Friday, December 30, 2011

J.A.W.S Review & Giveaway



I have a love/hate relationship with cleaning. I love having a clean house, but I hate actually doing the cleaning myself. Unfortunately, that fact combined with the fact that I am a chronic procrastinator means that I usually wait until the last possible moment to get cleaning done around the house. I also detest the smell of cleaning supplies, especially BATHROOM cleaning products! The strong aromas nearly knock me down the instant I open the bottle or sprayer. Once the cleaning is done I have such a headache that I don't want to clean anything else. Not a good reaction for someone who didn't want to start the cleaning in the first place.

I was recently introduced to the Just Add Water System (J.A.W.S.). These cleaning products are biodegradable, nontoxic, and very effective! They currently come in four varieties - Glass & Hard Surface Cleaner, Multi-Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser, Bathroom Cleaner/Deodorizer, and Disinfectant Cleaner/Degreaser.

I put J.A.W.S. to the test by trying out the Bathroom Cleaner/Deodorizer first. My husband works around the farm and his hands get pretty grungy, so our public bathroom sink and counter tends to be the quickest to get dirty. When I opened the sprayer I was pleasantly surprised by lack of intense aroma. I sprayed the counter and the sink and began to wipe them with a wash cloth. No heavy scrubbing needed, the grunge came right off, I was left with a nice clean area! Once I was finished I left the bathroom, walked around, then went back in. It was almost like I had not used cleaners at all, NO intense smell left over from chemicals! I was sold and thoroughly excited about using the other cleaners around the house.
Bathroom Sink Before
After Cleaning with J.A.W.S.

My next chore, the MICROWAVE! If your home is like mine, someone ALWAYS lets their food explode in the microwave and then forgets to clean it up. Then the next person, who didn't make the mess but wants to use the microwave, uses it and bakes on the mess further. So, I whipped out the Multi-Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser. I sprayed the inside of the microwave, grabbed a wash cloth and began to wipe down the inside. Everything came off without a scrub. The baked on crud just came off like nothing, no big deal, a piece of cake! Again, I was SOLD!

I've since used these cleaners everywhere in the house! My stove, the girl's toys, coffee table that had double sided tape stuck to the edge (came off easily and didn't harm the table), mirrors, the T.V., EVERYWHERE! The best part is that it is safe around the kids. I don't worry about harsh chemicals harming my little ones.

Aside from it's AWESOME cleaning ability, J.A.W.S. uses a refillable bottle that you reload with a concentrated refill cartridge. So, you can reuse the bottle over and over as well as spend less for the actual cleaning agent! How cool is that!

Overall, I was VERY pleased with the quality of this cleaning system! It is actually fun to clean, knowing I have a great product that works and is safe around my girls! I recommend this product to all my family, friends, and followers!


You can tell I've used the Bathroom Cleaner the most!


My Rating: A+ $$
Click here to see what My Rating means!

Cost: $4.99-$5.79 for single Starter Kit-which includes a refillable bottle and 2 Concentrated Refill Cartridges. $3.99-$4.79 for 2 pack of Concentrated. $19.99 (plus S&H) for Home Cleaning Kits- while includes:
4 reusable spray bottles
2 cartridges each of:
  • Glass & Hard Surface Cleaner
  • Bathroom Cleaner/Deodorizer
  • Multi-Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser
  • Disinfectant Degreaser
Where to Buy: Online or at any of their retailers
Like J.A.W.S on Facebook
Follow @JawsCleaners on Twitter
J.A.W.S. on YouTube  

WIN IT!
The lovely people at J.A.W.S. are offering one of my lucky readers a Sample Pack of J.A.W.S. Cleaners! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Overprotective or Practical?



I have to admit that before I gave birth to my daughters, I never really thought about child safety much. It wasn't until I became pregnant with Big Sister that I really started reading up about safety with babies and young children. When Big Sister became mobile I felt the need to get the foam corner protectors for my coffee table, outlet covers to keep fingers out of plugs, and other similar items. Our home was safe for our little one and I was happy with what we had put in place to prevent any big mishaps. Big Sister didn't really crawl normal and most of the time she would sit in one place and play for a while, so her mobility wasn't a huge deal for me with regards to her safety. It wasn't until Little Sister became mobile that we started looking for ways to protect her from herself. Little Sister started trying to walk just before she turned 9 months, which totally blew my mind because Big Sister didn't start trying to walk until 13 months. So, here I had this tiny, little, wobbly baby trying to walk and follow her big sister EVERYWHERE. Needless to say, the falls came on strong and although she would cry when she fell, it didn't stop her. So, my husband and I decided to look for a way to protect Little Sister's precious head from all the falls and bumps. I did some research online and found a couple companies that sold safety head gear for babies and toddlers. I settled on a product called the Thudguard. I have to admit that I felt a little silly buying the Thudguard. I mean come on, babies have been walking and falling for thousands of years, right? Why should it be a big deal?

