10 Storks Review!

Today, I have an exciting new subscription box to share with you, designed especially for the expecting mama!  What a perfect time to pamper yourself, and look forward to a new box of goodies each month throughout pregnancy!  This would also make an amazing gift for that special mama to be in your life (hint hint to all the expecting papis out there!).  Better still, with every single paid subscription, you also receive a free baby box filled with items valuing $30!  Let’s dive in, shall we?

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I received Box #4 for review, this is the magical time in pregnancy when the morning noon and night sickness starts to wear off and you can finally start to enjoy the ride a bit!

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The box was oh so lovingly packed, seeing all the pretty tissue paper and the neat little bow just made me smile instantly, such a nice way to package everything!

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And the box was packed full with all kinds of awesome, pregnancy stage appropriate items!

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Orchard Valley Harvest Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds

This was the first thing to catch my eye, yum!  Almonds are a great, low carb food, perfect for storing in your purse for snacks on the go.  The added dark chocolate is a great bonus, filled with antioxidants and yummy goodness for the perfect treat during pregnancy or anytime.

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Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Heartburn Tea

I love Earth Mama Baby Angel anything, so having the yummy heartburn tea was a welcome addition to this month’s box!  Pregnancy comes with lots of fun little discomforts, one of the biggest for me is always heartburn.  This delicious organic tea is the perfect herbal blend with a soothing mellow mint flavor that helps ease the discomfort of heartburn.  The tea is also caffeine free, so no worries!  Drink as often as needed!

 

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Mambino Mommy & Baby Calming Aromatherapy Oil

This tiny bottle is serenity in disguise.  Apply a small dab to each temple for relief with nausea, and continue use for calming effects both for mom and baby.  Organic oils are very potent, and just the tiniest of amounts proves very effective, so even in a small package, this bottle of magic will last a good while.  Also included were sample sizes of a few other products, Youth Glow Face Serum and Oh Baby! Belly Butter.  Awesome, pampering products that are safe and organic for the mama to be.

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Eucerin Travel Size Lotion

Perfect for throwing in your purse and moisturizing on the go!  During pregnancy, your skin can tend to be more sensitive and dry.  Having this in your purse is a great way to help keep that dryness under control in between doctor’s appointments and busy schedules.  Moisturized skin is happy skin!

 

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Neutrogena Age Shield Sunblock Lotion

Having more sensitive skin, means being more susceptible to sun damage and even sunburns.  This is a great, generous sized product from a big name brand known for keeping your skin healthy.  Remember to apply daily, even in the colder months!

 

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Oral-B Complete Glide Dental Floss Picks

During pregnancy it is super important to keep up with your regular dentist appointments and teeth cleaning routine.  You are more susceptible now than ever to bleeding gums, so keep ahead of it and keep those gums clean!  This is an awesome product to take with you on the go as well, great for a quick cleaning and breath freshening any time of day.

 

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Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy

The pregnancy Bible.  Seriously.  This book was written by doctors who are also parents, and covers absolutely everything you could ever want to know about your pregnancy.  Everything is explained very well, no confusing clinical terms, and being well informed will squash any fears you may have during your pregnancy.

 

Pretty awesome stash, wouldn’t you agree?  I think this would be a great box to look forward to each month, pampering during pregnancy should be a rule!  You can subscribe to 10 Storks for as many months as you like, start at anytime!  Each month is $40 and shipping is always free!  Don’t forget that with each paid subscription, you will also receive a free baby box filled with great products valuing $30!

You can get your very own subscription by going to the 10 Storks website HERE.  Enter code MOMLOVE for $10 off your first box!

If you aren’t ready for a full subscription, there is also a pregnancy survival kit available for purchase.

 

“Like” 10 Storks on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow 10 Storks on Twitter by clicking HERE.

 

I received this box from the awesome folks at 10 Storks free of charge for review purposes.  I was not compensated in any other way and I really do think this is an awesome subscription box!

January Citrus Lane Box!

