Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Good and Perfect Gift

I recently received "A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny" by Amy Julia Becker from Bethany House Publishing.  While I received the book free, the opinions below are my own. 

Summary from
“Things don't always go as planned--especially when it comes to our children. When her first baby, Penny, is given a frightening diagnosis, Amy Julia's world comes crashing down. Could she continue to trust God's goodness through what felt like personal tragedy? But challenging surprises often lead to unforeseen joy, and disappointments can turn into blessings. This wise and beautiful book is more than a courageous story of raising a child against the odds--it is a journey through the unexpected ups and downs of life and the discoveries that come along the way.”

My Review:
I love reading stories about parents who were forever changed (for the positive) by their children.  It amazes me how much we can learn from such tiny beings!  I really enjoyed Amy Julia’s story about her daughter Penny.  Shortly after giving birth to her daughter, the doctors told her that they thought Penny had Down syndrome.  Amy Julia talks openly about her feelings and questions, her concerns and frustrations.  They learn to trust that God will always be there.  While reading this book, there were times where I would wonder how I would feel if I had been faced with this situation or any similar situation.  I think I would have gone through many of the same questions and emotions that Amy Julia Becker talks about in this book.  I especially loved the last paragraph in the book.

“We weren’t a perfect family, and we never would be, at least not by the standards I would have set out for us years earlier. But we were coming closer to our telos, our true perfection, because we were learning what it meant to be human, what it meant to be whole.” 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Parenting Questions! Help!

I keep thinking I'm going to get back into the swing of things with So Mommy, but things keep "happening" and it keeps getting pushed to the back!  I'm hoping to start writing my reviews after the kids go to bed so that it will be easier to have them posted for you all!  I have some good ones to share!

We have recently started "homeschool" with my 2 1/2 year old.  Nothing major, just having her sit down with me for about 10 minutes 3 days a week.  We work on various things like drawing shapes, cutting paper, reading - mostly things to help her learn to sit still for longer periods of time.  It's giving me an idea of what homeschooling will really be like with 2 kids!

While I have you reading, I have some questions for you all! I'm in need of advice from you all!

(1) My 2 1/2 year old daughter is potty training.  She rarely has accidents (#1), and has been in big girl panties for awhile now.  Every now and then she has an accident, but no biggie.  However, she still refuses to do #2 in the potty. 
         We've tried:
-Prizes - she has 3 large prizes she gets if she does it and could care less
-Putting her on the potty when we see her going - she stops and won't go at all and ends up constipated
-Apple juice (to make it easier) - she still stops if we site her on the potty
-Putting her potty chair in front of the t.v. to get her distracted while she goes - she gets too distracted

I'm out of ideas!  She asks for a diaper to poop in, so I've resorted to putting a diaper on her and encouraging her to poop (in the diaper) in the bathroom.  I'm hoping I'll eventually be able to get her to poop in the diaper on the toilet, then without the diaper, but who knows if that will work haha.  Any ideas are appreciated!!

(2) My 2 1/2 year old is having nightmares.  She has always been a very good sleeper until recently.  She screams when you mention bedtime - terrified screams, not just crying.  She finally told us that the animals come out when we close the door (sometimes they play soccer on her wall and sometimes it's football). 
-She won't go to sleep with a nightlight or with the door open. 
-She won't let us sleep in her room with her, she just wants us to sit at the end of her bed and sing "Jesus Loves Me" forever. 
-I finally got her to lay with me on the couch and sleep (she goes to sleep in under 5 minutes) and then I go lay her down. 
-We let her watch VeggieTales "Where's God when I'm Scared" and we assure her that her room is safe, but it hasn't seemed to help much. 

Any ideas for getting rid of nightmares?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lilies in the Moonlight - Book Review

I received "Lilies in the Moonlight" by Allison Pittman as part of Waterbrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books program.  If you like to read and review books, you should check them out!

Publisher's Description (from

He’d lost his zest for life. She was just lost. Will they find the healing and love they long for?

After a roaring night on the town, fun-loving flapper Lilly Margolis, dazed and disoriented, twists her ankle and falls into the backyard of a wealthy family where the effects of the Great War—over for more than half a decade—are still endured. Inside the walls of the Burnside mansion, Cullen Burnside, a disillusioned and disfigured veteran, and his widowed mother, Betty Ruth, who daily slips a little further into dementia, lead a lonely existence … until Lilly. Whimsical, lighthearted, and beautiful, she rejuvenates their sad, disconnected lives and blossoms in the light of their attention.

But Lilly, like Cullen, is hiding from a painful past. And when Cullen insists on returning her to her faraway home, their budding attraction seems destined to die on the vine. The resulting road trip becomes a journey of self-discovery—but what will Cullen and Lilly find at journey’s end?

Author Bio (from

Allison Pittman is the author of Stealing Home, The Bridegrooms, the Crossroads of Grace series, and Saturdays with Stella. A former high school English teacher, she serves as director of the theater arts group at her church. Allison makes her home in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Learn more about the author at
My Review
I have decided that I'm not really a romantic novel type person.  The book was very well-written and enjoyable, but it just isn't my kind of book.  The plot was a nice change from boy-meets-girl-gets-married.  It definitely had a unique twist on the normal love story novels, which I liked.   The first few chapters kept me reading, but the middle got a little slow for me.  If you like romantic novels, you would probably enjoy this book...I'm just more of a mystery girl!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What if your child went missing?