Well, we bought the Thudguard and we love it! It gives us peace of mind that we are protecting our daughter, helping her precious head and brain grow safely. I think Little Sister appreciates it as well. The first night we put it on her she was mad and wanted it off. The next day, she didn't seem to mind as much. And now, she loves it! She has figured out that it helps her head not hurt when she falls. She will sometimes bring me her helmet if I don't put it on right away and she wants to play. And, I think it has kept my husband from having several heart attacks when Big Sister or the dog has knocked her down on accident.

So, what do you think? Are we being overprotective or practical? Would you buy a Thudgard or a similar product for your child?

If you are interested in more information about the Thudguard, please visit their website!

Have a wonderful day dear followers and a VERY Merry Christmas this weekend!
Kelsey


Disclaimer: The information expressed in this post are my opinion based on my experience with my children and the Thudguard we purchased. I was not compensated in ANY way by posting about the Thudguard. I, nor, the producers of the Thudguard make any guarantees about the Thudguard or its use with babies and toddlers.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Memories Suite Review & Giveaway




Since the day Big Sister was born, my fingers have been glued to a camera button. I wanted to capture every precious moment; however, now I'm stuck with tons and tons of photos, most in the digital form, and no way of displaying them. I do have a facebook page for family and friends to keep up with the kids as they grow, but I need something I could show to friends and family in my home, minus all the technology involved with digital photos.

I was recently introduced to My Memories Suite, a Digital Scrapbooking Software. I have fallen in LOVE with this user friendly scrapbook software! For a busy and frugal Mom, this software is a LIFESAVER! I can make awesome scrapbook pages in less time and less money than the normal scrapbooking methods. I don't have to organize or dedicate a separate room in my house for papers, stickers, scissors, cutouts, and all that is involved in hard core scrapbooking.


With the holidays drawing near, I decided to put My Memories Suite to the test by designing a Christmas Card to send to family and friends! I'm not one for reading directions or instructions very closely so as soon as I opened the program I just dove right in. This software is super easy to figure out, it took me no time at all to search through the backgrounds and embellishments and decide on a plan for the Christmas card.

My Christmas card, a work in progress!

There are several options that I absolutely LOVE about this software! 

1) There are several paper dimension options as well as an option to set your own dimensions. This was AWESOME for me because I bought a set of 50 blank note cards that happened to be the oddest dimensions I have ever seen, 9.5 inches long by 6.5 inches wide.
2) There is a grey area around your project that will tell you where your printer margin is going to be. So, I can put everything together and have it print beautifully with out accidentally having half a word or photo chopped off by the margin!
3) You can edit your photo in the program! There is NO need for other editing programs to achieve red eye reductions, cropping, or photo effects like changing the color to sepia. This software does it all in one place!
4) You are NOT limited to your own imagination, hehe! There are several beautiful templates and designs that allow you to plop photos right in without designing or decorating a single page.  
5) The My Memories Suite website has FREE kits as well as kits to purchase that you can download and add to your software! So, if you are looking for somethings extra special for a particular page, you are not limited to the embellishments and paper designs that come with the software. I think I have already downloaded at least 10 FREE kits myself, just because I thought they were cute and I "might" use them in the future.

My only warning is to beware of how fun and addicting this digital scrapbook software can become! I could easily spend far too many hours putting together scrapbook pages now!

As you can tell, I have been incredibly impressed with My Memories Suite! I recommend it to everyone for all their scrapbooking needs! You don't have to be a computer wiz to use the software or a design expert to make a beautiful scrapbook.

My Rating: A+ $$$
Click here to see what My Rating means!

Cost: My Memories Suite v3 Normal Price $39.97 or Use Code STMMMS86739 at check out for $10 OFF!
Where to Buy: Online at the My Memories Suite Website!




My Memories would like to give one of my lucky readers a FREE copy of the My Memories Suite v3 Digital Scrapbook Software!



Thursday, December 08, 2011

Barney Live - Birthday Bash Review




The girls and I had the awesome privilege of being able to review Barney Live - Birthday Bash on November 17th in Indianapolis. My mother was kind enough to come along, enjoy the show, and help with the girls. Of course, before the show we had to buy some show souvenirs, we bought a ball (Katelynn's choice), a hat and a wand that lit up! This was the first Live show that my girls had seen and I was super excited to see their reactions. As soon as Barney hit the stage their eyes were GLUED to the show! Big Sister is close to 2 1/2 years old, Little Sister is 9 months, and they both got a HUGE kick out of the show. I was completely surprised at Little Sister's attention span as well as how animated she became. I couldn't hold her still! She wanted to stand and jump and dance on my lap during the songs, it was SO cute!

The show was very nice and the actors did a great job at getting the crowd to respond and interact during the show. They were really a talented group. It lasted about an hour and a half with an intermission in the middle. My girls would have been pleased with just the first part of the show, but were still entertained throughout the second half as well. Since the girls are so young and can't tell me which part was their favorite, I will tell you mine! "Oh Mister Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun Please Shine Down on Me..." I LOVED this song, especially when Barney & Friends came out with the brightly colored umbrellas as props. It was just TOO Cute and really well choreographed.