Citrus Lane kicked off 2013 with a new design for their subscription box inserts that include a fun, collectible game piece in a card like presentation.  Another new feature for 2013 is less of a strict theme each month, allowing for even more customization for the different age groups.  Are you intrigued to see what January’s box brought us?  Well then, let’s dive in!

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That is a box full of awesome right there!

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Included with this month’s box was a 25% off voucher for Skip Hop’s website, the maker of the crazy cute Zoo Plate Set that was included in this month’s box.  Their site is full of all kinds of other awesome finds, so this was a great addition!

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Episencial Soothing Cream and Playful Wash Packet

We love Episencial in our house, so we were very excited to get this in our January box!  Their product line is perfect for babies and children with sensitive skin, and came at a perfect time for fighting the dry, itchy winter skin blues!

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To-Go Disinfectant Spray from CleanWell

This is a wonderfully lemon scented spray that easily fits in the purse or diaper bag for quick disinfecting of shopping cart handles, restaurant high chairs, you name it.  I use this in addition to my disinfectant wipes, and I love the clean, fresh scent.

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Zoo Plate & Bowl Set from Skip*Hop

Love.  It was a happy coincidence that I happened to get the set that matches the owl lunchie we got in our box a few months ago, but my goodness, what a happy surprise!  This mama is obsessed with owls, and this bright and cheery owl set is no exception!  It is made of melamine and is very sturdy and durable on top of being super precious!  This was a very welcome addition to our dish cabinet!

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Animal Boogie from Barefoot Books

We are huge bookworms in our house, so a book is always a very exciting box addition for us!  This book was no exception!  It includes a fun cd that not only has music, but is interactive with a fun animated video for the kids to enjoy!  The illustrations are so bright and happy, this book is guaranteed to bring joy for years to come!

So what did you think of January’s Citrus Lane box?  Are you intrigued and wishing you had your very own box?

Click HERE to sign up and you will get $10 off your new subscription! Or click HERE and enter code BREAK10 for 10% off any new subscription!  You can get as little as 3 months, or as much as a full year!

I have said it before, I will say it again.  I think Citrus Lane is an awesome value and it definitely costs less than a quick trip to Target (or any store) for this mama.  They have exciting things planned for the coming year, so now is a great time to join the Citrus Lane community!

October in a Nutshell

I’ll admit, October flew by before I had a chance to catch my breath and enjoy the scenery much.  We filled every single moment we could with fall activities and decorating for Halloween.  Here are a handful of photos I intended to share throughout the month.  Hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?

 

Early in the month, we hit up the dollar stores for some inexpensive decorations and party supplies.  I added ribbons, bows and other glittery embellishments to make the inexpensive finds just a little more fabulous.

 

 

This wreath was a dollar, I just spray painted it black and added the roses, skull and ribbon for hanging.  You can never have too much glitter in my book.  Never.

 

I had fun with Bella’s hair for dance class in October.  Ever since I sent her to dance with Easter eggs in her hair for Easter, the staff kind of expects something out of the ordinary from us.  (I’ll rehash the Easter egg ‘do in the spring, I promise.)  This was simple, easy, and got alot of attention, which of course, Bella LOVES.

 

The extreme closeup of the Halloweenie mani kind of looks sloppy, but whatevs.  Do you know how hard it is to paint tiny, nibbled baby nails?  Yeah, kind of ridiculous.  It was still cute.  Just trust me on that.

 

To go with the festive mani, we did some fun makeup for her Girl Scout Halloween dance.  I used a liquid liner, which I regretted right away, but it was too late to turn back.  A pencil would have been much neater, but you get the idea.

 

You can’t drink regular old soda at a Halloween party!

 

We ate these yummy snakes, which are crescent rolls filled with cheese and lunch meats.

 

Creepy spider web bean dip!

 

That spider must have a sweet tooth.

 

My crew on Halloween!  Abe, Matt, Noah and I were all pirates.  Sara was Tinkerbell, and Isabella was Merida from Brave.

 

“Do you ever get the feeling that someone is watching you?”

