Friday, February 27, 2015

Interview with a 6-year-old big sister

On Monday afternoon, my fourth grandbaby was born into this world. Robyn Lee is a tiny little baby, weighing just 5 lbs. 5 oz. at birth. We're not quite sure how that happened, since her mommy is not a smoker and took good care of herself throughout the pregnancy (organic prenatal vitamins, lots of healthy food, etc.). Anyway, she's small but perfect. 

Robyn joins big sister, Laura, and not-so-big sister, Marley (who won't be 2 until the end of April). On Wednesday, I picked Laura up from kindergarten as her mommy and baby sister were settling in at home. The two of us went out to lunch and I asked her if I could interview her on what it's like having another baby sister. She obliged.

Unfortunately, she didn't say anything especially witty or revealing. Basically, she said she was happy about Robyn, couldn't wait for her to be able to play, and was super happy that Mommy was home from the hospital. While her daddy did an excellent job of taking care of her and getting her to school on time, dressed in coordinated outfits and all, she still missed her mom. I know how that feels. 

Only time will tell whether or not Laura will remain positive about this new addition to the family. Her mommy's going to be awfully busy taking care of the younger two, which means Laura will be on her own at times. At least the lines of communication are open between the two of us. As precious as this new little baby is, there are still two older sisters to watch out for. And you can count on Grandma to do just that.

Sharing some more of my life with you,

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Find Hylee, the tooth fairy

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for this post as an ambassador for Hyland's Homeopathic.

Will you be one of the 500 lucky winners 
of a bottle of Hyland's Teething Tablets? 
Click here and see if you can find Hylee!

TBT and I'm on my high horse again

It's Throwback Thursday and I came across this post from 2010. Just some tidbits to think about.

Did you know...
  • There are no government controls on the chemicals used in disposable diapers?
  • A German study on disposable diapers a decade ago revealed a link between the use of disposables with fertility issues in men as well as testicular cancer, with suppositions that the wearing of disposable diapers interfered with the proper development of a boy's reproductive system?
  • Some of the medical issues reported with direct links to disposable diapers include: chemical burns and choking (from children ripping apart their diapers and putting the plastic in their noses and mouths)?
  • There is a definite correlation between disposable diapers and the development of asthma?
Photo by Cheryl Holt
While I'm mentioning asthma, allow me to digress a bit. If you have children and you're choosing to smoke around them, I personally consider this to be child abuse. I've been very disturbed lately to see fathers walking along with a car seat in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Or mothers pushing strollers one-handed as they sucked in and exhaled smoke. What is wrong with this picture, folks? You have a child now....GROW UP!

And while I'm on this subject, driving with kids of any age in the car while smoking a cigarette is just wrong. I see it, I can't believe it, and yes, I'm judging it. Second-hand smoke is dangerous and you shouldn't be exposing your children (or non-smoking spouse) to it.

Anyway, these were just some random thoughts about the safety of babies and children. The only reason I'm bringing them up is because I care.

Keeping it healthy,

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The hottest trend of 2015 -- Accessories that pay it forward!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for blogging about this organization.


For those of you who know me, you know I'm not a starstruck kind of person. I don't follow celebrity gossip and I'm not "dying to meet so-and-so..." That's just not me. However, if you're the type who does get into what the celebrities are doing and wearing, then the fact that Paris Hilton, Kristin Cavallari, Mandy Moore, Khloe Kardashian (I know, it's a Kardashian -- who cares?!), and many other fashion-conscious celebrities all love the jewelry at Bead Relief. But there's a good reason they do. Not only are the designs amazing, but Bead Relief is also on the cutting edge of the pay-it-forward accessory craze that is sweeping the country.

What does this mean exactly?

Well, Bead Relief offers gorgeous, affordable handmade bracelets and necklaces that actually do pay it forward.


Each bracelet and necklace is designed for a dedicated charity with 25% of the purchase price going to a partnered charity, such as A Place Called Home, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Autism Society, and many, many more. Click here to see a list of the 40 different charities.

Proceeds for the signature Bead Relief bracelet are divided between all of the charities in partnership with the organization.

I was asked to review some of the bracelets and I chose two of the bracelet stacks, based on the charities I wanted to support. These are the ones I chose:

CDK provides service dogs that help children in a variety of ways: psychiatric disabilities, guide, hearing, medical and seizure alert, social, therapy, traditional service, and walker balance dogs. They seek to create child-canine service teams to promote independence and social awareness.

EARTH stands for Environmental Awareness of Resources and Threatened Habitats. A 501 (C) (3) nonprofit organization based in Mendon, MA, their focus is on environmental education with a goal of teaching their community about a variety of topics, including ecology, endangered species, and sustainability. Their home base is locate in Southwick's Zoo at the Earth Discovery Center.

The bracelet stack can be worn to raise awareness for their cause, with a hope that donations will follow.

The bracelets I received were inspired by these organizations and are handmade to represent them. Bead Relief uses their own signature unique beads and elastic bands and each bracelet is adorned with their signature copper Bead Relief tags.

I really like the bracelets, but wish I'd ordered a larger size. Since I have relatively thin wrists, I ordered mediums (7"), assuming the elastic would be a bit more stretchy than it actually is. The bracelets fit my wrists, but I have a little bit of a problem stretching them over my hand. 

They are well-crafted and true to the photos on the website. 

You can buy single bracelets for $6; the stacks are $25. If you're more interested in metals, they're available as well, starting at $40. The sterling silver one shown here sells for $45. 

They also sell bracelets made with natural stones from the earth, like this Burmese Jade bracelet:

I really hope you will be moved to check out the Bead Relief website and consider making a purchase or two. Buying accessories that help pay it forward is the hottest fashion trend of 2015. This is a bandwagon I invite you to jump on. Not only will you end up with some fabulous new jewelry, but you can feel good knowing you're helping a cause that matters to you. Everyone who wears Bead Relief bracelets and necklaces wears them with pride. As they should.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Is your home suited for entertaining?

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. 

Designing your home to fit your needs is an important part of ownership. If you are a social butterfly that loves to entertain in your home, the design elements you include in your home should focus on your guests. There are a number of design elements that you can incorporate into your home to make it fun and easy to entertain any time of the year.

Maintain an Open Floor Plan

No one wants to be crowded in a small room with little seating. An open floor plan is the best way to accommodate parties and gatherings of all sizes, whether you are having an intimate dinner with close friends or a child's birthday party. An open floor plan is easily achieved with the proper placement of your furniture which should guide people to the center of the action.

Provide Easy Access to Entertaining Areas

Homeowners who have a great backyard or a pool will want their inside entertainment area to naturally flow into their outside entertainment area. This can be achieved by keeping the entertainment area of the inside close to the door leading to your outdoor entertaining space. If this isn't possible with your home's layout, you can always create a clear pathway from one area to another with the use of area rugs and furniture placement.

Choose Flooring and Furniture Meant for High Traffic

The one thing you do not want to do after every event is spend a lot of time cleaning, and you don't want to worry about your floors and furniture during the event. To help prevent stains and damage from your parties, choose furniture and flooring meant for high traffic areas. Wood flooring is sturdy and durable. You can also protect it from scuffing with a range of beautiful area rugs. If your rugs need the occasional pick-me-up, you can find plenty of great area rug cleaning Washington DC experts that will help you clean and remove stains from the rugs that are protecting your hardwood floors. Of course, you always want to use green options when it comes to cleaning your carpeting and rugs.

These are just a few ways that you can turn your home into an entertainment hub for your family and friends without doing a lot of demolition and remodeling. Turning your home into a place where everyone feels comfortable hanging out and having fun is a great way to take care of the ones you love.

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