The only downside I found with the show, was when they shot cannons of confetti into the crowd a couple times. The kids seemed to LOVE it and didn't seem to phase the girls, but I jumped each time they went off because they were loud! So, if you decide to see Barney Live - Birthday Bash, if your an adult, I'd recommend using the restroom before the show because of the silly cannons!

Overall, we had a great time and the show was great! It appealed to a wide variety of ages and was very interactive! I hope you all enjoy my review and decide to take a special day and see a show with your little ones!

Thanks for reading dear followers!
Kelsey

Disclosure: I received 4 tickets from Bohlsen PR, Inc. to review the show. I was not compensated in any other form. The opinions and experiences expressed in this post are mine and I nor Bohlsen PR Inc., nor Vee Corporation guarantee that you will enjoy this show. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Big Sister's New Chapter



I've had some concern about Big Sister's speech for a while now. She is about 2 1/2 years old and I couldn't help but notice that kids her age and even ones considerably younger, talk much better than she does. She only has a handful of words that sound like actual words, the rest are partial words that only we know what she means because we're around her all the time. I know that normally you shouldn't compare kids with other kids because each one develops differently, but Big Sister's speech just kept bothering me and bothering me.

I was referred to a program that evaluates kids for a variety of developmental skills and then recommends certain therapies to help them. Today Big Sister had her evaluation and although I was concerned about her speech, the lady did a full evaluation of all her skills. I was very impressed with the whole evaluation. The lady brought several toys and activities to gauge her development as well as asked me several questions and asked Big Sister to do a variety of activities. At the end of her evaluation, the lady said that Big Sister had excellent Problem Solving Skills and that she was slow in her Social and Speech Skills. In the next couple of weeks I will be talking to a Speech Therapist and setting up a program for Big Sister. The Speech Therapist will be seeing Big Sister once a week, but for how long I am not yet sure. I am relieved to know where she stands in her development and I am excited to start the process of getting her help. I can't wait to see her progress and to be able to communicate with her even better!

A mother's intuition is almost always right, and I would like to encourage other Moms to seek help from doctor's and professionals if you have any concerns about your child's development.

Thanks for reading Dear Followers and I hope you stick around for future updates on Big Sister's progress!
Kelsey

CLICK HERE to read more about Big Sister's Progress with her Speech!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hand Turkey Craft


Earlier this week Big Sister and I decided to do a craft. I wanted to put up some Thanksgiving decorations and this would be the perfect solution! It was a simple craft that I had seen, maybe even done, when I was younger.

Supplies:
Scissors
Glue
Tape
String
(2) Sheets of Tan Cardstock Paper
(1) Sheet of Red Cardstock Paper (I actually used scraps because we didn't need a whole sheet)
(1) Sheet Orange Cardstock Paper (I actually used scraps because we didn't need a whole sheet)
Brown Paint
(1) Sheet Dark Brown Cardstock Paper (I actually used scraps because we didn't need a whole sheet)
(3) 2mm 9" x 12"  Foam Sheets (we used red, yellow, and neon green)
Glue on Wiggly Eyes

All supplies can be found at craft stores like JoAnn or Micheals.

First, we Painted our hands with the brown paint. Then we pressed our hands on the Tan Cardstock Paper. We let the paint dry, then, cut out the hand prints leaving about a 1/4 inch boarder around them. We cut tear drop shapes out of the Foam Sheets for my handprint since they were big and thin feather shaped ones for Big Sister's handprint, 3 per handprint and one of each color. If you don't have foam sheets you can use different colors of Cardstock, the Foam just gives them a little more dimension. Next, we cut out triangles on the Orange Cardstock for each handprint to use as beaks. Then, we used the Red Cardstock to cut out wavy shapes to use as the caruncles that are under the beak.Then, we cut out 1 inch long thin strips to make into feet for our turkey. After we had everything cut out we pasted everything in place, putting the tear drop feathers in between the four fingers. We used the thumbs are the head and pasted on a wiggle eye, the beak, and the caruncles. After we pasted on the legs, we taped the back all of the turkeys in a row to a string so that we could hang them above the sink. You can make as many or as few of the turkeys, but the more you do the more supplies you will need!




Big Sister enjoyed having her hand painted and helping me press down the wiggly eyes to glue them on, but that is about as much help as she was during this craft since she is only 2. If you want more involvement from your kids, I suggest trying this craft with older kids, especially ones that know how to used scissors safely and correctly!

Have fun and enjoy Dear followers!
Kelsey

Please Link Up your Holiday Crafts here!




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Monday, November 14, 2011

After Lunch - Table Madness

Why is it that the kitchen table is always the dumping ground. At any given time if you walk into my home, there are stacks of papers or various items sitting on the kitchen table. It seems like every time I clean it off within 5 minutes SOMETHING appears on it. I don't know how to combat this problem, any ideas?

I thought you'd enjoy a photo of our after lunch table display complete with Little People Car, empty plate and jello cup, Sippy, Plush Pig (because Big Sister loves Pigs), Little Sister's Bumbo Chair (greatest invention EVER), and Little Sister's Formula and bottles... beyond the Formula what you can't see is my stack of samples for the interior design of our new house, coupons, and various other papers that came in the mail.