That crazy display is at Grandpa’s house.  I have to say, I enjoyed having Abe home with us this Halloween season.  He is usually working on Halloween junk with my dad from about mid July up until minutes before Trick or Treaters start arriving at the haunted house they build.  With things being all weird with my dad, we had the luxury of extra time with Abe.  We all LOVED it!  Our plans are to make our own haunted house in our new home (fingers crossed) next year.  The kids already have all sorts of plans for spooky things, I think we will quickly build a reputation wherever we decide to move.  Well, besides the house with all the kids.

This weekend, I took Matt with me to do some clearance Halloween shopping.  We got a giant cart full of costumes and decorations for next year at 70% off!  It was a major score, and Matt being so Halloween obsessed, he was in heaven, filling the cart with all sorts of fun, creepy things.

Okay, Halloween is over and done.  Whew!

The Incredible Shrinking Baby!

Our family decided to squeeze in a visit to the pumpkin patch this weekend.  It was one last Halloween-y thing that we hadn’t done yet that just needed to happen.  I wanted to get out the door as early as possible to avoid the huge crowds, so as you can imagine, with four kids scrambling about, well, it was chaos.

I saw a Halloween shirt in our bedroom and grabbed it so Abe could get Sara dressed as I did Isabella’s hair and instructed the boys on what to wear and assured Noah that yes, he did indeed have to go potty before we left.

Sara’s shirt seemed a tad large, which was strange.  She is only one year old, but has been routinely wearing 24 months to 2t.  When I saw the shirt was a bit big, I assumed I had gone up a size and bought a 3t, but I was in awe at how one size up could appear so much larger.  In general, it fit well enough, and we were off.

Now, I will point out that we do a lot of hand me downs in our house, what with the large and growing brood we have, it’s just economical.  The first thing Matt and Bella said when they saw Sara was that they recognized the shirt as one Bella used to wear.  I brushed them off, told them they were wrong, that I had just bought this one for Sara.  They didn’t put up much fight, but they had that annoying look in their eyes like they didn’t believe me.  If you have kids, you know that look.

Whatevs.

Fun was had, it was chilly, but there was a lot to see and do, and by the end of the trip, Noah and Sara were both crying so, it was past time to leave.

Fast forward to this morning.

I go into Sara’s room with some laundry to put away.  Ugh, I hate putting away laundry.  But I digress.  I opened her closet to grab some hangers, and there, right in front of me, is her brand new Halloween shirt, tags still on, staring back at me.

What the what?!

I go over to her little hamper and pull out the shirt she wore on Saturday.

Do you see where this is going?

That shirt she wore, the one that was only slightly too large, the one the kids recognized, and the one that I said was brand new?  Yeah, it wasn’t brand new.  It was an Isabella shirt that she actually wore a few weeks ago.  I had washed it and upon looking at it, decided it was too small and needed to be packed away.  That’s why it was sitting in our bedroom.  That’s why it was too large for Sara.  That’s why the kids recognized it.

Wanna see something completely crazy?

I decided to take a picture of the two shirts, side by side for size comparison, just to prove that I am not completely insane.  Partially, yes, but not quite completely.

 

Ignore the cookie goobers on the shirt on the left, it was pulled out of the hamper for this picture.  The cookie goober shirt is a Girls size 6.  The brand new shirt, tags and hanger still on it on the right, is a size 24 months!!!  Now come on!  Tell me it wasn’t an honest mistake, they are practically the same size!

Right?

Craziness.

I don’t have to tell the kids they were right, do I?  I would hate to lose my Mommy street cred.

Knot Genie Giveaway Winner!

As promised, it is time to announce the winner of the oh so awesome Knot Genie!  Alot of you were very interested in winning the Knot Genie, I imagine you all most have as much fun fighting with your daughters whilst brushing out their tangles!

Out of over 300 entries, I am happy to announce that Sharina Coon from Mobile Alabama is the lucky winner!  Congratulations!!

Sharina has twin daughters with very curly hair, so she has twice the fight when detangling.  Poor mami!  I hope that the Knot Genie works it’s magic for you, keep us updated!

Didn’t win this time?  You can still get your hands on your very own Knot Genie by visiting their website.  Just click HERE and check out all their awesome colors and pick one for yourself.  You won’t regret it!

