Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

Blogging Hiatus

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9/17/14

 

Dear Friends,

It’s been a few weeks since my last post. That was intentional. I’ve been busy with Back-to-School/Work, the yoga studio, etc. While it’s nice to get back into a routine, it’s just a reminder of how quickly time continues to fly. My baby girl turned 8 last week. She started 3rd grade and absolutely loves her teacher…so do I! It’s going to be a good year for her.  I’ve heard from several friends and colleagues how significant 3rd grade can be. I think it has a little to do with being able to remember more from that year. It was very memorable for me. I don’t have much recollection of anything before 2nd grade….but 3rd? I remember my wonderful teacher Mrs. Pahoundis, the ice cream scoop book report chart, the reading cave in her classroom, my best friend Carissa (who is still my best friend!), my first crush, and a trip to Colombia. I also think that the step from 3rd to 4th is huge…I see it in the kids I teach now. There is something still so innocent and young about the 3rd graders, but as the year progresses you see so much growth…physically, intellectually and emotionally. It’s hard to believe, let alone accept, that my little one is growing up….

All Summer I anticipated writing this post. Last year was so busy for me that I think I stretched myself too thin (almost!). The reality hit me within the first couple days of vacation. When I realized that I had to almost force myself to relearn how to relax, I knew something had to change. So as I basked in the California (hottest!) Summer sun, I vowed that this school year would be different. I don’t want to forget what’s truly important. I don’t want to lose the beautiful connection I have with my baby girl. I don’t want to miss a single beat. I’ve been grateful that the school she started at this last year has been a good fit for her, but I do miss our days of homeschooling, taking field trips and running errands together. The days seemed longer then. I still do hold on to the idea of homeschooling again soon, but for now things are working out the way they are.  I am super proud of her….this year she has joined the Dance Company at her dance school. She is so excited that they will be performing at a 76ers half time show! It’s everything to me to see her face light up when she tells whoever she can. lol. I want her to flourish and be all that she can be and never lose that positive energy and confidence she has. I know that in order to support and guide her I need to make sure that I am truly available to her. So, for now, it means setting aside quality family time, reprioritizing, learning how to say no, and taking a little more time for me.  After all, I don’t want to lose myself either.

So I take this time to thank all of those who have spent a few minutes reading my posts. I truly appreciate the support. I have had an amazing time sharing my thoughts, reviewing products so I can report back, and connecting with other moms out there that are also busy trying to juggle it all for the love of our families. I appreciate all of the opportunities and while blogging has been a fun outlet, many of you know that it can also be very time consuming. Therefore, the time has come for me, not to say goodbye, but see you later. Wishing you all health, love and happiness!

Until next year,

~Dee

 

Back-to-School with CLIFKid

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Last year I shared my love for CLIF Kid snacks with you (to read post: Click Here). My family and I have been a big fan of their Zbars for a while now. Well, with back-to-school around the corner, I could not pass up the chance to share their latest product with you…CLIF Kid Zbar Protein! These nutritious snack bars are made with organic whole grains and contain 5 grams of protein. They are also a great source of calcium, fiber, iron, zinc and vitamin D. They do not contain any high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, preservatives or artificial flavors. They are also low in calories, fat and sugar. They are a great alternative to conventional granola bars, snacks and sweets that are filled with sugar and unhealthy ingredients.

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Zbar Protein is available in 3 flavors: Chocolate chip, Chocolate Mint (my daughter’s favorite!) and Peanut Butter Chocolate (my favorite!).  All three are super yummy…your kids won’t even know they’re actually good for them. A box of 5 sells for approximately $4.99…just around 99 cents per bar!

Zbar makes a great addition to your child’s lunch. It can also be used as an after-school snack, fuel for after-school activities, or a post-practice recovery snack. It is essential that growing, active children get their daily intake of nutrients in order to perform and flourish. I don’t know about you, but this is the type of snack bar I am happy to pack in my little girl’s lunchbox…

So, in honor of Back-to-School, I would like to offer one lucky reader the opportunity to be a “lunchbox hero.”  Be the first to leave a comment below sharing your most creative healthy lunchbox snack and you will win a half dozen variety of the new CLIF Kid Zbar Protein snack bars…simple as that!

