Tag - dads

Life Lessons from a Baby {Guest Post}

When my teacher-friend asked me to babysit her infant at the start of the school year, I jumped on the chance. Please. I am an old pro. My children are 18-, 12-, and 11- years-old. Within the first week of having him, I realized I didn’t know much. This baby, someone else’s child, has changed my life.

Baby ELife lessons from a six-month-old:

Don’t wish infanthood [childhood] away.

*E’s mom has mentioned it several times. I vaguely remember it myself. All the late-night feedings, unpredictability, and most of all, the sheer amount of packing that is required to transport an infant anywhere is overwhelming. When you’re exhausted you think, “Goodness, I can’t wait until s/he can ____.”

I have literally watched E go from doing things he couldn’t do the day before to doing them like a champ. Like sit up unassisted. He is now starting to crawl. It is amazing to watch. I barely remember my own children reaching these milestones.

Now that my own children are becoming increasingly more self-sufficient, I don’t want to miss anything. I won’t say that I haven’t wished time would speed up when one of the tweens is having an attitude, but I am doing my best to enjoy the last few years of childhood we have left. Read More

Pumpkin Carving Tips

Are you getting ready for a spooktacular Halloween? Mr. Handyman has some great pumpkin carving techniques in their Pumpkin Carving with Power Tools video. The video is much tamer than the title suggests. It’s hilarious but still very informative. It also provides insight on gutting a pumpkin quickly with a really cool new tool, creating star patterns using a cordless drill, and lots of awesome ideas that I know most of us have never thought about.

The Mr. Handyman blog has step-by-step instructions for each of the carving techniques in the video, as well as free printable pumpkin carving patterns, including: Bats, Cat, Crescent Moon, Howling Wolf, Cute Jack-o-Lattern, Scary Jack-o-Lanterns, Skull, Ghost, and Scarecrow.

Check it out and tell me if you plan on using any of the techniques shared by Mr. Handyman or if you decorate your pumpkins in a different way.

This is a sponsored video post from Mr. Handyman. The opinions expressed in this post are my own words and thoughts yours may vary.

How Clean is Green Works®?

Clorox LogoWhen I first saw Green Works® products in the cleaning aisle of my grocery store I thought, “Hey, that’s a great way to go green without spending extra in my budget.” And I bought the Green Works® Naturally Derived All-Purpose Cleaner because it was the same price as their other lines that I normally used. I loved the smell of the products and the fact that I could clean without having extra residue on my counters was an added bonus.

Here are the items I got to check out and my thoughts on them:

  • Green Works® Naturally Derived Cleaning Wipes because these wipes are made from things like citric acid and wood fibers the smells that normally bother me in a cleaning wipe are greatly reduced. I have asthma and allergies so often times when I’m using cleaning wipes I’ll cough and sneeze the entire time, with these however I found I didn’t have that issue. I think it’s cool too that they’re 100% biodegradable.
  • Green Works® Naturally Derived All-Purpose Cleaner  was already a favorite of mine before this review, and continues to be that. I love the smell of the cleaner and it really gets the job done too. I think often times with non-conventional cleaning products the worry is that it won’t clean as well, this worry is put to bed by this all-purpose cleaner. I love how I can use it anywhere in my home, and use it mostly on my counter tops.
  • Green Works® Laundry Detergent is great. Normally we buy the “free” detergents, free of dyes, free of color because our skin is a little sensitive. I found out though that this laundry detergent was specifically dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin. There are no phosphates, optical brighteners or harsh chemical residue to irritate skin. And I can even use it although I have a high-efficiency (HE) washer. One really cool thing about this detergent, in my opinion is a very, very small detail, the detergent drain. At least that’s the name I gave it. I don’t know about you, but often times I use the cap to dispense my detergent and the next time I go to get more the excess detergent that gets caught on the rim leaks all over me, the floor, and the clothes. This detergent has a neat little slit that lets that residual detergent filter back into the main compartment of the container, and I LOVE it. {Yes little things do make me happy.}
  • Green Works® Naturally Derived Bathroom Cleaner is made with plant- and mineral-based cleaning ingredients that help clean up soap scum and the other yuckies that exist in the bathroom. {Yes, I said “yuckies”}. DaddyB HATES the smell of another popular bathroom cleaner brand, although it doesn’t particular phase me, so the Green Works® option makes him much happier and he’s even offered to help me clean the bathrooms more because of it, {thanks Clorox!}

Clorox Green Works Products

All in all I really like the Green Works® line of products, and while they’re not necessarily the “greenest” product out there, I love that there is an alternative to the harsher chemicals that is affordable and a step in the right direction when it comes to the environment and our families.

