Thursday, November 13, 2014

Boho Mama Nursing Wrap Review

I prefer not to use a cover when I am nursing in public. Not because I am a lactivist trying to make a statement, or a feminist trying to exert my powers of womanhood, but because I feel that using a cover seems to attract more attention to the fact that my baby is sucking on my breast, which I don't really want.

I usually wear layers, pull one up, leave one down and it basically looks like I'm just holding my baby. But as she is becoming more alert, she is also becoming more distracted while eating and pulling off frequently, leaving me exposed for all to see.

So at about 3 months, I started using my nursing cover more often. Unfortunately, whenever I was using it I felt like I was on display. With a bright pattern, square shape and a plastic hoop to go over my head it was as if I was screaming for someone to awkwardly watch me feed my baby out of the corner of their eye, or straight on, some people want you to know you're making them uncomfortable. You know the kind of stink-eye look or the deer in headlights, they just can't look away.

When it came to finding a new nursing cover I knew I wanted something versatile. Something that I could wear rather than pack in my bag. Something that looked more like an accessory to my outfit than a billboard for my breastfeeding baby.

I started doing some research on shawl style and infinity scarf breastfeeding covers. In the midst of my research I was presented with the opportunity to review the Boho Mama Stylish Breastfeeding Wrap. I jumped. It was exactly what I was looking for!

If you didn't figure it out, the scarf I am wearing in the above picture is the Boho Mama Nursing Wrap! Unless I told you, or this wasn't a review for a versatile nursing wrap, you never would have guessed it was anything other than a scarf, right?

The first thing I did when I took the Boho Mama Nursing Wrap out of the packaging was rub it against my cheek. Yep, that's right. I couldn't believe how silky, buttery smooth it was and I couldn't wait to try it out, but my baby was sleeping. So instead I just put it on and played a bit with some of the many ways to wear it. I fell in love with this breastfeeding shawl so fast that I practically threw my other one in the garbage right then and there!

The shawl is made from a lightweight organic bamboo modal with a bit of spandex, which is what makes it so soft and flowy (is that even a word?). This breathable fabric will keep your baby from getting too warm, even on the hot days. It is a nice neutral grey color, sure to look great with most of your wardrobe. It measures 27" wide and 75" long. Boho Mama is machine washable, so go ahead and use it as a burp cloth too, just throw it in the wash when you get home!

While you are breastfeeding this shawl gives full coverage. So whether you layer garments or avoid wearing nursing tanks, your torso will be fully covered while your little one visits Mom's Cafe. Because of it's length and width, you also don't have to worry about shifting positions and being exposed. This shawl will cover your back and sides.

I can't say for sure, because I haven't tried it, but I think this would also be a great breastfeeding cover for nursing multiples. I am fairly confident that you could fit twins under this wrap and still not be exposed.

It is crazy how big this wrap is and how much it covers, yet how little space it takes up in a diaper bag or around your neck.

It is winter here now, but I could definitely see myself wearing this as a shawl over the top of a nursing tank and making it part of my outfit. Check out Boho Mama on Amazon for some other great ways to wear the Nursing Wrap, even while pregnant! You don't have to be a nursing mom to wear this comfortable, stylish nursing warp!

I really like this breastfeeding cover. I've been telling everyone about it! The only thing that may deter someone from buying this cover is the price. But for everything you can do with this cover, incorporate it into your wardrobe while nursing, wear it as a main piece of your outfit while pregnant, nursing or when you are no longer nursing, and the obvious, using it as a breastfeeding cover, you really do get all the bang for your buck. The Boho Mama Nursing Wrap has endless options!

Visit amazon to purchase your Boho Mama Nursing Wrap. They are currently 25% off! But through the end of November my readers can get the wrap at 50% off retail! That is an amazing deal! Use code ARKRLDUS at check out for your 50% off discount! They'll also be releasing a purple wrap before the end of the month!

Which color will you choose?

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.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fall Giveaway from Green Scene Mom

We've partnered with Green Scene Mom to bring you this fabulous fall giveaway featuring lots of goodies that are perfect gifts for the upcoming holidays! Each of the sponsoring brands offer niche and innovative products for moms, kids and families to make life simpler, inspire creativity, and encourage natural living. 

