Monday, November 29, 2010

Fun Times Recycling

With all of our house remodeling and new purchases for baby James #2, our house has seen quite a bit of extra cardboard boxes laying around the house (which I hate to see...not the extra boxes per say but I hate to see all the garbage our home is intaking!)

SO, my husband had a grand idea the other night.  Although we plan to recycle every last piece of cardboard...we might as well make some other use out of it!  And so my husband had a plan and went with it.

And boy did we have a happy little man for a day...or actually a few days until the fort was completely destroyed.
I was going to let Park paint the walls one afternoon but before I knew it, he had turned the fort on its side and made a slide out of it.  And then there was another day of fun to be had...

It's amazing what you can do to entertain your child.  And not only was it fun for Park to have something new to enjoy, it was good family time constructing it and laughing our butts off at his thrills!

Happy smiles all around,
~Mommy Bridget

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ecoland Review and Giveaway- ends 12/10

Ecoland Review and Giveaway-ends 12/10
Ecoland Inc is a small, family owned and locally operated eco-conscious company devoted to environmentally sustainable practices that provides healthy products for its consumers.  They use organic cotton in all of their products and donate 3% of their proceeds to featured non-profit organizations.  Ecoland Inc is a model company and by supporting them through the purchases of their products, you are supporting environmentally safe practices with everyone's well being in mind.

My son had the opportunity to review Ecoland's Boy's Striped Quarter Socks and their Boy's Tanks.

And we love them!  They are so soft and luxurious to the touch, and I didn't realize until we reviewed them how fortunate we are to have these as a part of Park's wardrobe.  We have a set of clothes for casual wear around the house or underneath other clothing to keep warm, and this was a beautiful addition to our collection.  And it's a pleasant reminder to know that what is closest to his sensitive skin is nothing but the best of fabric, made from 100% organic cotton fibers (nothing made with the use of pesticides or other harmful toxic chemicals) and made from a wonderful company.

Ecoland Inc. not only makes clothing apparel for our little ones, they also offer socks, underwear, intimates for women, spa and baby accessories and even gift sets...just perfect for your holiday gift list!  

Buy it:
You can purchase Ecoland products at their online store by clicking here.

Win it:
Ecoland is giving away their Toddler's Combo Crew Socks (set of 3) to one lucky winner on The Curious Case of Mommyhood!  (Open to US and Canada residents only)

To Enter:
***Also, remember to leave your email address with your comments so you can be reached*** 
Subscribe to my blog (located on the left side of my home page) and tell me another Ecoland product you would love to have.  This is MANDATORY to enter the giveaway.

You also have the opportunity for additional entries (one each) if you do any of the following:
  • follow The Curious Case of Mommyhood on Google Follower
  • tell me something else about Ecoland Inc's products
  • like The Curious Case of Mommyhood on Facebook
  • like Ecoland Inc on Facebook
  • repost this giveaway on your facebook page and post the link with your entry
  • follow The Curious Mommy on Twitter
  • follow Ecoland Inc on Twitter
Again, please be sure to leave your email address with each entry.
You have until December 10th at midnight to enter.
Good luck to you all,

Mommy Bridget 

Ecoland's products were provided to me by Ecoland Inc. for review.  (Please see my Disclosure under my "Reviews" page for more information.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

And the Winner is...

Congratulations to Allison, the winner of the $10 gift certificate to Abby's Lane!!!  Thank you dearly to all who participated in this and other giveaways on The Curious Case of Mommyhood.  Don't forget to check out the current giveaways under way.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Mommy Bridget

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving Day to you all and happy to giving thanks to those we love!  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and rest of your weekend, have safe travels and most of all, cherish the time with those close to you.  And remember why many of us celebrate this holiday, to give thanks for all that we have been blessed with.

~ Mommy Bridget

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Abby's Lane $10 Gift Certificate Ends this Friday-11/28

There are only a few days left to enter the $10 gift certificate giveaway from Abby's Lane.  If you haven't entered yet, you must!  Abby's Lane sells many baby products online, especially everything for your cloth diapering needs.  Click here to enter.

~Curious Mommy

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Preterm Pregnancy and Dental Health

As many of you may already know, your teeth can suffer during pregnancy.  To what extent and to all the reasons why, we don't know.  But what we do know is that they suffer.  And because of this, pregnant women are doing their bodies and their growing babies a favor by taking the best possible care during pregnancy.

After speaking with my dentist yesterday after a routine cleaning and exam, I decided posting something about good oral hygiene during pregnancy as this would be a great reminder to many of you pregnant or planning to become pregnant to be as careful with their teeth during pregnancy as they are with the rest of their bodies.

