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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sponsored: Toucan Bambini Baby Nasal Aspirator




I wrote this post while participating in a campaign and received a gift to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced or reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.



Sponsored: Toucan Bambini Baby Nasal Aspirator
Written and Reviewed By Renee Arbia

One thing you find out quickly when you have children is that nose wiping and cleaning becomes a regular habit. We have gone through a few different types of baby nasal aspirators all for different reasons. I could not find a very good everyday type of nasal aspirator. We always had the super sucker for when Xavier is sick, but it is too much to use everyday. I never liked the original hospital bulbs that they provide you with. Although they suck out the mucus well, they can never be completely cleaned, and they are hard to pack and travel with.



I was very excited to try out the new Toucan Bambini Baby Nasal Aspirator. With another child on the way I wanted to make sure I found a good nasal aspirator that we can use instead of the hospital bulb. I love the new Toucan Bambini Nasal Aspirator it is very effective and easy to use. The Toucan Bambini Nasal Aspirator is made from 100% BPA Free food grade silicone that is soft, non-toxic, odorless and eco-friendly. The simple squeeze and release action creates a small vacuum that gently and effectively removes nasal mucus from your child’s nose.



 It works fast and is easy to use. It is also reusable and extremely easy to clean. All the parts come apart and can be washed in warm water and even are dishwasher safe. The Toucan Bambini Baby Nasal Aspirator is extremely durable and made to last over time. I especially love how compact and easy to travel with it is. It fits right in your pocket and has a protective cover on it!



Say goodbye to dirty hospital bulbs!You can order your Toucan Bambini Baby Nasal Aspirator from Amazon. No need to hesitate they even provide a 100% no questions asked money back guarantee!



#NextGenerationSAHMBlog, #sponsored, #BabyNasalAspirator, #babygear

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hardy Crockpot Beef Stew



In the winter there is nothing I love more than a good beef stew. Unfortunately, our family recipes tend to be bland and have little amounts of spices and vegetables in them and the gravy is very thin. So I searched Pinterest for some Beef Stew gems. I liked this recipe as it adds a ton of different vegetables and spices. I found the original recipe was over loaded with too many spices. Instead I took their vegetables and tailored the spices down a little to suit not only our taste buds, but to help make it more of a kid friendly dish. I am all in favor of children eating adult food, but you must remember their taste buds are much stronger than ours so spice away, but gently.

This beef stew does have a lot of prep work before cooking in the crock pot so I found it best to make it all the night before. That way in the morning you can pull it from the fridge and plug it in. I dare you not to touch it before the eight hours are up. This is by far my new favorite beef stew recipe that always was a huge hit with the family. Check it out and add it to your recipe collection!




Hardy Crock Pot Beef Stew
- Written By Renee Arbia
- Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 lbs. Boneless Beef Chuck Roast, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1 1/2 Cups of Water
- 2 large beef bouillon cubes
- 1 can (10 oz.) Condensed tomato soup
- 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 2 Bay Leaves
-1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper
- 2 Medium onions sliced
- 2 large Russet Potatoes peeled and cut into 1" pieces
- 3 medium carrots peeled and cut into1' pieces
- 2 stalks of celery cut into 1' pieces
- 8 oz. of whole mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
- 3/4 cup of thawed frozen peas

Directions
- Mix flour and Paprika together and coat each piece of meat



- Add oil to skillet and when hot brown meat in batches without crowding, when done transfer meat to crockpot




- Add 1 1/2 cups of water and bouillon cubes to skillet and cook, stirring up brown bits from the bottom of the skillet and dissolving the bouillon cubes



- Remove from heat and add the tomato soup, Italian seasonings, Bay Leaves, and black pepper and stir to combine



- Pour into crock pot over beef and add onions, potatoes, carrots, celery and mushrooms



- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until beef and veggies are tender, add more water as needed. 
- Add the thawed peas the last 20-30 minutes of cooking
- discard Bay Leaves and serve hot





#NextGenerationSAHMBlog, #hardycrockpotbeefstew, #recipes, #crockpotrecipes, #crockpotbeefstew, #beefstew


Monday, January 25, 2016

The Missing Potty Book



The Missing Potty Book
Written By Renee Arbia

At the tender age of three and a half Xavier is pretty much fully potty trained. He still uses a pull-up diaper at night, but he already gets up a lot at night to use the bathroom himself. It is only when he is sleeping very hard that he needs it.