Enter below for the chance to win this amazing prize package pictured here!

Green Scene Mom Fall Giveaway

Prize Gift Set

Guava Family Lotus Everywhere Crib - $249.95
Lina.j Diaper Bag - $119
Boom Boom Prints $50 Gift Card
NuRoo Nursing Scarf & Swaddler - $55
Yummi Pouch Reusable Food Pouches & Snack Bags set of 3 - $33
OLLI+LIME 50 pack Triangle Wall Decals - $20
Baby Covee 4-in-1 Convertible Baby Blanket - $50
Endangered Species Color Me Eco Pak - $14.99
Buttons Diapers Pail Liner - $16
Magnificent Baby Smart Little Bear Fleece Footie - $49.95
Blooming Bath Baby Bath - $39.99
Tegu 14-Piece Tints magnetic wooden blocks - $35 Diaper Wallet - $34.95

So many great prizes to win! Which is your favorite?

Enter to win this Amazing Prize Set!

This giveaway is open to United States entries who have a US mailing address.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Just Me and the Boys is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Conditioning Leather Seats to Keep Them Looking New

I already told you about Leather Nova's Leather Cleaner. It's a great cleanser for you vehicles interior. But what should you do with your leather once it's clean? To keep seats looking new you'll want to condition the leather. This is the second step in Leather Nova's line.

Leather Nova's Leather Conditioner is great for leather and vinyl surfaces. You can use it to restore leather surface or keep them looking fresh. Leather Conditioner is non-toxic and has a non-greasy formula. 

Before using the Leather Conditioner, make sure you have cleaned your leather first. The best option for cleaning the leather is with Leather Nova's Leather Cleaner. Allow the surface to air dry completely before continuing.

When you purchase your Leather Conditioner it comes with the yellow applicator shown above. Using this applicator apply a thin coat of the leather conditioner to your seats or any other leather surface you wish to condition or restore. Rub the conditioner on the surface in a circular motion. Let the conditioner sit on the surface for one hour then buff with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. 

If you are trying to restore leather that has not been maintained in quite a while, you may have to repeat the process to get desired results. Leather Nova recommends conditioning your leather once a month for best results. 

I live in MN, so getting in and out of our vehicle in the winter is sure to track in snow and moisture. This product is supposed to help your leather repel moisture, which will be very helpful to us in the coming months. 

I am very happy to have Leather Nova's Leather cleaning and conditioning line to keep my vehicles interior looking new. I highly recommend this product to anyone looking to maintain leather surfaces. My leather looks great and doesn't have that greasy feel. 

Leather Nova also sells a Cleanser/Conditioner combo (which also comes with an applicator sponge). Great for quick touch ups, but personally, I'd prefer to have the cleaner and conditioner separate. Cleansers are meant to remove everything and not leave a residue, conditioners are meant to adhere to the surface to help restore it. I don't feel that combining the two can give the best results. 

Leather Nova Leather Conditioner can be purchased on Amazon on sale for $15.97, normally $29.95.

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.

Maintaining Leather Seats Despite Kids and Dogs

My husband got me a wonderful gift for my 30th birthday... an new van! Well, it was new to us anyway. When we got the van it was perfectly clean; no dust, no streaky windows, nice leather interior! It didn't take long before our new van looked lived in. Cracker crumbs, dog fur and dust were everywhere. While I could vacuum the carpeting, and wash the windows, I wasn't sure what to do with the leather. I almost used baby wipes, but figured I should have a cleaner specifically for leather.

Leather Nova sells a line of cleaner, conditioner and a cleaner/conditioner combo specifically tailored toward leather. Whether you'll be cleaning your vehicle seats, shoes, wallet or coat, Leather Nova will keep your leather items looking clean and renewed. 

Leather Nova's leather cleaner is easy to use. It comes in a spray bottle and includes a microfiber cloth. The cleaning process is easy. Start by spraying the surface you want to clean (or spraying the cleaner right onto a microfiber cloth) and massage in circular motion to lift dirt and debris. Then use a dry microfiber cloth to remove dirt and dust from the leather's surface.

