Maple Syrup and Raw Honey #Review & #Giveaway (ad) ends 5/12 US only

Discovering the Beauty, Benefits & Wonders of
Maple Syrup & Raw Honey
from Mohawk Valley Trading Company!

*I was provided with the following products from Mohawk Valley Trading Company: Grade A Dark, Robust Maple SyrupRaw Tulip Poplar-Black Locust Honey and Raw Goldenrod Honey  facilitate this review. All opinions and experiences are my own. Affiliate links may be present in this post.

Maple Syrup and Raw Honey

How many reviews truly impact your health learning curve? For me, I had just that experience! After all I have been fortunate enough to learn…I will not buy regular commercial Maple syrup or Honey again!

Grade A Dark, Robust Maple Syrup

*note info in blue is direct from Mohawk Valley Trading Company

Growing up on the east coast, having what I believed at the time to be real maple syrup- this opportunity allowed me to discover the “true taste” of 100% pure maple syrup with no additives.

Arriving in a glass bottle,Grade A Dark, Robust Maple Syrup is primarily made from sugar maple sap- this is preferred for maple syrup production because it has an average sugar content of 2%. note: the sap from other maple species is usually lower in sugar content, and about 2X as much is needed to produce the same amount of finished syrup). Grade B, is wonderful for baking and for those who love a maple flavor. ONLY 10% of syrups produced are labeled “Grade B.”

Our verdict:  Sweet and delicious.  You will find you may require less of the syrup depending on what you are eating!  I shared with my extended family and the children, were quite surprised by the sweetness. The flavor is very rich, unlike commercial syrups you may be used to.

For recipes and information on the history or grades of maple syrup- check out the Mohawk Valley Trading Company website.

Raw Honey

If you are planning to use honey for its health-benefits, it must be raw honey. Heating honey (pasteurization) destroys the all of the pollen, enzymes, propolis, vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, and aromatics.

Raw Tulip Poplar-Black Locust Honey - From about the last week of October (after we harvest the Autumn Wildflower and Buckwheat Honey) thru April some of our hives are trucked to The Delmarva Peninsula to winter over in a milder climate and to get an earlier start in the spring than they would in Upstate NY. Tulip Poplar and Black Locust trees bloom about the same time and this honey is derived form the nectar of their blossoms. Its dark color is due to the high mineral content.

Our thoughts:  consistency is almost gritty in texture and thick- this was our favorite! The taste had gentle citrus after-flavor. It has been a favorite for use on breads and tea!

Raw Goldenrod Honey- From mid-late August through October, hives are on both slopes and the surrounding area of the Southern Kuyahoora Valley & Central Mohawk Valley regions of Upstate New York.

Raw goldenrod honey is often used by pollen allergy sufferers to lessen their sensitivity to pollen by eating 1 to 2 tsp. of it each day. The idea is, that by introducing small amounts of pollen into their system by eating raw honey, a tolerance to pollen allergens is built up.

Our thoughts: Mild and thick, this was my sister-n-laws choice to add in to her coffee. a definite, subtle floral-like taste.

Overall we will definitely repurchase! Next, I am looking forward to trying the Raw Orange Blossom or Raw Apple Blossom flavors!

Maple Syrup & Raw Honey Giveaway2

Enter the rafflecopter to win your own Maple Syrup and Raw Honey- Ends 5/12 US only.

See additional sponsor requirements below.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway
  • You must be 18 years or older to enter.
  • The Mohawk Valley Trading Company will ship the prize to the winner within 30 days of contest end. If address is undeliverable or prize is unclaimed and sent back, winner is responsible for re-shipping charges.
  • Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes, US recipients only residing in one of the 48 contiguous states.

Cant to wait to see if you won? BUY ONLINE NOW!  With a special discount for our readers!

Receive a 10% discount on all The Mohawk Valley Trading Company Raw Honey, Maple Syrup 100% Pure Beeswax Candles , Handmade Soap and Natural Skin Care Products from 4/23/14 to 5/12/14 with the Coupon Code “The noise of boys Raw Honey and Maple Syrup Giveaway”.

 

pediped Footwear review & giveaway #kidsfootwear #pediped (ad) Ends 5/13-US only

pediped-logo

*I was provided with the pediped Flex™ Sahara shoe to facilitate this review. All opinions and experiences are my own.  Affiliate links may be present in this post.

pediped footwear proved mom wrong- in the best of ways!

In full disclosure, I had two immediate reservations about pediped, a brand I had little personal experience with.    The 1st was price.  Henry’s little feet grow so fast and he is SO rough on shoes, that I was concerned the price was a bit on the higher end. The second, was the online size chart is so expansive, that I thought, surely I am going to order him the wrong size!