And here is why:
  • When you are pregnant, you tend to eat more (because you should, you are growing another being inside you).  As you eat, the pH levels in your mouth drop (increased salidity).  During this period, bad bacteria in your mouth are able to grow quicker...leading to increase risks of (or aggravation of preexisting) cavities, gingivitis, gum disease, etc.
  • increased hormone levels may cause increase levels of bad bacterial growth in your mouth
  • gum disease can not only be a risk to you but can also be a risk to your unborn child (click here for more information)
So what are a few things we can do to prevent any of the above from happening?
  • visit your dentist for a dental cleaning and check up
  • rinse with 1 ts. baking soda and 8 ounces of water regularly to increase pH levels to a good state...this creates an inhospitable environment in your mouth for the bad bacteria
  • don't use regular mouthwash with alcohol as an ingredient (this also kills the good bacteria in your mouth)
  • floss and brush regularly
  • maintain a healthy diet and drink plenty of water
I was happy to leave my dentist yesterday with a clean bill of dental health.  Thank you to the greatest dentist for better explaining to me the importance of good dental health during pregnancy!

~Curious Mommy

Monday, November 22, 2010

Keeping Strong Against the Fast and the Furious 2 Year Old

Over the weekend, here in the mountainous west, we were dumped on with lots and lots of nature's cold wet stuff.  We new it was coming, and had been planning it at our house for some time.  Not only did we prepare the yard, the house with a properly working furnace and get organized to hunker down for the winter months, but we also picked up winter clothing appropriate for a 2 year old to run and play in for the winter.  I knew the moment Park played in the snow with his big snow boots and snow suit, he would be happy as can be.  However, since my son is NOT big on change, I've been dreading getting him to wear his snow gear for the first time.

So in the weeks leading up to the snow, I talked to him about his clothes, what they were for and how they are like Mommy and Daddy's snow boots and jackets.  When the snow began to fall, Park was ready at the door with his regular shoes on begging and begging to go out and play.  So yesterday, we introduced him to his snow gear.

Not surprisingly, it didn't go over very well...

After 5 minutes of trying to get his boots on without Park removing them, squirming and screaming...we got them on and fastened.  Next, we tried in every attempt to calm him and explain to him why he was wearing them.  I have to say, I haven't heard my son cry that hard since a horrible visit to an Instacare clinic down the street where I was forced to hold him down while the doctor examined a very painful appendage.  I kept wondering if the boots could be hurting him.  But, there was no way.  They were plenty big and slipped on without a problem.  It was just our son, the fast and the furious child with more will power than most people I know.

Then, I sat there dumbfounded.  What do I do now?  I hate to see him so upset.  When he cries, I want to cry.  BUT, he will never understand the necessity of snow boots unless he tries them out.  So, we let him have his screams.  We held him until he calmed down.  Then, distracted him with a snack and a car ride to the store.  Once we got out of the car, he was so distracted by the store itself, he kind of forgot about why he was so mad in the first place.  As we left the store, he jumped in a big snow pile and that is when, I assume, he realized what his big bulky boots were made for!

As soon as we got home, he begged for us to put on his snow overalls, jacket, hat and mittens on and didn't hesitate one more second to run outside to play.  And so he played...for 2 hours.  And loved it.  And came inside, with his rosy cheeks and runny nose and begged for something to eat to fuel his little 2 year old body.  And then he slept...and I was a satisfied mom.

I couldn't help but think to myself that I really learned something new about my son that day...despite the fact I thought I knew everything.  Although I have always known how strong willed he is and really likes things to be predictable...he is easily swayed by other positive distractions.  Once his strong mind, or shall I say yesterday's "furious" mind, was calmed and focused on something bigger and better than what was once so horrible at hand, he was better able to make sense of the situation.  And most of all, I learned that no matter how much my 2 year old protests something as simple as wearing new shoes, I am his mother and I shouldn't give in to what I know is right for him.  As horrible as it was for 5 minutes, it was well worth the fight.  He was so happy in the snow and by 7 am this morning, already grabbing his boots to go outdoors!

Happy motherhood my friends,

Mommy Bridget

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Greener Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving Day fast approaching, I'm sure most of you are planning your turkey dinners and beginning to make all of the necessary preparations. While you are doing so, I thought it would be appropriate to add in some great ideas for greening your thanksgiving day. The Daily Green has some wonderful tips and ideas for those of you who are green conscious and like to support local farms.

Click below to check out their helpful menus and ecofriendly ideas:

A Greener Thanksgiving

As for us, we are going as green as they come...we are not planning a feast for our family in our home this year. As much as I love to feed and entertain those close to me, I decided to save a turkey this year (and a little bit of money) and let someone else do the entertaining:) We have a few dinners and parties to attend, and I look forward more than anything to spend time with those I love.

