Friday, December 27, 2013

Pregnancy Update {Week 13}

So far... this pregnancy has been like neither of the other two.

I couldn't believe how different my first two were, but now, oh my gosh, I don't even know what to expect!

With Squirrel and Bug I had no more than two or three days of morning sickness with either of them. With Squirrel I had some heartburn, but not much. Overall, my pregnancy with Squirrel was super easy.

Bug's pregnancy started with a lot of pulling round ligaments. Every time I would move between 8 and 14 weeks, those muscles would pull and I thought I was being stabbed with a knife! I then started getting heartburn regularly, I went through a lot of Tums.

With each of them I carried so differently. I carried Squirrel all over. I carried Bug just in front. It was as if I had a giant ball under my shirt.

This time around, before I even found out I was pregnant, I was getting nauseous and having bouts of heartburn in the evenings. Both of which were out of character for me.

I am still getting heartburn almost every evening and nausea occasionally. I have had more morning sickness than with the other two, but it is more like afternoon/evening sickness. There was one day that I was laid out on the couch all day, but otherwise I can manage to get along with out much disruption of my day.

I am currently 13 weeks and already showing! I look about like I did at 20 weeks with Squirrel and at 15 weeks with Bug.

I haven't been able to button my pants for just over a week. I actually went to the mall after Christmas to get some skirts. I am in that in-between stage where my regular pants are too small, but maternity pants are too big, so stretchy waist skirts seemed like a good solution.


With this pregnancy I have had an acute UTI, meaning I have a UTI that doesn't want to go away. I have had two rounds of antibiotics, so far the second round seems to have knocked out the infection.

Big bummer... my progesterone levels are low. Low progesterone can lead to miscarriage, pre-term labor and growth issues with the placenta and uterus. Luckily I can take progesterone shots to bring my numbers back up. Unfortunately, I am afraid of needles. I was doing ok with the idea of shots (twice weekly), until the syringes/needles arrived. These things are huge! I will be getting my first shot on Monday.

Birthing Options:

Squirrel was born in the hospital. He was born via (un)necessary c-section. Meaning, I was new to the whole labor and deliver thing. Many interventions took place, which my body doesn't react well to, thus leading to a c-section. After much research I learned that had I not been given the interventions, Squirrel would not have arrived into this world via major surgery.

Bug was a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) in the hospital, a different hospital than Squirrel. Everything went well. I avoided interventions as long as I could, then caved to an epidural, which yes, slowed down labor for me, but being that I waited as long as I had, he still entered this world the way God had intended.

As far as baby #3 we are currently planning a home birth. I have found an amazing midwife who has already told me way more about my other labors/deliveries than any of the Dr's ever did. She is very knowledgeable and experienced. My husband and I trust that she will help us deliver our baby safely without medical intervention in the comforts of our own home.

I would appreciate any and all prayers throughout this pregnancy! 

How were pregnancies or labor/delivery different for you with each of your little ones?

Our Growing Family...

About a week after this photo was taken I found out that my husband and I are expecting out third baby! Our "little" Bug is going to be a big brother! Although, he has no clue what is going on, but Squirrel is really excited!

I've always wanted a big family... well, I've always wanted more than two kids. I only have one sibling. My mom has 4 sisters (one of which watches in on us from heaven) and my dad has two brothers. Going to family gatherings with either side of the family always meant there were a lot of people around. 

I've always thought it would be nice for my kids to have more family to rely on, or to turn to in the even they needed something.

When my husband and I got married we both wanted to have at least three kids, but were leaning on 4... then Squirrel was born! For at least six months, there was no part of me that wanted another kid, but then as time went on, I knew I still wanted more. It took my husband about a year to be comfortable with another child.

Then came Bug, 2 3/4 years after Squirrel. He was a much easier baby than Squirrel, but oh man, he is an adventurous toddler! This kid is all over the place! As soon as Bug came out, I knew I still wanted another!