This is what the cleaner picked up on the passenger side of my dashboard. I couldn't even tell it was that dirty. The cleaner is easy to use and very effective without harming my leather or plastic interior.

Leather Nova Leather Cleaner is made in the US. It is free of harsh chemicals which I love because I have three kids and a dog... all of which have the urge to periodically lick things. I know, it's gross! But at least I know my seats are clean and toxin free! 

After using the Leather Nova's Leather Cleaner it is best to follow up with the Leather Conditioner. There is also a combo Conditioner/Cleaner that can be used between for touch ups. I personally like to use a separate cleaner and conditioner. I feel that each has a specific purpose and work best on their own. 

You can purchase Leather Nova Leather Cleaner on Amazon currently for $16.95, normally $29.95.

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.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bump to Birthday ---- Journal Your Pregnancy and Baby's First Year

Thank you From You To Me for the Bump to Birthday journal.

All pregnancies and babies are different. As moms we like to remember everything that happened during our pregnancies and once our children have been born. Instead of writing everything down on the calendar and then having to go through every month to remember significant events you have had during pregnancy or after your baby was born, you could get a great journal to help you record all of those moments --- good or bad!

Bump to Birthday journal was designed to do just that! From the moment you find out you are pregnant to your little one's first birthday, you'll have all of your experiences documented and organized in an easy to find, fun to use journal.

The Bump to Birthday journal starts out with information about mommy and daddy and how you found out you were pregnant. The journal then continues with weekly gestational updates from 9 through 40+ weeks. Each week has a description of baby at that week of gestation as well as a space to write what has been going on and how you have been feeling.

Next the journal goes through baby's birth! Labor, delivery and birth stats. Followed by a section devoted to baby's first month. The last section is all about baby's firsts, ending with baby's first birthday. 

The color scheme and bird theme are perfect for your baby boy or girl! Work through the journal with mama bird. 

I really like the design and layout of this book. It is a great pregnancy journal. I like that it has detailed information for each week of pregnancy and space for photos and jotting down notes. I also like the section on all the first. 

There are two things I think this book is missing. First, I like to have a chart to document when my child's teeth come in. For some reason I find it fun comparing how fast/slow, soon/late their teeth come in. That being said, there is a "Notes" section that could be used for this. Second, it doesn't have journaling space for each month in the first year. There is a growth chart that gives you space to write height and weight for each month until the first year, but there isn't space to write down what your child is doing in each month. The firsts section does cover all of that info, but I guess I just like to have it organized a little differently.  

All in all, this is a very cute journal that would be the perfect gift for yourself or someone else when pregnancy arrives! A great way to document all of those pregnancy ups and downs as well as your baby's birth and many firsts! 

You can purchase the Bump To Birthday journal from From You to Me for $29.95.

Disclosure: I received the product pictured above in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and 100% honest. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

My Growing Up Chart {review}

There are many battles I face with my children on a daily basis. Some I have to choose to ignore, some I have to deal with, and others seem so simple that if my son would just do what I ask of him we'd save ourselves unnecessary frustration.

Waking up and getting ready for the day seems to be one of our biggest struggles. My son fights to put on his clothes, brush his teeth and use the bathroom. He's only 5 years old, I can't imagine what the teenage years are going to be like.

Since we started homeschooling this year, I knew we had to come up with a better routine to make our mornings easier on all of us.

My Growing Up Chart takes some of the wrinkles out of our morning routine, making for a happier mommy and a better start to our day. My Growing Up Chart is a sticker reward chart that encourages independence and responsibility in elementary school age children.

Each chart comes with 10 activity stickers and 6 blank ones to fill in your own activities. There are also 12 stickers of each number 1-20 that you apply to the chart as your child finishes each activity or task. There are also star stickers that read "Great Job" for when you child deserves that extra boost for doing great things! The stickers are re-usable. So once your child earns all 20 stickers you can put them back on the sheet and start over. You can even change out the activity stickers as needed. The chart comes with four square shaped double sided adhesive pads for attaching your My Growing Up Chart to the wall or refrigerator. A dry erase marker is also included in the package so you can write on the chart as needed.

