Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Make This Holiday Season The Best With ZURU

Holly Jolly Christmas, what? It's right around the corner folks. That's right, 'tis the season for buying overpriced gifts for our young children who honestly would have loved something cheaper regardless (because my three year old wouldn't ever know what I spent on it). This year don't go broke, but make sure they're getting some of the best toys on the market this year. Let's aim to not disappoint. I, for one, will not be spending an arm and a leg on one or two toys, but instead - investing in many smaller toys. My children are 3 and 10 months, so they will never know the difference. They will be overjoyed by the immense amount of gifts 'Santa' left for them.  

Honestly, let's talk about the toys from ZURU

First off, we have those super fun looking Hamsters In A House Food Frenzy sets. These hamsters that are full of life, will keep your little one entertained for hours when they discover that they scoot, zoom, and scurry all over the place. You can buy different pieces from the Food Frenzy set to make for even more fun. Honestly, my son adores play sets like this. He would be in his room for only God knows how long, just entertaining himself. This will definitely be on our 'to-buy' list! Don't forget that the original sets and the new Food Frenzy sets can be put together for endless fun. The Food Frenzy set introduces 11 new hamsters, for your child to expand their clan of fun buddies! Can be purchased at Target, Toys R Us and Amazon.

Turn your child's room into a whole new game, with Mayka Toy Block tape. Take your imagination to new heights. Compatible with any brand of building blocks/bricks, you can stick Mayka tape on any surface to up the level of fun for your child and their friends. Stick it on a corner, upside down on a surface, and build to their heart's content. Mayka comes in three sizes and nine colors to really personalize your creations. Cut it to any length and make it how you want it. Perfect for building race tracks around the room, or making crazy foundations for sideways building on the bedroom window - because it leaves no marks and can be used on any surface! You can purchase at Walmart, Toys R Us, and Amazon.

The Fidget Cube would make the most ideal stocking stuff for the 2017 holiday season. The fidgety person in your home would love you forever as you satisfy their need to fidget with any and everything. With the Fidget Cube, they can quietly click, glide, roll and flip all their anxieties away. Not to be mistaken, this is a gift for anyone, regardless of how old you are. Made with high-quality plastic, rest assured it is durable and safe for everyone. Choose from 8 colors, and accessories, too! Available at Target, Walmart, Toys R Us, CVS, Amazon, and more.

Finally, we have made it to the Tangle. The Tangle is the original fidget toy, known as a therapeutic brain toy for children and in schools. The Tangle stimulates sensory and motor skills, and has been found to stimulate and maintain attention. With that being said, it has helped to improve math and reading comprehension skills - which makes it a winner for the children. It's a highly recommended for the Special Needs population, as well. It's a puzzle, which relieves stress and a tool for creativity. Curved shapes are linked to creativity, and anyone who plays will find a spark of creativity themselves. The Tangle can be purchased at Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, and Amazon.

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post. All content was provided. 

Road Trippin' This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is quickly rushing upon us. For those of you who may travel long distances, I can honestly say - I do not know your struggles. All of my family is right within a three mile area. I have known people throughout my life who took long journey's to other states for the holidays and I remember in school - my friends would tell me of these great adventures and the places they stopped at to eat from, along the way. 

If you are making your way into the Huntsville area, or simply passing through - do yourself a favor when hunger hits your family and stop at the Chick-fil-A on University Drive. Although, we do have a Chick-fil-A a whole lot closer to us, this one is just so awesome that we drove thirty minutes to it, when there was one just two minutes down the road. 

This was just a portion of the meals we had received. We headed out to celebratemy three year old son working very hard the past week to get one hundred percent potty trained! His chart for his reward stickers while doing so, had a space for when you reached a reward point. We put Chick-fil-A Dates in the spaces. He got to them very quickly so we went on a congratulatory date. We had two Chicken Sandwich Combos, a Southwest Salad, a Frozen Coffee, and (two) four piece Chicken Nugget Kid's Meals. Needless to say, I managed to snap a picture of my food. When at the window, we were asked about sauce, and I chose the Chick-fil-A sauce and oh my, it is the best thing I've ever tasted in the way of a dipping sauce (even better with the waffle fries).

Upon arrival, we noticed they had employees outside in the drive thru line taking orders in person, with tablets. I had to snap a photo of our order taker Katherine, as she was very polite and went over everything to make sure nothing was left out. She was out in the chilly weather with a bright smile on her face as both my sister and I had mentioned, there's no way we could do that out in the cold. She smiles and says it doesn't bother her one bit. That's true dedication because I can't say that I wouldn't complain even in slightly cool weather as it was yesterday. When my sister was reading our list out to her (we do this in an organized, fool-proof way), my sister asked, "What flavors do the Frosted Coffees come in?" and while I was explaining that it's simply, well...coffee flavor, Katherine explains what it's made up of and that it was just that. Exceptional service from Katherine and I believe she deserves major recognition for her hard work and dedication to her work place!

