Knot Genie Review & Giveaway!

Having a little girl with long hair means inevitably having  tangled hair.  Heck, having any hair of any length is bound to get a few tangles.  As I’m sure the mothers of daughters everywhere know, combing out the knots is pure torture, for brusher and brushee alike.  We use conditioner and tangle spray, sure, but it is still an effort sometimes to get the comb through.  Many a tear have been shed while de-tangling in this house.  Many, many tears.

So what’s a girl to do?  The way I see it, there are three options.  Option one, invest in ear plugs so you don’t have to listen to your daughter cry and tell you how you are evil and pulling out her hair on purpose.  Option two, shave her head.  Sure, it will take some getting used to, but no hair means no tangles, yay!  Option three, and perhaps far less extreme, get yourself a magical Knot Genie.

 

And I do mean magical.  The awesomeness is in the bristles, which effortless glide through even the nastiest of knots and tangles.  Better yet?  I noticed that when using the Knot Genie on Isabella’s hair, we only had about two or three hairs come out, compared to the giant clumps and broken hairs we would get with the standard brush or comb method.

 

The shape of the Knot Genie is pretty cool too, it fits very nicely in the palm of your hand for brushing, and fits my hand just as well as it does my seven year old’s.

 

She can even brush her hair herself!  That sounds silly, she is seven, but as I think most moms will agree, though they may try to brush out the tangles themselves, usually they end up making a big ol’ rat’s nest which means more tears and more hair clumps to be sacrificed.

 

Notice something missing from that picture?  No tear stained face!  No frown of disappointment!  I dare say, that girl is happy!  And that makes Mama happy.

Knot Genie is awesome.  I mean, really, awesome.  No batteries, no cords, no tears, just awesome.

How would you like to win one of your very own?  Just shoot me an email at livinglavidamommy @ gmail.com, (no spaces) and you are entered to win!  I will announce the winner on Wednesday, September 5, so you have until then to enter to win!  Buena suerte!

Check out Knot Genie and get your very own by checking out their website HERE.

“Like” Knot Genie on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow Knot Genie on Twitter by clicking HERE

 

The awesome folks at Knot Genie provided me with a Knot Genie at no charge for review purposes so I could share the magic of their product with my readers.  I was not compensated in any other way and  I really do think the Knot Genie is AWESOME!!

 

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DIYdidIthinkthiswasagoodidea?

Abe took a long weekend this past week, and so I convinced him to take on a project I have been wanting to do forever.  One that he did not want to do.  See, we have this nice kitchen table that wasn’t as nice as we thought it was.  Within two months of buying it, it was pretty much crap from a water spill that bubbled up in the middle of the table.  Soon after, other marks started showing up from moisture, splitting the wood and just making it look junky.

That was depressing.  We spent good money on what we thought was good furniture, and come to find out, what was advertised and what we were in fact told was solid wood, was actually a very thin piece of wood over what I presume to be MDF.  Why would we think Weekends Only would sell crappy furniture?  Lesson learned.

Regardless, we spent the money and I was determined to make this table look awesome again.  I did research and studied tutorials over the last several months and felt confident that we could fix the table.  We sanded, we prepped, we stained.

Here’s a fun fact.  When your table top is all dusty from sanding, and you want to wipe it off really well before staining it, DO NOT USE A DAMP CLOTH TO DO SO!!!!

Is that common knowledge?  Because I didn’t know that, so maybe I’m just a dumbass.  Apparently, when you get even the teeniest tiniest amount of moisture on the raw wood, that opens up the pores and gives it super stain soaking powers.

Wanna guess how I got the excess dust off?

Yup.

Wanna see a picture of how I ruined all our hard work?

 

See those purdy finger streaks on the table?  The super dark marks where I opened up the wood pores with my damp cloth?

*le sigh*

So, this left us with some fun options.  One included completely re-sanding and then re-staining.  That would be the right way to fix it, on a normal table that wasn’t crap.  See, the tiny sliver of wood left on top of the MDF is more than likely not enough to last another sanding.  Soooooo…..

We painted it.  You can still see the wood grain through it, which is cool, and once we get it good and sealed/lacquered, hopefully it will be gorgeous and well protected until we buy a new set, not from Weekends Only.

It will either be cool, or require tablecloths until we get our new set.

Oh well, live and learn I suppose.  I’ll share more photos of the disaster once we have the clear coats on.  Woo hoo!

Foul Play

Thursday evening, Abe headed out to Busch Stadium with Isabella, Noah and free tickets to the ballgame that we had won the week before.  It was cloudy and threatening rain.  By the time they got there, in their amazing seats, it was raining pretty good.  Typical, party pooper weather!