Not sure how to use the chart when you get it? No problem! It comes with a "How To" guide to help you get the most out of your rewards chart. 

I was actually surprised at how well Squirrel (5 years-kindergarten) does with this chart. As I was setting it up I was trying to think of a reward for when he got all 20 stickers, but decided not to give an additional reward.  He has been more eager to get dressed and brush his teeth since implementing the My Growing Up Chart. He'll often remind me that he gets a sticker when he completes a task, if I haven't had to ask him then I'll also give him a star sticker.

I feel as though My Growing Up Chart positively affects our morning routine. If I could be diligent with it everyday and stay proactive, we could eliminate or morning struggles completely. I do see this chart helping my child grow some independence and responsibility for himself. The stickers are truly reusable. The bottom of our chart is at the perfect level for my 2 year old. He likes to move the number stickers to cover the eyes of the characters on the activity stickers. I have moved them back several times and they are still sticky! 

I'm happy to have found something that helps smooth out our morning routine. Starting off the day on the right foot makes for a straight path for the rest of the day! 

Buy it: You can purchase My Growing Up Chart on Amazon for $18.99.

What part of your day seems to be the most challenging? Have you tried a rewards chart to make it easier? 

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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Truffles

If you know me personally or follow Just Me and the Boys Facebook page, you know that fall means Pumpkin Spice everything!

Some of my favorite pumpkin flavors include Dairy Queen Pumpkin Pie Blizzard, Caribou Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin Spice coffee creamer as well as pumpkin bars and desserts of all sorts.

Last week my mom sent me a link about Oreo's release of Pumpkin Spice cookies! I almost left immediately for Target to get some. Unfortunately it took a couple days for me to actually make a trip to Target. None-the-less, I knew I wanted to make some no-bake truffles with these cookies! After I got the cookies I wasted no time!

You only need four ingredients:
  • 1- package Pumpkin Spice Oreos
  • 1- 8 oz. package cream cheese
  • 3- boxes Bakers white chocolate
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)
Directions (makes approximately 24 cookies):
  1. Crush the whole package of Oreos (or most of them... 1 or 2 may have fallen into my mouth). I find a food processor does the best job. But if you don't have one, some elbow grease with wooden spoon in a bowl will do the trick.
  2. Mix all crushed Oreo with cream cheese until you no longer see any chunks of cream cheese. If you have made other versions of Oreo truffles in the past, your 'badder' will be a bit more creamy. The pumpkin spice cream isn't as firm as other Oreo creams.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Make 1" balls from your badder and place them on the cookie sheet, then place in freezer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Melt white chocolate according to directions. Dip each cookie ball into the chocolate and roll around until completely covered and place back on wax paper.
  5. After about every three truffles (avoid letting chocolate to set) sprinkle on some pumpkin pie spice for garnish. 
  6. Store in an air tight container in refrigerator. They may also be frozen for longer keep! 

These no-bake truffles are seriously good! If you like all things pumpkin then you have to give them a try! 

Let me know what you think! Will you be trying these?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Green Baking with Silicone Baking Cups & Black and White Oreo Cupcakes {easy recipe}

Thank you Galley Essential for the baking cups!

Are you always looking for ways to generate less waste? Silicone baking cups will provide you with a fun re-usable solution!

Galley Essentials Silicone Baking cups come in a package of 12 in four fun bright colors! Some of the benefits of silicone baking cups include a wash and reuse product, the ability to color code if you have gluten free, vegan and traditional baked goods, and the help your cupcakes or muffins bake evenly. These baking cups have a temperature range of -40F to 446F.

I had two concerns when I first tried these:

   Is it going to be hard to get my cupcakes out?
   How easy will they be to wash?

Wash the baking cups before using. The packaging also said that you may add cooking spray if desired. I prefer not to use cooking spray, I have found that ruins my non stick products and is difficult to wash off.

Silicone baking cups hold their shape so you can place them right on a cookie sheet rather than using a muffin pan (who likes washing those?!).

