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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chocolate Date Balls - YUM!

I LOVE finding yummy recipes that have no sugar in them! This one is no exception. Even though I try to steer clear of refined sugar I have such a sweet tooth sometimes I just need something to satisfy my craving!

These were gone the day I made them. My husband loved them. My daughter loved them. And two days later I made another batch, which was no big deal since they only take 5 MINUTES to make!!!

Check out this simple recipe for Chocolate Date Balls:

1 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup walnuts (I took out the walnuts since my daughter is allergic)
1/4 cup rolled oats, not instant
1/4 cup cocoa or Carob powder

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until thoroughly combined. The mixture should look like a lumpy paste (I had to add a small amount of water). With slightly wet hands, roll paste into walnut-sized balls. Place on wax paper on a tray or plate and freeze until firm. Store in baggies in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. ( or for 2 days until they are inhaled!)

Happy eating!!

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Sweety Baby's New Line

It is with great excitement that I am announcing the newest line to my Sweety Baby Shop.....Personalized Name Trains!

A perfect addition to any child's room!

The trains are made of wooden magnetic segments and custom hand painted with water based, non-toxic, lead free, acrylic paint.

Each train can be painted with your favorite colors or to match your room decor.

Here is my daughters:

Now she only has to wait until Christmas to get it :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Woobie Shop Giveaway - Crayon Roll!

What a way to start out the week with a great giveaway! The Woobie Shop sells a variety of items including Woobies (DARLING security blankets!), Pacifier Clips and Crayon Caddies!

The Woobies (what a cute name!) have a cotton pattern on the front and minky on the back. Plus there are two loops attached, one on each side, to attach a multitude of things to like pacifiers, teething rings, toys or even to clip to a stroller! What an ingenius idea!

Check out this Green Dot Woobie:

In addition to the Woobies you can find a variety of Crayon Caddies. Why do you need a Crayon Caddy? Here's a few reasons...

They are a "great way to keep a little one entertained on the go, in restaurants, church, the car, airports, waiting rooms, etc. No more depending on restaurants for dirty crayons, or pulling broken or melted crayons out of a bag or purse. Great for kid's backpacks to protect crayons or just a cute way to organize them for school or home."

Need we say more?

Check these out!

The Caddy holds up to 20 standard crayons or 10 jumbo crayons, rolls shut and ties with an attached ribbon. The Caddies come with 10 standard crayons. If you wish to include a coloring/activity pad and an extra 10 crayons you can purchase the upgrade in the shop for $2.00. This covers the activity pad, crayons and extra shipping cost. What a great gift idea!

Now the best part is that the owner of The Woobie Shop is giving away one Crayon Caddy to one of you! And you get to pick which one!

Details, details, details...

To enter into the fantabulous giveaway:

1. You must be a follower of this blog
2. Visit The Woobie Shop and leave a comment here telling me which crayon roll you would love to win!

Additional entries: (please leave a comment per additional entry telling me you did so)
1. Add my blog button to your blog/website (leave url)
2. Add my Sweety Baby button to your blog/website (leave url)
3. Become a follower on twitter and tweet about this giveaway (leave username)
4. Blog about this giveaway (leave url)

The winner will be chosen at random next Monday, good luck!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hooter Hider Giveaway

Yay for nursing covers! And Hooter Hiders have the absolute cutest patterns I've seen. Your Mamas Reviews is hosting a giveaway for one lucky reader! http://yourmamareviews.com/your-mama-loves-hooter-hiders

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cookies for Sale!

These darling cookies look good enough to eat, yum!

Sophie Stanfield is closing down her shop and all remaining

cookie sets are selling for $5! What a deal!

These would make excellent party bag favors, gifts or decoration.

Check out her shop now for an amazing deal!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sweety Baby Sneak Peek

So I've been working on a new line of items for my Sweety Baby shop. I am pretty excited with how they have turned out so far. I have done two for my nephews and am working on my daughters as we speak. When hers is finished I will be listing them for sale in my shop for anyone to personalize!