The game was delayed.  It was starting to look like it might get cancelled.  One hour and 25 minutes after the game was scheduled to start, the tarps were removed and the game officially began.  Hallelou!

Here’s where the story gets interesting.

In the very beginning of the game, Matt Holliday catches a foul ball right by Abe and the kids.  Do you know what Matt Holliday did with that foul ball?  Something pretty awesome.  He threw it right to Abe!

Abe is a crazy, loyal baseball fan, this man lives for Cardinal baseball.  Catching a foul ball?  Heaven on Earth.

So, he catches the foul ball, and immediately gives the ball to Noah.  He was grinning ear to ear, very happy to be holding a piece of the game.  That’s when some butthead a few seats down starts yelling at Noah, a 2 year old, to “throw it back!”  Do you know what a 2 year old does when you tell him to throw a ball?

Do you see where this story is going?

Noah threw the ball back on the field.

Oh, yes.

I think Abe died a little when that happened. Luckily, an usher was able to retrieve the ball, which Abe promptly handed to Isabella before safely tucking it away into his backpack.

So other than almost losing the ever elusive foul ball, they had an awesome time!  Abe got a lot of amazing photos that look like they were taken right on the field!  They didn’t get home until almost midnight, but they were wide awake and excited to tell me all about the game when they got home, which was adorable.

Thank you, Matt Holliday, for giving my husband and kids an amazing baseball story to tell their kids one day!  They had the time of their lives, it only could have been made better had the Cardinals beat the Diamondbacks, but hey, there’s always next time, right?

The DeodoMom Cream

It’s something that we all need and we all use.  There are endless choices in a huge aisle, so many different formulations and scents and powers.  So many chemicals.  What am I talking about?  Deodorant.

You probably never thought about all the junk the deodorant companies put in their products, did you?  Me neither.  Never a second thought.  Likewise, I never realized that antiperspirants use aluminum to essentially plug the sweat glands until the skin is shed.  Does that sound like a healthy way to be stink free?  I didn’t think so either.

The DeodoMom Cream has no aluminum, no alcohol/glycol, no fragrance, dye or parabens and is 100% vegan.  Instead, it uses magnesium hydroxide, a mineral safe enough to eat, and water to effectively keep you odor free.

But does it work?

There are plenty of products out there that are better for us and that claim to work just as well as the chemically ridden cousins, only to disappoint.  That is not the case with DeodoMom Cream!  I have been using it in the sweltering heat, running around, running errands, chasing kids, you name it, and not once have I been distracted by ineffective deodorant.  (Come on, you know it’s happened to all of us at some point.)

And I like the fact that it is fragrance free!  How many deodorants actually smell nice?  In my opinion, they all have a very metallic undertone to them, and if I wanted to smell like metallic baby powder….well, I don’t.  So….

DeodoMom Cream was created by a husband and wife team, specializing in toxin-free and hypoallergenic products for pregnant women.  Obviously, pregger mami’s aren’t the only ones who care about what goes on and in their bodies, so this product is awesome for anyone who is health conscious and trying to make better choices for themselves and their family.

There are two formulations of the DeodoMom Cream.  It is available in a roller, just like regular roll on deodorant, as well as in cream form.  The cream comes in a jar and is applied like a lotion to the underarms.  Men and women can use DeodoMom Cream, but men will probably prefer the roll on, what with all their arm pit hair and what not.

There are also several olive oil soaps available, each specifically catering to different body areas and conditions.

Check out DeodoMom Cream on their website by clicking HERE.

“Like” DeodoMom Cream on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow DeodoMom Cream on Twitter by clicking HERE.

 

The awesome folks at DeodoMom Cream provided me with free product for review purposes and so that I could share their awesome product with my readers.  I was not compensated in any other way, and I really do love their awesome, safe deodorant!

Happy Birthday, Isabella!

My baby girl is seven years old today!  That is insanity.  I swear, it seems like only yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital.  It’s cliche’ but true!

Isabella was the swaddle baby.  She refused to even entertain the thought of sleep without being tightly bound as a baby burrito.  Half the time, she would wake up unwrapped, as you see in the photo above.

Being my first baby girl, of course I took, and take, every chance I get to dress her up.  She was like a little doll, with those gorgeous baby blues and her pretty little outfits.

They grow up so fast!  On the eve of her third birthday, she left all of her binkies for the Binky Fairy.  I still have a ziplock bag full of her giant binky stash.  The fairy left her a new bracelet and a book, and she never looked back!  Well, that is until Noah was born and there were new pacifiers in the house.  I caught her sneaking them every once in a while.