"Every 40 seconds in the United States, someone’s son or daughter goes missing, but only a fraction of those children are eligible to have a traditional Amber Alert issued for them because the circumstances for their disappearance do not lead officials to believe they are in life-threatening danger among other criteria. A new technology has been developed, however, that allows parents to send out their own alert anytime their child goes missing.

SecuraChild is entirely free for parents and guardians to use. An account can be created for any child with a minimum of important identifying information including: height, weight, hair color, and eye color. A parent can include other meaningful information including medical conditions, unique and descriptive features as well as posting images, videos and other content that could be used to help find their missing child quickly. The site is fully encrypted and each account is protected to ensure the security of all information. Also, parents can choose exactly what details they want to save on the profile that they create.

If a parent’s son or daughter should ever go missing, the parent can quickly login to their account to provide basic details such as where the child was last seen, what the child was wearing, and where they may be going or ties to an area or community. SecuraChild then broadcasts the information and the child’s detailed portfolio to thousands via social networking sites, text messages and emails, creating a nearly instantaneous network of searchers.

In addition, when a missing child is reported, SecuraChild emails the parents a free PDF document that packages all of the stored information on the missing child. Parents can provide this document to law enforcement to expedite the process of registering their missing child with local law enforcement and the issuance of a traditional Amber Alert."  (All above is from the press release).

SecuraChild is extremely easy (and free!) to sign up.  I definitely recommend doing it!  Like said above, if your child goes missing it may be hard to recall some important details.  SecuraChild remembers them for you!

Can a necklace really help reflux?

Since having LB, I feel like my life has turned into a whirlwind of craziness!  Do any of you ever feel that way?  It seems like we're always going somewhere or doing something...and when I am home I'm trying to wash the ever-growing dishes and laundry.  I have so many things I have been reviewing (including several books), and I have been wanting to share them all with you, but I haven't had any time to sit down and think (and I want you to be able to understand my reviews haha). 

What I want to talk about today is laundry...I know, boring stuff!  Seriously though, since LB was born my laundry pile is crazy!  It is always a huge pile, and it's not just because she likes to be held.  It's because she has reflux. And spits up. A ton!  It's bad when you have to give a disclaimer before you let someone hold your child, but anytime someone wants to hold her I feel like I need to tell them she's probably going to cover them in spit up. And she almost always does.  Having a reflux baby is no fun...the laundry is crazy, but a lot of times she just seems uncomfortable.  She has been on Prilosec and Zantac, but neither seem to make her feel much better, and I just felt sorry for I started looking for another solution.

Several moms suggested a Hazelwood necklace from Inspired By Finn.  I know what you're thinking.  How can a necklace help reflux?  I thought the same thing, so I started reading about it.  The Hazelwood actually soaks up the excess acid in the body.  It can relieve many acid-related ailments such as acid reflux, ulcers, heartburn, and other acid-related ailments. They can also take the edge off of heartburn and morning sickness during pregnancy.  Hazel wood also helps relieve skin problems such as (psoriasis, eczema, acne, and diaper rash) constipation, headaches, migraines, canker sores, and the occurrence of dental cavities when these ailments are related to excessive acid in the body (and sometimes they are not).  The necklaces do not contain chemical or any medicines, it is just Hazelwood (well, ours has pearl accent beads).

I was very intrigued after reading about them, so I ordered one. The youth necklaces are about $30, which I thought was a great price if it would work.  I waited impatiently to get it in, and she has been wearing it ever since.  We're on month 2 now, and I have definitely noticed a difference!  She doesn't spit up nearly as much!  She does still spit up some, but everyone that was around her before the necklace can definitely see there is a difference.  I have had so many people tell me how cute her necklace is, and when I go on to tell them what it does, they are always amazed!  If you or your child has reflux problems, I would definitely recommend this necklace!

Here is a picture of LB in her necklace

Be sure to check out Inspired By Finn on Facebook and tell her So Mommy sent you!
Look for a review of the Amber necklace for pain coming soon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Paradise Valley

I recently received "Paradise Valley" by Dale Cramer from Bethany House Publishing.  While I received the book free, the opinions below are my own. 

Summary from
An Amish settlement in Ohio has run afoul of a law requiring their children to attend public school. Caleb Bender and his neighbors are arrested for neglect, with the state ordering the children be placed in an institution. Among them are Caleb's teenage daughter, Rachel, and the boy she has her eye on, Jake Weaver. Romance blooms between the two when Rachel helps Jake escape the children's home.
Searching for a place to relocate his family where no such laws apply, Caleb learns there's inexpensive land for sale in Mexico, a place called Paradise Valley. Despite rumors of instability in the wake of the Mexican revolution, the Amish community decides this is their answer. And since it was Caleb's idea, he and his family will be the pioneers. They will send for the others once he's established a foothold and assessed the situation.
My Review:
Before this book, I wasn't a huge fan of Amish fiction.  I liked to read them, but they weren't my favorite.  Dale Cramer did a wonderful job writing "Paradise Valley."  I didn't want to stop reading until the end!  My family has moved a lot since I was younger, so I completely sympathized with the daughters during the move.  While my moves were never this drastic, it was always hard to leave friends.  When daughter Rachel found out she was leaving her first love, she was very upset.  Another unmarried daughter feared she would never marry because they were leaving all of her potential 'mates'.  This family showed how important it is to stick together in these hard times.  When they were feeling down, another family member would be there for them.  There were many dangers awaiting the family in Paradise Valley, but thanks to "Gott" (God) they found help when they needed it.  I really enjoyed this book, and I can't wait to read more by this author!