Have a lovely day dear followers, I'm off to go play out side while the girls are napping!
Kelsey

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

What's on Your Fridge?



I have NO idea why it is SO interesting to see what other people (especially people you don't really know) have in their home, but it is. What is their "style" and how to they decorate their home? I'm guessing that is why we have shows on TV like MTV Cribs and Extreme Home Makeover.

I came across a post by Julie, the Cloth Diaper Geek and decided to join in on something fun going around the blogs today that was started by Dirty Diaper Laundry! I just couldn't resist being a part of this linky! I have to admit that it took all I had, not to change anything on the fridge... And I spared you the photo of the top of my fridge. I am going to keep that a secret for now,well except for my Word Bird, pictured here on the right! I thought it was cute... So you can get a glimpse of it, instead of the whole messy top of the fridge!

Left Side
A- Empty Dry Erase Board, since I rarely use it... probably because it is on the left side and not the front...
B- Names and Addresses of people that serve on the local Animal Shelter's Board of Directors, I am the Secretary.
C- My Cousin's Baby Birth Announcement (2010)
D- Names and Addresses of my church members
E- Names and Phone Numbers of volunteers and services we use frequently for our Non Profit Organization
F- Another Dry Erase Board, this one has "Grocery List on Calender Tear Off" written on it.

Front
A- Bank Note Pad on top of the stack, under there are old Baby Well Check visit slips for my girls.
B- Receipt held on by a star fish magnet.
C- Big Sister's Birth Announcement held on by a magnet with a magnet that has 2 unicorns on it in a sunflower field and says "There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved" and a magnet Poison Helpline magnet (it is the one with the red border)
D- Tylenol Dosage Chart for Babies and young children from my family doctor.
E- Little Sister's Birth Announcement held on by a Magnet that is three cartoon looking cows
F- Fetal Movement and Preterm Labor Symptoms chart from my family doctor... guess that one can come down since I'm not pregnant, hehe
G- Flip Flop Magnet that used to hold a note pad, but it is broken... needs to come down too, hehe
H- Magnetic Bracelet I took off after church and left on the fridge
I- Invitation to our Girl's Family Get Away, that took place in May
J- Business Card (you can barely see it)
K- Save the date for my niece's wedding, which was in October
L- Random Business Magnet that I have no idea where is came from...
M- Chip Clip Magnet
N- Business Card for the local Consignment shop held on by a Precious Moments Magnet of a little boy dressed as a clown.
O- Christmas Photo Card of my sister and her kids from 2010
P- Mom's Plan It Calendar, LOVE this! There is space to write each family member's name on the left. It is correct and open to November 2011.

Right Side
A- Coloring Sheet from Church that Big Sister Colored, it is says "Trust in the name of the Lord. Isaiah 50:10"
B- Baby Sister Notes Dry Erase Magnetic Sheet, it is partially hidden under item A
C- Another Coloring Sheet from Church that Big Sister Colored. It is Joseph's Coat Pattern.
D- The Bright Pink Paper, Mother's Day Card with Big Sister's Hands and Foot making a Butterfly that a friend of mine helped Big Sister Make for me last year! LOVE IT SO MUCH!!! There is another one of those Poison Helpline Magnets a the corner of it too, hehe.
E- Indiana Horse Rescue "Save The Horses" Car Magnet
F- Article from local newspaper about our Pastor and his Youth Program from 2009... probably could come down now too, hehe
G- Learning Sheet from Church about Luke 19:1-10 when Zacchaeus Learned About God's Love. There is a Maze with in the tree but Big Sister just scribbled all over it. It is held on by an magnet made out of a Pepsi can in the shape of a horse but it is hard to see because it is partially covered by item F.
H- Walgreens Magnet that is doing nothing... we don't use Walgreens very often...

Note how everything is above toddler height so that Big Sister doesn't pull anything off and shred it. She has this thing about tearing anything paper into teeny tiny pieces and the balling them up.

Well, I hope you all enjoy What's on my Fridge! Now I have to go change it!






Have a great day dear followers!
Kelsey

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Barney Live Ticket Winner!

Thank you to those that entered the Giveaway!



Our Winner for the Family Four Pack of Tickets to Barney Live in Concert - Birthday Bash on November 17, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana is...



Congratulations Kristen B.!
I hope you have a wonderful time with your family and enjoy the show! I will be sending you an e-mail shortly to confirm your win!

Please make sure you all check my blog after November 17th as I will be posting a review of the show!

Have a wonderful day dear followers!
Kelsey

Friday, November 04, 2011

Guest Post: A Non-Mom View on Diapering



I am a married woman, with no kids on the horizon just yet, but still I find myself thinking about diapers. Again. Does this seem strange to anyone else?  Still, I know plenty of moms, and I have changed plenty of diapers, so it’s not as if I am a complete noob—there’s just no reason for me to be contemplating cloth vs. disposable at this time in my life.  Well, actually *this* time I do have an excuse: my sister just had a baby! No matter the reason, I have diapers on the brain, so…here goes.