I could not have been more wrong in my judgment.  I was so wrong in fact, that I made sure to show these shoes to my sister-n-laws’ with similarly aged children, right away.

Price.  Sign up for the newsletter and join the rewards program for specials, discounts and product features!  Plus FREE shipping over $35.00!

Quality features.  The durable quality of pediped materials (and the fact many are washable- huge bonus) will extend the life of these shoes, therefore making the cost even more reasonable!

Sizing. A half size range (via both UK/ US charts) ensured a great fit and again extends the life of wear with little feet!

Bottom Line: I am so thrilled with the selection I made for Henry! So thrilled, I need a pair for my older son, too! We are absolutely loving to Flex in style Sahara, part of the Adventure Line. It’s water safe, washable, eco-friendly and rugged! Featuring a lot of flex in the footbed, extra cushion in heel- PLUS reflective, secure, velco straps! The Sahara is very stylish and Henry LOVES to wear them!  I have NO reservations in recommending these shoes!

 Now let me share with you some information about the pediped brand!

Originals®

SS_ToriWhiteMulti_2009 SS_MartinNavyGreen_2021 copy

  • Featuring flexible, soft-soles.
  • Recommended by pediatricians and podiatrists- design closely mimics barefoot walking.
  • Available in 12 new styles for spring/Summer 2014 Available for children in sizes newborn to 24 months. 

Grip ‘n’ Go™

GG_JohnNavyGreen_GG2056 GG_MirabellaSilver_GG2016

  • Keeps the benefits of Originals®.
  • With added G2 Technology™ to help a toddler stay balanced while learning to walk more confidently.
  • Memory Foam Technology™ in five new styles. PLUS two athletic styles that are machine washable and water-safe!
  • Available in EU sizes 19-23, US kids 4-7. 

Flex®

RS_SaharaLavenderTurquoise_RS1826 RS_SaharaBlackKingBlue_RS1827

  • The ultimate shoe for a more seasoned walker.
  • Flex® offers more than 50 styles available in a variety of sandals, Mary Janes, ballet flats, athletics, and casual wear- in multiple colors!
  • The water-safe, eco-friendly Adventure Line is now featuring 10 new styles and color combinations.
  • Machine washable athletics, made with Ultra Light Technology™, in six new styles and color combinations.
  • Featuring flex grooves, to support natural foot movement and heel cushion for added comfort. 
  • Available in EU sizes 20-36, US 5 kids- 4.5 youth (available sizes vary between styles).

Pediped, the company:

  • Has won numerous awards for quality of product and the company’s outstanding philanthropy efforts.
  • Received American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for the promotion of healthy foot development.
  • Is the fastest growing children’s footwear brand in the United States.
  • Sold in over 2,500 stores in the United States and 40 countries worldwide- and offers more than 140 designs for boys and girls!

pediped

To find out more about pediped and it’s range of products make sure to follow them at http://www.pediped.com

Also find them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest

WANT TO PURCHASE NOW?  See link below!
→→→Shop pediped now!

NOW ENTER TO WIN!
a pair of pediped Originals (sizes 0-24 months) for your little one! 

US only ends 5/13/14- US only.
pediped giveaway

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MAM Mini Cooler & MAM Cooler Teethers! Perfect for baby gift giving occasions (ad) #babyessentials #MAM

MAM logo

*I was provided with the MAM Mini Cooler and the MAM Cooler to facilitate this review. All opinions and experiences are my own.  Affiliate links may be present in this post.

Our History with MAM

Hayden began teething at 8 months and never liked teethers because they made his little hands cold.  He would only accept them, if I held it.  Henry didn’t get a tooth until he was 11 months! Thankfully, by this time I had found out about MAM.

MAM Mini Cooler & MAM Cooler Teethers!

We often used the MAM Mini Cooler and later the MAM Cooler teethers. (The MAM Bite & Brush was Henry’s favorite) and I once drove 30 miles in a “teething episode” for that specific teether!

I recommend MAM for several very important factors and features:

  • BPA Free- This was of the upmost importance to me.
  • Design allows for easy use and is perfect for smaller hands!
  • Variety of cooling and textured surfaces.
  • Easy to locate in store and reasonably priced.
  • Fun design, while assisting with baby development.

I received the MAM Mini Cooler and the MAM Cooler, but Henry is entering toddler years,  so I decided to surprise a friend with a new baby!  Her 3 month old, will receive a baby’s first Easter basket and gift bag with baby must-have gifts!

MAM Mini Cooler & MAM Cooler Teethers!