For more info on CLIF Kid visit the Website or follow them on Facebook, and Pinterest.

 

 

Final Ecocentric Mom Review

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Yes, sadly, this will be my last Ecocentric Mom review. I have had such a great time being a part of the expert blogger team and receiving goodies to review and share with you, but my time has come to move on. This past year was a very busy one and after some R&R this Summer, I’ve realized the need to slow down a bit. With a new school year around the corner, I am looking forward to new projects and responsibilities. However, the focus on my priorities and time management will be much clearer. Family comes first and Ecocentric Mom has played a big role for me in making sure I do not forget that.

As a busy mom it can be difficult to find the time to ensure you are providing your family (and yourself!) with the healthiest and safest options. That’s where Ecocentric Mom subscription boxes can help. Every other month you will get a box of organic, natural and healthy products right at your doorstep. You can discover and learn about some of the healthiest snacks, safest bath products and cosmetics, and so much more.

Being a Birth and Postpartum Doula, I want to make sure I keep up-to-date with what’s out there for new moms and little ones too. So, without further ado, check out the great products I received in my July/August “Mom-to-Be” Ecocentric Mom Box…..

Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Cream Foundation ~ this has become one of my favorite make-up lines thanks to Ecocentric Mom. I’ve tried their lipstick and glosses and love them. While I’m not a foundation fan, this stuff works great….super lightweight, all-natural and contains SPF-28. I received a 3 pack travel size worth $1.40.

Savannah Red Lip Balm ~ this balm comes in a variety of flavors. I received the Beautiful Sugar and love how it smells. Best of all, the natural and organic ingredients leave my lips feeling so soft. One tube of lip balm sells for $2.99. I also received a 20% online discount code.

Bears Beauty Belly Balm ~ This organic skincare line will be a great recommendation for my doula clients. Hand-made, chemical free and made with organic hemp oil, this vegan belly balm is a safe choice for your baby. I received a travel size balm worth $1.50 and a 15% online discount code.

Bathtime Baby Hair & Body Wash ~ Another great recommendation for my doula clients, this baby skincare line is free of parabens, glycols, petroleum, sulfates, fragrances, dyes, and all that toxic stuff that can be harsh and damaging to your baby’s delicate skin. It is made with organic plant and fruit extracts, nourishing vitamins, antioxidants, and other ingredients that are safe and gentle and care for your little one. Bathtime Baby is also made in the U.S.A., is vegan and comes in BPA & Phthalate free packaging. I received a 3 oz. bottle which sells for $7.50, along with a 20% online discount code.

Water Wipes All-Natural Baby Wipes ~ This is the second time I receive Water Wipes in my Ecocentric Mom Box…but I’m not complaining! In fact, they are the brand I recommend the most. These are truly the purest baby wipes ever…made with 99.9% water and just a drop of fruit extract. I received a 10 wipe travel pack which sells for 99 cents. They can now be found at most major retailers, including walgreens.com and diapers.com.

Happy Baby Meal Time Board Book ~ This adorable book would make a great gift for any new mom and baby, especially when it is time to introduce solid foods to your little one. The bright pictures and clever words will keep baby entertained and expose him or her to meal time fun and reading. The board book sells for $9.95.

eInvite Sample Personalized Cards & Stationery ~ I received 5 sample fold top cards and a 20% online discount code which introduced me to eInvite.com. The site offers a great line of personalized stationery. You will find baby related stationary, like shower invitations and birth announcements, all customizable and all made in the USA. Visit http://www.einvite.com for more info.

AROMAFLAGE Botanical Fragrance & Insect Repellent ~ Now that I’m back on the East Coast for the end of Summer and its humidity, I will definitely be putting this to use to keep those pesky mosquitoes away. It is free of synthetic fragrances, parabens and other toxic chemicals. The cedar wood, vanilla, citrus and Vitamin E combination even make it smell good, unlike most natural insect repellents. I received a travel size sample worth $3.75.

The Natural Suburban Spices and Teas ~ I received a sample of “Summer Herb Garden Savory Spice”, as well as “Need a Little Sunshine in my Day Tea.” While I have not used either yet, I love that they are handcrafted, all-organic blends. I also received a 20% online discount code.