Sweet as these curls are, they aren’t natural.  They came from sleeping in foam rollers overnight.  Aren’t they adorable?  I have naturally curly hair and had hoped she would get my curls.  Her hair could not be more straight.  That’s okay though, her hair is gorgeous and definitely fun to style and play with!

My Bella ballerina is going to be a star.  She has said that since she could talk, and she is most definitely already a star in her mama’s eyes.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!  You are AWESOME!!

August Citrus Lane Box!

Just in time for back to school, this month’s Citrus Lane box has some fun goodies for the little ones not yet in school.

 

I love how Sara likes to inspect the insert of each box, like she is reading about all her new stuff!  Smart baby!

 

Lots of stuff that will be great for our little “filed trips” and errands while the big kids are at school.

 

As always, each box includes this insert which tells you more information about all of the products, includes websites and coupon codes and even little tips and tricks in line with the month’s theme.  Also, as you saw, this is one of Sara’s favorite parts of the box, even more than the yellow tissue paper!  Now that’s saying something!

 

Skip*Hop Zoo Lunchie Insulated Lunch Bag $14.00

Okay, I have to admit, I am in love with and completely obsessed with owls, so when we opened this box, my eyes immediately went to this super adorable lunch bag!  Love it!  It has an easy wipe clean interior, along with a little mesh pocket for hand wipes or napkins or utensils, you name it.  It also has an awesome clip on the handle, so it easily attaches to a backpack, stroller, diaper bag, etc to maximize space.  BPA and Phthalate free, this lunch bag is perfect for toting snacks on the go and keeping bottles, sippy cups, juice boxes etc nice and cool.  It’s so adorable, I think Mama may want to pack her lunch in it….

 

Andy Warhol’s Colors Board Book $6.99

Books are one thing in our house we can never have too many of.  My husband and I are bookworms, and we have passed that trait onto our children.  Literally, my kids would rather sit and read than play with toys.  Yes, they are awesome.  So is this bright and colorful board book!  Totally modern, totally colorful and totally fun, this is the perfect size for little hands and nice and sturdy for the roughness it is bound to experience.  It isn’t very long, which makes it perfect for little ones with short attention spans or for that last “one more story” at the end of the day.

 

Carefully going through each and every item.

 

DP (de-pee) Stain & Odor Remover $3.99

Oh, I could have used this yesterday!  Let’s hope I don’t have to use this anytime soon, but boy, am I glad to have it on hand!  DP is an eco friendly biodegradable enzyme cleaner that is tough on stinky, icky messes.  Anything from spit up to food disasters to even……poo, it is all blasted away with this product.  If you haven’t experienced an insanely stinky, icky mess with your child yet, just wait.  That day is coming, and now you can be prepared.

 

Keepin’ Fresh Baby Food Storage $3.75

This is adorably sized just right for kiddie portions, and it is made completely leak proof, microwave safe, dishwasher safe and freezer safe.  It is also BPA free, phthalate free, PVC and lead free.  These are made sturdy and can definitely take a beating and not look or perform any less than perfect.  I think I need about twenty more…

 

Sara found food!

 

Plum Organics Tots Yogurt Mish Mash $1.69

Included with the yummy Plum Organics this month, was a nice $2.00 off coupon for another Plum Organics product.  I love the convenient pouches and the replaceable cap to save any uneaten portions.  And of course, Sara loves the yummy flavor.  This is a great way to sneak in a serving of fruits and veggies if you have picky eaters.  It is also an awesome, healthy snack.

Lots of good stuff this month!  These things will all come in handy for play dates and trips around town.  What is Citrus Lane, you may ask?  It is an awesome subscription service that curates boxes to your specific baby’s age and the monthly theme and then ships them to your door each and every single month.  No leaving the house, no research, it’s all done for you!

Try out your very own subscription to Citrus Lane by clicking HERE.  Once you follow that link, enter coupon code 20TODAY.  This will save you $15 on a 3 month subscription, $25 on a 6 month subscription, or $50 on a 12 month subscription.  When you subscribe for a full year, they also give you two months free.

We love Citrus Lane in our home.  As I have said before, the value of the products each month for the small price paid is just fabulous.  And much cheaper than a “quick” trip to Target for me.  I love being introduced to new brands and companies, and we have loved everything we have gotten so far.

In loving memory….

August 17th has been burned into my memory for the last twelve years.  That is the day the world lost a truly amazing human being, Kevin Heisinger.