The Lady of Bolton Hill

I received "The lady of Bolton Hill" by Elizabeth Camden from Bethany House Publishing.  No other compensation was received, and the review is my own opinion.

Brief synopsis from
"Female journalists are rare in 1879, but American-born Clara Endicott has finally made a name for herself with her provocative articles championing London's poor. When the backlash from her work forces a return home to Baltimore, Clara finds herself face-to-face with a childhood sweetheart who is no longer the impoverished factory worker she once knew. In her absence, Daniel Tremain has become a powerful industry giant and Clara finds him as enigmatic as ever. However, Daniel's success is fueled by resentment from past wounds and Clara's deeply-held beliefs about God's grace force Daniel to confront his own motives. When Clara's very life is endangered by one of Daniel's adversaries, they must face a reckoning neither of them ever could have foreseen."
My Review
This book shows a women who knows her purpose in life and wants to follow God to get there.  It was nice to read a book about a women "back in the day" going after what she wanted, no matter the cost (even getting thrown in jail).  She also shows unmarried girls that you don't have to settle for a guy if he isn't what God wants you to have.  Clara knew she couldn't marry Daniel if he didn't share her beliefs, and she told him as much.  I really enjoyed reading this book.  It isn't an extremely exciting thriller or anything, but it was definitely a good read complete with fights, theives, and plots to kill!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Are We There Yet? Review and Giveaway

Are We There Yet?
Aurora Gifts is offering yet another line of adorable products - this time for kids on the go!  They have neckrests, ID tags, and even those cute "By My Side" leads.  Ever since Sydney was a tiny baby she has slept in the car.  At 2 1/2 years old, she STILL falls asleep in the car (she actually did today for an hour long drive)!  She always looks so uncomfortable with her head slumped over in her seat, so I was glad to get to try this out.  She wouldn't put it around her neck before she went to sleep (she still has the toddler "I'm not sleepy" thing going), but as soon as she went to sleep I reached around and put it behind her neck.  She looked a lot more comfortable to me and she seemed to like it as well.  These neckrests retail for about $13. 

 We also received a cute giraffe ID tag, which is awesome for kids bags!  It's a cute fluffy giraffe with a small ID card that slides in.  Definitely not readable from a distance, so I don't mind keeping it on the bag while Sydney wears it.  It just looks like a fluffy "charm" for her bag. These retail for $6.
Don't forget to check out Aurora's website for all of their gifts!  My daughter loves her Milly the Pinkest Kitty!

About Aurora World Inc.Aurora World, Inc. (, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2011, is a leading manufacturer and supplier of high quality, competitively priced plush toys and gifts. Aurora’s name reflects its extensive product lines and growing influence in the worldwide marketplace, as well as its international manufacturing, R&D and distribution resources. Founded in 1981, the Korean company with headquarters in the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Germany, has ascended quickly to become a respected leader in the world’s toy and gift character and contents industry. Aurora created the international plush toy phenomenon - YooHoo & Friends™ - and its corresponding free, interactive web site (, appealing to young children and tweens alike. The company sells its products via a wide variety of retailers including major zoos, high-end toy stores such as Learning Express, top gift chains such as Hallmark and Claire’s as well as hospital gift shops, fine florists, candy stores and gift/stationery stores worldwide.

One lucky reader will win a Kid's ID tag from Aurora Gifts!!

How to Enter: 
(1 entry) - ‘Like’ Aurora Gifts on Facebook HERE
(1 entry) - ‘Like’ So Mommy on Facebook HERE and let me know if you are a new fan
(1 entry) - Mention this giveaway on your facebook page and leave me the link
(1 entry) - Tell me which tag is your favorite!

**This giveaway ends on July 23, 2011 at 5 p.m. CST.  The winner will be selected by random draw and will have 48 hours to respond to our notification email before another winner is selected.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.  I was given a free neckrest and ID tag in exchange for my review.  No other compensation was received.** 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

MYHABIT - $25 off code = FREE STUFF!

Click the link above to sign up for MYHABIT.  You can use the code SUMMER25 through August 1st to get $25 off of your purchase (with free shipping!)

I scored a cute kimono top with matching shorts for my daughter earlier today completely free!  They are sold out of a lot right now, but they restock more items every morning, so check early!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dandelion Tableware

I recently received a set of Dandelion Tableware to try out, and I have to say I was very interested in trying it!  Just so you know, Dandelion makes more than tableware - they make Earth-friendly products for kids - including plush toys, teethers, and clothes!  You can see all of their products HERE.

Now, back to the tableware!  The tableware is BPA free, Phthalate Free, PVC Free, and made from corn!  "Unlike conventional plastic, which is largely made from petroleum, our bioplastic is primarily made from corn! Polylactic acid (PLA) requires significantly less fossil resources, and generates far fewer green house gases than conventional plastic. And corn is a renewable and sustainable resource (from the Dandelion website)." I love that they offer divided plates!  My daughter doesn't seem to mind her foods touching, but I do haha so I love these!  The spoons have a much deeper scoop than most which makes it easier for my daughter to keep foods on them!  Sydney has mastered stabbing foods with a fork, so she doesn't use the Dandelion ones often (they are more for learning).  These are great quality products, and I'm sure we will be using them for years to come! 

The only downfall is that they aren't dishwasher safe, but knowing they are completely safe makes up for that!

The Gathering Place Review and Giveaway

Who doesn't love a cute applique shirt?  I think they are great - especially for holidays or sibling pictures...or birthdays or pretty much anything!  I found The Gathering Place awhile back through one of my readers.  The ladies that own the store are very nice - and great to work with. 