You have previously read about our Next Generation Stay AtHome Mom Potty Training Method which involved the book, Once Upon A Potty By Alona Frankel. Before bedtime and naptime we always read a book. I always let Xavier pick whatever book he wants to read. Once he was mainly potty trained the only accidents we had were mainly his fault. He would be too busy playing and not pay attention to his body. He would wait until the absolute last minute and would wet himself in the bathroom. I was unsure how to combat this issue at first, as I did not want to scold him too much because he was trying, but he was not paying enough attention. So as a way to combat the issue I would say “oh no, you had an accident! It’s okay to have an accident once in a while, but perhaps we should read the potty book for nap (or bedtime) so we can be sure to get it right next time”. Xavier did not like this idea at all. It only took once where he could not pick his book for story time for him to now loathe the “potty book”.

Although it is hardly ever read now it is still threatened once in a while. We do not have as many accidents thanks to that method. Except now when I ask him to go potty before we get in the car, or bedtime it is always “no I don’t have to go”. Even if he has not gone for hours he will refuse. So I started saying “Xavier if you can’t go potty before we get in the car perhaps we should read the potty book for bedtime”. He has promptly started going to the bathroom when asked.

Yesterday, we were getting ready for bed. I asked Xavier to go to the bathroom. “No I don’t want to go potty” he yelled back at me, “Okay, fine, I think we should read the potty book tonight before bed so you are sure how to use the potty” I said back. “Maybe I can go” he replied. While he was going I glanced on his bookshelf where the potty book usually sits. Suddenly, I noticed it was missing. It may sound odd, but my three year old is very particular about where things are in his room, books in particular. We have some on different shelves and some in bins. If you ever move one book, just one, he will know and notice where you moved it. As a result of his crazy book shelving obsession I knew he must have moved the potty book. I quickly flipped through a couple books on the shelves and bins looking for it to put it back on the shelf and I could not find it anywhere. The little sneak moved the potty book so he would not have to read it. I told my husband about it and we were quietly laughing and looking for the potty book. Once we got Xavier ready for bed, I figured I should at least address the issue of the potty book as I could not let him get away with hiding it. So I casually asked Xavier where the potty book was and his face dropped, and with it came a very guilty look. I knew he did not just move it or misplace it, he purposely hid it. So I calmly said “Xavier either you get the potty book and put it back where it belongs or I get the potty book and we read it”. I was really hoping he remembered where he hid it as I had no clue where it was, nor did I feel like searching in front of him. He promptly went to the opposite shelf across from where it normally sits and pulled back six books and showed me the potty book hidden. “It’s right there mommy. It is okay” he said. “No let’s put it back where it belongs please, and you can pick another book to read” I said. He promptly put it back and quickly grabbed another book to read. Needless to say the potty book is now prominently displayed on the shelf where all can see it.  Oh, the joys of having a three year old.



#NextGenerationSAHMBlog, #pottytraining, #parentingtips

Monday, January 18, 2016

Guest Post: New Year's Workout Tips

 Since we are expecting a new arrival this summer, my workouts mainly consist of yoga this year. My resolutions are more to get the nursery and baby items in order. However, if you made a resolution to get into shape this year you are in luck. Darci Maxwell is our guest poster today with some great tips to help you keep your New Year's Resolution to get in shape! Check them out!

New Year’s Workout Tips
By: Darci Maxwell

If your New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight or to get in shape, you are not alone! The number one New Year’s Resolution in America is to lose weight, and the fifth most popular resolution is getting fit and healthy. Part of getting fit and losing weight is exercising. You should exercise 3-5 times a week with a 30 minute cardiovascular session. However, if you are trying to lose weight or bulk up, you may need to exercise more than that. If your resolution will be benefited by exercising, read on for seven tips to help you exercise more effectively and efficiently.