Many cheers to come for your upcoming holiday season!

~Mommy Bridget

And the Rockin' Green Giveaway Winner is...

Congratulations to Meg, whose winning entry was chosen as the winner of Rockin' Green's 45/90 bag of laundry soap!  The winner has been notified by email.

Thank you to all for entering and don't forget to check out the other 2 giveaways going on here.

Have a wonderful weekend,

~Mommy Bridget

Peter Rabbit Organics Review and Giveaway-ends 12/3

Peter Rabbit Organic's Review and Giveaway
I was so thrilled about doing this review for Peter Rabbit Organics.  Every time my son and I make a trip to Starbucks, we can't leave the coffee shop without picking up one of Peter Rabbit Organic's organic fruit snacks.  I usually don't like to let my son have anything he wants when we go to stores but in this case, he can have as much of this wonderful treat as wishes!

Peter Rabbit Organics is a small, privately owned company based out of London.  The company decided to establish their business and produce such products because they found it difficult to find healthy, organic products for their families to consume.  And how did they know their products would be a hit?  They had the best taste testers and reviewers possible...their own families!

We reviewed (and when I say we I mean Park ate and I observed and wrote:) Peter Rabbit Organic's Fruit Snacks.  These fruit snacks are not your typical fruit snacks, but are made with pure, organic fruit.  They contain no additional sugar or preservatives, and they taste delectable!  

Peter Rabbit Organic's fruit snacks can be eaten as soon as your child is eating solids.  Children of all ages can enjoy this snack and because they are made with pure fruit, one not need to worry about what they are feeding their little ones.  And to top it off, the food is contained in these super handy little pouches that are also BPA-free!

Peter Rabbit Organics fruit snacks come in three yummy flavors, which include:
  • Strawberry and Banana
  • Apple and Grape
  • Mango, Banana and Orange
And my son's favorite flavor?  The mango, banana and orange.  Personally, this is my favorite too!  Like mother like son...
Buy it:
You can purchase Peter Rabbit Organic's fruit snacks online or at any local Starbucks coffee shop.

Win it:
Peter Rabbit Organics is giving away 10 assorted fruit pouches to one lucky winner on The Curious Case of Mommyhood!  

To enter:
***Also, remember to leave your email address with your comments so you can be reached*** 
Subscribe to my blog (located on the left side of my home page) and tell me if your family has tried one of Peter Rabbit Organic's organic fruit snacks or any of their other products.  This is MANDATORY to enter the giveaway.

You also have the opportunity for additional entries (one each) if you do any of the following:
  • follow The Curious Case of Mommyhood on Google Follower
  • tell me something about Peter Rabbit Organics
  • like The Curious Case of Mommyhood on Facebook
  • like Peter Rabbit Organics on Facebook
  • repost this giveaway on your facebook page and post the link with your entry
  • follow The Curious Mommy on Twitter
  • follow Peter Rabbit Organics on Twitter
Again, please be sure to leave your email address with each entry.
You have until December 3rd at midnight to enter.
Good luck to you all,

Mommy Bridget 

Peter Rabbit Organic's fruit snacks were provided to me by Peter Rabbit Organics for review.  (Please see my Disclosure under my "Reviews" page for more information.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Check out the Leonid meteor shower tonight - Arizona News from USA Today

For those of you who are interested in checking out hundreds of meteors early tomorrow morning...

Check out the Leonid meteor shower tonight - Arizona News from USA Today

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rockin' Green Giveaway Ending this Friday...You Won't Want to Miss!

There are only a few more days to enter our Rockin' Green laundry detergent giveaway.  Click here to enter this fantastic giveaway!

Mommy Bridget

Monday, November 15, 2010

Abby's Lane's Planet Wise Wet Bag Review and $10 Gift Certificate Giveaway-ends 11/28

Abby's Lane's Planet Wise Wet Bag Review and Giveaway
I was so excited about reviewing one of Abby's Lane's products for our cloth diapering system.  When asked which product I would like to review, I knew a wet bag was the perfect item since we have yet to have one.  I chose Planet Wise's wet bag since the description fit everything we were looking for for our needs.  And much to our delight, Planet Wise's wet bag lived up to our every expectation!

Abby's Lane is an online store that carries everything from clothing and baby carriers to cute gift packages for moms and children alike.  They even offer a gift registry for your one stop shopping for new mommies to be!  And with so many cloth diaper brands and complete systems to choose from, they have everything to fit your cloth diapering needs.

