Saturday, March 31, 2012

Super Stalker Sunday #Bloghop

Welcome to this week’s Super Stalker Sunday hop!


Super Stalk Sunday

What is Super Stalker Sunday?


Glad you asked! Super Stalker Sunday is a weekly blog hop hosted by


Mariah of Formula Mom

As you know, blogs hops are a great way to meet other bloggers, socialize and gain more followers. We created this hop as away for you to connect with other bloggers via RSS Feed, Google Friend Connect, Email Subscribers, Facebook Fans, Twitter Followers, and Google+!


How to Super Stalk



Follow each host at least one way. Remember to leave a comment, as hostesses we’re committed to returning the follows. But please be patient as we are busy mamas and it may take us a few days to return the visit and follow. You will only have to link up on one of the host sites and your link will appear on all as we use the same linky. After you follow the hosts and the featured blogger, follow at least the four blogs listed above you on the linky. If your time permits, follow as many other blogs are you are willing!
Keep in mind that many bloggers have phased out GFC in recent weeks, so be sure you’re following everyone another way as well!


Remember: You will only get as much as you give. The more blogs you can visit, the more visits you will gain in return. We are all here to socialize and greet, not visit only your blog.


While we encourage sharing our button and hop with as many as possible, it is not required. The more you spread the word though, the more we socialize and all gain followers!



If you would like to be a featured blogger, being shared with more than 32,000 combined followers between the hosts of this hop, please link up your blog's home page! At the end of each week we will select a blog via Random.Org to be the featured blog for the following week. The featured blogger will be emailed by Tuesday morning. Please be sure to check your spam folders! This linky will remain open until 3:00PM EST on Monday! Go ahead, stalk up a storm!



Boon Odd Ducks Review


Boon, a name brand that all the moms I know have trusted to use with their babies and children not only because of the innovative designs and features but also because they are safe and fun for both parents and kids alike.


Boon products are definitely something we love here in the Eco Baby Mama Drama household, we have  several of them and have never had a bad experience with them so I was super excited to be able to test out the Odd Ducks, which like they are advertised are not your average rubber ducky.  We received the multi-color (pink) 4 pack and immediately Tates was in love with his new duck-duck friends!
With names like Slim, Bob, Jane and Squish you have to laugh at how cute they are!  These fun friends are perfectly sized for little hands and are so wonderfully colorful they won't need anything else in the bath to keep them playing and happy.  
Odd Ducks are PVC, BpA and phthalate free so you can rest assured your kiddos are playing with safe toys.  My favorite part is there are no holes in them so no water can get in meaning no black mold growing inside your bath toys, that is a huge concern of mine, any toy that has holes isn't aloud in our bathtub but with Boon's Odd Ducks we are safe.


Tates adores his duck ducks and takes them all over the place not just the tub, with their fun vibrant colors and unique designs it is hard not to love these guys!
Buy Them:  You can purchase your own set of Odd Ducks or purchase them individually (if you want several of one of your favorites!) from the Boon Inc website where you can also find many other fun bath accessories. Which Boon Bath toy is your favorite?


Make sure you connect with Boon on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest product releases!



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Trim Down Thursdays~The Importance of Breakfast

Welcome back to Trim Down Thursdays!  We took a little break last week but are ready to get back on track with this weeks topic, the Importance of Breakfast!  I am always making T-Bone eat breakfast and harping on my husband to eat breakfast however honestly I rarely eat it myself.  I am not typically hungry when I wake up and end up going several hours before eating, sometimes until late afternoon.  NOT good!


First think about the word Breakfast itself....BREAK-FAST, break the fast that your body has been experiencing (overnight since dinner).  It is important to get something in your stomach to give you fuel to get started for the day.   For adults (especially) it is important to eat breakfast (even a light one if you aren't too hungry like me) because you are less likely to overeat at lunch and dinner thus helping to control your weight.  For kids it is very important to help them with behavior and mood for a long day of learning.  I know T-Bone is definitely effected by a missed breakfast and I have gotten the phone calls from school to prove it!