We had a fantastic experience at the CFA on University Drive, and will be back for more great times very soon! The food was fresh and hot, very delicious, and all three workers we encountered were very nice. You won't find employees more friendly that those that work at a CFA location! This restaurant is a person favorite of mine, and I can't wait to visit Huntsville again, more likely this coming Friday!

Disclaimer: I received meal cards in exchange for blog post and social media boost from Chick-fil-A on University Drive. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are 100% my own, honest opinions.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Kicking Off The Gift Guide With A New Mattress #MyGreenMattress

That time of year is upon us. Stores are having early sales, to give us consumers the opportunity to save a few bucks. When we think of the holidays, we think toys, clothes, household appliances, shoes, etc. but what many of us don't think about is how much that family member or friend could use a new mattress.

Up until recently, we had been using my husband's 10 year old bed that he had when we first got together. When we moved into our own home, we just brought it along. Well, 4 years of marriage, two bouncy kids later - it was extremely worn out. For example how you can stand up a new mattress on its side and the top and bottom are straight as a board, this old one was wavy from being so old.

So imagine how uncomfortable it was sleeping on that!

I woke up daily with my back so stiff, getting out of bed was very painful. My husband works at a wood products plant, which is strenuous work for him and leaves him aching all over. I had to dig my elbow in the bottom of his back daily to get the knots worked out that developed overnight. I never had any sorts of back pain before having my daughter, but I knew - something had to give!

I never thought that I'd have a new mattress, because honestly, the extra funds just haven't been there for us. When I received the chance to work with My Green Mattress to do a review on one of their mattresses - I was absolutely ecstatic! Like I said, never in a million years did I think a new mattress would come into my life. After discussing how we slept and such, we agreed that the Pure Echo would be our best match. Although, I didn't exactly tell my husband it was a medium firm mattress, but it was for the best. He thought he needed a super soft one, but the old mattress was one that you'd sink into because the springs were no longer firm as they should have been. We even had pieces of tiny metal coming through the top (that's very uncomfortable).

The Pure Echo is an all natural, organic made bed. The best in my opinion.

You receive your new mattress delivered via FedEx in a roll (I've never had a new mattress so I was unsure on how they was going to ship it).

Excuse my dearest dog, she was so curious and was walking laps around it.

My husband had me vow to not open it until he got home from work (at 2 am) so I agreed. I sat it to the side and when he came home I was so ecstatic! With a few, very easy, cuts and rips of the plastic it was wrapped in, this fine beauty was released!

The most comfortable bed I have ever laid on. I'm not one for mushy, soft beds. I need a good, fairly firm bed. This medium-firm mattress did the trick and I promise you, I have not had a single backache when I've woke up since I received it! Before hand, every morning was extremely painful for me.

Here's some more information and a little visual on how these great mattresses are made.

"We've updated our popular and most economical mattress with a new more comfortable spring system that offers excellent lumbar support. This medium-firm mattress is conforming and pressure relieving making it perfect for children, teens, and adults. The Pure Echo is handcrafted with all-natural, hypoallergenic materials, including organic cotton and natural wool for the deep, healthy sleep you deserve at a price that won't keep you up at night."

  • Heavy 13.5 gauge perimeter coils for a firmer seating edge
  • Heavyweight organic cotton batting - All-natural needle punched cotton insulator pads
  • The wool in our quilted cover acts as a natural flame barrier, therefore our mattresses pass flame testing required by law without the use of dangerous flame retardant chemicals
  • Your Choice: One-sided mattress - upholstered on one side, or Two-sided - upholstered on both sides giving you the ability to flip your mattress and extend its life
  • Updated with a higher profile. Total one-sided mattress height is 9 3/4", and two-sided mattress height is 11". Need a bunk bed mattress with a lower profile? Click here
  • Firmness level = 7 (+/-)    1=softest  10=firmest

I can't even begin to explain my love for this. The only thing I found strange was it had the weirdest smell. Like my husband said, it may be from all the organic materials used, but to us it slightly smelled like horse feed. (Feel free to laugh hysterically, because I did while typing this out)

The top was so soft, and very warm. I love a warm bed, as I am very cold-natured. I don't care what time of year it is, I'll be bundled up in a fleece blanket come bedtime. I won't lie, my husband jumped in bed before I could put the sheet on it, so we slept with no sheet on the bed that night. Then, he complained about how hot it was (hello, there's no silky smooth, and very cold sheet on it), and all the while, I laid there very content because of the softness and major warmth.