Just Do It!
Be a Nike ad and just do it! You won’t burn calories if you are sitting on the couch, so get up and start moving! You don’t have to go running or to the gym to work out, you can do it in the comforts of your own home. Get a workout video that you like, or even browse YouTube for a workout channel that you can follow. Invest in a pedaling machine to put under your desk at work or next to the couch so that you can work out while watching TV. Go for a walk around the block. If you need to, make a sticker chart or reward chart to help you accomplish your goals. Buy workout clothes that you feel comfortable in so that you are more motivated to exercise. Find something that will motivate you to work out, and then, just do it. Any change is hard, but as suggested here, think of what you will gain from the change to help you stay motivated.

Drink Enough Water
You should be drinking water before, after and during your workout. Your body needs to be hydrated in order to take care of itself, help you lose weight, and repair itself after a workout. You should drink about a half gallon of water a day (or about eight cups a day). Luckily, you don’t have to just drink water to get that much hydration. That water can be from tea, soups, lemonade, etc. However, if you drink soda, you need to drink at least that much water to make up for how much the carbonation will dehydrate your body. You shouldn’t just down all this water at once, either. You should be drinking consistently throughout the day. Get a big 32 oz water bottle for your desk at work, and make a goal to drink the whole thing during the day. Make sure that during your exercise, you are drinking plenty to stay hydrated.



Stretch and Warm Up
Before and after you exercise, you should stretch and warm up your body. While specialists disagree whether it is better to stretch before or after working out, you should do something before you start to loosen up your muscles to prevent injury. Do a couple of lunges, arm rolls, stretches, etc. to help your body loosen up before you start your workout. If you are following a workout video, they probably will have a short warm up segment as part of the workout. Your warmup doesn’t have to be fancy, just something to get your blood pumping and muscles loose! Here are some warm-up ideas for you to do before you shovel snow, but they can also be applied to any workout.

Get a Workout Buddy
Working out with a friend will help you work out harder, more frequently, and have more fun while doing it. You will hold each other accountable for doing your workouts and you will have someone to laugh alongside. Studies show that people can even lift more if they are lifting in front of people than when they are by themselves. Ask your best friend, your spouse, coworker, neighbor, or cousin to go with you. If you’re not sure who to invite, post a request on Facebook to see who works out at the same time as you. Gyms often have a “call board” so to speak where you can put your information to find a workout buddy. You can also just go to the gym and try to make friends who would be willing to spot you while you lift. Just make sure that you return the favor!



Mix it Up
While this photo of the Hulk-Who-Skipped-Leg-Day is quite funny, it also rings true. While working out, make sure that you workout your entire body, and not just part of it. Work your core, legs, arms, neck, back, etc. There are easy ways to make sure that you have a full body workout. If you are going walking or running, carry weights. If you are looking for one workout that strengthens the whole body, do one exercise per body part in sets. If you do legs one day, work out your arms or core the next. (Photo from http://imgarcade.com/1/dont-skip-leg-day-hulk/).

Track Your Progress
A great tip to help you keep working out consistently is to track your progress every day. Set a goal (repetitions, weight loss, fat percentage, etc.) and then track your progress daily. Get a sticker chart, an app, a notebook, calendar, etc. It will be fun to watch yourself reach your goals and watch yourself get a little better everyday. Even track things like your personal record for lifting, for repetitions, miles walked/ran, time spent exercising, etc. Reward yourself when you reach your a goal, and then set a new one!



 
Darci Maxwell is a walking contradiction, and she loves it. You are just as likely to find her outside tearing up a mountain as you are to discover her curled up at home with a steamy cup of herbal tea watching Dr. Who. She is terrified of heights, yet she is the first one to run to the edge and marvel at the spellbinding sight. As an introverted extrovert, writing is her favorite way to connect with many people while still enjoying the comforts of her own home. Her favorite quote is “Here’s to the movers, the shakers, and the mischief-makers.”