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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Green Grab Bag Review

My love for subscription services and my quest for greener living collided this month when I received a package containing July’s Green Grab Bag. Awesomeness!  Green Grab Bag by White Apricot brings you a sampling of some of the very best natural, organic and vegan beauty products every single month for only $15 with free shipping.  This is the perfect way to dip your toes in the natural/organic waters and try out some new products without spending a lot of money on something you may not even like.

This is what I saw when I opened my package:

 

How pretty is that?  It is literally in a “green” gift bag!  Beautiful presentation!  And it had a lot of goodies inside!

 

Simply Bath Salts Lavender Blend

Lavender has a lovely scent and natural relaxation properties.  This blend includes more than a dozen pure essential minerals to help relax and rehydrate your skin as you soak your troubles away in the tub.  I love taking a nice warm bath at the end of the day, and the scent of lavender is very calming.

 

EO Certified Organic Deodorant Spray

Speaking of lavender, this organic deodorant spray is lavender scented as well, and does a great job of neutralizing and eliminating the source of body odor.  The cool spray is very refreshing, especially when it’s boiling hot outside, as it has been!  It feels very nice on the skin, and most importantly, it’s effective!

 

La Mellite Strawberry Lemon Sugar Scrub

This nifty, wonderfully scented scrub came in a cool, recyclable cup, with no plastic or excess packaging.  The smell was nice and fresh, and it is a very gentle scrub, good for the face or body.

 

GO Skin Care Ginger Face Moisturizer

From The Ginger People, this fresh smelling ginger face moisturizer is zingy and hydrating, leaving your skin feeling firm and toned and smelling wonderfully!  There are so many amazing health benefits to ginger, it seems appropriate that it would be made into beauty products as well!

 

CoTZ PURE Sunscreen

This sunscreen is made with zero nasty chemicals!  No synthetics, no preservatives, no chemical sunscreens.  The texture is silky smooth and creamy, and is even water resistant with a broad spectrum SPF of 30.  This formulation prevents heat build up in the skin, while protecting from the harmful sun rays.  Definitely a must have summer staple!

 

Mighty Leaf Tea

What day of pampering and relaxation would be complete without a nice, organic cup of tea?  Mighty Tea takes your tea very seriously, and hand crafts each and every single bag, hand picking only the very best ingredients to satisfy the soul.  This tea will change the way you look at your old stand by tea bags.

 

Opalima Beauty Eyeshadows

Made from natural mineral hues, these fine powders are true multitaskers that can be used as a shadow, liner or even a brow enhancer.

 

Included in the Green Grab Bag are several coupon codes for the products included, which will come in handy when you fall in love with the new brands they introduce you to each month.  I think this is a super fun way to try out new products, and with Green Grab Bag, you know that the products are tried and true, with the benefit of also being natural and organic.

Check out Green Grab Bag on their website by clicking HERE.

“Like” Green Grab Bag on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow Green Grab Bag on Twitter by clicking HERE.

 

The awesome folks at Green Grab Bags provided me with a Green Grab Bag free of charge for purpose of review and so that I could share this awesome company with my readers.  I was not compensated in any other way and I really do love their awesome bags!  

Hip Peas!

Natural hair products for the kiddos that are safe for both them and the environment, plus they donate 10% of all profits to child focused charities.  Awesome much?

With four little heads of crazy hair, and various styling needs, I was super excited to find Hip Peas!  This company was created by a mom who, like you and me, wanted the safest, best products for her child.  It is no easy task finding natural products that are both safe and effective!  Leave it to a mama to find the magic combo!

Rest easy knowing these products are paraben free, phthalate free, petrochemical free, sulfate free, cruelty free, smell amazing, and they work!

We dove right into the detangler with Isabella.  Her long hair is often quite the hot mess after washing, so detangler is a must for her.

Not only were there no tears during the combing, but she was smiling the whole time!  We usually get some of the best dramatic performances from Bella when we brush out the tangles.  Just a pretty smiling face with our Hip Peas detangler.