I have two wonderful little boys and can't wait to welcome this little one into our family sometime around July 3rd! 

Here is a photo of me at 5 weeks and the boys, shortly after we found out! 

Updated 13 week post coming next! 

How many kids do you have? Have you always known how many you want? Did you decide you want more or less than you originally thought?

Relish! Menu Planning Services Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Have you ever been in that rut? You know, the rut when it comes to planning your dinner for the week but you seem to have the same items on the menu?

With Relish! menu planning services you have the chance to make new meals for your family every week! Not only do you get to try these new meals, but Relish! also makes compiles all the ingredients into a printable grocery list!

My two favorite new family recipes I found on Relish are Taco Soup and slow cooker Cilantro-Lime Chicken!

Each week Relish offers different menu options. You simply drag and drop the recipe into your weekly menu. Each recipe is automatically paired with a side dish. If you do not care for the side dish you can switch it to one of the many side dish options in the Relish database. If you would like to make your traditional family favorite, Relish! gives you the option to add your own recipes!

You can add as many or as few menu options for the week as you would like.

When you have decided on your weekly menu you can formulate your shopping list. The shopping list is broken down into specific areas of the store (bread, dairy, meat, etc). The top section of the grocery list is common items that you may already have, such as cooking oil, salt, pepper, etc. You can check off items you already have, which will show them crossed out when you print off the list.  Each item on the list will have a code letter behind it (if it is part of the meals you have chosen for the week), so you'll know which recipe each item belongs to.  If you need to get stuff at the grocery store besides the menu options you choose through Relish, you also have the ability to add any item to the list you would like.

Shopping with a list can reduce your grocery bill every month because you won't be over-buying, or buying on impulse and the way the list is set up you aren't spending as much time in the grocery store either.

By selecting 5 meals a week from Relish you will be spending less than $90 for a nutritious meal, whether you choose kid friendly options, slow cooker options, vegetarian options or all of the above!

A subscription to Relish! Menu Planning is $7/month.

This service has been a great way to introduce new meals to my family. I like giving the kids something new to try. I haven't been using it for daily meal planning, but do a few of the recipes a week. I have been very pleased with how they have all turned out! I really like the grocery list option! The way they organize the list makes for a very efficient grocery trip.

Visit Relish! to start your menu planning subscription today!

Connect with Relish! on Facebook and Twitter!

Are you good about planning out your meals for the week and getting your grocery list ready? Do you have a fall-back meal, one in which you normally turn to when you don't know what to make for supper?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas in the Candy Cane

In the spirit of keeping Christmas about Christ we did a lesson the other day about the candy cane.

I downloaded a mini book from Christian Preschool Printables called A Candy Cane Christmas. It's one page that you can print in color or in black and white for the kids to color. You then fold it into a little book. This mini book describes how the candy cane relates to Christmas and Christ.

We continued our lesson with a neat candy cane ornament craft that also pulls in a little science. You can find the instructions for this ornament at The Squishable Baby, she's also got a printable instruction sheet, which is really handy. This is a simple craft that requires pipe cleaners, borax and water (technically also a glass and a pencil), but it does have to sit overnight. 

Squirrel really enjoyed the craft and the lesson about the candy cane! Actually, two days after the lesson he was given a candy cane and said "It's hard like a rock, because God is our rock!"

Do you have any other great candy cane lessons that you do with your kids around Christmas?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Apple-Cinnamon Monkey Bread

A few years ago a friend pointed out to me that on the back of the Pillsbury four pack of biscuit dough there was a great recipe for Monkey Bread!

I make it every once in a while, but this time I decided I'd try to add some diced Honeycrisp apples. Well, it is amazing!

I usually half the recipe because I don't need the excuse to eat more! So instead of using a bundt pan I use an 8x8 square pan.