After baking my cupcakes I got to test out my first question; would they come out easily?

Yes! It was surprisingly easy! The cups are flexible and flip inside out leaving you with a perfect cupcake! Sure, some of the cake sticks to the side of the baking cup, but you'll loose even more of your cupcake goodness if you're using paper cups.

Now for the washing. I have used a silicone cupcake pan in the past. Not only was it difficult to get cupcakes and muffins out of, but it was also difficult to wash. After the first time using it I threw it away. These are completely different! These individual cups are easy to rinse clean under water and swish around in bowl of soapy water to remove all residue. Flipping the cup inside out makes it so you can get into all corners of the baking cup.

Black and White Oreo Cupcakes Recipe:

       What you need:

  • 1 box moist yellow cake mix (and ingredients listed on back of package)
  • 1 package Oreo cookies (chocolate cookie on one side, golden on other)
  • chocolate frosting

       What to do:
  1. Prepare cake mix as directed on packaging (preheat oven)
  2. Place on Oreo cookie golden side up in each baking cup.
  3. Add prepared cake mix to silicon baking cups to 2/3 full.
  4. Bake as directed. Allow to cool completely. 
  5. Add chocolate frosting.
  6. Enjoy! :)
If you have never had a cookie in a cupcake, be prepared for yumminess (I may have made up that word)! Now I just have to make sure I make cupcakes with at least two of each color silicone cup so the boys aren't both fighting over pink... yes, they fight over pink!

These silicone cup aren't just for baking! Use them to sort foods in a lunch box or to make a colorful presentation at snack or meal time! Put your grapes in purple, your carrots in blue and your dip in green! What child wouldn't enjoy eating their snack out of these fun cups?

You could also make frozen yogurt pops! Just fill your baking cups with your favorite yogurt, put a wooden stick in the middle and freeze! 

You can purchase your Galley Essentials Silicone Baking Cups on Amazon. Get 12 cups for only $10.99! But, Galley Essentials is offering my readers $3.00 off! Use coupon code TOM25OFF to get 12 cups for $7.99! Happy Baking!

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, September 19, 2014

Protect Your Baby from the Sun and Bugs While Baby Wearing

Thank you Shaidee for the product samples!

With three kids, getting outdoors is very important. It is essential that I get the two older kids outside to release some energy. Sun protection is high priority. While I can lather Squirrel (5 years) and Bug (2 years) in sunscreen, I can't do the same thing for my newborn.

When we go out I'll often carry Evie (2 months) in a soft structured buckle carrier. She likes to be close mama! Being a newborn, when she is in the carrier not much of her is exposed. Only the top of her head and part of her legs. I have tried putting a hat on her head, but because her head is almost below the top of the carrier, I can't get it to stay in place. So I have have to hold the hat on her head. I even thought "there's got to be something better!"... and there is!

The Shaidee Sun Cover is a visor that you wrap around your chest to protect your child in a front position baby carrier (wrap, soft structured buckle, sling etc) from harmful UV rays.

The Shaidee Sun Cover is light weight yet sturdy so it won't blow around in the wind, but at the same time it is soft enough to be pulled back so you can check on your baby. The Shaidee Sun Cover has a padded band with a bit of elastic which wraps around your body and is secured with hook and loop. This one size fits all design makes it easy to transfer between you and your spouse without having to adjust any clips or buckles.

You can also use your Shaidee Sun Cover on a stroller or carseat.

Some things to keep in mind while using the Shaidee sun visor:
  • While baby wearing you always want your baby's head to be "close enough to kiss". That means the visor will be high on your chest.
  • Check on your baby frequently. The visor is made so you can fold it over to check on baby. It isn't super easy to do, but must be done to make sure your baby's airways are open at all times.

Just this summer Shaidee added another product to their line-up. Shaidee Bug is a netting that you can use with or without your Shaidee sun cover to protect your child from biting insects as well as UV rays.