Note: I included the chocolate bunny for mom! :-)

The MAM Mini Cooler and the MAM Cooler not only served as a super cute gift decoration and basket centerpiece, but I KNOW will come in handy with the little one- in just a few short weeks! I was so happy to share this gift with them as I know teething is tough on baby and parents! It is also a gift for any new baby occasion like showers or holiday stockings!

Here is some product info on the MAM teethers I received;

MAM Mini Cooler with Clip
MAM Teethers

  • Ages 2 months +
  • BPA- free
  • Uniquely shaped and extra-small water-filled cooling parts easily sooth baby’s tender gums and reach molars.
  • Lightweight, ring design makes it easy for small babies to hold!
  • Varied and structured surfaces. Baby has a choice of cooling solutions!
  • Includes a clip to attach to baby’s clothes to keep teether clean, safe and within reach!  Perfect for on the go!
  • Designed by medical experts and seal of approval from www.ICMRS.org

MAM Cooler
MAM Cooler

  • Ages 4 months +
  • BPA- free
  • Unique design allows for reach of the molars
  • Water-filled, when refrigerated, provides cooling relief to sensitive gums!
  • Ergonomic handle designed for small hands. Remains room temperature comfortable for baby to handle!
  • Can be attached with a clip to baby’s clothes.
  •  Designed by medical experts and seal of approval from www.ICMRS.org

Make sure to pass this review along to new moms that you know! Consider MAM products for your next baby gift-giving occasion! Infact, if you are looking for additional baby oral-care related products, the MAM website has a nice selection of gift sets!

To find out more about MAM and it’s innovative products make sure to follow them at http://www.mambaby.com.

Also find them on→ FacebookTwitterYouTube and Pinterest

WANT TO PURCHASE? →Shop MAM now!

 

 

 

Beginning sports with preschoolers- When the GOAL is to just to TRY! #MamasSweating

Soccer has this mom sweating! YIKES! Sports with preschoolers.

Welcome to the latest True Tales from the Pink & Blue Trenches a weekly blog series rooted in the comedy of raising toddlers!  Co-hosted by Melissa from Home on Deranged, written boy vs. girl style.  This week the boys are up to bat or I should say running the offense.

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Let me begin by saying this post had me troubled from the start.  I actually had to look up if it was preschooler or pre-schooler (and according to Webster’s it “preschooler”). Okay now that I have that grammar stress partially behind me… I can admit I am feeling better about this topic this week, than I felt the previous week.

Dad decided he wanted to coach soccer.  I have dreaded this moment.  My older son, Hayden, has never really shown much interest in the outdoors.  At all.  He hates bugs, is semi-scared of heights and has no competitive (or aggressive) bones in his little body. He is very social, gentle natured and is never ever in a hurry. To do anything.

Chuck (my husband) grew up with a coach as a father and played every sport in school.  He excelled in wrestling. He is VERY competitive. I, on the other hand was known as “space cadet” in gym class and aside from a weekend bowling team, had limited recreational sport interactions as a child. In fact, I avoided sweating and running at all costs.  I would hide behind the others and whenever possible tried to just blend in.  I hated feeling like I stuck out, and I knew I did.

We had enrolled Hayden in a few day clinics (tumbling, t-ball, basketball and soccer) as well as a swim class. He played the “class clown” role in all.

Hayden Gym 3

Hayden Gym 1

As of this month he was old enough for the YMCA spring soccer sign-up.  OH BOY.

NOW I can officially hand over my “space cadet” title.

The first practices and game was hard to watch. Hayden showed no interest. Zip, nada, none. He listened very little.  He cried often.   His team-mates were all active and happy.  I cringed at my memories. Making it worse, my 22 month-old Henry was attempting to join in the game and probably could score a goal or two.

We watched another team.  All of these kids participated.  sports with preschoolers

It caused Chuck some stress too. He very much was still in daddy mode and Hayden was misbehaving often.  He was especially perplexed because in the backyard, one on one, Hayden did okay.
AAF Ask Away Friday

I referenced this in my #AAF post last week and I was glad, because many parents who had “been there” told me- it could get better.

PHEW…

This weeks’ game was SOOOO much better.  He still wasn’t very aggressive. In fact, I am not sure he touched the ball- but he did kinda run with his team.  He didn’t cry when someone kicked the ball to him.  It wasn’t 30 minutes of absolute torture for me to witness and it didn’t give me PTSD episodes from my youth.

I think I can handle the four remaining games. Maybe. The noise of boys Soccer

Perhaps, I stress too much on his behalf.  It is okay if he isn’t athletic, we just want him to have the opportunity to be exposed to different activities and to hopefully, at least to try.