This is a mom-owned business, which is a plus for me.  I like to help out other moms when I can!  They do applique shirts, monogrammed gifts, jewelry, and more!  You just have to check out their selection. Trust me - they have a lot of beautiful items.

They sent Sydney a cute little Easter shirt to wear.  It had a chick in an egg and her name on it, and I thought it was beautiful!  It has been worn and washed several times now, and I can definitely say that it is excellent quality that will last!  Sydney absolutely loves the shirt.  We have gotten many compliments on it!  After looking through our Easter pictures, I realized I don't have a good close up picture of the design on the shirt, so I took one of just the shirt for you all to see!

Here are a few other items from The Gathering Place:

One lucky reader will win a $15 gift card to use at The Gathering Place!

How to Enter: 
(1 entry) - ‘Like’ The Gathering Place on Facebook HERE
(1 entry) - ‘Like’ So Mommy on Facebook HERE and let me know if you are a new fan
(1 entry) - Mention this giveaway on your facebook page and leave me the link
(1 entry) - Tell me which item is you favorite!

**This giveaway ends on July 5, 2011 at 5 p.m. CST.  The winner will be selected by random draw and will have 48 hours to respond to our notification email before another winner is selected.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.  I was given a free shirt in exchange for my review.  No other compensation was received.** 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Promises to Keep

I recently received “Promises to Keep” by Ann Tatlock from Bethany House Publishers to review.  Before I tell you what I thought, let me tell you a little about the book.
Summary from
"Eleven-year-old Roz (Rosalind) Anthony and her family have just moved to Mills River, Illinois, to escape an abusive situation. Only days after settling into their new home, they are surprised to find the previous owner, Tillie Monroe, on their front porch reading the newspaper. Though her sons have sold the house and sent her to a facility for the aged, she is determined to die in the place she lived her life and somehow manages to find her way "home" day after day. Feeling sympathy for the elderly woman, Roz's mother allows Tillie to move back in.
Mara Nightingale becomes Roz's first friend in Mills River. In spite of their many differences, the girls discover they have something in common that binds them together-both are hiding secrets. So they make a promise -"cross my heart and hope to die"-never to tell anyone else."
My Review
I thought this was a pretty good book.  It was a little slow moving to me, but I tend to like the suspense-filled books the most.  The story line was good, but I could sense the ending very early on.  The early part of the book where the family meets Tillie was probably the best part of the book if you ask me.  I'm pretty sure I'd have been a little shocked if a random old lady showed up on my porch one morning!  If you don't mind the slow progression of the story, this is a good book to read, but if you're like me and like suspense - you may want to skip this one!

God Gave Us Two

I recently received "God Gave Us Two" by Lisa Tawn Bergren from Waterbrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books program.  If you like to read and write reviews, you should check out their program (Blogging for Books).

I love all of the "God Gave Us" books.  They are simple, but very sweet books for children.  The illustrations are beautiful.  My 2 year old likes to read them with me as well!  If you remember, I did a review for God Gave Us So Much (see review HERE) not too long ago!

"God Gave Us Two" is about Mama  and Papa polar bear having another baby.  Little Cub is very curious about it, and asks a lot of questions like, "Will you forget me when the new baby comes?"  Mama and Papa reassure Little Cub that they will love her AND the new baby and explain that they are gifts from God.  Little Cub asks for a sister, but Papa tells her that she doesn't get to pick.  They get a nice surprise at the end - a brother and a sister!

I thought this was a great book for siblings.  It came at a perfect time for us - right before L.B. was born!  I think Sydney enjoyed reading about getting a new baby.  The only problem is that you might have to explain why you don't always get twins (and they aren't always a boy and a girl) haha.  I guess that is where you have to explain that you can't pick!  I'm very glad that we had this book for Sydney, and I plan to share it with other siblings that need help understanding a new baby!

You can get a slightly imperfect copy of this book for $4.99 HERE.  That is 50% off!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I'm finally getting back into the swing of things...having a newborn and a toddler really slows down my blogging!  But don't worry! I'm back - with sleep and usually cooperative kids!  I'll be posting new reviews and giveaways THIS WEEK so make sure to tell all of your friends to check out So Mommy! 

Along with new reviews and giveaways, I'll be posting a "Top 10 for Baby - Items I can't live without" this week!

Desires of My Heart wins the beautiful bow from Creative Expressions!  Congratulations!  Look for more giveaways and reviews coming up!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A little about me!

I have really blogged much about me, so I thought I'd take a moment (or two..) to do that!  I am a breastfeeding, cloth-diapering, baby wearing, soon-to-be homeschooling mom of 2 beautiful girls ages 2 years and 5 weeks.  Don't worry - I'm not a mom that will try to pressure you into doing things my way..though I am always willing to answer any questions and help as much as I can. 

With my first daughter, Sydney, I decided to breastfeed because it was the cheapest / healthiest way to go...and it helps moms lose weight faster!  My older sister and my mom both did it, so I had a good support system ready to go!  I asked for a sling for Christmas before my daughter was born - Brooke Burke made the Peanut Shell look so easy!  I have loved it - with both daughters!  I currently own 5 different slings, and I share them with other moms that are interested in baby wearing. 