Not being a mom (I’ve heard it matters), I cannot imagine dealing so closely with that much human waste! With cloth diapers, you have more to do with it, right? I mean you empty it into the toilet, and then you wash them, right?  And if you are out and about, you have to carry it around…so that ups the ick factor. Until you think about using disposables instead…what, so I am just going to gift wrap poo and leave it out for others to deal with many years later in the landfill? I might as well set it on fire on my neighbor’s porch!  And just how many diapers go to the landfill?!…the thought of a poo mountain just sitting there staggers (and, I’ll admit it, amuses) me.

I’ve heard the argument that washing cloth diapers increases fuel consumption and is just as bad for the environment, but that doesn’t sound right to me…didn’t they use fuel to make the disposables, and then all that packaging? Not to mention they don’t degrade and take up landfill space. So I think cloth wins out in the green argument; though I’ll have to check the stats.

But what is right for my (hypothetical) child?  Good question! I can see pros and cons to either disposable or cloth. With disposable, they have neat technology where you can see quickly whether it’s wet, I think the fit is better (no leaks), and it is more sanitary (no build of bacteria to contend with). Not to mention there is less laundry. BUT they are full of chemicals, which is can be bad for the baby’s skin and smell bad, and we’ve discussed the trash issue.  Cloth diapers are cute (you can get designers these days) eco-friendly, and soft against your baby, but then again they aren’t as convenient, and require the aforementioned waste handling and washing.  Still, when answering better for the baby, I think the point goes to cloth, again.

So, I think I will be using cloth diapers, taking the suggestion of RuralMama here which is best. I’ll be sure check back with you when I do have kids, and to let you know whether my decision stands.

Rebekah W.
www.becktacularity.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Double Stroller on a Budget



I recently attended my niece's wedding in Indianapolis. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding with a Christmas theme. In preparation for this wedding I had to go shopping for something nice to wear, since my mommy attire of jeans and a t-shirt would have been frowned upon. A friend and I, along with both girls went to the mall to find our perfect outfits. I'm not big into shopping like most gals, when I go shopping I want in and out as fast as possible.

During this time, I owned a regular stroller and an umbrella stroller to use for outings, except during this particular outing I had forgotten to put the regular stroller back in my van. I was left with a tiny umbrella stroller and two young children trudging through the mall. After carrying around my 8 month old all day, I was seriously considering the need for a double stroller. I don't take both girls out by myself very often due to the fact that I can't push 2 strollers at once nor do I want to try to wrangle a 2 year old (especially during a meltdown) and attempt to watch the baby in the stroller, all at once. I did a little research online and couldn't believe how expensive double strollers could be. I also didn't like the fact that the cheapest umbrella style double strollers were too wide to fit through most shop doorways. So, I started looking for alternatives and I found a cool solution that I think is going to work out GREAT!

I came across the Prince Lionheart Stroller Connectors at Diapers.com. They are made out of 100% recycled material but feel very tough and durable. I decided to look for an inexpensive umbrella stroller to pair with the one I already had. When the stroller and connectors came in the mail I was super excited to test them out! I skipped the instructions due to my excitement and connectors proved to be pretty easy to figure out how to open, adjust, and connect each stroller together. The umbrella strollers I now have are totally different in size, but the connectors still worked fine and I was able to push the girls around with ease! What a cool solution! Ideally, I think it would be best to stick to two strollers of the same brand and size, but for my situation it worked out perfect anyway. The connectors also allow me the freedom to use just one of the strollers if I choose to or for my husband and I to push the girls separately while we are out and about.

The Prince Lionheart Stroller Connectors only cost me $12.99 at Diapers.com! What a great deal for a family on a budget and the convenience of a double stroller yet the option to go single!

Have a wonderful day dear followers!
Kelsey

Disclaimer: I bought this product on my own and was not compensated in any way for this review, I just really like the product! Please note that this post is my opinion and I nor Diapers.com nor the makers of the Prince Lionheart Stroller Connectors promise or guarantee that this product will work for everyone.



Diapers.com discounts
use code:DREA3545
Buy Baby Items at Diapers.comDiapers.com

Kubota Kid Safety Kit Winner!



We finally have a winner for the Kubota Kid Safety Kit as well!



Congratulations Jennifer L!
Wow that was fun! Selecting 2 winners in one day is awesome!

Have a wonderful Wednesday dear Followers!
Kelsey

Fuzzi Bunz Winner!



I know you are all waiting anxiously! I have picked the winner of the One Size FuzziBunz Cloth Diaper via Random.org!





Amy M. Congratulations! 

I will be e-mailing you shortly to verify your win!

Thanks and have a GREAT Day dear Followers!
Kelsey

Monday, October 31, 2011

Blog Updates & The Cool & Interesting



BLOG UPDATE: As you may have noticed, a toolbar appears across the bottom of the page! Please use the buttons share my pages via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and more! Let me know if you Like or Dislike the new toolbar by commenting under this post! I'd really appreciate the feedback.