For more information on Green Works® and to find out where you can purchase their products to clean your home check out their webite at http://www.greenworkscleaners.com and like them Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/greenworks

 

I received a full line of Green Works products in order to give my honest opinions about their products. The opinions expressed in this post are my, uninfluenced, opinions, however yours may vary.

Is Your Home as Safe as You Think? {Guest Post}

I thought my house was pretty child-safe until last week.

See I have this 3-year old little boy who is pretty rambunctious, not unlike most boys. He likes to climb and jump and explore which often gets him into dangerous situations. So like most good parents we are we took precautions and “child-proofed” out home the best we could. We anchored tall furniture to the wall, moved medicines to closed cabinets, locked up cleaning chemicals, fixed long cords on the blinds and covered outlets. We thought we had a safe home… until last week.

Last week I had a pretty bad sinus headache and was taking Ibuprofen to help me remain functional. I left the “child-safe” bottle on my nightstand not thinking my 3-year old could open it. Low-and-behold I turn around for 30-seconds and there he stood with the bottle opened helping himself to some “candy”.

Bottle

Then last Sunday my husband was moving around some furniture and of course the 3-year old had to help. My husband asked our son to get something from the other room and apparently my son misunderstood and started taking the drawers out of a short dresser. Then, just like that he applied his weight to one of the opened drawers and the whole thing tipped over. It wasn’t a tall dresser either.

Dresser

Fortunately, he was safe and his only injury was a pinched finger. We are beyond blessed and are now reassessing the safety in our home. {Here’s a link on my site about the dresser incident: http://thebkeepsushonest.blogspot.com}

Here are a few tips for checking the safety of your home:

Test Your Furniture – Tall furniture should ALWAYS be anchored to the wall but even short furniture may need to be secured. Pull out the drawers and see if the weight is distributed evenly enough to keep full drawers from tipping the dresser over. (Also, check your TV and other large appliances)

Lock It Up – Anything that would be deadly in the hands of child should be locked up ALL THE TIME. Medicines, Weapons, Tools, ETC. You may think hiding them in a closet or drawer may be a safe spot but little ones are curious and like to explore forbidden areas.

Think Like A Child – Get down on the floor and look at each room from the vantage point of a child. Pick out things that might be tempting to mess with and secure or move those things. Cover outlets and power strips. Move breakables out of reach.

Invite a Child to Your Home – If you are expecting or have a wee little baby that isn’t mobile yet I’d suggesting inviting a toddler into your home. They will very quickly point out the areas of your home that need to be childproofed.

Accidents can happen to anyone regardless of how many precautions you take but knowing you’ve done
everything you can to keep your kids out of harms way will give you peace of mind.

Jessica Jessica Lieb lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband, Joe, and sons, Jude, 3yrs and Noah, 3mo. She is the founder of The B Keeps Us Honest where she writes about life with all boys, Star Wars, chocolate, local favorites and products for parents.

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New Bratz Masquerade Dolls Commercial Too Sexy

Bratz Masquerade Dolls Too Sexy

Obviously you know my standpoint on little girls being seen as objects of anyone’s lust from my post Bikini Babes. In that post I talked about how some children’s swimwear showed off way too much skin with itty bitty revealing bikinis. Now, the infamous Bratz Dolls are cannon-balling back into the suggestive-but-we-dont-really-care-because-we-know-that-we-can-make-a-lot-of-cash pool, and as usual causing controversy with their latest Bratz Masquerade Dolls commercial.

While watching a kids television show with my girls, this Bratz Masquerade Doll commercial appeared, and I honestly could not believe my eyes. Take a look and see if you notice anything that may be questionable to you…

Here’s what I imagine the MGA Entertainment marketing meeting was like:

Marketing Team:

“Girls in bustiers check, bra straps showing check, loads of makeup check, short skirts check, 4 inch heels check, boys ogling them check, perfect!:

“Yes it is, but what age do we market this toy to?”

“Hmmm, how about 6 to 10 year olds?

“That sounds about right. Oh and it’ll be great if 2 to 4 year olds can see it on TV too, they are our future target market you know!”