What was your first experience with sports with preschoolers like? Any tips/tricks/funny stories?

Join us again next Thursday for Melissa’s “Pink” side of The True Tales from the Pink and Blue Trenches!

Hint Hint… SHE IS THE COACH!  THIS WILL BE GOOD! 

PLUS Catch up on the past week “Tales” here!

 

 

Enter to #win a pair of Jack & Lily baby shoes! #babyfashion #giveaway ends 4/29 US&CAN

Jack & Lily Giveaway: Winner's Choice

Welcome to the Jack & Lily Winner’s Choice Giveaway

Hosted by Miss Frugal Mommy & Sponsored by Jack & Lily

 About Jack & Lily

“Jack & Lily is committed to the development of high quality baby footwear. Lovingly designed with a baby’s sense of touch in mind, our footwear uses the best ‘Lamb Touch’ leather available. Jack & Lily owners have been in the leather business for 25 years and have perfected the art of sourcing out quality materials that ensure healthy and comfortable feet, while keeping up with the latest fashions. With more than 200 combinations of contemporary colors and distinct styles to choose from, Jack & Lily is proud to be providing ultra-soft, fashionable shoes for babies and toddlers throughout the world.”

You can discover more about the adorable Jack & Lily: Leopard Laced Boots in Miss Frugal Mommy’s review!

Jack & Lily: Leopard Laced Boots Review (Getting Ready For Baby Gift Guide)

Now for the exciting part! One lucky fan is going to win their choice of any 1 pair of Jack & Lily shoes or boots that are currently in stock. This giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents 18 and older. Enter to win in the rafflecopter below, all entries will be verified, one entrant per household or you will immediately be disqualified. Winner will be contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Good Luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://missfrugalmommy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Disclosure.jpg

MAM is hosting an AMAZING Facebook Giveaway! #MAM #Giveaway #ShareTheLove

MAM’s #ShareTheLove Giveaway Info!
WIN SPA TREATMENTS FOR A YEAR!

MAM logo

Parenting can be hard, but your unbridled love for your children drowns out all fears and tears. Share with us what makes your little ones so special, your hopes and dreams for their futures and the joys of parenthood by posting a video, photo or letter on facebook.com/mambabyusa.

Eligible entries will be considered for a grand prize of a year’s worth of spa treatments, valued at $2,500.

It’s MAM’s way of celebrating you for the love you share!

Share-the-Love-Positive

Enter here: http://bit.ly/mamsharethelove.  Deadline to enter: April 15, 2014.

Mixing it up! #AskAwayFriday & Finish the Sentence Friday with Lovely Lisa from The Golden Spoons!

Welcome to the 36th week of #AskAwayFriday!

#AskAwayFriday button AskAwayFriday

The rules are simple!

Follow your hosts and guest hosts!
Grab the button and spread the word, the more the merrier!
Get to hopping!
Get to know your fellow bloggers and make some new friends!
Most importantly, have FUN!

Hosted by this awesome crew!  

Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County, Amber from Bold Fab Mom, Tiffany from Mrs.TeeLoveLifeLaughter, Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings

This week, I am also participating in my first ever Finish the Sentence Friday (A blog link-up with a weekly writing prompt!

Hosted by this fabulous group!

Janine at Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic, Stephanie at Mommy, for Real, Kate at Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine? & Kristi at Finding Ninee

Stop & link up your post!  It’s the weekend, let’s bloggy with it!

#AskAwayFriday

This week I had the pleasure of partnering with a blogger- I actually met in person! The beautiful, Lisa. Wife, mama of three darling divas and creator of The Golden Spoons! And she is just as lovely in person as she is on her blog! I wish I could meet up with her at Blog U in June!

Oh did I mention, author?  Yep.  She is featured in The Mother of All Meltdowns, which was released just before we met!

By the way, the authors of MOAM are having a Mother’s Day Extravaganza which includes a new forum called No Mother Is Perfect (www.nomotherisperfect.com) and an incredible giveaway that you can enter to win!

Make sure to follow Lisa and all the happenings of The Golden Spoons via Facebook- Twitter- BlogLovin’

Without further ado….here are the questions Lisa had for me this week!

1.  This week the FTSF (Finish the Sentence Friday) prompt is “If I could go back in time . . . . ”  How would you finish that sentence?

I would speak to myself at 12 years old. I would assure myself matter how bad things seemed (even on those dramatic “world is gonna end” type of days) it would be okay.  I would emphasize the abundant love already surrounding me and the importance of loving oneself/self esteem.

Not sure if a swift kick in the butt or a hug, would be better deserved.