I love to shop with my mom - using my coupons, of course.  I have gotten a lot of great deals that way!  We canceled our cable because I didn't like most of the things that were available to watch...and I didn't want my kids bombarded with commercials.  We have a Netflix account now, so my kids can watch only what I select (and no commercials) through our Wii.  I would definitely suggest this for anyone trying to save money and limit what their kids watch.  Sydney loves to watch Leapfrog and The Land Before Time movies!

I started cloth diapering when Sydney was around 1 year.  I decided to try it mostly because of the money it saved.  I had a friend that gave me a few diapers to try out, along with some helpful information on how to wash them, etc.  It really wasn't as bad as I thought it might be!  Since then, I have built my diaper stash by buying new diapers on clearance and buying used /new diapers from other moms, and also by doing reviews.  I am proud to say I have never paid full price for a cloth diaper!  Yes, I am cheap!  I will do a more detailed post on cloth diapers later, so feel free to let me know any questions you would like answered!

I am planning to start Sydney's homeschooling this fall.  She will be 2 1/2 and we will start working on simple tasks like using safety scissors, coloring in the lines, and other fun things.  She loves to write, so I plan to start helping her write letters as well.  We will not have "structured" classes or anything - just fun mother/daughter learning time during some of L.B.'s naps! 

I do a variety of reviews on my blog - related to parents and children.  Many of my reviews are for books because I LOVE to read (my reading time has shrunk since L.B. was born though).  I especially like to work with WAHMs.  I love helping other moms reach their goals and build their businesses.  If you are a WAHM, feel free to message me about a review or giveaway or advertising, etc.

I guess that is a pretty good start to getting to know me!  Feel free to ask me any questions that you would like.  I will try to answer them as quickly and as best as I can.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Urban Moppets

Here is another WAHM that makes AMAZING items!  Urban Moppets creates dresses, skirts, blankets, and more!  I was so excited to find her shop before little L.B. was born.  I'm sure you all will love her stuff as well - especially if you have little girls!

About Urban Moppets
"Welcome to my etsy shop. My name is Kelli and I am a sew-a-holic! I have 3 grown children, a 4 year old and (gulp) 5 small grandchildren! I have been sewing for over 30 years with wee ones being my inspiration! I love to create unique things for the little ones whether a retro tunic, superhero cape, personalized pillow or tipi, one just never knows what will come out of my studio next! I am so excited to have the opportunity to do something that I creative. One of my favorite things to do is spend hours in our local (and huge) fabric store coming up with my next project. I hope you stop by often to see my newest creations!"

My Review
Her prices are great!  I couldn't believe some of them!  Her adorable dresses are around $19.95!  I'm very tempted to buy the one that matches L.B.'s blanket!  The blankets are $29-$35.  I bought the cute minky deer blanket because it matched our nursery perfectly.  I had been looking around for awhile for a blanket to match the room, and I just wasn't happy with any I saw until I saw this one.  Once I received it, I loved it even more! It is large enough to use even when she is a toddler, and it is softer than you could ever imagine!  I wouldn't mind having one my size to be perfectly honest.  If you are looking for a unique blanket for your child or a shower gift, please contact Kelli at Urban Moppets!  You won't be disappointed with her!

See how comfy cozy this looks??

Creative Expressions Review and Giveaway

I'm always on the look out for awesome WAHM (work at home mom) products!  I love to help these moms promote their products as much as possible.  Recently I came across Creative Expressions, which is a mom local to me that creates all kinds of goodies! 

Buddy is the owner, and she is great to work with!  She is very friendly and willing to work with you to get the item you want.  She creates many types of bows, bow holders, baby wreaths, flip flops, and even painted canvases.  Her items are so pretty and she sells them at great prices!  Here are a few of her items that I think are adorable!

She made a really cute bow for my girls to share.  I wanted to get a picture of them both wearing it, but Lakyn's head is still too tiny for our headbands!  Sydney really likes the bow because it has circles on all of her favorite colors!  It is a very cute bow for summer time.  It is very well made with a lined alligator clip (which is my personal favorite type right now).  Sydney hasn't been able to destroy this bow yet...yes, she has taken bows apart before.  Sorry - this isn't the best picture.  My daughter has recently decided that she is anti-pictures!  I would definitely recommend Creative Expressions to anyone that asks me.  Customer service is a high priority on my list, and Buddy is definitely good with that!

Creative Expressions has made a giveaway bow especially for So Mommy Readers! It is a 5 inch double layered lime green/pink bow - perfect for summer!
How to Enter: 
Mandatory:  Go to the Creative Expressions and leave me a comment telling me which product is your favorite!
Once you’ve entered by leaving a comment, you can gain additional entries:

Extra Entries (Leave one comment per extra entry):
(1 entry) - ‘Like’ Creative Expressions on Facebook HERE
(1 entry) - ‘Like’ So Mommy on Facebook HERE and let me know if you are a new fan
(1 entry) - Mention this giveaway on your facebook page and leave me the link

**This giveaway ends on May 30, 2011 at 5 p.m. CST.  The winner will be selected by random draw and will have 48 hours to respond to our notification email before another winner is selected.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.  I was given a free bow in exchange for my review.  No other compensation was received.** 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Winners! by now most of you know about the tornados in north Alabama.  Places around us were hit VERY hard...many lost homes, family members, and some (like us) only lost power for several days.  Our family was very lucky this time.  I let the open giveaways run longer due to this issue, and I am currently drawing winners :)  Hopefully, things on my blog will get back to normal soon!  I have more reviews, giveaway, and informative posts coming up so get ready!

Also, Happy (late) Mother's Day to all you moms out there! 

13 Deals - Sesame Street cookbook - Danielle!!

Skin MD - Judy B!!