Breakfast is the first opportunity for your body to refuel it's blood sugar levels which are essential for brain function and your main energy source helping your muscles be prepared for physical activities throughout the day.  Plus if you are like my husband and end up working through lunch several times a week you don't want to be skipping breakfast and lunch, your body will starve!


So here are some ideas to help you get motivated to jump on the Breakfast Bandwagon:

  • Keep quick (but healthy) breakfast foods on hand (yogurts/fiber bars/fruits/trail mix)
  • Prepare breakfast ahead of time (pre-cut fruit the night before/tuck a breakfast bar in your purse)
  • Think outside the cereal box (fruit smoothies/leftovers/oatmeal/bagels)
  • Reward breakfast eaters (Saturday homemade pancakes or muffins are always a treat here!)
What is your breakfast routine?  How do you stay motivated to eat breakfast, how do you motivate your kids/spouse?  Please drop by Coping with Frugality to see what Amanda's breakfast thoughts are and if you have blogged about your thoughts either on breakfast or health in general please link up!



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Summer Infant Carter's Animal Parade Comfort 'n Care Playard & Changer Review

Summer Infant knows that having a baby is the best time of your life and through their innovative, safe and high quality gear from bath tubs to travel systems they have your family covered for just about everything you might need for your little bundle of joy.  Backed by a team of pediatricians making sure their products keep your baby safe, Summer Infant is continuously rolling out the latest and greatest essentials for young infants up through toddlers and beyond.  This is a company that offers products I have come to depend on as a parent. We were simply overjoyed when offered the chance to review the Carter's Animal Parade Comfort 'n Care Playard & Changer.


Features/Benefits:
  • Removable activity jumper featuring sounds and lights for baby in comfort and safety inside playard 
  • Parent assist tray helps organize baby essentials 
  • Fold over changer stows away during non use 
  • Fold over, full size bassinet 
  • Music module helps soothe newborn
  • Compact fold, wheels and travel bag for portability
  • Full size newborn bassinet music, nature and womb sounds
I really love the gender neutral yet very stylish prints and animal theme used for this playard, I really think you can use it for a girl or a boy. The material is very thick and durable, you can tell it is made to last.
The playard was very easy to put together, simply click the sides up and push the center down into place and put the mattress on top!  Super fast and ready for baby to play or nap in and with a weight limit of up to 30 pounds you will get lots of use from it, Tates is a big baby weighing in at 28+ pounds and he enjoys using it everyday.  With the two wheels (located on the left legs in the below photo) it is easy to move the playard from room to room with ease-I can even do it one handed while holding Tates!
Having seen many playards in my many years of being a parent this is the first time I have seen the truly unique feature that one has included, a removable activity jumper with sounds and lights!  How fun is this for your little one, and it is 2 baby gear items in one for parents on the go.  Every parent can use this and appreciate a product that has multiple uses to keep their little one entertained.
The maximum weight on the jumper seat is 25 pounds so as much as it breaks my heart Tates is slightly over and we can't let him use it but maybe baby #3?  The seat offers great support for a growing little one and has flexible straps to support baby bouncing up and down along with entertaining toys and soft friendly animal faced friends to keep baby all smiles!

Another great feature that I am looking forward to using on baby #3 is the bassinet.  This is the perfect place for newborns (up to 15 pounds) to sleep and have them close by for the every 2 hour feedings around the clock.  Tates slept in one at the foot of our bed for a long time as we didn't have a crib actually.
Changing from the playard to the bassinet and vice verse is super easy by slipping on the bassinet top and laying the mattress in.  There is also a wonderful attachment (included) used to soothe infants with nature and womb sounds as well as regular music.
No need to buy a changing table, with this wonderful playard you can change your infant or babies (up to 25 pounds) on the included super sturdy changer.  This changer screws into place offering a steady changing surface for mom to work.  With the amount of diapers kids go through (especially newborns!) the waterproof material the changer is made of is great for easy cleanups!
The changer folds out of your way when not in use for full access to your playard and bassinet.
Every parent changing a diaper in the middle of the night in the dark can appreciate the wonderful parent assist tray to help organize all baby changing essentials and even a few distraction toys for baby and the easy clip on feature allows for it to hang on the outside of the Carter's Animal Parade Comfort n' Care Playard and Changer making this a definite must have baby gear item.  You can see we have 3 one sized pocket diapers inside and there is plenty of room for more, the 2 large storage areas have full sized diaper changing extras and lotion for baby and there is ample space for lots more!