The Planet Wise wet bag can be used for everything from your used cloth diapers to wet swim wear, gym wear and dirty shoes.  It is a practical must have item to include in your diaper bag, purse or gym bag when on the go.  I can't believe I've gone this long without one!  We love it and don't go anywhere without it.  Not only have we used it for our son's used cloth diapers but we have also used it after swimming.  And it's so easy to clean following each use...simply throw it into your wash with the rest of your items.  Then hang to dry.

The Planet Wise wet bag is completely water proof and locks securely to keep the dirty and wet items in.  It's also made from PVC free materials so one not need to worry about washing it with other items.  And best of all, there are NO excuses now to not exclusively cloth diaper your little ones!  (Not to mention save the need for plastic garbage bags to contain dirty diapers while on the go.)  This reusable bag is sure to have many uses and will help save the head ache of needing "garbage" bags for the above needs.

Buy it:
You can purchase Planet Wise's wet bag or many other items online here.  Also, check out Abby's Lane's great sale items here.  And be sure to check out their fantastic deals and other fan news on Abby's Lane's Facebook page or on Twitter.

Win it:
Abby's Lane is giving away a $10 gift certificate to one lucky winner on The Curious Case of Mommyhood!

To enter:
***Also, remember to leave your email address with your comments so you can be reached*** 
Subscribe to my blog (located on the left side of my home page) and tell me what you use for diapering on the go.  This is MANDATORY to enter the giveaway.

You also have the opportunity for additional entries (one each) if you do any of the following:
  • follow The Curious Case of Mommyhood on Google Follower
  • tell me another product you would like to try from Abby's Lane
  • like The Curious Case of Mommyhood on Facebook
  • repost this giveaway on your facebook page and post the link with your entry
  • follow The Curious Mommy on Twitter
  • follow Abby's Lane on Twitter
Again, please be sure to leave your email address with each entry.
You have until November 28th at midnight to enter.
Good luck to you all,

Mommy Bridget

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Another Great Coupon Resource

I was emailed yesterday by an old friend from high school who told me about a great web site called "Hip 2 Save" for online coupons and super saver deals.  She messaged me in particular because yesterday, one of the great saving deals was for a company that sold organic toys for children.  Unfortunately, by the time I looked at the site, all the coupons for that particular company were sold out.  BUT, I searched through the site and found a plethora of other great deals.  And so I wanted to share.  Click here to check out "Hip 2 Save".

Thank you again Kristen for thinking of me:)


Mommy Bridget

Friday, November 12, 2010

Walnut-Crusted Chicken Breasts

My family LOVED this recipe!

Walnut-Crusted Chicken Breasts
  • 2 slices dried whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 tbs freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg white
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 tbs grape seed oil (or coconut oil)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a food processor, combine bread, walnuts and Parmesan: season with salt and pepper.  Process until fine crumbs form.  Transfer to a shallow bowl.  In another bowl, beat egg white until frothy.

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Dip chicken breast into egg white, letting excess drip off, and then into crumb mixture.

In a large, nonstick ovenproof skillet heat oil over medium heat.  Add chicken and cook on each side until lightly browned.  Transfer chicken to the oven and bake until golden brown.
(taken from Body and Soul Magazine, May 2007)

Serve with a nice green salad.


Mommy Bridget

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

LuSa Organics Homeade Toothpaste

A really great recipe was brought to my attention last night and I knew right away I wanted to share it with you all.  For those of you who are concerned with fluoridated toothpaste, you will love this.  

Although our son's current toothpaste is made without fluoride, making it from scratch with these ingredients would be even better!  

I can't wait to try it out!

(taken from

LuSa Organics Homemade Toothpaste
2 tsp Natural Liquid Soap (try unscented Dr. Bronner's or similar. We've used our bar soap grated into water but it makes too thick of a toothpaste for my squeeze bottle.)
4 Tb Coconut Oil
1 Tb Water
2 Tb Xylitol (optional)-I would not use this ingredient
1/2 tsp Stevia powder
10-20 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
5-10 drops Spearmint or Sweet Orange Essential Oil
Boil a small pan of water. Measure out 1 Tb and stir into it Xylitol (optional). Stir to dissolve. Melt coconut oil and add to water mixture. Measure in soap and stevia and blend (a stick blender works well if you have one. Otherwise use your regular blender or whisk by hand like mad).  Blend while the formula cools enough to stay combined. Add essential oils and transfer to a clean squeeze or pump bottle. Cool completely, shake well.
~Curious Mommy

Monday, November 8, 2010

Let it Snow!!!