I love surfing the net and finding interesting blogs. I've come across some interesting blogs that I'd like to share with you:

little Indiana is a blog about small towns in Indiana and all the awesome hidden treasure you can find among them! Please jump on over and check it out and tell them Rural Mama's Sandbox Sent you!

Also, a friend of mine started a blog a while back called 2 is Purrfect. She has several giveaways going on right now that you HAVE to check out! There is even one for Fort Wayne locals, so don't miss out!

I am going to making it a priority to start posting more, especially about my girls! They are the reason I started this blog and I seem to have been slacking a little when it comes to them. Little Sister is rarely mentioned and my journey as a mother is barely documented, so I'm kicking into high gear! 

Thank you for staying with me dear Followers and I hope you enjoy my future posts!
Kelsey

Monday, October 24, 2011

Barney Live Ticket Giveaway!



Dear Followers! Guess who is coming to town? BARNEY & FRIENDS! The Murat Theatre at Old National Centre in Indianapolis, Indiana will be busting at the seams November 17th with kids of all ages singing and dancing with the ever popular purple dinosaur, Barney! Don't miss out on this family fun event coming soon to Indianapolis, Indiana!

What: Barney Live in Concert – Birthday Bash!
When: Thursday November 17, 2011 at 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Where: Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
502 North New Jersey Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Tickets: $15 and $25. A limited number of $30 Gold Circle Seats and $55 Dino Seats* are also available. A facility fee of $2 will be added to all ticket prices. Additional fees and discounts may apply.

*Special $55 Dino Seat packages are available at all shows. Dino Seats feature front row seats and a pre-show Meet & Greet with Barney.

For more information, call 617-231-0000. To charge tickets by phone, please call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com.

For information online, please visit www.barneylivetour.com. Like Barney Live in Concert on Facebook


WIN IT!
The wonderful people at BohlsenPR, Inc. are graciously offering one of my LUCKY readers a Family Four Pack of Tickets to the Barney Live - Birthday Bash on November 17, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana!


Entries close November 7, 2011 at 11:00PM EST! Open to US residents only. The winner will be sent an e-mail to claim their tickets as well as the winner's first name and last initial will be posted on my blog.

Good Luck Dear Follower and I hope you enjoy the Show!
Kelsey

Disclaimer: BolsenPR, Inc. provided me with 4 tickets to giveaway and 3 tickets to use to review the show. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Changing Diapers Book Review & Fuzzi Bunz Giveaway



When I first started out researching cloth diapers, most of what I learned came from other Moms as well as various websites. As convenient as the internet is, it seemed like each information page I found was dedicated to one type of cloth diaper or only a few types, the pool of brand choices seemed overwhelming, and don't even get me started on researching washing instructions and detergents.  What I needed was a sweet and simple "Go To" guide or manual that had it all. I managed pretty well without one, but I have definitely learned from several mistakes.

I recently had the awesome privilege on of being able to review an online version of the new book by Kelly Wels, Changing Diapers: A Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering. I had been reading a lot about Changing Diapers around the web and had been dying to get my hands on a copy! Where was THIS when I was starting out? I have to admit, I'm a little jealous of all the new mommies out there that now have this "Go To Guide" for cloth diapering available for all their cloth diapering questions!

Changing Diapers: A Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering is charmingly put together. The photos are beautiful and the writing is straight forward, easy to understand, and interesting. It made me giggle each time I flipped to a page with a cute little baby with a fluffy bum!

Screen shot from Page 22 of Changing Diapers:
A Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering
My main purpose for cloth diapering my girls was 1) To limit my girls' exposure to harsh chemical through diapers and 2) To save money. There are so many more reason why Mom's choose to use cloth diapers, these are just the most important to me. Both of these topics as well as others can be found in the FIRST Chapter of Changing Diapers: A Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering and boy do they explore the harsh chemical subject well. I knew disposables used various chemicals, but after reading through the list and their descriptions I was convinced even more that I had made the right choice in using cloth diapers.

Overall, I was really impressed with Changing Diapers: A Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering! This book is simple to read and flows nicely from subject to subject. It is a great guide for first time Moms and Dads or even Parents that are wanting to make the switch to Cloth Diapers. I am so glad that there is now a "Go To Guide" for Cloth Diapers!

My Rating: A+ $$$
Click here to see what My Rating means!

Cost: $17.95, 6.5 x 6.5, paperback, 215 pages, full color (ISBN 978-0-9835622-1-4)

Where to Buy: KellyWels.com & Amazon.com
OR click my Affiliate Banner to Buy through KellyWels.com
This banner is an Affiliate link.

Visit Kelly's Blog:
KellyWels.com



Like Kelly Wels on Facebook
Follow @KellyWels on Twitter



Like Changing Diapers on Facebook
Follow @ChangingDiapers on Twitter



WIN!
The Changing Diapers Team is SO Awesome, they are offering up a FuzziBunz One Size Cloth Diaper to one of my lucky readers!