The bug cover is lined with elastic to hug your body and completely surround your baby. This loose fabric is breathable and shiny to reflect sunlight and has 50+UPF. There is a buckle that clips behind your back and velcro that attaches to your Shaidee visor to keep the netting in place. The velcro has a fold over tab so when it is not in use you don't have to worry about it nagging your bug netting.

In Minnesota our summers are short and filled with mosquitoes and biting flies!  Shaidee's Nettee allows me to enjoy the great outdoors with my baby! Best part, I don't have to use chemicals on her! 

Shaidee is made in Canada and can be purchased on their website! Shaidee Sun Cover sells for $39.99 and comes in black or white. Shaidee Bug Cover sells for $19.99. You can purchase both as a set for only $49.99!

Visit Shaidee on Facebook and Twitter

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, September 12, 2014

Charge Your Phone On-the-Go with +Lifeguard Mini

I know you've been there. In that moment when you need to use your phone, but but the battery image is blinking red and you only have 2% charge left. You start making your phone call. You hear "hello" then silence. When you pull your phone away from your ear all you see is a black screen.

That won't be happening to me again any time soon, as long as I have my +LIFEGUARD Mini with me. This super handy back-up phone battery/ portable charger saves you when you forgot to charge your phone or when you've been using it all day long without being able to plug it in. 

This Samsung battery is reliable with 3000mAh giving you the ability to charge your device and have some battery power to spare! 

+LIFEGUARD comes with two cables. One has a USB connector and DC 5V on the other end. The other has USB and Apple Lightning cable on the other end. 

With these two cables, you can charge (almost) any Android phone or tablet, iPhone, iPad or iPod!

The +LIFEGUARD charger easily fits in your hand. If you can fit lipstick in your purse, you can fit this charger in your purse! Charge the battery using a USB port on your computer or with a USB outlet adapter (not included). Batter will charge faster in an outlet.

When the battery is charging you will see a red light. When the battery is connected to your device, you will see a blue indicator light. 

This battery is so small and packed with charge that it is super easy for me to take with me everywhere. I keep it in my purse or diaper bag. I never know when I will be in a situation where I'll need it. Especially with three young children, I don't want to be caught in an emergency situation with a dead cell phone. 

You can order the +LIFEGUARD Mini on Amazon in three different colors; silver, black or pink. Right now it is on sale for $24! 

Where have you been and what have you been doing when your cell phone battery died? 

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, September 4, 2014

$150 Visa Gift Card Giveaway from Pure Crafted Beds


Welcome to the $150 Visa Gift Card Giveaway Event
Sponsored by Pure Crafted Beds

Pure Crafted Beds is a company who knows Beds. Their factory was started in 1946 and is still owned by the original family and into their third generation! They began by renovating porch furniture and mattresses in the 1940's, to a modern manufacturing facility located in Lansing, Michigan. They've been in business close to 70 years and have brought forth an amazing selection of products that will give you a great night's sleep. Your comfort is their business! Each bed is "hand-crafted" and they always strive to provide the best value for each customer, whether at $299 or $2,999. They carry two basic mattresses the TruEssence and TruSlumber. The only difference between the two beds is the core foam layer, and the TruSlumber bed does not have a base layer of foam. This helps reduce the overall height of the bed, which makes it perfect for children, bunk beds, and other situations where a thinner mattress is required! However the unsurpassed quality remains the same in both!


One of the most fantastic features of Pure Crafted Beds is their use of an innovative product called the Eco Shield Cover. Every Pure Crafted Bed has this unique EcoShield cover. This amazing cover is resistant to bed bugs, dust mites, mosquitoes, and moths... all without any artificial chemicals!


The proprietary EcoShield fabric is infused with Geraniol, a natural plant extract which provides all natural protection. Many anti-bed bug and dust mite products on the market today use synthetic chemicals. EcoShield® is the first product that is truly 100% natural, with no artificial chemical additives that uses a unique micro-capsule delivery system for long-lasting effects! Through a special process the Geraniol is infused into our EcoSheild® cover, and is slowly released over time as movement occurs on the


EcoShield® is Scientifically Proven!

To find out more on how these beds are made head over to the video below! Sleep equals health, Don't trust your sleep to just any mattress.