Friday, January 8, 2016

10 Healthy Winter Habits For Your Family

10 Healthy Winter Habits for Your Family
Written By Renee Arbia

Originally published 12/2/14

So many families have been battling colds, coughs and respiratory infections this season. I thought it would be a good time to revisit our healthy winter habits. I know with my family I needed to be sure we are doing all ten! How does your family stay healthy in the winter?   



 
     According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, we are expecting an especially cold winter season this year. I can almost bet the groundhog will be predicting a long winter to go along with it. It is a proven fact that our immune systems can be somewhat comprised more in the winter time, and with so many colds, flus and virus' going around, you need to be sure to keep your family as healthy as possible. Here are ten easy tips to help keep your family healthy this winter.

10 Healthy Winter Habits For Your Family

1) Drink Plenty Of Water
   You need to stay hydrated and water is the best thing you can drink. Staying hydrated helps with your circulation. Children are particularly susceptible to be dehydrated as they usually do not drink as much water as they should. Water or coconut water (for children older than 1) is best to keep yourself hydrated as sugary drinks do not hydrate very well at all. Beware of sports drinks they do not hydrate either they have too much sugar. For breastfeeding moms, if your baby is under six months old, do NOT feed them water instead consider nursing more frequently or for longer periods of time to make sure your little one has extra hydration, very similar to what you would do in the heat.

2) Wash Those Hands
     It does not matter if you think they are too chapped to be washed. This is the easiest and most effective way to ward off germs. Teach your entire family good bathroom habits. Be sure to wash your hands after even entering the bathroom, before preparing food, before eating food, when coming inside the house from anything, and after leaving a store or restaurant. (Hand sanitizers work just about as well as hand washing when necessary). Also, be sure to wash your hands in hot or warm water. You can teach little ones to wash their hands in the soap, while they sing Happy Birthday. That is about the length of time your hands should be soapy. Parents of infants be sure to wash their hands often, but be sure to use gentle cleansers. 



3) Get To Sleep
      Our bodies need more rest in the winter to help keep us healthy and warm. Be sure you and everyone in your family is getting the recommended amount of sleep they need on a regular basis. Getting a good night's rest also can help improve your overall mood for the next day.

4) Keep Up The Vitamins
     Pretty much from birth to senior citizen everyone should be taking a vitamin, especially in the winter time. Now is not the time to consider dropping that vitamin due to the expense. Children need a lot of iron and calcium this time of year. Adults always need an immunity boost as we are usually the worst at taking care of our vitamin needs. So go get a regular multivitamin and be sure everyone in your family takes one specifically designed for their needs. Also, check out some immunity boosting items when they are needed such as these Soothie Suckers (click the link to not only read about them, but also get the code for a $2.00 off coupon good through 12/31/14).



5) Eat Plenty Of Veggies
   Just like vitamins, now is not the time to skimp on what your body is in need of. Be sure to eat plenty of leafy green and colorful vegetables. Some strong immunity boosting foods are mushrooms, carrots, sweet potatoes and almonds.

6) Get Your Vaccines Up To Date
    It's flu season if you have not already gotten your flu shot for you and your family, now is the best time to do it. If you are worried about your child, be sure to talk to your pediatrician about the different options they have now. You can get a regular shot, smaller needle shot or the nose mist with the live virus. Most insurances cover flu vaccines and you can even go to CVS Minute Clinics now and get your flu shot.



7) Coconut Oil
    Many people and parents swear by coconut oil. It works best when you think your child is first developing an illness. Rub it on the soles of their feet at bedtime and it should ward off the illness. Many other essential oils can help with colds and virus' as well, but be careful when using essential oils on children as some are much stronger than others and are too strong for the sensitive skin of a child. Try out my homemade all natural Toddler Cold and Cough Remedy.

8) Eat Your Probiotics
    Probiotics can ward off illness and help you rid yourself of an illness. Look for yogurts with active cultures in them such as bifidobacterium lactis or lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.