Today was a beautiful morning.  My son slept in 30 minutes:)  We woke up to the sound of pouring rain.  As our house began stirring, we listened to beautiful music, cuddled, watched Park dance like "Happy Feet" and talked about how grateful we are for all we have.  After Marshall left, we made chocolate chip muffins which might I just say are so yummy to a pregnant woman at 8 am in the morning!  We then colored and painted and watched the trains and airplanes on Park's new favorite video.  And now we are watching as the rain coming down is turning to snow.

What a beautiful and serene view we are so fortunate to have.

I am beyond grateful that we were able to finish preparing yesterday for winter to officially begin.  I sealed our driveway so the winter shoveling wouldn't disturb it any more, Marshall got our dog kennel up and ready, I put the last minute lawn and garden food into our yard (for the winter months), and put summer yard tools and toys away in the shed.  There is definitely something to be said for feeling "prepared"!  Or maybe I should rephrase that and say there is something to be said about women and our nesting instincts! 

Although we are very grateful for the beautiful fall weather Utah had, I am even more excited about our winter to be here and to watch Park revel and roll around in the snow.  We are already prepared with Park's first sled!  And most of all, I know that our next baby boy will be here this winter and that makes me gitty inside just thinking about it.  We are so excited about having another little baby boy in our family and experiencing our family grow.

I hope you all are enjoying the beginning of our winter months and are as excited as we are about it.  May you all keep warm and snuggly with your loved ones....

Mommy Bridget

Saturday, November 6, 2010

And the Winner is...

Congratulations to Lisa M. G. for winning the Tomme Tippee giveaway!  Thank you to all for entering and don't forget to enter my new Rockin' Green Laundry soap giveaway.  You can enter on my "giveaways" page.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Mommy Bridget

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rockin' Green Cloth Diaper and Laundry Detergent Review and Giveaway- ends 11/19

Rockin' Green Review and Giveaway

For all of you who cloth diaper and/or for those who prefer all natural laundry detergent, you will love what Rockin' Green has to offer.  Rockin' Green makes everything from laundry soaps and pail fresheners to skin care and clothing.  I recently had the opportunity to review Rockin' Green's laundry soap and was very impressed by the power of the Rockin' Green.  

With their 3 types of formula and variety of natural scents to choose from, Rockin' Green has the laundry detergent to fit your household needs.  Rockin' Green's detergent is made from natural ingredients, is biodegradable, phosphate and dioxin free, petroleum free, free of animal by-products, SLS free, and even HE compatible!  Those of you with not only your family's safety in mind, can also rest assured that Rockin' Green's products are made with the environment in mind.  We LOVE Rockin' Green! 

Rockin' Green specially designed their formulas for the different types of needs in your home.  Their formulas include:
  • Soft - this formula is designed for those that have sensitive little ones or soft water.
  • Classic - this is the original formula, and is great for those with moderate hard water, or just those that are battling with stinkies. Comes in unscented and scented varieties.
  • Hard - This formula is designed for the most troubling of water types.
Rockin' Green's scent choices include:
  • Orangevana
  • Smashing Watermelons
  • Rage Against the Rasberries
  • Motley Clean
  • The Plain Green Tea's
  • Lavender Mint Revival
  • Mighty Mighty Marshmallow
  • Bare Naked Babies (unscented)
So when you place your order, you choose the formula you are looking for in any scent you cool is that?!

It was so much fun reviewing Rockin' Green.  The detergent really did clean my son's cloth diapers the way anyone would want them to be cleaned.  The lingering odor I've been struggling with dissipated and everything was left with a nice fresh scent of "orangevana".  I love the smell of citrus so this was a sure pleaser in our home.  I also reviewed the detergent on our regular clothes and our bedding and remained impressed with the power of Rockin' Green's detergent.  I highly recommend this for anyone looking for an all natural detergent for all of their laundry needs.

Thank you to Rockin' Green for the opportunity to review their rockin' laundry soaps.

For more information or for any answers to questions you may have for Rockin' Green, click here.

Buy it:  You can purchase Rockin' Green's products online here or to find a retailer nearest you, click here.

Win it:
Rockin' Green is giving away a 45/90 load bag of laundry detergent in your choice of scent and formula!

To enter:
***Also, remember to leave your email address with your comments so you can be reached*** 
Subscribe to my blog (located on the left side of my home page) and tell me what detergent you are currently using for your household needs.  This is MANDATORY to enter the giveaway.