  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 cans Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine (melted)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Honeycrisp apples, diced
  1. Grease or spray 12-cup Bundt cake pan.
  2. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in 1-gallon bag. Cut each biscuit into quarters. Shake quarters in bag to coat (I only had 8 quarters at a time to keep them from sticking). Add diced apples and shake to coat. Empty bag into pan.
  3. Mix melted butter and brown sugar. Pour over the biscuit pieces.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes (mine only bakes for about 25 minutes w/half recipe) or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes then turn upside down onto a serving tray!

I loved the additional flavor with the honeycrisp apples! It was almost like a more caramel-y apple fritter! This is an easy and quick recipe and my boys enjoy helping make it, especially shaking the bag!

Noxicare Natural Pain Relief

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Noxicare helps relieve muscle aches, nerve pain and inflammation the natural way with their Natural Pain Relief Cream, also available in a capsule.

This pain relief cream is made with seven natural ingredients:

  • Tumeric extract (anit-inflammatory, antioxidant)
  • Willow Bark extract (anit-inflammatory, antiseptic)
  • Ginger extract (digestive aid, herbal catalyst)
  • Holy Basil extract (antiviral, antimicrobial)
  • Rosemary extract (pain reliever)
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid (antioxidant)
  • Boswellia extract (anti-inflammatory)
All of these ingredients have been around and have been used for centuries. Each ingredient works with the next giving the cream its full benefits.

What is great about this cream is that it does not have a scent. Well, it has a very mild light scent, but nothing noticeable or off-putting. You're not walking around smelling like you put on a pain relief cream. 

Noxicare goes on smooth without a greasy feeling and absorbs nicely. You can put your clothes on over the top of the cream after applying without feeling like it is going to get all over your clothes.

It has a light yellow color which I am assuming comes from the tumeric extract, but I have not noticed staining from the coloring.

Connect: Like Noxicare on Facebook, follow them on Twitter.

Buy It: Visit Noxicare to purchase a 3.5oz tube for $26.95.

Win It: Noxicare is giving away one full size tube of their Natural Pain Relief cream to one of my readers. Enter through the widget below. Must be 18 years or older, US only. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Green Earth Frying Pan By Ozeri {Review}

Thank you Ozeri for the 8" frying pan!

I love making omelets! To make a great omelet you need the perfect pan. You need a smaller pan that has a great non-stick surface (if you want to avoid the extra fats). 

Well, I have found my perfect omelet pan! The 8" Green Earth frying pan by Ozeri has all the qualities of a great omelet pan! 

This pan is made from heavy-gauge aluminum that is free of toxins and heavy metals. It has a ceramic coating, called Greblon which is a non-stick coating free of PTFE (familiarized by the brand Teflon) and PFOA which is an adhesive commonly used to adhere the non-stick coating to the metal on the pan. Both of these chemicals have been suspected to leach harmful chemicals into your food.

The inside of the pan is textured to evenly cook food evenly and improve non-stick quality. The bottom of the pan has a magnetized induction stove base to ensure quick heating. The handle is coated in silicone and is heat resistant. 

But the question is, how well does it work? The best way to test a non-stick surface is with eggs, right? Be sure to NEVER use cooking spray on your pan. If you feel the need to add butter or oil, only add a very small amount.

I've had perfect omelets every time, with no sticking! It even passes the slide test, you know, tilt the egg out of the pan without having to use a spatula! 

I am very happy with this pan and feel confident that the food I am eating and serving to my children is free of chemicals and that I don't have to add extra fat to the pan to keep it from sticking.

Because foods don't stick to the pan, it makes for really easy clean up. Tip: use only a small amount of mild detergent to clean the pan.

If you are looking for a great non-stick pan without having to worry about toxins leaching into your food, check out the Green Earth Frying Pan. It is also available in 10" and 12" sizes. The 8" pan is currently on sale for $23.25.

The pan does not come with a lid, but lids can be purchased separately.

Connect with Ozeri on Facebook!

Do you try to avoid toxins in your cooking? Do you like non-stick surfaces so you can stick to a low fat diet? What is a food you like to cook, but have issues with it sticking to the pan?