9) Practice Sick Etiquette
    Even though you feel horrible and think your head may explode, getting into these habits can help to keep a cold from spreading around your house. Be sure to practice sick etiquette all the time and teach it to your children. They are never too young too learn. Always sneeze into your shoulder or elbow, cough into your elbow and throw out your own tissues and wash your hands after blowing your nose. Also, be sure to dispose of old tissues quickly so they do not sit in a garbage can for a long period of time and spread germs.



10) Sterilize
    Right before anyone gets sick and right after someone is sick is the best time to sterilize things so that germs are not sticking around. Be sure to sterilize water bottles, sippy cups, baby bottles, door knobs, stair railings, and even toothbrushes. Most items can be put in the dishwasher with hot water, you can wipe items with vinegar and water, and a wet toothbrush can be carefully (watch to be sure of melting) microwaved for 10 seconds or run in the dishwasher with your utensils.


     It is estimated that the average person gets at least four colds a year, hopefully this will reduce your odds this year!

Sources for this article were: Kiwi Magazine December 2014/January 2015 edition

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Kid Friendly New Years and Balloon Drop




I hope you have all had a wonderful holiday season. We have been very busy enjoying all that the holiday season has to offer. Having a three year old and being pregnant with our second definitely made for a very fun and eventful Christmas. There is nothing quite as magical as watching the eyes of your three year old light up with every new Christmas tradition he discovers. There is also nothing quite as annoying as your complete aversion to your normal love of chocolate and cheese during the holiday season. I pretty much had to tell people to please keep chocolate or cheese away from me or I may be sick. There was only one dinner I was invited to where both were flowing and I managed to keep myself together.

We are now safely into my second trimester of pregnancy and things are calming down. I am not sick as much and my appetite is returning. Since it now is about to be New Year's it is the time that we always reflect on the past year and dream about all the wonderful things we get to look forward to in the upcoming year. For the most part, due to the impending arrival we are looking forward to a quiet year until July at least. The last couple of years I have found spending New Year's Eve with the children in our life much more fun than trying to find a good bar and parking spot. If you are considering having a party, check out last year's post on our Kid Friendly New Year's Eve party that was a big success. It was the first year we did the 9pm balloon drop. It was not perfected for the New Year's Eve party but due to how popular it was we repeated the balloon drop for Xavier's Old Fashioned 3rd Birthday Party. If you want to see how we made the ceiling fan balloon drop check out the birthday party page for pictures!



I hope you all have a safe and fun new years and an even better New Year full of fun, love and laughter. I hope you will continue to join us on our journey this year as we introduce you to many new sponsors, products, places and a new member of our family. Happy 2016!

#NextGenerationSAHMBlog, #kidfriendlynewyearseve, #balloondrop, #ceilingfanballoondrop

Monday, December 7, 2015

Our Growing Little Family



Our Growing Little Family
Written By Renee Arbia




If you have not heard yet, I am expecting. We are very excited to be having another little one added to our family. In our one day of announcing I have been bombarded with questions. Most I do not mind answering the rest you will have to wait and see.

Most of you who have been following my blog since the beginning (thank you so much by the way) know we have never mentioned having other children. We do not mention our future simply because we always choose to live in the present. We go with our hearts when we decide to make decisions. We have talked about adding another child, but when my son was a toddler having a toddler, both of us owning our own businesses and a baby did not seem to fit our lives. I have tremendous respect for moms who have to patience to handle a toddler and a baby, and I know I am not one of them. We needed a little more space between my son and the next baby.

Xavier is now three. He is potty trained and talks perfectly (a little too much perhaps). He is extremely excited to be a big brother. We planned this new baby. Albeit was not the best planning as the first trimester during the holidays was not our best thinking, but a baby born in the summer works best as that is our slow time for our work. So hopefully things will work out the way they always do.



We told Xavier very early. We talk a lot in our family and it was not something we would be able to keep a secret from him. Xavier loves monkeys. He has three monkeys that he sleeps and plays with. They are Mr. Monkey (you have seen him on our popular, Cleaning a Nonwashable Stuffed Animal), Monkey Monk, and baby George (it is from the Curious George books also a favorite in our house). Xavier says they are the daddy, mommy and baby monkey. To inform Xavier of our impending arrival I bought him another monkey. I gave it to him and said it is the Big Brother monkey. He of course was very excited. We then read, The Birds, The Bees and The Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain. I highly recommend this book if you are introducing a baby into your family it informs just enough so that you do not have many questions left to answer.
In the book, Mama Bear goes to the doctor and gets an ultrasound. When we went to get the first ultrasound we brought Xavier with us.