You also have the opportunity for additional entries (one each) if you do any of the following:
  • follow The Curious Case of Mommyhood on Google Follower
  • tell me something about Rockin' Green on YouTube
  • like The Curious Case of Mommyhood on Facebook
  • fan Rockin' Green on Facebook
  • repost this giveaway on your facebook page and post the link with your entry
  • follow The Curious Mommy on Twitter
  • follow Rockin' Green on Twitter
Again, please be sure to leave your email address with each entry.
You have until November 19th at midnight to enter.
Good luck to you all,

Mommy Bridget

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Recipe: Baked Kale Chips

I found a really great recipe from to share with you.  Awhile back, I was at a play date where the host made "kale chips".  I admitted I had never seen nor heard of them before so I had to try one.  And they were delicious!  The little tots were also eating them up!  So I came across the recipe not long ago and because this is a really great snack full of nutrients, I knew I wanted to share it with you all.

Here it is:


  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
  3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes. 
Mommy Bridget

Last Day to Enter Tommee Tippee Giveaway- low entries

You have until tonight Friday, November 5th at midnight to enter this wonderful giveaway.  The giveaway is so great..I wish I could enter it!  The giveaway is your choice of either a feeding bottle or sippy cups and as of today, we have relatively low your chance is good!  Click here to enter.
Good luck,
Mommy Bridget

New Furnace Rebates about to Expire

I recently heard that this is the last year (2010) to receive tax incentives and rebates for recycling your old furnace and for purchasing a new energy efficient, specifically Energy Star rated, appliance.  Knowing when we purchased our home 2 years ago that we would be needing a replacement furnace sooner that later, my husband and I realized the day had come to dig down deep into our pockets to make the large purchase.  After learning that we have so little time left to take advantage of the savings with all of the rebates and tax incentives, we've decided not to wait any longer.  Despite the cost, I couldn't be more excited!

The current furnace and water heater in our home has been operating since the house was built, approximately 50 years ago.  When appliance technicians have been to the house to fix issues that have occurred with the furnace, they would remark at how old it is.  It is old, and very large.  In fact, it is so large it looks like a bonfire is burning underneath it!  And when the furnace kicks in, it is so loud it scares me at times.  Those same technicians also remarked that the furnaces they made 50 years ago were made to outlive us...meaning, we shouldn't need to worry about replacing it unless we want to save energy and money on the gas it takes to operate it.

And that is why we've decided to go ahead and replace it.  After speaking with the company that is going to be replacing our furnace and water heater with energy star appliances, I could not believe the savings we are going to get for federal and state rebates along with the "cash for appliances" program we have in our state.  After everything, we will pay less than $2000 and also see a drop in our monthly gas bill during the cold winter months.  This is at least $3000 less than my husband and I ever dreamed.  So, to any of you wanting to learn more about the programs available (mainly in Utah), I've included a list of links.  If you are not a Utah resident, you may have to dig a little deeper to see what's available in your neck of the woods.  Contact your local energy and gas companies for programs as well as recycling companies. 

Here are the links below:
I just love that I can recycle these old appliances and get paid for them!  I also love saving money of course:)

~Super Saver Mommy Bridget

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Natracare News

(Taken directly from Natracare's newsletter...)

Natracare Gives Back

Susie and Theresa take on the mountains!.jpgFor five days in September 2010, Susie Hewson, Chief Executive at Natracare and her sister Theresa White, (picture) embarked on their second Natracare Sisters in partnership for change event by taking part in the Women for Women Cycle China challenge. They did so to help the charity raise at least $320,000 to improve the health of women and babies by training women scientists and clinicians.
In 2009, the sisters took up the challenge of cycling 350km through the Jordanian desert in the Middle East. Three groups of 80 to 90 women also participated and together raised almost $1,000,000.   This year they cycled 450km over 5 days through the Beijing privince of China, experiencing the beauty of the regions countryside, mountains and  even cycling alongside the Great Wall.  Natracare contributed all of the costs involved for their participation in this challenge, so everything donated went directly to the IMG00062charity. 
The creation and development of the Natracare products reflected the ethical and environmental principles of Susie Hewson and as such it was clearly evident to her that the best and most honest way to ensure that these principles would always be upheld was to maintain development and management of the Natracare brand within the structure of a family business, which is Bodywise (UK) Ltd, a company wholly owned by Susie Hewson and her husband. Susie Hewson obtained the Women in Ethical Business award in 2008 and in 2009, achieved an Ethical Accreditation, being congratulated on achieving an outstanding Ethical Accreditation Index score of 88, placing Natracare at the top of the table for the Sanitary Protection sector. Women for Women aims to support a first class environment for training basic and clinical scientists who will pioneer medical research in these fields and lead in other key centres around the UK and overseas in the new millennium.  Donations are still possible. Please visit our website for more details.