Everyone knows that 6 to 10 year olds should want to wear scandalous clothes, and be objectified by boys to have fun at a masquerade ball, right?!?! Maybe they don’t know that, but perhaps it’s because their mothers never let them watch Moulin Rouge. Because if they had, they would know that it is perfectly normal to dress that way, see:

Bratz Masquerade Dolls Too Sexy

Now the dolls themselves aren’t as risque as the commercial, {don’t get me wrong though, they do come complete with their own, typical Bratz controversy}, but what are most little girls going to see first….the commercial. Again, I had to speak my peace and share my disgust with this commercial and the dolls in general. Wasn’t there any way Bratz and MGA Entertainment could have done a tasteful commercial for these less than wholesome dolls?

Marketing Team:

“Wholesome”, “Tasteful”, could you elaborate, we’re not quite following you on this one.

Sound off: What are your thoughts on the commercial?

Superior Taste Buds love h2o

When it comes to spring water I can honestly say I have my favorite,s and then there are those I just can’t stand the taste of. I’m not going to call any of them out in this post, however Daddy B thinks it’s funny that I even notice the difference in their taste, but I often tell him I have superior taste buds anyway. {Don’t laugh, I think it’s true.}

Recently, I was offered the chance to try out h20, a natural spring water from Canada, and I found that I really loved the taste of. I kid you not, it’s up there will my all-time favorite {or favourite if you’re from CA} waters, very crisp and totally refreshing, plus, it does NOT come in a plastic bottle, hooray!!

h2o Natural Spring Water

I’m not completely eco-friendly, however I do like to recycle and try to do my part. h2o’s packaging is 100% paper, from “responsibly sourced well managed forests, a renewable resource, unlike plastic bottles made from oil”.  And in my opinion the packaging is pretty too, see:

Here are some really great facts that I love about h2o and some random ones I found out on my own too:

  • h2o keeps contents safe up to 5 years compared to the 2 year shelf-life of plastic bottles
  • h2o does not roll around in the car if you drop it on the ground like other water bottles {yes this did actually happen to me}
  • h2o has “wings” {aka the flaps at the top that kids can hang on to so they don’t squeeze the drink} like our favorite paper milk and juice box containers
  • h2o, even though the bottle is not see-through, has really great packaging so those of you who are bothered by not being able to “see” what you are drinking can look down the top and see for yourself, crystal clear.

This great water is available for purchase on their website http://www.h2Ospringwater.com in singles and packs, and in single 16.9 ounce bottles at Super K-marts. Pricing is average in my opinion and for the taste of the water I’d personally pay a little more than they are asking, but that may just be my superior taste buds talking 😉

Also, h2O has also launched a special online sweepstakes. One winner is randomly chosen every 2 days to win a Rio DVD and a 6-pack of h2O natural spring water. Check out rules and enter at h2Ospringwater.com now through September 30, 2011 (at 11:59 p.m. PST).

Do you have a favorite spring water? If so, what brand is it?

 

 

I received samples from h2o and their partners in order to complete this review. The samples in no way effect my opinions on the product. The words above are my own, completely honest opinions. Thank you for taking the time to read the review and if you have any questions or comments I would love to hear them! 

 

 

Dearfoams Slippers {Guest Post}

Dearfoams LogoCall them what you will – house shoes, slippers, bedroom shoes—I call them love. Slipping on my pink terry thongs from Dearform are like wrapping my feet in a hug from a best friend. If I were forced to wear only one pair of shoes for the rest of my life, it would be these house shoes.

As a person that 1) Does not like to wear shoes, and 2) Does not like things sticking to the bottom of her feet, these house shoes fit the bill—perfectly. Unfortunately for me, my husband has put the kibosh on my wearing my favored footwear past the mail box. His philosophy is that, “House shoes are for the HOUSE.”

Dearfoam DF726 Pink Berry StripeThe cushioned soles hold up beautifully to the number of miles I can put on just by simply walking about the house. The thong style emphasizes my love of flip-flops and to not feel confined and overheated by a full house shoe.

I’ve looked at other house shoes in the past and regrettably purchased other brands that promised the same comfort that Dearform slippers offer. My frugal side reasoned that the lesser-priced slippers could not be superior to the Dearforms. Lesson learned, however. Those so-called comparable brands would be somewhat satisfactory for a week or so, but alas, in too-short time the cushioned-sole would have broken down, or a strap would have broken, or some other malady forcing me to purchase an alternate pair.