Our old mattress was so flimsy and while you would 'sink right in', it was in no way, in a good way. The pain I felt when I would wake up every morning was so intense. I had our daughter in January, and regardless of her sleeping all night from two weeks on, this very old mattress kept me from having any sort of good nights sleep. I never felt rested at all, and it was rough on me physically, and mentally.

While my husband tends to complain that it's too firm for him, I can tell you - he hasn't complained about his back hurting him nowhere near as much as he previously did. He works a very long, hard job at a wood products plant. He has to lift a lot of weight which puts major strain on his back. Despite what he says, I already know it's made an impact on him, a positive impact. 

I think we may have both discovered, a new mattress really does make a world of difference in many aspects of your life.

I really enjoy the idea of having an all natural, organic, and hypoallergenic mattress. Hypoallergenic is a big deal because we are a household full of allergies to what seems like any, and every thing. Another great thing is the price, a queen size like we recently received will only run $749, but that's for one sided, which isn't made to flip from one side to the other, but to rotate instead.

Don't need a firm bed? Check out their Natural Escape mattress, which cost $1,099 for a queen size, but has a more springy bouncy to it.

The best part of this review? You've made it to the end and know what you need to about the Pure Echo and want one of your own. Well, take a moment to enter the giveaway below to win a twin size Pure Echo (arv: $529) or $529 credit towards a larger size, of your very own!

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Best Way To Get Your Picky 4 Year Old Some Nutrition #DailySunshine

Four. Yes, that's right, my oldest child is on the back side of four years old. Geez, that happened fast. He such an energetic, fun, exciting child. He loves the outdoors more than anything in this world, well, that and dogs. My pumpkin (his nickname since he was merely days old) will be four on the last day of February. It weird to think that he will only have a year and a half from his birthday until he starts school.

Although he has so many great qualities, eating healthy, or even a healthy amount is not one of them.

Seriously, he would rather eat fried chicken fingers and french fries 5 days out of seven instead of something semi healthy. I mean, I have offered him tons in the way of variety, and he just crosses his arms, puckers his lips and says, 'I don't like that'....as if he would know because most of it he's never tried.

I had recently been contacted with the opportunity that would so greatly help with this issue. The makers of Beachbody now has Daily Sunshine - a delicious smoothie that kids can drink daily to get all the nutrition their little picky bodies need. It comes in Strawberry Banana, and Chocolate flavors. We make one for Dallas once a day, normally in the morning when he wakes up - a delicious way to start off the day! 

We received a mix box of 24 packets, 12 of each flavor and boy did he love it! If you look at the ingredient list - all organic ingredients. This is the kind of stuff we need to be putting in our children's bodies. 

It's so simple to make: fill up the Daily Sunshine bottle (which has a compartment on the bottle to take their healthy snack with them on the go, we usually go with multi-grain Cheerios), fill the bottle up to 8 oz with water or any other liquid you want to use, pour in the flavor of mix you want, and shake! shake! shake! Nearly instant delight with just a few shakes. You can also use it to whip up a healthy legit shake in your blender.

(Sorry, low lighting = terrible picture quality!)

I think the idea for this product is absolutely amazing. I know for a fact my child hardly ever gets all the nutrients he needs from his fruits and vegetables, and this helps get them what their body needs to thrive while giving them a tasty treat while doing so. Since we first tried Daily Sunshine, I have seriously been woken up every morning with the phrase, "I need strawberry banana smoothie"...or chocolate - whichever he's feeling in the mood for. I have limited him to one a day, so we get it with breakfast. He tells me on a daily basis how delicious it is, and that strawberry banana is his favorite. The way I see it is, if a kid begs you for it and it's healthy for them, then let them have some. I mean of course, one a day, but let them choose what time of day they want it and see how excited they'll be for something that'll fuel them through the rest of the day. 

Daily Sunshine is nutritionist developed, pediatrician approved, and from my personal experience - kid approved. This is recommended for kids age 4+, although mine isn't quite 4 years old, he is very close. For us, one of the best attributes to this shake is there's no dairy! Dairy messed with his digestion system and slows down how often he goes, so that was an absolute winner for us! It's also non-GMO, made with organic pea protein - a great substitute for dairy protein, healthy fats, calcium & vitamin D, and made with fiber and probiotics (<- all the good stuff). 

I would absolutely recommend this to all parents for their children. Especially those picky ones, this will get them what they need to run on daily. Absolutely 5 stars from us!! You can purchase from their site for $129.99 (for the mixed box we received) and $6 for the bottle.

*Disclaimer: I was sent these products for review purposes only. All products are 100% my own honest opinions. I was not compensated in any other way.

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