Disclosure: I received the product above to help facilitate with my review. All opinions are my own. I was not compensated in any other way.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Angel Sun Catcher - Christmas Craft

We try to do crafts that help focus on Jesus and His story around Christmas. I saw a really cute craft with this same concept, only it had the nativity scene. Well, I am too impatient to try to cut out the nativity scene for this craft, so I decided to do an angle one!

I looked on Google for an angel silhouette, but when I found one I liked, they were going to charge me for it. So I made my own. I am not that great with drawing. I could not get the angel symmetrical. I came up with half a design I liked, then flipped it over to mirror the other side.  See my template and get your supplies list in the pic below.

Once I had my template, I drew it on a black piece of paper. I then drew an oval around the angel and cut it out in one piece.

I cut out a piece of contact paper just big enough for the whole angel/oval to fit on top of. I placed my silhouette on the piece of contact paper. I had some pencil lines on the black paper, if you have some too, make sure the pencil lines are facing you.

After the silhouette is on the contact paper have your little ones start adding small cut out pieces of tissue paper, covering all of the contact paper inside the oval. You can use whatever colors you wish. We happened to already have red and green cut out from an apple project we did this fall and I couldn't find my other colored tissue paper. I think multiple colors would be nice, or even blue/purple/red colors!

Bug helped for about two minutes, then got bored. So Squirrel and I finished it up!

Once the whole thing is covered with tissue paper add the second piece of contact paper (sticky sides together). Press down all around the contact paper to make sure everything is stuck together. Cut around the oval, leaving about 1/4 of an inch. Your angel sun catcher is finished! Just hang in desired space, windows are best! 

Are there any specific crafts you like to do with your children around Christmas? Share your craft ideas or your finished sun catcher projects! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

All Things Diapers... more than diapers! {Tots Bots Giveaway}

This is a sponsored post.

I started cloth diapering Bug (my second baby) when he was 4 months old. While I did a lot of research on line and watched a plethora of YouTube videos... none of that compared to walking into All Things Diapers brick and mortar store to see the real thing up close and personal! It was kind of like being slapped in the face by the cloth diaper fairy!

Many brands to choose from, both popular brands and local work-at-home mom brands!

All Things Diapers is cloth diaper retailer. They sell new and used diapers as well as offer a diaper cleaning service. You choose the diapers you want to use, either rent or buy, and they will pick up your dirty diapers, then wash and return. So if you just can't shake the idea of a poopy diaper in your washing machine (which if this is your first kid, you'll probably get over that after potty training) then All Things Diapers will take care of your laundering needs.

Great selection of used diapers!
All Things Diapers actually started as a diaper cleaning service by Martin and Patti Cross, husband and wife team who cloth diapered their two children. After about a year they opened their cloth diaper store. Since then they have expanded. Some new cloth brands they have brought in include Blueberry and LetJoy (MN local WAHM). Tots Bots has also recently returned to their shelves. They also carry BumGenius, GroVia, FuzziBunz, Thirsties, Best Bottom and more! They have rental programs, trial programs and layaway.

All Things Diapers offers much more than diapers:

They sell some of the leading brands of natural, organic, and cloth diaper friendly baby and mommy products. Two of my favorites being Earth Mama Angel Baby and Motherlove.

Baby wearing is a great way to bond with your baby and get a few things done around the house. With the right carrier you and baby will be comfortable and you may be able to nurse discretely in public places too! Don't know what baby carrier is right for you and babe? Don't worry, All Things Diapers has a great selection of baby carriers, and you can try them on! Still not sure? Rent one for a week, or two! Great rental rates without a high dollar deposit!