Buy It: You can purchase your very own Summer Infant Carter's Animal Parade Comfort n' Care Playard and Changer from Amazon.com.  You can also connect with Summer Infant on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with them on their latest products and promotions!

Monkey Rump Diapers-Review & Sponsor Spotlight #SpringBuzzHop

I am really excited to introduce you all to Mary the work at home mama behind Monkey Rump Diapers.  Mary specializes in bamboo fitted cloth diapers and they are super cute to boot!  She also offers AI2 cloth diapers, pockets, covers, cloth wipes and of course custom orders.
Mary sent me the most adorable one sized fitted diaper and one of her cloth wipes.  The adorable polka dot and monkey's wearing matching polka dot boxers is seriously the cutest thing I have ever seen! Sorry ladies this print is retired :(
The wipe is very generously sized, measuring 9"x7" making it great for even the biggest of messes.  Made of bamboo fleece it is very soft and thirsty fabric.
The inner of the diaper is super soft organic bamboo velour and has hidden snap closure which I love! 
The soaker is snake style and is my absolute favorite!  I love how you can fold it and customize it where your baby needs it most.  It is squishy soft on both sides made of bamboo velour.  Made of 3 layers of bamboo velour (2 layers of bamboo velour with 1 layer cotton velour is available upon request) offering 6 or 9 layers of thirsty fabric!
As you can see the soaker is so generously sized that you can have double coverage or even triple coverage depending on how you fold it.  With the soaker being separate from the shell the diaper dries super fast. 
The care tag is placed on the inside of the diaper which I am not a fan of however it doesn't seem to irritate Tates skin at all.
Crossover tabs allow this diaper to fit skinnier babies and optional newborn rise snaps can be added upon request.
You can see that this one sized diaper gently hugs Tates chunky thighs, no red marks ever and no leaks either.  I only prep washed the diaper 3-4 times and we used it without a cover for our little super soaker Tates and he didn't even soak through. 
As you can see the waist fits great and there are still plenty of snaps left for Tates to wear this for a long time still. 
The diaper is very trim, Tates loves running around in it!
I placed the soaker doubled all the way back in the diaper to show how ultra trim this diaper is, and with the all natural fibers allowing this to be a great option for the natural lovin' mama's like myself!
One last extra feature of this diaper is the extra wide back elastic, just as gentle and stretchy like the leg elastic but with the extra wide coverage across the back you are sure to not have any blowout messes!

What is your favorite feature of this diaper?

Buy it: You can purchase your very own fitted cloth diaper from Monkey Rump Diapers Hyena cart Store and drop by the Monkey Rump Diapers Facebook page for all the latest fabrics and fluffy pictures!


Win it: One lucky reader is going to win a $25 Monkey Rump gift certificate in the Spring Buzz Giveaway Hop!  Head on over and enter now!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Going Back To School Without Breaking the Bank

For those of you that don't know my husband (DJ) is in the IT field.  He works for our local school district as a Network Engineer, most of the stuff he does I couldn't even begin to explain to you because it is just way over my head!  I have slowly started to understand some things and although he is the go to IT guy for our family (he gets just about every question from both sides of the family that has anything to do with computers or technology!) he isn't very tech savvy in the blog world which is where I would need the most help.  Kinda like if you work in retail it doesn't necessarily mean you know about marketing or shipping per se because you maybe are a sales associate nor a PR or shipping person, still following me?  I promise I have a point....


The IT world is constantly changing, new technologies are coming out everyday.  There is always something new to learn which means my husband is going to be a student for life.  He is constantly inquiring at work about training programs and educational seminars and on the home front he is always telling me he needs to go back to school.  It is kinda funny because it is his suggestion for a way to pause payments on his student loans whereas I see the other side of it as it is going to add to his student loans.