It is such a wonderful experience bringing your first born to see your potential newborn. My doctor’s appointment was very run-of-the-mill pregnancy appointment, not much exciting until we saw Xavier’s excitement at seeing the baby on the monitor. Then, him holding the pictures in his hands saying “this is my baby brother or sister”, it melts my heart to think of the lifetime they will get to share together.

We are very excited of all the new fun times we will all get to experience together. I hope you will continue to follow us along on our journey.

My new book, #2 On the Way Written by Renee Arbia is the humorous side of being pregnant with your second child. I am in the process of chronicling this pregnancy for the book. Here is an excerpt from the area where I first tell my husband that we are expecting. As with most second pregnancies it did not have a lot of fanfare, but the sentiment was sweet and a moment we will always treasure.

Excerpt from #2 on the Way Written by Renee Arbia

I have not been feeling very well lately. I noticed I am very nauseated and tired. Then, yesterday, Nick had to work all day and it was just Xavier and I. I was so tired, nauseous and sick. I was only two days late, but had a feeling that I have felt this way before. I cheated and took a test at night after putting Xavier to bed. I didn’t really think it would be positive. Plus, we bought dollar store tests so I wasn’t even sure how well they would work. I took two tests, and two faint lines showed up on both. When my husband came home late that night, I tried to hold it in as long as I could, but I was bursting with excitement. As he was taking off his work clothes and putting them in the hamper he was talking about work and all I could think was “when should I tell him, when should I tell him” so I blurted it out “I’m pregnant”. Nick turned around with a HUGE smile on his face that made me smile too. “Are you really?” he asked. “Yes, due in July according to the internet calculator”. We basked in the excitement.

Copyright Renee Arbia 2015

#NextGenerationSAHMBlog, #2OnTheWay

Friday, December 4, 2015

Tis The Season Friday Faves

I do apologize for being so quiet this year. We have been very busy and well, not so busy just enjoying the holidays. As much as I love to do holiday things and festivities I also know that a big part of the holidays is spending time together as a family. We love to visit family and friends and help others as much as we can. If you are having a hard time getting started in the season this week's Friday Faves are for you. Some of my fun and inspirational posts from throughout the year always help to start getting me into the festive mood. I hope you enjoy them and have a wonderful weekend full of love and laughter.



Tis The Season Friday Faves

Even the smallest of a child can appreciate The Christmas Tree.

Don't worry about getting the perfect photo for your Christmas card try out some Christmas Photo Mess Ups.

If you are sucked in by too much shopping and commercialism remember to donate a toy to Toys For Tots. 

Need an inexpensive and easy Christmas craft to try out? Try making these Recycled Airline Blanket Christmas Stockings. 

If you are still not inspired and not in the spirit, read my favorite true life Christmas story of The Christmas Hat, it is still worn constantly every year. 

 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Sponsored: Bloom Baby Drying Rack




I wrote this post while participating in a campaign and received a gift to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced or reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

Sponsored: Bloom Baby Drying Rack
Written By Renee Arbia




I am always keeping my eyes peeled for the latest new and improved baby gadget. Why? As a busy parent I know it takes a lot of time to find the right things for your child. Plus, for new parents the lists can be overwhelming. Having great products for your family can really help you to spend less time cleaning and more time with your new little ones.

At three and a half years old. My son still has his own drying rack. It started as the very beautiful spinning dryer rack. It held a lot of bottles and my breast pump parts. However, the spinning dryer rack would get dirty very quickly and became hard to clean. Not to mention it took up a lot of space on our already limited kitchen counter.

When my son switched to sippy cups we switched to the old fashioned square bottle drying rack. This took up less space on the counter, but with a closed bottom always held water which made it gross and in need of cleaning daily.