Looking for nursing gear? All Things Diapers has you covered, but if covering isn't your thing, they welcome nursing in the store, however you are comfortable! One of my favorite nursing tanks is by Undercover Mama. While shopping on-line is easy, getting the right size usually isn't. All Things Diapers has a basket of Undercover Mama nursing tanks in all available sizes for you to try on in-store! So you know you can be confident about your purchase! They also sell many other nursing products! If you are a nursing/pumping mama and don't have a pumping bra, you need to check them out!

Like I said, All Things Diapers is a breast feeding friendly store. But if you don't feel comfortable nursing while shopping, with or without a cover, they have a special room set up just for you! The nursing room offers comfortable seating, magazines (on a subscription basis, new every month), outlets for pumping, a changing table, a scale to weigh baby and even a nursing cover for you to use (either in the room or around the store).

All Things Diapers recently expanded and now has a large section dedicated to used clothing for both the pregnant/nursing mom and the little ones. Great quality used clothing with prices ranging from $1-$15. They also have some used toys!

All Things Diapers also offers workshops and classes.  Cloth Diapering 101, Laundering Science, Baby Wearing Basics, and Diaper Service Hour (every Saturday, all about their cloth diaper service), all of which are free. They also do an occasional Cloth Diapers and More Swap Meet.

They recently started offering Musik Garten classes through Prima Music Studio with ages 0-15 months or 1-5 years. Another new class is Baby and Me Yoga through Mother Baby Doula Services. There is a fee for the Music and Yoga classes. Get more info on all the workshops/classes here.

You can also make your purchases online. If you don't see it online, call the store! Free shipping in MN, all other orders in the US get free shipping with a $20 purchase.

Most all of my cloth diaper purchases come from All Things Diapers. They are a great business with competitive pricing and knowledgeable staff. I love All Things Diapers and recommend them to anyone looking for information about cloth diapering or looking for cloth diaper or natural parenting products!

Connect: Visit All Things Diapers on Facebook. They do a couple giveaways a month on their website too!

Buy It: Check out their online store, or better yet, check out their brick and mortar store in Blaine, MN! Check here for location, phone number, and store hours!

Win: All Things Diapers is offering one of my readers a Tots Bots cloth diaper in winners choice of print! Enter on the Giveaway Tools widget below. Must be 18+ years, US only.


Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and 100% honest!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway {Home for the Holidays}

Welcome to the Home for the Holidays Giveaway Hop, hosted by So Easy Being Green and Viva Veltoro!
We are right in the middle of the Holiday Season, stockings are hung by the Fireplace, the smell of an Evergreen fills your Home... I've teamed up with a great group of bloggers that want to fill your home with even more! The Home for the Holidays Giveaways are all centered around the perfect products for your home - whether it's decorative gifts or appliances, each blogger has something for your home!
While you're hopping around to each, be sure to enter to win the Grand Prize for this Event too! A wonderful prize package worth $1,000 to include a Sebo X4 Upright Vacuum from from Allergy Buyers Club, a 5x8 Mohawk Rug {of Winner's Choice}, and a $75 Gift Certificate to



Contains affiliate links.

Just Me and the Boys has teamed up with Tropical Traditions to offer one reader 1 Gallon of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut oil

If you have never used coconut oil you may not know what it is, check out some info here! Coconut oil has many uses around the house! One great use, especially this time of year, is cooking and baking! Use coconut oil in place of traditional cooking oils, or even butter!

What are your favorite recipes using coconut oil? Check out the full review here

Enter to win! Open to US and Canada, ages 18+.

Viva Veltoro, So Easy Being Green, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Home for the Holidays participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Buttons Cloth Diapers Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. Disclosure: I received the product below to help facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and honest. I was not compensated in any other way.

Buttons cloth diapers are an all-in-two diaper system, meaning that there are two parts, the diaper cover (waterproof) and the insert. I happen to really like all-in-twos. One reason being that you can re-use the shell and just replace the insert during diaper changes. Less cost up front because you don't need as many covers.

Buttons diapers is a family business created by a husband and wife team trying to make an easy to use and affordable diapering system.