The hair balm is awesome for spiky do’s, flyaways, or even for helping to hold barrettes in place, something we sometimes have problems with since Bella and Sara have smooth, slippery hair.

And the curl tamer, I will admit, I tried on my own head of curls.  It takes very little product to achieve smooth, silky, defined curls.  And again, the products smell absolutely amazing!

Check out Hip Peas website and all of their products by clicking HERE.  They offer FREE shipping on all orders over $50!

“Like” Hip Peas on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow Hip Peas on Twitter by clicking HERE.

The Leakey Collection

I recently had the opportunity to learn about an amazing company that not only sells beautiful, environmentally sustainable jewelry, but also puts a percentage of every sale right back into the amazing women who make their items.  The Maasai women of Kenya.

Zulugrass jewelry is actually made by hand, by these women.  The grass is harvested and cut into bead sized pieces before being dyed into beautiful colors and then strung with glass beads.  The elastic that the jewelry is strung on is actually the same elastic that was used to suspend Spiderman in the movies, so it is incredibly strong!

And being on that strong elastic, means this jewelry is extremely versatile!  You can wear it as bracelets, necklaces, ankle bracelets, belts, hair adornment, whatever you can think of, you can use the Zulugrass jewelry to add a unique look.

“Zulugrass concept was born out of need. A devastating drought in Kenya in 2001 forced the men to leave behind the women and children, so they could take the surviving cattle far up country in search of grazing land. As a result, the Leakey’s found themselves supporting as many as 100 Maasai families by giving them money for food, school fees, medical expenses and housing. This was not sustainable for either party and the Leakeys knew they had to find another way. 

What transpired has become a successful business and philanthropic endeavor for the Leakeys and the Massai people. Distributed to over 1200 retail outlets and available for purchase online (www.leakeycollection.com), the Leakey Collection’s Zulugrass jewelry provides beautiful, handmade accessories to brighten a woman’s look and offers a sustainable way of life for the nomadic people of Kenya. Not only are the Massai women paid for their work and given the flexibility they need to maintain their jobs, 5% of profits go back to supporting infrastructure in the Rift Valley of Kenya.”

On the website, you can learn more about the Leakey’s, about the Maasai people, and purchase items from the gorgeous collection.  There is something amazing about holding a piece of jewelry in your hands that you know was hand made, from grass and beads, by an artisan far away in Kenya.  There are no factories involved.  The women sit under the acacia trees to craft these pieces.

Check out The Leakey Collection on their website by clicking HERE.

“Like”  The Leakey Collection on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow The Leakey Collection on Twitter by Clicking HERE.

The kind folks at The Leakey Collection provided me with a sample of their beautiful jewelry for review purposes and so I could share their amazing company and products with my readers.  I was not compensated in any other way.

DIY Ballerina Tutu!

Since we have both an existing ballerina and a ballerina in training in our house, you can bet that tutu’s are in high demand!  Heck, they’re even fun just for dress up or grocery shopping!  What, you wouldn’t let your kid wear a tutu to the grocery store?  Come on now!  They’re only little for such a short time!  And also, there’s the whole picking and choosing your battles thing, soooo….

What if I told you that you could make your very own tutu for less than $3?  Sound crazy?  How about if I told you that it could be made out of these:

Yes.  Those are stretchy head bands and shower scrubbies.  Impossible you say?  Well then prepare to be amazed!

Start by taking apart the scrubbie.  It’s easy, I promise.  Once you have it apart, cut it into 18 inch lengths.  Here is where it gets super complicated and tricky.  Are you ready?

Tie the 18 inch lengths to a headband.  And that is it, folks.  You just made a tutu for your precious little ballerina for less than $3 and in less than 20 minutes.  Wanna do it again?

I color coordinated the head bands to the scrubbies, but you can live on the wild side if you like.  It will pretty much be covered up.  I used two scrubbies per tutu and they turned out plenty fluffy.

Two tutus!  Super easy, and super popular in the fancy ballerina circles.

Doesn’t she look ready for some grocery shopping?  Or dance class, whatever.  Seriously though, these are super easy, super cheap, and you will look like Supermom (or SuperDad) when you whip one up for your little one.