The costs of getting a higher education are skyrocketing and in this economy you almost have to have more than just a college degree, in the IT field you need certifications to be successful and it is possible to self teach although it can be a bit more difficult.  The books are out there but they are expensive and before you know it the books are outdated as technology has changed and all you have is an expensive paperweight on your hands.


I am really excited to have found CampusBookRentals.com, this is a great site that offers students the opportunity to rent their textbooks instead of the traditional option of purchasing them.  If you purchase your books, you have to worry about trying to sell them when you are done and getting a fraction of your purchase price back (if that much!) but with a rental option you don't have to worry about anything!  Simply rent your books for however long you need them and return them when you are done!


Campus Book Rentals offers:


-savings of 40-90% off  bookstore prices
-free shipping both ways
-you can highlight in the textbooks
-flexible renting periods

Check out this book that is one we own actually:
We paid $50 for this CCNA book and it is available for rental for only $25.86 for an entire quarter!  So whether or not my husband chooses  to self teach or enroll in classes we for sure won't be purchasing books anytime soon, you should definitely check Campus Book Rentals out for yourself and see how much money they can save you!


Respiratory Syncytial Virus (R.S.V.) What EVERYONE NEEDS To Know

As many of you know I have 2 children, both boys and there is a pretty large age gap (T-Bone is 13 years old and Tates just turned 2 years old).  I had T-Bone at a very young age and was not only clueless being a first time mom but since I was so young I wasn't aware of pretty much anything that didn't directly affect me or my little one.  I worked with a girl that had a young baby girl that was sick with 
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (R.S.V.) however I didn't even know what it was.  Now that I am older and since Tates was seriously ill recently I am much more aware of the world around me but still embarrassed to admit I only recently learned about RSV.

So for those of you that might be new to this like me, here is some important information that everyone needs to know, if you are a parent or maybe visiting a newborn, or just know someone with children and can pass along this information you might just save a life.

What is RSV?
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common, easily spread virus that almost all children catch at least once by the time they turn 2.  In most older children, RSV runs its course with mild symptoms similar to the cold or flu, and many parents may not even know their child has the virus. But in very young babies—and especially preemies and those with certain lung and heart diseases—it can lead to a serious respiratory infection.
What are the Symptoms of RSV?
RSV disease usually causes moderate-to-severe cold symptoms. However, for some babies, complications from RSV disease can lead to a serious lung infection. Call your baby's doctor if your baby has any of these problems:
  • Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
  • Fast breathing or gasping for breath
  • Spread-out nostrils and/or a caved-in chest when trying to breathe
  • A bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
  • A fever (in infants under 3 months of age, a fever greater than 100.4°F rectal is a cause for concern)


What can you do to protect children from RSV?

  • Wash your hands (and your children's hands) thoroughly and often especially when coming in contact with a newborn/infant
  • Wash clothing, bedding, and soft toys frequently 
  • Avoid crowded public areas especially during RSV season (typically November-March depending on where you live)
  • Avoid cigarette smoke (every parent should do this all the time in my opinion)
  • Avoid people that you know are sick~as a parent it is not rude or out of line to ask people that are sick or feeling under the weather to not visit while they are ill, a visit when they are feeling their best will be fun for everyone!
Serious RSV infection is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, responsible for more than 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 infant deaths each year.  If you are like me and don't have a newborn or infant in your home this is still something that can affect you, one of my best friends just had a baby and our entire family went to visit the new little bundle of joy and see how mommy was doing and I am so relieved in knowing these simple steps to live by made sure our visit was a safe one.
To learn more about RSV and find out exactly when the RSV season is in your area please visit RSVProtection.com.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

ZeroWater Pitcher Review, Discount Code & Giveaway~2 Winners!