How do they look?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blueberry - The Super Fruit

My daughter routinely will sit on the floor of our kitchen and eat an entire carton of blueberries. (Thank goodness I can get them at Aldi's for $0.99/carton!) Because of her high ingestion of the amazing fruit I am hoping she won't turn out like Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate factory :)

No, but seriously, did you ever realize how good blueberries are for you? I mean yeah they're a fruit and everything and obviously all things that God makes are good, but let's look at why THIS fruit is called the super fruit.

Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity per serving than over 20 fruits! Antioxidants help our bodies protect against disease and age-related health risks. Every day, our cells wage a battle against free radicals - unstable oxygen molecules associated with cancer, heart disease and the effects of aging. Dietary antioxidants come to the rescue. These phytonutrients, natural substances found in fruits and vegetables, neutralize free radicals and help prevent cell damage. Antioxidants also protect against inflammation, thought to be a leading factor in brain aging, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases of aging.

Look at these other amazing benefits:

1. Brain Health: Ongoing brain research shows that blueberries may improve motor skills and actually reverse the short-term memory loss that comes with aging, making blueberries a natural “brain food.”

2. Cancer Prevention: Research shows that blueberry compounds may inhibit all stages of cancer.

3. Heart Health: Research indicates that blueberries may protect against heart disease and damage from stroke.

4. Urinary Tract Health: Like cranberries, blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections.

5. Vision Health: Research around the world has indicated that blueberries may improve night vision and prevent tired eyes.

What more reasons do you need to eat this delectable fruit?

BKM Hattitude Review

This review is the first one not for children! Sometimes you just need to buy something for yourself right? Well take a look at these hats!
The other day I was thinking about how I should really invest in a hat for the summer months since the increasing exposure to the sun is leaving my face more freckled every year! And that very day I stumbled across BKM Hattitude. I was thrilled!

Check out these darling hats!!

The Janie hat:

The Enchanted hat:

Now the only problem is to figure out which one to buy....

Monday, June 22, 2009

A week of giveaways!!

The Vintage Pearl is hosting a week of giveaways, at least three each day! This is a week you don't want to miss. Head on over and check it out!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

And the winner is....

JC! Kid n Around Creations will be sending two darling finger puppets your way!!

Thanks to all who participated and check back for more great discounts/giveaways in the next couple of days!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

99 Balloons

Right after I wrote my last review about Burkeheart Baby's shop, this video was posted on a friend's page on Facebook. She said she almost cried from watching it. I sobbed through the last half....because I know that pain. I thought I would post it here. It seemed fitting to follow my last post with.

Shoes, shoes, shoes!!

What woman doesn't love shoes? And what mother can pass up the chance to buy her baby cute shoes? I swear my daughter has more pairs of cute shoes than I do!

When I stumbled across Burkeheart Baby on Etsy I was thrilled. Darling cloth shoes and SO affordable! Sized from 0-18 months, I know you will find that perfect shoe for your little one!

As I was putting together this review I read the owner, Gillian's profile on Etsy and it really tugged at my heart. She gives half of the proceeds of certain items in her shop to non-profit organizations who help families recover from losing a little one, something she personally experienced. As part of the grieving process she delved into knitting & sewing and has this amazing shop to show for it. Her son Burke was the inspiration behind her shop's name Burkeheart Baby.
As one who has lost a child in a miscarriage I know the pain all too well behind the loss of a child. I realize though that my pain must pale in comparison to one who was able to hold their little one in their arms, even if it was just for a short while. Gillian dedicates her shop, "to all the lostbabymamas out there that make it through each day. We may not be whole, but we're here." I couldn't have said it better, what an amazing woman!

Now let's take a look at her creations!

Aren't these Red Jacks Shoes one of a kind?

And these Cotton Bloom cloth shoes are so fun!

And for the next week this amazing woman is offering you FREE SHIPPING! (promo code: OMFREESHIP)

This is the time to buy your little ones shoes ladies!