2.  I was so happy to meet you at the SITS Girls Bloggy Boot Camp back in October.  What is one of the biggest things you learned at that conference?  Have you been to any other blogging conferences or do you have plans to go to any in the future?

I actually knew most of the “technical” lessons taught at BBC, but did appreciate the valuable tricks/tips on organization and set some personal goals!

I was just so happy to meet other bloggers and not feel so alone! The social impact was so motivating! BBCMPLS  energized, inspired and overwhelmed me! I do wish I had chosen to stay one additional night! I loved meeting you (Lisa) and would have loved to go to BLOG U with so many ladies from #AAF/MOAM & #FTSF!  It just can’t (financially) happen this year (my blog is in need of a definite professional makeover & switch to Genesis platform).

If I was to choose one blog related trip to make, it would be BLOG U or the ABCkids EXPO.

3.  Since I am a mom of 3 girls, I love the Pink and Blue series you do with Melissa.  You have 2 boys.  Any plans for a third child??  If so, do you hope it’s another boy or would you like a girl?

HAHA!  Maybe and yes.

We will have to consider that soon, and make our final decision.  However we been debating it for a while now.  Late fall we were thinking “yes”, early this year was a “no”.

If we decide to try for a third child, of course #1 is praying for healthy boy OR girl. But I will admit, girls scare me!

4.  I hate mornings.  Are you more of  a morning person or a night owl?  Has it changed since becoming a mother?

Ugh I hate mornings! Sleepless toddlers has made it worse for me!  LOL!  I am definitely not morning friendly and rarely even speak until my 2nd cup of coffee! I need to start thinking of these early mornings as a gift though, because I do get more accomplished and it is quality time with the kids. I am not really a true “night owl”  I usually am in bed at 11PM at the latest.   I LOVE sleep.

5.  We have had a crazy schedule for the past couple weeks and I am really struggling to keep up with the housework, which is bad because I’m kind of a neat freak.  Are you a neat freak, too, or does the mess not really bother you?  What is the household chore you despise the most?

I would love to consider myself a neat freak, I definitely try.  I am about 75% there. Cleaning seems endless and with little ones, and impossible to keep up with! I am actually fortunate we have a tiny house or I might go crazy!

My least favorite thing to clean is the bathroom by far! Between cleaning up my hair from the drains and cleaning up after the boys… it is just yucky!

6.  Part of our crazy schedule is due to my kids’ extracurricular activities including soccer, piano lessons, and horseback riding.  Your kids are younger than mine, but are there any specific activities you hope they will do (or not do) when they are older?

Well I would love for them to participate in whatever they enjoy!  Hayden has had (and still needs) swim lessons, has participated in soccer/t-ball/basketball and gymnastic clinics (1 day classes).  Currently my hubby is coaching Hayden’s Pre-K soccer team.  It isn’t Hayden forte′. I was NOT athletic, and after today’s game I am officially passing on my childhood nickname “space cadet.” It was rough to watch.  He just had no interest at all.

I can’t wait to get him in to Karate.  I think he will be ecstatic to try that. He practices his “ninja moves” regularly. Ask Away Friday AAF

He just isn’t an outdoorsy or athletic kid.  And that is okay with me.  There are plenty of other activities he may enjoy. Plus it may change…  maybe he will be an excellent athlete someday.

Recently, I tried to convince him a bike would be a great birthday gift and he came up with about 10 reasons while I should not buy him a bike. Some of the reasons were solid.

Henry definitely needs to start swim lessons soon, he is a “wild boy” with no fear.

7.  You have written before about have picky eaters and, now, a son with food allergies.  I, too, have picky eaters, but no allergies to deal with.  How has dealing with it changed the way you grocery shop and cook of your family?

Initially, very overwhelming. I had no experience with allergies and was a terrible cook!  However I am now looking at it all as a learning adventure! I am actually enjoying the research and learning NEW recipes! I have great resources and local health/dietitian advocates!

It can be pricey to avoid certain ingredients , but I am learning there, too!

I can’t help but to appreciate:

  1. Henry’s situation was not more serious.  He was so sick for several weeks, we are blessed to have him healthy again!
  2. I have the ability, and resources to LEARN to help him
  3. It is making us a healthier family- in so many ways!

I am REALLY excited to try a greener/frugal approach to household cleaning!  I recently discovered Crunchy Betty and will be attempting to follow many of her recipes (laundry soap/softener, dish-washing, all purpose cleaning, weed control, insect control…etc.) Someday maybe even toothpaste and deodorant, but don’t hold me to the last ones! I AM ACTUALLY VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS!