Good night, sleep tight! Get yourself a full night of rest! Not only on a comfortable mattress but on one that you know is free of chemicals and will keep the bugs away.

Thanks to Pure Crafted Beds One winner will get a $150 Visa Gift Card Giveaway ends September 26 at 11:59pm, open to US ages 18+. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact if you have any additional questions or comments.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Piczzle - Turn Your Favorite Photo into a Puzzle

Piczzle Photo Puzzles are a great way to turn your photos into interactive keepsakes. If you ever get you pictures off of your phone or camera SD card, more than likely you're making a print, placing it in a frame, and hanging it on the wall. With Piczzle you can turn your photo into a picture puzzle!

Piczzle is an internet based company that will turn your digital images into high quality jigsaw puzzles. You can turn your picture into a wooden or cardboard puzzle. There are different borders to choose from as well as a couple size options and the choice of how many puzzle pieces you would like. The picture puzzles can be personalized as well. You could gift Piczzle for a birthday, anniversary or even as a thank you.

I received a medium cardboard picture puzzle. I chose to use this picture of my children, which happens to be the first good picture I have of all three of them.

The Piczzle puzzle came in a box with a copy of the photo on the top. The puzzle pieces were in a zipper plastic bag for easy storage in, or out, of the box. 

I was very pleased with the quality of the puzzle. The image is very clear, so great in fact that it almost looks like you could reach out and grab the grass. The pieces are a thick cardboard and seem very durable. I do think the puzzle image could use an additional coating to protect the image. After my two year old got a hold of the pieces he scratched them up a bit.  

 When I ordered the puzzle I had intended to put it together then  puzzle glue it so I could put it on display. But then I changed my mind. My 5 year old really enjoyed putting this puzzle together and has asked to do so many more times. He really enjoys putting together this puzzle because it has a picture of him and his siblings. While I won't be letting my toddler play with it anymore, my oldest and I will enjoy putting it together over and over again.

Whether you choose a picture of family, pets or an image from your recent vacation to the mountains, you'll be pleased when you turn your picture into a puzzle with Piczzle. 

You can purchase your own Piczzle puzzle using your favorite photo by visiting the Piczzle website.

Visit Piczzle Photo Puzzles on Facebook. 
View Piczzle Photo Puzzles on YouTube. 

Win it!! That's right. Piczzle is giving one of my readers a small cardboard puzzle! 

Entrants must be in the US and be 18 years or older.
Winner will be emailed with in 24 hours of giveaway close and will have 24 hours to respond and claim prize before a new winner is chosen.
Enter below using the Giveaway Tools widget.

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, July 17, 2014

Baby Evie's Birth Story

I have delivered three babies. None of my labors and deliveries went as I had planned. This one was no exception.

Squirrel was born via c-section after 18 hours of labor. I was eventually convinced I needed the c-section after the Dr. gave me the diagnosis "failure to progress".  Or in other words "normal, but long labor". Anyway, after he was born, I did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that my c-section was unnecessary. 

When I found out I was pregnant with Bug, I had already made the decision to have an un-medicated VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarian). After more than two days of labor pains and no sleep, I caved to an epidural. But had a successful VBAC! Even though I decided to have the epidural, I still had a great birth experience.

Then there is Evie, after A LOT of research, we decided to have a homebirth. Besides the fact that I have long labors, I have had uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries. After meeting with a midwife, we were confident in our decision to have a homebirth. 

Well, at 39 weeks, 3 days, labor began. Early that morning I started getting contractions. My husband was out with some friends the night before, so I let him sleep and the boys and I went for a walk to the park so I could see if contractions were going to pick up or subside. On the way to the park the contractions got further apart, so for a short period of time I thought it was false labor. But after sitting there for a while, they picked up again. I figured it was time to head home. 

On the way home contractions were about 3 minutes apart. I woke my husband and told him that I had been having contraction and was going to call the midwife. My next bathroom trip I had some bloody show, which typically indicates real labor. I called my midwife. She came out to check me, then left to run some errands in the area. She came back later and we determined that it was in fact real labor, as my contractions were picking up and my cervix was dilating. 

