storing sticky notes, my mouse and more. Another plus is that there is also a removable groove on the top that has holes for keeping up to 12 pens stored in them and a slot to hold my cell phone as well. And when it comes to storing the desk away when I am not using it, I like that the legs can be folded down and locked in place for not just when storing but for when it is in use. Making the SONGMICS Bamboo Lap Desk a great choice to go with when you are seeking a portable desk solution for your home! And to help with bringing that solution home, the wonderful people from SONGMICS would like to give one of my amazing readers their own Bamboo Lap Desk!





Product received, thank you to Songmics as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

After School Snacks with the Snack Factory


With the kids back in school, I find that aside from the items we pack in the lunches each day that I also like to ensure that we have snacks ready for them when they get home from school each day. I do this by having a variety of snacks on hand, allowing me to change it up every few days and also allowing the kids to have the fuel they need to power through any homework and those after school practices. So when we were sent a variety of the Pretzel Crisps and Fruit Sticks from Snack Factory to review, I was excited to share them with my kids and add them to our list of after school snack favorites!


With the flavor selections, the kids can choose from a variety and I can also create different mixes as well for the kids to enjoy during snack times. I also like that the products we can get for those snack times from Snack Factory are made without any trans fat, saturated fat or cholesterol, and the Original Pretzel Crisps contain non-GMO ingredients and are comprised of only 100 calories per serving. Then with the Fruit and Veggie Sticks that we can get from Snack Factory, I can give the kids a snack that is made from fruits and veggies and that help to make eating healthier for the kids fun! Making the choice to add Snack Factory to our after school snack line up, a choice that everyone in my house can enjoy and appreciate!





Product received, thank you to Snack Factory as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Tailgating Must Have with the Beer Can Chicken from Cave Tools


As we head into the fall season, I find that it is not only the ideal time for gathering around the bonfire to cook up some s'mores while wearing hoodies and sweats, but it is also game time! This means heading to the stadium with other fans as we prepare to cheer on our teams, and it also means it is tailgating season! So when we were sent the Beer Can Chicken from Cave Tools to review, I was excited to add it to my line up of must have tailgating tools to bring along as we go to watch our favorite teams play!


With the Beer Can Chicken set up that you can get from the line up of grilling products at Cave Tools, you get a tool that allows you to cook a complete meal both on the grill or in the kitchen. This is possible because aside from setting the chicken up on the can, you can also add your sides such as corn or potatoes on the vegetable spikes that are included and are simple to attach to the pan for the chicken. Along with the beer can set up and the vegetable spikes, you also get a book with 25 recipes that can help to turn your next tailgate into one to remember! Another plus that any tailgater can appreciate with this Beer Can Chicken kit, is that you can add a variety of juices in the can that is attached, allowing you to add your favorite ale, wine, juice or even soda to help flavor the chicken.


Then when it comes to the clean up after the food is all gone, I like that I can place the Beer Can Chicken pieces in my dishwasher for cleaning. Which for me, makes the Beer Can Chicken from CaveTools, a tailgating must have! 

Also get your discount on the Beer Can Chicken 15% Off: BEERCAN15

Product received, thank you to Cave Tools as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Kids Cooking Class – How to Teach Your Children to Love Cooking


In addition to loving, nurturing, protecting and caring for them, we all want our children to be able to cope with life once they grow up and spread their wings. One of the most practical and crucial lessons we can impart to our kids is the ability to cook. The best way to get them to learn is to teach them to love it. Cooking can be great fun. Sharing that experience with kids can not only teach them important skills but can also be a wonderful bonding experience for you all. Here are a few suggestions for how to get your young ones excited in the kitchen:

Cooking 101

Before you start on the skills, kids need to know what’s what in the kitchen. Showing them which piece of cookware to use for what, the right knives and utensils for each job and similar basics will help them to get their bearings. We all know that children’s minds are like sponges. They will absorb everything quickly, and soon be chomping at the bit to get started with the practical stuff.

 

Meet Your Food

Knowing where your food comes from is important for everyone to gain a healthy dose of respect for what arrives on our tables. Just as importantly, it can arouse a real passion for food. Take your children fruit, berry or vegetable picking, then use the produce that you collect in dishes at home. They will be fascinated to see the progression from the fields to the plate and gain immense satisfaction and appreciation from the process. There are also opportunities to visit dairies or cattle ranches that many children will love, although at times these may be a bit confronting. If you have the space and the wherewithal, consider planting a vegetable patch or herb garden to keep your kids enthralled.