It is so easy to make these changes!  It will benefit our bodies and pocketbook! AND IF I CAN DO THIS, ANY ONE CAN!

Not only was our grocery budget in need of serious adjustment, but I am really bothered by the amount of chemicals in our homes, and on our bodies. Especially in our children’s products. :-(

8.  Tamara asked me this one a couple weeks ago and I loved it, so I’m asking you! What is the biggest thing blogging has taught you about yourself?

I guess I am not sure it has taught me anything new about me. However it gave me much needed “mommy time” and provided a HUGE learning challenge, that I was craving. I never knew the amazing depths of blogosphere! Even if I could blog full-time… there is always more that can/should be done.

9. You wrote a lovely review of The Mother Of All Meltdowns back in October.  (Thanks!) Tell us about one of your worst mommy meltdowns!

Thank you!  Well it was probably surrounding the True Tales post about Henry. I was so emotional in November/December.  I was scared and tired of him being sick. Most tests were coming back normal.  The doctors were talking feeding tubes and discussing things like “cystic fibrosis”. Henry was battling constant bowel issues and vomiting during each meal. It was a lonely and frustrating time.

I cried to my barista at Starbucks. I cried when talking to the grocery store dietitian. I never “lost” it and screamed at anyone- but a lot of people had no idea what was even happening until I “unleashed” in that post. It felt so good to let it out. I suddenly felt stronger and stopped crying at the local grocer.

10.  O.K.  Let’s end with something fun.  If you had an entire day to yourself – 24 hours with no kids, no hubby, no schedule, no to-do list, and money is no object – how would you spend the time??

Okay well if money is NO issue….  Ladies, I am chartering a jet and we would Vlog a group version #AAF in a southern climate with Mojitos! Maybe bring in Channing Tatum and Bradley Copper for a few  #AAF Twitter selfies!

If I need to be more realistic- Spa, shopping and expensive lunch! but now that seems less fun!

Thank you for the #AskAwayFriday swap, Lisa!
I can’t wait to see how you answered my questions!

 See everyone next #AskAwayFriday! Cheers!

Becoming the accidental co-sleeper. #toddlers #TrueTales

Yeah It’s Thursday!  It’s time for True Tales from the Pink & Blue Trenches with our buddies from Home on Deranged!

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This week we are discussing sleeping, co-sleeping… or maybe the lack of sleeping- due to the toddlers in our lives. :-)

This week, Melissa from Home on Deranged discussed the magic that our toddlers can conjure when it’s bedtime. Amazing how quickly such a little person can find big ways to turn a night upside down.

Home on Deranged - The accidental co-sleeper: this toddler parent tells all; part of the True Tales from the #PinkandBlue Trenches series

Ah, yes, bedtime. That magical time when you can drift off to sleep and dream of faraway lands and crazy adventures that lead you to be the leader of your own kingdom, beloved by all and adored by strangers.

Unless, of course, you have toddlers around. In which case, it’s a journey into finding out just how many ways you can contort your body to fit the 1-foot wide sleeping space you’ve been allotted by the world’s tiniest bed hogs. Yes, I have become the accidental co-sleeper.

When we started this parenting journey, we never consciously – or actively – set out to be co-sleepers. My husband and I were perfectly happy to drift off to dream in our queen size bed, each with a comfortable amount of room to sleep in pretty much any position we desired.

Home on Deranged - The accidental co-sleeper: this toddler parent tells all; part of the True Tales from the #PinkandBlue Trenches series In fact, when we were both still working, we never had Annie in the bed with us. If she woke up during the night, I usually took her in the living room and stayed with her until she went back to sleep, returning her to her crib and myself to the comfort of my quilt-covered cocoon.

But then we moved in with my dad for a few months, and since space was at a premium, her bed – rather, her playard – was at the foot of ours. I can remember nights hearing her cry and looking at the foot of the bed to see her tiny little head peeking at me. It was just easier to take her out of there and put her in the bed with us.

When we finally moved into our current home, she loved her room, and, for the most part, slept through the night. When Leelou came along, she, too, stayed in the playard next to our bed, so if she woke, I could pick her up, soothe her a little, and put her back in it.

But a funny thing happened as they got older. They moved on their own. Once Annie got transitioned to her toddler bed, she became quite adept at getting out of her bed, walking down the hall to our room, opening the door and coming right on in.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve been awoken by, “Mommy?” in the tiniest little whispered voice. Sometimes I don’t even hear her, I just sense her staring at me. And it usually scares the crap out of me.