Yogavive Apple Chips ~ Last, but certainly not least (considering I opened these first!), I received a regular bag of chocolate flavored apple chips. Not sure if it was the chocolate or the Yoga that caught my attention first. Regardless, this healthy snack is made with USDA certified organic Fuji apples and are 100% fat free…tasty too! A bag sells for $4.49.

There you have it…another box of great finds, thanks to Ecocentric Mom. If you are thinking of signing up for a subscription box service, I highly recommend you give them a try. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

For more information and to subscribe visit the Ecocentric Mom website.

DIY Summer Spruce-Up

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As my vacation comes to an end, I already feel the anxiety of getting back to a dusty home and the back-to-school craze.  I’ve been a student and a teacher practically my whole life, making September a  month of new beginnings for me. Now with a school aged child the end of Summer and beginning of Fall continues to be my New Year and Spring Cleaning rolled into one.  I like to call it time for my “Summer Spruce-Up.”

Last Fall I began experimenting with several different homemade cleaner recipes. After much trial and error I found that all you really need is water, baking soda, vinegar and your favorite essential oil for scent. So as you clean out those rooms and closets to prepare for a new school year and scrub those floors after a Summer of trekking in pool water and mud, consider making your own eco-friendly household cleaners. This step-by-step easy guide to making your own cleaners from www.brightnest.com will help save you money and protect your family and the environment from toxins and chemicals found in conventional cleaning brands.

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Debest for Baby

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As a Certified Birth Doula, I am always on the look out for the latest and greatest for mom and baby. When I was recently asked to check out the Debest line of naturally colored baby garments, I couldn’t resist. I received the adorable “Ruffles in Bloom” 2-piece set pictured above and was immediately impressed by the quality. The material is soft and durable to the touch.

A baby’s skin is so sensitive that it is important to consider not just what products you use on their skin, but the dyes and materials in their clothing and bedding as well. The naturally colored cotton in Debest baby garments is organically grown, making it softer to the skin than conventional white cotton. It is also free from harmful chemicals and dyes commonly used in production. With Debest you can protect your baby’s skin and health, while helping to protect the environment.

Over the years I have made an effort to look for organic baby clothing and products to recommend to clients or when shopping for little ones. One thing I’ve noticed is that naturally colored and organic baby clothes tend to lack in variety and style. This is where Debest impressed me even more. I love the colors and flowered pattern of the outfit above. Their other selections are just as cute and stylish. You will find short and long-sleeve options, two-piece sets, sleepers, and blankets in different patterns and styles for girls and boys. Prices and shipping costs are very reasonable and when you sign-up you’ll receive 25% off your first purchase! Whether you’re shopping for a unique gift or buying clothes for your little one, I highly recommend Debest. Your baby deserves only the best!

More Good News! I’ve got an exclusive discount code for TLGP readers…

Purchase $50 or more and receive an extra $10 off. Just enter GREENMAMA10 at check out. Offer expires on 7/15/2014.

For more info and to shop the Debest line visit their WEBSITE,

Follow them on TWITTER, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST.

 

Your Child’s First Pet

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What Should Your Child’s First Pet Be? (Guest Post)

It has been said that giving your child a pet to take care of will help him or her learn what being responsible is about. As a first time mom to this kind of parenting, it may be quite difficult to match your child to the right pet. The ideal age for a child to own a pet is 7 years old and up. However, starting at age 5 or 6 can be also be okay, as long as you know what you are up for! Caring for even the littlest of pets requires supervision from adults.

To help you with the decision making process, here are some ideas and tips for each potential pet:

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We all know that canines are the most popular animals to own as pets. Man’s best friend indeed, because it is a companion pet which your child can interact with. Before owning one, you need to know first if your child can be counted on to do tasks for his pet such as feeding the dog and filling up its water supply. Dogs need high maintenance because they need daily exercise, toilet training, and a lot of caring. The best dog breeds to own as pets are Beagle, Golden Retriever, Maltese, Pug, Shih tzu, and Poodle, to name a few. If you live in a smaller house or in an apartment, it would be best to choose smaller breeds. Be careful when considering breeds known as being aggressive, such as Rottweiler and Doberman. They may not be suitable for young children.