This giveaway ends November 1, 2011 at 11:00PM EST. The winner will be selected by Random.org and notified by e-mail as well as their First name and Last Initial will be posted on my blog.


I hope you all enjoyed my book review! Have a wonderful evening dear followers!
Kelsey

Disclaimer: I was given a link to an online version of the book Changing Diapers: A Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering to review. I was not compensated for this review and this review details my personal opinion and experience reading this book.

#ChangingDiapers Twitter Party TONIGHT 10/18 9PM ET

There is an awesome event going on TONIGHT!Check it out!

When: Tuesday, October 18th at 9pm ET
Where: Twitter using the hashtag #changingdiapers
Who to Follow:  @KellyWels, @ChangingDiapers@TheEcoChic and my trusty sidekick @EcoChicSidekick
Blogger Ambassadors:  @chgdiapers@FamilyNLifeLV@katiespickles@kimrosas@sofawned, @hautemommyblog, and @paddedtushstats
Join the Party:  TweetGrid (TBA), TweetChat (http://tweetchat.com/room/changingdiapers), or just plain Twitter.  Just be sure to enter the #ChangingDiapers hashtag on each Tweet.
For FULL details, prizes and RSVP, click HERE: http://ecochicparties.theecochic.com/2011/10/changingdiapers-twitter-party-with-kelly-wels-1018/

I've got something special up my sleeve as an after party goodie so come back to Rural Mama's Sandbox!

Have a great night dear followers and Happy Tweeting!
Kelsey

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

MIA - Sorry about that!

Okay, so life is just getting so busy the bigger my girls get! My youngest just turned 7 months old and she is moving around like CRAZY! My oldest didn't see the need to move around this much at all. Everyone always tells you that each baby is totally different, and I knew this, but deep down I wanted a clone, lol! I'm just kidding, my youngest is also very special in her own ways and I love that about her, she gives me so many new experiences that I didn't have with my oldest and yet my oldest gave me experiences that I have never had with my youngest. They really seem to have balanced out one another well and taught me a lot, even already!

On a side note, sorry I've been MIA for a while! I am going to try to get back into the blogging scene, hopefully nap times will correspond and they'll give me an hour to type, hehe! We'll see, please stay with me!

I've got some fun news! I finally bought Big Sister's riding helmet! We decided to go with the Troxel Legacy in Smoke Antiquus. She has a tiny little head so we went with the small. I fit it to her head in the house and it fit great but when I put it on her outside I must have messed with the adjustments and it kept falling forward on her. I'm pretty sure it was user error on my part and I think I just need to get used to the adjustment system a little more. The day her helmet came in I took Big Sister out to ride her pony! She just LOVES the horses and would have stayed on that pony ALL day long. She is a natural and I am just amazed at her balance for only 2 years old. She also has no fear. I was able to lead the pony without holding onto her. It didn't faze her a bit and she rode him like she had been riding since the day she was born! SHE is going to be FUN! We have also been blessed to have an incredible pony. He loves me and will do anything I ask him to, especially if I let him nibble on the grass every so often. I can't wait to see their relationship and bond grow as Big Sister rides more!


Thanks for staying with me dear followers! I've got some cool/controversial posts planned ahead so please stay tuned!
Kelsey

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Baby Bird Update!

I thought my followers would like some updated photos of the High Chair Nest Birds!

July 28, 2011

July 30, 2011 - Eyes Slightly Opening



August 2, 2011 - Serious plumage coming in!
Unfortunately, I forgot to get photos today before it gets dark. I'm crossing my fingers the little boogers are still there tomorrow so I can get some photos before they leave the nest!

Anyone have any idea what type of bird they are? Would love to know, please leave me your best guess in the comments!

Thanks for reading dear followers and stay tuned for the Kabota Safety Kit Giveaway Winner announcement!
Kelsey

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Home Sweet... High Chair?


About a week or so ago I was moving our picnic tables around in the back yard so that I could easily mow. Next to the picnic tables we have a high chair. We were given two high chairs when Big Sister was about 6 months, but our house really isn't big enough to store two, so we use one outside. The top tray wasn't hooked on, it was just laying over the seat, so I grabbed the tray so that it wouldn't fall when I moved the high chair. Under the tray was a nest. I went to grab the nest and remove it from the seat when I spotted something inside, 4 small speckled eggs. I didn't know how long they'd been there, nor did I know whether or not Mommy Bird was coming back for them, however, I decided to just move the high chair, leave it alone, and "let nature take it's course." This past week was pretty busy and I didn't get the picnic tables moved back after I mowed. Yesterday, I was outside and decided that it was about time to move the picnic tables back to where they were supposed to be, as well as the high chair. I went to grab the high chair when I remembered that I had laid the tray on top, just as it had been before, so if I moved the high chair, it would fall. I grabbed the tray and jumped as Mommy Bird whizzed past my head, I think I scared her as bad as she scared me. I couldn't even tell you what color she was because she moved so fast and I was so startled. I was curious about the eggs so a bent down to take a peak. To my surprise I saw a tiny yellow beak open and close! The eggs had hatched! It looked fairly newborn, almost completely naked, with a tiny bit of fuzz on the head and the eyes were still shut. I looked a little closer and saw not one but FOUR little yellow beaks! ALL of the eggs had hatched! I took several photos with my cell phone and then decided to move the high chair back to its original resting place. I grabbed under the edged of the chair and BAM! A sharp, intense, nagging pain shot up my arm. Mommy Bird had friends/body guards! On the backside of the high chair a group of wasps (or hornets or some type of flying stinging machine) had taken up residents as well. I pulled my hand back fast as the bugger that got me flew around mocking me. My right index finder had a small red spot that ached with pain. The pain was really intense and it instantly began to swell. I wasn't sure if I had ever been bit/stung by this type of bug before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not allergic to bee stings, so I thought I would be okay, but I called my hubby to come home just in case. The last thing I needed was to pass out from paralysis or respiratory distress, alone with two small children. Well, hubby came home, stayed a while and as the pain started to ease we both felt like the worst was over and he was safe to head back to the barn to work.