As Leelou moved into her own room, she would occasionally wake, and since there is a full size guest bed in her room, I would just crash in there with her. Except I wouldn’t wake up and move her. So we wound up sleeping in the same bed. Then I would hear Annie crying for me, wandering around the hall, and then everyone was awake. So I gave up staying in Leelou’s room.

At some point, with one squirmy baby and one bed-hog toddler, we decided a queen size bed wasn’t cutting it anymore. We went up to the king size bed, and it initially seemed huge. But a funny thing happened. Our daughters grew.

The long list of toddler sleeping positions is well-known and frequently documented: they lie sideways, with their head at your head and feet at his head; they lie in the opposite direction of you, so their head is at your feet and their feet are in your belly; they lie in a diagonal position, touching both parents at once while simultaneously taking up more of the bed real estate.

For the most part, Leelou sleeps through the night, opting to stay in her own comfy space. Home on Deranged - The accidental co-sleeper: this toddler parent tells all; part of the True Tales from the #PinkandBlue Trenches series She is a hard sleeper, and usually doesn’t even want to get up in the morning. Annie, on the other hand, since potty training started, gets up almost every. single. night. At first, it was just to go potty. Now, well, I really don’t know why. Although she has repeatedly commented that she likes our bed better. Yeah, me, too.

We get lucky sometimes, and have a two night streak where they both stay beautifully ensconced in their beds. It’s pure bliss when I wake up and realize that I have not had to hang on to the side of the bed like a drowning man clinging to a life raft. I actually had the room to stretch all the way out and allow my limbs to relax.

Then there are mornings like yesterday, where I wake to find Annie curled snugly against my leg, head at my feet, sleeping soundly. And I have absolutely no idea how she even got in the bed. I really have no memory of her coming in the room. Sure, I could return her to her bed, but then I’d have to get up. And mama ain’t having none of that.

Perhaps if we’d planned better or discussed how we would handle what to do when our babies wake up in the night, I might not be the accidental co-sleeper that I now find myself to be. But then again, I wouldn’t have gotten all that deliriously delicious cuddle time. Or heard the giggles of my girls as they wake. Or seen them sleeping on their daddy’s chest.

Eh. I’ll sleep later. You know, after they have kids of their own.

What about you? Were you an accidental co-sleeping parent, or even a purposeful one? Did it make a difference in your overall parenting style, or did you just go with the flow? Share it with me in comments, because I’m always looking for advice!

Make sure to join us next Thursday for the next True Tales from the Pink & Blue Trenches!

 

Fleece Blanket, 100% Beeswax Candles & Handmade Soap – Mohawk Valley Trading Company & Crooked Brook – #Giveaway (ends 4/27 US) (ad)

We’re Celebrating Mother’s Day 2014- with a special giveaway!

Featuring beautiful gifts from Mohawk Valley Trading Company & Crooked Brook!  Including:  An Embroidered Fleece Blanket, 100% Beeswax Candles & Handmade Soaps!

I was provided with the below items for the purposes of facilitating this review- all opinions are mine and honest. 

Mohawk Valley Trading Company Crooked Brook

In preparation for Mother’s day, I am so pleased to have the opportunity to introduce you to these fine companies! The gift selections offered by Mohawk Valley Trading Company and Crooked Brook are sure to make mom feel extra special! 

This Mohawk Valley Trading Company and Crooked Brook Mother’s Day gift assortment consists of:

Handmade Soap the from Mohawk Valley Trading Company is made without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, petrochemicals, synthetic or artificial fragrances, dyes, detergents, preservatives or any other toxic or harmful surfactants, degreasers, plasticizers, reproductive toxins, pesticides, carcinogens, industrial chemicals or hormone disruptors.

Instead they are made with goat’s milk, shea butter, natural plant oils including; olive oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, palm oil, castor bean oil, wheat germ oil, sunflower oil and other botanical sources such as fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs and nuts. 100% natural plant-based essential oils distilled or pressed from fresh citrus peels, flower petals, spices, leaves, herbs and other naturally fragrant botanical materials, beeswax and raw honey.

  • (1) Personalized Fleece Blanket, embroidered with two long stemmed roses and Happy Mother’s Day (15,000 stitches). Color: cream, Size: 50” x 60”,  Material: 100% polyester. 

TOSHIBA Exif JPEG

Fleece blankets (also called fleece throws) are made from Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or other synthetic fibers and can also be made out of recycled PET bottles or recycled fleece. They are lightweight, warm, soft, and hydrophobic; holding less than 1% of their weight in water which allows them to retain much of their insulating powers even when wet.