Cats

Compared to canine, the moody domestic feline is perfect for a nurturing child who does not really mind being ignored every now and then. The best breed for household cats are the Persian cats, Abyssinians, Burmese, Birmans, Manx, Ragdolls and Somalis. Stray kittens that are usually of multiple breeds could grow up to be a very good companion and a pest controller too.

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Consider the Myna birds. My neighbor used to have one, and it was a main attraction especially for kids who passed by. Myna birds pick up people’s voice as well as intonation and expressions. Birds are perfect for children who are keen observers of animal behavior. If you decide for a pet bird, you need to be sure that you and your child are prepared for the commitment because birds can possibly live a long time. Finches and canaries are simple to maintain and could be fascinating for your child. These types don’t care much for human attention and interaction, so it would be better to get several to provide them company. Parakeets are known to develop a strong connection with their owners and can learn to talk too. My uncle has one and does not put it in a cage. He just lets it fly around but it eventually comes back to him some time before sunset.

Goldfish

Goldfish as pets may look easy to maintain because they don’t need toilet-training and walking, but the biggest challenge is to keep them alive! The germy waste-filled bowl or tank needs to be regularly cleaned and maintained. You also need to regularly supply aerated water. Fish are best for first time pet owners.

Small Mammals

Small mammals like hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits are popular pet choices. They are known for their cuteness, being harmless and clever. Pocket pets like these are ideal for families that spend most of their time outside the house. If you think that you and your child are not ready yet to take care of a cat or a dog, then having this type of pet is a good compromise for kids who are excited to have animals in the house.

~Ghezzi is a full-time work at home mom. She is a contributor at pregg.net, a blogazine for newbie as well as experienced parents. Pregg.net believes that parenting is something you never stop learning. Ghezzi is mom to her 5 year old daughter who is doing quite well in school. They both love to dine out and watch animated films.

Hyland’s New DEFEND

PicsArt_1395855139556I am a big promoter and believer of homeopathic and natural remedies. Since my 7 year old was an infant, I have relied on the Hyland’s brand for her immune system needs. With Spring season arriving, the change in weather also means colds and the flu have joined us again. My daughter caught a cold just last week. Luckily, after being contacted to sample their newest line, I had some Hyland’s DEFEND Severe Cold & Flu on hand.

A box of Hyland’s DEFEND comes with 8 packets of quick-dissolving powder that can be added to some warm or hot water. The natural lemon and honey flavor is light and soothing. Best of all, Hyland’s DEFEND Severe Cold & Flu is dye free and contains no artificial flavors, preservatives or sweeteners. It is made with only natural ingredients and is non-habit forming. When taken at the first sign of illness, Hyland’s DEFEND will work with your body’s natural healing process to safely and effectively relieve symptoms of colds and the flu, including: runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, fever, chills, headaches, and body aches.

In less than two days of taking Hyland’s DEFEND Severe Cold & Flu, my little one felt a whole lot better. Her runny nose never progressed to any major nasal congestion and the only thing that lingered for the rest of the week was a minor cough. All other symptoms were gone! I took some along with her during those first two days, just to give my own immune system a boost and avoid catching her cold. I think it worked. 😉 I am very happy to have been introduced to this newest Hyland’s product. What I like best is that my whole family can benefit from it. We can fight off illness and avoid yucky, toxic chemicals found in most conventional brands. I definitely plan on keeping Hyland’s DEFEND stocked in my medicine cabinet.  The new line also includes a natural cough syrup and sinus relief products.

One Hyland’s product that I’ve had on hand for years is their Calms Forte Sleep Aid. It’s not uncommon to feel restless at bedtime when you’re suffering from a cold or the flu. This is when using Calms Forte, along with DEFEND Severe Cold & Flu, can be very beneficial. Calms Forte is non-habit forming, natural and gentle on the body. It is safe for children as young as 6 years of age.  My husband and I have used it ourselves when we’ve needed a little stress and tension relief in order to get a better night’s sleep. It has also come in very handy when our family travels and suffers from jetlag. It helps you wake up feeling rested, without that groggy feeling most over-the-counter sleep aids can cause.

If you’re looking for safer and convenient alternatives to keep your family healthy and boost their immune system, I highly recommend the Hyland’s brand.

For more info visit their WEBSITE and

Follow them on FACEBOOKTWITTER, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST and YOU TUBE.