I was contacted by the great people at Stuff4Tots to try out their new Bloom Baby Drying Rack. Although we do not use many bottles or sippy cups anymore, a drying rack was still needed for my son’s plastic cups, straws and some utensils.



I loved the Bloom Baby Drying Rack the moment I laid eyes on it. Finally, someone was thinking when they made this bottle drying rack. It is very lightweight and compact. No assembly is required. I just took it right out of the box and it blooms easily. I love that there is no water catcher and no little crevices you have to clean. The Bloom Baby Drying Rack is stylish, fun and has a very versatile design that blooms open. It is much more practical than any other drying rack on the market. It holds several types and styles of bottles, sippy cups, and plastic cups. I was impressed it even has specific slots for forks, spoons and straws. There are no sharp edges on the drying rack that you have to be careful of and you can wash it in the top shelf of your dishwasher. Though I found it did not need as much washing as the typical dryer racks. It is also very easy to store or travel with, which was a great bonus.



Stuff4Tots make great products for families. All of their products are safe and simple, BPA, Phthalate, lead and latex free. For every product you purchase from them they each come with a 100% Worry Free Satisfaction Guarantee.




I also decided to test out their new Crib Mattress Pad. The Stuff4Tots Crib Mattress Pad is 200 thread count 100% cotton with no BPA, Phthalates or other unnatural materials. It is made of soft and quilted white cotton that has a breathable inner layer. It keeps your baby’s mattress free of dust mites and allergens as well as protects your mattress through diaper or bottle accidents so your crib mattress can last much longer. The Stuff4Tots Crib Mattress Pad secures easily to your baby’s mattress, yet still comes off without hassle. It is safe to machine wash and dry the crib mattress pad as long as you do so with low temperatures since it is made with natural fibers. The crib mattress pad fits all standard crib mattresses and measures 28” wide by 52” long with a 6” skirt.




I was very impressed with everything that Stuff4Tots offers. If you would like to purchase the Bloom Baby Drying Rack or Crib Mattress Pad you can find them on Amazon.

#Stuff4Tots, #Sponsored, #NextGenerationSAHMBlog

Monday, November 30, 2015

Sponsored: Green Your Hair with Shielo



I wrote this post while participating in a campaign and received a gift to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced or reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

Green Your Hair with Shielo
Written By Renee Arbia

We have been trying to slowly incorporate more green products into our lives. With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is important to look our best and give gifts that make an impact. You not just want the receiver to love and appreciate the gift, but it is important to buy from your country and from small family friendly businesses that want to make the world a better place for us all.


I have been growing out my hair to be very long. I have been having a hard time finding hair products that happen to be green and eco-friendly. Then, I was introduced to Shielo.

Shielo is a small company based in New York City. Their philosophy is to create products with integrity and to ensure that they preserve the future well-being of our environment. Shielo has been around since 2001 and all of their products are made from plant botanicals. They use local farms and ingredients. All of their plants are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or chemicals. There are no parabens, formaldehyde or preservatives. Their ingredients are certified organic by Organic Certifiers in Ventura California. They are against animal cruelty and testing. In fact, all of their products are vegan friendly. Even their packaging is made of HDPE #2 plastics which are recycled and BPA free. Sure to please even the most eco-conscious consumer.




Shielo makes great hair care products for every type of hair. From smoothing, hydration, volume, color protection to leave in conditioners there is something for every hair type. Products are in large bottles and a little product goes a long way. No more squeezing half a bottle of conditioner for your long hair, with Shielo you can get a small nickel size and you are on your way. They also offer skincare for your complexion that is extremely gentle and all natural.



I am a big fan of the Shielo Shine Restoration Oil. I barely need a dime size amount to smooth on my hair and make it shine like never before. It also makes a great Christmas stocking stuffer.



Be sure to treat the one you love this year with a hair care product that reflects her values as a person and makes her hair sparkle like her personality. You can purchase Shielo products from their website Shielo.com

#sponsored, #haircare, #Shielo, #NextGenerationSAHM, #HolidayGiftGuide2015

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