When I was asked to review a pair of Dearforms, I couldn’t send my reply back fast enough. I knew that these were the Cadillacs of bedroom slippers, and it was my turn to take them for a drive. I will be forever grateful for my chance to give my input. Don’t let the price of the slippers fool you. It is worth the extra investment. The life you will get out of them will only cost pennies in comparison to the cost of replacing multiple lesser-quality brands.

Time will take its toll on my review pair of house shoes. And when that sad day comes, I will mourn until my replacement pair comes.

Heather Bio Pic

Disclosure: I received no compensation for writing this post other than the review pair of house shoes/ slippers/bedroom shoes. All opinions, while thought to be true, are mine. I Blog with Integrity.

 

Heather spends her days (and many late nights) trying to meet the demands of life as a wife, mother, and writer. She blogs about nothing in particular at Cool and Hip, I am Not and is occasionally spotted on Twitter @coolandhip.

Blue Bunny Giveaway: Chef Duff Goldman Ice Cream {CLOSED}

Blue Bunny LogoSummer is here and one of the biggest perks to summer {in my opinion} are delicious bowls full of ice cream. Whether you’re having a sundae party, grabbing your favorite flavors at a theme park, or just enjoying a scoop with your kids after a fun day of play Blue Bunny’s ice cream treats will hit the spot.

It seems like every weekend we have another children’s birthday party to attend and I grew up having ice cream and cake at each party I attended. Just like peanut butter and jelly, they went together, and now they’re being reunited to create amazing combinations. But it’s not just any cake and ice cream blend. Two of the industry’s leading producers of ice cream and cake are going to blow you away.

Chef Duff Goldman from the Food Network’s Ace of Cakes and Blue Bunny, the largest family-owned and operated ice cream manufacturer in the United States, have created 4 amazing flavor sensations for you and your family to enjoy this summer.

Okay, are you ready? The four Blue Bunny premium flavors are:

Blue Bunny Chef Duff Goldman Ice Cream

Red Carpet Red Velvet Cake – Red velvet cake flavored ice cream swirled with cream cheese frosting flavored ice cream and red velvet cake pieces.

Chocolate Lovers Triple Chocolate Cake – Decadent chocolate ice cream served up with fudgy chocolate cake pieces and dressed in ribbons of thick, chocolate frosting.

I Do! I Do! Wedding Cake – Celebrate the marriage of sweet buttercream frosting ice cream and white cake pieces all wrapped up in delicate ribbons of raspberry sauce.

Strawberries are Forever Shortcake – The sweet taste of strawberry ice cream and real strawberries mixed with pound cake pieces and swirls of whipped cream frosting. Read More

Who’s Your Daddy?

Daddy BeeFather’s Day is here! To some of you that means doing something special for the men, in particular, the fathers in your life. It could be your own father, a father by marriage, or the father(s) of your children, or sometimes it might be a man who’s stepped into the father role for you or your kids. There are so many definitions of fathers these days and so many great ways to celebrate those loved ones.

Father's Day Crafts

Personally, I am one for celebrating the “parent” holidays with family, however I also “get” the concept of a day away to do your own thing. This year my family will be celebrating daddy’s day by giving fun crafts {which the girls have already started since it’s Father’s Day weekend}, and going to a local theme park because after all DaddyB is The Coaster Critic. He already got some other gifts from us including a coaster trip to Texas where he got to visit a couple of area theme parks and enjoy their rides sans the B crew. So this year it’ll be a fun-filled family day. I’ll also be calling my father and father-in-law to wish them a happy day since they are both too far away this holiday.

Who’s your daddy? and What are you doing for Father’s Day this year??

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads in my life and my awesome daddy readers out there!

 

 

Birthday Bash Happy Birthday Little Miss A

In case you haven’t been keeping track Little Miss A turns 4 today! I can’t believe it’s been 4 years. To me, “four” sounds very old, like “I have a child old,” in some ways I’m very sad that Miss A is growing up, I miss our silly moments and know that just around the bend school is approaching. Believe me I am not rushing her into anything, and even though I know I will cry on her first day {calling it already}, it will be a great opportunity for her. As of yesterday she was telling everyone she was, “three and a half” so it’ll be great for her to finally say “four”.

Her official party will be this weekend which we are excited to celebrate and also share with you, but for now here is my big four year old. I love you Miss A!!! {photo by Barbara Payne Photography who will be featured at the end of the Birthday Bash this month with a giveaway}

Miss A Barbara Payne Photography

Is 4 a grown up age? At what age(s) do you think you’ll have a mini-breakdown about how old they are?