Fleece blankets are machine washable, dry quickly, are very breathable and will not lose their thickness when compressed; it does not matter if you crush, pull, twist or wad up the blanket it will come back to its original shape and thickness.

pure-beeswax-votive-candle-788 pure-beeswax-pillar-candles-2-X-3 pure-beeswax-tea-light-792

100% Pure Beeswax Candles from The Mohawk Valley Trading Company are hand dipped or hand poured and made from 100% all natural, unbleached yellow beeswax, produced by their bees in the USA.

Total Prize Value $75.00!

ENTER NOW!  Ends 4/27/14 US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Cant to wait to see if you won?

Receive a 20% discount on all Mohawk Valley Trading Company 100% Pure Beeswax Candles, Raw Honey and Maple Syrup from 4/1/14 to 4/27/14 with the Coupon Code “The noise of boys Mother’s Day Giveaway”.

Receive a 20% discount on all Crooked Brook Personalized Fleece Blankets and Fleece Jackets (embroidered or blank) or Jackets (embroidered or blank) in addition to a 10%  discount on all Wholesale Fleece Blankets (blank, one case minimum) from 4/1/14 to 4/27/14 with the Coupon Code The noise of boys Mother’s Day Giveaway” 

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Please note: You must be 18 years or older to enter. Crooked Brook will ship the prizes to the winner within 30 days of contest end. Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes, US recipients only residing in one of the 48 contiguous states.

We’re Ready for Fun in the Sun! SophiasStyle.com #swimwear #review & #giveaway (ad) ends 4/24 us only

Note: This review contains an affiliate link* Product was received to facilitate review. Opinions are 100% mine!

I am so pleased to have the opportunity to review products from SophiasStyle.com again!  They offer a wide assortment of trusted brand merchandise in fashion, home, children toys and accessories! The boutique inspired clothing and range of quality products makes online shopping so easy!

SophiasStyle

With our upcoming trip to Kansas City, I knew the boys could definitely use new swimwear for the water park hotel we would be lodging at!

PLUS …warmer outdoor weather is on the horizon…right?
 
 

Shopping Experience  

Navigation of the site is always easy, it is well organized and selections/sizes are readily available!  From my past orders, I knew fit and quality would be impressive! I have not once had to make a return!

NOTE: There are always special savings available! Make sure to take advantage of the 1st order discount when you sign-up for the newsletter, current Easter markdowns and other great offers now available the SophiasStyle.com homepage! ALSO SophiasStyle.com offers flat rate domestic shipping!

Arrival

Our items arrived promptly! I ordered mid-afternoon on a Friday and it arrived the following Monday! This is great to know, if you are like me, and those events tend to sneak up on you!

Our Items were neatly folded and nicely secured in tissue wrap, affixed with a brand label- in keeping with that a “boutique feel!”

What we selected & product features:

iExtreme Yellow Blue Hibiscus Print Drawstring Swimsuit Trunks
(current retail $15.99)

  • elastic waistband and drawstring for a perfect fit.
  • Interior of trunks feature mesh underwear liner.
  • 100% polyester
  • available in sizes 12M-7

iExtreme Orange Hibiscus Print Drawstring Swimsuit Trunks
(current retail $15.99)

  • elastic waistband and drawstring for a perfect fit.
  • Interior of trunks feature mesh underwear liner.
  • 100% polyester
  • available in sizes 12M-7

Both of the above swimwear choices, featured bright bold prints in a board short style.  Sizing was exactly as described and all material is durably constructed! My lil  guys were happy! So was I! Make sure to check out for our upcoming Kansas City trip posts to see the swimwear in use, since the current weather in the Midwest did not allow me to photograph outside :-(

My only wish would be for SophiasStyle.com boys’ product selection to feature more accessories like caps & hats and swim shirts.

SophiasStyle Swimwear

Towelmate Boys Trains Pockets Beach Swim Towel
(current retail $26.99)

  • Two built-in, zippered pockets.
  • Towel size: 24″ x 50″
  • Fabric : 100% Cotton.

WE LOVED THIS!  As evident in the above photos! So soft and comfy, my youngest wanted to sleep on it!  BRAVO! What a simple, yet, fantastic feature- adding zippered pockets- to a child’s towel!   This will be so convenient!  

(In the below photo, I only show one of the pockets, but there are two!)


SophiasStyle3 swimwear

NOW IS YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

SophiasStyle.com has kindly offered one lucky reader a chance to win a $50 giftcode to shop their website!  Enter the giveaway via the rafflecopter form below!

US and Canada! Ends April 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sophiasstyle Giveaway

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Disclosure:  I received an e-gift card form to purchase products of my choice, to facilitate this review.   The opinions are mine and are honest (or it would not be promoted on this site).  My experience may differ from yours. Brand affiliate advertising links are contained within this review.