Touchy Feely

Food should stimulate all the senses. We’re used to our food looking, smelling and tasting great and even hearing the sizzles, pops and dollops of the preparation process. When you add the sense of touch into this mix, you add a whole new dimension to the experience. Kid’s love to get their hands dirty and will be delighted to be given the license to do so in the kitchen. Let them roll or knead dough, crumb fish, shape meatballs, peel vegetables or any number of processes. Sure, you might have a bit extra mess to clean up, but allowing them to experience the textures and feels of various foods in a tactile way will excite and inspire.

Go, Go Gadgets

Technology is an inescapable part of our kids’ lives. If yours are anything like mine, it can be a struggle to prise them away from their devices at times. Encouraging the little ones to use the gadgets and appliances that you have in the kitchen will harness the tech-obsession for the positive. Obviously, you will want to ensure that you strictly supervise the use of items such as blenders to prevent mishaps. However, children will be fascinated by the intersection of technology and food.

Give Them the Lead

Giving your children control over the direction of the cooking is sure to inspire and thrill. Rather than have them follow instructions, allow them to use their imaginations to experiment with different flavour and texture combinations. You will certainly have a few disasters along the way, but that’s all part of the learning experience.


Trust me, you will have a blast getting your kids involved, and it will set them up with skills and passion that will serve them well for years to come.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Kitchen Organizing Made Simple with the Spicy Shelf

With the fall quickly approaching and those recipe cards coming out as we prepare our kitchens for the baking and cooking we plan on doing this coming season, I find that I like to seek out ways to make my kitchen area a little easier to access. For me, I like to ensure that I not only have all of the spices and cooking basics that I might need on hand, but also have those items simple to get to and also organized in a way that allows me to save time when I am going through my kitchen. So when we were sent the Spicy Shelf Deluxe to review, I was excited to set it up and begin organizing my spices so they can be easier to access.



To get started, I found that the shelves were very easy to install, and I like that I was able to adjust the heights and even widths on them as well. I also found that aside from storing spices, that I can use the shelves for a variety of storage uses and I like that the shelves offer a non slip surface! In fact, when it comes to organizing my home using the Spicy Shelf Deluxe, I like that I can not only use these shelves in various rooms of my home and with the durability they offer, but I also like that the shelves can hold up to 40 lbs. Like when I go to organize my daughter's bathroom with all of her beauty products, or for when my husband needs more organization in the garage, we can easily incorporate the Spicy Shelf Deluxe. Which for me, makes the choice to get the Spicy Shelf Deluxe as you prepare for the fall and winter baking as well as seek out ways to better organize other areas of the home, a choice that can help to make things a lot easier for everyone!




Product received, thank you to Infomercials, Inc. as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner by BESTEK


With the kids in school, the leaves falling and that mud being brought in after the rain up here in the PNW, I find that the need for cleaning tools both inside and outside of the home is a necessity. We have learned that even after taking the cars to get detailed, it only takes one kid or dog to jump in the car and put it back to looking like it did before having it cleaned. We also have found that the same can go for the home as well, and with having 3 kids plus dogs, the messes seem to be neverending. So when we were sent the Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner by BESTEK to review, I was curious to check it out and see what all it can do both inside and outside the home!




First off, I found that having the various attachments can be very handy to have. This allows us to go from cleaning in hard to reach places, to places like the floor after the kids and dogs come running in with leaves and dirt on the feet. Giving us a simple to use tool that gives us a 3 in 1 function. Other features include:

  • 3800PA STRONG SUCTION - 80W power vacuum cleaner, cyclonic action from Lithium Technology keeps the filter clean and suction power constant. A high performance motor provides superior suction capability in a compact size and will adsorb all kinds of dusty.
  • 30 MINUTES LONG RUNTIME - Allows you to clean hard to reach messes with portable precision, With 7.4 V 4000 mAh of instant power and a 30 minute run time you are ready to power through even the toughest of messes.
  • WASHABLE AND REUSABLE - The Newest HEPA filter's density higher than ordinary filters, easy to clean, environmentally friendly and cost saving.
  • 3 IN 1 FUNCTION - The short brush mouth is used to vacuum out hair, stubborn stains and get through wool fabric; The barge mouth is not only for the surface dust, but also to attach the long mouth; The straight, long mouth make it easy to reach the deep and hidden dirt, being used to vacuum embedded dirt.
  • PORTABLE AND VERSATILITY - It's only 1.5kg, ideal for Quick Clean-ups Around Home & In The Car, help you escape from fatigue clean. Easy to deal with Cigarette butts, ashes, dust, dirt, peel, paper, leaves, pet hair, mites, particles. It would give you the best environment in your car.


Then when it comes to what I can do outside of the home, I like that I can use that 30 minutes of run time to clean up the messes that might get tracked in the cars, or even to clean up our camper and more! Making the Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner by BESTEK, a great vacuum to have both for in home and outside of home use!



Product received, thank you to BESTEK as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.