Lovable Labels - Sadie!!

Congratulations to these 3 lucky ladies!  I will email the winners soon! :)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness month, and I was provided a book to review from Workman Publishing that is geared towards autistic kids!  I apologize for posting this on the last day of the month, but due to childbirth and then power outages due to storms, I am just now getting to post it.

Workman Publishing has some great books for all ages!  This time they provided me with a copy of "Point to Happy" by Miriam Smith and Afton Fraser.  This is a very simple book geared towards kids on the autism spectrum.  "Point to Happy" is a large board book that comes with its own pointer finger.  The pointer helps implement the motor tasks of holding and pointing.  The photographs in the book are large and simple.  The sentences are short and easy to understand.  If your child is a visual learner, then this book can definitely be a helpful tool!

When we received this book, Sydney was so excited!  No, she isn't autistic, but she loves books and she enjoys trying to find the correct pictures that go with the sentences I'm reading.  The pointer is very easy for her to use and seems to be very sturdy.  After reading the book together a few times, she will "read" it to herself.  She will say, "Which one is sad?" and then point to the boy that is sad and continue through the book.  I think this book would be very helpful for any young kids.  It shows pictures of daily activities like playing, sleeping, brushing teeth, and also emotions like sad, happy, mad, etc.  I love that this is a large board book so that I don't have to worry about torn pages!

If you know of any parents or teachers that help teach autistic children, please tell them about this book so they can see if it would be of help in their situation!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lovable Labels Review and Giveaway

Do you remember my previous review for Lovable Labels? (See it here).  Well, they offered up their new address labels for me to review recently, and let me tell you it couldn't have come at a better time!  I was getting ready to send out 'Thank You' cards and I was dreading all the address writing.  I received the "Fancy Nancy Gold" labels, and when they arrived they looked great.  I was so happy to have some nice address labels.  You can get 240 labels for $18.50 from Lovable Labels. 

*No, this is not my information, but my labels looked great!*

I really like Lovable Labels and their products.  They have good quality labels for pretty much all of your needs - from clothing labels to bag tags to address labels and more.  In my experience, their labels work very well!  This would make a good birthday gift for those kids you know that have everything.

Lovable Labels has generously supplied us with a "Camp Pack" for one lucky winner!  Thanks, Lovable Labels!
How to Enter: 
Mandatory:  Go to the Lovable Labels website and leave us a comment (one per day only, please) telling us which one of their amazing product is your favorite! Once you’ve entered by leaving a comment, you can gain additional entries:

Extra Entries (Leave one comment per extra entry):(1 entry) - Follow @mylovablelabels on Twitter HERE
(1 entry) - ‘Like’ Lovable Labels on Facebook HERE
(1 entry) - ‘Like’ So Mommy on Facebook HERE and let me know if you are a new fan
(1 entry) - Mention this giveaway on your blog and leave me the link

**This giveaway ends just in time for summer activities!  Ends on May 2, 2011 at 5 p.m. CST.  The winner will be selected by random draw and will have 48 hours to respond to our notification email before another winner is selected.  This giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only.**

**I received sample products in exchange for my honest review.  See full disclosure for more information.**

Boogie Wipes Celebrate Teachers!

May 6th is National Provider Appreciation Day, and in honor of the day Boogie Wipes has created an exclusive Boogie Wipes kit which contains: a poster with Save the Sleeve pledge guidelines, 50 Boogie Wipes samples, $.50 OFF coupons, 2 classroom canisters and 10 Free Boogs, the Boogie Buddy classroom mascot.

The Boogie Wipes National Provider Appreciation Day Kit is available for at limited time only. The cost of the kit is $15 and it will be available until May 6, 2011.

About Boogie Wipes
Boogie Wipes are a unique saline nose wipe that are much softer and gentler on young noses than tissues, and the fun scents like Great Grape encourage children to remember the importance of not using their hand or sleeve to wipe a messy nose, keeping clothes clean and helping prevent the spread of germs.

Boogie Wipes are made with natural saline to dissolve boogies (mucus) caused by the common cold, allergies or otherwise booger-filled kid moments. Extra soft, alcohol, phthalate and paraben free, Boogie Wipes are available in Great Grape, Fresh Scent, Magic Menthol and Simply Unscented. Recommended by pediatricians as a gentle, effective alternative to a dry tissue.

About National Provider Appreciation Day
National Provider Appreciation Day is a special day to recognize childcare providers, teachers and other educators of young children. Started in 1996 by a group of volunteers in New Jersey, Provider Appreciation Day is celebrated each year on the Friday before Mother's Day. The founding organizers saw the need to recognize the tireless efforts of providers who care for children of working parents. Momentum and support for this event has grown each year and recognition presently includes individuals and government organizations throughout the United States.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Skin MD Natural - Review and Giveaway

About Skin MD Natural
Skin MD Natural is a shielding lotion that works to prevent dry skin in two ways.  First, it assists the inner layers of skin to absorb moisture. The humectant (an ingredient that attracts moisture) used in Skin MD Natural is unique to it and has been laboratory tested to be 6 times more effective than any other you will find in common creams.  Second, a shielding lotion enhances the power of the top layer of the skin to resist environmental irritants while protecting the inner natural moisture.

This can be a big benefit for those who cook, wash dishes and garden because Skin MD Natural helps skin retain its natural moisture and oils in the face of all those irritating soaps and chemicals.