The newest at Sweety Baby!

The newest addition at Sweety Baby is a very practical one! With all the clips my daughter has I never had a good place to KEEP them, so I decided to make this!

This hair clip holder can be personalized with any letter or color and you can choose from various patterns as well. A gross grain ribbon, either 12 or 18 inches long is attached securely to the letter and there is a sawtooth picture hanger on the back for easy hanging.

Every little girl needs one of these to keep her clips in order!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sugar Busters!

Initially after I gave birth to my daughter I lost 20 lbs of my pregnancy weight right away. But the next 20 lbs were very slow coming off! ( yes, i gained 40 lbs! I had such a sweet tooth the last trimester!) I was obviously not too happy with the slow weight loss so I decided something needed to be done about it.

I had heard about the Sugar Busters diet from my in-laws. They had both done it and lost around 15 lbs each, and at 75 and 80 years old that's amazing! Jon and I started the diet last August and the weight came off almost immediately. In a few months I was 10-15 lbs under the weight I was when I initially became pregnant.

The diet is laid out in book form, written by 4 doctors. The key concepts to Sugar Busters is to eliminate anything with more than 3 grams of sugar in it from your diet (not including fruit). This alone is VERY hard to do. Just to get an idea, next time you go to the grocery store look at the labels of the foods you normally buy, I bet it's very hard to find one that has less than 3 grams of sugar in it! The hardest part of the diet for me was grocery shopping for that mere reason. But once I found the legal foods and got into the habit of buying them them it was much easier.

Another aspect of the diet is to stay away from foods that have a high glycemic index, meaning the foods that turn into sugar very rapidly in your body. The book on Sugar Busters gives you a list of what these foods are.

Obviously, I was happy with the weight loss but even moreso was the way I felt after this diet change. I had so much more energy than before and didn't crave sugar at all, and that says a lot for me! I have such a sweet tooth.

Over the past couple months I had kind of steered away from this way of eating and once again was SO tired all the time and jut plain cranky. But as soon as I got back into the swing of eating healthy again it was like I was a new person.

Since we started this diet almost a year ago, I have converted three members of my family, haha :) My mom was so happy to have found Sugar Busters and has lost over 15 lbs as well!

It's definitely something to look into!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kid n Around Creations Giveaway!!!

I have to say that my daughter LOVES puppets. She could be entertained by them for hours, she hugs them and kisses them and thinks they are the best thing in the world, it's so cute!

So when I found Kid n Around Creations I was pretty excited. She sells SO many different types of puppets for SUCH a great price! You can pick from puppies, bunnies, penguins, frogs....you name it!

The owner of Kid n Around Creations, Lori, is a mother of four who definitely has a knack for knowing how to keep her children busy :) In addition to the puppets she makes crayon rolls, bibs, and breakfast play foods (those are SO darling!) only to name a few!

So now here's the best part, Lori is giving away a set of finger puppets to one of YOU! I personally have a pair of the bunny ones and they are so well made! As soon as my daughter ripped open the package she said, "awwww" and gave them one of her signature hugs, haha :)

All you need to do is visit her cute shop on Etsy, KidnAroundCreations and leave a comment here telling me your favorite item! A winner will be picked at random on June 20th, so tell all your friends! And remember to leave contact info in case you win!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Montessori Potty Training

I personally can't wait to have a break from changing diapers for a while. Let's be honest, diaper changes are probably one of my least favorite things to do. My daughter squirms and twists so much that every change is a battle between us. The ONLY way through it is to sing really obnoxious songs or make really goofy faces to grab her attention for just the few seconds it takes to put that last side of the diaper on. Needless to say I do admit to letting the diaper reach full capacity (aka drooping down to her knees, haha!) before I give in to changing it. ;)

With all that said, I am very much looking forward to potty training my not-so -little-anymore daughter. The Montessori method of potty training was brought to my attention a few months ago and I loved it immediately and plan on trying it with my daughter.