Buttons diapers covers are one size. By adjusting the rise and waist snaps you can use this diaper shell on a baby ranging from  9-35 lbs. 

The diaper shell is made from two layers of PUL (the waterproof material). They have one row of waist snaps with elastic in the front and back of the diaper. There are two snaps inside the cover which are used to snap the insert into the shell (two photos below #3). This diaper also has two leg gussets to help keep messes inside!

The insert are contoured (hourglass shape) allowing to absorb more in front or back but remain trim between the legs. The daytime insert consists of four layers of microfiber with a layer of fleece on top (#1 and #4 in photo below). The nighttime doubler adds an additional 6 layers of microfiber (only to be used under daytime insert, #5 below). The nighttime doubler snaps into the diaper and the daytime insert snaps on top of the doubler (#2 in photo below). Each style of insert comes in two sizes; small (9-20lbs) and large (20-35lbs). Having two sizes of inserts gives a more trim fit for those younger babies.

Bug is around 24/25 lbs. He is on the largest rise setting of this diaper, but I still feel he has plenty of room to grow. Because of the elastic in the front, the top of the diaper seems to fold over the insert a little bit (see top right photo below). This is especially good for us because diapers that don't have a tummy panel tend to leak with him. But the elastic in front gives him more protection from leaks, which we have not had with this diaper. 

I think this is a great option for someone looking for an all-in-two diaper who wants to stretch their money. For each shell I'd recommend 3 inserts. If the diaper shell isn't soiled when you change your baby's diaper, you can wipe it out with a baby wipe and only replace the insert. So you could get by with 3-4 diaper shells and 9-12 inserts for a full days worth of diapering.

Buy It: The diaper shells come in nine different solid colors. They can be purchased for $11.00 each. The daytime inserts are $3.50 and the nighttime doublers are $5.00. Purchases can be made directly from their website

Connect: Like Buttons diapers on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and on Pinterest

Have you tried all-in-two systems? What is your favorite feature of Buttons cloth diapers? 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Disney On Ice, Passport to Adventure - Reveiw

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to the show to help facilitate my review. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own and honest.

A couple weeks before the show I told Squirrel we were going to see Disney On Ice. Having never been to this type of thing before he was actually a little scared. He asked if his friends were going to be there. I told him they weren't but that he would have fun. About a week before the show we were watching a program on TV (rarely happens around here) and a commercial for Disney On Ice, Passport to Adventure came on. I said "Squirrel, that's what we are going to see!". He then got really excited!

Show night came. Squirrel was all ready to see some of his favorite characters on the ice. But of course we had to stop for some souvenirs before the show started! While I wasn't planning on getting something for myself, I saw the Ariel snow cone mug! Squirrel wanted the sword!

The premise of the show is that Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy are traveling. They visit many different places where they hear the stories of The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Lilo and Stitch, and Peter Pan.

They started off with The Lion King. Which happened to have my favorite costume of the night! Pumba!

The skater inside this costume must have been hunched over, kind of skating on all fours. It was a very impressive feat! They did a few songs and told Simba's story before moving on to The Little Mermaid. 

Honestly, this was my favorite part!

I loved the Little Mermaid growing up. This part of the show brought me back to my childhood. I don't know if I should really admit it, but I'll blame it on pregnancy hormones, it almost brought me to tears!

To portray Ursula as a giant (scene towards end of movie) they bring out a huge inflatable Ursula. She is then taken down by the Prince with the triton which had some firework effects.

Next up was Lilo and Stitch. I'm not as familiar with this movie, I saw it once when it came out, but didn't remember much of it.

There was a short intermission for bathroom breaks and to fix up the ice before the last story of the night.

Then came Squirrels favorite part... Peter Pan!

The props used where phenomenal. Peter, Wendy, John and Michael flew across the ice, Captain Hook had a pirate ship, and a large inflatable alligator came out at the end of the show to gobble up Captain Hook! While all the boys in the audience were excited to see Peter, the ship and the pirates, the girls were all looking forward to seeing Tinkerbell, who was looking lovely as usual!