We worked together at Kmart, back in high school days,  along with a handful of other pretty awesome people that I am still lucky to call my friends.  He was by far one of the nicest, caring, wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  I still have a scrapbook with birthday cards he gave me, and ticket stubs to movies we went out to see together as the “K Crew”.

On August 17, 2000, Kevin was beaten to death in a men’s bathroom in a Kalamazoo bus station.  There were witnesses, grown adults who heard the screams for help and did nothing.  It took a twelve year old child to break the silence and call for help.

I remain as dumbfounded by his death today as I did 12 years ago.  I could rant and vent and tell you how I really feel about the monster that killed him or the horrible people that stood by and did nothing, but in honor of Kevin, I will simply share some articles about the incident and about the bill passed in his honor.

You can read more about his death HERE.

You can read about Kevin’s Law, a bill that took affect in Michigan in 2005 HERE.

Kevin Heisinger

February 13, 1976-August 17, 2000

Gone but never forgotten.

Crappy day. Literally.

Today, the kids went back to school.  They were up bright and early and feeling extra excited to start a brand new school year.  This year, Bella is in first grade and Matthew is in fifth grade.  This is the last year that they will go to the same school together.  Well, until they are enrolled in med school together, but I digress.

They were dressed and fed and I even snapped some photos before heading to the bus stop.

 

I assure you she is happy here.  The sun was in her eyes, and with the dramatic flair just oozing out of her, she had to squint and make these funky faces no matter how many times I threatened to show her friends how silly she looked.  Oh well.  Are you looking at how badly our yard needs weeding and cutting?  Stop that!  Just look at the cute babies!  Sheesh!

 

Matthew managed to smile without the horrible squinting and whining his sister did.  Thank you, Matt.  You are the awesome kid today.  You know who is not the awesome kid today?  Dare I say, the most un awesome kid?  That title belongs to Noah.  Let me explain.

So, it was time for the bus stop, which is literally right outside our door.  Noah and Sara were happily watching the Wiggles and Noah did not want to put pants on to come outside with us.  Fine.  Deciding not to fight with a two year old, I decided he would be fine, sitting down and watching his movie for the all of five minutes that I would be outside with the older kids.

Come on, Angie.  You know better.  *sigh*  I had a fleeting moment when I said to myself that I just should have dragged him outside with me, but I decided he would be fine.  Never trust a two year old to be unsupervised.  Not even for five minutes.

I’ll warn you.  Things are about to get ugly here.  We’re talking major gross out nastiness.  You can stop reading right now and just imagine what ridiculous thing my kid did.  I wish I could do that.  Really.  Read on if you have a stomach of steel or just a morbid curiosity.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you though.

Okay.

Wow.  Let me start by saying, some mamas would never admit what I am about to admit to you.  That makes me awesome for being honest and sharing the nitty gritty, right?  Or maybe it just shows how stupid I am.

So I walk into the house, like I said, after only five minutes outside with the kids.  I am immediately hit with a terrible smell.  My first though is the dog.  Poor dogs.  Always getting blamed for bad smells.  I did a quick survey of the kitchen and living room, not seeing any evidence of dog poo.  Good start.  Now, my mind goes to Noah.  He is currently potty training and was wearing regular underwear when I left.  At worst, I figured he may have had an accident.

That’s not the worst.  That doesn’t touch the worst with a 110 foot pole.  As I walked down the hallway, noticing the eerie quiet, I suddenly got a bad feeling.  I quickly opened the door and gasped.  I mean full on, GASPED.

Right here I could insert a photo of what I saw, because you can bet your butt I took pictures as proof to Abe of what my day was like.  I decided not to do that though.  The gross out factor was way too high.  I mean, seriously.  I’m brave, but I love you guys, I wouldn’t do that to you.  So let me paint you a picture here.

I open the door to see Sara sitting in her bouncy chair, Noah standing right next to her, both of them, completely and totally covered head to toe in poop.  Noah poop.

We’re talking on the face, schmeared in hair, all over the bouncy chair, insane.  They were holding balls of poop in their hands.  Noah’s poop.

I think I said “Oh my God!” about a hundred times.  That’s all I could say.  I didn’t even know where to start, it was just, it was just……oh my God!

I did take one picture to share with you.  It doesn’t have the kids in it, but it is gross and poopilicious.  Just to give you an idea.  Fair warning, don’t scroll down if you don’t want to see it.

Seriously.

It’s pretty disgusting.

Still with me?

So that bouncy chair?  Well, it had these adorable little animals hanging from a bar for the baby to play with.  They were so ridiculously encrusted with poo, I decided to cut them off and trash them.  Here is a photo of one of the toys, the foamy bit is from spray bleach before I decided to just trash them.