I live in an area that not only has hard water but bad tasting water.  You can't drink water right out of the faucet it simply tastes nasty.  This has been a huge problem for our family because not only do I not like purchasing bottled water but it isn't eco friendly to have all those water bottles even if I am recycling.  I have wanted needed an alternate solution however not really had many ideas until now!  I am super excited to have had the opportunity to try the ZeroWater pitcher and TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) Meter.
I was stalking my mailman waiting to get this because I couldn't wait to start using it!  We received the 10 cup pitcher, included filter, TDS meter, user manual and $35 in coupons for future filter purchases.  The TDS meter conveniently fits inside the lid of the pitcher so you don't have to worry about losing it.
I tested our regular tap water before using the pitcher and after along with the bottled water we purchase.  The amount of dissolved solids significantly decreased with use of the water filter pitcher and the taste of the water was actually good!  I was really amazed at what a difference the ZeroWater pitcher made and at how quickly it worked.   I had the pitcher filled up and water ready to drink in less than a few minutes.
This is our tap water before going through the pitcher 
This is the bottled water we PAY for, yes that is my baby's cup!  Yuck!
Now that is a great number!  Water after going through our ZeroWater pitcher.
Having the TDS meter you can really see the difference in the levels of chemicals in your water before and after using the ZeroWater pitcher.  The filter has 5 stages of filtration which certifies it in removal of not only the chlorine taste from your tap water but also Chromium, Aluminum, Lead, Zinc, Nitrate and more.  I love the pour-button spout feature that allows for filling your cups without having to remove the pitcher form the refrigerator (great feature for kids!).  Something else that is super awesome, ZeroWater recycles their own used filters!  You can find more information on their site to recycle your used filters.
So now that I have you thinking about what is in your water, want to see exactly what I am talking about?
Pretty nasty stuff!  You can find out what your TDS score is and purchase your own filtration system at the ZeroWater website and connect with ZeroWater on Facebook. You can use code MC30 to get 30% off your order right now!


I know you want to have great tasting water like we do now right?  Yep, that is what I thought!  2 super lucky readers are going to win a ZeroWater pitcher!  Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win!  Good Luck!





Saturday, March 24, 2012

Super Stalker Sunday #Bloghop

Welcome to this week’s Super Stalker Sunday hop!


Super Stalk Sunday

What is Super Stalker Sunday?


Glad you asked! Super Stalker Sunday is a weekly blog hop hosted by


Mariah of Formula Mom

As you know, blogs hops are a great way to meet other bloggers, socialize and gain more followers. We created this hop as away for you to connect with other bloggers via RSS Feed, Google Friend Connect, Email Subscribers, Facebook Fans, Twitter Followers, and the new Google+!


How to Super Stalk



Follow each host at least one way. Remember to leave a comment, as hostesses we’re committed to returning the follows. But please be patient as we are busy mamas and it may take us a few days to return the visit and follow. You will only have to link up on one of the host sites and your link will appear on all as we use the same linky. After you follow the hosts and the featured blogger, follow at least the four blogs listed above you on the linky. If your time permits, follow as many other blogs are you are willing!
Keep in mind that many bloggers have phased out GFC in recent weeks, so be sure you’re following everyone another way as well!


Remember: You will only get as much as you give. The more blogs you can visit, the more visits you will gain in return. We are all here to socialize and greet, not visit only your blog.


While we encourage sharing our button and hop with as many as possible, it is not required. The more you spread the word though, the more we socialize and all gain followers!



If you would like to be a featured blogger, being shared with more than 32,000 combined followers between the hosts of this hop, please link up! At the end of each week we will select a blog via Random.Org to be the featured blog for the following week. The featured blogger will be emailed by Tuesday morning. Please be sure to check your spam folders! This linky will remain open until 3:00PM EST on Monday! Go ahead, stalk up a storm!

 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway

I have shared our love of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil several times, you can see my review of it from back in September HERE.  It has so many uses and is a fabulous product and isn't expensive, how can you go wrong?  You can't!  Check out this video for some more information on this wonderful company and how they make this great product!





Tropical Traditions is graciously offering Eco Baby Mama Drama readers the chance to win a 32 ounce jar of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!  Fill out the Rafflecopter form below!  Good Luck!  Can't wait to see if you win?  You can purchase your own now, on the Tropical Traditions website!


*I was not compensated for this post and received no products for review, I simply love this product and Tropical Traditions has agreed to sponsor this giveaway*