To many in the American culture it would be considered "early" potty training. While in other countries in may in fact be "late" potty training. All I know is that it makes sense.

The Montessori method explains that there are sensitive periods for learning different tasks and that the period of 18-24 months is the sensitive period for learning to control their bladder and bowels. Once this period is missed the supposed next period may be 3 years old. Now some may still be able to potty train their child during the terrible twos but it suggested that it's MUCH easier to potty train within these sensitive periods.

In contrast to the Montessori method in my husband's nursing book it states that most children are able to control their bladder and bowels around the age of 3-5, yikes! In the words of a good friend, "that's a really big butt to wipe!" haha :)

Want more details? This is a great article outlining the basics of the Montessori method: http://www.littleredrobin.com/pages/toileting_the_montesorri_way.asp

I personally have a couple friends who have potty trained their children "early" with much success. I have only a couple more months before I can start the process with my daughter, so I'm sure you will hear back on the progress in the future!

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Sweety Baby - Ponytail Discount

One of the newest additions to the Sweety Baby shop!

Who doesn't want these cute ponytails for their little one, I love them! And for the next week I am offering my blog readers BOGO1/2 off on the ponytails. So head on over to my shop and take a look around! (coupon code: BLOG BOGO1/2)
Stay tuned for an awesome giveaway in the next few days!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ruby Grace Review and Discount!

Ruby Grace Clothing is truly a special find on Etsy!

Originally her shop caught my eye because of her fabric blocks which are SO darling!!!

You can even add personalized embroidery for a few extra dollars, what a GREAT gift for any little one!

And it even gets better, she has the cutest organic onesies that are embroidered with original designs. Have your choice of flowers, pirate ships, robots....and many more! Isn't this fuzzy little chicken so cute? And perfect for a unisex baby shower gift!

But the BEST part is that she's offering YOU 20% off one item and 10% off any additional items purchased at the same time! This offer is only valid until June 12th, so check out Ruby Grace Clothing and score a deal!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Etsy Kids!

So I am now officially a member of the Etsy Kids Team!

This group is an amazing group of Etsy sellers who mostly sell childrens items and they are all so fun, creative, unique...you name it!

Definitely be sure to check out their website http://www.etsykids.com/ AND their blog http://etsykids.blogspot.com/

Stay tuned for a giveaway from a fellow Etsy Kids seller in a few days!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Elimination Communication...???

Okay, so recently it seems like the "green" thing to do is to go the cloth diaper route with a new baby. There are definitely some cute cloth diapers out there and the money you save and amount of waste you keep from throwing in the landfill is well worth the effort, in my opinion.

Unfortunately, we were unable to do cloth diapers with my little one since we moved into an apartment with no laundry facility right before she was born. I didn't think the people at the local laundromat would appreciate me washing her soiled diapers there and neither did I want to run there everyday to keep them clean.

Anyways, I've recently been acquainted with a possible "greener" way to go. Ever heard of Elimination Communication? It's a method of raising your baby with no diapers, sound crazy? Well, in my opinion I think it might be!

Otherwise known as Natural Infant Hygiene or Infant Potty Training, the parents rely on following specific cues from a baby to tell when he needs to go to the bathroom. Traditionally this method was seen and practiced by the whole community, learned naturally over a lifetime.

According to http://www.diaperfreebaby.org/, a network of free support groups promoting a natural approach to responding to babies' elimination needs, "babies know when they need to eliminate and are capable of communicating this need...You might have noticed that your baby pees 5 minutes after nursing, or grunts just before he poops. These types of observations will guide you on WHEN to help your baby eliminate without a diaper. "

There are even local support groups to help you!

In conclusion, I give major props to women who choose to do this with their children. Would I ever attempt it? Probably not. Let's be honest, I think there's already enough stress and guessing at raising a new child. I don't think I would want to worry about if the baby was going to pee on me any minute as well!

Any thoughts?!