We sent the boys off to grandma and grandpa's house then started getting ready for delivery. We set up the birth pool, got the bed and floor prepared, and supplies set up. By mid afternoon I really had to concentrate to get through contractions and a few hours later I was really struggling.

I couldn't wait to get into the birth pool. From what I had heard, it was great pain relief! Unfortunately, it didn't help like I had hoped. I couldn't wait for it to be over. I must have been about 8 centimeters when my body started pushing in the middle of contractions. If you've never had that experience, it is insane! You can completely let your body lead, nobody needs to tell you what to do. 

After a few of those 'pushing' contraction I got out of the pool to use the bathroom. During a contraction on the toilet (with my midwife listening to the baby's heart rate), my water broke. This is when concern hit my midwife. The amniotic fluid contained blood. She got me into the bedroom and continued to monitor the baby. After each contraction, baby's heart rate started to drop. 

Because I had a c-section in my history. My midwife had a second midwife present during my labor. They had conversed about the heart rate dropping and the presence of blood in my water. They decided that a hospital transfer was necessary. They believed my placenta was separating. 9-1-1 was called and an ambulance was on the way. At this point I was asked to avoid pushing. Have you ever been told not to push when your body wants to push. I had heard it was a difficult task, but I couldn't believe just how difficult it was to keep myself from allowing my body to push.

By the time I was in the ambulance I was 10 centimeters. My goal at this point was to get the baby out. Fortunately, by the time we got to the hospital (less than 5 miles from my house), her heart rate was back where it should have been and was no longer dropping with contractions. 

This whole time I was calm, given the circumstances. I was just praying that God would help me get through. I was overcome with peace. A feeling that everything was going to be OK. I was going to be OK. My baby was going to be OK.

The problem with the hospital I was going to was that they don't do VBACs. Being that I live so close to the hospital, they didn't have to operating room ready when I got there so they sent me to the ER, at this point it was shortly after midnight.

With each contraction I was pushing, pushing hard. The Dr. wanted me to get the baby out as fast as I could to avoid further complications and to avoid bringing me upstairs to the OR because he feared I would deliver in the hallway. My midwife and I wanted to get the baby out fast because neither of us wanted me to have another unnecessary c-section. So I pushed with all I had. 

Not too many contractions later, I delivered my baby girl. I had an un-medicated VBAC in the emergency room of a hospital that does not do VBACs. 

She was perfect. She was healthy. I was fine.

Hindsight is 20/20, right? Was a hospital transfer necessary? Not in the final scheme of things. But there was a possibility that things could have gone wrong. To take that risk at home would have been foolish.

How did your actual labor and deliver compare to your birth plan? Were you disappointed with your Dr. or midwife if things didn't go as planned?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dr. Carey's Baby Care Guide Review and Giveaway

Whether you're a first time mom or a veteran mom, you may come across challenges with caring for your infant. Dr. Carey's Baby Care book will get you through your baby's first year.

Not exactly sure how to take care of your newborn's umbilical stump? Wondering what the rash is on your 7 month old? Or how to swaddle and calm your little one?

With 80 pages containing 120 color photos, it is a short read, easy to flip through manual that'll answer many baby care questions. 

The book includes multiple photos depicting common newborn and infant rashes from baby acne to salmon patch. Each image clearly shows the differences in the many types of rashes your little one may have. 

Fevers are also explained in this book. Did you know that a fever is registered differently depending on the thermometer method you use (temporal vs. oral or rectal)?

Newborn reflexes such as the rooting and sucking reflex and the startle reflex are explained. 

Dr. Carey's experience with infants has shown him how comforting swaddling can be for an upset infant. He includes a step-by-step guide to swaddle and calm your infant.

Dr. Carey's Baby Guide book is a great easy go-to reference. 

You can buy it on Amazon for $14.95 in paper back, or on Kindle for $9.95.

Would you like to win your own copy of Dr. Carey's book and two swaddle blankets? Enter through the widget below! Must be 18 year or older and a US resident. Just Me and the Boys is not responsible for prize shipment.

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.