Ecostore Review

Ecostore Review

When I was approached about doing a review for an eco-consious company here in the US that has been around for nearly 20 years, I was immediately interested.  I learned the company founder was a stay at home Dad living in an eco-community who wanted to create healthy, non-toxic products made from plant based materials.  I thought to myself, what a great story and a great company!  So I jumped at the opportunity to learn more.

Ecostore USA was opened here in the US (but based out of New Zealand) to make available wonderful eco-friendly products made from like minded individuals with your health and safety as well as the environment in mind.  A trusted partner to Healthy Child Healthy World, Ecostore USA sells everything for your home including bath and body, household cleaning, hair, baby and pet care products.  Mineral and plant based, non-toxic and chemical free, Ecostore USA's products are a sure fit for all of your household needs.

I had the opportunity to review two products from Ecostore USA's baby line: Ecostore USA's Baby Moisturizer and  Baby Body Wash.

Ecostore USA's Baby Body Wash:

Ecostore USA's baby body wash is a luxurious cleanser mild and safe enough to use even on the most delicate skin.  Ingredients in this wash include:
Made without "nasty" chemicals, this baby body wash is made from a combination of plant derivatives and other mild cleansing agents.  The wash created a mild foaming agent and cleanser tough enough to clean a baby's skin without leaving leftover residue on the skin and drying it from its natural moisture.  The lavandula hybrida, geranium maculatem and eucalyptus oils created a mild, relaxing scent while leaving the skin feeling soft and luxurious.  Ecostore USA's baby body cleanser is sure to be loved by everyone in the family!

Ecostore USA's Baby Moisturizer:

Ecostore USA's baby moisturizer is also very gentle to your baby's sensitive skin.  Made from natural ingredients, this moisturizer works very well and leaves your little one's skin feeling silky smooth...literally.  Ingredients in this moisturizer include:
  • Water
  • Olea Europaea (Olive Oil)
  • Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil
  • Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil
  • Cetearyl Alcohol
  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter
  • Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter
  • Polysorbate 20
  • Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate
  • Lavandula Hybrida Oil
  • Geranium Maculatum Oil
  • Eucalyptus Globulus Oil
  • Citral
  • Citronellol
  • Coumarin
  • d-Limonene
  • Geraniol
  • Linalool
  • Pseudowintera Colorata (Horopito) extract 
Made with ingredients such as olive, jojoba, coconut, geranium, lavendula and eucalyptus oils as well as cocoa and shea butter, you can see why this moisturizer will protect your baby's skin from the drying elements in our environment.  This moisturizer is sure to please and it smells SO wonderful!  As you can see with the ingredients listed above, this moisturizer will leave your baby's skin feeling as soft and pure as the day they were born!

Buy it:
You can purchase these or other fine Ecostore USA products directly from their online store or at any Meijer or Duane Reade stores.  

Learn more:
To learn more about Ecostore USA the company, click here.  Ecostore USA offers free shipping on orders over $25 which will save you a lot in shipping costs alone.  You can also find Ecostore USA on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you to Ecostore USA for letting me review their wonderful, ecofriendly baby products and for producing products that we can trust to be safe and non-toxic to us and our environment. 

This review is based purely on my personal view of the Ecostore USA's products I reviewed.  Please see my disclaimer under my "Reviews" page for more information.

Bridget James

Monday, November 1, 2010

One Chapter Closed, and Another Begins

After 2 years and 5 months, Park and I have finalized the sweet chapter of breastfeeding together.  Over the years I've pondered time and time again how this would end, how it would feel and how it would actually work itself out, whether or not it would be a fight or whether or not it would be of his own choosing.  Looking back I can't help but feel ever so strongly what a blessed time we shared together and wonderful opportunity I gave myself and he gave me.  And instead of feeling a sense of sadness over the maturing of my little baby boy or instead of feeling the eagerness to be DONE ALREADY, it was truly a bitter sweet reality.  A little sadness and a little joy, a little of my wanting to end it more than he...and most of all a true excitement for Park's growing independence and the preparedness for the journey to come with our new addition.

When Park was born, the nurturing instincts of motherhood instantly took hold of me and breastfeeding became second nature.  (I should also comment that it was super easy because Park knew what he was doing right away.)  All I needed to do was follow his lead.  He was such a sweet little guy, never crying or putting up a fight because he always had exactly what he needed.  I knew from the get go that instead of fighting mine and his instincts, I would let him nurse as much and as often as he needed.  And let me just add that I had NO IDEA what I was doing...I just did what felt right.