The manufacturer's website has hundreds of dermatologist and user reviews including many addressing severe dry skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. People with sensitive skin -- and those of us who like to live as naturally as possible -- will appreciate that Skin MD Natural is hypoallergenic, free of fragrances, parabens and colorants. It is made with more than 90% natural ingredients and 100% food-grade ingredients that are on the FDA's "most safe" list.

My Review
I received a bottle of Skin MD Natural skin care to try for myself.  I don't have any specific skin problems other than regular, irritating dry skin - especially during the winter.  I love that this lotion is thick and it doesn't have a strong smell.  I normally hate to use lotion for those reasons.  This lotion absorbs into your skin very quickly.  I did get a really bad sunburn right after receiving this lotion.  I started putting this on it before and after it started peeling.  It didn't prevent the peeling, but it sure made it feel better while it was healing!  If you are looking for a lotion that works and doesn't feel so thick, this is definitely the lotion for you!
Skin MD is offering one lucky reader a bottle of Skin MD Natural! Open to contiguous U.S. addresses only.
How to Enter:
(1 entry) - 'Like' Skin MD on Facebook HERE
(1 entry) - Follow Skin MD on Twitter HERE
(1 entry) - Follow So Mommy by Google Friend Connect
(1 entry) - 'Like' So Mommy on Facebook HERE
(1 entry) - Visit the Skin MD YouTube channel HERE and tell me one thing you learned!
**Giveaway will end May 2, 2011 at 5 p.m. CST.  Winner will be drawn by a random number generator and contacted by email.  If winner doesn't respond in 48 hours, another winner will be drawn.** 
**I received Skin MD product in exchange for this review.**

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

13 Deals - Review and Giveaway

Have you heard of those one deal a day sites? I know there are several out there...and I know a LOT of people that check them routinely (I may be one of those people...). If you like those type of sites, then you are going to LOVE this new website called 13 Deals.  If you think the name of the website means 13 deals instead of just one, you are completely RIGHT!  13 Deals offers a wide variety of products, and they even have a 13 Deals Pets website where they have pet deals!  The deals at 13 Deals change all day, so be sure to keep checking back - you may find that product you've been dying to have!

I received the Sesame Street Silly Snacks Cooking with Kids book to review from 13 Deals.  I was really excited to get this book.  Sydney has recently discovered a love of "helping" in the kitchen - whether it's washing dishes or cooking.  This book gives her a way to help out.  The book includes several different kid-friendly recipes that are easy to make with your kids.  Sydney is only 2, so she isn't much help yet, but she will be soon!  My favorite thing aout the Sesame Street Silly Snacks book is that it is a board book, so no worrying about pages getting torn!  It has several pictures to help your child understand what you are making!  This book is a great deal at $6.99 +S&H from 13 Deals, but you better hurry before they sell out!

13 Deals is offering one lucky reader a copy of Sesame Street Silly Snacks Cooking with Kids! Open to contiguous U.S. addresses (include PO box) only.
How to Enter:
(1 entry) - 'Like' 13 Deals on Facebook HERE
(1 entry) - Follow 13 Deals on Twitter HERE
(1 entry) - Follow So Mommy by Google Friend Connect
(1 entry) - 'Like' So Mommy on Facebook HERE
(1 entry) - Visit 13 Deals and tell me which current product you would like!
**Giveaway will end May 2, 2011 at 5 p.m. CST.  Winner will be drawn by a random number generator and contacted by email.  If winner doesn't respond in 48 hours, another winner will be drawn.** 
**I received the mentioned book in exchange for this review.**

Giveaway Winners!

Oops! I completely forgot to draw winners for the last 2 giveaways! Having a baby definitely threw off my routine...without further ado, here are the winners:

OnTray2Go: Marie O.

Motherlove Diaper Rash/Thrush salve: Jenlcrum

Congratulations to the winners...and Marie - I don't know how, but you have been very lucky on my blog lately! apparently loves you!

Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Season One

Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Season One DVD was released by Shout! Factory yesterday.  Do any of you remember watching this as a kid? I know I do!  Actually, when I told my older sister I was reviewing the DVD, she started singing the theme song (I have to admit, I didn't remember the song). 

For those that don't know, the Planeteers work as a team and use their powers (Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and Heart) to form the hero known as Captain Planet.  Together, they try to prevent crimes against the planet and stop Eco-villains.  The episodes include the voices of well-known actors/actresses such as Whoopi Goldberg, Meg Ryan, Sting and more!  Shout! Factory even used Eco-friendly packaging.  You can buy the DVD set HERE for $23.99 + S&H.

I enjoyed these cartoons.  They aren't the extremely violent cartoons that I've noticed lately, and they actually help teach kids that the Earth is important and we should do our part to help protect it.  Now, I'm not one to do things just because it's going to save the environment, but I think we shoulg be teaching our kids that we should do what we can.  I would definitely be more willing to let my children watch these cartoons over many of the "super hero" shows on t.v.

**I received Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Season One in exchange for my personal review.**

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Achooz Review

From the makers of Boogie wipes, comes one of my new favorite products...Achooz!  I wasn't sure that I would like Achooz when I first received them.  I love using Boogie Wipes on Sydney because they are so soft and make nose cleaning so much easier, but I wasn't sure I wanted a "wipe" for my own nose.  Until I tried Achooz. 

Achooz were created using a unique non-medicated formula which breaks down mucus and soothes the nose while wiping. It includes the same gentle, patent-pending magic of saline, vitamin E and aloe as our Boogie Wipe products and is available in Fragrance Free for everyday use and Cool Menthol for extra stuffy noses. 