Today, it feels a little better. My whole index finger is warm to the touch,  swollen and numb. There is a sore feeling that goes from the knuckle to my wrist, it is still a little hard to move, but now my finger itches. It didn't itch yesterday, but today it itches like crazy. The good things is that the insanely intense sharp pain is gone. Hopefully all of this will subside soon, I've got way too much to do to worry about a silly little finger, hehe. I want to keep checking on the Baby Birds, I know, it sounds silly. I'll just have to watch out for Mommy's Bird's body guards next time! I hope you enjoy the photos I took of the Baby Birds! Nature is so beautiful, God sure knew what he was doing!

Home Sweet Highchair!
  And God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens." 
  So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
  And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." -Genesis 1:20-22 (ESV)


The nest!

Baby Birds!
Newborn baby birds, naked with a little fuzz!

Left Hand Good!


Right Hand, Not so Good! Check out my index finger!
Hope you have a wonderful day dear followers!
Kelsey

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kubota Kid Safety Kit Giveaway!


Living on a horse farm is not all fun and games (but for the most part it is fun), it’s a lot of work. And to do that work, we rely on farm equipment to help us get the job done. Having small kids around the farm can be somewhat stressful and teaching your kids Farm Safety could mean the difference between a fun time and a trip to the ER!

Did you know that according to the Progressive Agriculture Foundation, each year an estimated 15,000 children who visit, live or work on farms or ranches are injured and more than 100 children die of agriculture-related injuries in the United States alone?

Until recently I was not aware of those scary statistics!

These statistics are simply too high, and Kubota is dedicated to helping families make sure those summer memories are as safe and happy as possible by offering “Kubota’s Farm Safety Tips for Kids” to help families start the safety conversation as early as possible.

Kubota’s Farm Safety Tips for Kids:

  •  Stop, look and listen when playing outside, especially on the farm, and always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Farm equipment is not safe to ride on even when an adult is present.
  • Tractors are not toys. They are powerful machines only to be used by adults who are thoroughly familiar with the equipment. 
  • Children should never ride on a tractor; a tractor only has one seat and that seat is intended for the operator. Just say “no” if someone wants to give you a ride. It is not safe to be a “rider” when the tractor is intended for one operator. 
  • Stay out of the path of all moving equipment. And, stand far away from a tractor when it is being started; when it is running; and, especially when it is working.
  • Never stand behind a tractor – whether it is running or not – the operator might not see you and you could get hurt.
  • Be a “safety first sheriff” and encourage use of seatbelts for your entire family. Just like in a car, a tractor is equipped with a seatbelt for safety. Additionally, a Roll Over Protection Structure (ROPS) on a tractor is in place to protect the driver.
The Kubota website also has an Equipment Safety page with an excellent Education Resources section that include Videos, Podcasts, and Tractor Safety Games and Activities you can print off to help teach your kid about the do’s and don’ts of being on a farm and around farm equipment. Go here to view Kubota’s Equipment Safety Page: http://kubota.com/safety/TractorSafety.aspx

Kubota is also offering a Kubota Kid Safety Kit to one of my lucky readers! The Safety Kit includes:
·         “Kubota’s Farm Safety Tips for Kids” sheet
·         Ten Commandments of Tractor Safety” coloring book
·         Kubota duffle bag
·         Kubota youth-size t-shirt
·         Kubota youth-sized baseball cap


 ENTRIES CLOSED
Click here for the Winner!


Entries close on November 1, 2011 at 11:50PM EST! U.S. & Canada entries only please. Winner's first name and last initial will be posted on my blog. I will e-mail the winner for mailing address verification. 


Have a wonderful evening dear followers and stay SAFE!
Kelsey

Disclaimer: Kubota provided me with a Kubota Kit Safety Kit to keep as well as provided one for one of my lucky readers. I was not compensated for this post.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yum Yum Dishes Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to....









Amy Jo S. you are the winner of a Yellow Yum Yum Dish! Congrats! I will be sending you an e-mail to verify, in the morning!

Good night dear followers!
Kelsey

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