I'm sure many of you with children have heard advice about everything including feeding, sleeping, pacifying and so on.  On one end I would hear the encouraging words from breastfeeding advocates stating what I was doing with Park was right (because it was right for us) while on the other end, I would hear or read advice that would put the both of us on a schedule...particularly the every 3 hours mumbo jumbo.  Now I'm not judging on what is right or wrong for anyone else, I just knew that the only thing "right" for Park and I was just for Park and I.  So although I welcomed the advice from others, I also took it only into a consideration. 

Instead of fighting my inner instincts, instead of depriving Park of what he needed (because that's what it is for infants... "NEEDS") and giving in to my pure sleep deprivation and ability to do and behave as I selfishly chose, I gave in to his needs and his schedule.  I should also add that I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do so since I am a stay at home mother.  I followed Park's lead, he didn't need to follow mine.  I was also fortunate enough to have a partner that supported my decision to do what I felt was right for all of us.  He never questioned how much Park nursed nor did he question our co-sleeping.  Park slept with us for his first year and Marshall wouldn't have had it any other way.  He, too, followed his own instincts as a father.

Park always wanted to nurse, whether hungry or not.  He, unfortunately, did not like the pacifier (which I tried for a year) so I inevitably was just that....a pacifier.  It was difficult at times, but fighting that difficulty would only make it harder for the both of us.  Infants need to that is what I let him do.  When Park wanted to eat, to pacify, to sleep, to anything, I did those things with him.  Although I spent a lot of time on the couch and resting, it was what we both needed.  And it was wonderful.  I was able to get the rest I needed that I wasn't getting throughout the night while he was getting everything he needed, me.  And although I couldn't get up and go whenever I wanted, and although I had a little one glued to me at most times, I loved it because I didn't fight it.  I knew it wouldn't be forever and I could never take back this most precious time with my firstborn, so I my son and to my sole role as a mother and a nurturer. 

I never planned on how long Park and I would breastfeed, although I did have a goal of making it until he was eating solids.  There was a time when I was so sleep deprived that I worried about our habits and my needs and wondered if it was time for us to discontinue nursing (around 8 months).  I seriously considered quitting and would have had it felt the right thing to do for the both of us.  But it didn't feel right or natural, so I pushed through the tough times where I felt I was going to pass out from exhaustion and was soon to find everything fall into place and become easier.  The transition from co-sleeping to sleeping in his own bed and bedroom was easy, the transition from Park waking up throughout the night to nurse to sleeping through the night was easy, it was all just EASY.  It would have been more difficult I think if I had focused on the time it took to get him into his own room (1 year) and sleeping through the night (14 months), but by surrendering to his needs and his time to feel comfortable in doing so made those transitions more tolerable for everyone.

Once Park hit close to 2 years of age, I was getting VERY ready to be done nursing.  I knew breastfeeding was more of a type of bonding behavior/habit that could easily be replaced by another source of comfort.  But as all of you know, habits are very hard to break.  Then 2 years of age rolled around and with the behaviors Park was displaying and the dreaded autism scare, I felt it the wrong time to make a drastic change in our experience together.  So I waited, I ignored the "advice" I so often heard from anyone wanting to be heard, and made the decision when I knew we were definitely ready.

And so it was last week.  With the baby coming just around the corner and with my natural instincts telling me I was more than ready to end this chapter with Park, I booked a trip to visit the most beautiful women in my life (my mother, grandmother, sister and aunts) and let Park and his Daddy have some bonding time while also "weaning" him from me and really, me from him.  (Like I said, habits are very hard to break.)  So I felt that the best way to get us out of the habit was for us to be apart.  And after being gone for 6 days, I came back and realized how easy it was!  Neither he nor I "needed" it any longer.  The habit was broken while our bond remained unchanged.

I try not to think about the fact that this chapter between my little guy and I is over with because there is absolutely no point in dwelling on it.  I love that Park is growing up and not needing me like he used to.  When I am a little saddened at the ending, I remind myself quickly that not only do I need to prepare for the next child/breastfeeding and really want a break but that I've already been over it for months. 

And so like I said, it has been a bitter sweet ending to a wonderful chapter in our lives and the beginning of a new one.  I revel in delight at the growing and maturing of my now almost 2 1/2 year old.  It's exciting to see him grow up and become independent.  And I know that our experience breastfeeding together was perfect for the both of us....that I did what I felt was right.  And most of all I really feel a sense of a huge accomplishment, not because of how long we nursed but for doing just what we felt was right for all of us!

May you all also parent the way you feel is right for you and your children, despite what others may good intentionally advise and I hope the consideration in your decisions is you and your child's well being, not just one or the other. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween weekend and your kiddos received lots of goodies to share with you all:)  I don't think Park realizes it but he has been sharing a ton of chocolate with his Mommy and baby brother!

Mommy Bridget