Let me just say this, being pregnant AND having the flu is no fun, but when my nose started running I was miserable.  I hate having a runny nose.  For one, it's just plain irritating.  For two, by the end of the nose usually hurts from all the wiping.  I was glad that I had the Cool Menthol Achooz to try out this time!  I will confess that I didn't use them for every nose wipe (because I felt like I was wasting them...I know, I'm a little weird).  I did use one every few nose wipes, and I loved breathing in the menthol!  These definitely helped keep my nose from getting raw like it normally does.  

Achooz are available at Walgreens, among other retailers and if you visit their website you can even print a coupon for $.50 off your next Achooz purchase.  I would definitely recommend these for anyone with a runny nose!  They are amazing!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Bridge of Peace by Cindy Woodsmall

Do you like to blog about the books you read?  If so, you should check out Blogging for Books. WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provides you with free books in exchange for an honest review.  So far, I have really liked the selection of books I've been given.

The most recent book I was given the chance to review was "The Bridge of Peace" by Cindy Woodsmall.  Cindy is a New York Times best-selling author, who is known mostly for her connection with the Amish community. This connection allows her to write very true-to-life Amish novels.  I was impressed with her attention to detail in this book!

"The Bridge of Peace" is a novel about a young Amish girl named Lena, who is a school teacher waiting on Mr. Right.  She has dealt with a noticable birthmark on her cheek all her life, and at times feels like it is what is holding her back.  In this novel, we see many different families, their joys and tragedies, and also how they come together to help each other in times of need. 

I absolutely loved this book!  I can't say enough about it.  I couldn't put it down until I finished.  I don't normally like the romantic-type novel, but this one had so much more in it than just romance.  It showed the difficulties of Amish life, and how they deal with problems similar to our own, such as Lena's self-conciousness about her birthmark.  As a school teacher, Lena has to deal with difficult students and parents - which I'm sure any teacher out there can relate to.  Cindy Woodsmall is definitely a winning writer if you ask me.  She includes so many details about the Amish traditions and way of life that really brings this book to life!  I felt like I was almost there with Lena when I was reading!  I would definitely recommend this book (and author) to anyone who reads for enjoyment!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

More Giveaway Winners!

Here are the most recent giveaway winners!!  Thank you all for entering - I wish all of you could win something every time I have a giveaway.  As of right now, we are planning to have baby #2 (L.B.) a week from today, so if I'm not around for a few days you will know why!  I am planning some new things soon - like why I cloth diaper and how to do it on a budget, as well as some new-mom / newborn posts (sleep problems, breastfeeding problems, advice, things like that).  I'm looking forward to adding in some personal posts along with my reviews and giveaways - I hope you all don't mind!

Anyhow, on with the winners!

Curly Girl Winner - Tonya, who said, "My daughter and myself have curly hair and it stays frizzy....ugg"

CJN Flowers and Primitives Crayon set Winner - Marie, who said, "I like So Mommy on Facebook."

Boon, Inc. Fluid Cup Winner - Jennifer C., who said, "I follow Boon Inc on twitter"

Dance First. Think Later. Book Winner - Miraworker, who said, "I entered the OnTray giveaway too!"

Babylegs Winner - GiantSis, who said, "I like BabyLegs on FB - liz t. n."

Congratulations to all of the winners!  I hope you all enjoyed the month of March and our Baby Shower reviews and giveaways!  Since I have a newborn coming, look for more newborn related reviews as well as toddler and parent ones!

Hevea Pacifier Review

There are so many recalled products out there today, that I am VERY hesitant when buying new baby products.  Sometimes it seems like everything is dangerous in some way.  This is making me think a lot about buying more natural products from reputable companies.  Hevea is one company that has definitely impressed me!

About Hevea
Hevea, as a company is trying to be more sustainable by looking for ways to reduce, re-use, and recycle.  Because of this, their products are packaged in cute little boxes made of recycled paper.  The products are manufactured in Malaysia, but don't let that scare you - they have good communication with them to make sure the workers are well-paid and that their rights are respected.

Why choose Hevea?
Their accessories (such as the pacifier holders) are made of organic cotton and include a space on the back to write your baby's name.  The pacifiers and teethers are made of 100% natural rubber, which is biodegradable.  They are BPA, PVC, and phthalate free.  They are stylish, one-piece pacifiers with no plastic pieces to them.  They have no cracks or creases to hold bacteria.  The pacifiers are ergonomically shaped to be gentle against your baby's skin.

My Review
I received the moon and star pacifier for my review, and I will say that I liked the packaging better than the usual pacifier packaging (though I don't normally buy things just because I like the package).  These pacifiers and teethers are very cute and natural-looking.  I really liked the fact that they are one-piece.  That is hard to find in a pacifier these days (the only other one I can think of is a Soothie, and not all kids like those - mine didn't).  I like that these come in an orthodonic nipple shape as well.  Sydney didn't use a pacifier very often as a newborn, but as she got a little older and wanted one frequently, I preferred the orthodonic pacifiers simply because I was worried about the effect on her teeth.  The Hevea pacifier is very soft rubber, which makes it easy for babies to grab and hold onto.  Since it doesn't stay stiff like plastic does, it makes it much more comfortable for a baby to sleep with.  These pacifiers are more expensive ($8.95 for 1) than others in stores, but to me it is with good reason! I like knowing that I am putting a safe product in my child's mouth.

Be sure to check out The Natural Baby Company on Facebook HERE.

**I received a pacifier in exchange for my honest review.**