The grand finale included all the cast on the ice with a fun display of fireworks.

I'm really looking forward to returning to see Disney On Ice when Bug is older and can manage to sit still for more than five minutes. I think he would really enjoy it!

Daddy, Squirrel and myself had a good time. Squirrel is already asking when he can go again! But I may have liked it even more than he did.  

Have you had the opportunity to see Disney On Ice? Did you go as a kid or did you take your kids or grandkids? What was your favorite part?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 Photo Book Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
Disclosure: I received a voucher to order a book to help facilitate my review. All opinions are my own, I was not compensated in any other way.

I love photo books! They are a great way to display multiple pictures without having to do too much work and they always look great! This particular book is from (formerly 

While I thought creating the photo book was more complicated than other photo book sites I have used and took more time to put together, I was so pleased with the outcome that it was worth the time and effort I put into it. 

After having photo books I have purchased in the past (not from this company) fall apart, I was happy to see that offered a book with a spiral binding.

The spiral binding is great for two reasons, one you have a more secure book that isn't put together with glue, so it can't easily fall apart. Another reason the spiral binding is great, you can fully open the book flat on a table. This makes for easier viewing if more than one person is looking at it and you also don't have to hold it open. 

In the photo book program you have the option of using different types of templates for your photo book layout. I used a scrapbook style template with neutral theme backgrounds (other backgrounds include, but not limited to, blue or pink for baby, wedding, elegant, etc).

I really like how all the pictures turned out. The layout is perfect! It is hard to tell from the thumbprints in the program just how it was going to look once it was printed. I am really pleased with it.

Another great feature is the ability to put a photo on the back cover of the book. I thought this one was the perfect fit...

Books start at $14.99. You can choose from many styles and themes or upload one you have already created. There are also many different sizes and cover styles (hard, soft, etc) to choose from. You really can get exactly what you are looking for! not only sells photo books but also cards and calendars which can all be customized with your own photos.

With Christmas quickly approaching, a PrestoPhoto book would make a great gift for parents, grandparents or family friends! 

Buy it: Start creating your book today by visiting

Connect: Like PrestoPhoto on Facebook, follow on Pinterest and Twitter

Who will you make a photo book for? For your family to display for all your guests? For your parents, grandparents, friends?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

isABelt ~ Invisible Belt Review {Giveaway}

Disclosure: I received the product below to help facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and honest. I was not compensated in any other way.

isABelt is an innovative belt that has a slimming effect. You get great support and a great fit without the bulk of a traditional belt.

isABelt has many great features:

  • thin, clear design
  • new, strong, flat magnetic closure
  • one size fits all, from size "0" to 50+ inches.
  • prevents back gap, slippage and bulge

You can easily adjust the belt with one of the two adjusters. The closure for this belt is different than your traditional belt. It is a flat magnetic closure.

The isABelt gives a slimming effect when compared to wearing a traditional belt. Because isABelt is flat, thin and has a magnetic closure it is virtually invisible under clothing!

I have to say I was surprised at just how well this belt worked in replacing my traditional belt. I wasn't sure the magnetic clasp would hold, or that the plastic would hold up. But sure enough, this belt has been great! Since receiving the isABelt, I haven't used my traditional belt (except to take this photo)!

The plastic has held strong, giving me just as much protection as my traditional belt. I wouldn't say it works any better, or any less, but just as good! But to have the same function, without the bulk, has been great!

isABelt is also available in a 1" wide band for better support or in the color black.

Connect: Like isABelt on Facebook,

Buy It: isABelt is available for $19.95 on their website! Now through Jan 5th, isABelt is offering my readers a 15% discount using the code HOLblog.

Win It: isABelt is giving one of my readers their very own isABelt! Enter to win using the Giveaway Tools widget below. Must be 18+ and reside in the US.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.