 

Are you beginning to comprehend the situation?  My stupidity?  My literally crappy day?

Oh my word, what a mess!!!!

I had to soak the babies in the tub to get them clean, meanwhile, bleach the heck out of everything poo smeared.  Big load of laundry, lots of bleach, a whole heck of a lot of “Oh my God!”  There were poopy handprints everywhere.  I had to wash Noah’s brand new SpongeBob backpack we got him for dance class because it was covered in poo.  Everything, oh my word, just wow.

It was my fault.  I’m an idiot.  I shouldn’t have left him, I should have dragged him to the bus stop kicking and screaming.  It would have been annoying, but there would have been a lot less poop.

Have I said poop enough times in this post?  Ugh.  I sincerely hope your day is going so much better than mine.  And please, let my stupidity be a lesson to you.  Never trust a two year old.  Especially one that is potty training.  Poo is bound to happen, and when it does, may the force be with you, mami!

Dolphin Organics

 

If you aren’t already in love with Dolphin Organics products, you are about to be.  This company was started by a husband and wife team who wanted only the best, organic and natural products for their children.  As I have mentioned before, so many products that are out on the shelves marked as “natural” and “organic” are just using those buzz words to pull you in.  A quick inspection of the label will show a long list of chemicals and preservatives that have no business being in a natural, organic product.

 

There is a whole line of amazing products to choose from,  and each of them is truly natural and organic, using nothing artificial, not even preservatives.

 

Something very nice you’ll notice on the back of each bottle, is the complete list of ingredients.  Not only does it tell you exactly what is in the product, but it even breaks it down into rows, telling you what items are natural and what items are certified organic.  There is also an “artificial” row, but as you’ll notice, that row is oh so nicely kept empty.  Que bueno!

 

 

You’ll also notice that Dolphin Organics is very proudly made in the USA, and is cruelty free and vegan.  The Simply Citrus Lotion blends organic aloe leaf juice, organic calendula flower and certified and organic citrus products which together gently hydrate, nourish and protect sensitive skin.

 

The lotion smells amazing and very fresh and goes on very smoothly, not leaving any greasy residue.  I feel good knowing that I’m not putting any nasty, unnecessary chemicals on my baby’s skin, and at the same time, I am nourishing and protecting her.  Plus, I’m not being tricked into buying something I think is good for my baby, only to find out that it is riddled with nasty, harmful chemicals .  It’s good to be smart!

Want to hear something else smart and amazing about this company?  With every purchase that you make,  Dolphin Organics donates a portion to Friends of Karen, a charity that is dedicated to supporting families with critically-ill children.  Not only are you buying the very best products for your children, but you are also supporting other families that need your help, just by purchasing these amazing products!

Dolphin Organics is doing their part by being a responsible company, making the smallest carbon footprint that they can while providing safe, natural and organic products for our children.  This is a company I feel very good supporting.  They are pretty awesome.

Check out Dolphin Organics website by clicking HERE.

“Like” Dolphin Organics on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow Dolphin Organics on Twitter by clicking HERE.

 

The awesome folks at Dolphin Organics provided me with the Simply Citrus lotion free of charge for review purposes.  I was not compensated in any other way, and I really do love this awesome company and their amazing products!

Well, what do you know?

Busch Stadium, as seen during the park's openi...

It would appear that our hummingbird friend and little grasshopper buddy did indeed bring good luck.  We were informed Friday morning that we won St Louis Cardinals tickets for this Thursday’s game.  Um, awesome much?

Had a great weekend, nice and cool and strangely productive.  The kids start school later this week, so they are soaking up the very last bits of lazy summer days while they can.

I am working on reviewing a few new products right now, one of which will be including a very generous giveaway.  We’re talking 10 winners, my friends!  Stay tuned, I’ll have more info on that very soon.

Meanwhile, I am definitely feeling the shift as we move into a new school year.  We are adding onto our already crazy schedule this year by signing Noah up for dance class.  He is excited, and as long as he wants to do it, I’m all for it.  The boys are a pretty spiffy little novelty in the dance routines, so I predict an extra awesome recital next year with Isabella and Noah sharing the same stage.  It can only be awesome.  Once I find some tiny, toddler sized black ballet shoes, that is.  That task is proving harder than expected.

It won’t be sad saying goodbye to summer this year.  It was hot and miserable, keeping us indoors far more than we would like.  Hopefully the fall will bring us some nice, cool temperature to enjoy the outdoors and make up for lost time in the fresh air.